Conservatives may have lost some battles for committee chairmen in the incoming Republican-dominated House of Representatives, but they are making up for it when it comes to subcommittees. For economic conservatives there is the appointment of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas to head the Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. Social conservatives, meanwhile, scored a victory with the selection of the staunchly pro-life Rep. Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Authorities spent the weekend checking and clearing the property in Escondido, California, 25 miles north of San Diego, where a demolition team burned down the so-called “bomb house” on Thursday, December 9. The single story, wood-framed house had been the focus of investigations since November 18 when a gardener was injured by explosives there. A resident of the house, 54-year-old Serbian native George Jakubec, an unemployed software engineer who has been in the United States for over 20 years, was arrested in conjunction with the discovery of what officials called the largest cache of homemade bomb-making materials ever found in this country.

Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, three New Orleans Police Department officers have been found guilty in the high-stakes case of the killing of an unarmed man after the storm, as well as its subsequent cover-up. Eleven federal counts were leveled against the three, but according to a New Orleans Times Picayune report, two other officers were completely acquitted of charges in the case.

Ron PaulThe media response to the appointment of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to the chairmanship of the House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee has been swift and — somewhat surprisingly — mostly positive. Perhaps it is due to the fact that public opinion has been turning against the Federal Reserve, Paul’s longtime target that is overseen by his subcommittee.

As a lame-duck Congress winds down and a small army of Democratic legislators prepare to vacate their offices in Washington, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is quietly pushing a bill that would legalize online gambling.