New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Still AWOL

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) last week urged President Obama to revive the dormant Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board by nominating members to fill the board's vacancies.

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White House Makes Boneheaded Move in not Proactively Disclosing Transparency Meeting

Two days ago, I posted a message about my meeting with President Obama to acknowledge his commitment to transparency and to give him an award for that commitment. During that meeting, the president reaffirmed his belief in transparency and demonstrated a nuanced understanding of the issues involved. I left the meeting assured I had an advocate for transparency running the government, even as we talked about ways of strengthening transparency. Yesterday, I learned that the meeting was not listed on his public calendar. There is no good excuse for this.

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A Face-to-Face with the President about Transparency

Yesterday, I had a once-in-a-career opportunity – to discuss transparency in the Oval Office with the President of the United States.

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OMB Watch Assesses Obama Administration's Progress on Open Government Recommendations

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2011—OMB Watch today published an in-depth analysis of the Obama administration's progress on a wide-ranging set of open government recommendations. The recommendations were crafted by a diverse group of organizations and individuals as part of the 21st Century Right to Know Project, which was coordinated by OMB Watch in 2007 and 2008.

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What Does the President's Budget Mean for Transparency?

The president's budget request for fiscal year 2012, released on Feb. 14, is the opening bid in a months-long process to decide how much the federal government will spend on everything from the Navy to open government efforts. The administration's budget proposal is difficult to analyze in terms of open government commitments because it doesn’t include line-item categories for transparency activities. However, it does provide some clues about increases and cuts.

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PATRIOT Act Provisions Get Three-Month Extension, But Nearly Lose Funding

The House voted yesterday to agree to the Senate's three-month extension of expiring PATRIOT Act provisions. The President is expected to sign the bill before Feb. 28, when the current provisions expire.

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Congress Headed for PATRIOT Act Debate This Year

The Senate voted yesterday to extend expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act until May 27. The House had voted to extend the provisions until December 8; today, the House agreed to consider the Senate version. The House and Senate have to agree before Feb. 28 or the provisions will expire.

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Take Two: PATRIOT Act Extension Passes House

Last week, the House failed to clear a supermajority vote under special rules to extend expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act. But no surprises this time: the House approved the extension yesterday under normal majority rules.

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Surprise! PATRIOT Act Extension Fails House Vote

In a surprise move, a vote to extend expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act fell short in the House yesterday. Three controversial provisions of the intelligence law are set to expire Feb. 28.

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In WikiLeaks' Wake, Administration Tightens Information Security

A new memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) details a new requirement for all federal agencies to assess aspects of their information security in the wake of a series of embarrassing disclosures by WikiLeaks. The memo directs agencies to consider 11 pages of questions relating to information security procedures, including whether employees are required to report contacts with journalists. Transparency advocates have criticized some aspects of OMB's strategy as potentially damaging to open government.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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