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Congress 2.0
February 4, 2008 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Opencongress.org is a website for keeping track of the U.S. Congress. (previously) But, now it also a social network. So, sign-up and see what your favourite Senator has been doing, track bills and, follow important issues. Then, share that information with your friends or write about it on your blog.
posted by geos (20 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
LOVE this! OpenCongress is great stuff.
posted by cdmwebs at 8:40 AM on February 4, 2008


Open government is the only solution. Regardless of your ideology1 you need to know what the government is doing for/to/in spite of you.

1Unless your ideology is "let corporations make all the decisions," which is a legitimate and widespread, if not wise, viewpoint.
posted by DU at 8:46 AM on February 4, 2008


I think one of the more genuinely hopeful elements of the Obama candidacy is his support of transparency in government. It seems like the information technology can finally keep up with the size and scope of the federal government and it is crucial if we want to live in a democracy in more than name, if citizens are informed as to what their government actually does.
posted by geos at 8:48 AM on February 4, 2008


Then again, corporations control the information technology that supposedly informs the citizens as to what the government is doing.
posted by Horken Bazooka at 8:56 AM on February 4, 2008


Corporations also grow and deliver the food that feeds those citizens.
posted by DU at 9:02 AM on February 4, 2008


This is really good stuff. And it gives legitimate, empirical data on a very important subject: Michele Bachmann is a do-nothing nut job.
posted by thewalrusispaul at 9:04 AM on February 4, 2008


Unless your ideology is "let corporations make all the decisions," "let all manner of thieves, bullies and busybodies across the political spectrum -- including corporations -- make all the decisions," which is a legitimate and widespread, if not wise, viewpoint.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:24 AM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is awesome.
posted by octothorpe at 9:28 AM on February 4, 2008


This is one of those websites I've always figured should exist, but never stumbled across... until now.
posted by mikeo2 at 9:29 AM on February 4, 2008


Corporations also grow and deliver the food processed, chemically-infused pap that feeds those citizens.

FTFY.
posted by Horken Bazooka at 9:35 AM on February 4, 2008


thanks for the post!
posted by ms.jones at 9:44 AM on February 4, 2008


So I want this, and the Amazon Kindle (or similar device), given to every member of congress.

Think about it, no more "Oh, they faxed me that bill last minute and I voted on it because I didn't want to appear anti Patriotic."

To Mr. Senator: "New bill gets in the system, your portable, wireless internet enabled, easy to read and use, tablet downloads the bill to you right away. You can do some searching and grepping and figure out how that information affects your constituents. And we all know you have this ability so you better actually use it, or we start voting your ass out. Your job is to serve your people, not yourself. (I'm looking at you Lieberman)"
posted by mrzarquon at 9:47 AM on February 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm so happy to see this in the blue!

The guys at Participatory Politics are awesome and have cranked out some really great stuff with their latest release. Even had a real rock star developer on the team!
posted by thebigdeadwaltz at 10:14 AM on February 4, 2008


This is a fantastic idea, thanks for the link.
posted by spiderskull at 11:22 AM on February 4, 2008


I hope this turns out to be as good as it seems. Cuz it seems pretty great.
posted by 3.2.3 at 12:52 PM on February 4, 2008


mrzarquon: "So I want this, and the Amazon Kindle (or similar device), given to every member of congress.""

I think it'd be easier just to use those fancy electronic yay/nay keypads they already have in the House and Senate, but use them to ask 2 or 3 basic true/false questions about the bill that's being put to a vote or the issue involved. If you can't answer the questions correctly, your vote doesn't count.

We could also wire them to Tasers implanted in the seats.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:40 PM on February 4, 2008


Yes, it's a double. DO NOT DELETE.

Here's some more from the Sunlight Foundation...
posted by jaronson at 8:45 PM on February 4, 2008


It isn't a true double post -- after all, the social network aspect is new.
posted by Locative at 10:25 PM on February 4, 2008


I didn't notice that "previously" link there yesterday.
posted by jaronson at 10:21 AM on February 5, 2008


This is beyond awesome, no question. I'll be interested in seeing how many users this attracts, though. For how much people love to bitch about the need for governmental transparency, I wonder how many will expend the necessary time and energy to use tools like these that put the workings of the government at citizens' fingertips...
posted by liruskainen at 5:35 PM on February 10, 2008


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