Posts tagged politics

Senate has a secret book of rules

The U.S. Senate has for years lived by a secret book of rules that governs everything from how many sheets of paper and potted plants each Senate office is allotted to when Senators can use taxpayer money to charter planes or boats. The document has never been available to the public — until now.

We have obtained and are making available the 380-page U.S. Senate Handbook, which describes itself as “a compilation of the policies and regulations governing office administration, equipment and services, security and financial management.”

Cantor to leave post as House majority leader

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will step down from his leadership post at the end of July, according to a senior House staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to preempt Cantor’s announcement.

Cantor’s decision follows his historic defeat Tuesday in his Virginia Republican primary against a little-known opponent, Tea Party-inspired economics professor David Brat.

Cantor is the second highest-ranking member of GOP leadership and was on track to become the next U.S. House speaker. He is the only majority leader in congressional history to lose in a primary fight. His defeat scrambles the leadership lineup and the House’s agenda ahead of the 2014 elections.

Government often has 10 agencies doing one job

A new government report on duplication and fragmentation in federal programs can read like a book of “screw-in-a-light-bulb” jokes.

It takes 10 different offices at the Department of Health and Human Services to run programs addressing AIDS in minority communities. Autism research is spread out over 11 different agencies. Eight agencies at the Defense Department are looking for prisoners of war and missing in action. And Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado has eight different satellite control centers to control 10 satellite programs.

The report, by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, identifies 26 new areas where federal government programs are fragmented, duplicative, overlapping or just inefficient. Add that to the 162 areas identified in past reports, and Congress has a road map for saving tens of billions of dollars a year.

For more about Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, we wrote about him in 2010: (via For troops with brain trauma, a long journey back - USATODAY.com)

For more about Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, we wrote about him in 2010: (via For troops with brain trauma, a long journey back - USATODAY.com)

Former congressman Anthony Weiner’s week just got worse. The New Yorker magazine’s new issue skewers the New York City mayoral candidate in a cartoon depicting him straddling the Empire State Building spire and taking a "selfie" with a smartphone. 
(Photo: USA TODAY screen capture)

Former congressman Anthony Weiner’s week just got worse. The New Yorker magazine’s new issue skewers the New York City mayoral candidate in a cartoon depicting him straddling the Empire State Building spire and taking a "selfie" with a smartphone

(Photo: USA TODAY screen capture)

Most Americans want Snowden jailed, poll finds

In a new USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll, most Americans say Edward Snowden should be prosecuted, but two-thirds don’t like the idea that the government is collecting their own communication records.

The poll shows a nation riven by cross-currents about the unauthorized disclosures from the former NSA contractor of sweeping surveillance programs that can collect information about millions of Americans and foreigners.

By 54%-38%, those surveyed say he should be prosecuted. Most Americans say the programs have helped prevent terrorist attacks, by 53%-41%, a point pressed by top administration officials including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

There is an almost even split on the most fundamental question. By 48%-47%, Americans divide over whether they approve or disapprove of the programs as part of the effort to fight terrorism. By another narrow margin, 49%-44%, they say the release of classified information serves rather than harms the public interest.

We have to get back to negotiation. A little has to come out of each person’s hide to resolve all these issues.
Charles Schwab, in an interview. 

More: Icons: Schwab still roots for the small investor

The 5 longest Senate filibusters

They went on and on … and on.

  • Strom Thurmond — 24 hours, 18 minutes, 1957.
  • Alfonse D’Amato — 23 hours, 30 minutes, 1986.
  • Wayne Morse — 22 hours, 26 minutes, 1953.
  • Robert LaFollette — 18 hours, 23 minutes, 1908.
  • William Proxmire — 16 hours, 12 minutes, 1981.

Rand Paul has a ways to go before breaking any of these records.