Ron Wyden

Dem Senators Call on W.H. to Declassify Documents on Russian Election Interference

Several Senators penned a letter to President Obama this week, requesting the administration share with the public more information on claims that the Kremlin meddled in the recent US election. Both in the run up to, and after the election, allegations of Russian interference have been bandied around by Democratic political operatives and various news media outlets. Federal investigators, however, have released very little evidence to actually confirm those claims. “We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian Government and the US election that should… Keep Reading

computer keyboard

FBI Gains New Hacking Powers While GOP Congress Sits on Sidelines

The FBI is now allowed to hack into computers anywhere in the world using only a single warrant, according to a new rule that was quietly implemented on Thursday. Prior to the new policy taking effect, federal computer investigators could only hack into a computer within the same district where they obtained a warrant from a judge. “Rule 41,” as it is known, changes those procedures, allowing feds to search potentially any computer, regardless of where the warrant was issued. Devices that investigators believe are… Keep Reading


DOJ Inspector General Urges Congress to Empower Government Watchdogs Ahead of Trump Era

With the Presidential transition impending, many in Washington are wondering how a new administration will react to government oversight. But as a key watchdog noted at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday, it shouldn’t be up to executive appointees to dictate how federal agencies respond to their overseers. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Wednesday that Congress must get involved and implement new rules, to bolster the chances of the public holding the federal government to account. “It shouldn’t be up to who sits in the chair, in the… Keep Reading

CBP chief Mark Morgan

CBP Chief, GOP Sen. Plot End of Humanitarian Mission at Southern Border

During a congressional hearing Tuesday, new leadership from Customs and Border Protection suggested the US ought to start turning away children fleeing violence in Central America. Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, CPB Chief Mark Morgan said the effort to help unaccompanied children and families (UAC) seeking safety in the US was too burdensome. At the prompting of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) on Tuesday, Morgan specifically told Senators that current efforts–to apprehend, process, and then safeguard refuge-seeking minors–is putting a strain on traditional border enforcement… Keep Reading

Donald Trump

In Light of State Dept. Rumors, Lawmakers Question Trump Iraq War Claims

Four members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are calling on Donald Trump to “reject” Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton, when considering who to choose as Secretary of State. The lawmakers on Monday urged Trump to reconsider the qualifications of the pair, describing them as “discredited voices on foreign policy that have caused irreparable harm to this country and many others.” Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) sent the letter to the President-elect, noting that the rumored deliberation… Keep Reading

fight for 15 marchers

Undeterred by Trump, Fight for 15 Fires Back Up

Low-wage workers across the country walked off the job on Tuesday to agitate for an increase in the federal minimum wage, in what were the first major labor actions launched since the election of Donald Trump. Organized by the “Fight for 15” campaign, McDonalds employees in more than 300 cities rallied for better pay. They were joined by other fast-food workers, home health care workers, and Uber drivers. In addition, baggage handlers and cabin cleaners at nearly 20 airports nationwide, including Chicago’s O’Hare, participated in… Keep Reading

water protectors march

North Dakota Water Protectors Gird For Confrontation with Feds

Those protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline are pledging not to leave their encampments, days after the US Army Corps of Engineers informed them of a looming eviction. Last Friday, the Corps stated that federal lands near the Cannonball River in North Dakota would be shut down on December 5. The agency cited “safety concerns,” and claimed that anyone remaining on the property would be deemed trespassers and subject to prosecution. The site has been a congregating point for roughly 5,000 activists and members of… Keep Reading

US Capitol

Filibuster Looks Safe, For Now–Dems With Chance to Repay G.O.P. for Obstructionism

Senate Democrats will still be able to block legislation and Supreme Court nominations in the Trump era, according to their Republican counterparts. Numerous GOP legislators in the upper body said that they are reluctant to lower the 60-vote threshold currently required to advance bills and Presidential picks to the highest court in the land. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) have all said that they’re skeptical of any… Keep Reading


GAO Warns Next Census Could Be Phisher’s Paradise

The US Census Bureau is gearing up for its 2020 population count by deploying new technology to boost efficiency and cut costs. But a government watchdog is warning that the modernization efforts could leave the bureau and respondents vulnerable to cyber attacks. For the first time its history, some citizens will be able to respond online to the decennial survey. Census enumerators will also be using mobile devices as they collect demographics across the country, and the bureau is employing “in office” technology to cut… Keep Reading


U.S. Agency Sunk $85 Million in Abandoned Kabul Building Projects

Oversight of two failed government-funded projects in Afghanistan may have led investigators to uncovering large scale fraud. A luxury hotel in Kabul near the US Embassy and an adjacent apartment complex—both half-finished; both now abandoned—appear to be at the center of the scheme, according to a report released on Thursday by the Special Inspector General of Afghanistan (SIGAR). The projects were backed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to the tune of $85 million. Both projects were spearheaded by Fathi Taher, a Jordanian businessman. The hotel—slated… Keep Reading


Surveillance Booster Feinstein to Lead Dems on Judiciary Committee in Trump “Law & Order” Era

Senate Democrats swapped a civil libertarian for a national security hawk as head of the party’s Judiciary Committee contingent, amid a post-election leadership shuffle. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will become the ranking Democrat of the Senate Appropriations Committee in the 115th Congress–a void left by the retiring Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). The panel has significant influence over how federal taxpayer money is spent. “My ongoing efforts range from economic development in Vermont and rebuilding our country’s infrastructure, to protecting Lake Champlain, fighting efforts to roll back protections… Keep Reading

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