Ok… this is incorrect. This image is depicting the IntranetQuorum function for sending mass emails or letters (“batching”). The mechanism for receiving email is similar, yes, but with the sheer number of emails a given Rep gets daily, it’s not the most impractical program. On the average day we were getting between 400-1000 emails from Constituents. This system aggregates all the emails and saves them to the sender so it’s easier to respond to them. They are printed and every single one is read and sorted into an appropriate category so it can be responded to (the Rep I worked for aimed for a 100% response rate, we even had a form letter for people who sent him hate mail). No, it may not be as sexy as google, but why does it need to be? I’d rather see them make it more efficient that more aesthetically pleasing (for instance, they could easily be sorted into categories using keywords before they are read, especially considering 90% are just form letters).
This is such a weird thing for people to have latched on.
» SFB says: A couple things: We did some looking but could only find the one screenshot, the same one that the original article used. Had we had more options, we would’ve posted multiple screenshots to give the full thrust of the app. Given our options, though, it got across the point, which was not about the specific menu but the overall app. Second of all, the author of the piece is looking at the software from a user-interface perspective. Some of that is good design, but theoretically a good design should lead to a better user interface. But here’s the key thing: Why can’t representatives choose what works best for them, instead of something farmed out to a large government contractor? Because, you know, it’s likely that given the option, an open-source program available for free (considering we’re trying to save money …) would offer better functionality, efficiency and ease of use than an app that looks like it came to being during the Clinton administration. It’s 2011. Why doesn’t this app tap into Facebook or Twitter? While we see where you’re coming from, ultimately, Congress should have better software to do this job. Even if it makes sense after a while, a confusing interface is just another roadblock for end-users. — Ernie @ SFB
While this agreement is for two months, it is my expectation — in fact it would be inexcusable for Congress not to further extend this middle-class tax cut for the rest of the year. It should be a formality. And hopefully it’s done with as little drama as possible when they get back in January.President Obama • In remarks after the Senate passed a two-month-long extension to the payroll tax cuts. While he’s still annoyed by the fact that tax increases for the wealthy aren’t connected with the bill, “I think that it’s important for us to get it done,” he claimed. Think that further extensions will happen without said drama? Or is the president dreaming? The House will take a final stab at the bill on Monday. source (via • follow)
The fact that there was any debate over whether to call in experts on such a matter should tell you something about the integrity of Congress. It’d be one thing if legitimate technical questions directed at the bill’s supporters weren’t met with either silence or veiled accusations that the other side was sympathetic to piracy. Yet here we are with a group of elected officials openly supporting a bill they can’t explain, and having the temerity to suggest there’s no need to “bring in the nerds” to suss out what’s actually on it… The chilling takeaway of this whole debacle was the irrefutable air of anti-intellectualism; that inescapable absurdity that we have members of Congress voting on a technical bill who do not posses any technical knowledge on the subject and do not find it imperative to recognize those who do.Joshua Kopstein, Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works (via drinkyourjuice)
This used to be funny, but now it’s really just terrifying. We’re dealing with legislation that will completely change the face of the internet and free speech for years to come. Yet here we are, still at the mercy of underachieving Congressional know-nothings that have more in common with the slacker students sitting in the back of math class than elected representatives. The fact that some of the people charged with representing us must be dragged kicking and screaming out of their complacency on such matters is no longer endearing — it’s just pathetic and sad.
BREAKING: House passes spending bill to fund government through Sept. 30, 296-121. Now goes to Senate. #breakingnews— National Journal (@nationaljournal) December 16, 2011
Here’s a breakdown of what the bill entails, including cuts to Pell Grants and government services. Does it worry anyone that the bill expires a month before the election?
If Sen. Reid wants to hold up the jobs bill, he will go on Santa’s naughty list.Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) • Offering a somewhat … uh, interesting take on the House’s passage of a payroll tax cut, which Republicans pushed through with a fairly large caveat — it would speed up the process of approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which was delayed until 2013 to give some time to examine environmental issues brought up by critics. The bill is expected to die in the Senate, and even if it weren’t, Obama would most likely veto it. The divided Congress is under the gun to pass a payroll tax cut and a spending bill to fund the government beyond Friday. Sounds like a fun week, all. source (via • follow)
I’m not the kind of plumber who uses duct tape.Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher • Officially announcing his Congressional run by saying he wouldn’t try to solve problems by duct-taping them. For the love of God, we hope he keeps the cheeseball metaphors up. We certainly don’t see enough of those in political campaigns.