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Does the FISA Bill Help Terrorists?

November 28, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Joe Klein of Time, Glenn Greenwald of Salon and Ryan Singel of Wired been in quite a flap about whether or not the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Amendments Act that passed the House last week requires court approval for every foreign-terrorist target's calls, or only those that involve communications with U.S. persons.

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The Senate's Homegrown Terrorism Bill

November 26, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The bill would set up a national commission and a university-based "center of excellence for the study of radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States" to help government officials control "terrorist" activities originating within the U.S., but all the civil liberty concerns stem from the section of the bill that defines what, exactly, "homegrown terrorism" and "violent radicalization" is.

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Hold the Pork Hostage

November 15, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

With the process of funding the government for 2008 essentially stalled over a $22 billion disagreement between President Bush and Congress Democratic congressional leaders have come forward willing to compromise. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said on Thursday that Congress will try to meet the President halfway by bundling together 11 of the 12 spending bills for the year (the Defense spending bill has already been signed into law) while reducing the total spending in the bills by $11 billion.

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Is it Really About Fiscal Responsibility?

November 13, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The budget battle between President Bush and Congress is all about a difference of $22 billion -- a relatively small amount when you consider that, altogether, the budget totals nearly $3 trillion. Bush has threatened to veto 8 of Congress's 12 spending bills for the year because, he says, the contain "irresponsible and excessive levels of spending." Yet on Tuesday, Bush both vetoed the bill that exceeds his request by the highest amount of all the bills and signed into law the bill that falls just below it on that list.

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Talking Tough on Iraq

November 13, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that Democrats won't approve more money for the Iraq war this year unless President Bush agrees to begin bringing troops home."

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New Bill Links Filesharing to Financial Aid

November 12, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

It's been a theme among California Democrats: illegal peer-to-peer file sharing hurts business in Hollywood and someone must be forced up to the plate to stop it. They have introduced several bills into this session of Congress to assign the responsibility of policing copyrights to one industry or another. The latest of these proposals, introduced by Representative George Miller (D-CA), would pass the burden on to colleges and universities, and, according to the bill, if they don't do a good enough job enforcing the bill's policies, the government will terminate all federal financial aid.

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Bringing Back Iraq

November 8, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

With violence in Iraq trending down and pressing domestic issues on the table, plans from Congress to wind down the war have been relegated to the back burner. But in her weekly press conference this afternoon, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she plans to bring a troop withdrawal plan to the floor of the House and it could be voted on as soon as tomorrow.

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Massive Resistance to Mortgage Reform

November 7, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Congress is taking its first steps towards responding to the mortgage market meltdown that is threatening to throw us into a recession, but the mortgage industry and Blue Dog Democrats are putting up a tough fight to stop it. H.R.3915, Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007, was voted favorably out of the House Financial Services Committee on Monday and is expected to make it to the floor of the full House later this week. Unlike some other Read Full Article

 

Cheney Impeachment Vote <s>Tomorrow</s> Today

November 5, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Supporters of Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors have spent months trying to amass co-sponsors and bring the bill to the House floor through conventional channels. But tomorrow Kucinich will bypass the Democratic leadership, who has repeatedly insisted that impeachment is off the able, and force the House of Representatives to vote on impeaching Cheney by introducing his bill as a privileged resolution.

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The Farm Bill's Big Moment

November 5, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Every five years, Congress lay outs the infrastructure to the food system that determines how we all eat. The Farm Bill, which dishes out subsidies to growers of corn, wheat, soy, cotton and rice at the tune of about $288 billion over five years, is about to hit the Senate floor. Food activists and eaters everywhere have been hoping for a major reform of the Farm Bill this year, but, so far, the changes that Congress has made only skirt around the big issues. But as it goes to the Senate, the debate and amendment process will be held wide open and the opportunity is there for it to be improved.

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Is This the Best We Can Do For Global Warming?

November 1, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The bill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 63 percent below present levels by 2050 through setting limits on the emissions that manufacturers and utilities can release. It would also establish a carbon-trade market to encourage polluters to clean up their operation in the name of profit, but it contains loopholes that would give away many of the carbon credits instead of selling them at auction, thus severely weakening the incentives for reducing pollution.

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Is Congress Trying to Sneak a Thoughtcrime Bill?

November 1, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

If it hadn't been for the blogs, I, like many others, wouldn't have noticed H.R.1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. The bill was quietly approved by the House last week on a near-unanimous vote and the main stream media has all but ignored it. But as bloggers everywhere have pointed out, the bill's language is so ambiguous that it seems to define thoughtcrime and, since it is unlike most terrorism bills in that it's focus is on U.S. civilians, it raises important questions about the safety of our civil liberties.

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