In order to determine his competency to stand trial, Major Nidal Hasan is to undergo a mental evaluation by a team of three military medical professionals. The panel is composed of doctors chosen from the Army, Air Force, and Navy medical corps, and it will begin its evaluation of the case by reviewing the voluminous material contained in Hasan’s file.
Wearing the typical garb of a federal prisoner, Umar Abdulmutallab entered the courtroom wearing khaki trousers, a plain white t-shirt, and shackles on his ankles. The defendant was flanked by his attorney, a federal public defender, Miriam Siefer. Abdulmutallab was arraigned Friday in a Detroit federal court and the 23-year-old Nigerian stood before a magistrate, and Siefer plead not guilty all charges on behalf of her client.
Even in the Republican Tsunami of 1994, the Grand Old Party did not really come close to taking the U.S. Senate seat ordained in perpetuity for the Kennedy family and its political heirs. But the last prince of Camelot is dead, and while Martha Coakley no doubt knew the late Senator and may even have been a friend of Ted Kennedy, Martha Coakley is no Ted Kennedy.
Congressional battles are about who gets what, it is sometimes said, while presidential elections are about who and what we are as a people. One of the issues to be settled in the House and Senate conference over healthcare insurance reform is who and what U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak is.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that the "oft-cited credo that more guns equal more crime is being tested by facts on the ground this year: Even as gun ownership has surged in the US in the past year, violent crime, including murder and robbery, has dropped steeply." FBI statistics for the past several years had shown crime rates holding steady but for 2009, violent crimes dropped "dramatically." Contrast these figures with the fact that gun sales are up 12 percent since the election of Barack Obama.