Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Written testimony on public access to Congressional Research Service repo...

Written testimony on public access to Congressional Research Service reports

Thank you, Chairman Ryan, Ranking Member Beutler and members of the Legislative Branch Appropriations subcommittee for holding this open hearing. This is the third consecutive year the subcommittee has held a public hearing, which is a wonderful and remarkable achievement. All of us who have participated previously and are submitting testimony today are very grateful. […]

GAO versus the ghost of OTA: Who will win the science and technology assessment ra...

GAO versus the ghost of OTA: Who will win the science and technology assessment race?

Hardly anyone would argue that Congress is well equipped to make technology policy. Very few members are techies, and let’s face it, innovation is hurtling forward at a mind-blowing pace. Nor is Congress and its basic modus operandi — serving as a bargaining arena for diverse interests — particularly congenial to the use of data […]

How does Trump’s budget propose to fix the Postal Servi...

How does Trump’s budget propose to fix the Postal Service?

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) lost $3.9 billion in 2018. The agency also failed to make a $6.9 billion payment to cover its retiree health and pension benefits. Mail volume is down more than 25 percent since 2008, leaving the postman with less revenue. So what does President Donald J. Trump propose to do to right the USPS’ ship? […]

Five charts show the grim financial condition of the U.S. Postal Serv...

Five charts show the grim financial condition of the U.S. Postal Service

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) ran a deficit of $3.9 billion. Unfortunately, losses are the rule rather than the exception for the agency. All this red ink has flowed despite USPS’s aggressive move into the parcel delivery business. These five charts depict the immensity of USPS’s financial challenges. The Postal Service was designed […]

OK, so the House wants to reform itself? Here’s what it should really...

OK, so the House wants to reform itself? Here’s what it should really do

Early this month, on the opening day of the 116th Congress, something unusual happened: The House of Representatives took a step to reform itself. Legislators approved a package of rules changes to fix some of its more glaring problems. Some of these are long overdue: As of Jan. 4, representatives can no longer sit on […]

A Book You Cannot Trust: Robert N. Winter-Berger’s The Washington Pay-...

A Book You Cannot Trust: Robert N. Winter-Berger’s The Washington Pay-Off

On June 8, 1960, the New York State attorney general Louis J. Lefkowitz enjoined Winter-Berger from the securities market. Why? Because Winter-Berger had defrauded folks by peddling non-existent stock to rich folks, to whom he passed himself off as a “prominent socialite.” The corporation and the miracle product he described did not exist. He made […]

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