StalinBorn in 1878 to a drunken father and strict religious mother, Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili) went on to succeed Vladimir Lenin as the Soviet Union’s second General-Secretary. For nearly a quarter of a century, Stalin ruled over the Soviet Union and its satellite states as an absolute dictator. In that time, 20 million people died at the hand of his purges, gulags, and death quota lists, which he personally read over and signed in red ink.

Day three of Elena Kagan’s hearings to be the next Supreme Court justice was expected to be relatively amicable as the remaining members of the Senate Judiciary Committee — all Democrats — finished their round of questions. After spending the last two days fending off Republican interrogation, friendly faces would have been well received by Kagan. Unfortunately for Kagan, however, the day consisted of a few touchy moments between the nominee and her more critical Democratic and Republican interrogators.

Economist Robert Higgs wrote a paper in 1997 arguing that “regime uncertainty” — “a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns” owing to the constant barrage of regulation emanating from the Franklin Roosevelt administration and its bureaucracies — was a significant contributor to prolonging the Great Depression. Investors were skittish about putting their money to work when they didn’t know what new, destructive government policies the next day might bring, so they just sat on all that capital. Without capital investment, the economy ground to a halt.

SemenkoAs photos and information from accused Russian spy Anna Chapman’s social networking connections continue to circulate around the Internet, information of the other accused Russian agents, such as Mikhail Semenko, has remained a mystery — that is, until now.

On May 10, President Barack Obama nominated Solicitor General  Elena Kagan to the position of Supreme Court Justice as a replacement for Justice John Paul Stevens.  Monday, June 28, marked the first of a series of Kagan’s Senate confirmation hearings, where the nominee appeared to be on the defensive.