is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible.
" The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog
. More on the project from TechCrunch
There's been a lot of talk in the US media about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Grand Bargain
" What are they?
The "fiscal cliff" is a confluence of three legal changes taking effect Jan. 1: the expiration of a payroll-tax cut, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the advent of mandatory spending cuts known as "sequestration." Fiscal Cliff 101: 5 Basic Questions Answered
. What's Happening: Fiscal Cliff Explained [more inside]
"The Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state.
" Former Bill Clinton political director Doug Sosnik
offers an 8-page analysis of the U.S. election that discusses the likelihood of an Obama win, the chances of a complete Republican takeover of Congress, continued Republican dominance of governorships and state legislatures for the rest of the decade, and more. There's also a related slideshow
. [more inside]
Boehner and Pelosi announce the end
to the House of Representatives Page Program.
HR 2, officially the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act"
, has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives
with a vote of 245 to 189
. 3 Democrats (Reps. Boren
(NC), and Ross
(AR)) joined all 242 Republicans voting Aye. The bill will not be brought for a vote in the Senate, nor would it escape veto by President Obama. [more inside]
Since 10:24 AM
ET, Senator Bernie Sanders
has held "a filibuster [or] a very long speech
" on the tax cut deal brokered between the president and congressional Republicans. Watch it live on C-SPAN 2
. Vermont's Peter Welch leads the charge
against the deal in the House. The President has called his opponents "sanctimonious" and "unrealistic
It's Election Day in America
, and as is so often the case in this fickle
land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive
, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide
and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense
. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting
process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
Congressional candidate (and MetaFilter's own) Sean Tevis (find his previouslies
here) and XKCD [Update: nothing to do with XKCD, actually]
bring forth a new concept in politics: American Nations
, An Awesome and Practical Plan to Re-Balance the U.S. Political System.
Want to live it up at the U.S. party conventions and get access to Senators and Congressmen? USA Today
has posted the campaign committee price lists:
If you've got the dough, you may conveniently request a convention package
online from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
The National Republican Congressional Committee
and the NRSC
on their sites, but it seems like the DSCC and DCCC
sites keep theirs under wraps.
Democrats have taken control
of the United States Congress
Seperation of Power? (newsfilter)
In a strange move, both the Rs and the Ds are livid that the FBI raided the congressional offices of Rep. William Jefferson, D-Louisiana, (who may have accepted substantial bribes). House speaker Hastert spoke directly with the president
, so, The president steps in an orders the documents sealed as a cooling off period as congress demands this is a separation of Powers
Some predict it will go to the SCOTUS.
The U.S. Army pays for lapdances.
"In addition to the inappropriate purchases, the GAO said more than 1,200 Army employees wrote bad checks to pay their government credit card bills. Last year alone, that cost taxpayers $3.8 million in higher fees and lost rebates." You mean, the government practices bad accounting? Ron Paul
points out that the Congress commits the worst accounting fraud of all
. But the most important issue of all is, with the government paying for Strip Club tips, gambling, and wine, does this mean that God will no longer bless America?
A 401(k) is not a Pension!
In a pension plan, your employer invests some money and gives you some of it when you retire. In a 401(k), they, um, don't. Congress seems a little confused
on this issue, however. It turns out that the 401k might be more boondoggle than boon to average people planning to retire before they die.
Is this a real chance at campaign finance reform
or are we just in for more partisan back and forth that in the end won't change much of anything? (NY Times link) And how long will the "Enron effect" last?
Happy November 31st!
Senators and Congressmen Order Botched Calendars With an Extra Day.
Congress is legislating free speech on the internet
again. Passed shortly after the Communications Decency Act was thrown out
by the Supreme Court, the Child Online Protection Act
isn't as broad as the CDA but does it still go too far in an effort to protect children? Shouldn't parents be responsible for their own children?
Silicon Valley backs Senate bill
that would allow companies to report computer network attacks to the government without having to worry about the public finding out. The reasoning: it would encourage
more companies to report the problems and help the
government track down the culprits. A similar bill
is in the House.
chimes in on new anti-terrorist bills that attack due process, the fourth amendment, and encryption. Sample letters and information on how to contact your reps are available at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Act quickly, because congress sure will.
It seems as though Gary Condit will quit Congress
- but not until his current term expires (he'll get a bigger pension that way).
It's that time of year again!
Yes kids, it's time once again for the annual
introduction of the Flag-Protection Amendment, currently being debated in the House of Reps. Last year the bill passed the House 305-124 and was defeated in the Senate by only six votes. It's again expected to pass the House and again expected to get shot down in the Senate, but considering the zany sitcom that 21st century American politics has become, who knows what that wacky Legislative branch will do?
Muslim congressional intern removed from White House
During a meeting between Muslim community leaders and the White House office of faith-based initiatives, too. Random administrative error, or religious profiling?
A giant loophole in McCain-Feingold will give oil companies a total exemption
from all its propsed spending restrictions. This is levelling the playing field?
US Census not to be adjusted for undercounts.
(NY Times, req'd registration)
Many political strategists, Democrats and Republicans alike, say that reliance on unadjusted population figures favors Republicans in the drawing of Congressional districts, since, they say, adjustment through statistical sampling would add to customarily Democratic neighborhoods most of those who have been uncounted.
They visited my home/office four times and never once brought the Long Form. Damnation.
House Republican introduces resolution to protect ISPs
from criminal liability for third party content. Californian David Dreier's proposal
isn't an actual bill but would put the House on record as supporting such protections.
Another day, another piece of unconstitutional net-censorship legislation
in Congress. And this time it's authored by your pal and mine, John "Watch Out for Charlies!" McCain. Perhaps we should start a deadpool for all these bills, giving out some cash to whoever guesses the dates on which the courts throw them out?
-- A bill banning Internet sites which publish or even link to drug-making information looks set to sail through Congress
Yay! The flag burning amendment is dead
, at least for another year. What offends me most is: why did 63 Senators vote for this? Second most: do these people actually believe themselves when they preach that people have fought and died for the flag? I *hope* that no soldiers have fought for the flag, per se; I would hope that our military fights for the ideals of which the flag is a nice, abstract representation.
I've put up a short page with links
to the official Congressional Record transcripts of the debate, for those who are interested. (It gives me reading for my plane ride tomorrow, if I can avoid the calling of my Sims family.)