What's a day in the life of a typical elected U.S. congressperson like? Do you imagine various committee meetings, constituent handshaking and House floor voting sessions? Well think again. Members of congress are increasingly expected to spend the majority of their working day holed up in a tiny cubicle in a call center down the street outfitted with a phone, a list of numbers and a telemarketing script. On April 24, CBS's 60 Minutes aired an exposé on the real business of congress: dialing for dollars. [more inside]
More than half the population of small, rural Madras, Oregon (population: ~6059) and its surrounding community is served by one clinic: Madras Medical. At the beginning of 2006, the clinic's doctors and nurses decided to ban pharmaceutical reps from visiting their practice. No more free lunches. No more free drug samples. No more gifts. And yet.... "It's made us better doctors." (Via) [more inside]
For serious Poli Sci junkies only: the Swing State Project is holding a contest for best redistricting of New York, using the nerdtastic Dave's Redistricting App. (Requires Silverlight, reading instructions highly recommended.) [more inside]
God Rest Ye Merry Congressmen: Slate's 2009 political holiday card slide show. (With a little intro text.)
OpenCongress.org is a site that aggregates data about the United States Senate and House. Keep track of your senators or representatives through rss feeds, read bills on topics that are important to you, and find out what industries are behind the scenes providing money to your politicians in Washington among many other uses of this new resource.