Rick Perry. No other two words can spark the ire, or even alarm, of informed Texans and other Americans when considering that the Texas Republican Governor might toss his Stetson into the 2012 Presidential ring. Perry, the 47th Lone Star Governor, holds the record for the longest gubernatorial tenure in Texas history. The reason for the ire and alarm is Perry’s presentation of himself as a fiscal and social conservative. The facts point a different direction.

“From a fiscal viewpoint,” writes Sven Larson, Ph.D., “2011 may be the year when the United States ceases to function as a federation and effectively becomes a European-style unitary state.”

Newt Gingrich, who made a much publicized visit to New Hampshire in his heyday as the nation's Speaker of the House 16 years ago, when he was allegedly looking for moose, may already be hunting for votes in the state that holds the first presidential primary every four years.

Gun Rights

Item: President Obama wrote in the Arizona Daily Star for March 13 about the mass shooting that had taken place in Tucson two months previously in a piece headlined, “We must seek agreement on gun reform.” He said that after the attack, in which 19 were shot, “Americans by and large rightly refrained from finger-pointing, assigning blame or playing politics with other people’s pain.”

Jack McManusA few days prior to the assault on Libya by coalition forces, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates strongly cautioned against imposing a “no fly zone” on that troubled nation because doing so would constitute going to war against Libya. He said a “no fly zone” he would mean attacking airfields, fuel dumps, and whatever else might be needed to keep Moammar Gadhafi from using his air force. And this, he asserted, adds up to war.