April 2019/2020

“The tweets on April 1, 2019, from the think tank people (TTP), are unlikely to be taking advantage, but I’ll leave that for you to judge. Many of the observation are through to the end of the month and new ones for 2020 are noted. I also recommend looking at the tweet rate as another algorithm worthy of observation, some are hourly, others one or two per day or week.  Others are once a month suggesting a grounded fear of jibber-jabber. Please enjoy the 2020 additions” 

Rex L. Curry

2019 Acton’s reaction to the world is “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In the name of its founder it presents a combination of secular and religious overlays.  Acton offers a set of videos on the role of the Federal Reserve (before and after the Great Recession) on aggregate demand and the reserves of cash required. It is produced by the Marginal Revolution University.  Acton evaluation of socialism as a moral argument with economic flaws is a refreshing appraisal of the political din. A series of podcasts can take you to new insights in calm rational terms.

The 2020 Acton remain as consistently conservative critic of the status quo of anger over clear headed thinking. The lack of a level playing field on social media is criticized, but regulaton vs. innovation remains difficult to resolve. The provision of “texts for meditation” is a service worthy of enhanced civil dialogue.

In 2019 ,The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) bold tweets found Medicare quite popular in a recent poll. The count was 71% are in favor of a health insurance “guarantee” for all Americans, but 60% opposed if they had to pay for it. An attack on a GAO report based on the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, found “52 percent of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings in a “DC plan or IRA” however Factcheck.org described the tendency to leave the DC and IRA qualifier out. (source) Efforts to correct were also reported yet remained a whisper in comparison to the AEI attack on the GAO.  What happens when a nation’s institutions face subtle accusations of lying and time is spent baiting those who argue that some sections of the economy (health, education, transport) should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole for the good of whole?

2020 AEI  In an unusual bit of candor , pointed out how the representatives from blue cities and states expressed heightened concern about the virus, while representatives from red counties and states took little notice in a cold bit of political calculus. AE was among the first to join the cry of concern regarding arrival of an “economic crisis.” and they have been consistent critic of “America First” policy as internationally damaging. The AEI view on the humanitarian crisis was expressed by opposing a loosening sanctions on Iran.

The 2019 Aspen Institute opens with the idea that online activism is useful but insufficient if “Building America’s Next Great Awakening” is to be successful. Eric Liu clearly defines the push back against the dull odors of monopolized, institutional power willing to concentrate ineffectively on radical inequality.  Aspen recommends a review of his discussion of power (TED). Aspen is also about balance in its promotion of ways to sharpen our vision in a series of Business & Society podcasts launched this month (here). Swing over to the business integrity people (BIP) to see if the folks there will pick up on it after the official launch on the 18 April 2019.  If you need think-tank people (TTP) that have an interest in pushing the limits of every boundary to assure that your fear is not of change, but of loss.

See the Five Best ideas every day

2020 Aspen. For years they have assigned a team in partnering with TIME, to pull the five best new ideas every day from a long list of news sources. As far as the daily press is concerned, this is a reasoned selection and therefore a good editor’s pulse service.  March began as business usual, with interesting articles choices, but as April began, the virus was viral in the news and no different in Aspen’s best five. As far as ideas are concerned one out of five ain’t bad.

In 2019, anyone who has taken a glimpse at the enormity of American Defense Industry will find the Atlantic Council’s defense of democracy well validated in their celebration of NATO and its newest members hitting the ten-year mark (#Albania and #Croatia) while seeking to include Cyprus.  It is without surprise that NATO’s weighted connections and conference in D.C. this first week of April is entitled #NATOEngages to assure the alliance. The general pressure to increase spending as a percentage of GDP is having a destabilizing and disturbing effect on domestic affairs as expected. Following NATO, a strong interest in cyber security, engagement and sanctions is described.

The 2020 Atlantic Council view centered on cash. “What is clear is that, in a crisis, the Federal Reserve is the indispensable central bank. This is followed by serious worries in the governance of th EU in relation to a degraded NATO military. Another issue popular at the AC is the comparison with the Chinese state managed capitalism and the American decentralized approach. Specific stability concerns regarding the more authoritarian vs. the bubble up forms should turn directly to how these two designs will de-isolate individual countries, with high poverty rates and bad health infrastructure.

The 2019 Belfer Center is looking straight at Russia and China through the lens of the Pacific Rim. The growing complexity of “safety-critical technologies” in this vast region of the earth is an opening for a change in policy.  First, question the importance of the Middle East in comparison to threats to power caused by climate change on Pacific Rim nations. The center also enjoys its privileges and offers a wide range of important players in world affairs to sit and talk for the benefit of their students and faculty.  A link to Foreign Affairs offers one free article a week. If you are interested in foreign affairs, Belfer is a TTP stop.

The 2020 Belfrer set of tweets (April) is also a strong pulse center with retweets from other major interest and issue groups in the world. The selection is clear headed, multi-issue and thankful unsoaked in COVID-19 insights in multiple posts.

The 2019 Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) reaction to political pressures affecting “speech” within the university is direct. In response to President Trump’s Executive Order that pulled out the government’s big research funding stick they ask one question, “What is the litmus test?” Universities cannot model the current behavior in national politics; the idea of a government agency intervention to monitor compliance for funding is an insidious act. BPC mentions a leadership guide from Sanford Ungar (Free Speech Project) at Georgetown University.  His report “Informed and Engaged” describes the launch of the Free Speech Tracker.  Message at the Executive Order level have uneven qualities, while the search for instances and causes of incivility on university campuses is where the thinking caps belong. Solving students in debt, children in poverty, the people on opioids should be on the bipartisan-do list, but it feels doubtful.

For 2020, the exposure of outfits like AEI that encourage the use of misleading statistics and psuedo science to argue that social inequality is caused by genetic inferiority in society that is working very hard to eliminate discrimmination based on “groups.” In the tracker you can find a student made video in 2017 that shut down a Charles Murray talk, not to attack speech, but to stop fueling culture war the using bad science.

After a year of peeking into this group, you will fined it to be excellent on data sharing ideas, and insight into parlimentary proceedures that support compromise and growth in the use of those that do not.

I found the 2019 Brookings Institution (BI) focused on the “divided politics” situation as tribalism and turning to a description of Brexit as if it was a warning. Brookings also brought to our attention a survey of 93 leaders from government, NGOs, and others to share their view of global development. The title is Disrupted and points to fragile governments and climate change as principal sources for many policies going “tribal.”  The underlying premise is small groups can make significant changes, and that forces questions about the responsibility to make them good ones. A set of tweets that lead to improved understanding of what middle class means. April is a good month to spend some time with the TTP because of the focus on income, credit and taxes at their Center on Regulation and Markets.

The 2020 Brookings Institution is gearing up to produce a finally detailed cost of policy timeline analysis, while plans to measure the economic impacts over the next year. Communication is the foundation of lasting and useful facts. As a large public events organization you will find them at Apple: https://apple.co/2Q2jeFl  Google: https://bit.ly/2trN6mJ 
and Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2M6gMfW  The crunchers of the GDP will find parcing day toward the metroregions will capture 90% of the economic success iniatives and only 10% of the errors. This is a tough place as the political power might be elsewhere.

The 2019 Carnegie Council (CCEIA) serves as a judge of fact and includes an interest in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain technology, and cybersecurity.  The possibility of a revolution in network collaboration will require the vision of people such as Eric Liu and Sanford Ungar. There is a way to avoid the negatives in “tribalism” that forces the decline of democracy. Eric offers a stinging left jab, and Sanford follows with a hard right- cross. The simulated anger and the provoked loss of faith in long-standing public institutions can be proven.  Fund them just enough to fail on safety net issues in marginalized communities. 

In 2020, and early in March the Council said to Congress if you want to escape a recession – send people money now. The crisis peaked in April. Lesson from the Council – there is no fast action plan in the U.S. for anything other than war, but the White House is at war with itself.

The 2119 Carnegie Endowment (CEIP) direct emphasis on the voice of women in world affairs is having an impact.  Bill Burns article “The Lost Art of American Diplomacy” (here) describes the current disdain for its powers as a stimulus for rebuilding its “first resort” capacity.  Redefining diplomatic problems breaks the easy dependence on muscular military instruments with facts instead of political assertions used “to mask a pattern of retreat” designed to inflame aggression.

The 2020 Endowment took time and a variety of subtle tweets to point out that countries that do not handle an infectious disease well looses trust, become the subject of local to global propaganda and bad press in general.

The 2019 CATO Institute focuses on ways Medicare can control drug prices without a negative impact on the system overall.  A reasonable disruption for a “patients first” approach follows a long list of price hikes that are the product of monopolistic behaviors. Turning to a related point getting low congressional interest toward a high concern in patent reform suggests that CATO would pull out Bernie Sanders’s 2005 idea for the Medical Innovation Prize and break up big drug pharma with concessions on generics.

The task to turning down the rhetorical din into something the TTP can stomach was promoted in a tweet by CATO when Alex Nowrasteh’s Washington Post article on “patriotic correctness” vs. political correctness. It yields hope that we haven’t been driven quite mad by the “silly-stupidness” as a dear friend calls a lot of that right/left speak. 

The first 2020 Cato tweet that caught my eye was, “Tariffs in a Pandemic are Taxes on Livesaving Goods.” As most people who are hurt by a pandemic are low- and moderate-income in older urban areas, the benefits are still shared unevenly, and punitively in the case of a pandemic. Another irony is the complaint against misinformation on COVID-19, and the compaint under the heading of combating populism. Do I sense pandemic unity?

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) interest in disproportionality has a top example the demand by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee to fire its Chair, Adam Schiff is an “eye off the ball” problem and exhibits the shallowness of acceptable political behavior. Perhaps a name change is in order.  I suggest the Center for Snarky Security.  Beware of angry, but hungry TTP people.  

The Center for American Progress (CAP) honed the potential of emoluments violations because the House has the power to compel the IRS to release of Trump’s Tax returns. The Center shares an agenda item with the BPC in work needed to improve women’s labor force participation. Two problems require a solution to the quality of paid family leave and access to affordable childcare. The lack of both is part of the “war on workers.”  Brookings is on the same page under the heading of the pay gap.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) sees expanded resettlement programs as a refugee issue to take the pressure off the perversely facilitated asylum backlog. The Department of Homeland Security is in disarray with southern border troubles. Is the wall-threat and lack of reform causing the crisis? Policies in favor of diversity have been evident since the 1960s; however, the lack of a powerful north/south relationship has weakened instead of strengthened since NAFTA was established.

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) exhibits the need for adaptable technologies in military hardware and brings up the historical “renewed great power competition” problem about the United States, China and Russia claim of sovereignty and believe other countries that are not great powers are not sovereign.  All kinds of cyberweaponry operated by new technologies re-opens the debate on the billions spent on “star-wars.”   

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CNPP) recognizes chipping away of safety net program funding in the Federal budget. Early in the month protecting SNAP (nutritional assistance) for vulnerable people is top on their list. The Center’s focus on state and local budgeting reports reduced the health care costs through caring society investments in education, income, food, housing, transit, and recreational support services are provided and encouraged.

The Claremont Institute (CI) claims to restore American principles as “originalists” as if the founders of the U.S. Constitution remain the preeminent experts over our national life.  Historical desires hold tightly to the past as a measure of our time centuries later.  It is difficult to read these arguments based on values by institutions that have not or refuse to read and confirm the truth of Richard Rothstein’s book, “The Color of Law,” B&N and who remain satisfied with jabs around the edges at the whiteness of that law.  Law made racism impossible to understand if you are white. It is impossible to recognize if you have never read or ever encouraged to read anything in the enormous body of work by Derrick Bell or the writer’s who stand on his shoulders such as Ta-Nehisi Coates. For centuries, cultural power is the only available tool, and because of that it is far too easily altered and appropriated without a clear set of goals. Thanks to Avik Roy’s retort to Bill Voegeli, on CI’s website those goals might find a scrap of common ground with the right. The voice Ta-Nehisi Coates is current, (here) and he offers firm ground because the U.S. has participated in reparations four times.

The Commonwealth Fund (CF) takes us to the daily battle for a healthy America. Their tweets are regular attacks on the role of health professionals who care for patients of modest income or those who are one crisis of poor care or one “surprise bill” away from full-blown poverty.  Just what America needs, a little more depression and anxiety on a bet-hedging that it won’t be too many of them or too weak to build guillotines.  

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) sends tweets on how globalization counts the ways to make the American worker more competitive by researching ways to get rid of unions and attacking the Kigali Amendment as a “job destroyer.” There is an unusual combination of politically conceived demands with crony-appeal and others that stand on more rational grounds. They need to choose.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) are impractical with the global map. It leaps to review every crisis affecting American hegemony. The Council also pointed out the top ten countries for women’s workforce equality and the United States is not on the list. You will find a comparison of other nations top-tier tax rates for comparison to those proposed by the 2020 Democrats. A detailed analysis of foreign aid for 2016 will be useful if it leads to 2020 comparisons. The UK’s only land border (after Brexit) is with Northern Ireland.  Is irony is back?  CFR point to an oddly similar border with Mexico as related security discussion that can put you in a world where Japan gets its groove back with some severe armament. Bottom line, a run through CFRs tweets can tease you into thinking that this institution is in total control.  Oh!

The Discovery Institute’s (DI) first tweet to my gaze talks about “pathological altruism” as one of the big awful things to discover.  They think they do good, but they know not.  DI is a wonderful break into the world of thought about problems instead of the ones “all of the above” seem to find. Every new second with DI is worth an hour everywhere else.  Columbia’s Earth Institute (EI) is next on the list in the current alphabetical order (that may require another form of organizing).  The EI tweets focus specifically on the next generation, also known as students and life-long learners for a welcome sense of hope. One promotion with the “New School” asks a simple question: How do we know what cannot be known?” Where else but for the next generation would you be presented with butterflies tasting the salty tears of rainforest turtles to discover the importance of the complexity that beats the heart of diversity.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) added to the idea that we should have a more rational “thinking about important stuff days.” I pick up something new about EPI’s constitutional questions in their tweets.  The demand a “more perfect union” during February is one of them.  February is a month of American history that has many important days related to the African-America experience.  April gets the ‘thinking day” attention of EPI on women rights regarding equal pay.  A Native-American gets .58, African-American and Latinas get 0.53, Asian 0.61 and White 0.77 of the $1.00 of white men. Overall, the “many” vs. the “one” debate requires the patriarchy to change in all these groups. In the name of perfecting our union, a routine injection of steps of fairness with the proof of balance defines equity, wages, skillsets and safety nets.   

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Democracy and Technology, TechFreedom, Human Rights Watch and 34 others are demanding the reauthorization or Section 215 to end NSA’s phone data collection. 

The Brennan Center has the best summary of selected government surveillance programs (here).  Getting into this subject by looking at all the trees (felled, standing, old or sapling) will miss the new way the forest gets your attention. The digital forest, but like the old growth forest, it too can take something from you forcefully like a hungry bandit and offer you something you need or want at the same time. Trade began as a neighborhood/tribe thing, that became a village or city thing, then regional, national and global. Instead of looking into the old forest, there is a new digital forest that wants to look at you, your tribe, and place on the planet.  The moral authority function of human judgment is why humans build cities and turn forests into parks.  The time is now to look deeply into ourselves in cities, and to leave the old wood alone, revered as the place from which we came.

The work of the Freedom House think tank looks at the demand for human rights in places under threat of violence and works to protect these rights when won, yet far too easily lost.  The FH sees an erosion of democratic political environments and points to more than 2.5 billion people FH designates as “Not Free,” and more than a third of the earth’s population.  The number of “not free” is growing due to a decline in political rights and civil liberties. The Annual “Freedom in the World” report each year is getting more frightening.  In April, the concerns focus on Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia’s disconnect from the Internet.  The growing interest in ranking internet and digital rights exposes an inability to clarify how user information is secured and encapsulated or closed and contained in authoritarian regimes.  Expanding the Global Magnitsky Act as an accountability tool is appreciated by FH.

The Guttmacher Institute examination of global population issues and ideologically-driven political interference disrupts the professional connection between doctor and patient, lawyer and client.  These disruptions reduce the safety and dignity of these critical relationships and adversely affects a woman’s quality of life. The growth of blatantly unconstitutional and radical state-level laws aimed at a SCOTUS trial is a blatant money grab on settled law.  At the current federal level rules governing the national use of funds are coercive in intent and practices that assault on women’s access to reproductive health services especially if they are of low and moderate income.

Heartland Institute looks to free-market solutions to the social and economic problems in the United States. When over 90% of human issues, need and concerns are met by free-market solutions, it seems odd that attempts at getting into the 10% where it fails is threatening.  Most of the tweets are clear political shots when any entity does not see profit first and all other consequence second. The twitter-sphere tempts childishness, so it prompts you straight to their websites.  For example, a letter to POTUS45 seeks funding for a climate security commission as a voluntary offer to debunk science reports on climate change. Their interest in demonizing people with interest in Democratic Socialism is an equally deliberate attack on any attempt to reduce excesses in the free-market system.  It leaves one deaf to any other point as valid. Heartland needs a transplant, and a heart may not be enough. Facebook canceled their adds.

I suppose it is appropriate that the Heritage Foundation (HF) is next up in this alphabetical Tweet O-Rama of think tanks. Here you will find the narrative tones exalting the glory of capital markets. The wonders capital has brought to the world. What would we do without money to sustain whole new classes in newly enriching ways? Most of the tweets are useless jibes and retweets of the favored. Go to their website to get the strategy.   Under “Heritage’s Perspective” you will find a series of “read/listen more” teasers. I will summarize my first impression using the following, well-crafted, run-on sentence:

Of course, the transgender ban is logical, and if you have a hovercraft, gerrymandering would be much more fun along with the ability to take shots at Theresa May’s failure as a conservative within the confines of a robust pro-life agenda, and finally, college admissions are rigged, haven’t they always been so? 

The Hoover Institution (HI) is pleased to give me ten reasons by progressives shouldn’t hate POTUS45 and get this; they quote CNN. Here goes: 1) The economy, 2) not appalled by lies because 3) he’ll stop the socialists, 4) they believe his caring, empathic rhetoric, 5) he is the same at every rally, suit, tie hair and all, and 6) keeps trying to keep promises and goes against his party, 7) people see moves against a sitting president is all political BS and 8) media bias is clear.  The last three are reasonable ways to understand his loyal base,  8) it is the east and west coast vs. the hollowed-out interior that has grown to include battleground states, 9) despite everything “the family” is holding together and 10) he is a performer and entertains. Even looking at conservative sites will produce cross-over insights.

Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) attention is on the reconciliation efforts in Rwanda as a lens focused across the globe from Libya to Venezuela and on to specific concerns such as the 500th day since Azory Gwanda he “went missing” in Tanzania (#WhereIsAzory?”), and the secret Khashoggi murder trial and beatings in Nigeria and so on.  Malaysia decided to leave the ICC very quickly. HRW is livid with the cancelation of an ICC prosecutor’s visa. NGOs mag get a break from the Egyptian government. The triple bottom line utilizing “truth commission” practices yields a sliver of hope.

Common Ground Alert!

The Independent Institute has David J. Theroux’s magazine the Independent Review. Its messages have a unique California vantage point that puts the facts on the table and tries to make you think. As an example, in response to the recent POTUS45 request to make more room for a conservative speech on campus has this quote in its article.

“The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found that in 2017, 39.6 percent of the 449 colleges it analyzed “maintain[ed] policies that seriously infringe[d] upon the free speech rights of students” (source).

A Republican, Ronald L. Trobridge wrote the article, noting it would be inappropriate and probably illegal to ask applicants applying for a teaching job if they were a conservative or liberal. The applicants want to be professors exploring ideas, not politicians. 

I find more progressives teaching because they have something to say.  Trobridge ends the article by saying it is OK if you fail and get a “D” in a class if “principles” are involved.  I wrote a paper that successfully delivered my views under the heading “democratic socialism” in a classroom (applause, request for more information, and so on). I was pulled into the faculty office and given that “D” myself.  I should preface that this was just after the assignation of John Kennedy. I remember how frightened, McCarthy-like frightened, the teacher seemed. Knowing pain has the potential for being self-inflicted, yet knowable and understandable is good. The alternative is to have that pain secretly imposed with malice and intent.

The Inter-American Dialogue has a laser focus on Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, and Haiti. One of those lasers looks at “remittances” as a significant largest source of financial assistance ($85B) moving from north to south Read IAD’s report #Remittances2018 here.  The overall energy company impression is best in the first few minutes from Lisa Viscidi (here) via Bloomberg and sharp on China in the region. 

The James Baker III Institute for Public Policy is all over Venezuela in the “let freedom ring” mode with VP Pence as the loudspeaker and for balance includes protests of Pence at Rice University. The rapid turnover in Trump’s high security positions became a central concern in mid-April.

The Kaiser Family Foundation aims at a healthier America and pushes to see the health problems of our lower income population as central to the reform effort of a national policy to eliminate bias.  One example of this is 90% of uninsured poor adults reside in the South.  The high cost of indigent care is very carefully tracked by going to the detail such as the 212% increase in deductibles woven into health care policy. Overall “health” remains a thread in the tweets of several of the tweeters in tanks. The focus on health is seen as an attack aimed at the drug cartel responsible for 1.9 million opioid addicted nonelderly adults is a “give” in the ongoing attack on the ACA. The general call for Medicare for All in the number of bills introduced can be examined (here).  April is a cruel month.

The Lexington Institute points to a major health problem, AKA war and in April – the need to defend against “hypersonic weapons.”  Fentanyl from China is not being well tracked or seized and like cyber – put in the context of an invasion. Pounding the table for continuous improvements in defense postures belongs to Lexington, from micro-tracking devices on everything to brand new B-21 Bombers circling the planet military reform is consistently cloaked in terms of modernization.  I believe in defense with a bid “D,” but try to find an economist looking at what happens when too much money chases too many goods?  The rich country answer is you get the acceleration of products fashioned, more than the military needs and then send it to police jurisdictions just in case of what – an invasion?

The Ludwig von Mises Institute (LMI) After calling out a civil war battle anniversary, the LMI attacks @AOC for her interest in “socializing the economy” by advancing arguments for a climate change strategy and a rapid reduction of fossil fuels because it makes no economic sense without a clear and largely unregulated role for private capital and property. Western economists promote fungibility and discount the negative role of entrepreneurs as minimal no matter the amount owned or how much or what we consume.  The flaw in this argument cannot be proven until it is too late for the mystery of “market correction” capital implements repairs.  Nevertheless, there are some useful arguments for their critique of the GND“ debunked.  Nevertheless, Tomas Piketty (summary) has a refined approach to the problem of vast patrimonial capitalism and the threat of an oligarchy.  One example is how the “estate tax” was renamed “death tax,” another is simple math CEO’s were paid 400 times more than the average paid to the American worker or average annual incomes of $12M to the CEO vs. $36,000 to the ordinary worker.

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MIPR) work on post-industrial cities sees opportunity in a report by Aaron Renn through new ground planning while awaiting private market corrections.  There is a long list of a post-industrial urban center with under one million in a population that has lost 20% or more of its people from a previous peak. (DOWNLOAD PDF).  The mysteries of fungible capital became unavailable to these cities for putting a fix into municipal finances, reform or restructure dysfunctional institutions and rebuild public services. The MIPR has NYC recovery from a similar abandonment of capital as one of those “the bank is in trouble” solutions that provided for growth with fiscal discipline.  Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, Saginaw, Danville, Johnstown and so on were not so lucky, and MIPR gets into the why and how.  There are no snipping in their tweets, just honest statements leading you to real thinkers and solid proposals.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has a broad approach. They are attracted to the economics of the housing crisis, immigration reform, the revival/survival of manufacturing, and the promotion of a book on “the corporation.”  Challenges to the federal debt level, the rise of right-wing terrorism,   

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has the last word on the economic forces shaping the future of the world.  The use of their twitter feed is to announce working papers fed by the wealth of U.S. Census data on every aspect of American life from micro-marketing strategies and consumer response to mandated protection disclosures.  An interesting analysis of “patent trolls” by them and them in order to license them vs. use links to health and drug policies that hide the demand for larger generic markets.  NBER produces papers like a factory would include cars. There is something for everyone without a hint of political purpose.  The facts, just the facts.

The New America Foundation is similar in their “life is complex” approach to science and the art of political change.  The New American Weekly (Edition 243) produces the work of their “fellows” resident in NYC or LA.  They have a functional analysis of why the right wing got control of a swath of state capitals. 

On 18 April the New Democrat Network (NDN) asks its participants to do some background reading to gain an understanding of Trump and to have a discussion of their findings. The series of papers are swept under the heading of “patriotism and optimism.”  Their criticism of trade policy points out the general decline of manufacturing fear of change

The Open Society Foundation (OSF) lays it out as clearly as possible; the world needs care, hope, democratic climate action and continuous revelation on the meaning and purpose of equality. In all of these areas, the OSF works to lead by example and with others who do so with a healthy set of retweets from publishers such as The Guardian

The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) would be wise not to repeat presidential threats unless until there is an actual implementation, then call it was it is.  Trade talk/war/talk and all of it on Mexico’s critical relationship to its northern border with very little attention paid to the south.  Economic nationalism in Chinese is like the German role in the EU State-owned companies in China, and sector-specific American interventions are hypocritical behaviors.  Central Bank control systems are in little trouble given “hyperinflation” flags fluttering in the breeze of a credit crunch.

The Public Policy Institute of California is a way, cool dude. They have a thing in April for retweeting the Maddy Institute reports on the 2020 Census and how immigration policy might get framed through the election.  Next, the next great drought will have less remote sensing data available due to USGS and NOAA cuts even though the water grid crisis continues to loom.

As a nonprofit, nonpartisan, organization the Rand Corporation is committed to the public interest and considered a trusted source for policy ideas and analysis. They would also admit a rise in the threat to communities all over the world likely to become less safe, secure, and healthy amidst the prosperous. Rand opened April up with a century-long review of the “political objectives of U.S. Military interventions and puts reduced success on “ambitiousness.”  Calling out Iran as a terrorist nation fits that bill. The next message somewhat ironically promotes SEL for social and emotional learning as a “measures” issue. They are delighted with the student achievement success of Principle Pipelines project. Military complex interests are in cyber currency and terrorism.  Billions needed to cover the cost of meeting California’s new 2030 Seismic standard in the contract. 

The Reason Foundation libertarian ideals separate themselves from the wing flapping left or right with a value system that remains adaptable to changing times if they lead to a limited federal government.  The logic of it is the states of the republic remain the leading laboratory for building a democracy.  The surprise is they find Pete Buttigieg, the “most interesting” Democrat. The challenge to the “qualified immunity” doctrine governing police behavior as “notorious,” and disagree over labeling in immigration policy.

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is one of many doing the thinking needed most by the thoughtful over the next decade.  Goals for the earth and energy for humans are becoming more critical and where else would you be able to discover “Rs 10.000-crore FAME-II scheme?”  Just in case you are an advocate for less jargon in the world – this is about India’s move to incentivize vehicle electrification. I ran a national community design center conference for several years.  The Pittsburgh Design center incentivized bicycling with a Pedal Pittsburgh Campaign.  RMI recently organized the screening of National Geographic’s documentary, Paris to Pittsburgh. RMI knows solutions to climate change will be implemented in cities, not the mountains.

The Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) work in social science research on inequality, the working-poor, immigration and economic behavior of the actors involved. Themes in education tie it together from the impact of information technologies on the contributions of individuals such as Brian Powell and James Rosenbaum.  Timothy Bartik was asked to respond to a new report from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) regarding the decline in the working-age population  expected through the 2020 Census. The report suggests a “heartland visa” immigration policy to replace losses in the area of the country where the reduction of working-age people is most pressing.

The thinking of people in the Third Way tank is ambitious center-left organization aiming its resources clean energy, education, health care, national security and the social policy and politics it will take for high-quality results in these areas. Their @TWPolitical feed is especially interesting as it examines challenges to the democratic party and examinations of the way the republic is collapsing and what can be done to save it in an author/speaker series.  April is about Michael Tomasky’s book on both subjects. Next on their priority list asks for the “fastest path to zero” and no one has to request the meaning of zero so that a good thing.

The Urban Institute (UI) continues to pound the table to get people to see cities as the answer.  The failure of political discourse in urban policy has required all institutions to seek a humanitarian response in the fight to sustain and establish the quality urban life of a diverse nation. This experience led UI to compile two extensive case studies by the Center on Nonprofits Philanthropy (CNP) the depth of the nonprofit housing and community-based development organizations in large cities have established a long list of innovations in social service programs by breaking glass ceilings and building capacity with proof.  In turning fifty, UI is taking the definition of knowledge as experience plus reflection by examining the bias built into the demand for transformations since 1965 Voting Right Act, the Higher Education Act 1968 and the Fair Housing Act comprising the core of the Great Society. If the next fifty years of America’s community development future from suburban to core centers is a concern, the answers about the courage required will be found in that history.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars tips the balance of American hegemony in the sheer number of people attracted to this subject where a great deal is said, but results are elusive. The initial Wilson vision became focused in his honor – 1968.  They stand with Jefferson’s notion that an informed and active citizen can be trusted with their own government and this organization believes it is building tools for that citizenry to join the national conversation. The tweets generally promote local events, but for a fascinating archive of public policy history, the center’s “Sources and Methods” blog is an insightful look at today with each visit.  

It seems appropriate for the Worldwatch Institute to conclude this lengthy effort at a summary of America’s think tanks just for April. In contrast to the incessant attempt at understanding the complex communications of human, their institutions and nations, April opening tween asks us to think seriously about the ecological impact and minimal psychological benefits of pets, the number of shipping containers and other sources filling the global ocean with  everything from vintage Garfield phones to the micro-bead plastic you now consume with every bite from the sea.  The Institute handed the world its most significant economic challenge – come up with a way to assure human well-being and minimize consumption. The knowledge that an institution like “Black Friday/Cyber Monday” can devastate America’s climate future does not seem to help.  WI tweets carefully – one interesting lesson is the ability to quickly scroll down to their 2018 interest in altering the circular economy with the idea of “degrowth.”  Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

On the Delivery of Quotidian Jeremiads

Loving the English language is not easy, but it is fun. The think tanks can lead you down some interesting new paths covered in rabbit-holes and a few Kool-Aid stands. With or without the consent of the Congress, the President of the United States can threaten many kinds of civilizational catastrophe. The election of the American President is not a routine political occurrence; it is the release of a specific set of prejudices plus immense power. The short history of the United States also exhibits the distribution of this power by wealth and its penchant for significant error inherent to inherited wealth.

Here is another think-tank thought stimulation. De facto segregation is a myth, racism is a created thing, and the proof of this is daily and routine. It is a quieter thing now, an experience like watching the minute hand on a classroom clock; the movement is subtle because patience for an exact moment of freedom grows thin and in the sweep of a second hand it comes and goes.  The depth of America’s diversity challenge should not be unfathomable for the joy of its existence. Yet, there are times when the quality of human discourse is pressed for improvement so hard, we barely notice (here) or here

On T.S. Eliot

The lesson in sharing Eliot’s literary genius is that it does not excuse his anti-Semitism. It complicates the reading of “The Wasteland” with feelings of unwanted complicity. We should be able to read and reread his best poems, see the beauty and wisdom without fear of his bigotry. The message includes caution and resistance to all those who would use hatred as a source of power in all political speech.

April is the cruelest month breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

These four lines capture a bit of the human soul, the reader wants to assign Eliot’s soul to a permanent place “beneath the rats” because his “icy dismissiveness” was assigned to an entire people. The reader’s judgment of his character is critical but not one I would assign to his tribe without the proof pulled from the heart of each member.

The March 2019 summary (here) introduced all the organizations selected for the Tweet-O-Rama, and the Random Tweet-O-Rama. The idea is to learn something from the wits from this vast new area of the blah blah world.  The April summary (here) examined the Think-Tank People. In May, (here) I looked at the organizations working to produce a good economy combined with voter rights organizations. With those thoughts in mind, it is logical to have a look at politics as a sport, and as a practice that is now very different than the role of leadership that it implies. Please enjoy June, every one should and then July (here) for a look at the one thing of great importance – housing (here)

Paradise and Panama Jitters

“Global finance has expanded without accountability. Good news though, the attempts to take down journalism as an agent of facts is failing. A network is lining up like dots across a landscape of searches for truth. It is sustained with anger, vengeance, honor and integrity and it looks to me like two things. First, the attacks are a “tell” that makes the managers of extreme wealth very unsafe poker players, and second the enormous flow of capital is producing a logic similar to that of a cancer cell.”

Rex L. Curry

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT) pointed its tweet readers to the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on the problem of #AnonymousCompanies that hinder inquiries into political corruption and a long list of criminal enterprises (read testimony May 2019). To wonder why the FBI is under attack is to not understand the facts. See why we need more financial accountability people (here).

Face it, we have a bad case of the jitters. After all Wilbur Ross became the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in 2017 right after his name was in the release of 13.4 million documents known as the Paradise Papers in 2016. That leak came from an off-shore finance management legal firm Appleby containing the names of more than 120,000 people and companies that hide capital. I don’t know why Mr. Ross wants that particular position of power, but it gives me the jitters.

Before Paradise we had the Panama Papers. Remember? It became “news” following the “leak” of 11.5 million documents from another managing law firm – Mossack Fonseca, a team of journalists gathered to finish the work of John Doe who’s identity remains unknown. During the analysis of the data provided journalists (not government officials) have gathered world wide to develop a plan. Their work covered many months of classic journalistic practice prior to the release of newspaper stories designed to expose how billions of dollars were hidden killed from governments. A film summarizing their experience became available in March 2019.

The work to expose the cancerous practices of extreme wealth management continues. Given global conditions even the honestly gained wealth is managed without an interest in investment aimed at improving global conditions. Following the release of findings focused on public figures, the known investigators have been harassed, some killed, and others attacked with “alternative facts” and law suits.  When it takes ‘whistle blowers” to produce the momentum for reform be worried. The tale of two worlds requires the distasteful cleaning of the world’s corporate laundry. Forcing it out of these poorly managed financial machines may not occur until wealth becomes meaningless.

Need to Know List

An Essay for Tweets from the Left

The United States is composed of thousands of institutions and organizations drawn from the profound beliefs and principles of liberty outlined by The Founders. Since then the founding, the laws of protection for the growth of liberty and development of American principles have flourished. The continuous emergence of political organizations that seek to provide the best in human life for individuals has succeeded. In part, these efforts are defined as progressive or conservative, democrat, republican, libertarian, green, socialist, working family, and so on (see list below).  We live through these institutions and expect them to be dispositive of most problems given two provisions – civility in discourse and respect for facts.

American institutions focus on social and international justice, civil rights, and liberty in the context of human rights for all people. Many of them work to assure equal opportunity, good educations, environmental preservation, conservation, and human health advocacy. As they are plentiful and varied, their progeny continues to expand in the service of new constituencies who are emboldened to be free in a search of cultural change through art, science, and technology advancements. All these activities are constitutionally guaranteed. These institutions implement programs to produce predictable results that seek to hasten or slow social change processes, increase or reduce costs and protect local interests and specific assets held in private trust or on behalf of the public good. There is no hard proof that the physics of Newton’s laws of motion are in play in these processes, yet it feels as if a proof isn’t necessary for observing the many failings of power in the accelerated rate of change in which we find ourselves.

Reducing the hard punch capability of American hegemony has been difficult from the first use of the Atomic bomb all the way down to the colloquial definition of Americans as “people who buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know.” This power to be free includes a capacity for hate and injustice that cannot be rationalized, only disliked, and deterred.

The belief of progressives and conservatives is that different worlds are possible. Both see the basics of air, water, land, and food as the most powerful natural resources on the earth, and once brought under the control of specific energy sources and industries, a sustainable environment is possible within an equitable economic system. In this system, only then can children be protected without wealth. Putting the force of these ideas in a global context redefines national security needs all the way down to a sense of personal safety best defined as freedom from fear. It is in a global realm of competitive protection political actors become irrational. The rise of evil forces, demonizing recalcitrant actors, or the outright taking of spoils through conflict raise the walls of ignorance.

What everyone knows is why political divisions form in the debate on a proposed action. The benefits of assigning specific public expenditures in a three-branch system of government are to sustain debate to correct errors of judgment in a changing world. One branch creates two sets of representatives from every aspect of American culture. Their job is to write laws, see to an evaluation of the implications of their implementation, and adjust accordingly.  When failures in this process occur, the legislative practice is further evaluated and judged in a federal court system. The nationally elected leaders are the President and Vice-President. The Executive Branch is the final arbiter of action subject to Congressional veto, public elections, and the Judicial Branch.

Human DNA survival mechanisms will distort self-protection behaviors (i.e. fight/flight) in social groupings and it does not exclude complex government power-sharing systems. Entire social structures build supports eager to give meaning and purpose to the human experience of power. Communication of spiritual and community values, movements for social change, and reflections on past movements all push for a wide range of cultural transformations. New theories of change form among the institutions confronting the need to adapt to new conditions of human interaction and natural events. If each initiative defines an outcome-driven process, a practice based on evidence for action and detailed performance measures undertaken routinely by trusted parties, no matter how or where the idea for change occurred or the credit needed, the results should be trusted. Time is the great judge of failure and success.

The task for staff is to find the counter punch organizations among the following largely progressive organizations. The primary mission is to get people to pay attention, express issues of concern, and vote on them in every election.  The list work got started with a project called START.

The Original START Study Guide is Here

For an excellent description of START, see “Acting in the Big Picture: New study guide builds on history, hope,” by Linda Pinkow, Dollars & Sense, Number 273, Nov/Dec 2007, p. 9. It was the inspiration for building the Tweet O-Rama pages found in the menu under The Synergy Project.s

The “tweet” is a way not to be distracted by the “big picture, we are all f’n doomed, so why bother problem or if you as rich as some of my friends, you plan, build and stock a $20 million hideaway, you know, just in case.

List 1: Electoral Politics Organizations

The major electoral categories on the progressive side are political parties, namely the Democratic, Working Family, Green, Labor, DSA, Socialist and the CCDS. A complement of state and local legislative groups is composed of BISC, SIX and Progress Now.

Democratic National Committee/Party

Works for job creation, equal pay, education, health care, and clean energy.

Working Families Party

A progressive political organization that sponsors candidates in 7 states and fights nationwide for an economy that works for all and a democracy in which every voice matter.

Green Party of the United States

Labor Party

A few democratic socialists advocate for a broad-based social revolution while predicting the possibility of an undemocratic and violent seizure of power by a single political party. As history repeats see blog attempt to hear or see if they might be right.

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

The largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of Socialist International. Extending political democracy to greater empowerment in the economy, in gender relations, and in culture.

Socialist Party (USA)

A political party of, by, and for working people, founded in June 1996 by delegates from hundreds of local and international unions as well as individual activists.

Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS)

The achievement of the socialist vision requires the production of wealth controlled by the people participating in a broadly framed democracy serving political and cultural life. I found a link to the Left University that offers many interesting resources (here). One of the best is the analysis by David Schweickart out of Loyola University below.

If only “the left” had the sound technicians as polished as those of TED and a few others.

In Sweden talking to a few students.

March 2019/2020

What happens when a fundamental principle of journalism is weakened or even stops working? The values that help get the facts right and reveal the truth with reasonable accuracy begin to slide away when independence gets sticky; impartiality weakens and bang, fairness and accountability slip and slide away. On March 31, 2019, I read that “following a story” to the end or until it kills the journalist or the “ism” is one way to go with t.

The first draft of history, but it can miss the dots. I have compiled the Tweet O-Rama as one new way to look at everything all at once every six months or so. These groups uniquely highlight our problems, and I believe they respect tweet brevity’s sweet demands. They are not journalists, but they are rebuilding and strengthening their principles on a routine basis. 

Rex L. Curry

Conducting a Tweet-O-Rama scan is a task that needs about twelve people if you are interested (see list). Following is a summary of all the groups. As promised, I am weaving the 2019 narrative with 2020 in search of some “year later” insight. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a shattering impact on the content. Nevertheless, it’s worth a shot at reintroducing them a year later.

2019 Think Tank People

Creating a section on the think tank people (ttp) occurred when an article in the WSJ details the maturation of technologies for surveillance – facial recognition, following capital through multiple accounts, command centers aggregating microwave, RFID chips, and hundreds of other digital communication platforms. The headline read, “The Autocrat’s New Tool Kit,” making current efforts to spread propaganda or end dissent appear childish. The tank group is ideologically diverse and sizeable, with fifty on the list. I will attempt to sum them up in April.  The practice is to breeze through their tweets searching for common themes, and I recommend you do the same, 500 words max.

2020 – Think Tank People

First, impression through March 2020 was how some TTP were nitpicking at various policies at the state level. A direct critique of national policy was held back. The stimulus discussion was coming alive, and most agreed that this is not your regular recession ballgame.  The idea of raising aggregate demand does not compute when $3 trillion goes “poof” globally. “Essential personnel” working fifteen-hour shifts while everyone else stays at home requires a new approach. The TTP pointed to the European model that kept people employed and paid their wages even though they kept home. The recovery strategy got this critique in March 2020

Three problems were identified that needed solving.  1) Accessing accurate and timely information from trusted sources.  2) Total disruption of business as usual without alternatives beyond e-commerce.  3) An apparent inability to scale up and speed up preemptively.

2019 Social Policy People

My selection of social policy people (spp) finds a prioritized set of messages concerned with a rising level of damage to children in our society. The United States is a place where half of the babies born will live in or near poverty. Their observations also find children in trouble because of housing and school systems. The danger to children is also due to segregation patterns that remain that one think-tank called an “intentional American institution.” Diversity has begun in the workplace while other parts of our society remain “ghettoized” and easily subjected to malicious stereotypes and manipulative “fox in the hen house” messaging. It is a uniquely American problem that requires greater focus and serious attention in social policy. Just saying we are a diverse society is not enough.

2020 – Social Policy People

At the beginning of March, the Social Policy People SSP have sustained attention on education policy moved to include college debt. Their framework for helping working people and children in poverty from an impending crisis in all things is ready to go as a plan. Funds for implementation remain unavailable. Time spent on highlighting good employers for “paid leave” and others who would not get sidetracked when they realized those most hurt were getting the least financial help. If it ever ends, the terrifying argument will be on why and how low-income population groups felt the highest impoverishment and death rates.

2019 Watch Dog and Public Accountability People

The watchdog people (wdp) are into the “statistical malpractice” issues of the Trump administration regarding the U.S. Census and concerns related to the National Emergencies Act’s potential misuse. On the positive side, an effort to formalize the “emergency” powers of Presidents may be the result. They have some general worries about Boeing’s “lobbying” before and after the grounding of the “738 Max 8” fleet. Major concerns regarding the criminality in the Trump campaign’s fundraising behavior have heightened in intensity. The WDP exposes hot buttons, but they also sustain worries about the abuse of power within the military complex because it claims half of the national revenue. Finally, a set of “web changes” that examine various internet manipulations under #Gov404 and the “web integrity project” require scrutiny. The DOJ’s long-term resistance to FOIA requests and appeals also concerns the watchdogs.

The public accountability people (pap) are similar but more likely to emphasize positive reform efforts; this month, it is #HR1, #ForThePeople. Isolating xenophobic behaviors remains in the context of a push back against violence and racial bigotry. An example this month is the relatively weak House Resolution condemning all forms of discrimination in response to a representative’s language use about the Israeli lobby. Accountability requires recognizing “white supremacy” as an ideology that is a growing threat to national security in a society built on diversity. Other concerns involve the legal system’s criminal sentencing that appears to value abusers of public trust with light sentences over those who expose power abuse. Between the lines, it is all about placing pressure on the majority party in the Senate (currently Republican) to take reasoned vs. political stances on issues.

2020 Watch Dog and Public Accountability People

The groups I organized as the Watchdog (wdp) and Public Accountability People (pap) continue to review challenges to the U.S. Constitution – the focus on policing and voting started the month protection of health rights took hold of the tweets. In mid-month, the attack on recipients of food assistance at the onset of a possible pandemic was accompanied by the Senate leadership’s reported effort to make an all-out push to get judges to retire.  The thinking being it would be the right timing for weak radar appointments. 

The best response on the rise of xenophobia due to the pandemic caught my eye: “Italy is awash with the virus, and no one is boycotting Olive Garden.”  The weak government response to climate change, expanded use of poorly regulated pesticides, and related issues disappeared in a blaze of health-related concerns. Finally, the public purse concerns continue to exhaust WDP, and PAP resources watching the “to the winner goes the spoils” of D.C. on every conceivable issue.  They are now shaken by the need to keep track of billions of stimulus dollars.

2019 Consumer Protection People

The consumer protection people (cpp) focus on food and consistently remind their constituents to understand calorie labeling. America’s obesity is a whole vs. processed foods crisis that could lead to warning labels and food marketing behaviors that maximize per unit profits over people’s health. Straight forward market strategies often fail to reflect the cost to future generations. Nutrition has moved from a renewable system to one highly dependent on non-renewable inputs. The most direct example is people in cities cannot eat without planes, trains, and trucks that run on fossil fuels. Removing “petrol on your plate” has barely entered the American planning, architecture, and urban design schools curriculum or in a formal public policy or market response. Consumer protection people are also examining the post-carbon future and the sustainability crisis with heightened seriousness. Several brief papers on the subject are available (here). Finally, scientists’ and economists’ original analysis flail hopelessly against a war on science in agriculture and environmental protection. The USDA and many others are carefully detailed in a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (here).

2020 Consumer Protection People

The CPC focus on product safety for people in cars or baby carriages opened the month accompanied by several agents pointing out that it is easier for a $20M CEO of an airline to apply for a 32B bailout than it is for a random worker to get food stamps.  The effort of a couple hundred thousand students defrauded to seek relief was blocked by the DOE (DeVos), but the congressional policy may block DOE rules that prevented their efforts.  It seems those needing greater consumer protection are the ones seeking a better education. Along with some progress on the food and health debate, other issues were drowned by efforts to educate dreaders on health safety measures.

2019 Tax Accountability and Economic Policy People

The tax accountability people (tap) and economic policy people (epp) are on the defensive, removing tax breaks for outsourcing, “carried interest,” and the investment income of wealthy corporations and people do not pay for themselves.

  • One side of the internal revenue administration recognizes the national security implications in the loss of financial transparency. The other side says going after the high-income earners with income tax produces obstruction instead of revenue.
  • Wealth at the billionaire level is defined by investment income behaviors, not “a job.” More anonymous and public corporations form in the United States per year than any other place globally.

Company formation is a big business; however, the dark side of anonymous entities should be apparent to legislators.  Detailed knowledge of the role tax havens and shell companies have paid in facilitating the opioid epidemic is an obvious example. Finally, there is outright glee regarding the first hearing on corporate transparency in the new Congress. The impetus was the exposure of world leaders caused by the data in the Panama Papers. A documentary reviews 376 journalists in 76 countries regarding the methods used by the super-wealthy to hide money. A documentary began streaming on @Hulu (Here) & @PrimeVideo (Here) in the U.S.

2020 Tax Accountability and Economic Policy People

A year later, the shell company problem remains for the lack of accountability among accountancy firms and a long list of financial service providers. The demand for transparency remains politically unrecognized. So despite modest gains – the pandemic exposes policy failures – Cruise Lines sail under foreign flags to avoid corporate tax and now demand a bailout, a practice that is endemic to all large companies, such as the practice of using public dollars for stock buybacks. What appears to go unfunded in the $2T stimulus package are the accountability agencies.

2019 Economic Justice People

The economic justice people (ejp) selected here are those on the ground floor of dignity and looking for broken glass ceilings, safety in the workplace, success in acquiring fair wages, and steps toward a global labor movement. Displacement from full-time employment, affordable housing, and being displaced by institutional cutbacks and criminal justice reform exacerbates neighborhood stability initiatives and weakens local governments.  The housing crisis reigns while the undertow is a grinding deterioration of housing in modest-income suburban areas and displacement in dense urban places.

2020 Economic Justice People

The work to sustain a damage assessment is the continuous outlook of the many organizations in this group. Paid leave and a broad set of crucial protections remain impossible to acquire. Throughout the month, the focus on Amazon (free corporate tax ride) and workplace abuses topped Uber and other hourly work environments. During the hearings, one expression noted the phrase “gig-worker” was in the context of many congressional comments as “so-called”; however, it employs 57 million people who remain unprotected.

2019 Business Integrity People

I gave the business integrity people (bip) a small triple bottom line header as the line’s argument is between profitable and when.  Why do ten energy company failures in the UK exhibit the perils of privatization? How did a software problem collapse a Boeing fleet, and who wants teenagers to vape until addicted? What about the asbestos in their make-up products?  Some of the good news is about more pension funds selling off tobacco stocks despite this strategy. Antibiotic resistance is identified as a significant threat to humankind, while documentation of medical insurance company failures to provide mental health services continues. The message of climate change resonates with the young based on the premise that it is the quality of their lives on the line. It is a business issue because they can organize for or against a business within hours. Power is moving toward the consumer. Lake Erie’s health will affect every business along with its shores as the Ohio Supreme Court has given it legal rights.

2020 Business Integrity People

The highlight of the Business Integrity People I selected to scan came from the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.  If a crisis such as a pandemic occurs, government policy to help people and businesses recover must acquire key assurances in both law and policy.  The examples provided are void of political posturing a no poverty, clean water, and sanitation guarantee in every worker’s community, coupled with a commitment to zero hunger, good health, and all people’s well-being. Other assurances include steps and measures that produce affordable, clean energy and strong efforts to produce quality education, gender equality, and safe work environments. Planning to put rules, laws, and policies in place before a crisis such as a pandemic would make implementation far easier, less costly, and fair.

2019 Organizing Local People

Finding and exercising influence over the organizations that support organizing local people (olp) such as representatives to city/county state and the federal government can be difficult.  Most of the real nitty-gritty battles are at the state level. To the agonized voices of our brothers in the street, we will begin the hard work of change. The cult of legal action has become a cult. The climate strikers are not part of some class action screen process. The interest in beginning another revolution (anti-war or civil rights) is conducted by doing the bold work. Among the protect the vote people (pvp) there appears to be a lot of effort to suppress the vote and people fighting t to overturn bad law. For example, the Georgia legislature recently passed legislation that allows a non-verifiable digital ballot without a hard copy backup.


The next few months, April, June, and July 20 20will take a look at these organizations a year later because we depend on them to pay the most attention. Currently, they remain groups of people using their special lens on issues. I cannot help but wonder, will the month’s summary of the think tanks and all the rest of them a whole year later be completely different? Will the focus on global health be more developmental? Will tweets on issues are little more than a set of episodic statements to build a constituency, or might they have more depth? These organizations represent disciplined teams. They are weaving threads for a common fabric to wrap over our shoulders like the atmosphere.

The GHG threat is growing into a public certainty; this fine cape over the shoulders of policy may force a broad consensus on resilience and mitigation. The viral pandemic threat raises the earth’s temperature in a different way. The science suggests as strongly as science can in a world designed by lawyers and economists that the “steadiness” in the indicators of global temperature and viral challenges can reach intolerable threat levels that can only be exacerbated by poor planning.

I have one example of the impact of Climate Change in NYC (here) and one example of Pandemic Change in NYC (here). Please refer to others of a concrete nature and a personal point of view.

Links to the other One Year Later Summaries are below:

The March 2019 summary (here) introduced all the Tweet-O-Rama organizations and the Random Tweet-O-Rama. The idea is to learn something from the wits from this vast new area of the blah blah world.  The April summary (here) examined the Think-Tank People. In May (here), I looked at the organizations working to produce a good economy combined with voter rights organizations. With those thoughts in mind, it is logical to look at politics as a sport and as a practice that is now very different from the role of leadership that it implies. Please enjoy – housing (here)

Protect the Vote People

“Voter supression is imposed and self-imposed. The organizations on this list know this well and have yet to figure out what to do about it. Searching through comments of concern can pull a few innovative threads in the search for new and unique approaches that might put political leadership and its quality back at the head of the table.”

Rex L. Curry

The Advancement Project, Project Vote, America Votes, Rock the Vote, the New Voters Project, Voter Participation Center, Movement (add the year), and the ever-reliable League of Women Voters.  The Democracy Initiative, Every Voice, Democracy 21, Democracy Matters, Fair Vote, and Verified Voting lead the way toward a broader base of participation.

Advancement Project

Using law, public policy and strategic communications act in partnership with local communities to build a fair and just multi-racial democracy and to advance universal opportunity, equity, and access.

Project Vote

I have know idea why providing professional training and technical services for the purpose of voter mobilization in low- and moderate- income communities didn’t work for Project Vote. Keep checking the Voting News, it has to be more than just “the money”. Perhaps Michael’s many interest stretch too thin, in the meantime, send a note of thanks, especially if you’re from Texas where voting big isn’t allowed.

America Votes

As a large membership group in the country they work to increase voter registration and participation in electoral politics.

Every Voice

Changing the special interest model of politicians by holding them accountable to the vast majority of Americans and less so to wealthy individuals and corporations.

Rock the Vote

It is getting more complicated to register and vote, but the line aimed at young people use it/lose it or its not like you don’t have the time. or if voters do not get educated on voting, and being informed people in power will believe they can’t be trusted with the responsibility of government. Wait! They think that now.

New Voters Project

Public Interest Research Groups works to register people and get them to the polls on Election Day with issues on their minds based on PIRG research. The have a national Lobby Day. Neat!

Voter Participation Center

Participation amplifying the voter-voice of name your group: How about, women who are single, widowed, divorced or separated, or people of color, 18 to 29-year olds, and other historically underrepresented groups in our democracy. Votes lead to power if used.

Movement 20xx

Every notice that you find good local contacts in areas that interest you from a national outfit? Get into their annotated lists of the best local voter organizing groups and key national resistance networks.

League of Women Voters (LWV)

From Seneca Falls, NY to today, the go to people for what you need to know.

Democracy Initiative

Coalition organizations have a huge influence in identifying corporate money flooding our political system and reporting back on sources.

Every Voice

Works for sweeping reform (“Clean Money Elections”) that would dramatically reduce the role of special interest money in America’s elections and the influence of big contributors in American politics.

Democracy 21

Pay close attention to Fred. The influence of money, lots and lots of it, in American politics is likely to corrupt people, but how, when, and who is important. Sustaining the integrity government is serious business, and requires campaign finance reform with teeth and the ability to bite.

Democracy Matters

Of course Democracy is important, but why? One way to recognize its importance is to count the attacks on its very existence in the lack of civility.

Fair Vote —
The Center for Voting and Democracy

Seeks elections that promote voter turnout, fair representation, inclusive policy, and meaningful choices through electoral reforms such as instant runoff voting, proportional voting, direct election of the president, and automatic voter registration.

Verified Voting.org

A reliable election systems is one that is publicly verifiable. The errosion of trust in the power of voting for representation in government is an attack on every vote. It must not be allowed and working with people who know this is important, very important.

Think Tank People

“The Economist explains the role of think tanks as filling “the gap between academia and policy making.” I made a list for tweet scan to get a sense of that gap. It ain’t no gap – it’s a chasm, no an abyss.

The role of professional academic researchers move with the dedicated pace of a peer review and thus, very slowly. Journalists produce daily descriptions of events and are fast but not dispositive.

The job of a think tank is to make some sense of the day-to-day world over the course of a year or more and develop policies that make each day better than the one before. The good ones make the academic rigor of research as accessible a news story. The list below is not exhaustive and developed as a test using their twitter feed. Which of the following are most accessible?” Or, take a look at On Think Tanks.

Rex L. Curry

Acton Institute

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Lord John Acton (1834-1902). Acton seeks ways to articulate a vision of society that is both free and virtuous, the end of which is human flourishing.

American Enterprise Institute

Aspen Institute

Atlantic Council

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Bipartisan Policy Center

Brookings Institution

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Cato Institute

Libertarian and non-interventionist

Center for a New American Security

Center for American Progress

Center for Immigration Studies

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Claremont Institute

Commonwealth Fund

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Council on Foreign Relations

Discovery Institute

Earth Institute

Economic Policy Institute

Electronic Privacy Information Center

Freedom House

Guttmacher Institute

Heartland Institute

Heritage Foundation

Hoover Institution

Human Rights Watch

Independent Institute

Inter-American Dialogue

James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy

Kaiser Family Foundation

Lexington Institute

Ludwig von Mises Institute

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

National Bureau of Economic Research

New America Foundation

New Democrat Network

Open Society Foundation

Peterson Institute for International Economics

Public Policy Institute of California

RAND Corporation

Reason Foundation

Rocky Mountain Institute

The Russell Sage Foundation

Third Way

Urban Institute

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Worldwatch Institute


“The Twitter feeds below are a random selection tied to a large set of “feeds” in the Tweet O-Rama – a large list of watchdog, housing, accountability, consumer, tax, vote protecting, public policy and business integrity people. I make them available to myself for a fast review of the times, sort of a person am I thinking clearly, litmus test. The “keyword” programs that hunt down story trends are cold and grabby. I like to stroll through them for the sense of humanity that remains in the issues people seek to resolve.

I recommend scanning them regularly for what is relevant to them all from day-to-day. As a whole, Tweets represent a spectacular display of what is important to people in groups at the moment. They are not doing well, or maybe it’s just the moments that are not that good. Consider the following selection found in the randomness of tornados, hurricanes, floods, and fires.”

Rex L. Curry

Before you go to the list, first, know that all core documents, assumptions, and arguments that require more testing for data will dance like angels on the head of a pin and achieve nothing. We live in a world of catastrophic resolution (CR). Understand the practical misuse of argument in a diverse, divided country like ours is fully engaged in CR poof.

Garrett Harden’s 1960s thesis regarding the “tragedy of the commons” is true, but our innocent actions are no longer innocent. One balancing element might be the Creative Commons offer of a more open process. Nevertheless, even in the current mess we find ourselves in, observers can see some things with abundant clarity.

Change toward anything better will not work without mass mobilization toward specific tests at the community-based action level of change. Moving the argument from the “atmospheric gas” problem to practical issues under the heading of resilience will shift the argument toward those tests. Every planning director and political leader should be asking questions such as 1) How many homes will flood or burn, and where is it most likely now and in ten and twenty years? 2) Can this region or nation handle that number, and does it have a resilience plan?

Getting blown to pieces, flooded or burned out of a low-cost, no cellar home, then fleeing, returning, and repeating is not a plan. It is climate change roulette. Once the gamble is recognized as such, the questions can get smarter. Participants will look for efficiencies and redundancies in the food and water supply, the energy grid, the quality of emergency response, the replenishment of local mitigation budgets, and so on.

The spread of single-family buildings from huts to mansions across the American landscape is our energy reality. We live where we live. It was shaped by national policy and cannot be reinvented easily in the face of new challenges. The National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 is a central part of why we live where we live.  The initial expenditure was $26 billion, today that would be $242 billion. The highway spread us. The act was designed in part to protect against the thermonuclear war. Still, it also produced enormous land development wealth, a cheap place to live for everyone post-WWII to the present, and automobile industries that became globally duplicated. An investment in the nation’s future, even for purposes of research on alternatives, is inconceivable today. Yet, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) reports the cost of severe weather and climate disasters to be $91 billion in 2018.

A self-criticism arose during the anti-war and civil rights movement of the 1960s youthful vision of the world. Progressive Americans had to do more than talk to the already convinced. Enough of them added walking that talks itself into new places of culture, economy, and outlook. Americans still need to mix it up because a similar problem remains today after well over a half-century. There are people to listen to and learn from regarding trustworthy improvements in the argument for a better future. Quality leadership remains easily accessible. There is a chance to sustain the vitality of sacrifice in confronting new challenges.

I like David Roberts at Vox on renewable energy, and Amy Harder of Axios is a favorite of mine on energy politics. Grist has Nathanael Johnson exploring, God help us nuclear energy and World Resources Institute offers the big picture with reasoned care.

The Random Tweets

The following tweets are written by people close to the ground who can be aware of tests for organizational, political, and technological changes that meet a local condition and prove a positive change. Feel free to add some. The well of ideas is plentiful. Finding the thread of principle that ties them into a thing called mobilization is the real task at hand. Have a look.


Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Dani Rodrik’s Tweets

Dot Earth

Energy Institute at Haas

Environmental and Urban Economics

Environmental Economics

Jeff Goodell

In 2005 his book “The Water Will Come” would not be flying off the shelves around the world as they are in 2019.

Grasping Reality with Both Hands (Brad DeLong)

Greg Mankiw’s Blog


Harvard Environmental Economics Program

Jeffrey Frankel’s Blog

Larry Summer’s Blog

Long Now Foundation

Take a break — listen to the long term thinking people. Look for the Jeff Goodell presentation about his book “The Water Will Come.”

Making Sen$e | PBS NewsHour

National Bureau of Economic Research

Now This

Their production of Congressional hearing on why corruption is getting ripe in nearly every political venue starts with one interview and a unique analysis (here). For the rest of it, that is why we call this is the tweet-o-random.

Resources for the Future – Common Resources

The Conversation: Analysis, Research, News and Ideas


Catastrophic Resolution (CR)

Good for the City in Small Pieces

“Some years ago, and a year or so after the 9/11 disaster, I was standing near a conversation at a town hall session, when a constituent decried failing systems in service to the simple act of voting – long lines, ill-trained, confused poll workers, broken machines, deplorable participation rates, falling registrations, and so on.  The Senator, politely nodding said, “Little will happen on any of these issues until voting breaks down completely. Only if that happens can action with money be taken, in the meantime…” when the constituent interrupted and said, “But Senator, all the dots are in a row here,” it was like being slapped.”

Rex L. Curry

Photo © iStockphoto.com/Alvinge (Source Link)

The policy of catastrophic resolution is supported as a congressional decision-making model, and while reasonable in one sense, it has become a disease of denial regarding the value of prevention. Today, a variety of life-denying systems within the western economies are held by self-styled anthropophagus-like altruists whose logic would destroy the village to save it and who govern at an “arm’s length” with the help of psychopaths they put into public offices. They are not the oligarchs of old that hold the spoils of war. In their worlds, surrounded by the obsequious kindness of others, I believe many of them do not know what they do or have done to damage the future. The clutch of sycophants in their spheres quietly whisper in a gaggle of insistence, saying there is no need for decisive action on the unprovable loss of a single species, or global breakdowns in seasonal patterns that bring fire, drought, and thunderous waves from a rising global ocean or the searing heat across ever-widening dry plains. The policy of “no need without undeniable insistence,” must not occur.  There is a need for revolution and I think I have a sense where it might begin.

The synergy of dense urban living appears to create or at least support the rise of conditions that prevent damage to future generations as it defines and solves problems squarely ahead. It can be sloppy, however, most of the cycles of sloppiness are short, cover small geographic areas, because only parts of the systems that glue the city together fail at any one time. A city in constates of repair is a city with powerful expertise. When ancient, wood water main breaks, a sewer fails, a gas line leaks and an electric power loss occurs only a few people are affected and only for short periods because of compacity. A word that describes a lot of people nearby that know exactly what to do or how to get it done.

ConEdisons Outage Map shows the number of customers affected by location.
New York City’s “Outage Map” by Consolidated Edison
illustrates outages for 3.5 million customers by location.

If you in a dense area experience compacity by taking a walk for fifteen, twenty minutes in a reasonably straight line, make four right turns to get back where you started and you have probably walked a square mile. On average you have enclosed 30,000 to 80,000 people, miles of road, and thousands of homes. You will have come across multiple subway stations, several hundred, commercial retail, institutional service and public facilities such as schools, police and fire stations. All in a little over a one hour walk. Amazing.

The central and overriding responsibility of political leaders, as well as, public and private service agencies is to assist in the readiness of people to respond to problems of any kind or sign of trouble of any sort. They must know and understand this capacity as it represents the beating heart of NYC’s future. In every one of these enclosures whether it is a random square mile or any one of hundreds of neighborhoods the capacity for positive change is undeniable but it needs to be taught as a practical matter of citizenship, of what to do, or not do when the need for help is immediate or anticipated.

If or when a city’s potential for positive change or the need for occasionally rapid change is denied or obstructed it is readily recognized as a conflict against the humanity in the place where it occurs. The origins of the forces behind these life-defining conflicts may begin as “person-against -person,-nature, -self, -society, -technology or the raw unknown. These are not the elements of fictional narratives, they represent the day-to-day experiences of regular people. They produce these occurrences of conflict with relish in all things, from the simple exchange over the price of bread for currency to a course in high-school algebra for a grade. They are all things wrought by the compacity of urban life that are continuous and in many ways unrelenting.

In many places throughout the city, your walk would have included the observation of a highly diverse population, you would have heard many voices speaking combinations of familiar and unfamiliar words, your opportunity within this environment to purchase and consume your requirement for protein or clothing, a laugh or a smile is easily acquired. A twenty to thirty- minute train ride will take you to some of the world’s finest hospitals and universities, or to airports and trains to see far off places.




Fact Checking People

“Facts are things known that need to be proven as A word of caution ‘Believe none of what you read and only half of what you see’ to get better questions. The desire of “camps” is to communicate their messages first and facts second. Media advisers and psychologists find the proof of communication in persuasion leading to action. Whether millions votes or cans of beer that is the only proof needed, an ethical communications standard is not required. The friends of the “fact checking world” gives perspective and the ability to set your standards.”  

Rex L. Curry


A proven and reliable debunker of false statements


Dedicated to public education on media bias and deceptive news practices 

Annenberg Public Policy Center’s focus on political statements

Politi Fact           

Rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others in American politics


A professional encyclopedia of American politics and elections

Open Secrets      

Tracks money in U.S. politics – nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit

Truth or Fiction

A mishmash and hodgepodge of all the bull on the internet, but lacks focus

Fair Economy People

United for a Fair Economy (UFE)

If concentrations of wealth and power undermine the economy it can tear communities apart scrambling for crumbs. Putting groups of people together to understand and take action on the economic divide are needed. Pick UFE or all of the following to get woke:

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)

Coalitions of national, state, and local consumer are identified by AFR if they are working for reform of the banking and financial system.

Class Action

Classism is in everybody and the role money on your life can bridge class concepts. Change relationships among small organizations, large institutions, and culture seek education as the great leveling force. Who is trying to educate you and for what purpose is answered in part, here.

Opportunity Agenda

Communications, research, and advocacy dedicated to expand opportunity where it has failed America and Americans.

Economic Research People

Staying in the “now” of the Tweet Timeline is an efficient way not to be distracted and to recommend breezing through the following outfits to see if you are reminded by many of them are beginning to understand that the earth cannot “know” of its desolation but if it did, it would smell regeneration in the moist breath of our decay.

Economic Policy Institute (EPI)          

Economic policy dialogue on money issues associated with poverty, unemployment, inflation, competitiveness, and problems

Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN)

A collaboration of national, state, and regional groups that conduct economic research, develop and advocate for policy, mobilize public opinion, and win state policy victories.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)

Conducts research and analysis on proposed budget and tax policies, with an emphasis on those affecting low- and moderate-income people.

National Priorities Project (NPP)

Offers citizen and community groups tools and resources to shape federal budget and policy priorities which promote social and economic justice, particularly educating the public on the impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level.

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

Conducts professional research and public education to promote democratic debate on important economic and social issues that affect people’s lives, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.

Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA)

Macroeconomics applied to the analysis of policies that do or do not maintain stable, sustainable, structurally-balanced full-employment growth, leading to a more equitable distribution of income and wealth. Aimed at professionals seeking to demystify requirements for a sound economic policy. Does not Tweet

Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS)

A national policy center and field laboratory for high-road capitalism — a competitive market economy of shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and capable democratic government.

Community Wealth

Practitioners, policymakers, academics, and the media need solid information. This group supports the expansion of community wealth-building institutions with a vast list of organizations on this subject.

Financial Policy Forum / Derivatives Study Center

Created out of the concern that financial markets disruptions and inefficiencies have become a barrier to improvements in living standards in the U.S. and around the world. No Tweets – aimed at professionals, will persuade themselves and few others.

Center for Full Employment and Price Stability (CFEPS)

The University of Missouri-Kansas City aimed at the distribution of papers on employment and cost of living.     No Tweets

Institute on Assets and Social Policy

Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University aimed at reducing inequality to improve social and economic well-being.

The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

A research organization devoted to public policy but steeped in the knowledge of nowhere economic in the United States. No Tweets

Social Policy People

The Urban Institute

Social policy research and some advocacy for vulnerable populations.

National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)

Columbia University’s work on preventing child poverty in the United States and that improve the lives of low-income children and families in the United States. A focus on its own backyard could help.

Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)

A social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve the well-being of low-income people.

Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC)

Generates, gathers, and disseminates information regarding the relationship between race and poverty, and promotes the development and implementation of policies and practices that alleviate conditions caused by the interaction of race and poverty.

Accountability People

The “whistleblower folks” are having a great of set tweets. Nevertheless, a very long list of “accountability” concerns brings many watchdog style organizations on to the web to explain the dark nature of self-interest at all levels of human interaction. Scan their concerns of the moment. Summarize and report the date. Below you will find Common Cause, CREW. CRP, Sunlight, POGO, the Center for Effective Government, National Security Archive, GAP, National Whistleblowers, the NSWBC, FCG, ACS, and the CPR and that is just a few.

Common Cause

Accountability encourages participation in democratic institutions and helps to reduce the corruption of government by special interests.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Discovers and then sues government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests. Crew, crew is cool cool.

Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) — OpenSecrets.org

Tracks money in politics and its effect on elections and public policy. They like to say if money talks, they translate.

Sunlight Foundation

Uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent, accountable, and more meaningfully accessible to citizens.

Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

Waste, fraud, and abuse in federal agencies tends to expose the role of special interest money in politics. GO POGO!

Center for Effective Government

The Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch) ceased operations as of March 2016. The majority of work and materials has been passed on to the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). This site is maintained as an archive of materials produced. As compensaton, for this loss scan Alex for a few sunny minutes.

National Security Archive

An NGO research institute of The George Washington University in D.C. They collects declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It ain’t easy, but they do it!

Government Accountability Project (GAP)
Fund for Constitutional Government (FCG)

Government and corporate accountability is built on free speech, the courage of the whistle, and the encouragement of citizen activists.

Whistleblowing has been with us a long time. (Source)

National Whistleblowers Center

Disclosures of violations of law by government or industry can improve the law and protect the environment, working people and all life. The Center will protect those who risk their careers to expose wrongdoing.

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS)

Lawyers, students of law students, a few judges, policymakers, take the founding values of human dignity, rights, liberty, equality, and access as the core of American law.

Center for Progressive Reform (CPR)

University legal, economic, and scientific academics get interdisciplinary or transdiciplinary on issues. I can’t decide which, but health, and environment policy is top on their list. Their scrutiny of critiques regarding the regulatory regime of government is quite thorough.

Tax Accountability People

Unlike many countries, the United States is a miracle of taxpayers that actually pay taxes. It is also a culture that tends to let the most important things go unsaid. In this case, when Warren Buffett tells the world he paid a percentage less in taxes than his executive secretary, one of those most important things got said, out loud and it was news. That level of honesty drove the wealth world crazy, and the rest of us saddened by the idea that there is only one good billionaire. A list of the will be found here for review. Following are three progressive agents on the creation of public revenue, aka tax.

Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ)
Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP)

Ordinary people need a voice on tax laws and defense against special interests working for corporations and the wealthy.

Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT)

An alliance of state, national, and some international organizations examining tax systems and policies combating corrupt financial practices.

Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS)

A budget watchdog fighting the politicians from both parties who continue to fund pork-barrel projects, hand out unfair subsidies and tax breaks and make backroom deals with lobbyists.

Business Integrity People

“Globalization requires documenting the impact of the world’s transnational giants through social activism. Self-regulation will work if it supports specific democratic controls and power in the hands of local communities affected by these business networks. A solid principle of business management finds those closest to a source of an impact should have decision-making powers as it affects human rights, labor rights, and environmental justice.”

Rex L. Curry


As an organization development project of the Social Good Fund, it emerged and evolved from a 1997 book, The Corporate Planet: Ecology and Politics in the Age of Globalization, written by CorpWatch’s founder Joshua Karliner, and published by Sierra Club. Corporate accountability is tested by malfeasance in the world. Their investigations are about the economic impact on environmental, political, and human rights.

Alliance for Democracy (AfD)

Corporate “company town” style domination of a local market is antithetical to the creation and support of democratic institutions and equitable economies. Alliance’s are forming to keep the United States from becoming one of those “towns.”

Corporate Accountability International (CAI)

Holding corporations publicly accountable requires a megaphone and the subpoena powers of governments interested in the truth. Large transnational corporations create the most dangerous actions around the world. They have the power to devastate democracy, trampling human rights, and destroy ecosystems and must be resisted.

Move to Amend

Can money be a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment? To answer this question, ask how it will be possible to regulate money in political campaigns. Is your $5 the same as another’s $500,000 when it is spent to persuade me to know or think about an issue?

Reclaim Democracy!

Works to restore democratic authority over corporations, reviving grassroots democracy, revoke and reform corporate powers to control government and civil society.

Center for Popular Democracy (CPD)

The Center for Popular Democracy merged with the Leadership Center for the Common Good on January 1, 2014. It includes a sister 501c4 organizations, Action for the Common Good to create progress not just wait for it to occur. 


The Third Wave Fund helped to establish the closed Data Center project but the idea of capacity building for local organizing groups focused on young people as activists remain. Who else better represents ‘meaning’ in every sense worthy of attention. The idea is good for replication at the local level. Data is in books, but the meaning of it is in people where you live. If you hope to build a local center with tools for the use of information by ordinary people, start here.

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Need some legal services to eliminate undue rights of corporations to damage the earth? Over 200 municipalities across the U.S. have enacted this group’s Community Rights laws which ban practices – including fracking, factory farming, sewage sludging of farmland, and water privatization. They fight all those who would violate the rights of people, communities, and nature.

The idea of advancing corporate responsibility appears to many as the ultimate oxymoron. However, helping people who enjoy high levels of cognitive dissonance to identify the lack of endogenous chemicals that enable neurotransmission on triple bottom line issues can be joyful. The following six groups have their fun in this way.

Green America

The economic power and strength of consumers, investors, businesses in the United States is vast. It can establish an environmentally sustainable society and has a lot of ideas about how to get there.

Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment

Guidance for socially responsible investing is sought out be huge funds held by groups such as TIAA/CREF in portfolios under the headings of Environmentally and Socially Responsible. If the investment community is not on board we are truly doomed, and not in a good way.

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

Faith-based institutional investors as stockholders can vote for socially environmentally responsible business practices. Advancing the outlook of these organizations is a step in the right direction.

As You Sow

Shareholders can leverage strategies to improve corporate behavior. Watch how they do it and still do the reaping part.

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

Business needs help to find ways to demonstrate respect for ethical values, by making choices through business policies, practices, and processes that advance the welfare and health of a community as well as it builds a business.

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

A network of local business networks composed of independently operated businesses share ways they build local economies that know how to share prosperity through local business ownership and environmental stewardship.


Local Political People

Each of the following will lead to many others at your local level of political networking. 

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC)

Build grassroots ballot initiative campaigns and strengthen progressive policies and respond to the right-wing’s damage.

State Innovation Exchange (SIX)

A national resource and strategy center that supports 1,500 state legislators in advancing and defending progressive policies across the country.

Progress Now

Works with state partners to promote progressive ideas and causes through earned media strategies and cutting-edge new media.


Build a political voice in a system dominated by big money and big media.


Local groups in every Congressional District seeking progressive change.

CREDO Action / Working Assets

Activists supported with the revenue of the mobile phone company CREDO Mobile and long-distance phone company.

Daily Kos

An activist hub working for electoral and policy change.

Our Revolution

Built upon the success of Bernie Sanders; presidential 2016 campaign, it organizes grassroots action to elect progressive candidates to political office, from school boards to congressional seats.

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

A Quaker lobby that works with people from many different races, religions, and cultures to advocate social and economic justice, peace, and good government.

Progressive Congress

Works with progressive members of Congress.

 Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC)

Like bold progressive candidates, helps with campaigns, raises money for them, and gives volunteers the opportunity to help these campaigns succeed.

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)

Grassroots activists who network with other activists to guide Congress toward progressie legislation built on state and local level success.

Public Leadership Institute
Progressive Majority Action Fund

Hosts the largest network of progressive lawmakers at the state and local level, the Progressive Leaders Network.

Democracy for America (DFA)

A political action committee inspired by the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, and now dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government — from school board to the presidency.

21st Century Democrats

Supports progressive and candidates with stuff they need to win.

Young Democrats of America (YDA)

Mobilizes young people under the age of 36 to participate in the electoral process, influences the ideals of the Democratic Party, and develops the skills of the youth generation to serve as leaders at the local and national level.

Americans For Democratic Action (ADA)

America’s oldest independent liberal lobbying organization, dedicated to individual liberty and building economic and social justice at home and abroad.

National Committee for an Effective Congress (NCEC)

A political action committee (PAC) supporting progressive candidates who fight for freedom of choice, separation of church and state, gun control, equal rights, and environmental protection.

Emerge America

Recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network for Democratic women running for political office.

EMILY’s List

Supports pro-choice Democratic women candidates for federal, state, and local offices.

National Stonewall Democrats

The voice of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) Americans in the Democratic Party. New York City’s feed is strong, but you will find the progressive movment strongly represented in cities across America. Proof of political diversity is found in the Log Cabin Republican wing of the LGBTQ universe.

Consumer Protection People

“The idea of maximizing the well-being of people by minimizing consumption is an unimaginable concept. First, the idea that it must be done to end the human destruction of natural systems requires knowing the earth as well as ourselves when we barely know one another. Second, a global economic regime built on trade in the non-material is possible, but only if life’s essentials ever becomes known. In the meantime, all we can do is follow the watchdogs who are eager to protect us from what we need or want. Others may choose to work with Marie Kondo, however my favorite is Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) at the bottom of this grouping.”

Rex L. Curry

Consumers Union (CU)

Testing products and services, personal finance, health and nutrition, and respond to consumer concerns.

Consumer Federation of America (CFA)

Nonprofit organizations network disseminating information about the consumer movement toward greater transparency.

Public Citizen

The consumer rights marketplace is growing strong. Use it to help local concerns health care, transportation safety, clean energy, environmental protection, fair trade, campaign finance reform, and corporate and government accountability through advocacy, litigation, research, and public education. The list is long in the tooth, but so are they…

U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG)

Local and state-based, citizen-based research on safe consumption practices use investigative research tools and grassroots organizing to implement and support litigation in the public interest.

Food & Water Watch

Works to ensure clean water and safe food sustainably produced by empowering people to take action to challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources.

Center for Auto Safety (CAS)

Consumers Union (Ralph Nader) began in 1970 to sustain a voice for auto safety across the country. Got a lemon — see CAS.

Center for Responsible Lending

Dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate predatory lending and other abusive financial practices.

Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

Knowledge resources grounded by the idea of a global learning ecology marks the beginning efforts to base government policy and decision making on science as equally as it does law. To get a sense of this, have a look at their video channel on YouTube. There are hundreds short videos, all of which should spark thinking about the relationship between law and science. The entire group videos is available in the link below. Here is a sample.


Housing Rights People

“The exhibit of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century social housing reveals scant interest other than producing shelter for vulnerable populations, the working classes, and the lower levels of the middle-class people of color. Speculative builders and public housing authorities provided much of the design, architecture, and construction; however, the design process was seen as a luxury disruptive of the bottom line.”

“It wasn’t until the close of the last few decades of 20th c. for this conservative view to be challenged. The double and triple bottom line efforts of housing advocates attacked their minimally progressive precursors for the decay of older urban centers. The strategy was a simple one:  capture vacant and abandoned buildings. In NYC, these vital stocks were in big trouble. Some neighborhoods and public housing became traps. Communities that fell into a quagmire of disinvestment and unemployment were abandoned and left to die. Economists argued that value tends not to occur without a rising standard of living to produce sufficient demand. Racism would not allow that to occur. The fight for housing preservation in old urban areas. While poor, people recognized a weakened but excellent pre-WWII housing stock was available. Once recognized, it proved to be a job producer and a community development gold mine. Bringing design quality to every aspect of housing preservation gave a threatened community place a first vital step in sustaining the promise of the city. With that in mind, you will find nine national watch groups. Scan it for this one elusive skill. If you discover something like an understanding of design, amongst these advocates I want to see it.”

Rex L. Curry

Coalition on Human Needs (CHN)

Civil rights, religion, labor protects low-income and other vulnerable populations — children, women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Is there a design that can prevent human suffering?


This national research and action institute of collaborators tends to be all over the place, but watch how they implement local, state initiatives that alter federal policies and work to get a uniform flow of economic and social equity in the pocket of ordinary people. There is a design here.

National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

Ending the affordable housing crisis vs. watching a crisis unfold before our eyes rings the bell that tolls for thee. In this sense very problem is a housing problem.

National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH)

Committed to a single goal: end homelessness. The NCH is always getting ready because it is like the tide and comes in waves.

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)

Credit and banking services for lower-income communities. Is “risk” a design problem?

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Can law improve the economic security of low-income families? Can a justice system for all people beginning with the most vulnerable and work its way to everyone?

National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ)

Engages in legal representation and policy advocacy around the U.S. to improve the administration of cash assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, and childcare. Design practices are excellent managers of multiple variables.

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP)

Works to prevent and end homelessness by serving as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to end homelessness. What is the design for decriminalizing poverty?

All of the above organization, not only fight for human dignity, they must also struggle to survive, keep staff, pay rent and remain focused. When was the last time they all had a meeting, organized, designed and implemented an agenda?

Economic Justice People

The wealth of the United States is known, and its median household income is the sixth highest in the world. The people on this list know that the opposite of that wealth is not poverty. It is an injustice. The reasons for this are many. They can be explained in the fine detail of economics, markets, globalization, and climate change. Protecting the vulnerable from those who would push them aside do so with affordable housing, a fair justice system, health, and education. Following corporate watchdogs, taxation analysts, consumer protectors, and advocacy training in civic engagement are worth following. Under the heading of “justice,” integration with the other groups is strongest.

Jobs with Justice (JwJ)

Coalitions (labor, community, religious, and other organizations fight for a workers’ right to organize.

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ)

Use religious values to educate, organize, and mobilize workers. Campaign for living wages, health benefits, and safe conditions. Add the voice of low-wage workers in a powerful way.

Working America

The AFL-CIO fights for good jobs, health care, secure retirements, and an interesting demand for “real homeland” security.

National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)

Laborer organizing groups, low-wage work, and immigrant rights effort. Develop better models for contingent/temporary workers.

 Coalition on Human Needs (CHN)

An alliance of national civil rights, religious, labor, and professional organizations working together to promote public policies which address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable populations — children, women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.


A national research and action institute that works collaboratively to develop and implement local, state, and federal policies to achieve economic and social equity and ensure that everyone — including those from low-income communities of color — can contribute to and benefit from economic growth and prosperity.

National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

Works to end America’s affordable housing crisis.

National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH)

A national network of currently and formerly homeless persons, activists and advocates, community and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single goal: to end homelessness.

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)

Seeks to increase fair and equal access to credit and banking services for lower-income and minority communities.

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

A public interest law and policy organization which promotes policies to improve the economic security of low-income families and to secure access to our civil justice system for all low-income persons.

National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ)

Engages in legal representation and policy advocacy around the U.S. to improve the administration of cash assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, and childcare.

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

Works to prevent and end homelessness by serving as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to end homelessness.


“Everything happens all at once, so thank your stars that the people who try to watch everything come in groups. You will find twelve of them below representing a diversity of views and experience in American political thought. I have organized them in the headings below.

The rate of divergence is disturbing, but the gem of a tightly edited tweet might make a difference in American political thought for the first time.  Do a monthly summary of just one group.  Weave their tweets into your democracy fabric and see if any treads of principle emerge.”

Rex L. Curry

Watchdog People

The watchdog people live lives of great trepidation, review the most recent concerns, and summarize our union’s state. A couple “whistles” here.

Housing Rights People

People who know the foundation of a good society is housing in communities capable of nurturing everyone’s young.

Protect the Vote People

The right to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State. It is the law, and our political leaders in many states are breaking it.

Social Policy People

The unknown principle of action adopted by governments and corporations is to avoid scrutiny of all kinds.

Business Integrity People

The number of businesses that will steal or cheat is growing. The integrity people are out there to find them.

Think Tank People

A reasonable combination of the policymakers that appear to be conservative or progressive.

Accountability People

There seems to be no end to the trouble people get into when the developers of all things material ignore the basics. They hide their mistakes, the “whistleblower folks” help to dig them out.

Consumer Protection People

Imagine if a thing you bought wasn’t safe. How do you know? Right, we need people who pay attention to this stuff.

Tax Accountability People

The tax account people well document socialism for the rich. Be warned, and these tweets can alter your sense of fairness in the way capital is treated.

Local Political People

Finding local political organizations often requires a look at some national network people building local networks.

Economic Justice People

People who make right past wrongs give us a good definition of justice. The opposite of wealth is not poverty, it is an injustice.

Random Tweet O-Ramas

Close to the ground testers for what works in your world. Rough list and growing.

Women’s Liberation People

Some of the most effective advocates for equality in the nation.

These moderately overlapping institutions are summarized for what they think is important in a monthly summary posted at the end of 2019.

This project began with the START list. Have a look, if you are hoping to find other organizations.

Three Out of Five

Let Creation be Creation

“Draw a line around the urban world and offer unlimited growth. Offer a true wilderness on the outside of that line. That is the place from which we all came. Getting those two things done, or well underway is all that is needed to solve all our problems. Build good cities and let the rest of creation be creation. One thing for sure is the new frontier is inward. We have very little time to produce a tactical network of collaborators for implementation by end of 2030. Running into the woods or the wilderness will not work.”

Rex L. Curry

The 13th and the 19th Amendment

In 2016 two parts of the American body of values became serious problems. Originally defined by Jefferson they were exposed more sharply by Seymour Lipset’s five pillars. Not many people can rattle them off, but people will recognize them as an American’s belief in liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire capitalism. The first three are firm, repeatable values experienced and repeated in many ways. The last two remain a challenge regarding the purpose of each in a Democracy.

Watch Here

You might say this is all John Locke’s problem. He’s the one John Dunn, the political theorist described as forming the ideology of governance found in the secular principles of “the founding” of the U.S. Constitution. Briefly, these are an unprecedented freedom of the individual, unlimited opportunity to acquire material goods, and strong limitations on the power of government to inspect or rule over individual initiative.

Getting to an effective collaboration will require an understanding of populism and laissez-faire capitalism. On one side of the populism coin, we can look at how the Thirteenth Amendment allowed the continued imprisonment of African-Americans for the crime of being black. The ability to sustain the freedom for an effective resistance to oppression was not produced, it was threatened. The 13th Amendment is over 150 years into its clumsy implementation. It is a failure only partially admitted to by Congress as recently as 2019.

The second concern in building an effective collaboration is to recognize 2020 Centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment as it marks the failure to sustain the power of the vote. This is the realm of what people believe can be correct or incorrect, but always thought of as correct even when challenged. This true of what is seen and heard or read. It is this characteristic of human perception that requires measures of balance from leaders to prevent the use of a strongly held belief as a means for demonizing others.

An ordinary person like myself has an understanding of populism as a force capable of meeting my needs. I also know if it is to be effective, it requires some kind of direct pressure, or it spins out of control. That balance is not provided by American laissez-faire capitalism. The flow money builds heavily on self-interests and not ideas as the true actors.

The need to recognize the actors and forces that theoretically lead to economic equilibrium are defined, in part, by the flag that reads “don’t tread on me.” The sentiment for retribution speaks loudly to the first three values (liberty, egalitarianism, and individualism), but if they are challenged, government and regulation is either the solution or the problem. This is when it is important to know your placement on the populist data spectrum. A sense of perspective of who, what and how you got where you there is the prerequisite value needed to proceed toward the collaboration that will stop us from running for the woods and beating our drums, we need to be better than that.

The American values spectrum needs some fixing. Here is how I think a way forward from local to global is possible. I think of it as the time I made some new friends on a golf course in Brooklyn. All of us were struggling on a long par 5 with missed shots, amidst mild cursing when I said, “Well guys at least, I understand white privilege.” The response from the two African-Americans who befriended was an enduring trust in my self-awareness and honesty, two values that power the game.

Sander’s Agenda

America is an urban nation and while Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president is a shock to the Democratic establishment’s old suburban guard, they might be able to absorb his policies. The reasons for this are also political. He is authentic, likable, and persuasive. He is also trustworthy, 223,000 donors sent him $5.9 million from within the first 24 hours of his 2020 presidential campaign.

Mayor Bernie Sanders made Burlington America’s first city pilot community-trust housing; today, the trust manages 2,800 permanently price-controlled homes. As mayor, he recognized this city’s capacity for a quality urban debate on social justice, education, and health care issues.  Cities have universities, hospitals, and a network of nurturing activist organizations capable of building progressive municipal policies. Sanders is not a radical, and he has basic common sense about how Americans can thrive by engaging urban resources through collective access.

The urban answer is well known and ever since the design of the ramparts of a feudal wall, to Henri Lefebvre’s “Right to the City” observations in 1968, to the Rockefeller Foundation’s “Century of the City – no time to lose” in 2008 (Neil Pierce and Curtis Johnson). The facts are in; they are solid and improve monthly. What is not available is a political pathway and the quality of persuasion needed to implement well known understandable solutions. Yet, all we have now is a need to be hopeful in the way David Harvey describes.

“The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.”

David Harvey (Sept.–Oct. 2008) “The right to the city”. New Left Review.II (53): 23–40.

Having “no time to lose” has become the first communication problem to solve, and it is torturous. As framed by conservatives, American national politics appear to fear government “takings” and seem to promote anger with the ineptitude of government giving to the undeserving. Most of it is aimed at the so-called American heartland, while the majority of the American population in metropolitan areas is accessible only through a single means of transportation. Their dense urban centers on the other hand offer a broad base of cultural and educational institutions and real experience with diversity. The urban center is consistently renewable and in that, the freedom to exercise the power.

Arguments about urban resources are electoral college problems of disproportion. This aside, will Sander’s have a 2020 urban agenda? Not exactly, but his agenda benefits working poor households, puts watchdogs on bankers and brokers, supports public universities, hospitals, and doctors in parts of the nation that offer the lowest per capita energy use. These are all top value factors that help cities and metropolitan regions.

Medicare for All is material good because working to encourage the health of people is better than a sick society. Federal minimum wage at $15 (or a living income) also helps to assure healthy communities, the proposal to increase the tax on billionaires to 77% is about pushing for more income equality and his focus on Wall Street abuses such as stock repurchases under the tax act passed in 1/2018 is a fight against increased inequality. 


Advancing free public college tuition for students in households earning less than $125K is another step in producing an opportunity for equality.  His actions on climate change are similar or equal to the Green New Deal proposals. An example is to increase funding for urban transport systems by 250%. Encouraging alternatives to personal vehicle transit is a step toward a more stable market for gas and oil to heat buildings and electric power to cool them.