Thursday, June 08, 2006

Republicants

Below are just some of what transpired during a typical 24-hour news cycle in the life of a federal government totally controlled by the Republican Party.

The Senate voted 57-41, three votes short of advancing the bill, to reject a Republican effort to slash taxes on inherited estates. This vote preserves the estate tax, for now. The estate tax is currently paid only by those who inherit more than $2 million. According to the most recent statistics available from the Internal Revenue Service, 1.17 percent of people who died in 2002 left a taxable estate. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn, says the "death tax is unfair."


House Republicans slashed $115 million from the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which distributes money to PBS and NPR. That's a 23 percent reduction next year for TV shows like "Sesame Street" and radio shows like "All Things Considered."

Republican pundit Ann Coutler, author of the book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," described a group of 9/11 widows who backed the Democratic Party as "millionaire 'witches' reveling in their status as celebrities enjoying their husbands' deaths" referring to four women who headed a campaign that resulted in the creation of the September 11 Commission which investigated the hijacked plane attacks.

GOP leaders vow to keep pressing for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage after being soundly defeated in the Senate after proponents failed to persuade even a majority of senators to support the measure.




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Jon Stewart vs. Bill Bennett


3 Comments:

Blogger ITscout said...

To add insult to injury, within this same 24-hour period, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives definitively rejected the concept of Net neutrality whereby all Internet sites must be treated equally. By a 269-152 vote that fell largely along party lines, the House Republican leadership mustered enough votes to reject a Democrat-backed amendment that would have enshrined stiff Net neutrality regulations into federal law and prevented broadband providers from treating some Internet sites differently from others. Prominent Democrats predicted this would come to represent a turning point in the history of the Internet.

2:48 PM  
Blogger ITscout said...

Stephen Colbert, on The Colbert Report, introduced the term Axis of Mid-Term Evil which describes how every two years Republicans start talking about gay marriage, flag-burning, and death taxes. Then the masses-are-asses electorate re-elects Republican majorities to both the House and Senate. What a country! Best damn Congress that money can buy.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Robert Pearson said...

Reading this posting and the comments, especially the Stephen Colbert term "Axis of Mid-Term Evil", I was moved to share with you some more, but slightly older, insight from Andrew Marlatt of "SatireWire", http://www.satirewire.com/index.shtml. Andrew's article entitled "The Axis of Just as Evil" is a classic:

"ANGERED BY SNUBBING, LIBYA, CHINA, SYRIA FORM AXIS OF JUST AS EVIL
Cuba, Sudan, Serbia Form Axis of Somewhat Evil; Other Nations Start Own Clubs"
http://www.satirewire.com/news/jan02/axis.shtml

Better yet, a very creative and inventive fellow named Golan Levin used Andrew's text but made it accessible through a global map.

David Strom wrote about Golan's program in his newsletter "Web Informant #299, 16 September 2002": "Where in the world is Afghanistan", http://strom.com/awards/299.html:
"There is some help, in the form of an art project that Golan Levin has put together, largely on the inspiration of our president's speech about an "evil axis." Go to this URL:
http://artport.whitney.org/commissions/codedoc/Levin/axis.html
Click on any three countries (that is the accepted definition of what constitutes an axis, such as the WWII Axis powers of Japan, Italy and Germany) and you'll see what they have in common. This could be almost as much fun as Pictionary. When I clicked on Niger, Honduras and Angola I got the only thing they had in common: they were all heavily in debt and poor countries.
Behind this relatively simple world map is a lot of code: in fact, as part of the Whitney Museum's Artport/CodeDoc series, you can actually download the code that was used to assemble this project. True to the spirit of open source, combined with the freshness of an artist's perspective, with a soupcon of geopolitics mixed in. How much more new millennium can you get?
I am not saying that Levin's map is going to cure this insularity. But it might stimulate some interesting discussions among you. And I am glad that the Whitney is taking the lead once again on web-based art projects, combining the spirit of open source to boot."


When I saw Golan's program coupled with Andrew's satire I saw the way Information should be handled. Any Information. I became a big fan of Visual Information Architecture. A picture is worth a thousand words! I still want to deliver an IT solution using this technique. In the interim it would be nice to have this map tied to political leaders, ideologies, etc. In particular for the USA. You could scroll across the map, find your Congress People and by clicking see all sorts of interesting public domain Information. Most of this Information is available on the Internet but not in an integrated and "easy to access and use" way.

10:20 PM  

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