What we’d like to hear at the Congressional town hall meetings

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) at 2010 town hall meeting.

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) at 2010 town hall meeting

Congress is about to take a paid vacation for the entire month of August. During this time, many members of Congress hold town hall meetings where they take questions from their constituents. Here are some questions we would love our Republican friends to ask their Republican members of Congress:

The FCC’s Net Neutrality outrage of the week?

Net Neutrality gravestone

Net Neutrality gravestone

If you needed more evidence that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is captured by big corporations and ready to take a dive for them on Net Neutrality, that evidence seemed to arrive this week. Many of you know that Net Neutrality, i.e., the idea that companies should not be able to speed up, slow down or otherwise herd Internet users into particular affiliated corners of the Internet, generated over one million comments to the FCC, a record-setting amount. The FCC’s website got so overloaded that it shut down, and the FCC had to extend its Net Neutrality comment period, a rare occurrence. But now comes Gigi Sohn, the FCC’s Special Counsel for External Affairs, who said in an NPR interview that:

A lot of these comments are one paragraph, two paragraphs, they don’t have much substance beyond, ‘we want strong net neutrality.’

Tell your Republican friends they are being used

Right-wing impeachment message, December 2011

Right-wing impeachment message, December 2011

For many of us, it’s heartbreaking to see our Republican friends and family members being brainwashed by Fox News and GOP identity politics beyond all rationality. Sometimes we try to argue the merits of issues with them, to no avail of course. Other times we just write them off, which can make for some estranged relationships. But here’s another idea: let’s try to point out to our Republican friends that they are being used by the Republican Party.

Closing 2014 election arguments against the Republicans

The 2014 elections are only 16 weeks away. That means you’re going to be hearing all kinds of noise in the media — from kids with Ebola to Benghazi to lawsuits against President Obama. The Republicans will do everything to distract from the real issues on which they are vulnerable. So it’s time for Democrats to focus.

We already suggested back in February of this year that the Democrats needed a positive unifying theme for the 2014 elections. You can judge whether the Democrats came through. But now it’s time for the flip side as well: the Democrats need a unifying attack theme against the Republicans that they can focus on for the next four months. Here is our simple two-part suggestion:

Boehner lawsuit against President Obama backfires big time

Sad John Boehner

Sad John Boehner

Last week, Republican House Speaker John Boehner confirmed that he plans to file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for Obama’s use of executive orders. The reaction to Boehner’s lawsuit threat has been a combination of derision and ridicule for Republicans, and more money for the Democrats.

Conference call with Senator Harry Reid on getting money out of politics

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Last night, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) held a conference call featuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, about efforts to pass a Constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions which have flooded our elections with “dark money.” Also on the call were Rob Weissman of Public Citizen, Marge Baker, who is Executive Vice President of People for the American Way, Larry Cohen, the President of CWA, and Bob Master, CWA’s District 1 (Northeast) Political Director.

The Neocons’ Iraq War is like that awful movie ‘Battlefield Earth’

With Neocons hitting the airwaves to promote another Iraq War, you might be reminded of the movie “Battlefield Earth” (2000):

Did video help defeat Eric Cantor?

As we said over three years ago in Messaging Maxim #3, There’s an Invention Called Video, some Republicans (older white male Republicans in particular) seem to have trouble grasping the fact that statements they make on video are forever, and can come back to haunt them. This week, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor may have been hurt by the video maxim in a different way: being overly cautious about what he put on video.

Republicans are the party of “EXCEPT”

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Republicans “support the troops” EXCEPT Bowe Bergdahl.

Republicans are “pro-life” EXCEPT once a baby is born, then he’s on his own.

Republicans believe in “law and order” EXCEPT when it comes to keeping guns away from violent criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill.

Republicans believe in the “sanctity of marriage” EXCEPT between gay couples.

Republicans believe in “family values” EXCEPT when GOP officials are caught cheating on their spouses or frequenting prostitutes.

Republicans believe in “smaller government” and “lower spending” EXCEPT when a Republican is in the White House.

Republicans are “pro-business” EXCEPT when it comes to helping business by repairing America’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Republicans “believe in the Constitution” EXCEPT when federal law requires grazing fees on federal land.

Republicans are “tough on crime” EXCEPT when it comes to white-collar crime by bankers.

Republicans “fight terrorism” EXCEPT when it’s right-wing domestic terrorism.

Republicans believe in “free speech” EXCEPT when it comes to revealing genetically-modified foods, donors to right-wing dark money groups, or information women need when they’re pregnant.

Photo by Pargon, used under Creative Commons license. http://is.gd/G4VJ4w

The Obama White House message on climate change

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On Wednesday night, Organizing for Action (OFA), the grassroots organization that pushes for President Obama‘s agenda, held a conference call to discuss the Obama administration’s proposed new Environmental Protection Agency rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The call featured Rohan Patel, who is special assistant to President Obama and White House Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Patel spoke about what the Obama administration seeks to accomplish with the new EPA rules, as well as the White House messaging on climate change.