The Daily Muck

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Soldiers coming back from World War II were greeted with the GI Bill, giving opportunity and promise to begin anew. Now over 800,000 young men and women are returning from war fronts looking to make their own fresh start, but they are finding the modern version of the GI Bill is insufficient, barely covering half of today’s skyrocketing college tuition. (Washington Post)

By allowing outside influence to affect policy and protocol,the Bush administration has severely watered down the clout of the Environmental Protection Agency, reports a Government Accountability Office finding. The EPA’s duty of assessing cancerous hazards in chemicals, specifically, has been curbed by non-scientific reviews and involvement from White House budget officials, the Energy Dept, and the Pentagon to name a few. (Associated Press)

Ashley Dupre, known as “Kristen” to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, is now suing the founder of the video franchise “Girls Gone Wild” for $10 million. Dupre was featured in one of the company’s videos during a drunken spring break foray in 2003. She says she was only 17 at the time, too young to sign a binding agreement to use the footage of her. Dupre “did not understand the magnitude of her actions …” at the time, her lawsuit claims. (LA Times)The Supreme Court ruled Monday to stand behind an Indiana law requiring citizens to present an official form of ID to vote. The ruling is likely to lead to more such laws, though they only tend to pass in states where there is both a Republican legislature and governor. (New York Times and Politico)

The crippled Federal Election Commission, vital for the monitoring of fundraising efforts in campaigns, is part of the reason why new lobbying disclosure reports, aimed at opening the tracking of influence and advocacy, only further obstruct lobbying oversight. Many of the new disclosure features of such reports can’t be enforced until the FEC is a full-strength commission. (Politico)

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) sold assets of his oil services company (worth around nearly $6 million) to Key Energy Services for $12 million in late 2003. Six weeks earlier, an executive form Key testified during a Pearce-led hearing on natural gas. There is no evidence that Key benefited in any way from Pearce’s position, yet Pearce’s records show no proof of the sale, underlining the difficulties in monitoring financial disclosures by members of Congress. (Roll Call)