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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

GEORGE HUTCHINS INVITES ALL BLACK, WHITE, SPANISH, AND ASIAN U.S. VOTERS TO JOIN US !!

Whether or not you agree with the platform and views of Mr. George Hutchins, candidate for the 4th Congressional District of North Carolina, you must bask in the glory of the most awesome candidate website ever created.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Nov 24, 2009 - 207 comments

Madam

Today would have been Indira Gandhi's 92nd birthday, had she not been assassinated by members of her own guard in her own backyard on October 31st, 1984 (I was there in New Delhi in a cab when the driver suggested it might be safer if he turned around and took me straight home). Often confused as a relative of the more famous Gandhi, fashionable, stylish and well groomed Indira was actually the daughter of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and used her married name, although divorced from her Parsi exhusband. Daughter and mother of Prime Ministers of India, she herself held office with an iron fist, remembered for the "Emergency", a brief period of martial law often overlooked in the democratic vibrancy of Indian politics. Will Mrs Gandhi's legacy of dynasty be continued by her half Italian grandson?
posted by infini on Nov 19, 2009 - 27 comments

Apple Bobbles - and Drops - the Ball

Apple has rejected an iPhone app for making contact with your Congressperson. Why? Because it identifies each US Representative/Senator with a 'bobblehead' caricature by MAD magazine artist Tom Richmond (who, having done 540 not-terribly-disrespectful caricatures, is justifiably pissed). “Obscene, pornographic, or defamatory”?!? Well, maybe the Nancy Pelosi is gratuitously goofy...
posted by oneswellfoop on Nov 9, 2009 - 152 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

Fading Away

Mark McGwire was one of the most feared sluggers in the game during his career. In 1998, the home run chase between McGwire and Sammy Sosa helped baseball recover from the 1994 strike. But, when a reporter found a bottle containing andro in McGwire's locker, some chinks in his armor began to emerge. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 6, 2009 - 61 comments

Republican Candidate pulls out of Congressional race

The only open seat for Congress this election day, in New York's 23rd district, was shaping up to be an interesting 3-way race with possible implications for the future of the Republican party. But after today's Sienna poll showing Democratic Bill Owens leading in this traditionally Republican district, the Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has announced she is suspending her campaign. Is the race now a shoe-in for Conservative Doug Hoffman, already endorsed by Pawlenty, Palin and others in the far-right of the party? Or will Dede's supporters, who were drawn to her her more moderate stance, simply stay home?
posted by saffry on Oct 31, 2009 - 156 comments

It's not over yet?

State of the debate filter: Harry Reid is looking like a giant waffle iron. Congress is getting crushed with phone calls. A G.E. healthcare exec, says "Shit or get off the pot already." The insurance industry says, "Back up off a deez!" And people aren't wavering in their support of a public option. [more inside]
posted by tylerfulltilt on Oct 20, 2009 - 63 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

Sick and Wrong

Matt Taibbi takes a look at the health care reform circus in Congress. It doesn't come off looking much better than Goldman Sachs. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by sensate on Sep 16, 2009 - 70 comments

Iraq's New Surge: Gay Killings

The lynching of gays in Iraq is on the rise, according to ambassador Christopher Hill's testimony before the house today."Hamizi, a computer science graduate, is at the cutting edge of a new wave of violence against gay men in Iraq. Made up of hardline extremists, Hamizi's group and others like it are believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 130 gay Iraqi men since the beginning of the year alone." WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE, POSSIBLY NSFW
posted by Acromion on Sep 14, 2009 - 53 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

DeathPanels.org: The Disturbing Details Behind Health Care Reform!!1!!

People are starting to get a little worn out on Healthcare coverage, or at least, a little worn out on the way it's been covered. Thank god our own grrarrgh00 isn't listening. Because someone has to spread the truth about Obama's nazi socialist communist granny killing satanist witchcraft healthcare reform.
posted by tylerfulltilt on Aug 30, 2009 - 63 comments

It Begins

Three committees of the United States House of Representatives have released the House's version of healthcare reform--the America's Affordable Health Choices Act. The bill [1000 page pdf] [summary] introduces a Health Insurance Exchange, minimum standards for benefit packages, protections for consumers, and a "level playing field" public insurance option with the right to use Medicare rates for the first three years. Initial reactions are positive.
posted by nasreddin on Jul 14, 2009 - 112 comments

Crowdsourcing Transparency

Can You Spot a Lobbyist? Who made up the bulk of the audience when Congress began work on health care reform legislation? Lobbyists, according to this photo ID-crowdsourcing project, part of Dollar Politics, a new NPR investigative series. Bill Moyers shines some sunlight too, with Some Choice Words for 'The Select Few.'
posted by Miko on Jul 14, 2009 - 33 comments

Violating Terms of Services and Cyberbullying

"We call it cyber-bullying and we don't have a law to address it." In the matter of the United States v. Drew (pdf), the misdemeanor charges against Lori Drew have been overturned. Judge George Wu noted that violations of the Terms and Services of a website cannot be considered a crime. A Congresswoman has drafted a bill (pdf) to fill in the gaps, allowing for future cyber-bullying convictions. Previously: (1, 2, 3, 4) [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw on Jul 3, 2009 - 55 comments

A School for Torture

An amendment to the Defense Authorization Act currently under consideration in congress would force the notorious School of the Americas (currently known as "WHINSEC") to "release to the public the names, ranks, countries of origin, courses taken and dates of attendance of all the students and instructors at the institute." [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 25, 2009 - 28 comments

"a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."

"a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills." - Despite some vile rhetoric from North Carolina calling his death a hoax, the memory of Matthew Shepard was honored yesterday by passage of a Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Bill in the House. [more inside]
posted by spicynuts on Apr 30, 2009 - 158 comments

Crossing the Line

Five US representatives arrested in act of civil disobedience in front of the Sudanese embassy, part of the Save Darfur Coalition's campaign to bring attention to genocide there. One of them, Rep. John Lewis, has seen jail before.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Apr 27, 2009 - 30 comments

Open Source Disclosure: Improving Congressional Transparency

The Sunlight Foundation's open source development team, Sunlight Labs, have announced the winners of the first annual Apps for America contest. Over 40 entries were judged, with Filibusted (Hold senators accountable for blocking legislation) getting top marks. Legistalker (The latest online activity of Congress Members) got second, and there was a 4-way tie for 3rd. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 24, 2009 - 17 comments

Henry Waxman and his band of Merry Mad Men

The House passed H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act a few days ago. The bill would put regulation of tobacco under the jurisdiction of the F.D.A. Some are critical of this bill, pointing out that Philip Morris is behind it. But the bill does contain many positive elements. Manufacturers would be required to disclose product ingredients to the F.D.A. and marketing to children would be further restricted. [more inside]
posted by formless on Apr 7, 2009 - 35 comments

The Anti-Tevis?

Rosanna Pulido is the Republican nominee for the 5th Congressional District of Illinois (Rahm Emanuel's old seat). She's also an active poster on Free Republic. An active poster on Free Republic who's learning that what you write on the internet can come back to haunt you.
posted by dersins on Mar 31, 2009 - 107 comments

C-SPAN in its dirty thirties

March 19, 1979 - The United States House of Representatives goes live on television for the first time in history. Footage from the House floor aired on a network created by a consortium of American cable companies. The first member of Congress to speak? Al Gore (Sorry, only seems to be available on Real Player. Embedded video, in case weird link fails). [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Mar 23, 2009 - 17 comments

That's a lot of gold.

"We are urging music stations all over the U.S. to send us photos of their gold and platinum records." Hearings are starting on the RIAA's new pet bill. They're feeling the pinch and would like a few of their gold records back. [more inside]
posted by arcanecrowbar on Mar 10, 2009 - 74 comments

Everyone's Favorite Upstart Mom-and-Pop Search Engine Tries to Yank Watchdog's Funding

Bob Boorstin, Google's Director of Policy Communications, wrote a letter to the Rose Foundation, suggesting that the foundation stop funding Consumer Watchdog, an outspoken Google critic. [more inside]
posted by univac on Feb 26, 2009 - 49 comments

Brother can you spare a jet?

With orders for new aircraft down, the private jet industry is launching a PR onslaught and a website to counter all the bad press surrounding greedy executives flying private jets. Lo and behold, two financial columnists expressed strikingly similar views on the subject. Members of Congress, who love to catch a ride home on a contributor's private plane, are helping out too.
posted by up in the old hotel on Feb 18, 2009 - 48 comments

An Economic Stimulus Without the Stimulus?

A list of cut, halved, and quartered items from the Senate version of the stimulus bill was released to CNN. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Feb 7, 2009 - 162 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

Because of you, John. Barack Obama

The President's hero is a 68-year old preacher, fearless civil rights activist, and Congressman named John Lewis. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jan 26, 2009 - 24 comments

Who said what now?

Wired: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case. "The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants."
posted by blue_beetle on Jan 23, 2009 - 86 comments

We're Coming to You Tube!

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]
posted by lunit on Jan 15, 2009 - 12 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

Resistance in Tibet?

The Tibetan Youth Congress has been described as an organization bent on terror wherein Young Tibetans ‘will resist China with blood’.
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 30, 2008 - 30 comments

Tom Davis Gives Up

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.
posted by schroedinger on Oct 4, 2008 - 39 comments

The Mystery of Dorcas Snodgrass

What happened to Dorcas Snodgrass? I don't know who did this research on this nurse, but she's haunting me and the articles hint at a tragic mystery but leave many unanswered questions.
posted by chickaboo on Oct 3, 2008 - 25 comments

Being Productive on Salvia

Driving on Salvia, from the series Being Productive on Salvia. Previously
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 14, 2008 - 134 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

This deal here is new

"New Deal Programs: Selected Library of Congress Resources was created to serve as a starting point for research using Library of Congress collections of New Deal program materials." Includes links to numerous collections of digitized materials, including photos, posters, music, manuscripts and more. [more inside]
posted by dersins on Jul 15, 2008 - 4 comments

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