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After Using Surveillance Outrage to Collect Personal Information, Alan Grayson Offers No Legislation

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 [...]

Congress Reassembles in the face of Secret Court and Secret Law. What will You Do about it?

Eric Lichtblau writes an article in Sunday’s New York Times that is worth reading because it provides detail on secret law and secret courts in America that President Barack Obama would rather you didn’t know. A FISA court of eleven justices, all appointed by the authoritarian Chief Justice John Roberts, have been authorizing massive warrantless [...]

Surprise: Cosponsors of Anti-Surveillance Civil Liberty Bill are 86% Republican

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 [...]

Do Cosponsors of the June 24 DC March Against Torture Actually Promote the Event?

A national march in Washington DC against Torture on June 24 2012 is said to be cosponsored by 28 social movement organizations. Cosponsorship denotes support, and the very least an organization could do to support an event is to promote it. Perhaps the simplest, lowest-cost way for a social movement organization to support this DC [...]

2 Republicans Join 35 Democrats on H.R. 4192, Bill to Overturn Indefinite Detention

On restoring constitutional rights, bipartisanship is only MOSTLY dead. Quick, someone fetch a chocolate-covered nut. [...]

4 Representatives Add End of Year Momentum to Credit Card Bill in Congress

This week, four more representatives in the House added their formal support to H.R. 4300, a bill that would cap credit card interest rates at an annual interest rate of 16%. They are:

Rep. Marcia Fudge [Ohio District 11] Rep. Michael Honda [California District 15] Rep. Thomas Perriello [Virginia District 5] Rep. James Moran [Virginia [...]

Senators Who Voted Against FISA But Aren't Supporting FISA Reform

S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act, is a bill that would begin to undo the damage to civil liberty wrought by the USA Patriot ACT and the FISA Amendments Act. The bill, introduced last week by Senator Russell Feingold, adds a number of checks on executive power: S. 1686, if passed, would:

* Restrict information collected [...]

Senators Who Voted Against FISA But Aren’t Supporting FISA Reform

S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act, is a bill that would begin to undo the damage to civil liberty wrought by the USA Patriot ACT and the FISA Amendments Act. The bill, introduced last week by Senator Russell Feingold, adds a number of checks on executive power: S. 1686, if passed, would:

* Restrict information collected [...]

Even the Congressional Progressive Caucus Isn't That Progressive

Back in March of this year, articles at Irregular Times and That’s My Congress assessed the progressive record of members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. We were surprised to find that fewer than half of the more than 70 CPC members had acted progressively in regard to so much as half of the slate of [...]

Is Your Democratic Senator in Favor of Anti-Gay Discrimination?

It’s a reasonable question to ask as we review the list of cosponsors of S. 1584, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. If passed, this bill would outlaw anti-gay workplace discrimination in hiring and promotions, and would also prohibit discriminatory behavior against union members and leaders on account of their sexual orientation.

This bill is worthy of [...]

Maine Legislative Database: Cranky and Untrackable for Analysis

I had always thought that the Thomas database of U.S. Congressional behavior was cranky. If I search for a bill, for example, the search results don’t provide permanent links to the bills in question. These permanent links exist, so that would be possible for Thomas to do for me. But no, they provide temporary links [...]