The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Simple search snafus: #94 - party strengths in Congress

Statistical information is grotestquely disproportionately difficult to search for using Mr Google and his friends compared to other sorts of information [1].

An illustration: you want to know what the state of the parties was in the Senate in the 42nd Congress; you don't want every senator's inside-leg measurement, just the total of Democrats and Republicans. Good luck with that.

I suspect that there is an open, sesame piece of jargon that cuts through the crap to identify a list like that - I don't know it.

I find, by chance, what I'm looking for amongst the Freepers, of all places, the original lists for House and Senate.

(I had to doctor the URL to get the original House list. On the timeline of the history of the automobile, my guess is that the Net is around 1921. Get out and get under rules, OK.)

  1. By a country mile, the easiest class to search for is song lyrics. Half a line of lyric is in my experience usually enough to locate the full thing.

    Whereas using a search engine for a Grade A national statistic - say, increase in unit labour costs in the US in 2003 - is almost certainly doomed to failure.

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