For many years, I have been visiting the Library of Congress congressional records web site at thomas.loc.gov. It wasn’t a perfect web site. There were delays in publishing legislation, and the navigation was often labyrinthine. However, the site basically worked.
Going to thomas.loc.gov isn’t an option any more, though. Recently, that site was shut down, and replaced by congress.gov, even though congress.gov still insists that it is merely in development – a “beta” version.
Giving a beta web site full responsibility for representing an organization as huge as the U.S. Congress has its drawbacks. This morning, I found one of them. I was looking for information about what the U.S. House of Representatives got up to yesterday, and went to the Congressional Record. The link for yesterday’s Congressional Record took me to a page with a curiously titled speech: “Let’s Regain Control Of America’s Destiny”. What an absurd idea, I thought, to suppose that anyone could lose control of their destiny. The whole point of destiny is that it’s beyond control. It’s destined.
I wanted to see what kind of politician would give their speech such an absurd title, so I clicked on the link. The link took me to a speech by U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich… who is not a member of Congress any more. According to the Congressional Record, the speech was given on January 1 of this year. Every single link on the December 5, 2013 page of the Congressional Record for the House of Representatives linked to something that happened 11 months ago.
While the Republican members of the House of Representatives are right to complain about the malfunctions in the federal health care exchange web site, they would do well to deal with the malfunctioning government web site that is developed and maintain under their own roof.