Broken Promises

Many of you are probably familiar with the White House petition site.  The basic idea is that anyone can start a petition and if that petition gets a certain amount of signatures, the White House promises to answer the question.  You’re not guaranteed to like the answer, but they will answer it nonetheless.

Well, here’s a website that tracks the petitions that the White House HASN’T answered.  Before we get to some of the interesting petitions that have yet to be answered, some interesting statistics.  The White House has answered 87% of the petitions that missed the threshold.  202 in total so far.  It takes the White House an average of 61 days to answer a petition once the threshold has been reached.  Given that this is the first time a White House has ever attempted something like this, the Obama administration deserves some kudos for having this portal to the people.

Some of the petitions that have not been answered are quite interesting.  Many are for supporters of bad science like anti-GMO people and pro-naturopaths and pro-acupuncturists.  A lot of others are for strange fringe international relations issues mostly having to do with the Far East like investigating organ harvesting of Falun Gong by the Chinese and getting rid of a statue recognizing Korean comfort women that the Japanese used in World War II, but the Japanese claim was more propaganda than truth.  There are even a few petitions for cigars and e-cigarettes that have mostly to do with regulation issues.  There is one recent one to allow Tesla Motors to sell their cars directly to consumers which I think is a great idea.  I’ve never understood why car dealerships are so protected at the state level.  One of the more serious ones is about getting the Armed Forces to stop proselytizing and various other tactics that are discriminatory towards atheists in particular and non-Christians in general.

Go check out the web site.  It’s worth reading in full.  It’s a strange mix of the ridiculous, the fringe, and the serious.