December 1, 2019 – Most-Viewed Bills | Congress.gov

December 1, 2019

1. H.R.724 [116th] Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act
2. S.1838 [116th] Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019
3. H.R.3289 [116th] Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019
4. H.R.3884 [116th] Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019
5. S.2227 [116th] MORE Act of 2019
6. H.R.3055 [116th] Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Further Health Extenders Act of 2019
7. H.R.1309 [116th] Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act
8. H.R.420 [116th] Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act
9. S.386 [116th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019
10. H.R.1044 [116th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

Source: Most-Viewed Bills – Congress.gov Resources – Congress.gov Resources

China’s Protectionism Online Is Driving Its Own Decoupling With the U.S.


There has been much talk in recent months about a decoupling of the world’s two largest economies, driven by the United States under President Donald Trump. But the stories of Alibaba, WeChat and other Chinese tech companies show that Beijing has been pursuing a decoupling of its own, or at least a strategy of asymmetrical market access, for decades now.

Consider China’s “Great Firewall.” Earlier this year, the Spectator Index published a partial list of companies blocked on the Chinese internet. It included Google search and Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, Netflix, Instagram, WhatsApp and Dropbox, as well as the websites of the BBC, The New York Times, Nikkei, LeMonde, Der Spiegel and The Economist, among others.

While Alibaba and Tencent, the parent company of WeChat, have been extraordinary success stories, not all of China’s would-be national champions have enjoyed comparable triumphs.

For example, Baidu, the search engine that has dominated the Chinese internet since Google abandoned China largely over censorship issues in 2010, has garnered little success competing in international markets. Indeed, many in China loathe it, particularly young people, who often turn to virtual private networks, or VPNs, and other technical hoops to evade domestic internet controls so they can use Google and some of the other popular Western tech giants that are blocked.

Source: China’s Protectionism Online Is Driving Its Own Decoupling With the U.S.

NATO’s Newest Threat Is Coming From Inside the House | Defense One


NATO is a mammoth institution.

It will survive Macron’s quip. The lingering question is: can the alliance and all it represents survive the publics that elected Macron and Trump and the UK’s Boris Johnson, and this era of inward-looking European and American tendencies?

Source: NATO’s Newest Threat Is Coming From Inside the House – Defense One

Russian Trolls Are Hammering Away at NATO’s Presence in Lithuania | Defense One


The Russian effort to smear NATO’s reputation in Lithuania is broader than previously revealed, and is likely a harbinger of future disinformation campaigns in the country, throughout the alliance and across the Atlantic.

The tip of the iceberg was an October rumor, started by Russian operatives and covered by a handful of media outlets, that the United States intended to move nuclear weapons from Turkey to Lithuania.

But that effort to sow social division and erode public support for NATO was preceded by another that almost no one noticed, and the country is bracing for yet another this month, a senior Lithuanian military official told an audience of special operators here last week.

Source: Russian Trolls Are Hammering Away at NATO’s Presence in Lithuania – Defense One

This is how to hold a corrupt president accountable | TheHill


It seems the founders had a preternatural sense that at some point in our nation’s history, one party would become so overtaken by the cult of personality of a corrupt leader that they would surrender all judgment and backbone in the service of that leader, and that it would take the guts and valor of the other party, without regard to what it may mean politically, to hold that leader to account, as is their constitutional duty.

That’s exactly what Democrats are doing.

Just how stupid does Trump and the Republicans think the public is?

Very stupid, it seems.

Source: This is how to hold a corrupt president accountable | TheHill

Republican bomb-throwers prep impeachment spectacle | POLITICO


The committee is home to members of the hard-line Freedom Caucus like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Louie Gohmert of Texas, leaders of key conservative groups like Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mike Johnson of Louisiana, and firebrands who have a flair for the dramatic like Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.

All of them are fierce defenders of President Donald Trump, and all are promising to hold nothing back as the impeachment proceedings shift from the House Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary panel.

Source: Republican bomb-throwers prep impeachment spectacle – POLITICO

Phone records detail extent of Giuliani, White House contacts | TheHill


The House Intelligence Committee released phone records on Tuesday showing extensive communications between Rudy Giuliani and the White House as well as several other key figures in the impeachment inquiry.

The phone logs revealed frequent contact between President Trump’s personal attorney and the Office of Management and Budget as well as interactions involving Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and John Solomon, a conservative columnist formerly with The Hill.

Source: Phone records detail extent of Giuliani, White House contacts | TheHill

Game on: What to make of Senate privacy bills and hearing


I have said for a while that if the various stakeholders involved were crafting privacy legislation, they could work out a successful bill. This was in part because stakeholders have been ahead of legislators in their grasp of the issues and the choices required for a bill.

Now, these proposals demonstrate that legislators are catching up and are engaged in a process of classic legislating that is rare in these times.

Although there are key differences, the two bills also have important similarities.

Both adopt the same general framework: a set of individual rights combined with boundaries on how businesses collect, use, and share information, all of which would be enforced through the Federal Trade Commission.

The individual rights include access, correction, deletion, and portability for personal information, along with rights to give “affirmative express consent” before the collection and processing of “sensitive” categories of information and to opt out of the sale or transfer of personal data.

Business obligations include data minimization, use limitations, data security, and the responsibility to bind other companies that receive personal information to the same obligations.

Source: Game on: What to make of Senate privacy bills and hearing

Do teachers have biased academic perceptions of their English learner students?


Policymakers, educators, and community members often decry the large achievement and attainment gaps between English learner (EL) students and their English-proficient peers.

Increasingly, attention is turning toward understanding not what’s going wrong among these students, but instead what’s going wrong with how schools educate, support, and empower these students. In the last few years, several studies have emerged documenting that simply being classified as an EL student in school can have a direct, negative impact on students’ test scores, graduation, and college-going.

Source: Do teachers have biased academic perceptions of their English learner students?

Graphic: No Santa Rally? Trade fears threaten Wall Street’s end of decade | Reuters


The overall uncertainty about the ultimate fate of a trade deal has led Wall Street investors to take to the equity options market to hedge against a downturn.

Investors are particularly sensitive about potential end-of-year weakness after the final month of 2018 was the worst December on Wall Street since the Great Depression.

Source: Graphic: No Santa Rally? Trade fears threaten Wall Street’s end of decade – Reuters