Posted by John Stauber on June 07, 2007

An Iraqi voter's purple finger (Source: Department of Defense)In the U.S., fewer than half of eligible voters do vote, elections are determined by big money, sitting politicians almost always win re-election, and opinion surveys show a frightening willingness to sacrifice fundamental human rights for governmental promises of security. It's not surprising, then, that U.S.

Posted by Conor Kenny on June 06, 2007

On Tuesday night (June 5), ten candidates for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination debated in Manchester, N.H. Soon, this crop of contenders will likely grow to eleven, as former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) is expected to formally announce his candidacy early next month.

Posted by Conor Kenny on June 05, 2007

Update: Sen. [[Craig Thomas#Illness and death|Craig Thomas]] (R-Wyo.) died late on Monday, June 4 at the age of 74. Our condolences go out to his family.

[[Congresspedia]] is currently following two recent developments pertaining to members of Congress.

After a lengthy investigation, Rep. [[William Jefferson#Indictment|William Jefferson]] (D-La.) was indicted today on sixteen criminal counts which include racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy to solicit bribes by a public official. Jefferson allegedly accepted bribes ($90,000 was found in his freezer) to promote high-tech business ventures in Africa. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

In other news, Sen. [[Craig Thomas#Illness and death|Craig Thomas]] (R-Wyo.) is in "serious condition" at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Thomas, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006, is undergoing a second round of chemotherapy, but his blood cancer has rejected treatment and he is suffering from an infection. He was elected to his third Senate term last November. If Thomas were to die or leave the Senate, the state Republican Party would select three candidates and forward those names to Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal, who would pick one as his replacement.

Congresspedia has more info on both [[William Jefferson#Indictment|Jefferson]] and [[Craig Thomas#Illness and death|Thomas]] on their respective profile pages. I encourage you to visit them, and improve them with further details.

Posted by Conor Kenny on June 04, 2007

Both the House and Senate are in session this week, with each chamber expected to debate and consider several important bills and resolutions. Highlights include:

  • The Senate will continue to debate a comprehensive immigration bill. Amendments expected to be introduced include several making it easier for employers or family members to sponsor green card applicants and one which would permanently ban immigrants who have received deportation notices from obtaining visas.
  • The House is expected to consider a Senate-passed bill which would lift President Bush’s 2001 ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. The House passed a similar stem-cell bill in January, but the Senate version includes additional language promoting alternative types of stem-cell research.
  • The House will take up the 10,000 Trained by 2010 Act, which would authorize the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award grants to higher education institutions that develop and offer educational and training programs for healthcare workers and professionals in new medical information technologies.
  • The House will consider the Afghanistan Freedom and Security Support Act (AFSSA), which would authorize $1.6 billion per year over the next three years for economic and security assistance programs in Afghanistan.

After the jump is a full listing of this week's Senate hearings, courtesy of GovTrack. The House is not in session until Tuesday (June 5), so hearings have not yet been made available.

Posted by Bob Burton on May 30, 2007

A watchdog group that criticized the social and environmental failings of the Australian government's overseas aid policies has been stripped of its charitable tax status.



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