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Lawmakers in Colorado are wearing IUD jewelry to show bipartisan support for a bill that would direct $5 million to “Our Colorado Family Planning”, an endangered program that provides IUDs and other long-acting reversible contraceptives to poor women. As Kerry Eleveld noted in GOP lawmaker hopes to end Colorado program that lowered teen birth and abortion rates,this program has been under attack by the right-wing for ideological reasons.

But a new movement to sign up support uses IUD jewelry produced by Akron-based jewelry designer Virginia Smith (also an OB-GYN) and sold on Etsy. The jewelry, made from a resin, looks like a typical IUD, where the strings have been replaced by a clip.

As the lovely, talented and very smart Eve Andrews wrote on Grist:

Some very swag Colorado lawmakers, including a self-designated “redneck Republican,” can now be found decorating themselves with contraceptives. This is not, for the record, because IUDs are so plentiful in Colorado that there aren’t enough cervixes to hold them (sorry) — on the contrary. An initiative that allows Colorado women to get long-acting reversible contraceptives such as IUDs at minimal cost will lose its private funding in June, and a proposed bipartisan bill would provide that initiative with $5 million to keep operating.
Andrews explains how you can make your own at Wear your support for reproductive rights on your head — here’s how. But I just went and bought one from Smith on Etsy.

More about the bill if you flip below the fold....

Poll

Should Colorado's program, “Our Colorado Family Planning”, to provide free and low-cost contraceptives, be expanded to all fifty states?

78%25 votes
21%7 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

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The 2003 invasion of Iraq shows why we can’t trust right-wing pundits and establishment government figures to make good policy. Liberals must lead on this issue. But what is the best policy for the U.S. in Iraq given the very real threat emerging from a radical and potentially powerful new state made from pieces of Iraq and Syria?

Liberals have distinctly different values from conservatives. The great failure of our past policy in Iraq comes from both flaws in conservative values and deficiencies turning their values into policy. It also comes from filtering out all liberal values from the equation.

What I want to see in the media are experts on Iraq who were not proponents of the 2003 invasion. What I want are people carrying a strong policy response based on liberal values. Those people need to address our concerns:


  1. We care about humans and want to see an end to the violence.
  2. We believe in secular society, not sectarian society.
  3. We care about the economy and the environment, and we look at that from both a global and a local perspective.

The most immediate need, then, is to provide humanitarian assistance, while looking for a way to stop the fighting, and then develop a new peace structure. Whether that is one, two or three Iraqs has to come out of the needs of the people in that region.

We should be very restrained about putting in troops, even “advisors”. What do our advisors know that the Iraqis don’t?

We need to respond quickly to the humanitarian crisis, but take our time and develop policy for the military and political one.

We hear that ISIS is radical, “too radical for al Qaeda”. This is intended to scare us into action. But the truth is that any government that eventually governs western Iraq is going to be far more moderate than ISIS. There’s only one resource to fund that region, and it’s oil. Whoever controls it will be relatively moderate—if they want to sell that oil anywhere else in the world.

What policy do you want to see the U.S. pursue? What needs to replace the crazy right-wing policy that got us mired in Iraq for ten years and resulted in this mess? Meet me on the other side of the fold.

Poll

Our goal now for Iraq should be:

52%9 votes
11%2 votes
0%0 votes
11%2 votes
5%1 votes
17%3 votes

| 17 votes | Vote | Results

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"This Democrat thinks he can win in 2016 as the anti-Obama" on the MSNBC website by Benjy Sarlin says:

The former governor is gambling that Democrats won’t just want an alternative to Clinton in 2016–they’ll want a complete and total rejection of the Obama presidency.
(See article on MSNBC, no video.)

I don't think Democrats want a rejection of Obama's work. But we sure do need something better than more of the same.

Poll

Is Brian Schweitzer the best Democratic candidate for President in 2016?

22%41 votes
44%81 votes
30%55 votes
2%4 votes

| 181 votes | Vote | Results

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Brad Smith, General Counsel of Microsoft, says that "government snooping potentially now constitutes an 'advanced persistent threat,' alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks", if allegations of spying reported in the press are true.

Poll

How far has the U.S. moved toward ending democracy?

10%2 votes
42%8 votes
26%5 votes
21%4 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM PDT

Dear Mr. Obama,

by Liberal Thinking

Saying "no" to Republicans over the debt limit is not enough. The shutdown caused suffering and even death for Americans. In exchange for all this misery we deserve to see a complete change in policy. The Republican policies of cutting government spending without regard to the consequences have utterly failed. Democrats need to completely repudiate that policy.

That means the Republicans need to give up something important in order to get agreement to bring the government back online. They need to admit cutting has reached an end and we need to increase revenues going forward.

To do that I'm demanding Democratic members of Congress and you go back to the original Democratic budget numbers. Senate Democrats need to withdraw the offer to use the Republican numbers as the basis for negotiation with the House. They need to insist that no budget will pass the Senate or be signed by you unless the total is at least that high.

This should be the cost to the Republicans for shutting down the government.

As for the debt limit, Democrats need to demand an end to a separate vote over the debt limit. Any bill that prescribes spending automatically implies the Executive will do what's necessary to implement the law. A separate vote for borrowing is redundant. The authority to borrow is implicit in the original spending autorization. It is demanded by law and does not need a separate vote. And, therefore, you should ignore the debt limit if it's reached because you have all the legal authority you need to continue to borrow.

Poll

Should Democrats demand full restoration of funding (pre-sequester levels)?

88%15 votes
11%2 votes
0%0 votes

| 17 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 03:40 PM PDT

Young Netroots Take Hold

by Liberal Thinking

We are young. As a movement and as a people we are young, and one of the most striking things I found at this year's Netroots Nation is how very young the crowd is compared with YearlyKos in Chicago in 2007, when I last attended.

It's a bittersweet finding as I edge on into what we can euphemistically call “middle aged”. The sweet part is the energy and the determination, which gives me hope that my golden years (still a bit off, but looming) will not be spent begging and scrounging to get by but rather maybe watching from a porch swing as the dog romps in the yard.

For a movement to live it must have a strong inflow of new members. Sitting at a computer, it's hard to tell who my fellow bloggers are. But here in San Jose it's clear that some of them are still in school. High school. Or, maybe just out of college. And they aren't just attending because they want to get together with other writers. Many of them are here for their jobs in various progressive organizations. They're here for business, to learn the tools of the trade, like how to look good on TV or how to make effective film or video.

And clearly, they've come here to make this their life's work because they are just starting out. They are young.

(Pictures below the fold.)

Poll

Did you go to Netroots Nation?

25%4 votes
75%12 votes

| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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I don’t have children, so my opinions on education are, shall we say, academic. But our opponents have made public education such an acrimonious issue that I think it’s important to push back on their attacks.

One of my favorite authors is Po Bronson, and I was halfway through his book, NurtureShock, (co-authored by Ashley Merryman) when I came to an invaluable section on work done in early school education by researchers Dr. Elena Bodrova and Dr. Deborah Leong in the 1990s. By now, their program, called Tools of the Mind, has been tested in a number of classrooms around the country.

For example, in 1997, in cooperation with the Denver Public Schools, Bodrova and Leong put their program to a full test in kindergarden classes:

Ten kindergarten teachers were randomly assigned, to teach either Tools or the regular district curriculum. In these classrooms, one-third to one-half of the children were poor Hispanic students who began the year classified as having limited English-language proficiency: they were starting kindergarten effectively a grade-level behind.

The following spring, all the children took national standardized tests. The results were jaw-dropping. The children from the Tools classes were now almost a full grade-level ahead of the national standard. In the district, only half the kindergarteners score as proficient at their grade-level. Of the Tools children, 97% scored as proficient.

More on the program and it’s implications after the squiggly.
Poll

What teaching method do you think shows the best promise of improving our schools?

81%27 votes
18%6 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

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Reports are President Obama will soon give a speech about the prison at Guantanamo and the drone program (MSNBC). I hope he takes this opportunity to address the entire breadth of the Bush dictatorship: the spying, the indefinite detentions, the illegal searches, the generation of the police state, suppression of protests, voter suppression—not to mention the drones.

We have until the end of the Obama Administration to restore democracy and the rule of law. Any part of the Bush dictatorship not repudiated by that time will become a permanent part of our system of governance because it will have the imprimatur of a Democratic President. Given our worldwide empire, rule by fiat will then be the norm everywhere and always. We will have permanently given up the idea of a western, liberal democracy.

Poll

Do you care about freedom and democracy?

53%7 votes
0%0 votes
7%1 votes
38%5 votes
0%0 votes

| 13 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT

Better Worker Earnings Week 3

by Liberal Thinking

Low pay for workers is undermining our society. It's the root cause of the federal deficit and robs Social Security and Medicare of billions of dollars each year. In Better Worker Earnings I asked you to make a commitment to look for a job that pays better. It’s Friday, already! This is the third weekly opportunity for you to let us know whether you took the pledge and how it's been working for you.

What’s your story this week?

Poll

Are you using the month of May to look for a job with better compensation?

0%0 votes
50%1 votes
0%0 votes
50%1 votes

| 2 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT

Better Worker Earnings Week 2

by Liberal Thinking

Low pay for workers is undermining our society. It's the root cause of the federal deficit and robs Social Security and Medicare of billions of dollars each year. In Better Worker Earnings I asked you to make a commitment to look for a job that pays better. This is the second weekly opportunity for you to let us know whether you took the pledge and how it's been working for you.

It doesn’t take much to move the ball in the right direction. Wages have been depressed for years. At some point that pressure will break, and just a small change maybe the turnaround point. So, consider where you could find a new job, one that pays more. It could even be in your own company.

Poll

Are you using the month of May to look for a job with better compensation?

0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
100%1 votes

| 1 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT

Better Worker Earnings Week 1

by Liberal Thinking

Low pay for workers is undermining our society. It's the root cause of the federal deficit and robs Social Security and Medicare of billions of dollars each year. In Better Worker Earnings I asked you to make a commitment to look for a job that pays better. This is the first weekly opportunity for you to let us know whether you took the pledge and how it's been working for you.

Poll

Are you using the month of May to look for a job with better compensation?

50%1 votes
0%0 votes
50%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 2 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT

Better Worker Earnings

by Liberal Thinking

Low pay for workers is undermining our society. It's the root cause of the federal deficit and robs Social Security and Medicare of billions of dollars each year. In Social Security by the Numbers I noted worker income as a percentage of business income has sharply declined since 1990. By some estimates this income has dropped from 60% of business income to around 50%. This represents over a trillion dollars in lost income for workers.

I aim to change that.

We can use the market to our advantage by creating higher demand for workers. The way we do that is by seeking jobs with higher wages--together, at once.

Poll

Will you use the month of May to look for a job with better compensation?

0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
100%3 votes
0%0 votes

| 3 votes | Vote | Results

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