Gun owners in Illinois are bracing for a fight against the latest round of legislation aimed at inhibiting their right to keep and bear arms. With efforts to essentially ban the ownership of firearms having been struck down by the Supreme Court, and Illinois now standing as the only state that makes no provision for legal concealed carry of firearms, leftist politicians in Chicago and throughout the state are far from conceding defeat.
For a Senator who lost by 18 percentage points when he last ran for reelection, Rick Santorum must have awesome powers of persuasion. According to a rival GOP presidential candidate, Santorum is responsible for the passage of the Obama health care plan because as the junior Senator from Pennsylvania, he persuaded the voters of his state to back senior Senator Arlen Specter over conservative challenger Pat Toomey in a hotly contested Republican primary race in 2004. And Santorum claimed his endorsement of his colleague, who was in line to become chairman of the Judiciary Committee, came after he sought and received from his Senate colleague a pledge that Specter would support President George W. Bush's nominees to the Supreme Court,
President Obama’s tax plan announced yesterday claims to simplify the tax code and make it fairer. This being an election year it is more likely his proposal is designed to attract votes instead of Congressional approval.
His plan proposes to reduce the top corporate income tax rate from 35 to 28 percent in exchange for eliminating some “loopholes” placed in the tax code in the past to reward cronies, promote public policy and misdirect investment. But as Danielle Kurtzleben wrote, “How effective the proposal might be is a matter of perspective.”
According to a new report by The Heritage Foundation, the White House handed out "administrative earmarks" to Democratic legislators to sway them to vote for major legislative efforts such as cap-and-trade and the healthcare overhaul.
Notorious anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed fighting in Iraq, is being sued by the federal government on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service for openly refusing to pay taxes since 2004. She responded to the charges by claiming to be a “conscientious tax objector” because the money is being used to wage “illegal and immoral” wars.
A controversial mandate from Health and Human Services is being contested by Ave Maria University in Florida. The university has filed suit against the Obama administration for the HHS regulation that forces insurance companies to provide sterilization and contraception, which includes abortifacients, at no cost.
The mandate in question forces religious institutions to pay for contraceptive drugs, including those that would bring about abortions. The mandate was issued in August 2011, and was followed by a lawsuit from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of Ave Maria, Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, and the EWTN network.
According to the authors of Cato’s recently released study on how often guns are used by citizens to prevent crime, “tens of thousands of crimes are prevented each year by ordinary citizens with guns.” In a study of more than 5,000 news reports over an eight-year period, Clayton Cramer and David Burnett showed that the mere presence of an armed citizen thwarts many crimes, even beyond those that are reported by the police and subsequently printed in the newspaper.
Does the Tea Party now support politicians who favored bailouts and the ObamaCare individual mandate?
Such a statement sounds like an oxymoronic joke, about as likely as a pacifist who backs war or an atheist for Jesus. But the answer, according to exit polls from New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida primaries, is an emphatic “yes.” According to each of these exit polls, the vast majority of self-identified Tea Party supporters have backed either former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (left) or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich over anti-bailout candidates such as Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
On Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of two wrongful death lawsuits filed by the families of two former inmates of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility in Cuba.
Written by Thomas R. Eddlem
Texas Congressman Ron Paul stood by a campaign advertisement he released calling former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum a "fake" fiscal conservative in the February 22 CNN GOP presidential debate in Mesa, Arizona. The debate was the last scheduled candidate face-off before the February 28 primaries in Arizona and Michigan, and the ten-state "Super Tuesday" primaries March 6.
CNN Moderator John King asked Paul, "Congressman Paul, you've questioned the conservative -- fiscal conservative credentials of all these gentlemen but particularly this week Senator Santorum. You have a new television ad that labels him a fake. Why?"
"Because he's a fake," Rep. Paul replied, adding:
I find it really fascinating that, when people are running for office, they're really fiscally conservative. When they're in office, they do something different. And then when they explain themselves, they say, "Oh, I want to repeal that."
So the senator voted for No Child Left Behind, but now -- he voted for it, but now he's running on the effort to get rid of it. So I think the record is so bad, you know, with the politicians.
And, you know, nobody accuses me of not having voted for too much. They're always accusing me for not voting for enough.
Santorum acknowledged he now backs the repeal of programs he had voted for as Senator. "I think we've all had votes that I look back on I -- I wish I wouldn't have voted -- No Child Left Behind, you're right, it lead to education spending. That's why I've said that we need to cut and eliminate No Child Left Behind." Later in the debate, Santorum said of the No Child Left Behind bureaucracy: "I have to admit, I voted for that. It was against the principles I believed in, but, you know, when you're part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team, for the leader, and I made a mistake. You know, politics is a team sport, folks. And sometimes you've got to rally together and do something."
Santorum also faced criticism on his backing for funding for contraceptive funding. On voting to give money to Planned Parenthood -- the nation's largest abortion provider -- for contraceptives, Santorum explained: "I opposed Title X funding. I've always opposed Title X funding, but it's included in a large appropriation bill that includes a whole host of other things, including... (BOOING) ... the funding for the National Institutes of Health, the funding for Health and Human Services and a whole bunch of other departments. It's a multi-billion-dollar bill."
But former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney didn't accept Santorum's explanation. "Senator," Romney said, "I just saw a YouTube clip of you being interviewed where you said that you personally opposed contraceptives but that you -- you said that you voted for Title X. But you used that as an argument, saying this is something I did proactively. You didn't say this is something I was opposed to; it wasn't something I would have done. You said this -- you said this in a positive light, "I voted for Title X."
Indeed, Santorum did boast in a Fox News Channel interview less than a week earlier that he had voted for federal contraceptives funding, including funding to Planned Parenthood. Santorum then engaged in a rambling, contradictory explanation of his vote:
I think it's -- I think I was making it clear that, while I have a personal more objection to it; even though I don't support it, that I voted for bills that included it. And I made it very clear in subsequent interviews that I don't -- I don't support that... (BOOING) ... I've never supported it, and -- and have -- and on an individual basis have voted against it.
Santorum also stressed that he had proposed a new federal program to promote abstinence education, Title XX, which " I did something that no one else did. Congressman Paul didn't. I said, well, if you're going to have Title X funding, then we're going to create something called Title XX, which is going to provide funding for abstinence-based programs, so at least we'll have an opportunity to provide programs that actually work in -- in keeping children from being sexually active instead of facilitating children from being sexually active. And I pushed Title XX to -- to accomplish that goal."
Paul countered that Title XX was just another centralized big government federal program that was not authorized by the U.S. Constitution. "I don't know whether you inferred that I would support Title XX for abstinence. No, it would cost money as a program. It's not a program of the federal government to get involved in our lives this way. If you want laws like that, maybe the state, but... (APPLAUSE) ... the federal government shouldn't even be having -- spending money on abstinence. That's way too much more. I don't see that in the Constitution."
Santorum's defense of his conservative credentials took the form of citing comparative ratings by Washington, DC beltway conservative organizations. "Ron," Santorum said to Paul, "The Weekly Standard just did a review, looking at the National Taxpayers Union, I think, Citizens Against Government Waste, and they measured me up against the other 50 senators who were serving when I did and they said that I was the most fiscally conservative senator in the Congress in the -- in the 12 years that I was there. My -- my ratings with the National Taxpayers Union were As or Bs. They were very high from the Citizens Against Government Waste. I got a hero award.... By the way, Ron, you ranked 145th in the bottom half of Republicans this year in a conservative voting record from that same organization."
Paul countered: "You know, that's always a cop-out when you compare yourself to the other members of Congress. The American people are sick and tired of the members of Congress. They get about a 9 percent rating." The Texas congressman and obstetrician stressed that many of those "conservative" ratings gave him lower marks for voting against foreign aid and bills that would curb individual liberties such as the Patriot Act, which explains why Santorum rated higher than Paul in some organizations' ratings. "If it's spending or on taxes I'm at the very top because I vote for the least amount of spending and the least amount of taxes, which means that some of the conservative ratings -- you have to realize sometimes conservatives want to spend money, too. When it comes to overseas spending, you vote for the foreign aid. Conservatives are quite pleased with spending money overseas. But if you're a strict fiscal conservative and a constitutionalist you don't vote for that kind of stuff and so you can't just go by the ratings."
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney also piled on to the surging Santorum's phony conservative record, noting in the debate "voting for raising the debt ceiling five different times without voting for compensating cuts. Voting to keep in place Davis-Bacon, which cost about $100 billion over -- over 10 years. A whole series of votes. Voting to fund Planned Parenthood, to expand the Department of Education. During his term in the Senate, spending grew by some 80 percent of the federal government."
On Tuesday, Judge Clark Waddoups (left) of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah announced that he would hold off issuing a ruling in the case challenging Utah’s recently enacted immigration statute until the Supreme Court hands down its decision in the case against the Arizona statute currently pending.