Bye Bye, Bushie, Bye Bye
I have mentioned a good political Web site and 2003 Webby winner (the Internet Oscars),, which is aimed at bringing ordinary people back into politics. A catalyst for a new kind of grassroots movement, MoveOn is run by a small staff based in Berkeley that coordinates an international community with over 2 million online activists seeking to build electronic advocacy groups. It has previously addressed issues online such as campaign finance reform, gun safety, environmental and energy issues, nuclear disarmament, etc.

Each member at MoveOn has a voice in the shared direction and strategy of the organization (the strongest rise), and the group has received a lot of positive attention among progressives lately for its current drive to allow hundreds of thousands of voters to read about Democratic nominations and vote early for their presidential primary favorites (the voting ends June 26). Each of the nine declared presidential candidates wrote a letter to MoveOn’s membership and responded to several interview questions.

Although Democratic candidates have a lot of time to screw up and/or change their positions before the upcoming election, MoveOn’s idea has been well-received because it holds the candidates responsible and encourages early debate and attention to the issues.

Initial funding for the MoveOn group was from founders Joan Blade and Wes Boyd, two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs disillusioned with the current state of American politics, and continued funding has been established through grants and anonymous donors. You should check out their site if you haven’t yet and read about the results yourselves.

Activist alerts
Recent activist alerts worthy of your attention:

The Defense Department continues to try to roll back environmental regulations, now it wants across-the-board exemption from environmental regulations for any reason related to national security (Defense Authorization Bill). Key provisions of the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Act are at stake here. Interested local environmentalists should notify senators to remove the environmental exemptions (the bill is now in a conference committee reconciling House and Senate differences).

Also, the first judicial nominee sent to the Senate floor without a recommendation in 52 years, Mr. J. Leon Holmes, is an anti-abortion activist who has compared the abortion rights movement to Nazism, has written that abortion should not be available to rape victims because he believes “conceptions from rape occur with the same frequency as snow in Miami” (studies indicate that approximately 25,000-32,000 pregnancies occur each year in the U.S. as a result of rape), and has written that “the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband,” among other pathetic comments. Urge your senators to vote no on Mr. Holmes, unless his kind of extremist, backwards-ass rhetoric fits with your worldview.

Weekly props
1. The Fryer Family Farm (Thanks, Jewel and Brent!)

2. City of Quartz by Mike Davis

3. Capturing the Friedmans

4. Bustolini’s Delta Blues Night, coming soon