GOP Doesn't Care about Deficits ... Especially When It Comes to Defense Spending

No amount of funding for the defense industry could quench the GOP's insatiable thirst for cluster bombing brown people in distant countries ... for freedom.

With release of their cut-to-the-bone 302(b) suballocations last week, the House Appropriations Committee provided yet another display of how Republicans in general - and conservatives in particular – don't care about deficits, as the defense budget received zero scrutiny.

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EPA Delays Life-Saving Rule, Cites White House Order

In response to pressure from industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is backing off of new clean air standards for industrial boilers. The standards, as finalized in February, would prevent “2,600 premature deaths, 4,100 heart attacks, and 42,000 asthma attacks” if implemented, according to EPA.

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House Panel Advances Patriot Act Extension, Without Reforms

The House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to reauthorize key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The committee also rejected several proposals to reform the controversial provisions of the intelligence law.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, May 2011

Congressional Budget Office

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their latest Monthly Budget Review (MBR). While not as "salacious" as either the April or the February reports – at least in terms of how Capitol Hill is likely to react toward the release – this month’s review includes several interesting items.

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Opposition to Political Spending Transparency is Bipartisan

As President Obama is poised to sign an executive order (EO) that would require potential federal contractors to disclosure certain political spending beyond what is already required by federal election laws, opposition to it is coming from both sides of the aisle. On Tuesday (5/10), House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that he was "not in agreement with the administration on that issue." Soon after, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rushed to the mic to agree with Hoyer.

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Small Businesses Back Draft Executive Order Combating Pay-to-Play

As President Obama puts the finishing touches on a draft executive order (E.O.) that would require federal contractors to disclose their political contributions, Big Business and its allies in Congress have lined up to oppose transparency in federal contracting. And they're throwing the kitchen sink at the E.O.

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House Gets Amnesia, Passes Bill to Rush Oil Drilling

The House of Representatives today passed a bill that sets ridiculous and dangerous deadlines for the approval of oil drilling permits. According to Earthjustice, “Sponsored by Doc Hastings (R-WA), H.R. 1229 requires the Department of Interior to decide whether to approve a drilling permit within 30 days after receiving an application and allows only two 15-day extensions of this deadline.”

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U.S. Chamber Kicks off Barrage against Disclosure EO*

One corporate hack awarding another.

Signaling the first wave of attacks on President Obama's draft executive order (EO) requiring disclosure of political donations by potential federal contractors, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, utilizing their Astroturf group, Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sent out an absurdly deceptive email alert last week calling on supporters to resist the White House's latest transparency effort.

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Yes, Speaker Boehner, There is a Revenue Problem

Yesterday, after a speech on his preferred course of action on raising the debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that "We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem." Actually, the Speaker has a math problem.

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FDA Cracking Down on Dangerous Food Imports

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two new standards May 4 intended to protect Americans from potentially contaminated foreign food.

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