As the Senate prepares to take up the first major gun control debate since last December’s shooting massacre in Connecticut, a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the political pressures on 26 key senators paints a pessimistic picture for passage.
Absent a major pressure campaign to push senators to support gun control legislation, the political calculus points against the Senate passing any reform.
We’ve experimented with it though I know it annoys a lot of people.
What do you think? Yay or nay?
The Census Bureau recently released its 2012 Census of Governments. Apparently there are 89,004 local governments in the United States. As he’s done before, the inestimable Chris Briem put together a word cloud of what those look like, sized by number of employees. Here’s the preview, but you can click through for a large PDF (51 MB) with the full zoom capabilities that just might test your system processing power.
Our second infographic in the Capital in the Capitol series explains why Super PACs are super powerful this presidential election, and tells you who really holds that power—26 individuals.
Some of their names have appeared here and there in the news, but their collective identities tell a more impressive tale. What do all of these people have in common? While a large pocket of Romney supporters seem to be financial tycoons, and another subset of Obama supporters are Hollywood elite, altogether what unites these folks is their wealth—and the shared belief that it can win an election.
Giving you a glimpse of the news in a world without public access to government information.
Respect your elders?
Super PACs had their biggest month ever, raising over $55 million in June.
That impressive haul brought Super PACs’ total fundraising since Jan 1. 2011 to more than $313 million. As of around June 30, Super PACs had about $110 million in the bank (that total includes groups filing reports due between June 27 and July 13).
A new survey of 164 members of the GOVERNING Exchange, an online community of government executives, finds that Facebook and LinkedIn are used most often in the workplace. Unsurprisingly, Facebook is used at home by more that 4 out of 5 government executives. The findings reveal that Pinterest — despite being only two years old — is used at home by 1 out of 5 public servants.
I attended TransparencyCamp 2012 earlier this month and, like every other year that I have attended, there were lots of people and good conversations. This year I was particularly amazed at the sheer number and diversity of those in attendance. This got me thinking about the people drawn to this event and the relationships between them. I wondered, “wouldn’t it be neat to see what this community looks like?” So I decided to gather some Twitter data and do a little social network analysis on the #tcamp12 community.
Of each dollar the federal government spends, how much goes to defense? How much goes to Social Security? How much goes to interest on the debt? And how has this sort of thing changed over time?
I missed this one a while back, but The New York Times had a look at the growth of government benefit programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, in the United States. On the surface, it looks like your standard choropleth map that shows percent of income from government benefits, but there’s a lot going on here that makes the piece really good.