Almost everyone is aware that the federal government pays farmers not to grow certain crops. But not many know that taxpayers are also being forced to pay airlines to fly empty planes. It’s true. According to the Associated Press, the $200 million federal Essential Air Service (EAS) program subsidizes airline service to less populous areas of the country; and because it does so on a per-flight — not per-passenger — basis, airlines sometimes fly empty planes back and forth just to keep the free funds flowing.

PerryTexas Governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States at a RedState bloggers gathering in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday. The event also featured a speech by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

The blog describes itself as “the most widely read right of center blog on Capitol Hill” as well as "the most often cited right of center blog in the media."

ObamaCareOn August 12 the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals delivered what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel termed “a stinging blow to [President Barack] Obama’s signature achievement,” declaring the ObamaCare individual mandate unconstitutional. The court thus “sided with 26 states ... that had sued to stop the law from taking effect,” the paper said.

BachmannMinnesota Representative Michele Bachmann narrowly bested Texas Representative Ron Paul in the Iowa Straw Poll by a  margin of 152 votes out of a total of 16,892 cast in a vote that easily overshadowed establishment favorites Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Tim Pawlenty. Bachmann earned 28 percent (4,823 votes) and Paul earned 27 percent (4,671 votes) among attendees at the traditional Iowa GOP rally. None of the other candidates earned even half as many votes as Bachmann or Paul.

After more than 10 years of allegedly sending youths to private prisons in exchange for around $1 million in kickbacks, former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella (left) was sentenced to 28 years in prison — essentially a life sentence for the 61-year-old convicted criminal.