Nearly everyone with an internet connection knows the website WikiLeaks.org to be the notorious publisher of inconvenient truths about the secret machinations of government and military operations. Scarcely fewer know that the founder, Julian Assange, was arrested last week in London. Only a few are asking the right questions.
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.
Score 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.
Today’s Senate cloture vote broke the filibuster on the bill that extends the Bush era tax cuts, with 64 Senators voting “yes” as of 4:30 p.m., surpassing the necessary 60 votes. The bill can now move forward for a passage vote, expected to take place tomorrow.