After two years Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary for President Barack Obama, has announced his intention to step down from his White House post.  His resignation is expected to take effect after this month's State of the Union address.  According to the Washington Post, Gibbs "will then hit the lucrative speaking circuit and become a paid consultant to the Obama reelection campaign."  Indications are strong that the President intends to run again in 2012. The short list of replacement possibilities for Gibbs includes his own deputies Bill Burton and Josh Earnest, in addition to Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell and the Vice-President's press secretary Jay Carney.

The Department of Homeland Security made national headlines forming a new "partnership" with Walmart using a 40 second video statement by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano that asked Walmart shoppers to inform on their neighbors back in December. Napolitano says in the video message, which is being played in Walmart stores across the country:

Roger WickerIn an effort to reaffirm the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states those powers  not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduced the Wicker Bill during the 2010 congressional lame-duck session. Dubbed "The Restoring the 10th Amendment Act," the Wicker bill is described by its author as “a step toward restoring states' rights.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Dec. 30 that 52-year-old Ohio resident John Harmon is suing the Hamilton County sheriff’s department and four deputies for civil rights violations after an October 2009 traffic stop turned violent. The stop quickly escalated into an abusive incident in which Harmon was seriously beaten and his property damaged.

A U.S. Navy captain who produced and showed videos containing profanity, sexual innuendo, and slurs against homosexuals to personnel aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Enterprise was relieved of command of the carrier January 4. Captain Owen Honors (left) showed the videos in 2006 and 2007 to nearly 6,000 sailors and marines while he was second in command of the vessel, but the Navy moved to discipline him only after an article about the videos appeared in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot newspaper on January 1.