A highly partisan and ideologically charged Senate battle over the nomination of Goodwin Liu (left) to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came to an end Wednesday when the University of California law professor sent a letter to President Obama asking that his name be withdrawn. A Republican filibuster on Thursday of last week blocked a vote on confirmation and Liu decided that a further delay in filling the vacancy would do neither him nor the court any good.
On Tuesday, May 24, federal agents from the TSA visited the Texas legislature threatening to end air travel in Texas if the hugely favored anti-TSA bill, H.B. 1937, passed. The backlash from Texans and even members of the press stung Texas state Senators, but not enough to prevent the lawmakers from tucking tail and running. The support the measure lost as a result of federal bullying wasn’t regained in time to resurrect it for passage.
Across the nation, states that have conservative Republicans running the government are tackling the entrenched power of unions. The Arizona State Legislature recently passed two bills which limit the activities of labor unions, both of which have been signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer (picture at left).
A confrontation earlier this year between Philadelphia police and Mark Fiorino over the Pennsylvania man's open carrying of a firearm has led to charges of disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment against Fiorino, with a possible two years of imprisonment if he is convicted, Fox News reported.
For Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata …
It was 11 days until Christmas and Detroit-born Brian Terry was looking forward to leaving the U.S.-Mexico border at the end of the week for a holiday visit with his family in his home state of Michigan. He had joined the Border Patrol three and one-half years before and had quickly excelled, becoming a member of the elite BORTAC (Border Tactical) Unit detailed out of the Naco, Arizona, station. A rugged, muscular, 6-foot-4 athlete, prior to the Border Patrol he had served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps — including a combat tour in Iraq during Desert Storm — had gone on to college, and then served nine years as a police officer in Lincoln Park, Michigan, a downriver suburb south of Detroit.
Most Americans undoubtedly agree that the federal government cannot continue on its current spending and borrowing binge without wreaking economic havoc. But how must the binge be brought under control? One idea that has just gotten traction in the state of North Dakota is for the states to call for a constitutional convention for the purpose of proposing a National Debt Relief Amendment (NDRA) to the U.S. Constitution. On April 7, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 4007 by a vote of 68 to 24, completing legislative action on the resolution and making their state the first in the nation to call for a constitutional convention to propose the NDRA.
President Obama’s recent comments about Middle East peace talks, and his call for returning Israel and Palestine to 1967 boundaries, have whipped up a veritable storm among Republicans and pro-Israel activists. Israeli citizens are overwhelmingly opposed to the 1967 boundary lines, as an independent poll showed a mere 27 percent agreed with Obama’s Thursday proposal.
Tuesday’s hearing of the House Oversight Committee gave Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) a chance to vent, and witness Elizabeth Warren, President Obama’s Special Advisor for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), a chance to defend, and for the entire hearing to accomplish nothing. The BCFP was the brainchild of Warren, and the centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which was signed into law last July. Its Orwellian title hides the fact that the new agency will do little to reform Wall Street and nothing at all to protect the consumer.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has essentially told his fellow senators he won't allow amendments to the Patriot Act he disagrees with on the Senate floor. The May 25 statement on the Senate floor has resulted in a heated floor exchange and may require the Patriot Act to lapse for a few days before a final Senate vote is possible.
Senator Rand Paul may have temporarily set back efforts by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass the Patriot Act renewal long enough to allow the law to expire for a day or two before the Senate can take a final vote on the bill.
A Texas bill that would have made Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents liable for sexual assault when groping passengers without probable cause was pulled from the Senate floor after the Department of Justice sent a letter threatening to create what critics called a “no-fly zone” over the state by preventing flights to or from Texas airports. However, as will be demonstrated in a follow-up report by a colleague, there may well be "life after death" for this bill.