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US Senate & House Create YouTube Channels

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the can't-wait-for-them-to-do-something-that-matters dept.

Government 199

eldavojohn writes "Following an election in which online videos played an important role, the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate have opened YouTube channels (or 'hubs') advertised to be a 'backstage pass to your government.' Ideally this will bring transparency to citizens and inform them of their senators' & representatives' positions and ideas."

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oh goodie (4, Funny)

Zashi (992673) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451347)

This we be watched as much as c-span! ....
>_

Re:oh goodie (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451387)

Which is unfortunate but true. Most people do not care about their government.

Even more unfortunate is that I cannot download these videos, at least not without violating the TOS, and so I cannot store my own copies of those proceedings.

Re:oh goodie (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451525)

Here is a nice human interest video from Pelosi:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=wtOW1CxHvNY [youtube.com]

Re:oh goodie (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451665)

Here is a nice human interest video from Pelosi: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wtOW1CxHvNY [youtube.com]

That one's good but even better is this video on equal rights for women from Senator John:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfLAv3JHRwY [youtube.com]

Re:oh goodie (1, Funny)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451709)

OMG. I wish I had mod points. I thought that was fake (somebody just pretending to be Pelosi), but there it is linked from the House's YouTube channel, so it's legit (unless the account was hacked). Kudos to her for that video.

Re:oh goodie (1, Insightful)

Aerynlore (972358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451603)

I think the biggest problem is more with a lack of time then a lack of caring. While apathy is a huge problem, who has time to sit at work and watch YouTube (or CSPAN) video all day? Hell, most of the Congress speeches are already written, rehearsed and recorded before they even step on the floor. They even have the press releases out the day before. How many times have you seen "Senior Senate from a state to deliver speech on [topic de jeur] tomorrow."
So little is actually a surprise inside the chambers that there is no actual reason to watch this crap, on TV or online.

Re:oh goodie (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451741)

Part of the reason for the United Stated Democratic-Republic. Is the fact that most people don't have time for full involvement in the government. While network neutrality may be a big issue for you for others they will take it or leave it. As for all the stuff that goes on.
What I find more annoying is the people who we hire to take care of our government is not there to vote for every bill that goes across, and it is widely accepted that they don't.

Re:oh goodie (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451921)

Part of the reason for the United Stated Democratic-Republic. Is the fact that most people don't have time for full involvement in the government. While network neutrality may be a big issue for you for others they will take it or leave it. As for all the stuff that goes on. What I find more annoying is the people who we hire to take care of our government is not there to vote for every bill that goes across, and it is widely accepted that they don't.

What bothers me is that in Congress, the senators and representatives routinely vote on bills that they have not even read. They rely far too heavily on their staff to process and condense this information for them, which is flawed because we voted for and elected the representative, not his assistant.

Not only do I think they should be required to read every bill on which they vote, I also think that each year they should be forced to copy down the entire tax code, by hand, before they are allowed to take any other action (I wish I could remember where I heard this idea). When that proves impossible perhaps we would see some improvements to the way things are done.

Re:oh goodie (3, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452107)

I also think that each year they should be forced to copy down the entire tax code, by hand, before they are allowed to take any other action (I wish I could remember where I heard this idea). When that proves impossible perhaps we would see some improvements to the way things are done.

The first improvement would be removing the "Write the tax code by hand" requirement.

Re:oh goodie (3, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452759)

The first improvement would be removing the "Write the tax code by hand" requirement.

Why? Maybe it would give them an idea of just how ridicious the tax code really is. According to this [usnews.com] the Federal tax code consists of 3.7 million words. By contrast, all seven Harry Potter novels [answers.com] only clock in at around 1.1 million words.

What's wrong with that picture? It really requires that much complexity to fund the Federal Government?

Re:oh goodie (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26453187)

The first improvement would be removing the "Write the tax code by hand" requirement.

Why? Maybe it would give them an idea of just how ridicious the tax code really is. According to this [usnews.com] the Federal tax code consists of 3.7 million words. By contrast, all seven Harry Potter novels [answers.com] only clock in at around 1.1 million words.

What's wrong with that picture? It really requires that much complexity to fund the Federal Government?

I think it was not so much a criticism of the idea as it is pointing out that it is a "fox guarding the henhouse" situation. Basically, short of a constitutional amendment requiring them to hand-write the tax code, they would just legislate it out of existence first chance they got.

How to get the tax code rewritten (2, Interesting)

Doghouse Riley (1072336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26453253)

....enact both of these.

1. No more withholding. Everyone has to pay their full taxes to the IRS by check or plastic.

2. Change the tax due date from April 15th to the first Monday in November.

Re:oh goodie (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26452263)

What I believe would be a good idea would be a mandatory maximum lifetime for any law. Say 10 years max. After that, if they are not reinstated, they fall away. Problem being is nobody would agree on a lifetime, nor would that want to let any not that important laws go away. Spending too much time keeping up with all the laws etc when it should be getting easier.

Re:oh goodie (0)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452405)

What bothers me is that in Congress, the senators and representatives routinely vote on bills that they have not even read. They rely far too heavily on their staff to process and condense this information for them, which is flawed because we voted for and elected the representative, not his assistant.

And the representative chose the staff, and chose how much to rely on them.

If you don't like it, run for office yourself on a platform of not having your staff read bills and condense information for you, and you can test the theory of whether or not that is really as important to other voters as it clearly is to you.

Re:oh goodie (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26453149)

What bothers me is that in Congress, the senators and representatives routinely vote on bills that they have not even read. They rely far too heavily on their staff to process and condense this information for them, which is flawed because we voted for and elected the representative, not his assistant.

And the representative chose the staff, and chose how much to rely on them.

If you don't like it, run for office yourself on a platform of not having your staff read bills and condense information for you, and you can test the theory of whether or not that is really as important to other voters as it clearly is to you.

I'm just curious as to whether you really consider this to be a constructive response.

The point is not the name of the person who reads a particular bill. The point is that the Founding Fathers intended for most of our experience with government to come from the state and local levels. This is a sound idea and I believe in it. But instead of that, we have a federal government that is so involved and so complex that the people running it have no hope of personally managing their own workload. When I say it bothers me that Congressmen don't read the bills they vote on, I am not saying they are lazy and that I could do a much better job (the absence of those claims from my post was your first clue). I am saying they are dealing with an unwieldy, overly complex system that does not need to be this way. They obviously need their staff to deal with the system as it is, so it's not a leap of faith to say that requiring the representatives to personally take care of thee matters would be a step in the direction of changing how the system currently is. That's all.

Sure, I could run for office and try to do things differently but it would accomplish next to nothing unless the culture itself changes. Other than a slightly more polite "shut up" I'm really wondering what you believe you are telling me that I don't already know or couldn't reason out. You really seem to have taken the most superficial interpretation possible of what I said and responded to it and I think you can do better than that.

Re:oh goodie (5, Informative)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452965)

There is a bill being aggressively pushed by DownsizeDC, the Read The Bills Act [downsizedc.org] , which requires not just that the congressmen read the bill, but requires each bill to be read aloud in session before it can be voted on. This ensures that all congressmen voting on the bill will have heard its text, and it will also do a lot to cut the size of these monstrosities.

In addition, the bill must be posted online 7 days in advance, and no changes may be made without resetting that 7-day period, ensuring that the public can see and react to exactly what will be passed.

Everyone whose heard of this thing (and is not in the political class) is for it, and there's been enough pressure that the House Minority Leader requested the 7-day full-text posting of Obama's stimulus package. It's a great step, and it shows that the pressure from the electorate's phone calls and messages is working, but there's no reason that it should only be applied to a single bill.

The other bill they're pushing for, which I'll mention here because it also represents another process to improve our quality of legislation, is the One Subject at a Time Act [downsizedc.org] . It's pretty self-explanatory, and would end the use of "riders" - sneaking unpopular chunks of legislation (or pork) into other popular or necessary bills.

If you want to see these changes made, one of the best things you can do is to raise awareness of these bills, call your congressmen, and convince your friends and family to do the same.

Re:oh goodie (1)

Poruchik (1004331) | more than 5 years ago | (#26453177)

In 1999, there were 5,514 bills introduced in Congress (not counting procedural and internal Congress housekeeping bills). Let's generously give 30 pages per bill (although many are multi-hundred pages). That would give ~165000 bill pages a year. Let's say an average congressman can read a page a minute (give them a benefit of the doubt). That would make reading bills a full time job, year round. With no time for debates.

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
Winston Churchill

Re:oh goodie (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452867)

I've always thought it would be a good idea to build up a website that listed a bill summary and allow people to vote themselves on the site and it matched them up with politicians with the similar voting records. It really wouldn't take a long time for people to log in, read a summary and vote and they could even read the full bill if they wanted. If the system was robust enough, you could send people an email with the summary and a link they can click on to vote yes or no. Most people sit down and read through email on a regular basis now and clicking a link in an email to vote wouldn't be too bad I don't think.

The only thing that would concern me is earmarked bills. So, I'd first want to see the ability to earmark removed.

You couldn't really use it for popularity polling since there would be no real good way to enforce sign up of only registered citizens (unless it was government run and required a Social Security number?)

Re:oh goodie (3, Interesting)

Tdawgless (1000974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451641)

Some people care about parts of our government. CSPAN doesn't get watched because you have to watch all the parts you don't care about just to get to the parts you do care about. At least now, I can search the videos for the stuff I care about. Like legalizing retroactive abortion...

Re:oh goodie (-1, Redundant)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452267)

retroactive abortion? ........ Isn't that a tad redundant?

Re:oh goodie (2, Funny)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452507)

I had assumed it means that, 20 years down the line, when we realize a fetus should have been aborted, we can take necessary steps to do it "retroactively".

Re:oh goodie (1)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452557)

Some people care about parts of our government. CSPAN doesn't get watched because you have to watch all the parts you don't care about just to get to the parts you do care about.

At least now, I can search the videos for the stuff I care about. Like legalizing retroactive abortion...

Yep. CSPAN gets extremely boring. That's why I'm glad there are sites like CSPAN Junkie [cspanjunkie.org] .

Re:oh goodie (3, Informative)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451671)

Why let something as silly as a little TOS stop you, when it's so utterly pointless and stupid given the ease of acquiring a copy of the video. No one is going to begrudge you for trying to be a better citizen. Except for the politicians perhaps.

For those curious about how to download videos from youtube, this site [blogspot.com] will give you an easy method of doing so.

Re:oh goodie (2, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451857)

Or you can copy it from your /tmp/ folder. Or your ~/.mozilla/firefox/randomgibberishhere.default/Cache/ folder.
Although your link notes that his method yeilds a higher-quality video than coping from cache.

Re:oh goodie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451917)

Yea, who really cares about TOSes, you use a product to suit your needs, not some lame-o Ux written up by some out-of-touch hipster...

I mean, yo really think all those shoulder massage tools are being used according to the TOS???

Re:oh goodie (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26453233)

I mean, yo really think all those shoulder massage tools are being used according to the TOS???

That has got to be one of the best analogies I've seen on /. today. Well done.

Re:oh goodie (1)

MeisterVT (1309831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452583)

Why let something as silly as a little TOS stop you, when it's so utterly pointless and stupid given the ease of acquiring a copy of the video. No one is going to begrudge you for trying to be a better citizen. Except for the politicians perhaps.

Since the politicians write the laws it could be of concern. Of course it could also be one of the first times some politicians had ever really paid attention to what is included in a TOS, for good or bad.

Re:oh goodie (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452983)

Because TOS violations are federal crimes [arstechnica.com] now.

Re:oh goodie (2, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451949)

Oh please!

Who has time to sit there while not being paid and watch someone else all day doing their job? I sure as hell don't. Not to mention it's boring as all hell about 70% of the time because they'll be going over stuff you don't necessarily care about at every minute of the day.

A much better way to get people involved, in my opinion, is to have the channels like they have, but then have links during the channels going to the written legislation they are talking about with summaries and notes from the congressmen about why or why not they support it. It would be awesome to see what my state's people thought about legislation that was being discussed.

Re:oh goodie (1)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451971)

I think your being pessimistic. I'm sure the videos will generate many comments.

Re:oh goodie (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452123)

Which is unfortunate but true. Most people do not care about their government.

A slight exaggeration. We care, but we cannot follow along with it all day long, down to detailed minutia and throwing Filibuster Parties, complete with chips and dip. This ignores what they do when not in session, where the real wheeling and dealing is done. Everyone has an important part to contribute to society, for us, it's our day jobs. We need to supervise the government and ensure that the right trade-offs are being made.

We do rely on media agencies to pay detailed attention to the government, and boil it down in small chunks in an unbiased way. Unfortunately that doesn't happen...what coverage exists always seems to be around hot button issues. It's very difficult to follow the breadcrumbs to figure out what actually is happening...although we generally can know with some precision who Britney Spears is having sex with at any given moment in time.

So insofar as your statement is true, it's because viewers may have more curiosity in Britney's love life than in our senators. That doesn't mean we don't care about our senators or what they're up to. Someone has boiled coverage down to an "either or" scenario.

Re:oh goodie (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26453255)

That's basically why they choose a service like YouTube. Imagine you could and, say, 5 years from now you could open a page that showed us just what our representatives said 5 years ago.

Ponder for a moment what kind of insight you'd gain into current politics if you could watch, say, some speeches of Sen. McCarthy.

Re:oh goodie (2, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451633)

Cspan and this is not meant to be popular. But government transparency. So you know there is a bill on something you feel strong about you can watch the debate, see who is for it who is against it. And not just go those damn republicans or damn democrats. But see who of those voted where, and if the opposition actually gave a good reason or not.

I doubt everyone will watch it like a TV show, but if something you feel important then you just may watch it.

Re:oh goodie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451865)

Who has time to watch c-span? We have elected officials to deal with the minutia of government, and in theory the media to employ persons whose job it is to distill the important stuff. While having access to the detailed workings of congress help somewhat with understanding what our government, and our elected officials in particular, are doing what we really need is openness in other areas. Things like concise bills with clear titles.

Yahoo channels may be better than c-span if they present debates on particular bills as separate, well indexed videos so that we can watch the debates that concern us.

Re:oh goodie (1)

nwssa (993577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451891)

Cosmo Kramer used to watch Canadian Parliament on C-Span

Re:oh goodie (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452083)

Yeah but when watching C-Span for the most part it's live house/senate coverage; you might watch for a week straight and never see your elected rep on camera. Super, ultra-mega boring. This allows you to keep an eye on your elected official and review if what he says is in line with your views or not, as opposed to what he says on the campaign trail. Plus, unlike the Obama videos, you can comment on them, so you can see what others are saying about him.

Re:oh goodie (1)

elloGov (1217998) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452135)

You know it's just an excuse to unblock Youtube at work :)

Re:oh goodie (1)

MeisterVT (1309831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452397)

Excellent, now we can watch Sen. Robert Byrd sleep [youtube.com] through votes. It scares me when the guy stops moving that long.

,

Seriously though, if you actually know who your Senators and Representative are you can see how they act, if they even show up for votes, or how they conduct themselves in session. At least they are finally trying to catch up with the rest of the country on technology.

Coming Next: (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451351)

United States Congress: After Dark

Re:Coming Next: (1)

Redpill82 (1366625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451693)

United States Congress: After Dark

You don't wanna know.

Re:Coming Next: (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451811)

You don't wanna know.

Poor interns and pages.......

YouTubes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451379)

... they must be be thinking

House Remixed (1)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451393)

Can't wait to see floor sessions with all those snarky word balloons superimposed everywhere.

Re:House Remixed (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452149)

you know, I wonder who actually encodes and uploads them. Because if it's a republican, they'll add those on top of democrat speakers and say "this guy's a dick" and "what a bunch of crap" lol.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451395)

Now we can watch the Republicans sit in and try to resolve problems while the Democrats turn out the lights and go home!

Re:Yay! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451899)

Now we can watch the Republicans sit in and try to resolve problems while the Democrats turn out the lights and go home!

Nothing amuses me more than to see our elected officials resolve disputes by acting like Eric Cartman. "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"

Series of Youtubes (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451413)

"Congressmen, YouTube is a series of Tubes..."

Niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451437)

I said niggers. Mod me down now. NOW!!

Re:Niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451511)

Barack? Is that you?

I'll be impressed (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451451)

When the federal budget is released in a well-documented, well-designed XML file format.

Re:I'll be impressed (5, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451659)

Heck, I'll be impressed when I find a well documented, well designed XML file format from anyone..

Re:I'll be impressed (4, Informative)

dmayle (200765) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451689)

If that's what you're waiting for, than you might want to have a look at this article [theatlantic.com] about http://www.usaspending.gov/ [usaspending.gov] ... It's an eye opener...

Re:I'll be impressed (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452575)

If that's what you're waiting for, than you might want to have a look at this article [theatlantic.com] about http://www.usaspending.gov/ [usaspending.gov] ... It's an eye opener...

This comment (and the GP) illustrates the point that people's expectations for the US government are often much lower than justified. This reflects the fact that there is much in the government that is thoughtful, competent, efficient, and honorable.

Re:I'll be impressed (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26453297)

This reflects the fact that there is much in the government that is thoughtful, competent, efficient, and honorable.

Unfortunately, the intersection of those things and "people" is \varnothing.

Re:I'll be impressed (1)

MeisterVT (1309831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452067)

It seems that last week or so I heard mention of a bill being introduced/drawn up that votes on a budget bill couldn't be made until the full text had be posted online in an easily searchable format.

I believe that right now they deliver bills to correspondents/reporters in something like PDF but often on controversial matters it is last minute and the text is not searchable. I would consider an Obama administration at least a small success if he could get something like this accomplished. At least tech-savvy folks could be more aware of what is happening.

Re:I'll be impressed (5, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452167)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<budget>
<available>$1000000000000.02<available>
<whatwewillspend>$10000000000000000000000.03</whatwewillspend>
</budget>

Re:I'll be impressed (4, Funny)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452765)

You sir, have won [tinypic.com] in a way I would have never, in my entire life, imagined possible.

Bravo!

Backstage pass to your government... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451477)

...for ugly people.

privacy issues with using youtube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451521)

aren't there privacy issues with using youtube? persistent cookies track your viewing. is this reasonable for a government activity?

Wow... (1)

Dr.D.IS.GREAT (1249946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451529)

Lets see what them bitches do when the got Web 2.0 pointed at them. there will be great scruitney!

Dr. D

Hmm (3, Insightful)

invisibleairwaves (1266542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451551)

Ideally this will bring transparency to citizens and inform them of their senators & representatives positions and ideas.

+5 Funny.

Re:Hmm (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452403)

Exactly.

I won't be impressed until every meeting that doesn't involve state secrets is recorded and shown on youtube. Then it'll be interesting to see what kind of back-room shenanigans our "representatives" are involved in.

I just saw one (2, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451553)

Check out the A bill to provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes remix featuring Bun B and Lil Wayne.

Killer!

feedback! (1)

Utini420 (444935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451589)

This would be AWESOME if it came with a feed back loop, something like the cellphone services that transcribe voice mails into text messages. Only this would work in reverse, so that all the wonderfully insightful YouTube talkback comments could be enjoyed by our hard-working CongressCritters as they work for the good of the common man.

Re:feedback! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26452069)

Have you read the comments on these video's??
Er,

Have you read any Youtube comments before?

Bill / Monica Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26451607)

I guess that will be on their YouPorn channel instead.

Well, that's nice. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451653)

So I can watch my government officials with inserted annoying advertisements, with crappy video that's blocky and looks like an angry fruit salad, and I can't save it to my own computer or give it to my friends because it would violate the TOS. Wow. There's a token gesture to government accessibility if I ever saw one.

It's almost as bad as the signs at the county service center, where they print in 13 languages "Warning! Big guy with gun go smack smack if past this point you go." Ah, but all the other signs are in english, spanish, and somali... And at the counters, you only get english and a card with a phone number on it that says "go somewhere else." God bless America -- land of the Infinite Queue, and home of the Rejection Letter.

Re:Well, that's nice. (2, Insightful)

Utini420 (444935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451953)

I'm not sure what you're complaining about here. The first bit, I get -- YouTube looks like crap and its a pain to save. Got it. But is the second bit:

1. The signs have too many languages
2. The signs are written poorly
3. The card at the counter doesn't contain these other languages

or (and I suspect its this one)

4. The person at the counter only speaks English

If it is 4, I will pull up just short of saying, "Folks living in America really outta learn English," and instead I'll go with, "My tax dollars can and should be better spent on things other than multi-lingual DMV clerks."

I'm all about government transparency, but I'm also all about folks speaking English in America.

Re:Well, that's nice. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452333)

I think you missed my point. It's that the so-called "accessibility" to these services is a patchwork of inconsistencies that fail to accomplish its main purpose -- which is providing services to all of its citizens. If they're going to be multi-lingual, they should make a proper go of it. As it is now, we all have to search the giant displays for the 10-point sized english text buried somewhere in with a few dozen other languages in a half dozen fonts at different sizes, weights... These posters look more like murals made out of letters than informational notices. I have also received letters before from them where it took me ten minutes to figure out what the point of the letter was because there were a dozen languages competing on the same page. -_- This is epic fail, whatever your native language.

And yes, I agree with you - you should learn to speak the native languages of this country. How good are you at Ojibwe?

Re:Well, that's nice. (1)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452771)

Don't worry, you missed his point too:

What he wrote:
>but I'm also all about folks speaking English in America.

What you wrote:
>And yes, I agree with you - you should learn to speak the native languages of this country.

Seems we shouldn't bother with the extra languages until we can get people that claim to speak English to actually understand English.

Re:Well, that's nice. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452863)

Please read the entire sentence before replying. -_- I was telling him in so many words to frack off, because English is not the native language. And I support multi-lingual resources. I think their implementation to date is full of suck, however.

Re:Well, that's nice. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452827)

So I can watch my government officials with inserted annoying advertisements,

Well, what business is Google in again? Right. Selling ad space.

with crappy video that's blocky and looks like an angry fruit salad

Serving up video is very bandwidth intensive. What were you expecting? A 1080p HD MPEG-4 with a 256 Mb/s Dolby 5.1 surround sound audio track?

I can't save it to my own computer or give it to my friends because it would violate the TOS

You can link it to share with your friends and as far as saving it goes, there's always the Video Downloader extension for Firefox, which will now even automatically transcode it for you (at least on Linux).

Look...what's your alternative? You can already stream Congressional hearings live [c-span.org] , and they also have a video library with all the highlights [c-span.org] .

What more do you want? Blu-Ray discs hand-delivered to your door?

there needs to be a "save" mechanism (4, Insightful)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451721)

If youtube is going to start carrying government videos, presumably funded by taxpayers, the videos need to be public domain and youtube needs to have a built in mechanism to allow views to save the video. I know there are ways of saving the videos already, but youtube does not provide this functionality.

Re:there needs to be a "save" mechanism (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452157)

If youtube is going to start carrying government videos, presumably funded by taxpayers, the videos need to be public domain and youtube needs to have a built in mechanism to allow views to save the video.

Sure, if they are produced by the US government, they have to be in the public domain, but why does Google need to change the features of its service if the government chooses to submit videos to the existing service with the existing features?

Re:there needs to be a "save" mechanism (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452387)

If youtube is going to start carrying government videos, presumably funded by taxpayers, the videos need to be public domain and youtube needs to have a built in mechanism to allow views to save the video. I know there are ways of saving the videos already, but youtube does not provide this functionality.

Google videos does, and it is still operational I believe. All it would take is for Google to mirror a copy of the YouTube video on the Google videos sites.

Whew! What a relief... (1)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451781)

At first, I thought the summary said, "Following an erection in which online videos played an important role...."

Re:Whew! What a relief... (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451851)

that would be the engrish version of the headline.

Re:Whew! What a relief... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26452269)

No, no you didn't.

Plan B (2, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451795)

Sweet...I need a good plan B for when melatonin [wikipedia.org] doesn't work.

Re:Plan B (1)

StaticEngine (135635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452161)

Wait, Congress causes abortions?

Any idea in minutes? (1)

eyecantremember (989837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26451995)

Maybe it's better than nothing, but am I the only one concerned when I hear someone talk uncynically about transparency and true information through YouTube video clips?

TV suffers enough from the short attention span disease. Why do we need to force it on the Internet as well?

For example: If a senator (long shot, I know) has new or non-mainstream ideas about Israel and Palestine, is a 10 minute clip on YouTube gonna cut it? Maybe as an introduction, but that's probably it.

Or to put it this way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cceC3DeFcY [youtube.com]

By the way, I am aware of the irony of posting a YouTube link in order to decry it, so don't bother pointing that out.

What about 508 compliance? (1)

beetle496 (677137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452029)

Anyone find anything that is captioned? Looks like YouTube changed their ToS so the Feds are not endorsing idenification.

Something wrong with hosting it themselves? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452089)

Any particular reason they can't host this content on a .gov server that I could possibly get to from work?

Sorry, just find it annoying to see yet another VERY large victim join the YouTube/MySpace/Facebook herd.

Of course, this also begs the question as to who will be the first to censor this type of content too, yet another issue with relying upon others to host your content.

Re:Something wrong with hosting it themselves? (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452193)

Any particular reason they can't host this content on a .gov server that I could possibly get to from work?

Having it hosted on YouTube doesn't cost the taxpayer anything for hosting and distribution, whereas hosting it on a .gov server would have a cost to the taxpayer.

Re:Something wrong with hosting it themselves? (0, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452643)

Having it hosted on YouTube doesn't cost the taxpayer anything for hosting and distribution, whereas hosting it on a .gov server would have a cost to the taxpayer.

So the IRS is gonna put all their forms up on Google Docs instead of hosting them in-house soon, right?

Re:Something wrong with hosting it themselves? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452803)

So the IRS is gonna put all their forms up on Google Docs instead of hosting them in-house soon, right?

I didn't say anything remotely like that.

The fact that cost is a factor doesn't mean its the only factor, and doesn't mean it applies to every bit of content any part of the government might want to distribute for any purpose in the same way.

Re:Something wrong with hosting it themselves? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452941)

I didn't say anything remotely like that.

I know. I was being a wiseass. I'm in that mood today for some reason.

To make a serious point I think there's a lot of people around here (myself included) that would prefer the ability to watch Congressional proceedings without having to agree to the Youtube terms of service or the C-SPAN copyrights. I would make the case that the costs of setting this up would actually be a proper use of Government funds and I wouldn't mind seeing my tax dollars go towards such a venture.

Why hasn't anyone posted Pelosi's video? (3, Interesting)

DangerTenor (104151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452103)

....in which she rickrolls the taxpaying public [youtube.com] 37 seconds into her Cat Cam video?? (Kudos to TC for posting it...)

Clearly Fiction (1)

Cros13 (206651) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452215)

"Ideally this will bring transparency to citizens and inform them of their senators' & representatives' positions and ideas."

This is clearly fabricated. In what crazy mixed-up world do elected officials have ideas?

Capitol Comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26452243)

Anyone else envisioning the possible replies to the videos, in the words of some of the senators/representatives? Particularly the more... touched members of the US congress?

Alternatively, I can foresee more ingenious types trying to channel said congresscritters.

Bonus points to anyone that manages to sneak in the Robot Chicken segment on the hipped-up CSPAN into the list of videos on these channels.

Translations... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452247)

Of course these videos won't make any sense until they are buffalaxed. [youtube.com]

All along watching you pumping my retard!

Yeah .... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452261)

" Ideally this will bring transparency to citizens and inform them of their senators' & representatives' positions and ideas."

Good Luck with that!

Makes sense to me. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452293)

It only seems fair that they allow us back stage when we're forced to allow them in our back doors.

limit all Congress speeches to 5 minutes? (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452419)

That was an original constraint of YouTube. That could make it worth it. If you can't say it in five minutes, then you can't say it.

And Now We Can Watch (1)

AMSmith42 (60300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452471)

...the new and improved "Do Nothing" Congress... do nothing! Weeeee.

Re:And Now We Can Watch (1)

Frigga's Ring (1044024) | more than 5 years ago | (#26453161)

That seems like a silly thing to say... I mean, with a democratic majority in both the House and Senate and a democrat in the White House, they're going to get a lot done. The only question is "For whom?"

Am I the only loathing seeing Pelosi (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26452731)

pour her heart out and cry on camera under the name LonelyCongresswoman65?

Prediction: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26453277)

If you believe the contents of a video they post, it's government transparency. If you don't believe them, it's propaganda.

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