Which is why I think that the recent moves by USA government and Sunlight Foundation to open up government documents are exciting. Those documents are by law public domain, they have non-trivial research issues and working on them may even be important for general public.
As an example, I believe Obama administration is planning to put proposed legislations for a public review. Anything that can run through those texts and pick up named entities, locations, timelines, etc would be an interesting research project. There might even be grants from, for example, newspapers interested in visualisations of those proposals.