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As you are probably well aware, we are being reminded about both our great victories and our great losses this week. We have gone from passing the Affordable Care Act due to the hard work of 2008 to dealing with a radical brand of anti-Democratic hypocrisy known as the Tea Party that took over the House in 2010 with a phony call for “no taxation without representation.”


And on October 1st, we saw the huge success of the Affordable Care Act launch with 4.7 million hits on the White House web site and 190,000 calls with 1,200 sign ups in Kentucky and 4,000 accounts created in DC alone.


Since they can’t complain about about tax rates they agreed on in December or a deficit falling faster than at any time since WWII, offering secure and affordable health care for working families that most WANT to pay for is the reason the GOP-controlled House chose to shut down the federal government and furlough 800,000 workers to reduce national income by $1.3 billion a week and cost DC about $200 million a DAY. This is against the wishes of 81% of Americans and comes off the GOP already killing more than 678,000 public sector jobs already.


The good news is that DC government has been spared so far thanks to some political hardball by Mayor Gray, as the
House is allowing temporary funding of city services.


Shutdowns have happened before but this isn’t just about ideology this time…it is part of the transparent effort to
subvert our democracy with unlimited obstruction to disrespect the President that America elected to REPRESENT us.


Think about it, as much as Democrats hated George W. Bush and the Iraq War, did they ever truly threatend to shut down the government until it ended? Majority Leader Reid made that point in a
letter to Speaker Boehner.


VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT:

President Obama on the Government Shutdown and Obamacare Launch http://bit.ly/16h6dfj


According to insiders, if Speaker Boehner allowed a vote to keep funding the government without any new demands attached it would pass but this is the responsibility of every Member that has been complicit in this anti-Obamacare propaganda campaign…not just one man.
But he is the gatekeeper and circumventing his decision would be a lengthy process.


He was right about one thing though:

“If you shut the government down, it’ll end up costing more than you’ll save.


And this is before we discuss the debt limit, which if the U.S. reaches on October 17th without it being lifted would mean our nation would have to default on our debt…or face
outrageous ransom demands. Otherwise,  Obama might risk impeachment by invoking the 14th Amendment’s passage that the “validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned.”


I hope you will join me in educating yourself and sharing information on this fight and how to take action….it’s time to join #teamdemocracy by fighting to end the #gopshutdown and help America #getcovered.

 

*** ACTION #1: TELL CONGRESS YOU WANT TO END THE #GOPSHUTDOWN ***

Tell @SpeakerBoehner and your Congress Members you want a “Clean” 6-Week Continuing Resolution to end #TeaPartyShutdown and then to #ShutdownSequesterCuts that Democrats have already given up fighting in order to keep the government open:


http://govsm.com/w/Senate
* http://govsm.com/w/House

– includes social media and web sites (phone/address info) –

 

Popvox Constituent Communication Web Site Poll:

https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/x136

(69% favor “Using The Government Shutdown As A Way To Reform Obamacare”)


GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN FACTS:

9 Most Painful Consequences of a Government Shutdown:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/01/the-nine-most-painful-consequences-of-a-government-shutdown/


11 Reasons Why A Government Shutdown is Terrible:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/30/reasons-government-shutdown-terrible_n_4019301.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009


Absolutely Everything You Need To Know About How Government Shutfown Will Work:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/30/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-know-about-how-the-government-shutdown-will-work/


Here Is What Happens When The Government Shuts Down:

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/24/2669501/here-is-what-will-happen-if-the-government-shuts-down/


Here’s The Economic Cost of a Government Shutdown:

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/09/30/2706091/cost-of-shutdown/

 

*** ACTION #2: SIGN UP YOURSELF OR FRIENDS FOR THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ***


(FYI: Don’t call it Obamacare….follow these other rules when spreading the word:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/30/obamacare_n_4006242.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003)

 

http://healthcare.gov

(If you sign up, you can get interviewed by the Washington Post by emailing Sarah.Kliff@washpost.com)

 

ACA FACTS:


Everything you need to know about Obamacare:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/30/%3Fp%3D63297/


20 major questions about Obamacare, answered:

http://thkpr.gs/15E80qX


Obamacare Infographic: Why Young People Should Sign up!

http://www.upworthy.com/if-youre-young-this-is-the-only-obamacare-infographic-you-need-i-obamadare-you-to-click-on-it?c=bl3


Politico’s Undetstanding Obamacare Guide:

http://images.politico.com/global/2013/09/27/politico_understanding_obamacare_guide.html


#GetCovered 101 Guide:
http://gtcvrd.am/1991VZN

 


THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU DON’T SIGN UP:

Despite the GOP fearmongering the health insurance mandate would mean a 2.5% tax hike on only a minority of the 16% of Americans above the poverty line who currently use the ER as their health care plan if they continue to do so after being offered more affordable options and tax credits to opt into the market.

 

 

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UPDATE: Watch President Obama speak to the nation as well as more detailed remarks from Ambassadors Power and Rice on Syria

http://wh.gov/syria

(69% of Americans view speech positively: http://www.mediaite.com/online/poll-69-of-americans-viewed-obamas-syria-speech-positively-61-favor-his-approach)


The bottom line is the military threat as well as mounting evidence from Human Rights Watch and others seems to have worked (good article by Nicholas Kristof about it) as Russia and Syria are now offering a deal to sign the UN treaty on chemical weapons and give them up even though they didn’t admit having them days ago: http://nbcnews.to/13GPD6Q

Granted, the tactic of a public ultimatum calling for Assad to give up his WMDs should have been part of Obama’s pitch the same way Bill Clinton and of course George Bush called for Iraq to give up their WMDs with the verification of UN inspectors but apparently it had been discussed previously. Ironically, maybe it wasn’t tried because it sounded too much like the Iraq scenario.

But to review the debate so far…the “experts” on both sides have truly trivialized the debate on Syria argument with posts like about how Obama said he was against “dumb wars” , so here’s a quick reminder of what a “Red Line” looks like….because its definitely not some arbitrary thing Obama dreamed up:

Only Nasser in Egypt and Hussein in Iraq crossed it since WWII and both were dangerous aggressors who invaded our allies like the Axis Powers did.

The fact is the U.S. is the only country on Earth truly willing and able to ensure #neveragain. It is the price of leadership….if we don’t want to lead then we can sit back and let countries like Russia help spread genocide and anti-gay sentiment around the world instead.

To clarify, the President is NOT proposing that we intervene in a very complicated civil war…even if our missions might overlap. That’s because this kind of destruction is not the result of weapons of WAR…it is a result of weapons of GENOCIDE.

Hence, everyone can be “anti-war” but are they also “anti-genocide?” And if so, does that mean doing nothing about an active campaign of murder or can it also mean a “pro-peacemaking” position to stop it by any means necessary after all other alternatives have been exausted.

So, with relatively low cost to U.S. blood and treasure via air strikes that are separate from the civil war, we can probably deter further acts of genocide already banned by international law….regardless of what the UN votes on in 2013.

It might take more than a few days to stop it, but to say that this deterrent won’t affect anything or save lives is ignoring how it ended the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo (total of 0 allied casualties)…remember that bullies don’t handle getting punched back very well.

This is the exact OPPOSITE of the Iraq War. Instead of using a fake reason to wage a real war, this is a real reason to wage a military action to deter weapons of genocide.

If every military action was a WAR then Israel would be at “war” with Syria based on their own strike recently….but Syria and Russia didn’t lift a finger in response because they know it isn’t worth it.

Unfortunately, our politics are not grown up enough to realize the world is not black-and-white so we compare everything to other things we heard of without discussing the details of a policy instead.

For example, it is easy to criticize the fact that the Obama administration rejected supplying the opposition with gas masks because they thought they might actually somehow be used by either side against the other, but apparently sarin gas only needs to touch the human body to kill so they wouldn’t have helped anyway.

But regardless, Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad killed 1,400+ civilians (including 400+ children) on 8/21/13 via a sarin gas-launched missle attack…that is about 3000% more deadly than the typical daily civilian casualty rate and an unacceptable genocidal tactic.

Yes, 100,000 people have already died during the Syrian civil war since March 2011, but if you consider that approximately 36,000 were civilians that breaks down to about 40+ per day for even the most recent violent months of the war. So, if the chemical attacks continue, Assad could double the total of civilian casualties in less than a month.

THE RESPONSE:

I agree with John Kerry’s powerful case (Video & Transcript) and the President’s statement (Video & Transcript) for taking action on Syria now regardless of the split in a mostly uninformed public on what the war is all about. Here’s a primer and some additional bullet points so you have some background.

The good news is Obama is asking for congressional authorization for a limited military response to degrade Assad’s ability to massacre his people. Yet that’s also the bad news as many politicians, like the experts, are playing armchair general during a complicated military effort or are parroting their ideological bases right now who have collectively decided against intervention “Because Bush” or “Because Obama.”

Of course, any Republican who voted for the Iraq War who doesn’t support this resolution is a total hypocrite, especially because these are the same geniuses who claimed Clinton’s strikes on Kosovo and Afghanistan to punish Bin Laden for the embassy bombings before 9/11 were part of some “Wag The Dog” diversion from the Lewinsky scandal.

But progressives who supported intervention in Darfur and even Rwanda should be thinking twice too. Aside from the usual suspects regurgitating their typical “anti-war” talking points, even the more sober critiques of The Daily Show have become surprisingly flippant with segments that even compare American involvement in the Middle East to British imperialism despite the fact that I see faint economic advantage in getting involved.

And hence, Democratic elected officials or former elected officials who understand our responsibility in the world are lining up behind the President in the House (Nancy Pelosi), Senate (Elizabeth Warren), Policy (Tom Perriello), Grassroots (Howard Dean) and future Presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton) communities.

Meanwhile, there are already reportedly two million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and other countries, with five million displaced people within the country’s borders….so the emerging threat of a massive WMD campaign would force millions more to try to escape the blanket use of terror anywhere and everywhere in their country.  The costs of an increased refugee migration will fall upon the shoulders of the U.S. and its allies who already are supplying billions in aid.

Even if Assad takes further action against civilians, further U.S. involvement will have to be re-authorized but the world community will become more and more united so the “slippery slope” will be mitigated…but is Assad really so dumb that he would risk his regime further after possibly losing his much of air force and command & control abilities?

WHY IT MATTERS:

This course is a minimal approach that keeps in mind that due to the divided nature of the international community, partly because of Russia’s funding of Assad and typically anti-humanitarian vote on the UN Security Council, as well as the reflexive rejection of a anti-WMD campaign by the UK Parliament, the “coalition of the willing” might only include France and few other nations.

But frankly, the lack of sufficient American intervention earlier might have led to the situation we’re in now….an Appeasement 2.0 strategy where we allowed an aggressor to use WMDs on a small scale several times and finally have no choice but to act under less favorable conditions.

If a two-bit dictator can use these weapons now and not be punished then the biggest problem is not even what he did but what does he and other world leaders could do next as a result.

The U.S. announced in June that it would arm the rebels as a result of the less clear reports of WMDs being used but that support never really came and it definitely wasn’t a big fat Stop sign regardless so now Assad is ramping it up beyond debatable levels. So, maybe it’s 14,000 dead next time or maybe neighboring allies like Turkey, Jordan or Israel become affected.

Meanwhile, other rogue states like Iran will be emboldened to kill opponents and go nuclear while nuclear states like North Korea will be further strengthened by their cloak of WMD protection.

Some are reminding us that we didn’t do anything to Iraq after they killed tens of thousands with chemical weapons on the Kurds and Iran in the 80s…well, look how that turned out! We later fought two wars because of Saddam Hussein after he emerged as a wider threat to the region.

So, we might resent serving as the “World Police” is the price we pay if we want to live in a secure world, because when we don’t intervene (Pearl Harbor, 9/11) these things have a habit of approaching our shores eventually.

This was the work of the Greatest Generation that we must continue.

A world at the mercy of these kinds of tyrants is a world of further danger and poverty that affects us all.

FWDPROGRESS ARGUMENT SUMMARY:

“Support for a resolution to respond military to the use of WMDs in Syria”


-> “Heart” Talking Points
(how the policy reflects our liberal democratic values)

* Why the “Red Line”: Using chemical weapons and genocide acts are banned under international law as a result of the devastating effects of such warfare during World War I and World War II

* The result of such an attack is an exponential increase in civilian casualties that increased the rate of civilian deaths by about 3000% because of ONE attack and are well beyond the parameters of acceptable war violence that could grow if unchecked

* Limited military action has no relation to a pre-emptive war or strike, or even a direct engagement in the civil war conflict, because it is a focused act of self-defense against the genocidal acts against the civilian population of Syria

-> “Head” Talking Points (how the policy reflects our national and socio-economic interests)

* Due to the lack of international will or capability, the U.S. is the only nation on Earth that can stem the crisis, which already surpassed the use of conventional weapons several times prior to this incident due to the lack of a global response

* As in the cases of Bosnia and Kosovo where there were 0 allied casualties, U.S. military intervention can utilize cruise missles and stealth or unmanned aircraft to damage Assad’s war-making capability at little risk to American soldiers or civilian lives in comparison to allowing the attacks to continue.

* Even with a sustained campaign, air strikes will require a relatively low economic cost compared to the current investments of billions of dollars in arms and non-lethal aid that have already been expensed and will most likely break the Assad regime’s commitment to further war crimes in favor of self-preservation

* Growing violence destabilizes the region and could affect Israel, Turkey Jordan or other allies that the U.S. is pledged to defend

* Rejecting the role of “World Police” and ignoring war crime violations could inspire Assad or other rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea to further pursue the acquisition and use of WMDs that could create a worldwide crisis, and like with Pearl Harbor or 9/11, some day could return to our shores


FWD

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http://www.networkforprogress.com/fwdprogressblog

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I also was concerned over his treatment in solitary confinement but I hope most civil libertarians are happy with the Bradley Manning sentencing yesterday.

At 35 years, he only received 30 minutes in prison for each of the 700,000 documents he published on Wikileaks and according to Ezra Klein he is eligible for parole after eight years in prison…that is just SIX MINUTES in prison per document.

Considering that some progressive-leaning news sources I trust have only shared one item he leaked that would qualify as “whistle blowing” so I think that’s a pretty positive outcome.

In the video, an Apache helicopter kills 11 Iraqi men because they thought they were part of an armed gang they were tracking with an RPG and AK-47s but it turns out only one man was armed. Then when a van comes to pick up a wounded man who the helicopters were holding off on firing upon, they fire again and kill the driver. A Reuters journalist was also killed but its unclear in the article whether he was in the van.

So, this leak to bypass Pentagon stonewalling of the Freedom Of Information Act request for the video from Reuters is understandable even though the information might have been eventually released.

Yet this is ONE incident and I’m not aware of any other evidence that would totally reframe the case. Regardless of our personal opinion on whether they should have been classified, were the remaining 699,999 documents critical to sharing further “whistle blowing” incidents?

It seems Manning didn’t share too many new facts and mostly just de-classified tons of information to get revenge on the Defense Department….and in the process committed de-facto espionage because he gave secret information to ALL our enemies (not just one) via the web.

I don’t think that is a protected right that many Americans are familiar with and cheering on this kind of cyber-vigilante behavior is not going to build the credibility of crusading activists and reporters like Glenn Greenwald who called the sentence: “Sick, sad, pathetic, and disgusting.”

Regardless of the mistakes of the United States, no citizen deserves a blank check to reveal details of our country’s national security apparatus and the “heroism” of a Manning or Snowden is tarnished when they act like they have one….and as a result help Russia and other countries or factions who are a much greater threat to human rights.

That is the problem with the “libertarian” ideology…when you migrate from the cause of Liberty to Hypocrisy.

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DC Comm Tech for Progress POST:

 

If a message is never sent and no Data is collected…does A/B Testing make a sound?

We were given another great story in the Washington Post about the Obama tech advantage this week but also saw another great example of the Democrat’s Achilles Heel of this analysis….and it offers a lesson for ANYONE trying to expand their brand.


The thing we need to remember is the pioneers of “Big Data” are nothing unless they have an audience to measure. That is why I am a big believer in being “product-driven” or “customer-driven” or “movement-driven” before trying to make your organization “data-driven” when it should be “data-supported.”

If you don’t have a real world strategy based on basic principles of supply-and-demand or marketing etc. then the data won’t matter or even exist for you to analyze.

So, make sure you have mastered the most concepts of engagement before you worry too much about what it all means….like the goal of getting a launch video uploaded to your web site and share with your followers within 48 hours.

On Tuesday, Alison Grimes announced a run for Senate against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, arguably the most powerful Republican in the country on Tuesday, and she apparently is already leading in the polls….but two days later this is the link to her launch event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sYrq_1UuXQ


Just in case its been fixed, here is what it looked like as of 12pm August 1st:

And what made it even harder to catch? The video wasn’t shared anywhere else!

I received emails with nothing about it mentioned for days and check out the @alisonforky account over the last couple days….nothing about the video:



Here is my response at 12:10pm August 1st…which was followed by a tweet to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee asking the burning question of why can’t we get an intern to follow their key races to catch these things?

 

Then guess what appears at 12:40pm…a tweet with a working link to the Kickoff video!

Notice the 12 retweets in less than an hour…..by 6pm, the number was 25, including the DSCC. It was the 4th most shared campaign tweet of the week….behind a twitpic of the launch and two about new polls BUT ahead of a tweet mentioning a live stream of the launch that we were all supposed to watch as it happened.


And the video itself, which was posted at the same time, has nearly 800 views as of 8/2:


But this is just a local mistake by a young candidate’s campaign,, right?


Yet one has to wonder….with all the interns at the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Senatorial Commitee, couldn’t there be at least ONE who could check out the candidate web sites (especially the most important 2014 race in the country) and maybe tell their bosses whether they’re functioning? I mean, if the national party is presumably going to give this campaign money shouldn’t we at least expect the web site to offer basic timely news about itself?

 

I haven’t seen such a mistake with the Obama campaign and its successor Organizing For Action, but time and time again I have seen them hype big speeches and NEVER share the video….in circumstances ranging from the Democratic Convention to just last week after his much-hyped speech on the economy.


Check out their flurry of tweets before the speech:

 

Yet after live tweeting the President’s remarks and re-posting them….it was on to the next:

 

Yes, the last tweet is about the ANOTHER speech….apparently assuming that this is the 1950’s and we can only watch live programming as opposed to On Demand.


Hyping content then forgetting about it after the fact, despite the fact that most of your audience won’t see it as it happens, seems like a waste of energy. Even though a live video might get more attention, by definition it CANNOT go viral….and even if the whole speech isn’t watched it is definitely a great tool to spread news of a campaign in motion.

The White House is better about this usually but they did their account did the same thing….as neither shared the speech via email either. Here’s a sample…a post-speech message about a petition without the video or any content included:

 

And here is the only video Alison Grimes shared by email this week…her kickoff intro by President Clinton:

 

Now we all know that Obama’s campaign, the White House and even Alison Grimes have many followers but the lesson here is how many opportunities do they miss because they are so interested in Big Data or fundraising or other tangential things that they miss out on catching the larger fish of Big Engagement?

That’s even more true because this pattern extends well beyond videos in the Democratic Party….and by putting key elements like content and relationships in the back seat we lose a huge potential advantage to grow and strengthen our supporter base.

Unfortunately old habits die hard so we have a lot of work to do! Case in point, after quite a performance at the big Fancy Farm political picnic where the candidates got to speak last week this is the Grimes campaign “ask” email on Monday:

(no, that link doesn’t show the video)

 

So, although they did share it on twitter, her ONLY direct line to her supporters missed this whopper that i bet would’ve inspired them to click the donate button:

 

“If doctors told Sen. McConnell he has a kidney stone, he’d refuse to pass it!”

-Alison Lundergen Grimes

 

 

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Besides already having a Democratic President to support while her condoned Super PAC is over-zealously asking for money from random people on facebook, I think Hillary Clinton’s fatal flaw is that I don’t think I have seen her fight for anything that wasn’t a slam dunk….since Health Care Reform in 1993 at least.

I’m not sure if that experience was a good learning experience or not. Did it make her gun shy, and regardless, will she be a better collaborator in the future on a big issue?


I feel like Hillary is partly a victim of the more difficult struggles her generation faced to break the “Glass Ceiling” and her style of leadership reflects it as her main focus has been being as tough as a Man and what seems to work is by thinking like a Man to not buck the system much.


Other than supporting generic “women’s rights” I think the reality remains that Hillary hasn’t stepped out of her comfort zone lately, and therefore, her compatriots have been better at her prior roles then she was.


First, despite the polls that probably are caused by the GOP Congress dragging him down with them, you can still see Obama’s ability to engage the public as a Presidential figure that won in 2008 and he still uses today despite the obstacles to his agenda:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/a-better-bargain


Now, it could be easy to write off that comparison, but look at her successors and you realize its a pattern:


“For now, Middle East peace push is John Kerry’s show”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/07/29/john-kerry-middle-east-peace-push/2597143

“Gillibrand: Military commanders are ‘failing’ on sexual assault”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/07/30/gillibrand-military-commanders-are-failing-on-sexual-assault/?wprss=rss_election-2012&clsrd


Over the last couple of years, I went along with the Pro-Hillary Conventional Wisdom as she served admirably as Secretary of State after her bitter primary defeat, but the fact remains, her leadership is locked in the past and might be more about Hillary than anything else.


In light of the talk this week about the rumored “Business Arrangement” that is the marriage of Hillary’s top aide Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, which reminds us of some similarities in their story with the Clintons, you’ve got to wonder what the priorities are.


Despite Bill’s great talent for engagement and work with the Clinton Global Initiative, I think Hillary in particular might have more of a Passion for Politics than a Passion for People.


So, despite the adoration right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if a “Not Hillary” candidate emerges again in 2012…unless that Passion for People truly emerges.


Otherwise, she risks the downfall of Tracy Flick in “Election” who forgot that elections ARE popularity contests…and some people do have inherited advantages but you don’t become as popular as them by simply working hard and playing it safe with who you talk to and what you say:


tracy-flick

“You see, I believe in the voters. They understand that elections aren’t just popularity contests. They know this country was built by people just like me who work very hard and don’t have everything handed to them on a silver spoon.”

 

IS THIS FWDPROGRESS? Let me know what you think!

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Happy Independence Day!

On July 4, 2013, in BACKGROUND, USA, VIDEOS, by Jim

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.htm

stone.tif

These words are truly a North Star that continues to guide us…remind people of that when being faced with the spin and the hate of those who would restrict those rights.

WATCH: CNN & Rebuild The Dream’s Van Jones shares why truly believing in these values is what makes us Patriotic…because loving America = loving Liberty & Justice for ALL!

http://upwr.me/MRJf4k


WATCH: President Obama’s “Independence Day” Weekly Address
http://at.wh.gov/2y6131

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Sunday represented another quarterly fundraising deadline for political organizations and with it came some progress and some steps backward for organizing that I want to highlight that were probably inspired by Big Data….but as Mark Twain once said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

 

#1 The Good: Organizing For Action’s “Meet The President Backstage” Contest


I assume the data is showing OFA that if you encourage people to go to your web site or sign up for something with no strings attached then that is worth more than even asking for $3 to participate in a contest to meet the President.

 

Obama free contest tweet
Thats because if you can get the throngs to your donation page AFTER they participate in the Free Offer they will probably be in a good mood and wind up giving more than if they only showed up because they planned to give $3 in advance to join the contest.
obama donation page


Regardless, it is an excellent way to get people involved who might feel detached with OFA since the election ended eight months ago. In this case, OFA used data to encourage more engagement and that is never a bad thing.


#2 The Bad: Organizing For Action’s “Um” & “Is This A Mistake?” subject lines


I have been getting tired of being tired of OFA fundraising emails but I did see some blow back by several people from a facebook conversation started by a prominent former Democratic organizer about the latest subject line strategy and it does remind me of some issues they still have with engagement.

 

Is this a mistake


By saying “Um” why aren’t you taking action or “Is This A Mistake?” that you didn’t donate, I wonder if it is appropriate for an organization that is representing the interests of the President’s agenda to be talking to me like it’s MY FAULT I wasn’t inspired to get involved further and therefore am in need of being asked “earnestly and directly” for some reason.

How many people who volunteer regularly but didn’t donate, especially someone like me who just added a new email address or hasn’t donated to the new organization since 2012, get the same email questioning what they are doing to “build” OFA?


Social Pressure works when you sent postcards that talk about your neighbors supporting a candidate or voting regularly etc. but to literally send a message of contempt is kind of bizarre.


As I will definitely explain in my next example, regardless of how much money comes in and how many unsubscribes there are, is it helpful if a large swath of your list holds you in contempt and only is willing to endure more because they care so much about the cause? That is one thing the data won’t tell you.

 

#3 The Ugly: Ready For Hillary’s Social Media Fundraising Blitz

(as I discussed here earlier: http://inthecapital.streetwise.co/2013/07/01/ready-for-hillary-pac-alienates-young-voters-with-aggressive-fundraising-campaign/)


First off, let me note that I helped start the Virginia for Obama campaign in 2007 as the Grassroots Volunteer Database Coordinator until Super Tuesday, where i ran the biggest phone bank operation in the state before the 2008 Primary.


So, I have paid very close attention to Hillary Clinton’s campaign tactics and why I thought ours were better for awhile now and am definitely sensitive to the dangers of a 2016 campaign repeating the same mistakes….but I think the Ready For Hillary PAC is giving us some real reason for pause by over-compensating for the flat-footedness of 2008.


I have seen their sponsored facebook posts before, which is kind of annoying but reasonable, but on Sunday they used them to ask for money, not just promote the group, which is as close to spam as you can get to people you have connection with on a social platform.

Hillary fb post
(this is not the sponsored version…but why do they need 321 donors anyway?)


Imagine “Ready for Hillary” sending you a fundraising ask before you joined their email list….that is basically what they did with this advertising binge.

Remember that this isn’t just a community for Hillary supporters, it’s a community for Hillary for PRESIDENT supporters!

And this means they’re asking THEIR supporters for MONEY so they can spend it to ask NON-supporters for MONEY on social media…regarding a campaign that is two years away from even happening (if at all).

This isn’t the first example of the group creeping people out either:
http://inthecapital.streetwise.co/2013/06/26/ready-for-hillary-pacs-creepy-swag-inspires-new-memes-pictures/

Now, we can chalk this up as the work of some over-zealous fans, but the fact is Ready For Hillary involves serious folks who have worked with and donated to Hillary before, and is getting endorsements from the likes of James Carville and now Senator Claire McCaskill, so it is very likely they operate with her blessing to some extent. And regardless, I doubt they would dis-obey the wishes of Mrs. Clinton if she thought they were tarnishing her brand.

People like ambition but they don’t like naked ambition….especially when it takes precedent over the rest of a candidate’s brand.

So, regardless of what the “data” says about how successful this fundraising approach is, communications is an Art not just a Science….and for every dollar they raise from these foolish promotions they probably alienate many fence-sitters the campaign will eventually need to win the nomination versus the inevitable “Not Hillary” candidate that will emerge in both 2016’s Democratic Primary and General Election.

Would the same Democrats cheering for Hillary therefore applaud the strategy of the House’s Tea Party Caucus Chair Michelle Bachmann who raises lots of money among her community with an approach that inspires the few but alienates the majority of the nation? The sad part is that Hillary’s team is creating self-inflicted wounds that don’t even relate to the expected divisions usually created by policy differences.

Besides raising the ire of the Right-Wing much sooner than necessary, I think for many Obama Primary supporters like myself who let their anti-Hillary fervor subside in recent years will view these tactics as unproductive toward winning us over. I might be willing to participate in a “pro-Hillary” group but I don’t think it make sense for Democrats to be “Ready For Hillary” as President when we have already have one and a Congress to win back over the next few years!

Frankly, these folks should probably take a page out of the campaign of her former Campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who seems to be more mindful of Obama voters and outreach tactics in his second run for governor.


Either way, the main lesson here is that fundraising is just one of Many Means to meet the Singular End of majority support….only use the Former to boost the Latter!

 

 

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I have been following the emergence of Chris Hayes as an MSNBC star, and his current struggles in his 8pm weeknight time slot, and my concerns are finally coming to fruition in a big way….and his ratings are sure to suffer more because of it.

Last night on his show “All In,” while covering the Trayvon Martin case, he displayed an epic hypocrisy on the issue of race usually reserved for the Right….the kind that ruined the word “liberal” until Bill Clinton put a more moderate face on the party in 1992 and Barack Obama emerged as a leader of a new mainstream “progressivism” for millions of young and independent-minded people like me in 2008.

After showing the Defense successfully dragging out of the Prosecution’s key witness Rachel Jeantel that Martin described George Zimmerman as a “creepy cracker” because he followed him the night he was murdered AND that it is commonly used in her community when talk about white people, Hayes decided to let Partisan Ideology take over….as he often does, with a combination of passion bordering on over-zealous anger (i.e. Keith Olbermann). For every example of Maddow-esque technocratic insight he offers….there is one of these cases of fringe-worthy techno-babble.


WATCH: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/52336026#52336026

(starting @ 6:44 mark)


Regardless of how you feel about the case, we should be able to agree that each party’s character can and SHOULD be scrutinized if we’re going to get to the truth and not just reinforce a narrative. All we KNOW is that Trayvon Martin didn’t have a gun, not that he was an innocent bystander that didn’t in any way provoke a confrontation with Zimmerman.

This line of questioning was no different than the Prosecution trying to pry from the 911 Operator if Zimmerman dropped the “N” word during their conversation while he was tracking Martin…I’m not following the case closely enough to know but I’m sure they are trying to find that kind of evidence if this is considered a race-related crime. Nonetheless….

Hayes: “I love the fact that she says ‘We call them creepy crackers if they’re creepy.'”

His guest, Linguistics Professor John McWhorter, then follows up with his take on why the use of the word ‘cracker” is excused:  

McWhorter: “There would seem to be some cause for at least some kind of preliminary racial grievance…for the poor boy to have had somebody chasing after him for a reason he didn’t know. OF COURSE he might refer to the person as a ‘cracker’…because he’s a HUMAN BEING. And since this week we have heard that there are times when we might perhaps excuse some white people from using the ‘N’ word ….then ‘cracker’ might have be an appropriate term at the time.”

Hayes: “Yes.”

At that moment, Hayes then concludes the interview as if he was fine with that racist statement because of Paula Deen….who is rightfully getting TORCHED for her behavior even if she is FORGIVEN by some (definitely not her employers).

It is ironic, that he and his guest would also probably tell House Republicans that obeying an IDEOLOGY before the facts is often hypocritical AND dangerous AND counter-productive AND halts all possibility for building bridges that can forge progress in our nation. Since when is hate speech considered allowable in our culture when a person is considered creepy?

Turn the tables and replace the word “cracker” with the “N” word then imagine the exchange on Fox News between Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter….and the backlash that would follow. Frankly, it might be a favor to MSNBC to be called out on this stuff before #tcot folks on the Right get their hands on it and get big-time publicity with boycott or something.

I don’t think even the tamer MSNBC-version of Al Sharpton, who years ago was considered a race-baiting ambulance chaser, would EVER have an exchange like this on his show.

So, even as this Washington Post article suggests, the witness saying that she didn’t consider the word “racial” might be true because it is a traditional term for a poor white person in the South and African-Americans don’t shy away from describing THEMSELVES by racial terms either, shouldn’t Hayes and the guest explain that to an audience that predominantly considers it a slur (thanks to Dave Chapelle etc) and not applaud it themselves?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2013/06/27/george-zimmerman-trial-cracker-debate-persists

By playing along with the concept of anti-white racism as being par for the course in society because of the hate of a small minority within an ethnic group, he discredits himself and becomes part of the problem that divides us further from people who disagree with us. It’s one thing to be sympathetic to one’s point-of-view but another be an active participant in the “bigotry” of low expectations.

Although I agree that there are double standards that are fair, as white people shouldn’t use the ‘N” word or be as traumatized by a word like “honky” or “cracker”…the bottom line is NO ONE should use any of these words!

Sometimes, due to careless habits or attempts at humor that might be inspired by our upbringing etc. these words come out of people’s mouths….but to pretend you’re an intellectual while you belittle hateful rhetoric on national television is truly abhorrent.

Does Hayes understand that, regardless of the over-hyped demographic trends, to win elections in America (especially the Red states whose senators are filibustering every reasonable piece of legislation for MINORITIES and rest of The 99% in the Senate) you still need WHITE votes too?

This isn’t Don Imus playing a CHARACTER of an ignorant black person because he likes imitating ALL cultures… this is a cognizant acceptance of racist rhetoric by someone so holier-than-thou that they miss the Forest of Hate grown from their Trees of Self-Righteousness.

At the risk of sounding like Rick Santorum, this is truly not the kind of television we should be subjecting our families to and our business should be sponsoring. The same rules for Rush Limbaugh hold true for Chris Hayes too.

 

TELL CHRIS HAYES & MSNBC THAT #CRACKERISNOTOK because #HATEISHATE:

(And if he doesn’t get the message then he doesn’t deserve to hold his media perch within the progressive movement and we should continue our march to STOP WATCHING)

https://www.facebook.com/christopher.hayes.712161

https://www.facebook.com/allinwithchris

https://www.facebook.com/msnbc

https://twitter.com/chrislhayes

https://twitter.com/allinwithchris

https://twitter.com/msnbc

 

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NEWSLETTER 4 PROGRESS

(June 27, 2013)

 

*** FEATURED ACTION ROUND UP ***

http://www.networkforprogress.com/events

(submit events/actions: http://www.networkforprogress.com/members/register)

 

*** 9PM TONIGHT: OFA #DreamIsNow Documentary Online Screening ***

https://my.barackobama.com/page/s/join-dream-live

 

*** TONIGHT: Rock The Vote’s DC Kickoff Happy Hour ***


Thinking about a constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote? Us too.

Join the #FreetoVote campaign! http://bit.ly/16xYze1


RSVP:
http://www.rockthevote.com/dckickoff/index.html

 

 

*** TONIGHT: New Organizing Institute Labs Meetup ***


NOI Labs will be hosting our second meetup on June 27th, 2013 at the NOI Headquarters from 6 to 8PM.

We welcome coders and techy folks from across the progressive movement to get together and talk shop.  Last time we heard about some innovative ideas from the community: an open source Voter Registration tool, the My Precinct organizing platform, fancy consumer data API’s from the CFPB, an IVR Call tool, and much more.  What innovative idea would you like to see happen?

We’ve setup a new Labs Project page where you can post ideas, comment on existing ones, and sign up to be involved.  If you have a project you’re working on, post it there to start recruiting help.  Otherwise, just browse through and see if you want to get involved!

NOI is located at 1133 19th St NW, Suite 850 in Washington, D.C.

 

REGISTER: http://bit.ly/19qzZRI


*** 7/1 #StandWithWendy vs “SB5” Special Session #2 ***

WATCH: State Senator Wendy Davis defended against Bill SB5 that would close 90% of Texas’ women’s health clinics with an 11-hour filibuster until the end of their special session at Midnight Tuesday.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/vp/52324859/#52324859


(Learn More:
http://thkpr.gs/17BY7Ag & http://huff.to/1a52S5h)

 

POLL: Majority of Texans DON’T support abortion restrictions moving through legislature

http://thkpr.gs/15zvvka

 

But they face ignorance: a GOP Senator thinks Rape Kits are abortion procedures:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/vp/52302077/#52302077

 

AND Texas Governor Rick Perry has called for ANOTHER special session and is taking shots at Wendy’s own experience as a Teen Mom:

“Just unfortunate she hasn’t learned from her own example” http://thkpr.gs/12nzPFc



JOIN THE MOVEMENT:

Take Action vs Rick Perry before the special session begins!

https://www.facebook.com/events/395742463876916


Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/TexasGovernor

(“Like” anti-Perry comments and post your own)

 

Tweet: http://twitter.com/TexGov

 

*** 7/3: “Will Your Vote Count?” Discussion (Rockville) ***

Discuss election integrity with Marta Steele, author “Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols–The Election Integrity Movement’s Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People’s Vote” and Rebecca Wilson, Co-Chair of SAVEourvotes.org.

 

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/394904590628553/

 

*** 7/17: Campus Progress’ Make Progress National Summit ***

with Senator Elizabeth Warren

 


This summer, hundreds of young people will gather in Washington, D.C. for our revamped, better-than-ever conference that will bring together both young leaders and progressive organizations to build our generation’s vision for 2020 and outline engagement strategies.

This year, we are excited to partner with leading progressive organizations to co-host the conference. Our partners include Advocates for Youth, the AFL-CIO, the Bus Federation, Campus Camp Wellstone, the Youth Engagement Fund, the Generations Initiative, The League of Young Voters, Rock the Vote, the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, SEIU Millennials, USW Next Generation, Working America, Young Invincibles, Generational Alliance and more to come.

So what happens on July 17th? You’ll join hundreds of Millennials for inspiring speeches from leading public officials, engage with other young people in trainings led by top activists, and learn from experts and journalists through panel discussions and conversations. Participants will connect with remarkable activists from around the country and discuss the critical challenges our generation faces.

Attendees will engage with experts and leading progressive organizations to develop their ideas, networks, and innovative programs that will help us create a more progressive America.

 

REGISTER: http://campusprogress.org/national_conference

 

PREVIOUS EVENTS & ACTION:

*** 6/29: Capital Cause Young Philanthropists Brunch (DC) ***


REGISTER & SHARE ON FACEBOOK:

http://www.networkforprogress.com/events/capital-causes-young-philanthropist-industry-brunch/

 

*** CONTACT CONGRESS ON STUDENT LOANS BY 6/30 ***   

YDA’s “Don’t Double My Rate!” Campaign

http://www.networkforprogress.com/events/tell-congress-dontdoublemyrate-by-630/

 

*** 2013 Young Democrats of America National Convention (San Antonio) ***

– $80 Early Bird Rate ends 6/28!

 

REGISTER & SHARE ON FACEBOOK:

http://www.networkforprogress.com/events/2013-young-democrats-of-america-convention/

 

 

*** N4P NEWS ROUND UP ***

 

*** MARRIAGE EQUALITY NEWS ***

 

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/the-supreme-court-struck-down-doma-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

Supreme Court rejects case against Proposition 8 (CA Marriage Equality ban)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/the-supreme-court-ended-proposition-8-heres-what-that-means/

“Why marriage equality is good for the economy and the budget”
http://thkpr.gs/12kl71T

*** VOTING NEWS ***

WATCH: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-25-2013/the-supreme-court—the-voting-rights-act

READ: “Supreme Court strikes down key voting act provision” http://wapo.st/1aKo1QV

Yet the Voting Right Act was already renewed in the Senate by a vote of 98-0 and the House 390-33…..in 1996!
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/14059113/ns/politics/t/bush-signs-voting-rights-act-extension/#.UcmyIvlQGHM

On the bright side….some commentators think the GOP might renew Section 5 or suffer in 2014.

Watch Chris Hayes: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/52312912#52312912

Watch Ari Melber: http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/25/why-roberts-extreme-voting-rights-opinion-could-drive-congress-to-act

(Here’s some early proof: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/06/26/2221211/sensenbrenner-voting-rights-fix)

 

In the meantime….take action below!

PETITION: “I support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the freedom to vote for all.”

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/voting_rights_act/?akid=8204.3266109.BX6-wb&rd=1&t=3

 

*** CLIMATE NEWS ***

President Obama announces Climate Change Plan

WATCH: http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2013/06/25/president-obama-speaks-climate-change

INFOGRAPHIC: http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan

READ: http://wapo.st/11K9Zbk

POLL: Public backs Obama on Strong Carbon Controls http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/06/25/public-backs-obama-on-strong-carbon-controls

(support for climate legislation depends on how the questions are asked though http://huff.to/1clPmHj)

 

WATCH: Letterman interview with environmental activist Tim DeChristopher from the documentary “Bidder 70” http://bit.ly/19tVjWo

 

Contact Congress regarding any issues here:

www.senate.govhttp://govsm.com/w/Senate (social media listings)

www.house.govhttp://govsm.com/w/House (social media listings)

 

 

 

FOLLOW NETWORK FOR PROGRESS!

http://groups.google.com/group/networkforprogress (General Listserv)

http://www.facebook.com/groups/networkforprogressdc (Community Group)

http://www.facebook.com/networkforprogress (“Like” Page)

http://twitter.com/networkprogress

http://www.networkforprogress.com (subscribe to N4P blog)

Tagged with:
 

NEWSLETTER 4 PROGRESS

(June 27, 2013)

 

 

*** FEATURED ACTION ROUND UP ***

http://www.networkforprogress.com/events

(submit events/actions: http://www.networkforprogress.com/members/register)

 

 

*** 9PM TONIGHT: OFA #DreamIsNow Documentary Online Screening ***

https://my.barackobama.com/page/s/join-dream-live

 

 

*** 7/1 #StandWithWendy vs Rick Perry’s “SB5” TX Special Session Part 2 ***

 

WATCH: State Senator Wendy Davis defended against Bill SB5 that would close 90% of Texas’ women’s health clinics with an 11-hour filibuster until the end of their special session at Midnight Tuesday.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/vp/52324859/#52324859

(Learn More: http://thkpr.gs/17BY7Ag & http://huff.to/1a52S5h)

 

POLL: Majority of Texans DON’T support abortion restrictions moving through legislature

http://thkpr.gs/15zvvka

 

But they face ignorance: a GOP Senator thinks Rape Kits are abortion procedures:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/vp/52302077/#52302077

 

AND Texas Governor Rick Perry has called for ANOTHER special session and is taking shots at Wendy’s own experience as a Teen Mom:

“Just unfortunate she hasn’t learned from her own example” http://thkpr.gs/12nzPFc



JOIN THE MOVEMENT:

Take Action vs Rick Perry before the special session begins!

https://www.facebook.com/events/395742463876916

 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TexasGovernor

(“Like” anti-Perry comments and post your own)

 

Tweet: http://twitter.com/TexGov

 

 

*** 7/17: Campus Progress’ Make Progress National Summit ***

with Senator Elizabeth Warren

This summer, hundreds of young people will gather in Washington, D.C. for our revamped, better-than-ever conference that will bring together both young leaders and progressive organizations to build our generation’s vision for 2020 and outline engagement strategies.

This year, we are excited to partner with leading progressive organizations to co-host the conference. Our partners include Advocates for Youth, the AFL-CIO, the Bus Federation, Campus Camp Wellstone, the Youth Engagement Fund, the Generations Initiative, The League of Young Voters, Rock the Vote, the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, SEIU Millennials, USW Next Generation, Working America, Young Invincibles, Generational Alliance and more to come.

So what happens on July 17th? You’ll join hundreds of Millennials for inspiring speeches from leading public officials, engage with other young people in trainings led by top activists, and learn from experts and journalists through panel discussions and conversations. Participants will connect with remarkable activists from around the country and discuss the critical challenges our generation faces.

Attendees will engage with experts and leading progressive organizations to develop their ideas, networks, and innovative programs that will help us create a more progressive America.

 

REGISTER: http://campusprogress.org/national_conference

 

 

PREVIOUS EVENTS & ACTION:

 

*** EMAIL & CALL CONGRESS ON STUDENTS LOANS BY 6/30 ***   

YDA’s “Don’t Double My Rate!” Campaign

 

http://www.networkforprogress.com/events/tell-congress-dontdoublemyrate-by-630/

 

*** 2013 Young Democrats of America National Convention (San Antonio) ***

– $80 Early Bird Rate ends 6/28!

 

REGISTER & SHARE ON FACEBOOK:

http://www.networkforprogress.com/events/2013-young-democrats-of-america-convention/

 

 

*** N4P NEWS ROUND UP ***

 

*** MARRIAGE EQUALITY NEWS ***

 

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/the-supreme-court-struck-down-doma-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

 

Supreme Court rejects case against Proposition 8 (CA Marriage Equality ban)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/the-supreme-court-ended-proposition-8-heres-what-that-means/

 

“Why marriage equality is good for the economy and the budget” http://thkpr.gs/12kl71T

 

 

*** VOTING NEWS ***

 

WATCH: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-25-2013/the-supreme-court—the-voting-rights-act

READ: “Supreme Court strikes down key voting act provision” http://wapo.st/1aKo1QV

 

Yet the Voting Right Act was already renewed in the Senate by a vote of 98-0 and the House 390-33…..in 1996!

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/14059113/ns/politics/t/bush-signs-voting-rights-act-extension/#.UcmyIvlQGHM

 

On the bright side….some commentators think the GOP might renew Section 5 or suffer in 2014.

 

Watch Chris Hayes: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/52312912#52312912

Watch Ari Melber: http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/25/why-roberts-extreme-voting-rights-opinion-could-drive-congress-to-act

(Here’s some early proof: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/06/26/2221211/sensenbrenner-voting-rights-fix)

 

In the meantime….take action below!

 

PETITION: “I support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the freedom to vote for all.”

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/voting_rights_act/?akid=8204.3266109.BX6-wb&rd=1&t=3

 

 

*** CLIMATE NEWS ***

 

President Obama announces Climate Change Plan

WATCH: http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2013/06/25/president-obama-speaks-climate-change

INFOGRAPHIC: http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan

READ: http://wapo.st/11K9Zbk

POLL: Public backs Obama on Strong Carbon Controls http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/06/25/public-backs-obama-on-strong-carbon-controls

(support for climate legislation depends on how the questions are asked though http://huff.to/1clPmHj)

 

WATCH: Letterman interview with environmental activist Tim DeChristopher from the documentary “Bidder 70” http://bit.ly/19tVjWo

 

 

Contact Congress regarding any issues here:

www.senate.govhttp://govsm.com/w/Senate (social media listings)

www.house.govhttp://govsm.com/w/House (social media listings)

 

 

 

FOLLOW NETWORK FOR PROGRESS!

http://groups.google.com/group/networkforprogress (General Listserv)

http://www.facebook.com/groups/networkforprogressdc (Community Group)

http://www.facebook.com/networkforprogress (“Like” Page)

http://twitter.com/networkprogress

http://www.networkforprogress.com (subscribe to N4P blog)

Tagged with: