Recent Posts From Nicole Wittlief
I’ve come to realize that, for whatever reason, I’m particularly interested in minutiae as it relates to “politics.” I like to study the charts that congresspersons use as props when making floor speeches and search through legislation archives looking for bills that pertain to what are, frankly, ridiculous things (like the duties on certain types of pasta products or, one of my personal favorites, improving the management of wild free-roaming horses and burros). I think perhaps I feel that so many other people out there are thinking and writing about the “bigger” political picture (not that this isn’t a really good thing), that there have to be some others who are interested in the smaller things. In this vein, there is a particularly minutial issue (indeed, I don’t think I should really call it an “issue” at all) that has continued to annoy me for quite a while now—the widespread practice of using rather ridiculous acronyms in the titles of official pieces of legislation.
Here are some examples of some of these acronyms (from the current Congress), but there are COUNTLESS others (I’d be curious actually to see the results of an analysis of legislation from, say, the last 5 Congresses as to the percentage of bills that use acronyms in the title):
H.R. 3379: LOPSIDED Oil Prices Act of 2009 (Lowering Oil Speculation for Infrastructure Dedicated to Economic Development)
S. 1588: STOP Act (Stop Tax-breaks for Oil Profiteering Act)
H.R. 3295: RISE Act of 2009 (Removing Impediments to Students Education)
I have been incredibly lazy lately in terms of my writing and researching…honestly I think because my discovery of hulu has virtually eliminated my viewing of streaming videos from C-SPAN. However, today I sort of “ran out” of things to watch on hulu and wandered back over to C-SPAN, where I decided to watch a 1-hour video from Wednesday of House debate on the so-called “Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights.” Admittedly, I haven’t really been following this issue very closely so I don’t know much of what is in the bill.
I have recently discovered the awesomeness that is Google Reader and through this have subscribed to the “Introduced Legislation” feed from GovTrack. So, practically every other day I’m treated to at least 50+ new pieces of legislation that our intrepid government representatives have introduced in the House of Senate. Here are a few that have popped up in the last week or so (yes, there is little that our federal government has not stuck its nose into)—
I’ve become convinced that in order to be selected for a high-level position in the U.S. government, you must check the yes box on the candidate questionnaire (yes, I know this doesn’t really exist but I think you can follow me) when it asks “Ever engaged in tax evasion?” President Obama’s choice for the positions of both deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget and the “chief performance officer” for the entire federal government, Nancy Killefer, withdrew herself from consideration due to personal tax issues resulting from neglecting to pay unemployment taxes for household help during 2005 and 2006. After Ms. Killifer failed to make the required payments for a year and a half, the IRS placed a lien for $946.69 on her home in Washington D.C.