President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are both encouraging Congress to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy before the end of the year. While Judge Virginia Phillips virtually eliminated the military policy when she ruled it to be unconstitutional, a three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Appeals Court ruled on November 1 for the military to maintain the policy while the federal government pursues all appeals. In the meantime, however, a new commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps, General James Amos, declared on November 6 that now is the wrong time to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — while American troops are still at war in Afghanistan.
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie and South Carolina’s Republican Senator Jim DeMint appeared as guests and evaluated the results of the 2010 midterm elections.
Perry-weary Texans brace for another four years of the state’s longest-serving governor, as many are wondering if he’s posturing for the White House. Republican Rick Perry won his third term over Democrat Bill White with just over 55 percent of the popular vote in the November 2 midterms.
Mark Appleby and Mario Benedict went hunting in their usual spot in the drainage of the South Fork of the Flathead River of Montana on Friday, October 29, 2010. They shot an elk. On Saturday, Mark returned with Raymond Pitman to retrieve the meat. They did not notice anything unusual until their horses became panicked. Turning around to see what was frightening the horses, they found they were surrounded by wolves. Some wolves began closing in.
This story sounds like something straight out of the satirical newspaper, The Onion. But it's not. MSNBC indefinitely suspended Countdown host Keith Olbermann November 5 because the leftist television host had donated $2,400 to each of three Democratic congressional candidates, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's opponent Jack Conway. MSNBC officially maintains a policy that bans political donations by staff on-air personalities.
In an effort to stimulate the economy by fostering a positive environment for small business owners, Republicans have been steadfast about extending Bush’s tax cuts for every American, including those with an income of over $250,000. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, however, fresh off his own hard-fought reelection, indicates his unwillingness to bend on the Bush tax cuts, explaining that he wishes to see them extended only for those families earning less than $250,000.
While conservatives prevailed in the elections on Tuesday, liberals on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to approve an ordinance that would limit toy giveaways in fast-food children’s meals that have excessive calories, sodium, and fat. The ordinance also demands that fast-food children’s meals include servings of fruits or vegetables. To boot, the ordinance includes an amendment that would restrict restaurants’ free speech or advertising.
On Election night, NBC’s David Gregory joked that the “elephant in the room” was ironically the Tea Party, and not the Republican Party. Exit polls showed that 4 out of 10 voters were Tea Party supporters, and of those Tea Party supporters, 8 out of 10 voters supported the Republican candidates. Given the powerful influence that the Tea Party movement has had in political and on the Republican Party as a whole, it seems reasonable to witness the creation of a Tea Party coalition on Capitol Hill.
In 1940, the statutory national debt limit was authorized at $43 billion. Today, the debt ceiling stands at $14.3 trillion dollars — 291 times larger than the original limit. Since President Barack Obama took office, the debt limit has been raised three times, though that is not unusual for a sitting president. However, the most recent limit increase was staunchly opposed by the GOP and did not secure one Republican vote. Whether the Republicans did that to assure their own victories on November 2 or they truly believe in reducing the debt remains to be seen, but it certainly prompts the question: What would happen if the GOP banded together next year and blocked the Treasury from issuing more debt?
So, the Republicans regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives with a margin of victory that made it the largest shift in power since the Democrats won a 91-seat House majority in 1948. Republicans are understandably ecstatic, but because they didn’t win control of the Senate, and since we are stuck with a Democratic president for two more years, they seem a little too confident for a party that controls only one-third of the government.
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." James Madison, Federalist No. 45, January 26, 1788.