Court rules Obama recess appointments unconstitutional
A federal appeals court, dealing a defeat to President Obama, has sharply limited the chief executive’s power to bypass the Senate and to make temporary “recess” appointments to fill vacant slots in government agencies.
The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a 3-0 ruling, said the president can make recess appointments only when the Senate has formally adjourned between sessions of Congress, not when lawmakers leave Washington for a brief break.
The Obama administration is almost certain to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. But if the ruling stands, it strengthens the power of the Senate’s Republican minority at the expense of Obama and the Democrats... MSNBC Contributor Blames Republicans for Obama's Unconstitutional Recess Appointment
U.S. Catholic bishops review lawsuit saying fetuses not people
Three Colorado bishops said on Thursday they will review a Catholic Church hospital's defense of a lawsuit that argues fetuses do not have legal status - apparently contradicting the Church's teaching on life issues...
Obama's Fourth Year in Office Ties as Most Polarized Ever
Seventy-six-point gap in party ratings of Obama ties Bush in 2004-2005
Chinese Workers Revolt Over 2-minute Toilet Breaks
Hundreds of Chinese factory workers angry about strictly timed bathroom breaks and fines for starting work late held their Japanese and Chinese managers hostage for a day and a half before police broke up the strike.
“Mounting Religious Restrictions in Europe”
Over at the site of the (excellent) Religious Freedom Project (a project of Georgetown's Berkley Center), Roger Trigg has a very informative essay
called "Canary in the Coal Mine," in which he discusses four recent decisions handed down by the European Court of Human Rights...
Click to enlarge
Feinstein Exempts Government Workers Who Guard Members Of Congress From Assault Weapons Ban
The Church, Nonprofits, and Taxes
...IRS guidelines for nonprofits—which are available on the agency’s Web site
—are often misunderstood. While many people use these terms interchangeably, the IRS specifically defines “politics”
as seeking to influence the election of candidates and “lobbying”
as seeking to influence legislation.
According to the IRS, all 501 (c) (3) nonprofits
cannot endorse or oppose candidates for elected office and make financial contributions to political campaigns. In 1964, the liberal Protestant magazine Christian Century
lost its tax-exempt status for one year after it endorsed President Lyndon Johnson for re-election.
Nonprofit organizations, however, can certainly praise or criticize candidates, elected officials, political parties, and their stands on public policy issues and controversies without specifically telling people to vote for or against them. This is what many nonprofits have been doing since the passage of the 1954 Internal Revenue Act, which added section 501 (c) to the federal tax code that specified the types of organizations that qualified for tax-exemption...
Child Pornography: The Price of a Stolen Childhood
...Until the 1970s, magazines with titles like Lolita were rife with sexual images of minors and routinely sold alongside adult pornography at red-light bookstores. In 1978, Congress made child pornography illegal, and four years later, the Supreme Court upheld a state law banning its sale. The court’s decision changed the market along with the law. “The commercial distributors started to go out of business,” said Kenneth Lanning, a retired F.B.I. agent who consulted on child pornography cases for decades. For a time, distribution and production plummeted. But then came the Internet. By the mid- to late 1990s, Lanning said, “there was a way for people seeking it to find each other and send images.”...