And this too, do you know about this?

We receive most of our news mediated by journalists or parties interested in some part of the activity at hand.

While this is not intended to be an essay about the state of journalism or the  public relations style of communications we receive from our politicians I want to make a few comments about where I think our feet are , in Alaska and America, and on what ground…

Journalism is undergoing vast changes .  As best as I can figure out it is mostly struggling with maintaining the  line between opinion and fact , a battle as old as journalism itself,   and  too much  shift within it’s own community  towards seeing news as a commodity instead of an activity .

 The internet has affected print journalism and the talking-head-explosion on TV and radio has affected  what we even consider news to the point of foolishness.

We are very wary of the folks we hire to do our public business , our  politicians. This is reflected  in many ways .     Our veering to and fro between  “fresh faces” and the “devil we know”  stands as a generalized expression of hand wringing  about who to trust. We, so many of us, don’t trust much of what our politicians say  about what they will or are doing , no matter what they tell us.

I think it  important to find multiple sources of information and, as we call ourselves a Nation-of Laws- instead -of- men, I think it most important to read and try to understand what laws we live by and what laws we are proposing to live by.

Here’s a cool way to find out what our Congressional delegation is doing, without the extra layer  that TV or print journalism adds.

The Library of Congress maintains  the Thomas page so we can track, study, and watch legislation in Congress. 

Like our Alaska State Legislature site the Thomas page provides numerous ways to find information about legislation, proposed and passed, through many sessions.

A recent search I made ( for something unrelated  ) turned this information up:

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The Library of Congress > THOMAS Home > Bills, Resolutions > Search Results

NEXT PAGE | PREVIOUS PAGE | NEW SEARCH


Items 1 through 2 of 2

1. [111st] H.R.3910 : To authorize a single fisheries cooperative for the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands longline catcher processor subsector, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Larsen, Rick [WA-2] (introduced 10/22/2009)      Cosponsors (3)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 10/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife.

2. [111st] S.1609 : A bill to authorize a single fisheries cooperative for the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands longline catcher processor subsector, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] (introduced 8/6/2009)      Cosponsors (3)
Committees: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Major Action: 12/17/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably. 

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Choosing  S.1609  and choosing  “all Congressional action ” on the resulting page brings you to a link where  you may read the introductory remarks when the bill was first presented and the text of the legislation itself.

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Item 2 of 2 PREVIOUS | NEXT
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S.1609
Title: A bill to authorize a single fisheries cooperative for the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands longline catcher processor subsector, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] (introduced 8/6/2009)      Cosponsors (3)
Related Bills:H.R.3910
Latest Major Action: 12/17/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably.


ALL ACTIONS: 

8/6/2009:
Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR S9009)
8/6/2009:
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. (text of measure as introduced: CR S9009-9010)
12/17/2009:
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably. Item 2 of 2


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As with our state legislature  you can choose to track bills  and so on. This is one I want to watch.

This is a valuable service to Americans . We can find out as much or more here  about what our representatives are doing  than from any other source. When we then look to journalists, analysts, our politicians, and so on , we are better prepared to understand what is really going on.

Also, it’s fun poking around  in the Library of Congress’  digital  collections when you need a break from  it all! 🙂

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Published in: on January 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm  Comments (3)  

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am so glad you pointed this feature out. I am looking around and seeing what all it offers.
    I too, want to watch the bills you mention.
    Isn’t it nice when someone from outside your state wants to come make exclusive rights for themselves at your door step? 🙂

    • Yes- I’ve been wondering about this proposal . Going to ask around … sounds good but also sounds a lot like crab rationalization… pffft.
      Lots of questions…

  2. for whomever ended up here with a search question “what does mean “ordered to be reported without amendment favorably”
    ———————————
    If you poke around in the Thomas Page’s help sections you will turn up :

    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/lawsmade.bysec/introtocomm.html
    and
    ‘Committee of Reporting
    The full committee may then approve, or “report” the legislation with or without amendment back to the House or Senate floor. For a measure that has been reported out, THOMAS lists the Committee(s) of Reporting in the committee display. In very few cases, a committee may unfavorably report out, or disapprove passage of a bill; more commonly, however, such disapproved bills are not reported out at all, but “die” in committee, and no further action is taken.’


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