It Was The Best Of Times

… it was the worst of times:

  • The United States House of Representatives passed the so-called "DISCLOSE Act" yesterday, 219-206. Both New Hampshire reps, Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, voted Aye.

    Although the DISCLOSE acronym officially stands for

    Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections
    … a more accurate translation is:
    Democrat Incumbents Shit on Constitutional Liberties, Offer Sanctimonious Excuses
    (Sensitive souls may want to filter that through sed s/h/p/. Oops, too late.)

    Further reading: The ACLU offers its comments here. The Chicago Tribune calls DISCLOSE, accurately, a fraud. The US Chamber of Commerce blog has been all over the issue, here, here, here, here, here, and especially here, where Bruce Josten discusses the sleazy backroom deal that allows unions to "shift unlimited amounts of [campaign/advocacy] money around through various affiliated entities, completely absolved of any disclosure requirements." Jacob Sullum piles on at Reason, noting that the bill "imposes highly discriminatory burdens on freedom of speech in the name of transparency." Jacob also links to this analysis (PDF) from the Center for Competitive Politics. Which has this charming quote from one of the principals:

    At the mark-up, Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) revealed the bill's true intent, saying "I hope it chills out all--not one side, all sides! I have no problem whatsoever keeping everybody out. If I could keep all outside entities out, I would."
    In a country that respected liberty, these people would be kept far away from any kind of political power.

  • In other news, it appears that the big financial reform bill is on a secure road to passage. Key quote from this Washington Post story:
    "It's a great moment. I'm proud to have been here," said a teary-eyed Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), who as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee led the effort in the Senate. "No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we've done something that has been needed for a long time. It took a crisis to bring us to the point where we could actually get this job done."
    Emphasis added. I suppose there are people out there who can look at those words and not shudder in disgust and amazement at the brain-dead hubris of our politicians, but I am not one of them. (Via Drudge.)

  • Lore Sjöberg describes upcoming special-purpose e-book readers. For example, the "Bk":
    Studies show that members of the current youth generation send text messages 4 million times more often than they read a newspaper, and that includes glancing at the headlines through the vending machine window while they wait for the bus. Such youths are having increasing trouble reading words like "to" and "for."

    The Bk automatically translates any downloaded book into text-speak. For instance, the opening of A Tale of Two Cities translates to ":-) :-("

  • Steve Martin is still very funny.

Last Modified 2012-10-03 11:43 AM EDT