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Category Archives: Congress

The Four Quadrants of American Politics

The Atlantic: “Control of the House of Representatives could teeter precariously for years as each party consolidates its dominance over mirror-image demographic strongholds. That’s the clearest conclusion of a new analysis of the demographic and economic characteristics of all 435 congressional districts, conducted by the Equity Research Institute at the University of Southern California in conjunction with The Atlantic. Based on census data, the analysis finds that Democrats now hold a commanding edge over the GOP in seats where the share of residents who are nonwhite, the share of white adults with a college degree, or both, are higher than the level in the nation overall. But Republicans hold a lopsided lead in the districts where the share of racial minorities and whites with at least a four-year college degree are both lower than the national level—and that is the largest single bloc of districts in the House…

Nearly three-fourths of House Democrats represent districts where the share of white adults with a college degree exceeds the national level of 36 percent. More than three-fourths of Republicans hold districts where the share of white college graduates trails the national level…”

Visualizing Political Bias in Bicameral Legislatures

The Economist – See the visualization here: “Left-of-centre Americans often bemoan their country’s Senate, in which each state gets two seats regardless of population. This has always given the least populous states extra sway in the upper chamber of Congress. But in recent years, smaller states have become more Republican, and Democrats have called for… Continue Reading

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan Issues Sweeping Subpoenas to Universities Studying Misinformation

Pro Publica: “In the subpoenas, Jordan asserted that the schools may have contributed to the Biden administration’s “censorship regime by advising on so-called misinformation. House Republicans have sent letters to at least three universities and a think tank requesting a broad range of documents related to what it says are the institutions’ contributions to the… Continue Reading

How AI could write our laws

MIT Technology News: “Nearly 90% of the multibillion-dollar federal lobbying apparatus in the United States serves corporate interests. In some cases, the objective of that money is obvious. Google pours millions into lobbying on bills related to antitrust regulation. Big energy companies expect action whenever there is a move to end drilling leases for federal… Continue Reading

Forecasting potential misuses of language models for disinformation campaigns and how to reduce risk

“OpenAI researchers collaborated with Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology and the Stanford Internet Observatory to investigate how large language models might be misused for disinformation purposes. The collaboration included an October 2021 workshop bringing together 30 disinformation researchers, machine learning experts, and policy analysts, and culminated in a co-authored report building on… Continue Reading

DOJ – Trump can be sued for Jan. 6 riot harm

AP: “Former President Donald Trump can be sued by injured Capitol Police officers and Democratic lawmakers over the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said Thursday in a federal court case testing Trump’s legal vulnerability for his speech before the riot. In court papers, the Justice Department urged a federal… Continue Reading

Domestic Terrorism: Further Actions Needed to Strengthen FBI and DHS Collaboration to Counter Threats

Domestic Terrorism: Further Actions Needed to Strengthen FBI and DHS Collaboration to Counter Threats, GAO-23-104720 Published: Feb 22, 2023. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2023. “Incidents of domestic terrorism increased by 357% between 2013 and 2021. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are charged with collaborating to prevent domestic threats. Although they work together… Continue Reading

New Options for Member Alerts

In Custodia Legis – February 2023 New, Tip, and Top: “ uses an iterative design process to get new features and enhancements to you quickly. With the January release Robert shared that member remarks are now included with sponsored and cosponsored legislation on member profile pages. With today’s release, we build on that by… Continue Reading

IRS Needs to Complete Modernization Plans and Fully Address Cloud Computing Requirements

Information Technology: IRS Needs to Complete Modernization Plans and Fully Address Cloud Computing Requirements, GAO-23-104719 Published: Jan 12, 2023. Publicly Released: Feb 07, 2023. “The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) legacy IT environment includes applications, software, and hardware, which are outdated but still critical to day-to-day operations. Specifically, GAO’s analysis showed that about 33 percent of… Continue Reading

Commentary Early thoughts on regulating generative AI like ChatGPT

Brookings, Alex Engler: “With OpenAI’s ChatGPT now a constant presence both on social media and in the news, generative artificial intelligence (AI) models have taken hold of the public’s imagination. Policymakers have taken note too, with statements from Members addressing risks and AI-generated text read on the floor of the House of Representatives. While they… Continue Reading

Strengthening and Democratizing the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Innovation Ecosystem

Strengthening and Democratizing the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Innovation Ecosystem: An Implementation Plan for a National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource. National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force, January 2023. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing our country and our world. From how citizens navigate their daily lives to how researchers drive discoveries in the lab to how… Continue Reading