For nearly four decades Congress has ensured that federal spending rises inexorably by guaranteeing that every budget item increases automatically each year. And woe to anyone who seeks merely to reduce these automatic increases, for he shall be labeled a heartless, slash-and-burn budget cutter!
Attorney General Eric Holder faced tough questions about the “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking scandal from outraged members of Congress during a Thursday hearing, but he continued to defiantly stonewall while refusing to hand over key documents subpoenaed in the congressional investigation. Republican lawmakers responded by telling the Justice Department boss to resign and saying that if the cover-up continues, he could be charged with contempt of Congress.
Another day, another sticky-fingered Transportation Security Administration agent caught stealing from airline passengers: According to the Associated Press, 31-year-old Alexandra Schmid, a TSA screener at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, allegedly helped herself to a cool $5,000 from a passenger’s jacket as it passed along an X-ray conveyor belt on February 1. The passenger, a native of Bangladesh, noticed the money was missing as soon as he retrieved his jacket, at which point he reported the theft.
The Obama administration on Friday accelerated efforts to tame unemployment among U.S. veterans by calling for a new conservation program that would put service members — specifically those returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to work rebuilding roads, trails, and other projects on public lands.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa, left) issued a five-page letter Wednesday demanding that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg disclose who authorized an effort to monitor email correspondence of a group of whistleblower scientists. In the letter, Grassley warned that FDA officials could be usurping their authority by retaliating against whistleblowers who have expressed concern with the agency’s procedures.
In Federalist No. 46, James Madison predicted:
But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm. Every government would espouse the common cause. A correspondence would be opened. Plans of resistance would be concerted. One spirit would animate and conduct the whole. The same combinations, in short, would result from an apprehension of the federal, as was produced by the dread of a foreign, yoke; and unless the projected innovations should be voluntarily renounced, the same appeal to a trial of force would be made in the one case as was made in the other.
In the past year the U.S. government’s no-fly list has more than doubled, going from about 10,000 names to about 21,000, according to the Associated Press. Among those names are roughly 500 Americans, the AP says, though of course there is no way to verify any of this because the list is kept secret.
On February 1, Indiana became a Right-to-Work state when Governor Mitch Daniels (left) signed the bill the day after it passed the Indiana House of Representatives. This event is but the latest chapter in a political power shift that began with the 2010 state legislative elections. The consequences of this shift have been particularly evident in Wisconsin, and now Indiana has taken a similarly significant change of direction.
A consequence of the Republican Party landslide in the 2010 elections was a dramatic shift of power in the state governments. The 50 states have 99 legislative chambers and 98 partisan legislative chambers (Nebraska has a nonpartisan and unicameral legislature). The 2010 election shifted 21 of these 98 chambers from Democrat to Republican and two chambers from Democrat control to partisan ties.
When Hollywood film director James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic, Terminator) announced that he was moving to New Zealand, preppers, fiscal doomsayers, and alarmists had a field day in deciphering his motives for moving, ultimately deciding that Cameron was moving so that he is better able to weather the massive monetary upheaval that is upcoming or he is escaping U.S. taxes and regulations.
Lawmakers in Washington State joined a growing nationwide rebellion this week against the federal government’s purported new power to indefinitely detain Americans suspected of certain crimes under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Legislators in Virginia, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and other states — as well as a broad coalition of activists spanning the entire political spectrum — are also working to kill what critics call the “treasonous” usurpation.
Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers that: “[T]he practice of arbitrary imprisonments [has] been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instrument of tyranny.”
This principle of constitutional liberty, when applied to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), reveals a frightening truth about the powers illegally granted the President in that legislation.