ANTI SUMMERS MOVEMENT GROWS…NSA DECLASSIFIED…FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT TO VOTE…ANOTHER CITIZENS UNITED?…Summers Over…Yellen For Fed…

ANTI SUMMERS MOVEMENT GROWSPBS NEWSHOUR questions Summers too cozy ties to Citibank and points out that Obama’s own ethics rule would require an unprecedented exemption for an appointee at this level. AND OVER 350 ECONOMISTS signed a letter urging the President to elect Janet Yellen, not Larry Summers, as Chair of the Federal Reserve. Petitioners include Top Wonks Dean Baker, Alan Blinder, Nancy Folbre, Heidi Hartmann, Lawrence Mishel, Jeffrey Sachs, John Schmitt, Robert Shiller, and Joseph Stiglitz. Institute for Women’s Policy Research and Top Wonk Heidi Hartmann: “Dr. Yellen’s credentials, skills and abilities are so outstanding, and I think women will view it as an insult if someone so qualified is passed over. This group of economists is trying to urge the President not to do that.” Read the full statement HERESUMMERS SPARKS FLEW — Former Treasury Department special inspector general Neil Barofsky and former Senator Ted Kaufman apparently blasted Summers’ credentials at the Better Markets conference today. This opposition comes on the heels of leading Republican Senator John Cornyn’s statement that he would not back Summers’ appointment. The Better Markets forum, entitled “Five Years On, Learning Lehman’s Lessons from the Panic of 2008: Are We Better Prepared for the Next Financial Crisis?,” was led by a panel of experts including Senator Elizabeth Warren. Discussion topics included Wall Street’s lobbying efforts and dangerous risk taking and the future of government bailouts. As Kaufman put it, the prospect of Summers as Fed chair should cause “rioting in the streets.”

NSA DECLASSIFIED — Fourteen NSA documents were declassified on Tuesday in response to a May 2011 ACLU  lawsuit. The documents were made public under the Freedom of Information Act and related to the government’s interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which ambiguously grants the FBI permission to obtain “any tangible things” without evidence or probable cause for the sake of national security. ACLU National Security Project staff attorney Alex Abdo: “These documents show that the NSA repeatedly violated court-imposed limits on its surveillance powers, and they confirm that the agency simply cannot be trusted with such sweeping authority.”

FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT TO VOTE – Weeks after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law a sweeping and oppressive voter ID bill the state continued its attacks on voting rights, targeting students’ ability to vote on campus. The bill created rigid photo identification requirements, did away with same-day registration and reduced the early voting window, all of which particularly target minority voters, students, seniors, and other marginalized peoples. The North Carolina NAACP, Advancement Project, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are currently working together to challenge the increasingly restrictive voting measures.

Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair lambasted the recent measures: “It’s no surprise that state and local officials are focusing on youth voters, who are perennial targets when politicians manipulate election rules for their own advantage… The multifaceted plan here, from a statewide voter suppression law to the chilling actions of individual county election boards, is to make it harder for them to vote. It’s an ugly and arrogant strategy that threatens to fundamentally change democracy in North Carolina. These politicians will not get away with it.”

ANOTHER CITIZENS UNITED? — Demos drafted a petition urging the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to uphold campaign financing caps in the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission lawsuit. The lawsuit in question has the potential to expand campaign financing to allow direct campaign contributions of over $3.5 million from individuals. Earlier this summer Demos filed a joint amicus brief with the Communications Workers of America, Greenpeace, NAACP, Sierra Club, the American Federation of Teachers, Main Street Alliance, People for the American Way Foundation, Rock the Vote, U.S.PIRG, and the Working Families Organization. READ: “Stop the Next Citizens United: McCutcheon v. FEC and the Crisis of Confidence in American Democracy.

Sign Demos’ petition HERE. On Twitter, use #McCutcheon. 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD WEBSITE LAUNCH — Planned Parenthood launched a new site educating users about Obamacare. The site will soon contain a guide for women choosing insurance, and is in conjunction with their Obamacare Works campaign, featuring personal stories from women who have used Obamacare. Find out more and sign up for e-mail updates HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

SUMMERS OVER: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker questions why Larry Summers is even being considered as Chairman of the Fed given his questionable track record.

YELLEN FOR FED: Nobel Prize winner and Top Wonk Joseph Sitglitz explains why Janet Yellen is the best candidate to lead the Federal Reserve.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY LEHMAN BROTHERS: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich reflects on the past five years of Wall Street malfeasance since the Lehman Brothers went bankrupt.

UNBALANCED BREAKFAST: New America Foundation Director of Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative and Top Wonk Barry Lynn recommends “The Folks Who Sell Your Corn Flakes are Acting Like Goldman Sachs–and That Should Worry You,” authored by policy analyst Lina Kahn.

Find our more at TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA

TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT … The first ever complete on-line searchable directory of the most Important thinkers in the country on Climate Change and the Environment … COMING SOON … Stay tuned!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

IS THE PRESIDENT A SEXIST? POTENTIAL SUMMERS APPOINTMENT REACTIVATES “OLD BOY” CHARGE…RAISE THE WAGE PART II…UNFAIR AND PARTIAL…Demos Fellow Book Launch…Profits Over Pensioners?….

IS THE PRESIDENT A SEXIST? POTENTIAL SUMMERS APPOINTMENT REACTIVATES ”OLD BOY” CHARGE – In response to reports that the President was considering appointing Larry Summers to the Fed instead of Janet Yellin, President of the National Organization for Women Terry O’Neill tells PP: “Janet Yellen is clearly the best qualified person for the job… For the President to pass her up is a deep betrayal of women. He’s slamming a glass ceiling on the head of the best-qualified person.”

The charges are nothing new for a White House which has been beleaguered by “old boy” charges since the beginning. A 2009 New York Times story asked, “does the WH feel like a frat house?” and earlier this year the President had to publicly apologize to California Attorney General Kamala Harris for comments about her looks.

Summers, who infamously doubted women’s math and science skills, has long been a subject of criticism. In addition to his dubious opinions about gender inequality, there is deep dissatisfaction among economic experts about Summers’ role in the financial crisis. Daily Kos delivered a 130,000 signature petition to Sen. Sherrod Brown and an unnamed White House Official recently told The Huffington Post: “It really does need to be stopped.”

RAISE THE WAGE PART II — Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would substantially improve the lives of low-wage workers, who have an average age of 35, according to new data released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). EPI has also released a briefing evaluating the last decade of wage stagnation for the lower and middle classes. READ: “A Decade of Flat Wages: The Key Barrier to Shared Prosperity and a Rising Middle Class,” co-authored by EPI Top Wonks Lawrence Mishel and Heidi Shierholz.

These findings come as minimum wage fast food employees escalate their protests in cities throughout the country. Demos released a brief detailing ten reasons why fast food workers deserve a higher wage, focusing on the positive impact it would have on the economy. READ: “Ten Reasons Why Fast Food Workers Deserve A Raise.”

USA Today, TIME, The Huffington Post, and MSNBC covered the strikes.

On Twitter, use #LowPayIsNotOk, #829strike, and #RaiseTheWage and tweet @RaiseTheWage.

UNFAIR AND PARTIAL — In the wake of the Voting Rights Act Supreme Court decision, Alliance for Justice (AFJ) has released a new report evaluating the increasingly blatant presence of judicial activism in the U.S. Supreme Court. AFJ Justice Programs Director Michelle Schwartz: “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently called the current Supreme Court ‘… one of the most activist courts in history.’ We agree. Conservatives preach judicial restraint, but, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court majority routinely overreaches in pursuit of an ideological agenda.” READ: “The Roberts Court and Judicial Overreach.”

DEMOS FELLOW BOOK LAUNCH — Demos and Open Society Foundations will host a reception next Thursday, September 12th in New York to discuss Demos Senior Fellow Sarah Abramsky’s new book The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives. Find out event information and watch a trailer here HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

PROFITS OVER PENSIONERS?: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker examines economic consequences of the class divide between public pension receivers and the Wall Street elite.

STILL DREAMING: Nobel Prize winner and Top Wonk Joseph Stiglitz reflects on the role Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on his work in economics.

FROM OCCUPY TO A RAISE: Demos Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner celebrates Labor Day by evaluating the momentum of minimum wage workers.

Find out more at TopWonks.org

ON OUR AGENDA

TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT … The first ever complete on-line searchable directory of the most Important thinkers in the country on Climate Change and the Environment … COMING SOON … Stay tuned!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

PP Off For Labor Day!

We will return next week with all of the most Important news from the Progressive Movement.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

THE MARCH TURNS 50…MCRORY STOPS 92 YEAR OLD WOMAN FROM VOTING…EVERYONE AGREES (EXCEPT THE BANKS)…The Wonk Wire Returns!…

THE MARCH TURNS 50 — This Saturday progressive groups organized by the National Action Network will rally in Washington D.C. to honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Events include an 8am rally at the Lincoln Memorial followed by a march to the King Memorial. Partners of the event include Advancement Project, AFSCME, FairVote, Human Rights Campaign, League of Women Voters, MoveOn, the NAACP, Sojourners, and many others.

USA Today and The Washington Post covered the story. Find out more, including an event schedule, registration and transportation information, and ways to donate HERE.

Advancement Project and the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights will be releasing a report tomorrow analyzing the  experience of voters of color during the 2012 election in light of the Voting Rights Act decision and a flood of restrictive voting measures

POWER PLAY — Roughly 1 in 3 women have reported experiencing sexual discrimination in the workplace, according to a Power Survey conducted by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Elle Magazine. These findings corroborate the findings of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finding that women on average earn 80.9 percent less than their male counterparts. READ: “2013 Power Survey.”

MCRORY STOPS 92-YEAR-OLD WOMAN FROM VOTING — The NAACP filed a lawsuit last week in North Carolina on behalf of 92-year-old Rosanell Eaton in response to Governor Pat McCrory (R) signing into law a sweeping and discriminatory voter ID bill. Voters like Eaton who lack proper identification would have to undergo substantial difficulty to provide the documents necessary to continue to exercise their right to vote. The ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice also filed a lawsuit contesting other aspects of the bill that would cut early voting days, same-day registration, and access for student voters.

Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair blasted the law: “With the stroke of his pen, Gov. McCrory has transformed North Carolina from a state with one of the nation’s most progressive voting systems, where we saw some of the highest voter turnout rates of the last two presidential elections, into a state with the most draconian policies we’ve seen in decades, policies that harken back to the days of Jim Crow.”

EVERYONE AGREES (EXCEPT THE BANKS) — Despite Wall Street’s lobbying efforts against the stalled Dodd-Frank bill, over 80 percent of voters support stricter Wall Street regulation, according to new data collected by Americans for Financial Reform. As the President recently met with regulators urging them to implement Dodd-Frank as quickly as possible, President of Better Markets Dennis Kelleher sums up the situation best: “Only…consistent presidential leadership and involvement will turn the tide against Wall Street’s relentless attacks, which is what has killed, weakened and delayed so much of financial reform.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

WE ARE ALL DETROIT: Demos Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner examines the national consequences of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOCIAL SECURITY: Center for Economic and Policy Research Director of Domestic Policy and Top Wonk Nicole Woo analyzes the past, present, and future of Social Security on its 78th anniversary.

WHY THE ANGER?: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich ponders why Americans are more suspicious of government and politically polarized than ever.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org

 ON OUR AGENDA

TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT … The first ever complete on-line searchable directory of the most Important thinkers in the country on Climate Change and the Environment … COMING SOON … Stay tuned!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

PROGRESSIVES SLAP BACK…PROTESTING THE PIPELINE PART III, 31 Days of Unity…For Democracy, Not Profit…

PROGRESSIVES SLAP BACK — EMILY’s List and UltraViolet lambasted the Republican Super PAC The Hillary Project for their online game allowing users to slap Hillary Clinton. EMILY’s List Communications Director Jess McIntosh: This ridiculous behavior is why no amount of ‘re-branding’ is going to help Republicans win over women voters – they just don’t get it. Violence against women isn’t a ‘game.’ Slapping a woman for speaking isn’t actually a joke. It’s just gross.”

Sign petitions denouncing The Hillary Project and their offensive “game” HERE and HERE.

The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, CBS News, and ABC News covered the story.

PROTESTING THE PIPELINE PART III – 200 protestors organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, and The Other 98% held a sit-in outside the US State Department in Washington DC on Monday, urging the President to reject plans for the construction of the controversial 1,179 mile Keystone XL Pipeline.

Since 1990, pipelines in the U.S. have spilled more than 110 million gallons of crude oil and petroleum, including oil from tar sands that is 15 to 20 percent dirtier than conventional petroleum. The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would pump tar sands oils from Alberta, Canada to Texan refineries.

SIGN the NoKXL Pledge of Resistance. Learn more about the group HERE. On Twitter, use the hashtag #nokxl and tweet @nokxlpledge and @CREDOmobile.

SIZE MATTERS – Small school districts spend an estimated $1 billion in unnecessary costs each year, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress (CAP). The findings come as policymakers are increasingly concerned about education budgets. CAP Senior Fellow and report author Ulrich Boser: “Policymakers need to rethink how we manage small districts, and we need to recognize that the education system designed 200 years ago may no longer be the right system today.” READ: “Size Matters: A Look at School District Consolidation.”

31 DAYS OF UNITY — The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and their Draw the Line campaign continued “31 Days of Unity,” a month long joint-initiative from leading reproductive rights groups to fight back against conservative attacks on women’s reproductive rights. President and CEO of CRR Nancy Northup: “Attacks on women’s access to abortion and essential reproductive health care have spun so far out of control that lives, right and the future of millions of women in the U.S. hangs in the balance.”

On Twitter, use #31DaysofUnity, #CallingOnCongress, and #DrawTheLine.

FOR DEMOCRACY, NOT PROFIT – NonProfit VOTE released a new report finding that NGOs have a direct impact on increased voter turnout, particularly among “least-likely voters,” such as low-income voters and voters of color. The analysis comes from the NonProfit VOTE’s Track the Vote program, which followed 33,741 voters who had registered at 94 different nonprofit services. READ: “Can Nonprofits Increase Voting Among Their Clients, Constituents, and Staff?

ON OUR AGENDA, FROM THE WONK WIRE

TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT … The first ever complete on-line searchable directory of the most Important thinkers in the country on Climate Change and the Environment … COMING IN SEPTEMBER … Stay tuned!

Find out more at www.topwonks.org.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

1984 (AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY)…DEBT FOR DIPLOMA…PROGRESSIVES STAND THEIR GROUND…Know Your Title IX…Top Wonks: The Environment…

1984 (AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY) – Grassroots organization Restore the Fourth declared last Sunday “1984 Day,” organizing rallies, marches, and protests in 20 cities throughout the country to protest the National Security Administration’s surveillance practices. Free Press, the Freedom of Press Foundation, and Color Of Change have come out in support of the group. Restore the Fourth member Andrea O’Neill: “1984 is a warning, not an instruction manual. As we find out about more unconstitutional programs every week, it is clear that the NSA’s domestic spying has gone too far and must be stopped before it’s too late.”

On Twitter, use #RestoretheFourth and #1984Day. Check out some signs from the protest HERE.

DEBT FOR DIPLOMA – 39 million Americans with $53,000 in education debt experience a lifetime wealth loss of nearly $208,000, according to a new report released by Demos. These findings come in the wake of Congress allowing federal student loan interest rates to substantially increase.  READ: “At What Cost? How Student Debt Reduces Lifetime Wealth” and “The Real Student Loan Crisis.”

BAR CODE … CLARENCE THOMAS IS GOING TO FREAK OUT – Alliance for Justice President and Top Wonk Nan Aron advocated for the proposed Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2013 at a press conference last Thursday: “No one in our federal system, no public official, no participant in our legal system, should be exempt from following formal, clearly stated ethical principles. No exceptions. Certainly for the nation’s top court where our lives and freedoms are on the line.” 

The bill, which calls on SCOTUS to adopt formal ethics rules, was introduced by Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT),  Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and is already supported by numerous members of the House and Senate. READ: “The Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges Should be Applied to the Supreme Court.”

CREDO has also created a petition demanding a code of conduct for SCOTUS. Sign HERE.

PROGRESSIVES STAND THEIR GROUND — The Dream Defenders continued their 23 day sit-in at the Florida Statehouse, urging politicians to address the broader social factors that contributed to Trayvon Martin’s death. While House Speaker Will Weatherford announced plans to order a full hearing to review Stand Your Ground legislation in response to the group, they plan to remain camped out until the state government addresses the broader issues of racial profiling and the school-to-prison pipeline. The Dream Defenders are supported by Advancement Project, the Florida NAACP, and the League of Women Voters.

Dream Defenders Executive Director Phillip Agnew: “We are always happy with small victories…but we know that this is a marathon, not a sprint…We’ve got a few more issues that we’ve got to discuss. We came here presenting a total package for our lawmakers.”

Support the Dream Defenders HERE. On Twitter, use #TAKEOVERFL.

KNOW YOUR TITLE IX — A group of sexual assault survivors have launched Know Your Title IX, a new campaign designed to educate college students about their right to an education free from sexual assault under Title IX. Their website supplies legal resources, information on campus activism, emergency hotlines, and personal advice. WATCH: “Know Your IX Needs Support.”

Check out the group’s Facebook page and support them HERE. On Twitter, tweet @knowyourIX.

FAIR VOTING — FairVote released an analysis of fair representation voting as a part of their Fixing Democracy Infographic series, which explores consequences of the dysfunction and partisan bias in Washington. Check it out HERE.

ON OUR AGENDA, FROM THE WONK WIRE

TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT … The first ever complete on-line searchable directory of the most Important thinkers in the country on Climate Change and the Environment … Coming in September … Stay tuned!

Find our more at www.topwonks.org.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

HALFWAY TO A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE…PROTESTING THE PIPELINE PART II…Raise the Wage…Affording the Affordable Care Act…Top Wonks: The Environment…

HALFWAY TO A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE — The incredible bi-partisan effort to help ALL Americans elect their president took a step forward last week when Rhode Island legalized the National Popular Vote Plan Bill. The state joins California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC in a compact that commits their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate with the national popular vote. NPV currently has 136 — or 50.4 percent — of 270 votes necessary to secure a majority stake in the Electoral College. They are now seeking legislation in Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon. READ: “Electoral College Halfway Fixed!

PROTESTING THE PIPELINE PART II — According to a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would add between 935 million and 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon pollution to the atmosphere over the next 50 years. The analysis comes after a June 25th statement from the President that he would not sign off on the pipeline if it was found to exacerbate carbon pollution. READ: “Climate Impacts from the Proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline.”

The pipeline, which would pump crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Texan refineries, has been the subject of immense controversy and criticism for months. Dozens were arrested during a peaceful demonstration in downtown Chicago last month organized by the NoKXL campaign, sponsored by CREDO Action, Rainforest Action Network, and The Other 98%.

Learn more about NoKXL HERE. On Twitter, use #nokxlpledge.

*** The Agenda Project will launch Top Wonks: The Environment in early September. It will be the first every complete on-line searchable directory of the most important thinkers in the country on Climate Change and the Environment. Contact TW editor Dan Kelske at dkelske@agendaproject.org to find out more. ***

FORWARD TOGETHER — After 13 weeks and 930 arrests, the Moral Monday demonstrations in Raleigh, North Carolina, came to a close this week with thousands marching to the State Capitol. The group, organized as the Forward Together Movement and aided by Advancement Project and the North Carolina NAACP, announced a new course of action including campaigns and satellite protests following the end of a particularly repressive and regressive Republican-led legislative term.

North Carolina NAACP and Forward Together President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber: “We have suffered several temporary defeats in the People’s House over the past few months, but we’ve not gone anywhere. And we’re not going anywhere… By attacking poor children, sick workers and the environment, as well as committing the ultimate crime against democracy through attacking voting rights, they have united the movement that we’ve been building for several years like never before.”

The Huffington Post, NPR, and Salon covered the story. Check out some great signs throughout the Moral Monday protests HERE.

RAISE THE WAGE — The federal minimum wage would be $10.74 instead of $7.25 if it had kept up with inflation over the past 40 years, according to Raise the Minimum Wage. These findings come on the heels of a national minimum wage day of action and an eruption of strikes in seven cities by fast food workers demanding both a living wage and right to form a union. The National Employment Law Project also released an infographic exposing the largest low-wage employers. Check it out HERE.

Time, The Huffington Post, NBC, Forbes, AFL-CIO, and MSNBC covered the story.

AFFORDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) released a new report that contradicts the conservative trope that affordable healthcare and employment are mutually exclusive. READ: “The Affordable Care Act: A Hidden Jobs Killer?,” co-authored by CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker.

PROGRESSIVE GROUPS COMBAT CAMPAIGN FINANCE — The Campaign Legal Center co-filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court uphold campaign financing caps in the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) lawsuit, which could once again expand campaign financing in the wake of the Citizens United decision. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education fund, Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, AARP, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the League of Women Voters of the United States, Progressives United, and Public Campaign also signed the brief.

ALL-IN NATION — The Center for American Progress and PolicyLink published All-In Nation, a new book detailing progressive federal policies necessary for a more equitable economy and society. Areas of focus include infrastructure, jobs, health care, education, immigration, criminal justice, and voting rights. Read All-In Nation for free HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

SUMMERS VS. YELLEN: Former Fed Vice Chairman and Top Wonk Alan Blinder argues that Janet Yellen’s peerless track record, foresight and innovation within the Federal Reserve System make her the ideal candidate to succeed Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

VALUE MEALS: UMass Amherst Professor and Top Wonk Nancy Folbre calculates the unforeseen costs of preparing a home cooked meal.

Find out more at www.topwonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA …

TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT Coming in September … Stay tuned!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

IN TRAYVON’S NAME…SMARTER, OLDER, AND UNDERPAID…93 Priests…The Employer of Last Resort…

IN TRAYVON’S NAME – The Dream Defenders announced plans to hold their own special legislative session to honor the life of Trayvon Martin after Florida Governor Rick Scott denied their demands in a meeting last Thursday. The group has been camped out in front of the Florida Statehouse since July 16th and is supported by the Advancement Project, the Florida NAACP, and the League of Women Voters. They hope to examine factors contributing to Trayvon’s death, including the school-to-prison pipeline, racial profiling, and Stand Your Ground legislation. Dream Defender Executive Director Phillip Agnew: “Florida is in a state of emergency. In failing to recognize the gravity of the need for change in this moment, Governor Scott is not exercising real leadership. So we’ll do it for him.”

Support the group HERE. On Twitter, use #TAKEOVERFL.

Opportunity Agenda has compiled an action kit that addresses racial profiling. Color of Change has also created a petition demanding elected officials end all “Shoot First” laws. Sign HERE.

ALL ABOVE ALL – All Above All held a briefing on the Hill yesterday to launch their new campaign directed at repealing anti-abortion legislation and the need for accessible abortion coverage for low-income women. The group is joined by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

Check out the group’s Facebook page HERE. On Twitter, use #StandwithDCWomen or #WeAreDC and tweet @AllAboveAll.

93 PRIESTS – 93 prominent Catholic university presidents, aided by Faith in Public Life, urged Catholics in the House of Representatives last week to pass comprehensive immigration reform. In a letter, which also ran as a full-page ad in Politico Magazine, the signers warned: “Our immigration system is so deeply flawed, and in such need of repair, that inaction is unacceptable.”

SMARTER, OLDER, AND UNDERPAID – The Center for Economic and Policy Research published a series of charts that show that low-wage workers are increasingly smarter and older, yet underpaid due to the falling value of the federal minimum wage. The findings come after Mcdonald’s released a “McBudget” that inadvertently proved employees could not live on their minimum-wage salaries. Find out more about the true cost of a family budget with the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, available HERE.

WE DO – The Campaign for Southern Equality ended its week-long “WE DO” campaign for marriage equality last Thursday after touring five Mississippi cities. The group chose their visits in places where local LGBT couples had applied for marriage licenses. Much of the support for the campaign came from Massachusetts, where church members donated $30,000 to the cause. Reverend Laura Ruth Jarrett: “Until people in the South are free, we are not free up here.”

REFORMING TAX EXPENDITURES – Tax breaks for investment income such as capital gains and stock dividends are among the most regressive forms of tax expenditures, according to a new report by Citizens for Tax Justice. The study evaluates the ten costliest individual expenditures based on effectiveness in achieving their stated policy goals. READ: “Reforming Individual Tax Expenditures.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE …

… NOT SO BUBBLY: Case-Shiller Index Author and Top Wonk Robert Shiller thinks most people have a misunderstanding of speculative bubbles, fueling irrational economic thinking.

… REACH FOR THE SKY!: Senior Roosevelt Fellow and Top Wonk Thomas Ferguson argues that Spitzer’s bid for New York City Comptroller is a direct threat and challenge to status quo financial regulation.

… THE EMPLOYER OF LAST RESORT: INET Director Marshall Auerback and Top Wonks Stephanie Kelton and L Randall Wray believe the government can and should be thr employer of last resort during economic downturns and slumps.

Find out more at www.topwonks.org.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON?…SAVE CITIZEN KOCH…Moral Mondays Continue…17 Senators Are Still Protecting Rapists…

JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON? — The NAACP and MoveOn.org created a joint petition addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that the Justice Department open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman in the wake of his acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin. The petition has already garnered over 1 million signatures since its creation last Saturday night. Sign HERE.

On Twitter, use #JusticeForTrayvon or share the petition on Facebook.

SAVE CITIZEN KOCH — Over 2,300 backers have raised $117,000 on Kickstarter to fund the release of Citizen Koch: A Film About Money, Power, and Democracy. The documentary by Academy Award nominated filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin had been green-lit for funding by public television until PBS changed its mind last fall so as to not to upset donor David Koch. President of People for the American Way Michael Keegan: “The process that led to ‘Citizen Koch’ being pulled from the airwaves illustrates exactly the point that Lessin and Deal’s film makes: Money can not only buy action in our democracy, it can also buy silence.” Help fund the film HERE

There will also be a free screening and panel with the filmmakers at noon tomorrow, Friday, July 19, at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington D.C. Click here to RSVP.

MAKING CENTS OF IMMIGRATION REFORM — The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) estimates an annual influx of $2 billion in tax revenues to state and local budgets if immigration reform passes. Undocumented immigrants already pay $10.6 billion a year in state and local sales, excise, income and property taxes but legalizing their citizenship status would fully incorporate them into the income tax system. READ: “Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions.”

INEQUALITY 273 TIMES OVER — CEOs make 273 times the earnings of the average worker, according to a recently released report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). READ: “CEO Pay in 2012 Was Extraordinarily High Relative to Typical Workers and Other High Earners,” co-authored by EPI President and Top Wonk Lawrence Mishel.

MORAL MONDAYS CONTINUE  – An eleventh week of “Moral Mondays” continued this week in Raleigh, NC to protest regressive Republican-led policies and legislation. This latest wave of demonstrations comes on the heels of an 11,000 signature MoveOn.org petition delivered last week to Governor Pat McCory and members of the legislature asking them to reverse their recent austerity measures and an editorial in the New York Times entitled “The Decline of North Carolina.” Arrests now total 800 since the Moral Monday protests began in April.

CONGRESS FOR iOS — The Sunlight Foundation has released a free iOS app that allows users to stay up to date when Congress is in session. Features include live updates on floor activity, voting breakdowns, and legislation details. DOWNLOAD: iOS and Android.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

SMALL ENOUGH TO FAIL: Former IMF Chief Economist and Top Wonk Simon Johnson believes Senator Warren’s 21st century Glass Steagall Act makes megabanks simpler, safer, and smaller by separating high risks activities from traditional banking.

OREGON PAYS IT FORWARD: Demos Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner lauds Oregon’s higher education reform initiative, Pay It Forward, a revolutionary program designed to provide state-wide free tuition for students attending public universities and colleges.

SNOWDEN ENDGAME: Columbia Law Professor and Top Wonk David Pozen laments the ramifications of prosecuting NSA leaker Edward Snowden if he is apprehended by U.S. authorities.

Find out more at www.topwonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA

TIME FOR ACTION — Yesterday Time Magazine quoted AP President Erica Payne’s reaction to Kristen Gillibrand’s bipartisan bill to curb sexual assault in the military. Watch our video 17 SENATORS HERE.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

PROGRESSIVES SUE THE NSA…ADVANCEMENT PROJECT CONFERENCE…Disorder in the Courts…Trading Away Public Interests…

PROGRESSIVES SUE THE NSA The First Amendment Coalition filed a brief on Monday in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court supporting motions by Google and Microsoft that would allow them to publish records of government data requests. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and TechFreedom all co-filed the brief.

Daniel Ellsberg and CREDO have also drafted a petition urging Congress to create a Church Committee to investigate and publicize the actions and abuses of the National Security Agency. Ellsberg blasted the lack of oversight in the aftermath of the allegations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden: “The existing Intelligence Committees in House and Senate, gagged by secrecy and co-opted by the intelligence community they supposedly oversee, have failed to check dangerously excessive surveillance of Americans’ communications.” Sign HERE.

WHY COURTS MATTER — The Center for American Progress (CAP) and their Legal Progress project launched Why Courts Matter, an interactive website aimed at educating policy experts, advocates, and the public on the impact of judicial vacancies due to conservative obstructionist policies in Washington. The site also features a state-specific Action Center providing tools for constituents to sign petitions and write their senators. Watch an informational video HERE.

On Twitter, tweet @legalprogress and use #WhyCourtsMatter.

COME OUT FOR FREEDOM — On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s invalidation of DOMA, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has announced “Out for Freedom,” an ad campaign urging Republicans to help legalize marriage equality throughout the country. Out for Freedom hopes to increase the number of states that allow same-sex marriage from thirteen (plus the District of Columbia) to 20 by 2016. The ACLU is currently pursuing federal marriage cases in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia.

VOTING RIGHTS WRONGED PART II — Alliance for Justice President and Top Wonk Nan Aron analyzed the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on DOMA and the Voting Rights Act: “By simultaneously moving in opposite directions on fundamental principles of civil rights, this Court has torn a hole in our political fabric, and once again left the nation part equal and part unequal… it’s important to remember the prophetic words of civil rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hammer: ‘Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.’”

READ: “The Supreme Court Takes With One Hand, Gives With the Other” and “What the Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand About the Voting Rights Act

EDUCATION PAYOFF? — Despite a 16.2% increase from 1979 to 2011 in the number of black workers with a four-year college degree or more, black workers at every age and education level are less likely to be in a good job – i.e., recieving a $19.00 per hour salary or higher – today than in 1979, according to a new report by the Center for Economic Progress (CEPR). READ: “Has Education Paid Off for Black Workers?,” co-authored by CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk John Schmitt.

A CONVENIENT TRUTH – 210,000 jobs and an average decrease of $.90 per month on electrical bills are both possible while simultaneuosly reducing carbon pollution, according to a new climate analysis by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Director of NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air Program Dan Lashof: “The nation must curb the largest source of climate-changing pollution pouring into the skies, without any limits, from coal-fired power plants.” READ: “Economic Impacts of the NRDC Carbon Standard.”

WE CAN DO BETTER — Advancement Project is hosting a conference entitled “We Can Do Better: Collaborating to Reform School Discipline and Accountability” tomorrow through Saturday in Washington, DC. It will be the nation’s first ever gathering of school administrators, educators, law enforcement, community activists, and students to discuss the school-to-prison pipeline exacerbated by overly rigid school disciplinary policies.

Find out more about the Advancement Project’s Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track program and check out the full agenda of events HERE. There will be a blogger briefing and press availability tomorrow, Thursday July 11, at 11:00 am in the Capital Ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Hotel, located at 2600 Woodley Road, Washington, DC.

RSVP to Jennifer Farmer at jfarmer@advancementproject.org or participate via conference call: 1.800.434.1335 / Conference Code: 249421#

FROM THE WONK WIRE

THE ACTIVIST COURT: Stetson University Professor and Top Wonk Ciara Torres-Spelliscy marvels at the Robert Court’s repeated ability to render bipartisan election reforms toothless.

TRADING AWAY PUBLIC INTERESTS: Nobel Prize Winner and Top Wonk Joseph Stiglitz thinks that trade agreements often sacrifice public interests for the sake of corporate interests.

ROOM FOR PESSIMISM: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker breaks down the sorry state of the labor market and the economy in light of the June jobs report.

Find out more at www.topwonks.org

ON OUR AGENDA

COMING SOON — Top Wonks: The Environment to suggest an expert for inclusion, e-mail TW editor Dan Kelske at dkelske@agendaproject.org.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS