The showdown in Congress over the debt ceiling appears to have begun as the House's top Republican, Speaker John Boehner (left), issued an ultimatum to congressional Democrats on Monday that Republicans will not vote for an increase in the debt ceiling unless it is accompanied by trillions of dollars in spending cuts.

According to Boehner, any approved increase to the debt ceiling should be in conjunction with spending cuts that are greater than the amount of the permitted increase in the debt. He explained:

Yesterday, Gallup poll released the results of its poll conducted from April 30-23 that reveals an unprecedented and dramatic change in the nation�s political climate. According to the poll, a majority of Americans, and, most notably, Republicans, believe that the United States needs a third political party.

The poll indicates that fifty-two percent of Republicans support the creation of a major, third political party, and an even greater number of Tea Party supporters made the same assertions. According to The Hill, the data �underscores the occasional tensions between grassroots conservatives and the GOP establishment.�

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says her agency is developing a new "index" to gauge border security that goes beyond traditional measures such as crime and the number of collared drug traffickers or illegal aliens.

 

In a moment, perhaps, of unintended clarity, potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, “You have to govern in a way that is different than the way you campaign.”

Last week, Amtrak began a week-long celebration marking its 40th anniversary. Unfortunately, given the company’s track record and inability to turn a profit throughout its tenure, even Amtrak’s founder notes that there is not much to celebrate.