HUGE DEMAND FOR A HIGHER WAGE…MORAL MARCH ON RALEIGH…NO TO THE BIG OIL STATUS QUO…MEET THE (ALL MALE) PRESS…Family Act Turns 21…The Voting Rights Playbook…Attack of the Robots…Civil Rights Through Living Wages…Pay To Play…

HUGE DEMAND FOR A HIGHER WAGE Over 21 million Americans would be directly affected by a federal wage increase to $10.10 per hour, according to a new state-specific infographic by Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). PCCC also created a petition calling on congressional republicans to publicly support a federal raise in the minimum wage. SIGN HERE. Just last week, female Democratic senators came together to demand an increased minimum wage, joining ranks with PCCC, EPI, Demos, the NAACP, over 600 economists, and 62 percent of Americans.

Former publisher of The American Conservative Ron Unz: “I advocate for business but also believe businesses should pay their way and not burden taxpayers. They will reap benefits in the long run from raising workers out of poverty.” READ: “6 Reasons Conservative Ron Unz Wants to Raise the Minimum Wage to $12 an Hour” over at AlterNet.

MORAL MARCH ON RALEIGH — The Forward Together Moral Movement is organizing a march of thousands this Saturday in Raleigh to protest the notoriously oppressive and regressive agenda of Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly. The coalition, which consists of over 160 civil rights, women’s rights, faith-based, labor, LGBT, immigrant justice, student and environmental communities and is led by the North Carolina NAACP, will march to the State Capitol. Last year they held over 30 Moral Monday rallies. North Carolina NAACP and Forward Together President Rev. William J. Barber, II: “Last year they had their time to vote and abuse power. This year we will vote with our voices to show power of the people.”

TWEET @ncnaacp and FIND out more event info HERE. WATCHCan Moral Mondays Save North Carolina?” over at The Nation.

NO TO THE BIG OIL STATUS QUO — Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Top Wonk Jeffrey Sachs sums up the recent findings from the State Department Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone Pipeline: “According to the State Department Report, we are trapped in the Big Oil Status Quo We Can Believe In.” 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 1,179 mile Keystone XL Pipeline would pump tar sands oils from Alberta, Canada to Texan refineries.

READ NRDC’s recent report on the climate impacts of the KXL and SIGN the NoKXL Pledge of Resistance, organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, and the Other 98%.

MEET THE (ALL MALE) PRESS — 24 women leaders and organizations–including WAM! Executive Director Jaclyn Friedman, NARAL President Ilyse Hogue, and MomsRising Executive Director and CEO Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner–penned an open letter to the six network and cable news heads urging them to increase the diversity on their Sunday morning political talk shows. The effort came in response to a recent Media Matters report that found that the vast majority of hosts and guests were men. READ their full report HERE.

FAMILY ACT TURNS 21 — An expansion in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would increase access to leave for up to 8.3 million more employees, according to new findings from The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in honor of FMLA’s 21st anniversary. READ: “Expanding Federal Family and Medical Leave Coverage: Who Benefits from Changes in Eligibility Requirements?

THE VOTING RIGHTS PLAYBOOK – The Center for American Progress (CAP) published a new report detailing the need for federal voting protections post Shelby County vs. Holder. The controversial ruling struck down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act, which had enabled Section 5 to regulate discriminatory voting laws. READ: “The Voting Rights Playbook: Why Courts Matter Post-Shelby County v. Holder.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

ATTACK OF THE ROBOTS: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker reveals why economists are not very good at economics through the lens of patent laws.

CIVIL RIGHTS THROUGH LIVING WAGES: NAACP President and CEO and Top Wonk Benjamin Todd Jealous argues that the State of the Union takeaway is tangible progress on civil rights.

PAY TO PLAY: Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and Top Wonk Lawrence Lessig recounts his 185-mile walk across New Hampshire that focused on grassroots efforts to remove big money corrupting politics.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

PP will be back after President’s Day!

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CAF CREATES BEST TOOL EVER…GIVE AMERICA A RAISE…A NOT SO HAPPY ANNIVERSARY…ADVANCEMENT PROJECT APPLAUDS PA VOTING RIGHTS VICTORY…New CAP Report Lays Out Quick and Clear Citizenship Plan…PP Congratulates Top Wonk and Future President of Demos Heather McGhee!…

CAF CREATES BEST TOOL EVER – Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) created a new tool that directly connects constituents with their Senators by simply entering a zip code. CHECK IT OUT HERE. This tool will be critical to put pressure on Congress as efforts ramp up to  … “GIVE AMERICA A RAISE” — Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) letter in support of the Harkin-Miller Bill which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 has now garnered over 600 signatures from leading economists, including over 20 Top Wonks. National Employment Law Project Policy Analyst Jack Temple TELLS PP: “Low-wage jobs are defining the core of the US economy today–which is why raising the minimum wage is not only a top-tier political issue today, but also an urgent economic priority that cannot wait another year.” Despite the fact that low-wage workers are more educated than ever, the minimum wage is 23 percent less than its peak inflation-adjusted value in 1968, according to EPI President and Top Wonk Lawrence Mishel. After months of protests and pressure the President announced on Tuesday an executive order to increase government contract workers’ salaries to $10.10 an hour. The vote for a federal hike is expected in the coming months.

… Democratic Senators who have yet to sign onto Harkin-Miller: Baucus (MT), Bennet (CO), Carper (DE), Coons (DE), Donnelly (IN), Feinstein (CA), Hagan (NC), Johnson (SD), Kaine (VA), King (ME), Landrieu (LA), Manchin (WV), McCaskill (MO), Menendez (NJ), Nelson (FL), Pryor (AR), Shaheen (NH), Tester (MT), Udall (CO), Udall (NM), and Warner (VA).

… Republicans that are on the fence include: Alexander (TN), Ayotte (NH), Chambliss (GA), Collins (ME), Corker (TN), Flake (AZ), Graham (SC), Heller (NV), Isaakson (GA), Johnson (WI), Kirk (IL), McCain (AZ), McConnell (KY), Murkowski (AK), Portman (OH), and Toomey (PA).

A NOT SO HAPPY ANNIVERSARY — Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched a petition urging the Senate not to join the House in passing the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R.7). The controversial bill–which the White House said on Monday that the President would veto if it made it to his desk–would significantly reduce the amount of ACA subsidized health insurance plans that could cover abortion procedures. SIGN Planned Parenthood’s petition HERE.

Last week marked the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. READ: NARAL’s recent study “Who Decides?: The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States” and “No, Ross Douthat, Restricting Abortion Won’t Shore Up Marriage” over at The Nation.

PA VOTING RIGHTS VICTORY — Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair lauded a Pennsylvania state judge’s ruling that struck down the state’s voter ID law as unconstitutional: “Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania citizens who lack one of the limited forms of acceptable photo ID can now cast their ballots without burdensome obstacles. By protecting voting as a fundamental right, [the] decision affirms that all Pennsylvania voters should have the opportunity to participate equally in the democratic process.”

The highly restrictive voter ID law was signed into effect in March 2012 despite no evidence of even a single case of voter fraud in Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs included the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, the Homeless Advocacy Project, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and individual voters.

QUICK AND CLEAR CITIZENSHIP? — The Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new report examining the economic benefits of granting full citizenship. The report compares countries in North America and Europe, concluding that the optimal waiting period for citizenship is roughly 5 years. READ: “The Economic Case for a Clear, Quick Pathway to Citizenship.”

38 LEGISLATURES IN SESSION NOWPublic Leadership Institute–a sister organization of Progressive Majority–and ALICE have collaborated to publish Progressive Agenda, an outline of current issues and legislative models to advance Progressive policies at the state and local levels. 48 legislators in 27 states are currently using the Agenda as a tool to organize inside chambers. FIND out more and DOWNLOAD the Agenda HERE.

SIZING UP THE SURVEILLANCE STATE — Next Wednesday, February 5, the Brennan Center for Justice will be hosting a special phone briefing to discuss the recent major developments in NSA Surveillance. Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program Co-Directors Faiza Patel and Elizabeth Goitein will be joined by Brennan Center Fellow Mike German on the panel. RSVP to John Donahue at john.donahue@nyu.edu or (646) 292-8333.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

CUTTING THE LINE: Brennan Center for Justice Democracy Program Director and Top Wonk Wendy R. Weiser boils down the bipartisan efforts to bring efficiency and equality back to the electoral process.

TICK TOCK TO REVOLUTION?: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich spells out three reasons why the middle-class isn’t fuming at the shocking state of income inequality.

THE REAL INEQUALITY AGENDA: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker distinguishes between an increase in the federal minimum wage and a greater inequality agenda.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP congratulates current Demos Vice President of Policy and Outreach and Top Wonk Heather McGhee on her upcoming role as the President of Demos. Current Demos President Miles Rapoport: “She is really one of the most extraordinary leaders I have ever met.” Her term will begin on March 10.

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RAISE THE WAGE MOVEMENT GROWS…41 YEARS LATER, ROE STILL AT RISK…STATE OF THE DREAM…EPA STANDS BEHIND BRISTOL BAY…America Votes Summit…Immensity Undermines Responsibility…Bubble Burst…Inequality and Justice for All…

RAISE THE WAGE MOVEMENT GROWS — The Economic Policy Institute found that if the minimum wage was raised to $10.10 it would create 85,000 new jobs and add $22 billion to the U.S. economy in the initial phase-in period alone. Just this Wednesday Pentagon food service and janitorial staff went on strike yesterday morning to demand a higher minimum wage. Currently, three out of four government contracted service employees make less than $10 an hour, and four out of ten subsidize their full-time income with public assistance to make ends meet.

To date, EPI, Demos, the NAACP, 75 leading economists, members of the US Senate and House, the leaders of national religious organizations, over two-thirds of small business owners, and even Bill O’Reilly and Phyllis Schlafly have come out in support of an increased minimum wage. The President is expected to make reducing income inequality a central theme of his State of the Union address.

READ: “Even These People Think it’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

41 YEARS LATER, ROE STILL AT RISK — The Center for Reproductive Rights launched a new series of PSAs to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, starring actor Mark Ruffalo and Tony and Grammy Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater. The videos are in conjunction with the Center’s recent State of the States report, which features interactive maps and highlights current litigation focused on abortion. Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northrup: “It’s time to seize this vital opportunity to reclaim the rights that Roe recognized and the protections it established more than four decades ago.”

WATCH Alliance for Justice’s short documentary Roe at Risk highlighting the current threats to the monumental decision HERE.

STATE OF THE DREAM — United for a Fair Economy (UFE) released its 11th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day report, finding that five million Americans–primarily low-income racial minorities–will be denied health insurance because they live in the 25 states that have refused Medicaid expansion. Report author and UFE Executive Director Brian Miller: “It’s bad enough that communities of color face additional health hazards and stressors. Now we have politicians around the nation trying to block health insurance that would have otherwise been extended to millions of low-income Americans.” READ: “State of the Dream 2014: Healthcare for Whom? Enduring Racial Disparities.”

EPA STANDS BEHIND BRISTOL BAY — Western Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Joel Reynolds lauded the EPA’s recent Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment analyzing the potential impacts of mining development on the Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska: “This is a scientific indictment of the Pebble Mine — or any other large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed. The assessment documents what we’ve feared for years — Pebble Mine would destroy the world-class salmon fishery, cost jobs and endanger the communities and wildlife that depend on it.” The proposed Pebble Mine would destroy nearly 94 miles of Bristol Bays streams, which house the world’s largest sockeye salmon run — a $480 million annual business that supports 14,000 full and part-time jobs. READ: “Bristol Bay Assessment Fact Sheet” and “EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Has Everyone Buzzing.”

VoteVets created a petition addressed to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stressing the need to protect Bristol Bay. SIGN HERE.

AMERICA VOTES STATE SUMMIT — America Votes will be hosting their 2014 State Summit February 4-5 in Washington DC. Issues including the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage and job growth, and electoral landscapes will be among the main topics covered. LEARN MORE by checking out the agenda and an FAQ. REGISTER HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

IMMENSITY UNDERMINES RESPONSIBILITY: Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor and Top Wonk Anat Admati connects the dots between financial institutions, ineffective intervention, and perverse incentives.

BUBBLE BURST: Institute for New Economic Thinking Director of Institutional Partnerships and Top Wonk Marshall Auerback pins down the characteristics of an economic bubble.

INEQUALITY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich refutes David Brooks’ inane comments on inequality.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

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TOP WONKS DEMAND A HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE…SO DOES A PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRE…AND A TOP REPUBLICAN…LADIES — THIS MEANS YOU…The Governor, the Bridge, His Wife, and Her Charity…Progressives to Rally in NYC…300+ Days Without Representation…

TOP WONKS DEMAND A HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE — The Economic Policy Institute published a letter on Tuesday signed by 75 economists urging Washington to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, which would provide higher wages for 17 million Americans by 2016. Signers include Top Wonks Dean Baker, Jared Bernstein, Alan Blinder, Heather Boushey, Arindrajit Dube, Nancy Folber, Richard Freeman, Heidi Hartmann, Lawrence Mishel, Robert Reich, John Schmitt, Heidi Shierholz, and Joseph Stiglitz. University of Texas Chair in Government and Business Relations and Top Wonk James Galbraith recently made his case for a higher minimum wage, and elsewhere Assistant Professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts Amherst and Top Wonk Arindrajit Dube delved into the “Minimum Wages and the Distribution of Family Incomes.” READ an analysis of the paper by CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk John Schmitt HERE.

A PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRE SECONDS DEMAND FOR HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE … Venture Capitalist and Patriotic Millionaire Nick Hanauer spells out the capitalist’s case for a 15 dollar minimum wage HERE

AND A TOP REPUBLICAN AGREES … Silicon Valley tycoon and former publisher of the American Conservative Ron Unz says: “A large minimum wage hike would constitute an enormous, permanent economic stimulus package.”

SO WHO DOESN’T WANT TO RAISE THE MINIMUM? See Huff’s story HERE.

LADIES — THIS MEANS YOU – As the minimum wage debate heats up, Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the third Shriver Report, analyzing the realities of 42 million American women on the economic brink. President of Families and Work Institute Ellen Galinsky: “We know low-income women are the backbone of our economy and of their families … What they need — and what our economy needs — are supportive, flexible, Effective Workplaces, which benefit the employee, the employer, and our nation as a whole.”

READA Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink,” TWEET #ShriverReport and WATCH an informational video HERE.

THE GOVERNOR, THE BRIDGE, HIS WIFE, AND HER CHARITY  — As questions mount about NJ Gov. Tony Soprano, eh hem, Chris Christie’s bridge closure our sources say Christie’s wife is still sitting on more than half of the funds her charity raised for Sandy victims. SEE the Daily Agenda’s original story HERE. Looks like using Sandy relief funds to produce self-serving tourism ads are just the tip of the iceberg. CNN broke last night that Port Authority created an executive position for a Christie ally. READ: “Christie: A Bully’s Bully” over at The Nation.

Huffington Post, MSNBC, Politico, and Roosevelt Institute also covered the story.

PROGRESSIVES TO RALLY IN NYC — January 21 is the fourth anniversary of Citizens United — a ruling that paved the way for Super PACs to spend over 600 million dollars in the 2012 election alone. Fair Elections for New York and American Family Votes will be hosting Sen. Elizabeth Warren and NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to discuss taking on big money’s power over the economy. Co-sponsors include Americans for Campaign Reform, Brennan Center for Justice, ColorOfChange, Common Cause/NY, CREDO, Democracy Matters, Demos, Greenpeace, MoveOn.Org, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Sierra Club, and more. FIND out event details and RSVP HERE.

MoveOn.Org, Demos, and the Democracy Initiative will also be hosting a virtual teach-in on the anniversary discussing immediate grassroots solutions on the 21st. Leaders from the Sierra Club, NAACP, and Communications Workers of America will be featured. RSVP to WATCH it live HERE.

300+ DAYS WITHOUT REPRESENTATION  — North Carolina NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber slammed NC Govenor McCrory’s recent Writ of Election decision that would delay a special election in the state’s 12th Congressional District until November, leaving the seat empty: “While Congress debates the Farm Bill, budget issues, immigration reform, historic national security issues, and the future of Section 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act itself, the 12th District — comprised of citizens of North Carolina from all walks of life” Black, Latino, White, poor and rich; hard-working Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — will be without a voice.”

A STEP TOWARD FAIR DISCIPLINARY POLICIES – Advancement Project Managing Director of Programs James Eichner lauded the Obama Administration’s groundbreaking new legal guidelines for addressing racial discrimination in public school discipline: “The DOJ/DOE guidance confirms what advocates on the ground have been saying all along: there are stark racial disparities in school discipline, and schools are needlessly funneling children of color from the classroom to the criminal justice system.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

CARBON CUTTING PROGRESS: Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown Law Executive Director and Top Wonk Vicki Arroyo stands by the EPA’s newly proposed rules to cut carbon pollution from new power plants.

FEAR CONQUERS ALL: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich explains why fear is crux of low-wage workers’ self-sabotage.

FDL BOOK SALON — This Sunday Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Michael Konczal will be hosting an online book salon featuring CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker. They will be discussing Dean Baker’s new book Getting Back to Full Employment. FIND out more HERE.

Find more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP congratulates Demos President Miles Rapoport on his next step as President and CEO of Common Cause. We second Demos’ Board Chair Amelia Warren Tyagi’s sendoff: “In his 13 years as President, Miles has built Demos up to where it is today: full of potential, and ready to take the next, exciting leap forward.” Demos will announce its new President in the coming weeks … our sources say Top Wonk Heather McGee has been tapped for the top job.

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MAXING OUT THE MINIMUM…DISCREDITED…LETTERS FROM IRAN…Advancement Project Urges End of WI Discrimination Engine…Alliance for Justice Checks SCOTUS on Reproductive Rights…

MAXING OUT THE MINIMUMOver 4.5 million workers began receiving higher pay on January 1st when thirteen states raised their minimum wages … however no state has yet to pass a minimum wage properly adjusted to inflation — roughly $10.74, according to Raise the Minimum Wage. This number jumps to 25 dollars an hour if average labor productivity is factored in. Director of the Center for American Progress’ Half in Ten and the Poverty and the Prosperity Program Melissa Boteach hammered home the point: “The War on Poverty hasn’t failed; rather, our economy has failed… We have an economic and moral obligation to help raise people out of poverty, and it starts by enacting realistic policies that invest in job creation, increase wages, and expand educational opportunities for all people.”

READ: “Proposal to Strengthen Minimum Wage Would Help Low-Wage Workers, With Little Impact on Employment” by the the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Lift Wages for Millions and Provide a Modest Economic Boost” by the Economic Policy Institute, and “50 Years After the War on Poverty, Will the Middle Class Become the New Poor?” by AlterNet Senior Editor Lynn Parramore.

DISCREDITED — 47 percent of employers conduct credit checks on their job applicants, a practice that Demos, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and others hope to prohibit through the Equal Employment for All Act. Sen. Wareen summed up the problem on a recent press call with Demos: “Let people compete for jobs on the merits, not whether they already have enough money to pay all their bills.” Demos has found that one in ten unemployed people claim that they were denied jobs based on the results of credit checks. READDiscredited: How Employment Credit Checks Keep Qualified Workers Out of a Job” and WATCH Demos Vice President of Policy and Outreach and Top Wonk Heather McGhee voice her support for the bill HERE.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, and The Hill covered the story.

LETTERS FROM IRAN — Berim and Netformance launched Letters from Iran, an online campaign of over 500 letters from individuals from Iranians to Americans. This effort comes as a group of foreign policy experts and the White House urge against new Iran sanctions. Berim and Netformance are planning a Hill Action Day on January 30th. CHECK OUT Letters from Iran and FIND out more HERE.

ADVANCEMENT PROJECT URGES END OF WI DISCRIMINATION ENGINE — Advancement Project urged a federal court to issue a permanent injunction preventing Wisconsin’s Voter ID Laws from going back into effect in the wake of the November bench trial. The groups contest that the current legislation violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which prohibits discriminatory voting practices on the basis off color, race, and/or language. This is the first case to come to trial following the Supreme Court’s June Shelby County v. Holder ruling that struck down Section 5 of the VRA. READ the full post-trial brief HERE.

Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair: “As the leading democracy in the world, it is our responsibility to ensure that states do not pass laws that hinder citizens’ inalienable right to vote. States across the nation have an obligation to ensure that citizens have equal access to the ballot.”

IN THEIR WORDS — As the U.S. Supreme Court gears up to rule on three cases surrounding birth control and abortion, Alliance for Justice (AFJ) has released a new report breaking down the views each Justice has on reproductive rights issues. The study analyzes confirmation hearings, voting records, and their legal writings. READ: “In Their Words: The Supreme Court Justices on Abortion.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

THE GREAT REDISTRIBUTION: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich explains why 2013 was the year of a Great Redistribution upward.

TOO BIG TO ENFORCE: University of Missouri Kansas City Associate Professor of Economics and Law and Top Wonk William Black evaluates the consequences of the Volcker Rule.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Princeton University Professor of Economics and Public Affairs and Top Wonk Alan S. Blinder investigates the role the poor play in the battle against fraud in free phone service.

AVERTING LAYOFFS — CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker will be speaking at the national conference “Averting Layoffs & Saving Jobs Through Work-Sharing,” organized by the National Employment Law Project and the Center for Law & Social Policy. The conference is today, Friday January 10th in DC. FIND out more and RSVP HERE.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

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POPPING A CAP INTO WALL STREET-BACKED THIRD WAY…FAMILY ACT GAINS MOMENTUM…GLAAD Tidings For Xmas…UltraViolet Launches Obamacare Enroll-A-Thon…Happy Holidays from PP!…

POPPING A CAP INTO WALL STREET-BACKED THIRD WAY — Center for American Progress (CAP) President Neera Tanden slammed Third Way’s leaders recent attacks on economic populism: “[The progressive] vision is far from ‘fantasy-based blue-state populism.’ in fact, it’s budget-hawks whose arguments find support in fictional evidence.” Tanden joins a slew of progressive groups and advocates renouncing the ‘centrist’ think tank after its leaders wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal instructing Democrats not to follow Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “over the populist cliff” by supporting a bill to expand social security benefits.

Meanwhile MoveOn.org debuted “Isn’t Enough,” a new ad detailing the reasons Congress should increase funding for Social Security. Progressive Change Campaign Committee joined MoveOn.Org supporters and Social Security recipients last Wednesday in Washington to deliver a 125,000 signature petition renouncing Third Way’s attacks. CHECK OUT a recent feature on Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s pro-Warren efforts HERE.

Yesterday CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker testified on the importance of Social Security. READ the transcript and WATCH footage HERE.

GLAAD TIDINGS TO ALL – GLAAD launched “Our Holiday Wish,” a campaign encouraging same-sex families to send holiday cards and photos to governors of the 34 states that have yet to legalize gay marriage. Participants can choose to snail mail, e-mail, or tweet their messages. GLAAD National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz: “This holiday season, our only wish is that lawmakers will support the equality of all loving families.” TWEET #OnlyWish and LEARN more HERE.

FAMILY ACT GAINS MOMENTUM — CAP President Neera Tanden applauded the Family and Medical Insurance (FAMILY) Act, introduced last week by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT): “The FAMILY Act will ensure that no one has to choose between a critical day’s pay and caring for a loved one, and that men and women have an equal shot at achieving economic security.” The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 currently ensures 12 weeks of unpaid family leave, meaning that a majority of workers legally qualify for time off but cannot afford it. Currently only 12 percent of US workers recieve paid leave — the FAMILY Act would provide it for all.

CAP released multiple reports and issue briefs on the FAMILY Act. READ: “The FAMILY Act: Facts and Frequently Asked Questions, “The Economic Benefits of Family and Medical Leave Insurance,” and “Job Protection Isn’t Enough: Why Americans Need Paid Parental Leave,” co-authored by CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk John Schmitt and CAP Senior Economist and Top Wonk Heather Boushey.

JOIN ULTRAVIOLET’S ENROLL-A-THON — This Monday is the last day to sign up for Affordable Care Act coverage that starts on January 1. UltraViolet has launched an Enroll-A-Thon to get the word out for as many people to enroll before the deadline as possible. PLEDGE to help spread the word HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

COUNTDOWN: Brennan Center fellow and Top Wonk Ciara Torres-Spelliscy summarizes the year’s top 13 campaign finance stories.

UP, UP, AND AWAY: Roubini Global Economics Co-Founder and Manager and Top Wonk Nouriel Roubini warns about the reemergence of international housing bubbles.

CRYING CORPORATISM: Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Michael Konczal investigates the ideology behind the right wing’s hysteria surrounding “corporatism.”

Find out more at TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP will return after the New Year … we wish you a HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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PCCC:1, THIRD WAY:0…MY BIG GAY (IL)LEGAL WEDDING…JUST (TRY TO) SAY NO…JUSTICE ON THE GO…SEEING RED…A Failed Experiment…A Monumental Time to Act…World to Poor: Drop Dead… The Bottom-Up Recovery…

PCCC:1, THIRD WAY:0 — Third Way was forced to admit that the “majority of [their] financial support” comes from a Wall Street based Board of Trustees after increased pressure from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). Earlier this week Third Way’s leadership co-authored an op-ed in TheWall Street Journal claiming that Elizabeth Warren would lead Democrats “over the populist cliff” … a statement they just admitted was triggered when they became “a bit alarmed” that Warren backed a bill to expand social security.

PCCC Co-Founder Adam Green tells PP: “As a Wall Street front group, Third Way had little credibility to begin with — and the credibility took a major blow then three of their own Honorary Co-Chairs denounced their attack on economic populism. We’re calling on all of their fellow Co-Chairs to state publicly whether they agree.”

READ: “GOP Donors and K Street Fuel Third Way’s Advice for the Democratic Party,” “Why the Third Way Hates Elizabeth Warren,” “Third Way’s Anti-Populist, Anti-Warren, and Deceptive ‘Dead End,’” and “Third Way, Elizabeth Warren and the Real Battle.”

MY BIG GAY (IL)LEGAL WEDDING — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Project Runway Mentor Tim Gunn launched “My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding,” a campaign to promote marriage equality in the 34 states that have yet to legalize same-sex marriage. The five couples that come up with the most creative ways to travel across state lines to tie the knot will receive $5,000 towards their dream wedding. Tim Gunn says it best: “These states need a makeover!” WATCH his promotional video, VIEW all contestants, VOTE, and ENTER HERE.

JUST (TRY TO) SAY NO — Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a new report finding that federal drug defendants are pressured into pleading guilty due to the fear of a longer sentence if they proceed to trial. HRW’s US Program Senior Advisor and report author Jamie Fellner: “Prosecutors give drug defendants a so-called choice — in the most egregious cases, the choice can be to plead guilty to 10 years, or risk life without parole by going to trial. Prosecutors make offers few drug defendants can refuse. This is coercion pure and simple.” READ: “An Offer You Can’t Refuse: How US Federal Prosecutors Force Drug Defendants to Plead Guilty.”

JUSTICE ON THE GO — This Saturday, December 14, a coalition of community-based organizations in Virginia will re-launch the Mobile Justice Tour, travelling to 10 cities throughout the state to raise awareness about voting rights, “ban the box” fair hiring practices, and sentencing reform to end mass incarceration. Groups involved include Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD), Bridging the Gap in Virginia, Virginia Organizing, Advancement Project, and the Justice Policy Institute. The Mobile Tour previously hit the road late last summer and is now back by popular demand. TWEET @va_mjt and FIND out about specific event details HERE.

SEEING RED — Roughly 40 percent of African American households in debt have used their credit cards to borrow for basic expenses in order to make ends meet, according to “The Challenge of Credit Card Debt for the African American Middle Class,” released by Demos and the NAACP. NAACP Director of Economic Department and report co-author Dedrick Asante-Muhammad: “African Americans rely on credit cards to make ends meet and invest in their futures because they have faced (and continue to face) persistent structural and economic barriers that limit their ability to create wealth and built a solid credit history.” READ the full report HERE.

A FAILED EXPERIMENT — Citizens for Tax Justice published a new report concluding that Congress must severely reform the problem-ridden federal research and experimentation tax credit or let it expire. READ: “Reform the Research Tax Credit — Or Let It Die.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

A MONUMENTAL TIME TO ACT: Sierra Club Executive Director and Top Wonk Michael Brune explains why now is the time for the President to name new national monuments. SHOW your support and SIGN Sierra Club’s letter HERE.

WORLD TO POOR: DROP DEAD: Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Top Wonk Jeffrey Sachs lambasts the fact that the world came up $1 billion short this year in funding the Global Fund’s efforts to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

THE BOTTOM-UP RECOVERY: Professor of Law and Public Finance at Nova Southeastern University and Top Wonk Timothy Canova is featured in the new anthology When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal. FIND out more about the book and his chapter “The Bottom-Up Recovery: A New Deal in Banking and Public Finance” HERE and HERE.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

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TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT LAUNCH…ENDING THE INVISIBLE WAR…THE HUNGER GAMES…VA Rights Restoration…Dignity Denied…Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Oh My!…Common Cents…Political Piñata…

TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT LAUNCH — Monday, the Agenda Project launched TOP WONKS: The Environment, an on-line guide to the country’s preeminent environmental policy experts. The site features comprehensive profiles of each expert including up to the minute writing, media appearances, analysis, and tweets searchable by dozens of issue areas. Environment Top Wonks are now featured alongside the Economic Top Wonks and Democracy Top Wonks. Agenda Project President Erica Payne tells PP: “These leading thinkers will show the way to a better American future.” CONTACT Top Wonks Managing Editor David Berman at dberman@agendaproject.org with recommendations for future experts.

READ: “The Road Ahead (And Some Bumps Along the Way)” by Sierra Club Executive Director and Top Wonk Michael Brune and “A Wink and a Nod Won’t Save a Declining Species” by Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO and Top Wonk Jamie Rappaport Clark. Check out more recent works by the environmental wonks HERE.

ENDING THE INVISIBLE WAR — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is backing Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), which would remove the oversight of sex crimes from the chain of command. Reid joins Protect our Defenders, the Center for American Progress (CAP), The National Women’s Law Center, 19 our of the 20 female members of the U.S. Senate, conservatives Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) and countless others in supporting the bill.

HELP undecided senators make the right choice by TWEETING #passMJIA and CALLING 1-888-907-6886. Undecideds include John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Gillibrand says it best: “IT’S THE LEAST WE CAN DO.

READ: “The Gillibrand Amendment Will Root Out Rapists” and “Kirsten Gillibrand Won’t Take No For An Answer.”

THE HUNGER GAMES — Over 110 people were arrested at 1,500 Black Friday protests when workers joined to demand a living wage from Walmart, the country’s largest private employer. The groups were led by the union-backed group OUR Walmart. As Amy Traub, Demos Senior Policy Analyst and co-author of the new brief “A Higher Wage is Possible,” states: “Walmart’s low wage model winds up costing all of us.

The New York Times, The New Yorker, Huffington Post, AlterNet, and Salon covered the story.

VA RIGHTS RESTORATION — Over 450,000 Virginians — roughly seven percent of the voting population — have had their voting rights revoked, according to Advancement Project’s new infographic. Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Davis: “Virginia has an alarmingly bloated corrections population that, coupled with having one of the harshest felony disenfranchisement laws in the country, continues to strip hundreds of thousands of people of their right to vote… This is a statewide crises on which the next governor must act.” WATCH Advancement Project’s new video informing Virginians how to get back their vote HERE.

The Justice Policy Institute also released a new policy brief surveying the feeble state of Virginia’s justice system. READ: “Virginia’s Justice System: Expensive, Ineffective, Unfair.”

DIGNITY DENIED — The Center for American Progress (CAP) published a new report analyzing the treatment of LGBT immigrants in U.S. immigration facilities, finding that LGBT immigrants face an substantially increased risk of abuse in detention centers. READ: “Dignity Denied: LGBT Immigrants in U.S. Immigration Detention.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

BLACK FRIDAY, CYBER MONDAY, OH MY!: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich uncovers the hidden cost of online holiday deals.

COMMON CENTS: Nobel Prize winner and Top Wonk Joseph Stiglitz bemoans the insanity of US food policies.

POLITICAL PIÑATA: Demos Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner reveals how the ACA was an unexpected gift to the Republicans.

SPRAWLMART — Jared Bernstein and CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker released Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People, a follow-up to The Benefits of Full Employment. READ the full book, available free for online download HERE.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

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AS IF 49 RAPES A DAY WEREN’T BAD ENOUGH…ENACTING ENDA…PUSH OUT VIDEO LAUNCH…MEET THE NEW FACE OF ANARCHY…Common Cents…Another Inconvenient Truth…Exciting Agenda Project News!…

AS IF 49 RAPES A DAY WEREN’T BAD ENOUGH — New findings from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reveal that the Department of Veterans Affairs selectively discriminates against military sexual assault survivors … a startling finding that might help to explain why 86 percent of the 19,000 service men and women every year never report their assaults. Protect our Defenders, the Center for American Progress (CAP), The National Women’s Law Center, 19 out of the 20 female members of the U.S. Senate, and others have recently come out in support Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), which would remove the military chain of command from the oversight of sex crimes. JOIN them by SIGNING a petition HERE and CALLING your Senators at 1-888-907-6886.

READ: ACLU’s “Battle for Benefits: VA Discrimination Against Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma,” CAP’s report “Twice Betrayed,” and Christine Pelosi’s recent article “To Honor Veterans, Help Those Fighting the Invisible War.” 

ENACTING ENDA — Executive Vice President for External Affairs at CAP Winnie Stachelberg lauded the Senate’s passing of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA): “[This] historic, bipartisan vote is in the best tradition of the Senate and reflects the broad support for workplace protections for LGBT people. Speaker Boehner should listen to the majority of small business owners and Fortune 500 companies that value a diverse workforce and not stand in the way of these long-overdue protections becoming the law of the land.” It is currently legal in 29 states to fire an employee on the basis of their sexual orientation.

CAP, Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Work, Movement Advancement Project, The National Black Justice Coalition, and Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality co-authored a new report finding that LGBT workers of color are among the most disadvantaged and discriminated in the American workforce. READ: “A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color” and “A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits, and More Taxes for LGBT Workers.”

The Huffington Post, The Nation, Politico, and Media Matters covered the story.

PUSH OUT — Advancement Project launched “Push Out,” a new video using clips from popular sitcoms like “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and “Saved By the Bell” to skewer the “zero-tolerance” policies responsible for the school-to-prison pipeline. Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis summed it up: “The message from the video is clear: all young people make mistakes; it’s part of growing up. We need disciplinary policies which help students learn from their mistakes, not pay for them for the rest of their lives … When students are being arrested for shooting spit balls or for throwing a temper tantrum, clearly something is wrong.” WATCH the video and FIND out more about the “Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track” program HERE.

MEET THE NEW FACE OF ANARCHY – Barbara Parramore, 81-year-old mother of AlterNet Senior Editor Lynn Parramore, is just one of the hundreds of North Carolinians that the General Assembly has declared suspected “anarchists.” Why? Because Parramore and her comrades dared to peacefully petition the state government’s regressive and oppressive policies through 13 peaceful Moral Monday demonstrations over the summer. This allegation came to light during the first trial of the 900+ arrested over the course of the Moral Mondays protests, when the chief of the General Assembly police stated “that his department ‘collected intelligence’ on the ‘anarchists’ among them.”

Lynn Parramore says it best: “NEVER MIND REALITY. Anarchist is now the term for any person with the temerity to suggest that the poor deserve compassion, that all children deserve decent schools, and that a widening gulf between haves and have-nots is not good for the country.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

COMMON CENTS: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich reveals four no brainers about raising the minimum wage.

RED STATE, BLUE COLLAR: Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Michael Konczal exposes the Tea Party’s assault on workers.

ANOTHER INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Journalist, author, and Top Wonk Naomi Klein examines the devastating impact economic growth has on the environment.

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 THIS MONTH

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … After 3.5 years the Agenda Project is EXPANDING TO WASHINGTON, DC! … Stay tuned for details when PP is back from a Thanksgiving hiatus on December 4th! … 

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49 RAPES A DAY…SLAMMING SNAP SLASH…WISCONSIN VOTER ID TRIAL BEGINS…Making Wall Street Work For Us…Ending the School-To-Prison Pipeline…

49 RAPES A DAY — Every day 49 of our military servicemen and women are raped while their chain of command turns a blind eye. To combat this Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is proposing the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) which if legalized would remove the chain of command from the oversight of sex crimes. The Defense Department currently estimates 26,000 instances of sexual assault occurred last year, up 46 percent according to new findings from the Pentagon released today. Protect our Defenders, The Center for American Progress (CAP), the National Women’s Law Center, 19 out of the 20 female senators in the U.S. Senate, and others have come out in support of the MJIA … and even primetime television is taking a stance: next week’s Law and Order: SVU will focus on a female military officer too afraid to report her gang rape. 60 votes are needed to squash a Republican-led filibuster.

Producer of Academy Award nominated documentary “The Invisible War” Amy Ziering:  “The status quo has failed – we can no longer support it. We owe our service members access to the same impartial system of justice we enjoy. They sacrifice so much to defend our rights. ISN’T IT TIME WE DEFENDED THEIRS?

READ: “Reports of Military Sexual Assault Rise Sharply” and “Twice Betrayed.”

SLAMMING SNAP SLASH — Demos Vice President of Policy and Outreach and Top Wonk Heather McGhee slammed the decision to cut 5 billion from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) last Friday: “Why wouldn’t they include a raise to the minimum wage in this bil? And say, ‘You know what, we want to work to pay. We want you to be able to feed your own family and be self-reliant. So we’re going to cut this benefit from the government but require an increase from employers.’ That would make sense.”

READ: The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities statement on SNAP cuts and “We Need a Robin Hood Tax — Not Cuts in Food Stamps” over at The Nation.

WISCONSIN VOTER ID TRIAL BEGINS — A trial challenging Wisconsin’s restrictive voter ID law commenced this past Monday in federal court. Advancement Project and the pro bono counsel from Arnold & Porter LLP contest that the current legislation violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which prohibits discriminatory voting practices on the basis of color, race, and/or language. Numerous voters — many of whom have been voting for decades — testified that obtaining a state-issued ID was overly difficult and problem laden. This is the first case to come to trial following the Supreme Court’s June Shelby County v. Holder ruling that struck down Section 5 of the VRA.

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 confident it will prevail.”

MAKING WALL STREET WORK FOR US – Americans for Financial Reform and the Roosevelt Institute will host a reception on Tuesday, November 12 in Washington, DC to launch their new report entitled “An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for Us.” Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Top Wonk Michael Konczal will join a panel to discuss making the system safer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren will deliver the keynote speech. FIND out more and RSVP HERE.

ENDING THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE — President of the NAACP’s Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chapter Marsha Ellison lauded Florida’s Broward County Public Schools’ comprehensive new plan to end ‘zero tolerance’ disciplinary policies: “[This] groundbreaking agreement to end the school-to-prison pipeline will save our children from the type of disciplinary action that thwarts their educational and professional growth by preventing them from getting a job, going to college, joining the military or becoming the successful adults they deserve to be. Children should be educated, not incarcerated. Florida currently leads the country in school-based arrests of students, which primarily impacts students of color.

The NAACP’s Fort Lauderdale/Broward Country Chapter and Advancement Project worked with Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, law enforcement, and other community partners in taking this important step forward. FIND out more about the school-to-prison pipeline by checking out “Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track,” a program of Advancement Project.

ON OUR AGENDA, FROM THE WONK WIRE

A NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich explains why Bill de Blasio is the biggest game changer from Tuesday’s elections.

DARK SHADOWS: Brennan Center Fellow and Top Wonk Ciara-Torres Spelliscy argues that the SEC needs to enact a rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their political donations.

IDEOLOGY OR EFFICIENCY?: Demos Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner weighs the pros and cons of privatization as part of Demos’ Gordon Gamm Initiative.

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 THIS MONTH! … stay tuned!

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

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