Archive for the ‘government’ Category

October 14, 2013: Federal Holiday

October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013: Federal Holiday

Today the Federal Office of Management and Budget observes the invasion of the Americas by Cristoforo Colombo, a Genoese private contractor working for the government of Castille. U.S. Government employees and contractors have Monday off, even at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Oh wait. The Republican Tea Party Caucus already shut down the government two weeks ago. Party at the Ted Cruz house!

Today is also Native American Day In South Dakota and Indigenous People’s Day in Berkeley, California. Think about it.

More:

“Native History: Columbus—Icon and Genocidal Maniac—Lands in New World,” Christina Rose, Indian Country Today

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Signs & Portents

October 7, 2013

Signs & Portents

Here’s the word on the street about the government shutdown. Yesterday the vendors of Havana Banana Breads chalked an open letter to Members of Congress. The message may have reached them; the sign was at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. The bakery’s owner is a service-disabled veteran.

More street signs here.

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Government Shutdown Explained

October 2, 2013

Government Shutdown Explained

The United States Government has been shut down by the Republican members of the House of Representatives. This chart explains it all.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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GOP Monomania: ‘Kill Obamacare!’

September 22, 2013

GOP Monomania: 'Obamacare!'
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives has voted to shut down the federal government unless the Affordable Health Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) is shut down. Since they took over the House in 2011, Republicans have voted to repeal Obamacare 42 times, roughly once every 24 days. Who says this is an unproductive Congress?

The GOP’s Tea Party legislative strategy is simple: Extortion. Its political philosophy is best summed up by Marlon Brando:

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Newspaper Boxes

September 16, 2013

Newspaper Boxes

Q: How many newspaper vending boxes are on DC sidewalks?

A: No one knows. They spring up like toadstools.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has published a proposed rulemaking which will regulate the placement and maintenance of publisher boxes on public space. Among other things it requires registration of boxes, imposes a registration fee for them, requires their maintenance, and mandates removal of abandoned newspaper boxes.

There are no existing DC regulations for these streetscape features, and problems have been resolved by a complaint-driven ad hoc process. DDOT Public Space staffers hear about abandoned boxes from angry neighbors, and wheelchair users file ADA complaints when new boxes block the sidewalk. The proposed regs aim at creating a more pro-active situation and a better pedestrian environment. And we’ll even find out how many news vending boxes there are out there.

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DC Tattoo Cooling-Off Period

September 9, 2013

DC Tattoo Cooling-Off Period

The DC Department of Health has proposed regulations that would require a 24-hour waiting before customers could get tattoos or body piercing in Washington’s body art parlors. There’s a public comment period. Maybe someone will ask if there should be compulsory breathalyzer tests instead.

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What Did You Learn In School Today?

September 4, 2013

What Did You Learn In School Today?

Back-to-School Special

Diane Ravitch on No Child Left Behind:

“I just came to realize that what we got involved in and what I had been supporting was turning education into a desiccated, data-driven, anti-human activity and this would not encourage the love of learning.  It would kill it.”

– “How I Fell Victim for an Educational Fad,” Diane Ravitch, Big Think

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Congress Wants to Make the Post Office a Dead Letter

June 3, 2013

Congress Wants to Make the Post Office a Dead Letter

“The Postal Service is losing money and needs to make changes. The problem is that Congress refuses to let it raise more money, refuses to let it spend less money, and refuses to let it cut service.”

– “The Post Office is Failing, and It’s Congress’s Fault,” Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Bye-Bye Bachmann

May 30, 2013

Bye-Bye Bachmann

Congresscreature Michele Bachmann, who has represented Minnesota’s 6th District and Planet Mars for the past eight years, will retire from Congress next year in order to spend more quality time with her attorneys. Mrs. Bachmann, the screaming whistle of the Tea Party kettle, is under investigation for shenanigans perpetrated during her presidential campaign quest for World Domination in the name of Jesus.

Rep. Bachmann will be mourned by the army of fact-checkers and copy editors she has kept fully employed during her four terms in office.

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Can the Feds Hear Your Phone Calls?

May 14, 2013

Can the Feds Hear Your Phone Calls?

Did the government eavesdrop on Associated Press reporters? No. G-men subpoenaed the records of phone calls, the numbers of calls to and from AP reporters. Unsavory, but entirely legal. 

But is the Federal government capable of recording and listening to all your phone calls, or are we talking through our tinfoil hat? It’s your call:

“Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?” Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian

“Is the U.S. Government Recording and Saving All Domestic Telephone Calls?” Bruce Schneier, Schneier on Security

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-gEk

Image by Mike Licht; download it free (no roaming charges!) here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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