ICYMI: Top reads on Congress
Come to our Capitol Hill event on Tuesday: Time for an upgrade: Getting better tech for Congress. Lorelei Kelly, author of “Modernizing Congress, Bringing Democracy into the 21st Century,” and Daniel Schuman, policy director at Demand Progress and long-time congressional modernization advocate, will lead the discussion. Lunch will be served. RSVP here.
Jonathan Bernstein, “Why is Trump’s Ukraine scandal different?” Bloomberg, October 3, 2019.
“[I]mpeachment, politically, is never about a single scandal. It’s always cumulative. That was certainly true during Watergate: Democrats didn’t begin the process based solely on President Richard Nixon’s original misconduct – which was more than enough to justify his ouster – or his initial cover-up, but only after he threatened to shut down investigations during the Saturday Night Massacre.”
Bipartisan Policy Center, “Q&A with Modernization Committee Member Rep. Timmons, September 30, 2019.
“For starters, we can sync the elevators instead of having to push both elevator buttons for elevators in the same area. But there are big items too: we need a more effective calendar and schedule. The House is only in session for 65 full days this year. We spend 66 days traveling to and from our nation’s capital. To me, this is unacceptable. There are 365 days in a year and we only really spend 65 days legislating, and I use that term loosely.”
Matt Glassman, “Not your father’s impeachment inquiry,” MattGlassman.com, October 1, 2019.
“As the Trump impeachment inquiry proceeds, you will hear a lot about its similarities with the Johnson / Nixon / Clinton impeachments. Here I’ll discuss two structural features of the Trump impeachment inquiry that make it unique. First, control of Congress is divided. In the Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton impeachment inquiries, both chambers of Congress were controlled by the opposition party. Currently, Democrats control the House and Republicans the Senate….”
Garrett M. Graff, “Congress grills its first witness in Trump’s whistle-blower scandal,” Wired, September 26, 2019.
“Three years into the Trump administration, the US government still doesn’t know how to handle Donald Trump as president. That’s the simple conclusion from a dramatic morning in Washington, DC, that saw both the release of the nine-page complaint by an intelligence official whistle-blower and testimony about those allegations by a visibly uncomfortable Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence.”
Zach Graves and Robert Cook-Deegan, “Incorporating ethics into technology assessment,” Issues in Science and Technology, fall 2019.
“Although technological innovation can bring enormous benefits in material well-being, new technologies can also create social and economic disruptions, national security risks, and ethical dilemmas—all of which raise complex questions that democratically elected representatives must be prepared to consider soberly.”
Josh Rudolph, “The one place Congress works,” The American Interest, October 2, 2019.
“Last Thursday, eight Senators introduced a bill to outlaw anonymous shell companies—entities used to hide the wealth of all sorts of criminals, including terrorists, tax evaders, kleptocrats, and human traffickers. The four Republicans and four Democrats all sit on the Senate Banking Committee and have spent the past year coordinating among their personal offices.”
Michael Stern, “Deciphering the Pompeo-House clash over witnesses,” Just Security, October 2, 2019.
“For the president to claim a constitutional right to monitor the communications of potential adverse witnesses with Congress is blatantly inconsistent with the impeachment process.”