Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Help send me to Netroots Nation!

I want to go to Pittsburgh. Not for the G20 summit, not to see the best team in football's opener, not simply to visit a emerging hub of the green economy.

I want to go to Pittsburgh for the fourth annual Netroots Nation convention. But I need your help. I try not to ask for too much from this community but I need to ask for some help again.

From August 13-16 Pittsburgh will be hosting this years Netroots Nation, I want to be there to appear on a panel, attend other awesome panels, meet you all and do the whole Netroots Nation experience.

I need your help to get there. Democracy for America is running a scholarship competition to help make the costs of attending more affordable. They will be selecting 10 winners from the final round judged by a variety of factors, but one of them is public support. You can help me win a scholarship by voting for me. It will take less than a minute and I'd really appreciate your help. Just click here. That will take you to a page where you can either log into your existing DFA account (if you have one) or create a new one, then it takes you to a page where you can write a quick comment of support and click on "voice support" to officially support me. If you want to read my application click here.

It costs money for DFA to provide these scholarships, if you can send them some money to help out with the cost. It helps send 30 people to Netroots Nation who might not have been able otherwise. It was built out of kid oakland's original chicago voices effort. So any donations you could send them give a great bang for the buck and help send some great people to Netroots Nation.

Thanks so much for all that you do and for any votes that you could give me.

Sí se puede!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Daily Stuff: May July 3rd / 2009

-This is a must watch video from Bill McKibben -- a real American hero -- about climate politics and movements in the United States and about how the Obama White House told him that if we want Obama to be able to take the bold action on climate change that we need we have to build a movement to make him do it, and I would add, make the Senate do it.

-National Republicans are idiots.

-The idea that the Farm Bureau represents farmers is laughable. They are, to be quite frank, a evil organization. Exhibit A, Exhibit B.

-I'm reserving comment on this until Google releases it's much hyped Palin to English translation machine.

-I agree with this guy. Stage makeup is overrated for the positives it brings.

Happy almost Forth of July!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tom Perriello: Profile in Climate Courage

Today the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) passed the House of Representatives on a 219-212 vote. It was not a perfect bill, indeed it has major flaws, but it is the first time a chamber of Congress has ever passed meaningful, comprehensive legislation dealing with climate change. It is a historic vote.

Unfortunately 44 Democratic representatives voted NO on this bill. Only three of them did that beacuse the bill was too weak. The rest wouldn't take the political risk of voting for even a fairly weak climate bill that doesn't even come close to doing what science demands. That's a pretty depressing fact. And it means we've got a lot of work to do as climate activists.

But one representative from a tough district didn't go along. He stood up for what he knew was right and voted for the bill despite a flood of calls to his office driven by hate radio, despite the political pressures of being a freshman Democrat in a district McCain won. That representative is Tom Perriello of Virgina's 5th district.

Although I don't live in his district or even in Virgina I've been a fan of Perriello for a long time. In 2006 Keith Ellison was elected to Congress from the 5th district of Minnesota which is the district next to mine. He happens to be a Muslim and was the first Muslim elected to Congress.

At the time the representative from Virgina's 5th district was Republican Rep. Virgil Goode. Virgil Goode is a bigot. The idea of serving next to a Muslim made him spew out lots of bigotry. That's how I first learned about Virgil Goode. He seemed like a nasty guy. But his district seemed like it was unlikely to elect a Democrat. I forgot about the district.

But I am a reader of Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo, particularly the TPMCafe section. And they allow guest posts from notable people. Well in October, 2007 Tom Perriello was one of the guest posters. And he wrote one of the most important articles I've read by a politician. Entitled "Conviction Politics... in Practice." Read it. It's worth your time.

After that I got very interested in the campaign and did what I could as someone who doesn't live in the district and can't vote. Asked for money online. No one thought he could win. But I believed in him. He ran a great, grassroots campaign and won in one of the biggest upsets of the 2008 election by under 1000 votes.

And today he made any probably meaningless contribution to his campaign that I made worthwhile by putting his conviction politics into practice and voting for ACES. It wasn't a easy vote. McCain won the district. It has been traditionally Republican. But Tom stood up for what he believed in.

As Darcy Burner so eloquently wrote we need to reward people to stand up for what they believe in and display courage and conviction. Of all the representatives who made the right vote today Tom needs the most help. His district will be a top target of Republicans in 2010. He will have a strong opponent. We need to reward conviction politics and thank Tom Perriello by supporting him.

I've set up a ActBlue page where you can donate to his campaign. Tom doesn't going to get a lot of money from special interests and if he ever did he won't after today. He needs our help. He did the right thing. It's time to reward that.

Please donate what you can. Anything helps.

And while your at it. Join 1Sky, a fantastic group working hard for a strong climate bill. They are doing some of the best work in the environmental movement and have lots of ways you can help. Passing a good climate bill in the Senate will be very, very hard. We need to build a strong climate movement to do that and that's exactly what 1Sky is doing. They could also use some money if you've got any. Polluters are outspending us 16-1.

We need to restore the founding American ethic that we are better off when we are in this together. Since the original thirteen colonies joined together as the United States, through Civil War and the Great Depression, we have risen or fallen according to this simple rule: America thrives when we are united in a common purpose for the common good.- Tom Perriello

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Michele Bachmann is a liar: Climate action edition

Michele Bachmann is crazy in a lot of ways. If your reading this blog, you probably know that. One of her most outrageous examples of that is her denialism and lies about global climate change and the cost of federal action on climate change to avoid the devastating effects of climate change.

She has been doing this by making wild and incorrect claims to scare the American people into opposing climate action. She's thrown out a lot of figures, for example in a op-ed she wrote for the Avista Capital Partners-owned Star Tribune in which she claimed the cost of climate action would be between $3,128 and $4,000 per household. To combat climate action she's called for ‘Armed and Dangerous’ Opposition.

But as we learned today her fearmongering is far, far from the truth. In reality the modest climate action being considered by Congress now in the form of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) would likely cost $5 dollars a year or less per household, and that's without factoring in the negatives economic impacts of climate change that would be averted with this action.

The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) released a report about the economic impacts of H.R. 2454 (ACES) at the request of Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican from Michigan. And here's what they found: the average household would spend a minuscule amount to reduce global warming pollution. Their analysis determined “that the net annual economywide cost of the cap-and-trade program in 2020 would be $22 billion—or about $175 for the average household.” To put that in perspective, 48 cents per day – a tiny bit more than the cost of a postage stamp – to avoid climate change. In fact, households in the lowest economic quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020.

But the CBO is certainly overestimating the what the costs would really be. It only estimates the economic impact of the cap and trade "title" of the bill and does not factor in the other major parts of the bill dealing with energy efficiency and renewable energy which would significantly lower economic impacts. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy estimates that the efficiency provisions alone could save $170 per household in 2020. The math is easy. That's nearly as much as the CBO estimates the total cost per household to be which makes the cost of climate action a mere $5 a year per household in America or a little bit more then a penny a day.

And even that estimate is likely far overstating the costs of action. Most environmental regulations cost much less then originally estimated, for example the actual cost of the Clean Air Act of 1990 was just one quarter of original EPA estimates.

So when you hear politicians like Michelle Bachmann lying about the costs of climate action remember what the truth is. Climate action will cost per household at most, will create 30,000 new jobs in Minnesota and prevent the worst impacts of climate change which could hit Minnesotans, particularly our farmers. Unfortunately Minnesota's Rep. Colin Peterson is leading the fight to block climate change action with some of the same Bachmannesque denalisim which is sadly being enabled by Rep. Tim Walz who helping him delay progress until Peterson's demands to weaken the American Clean Energy and Security Act are met. It's too bad that Minnesota Democrats are standing in the way of climate action that will help the farmers in their districts and create new jobs for their constituents. I'll have more on that soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


No daily stuff today. Robert Tiller was assassinated today and that's about all I can deal with.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Daily Stuff: May 29th / 2009

-Tom Tancredo: Racist

-Vermont passes feed in tariffs. This is a policy that needs to be debated more. I know it was tried a few decades back in California and it didn't work but Germany made some changes to it and it seems to be working very well for them. Gainesville, Florida recently started a feed-in tariff and it has been a big success. Yet it doesn't seem like it's being discussed nationally as a realistic policy option, it's about time we at least have a debate about it.

-Isn't small government awesome!

-Ladies and gents, introducing Ed Rendell, last seen worrying about Obama losing a state he won by double digits.

-White male power!

-I don't always agree (in fact I quite often disagree) with things said by some writers on the OpenLeft frontpage but I'm always happy when people step it up and put their money where their mouth is in support of progressive infrastructure.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daily Stuff: May 27th / 2009

-My fellow MPP blogger Big E has a post up on the parallels between California's total governmental breakdown and move toward 19th century social Darwinism and Tim Pawlenty's impending disastrous unilateral cuts in Minnesota. It's worth a read.

-Obama nominated a bunch of ambassadors today.

-He's also apparently considering a really awesome guy to head up a big new forign aid effort.

-America is a center-left nation, despite the reports to the contrary.

-When Joe Romm talks about offsets in cap and trade it's generally worth reading. So take a look.

-This strikes me as a very good idea that the Senate will probably kill.