How to Create a Live Feed of U.S. Drone Strikes with MapBox
Last Thursday the United Nations opened an inquiry into the “civilian impact of the use of drones and other forms of targeted killing.” Data - data about casualties, targets, frequency, and other topics - will play an important role in this investigation, led by the UN special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism. Visualization can add important context to help the public follow this inquiry. Adding markers dynamically can be a serious game-changer for visualizations using time-sensitive data, and something that you can do with MapBox.”

How to Create a Live Feed of U.S. Drone Strikes with MapBox

Last Thursday the United Nations opened an inquiry into the “civilian impact of the use of drones and other forms of targeted killing.” Data - data about casualties, targets, frequency, and other topics - will play an important role in this investigation, led by the UN special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism. Visualization can add important context to help the public follow this inquiry. Adding markers dynamically can be a serious game-changer for visualizations using time-sensitive data, and something that you can do with MapBox.”
Posted 1 year ago
23 notes
Where Congress Stands on Guns

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, President Obama on Wednesday announced new national gun control measures. He has already urged members of Congress to do the same. Here is our comprehensive look at where lawmakers stand on guns, as well as political spending and voting history. Explore and share what you think Congress should do about guns in this country.

Where Congress Stands on Guns

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, President Obama on Wednesday announced new national gun control measures. He has already urged members of Congress to do the same. Here is our comprehensive look at where lawmakers stand on guns, as well as political spending and voting history. Explore and share what you think Congress should do about guns in this country.

Posted 1 year ago
56 notes
Majority of states prohibit access to gun records

Following a New York newspaper’s controversial decision to publish the names and address of local gun owners, state legislators are moving to make such information private, even as a Sunlight Foundation analysis shows that in a majority of states, the data are already off the public record.

Majority of states prohibit access to gun records

Following a New York newspaper’s controversial decision to publish the names and address of local gun owners, state legislators are moving to make such information private, even as a Sunlight Foundation analysis shows that in a majority of states, the data are already off the public record.

Posted 1 year ago
72 notes
How the Parties Flip-Flopped on the Debt Ceiling

Because of some the work we’ve done before on last minute negotiations and divided government, Sunlight prepared the following graphic that visualizes the recent history of US House votes on the debt ceiling, based on public voting records and a CRS report.
We’ll have more commentary forthcoming, but here are a few initial thoughts on what this graphic makes clear:
Opposition to raising the debt ceiling is often partisan, with opposition coming from either party, based on who is in the White House. Many House Republicans have voted for raising the ceiling, just as President Obama voted against it when he was a Senator.
Divided government has necessitated support from both parties to raise the limit.
There is a significant untold story about the Gephardt Rule, a House Rule which enabled the limit to be raised with little public record. The role this rule played in setting up the current showdowns has been insufficiently examined.
Good access to congressional data and reports enables this kind of analysis; it could be improved.
Each of these votes was a predictable consequence of budgets that were passed before them, demonstrating another facet of political hypocrisy.

How the Parties Flip-Flopped on the Debt Ceiling

Because of some the work we’ve done before on last minute negotiations and divided government, Sunlight prepared the following graphic that visualizes the recent history of US House votes on the debt ceiling, based on public voting records and a CRS report.

We’ll have more commentary forthcoming, but here are a few initial thoughts on what this graphic makes clear:

  1. Opposition to raising the debt ceiling is often partisan, with opposition coming from either party, based on who is in the White House. Many House Republicans have voted for raising the ceiling, just as President Obama voted against it when he was a Senator.
  2. Divided government has necessitated support from both parties to raise the limit.
  3. There is a significant untold story about the Gephardt Rule, a House Rule which enabled the limit to be raised with little public record. The role this rule played in setting up the current showdowns has been insufficiently examined.
  4. Good access to congressional data and reports enables this kind of analysis; it could be improved.
  5. Each of these votes was a predictable consequence of budgets that were passed before them, demonstrating another facet of political hypocrisy.
Posted 1 year ago
21 notes
What is a City?

As we expand on our vision for local government transparency, we realize we need to start with defining what we mean by local.
The general scope of the work we’re taking on is targeted at the idea of “municipal” government, something we’ve been referring to internally as city government, though we’ve quickly realized it’s not that simple. Municipal government takes many forms, and if we’re being accurate, we have to set our scope a bit wider.

What is a City?

As we expand on our vision for local government transparency, we realize we need to start with defining what we mean by local.

The general scope of the work we’re taking on is targeted at the idea of “municipal” government, something we’ve been referring to internally as city government, though we’ve quickly realized it’s not that simple. Municipal government takes many forms, and if we’re being accurate, we have to set our scope a bit wider.

Posted 1 year ago
11 notes
The Age of Obama: Timelapse of President Barack Obama over four years in office

Time roughs up presidents. Photos of Barack Obama on Election Night 2008 look like they were taken much longer ago. Now his face has deeper creases and crow’s feet, while his hair has turned white. “You look at the picture when they’re inaugurated and four years later, they’re visibly older,” said Connie Mariano, White House physician from 1992 to 2001. “It’s like they went in a time machine and fast-forwarded eight years in the span of four years.”

The Age of Obama: Timelapse of President Barack Obama over four years in office

Time roughs up presidents. Photos of Barack Obama on Election Night 2008 look like they were taken much longer ago. Now his face has deeper creases and crow’s feet, while his hair has turned white. “You look at the picture when they’re inaugurated and four years later, they’re visibly older,” said Connie Mariano, White House physician from 1992 to 2001. “It’s like they went in a time machine and fast-forwarded eight years in the span of four years.”

Posted 1 year ago
33 notes

Political war profiteers: 20 consulting firms churn 80 percent of super PAC cash

In the three years since the Supreme Court’s Jan. 21, 2010 ruling in Citizens United, the super PACs that the decision helped spawn have largely been seen as advertising machines. But an anniversary-eve analysis by the Sunlight Foundation show that they have created a class of super consultants.

Of the $620 million that super PACs doled out during the 2012 campaign cycle, records filed with the Federal Election Commission as of Dec. 6 reveal that 80 percent was spent through just 20 consulting firms. As the graphic above illustrates, a tightly interwoven network of Washington insiders reaped the biggest benefits of Citizens United and subsequent decisions that gave rise to a new class of outsider-insiders who have become a new political establishment.

Not a data visualization or an infographic but important none the less.
shortformblog:
A community’s great loss: RSS co-creator, early Reddit employee, tech activist Aaron Swartz dies at 26
Swartz committed suicide as he faced a federal trial on criminal charges. One of the hacker world’s most iconic personalities, he had played a key role in building a number of things that defined the internet’s voice, helping build the RSS spec at the age of 14, helping build Reddit in its early days, and playing a key role in modern tech activism. It was this last aspect of his life that got him into significant legal trouble, as he faced a FBI investigation after publicly releasing large parts the for-pay PACER database to the public, then, two years later, found himself facing criminal charges after downloading millions of articles from the private JSTOR academic journal database. Swartz faced $4 million in fines as as many as 35 years in prison over felony charges related to the case — though both MIT and JSTOR declined civil actions in the case. (photo by quinnums/Flickr)
EDIT: Here’s a roundup of some noted tech-world reaction to Swartz’s death.

Not a data visualization or an infographic but important none the less.

shortformblog:

A community’s great loss: RSS co-creator, early Reddit employee, tech activist Aaron Swartz dies at 26

Swartz committed suicide as he faced a federal trial on criminal charges. One of the hacker world’s most iconic personalities, he had played a key role in building a number of things that defined the internet’s voice, helping build the RSS spec at the age of 14, helping build Reddit in its early days, and playing a key role in modern tech activism. It was this last aspect of his life that got him into significant legal trouble, as he faced a FBI investigation after publicly releasing large parts the for-pay PACER database to the public, then, two years later, found himself facing criminal charges after downloading millions of articles from the private JSTOR academic journal database. Swartz faced $4 million in fines as as many as 35 years in prison over felony charges related to the case — though both MIT and JSTOR declined civil actions in the case. (photo by quinnums/Flickr)

EDIT: Here’s a roundup of some noted tech-world reaction to Swartz’s death.

Reblogged 1 year ago from shortformblog
320 notes

A comparison between 2009 and 2013 inaugural fundraising.

Obama discloses less about inaugural donors

What a difference four years makes: President Barack Obama, who began his first term with a promise to change the way Washington works, barred corporate donations to his first inauguration, capped individual contributions at $50,000 and began disclosing his donors and bundlers more than a month before his swearing-in.

newsweek:

Newsweek by the numbers. Click to enlarge.

newsweek:

Newsweek by the numbers. Click to enlarge.

Reblogged 1 year ago from newsweek
2,584 notes

NRA’s allegiances reach deep into Congress

Just over half (51 percent) of the members of the new Congress that convenes next month have received funding from the National Rifle Association’s political action committee at some point in their political careers, an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation finds. And 47 percent received money from the NRA in the most recent race in which they ran.

The numbers give insight into the depth and breadth of support that the nation’s most powerful gun lobby commands. They also highlight the primary obstacle to quick action on gun control in response to last week’s massacre in Newton, Conn. – deep and long-lasting allegiances to the National Rifle Association.

foreignaffairsmagazine:

What the Fiscal Cliff Looks Like — The Tax Cuts, The New Taxes, and Who Pays
Click to expand

foreignaffairsmagazine:

What the Fiscal Cliff Looks Like — The Tax Cuts, The New Taxes, and Who Pays

Click to expand

Reblogged 1 year ago from foreignaffairsmagazine
36 notes
Money, Transparency and Policy Since Citizens United v. FEC


The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed modern politics. It made an unmistakeable effect on the ability for secretive and unaccountable groups and organizations to push their interests, as well as opened the floodgates for unlimited spending and helped spur the creation of super PACs. Check out below the milestones of the money and politics landscape since the Court’s ruling in January 2010.
The timeline covers four categories: Courts (major court rulings and cases), Disclose (legislation around greater disclosure of political contributions and spending), Super PACs (trend and news for independent expenditure only committees) and FEC (decisions made by the Federal Election Commission).

Money, Transparency and Policy Since Citizens United v. FEC

The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed modern politics. It made an unmistakeable effect on the ability for secretive and unaccountable groups and organizations to push their interests, as well as opened the floodgates for unlimited spending and helped spur the creation of super PACs. Check out below the milestones of the money and politics landscape since the Court’s ruling in January 2010.

The timeline covers four categories: Courts (major court rulings and cases), Disclose (legislation around greater disclosure of political contributions and spending), Super PACs (trend and news for independent expenditure only committees) and FEC (decisions made by the Federal Election Commission).

Posted 1 year ago
124 notes