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Tag Archive: Handy Tools

Virginia ultrasound law is the image of a few others


Source: Guttmacher Institute

Updated March 7, 4;22 p.m.

The bill Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed Wednesday requiring women in his state to undergo ultrasound screening before they can proceed with an abortion represents the latest victory for anti-abortion activists pushing to get similar legislation enacted nationwide.  

Seven states already have laws on the books requiring pre-abortion ultrasound screening, according to Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights group that focuses on reproductive health policy. At least 18 more states are considering similar bills. 

Above is a map showing states that either have or ...

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Washington Watch Releases Earmark Request Entry Form


For the first time in 2009, members of Congress had to release their earmark requests to the public. As we've documented before, this information is scattered over 535 Web sites in all kinds of different formats. Jim Harper and Washington Watch have now released a tool that allows volunteers to capture that earmark information for posterity, centralize it in a single location, and allow for all kinds of additional analysis and investigation. And, if you participate, you can win a Kindle!

Find out more here.

The more members we get entered, the more meaningful research we can do about ...

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An Army of pharma trips?


The Center for Public Integrity has analyzed 22,000 Pentagon travel disclosures -- filed when an outside party pays for a trip taken by Department of Defense personnel. The finding that jumped out at both Anu and me:

The medical industry paid for more travel than any other single interest over $10 million for some 8,700 trips, or about 40 percent of all outside sponsored travel. Among the targets: military pharmacists, doctors, and others who administer the Pentagon's $6 billion-plus annual budget for prescription drugs

I would have expected Defense contractors to be number one. I hope CPI follows ...

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Whither stimulus contracts?


The Washington Post's Kimberly Kindy reports that the Dept. of Energy is awarding stimulus funds to companies specializing in nuclear clean-ups that have a mixed track record:

A private company was being paid $300 million by the federal government to clean up radioactive waste at two abandoned Cold War plants in Tennessee when an ironworker crashed through a rotted floor. That prompted a major safety review, which ended up forcing work to an abrupt halt, and the project was shut down for months. The delay and a host of other problems caused cost estimates to rise, eventually hitting $781 ...

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Where to find stimulus contracts


A company that offers outsourcing services to federal and state governments got a a contract award for $2.8 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- the stimulus -- to set up call centers for the FCC's digital transition effort; they advertised for jobs paying $16.38 an hour in Buffalo, N.Y. The Dept. of Health and Human Services spent $326,000 in stimulus funds to purchase and install 98 workstations (and an option to store them until needed at a cost of $35 per pallet); a Midland, MI-based company, Space, Inc., got the sale. And ...

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