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Dem introduces ‘Do Not Track Me Online’ privacy bill

WASHINGTON – A California Democrat has introduced an online privacy measure that would allow Web users to opt-out of having their online behavior monitored by advertisers. HR 654, The Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011, would empower the Federal Trade Commission to write regulations ensuring that online marketing…

House clears way for PATRIOT Act extension

The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to clear the road for an extension of controversial provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act. The final vote was 248 to 176, largely along party lines. Just 4 Republicans voted against the extension, while only 15 Democrats voted for it. Under the…

GOP bills to defund United Nations, extend PATRIOT Act blocked

Republicans fail on procedural votes twice in 24 hours WASHINGTON – House Republicans may need a new whip counter. For the second time in the span of 24 hours, the new Republican majority failed to pass a bill under a procedural rule requiring a two-thirds majority that would expedite the…

Obama seeks longer PATRIOT Act extension than Republicans

Faced with a looming vote on a planned one-year extension of special powers authorized in the USA PATRIOT Act, the Obama White House did not object or propose reforms, as the president vowed to do as a candidate. The Obama administration instead asked Congress to grant those powers for an…

PATRIOT Act extension fails procedural vote, expected to return

A plan that would have seen the House of Representatives extend controversial provisions of the PATRIOTAct with little debate failed Tuesday night, as a group of Republicans joined a majority of Democrats in voting no. The House voted 277 to 148 for the PATRIOT Act extension — 23 votes short…

New GOP bill would deny abortions to women in life-threatening situations: group

WASHINGTON – Engulfed by criticisms from women’s advocates, House Republicans have reportedly given up on legislative language that would deny some rape victims the ability to seek federally-assisted abortion coverage. But according to the leading abortion rights group NARAL, a new version of a related bill would allow hospitals to…

Texas governor railed against ‘bailouts’ on same day he requested one

Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Democrat-turned-Republican who served as George W. Bush’s lieutenant and won his third term last year, wants you to think he’s not a fan of federal bailouts. Yet, on the same day “Texans for Rick Perry” launched their “No Government Bailouts” campaign, Perry himself was lining…

WikiLeaks ‘actually based on espionage,’ new ‘Miss America’ declares

Some beauty queens might expect to get questions about world peace. But the question asked of the newly minted Miss America on Saturday night touched on a less generalized topic: secrets outlet WikiLeaks. “Everybody’s talking about the WikiLeaks, how do we balance people’s right to know with the need for…

Congress quietly prepares to renew Patriot Act

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) has introduced a little-noticed bill that intends to once again renew controversial provisions of the Bush administration’s USA Patriot Act that are due to expire this year. When the act was first signed into law, Congress put in some “sunset” provisions to quiet the concerns of…

The BP oil spill saga: Where things stand now

The BP oil spill in the Gulf killed 11 workers in April, released nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and triggered multiple government investigations and an overhaul of the nation’s offshore drilling regulatory agency. Federal scientists estimated in August that between 53,000 and 62,000 barrels spilled…

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