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When Will the Transparent Obama Administration Put the Stimulus Online?

3:08 PM, Jan 27, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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The Obama administration has talked of an intention to put the stimulus bill online for the American people to read before it's voted on, which is commendable.

But where is it? Apparently in the same place as the press briefing transcripts. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about when the bill would go online, and replied that it would be available between the time the bill is in its final form and when President Obama signs it.

As Gibbs and anyone with a passing interest in politics knows, that's around about the exact time that having it online will no longer matter. The American people will not be able to make much of a difference in the crafting of the bill at that point. All of the negotiations will have taken place. All the pork will have been traded. All the boondoggles agreed upon and on their way to the President's desk before the American people get a look at much of it.

If you want a look at it before everything has been decided, a group of right-leaning bloggers and organizations offers a searchable version of the 1,500-page stimulus at ReadtheStimulus.org. Read more than a few pages, and I can almost guarantee you'll be ahead of your representative in Congress. And, you may even find a few gems that Obama will direct Democrats to jettison, just as he did the millions for contraception.

That should be the Republican strategy for getting most ridiculous liberal provisions jettisoned, by the way. Have Nancy Pelosi pitch each idea in the most unpleasant, tin-eared way possible on the Sunday shows and pile on with criticism until Obama backs away from the idea, as he will from anything that's mildly politically unpopular, especially with this first, important bill.