• http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein
  • http://bitchslappin.net bj

    It’s not just Congress, it’s also oversight of ALL THE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES.

    Good luck with this, my dear Mr. Lessig. We’re all going to need it.

  • Joe Buck

    I’m troubled by Change Congress’s emphasis on ending earmarks, because of its effect on the balance of power between Congress and the executive branch. Yes, there have been horrific abuses of earmarks, like the famous “bridge to nowhere”. But I don’t find it bad or evil that some representatives of economically depressed regions have managed to use their clout to get work that had to be done somewhere, to be done in their districts.

    Eliminate earmarks, and the power to dispense favors to specific regions of the country doesn’t disappear. It just moves to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Already, the Pentagon often arranges for money for a big weapons program to be spent in several hundred different Congressional districts, to make the program unkillable. End earmarks, and the president gets the exclusive power to punish representatives who don’t vote his or her way.

    For me, it would suffice to make the appropriations process fully transparent. There would have to be a name of a senator or congressman/woman attached to every change to every bill at each point in the legislative progress, to go on the Internet the very same day. That way, the earmark power would still exist, but the ability to abuse it would be greatly reduced.

  • http://whatsnotso.blogs.com/ Tom Hagan

    Attended this presentation and was blown away. Here is something that may actually work to reclaim Congress from the interests that have taken it from us by buying it. Change Congress looks to be a great use of the Web to accomplish “bottom up” political reform.

    Too bad this presentation, except for the audio, is not to be found on the Web. Both the Harvard presentation and its Webcast should be made available by Berkman. Change Congress should also carry a link.

    Best alterntive is this link to Prof. Lessig’s March 20 Change Congress launch at the Press Club:

    http://www.lessig.org/blog/2008/03/change_congress_launched.html

    Join and support Change Congress!

    (Perhaps the bigget robbery perpetuated by our bought and paid-for Congress is private heatlth care insurance, whose inefficiency wastes $350 billion per year. For more, see http://whatsnotso.blogs.com/whatsnotso/2008/03/the-great-brain.html )

  • http://whatsnotso.blogs.com/ Tom Hagan

    [Reposted to correct two typos.]

    Attended this presentation and was blown away. Here is something that may actually work to reclaim Congress from the interests that have taken it from us by buying it. Change Congress looks to be a great use of the Web to accomplish “bottom up” political reform.

    Too bad this presentation, except for the audio, is not to be found on the Web. Both the Harvard presentation and its Webcast should be made available by Berkman. Change Congress should also carry a link.

    Best alterntive is this link to Prof. Lessig’s March 20 Change Congress launch at the Press Club:

    http://www.lessig.org/blog/2008/03/change_congress_launched.html

    Join and support Change Congress!

    (Perhaps the biggest robbery perpetuated by our bought and paid-for Congress is private heatlth insurance, whose inefficiency wastes $350 billion per year. For more, see http://whatsnotso.blogs.com/whatsnotso/2008/03/the-great-brain.html )

  • http://www.everydotconnects.com Mike Chapman

    I just found your blog, but had heard about you from friends. I’ll be very interested to see how you do with Change Congress. I spent many years around the process on Capitol Hill and there is certainly need for reforms.

  • http://nostradamusnewpredictions.blogspot.com Nostradamus

    Thank you for your work Mr. Lessig, to reclaim Congress from the all the interests that have bought it from us. I applaud your “bottom up” approach to political reform. The web has the spark to Change Congress.