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As 2011 ends, the first session of the 112th U.S. Congress stumbles to a bad-faith curtain. The third branch of federal government in our representative democracy, Congress is down to a new record-low 11% approval rating, as per Gallup News this week. "This earns Congress a 17% yearly average for 2011, the lowest annual congressional approval rating in Gallup history," they report. USA #1 - we've hit a new bottom! These are the despised, fallible elected officials who write legislation shaping our laws, public policy priorities, & federal budget.

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OpenGovernment.org blog post on VoxPopuLII

December 5, 2011 - by David Moore

I'm pleased to have been asked to contribute a blog post on our work with OpenGovernment.org to VoxPopuLII, a legal research blog. Published today. Topics include the following: visceral contemporary public distrust of government; improved policy outcomes through deliberative democracy; mitigating systemic corruption through radical transparency; how researchers can use OpenGovernment to find & cite official bill text & legislative actions; OG's #opengov data partners & NGO allies; and our vision of making civic engagement as easy as using your favorite social networking service. Hope you'll read the post, click through for more info about it and a preview of what I think is its most share-able content.

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The current U.S. Congress is broken and corrupt. By broken, we mean the un-democratic rules of the U.S. Senate have crashed the system. By corrupt, we don't mean one party or another -- the ethics of the institution itself have crumbled in the wave of money in politics. We're working to fix it, as part of the reform community. And we have a good start, but there's a lot yet to do.

For us, it all comes down to this basic point: transparency, and only total transparency, breeds public trust. Click through to see examples and successful use cases of how people have used OpenCongress over the past year for greater transparency in our government and to get involved with Congress on the issues of health care reform, financial reform, and unemployment benefits. Then, please support our non-profit work with a tax-deductible donation.

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