Posts tagged congress

Here's how the U.S. is selling the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership

It’s awfully hard to have a conversation about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as the government representatives who are negotiate it are barred, by definition, from sharing details with the public.

So we’ve got the next best thing: a leaked (of course) document of the U.S. Trade Representative’s TPP talking points, obtained and published byTechdirt.

It’s a companion piece to the most recent draft of the TPP’s Intellectual Property chapter, the August version of which was released by WikiLeaksNov. 13. The IP chapter is highly controversial, in part for the aforementioned secrecy. But, as Internet advocates feared, it also shows that negotiators are arguing for tough Internet copyright standards. Those could make it much easier for corporations to remove content from the Internet, effectively locking participating countries into de facto laws.

"It is likely that the coming days will be full of hyperbolic misinformation about what is in that text," the document says. "Indeed, it is likely that whoever leaked the text specifically desired this outcome as a way to set back the IP chapter and the TPP negotiations more generally."

Its first point is that the leaked draft is already outdated, and thus isn’t a good point to reference. However, it is worth noting that it reflects similar positions to a draft of that chapter leaked in 2011, and that negotiators hope to have the TPP finalized by the end of 2013, so it may be a leap to expect the final version to be substantially different.

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Click this button to drunk dial a random member of Congress

The Frequency of the Search Term “Food Stamps” on Google

Notice the sharp rise in the use of the term starting at the end of 2007, the beginning of the Great Recession.

Now watch this representative fiercely defend food stamps by accusing her fellow congressmen of spending as much on food in a week as one person on EBT does in a year.

-Evan

Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is sick of all these laws that could change how the Internet might work.

So he’s got a radical solution: He asked Reddit for help in drafting a ban on any new Internet regulations for the next two years, and came to the site to speak with them Wednesday.

Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is sick of all these laws that could change how the Internet might work.

So he’s got a radical solution: He asked Reddit for help in drafting a ban on any new Internet regulations for the next two years, and came to the site to speak with them Wednesday.

Tumblr’s “Floor Charts” makes C-SPAN legitimately cool

When most people watch C-SPAN, they see stodgy politicians droning on and on about budget cuts, health care, and almost any public issue you can think of.

When William Gray watches the nonprofit network, he sees moments destined for memedom.

Gray is the creator of Floor Charts, a new Tumblr featuring screengrabs of politicians and the often hilariously bad charts they use on the House and Senate floors.
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Tumblr’s “Floor Charts” makes C-SPAN legitimately cool

When most people watch C-SPAN, they see stodgy politicians droning on and on about budget cuts, health care, and almost any public issue you can think of.

When William Gray watches the nonprofit network, he sees moments destined for memedom.

Gray is the creator of Floor Charts, a new Tumblr featuring screengrabs of politicians and the often hilariously bad charts they use on the House and Senate floors.
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storyboard:

Painting the Women of the 112th, Powersuit by Powersuit

It didn’t start out as a political statement, exactly. Emily Nemens, a writer and illustrator in New York, simply wanted to take on a new creative project, preferably in watercolor. For four years already — between jobs at the Met, and later, at the American Institute of Architects — she’d done a series of watercolor mouth paintings: beautiful, complex images of plump rosy lips, some with objects clenched between them. She’d also illustrated comic books, and published a collection of short stories.

But she’d always been fascinated by political portraiture and the way it could convey the personality of a subject. She’d also noticed how much of that portraiture (save for a few French revolution portraits, and some queens of England) lacked women. And so, in early 2011, right around the time Michelle Bachmann hit the national stage, Nemens set out to paint the female members of Congress — all 94 of them. “I want to honor the breadth and diversity of women in power, as well as bring attention to certain disconcerting characteristics about them,” Nemens says. “The rainbow of power suits, the big hair, the gaudy jewelry and toothy smiles … and, of course, the fact that they collectively are only 17 percent of Congress.”

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