Nominations by the U.S. President

Nominations by the U.S. President

From Congress.gov, a faceted listing of all nominations from 1981 to date.

Facets include Congress, Nomination Type (Civilian, Military, Select Only), Status of Nomination, Senate Committee, Nominees with US State or Territory Indicated.

I haven’t spent a lot of time with this resource but it appears to be unnecessarily difficult to use.

For example:

Let’s look up the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court:

sonia-sotomayor

Did you notice the absence of any hyperlinks to the three days of hearings, July 13-15, 2009? Or the absence of links to the Senate debate on August 4-5, 2009? Or the absence of links to any of the other documents or agreements?

I remember the WWW being around in 2009 and I am damned sure it is available now!

So, what’s with the lack of hyperlinks?

Do you think they are lurking beneath the surface, waiting to be turned on?

Afraid not. Here is a sample of the underlying content for that page:

<tr>
<td class="date">07/16/2009</td><td class="actions">
   Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held and completed. Hearings printed: S.Hrg. 111-503.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="date">07/15/2009</td><td class="actions">
   Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="date">07/14/2009</td><td class="actions">
   Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="date">07/13/2009</td><td class="actions">
   Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held.</td>
</tr>

I don’t see any hooks for hyperlinking later on. Do you?

Another data hook that is missing is linking historical campaign donations to nominees for offices, particularly in the State Department.

Surely you didn’t think ambassadors were appointed from the professional ranks of the Foreign Service? People who actually speak the languages of the host country and know it customs and habits. What an odd view of American (or any other) government you have.

Some of the larger ambassadorships do require some experience but out of 270 embassies around the world, there are ones that go to mega-donors.

I don’t know the going rate on ambassadorships but linking nominations to donation records could yield a target minimum for donors to shoot for.

Linking nominations to donations would be a non-trivial exercise but certainly doable.

Other suggestions for Congress.gov on these webpages? They respond well to suggestions. Not to say they always agree but they do respond. More than I can say for some government groups.

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