47 posts tagged with congress and government.
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The River of Money

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]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 10, 2014 - 2 comments

The McDonald's Cocaine Spoon Fiasco

How U.S. drug laws destroyed the McDonald's coffee stirring spoon.
posted by reenum on Sep 19, 2014 - 76 comments

"I like sardines so this was a good dinner."

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Rep. Tim Ryan (OH), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL), and Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) are among those have been participating in the Live the Wage Challenge, posting on social media about their experiences. The Challenge (pdf) "asks elected officials, community leaders, advocates and anyone concerned about the growing inequality in this country to walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker by living on a minimum wage budget for one week. That’s just $77."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 28, 2014 - 96 comments

The ‘Mustache of Justice’ has left the building.

Thomas Scully, the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President George W. Bush, once said, “Fifty percent of the social safety net was created by Henry Waxman when no one was looking.” After 40 years and 17 consecutive terms, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) is retiring from Congress. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 13, 2014 - 35 comments

Despise what you do. Despise your whole crew. You're so out of touch.

Fuck You Congress [more inside]
posted by humannaire on Oct 10, 2013 - 80 comments

"October is a fine and dangerous season in America"

Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)! In one corner: the first federal government shutdown since 1996, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that). "Continuing resolutions" have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda). National parks are closed, contractors are hamstrung, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule" and passes a bill the other branches can agree to. In the other corner, heedless of the chaos (though not without glitches of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges. The portal at Healthcare.gov is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage with premium rebates, guaranteed coverage, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states). A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 1, 2013 - 2207 comments

Shutdown showdown

If the Federal Government shuts down on October 1st, the DC city government is supposed to shut down as well. In a bid to keep the city functioning, Mayor Vince Gray has declared all city employees "essential." Non-voting Rep Eleanor Holmes Norton and the DC GOP are also petitioning Congress to keep the city open. The District's budget comes from local taxes, but needs Congressional approval to spend it's own money.
posted by troika on Sep 27, 2013 - 378 comments

"Used to be that the idea was 'once every two years voters elected their representatives.' And now instead it's 'every ten years the representatives choose their constituents.'"

Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority, undermined Obama's mandate, set the terms of the sequestration fight, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade. It's not a new problem. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act, it could get a whole lot worse. And the electoral college may be next. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 14, 2012 - 137 comments

In the Public Interest....

Earlier this year, six scientists and doctors filed a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration alleging that the FDA had secretly monitored their personal e-mail accounts after they (legally) warned Congress that the "agency was approving medical devices that they believed posed unacceptable risks to patients." The agency said it had done so to "investigate allegations that the employees had leaked confidential information to the public." At the time, the FDA indicated their computer monitoring was limited to five scientists. But now, the New York Times is reporting that "what began as a narrow investigation" "quickly grew in mid-2010 into a much broader campaign to counter outside critics of the agency’s medical review process.". [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 15, 2012 - 29 comments

In the name of Defense.

In December 1974, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh's front-page account (paywall) of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program documented their illegal domestic intelligence operations against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States. The article eventually prompted investigations by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church and Pike committees. "There have been other reports on the CIA's doping of civilians, but they have mostly dished about activities in New York City. Accounts of what actually occurred in San Francisco have been sparse and sporadic. But newly declassified CIA records, recent interviews, and a personal diary of [George H. White,] an operative at Stanford Special Collections shed more light on the breadth of the San Francisco operation." SF Weekly: "Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA doped San Francisco citizens with LSD." MK-ULTRA: Previously on Metafilter. (Via)
posted by zarq on Mar 26, 2012 - 29 comments

XOXO to Title X

Enjoying your Friday night? Be careful out there. In between other things, including voting for huge cuts to the EPA's budget and regulating power, the U.S. House of Representatives just voted to eliminate Title X, originally signed into law 40 years ago by Republican President Richard Nixon, which provides funding for Planned Parenthood. [more inside]
posted by limeonaire on Feb 18, 2011 - 130 comments

Pencils down.

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]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 2, 2010 - 858 comments

Complete with quotes from JFK

We make this pledge bearing true faith and allegiance to the people we represent, and we invite fellow citizens and patriots to join us in forming a new governing agenda for America. [more inside]
posted by Mister Fabulous on Sep 22, 2010 - 466 comments

Executive Decarbonization

With the climate bill dead and blame portioned, Ezra Klein asks what happens when congress fails? He concludes that "regulations to reduce carbon emissions are alive and well. The Environmental Protection Agency can attack carbon as a pollutant, and the Obama administration's announcement that efforts to hamstring the EPA will be vetoed suggests that they mean to do exactly that." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 30, 2010 - 18 comments

a very long article

How America Can Rise Again by James Fallows
Is America going to hell? After a year of economic calamity that many fear has sent us into irreversible decline, the author finds reassurance in the peculiarly American cycle of crisis and renewal, and in the continuing strength of the forces that have made the country great: our university system, our receptiveness to immigration, our culture of innovation. In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here's the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation's future. (via|previously)
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2010 - 61 comments

Health Care Has Passed

The House of Representatives just passed the health reform bill in a vote of 220-215.
posted by reenum on Nov 7, 2009 - 425 comments

I could probably afford better insurance if I wasn't paying for theirs.

What kind of health insurance would you have as a federal government employee? The Office of Personnel Management would like to help you decide among the gazillion plan choices you have. Perhaps you are a Congress member? Then head on down to the Attending Physician of the United States, "It's one of the, quote, benefits of being in Congress," Kagen said. "They have physicians and nurses that will see you on the spot, on the beck and call." (link to single page print version). [more inside]
posted by sio42 on Sep 30, 2009 - 42 comments

Know Thy Congressman

Know Thy Congressman (an Apps for America Project of Sunlight Labs) provides a handy bookmarklet that lets you get a quick overview of Congresscritters that you might not be familiar with. The winners for Round Two of Apps for America (focusing on data.gov) were announced yesterday. [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Sep 10, 2009 - 14 comments

The Future of Snail Mail

Shrinking the United States Postal Service: What happens to Netflix? [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Feb 2, 2009 - 117 comments

Mr. Geoghegan Goes to Washington

Perhaps something of an oddity in Chicago machine politics [I like to think in the spirit of Sean Tevis] Tom Geoghegan (pronounced "gay-gun") is running in a special election -- primary March 3rd and (hope me :) general April 7th -- for Rahm Emanuel's vacated 5th district Illinois seat. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 14, 2009 - 10 comments

Disaster Capitalism

"Like the dotcom bubble, the disaster bubble is inflating in an ad-hoc and chaotic fashion." Journalist Naomi Klein discusses how corporations and governments are working together more closely than ever, using the mandate of catastrophe — whether natural or man-made — to further concentrate power in fewer hands, with less oversight: from illegal sales of American police technology to China to avert hypothetical tragedies during the Beijing Olympics, to the privatization of water supplies in post-tsunami Sri Lanka.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 17, 2008 - 50 comments

Church Committee 2.0: TSP, Main Core & PROMIS?

Is Congress gearing up to hold a new American Truth Commission? What new horrors would they find if they did? The last time we tried this we uncovered MK/ULTRA, plots to kill Castro & Project SHAMROCK. One of the most significant outcomes was a little thing called FISA. After 30 years it may finally be time to wash out our national dirty laundry again.
posted by scalefree on Jul 23, 2008 - 45 comments

Congress 2.0

Opencongress.org is a website for keeping track of the U.S. Congress. (previously) But, now it also a social network. So, sign-up and see what your favourite Senator has been doing, track bills and, follow important issues. Then, share that information with your friends or write about it on your blog.
posted by geos on Feb 4, 2008 - 20 comments

"Flynt is arguably the greatest student of the American underbelly since J. Edgar Hoover."

Vanity Fair sits down with Larry Flynt --his history and hits and misses, how much he pays for scandals involving hypocritical public figures, and a new (and limp) Nixon anecdote -- and tons of other juicy tidbits, of course).
posted by amberglow on Dec 20, 2007 - 26 comments

Taxation without Representation

Senate kills bill to give D.C. representation (L.A. Times). [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Sep 19, 2007 - 76 comments

“A Congresswoman must look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, speak on any given subject with authority and most of all work like a dog.” -- Rep. Florence Dwyer, R-NJ, 1957-73

Women in Congress.
posted by Miko on Apr 6, 2007 - 21 comments

"i honestly don't have a recollection..."

"I do not recall" --meet Lurita Doan, Administrator of the GSA (Our mission is to help other agencies better serve the public by meeting – at best value – their needs for products and services, and to simplify citizen access to government information and services.), and hear about the powerpoint presentation from Rove's office all about electing Republicans in 08 and how her agency should help. Her office supplied it to Congress--but it was just a (GOP) "team-building exercise" and "brown-bag lunch". (YouTube) Read up on the Hatch Act too.
posted by amberglow on Mar 28, 2007 - 54 comments

"Make Congress more transparent and encourage civic engagement"

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.
posted by rfbjames on Feb 27, 2007 - 18 comments

"I am the only drunken pirate running for office in this great nation."

"I would have your wife right in front of you. I would smoke the last of your glaucoma medication. Then I will surely drink your liquor cabinet dry. However, know this my friend. I will never break an oath to uphold the public trust. My affidavit will be signed in my own blood. A Pirates crimson mark, with real binding effects into my after life. Laugh if you will then ask yourself if you could do it." James Hill is running for congress in Iowa's first district. He accepts no money from anybody.
posted by Navelgazer on Aug 25, 2006 - 54 comments

Congress Hates Internet Users

I just heard some sad news on talk radio. Net Neutrality was found dead in Congress this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the community will miss it. Even if you didn't enjoy its work, there's no denying its contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.
posted by brownpau on Jun 9, 2006 - 96 comments

Ah, unity

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 issue. Some predict it will go to the SCOTUS.
posted by edgeways on May 25, 2006 - 55 comments

Godwin Overnight Express

What your Congress is doing while you sleep... Tacking riders on to military spending bills is nothing new and an easy way to get legislation passed. With the recently passed Real ID Act, however, post-9/11 America takes a decidely fascist left turn: §102(c) "No court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision." This new legislation dramatically — if quietly — usurps the separation of powers established over 200 years ago, and the consequences are absolutely chilling, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to commit any criminal behavior it sees fit, without having to answer to existing state and federal laws. All the way from checking IDs on request, to detaining political undesirables, to South American-style "disappearances". And where are our so-called liberal media outlets to report on this amazing and unprecedented transfer of power?
posted by AlexReynolds on May 12, 2005 - 117 comments

I smell a crook

Dirty Dirty men..... America, Mark Twain once said, "is a nation without a distinct criminal class with the possible exception of Congress."
posted by sourbrew on Jul 21, 2004 - 4 comments

Plan of Attack

Behind Diplomatic Moves, Military Plan Was Launched. An excerpt from the new book "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward. Amongst its claims are that Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar was informed of the plans for Iraq before Colin Powell, and that $700 million designated by Congress for the war in Afghanistan was used to prepare for the war in Iraq.
posted by homunculus on Apr 18, 2004 - 74 comments

Pissing match

House Democrats Storm Out of Ways and Means Committee Chairman Calls Capitol Police to Restore Order - ARRRGGGGH! This government is so frustrating. No side is right they are all wrong. Is anything being done for the good of the nation anymore or do they all just do what they want? Poor impulse control all around.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey on Jul 18, 2003 - 66 comments

John Dean case for War in Iraq

John Dean's analysis of the administrations case for War. "What I found, in critically examining Bush's evidence, is not pretty. The African uranium matter is merely indicative of larger problems, and troubling questions of potential and widespread criminality when taking the nation to war. It appears that not only the Niger uranium hoax, but most everything else that Bush said about Saddam Hussein's weapons was false, fabricated, exaggerated, or phony."
posted by thedailygrowl on Jul 18, 2003 - 73 comments

Zoe and the DMCA

Rep. Zoe Lofgren's BALANCE act attempts to protect "Fair Use" rights from harmful legislation like the DMCA. Some related links: [summary] [whats wrong with the DMCA?]
posted by skallas on Mar 7, 2003 - 4 comments

The House Appropriations Committee documents Bush's lies and proken promises.

The House Appropriations Committee documents Bush's lies and broken promises. Are we starting to see an opposition party here?
posted by skallas on Feb 27, 2003 - 46 comments

Anti-War bill in Congress

"We decided not to run it..."
In the surreal world that is today's media, Colin Powell has no opposition. None. There is no alternative view. None. In this Kafkaesque place, Reps. DeFazio and Paul didn't conduct a press conference yesterday. Nor did they introduce legislation that counters George Bush and Colin Powell's world view...a world view, mind you, that the world doesn't share.

Does corporate media serve the interests of the people and democracy or the elites and profit? Did you hear about this bill? Do you think this is an important story that deserved media coverage?
posted by nofundy on Feb 7, 2003 - 45 comments

Homeland Security

Homeland Security "Goodies". "The bill the president supported was 35 pages long. The bill that I've been asked to vote on on Monday or Tuesday is 484 pages long, filled with special-interest legislation, loaded up by the House Republicans in the last few days," Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) The most egregious, Democrats say, is language to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits over the vaccines they create and their side effects, including wiping out lawsuits already in court.
posted by Espoo2 on Nov 18, 2002 - 39 comments

Have you told the powers in Washington what kind of world you want?

Have you told the powers in Washington what kind of world you want? You're busy. You don't have time to be a professional "Congress watcher." So we'll be your eyes and ears. We'll track the debates and compromises and bills that will shape the world.
posted by katy_ on Sep 3, 2002 - 16 comments

Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval

Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval Not a new story, per se, but this Post article lays out pretty well the arguments behind the administration's case, one being simply Bush's role as commander-in-chief. It's strange how closely this issue reflects earlier attempts by the administration to avoid Congressional and/or public scrutiny (Cheney's Enron meetings, for example). Why this aversion, and why fight so hard? And I have a sneaking fear that Bush will seek Congressional approval only after invading, and he will bully votes by claiming that reps have a patriotic duty to support a president in a time of war.
posted by risenc on Aug 26, 2002 - 65 comments

The U.S. Army pays for lapdances.

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?
posted by insomnyuk on Jul 18, 2002 - 18 comments

A 401(k) is not a Pension!

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.
posted by ilsa on Apr 11, 2002 - 21 comments

Department of Peace vs. Bob Barr's war with the world...

Department of Peace vs. Bob Barr's war with the world... I found this really funny, but even I question what a DOP could hope to achieve, any ideas in a realistic sense.
posted by bittennails on Feb 1, 2002 - 11 comments

Muslim congressional intern removed from White House

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?
posted by Gilbert on Jun 29, 2001 - 19 comments

THOMAS

THOMAS allows you to look up, and even link to, any bill that's been before any congress.

For example, I could link to H.R. 1304, the Quality Health-Care Coalition Act of 2000. I could also mention that Tom Coburn (R-OK) added Section 2h to the bill, which says Doctors have no collective bargaining rights when it comes to ensuring women have access to abortion services.
posted by alan on Jul 2, 2000 - 5 comments

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