Archive for February, 2010

Joel Silberman: You Know Why Americans Are Misinformed? The Media Creates Misinformation And No One Does Anything About It | Crooks and Liars

February 28, 2010

Everybody should know this already! H/T @Shoq

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Fw: Feb. 2010: Americans Buck the Court on Corporate Spending

February 28, 2010
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 11:10 AM
Subject: Feb. 2010: Americans Buck the Court on Corporate Spending

 
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MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

FEBRUARY 2010

 
 
 

In This Issue

 
 
 

SPOTLIGHT: Government By the People Campaign Builds Momentum

African American History Awareness Month — A Chance to Prove

Young Elected Officials Make a Difference by Protecting Consumers

PFAW Applauds Moves Towards Ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

ALSO:
–Featured Video
–Blogs

 
 
 
 
  TELL A FRIEND
 
 
 
  MAKE A DONATION
 
 
 
  JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
 
 
 
 

The Equine Posterior Achievement Award

 
 

EPA Awared mini

 

January’s winner — overwhelmingly — was Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito

See Why & Vote For This Month’s Winner >

 
 
 
 
 

The Citizens United Decision and How to Fix It

 

 
 

The Supreme Court upended our political system with its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The decision, in which the Court ruled that Congress was prohibited from limiting the influence of corporations in elections for public office, represents an unprecedented attack on the core democratic values of the Constitution, and all of us, progressive, centrist and conservative alike, should be deeply concerned about its implications.

 
 
 
 
  Find Out More >  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SPOTLIGHT

 
 
 

Government By the People Campaign Builds Momentum

 

corporate court

In 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter, “I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

The Founders didn’t anticipate the threat of corporations to our democracy when the Constitution was ratified, nearly three decades before Jefferson penned those prescient words. But they did give us the tool we need to address then-unforeseen challenges like the Roberts Court’s overreaching decision in Citizens United v. FEC: the ability to amend our Constitution.

The Court, by a one vote margin, kicked open the door for unlimited corporate money in our elections with its radical reinterpretation of the First Amendment. While there’s some good legislation out there that would mitigate the damage, the only way to undo the harm of Court’s ruling completely is with a constitutional amendment. And support for an amendment is growing.

More individuals, organizations and officials are signing on to the effort every day. Senator John Kerry called for a constitutional amendment earlier this month and just this past week, Senators Chris Dodd and Tom Udall introduced a bill in the Senate to do just that.

Also this month, People For released a poll that clearly shows Americans want limits on corporate cash in elections and would support a constitutional amendment.

If you have not added your name to the petition calling for an amendment, please do so here >

You can have organizations of which you are a part join the effort here >

And if you have not become a fan of the campaign’s Facebook page, please do that now >

 
 
 
 
 

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. FEC made it so elections could essentially be bought by corporations. It won’t be easy, but with your help, we can stop the unlimited flood of corporate cash.

Help us put the power in our democracy back where it belongs: in the hands of voters.

donate

 
 

THIS MONTH

 
 

Young Elected Officials Make a Difference by Protecting Consumers

 
YEO poster

Read the YEO Frontline News to find out how progressive Young Elected Officials around the country are tackling the featured issue of the month: Consumer Protection.

Read More >

The Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network is a program of People For the American Way Foundation.

 

 

 

African American History Awareness Month — A Chance to Prove

 

PFAW and PFAW Foundation honor African American history and, with the rest of the country, celebrated African American History Awareness Month in the month of February. Director of African American Religious Affairs Leslie Malachi shares her thoughts on this time of reflection for not only African Americans, but all Americans.

In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of Black people throughout American history. Today the celebration in the arts and science, public and private business industries, sports, domestic and foreign policy, and political, social and economic justice arenas continues in February and is now known as African American History Awareness Month.

Read More >

 

 

PFAW Applauds Moves Towards Ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

 

The Senate Armed Services Committee held hearings on the possibility of ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. During their historic testimony, leaders of the military voiced their support for ending the policy.

Read More >

 

FEATURED VIDEOS

 
 

Justice Samuel Alito Has Some Things He’d Like to Say…

 
Alito has something to say

President Obama rightly criticized the Court’s 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. FEC during his State of the Union Address. Based on his body language, Justice Alito didn’t think the criticism of his and his colleagues’ audacious judicial activism was warranted.

Watch >

 

 
 

VA Legislator: Disabled Children Are God’s Punishment for Women Who’ve Had Abortions

 
Bob Marshall press conf vid

Watch Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall claim at an anti-Planned Parenthood press conference that disabled children are God’s punishment for abortion.

Watch >

 

 

BLOGS

 
 

Right Wing Watch: CPAC Conference 2010!

 

Check out the complete coverage of this year’s CPAC conference at Right Wing Watch. This year, at the preeminent conference of the conservative movement, tension erupted over gay inclusion, Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll proving the influence of the Tea Partiers in the movement and “President” Gingrich made his reappearance. Read about these topics and more now.

 

 

Despite the Right’s Objections, Maryland To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages from Other States

 

Maryland Attorney General released a well-reasoned opinion that firmly establishes that the state may recognize same-sex marriages from other states (and countries). The Far Right, of course, wanted an opinion stating that Maryland would not recognize out-of-state marriages. Unfortunately for them, the law just wasn’t on their side, and the Attorney General was not willing to twist it for their purposes.

Read More >

 
 

Rev. Kenneth Samuel Responds to Rep. Trent Franks

 

You’d think that Congressman Trent Franks would have learned from his brush with fame last year when he declared that President Obama was an “enemy of humanity” because he’s pro-choice.

But he didn’t. Congressman Franks argued that African Americans were better off under slavery than having the constitutional right to reproductive choice.

Watch the video response >

 
 

John Yoo versus Reality

 

It seems that the latest filing by John Yoo’s lawyer — in a case brought by a prisoner who was illegally detained and tortured based on Yoo’s advice-has all the hallmarks of one of Yoo’s own briefs: it’s slipshod, morally questionable and utterly unsupported by the facts.

Read More >

 
 

Right Wing Watch: The Conservative Movement’s “Definitive Statement”

 

You have to hand it to the Right because when they produce a manifesto, they go all out.

When Religious Right signed on to the Manhattan Declaration a few months back, they hailed it as akin to standing up to the Nazis and declared themselves willing to suffer everything from exile to death to defend it, while comparing themselves to those who signed the Declaration of Independence.

This month, right-wing leaders are gathering to sign The Mount Vernon Statement, which they claim will “define the conservative movement’s principles and objectives,” and they went to George Washington’s farm outside of Washington DC to do it.

Read all the coverage of the Mount Vernon Statement >

 
 

Virginia’s New Radical Right Governor Begins His Assault

 

Pat Robertson’s man in the Virginia State House, Governor Bob McDonnell, has been in office less than a month and is already delivering on the Religious Right’s agenda … at the expense of Virginians’ civil rights.

Read More >

 
 

Judging, Judges and Prop 8

 

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, in a piece titled, “Don’t ask, don’t judge?” gave a rhetorical green light to Religious Right activists who have responded to news that federal judge Vaughn Walker is gay by attacking his ability to rule fairly on the constitutional challenge to Prop. 8, the California ballot initiative that stripped same-sex couples of the right to get married.

Read More >

 
 

Ronald Reagan’s Court

 

By any measure, the Supreme Court has moved far to the right in the last few years. In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage writes about how the decision in Citizens United shows how far the court has moved on corporate issues. He also makes a cogent observation about the origin of this pro-corporate tilt.

Read More >

 
 

Justice Alito: Words v. Actions [VIDEO]

 

The media spent a lot of time obsessing over Justice Samuel Alito’s injudicious show of disapproval during the State of the Union. They went a bit overboard, but were it not for that, millions of Americans may have missed the Citizens United ruling entirely.

Read More >

 
 

What Moderates?

 

Patricia Smith, President Obama’s choice to be Solicitor of the Department of Labor, passed an important procedural hurdle: the Senate decided to vote on her nomination.

What’s remarkable is that, unlike past attempts to block votes on executive branch nominees, the vote was entirely along party lines. Even the so-called moderates in the Republican party, like Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, voted against allowing an up or down vote on a second-tier executive branch nomination.

Read More >

 
More Blog Posts >

More Right Wing Tracking >

 
 
 
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Fw: Today is the deadline to apply for Progressive Women’s Voices!

February 28, 2010

Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 8:57 AM
Subject: Today is the deadline to apply for Progressive Women’s Voices!

Dear Daniel,

Today is the deadline to apply for the first round of Progressive Women’s Voices media and leadership training program: http://bit.ly/pwvinfo

Progressive Women’s Voices is the premier media and leadership training program serving women in our country and will help you master effective interview presentation techniques and improve your skills to serve as thought leaders for the media. In joining Progressive Women’s Voices, you will become a part of a powerful network of women leaders who are changing the conversation on the important issues of the day.

Trainings for the first class will be held April 16-18 and May 14-16 in New York City. Travel, accommodation, and training expenses are paid for completely by the WMC. Progressive Women’s Voices program information and application are available here: http://bit.ly/pwvinfo

Apply now!

Sincerely,
Rebekah

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Report on my trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Senator McCaskill

February 27, 2010
=============
From: “Senator Claire McCaskill”
To: PEREZ61@windstream.net
Subject: Report on my trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 10:30:00 -0500

____ Dear Friend, * * Washington has a way
of isolating itself from tough decisions and difficult situations. But our country didn’t become a superpower by taking the easy road. I recently returned from an intense and productive trip to
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, India and NATO headquarters. Many
others who take this trip have stayed in the U.S. embassies and
capital cities. But what would I learn if I stayed in the embassies? That’s why during my trip last week, I got off the beaten path, going
into northern Afghanistan to meet with local leaders and heading out
to Lahore, Pakistan, to meet with local Pakistanis there. These meetings gave me different perspectives on America’s role in the
region and our path to success in the war on terror. It also was
helpful in giving me additional insight on making sure we protect our
troops and save taxpayer dollars on wasteful contracting. Best of all, amid all of the meetings, I got to visit with our heroic
men and women in uniform serving our nation in harm’s way. I spoke
with troops to thank them for their service and
sacrifice and to make sure they have what they need to be safe and
successful. *You can see the itinerary and view some pictures from my trip here.
* The threat of terrorism is real and, in large part, it originated in
the region I visited. America’s goal in Afghanistan is to eliminate
terrorists, the Taliban, which has supported them, and any ability for
terrorists to organize attacks against the United States. I wanted to see first hand if we are making progress in defeating the
forces of evil who want to harm our American way of life. We are
making progress but much work remains to be done. I’ll continue
working to keep us moving in the right direction. Read more about the trip now: *http://aiss.enews.senate.gov/t/97441/5414371/2652/0/
* All the best, Claire

I’m on *Twitter* , a networking tool that helps
me keep in touch with Missourians — *read more about Twitter here*
. Keep up to date on how I’m
working for you in Washington by following me *_@clairecmc
_*.

Read my blog at *http://aiss.enews.senate.gov/t/97441/5414371/1862/0/
*. Questions or comments? Contact Senator McCaskill
| Office Locations
| Unsubscribe from
this list
=============

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Fw: Amazing Grace…The Black Notes- Truly interesting

February 27, 2010

   

   

Enjoy. It’s great.

The Black Notes Only of AMAZING GRACE

I had never heard about the black notes before!

 Very interesting


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Petition to end the filibuster

February 27, 2010
Hey —

I just visited FedUpWithTheFilibuster.com to sign a petition
addressing my Senators, urging them to revisit the outdated
filibuster rule, which effectively requires a supermajority to
pass virtually any legislation in Washington these days.

If you share my belief that it’s time to end the filibuster as
we know it, will you speak up and sign the petition, too?

http://www.FedUpWithTheFilibuster.com

Changing the filibuster is no pipe dream. In fact, back in the
1970’s the Senate successfully amended what was a 67-vote
cloture requirement to the current 60-vote requirement. We cannot continue to allow a minority of Senators to paralyze
progress. Together we can restore majority rule and make
Congress work for the American people again.

Please join me and sign the petition at: http://www.FedUpWithTheFilibuster.com

Thank you.
http://ga3.org/campaign/fedup2?rk=375cKZ1a5JO4W

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Iowa Snow Sculpture and Poem

February 25, 2010
SNOW SCULPTURE
To anyone who has ever lived in Iowa

 
 It’s winter in Iowa 
And the gentle breezes blow, 
70 miles per hour at 25 below!

Oh, how I love Iowa 
When the snow’s up to your butt; 
You take a breath of winter air 
And your nose is frozen shut

Yes, the weather here is wonderful, 
I guess I’ll hang around. 
I could never leave  Iowa , 
‘Cause I’m frozen to the ground.

 

=

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History of The Middle Finger

February 25, 2010


    

 

 

 

 

The history of the middle finger

I never knew this before, and now that I know it, I feel compelled to send it on to my more intelligent friends in the hope that they, too, will feel edified.  Isn’t history more fun when you know something about it?  

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as ‘plucking the yew’ (or ‘pluck yew’).

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew!  Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F’, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute!  It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as ‘giving the bird.’

IT IS STILL AN APPROPRIATE SALUTE TO THE FRENCH TODAY!

And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing



 

 

 

 



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Fw: Help me close the floodgates on corporate cash

February 24, 2010

Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 2:16 PM
Subject: Help me close the floodgates on corporate cash

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. FEC overturned a century of established law by declaring limits on corporate election spending unconstitutional. Help us restore Government By the People, NOT the corporations.
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Sen. John Kerry

Please join me in supporting a constitutional amendment to make sure our government stays one By the People, not corporations.

Spread the word!

www.pfaw.org/Amend

Dear Daniel,

It’s apparent to me that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC is so sweeping that we must think boldly about how to free our democracy from the dominance of big money. I believe we need to think big — we need to amend the Constitution so that legislatures have unambiguous authority to limit the influence of corporations in American elections.

Thank you for signing People For the American Way’s petition supporting a constitutional amendment and helping to build the momentum we need to undo the Supreme Court’s damage. Please help promote the petition to others by forwarding this email or posting the link below on your Facebook page or other web sites.

http://www.pfaw.org/Amend

Amending the Constitution is not something I take lightly. But the need to do it has been forced on us by Supreme Court’s conservative majority. The Roberts Court’s recent decision in Citizens United v. FEC said that corporations could spend unlimited money to influence elections. The decision is a departure from a century of legal precedent and offers a radical new interpretation of the First Amendment and how it pertains to corporations. Some of my fellow senators have offered bills to close some loopholes and afford what protections can be allowed in this new legal framework, but a constitutional amendment remains the only real comprehensive fix.

The scholars, advocates and organizations who have called for a constitutional amendment understand, as I do, that this process will be long and hard. But with a strong grassroots movement behind it, it’s an effort that can succeed. That’s where you come in.

You’re already a leader in this movement. Now, please help get at least five others to sign PFAW’s petition. I will use it in lobbying my colleagues and advancing this effort.

http://www.pfaw.org/Amend

Corporations ought to be subject to rules that protect average voters and our democratic system as a whole. But the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that corporation’s “right” effectively to buy elections is more important. The Court opened the floodgates for corporate cash in elections but we can close them. Please join me in this effort and, together, we can leave our mark on history and save our democracy.

Thank you,


Senator John Kerry (D-MA)


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Fw: Tune in tomorrow POTUS #HCR meeting

February 24, 2010

Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 10:54 AM
Subject: Tune in tomorrow

Organizing for America
Daniel —

Tomorrow, the President will be hosting leaders from both parties at a bipartisan meeting about how to reform our broken health insurance system. It’s a critical step toward getting the job done on health reform — and a historic moment you won’t want to miss.

Senators and representatives will gather with the President to talk through the bills that have already passed the House and Senate, as well as the proposal President Obama released on Monday. And they’ll have an open discussion about any new ideas from either side of the aisle for how to solve this crisis.

OFA will live-stream the meeting starting at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. We’ll provide live updates and feature video of key moments during and after the event.

Will you join us for this pivotal moment? Sign up and RSVP to get a reminder before the meeting starts, and then check in throughout the day tomorrow to see this historic conversation unfold.

Sign up to watch the bipartisan meeting

During tomorrow’s meeting, the President will moderate a discussion on four critical goals:

Protecting Americans from insurance company abuses;
Reining in the cost of care;
Putting affordable, high-quality coverage within reach of every American; and
Reducing our unsustainable national deficit.

Tomorrow, the bottom line is simple: This issue is more important than any partisan divide. It’s time to put all real solutions on the table, and it’s time to move forward.

And this is your chance to be there when the long sprint toward health reform enters its final phase.

Please sign up for a reminder before the meeting starts, and then tune in for as much as you can starting at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time:

http://my.barackobama.com/BipartisanRSVP

Thanks,

Mitch

Mitch Stewart
Director
Organizing for America

Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee — 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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