The times, they are a-changin’. Unthinkable only a year or two ago, the prospect that Congressman Ron Paul may actually receive the long-deserved chairmanship of a House subcommittee grows brighter by the day. And Paul’s longtime nemesis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, may soon find his chief congressional detractor in a position to do a good deal more than mere finger-wagging.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has faced a copious amount of criticism in recent months after the introduction of naked body scanners and enhanced pat-downs to security screenings. The criticism has come from private citizens, airport workers, and lawmakers - on the local and federal levels. Critics have begun to take action against the intrusiveness of the TSA, such as by filing lawsuits or encouraging airlines to move from hiring TSA screeners to employing private screeners. The newest measure with which the TSA must contend is a bipartisan resolution proposed by New Jersey lawmakers.
On the November 14 segment of its five-part series, "The Right All Along: The Rise, Fall and Future of Conservatism," Fox News leveled a sustained blast at The John Birch Society, while bestowing accolades on the late William F. Buckley for "expelling" the Birchers from the conservative movement. Amidst old newsreel footage of the Cold War and interviews chronicling the rise of Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, the Fox documentary resurrected hoary charges that seem to have obsessed Buckley for the better part of half a century.
The White House is currently facing criticism after a federal jury convicted former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Ghailani of just one out of 285 charges. Critics assert that the single conviction is an example of why suspected terrorists should be tried in military court instead of civilian court. Others, however, cite the conviction as evidence that civilian courts effectively deliver justice.
John Mica, a Republican congressman from Florida, has written a letter to 100 of the busiest airports in the country. Congressman Mica has asked those airports to stop using the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for airport security and to use, instead, private firms. Federal law allows airports to make their own arrangements for security, and one major airport, San Francisco International Airport, already does that.
On November 16, the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that a committee seeking to recall Senator Robert Menendez in advance of the end of his term may not proceed.
In a 4-2 decision, the state's highest court ruled that a constitutional amendment passed in 1993 (along with state laws promulgated subsequently) violates the separation of powers as set forth in the both the state and national constitutions.
It is common for aging humans to look back fondly on the imagined “good old days” of their youth. Sen. John D. (“Jay”) Rockefeller IV (D-W.V.), age 73, apparently longs for the days of limited news options, when there were but three television networks offering more or less identical news coverage from the same narrow, inside-the-Beltway perspective.
Democrats and Republicans still have not come to an agreement on extending the Bush tax cuts. Moreover, the Democrats have yet to formulate a unified stance on the issue. While some have expressed a willingness to temporarily extend the tax cuts for all Americans, others have proposed raising the threshold for those who will receive a tax cut. Still, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to budge.
First Amendment rights continue to be under scrutiny by elitist congressmen and liberal leaders. During a mini-lecture on communications and journalism before a Senate hearing on retransmission consent, Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia asserted that cable news is nothing more than "endless barking."
In the year's following the 9/11 attacks, airports' "security systems" have been openly criticized for a number of reasons, ranging from their inconvenience to their failure to actually secure passengers. The addition of the intrusive naked body scanners and invasive patdown procedures to airport "security" has evoked even more anger from passengers who are now beginning to revolt in the form of lawsuits and even physical altercations.