Episodes

Making public documents accessible through audio

30: Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee

This episode is a reading of a September 22, 2020, Congressional Research Service report titled, “Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee.” The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an event of major significance in American politics. Each appointment is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power the Supreme Court…
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29: Diplomacy in Crisis – The Trump Administration’s Decimation of the State Department

On July 28, 2020, the Democratic Staff of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations released a 46-page report documenting their concerns with regard to length vacancies of key positions within the State Department, the vetting of nominees for Presidential appointees that have to be confirmed by the Senate and issues of morale under Secretary…
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28: The Horowitz Report Executive Summary – Review of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation

On December 9, 2019, U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a 478-page report titled, “Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation.” This report identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications. It also found no evidence that political bias…
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27: Middle East Marshall Plan – Corporate interests push to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia

This episode builds off of the previous show’s reading of the February 2019 Interim Staff Report for the Committee on Oversight and Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives. Months after the February report, the same House committee released a July 2019 document titled, “Corporate and Foreign Interests Behind White House Push to Transfer U.S.…
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26: Middle East Marshall Plan – Whistleblowers concern with transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia

This episode goes back to a February 2019 Interim Staff Report for the Committee on Oversight and Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives. This report is titled, “Whistleblowers Raise Grave Concerns with  Trump Administration’s Efforts to Transfer Sensitive Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia.” EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (2:51) Summary of Whistleblower Concerns (9:26) Limitations and Next…
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25: Hospital Experiences Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 3, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a 41-page report documenting the significant challenges facing the health care industry in caring for patients with COVID-19.  With widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), concerns were mounting at hospitals around keeping staff safe. There were concerns of hospitals being overwhelmed…
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24: Postponing Federal Elections and the COVID-19 Pandemic

With concerns around just how long the COVID-19 pandemic could impact our lives, the fact that we are in a presidential election year has brought up a number of questions. Does the President have the authority to cancel or postpone the election? What is the framework in place if an emergency keeps us from voting…
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23: COVID-19 and using advanced refundable tax credits as economic stimulus

COVID-19 and Stimulus Payments to Individuals: Considerations on Using Advanced Refundable Credits as Economic Stimulus What is a refundable tax credit? (3:01) What does “advancing” a tax credit mean? (4:37) How long would it take for the IRS to begin issuing advanced credits? (6:54) How many individuals could receive an advanced refundable tax credit? (8:11)…
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22: Impeachment Trial opens with arguments surrounding issues with documents and witnesses

This episode begins with a recap of the amendments that were proposed during nearly 12 hours of arguments on the second day of the impeachment trial. The podcast covers the President’s support for the rules in Senate Resolution 483 and the reasoning behind the opposition for these rules. SR483 was adopted with a 53-47 vote.…
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21: President Trump’s Dec. 17 Letter to Nancy Pelosi

Watching multiple news outlets, it can be interesting to hear how public documents are characterized in different ways. One of the reasons I’m doing this show is so people can hear the words for themselves and make their own decisions, rather than relying on others to characterize a document for them. After seeing this exchange…
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