[net-gold] Secrecy News -- 02/08/10



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Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 13:17:55 -0500
From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@xxxxxxx>
To: saftergood@xxxxxxx
Subject: Secrecy News -- 02/08/10 (alt list)



SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2010, Issue No. 13
February 8, 2010



Secrecy News Blog:

<http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/>




**      SENATE HOLDS, FILIBUSTERS AND THE "NUCLEAR" OPTION
**      CONGRESSIONAL PROFILES
**      CRS ON AL QAEDA AFFILIATES, RUM TAXES




SENATE HOLDS, FILIBUSTERS AND THE "NUCLEAR" OPTION



Last week, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) placed a "hold" on all of the Obama
Administration nominations that are pending before the Senate, thereby
preventing a vote on their confirmation.  There are said to be at least 70
such nominations awaiting Senate action, including those of several senior
defense and intelligence officials.  Sen. Shelby, a man of flexible
principles who has served as both a Democrat and a Republican, reportedly
adopted the blanket holds in an attempt to compel the Administration to
award certain defense contracts to his home state of Alabama.

 http://themoderatevoice.com/62129/senator-shelby-and-the-blanket-holds/

Shelby's action is "outlandish," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
(D-NV) on the Senate floor last Thursday.  But that was as far as he was
prepared to go, or perhaps farther than he intended to go.  Striking a
tactical retreat, he immediately added: "I can't imagine this is the right
thing to do."

        http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2010_cr/onhold.html

The new obstructionism has the potential to cripple the U.S. government,
warned Paul Krugman today in the New York Times, and to do so in a
particularly pointless and humiliating way:  "Instead of re-enacting the
decline and fall of Rome, we're re-enacting the dissolution of 18th-century
Poland," he wrote.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/08/opinion/08krugman.html

Confronted with rampant irresponsibility and procedural abuse, the White
House and the Majority party are not -- or should not be -- helpless to
respond.  In theory, their options include recess appointments to circumvent
the Senate confirmation process, and the so-called "nuclear" option to alter
existing Senate procedures.  These alternatives, along with related
background, have been usefully described in a series of reports from the
Congressional Research Service.

"Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions," updated March 12, 2008:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21308.pdf

"'Entrenchment' of Senate Procedure and the 'Nuclear Option' for Change:
Possible Proceedings and Their Implications," March 28, 2005:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32843.pdf

"Cloture Attempts on Nominations," March 30, 2009:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32878.pdf

"'Holds' in the Senate," May 19, 2008:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/98-712.pdf

"Senate Policy on 'Holds': Action in the 110th Congress," March 14, 2008:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34255.pdf

"Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate," March 28, 2003:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30360.pdf

"Minority Rights and Senate Procedures," August 22, 2005:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30850.pdf


CONGRESSIONAL PROFILES

Several recent reports from the Congressional Research Service provide
descriptive profiles of the present and past composition of Congress by
race, ethnicity, gender, education, religion and occupation.

"Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile," February 4, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40086.pdf

"Women in the United States Congress: 1917-2009," December 23, 2009:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30261.pdf

"Asian Pacific Americans in the United States Congress," February 1, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/97-398.pdf

"African-American Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2009,"
February 2, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30378.pdf


CRS ON AL QAEDA AFFILIATES, RUM TAXES

Other new reports from the Congressional Research Service include the
following:

"Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and
Implications for U.S. Policy," February 5, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/R41070.pdf

"The Rum Excise Tax Cover-Over: Legislative History and Current Issues,"
January 20, 2010:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41028.pdf



_______________________________________________





Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation
of American Scientists.

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_______________________





Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:    www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email:  saftergood@xxxxxxx
voice:  (202) 454-4691




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