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Republic, Lost

How Money Corrupts Congress (previously) - John Baez sez: "It's easy to get distracted in a thicket of issues. Thoreau said 'There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.' But what's the root? Watch this video for Lawrence Lessig's answer."
posted by kliuless on Nov 26, 2011 - 32 comments

We hold these vegetables to be self-evident

Tomato: fruit or vegetable? In 1893, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Nix v. Hedden that the tomato is legally a vegetable and not a fruit, botanical definitions be damned. In 2001, the European Union disagreed, saying that "tomatoes, the edible parts of rhubarb stalks, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons and water-melons are considered to be fruit". [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Nov 17, 2011 - 91 comments

Page Cuts

Boehner and Pelosi announce the end to the House of Representatives Page Program.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Aug 9, 2011 - 56 comments

Send Congress To Boot Camp

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore has a solution to the increasing splintering and radicalization of Congress: send all the members of Congress to boot camp and keep them there until they recognize their duty to America.
posted by reenum on Aug 5, 2011 - 56 comments

Worst. Congress. Ever.

Worst. Congress. Ever. "With the debt ceiling impasse and legislative gridlock sucking all the air out of Washington, Foreign Policy asked the experts: Is this really the worst Congress ever?"
posted by homunculus on Jul 29, 2011 - 85 comments

Space ... the final fronti[FUNDING CANCELLED]

The House appropriations panel that oversees NASA has proposed a spending bill that would cut funding for the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble and the telescope many astronomers consider the best chance to continue and expand the Hubble's legacy. Here are the Subcommittee Members.
posted by kyrademon on Jul 6, 2011 - 76 comments

Who works for congress?

Although much has been said about the demographic composition of the United States Congress, much less has been said about the thousands of staffers who work behind the scenes, drafting legislation, interacting with constituents, and advising their congressperson. The National Journal has created two infographics that attempt to describe this silent, but influential workforce.
posted by schmod on Jun 20, 2011 - 19 comments

George W. Obama

In a 32 page report to Congress [pdf] President Obama concludes:
...the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities” contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision.
Now, the New York Times reports that this legal opinion was reached by rejecting the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department. It is instructive to compare President Obama's actions with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 20, 2011 - 240 comments

Weiner to resign

Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner, of New York's 9th congressional district, will resign from Congress today at 2 p.m. in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. [more inside]
posted by brina on Jun 16, 2011 - 331 comments

US High School student challenges Rep. Michele Bachmann

"I, Amy Myers, do hereby challenge Representative Michele Bachmann to a Public Forum Debate and/or Fact Test on The Constitution of the United States, United States History and United States Civics."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 14, 2011 - 42 comments

Interchange reform is necessary and it is long overdue.

Open Letter TO JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. The Democrat from Springfield responds to the Chase CEO's letter to shareholders.
posted by boo_radley on Apr 13, 2011 - 39 comments

That's a big ass rocket

$1,000 per pound to orbit is the holy grail for rocket pricing. Elon Musk claims that his SpaceX corporation's new Falcon Heavy will be able to lift 117,000 lbs. to low earth orbit for 1/3rd the cost of the next most capable launchers, the space shuttle and the Delta IV Heavy. [more inside]
posted by tgrundke on Apr 6, 2011 - 39 comments

Schiller's List

The US House of Representatives has voted to cut all federal NPR funding. To take effect, this would still need to make it through the senate, which most likely would not succeed. [more inside]
posted by pla on Mar 17, 2011 - 133 comments

"The Extent of Radicalization"

Hearings on the "extent of radicalization" of US Muslims initiated by Rep. Peter King are underway in Washington. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 10, 2011 - 98 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

Will it ever die?

The Patriot Act lives! The US House of Representatives has agreed to extend some of surveillance powers granted by the 2001 Patriot Act after the 9/11 attacks. In a 275-144 vote, the chamber voted to extend until December provisions on wiretaps, access to business records and surveillance of terror suspects.
posted by Philipschall on Feb 15, 2011 - 39 comments

Congressional Hearing About Data Retention Laws For Internet Companies

"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]
posted by ericb on Jan 24, 2011 - 45 comments

The Finest Money Can Buy

'The new Republican leaders in the House have received millions of dollars in fresh contributions from banks, health insurers and other major business interests, which are pressing for broad reversals of Democratic policies that affect corporations, according to disclosure records and interviews.''Much of that money flowed to the GOP chairmen overseeing banking, energy and other key committees, who will play a central role in setting the House agenda over the next two years. The impetus behind such largess is simple: Many companies and industry groups hope that House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other Republicans will succeed in rolling back Democratic policies they find objectionable, including environmental and Wall Street regulations.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jan 21, 2011 - 79 comments

“An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.”

Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance – In 1798
posted by cthuljew on Jan 20, 2011 - 48 comments

Doomed bill HR 2 passes the House

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 (OK), McIntyre (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]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jan 19, 2011 - 177 comments

Still temporary. Still PATRIOTic.

USA PATRIOT is up for renewal again. Tim Nichols of the Independent Examiner reports that "nobody notices" as Mike Rogers (R-MI) floats the renewal. As we noted last year during another quiet renewal, this is not the first time the Obama administration has been confronted with the idea. While groups as disparate as the Cato Institute and the Randolph Bourne Institute's antiwar.com speak out against the possibility, mainstream media sources seem uninterested.
posted by anarch on Jan 14, 2011 - 31 comments

Then as Farce

Following the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, Peter King (R), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, plans to introduce legislation banning firearms within 1000 feet of a government official.
posted by clarknova on Jan 11, 2011 - 205 comments

Lone nut or something worse?

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Shot In Arizona. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jan 8, 2011 - 2579 comments

A living document?

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
posted by T.D. Strange on Jan 6, 2011 - 139 comments

U.S. Senate Clears The Way For A Vote to Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The Senate has cleared the way for a final vote to repeal the U.S. military policy, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Dec 18, 2010 - 778 comments

I am simply here today to take as long as I can

Since 10:24 AM ET, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont 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."
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Dec 10, 2010 - 364 comments

His first name is Google.

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]
posted by 2bucksplus on Dec 9, 2010 - 187 comments

poignant portraits of youth at war

In remembrance of the Confederate and Union soldiers who served in the American Civil War, the Liljenquist Family recently donated their rare collection of almost 700 ambrotype and tintype photographs to the Library of Congress. These achingly poignant portraits speak volumes. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 5, 2010 - 98 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

Step into the sensory box.

"This just blew my mind out of my nose and onto my keyboard." A spectacular show of 3D mapping light projections on 3D surfaces at the last Mobile World Congress presented by Alcatel-Lucent. Originally found via this blog:
posted by fantodstic on Oct 13, 2010 - 23 comments

Why is this GOP House Candidate Dressed As A Nazi?

Meet Rich Iott, Ohio Tea Party candidate for Congress and currently America's most famous WW II reenactor. Rich Iott, Republican candidate for Congress in Ohio's 9th Congressional District and Tea Party favorite, has recently gotten a huge amount of national press for his hobby of dressing like a member of the German 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking. [more inside]
posted by jhandey on Oct 11, 2010 - 146 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

Hey, what's on the radio?

Radio, RIAA: mandatory FM radio in cell phones is the future. 'Music labels and radio broadcasters can't agree on much, including whether radio should be forced to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay for the music it plays. But the two sides can agree on this: Congress should mandate that FM radio receivers be built into cell phones, PDAs, and other portable electronics. The Consumer Electronics Association, whose members build the devices that would be affected by such a directive, is incandescent with rage. "The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity," thundered CEA president Gary Shapiro. Such a move is "not in our national interest." "Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do." But the music and radio industries say it's a consumer-focused proposition, one that would provide "more music choices."' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 16, 2010 - 96 comments

I Was Raised Right

Quayle v2.0 [more inside]
posted by hermitosis on Aug 14, 2010 - 45 comments

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Pages of MetaFilter

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.
posted by scalefree on Aug 4, 2010 - 179 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

I'd Hit That With A Ballot

Sexual Congress is the cleverly titled site which tries to find the most attractive members of the U.S. Congress by having you choose between two official portraits, in the proud tradition (and methodology) of KittenWar * (and PuppyWar *) and Randall Munroe's late lamented Best, Fairest and Funniest Ever sites. For non-USians, there's a similar, more subtle, British site.
posted by oneswellfoop on Jun 14, 2010 - 47 comments

Space, an expensive frontier

Can the free market save the space program?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 26, 2010 - 41 comments

Taxes and Ethics on C Street

When is paying $950/month for a bedroom in a boarding house potentially tax evasion and an ethics violation? When you're a congressman living at the C Street House in Washington D.C., where the going rates for similar accommodations is typically four times that amount. Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics In Washington (CREW) has filed official complaints with both houses of Congress. Rachel Maddow covers the scandal on her show. [Transcript here -- it's the lead story on this page.]
posted by hippybear on Apr 1, 2010 - 89 comments

Is Nancy Pelosi the most powerful woman in American history?

Is Nancy Pelosi the most powerful woman in American history?
posted by modernnomad on Mar 27, 2010 - 106 comments

Toyota Safety Issues

Toyota executives are currently testifying before Congress about the safety issues that have led to the recall of millions of vehicles. They insist that "We are confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle control system in our vehicles." Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) says "I would not consider... of value" their report in support of this claim.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 23, 2010 - 142 comments

License to kill?

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told representatives that American citizens can be assassinated by the US government when they are oveseas. Blair said the comments were intended to “reassure” Americans that there was a “set of defined policy and legal procedures” in place... (via antiwar.com) [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Feb 9, 2010 - 104 comments

Colonel John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr. (D) June 17, 1932 – February 8, 2010

Earlier today, the first Viet Nam veteran ever elected to congress, died. John Murtha (as of this past Saturday, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman) was the 19 term representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th district, most notably the home of Johnstown, and which for most of his service included Shanksville. He was a hawkish, conservative Democrat, infamous for his involvement in the Abscam controversy, and most recently the FBI’s inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA. He could be said to have been very representative, and certainly very supportive of his blue collar district—Pro-gun, anti-abortion, and at first a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, but eventually one of its greatest critics. But that criticism came at a price. John Murtha was 77. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 8, 2010 - 35 comments

$40bn and you get the Senate back unharmed

[A] seminal moment in the evolution of Republican obstructionism. [A] seminal moment in the history of Congress.
Senate Held Hostage. America Held Hostage.
Richard Shelby Shuts the Government Down. [more inside]
posted by jckll on Feb 5, 2010 - 282 comments

Local Knowledge

In 2000, the Library of Congress celebrated its 200th birthday by inviting representatives and members of the public from each of the 50 American states to nominate folk traditions, local customs, and special places to a "century's-end time capsule" called the Local Legacies Project. A nice little introductory catalog to points of local pride, like Fountain Green, Utah's Lamb Day, Oakland, CA's Black Cowboy Parade, Kentucky's Bourbon tradition, and Binghamton, NY's Spiedie Fest, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Feb 5, 2010 - 7 comments

Eye of Providence

The Business Plot of 1933 has reached a logical conclusion: the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely (pdf) to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress.
posted by four panels on Jan 21, 2010 - 332 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

Eat your heart out, Tom Delay

For serious Poli Sci junkies only: the Swing State Project is holding a contest for best redistricting of New York, using the nerdtastic Dave's Redistricting App. (Requires Silverlight, reading instructions highly recommended.) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 27, 2009 - 14 comments

HCR: Naughty or Nice?

Landmark health care reform legislation passes senate on a Christmas-eve party line vote. So after a turbulent and contentious legislative process with many sudden reversals and last minute surprises, what's actually in the bill? NPR offers a "Consumer's Guide" to the form the final, reconciled legislation now seems likeliest to take. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Dec 24, 2009 - 111 comments

No Country For Old Men

On January 1st, the U.S. estate tax will disappear. For exactly one year. Then it will come back higher on Jan. 1, 2011. Will lots of old rich people die? [more inside]
posted by msalt on Dec 17, 2009 - 129 comments

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