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What If The NSA Was Treated Like The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

Yesterday, a coalition of Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a series of bills (H.R. 4315, H.R. 4316, H.R. 4317, H.R. 4318, and H.R. 4319) that would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to increase the transparency of its already open process by:

publishing on the Internet the basis of the [...]

Asking a Third Time for Americans Elect’s 2011 Form 990

The Internal Revenue Service grants every American the right to examine the public records of the corporations that have been granted a public charter. The IRS requires that the Form 990 annual report of any Section 501(c) corporation be delivered within 30 days of a written request, whether that request has been made by e-mail [...]

New Sanctions Against Iran Smelling Very Oily

It’s not strictly true to say that the sanctions against Iran are not working. They’re working very well for the executives and wealthy investors whose fortunes are connected to the price of a barrel of oil. [...]

After 1060 days in Office, Obama finally nominates full membership for Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

1077 days ago, Barack Obama took his Oath of Office as President of the United States of America, solemnly swearing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” As President, one of the ways that Barack Obama is supposed to do that is to nominate five members of a Privacy and Civil [...]

Roll Call Accountability Time: Tea Party Senators and the Patriot Act (Feb. 2011)

15 Members of the U.S. Senate have a verifiable connection to the Tea Party, gaining a campaign boost by participating in the Tea Party Caucus or getting an endorsement from Tea Party Express or FreedomWorks in the 2010 elections. Each of these organizations has made a public stand against the intrusiveness of “big government” and [...]

Slick Surprise Senate Roll Call: Senate Passes Patriot Act 86-12 on 2/15

Boom. Just like that, with hardly any notice at all and no significant public debate, the U.S. Senate has passed a reauthorization of the Patriot Act by a margin of 86-12. Patriot Act powers, which are almost always used for reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism, permit surveillance, search and seizure without probable [...]

Tea Party Roll Call Voting Record on Final Passage of the Patriot Act, 2-14-2011

On February 14, after a series of initial votes, members of the Tea Party in Congress had one last chance to reject Big Government surveillance programs, searches and seizures without probable cause — practices forbidden by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution they swore to uphold.

Tea Party members of Congress are identified here from [...]

Anarchists for Accountability in Contracting

To follow up on Truman’s sad observation that Hawai’i for Democracy has been converted into a credit card advertisement, allow me to note a more quick and abrupt transformation. Comeout2009.org, the website that three short weeks ago was calling for an anarchist protest of the inauguration of Barack Obama with language like this:

Bankers and [...]

How To Spend 50 Billion on Transportation Without Moving At All

Given the lack of direction in the Build America Bonds Act, this transportation bill ought to end up going nowhere. [...]

Absolutely No Reform or Accountability in Bush Bailout

Section 3 is where these regulatory reforms and enforcement of accountability ought to be included. Yet, there’s not really anything there. Section 3 merely states that the Secretary of the Treasury will “consider” protecting taxpayers from the consequences of Wall Street’s gross ineptitude. [...]