PATH: Janda's Favorite URLs > Resources on United States Politics and Government

URLs working September 4, 2011

Web Sites for Government Resources, Information 
First Government: Gateway to U.S. Government Sites
Home page of the U.S. Government's Official Web Portal for all government transactions, services, and information. It provides direct online access to federal, state, and local. - the government information portal of the Web
A non-partisan government information portal designed to simplify the search for the best and most relevant government information online. This free resource offers a high-utility collection of top government and civic resources hand-selected by our editorial team for their quality, content and utility.
Find Laws: National and State
FindLaw's Cases and Codes section contains resources and links for both state and federal laws. This includes resources pertaining to constitutions, statutes, cases and more. Run a search for case summaries or select a jurisdiction to browse applicable laws.
Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure
Supported by the National Paralegal College, which describes itself as providing "quality Internet-based education and training for students seeking careers in the paralegal field," this site deals with Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures, Police Interogation, and more. It is wide-ranging with good examples.
Policy Library of Social, Economic, and Foreign Policy Studies
Policy Library is a social, economic and foreign policy resource - updated daily with the latest jobs, research, and events. It's members reach an audience of hundreds of thousands of policy makers, politicians, academics and students. Policy Library was launched in 2001.
Costs of Wartime Contracting
-"Welcome to the website of the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC), an independent, bipartisan legislative commission established to study wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan." You can download the 248 report as a PDF.
U.S. History
Constitution Society
This site aims to eventually provide almost everything one needs to accurately decide what is and is not constitutional in most situations, and what applicable constitutions require one to do. It is for constitutional decision suppor
Common-Place: Interactive Journal of Early American Life
Common-place is a common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Common-place speaks--and listens--to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900.
Religion in Founding of the American Republic (Library of Congress)
This exhibition demonstrates that many of the colonies that in 1776 became the United States of America were settled by men and women of deep religious convictions who in the seventeenth century crossed the Atlantic Ocean to practice their faith freely.
History News Network
Published by George Mason University, this is a wide-ranging site on U.S. and world history. Students might benefit from its "Student Shortcuts" link in the laft-hand frame. It gives tips for writing papers, top sources, and more. Instructors might benefit from visiting its "Teacher's Lounge" with postings for course ideas.
Best History Web Sites
An award-winning portal that contains annotated links to over 1200 history web sites as well as links to hundreds of quality K-12 history lesson plans, history teacher guides, history activities, history games, history quizzes, and more. BOHWS has been recommended by The Chronicle of Higher Education, The National Council for the Social Studies, The New York Public Library, the BBC, Princeton University, -- and many others.
World War II Poster Collection
Provides search capabilities for 338 items, primarily World War II-era posters, featured in this site's database were collected and preserved by the Northwestern University Government and Geographic Information and Data Services Department. Issued by various U.S. government agencies, these posters represent the government's effort, through art, illustration, and photographs, to pull the American people together in a time of adversity for the country and its population.
American Political History On-Line
Comprehensive links to a wide variety of material, skillfully prepared by Richard Jensen, a professor of history for over 35 years at several schools, including the University of Illinois, Harvard, Michigan, West Point, and Moscow State University. He invites email on his site.
Library of Congress: 3 Centuries of Broadsides
In total, the collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. An American Time Capsule, the online presentation of the Printed Ephemera collection, comprises 17,000 of the 28,000 physical items.
Project for the New American Century (foreign policy)
Run by a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle.
U.S. Constitution
The Constitution of the United States of America
Official site of the Government Printing Office. It is searchable, and files are available in ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
Documentary History of the Bill of Rights
Access to texts documenting the background and legislative hostory of the fir ten amendments to the Constitution, along with scholarly commentary.
Law - Constitutional Law Center
History of the Constitution, including Articles of Confederation, Federalist Papers, Founding Fathers, etc.
Sources of the Constitution (1894)
Written more than 100 years ago, it shows how the Constitution was viewed then, with special reference to colonial and English history. For the historically-minded.
Exploring Constitutional Conflicts
This site explores some of the great issues and controversies that surround our Nation's founding document. 
Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics
A library of of the classic books and other works on constitutional government,
State Conventions on Ratification of Constitution
State conventions on the adoption of the federal constitution as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia in 1787 together with the journal of the federal convention Luther Martin's letter, Yates minutes, congressional opinions, Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of '98 - '99, and other illustrations of the constitution in five volumes.
Guide to Law Online: Library of Congress
Prepared by the Law Library of Congress Public Services Division, an annotated guide to sources of information on government and law (national and international) available online. It includes selected links to useful and reliable sites for legal information.
1935 Constitutional History
Andrew McLaughlin's classic book: The purpose of this volume is to present briefly and clearly the constitutional history of the United States during nearly two centuries.
1897 Evolution of the Constitution
Another 100-year old work, showing the Constitution as a Development of Progressive History and not an Isolated Document Struck Off at a Given Time or an Imitation of English or Dutch Forms of Government
Government Organization and Resources
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse
TRAC bills itself as a source for comprehensive, independent, and nonpartisan information about federal enforceent, staffing, and spending.
National Archives and Records Administration
NARA is the nation's record keeper: "Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever. Those valuable records are preserved and are available to you." Of special note are its links to the Federal Register (contains all government regulations), Executive Ordrs, and Public Papers of the President.
NARA Archival Research Catalog
ARC is the online catalog of NARA's nationwide holdings in the Washington, DC area, Regional Archives and Presidential Libraries.
Bernan- Government Publications Network
Bills itself as "America's largest one-stop source of publications from U.S. governmental agencies and intergovernmental organizations worldwide.
GPO Access
A service of the U.S. Government Printing Office that provides free electronic access to a wealth of important information products produced by the Federal Government.
Welcome to the White House
Gateway site to the Presidency.
Economic Report of the President
The Economic Report of the President is an annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. It overviews the nation's economic progress using text and extensive data appendices.
White House Historical Site
A comprehensive site with links to past presidents, first ladies, the Oval Office, Camp David, etc.
WhiteHouse 2008(the presidential campaign)
Northern Illinois University Professor Avi Bass's archive on the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential campaigns.
Skeleton Closet: Scandals on All Presidential Election Candidates:
"All the Dirt on All the Candidates for President since 1995, because character DOES matter."
Electoral College-National Archives 
Definitive government resource for the Electional College.
Commission on Presidential Debates
CPD was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates.
Bush 2002 Tax Cuts
A new study released today by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Children's Defense Fund reveals for the first time who stands to benefit from the 2001-enacted Bush tax cuts in each year from 2001 through 2010.
Presidential Rhetoric
Provides news, information, and resources for those interested in the study of the presidency from a rhetorical perspective. Focusing largely on contemporary presidential issues, assists researchers in locating recent information relating to American presidents, political communication, and rhetorical criticism.
Congress via Thomas
THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. It gives access to Bills, Resolutions Activity in Congress, Congressional Record Schedules, Calendars, Committee Information, Presidential Nominations, Treaties, and Government Resources for Teachers (and students).
Published by the Dirksen Congressional Center, it provides information about the U.S. Congress -- how it works, its members and leaders, and the public policies it produces.
U.S. Senate History
The Senate's Historical Office collects and provides information on important events, precedents, dates, statistics, and historical comparisons of current and past Senate activities for use by members and staff, the media, scholars, and the general public.
Clerk of the House
Compared with Thomas (above), this site is oriented more toward invidual House members, including election results.
Library of Congress
"The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people." That said, it is a public liberary too.
Learning Page of the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections in their teaching.
Contacting the Congress
An up-to-date citizen's congressional directory for the 112th Congress. As of September 01, 2011 there are 538 electronic contact addresses (of which 535 are Web-based contact forms), and 538 home pages known for the 540 members of the 112th Congress.
Congressional Budget Office Home Page
The CBO provides objective, nonpartisan, and timely analyses to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on the wide array of programs covered by the federal budget and
CQ Electonic Library
CQ Press (formerly, Congressional quarterly) publishes widely on U.S. national politics. Unfortunately, virtually everything costs, but but students may have access to CQ publications through their institutional libraries. Here you can see what CQ offers.
Public Citizen's Congress Watch
Champions consumer interests before the U.S. Congress and serves as a government watchdog. "We engage in public education and advocacy, and are focused on the following:
- Strengthening health, safety and financial protections. Our work in this area covers consumer financial protection, patient safety, consumer product safety, auto safety and worker safety.
- Ensuring access to the courts to hold corporations accountable for wrongdoing. Our work in this area covers forced arbitration, whistleblower protections, medical liability, preserving state consumer laws (pre-emption) and court secrecy.
- Strengthening our democracy by exposing and combating the harmful impact of money in politics. Our work in this area focuses on money in politics, government ethics, lobbying reform and open government. 
Bureau of the Budget, Taxation, Expenditures 
Office of Management & Budget
OMB prepares the budget that the President submits annually to Congress.
The Tax History Project at Tax Analysts
Established in 1995, the Project provides scholars, policymakers, journalists, and the general public with information on the history of U.S. public finance.
Federal Reserve Board
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
The central site for the central bank of the United States--the Fed.
Federal Reserve Board Resource Site
The Fed's well-developed search site for students and other researchers.
Federal Election Commission, Campaign Finance, Election Administration
Federal Election Commission: Official Site
In 1975, Congress created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) - the statute that governs the financing of federal elections. The duties of the FEC, which is an independent regulatory agency, are to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections
National Association of State Election Directors
The Mission of the National Association of State Election Directors is to promote accessible, accurate and transparent elections in the United States and U.S. Territories.
Open Directory Project: Elections
A comprehensie general site all all things dealing with elections, constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.
Center for Responsive Politics:
CRP is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government. In short, the Center's mission is to: Inform citizens about how money in politics affects their lives; Empower voters and activists by providing unbiased information; Advocate for a transparent and responsive government
Campaign Finance Institute
Founded in 1999, CFI is a think tank for campaign finance policy that analyzes fundraising by candidates and parties and by interest groups that spend on politics.
Other Government Agencies
List of Federal Agencies
Wikipedia compiled a long list of federal agencies with links to each.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Home Page

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.
Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector.
Department of the Treasury
Its official mission is to maintin a strong economy and create economic and job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable economic growth and stability at home and abroad, strengthen national security by combating threats and protecting the integrity of the financial system, and manage the U.S. Government's finances and resources effectively.
Ideological groups
Christian Coalition
"The Coalition is a political organization, made up of pro-family Americans who care deeply about ensuring that government serves to strengthen and preserve, rather than threaten, our families and our values. To that end, we work continuously to identify, educate and mobilize Christians for effective political action."
Town Hall -- Explore The New Conservative World
" is the #1 conservative website. pulls together political commentary and analysis from over 100 leading columnists and opinion leaders, research from 100 partner organizations, conservative talk-radio and a community of millions of grassroots conservatives."
The New American Century
"Conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.
We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership."
Communitarian Network Home Page
"The Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at The George Washington University, the nation's leading center for communitarian policy research, is a nonpartisan research organization dedicated to finding constructive solutions to social problems through morally informed policy analysis and open moral dialogue."
Amitia Etzioni -- Communitarian Spokesman
"When it comes to communitarianism, the social and political philosophy that emphasizes the importance of community in the functioning of political life, Amitai Etzioni, director of George Washington University's Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, literally wrote the book." Encyclopedia Britannica Blog
The Official Home Page for the Cato Institute
"The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization -- a think tank-- dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues."
The Free State Project
"The Free State Project is an agreement among 20,000 pro-liberty activists to move to New Hampshire, where they will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property."
Univeristy College of Dublin, Ireland --Equality Studies Centre
"Equality Studies is an inter-disciplinary study of significant equalities and inequalities in human life, both as it has been and as it might be. It addresses topics including patterns of inequality, explanations of inequality, principles of equality and equality objectives, egalitarian social, political and economic institutions and strategies for change."
Move On .org)
"The MoveOn family of organizations brings real Americans back into the political process. With 5 million members across America &emdash; from carpenters to stay-at-home moms to business leaders &endash; we work together to realize the progressive promise of our country."
People for the American Way
"PFAW was founded in 1981 by Norman Lear, the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, and a group of business, civic, religious, and civil rights leaders who were disturbed by the divisive rhetoric of newly politicized televangelists."
"Common Dreams is a nonprofit, progressive, nonpartisan citizens' organization founded in 1997 by political activists Craig Brown and his late wife, Lina Newhouser."
Interest Groups
Yahoo! Director of Associations
This link goes to the Yahoo! directory of business and economic trade associations.
Center for Responsive Politics:
Focuses on interest group spending in political campaigns.
The Electronic Policy Network
"a website that provides trenchant policy analysis to the general public and is a network of about 60 member organizations."
Common Cause
"Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. "
Economic Policy Institute
EPI is "a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden discussions about economic policy to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers. EPI believes every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, and retirement security."
National Rifle Association
"Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis," according to a magazine editorial written by Church."
National Resources Defense Council
"NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals."
The National Organization for Women
"Since its founding in 1966, NOW's goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society."
The Concord Coalition
"The Concord Coalition is a nationwide, non-partisan, grassroots organization advocating generationally responsible fiscal policy. The Concord Coalition was founded in 1992 by the late former Senator Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), former Senator Warren Rudman (R-N.H.), and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson. Former Senator Bob Kerrey (D-Ne.) was named a co-chair of the Concord Coalition in January 2002."
Earth Trends: Environmental Information Portal
"As of December 2010, WRI no longer actively maintains EarthTrends or its data collections. WRI has no plans to continue support for EarthTrends and cannot respond to requests for information or assistance. However, the site is still available for your convenience, with the understanding that the data sets available here may be out of date, and in many cases more recent information is available elsewhere." But this page links to other like sites.
Environmental Working Group: Farm Subsidies Database
"The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles."
Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau Home Page
This is a good starting point for information on American society.
Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
You can navigate to the Statistical Abstract from the Census Bureau Home Page, but this is a shortcut.
Congressional Reapportionment: U.S. Census
"The fundamental reason for conducting the decennial census of the United States is to apportion the members of the House of Representatives among the 50 states. A state's resident population consists of those persons "usually resident" in that state (where they live and sleep most of the time). A state's apportionment population is the sum of its resident population and a count of overseas U.S. military and federal civilian employees (and their dependents living with them) allocated to the state, as reported by the employing federal agencies."
U.S. Census: American Community Survey
"The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides data every year -- giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year." These surveys are taken in years between decennial censuses.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
"The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. As an independent statistical agency, BLS serves its diverse user communities by providing products and services that are objective, timely, accurate, and relevant."
State Politics
The Council of State Governments Home Page
"The Council of State Governments is our nation's only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships."
National Conference of State Legislatures
"The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories."
Census of Federal, State, and Local Government
"Information from the Census of Governments (Federal, State, and Local) focused on government organization, public employment, and government finances."
US State/Local Gateway
U.S. Government resources for state and local government employees.
State and Local Governments: Library of Congress Resource page
Guide to every state and to state and local government information in general.
State Net 
Lexis/Nexis Information and Intelligence on the 50 States & Congress
National Association of Counties
NACo is the only national organization representing county government. Driven by a strong membership, NACo's Board of Directors represents counties across America.
U.S. Census: State and Local Government Finances
Statistics on revenue, expenditure, debt, and assets (cash and security holdings) for governments. There are statistics for the 50 state areas and the District of Columbia, as well as a national summary.
The New Federalism Database
"The Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism Project closely followed struggling families over the past decade as many left welfare&emdash;first in a booming economy, then through a recession, and now in a period when wages have stagnated and health insurance costs have skyrocketed."
Governing: The Magazine of States and Localities
Porports to "connect America's leaders" in government.
Initiative and Referendum Institute 
Comprehensive source of information on initiatives and referenda in American states.
Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Center on all 50 States. Since 1999, it has reported and analyzed trends in state policy. 
Terrorism and the September 11 Attack
GAO Reports on Terrorism
Over 600 reports and testimonies related to terrorism issued since April 1979.
Homeland Security Actions
White House site reporting major actions taken.
Homeland Security Institute
Analytic Services Inc. operates the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute to provide independent analysis of homeland security issues.
GOA report on Cost of Sept. 11 (pdf)
40-page report issued in 2002 on the 2001 attack.
Congressional Legislation Related to the September 11 Attack
"This site was begun in September 2001 as a way of keeping the public readily apprised of legislation related to the terrorist attack on the United States that month. The selection, made by hand, is necessarily subjective, as the September 11th attack had a ripple effect on legislation in the second session of the 107th Congress, making boundaries difficult to draw. The site will not be updated after the conclusion of the 107th." The 107th ended January 3, 2003.
Annotated Bibliography
Prepared by the State of Oklahoma: "This bibliography is intended to serve as a means of access to the copious and wide-ranging gamut of information produced by the United States Government concerning the complex web of relations enmeshing the United States, the Greater Middle East (the Middle East, north and east Africa, and central Asia) and the terrorist threat to U.S. persons and interests that has emerged from that region in recent decades."
Department of Treausry: Terrorism and Financial Intelligence
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.
Global Terrorism, Domestic Order, and the United States
Shortly after 9/11, a Russian colleague asked me to write something about the event and the U.S. response for a Russian yearbook. It focuses on events leading to the successful routing of the Taliban in 2001. It might be useful for students who know little about this successful phase of the "war on terror."