357 posts tagged with congress.
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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

Vote out every incumbent in 2006

Recording a movie in a theater is now likely to get you more time in jail than if you are found guilty of involuntary mansaughter.
posted by Mr_Zero on Apr 21, 2005 - 47 comments

Dems vs. faith

Frist-led Telecast: Dems vs faith. Are we paying attention? [NY Times link]
posted by yoga on Apr 15, 2005 - 93 comments

"Why should they be terrified?"

Peak Oil discussed in the US Congress. Roscoe Bartlett (Rep. 6th District, Maryland - R) delivers a presentation on Peak Oil to the 109th United States Congress. More here and a backup of the full text with a bit more of an introduction by Rep. Gilchrest here (PDF)
posted by loquacious on Mar 25, 2005 - 48 comments

Off-the-shelf-robots?

$127 Billion Army Modernization Project Sidesteps Oversight. A nice story about how a system designed to streamline simple and small commercial purchases is being used to avoid congressional oversight while spending $127 Billion USD in taxpayer funds.
posted by fixedgear on Mar 9, 2005 - 13 comments

Robbing Pvt. Peter to pay Sgt. Paul?

"Pentagon Budget Blackmail" A milblog is reporting that there's some funny accounting going on with the funding that's used to pay US troops. "I think it's early May when we run out of money," reads one ominous quote. This is all tied into the supplemental funding the Bush Adminstration has requested of Congress; in a related (hopefully soon to be non-)issue, the specific request for increased death benefits seems to be on a bit of a spacewalk at the moment.
posted by alumshubby on Mar 2, 2005 - 22 comments

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 is an online documentary from the Library of Congress with "nearly 170 audio and video interviews, totaling 40 hours, with photos, drawings, written narratives and poems." (About the collection.) [via Salon]
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 26, 2005 - 16 comments

Gay and Ashamed

Hustler's magazine's anticipated expose of closeted congressman David Dreier (R – California) hits newsstands today. Raw Story reports that the article “offers a handful of new details not previously reported, including a charge that high-level California Republicans have been aware of (and sanctioned) Dreier’s gay lifestyle for many years.” The article recounts how Dreier’s gay life was exposed earlier this summer by blogACTIVE.com, RAW STORY, and then picked up by L.A. Weekly (previously discussed here, here, and here). Dreier was targeted because he had repeatedly voted against gay rights measures – all the while keeping his alleged partner on his office payroll. Hustler gave permission to blogACTIVE and RAW STORY to excerpt parts of the article. The full article is only available in the print edition of the magazine.
posted by ericb on Dec 3, 2004 - 40 comments

Do you like fast-forwarding through commercials on a television program you’ve recorded? How much do you like it? Enough to go to jail if you’re caught doing it? If a new copyright and intellectual property omnibus bill sitting on Congress’s desk passes, that may be the choice you'll face. Let's hope this legislation goes lame duck like this session of Congress.
posted by hockeyman on Nov 19, 2004 - 46 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

"The Federal Trade Commission and Congress must act to prevent Fox News from using the deceptive and misleading trademark 'Fair and Balanced.'" After yesterday's 2,700 viewing parties and a Doonsbury plug, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism is now the #1 selling DVD on Amazon. At the same time, MoveOn launches a campaign against the slogan, and AlterNet challenges Fox's trademark. (Previous discussion.)
posted by muckster on Jul 19, 2004 - 64 comments

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Wave of Outings hits Congress--Closet-cases running scared --being targeted are the closeted anti-gay members of Congress (and their staff), all a result of the Federal Marriage Amendment, due to come to a symbolic vote sometime before the election in November. More here, too: “We have accepted for far too long fellow gays who work for horribly anti-gay politicians and thus help those politicians bash our community,” Aravosis said. “It’s time we stopped tolerating this situation as normal. These people need, at the very least, to be confronted over their hypocrisy, and when we see them in public we ought to tell them we don’t approve.” And still more from Signorile
posted by amberglow on Jul 7, 2004 - 86 comments

Gerrymandering for ALL! And we are screwed!

Veith v. Jubelirer affirmed by the US Supreme Court
In a 5-4 opinion, the US Supreme Court upheld that gerrymandered Congressional districts are legal and overruled Davis v. Bandemer. Full opinions available. For a background on why this is a structural constitutional problem and why we should be worried about it, read Gerrymandering - "The Great Contradiction".
posted by plemeljr on Apr 28, 2004 - 19 comments

conspiracy theory 911

September 11th panel working to overcome conspiracy theories.
posted by thedailygrowl on Apr 25, 2004 - 33 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

HR 3077 - unprecedented federally mandated intrusion into the content and conduct of university-based area studies programmes.

HR 3077 - "unprecedented federally mandated intrusion into the content and conduct of university-based area studies programmes."

"There is a great deal at stake for American higher education and academic freedom. If HR 3077 becomes law - the Senate will review the bill next - it will create a board that monitors how closely universities reflect government policy. Since the legislation assumes that any flaw lies 'with the experts, not the policy', the government could be given the power to introduce politically sympathetic voices into the academic mainstream and to reshape the boundaries of academic inquiry. Institutional resistance would presumably be punished by the withdrawal of funds, which would be extremely damaging to Middle East centres especially."

you didn't have reason to call your congressperson tomorrow? you do now. frightening.

via the excellent openbrackets.com
posted by specialk420 on Apr 16, 2004 - 67 comments

I'm Mad As Hell

Why is C-Span downplaying the 9/11 Hearings? I don't even get C-Span 3 with my cable company. Is this a pattern?
posted by Domain Master 666 on Mar 24, 2004 - 21 comments

Supreme Court to be overruled by Act of Congress?

Supreme Court to be overruled by Act of Congress? H.R.3920 Title: To allow Congress to reverse the judgments of the United States Supreme Court. There's a bad moon risin', folks. I want to move to Canada.
posted by Dome-O-Rama on Mar 16, 2004 - 61 comments

Don't even tinkaboutit...

"Just consider what you're doing now. You don't want to have the freakin' president of the United States mad at you for the rest of your life...If you step off this cliff, gravity never goes up, it goes down." Those were the words of, Larry Telford, of the National Republican Congressional Committee threatening a Texas citizen who dared to run in the Republican primary for the US House of Representatives.
posted by EmoChild on Mar 9, 2004 - 23 comments

Where will we get the Congresscritters?

The Quorum After Ricin, anthrax, plane crashing into the Capital--there've been several serious threats to our Congresspeople in the last couple of years and, despite having a couple of bills introduced to rectify the matter, we still have no program in place to manage an emergency that deprives us of a quorum. Norman Ornstein explains (and though link is NYT, no babies required as payment). I know, I know, but it really does matter.
posted by billsaysthis on Feb 5, 2004 - 16 comments

And Metafilter too! Especially!

When does politics become treason? Lincoln did it...almost. Why shouldn't GW Bush follow suit ? The Neocon Case for Imprisoning and Executing Congressional War Opponents.: ' "Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged" - that's what President Abraham Lincoln said during the War Between the States. ' Right then. Where's the noose? Step this way, my traitorous friends. I'll flip ya' for first in line.
posted by troutfishing on Jan 18, 2004 - 49 comments

An offer he couldn't refuse...

Politics as usual?...if you're in the mafia, maybe. Pressuring [Republican Congressman] Nick Smith to vote for a Medicare reform bill, House GOP leaders threatened to support candidates running against Smith's son for Congress, Nick Smith said Monday. (via TPM)
posted by jpoulos on Nov 25, 2003 - 15 comments

Gunman Loose in The Capitol

A friend reports that she's in lockdown in her office at The Canon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. due to a man wielding a .38 pistol. The Canon House Office Building houses 1/3 of the members of the United States Congress. Offices are now being searched for the gunman. He is supposedly a shorter man with dark hair and white shirt. News first emerged of the gunman around an hour ago.
posted by ericrolph on Oct 30, 2003 - 32 comments

Folks, that's the news, and I am outta here

Sen. Dennis Miller, R-California
posted by Espoo2 on Oct 21, 2003 - 83 comments

Iraqi Freedom: You Break The War--You Pay For It.

Iraq Estimates Were Too Low, U.S. Admits
The White House acknowledged Monday that it substantially underestimated the cost of rebuilding Iraq and that even the additional $87 billion it was seeking from a wary Congress would fall far short of what is needed for postwar reconstruction. Administration officials said President Bush's emergency spending request - which would push the U.S. budget deficit above the half-trillion-dollar mark for the first time - still left a reconstruction funding gap of as much as $55 billion.
Reserve Tours Are Extended
With U.S. forces stretched thin in Iraq and the Bush administration still searching for additional international peacekeepers, the Army has ordered thousands of National Guard and Army Reserve forces in Iraq to extend their tours in the country to a year, months longer than many of the troops had anticipated, Army officials said yesterday.
$87,000,000,000 + $55,000,000,000=$142,000,000,000
One year tours for National Guard and Army Reservists
Hope you enjoyed your meal--here's your bill...
posted by y2karl on Sep 9, 2003 - 93 comments

Congress to bicyclists: get a car!

Congress to bicyclists: get a car! A new transportation appropriations bill would eliminate $600 million of annual federal funding for "transportation enhancements" (more info here), such as bike paths and walkways, while increasing funding for highways. Is this a proper reflection of U.S. transportation habits, or just a scheme to deprive alternate transportation of much-needed funding?
posted by jdroth on Jul 23, 2003 - 20 comments

Congress to Big Media: Not so fast

Congress to Big Media: Not so fast Debate in Congress is shifting as grassroots organizers put pressure on to override FCC ownership rule changes. Not that Fox is looking to buy MeFi anytime soon, but still, who wants to repeat what happened in Minot?
posted by drywall on Jul 23, 2003 - 6 comments

Congressman: Go home, you race

Old white Congressman tells black activist to get out of his state: "The people of Michigan have a simple message to you: go home and stay there. We do not need you stirring up trouble where none exists. Michiganders do not take kindly to your ignorant meddling in our affairs. We have no need for itinerant publicity seekers, non-resident troublemakers or self-aggrandizing out-of-state agitators." (pdf link -- emphasis added) You'd be forgiven for assuming this letter was written in 1965 from a southern segregationist to a civil rights activist. But the writer is actually the most senior Democrat in Congress, John Dingell, the activist is University of California Regent (and Affirmative Action opponent) Ward Connerly, and the letter was written July 6, 2003. It seems Dingell isn't happy with Connerly’s efforts to promote a Michigan ballot initiative outlawing the use of race as a factor in hiring and college admissions. But Connerly isn't one to just bow his head and shuffle back to Cali: "[T]he term arrogance does not begin to capture the essence of a United States Congressman advising an American citizen to refrain from participating in the affairs of his government. Ironically, your advice is the echo of southern segregationists who sought the comfort of states' rights to practice their discrimination against black Americans. Have you learned nothing about 'civil rights' from that horrible chapter in our nation's history?" [via Critical Mass]
posted by pardonyou? on Jul 22, 2003 - 59 comments

A Poli-Geek's Wet Dream

GWU's Encyclopedia to the 2003/2004 Election Cycle - I was impressed when I checked out "Democracy In Action", GWU's excellent breakdown of everything political in the 2003/2004 cycle. It features an excellent detailed comparison of Democratic presidential candidates (e.g., here's my personal fave) featuring their voting record, stances, finances, and organization. Also, you can understand how a candidate campaigns in NH or IA, see ads that were placed by interest groups, check out which member of congress has endorsed who, where all the staffers from the 2000 election are working now, -- you can even see who's on the Green Party's Presidential Exploritory Committee. Thanks, GWU -- I'll never be productive ever again!
posted by jennak on Jul 22, 2003 - 3 comments

Just say no... to P2P

Upload a File, Go to Prison. A new bill called the Author, Consumer and Computer Owner Protection and Security Act of 2003, or ACCOPS, proposed in US Congress on Wednesday would land a person in prison for five years and impose a fine of $250,000 for uploading a single file to a peer-to-peer network. The bill "clarifies" that uploading a single file of copyright content qualifies as a felony. Penalties for such an offense include up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. In addition, filming a movie in a theater without authorization would immediately qualify as a federal offense.
posted by riffola on Jul 18, 2003 - 36 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

tax cuts for everyone

A University, far away. Tens of thousands of U.S. students will lose most or all of their financial aid.
posted by plexi on Jul 18, 2003 - 15 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

The New Chosen

The New Chosen. After reading about six Congressmen living in unbelievably cheap housing owned by a religious organization called "The Fellowship Foundation" (or "The Fellowship" or "The Foundation") (via Fark), I became curious about the group. They sponsor the National Prayer Breakfast, but they'd rather you didn't know that - they go to great pains to give the impression that it's an official government function. (President Bush's remarks from 2002, and Rev. Rob Schenck's take on missing the same breakfast.) In March, Harper's Magazine ran Jeffrey Sharlet's first-person account on being a Fellowship neonate, in which he describes the group's organizational structure (which takes its clues from terrorists, Hitler, and the Mafia). In 2002 the Los Angeles Times published an examination of the Foundation's political activities (hosted at toobeautiful.org, which recounts an interesting episode in which three Congressmen, all Fellowship members, take the opportunity to proselytize to a foreign head of state while on official government business. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids on Apr 22, 2003 - 35 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

unfinished business even as we're all fired up about starting trouble in other places

"The United States Congress has stepped in to find nearly $300m in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in this latest budget."

So much for rebuilding Afghanistan.
posted by artifex on Feb 13, 2003 - 52 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

I'll throw in five bucks to the reward pot.

Hold your Congressman accountable and win $10,000! Site posts a reward for the “Eli Lilly Bandit.” [more]
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Dec 18, 2002 - 20 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

Third parties spoil elections for some guys trying to run for office. It seems that from reading CNN election results, some people were able to get votes while not running with a D or R. Some of the notables (not including Bernie Sanders (I-VT)) include Gary Richardson (I-OK) who might have cost Steve Largent the election, Tim Penny (I-MN) couldn't replace Jesse, Tom Golisano (I-NY) will need to try again in 2006, Jim Mahoney (I-AZ) fared well, Ed Thompson (Libertarian-WI) got over 10%, not bad for being Tommy Thompson's brother, the MT Senate results were (in order) Baucus/Teddy Roosevelt Look-a-like/Blue Guy/Green Guy and in the most dubious of all good news for Third Parties, Jim Traficant loses from behind bars but he got 15%, showing some people like their politicans imprisoned

Three cheers to the third parties!
posted by RobbieFal on Nov 6, 2002 - 34 comments

Data Archives from the American Presidency Project

Data Archives from the American Presidency Project Fascinating statistical data about a variety of subjects, and not just trivia either. Includes data, for example, about Congressional concurrence with the President, number of Presidential vetos, number of first-year requests, etc. Good information for acquiring an overall understanding of our current political situation.
posted by oissubke on Nov 6, 2002 - 6 comments

Recently, the armed forces announced that it would seek the approval of congress to begin recruiting non-citizens, specifically arabs, into the special forces. Seems reasonable enough, we all know the army is lacking native Arab speakers. Meanwhile, the Federal government is firing every non-citizen from their job as airport bag checkers (1200 in San Francisco alone - mostly Filipino). An interesting paradox in our war against terrorism? An unfortunate cost to enure security? A cruel injustice to working men and women? Who could do more damage, a Delta Force member, armed to the teeth and trained to kill acting as forward observer for air and artillery strikes? Or the guy checking your shaving kit?
posted by pejamo on Oct 29, 2002 - 20 comments

Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.

Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq. This is the text of the resolution to be voted on by the U.S. Congress.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Oct 2, 2002 - 61 comments

Republican Insider Hint #1: Apply foot to mouth and win. America ain't no democracy.

Republican Insider Hint #1: Apply foot to mouth and win. America ain't no democracy. Trent Lott on McDermott: "For him to be in Baghdad, the center of one of the most dangerous dictators in the world, with all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, to be questioning the veracity of our own American president, is the height of irresponsible," said Lott, R-Mississippi. "He needs to come home and keep his mouth shut." Yes, yes, we have three traitorous democratic congressmen in Baghdad presently, who are lobbying that government to allow the return of UN weapons inspectors.
posted by crasspastor on Sep 29, 2002 - 94 comments

An Open Letter to Congress

An Open Letter to Congress from the editors of The Nation. All the makings of a final plea.
posted by mooseindian on Sep 26, 2002 - 91 comments

Here's something that shouldn't be allowed to happen - The Congressional Medal of Honor Museum is threatened with closure.
posted by Pressed Rat on Sep 20, 2002 - 7 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

"They're already calling her the Weblog Candidate."

"They're already calling her the Weblog Candidate." Tara Grubb is running for Congress against P2P bill cosponsor Howard Coble. She has a weblog, and she's getting a lot of support from the weblog world.
posted by Buckley on Aug 24, 2002 - 28 comments

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