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Bambi v. Godzilla

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Posted on Jun 19, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / kathleencaring

Republicans Make War on the Environment

The U.S. is caught up in three wars, a budget crisis and high unemployment. So what are Republican politicians working on? Cutting long-standing environmental regulations and shifting the burden of oversight from the federal to the state level.

Posted on Apr 16, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Dan Edelstein

House Blocks Funds for FCC Net Neutrality Rules

House Republicans have succeeding in amending a spending bill to deny the FCC money to implement new (and heavily gutted) network neutrality regulations. That’s right: banning a government agency from using government money to do government work.

Posted on Feb 18, 2011 READ MORE



flnd.uscourts.gov

Another Federal Judge Challenges Health Care Law

On Monday, another federal judge from our nation’s south made a bid to squelch President Obama’s big health care win from last year by arguing that the mandatory health insurance component of the law makes the whole thing unconstitutional.

Posted on Jan 31, 2011 READ MORE


For-Profit Schools Sue to Stop Reforms

For-profit schools, some of which are accused of failing to properly educate while loading students with debt, have banded together to fight the introduction of three federal reforms.

Posted on Jan 21, 2011 READ MORE


Obama Wants to Put Federal Workers’ Wages on Ice

In his latest bid to chip away at our nation’s trillion-dollar deficit, President Obama announced a new proposal Monday to freeze civilian federal employees’ salaries for the next two years, pointing to the need for all Americans to “sacrifice” ...

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Rosie O'Beirne

GSA Workers Alerted Over ID Leak

In a “how in the world can this happen” moment, federal employees have been put on alert after it was discovered that a worker at the General Services Administration sent the names and Social Security numbers of the agency’s entire staff to a private e-mail address, exposing 12,000 people to the threat of identity theft.

Posted on Nov 7, 2010 READ MORE


Arizona protesters
AP / Ralph Freso

Why U.S. v. Arizona Matters

Some metrics drawn from football metaphors might help to convey more clearly the magnitude of Judge Bolton’s ruling. If a lawsuit was scored like a football game, the score might be of this magnitude: United States 48, Arizona 6.   

Posted on Aug 6, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Department of Justice

Justice Dept. to Challenge Arizona Law

The Justice Department, as expected, has decided to file a lawsuit seeking to shut down Arizona’s SB 1070, a move that is likely to launch immigration even further into this year’s election debate as conservatives rally around anti-immigrant sentiment in scrounging for votes.

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 READ MORE


Benjamins
Wikimedia Commons/Revisorweb

U.S. Budget Deficit Climbs to Over $1 Trillion

America’s spend-a-thon has brought some inevitable consequences, not the least being that we now are looking at a federal budget deficit of more than $1 trillion for the first time ever, and that number is projected to nearly double by October.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


military tribunal
AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Again With the Military Tribunals

Funny how declarations made in the heat of campaign season can be later forgotten by our nation’s elected officials. President Obama continued to do the reversal cha-cha late into the week with his decision to take up the very military tribunals he had sharply criticized before taking office.

Posted on May 14, 2009 READ MORE


drivers' license
secureidnews.com

States Revolt Against ID Law

The Real ID Act of 2005 requires all states to meet a national standard for identification cards and participate in a shared database, but some have objected, citing privacy and budget concerns. Maine has led the charge of about a dozen states that may pass laws objecting to and opting out of the federal mandate.

Posted on Feb 4, 2007 READ MORE


FBI Unable to Attract Arabic Speakers

According to new FBI statistics, of the bureau’s 12,000 agents, only 33 speak even minimally functional Arabic.  It gets worse: Of the 33, none work on international terrorism.
(h/t: Think Progress)

Posted on Oct 11, 2006 READ MORE


The FDA has approved the use of certain viruses in food
Illustration by Peter Scheer

Because Hot Dogs Didn’t Have Enough Strange Ingredients

The FDA has approved the use of a group of viruses as a food additive for ready-to-eat meat products, such as hot dogs and cold cuts.  Companies that use the additive will not be required to inform consumers.

Posted on Aug 20, 2006 READ MORE


AP Exposes ‘Reverse Robin Hood’ Degenerates

From the AP: “The federal program that provides legal help to poor Americans turns away half of its applicants for lack of resources. But that hasn’t stopped its executives from lavishing expensive meals, chauffeur-driven cars and foreign trips on themselves.”

Posted on Aug 14, 2006 READ MORE


While Feds Stall, Locals Tackle Big Issues

In the face of stagnant federal policy, more and more localities have adopted their own measures to address the environment, stem-cell research and immigration.  Impatient for action from deadlocked Washington, cities and states have increasingly crafted their own policies regarding the major issues of the day, even reaching out to foreign leaders.

Posted on Aug 11, 2006 READ MORE


Lobbyists Fund Local Needs Through Earmark Appropriations

More and more towns are putting lobbyists on the payroll to tap federal tax money through earmarks (those special appropriations that make their way into omnibus bills in Congress). According to the NYT, “since 1998, the number of public entities hiring private firms to represent them in Washington has nearly doubled to 1,421 from 763.” Bridges, roads, walkways, pedestrian crosswalks… cities and towns are finding that a little bit of lobbying can go a long way.

Posted on Jul 2, 2006 READ MORE


Feds Getting Phone Data Without Warrants

Officials from the Dept. of Homeland Security and the FBI are paying private data brokers to gather personal phone record information—circumventing the need to obtain warrants for such data.

  • It’s ironic that some federal agents are availing themselves of this potentially illegal service; other federal agents (from the FCC) are already investigating the practice. See “Feds Probe Sale of Private Phone Records”
  • And earlier: All Your Phone Call Records Are for Sale, Cheap

  • Posted on Jun 20, 2006 READ MORE


    FCC TV
    From the Free Press

    FCC Probing Fake-News Broadcasts

    Federal authorities are investigating dozens of TV stations for running “faux news broadcasts” made by government agencies and corporations. (Via Huff Po.)
    Earlier: See the report that kick-started the investigation.

    Posted on May 29, 2006 READ MORE


    Forever Pregnant

    Salon writer Rebecca Traister sounds off on new “Orwellian” federal guidelines that treat all women as pre-pregnant—regardless of whether or not they plan on being so any time soon. “Healthcare authorities,” she writes, are “letting you know why your health as a woman really matters”—i.e. as baby incubators.

  • Salon link (reg. req’d)
  • Washington Post story
  •  

    Posted on May 16, 2006 READ MORE


    Jack Abramoff
    From us.altermedia.info

    Abramoff Gets Almost Six Years in Prison

    The disgraced lobbyist and a business partner get five years and 10 months on fraud charges—the minimum they faced. Abramoff faces more jail time in connection with a corruption probe.

    Posted on Mar 29, 2006 READ MORE


    military_campus_recruiting_protests
    From indybay.org

    Supreme Court Upholds Campus Military Recruiting

    Colleges and universities that accept federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, even in the face of the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay people. John Roberts wrote the 8-0 opinion.

    Posted on Mar 6, 2006 READ MORE


    Family Savings Look Scary Across the Board

    The Federal Reserve finds that the average family has only about $3,800 in the bank, no retirement account and no stocks or bonds, and can’t pay off a $2,200 credit card balance.
    Pretty grim…. But don’t fear. Tax cuts for the rich will make everything all better.

    Posted on Mar 5, 2006 READ MORE


    Bush Plan Would Raise Deficit by $1.2 Trillion

    But this total does not include money for some relatively small costs—like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after this year.

    Posted on Mar 4, 2006 READ MORE


    Court Sides With Abortion Protesters

    The Supreme Court ruling had nothing to do with the underlying issue of abortion. Rather, the court ruled that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to ban demonstrations. (Alito, by the way, sat this one out.)

    Posted on Feb 28, 2006 READ MORE


    Abramoff Ties to Russians Probed

    The federal government is examining lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s dealings with Russian energy executives, reports the Boston Globe. This is a scandal that could involve billions (not millions) of dollars.

    Posted on Feb 23, 2006 READ MORE



    From crooksandliars.com

    Bush Sneaks Social Security Privatization Into Budget

    The president put in the $700-billion proposal without announcement or fanfare. | story
    Perhaps he thought no one would notice? Maybe he missed the standing ovation Democrats gave the sinking of that scheme during his State of the Union speech? | video 

    Posted on Feb 9, 2006 READ MORE


    Did Bush Kick the Abramoff Prosecutor Upstairs?

    The president has removed the chief prosecutor investigating the Jack Abramoff case. How? By nominating him to a federal judgeship. | story
    Democrats find the move so suspicious that they are calling for a special prosecutor in the corruption case.

     

    Posted on Jan 27, 2006 READ MORE


    Bush Makes Internet Annoyance a Federal Crime, CNET Reports

    Under a new law, it is illegal to anonymously send a message via the Internet that annoys its recipient. | story
    This interpretation has its critics: here or here.

    Posted on Jan 9, 2006 READ MORE


    Disgraced Congressman ‘Wore a Wire’

    Ex-GOP Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham went undercover to implicate others before copping a plea. | more

    Posted on Jan 6, 2006 READ MORE


    Rhode Island Legalizes Medical Marijuana

    It is the 11th state to do so, but users can still be prosecuted under federal law. more

    Posted on Jan 4, 2006 READ MORE


    Intelligent Ruling on Intelligent Design

    It’s good to know that some of our judges are standing up to the fundamentalists. A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled today that a public school district can’t require the inclusion of “intelligent design” in biology classes as an alternative to evolution. See story.

    Posted on Dec 20, 2005 READ MORE


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