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Al Franken: At the Start, he's Senator Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

Without the responsibility of attending committee meetings or hearings over the past six months, without any ceremonial duties to attend to, and with the responsibility of his lawsuits to gain office delegated to his lawyers, Al Franken has had a lot of time on his hands… certainly a lot more time than any other member [...]

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 [...]

Who Follows John Murtha on Military Bills? Magliocchettites?

To date, Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania has been a central congressional figure in the FBI’s investigative hairs this year: Murtha is suspected of doling out military contracts in the form of earmarks to the clients of lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, in exchange for campaign contributions to Murtha from Magliocchetti, his family, his employees and his [...]

Are Congressional Recipients of Magliocchetti Largesse Acting on the Basis of Pre-Existing Policy Preference, Or…?

As federal investigators prepare to shift the focus their latest probe of military contracting corruption to Capitol Hill, it’s worth considering what investigators might be looking for. The power players are set: Paul Magliochetti, his PMA Group lobbying firm, his family of donation clones and the members of Congress who received and doled out largesse. [...]

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 [...]

Congress' Progressive Caucus Characterized by Varying Lassitude

Although the Congressional Progressive Caucus has developed a reputation as a take-no-prisoners group in the House of Representatives, organized and relentless in its pursuit of radical legislation, the reputation doesn’t match reality. A look at the record of the Progressive Caucus shows wide variation among members in the level of support for both particular bills [...]

Cosponsorship Networks in the U.S. Senate as of March 1, 2009

Cosponsorship, the act of registering one’s name as an official supporter of a bill, is a common activity in the United States Senate. Although the 111th Congress is less than two months old, 1753 cosponsorships for 495 Senate Bills and 11 Senate Joint Resolutions have been officially registered. That’s an average of 3 cosponsorships per [...]

Partisanship, Activism and Cosponsorship in the 111th Congress

Over at That’s My Congress, we’ve just posted some results of multiple regression analysis predicting the number of bills a member of Congress has cosponsored to date in the 111th Congress. The results, consistent for the House and Senate: Democrats don’t cosponsor significantly more bills than non-Democrats. Those whose actions are more strongly liberal and [...]

Theories of Representation and Support for English-Only Policy in the United States Congress

As of this morning, 59 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on in support of H.R. 997, a bill to declare English the national language of the United States and (with some exceptions for national security, criminal justice and the like) to mandate that only English be used in federal and state [...]

Frequency Distribution of Cosponsorship in the House through 2/8/09

For some time now, the writers of Irregular Times have been following the doings in the United States Congress with the kind of fascination that one sees in the occasional rubbernecker on the highway who actually stops to get a closer look at the carnage. We’re obsessed enough that we’ve branched out, in a manner [...]