Here’s Proof That Your Vote Really Matters

A few elections in which history was determined by slender margins. Read More

November 4 is election day and you have two options. The first is to do nothing and then go complain on Facebook when the politicians don't do things you want them to do. The other is get out there tomorrow and vote for politicians who will do the things you want them to do. So, what's it going to be? 13-year-old Maddison Kimrey has made her choice (well, she would have, if she were old enough to vote) so what are you going to do? Sit at home like a big baby? Or register and vote? The choice is yours ... Discuss

After igniting a national debate over religious freedom, the separation of church and state and LGBT rights, Houston mayor Annise Parker has told the city to rescind the sermon subpoenas issued to five local pastors. The decision came on the heels of a meeting Mayor Parker held with the pastors in question, along with many other religious leaders who said that subpoenaing sermons was a breach of their constitutional rights. Mayor Parker said that she believes, following some editing changes to the initial subpoenas, that she was within her legal rights, but she didn't "want to have a national debate on freedom of religion when my purpose is to defend ... a city ordinance."

Mayor Parker may be convinced of the justness of her cause, but few people agreed with her. Everyone from Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore to Washington Post free speech columnist Eugene Volokh said the subpoenas were, at best, an overreach. Even the generally pro-LGBT rights platform Slate called the subpoenas "incredibly stupid, instantly regrettable, and utterly unnecessary" ... Discuss

An equal rights ordinance making headway in Houston—one that is, in part, intended to protect gay rights—has come under the national microscope for another reason. Reports recently surfaced that city attorneys subpoenaed sermon notes from local pastors that preached against the ordinance. The move has ignited a conversation about First Amendment rights that quickly got very fiery. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, wrote:

The separation of church and state means that we will render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and we will. But the preaching of the church of God does not belong to Caesar, and we will not hand it over to him. Not now. Not ever.

A more measured response comes from Eugene Volokh, who teaches free speech law, religious freedom law and church-state relations law at UCLA. He writes that subpoenaing sermons is legal "in principle ...if they are sufficiently relevant to a case or an investigation" but believes Houston's city attorneys' demands for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession” is problematic and "at the very least ...seems vastly overbroad" ...

Update: Houston Mayor Annise Parker appeared to tweet her support of the subpoenas today, but clarified in a statement that she was unaware the subpoenas had been issued until yesterday and would seek to narrow their scope. Discuss

How do you feel about Hillary Clinton? There are definitely a lot of different opinions out there, but 10-year-old Macy Friday (her actual, awesome name) LOVES Hillary Clinton, as you can see in the photo below. Clinton was in Colorado to help support Senator Mark Udall's bid for re-election, and Macy was there with her parents and they got to meet Clinton and we got this photo which, people of all political stripes agree, is quite a photo. It seems Mrs. Clinton's popularity with the kids is faring somewhat better than President Barack Obama's ... Discuss

Of all the places that would be hard to intrude, it seems like the White House would be the hardest. But Omar Jose Gonzalez, the man who was arrested earlier this month for charging into the residence, made it much further than Secret Service officials initially reported, according to the Washington Post. Early reports said the intruder was stopped at the front door, but it seems a knife-wielding Gonzalez managed to jump the White House fence, sprint across the lawn, past a Secret Service guard, into the residence and into the White House's East Room before finally being tackled by an agent. In fact, he darted right past a staircase that led directly to the Obamas' living room.

The security breakdown appears to begin with "crash boxes"—alarms that are set to go off whenever anyone treads on the White House lawn. Those had been either turned down or completely disabled by White House ushers who found them "disruptive." But the list of failures doesn't end there—Gonzalez, intentionally or otherwise, dodged at least five checkpoints, including a group of plainclothes officers, a security guard, an attack dog and an entire SWAT team. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson will testify about what went wrong in front of Congress on Tuesday and has called the breach "unacceptable" ... Discuss