When House members are invited by a private group to travel overseas at the organization’s expense, they often make two calls to ensure the trip is proper. As some two dozen congressional offices are now learning, checking with the House ethics committee and the organization paying the bill isn’t enough. They need to contact a Justice Department office that registers foreign agents. At least eight House members and 15 House aides accepted trips to South Korea from a registered foreign agent despite rules prohibiting the practice, government documents show. Lawmakers said they didn’t know the Korea-United States Exchange Council had registered as an agent of the South Korean government.
The head of the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday rejected the term “crisis” to describe Social Security’s money problems but told lawmakers the sooner they can enact long-term reforms, the less pain American workers and retirees are likely to feel from fixes such as tax increases or reduced benefits.
Since the Bush administration took office in 2001, the National Archives says the number of “classification decisions” – government jargon for putting secrecy stamps on documents – has increased about 75 percent, from 9 million occasions in 2001 to 16 million last year.
Censorship and repression are business as usual for the Bush administration’s jack-booted approach to anything it deems immoral, illegal or fattening. The Republican Party that controls the White House and Congress is overrun with homophobes, racists, bigots and prudes so sexually-repressed they couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse if someone else paid in advance, which is probably best because most whores wouldn’t screw such lowlifes for any amount of money.