There is a need for a political review channel covering Congressional Districts 7, 8 and 9 that is led by Nadia, Hakeem and Yvette. Stronger together.
These three districts have about 2.1 million people. A few hours a month could fund their campaigns with a 20 share of that audience. The combination of experience and personal styles would be interesting. Our representatives have YouTube tidbits worthy of a listen if you take a seasoned “What are they saying?” attitude. The time for some solid local reporting on the workings of Congress by our Congressional Representatives.
Watch and Listen to Achieve Confirmation Bias.
The major networks C-Span, MSNBC ABC, CBS, CNN, etc. broadcast to the nation. Other online sources range from subscription-based, expensive and well-staffed to a bit odd, smart, hopeful and free.
Media on “politics, people and issues’ has suddenly become vital within the realm of “confirmation bias”. Look it up, the Wiki is a good place to start. Please weigh-in on the following political outlets and make your thoughts known regarding a “none of what you read/half of what you see” approach for getting to good questions. Also note, the bias here is to the left, and it is proving difficult to find a center/right examples.
A group of reporters are needed to see if what information on issues can be identified that affects CD9 directly. Once done it will be possible to organize and develop a community-based media observation plan focused on the NY Delegation starting with CD9. Here is a sample.
Viewers and supporters of The PBS News Hour will recognize Amy Walter’s commentary and analysis and her role as the anchor on Washington Week. The Cook Political Report includes a subscription that provides good detail on local congressional issues for $350.00 and only $1,400 for five subscribers. Something to keep in mind as the New York Delegation: Indivisible builds a base.
A news aggregator and blog with both localized and international editions founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, Jonah Peretti, and Andrew Breitbart. Despite the last name, the information is a progressive accumulation, reflecting the overall tenor of reporting on justice and fairness issues. The wiki biography links are a good place to start.
The National Journal says it equips government and business leaders with information, insight, and connections they need. Most DC-based organizations have higher followings and engagement rates on Facebook than on Twitter. However, Facebook remains more of an entertainment platform than a news platform. #DCInfoAge
MoJo is a politically progressive American magazine that does independent and investigative reporting on politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. Clara Jeffery serves as editor. Monika Bauerlein has been CEO since 2015
A grassroots Political Action Committee (PAC) with a single mission: Get Democrats to the polls. PTOP design, test, and execute specialized voter turnout programs targeting sporadic Democratic voters in the competitive congressional districts.
The Humanist Report is a retake of a week’s news. It circulates socio-political and religious news stories with what sounds like a politically progressive commentary.
John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei left The Washington Post to become Politico‘s editor in chief and executive editor. Politico yields a view of politics and policy in power centers. It works on nonpartisan journalism, although difficult with the rise of a grown authoritarian global citizenry.
Moyers is well-known. He is one whose life as a journalist is to make sure we understand the principles of democracy and see the erosions of liberty. This site has 1,000 archived programs.
Brookings is one of the original “think tanks. “ Its review of issues has been tagged “liberal” by the American Enterprise Institute largely because of its positions on urban policy. The United States has become a metro nation. For this reason, they advocate for an urban policy agenda focused more on “metro-regions” than “States.”
Two rules embedded in the culture of politics as sport say people get nothing without a “win,” and second people must protect themselves and others from what they want. The inherent contradictions of these two rules in the context of this summary comes from tweets by the Social Policy People (SPP), the Tax Accountability People (TAP) and the Fact Checking People (FCP).
The Sport of Social Policy Politics
The strategic nature of sport includes “the fake,” or “jukes,” and other team behaviors that overwhelm or confuse opponents. The remaining components of leadership needed to achieve a political end require a series of projects, guided by priorities and measured by the policy. Each project (or play) requires a full understanding of the resource implications of each effort and an evaluation scheme useful for producing adjustments, new strategies, projects, priorities, and policies.
June began with the Urban Institute’s (UI) promotion of the Fiscal Summit. One of the preliminary papers was on a fiscal policy entitled what if “Congress does nothing” (here) that describes the exponential growth in the debt neatly packaged for a takeover by the “other party.” At the end of June, UI Tweets took a look at the cities that make homelessness a crime and the increase in the demand for affordable housing. The Urban Institute’s remaining concerns in June were many, such as the difficulty of lowering the cost of higher education.
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) focuses on policies that hurt the most vulnerable. This month’s argument looks at changes in the Official Poverty Measure proposed U.S. Office of Management and Budget that would increase the number of children and families in poverty enact a new poverty calculation that would underestimate the number of children living in poverty. They have a laser on the needs of the nation’s children. So why is it such a difficult argument to win?
The Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) focused on how the tax policies (2017) are not benefiting distressed neighborhoods as promoted using the tools offered in the Opportunity Zone program. Finally, June closed with the launch of a video (here) on a program in Detroit known as “The Promise Path from the What Works Media Project.
The Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) provides excellent summaries of research on structural inequality. It gives means for disrupting systems that produce disadvantages for low-income people of color. Central to this point is their focus on solving the concentration of poverty problem with instruments such as housing choice vouchers. The NYC-based Furman Center’s research on combining mobility with housing opportunities (2016) recognizes how making multiple choices within a whole community is a far more enriching set of means to escape disadvantage. June’s tweets point to a robust set of American blind spots for which answers are held easily with political will.
To get to the political will, the tweets of the Tax Accountability People may have the insight required to examine the “all for one and one for all” question that confronts America and the fact that the country’s public affairs no longer appear public. For this reason, the Citizens for Tax Justice and theInstitute on Taxation and Economic Policy do not support “free file programs” as it stands to entrench a corrupt system further. A second tweet points to an example. The manipulation of the tax code by just one company produced a $4.3 Billion tax “dodge.” They also join in the criticism of Opportunity Zones as corporate welfare without the means to prove even a hint of benefits for working people.
The solution to the offshore economy problem is “beneficial ownership” legislation by those who recognize the snake has started to eat its tail using the fangs of anonymous shell companies with poisons affecting national security by promoting tax evasion and evading compliance. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) defines the problem (here). It presents the details via an Atlantic Council in an excellent (first hour) webcast on how the offshore corrupts the onshore (here). In addition, the link with the Offshore Economy is available (here). Added discussion on the subject is (here) among all Think Tank People (here).
The Taxpayers for Common Sense like to point to the ongoing absurdities as appropriations go final. Examples are summer increase in ethanol fuel mixes, disaster aid drama, and ideas like only farmers who actually farm should get ag bucks, and a long string of gives in taking resources (gold, silver, copper) from federal land royalty-free. An observation attributed to Winston Churchill is popular among American politicians that we as a government will do the right thing, but only after examining all possible alternatives.
Journalism’s Heart Needs a Blue Check-mark
Throughout its history, the heart of journalism has been to double-check the facts. Therefore, the new services of the information age offer a detection system for the “fake facts.” Journalists and the ordinarily curious now have over one hundred outlets worldwide exposing misstatements, inaccuracies, and lies. It may only be a matter of time before one of them is compromised. Still, these entities are screwing it up. Here is how.
The cash flow is built on ad dollars, demanding our attention drawn to base instincts. It is what I and others call a path to the end of history. But, there is another way, it leads directly to leaders, and we need them to stop lying by ignoring those they lead yet pretending not to do so.
Aside from getting overextended at Snopes, the acquisition of the “On The Issues” website will yield the instrumental analysis that agents from afar can bring to local affairs. Until the end of Snopes’ legal troubles, ads will be oppressive if you can send them a couple of bucks. In contrast, Ballotpedia for candidate data and Open Secrets on the money trail yield ordinary decision-making help. An example is how corporate #pride support runs counter to the PACs they fund. Moreover, Ballotpedia’s API is a vast storehouse of political information. Organizations of voters are free to explore its usefulness (here) and decide if a purchase of API keys adds insight.
The observation of media bias is the niche set by Fact Check, focusing on misleading and false claims. The best feature is the left side panel. An example is a viral Facebook post claiming Congress gave itself exorbitant pay raises while cutting Social Security. The 2018 Players Guide reviews sources of TV ad cash, annotates transcripts of statements made by POTUS45, and searches Facebook to debunk false stories, among several other opportunities to get to specifics.
PolitiFact is famous for the “Pants on Fire” truth-o-meter, and Politifact NY pulls their banner to focus on the gaffs of local leaders such as the mayor and its senators to provide items of local interest. It is essential to check both, one of the more interesting is how what looked like an AOC screengrab was, in fact, a parody account AOC Press Release (parody). Her real account has a “blue checkmark” that Twitter uses to indicate account authenticity.
Truth or Fiction also attempts to be
instructive of the new media world. One element is to be wary of “text against
a colorful background” without citation can spread toward viral. Examples are
SCOTUS rulings, the killing of Christians by Muslims, or that HR1 provides for
“To remain an active, political actor with a moral compass and a backbone for change believe me when I say pick true leaders by becoming one yourself. Do it the best way you know-how and be intelligent about leading and following. We do live in exciting times, and be prepared to be so, knowing it to be the oath of 2016 to 2020.”
Rex L. Curry
That is June
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 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 June, everyone should, and then July (here) for a look at the one thing of great importance – housing (here)
During the five months of 2019, (March, April, May, June, and July) I examined a selection of Tweets by organizations working under general headings took a “pulse” in the Tweet-O-Rama.
May 2019 combines messages from the “Fair Economy” and “Protect the Vote” people because the values of a democracy define its destiny. The lack of a useful disclosure regime regarding money in politics is not damaging to American values. It weakens the ability to confirm them.
Defrauding Donors and Honest Services Fraud
A Campaign Legal Center and Axios investigation (here) can expand the public’s understanding of corporations and lobbyists seeking benefits from the public purse. In New York State and City, that purse involves billions of dollars in capital and operating funds that are quietly demanded by the private sector lobby to increase corporate profits and reduce risk.
The Take newsletter from Represent US – NYC examines political leadership and agency corruption. The need for it is due in part to a 2010 Supreme Court case that allows corporations to spend unlimited money on political ads and the lobbyists to create them. These cases and others also narrowed the definition of corruption. For example, granting access to elected officials for wealthy donors is no longer considered corrupt as an example.
Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is a long-time advocate for the separation of state and corporations. In her new book, Political Brands, she examines the case law and decisions that found unconstitutional campaign financing limits (Citizens United and McCutcheon). In an article for the Brennan Center for Justice (here), she argues the court’s “re-branding” of corruption doesn’t make it smell any better. She points to David Bossie, who appears to be defrauding donors via his work in leading the Presidential Coalition, Citizens United and the Citizen’s United Foundation, and Catherine Pugh (ex-Mayor of Baltimore), accused of honest services fraud. Spelliscy points out. These cases make it more difficult for federal prosecutors to bring charges. Even the pay-to-play conviction ex-Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich allowed him to be resentenced.
The SEC regulates money in politics. This is an excellent paper on why it is in their jurisdiction. (here). As of January 2010 (Citizens United), the potential for every publicly traded company has been to influence governments in a new and powerful way. Traditional registered lobbying now combines with campaign expenditures as well, and that is why SEC interventions are used to reveal the campaign activities of public companies.
Votes are Values
The Fair Economic People look at the history of economic oppression and attempt to moderate the desire for power to become the murder of the human spirit and body. The United for a Fair Economy people examined May Day at the Lowell Historical Park. The free flow of ideas that lead to the effective mobilization of working people began at the turn of the 20th Century. Mayday’s term was popularized in 1948 because it sounds like the French word “m’aider“ – help me.
Financial Reform were digging into bank regulation “under the Trump
Administration,” with criticisms of CFPB appointments, and betrayal of
financially vulnerable Americans in the gutting of statutes
regarding the practices of “payday loan” businesses. The appearance of a “pay
to play” relationship with the Trump campaign and former Congressmember Mick
Mulvaney currently serving as Chief of Staff is in their critique.
Perhaps a simple juxtaposition of tweets, but the advocacy
group Class Action tackles classism
represented by predatory lending practices. This outfit focuses on the
destruction of classism using unique educational approaches. Some of them are
in an 18 minute $7 film (@ClassismExposed) by Zoe Greenberg. Timely
emphasis on services to balance the field for first-generation college students
is significant to the use of their tweet power.
The Opportunity Agenda people are similar thinkers about methods leading to next-generation investments in underserved/represented populations. The agenda is to find opportunities for young people that do not get to college to do so. May 2019 celebrates billionaire Robert F. Smith because he will pay all the student loan debt for all 2019 Morehouse College grads. He is a man who understands the equity gap in America. Several tweets illustrate ways young people can talk about race, racism and share racial justice practices. The agenda is to improve the capacity of dialogue. The rest of their tweets examine a series of threats to the lives of low to modest-income people by exposing significant institutional dysfunctions.
Voting for Financial
In 18 months, the most critical presidential election in the United States history will call upon the voters to decide on leaders. In the year before (2019) in New York City, a low-key off-year election will ask yes/no questions on several charter revision proposals. Among them, Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) practice to make elections final with a decisive winner is built on the general practice of consensus. If there happen to be more than two candidates for a political leadership office, RCV selects leaders a voter can agree with at least somewhat because they ranked them in order of preference. I predict this provision will pass for two central reasons. First, low voter turnout, coupled with most participants motivated to vote because of a vested interest in resolving voting issues in the charter. (state election law).
As the largest city in the state, NYC’s “home rule” power is extensive. However, providing for the right to vote is a function of the State. Therefore, the rules, procedures, practices, and laws governing the right to vote in civic responsibility. For this reason, the PVP is engaged in examinations of the state’s power over cities.
The tweets from the Protect the Vote People (PVP) are all concerned with efforts in several states to pass legislation that appears to reduce voter participation by insisting on various identification practices as a prerequisite to the right to vote. The right to vote is sacrosanct and has a priority over identity, which is sought ex post facto.
The Advancement Project opening May tweet supports the work of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to examine election practices. The idea is to maximize access to the ballot for eligible voters and end efforts to disenfranchise likely voters or increase obstacles to voting. Essential protect the vote people were called to testify. Ms. Leigh Chapman, Director, Voting Rights Program, The Leadership Conf on Civil and Human Rights, Mr. Dale Ho, Director, Voting Rights Project, American Civil Liberties Union, and Ms. Myrna Perez, Deputy Director, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice. Access to testimony (here). The Advancement Project was also very concerned with the legislation in Florida.
America Votes is concerned with all GOP-led states moving to criminalize and add civil penalties to the errors in the voter registration process. On the other hand, a study by the Brennan Center finds states that have adopted automatic voter registration over the past five years increases in voter rolls. America votes are involved with hundreds of organizations in the nation, focusing on April 2019 elections in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
Every Voice wants to change the exclusive interest model to a majority of Americans model. In this context, March was the month when the House votes in favor of HR 1, the For the People Act of 2019. Straight down party lines 234 Democrats YES and 193 Republicans NO. The complete form of the Act is available in a Google Doc (here). So, the Senate will sit and sit, McConnell called it a power grab. But, it was by the American people, and I guess he can’t tolerate that idea. Here is a summary:
Election Day would be a federal holiday. It supports independent, nonpartisan redistricting commissions and adds provisions for election security and a Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions. Campaign spending rules expand the ban on foreign contributions and disclosure rules about organizations spending money during elections. An alternative campaign funding system for individual federal offices will offer to match small donations for qualified candidates. Ethics in all three branches of government adds conflict-of-interest and ethics provisions for federal employees and the White House. It will require candidates for President and Vice President to submit ten years of tax returns.
Project Vote via Michael Slater will close its doors on May 31, 2019. However, one of its resources, called Electionary, will remain useful; it attempts to collect state election laws, practices, and procedures in a format that allows comparisons from one state to another.
America Votes is
a membership organization with affiliates in twenty-two states. The HR 1 and individual state initiatives
begin a transparent redistricting process post-2020 Census.
Every Voice for
May told of its 700,000 petitions in favor of HR-1 and retweets “Stand Up
America” efforts to focus on the dominance of big money in elections and
Rock the Vote put a beautiful video together that connects the importance of the vote and how it connects to the 2020 Census (here). They shared the NY Mag article by Ed Kilgore on turn-out predictions for 2020 as good (here). They scan well for insight into the census and the vote. They focus on new voters, youth-based political action, and innovations in voter participation.
New Voters Project out
of the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) network covers a broad set of
issues of interest to young people.
Earth Day coverage dominated the content of early May 2019. A vote for the Earth is a vote for their
future, and they know that this issue will be the one that brings to them the
political power needed to get necessary changes.
Center focused on the North Carolina absentee ballot fraud that represents
a flaw in their process. Getting a
handle on the citizen SCOTUS question is measurable as a direct attack on the
Latinx vote. In Tennessee, increased voter registration of African American
voters has led to suppression legislation (NY
Movement 20xx Fill
in the Year
Movement picks issues to energize voters May closed with scathing criticism of the Trump Administrations’ southern border immigration practices for a cause: death, family separation, wrongful imprisonment, and inhumanity. York County, PA, has been subject to its Movement Voter Project on immigration issues and candidates’ views.
League of Women
The rock of American suffrage is sustained with tweets from the national and local LWV organizations throughout the nation. The top issues are election security finding, census outreach support, and voter privacy. The LWV Ruch decision expected from the Supreme Court in June is summed up well in the SCOTUS blog (here) on the issue of partisan-gerrymandering.
The vital relationship between the vote and accountability
of the public purse has been attacked by the political forces interested in
sidestepping an accurate count. “There were multiple, systematic efforts to
interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every
American.” Robert Mueller
Very happy with HR1 as a statement of principle and an agenda for the future worth fighting big money in politics.
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has pointed out that loopholes in U.S. election law allow foreign adversaries to interfere legally in our elections and produced the PAID AD Act to close the gaps (here). All of the remaining comments point to the depth of corruption by POTUS45.
An excellent way to find all of the candidates that are not taking PAC funds, such as NY24 candidate Conole and firm support for HR1, is a direct means for “saving the democracy” from the impact of Citizens United.
Fair Vote – The
Center for Voting and Democracy
The Center has compiled a review of six state efforts designed to expand access to the ballot box and protect the right to vote. They also support and monitor the progress of ranked-choice voting in cities and states across the country.
The focus on easing voter registration practices through data management practices comes when the digital vote becomes a way to protect voting and advance it as a routine citizen practice. Another good source for supporting improvements in state-controlled elections is the complexity of cyber-attacks.
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 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 June, everyone should, and then July (here) for a look at the one thing of great importance – housing (here)
“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.
2020Aspen. 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 BrookingsInstitution (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 2119Carnegie 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 loses trust, become the subject of local to global propaganda and bad press in general.
The 2019CATO Institute focuses on ways Medicare can control drug prices without impacting 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 serious 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 of 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 2020Cato tweet that caught my eye was, “Tariffs in a Pandemic are Taxes on Lifesaving 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 complaint 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 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 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’s claim of sovereignty and believe other countries that are not great powers are not sovereign. All kinds of cyber weaponry 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
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 writers 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. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ voice 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 modest income patients 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 how to make the American worker more competitive by researching ways to eliminate 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 CouncilonForeignRelations (CFR) is 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 compare 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 points to an oddly similar border with Mexico as a 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 for 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-American 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, 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, a new digital forest wants to look at you, your tribe, and your 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 leave the old wood alone, revered as the place from which we came.
The Freedom House 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 examining global population issues and ideologically-driven political interference disrupt the professional connection between doctor and patient, lawyer and client. These disruptions reduce these critical relationships’ safety and dignity and adversely affect 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 women’s access to reproductive health services, especially if they are low and moderate-income.
HeartlandInstitute looks to free-market solutions to the social and economic problems in the United States. When free-market solutions meet over 90% of human issues, needs, and concerns, it seems odd that attempts at getting into the 10% where it fails are threatening. Most of the tweets are clear political shots when any entity does not see profit first and all other consequences 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 interested 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 ads.
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. 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. 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 “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. For example, in response to the recent POTUS45 request to make more room for a conservative speech on campus, this quote is 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 financial assistance source ($85B) moving from north to south Read IAD’s report #Remittances2018here. 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 VP 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 to see our lower-income population’s health problems 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 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 entrepreneurs’ negative role as minimal no matter the amount owned or how much or what we consume. The flaw in this argument is obvious. It cannot be proven to be a flaw until it is too late and 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.” The average annual income of $12M to the CEO may be why $36,000 is the ordinary worker’s national average.
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MIPR) work on post-industrial cities sees opportunity in Aaron Renn’s report 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 to fix municipal finances, reform or restructure dysfunctional institutions, and rebuild public services. The MIPR has NYC recovery from a similar abandonment of capital as “the bank is in trouble” solutions 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 is 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,
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has the last word on the economic forces shaping the world’s future. 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 to license them vs. using 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 its “life is complex” approach to science and the art of political change. The New American Weekly (Edition 243) produces their “fellows” residents 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 equality’s meaning and purpose. 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 way cool. In April, they have a thing 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 RandCorporation 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 worldwide 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 the 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 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 the “Rs 10.000-crore FAME-II scheme?” Just in case you are an advocate for less jargon globally, 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) works in social science research on inequality, the working poor, immigration, and the 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 an 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 exciting. It examines challenges to the democratic party and examinations how 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 has established a long list of social service programs’ innovations 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 the 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. Will the answers about courage 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. 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 to summarize 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, 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 Congress’s consent, the President of the United States can threaten many kinds of civilizational catastrophe. The American President’s election 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 this power distribution 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 its proof 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 power source 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 each member’s heart.
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 June, everyone should, and then July (here) for a look at the one thing of great importance – housing (here)
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. As the so-called first draft of history, it can miss many dots. I compiled the Tweet O-Rama idea as one new way to look at everything all at once annually. These groups uniquely highlight our problems, and I believe they respect its sweet demands for brevity. They are not journalists, but they are rebuilding and strengthening their principles on a routine basis.
Conducting a Tweet-O-Rama scan is a task that needs about twelve people if you are interested, contact us (here). Following is a summary of 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 for a 2021/2022 ride into what people think.
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, we will 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 summary 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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“Facts are things known that need to be proven. A word of caution my Dad said, ‘Believe none of what you read and only half of what you see.’ Do that, and you get better questions.
The desire of political “camps” is to communicate messages first and facts second. Media advisers and psychologists find the proof of communication in persuasion leading to action. That is it, nothing else. Millions of votes or cans of beer are the proof needed, and ethical communications standards are not required. The friends of the “fact-checking world” help to give writers perspective and the ability to set personal standards.”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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…
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.
“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 a first vital step in sustaining the city’s promise. With that in mind, you will find nine national watch groups. Scan it for thE elusive skill of persuasion. If you discover something like an understanding of design (in every aspect), I want to see it.” Thanks!
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.
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.
The Center for Popular Democracy works to create equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions.
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?
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.
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.
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
“Everything happens all at once, so thank your stars that the people who try to watch everything come in groups. You will find fifteen of them below, representing a diversity of views and experience in American political thought.
The divergence rate is disturbing, but more scientists’ gem of a tightly edited tweet than politicians can make a difference. The question is when. I recommend conducting a personal monthly summary of just one or two of these groups. Then, weave tweets into your science and democracy fabric to see any treads of principle emerge.”