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items tagged with congress

Ted Rall: We'll Have to Add More States
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2012-12-05 11:59:41



By the Numbers: Getting to Know Your Members of Congress
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: National Politics

2012-04-26 12:00:00

Most people know that there’s a wealth of information available online about members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. But while it’s not hidden, it’s often scattered among several Web sites, and it’s hard to make head-to-head comparisons without a lot of clicking and note-taking.

Here is our attempt to bring some of the available data together in one place for members of Congress representing the Quad Cities. We include Representative Bruce Braley (a Democrat who currently represents Scott County in the House), Representative Dave Loebsack (a Democrat whose redrawn district will include Scott County beginning next year), Representative Bobby Schilling (a Republican representing the Illinois Quad Cities), and four U.S. Senators: Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois). All the information was drawn from four Web sites: OpenSecrets.org, Legistorm.com, GovTrack.us, and VoteSmart.org.

Beyond the basics – their ages and professions, how long they’ve been in office, and when their terms end – we include information on committee assignments and leadership, how many roll-call votes they’ve missed, personal net worth and investments, earmarks (and earmarks that went to campaign contributors), aggregate staff compensation, top-paid staffers, how campaign contributions break down from individuals and political action committees (PACs), whether they completed Project Vote Smart’s survey of candidates, and assessments from various interest groups.


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Nationally Declared Emergencies Seek to Suspend the Constitution
Written By: Kathleen McCarthy
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Editorials

2011-09-01 11:20:07

It is hard to imagine our leaders approving plans and/or legislation that would suspend the U.S. Constitution under any circumstances, but that is precisely what has occurred. This is not a conspiracy theory, but very real authority that the national government has granted itself under the guise of protecting the country during a declared national emergency.

After 9/11, a series of legislative events took place, most without congressional debate, and nearly all under the people’s radar. These include the Homeland Security Act of 2002; the USA PATRIOT Act in its original and renewed forms (which removed due process and allows warrantless searches of and seizures from citizens deemed a threat to “the continuity of government” without probable cause based on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Domestic Extremism Lexicon”); the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (HR 5122); the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (HR 4144); the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (HR 6166, which removed the writ of habeas corpus, allowing permanent imprisonment without benefit of counsel or petition to the court); the REAL ID Act (attached to an emergency appropriations bill); the FISA Amendments Act (which gave telecom companies retroactive immunity for providing access to customers’ private phone lines); and National Presidential Security Directive 51 (which dictates that Congress has no authority during national emergencies).

Combined, this legislation is dangerous because it asserts the authority to suspend the U.S. Constitution and transfer all governance (city, county, and state) to the federal government. All that is required to assume this transfer of power is a presidential declaration of a national emergency and martial law.


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Ted Rall: Just Like You ...
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2011-08-24 11:28:18


Why Your Representatives Should Make You Mad as Hell
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2009-11-04 19:35:14

"I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell, 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore.' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad! ... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it." -- Howard Beale, Network (1976)

Imagine a world exempt from parking tickets, where gym membership is free and health care is second-to-none. To receive these benefits, you also only have to work two, maybe three days a week -- a time period during which you will be shuttled around in a nice car. The other days of the week you can spend at home with your family. Luckily, every weekend is a long weekend, and you won't have to be back at work until Tuesday evening.

This job description might seem too good to be true, but for our so-called "representatives" in Congress who enjoy incredible job perks ranging from free meals to membership in swanky health clubs, all at taxpayer expense, it seems that there is such a thing as a free lunch -- literally and figuratively!


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