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Over the weekend the most amazing thing happened here at dKos. A trilogy of diaries inspired events that led to what I have dubbed The Stone Soup Project, but is officially known as the Congressional Committees Project and has shown up in the Open Threads as Adopt a Congressional Committee!

A band of hungry Kossacks wandering around the thickets of Kossackistan, bumped into one another over the weekend. Discovering our mutual hunger, we have thrown together our meager offerings and are cooking up a big, delicious pot of soup that smells like it's going to satisfy many, many growling bellies.

Amazingly, within 48 hours the  Congressional Committees Project was launched with it's own  dKosopedia site and dozens of volunteers.

Follow me over the jump to hear the tale and join the fun as we collectively cook up this big old pot of stone soup.

  Jjellin, one of the wandering Kossakistanis, volunteered the audacious idea that collectively we could make magic, even if each of us have limited time and resources. She called it the Stone Soup Method and told us this story:

It is about how ordinary, poor people, wary of government and sick of the demands of war, come together to create a feast which the whole community can share in, not because they are forced to but because each individually decides to give what they can.  

The story starts with three soldiers returning from war, ragged, hungry, and tired, walking into a village.  The people there are very poor, and the soldiers are not particularly welcome.  The soldiers are hungry and ask if anyone has any food, but the people in the town say no, they have nothing.  

Finally, one of the soldiers says, well obviously you people are as poor and hungry as we are.  We will share a secret with you.  She picked on a rock the size and shape of a potato, and said with this stone, we will make a delicious soup.  Well that got people's attention.  

The soldier went on, We'll need a very large soup pot and enough water to fill it. One skeptic decided to take them up on the offer and brought out a large kettle, while another shaking his head brought water to fill it.  

Some children ran around gathering up pieces of wood to start the fire to cook the soup.  The soldier placed the stone into the pot and covered it with water.  Soon the water was boiling away.

Mmmm, this is going to be a delicious soup, the soldier said.  I can't wait.  As they stood there cooking their soup, more and more villagers came out to see what was going on.  

They're making  soup from one stone the size of a potato, said one small child.  

Well, this is surely going to be a most delicioius soup, but what would make it even better is a little bit of cabbage.  

Oh, I have a cabbage.  I'll run and get it, said a village woman.  The soldier said that would be great and added her cabbage to the soup.  

This is going to be a wonderful soup, but I'll tell you from my experience what would make it even better is some carrot.  Well I think I might have a carrot or two, said an old man, and he went off to see if he could find a carrot.  Now the soup was sure to be even better.  

How about an onion?  It turned out there was an onion in the village, and soon the onion was in the soup pot.  

The excitement grew and everyone wanted to get involved.  There wasn't one person in the village who did not have something to contribute to the soup pot, a pinch of this or a few slices of that.  

And before you knew it, that stone soup was bubbling away and filling the air with the most delicious aroma, they could hardly stand it.  And when the soldiers declared that the soup was done and ready to eat, the people of the village lined up to try it.  There was more than enough for everyone, and it was the most delicious soup anyone had ever tasted.  

Imagine that--all that soup from one stone the size of a potato.


For me it all started Friday evening with Devilstower's brilliant diary This is How We Roll. I was inspired by the thought that we could collectively make a difference in this new Congress if we encouraged our Senators and Representatives to pledge to write clear and and concise legislation and keep the process clean, honest, brief and open to the light of day. I wasn't the only one so inspired, as I saw traces of that diary popping up all over dKos this weekend. My synopsis doesn't begin to do the diary justice, so go read the whole thing. It's a classic.


Late Friday night Booman posted another brilliant diary Media Just Doesn't See the Tsunami. When I read the diary early Saturday morning I was astonished to see the diverse group of liberal and progressive leaders who were poised to Chair important Congressional committees and sub-committees. The diary was filled with fascinating comments, but one in particular stood out to me. Greenreflex wrote:

I've been searching online for a better understanding of just what it is that we've won.  A majority in both houses comes with lots of benefits, (so goes the story we always hear)...  and then the commentary drifts off into some other sphere, exposing our legislative ignorance.

I want to know what we control!  What happens now?  How do committees work?  I paid attention in civics in seventh grade, but I'm curious for a lot more information, and simply reading the rules of the senate won't quite fill the gap.

Which inspired me, Annan, to respond:

This diary (and your comment greenreflex) is making me think that I should adopt a committee or two and stay on top of what's happening with them.

Wouldn't it be cool to see dKos communities form around these committees to become their megaphones to the blogosphere?

Wonder how that could be done from a distance? How would we get information?


I went off line for a while and when I came back I saw that Greenreflex had responded to my comment - not just with another comment - but the third diary in the trilogy What We Won, or, Dkos Sends Out Its Eyes.  His diary shot to the top of the rec list and stayed there for more than 24 hours, garnering 255 comments before scrolling off the list late Sunday evening.

My idea (completely inspired by her comment) is that we arrange to divvy up the house and senate committees, so that we are ALL aware of what is happening at any time in our new congress.  A spread out, amateur press is always superior to a centralized corporate one, right?  Here's our chance to put the magnifying glass right over, and I mean directly over our elected representatives.

As I said, I have little to no experience with this sort of thing, but this is how you get it, I guess (insert gate crashing noise here...)  To fill in some of our collective gaps in understanding, I decided to do some research ...

Go read the whole thing to feel the excitement that coalesced around this diary. Nearly 24 hours after the diary had been on the rec list, Greenreflex updated the diary with this note:

I feel almost like the sorcerer's apprentice, putting things together at the right time. It was a great feeling to be entering the information into the wiki chart and then to have it start fixing itself behind me as others decided to help! This whole day and a half feels like that... What an exciting project. Rather than emailing me, I'd prefer that you leave a comment here if you're interested, so I have things in one spot. After we get to that point, I'll start assigning committees and decide how upon procedures, contact information, guidelines, etc. I'm really proud to be a part of this community.

So I've taken on the project of chronicling events as they unfold because I think this project may become a very important repository of collective wisdom, circa 2006.

Greenreflex has been doing great work responding to comments and emails that have been inspiring and (I gather) just short of  overwhelming. Events have happened so quickly that no one knows exactly who has done what. Greenreflex just plunged in, started making things happen and others joined the party.


Today, I want to encourage three things in response to this diary.

Please recommend so that as many people as possible can hear about the project and contribute their expertise.


If you have been involved this weekend, please give us a holler in the comments. Tell us what you did, what inspired you and what you may have to offer in the future.


And lastly, if you're just joining the party, check out the dKosopedia page and give us feedback. Let us know if you want to join us. Describe your interests and talents.

My dream is that we form communities of like-minded Kossacks around these committees and sub-committees. If you sign up to monitor a committee, it's my dream that you won't be alone for long.


We are creating something new here and none of us have all the answers. We need and want all the help we can get.

Perhaps you have a bit of cabbage, few carrots, a stick to stir the pot or the perfect stone to start another pot of soup.

Please join us!

Originally posted to annan on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 12:05 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble ... (129+ / 0-)

    The pot is starting to simmer and we need whatever you can pitch in!

    •  Not sure Macbeth... (8+ / 0-)

      is quite the way to go here. ;)

      But I'm checking it out, and this is one hell of an idea.

      "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." - Mother Jones

      by Erevann on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:11:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Science (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annan, GreyHawk, illyia

      I want to contribute to a Science Committee especially as it relates to space exploration, NASA and funding, use of funds and most importantly activities related to the 2007/2008 Polar Year - a area of significant (and rarely dicussed) importance. But after visiting the areas where I could contribute in Science I didn't see these topics. Any suggestions? Believe I could contribute alot here. Thanks

      •  there are several science committees (0+ / 0-)

        but I really have no idea which ones may have to do with space exploration :(

        I'm not sure how to find out about that in any more detail.

        Wait!  I just found a subcommittee: house subcommittee on space and aeronautics

        That's a link to the discussion page, where you can edit that (heretofore nonexistent) discussion to declare your intent to be involved, and seek out others who may know about it.

        Looks like somebody's already off to a great start on the main article page!

    •  This is so good! I was thinking today about how (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, annan, greenreflex, GreyHawk, lizpolaris

      the Netroots were going to stay on top of things, that it was too much for one blogger to have any hope of keeping up with--all those committees, subcommittees, investigations. And, it seemed to me, after the '04 election, we were often blindsided by things popping up from the Rethugs, with little or no notice in the news media or on the blogs.

      This is the type of collective effort DKos is so good at--Wow! DKossacks rawk!

      Thank you all.

    •  It is a brilliant idea. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I just noticed something... (0+ / 0-)

      In the United States there's no such thing as a committee or subcommittee that deals with culture in its various forms.

      Over here in Europe (and numerous other countries around the world), there's almost always a Ministry of Culture (or Cultural Heritage), which is sometimes coupled with other sectors like Tourism and Sports.

      I'm so used to these over here that when I looked at the list, they were totally conspicuous by their absence. Do individual states perhaps have bodies that oversee and deal with these sectors?

      And what about Media and Telecommunications (or simply Communications)?

      "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

      by Donna in Rome on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:38:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, Robert. (14+ / 0-)

      Check out the wiki page to see if there is a committee that interests you. If so, just sign up or leave us a comment in this diary and we'll keep you informed as things develop.

      We're not really sure where this is going, or even how it's going to work.

      There is so much energy and enthusiasm that we're attempting to harness our collective wisdom and then let whatever wants to be born essentially create itself.

      So, all suggestions are welcome.

      •  brilliant! (26+ / 0-)

        i am SO glad this is happening!

        since last spring, i've been doing a very little bit of this for a few senate committees to track my senators' committee actions.... and based on my experience i have a couple of questions/suggestions:

        1. i've been trying to rip mp3's of some especially interesting committee hearings and then post clips of my senators' statements or questions. some of the committees (like senate commerce) have excellent archives of webcasts, but others don't and so i've had to rely on c-span which will sometime broadcast hearings. question: what are the fair use limitations of posting audio from c-span and committee webcasts?
        1. the washington post usually publishes transcripts of the senate judiciary committee hearings, but i haven't been able to find other free transcripts (other than the occassional published transcript). i've found several transcription services that routinely make transcripts of the committee hearings within a day or two, but they cost money. waiting for gpo access can take a year or more. question: does anyone know of a timely free source of committee hearing transcripts? if not, could we consider taking up a collection to purchase transcripts of the most critical hearings?
        1. most comittee websites do not have even bad archiving of hearing webcasts (senate commerce is an example of good archives)... question: could we kossacks lobby reid and pelosi to get all the committees' websites to include good streaming webcasts and archives of all committee hearings going forward?

        i'm very interested hearing what other kossacks think about these issues - they have been the major hurdles i've faced.

      •  Maybe Congress will help us by assigning press (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, annan, lcrp, KiaRioGrl79, Moesse, Do Tell

        staff as liaison bloggers to sites like DKos.  We could soon see much more transparent legislative and oversite processes, as well as constituent feedback in real-time.

        That would be a realization of part of the promised democratiziation potential of the web!

        I have my resume in at the Committees for just that sort of job.  Wish me luck, and if you know someone on the Hill, give me a rec.   ;-)

        •  To me it feels like something that should be (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Debby, annan, rage

          done without the influence of the PR-machines... it should be all-us... none of them... if they get their hands on a blog like kos, they're just gonna get dirt all over it...

          dirt really shows on orange...


          -9.13, -7.79 Adolescent Mooncalves Unite!

          by L0kI on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:06:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Help me keep an eye on Petri (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RobertInWisconsin, annan

      Maybe we can find an opponent for him in 2008.

  •  This is a great idea (23+ / 0-)

    We need it badly to track what's going on in a very fluid time, and to be able to use the power of blogswarm as the committees have twists and turns.  Additionally, it will be (gasp!) Presidential Primary season in about ten months or so and this will be doubly needed to keep up with what's REALLY going on in Congress as the waves of near-sexual hysteria afflict many with GREAT MAN syndrome and the pie fights start.

    •  Check out the committees at the wiki site, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      selise, sobermom, L0kI, docangel, lgmcp

      then let leave a comment in this diary about which ones you're interested in and if you have specialized expertise to offer or just want to learn as you go ... we need both!

      Make sure your contact info is in your profile here at dKos and someone (not sure who yet, anyone want to volunteer?) will contact you.


      •  I just 'signed up' by editing the wiki. (8+ / 0-)

        Not sure if that was overly forward or not! I'm an ex-history major with moderate experience in foreign affairs, so I signed up for the 'Europe and Emerging Threats' subcommittee. I'd  be willing to work wherever it's needed, though.

        This is a fantastic idea and it will be very interesting to see where this leads. Lead on!

      •  where's the wiki site? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
      •  I'm interested in National Parks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        L0kI, annan, Syrith

        House Resources committee

        •  Yosemite and two other parks (0+ / 0-)

          are practically in my back yard, and news about them is covered by the local paper.  There are a lot of unnecessary financial problems in the parks; perhaps this subcommittee will deal with them. I know there's a National Parks Association to get in touch with, and each park probably has its own band of citizen-advocates.   As we find information, what will we do with it? First step might be to add to the Wikipedia which legislator will head this subcommittee and who else is on it.

          •  I'm not sure if you're aware of this, (0+ / 0-)

            but I already put you there based on some earlier comment, probably.

            Next, do whatever you want with the discusstion and main article pages of your committee or subcommitee.  Collect links, list congresspeople, enlist help, start a discussion, or whatever.  That page is yours to use as a resource.  Dive in!

            and I'm jealous of the Yosemite, just so you know. :)

          •  Check if they made the changes they were (0+ / 0-)

            trying for last year. "Selling off" lands in Parks to "private citizens" at expected price of $1,000-1, 500 per acre.   Sounds nice?  Not. (Also if you get a Texan, some article I read was converting Texas public lands to put up for sale as "private.")
               Didn't cache at time I read it. LATER -- I read something else about the really high profits of mining all sorts of weird minerals needed for modern technology.  Some rare ones were located out by same parks.   Guess what ----those parklands won't go to homesteaders if sold.  My read is that commercial cronies and plutocrats know exactly what goodies can be gouged out of those lands at really bargain prices.  Taking it out of park -- make the ravaging a private matter. I could be tinfoil -- but my robber baron radar went BLINK.   If the do-nothings held it up --- check it for litmus?  

            Santa won't pay your credit card bill. Deferred taxes are not cuts either. BEWARE RED SUITS BEARING "Gifts."

            by Neon Mama on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 11:08:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll have to figure out (0+ / 0-)

              how to add your comment to our page on the Wiki.  Thanks very much, and please consider yourself another member of the parks committee.

              •  Nope to committee assignment yet (0+ / 0-)

                  I was trying to connect it to the volunteer and missed. I caught the first post on this great plot. And intend to participate. Have not decided best use yet.  I'm old, and an eclectic reader with a couple of years devouring info. online so I can blow up print size to counteract growing cataract.
                  At this point, I'm just tossing tidbits that seem related to various areas of interest in hopes of helping point them at topics in their area to focus on, check out.  
                  I have to mentor a teen this week with some general forensics searching I did for a falsely accused friend a few years ago.  She's in a pre-police high school project. Meantime I'm mulling BEST area for my strange variety of interests. May even be best at floating observer then diving out to do data collection to contribute. Don't fence me in yet.  I have not yet figured out how to get to wiki -- I'm a bit pc handicapped.

                Santa won't pay your credit card bill. Deferred taxes are not cuts either. BEWARE RED SUITS BEARING "Gifts."

                by Neon Mama on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 12:39:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  floating observer sounds good too (0+ / 0-)

                  Thanks for your comments on the parks.  They look good on the page here.  Scroll down to House Resources committee (4.14), then click on the National Parks discussion, and you'll see your contribution.

                •  Check out the new fixes for cataracts. (0+ / 0-)

                  They did wonderful things for my husband.  Medicare pays fr most of it.

                  Floating observer sounds like somewhere I might fit.  Sort of a generalist.

                  "America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw; Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law! -- Katharine Lee Bates, "America The Beautiful" (1893)

                  by maybeeso in michigan on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:25:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  This is me signing up... I think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Count me in.  As far as special skills...
        I'm a poli-sci major, about to graduate, and I have a friend who will be working in Waxman's LA office starting in January.
        I'm also good at using the internet.
        Just throw me anywhere, though I am in Waxman's backyard, so I wouldn't argue with being put on the Government Reform committee.  but wherever I'm needed I'll gladly serve.

      •  This is me signing up... I think (0+ / 0-)

        Count me in.  As far as special skills...
        I'm a poli-sci major, about to graduate, and I have a friend who will be working in Waxman's LA office starting in January.
        I'm also good at using the internet.
        Just throw me anywhere, though I am in Waxman's backyard, so I wouldn't argue with being put on the Government Reform committee.  but wherever I'm needed I'll gladly serve.

  •  Readers, please recommend this diary (17+ / 0-)

    This is a stunningly simple idea that can have a massive impact on the course our government takes in the coming years.

    We have to keep this active and keep awareness of this project very high until it really ramps up.

    "nothing" the unjust man complained "is just" / ("or un-" the just rejoined) -ee cummings

    by figurefive on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 12:33:38 PM PST

  •  Just an outstanding idea! (16+ / 0-)

    Have my own little project on the burner right now, but I shall be taking great advantage of this project, and if there's anything I find out I'll be sure to email the appropriate Kognoscenti in charge of that Committee.

  •  Additionally ... (10+ / 0-)

    How about getting a link to this project on the DKosopedia Main Page?

    "nothing" the unjust man complained "is just" / ("or un-" the just rejoined) -ee cummings

    by figurefive on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 12:38:34 PM PST

  •  Holy crap (22+ / 0-)

    I had this idea  in february, almost exactly as you have outlined it.

    Enthusiastically count me it.  Apparently its time has come!

    •  Cool. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, sobermom, L0kI, GN1927, KiaRioGrl79, Ellicatt

      Great ideas often work their way into the collective consciousness and eventually find expression.

      In fact, this is one of my professional areas of interest. The hundredth-monkey syndrome and all that.

      Glad you're here!

      •  I recognised genius when I saw it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Debby, annan, KiaRioGrl79

        And recommended the comment when it appeared.

        Then I posted a link to the comment on a thread at FDL, but no one bit. (There's a lot of hardworking policy geeks at FDL.)

        I think this is the best new idea yet.

        My suggestion is as follows:

        I think it needs two kinds of volunteers.
        first are the policy geeks to help explain what's going on,
        second are the constituents of the members of the subcommittee so they can help organize locally.

        Then you get a closed loop.

        I also think that there are lobbying and advocacy groups that might get interested enough to ally with this effort.

        •  Great idea! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think it needs two kinds of volunteers.
          first are the policy geeks to help explain what's going on,
          second are the constituents of the members of the subcommittee so they can help organize locally.

          Just for emphasis!

          •  So, if I am not a wonk (0+ / 0-)

            I should sign up for a committee where my rep or senator is a member?

            Speech in this country is free, you hack!

            -5.88, -6.82

            by Debby on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 09:13:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that sounds great. (0+ / 0-)
              wonk or not!
              •  I'd say there's an added benefit. . . (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                . . .to having constituents on board for a committee - if there's difficulty getting information on what they're up to, constituents have extra leverage to get information - Congressfolk have more incentive to answer their questions.

                How soon will we see the new Committee assignments? I know that a lot of senior Congresspeople will remain where they've been, just in majority, rather than minority capacities, but there will surely be a lot of shifting around at the sub-committee level, and assignments for new people. . .

                The "everywhere" that flattery will get you is a stark and terrible place. - James Ernest

                by Robespierrette on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:34:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  If you guys (16+ / 0-)

    need quantiative help give me a holler, and try the stats geeks of daily kos

    e.g. it could be someone is displaying a chart you think is phony, or playing with figures, or doing some analysis.

    Or it could be that you want some analysis done.

    let me know.

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings

    by plf515 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 12:49:37 PM PST

    •  wonderful! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      thanks.  I know so little of that realm that I don't know where it may come up, but I'm glad to know we have it covered.

      •  It comes up a lot (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, greenreflex

        Whenever you hear a congresscritter or other political animal using quantitative reasoning, there is a fair chance they are using it badly, either through deliberate malfeasance (OUR politicians? LYING to us? SHOCKING!) or simple ignorance or incompetence.

        Also advertisers, special interest groups, and so on.

        If you suspect fishiness, you are probably right, and I or another quant-jock here may be able to help.

        What are you reading? on Friday mornings

        by plf515 on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 03:11:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What does each committee and subcommitee do? (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, L0kI, Spatz, annan, docangel, KiaRioGrl79, willers

    there must be a site somewhere with descriptions.

    e.g the Science - Research subcommitte.....what's its mandate?

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings

    by plf515 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 12:51:28 PM PST

    •  Heh... (10+ / 0-)

      I was just looking that up:

      Subcommittee Jurisdiction

      In general, the Subcommittee handles issues related to education, basic research, and the health of the U.S. academic research enterprise. The Subcommittee oversees NSF, the U.S. Fire Administration (part of DHS), and the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. Matters before the Subcommittee include science and math education, computer security, government-wide R&D initiatives such as information technology and nanotechnology, and advancing fire and earthquake mitigation efforts.

      Go House website!

      •  Would that include "intelligent design" is not (0+ / 0-)

        science.  Belongs in religion or mythology. And that sex education should be where sex education is taught and NOT "abstinence only" with rules that take back fed. money if they actually TEACH truth about condoms, disease and pregnancy prevention, and that a shot for human papiloma virus prevents cancer and the need for pap smears?  The earth is round not flat. Oral is NOT moral--whoever thought that up.  If they get into this -- stupidosis I've heard -- students do not realize that oral sex DOES include bodily fluids. Point -- they didn't get what "bodily fluids" meant.   If you want to cut down on abortions, the easiest way is to PREVENT PREGNANCY. My motto/bumper stickers thought on this -- Ingnorance Only is not sex ed
        Abstinence Only teaches ignorance only
        Stupidity is a leading cause of teen pregnancy

        EDUCATION PROGRAMS should not be created by slick pr firms needing work between elections. Churches should not be getting "faith based initiative" millions to teach "abstinence only."  Most Jewish and Muslim groups will not even apply for funds -- since if they teach, they want to tell TRUTH IN SCIENCE.  We are funding INTERNATIONAL programs on this same stupid "abstinence only" even in nations where AIDS is epidemic.  Big budget cuts possible if this funding of "religious establishment" view of a science matter if stopped.   Bushies even made CDC remove references on their web site to multi-view sex ed. which included abstinence --- and were proven to WORK.  There is a group of scientists protesting online to this and to appointment of incompetents like Bush doc who "cures" PMS with Bible verses!!! Hook up with them for the dirt to educate committee.

        Santa won't pay your credit card bill. Deferred taxes are not cuts either. BEWARE RED SUITS BEARING "Gifts."

        by Neon Mama on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 11:39:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  See also the website for the Clerk (15+ / 0-)

      on the House side here.  This page will give you the basics on committees, etc. as well as links to the standing and select committees.

      on the Senate side, this page will take you to somewhat similar information.

      "Never dought that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the owrld. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by edgery on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:06:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sign me up for Asia Pacific (21+ / 0-)

    under the Foreign Relations Committee. You can check my diary history for my past writings, I have an MA in International Relations, speak Mandarin Chinese, and think this is an awesome idea.

    I'm one of many who want to Draft Obama

    by zenbowl on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 12:52:01 PM PST

    •  This just gets better and better (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbowl, annan, GN1927, Cato come back

      A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. Napoleon Bonaparte

      by 4Freedom on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:24:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please sign yourself up, zenbowl. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      L0kI, annan

      I posted instructions on how to create a dKosopedia account and sign up for the project here.

    •  Permanent Free Trade is a push THIS WEEK (0+ / 0-)

      trying to force lame duckies to give him okay to end  need for congress to review each year whether we want to keep Vietnam trade going.  It would end our last tool to leverage change for Vietnamese people re: human rights, womens rights etc.  And all is not hunky dory or they would not have arrested Vietnamese American woman and others as "terrorists" for smuggling radio broadcast equipment in.  Martinez ® Fla - pushed Bush to push. So she finally was charged and convicted.  
          If Bush gets their okay, he can sign, they can join WTO, we essentially spit on our vets who thought they fought to free these people.  Why is radio terror?  Sounds like an entrapped populace seeking knowledge.  Smells bad.  Can't recall-- but there is something in WTO which commits all fellow members NOT to do stuff about other members bad deeds.  I should have copied. I think you can find it with just data here as main search words.
         Permanent status gives us NOTHING except it makes it safe to build corporate factories and plants for chemicals or whatever there to use and misuse these folks with no OSHA protections and whose salaries are far below cheapo Mexican and Chinese labor.  Permanent -- does it mean we cannot undo in January.  I think so -- in exec. area.  Can you work fast enough to get our current members to tie this up?? Please.
         My California grandson is learning Mandarin from my Canadian born US raised daughter in law.

      Santa won't pay your credit card bill. Deferred taxes are not cuts either. BEWARE RED SUITS BEARING "Gifts."

      by Neon Mama on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 12:00:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  sweet. (11+ / 0-)

    It's great to see that this is getting off the ground--pencil me in for Science-Research. Past that, what's the next step? Has anyone made a page for their subcommittee yet?

    •  I can assist on that one (9+ / 0-)

      I have an MA in special ed., am learning disabled, and work as a statistician

      What are you reading? on Friday mornings

      by plf515 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:06:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed... (8+ / 0-)

        Or perhaps we can work together, or you'll end up taking the lead. Anyhow, I started on a page for it, but my wiki-fu is weak!

      •  Or you could (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        L0kI, annan, plf515

        help me out over at the Education subcommittee if that interests you.

        "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy

        by sobermom on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:22:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What do you need? n/t (0+ / 0-)

          What are you reading? on Friday mornings

          by plf515 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:23:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What are your interests? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annan, KiaRioGrl79, RogueStage, plf515

            I've been assigned the Education and Workforce Committee in the House.  The Education Reform and the Select Education subcommittees have no one listed.  I'll definitely be leaning on teacherken and my Dad for help understanding Education Reform but I know teacherken is stretched thin right now and can't take it on.  I'm sure he'd be happy to give context though.

            "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy

            by sobermom on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:34:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Special education (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sobermom, annan

              education of the learning disabled, gifted, etc.

              I don't see a subcommittee that fits

              also math education

              What are you reading? on Friday mornings

              by plf515 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:39:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  No Child Left Behind is a scam to destroy (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ignacio Magaloni, Georgia sailor

              free public education.  Enriches cronies who print the required tests. Texts. And sell the  cures when  "scores" show "problems."  Like Neil Bush "Ignite! Learning" COW (curriculum on wheels) Made in Mexico -- another job americans won't do. Online he has promo explaining Pluto "dwarf" status. Supposedly for JR HI?  Cartoon a six year old might find boring.  It's a resegregation, cash siphoning, dumb down long war.  AND it got military recruiters access to teen records including home phone address etc. and approach on school campus with no parent. Parents think kids data private. YOU MUST OPT OUT to protect kids. Each year the "rules" make it harder. Money goes to school who do better. Poor schools get cheated and grow worse!!!
                  PS  Alias JEB Bush here in Florida has been collecting PAC money for "education" for a couple of years. Think that's where he'll be self-promoting next.   It did not work in Texas. Or here. They skew statistics, for rewards, and "lose" the dropouts.  It encourages schoools to DUMP struggling students to keep scores up.  EVIL EVIL appeal to worst in folks.

              Santa won't pay your credit card bill. Deferred taxes are not cuts either. BEWARE RED SUITS BEARING "Gifts."

              by Neon Mama on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 12:14:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  NCLB is horrid (0+ / 0-)

                And my PhD is in psychometrics (the people who write the tests) although I don't do that now.

                The reason NCLB is horrid, however, is not because it USES standardized tests but because it ABUSES them.

                If you try to measure someone's weight with a ruler, it is not reasonable to claim that the ruler is defective when the results are not valid.  Properly used, the various tests can be very valuable.  Improperly used, they are worse than useless, they are harmful.

                What are you reading? on Friday mornings

                by plf515 on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 03:25:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Amen. In education classes they warned us (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  against "teaching to the test" vs. teaching subject. I "observed" a department head one semester and saw it in action -- trying to "help" by "preparing" them for test to raise scores. Really bad.  
                    Teacher tests often skew if you write "answers"(learning soundbites) first, then write questions to elicit answer. It blinds you to OTHER correct answers.
                    NCLB is, as you said, misused. These corporate raiders treat children as a product with a "bottom line."  Discard non-conformity, creativity and test-shy.  Fl. gov. candidate Davis said he'd demote test to tool. Too bad he lost. An educated populace is a necessity and a treasure.
                    Money pressure NCLB puts on adults raised dropouts of blacks, migrants, etc. Not cost effective. Such insidiously subtle discrimination!  Plus NCLB inserts military recruiters on campus with access to all student data - and to minors w/o parental protection.  Parents don't know to opt out unless activist force notification, which happens less in poor schools.
                    Dirty trick showing a motive? Spend illegal VOUCHER to privatized school ---  students are NOT required to test. Tempting hook.
                     Big bucks are in selling the stuff to "fix" the students who were not "broken" to start with.

                  Santa is a Credit Card Republican. They get the credit, you get the bill. BEWARE REDS BEARING "Gifts."

                  by Neon Mama on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 07:32:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  You should contact teacherken and rserven (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sobermom, annan, GN1927, KiaRioGrl79

          and put something in the Teacher's Lounge on Saturday

          What are you reading? on Friday mornings

          by plf515 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:27:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  fyi (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, sobermom, annan, KiaRioGrl79

      As far as the Science committee goes, Bart Gordon (TN-06, my rep) is the ranking member, and is widely thought to be heading towards chairing that committee when the Dems take over the majority in Feb.
      You can go here for updates; they also have a link where you can sign up for email updates.
      Hope this helps.

      There are atheists in foxholes. But there are no Evangelicals.

      by Sidof79 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:18:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd love to help (8+ / 0-)

    This is an awesome idea and I've got some time so please count me in. I'll check the dkosopedia page later and see what's still available.

    I donated to ePluribus Media. Support citizen journalism!

    by Mber on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:09:17 PM PST

  •  Interested in: (12+ / 0-)

    Judiciary/Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security


    Government Reform/Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources

    Thanks for organizing this!

    War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery. Bush is President.

    by celticshel on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:10:28 PM PST

  •  Excellent :-) (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, zenbowl, sobermom, Loquatrix, L0kI, annan, Ellicatt

    I'm happy to see this here again today!

    I've got to get back to work for the moment...but I'll be back later this evening to figure out how I can help :-)

  •  Hey, count me in (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, L0kI, annan, KiaRioGrl79, Ellicatt

    I live in N. California.  Attorney for the County.  Old enough to remember Ike (but not well).

    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

    by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:13:01 PM PST

  •  Interested in one of the following? (9+ / 0-)

    Let me know and we'll start our own little caucuses and start divvying up the work - a la the whole project, no one is in charge, we're all in this together!


    • Judiciary
    • International Relations/Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations
    • International Relations/Oversight & Investigations


    • Finance
    • Foreign Relations

    Just so you know, my focus is primarily human rights with subfocus on Afrida.  My background, however, is in international investment and trade hence I figured I could help get the Senate Finance part up and running until someone else wants to take over.  Also, while I'm not a lawyer, I have an unnatural interest in the Judiciary since that's where our national human/civil rights can be made or broken.  Again, if a lawyer wants to take over this, kool!

    "Never dought that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the owrld. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by edgery on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:13:42 PM PST

    •  I'm a law student, does that count? :) (8+ / 0-)

      I'm adopting the Public Lands and Forests subcommittee, but would also really like to do something on human rights, those being my primary issues. I just don't have time to take on primary responsibility for two (five classes, three papers, moot court, my journal...okay, I'll stop whining!), but would definitely be interested in helping out with the Global Human Rights one, if you're looking for backup!

      "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- Gandhi

      by akasha on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:55:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Me too! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annan, akasha

        I'm going to take a look at Judiciary; I'm also thinking that something related to Education would be appropriate right now.

        O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

        by RogueStage on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:16:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  kos-caucuses! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annan, edgery

      i'm interested in senate judiciary and possibly senate foreign relations (ME).

    •  I tried to get the House Judiciary (0+ / 0-)

      dkosopedia page started but lord, I don't know wiki-editing protocol at all.

      I also opened a new email account just for this project (see my profile).  since lots of us don't have our regular email account in the profiles, I thought we might want to get together in Google or Yahoo groups to sort out what we're doing until we get some of the pages up.

      does that make sense?  yes, no, other ideas?

      "Never dought that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the owrld. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by edgery on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:07:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am so thrilled this is going ahead! (10+ / 0-)

    Really, what a perfect project for us.  Massive kudos to everyone who collectively brought us this!

    As for monitoring a committee, I'm afraid I don't have any special skills or knowledge to offer (and I've just been completely intimidated by zenbowl's statement of his/her qualifications to monitor Asia Pacific, for example!) but I would certainly love to assist whichever better qualified person may volunteer for Forests and Forest Health.

  •  Sign me up for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Loquatrix, annan, Ellicatt

    Government Reform / Federalism and the Census.

    I'm a Census data user (for several years) with an interest and expertise in Census and other large data sets.

    Thanks for this!

  •  Sign me up! (9+ / 0-)

    I mentioned in Greenreflex's diary yesterday that I'd be most interested in working on committees my reps are involved with (Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi)... so quickly taking a look at the list, for now sign me up on Senate Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees, I'll take a look at the subcommittees later tonight and see if I can narrow that down... I'm not sure what the rules are for Speaker, will Pelosi be on any committees?

    I don't have any legal expertise, but have good critical analysis and writing skills (too many years writing literary essays), and am very much interested in learning more about how these two committees operate.

  •  Great Idea .. .n/t for now... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    L0kI, annan
  •  Absolutely excellent idea (7+ / 0-)

    And what people powered politics is all about!

    Count me in.

    In loving memory of Wimpy, my furry, four legged, feline friend. March 25, 1989 - October 27, 2006

    by CTLiberal on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:21:17 PM PST

  •  Labor/HHS/Labor (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, L0kI, annan, GN1927, TexH, Ellicatt, jjellin, Clio2

    Willing to work on this one - but this is a huge grouping - I am a federal data miner in DC working for an agency funded under this committee.  
    I work with budgets and performance reporting.
    I see that Amy Smith has stepped up.  I would be glad to work with her and any others regarding this.
    Next step?

    Leecspencer at

    In God we trust, All others we monitor -AFTAC (-2.75, -2.67)

    by lcs on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:22:10 PM PST

    •  Connect! (0+ / 0-)

      Talk, get the conversations going!

      Lots of huge groupings and we need to figure out a way to break things down into smaller units.

      Sounds like you have a lot to offer. Welcome!

    •  Special interest in Labor (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sobermom, annan

      I'd be willing to try to help. Special interest: Labor.


      •  Hey there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've got the Education and Workforce Committee in the House.  Do you have any interest in Employer-Employee Relations or Workforce Protections subcommittees?  I'm not sure what part of labor you're interested in but if either of those fit the bill I'd love to get connected with you again.

        "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy

        by sobermom on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:37:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would be interested (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, annan, Ellicatt

    In working with Resources, specifically forests and forest health.  I am studying natural resource management at OSU but I admit I wouldn't know where to begin on keeping up with committee activities.

    •  OSU (0+ / 0-)

      Ohio or Oklahoma?

    •  Write your congressperson (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Tell him or her about your studies and your strong interest in committee activities and legislation.

      Ask him or her if they would introduce you as an interested person who'd like to get emails, etc. from the relevant committee's  chairman.

      Don't stop there - write the committee chairman yourself, and follow up with friendly phone call to their staff.

      At the minimum, you could request a slate of committee members, their schedule, their agenda, the legislation that might be left over that they're considering, whatever new items they are considering.

      You'll probably need to persist a bit - they're all busy and you're not their constituent.  Sending a self-addressed stamped envelope or two would work, if they do not want to/cannot electronically transmit documents to you.

  •  OT (0+ / 0-)

    Not a victory for our Party -but an Opportunity for our Country. - Pelosi

    by annefrank on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:27:58 PM PST

  •  I'm no good at journalistic type writing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, annan, Ellicatt, jjellin

    I would like to sign up, but I'm afraid I do not have the skills necessary, and I'm certain that I cannot do unbiased reporting yet.  Where is a good place to start and get some training in this field so that I might be able to help out.  I really don't care what I get signed up for, I would almost like to get something that I never thought twice about before --

    Except for the ethics departments.  Too painful to stomach.

    •  Good Question (0+ / 0-)

      I think we're all finding our way around here.

      But go to the wiki page and check out the committees, see if something jumps out at you. Then look through this diary and see if anyone else seems to be attracted to that arena.

      If so, introduce yourselves and get a discussion going.

      FYI, there is a discussion page on the wiki site.

      Does anyone know if you can do individual threads on the wiki page? Or how to create a permanent container (or seperate linked page) for ongoing discussion groups to form?

      Lots of questions looking for answers here!

      •  Mailing list? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annan, greenreflex

        Use the '+' sign for sections on the talk page. It's unwieldy for more than a few comments, though, so greenreflex and I created a yahoo group 'committeewatch' (which is a mailing list with public archives). At some point we might want to start advertising it.

  •  The Congressional Committees Project (16+ / 0-)

    Each day the Congress is in session the "Washington Post"  has a column entitled "Today in Congress", this is a list of committee hearings, time and location of those hearings.  It is in the politics section, in the in congress subsection.

    Also, the congredssional record has a list of the next days committee hearings.

    Also CQ (subscription required) has a list of congressional hearings with a witness list.


    by rduckham on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:37:08 PM PST

    •  Awesome! I have been a Jack Russell Terrier (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      nipping at heels in threads hoping for something on this order to take place, and voila! The more structured and directed among us have fleshed out a way to both hold Congress accountable and maintain an organization that can help us understand issues and promote needed items in the Democratic platform.

      This is both a good ongoing project and a way to organize.

      Now I'm looking for a few good economic and policy thinkers to help with the Joint Economic Committee. I want to track who wants and gets the bucks and why.

      A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. Napoleon Bonaparte

      by 4Freedom on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 03:19:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Existing Resources (7+ / 0-)

    Many professional organizations keep close tabs on the committees and already issue regular news coverage.  For instance, scattered over the various science committees, the American Institute of Physics does an excellent job on physics and astronomy.

    That's the one I happen to know in my field.  Others surely exist among the various other fields, which might reduce the burden on Kossacks.

  •  I'm willing to help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I, too, was enthralled by Devilstower's diary, and I would love to participate in some way.  I don't have time to edit the wiki right now so will just use this comment to volunteer for a committee.

    Somebody please sign me up for the Senate Judiciary Committee (Constitution, Civil Rights & Propery Rights Subcommittee).


    Laugh-a while you can, monkey-boy! - Lord John Whorfin

    by Mehitabel9 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:38:30 PM PST

  •  Interested in signing up for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, Halcyon, Syrith

    Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

    I post at DailyKos once or twice a week and have a climate change blog BlueClimate.

    A brief bio can be found under the "About" link on my blog.

    •  Hey Patrick - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patrick Kennedy

      just saw your comment, and I just signed up for Senate Energy and Natural Resources, so hopefully we can work together some.  Let me know if you ever want to discuss EPW, since that's the only environment-related Senate committee I'm very knowledgeable about.

      I imagine we'll want to work closely with a number of others too - akasha (Public Lands and Forests), Hummingbird (Global Climate Change), naturegal (House Resources), and there's a half a dozen other subcommittees on transportation, water, agriculture, forestry, etc. that are bound to be relevant!  

      Email me anytime, syrith (at) nyu (dot) edu.  

  •  Will need organization ... (6+ / 0-)

    to be effective. That is, each "committe" will need a chairperson to coordinate efforts. Otherwise it will degenerate into a hodgepodge shouting match, with no clear consensus.
    Periodically, committee members can cast votes of confidence to retain the chair or rotate it to someone else.
    BTW, I would looovve to see a coordinated effort like this to "nominate" grassroots presidential candidates to thwart DNC and media elites from cramming someone down our throats. Comments?

    •  This is the challenge. (5+ / 0-)

      Herding cats is right.

      The challenge will be to create a flexible structure that doesn't require top-down coordination because no one will have the time to do that.

      What I hope to see happen is that this wiki container will have lots of small groups who organize however they choose. Some may organize as you describe, others may simple be very loose collaborations until something "hot" hits the foreground.

      I have more questions than answers at this point.

      We're creating something new here and I, for one, don't want to create a rigid structural overlay that will require too much supervision.

      •  I'm really glad we're on the same page about this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I just want to reiterate that I'm really glad that you and I have the same feelings regarding the trajectory that this project should take.  There have been very few administrative decisions that need to be made.  We are just providing a place for everyone to share information, and organize themselves.

        I think it is amazing that kos's website is capable of fitting this project inside itself, without really even flexing.  Thank you Markos!

        •  Is there a statement anywhere... (0+ / 0-)

          of an overall purpose for this enterprise?

          Is there any effort to create any 'meta' thinking and guidance early on so the rest of us can channel our efforts and thoughts a little more accurately right from the beginning?


          BTW, what's the best way to use the Kos/Scoop software to followup on responses to replies one makes like this?



          •  since I've made (0+ / 0-)

            dozens of comments in the last few days, I've been going through my user page (click on your name) and looking under "comments" for anything that has a reply.

            As far as an overall statement of purpose, both this diary and my orignial diary are probably as close as we have to that so far.  

  •  DC, Veteran's Affairs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, annan, KiaRioGrl79

    I just signed up for three subcommittees.  The first one is an appropriations one on DC, Treasury and a host of other topics.  I'd like to share this one as I'm mostly interested in the DC aspect.

    The other two are under Veterans Affairs.  they are economic opportunity and oversight.

    I also live in DC.  I plan to attend subcommittee hearings for the ones I selected where possible.

    •  don't we need people policing subcommittees? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      For example, I would be interested in the Military Personnel Subcommittee but less interested in the House Armed Services Committee, as a whole.

      If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

      by Carl Nyberg on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:34:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  excellent point (0+ / 0-)

        which is why I picked two subcommittees.  I'm more interested in the oversight of VA and opportunity for vets than I am VA as a whole.  I'd also like to do more with Labor subcommittees and DC, but I know I can't do everything despite how badly I want to do everything.  Damn overachiever!

      •  absolutely. (0+ / 0-)

        If you'd like to sign up, head on over to the wiki and pencil yourself in.  I say pencil because you are free to stop working, ask for help, or do whatever you need to.  We'd love to have your help.

  •  Congratulations! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, annan, SaraBeth

    It is very rare that attempts to actually herd cats online are successful.  Generally someone will come up with a nice simple plan like "adopt a bill" or "adopt a committee", post for help and fall into the collective wastebucket as nobody joins in.  Even simple low-committment stuff like collecting election results ( and such languish.

    I suspect the secret to your success is managing to get several people to agree on it ahead of time, so you had a core that could carry off at least a portion of the plan. (?)

    At any rate, it is great to see this type of stuff actually working out.  I'd eagerly participate but workwise I have to throw all my effort into paying the bills for a while.

    (I think we need a structured way to do detailed "pulse of the nation" legislative wiki-ing, personally, and this is pretty close.)

    OpenSource volunteers needed to bring election accountability:

    by skids on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:45:29 PM PST

    •  Awwww...comeon.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Haven't you a couple of carrots or a morsel of meat to put into the pot?

      </snark> ;-)  

    •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

      nobody agreed to anything ahead of time.  This is purely a case of the right idea at the correct time and place.

      Annan and I bumped into each other in another diary, and her comment got me thinking, which led to my diary ("what we won, or dkos sends out its eyes").

      I wrote that without talking to anyone else, and it very nearly scrolled off the page.  Lipris and a few others helped me to advertise the diary before if landed in the wastebasket (without prompting) and it has grown exponentially from there.

      I'd love to see a graph of hits on the wiki page for the last few days, or even hour by hour! (it is up to 2,482 hits now!)  It didn't exist until Sunday morning after I dropped my girlfriend off to watch a rugby game.

    •  sjuds (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am no expert on Wiki, that's for sure, but one nice thing is that you can edit pages as much, or as little, as you like.

      Further, with this project, anything we do is more than would have been done; I don't think the success of this project DEPENDS on covering every meeting of every committee in detail. It would be great if we could, but we need not.

      So, if those of us who have only a single carrot help out then those of us who have four cabbages and an old bone will have better soup. :-)

      What are you reading? on Friday mornings

      by plf515 on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 03:31:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I signed up! (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks, annan, for keeping this out there! I was hoping that there would be regular diaries letting everyone know the status of the project, which I think is a truly great idea.

    I signed up for the Public Lands and Forests subcommittee under Energy and Natural Resources in the Senate. I'm looking forward to getting started!

    "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- Gandhi

    by akasha on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:51:54 PM PST

  •  looking forward to helping (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex
    I signed in.
  •  Where should we keep track of this info? (5+ / 0-)

    Is the idea that everyone who adopts a committee be responsible for maintaining and updating the dKosopedia page for that committee? Or adding commentary to the discussion page for the committee? Or posting regular diaries here about the committee?

    I did a little work on the table templates for the committee page, and I was wondering which place(s) the table entries should link to. (I currently have them link to the dKosopedia page for each committee -- most of which don't yet exist -- with each adopter's name linking back to their diary page here.)

    <div style="color: gray; font-size: 80%">(-7.88, -8.97)</div>

    by Abou Ben Adhem on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 01:58:02 PM PST

  •  Im in ur committees... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abou Ben Adhem, greenreflex

    aprovin ur earmarks!

    PS: OT

    What color is your finger?

    by Dissento on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:04:46 PM PST

  •  I signed up for the... (7+ / 0-)

    Telecommunications and the Internet committee. I make my living programming computers but it is also my hobby.

    So I will dedicate what time I have (and I know I can find some) to educate myself about the 'Telecommunications and the Internet' committee.

    I know that Net neutrality is important to me.

    I guess I'm awaiting my marching orders.

    •  Hey, DB! I would like (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sobermom, annan

      to volunteer as a corporal in your internet/telecom committee-watching army. My experience is limited to a brief stint at MCI, but the area is an abiding interest of mine, and I've still got friends in the biz.

      •  There is no hierarchy... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in the 'Telecommunications and the Internet' committee. So I will gladly work with you as an equal and together we'll learn what goes on in this committee.

        Thanks for the help. Here is a temp email address that you can use to give me more info. It is

        I'll be offline for the next 8 hours. I'll respond when I come back online.

        •  I am also very interested in this area (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I am not a techie, but I believe in my heart that protecting unfettered access to the internet is essential to our democracy.  My email is in my profile. I will help with this if you need me.

        •  I sent you an email (0+ / 0-)

          I have been fooling around at the Wiki page but I am not sure what I am doing and it looks like I am going to make a mess.  Will experiment further and try again!!  I definitely would love to help with this subcommittee.

  •  how committee blogs should work, IMO (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    littlesky, annan, ybruti, Ellicatt

    Each committee should have a blog.

    Each committee should have one staff member dedicated to keeping the readers informed.

    And individuals should be able to start diaries and create polls.

    If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

    by Carl Nyberg on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:09:38 PM PST

    •  couldn't we use diaries?... n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Blogs linked to the wiki page! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I like this idea.

      Could you figure out how to make this work and report back?

      •  will Reid & Pelosi support this kind of access? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The biggest hurdle is to get the Congressional Dems to agree.

        After they agree to it, creating a bunch of Scoop websites associated with the committees is a pretty straightfoward technical issue within the capability of the IT staff (I assume).

        If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

        by Carl Nyberg on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:19:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good question. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Scoop sites would be outstanding. Someone in an earlier thread suggested that Soros' Open Society Foundation (not sure if that's the name) might be interested in this project.

          I understand that it's the congressional staff that we'll have to sell the idea to.

          Yoohooo ... anyone around who has a working relationship with a staffer who might bend their ear and see what would be involved?? Or the Soros Foundation?

          •  bypass the staff; build consensus and ask the man (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annan, KiaRioGrl79, Ellicatt, akasha

            I bounced it off Jane Harman when she was campaigning on dKos. She indicated that she was interested.

            I would bypass the staff since we can. We have members of Congress post at dKos all the time.

            Once we come to a consensus on what we want we simply inform the party leadership. They can tweak the details around legal and technical issues, but fundamentally we have the power.

            At least that's what I heard from a vermont physician.

            As for the money, Congress can foot the bill. Other than the staff member it's not much money.

            If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

            by Carl Nyberg on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:29:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  In my opinion, (0+ / 0-)

      the wiki format is perfect, since it allows for decentralized editing and information sharing.  The HUGE growth of that page in the last 48 hours is a testament to the potential of the wiki.

      If I had started a blog, and implored others to help, I'm not sure how far we would have gotten.  

      Anyone who is particularly passionate or web-savvy may want to create a blog to go along with their committee assignments, and that would be excellent!

      Having the wiki as a central area for organization and exchange of information is really key, however, IMHO.

      •  I don't think I disagree with you (0+ / 0-)

        I just think that the wiki is essential to getting things started and having them organized and decentralized at the same time.

        I'm not sure how we could have done that otherwise.  If we end up with blogs, I'll be elated!

    •  I think it should be set up (0+ / 0-)

      like the different election races were set up, under one heading with daily or timely updates so we can browse through them. Someone upthread mentioned this.

  •  level of expertise needed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, greenreflex

    Do I have to pretend to be an expert to sign up for a subcommittee? I'm eyeing one of the Resource coms in the House. I'm not sure how to edit the wiki, which is probably obvious once one tries. drive your car for free!

    by ucla grad102 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:11:30 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure how to make it show up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But I'd like to work on the Europe and Emerging threats, and the Government refor committee for Criminal Justice and Drug Policy.

    Unfortunately, as you can tell I'm not the most computer, linky savvy person around.  So, I'm not real sure how to sign up for these.  I should get a grandkid in here to help me.

    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

    by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:18:28 PM PST

  •  How exactly does one (5+ / 0-)

    monitor a subcommittee?

    I bet someone here knows.

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings

    by plf515 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:19:08 PM PST

  •  Signed up -House Immigration - collaborators? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, wakemeup7nov06

    I hope some real work gets done here. Immigration law became unofficially more complex than tax law about 5 years ago, before that it was only a close second (unofficially). I signed up buthere do we go from here?

    by b b on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:21:02 PM PST

  •  Might be biting off more than I can chew (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, possum

    But the 'Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources' subcommitte of the house Government Reform committee sounds interesting.  I don't know if I can cover it all myself, as it covers a pretty broad range of issues (border security/immigration, sex education, drug policy etc). But I would certainly be willing to lend a hand. Where do I sign up?

    The revolution will not be televised - on FOX

    by Uranus Hz on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:21:24 PM PST

  •  HI, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, KiaRioGrl79, Ellicatt, possum

    Just volunteered to adopt the subcomittee on Global Climate Change on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and updated all the links for the subcomittees there.  Now what? :)

    After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

    by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:26:33 PM PST

  •  human trafficking related topics (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, KiaRioGrl79, Ellicatt, akasha, possum

    I would be interested in participating in this, if there would be room for a floater of sorts.

    Different commitees occasionally hold hearings on topics related to human trafficking. It is an area that I have been researching for awhile and I am very interested in US policy in relation to this issue.

    The Armed Services Committee recently held a hearing on the use of trafficked labor by sub-contractors of Halliburton, the Helsinki Commission -not a true Congressional committee held a hearing on trafficking policy & the US military, the Judiciary committee may be holding some hearings soon as the GAO has been working on a report on how the effectiveness of US human trafficking policy. I am sure there will be others, and probably have been a good number I have missed.

    Most of the government agencies have some counter trafficking responsibilities & I would have to assume some will find themselves in a Congressional hearing of one sort or another.

    Also, there will be hearings on immigration soon -maybe, which has a huge tie into trafficking.

    I feel that this topic has a political story as well as a human rights story -meaning there are political fingers (agendas) in human trafficking policy.

    So, if any of the committees have a trafficking related hearing, or have had one recently, and those that are responsible for covering that committee would allow me to join in for that particular hearing, I would really look forward to participating and maybe help drum up a little kossack attention to the issue as it pertains to US policy.

  •  If you go (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, Ellicatt, possum, hsvscg

    to this page there's a list of committees

    inside the committees, you can find
    interesting links
    and various stuff.

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings

    by plf515 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:35:57 PM PST

  •  Hey, Naturegal, I signed up for this House (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, Ellicatt

    subcommittee of the Resources Committee: Office of Native American and Insular Affairs.

  •  signed up for Aging (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, annan, KiaRioGrl79

    It's a Special Committee of the Senate, meaning it doesn't have authority to send legislation to the floor.  But it has a role to play in getting exposure for issues...

    "The government is us, you and me." - TR

    by Chance the gardener on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 02:54:45 PM PST

    •  also signed up for Retirement Security and Aging (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hummingbird, annan, KiaRioGrl79

      ...a subcommittee of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

      I could use some help from a few pension buffs though, as my experience is more on the health side.

      The Subcommittee has oversight over many issues including: Pensions, the Older Americans Act; elder abuse, neglect, and scams affecting seniors; long-term care services for older Americans, family caregiving, and the health of the aging population.

      "The government is us, you and me." - TR

      by Chance the gardener on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 03:02:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interested in signing up for the Joint Economic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Committee. I haven't been able to do so yet. Would appreciate help.

    A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. Napoleon Bonaparte

    by 4Freedom on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 03:02:59 PM PST

  •  Resource depository (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, GN1927, greenreflex, dangangry, akasha

    I can set up some repositories on dKosopedia for .pdf and .mp3 files, in case you guys want to start saving and referencing Committee documents and, as mentioned above, webcasts of Committee meetings.

    I could probably also set up dKosopedia mailing lists, though I haven't done that for any project yet. If you're happy with the yahoo list, then that's ok.

    Also, when writing DailyKos diaries, you can easily reference dKosopedia articles by putting the article name inside the following: dk followed by two left braces "{{" followed by two right braces "}}". So dk {{Congressional Committe Project}} (without the space between "dk" and "{{") becomes Congressional Committees Project. Note the nifty dotted underline link. I think we thank Jeremy for this.

    Forget the myths the media's created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand. -- Deep Throat

    by The Centerfielder on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 03:07:46 PM PST

  •  This is such a great idea (0+ / 0-)

    I'd love to be involved, but am afraid I don't have the time at the moment. If you happen to be keeping a list of 'interested folks unable to commit right now', feel free to add me to that. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing the fruits of others' labors, and may jump in sometime in the future if my crazy schedule lightens up a bit. Thanks to everyone taking this on!

    Renewable energy is homeland security!

    by lil bird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 03:11:54 PM PST

  •  I signed up over the weekend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex

    For the subcommittee on Middle East and Central Asia.

  •  Govtrack website (5+ / 0-)

    Found this website with a similar person that's run by a single person. We need to coopt him.

  •  Do it for Walt Whitman (4+ / 0-)

    I wrote a diary last March after reading another one by DemHillStaffer about following the daily agenda of Congress.  

    In it I quoted this excerpt below from Walt Whitman's journal.  

    ...This is the last day of the 37th Congress, the body during whose existence (1861, '62, '63) the most important, confusing and abnormal events in American history (shall I not say in the history of the world?) have happened.  The 37th Congress, as I have watched their debates (wrangles, propositions, personal presences, physiognomies) in their magnificent skylighted halls; [have] gone night and day, sat, seen, listened -- sometimes literally doubting for a moment my own eyes and ears.

    I have learned many new things.  These then are the men who do as they do -- in the midst of the greatest historic chaos and gigantic tussle of the greatest of ages. Look at the little mannikins, shrewd, gabby, dressed in black, hopping about, making motions, amendments. It is very curious. Last night I have gone to the gallery to look at them down there, flooded with light stronger than sunshine, in the most magnificent and best proportioned rooms in the world.

    What events are about them and all of us!  Whither are we drifting?  Who knows? It seems as if these electric and terrible days were enough to put life in a paving stone -- as if these must needs form our representative men that have to do with them; [give them] faces of grandeur, actions of awe, vestments of majesty.

    -- Washington, February 16, 1863

    He was kind of like a blogger of his day, writing dispatches to the Brooklyn Eagle and New York Times and spending long hours comforting the wounded in military hospitals (writing letters, bringing candy) and observing debate in Congress.

    "The government is us, you and me." - TR

    by Chance the gardener on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 03:20:35 PM PST

  •  I signed up for ..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, annan, KiaRioGrl79

    the Bioterrorism and Public Health Awareness subcommittee (Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.)

    Excellent idea.

    Senator Conrad Burns thinks firefighters are lazy. Vote for Tester!

    by cici414 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 03:44:13 PM PST

  •  Wow this gives a whole new meaning to... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, annan, KiaRioGrl79, ohcanada of representatives being 'the peoples house'. Do I assume correctly that this activity involves looking over both Ds & Rs of all commitees? Or is this focused on the 'product' and not the various inputs from cmte members? Probably jumped too far ahead. You know of course this is going to really cause serious wedggees for these people...I mean our elected officials. Will this cause them to go underground or even further into the night and smoke filled windowless rooms? Fooling ourselves if we think they will accept this with open arms and smiles. Especially those that have been there awhile and comfortable with the present process. Yes this will be very interesting to say the least. Definitely want to be part of this venture into netgrass roots govt representation. How does that old saying go; you can run and you can hide but you can't run and hide.

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of the people.

    by kalihikane on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 03:46:30 PM PST

    •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KiaRioGrl79, klnb1019

      I predict that you're right, kalihikane.

      We're in the happy dance phase right now, but I predict some very interesting roadblocks, speedbumps and detours along the way.

      If we spread out far enough it should be easier to keep the momentum going when things get a bit bumpy: a few successes, a few failures, marking time for a while ...

      I see this like the 50 state strategy. They can't stop all of us and some of us will find ourselves in the right place at the right time.


    •  I hope that is what this means (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenreflex, ybruti, KiaRioGrl79, hsvscg

      I hope that we watch their schedules, listen to their hearings as much as possible and get in touch with staffers on those committees to understand what's going on so that we can have "action items" on the various issues.

      I wonder if any of the staffers are reading this thread?  

      THe one I chose, Global Warming, is jointly chaired currently by Lautenberg and Kerry (minority).  I think I'll probably be able to get access to the staff, because I think at least Kerry's aides on this should help.

      This is really rather cool, we will be citizen lobbyists, which is the way it SHOULD be.  I hope we can also contribute.  

      After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

      by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:02:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lobbyists sure, except we won't... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...have any carrots to lead them in the direction we want to influence them...instead we will only have the 'stick' or full public disclosure through the blogesphere.

        Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of the people.

        by kalihikane on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:43:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wouldn't the carrot be: (0+ / 0-)

          Support progressive issues in committee, and this will translate into support and possibly independent supporters willing to blog about that Senator or Congressperson's progressive stands when the next election comes around?

          Sunlight is the stick, and building a supporter base just by doing your job is the carrot. Free, no effort needed on the part of the Senator or Congressperson...

          Canadians: We love our pot so much that when we run out, we send the army to find more!

          by KiaRioGrl79 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:59:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Our carrots (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenreflex, hsvscg

          AND our sticks are our votes.

          Speech in this country is free, you hack!

          -5.88, -6.82

          by Debby on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 10:15:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, citizen lobbyists (0+ / 0-)

          to compete with the corporate lobbyists. Our stick/carrot is that we vote, corporations don't. This needs to spread beyond just the net. I am going to try and engage my non blogger friends with updates/actions on legislation from this project that would interest them.

      •  Hummingbird... (0+ / 0-)

        you put into words the very thing I would have, if I could speak so well!

        Citizen Lobbyist--ought to be the only kind.


  •  Interested in helping (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, annan, KiaRioGrl79

    As of now, the house sumcommitte on space and aeronautics is unassigned.  My Congressman, Mark Udall (D-CO) is on this committee, so I'd like to help keep track of what's going on here.  I'll sign up through the wiki page also.

    My contact info is in my profile.  Depending on the task, I'm fairly new to most of this.

    Thanks for helping start this up!  I've thought recently of starting something like this for my state.  I think we'd all be better off if we had a better pulse on what's going on in the chambers.

  •  I think this project can go beyond Dailykos. (5+ / 0-)

    Our Democratic club was trying to organize a way to monitor certain issue-based topics(like health care, veterans issues etc) so we could act on them if necessary. Monitoring the committees instead sounds like a really good way to go! Our group, mostly retirees and non bloggers, can tap into this project and increase the strength of the response. We would be adding another layer or circle of people that can act based on the reports from the  commiittee monitors. So, in other words, we would be adding monitors to follow the monitors. Am I making any sense???

    •  The more the merrier! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annan, KiaRioGrl79

      But if they aren't bloggers how would they contribute?  I mean how would they let us know what they had found out?

      After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

      by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:16:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  sounds great! (0+ / 0-)

      perhaps you can act as a liason between your group and the relevant committees, posting things that your group finds, or whatever.

      You are absolutely making sense!

      We'd love to have anyone who can help.  Our government has operated in relative obscurity for too long!  With our numbers, we can really throw some light in there.

      •  I have since emailed the chairs of our (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        legislative committee and they really liked the idea and were very excited! They definitely want to talk about it at our next meeting.

        On a side note, virtually all of my friends who stay up with the issues and vote regularly, get most of their information from MSM and NPR or public television. They don't like to sit in front of a computer and read. They would rather listen to the radio or have the TV on while they are doing something else. They don't realize how much BETTER the information is from websites like this and others! Plus, most of my friends don't have time to read too much because they are working, have families, other interests etc. and politics per se isn't a top priority.  As a consequence, yes, they know about the issues but I don't think they act on them by writing their congress people, or lte, etc. Also, more indepth information may be needed by more people so that they choose, more wisely, our 2008 presidential candidate. My point being, I would like to create more activists among my friends and maybe this project could help this along somehow. Along with our Democratic Club, I may try to organize a few friends that live elsewhere and act as a link and send them summaries from our Club's actions.

        And, instead of just writing our congress people, extend it to include lobbying NPR or Lehrer News hour or MSM or local political TV shows so that our point of view gets some air time. That way we can reach the non-computer user.(I know that lots of people already write the MSM on various issues but trying to expand that wouldn't hurt)

  •  Wow... You guys are inspiring... (5+ / 0-)

    This is the most fantastic idea... !

    -9.13, -7.79 Adolescent Mooncalves Unite!

    by L0kI on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:04:09 PM PST

  •  oh, Annan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have some experience with having worked on the Hill years ago when I worked with the Environmental Defense Fund.  Worked on Toxics issues like Dioxins and lead and water issues.  I chose Global Warming because I have a serious concern about it, but this is probably something that more than one person could watch, because it is my suspicion that once we take back the Congress that a lot of stuff should start happening.

    If there's someone else with more experience, then maybe I could switch to the superfund cleanup subcommittee.  

    But I would like to watch Global Warming actually because I've have followed this issue for years as well.

    After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

    by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:13:30 PM PST

  •  Thanks, annan! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, annan

    As usual, I'm a bit swamped, so I'm going to get my work done for the night before I sign up--that'll give me some time to think about where my interests lie. But this is a fantastic idea, and I can't wait to help out.

    O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

    by RogueStage on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:20:34 PM PST

  •  Should we have (0+ / 0-)

    Subcommittees on the subcommittees?

    After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

    by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:28:43 PM PST

  •  Have some oversight/progress tracking too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I would also recommend some way of tracking progress of folks responsible for certain committees to make sure that if someone falls behind on updating info about a certain committee, that someone else can step in and help out.

    We should just have a few folks go through the committees once in a while to check how the updating is going. Then if some committees seem like they could use extra help, I would them on some "Needs Some Lovin'" page.

    This is only because people's lives change, and someone may be buried in work for a month straight, or someone's life situation may change. Stuff happens. Our community is large enough that someone can step in and help out for a little bit.

    •  Also, make a prioritized committees list (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      selise, Hummingbird, annan, KiaRioGrl79, Syrith

      I would also suggest that someone should go through and make three tiers of committees:

      A. Essential

      B. Should have
      C. Nice to have

      There are a lot of committees and we should make sure to cover the essential ones first.

      Again, I'm sure that we'll cover 100% of the committees at some point, but we could get 80% of the benefit by covering 20% of the most important committees.

      This categorization would probably change based on topics... if a certain committee suddenly was dealing with a hot topic, it could be bumped into a higher tier.

  •  The Stone Soup Project (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shaniriver, annan

    I simply LOVE that title!

    I am one of the volunteers. My expertise is Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and Security, with a focus on Healthcare.

    I plan to watch and report on the workings of the Department of Home Land Securty's Sub-Committee on Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology.

    Those of you who have anything at all to do with Emergency Management are probably all to aware of the gutting of FEMA.

    All one has to do is read through the Sub-Committee's website to see that the focus is now almost exclusively on terrorism and law enforcement, NOT Emergency Management. Is it any wonder that the aftermath of Katrina was so bad?

    Since the Bush Administration took office, the Sub-Committte has been chaired by Representative Dave Reichert (R - WA), who is a specialist in law enforcement, not emergency management.

    In fact, not since James Lee Witt was appointed by President Clinton to head FEMA, has the Agency had any real leadership from the Emergency Management Field.

    That is not to say that folks in Law Enforcement are not part of the Emergency Management TEAM - They are a big part of it. But they are not as well versed in the wide range of needs before, during and after a disaster as those of us who for us it is our profession, or calling.

    And we ALL remember what an unmitigated disaster "Heck of a Job" Brown did. IMO, his appointment to head FEMA was a slap in the face of professional Emergency Managers everywhere.

    IMO, this has to change, and soon. In a nation that sees more than our fair share of natural disasters we need REAL and experienced leadership from Congress on down to the head of the Agency, who's mandate is STILL clear.

    Perhaps, through our efforts we can make that happen. Who's willing to join me try?

  •  Small business committees (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex

    I work for a program partially funded through the small business committees.  So I get a lot of info about what they are doing.  I will pass everything as soon as I get it.

    This is really cool.  Thanks to all those organizing it.

    "Even a little dog can piss on a big building" - Jim Hightower

    by TexH on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:33:24 PM PST

  •  Veterans Affairs - Health (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex, sidonie, KiaRioGrl79

    Recently retired psychologist, worked for VA for 33 years doing medical psychology and bioethics. I know the system and have been appalled at leadership and policy decisions in DVA. I think I could help with this one.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. Bertrand Russell

    by Psyche on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:43:56 PM PST

  •  Count me in... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex, dangangry, akasha

    I happen to know an awful lot about all the winners and losers of each of the Congressional elections this past cycle, and, well, I am an ultrageek.

    -9.50;-6.62. But it don't mean nuttin if you don't put your money where your mouth is

    by ultrageek on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:48:56 PM PST

  •  I'm unsure of wiki formatting (0+ / 0-)

    Can someone send me a link on how to do this?  I was going to start divi'ing up the Committees on the Senate,  but I'm a bit perplexed by this (I know html sorta, but this is new to me).

    Unless that is now how Annan and folks want it divided up, but The Senate side of this doesn't  have the boxes, etc, which make it easier to navigate.  I've been adding links for the subcommittees but there's no way to format it so people know what is a committee and what is a subcomittee in the current table context.  I would like it to look like the rest of the page, if that's doable.

    Unless someone else is already going to do this.  Learn something new everyday!

    After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

    by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 04:50:51 PM PST

    •  I don't know how to do it... (0+ / 0-)

      and that is one of the biggest things on my to do list: enlisting help in finishing off the committee list.

      you could hit edit next to some of the other boxes above that are already finished to check on format, and try copying.

      If you could do this (or anyone else) it would be immensely appreciated!  Just make sure you hit preview first, since these would be pretty major changes.

      (it is possible to revert on a wiki, but I have no Idea how to do that.)

    •  pb found a page on this (0+ / 0-)

      it's in a couple spots above and below, once posted by pb and once by me.

      What are you reading? on Friday mornings

      by plf515 on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 03:40:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  CONCRETE SUGGESTION in self assignments (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex, KiaRioGrl79, possum

    Please try to take a committee or subcommittee that YOUR CONGRESSPERSON is on.  I had realized this and volunteered for Health, under Ways and Means, as Lloyd Doggett is my rep to the US house and he's on that subcommitee.  Much better chances of you getting to talk to staffers if you are a constituent in that district.  It looks like someone put me in Veterans's health, which I don't have connection to, so I moved to Lloyd's other subcommittee in Ways and Means "Select Revenues subcommittee" - whatever that is.  

    Point being, if you don't have a rep on that committee or subcommittee, think twice about signing up for that.  

    Specialized expertise in an area (a disabled veteran in Veteran's Affairs subcommittee, for instance) could also naturally lend itself to an assignment.  However, if we want to have relationships with staffers on these committees, I think #1 consideratoin is whether you're in the district or not.

    cheers to us all for this good start...

    •  Good point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KiaRioGrl79, possum

      That is a great point, paziz. Having constituent connection will surely facilitate communication.

      If you have a connection, but the assignment is already taken please jump in anyway.

      I could see this being a collaborative process. Someone with connections might not have the time, or the person with the time may not have connections.

      Let's make this a collaborative process.

      I'm wondering, will the layout of the committees on the wiki site permit us to ID more than one user name per committee? If not, could we change that so that it would?

      •  I agree... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annan, greenreflex, KiaRioGrl79, possum

        I think it's better to have complete coverage, but In my humble opinion, factors in choosing committees to monitor should be

        1. Local Constituent
        2. Expertise
        1. Coverage of all major committees, regardless.

        The open line of communication of a staffer is invaluable to this project, and that is far more likely if you're a local than if you're an interested party from a state far away.

        Staffers can give you the real story, people we might need to convince with lobbying, etc. - stuff you won't get just reading the text of upcoming legislation.

      •  Only point is that I would bring up (5+ / 0-)

        Is that I think it's important that we have a passion for the issue, as Annan brought up before.  My Representative, Technical and Tactical Intelligence: Anna Eschoo (CA-14) is covering an issue which I really have no expertise on, nor have I studied in depth.  I think it important that people take on the issue that speaks to their heart.  Other people will join on who may indeed be a constituent, but that doesn't mean the "point" person has to be a constituent.  

        These issues are not state issues.  They are national issues.  They effect us all.  I've had absolutely no problem talking to people in John Conyers office or John Kerry's office because I wasn't a Constituent.  Remember, these aren't Republicans.  They realize they represent all American's interests, not just their district or state.  The only one I've EVER had any problem with was Waxman's office (unforuntately).  And I've never encountered that issue when I've called the subcommittees (which I have, on many occassions).

        So if you aren't interested in "Technical and Tactical Intelligence" then there's no reason to pursue it just because that's your Representative.  You aren't going to be good at overseeing this if you don't have some real passion for the subject, and you won't be interested if you have no passion for it.  

        I disagree that we can't be effective if the person isn't our personal Representative or Senator.  I've called all over the House and Senate, and the only ones who really push you on where you are from have been the Republicans, and the few times they have done that, I have said to them "Your decisions affect ALL of us".

        Besides, this isn't about calling them specifically to vote on an issue, (though that will be part of it), this is about working with the committees and subcommittees, and oversight, and transparency.  We are like the good lobbyists on the hill.  Except we are the citizens.  Which is even better.  I hope it makes some of them uncomfortable. :)

        After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

        by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 06:19:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, (0+ / 0-)

          There are probably lots of us that want to act, but aren't necessarily policy wonks and won't be signing up to monitor any committee. We will be following you monitors, reading what you write and then contacting our representatives if they happen to be on a committee that needs action or if a bill comes up for a vote will lobby again.

    •  Sorry if I stuck you (0+ / 0-)

      somewhere where you didn't want to be, as I wrote to RubDMC below (and somewhere on the wiki) I had dozens? of requests to help from users who basically said "I want a committee."  I mean to put no undue expectations on anyone, so I'm really glad that you changed to somewhere you'd rather be.

      As far as being a constituent, I think you're right that having someone with you, or helping with your subcommittee, that could contact the rep and say not only "I'm gathering information for the congressional committe watch project" but also "I'm a constituent" would be helpful.  

      I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from signing up for something that they have a good reason for being involved with: passion, expertise, even just a desire to help.  

    •  I think that's good (0+ / 0-)

      but I also think it's good to take on a group that you are interested in.  I am working on on the Science - Research subcommittee, and my guy (Nadler NY 8) isn't there.

      But what we COULD do is have each of us who are on this project list our congress person, and maybe use that for communication

      What are you reading? on Friday mornings

      by plf515 on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 03:42:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd love to help cover... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, annan

    either (or both) of the Judiciary committees.  I'm a lawyer, which helps!

    •  Hallelujah! I signed up for the House (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, annan

      Judiciary because of my interests in civil and human rights - but I'm NOT a lawyer.  Please join us!

      "Never dought that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the owrld. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by edgery on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:03:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My offer: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, annan, plf515

    I'd be most interested in Judiciary, anything to do with Health, and Veterans Affairs. But you already have some capable Kossacks staying on top of that.

    So - put me where you need me. Whatever doesn't get filled, toss one or two my way.

  •  Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Can't seem to sign myself up for this position.  Can you help?  Keeps telling me I don't exist.  Which wouldn't be a bad thing some days, but not very helpful when you want to exist!

    Knowledge is knowing why you're doing something; wisdom is knowing why you're not doing something else. Me

    by Eric Klein on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 05:28:28 PM PST

  •  I also second what Paziz said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and will check on exactly what Mark Udall (CO -02) is doing in a general way, too.

  •  Question from a newbie!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, annan

    This is inspiring. I knew I had found a great place here. I definitely want in on this.  I particularly like the idea of volunteering to adopt a committee that my congressperson is on. But here is the question, when do the newcomers get on committees? See, my congressman, Bill Thomas, now chair of the Ways and Means committee is retiring, and being replaced by Kevin McCarthy. I definitely would like to use this a chance to be a watchdog on him and the whole committee, two birds with one stone kind of thing... so, does anybody know when that happens?

  •  I've just signed up... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, faithfull

    on the wiki for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee.  

    I'm an environmental policy wonk - about to complete my degree in environmental values and public policy - so I'm looking for a committee that's the best fit for my knowledgebase/interests.

    I noticed that other members had already selected the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, Senate (Commerce) Global Climate Change subcommittee, and House Resources Committees.  Will we be looking for multiple members to work on those committees?  My interest lies with those three most particularly, so if we end up having teams, I'm there!!

    •  please do good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annan, Syrith

      :)I know youll rock like a kossack

      I chose the Transportation and Infrasturcture committee's subcommittee for "water resources and the environment."

      Ill be working with them on a day to day basis. Should be good!

      "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." Abe Lincoln

      by faithfull on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 06:04:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dreamteams! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenreflex, Syrith

      Syrith, try to contact the members who signed up for the committee assignments you're interested in. Check their account profiles for an email address in their account profile.

      It's possible that they were randomly assigned by greenreflex if they hadn't mentioned a preference.

      If they did choose those committees, however, my hunch is that they would love to have someone with you background join the team ...

      •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hummingbird, annan

        I just posted in response to Patrick Kennedy's and Hummingbird's comments on their environment-related committees, as well.  

        So that's four posting right now - Failfull, myself, Patrick and Hummingbird.

        Folks, I vote we create a linked wiki page for all environment-related House and Senate committees and subcommittees.  It's somewhat subjective, but eyeballing it, I see ten or so.  What do you think?

        •  that sounds good to me. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hummingbird, annan

          It could go in the links section, and start a new section, something like committee groups.  If you add a link to a non-existent page, you'll get access to that page and then be able to edit it.  

          An environment category, with links to the wikis of the related subcommittees, would be a great idea, and probably a great place to swap links and information.

          •  Wonderful... (0+ / 0-)

            Who can set it up?  I have limited Wiki proficiency... though I think it's going to grow quick!

          •  It will cross-over (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            to many other related areas.  That's what makes this idea so amazingly grassy/netty rooty. :)

            I mentioned above that green energy/wind farms cross into both energy issues and helping native tribes and farmers with self-sufficiency.  This is ultimately what our work will do, is help all groups in their "inter-connectedness".  I'm getting tired.  Had enough excitement for one day, especially after my alpacas had a blood fight (shudder).  BOYS!

            So I'll check in tomorrow, hopefully there will already be a new post up or this will keep going.

            Actually what we need is our own subset of the blog, bnecause this concept is huge.

            After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

            by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 10:49:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Count me in! (0+ / 0-)

          I'm all for it.  This feels REALLY good.

          You can call me tonight, Syrith, if you are still awake.

          After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

          by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:36:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think there are several people (0+ / 0-)

        who, over the next few days, will be realizing that I stuck them in random committees.  If there is someone where you want to be, contact them, or add yourself to the discussion page under the wiki for that particular page, and see if they respond.

        If someone is inactive for long while, then I suppose we'd reorganize that space from that point.

    •  Heya (0+ / 0-)
      This is positively astonishing in it's scope.  Talk about a truly organic netroots campaign!

      I emailed you Syrinth, with my phone number.  Let's brainstorm!

      After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

      by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:27:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey Hummingbird - (0+ / 0-)

        got your email.  Call you tomorrow and we can discuss all this!  I also got an email from Patrick Kennedy, who's got Senate Environment committee.

        I'm hoping to get us our own environment committees page, where we can talk with one another and share info and contacts...

        •  Excellent (0+ / 0-)

          I don't even know what we are going to do together, but I have some real excitement now that we will change the course of this country from the ROOTS.

          Mike Malloy said he finally had hope tonight.  THAT gives ME hope.  He said: "I finally know what you're feeling right now, it's like something has been lifte off your back!"

          "My God a ray of Sunshine now!"

          I'm gonna go watch Jon Stewart and Colbert now, If you are up in an hour, call me.

          Yayayayayaya!  I have something to work on that has some possibility of actually WORKING!

          After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

          by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:57:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! (7+ / 0-)

    I just saw this diary and am thrilled to see my stone soup story at the top!  Very cool.  I am indeed a wandering kossikranian (never having posted a whole diary), and have never felt so much a part of this community until now, but I was inspired by the idea that we could keep our eyes on the government if enough people were willing to lend an eyeball to the effort.  Annan, thanks for pulling the history of this organic, synergistic project together.

  •  I'm already completely overcommitted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so I can't sign up, but one of the things I'm overly committed with is being part of the California Dem Party Rural Caucus. Is there a need for someone to report from that caucus to a kossack working on the related congressional committees?

    There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click)

    by willers on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 06:16:32 PM PST

  •  Graphical mapping of committee "ecosystems" (5+ / 0-)

    I posted briefly above about this, but I want to flesh it out a bit more and see what you all think.

    Looking at the main wiki page as it stands so far, and also thinking about the web of interrelated committees in my area of interest/legislation (environment), it seems that it might be a good idea to create a graphical "map" or chart of some kind that shows the interrelationships between committees.  For instance, a close-knit committee "ecosystem" likely consists of Senate Environment and Public Works, Energy and Natural Resources, and Global Climate Change and Forestry subcommittees, as well as the House Resources, House Transportation and Water subcom.  

    There are more connections like these, and a visual map might clarify, and provide a good linking interface for the rest of the committee wiki pages.  I'm no coder, though, so this would be a team effort.

  •  Hi! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I expressed interest in resources/forest resources and forest health.  Seems I was too late.  If there is another area where I could serve let me know!

  •  Wow (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, annan, greenreflex, jjellin

    I am I reading the Wiki right?  Did I get assigned Homeland Security?  Wow -- thank you, whoever you are.  I'm incredibly flattered-- and very excited to get started.  

    Take a look at Homeland Security, everyone -- 4 subcommittees left!

    (unless, of course, this was a big mistake and I'm just confused, in which case I'll go slink off, now :-)))

    "Nobody ever looks like Joe McCarthy. That's how they get in the door in the first place." - Toby Ziegler

    by iheartbooks on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:07:14 PM PST

    •  that's you! (0+ / 0-)

      go for it!  That's where I put you!  shout if you need anything.

      •  thank you! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm very excited about this.

        And everyone -- come check out the shiny new House Committee on Homeland Security wiki page . . . that needs lots of eyes and would appreciate all the help it can get.

        If you've signed up for an HS subcommittee (and I also believe there are a couple left -- they're going fast!!), come introduce yourself on the page's "discussion" page.  If you haven't signed up, but are interested in the HS committee's workings -- come say hi.

        Thanks again, greenreflex.

        "Nobody ever looks like Joe McCarthy. That's how they get in the door in the first place." - Toby Ziegler

        by iheartbooks on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 08:27:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I signed up for a sub commitee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of the senate judiciary - crime and drugs - where am I supposed to post what I find out about them and what they are doing (not that they've got anything going on right now)?  I stumbled around the page but didn't see anywhere to add any input....if I'm being a pest and expecting things to happen too fast I apologise

  •  Please sign me up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee on National Parks! Please-please-purty-please!

    I believe that there are certain personality types that advocate their own supremacy in the glaring light of truth to the contrary. -6.75/-7.54

    by crose on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:26:43 PM PST

    •  If you mean the house subcommittee (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      on national parks, ybruti is in the name spot, and I can't figure out right now how to add a second name, but if you go to the wiki, make a name and password, and then hit the link for your intended subcommittee, you will be able to access the page for that specific subcommittee.  That page is intended for you to discuss who is in charge of what, and for you to say you're interested.

      Post here if you have questions, and hopefully someone will be around to help if you have any issues.

  •  I have signed up for.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex subcom on water and power resources under the Resources committee.

    I have a recent Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics and am working in a fairly closely related area.

    Of course if you are intereseted in this area please sign up. It would be great to have collaborators.

  •  signed up for select education sub-committee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni, annan, sidonie

    As a current community college professor coordinating service learning initiatives and teaching English, along with my background in training for various industries, I believe this sub-committee of the Committee on Education and the Workforce would be a perfect area of concentration for me.  Not to mention that Pat Tiberi, my Congressman, is the Chair.  I'll have to learn the wiki protocols, but I edited my name into it.

    "Words without actions are the assasins of idealism." Herbert Hoover

    by IngThing on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:29:34 PM PST

    •  Great. (0+ / 0-)

      hopefully we'll be able to have a diary up soon about using the wiki.  A few tips from someone with a total of two days of experience:

      The discussion page is great.  Feel free to post new comments.  In order to reply to a comment, click on the "edit" next to the top of that section, then make a new line at the bottom that starts with a colon (   :    ) and that will automatically indent your comment and make the discussion page easy to read.

      You can sign your comments with a timestamp so that it looks nice and everyone can see who made it by hitting the signature-looking button at the top of the page before you preview your edit.

      Finally, hit preview before you post.  You can edit posts, unlike here, but preview is still your friend.

      Last, have fun!

      write back if you have any questions.

    •  IngThing, I'll help you on the Education (0+ / 0-)

      and Workforce sub-committee. I also teach at a community college, but in Texas instead of your large state. I'll try to sign up later in the day! Email me at Aztlanhome at aol dot com. Thanks!

      Peace is respect for another's rights. Benito Juarez

      by Ignacio Magaloni on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 01:02:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  House Judiciary Committee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I will be watching John Conyers closely anyway (my hero!) so I wouldn't mind being a part of that group.

    I have no qualifications other than I can type and sometimes understand information.

    AND I want to feel as though I am part of the Investigation and/or Impeachment process.

  •  Oh, I did it! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex

    I did it right! I think... I think I am on the National Parks subcommittee of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. If I believe it hard enough, will it be true?

    I believe that there are certain personality types that advocate their own supremacy in the glaring light of truth to the contrary. -6.75/-7.54

    by crose on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:38:35 PM PST

  •  Trans & Infra - Highways, Transit, Pipelines (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, greenreflex

    I signed up for Transportation and Infrastructure - Highways, Transit, and Pipelines in the wiki.

    I've got BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering with the Masters focusing on pipeline corrosion (we haven't had any problems with that this year, have we?).

    I don't really have any expertise in highways or transit, but have experience with electrochemical processes (batteries, fuel cells, and such) and environmental quality issues (water quality, mostly).

  •  Night all! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I hate to leave a party while everything is still hoppin', but I must sleep.

    Well done, everyone ... well done!

  •  and i think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    i'm watching the energy committee's enviro/hazmat subcommittee.  hope that works out. look forward to reading (and writing) more.  
    y'all who came up with this ROCK.

    by decafdyke on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 07:43:08 PM PST

  •  Ok Annan... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Great project (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Small Business:

    House Subcommittee on Rural Enterprises, Agriculture, and Technology

    already reading about how the FY 07 Budget cuts funding in rural areas (specifically agricultural development).

    excited to be a part of this. Kicks the crap out of my 8th grade civics class.

    "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security"-Benjamin Franklin

    by Prog227 on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 08:05:51 PM PST

  •  Let's get the video monitors involved .. (0+ / 0-)

    The A/V diaries on the long lines for voting were actually still shocking, even though you could hear that it was happening on the radio. The videographer who walked the entire half mile of voters waiting in line did a public service. I would hope that there is some follow up, and analysis of these things in DKos dairies. It would be a form of post-election analysis that would help focus the efforts for the next election.
      On the legislative side, the same technique can be applied to legislative issues. It's one thing to talk about veteran's benefits, another to document the need in a way that should affect even the most hard line ideologue on the right wing--such as a video from the winger's district, for instance--thus the videos would do well to adopt the diary round-up system of highlighting their Senate constituentcy (XX-Sen) and their Congressional District Constituentcy (XX-01) etc. Thus, someone could graphically illustrate the national problem, and then "personalize" it for each Senate and Congressional seat. It would make a nice bank of clips for issue-oriented advertising, and local races as well.
      And BTW, it should help to take a bit of the administrative load off of the diary rescue squad, as well. Kudos to them for a great job, in the 2006 elections.

  •  Health care--senate side (0+ / 0-)

    I work in health insurance and Ted Kennedy's one of my senators, so feels like a fit for me.  Just added myself in there, but looks like there are several Health care spots--is there overlap, or just a confusion of names?

    "If God keeps hanging out with politicians, it's gonna hurt his reputation." Molly Ivins

    by lahke on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 08:33:31 PM PST

    •  can you link to the place that seems confused? (0+ / 0-)

      it wouldn't surprise me if there was still a lot of ironing out to be done.  

      I'm not sure if all of the senate subcommittees are done yet.  If anyone has the wiki know-how to check on that, that would definitely be appreciated.

      •  Maybe it's me confused (0+ / 0-)

        I was trying to add myself to the Senate committee on Health. Education, Labor and Pensions, and ended up in the Appropriations subcommittee (discussion?) for Labor, Health & Human Services, etc.  

        Given that what's enacted in the first committee probably needs to be funded in the second, I don't mind being in both.  I'll go try to insert myself in Kennedy's committee now.

        However, further down there's a listing for Health Care without a link--in as a placeholder?

        "If God keeps hanging out with politicians, it's gonna hurt his reputation." Molly Ivins

        by lahke on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 10:29:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Count me in (0+ / 0-)

    Armed Services

    Foreign Relations

    Homeland Security


    Intelligence; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 08:52:27 PM PST

  •  Great idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    On The Bus, greenreflex

    I have added my name to House subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources.  Based on the description I found for this committee they should be the busiest on the Hill.  Not only are they in charge of all the things in their name but they are also responsible for oversight of cabinet departments that control about 70% of the federal budget See list of departments.  

    I picked this sub committee not because of any real expertise in the area other than some involvement in developing software to support alternative programs to incarceration (drug courts, family courts, etc.).  There have been big strides in a new drug developed in CA to treat Meth addiction and I want to keep an eye on what these guys are doing to implement treatments.  Many counties are having great luck with these drug courts but Congress cut some of the funding last year.  I guess it's better to just put people in jail for being addicts than try to help them break the cycle.

    They have recently held hearings (including bids) for the proposed border wall.  I'm going to keep digging into everything these guys have on the table right now and see if there's anything else that needs to have an eye kept on it.

    If anyone would like to join me in monitoring this committee feel free to add your name.

    •  I'm in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      CruznOz - this is the committee I picked too, but I didn't see your name in the table on the main wiki page. It still said unassigned so I put my name there.  I see you did put up the page for the Committee itself so feel free to change the main page - since you arrived first.    I have a big interest in Drug Policy too and work at a Crim. Def. law firm.  
      I can see there's plenty of work to share here so lets be partners on this.  
      Just now cruising the dept. website I found a report on Abstinence and its Critics.  The main critics being  Congressman Waxman and the ACLU.  There's some pretty funny gems in there - definitely diary worthy.  
      Here's some examples of a sex ed curriculum for high school students.   Man - we didn't do this in my class!!!

      Give each group a penile model, some lubricant, spermicide and paper towels, then say... “One step at a time, I want each of you to practice the condom application and removal steps, with or with out a lubricant.  Your teammates have a task, too...They are going to give you a round of applause and praise what you did right.”

      “Go to the store together.  Buy lots of different brands and colors [of condoms].  Plan a special day when you can experiment.  Just talking about how you’ll use all of those condoms can be a turn on.”

      “Invite students to brainstorm ways to increase spontaneity and the likelihood that they’ll use condoms...Examples:  Store condoms under mattress...Eroticize condom use with partner...Use condoms as a method of foreplay...Think up a sexual fantasy using condoms...Act sexy/sensual when putting the condom on...Hide them on your body and ask your partner to find it...Tease each other manually while putting on the condom.”

      Heh.  This is going to be more fun than I thought.  

      Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness. - James Thurber

      by On The Bus on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 10:36:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OK (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. I recc'd  - this is good stuff
    1. I commented on Saturday here, and then spent some time poking around and came up with the following (these are my own notes, so they're gonna be cryptic but they make sense to me)

    This list started as a result of the diary here:
    What We Won, or, Dkos Sends Out Its Eyes
    **Reactivate PIM/SFA as way to track activities in this endeavor – why recreate the wheel?**
    Could be a useful resource
    Congressional Committee Materials Online via GPO Access

    Nursing and Health Matters – House and Senate Committees

    Looks like Henry Waxman is into nursing homes and staffing levels (recently via the Minority Office of the House Committee on Government Reform)

    House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

    Find out who chairs/gets on this subcommittee in the 110th Congress

    Testimony by Hariett Feldman and American Association of Colleges of Nursing (pdf)

    Also, AACN site has government affairs page –

    House Committee on Education and the Workforce – Subcommittee on Select Education (109th Congress)
    Tim Ryan – OH is on this.

    Held hearings in 2005 on Faculty and Nursing Shortage
    Part 1
    Part 2

    House Ways and Means
    Subcommittee on Health
    Democratic members from 109th -
    Fortney Pete Stark, CA
    John Lewis, GA
    Lloyd Doggett, TX
    Mike Thompson, CA
    Rahm Emanuel, IL
    The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Health shall include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means that relate to programs providing payments (from any source) for health care, health delivery systems, or health research.  More specifically, the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Health shall include bills and matters that relate to the health care programs of the Social Security Act (including titles V, XI (Part B), XVIII, and XIX thereof) and, concurrent with the full Committee, tax credit and deduction provisions of the Internal Revenue Code dealing with health insurance premiums and health care costs.

    House Ways and Means
    Democratic members from 109th -
    Charles B. Rangel, NY (will chair in 110th)
    Fortney Pete Stark, CA
    Sander M. Levin, MI
    Benjamin L. Cardin, MD (now Senator)
    Jim McDermott, WA
    John Lewis, GA
    Richard E. Neal, MA (what district?)
    Michael R. McNulty, NY
    John S. Tanner, TN
    Xavier Becerra, CA
    Lloyd Doggett, TX
    Earl Pomeroy, ND
    Stephanie Tubbs Jones, OH
    Mike Thompson, CA
    John B. Larson, CT
    Rahm Emanuel, IL

    As the husband of a nurse, Congressman Thompson is well aware of the problems faced by the nursing community. Additionally, as a member of the Congressional Nursing Caucus and, as chair of the Blue Dog Coalition’s health care task force, Congressman Thompson works with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to address the issues of workforce shortage and workplace conditions.

    House Nursing Caucus Members
    Building on the momentum that helped pass the Nurse Reinvestment Act, Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) established the House Nursing Caucus in January 2003 to educate Congress on the issues important to nurses and the impact nurses have on other important issues, such as homeland security preparedness efforts. The Caucus will hold regular briefings on matters such as the nursing shortage, smallpox vaccinations, Medicare, and health care workplace issues. Since announcing this new organization, 88 Representatives have joined the caucus. Please see below for a list of members.

    Louise Slaughter will chair the House Rules Committee

    Throughout out her entire career in government, health care has been among Rep. Louise Slaughter's top priorities. Rep. Slaughter is considered one of the top health care authorities in the U.S. Congress, with a range of legislative victories under her belt. As the only Member of Congress holding a master's degree in public health, she is uniquely qualified to examine and discuss the health care issues before our nation.

    Rep. Slaughter's record on health care reflects her broad interest and deep commitment in these issues. She is acknowledged as the leading expert in Congress on genetic discrimination issues, having sponsored two bills on this issue and garnered the support of a majority of Congress for banning this practice. During the early 1990s, she was responsible for securing the first $500 million dedicated by Congress to breast cancer research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  She was a leader in efforts to force the NIH to include women in all clinical trials, a practice that had been resisted for many years.  She sponsored the first law directing the NIH to research the miscarriage drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), which had serious health consequences for some children exposed in utero.  Rep. Slaughter has also authored legislation to improve research on women's environmental health, educate Americans about colorectal cancer, and reduce waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare program.   Rep. Slaughter has been active on a wide range of other health issues, including antimicrobial resistance, female genital mutilation, environmental health, and men's health.
    Louise Mcintosh Slaughter, NY
    James P. Mcgovern, MA
    Alcee Hastings, FL
    Doris O. Matsui, CA  

    On an unrelated matter (sort of) Marty Meehan (my rep) was the ranking member in the 109th for Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of House Armed Services - Responsible for DOD counter proliferation and counter terrorism programs and initiatives. In addition, the subcommittee will be responsible for Special Operations Forces, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, information technology policy and programs, force protection policy and oversight, and related intelligence support.

    He’s also on House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property

    1. I went to dKoskapedia - I still can't get my head around this yet, and it's getting late, so I'll get back to it.

    "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

    by RubDMC on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 09:15:32 PM PST

    •  I think I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RubDMC, annan

      plopped you down in charge of something there.  Feel free to delete, edit, or otherwise change where you want to be.  (might want to use "find in this page" when you get there).  

      Let us know if you need help changing things.  I mean to put no expectations on anyone by randomly assigning things, so don't feel bad if you want to switch or erase yourself.  I just wanted to get things moving, and had dozens of comments that said things like "sign me up for something."  I ran with it.

      •  OK, part II (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annan, greenreflex

        Thanks, I'll check it out.

        I dunno about being in charge of anything. I've been told I'm difficult to work with.

        Actually, I'm the one who says it.

        "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

        by RubDMC on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 09:37:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Stone soup! (0+ / 0-)

          We are building a collaborative process here and there should be a niche for all types.

          So, go find yourself a nice, comfy niche in the project and continue doing the great research that you've been doing.

          Don't feel as though you need to be in charge of anything ... just feed your research into a group that will appreciate your work and don't be too concerned about how they go about doing their part!

          Stone soup.

  •  Adding in another important reference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A diary by healthpellets called "A Call To Action: The Legislative Examination Committee" seems to echo this.

    Thought it would be a good inclusion.

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 09:39:23 PM PST

  •  I need HELP signing up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was able to add content to the Science Committee area on the Committee page, but not add myself to the committee. Suggestions?

    •  hit "edit" (0+ / 0-)

      on the right next to the committee chart you wish to alter, then change "unassigned" to your username.

      reply if that was insufficient, and I'm sure someone will help you out.  You can also go to the discussion page on the wiki, and someone will probably help you there too.

      I'm off to bed.

  •  RRRRrrrrr, RRRRrrrrrrr, all revved up! Put me to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    work. Glad to help in any way since this site has me fired up about so much that's important. Dailykos got me out the door to meetings, seminars, protests.  Then I volunteered for the election campaigns for every Dem I could.  

    My areas of INTENSE interest are military/vets and disaster preparedness. I have an education, interest or experience in: science/space; healthcare; taxation; agriculture; union/management relations; and education.  I'm good on the phone, can generally get people to talk to me, excellent negotiator (it comes in handy), and not afraid to ask people for ANYTHING!  You just never know what you might get, but you won't get a darn thing if you don't have the courage to ask.

    My Senators are Obama & Durbin (Illinois), and I was a campaign volunteer for our new rep, Phil Hare (D) 17th District.  Senator Obama has a local office in my city.

    Now, this is probably not the time for adding new labors, but what about state legislatures?  One of the candidates I worked for was our state rep, who was kind enough to thank me personally and also ask if I'd be interested in doing more post-election.  I've learned lots but I want to learn and do more The state legislature seemed like a good starting place.

  •  Pardon me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, jjellin

    for being cheeky, but I took out a bunch of suggestions from this diary on how folks might proceed with researching this project and created a diary of my own. I hope I don't seem like a glory hog since I've only gotten wind of the project tonight, but there were so many good suggestion within the diary, tucked in among volunteer posts or ideas on how to run the whole thing that I felt they needed more light shined on them so I started making a list. Then I thought that others might benefit so decided to diary. If it's offensive or redundant, please let me know and I'll delete. If it's helpful, please feel free to link to it or copy the info somewhere else. Ta!

    Speech in this country is free, you hack!

    -5.88, -6.82

    by Debby on Mon Nov 13, 2006 at 11:13:44 PM PST

    •  Please, let's get cheeky ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Debby, I haven't read  your diary yet, but this is a great idea ... please, let's all get cheeky.

      This idea has grown to such huge proportions that everyone needs to simply jump in and DO whatever they are moved to do.

      Great idea. Looking forward to reading what you wrote.

  •  I got a little start in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on Resources/ Forests and Forest Health.  If anyone wants to go over, take a look and offer advice, edits, or encouragement, feel free!

  •  I just picked up the appropriations subcommittee (0+ / 0-)

    for Science, the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce, and Related Agencies.

    I do have a stake in this, as I am funded via an NIH grant, so I'm keen to get some insight into what's happening.

  •  Not sure if others have noted this, but.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The GAO now offers RSS feeds of its reports and testimony.  Are there any committees that do the same, and if not, why not?

    We would have to migrate to a wiki platform that allows us to read in RSS feeds, but it's an approach that's worth exploring as a way to thoroughly organize committee materials in a timely fashion, leaving the folks who are contributing here to organize their volunteer time more effeciently.

    Have folks heard of SuiteTwo?  It's something being launched by Intel in partnership with some "Web 2.0" providers like SocialText (a wiki application) and Moveable Type and NewsGator.  I'm not really that familiar with it, but thought I'd put it out there.  

    "The government is us, you and me." - TR

    by Chance the gardener on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 03:43:27 AM PST

  •  kos has a site called Our Congress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think it could be a good resource and used as a tool for posting anything breaking that may be harder to break through over here

  •  Pthetic misuse of Committe power (0+ / 0-)

    Arlan Specter is running a hearing on sports.

    The country is falling down around us and instead of delegating this to the appropirate agency, this Judicial committee is having a hearing on sports.
    ( the real reson of course is to prtect the interest of big money lobbyiests and his home state Comcast)

    We really need to make noise about these useless committees as a whole.
    The use of the senate is a further example that congress has no power.

                   Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006
    9 a.m.
            To hold hearings to examine competition in sports programming and broadcasting.

    Arlan Specter R-PA seem to be the only one in attendance from the committee.
    Reason for this hearing" I bet it is to protect the financial interests of Comcast, which is based in Pennsylvania.

  •  Have all business before committees postponed (0+ / 0-)

    except the most vital, until after the next congress is seated.

    There are items of interest to dems and the american people that should be examined before
    a vote in this session by rethugs.

    call for postponement of all except the most vital would be a good idea.

  •  A Question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    On editability of pages.

    IMO, editors should work collaborately, and the editability of pages should be severely restricted.

    Politics and legislative adgenda is a partisan affair, and unlimited editability is a recipe for mischief.

    Ideally, pages, once created, would be more or less read only, and additions would have to be prior approved by the editor(s) of the page.

    Then it might work.

    Otherwise, I'd rather juggle hand grenades with the pins pulled.

    •  Good thinking. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      LOL ... juggling hand greanades with the pins pulled. Now that's a visual!

      While your point is well taken, communication and collaboration is important.

      Finding the balance between open sourcing/transparency issues and security seems to be the issue that we're all struggling with in all aspects of government right now.

      Let's use this as a lab to play with those issues.

  •  My 2 cents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Should we not perhaps alert people like Louise SLaughter, John Conyers, Russ Feingold, Jim Webb, etc , who've commented here before, to keep us aprised of what is going on in their committees too.  They can explain and elucidate abstruse points and the way things work in these committees, sow e're better informed and able to pressure of representatives if need be.

    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" - James Madison

    by Hotspur18 on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:01:35 AM PST

  •  Offshore energy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm an engineer working for the petroleum industry.  I work on the development and re-development of offshore oil and gas field, both domestic and international.  I would greatly enjoy being able to contribute to the oversight of a committee that might have some relation to my area of expertise.  

    Which one or ones would be most relevant?

    Perhaps one of the sub-comittees on energy and natural resources such as energy or water and power.

    "You can ... waste your summer, praying in vain, for a savior to rise from these streets" - Springsteen

    by John in Norway on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:02:13 AM PST

  •  A slightly OT question: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, jjellin

    I went to check out the website for the Ways and Means Committee, since my Rep. (Jim McDermott) serves on that.

    In the "Hot Topics" section, I found the following:

    Economic Update: GOP Tax Policy has American Economy Headed in the Right Direction (Oct. 24, 2006)

    Republicans Have Provided Health Care Solutions (Nov. 1, 2006) (Note: this one's a PDF)


    Apparently, the House Ways and Means Committee has been acting as some kind of GOP press office.

    So, to my question: Is partisan propaganda allowed as a function of Congress, or is this blatant electioneering supposed to be forbidden?

    The "everywhere" that flattery will get you is a stark and terrible place. - James Ernest

    by Robespierrette on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:51:34 AM PST

  •  Ya'll are goning to like this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    John Kerry's office, and the Senator is aware of this project, they've been following the thread. :)

    After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

    by Hummingbird on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 11:23:33 AM PST

  •  Call me an idiot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I still can't sign up for a committee.  My name and password have been confirmed, but I can't seem to assign myself.

    If you can help, that would be great.

    Knowledge is knowing why you're doing something; wisdom is knowing why you're not doing something else. Me

    by Eric Klein on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 03:43:29 PM PST

    •  Assignment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      What is the problem that you are having? Email me if you still have questions. Or just tell me where to assign you.

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        The ones I wanted are taken, so I'll take Government Reform:  National Security, emerging threats...


        Finance:  Long term growth and debt reduction.

        If you could sign me up for these and let me know what I need to do, I'll be more than happy to get going.

        Do I post diaries here or on Wiki?  Just let me know.

        We're going to get an earful once I get started!


        Knowledge is knowing why you're doing something; wisdom is knowing why you're not doing something else. Me

        by Eric Klein on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 05:30:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Group projects! (0+ / 0-)

          Eric, glad to hear you stuck with this.

          Please remember that this can be a group process. Follow your passions, don't just settle for something because someone else put their name in the hat for the committee you are really interested in.

          I'm encouraging small groups of people to work together. That's why the pages linked to each committee on the wiki site will be so important in the future.

          If you see something that really speaks to you, contact the person whose name is on the committee and see if they want help. There are many brave souls out there who just signed up hoping that they would attract like-minded Kossacks.

          Go for it!

          •  Yes, but-- (0+ / 0-)

            Government Reform:  National Security, emerging threats...


            Finance:  Long term growth and debt reduction

            are things I'm very interested in.

            China has over $600 billion in Treasury securities, so let's say we piss off the Chinese and they decide to cash in...we have no economy.

            The GOP talks about the deficit as though its the national debt, and its not.  So while they're asking the country to pat them on the back for a small reduction in the deficit, we're at over $8 trillion in outstanding treasury securities, and adding to it at $2 billion a week because of this stupid war and our inability to pay for it.

            While we stare at Afghanistan and Iraq, we've dropped the ball on creating policy to deal with terrorism in countries like the Philippines.  The money we're wasting in all the wrong places could go to actually create true homeland security, without making the country feel like we're under martial law.  


            Knowledge is knowing why you're doing something; wisdom is knowing why you're not doing something else. Me

            by Eric Klein on Wed Nov 15, 2006 at 10:26:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have been a devoted dkos reader for quite some time now, but this iniative has really given me an impetus to participate. Thank you so much!  You guys rock.
    I am a big proponent of citizen politics, and I believe that all attemps to help enforce accountability are crucial.  I have written letters to Senators and Reps before, but this is a whole new era of participation. Though I am no expert, I have a lot to say about trade, economics, and taxation given that I majored in economics/finance/math in college, and I would love to keep my eyes on something like the Joint Economic committe or Senate Finance. Or maybe even the Domestic & Intl monetary policy subcommittee since Barbara Lee(my rep) serves on it.  But I guess at this point I should just go to the wiki site and contact the coordinators of those oversight committees?

    I offer my talents and enthusiasm to this project.  
    I say let's police the pols, and long live the power of citizen journalism!

Lee, jbou, Deep Dark, Louise, selise, Duckman GR, RobertInWisconsin, Susan S, maryb2004, Sylv, DeminNewJ, Preston, tmo, Carl Nyberg, northsylvania, i dunno, pb, Chance the gardener, Nathan in MD, Cowalker, tankej, musing graze, Odysseus, randompost, hester, vivacia, natasha, timber, Steven R, Sedge, Philosopher, wph, peggy, Kimberly Stone, jimpol, alisonk, Gooserock, Rolfyboy6, Unstable Isotope, RunawayRose, bribri, docdls, Robespierrette, cici414, tommurphy, littlesky, rincewind, Hummingbird, gracieIN, ayoosilver, Debby, Shockwave, LynChi, rogun, Jim W, OLinda, LEP, uffdalib, belle1, dsb, StAdams, azale, Raven Brooks, d3n4l1, DFWmom, WI Deadhead, zenbowl, TarheelDem, mpearl, TampaProgressive, sobermom, Abou Ben Adhem, Joe B, Sandia Blanca, bumblebums, mataliandy, exNYinTX, jancw, Robbien, expat germany, Jerome a Paris, Arthur Dent, cvannatta, bostonjay, Caneel, sardonyx, RubDMC, ellisande, Miss Devore, smintheus, MC in NY, Feanor, GregNYC, bronte17, m00nchild, jkbiscuit, 88kathy, Babsnc, Mariposa, Naturegal, PDXSteve, Silverleaf, DrKate, amsterdam, cartographer, understandinglife, Baldwiny, brown girl in the ring, Loquatrix, highacidity, KMc, boadicea, somd lefty, gayntom, roses, JuliaAnn, slatsg, Ignacio Magaloni, peraspera, murphsurf, L0kI, scotslass, maven98, Mber, bwren, Tinuviel, corncam, erquirk, matt2525, ctsteve, mosolino, DoctorScience, Cedwyn, artebella, celticshel, Janet Strange, hopesprings, bjornmmcc, dejavu, rcvanoz, emmasnacker, danthrax, jakyra, jlynne, paluxy1945, pat bunny, Chicago Lulu, casperr, Rinaldo, alivingston, TiaRachel, cosette, PaulVA, Hawksana, peternight, churchylafemme, HeyMikey, CarbonFiberBoy, Black Maned Pensator, Penny Century, ohiolibrarian, On The Bus, Jesus was a Liberal, witulski, Catte Nappe, renaissance grrrl, greenreflex, Mchll, Mrcia, Cliff Talus, horsewithnoname, lcrp, skids, faithnomore, 4jkb4ia, dcookie, dkmich, 100yearmarch, Garitron, Donna in Rome, ybruti, tigerjade, YetiMonk, bobnbob, In A World Gone Mad, Man Eegee, SanDiegoDem, Dr Seuss, Little Red Hen, DrewDown, kd texan, We hold these truths, faithfull, rickroks, spokanian, TexH, Gowrie Gal, memophage, rapala, MichDeb, Skennet Boch, davidincleveland, joanneleon, danz, ukexpat, lcs, maybeeso in michigan, Owl of Minerva, powwow500, bellevie, Methion, Tami B, ichibon, pop tart, jfdunphy, ArchiPup, Elise, Alegre, docangel, LarisaW, baccaruda, Russron, wuweitim, zaraspooksthra, Halcyon, OpherGopher, sc kitty, PBen, Jashugan, Alien Abductee, Hotspur18, leeroy, lil bird, Clem Yeobright, sidonie, KiaRioGrl79, Richard Carlucci, thefos, vigi, ratzo, Jules Beaujolais, suskind, scribe69, mojo workin, indiemcemopants, majcmb1, SaraBeth, truebeliever, Karmafish, jorndorff, jimreyn, GreyHawk, Moesse, abbeysbooks, illyia, foxglove, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, Ozzie, MountainGoat, teachenglish, NewCon06, Big Nit Attack, neroden, wiscmass, dem4evr, gpm, Dunvegan, gearmonkey, pmob5977, Spathiphyllum, JanL, proudprogressiveCA, empathy, Erevann, Land of Enchantment, axilla, melvin, TimeTogether, Mehitabel9, lgmcp, milkmit, motherlowman, ThaliaR, alchemillamollis, occams hatchet, poco, danmac, Thundergod, Zen Blade, Nightprowlkitty, kraant, PatsBard, SFJen, RogueStage, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, CDNNTX, Ellicatt, Scientician, Terrapin, buhdydharma, Ohio 2nd, Albatross, dangangry, akasha, Doughnutman, goodwill, greenearth, blueoasis, global citizen, A Siegel, alwaysquestion, jasonbl, Skeptical Spectacle, UEtech, tapestry, NearlyNormal, Hells Bells, plf515, CTLiberal, Rusty1776, Potus2020, edgery, vivian darkbloom, andyfoland, bajadudes, LJR, JugOPunch, CA Nana, Persiflage, va dare, Lovo, means are the ends, grokgov, midwife zora, Georgia sailor, wiscow, Bernie68, bstotts, Picot verde, phidda, 73rd virgin, Craig Burnham, slksfca, mariachi mama, Callandor, NeedAFence, Aaa T Tudeattack, AntKat, BentLiberal, pat of butter in a sea of grits, bill e, YoyogiBear, Sidof79, GPinWI, Feeling Blue, ibonewits, Susan Something, Cronesense, Gravedugger, Femlaw, blue armadillo, possum, Harmonious, gloriana, Patrick Kennedy, Mary Mike, SJLeonidas, Ninepatch, drchelo, Grover StL, artisan, lizpolaris, natchezms, Asian Dave, dmsarad, vbdietz, spiraltn, hsvscg, mamafooce, wakemeup7nov06, internezzo, SBE, pioneer111, madgranny, Syrith, JML9999, figurefive, Eric Klein, scratchinmybutt, CheckM8 Groundling, willb48, Spedwybabs, Hens Teeth, ucla grad102, Neon Mama, extradish, rmonroe, cmichaelmouse

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