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It Was National Children and Families Day. Who Knew?

Did you know that Saturday, June 27 was National Children and Families Day?

I didn’t know. None of the news media knew, either. A news search for “National Children and Families Day” produces no media mentions in the month of June, 2009. There are no news media reports regarding “National Children and Families Day” at [...]

Feingold Fails “Few Weeks” FISA Followup. Fight Fizzles.

Number of weeks since Senator Russell Feingold told activist Ben Masel that he’d give President Obama “a few weeks” to roll out a proposal to reform warrantless wiretapping under FISA, then introduce his own FISA reform bill: Eight

Number of Obama administration proposals to reform FISA rolled out since then: Zero

Number of bills introduced [...]

Feingold Fails "Few Weeks" FISA Followup. Fight Fizzles.

Number of weeks since Senator Russell Feingold told activist Ben Masel that he’d give President Obama “a few weeks” to roll out a proposal to reform warrantless wiretapping under FISA, then introduce his own FISA reform bill: Eight

Number of Obama administration proposals to reform FISA rolled out since then: Zero

Number of bills introduced [...]

For Torture and Surveillance Commission via H.R. 104, Target The Congressional Progressive Caucus

H.R. 104, a bill to create an independent investigative commission on U.S. practices of torture and warrantless surveillance, has got some momentum, gaining 14 new cosponsors in recent days. But in order for H.R. 104 to be moved to the floor of the House for consideration, indication of support for it through cosponsorship needs to [...]

Listen in as Maine Debates Same-Sex Marriage

Today, the Maine State Legislature is holding hearings on LD 1020, a bill “To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom.”

The hearings are going on, right now, and all Mainers have been invited to testify. Listen in here.

Senate Quietly and Unanimously Passes Legislation Preventing Changes to FISA Amendments Act or Patriot Act

Last June, the U.S. Senate was poised to pass the FISA Amendments Act (full text here) — a bill that made permanent the warrantless surveillance system enacted by 2007’s Protect America Act, adding on legal immunity for any past spying on Americans without a warrant. In the course of considering the FISA Amendments Act, a [...]

41 Do Nothing Members of the U.S. Congress (4-6-2009)

Nothing? Nothing, tra la la? For the upset campaign aides and PR officials out there, let me fully acknowledge that the members of Congress listed below have surely done something. They have undoubtedly purchased office supplies. They may have hired staffers to help out with Aunt Lucinda’s passport application. I’m sure they’ve showed up to [...]

8 Republicans Try to Stop Kids from Saying the Pledge of Allegiance

Last year, 15 Republicans in the House of Representatives did their darndest to stop kids at public schools from saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Yes, Republicans opposed the speaking of the Pledge of Allegiance.

These Republicans issued a threat in their bill, H.R. 6783: if a school mandates or even just permits the Pledge of [...]

Congressional Network: Populist Caucus as of March 11, 2009

Below you can review a video representation of the congressional network of one of the newest caucuses in the House of Representatives, the Populist Caucus. This network video shows ties of varying strength between members of the Populist Caucus, using data current as of March 11, 2009.

The blue blocks you see represent the [...]

Political Networks in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, March 2009

Yesterday, we considered the progressive record of the Congressional Progressive Caucus so far this year on a substantive basis, both in reference to an index of opportunities for progressive action in the House of Representatives of the 111th Congress and in comparison to a new Populist Caucus that is working on an economic subset of [...]

101 Do Nothing Members of the United States Congress (3-2-2009)

As of today, 101 members of the 111th Congress of the United States have the dubious dishonor of not having introduced a single bill for consideration.

Let me be clear about what I mean by this. When I last reported on inactivity in the Congress two weeks ago, someone (a staffer?) gave me a hard [...]