The Congressional Record App

I’m sitting here in my favorite coffee shop. The inauguration in on CBS on the big screen but I am not paying attention. Bottomline is we are all comrades now. But I digress.
With the passage of the Superstorm Sandy disaster relief bill and the reporting of Jamie Dupree (http://www.wsbradio.com/weblogs/jamie-dupree/) from DC showing it contained provisions that could be spent anywhere in the US, not just in the storm afflicted areas, I went on a search for an app to get the bill and to see the wording for myself. With all the pundits I follow and opinion pages I read, it is really easy to fall into the bad habit of letting others determine my opinion for me. In this New Year promising to be an accelerated slide into a progressive utopia providing neither individual freedoms nor greater prosperity, I have made a resolution to go to the source. I’ve resolved to look beyond the rhetoric and see if the language, the written record and the facts line up with what I hear and, more precisely, with my principles and what I believe. I encourage you to do the same.
So my app search led me to the Congressional Record (search on the iTunes App store) and there was the complete word for word record of the day’s congressional testimony complete with the referenced bills. There are other links within the app for the bill language from the Library of Congress website and the record of votes. It is a very nice, straight forward app and one I will be referring too routinely.
So I looked at the record for Tuesday and saw that in addition to the Sandy bill, the House read the Constitution and all the amendments there to. It was just the second time in history that the Congress had read the Constitution into the record. Pretty cool. Then it dawned on me, how many people actually read the record? And with social media (Twitter, Facebook etc.) what would happen if our representatives in the House and Senate suddenly began getting more and more comments, questions and interactions in their public forums about their testimony? And what if one of the specific questions was “Where in the Constitution does this fall?
So besides a cool application, I think I have found a new method of activism. In the days that follow I will be reading the record and asking questions and seeing if I get responses. I will share those with you and encourage you to do similar. I will do this at all levels of our government as well. I believe that We The People need to be heard and if we stay silent, we will no longer be free.
My first tweets to Congressmen however were ones of thanks. I went through the readers of the Constitution and, one by one, found their Twitter account name or Facebook page and posted a simple thank you for reading the Constitution and a wish that they abide by it. I have gotten a few thank yous and a couple of retweets. Nothing worth reposting yet.

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One Response to The Congressional Record App

  1. Len Pohlar says:

    Very cool idea. I’ll check that out myself

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