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Privatization in the USA

Give me examples of government services in the USA that have been privatized, and tell me if the service improved or got worse.
posted by zenja72 on Nov 25, 2007 - 23 answers

A Majority for the Minority?

Has any democracy, in a free, fair and open election, ever chosen a racial minority as a head of state or head of government? [more inside]
posted by thewittyname on Nov 20, 2007 - 34 answers

ad astra per aspera

What's it like working for NASA these days? What will it be like in 5-10 years? [more inside]
posted by phrontist on Nov 9, 2007 - 21 answers

How does Government exclude Resident Aliens when it's illegal for anyone else to do it?

My friend works as a federal contractor, and he is a permanent resident / legal alien / green card holder. The thing is, it seems more and more federal contracts are requiring US Citizenship, which I can understand for the FBI and NSA and stuff... How does the government decide that US Citizenship is required for a contract. Is there a book of regulations they follow that I can see? [more inside]
posted by joecacti on Nov 8, 2007 - 0 answers

Why do we need a death toll?

Besides the obvious collateral benefits to producers and consumers of news, what is the logic of using the time and resources of government officials during an emergency to calculate and report the death/injury toll of a natural or man-made disaster? Does this task aid rescue or recovery efforts in any way?
posted by Saucy Intruder on Oct 19, 2007 - 11 answers

A sure MIIS.

What can you tell me about the Monterey Institute of International Studies? [more inside]
posted by dead_ on Oct 3, 2007 - 4 answers

The Government Accountability Agency (GAO). Good guys or bureaucrats?

The Government Accountability Agency (GAO). Good guys or bureaucrats? [more inside]
posted by doppleradar on Sep 23, 2007 - 10 answers

Hail to the Chief

Trying to figure out if there is an "ism" or "acy" word for a governmental system of ruler worship (i.e. like the ancient Egyptian systems which considered their rulers Gods). Any specific terms for this?
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Aug 29, 2007 - 15 answers

Are U.S. Government publications in the Public Domain?

Are U.S. Government publications copyrighted or in the Public Domain? More specifically, are Federal Reserve publications copyrighted or in the Public Domain? I'd like to be able to monkey with these comics, but am wary of violating copyright. (I've sent e-mail to the Federal Reserve asking this same question, but am skeptical that I'll receive a timely response.)
posted by jdroth on Aug 23, 2007 - 28 answers

Is it ever OK to change peoples posts on a web forum?

Is it ever OK to change peoples posts on a web forum? Say theoretically a government department ran a consultation via web forum, with invited, non anonymous participants, and wasn't happy with what some of their own staff said. Would it be ok for them to order the staff to edit the posts? Are there any useful examples of the consequences?
posted by anonymous on Aug 7, 2007 - 10 answers

Chicago's always been my kind of town. Help me get a job there.

Any Mefites know of headhunting/recruiting firms in the Chicago area that specialize in government relations/public affairs? [more inside]
posted by notjustfoxybrown on Jul 30, 2007 - 1 answer

Who said it?

What's a good definitive source of quotations on the net? I've been trying to track down the source of a quote, but get differing answers. [more inside]
posted by jpburns on Jul 25, 2007 - 15 answers

Executive Branch Power

Why is the presidential administration working so persistently to bequeath extra powers to their likely Democrat successors? [more inside]
posted by jimmyjimjim on Jul 5, 2007 - 31 answers

Taxed Twice: will I have to pay a fine?

Is the IRS going to penalise me for filing late from a foreign country? [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jun 18, 2007 - 11 answers

What do I do about roaches in a public school?

I visited a public middle school, and it was filled with roaches, is there anything positive I could do for those kids? [more inside]
posted by ceberon on Jun 12, 2007 - 14 answers

What can be done now for Julie Amero?

Julie Amero. Are there ANY concrete actions a non-expert stranger could take to decrease the chance she'll do jail time? [more inside]
posted by lorimer on Jun 1, 2007 - 13 answers

How does one unregister to vote?

How does one unregister to vote? [more inside]
posted by ZachsMind on May 29, 2007 - 20 answers

Did the Chinese government fund research into whether Han are human?

I once read a claim that the Chinese government had funded "research" whose aim was to prove that Han Chinese are a different species to other humans. It was a physical book, not online. What might it have been? And incidentally, is the claim true?
posted by hoverboards don't work on water on May 18, 2007 - 14 answers

Should I pursue or let it go?

I currently work for the government and recently applied for another job in a different location (still with the government). The new job description sounds like it was written for me. I am currently doing the exact same job and more at the same pay grade. I am extremely well qualified and went to one of the best schools in the country for this field. The problem is – I didn’t even get past the first hurdle to be considered for an interview. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 17, 2007 - 12 answers

Is it really that risky to take a GPS unit to Russia?

This travel advisory from the State Department website, dated 1998, states that the use of GPS units is highly regulated in Russia and that it is risky to bring one unless it is fully documented. Now, GPS units are a lot more common today than they were in 1998. Do I really have to worry about this? I am planning a multi-country trip and I could mail myself the GPS ahead of time to my post-Russia destination if I had to. I am an amateur photographer and I use the unit to tag the location of photos I have taken.
posted by matildaben on May 11, 2007 - 9 answers

I want a leather couch

A few years ago I saw on TV that the General Services Administration and congress sell off their furniture and other stuff at low prices at a store of some kind in Virginia or Maryland? Is this for real? Where does a person find the store, is it online, and can I go there with a truck? My google-fu fails me.
posted by parmanparman on Apr 12, 2007 - 7 answers

WHy does the government measure savings as it does?

The US government does not consider IRA money or 401K money (or stock market investment of any kind) to count as "savings" when they calculate US savings rates. Thus our perennially lousy savings rates vs. other countries. Or so I read. If true, what is our government's reasoning? [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Apr 10, 2007 - 24 answers

My tax dollar at furlough

So when the gov't pulls its diplomat from Syria as the US did in 2005, what happens to that gov't employee? Is he/she laid off? If she/he stays on the state dept. payroll, what is he/she doing to earn their salary in the meantime?
posted by Fupped Duck on Apr 4, 2007 - 7 answers

What movie am I thinking of?

So there's this movie that I saw when I was a kid, but don't know what it was called... [more inside]
posted by kisch mokusch on Apr 2, 2007 - 4 answers

Reading an unwritten constitution?

Reading an unwritten constitution? [more inside]
posted by awesomebrad on Mar 29, 2007 - 14 answers

Breakdown; go ahead and give it to me.

Where can I find a breakdown of government contracts given to nonprofits? [more inside]
posted by viewofdelft on Mar 16, 2007 - 1 answer

What law would be really good for a state legislature to pass or repeal?

What law would be really good for a state legislature to pass or repeal? This is a practical question, seeking practical answers: I have a friend who is a good-government, reform-minded state legislator who is looking for suggestions, but the deadline for filing in this part-time legislature is one week away for the biennium (two-year period).
posted by Mr. Justice on Feb 25, 2007 - 33 answers

I'm Gonna Tell Mom!

Can one get "anonymous" complaint information from a local government bureau? How? [more inside]
posted by spacewrench on Feb 16, 2007 - 6 answers

My car got towed in Chicago

I live in chicago and got my car towed last night (on Division bet. western and california). The reason is because there is no parking on the street when snow is two inches or more (from 3am to 7am). It has not snowed since wednesday and there was no snow in the street when I parked there, nor did it snow during the evening. I paid the fee to get my car out and I have scheduled a hearing for 2/23/07. Has anyone successfully gotten their money back? Am I in the wrong? I would appreciate any advice I can get going into this hearing.
posted by danb1 on Feb 16, 2007 - 18 answers

Is there a really good schedule for upcoming activities in the U.S. Senate available online?

Is there a really good schedule for upcoming activities in the U.S. Senate available online? [more inside]
posted by fugitivefromchaingang on Jan 22, 2007 - 6 answers

I'm sorry, that's classified.

How do government employees with security clearances keep track of which information is classified and which information isn't, when they get asked questions about work that they do? [more inside]
posted by brain cloud on Jan 5, 2007 - 21 answers

Spending more for less

How is our government education funding spent? [more inside]
posted by aburd on Dec 29, 2006 - 5 answers

NYS Hospital Regulation

There's a commission in New York State that's going to force closure of a bunch of hospitals across the state, including a few in my area (Buffalo). They are also going to force a few private organizations to merge. What gives them the ability to dictate this sort of thing? Is it the threat of withholding funding? I've read many news articles on the closure recommendations, but have missed out on a good ultimate explanation. [more inside]
posted by voidcontext on Nov 29, 2006 - 6 answers

In search of interesting place to elope...

Where to elope? The SO and I would like to elope in January, but we haven't found a place that suits us. A Justice of the Peace/city hall-type wedding would suit us well, but if possible, we'd like that municipal building to be a wonderful, old, beautiful (or new and funky) building in an interesting country/city/area that we could spend some time exploring. [more inside]
posted by cocoagirl on Nov 28, 2006 - 22 answers

Supreme Court Line Length?

How long should I expect to wait in line to see the Supreme Court in session? [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Nov 8, 2006 - 7 answers

What's happening here?

I have seen a couple trucks owned by the city (public works trucks) with magnetic signs advertising to "Vote No" on an upcoming proposed charter amendment. I have also seen a flashing sign owned by City Hall with the same message to "Vote No on Prop. 7". Isn't this illegal?
posted by LoriFLA on Oct 20, 2006 - 13 answers

Do I confess to Uncle Sam?

I'm thinking about applying for a government job in a field which would almost certainly require a backgound check. I've toked up. Am I screwed? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 18, 2006 - 30 answers

U.S. Presidential Line of Succession Plot Device

I have decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, but I need help with a plot point involving the U.S. presidential order of succession. [more inside]
posted by ND¢ on Oct 10, 2006 - 14 answers

I want my habeas corpus

How, with our system of law, can the Military Commissions Act be repealed? [more inside]
posted by frecklefaerie on Oct 1, 2006 - 25 answers

US Government wee sized offices?

On the hunt for unique and odd US government offices (somewhat for entertainment, seriously for a job.) [Oh yes, there is somewhat more inside.] [more inside]
posted by sperose on Sep 27, 2006 - 10 answers

what do roads really cost?

What do our (United States) roads really cost? [more inside]
posted by R343L on Sep 19, 2006 - 10 answers

Need help for my son

Need your help finding my son a career. He would like to stay in college but with an idea on what he is there for. [more inside]
posted by FLHunter3006 on Sep 10, 2006 - 14 answers

Do I qualify for food stamps?

Food Stamp Filter: I'm a new graduate student in a 5 year program and my fellowship, while nice, precludes me from taking out any student loans. my mom suggested I look into food stamps, but I can't figure out if I qualify. Help! [more inside]
posted by gilsonal on Sep 2, 2006 - 18 answers

Teaching US government in high school

I'm looking for cheap/free visual aids (posters, photos, etc.) to support a high school teacher who is teaching US government. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by carter on Aug 23, 2006 - 3 answers

Help me design a course on writing

This September I'll be teaching a workshop on writing skills at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Help me design and choose some great readings for the course! [more inside]
posted by josh on Aug 22, 2006 - 8 answers

Who have been the benovolent dictators ?

Who have been the benovolent dictators ? [more inside]
posted by jacobean on Aug 11, 2006 - 51 answers

Foreign Service Aspirations

Security Clearance/Foreign Service-filter: I'm thinking of a career in the Foreign Service when I get out of college (T-minus 4 years), which I am just now entering. While metafilter has had questions about this before, but my situation is am bit different (so I'm hoping the Foreign Service mefites from those threads can chime in). The most important distinction is that I'm looking to be a Security Engineering Officer, or in some other sort of engineering related role (which falls under "Management" I believe) not a diplomat. Much more after the jump... [more inside]
posted by phrontist on Aug 8, 2006 - 12 answers

What is the price of evacuation?

After reading this (second to last paragraph) and thinking about this situation, how much do they charge you for evacuation? [more inside]
posted by haplesschild on Jul 15, 2006 - 6 answers

Identify this movie about a government clerk sent to observe wolves.

Identify this movie: Low level government clerk asks to be sent on assignment to observe wolves... [more inside]
posted by PenDevil on Jul 7, 2006 - 19 answers

The grand visor of Oregon?

How much autonomy do States in the United states in structuring their government? [more inside]
posted by Paris Hilton on Jun 19, 2006 - 15 answers

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