The House of Representatives rejected an amendment last night that would have required that sponsors of independent political expenditure television and radio ads disclose the identity of donors whose contribute $10,000 or more to their efforts. The amendment to a Federal Communications Commission reform bill, offered by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), was defeated on a mostly party-line vote of 179 for to 238 against.
Eshoo explained the need for the amendment:
All Americans have a right to honest information about who has paid for the political messages they receive. This includes the sponsors of political advertisements?not just the names of sham entities designed to evade disclosure.
Americans are besieged by anonymous campaign ads around the clock this year. With disclosure and transparency, the public will be able to decide for themselves, because relevant information about the interests and their impact will be public. Disclosure of an ad’s major donors does not place any undue burdens on speech or industry. It will empower the voters.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, objected to the proposal complaining that it might have unintended consequences for public broadcasting sponsors and offered the bizarre justification that it would not require enough disclosure for elected officials. He lamented that the $10,000 threshold would mean voters would only see “a tiny little window” into who backed members of Congress (who are already subject to much stricter disclosure requirements under election law) and might be evaded by outside committees.
Five Republicans voted in favor of disclosure. They were:
Eight Democrats opposed the measure:
All of the Democratic opponents except Hochul are members of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, a group historically supportive of campaign finance reform. Reps. Cardoza, Cooper, Schrader, and Shuler all voted for the DISCLOSE Act in 2010, a measure which contained similar disclosure requirements, among other provisions.
In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (appointed by George H.W. Bush) Thomas Pickering laid out the potential risks of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program.
Pickering — who served as Ambassador to Israel during Reagan administration and Ambassador to Russia during the Clinton administration — warned that an attack would only set back Iran’s nuclear program “for a number of years” and could push Iran in the direction of pursuing a nuclear weapon, a decision which neither the IAEA nor U.S. intelligence agencies believe Iran has yet made:
[A military strike] has a very high propensity, in my view, of driving Iran in the direction of openly declaring and deciding, which it has not yet done according to our intelligence, to make a nuclear weapon to seemingly defend itself under what might look to them and others to be an unprovoked attack.
Iran has great possibilities for asymmetrical reactions including against Israel through Hezbollah and Hamas who have accumulated a large number of missiles. [...] It is a series of potential escalatory possibilites that puts us deep in the potential for another land war in Asia, something that I think we’ve spent the last number of years trying to get out of.
Pickering’s comments today closely match the warnings issued by former Israeli spy chief Meir Dagan earlier this month. Dagan warned that an Israeli attack on Iran could spark a “regional war” and, at best, could only delay Iran’s nuclear program. That assessment is shared by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The Obama administration has emphasized that a diplomatic solution is the “best and most permanent way” to resolve tensions with Iran. President Obama warned that a nuclear armed Iran poses a threat to regional and international security and endangers the nonproliferation regime. While the Obama administration does not rule out military action on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Obama said that “loose talk of war” with Iran is only serving to benefit the regime in Tehran.
"Hey, y'all: the feds already have this covered, so we don't have to waste the taxpayers' time and money on it!"
That never stopped repugs looking for a racist vote to rally the mouthbreathing base, but Kentucky Democrats stood up and said "not this time, morons."
A House committee killed a bill Tuesday that would block illegal immigrants from receiving government assistance after state officials testified that they are already prohibited under federal law from doing so.
Senate Bill 118 was tabled during a meeting of the House Local Government Committee, effectively killing the legislation. Committee Chairman Steve Riggs, D-Louisville, said he will not recall it before the session ends.
Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, said he sponsored the legislation after hearing from an anonymous source that it was a problem.
When Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, quizzed him about who that was, Wilson said, "Someone who works for the Cabinet (for Health and Family Services), and I will not name names."
But officials from the cabinet, which oversees aid to low-income people, said food stamps and other assistance going to people who are in the United States without proper documentation has never been identified as a problem in Kentucky.
Allow me to agree with Rand Paul. We already have significant sanctions on Iran, which mainly hurt the population rather than the regime. The Senate wanted to take another dip with an even more stringent set of sanctions. And Paul said no.[...]
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Remember the story about how much more women can pay than men for health insurance? Here's where it's the worst, and why the insurance protections in the Affordable Care Act are so important.
Time for some of that "the only poll that matters is election day" loser talk. (Joshua Lott/Reuters)CNN/ORC (PDF). 3/24-25. Registered voters. MoE 3%
There's all sorts of suck in there if you're a Republican. Mitt Romney may be off his February lows in this poll, but that's cold comfort when you're still -12 in favorability with registered voters. And while Obama is -1 in job approval with independents, Romney is down 14, or 35 favorable-49 unfavorable.
And as for Obama's unfavorables?8 percent of Obama's detractors are unhappy because he's not liberal enough. And while some of those may vote for this year's Ralph Nader (Rocky Anderson, perhaps?), they won't be finding their way to the GOP anytime soon.
In the head-to-head matchup, independents choose Obama by a 55-40 margin. And while Obama leads 54-43 among registered voters, he defeats Romney 56-40 amongst all respondents?proving 1) why Republicans are so hell-bent on restricting voting rights, and 2) why it is so important to register our natural constituencies and turn them out at the polls.
There's more?asked whether Bush and Republicans or Obama and Democrats was to blame for the nation's "current economic problems," independents said Bush and his party were to blame by a whopping 26-54 margin, and even 15 percent of Republicans were honest enough to admit their party was to blame (compared to 6 percent of Lieberdems who blamed the Democrats). Overall, 29 percent blamed the Democrats, while 56 percent put the blame where it belonged (10 percent blamed both sides).
If there's anything for Republicans to be excited about in these numbers, I don't see it. And coming in the heels of devastating polls today from ABC News and Quinnipiac, it collectively makes for a terrible day over at RNC headquarters.
But hey, maybe this'll convince them to double down on their assaults on birth control, women and brown people (particularly those 1) wearing hoodies 2) speaking Spanish or 3) all of the above).
The Gold Report: In the late 1990s, when the gold price was falling steadily lower, you vetted companies for Rick Rule’s company, Global Resource Investments. Could you give us a comparison of what this space was like then versus what it’s like now?
Brent Cook: During 1997?2002, we were probably in the most unloved sector in the whole investment world. Gold had collapsed to less than $250/ounce (oz), copper was under $0.85/pound (lb) and anything that didn’t have a dot-com to its name didn’t get much respect. The idea of blowing up rocks to make metal out of them was an archaic concept clung to by the remnants of the industrial revolution; it was a brave new world. By . . . → Read More: Fatal Flaws and Opportunities in Gold Investing: Brent Cook
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According to research reported in Discover magazine, anyway. I don?t vouch for the veracity of the findings, but worth looking at on the basis of ?se non e vero e ben trovato.?
Occupy Supply will be devoting tonight?s webinar to food sovereignty, justice and activism. We?re pleased to invite you to join our free online talk ?Occupy the Food Supply: Sovereignty, Justice and Activism? with blogger/author Jill Richardson and[...]
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