The National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register has launched new interactive Electoral College maps on its official Electoral College website. The public can actively participate in the electoral process by predicting electoral votes for the upcoming Presidential election and sharing their prediction results through social media.
The new site allows users access to election information from previous Presidential elections. The Federal Register has data as far back as the 1964 election uploaded to the site and will gradually add data from the 1960 election and earlier. Users can see who the candidates were and who won each state and pull up information about the popular vote totals. For example, did you know that a third-party candidate received one electoral vote in 1972?.
My added comment: VOTE. I don’t care who you vote for, just make sure you exercise your right to vote.
(Apologies to any non-U.S. citizens who may be following me… I don’t like talking politics, but voting is important. :) )
Here’s something to add to the ‘ol RSS reader (or twitter @crunchgov if that’s your thang. TechCrunch, one of the better sites for news and information about tech and the tech industry, today launched CrunchGov to track on government and tech policy-making. The site will have 3 three initial CrunchGov products (report card, policy database, and legislation crowdsourcing). Read more about it on their post explaining the CrunchGov roll-out as well as their methodology/FAQ behind the site.
…the NY Times published an article “Nonpartisan Tax Report Withdrawn After G.O.P. Protest” which points to the increasing politicization of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the non-partisan think tank of the US Congress.
To the NY Times’ credit, they posted a copy of the report in their story. We’re hosting a copy on FGI servers for your convenience.
A couple of comments:
1. I’m not qualified to conclude whether or not the methodology of the report is sound (I’m sure others will do/have done that), but that there have been attempts to suppress/take it down bothers me. Slap a disclaimer on it if you must, update it to correct anything that’s wrong, but don’t just remove it from circulation.
2. What goes on the internet stays on the internet. As CRS is no doubt now aware, removing something that had been publicly available only draws more attention to the document. (They should have asked USDA about that…)
We’ve already established that members of Congress are pretty bad at informing the public via their websites. The good news is that you can find a number of excellent sites for keeping an eye on the U.S. government. Not surprisingly, most of these are provided by third parties, rather than the government itself. To help ReadWriteWeb readers as the election season approaches, we’ve pulled together a list of the best sites for seeing just how the sausage is made. Just remember: What’s been seen can’t be unseen.
For more than a year, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America have argued that existing laws were insufficient to deal with the problem of “rogue sites” hosted overseas. They’ve been pushing bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act as essential weapons in the fight.
But evidently, American law enforcement didn’t get the memo that they were powerless against overseas file-sharing services. The day after the Internet’s historic protest of SOPA and PIPA last week, the United States government unsealed an indictment against the people behind Megaupload, one of the largest sites on the Internet. Four senior Megaupload officials were arrested in New Zealand on Thursday, and officials seized millions of dollars in assets.
Librarians and scientists are not always in perfect accord, but if anything is going to unite them, it’s opposition to the Research Works Act (HR 3699). Introduced on 16 December 2011 by Representative Darrell Issa (Republican, California) and Representative Carolyn Maloney (Democrat, New York) and immediately referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, RWA would reverse the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy that mandates scientists to make their final peer-reviewed journal articles available online, for free, within 12 months of publication. This open access provision is compatible with other open access initiatives around the world and a mainstay of PubMed, the medical database used around the world.
The RWA is all about ensuring that the intellectual work of scholars and scientists will be protected as corporate property (hence the “regulatory interference” versus “private-sector” language.) Publishers control access to research in large part because they and the volunteer labor they harness have pretty much cornered the market on prestige and the imprimatur of quality (even though many high-quality open access journals do a fine job of quality publishing, peer review and all, and Elsevier was caught publishing fake journals). Publishers supporting the RWA argue the only way to properly vet new ideas is to have them pass into the capable hands of publishers, who will then charge scholars for access, either through libraries or by the piece. Ideas, trapped in their copyrighted expression like insects in amber, should forever remain under the control of the publisher as their rightful property.
Traditional scholarship didn’t work that way. Newton did not have to pay for permission to stand on the shoulders of giants. Yet scholars who climbed on others’ shoulders have long trusted that publishers support the sharing of research results. What we see now, though, is that publishers want to limit the sharing of knowledge, because their model depends on purchase, not sharing.
I oppose SOPA unequivocally; it’s vague, it’s anti-free-speech, and it won’t solve the problem it’s designed to combat. One of the things that is tricky about SOPA–the legislation moving through Congress that threatens to enact stiff penalties for online piracy–is the number of things you need to understand to even understand what it does. I’m very good with computers and I had to spend sometime getting my head around it. I suspect my legislators may not even understand what it means to start messing around with DNS files to essentially take a website “off the internet” if it’s found [through a not-very-confidence-inspiring process] to be hosting infringing content. The website I work for hosts almost no content but links to a lot of things and we could be mistakenly shut down for linking to people who host “illegal” content.
So, I think we need to do a few things: understand how this bill is supposed to work, be clear in our opposition to it as a profession, work with other people to inform and educate others so that people can make their own informed choices. Here is a short list of links to get you started.
The federal government, and thus US taxpayers, provide more money for scientific research than any other single entity. In order to provide access to these paper to scientists and the public alike, the National Institutes of Health adopted a policy in which research it funded would be made open access one year after its publication in journals, even those that are normally subscription only. Many publishers were not amused, and have pushed Congress to reverse the policy. So far, those efforts have failed, but that hasn’t stopped this year’s Congress from trying again.
» via ars technica
“My country tis of thee….sweet land of <redacted>”
“This week, the United States Senate passed S. 1867 also known as the National Defense Authorization Act including sections 1031 and 1032 which authorize the military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without trial or charge.”
I can’t believe it passed the Senate. How frightening.
A new report (PDF) from Scarborough Research suggests that the most social media savvy voters in the electorate, those between the ages of 18 and 24, make up a full 10% of all registered voters. And not only are these young voters more plugged in to social media than their more senior counterparts, they are more racially and ethnically diverse and cover a wider swath of the political spectrum. In other words, they are exactly who candidates need to be targeting in upcoming elections.
This is a pretty good example of the dangers of wealth inequality, and why people are protesting Wall St and not DC.