The Obama folks are really serious about telling us how Washington operates and the role of money there.

This is a genuinely big advance in grassroots democracy.

They just launched, which will be a repository of downloadable government data on what's really going on. The deal is that you can write a Web application that reaches into that data and makes it easy for anyone to see what's happening.

(Well, by "you" I mean "nerd like me,” if I were still technical.)

The Sunlight Foundation, the real big leader in accountability and transparency, just announced Apps for America 2: The Challenge

I figure I should practice what I preach and have contributed a big chunk of the prize money.

Sunlight Labs director Clay Johnson just blogged more on this.

Disclosure: Since the Sunlight folks are doing so much good, I've joined their board.