The Political Hat's
The Political Hat
News of the Week


Obamacare


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Keep Your Laws Off My Body
By Jonah Goldberg     
I’m something of a product of my times. In the 1980s and 1990s I heard a lot of putatively honest liberals insist that the one zone of life that was absolutely sacrosanct was our own bodies. The state simply had no business getting involved in “our bodies.” Admittedly, this was mostly the rhetoric of abortion. I still remember Anna Quindlen on one of those Fred Friendly seminars waxing terribly righteous about the absolute sovereignty of a woman’s body. There was some spill-over into such topics as euthanasia and assisted suicide (remember “Whoes Life Is It Anyway?”), but the passion and heat was over abortion.

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House sets Jan. 12 vote on repeal of health-care law
By Paul Kane, Washington Post Staff Writer
House Republicans have set Jan. 12 as their day to vote on a repeal of President Obama's health-care law, after a midterm election in which they campaigned against the landmark legislation as a government takeover of the health industry.

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ObamaCare's here!
First few Rx laws in effect
By S.A. MILLER Post Correspondent
WASHINGTON -- Several of President Obama's health-care laws take effect today, including new rules that will help as many as 3 million Medicare recipients pay their prescription bills and a new mandate for health-insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on improving patient care.


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Climategate

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GOP strikes early in global warming battle   
By DINA CAPPIELLO, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans wasted no time Thursday in trying to block the Obama administration from acting to stem global warming.

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Green skeletons lurk in GOP closets
By DARREN SAMUELSOHN
It may be heresy to conservatives, but a trip down memory lane shows nearly all of the top-tier Republican presidential contenders want to save the planet from global warming.

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The 97% “Consensus” is only 75 Self-Selected Climatologists
The graphic below comes via our friends at [un]skepticalscience, assuring us that while 97% of “climate scientists think that global warming is ‘significantly’ due to human activity,” a shocking 72% of news coverage does not reflect this “consensus” and similarly 74% of the public are not convinced.

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War & Terror

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Chinese media report mystery stealth fighter photos
BEIJING — Photos leaked online that appear to show a prototype of China's first stealth fighter jet were discussed in state media Wednesday -- a move that supports claims the country's military aviation program is advancing faster than expected.

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The ultimate death stare: New RAF helmet allows pilots to shoot down enemy jets by looking at them
By Daily Mail Reporter
It looks no more high-tech than any other fighter pilot helmet.
But this 250,000 headset allows RAF pilots to shoot down planes simply by looking at them.
The ‘Striker’ Integrated Display Helmet marks one of the biggest leaps forward in attack capabilities in military history.

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Probe of Egypt church bomb focuses on local group

By MAGGIE MICHAEL and HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – Egyptian police are focusing their investigation into the New Year's suicide bombing of a church on a group of Islamic hard-liners inspired by al-Qaida and based in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria where the attack killed 21 people, security officials said Sunday.

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National

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Congresswoman Giffords shot, badly wounded in Arizona
TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) – A member of Congress from Arizona was shot and seriously wounded on Saturday by a man who opened fire at a meeting she was holding in Tucson.

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"Arizona Has Become the Mecca of Prejudice and Bigotry"
Tucson Sheriff Blames Shootings on TV and Radio Vitriolic Rhetoric

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Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans
STANFORD, Calif. - President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today.

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'Mother,' 'Father' Changing to 'Parent One,' 'Parent Two' on Passport Applications
By Todd Starnes
The words “mother” and “father” will be removed from U.S. passport applications and replaced with gender neutral terminology, the State Department says.

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Santa Ana Millions Spent Without Council Votes!
Written by CA Political News
Alvarez Says Santa Ana Might Have Spent Millions Without Council
Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez is concerned that the city might be spending too much money without council votes to approve the expenses, and last night asked for staffers to come back with more information on the issue.

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House Republicans Introduce Bill to Repeal Birthright Citizenship Amendment
Four Republican lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would end automatic granting of American citizenship to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants, arguing "birthright citizenship" is an incentive for illegals to race for the U.S. border.

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Republicans introduce bill to eliminate presidential 'czars'
By Michael O'Brien
A group of House Republicans introduced a bill on Wednesday to rein in the various "czars" in the Obama administration.

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Battle Lines Form Over Government's Role

House Republicans Draw Fire After Putting Transport Budgets on Notice, Presaging Tough Budget Fight

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The Bowdlerization of Huckleberry Finn
Upcoming NewSouth 'Huck Finn' Eliminates the 'N' Word
By Marc Schultz

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Ensign in bad shape, Heller much better
John Ensign trails every Democrat on the farm in hypothetical reelection contests next year but Republicans have a very good chance at keeping his seat if Dean Heller ends up as the party nominee instead.

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Initial Rating For All 2012 Senate Seats
A Commentary By Larry J. Sabato

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Obama Administration Pays Google and Bing To Direct "ObamaCare" Searches To Their Personal Spin Sites, And Guess Who Paid? George Soros

Wait Did I Say "George Soros?" I Meant You're Paying For This

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Republicans fight to save the incandescent light bulb
By Alexis Levinson - The Daily Caller
In the early days of the 112th Congress, Reps. Joe Barton of Texas, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Michael Burgess of Texas, all Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee, will once again step in to attempt to save the incandescent light bulb. Today or tomorrow, the three representatives will reintroduce a bill to repeal legislation that would replace the incandescent light bulb with a more energy efficient alternative.

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Rep. Eric Cantor submits a health care bill every member of Congress will be able to read
Meet the 'Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act'

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Former attorney general faults Akaka for failure of namesake bill
But the Lingle administration is also the focus of finger-pointing

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Majority of RNC against Michael Steele

By ALEXANDER BURNS & JONATHAN MARTIN
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele faces an all-but-impossible path to reelection this month, as a majority of the RNC’s 168 members indicate that they will not support the controversial chairman for another term.

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Run for Congress likely in Rory Reid's future as county reign ends


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North Dakota may produce 700,000 barrels of oil per day by 2014-2017 and over 11 billion barrels of reserves

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Obama Said to Consider William Daley for Top White House Post
By Julianna Goldman and John McCormick
President Barack Obama is considering naming William Daley, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive and former U.S. Commerce secretary, to a high-level White House post, possibly as his chief of staff, people familiar with the matter said.

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California Republican touts legislation banning public pension bailouts
By Mike Lillis
The country's public pension system is grossly underfunded and needs an overhaul, Rep. Devin Nunes said this week.


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Economy & Taxes

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Congressional Budget Office explains exactly why long term budget change is essential

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Whistling Past the Graveyard of Municipal Debt


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Jerry Brown takes a hard look at Prop. 13
California's new governor wants to return to cities and counties many government functions Sacramento took over after the property-tax-limits measure was enacted.


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International

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European nations begin seizing private pensions
Hungary, Poland, and three other nations take over citizens' pension money to make up government budget shortfalls.

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Beijing Residents Rush to Register New Cars to Meet China's Quota System
By Bloomberg News
Residents in Beijing, the city ranked as having the world’s worst traffic, rushed to apply for new vehicle licenses under a quota system started Jan. 1 as China’s government seeks to ease the congestion.

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Venezuelans fret over prices after devaluation
Second currency devaluation in 12 months
Chavez risks political hit from poor voters

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Opinion

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A nation choking on endless laws
The rising dictatorship of the bureaucrats
By MICHAEL A. WALSH
Heading back to work this week, Americans were greeted not only by a new year but also by a whole slew of new laws -- 31,000 of them at the state level -- covering everything from guns to 100-watt light bulbs to, of course, "health care." As usual, most of these laws tell us what we can't do: texting while driving (duh), cyberbullying and smoking in bars.

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Constitutionalism   
By Charles Krauthammer
For decades, Democrats and Republicans fought over who owns the American flag. Now they're fighting over who owns the Constitution.
The flag debates began during the Vietnam era when leftist radicals made the fatal error of burning it. For decades since, non-suicidal liberals have tried to undo the damage. Demeaningly, and somewhat unfairly, they are forever having to prove their fealty to the flag.

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Why Our Best Officers Are Leaving

Why are so many of the most talented officers now abandoning military life for the private sector? An exclusive survey of West Point graduates shows that it’s not just money. Increasingly, the military is creating a command structure that rewards conformism and ignores merit. As a result, it’s losing its vaunted ability to cultivate entrepreneurs in uniform.
By Tim Kane

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Opposing view on 'net neutrality': Unnecessary intervention
By Kay Bailey Hutchison
Over the past 20 years, the Internet has grown and flourished without burdensome federal regulations, becoming an integral part of American society. Internet-related innovation, strengthened by the free market, has spurred the development of new businesses, fueled job creation and has become a major part of Americans' day-to-day lives.

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The Anglosphere & the future of liberty: an introduction
by Roger Kimball

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Heat balls!
Just what every European household needs: heat balls. A German businessman has decided to start marketing the items as ’small heating devices’ for households requiring additional warmth.  Apparently, there’s a perceived need for that in Europe.

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The Crusade of Innocents
by Richard Fernandez
Two days before Christmas  package bombs were delivered to the Greek, Chilean and Swiss embassies in Rome allegedly by “an anarchist group, the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire”. Now a motorcycle-bomb has struck a courthouse in Greece in what police suspect is a protest against the trial of the Cells of Fire suspects. Because of a warning call, nobody was hurt.  According to USA Today, in an article full of irony, European anarchists are growing more organized as people suffer from declining levels of state welfare.  Even more fecklessly,  USA Today has described anarchy as a movement within the Left. Can it be?

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