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Paul Rogat Loeb is the author of Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time, and The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear,winner of the 2005 Nautilus Award for the best book on social change. See www.paulloeb.org

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106 Articles, 0 Quick Links, 29 Comments, 2 Diaries, 0 Polls

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(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 29, 2010
The Republican War on Reality If there's an antidote,it's citizen participation.If enough of us knock on doors,make phone calls,talk to coworkers and neighbors,& otherwise reach out beyond the core converted(or at least get sympathetic voters to the polls), there's a chance that the Everett Dirksens of the Repubs will regain the upper hand.If we're silent,we allow reality itself to become hostage to delusion and country and planet will all pay the price.
(19 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 9, 2010
The Election Needs You, Broken Heart and All "OK, so your heart's broken," as the old song goes. So's mine. But we have to get over it--now--and start taking action for the November election.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, September 4, 2009
Life Lessons From a Dying Friend My friend Robert Gordon is dying of lupus. He's a novelist who spent a decade teaching in the Washington State prisons and written essays. With his death approaching closer, Robert has now sent out a follow up letter to his friends, a more personal reflection, looking back on a life approaching its close. I'm posting it as Robert's gift to a broader public community. I hope it touches your heart as much as it did mine.
(7 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 4, 2010
Soul of a Citizen: What Cynicism Costs Us I spent the past year writing a wholly revised new edition, which St Martin's will publish March 30, and which I'll serialize for the next several months. I like to think of it as an antidote to the political demoralization, paralysis, and despair that so many people are feeling these days. Here's the first excerpt, adapted from the chapter called "The Cynical Smirk."
(11 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Stop the Anonymous Hit Men: Make Shadowy Campaign Money the Issue I've found a way to break through people's cynicism. When I talked about the takeover of our politics by destructive corporate interests, culminating in the barrage of anonymous attack ads unleashed by the Supreme Court's ghastly Citizens United decision, they quickly became willing to listen.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 2, 2009
Letter to Obama from a Dying Friend My friend Robert Ellis Gordon is dying of lupus, with months left to live. He's taught writing to prison inmates, written about it in a terrific book,The Fun House Mirror, and crafted a great novel, When Bobby Kennedy was a Moving Man. Robert's open letter to Obama, challenges him to reach for his deepest levels of courage in being honest about what we face after decades of pillaging our economy. I'll miss his wise voice.
From ImagesAttr
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 15, 2010
'Will They Get What They're Paying For?' -- the Best Election Flier I've Seen As campaigns and volunteers hone their final electoral messages, the best flier I've seen asks a simple question -- "Will They Get What They're Paying For?
(7 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 6, 2011
Glued to the Weather Channel While the World Burns Media coverage rarely connects the unfolding cataclysms with the global climate change that fuels them. As a result, too many Americans still don't know what to believe. The antidote to denial and the forces that promote it is courage, working with our allies and taking action.
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 3, 2011
Go to Wisconsin, President Obama It's time to stand with those who are speaking out in a way that can make the choices clear to the distracted and overloaded Americans watching from the sidelines. That doesn't mean you'll own the protests or should. Participants have led with their courage, and you need to make clear that you're not telling them what to do or hijacking their moment, but standing in solidarity and encouraging all Americans to speak out and
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 22, 2011
Praising the Hostage Takers: Will Obama Ever Hold the Republicans Accountable? We all need to compromise at some points. That's democracy.The bitter purism of those who stayed home in '10 helped land us in our mess,& if we stay home in 2012 or let others stay home who our volunteer efforts could have otherwise turned out,we'll end up making matters still worse.But endless compromises in the service of regressive policies move us further from the critical changes that we need if we're to create an America
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 1, 2010
Soul of a Citizen: How the Christian Coalition and MoveOn Helped Save the Internet Together I just posted one of my favorite stories from Soul's new edition on Huffington Post, about how MoveOn and Christian Coalition came together to help save the internet as we knew it. I thought you'd like to see it. Maybe you even have your own anecdotes of working with unlikely allies.
Image created from image crediting, From Images
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, August 4, 2016
Trust In A Context Of Mistrust: Getting Young Voters To Vote Young people have an inherent trust in peers who share their sense of the issues and stakes, even if they don't always agree. They trust honest human responses that they don't view as paid for. The more young voters talk with each other, the more likely they are to participate, even if they dislike their choices.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 26, 2011
If You Care About Keystone and Climate Change, Occupy Exxon If we want Obama to make the right decision and deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, maybe it's time to Occupy Exxon, with creative protests at local Exxon/Mobil stations.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 11, 2008
Pit Bull Palin When Sarah Palin joked about herself and her fellow hockey moms as pit bulls with lipstick, she may have revealed more than she intended. She even seems to relish this pit bull approach to government...and polls suggest it may be working, as it has in the past eight years. Let's hope we finally reject this approach.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Antidotes To Complacency: Four reasons NOT to take the election for granted It's tempting to Obama's likely victory just a bit for granted. The polls look good. McCain and Palin are flailing and the Republicans have started their blame game. But it's dangerous to assume that the election is over, or to settle for a narrow margin. Here are four reasons to keep working: we need a mandate for change, voter suppression is real, we've got a volatile electorate and October surprises are still possible.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, September 29, 2012
"My Vote Doesn't Matter": Helping Students Surmount Political Cynicism You've heard it again and again. "My vote doesn't matter," students too often say. Others complain that politicians are "all the same and all corrupt." How do we overcome this cynical resignation and encourage students to register and vote despite their conviction that the game is fundamentally rigged?
From Images
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, October 23, 2010
Suppose Your Actions Swung the Election Also if you happen to know anyone who works on a campus (or if you're on a campus yourself), here's an article that I sent to my educators lists on 45 ways to still get students involved in the election. People have found it very useful, so please do forward it if you're in a position to do so.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 13, 2007
A Storm of Denial How the media is ignoring the escalating number of global warming related disasters, and why it's hard for all of us to deal with this issue
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 25, 2010
Soul of a Citizen: Vaclav Havel, Barack Obama and Unforeseen Fruits But change also comes when we stir the hearts of previously disengaged citizens and help them take their own moral stands. We never know how the new-found involvement of those we engage will play out in the rest of their lives, but if we inspire enough people to take those first steps in speaking out for justice we can sometimes transform history.
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, June 27, 2010
Unexpected Environmental Alliances Amidst The Oil Spill: 'Jesus Will Rip Your Head Off' However long before the Gulf's seafood populations recover, those whose livelihoods are affected will need to create a powerful common voice to avoid becoming expendable. One powerful model: Northwest salmon fisher Pete Knutson has spent 35 years engaging his community to take environmental responsibility, creating unexpected alliances to broaden the impact of their voice, and in the process defeated corporate interests.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 15, 2010
Excerpt from "Soul of A Citizen": From Drunken Party Girl to Climate Change Activist When we try to engage people politically we never know who will respond, or when someone will shift from reveling in their apathy to taking powerful public stands. With Earth Day coming up, here's a striking example of one such transformation.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 19, 2010
'Soul Of A Citizen' Excerpt: Taking Money Out Of Politics: A Grassroots Effort For Clean Elections Nothing makes us feel more powerless than the corruption of our democracy by money.It undermines progress on every issue we face.If America is ever to deal with our critical problems, we'll need to sever the links between wealth and politics,more challenging after the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned a hundred years of precedent.Here is the Main Clean Elections model,how Alison Smith helped it pass,step by step.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 22, 2010
'Soul Of A Citizen': Jesus And Climate Change -- The Journey Of Evangelical Leader Rich Cizik When we become frustrated in working for change, we might remember how hope can come from unexpected places and historically resistant constituencies. Rich Cizik's efforts to engage his fellow evangelicals on global warming exemplifies this.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, November 18, 2008
KEEP THE WHITE HOUSE DRAPES: BRING BACK THE SOLAR PANELS But suppose instead that [Obama] took the opportunity to break with tradition, and make a powerful symbolic stand by instead using the already allocated money to bring back additional solar panels (Bush actually brought back some in 2002 but more could be added), and make the White House more energy efficient.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 8, 2011
Burying Your Victories: What if Obama Taxed the Rich But Never Told Anyone? I didn't know that Obama's health care bill contained a $20 billion a year tax on the richest Americans. Did you? Wondering why he hasn't highlighted this success story.
(10 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 17, 2010
Want To Help? 10 Ways To Start Making Change When I was updating my book on citizen activism, an activist rabbi who was teaching the book at a Florida university suggested I gather together a Ten Commandments for effective citizen engagement. Calling them Commandments seemed presumptuous, but I did draw together ten suggestions that can make engagement more fruitful.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 28, 2010
'Soul Of A Citizen': Stories Of Impact Will Push Us To Fix The Oil Spill, Homelessness, And Other Big Problems I've come to believe that people work for justice when their hearts are stirred by specific lives and situations that develop our capacity to feel empathy, to imagine ourselves as someone else. Powerful stories can break us beyond our isolated worlds and help us engage the world's troubles without becoming so overwhelmed that we despair of ever being able to change things.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, November 29, 2010
Seeking Republican Patriots: How Reining in Anonymous Attack Ads Can Help Save Our Democracy To prevent the deluge of anonymous political ads we've just witnessed, the Democrats crafted the DISCLOSE Act. If the Democrats make it a priority in the remaining Senate term, they have a chance of achieving its goals.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 11, 2010
'Soul of a Citizen' excerpt: The Real Rosa Parks I began my excerpts from Soul of a Citizen by writing about the costs of cynicism.One reason people despair so easily these days is that we often have little sense of how change has occurred in times past,and of what it took for ordinary people to persist until they prevailed.The Rosa Parks story offers an example that we all think we know, but where the story as usually told omits the key context and blurs the key lessons.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 7, 2010
Calling the Bluff in the Conference Committee There's tension between the House health care bill and a lesser Senate one that contains problematic elements and can't move us forward. Senate negotiators will no doubt try to keep their version using the specter of certain Senators filibustering if the House holds firm on issues like the public option or paying the bill by taxing the wealthy. And if the House holds firm, those Senators might indeed vote against cloture.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Eight Reasons the Democrats lost Virginia & New Jersey--and How to Recover Losing the Virginia and New Jersey governorships hurt. Local factors played a part, but these are major states. Eight reasons why the Democrats lost them matter. Bad candidates, blue dogs, more blue dogs, Obama, plummeting youth vote, those who threw acorn under the bus, organizing for America, our common inaction
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 5, 2010
Acting Effectively in Ambiguous Times When people hesitate to take a stand on issues from the Gulf oil spill to the horror show off the coast of Gaza, it's often because they're unsure of the outcomes of their actions. Yet acting despite this ambiguity is often the most effective way to make change.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 13, 2010
'Soul Of A Citizen': From An Eighth Grade Education To Testifying Before Congress Too many of us hold back from community involvement because we think we don't know enough to act on our beliefs, or don't have the standing or confidence to take a public stand. When we see a woman who begins with no money, no power, no education and no status in the community, and then becomes a powerful voice for change, it should inspire us all.
(7 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, November 2, 2008
No Time for Nader: A Letter to Nader and McKinney Supporters Either we stop these trends or we don't. And the ballot's the most direct way to do this.We can cast a symbolic vote for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney. Or vote for Barack Obama and actually help shape the political landscape. It would be a tragedy if because of our own desire for pure and uncomplicated stands, we helped throw away a historic chance to move forward.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 29, 2010
'Soul of a Citizen' Volunteers Can't Solve Our Problems: For Every House Habitat Builds, 100s More Are Homeless Given the deep roots of our culture's winner-take-all individualism,it's hard not to feel defensive,on the losing end of history.We may even mute our voices,lest we offend those whose financial & political resources our community institutions may depend on.Yet some of the energy we spend on volunteering should be directed toward the roots of the crises we address.To stop the needless drowning, We must ultimately look upstream.
(9 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Don't Let the Russ Feingolds Go Down For the Sins of the Blanche Lincolns One-time Obama supporters often lament: "The Democrats have sold us out. I'm tired of their spinelessness. I'm staying home to teach them a lesson." Not everyone responds this way, but enough do to worry me: If these people don't show up and work to get others to vote, it could make the difference. Better to get past our broken hearts and work to elect the best candidates we can. The alternative...
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 29, 2010
The Republican War on Reality Beyond political differences with Obama and the Democrats, Republicans been making war on reality itself, which should be a major issue of the campaign's final days.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Volunteer Energy and Political Tipping Points -- What We Can Do What a difference we can each make. I've made calls and doorbelled and got a few people to the polls who wouldn't have gone otherwise. Magnify my efforts and those few people by hundreds of thousands of volunteers and we can truly make the difference in this election.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, June 21, 2015
Why the TPP is Worse than Mystery Meat Do we trust that the corporations that negotiated these rules have our interests at heart? Whether or not the country-of-origin labeling on meat survives or is ended by the House bill and WTO ruling, TPP plays for far larger stakes, the ground rules that affect our very potential to take common action. The meat bill is one more warning that there are some rules and agreements where we should be careful to eagerly swallow.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Seductions Of Clicking: How The Internet Can Make It Harder To Act Without online technologies, Barack Obama would never have gotten past the primaries. Yet now progressive hopes are faltering, not only because of Obama's compromises and mistakes and Republican intransigence, but also because far too many of his supporters have come to believe they can act exclusively through these online technologies, to the exclusion of face-to-face politics.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 9, 2010
What if Verizon Could Censor Your Telephone Conversations: Why Net Neutrality Matters We'd better act while we still have a chance if we don't want to be cut off in midstream from equitable access to all the new media whose promise and power we've come to take for granted. The new deal looming between Verizon and Google shows how Obama may in fact be taking a back seat on Net Neutrality.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 11, 2008
Hillary Heeds Hawks: How Obama's and Clinton's Advisors Mirror Their War Stands In their focus on the electoral horse-race, the media have ignored a key difference between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- the positions of their foreign policy advisors on the Iraq war. As political scientist Stephen Zunes points out in Foreign Policy in Focus, Clinton's key advisors overwhelmingly supported it, while Obama's opposed it.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, June 11, 2010
Why the Arkansas Primary Challenge Was Worth It It's always a dilemma to spend scarce resources taking on sitting members of the party you normally support. That said, I believe the groups who tried to unseat Blanche Lincoln in the primary run-off in Arkansas made the right choice.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Target Global Warming, Target Exon Those who dismiss global warming's threat have embraced a series of arguments, retreating from one to the next as they're trumped by reality. Many of us know Exxon's role in climate change denial, and have avoided buying their gas for that reason. Others have avoided the company because of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. But we need more than individual actions.
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, December 28, 2007
A Plea to Kucinich Supporters-- Help Stop Hillary Clinton Think about how you'd feel if the headlines after the early caucuses and primaries read "Hillary places third," and you were part of that process. Imagine if those losses helped stop her nomination, the party ended up with either Barack Obama or John Edwards as the nominee, and one of the two became America's president.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 18, 2008
Hillary Clinton's Sleaze Parade Politics can be a rough game. Candidates need to hold their competitors accountable and challenge distortions and lies. And God knows, we need a Democratic nominee who's willing to fight. But Hillary Clinton's campaign has included far too many cheap shots, sleazy manipulations, and unsavory players.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, March 9, 2010
How The Democrats Can Reclaim The Youth Vote If the Democrats don't get the youth vote, they're toast. That happened in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, where young Obama voters stayed home in droves. It's an ugly conceivable future portended several recent polls that show that young voters still prefer the Democrats, but their margin is slipping and their enthusiasm level is worse.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, September 1, 2008
The Rovian Politics of Choosing Sarah Palin What does it say about John McCain that he not only picked the least experienced Vice Presidential nominee in America's history, but picked someone he really didn't know? What makes Palin such a cynical choice is that McCain doesn't know her and doesn't know what drives her. Until she was selected by the Karl Rove types running his campaign (like campaign manager and Rove protégé Steve Schmidt), McCain might not even have
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 15, 2010
'Soul Of A Citizen': Village Politics -- Rebuilding Engaged Communities Churches and temples, PTA's, block associations and Rotary Clubs, soccer clubs and softball leagues, the places we work, and all the other ordinary institutions of daily life. Building on the community that they offer, and on our relationships with colleagues, co-workers, and neighbors who already know us, they can provide powerful venues to engage our fellow citizens in our country's most critical issues.
Youth vote., From ImagesAttr
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, August 6, 2015
Youth Vote at Record Low -- Here's How to Reverse the Trend The numbers are dismaying. According to a new US Census report, only 20% of eligible 18-29-year-olds voted in 2014. It was the lowest turnout in 40 years, below even 2010's doleful 24%.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 6, 2008
Did Clinton Win Ohio on a Lie? Hillary Clinton's win in Ohio was greatly affected by her focus on what seemed to be a controversy about Obama's position on NAFTA. Recent news provides evidence that the leaks about his supposed hypocricy were fabricated. Since a foreign government, Canada, was involved, this scandal about a scandal is becoming more than just about the standard sniping that happens in campaigns.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 8, 2009
Gutting the Health Care Plan: The Scorpion and the Congress Like the scorpion who stings his reluctant turtle ally as they work together to cross a river with the explanation: "it's just who I am," I fear we're about to get stung again. The sting will come of we continue to assume insurance companies must be at the table while forcing a single payer plan aside because it isn't currently politically achievable.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Ten Reasons Why I'm Spending This Election Day On the Phones I admit it. 2008 was a whole lot more fun. Even so, I'm going to spend my entire day on the phones today, from when the polls open in Pennsylvania and Illinois to when they close in Washington and Alaska. I hope you'll join me with whatever time you have.
(24 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 31, 2008
A Dozen Reasons Why This Edwards Supporter is Backing Obama I gave John Edwards more money than any candidate ever and I'm glad I did. He put critical issues about America's economic divides on the Democratic agenda. He was the first major candidate to stake out strong comprehensive platforms on global warming and health care. He hammered away on the Iraq war, even using scarce campaign resources to run ads during key Senate votes. He'd have made a wonderful nominee - and president.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Saving the Economy, One Furnace at a Time Like most Americans, I'm guarding my dollars, but when my furnace died during Seattle's coldest winter in decades, I had to replace it. And when I did, with a high-efficiency model, the costs and gains underscored key lessons about how to craft a stimulus package that actually builds for America's future. My new furnace saves energy and fights climate change. It promotes American jobs, and pays back in a reasonable time frame.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Stiffed: Why are Bailed-Out Banks Helping Pfizer Buy Wyeth? Perhaps the new combined entity will come up with some miracle drug that neither company would have created on their own. But mostly, it seems just one more example of how a bailout without strong government control, or even oversight, just feeds the same greed-driven abuses that have gotten us into our current predicament. It's going to take more than Viagra to strengthen our economy once more.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, August 13, 2010
The Seductions Of Clicking: How The Internet Can Make It Harder To Act Without online technologies, Barack Obama would never have gotten past the primaries. Yet progressive hopes are faltering, not only because of Obama's compromises and mistakes and Republican intransigence, but also because far too many of his supporters have come to believe they can act exclusively through these online technologies, to the exclusion of face-to-face politics.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 28, 2011
Three Cups of a Flawed Hero: The Limits of Greg Mortenson's Model of Change It's tempting to expect perfection from those we admire, but we romanticize lone heroes at our peril. A story of unimaginable individual heroism and sacrifice that drew people in could also leave them feeling insignificant in comparison. I believed that Mortenson's books had their limits as models for how ordinary people can create social change.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, November 1, 2010
The Party of Non-Voters--Why Our Election Day Volunteering Matters More Than Ever The Pew Research Center just released a poll contrasting those who intend to vote this round with those likely to stay home. Among all adults, the Democrats or those who leaned Democrat had a 50 to 39 margin. But among those likely to head to the polls, Republicans were up four points. The difference was among non-voters, where the Democrats led by a staggering 24 points, except that these people were likely to stay home.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 28, 2008
Truth, Lies and the Bosnian NAFTAgate Obama's supposed evasion around "NAFTAgate" played a key role in Hillary Clinton taking Ohio. If there's any justice, her Bosnia fabrications should now bring her down in the remaining states. Repeatedly this spring, Clinton described sniper scenarios refuted by the pilot who flew her into Bosnia. Hillary got caught, to put it bluntly, in a lie, not "misspeaking."
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, November 26, 2007
Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Disappointment If Hillary wins, will she cost the Dems massive losses in congress and Gubernatorial seats... like Bill did?
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 18, 2009
Missing the Train on the Recovery Package The highway lobby and its allies will have their say. They already have. It's time now for the rest of us to get on board and convince the new administration to change course by boosting investment in transit and rail.
(17 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, November 30, 2007
Hillary and the Politics of Disappointment When Democrats worry about Hillary Clinton's electability, they focus on her reenergizing a depressed Republican base while demoralizing core Democratic activists, particularly those outraged about the war, and consequently losing the election. But there's a further danger if Hillary's nominated--that she will win but then split the Democratic Party.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, May 19, 2007
The Haircut That Won't Die
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 2, 2010
We Energized Each Other: Finding Engaged Allies Where We Work Whatever our situation, we need allies to work successfully for change. We need people to talk with, brainstorm ideas, lift us up when we're down, and build power by acting together. Many of us involve ourselves in local and national political issues, but what about our workplaces? How do we shift these contexts to help create a more just and sustainable world? Finding engaged allies makes it possible to make a difference.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Gerald Ford's Failure of Nerve Had Ford spoken out, on the record, to question the war in July 2004... Or acknowledged that he was "dumbfounded" when Bush initiated his domestic surveillance program... or publicly questioned the war, it would have opened up room for others to dissent, across political lines...
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, November 5, 2005
The Real Rosa Parks Most reports on Rosa Parks treated her like a lone seamstress. On the Contrary, she was a longstanding activist, highly involved in the civil rights movement, for 12 years involved in the NAACP.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Did the Limbaugh Effect Also Flip Michigan? With Hillary Clinton rejecting the compromise that Michigan Democratic leaders just crafted, the Democratic Rules Committee has a dilemma. Clinton keeps demanding that Michigan's delegates be apportioned according to the January 15 vote, where she was the sole major candidate on the Democratic ballot. But there's another twist that no one has raised--the impact of a Rush Limbaugh-style crossover on the Michigan vote.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 10, 2010
How The Democrats Can Reclaim The Youth Vote As the recent surveys imply, the stakes in this are huge--not just for now or November, but for the ongoing allegiance and participation levels of a generation. Whether citizen activists can help the Obama administration and the Democrats reengage those who carried them to victory in 08 will shape American politics not just in the coming year, but for decades to come.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 22, 2008
How Much Damage Will Clinton Do Before She Folds? In the wake of ten straight losses, Clinton's going to need some miracles to win. But the question is how much damage she'll do to Obama and the Democratic chances before she quits.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, September 30, 2007
Pre-Empting The Next War With the Senate embracing the reckless Kyl-Lieberman amendment, we've moved one step closer to attacking Iran. But there's still time for Congress to assert itself against yet another needless war with massive destructive potential.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 27, 2007
Responsible Investment: Gates Foundation and the California Model Given the magnitude of the global crises we face, we'd hope the key nonprofits trying to address them would use every appropriate tool to maximize their impact. Yet, Seattle's Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which does much good with its programs (particularly its global immunization efforts), is missing a significant opportunity by not aligning the foundation's investment commitments with its larger social goals.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 18, 2006
Democrats and the Youth Vote Young voters have been leaning Democratic since the Clinton years, although Nader siphoned off enough support in 2000 to make it a near-dead heat. They were the only generation to favor Kerry, and did so by a ten percent margin. Now the gap has opened wider than ever...
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 22, 2007
A Timely Anti-War Effort-Support the Occupation Project Help Iraqi veterans and their famliies find a place to stay in DC while challenging the war.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 10, 2008
Media Misses Story: Obedwards Wins New Hampshire As media commentators proclaim Hillary Clinton's rebirth from the ashes of defeat, they miss a critical story--Obama and Edwards won the New Hampshire primary. Add together Obama's 36 percent and Edwards's 17, and they beat Clinton's 39 percent by 14 points. So what are Obama and Edwards or their supporters to do about this?
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The Bosnian Sniper Math of Clinton's Popular Vote Claim On the destructive implications of Clinton continuing her popular vote claim.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Alito's Extraordinary Circumstances Remember the "nuclear option" compromise? When the group of 14 Senators reached their agreement last May, they said they'd support a filibuster only under "extraordinary circumstances," presumably if Bush nominated Attila the Hun. I'd suggest these circumstances apply not only to Samuel Alito's track record but also to his nomination's entire political context.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, November 30, 2006
Think Globally, Protect the Vote Locally he recent election has created a window of opportunity to help protect the vote, for now and in the future. Linking national and local protection efforts could help ensure that this actually happens.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, February 2, 2008
How Obama Could Create a Long-Term Democratic Majority Commentators are talking, and rightly so, about how young voters are flocking to Barack Obama. Young voters haven't always turned out historically, but they're responding to Obama's message. Obama offers the chance to make this new generation part of an enduring Democratic coalition--since young voters who support a particular party a few times in a row are likely to gravitate toward that party for the rest of their lives.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Hillary Clinton and the Ghosts of 2006 If Hillary really wants Democratic voters to judge their potential nominees on their 2006 choices, she may not like the judgments they make
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Will Clinton's Advisors Tell Her the Hard Truths? Given that Hillary Clinton's campaign has now been reduced to a nonstop mantra of "ready to lead on day one," I wonder what certain incidents reveal about her competence, transparency and trust-the essence of her ability to lead. It seems Clinton follows a discomfortingly familiar path in surrounding herself with people who are so intimidated they won't stand up and disagree with her and won't tell her bad news.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, March 2, 2008
Obama & Clinton: Who's More Likely to Confront Global Warming? If we ignore global warming much longer, we'll face a world of perpetual disaster, so there's no larger question for presidential candidates than who is more likely to tackle it successfully. Although Obama's and Clinton's positions are similar, he seems far more likely to. The key difference is their ability to mobilize a grassroots base to demand that the necessary changes get passed.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 24, 2006
Dying for Nixon, Dying for Bush If our invasion and occupation has created a watershed moment, it's one yielding rivers of resentment and bitterness that may poison the global landscape for decades to come. In Iraq, as we know, the chickenhawks led the march to war ... like Bush and his cohorts, most who've made this war possible have never been intimately touched by it.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, October 14, 2006
Foley's Meltdown--The Seductions of Clicking
(13 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 28, 2007
Don't Fear a Filibuster Why the Democrats need to stand up on the minimum wage even if the Republicans filibuster--it's morally right, but also a winning political stand
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 6, 2008
Still True to ObEdwards – Why I Keep Donating to Both Edwards and Obama It makes me feel like an indecisive mugwump, but in the wake of the Iowa caucuses, I've sent money to both Edwards and Obama. In a month, I'll have to choose, but as long as they're backing each other up more than sniping, I want them both in the race.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, December 3, 2005
PRECARIOUS LIVES The promises on which many of us have based our entire economic lives are no longer being honored.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 28, 2008
It's Her Party and She'll Do What She Wants To Hillary Clinton has now been campaigning in Florida and arguing that the state's delegates should count, along with those from the Michigan primary. This would sound fair enough, unless you know that the Democratic Party agreed that the early primary votes from both Michigan and Florida would not count. Now Clinton is trying to change the rules mid-game, arguing that her delegates from Michigan should count after all.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Behind Obama's Wave of Victories: The More They Know Him..... In a race where Clinton seemed to have every advantage, why has Barack Obama now won eight primaries and caucuses in a row? Looking at his campaign rhythm, this is voters' first chance to consider him as a candidate with a serious chance of victory, and to genuinely engage his message. Democrats passionately want a candidate they can believe in, but also one who can win--and reverse the Republican disasters.
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 20, 2008
Can SuperDelegates Stop the Scorched Earth Campaigning? No matter how well Clinton does in the remaining primaries, her future is going to be in the hands of the superdelegates. It's time for them to exercise their power to rein in scorched-earth campaigning.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, September 8, 2007
Wild Weather Creates Chances for Political Progress It's hard to keep up with the crazed weather. Surges of weird weather offers a powerful warning. When people's communities are hit with exceptional floods, droughts, tornadoes, heat waves, or runaway wildfires, or they see these events on TV, even conservatives who would have once treated them as random "acts of God" start recognizing their deeper roots.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Election Fraud, My Ass They just wanted to protect the sanctity of the vote. That's the administration's pious explanation for why they fired eight U.S. Attorneys who were Republican enough for Bush to have appointed them in the first place. But the administration and its allies have a long history of using the specter of election fraud to justify reprehensible actions.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 20, 2006
Grassroots Matching Grants: My Five Minutes as a Donor I've never been the kind of donor who gives matching grants.In factI've never been a major donor at all,just someone who gives $25 here and $50 there to a bunch of causes I believe in, because that's what I can afford.. So I loved the Democratic National Committee email that invited me and other ordinary citizens to make modest online pledges, to be redeemed when new donors contributed. For a moment, I got to play Ford Found
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, October 24, 2005
Hard Conversations About the Big Easy As the New Orleans disaster recedes from the headlines, citizen activists face a choice. We can focus exclusively on other newer issues. Or we can work to make the disaster one of those key turning points with the potential to transform American politics.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Joe Lieberman's Loyalties His prime loyalty has always been to himself, from the first time he defeated moderate Republican Lowell Weickert with money from William F. Buckley and from rightwing Cuban exiles.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Out of the Shadows - The Seattle immigration march Maybe by finding their voice and courage, those who marched in America these past weeks can teach the rest of us, and maybe we can find ways to come out of our own shadows and fears and join across our own divides.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 11, 2006
Hillary Clinton and My Visa Bill You make enough $25 to $50 contributions, and soon you're talking real money, a tenth of my annual income.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 17, 2007
The Phrase that Could Defeat Hillary Once again Hillary empowered a recklessly belligerent administration in their efforts to go to war. And her prez primary competitors are failing to use her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman Iran bill to maximum advantage against her.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Joe Lieberman's Loyalties Lieberman has already gotten endorsement from Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter and financial backing from major Republican lobbyists. He's already suggested that hospitals should have the right to refuse emergency contraception to rape victims, and force them to go elsewhere in the middle of the night. Maybe he should just drop the pretense and run as a Bush-Cheney Republican without any further evasions.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 26, 2006
Enron's Good Fight It was all a grand game, like the games played by all those who wheel and deal in the destiny of other people's lives. Lay and Skilling needed no heroes. They made themselves their own Gods and worshipped their own soaring ascent. The actual people whose worlds were shattered by Enron's legacy were invisible and expendable.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, October 11, 2007
Making Our Restrooms Safe for Democracy
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, August 9, 2006
The Lamont Victory-- Next Step for Citizens If we're successful enough in our efforts, the wells of support for Lieberman will dry up sufficiently that he decides not to make a serious third-party race.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, July 6, 2005
They Died for Their Country
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, September 23, 2005
911 IN NEW ORLEANS We’re told the 9/11 attacks changed everything for America--that they ushered us in to a new and more dangerous world, where we could no longer afford old illusions. If we take its full lessons, the disaster of Hurricane Katrina challenges us even more profoundly.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 15, 2006
Enron's Good Fight It was all a grand game, like the games played by all those who wheel and deal in the destiny of other people’s lives.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 1, 2005
SPEAKING TRUTH TO ROBERTS We need to tell a different story... that Roberts defended Cheney’s right to refuse to name the corporate participants in his secret energy policy meeting. He advised Jeb Bush on the 2000 election....

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