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Tag: Congress

Struggling Economy Deters Working Women

The percentage of women in their prime earning years who work has gone down, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers cut across demographics, and have more to do with a sluggish economy and a lack of opportunity than a rekindled interest in child rearing. As one congressional economist told The New York Times, “A woman gets laid off and she stays home for six months with her kids. ... She doesn’t admit that she is staying home because she could not get another acceptable job.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Bush Angling to Help Fannie and Freddie

President Bush is still insisting that the U.S. economy is in generally good shape, even as he asks Congress to support legislation to help Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while insisting in the same breath that he’s not proposing a “bailout” for the ailing mortgage companies. Hmmm.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / ccgd

Bush Lifts Drilling Ban

In keeping with his image, the president made a lot of noise on Monday while accomplishing absolutely nothing. In keeping with theirs, the Democrats condemned the president while making plans to roll over. George W. Bush lifted an executive oil drilling ban, but a national moratorium remains in place. The hot air, meanwhile, is getting to the Democrats, some of whom chastised the president while others worked up one of their famous compromises.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


Constitutional Compromise

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Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


Fannie Mae
foreclosurewearhouse.com

The Rise and Fall of Fannie and Freddie

Although certain Washington denizens from both sides of the aisle might have been thrown when the two government-backed mortgage finance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hit the skids last week, several of their current and former colleagues had long seen the crisis coming.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE



Chris Hedges: ‘Stop the New FISA’

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges warns in an L.A. Times Op-Ed that “If the sweeping surveillance law signed by President Bush on Thursday—giving the U.S. government nearly unchecked authority to eavesdrop on the phone calls and e-mails of innocent Americans—is allowed to stand, we will have eroded one of the most important bulwarks to a free press and an open society.”

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Case Closed

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Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE


Federal Reserve building
Flickr / wwarby

Fed Forecasts Economic Gloom

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expects America’s economic struggles to continue well into next year and has asked Congress to expand his regulatory powers. Lawmakers are unlikely to fulfill his request any time soon. Bernanke also suggested that the Fed could continue to bail out investment banks.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Pelosi and Congress members
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Congressional Approval Rating Falls to 9%

President Bush hasn’t exactly been basking in the glow of Americans’ approval recently, according to those all-important poll numbers, and now he’s got some company at the bottom of the barrel. Rasmussen Reports finds that just 9 percent of American voters think Congress is doing a bang-up job, and the numbers fall even lower for respondents who don’t identify as either Republicans or Democrats.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Cheney
commons.wikimedia.org / NASA

Official Says Cheney Pushed EPA Censorship

A former EPA official alleged Tuesday that the vice president’s office influenced congressional testimony about the public health effects of climate change. Last October, it was revealed that six of 14 pages of the proposed testimony of the director of the Centers for Disease Control were deleted because so many references to global warming had been cut.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo /J im Cole

Playing Down the Middle

Politics is a cruel and disappointing business. This year, Democratic liberals gambled on a young man who offered hope and change. But after those wondrous primary days, they are furious over Sen. Barack Obama’s understandable effort to reach out to an electorate that is, and long has been, planted firmly in the middle of the road.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



antiwar.com

Daniel Ellsberg’s Guide to FISA

What’s the big deal about the new FISA “compromise”? Simply put, it legitimizes warrantless spying on Americans while papering over one of George W. Bush’s worst abuses. Daniel Ellsberg would like your help in stopping it, provided you can set aside 60 seconds of your Monday.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Congress' Backbone
jumpcut.com / anselpixel2

Congress’ Missing Backbone

After doing everything but follow the overwhelming anti-war mandate given by voters in the 2006 congressional elections, the Democratic-controlled Congress accepted a war bill late Thursday that will keep U.S. troops in Iraq until at least Jan. 20.

Posted on Jun 27, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
Flickr / seiu_international

Clinton Gets Back to Business

Hillary Clinton went back to work Tuesday “with an even greater depth and awareness of what we have to do here in Washington,” she said. The senator was greeted at the Capitol by a cheering crowd on her first return since losing the nomination.

Posted on Jun 24, 2008 READ MORE


eavesdropper
itpsites.com

House Lets Telecoms Off the Hook

If there was one word that summed up the political tenor of the Bush II presidency, it definitely wouldn’t be accountability. On Friday, this was once again made clear as the House of Representatives passed a bill granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that allowed their networks to be used by the government to eavesdrop on Americans following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

Posted on Jun 20, 2008 READ MORE


McClellan
defectiveyeti.com

McClellan Testifies, Sells More Books

The most recent stop in former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s book tour was Capitol Hill, where he testified about his own participation in the Valerie Plame affair and the involvement of both Bush and Cheney in attempting to cover up the treasonous tracks of 2007 felon of the year Scooter Libby.

Posted on Jun 20, 2008 READ MORE


FISA Deal: Compromise or Capitulation?

Democrats and Republicans cut a deal in Congress on Thursday to rewrite controversial surveillance legislation. It’s being billed as a compromise, but civil rights advocates are groaning over concessions including virtual immunity for telecommunications companies and the ability to spy on Americans without a warrant.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
bbc.co.uk

Bush: Lift the Ban on Offshore Drilling

President Bush called for a speedy end to the ban on offshore oil drilling in American coastal waters Wednesday, chiding his congressional challengers by declaring that there’s “no excuse for delay” in lifting the “outdated and counterproductive” restrictions. However, some of his political opponents on this issue, like California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, are giving him heat from his own side of the political aisle.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE


KC-45/30
Northrop Grumman

Boeing Gains Ally in Tanker Battle

Boeing has friends in high places, as evidenced by the congressional Government Accountability Office siding Wednesday with the U.S. aviation giant in a protest against a multibillion-dollar refueling tanker contract that was awarded earlier this year to a U.S.-Europe team.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Obama
AP photo / Dennis Cook

The Vice Presidency: Hype and Flourishes

For two centuries, selecting vice presidential candidates was at best a mere afterthought. Hardly anyone knew of the process, if indeed one existed aside from a brief huddle by the presidential candidate with a few advisers and friends. The presidential nominees usually settled on lesser-known figures, deserved obscurities in American history.

Posted on Jun 15, 2008 READ MORE


Pork Barrel
joezuikerforcongress.com

Congress’ Second Helping

Pork, as in earmarks, not as in pig, is again in vogue this political season only a year after a 2007 congressional promise to curb what some call wasteful spending in politicians’ home districts. At the top of the earmarking ladder is the defense authorization bill (read military-industrial complex), which saw a 29 percent increase in district spending since 2007.

Posted on Jun 13, 2008 READ MORE


Kucinich Tilts at Impeachment

You cannot find a more complete and compelling indictment of the Bush administration than the Ohio representative has presented in his 35 articles of impeachment.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


oil barrels
Flickr / XcBiker

Senate Blocks Oil Tax

Forty-one Senate Republicans stayed in lock step with the oil industry Tuesday as record gas prices have big oil rolling in profits at consumers’ expense. Even as they face another tough election, Republicans in Congress refused to allow a tax on oil companies’ “unreasonable” revenue.

Posted on Jun 10, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Florida Co-Chair Says Yes to Impeachment

Rep. Dennis Kucinich filed articles of impeachment against President Bush this week, and he already has a taker: Barack Obama’s Florida campaign co-chair, Rep. Robert Wexler. According to Wexler: “A decision by Congress to pursue impeachment is not an option, it is a sworn duty. It is time for Congress to stand up and defend the Constitution against the blatant violations and illegalities of this Administration.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2008 READ MORE


Firing Congress

In 225 days, at least one high-ranking politician will become unemployed. How many will join President Bush in retirement?

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Jeff Chiu

What Makes McCain Tick?

Will the real John McCain stand up? Actually, I don’t expect him to, now that he is the Republican presidential candidate, pandering to the irrationalities that drive his party. Nor is it likely that the fawning mass media will pressure him to the point of clarity. But I remain genuinely confused as to what makes him tick.

Posted on Jun 3, 2008 READ MORE


Kennedy
senate.gov

Kennedy Said to Prefer Wife as Successor

The New York Daily News is reporting that Ted Kennedy wants his wife, Vicki, to succeed him in Congress. Although the lion of the Senate retains his post, his recent cancer diagnosis has many speculating as to who will eventually take the seat once held by John F. Kennedy. Ted, it seems, has an answer.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Shocking Discovery

Perhaps the senator hasn’t been paying attention for the past few decades, for he somehow seems to have surrounded himself with exactly the kind of Washington hustlers he professes to despise.

Posted on May 21, 2008 READ MORE


Issa and Waxman

Henry ‘the Hammer’ Waxman Shows Issa Who’s Boss

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson got the oversight chairman’s blood going by refusing to answer a straightforward question, but it was fellow Congressman Darrell Issa who sent Waxman’s gavel flying. The best part about being chairman is you get to say: “I will have you physically removed from this meeting if you don’t stop.”

Posted on May 21, 2008 READ MORE


Iowa Farm Autumn
flickr.com

Bush Vetoes Farm Bill

Without batting an ironic eye, President Bush has vetoed a $289-billion farm bill, claiming the legislation gives too much money to wealthy farmers. The bill includes steps to spur biofuel use and would expand nutrition programs to help poor Americans buy food. The Democratic Congress is expected to override the veto.

Posted on May 21, 2008 READ MORE


for sale sign
Flickr / sfadden

Senate Slogs Through Housing Bill

Leading senators think they have made a bipartisan breakthrough on legislation aimed at the mortgage crisis. A parallel effort in the House met with Republican opposition, and it’s not entirely clear where President Bush and his veto pen stand on the matter.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


Chiroux
breitbart.tv

U.S. Sergeant Refuses to Serve in ‘Illegal’ War

On Thursday, a group of U.S. soldiers spoke before members of Congress about the failings of the Iraq war and the immeasurable toll it has taken on Iraqis and American troops. Afterward, Sgt. Matthis Chiroux announced that he is refusing to serve in Iraq.

Posted on May 16, 2008 READ MORE


Jamie Leigh Jones
abcnews.com

Halliburton Now Facing Rape Lawsuit Trial

For some time, it looked like former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones, who claims she was gang-raped by co-workers over two years ago in Baghdad’s Green Zone, would be forced by KBR into private arbitration proceedings (read: no public record, corporation often has upper hand).

Posted on May 11, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Weather Balloon

The first important election result for the senator in May—coming before his North Carolina victory—was the outcome of a little-noticed U.S. House contest in Louisiana.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

The Pentagon vs. America

Former Marine and U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter has spoken out vehemently against the war, so it surprises some that he still embraces military service. In this article, Ritter explains why opposition to a war doesn’t mean lack of patriotism or a failure to “support the troops” and the services in which they serve.

Posted on May 5, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
blogs.trb.com

Bush Passes the Buck

Why is it that the U.S. economy is on a serious downswing? Could it be that we’re in the midst of a super-expensive war with little sign of scaling down in the near future that has jacked up oil prices to new heights and strained the federal budget? According to Bush, he’d have worked out our economic woes if it weren’t for those meddling congressional Democrats.

Posted on Apr 29, 2008 READ MORE


MIR report

Syria: Nukes or Peace?

This past week, Syria made headlines not once but twice. One story implicates the country in enriching uranium and says that the CIA confirmed to Congress that the target of a mysterious Israeli air raid in northern Syria on Sept. 6, 2007, was a reactor built with North Korean help.

Posted on Apr 27, 2008 READ MORE


Cindy Sheehan
time.com

Cindy Sheehan Makes Bid for Pelosi’s House Seat

It’s not going to be an easy campaign, but anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan has made good on her pledge to try to take over Nancy Pelosi’s congressional seat this fall. Sheehan filed Friday to run for the House in Pelosi’s San Francisco district—but she has to collect over 10,000 signatures before she can make her bid official.

Posted on Apr 25, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
boston.com

Bush Ready to Stimulate America

President Bush announced that rebate checks will start winging their way to taxpayers as early as Monday, helpfully observing that Americans need a little help paying for necessities like groceries and gas during this economic “slowdown”—a slightly different story from his initial justification for this economic stimulus plan, and one that wasn’t lost on his critics.

Posted on Apr 25, 2008 READ MORE


Iraqi refugees

Mosaic: What Petraeus Didn’t Tell Us

The latest “Mosaic Intelligence Report” takes a look at the “massive humanitarian crisis” that Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker failed to address in their update meetings with Congress about the Iraq war.

Posted on Apr 12, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Dan Heaton

Border Barrier Evades Green Laws

The Department of Homeland Security has received approval from Congress to ignore dozens of environmental laws in order to construct a 670-mile border fence. Environmentalists are worried about the impact the project could have on endangered species, and several property owners have attempted to obstruct the construction process.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE


Sadr Cuts a Deal

Moqtada al-Sadr, after reaching an agreement with several Iraqi officials, has ordered his followers to stop fighting. Basra has reportedly quieted, but fighting continued in Baghdad despite the announcement. Underscoring Iran’s influence over the affairs of its neighbor, the deal was apparently brokered by the head of Iran’s Quds force, which the U.S. Congress has branded a terrorist organization.

Posted on Mar 30, 2008 READ MORE


Kevorkian
AP photo / Paul Saneya

Kevorkian Sets Sights on Congress

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, whose controversial work as a euthanasia advocate earned him both the nickname “Dr. Death” and time in the slammer, has a new crusade: to win a seat in Congress. Stranger things have been known to happen in American politics.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 READ MORE


Kevin Martin
blogspot.com

FCC Cashes In on Spectrum Auction

After two months and 261 rounds of bidding, the FCC announced Tuesday that it has raised a total of $19.6 billion from the sale of the U.S. wireless spectrum. The revenue, slated to fund “public safety and digital television transition initiatives,” is nearly double what Congress had previously estimated for the publicly owned spectrum.

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 READ MORE


Capitol Closed Doors
boston.com

Congress Holds Sensory-Deprived Session

At the request of House Republicans, Congress on Thursday held a closed-door session to debate the FISA warrantless eavesdropping bill. The last time a closed-door session occurred was in 1983, when lawmakers convened in secret to discuss clandestine U.S. support of Contra paramilitaries in Nicaragua.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008 READ MORE


capital building
aoc.gov

Back to Work

All three presidential candidates are scheduled to be back in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. A Republican senator has proposed a yearlong ban on earmarks and, shocking though it may seem, John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are apparently on board with the idea. Their colleagues in the Senate, however, are somewhat less enthusiastic.

Posted on Mar 13, 2008 READ MORE


waterboarding protest
AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Waterboarding, ‘Harsh’ Techniques OK by Bush

The reputation of the U.S. on the world stage might be further colored by President Bush’s veto of a bill that would have limited the CIA’s (and other intelligence agencies’) array of interrogation techniques to those in the Army field manual. In defending Saturday’s veto, Bush once again invoked 9/11.

Posted on Mar 8, 2008 READ MORE


farm
international.wi.gov

Farm Bill Brings the Bacon

What has the power to unite progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans? According to a compelling article in the San Francisco Chronicle, agribusiness is having its way in Congress, even getting Democrats to cut food stamps to make room for subsidies.

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


Sad Uncle Sam

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Posted on Feb 17, 2008 READ MORE


Mexican Border Fence
Powell

Legalize the ‘Illegals’

“This is a moment of truth for America. It is time to acknowledge that we need the immigrant workers as much as they need us, and to begin to treat them with the respect they deserve.”

Posted on Mar 28, 2006 READ MORE


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