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Tag Archives: Congress

Washpo: What would happen if Congress split into four parties? This. (Plus some really cool maps)

Kudos to Phillip Bump at the Washington Post for this one.

We at ACC often talk about the fracturing going on within the 2 main parties. The Tea Party for instance is a de facto party within the GOP which the author takes into account. He also identifies an increasingly active fault line within the Democratic Party. (We think he’s wrong on who falls on which side of this line to some degree however.)

A thought experiment to be sure, but one which isn’t that “out there.” Very interesting.

(From The Washington Post)

If we assign members of Congress to political parties based on the spending votes, we end up with four parties. The Liberals bucked the Democratic president to oppose the spending package. The Democratsvoted for it. The Republicans followed Boehner and McConnell’s lead. TheConservatives didn’t. It gives us maps of the House and Senate that look like this, with the actual party composition underneath. (Note that this is only based on 1) people who voted on the spending package and 2) are returning to the 114th Congress.)

Click here for the article.

Harry Reid’s lawyer inserts last minute provision in Cromnibus which allows political donations to parties of “$777,600 or more”

Well, it isn’t really so much money in campaigns that the congressional Democrats have a problem with. It is OUTSIDE money they have a problem with. Money not controlled by the party. That’s why this bit of language was inserted into the current spending bill by Harry Reid’s lawyer.

Plus the law firms get paid big time too. Win/win for establishment Washington. Everyone knows that shame has little reward on Capitol Hill.

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The Crony Cromnibus

The Weekly Standard cites just one example (Who knows what is really in this beast?) of how the omnibus bill has been gamed. Actually “gamed” is too kind. Hijacked would be a better word if it were not for the fact that omnibus bills aren’t really “hijacked” either. They are vehicles of intentional deception and legal graft. Some call it the “business of government.”

I don’t.

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Rep. Amash: Congress last night gave massive new domestic surveillance powers to the President

The below commentary and letter were just posted to Representative Justin Amash’s Facebook page. I post here for your review.

When I learned that the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2015 was being rushed to the floor for a vote—with little debate and only a voice vote expected (i.e., simply declared “passed” with almost nobody in the room)—I asked my legislative staff to quickly review the bill for unusual language. What they discovered is one of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative: It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.

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Congressional spending deal blocks pot legalization in D.C. (But stops Federal meddling in states)

This is largely because of 1 Republican from the state of Maryland who has a beef with legal marijuana.

The fact is that under the Constitution Congress does have the ultimate say in in the District of Columbia. But overturning a referendum which was overwhelmingly supported by the people of Washington is not very smart. Overturning a referendum which furthers personal liberty (for once) is just plain wrong for a party which says that it is for small government and federalism.

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Is the Democratic Party just a regional party at this point?

A very legit question. (Granted I posed it.) Outside of a few urban centers, California, and New England the Dems are nowhere. Add that people are leaving California and the North East in droves and one can see the Democratic Party’s problem. They are in danger of becoming the Quebecois Party of the USA. Man, have things changed, and it is largely due to a president that much of America simply doesn’t trust.

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The Hill: GOP plotting to block DC’s new pot law

Any Republican who fights the marijuana legalization effort in DC is an enemy of federalism, an enemy of local control, an enemy of small government, an enemy of freedom, an enemy of liberty. In short they are not a small government conservative. They might be a big government conservative (almost as bad as a big government progressive) but they are not advocates for the Constitution.

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Dividing the spoil$ (In the new Congress)

This essay is pretty good with a couple of important exceptions.

Even though Moyers and Winship take the Dems to task for being a part of the crony capitalist game in Washington DC they still clearly see the Dems as preferable to the GOP which they refer to as the Guardians of Privilege. Though there is some truth to this jab the Dems are absolutely a party of privilege also, perhaps even worse than the GOP. That said, both parties are terrible.

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Why the New York Fed Annoys Republicans and Democrats Alike

By far the most secret and least accountable operation of the federal government is not, as one might expect, the CIA, DIA, or some other super-secret intelligence agency. The CIA and other intelligence operations are under control of the Congress. They are accountable: a Congressional committee supervises these operations, controls their budgets, and is informed of their covert activities. It is true that the committee hearings and activities are closed to the public; but at least the people’s representatives in Congress insure some accountability for these secret agencies.
It is little known, however, that there is a federal agency that tops the others in secrecy by a country mile. The Federal Reserve System is accountable to no one; it has no budget; it is subject to no audit; and no Congressional committee knows of, or can truly supervise, its operations. The Federal Reserve, virtually in total control of the nation’s vital monetary system, is accountable to nobody – and this strange situation, if acknowledged at all, is invariably trumpeted as a virtue. – Murray N. Rothbard from The Case Against the Fed

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