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Sesame Workshop’s Statement Regarding Political Campaigns

This was released today on Sesame Street’s page. 

Sesame Street has been a proud partner of PBS for 43 years, and is dependent on PBS to distribute our commercial-free educational programming to all children in the United States. Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization. We do not comment on campaigns, but we’re happy we can all agree that everyone likes Big Bird.

Tee hee. I can totally agree to that. 

Refreshing my birddogging skills.

Currently on a conf call with my friend from HealthGAP, Paul Davis (I’ve rallied and birddogged with him back in the 2008 election) and a whole bunch of other newbies! Yeaaah new activists! He’s taking a hiatus from his work in Kenya to work on all this crazy stuff. Back in the day, he’s protested with freaking Rachel Maddow. So I guess I know her by proxy. Yeaah! :) Go AMSA! 

Oh the memories…  

Yup. that’s me. Letting our voice be heard. 

Getting tied up in “red tape” in front of the white house.

Getting arrested. Apparently they don’t like that. Even if you’re a doctor.
Being a blur of activity… Ninjas don’t get seen.  

Biden Repeats $1BN NHSC promise… (and recorded by me in the corner there) 
I unfortunately wasn’t assigned to Obama. Other people had that privilege.  

Easiest Way to Register to Vote


Please signal boost widely!

This is the easiest way to register to vote in the U.S. that I’ve found.

If you don’t have access to a printer or a car (like me), you can go to this website ( - translations in English or in Spanish), fill out your information, and they will mail you the printed forms AND a stamped envelope addressed to your county clerk’s office. All you have to do is pop it in the mail box once you receive them and you’re registered.

You can also sign up to do an absentee ballot/vote by mail so you don’t need to find transportation (or take the time off work) on election day.

It’s definitely legit because I just received and sent off the forms today. I’m not affiliated with the site in any way, I’m just excited to find such a great resource.

Please share the site on facebook, tumblr, twitter, and tell your friends and family about it.

(Source: obscenepromqueen)

You Know That TED Talk You Weren’t Supposed To See? Here It Is. (by WatchExtraVideo)

Nick Hanauer, self-described “super-rich” entrepreneur, gave a pretty compelling TED Talk about how the middle class—not the super-rich—are the real job creators. But TED, which has released over 100 different political videos in the past, thought this one was too partisan and chose not to release it. 


If you’ve got student loans, you’re going to want to watch this video. 

President Obama just took two major steps to make life easier for people with student loans, and there’s a good chance you or someone you know will benefit from them really soon. After you’ve watched, tweet/re-blog/Facebook it to get out the good word.

Was that really that hard? Nice job. So far, loans from the government are approaching 1 trillion dollars. Any work we can do to help mitigate that can help. This is pretty huge. Maybe we can bring back economic hardship deferment? :-D

Last year, American companies posted their biggest profits ever, and bonuses for bank and hedge fund executives not only reached record highs, but grew faster than corporate revenue. Meanwhile, almost one in 10 Americans is unemployed, and 15 percent live at or below the poverty level.

As a progressive activist who has marched against many wars, I try to avoid militant rhetoric. But only “class warfare” accurately describes a situation in which 400 people control more wealth than the poorest 150 million Americans combined. If “class warfare” isn’t the richest of the rich fighting tooth and nail against unions and any tax increases while record numbers of people lose their homes, what is?

President Obama shouldn’t be afraid of a little class warfare - Washington Post, 9/23/11

- This article offers solid historical analysis of the economic situation, and some interesting guidance for creating social change.

(via harmreduction)

South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers

here is your daily WTF???? 

Worst. Bill. Ever. 

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child.”

Give Peace A Chance.: What's Happening in Egypt Explained. (UPDATED)


The basics: Egypt is a large, mostly Arab, mostly Muslim country. At around 80 million people, it has the largest population in the Middle East and the third-largest in Africa. Most of Egypt is in North Africa, although the part of the country that borders Israel, the Sinai peninsula, is in Asia. Its other neighbors are Sudan (to the South), Libya (to the West), and Saudi Arabia (across the Gulf of Aqaba to the East). It has been ruled by Hosni Mubarak since 1981. 

What’s happening? Inspired by the recent protests that led to the fall of the Tunisian government and the ousting of longtime Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egyptians have joined other protesters across the Arab world (in Algeria, notably) in protesting their autocratic governments, high levels of corruption, and grinding poverty. In Egypt, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets. Here’s a photo of one of the protests in Cairo, the capital (via Twitter):

Why are Egyptians unhappy? They have basically no more freedom than Tunisians. Egypt is ranked 138th of 167 countries on The Economist’s Democracy index, a widely accepted measure of political freedom. That ranking puts Egypt just seven spots ahead of Tunisia. And Egyptians aresignificantly poorer than their cousins to the west. 

How did this all start? This particular round of protests started with the protests in Tunisia. But like their Tunisian counterparts, Egyptian protesters have pointed to a specific incident as inspiration for the unrest. Many have cited the June 2010 beating death of Khaled Said (warning: graphic photos), allegedly at the hands of police, as motivation for their rage. But it’s also clear that the issues here are larger.

Why is this more complicated for the US than Tunisia was? The Tunisian regime was a key ally for the US in the fight against Al Qaeda. But the US government’s ties to Tunisia’s Ben Ali pale in comparison to American ties to Egypt. Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution, a centrist think tank, explains

Predictions that a Tunisia-like uprising will soon topple Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are premature—the Egyptian regime, with its well-paid military, is likely to be more unified and more ruthless than its Tunisian counterparts were… The U.S. is the primary benefactor of the Egyptian regime, which, in turn, has reliably supported American regional priorities. After Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel, Egypt is the largest recipient of U.S. assistance, including $1.3 billion in annual military aid. In other words, if the army ever decides to shoot into a crowd of unarmed protestors, it will be shooting with hardware provided by the United States. As Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations points out, the Egyptian military is “not there to project power, but to protect the regime.” [Emphasis added.]

Looking for live video? You can watch Al Jazeera English live on the web. Better, perhaps, is the video feed from cairowitness, who has set up a webcam downtown in Cairo, Egypt’s bustling capital.

What’s the latest?

UPDATE: This video of a “Tiananmen Square moment” is being widely circulated on Twitter:

UPDATE 10, 11:45 a.m. EST Thursday: Lots of news to round up from today. The big takeaway, though, is that the protests continue. Tomorrow may be a major day of reckoning: protest organizers have called for huge demonstrations (expected to be the largest since Tuesday), and if protests happen as people leave Friday prayers at Egypt’s 90,000+ mosques, the regime could be in real trouble. Anyway, here’s some of what you should know about:

UPDATE 11, Thursday 6:15 p.m. EST: Arabist just posted a claim that Egypt has “shut off the internet” entirely. I don’t know how seriously to take this, but Arabist is a generally reliable site and a full shutdown is something that is theoretically possible. Arabist also notes the alleged shutdown happened “just after AP TV posted a video of a man being shot.” If the shutdown is real, it’s a huge sign that the regime is very, very worried about the protests scheduled for tomorrow (well, today Egyptian time). As Sultan Al Qassemisays, “the Egyptian regime seems willing to do anything to stay in power, including plunging Egypt back into the dark ages if necessary.” UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Arabist notes that “it’s not everywhere,” and that a foreign journalist working at a hotel in Cairo has reported to them that he still has internet access.

UPDATE 12, Thursday 6:45 p.m. EST: The Arabist report that the internet is down throughout Egypt (see previous update) is looking increasingly well-founded. Alec Ross, a State Department spokesman, has tweeted in Arabicthat the US “call[s] upon the Egyptian gov to allow unrestricted access to the internet & peaceful protests.” In addition, Arabist’s Issandr El Amrani (follow him! @arabisthas “confirmation from a person in a position to know at one Egypt’s mobile phone operators that the phone companies have been ordered by the authorities to shut down SMS services (which has been the case for at least an hour) and Blackberry Messenging in Cairo (and perhaps elsewhere in Egypt).” 

UPDATE 13, Thursday 7:15 p.m. EST: Associated Press: “A major service provider for Egypt, Italy-based Seabone, reported early Friday that there was no Internet traffic going into or out of the country after 12:30 a.m. local time.” 12:30 a.m. in Egypt is 5:30 p.m. the day before EST, so that fits with our timeline and the Arabist report.

FYI. A must read to keep up with what’s going on now. 

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