Making laws

As a followup to the post about delivering the tax code in source form, I think that congress should be required to use a revision control system for bills.  Such a system could help us figure out who added what provisions.  You know how when a provision benefiting some group is added and noone seems to know how or when it got in the final bill?  

I am most familiar with cvs and svn, but there are many others.  All of these systems track revisions and permit the user to go back and check out any previous version.  Good ones can show you the changes between any two versions, … and who made those changes.  Svn has a feature called “svn blame” which produces a listing of a file with every line of text annotated by its author.  So you want to know who added the earmark giving a billion dollars to Halliburton?  Svn blame!

The Bully Pulpit

Here’s my first political post.

I think President Elect Obama is missing a bet on the Blagojevich affair. After the Rev. White incident, Obama took the opportunity to present a very good speech on race relations. He didn’t hide hide his connection to White, or excuse the man. He took the moment of public attention and turned it to good purpose.

In the case of Blagojevich, Obama has merely tried to distance himself from it. I think that is the wrong approach. Obama has an opportunity here to present a very effective discussion of service, responsibility, integrity, and character.