October 10th, 2003


Hints that you may be a Republican party insider...

One of the people over at MetaFilter replied to my recent claims that Schwarzenegger's appointment of Donna Arduin didn't fit the bill of a "outside independent auditor, free of political influence..." The idea that she worked for three Republican governors in a row as a budget hack and came up with some very partisan, misleading budget figures apparently wasn't enough, so I was asked to provide more proof... so I did, appropriately enough, in Jeff Foxworthy format.

If you are a lobbyist whose mailing address is the Florida capital building... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you find yourself buying 14 autographed copies of Katherine Harris' book because "they make good Christmas presents"... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you are appointed by a Republican governor to personally represent George Pataki and vote on the Public Authorities board... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you are listed as the Chief Policy Advisor for the president's brother... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you tell committee members that "we need to consider the limitations on your authority", just before you raid their trust funds... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you're required by federal law to allow medicare patients to be prescribed viagra, but you're trying to find a way to prevent its use by gay males... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you devise questionable new accounting methods in order to make it look like the state government is smaller and more efficient than it really is... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you, the state legislature, and the Department of Revenue all create official budget estimates -- and yours are the rosiest... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you donate a thousand dollars to George, and another $800 to the Florida Republican Party... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you eat paella with Jeb Bush while wearing a knee-length mink coat -- one of several furs that you own... you may be a Republican party insider.

So, is she a partisan insider yet?

Stop Hollywood's Attempt to Hobble your Home Electronics!

The EFF has announced an important action alert you should all take the time to respond to -- the MPAA is rushing legislation through the FCC to approve the installation of "broadcast flag" technology in home electronics. This technology is intended to prevent the recording and distribution of television programs, and what is worse, they are trying to ram this legislation through the FCC before the end of this month, without any serious consideration for the concerns of consumers and innovators. If this legislation passes, it could kill a multi-billion dollar industry before its even born.

It's worth remembering that the MPAA tried to get the FCC to kill television recording technology back in 1982 -- if they had succeeded, we wouldn't have VCRs, or DVDs, or video rental stores. A whole industry would have been legislated out of existence. Fortunately for Hollywood, they failed, and are now making an unprecedented amount of money thanks to video and DVD rentals. They were wrong before and they are wrong this time too.

Do Hollywood a favor -- go to the EFF action site and send a letter via their online form to let the FCC know that you oppose "broadcast flag" technology. Let them know you want a future where technology companies can freely innovate and create new technologies to entertain you, without the MPAA telling you what you can and cannot do with your home electronics.

Oh, and by all means, pass this news on to your friends. This legislation is being rushed through, and it may take tens of thousands of people to stop it, so please spread the word. Thanks. - m.