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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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Republican Obstruction Threatens Student Loan Rates

A message from MoveOn.org:
In 2008, young people voted in record numbers and went for President Obama over John McCain by more than 2-to-1.1 This year, every election expert agrees that if that happens again, Obama will win easily—and the Democrats will probably win back the Congress.
And now Republicans have handed us a golden opportunity to fire up young people to vote in 2012.
You see, because of Republican obstruction in Congress, interest rates on college loans are set to double this July—pouring even more debt on a generation already drowning in student loans. President Obama is pushing Congress to stop it, but as usual Republicans have dug in their heels.2
To make sure young people know what's happening, we're launching one of the largest online ad campaigns in MoveOn history—putting ads on the Facebook page of every college student in America to warn them about this Armageddon of student debt.
We've already tested several versions of these ads, and we know they're effective at getting students to take action. But we'll have to scrap the plan unless we can raise $200,000 from MoveOn members. Can you chip in $5?
MoveOn has already heard from hundreds of thousands of young people freaking out about this—and we're already working to make sure they call Congress, register to vote, and keep taking action on campus.
But really, we need to reach the millions of young people who aren't hearing about this, and hands down the best way to reach them is on Facebook. 
Facebook ads are awesome because unlike TV, radio, or newspaper ads, people can click on them and sign up to take action. And of course, Facebook is where young voters spend so much of their time.
Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of Republican strategists like the idea of another wave of young voter turnout like in 2008, and this Republican war on students gives us a chance to make it happen, if we can act fast.
Student debt has become an absolutely explosive issue among young people. Since 1999, student loan debt has increased by more than 500%. You may not realize it if you don't have kids or if you went to college 10 or 20 years ago, but it now costs on average more than $21,000 a year to go to a public school with in-state tuition. The best private schools are almost triple that much.3
In fact, we've seen two of the largest petitions in MoveOn history in recent months calling on Congress to provide relief for those drowning in student debt. This is a sleeping giant of an issue, and in the coming weeks it can really blow up.
The Republicans' doubling of interest rates is just the latest attack on students. For years they've been slashing funding for higher education, leading directly to skyrocketing tuition at public colleges and universities. Just last year, they cut $8 billion out of the Pell Grant program for low-income students and reduced the income threshold for eligibility for a full Pell Grant.4
This is the ultimate teachable moment for young voters, showing them who's on their side and why it's so important to vote. With your help, we can make this one of the key turning points of the 2012 election.
Thanks for all you do.
Steven, Joan, Wes, Marika, and the rest of the team
Sources:
1. "Young Voters in the 2008 Election," Pew Research Center for People & the Press, November 12, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=274743&id=40133-18623853-r8vqS3x&t=5
2. "Obama To Make Student Loans a Campaign Issue," Slate, April 20, 2012
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=274744&id=40133-18623853-r8vqS3x&t=6
3. "Chart of the Day: Student Loans Have Grown 511% Since 1999," The Atlantic, August 18, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=274368&id=40133-18623853-r8vqS3x&t=7
"College costs climb, yet again," CNN Money, October 29, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=274745&id=40133-18623853-r8vqS3x&t=8
4. "Student loan rate hike: What you need to know," CNN Money, April 24, 2012
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=274746&id=40133-18623853-r8vqS3x&t=9
Paid for by MoveOn.org Civic Action, www.moveon.org, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 7 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.

Violence Against Women Act

Stop the War on Women

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) will be on the Senate floor for debate and a vote this week.
Email your Senators today and thank them if they have signed on as co-sponsors of S.1925 as introduced by Judiciary Committee Chair Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). If your Senators are not sponsors, urge them to vote yes on S. 1925.
We have the votes to stop a filibuster, but VAWA came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in a straight party-line vote. Fortunately, 8 Republican Senators now support the Reauthorization (S. 1925). We will need every vote. We must keep bipartisan support for VAWA.
Tell your Senators that VAWA has had bipartisan support in the past and we cannot allow this crucial legislation to fall victim to partisanship now, when millions of women and men need the protections and services it includes. Since it first became law in 1994, millions have benefited from VAWA.

  • Between 1993 and 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence declined by an amazing 67%.
  • States are taking violence against women more seriously and all states now have stalking laws, criminal sanctions for violation of civil protection orders, and reforms that make date or spousal rape as serious of a crime as stranger rape.
  • VAWA established the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which receives over 22,000 calls each month.
  • VAWA funds train over 500,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other personnel each year.

The current VAWA reauthorization bill is the first that includes access to law enforcement and services for Native American women, better access for immigrant women who fear deportation if they report violence, and better access for LGBT victims. Violence is violence and we must stop it.
This landmark legislation sends the message that violence against women is a crime and will not be tolerated. If Congress fails to reauthorize VAWA, what message will it be sending?
For women's lives,
Ellie Smeal Signature
Eleanor Smeal
President
Feminist Majority

Stop Online Spying Bill

Take Action!We need to speak out today to stop a bill that would greatly expand the power of the federal government and big corporations to spy on us as we use the Internet.

The legislation is official named the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act," but more commonly called by the acronym "CISPA."
Supporters of CISPA are cynically using the legitimate need to protect our vital national interests from cyber attacks as an excuse to give the government and private companies the authority to read, watch and listen to everything we do on the Internet.
The folks behind CISPA claim that national security interests make this surveillance necessary. But the bill's language is so vague and overreaching that it opens the door for rampant abuse of our online rights:
  • CISPA would allow companies and the government to bypass privacy protections and spy on your email traffic, comb through your text messages, filter your online content and even block access to popular websites.
  • CISPA would permit companies to give the government your Facebook data, Twitter history and cellphone contacts. It would also allow the government to search your email using the vaguest of justifications — and without any real legal oversight.
  • CISPA contains sweeping language that could be used as a blunt weapon to silence whistleblower websites like WikiLeaks and the news organizations that publish their revelations.
  • CISPA would create a culture in which we refrain from speaking freely online for fear that the National Security Agency could come knocking.
This week, in response to concerns from civil liberty and consumer advocates, members of Congress proposed five amendments they said would allay those concerns. But even with these changes, CISPA would still give the NSA — the domestic spying agency — additional power to snoop on our texts, our emails, our web history and everything else we do online.
The White House agrees that this is a problem. Yesterday, it made the surprising move to publicly oppose CISPA.
While the White House's opposition to CISPA is welcome, CISPA is just the latest in a series of ill-conceived attacks on our online civil liberties.
So we need to send a clear message to everyone in Congress that we shouldn't sacrifice our civil liberties in the name of national security.
That is why we need you to make a call regardless of where your member of Congress stands on this issue.
Members of Congress who are with us, need to know their constituents support them. And members of Congress who aren't with us, need to be put on notice that their constituents don't want them to sell us out.
With a vote expected tomorrow, we need you to make a call today. Tell your member of Congress to stop the online spying bill. Thank you for standing up for our civil liberties.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Limbaugh Sponsor Returns

Take Action!According to Media Matters, just this week, Angie's List, which stopped advertising on the Rush Limbaugh Show in March, became the first major company to resume advertising after Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute."

Since we launched our campaign targeting advertisers on the Rush Limbaugh Show, over 140 advertisers dropped their support of the Show, and Premiere Radio suspended all national advertising on the show for two weeks.
But, now that Angie's List has resumed advertising, other advertisers could join ranks and start supporting the Rush Limbaugh Show again.
That's why it's incredibly important for us to respond quickly and forcefully so Angie's List, and other corporations who might be thinking of resuming advertising on the show, know that we won't stand by as corporations resume their support of Rush Limbaugh and his sexist comments.
Unfortunately, what Rush Limbaugh says matters. He has a bigger audience than any other commercial radio host in the country, and what he talks about on air has the power to drive the Republican agenda — an agenda that is already obsessed with radical backslides of women's ability to protect their own health.
Sandra Fluke's testimony before Congress included important points about why access to affordable birth control is so crucial, including the story of a friend who had lost an ovary because she couldn't afford the birth control needed to manage her ovarian cysts.
Rush's unforgivable translation of that was "slut" and "prostitute." Sandra Fluke rightly has called Rush Limbaugh's comments "an attack on all women." We agree.
Every American enjoys the right to free speech, but that doesn't mean that advertisers who are accountable to their customers should pay people like Rush Limbaugh who make such appallingly hateful and sexist comments.
Angie's List needs to hear from us loud and clear — if you advertise on Rush Limbaugh, you are supporting his reprehensible attacks on women. And other advertisers thinking about resuming their support of this program need to know that we won't let them quietly begin supporting such hateful and sexist rhetoric.
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. And MSNBC's firing of commentator Pat Buchanan after a campaign protesting his white supremacist rhetoric shows that there will be consequences when certain lines are crossed.
Rush Limbaugh has a long history of hateful rhetoric. But with his comments about Sandra Fluke, Rush Limbaugh has crossed the line at a moment when women, and the men who believe in equal rights for women, are more organized than ever and are ready to fight back.
We will not let the rightwing take away women's access to birth control. We will not let Republicans brand women who assert their right to health care as "sluts" and "prostitutes."
Thank you for joining CREDO in taking action to stop the escalating attacks on women and hold Rush Limbaugh and the Republican message machine accountable.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6878445&id=38786-2593817-CAEh1Ex&t=11
Thank you for your continued activism.
Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Violence Against Women Act

Stop the War on Women

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) will be on the Senate floor for debate and a vote this week.
Email your Senators today and thank them if they have signed on as co-sponsors of S.1925 as introduced by Judiciary Committee Chair Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). If your Senators are not sponsors, urge them to vote yes on S. 1925.
We have the votes to stop a filibuster, but VAWA came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in a straight party-line vote. Fortunately, 8 Republican Senators now support the Reauthorization (S. 1925). We will need every vote. We must keep bipartisan support for VAWA.
Tell your Senators that VAWA has had bipartisan support in the past and we cannot allow this crucial legislation to fall victim to partisanship now, when millions of women and men need the protections and services it includes. Since it first became law in 1994, millions have benefited from VAWA.

  • Between 1993 and 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence declined by an amazing 67%.
  • States are taking violence against women more seriously and all states now have stalking laws, criminal sanctions for violation of civil protection orders, and reforms that make date or spousal rape as serious of a crime as stranger rape.
  • VAWA established the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which receives over 22,000 calls each month.
  • VAWA funds train over 500,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other personnel each year.

The current VAWA reauthorization bill is the first that includes access to law enforcement and services for Native American women, better access for immigrant women who fear deportation if they report violence, and better access for LGBT victims. Violence is violence and we must stop it.
This landmark legislation sends the message that violence against women is a crime and will not be tolerated. If Congress fails to reauthorize VAWA, what message will it be sending?
For women's lives,
Ellie Smeal Signature
Eleanor Smeal
President
Feminist Majority

CISPA


A message from DemandProgress.org:  CISPA would obliterate any semblance of online privacy.  
And it's up for a vote this week.
We need to slam Congress's phone lines to encourage lawmakers to vote no. 
CISPA would allow corporations to track and share all variety of information about Americans. 
It would demolish existing barriers between the government and the private sector -- and between government agencies -- that restrict data sharing without cause, effectively allowing information about Americans' use of the Internet to slosh back and forth uninhibited.
It would provide the military and security agencies with broad new powers to track Americans' online activity.
We need members of Congress to oppose the legislation when it comes up for a vote later this week.
Thanks for keeping up the fight.
-Demand Progress

One last thing -- Demand Progress's small, dedicated, under-paid staff relies on the generosity of members like you to support our work. Will you click here to chip in $5 or $10? Or you can become a Demand Progress monthly sustainer by clicking here. Thank you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

You Can Transform Idaho


A message from the SignOn.org system:
Update 4-19-2012
TransForm Idaho
Advocate    Educate   Support
Concerned Idaho voters on issues that matter
See below and connect with our new organization in new ways!
1. Calendar Updates
April 28 - Saturday
United Against the War on Women March, Boise. Meet at the Ann Frank Memorial and walk to the Capitol steps in Boise.The route will start at the Memorial, turn right onto 8th Street towards the Grove, right on Main street, and left onto Capitol. 
There will be speakers from 1:15 to 2:20 pm. This route takes the marchers through the Saturday Farmers’ Market. Marchers are encouraged to bring signs, chants, or whatever—on topics that concern them. Families and children are welcome! (A similar march will be held in Coeur d' Alene the same day). TransForm Idaho is on the Planning Committee.
Please contact your lists and participate! Remind our legislators that WE ARE WOMEN, WOMEN HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN and WOMEN ARE STILL ENGAGED! 
Thanks to Lindsey Rinehart 703-9156 lindseyrinehart@ymail.comfor coordinating this for Boise and letting us help out!
May 2 - Wednesday
A community event that may be of interest; Cultivating Social Hope--Women: Unity and Leadership. 7-9 pm at The Muse Building, 1317 W Jefferson, Boise, ID 83702.
www.museproject.org - providing a leading edge platform for the cultivation of collaborative leadership and new values emerging in business, arts and education - 208-398-3004
May 16 – Wednesday
Using Social Media Effectively and Appropriately. Free training sponsored by TransForm Idaho. 7-9 pm. Citizen activists, community leaders, volunteers, and candidates--learn how to appropriately use Social Media including Blogs, Newsletters, Twitter, and Facebook. Idaho Education Association, 620 N 6th Street, Boise, Idaho. Pre-registration is required. Please sign up for this event on our Facebook page or email TransformIdaho@gmail.com. Space is limited. Deadline May 11th.
2. Next Transform Idaho meetings before Fall:
         April 25, May 2 and May 16th
         Noon - 2 pm.  or  7 - 9 pm.   Open meetings!
         Email and let us know you’d like to attend and we'll send details!
3. Idahoans United has a new name—TransForm Idaho
Please tell us what you think about our Mission: 
         TransForm Idaho is a nonpartisan, issue-driven, grassroots organization encouraging 
         cultural change to improve women’s health and foster good government.
Please enter the following information in your address book so you can contact us:
         By email: TransformIdaho@gmail.com or
         Sue Philley email: sphilley@cableone.net 
         Cell: 208-340-9450
Find useful, interesting and accurate information on our new web blog:
         Web Blog: www.transformidaho.blogspot.com/
Join in conversations and learn about events, by going to this Facebook page and join/ask us to “friend” you!  Tell us what you are thinking and doing in your part of the state! We want to hear from you.
         Facebook: www.facebook.com/Transformidaho 

4.  A message from Ron Rhodes, blog guy

         http://transformidaho.blogspot.com/
The Blog provides regular summaries of media reports on issues of concern to Idaho voters, specifically on women’s health, equal pay, and renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
In addition, the site provides useful links to Internet resources relating to these issues, and to organizations actively involved in education and advocacy of securing rights associated with the issues.

Other features include a running news feed of breaking stories on the issues, and a YouTube video archive that provides access to video postings on women’s rights.

Click on the tabs at the top of the page to choose Media Summaries, Calendar, Recommended Reading, Legislative Voices, and Who We Are.
 
Share TransForm Idaho with your friends. “Like” us on Facebook,https://www.facebook.com/Transformidaho and share Blog posts by e-mail, on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or repost to other Blogs by clicking the appropriate buttons beneath every Blog entry.

We encourage you not only to bookmark the TransForm Idaho Media Review Blog, but also to comment on the posts and provide suggestions on how we can make the Blog serve you better. To receive e-mail notification of new Blog posts and comments, simply scroll to the bottom of any page on the Blog and click on “posts” or “all comments” or both.

Like us” at https://www.facebook.com/Transformidaho
Questions? Concerns? Suggestions?
          Try out the new contact information above!


Romney & Bork: A Dangerous Team


A message from PFAW:

Today, People For the American Way launched a major new campaign -- including a website, a web ad and an exclusive report -- exposing Mitt Romney’s dangerous agenda for America’s courts.
The first phase of the campaign highlights Romney’s choice of Robert Bork to lead his constitutional and judicial advisory team. Yes, that Robert Bork. By allying with Bork, a jurist so extreme he was rejected by a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate 25 years ago, Romney has sent a clear signal that he means to drag America’s courts even farther to the right, endangering many of the civil rights, liberties and economic protections won by the American people over the past five decades.
Check out the ad and download the report now at RomneyCourt.comThen, help spread the word using social media and by asking others to check out the site.
Now more than ever, the Supreme Court should be an issue of utmost concern to all Americans. However, few are aware of the extreme agenda Mitt Romney has for the High Court -- an agenda exemplified by his close alliance with Robert Bork.
In 1987, People For the American Way led the fight to keep Judge Bork off the Supreme Court. 25 years later, we are as relieved as ever that we succeeded. When Bork was nominated, Americans across the political spectrum rejected the dangerous political agenda that he would have brought to the bench -- his disdain for modern civil rights legislation, his acceptance of poll taxes and literacy tests, his support of government bans on contraception and criminal sodomy laws, his continued privileging of corporations over individuals. Since then, he has dug his heels even deeper into a view of the law that puts corporations first and individuals far behind.
It is frightening that a quarter century after Robert Bork’s jurisprudence was deemed too regressive for the Supreme Court, a leading presidential candidate has picked him to shape his legal policy.
Find out more at RomneyCourt.com now and please help spread the word.
PFAW Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin, the author of the report, said, “The return of Robert Bork and his reactionary jurisprudence to national politics should be a three-alarm wake-up call for all Americans. In his work on the bench as a judge and off the bench as a polemicist, Bork has consistently placed corporations above the government and government above the rights of the people. The idea that Bork could be central to shaping the Supreme Court in the 21st century is shocking because he wants to turn the clock back decades in terms of the civil rights and civil liberties of the people.”
The new report and ad review Bork’s record from his days as solicitor general to President Richard Nixon to his turn as co-chair of the Romney campaign’s committee on law, the Constitution and the judiciary. Highlights of Bork’s career include:
  • Consistently choosing corporate power over the rights of people. As a judge, Bork regularly took the side of business interests against government regulators trying to hold them accountable, but the side of the government when it was challenged by workers, environmentalists and consumers pressing for more corporate accountability. 
  • Opposing civil rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, gay rights and individual free speech. Bork disparaged the Civil Rights Act of 1964; defended the use of undemocratic poll taxes and literacy tests in state elections; believes the government should be allowed to ban birth control; disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling that overturned sodomy laws; and believes that the government should be able to jail people for advocating civil disobedience.
  • Advocating censorship and blaming American culture first. Bork promotes censorship to combat what he calls the “rot and decadence” of American society, saying “I don’t make any fine distinctions; I’m just advocating censorship.” He writes that “the liberal view of human nature” has thrown American culture into “free fall.”
  • Rejecting the separation of church and state. Bork rejects the science of evolution, advocates legalizing school-sponsored prayer and has written that he wants to see the Constitution’s wall of separation between church and state “crumble.”
Learn more at RomneyCourt.com and please make sure to share the video on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.
Thank you for all you do, and for your ongoing vigilance in defense of liberty and equality -- the American Way.
Sincerely,
Michael B. Keegan signature
Michael Keegan, President


Your Activism is Working


A message from PFAW:

More evidence that PFAW supporters' activism is working: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has announced that it is disbanding its "Public Safety and Elections Task Force," the working group responsible for advancing model legislation like the controversial Voter ID and "Shoot First" gun laws that have proliferated around the country. Of course the move is a transparent attempt to stem the hemorrhaging of support ALEC's facing, thanks in large part to the efforts of PFAW supporters like you, but it's big symbolic victory and shows we have them on the defensive.
ALEC's trying to whitewash their role pushing extreme legislation that endangers the safety and lives of Americans -- but we won't let them.
ALEC now claims they will only focus on legislation that will 'put the economy back to work,' but will they work to undo the immense harm that have already caused? And it begs the question of how they will use a so called 'jobs agenda' to justify laws -- which they presumably will still be pushing -- that undermine workers' rights, privatize public education, and make it harder to hold corporations accountable for poisoning our air and water or selling us dangerous and defective products. We will continue to work with our friends to shine a light on ALEC's agenda and hold members accountable for supporting that agenda.
Yesterday, in another major victory, Blue Cross Blue Shield became the latest company to pull out of ALEC. We are going to keep up the momentum by turning the focus of our next round of grassroots pressure on State Farm.
Despite continued contact with State Farm, the company is not yet showing signs of budging and withdrawing its support for ALEC. It's time to get local with your activism.
Hopefully this local, bottom-up grassroots pressure will be what it takes to make State Farm join Blue Cross, McDonald's, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Mars and the other companies who have so far said "enough" to ALEC's destructive right-wing agenda.
Thank you for your activism!
-- Ben Betz, Online Strategy Manager

Update Mining Law of 1872


The Mining Law of 1872 is an massive giveaway to foreign mining companies.
A message from CREDO Action:

Chicago Peak is located in Western Montana's Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area, and is a holy place for the Salish and Kootenai native tribes.
In other words: It's a terrible location for a massive proposed copper and silver mine.1
But under the shockingly antiquated General Mining Law of 1872, the National Forest Service says it has no choice but to approve the mine. Even worse, this relic of a law will hand nearly $20 billion dollars worth of publicly owned minerals to Canadian company Revett Minerals, totally for free.2 We get nothing.
This mine is only one example. Overall, Congress's failure to update our 140-year-old mining law is one of the most egregious, expensive and destructive failures in federal land management.
The General Mining Law of 1872 is literally an artifact of another era. In 1872, Women could not vote in America. There were only 37 States in the Union. And our government sought to settle the vast Western territories by handing out mining rights to fortune-seeking settlers.
Yet today, this relic continues to govern hard rock mining of metals like copper, uranium, silver and gold. The result is a massive giveaway to giant mining companies that rips off taxpayers to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.3 Under the law:
• Mining leases can be purchased at 1872 prices of $2.50 — $5 an acre.
• Companies can mine publicly owned mineral resources without paying anyroyalties. We just give it away!
• Federal land managers must prioritize mining over all other land uses.
• The law contains NO environmental protections — which has led to the pollution of more than 40% of Western U.S. watershed, and left us holding the bill for an estimated more than $30 billion in mine cleanup and reclamation.
In today's world of giant, international mining conglomerates using massive pieces of equipment and polluting huge volumes of water to rip up the earth — as opposed to Wild West times of risk-taking prospectors and their pack mules seeking fortune — this law should be a page in history books, not our actual law books!
Congress has twice tried and failed to reform the law. But it's long past time for an updated mining law that allows land managers to protect unique public lands from mining, implements strong environmental standards for mines, collects funds for mining reclamation, and puts a fair royalty on the extraction of these publicly owned resources.4
It is crazy that our mining law pre-dates the invention of the telephone and the light bulb. Tell Congress to stop this massive, outdated giveaway. Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6038698&id=38593-2593817-ffESbsx&t=10
Thanks for helping to bring our mining laws into the 21st century.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "Big Mine. Bigger Trouble," Rock Creek Aliance
2. "A Sacred Peak With Rich Ore Deposits," New York Times, April 9, 2012
3. "General Mining Law of 1872," Earthworks
4. "1872 Mining Law Reform Requirements," Earthworks

Idaho: Thank Your Senator

Take Action!
A message from CREDO Action:  The Violence Against Women Act now has 60 co-sponsors in the Senate — ensuring enough votes for the legislation to bypass the filibuster promised by Republican leadership and pass this important legislation.

Republicans in Congress are leading a war on women and in the last year, have voted to redefine rape, defund planned parenthood, and limit women's access to contraception.
Incredibly, these legislative attacks on women include opposition to Violence Against Women Act, which was passed nearly unanimously the last time it was up for reauthorization.
Thankfully, nine Republican senators have crossed party lines to do the right thing for women and co-sponsor the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in the Senate. They have crossed their party's leadership in order to protect a critically important program that has reduced domestic violence rates by 58% since it was first passed.
The support of this legislation by these nine Republican senators is critical — anti-woman Republican senators including leadership have promised to block a vote on this program, and without 60 co-sponsors, the legislation would not have a chance at passing the Senate.
Republicans are under tremendous pressure from their party leadership to remain committed to their anti-woman legislative agenda. And so it is important that we thank the Republicans who crossed party lines to stand on the side of women and protect the Violence Against Women Act, both to ensure that this program passes through the Senate, and also to encourage these Senators to continue to take pro-woman positions.
Thank Sen. Crapo for cosponsoring the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Click below to automatically sign the thank you note:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6651764&id=38530-2593817-zDMTXsx&t=9
Thank you for standing up for women.
Ali Rozell, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Equal Pay Day - State Rankings



AAUW Releases State-By-State Rankings for Equal Pay Day
D.C. Has Best Ranking, Wyoming Worst

WASHINGTON – With the release of The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) unveiled new state-by-state equal pay rankings. Updated for the national observance of Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into the current year women must work to match what their male counterparts earned last year,The Simple Truth charts the wage gap in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The wage gap is narrowest in the nation’s capital, where women have the best earning’s ratio — 91 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. The state with the worst earnings ratio is Wyoming, where women make 64 percent of men’s earnings. The national average puts women at just 77 percent.

The wage gap costs working women and their families tens of thousands of dollars in lost wages and directly affects women’s retirement security. These numbers are worse for women of color, and The Simple Truth examines racial and ethnic breakdowns. White and Asian women earn, respectively, 82 percent and 88 percent of white men’s earnings. African American and Hispanic women earn much less — just 70 percent and 61 percent of what white men earn, on average.

“Equal Pay Day, which this year falls on April 17, is an unfortunate reminder of how far we have to go to reach true pay equality. The wage gap hasn’t moved significantly in nearly a decade, and at this rate, we’ll be marking Equal Pay Day for the next 60 years,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE.

In addition to the release of The Simple Truth, AAUW branches across the nation will mark Equal Pay Day by holding rallies, wearing red to symbolize how women’s wages are in the red, handing out Pay Day candy bars, and hosting bake sales with discounts for women.

“The gender pay gap is unlikely to go away on its own. Our publications and tools will empower our advocacy on behalf of women and their families,” said Catherine Hill, AAUW director of research. “The Simple Truth is a useful resource for women, the media, and society at large as we work to address this stubborn inequality.”

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The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation’s leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW has a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 600 college/university institutional partners. Since AAUW’s founding 130 years ago, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW’s commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Romney's Talk on Taxes


Aides Play Down Romney’s Talk on Taxes for the Wealthy


From The New York Times


Senior advisers to Mitt Romney said Monday that Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, was merely tossing around ideas, not making policy announcements, when his chat with donors about some significant changes to the tax code was overheard by reporters at a fund-raiser this weekend.
Campaign surrogates and officials played down Mr. Romney’s candid talk about tax changes for the wealthy, including ending mortgage interest deductions for second homes, eliminating deductions for state and local taxes, as well as closing or merging federal agencies that deal with education and housing.
Those remarks to a backyard gathering of high-dollar donors in Palm Beach, Fla., on Sunday night were overheard by reporters for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, prompting a day of explanation by Mr. Romney’s campaign and a new opening for attack by President Obama’s campaign and the Democrats.
Advisers to Mr. Obama used Mr. Romney’s comments as evidence that he and his campaign regularly hide the truth from the public. Democrats have made clear they intend to portray Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, as willing to reveal his intentions only to well-connected donors, not to the public.
“Apparently, Governor Romney believes only high-dollar donors have a right to know what programs he will cut,” wrote Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Mr. Obama’s campaign, in an e-mail to reporters. “Education. Housing. To pay for $5 trillion tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.”
In trying to convince voters that Mr. Romney is hiding things from voters, Democrats point to the fact that he has not identified his “bundlers,” the handful of major donors who gather up contributions from their wealthy friends. And they have criticized Mr. Romney for releasing only two years of tax returns.
“Mitt Romney has made a disturbing habit of hiding the truth,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, on a conference call with reporters organized by the Democratic National Committee. “It’s safe to predict that this was a hot-mic moment that will linger.”
Andrea Saul, a Romney campaign spokeswoman, responded by referring to hearings into a scandal involving lavish conferences organized by the General Services Administration.
“It’s ironic the Obama campaign would accuse anyone of not being forthcoming on the same day a top official from President Obama’s scandal-plagued G.S.A. is hiding behind the Fifth Amendment before a committee of Congress,” Ms. Saul said.
Officials with Mr. Romney’s campaign said he was not unveiling new policies at the fund-raiser. They accused Democrats of using the episode to try to distract attention from the economic situation under Mr. Obama.
“While President Obama is interested only in offering excuses and blaming others for his failures, Governor Romney is discussing some of the ideas he has to tackle the big issues facing America,” Ms. Saul said.
At the fund-raiser, Mr. Romney and his wife, Ann, offered candid and casual observations that did not appear intended for wider public consumption.
Mr. Romney, for instance, remarked that Fox News was watched by “true believers,” and that the Republican Party needed to broaden its appeal to women and independents, according to NBC. And Mrs. Romney said that she “loved” the fallout generated when a Democratic political operative said that Mrs. Romney had “never worked a day in her life.”
“It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment,” NBC quoted her as saying.
Mr. Romney told the donors that the housing agency “might not be around later” and said the Education Department would be “a heck of a lot smaller,” if not eliminated altogether. And he said that the party must do more to woo Hispanic voters.
“We have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party,” Mr. Romney said, adding that if Mr. Obama wins big among Hispanics it “spells doom for us.”
Publicly, Mr. Romney has hinted that he would limit deductions for wealthy homeowners, but has not said how. And he has resisted offering many details about the cuts to government spending that would allow him to achieve the kind of deficit reductions he has projected, considering the tax cuts he has discussed.
In an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News taped Monday, Mr. Romney said he had chosen his former chief of staff to oversee the process of picking a running mate, and joked that Mr. Obama should “start packing.”Mr. Romney predicted that Mr. Obama would “do everything possible to divert from the attention being focused upon his record as president and the failure of his economic policies.” Mrs. Romney expressed confidence, calling it “Mitt’s time.”