obameter

Quick Hit: Transparency Corps

A while back I posted about a project I highly approve of, the Obameter.

Current Obameter stats:

Obameter Stats as of 2009-06-30

Obameter Stats as of 2009-06-30

(Hooray for Google Charts!)

Along similar lines, but more participatory, is the Sunlight Foundation’s Transparency Corps project, which aims to enlist internet users en masse (I refuse to use the term “crowdsource”) the tedious work of scrutinizing public, but dense, records to ensure more, well, transparency.  As of this writing, they have only two projects — one to read earmarks and one to exhort Congresspeople to read bills before signing them — but I hope it takes off.  It’s a very good idea.

(Other noteworthy efforts along these lines: the indispensible OpenCongress (also a Sunlight Foundation project); for those of us in Massachusetts, the OpenCongress-inspired OpenMass, run by BMG‘s own Jim Caralis; Filibusted, which as you might guess tracks who filibusters what, how often and for how long; and the unfortunately-named — hey y’all, you might want to notice that they ain’t all men no more — but very handy Know Thy Congressman.  The latter two were the first- and tied-for-third-place winners, respectively, in the Sunlight Foundation’s Apps for America contest, which is also a great idea.)

Quick Hit: The Obameter

From the fine folks who brought you the Truth-O-Meter, the St. Petersburg Times’s PolitiFact has now launched the Obameter, a project to track President Obama’s performance on his campaign promises.  They list 510 promises, and

We rate their status as No Action, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken.

The report card […] provides an up-to-the-minute tally of all the promises.

Found via Feminist Law Profs, with whose opinion I concur1 in noting

One great feature of the Internet is the ability to track the performance of politicians in real time like this.

This is a fantastic project, and I’d love to see this kind of tracking become an expected, normal part of our political discourse.


1 see what I did there?