Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

220px-US-SocialSecurityAdmin-Seal.svgJust when you think that the federal government could not be more moronic in the spending of money, you read a story like this. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been approving disability benefits for hundreds of Puerto Ricans because they do not speak English. However, these “disabled” individuals are living in a predominantly Spanish-speaking territory. Having worked for the Puerto Rico House of Representatives years ago, the story seemed to me a belated April Fool’s joke but it appears to be true.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag of TurkeyIn an injustice to both the liberty of a Kurdish man and free speech in general a court in Turkey handed down thirteen year sentence to a defendant accused of removing a Turkish flag at a military base near Diyarbakir, Turkey. The disproportionate sentence followed an outraged Recep Erdogan who declared after the act, “[w]e don’t care if he is a child. Even if a child dares to take down our sacred flag both him and those who send him there will pay a price.”

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160px-Eleanor_Holmes_NortonA video of D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has gone viral this week of what is being deemed the worse parking job in recent memory. The video shows the non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives taking a rather novel view of the diagonal parking lines of the spot on Capitol Hill.

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600px-Caution_sign_used_on_roads_pn.svgWe have previously discussed how there appears to an ever-expanding list of words deemed inappropriate or biased. It appears “taxpayer” may be the next suspect noun. While Republicans and Democrats alike have made pitches to protecting taxpayers, New Republic’s Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig wrote an article objecting that the use of the word in the 2016 budget is problematic and that we should start to view the noun as yet another loaded and coded word.

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unnamed-1This morning I will be testifying in the House of Representatives before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the Committee on the Judiciary. The hearing is entitled “Child Exploitation Restitution Following the Paroline Decision and addresses a long-standing controversy over the limits on restitution in such cases. My testimony is below.

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President_Barack_ObamaIt has been years before anyone seriously in the Administration has claimed that it is “the most transparent Administration” ever — as President Barack Obama once pledged. The Obama Administration instead has set new lows for its pursuit and prosecution of whistleblowers and reporters as well as classifying and withholding information on potentially embarrassing actions or programs. For that reason, there was not much surprise that the White House chose this week — with the National Freedom of Information Day and the Sunshine Week — to remove a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

The Obama Administration has been pressuring members of Congress to pass the bill that will give President Obama the “fast track”  authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP) agreement without any debate in Congress.  Fast track authority would not allow for any amendments and the bill would remain secret until just before it is voted on.

“President Obama is currently pressing members of Congress to pass Fast-Track authority for a trade and investment agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). If Fast Track passes, it means that Congress must approve or deny the TPP with minimal debate and no amendments. Astonishingly, our lawmakers have not seen the agreement they are being asked to expedite.” Nation of Change (more…)

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