Fixing America’s Broken Voting System

voting lines

Sylvia Moore: [dc]N[/dc]ow that the dust has settled and President Obama has been re-elected, America needs to make election reform and the universal expansion of voting rights a high priority.

Stopping Foreclosures, One House at a Time

stopping foreclosures

Sylvia Moore: As Americans, we have to ask ourselves, how long are our lawmakers going to continue to allow these too-big-to-fail institutions escape accountability?

Purpose Driven Lies and Gender Equality

woman's face

Tina Dupuy: Both Arizona and Kansas are considering bills giving your doctor the legal authority to withhold potentially crucial information about your health and, in this case, your child’s.

Black Leaders Rebuke Obama

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Sharon Kyle; President Obama has the wrong team Cornel West told a reporter. The poor, particularly blacks and browns are suffering under his leadership.

States with Arizona-style Immigration Laws Face Costly Legal Battles

sysiphus-wide

Seth Hoy: Despite repeated warnings from business groups, tourism and industry boards and advocates about the hefty price tag attached to Arizona-style legislation, state lawmakers continued to push “get tough” copycat proposals.

Jim Crow, Yankee Republican Style

eastland-wide

Berry Craig: With Wisconsin Governor Walker’s blessing, Republican lawmakers are ramming home a bill that requires voters to show photo ID at the polls. Of course, the idea is to decrease the Democratic vote.

If Lobbyists Hate It

lobbyists

Tina Dupuy: We cannot hold our lawmakers accountable without transparency. And if we can’t hold them accountable – they’re not working for us. Actually we’ll never know who they work for.

Budget Cuts Obama’s Transparency Sites

transparent government

Marian Wang: Though the budget deal struck by lawmakers over the weekend averted a shutdown of the federal government, it still has open-government advocates worried about a shutdown of another sort: a shutdown in transparency.

New Right-Wing Attack on 14th Amendment

anchor babies

Andrea Nill: Vitter and Paul similarly argued that neither the language nor the intent of the 14th amendment were meant to confer “birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens.”

Restrictive Immigrations Measures Dying

film-clip

Seth Hoy: The legislative graveyard got a little bit bigger this week as lawmakers in Mississippi pronounced a series of restrictive immigration measures dead.

Don’t Use The ‘Free Market’ As An Excuse

media-monopolies

Tina Dupuy: The truth is we don’t have a “free market.” Never have and probably never will. So when politicians like representatives Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann talk about how this savior-in-theory can deliver us – it can’t.

States Playing with Enforcement-Only Fire Likely to Get Burned

anchor-baby-wide

Seth Hoy: Perhaps if state lawmakers listened to their constituents and considered the economic consequences, they might realize that playing with enforcement-only immigration is a surefire way to burn down your state’s economy.

Will State Legislators Continue to Pull the Plug on Restrictive Immigration Measures?

pulling the plug

Seth Hoy: While some state lawmakers reject the enforcement-only approach to immigration, others—like state Sen. Russell Pearce, author of Arizona’s SB 1070—continued to sink their state in restrictionist quicksand.

What’s in Your Wallet? Fiscal Notes Give States Pause Over Enforcement Laws

empty wallet

Seth Hoy: As many states face budget deficits in 2011, lawmakers might be asking their constituents the same question as those Capitol One commercials, “What’s in your wallet?”

Why Has Every Pro-Repeal GOP Lawmaker Given Their Congressional Staff Taxpayer-Funded, Government Health Care?

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL)

Lee Fang: Evan as they rip the bill as some sort of “monstrosity” of “socialism,” nearly every Republican lawmaker eagerly accepts government health benefits afforded to them as members of Congress.

With Four Lawmakers Objecting, Senate Ends Practice of Secret Holds to Block Bills

John Ensign

Marian Wang: The Senate’s new rule won’t prevent Senators from putting a hold on legislation—it’ll just make sure that senators who do so will have their name published in the Congressional Record.

Anti-Immigrant ALIPAC Advises Supporters To Lie About Where They Live When Calling Congress

William Gheen

Andrea Nill: There’s nothing wrong with grassroots advocacy that’s focused on putting pressure on key lawmakers. However, actually calling Congressional offices and pretending to be a constituent isn’t just disingenuous, it disrupts the democratic process.

CBO: DREAM Act Will Reduce The Deficit

dream act

Andrea Nill: The increase in authorized workers would affect individual and corporate income taxes, as well as social insurance taxes. On balance, those changes would increase revenues by $2.3 billion over 10 years.

Will Local Lawmakers Take the Immigration Enforcement Bait?

immigrant bait

Seth Hoy: As local lawmakers begin to lay the groundwork for next year’s legislative agenda, some conservative legislators are attempting to prioritize immigration enforcement ahead of efforts to jump-start flagging economies.

Needed: A Competency Test for Elected Officials

christine odonnell

David Love: Where do they find these people? I’m talking about those crazy-talking Tea Party types, ultra-conservative Republicans posing as legitimate lawmakers and politicians, some of them even passing themselves off as senators, members of Congress and governors.

Jobless Benefits Battle Holds Millions of Americans Hostage

In this July 2, 2010 photo, Mischelle Mitchell looks online for job listings at the at the Oakland Career Center in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

David Love: A group of mostly Republican lawmakers refuses to reauthorize an extension of $33 billion in unemployment benefits. And in blocking the legislation during desperate times, they are holding 2.5 million Americans hostage, all for a political stunt. T

Arizona Law Author Kris Kobach Wants to Cast a Wide Net Against Latinos

kris kobach

Andrea Christina Nill: Wonk Room recently obtained an email written by Kris Kobach, a lawyer at the Immigration Reform Law Institute — the group which credits itself with writing the bill — to Arizona state Sen. Russell Pierce (R), urging him to include language that will allow police to use city ordinance violations such as “cars on blocks in the yard” as an excuse to “initiate quieries” in light of the “lawful contact” deletion

Is Barney Frank Relevant?

Barney Frank Cartoon

But as one of the most vocal critics of the National Equality March that took place in Washington this weekend, Frank has many LGBTQ Americans nationwide wondering if he has become a bureaucratic gatekeeper.

Watching Out for the Details in Healthcare, and How Hard the White House Pushes for Them

public-option

In an interesting piece in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Matt Bai suggests that the White House has learned the main lesson of Bill Clinton’s failed attempt at universal health care, which is not to deliver a finished product to Congress but instead give Congress a set of goals and let it decide how to [...]

More Equality Leads to Better Health

In this video, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews Dr. Stephen Bezruchka. Dr. Bezruchka, who is with the Department of Health Services, School of Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle, has studied the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the health of populations. He argues that societal and economic inequalities have a detrimental [...]

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