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Category Archives: Government Documents

CRS – How Can the Results of a Presidential Election Be Contested?

CRS Reports & Analysis Legal Sidebar – How Can the Results of a Presidential Election Be Contested?, August 26, 2016.
“In the midst of the presidential campaign season, the possibility of election fraud has been raised. This discussion briefly examines how the results of a presidential election may be contested. Although it has national impact, the presidential election is in essence 50 state and District of Columbia elections for presidential electors, held on the same day throughout the country. Therefore—and consistent with the states’ traditional authority over the administration of elections within their jurisdictions—states have the initial responsibility for resolving challenges, recounts, and contests to the results of a presidential election. Specifically, the Electoral Count Act of 1887, as amended, contemplates that contests and challenges to the vote for presidential electors are to be initially handled in the states. Codified in part at 3 U.S.C. § 5 , the law provides that if a contest or challenge in a state to the election or appointment of presidential electors is resolved in that state before the sixth day prior to the meeting of the electors, such determination shall be “conclusive” and shall “govern” when Congress counts the electoral votes as directed by the Twelfth Amendment. The Supreme Court has referred to this as the “safe harbor” provision. This year, the presidential electors are scheduled to meet on December 19. Six days prior is December 13, which therefore, will be the last day for the states to make a final determination in order for it to be conclusive when Congress counts the votes…” Long-Term Strategy Needed to Improve Website Usability Long-Term Strategy Needed to Improve Website Usability, GAO-16-693: Published: Aug 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2016:  “The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), General Services Administration (GSA), and the Performance Improvement Council (PIC) took several steps to improve the usefulness of, a website intended to serve as the public window to the… Continue Reading

Washington Post publishes searchable document archive for new book on Trump

Via WaPo – “Trump Revealed, a biography of the Republican presidential nominee published August 23 [2016] by Scribner….The archive is searchable and navigable in a number of ways. It is meant as a resource for other journalists and a trove to explore for our many readers fascinated by original documents.” Continue Reading

EC – Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to 13 billion pounds

European Commission Press Release: “The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of… Continue Reading

Fentanyl Law Enforcement Submissions and Increases in Synthetic Opioid–Involved Overdose Deaths — 27 States, 2013–2014

CDC – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 26, 2016:  “In March and October 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and CDC, respectively, issued nationwide alerts identifying illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) as a threat to public health and safety (1,2). IMF is unlawfully produced fentanyl, obtained through illicit drug markets, includes fentanyl analogs, and is… Continue Reading

EFF – Transparency Hunters Capture More than 400 California Database Catalogs

Dave Maass – A team of over 40 transparency activists aimed their browsers at California this past weekend, collecting more than 400 database catalogs from local government agencies, as required under a new state law. Together, participants in the California Database Hunt shined light on thousands upon thousands of government record systems. California S.B. 272… Continue Reading

Volkswagen Agrees to Record Settlement in Emissions Case

FTC Charges Volkswagen Deceived Consumers with Its “Clean Diesel” Campaign: In two related settlements, one with the United States and the State of California, and one with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), German automaker Volkswagen AG and related entities have agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests… Continue Reading

The Criminal Justice System Fails Sexual Assault Survivors, But Data Can Help

Joshau New – Center for Data Innovation: “In Baltimore, sexual assault survivors have little reason to believe they will see justice, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). DOJ found that the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) “systematically under-investigates” sexual assault, in particular by dismissing sexual assault reports, allowing overt… Continue Reading

Preliminary Data on Insurer Exits and Entrants in 2017 Affordable Care Act Marketplaces

Kaiser Family Foundation: “The following charts provide a preliminary picture of the potential effect insurer exits and entrants may have on competition and consumer choice in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. This analysis was done at the request of the Wall Street Journal. Our earlier analysis found that UnitedHealth’s absence from these markets would… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Patriot Modernization, SEC Conflict Minerals Rule

Patriot Modernization: Oversight Mechanism Needed to Track Progress and Provide Accountability, GAO-16-488: Published: Aug 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2016. SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Companies Face Continuing Challenges in Determining Whether Their Conflict Minerals Benefit Armed Groups, GAO-16-805: Published: Aug 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2016. Continue Reading

GAO Report – Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B: Data on Coupon Discounts Needed to Evaluate Methodology for Setting Drug Payment Rates, GAO-16-643: Published: Jul 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 26, 2016: “In 2015, manufacturers of 29 of the 50 high-expenditure Medicare Part B drugs GAO analyzed offered coupon programs, which reduce the costs patients incur for specific drugs. Part B… Continue Reading

Syria’s never ending war

Via the New York Times –  Syria’s Paradox: Why the War Only Ever Seems to Get Worse. ” The average [civil war] now lasts about a decade, twice as long as Syria’s so far. But there are a handful of factors that can make them longer, more violent and harder to stop. Virtually all are… Continue Reading