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Category Archives: Congress

Our Precarious Democracy Extreme Polarization and Alienation in Our Politics

“As Independence Day approaches, more than one in four Americans are so alienated from their government that they believe it may “soon be necessary to take up arms” against it, according to a new poll released Thursday by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP). That startling finding, which comes in the midst of congressional hearings into the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, was just one of several reflections of the dangerous level of estrangement many Americans feel from each other and our democratic institutions. The survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted last month by Republican pollster Neil Newhouse and Democratic pollster Joel Benenson with input from students at the IOP, was designed to probe polarization and its relationship to the news sources upon which Americans rely in a fractionated media environment. The portrait that it paints reveals not only the growing divides we have witnessed in recent years but strong sentiments that the majority of media outlets contribute to these divisions by intentionally misleading their audiences to promote a political point of view..

About three-quarters (73 percent) of voters who identify themselves as Republican agree that “Democrats are generally bullies who want to impose their political beliefs on those who disagree.” An almost identical percentage of Democrats (74 percent) express that view of Republicans. A similarly lopsided majority of each party holds that members of the other are “generally untruthful and are pushing disinformation…Fully half say they have friends or relatives “who have changed because of the media they consume.” And in today’s media environment, where Americans can choose from a plethora of sources for news and information, a majority of Americans (50 percent) believe that when they have political differences, it is less caused by “honest disagreement” than that those who disagree are “misinformed because of where they get their information.”…

Where Is the U.S. Economy Headed: Soft Landing, Hard Landing, or Stagflation?

CRS Insight – Where Is the U.S. Economy Headed: Soft Landing, Hard Landing, or Stagflation?, June 28, 2022 : “The Economic Recovery So Far – The recovery from the 2020 recession was rapid through the first half of 2021, but the transition to moderate, sustainable economic growth has been choppy, with negative growth in the… Continue Reading

Here’s every word from the sixth Jan. 6 committee hearing on its investigation

NPR: Below, read the full transcript from the June 28 hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The transcript was produced by CQ. [sipped] BENNIE THOMPSON: The Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol will be in order. Without objection, the chair is authorized… Continue Reading

Lawmakers v. The Scientific Realities of Human Reproduction

New England Journal of Medicine: “The just-announced U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization represents a stunning reversal of precedent that inserts government into the personal lives and health care of Americans. Yet it was not unexpected. In the long, painful prelude to the decision, many states have severely limited access… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Sara Jacobs – we need to protect reproductive health data

Sara Jacobs: “On June 24, 2022 “the Supreme Court of the United States released their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, finding there is no constitutional right to an abortion and effectively overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision from 1973. “This decision is outrageous and has dangerous and far-reaching implications for Americans’ right to privacy… Continue Reading

With Roe overturned, updated ABA Legal Fact Check explores doctrine of legal precedent

“With the decision today by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the landmark abortion decision of Roe v. Wade, the posted ABA Legal Fact Check has been revised to reflect the developments to assist reporters and the public to better understand the legal principle of stare decisis, or legal precedent, and how it came to be.… Continue Reading

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

Senator Chris Murphy: “Following agreement between U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on legislative text that will allow the Senate to vote to end a three decades long logjam on gun safety legislation, Murphy released the following statement: “For decades, the anti-gun violence movement has been… Continue Reading

Study – Google search results for abortion services are leading users to ‘fake clinics’

Inside Daily Brief: “Congressional Democrats have sent a letter to Google encouraging the search engine to improve its results for users seeking abortions. The letter follows a study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate which found that 11% of abortion searches in states with “trigger laws” – states which will automatically ban abortion if the… Continue Reading

Compiling Congressional Districts

Via Center for Data Innovation – Grossmann, M., Lucas, C., McCrain, J, & Ostrander, I. (2022). CongressData. East Lansing, MI: Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) – “Researchers at Michigan State University have created a dataset tracking the history of U.S. congressional districts. The dataset consists of congressional districts from 1789 to 2021… Continue Reading

Warren, Wyden, Murray, Whitehouse, Sanders Introduce Legislation to Ban Data Brokers from Selling Americans’ Location and Health Data

Bill Text (PDF) | One-Pager (PDF) – “United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced the Health and Location Data Protection Act, legislation that bans data brokers from selling some of the most sensitive data available about everyday Americans: their health and location data. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chair of the… Continue Reading

What the TSA could teach Congress about gun control

Recode – “TSA PreCheck uses enhanced background checks to make everyone safer. With the country continually in mourning over gun violence — we keep seeing mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting — it’s time to find ways to prevent it, lest we remain the “only nation where this regularly happens.” Those solutions needn’t be… Continue Reading