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Congress Wishes You a Peaceful Flight

August 6, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

While Congress has been deadlocked over major problems affecting transportation on the ground, they've actually made some progress with legislation to keep people happy when they take to the skies.

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A Busted Tax Code

August 6, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Four senators are about to introduce a bill to help charity organizations that are struggling from high gas prices. Currently, people who use their cars while volunteering for a charity are eligible for a tax deduction of 14 cents a mile, while corporate employees who use their cars for business get 58.5 cents a mile. The legislation, being introduced today by John Ensign (R-NV), Chuck Schumer (D-IL), Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Chris Dodd (D-CT), will increase the deduction for people doing chari...

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Via Gallup: >In a year when approval of Congress has reached a new low, just 36% of U.S. registered voters say most members of Congress deserve re-election. This is among the lowest ratings Gallup has measured in a recent presidential or congressional election year. Also worth noting is that the poll found that 35% of voters "are unsure whether their member of Congress is a Democrat or a Republican."...

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Pelosi's Got Your Back

August 5, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

The Politico this morning gave in inside view into how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is managing the politics involved in Congress' standoff over energy policy. >...what looks like intraparty tension on the surface is part of an intentional strategy in which Pelosi takes the heat on energy policy, while behind the scenes she’s encouraging vulnerable Democrats to express their independence if it helps them politically, according to Democratic aides on and off Capitol Hill. > >Pelosi’s g...

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Pass S.223!

August 5, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Personally, I find it appalling that the Senate still files their campaign finance disclosures on paper. The House of Representatives went electronic with their disclosures in 2001, and several bills to update the Senate's procedures have been pending in Congress since 2003. The Senate's insistence on paper filing costs taxpayers $250,000 per year and, more importantly, creates a disclosure blind-spot that allows 4-6 weeks of campaign contributions to stay invisible to the public until after each election.

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Feinstein's Election Reform Flip-Flop

August 4, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) came into the 110th session of Congress and her new chairmanship of the Rules and Administration Committee determined to lead the Senate in reforming elections. One has to wonder why she's now backing a bill that disregards the core principle of her reform: a voter-verified paper trail for all electronic voting machines.

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A Bureaucratic Error in Big Oil's Favor

August 4, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

"Because of a bureaucratic oversight by the Department of Interior during the implementation of the [Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995], oil companies that secured leases in 1998 and 1999 were exempted from royalties, regardless of the prevailing market price of oil. This stands in stark contrast to other, similar leases, which require the payment of royalties if the price of oil exceeds a certain threshold."

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Wal-Mart vs. Card-Check

August 1, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

The basic argument for the Employee Free Choice Act is that a card-check union formation system would protect workers from being intimidated by their employers. Wal-Mart seems to be strengthening the argument for the bill through the tact they're pursuing in arguing against it. The Wall Street Journal: > -(startquote).- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change f...

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Crazy House

August 1, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

It's been an incredible day on Capitol Hill. The House of Representatives voted to adjourn for their month-long August recess at 11:23 this morning, but the Republicans have refused to leave the building. Despite the lights and microphones in the House chamber being turned off, Republicans are standing their ground, protesting the Democratic leadership's refusal to allow votes on domestic oil drilling.

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Know of any good local pork?

August 1, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Grab a camcorder, document it and send it into Eyeblast.tv: >“Porkbusters On Patrol” combines the concept of AFP’s earmarks tour with the vision that Instapundit Glenn Reynolds shared in his book “An Army Of Davids.” The goal is to equip an army of citizen reporters with pocket camcorders to produce an ongoing series of on-site video stories about Congress’ pork-barreling ways. They'll even reimburse travel expenses for pre-approved submissions. ...

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Protecting Children, Stifling States

August 1, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

At TPMCafe Nathan Newman writes that Congress struck a deal on a strong new consumer safety bill that bans dangerous substances in children's toys and bars individual states form enacting their own, stronger toy safety standards in the future.

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