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GOP Senator Says Tea Party Influence ‘Killed Off’ Republican Chances For Senate Majority

After Republicans reclaimed their majority status in the House in the 2010 election, many pundits predicted the party would have an easy time capturing the Senate in 2012. There are, after all, only 10 GOP senators up for reelection, compared to 23 Democrats. And Republicans seemed to be successfully riding a wave of anti-government sentiment to victory against an embattled president.

But as one political showdown after another has illustrated just how beholden congressional Republicans are to extreme right-wing interests, their prospects for retaking both chambers have grown dimmer.

Federal Judge Orders Sheriff Arpaio To Stop Arresting People Simply Because He Thinks They Are Undocumented

Less than two weeks after the Department of Justice found widespread lawlessness and abuse of Latinos by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies, an Arizona federal judge ordered Arpaio to end one of his most abusive practices — detaining and arresting people who have committed no crime merely because his office suspects them of being undocumented. The court also certified this lawsuit against Arpaio as a class action, thereby empowering any Latino stopped or detained by Arpaio’s office since 2007 or at any point in the future to enforce the court order.

Why Tea Party Freshmen Caved On Payroll Tax Deal

Conservative Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers spent weeks vowing to oppose the short-term compromise bill extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance.

But in the end, the bill glided through the House, just before Christmas.

A Brutal Chapter In North Carolina’s Eugenics Past

North Carolina is trying to make amends for an ugly chapter in its history during which more than 7,000 people were sterilized — many against their will. At least half of the states had eugenics laws, but only a handful kept their forced sterilization programs active after World War II.

Within North Carolina, one county sterilized three times more people than any other — Mecklenburg, where Charlotte is the county seat. There, 485 people lost their ability to reproduce by order of the North Carolina Eugenics Board.

Hastings, GOP target Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON — The gray wolf hit a major milestone on Dec. 21, when the Obama administration said the wolf’s population in the Great Lakes region had grown to the point where the animals no longer required federal protection.

California anti-tax advocate expects ‘nuclear war’ over 2012 ballot measures

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — What to expect in 2012? Jon Coupal is preparing for “nuclear war.” His battlefield? The November ballot. As the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Coupal will play a critical role in the effort to defeat any tax increases up for a vote next year.

Oh, Canada’s Become a Home for Record Fracking

Early last year, deep in the forests of northern British Columbia, workers for Apache Corp. performed what the company proclaimed was the biggest hydraulic fracturing operation ever.

The project used 259 million gallons of water and 50,000 tons of sand to frack 16 gas wells side by side. It was “nearly four times larger than any project of its nature in North America,” Apache boasted.

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