FOX BANS AGENDA PROJECT’S NEW GRANNY VIDEO…CREW CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF MAKING POLITICIANS NERVOUS….Mrs. Governor Christie to Sandy Victims: ‘No Money for You, But Atleast We Got a Re-Tweet…’

WHO HAS GRANNY ISSUES? Progressive groups attacked Paul Ryan’s budget  on Tuesday for slashing $4.5 trillion from projected spending, stripping the country’s vital and enduring social programs, and giving larger tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the sick, old, and poor. Center for American Progress criticized Ryan’s budget for cutting close to $1.2 trillion from public investments vital to supporting the economy (see CAP’s instant reports on Ryan’s budget here, including this one on the $7 trillion tax hole). The Agenda Project Action Fund released a new Granny off the Cliff video  which highlights that Ryan’s budget would eliminate Medicare (Stuart Varney banned their video and Ryan reacted to their video on Sean Hannity). Economic Policy Institute found that the Ryan budget would destroy two million jobs by 2014. Citizens for Tax Justice reported that the budget would give millionaires a tax cut of $200,000 or more.The Nation accosted the Ryan budget for its catastrophic impact on women. 

FREUDIAN SLIP OF THE WEEK —  “We are not going to give up on destroying the healthcare system for the American people” – Paul Ryan (watch here).

A LITTLE BIT OF SUNSHINE – In honor of Sunshine Week, Sunlight Foundation built a Report Card assessing the availability of open data on all 50 state legislative websites (HIGHLIGHT: 6 states including MA received ‘Fs’). CREW hosted two panels challenging the DOJ’s right to write up secret laws, including a now publicly notorious memo justifying the killing of US citizens abroad. Tonight, Brennan Center will host a discussion addressing security and secrecy in Obama’s latest move towards classification reform.

The Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch) published a new investigative analysis on whether or not federal agencies effectively processed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests last year. WHAT THEY FOUND: the Department of Homeland Security increased its FOIA processing rates by 30%, however FOIA requests in which some information was withheld increased by 54% for all processed requests (due to redacted lines). See CEG’s March report for more. On government transparency, CEG’s Director of Open Government Policy Sean Moulton says: “While the Obama administration deserves praise for the important work it has done to build a platform for open government in its first term, the job is unfinished.” 

HOT READ – How the Iraq War Hurt Republicans, by Phillip Carter, Iraq Veteran and Principal of Truman National Security Project.

ON MILLION CALLING CONGRESS – Alliance for Citizenship (A4C) is hosting a week-long national call-in to Congress this week to quickly move on a bill that offers a direct path to citizenship for 11 million American immigrants (Call Congress: 866- 563-5608). Their goal is to hit 1 million calls, so pick up your phone. Alliance for Citizenship (A4C) is a newly-formed national campaign focused on expediting immigration reform. Partners include: ACLU, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Center for Community Change, Center for American Progress, Southern Poverty Law Center, and USAction.

PROGRESS – Last week, CREW celebrated 10 years of making politicians very nervous. Took a look at the top scandals and scoundrels they’ve uncovered here

ON OUR AGENDA…Mrs. Governor Christie to Hurricane Sandy Victims: ‘No Money For You But At Least We Got a Re-Tweet...’

 

 

 

 

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CBO CRUNCHES REVENUE NUMBERS, FOX MANGLES THEM…DEMOS FINDS UNEMPLOYED DISCREDITED FROM JOBS…

SCALIA SLAMMED – Progressive groups slammed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for referring to the Voting Rights Act as a “perpetuation of racial entitlement” last week, sounding the drumbeat for the Supreme Court to preserve Section 5 of the law. For recent reactions and analyses to Scalia and the Supreme Court’s oral arguments, read these pieces from: Alliance for JusticeAmerican Constitution SocietyBrennan Center for JusticeConstitutional Accountability CenterDemos, and NAACP

Last week, members from the Alliance for Justice, Advancement Project, Asian American Legal and Education Defense Fund, Common Cause, Planned Parenthood, Lawyers’ Committee, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and NAACP defended the Voting Rights Act on the steps of the Supreme Court.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights published a report on Monday showing that the majority of newspaper ed-boards in states explicitly covered by Section 5, including Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi agree that the Supreme Court should uphold the law.

THE MORE WE LEARN, THE WORSE IT LOOKS – Progressive environmental groups criticized a new report from the State Department Friday, alleging that the Keystone XL Project would have no significant impact on the environment. The National Resources Defense Council blasted the report for minimizing the climate impact of 830,000 barrels per day of tar sands, warning that “building this pipeline would be the same as putting 6 million new cars on the road” (read NRDC’s analysis of Tar Sands here). The Sierra Club expressed outrage over the State Department’s report, calling it a “deeply-flawed analysis” and “nothing short of malpractice.” Rebuild the Dream’s Van Jones warned that approving the Keystone XL Project could lead to “the worst oil disaster in American farmland history.”

CBO CRUNCHES REVENUE NUMBERS, FOX MANGLES THEM – According to a new Media Matters analysis, Fox & Friends misrepresented CBO numbers on air to push against calls for tax increases. Fox & Friends falsely claimed that federal revenue this year will be “historically high,” when in fact it will be lower than it has been since World War II.

IF YOU HATE FOX, BUT LOVE AMERICAWATCH Patriotic Millionaire Eric Schoenberg tell Fox pundit Melissa Francis to tax him MORE.

FACT OF THE WEEK – Since 1968, more Americans have been killed by gunfire than have died in all of the wars in American history (h/t Center for American Progress).

PEOPLE PROGRESSCarmel Martin, former Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the Department of Education joined the Center for American Progress as Executive Vice President for Policy. Legal journalist Andrew Cohen joined the Brennan Center as a new Fellow. Cohen is the first-ever legal analyst for 60 minutes, chief analyst and legal editor for CBS Radio News, and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. Read his first column on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act here. WHO’S THAT GIRL? Progressive organizer and Sikh-American filmmaker Valarie Kaur was profiled in Vogue India this month for her advocacy work following the massacre at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin last August. Kaur is the Founding Director of Groundswell, an Auburn Seminary initiative, and is one of the Center for American Progress’s 13 Progressive Faith Leaders to Watch.

HOT OFF THE PRESS – ACLU launched an online platform called ACLU Action on Wednesday aimed at helping progressives engage directly with their elected representatives. ACLU Action’s first campaign calls on President Obama to issue a veto threat on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would give companies the power to share people’s private online information with the government without a warrant (find out more here). DISCREDITED: Demos released a study showing how credit checks keep unemployed, capable workers from getting a job. INSIDE THE NUMBERS: 1/7 qualified job applicants with ‘blemished credit histories’ have been told they were not hired by a prospective employer due to their credit.

SEQUESTER GOT YOU CONFUSED? Our graphic has got you covered.

 

 

 

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FACEBOOK’S $0 TAX BILL….FOX’S 99 LATINO PROBLEMS…Driver’s Licenses Granted to Michigan DREAMers…American Bridge and Planned Parenthood Agree Ken Cuccinelli is ‘a Breath of Fresh Air…’

Back by popular demand, today we bring you the inaugural issue of our re-imagined Practical Progress newsletter which offers influential progressives a now-weekly, smart, insightful, actually ‘brief’ briefing on the most important News From The Movement.

ALL YOU NEED IS A GUN LICENSE TO VOTE  Center for American Progress published a five-point primer on why protecting Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act during the Supreme Court’s hearing of Shelby County v. Holder on Feb 27th is critical for preventing voter-suppression laws from rising in 16 states. Section 5 requires states with  discriminatory voting practices to seek ‘pre-clearance’ with the DOJ or a three-judge court in DC before making any legal changes to their voting laws. NOTE FROM CAP: without Section 5, Texas would have considered concealed handgun licenses a valid form of voter ID, but not college or state employee IDs. (For more progressive substance on Section 5 this month, see these pieces from: Brennan Center for JusticeAmerican Constitution SocietyLawyer’s Committee on Civil RightsColor of Change,Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, America Votes, and NAACP).In defense of Section 5, Alliance for Justice will host a Twitter Town Hall on Feb 26th, a rally in front of the Supreme Court in D.C. on Feb 27th, and provide analysis on their blog Justice Watch after the hearing.

FACEBOOK PROFITS: $1.1 BILLION, FACEBOOK TAX BILL: $0 – A new Citizens for Tax Justice report shows that while Facebook will not be paying any federal or state taxes this year in spite of turning over $ 1.1 billion in profits, it is expecting to get $429 million back in net tax refunds. In a footnote on Facebook’s January financial statements, CTJ found that the company’s half a billion dollar refunds result from taking advantage of a single (and legal) corporate tax break: the tax deductibility of executive stock options. CTJ’s Rebecca Wilkins, Senior Counsel on Federal Tax Policy tells PP:  Why does the company get to take a deduction for stock option compensation, when it didn’t cost them a dime? If Mark Zuckerberg won the lottery tomorrow, would we expect Facebook to get a tax deduction for his winnings? Stock options have pretty much the same impact on a company’s income as do lottery winnings.” In a similar report last year, CTJ identified the stock option tax break as one of the reasons why Fortune 500 companies pay so little taxes. (See CTJ’s Facebook report in BusinessWeekGawker, and The Atlantic).

…And on a much lighter economic note today: Sorry Boehner, You Can’t Rewrite Sequester History!

99 PROBLEMS – Fox News prime-time hosts and their guests have used the terms ‘Illegals,” “Illegal Aliens,” and “Anchor Babies” 99 times since the election, even though these terms are banned on Fox News’ website for Latinos, according to a new Media Matters research analysis released on Tuesday. In an interview with The New Republic a few days ago, Fox President Roger Ailes admitted that Fox News really needs to find a new message on immigration.

Presente’s Movement Building Director Ana Perez tells PP:  “Fox can’t have it both ways, loving Latinos on Fox Latino and hating Latinos on Fox in English. If Fox really wants to enter the Latino media market in a serious way, Roger Ailes needs to steer the network away from racial profiling and immigrant scapegoating. The Latino community knows this about Fox and we don’t appreciate it. As the Univision-ABC Latino venture and other new Latino media initiatives indicate, you either lose the bigotry or lose the Latino market.”

In other immigration news, kudos to Progress Michigan for working hand-in-hand with Alliance for Immigrant Rights on getting Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson (R) to finally begin granting driver’s licenses to DREAMers this month.

KEN CUCCINELLI IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR – American Bridge launched a website outlining passages that are “extreme by any standards” from VA Attorney General and aspiring Governor Ken Cuccinelli’s new book, The Last Line of Defense. According to the most overtly partisan Attorney General in Virginia history: “Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases like methane were pollutants dangerous to public health because they allegedly caused global warming. Yet carbon dioxide is what we exhale every second of the day. It keeps the trees alive and allows them to make the oxygen that keeps us alive. It’s a wonderful symbiotic system that sustains life on earth. But to environmentalists, carbon dioxide is a slow killer” (p10). *See also: American Bridge’s Part-Time Cuccinelli video and Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Keep Ken Out, which MIGHT explain this from WaPo: Democrats urge sales of Cuccinelli Book 

HOT OFF THE PRESS – League of Conservation Voters launched a new Environmental Scorecard revealing whether members of Congress stood with the people or polluters last year. According to LCV President Gene Karpinski: “This was hands down, the most anti-environmental House of Representatives ever.” Advancement Project launched a new website to end the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track. Must-read: The Top 12 Reasons to end the School-to-Prison Pipeline. (If you haven’t already, see these pictures of Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne-Dianis with Michelle Obama’s special SOTU guest, 102-year old Desiline Victor and Practical Progress’ 2012MDV (‘Most Determined Voter’).

AWAKE THE STATE – On March 5th, Floridians will rally across the state in a growing grassroots chorus of discontent with Governor Rick Scott. They will demand lawmakers to undo the damage of the 2011 voting law that notoriously caused Floridians to wait in line for up to 8 hours to vote last year (Find out more here). Central Organizers of ‘Awake The State’are: Progress Florida, Florida Watch Action, and America Votes.

JUMP ON THE WARREN BANDWAGON – Americans for Financial Reform issued a letter last week criticizing 43 Senate Republicans for attempting to filibuster Richard Cordray’s appointment to Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Lending full support to Cordray’s nomination, the letter accosts Republicans for exercising “extreme political brinkmanship of refusing to consider a well qualified nominee in order to extract changes in the law,” adding that their effort to block Cordray in order to “relitigate policies would hold hostage not just the CFPB director, but the future well-being of consumers, financial markets, and the economy.”

 

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