I think that there was a time when you could hide from politics. You could just not watch the news and not bring it up and walk out of conversations you didn’t want to be a part of. In recent years that stopped being the case with everything from social media to sports talk shows chiming in on whatever the latest developments are. But with a president that enjoys keeping us all on our toes, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the other people that make our country run.
Well, easy to forget if you’re not Jennifer Briney who is a little bit obsessed with Congress and what they’re up to. While watching the coverage of the Iraq war while living abroad, Jennifer realized just how much she didn’t know about the American legislative branch and what they were up to.
Around 2011 I started looking regularly at the Congressional record just to kind of see what’s in these bills, what’s in these laws. And that’s when things got interesting because I was just seeing so many interesting tidbits getting passed into law that I just felt like we should know about.
After several months of yelling to no one about those laws, Jennifer decided there might be a better way to “handle her crazy” and took to the internet. Luckily, by that time, it was pretty easy to start a podcast, so she dove in and created Congressional Dish.
Congressional Dish is basically my way of using primary sources to find out what Congress is doing with our money and in our names. Basically what I’m looking for is the stuff I feel like we all should know but aren’t being told for whatever reason.
Jennifer knows that part of that reason is that research takes time and a lot of people can’t or won’t put in that time because it is often not nearly as entertaining as whatever Congressional screaming match is being televised. Luckily, Jennifer is willing to put in the time and do that research for us.
Our government does an amazing job of giving us everything we need online. So when it comes to the bills and laws themselves, they’re incredibly easy to find on the internet… The other way that I do primary sources is I simply watch the hearings.
So, from reading transcripts of the meetings to watching the hearings themselves, Jennifer does everything possible to stay up to date and informed on Congress’s latest decisions and debates. Of course, anytime something as volatile as politics is your focus, there is sure to be some backlash. Jennifer was surprised to have fans vocally attack her on some of her stances (the show isn’t aligned with a political party), but she also said that her fans are her favorite part of the show.
The people have also been the best part of it. I’ve done a couple live events, so getting to meet the people that maybe emailed me once or twice, but getting to meet them in person… I love it. There’s been so many more people brought into my life that I’d never get to meet and stories that I’m told that would never be put in my direction.
Of course with the recent elections, Jennifer is prepping for a major reset in the show and the people she’s spending so much time covering. So if you love politics or feel like you don’t know nearly enough, check out Jennifer on Congressional Dish and leave a review to let us know what you think!
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