Governments’ dealings with paid informers are always risky. By his willingness to snitch on his friends and associates, the informer has demonstrated his untrustworthiness, so it is difficult for his handlers to know when he is telling the truth and when he is fabricating information either to settle old scores or simply to keep the largess flowing. The problem of knowing whom to trust only becomes more intractable when operating in foreign countries.

Henry HudsonScore one for the Constitution. U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson, in Richmond, Virginia, ruled December 13 that the ObamaCare individual mandate and its related penalties are unconstitutional, a welcome change of pace from two earlier rulings in favor of the Obama administration.

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.

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.