May 24, 2013 •
America’s New Landmark
It’s that time again! This week we bring you a site about a new presidential library.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library is a great learning experience for the whole family. The library is located in Dallas, Texas and opened on May 1st of 2013.
One of the exhibits is a piece of metal from the World Trade Center’s after 9-11. In most museums you are discouraged from touching exhibits, but in for this exhibit you are encouraged to touch this piece of the towers.
Other exhibits are shelves of files from the Bush presidency for those who wish to research such matters. There is an exhibit featuring the gifts given to President Bush while in office. There are quite a few interesting ones in there like saddles from Kazakhstan and a dress for the First Lady for a White House Dinner with the Queen of England.
It’s a new landmark with a part of history in it. If you’re in Dallas, Texas on a trip or vacation, set some time aside to go to the library. Those of you with presidential library passports, this would be a great place to go to fill in one of your pages.
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time!
Photo of the George W. Bush Library and Museum by J. P. Fagerback on Wikipedia.
April 12, 2013 •
An amazing experience opening today!
It’s Friday, everyone, and time for another Highlighted Site of the Week. This week we will be visiting JFK, an exhibit opening today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the Newseum this year is featuring two exhibits and a film about his life and presidency.
You’ll find three different presentations – both at the Newseum and on their website. They are Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe, Three Shots Were Fired, and A Thousand Days.
The JFK exhibit is an amazing and educational experience. Enjoy the Creating Camelot video:
You can take a virtual tour of the Newseum and find out about its other exhibits here.
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time.
March 8, 2013 •
Unveiled on February 27, 2013
This week we bring you the new Rosa Parks statue that was unveiled at the National Statuary Hall. She is the first African American woman to be honored with a life size statue in the Capitol.
It was on December 1, 1955 that Rosa Parks exercised her right to sit where she wished on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. In honor of that day and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of her birth, there was a ceremony for the unveiling of the Rosa Parks statue in the Capitol on February 27, 2013. Many of Ms. Parks’ relatives were at the unveiling ceremony. This wonderful picture of the statue comes from the Architect of the Capitol website.
According to a recent New York Times article, President Obama offered praise for Ms. Parks: “[The president] chronicled how Mrs. Parks, despite having held no elected office, lacking wealth and living far from the seat of power, touched off a movement that made it possible for him to become president.”
Other speakers said she united the country by choosing to be arrested, instead of giving up her seat.
Rosa Parks was given the highest civilian honors from the White House and Congress. When she died in 2005, she was the first woman “to lie in state” in the Capitol Rotunda.
She will always be remembered for what she did for America.
Enjoy this video from PBS NewsHour:
Thanks for reading and we will see you next time.
January 25, 2013 •
Welcome back to Highlight Site of the Week. This week we bring you a site dealing with Political Buttons.
TIME’s Photos has an online showcase called “Political Buttons from the Button Museum: A Chicago museum portrays the history of American politics through the prism of a simple accessory.”
One of the buttons displayed is from before the Civil War. It displays a visage of Abraham Lincoln in the year he was reelected. TIME shows eleven other buttons besides the Lincoln button, but you can see many more at the Button Museum.
Elizabeth Bartz, President and CEO of State and Federal Communications, has a great assortment of political buttons. Many are framed here at the office of State and Federal Communications. It’s a quite impressive display. Below you can see a few of the buttons she has collected over the years.
Thank you for reading and we will see you next time.
January 18, 2013 •
Debuted on Jan. 13, 1973
As someone who grew up in, let’s say, an earlier television era, Schoolhouse Rock has always held a place of honor in my memory. I learned many things about grammar and American government in these three-minute video gems. This month marks the 40th anniversary of their debut on ABC TV.
Here are a pair of nice tributes to the anniversary: “’I’m just a bill:’ Schoolhouse Rock, 40 years later, still teaches generations” by Kevin Bohn in CNN Politics and “On Schoolhouse Rock’s 40th Anniversary, A Canadian Reflects” by Dana Grinshpan in Government Executive.
To me, the quintessential “America Rock” was I’m Just a Bill. Take a look!
There are so many others. Don’t miss the official Schoolhouse Rock! YouTube Channel where you can relive your favorite memories with Presidential Minute, Conjunction Junction, Figure Eight, I’m Gonna Send Your Vote to College, and many more.
Have a wonderful weekend!
January 4, 2013 •
the First Televised House Proceedings
It’s Friday again and Highlighted Site of the Week has a special edition for you. This week, we honor the anniversary of the first televised broadcast of the U.S. House proceedings, which took place on January 3, 1947.
The first feature is the Historical Highlights page from the U.S. House of Representatives’ History, Art & Archives site. We also have the U.S. Congress and Television page from The Museum of Broadcasting Communications.
On the Archives website, you will find information about what happened during the proceedings. According to the site:
“The first live television broadcast from the House Chamber occurred during the opening session of the 80th Congress (1947–1949). The two-hour broadcast appeared on a local television station and was transmitted to Philadelphia and New York. The broadcast captured the ritual of opening day ceremonies and concluded after Speaker Joseph Martin’s opening address.”
On the Museum site it will give you more in depth details about the congress and their televised proceedings.
If you would like to see videos from the history of the Office of the Clerk, take a look at their YouTube Channel.
Thanks for reading and we will see you next time!
October 19, 2012 •
This week’s Highlighted Site of the Week consists of two sites that talk about apps for keeping track of this year’s political campaigns on your mobile device.
Mashable has a list of six apps, but I am featuring the three most interesting. One of them is NBC Politics, which is an app for the iPad and iPhone. It provides up-to-date NBC election coverage and allows users to predict which candidate will win in each of the states.
Talking Points Memo’s PollTracker is an app for the iPhone. This app gives you the latest news on where the polls stand in both the congressional and presidential elections.
Washington Post Politics is an iPad-only app. It has a map, which is different from the one on NBC Politics. Washington Post Politics shows the polling data of each state and the campaign ads running in the swing states.
The second site I am covering is Venture Beat and I’ll highlight two of the apps they list. Ad Hawk is an app for Android and iOS. It can listen to any political ad and give you the information behind the ads sponsors. It’s pretty much Shazam for campaign ads.
YouTube Election Hub is not a mobile app but is a channel on YouTube that features content from the conventions, the debates, and election news. It also gets its information from ABC News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more.
Check out these sites for more political apps.
Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next time.
July 20, 2012 •
Discover important events in American history
Ever wonder if today’s date holds any significance in American history, or perhaps if your birthday was a time of great importance in the past? Through a site called This Day in History featured by History.com, viewers can select a date and learn about different events that have shaped American society.
72 years ago on this week in 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was selected for an unprecedented third term in office on July 18. As the 32nd president, Roosevelt went on to serve a record of four terms in office, becoming the only U.S. president who served more than two terms.
Roosevelt was elected by the Democratic Party convention for his third term, and despite some disapproval about his running, Roosevelt believed it was his calling to lead his country through difficult times that led the country into World War II. Roosevelt died in office at the age of 63 during his fourth term as president.
This Day in History features a calendar in the top left corner that can navigate to historical information based on the selected date. Viewers can navigate through the site to find related articles or select the featured articles pertaining to the week of a chosen date. The site also includes a What Happened on Your Birthday button and a selection of games and apps under Editor’s Picks.
Explore this site to learn more interesting trivia. Have a nice weekend!
June 29, 2012 •
Made By Comedy Central? It must be funny!
Comedy Central’s Indecision is a website where political humor rules. On this site, they take serious topics and turn them into hilarious jokes. For example, you could read about how “Democrats are avoiding the National Convention like the Plague” and “U.S. wakes up in an Alternate Reality where Obamacare is not killed”.
They have a blog with similar stories as well, covering the presidential campaign and many other topics. The most recent post (as of this writing) was the Top 5 Best reactions to the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare.
Indecision has an app for iPad and iPhone that can keep you up to date with their hilarious news. My favorite feature on the site is the Caption Challenge. You may add your own caption to a photo and the funniest one is chosen to represent that photo or picture.
This is just scratching the surface of the Indecision site. Go check it out for yourself!
Have a good weekend and we’ll see you next time.
June 22, 2012 •
A site that records the deleted Tweets of politicians
It’s time again for our Highlighted Site of the Week. This week’s site, aptly named Politwoops, displays for us the Tweets that politicians delete from their Twitter feed.
Politwoops has this motto: “Sure, we all tweet things we don’t mean to share, but now politicians have no way to hide them. Discover tweets that your politician shared and promptly deleted.”
You may think you know some of these politicians, but with the 334 pages of deleted tweets, you may find out there is a whole other side to them. Sometimes politicians can be a little silly.
I wonder if this website will make some politicians think twice before they send any messages out into the Twitterverse.
Politwoops is an interesting new site. I think I’m going to go home and read through it to find the funniest tweet I can.
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next time!
May 18, 2012 •
User friendly site tracks money in Congress.
This week’s highlighted site focuses on providing transparency of internal congressional spending. LegiStorm researches and publishes public documents relating to, among other things, congressional salaries, financial disclosures and gifts received by members of Congress and their staff.
The website began focusing primarily on salary data but has grown to include information about lobbying data, earmarks, and trips taken by members and their staff. Additionally, LegiStorm posts studies and research on a number issues related to congressional spending and the revolving door between congress and the private sector.
From the website: “The information is provided in a strictly factual, non-partisan fashion. We have no political affiliations and no political purpose except to make the workings of Congress as transparent as possible. We expect this resource to be useful to journalists, researchers, lobbyists and current and would-be staffers – as well as regular citizens who simply want to know how their representatives spend public money.”
Utilizing a very user friendly interface, the website provides intuitive searches of past and current congressional members and staffers. Information includes biographical data, offices held, organization memberships and even family connections on the hill.
LegiStorm offers various levels of membership. Anyone is free to access much of the information provided, but those looking for a more detailed analysis can subscribe on either an express, monthly or annual basis. If you’d like to see how your money is being spent on the people in Congress who work for you, check out LegiStorm.
Enjoy the weekend.
May 11, 2012 •
This week’s highlighted site seeks to help voters make informed decisions.
As campaigns and elections continue to evolve, it becomes more difficult to determine which information is important, which information is relevant and which information is accurate. At Project Vote Smart, the goal is to present factual information without political bias.
The non-profit, non-partisan organization tracks and researches countless pieces of legislation, financial and polling data related to candidacies at all levels. The organization has some paid staff members, but is largely run by volunteers and interns combing through data and making it available to the public.
From the site, “In essence, what Project Vote Smart’s interns and volunteers have done is ensure that tolerance will no longer be the only option available to the millions of us who are tormented by the issueless rhetoric and often misleading attacks that define contemporary American politics.”
Project Vote Smart was founded by a group of legislators, educators and political activists that include President Jimmy Carter, President Gerald Ford, Senator Barry Goldwater and Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro. The organization is still governed by a board of directors from various political ideologies. In order to join the board, a member must also recruit a member from an opposing political view.
Project Vote Smart has a number of ways to stay connected and follow along as the campaign season begins to get into full swing. Enjoy getting to know the government officials that represent you, and have a great weekend.
May 4, 2012 •
Quinnipiac releases latest swing state polling numbers.
As the general presidential election begins, swing states will start to receive more attention from the candidates and national media. This week, our highlighted site focuses on the latest polling data of three major swing states from Quinnipiac University.
Quinnipiac conducted a survey from April 25 – May 1 of registered voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These three states were targeted as no candidate since 1960 has won the White House without winning at least two of them.
When asked: “Turning to this year’s general election for president, if the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote?”
- Florida: Mitt Romney 44% – Barack Obama 43% (1,169 voters, margin of error +/- 2.9%)
- Ohio: Barack Obama 44% – Mitt Romney 42% (1,130 voters, margin of error +/- 2.9%)
- Pennsylvania: Barack Obama 47% – Mitt Romney 39% (1,168 voters, margin of error +/- 2.9%)
Clearly the race is just beginning to heat up as both Florida and Ohio are within the statistical margin of error. Look for the candidates to start spending significant time and money in both of these states as well as a number of other swing states.
Check out the site for complete polling data including favorability ratings, voter opinions on the economy and which candidate for Vice President voters would most like to see Mitt Romney choose. You can also download crosstabs and demographic summaries for each poll and parse the data as deeply as you would like.
Have a great weekend!
March 16, 2012 •
With a dose fun and healthy skepticism, Lobby Comply takes a look into the future:
This week instead of one site, we are highlighting a host of sites. Every presidential election brings with it the desire to predict an outcome. Here are the forecasts of a few pundits (and otherwise):
For the “tried and true”
If you like a voice of experience, take a look at James Zogby’s “Predicting the Presidential Election: 2012” in the Huffington Post. His article presents the finding of American University professor Allan Lichtman, who has correctly predicted the outcome of every election from 1984 through 2008. His vote is on Obama.
U.S. News and World Report’s Paul Bedard and Lauren Fox also talk about Lichtman in “Never-Wrong Pundit Picks Obama to Win in 2012.”
Forbes gives us “Yahoo’s Signal Predicts Presidential Election: Obama Over Romney” by Tomio Geron. Yahoo uses a system called The Signal, which claims to be correct 88% of the time, with a 3% margin of error.
For the social media aficionados
USA Today published “Can social media predict election outcomes?” by Scott Martin and Jon Swartz, who take a look at Facebook and Twitter conversations as election indicators.
The Meltwater Group gives us this word cloud showing us how much buzz the candidates are generating in social media from “We the People – Social Media Voices on Election 2012.”
PRMarketing.com posted “Predicting the 2012 President” by James Rognon, where he predicts Lady Gaga would win if we look solely at social media connections.
For the betting type of person
There is the “2012 United States Presidential Election Betting Odds” on politicalbettingodds.com.
Electoralmap.net’s 2012 Electoral Map Forecast says it uses “data from the Intrade prediction market, where individuals place wagers on the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in each state.”
Who knows, perhaps someday a super-computer will come along with a super algorithm that can – with extreme accuracy – predict the outcome of an upcoming election and we could dispense with all of the campaign ad spending and debates, etc. Until that time, enjoy these sites as they cast their predictions.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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