Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

If You're a Polipundit, You'll Go Ape On This One ...

posted by Mike at 1/20/2005 01:55:00 PM


I recently found a rather incredible website if you're a politics buff like most of us here are.

After visiting it, I have a full head of hair, boundless energy, a buff physique, and I'm a real hit with the ladies!

Well, not really so much. But it is still nevertheless a pretty cool website: GovTrack.Us.

Essentially, consider it an incredibly user-friendly interface to Congress -- everything Congress' official interface should be and isn't. For a starting place, here are the entries for my Congresscritters: Durbin, Obama, and Schakowsky.

See what I mean?

It blows my mind that this is up and functional. Hell, it even seems to parse the Congressional Record PDFs (see the "speeches" tab for each person's entry), believe it or not, so you can read what your representatives are actually saying in Congress.

I just can't see how this functions so perfectly, and I'm frankly skeptical — if anyone seems to find any trace of it being B.S., I'd be curious. In the meantime, I'll be rather happy that someone actually built something like this.

(If you're wondering why the front page stuff seems stalled out on the 5th, it appears that Congress hasn't met since the 6th. And I thought Cook County judges had a nice vacation schedule.)

Go. Have fun. Let us know cool stuff you've discovered about this in the Comments section. I'm really surprised this hasn't exploded huge in the blogosphere yet -- aside from transcribing and posting the Vanity Fair article on Ashcroft a year or two ago, I'm usually not the first one to introduce stuff to the blogosphere.

Edit #1: From the site's About page: "Updates are delayed by several days because the U.S. Government Printing Office often takes several days to post the full information for government bills. GovTrack is generally two days behind in all information."

Edit #2: Even cooler ... you can have updates on your senators' and representatives' activities in Congress e-mailed to you, or served to you as a RSS feed. Coooooooooooooool.