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.”

Israel Is the United States' Biggest Welfare Recipient

Israel Is the United States’ Biggest Welfare Recipient

Americans are dealing with their own economic issues; budget cuts in the public sector, unemployment, high taxes, and low wages are hitting home the hardest. However, what most Americans don’t realize is that this economic instability and decline in quality of life could be demonstrably improved by cutting U.S. foreign aid to the greatest welfare recipient and benefactor of American…

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When Congress passed an Authorization for Use of Military Force after the 9/11 attacks, virtually every legislator in Washington voted for it—even Ron Paul, though he expressed some misgivings. The only “no” vote came from the California Democrat Barbara Lee, whose district includes such radical strongholds as Berkeley and Oakland. Thirteen years later, The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf has looked back at Lee’s arguments and the reactions they received. And by “reactions they received,” I mean mail: thousands of letters that fill 12 boxes.

Friedersdorf’s article largely consists of quotes from those letters, whose sentiments range from “To combat terrorism, let’s act in accordance with a high standard that does not disregard the lives of people in other countries” to “You should have been in the Trade Towers you anti-American Bitch. Drop dead!!!” Friedersdorf also points out that Lee’s position has often been misunderstood, noting that she “wasn’t saying no to any use of force against terrorists—rather, she was averse to giving the president authority so broad that it could be used to launch any number of wars.” But the part of the article that I want to highlight comes when he sums up at the end:

Even though a majority now considers the war most understood the AUMF to authorize to be a mistake; even though it has been used to justify military interventions that no one conceived of on September 14, 2001; even though there’s no proof that any war-making of the last 13 years has made us safer; even though many more Americans have died in wars of choice than have been killed in terrorist attacks; even though Lee and many of her constituents were amenable to capturing or killing the 9/11 perpetrators, not pacifists intent on ruling out any use of force; despite all of that, Representative Lee is still thought of as a fringe peacenik representing naive East Bay hippies who could never be trusted to guide U.S. foreign policy. And the people who utterly failed to anticipate the trajectory of the War on Terrorism? Even those who later voted for a war in Iraq that turned out to be among the most catastrophic in U.S. history are considered sober, trustworthy experts….

Lee and many letter writers who supported her were far more prescient in their analysis than Hillary Clinton or John McCain. Try telling the average American that many Berkeley liberals were more correct about the War on Terror than those two. They’ll laugh in your face, even if they personally supported and now oppose those two wars.

The first sentence in that quote is slightly wrong: I know of no poll that shows a majority of Americans regretting the Afghan war. But we’re coming close. As of February, Gallup shows 49 percent of the country thinking “the United States made a mistake in sending military forces to Afghanistan” and 48 percent thinking it didn’t. In other words, there is basically an even split, with a slight plurality tipping toward Lee’s position.

Regular Reason readers know I’ve been mentioning that poll a lot lately. That is because I remember September 2001 and the public mood at the time, and I find the shift in public opinion staggering. When Gallup first polled Americans about the Afghan war, about two months after Lee’s vote, only 9 percent held the position that 49 percent do today. We are not all Barbara Lee now, but Barbara Lee’s perspective has become mainstream—if not in D.C., than in the country at large.

Oh, the irony: Congressman who voted against increasing minimum wage complained about not getting a raise 

 A $174,000 salary is just not enough for some people — namely Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.).

Terry has the gall to oppose increasing the minimum wage while complaining that his salary hasn’t risen since a pay freeze in 2008, according to ThinkProgress.

He has refused to sign a measure to cut Congress’ pay by 10%. Follow micdotcom

Did Bush And Cheney Pave The Way For ISIL?

Did Bush And Cheney Pave The Way For ISIL?

Who Do You Think Had The Greater Control In The War On Terror? Bush Or Cheney?
Photo Credit: Dick Cheney – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2004 World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland

Former Vice-President Dick Cheney and President Bush birthed the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” [ISIL], which is the greatest threat in the Middle East at the moment. How? The Cheney/Bush regeme…

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For the third time this summer, computers in the House have been blocked from editing Wikipedia due to a string of controversial edits.

Anonymous users operating from an Internet Protocol (IP) address linked to the House were banned from editing the site for a month late on Wednesday.

The action came after a series of edits people using the IP address made to pages on the user-generated encyclopedia about transgender people that many on the site considered offensive.

The final straw came on Wednesday afternoon, when someone from the House edited the page for the Netflix hit show “Orange is the New Black” to change the characterization of an actor from “a real transgender woman” to “a real man pretending to be a woman.”

Earlier this week, the account had been used to edit pages for “tranny” — a derogatory term for transgender people — as well as the annual festival Camp Trans and transphobia, the opposition to people who are trans.

“An obvious transphobe is using this IP to edit the article on transphobia,” a Wikipedia user wrote earlier this month, urging administrators to block the account.

The Hill,'Orange is the New Black' fight sparks new House Wikipedia ban.”

Instead of governing, this is how House Republicans and their staffers choose to spend their time: vandalizing Wikipedia entries on the taxpayer’s dime.

These people are bullies and children.

Our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s. Unfortunately, due to a Department of Defense (DoD) Program that transfers surplus DoD equipment to state and local law enforcement, our local police are quickly beginning to resemble paramilitary forces.
For Once A GOP Politician Tells The Truth

For Once A GOP Politician Tells The Truth

Jack Kingston (R- Georgia) Image Credit: Huffington Post

Jack Kingston, a republican Congressman from Georgia’s first district, may have accidentally told the truth, in a recent interview with the New York Times (NYT).

When talking about whether he believes that the President should seek approval from Congress before expanding a military campaign in Iraq and Syria, Kingston told the NYT:

“A lot…

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