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Category Archives: Congress

What’s the Difference? Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data

CRS report via LC: What’s the Difference?—Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data, May 20, 2020 – “The size of the U.S. bilateral trade deficit with the People’s Republic of China (China) has been and continues to be an important issue in bilateral trade relations. President Trump and some Members of Congress view the deficit as… Continue Reading

Presidential Removal of IGs Under the Inspector General Act

CRS via LC – Presidential Removal of IGs Under the Inspector General Act May 22, 2020: “President Trump has recently removed or replaced a number of acting and permanent Inspectors General (IGs), including the Intelligence Community IG, the State Department IG, and acting IGs at the Department of Transportation and Department of Defense. These actions… Continue Reading

Your ZIP Code and Your Life Expectancy

The New York Times: “For many, the past few weeks have been tough, but at least we’ve had a respite from pollution: With Americans staying home, emptying the roads and highways of traffic, skies have cleared across the country. That, at least, feels good. But for neighborhoods with historically high levels of air pollution, a… Continue Reading

Considering the Source: Varieties of COVID-19 Information

LC CRS Reports – Considering the Source: Varieties of COVID-19 Information, May 19, 2020: “In common parlance, the terms propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation are often used interchangeably, often with connotations of deliberate untruths of nefarious origin.In a national security context, however, these terms refer to categories of information that are created and disseminated with different… Continue Reading

Test & Trace: A Strategy to Reopen Economies Safely

“#TestAndTrace is an organization working to popularize the concept with the public and help implement Test and Trace in the United States. Our team previously helped power and scale the #Masks4All movement which has popularized the use of homemade masks in public and has reached ~1+ billion people (via social media, news outlets, and governments) in the first… Continue Reading

Trump Is Treating Michigan the Way He Treated Ukraine

Rolling Stone: “A few weeks before President Trump was impeached last December for attempting to blackmail Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan warned the House Judiciary Committee of a future in which the president used similar tactics on his own country: “Imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s… Continue Reading

2020 State of Small Business Report

Facebook and Business Roundtable: Small and medium-sized businesses in the United States are being hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.As part of our ongoing data collection effort with the World Bank and the OECD on the Future of Business, Facebook conducted a survey, in partnership with Small Business Roundtable, of approximately 86,000 people who owned,… Continue Reading

Inspectors general, explained by a former inspector general

Vox – A former State Department watchdog on what they do — and why they matter. “Late Friday night [May 16, 2020], President Donald Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. It was the fourth abrupt dismissal of an inspector general in about as many weeks, and the latest case in which Trump claimed… Continue Reading

Legal Issues Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak: An Overview Updated

LC CRS Reports – Legal Issues Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak: An Overview Updated May 18, 2020:  “The COVID-19 outbreak has rapidly shifted the congressional agenda in recent weeks, while altering the daily lives of millions of American residents. Alongside the many medical, economic, social, and public policy questions raised by the pandemic are a… Continue Reading

U.S. House approves remote voting, though the tech is unclear

TechCrunch: “Congress will allow remote voting for the first time in its history, after the U.S. House approved Resolution 965 late Friday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The measure — sponsored by Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern — authorizes proxy voting by members for renewable periods of 45 days and allows for remote participation in… Continue Reading

We Can Prevent a Great Depression. It’ll Take $10 Trillion.

Derek Thomson – The Atlantic – Don’t think of that number as “big” or “bold.” Just think of it as the appropriate dosage for a once-in-a-century economic affliction: “Last week, House Democrats unveiled their latest pandemic-relief package. The bill combines aid for families, a bailout for struggling cities and states, and additional funds for testing,… Continue Reading

China has been trying to avoid fallout from coronavirus

CNN – Now 100 countries are pushing for an investigation: “Russia has joined about 100 countries in backing a resolution at the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA), calling for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic. The European Union-drafted resolution comes on the back of a push by Australia for an inquiry into China’s initial… Continue Reading