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Typewriter Man: Ralph Nader on the failure of high-tech consumer protests

June 8, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s no exaggeration to say that Ralph Nader launched the modern consumer movement. He emerged on the national stage with the publication of his 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed, which detailed automobile manufacturers’ reckless resistance to safety measures. Nader used his prominence to attract an army of citizen activists—“Nader’s ...

Brownback promises battle on Iraq ambassador nominee

March 23, 2009 President Obama's nomination of Christopher Hill to be ambassador to Iraq has prompted fierce criticism from a handful of senior Republican senators in what is likely a prelude to a bruising battle on the Senate floor. Critics including Sen. Sam Brownback charge that Hill, a career diplomat, misled Congress in ...

Obama then and now: Confirming an attorney general

January 16, 2009 As the Senate Judiciary Committee grills Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, it is telling to take a look at how then-Sen. Barack Obama approached his votes on Cabinet nominees four years ago. Obama opposed Alberto Gonzales, President Bush's choice for the nation's top law enforcement job, even as he supported ...

McCain is not afraid to take chances

October 27, 2008 Forty-one years ago, on the most fateful day of his life, Navy pilot John McCain heard the warning tone signaling that an enemy weapon system had locked onto his aircraft. He was moments from dropping bombs on his target, Hanoi, which, with Soviet help, had become the city most heavily ...

No simple answer from McCain on use of force

August 29, 2008 In 1983, his first year in the House, John McCain felt he had to split with President Reagan on a pressing national security issue. Reagan, whom McCain greatly admired, was urging Congress to pass a resolution to keep the Marines in Lebanon for 18 months as part of a multinational ...

Lawmakers of both parties seek to avoid government shutdown

October 29, 2007 A dozen years ago, a high-stakes budget battle between the White House and congressional Republicans resulted in a train wreck. The federal government partially shut down twice. Public disapproval of Washington soared, as voters voiced disgust with their obviously dysfunctional government. Leon Panetta remembers that time well. As President Clinton's ...

Intelligence overhaul supporters seek options

November 22, 2004 Advocates of a sweeping intelligence overhaul bill, stung by Saturday's collapse to move a compromise measure through the House, spent Monday trying to assess what must be done to get a bill passed by the end of the 108th Congress. House GOP leadership aides said a decision had yet to ...

Edwards could play many roles in a Kerry administration

July 12, 2004 It's no secret that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., decided to name Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., as his running mate because he hoped that his charismatic colleague would give his presidential campaign a boost. Edwards connects with voters in a powerful way, thanks to his youthful good looks, dynamism, empathetic style, ...

Congress exercises poor oversight of executive branch, critics say

January 15, 2004 It may seem obvious that when the same political party controls the House, the Senate, and the White House, the watchdog function of the legislative branch suffers. But many political scientists and other experts contend that in the past few years, Congress's oversight responsibilities have been put into deep freeze. ...

Congress, administration test limits of rocky relationship

October 3, 2003 Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., has had enough. Never one to pull his punches, the former Army sergeant who served courageously in Vietnam is angered by the Bush administration's often-dismissive attitude toward Congress on issues of foreign policy and national security. Hagel's unhappiness exploded to the surface during a mid-September interview ...