In July, the DISCLOSE Act (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act) failed to pass a cloture vote in the Senate, 57-41, as a result of a successful Republican filibuster. However, the setback did not stop Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from filing a “motion to recommit” to bring back the DISCLOSE Act, a bill that violates free speech by regulating campaign contributions. Today, the vote failed yet again, 59 to 39, without a single Republican breaking ranks.
Republicans have announced a new "Pledge to America," a deliberate reference to the 1994 "Contract with America" which helped propel Republicans into control of the House of Representatives. The 1994 Contract did not bind the Republican Party, but only House Republicans who signed it. The Contract did not promise to pass legislation -- the incoming Speaker of the House starting in January 1995, Newt Gingrich himself -- pointed out before the election that Republicans in control of the House could not promise to pass legislation, even through the House. The Contract, instead, promised to bring measures up for a vote in the House, a relatively simple and straightforward pledge that was completely honored down to the letter of the Contract.
The Contract also was short. It fit on one page. The new "Pledge to America" is very different.
Grambling State University (GSU) in Louisiana has banned its students from using the university’s email server to email “campaign solicitations,” claiming it is a violation of Louisiana law which bans the institutional endorsement of a campaign. This comes as a disappointment to politically active students who reside in a state where ballots are to be cast for lieutenant governor, seven congressional seats, and a Senate seat currently held by Republican David Vitter.
You might wonder if Dr. Rand Paul, Republican candidate for U.S. Senator from Kentucky, will ever be plagued by what President Bush 41 (that's "Poppy" Bush for those of you who are not into the numbers game) called "the vision thing," the absence of which seemed to plague a President who, having reached the White House as a senior citizen, seemed still to be trying to figure out just who and what he was. ("Maybe I'll turn out to be another Teddy Roosevelt," he said at one point.
A report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General blasted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for lying and spying on anti-war activists, animal-rights groups, and environmentalists, calling the improper “terror” investigations "unreasonable and inconsistent with FBI policy."