The national debt of the United States reached a new milestone this week when it surmounted $14 trillion. You read that right: $14,000,000,000,000. That’s $45,093 per American citizen. But remember that not all citizens pay taxes, which makes the figure even worse for those who do. The share per taxpayer is $126,642.
Although President Barack Obama correctly understood that his party had taken a "shellacking" in the November elections, he seems not to have drawn the obvious lesson from that defeat: Americans are unhappy with his policies. Even now, reports the Washington Examiner, he "is expected to make more frequent use of executive orders, vetoes, signing statements and policy initiatives that originate within the federal agencies to maneuver around congressional Republicans who are threatening to derail initiatives he has already put in place, including health care reforms, and to launch serial investigations into his administration's spending."
When the New York Times reported on December 26 that the "advance care planning" benefit, deleted from last year's health care reform legislation, had been effected by regulatory decree, the nation's "paper of record" gave its readers a hint of things to come:
In one of the most remarkable and unexpected political demographic developments, the 700,000+ Russian-American refugees who came to the United States in the 1980s are demonstrating their ideological and pragmatic affinity with the GOP, particularly in New York City, where the beleaguered GOP is a true minority party, having only a marginal place in city government, as 46 out of 51 NYC Council seats are held by Democrats.
When Medicare was first introduced in 1965, skeptics such as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan bemoaned the implementation of socialized medicine and the extravagant cost of the original $3 billion plan. Little did they know that $3 billion was only the beginning.
President Obama and his fellow enthusiasts for "green technology" have stumbled into a thicket of their own making. Most of the their pet "alternative energy" projects -- solar panels, hybrid and electric car batteries, wind turbine magnets, compact fluorescent light bulbs, etc. -- are dependent upon "rare earth elements" that have been made all but unobtainable here in the United States, thanks in significant measure to environmental extremism.
The Obama administration cannot be happy that two of its most strident supporters, MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews and new Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie, have re-opened the "birther" controversy.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate used the tail end of the lame-duck session to confirm an openly homosexual woman to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Chai Feldblum, a law professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and, according to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the first openly homosexual person to serve on the EEOC, was confirmed December 22 by unanimous consent on the day the Senate adjourned.
Federal Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan has held that the New York City Health Department cannot adopt a rule which would require that gruesome photographs of smokers suffering from various forms of cancer be placed beside cash registers in more than 11,000 bodegas and convenience stores in the city. “Even merchants of morbidity are entitled to the full protection of the law, for our sake as well as theirs,” the judge ruled — although he agreed with the harm of tobacco, noting, “Within New York City, roughly 7,500 people die from smoking annually — more than from AIDS, homicide and suicide combined.”
CBS News writer E. J. Dionne has asked if 2010 was "Liberalism's Waterloo." First, let's consider the term. What exactly is “liberalism”? Our Founding Fathers would have considered the term rationally. The root of the term “liberalism” is the Latin word for liberty or freedom. Who today associates liberalism with liberty? In the minds of its present-day adherents, the word may stand for “fairness,” “security,” “social justice,” “progressivism,” or several other phrases which, superficially, seem benign.