New to the art form? This Wall Street Journal article will get you orientated. Also, for more information on how some of these titles mislead lawmakers and the citizenry, find some academic commentary from Brian Christopher Jones here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

For All Sports FANS

Given all the current interest in professional sports, the Senate Judiciary Committee has convened a hearing on Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., CT) and John McCain's FANS (Furthering Access and Networks for Sports) Act. According to a press release, the measure would "would decrease the frequency of sports blackouts by requiring leagues to meet basic obligations to fans if they wish to continue receiving substantial benefits from the public."

An identical measure was introduced in the House by Rep. Brian Higgins (D., NY). 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spoof-Proofing America

Last week the House passed Rep. Grace Meng's (D., NY) Anti-Spoofing Act of 2014, which builds on the 2009 Truth in Caller ID Act, protecting American citizens from spoofers calling from outside the US. Also, the proposed law would now cover text messages as well. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D., MN) and Roy Blunt (R., MO) have introduced identical legislation in the Senate, known as the Caller ID Scam Prevention Act of 2014

The proponents of the new legislation claim that technology has advanced since passage the 2009 law, and new legislation is needed. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Senators Barbara Boxer (D., CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D., CA), and Representatives Grace Napolitano (D., CA) and Peter DeFazio (D., OR) have introduced W21, or Water in the 21st Century Act. The measure hopes to provide nationwide communities better help to "conserve, recycle and manage limited water supplies."

According to a press release, the bill would "would expand rebates and grants for water conservation and efficiency; support local investments in water recycling and improved groundwater management and storage; invest in research into water-saving technologies and desalination; and establish an open water data system. The measure would also help local communities take steps to become better prepared for drought."

The W21 label also seems a bit innovative, as it allows those tweeting about the bill to easily slip it into the text of a tweet and also use it as a hashtag. 

A partial press release is located below the jump, which notes some significant provisions. 


The legislation includes a number of important provisions that would help communities in California, Oregon and across the country:
Efficiency and Conservation
  • Strengthens EPA’s WaterSense program, which promotes water conservation in products, buildings, and landscapes through information and rebates. The bill authorizes $50 million to administer the program and $700 million for rebates, through FY2019, and then funds them at FY2019 levels adjusted for inflation thereafter.
  • Creates a new grant program within the Environmental Protection Agency for local water systems to conserve water, increase water efficiency or reuse water; modify or relocate existing water system infrastructure made or projected to be made inoperable by climate change impacts; preserve or improve water quality, and other projects.
Water Recycling, Storage, and Integrated Water Management
  • Leverages federal financing – through loan guarantees and matching grants – to help support projects on a regional scale, including water recycling, ground water management, water storage and water conveyance infrastructure.
    • $250 million over five years for secured loans.
    • $150 million for integrated regional water management, reclamation, and recycling projects grants.
Innovation through Research, Data, and Technology
·       Establishes an open water data system at the Department of the Interior.
  • Reauthorizes the Water Resources Research Act at $9 million a year through 2020.
  • Reauthorizes the Water Desalination Act at $3 million a year through 2020.
  • Directs the Secretary of the Army to review reservoir operations and assess whether there is a benefit in adjusting operations to take into account improved forecasting data.
Drought Preparedness
  • Establishes Drought Resilience Guidelines for state and local agencies through EPA in coordination with USDA, Commerce and Interior.
  • Directs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in consultation with state and federal agencies, to prepare a salmon drought plan to address the impacts of drought on the salmon population.