The decision of local union bosses to ban Republican politicians from this year’s labor-day parade in Wausau, Wisconsin, is sparking nationwide attention and criticism, adding even more fuel to the political turmoil in the state following months of partisan battles over the power of government-sector unions.

Not long after Rick Perry became Governor of Texas, according to an Associated Press release on May 12, 2001 he signed the James Byrd Hate Crimes Act (HB 587) named for a black man in Jasper, Texas, who was dragged to death behind a pickup in 1998.

Earlier this month, a special task force assembled by General David Petraeus (left) released the findings from its investigation that determined approximately $360 million in U.S. tax dollars landed in the hands of those that the American military have been fighting for over a decade: Taliban, criminals, and power brokers. More recently, however, another commission determined that the figure is actually closer to $60 billion.

One of the terms of the recent debt ceiling deal between Congress and the White House was that Congress would vote on, but not necessarily pass, a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. The deal did not, however, specify the language in the amendment, giving legislators plenty of opportunities to sneak in loopholes that might very well render any amendment that does pass meaningless.

Not surprisingly, reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is running out of money have surfaced. The fund�s capacity has been maximized by the most recent natural disaster, Hurricane Irene (path shown at left), which is estimated to cost billions of dollars. reports: