Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

From the Ashes of the 2012 GOP Primary

December 6th, 2011

Editors Note: My project to write a post every day is already off to a rocky start, as Saturday’s post went long and I’ve been distracted by other things. Today’s post, which should have been Sunday’s, is going to be shorter and perhaps tomorrow I can play catch up.

The 2012 Presidential Election is headed to America like the proverbial freight train, and the only good thing about it is the Democrats don’t have to go through the pain and agony of selecting a new candidate. Instead we get Barack Obama, for better or worse… but this isn’t a post about Democrats, that’s scheduled for Tuesday. Today we are talking about the other side, the not-so-loyal opposition, the Republican Party nomination process. Here, in short order, are my thoughts on the major candidates, why they are in the race, and what it means for nation. Read more…

probonogeek Politics

FCC and Network Neutrality

April 9th, 2010

Some months ago the FCC — now with a majority of Democratic commissioners — implemented network neutrality rules using it’s “ancillary” regulatory powers. I’m on record as a proponent of network neutrality, taking the general position that the internet should be treated like a common carrier and/or utility, and that the only thing providers should be in the business of is delivering reliable and fast service. The moment providers become content filters is the moment their interests stop being aligned with the general good. Think of it like a road builder who also sold cars… don’t you think you’d build your roads to benefit your cars? After a failed effort to enact a network neutrality statute in Congress, the FCC stepped in, however a Federal Court has struck down the regulation taking us back at square one. But don’t worry, that’s a good thing. Read more…

probonogeek Politics, Technology

House Leadership’s Big Gamble on Health Care Amendment

November 7th, 2009

Last night the path to 216 votes became more clear to the Democratic leadership trying to get a health care insurance reform bill passed through the House of Representatives. In order to address the concerns of the anti-choice membership of the Democratic caucus, a vote on a controversial amendment has been scheduled and is expected to garner majority support, after which those anti-choice supporters will be able to vote for the bill itself. But I’m increasingly convinced that that the House leadership has no intention of allowing this to stand when all is said and done. Read more…

probonogeek Politics

Cool New Media Health Care Advocacy

October 21st, 2009

Yesterday a tool I built for Service Employees International Union went live at The SEIU folks came up with a pretty good idea to take advantage of the Facebook and Twitter status update phenomenon. Instead of pushing out an identical message for supporters to publish, they created a unique number for each visitor and embedded that into the update message about gender discrimination in health care. This way visitors could easily see what number their friend was… with hopes that folks would rush to sign up and get the next number. We also generated a unique image with their number for each visitor for use with Facebook via the power of GD. After the first day we hit nearly 5000 tickets “taken”… don’t really know if that’s good or not, but the concept was pretty nifty. The campaign even got a write up in TechPresident.

Then, unrelated to anything I did, MoveOn released this really great video on the Public Option.

That may be the single best piece I’ve seen on the topic.

probonogeek Politics, Technology

In Desperate Search for the Wrong Answer

June 1st, 2009

Robert J. Samuelson of the Washington Post just penned an op-ed of sufficient blindness to push me out of my blogy silence (yes, blogy silence). He posits a sort of Obama Infatuation where the Press has “largely abdicated its role as skeptical observer.” His key indicator is a Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism study that concluded “President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House.” Based on this observation he declares the checks on the President have failed and a runaway presidency is in progress. But is that the only possible answer? Read more…

probonogeek Politics

Responding to Sen. Gregg

April 2nd, 2009

The Washington Post published an OpEd yesterday by Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Budget Committee. His words, penned under the title A Budget to Beggar Us, should be considered reflective of the Republican Senate Caucus on the budget… and should have us all very worried. I might expect this sort of knee-jerk ideologically motivated writing from the House, but to see this from the Senate is very disheartening.

As an exercise, I’m reproducing the entire article below and will respond to each point, because he’s pretty much wrong on every issue and a summary rebuttal just isn’t going to cut it this time. Read more…

probonogeek Politics

Presidential Appointments

March 11th, 2009

I’ve largely avoided discussing the individual appointments made in these early days of the Obama Administration — with notable exception — because the appointments have all been more or expected and get tons of ink already. But a couple of news items have been floating around that inspire me to comment on the process as a whole, in particular as it applies to White House advisors. Read more…

probonogeek Politics

Fun with Resolutions

March 6th, 2009

When I was a Student Senator at the University of Washington, we used to debate resolutions on all manner of topics. Some were serious, some were silly, some were — perhaps — beyond our jurisdiction. A popular tactic of those opposed to these resolutions was to make claims about “wasted time” or “not how real legislators act”… not sure how one can be more real than to be elected to a state entity that makes decisions, regardless of how limited in scope they may be, but I digress. The point is, so called real legislators know how to mix it up with resolutions as good as anyone. Read more…

probonogeek Politics

Truth Commission

March 4th, 2009

Dana Milback of the Washington Post has taken his satirical, yet observant, pen to the topic of creating a counter-terrorism Truth Commission, and idea proposed by Sen Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The long of the short of it is… there doesn’t appear to be legislative support for the proposal, nor is the executive very excited about “looking back,” as they say. Read more…

probonogeek Politics

The Press on Government Institutions

March 3rd, 2009

Complaining about the press is about as old as the press itself. Goodness knows that there is a bad history of the government trying to either shut the press out entirely or intimidate them to publish pro-government reports. Neither is good, and I’d rather what we have to nothing at all. Having said all that, allow me to rant for a few paragraphs about how inane reporting has become on the topic of government institutions. Read more…

probonogeek Politics