The December 2 National Journal reported this head-shaker: Tea Party Caucus members requested earmarks. Of the 52 members, only 16 did not request them in 2010. The 764 requests of the others added up to more than $1 billion.

globe moneyA series of secret U.S. diplomatic cables released in recent days by the whistle-blower group WikiLeaks shows the American and European governments used monetary incentives, threats, and even espionage to advance their “climate” agenda at the COP15 global-warming summit in Copenhagen last year and beyond.

Will Tuesday be Ron Paul’s big day? Robert Wenzel of EconomicPolicyJournal.com thinks so, as does Paul confidant Lew Rockwell. On December 7 the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is scheduled to announce the chairmen of various committees and subcommittees, including the Subcommittee for Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, of which the Texas congressman is currently the ranking Republican member.

Remember that clause in the Constitution that gives the federal government the authority to regulate school bake sales? Even if you don’t, Congress does. The House of Representatives just passed a $4.5 billion bill that, among other things, authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set nutrition guidelines for all foods sold in a school building during school hours — and that includes “bake sales and pizza fundraisers,” according to CalorieLab.com. (If pressed, elected officials would undoubtedly note that such sales can affect interstate commerce since students buying cupcakes at school would no longer be buying them from Hostess, thus providing an opening for Congress to regulate these activities.)

Americans have heard politicians talking a great deal about cutting spending, reducing the deficit, and employing a mentality of fiscal conservatism. But just how serious are they about it when they maintain loyalties to their constituents that are diametrically opposed to fiscal conservatism?