On Thursday September 19 2013, 217 Republican members of the House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 3102, a bill to push 3.8 million Americans into hunger, kicking them out of the food stamp program despite the fact that they are unemployed or underemployed. How much would the U.S. budget save by pushing 3.8 million [...]
Two and a half months ago, Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida used outrage at the unfolding NSA surveillance scandal to declare his intention to offer an amendment to an otherwise unrelated piece of legislation. That amendment would have ended the NSA’s massive collection of personally identifiable information without a direct connection to terrorism. The idea [...]
On Wednesday, Republicans in the Senate voted to double undergraduate student loan interest rates from 3.4% to 6.8%, making it more difficult for people to lift themselves out of economic struggle by earning a college degree.
One of the transformations associated with earning a college degree is decreased dependence on government services like SNAP, the [...]
This morning, the Twitterverse is filled with replicating messages of support for H.R. 2399, the self-titled “Libert-E” bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers and Rep. Justin Amash. Four typical Tweets:
Amash leads challenge to NSA surveillance with LIBERT-E act: http://wtim.es/11KVGSC
Action Alert: Stop NSA Snooping with the LIBERT-E Act http://wp.me/p2fInh-WJ
Thanks @repjohnconyers & @justinamash for [...]
Back in 2009, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas decided he’d had enough of Americans galavanting about, exhibiting the religion of their choice or no religion at all, willy-nilly, hither and thither, all around the town just as they saw fit. To correct this disturbing trend of religious pluralism. Rep. Gohmert introduced the Congressional Hope for [...]
It’s not about what you ate for breakfast: at its best, Twitter is a democratic news feed of sorts, serving up 140-character headlines written by whoever wants to write them, linking to longer, more informative articles written by journalists or citizens. Twitter feeds can subvert the story line supplied by the corporate-dominated news media. Last [...]
A month ago, I noted the apparently ironic declaration of the “Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus”:
The Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus was designed to educate Members of Congress and their staff on matter of individual privacy, to provide a forum for the discussion of these issues, and to serve as a legislative advocate for personal privacy [...]
Nope, the headline of this article isn’t clear to me either, and that’s the problem.
On Thursday of this week, the Senate quietly rolled back a new law that would have required senior government officials’ financial ties to industry to be posted to the Internet, where anyone could review them. There was no public debate. [...]
As time passes, the usefulness of the party labels “Democrat” and “Republican” as a reliable shorthand for policy preference seems to be falling away. Bipartisan coalitions for bills are there in the 113th Congress, if you look beyond the headlines for them.
Consider the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (also known as the “GPS Act”), [...]
Two congressional caucuses declare their interest in protecting Americans’ freedom from privacy invasions and liberty violations.
Bipartisan Privacy Caucus:
“The Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus was designed to educate Members of Congress and their staff on matter of indiviual privacy, to provide a forum for the discussion of these issues, and to serve as a legislative [...]
Time was, when you wanted to protect constitutional rights against unwarranted surveillance, search and seizure in America, you would look to Democrats in Congress. Sure, some conservative Blue Dog Democrats would vote to give the government Big Brother powers, but most Democrats weren’t like that. A majority of Democrats in the House voted against the [...]