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Outside Resources

Resources outside of News in FiVe, including news sources and services provided by the government.

Choose one of the types below to narrow your choice

All Types


News Research

Political Research

Consumer Resources

Government Services

Voting Resources



Al Jazeera
BBC News
Guardian UK
New York Times
Pro Publica
The Hill
Washington Post
News Research
Question: How can you tell when a politician is lying? Answer: His lips are moving.

Going to FactCheck is another way you can tell. So when one says inflation is up, and the other says inflation is down, go to FactCheck and find out who's the one playing loose.
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting)
Reporting news should be about providing an accurate picture of what's going on, rather than quoting officials who have their own agendas. When anyone from MSNBC to the New York Times presents a distorted picture of what's going on, FAIR not only will tell you, but they'll confront them - and tell you how they responded.

Don't watch TV News or read a newspaper without checking in with FAIR. And if you're too busy to do that, sign up for their alerts and they'll e-mail the most egregious stories to you.
Kaiser Family Foundation
A nonprofit organization that researches and reports on national health care policy issues.
Media Bias
How reliable is the news you read? Media Bias/Fact Check analyzes thousands of media sources and reports their political bias and how trustworthy the information they report is. Most important, they tell you the reasoning that supports their analysis.

As a bonus, you can use their website to discover new sources of information.
Similar to FactCheck. Reading both will give you a more complete picture.
Research Ponzi schemes.
The Atlantic
Political Research
An encyclopedia of politics and elections.

You can find up-to-date information about all levels of federal and state government, including election results and key public policy updates and court cases.
Center for Public Integrity
A nonprofit investigative news organization focusing on corruption and conflicts of interest.
Congressional Biographies
Biographies of every member of Congress
CRS: Congressional Research Service
The Congressional Research Service researches and reports on issues to Congress. You'll fnd many of their reports here.
CRS: EveryCrsReport
Another source of CRS reports
Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers are a series of essays written (anonymously) by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

They were written to explain the thinking behind aspects of the Constitution, and to encourage its enactment. They were published in New York newspapers in 1787 and 1788.

They are relevant today because they provide insight into the intentions of the authors of the Constitution.
Our intent at Lobby99 is to give you the "big picture" of what's going on. If you're interested in digging deeper into anything related to Congress, visit GovTrack, where you can find details on anything from bills to representatives to voting districts. They'll even send you updates if you want.
Discussions of legal issues affecting government
Open Secrets
Follow the money. Who is donating to whose campaigns? Search by industry, etc.
Project Vote Smart
Lobby99 gives you clear, relevant information on how your representatives acted regarding issues we advocate on.

If you want more details about any senator or representative, this is the place to do it. The Project Vote Smart web site will not only tell you how they voted on each bill, it also will tell you how they rate with major interest groups from Planned Parenthood to the National Rifle Association.
Public Laws
For the wonks... a list of federal laws enacted since 1973.
Consumer Resources
Annual Credit Report
Each of the three main credit reporting agencies is required to provide you with a free credit report each year. There are sites that make it easy, but they impose conditions such as signing up for a free trial membership (which requires a credit card). Forget to cancel the trial membership, and your card will be charged.

This is the only site authorized by the federal government that will provide this service completely free, with no conditions.
Center for Responsible Lending
Learn about financial products and fraudulent practices.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Learn about safety issues and recalls of products you use.
FCC Consumer Complaints
File complaints about your phone or internet service - including unwanted marketing calls and text messages.
FTC Consumer Information
A wide range of helpful information from personal finance to privacy to how to identify and deal with various scams and crimes.
National Motor Vehicle Title Information System
The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System is a program administered by the Department of Justice that allows consumers and law enforcement to track the history of a car.

If you're buying a used car, how can you tell if the odometer has been altered? If the car has been in a flood? Or stolen? NMVTIS can tell you (there is a small fee).

The system also helps law enforcement agencies detect stolen cars.
Look up recall information about your car
Terms of Service
To use virtually any online service you need to agree to its Terms of Service. But reading them all would take years. This site summarizes what you're blindly agreeing to for many popular services.
Government Services
Internal Revenue Service
Have questions about your taxes? You could wait more than 30 minutes on the phone. More likely, your call won't even be answered. See our discussion of the IRS budget.

But you can get most answers on the agency's website. You also can find other services there, including filing your federal return for free and checking the status of your return.
Look up proposed and enacted regulations. Submit comments if the proposed rule is within the public comment period.
USA Spending
Where is the government spending its... we mean YOUR... money?
Voting Resources
Restore Your Vote
Felony disenfranchisement laws differ state by state.

This tool is designed to help convicted felons determine their eligibility to restore their voting rights in their state and take steps to do so.
Want to register to vote? Check your registration? Apply for an absentee ballot? This is your one-stop shop to make voting easy.
Legal Information Institute
Legal information and explanation of laws
If you're curious about what the effect of a nuclear bomb would be in some city, this is your resource.
A database on topics such as crime, traffic, and cost of living. You can compare two cities side-by-side.

The data is submitted by users. It is not from official sources. Numbeo calls itself the world's largest such database (itself a user-submitted statistic).
Did Barack Obama salute the flag with the wrong hand? Have terrorists acquired UPS uniforms to use for an attack? Was a silent version of The Poseidon Adventure being shown on board the Titanic at the moment it struck an iceberg? Is a missing 13-year-old girl's mom trying to find her by asking millions on the Internet?

Chances are that any outrageous claim you read on Facebook or in e-mail - no matter how authentic it might sound - simply is not true. Sometimes it's harmless. Sometimes it causes unwarranted fear.

Make a habit of checking Snopes before you pass along crazy-sounding information. Then ask yourself, why would someone make this up if they actually had something substantive to say?

(By the way... one of the above situations actually is true. You can find out by searching Snopes)
SPLC Extremeist Files
A listing of hate groups monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Straight Dope
2-Minute Video: Healthcare
In less than 2 minutes you'll understand what healthcare policy is about, so you can engage in more meaningful discussions.
2-Minute Video: Trump and Russia
Donald Trump has claimed on several occasions that he has no ties to Russia. This video corrects his assertions.