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Introducing the Democracy Alliance:

At least 80 wealthy liberals have pledged to contribute $1 million or more apiece to fund a network of think tanks and advocacy groups to compete with the potent conservative infrastructure built up over the past three decades.

The money will be channeled through a new partnership called the Democracy Alliance, which was founded last spring -- the latest in a series of liberal initiatives as the Democratic Party and its allies continue to struggle with the loss of the House and the Senate in 1994 and the presidency in 2000. Many influential Democratic contributors were left angry and despairing over the party's poor showing in last year's elections, and are looking for what they hope will be more effective ways to invest their support.

Financial commitments totaling at least $80 million over the next five years generated by the Democracy Alliance in recent months -- at a time when some liberal groups, such as the George Soros-backed America Coming Together, are floundering -- suggest that the group is becoming a player in the long-term effort to reinvigorate the left. The group has a goal of raising $200 million -- a sum that would inevitably come in part at the expense of more traditional Democratic groups, although alliance officials say donors have committed to maintaining past contribution levels [...]

The Democracy Alliance will act as a financial clearing house. Its staff members and board of directors will develop a lineup of established and proposed groups that they believe will develop and promote ideas on the left. To fulfill their million-dollar pledge, each partner must agree to give $200,000 or more a year for at least five years to alliance-endorsed groups.

The alliance is the brainchild of longtime Democratic strategist Rob Stein, who spent years studying conservative groups -- in particular their success in sustaining GOP politicians and achieving many of their policy goals. Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network, is working with Stein and is a leading promoter of his effort.

Big development in the rise of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. The Right spends between $400-500 million every year in just the think thank, training, and legal advocacy groups in its machine. That number doesn't even include their network of media outlets.

$200 million over four years doesn't seem like a lot comparatively, and it technically isn't. But their machine was built for 20th century politics. Ours doesn't have to be as big and expensive as theirs. And we can craft ours to better suit the digital political warscape we face in the years ahead.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:15 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  so how much (4.00)
    will dKos be applying for?
    •  better use of money (4.00)
      I would be happier if they were creating foundations to fund online think tanks and alternative media.

      But I suspect these donors want to be able to set the direction of their think tanks.

      Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

      by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:23:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This site is profitable (4.00)
      The money needs to go where it's needed, not wanted :)
      •  Haven't you guys heard? (4.00)
        Daily Kos is the next CNN. It will eventually become kos/Time/Warner.

        Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

        by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:15:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  DKos (4.00)
        Is nothing if not an online think tank. That has become apparent to me lately. It transcends the mere blogisphere. The professionalism and incredible wealth and breadth of knowledge that is shared here is mind boggling.

        I'm glad it is profitable, but would also like to see it being supported for its work, not just for its visibility for advertisers.

        "Tikkun Olam (to heal and repair the world) You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it" Rabbi Tarfun

        by RevDeb on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:32:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  limitations (4.00)
          The community does move toward truth, but not in a systematic way. It's not like somebody says, "we're gonna work on health care for the next week."

          Also, the end product isn't stored in an organized manner. If somebody writes something great, it might be on the recommended diary list for a little while, but then it fades into obscurity.

          The dkosopedia has some potential to address this, but it's not being used in a systematic manner.

          I'm not criticizing Daily Kos, but a true online think tank would be different.

          Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

          by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:40:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wonder if... (none)
            ...they're going to try and address this problem?
            •  An organizing, indexing, and summarizing service (4.00)
              ...would be a great addition to Daily Kos.  Heck, since even those activities would involve and reflect a bit of bias, and since there's room, three or four competing organizing/indexing/summarizing services would be good!  Developing a service, or a part of one, would make a good Ph.D. thesis project for a degree in political science or history or library science or information management (are the last two the same?) or several of the other social sciences.  There are plenty of liberal-leaning universities that might accept support for something like this in their graduate programs, and University of Chicago comes to my mind as a conservative-leaning school that already seems into projects like translating dictionaries.

              Hey, rich donors!  Here's a suggestion that's worth at least what you paid for it.

            •  Starting place (none)
              How's about getting the ads where they're supposed to be and not on top of the comments?  I suppose I COULD pay, but I don't have that kind of disposable income.
        •  A better use than DKos... (none)
          I think the valuable contributions here at DKos will continue with or without additional monetary support.  The money is better spent on concentrated research and organizational developments that couldn't happen without funding.  

          For example, they could pay someone to read DKos and integrate the thoughts here with the centralized research and message effort.  ;)

      •  Re: This site is profitable (4.00)
        It's short comments like this Kos, which really cement your credibility.  No sooner does someone see someone else's philanthropy as a potential opportunity for dKos, than you point to the bigger picture.

        The bigger picture includes understanding the importance of each piece's role in transforming our society, and the necessity of many pieces in carrying on the important work.

        This new initiative is great news, and even if it is not optimized in the direction that all progressives feel best, it cannot help but help, as long as the rest of us don't think we're absolved from our own responsibilities.

        Coordination is important, but so is variety, and the more varied ways that are created for concerned citizens to involve themselves in - and contribute to - the causes which move them, the better our progress.

        Netroots is tremendous, dKos is a great community, but it can't all happen in cyberspace.  Let's remember that these are great tools, but we have to do a lot more than click on our keyboards to change the world.

      •  StemPAC! We need the money!!! :) (none)
        Now that's the spirit!  That's how we know you're really on the progressive side, Kos...  ;)

        Anyone know if there's an application process yet for funding?  I'm sure every group on the planet is wondering the same thing, but... we need the $$$, so we will happily get in that same line...

  •  We have the truth on our side, so it's cheaper (4.00)
    They have too much more to overcome, so we don't have to meet them dollar for dollar, we just need to show up and understand the rules they play by.
    •  Here's a link to them (4.00)
      Democracy Alliance is a project of NDN and Robert Stein is once of its directors. You can visit their site to find out what they stand for -- which pretty much seems to be an agenda for progressives. As for the Democracy Alliance, it doesn't appear to be off the ground yet so we don't know what the rules are, or will be, yet.

      The following blip on DA appears in NDN's 2005 Mid-year Report. The goal has been emphasized in bold italic for easy spotting.

      Democracy Alliance

      One of NDN's most important missions these past few years has been to help all of us better understand the nature of the modern conservative movement and the challenges it poses to progressives and the nation. For over a year we were the primary convener of a conversation around the now well known power point presentation and analysis of NDN Advisory Board Member Rob Stein. This work, which we called the Phoenix Project, was detailed in a New York Times Magazine cover story piece last summer. We are excited to report that, under Rob's leadership, the project has evolved into a new forum for investors called the Democracy Alliance - a group dedicated to vastly expanding progressives' institutional capacities.

      I have been deeply involved in the formation of the Democracy Alliance, and plan to continue to advise them as they mature into what we all hope will be a significant new force for progress in the years ahead.

      Give a man a fish, he dines today, teach him how to fish, he dines tomorrow, teach him how to sell fish and he eats steak! Anon.

      by Serendipity on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:40:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "...the truth on our side..." (4.00)
      While I imagine some folks would consider that you've tossed that off a "little" blithely, I would not be among them. Admittedly it's difficult (impossible?) to view ones own position with anything approaching objectivity, but I think I've tried my damnedest  to do so, and have the come to the same conclusion as you. Somehow (and this again is this is from my own not unbiased perspective) I can't imagine the reactionaries at LGF and the Freepers as ever even making the attempt with anything approaching an open mind, much less  in the spirit of critical self-examination (they sneeringly dismiss any honest attempt at self analysis as "naval gazing"). Your point is also relevant to the straw man the Right has been attacking in academia, they are loathe to admit that the obvious reason that there are so many progressives in higher education, is that people who choose to live a life of the mind, tend to be bright and possess beliefs that come from actually thinking about issues in a manner that at least approximates disinterest.

      "Quoting: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another..." Robert Benchley

      by greeseyparrot on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:23:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nature abhors a vacuum (4.00)
        They have to test market their message endlessly, and the only way it seems to sink in is when they get their victims young (I was once a libertarian Republican, but you can never go back) or exclusively.
      •  Re: ... truth on our side (none)
        Count me among proud "navel gazers" who won't blithely dismiss the advantage of working from a position of truth - or at least the truth as I earnestly see it.  This reminds me of one of my favorite Neil Young stanzas:

        I never knew a man could tell so many lies
        He had a different story for every set of eyes.
        How can he remember who he's talkin' to?
        'Cause I know it ain't me, and I hope it isn't you.

      •  Look at them purty boats (none)
        Ahem, navel

        "Quoting: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another..." Robert Benchley

        by greeseyparrot on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 07:10:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Symbolism is expensive (4.00)
      Elections are won with symbolism and that is expensive. The tens of millions who vote against their own interests will continue dragging themselves down and taking the country with them if our side doesn't put on a show they identify with.
      •  as one who works in TV commercials ... (none)
        I have to say you are exactly right.

        And the repubs have been diabolically brilliant, and extremely well-funded, regarding this.

        Next time you see a tow-truck driver cruising around in his tow-truck, try to imagine him voting Democratic.   It's difficult.   They've somehow managed to make the Republican party the party of the non-thinking-man, the man who identifies himself with marlboro cowboys and shit like that.

        •  as one who drives a tow truck ... (none)
          Not really.  But pay heed to the bumper sticker on that F-150, ace:

          Don't Assume That I Vote Republican

          I'd run your copy through PR before posting! [smiley face]

          "Figs! In the name of The Prophet, figs!" E.A. Poe

          by moltar on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 09:14:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well hey, good for you! (none)
            I used to drive a pickup truck myself.   With a big hairy dog in the back.  And I used to be a member of the NRA.   And I've never voted republican once.

            But ...... I was generalizing.  And you know what that means.

    •  We don't need any think tanks (4.00)
      We need our elected officials to realize what the message is and get on it; we need our people to own some media; and we need a good noise machine.

      The republicans have propaganda mills, not think tanks.  They set them up to have the apearance of think tanks so they could go head to head in the media with real academics (who actually have facts, and often happen to be Democrats) and whip them with rhetoric.  

      I'm all for Democratic propaganda work. I also support punishing for wayward Democratic politicians who keep vote with rethugs and attacking fellow Democrats who actually stand for something.

      •  No, I really think we do (none)
         Having our guys on message is important, but we need to work on the message a bit. The party's standard brand of "I'll have what he's having" politics sucks.

         The deal is, our think tanks are already up and running, for free. Sometimes we are hung up talking about rat shit, but even in some of the most mundane discussions little gems show up. We need a way to monitor some of these gives and takes, throw 'em at the wall, run 'em up the flag poll, you know. A funded effort to harness the energy of what's going on the internets and using what is of value would be good. I just hope the money goes to the best places.

        •  This is important. (none)
          I think a lot of us take it for granted that truth is on our side, that its worth is inherently obvious, but I can point out at least a couple of recent electoral decisions that say differently.  

          When was the last time that we sat down to figure out what we really want? What the society that we're going for would look like?  This is what think tanks are for, they're for laying down the systemic intellectual basis for what a society would look like.

          This has to be done anew, for at least a couple of reasons:

          1.  In the post-Clinton era, the DLC and other centrist voices in the party have made such drastic changes in the image of the party that they have affected the party's basic principles.  While it has been presented as a strategy of repositioning the party, it winds up making substantive changes to the proposed policies themselves.  We've become a party that is undistinguishable from the Republicans on three-strikes laws, welfare reform, free trade, corporate welfare, foreign policy, and any one of a number of things.  We may think we know what we want, but it's obviously not that apparent to a great many Americans.  Think tanks would provide the intellectual infrastructure for that kind of indispensible return to first principles.

          2.  All that being said, it is necessary -- and I know this sounds a little "third way"-ish, but hear me out -- it is necessary to reimagine progressivism for the 21st century.  There have been enormous changes in American society since 1968, which was the last year that a liberal consensus could be said to hold sway over the American public.  We've moved from a Fordist economy with a strong industrial base to a postindustrial service economy.  What new progressive policies are needed to address this new situation?  How would we retool the achievements of 20th-century liberalism -- the Great Society, the New Deal -- for our present time?  This doesn't have to embrace half-hearted Tony Blair/Clinton-ish conceptions of a watered-down progressivism.  It could, on the contrary, be essential to a reinvigorated progressive vision.

          The other thing I object to here is people saying, "we don't need as much money," because we hold the keys to the truth, because we're an internet-based movement, whatever.  The problem is that it will take every bit as much money to attract the young, hyper-intelligent thinkers to our cause as it took conservative think tanks in the 1970s and 1980s.  This sounds cynical, but the energy often goes where the money is.  How many erstwhile 68'ers or yippies or campus radicals changed their spots when they realized how cozy their sinecure could be at the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute?  We can sneer at these latter-day conservatives all we like, but money is a factor.

          Do you realize editor Lewis Lapham was offered a salary of almost $200,000 to leave Harper's and head the editorial staff of one of the conservative rags?  It's a good thing that he stands on principle, because a lesser -- if equally talented -- man might have jumped ship.  This is why we need the money.

          Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought. -- Milan Kundera

          by Dale on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 09:03:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  200K for Lewis Lapham?! (4.00)
            Big money in 1968, but today? My house would cost 1.5 mill in LA.  Could I afford that on 200K?  I don't think so.  The middle class is already gone, folks.  Meanwhile, land speculation is at fever pitch all over the country.  Big crash coming.

            I don't know what WE stand for, but as a Liberal who is discovering at a late age (52) that he is different from the kid in 1969, I stand for:

            • a strong military, yes, but one that isn't used for repression as opposed to mainly defense (although I recognize the need for offense at times)

            • help for the poor in every way.  Very little has changed since 1960's Harvest of Shame, from what I can see, and Bobby's tour of Appalachia

            • a real health system that could help everyone, run with the utmost attention to cutting administrative and physical plant costs.  My local hospital called me looking for another MRI machine.  Not that they didn't have one already; they wanted a new one.  The "standard donation" was $2000.  Yeah.

            • help for the middle class with college education.  It was much easier for me in 1971 to get money for books via a grant (I got 100% tuition thru a scholarship, and worked 20 hrs. for housing)

            • money for the arts.  JFK was right.  The soul must also be nourished.  Reagan demolished that, and oh my God did you see that painting George and Laura were so proud of?  K-Mart kitsch.

            • rebuilding the infrastructure.  No explication needed.  It would be cool if we could put the unemployed to work, though.

            • rebuilding our civil rights.  It's beyond disgusting that the Voting Rights Act has "run out," and Jesse Jackson is leading rights marches in Georgia.  What must he be thinking?  After 40 years, to be yanked backward, I would be majorly bummed.  Trash the "Patriot" Act and all the other Bushspeak bullshit acts.

            • Solar, wind, geothermal.  Bike paths.  40 mpg target for ALL cars, not a "fleet average" where 1,000 60-mpg buzzbuckets balance out 8,000,000 8-mpg behemoths.

            • Unions that work, and really help the workers.  Death to Wal-Mart (sorry, it slipped out)
            ----
            In 1969, I supported the IRA bombings.  It was necessary, and too bad for the bombees, but they shouldn't have gone in.  I no longer support terrorism or whatever you call targeting civilians, no matter what words are spoken to justify it, or what parallels you can draw to X empire.  Killing children and people at a restaurant is wrong, whether it's by guided bomb from a B-2, or a "terrorist" on a bicycle.

            In 1969, I believed The Revolution was coming.  It's not coming.  It's going to be a long, tough slog to wade through the mess of the Bush years, and try to piece together a kind, generous, and basically peace-loving America out of the Amerikan Empire.

            In 1969, I hadn't done drugs, but I believed that pot was harmless.  It is not.  How do I know?  Well, besides those fascinating thermal scans, I present Bill W., who hasn't stopped smoking since 1971.  Bill was a budding (no pun) artist when we met, and just fell deeper and deeper into the hole.  Don't tell me pot isn't addictive.  I did it for 10 years, and for the last 2, I smoked just to get down to the bottom of the bag.  But, would I do LSD again if I had the chance?  In a heartbeat.

            In 1969, I believed that The American Dream Machine was basically indomitable, that there would always be liberalism.  The Republicans were stuffy old gents, who argued well (Bill Buckley), but simply got it all wrong.  Now, they're (neoCons) killers.  They would snuff us all if they could.

            In 1969, I watched Apollo 11 rise up over the inlet and thunder into the sky on 5 million pounds of thrust.  They said a million people were there with me.  Maybe.  But we all believed in the mission, that it would succeed, and that Important Things would happen because of it.  Now we fly bricks with wings, and Bush wants Mars - have a nice trip.  We don't need to send men; they can do nothing more than the rovers.  The space program is crumbling, bloated, and without direction.  In 1969, we argued against the tremendous cost of space exploration, but the sheer coolness of it overwhelmed me.  We are now in a much, much deeper hole than LBJ threw us into.

            In 1969, there was a menacing and implacable enemy: Communism, in the form of the USSR and China.  "Russia" was actually pretty easy to plan against and huff around in German fields playing war games; China, not so scrutable.  Now, another "ism" that is smart, fluid, financed (exactly how much we don't know; we do know that about 9 billion went missing in Iraq) and armed with a whole country worth of explosives - tons and tons.  We are losing.  We could spend $50 billion to have all airliners be able to spit tinfoil out their asses, and they would hit gasoline storage tanks for about $1000.  And don't think they haven't studied it.

            "Figs! In the name of The Prophet, figs!" E.A. Poe

            by moltar on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 10:12:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not just the energy (none)
            It's not just the energy where the money is at--it's the jobs. There are plenty of people who would love to work in progressive politics--but without halfway decent salaries available, they simply can't afford to (assuming they can even find one of the jobs in the movement).
            •  That's absolutely correct (none)
              But what are the jobs that need doing and will the rich Dems pay their troops that sort of money to do it?

              We need focus group developers, talking heads and grassroots organizers.  Let's see if Soros & Co, will buy an apartment building and training center in DC to house and train our troops for a year then send them off on $100,000 salaries to get cracking.  Never gonna happen.

              Most of the wealthy Dem donors want to be king makers and they hate the very grassroots they need to get the work done.  If they hire anyone, it will be the hack wannabes who will be beholden to them rather than to our cause.

              The nature of our side and what we want is differert than the Repubs, because we are not basing our vision on greed and personal agrandizement.

              As I said in other posts, we need better message developemnt and discipline, but I question whether relying on wealthy donors is the best method to get there.

              The grassroots live in the communities among the people who need to be focused grouped.  We can get the same feedback on our message ideas by talking to our neighbors and people in the grocery lines.  We can bring our Democratic elected officials into line by electing our people with our grassroots money who will be on message to start with.  

              If we organize effectively, the carreer polls will see the writing on the wall and start behaving, or get ousted in contested primaries (I'm thinking Lieberman & Biden here to start).  THAT will get their attention!

              It is our network and relationships that will do this.  The wealthy have their networks and relationships.  We are not in that group.   But there are more of us and we have the means now.

        •  Should have said we don't need any NEW thing tanks (none)
          We HAVE our think tanks and they are in the real academic institutions where there are scientists interested in reality and statisticians who understand how to interpret numbers correctly.  Let's not buy into the Republican misuse of the term think tank.

          What we need is better polling and discipline for mesage development and implementation. That is not think tank business.  

          The power of Fran Luntz' work is at least 50% in the focus groups he runs that determine in very fine detail what messaging actually works.  On our side, Lakoff is the quintessential think tank type, but without the tests to find the right actual frames, it's all ivory tower stuff that I think often misses the mark quite widely.

          The other Republican powerhose is Grover Norquist and his discipline sessions.  Where is our Democratic enforcer?

  •  Better Hurry (none)
    Bigshot donors better hurry and get some adults into power.  Bush may be firing Fitzgerald?  From Rawstory.com:

    Newsweek's Michael Isikoff will splash a story in tomorrow's Newsweek which reveals that the boss of CIA leak probe prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is likely to be replaced by a former Bush classmate at Yale.

    What's more, Newsweek has found that the new boss is a fellow initiate of the Yale secret society, Skull and Bones. Details will appear on the magazine's website early Sunday and on newsstands Monday.

  •  not sheep in wolves clothing (none)
    Beware of rich Democrats. The Nazi moron lurks nearby.
  •  I love it! (4.00)
    Last night, I was watching FNC and somehow feeling down about how the Right owns the media and has a monopoly over formation of public opinion.

    This is very, very good news!

  •  Everybody's Doin' It (4.00)
    I certainly hope that big and expensive is not necessarily the way to go in the 21st century, 'cause we don't even have $200 million over four years, but the Green Institute is doing very good work, and definitely deserves checking out (even if you're not inclined to vote Green).

    Support IWT
    Independent World Television
    The Alternative to the Corporate Media

    by GreenSooner on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:18:11 PM PDT

  •  think tanks could be more harm than help (4.00)
    Am I the only one that sees this as a problem?

    The Beltway Dems are already drawing their paychecks from the wealthy Dems. The Dems with deep pockets are out-of-step with the rank-and-file on at least a couple issues.

    The ultra wealthy Dems basically like trade agreements like NAFTA and international financial institutions like the World Bank.

    Also, the people paying for these think tanks are going to include a number of staunch Zionists.

    To become a majority party the Dems need to be able to maneuver on global trade and Israel. These think tanks may make it harder to craft new positions, not easier.

    Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

    by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:21:21 PM PDT

    •  You know, Carl, while I agree ... (4.00)
      ...with some of what you are saying about these think tanks, not everything is about Israel.

      "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:28:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  means and motive are there, right? (none)
        Do Zionists lack the motivation to keep criticism of Israel off the Dem think tank agenda?

        Do Zionists lack the connections and influence to do it?

        Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

        by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:31:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd be happy to see a think-tank ... (4.00)
          ...or two attempt to delve into the complexities of the Israel-Palestine conundrum and the need for a fresh U.S. policy in the region. But the last thing we need is another group that begins from a premise of "Zionist" as perjorative.

          "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

          by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:49:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  frustration with Zionism (1.66)
            Between Zionists calling Israel critics anti-semites and the Zionist claim that genetics proves they have a right to the land, Zionism is wearing thin.

            Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

            by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:51:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Zionist and neocon[isst] (4.00)
              are the flip sides of the same religous absolute.  We are right and everyone else is wrong.  And while I applaud the new money and think tanks being formed, only time will tell if this is DLC type money with Lieberman as model, or with Dean as a model.  Time will tell.  

              I just ask that the think tanks be 'evenhanded.'  :>)

              •  Zionist and Neo-cons (none)
                You can be pro-Israel and call be a Zionist.  The difference is putting the interests of Israel before the interests of the American people, then you are a "neo-con" or plainly put: a "uber-Zionist."

                I will state again (as I have stated before):  The greatest threat to world peace and individual freedom (liberty) is religious extremism (from any foreign or domestic source).  Believing that "God" endorsing your intolerance is the biggest threat to all of us.

                Greenspan is "one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington." -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

                by slip kid no more on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:16:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  why is fundamentalism on the rise worldwide? (none)
                  But why are fundamentalist interpretations of all religions gaining power at the same time?

                  Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

                  by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:20:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't know ... globalization? (none)
                    a.k.a. - economic and social insecurity.

                    In general, I agree with you Carl.  You have a great focus.

                    Greenspan is "one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington." -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

                    by slip kid no more on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:31:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  because mankind can't stop (none)
                    the development of science and control its effects caused by its inventions.

                    Technology and science has empowered women and the third world have-nots. This causes fears in those who have something to lose vis a vis those who have nothing to lose but only something to gain.

                    Those fears cause the revival of fundamentalist religious authoritarian ideas designed to regain the control men, patriarchs and the developed world had during the last century.

                    It's the fear to lose control of those who used to have the power to control others.

                    "God, what's the war on terror exactly?" - God: "An Intelligence Deficit Disorder."

                    by mimi on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:35:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Because Fundamentalism is Successful (4.00)
                    Fundamentalism is associated with underdeveloped, low-education societies: it's most common among people who cannot understand much of their world, and have little influence over it. Fundamentalism provides an understandable structure and a supportive, predictable community.

                    As a wedding musician I work in fundamentalist churches regularly and I find them to be very nurturing, near-complete little worlds provided you're not especially skeptical.

                    Technology has passed a threshold and now the average reasonable person is having real trouble understanding the world we're creating. We're losing the ability just to understand the artifacts our society makes. When I was a kid in the 50's, my folks could repair and probably build from scratch every toy I owned (in principle at least). Today many of our toys and appliances contain chips. No human can build a chip, none or virtually none can repair one, and most people don't understand them well at all.

                    We measure through polls and surveys that the reasonable average person does not understand their economy and government very well--they certainly don't know much about the policies they're following.

                    Then we have the problem of the power to influence the world. The people no longer own and operate much of the economy. The economy is concentrating into larger businesses held in fewer hands, operating globally, and as that happens, it is taking over the power of government.

                    Every way you slice it, the conditions for fundamentalism become more ripe every year.

                    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

                    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 06:51:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  think again (none)
                      Fundamentalism is associated with underdeveloped, low-education societies: it's most common among people who cannot understand much of their world, and have little influence over it. Fundamentalism provides an understandable structure and a supportive, predictable community.

                      That's about half-right. The hijackers on 9/11 and the London bombers on 7/7 were not that bad off -- upper working class to middle class type of guys. Educated, roof over their heads, well-fed... they aren't exactly the picture of "underdeveloped" and "low-education."

                      •  But under employed, under paid (none)
                        in their minds, at least.

                        If you've been told that if you keep your nose clean, go to school, get a good education, you'll have a good job, good future, decent life, and you DON'T get that, you're, in a word, disgruntled.

                        How disgruntled depends on how much you expected/believed, how much your life matches your dream, and your attitude toward it.

                        If you grow up being told you're going to be rich and famous, and you wind up (relatively) poor and a nobody, you're not going to be very happy about it.

                        Anything that gives you back even part of your dream will probably be enthusiastically embraced. That can lots of things, but often it's somebody/thing that wants to manipulate your disappointment for their own gain.

                        •  there may be a shade of truth there... (none)
                          ...but from what I've read the motivations behind these terrorists were more along the lines of attempting to make known the plight of their fellow Muslims in dictatorial, corrupt nations which are propped up by the West.

                          When women (sisters, wives, daughters, mothers) can be raped at random and a bribe is required for anything and everything, people tend to strike back in any way they can and at any target they can. Most of us don't know the half of what the heck goes on in these countries. Blowing up planes by ramming them into skyscrapers and sending fireballs through subways are a means of drawing attention to these peoples' plights. And, to an extent, it's probably easier to do here than doing the same in Egypt or Jordan or Saudi Arabia given the tight government controls.

                          Like the ol' teach a man to fish colloquialism... Spray weed killer on a weed and you'll kill one weed but another will soon pop up. Change your lawn so weeds won't grow and you won't need weed killer nor have weeds.

                          Fix the problems in these countries either by discontinuing support or demanding reform and you'll have solved the terrorist problem (after all, look at what's become of the IRA lately -- not that Ireland/N Ireland had the same issues, but the IRA used the same means). Killing terrorists fixes the symptoms but doesn't find a cure.

            •  I'm more than disappointed (none)
              at your now using what was listed in a post on this site as if it were a well documented fact.

              Find me ONE reference anyplace that isn't offhand opinion in direct response to other posts that remotely looks like what you've just stated.

              Dishonest at best.

              Democracy is a contact sport...

              by jsmagid on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:04:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Jew hating is wearing thin too. (none)
              I got news for you hating Jews and clothing it in anti-zionist garb is also getting pretty thin dude.

              "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees"

              by Blutodog on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:16:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  it's not complex especially (3.33)
            BTW, the conundrum isn't terribly complex.

            Here are the key truths.

            1. Both Israelis and Palestinians are obsessed with seeing themselves as the victims. Neither side has much willingness to support an agreement that doesn't acknowledge the greater victimhood of their side.
            2. By dragging out the conflict over 35 years there is no normalcy to which to return.
            3. War gives the nationalists on both sides more power over their people.
            4. The external allies on both sides have reasons for perpetuating the conflict.
            4a. Arab leaders know how to use the conflict to position themselves as populists.
            4b. Jewish American organizations know the conflict heightens the sense of Jewish identity and helps in fundraising.

            The conflict is intractable. Rather than pretending the Israelis and Palestinians are going to negotiate a solution we should use the UN Security Council to impose one. It's in the U.S. national interests. And once the nationalists in Israel and Palestine are done with their temper tantrums, the Israeli and Palestinian people will thank us for doing the right thing.

            Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

            by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:58:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't disagree with a great deal ... (4.00)
              ...of what you're saying here, but, as I tried to say in my first post here, not everything is about Israel, and these think-tanks have a lot of other things they need to deal with. I'd be happy to discuss the Palestine-Israel situation with you on a thread devoted to that issue.

              But not here.

              "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

              by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:04:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Can we discard the term "Zionist"? (none)
              That term has picked up so much baggage in the last 100 years.  It's almost like the word 'love' -- when you hear it, you think you know what the other person means, but you're probably wrong.  

              To older Jews, "Zionist" means there ought to be someplace where Jewish refugees from Germany could have gone in 1938.  

              To younger Israelis, it might mean the Torah is a warranty deed from G_d for all of 'greater Israel' including the west bank and Gaza strip.  I prefer to call those people the 'Israel, right or wrong' advocates.  

              To Palestinian Arabs, or whatever you'd like to call the people Yasser Arafat sort of led, 'Zionist' likely means the oppressors who've been pushing 'my own people' out of a place they've lived for generations.  

              It's reached the point that the term 'Zionist' is no use for communication, but great if you want to start a fight.  I think it's time we started turning up our noses at anyone who uses the word.  For not exactly the same reason, 'Zionist' should go the way of 'aryan' and 'master race'.

              •  A couple of points (none)
                Zionism should be open to crticism in the same way that any other political philosophy is.

                A more general point concerning this whole discussion - being critical of Israeli domestic and foreign policy should not be equated with being anti-semetic. The confusion comes from a deliberate muddying of the waters by the pro-Israel lobby.

                'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

                by stevej on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 08:14:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  A bit arch, don't you think? (none)
              Both Israelis and Palestinians are obsessed with seeing themselves as the victims.

              Because both Israelis and Palestinians are the victims.

              From your perspective, the conflict may seem petty and manipulated. But the problem is that to those inside it, on both sides, it feels as though being the side to give in would result in destruction. Regardless of whether that perception is accurate or not, their reaction is far from a "temper tantrum."

              I basically agree that a solution must involve an outside agency. I just hope that agency is composed of people with a different attitude from yours.

              "There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line" - Indigo Girls

              by AlanF on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 08:45:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  other issues (none)
        These are the five axes dividing the Dems.

        Roots/outsiders........vs...Elites/insiders

        Pro-peace & isolationist Dems..vs.. Israel hawks

        Middle class/economic Dems....vs...Affluent Neo Liberals

        Became active recently.......vs...older Dems

        Advocates for change/take risks..vs...Status quo/play-it-safe

        The Dems in the left hand column are more numerous and less organized. The Dems in the right hand column are more organized. Part of being organized is looking out for other members of the right hand column.

        The right hand column Dems will get almost all the board positions and executive director positions unless an effort is made to avoid this.

        Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

        by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:09:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  read the article... (none)
      in the ny times magazine from last summer, they are sick of the Democrats in DC and are looking to sell ideas so the Democrats will not be afraid to stand up for liberals ideals, and they will be able to run on them.  

      This is being built outside of the Dem establishment, only it's pissed off liberal donors are involved, and Simon, but he bailed on the establishment DLC folks awhile ago.  

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 08:26:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It wouldn't hurt. (none)
    So long as the DLC stays out of it.   Maybe some of the cash can go for a DLC retirement home.  Shrum & From first.

    The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:24:20 PM PDT

    •  DLC will fight for influence (none)
      But the DLC types will fight to get key board positions.

      Once on the boards they will fight to exclude critiques of the Neo Liberal trade agenda and Israel.

      Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

      by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:25:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hopefully it won't fly this time (4.00)
        They got their money & we got ours now.

        The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

        by x on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:52:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who gets the board positions? (none)
          And it doesn't take a majority of Zionists on a board to prevent any Israel criticism. It really only takes one persistent board member.

          Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

          by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:59:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  While the GOP has made some inroads (none)
            into the Jewish community, is it your goal to drive more Jews, who BTW, want things to be resolved as they could have been in 2000 if Arafat had chosen the path of peace, into the GOP camp?

            Israel is but one issue, one that has little to do with most American's day-to-day lives. Why is it - apparently - alone at the top of your list?

            Democracy is a contact sport...

            by jsmagid on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:16:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  why? (none)
              Without solving the Israel/Palestine problem, we can't de-escalate the conflict with al Qaeda.

              Without de-escalating the conflict with al Qaeda, U.S. politics will be caught on a treadmill of fear.

              Why do so many Jews give so much money to AIPAC designated candidates? Don't they have more important issues to support in politics?

              Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

              by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:30:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I disagree with your premise (none)
                Oil is at least as big, if not a far bigger issue driving al Qaeda. Bin Laden's #1 issue is infidels in Saudia Arabia. Why are there infidels in Saudia Arabia? Because of Israel or oil?

                As for why Jews support & vote for AIPAC designated candidates there are a number of different reasons:

                1. If the candidate is a conservative Republican it's the minority of Jews who have bought into the RW Christian support of Israel and tossed all the reasons why just about everything about what Judiasm teaches dictates support for Democrats.

                2. If the candidate is a Rockefeller Republican - few though they may be - they see a reasonable combination of support for Israel, pretty progressive on social issues and, if they are wealthy, comfort for their corporate persona.

                3. If the candidate is a Democrat, what's not to like? They support Israel and are in tune with Jewish philosophy.

                For most Jews, support for Israel matters, but it is not the #1 issue. Similarly, most American Jews want to see the conflict resolved. Your implication that support of Israel trumps all else is dead wrong for at least 80% of Jewish voters.

                Democracy is a contact sport...

                by jsmagid on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:49:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  does it motivate anti-Western anger at all? (none)
                  How big a factor do you see Israel's oppression of the Palestinians being?

                  Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

                  by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:04:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Totalitarian Arab regimes have long (none)
                    used Israel to focus the anger of their population away from themselves - at the very same time that they kept the Palestinians in squalid refugee camps ('48 - '67 in the West Bank & Gaza, to this day in Lebanon), so the Palestinian angle was certainly a later develpment in their propoganda effort.  

                    Of course when the Soviet Union was their main supporter, they fed the anti-West (mostly anti-US as France has always maintained a pro-Arab position) component of this.

                    When the Soviet Union disintigrated, they continued the anti-Israel piece and emphasized the Palestinain component as they downplayed the anti-US component. IMO, Bin Laden seized on this change of tenor together with the US military feet on the ground in SA to tie Arab rulers, the real target of his campaign, to the US with the longstanding animosity towards Israel these leaders have fostered as the underpinning.

                    So the plight of the Palestinians is more an example of Arab suffering and humiliation at the hands of the West than the cause celebre for the radical Islamic right. If Israel were destroyed, Bin Laden would hardly be satisfied. His goal is to unify the Arab nations under his leadership. The campaign against the West is a means to his goal. Would he wish then to continue to world domination? I highly doubt it matters as we are at little risk of finding out.

                    What is certainly true is that the GOP's "they hate us and everything we stand for" is bunk. Bin Laden's canon fodder hate being at the bottom of the world ladder and are happy to do his bidding to attempt to redress this. Bush is doing a masterful job of giving Bin Laden all the ammo he needs to generate ever more cannon fodder.

                    Democracy is a contact sport...

                    by jsmagid on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 08:07:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I'm glad to hear this (none)
                  I have been worried about all the claims that American Jews are migrating to the GOP enmasse.  It never made sense to me, unless the dominating issue was Israel, and alliances with members of the neocon group who are Jews.  It also didn't make sense because I felt that the American Jewish population would be too smart to trust the right wing extremists and religious fundamentalists.  But as they say, politics does sometimes make for strange bedfellows.  I hope, as you say, that it is only a small percentage.

                  "Let him that would move the world first move himself." --Socrates

                  by joanneleon on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:20:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm glad you're glad <g> (none)
                    FWIW, I attended a "debate" that pitted former Democratic NYC Mayor Ed Koch - who's pretty much as nutty as they come in politics - for Bush vs. Cong. Jerry Nadler for Kerry. Koch basically said Jews should vote for Bush because of Israel and for Democrats for everything else because of total alignment with Jewish philosophical tenents on domestic issues. From a Jewish perspective a lame argument to say the least.

                    My read is that the audience was at least 70% with Nadler/Kerry and I believe that the Rabbi of the host Synagogue, who tends to the Israel over all else side of the fence, was taken aback by Koch's inability to do anything but ridicule the opposition when presented with facts demonstrating Bush's incompetence in Iraq, among other things.

                    Given the locale for the debate I think the 70/30 split overstated support for Bush - though that could be my bias.

                    Democracy is a contact sport...

                    by jsmagid on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 07:33:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I've got news for you (none)
            And I say this as a Jew who is quite critical of the Israeli government and occupation policy generally.

            Whether or not there is a new network of liberal think tanks, the Democratic Party is not going to change its stance on Israel. Not unless they want to kiss Florida goodbye and cause themselves a world of hurt in a few other states as well.

            It will not happen. You might as well not worry about whether there are too many Zionists on the boards of these think tanks.

            I think taking more steps toward a left-wing noise machine would be a positive development, as long as it doesn't turn out to be a DLC criticize the Dems first operation.

            •  Dems in a bind (none)
              If the Dems are putting Israel's territorial ambitions ahead of U.S. national security, the party doesn't deserve to elect a president.

              It is possible to win a presidential election without Florida.

              Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

              by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:27:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Does support for Israel's right to exist (none)
                equate to putting Israel's territorial ambitions ahead of US national security?

                Or in your mind would the destruction of Israel server US security interests? If so, exactly how?

                Oh, and it may be possible to win with out FL, but not without FL, NY, NJ and CA.

                Democracy is a contact sport...

                by jsmagid on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:52:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Israel can exist (none)
                  I'm fine with Israel having the 1967 borders.

                  Now before you go saying there's nothing special about the 1967 borders, I've decided to concede that point.

                  I can live with an Israel that 10-20% smaller than that too.

                  Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

                  by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:02:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And as long as (none)
                    they tear down the security barriers completely and become a welfare state for the Palestineans, right?
                    •  this is totally harsh. Israel is doing very poorly (none)
                      by the Palestinean people, so is Jordan, for that matter. Palestineans don't really have anything near what they need to support and educate their families. How can you judge the abilities of people to support themselves when the resources to do so are denied them. God this is so off topic. But it is an important issue. I just wish (in vain) that Carl would quit acting so...yes...typically anti-semitic with his theories of how powerful and dangerous, even one Jew may be in a position of power. Frankly,  it's VERY CREEPY.  

                      Better to have a bleeding heart than a bitter soul.

                      by coigue on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 09:19:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Re the DLC (none)
      I think that after the Dems losing so many elections and so much power the new organization will look at the DLC as an example of what NOT to do.  As Alliance chairman, Steven Gluckstern, said "a dramatically new approach is needed."  Also, many members of the Alliance "have concluded that their spending to date has lacked strategic coherence."

      So, I think that the role of the DLC will be greatly diminished as the Alliance take form and moves to establish the think tanks that will counter the influence of the Right.

      If science proves facts that conflict with Buddhist understanding, Buddhism must change accordingly. " - The Dalai Lama

      by LynChi on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:11:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  diverse ideology (4.00)
    Will these think tanks be ideologically diverse?

    The strength of the Democratic Party is that it is a coalition that includes diverse perspectives. By funneling the money through a central hub, will it kill the diversity?

    Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

    by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:24:32 PM PDT

    •  another 4 from MB (none)
      MeteorBlades, sometimes I think you're the only one who really loves me.</snark>

      Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

      by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:28:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good question (4.00)
      I agree that the Dems need an intellectual infrastructure to rival the ideological psuedo-science being produced by the right. However, I also see this as the institutionalizing of the two separate "realities" that are vying for beliefs of mainstream America. Things that seem obvious to us -- evolution, global warming etc. -- have been effectively called into question by conservative organizations; our need to respond in kind speaks to the "branding" of knowledge in a way I find disturbing. Instead of objective truth, if such a thing exists, there will be two entrenched alternatives, each with their own adherents.

      Again, I agree that this money is necessary in the fight against the spread of right wing ideology. But like Carl, I have to ask if it will lead to just another pre-packaged way of thinking, or instead, preferably, foster the exploration of a variety of options and points of view.

      "Nature favors the apt, not the strong or the weak." Louis Sullivan

      by Lilibeth on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:36:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think not. (none)
      I am feeling generous tonight, but I think these liberal donors want primarily to maintain this particular strength of the Democratic party. After all, if they wanted to make a buck and maintain power they would contribute to the GOP, wouldnt they?

      I am pleased with this development, and I am equally pleased that 80 liberal tycoons exist at all.

      Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

      by ablington on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:16:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the uber-rich lean Dem (none)
        As one of my wealthier friends points out, the rich may be Republican, but the uber-rich lean Democrat.

        Soros and Buffet are Dems. Gates is soft GOP.

        Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

        by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:24:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmmm. (none)
          Well its about time the ebur-rich opened their wallets. There are a lot more sorta-rich ruining our country for them, and us.

          Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

          by ablington on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:31:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know.... (none)
          Doesn't seem like you have much of a sample there for a statistical analysis...
        •  Gates (none)
          Based on the Gates Foundation's mission, very soft.

          Judging by his contributions, he contributes to both Dems and Repubs., though moreso to Republicans.
          -Gates, William; Redmond,WA 98052; Microsoft Corporation; 8/5/2004; $4,017; Republican Party of Florida
          -Gates, William; Redmond,WA 98052; Microsoft; 8/24/2004; $3,125; Republican Federal Cmte of Pennsylvania
          -Gates, William H Mr III; Redmond,WA 98052; Microsoft; 8/24/2004; $2,975; Republican Party of Ohio
          -Gates, William; Redmond,WA 98052; Microsoft;
          8/24/2004; $2,530; Republican State Cmte of Michigan

          Yet, he's also contributed by Reid, Kerry and others:
          -GATES, WILLIAM H III; REDMOND,WA 98052;
          MICROSOFT; 9/26/2003; $2,000; Reid, Harry
          -GATES, WILLIAM H III; REDMOND,WA 98052;
          MICROSOFT; 6/30/2004; $2,000; Reid, Harry
          -Gates, William H Mr; Seattle,WA 98105; Gates Foundation; 6/28/2004; $2,000; Kerry, John
          -GATES, WILLIAM; REDMOND,WA 98052; MICROSOFT;
          6/28/2004; $1,000; Leahy, Patrick
          -GATES, WILLIAM; SEATTLE,WA 98105; GATES FOUNDATION; 2/22/2003; $1,000; Murray, Patty
          -GATES, WILLIAM; SEATTLE,WA 98105; GATES FOUNDATION; 11/14/2003; $1,000; Murray, Patty
          -GATES, WILLIAM; SEATTLE,WA 98105; GATES FOUNDATION; 11/24/2003; $1,000; Murray, Patty
          -GATES, WILLIAM; SEATTLE,WA 98105; GATES FOUNDATION; 6/17/2004; $1,000; Murray, Patty
          -GATES, WILLIAM; SEATTLE,WA 98105; GATES FOUNDATION/CO-CHAIR; 7/11/2003; $1,000; McDermott, Jim
          -GATES, WILLIAM H; REDMOND,WA 98052; MICROSOFT;    
          6/29/2004; $1,000; Inslee, Jay R
          -GATES, WILLIAM H III; REDMOND,WA 98052; MICROSOFT; 10/7/2003; $1,000; Daschle, Tom

          •  Gates gives to cover himself (none)
            Gates has to give something in order to keep the politicians from making too much trouble for him and MSFT.

            Gates comes from a well off blue blood family in which the tradition of noblesse oblige is alive and well. You can't infer his political beliefs from his donations; those are meant to protect MSFT from extra federal scrutiny.

            •  Your donations ARE your political beliefs (none)
              Believe Dem, vote Dem. Anyone who gives any money to any Repug is, as far as I'm concerned, in bed with them. Witness Microsoft nearly backing down on equal rights for gay employees ... only the national backlash pushed them to "come out" again as supporters of gays and their partners and families. Gates should put his money where his mouth is ... it's not like Microsoft will be drained dry anytime soon. They called Clinton a "waffle," but it's these fair-weather lefties who really make me sick.

              "Nature favors the apt, not the strong or the weak." Louis Sullivan

              by Lilibeth on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 07:42:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Gates Foundation (none)
                I'm not a Microsoft fan by any means. Bill Gates is   a symbol of Microsoft though and he has the responsibility to represent his company whether he wants to or not. If Gates gets known as a lefty or a righty its bad for MSFT, he's got to walk the middle and not be a controversial political figure.

                Bernard Ebbers has had the book thrown at him, which is a good thing, with a 25 year sentence. The thing with him is that he didn't play politics and no one stood up for him when the time came.

                I don't know how much Gates gives in political contributions a year, but I know it's dwarfed by the  billion plus he gives away through the Gates Foundation.

          •  I think you're mixing father and son (none)
            IIRC, Gates Foundation is run by Bill's Dad, who's also William H. Gates.

            So it's very possible that they contribute to different parties, at different times, and you're lumping them both together.

            •  Playing ball (none)
              Even the richest man in the world has to play ball with the powers that be.

              I appreciate the work of Bill Gates Sr. Gates Junior  needs to represent MSFT and not make trouble for them with political views, that's not what I want it's the reality. If Bill comes out as a raving partisan a good chunk of the world will have reason to stop spending billions of dollars a year on MSFT software.

              Gates was old money before he was big money, if you pay attention his political philosophy contains a good deal of sincere and meaningful noblesse oblige.
              Check out the Gates Foundation. The agenda is liberal, but not partisan.

        •  there is a reason for this (none)
          if you have over $10 million in assets outside of real estate, you're generally not concerned about marginal tax rates because it's an externality to you (a 3% rate of return will give you $300k/yr to live on).  there are a lot of families "struggling" on $200k/yr income because they don't spend it wisely.
          •  How about (none)
            families living on $20,000 a year?  Not so much room for unwise spending, but I suppose it could be done.  Having gone from 300k at my best to 0 now, I tend to be careful with my cash.  I know people living on less than 20k a year - they're pretty careful, too.

            "Figs! In the name of The Prophet, figs!" E.A. Poe

            by moltar on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 10:26:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  spending money effectively (none)
    BTW, I'm a fan of Dem contributors re-evaluating contributions to traditional non-profits.

    Basically, any non-profit that doesn't have a blog presence and a media strategy should have its big grants pulled.

    Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

    by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:27:29 PM PDT

    •  If I were a tycoon (none)
      I would give millions to CREATE an organization thats nothing BUT media strategy for other groups. This way, the strategy is consistent and groups can consentrate on what they know best.

      I guess it would be like a liberal, non profit PR firm.

      Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

      by ablington on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:18:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's a better way to use resources... (none)
    Why continue to play the game as it's been set up by the corporate fatcats?  Your time/money would be better spent changing the rules of the game.

    Want real democratic elections?  Okay.  Read up:

    Reclaim Democracy dot Org primer

    ------------------------------
    Trying To Maintain Rationality
    econatheist's bloggity blog blog

    by EconAtheist on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:27:34 PM PDT

    •  I would argue (none)
      this isn't a diversion of resources, it's a whole NEW resource.

      And if you've read "The Republican Noise Machine" you'll understand what we're up against.   It seems to make a lot of sense to counter their fire with ours.

      They've created this juggernaut of propaganda that spreads their bullshit everywhere.  What do we have?  Nothing.

      •  Did you read the first, bold header? (none)
        1. Abolish the "Money Equals Speech" Doctrine

        ------------------------------
        Trying To Maintain Rationality
        econatheist's bloggity blog blog

        by EconAtheist on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 07:11:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  uh ..... sure! And while you're at it .... (none)
          make chocolate out of $100 bills.

          Make a car that gets 500 miles to the gallon and can go zero to 60 in six seconds.

          Talking about reality here.

          •  Did you read *any* of it? What's so unrealistic? (none)
            Pretty defeatist attitude you've got there, if you actually bothered to read what I linked to.  Perhaps you should just give up ~now~ since you're playing a losing game.

            I'm not being snarky; I'm serious.

            You think that having a Dem win the Oval Office in '08, and/or gaining (D) control of either/both House/Senate is going to result in significant, permanent changes for this country?  All that happens when we vote (D) decreasing the rate at which we plunge towards the inevitable -- complete corporate control of government.

            Both parties are playing almost the exact same game, and We the People are the ones left out.

            ------------------------------
            Trying To Maintain Rationality
            econatheist's bloggity blog blog

            by EconAtheist on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 11:49:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not disagreeing with you (none)
              I'm just thinking "one step at a time".

              Right now we're under a fascist near-dictatorship and things are getting worse instead of better.

              Sure, I'd like what you're talking about, but we need a few footholds and fingerholds first.

              Sorry, didn't mean to be so snarky.   You and I want the same thing, but right now I'll settle for getting the fascists out of the executive branch and preferably in jail.  Then we can move on from there.

          •  edit: (none)
            "... when we vote (D) is decrease the rate ..."

            ------------------------------
            Trying To Maintain Rationality
            econatheist's bloggity blog blog

            by EconAtheist on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 11:50:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •   State Specific Blogs coming anytime soon? (4.00)
    I'd like to see state by state websites, with a unified calendar for everything left.

    I'd also like to see an alternative to the 100+ constituent e-mails I get bombarded with every month.

    Can you help us with this, Kos?

    If a Dem wants to be "good friends" with that hate-mongering liar, Sean Hannity, well, he deserves a primary. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DumpJoe/

    by DeanFan84 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:30:47 PM PDT

    •  I'm working on this project (none)
      Trying to put to together a clearinghouse of sorts.  Should be online Oct. 1st and I'm working towards filling in the gaps by 2006.

      A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

      by Webster on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 09:27:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great. (none)
    Just what the people of this country need: privileged white liberals, think tanks, and non-profits.
    •  The execution of this plan will be key (4.00)
      If they choose to fund the same types who permeate the Democratic leadership structure, they might be wasting their money.  If they branch out and come up with a comprehensive list of Alliance-approved projects (state party infrastructures, union and labor thinktanks, voting rights thinktanks, otherwise staunchly progressive thinktanks), then this could be a tremendous boon to the party.

      I've made it very clear, he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was.-McClellan, 2003

      by GN1927 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:42:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes I agree. (none)
        But sometimes I'm really cynical about think tanks and nonprofit organizations. Mostly of how they do their fundraising and how they treat their workers. I hope something good happens.
        •  I'm cynical too (none)
          While I think the "idea" is great - my first thought was "How many people on the Board of Directors and how much are they getting paid?"

          I've seen too many non-profits go down the drain because the Board forgets the money isn't for them.

          "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful & murder respectable, & to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." ~ George Orwell

          by Pandora on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:53:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Please: election law/device thinktank (4.00)
         is the number one need right now.

        Be a Carville, not a Colmes

        by seesdifferent on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:49:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  YES! (none)

          It all starts with dethroning Diebold.  

          And while we're at it, F--- all those electronic voting systems, and back to paper ballots counted by live humans one by one in each precinct, with members of each party watching over their shoulders, and members of the press watching over theirs.  

          Sure it means we don't get the results until the next day or the day after that.  So what?  Patience is a virtue.  Ever hear "the fast is the enemy of the good"?

          •  I think fighting against voting machines (none)
            is a losing battle.  Electronic voting can be fast, safe and easy; the problems come when machine makers try to build supercomplex machines.  We need to stop bitching that there IS a problem and start either looking at all of the companies that provide solutions and support the best one or build our own system and get it in place.  I'm as worried about voting machines tampering with votes as I am about vote counters and poll workers "losing" ballots.  There should be a centralized system and we should find it or build it.

            A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

            by Webster on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 09:46:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  As opposed (none)
      to more losing and overpowering by the VRWC. That's working out great for whatever cause you believe in, I'm sure.

      Damn I hate whining like this.

      •  Yeah ok. (none)
        Because we all know that change comes from the top.

        I'm not whining, I'm telling it like I think it will be. Frankly, I would like a coalition that represents all communities. But the wealthy liberals don't seem to understand that you have to go to the communities and not expect them to come to you.
        I hope it turns out well.

  •  Not to sound paranoid (4.00)
    But I like to know where my money is going.  

    Do they have a website?  (Like at top heads to a WP article)
    Do we know who these 80 members are?  
    Do we know what/who they'll supporting?

    If it's a good cause, then I would donate some (not rich though, not one of the 80 lol).

    Here's to hoping it's a good, solid umbrella for Dem grassroots-type politics, and not a Dem version of the Rove bunch.  :)

    No one should be a politician if they've never lived paycheck to paycheck.

    by Savvy813 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:38:33 PM PDT

    •  See my post above. (none)
      Great minds think alike so I did a search and found out that Democratic Alliance is a project of NDN. The link to NDN appears in a prior comment of mine.

      Some of the prior comments asked about a blog. NDN has a blog site.

      Since it seems like anyone who wants to can join NDN, maybe your questions about "They" are premature. After all, if after you check out NDN you find that its agenda fits yours, you can join and then start asking your questions with a "We."

      Give a man a fish, he dines today, teach him how to fish, he dines tomorrow, teach him how to sell fish and he eats steak! Anon.

      by Serendipity on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:56:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They (none)
        I hope it becomes a We :)  I'll go check that out now, thanks!

        No one should be a politician if they've never lived paycheck to paycheck.

        by Savvy813 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:00:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nice agenda (none)
        Link to their Agenda:
        http://www.ndn.org/agenda/

        Interesting reading and analysis of both why and how they want to accomplish it.  I, for one, am impressed.  It looks like a lot of their goals are what I've been hoping for.  Everyone should go take a look.

        Thanks Serendipity!

        It is now officially "We"

        No one should be a politician if they've never lived paycheck to paycheck.

        by Savvy813 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:06:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Democracy Alliance (none)
      isn't for people like me and you, lol.

      There will be plenty of organizations you can donate directly to. Democracy Alliance will be the heavy artillery to our foot infantry.

      •  Hehehe at least not for folks with my wallet! (none)
        But if they truly want to integrate us and have us work together, it would be an excellent machine if run properly.

        Are they going to make you the official Blogger member/representative of the decision making committee there, kos?  :P

        I will start that petition if you want it :)

        No one should be a politician if they've never lived paycheck to paycheck.

        by Savvy813 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:08:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've floated the idea (4.00)
        of a holding company with core funding in the range these folks have put together to acquire selected media properties with funding expanded by issuing stock that we can all chip in on.

        At, say $50/share, we could multiply the stake and provide a reasonable number of outlets for the ideas developed here and by whatever TDA puts together.

        We need to build a multi-level response to the RW echo chamber. Blogs/net-roots are one component, think tanks another and radio/TV/newspapers are another - we need them all to do the job quickly and effectively.

        Democracy is a contact sport...

        by jsmagid on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:27:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  YES (none)

          YES, do it!  Brilliant idea.  Only one problem though:  Once you have a company that's listed on the public stock exchanges, anyone can buy shares, including the Rs.  

          I don't know of any way to prevent that except by setting it up as being wholly owned by another entity that requires a membership, such that only members can buy in; and then has a set of bylaws that dictate adherence to specific principles as conditions for membership.

          Any lawyers out here who know corporations law, input eagerly welcomed!

  •  example of current Dem think tank (none)
    Go over to Democracy Arsenal and consider its positions.

    It's a pretty good example of the kind of think tank the Beltway Dems are likely to create.

    It's editorial position is a sort of wannabe erudite wimpy, criticize the Left.

    I would expect more of the same out of this project.

    Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

    by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:40:12 PM PDT

    •  What is with you? (none)
      These guys are looking to build outside of the party from the left.  This is not another DLC, they are not in it to elect Democrats, they are in it to sell ideas, and draft legislation, and support groups that are on the left, and train people to talk about liberal issues on TV, and all the other things the right wing machine has done for years.  

      This is not about Democrats, it's about liberal issues.  

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 08:32:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  better late than never. This is GREAT (none)
    It's about fucking time.
  •  Cheating Pays and Good Guys Finish Last (none)
    And that's just the way it is.  I race horses and if some trainer uses performance-enhancing illegal substances that don't show up in the tests, his horse will probably outrun superior horses.

    At work, if people up for a promotion are purposefully maligned, they don't get the job.

    We are dealing with a massive organization of crooks and liars, not to say that Dems don't lie ever.  It's the magnitude of this deception in  all areas from Iraq to SS to bankruptcy to the "death tax".  

    Cheats and liars are going to beat honest people and you can't go to their level and start cheating and lying.  

    Their lies and deceptions MUST BE exposed.  And how do we do that with no media?  It's sickening.

    We need some down-to-earth Will Rogers to tell it like it is.  Hackett came pretty close and look how good he did!

    Guess I'm just having a piss and moan day .....

  •  Digital efficiency (none)
    I agree Markos, we can make dollars go a whole lot further within a concentrated and fluid blogosphere. That's right, concentrated AND fluid. Creative outlets abound. We need some backing though, so I think this is good. For a start anyway.
  •  need online think tank (none)
    Some money should be put aside for an online think tank that accepts ideas from anybody.

    It's not easy to sort good ideas from bad in this scenario. But hopefully it will be more open than existing think tanks.

    Rrrrrringgg... Time to change the government.

    by Carl Nyberg on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:43:58 PM PDT

    •  You still need smaller, more 'vocal' tanks (none)
      in addition to a massive online open participation one (which is a good idea). Its a 'too many cooks spoil the broth' situation. A more refined tank could filter the noise from an open participation one, and be the media mouthpiece for us (cuz you and me would be part of that huge tank, of course.)

      Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

      by ablington on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:29:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting guy, that Simon Rosenberg. (none)
    Mr. Rosenberg strikes me as the quiet, loner who sits in the back of the clasroom.  The type of guy that everyone knows is smarter than them, and no one fucks with him cause he has that look  in his eyes that seems to suggest you can fuck with me now, but I'll make it my mission to take apart your life, your famiy's life and your dog, too.

    I'm glad to have a smart cookie like him on our side.

    --Liberate your radio--

    by Sam Loomis on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:44:02 PM PDT

  •  At last (none)
    Great news - comment upthread about not needing as much money as the Rethugs because we are on the side of the truth is extremely pertinent.

    Any way to keep Donna Brazil's snout out of the trough? - only half joking
     

    'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

    by stevej on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:45:36 PM PDT

  •  Since the alternative isn't working (4.00)
    this coalition is a good idea.  It's not the ONLY idea but absolutely necessary, in my view, to fighting fire with fire.  My only question is, "What the Hell took so long?"

    The usefulness of such think tanks, etc., will be to get another view on mainstream panels to counter Heritage, et. al. to reach the public...to print articles for journals...to give public speeches with 'authority,' to draw a diverse group of young progressives together to develop their skills and give them outlets for their views...and more......

    Hey, folks.....we have nothing to lose in this situation and everything to gain.  Could we puhLEEZE stop undermining one another and remember who are the enemy and what is the goal?

    Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

    by oldpro on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:49:49 PM PDT

    •  Totally agree (4.00)
      These are Dems, remember.  They are different from Repubs.  One of the things they say in the article is that a "dramatically new approach is needed."  They are tired of being on the losing side as much as we are.  John Podesta created the Center for American Progesss, but we need more organizations on the left to counter the Heritage Foundation and all the other right wing think tanks.  

      This has been in the works for some time and I am glad to see it finally coming into fruition.

      If science proves facts that conflict with Buddhist understanding, Buddhism must change accordingly. " - The Dalai Lama

      by LynChi on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:00:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One of the key ways that Heritage ... (4.00)
      ...captured public attention was its efforts with the media. Starting almost immediately after Heritage's founding, journalists, particularly editorialists, began receiving frequently well-packaged, 10-to-20-page "analyses" of key issues: welfare, taxes, foreign policy matters, et cetera. These were written straightforwardly, filled with lots of bullet points, and although often if not always highly specious in their reasoning, perfectly tooled to provide editorial writers with the kind of background material that makes for a persuasive 600-page argument.

      Good editorialists would do further research to challenge the assumption of Heritage material. But two things militated against this at all but the largest newspapers 1) the requirement that a writer generate lots of editorials each week, and 2) the inability often to quickly find cogent arguments specifically addressing what Heritage was proposing.

      Via this means, Heritage (and others) managed to "change the paradigm" with attacks on New Deal programs, Great Society programs and a host of other Democratic and left projects, programs and ideology.

      These days, of course, newspapers have a lot less influence in changing any paradigm. But think tankers on the left need to find a way to capture not just the imagination of the policymakers but of the public that matches what Heritage did.

      "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:01:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A typo I must correct ... (4.00)
        ...600-word arguments, not 600 pages.

        "The President wanted to go into Iraq in the worst possible way. And he did." -- Nancy Pelosi

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:06:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo! (none)
        One of the problems of the left is our brain trust is spread out across the universities and other institutions and often cannot afford to fly to DC and NY for interviews. The right has their guys available right in the media hot spots 24/7 and from what I've heard they even have their own TV studios to do remote interviews without having to travel to a studio. This is the kind of access our people need. We have to get our ideas out in the media. This site and others are doing a great job of generating ideas and we have a lot of people power that is sometimes used effectively (e-mail and calling campaigns as well as fund-raising as in the OH-02 race), but we need more "pros" who have the bulleted points memorized that can argue against the right in whatever forum they are needed.

        The first thing these guys should do is start cribbing from the DKosopedia and putting together an info packet for "liberals" who are called upon to rebut GOP talking point. Often our guys are so ill-informed that don't even seem to be able to counter the worst GOP spin and so often complete bullshit goes unchallenged long enough that it becomes accepted wisdom.

  •  Rich Liberals? Feh, more wedge issues (4.00)
    An hierarchy-driven boondoogle, most likely. Looks like Stein and Rosenberg will be getting rich. '

    if this is hierarchy driven and funded by the rich, you can bet it will be all about publicizing wedge issues like identity politcs: more about ferreting out "racism" and demonizing the evil racists and chauvanists lurking within...and more about religion and abortion and gun control and gay marriage and about the democratic party.

    Maybe if we are lucky we will see some nominal money spent on the real bread and butter economics issues affecting working class Americans, like getting universal healthcare, and stopping that labor arbitrage that is bleeding American workers dry via importation of goods and immigrants from low wage countries, and outsourcing to low wage countries.

    But I doubt it: expect this new boondoogle to be 90% about wedge issues and social liberalism....

    •  ha--kinda like most of DKos (none)
      which is pretty darn secular, white affluent and preoccupied with social issues...

      i wish we had a think tank devoted to Keynesian economic ideas and propaganda...most of the ones we have (Economic Policy Institute and such...) don't realy get as much mass exposure as Heritage creeps.

    •  Call me silly, if you wish (none)
      I don't see issues of "social liberalism" and "economic liberalism" as mutually exclusive.

      And we'll all float on okay - Modest Mouse

      by Linnaeus on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 09:33:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget the Youg'uns! (none)
    About PSI

     The Progressive Student Initiative (PSI) was founded to build sustainable progressive communities on college campuses across the country. PSI seeks to drive a broad audience of students to identify as progressive and engage in progressive advocacy. Our advocacy efforts are guided by an overall belief in "students first," which means investing time, energy, and resources in the student demographic so that they are empowered to take action on the issues relevant to their college experience and the years that lie ahead of them. We define "progressive" not as a certain ideological position, but as a direction forward towards a more inclusive, fair, responsible, and secure America.

    PSI engages college students as they solidify their life-long ideological beliefs and their civic habits. PSI understands the impact our generation can have if our peers are engaged in a way that both gives them a full understanding of progressive ideas and motivates them to incorporate these ideas into their daily lives. This engagement can create life-long progressives.

  •  I SEE----- (none)
    so we're back to "studying/defining THE PROBLEM".

    ????

    sorry, I can't get excited about something like this unless somebody makes a serious effort to get non voters back to the polls and get them voting democratic in key electoral states. WE ALL KNOW which states those are.

    so let's stop dicking around with "studies".

    if this is about going after the same soccer moms and dads in collar counties which the repukes go after then I see nothing but more failure for the dems.

    •  Oh for fucks sake, Negative Nellie. (4.00)
      This is GOOD news.

      In case you hadnt noticed, the GOP has 30+ years of infrastructure and media built to their specs, designed to get people off their lazy asses and vote GOP.

      Why should we not build an infrastructure to influence votes for progressive candidates/issues? Dems have lacked funds (due to the corporate stranglehold on the GOP), now we have some funds. Now, with some elbow grease and the new funds, we may gain potentially more votes from EVERYONE. Simple as that.

      Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

      by ablington on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:26:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Back It Up, Dude (none)
        "In case you hadnt noticed, the GOP has 30+ years of infrastructure and media built to their specs, designed to get people off their lazy asses and vote GOP."

        I see...

        not. you're implying here that GOP success in 2000 and 2004 has everything to do with the help of "infrastructure and biased media" and nothing to do with the inability of the dems to field presidential candidates which truly motivate people to vote? (Clinton being the prime example).

        "sorry", I don't buy it. the arrogance and incompetence of the dem party prior to the 2000 election were mainly the source of their massive failure.

        even IF what you say is true, we don't have "30 years" to build our own infrastructure with which to win back the white house.

        it's later than you think. we don't have that kind of time to work with.

  •  This brings tears to my eyes (4.00)
    At long last those who have the means to fund the resistance against the neofascist juggernaut are finally stepping up to the plate. I cannot express how much hope this gives me.
  •  My 2 cents (4.00)
    I may not have $200 million to toss in the kitty, but I will donate whatever meager skills I have in writing, analysis ... whatever I can do for the think tanks.  Some commenters doubt the intent of the Think Tanks, but the GOP has proven the value of a concentrated intellectual force.  1+1 can equal more than 2.

    Paging the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy:  I stand ready to contribute as a test audience, sounding board, crtitcal editor, contributor... whatever I can do.  For my resume, please see my comments on this board over the last year or so.

    •  Liberal infrastucture (4.00)
      They better invest some money into a building a liberal cable network. There are no liberal voices on TV. The hosts always frame issues from a GOP perspective. They pair right wing GOP partisans with centrist journalists and call it balance. It is not unusual on a show like Meet the Press or Hardball to have 2-3 GOP partisans and one non partisan journalist in a discussion panel. Guess which way they tilt the discussion?

      While they are at it they should also launch a liberal newspaper in DC. Currently there is right wing Moonie Times and neocon Washington Post. Issues get framed by these two papers. Liberals are cut out of the discussion.

  •  This is great (4.00)
    It's a very encouraging sign!
  •  Predictable Blackhat spin (none)
    "In today's news, 80 liberals gave a million dollars apiece to found several treason study groups. What a bunch of wealthy elitists those liberals are!"
  •  AND... (4.00)
    Truth is much cheaper to promulgate than lies.

    I figure our costs will be pennies to the blood-soaked dollars of the GOP.

    Wilbur from Charlotte's Web turned out okay, and he was just some pig. :)

    by cskendrick on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 04:43:33 PM PDT

  •  Transparentcy (4.00)
    I am all in favor of this concept, but I don't think I am out of line in asking that the general ledger and accounts be completely transparent.  

    Financial expenditures should be audited on a regular basis and the books should be open to review.

    Nothing would destroy this idea more quickly than finding out that money is being driven into individuals' pockets or that most of the money being raised is being spent and categorized under "administrative expenses."

    I will be happy to donate to the best of my ability, but not if I am told that I am supposed to just trust the DA to spend the money without audit or review.

    •  yes; open books! and clear bookkeeping! (none)

      And no pandering to venal bullsh-- about having to "attract" various star-power "names" by paying them "competitively" with what they could get in the "private sector."  

      There are plenty of us out here who have the talent, capability, and etc. to do any job in any such organization, in exchange for a decent middle-class salary.  

      I'll go so far as to say this thing should be run something like a cooperative:  one member, one vote; members vote for Board which in turn appoints management, or members also vote for senior management directly.

      It's about walking the talk.  

  •  The reason (none)
    liberal ventures seldom work is that the vast majority of Americans are conservatives, many like to call themselves liberal because it makes them feel good about themselves, but in reality there are few genuine liberals in America.

    Everyone has an issue they are concerned about but true liberals are compassionate, and care about most issues regardless of the importance to them personally, conservatives don't have this mindset, never have never will, if an issue affects them or someone they care about they are motivated, otherwise those affected are either to blame or on their own. Sounds familiar doesn't it America.
    PEACE!

    •  Define liberal and conservative (none)
      Most Americans are not "conservative".  The thing is that "conservative" sounds like a good thing, so they readily accept it.  They never ask themselves, "conserve what"?  Get them to ask that question, and then tell them that the GOP wants to roll back the progress that has been made in America and they'll begin seeing "conservative" as a bad thing.

      Do most Americans want the New Deal undone?  Do they hate social security, do they hate these things like real conservatives do?  I think not.

      Liberal and Conservative have less to do with "social issues" like abortion and gay marriage.

      The majority of Americans "think" they are conservative, because the GOP has successfully tied "conservative" with "pro-Christian values," which is not what it is really about.

      Yes, there are social conservatives and social liberals, but the GOP is not about social conservatism.  It is now about neoconservatism and fascism.

      "Make the truth your litmus test."

      by independentchristian on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:21:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They even hate the Violence against Women Act (none)
        Throw that in the face of women voters.  Screw Roe v. Wade.

        This one is much more effective for the Dems!!!  The GOP listed the "Violence against Women Act" as one of the most harmful programs in America.

        You can make progress on Roe v. Wade if you hit on the VAW Act first and break down the barriers with the pro-lifers.

        "Make the truth your litmus test."

        by independentchristian on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:26:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obviously (none)
        you don't let the facts get in the way of your opinion, nice theory but it doesn't hold water, next thing you will tell me is that most Americans aren't Christian, go ahead, its no worse then the conservative argument.

        PS - independentchristian is an oxymoron.
        PEACE!

        •  Actually, the facts back up what I said, duh (none)
          If most Americans "identify" themselves as Conservative, it's because of everything that I said, duh.

          You obviously only look at the number, not the story that led to it, obviously.

          "Make the truth your litmus test."

          by independentchristian on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 05:28:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't listen to rap, but I love this song (none)
    When someone let me hear it, I knew Eminem was a genius.

    Listen to the first minute, then skip to 1:45 because that's where it gets really good.

    The end of it is sad though, because the election was stolen yet again, but I think this video helped turn out the youth vote.

    "Make the truth your litmus test."

    by independentchristian on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:11:53 PM PDT

  •  It's About More Than Think Tanks (4.00)
     Though we focus on think tanks, advocacy groups and the like, what the conservatives really do well is provide jobs. From high school through graduation from college, it is possible for a conservative person to work within the network. The Conservatives value loyalty and the willingness to do the work necessary to further cause. They find employment for all who desire work and not just those who are "think tank" material. One does not have to be from the "right school" or the "right family" to rise through the ranks if they work hard enough.
     If this new progressive network is to be as effective as we all want it to be, then it too will have to take advantage of the divesrsity of the progressive movement.
     Unfortunately, the existing Democratic/Progressive institutions have done a very poor job of recruiting  outside the "name brand" schools and big-money contributors.
     That needs to change or all we will continue to have is a group of out of touch elites running these places. If we are to be the best hope for working people, then we can't continue to be hostile to incorporating it's members throughout this new network.
     

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:21:31 PM PDT

    •  that is part of the plan (none)
      these folks plan on reaching out to the young folks the same way the right wingers do.  

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 08:39:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  as someone who has struggled (none)
      as young person to find jobs working for liberal causes i couldnt agree more.  i often feel like i am fighting to work to do good rather than being encouraged to make it my career.  it is incredibly disheartening.

      Yeah the revolution starts now..So what you doin' standin' around? -Steve Earle

      by juls on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 07:35:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  career choices are limited (none)
         if one wants to work for progressive change. It seems as if the number of positions available in existing organizations are very limited,and/or they are voluntary or pay less than a living wage.
         It's even a rare site to find a "jobs" link on any progressive website! This is not the case with most of the conservative sites.
         

        "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

        by sebastianguy99 on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 12:44:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is dailykos considered a think tank? (none)
    Or could it become one?

    "God, what's the war on terror exactly?" - God: "An Intelligence Deficit Disorder."

    by mimi on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:25:16 PM PDT

  •  What would make dailykos an online think tank? (none)
    What would have to go and what would be needed to promote that what a think tank in your opinion has to deliver?

    "God, what's the war on terror exactly?" - God: "An Intelligence Deficit Disorder."

    by mimi on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 05:39:08 PM PDT

  •  Preparing for the last war? (none)
    "Develop and promote ideas on the left" is a great idea, but without a lot more in the way of specifics, it's impossible to tell whether this "Alliance" is genius or idiocy.

    Will we fall into the historical trap of misguided military bureaucracies, preparing for the last war, not the next?

    Unless the Democracy Alliance focuses its resources on organizing and motivating voters in key states and districts, those millions might as well be flushed down the crapper.

    Also, if the Democracy Alliance vs. the Neo-cons turns out just to be the new version Goldman Sachs vs. Merrill Lynch, we might as well hand then cash over to the Republicans.

    Further, we cannot make the same mistake as the AFL-CIO, bureaucratizing ourselves into top-heavy irrelevance.

    Unless someone has a dramatic new insight, the grassroot and netroots are the way to go, not wasted cash for "think tanks" and self-congratulating, self-perpetuating institutions that amount to little more than a social club for rich liberals.

    Since the overall strategy must be win, win, win, we should:

    *Target money to SPECIFIC states and districts.  We can't afford it any other way.

    *Organize on the ground, person to person--the way we did it when we were winning elections and building the labor unions, remember?

    *Use the net to connect people locally while communicating and strategizing nationally.

    *AGRESSIVELY jack up the message on radio.

    Some of this is already starting to happen, but we must take care to protect the process from DLC types who would institutionalize, intellectualize, and capitalize [snerk] in all the wrong ways.  They are a plague.

    Well, I do sound like a know-it-all today, but this is critical.  Pompous as it sounds, generations are counting on us.  We can't F it up.

    •  This isn't about elections... (none)
      it is abot selling ideas from the left.  It's about offering an alternative to the right wing(not Republican) machine that has been hammering us for 30 years.  It's about doing all the things the Democrats do not do, like train people to go on tv and radio and sell liberal issues, train people to write liberal legislation and push liberal bills on a state level like the right wing groups do, there is a whole machine in place on the right that just pushes their ideas, and we on the left have needed something like it for years.  

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 08:37:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  great framing (none)
    Love the name!!!

    'Democracy Alliance' has a unifying community feel to it (without being elite as defined by the elitist MSM).

  •  Cool! (none)
    I'll start updating my resume now!
  •  Three Words...Citizen Legislative Councils... (none)
    I will be woefully disappointed if a signifigant portion of the Democracy Alliance isn't geared toward forming a citizen-based think tank/educational resource/lobbying organization. If your wondering what a "Citizen Legislative Council" is, the short explanation is an organization, grassroots-driven but with a small professional staff, that researches issues, educates its membership, and aspires to write actual legislation and/or encourage operational reforms in government.

    I'm all for professional, academic-style think tanks, but it's an elitist model that has some pretty serious limitations. I think would we should aspire toward more synergy between the intellectual, activist, and political dimensions of the American Left.

  •  Great topic (none)
    In response to 'why are fundies so effective?' (paraphrasing) I say its because they put on a better show. God and glory and all that. And, to that end perhaps what should be developed by the Democracy Alliance is a declaration much like the Contract on America was for Repug's.
    Something actually progressive would be nice, but it also must be inclulsive. Peace on earth sounds nice.
  •  Organizing NEEDS Transparancy, Efficiency, (none)
    and Accessability with a basic set of web tools and operating procedures.

    I've been pimping my lame ass web site since Memorial Day - I have spent some time thie weekend making it easier to read and to understand, I hope.  

    an excerpt of my criticsm, but, there are ideas to read!!

    http://www.liemail.com/4EventPlan.html

    Some of the Most Common Obstacles to Effective Organization, and Long
    Term Individual Involvement, in the Political Community:

    1. Progressives, Liberals and Moderates are like cats, and too many campaign
    organizations are Command and Control, a structure which works for people who
    march to the same tune, not cats.  Command and Control turns off volunteers adn
    wrecks community.

    2. Josh / Toby / CJ / Rove / McAulliffe Wannabes:
    A. Wannabees are typically more interested in the glamour and the glory of
    campaigns than the organizational grunt work, hence they do not perform the grunt
    work very well.  The resultant disorganization frustrates volunteers and wrecks
    community.  
    A. Wannabes who try to attain glamour and glory by manipulating resource access.  
    Organizations need to be open.  NOTHING we are doing is the Manhattan Project, get
    over yourselves.  Secrecy turns off volunteers and wrecks community.  

    3. Volunteers who get sick of not being able to do WHAT they like, WHEN it is best for
    their time, WHERE they are comfortable, with people WHO they like, and not knowing
    HOW to do what, when, where, with who, these volunteers turn into non-volunteers,
    don't participate in the political community, which wrecks community.  

    rmm.
    pco 36-1392 seattle.

    Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders" http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

    by rmdewey on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 08:26:11 PM PDT

  •  Three questions (none)
    1. When does the first of these think tanks get off the ground?
    2. Where do I apply
    and
    3. When do I get hired?

    "There is no god, and I am his prophet." SocraticGadfly

    by steverino on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 09:44:23 PM PDT

  •  Right on! (none)
    This is a brilliant idea. I'm delighted to hear about it.

    "And life is grand/And I will say this at the risk of falling from favor/With those of you who have appointed yourselves/To expect us to say something darker."

    by Oregon Bear on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 10:39:21 PM PDT

  •  think, thank, thunk ...n/t (none)
  •  How much is Fox News worth? (none)
    Let's take up a collection, buy it from Murdoch, consign Hannity, O'Reilly, Brit Hume, Ollie North, Ann Coulter and the rest of their greasy ilk to the seventh circle of hell.

    If we don't have enough money for Fox, we can always start small with MSNBC.

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