tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Cloakroom Q&A's 2016-11-03T16:30:21Z Capitol Bells Cloakroom tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1105235 2016-11-03T16:30:21Z 2016-11-03T16:30:21Z Public Knowledge hashes out why the AT&T/Time Warner Merger is bad for consumers

Hi everyone,  we are John Bergmayer (Senior Counsel), Chris Lewis (Vice President), and John Gasparini (Policy Fellow) from Public Knowledge, and we advocate on behalf of consumers. We're here to talk about the AT&T/Time Warner merger. Ask us your burning merger or video marketplace questions!

@f.sjl: Does the argument that this isn't that big of a deal because its mostly a vertical integration pass muster? No. Vertical mergers have to be looked at based on their specific facts. The ultimate test is whether they harm consumers.

Antitrust isn’t just a matter of counting noses in a retail market--look at Comcast/TWC which didn’t result in the loss of a retail competitor but still was viewed as anticompetitive.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1095697 2016-10-03T19:35:19Z 2016-10-03T19:42:06Z Meredith McGehee implores Congress to Update its Own Ethics Laws

 I'm Meredith McGehee, Chief of Policy, Programs, and Strategy at Issue One. Let's talk about the 115th Congress, money in politics, lobbying and ethics!

@grayson.kennedy: Thanks for joining us, Meredith. What is your number one priority for 2017? My number one priority is getting the Congress to pass updated ethics laws, which address ongoing conflicts of interest that end up decreasing public confidence in the institution.

Recently, Campaign Legal Center wrote a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) citing the conflict of interest of Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX).

@vance.refrig: @meredith.mcgehee You've been at this for a while. Might I ask which particularly annoying ethics rules I have you to thank you?  You can thank me for the toothpick rule and for and for eliminating luxurious trips paid for by lobbyists to exotic locations.

@career.killer: Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but I think that many ethics rules over the last decade have done more to diminish relations across the aisle and to drive fundraising into back rooms than it was to decrease conflicts of interest in Washington. Members of Congress don't spend time together now. 

I agree there is a problem but I think you're pointing at the wrong cause.  The overwhelming need to spend 4-5 hours a day fundraising and the increasing political tactic of demonizing the other party, instead of viewing them as the loyal opposition, has corroded the ability to work across the aisle. The fault does not lie with the ethics rules, at its core it is a money in politics problem.

@sam.ward: Public confidence is at an all time low in Congress, despite ethics reforms after 2006. Is the problem not enough reform or perhaps that confidence is based on results and ability to govern, not the appearance of impropriety?  The problem of public confidence is because MoC are increasingly AWOL when it comes to focusing on the public's business. The fundraising demands are overwhelming for Members. The fear of outside groups influencing a race is palpable.

The end result is a political strategy that emphasizes partisan differences rather than getting the public's business accomplished. Not helping this situation is the gerrymandering that is creating polarized Congressional districts in the House.

@mississippi.pepper: At this rate, nothing's going to stop Members from spending all their time at fundraisers, there are a million ways to bypass giving limits. What's the point?  The point is to change the system in a way that allows average Americans to feel as if they have a voice both in elections and in the political process. There is always a tension in politics between money and power. The challenge for Congress and for our country is whether we think as a people the current situation is acceptable or whether we (and our Representatives) have the testicular fortitude to change it.

@mississippi.pepper: BTW, I can't think of any lobbying related prosecutions since Jack Abramoff. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? To be caught in a violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act requires an individual to be pretty dumb, to put a point on it.  The LDA is easily evaded. Nowadays you can simply become a "strategic advisor" and escape disclosure and any of the other restrictions that are focused on lobbyists.

@royce.cali: How would you address Bill Shuster's situation?  The Shuster situation is just another indication of why the House Ethics Committee needs to update and strengthen conflict of interest rules which haven't been changed in 20 years (or longer).

Relationships b/w members of Congress and lobbyists certainly raise the appearance of a conflict of interest. And the public legitimately questions whether the lobbyist has special access.

@royce.cali: Were you flabbergasted when Shuster's district re-elected him anyways?  No. First of all, the Shuster name from his father on to son is well-known and name identification is a huge advantage in a House race. Second, the Shusters are known for bringing home the bacon given their committee assignments.

It is difficult to get the public to vote on ethics issues because they already have such a low opinion of politicians.

@chace.pennyback: What's your position on Hillary's connections to their Foundation while Sec of State, and how do you feel about her plan to keep Chelsea running things there if she is President?  It is totally unacceptable for Chelsea to keep running things should Clinton become president.  I first began criticizing the Clinton Foundation several years ago for the interlinking of the foundation work and the Secretary's position with the administration.

It's worth noting that there are other members of Congress who maintain direct connections with foundations or universities. And solicit donations (for those foundations) at the same time they are accepting campaign contributions and being lobbied by those donors.  For Example, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the University of Louisville. And Senator Leahy and the Leahy Center at the Univ. of Vermont.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1092268 2016-09-21T20:28:20Z 2016-09-25T15:37:08Z Daniel Schuman of Demand Progress & Congressional Data Coalition discusses the Sunlight Foundation wind down

@daniel_schuman: Hi everyone! To begin, see the announcement from Sunlight and the Politico story. What's the future of open legislative data with the recent trouble in the nonprofit #opengov world? For example, see this news about Sunlight Foundation shutting down its labs.

@teddy: Thanks for being here! As you know, Cloakroom & Capitol Bells rely heavily on Sunlight's APIs. I love that I can reliably get all the most important legislative data all in one place. Will the shutdown of Sunlight Labs result in a fragmentation of this data and the congressional data community?  You've identified a real problem. Congressional offices and many others rely on data made available by Sunlight. Many functions are performed by others, and Congress has stepped up to publish some of its information as data. But there are gaps.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1089776 2016-09-13T19:07:00Z 2016-09-13T19:51:59Z Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at Cato Institute, Discusses Health Savings Accounts

I am Michael Cannon. I will be talking about replacing Obamacare, particularly one idea that has been introduced as legislation and will be the topic of this Cato Institute Hill briefing tomorrow. We will be talking about the bill to expand health savings accounts (HSAs) that Flake and Brat have introduced based on my Large HSAs proposal.

You can follow me on Twitter at @MFCannon, and on Facebook at Darwin's Fool. I blog at www.Cato.org/blog and at www.darwinsfool.com.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1089772 2016-09-13T18:46:59Z 2016-09-13T19:39:56Z Author and Managing Editor of the Washington Examiner Philip Klein Discusses Alternatives to Obamacare

I'm Philip Klein, Managing Editor of the Washington Examiner. I will be discussing alternatives to Obamacare. For more, you can check out my book, "Overcoming Obamacare."

@garys.johnson: People are oftentimes persuaded by stories instead of data when it comes to politics. How can we get people to look past the idea that preexisting conditions should be covered by mandate instead of allowing the free market to decide when there are so many sad preexisting condition stories?  I do believe that advocates for national healthcare have always benefited by using stories of people who they portray as victims of a free market. Under Obamacare, which has seen people lose insurance, doctors, and/or see their premiums rise, free market advocates can point to a lot of personal stories of people who have been hurt by government interference. There are also ways to address the issue of people with pre-existing conditions without disrupting the broader insurance market, as Obamacare did.  

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1088398 2016-09-09T16:19:42Z 2016-09-09T16:19:42Z Libertarian Party Chairman Nicholas Sarwark Talks Path to Libertarian Victory

I am Nicholas Sarwark, Chairman of the Libertarian Party.  Let's talk about the Presidential election, Gary Johnson, and why the Libertarian Party is the only political party growing in America right now.

@sam.ward: Welcome Nicholas! Gary Johnson has come frustratingly close to breaking into the debates, do you think the media failed to give him enough attention to break 15% or is something more needed by the LP to make a change?  If you look at the state by state polling numbers, Gary Johnson is over 15% in 15 states and over 10% in 42 states.  The media chooses not to cover him in spite of being on all 50 state ballots. Don't count him out of the debates yet, we have some more tricks up our sleeves.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1073059 2016-07-15T15:35:46Z 2016-07-19T15:43:28Z Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO discusses Equal Pay, Equal Say

@liz.shuler: Hi, I'm Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO. Let's discuss equal pay, equal say for working women: http://bitly.com/2a5ACUd

@humphrey.morgan: Hi Liz, how would you use the pay gap to maximize voter turnout for Hillary in November?  Women will definitely be driving this election. The 2016 presidential election provides a huge opportunity to elevate women's issues like equal pay to a national level and make key strides in advancing women's rights. The AFL-CIO recently conducted a national survey of 25,000 working women, both union and non-union. And pay equity was overwhelmingly their top issue and the one they would take action on. Union women will be leading the charge and using this issue to drive women voters to the polls. Politicians would be risking a lot if they didn't pay attention to this. 

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1065421 2016-06-20T21:07:12Z 2016-06-20T21:07:12Z Ian Thompson discusses the ACLU's civil rights agenda for the LGBT community

@ian.thompson: I am Ian Thompson, a Legislative Representative from the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office.  I work to advance the organization’s civil liberties and civil rights agenda in Congress and the executive branch by focusing on issues impacting the LGBT community and those living with HIV. Read about my work here: http://huff.to/28Jl5r4

@cameronpig: How do you institute sexual orientation as a protected class? I can see gender and race, I can't see one's sexual preference? I think it's generally a good idea in theory, but how do you apply it?  22 states (plus DC), as well as hundreds of municipalities, currently prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Equality Act would provide these protections across a range of areas (e.g. employment, housing, public accommodations, etc.) at the federal-level. The Equality Act defines sexual orientation as homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.

@rebel.dnc.staffer: But you can't see gender orientation... So how do you enforce equality based on it? Do folks have to declare their protected class status to their bosses?  No, people do not have to “out” themselves to their bosses in order to receive protection. The fact that your employer discriminated against you because they thought you were gay (whether you or aren’t) should be sufficient to constitute unlawful discrimination.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1064572 2016-06-17T20:41:34Z 2016-06-17T20:41:34Z Every Jobseeker in DC knows his name: Brad Traverse

@brad.traverse: Hi, I'm Brad Traverse of BradTraverse.com, the most comprehensive resource for politicos seeking jobs on and off the Hill. I'd like to talk today about getting a policy or PR job: the importance of networking, resume review & social media assessment.

@wales215: What do you think of "District Day Book?”  Fair and relevant competition is great, but this guy simply copies and pastes my hard work and posts it on his site.  And he doesn't even say who he is or why he is qualified to run a job board. I have many complaints from employers who post to me that he's re-posting on his site.  Without attribution.

@thurmond.moses: When will the mass exodus of people leaving their jobs occur? I'm looking to make a move once everyone's gone.  I think folks are still in a "wait and see" mode right now.  In terms of a new Congress, that won't happen until February.  Typically I think many new Members take on campaign staff at least for the first six months or so. As for new Administration staff, vetting starts in November.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1064342 2016-06-17T05:35:30Z 2016-06-17T05:35:30Z Jack Abramoff Tells All

I'm Jack Abramoff. Let's discuss the vital role of lobbying & how most lobbyists are an important part of our political process -- also how to ensure those misusing our right to petition our government won't drag you down with them.

@president_bartlet: Thanks for joining us.  Money in politics often leads to poor choices by people receiving it and giving it.  Without reversing the precedent established by SCOTUS, what steps can we take to allow lobbyists to make an argument for a set of ideals rather than money directly making the argument?  Lobbyists are a vital part of the system, and lobbying is not only a constitutional right, it is essential for our republic to function… but, when the lobbyists can give public servants “things” then corruption follows.  The way to fix the system is to require all people lobbying for pay to register (after one meeting – the 20% rule of the LDA is ridiculous – I wasn’t a lobbyist under that definition!) and don’t allow that class of lobbyists or their clients to give anything to a public servant.  If you take out the influence of the money, then a lobbyist can make their case on the merits, like the rest of the nation has to do.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1060452 2016-06-06T19:06:32Z 2016-06-06T19:06:36Z Vikrant Reddy of the Charles Koch Institute discusses bipartisan criminal justice reforms

Vikrant Reddy, Senior Research Fellow at the Charles Koch Institute, joined us Thursday, June 2 to discuss his work on criminal justice reform. Read his essay "A New Agenda for Criminal Justice Reform" on Medium.

@broughton.fowle: Thanks for joining us! What change to the system would most reduce mass incarceration? Drug policy/mandatory sentences? The key to reducing our high levels of incarceration is captured in this pithy line: “Prison is for people we’re scared of, not people we’re mad at.” If a person can be held accountable using community supervision – parole, probation, drug courts, etc. – we should do that as often as possible. The important thing is to make sure public safety is prioritized. Don’t create systems wherein people come out of prison more dangerous than when they went in.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1058246 2016-06-01T03:28:46Z 2016-06-01T03:28:47Z Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, sheds some light on issues of religious freedom

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, joined us on Thursday, May 26th to discuss issues of religious freedom and the 2016 presidential race.

@horsey.wofford: Hi Mr. Reed, thank you for doing this. What is the economic argument you'd make for small businesses and families in support of HB-2? The economic argument for H.B. 2 is simple: the city of Charlotte should not be able to dictate the bathroom policies to private businesses who know better than politicians and bureaucrats how best to meet the needs of their employees and customers. Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina is no social conservative. If anything he tends to lean libertarian in his conservatism. But he signed H.B. 2 for the same reason the business community should support it: the Charlotte city ordinance it negated was an unwarranted and wholly unnecessary solution in search of a problem that did not exist. People have the right to an expectation of privacy in a bathroom, shower facility or locker room. The Charlotte ordinance would have violated that expectation of privacy, especially for women and girls.

I went to the Apple store the other day in Atlanta and asked someone at the genius bar if the store had a policy on transgendered bathrooms. They said no. Yet Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, joined by the gay lobby and the radical left, is lobbying to impose such a policy on every single business establishment in Charlotte---and any business that contracts with the city of Charlotte. This was an overreach by the Charlotte city council and the NC legislature was well within its right to protect its prerogative to make such law, not allow the law to be made for the entire state by a single municipality.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1056159 2016-05-26T16:54:44Z 2016-05-26T20:40:16Z Emily Bazelon of NYT Magazine and the Slate Political Gabfests breaks the ice on decriminalizing prostitution

Emily Bazelon, staff writer for the New York Times Magazine and one of the hosts of the Slate Political Gabfest, joined us on Wednesday, May 25 to discuss her groundbreaking report on decriminalizing sex work.

@kevin.kosar: Thanks for doing this. Is it time to end the Mann Act? Or is it a useful policy to thwart trafficking? The Mann Act has an interesting history: Congress enacted it in 1910 amid a panic over "white slavery," which turned out to be overblown. It still makes sense to have federal laws that address trafficking, and crossing state borders, which the Mann Act prohibits, is part of that. But it's the kind of protective law that blurs the distinction between non-consensual trafficking and consensual sex work. So it seems like time to rewrite it, to limit what's illegal to taking a prostitute across a state border against her will.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1056146 2016-05-26T16:00:57Z 2016-05-26T16:00:57Z Emily Martin of the National Women's Law Center discusses equality and justice for women in the workplace

Emily Martin, General Counsel and VP for Workplace Justice at the National Women's Law Center, joined us on Tuesday, May 24 to discuss closing the wage gap, NWLC's Roadmap to Economic Justice, and confronting gender discrimination on Capitol Hill.

@fogg.mcmahon: Hi emily! Did you hear the recent freakonomics on this topic? Curious if you have thoughts. The gist: discrimination can’t explain why women earn so much less than men. If only it were that easy. It is definitely true that the wage gap has multiple causes, as Freakonomics emphasized, and this requires multiple solutions. First, it is pretty clear that part of the wage gap is driven by pay discrimination based on (possibly subconscious) stereotypes.

For example, in a pretty sobering and compelling 2012 study, science professors who were given otherwise identical applications for a lab manager position proposed an avg starting salary of $30,200 when the applicant was named John, compared to $26,500 when the applicant was named Jennifer. This happened for both male and female science professors reviewing resumes.

But the wage gap has other causes as well. Part of it is that women are over-represented in low-wage jobs - for example, they are more than 60% of min wage workers - and under-represented in many high-wage jobs. This isn't necessarily reflective of "women's choices.”

Analyses have shown that the more women that enter an occupation, the more wages go down -- work tends to be devalued because women do it. I call that discrimination too. Discrimination in the form of harassment can also be part of what leads women not to pursue high wage work, like engineering, etc.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1054776 2016-05-23T16:25:52Z 2016-05-23T16:30:59Z John Lettieri of the Economic Innovation Group discusses how policymakers can leverage the startup economy

John Lettieri, co-founder and senior director for policy and strategy at the Economic Innovation Group, joined us on Thursday, May 19 to share the Distressed Communities Index and the introduction of the Investing in Opportunity Act.

@hiscock826: Hi John. What do you think the single most important thing that's missing right now from our policy debate regarding spearheading a more dynamic economy like you said? And how can we help? We need an obsessive focus on startups. There has been a 30+ yr decline in the rate of new business formation in the US -- counter to the perception that startups are at an all-time high. 

Most new businesses fail, but the ones that succeed are disproportionately responsible for job growth, and the healthy disruption you need in stale industries. Right now we have no startup strategy in terms of public policy.

@morrow.fish: Your DCI analytical tools are impressive. I'm also digging the way you're using big data to inspire legislation. Is this EIG's MO? Heck yeah! We definitely prioritize a data-driven approach as an organization. Our goal is to put better tools into the hands of policymakers, researchers, and the media to help tackle some really complicated issues. That's our bread and butter.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1053206 2016-05-19T20:11:59Z 2016-05-25T14:55:24Z Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute discusses the NDAA and military spending reforms

Mackenzie Eaglen is a resident fellow in the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where she works on defense strategy, defense budgets, and military readiness. She joined us on Tuesday, May 17 to discuss the NDAA and defense spending reform.

@conspickle: Hi Mackenzie, thanks for visiting us. How do you feel about House Republicans stripping the provision requiring women to register for Selective Service? Thanks for having me today. It is a purely political move designed to protect members from taking a tough vote in a presidential election year. But it is certainly a debate worth having, and I think the Senate is going to do exactly that. They also may not take a vote but I expect a floor discussion on women and the draft in the US Senate after their bill keeps the provision.

Sen. McCain raised a great point when explaining why he included the provision to have women register. He said we will never utilize the draft again, and he's most likely right. But this is the kind of national-level debate voters hope their elected officials will have. If McCain is right, why not abolish the draft outright?

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1046395 2016-05-03T20:36:21Z 2016-05-03T20:36:21Z Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform Discusses Taxes, Hillary 2016, and Burning Man

Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform and the champion of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Mr. Norquist joined us Friday, April 29th, 2016 to discuss tax reform, Burning Man, and Hillary's challenges in 2016.

@conspickle: Regardless of who the GOP nominee is, what will be Hillary's biggest challenge in the general? Hillary's challenge in the general election is her age -- her ideas & understanding of the electorate are old. Visit www.hightaxhillary.com to see Hillary's threats of taxes on new constituencies.

Hillary supported gun control in 1993. Though all gun owners lived in Wyoming. She supported a 25% tax on guns & a $2500 fee to sell a gun. Today, there are more than 13M Americans with Concealed Carry permits. 1M in PA. 1.5M in FL. 450k in OH. 650k in MI. Swing states.

Hillary is old enough to think insulting oil and gas workers costs votes only in TX, LA, OK, AK. How fracking has brought energy jobs to OH, PA, and CO -- try and get 270 electoral votes without those states.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1046332 2016-05-03T18:49:12Z 2016-05-03T20:36:36Z Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum Discusses Immigration Reform and the United States v. Texas

Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, is a leading voice on immigration policy and politics. He joined us on Thursday, April 28th, 2016 to discuss immigration reform and the United States v. Texas SCOTUS case.

@f.sjl: Putting my personal opinion and the moral question aside, doesn't it seem like legally the DAPA program is unconstitutional? Remains to be seen. But this is about prosecutorial discretion and use of LE resources. A practice that dates back to Eisenhower. Smart law enforcement required the Prioritization of resources which is what DAPA does. Focuses on felons not families. For smart legal arguments behind DACA/DAPA (I just play a lawyer on tv) go to http://bitly.com/1VWHuam

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1042044 2016-04-27T12:59:54Z 2016-05-05T19:48:50Z David Wessel of the Brookings Institution discusses the Fiscal Ship and how to steer the federal budget to a sustainable course

David Wessel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. Mr. Wessel joined us on Tuesday, April 27th to discuss the Fiscal Ship — www.fiscalship.org — a new web game that challenges you to put the federal budget on a sustainable course.

@willey.case: Is the Fiscal Ship aimed more at policy makers or are the general public? We are aiming the game at the general public, the folks who never quite get to the end of any newspaper story on the federal debt but have a sense that it's important

BTW, for those interested on how we built the game. See fiscalship.org/faq.html

 @sam.ward: Fiscal ship doesn't use dynamic scoring! Rigged! Sam. We don't use dynamic scoring. It's impossible to dynamically SCORE100 individual tax/spending options, one at a time. CBO, JCT only score the very big changes (immigration, tax reform)

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1041519 2016-04-26T21:38:41Z 2016-04-26T21:38:42Z David Boaz of the Cato Institute and Author of the Libertarian Mind Discusses Liberty

David Boaz, author of the Libertarian Mind and Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute, joined us on Cloakroom for an Expert Q&A on to talk about the role of Libertarianism is Congress today.

@doug.stamperer: Hi David, thanks for doing this. Let's assume Clinton and Trump are our nominees. Whose worse for Liberty and what do you do to stop them?  (And what policies make them worse). That’s a really bad choice. But probably Hillary is a firmly statist politician, while Trump actually has no respect for constitutional and political norms. I fear him more as a threat to the republic than for his barely discernible policies. Do about it? Try to stop him (and her) in the primaries.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1038256 2016-04-21T18:39:49Z 2016-04-26T20:36:47Z Bill Nye the Science Guy talks climate change with Capitol Hill

Bill Nye the Science Guy joined us on Cloakroom for an Expert Q&A about climate change policy and to introduce his latest climate science educational video: http://bitly.com/22OeNvc

@o_martell: Bill, thanks for doing this! I was wondering, as a Republican who believes in anthropogenic climate change, what do you think I should do (as a Hill staffer and just as an average individual) to raise the importance of climate action with fellow Republicans?My understanding is that a great many Republicans are ready to hold hands and jump on climate change. Right now though, they all have to wait for the convention or an election to slide past. If this is true, see if you all can get the presidential nominees to talk about it, sooner the better.

So far, the conservative candidates are, to a man (and perhaps when a VP is selected, to a woman) are climate deniers. After a candidate is selected, however, the conservatives may nail in a climate change plank in order to secure some millennial votes.

How do we feel about a carbon tax? It has the potential to encourage investment in renewables, discourage CO2 and CH4 production, and serve as a fair tariff- all at once.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1034180 2016-04-15T20:07:39Z 2016-04-26T20:37:04Z Seamus Kraft of the OpenGov Foundation on digitizing legislative processes

 Seamus Kraft, Executive Director of the OpenGov Foundation, joined us on Tuesday, April 12, to discuss how to make legislatures work better in this digital age.

@record318: Hi Seamus! Do you think the Hill is technically challenged because the members just dont want learn new things? Or is it something else. I think it is something else. It's a paper-based workplace, w/ paper-based processes, and little incentive for long-term planning. In my experience, Members will use what works and what they can afford out of shrinking MRA.

@surging.santorum: Dear SeaMasterKraft, what are some awesome projects you're working on to make our lives easier? Building off last year's #Hack4Congress magic, we are now forming a team of some of the top technologists in the USA to work with you and current Congressional tech staff to help solve your problems using better tech, data, software and updated rules/procedures. Stay tuned….

We have right now software for you to create and crowdsource legislation called Madison. It gets more eyes, more exposure, more input on the bills you and your boss are working on. Plus, you can start to include constituents in your legislative work w/ minimal lift. If you want to take your bills and legislative work into the Internet Age w/ Madison, email me Seamus at opengovfoundation dot org. It's open source and $0 cost.

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1025150 2016-04-04T22:11:48Z 2016-04-04T22:11:48Z Expert Q&A: Benny Johnson of the Independent Journal Review on Viral Politics
Benny Johnson of the Indepedent Journal Review joined us on Thursday, March 31 to discuss how he makes politics go viral every day.

// ON VIRALITY

@dawes69: Hi Benny, can you give the "For Dummies" version of what IS making politics go viral? Virality is *not* defined by Justin Beiber or Kim K. Vitality is saturating your target market. If you know your audience, and they are clicking, you're viral. Here's an example: Every year we do the Running of the Interns. My target market for that piece is a greater Capitol Hill audience. Approx 100K people. That piece gets approx 100K clicks every year. Not the most click we will get on a piece that week, but our perfect target audience, so viral!

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1025080 2016-04-04T20:26:55Z 2016-04-04T20:26:56Z Expert Q&A: Casey Dreier of the Planetary Society on the Mission to Mars and Space Policy


Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy for the Planetary Society, the world’s largest independent space organization, joined us on Tuesday, March 29 to discuss the mission to Mars, commercial space, and space politics!

@tester.jon: Hi Casey, thanks for taking the time to be with us. What kind of propulsion will get us to Mars? Initially, I think it will be a mix of standard chemical propulsion and newer tech, called solar electric propulsion (SEP). SEP is slow but very efficient, and can be used to pre-position cargo in advance of humans. Your question goes to an important point, though, which is that new tech is actually a very difficult and expensive proposition. It feel counter-intuitive, but most space hardware has decades of legacy, and is rarely on the cutting edge. That's because space is very unforgiving to hardware and to humans, so you want to be highly certain that your technology will work. The problem is like everywhere else, how do you get the R&D $$$ to fund proper tech development?

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tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1019617 2016-03-25T17:30:00Z 2016-03-27T23:55:36Z Expert Q&A: Eli Dourado of the Mercatus Center on Drone Safety and Aviation Innovation  Eli Dourado, Director of the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, joined us on Wednesday, March 23 to discuss his research on consumer drone safety, drone policy, and aviation innovation.

@sam.ward: Hi Eli, welcome to cloakroom! Thanks, Sam!

@thomas.jefferson: Do you think a hobbyist with a drone or a bird is more able to see/sense avoid a plane? If a hobbyist's drone is less able to avoid a plane, doesn't that make drones potentially more dangerous (even if they are fewer in number)? Good question. If you're flying within appropriate guidelines, it's unlikely that you'll ever come across a plane. But it's true that visibility isn't good at 400 ft away. We need more 1) first-person view and 2) more smarts on board.

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Capitol Bells Cloakroom
tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1019573 2016-03-25T15:44:26Z 2016-03-27T23:55:51Z Expert Q&A: Scott Slesinger of the NRDC on Regulations and the Economy

Scott Slesinger, Legislative Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, joined us on Thursday, March 24 to discuss the connection between regulations and the economy, and the need for a better regulatory system.

@javits.javits: Hi Scott! Thanks for coming to Cloakroom! It's been a rough few years for environmental legislation. Barring any major shifts in congress, where are you focusing your efforts to gain stronger environmental oversight and protections? Thank you, Javits. Without major changes in Congress, we will push the Administration to follow existing laws & put strong protections in place. For instance, we are working on stronger rules for toxics, a strong Clean Power Plan rule implementation, etc.

Congress seems to only get involved when EPA isn't doing their job or there is a screw up. E.g., there were hearings blaming EPA staff for not figuring out earlier that VW changed computer code to cheat energy efficiency  standards.We clearly need more compliance and enforcement staff, but Congress has been regularly cutting EPA's budget. Legislative changes to help the environment, as you note, are not in the cards.

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Capitol Bells Cloakroom
tag:cloakroom.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1016081 2016-03-18T21:05:02Z 2016-03-21T17:13:55Z Expert Q&A: James Hohmann on Trump's Mega Tuesday and SCOTUS Nom

James Hohmann of the Washington Post's Daily 202 joined us on Thursday, March 17 to discuss Trump's Mega Tuesday and Obama's nomination of Judge Garland to the Supreme Court.

@barryzuckercorn: Hey James! Love reading the 202 every morning! What are your thoughts on the likelihood of Trump getting to 1,237 before the convention? Hi Barry, Thanks for reading! I think the odds are greater than 50 percent that Trump gets the delegates necessary to  lock up the GOP nomination before Cleveland. He is very hard to stop at this point. But a convention is the only way to do it.

@dicksen: Piggy backing off the question above- what would happen to the Republican Party if Trump is denied the nomination in a floor fight? If Trump is denied the nomination in a floor fight, there will be mass chaos. Think about the thousands of Trump supporters in the arena at Cleveland. It's a security nightmare for Capitol Police. Considering the anti-Trump Members who will be there.

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