Technology

Fixing Washington: The Public Online Information Act

The deal is to tell us what's really going on, how things work, where the money goes.

A lot of documents reveal that, but if they're on paper only, they might as well not exist.

This new proposed law would require that all executive-branch government stuff be online and searchable. (It's a start.)

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Healthcare reform, the bottom line from Consumer Reports and what to do

Check out Push health reform across the finish line from Consumer Reports, the independent organization that always sticks with the facts.

So much is at stake for you and your family if health reform fails. Namely, the giant insurance companies will remain in control of your health care, your costs will continue to spiral unchecked, and you’ll have no guarantee of coverage you can count on.

Disclaimer: Consumer Reports has the best record for integrity and usefulness of any org I've seen, so I've personally joined up with 'em.

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FCC, really serious about Internet for everyone, serious about listening to you

We now have an administration that's serious about sharing the power the Internet enables in all citizens. That means getting real about the Internet for real life for all Americans, whether it means helping people get jobs or connecting a deployed soldier to his or her family back home.

The deal is that the FCC has a real plan for broadband Internet that treats everyone fairly, without favoring special interests.

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Sunlight Foundation live-blogs the White House healthcare summit

I think we all want to see some accountability coming from the summit, and I'm hopeful, since we've seen that disinformation like "death panels" can be openly confronted.

Also, we'd like to see where lobbyist and related money goes and what happens with it. That's the whole transparency thing the current White House and the Sunlight Foundation are about. (Disclaimer: I'm on their board.)

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Washington is listening to people, for real

OK, in Washington the White House has this Open Government directive, telling everyone that they gotta get serious about customer service, which includes really listening to Americans about running things better.

Yes, it's like getting an elephant to tap-dance, but harder. However, they're serious, and Washington is full of people who are passionately committed to this.

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Gov't website transparency increases trust in government

If you show more about what you're doing, people trust you more. Maybe that's obvious, but now we have some results along those lines for federal sites.

The deal is that we now have an administration that wants to show you what's going on, like where the money goes, reversing the prior policy of hiding all that.

Check out Study links online transparency efforts, trust in government:

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Fixing Washington now — in progress


Chart This chart shows how much everyday people are working with federal agencies in ways that have never happened before.

The deal is that the Open Government Directive, coming right from the very top, gets federal agencies to listen to and work with everyone, all citizens who want to stand up.

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Gov't gets more done to listen to citizens

Some major developments in American democracy are happening, right now, not generally reported by the mainstream press.

In particular, we have a federal government that's getting more and more open about the way it does business, and getting real serious about regular citizens influencing policy in real ways.

This means transparency, like showing where the money goes, and it means platforms where people can work together to tell the gov't what's going on out here.

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