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April 26, 2012
The American people expect their Government to enhance security without undermining their privacy and civil liberties. Without clear legal protections and independent oversight, information sharing legislation will undermine the public’s trust in the Government as well as in the Internet by undermining fundamental privacy, confidentiality, civil liberties, and consumer protections.
A statement from The White House • Which included specific reasoning as to why President Obama does not support Congress’ newest efforts to regulate the internet. The President believes the legislation, called CIPSA, is too far-reaching, does not include adequate limitations on the transference of personal information between private companies and the government, and unfairly shields companies from lawsuits pertaining to possible misuse of consumers’ private data. “The Administration looks forward to continuing to engage with the Congress in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to enact cybersecurity legislation to address these critical issues,” said the White House, continuing, “however, for the reasons stated herein, if H.R. 3523 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.” source (viafollow)
15:01 // 2 years ago
April 11, 2012
22:24 // 2 years ago
April 4, 2012
14:44 // 2 years ago
April 1, 2012
The establishment folks in Washington, D.C., they’re in the bubble and they see the world very, very differently than we do and I think most Americans do. And we’re going to continue to go out and try to elect conservatives to the presidency and that’s what we’re focused on.
Rick Santorum • Responding to political types suggesting he should drop out, days before the Wisconsin primary. Santorum says he’s in it until Mitt Romney clearly has enough delegates to win — something that likely won’t happen until June, based on how things are going so far. Romney just won another endorsement, this time from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (no relation), a show of support that has Santorum on the defensive.
20:06 // 2 years ago
March 29, 2012

Obama’s having a rough week outside of the executive branch

  • 51-47 the final vote in the Senate that nixed a bill proposing an end to tax breaks for oil companies, a cause championed by the President
  • 0-414 the final vote in the House on an alternative budget proposal, modeled after President Obama’s planned budget for 2013 source

» Pretty harsh considering the thrashing that the Affordable Care Act is reported to be taking in the Supreme Court this week. While both analysts and many inside the White House expected the ugly turnout on the budget proposal, it’s hard to imagine that anybody imagined a shut-out. Should Obama be worried about these sorts of losses piling up as the election draws closer?

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14:24 // 2 years ago
March 22, 2012

Study: Nepotism rampant in Congress (duh)

Quantifying Nepotism: Everyone knows (or at least assumes) that politicians use their power to benefit people close to them; that’s old news. However, scientific studies on the matter are hard to come by. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wanted to change that, and carried out an exhaustive study of the extent to which nepotism manifests itself in US Congress. Their report is 347 pages long; in case you have better things to do with your time (impossible!), here are some takeaways. Note: This study only covered the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.

  • 248 lawmakers used their position to benefit friends or family
  • 3 members of Congress (Bill Cassidy, Jason Chaffetz, and Tim Waltz) used campaign funds to pay for babysitters
  • 38 members earmarked government funds for businesses owned by, or affiliated with, their families
  • 20 legislators took money from their campaign and gave it to a family member’s campaign source

» Miscellaneous: Out of the aforementioned 248 members who warranted inclusion in the report, 105 were Democrats, and 143 were Republicans. Speaker of the House John Boehner is nowhere to be found in the report—but Nancy Pelosi is. Oh, and which member of Congress paid fees or salaries to more of his family members than anyone else? Why, none other than anti-government crusader Ron Paul.

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19:47 // 2 years ago
Without the Internet and YouTube, [Joseph Kony’s] dastardly deeds would not resonate with politicians. When you get 100 million Americans looking at something, you will get our attention.
Sen. Lindsey Graham • On the effect Kony 2012 has had on lawmakers. Yesterday, over a third of the Senate co-sponsored a bill condemning Kony’s actions; now, Graham and other members of Congress are working on a “bounty bill” to help encourage the capture (or “disappearing,” shall we say) of Kony, the now-infamous Ugandan warlord. Graham’s bosom buddy, John McCain, echoed his colleague’s sentiments, saying that “if not ending up dead, [Kony] could end up in the International Criminal Court, and it’d be a wonderful thing.” Now, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Kony 2012 and its creators; however, regardless of what you think of the organization behind the effort, it’s inspiring that something as simple as a YouTube video can actually spur Congress into action. It’s also nice to see Democrats and Republicans agree on something for once.  source (viafollow)
19:06 // 2 years ago
March 8, 2012
We have reached a point where we do so little and waste so much time that it really does, I’m sure, weigh heavily on us all.
Sen. Dick Durbin • Discussing the snarling issues that have turned the Senate into the most deadlocked part of Congress — an issue emphasized by the fact that, well, nothing gets done. Reuters’ piece on the legislative body notes a number of symbolic “message” votes that never get anywhere (such as a balanced budget amendment and the “Buffett rule”) and a toxic atmosphere which convinced Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire at the end of her term. Can the Senate be saved from itself?
10:21 // 2 years ago
March 6, 2012
I have never had a vote I’ve taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski • Describing the hostile environment she recently returned to in Alaska, while making an appearance at the opening of the annual Iditarod sled dog race, during a recent interview with a reporter from the The News Tribune. Murkowski, the second write-in candidate ever to win a spot in the Senate, found herself the target of a great deal of vitriol from female voters who felt betrayed by the woman they helped secure an unlikely seat in Congress. Senator Murkowski believed she was casting a vote in the name of religious freedom when she supported the Blunt Amendment last week; however, she said after her experiences this weekend she would not vote the same if given another opportunity. source (viafollow)
13:36 // 2 years ago
New Jersey Democratic Rep. Donald M. Payne Dies at 77
New Jersey Representative Donald M. Payne has passed away.  A congressional source, close to Payne, confirmed his death to CNN this morning. Payne, a lifelong Democrat, served as New Jersey’s first ever African American representative in Congress. There is no information on a cause of a death at this time. (photo by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Dem) source
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New Jersey Representative Donald M. Payne has passed away.  A congressional source, close to Payne, confirmed his death to CNN this morning. Payne, a lifelong Democrat, served as New Jersey’s first ever African American representative in Congress. There is no information on a cause of a death at this time. (photo by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Dem) source

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10:13 // 2 years ago