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Evidence is mounting that Obama will have another opportunity to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court when Justice Stevens retires next summer.
Justice John Paul Stevens, age 89, raised some eyebrows when he hired just one law clerk to his staff for the current term. Full-time Justices can hire as many as six clerks, and retired Justices usually hire two.
When MSNBC headlined the report that existing home sales surged by 7.4 percent in November (according to the National Association of Realtors), it suggested that such an improvement boosted “recovery hopes.” Others jumped on the recovery bandwagon, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Alan Blinder.
According to Geithner, it’s now reasonable to expect “positive job growth” by spring and correct to assert that people should have confidence in an improving economy. “I think most people would say the economy actually is strengthening now,” he added.
Nearing the end of his first year in office, President Obama and his Democratic Party are taking a beating in polls by NBC News/Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post/ABC.
After defying the laws of political gravity for much of his first term, Obama and his party’s poll numbers are starting to reflect increasing public unhappiness over the economy, healthcare, and Afghanistan.
For the first time in his presidency, Obama’s overall approval rating has fallen below 50% to 47%. More of those polled also see the Democrat party in a negative light, and believe the country is “on the wrong track”, with a negative 55% rating, the highest since inauguration.
He instituted a number of innovative programs that have been effective in preventing or reducing crime, including bicycle registration; block watches; child ID; “Operation Identification”; “Operation Notification”; “Hard Knocks High,” which gives credits for a high school diploma; ALPHA, a highly successful anti-substance abuse “Project Lifeline;” and an annual summer camp for kids.
When congressional negotiators agreed to a final version of a transportation bill, it included an amendment to allow Amtrak passengers to take their guns with them—unloaded, locked, and only in their checked baggage.
While only a small skirmish in the long war against the right of citizens to “keep and bear arms” under the Second Amendment, the process by which this amendment was added is worth examining as a microcosm of “representative government” in action.
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