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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

Let Our Congress Tweet

It is really interesting that Representatives John Culberson and Tim Ryan have started to really use Twitter and post from the House floor. While the Franking Commission reconsiders rules on Internet Use, the Sunlight Foundation wants to make sure they Let Our Congress Tweet.
posted by cjoh on Jul 10, 2008 - 12 comments

Former United States Senator Jesse Helms, 1921 - 2008.

Fmr. US Senator Jesse Helms, 1921 - 2008. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 4, 2008 - 315 comments

Capitol Words - US Congress In A Word A Day

Capitol Words allows you to see what the most often used word was on any given day in the U.S Congress. [via mefi projects]
posted by Effigy2000 on Jun 21, 2008 - 23 comments

Ready from Day One, 2001 Edition

"Only Nixon could go to China," and only ex-Republican ex-Senator Lincoln Chafee can explain how George W. Bush set out "to preempt the Congress... on every issue", "turned his back on (his) bedrock campaign pledges", and become simultaneously America's most powerful and least popular President (and why there could never be a "surely this..." moment). NOT just another OMGBUSH commentary, this should be required reading for anybody who honestly wants to know what went wrong.
posted by wendell on May 2, 2008 - 46 comments

What's the difference between Democratic and Republican congressmen? $55,000.

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:
Democratic Senate and Congress
Republican Senate and Congress

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 have other price lists on their sites, but it seems like the DSCC and DCCC sites keep theirs under wraps.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on May 1, 2008 - 10 comments

How Not to Run for Congress

Some advice for Mefites who want to run for Congress: It is probably not a good idea to give a speech at a birthday celebration for Hitler. It is also generally considered tacky to discuss segregation in a positive light. Also, posting anti-Semitic comments, links to David Duke's website, and other scary but interesting articles to your official campaign website is probably not a good idea, even if you actually seem to be a reasonably competent lawyer.
posted by cerebus19 on Apr 25, 2008 - 126 comments

America the Godly

One nation under God. The "bold conservative" GOP Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia is intent upon removing a vexing comma from that phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was amended in 1954 when President Eisenhower was moved by a sermon by one Reverend George M. Docherty on the need to defend America from the "militantly atheistic communism that has already enslaved 800 million of the peoples of the earth, and now menaces the rest of the free world."
posted by digaman on Apr 15, 2008 - 147 comments

Library of Congress Historic Baseball Resources

The Library of Congress has unveiled a baseball history section on their website. You can see old baesball cards, panoramic shots, a section for teachers and, coolest of all, a video of a baseball game shot by Thomas Edison in 1898.
posted by zzazazz on Mar 26, 2008 - 17 comments

Free Congress

In trademark style, Lawrence Lessig today announced the creation of a congressional exploratory committee. If in the next few days he decides to officially enter the race, he'll be running in the special election on April 8th to fill the CA-12 seat recently vacated by the death of Tom Lantos. A run by Lessig would likely be seen as a new front the the technocratic, post-partisan movement Barack Obama is attempting to catalyze; Lessig was a colleague of Obama at the University of Chicago law school, helped to draft Obama's technology plan, and is describing his potential run (his first attempt at public office), and the larger Change Congress project he also announced today, as an attempt to save Congress as an institution from the corrupting influence of money. [more inside]
posted by gsteff on Feb 19, 2008 - 50 comments

RIP Rep. Lantos

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.
posted by awesomebrad on Feb 11, 2008 - 30 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

Friggin aye

State of the Party-state The ever-excellent Jonathan Ansfield gives his take on the recently concluded Seventeenth Congress of the Communist Party of China.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 28, 2007 - 13 comments

Protecting Whistleblowers, You Bet!

Congress at Work The U.S. House Judiciary Committee sends an email to all persons who had sent messages to its "tip line." The email described the measures the committee was taking to safeguard the tipsters' identities. All the the email recipients' addresses were in the To: field. Oops. [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson on Oct 28, 2007 - 36 comments

Excellent.

Who says Republicans don't have a sense of humor? Yes, this really is linked from the homepage of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's minority site.
posted by MrMoonPie on Oct 15, 2007 - 47 comments

Pork Flies (Sort Of)

So You Think The V-22 Is Ridiculous? [previously] Let me present you its dumb brother, the DuPont Aerospace DP-2. (No relation to the chemical conglomerate). [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Oct 14, 2007 - 18 comments

oh what tangled webs we weave....GOP Rep McHenry's roomies, and more

McHenry and his "roommates" -- GOP Rep Patrick McHenry (NC), co-owner of a DC home with Scott G. Stewart, former chair of the College Republican Nat'l Cttee (and bilker of many senior citizens), received a DC home-ownership reduction improperly. McHenry's actual home in North Carolina was apparently also home to quite a collection of young men: (convicted fraudulent voter) Michael Aaron Lay, Neil Everett Capano, Matthew Allen Hamilton, and (multiple violations, including "death by vehicle") Jason Jent Deans. Also, McHenry's 04 consultant Ralph Gonzales was one of the men involved in a recent FL murder/suicide, and links to Robert Drake, the killer (political work in NC and escort service connections), are still being documented. Stay tuned! [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Sep 28, 2007 - 67 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

workplace protection--not as hotbutton as Marriage Equality or Don't Ask Don't Tell, but far more essential

ENDA House hearings start tomorrow --a record 94% of Fortune 500 companies now provide Sexual Orientation Discrimination Protection, and 89% of Americans polled believe Homosexuals should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. Repeatedly introduced and then killed since 1994, the 2007 version--H.R. 2015--Employment Non-Discrimination Act (text of bill)--includes transgender protection for the very first time. The TVC is just one of many organizations fighting it. (there is a religious exemption, but groups like the TVC would be covered by it)
posted by amberglow on Sep 4, 2007 - 58 comments

The Skull Fucking Bill of 2007

U.S. Representative Benjamin Sinclair (R-Ohio) announces the Ocular Penetration Restriction Act of 2007 [NSFW].
posted by dhammond on Aug 23, 2007 - 62 comments

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