Politicians anywhere can expend an awful lot of hot air. Capitol Hill, of course, takes the cake for windbags. But still, these are your elected officials and you should have some way of holding them accountable for all that lip flapping. Enter Congressspeaks.com.
This visualization that only a wonk could truly love, is nonetheless wildly entertaining. Select the Senators or Congresspeople you want to see go head to head and the trot out, head attached to the body of their party mascots, and start jabbering like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons on meth.
Then you get the breakdown -- every word and every vote is counted. You start with the tally of how many words you representative spoke in the 110th Congress. Then a breakdown of how often they voted, what their votes were, and a tag-cloud-like rendering of the words they spoke most often -- with Hillary Clinton it was "Health Care" and "Children."
Kristen Gillibrand said 4,046 words and cast 1,752 votes of a possible 1,874, while Clinton spoke 42,593 words and cast 449 votes out a possible 657 in the Senate. But neither of them have anything on Charlie Rangel, who spoke 72,376 words. He uttered the word "Caribbean" 455 times, to make it the one he said most often. All of the data and full transcripts are available in the Congressional Record for the 110th Congress in the Library of Congress.
Of course, no one could hold a candle to Sen. Ted Kennedy, who said "Children" enough to nearly equal Gillenbrand's total with just that word alone. In all, Sen. Kennedy spoke 163,186 words. And he was still only the 6th most loquacious Senator (granted, he was ill).