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:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Congress LEADS Global Data Storage Solution?

Representatives Tom Marino (R., PA) and Suzan DelBene (D., WA) have introduced the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act). A press release calls it "a simple solution to the all too common and complicated problem of international data storage and governmental access," further noting that it "balances the critical needs of law enforcement and sovereignty of foreign nations with the importance of respecting privacy and personal information."

The bill is supported by a number of organizations and businesses, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Microsoft. The full press release is below the jump. 


Reps. Marino, DelBene Introduce LEADS Act

Feb 27, 2015 Issues: Defense and National Security
February 27, 2015
Reps. Marino, DelBene Introduce LEADS Act
Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act) today. The LEADS Act is a simple solution to the all too common and complicated problem of international data storage and governmental access. The legislation balances the critical needs of law enforcement and sovereignty of foreign nations with the importance of respecting privacy and personal information.
This legislation also strengthens the framework of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) by resisting the trend of storing data within each and protection efforts in an era of cloud storage and computing where information exchanges increasingly ignore the confines of traditional international boundaries.
Congressman Marino, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform said the following:
“I am proud to join Congresswoman DelBene in this effort and have great confidence that with her help, our colleagues on both sides of the aisle can join in supporting the LEADS Act. It is an important piece of legislation which has significant and positive implications for law enforcement and private citizens. If we cannot accomplish the act of passing this reasonable legislation, U.S. companies will find it increasingly difficult to compete overseas and online user privacy will diminish.”
Congresswoman DelBene said the following:
“U.S. companies need clear guidelines on when they have to turn over electronic communications to law enforcement if that information is stored abroad. The current uncertainty harms U.S. businesses and their customers, and does not well-serve our foreign relationships,” DelBene said. “The LEADS Act is an important step in solving one of the most challenging issues in the electronic information age, and I look forward to working with stakeholders to pass productive legislation that will give U.S. companies a workable legal framework.”
The following organizations are supporters of the LEADS Act:
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), AT&T, App Association, Apple, Brittenford Systems, The Software Alliance, Carter-McGowan Services Alliance, TechNet, Cisco, Cogent Company, Verizon, Focal Technology, Gruene Technology Group, Hewlett-Packer Company, IBM, Interknowlogy, KDM Consulting, Kumo Technology, ManyWorlds, Inc., Microsoft, National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation, National Association of Manufacturers, Rackspace, Tech Cumulus, Telecommunications Industry Association and Verizon support the legislation.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Student Success or Educational Divestment?

Rep. John Kline's (R., MN) H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, is on the verge of passing the House. However the Obama Administration has come out against the measure, noting that the bill would be vetoed if presented to the President. The statement says the measure "represents a significant step backwards in the efforts to help all of the Nation's children and their families prepare for their futures." 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

ObamaCARE Replacement?

Senators Richard Burr (R., NC) and Orrin Hatch (R., UT), in conjunction with Rep. Fred Upton (R., MI) have introduced the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, which would repeal Obamacare and replace it with "common sense" reforms. 

A partial press release is below the jump. 


Burr, Hatch, Upton Unveil Obamacare Replacement Plan

Bicameral Republican Blueprint Lowers Health Care Costs and Increases Access to Affordable, Quality Care without Washington Mandates

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) unveiled thePatient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act—a legislative plan that repeals Obamacare and replaces it with common-sense, patient-focused reforms that reduce health care costs and increase access to affordable, high-quality care.  In contrast with Obamacare and its government-centered mandates and regulations, this bicameral proposal empowers the American people to make the best health care choices for themselves and their families.  ...
The Patient CARE Act provides a legislative roadmap to repeal the President’s health care law known as Obamacare and replace the law with common-sense measures that would:
Establish sustainable, patient-focused reforms:
  • Adopt common-sense consumer protections;
  • Create a new protection to help Americans with pre-existing conditions;
  • Empower small businesses and individuals with purchasing power;
  • Empower states with more tools to help provide coverage while reducing costs; and
  • Strengthen consumer directed health care and allow Americans to buy coverage across state lines.
Modernize Medicaid to provide better coverage and care to patients:
  • Transition to capped allotment to provide states with predictable funding and flexibility.
Reduce defensive medicine and rein in frivolous lawsuits: 
  • Medical Malpractice reforms.
Increase health care price transparency to empower consumers and patients:
  • Require basic health care transparency to inform and empower patients.
Reduce distortions in the tax code that drive up health care costs: 
  • Cap the exclusion of an employee’s employer-provided health coverage.
Empower Small Businesses and Individuals with Purchasing Power:
  • Targeted tax credit to help buy health care. 

To read the Patient CARE Act, click HERE.
To read a two-page summary, click HERE.
To read a list of Frequently Asked Questions, click HERE.
To read a list of illustrative examples, click HERE.
To see a comparison of Patient CARE with Obamacare, click HERE.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Respect for Marriage = Repealing DOMA

In a bid to officially repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, Democrats have introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., NY) in the House, and by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (R., CA) in the Senate. It's purposes, simply are: "To repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage." There is some bipartisan support the legislation as recently Rep. Robert Dold (R., IL) was the third Republican to sign on to sponsor the legislation.