July 2019

The July 2019 review will focus on the Tweets from housing advocacy groups. Just as these organizations warned of the 2008 Recession, they see another housing crisis forming in America. At its center, the old question of equity stolen from people because of this nation’s heritage of enslavement, cold, racist terrorism and bigotry. If this problem goes undefined and unanswered the nation will enter a long authoritarian period.

The often-told solution is an old retort of hard work, healthy homes, communities and families. The response is correct but blind to the history of privileges extended to white America as it became the United States. For centuries rights and freedoms extended to all people not of color without a moment’s reflection. The crime of bias barred the accumulation of wealth from property to succeeding generations. The quiet, yet insidious reduction and denials of opportunity from education are proven.

Access to work from the ordinary trades to the most highly skilled professions is proven with painful references such as, “they are not ready,” or the best work suited “for them” is agricultural service. These actions still rip the opportunity for equity with intense generational impact on people of color. In the centuries that led to the rise of American hegemony no one, not one person, not W.E.B. DuBois or even Martin Luther King has been able to fully articulate what this loss of equity has meant to the people of color in America. The voice Ta-Nehisi Coates is the most current, (here) yet he remains in the adjudication for reparations wilderness, but he stands on firm ground because the U.S. has participated in reparations four times.

Ending the Wherever Movement

A new housing crisis is in the air for reasons other than systemic racism in America. For some time the euity crisis re-establishes classicism under headings such as “culture wars,” but the results change little, the metaphor is weak. The facts on the structure of every “next disaster” can be different, technology offers opportunities to build a broader coalition on equity with justice that includes race by making right past wrongs, yet moves forward to circumvent and crush long established rules of “divide to conquer.”

The surge of affordable single-family housing in America continues in the hot, wetlands of the south with sporadic drought and the flat dry lands of the southwest with asymmetrical flash floods. The onset of climate change will drown the wetlands, scorch and burn the dry lands and in doing so cause enormous disruptions in every region of the United States. Denying the annual recurrence of this possibility is just plain denial. I would not be suprised if we experience a bout of biblical pestilence. These impacts are called out as “environmental racism” by pointing to the disproportionate number of low-and-moderate-income people losing equity. The damage and despair reveals a broad swath of painful historic bigotry, but now the dangers are thrown at all people.

After WWII, localities have kept their hand on the tail of the revenue bull, blind to the rest of the beast. In the last century, millions of households benefited from federal housing policies with only one location principle – housing wherever you want. In this new century reducing the mortgage interest subsidy on the demand side and weakening a long list of development incentives on the supply side has severely weakened federal leadership in housing preservation and development to continue the “build wherever” policy.

The opportunity to bring national policies back with conditions that mitigate the impact of regional climate change by region makes it possible to re-establish national housing development policies as the leading edge of a new strategy. It will be re-focused by climate protection that builds restoration with resilience. It will create sustainable equity in communities despite storms of enormous ferocity and designed to survive hatred, bigotry, as well as, high water, drought and fire.

Two Centuries Out

In the following summary of Tweets from the Housing Advocacy People (HAP) of July 2019 it may be possible to find threads of principle, and elements of novelty in current policy efforts that will alter the pervasive opinion that the size and purpose of the national government has not lost its way, that it will be possible to forge new policy from environmental protection as a national defense strategy forced by the bright light of survival. If the ocean’s tide is once again destined to flow up and into the Great Appalachian Valley from the ports of Maine to the shores of the South Carolina, over the next few centuries getting ready should be a top priority. Preparation for this kind of “sea change” in all of its meanings is the most important action of this century (the original map is here).

If the fate of the Gulf of Mexico is to be an alga thickened swamp we need ideas to be prepared, if the vast torrents of the Pacific Ocean alters the Gulf Stream and the surface heat of El Niño yields hundreds of tornadoes and hurricanes not being ready is a super bad idea. Whether friendly or with horrible force, from the sky or the sea, heed these words, “the water will come.”

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

Social Policy Politics

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) focus on policies that hurt the most vulnerable. The argument this month 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. Why 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.  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 and 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 public affairs of the country no longer appear public. For this reason, the Citizens for Tax Justiceand 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 $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 Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT) pointed its tweet readers to the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on the problem of #AnonymousCompanies that hinder inquiries into political corruption and a long list of criminal enterprises (read testimony May 2019).

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) and presents the details via an Atlantic Council in an excellent (first hour) webcast on how the offshore corrupts the onshore (here).  The Dealing with the Offshore Economy is available (here) Added discussion on the subject is (here) among all of the 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. The new services of the information age therefore offer a detection system for the “fake facts.” Journalists and the ordinarily curious now have over one-hundred outlets around the world 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. 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 “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, both 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. 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 is the focus 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, it 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 noncitizens voting.

“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 have a look at politics as a sport, and as a practice that is now very different than the role of leadership that it implies. Please enjoy June, every one should and then July (here) for a look at the one thing of great importance – housing (here)

Note “Hacking Corruption: Tech Tools to Fight Graft in the Americas” is also interesting from the Atlantic Council (May 30, 2019, Read the Publication as a PDF)

May 2019

During 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. This cases and others also narrowed the definition of corruption. 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 limits on campaign financing were unconstitutional (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) who is 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 Economy People look at the history of economic oppression and attempt to moderate the desire for power from becoming 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 effective mobilization of working people began at the turn of the 20th Century. The term Mayday was popularized in 1948 because it sounds like the French word “m’aider“ – help me.

Americans for 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 on the lives of low to modest income people by exposing significant institutional dysfunctions.

Voting for Financial Security

In 18 months, the most critical presidential election in the history of the United States 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 the practice of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) to make elections final with a decisive winner 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.  Low voter turnout, coupled with most participants motivated to vote because of a vested interest in the resolution of 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. The rules, procedures, practices, and laws governing the right to vote is 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 a variety of 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 that are 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 with a focus 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.  It was by the American people, and I guess he can’t tolerate that idea.  Here it is a summary:

Election Day would be a federal holiday, its 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 May 31, 2019. One of its resources called Electionary will remain useful; it is an attempt to collect state election laws, practices, and procedures in a format that provides for 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 government operations.  

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.

Voter Participation 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 Times Story)

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 their Movement Voter Project on immigration issues and the views of candidates.

League of Women Voters

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 LVW Ruch decision expected from the Supreme Court in June is summed up well in the SCOTUS blog (here) on the issue of partisan-gerrymandering.

Democracy Initiative

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

Every Voice

Very happy with HR1 as a statement of principal and an agenda for the future worth fighting big money in politics.

Democracy 21

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)  has pointed out that loopholes in U.S. election law allow foreign adversaries to legally interfere 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.

Democracy Matters

An excellent way to find all of the candidates that are not taking PAC funds such as NY24 candidate Conole along with firm support for HR1 as 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.

Verified Voting.org

The focus on easing voter registration practices through data management practices comes at a time when the digital vote becomes a way to protect voting and advance it as a routine practice of citizens. 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 have a look at politics as a sport, and as a practice that is now very different than the role of leadership that it implies. Please enjoy June, every one should and then July (here) for a look at the one thing of great importance – housing (here)

April 2019/2020

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

Rex L. Curry

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

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

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

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

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

See the Five Best ideas every day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Ground Alert!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the Delivery of Quotidian Jeremiads

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

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

On T.S. Eliot

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

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

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

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

March 2019/2020

What happens when a fundamental principle of journalism is weakened or even stops working? The values that help to 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 slips and slides away. On March 31, 2019 I read that “following a story” to the end or until it kills the journalist or the “ism” of it, is one way to go with the first draft of history, but it can miss the dots. I have compiled the Tweet O-Rama as one new way to look at everything all at once every six months or so. Our problems are uniquely highlighted by these groups, and I believe they respect the sweet demands of tweet brevity. They are not journalists, but they are rebuilding and strengthening their principles on a routine basis. 

Rex L. Curry

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

2019 Think Tank People

Creating a section on the think tank people (ttp) occurred to me 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” that makes current efforts used 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 in a search 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 of the 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 rasing 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 did point to the European model that kept people employed and paid their wages even though 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 the March, the Social Policy People SSP were 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 god side tracked when they realized those most hurt were getting the least financial help. The terrifying argument, if it ever ends, 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 potential misuse of the National Emergencies Act. 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 expose 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 manipulations of the internet 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; in 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 use of language about the Israeli lobby. Accountability requires the recognition of “white supremacy” as an ideology 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 the abuse of power. 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; by the end, the 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 a reported effort by the Senate leadership to make an all-out push to get judges to retire.  The thinking being it would be the right timing for weak radar appointments. 

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. proccess foods crisis that could lead to warning labels and food marketing behaviors that maximize per unit profits over the health of people. 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 being people in cities cannot eat without planes, trains, and trucks that run on fossil fuels. Removing “petrol on your plate” has barely entered the curriculum of the American planning, architecture, and urban design schools, 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, the original analysis of scientists and economists flail hopelessly against a war on science in agriculture and environmental protection, the USDA and many others all of it 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 32B bailout than it is for a random worker for to get food stamps.  The effort of a couple hundred thousand students defrauded to seek relief was blocked by the DOE (DeVos), but congressional policy may block DOE rules that prevented their efforts.  It seems those needing greater consumer protection are the once 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 in the world.

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 the work of 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 taccountability among accountancy firms and a long list of financial service providers. The demand for transparency remains politially unrecognized. So despite modest gains – the pandemic exposes policy falures – 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 buy backs. 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. Throught the month the focus on Amazon (free corporate tax ride) and workplace abuses topped tose of Uber and other hourly work environments. One expression during the hearings 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 argument for that kind of line is between profitable and when.  Why does ten energy company failures in the UK exhibit the perils of privatization, and how did a software problem collapse a Boeing fleet, and who is it that wants teenagers to vape until addicted and 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 is resonating 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. The health of Lake Erie 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 aimed at helping 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 the well-being of all people. 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 inplace 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 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) we are conducted by doing the work of the bold. Among the protect the vote people (pvp) there appears to be a lot of effort to suppress the vote and people who are 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.

Summary

The next few months April, June and July 20 20will take a look at these organizations a year later because we depend on them to pay the most attention. Currently they remain groups of people using their special lens on issues. I cannot help but wonder, will the month’s summary of the think tanks and all the rest of them a whole year later be completely different? Will the focus on a global health be more developmental? Will tweets on issues be 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 is able 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 on the impact of Climate Change in NYC (here) and one example of Pandemic Change in NYC (here). Please refer others of a concrete nature and a personal point of view.

Links to the other One Year Later Summaries are below:

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

Protect the Vote People

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

Rex L. Curry

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

Advancement Project

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

Project Vote

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

America Votes

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

Every Voice

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

Rock the Vote

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


New Voters Project

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

Voter Participation Center

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

Movement 20xx

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

League of Women Voters (LWV)

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

Democracy Initiative

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

Every Voice

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

Democracy 21

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

Democracy Matters

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

Fair Vote —
The Center for Voting and Democracy

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

Verified Voting.org

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

Think Tank People

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

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

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

Rex L. Curry

Acton Institute

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

American Enterprise Institute

Aspen Institute

Atlantic Council

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Bipartisan Policy Center

Brookings Institution

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Cato Institute

Libertarian and non-interventionist

Center for a New American Security

Center for American Progress

Center for Immigration Studies

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Claremont Institute

Commonwealth Fund

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Council on Foreign Relations

Discovery Institute

Earth Institute

Economic Policy Institute

Electronic Privacy Information Center

Freedom House

Guttmacher Institute

Heartland Institute

Heritage Foundation

Hoover Institution

Human Rights Watch

Independent Institute

Inter-American Dialogue

James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy

Kaiser Family Foundation

Lexington Institute

Ludwig von Mises Institute

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

National Bureau of Economic Research

New America Foundation

New Democrat Network

Open Society Foundation

Peterson Institute for International Economics

Public Policy Institute of California

RAND Corporation

Reason Foundation

Rocky Mountain Institute

The Russell Sage Foundation

Third Way

Urban Institute

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Worldwatch Institute

Fact Checking People

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

Rex L. Curry

Snopes.com        

A proven and reliable debunker of false statements

FactCheck                     

Dedicated to public education on media bias and deceptive news practices 

Annenberg Public Policy Center’s focus on political statements

Politi Fact           

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

BallotPedia        

A professional encyclopedia of American politics and elections

Open Secrets      

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

Truth or Fiction

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


Fair Economy People

United for a Fair Economy (UFE)

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

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)

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

Class Action

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

Opportunity Agenda

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

Accountability People

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

Common Cause

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

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

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

Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) — OpenSecrets.org

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

Sunlight Foundation

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

Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

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

Center for Effective Government

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

National Security Archive

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

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

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

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

National Whistleblowers Center

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

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS)

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

Center for Progressive Reform (CPR)

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

Consumer Protection People

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

Rex L. Curry

Consumers Union (CU)

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

Consumer Federation of America (CFA)

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

Public Citizen

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

U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG)

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

Food & Water Watch

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

Center for Auto Safety (CAS)

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

Center for Responsible Lending

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

Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

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

https://www.youtube.com/user/KEIWashDC/videos

Housing Rights People

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

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

Rex L. Curry

Coalition on Human Needs (CHN)

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

PolicyLink

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

National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

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

National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH)

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

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)

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

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

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

National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ)

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

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP)

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

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

Economic Justice People

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

Jobs with Justice (JwJ)

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


Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ)

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

Working America

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

National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)

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

 Coalition on Human Needs (CHN)

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

PolicyLink

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

National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

Works to end America’s affordable housing crisis.

National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH)

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

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)

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

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

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

National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ)

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

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

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

Tweet-O-Rama

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

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

Rex L. Curry

Watchdog People

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

Housing Rights People

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

Protect the Vote People

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

Social Policy People

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

Business Integrity People

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

Think Tank People

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

Accountability People

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

Consumer Protection People

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

Tax Accountability People

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

Local Political People

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

Economic Justice People

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

Random Tweet O-Ramas

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

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

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