Ron PaulRepublican Representative Ron Paul announced April 26 that he had formed an "official Exploratory Committee to assess his options for the 2012 Presidential campaign" that includes three advisers who are veteran Republican activists from Iowa. The Texas congressman and former obstetrician was launched into national prominence after the issues he raised in the 2008 presidential campaign became national concerns: a Federal Reserve-driven housing crisis and recession, burgeoning budget deficits, and too many foreign wars. He announced the formation of the exploratory committee in Iowa, where the first caucus for the 2012 race will be held.

budgetRemember a conservatism that included the principles of balanced budgets and spending cuts? No longer. The new conservatism in vogue inside the Washington, D.C., beltway is �spendthrift conservatism,� which can be defined as claiming to be cutting spending and paying off the national debt while at the same time increasing both.

Last week, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (left) signed into law a measure that will require Kansas voters to present photo IDs at the polling booth. According to Brownback, the law is a “modest, prudent measure” that will ensure “the sanctity of the vote.

Californians want to be taxed more — at least according to a new Los Angeles Times/USC poll. Governor Jerry Brown (left) has been traveling around the state attempting to generate support for his plan to balance the budget by spending reductions and tax increases. The poll reports that 60 percent of Californians, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, want a vote in June to renew several tax increases that will otherwise end on July 1.

The McClatchy-Marist Poll, which was released last Monday, revealed that those calling themselves Tea Partiers have little interest in doing anything substantial about slashing government spending. This cuts the legs out from under any attempt by conservatives in Washington to rein in that spending and it also gives President Obama a huge edge going into the 2012 elections.  

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