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White House Closed Public Comment Lines, So the Public’s Just Calling the Other White House(s)…Trump’s Properties

It used to be, in a time long ago, that the most surefire way to make your voice was heard by your elected officials would be to call them. Writing letters and emails is great, but whether one answers them or has to go through each voicemail message, calls have to be dealt with individually. Unless, of course, you're in the Trump administration, in which case you don't think you have to deal with anything, including Congress, and you just shut off the White House's public comment line.

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Tech Coalitions Pen an Open Letter to Senators Advising Against “Unworkable” Encryption Bill

Four major technology coalitions have joined forces to write an open letter advising against a bill that would require companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook to allow the U.S. government to have access to encrypted data.

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Georgia Governor Vetoes ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill After Pressure from Businesses and Hollywood

You may have noticed a Georgia peach during the end credits of several of your favorite TV shows. Over the years the state has become a hot spot for shooting TV and film thanks to the tax breaks the state provides, pouring money into the state. So, when Hollywood companies threaten to take business out of Georgia if its state government passes an anti-LGBTQIA bill disguised as a "religious liberty" bill, it's not a threat that can be taken lightly.

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Raffi Freedman-Gurspan Becomes White House’s First Transgender LGBTQ+ Liason

In the summer of last year, we were thrilled to see that the White House had hired its first transgender staffer in Raffi Freedman-Gurspan. Now, it seems that Freedman-Gurspan is continuing to move up, having been promoted into a new position.

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The U.S. Government Is Launching a Team to Finally Make Their Websites Stop Sucking

They've had lots of experience with that in the past year.

You know how the Internet is all fast and convenient, and then you try to do something on a government web service and it suddenly feels like you've traveled back to 1885? (Science Fact: The Internet was notoriously slow in 1885.) Well, the government is finally doing something about it by launching the USDS, which sadly doesn't stand for "Ur Sites Don't Suck."

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The US Government Secretly Created a “Cuban Twitter” to Stir up Political Dissent, Create “Smart Mobs”

Hi, I'm a Nigerian prince, and I need to store my political dissent. Will you join my social network?

Somehow, the same government that can't set up a simple online signup form to save its life went full Zuckerberg and built an entire successful social media network... in Cuba. This must have been headed by the same people who made the turkey pardoning site for Thanksgiving, because that was easily the best functioning government website.

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Problems with Healthcare.gov Likely More Than Just Traffic

Opponents of the healthcare program are probably super stoked.

Any implementation of new technology on the scale of Healthcare.gov is bound to run into problems. Unfortunately, now that some time has passed, it seems like the site's troubles may not have just been your run of the mill, version 1.0 bugs. Get out your party hats, "Big Government" haters.

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Somebody’s Filed a Freedom of Information Act Request To Find Out More about Squirrel-Related Power Outages

It's called the Freedom of Information Act for a reason, after all -- the hippies finally got something right.

America's enemies are targeting our power infrastructure and the government is hiding it from us. And no, I don't mean terrorists -- I'm clearly talking about the squirrels who keep chewing through our power lines, as the NYT reported last week. Thank god one courageous woman is ready to get to the bottom of this consquirrelacy.

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CIA Finally Admits Area 51 Is Actually A Thing In Declassified Report

Officially Official

Conspiracy theorists everywhere are having a party right now, shouting and throwing their tinfoil hats to the sky in celebration: a recently declassified CIA report acknowledges Area 51 is, in fact, an official thing. Want to know more about one of the most mysterious locales in the United States? Head under the cut!

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The United States Government Admits Gamers Are Pro Athletes

I will make it legal!

Thanks to Riot Games eSports manager Nick Allen, the United States officially sees gamers as pro athletes. Don't get too excited, this probably doesn't apply to you.

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FCC Isn’t Sure How to Censor Television Anymore, Wants Our Advice

The Boob Tube

The Federal Communications Commission wants a piece of our minds. I suggest you keep your use of profanity to the minimum.

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Julia Pierson to be Named First Female Director of the American Secret Service

Officially Official

In something of breaking news this afternoon, the White House has announced that they will be announcing (I guess this only a little bit like putting out a trailer for your trailer) a new director of the Secret Service, to replace director Mark Sullivan, who announced his resignation last month. That new director will be Julia Pierson, currently the Secret Service's chief of staff, and the promotion will make her the first woman in history to hold that position.

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The Senate Sort of Approved Internet Sales Tax

People still love taxes, right? That's what the Senate seems to think, because they just voted 75-to-24 in favor of a non-binding resolution that says they would support a bill introducing an Internet sales tax. Even though the resolution is non-binding, its overwhelming support could help support the bill as it School House Rocks its way to becoming a law. The Senate finally decides to get something done, and it's Internet sales tax? Great job, Senate.

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IRS Goes Where No One Has Gone Before, Uses Tax Payer Money To Pay For Star Trek Spoof

Dammit Jim!

It appears there's no sign of intelligent life at the Internal Revenue Service. They created Star Trek and Gilligan's Island spoofs that cost tax payers $60,000. 

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Why Did Hillary Clinton’s State Department Team Edit Bindi Irwin’s Essay On Overpopulation?

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Bindi Irwin, the daughter of the late wildlife expert Steve Irwin, has made quite a name for herself over the last few years. She sings, she acts, and yes, she has a great interest in animals and the environment. She was recently asked to contribute to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's site but supposedly had her essay edited so heavily, she asked them to remove it from publication. What gives? 

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Antigua Strikes Back: Country Wants to Launch Piracy Website to Punish America

In retaliation for the United States repeatedly blocking Antigua from hosting online gambling, the country now plans to launch a website that will sell music, movies, and software from U.S. content-makers without paying royalties to the content's U.S. copyright holders. It's not surprising that the Antinguan government denies that the site qualifies as "privacy," and it's even less surprising that the U.S. isn't happy about the site and will try to stop it.

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U.S. Government Removes Airport “Pornoscanners,” Proves It Can, If It Wants, Deal With Privacy Better Than Facebook

And Now For Something Completely Different

Those controversial airport X-Ray machines known colloquially as "pornoscanners" are going the way of being able to take bottles of water through security.

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The White House Is Sick Of Your Joke Petitions, Quadruples the Number of Signatures Required for an Official Response

the internet is serious business

Attention, American public: The White House has seen your petitions about building a Death Star, investigating the feasibility of building the Enterprise, and giving each state an official Pokémon. In one case they even responded in a particularly awesome way. But now they have another message for you: Cut it out, guys. It's getting tired.

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Star Wars’ Empire Strikes Back At U.S. Government Death Star Petition Refusal

I will make it legal!

We were perfectly content, nay, tickled pink by the response the Unites States government issued after a petition to get them to build a Death Star warranted an official statement be made. Never did we expect the Empire to issue their own response. You'll probably want to read this... 

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Anonymous Posts Petition for White House to Declare DDoS Attacks Protests, Not Crimes

Yesterday we covered the White House's response to the petition asking them to build a working Death Star. Sometimes though, people try to use the government's We the People petition program to try to accomplish things that might be possible. Anonymous has posted a petition to the site asking that the US Government officially declare Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to be a form of protest, and not a crime. This stands about as much of a chance as the government building a Death Star, and the response probably won't be nearly as funny.

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