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Noam Chomsky takes ten minutes to explain everything you need to know about the Republican Party in 2019 / Boing Boing
"Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewed linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky and asked him to explain Donald Trump; in a mere 10 minutes, Chomsky explains where Trump came from, what he says about the GOP, and what the best response to Russiagate is.

Chomsky lays out the history of the GOP from Nixon's Southern Strategy, when the party figured out that the way to large numbers of working people to vote for policies that made a tiny minority of rich people richer was to quietly support racism, which would fuse together a coalition of racists and the super-rich. By Reagan's time, the coalition was beefed up with throngs of religious fanatics, brought in by adopting brutal anti-abortion policies. Then the GOP recruited paranoid musketfuckers by adopting doctrinal opposition to any form of gun control. Constituency by constituency, the GOP became a big tent for deranged, paranoid, bigoted and misogynist elements, all reliably showing up to vote for policies that would send billions into the pockets of a tiny rump of wealthy people who represented the party's establishment.

That's why every time the GOP base fields a candidate, it's some self-parodying character out of a SNL sketch: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, etc. Every time, the GOP establishment had to sabotage the campaigns of the base's pick, until they couldn't -- Trump is just the candidate-from-the-base that the establishment couldn't suppress.

You can think of the Republican Party as a machine that does two things: enacting patriarchy and white supremacy (Trump) while delivering billions to oligarchs (McConnell, Paul Ryan, etc).

Then Chomsky moves onto Russiagate: Russian interference may have shifted the election outcome by a few critical points to get Trump elected, but it will be impossible to quantify the full extent and nature of interference and the issue will always be controversial, with room for doubt. But campaign contributions from the super-rich? They are undeniable and have a massive effect on US elections, vastly more than Russian interference ever will (as do election interventions of US allies: think of when Netanyahu went to Congress to attack Obama policies before a joint Congressional session right before a key election): "The real issues are different things. They’re things like climate change, like global warming, like the Nuclear Posture Review, deregulation. These are real issues. But the Democrats aren’t going after those."
Well, why did that happen? It happened because the Republicans face a difficult problem. They have a primary constituency, a real constituency: extreme wealth and corporate power. That’s who they have to serve. That’s their constituency. You can’t get votes that way, so you have to do something else to get votes. What do you do to get votes? This was begun by Richard Nixon with the Southern strategy: try to pick up racists in the South. The mid-1970s, Paul Weyrich, one of the Republican strategists, hit on a brilliant idea. Northern Catholics voted Democratic, tended to vote Democratic, a lot of them working-class. The Republicans could pick up that vote by pretending—crucially, “pretending”—to be opposed to abortion. By the same pretense, they could pick up the evangelical vote. Those are big votes—evangelicals, northern Catholics. Notice the word “pretense.” It’s crucial. You go back to the 1960s, every leading Republican figure was strongly, what we call now, pro-choice. The Republican Party position was—that’s Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, all the leadership—their position was: Abortion is not the government’s business; it’s private business—government has nothing to say about it. They turned almost on a dime in order to try to pick up a voting base on what are called cultural issues. Same with gun rights. Gun rights become a matter of holy writ because you can pick up part of the population that way. In fact, what they’ve done is put together a coalition of voters based on issues that are basically, you know, tolerable to the establishment, but they don’t like it. OK? And they’ve got to hold that, those two constituencies, together. The real constituency of wealth and corporate power, they’re taken care of by the actual legislation.

So, if you look at the legislation under Trump, it’s just lavish gifts to the wealth and the corporate sector—the tax bill, the deregulation, you know, every case in point. That’s kind of the job of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, those guys. They serve the real constituency. Meanwhile, Trump has to maintain the voting constituency, with one outrageous position after another that appeals to some sector of the voting base. And he’s doing it very skillfully. As just as a political manipulation, it’s skillful. Work for the rich and the powerful, shaft everybody else, but get their votes—that’s not an easy trick. And he’s carrying it off."

[Full interview: https://truthout.org/video/chomsky-on-the-perils-of-depending-on-mueller-report-to-defeat-trump/
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/18/chomsky_by_focusing_on_russia_democrats
https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2019/4/18?autostart=true

"NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, Trump is—you know, I think there are a number of illusions about Trump. If you take a look at the Trump phenomenon, it’s not very surprising. Think back for the last 10 or 15 years over Republican Party primaries, and remember what happened during the primaries. Each primary, when some candidate rose from the base, they were so outlandish that the Republican establishment tried to crush them and succeeded in doing it—Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum. Anyone who was coming out of the base was totally unacceptable to the establishment. The change in 2016 is they couldn’t crush him.

But the interesting question is: Why was this happening? Why, in election after election, was the voting base producing a candidate utterly intolerable to the establishment? And the answer to that is—if you think about that, the answer is not very hard to discover. During the—since the 1970s, during this neoliberal period, both of the political parties have shifted to the right. The Democrats, by the 1970s, had pretty much abandoned the working class. I mean, the last gasp of more or less progressive Democratic Party legislative proposals was the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act in 1978, which Carter watered down so that it had no teeth, just became voluntary. But the Democrats had pretty much abandoned the working class. They became pretty much what used to be called moderate Republicans. Meanwhile, the Republicans shifted so far to the right that they went completely off the spectrum. Two of the leading political analysts of the American Enterprise Institute, Thomas Mann, Norman Ornstein, about five or 10 years ago, described the Republican Party as what they called a “radical insurgency” that has abandoned parliamentary politics.

Well, why did that happen? It happened because the Republicans face a difficult problem. They have a primary constituency, a real constituency: extreme wealth and corporate power. That’s who they have to serve. That’s their constituency. You can’t get votes that way, so you have to do something else to get votes. What do you do to get votes? This was begun by Richard Nixon with the Southern strategy: try to pick up racists in the South. The mid-1970s, Paul Weyrich, one of the Republican strategists, hit on a brilliant idea. Northern Catholics voted Democratic, tended to vote Democratic, a lot of them working-class. The Republicans could pick up that vote by pretending—crucially, “pretending”—to be opposed to abortion. By the same pretense, they could pick up the evangelical vote. Those are big votes—evangelicals, northern Catholics. Notice the word “pretense.” It’s crucial. You go back to the 1960s, every leading Republican figure was strongly, what we call now, pro-choice. The Republican Party position was—that’s Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, all the leadership—their position was: Abortion is not the government’s business; it’s private business—government has nothing to say about it. They turned almost on a dime in order to try to pick up a voting base on what are called cultural issues. Same with gun rights. Gun rights become a matter of holy writ because you can pick up part of the population that way. In fact, what they’ve done is put together a coalition of voters based on issues that are basically, you know, tolerable to the establishment, but they don’t like it. OK? And they’ve got to hold that, those two constituencies, together. The real constituency of wealth and corporate power, they’re taken care of by the actual legislation.

So, if you look at the legislation under Trump, it’s just lavish gifts to the wealth and the corporate sector—the tax bill, the deregulation, you know, every case in point. That’s kind of the job of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, those guys. They serve the real constituency. Meanwhile, Trump has to maintain the voting constituency, with one outrageous position after another that appeals to some sector of the voting base. And he’s doing it very skillfully. As just as a political manipulation, it’s skillful. Work for the rich and the powerful, shaft everybody else, but get their votes—that’s not an easy trick. And he’s carrying it off.

And, I should say, the Democrats are helping him. They are. Take the focus on Russiagate. What’s that all about? I mean, it was pretty obvious at the beginning that you’re not going to find anything very serious about Russian interference in elections. I mean, for one thing, it’s undetectable. I mean, in the 2016 election, the Senate and the House went the same way as the executive, but nobody claims there was Russian interference there. In fact, you know, Russian interference in the election, if it existed, was very slight, much less, say, than interference by, say, Israel. Israel… [more]
amygoodman  noamchomsky  corydoctorow  donaldtrump  republicans  us  politics  extremism  billionaires  inequality  campaignfinance  money  power  policy  mitchmcconnell  paulryan  abortion  nra  guns  evangelicals  richardnixon  ronaldreagan  georgehwbush  govenment  corporatism  corruption  russiagate  legislation  wealth  oligarchy  plutocracy  paulweyrich  southernstrategy  racism  race  gop  guncontrol  bigotry  misogyny  establishment  michelebachman  hermancain  ricksantoram  patriarchy  whitesupremacy  netanyahu  barackobama  congress  climatechange  canon  democrats  democracy  insurgency  radicalism  right  labor  corporations  catholics  2019  israel  elections  influence 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Indivisible Guide
"Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen."



"NOTE FROM THE INDIVISIBLE TEAM

Since this guide went live as a Google Doc, we’ve received an overwhelming flood of messages from people all over the country working to resist the Trump agenda. We’re thrilled and humbled by the energy and passion of this growing movement. We’ll be updating the guide based on your feedback and making it interactive ASAP. You can sign up for updates at www.IndivisibleGuide.com.

Every single person who worked on this guide and website is a volunteer. We’re doing this in our free time without coordination or support from our employers. Our only goal is help the real leaders on the ground who are resisting Trump’s agenda on their home turf. We hope you will take this document and use it however you see fit.

We want to hear your stories, questions, comments, edits, etc., so please feel free to ping some of us on Twitter: @IndivisibleTeam, @ezralevin, @angelrafpadilla, @texpat, @Leahgreenb. Or email IndivisibleAgainstTrump@gmail.com.

And please please please spread the word! Only folks who know this
exists will use it.

Good luck — we will win."



"INTRODUCTION

Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever call himself PresidentElect. In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, he will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image. If progressives are going to stop this, we must stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress (MoCs) who would do his bidding. Together, we have the power to resist — and we have the power to win.

We know this because we’ve seen it before. The authors of this guide are former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party. We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own MoCs to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism — and they won.

We believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda — but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness. Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional majorities. If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.

To this end, the following chapters offer a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents. The guide is intended to be equally useful for stiffening Democratic spines and weakening pro-Trump Republican resolve.

We believe that the next four years depend on citizens across the country standing indivisible against the Trump agenda. We believe that buying into false promises or accepting partial concessions will only further empower Trump to victimize our fellow citizens. We hope that this guide will provide those who share that belief useful tools to make Congress listen."
activism  ebooks  politics  donaldtrump  congress  government  2016  us  resistance 
december 2016 by robertogreco
GovTrack.us: Tracking the U.S. Congress
"GovTrack.us tracks the United States Congress and helps Americans understand what is going on in their national legislature.

We publish the status of federal legislation and information about your representative and senators in Congress. Use GovTrack to track bills for updates or get alerts.

We also go beyond the official record with statistical analyses, bill summaries, and other tools to put information in context.

GovTrack was the first to create open data about Congress (see the developer docs), and we have successfully lobbied Congress to make more and better legislative information available to the public."



"Congress is about to wake up.
When President-elect Trump takes office on January 20, the House, Senate, and White House will be controlled by the same party for the first time in six years.

Things are going to happen fast. Congress is expected to move quickly on Trump's agenda using the same tactics immune to the filibuster that Democrats used to enact the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

Now more than ever we need transparency in Congress.

Over the last year we’ve helped 10 million Americans track Congress using bill alerts. We hope to continue GovTrack Insider, where we put the most important legislation into plain English. We've also worked with Congress on improving transparency at the source.

We now need your help. We’re simply out of money. We can’t continue GovTrack Insider or improve our bill tracking tools without your financial support. Important pieces of GovTrack will end on December 31 if we can’t pay for it. If you are able, please:

Donate to Support Our Work

Thanks very much for being a part of GovTrack.

Joshua Tauberer
Founder, GovTrack.us"
congress  data  government  legislation  us  via:jbushnell 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Congressional Kindness | DATATELLING
"When I was in high school, Robert Coles came to speak. Robert Coles is the child psychologist who worked with six-year-old Ruby Bridges in 1960, the year that she, by herself, integrated William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. The details of Ruby Bridges’ story are extraordinary.

Coles talked to a packed gym – standing room only. He spoke with a singular and memorable refrain:

Be kind, be kind, be kind.

Afterwards, in a more intimate discussion, a teacher challenged him. Life’s rough, he said. We’re trying to prepare these kids for that. You aren’t actually suggesting we be kind all the time? They parried; the teacher was angry and would not back down. The conversation, and the room, was heated and uncomfortable."



"Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time with the U.S. congressional record. It is a surprising and strange text, sometimes infuriating, sometimes touching, often boring.

Sunlight Labs’ Capitol Words API is a great tool for searching phrases in the congressional record; it’s based on the full text of the congressional record since 1996.

I searched “kindness” and this is what I found.

The word kindness in the congressional record is used for recognition, remembrance, protocol, and prayer. Recognition of the kindness of individual people, communities, and events. Remembrance of kindness in a eulogy. Protocol appears as “I thank the Senator for his kindness in yielding me the floor.” Prayer is kindness appearing in the daily opening prayer.

Rarer uses of kindness include the political use of “the kindness of strangers.” Representatives generally feel that the U.S. has become, or is at risk of becoming, overly dependent on the kindness of strangers. Kindness is also sometimes used to describe people’s actions during natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

Congressional Kindness is a serendipity tool, and an experiment in small data, in showing the countability of kindness in the congressional record."



"Of course, kindness is hard. Kindness is complicated. But yes, it can be done."
congress  data  kindness  language  words  jenlowe  2012 
april 2014 by robertogreco
America the voiceless: Voters can’t compete with big campaign cash | Al Jazeera America
"It’s not just your imagination: The influence of money in politics has indeed drowned out the voices of American voters, a new analysis shows, with runaway corporate lobbying and a lack of campaign finance reform to blame for giving much more political weight to the wealthy."
government  policy  influence  us  money  corporatism  2014  corruption  democracy  oligarchy  campaignfinance  lobbying  campaignfinancereform  congress  elections 
april 2014 by robertogreco
6, 4: Block quotes
"So! In some of NASA’s actions you can detect a flavor of institutional hypervigilance against controversy. For example, most of what I’m in contact with is EO (Earth Observation, under what to my great pleasure was once called MTPE, Mission to Planet Earth), and for them climate change is a big, big deal. But they have to bend over backwards not to say anything that could be interpreted as even a little partisan, which is a tough move when simple, contextualized facts are very partisan. Likewise, two different people have politely reminded me that their communications are subject to FOIA, giving me the impression that they feel they have to avoid volunteering opinions outside narrow technical topics, even when they’re squeaky clean of any bias that could possibly affect the quality and independence of their work.

The impression that one sometimes gets is of a sticky note on the monitor frame reading “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to hear read out in Congress by someone who intends to defund your program”.

It’s a shame. You add friction to people’s work when you make them second-guess themselves and not express even well-supported, carefully framed, intellectually honest, professionally relevant opinions.

I wish the squint-inducing sunlight were felt in agencies whose failures cause secret murders, foolish wars, and the creation of surveillance states more than in an agency whose most salient failures so far – seventeen suited astronaut deaths – were caused by institutional lock-up more than by anything else. It should scare us how much Columbia was a repeat of Challenger: in both cases, a good understanding of the problem and solution was diffused within NASA, but it never converged on the point where it was needed. Too little jidoka. It’s not that transparency causes Crew Module Catastrophic Events, but there’s a chain from “we need to make sure the taxpayers are getting their money’s worth” through “let’s make sure we have solid procedures for everything” to “no, don’t just say ‘STOP! I see a problem that could kill the crew.’ to your boss; write up a nice report in rock-solid formal language” that has to be broken somewhere.

Astronaut deaths are the most salient failure, but to my mind the much bigger one is the failure to go further, which is the fault of the Executive and Legislative branches. One illustration of the problem is the Landsat program. As a series of satellites, you might assume it would be NASA’s responsibility to manage the space side of things. Nope. Obama reached over with scissors and glue to move Landsat to its own authority within the Geological Survey, because we was rightly counseled that Congress (and the presidency) cannot be trusted to fund NASA consistently enough to let it run Landsat. The consequence is very good: USGS’s Landsat operation is one of my stock examples when folks ask about doing open data right. But it bodes bogus of our handling of our primary space program when we have to take satellites away from it because we can’t trust ourselves to let it run them.

And so I see the hypervigilance as another face of the imposed institutional conservatism that has made NASA an anxious genius of an agency, never sure whether it will have the funding to do anything ambitious even after it’s been promised, tired of being scolded for not finishing what it doesn’t have the mandate to start, trying to get through a few short-sighted decades while doing justice to its domain. It’s amazing it’s as sure-handed as it is.

This, then, I think, is why we don’t see even more radical innovation from NASA: because Congress hates funding costly failures, even ones that are small and necessary parts of hugely worthwhile successes. And that’s why I doubt we’re anywhere close to the fail-hard/win-big r strategy program that Maly envisions. NSF grants are one good back door. Universal healthcare and a better social net in general is another: read Bill Gates’s “half” story and go ask a single mother who can’t afford daycare how she thinks the US economy is doing at letting her best ideas compete. I bet we’ll get there, but what happens between now and then still counts. America is waiting.

One of many causes for hope is that, even as its funding for outreach is cut, it’s NASA’s figured out how to put on a show on the web."
charlieloyd  2014  nasa  bureaucracy  universalhealthcare  healthcare  research  government  failure  science  hypervigilance  observation  imagery  congress  funding  landsat  usgs  remotesensing  earth  satellites  satelliteimagery 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Dream is Now
"JOIN US AS WE BUILD AN INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY that will send a clear message to Washington: ACT NOW on the Dream Act — create a path for undocumented youth to earn their citizenship. We won't rest until Congress hears our voices, with momentum building for immigration reform, the time is now. Tell your story, send in a picture, sign the petition and become a part of a living, breathing call to action that Congress can't ignore. Story by story, voice by voice we will make it happen."
dreamact  immigration  us  policy  activism  petitions  identity  documentary  documentaries  citizenship  congress  law  legal  crowdsourcing  via:nicolefenton 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy | Naomi Wolf | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
"So, when you connect the dots, properly understood, what happened this week is the first battle in a civil war; a civil war in which, for now, only one side is choosing violence. It is a battle in which members of Congress, with the collusion of the American president, sent violent, organised suppression against the people they are supposed to represent. Occupy has touched the third rail: personal congressional profits streams. Even though they are, as yet, unaware of what the implications of their movement are, those threatened by the stirrings of their dreams of reform are not.

Sadly, Americans this week have come one step closer to being true brothers and sisters of the protesters in Tahrir Square. Like them, our own national leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from transparency and reform, are now making war upon us."

[Pushback: http://www.angryblacklady.com/2011/11/25/ows-the-shocking-truth-of-naomi-wolfs-journalistic-hackery/ AND http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/11/26/no-the-crackdown-against-occupy-wall-street-is-not-the-work-of-the-shadowy-elite/ AND http://dirtyhippies.org/2011/11/26/naomi-wolfs-shocking-truth-about-the-occupy-crackdowns-is-anything-but-true/ AND http://joshholland.blogspot.com/2011/11/naomi-wolfs-shocking-truth-about-occupy.html AND elsewhere]
politics  occupywallstreet  ows  activism  corruption  violence  civilwar  classwarfare  congress  barackobama  homelandsecurity  2011  money  us  insidertrading  lobbying  doublestandards  policestate  privilege  via:gpe 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Lawrence Lessig on Help U.S. / PICNIC Festival 2011 on Vimeo
"How are governments responding to the entitlement, engagement and sharing brought about by the Internet? How can policy "mistakes" be fixed in "high funcrctioning democracies"?<br />
Harvard law professor and Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig describes how policy errors in the United States are having unintended negative consequences and he implores "outsiders" to help US to correct its mistakes with balanced, sensible policy alternatives."
larrylessig  corruption  us  copyright  congress  lobbying  politics  policy  specialinterests  publicpolicy  ip  broadband  napster  culture  remixing  readwriteweb  web  internet  2011  netherlands  extremism  capitalism  history  alexisdetocqueville  future  corporatism  present  stasis  equality  entitlement  democracy  remixculture 
september 2011 by robertogreco
[Video] Dirigente universitario pidió a senadores no elegidos restarse de mesa de diálogo Cooperativa.cl
"La participación de la senadora Ena Von Baer, fue cuestionada por los estudiantes que asistieron a la comisión de Educación del Senado. Patricio Araujo, dirigente de la U. Arturo Prat, aclaró que no aceptarán "congresistas que no han sido electos democráticamente"."
enavonbaer  chile  2011  education  democracy  sebastiánpiñera  protest  politics  policy  protests  congress  government 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Dodd-Frank Update - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 07/28/11 - Video Clip | Comedy Central
"The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act sings about having its ass f**ked raw for a year."
dodd-frank  fraud  finance  financereform  elizabethwarren  wallstreet  corruption  congress  lobbying  government  us  2011  via:cburell 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Throwing the Bums Out for 140 Years - NYTimes.com
"It is not as if the Gilded Age did not have plenty of urgent and potentially galvanizing issues: healing the wounds of the Civil War; managing enormous nation-building agendas in the conquered South and the dauntingly arid West; navigating the enormous and rushed transition from an agricultural to an industrial economic base, and from countryside to city; quelling the labor unrest that repeatedly erupted into bloodshed; accommodating the millions of immigrants who streamed ashore in the century’s closing decades; and defining an international role for an increasingly prosperous and powerful country, just to name a few.<br />
<br />
Yet the era’s political system proved unable to grapple effectively with any of those matters.<br />
<br />
What’s instructive to us now is the similarity between the Gilded Age’s combination of extraordinary social and economic dynamism and abject political paralysis. We face a no-less-formidable array of issues, and there is little mystery about their nature."
davidkennedy  politics  us  policy  government  congress  2010  gildedage  via:javierarbona  gridlock 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Filibusters and arcane obstructions in the Senate : The New Yorker ["The Emptry Chamber: Just how broken is the Senate?"]
“The two lasting achievements of this Senate, financial regulation and health care, required a year and a half of legislative warfare that nearly destroyed the body. They depended on a set of circumstances—a large majority of Democrats, a charismatic President with an electoral mandate, and a national crisis—that will not last long or be repeated anytime soon. Two days after financial reform became law, Harry Reid announced that the Senate would not take up comprehensive energy-reform legislation for the rest of the year. And so climate change joined immigration, job creation, food safety, pilot training, veterans’ care, campaign finance, transportation security, labor law, mine safety, wildfire management, and scores of executive and judicial appointments on the list of matters that the world’s greatest deliberative body is incapable of addressing.”
2010  legislation  congress  obstructionism  partisanship  government  procedure  politics  governance  filibuster  democrats  republicans  rules  senate  history  georgepacker 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Primary Source Sets - For Teachers (Library of Congress)
"Sets of selected primary sources on specific topics, available as easy-to-print PDFs. Also, background material and tools to guide student analysis" [See also the "For Teachers" page: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/ AND "Using Primary Sources" http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/ AND "Classroom Materials" http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/ among other school-specific resources available through the Library of Congress website]
congress  loc  curriculum  primarysources  research  government  education  history  lessonplans  teaching  socialstudies  classideas  tcsnmy  civilwar  baseball  dustbowl  poetry  immigration  assimilation  wrightbrothers  jamestown  wwii  ww2  jimcrow  naacp  civilrights  thanksgiving  war  veterans  westwardexpansion  suffrage  women  latinos  exploration  gender 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Columnist - The Rage Is Not About Health Care - NYTimes.com
"That tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either Civil Rights Act or Medicare...explanation is plain: health care bill is not main source of anger, never has been...merely handy excuse...real source of over-the-top rage of 2010 is same kind of national existential reordering that roiled US in 1964...conjunction of black president & female speaker of House — topped off by wise Latina on Supreme Court & powerful gay Congressional committee chair — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling & threatened minority...no matter what policies were in play...Demographics are avatars of change bigger than any bill contemplated by Obama/Congress...By 2012...non-Hispanic white births will be minority. Tea Party movement is virtually all white. Republicans haven’t 1 African-American in Senate/House since 2003 &...only 3 total since 1935. Their anxieties about rapidly changing America are well-grounded."
healthcare  demographics  government  health  republicans  racism  race  politics  culture  congress  us  2010  policy  teaparty  anger 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » This Is What Obstructionism + Nihilism + the Wurlitzer Looks Like
"And then, quietly, the bill that James and I and the majority of the House, Senate, and American people all agree would be a good thing, slowly and without any dignity dies. The beltway pundits, feeling no shame for their part in amplifying the bullshit from the noise machine, would then begin 100,000 horse race pieces discussing how this is bad for Obama and good for Republicans, and what role this will play in the 2010 elections.
politics  media  food  poverty  journalism  foodstamps  us  obstructionism  congress  republicans  conservatism  senate  acorn  2010 
february 2010 by robertogreco
A Looming Landslide For Brown - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
"In fact, any legislative moves with this Democratic party and this Republican party are close to hopeless. The Democrats are a clapped out, gut-free lobbyist machine. The Republicans are insane. The system is therefore paralyzed beyond repair.
us  2010  politics  democrats  republicans  andrewsullivan  fail  congress  health  climatechange  broken  demise  decline  via:preoccupations 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributor - Mr. Smith Rewrites the Constitution - NYTimes.com
"But the Senate, as it now operates, really has become unconstitutional: as we saw during the recent health care debacle, a 60-vote majority is required to overcome a filibuster and pass any contested bill. The founders, though, were dead set against supermajorities as a general rule, and the ever-present filibuster threat has made the Senate a more extreme check on the popular will than they ever intended. ... In Federalist No. 75, Hamilton denounced the use of supermajority rule in these prophetic words: “The history of every political establishment in which this principle has prevailed is a history of impotence, perplexity and disorder.” That is a suitable epitaph for what has happened to the Senate."
filibuster  us  law  rules  politics  constitution  congress  senate 
january 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - Bill Moyers on Max Baucus and Senate health insurance reform bill
"BILL MOYERS: You know from the news that early next week the Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on its version of health care reform. And therein lies another story of money and politics.
maxbaucus  billmoyers  2009  healthcare  lobbying  healthinsurance  business  congress  senate  corruption  specialinterests  via:kazys 
november 2009 by robertogreco
rc3.org - Close votes are a feature, not a bug
"I’ve seen a somewhat common piece of bad analysis I’ve seen over the past week, and have been surprised to see people correct it. As you may know, the House of Representatives passed a health care reform bill last night, 220 to 215. 39 Democrats voted against it. The fact that the Democrats couldn’t get everyone on board is being treated as a flaw in their strategy when in fact I’m sure their leadership sees it as the key. The bill passed in the House will be merged with whatever bill is passed in the Senate, and that’s the bill both the House and Senate will vote on again to be sent to the President for signature.
politics  government  healthcare  congress  compromise  voting  law 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Revealed: millions spent by lobbyists fighting Obama health reforms | World news | guardian.co.uk
"Six lobbyists for every member of Congress as healthcare industry heaps cash on politicians to water down legislation"
health  politics  policy  us  healthcare  medicine  insurance  influence  2009  barackobama  congress  lobbying 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Obsidian Wings: Yeah, About that ACORN Law
"The problem is, in enacting a law that makes it possible to hold a group like ACORN responsible for the actions of its employees, the GOP might have opened up Pandora's box. Consider, for example, some other groups that receive government funds (far in excess of $53 million over 15 years) whose employees have committed far more grievous crimes (ie, rape and murder for employees of KBR, Blackwater and other private contractors). Ryan Grim on some of the implications:"
law  military  congress  acorn  politics  2009 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Why the health care debate is so important regardless of one's view of the "public option" - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
"attempt to attract GOP support was pretext...used to compromise continuously & water down bill...desire for GOP support wasn't really reason...Given White House's central role in negotiating secret deal w/ pharmaceutical industry, betrayal of Obama's clear promise to conduct negotiations out in open, Rahm's protection of Blue Dogs & accompanying attacks on progressives & complete lack of any pressure exerted on allegedly obstructionists "centrists," it seems rather clear that bill has been watered down & "public option" jettisoned, because that was the plan all along...giving insurance & pharmaceutical industries most everything they want ensures that the GOP doesn't become the repository for the largesse of those industries...This is how things always work...industry interests which own & control our government always get their way...If progressives adhere to pledge...thwart industry demands & dictate of Beltway leaders...empower new faction in DC beholden to ordinary citizens"
politics  glenngreenwald  policy  health  healthinsurance  healthcare  democrats  insurance  gop  power  congress  2009  progressives  change 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Matthew Yglesias » So You Say You Want Me to Want a Revolution?
"Nick Baumann at Mother Jones and the mystery blogger behind Democracy in America both see my various complaints about American politician institutions as a sign of incipient radicalism. Well, not really. I’m very skeptical about the utility of violence in bringing about positive political change and am thus a poor candidate for revolutionary. But I do want to see reform of the political process. In particular, I would note: [list of specifics here]"
government  law  us  politics  policy  revolution  change  reform  progress  senate  congress  electoralcollege  filibuster 
july 2009 by robertogreco
USAspending.gov
"The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act) requires a single searchable website, accessible by the public for free that includes for each Federal award:
politics  economics  us  policy  data  database  statistics  api  taxes  accountability  finance  congress  spending  budget  transparency  government  money 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Read The Bill: Improve the legislative process by posting bills online for 72 hours before debate!
"Congress should change its rules to require that non-emergency legislation and conference reports be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before debate begins."
legislation  opengovernment  activism  government  congress  knowledge  readthebill  democracy  politics  corruption 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Open Left:: Yes, There Are Deeply Angry Democratic Members of Congress
From the email of an anonymous lawmaker: "Paulsen and congressional Republicans, or the few that will actually vote for this (most will be unwilling to take responsibility for the consequences of their policies), have said that there can't be any "add ons," or addition provisions. Fuck that. I don't really want to trigger a world wide depression (that's not hyperbole, that's a distinct possibility), but I'm not voting for a blank check for $700 billion for those mother fuckers. Nancy said she wanted to include the second "stimulus" package that the Bush Administration and congressional Republicans have blocked. I don't want to trade a $700 billion dollar giveaway to the most unsympathetic human beings on the planet for a few fucking bridges. I want reforms of the industry, and I want it to be as punitive as possible." And he goes on from there...
politics  economics  us  housing  government  2008  finance  anonymous  bailout  congress  democrats  recession  crisis  wallstreet  money 
september 2008 by robertogreco
A Declaration for Independence - Lawrence Lessig
"If this experiment in democracy launched two centuries ago is to survive, we must revolve back to at least this of its founding ideals: that the government must be architected to check the corrupting influence of improper dependence. This is the first problem reformers must fix. And however impossible it is for politicians and reformers to imagine a world where the people mobilize to demand this change, we must mobilize this world. There is no other choice. The slow slide away from a Republic in which Congress is dependent upon nothing except “the People,” is accelerating. Like the melting of the polar ice caps, at some point, it won’t be reversed."
larrylessig  congress  us  government  reform  change  gamechanging  corruption  legal  law  independence  politics  history  freedom  money 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Running for Office: It's Like A Flamewar with a Forum Troll, but with an Eventual Winner
"My name is Sean Tevis [photo]. I'm an Information Architect in Kansas running for State Representative. I’ve decided to “retire” my current State Representative. I'm going to win. This is my story (XKCD homage style) so far. "
politics  comics  humor  government  congress  evolution  us  money  elections  democracy  donations  marketing  crowds 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Capitol Words
"gives you an at-a-glance view into the daily proceedings of the United States Congress through the simplest lens available-a single word. For every day that Congress is in session, Capitol Words displays the most frequently used word in the Congressional
congress  government  language  visualization  politics  words  us 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Change Congress
"movement to build support for basic reform in how our government functions. Using our tools, both candidates and citizens can pledge their support for basic changes to reduce the distorting influence of money in Washington. Our community will link candid
activism  larrylessig  corruption  constitution  democracy  freedom  money  policy  politics  progressive  reform  change  government  congress  transparency  us 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Stanford Law Professor Larry Lessig Bets 'Wikipedia' Approach Will Transform Congress | Threat Level from Wired.com
"ambitious project aims to use collaborative software to harness extraordinary levels of pent-up political energy and dissatisfaction that voters have shown over the past two years with their members of congress"
Congress  corruption  freedom  technology  government  socialnetworks  larrylessig  change  reform  activism  us  legal  politics  participation  law  wikipedia  liberty 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Lessig '08 - Change Congress.
"This site hosts this video to explain the launch of two exploratory projects — first, a Change Congress movement, and second, my own decision whether to run for Congress in the California 12th."
2008  larrylessig  progressive  congress  us  elections  corruption  activism  government  law  politics  california  money  civics  democracy  transparency  change  reform 
february 2008 by robertogreco
TED | TEDBlog: Larry Lessig for Congress?
"In response to the unofficial movement to draft Larry Lessig to run for US Congress, Lessig has set up his own site, Lessig08.com, to help him decide if he should run for a seat in California's 12th District. A 10-minute video on the site lays out his pl
larrylessig  congress  elections  2008  politics  corruption  us  progressive  democracy  activism  government  law  california  money  civics  transparency  change  reform 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Draft Larry Lessig for Congress! - Boing Boing
"After the death of representative Lantos Lessig's district has an open seat in Congress and a special election will be held in early April. Lessig is rumored to be considering the position and has registered the domain change-congress.com."
larrylessig  congress  politics  policy  government  smartmobs  change  reform  corruption  elections  democracy  progressive  2008  us  activism  law  california  money  civics  transparency 
february 2008 by robertogreco
THOMAS (Library of Congress)
"In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, legislative information from the Library of Congress"
democracy  us  politics  law  legislation  transparency  databases  database  constitution  courts  tracking  voting  publicdomain  government  Congress  reference 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Sunlight Foundation
"founded...with the goal of using the revolutionary power of the Internet and new information technology to enable citizens to learn more about what Congress and their elected representatives are doing, and thus help reduce corruption, ensure greater tran
activism  crowdsourcing  corruption  congress  transparency  visualization  tracking  politics  policy  organization  government  open  citizenship  democracy 
october 2007 by robertogreco
WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Making Light (Sort Of) of Manipulating the Vote: The Redistricting Game
"I don't know what kind of software or maps are involved in real-world redistricting. But if they're half as much fun to use as "The Redistricting Game" I fear we'll never see an end to gerrymandering, because the politicos will be enjoying themselves too
civics  citizenship  congress  democracy  education  politics  history  interactive  learning  mapping  maps  redistricting  government  games  gaming  simulations  geography  videogames  teaching  elections 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The ReDistricting Game
""It is not easy to make the redistricting process understandable -- and near-miraculous to be able to do so in a highly entertaining way. But that is just what The Redistricting Game does, to the gratitude of all who want Americans to understand how this
civics  citizenship  congress  democracy  education  politics  history  interactive  learning  mapping  maps  redistricting  government  games  gaming  simulations  geography  videogames  teaching  elections 
september 2007 by robertogreco
MAPLight.org | Money and Politics: Illuminating the Connection
"MAPLight.org brings together campaign contributions and how legislators vote, providing an unprecedented window into the connections between money and politics. We currently cover the California Legislature and U.S. Congress."
activism  corruption  politics  money  influence  government  funding  transparency  us  records  visualization  business  congress  economics  policy  voting  democracy  database  datavisualization  mapping  maps  statistics  open 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Insanely Useful Websites | Sunlight Foundation
"The following sites and resources are “insanely useful Web sites” for government transparency. They provide a broad range of information available to track government and legislative information, campaign contributions and the role of money in politi
activism  data  government  politics  links  reference  resources  transparency  congress 
july 2007 by robertogreco

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