Starting Jan 3, visitors to will be redirected to a dot-com address where the state Department of Transportation will start selling ads to patch their threadbare budget.

The DOT hopes that nobody will notice the switch:

The pages with advertising will be converted to a dot-com address instead of dot-gov because federal guidelines prohibit government agencies from selling ads in the dot-gov domain. However, visitors going to the usual dot-gov site likely will not even notice when the system transitions them seamlessly to the dot-com domain.

If nobody notices, no problem? Right? (By the way: Thanks Tim Eyman! Your years-long campaign to gut the state ferry system—among other things—has totally succeeded in sticking it to the man sticking it to the workaday citizens who use public transportation.)

The DOT press release lists other government entities that sell web ads: the Washington State Department of Commerce (“Experience WA”), the Oregon Department of Transportation (“Trip Check”), the Oregon Tourism Commission (“Travel Oregon”), the California Travel and Tourism Commission (“Visit California”), and the Cook County Assessor’s Office in Chicago, which—unlike the other examples of web ads, which have something to do with the work of the agency—sells ads for Avis rental cars.

You could look at this two ways:

One, more progress down the big slide towards Idiocracy. Remember this scene, after the energy drink Brawndo purchased the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Federal Communications Commission, and the cabinet of U.S. president Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho can't figure out why plants, "watered" with Brawndo, aren't growing?

Two, no big deal. Advertising is what made America great! Take it away, Jimmy James.

In other news, I miss NewsRadio.