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Daily Archives: March 13, 2017

Paper – Public Interest vs. Private Lives

Yanisky-Ravid, Shlomit and Lahav, Ben Zion, Public Interest vs. Private Lives – Affording Public Figures Privacy, in the Digital Era: The Three Principles Filtering Model (March 12, 2006). University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 19, No. 5, 2017. Available at SSRN:

“On the basis of reasoning that there exists a broad “right to know” information of public concern, freedom of speech generally overrides public figures’ right to privacy in the United States. The legal result reflects a situation in which public figures have almost no right to privacy even when published information is false. The new realm of the digital era brings new threats to public figure privacy that invokes the need to rethink this norm. We agree with the notion that public figures, by virtue of their position in society, waive their right to privacy when there is an important and legitimate purpose to informing the public of certain information. However, we depart from the U.S. legal norm, maintaining that, in general, public figures, under certain conditions, should be able to enjoy a right to privacy similar to that afforded to private citizens. In support of this proposition, we have developed a Three Principle Filtering Model, to be used in determining whether or not the rationale for publication of information about public figures is legitimate and hence should be allowed or prohibited….”

When Does Self-Interest Motivate Political Engagement? The Case of Climate Change

Levine, Adam Seth and Kline, Reuben, When Does Self-Interest Motivate Political Engagement? The Case of Climate Change (March 12, 2017). Available at SSRN: “Past work finds that material self-interest often motivates increased issue engagement. In this paper we identify an important condition under which the opposite can occur. When people see an issue as… Continue Reading

POGO – Trump’s Trademarks Pose Ethics Challenge for the Executive Branch

POGO – “Last week, President Trump’s campaign committee filed a legal complaint against a textile manufacturer in South Carolina for applying to trademark the use of “Make America Great Again” on bath towels, bed blankets, and pillow cases. The complaint was brought before a panel called the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Trademark Board), a… Continue Reading

Knight Foundation – Forecasting Freedom of Information

Forecasting Freedom of Information – Why it faces problems—and how experts say they could be solved, March 2017 — By David Cuillier, University of Arizona School of Journalism. A study commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “People must have access to reliable public information to make informed decisions and hold their… Continue Reading

Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR REORGANIZING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, March 13, 2017 – “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1.  Purpose.  This order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch… Continue Reading

NY Fed – Household Debt Edges Up as Auto, Credit Card, and Student Debt Climb

“The Center for Microeconomic Data’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit reveals that total household debt increased by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, rising $226 billion to reach $12.58 trillion, only 99 billion shy of its 2008 third quarter peak. Balances increased across all debt products, with a 1.6% increase in… Continue Reading

GAO – US Gov’t Procurement – More Opportunities to Foreign Firms Than Other Countries

Government Procurement: United States Reported Opening More Opportunities to Foreign Firms Than Other Countries, but Better Data Are Needed, GAO-17-168: Published: Feb 9, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2017. “The United States participates with 57 other countries in trade agreements that allow foreign firms to compete for government business. We found that the United States… Continue Reading

Forbes – The Massive Cost Of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure [Infographic]

Niall McCarthy – Forbes: “One of President Trump’s key aims during his time in office is overhauling and revitalizing America’s potholed roads, disheveled railways and creaking bridges. Illinois and Connecticut have the worst roads in the nation (73 percent of roads in each state are in poor or mediocre condition) while according to the government,… Continue Reading

OpenSecrets – Foreign Lobby Watch

Center for Responsive Politics – ‘Use our new FARA search tool…to look up the lobbyists registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the foreign interests they represent, and their meetings and other contacts with government officials. Please be patient — this search is slower than most on our site; we are working on that. See… Continue Reading

CBO Health Score – 14 million more uninsured next year under GOP plan

Washington Post – Analysis underscores concerns about dramatic loss in health coverage – “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said 24 million fewer Americans would have insurance by 2026, and also predicts $337 billion in deficit reduction over the same period. The projected loss in coverage potentially contradicts President Trump’s vow that health-care reform would provide… Continue Reading