A leader of what became known as the "New Right," veteran conservative activist Paul Weyrich passed away on December 18 after a long bout with diabetes. A native of Wisconsin, he began a career in the world of politics as an aide to Colorado Senator Gordon Allott in 1967. While attending a gathering of Washington operatives, he became aghast at the way they openly planned to manipulate public opinion in favor of some liberal causes. So he decided to create a counterforce to propagate conservative thinking.
ITEM: In an article entitled "5 Myths About Our Ailing Health-Care System" in the Washington Post for November 23, 2008, Shannon Brownlee and Ezekiel Emanuel write that the United States lags behind "many developed countries on virtually every health statistic you can name. Life expectancy at birth? We rank near the bottom of countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, just ahead of Cuba and way behind Japan, France, Italy, Sweden and Canada, countries whose governments (gasp!) pay for the lion's share of health care."
Is Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the presidential inauguration purposefully driven? The news media, Evangelicals, the gay community, pro-lifers, and the general public are all agog either positively or negatively, over Obama’s choice of Rick Warren, pastor and founder of the mega Saddleback Church to give the inaugural invocation.
Marine Sgt. Heather Cerveny has exposed torture at Guantanamo, despite high-level pressure to suppress the information. Though the military initially dismissed her allegations, the patriotic Marine sergeant has now been vindicated.
On Tuesday, President-elect Barack Obama nominated the head of the Chicago school system, Arne Duncan, to serve as education secretary for the new administration. Nationally, little is known about Duncan, who served in the Chicago school system for seven years.
On December 10 the Judiciary Committee of the Ohio House held a hearing on House Joint Resolution No. 8 (HJR 8), “Applying to the Congress of the United States pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution to call a constitutional convention for proposing amendments.” A couple days earlier an AP article had stated that there could be a “possible vote” on HJR 8 at the hearing. However, pro-constitution citizens, including members of the John Birch Society, Campaign for Liberty, and other like-minded groups, had been alerted about the hearing late in the preceding week.
Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.) wonders how the government could successfully run the Big Three automakers when it cannot even run itself. On December 11, before the $14 billion bailout bill died in the Senate, Ensign rose on the Senate floor and asked his colleagues:
The bipartisan report on detainee torture at Guantanamo (pdf) released by the Senate Armed Services Committee on December 11 did a good job of telling Americans what they should have long known:
Consider this incredible sequence of events. A young American citizen was invited to study in a Middle Eastern country. Having arrived there, the dictatorship running the country kidnapped him and held him in solitary confinement for seven years without a trial. The dictatorship didn't just incarcerate him, they stubbornly refused to charge him with a crime during his incarceration. His family and friends have petitioned for his release, but the dictator vaguely insists he was a subversive and intended to attack his country — though the ruler stubbornly refuses to provide any details about how this might have happened. Release of these details — even seven years later — would jeopardize "national security." But it's also widely known that this person was apprehended unarmed and had not engaged in any violence.
On Monday, December 8, the Supreme Court unsurprisingly decided not to hear a case by retired lawyer Leo Donofrio claiming that Obama is not eligible to be president because Obama had dual nationality at birth, so he wasn't a natural born citizen as required under the Constitution to be president. The dismissal should have come as no surprise to anyone — not because, as major-media mouthpieces trumpet, that the case has no merit — because it was clearly evident that Donofrio would either be viewed by the court to not be a plaintiff in good standing or his claim would be found without merit because any child born in the United States, as Donofrio's case assumes to be true for Obama, is considered a natural born citizen — as millions of illegal immigrants who have had children in the United States can attest.