TEA PARTY REPUBLICANS: WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU LATELY??…MEANWHILE, OBAMACARE IS FINALLY HERE…ANOTHER CITIZENS UNITED?…The State of Women in America…Inequality For All Premieres!…

TEA PARTY REPUBLICANS: WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU LATELY?? – The government shutdown entered its third day with no end in sight, as the Republican-led house carried on their delusions of grandeur (despite immense evidence to the contrary) aided by conservative pundits like Bill Kristol who said on Morning Joe: “I don’t think it’s the end of the world.” READ Media Matters’ new report “How Broadcast and Cable News Cover The Economy.”

Progressive groups continue to demand action. CREDO Action launched a page for visitors to call House Republicans and demand they back down, as well as another to urge Democrats not to buckle under GOP pressure.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): “HOSTAGE TAKING IS ALL THEY HAVE LEFT” … Robert Costa: “WHAT WE’RE SEEING IS THE END OF INSTITUTIONAL REPUBLICAN POWER” … Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind): “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT EVEN IS” …

READ: “House Republicans and the Betrayal of Democracy,” by University of Chicago Law Professor and Top Wonk Geoffrey R. Stone; “GOP Temper Tantrum” and “Government Shutdown Will Hit Federal Workers, Poor Americans” over at The Nation

… MEANWHILE, AFFORDABLE CARE IS FINALLY HERE — Despite the questionable efforts of conservatives, the Affordable Care Act is NOW LIVE.. Planned Parenthood recently launched a new site educating users about Obamacare, including a guide for women choosing insurance. Check it out HERE. READ:15 Myths the Media Should Ignore During Obamacare Implementation.”

DOJ CALLS OUT RESTRICTIVE NC VOTER ID LAW — Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be suing North Carolina over its highly restrictive voter ID law under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit joins current litigation filed by Advancement Project, on behalf of the North Carolina NAACP, to contest the legislation. Advancement Project staff attorney Donita Judge lauded the DOJ’s decision: “We are extremely pleased the United States Department of Justice has brought a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina. It’s clear they agree with our assessment that the North Carolina case is one of racial discrimination. We believe the DOJ lawsuit will prove North Carolina’s extreme voter suppression law was intentionally designed to block African Americans’ access to the ballot box and prevent these voters from participating equally and fairly in North Carolina elections. Thanks to prompt legal action from Advancement Project, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, ACLU and the DOJ, we are now one step closer to ensuring elections remain free, fair and accessible to all people.”

Advancement Project and the North Carolina NAACP State Conference also recently launched a toll-free voter education hotline. SHARE 855-NO-ID-4-US (855-664-3487) with those you know who may be impacted by the current ID laws.

BATTLING BIG BROTHER — On October 26th — the 12 year anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act — the StopWatching.Us Coalition will march on DC to deliver a 571,000 signature petition to Congress demanding government transparency and an end to mass government surveillance. Members of the coalition include Free Press, Freedom Works, the ACLU, Demand Progress, and Students for Liberty. RSVP, SIGN the petition, and FIND OUT MORE HERE.

READ: “Justice in the Surveillance State,” a report by Alliance for Justice assessing the issues surrounding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, recently submitted to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

TACKLING CITIZENS UNITED 2.0 – Elizabeth Warren joined Harvard Law professor and Top Wonk Lawrence Lessig at the Constitution Accountability Center last Thursday to discuss McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The upcoming case has become known as the next Citizens United, expanding campaign financing to allow direct campaign contributions of over $3.5 million from individual donors. WATCH the discussion, entitled “The Founders v. The Roberts Court: Corruption, Campaign Finance, and McCutcheon v. FEC,” HERE.

Demos has been actively involved in the case. READ their declaration “Stop the Next Citizens United,” SIGN their petition, and TWEET #McCutcheon.

THE STATE OF WOMEN IN AMERICA — African-American women make 64 cents for every dollar that their white male counterparts make, according to a new study released by the Center for American Progress (CAP). “The State of Women in America” analyzes the progress made and challenges still faced by women in all 50 states, determined by economic and leadership factors. It is in conjunction with the recently launched “Fair Shot: A Plan for Women and Families to Get Ahead” initiative by CAP, American Women, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Service Employees Union. READ: “The State of Women in America.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

I GOT STEAM HEAT?: Case-Shiller Index Author and Top Wonk Robert Shiller analyzes the bubble mentality of the rising housing market.

PLAYGROUND POLITICS: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich explains why the President should not make any concessions when it comes to Obamacare in negotiations with House Republicans.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA ….

INEQUALITY FOR ALL …  Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich investigates the correlation between the widening income gap and the country’s economic health in the new documentary Inequality For All. Venture Capitalist and Patriotic Millionaire Nick Hanauer is also featured … The Roosevelt Institute: “‘INEQUALITY FOR ALL IS ‘THE PROGRESSIVE ECONOMIC NARRATIVE: THE MOVIE’” … NOW PLAYING in cites nationwide.

FIND a screening near you and WATCH the trailer HERE. TWEET @InequalityFilm.

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!

***** PP IS NOW ON TWITTER! FOLLOW and TWEET @PractProgress *****

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FEDERAL WORKERS MARCH ON WHITE HOUSE…SLASHING SNAP…100 YEARS OF THE FED…North Carolina Voter Education Hotline…Demos Celebrates New Senior Director of Advocacy…Inequality For All Screening Information…

JUST IN: FEDERAL WORKERS DEMAND A LIVING WAGE — Federal contract workers are currently delivering a 250,000 signature petition to the White House demanding that the President sign an executive order guaranteeing them a living wage. The group is organized by Good Jobs Nation and supported by the Service Employees International Union. A protestor put it best: “It’s good at the [White House]. Not at MY house.” FOLLOW THE ACTION on Twitter @GoodJobsNation and READUnderwriting Bad Jobs: How Our Tax Dollars Are Funding Low-Wage Work and Fueling Inequality.”

SLASHING SNAPFour million hungry Americans will be kicked off of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) next year as the first casualty of $40 billion in cuts if H.R. 3102 is signed into law. While the President stated that he would veto the bill if it was presented to him, states have already begun steps to cut food stamp access. READThe GOP’s No Good, Very Bad Food Stamp Cuts” by George Zornick over at The Nation, CHECK OUT infographics released by CAP, and SIGN UltraViolet’s petition to Congress

100 YEARS OF THE FED — As the Fed approaches its centennial, Managing Partner at InterMedia Partners LP and Patriotic Millionaire Leo Hindery Jr. endorsed current Vice Chair Janet Yellen as the next Fed chair: “The responsibility of the Federal Reserve is to help foster, through its Central Bank policies and practices, a truly fair and balanced economy, which current chairman Bernanke has well championed. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) just made clear in an interview on MSNBC that Janet Yellen has both the skills and perspectives to be a great next chairman — many of us who are committed to these same economic outcomes couldn’t agree more enthusiastically.” READ: “The Summers of our Discontent.”

NC VOTER EDUCATION HOTLINE — The North Carolina NAACP State Conference and Advancement Project released a new ad promoting a toll-free hotline designed to educate North Carolina voters impacted by the state’s highly restrictive voter ID law. The hotline is designed for individuals without a current North Carolina ID, whose name on their state ID differs from their birth certificate, who typically use early voting, and those would have problems getting to the DMV to obtain an ID.

LISTEN to the ad HERE and SHARE the toll-free hotline phone number 855-NO-ID-4-US (855-664-3487) with those you know who might be impacted. Callers will leave their contact information and within 24 hours will receive a follow-up assistance call.

MARFA DIALOGUES/NEW YORK – The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Ballroom Marfa, the Public Concern Foundation, and countless other participants will kick off Marfa Dialogues/New York next week. The program is a two-month long series of events examining climate change through art, activism, and science. President of The Public Concern Foundation Hamilton Fish summed it up: “Marfa Dialogues/New York is an effort to help broaden the public conversation around climate change. The special character of the project is that we engage artists and people from the creative community with journalists and scientists and other experts. The result is a more accessible public exploration of a complex but critical issue, and we reach a wider and more diverse audience.”

FIND out more including a full CALENDAR of events HERE.

DEMOS CELEBRATES — Demos welcomes former MoveOn Organizing Director Lenore Palladino to their team as the new Senior Director of Advocacy. Palladino will work with Vice President of Policy and Outreach and Federal Affairs Manager Ben Peck to augment for new state and federal advocacy campaigns on issues ranging from student debt alleviation to voting and campaign finance reform. DISCOVER what else Demos has been up to HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

ECONOMIC TONIC: Demos Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner examines the benefits of Janet Yellen as the potential next Fed Chair.

BLOOD ON YOUR HANDSET: Stetson University School of Law Assistant Professor and Top Wonk Ciara Torres-Spelliscy uncovers the little known relationship between The Dodd-Frank Act and conflict minerals.

THE OBAMACARE PUSH: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Banker defends the long-term goals of the Affordable Care Act.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA

INEQUALITY FOR ALL — Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich investigates the correlation between the widening income gap and the country’s economic health in the new documentary Inequality For All. Venture Capitalist and Patriotic Millionaire Nick Hanauer is also featured. Inequality For All premieres THIS FRIDAY, September 27th in cities nationwide.

FIND a screening near you and WATCH the trailer HERE. TWEET @InequalityFilm.

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!

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QUESTIONS OF SEXISM LINGER AS THE PRESIDENT DECIDES FED CHAIR…AND ABOUT THOSE WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP…Advancement Project Challenges Wisconsin Voter ID Laws…Inequality For All Premiere Date…

QUESTIONS OF SEXISM LINGER AS THE PRESIDENT DECIDES FED CHAIR — Women (51 percent of the population and the voting bloc that delivered Obama into the WH) are watching carefully as the president contemplates his nominee for Fed Chair after the Summers withdrawal on Sunday. Our sources say women’s groups are poised to act quickly if the WH chooses a less qualified male candidate over the obviously more qualified Yellen (according to 350 economists and Senator Charles Schumer, who just saidI think the president should choose Yellen.”)

National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill exclaimed: “Now it’s all about Janet.”

READ: “Larry Summers Is Out, but the Boys’ Club Is as In as Ever.” SHOW your support and SIGN The Nation’s open letter to the President in support of Yellen.

AND ABOUT THOSE WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP — As her boss contemplates making an historic choice for Fed Chair, Valerie Jarrett addressed a crowd this morning at the Center for American Progress as the organization joins American Women, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Service Employees International Union launched “Fair Shot: A Plan for Women and Families to Get Ahead,” a new initiative to ensure public policies respond to the array of challenges women and families face today. CAP President and CEO Neera Tanden summed it up: “It’s a broad agenda that really speaks to, in many ways, how women [have] plateaued over the last decade and our focus is on ensuring that women and families have a fair shot.” READ the policy brief HERE.

UNLEASHED AND UNACCOUNTABLE — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a report detailing the invasive ways that the FBI has acted since 9/11 under the direction of Former Director Robert S. Mueller, III. ACLU Senior Policy Council Michael German: “Rather than aiding its terrorism prevention efforts, the FBI’s expanded investigative and intelligence powers have overwhelmed agents with a flood of irrelevant information and false arms. Instead of funding these ineffective and suspicionless intelligence collection programs, Congress should examine whether American communities could be made safer overall by spending that money to help state and local police solve violent crime.”

READ: “Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI’s Unchecked Abuse of Authority” and “The Ten Most Disturbing Things You Should Know About the FBI Since 9/11.”

RIGHTING VOTING WRONGS — On November 4th Advancement Project and pro bono counsel Arnold & Porter will challenge Wisconsin’s restrictive voter ID laws under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which prohibits discriminatory voting practices on the basis of color, race, or language. The state has been requiring government issued photo identification since 2011, a measure which particularly hinders the 16 percent of African-American and 25 percent of Hispanic Wisconsin voters without a photo ID. Section 2 of the VRA has become increasingly critical in determining fair voting practices since the Supreme Court’s June Shelby County v. Holder decision.

Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair: “After Shelby, Section 2 provides one of the last lines of defense against legislatures that would disenfranchise voters of color. The strength of that defense will be tested for the first time in this case and we are confidant it will prevail.”

VIRTUALLY SPEAKING — Tomorrow at 9pm EST Tim Noah, journalist and author of The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It, will talk with host Jay Ackroyd on the Virtually Speaking podcast series. Virtually Speaking regularly hosts authors, bloggers, scientists, and public policy experts to discuss progressive political issues. FIND OUT MORE including a full schedule, shorts, and clips HERE.

JOBS CRISIS DISCUSSION – Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Senior Economist and Top Wonk John Schmitt will take part in the “Jobs Crisis: Growth, Inequality and Full Employment” panel tomorrow at 1:30 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC. The discussion is part of the 43rd Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference. REGISTER HERE

FROM THE WONK WIRE

SUMMERS’ END: Demos Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner speculates on the President’s new choice for Fed Chair.

LESSON NOT LEARNED: Former Fed Vice Chairman and Top Wonk Alan Blinder contrasts the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash with the recent recession.

HIGH RISK, ANY REWARD?: Roubini Global Economics Co-Founder and Top Wonk Nouriel Roubini examines the consequences of economic meta-risks.

Find our more at TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA

INEQUALITY FOR ALL — Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich investigates the correlation between the widening income gap and the country’s economic health in the new documentary Inequality For All. Venture Capitalist and Patriotic Millionaire Nick Hanauer is also featured. Inequality For All premieres September 27th in cities nationwide.

FIND a screening near you and WATCH the trailer HERE. TWEET @InequalityFilm. WATCH Robert Reich discuss the film on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart HERE.

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!

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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!

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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!

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PP Off For Labor Day!

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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