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  1.    #1  
    More details at Open Government Directive [PDF] and the article WH Releases Open Government Directive: Transparency (Plus) Engagement (Equals) More Democracy

    Obama announced today a sweeping transparency policy for critical data from every governmental agency.

    Here are a few of the juicy bits:
    • Agencies get 45 days to "identify and publish online in an open format at least three high-value data sets. "
    • Agencies get 60 days to "create an Open Government Webpage . . . to serve as the gateway for agency activities related to the Open Government Directive and shall maintain and update that webpage in a timely fashion."
    • Agencies have 45 days to "designate a high-level senior official to be accountable for the quality and objectivity of, and internal controls over" publicly disseminated Federal spending information.
    • Each agency has 120 days to "develop and publish on its Open Government Webpage an Open Government Plan that will describe how it will improve transparency and integrate public participation and collaboration into its activities."
    This is good stuff. Within just months we should be able to view data on how governmental money is spent, raw data from governmental projects' efficiency reports, and more all in one easy to access place.

    Ease of access is important. A lot of this information is public already but is either stored in meatspace and must be requested by a government information request form, or buried deep in the bowels of some god awful webpage that lists data in an awful manner or requires flash or some nonsense to even read. The main benefit of this plan is that all agencies must present their data in a standard format such as PDF or CSV and it must be easily accessible for whomever wants it. A lot of these new feeds will be going to the newly created data.gov, which is a great thing for journalists and citizen bloggers (and programmers like me who can use the standardized feeds for visualization programs).

    Conservatives will trot out the silly memes of "he didn't let us read the healthcare bill for a week before voting, proof he's faking it!" without noting that it was mostly an attempt by the conservatives to delay the healthcare bill and not meant in any way shape or form to help. This is beyond those petty political snipes, this paves the way for citizens to check numbers and information themselves directly from governmental agencies without getting tangled in red tape or installing a special proprietary browser plugin. Without this, there is no guarantee that you would be able to read the data on your Pre, but now it is guaranteed to be in PDF form.

    All in all this is great news and will go a long way to reducing inefficiency by allowing people to point out redundancies and waste in previously opaque programs. This is also wonderful news for the future of the web since it allows data to be freely mingled and aggregated by third-party programs which will greatly enhance out ability to view and digest the massive amount of data that will be generated.

    A good democracy is an informed democracy.
  2. #2  
    Hopefully he follows through on this promise better than he did with the "every bill will be read" bs.
    Your Pre wants Word Whirl from the App Catalog.

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  3. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #3  
    Hello,

    So...a policy to do what he said he was going to do in the first place (and hasn't) is something to cheer about?

    I promise we will have a transparent administration, and when we don't, I will promise it again.

    But hey--I'm the forgiving type. I'd be happy to see something actually done that allows the citizens to hold their government accountable. I'll not hold my breath however.

    KAM
  4. #4  
    Haha "in a timely fashion".
    They could at least give that an arbitrary number too.
    I wonder how these sites are made and how much they cost... do they have dedicated web guys for each agency?? or is it like a blog post?

    Democrats Republicans.. still politicians.
  5. groovy's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    Hello,

    So...a policy to do what he said he was going to do in the first place (and hasn't) is something to cheer about?

    I promise we will have a transparent administration, and when we don't, I will promise it again.

    But hey--I'm the forgiving type. I'd be happy to see something actually done that allows the citizens to hold their government accountable. I'll not hold my breath however.

    KAM
    You must remember that the important thing is not the promise itself but the hope that the promise inspires.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    You must remember that the important thing is not the promise itself but the hope that the promise inspires.
    Obama has so far kept 63 campaign promises, compromised on 16, and broken only 7 out of the the 500 St. Petersburg Times is keeping track of at PolitiFact | The Obameter: Tracking Barack Obama's Campaign Promises.

    Nevertheless, I'm not ashamed of being hopeful, and Obama said he wasn't ashamed of being called a "hope-monger." Hope is what built this country, and hope, not cynicism, will continue to build it.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    You must remember that the important thing is not the promise itself but the hope that the promise inspires.
    I promise that if you do not enact this new and completely original stimulus package that unemployment will skyrocket to 10 percent... oops.

    I promise that if we don't enact this Healthcare Reform bill as is that the world will end on 12-12-12.

    I promise we will save or create millions of jobs... er maybe just save because you can't track saved jobs.

    You can be nearly 100 percent sure that everything that comes after the words "I Promise" is going to be pure fluff when coming out of the mouth of a politician, Republican or Democrat. Unless it is a promise to increase their wages, then it's a guarantee.
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  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    Hello,

    So...a policy to do what he said he was going to do in the first place (and hasn't) is something to cheer about?

    I promise we will have a transparent administration, and when we don't, I will promise it again.

    But hey--I'm the forgiving type. I'd be happy to see something actually done that allows the citizens to hold their government accountable. I'll not hold my breath however.

    KAM

    Because ALL campaign promises should be accomplished in the first 4.5 hours of taking office...
    "Brace yourself, you beautiful *****. I am about to **** you up with some truth!" - Kenny Powers

    "I don't mind paying taxes. With taxes, I purchase civilization."
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  9. groovy's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by grappler View Post
    Obama has so far kept 63 campaign promises, compromised on 16, and broken only 7 out of the the 500 St. Petersburg Times is keeping track of at PolitiFact | The Obameter: Tracking Barack Obama's Campaign Promises.

    Nevertheless, I'm not ashamed of being hopeful, and Obama said he wasn't ashamed of being called a "hope-monger." Hope is what built this country, and hope, not cynicism, will continue to build it.
    Thanks to a basically free pass with the stimulus plan. Without the emergency stimulus program most of those 63 "kept promises" would still be just words. But, one problem I have with PolitiFact's "Truth-o-meter" is that it counts a plan as promise kept. Sure, several acts were passed with the stimulus but that doesn't mean any of those acts will cring the promises to fruition.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by grappler View Post
    Obama has so far kept 63 campaign promises, compromised on 16, and broken only 7 out of the the 500 St. Petersburg Times is keeping track of at PolitiFact | The Obameter: Tracking Barack Obama's Campaign Promises.

    Nevertheless, I'm not ashamed of being hopeful, and Obama said he wasn't ashamed of being called a "hope-monger." Hope is what built this country, and hope, not cynicism, will continue to build it.
    Politifact (part of the St. Petersburg Times...nowhere near a "middle-of-the-road" newspaper) is very gracious with it's "Promise Kept" status. Seriously...they even gave a "Kept" for getting his kids a dog.

    It gave him a "Kept" for making promises on paper. No permanent bases in Iraq? We still have bases in Iraq; they're not gone yet and the administration left plenty of wiggle room to keep bases there. The same applies to "Weatherizing 1 Million Homes." Politifact even says that there's not enough funding to accomplish it but still counts it as a "Kept."

    It also gave a "Kept" regardless of the results. Granted, he may have done what he said he would do, but just because an idea is implemented doesn't mean the idea will produce the promised results. The "Foreclosure Prevention Fund" is down as a "Kept" although only about 16% of people that apply actually receive help.

    Many "Kepts" involve "increase spending" or "seek funding," and I doubt ANYONE had any reservations that we'd see that. $3.5 TRILLION this year alone. Not a good "Kept," IMO.The flip side of this is that it's virtually impossible for him to keep his promise to cut "the deficit" in half by the end of his first term. (Ah, but I don't believe he ever said he would cut HIS deficit by half, just the Bush era one. Still...)

    The ban on lobbyists gifts as a "Kept" should also have an asterisk. Restricting lobbyists? Rah! Things is, that doesn't do anything to prevent special interests from influencing policy. Makes good news print, but ultimately makes little impact.

    One thing to keep in mind is that Obama's "hope" and the "hope" of the founders of this country are very different. The Founders wanted individuals to be free to live their lives as they wished, free from a system that dictated your status based upon your birth. Your future was determined by your hard work. Obama's version of "hope" is to take from one group of people and give it to another of his choosing. And he's worked hard at keeping that promise.
  11. RPFTW's Avatar
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    #11  
    lol

    "Nothing in this Directive shall be construed to supersede existing requirements for review and clearance of pre-decisional information by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to legislative, budgetary, administrative, and regulatory materials. Moreover, nothing in this Directive shall be construed to suggest that the presumption of openness precludes the legitimate protection of information whose release would threaten national security, invade personal privacy, breach confidentiality, or damage other genuinely compelling interests."
  12. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenanator View Post
    Because ALL campaign promises should be accomplished in the first 4.5 hours of taking office...
    Perhaps this didn't occur to you, but being transparent isn't actually something to accomplish--its just not hiding things. It takes no effort to not hide things--the media WANTS to cover everything, so...you aren't making much sense.

    Also--its been almost 11 months, not 4.5 hours, so your hyperbole is silly.

    Lastly, the exact opposite is in fact being practiced--just yesterday the Democrats held a Closed door meeting on healthcare with the President, VP and Axlerod--in direct violation of his campaign promise to have this whole debate happen "on c-span."

    They've intentionally obscured things from the public with various backroom dealings. Oh, how quickly the agent of change, alters his tune when he's in office.

    I can't really hold it against someone for being suckered by a slick-talking politician, but what amazes me is the ability to keep on nodding in the midst of it all.

    KAM
  13. #13  
    Obama is so full of ****, yet another empty suit in Washington
  14. #14  
    Tic tic. With every second we get closer to the 2010 "mid election". Time. Sometimes we wish there was more time and sometimes we wish there was less.
    There went 28 sec to write this.
  15. #15  
    As if the Republicans much better. Both of these parties are out of control
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    the media WANTS to cover everything, so...
    I think even you know that the media covers what they want to cover, not everything.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
    Hopefully he follows through on this promise better than he did with the "every bill will be read" bs.
    Emphasis in your post is mine. Are you being sarcastic?
  18. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by sblanter View Post
    I think even you know that the media covers what they want to cover, not everything.
    Well, that is true--the mainstream media is selective about what they cover and how--especially in their high-profile broadcasts, but when you consider all the newspapers that are out there, it is likely that at least someone would be willing to cover most things. Media bias isn't a matter of NO ONE reporting things--it is about the profile of the reports.

    It doesn't change the point however--hiding information, and having closed door meetings (in direct violation of promises) is a planned effort--not an accident. If there is a meeting on Healthcare, C-span would likely cover it--for example, unless they are prevented from doing so and denied access--like the Congress and Obama administration has been doing.

    To listen to the OP, it is as if the Obama administration is a victim of some opacity monster that FORCES these poor honest politicians into hiding information. Those poor victims. It's pathetic.

    It isn't that the Obama administration is doing anything much different from previous administrations--it is the amazing hypocrisy at claiming that they would be different, when they had no intention of doing so when it didn't suit them. It's just a blatant lie and the people which makes the people who believed them into fools. Being made a fool is embarrassing, so they tout placating measures to enable themselves to keep living in denial about the nature of this Administration (no different than any other). This of course puts them into the "fool me twice, shame on me" category.

    KAM
  19. Micael's Avatar
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    #19  
    I'm certain that this directive will only be invoked in an even handed and non partisan way.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  20. solarus's Avatar
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    #20  
    I for one am glad to see something like this happen. Of course being for more transparent government is like saying "I like puppies". Its nice to see some movement towards giving the public the information needed so that we can hold our politicians accountable.

    I'm just not looking forward to going stark raving screaming mad when I get to see the extreme wasteful spending (of both parties) in a very clear manner
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