The Mississippi House has passed H.B. 608 providing for the establishment of a longitudinal data system to track education and student outcomes in the workforce which will require a multi-agency database. According to the PPJ Gazette for Feb. 21, this means tracking Mississippians from cradle to grave — almost.

An operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) known as Project Gunrunner has been implicated, albeit indirectly so far, in the December 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry by alleged bandits in Arizona, reports the president of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council Andy Ramirez in a new piece for the Liberty News Network. Now, Agent Terry’s family wants answers and the Justice Department is apparently engaged in what critics are calling a “cover up.”

A police captain in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will file a lawsuit against the city police department today because it reassigned him after he refused to order his subordinates to attend an event at the city’s mosque on March 4.

EgyptMassive street protests erupted in Tunisia in late December, which ended the 23-year reign of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Fueled largely by an Internet-connected youth movement, the protests were partly a reaction to the publication by WikiLeaks of documents from U.S. diplomatic cables that revealed pandemic corruption by the ruling party, as well as government oppression that included arrests of lawyers, journalists, and political opponents. Another spark helped to ignite the revolt was the dramatic protest by Mohamed Bouazizi, who publicly set himself on fire on December 17 because of frequent government confiscation of his produce in his street vendor’s business and the government’s refusal to issue him the required vendor permits.

Rand PaulWhen newly elected Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proposed cutting aid to Israel, the howls of protest from all across the bipartisan political spectrum were painfully revealing. Matthew Brooks, executive director for the Republican Jewish Coalition — an organization with several former Bush administration officials on its board of directors — considers cutting the $3 billion a year that the United States gives to Israel to be off limits. “We share Senator Paul’s commitment to restraining the growth of federal spending, but we reject his misguided proposal to end U.S. assistance to our ally Israel,” he said. New York Representative Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee that deals with foreign aid, put it more bluntly: “Using our budget deficit as a reason to abandon Israel is inexcusable.... I call on all those who value the U.S.-Israel relationship to make it clear that our nation will not abandon our ally Israel.”