Did you know that in 2010 the federal government spent $2.9 million for a study of the video game "World of Warcraft"? How about $1.8 million for a neon sign museum in Las Vegas? Or $823,000 for teaching South African men how to wash their private parts?
The census data, along with the Republican gains in state legislatures and governorships, means that Democrats face a grim decade in House elections. Regions and states which historically have supported Democrats lost seats or, in the case of California, for the first time did not gain seats in the House of Representatives. States that have become conservative Republican core areas — Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Utah, Florida, North Carolina, and Idaho — gained seats. Elected officials closely associated to the Tea Party, such as Senator DeMint, Senator-elect Rubio, Governor Brewer, and Governor Perry, are strengthened by these gains.
Moments ago, the United States Senate voted to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named after a police detective who worked at Ground Zero and died from lung problems as a result. Up until this morning, the future of the bill was questionable as Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma threatened to prevent the measure from reaching the floor. Once Coburn struck a deal with Senate Democrats that lowered the cost of the bill, however, the legislation was taken up by unanimous consent, without debate or a roll call vote.
On Monday, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey signed an order commuting Brian Aitken's sentence from seven years to time served.
Aitken was convicted in early 2009 in New Jersey for illegally possessing two handguns, a "high capacity magazine," and hollow point ammunition, all of which he purchased legally from a Bass Pro Shop outlet in Colorado.
According to the official White House website:
Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn announced that he will block the 9/11 Responders bill from coming to the Senate floor before Christmas. Coburn and his Republican colleagues have articulated numerous concerns with the bill, including the $6.2 billion cost.
The new START Treaty appears to be on its way to ratification as pressure to move forward on the treaty has increased. According to the AFP, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have targeted wary lawmakers to encourage support of the treaty. Meanwhile, a vote to end debate on the treaty is expected to take place today or tomorrow.
The Obama Administration is working behind the scenes to overturn a rule, implemented by President Bush in 2008, that re-enforces the rights of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers to refuse on moral or ethical grounds their professional involvement in abortions.
Last weekend, the United States Senate voted 65-31 in favor of repealing the 17-year military policy, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Senate vote followed a Thursday night vote in the House of Representatives, where the repeal was passed by a vote of 250-175. However, though the policy was repealed through the legislative process, lawmakers have elected to allow the military to write the rules on the process of repealing the ban on homosexual service members.
In 2009, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed yet another government regulation to implement a new "net neutrality" plan that would block Internet providers from controlling web traffic. After a great deal of contentious debate, the Wall Street Journal reports that the FCC is preparing to approve the proposed regulation.
In a new video commentary (watch below), Liberty News Network immigration and border security analyst Andy Ramirez takes apart the recent claims by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano that the Obama administration is doing a bang-up job of guarding the border and deporting illegal aliens.