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Tag Archive: documents

Integrating the US’ Documents

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A few weeks ago, we integrated the full text of federal bills and regulations into our alert system, [Scout](https://scout.sunlightfoundation.com). Now, if you visit [CISPA](https://scout.sunlightfoundation.com/item/bill/hr624-113) or a fascinating [cotton rule](https://scout.sunlightfoundation.com/item/regulation/2013-10114), you'll see the original document - nicely formatted, but also well-integrated into Scout's layout. There are a lot of good reasons to integrate the text this way: we want you to see why we alerted you to a document without having to jump off-site, and without clunky iframes. As importantly, we wanted to do this in a way that would be easily reusable by other projects and people. So we **built a tool called [us-documents](https://github.com/unitedstates/documents)** that makes it possible for anyone to do this with federal bills and regulations. It's [available as a Ruby gem](https://rubygems.org/gems/us-documents), and comes with a [command line tool](https://github.com/unitedstates/documents#usage) so that you can use it with Python, Node, or any other language. It lives inside the [unitedstates project](https://github.com/unitedstates) at [unitedstates/documents](https://github.com/unitedstates/documents), and is entirely public domain.

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How confusing are earmark disclosures?

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When Rep. Neil Abercrombie requested an earmark in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill to fund "Saddle Road Phase 5," he listed (on page two of that mega file courtesy of Taxpayers for Common Sense), the "U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, located at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii" as the entity that was the recipient of the funds. Search the spread sheet Taxpayers compile for the list of earmarks in that bill, and only one Abercrombie request turns up: a $9 million earmark for "Access Road, Ph 1" in Pohakuloa TA.

The only thing that connects the two is the ...

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