In Federalist #84, Alexander Hamilton asked, "For why declare that things shall not be done, which there is no power to do?" To Hamilton (and his co-authors, John Jay and James Madison) such a question made sense. How could the national government exercise authority not granted to it by the newly proposed Constitution? It could not, they insisted.

There is more to the overwhelming $1.1 trillion spending bill than what initially meets the eye, including $8 billion in earmarks. What's worse is that the spending bill and presence of earmarks reveals the hypocrisy of elected officials who adamantly decried pork barrel politics and overspending.

Today, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the tax cut extensions approved by the Senate yesterday by a vote of 81 to 19. The House has allotted three hours for general debate and is expected to introduce a single amendment to the bill, one that would change the estate tax provision of the bill, believed to be "too generous" to the rich. While the House of Representatives is hammering out the details of the tax cut legislation, the Senate begins debate on the START treaty.

On Tuesday, a gunman confronted the Panama City school board in Florida and opened fire, sending members of the board fleeing for their lives. A security guard then entered the scene, exchanged gunfire with the gunman, wounding the gunman, who then turned the gun on himself. The entire dramatic scene was captured on video.

American soldier in AfghanistanThe Obama administration plans to release a review of U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan on December 16. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that “the report will not contain any surprises,” according to Voice of America — which is to say that it will simply rehash the administration’s public position that Obama’s strategies are succeeding. “Gibbs,” added VOA, “says the administration is pleased with progress in several areas,” and “he has no doubt that the war effort is going better than it was a year ago.”