More headlines: Al Gore on Technology

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Loss of Mars orbiters in part from “reinvention” reductions

Seven years after Al Gore smashed an ashtray on TV and vowed to fix an inept government, there are fewer bureaucratic rules, fewer workers to invoke them and a bit more common sense, [but] there’s criticism that the vice president is taking too much credit for a “reinvention” that even he admits isn’t finished. While most everyone can find some good in Gore’s reinventing government program, nicknamed REGO, in some instances government waste and inefficiency have grown worse, an Associated Press review of audits and investigations shows. NASA blames the loss of two Mars probes and other failures on the departure of too many experienced engineers during downsizing. Critics say REGO has focused on image instead of tackling the most troubling, entrenched problems. Gore says REGO saved $137 billion. But the auditors who scrutinized $30 billion of those savings said most couldn’t be substantiated, and the program took credit for reductions that would have occurred anyway.
Source: Connie Cass/Karen Gullo AP in LA Times Jun 17, 2000

Tighten privacy protections over medical information

In an effort to outlaw discrimination based on genetic makeup, Gore is proposing legislation to tighten privacy protections over medical information. Gore said yesterday that “unless we pass these protections, then there are going to be an awful lot of people who will not go and get the tests done.” Gore said people fear that the genetic tests might show they need treatments that could cause problems with their group health plans or could lead to other workplace discrimination. He said there is strong bipartisan support for medical privacy protections and the ban on genetic discrimination. The Clinton administration this year banned federal agencies from using genetic testing to deny jobs or promotions to their workers.
Source: Mark Kaufman of the Washington Post, in Boston Globe, p. A7 May 29, 2000

Supported V-Chip; pushed TV execs for rating system

Gore made the entertainment industry one of his principal election-year targets in the values offensive. The new telecommunications bill he championed included a provision Hollywood had fought for years, the so-called V-chip to help parents electronically deflect shows and movies they didn’t want their kids to see. The law mandated the V-chip in most new sets and gave the industry one year to devise a “voluntary” ratings system to determine which programs would be blocked.
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.305-6 Mar 3, 2000

In information economy, oil prices rises don’t matter

On the threat from higher oil prices: In the information economy, [costlier oil] doesn’t have the same effect that it did. Just as we had an external price increase for oil that cascaded through the industrial economy [in the 1970s] and bumper the inflation/unemployment relationship into [stagflation] territory, we have a continuing price decrease in information-processing costs that cascades through the economy.
Source: Interview in Business Week, p. 42-43 Dec 20, 1999

Parental control & media self-restraint, not censorship

I was a strong advocate of a program called the V-chip, which is just now beginning to be installed in all television sets. We need programs to have more awareness of how parents can use that tool in order to block out material that is really not appropriate, especially for young children. I helped to negotiate an agreement with the Internet service providers to put a parent protection page up and give parents the ability to click on all of the web sites that there children have visited lately. That’ll put a lot of bargaining leverage in the hands of parents. But because we have a First Amendment, because that’s our core value, we’re not going to have government having censorship; we’re not going to have government ordering what kind of content’s going to be in the media. But we have to be able to ask those in charge of the media to exercise more self-restraint.
Source: Town Hall Meeting, Nashua NH Dec 18, 1999

Triana satellite, 24 hour image of Earth, killed

A bill authorizing programs for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, scheduled to be voted on by the House on Wednesday, has been stripped of money for the Triana project, Gore’s proposal to have a live video image of the Earth spinning in black space transmitted 24 hours a day on the Internet. The $32 million was shifted into medical research.
Source: NY Times, “Republicans Set Their Sights”, by A. Mitchell May 19, 1999

Investments & tax credits to foster high-tech growth

[Gore supports] targeted investments that make our economy more innovative and create high-paying jobs. He has worked to promote the explosive growth of global electronic commerce. He has fought for targeted tax credits for research and development, and long-term information technology research. He worked to support the development of the Next Generation Internet, moving 1,000 times faster than today’s. [And Gore supports] a new Global Information Infrastructure to expand communications.
Source: 5/16/99 May 16, 1999

Clarification of claimed invention of Internet

Since his days in the House & Senate, Gore has been an early leader on cutting-edge technological issues. As a member of Congress, he popularized the term “information superhighway,” and he later introduced legislation to invest in the research networks that led to today’s Internet. In 1984, he introduced early legislation to help develop high-quality educational software.
Source: 5/16/99 May 16, 1999

“Digital Divide”: minorities have less Internet access

Noting that African-American and Latino children are two-fifths as likely to have home Internet access as white families, Gore committed to bridging the “digital divide” between those with access to computers & the Internet and those without access. “We are at the dawn of an information revolution, an age where learning & technology are more important than ever before,” Gore said. “Now more than ever, we need more than rhetoric when it comes to our schools. We need clear plans, and a clear commitment.”
Source: Press Release from Apr 3, 2000

Cautious moratorium on Internet sales taxes

Gore supports the current moratorium on Internet sales taxes, but is wary of ceding a source of government revenue beyond that. Gore is waiting for the report by the [bipartisan commission which is studying what to do about Internet sales taxes], due in April 2000, and in the meantime has proposed a “duty-free” zone to prevent foreign countries from taxing transactions on their companies’ Web sites.
Source: Newsweek, p. 31 Dec 20, 1999

Supports V-Chip and parental controls over TV & Internet

Al Gore has spoken. about the responsibility of the fast-growing Internet industry to make cyberspace a safer place for America’s youngest children, by empowering parents and schools to choose appropriate content. [Gore supports] legislation requiring a V-Chip in new TV sets, to let parents block violent or otherwise inappropriate content, as well as voluntary agreements with the TV industry for both TV ratings and expanded children’s educational programming.
Source: (Cross-ref from Families & Children) Jun 14, 1999

Protect kids from Internet smut as part of “e-rate”

The “e-rate” discounts make sure all our schools & libraries have affordable access to Internet service. [Now, we must protect kids] from harmful words & images on the Internet. [We should not] use uniform Internet blocking software [as a] “one-size-fits all” solution. Today, I [propose that] every school & library that applies for the e-rate come up with its own plan for protecting children from objectionable Internet content. These plans would be developed in the community-not in the Congress.
Source: Speech to National PTA, “Protecting Our Children” Mar 23, 1998

Other candidates on Technology: Al Gore on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
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