Saturday :: Apr 29, 2006

Catching Up

by eriposte

Having practically lost network connectivity for almost all of last week (and therefore being unable to blog) I regret being unable to write more about the whole net neutrality issue - which is critical to our future. Since my connectivity is still patchy, let me use this opportunity to do a quick roundup on some of the important things I want readers to be aware of.

Please take some time to get familiar with the net neutrality battle and be ready to call your Senators. Some very useful articles and references: James Surowiecki (The New Yorker) (h/t Adam Green), Jeffrey Chester at AlterNet,, Save The Internet, a video explanation. Two of the key lefty bloggers who took the initiative to raise awareness of this issue in the blogospehere must be commended : Matt Stoller at MyDD and Sean-Paul Kelley at The Agonist. A key Congressman who's probably done more than anyone else to fight back against the GOP-led attempt to gut net neutrality is Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), although Rep. Nancy Pelosi deserves some credit for the effort as well. Rep. Pelosi has thanked the Netroots for making a huge difference on this - and the netroots made a big difference (also see Matt Stoller's comments). The Democratic Congressmen who sold themselves out and voted against a free internet are listed here. Give them a call if you can and let them know that their actions were not appreciated. (And check this out too).

Moving on to other matters....

Chris Bowers at MyDD has an excellent post on the movie United Flight 93. Make sure you read it - I agree with his points.

The Personal Democracy Forum (conference) is on May 15 in New York city - with some well known progressives (including bloggers) expected to attend. Of course, it is a forum that has representation from across the political spectrum. Check it out. Also, meet The Sunlight Foundation - an anti-corruption, pro-transparency website featuring its own blog (h/t Micah Sifry).

Have you checked out the DNC's 50 State Canvas? If you haven't, you should!

Some noteworthy books:

[P.S. Those of you who have been following Jason Leopold's reporting on Plamegate may be interested in knowing that his book "News Junkie" is available now.]

Will all the news of a new Duke Cunningham led Washington sex scandal, let's not forget the other Republican sex scandal that involved Jack Abramoff. Ms. Magazine published an investigative report by Rebecca Claren on that. An excerpt:

Paradise Lost
Greed, Sex Slavery, Forced Abortions and Right-Wing Moralists
Anti-sweatshop leaders and some members of Congress have long sought to increase wages and protect the islands’ garment workers, most of whom are women, from what amounts to indentured servitude. But their efforts were repeatedly stalled in Congress. And who was among the biggest opponents of reform? None other than the notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whose tentacles reached deep into House Republican leadership. And who was one of the loudest congressional cheerleaders against reform? Tom DeLay, who praised the islands as “a petri dish of capitalism.”

In the midst of what could be the largest congressional scandal in history, Ms. sent an investigative team to the Northern Marianas to examine firsthand the consequences of these lobbying efforts and congressional inaction on real women’s lives. Plus, we wanted to track down reports of forced abortions on the islands. Could it be that virulent opponents of abortion, such as DeLay, were contributing to conditions where desperate pregnant workers had no choice but to have an abortion? Here is our report.

Pick up a copy of Ms. Magazine for more.

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