Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.


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Friday, March 30, 2012

NYT's Republican Primary Stats

From The New York Times (updated March 21, 2012):  
Who Voted for Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney?
Based on exit polls conducted by Edison Research with voters in 14 states, this chart displays demographics of voters in the recent Republican primaries.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/03/07/us/politics/how-candidates-fared-with-different-demographic-groups.html?nl=us&emc=edit_cn_20120329

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Idaho Ultrasound Bill SB1287 Is Not Dead Yet

CALL TO ACTION
Ultrasound Bill-SB1387 is NOT dead yet.http://signon.org/sign/oppose-sb-1349-vaginal?source=s.em.cr&r_by=3168878&mailing_id=2877 Please re-contact every Idaho House member and the Governor to let them know that this bill is not acceptable in ANY form.  (http://legislature.idaho.gov/house/membership.cfm)
A word of caution: It’s not dead until the session is adjourned, and then only until the next session as Dennis Mansfield, who has some years in the trenches on abortion-related legislation at the Idaho Legislature, writes in his blog <http://www.dennismansfield.com/business/2012/03/the-political-obituary-on-the-idahos-ultrasound-bill-may-be-a-bit-premie.html>
Monday, March 26th
Please hold your calendars open Monday and Tuesday morning this week—be ready to show up early in the morning to testify (if so, bring respectful written remarks) or to just show your support by being present!
12-2 p.m. Idahoans United Planning Meeting (Open to All) at the Idaho Education Building—please see Doodle Link at About Idahoans United….below
7:30-9:00 p.m. Join a Silent Flashlight Vigil (no candles)
For more information contact Planned Parenthood. Rally is listed on Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/206189052818279/    Signs welcomed!
Meet at the Capitol steps and walk around the statehouse in silent protest.
Join Idahoans United (Against SB1387) -- Our goal isn't just to defeat this outrageous bill--we want to change the political climate of Idaho to assure that more citizens have a voice, that moderate candidates are supported, that voters are educated…  SO, we are moving forward with planning Monday noon (12-2 p.m.) at Idaho Education Association at 620 N 6th Street in Boise and Wednesday night (7-9 p.m.) at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 6200 North Garrett (off Chinden Blvd) in Garden City.  Please let us know which meeting you plan to attend by clicking on this Doodle link:

Your support has been awesome! Thank you for speaking up and making a difference!



From Susan C. Philley from the SignOn.org system.

Thank President Obama/Birth Control Access


Take Action!A message from CREDO Action: President Obama did the right thing for women when he rejected the demands of rightwing activists to limit access to no-cost birth control.1
But before these new guidelines go into effect, his administration is holding a public comment period on the new rules. And we know that anti-woman activists will flood President Obama's Department of Health and Human Serivces with comments urging the administration to overturn their historic decision.
If President Obama had caved to the demands of these radical activists, certain employers like religiously affiliated universities and hospitals would have been allowed to prevent their female employees and students from having access to the same health care as every other woman in America.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the medical community agree that providing no-cost birth control is an essential part of preventive health care for women. And Kathleen Sebelius, the director of HHS, said that providing birth control at no cost to women should be like "covering flu shots."2
However, before activists from CREDO and Planned Parenthood began petitioning President Obama, the New York Times reported that the president was dangerously close to caving to the demands of the anti-woman lobby by adding a giant loophole that would keep a large number of women from being able to access no-cost birth control.3
CREDO members sent over 160,000 petitions and made over 3,000 calls to the White House asking President Obama not to cave.
In the end, President Obama listened to our call to protect women's health. But that doesn't mean our work is done.
The anti-woman extremists who are unhappy with President Obama for taking this stand will surely let him know. So let's make sure he hears from those of us who support him standing strong and protecting access to contraception.
Make sure that President Obama hears that the vast majority of Americans support his decision to ensure no-cost birth control for all women.
Click below to submit a comment in support of access to contraception:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5542639&id=37170-2593817-4c6DjHx&t=9
Thank you for standing up for women's access to birth control.
Ali Rozell, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "Obama Birth Control Policy: Administration Lays Out Proposals For Carrying Out Compromise," N.C. Aizenman, The Huffington Post, 3-16-2012.
2. "New U.S. rules require insurance coverage for contraception," N.C. Aizenman, The Washington Post, 8-1-2011.
3. "Democrats Urge Obama to Protect Contraceptive Coverage in Health Plans," Robert Pear, New York Times, 11-19-2011.

No BPA in Food Packaging

A message from CREDOAction: The toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) was recently banned in California from being used in baby bottles and sippy cups.
The FDA decides March 31st!
But thanks to the lobbying of the American Chemistry Council and other chemical manufacturers, BPA continues to be allowed in food and beverage packaging including the lining in most canned food and soup.
The FDA can put a stop to it. The agency will decide on March 31st whether or not to continue allowing bisphenol A (BPA) to be used in food packaging. It needs to stand up to industry pressure and protect us from this dangerous chemical.
BPA is a hormone disruptor that has been linked to a long list of serious health issues, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, early puberty, miscarriages and brain and heart disorders.1
It's so ubiquitous, it's even used in things like store receipts and plastic bags, and it is estimated that BPA can be found in 90% of our bodies.2
FDA's deadline comes in response to a formal petition filed in 2008 by the Natural Resources Defence Council. FDA failed to respond, and finally in December, a federal judge said it must make a final decision on BPA in food packaging by March 31st.3
Early last year, FDA admitted that BPA use raised "some concern," reversing a long maintained position that BPA was safe in low doses, as evidence mounted rapidly of BPA's health risks, which in addition to increased propensity for some diseases, include infertility and behavioral problems in children.
The science on BPA is clear, and its health impacts are far reaching, and deeply concerning.BPA isn't safe to be used in food packaging and the FDA needs to take action to protect us from BPA:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5542065&id=37220-2593817-Grxi4Ox&t=7
Thank you for fighting to keep us safe from toxic chemicals.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "A Survey of Bisphenol A in U.S. Canned Foods," Environmental Working Group, March 2007
2. "High BPA levels found in at least 90% of moms-to-be," USA Today, October 11, 2010
3. "FDA agrees to determine safety of BPA," Washington Post, December 7, 2011

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Romney: Least Interesting Man in the World

Bill Maher's take on Romney:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=374608002559433    

Record Industry Is Bragging


A message from Demand Progress.org:  They're selling us out.  Just weeks after Internet users from across the globe came together to to beat SOPA, the major ISPs are cutting a deal with Big Content to restrict web access for users who are accused of 
piracy.  
It'll do much of the dirty work we were able to prevent when we took down SOPA, this time by restricting certain Americans' access to the WHOLE Internet.
The details are fuzzy, but the head of the Recording Industry Association of America's bragged this week that ISPs will start policing copyright by July of this year.  
Here's RT's take on the proposal:
"Some of the biggest Internet service providers in America plan to adopt policies that will punish customers for copyright infringement, and one of the top trade groups in the music biz announced this week that it could begin as soon as this summer....
"RIAA CEO Cary Sherman was one of the guest speakers among a New York panel this week and he confirmed that, at this rate, some of the most powerful Internet providers in America should have their new policies on the books by July 12, 2012."
The ISPs are poised to start treating their customers like criminals, restricting their access to the Internet.  
And they're cutting us off at the knees just ast we've begun to force a new conversation about Internet freedom and copyright law.  
Thanks!
Demand Progress
PS: Please help us put a stop to these sell-outs.  Will you forward this email or share using the links below?
[fb]If you're already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.
[fb]If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fetus Food?

Fetus Food: 
Another Urban Legend Busted
by Tina Dupuy
Freshman Oklahoma state senator Ralph Shortey recently introduced a bill that would ban “the sale or manufacture of food or products which contain aborted human fetuses.” After a collective brow-raise over such a bizarre proposal, Shortey told the Los Angeles Times he got the idea “while doing some research on the Internet.”
So is there an issue with aborted fetuses ending up as foodstuffs? No. And there never has been.
Shortey’s bill is a wild overstatement of the latest front in the anti-abortion fight, one being prosecuted on an obscure Oklahoma anti-abortion website that has been trying to organizing a campaign to boycott PepsiCo because of a research contract it has with a company called Senomyx for beverage sweetener research that the anti-abortion activist charge involves using the HEK-293 cell line in laboratory tests. HEK-293 is a cell line developed in Holland in the early 1970s through the fusion of a kidney cell from an aborted fetus and a virus that immortalized the cells, or allowed them to keep replicating in a laboratory. “Senomyx does not provide ingredients to PepsiCo, nor do they manufacture PepsiCo products. Our work with Senomyx is focused on beverage sweetener research to help us reduce sugar in future global products,” according to Pepsi.
But solving a problem is not the real goal of proposing a ban.
Shortey’s bill sits squarely in a tradition of vilification that’s existed longer than English, mass media, or even Christianity. It’s the timeless Blood Libel: the blood drinking straw man who’s been given different titles over the millennia. Not only do abortionists kill babies, the bill implies, they want us all to commit the most culturally repulsive of all offenses—cannibalism.
The first recorded Blood Libel is from 31 AD. It’s told by two Jewish historians, who lived in the first century in then-Roman Alexandria, Egypt: Philo, in his account of Flaccus the Lieutenant-Governor of Egypt; and Flavius Josephus, in his work, “Against Apion.”
Here’s what these sources tell us: Apion was a skilled hyperbolist and Lieutenant-Governor Flaccus was a desperate politician who tried to avert Caligula’s wrath.
Around 30 AD, Apion, a Graeco-Egyptian grammarian and writer, had spent a great deal of time spreading nasty snipes about the Jewish citizens of Alexandria. His motives for this pastime have been lost to history, but Apion claimed Jews worshiped weird gods and refused to have images of the emperor in their temples. Oh, and to make this all worse, he whispered to many a curious audience that the Jews had been led out of Egypt because they were lepers.
Apion created a narrative. He wrote that it was a part of Jewish law to kidnap a Greek once a year and fatten him up and taste his entrails. Jews were cannibals
Lieutenant-Governor Flaccus used the suspicions about the Jews as a wedge to curry favor with the new emperor. Since the Jews of Alexandria were against Caligula, Flaccus appointed himself as the guy to remedy the problem.
Thousands of Alexandrian Jews—men, women and children—were tortured and killed as a direct result of Apion’s defamations, a pioneering set of slanders that have proved to have real staying power.
Propaganda depends on things sounding vaguely familiar, lending a veneer of credibility to false claims. This is also why repetition is a popular tactic to sway public opinion—the creation of familiarity, which is then mistaken for truth. The Jews are not the only group to have suffered from slander campaigns; they also have been waged against alleged witches, gypsies and many other outsiders, often with equally dire consequences.
In the 19th century, Catholics were a popular target of sharp and false tongues in the U.S. The most widely read book of that century here was Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Also widely read was a memoir by a woman calling herself Maria Monk titled, Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk: or, The Hidden Secrets of a Nun’s Life in a Convent Exposed, published in 1836. The book claimed to be the first-hand account of a former nun in a Quebec convent, and to provide an insider’s view of Catholics. One of her claims was that there were libraries packed full of books and not one bible. Another allegation: Not only were the priests having sex with the nuns, the unsuspecting narrator had stumbled upon a room where the convent kept baby corpses. Yes, the Catholics, who already ceremonially drink the blood of their Savior, also were killers of babies. Piles of them. Because that way the illegitimate but baptized infants would ascend to heaven more rapidly—without any further sinning.
The book was a sensation—perhaps the most widely read book in America before Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published, according to Richard J. Hofstadter’s seminal 1964 essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” And its tale was, of course, false. Even basic facts about the convent where “Monk” claimed to live were not true. The book was totally debunked—but not before it had burrowed into the popular imagination. Most of the century’s immigrants, the 19th century underclass, were from Catholic countries, and any justification for scorning them was welcomed. The Nativist movement and the Know-Nothings thrived on anti-Catholic sentiment. And remember, the Klu Klux Klan was not just terrorizing black people in the south—they were also terrorizing Catholics.
An example closer to our own time was the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. That decade saw widespread allegations of very specific type of Satanic cult conspiracy which, in retrospect, had all the elements of a classic Blood Libel. On a 1988 ABC special, the channel’s then-resident schlock hawk, Geraldo Rivera, did his utmost to enlighten the general public about something evangelicals had held true for years. “Estimates are that there are over one million Satanists in this country,” Rivera declared in prime time. “The majority of them are linked in a highly organized, very secretive network. From small towns to large cities, they have attracted police and FBI attention to their Satanic ritual child abuse, child pornography and grisly Satanic murders. The odds are that this is happening in your town!”
The Satanic Panic was a whiplash from the cultural revolution of the 1970s, a cultural spasm that oddly united therapists and evangelicals. The Christian community had some self-proclaimed former Satanic Priests in their ranks dishing about all the children’s blood they used to drink and the therapists had some new and “innovative” (read: questionable) ways to “recover memories” of being the victims of the Satanic conspiracy. Both schools took over a decade or two to completely discredit.
A 1989 study by the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion published in the book Satanism in America: How the Devil Got Much More than his Due by Shawn Carlson, Gerald LaRue and others reported there were 33 organizations and 90 individuals who were actively promoting the Satanism scare. This was a conspiracy all right—just not the one depicted on talk shows with depressed-looking teenagers. Nevertheless, these Satan experts were not only on news programs and at conventions—they were teaching law enforcement seminars on how to spot and investigate Satanic crimes.
The Satanic Panic was barely mentioned in the recent release of the West Memphis Three, the three now thirty-somethings who have spent nearly 20 years in prison for little more than wearing black clothes in a small southern town in 1993. Three 8-year-old boys were murdered in May of that year. And because Jessie Misskelley, 17, Jason Baldwin, 16, and Damien Echols, 18, fit the profile of what was thought at the time to be a Satanist (as in someone who killed children for sport and listened to heavy metal), they were railroaded, found guilty and sentenced to life. Echols was sentenced to death. It took two decades and dozens of celebrities to get them out of jail. Blood libels are far reaching.
The point of rehearsing these historical episodes is this: When a junior senator from the same state that banned Sharia Law proposes to ban feeding Oklahomans aborted baby fetuses, it’s not just some wacky guy in a square state being eccentric.
There is a long and storied global history of demonizing groups of people with whom you disagree by tarring them with the charge of cannibalism—tapping into one of humanity’s deepest and most firmly held taboos. The consequences of such charges have often been deadly. Abortion service providers are already routinely harassed, threatened, shot at and even bombed. Casting them now as handmaidens to cannibalism is just the next extreme step in turning the decades-long effort to make them into pariahs.


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Monday, March 19, 2012

Action Requested TODAY on Idaho Bill SB1387

Action Request
To those who Oppose Idaho Vaginal Ultrasound Bill SB1387 (formerly SB1349)

Flood of Public Comment Needed before Monday Morning (March 19th):
Please call or email the Senators and Senate leaders http://legislature.idaho.gov/senate/membership.cfm and send letters to newspaper editors in your communities TODAY!  Please be respectful and consider these talking points because they may resonate most at this point in time.

  • Now only criminals can have health care imposed on them (think blood alcohol or A.I.D.S tests for the incarcerated).
  • It will increase the cost of women’s health care, particularly for low-income women who might need to access a free clinic (ultrasound required) and then need to get a second (often vaginal) ultrasound from her doctor if she needs an abortion. 
  • The doctor who must submit the woman’s name to the State would be forced to violate patient privacy
  • It is hypocritical for a Party that professes to advocate for less government to promote unprecedented government intrusion into the private medical decisions of families and women.
  • Please be aware there are no exceptions for Rape or Incest or Accidents.

Next Steps:
The next opportunity for public comment will be when it reaches the House (probably next week). I will let you know those details so we can have another terrific turnout of committed and concerned citizens from all political persuasions!

History:
As many of you may know, although your 4000 signatures were presented early during the meeting (with strong audience applause), the Bill was approved by the Senate Affairs Committee Wednesday (Republicans approved; Democrats opposed). It  is proceeding to the floor of the Senate for debate on Monday (no public testimony is heard at that time).


Sue
  --Susan C. Philley
8639 W. Atwater Drive
Boise, ID 83714
208-378-1714 h 208-340-9450 cell
Email: sphilley@cableone.net

Don't Let IDAHO Violate Women

Take Action!A message from CREDOAction: Just weeks after a similar bill in Virginia was altered in the face of a national outcry, the Idaho legislature is poised to vote on a bill that would require women in Idaho to undergo an invasive procedure known as a transvaginal ultrasound as a part of "informed consent" before having an abortion.1
Fierce opposition is what helped amend the bill in Virginia to remove the transvaginal ultrasound requirement by convincing Governor McDonnell to threaten to veto the bill. And fierce opposition is what is needed to convince Governor Otter to veto this legislation.
Under the Idaho criminal code, this procedure could be classified as a sexual offense. Forcible penetration with a foreign object is illegal in the state — and there is no medically required purpose for the transvaginal ultrasound. This is especially horrible because this procedure required under the bill will be implemented without the woman's consent.
Although proponents of the bill claim that it would not require a transvaginal ultrasound, the pro-woman community agrees that the bill would still require women seeking an abortion to undergo this medically unnecessary procedure.2
This anti-woman bill has already passed the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee, and a vote could happen in the full legislature within weeks — so we only have a short window of time to ensure this bill fails by getting Governor Otter to issue a veto threat.
This bill is nothing more than another attempt by anti-woman extremists in state legislatures to attempt to make it harder for women to access abortion services. And although this is a state-level bill, if it passes, there could be far-reaching national implications.
If this bill successfully passes the Idaho legislature and Governor Otter signs it into law, other states will be encouraged to begin to introduce equally radical bills. We can't let this legislation pass and set off a chain reaction around the U.S.
We need to make sure that Governor Otter hears from as many voters as possible that they want him to issue a veto threat for this horrible legislation to ensure that Idaho doesn't violate women.
Tell Governor Otter to threaten to veto legislation requiring an invasive transvaginal ultrasound before having an abortion.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5541926&id=36826-2593817-1bdbrvx&t=9
Thank you for standing up for women's access to health care.
Ali Rozell, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Don't Attack Iran

Take Action!A message from CREDOAction: As we approach the ninth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, we once again see dangerous momentum for another irresponsible, unnecessary and costly war — this time with Iran.
Fear-mongering and propaganda aside, Iran is not an imminent threat to the United States — and we haven't yet exhausted all avenues for diplomacy to ensure Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.
But as a result of the Iranian Revolution over 30 years ago, current law makes it very difficult for American diplomats to talk directly to representatives of the Iranian government.
That is why Congresswoman Barbara Lee has introduced legislation that, in her words, "directs the President to appoint a Special Envoy for Iran to ensure that all diplomatic avenues are pursued to avoid a war with Iran and to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon."1
Whether or not you think your representative will co-sponsor the bill, we need you to speak out.
Unfortunately, while the American people are opposed to another war of choice,2 those pushing for war have been far more vocal and organized than the rest of us.
Our friends on the Hill have told us that congressional offices are hearing from people who want us to go to war, but not from those who would like to see a diplomatic solution.
Not only will your petition signature signal support for Rep. Lee's bill, it will also ensure that those howling for war are not met with a deafening silence on our side.
Our allies in Congress will know their constituents want them to remain steadfast, and other lawmakers will be put on notice that their constituents reject the dangerous saber-rattling that might bring our nation to the brink of war.
We can't afford to remain a silent majority. We must push back on the ever-increasing clamor for war.
While there are no easy solutions to addressing the challenges we face with Iran, it is imperative that we pursue diplomacy.
We know all too well the consequences of starting an unnecessary war.
The war in Iraq was a catastrophic mistake and a tremendous moral failure.
But right now with Iran, all options are on the table except direct negotiations. That's a recipe for another needless war.
We can't wait for the first bombs to drop. We need to speak out now.
Tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor Rep. Lee's bill to avoid an unnecessary and costly war with Iran. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out to stop another needless war.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. Dear Colleague letter from Barbara Lee, dated 3-7-12
2. "Poll: Americans Favor Diplomacy Over Israeli Attack On Iran," David Taintor, Talking Points Memo, 03-14-12.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

First Step Toward Fair Taxes

MoveOn Council Delivers Bush Tax Cuts Petition to Obama 2012 HQ in ChicagoA message from MoveOn:  My name is Dave Moore, and I'm the new volunteer MoveOn Council Coordinator in Chicago.

Getting the president to fight hard for the middle class and working people like me is incredibly important. That's why I joined the Council and signed both MoveOn petitions calling on President Obama to veto any extension of the Bush tax cuts for the 1%.
We asked for it, and we got it. The Obama administration is now on the record saying that they won't extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.1Ending these giveaways is a critical first step to making sure that millionaires and billionaires start paying their fair share in 2013.
I delivered the signatures of 250,000 MoveOn members to the Obama reelection campaign headquarters in downtown Chicago to thank him for this commitment, and at the same time to ask him to oppose lowering the corporate tax rate.2 
We can make this veto commitment stick by showing the president that regular Americans support it. It'll convince him to keep fighting for the 99%, and it will show people the tremendous power we have when we take action together. So we've got to make sure that as many people as possible share this victory with their friends and family on huge social networks like Facebook.
We won this important victory, but this ain't over—not even close. The 1% have highly-paid lobbyists to rig the tax game in their favor. At the end of this year, they will fight tooth-and-nail to keep their elevated status, not caring who they step on. We've got to stand together to fight them back at every turn.
We need a tax plan for the 99%, not more tax giveaways to bankers and big corporations.So I'm gonna keep marching, signing and sharing petitions, and getting my friends and neighbors involved in campaigns to make sure everyone pays their fair share. I need you to do the same—for me, your fellow MoveOn members, and the whole country.
Spread the good news about the Bush tax cuts victory today. We have to share the victories we win, which will propel us to even bigger ones in the battles to come.
This work is important to me because so many systems in this country exist to take the work and wealth of the 99% and systematically funnel it to the very richest among us. If we don't stand up to them, we will see more and more inequality in our country. My hope is that others will join in the movement toward equality of rights and opportunity.
Thank you,
–Dave Moore
Sources:
1. "'Taxmageddon' looms at end of payroll tax holiday," The Washington Post, February 18, 2012
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=271504&id=37203-18623853-WllvKix&t=3
2. "Local protest at Obama campaign office," abc7chicago.com, February 28, 2012
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=272202&id=&id=37203-18623853-WllvKix&t=4
Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Join Montana Against Citizens United


If Montana can do it, so can Idaho!
A message from Democracy for America: Two years ago, the Supreme Court decided that big corporations and the super rich have a "right" to spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections. The Justices that supported this ridiculous decision just expected states to fall in line behind the ruling and abandon their campaign finance laws, but they haven't.

States like Montana are fighting back against Citizens United -- and they're winning.

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock took his fight to keep common sense election laws on the books all the way to the Montana Supreme Court -- and he won. It's time that other State Attorneys General do the same.

Back-up Steve Bullock in his fight against Citizens United -- Sign the petition to get your Attorney General to stand up for common sense campaign finance laws.

Right-wing groups like Citizens United aren't stopping at the federal level. They're dismantling campaign finance laws across the country -- working to allow unlimited corporate spending up and down the ballot and even to undo basic disclosure laws that require campaigns to report who's giving these unlimited contributions.

We've seen what the Citizens United ruling has done to federal politics -- attack ads flooded the airwaves in 2010 and are dominating the Republican presidential primaries. We can't allow that same sort of unlimited corporate spending at the state and local levels.

The campaign to overturn Citizens United is going to be a long one, but state Attorneys General can make a real difference right now -- and you can get them off the sidelines.

Tell your Attorney General to stand up for common sense campaign finance laws -- Sign the petition now.

Thank you for everything you do.

- Michael Langenmayr, Political Director
Democracy for America
Democracy for America relies on you and the people-power of more than one million members to fund the grassroots organizing and training that delivers progressive change on the issues that matter. Please Contribute Today and support our mission.

Update on Rush Limbaugh

Take Action!
A message from CREDO Action: Our momentum in the campaign against Rush Limbaugh is generating impressive results.
Over 450,000 other CREDO Action members have sent the message to Rush's advertisers not to fund his vile attacks on women. But we can't take our short-term victory for granted. National advertisers Fujitsu, Lifelock, and Lear Financial are still supporting the show. And some of the advertisers who merely "suspended" their ads may return once the controversy dies down.
Over 140 companies1 have pulled their advertising dollars from the Rush Limbaugh show. In fact the national advertising exodus has been so devastating, that Rush Limbaugh has had to resort to filling his advertising slots with free public service announcements and even minutes of dead air at some points.
And Premiere Networks, the subsidiary of Clear Channel that distributes the show, told local affiliates it was pausing national ads for two weeks, though they were free to air ads from two companies remaining loyal to Rush Limbaugh: Lifelock and Lear Financial.2
Rush Limbaugh is clearly feeling the pressure of our activism, and the emails we have received from major companies like Geico and Netflix after receiving petitions with your signature show that your activism truly does work. Both companies have instructed their advertising companies to ensure that their ads do not air on the Rush Limbaugh Show in the future.
But the campaign is far from over.
If we can't keep up the pressure on his advertisers, Rush Limbaugh will bounce back. He has been the top commercial radio host in the country since 1991. The best way to hold Limbaugh accountable for his extreme, inappropriate, and offensive comments is to ensure that all of the remaining advertisers on his show stop supporting his attacks on women. Not just now but permanently.
In the fight against the Susan G. Komen Foundation we proved that when women and the men who support them fight back against those who would restrict women's access to healthcare, we can win.
Because of your pressure there was dead air on Rush Limbaugh's Show this week where normally there would have been an advertisement. The momentum is on our side, but we need to keep the pressure on and ensure that the remaining advertisers drop their support of his show and advertisers that already withdrew their support don't return once the media focus subsides.
When CREDO sends a national retailer a petition with over 450,000 signatures on it asking that they stop supporting attacks on women, we get their attention. Help us get to 500,000 and we'll send your signature to the remaining national advertisers, to local advertisers who continue to support the program and to national advertisers who have only suspended their spots.
When women are attacked, CREDO responds. Together we are making a difference.
Thank you for your continued activism.
Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets


Tell Idaho's Attorney General: Defeat Citizens United

A message from Democracy for America:  Last Tuesday, we launched our campaign calling on state Attorneys General from around the country to stand up for common sense campaign finance laws and to continue our fight against Citizens United. 

We've seen what the Citizens United ruling has done to federal politics -- attack ads flooded the airwaves in 2010 and are dominating the Republican presidential primaries right now. We can't allow that same sort of unlimited corporate spending to infiltrate state and local races.

This is simple: It's Common Sense v. Citizens United.  Sign on to get your Attorney General involved today.

Across the country, we are winning in the court of public opinion -- 80% of the general public opposes the Citizens United ruling.  But now, we are winning in the appellate courts as well. Attorney General Steve Bullock has fought back against allowing Citizens United to take root in his state of Montana.  He championed keeping common sense election laws on the books all the way to the Montana Supreme Court -- and he won.It's time that other state Attorneys General do the same.

Over 50,000 DFA members have already signed on -- Help get us to 100,000 signatures!

Two years ago, the Supreme Court decided that big corporations and the super rich have a "right" to spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections.  Today, and every day until this ridiculous law is overturned, we will fight back.

Together we can defeat Citizens United.

-Jay Henderson, Political Campaign Manager
Democracy for America
 

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

End the War!

Take Action!A message from CREDO Action:

A tragic and explosive story from Afghanistan shook up the nation this past weekend. Reports emerged that an American soldier killed 16 Afghan civilians, including 9 children, in a night-time massacre near a U.S. base in that country's violent south.1 There are conflicting media accounts of what exactly happened, but graphic details have emerged of an American soldier allegedly being "drunk" and "shooting all over the place," and then pouring chemicals over dead bodies and burning them.2
After ten years, $444 billion in U.S. taxpayer money, the lives of nearly 2,000 American service members, and countless Afghan military and civilian lives, it's clear that a continued occupation is not in either nation's interest. The U.S. intervened in Afghanistan to pursue the terrorists who planned the attacks on September 11. Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011. It's long past time to end the occupation of Afghanistan.
The sickening killing rampage from this past weekend was the latest in a string of bloody violence in recent days that has fundamentally shaken up the already deteriorating political dynamic of the American occupation of Afghanistan. In recent weeks, American soldiers and officers have been gunned down as a result of a violent and massive chain reaction to the destruction of Korans in a burn pit at Bagram Air Base, an incident that has thrown the country into a mess of bloody panic, violence and horror.3 Most disturbingly, following that incident two Americans were assassinated inside a highly secure area of an Afghan interior ministry. The situation had devolved so much that NATO has pulled all of its advisers out of Afghan ministries in Kabul as a result.4
We have now reached a tipping point in Afghanistan that underscores the need for a strategy of swift, rapid and methodical withdrawal of American troops. Even before the latest unconscionable massacre, the increasing slaughter of U.S. troops and deaths of Afghan civilians in recent weeks has "exposed a crippling weakness in the American strategy to wind down the war."5 The bloodshed of recent days has provided more tragic evidence that a political solution is not feasible for that war ravaged nation, as long as American troops remain as an occupation force.
The Obama Administration had hoped to reach a political solution to the unrest in Afghanistan before bringing our troops home. Tragically, there are no good outcomes after a decade of occupation. Only bad choices that limit future damages. Unfortunately it is incredibly unlikely that our partnership with Hamid Karzai's current regime, which is riddled with corruption,6 hostile to women,7 and resistant to Western notions of democracy, could result in anything approaching a happy ending. While we are particularly concerned about the fate of women and girls in Afghanistan, there is no indication that a continued U.S. occupation would make a positive outcome for women possible, and there is every indication that our continued presence is making the situation much more dangerous for U.S. troops and Afghan civilians in general.
The United States is currently scheduled to hand over control of security to the Afghan army and remove American troops by the end of 2014. However, the Obama Administration is currently negotiating a strategic partnership agreement that would leave U.S. special forces and military advisers in the country indefinitely.8 Meanwhile, the majority of Americans want our troops out of Afghanistan now. As reported by the Washington Post on Sunday, majority opposition to this war has been "consistent" for nearly two years,9 and a majority of Americans want to pull out American troops from Afghanistan "even if the Afghan army is not adequately trained to carry on the fight."10
CREDO Action members have been working with Congresswoman Barbara Lee on legislative attempts to provide a path for a responsible end to the endless war in Afghanistan. In the wake of the latest terrible tragedy in Afghanistan, it's time to take our case directly to President Obama who as commander-in-chief has the power to finally end the disastrous decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. It's becoming increasingly clear to Democrats and Republicans alike that we simply cannot afford the cost of the occupation in lives or treasure.
You can provide more momentum to the growing tide of public and political support for ending this war by calling on President Obama to bring our troops home by the end of 2012. Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5540563&id=36527-2593817-TPlJ3Hx&t=11
Thank you for speaking out to end the war.
Mushed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Ahmad Nadem and Ahmad Haroon, "Sixteen Afghan civilians killed in rogue U.S. attack," Reuters, March 11, 2012.
2. Ahmad Nadem, "Western forces kill 16 civilians in Afghanistan — Kabul govt," Reuters, March 11, 2012.
3. Deb Riechmann, 2 U.S. troops are killed in Afghanistan; Quran burning backlash claims 6", AP, March 2, 2012.
4. Graham Bowley and Alissa J. Rubin, "2 U.S. Officers Slain; Advisers to Exit Kabul Ministries," The New York Times, February 25, 2012.
5. Greg Jaffe, "Violence in wake of Koran incident fuels U.S. doubts about Afghan partners," The Washington Post, February 26, 2012.
6. Matthew Rosenberg and Graham Bowley, "Intractable Afghan Graft Hampering U.S. Strategy," The New York Times, March 7, 2012.
7. Associated Press in Kabul, Hamid Karzai backs clerics' move to limit Afghan women's rights," March 6, 2012.
8. Rajan Menon, "Playing Chicken in Kabul," HuffingtonPost.com, March 6, 2012.
9. Jon Cohen, "Poll: Few in U.S. sense Afghan support for war," WashingtonPost.com, March 11, 2012.
10. Id.