National Journal Online

FCC Unveils Broadband Plan

The FCC released it long-awaited national broadband plan Monday -- a 360-page document that agency officials dubbed a "call to action" for extending low-cost, high-speed Internet service to all Americans by 2020, CongressDaily reported. The technology blueprint, required by last year's economic stimulus package, outlines six long-term goals, including superfast connectivity to 100 million households and transforming the U.S. into a world leader in mobile broadband use and innovation.

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 11:14am

Bill Would Speed Up FOIA Responses

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced legislation Monday that would establish an advisory panel to examine agency backlogs in processing Freedom of Information Act requests for government information and provide recommendations on ways to improve agency responses to these requests. The panel established by the bill also would be charged with examining whether the system for charging fees and granting fee waivers under FOIA should be changes to cut down on delays in processing fee requests.

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 11:03am

Kirk Touts Stem Cell Work In First Ad

Rep. Mark Kirk (R) is using his first general election TV ad to tout his independent record in DC, highlighting votes he took that make some GOPers uncomfortable as he tacks to the middle for the general election.

Kirk's first ad of the general showcases his votes for tax cuts as well as for broadening stem cell research, along with his work on behalf of Lake Michigan.

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 10:00am

State Department Launches New Discussion Site

The State Department Monday launched a new Web site aimed at fostering global conversations about foreign policy issues. The new "Opinion Space" site uses "new data visualization models" and analysis to map out where participants' points of view fall on a visual opinion map. The map is based on the similarity of users' opinions and not on where they live. "Those who agree on basic issues are neighbors, and those who are far apart have agreed to disagree," according to the site. The site is a joint project of the State Department and the University of California at Berkeley's Center

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 9:55am

NCAA Bet As Campaign Tactic

Sure, it's fun to fill out your brackets. And sometimes, it can even score political points.

KY LG Daniel Mongiardo (D) and his primary rival, AG Jack Conway (D), have been engaged in low-level friendly fire for the better part of a year as they race to replace Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY). The bitter primary has gone so far that it could threaten the party's chances to hold the seat, come Nov.

But basketball is religion in KY, and everyone can have some fun around tournament time.

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 9:15am

FCC To Announce Broadband Plan

From this morning's Earlybird: • "U.S. regulators will announce a major Internet policy this week to revolutionize how Americans communicate and play, proposing a dramatic increase in broadband speeds that could let people download a high-definition film in minutes instead of hours," Reuters reports. • "The Chinese authorities have warned major partners of Google's China-based search engine that they must comply with censorship laws even if Google does not, an industry expert with knowledge of the notice said Sunday," the New York Times reports.

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 8:30am

Health Care Advertising Reaches Fever Pitch

From this morning's Earlybird: • "The yearlong legislative fight over health care is drawing to a frenzied close as a multimillion-dollar wave of advertising that rivals the ferocity of a presidential campaign takes aim at about 40 House Democrats whose votes will help determine the fate of President Obama's top domestic priority," the New York Times reports. • "A coalition of business groups is hoping geeks rule the school in the next decade.

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 8:30am

Monday's Starting Lineup

Good Monday morning. Beware the Ides of March, and don't forget to fill out your brackets. We're trying to stifle our outrage over Washington's 11 seed because we'd rather see them beat New Mexico in the 2nd round rather than face a 1 seed.

Here's today's Starting Lineup, previewing the people who will matter in politics today:

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 7:45am

Brave New World Of Political Spending For Nonprofits

In the wake of the Supreme Court's recent ruling to deregulate corporate political spending, public attention has focused squarely on whether businesses and for-profit companies will now lavish big money on elections.But Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission may have as much or more im

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Census Takers Counting On Their Ad Campaign

It started when a quirky advertisement promoting the U.S. Census, starring actor Ed Begley Jr. and directed by Christopher Guest , aired during the Super Bowl. Read more and comment on this column at Pollster.com . Conservatives howled. Sen. John McCain , R-Ariz., said that the $2.5 m

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 12:00am