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A Congressman Who Can Code Assembly

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the at-least-its-not-haskell dept.

Programming 421

christo writes "In what appears to be a first, the US House of Representatives now has a Congressman with coding skills. Democratic Representative Bill Foster won a special election this past Saturday in the 14th Congressional District of Illinois. Foster is a physicist who worked at Fermilab for 22 years designing data analysis software for the lab's high energy particle collision detector. In an interview with CNET today, Foster's campaign manager confirmed that the Congressman can write assembly, Fortran and Visual Basic. Will having a tech-savvy congressman change the game at all? Can we expect more rational tech-policy? Already on his first day, Foster provided a tie-breaking vote to pass a major ethics reform bill."

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421 comments

In other news (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22743990)

...workers at the Illinois Voter's Department are investigating the results of the election. "We didn't know that a Diebold machine could register 68% for one candidate and 100% for another," said their spokesman.

Woohoo? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744012)

All three of those languages are worthless...

Re:Woohoo? (2, Interesting)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744252)

Assembly is still widely used in embedded systems. C is good, but sometimes it's just simpler in good old assembly.

thats great and all.. (5, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744014)

But I'd rather see a Congressman who can write sensible legislature.

Re:thats great and all.. (5, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744056)

But I'd rather see a Congressman who can write sensible legislature.
Well, maybe he can start drafting all the legislation he proposes using IF-THEN-ELSE statements. If anyone complains, he can declare the House to be full of n00bs.

Re:thats great and all.. (5, Funny)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744104)

If he drafts it in assembly it'll probably be more readable than normal legislation.

Re:thats great and all.. (5, Funny)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744236)

If he drafts it in assembly it'll probably be more readable than normal legislation.
Thank goodness he doesn't know Perl.

Re:thats great and all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744430)

Perl would be an improvement over the average bill.

Re:thats great and all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744444)

...Though people will wonder why he always puts a known elephant at the end.

Re:thats great and all.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744258)


if(specialInterestsMoney > 100000000)
{
      doCorruption();
}

if(billOfRights)
{
      throw new FileNotFoundException();
}

Well, if he's a FORTRAN programmer (2, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744364)

we'll be seeing computed gotos written into laws. In other words, same-old, same-old.

Heretic! (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744068)

Surely someone who can code will make a superior congress-critter!

Meh. Smart is not the same as "Not evil." Lot smart people I wouldn't want to see in congress. The best situation is to have someone who is open-minded and willing to listen without being swayed by PACs.

Re:Heretic! (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744518)

Quick translation service:

Someone who is willing to listen to me and like-minded people and also willing to ignore people I don't want him to listen to.

Or maybe you don't realize that PACs also represent people... which could be. There is a touch of the foolish and naive around here when it comes to politics.

Re:thats great and all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744072)

How about a poster who can write sensible forum?

Re:thats great and all.. (0, Troll)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744448)

But I'd rather see a Congressman who can write sensible legislature.
He could write bills in Assembly, and they'd STILL make more sense.

Now maybe... (5, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744018)

Now maybe he can hack into the C-Span system so that, when he gives a speech before the House, it shows him as "Bill Foster (D-1337)".

Re:Now maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744438)

Delete? Why? Does he want to die?

What Assambly? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744024)

8086? MIPS? ARM? Would be nice to know.

Re:What Assambly? (4, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744232)

That's so nerdy. A congressman can code assembly, and all you ask is "what kind?". I like. :-D

Re:What Assambly? (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744264)

It was my thought too. Well, my second thought. My first was 'he can code in assembly and FORTRAN and admits to knowing VB?'

Re:What Assambly? (5, Funny)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744328)

It was my thought too. Well, my second thought. My first was 'he can code in assembly and FORTRAN and admits to knowing VB?'


I sense a scandal brewing on just how much VB he knows...

Re:What Assambly? (1)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744312)

Actually, I was wondering myself.

I can speculate, from the other language he know, maybe it was 68k? (ARM doesn't seems old enough...)

It doesn't really matter I guess, but what would be a geek without curiosity?

Assembly language and VB? (5, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744026)

What kind of half breed freak is this guy?

Re:Assembly language and VB? (5, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744074)

Probably the kind that learned coding as a tool to use to pursue other ends, and learned the languages he needed to to get his job done. I'm inclined to think that's a good sign -- he's demonstrated a willingness to learn about the things he needs to learn about to get his job done. I think that bodes well for his career as a congressman, and a potential willingness to learn about more modern technologies as relevant to his job.

Re:Assembly language and VB? (4, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744308)

Interesting. Most scientists I know learn one language and stick with it exclusively, even to the point of making the language do things that others might do in a fraction of the time.

I'm currently having to build an entire experimentation framework in a language which doesn't even slightly suit the task, simply because the primary researcher has no interest in using anything but the language they know. And yes, I did try to change their mind.

All the same VB? At my university that language was barred from use in assignments, because it was considered to be without merit.

Re:Assembly language and VB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744352)

At my university that language was barred from use in assignments, because it was considered to be without merit.

You witnessed anti-microsoft elitism.

The loudest anti-VB crusaders were the same people where were all over the Java bandwagon, even though everything bad they had to say about VB applied equally to Java.

Re:Assembly language and VB? (4, Insightful)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744404)

I can also do assembly and VB (among others...), and I learned them purely as a programmer. Guess I grew up too interested in programming to get hung up on what language (or level of language) was "cooler".

Re:Assembly language and VB? (4, Insightful)

NeoSkink (737843) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744096)

A physicist. We normally end up coding in a new language with each new collobaration as you're brought into a culture where some language has already been established. On top of that, other groups will put out librarys and programs written in some other language, and you'll have to start using that to make use of their work.

Re:Assembly language and VB? (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744322)

I was about to ask: Spot the odd one out "... assembly, Fortran and Visual Basic."

Re:Assembly language and VB? (5, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744408)

What kind of half breed freak is this guy?

Nazgul, once Kings of assembly, they now serve the dark lord....

Re:Assembly language and VB? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744520)

Nazgul, once Kings of assembly, they now serve the dark lord....

How you didn't get modded funny for that I don't know....

Finally a Congressman who can read slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744040)

I am with Bjarne on this one.
Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of the C++ programming language, claims that C++ is experiencing a revival and
that there is a backlash against newer programming languages such as Java and C#. "C++ is bigger than ever.
There are more than three million C++ programmers. Everywhere I look there has been an uprising
- more and more projects are using C++. A lot of teaching was going to Java, but more are teaching C++ again.
There has been a backlash.", said Stroustrup.

Not any time soon (5, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744042)

We won't see sensible tech legislation until the people that have some sensible ideas are donating more money to politicians than the people who don't.

Re:Not any time soon (1)

Kilroy (2297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744422)

Well, Bill's up for reelection in just 8 months, so now's your chance.

Seriously, he's a good guy.

So? (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744044)

We have had Presidents that could make a suit, run a nuclear reactor, fly off an aircraft carrier, and fly jet fighters. I am more interest in that he seems to have a good background in science than his coding skills.

tie-breaking vote. (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744048)

That vote was for the House to approve an outside panel to investigate its ethics. One that the Senate rejected as unnecessary. [latimes.com] (Because everyone knows the Senate members ethics are beyond reproach)

I'm not sure that was linked to the new congressman's ability with coding skills, but I think I like him already.

Don't get your hopes up (4, Funny)

mnmn (145599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744050)

... he's a Visual Basic guy.

Re:Don't get your hopes up (1)

Goblez (928516) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744136)

... he's a Visual Basic guy.
I read the teaser, thought "Wow, that's pretty cool". Clicked in an saw VB in the list and thought "Yup, and now he's a politician. Makes perfect sense /sigh"

Re:Don't get your hopes up (2, Funny)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744516)

... he's a Visual Basic guy.

Worse -- he knows Visual Basic and admits it. He could just have listed Fortran and assembly, and we'd have worshipped him as an Old School physics geek.

This is almost as bad as watching "Sound of Music" and realizing that Fräulein Maria probably has sex with Von Trapp halfway through the movie.

I'm not impressed! (5, Insightful)

rholland356 (466635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744058)

Senator Bill Frist could do heart surgery, and look how well that turned out. The moron made a diagnosis based on edited videotape!

No, I'm afraid once a highly skilled individual gives himself or herself over to the dark side of politics, they promptly become yet another meat puppet to be toyed with by lobbyists and wealthy patrons.

Re:I'm not impressed! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744442)

Fracture is a movie you need to see. The point wasn't IF she could recover. It was the hope that she would and then tell us all that her moronic husband is what we all suspected; evil and twisted.

Why would it? (5, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744060)

Will having a tech-savvy congressman change the game at all?


Why would a tech-savvy human being be any more useful or valid as a politician than an education-savvy human being? Or a law-savvy human being? Or an entertainment-industry human being? Or a war-savvy human being? Or a bureaucracy-savvy human being? Or a classical literature-savvy human being? Or a propaganda-savvy human being? Or a violent revolution-savvy human being?

Is there something special about technology, that sets tech-savvy humans apart from all the other kinds of humans when it comes to politics?

Was his vote on this ethics-reform bill somehow informed by his tech-savvyness in some kind of game-changing way?

Re:Why would it? (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744150)

Is there something special about technology, that sets tech-savvy humans apart from all the other kinds of humans when it comes to politics? On a site like slashdot, yes.

Re:Why would it? (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744186)

Is there something special about technology, that sets tech-savvy humans apart from all the other kinds of humans when it comes to politics?
no, not really, but with people like Ted Steven's and his series of tubes comments its refreshing to see someone who might actually have and understanding of tech get elected.

Re:Why would it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744428)

Ideally you'd want any general-purpose decision making group to consist of savvy people of all kinds.
I know shit about congressmen, but I suppose that if they previously had no one with a technical background, then their probability of making a correct decision in a matter with technological aspects went up with his inclusion.
I'd be even less specific, but I'm not sure the tubes could handle it.

But will it do us any good (5, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744062)

Just remember how great it was to have a Doctor [wikipedia.org] in Congress.

Re:But will it do us any good (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744480)

FWIW (and I haven't gotten through all the comments yet, so mod me impatient if this is a dup) congressman Ron Paul is a (medical) doctor too

Any Chance of an Ask Slashdot? (5, Interesting)

Irvu (248207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744064)

This guy seems like a nice candidate for an Ask Slashdot. I would ask two:

(1) How do you feel about large-scale datamining projects such as the Total Information Awareness project? While the project itself is gone it is not the first of its type. Do such projects strike you as technically feasible or even usable?

(2) As someone who has written software how do you feel about software patents?

Re:Any Chance of an Ask Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744256)

MAC users want to know the way he bends on this.

Assembly, Fortran (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744070)


Visual Basic? For a physicist?

Then I can become a physicist. I have always loved the charming ambiguity of string theory.

That's right. I'll write a string theory algebraic program in Visual Basic. Get the barf bag. Make it a super-sized one.

Maybe VBA in Excel or that sagging sack of software called Word.

Should I write the Congressman and ask him if he has used Visual Basic?

Probably the spokesperson collecting lobbying fees from Redmond, Washington.

Regards,
K

Nice but... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744078)

being able to write assembly protects you from corruption how? We're all self important techies if we think being technical means you naturally have a higher ethical standard. He has to prove his ethics outside of this one bill before it matters.

Re:Nice but... (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744272)

being able to write assembly protects you from corruption how?

Good point. While Eliot Spitzer might not have been an expert in assembly, he did seem to at least know "push" and "pop". Look where that got him.

As a scientist from fermilab... (4, Funny)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744082)

Not only can he code assembly, he has his own private store of antimatter.

Everyone Codes (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744100)

Coding skills doesn't really affect ones ethical/political views...

Spyware, Viruses, Addware, Internet Adds, ways around popup blockers, DRM, Military Software, and even Closed Source Software were all were done with people who can code. They are republicans who can code, there are democrats who can code, they even have moderates who can code. Religious People can code, as well as atheists, heck I knew someone who can code who is a Jehovah Witness. Some of the Terrorist can code, so do the good guys.
This is not really a big deal. Will it effect rational tech-policy probably not. Besides what you think it is less about not knowing the issues on a technical level it is about politics on who back you need to scratch. Yea we all laugh at the internet is made of tubes... But for most ISP if you get a huge amount of traffic you will slow down, like (a slimily word, not a direct comparison) having a lot of water going threw small amounts of pipes. It all boils down to do you want to support the new emerging internet technologies to make life easer for the old TelCos.

Re:Everyone Codes (2, Interesting)

gambolt (1146363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744238)

If he can help stop bills that would make sysadmins criminals for doing their jobs, I'll be happy. Between the media content industry and the "think of the children" crowd, there's a lot of legislation floating around that mandates the equivalent of building concrete pontoon votes.

Re:Everyone Codes (1)

Nebulious (1241096) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744372)

Yes, but what is all too missing these days are the desicions comming from knowledgeable people who truely know the subjects they must legislate on, rather than the input of a vocal special interest group. As far back as Regan, there has been tremendous cutbacks on neutral scepialist input on science and technology related issues. This is all best summed up by Ted Steven's infamous tubes speech, as his job in congress was to be the expert on the net neutraliy issue. Informed, knowgeable legislators are not all that is need for proper lawmaking, but this is very welcomed step back to a direction that the American governemnt never should have deviated from.

Re:Everyone Codes (1)

geeknado (1117395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744452)

True, but he is more likely to be able to explain the difference between the tubes and the trucks coherently.

This guy is from my state (5, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744114)

This guy is from my state and is realy a godsend for Illinois. He took the place of Dennis Hastert who is pretty much George Bush jr. Bill is a democrat which means that the more rural parts of illinois are also fed up with what passes for conservtism today. I hope we see more democrats from my state and continue to produce politicians like Abe Lincoln, Barak Obama and Bill Foster. I cant say how happy this makes me. After pretty much writing off this part of illinois to the republicans for decades its good to see some change. His campaign was a crazy longshot too.

A few scientists on our science committees will be nice. I think even blue-collar America is seeing the problem with theocratic elements. I dont think his geek cred is the big story here, the big story is that we're getting some more moderates in office as opposed to loud-mouth far-right idealogues. Thats a win-win for all, well, except the ultra-right.

Re:This guy is from my state (1, Informative)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744280)

His district is made up of large portions of the suburbs of Chicago, and also the area directly around a large government funded laboratory, Fermilab.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/62/IL14_109.gif [wikimedia.org]
How the HELL that equates to the more rural areas of Illinois is amazingly unclear.
Oh, just because he's also got the swath that covers only a few people in a rural area?

not likely.

He was voted in by fermilab employees and liberal democrats in the chicago suburbs.

it's more amazing that Hastert was ever elected in this area than this guy being elected.....

Re:This guy is from my state (5, Insightful)

wiggles (30088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744494)

No, this part of the state is heavily republican. I ought to know -- I voted for Foster in this election. He was the first Democrat I've ever voted for, and I still feel a bit dirty about it. As heavily as Chicago goes for Democrats, the suburbs go for Republicans.

The real reason Foster won this election is not because the district is jumping on the magic bus with the rest of the leftist hippies, it's because his opponent, Jim Oberweis, is an ass who has been trying to buy himself into office for years. He's lost three consecutive primaries -- the party faithful can see right through him -- but since he's a big contributor to the party (he's made millions off his dairy business, which turns out an excellent product, by the way), he convinced the bosses to let him run for a fourth time in a rigged primary for a 'safe' Republican district. They rigged the primary by not allowing any serious competition for the seat -- the only two opponents Oberweis had was an idiot who just wanted to be on the ballot and didn't even live in the district, and a state legislator who pissed off just about everyone in the state legislature. Then, when it came to campaign time for the special election, I was recieving two to three pieces of hate filled negative campaign fliers in the mail each day, which just turned me off. Foster, however, barely sent anything out. The DNC ran some TV ads, but not nearly as many as the RNC. In the end, though Oberweis won the primary (barely), he lost the election because there were enough Republicans in the district, like me, who hated him enough to vote in a baby killing, tax and spend, socialized medicine advocating, way out on the left wing commie liberal democrat (no offense to any baby killing, tax and spend, socialized medicine advocating, way out on the left wing commie liberal democrats reading this).

I hope the Republicans in this state realize their mistakes with this race and throw Oberweis under a bus before the November election. He won the primary for that election, too, so we'll have a repeat of Oberweis vs. Foster in November unless they fix this.

I wonder if my Grandfather voted for him . . . ? (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744334)

after all, Gramps is buried out at Cook County Cemetary - at his insistence; he wanted to stay active in Illinois Democratic politics.

Which reminds me, could you tell me where a fellow with one or two niggling little DUI's and lots of cash could get himself a CDL?

Re:This guy is from my state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744446)

Abe Lincoln was a republican.

Re:This guy is from my state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744522)

He took the place of Dennis Hastert who is pretty much George Bush jr.

Nope. George Bush Jr (y'know, the guy in the White House right now) is pretty much George Bush Jr. So the most this guy Hastert can hope for is to be George Bush Jr Jr. Or George Bush III, if you think he's cool enough to have a Roman numerals in his name.

oOoOo (3, Insightful)

vajaradakini (1209944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744126)

I wonder if this will mean that he'll be able to get better funding for the sciences?

I mean, it's generally sad the way funding for science programs in the US is decided by congress, who generally know nothing about science, but perhaps an actual scientists in congress will be able to fix this.

Hey, I did that! (4, Interesting)

apsmith (17989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744132)

My one experience "coding assembly" was 20 years ago as an undergrad visiting one of the experiments at Fermilab. They had electronic detectors triggered various ways sending data to an old Digital PHP system that was supposed to analyze each event as quickly as possible, decide whether it was interesting enough to save to magnetic tape, and then go on to the next event a few microseconds later. The data acquisition code was, naturally, in assembly - and boy they had that pared down to the absolute essentials, not a wasted instruction. My job was to try to, instead of recording to tape, to send the data over a wire to a new VAX machine that had just arrived.

Not sure I ever ran into Foster though - I wonder what experiments he was on? Actually, I have met him since then, but that's another story...

Re:Hey, I did that! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744220)

an old Digital PHP system
heh

The data acquisition code was, naturally, in assembly
With a newer computer, you'd have enough grunt to write the same thing in a high-level scripting languages, such as PDP.

It doesn't guarantee much (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744138)

Almost all of you guys can code... and some of you have frightening opinions.

Especially you assembly hackers!

Re:It doesn't guarantee much (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744340)

Flawless Victory. Thread Over.

Source code control (2, Interesting)

taniwha (70410) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744144)

time to get a good source management management system applied to laws - so we can look back in the history and see where the changes come from as they are developed ("ooh look this seems to have been changed by someone working for the oil/drug/gun/etc lobby")

...provided a tie-breaking vote to pass... (1, Redundant)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744162)

Couldn't it be said that EVERY person who voted for it provided the tie-breaking vote? I mean, was he the last person to cast a vote, and the vote was exactly 50-50 before he cast his? I believe that if you wanted to be literal, then the last person to cast a vote would be the only person who could be considered to have 'cast the tie-breaking vote'; which would require that a tie existed before he cast it. i.e. if the 'Yes'es were ahead 51-39 with 10 votes to cast, and the last ten were all 'no', there was no 'tie-breaking' vote.

Re:...provided a tie-breaking vote to pass... (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744342)

I think it's more a matter of him being a new Congressman that's it's a tie breaking vote. It's often easy to predict how a congressman will vote based on his previous voting record. Since he has no previous voting record his vote is considered to be novel. Add to that only 4 Republicans voted for the bill and he replaced a Republican incumbent who most likely would have voted against the bill.

Strictly Enumerated Powers (2, Funny)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744172)

Can we expect more rational tech-policy?

Your copy of the US Constitution must be different than mine.

Say what? (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744250)

I know that not everyone is Einstein smart, but it does not take a rocket scientist to know that mixing assembler in the house will cause divide by zero errors.

He'll have to learn the difference between NOP and Abstain

Nowhere in the "xxx programming for dummies" books does it talk about kissing babies.

Impeaching a president is nothing like getting funding for your pet project, though the process might seem familiar.

Tiebreaking vote (1)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744370)

Foster provided a tie-breaking vote to pass a major ethics reform bill.

Not to be a wet blanket, but didn't all of the people who voted for the ethics reform bill provide a tie-breaking vote?

Probably a good congressman (2, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744374)

Foster's positions in the following 14th congressional district election included ending involvement in the War in Iraq, increasing the amount of money used to fund alternative energy research, and enforcing existing immigration laws while allowing for immigration reform to take place. He also supports universal health care. Fiscally, Foster publically stated that he would align himself with other Blue Dog Democrats in Congress. The Blue Dog Coalition focuses on fiscal responsibility and reducing the national debt.
So wikipedia says he's not an idiot on important issues and he has a science background? I'm sold!

all politics is local (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744424)

Can we expect more rational tech-policy?

You can expect the new congressman from the 14th District [wikipedia.org] to vote the interests of the 14th District.

The first term congressman does not make policy. He will be two years learning the job and lucky to get a committee assignment that is remotely relevant to anything more significant than the coastal defense of Wyoming.

More important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22744450)

Does he run Linux?

How did he end up in politics after Fermilab? (3, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744456)

I can't help but wonder if he chose to go into politics after the recent Fermilab budget cuts [google.com]. Considering the way that the current US congress has butchered science spending (at least relative to operating costs), it would be no surprise if he decided he had to fight the machine from within.

Which generation? (1)

bromoseltzer (23292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744462)

Ask him if he knows what BALR does. What's an 80A abend? (a real coder!)

If he's a science guy of a certain age, he might be happier with MOV @(R5)+,R2 (PDP-11)

If he does i386 assembler, I'd also be impressed, but vanilla "assembler" doesn't cut it.

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