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Friday, February 13, 2009

Government so transparent it's opaque?

From an interesting site Read the Stimulus dot org:
The final language has been posted; you can find links to the various docs at the Speaker's website. Update: The speaker's website is apparently down. Imagine that. Docs are also available here.

The total size of the four major files is over 100MB, and consists of 1419 pages. Three of the four files are huge "scanned" PDFs, meaning they were created by printing the original document and then scanning it in again --- and therefore contain no real "text" that can be easily searched. This will make our parsing process difficult and more time consuming, so we most likely won't have our versions ready until midday tomorrow. But we'll see...
If the government provides the bills in non-searchable format is that transparency or simply raising the marginal cost of finding "Easter eggs" in the bill so that some people are priced out of the market of oversight and due diligence on the part of the citizenry?

How can those who support democrats possibly go along with this type of legislative process? How is it even possible that such a spending bill will be approved by our elected representatives without the bill having been read?

This reminds me of the Politburo in the Soviet Union. While debate in the Duma did occur, it had absolutely no impact on the decisions being made. Rather, the real decisions were made by a select few individuals. The fact that we fought the cold war and supposedly won makes little difference if we end up being governed in the same way as Soviet Russia.

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