MapLight is a database that "looks at big industries and big interests, their elected beneficiaries and their votes." They also run Voter's Edge for personalized election information. Check out the contributions by vote on Net Neutrality and the Keystone XL pipeline. Maplight also contributes to the national law review. [more inside]
Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Lee's story is how little credit she or her constituents receive for what they got right. Even though a majority now considers the war most understood the AUMF to authorize to be a mistake; even though it has been used to justify military interventions that no one conceived of on September 14, 2001; even though there's no proof that any war-making of the last 13 years has have made us safer; even though many more Americans have died in wars of choice than have been killed in terrorist attacks; even though Lee and many of her constituents were amenable to capturing or killing the 9/11 perpetrators, not pacifists intent on ruling out any use of force; despite all of that, Representative Lee is still thought of as a fringe peacenik representing naive East Bay hippies who could never be trusted to guide U.S. foreign policy. And the people who utterly failed to anticipate the trajectory of the War on Terrorism? Even those who later voted for a war in Iraq that turned out to be among the most catastrophic in U.S. history are considered sober, trustworthy experts.[more inside]
By a vote of 64-32. the United States Senate has passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Full passage of ENDA would make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is already illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, nationality, religion, age or disability. [more inside]
"The House Republicans' first major technology initiative is about to be unveiled: a push to force Internet companies to keep track of what their users are doing." [more inside]
The incoming Republican majority in the US House of Representatives is right now reading the text of the Constitution on the House floor. Representatives chose to omit superceed portions of the text including The Three-Fifth Compromise and Prohibition
Ron Paul, 11-term Republican Congressman for the 14th Congressional district of Texas, original Tea Partier (warning: YouTube), libertarian presidential candidate, and author of End the Fed (Bloomberg review) today announced that he is next in line to chair the United States House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology in charge of, among other things, oversight of the Federal Reserve. [more inside]
"I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican," Colbert testified. "I want it picked by an American, sliced by a Guatemalan . . . and served in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."
This morning comedian Stephen Colbert testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security, where he appeared as a witness on the issue of migrant farm work. He did so in character: "a fake blowhard before a panel of real pontificators. "It's unclear upon how many members of the committee the joke was lost." [Video | 05:19]. [more inside]
Welcome to Congress, YouTube. Check out House Hub and Senate Hub for a state by state directory of YouTube videos created by House Representatives and Senators for the purpose of, among other things, "increasing transparency." [more inside]
Tom Davis Gives Up (SLNYT). “Tell them about the important work we’re doing while Rome burns,” he said. A candid accounting of American politics from a member of the GOP disillusioned with both sides of the aisle and an overview of how he became that way.
Rep. Tom Lantos, 80, passed away this morning. Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, he was the only Holocaust survivor to ever serve in the United States Congress.
OpenCongress.org is a site that aggregates data about the United States Senate and House. Keep track of your senators or representatives through rss feeds, read bills on topics that are important to you, and find out what industries are behind the scenes providing money to your politicians in Washington among many other uses of this new resource.
Veterans of Foreign Wars rejects veteran of foreign war. The election has passed, and the voters of Illinois' 6th Congressional District decided that 16-year veteran Maj. Tammy Duckworth will not represent them in the United States House of Representatives. A story worth highlighting, lost amongst the sturm und drang of pre-election coverage, is that Veterans of Foreign Wars chose to endorse Duckworth's opponent, Representative-Elect Peter Roskam, who never performed any military service, in contrast to Duckworth, who had both of her legs blown off and her right arm shattered when a rocket-propelled grenade hit her Black Hawk less than two years ago and still serves in the Army Reserve. [more inside]
People began the prayer session at 10 a.m. by chanting "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." A judge's ruling barred the Indiana House of Representatives from invoking the name of Jesus or any other specific deity in official prayers. That didn't prevent the lawmakers for holding their own prayer, nor did it keep about 30 people from gathering in the Statehouse rotunda this morning to pray. In fact, the ruling motivated them.
CNN reports that the House passed HR 4241 this morning by a narrow vote almost entirely along party lines. This is part of the Republican Party's Operation Offset (previously discussed here) designed to cut spending to counter the deficit, growing by leaps and bounds because of Iraq & Katrina (among other things). Now they'll have to work to reconcile it with the Senate version, SR 1932 (voting record here). You may want to Write your representative to let them know how you feel. You might also want to express your displeasure to the two Dems who didn't vote, considering the bill passed by a margin of 2. [Budget Filter]
At 2:26 p.m. yesterday, the US House of Representatives was considering a gun control bill. In the process of complaining about "a failed Democratic amendment that would have banned gun sales to drug addicts or people undergoing drug treatment," Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyoming) let slip this telling inquiry: "So does that mean that if you go into a black community, you can't sell any guns to any black person?"
Bipartisan group of House Representatives takes Bush to task: "Aiming bipartisan fire at what it described as the Bush administration's alarming penchant for secrecy, a group of House Republicans and Democrats yesterday introduced legislation to cancel President Bush's executive order restricting the release of presidential records".
No cookies for you! Representative Gene Green has introduced H.R.5430 (hopefully, they'll have the text up soon), which would control collection of personal data over the net. I guess this is a backlash from some companies' policies, but does it go too far?