Secret Watchlists: Don’t Ask, Because Uncle Sam Won’t Tell

Department of Homeland Security seal

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is operating a massive new database of personal information. But if you want to know if you're in the database, you'll be out of luck. A proposed rule by DHS would keep the database secret by exempting it from nearly every provision of the Privacy Act.

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Note to AFP, Gross Debt Is Not the Same as Public Debt

Teh Socialists are coming for your last penny!

An Agence France-Presse (AFP) piece making its way around the interwebs states, “US [sic] borrowing tops 100% of GDP: Treasury,” and goes on to explain, "US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic [product] [GDP] after the government's debt ceiling was lifted" earlier this week. The problem with this story is that our debt is nowhere near 100 percent of GDP, at least not the debt that matters.

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The Threat to Our Democracy from the Debt Ceiling Deal

The U.S. Capitol

Bob Greenstein, president of the well-respected Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), lays out the broader consequence of the self-inflicted debt ceiling crisis and, in short, it's a "terrifying" new framework of federal budget politics that enshrines minority rule and threatens to "undermine democracy."

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Congress Passes Bipartisan Bill to Amend the CPSIA

Both chambers of Congress Aug. 1 approved legislation to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The bill, H.R. 2715, moved through the House by a roll call vote of 421-2 before passing the Senate by voice vote. Unlike previous attempts to "fix" the CPSIA, this bill received bipartisan support.

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Let's Have Contractor Disclosure Already

A disclosure document

Last week, a group of more than 60 House lawmakers sent a letter to President Obama offering their "full support" for final release of a proposed executive order (EO) that would require disclosure of contractors' political spending. After more than three months of baseless attacks on the prospective EO from a relentless special interest smear machine, it's time for the president to establish this basic measure of accountability within the federal contracting system.

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Administration Seeks to Ensure Information is Accessible for People with Disabilities

The Obama administration is working to ensure that government information is accessible for people with disabilities, the White House announced in a statement last week. Accessibility is a critical element to protecting all Americans' right to know, and the administration is right to seek to improve it.

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Agencies’ Regulatory Review Plans To Be Released Soon

Today is the deadline for federal agencies to submit their final plans for reviewing existing regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The plans are the second step in a process outlined by the Obama Administration to get rid of redundant, needlessly burdensome and outdated rules.

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