The Internet is a wonderful invention that has allowed for the dissemination of a wide variety of ideas. Not surprisingly, politicians, never ones to brook dissent cheerfully, are not terribly fond of it. In 1998, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton said, “We’re all going to have to rethink how we deal with the Internet. As exciting as these new developments are, there are a number of serious issues without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function.”
It seems that every day we learn of some new horror in the financial reform bill currently before Congress. This is not surprising given that the Senate version of the bill, for example, is 1,566 pages long. Those who voted on it probably have no clue as to most of its contents, as was the case with such monstrosities as ObamaCare and the Patriot Act.
“Millions of Americans arrested for but not convicted of crimes will likely have their DNA forcibly extracted and added to a national database, according to a bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday,” reports CNET.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) addressed his colleagues from the floor of the House on May 11, expressing his displeasure with the cave-in by Senator Bernie Sanders and other Senators over the proposal to audit the Federal Reserve, an issue that Rep. Paul has been championing for decades. On May 6, Sen. Sanders flip-flopped on his earlier commitment to sponsor an audit amendment identical to the one by Rep. Paul, which had passed in the House with broad, bipartisan support and 319 co-sponsors.
One aspect of the behemoth finance reform bill now being debated in the Senate that has not attracted any mainstream media attention is its limitations on congressional power over the Federal Reserve. In particular, the bill in its current form would overturn legislation, passed by the House late last year, that would give Congress the power and, indeed, the legal obligation, to audit the Fed.
When the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced the conclusions of its annual “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State” earlier this week, it came as no surprise to learn that the rules and regulations placed on the economy by illicit agencies of the "fourth branch of government" constitute an enormous burden that is largely uncounted.
There are from time to time political events that attract attention and controversy, only to fade into well-deserved obscurity. Who today can recall the storm and stress over the '90s-era debates over the presidential line item veto or the proposed Conference of the States, for example? The very latest in a very long line of forgettable Capitol Hill follies, the Dodd Finance Reform Bill, was unveiled this past weekend, a bill that deserves similarly to wind up in the dustbin of failed Grand Ideas.
On March 4 Senators John McCain (R-Ariz) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced a bill entitled “The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010.” If you thought some of the legislation introduced and passed by Congress under Bush II was scary, then in the immortal words of Bachmann and Turner you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
An alternative budget proposal submitted by Congressman Paul Ryan (Wis.), the House Budget Committee's Republican ranking member, would increase the federal budget deficit even more than President Obama's bloated budget — nearly $1 trillion more — according to a February 24 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
House Democrats have caved in to Republican pressure, removing an anti-torture provision from the Fiscal 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2701). “The controversial provision,” the Washington Post reported February 26, “would have subjected intelligence officers to up 15 years in prison for interrogations that violate existing anti-torture laws, including the use of extreme temperatures, acts causing sexual humiliation or depriving a prisoner of food, sleep or medical care.”