Wired has an article about citizen monitoring of government, with one of the best laundry-lists I've seen of such resources to date. Though it fails to include official government sites such as the Government Printing Office, which has huge amounts of data about all branches of the federal government, the OpenNet database of declassified DOE documents, or the "Electronic Reading Rooms" of the CIA, FBI, and State Department (though these latter sites are mostly just good for historical curiosity). Let's not forget that most things the government does, it does right out in the open, because they seemed like good ideas at the time.
Josh Marshall is starting a drumbeat on talkingpointsmemo.com for citizen monitoring of bills as they move through Congress, the better to catch pernicious riders. He's posting interesting feedback as he gets it.
To paraphrase the old saw about monkeys and typewriters, if a hundred bloggers typing on a hundred blogs each got five pages of the typical omnibus spending bill to comb through...well, the results wouldn't be Shakespeare, but they might be somewhat more transparent legislation.
It also fails to look at the example from over here in the UK. TheyWorkForYou.com, DowningStreetSays.com and PublicWhip.org.uk as well as my own consultationprocess.org and now the civiccommons.com/wiki are all either openeing up UK government for perusal or are working on getting the tools in place.
Especially as we have our General Election coming up next May 2005 this has gained even more momentum.
Exciting and empowering times.