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National Geographic

March 2013

PHOTO OF THE MONTH by Paul Nicklen, from the April 2013 feature story “When Push Comes to Shove.”

Picture of a manatee

Manatee, Florida

Manatees and tourists are both thriving in Kings Bay. Go underwater with these endangered giants and find out why increasing interactions with humans are presenting a problem.

What going on offense looks like

Watch Robert Reich explain why raising the minimum wage is one of the smartest things we can do for our economy:Click to see Robert Reich show why raising the minimum wage is a no-brainer.

Watch the video

Dear MoveOn member,

It was a big week—both good and bad—in the fight for a fair economy.

Here’s the bad stuff: President Obama again put devastating cuts to Social Security benefits on the negotiating table. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that banks may be “too big to prosecute.” And Paul Ryan released his latest outlandish budget plan—full of giant tax breaks for corporations, a plan to voucherize Medicare, and attempts to slash millions from Medicaid.
But here’s the inspiring part. Nearly 8 million MoveOn members are doing really terrific work, together with our allies, to hold both Democrats and Republicans accountable and put an end to austerity economics.
Just in the past few days:
  • 250,000 MoveOn members joined with Reps. Grayson, Conyers, Ellison, and Grijalva and our friends at Social Security Works and The Other 98% to call for a one-sentence bill that would put an end to the sequester—and Rep. Grayson delivered the petition signatures directly to Speaker Boehner‘s office yesterday, with media watching closely.1
  • While Elizabeth Warren took bank regulators to the mat in Congress, 130,000 MoveOn members stood together with our allies at Campaign for a Fair Settlement to demand an end to “too big to jail” on Wall Street, and called for the Department of Justice to hold the banks that crashed the economy accountable.
And of course, day in and day out, MoveOn members are organizing in states around the country to push Republican governors to accept federal funding for Medicaid, challenge draconian local and state budget cuts, and stand up locally against the sequester.
So the fight for a fair economy has a lot of fronts. Right now, one simple thing you can do is to check out Robert Reich’s video and pass it along—to equip others with the information about how we can make our economy work better for working people, not just big banks and Republican lobbyists.
Please watch this video and share it with with friends and family and everyone you know.

Thanks for all you do.

–Anna, Manny, Jessica, David, and the rest of the team


1. “Sequestration 2013: Lawmakers, activists call for end of sequestration,” WJLA, March 14, 2013.

State Legislation Gone Wild

ThinkProgress War Room

9 Terrible Proposed State Laws

If you think that irresponsible and outright ridiculous bills only come out of Washington, D.C., think again. Ever since the big GOP wave election in 2010, state legislatures across the country have been racing to pass offensive, unconstitutional, and just outright bizarre laws. Other states long controlled by Republicans are also rushing to pass unconstitutional and ridiculous laws just for good measure, it appears.

Here are 9 terrible proposed state laws:

  • NORTH DAKOTA: The state is getting in on the latest anti-abortion fad sweeping the nation: so-called “heartbeat bills” that ban abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected. North Dakota is set to pass a law that bans abortions (at its single remaining abortion clinic) after just six weeks. The law, the most stringent in the nation, is clearly unconstitutional.
  • TEXAS: An “avid proponent of tort reform” in the state legislature has proposed a law that will allow people to be served notice of a lawsuit through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
  • OKLAHOMA: The Sooner State is still fighting Obamacare and just this week the Oklahoma House passed an unconstitutional Obamacare “nullification” law.
  • INDIANA: Newly elected Gov. Mike Pence (R) is pushing for a 10 percent cut in the state’s income tax, something which could gut investments in education and infrastructure. Even Republican legislators are wary, but the Koch Brothers front group, Americans for Prosperity is pushing the proposal.
  • MISSISSIPPI: The Magnolia state, which has the highest obesity rate in the nation, passed a so-called “anti-Bloomberg” bill to prevent localities from “enacting rules that require calorie counts to be posted, that cap portion sizes, or that keep toys out of kids’ meals.”
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: The Palmetto State said no to expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, which sadly is hardly a novel feat. The South Carolina GOP’s innovation was to explain its motivation for doing so was because the president is black.
  • OHIO: Ohio’s radical anti-union law was overturned by a statewide referendum and its anti-voting law was headed for the same fate until the legislature preemptively repealed it on their own. Now Ohio legislators are trying to make it harder for voters to initiate referenda to overturn the radical laws passed by the GOP-controlled legislature.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: You might think that the 13th amendment to the Constitution is the one that banned slavery, but some Republican legislators in New Hampshire would like to tell you otherwise. They claim the “original 13th amendment” is one that banned people with titles of nobility from holding office and that it was deleted by some sort of conspiracy. They aren’t taking this lying down and have introduced a bill to restore the “original” version, in order “to end the infiltration of the Bar Association and the judicial branch into the executive and legislative branches of government and the unlawful usurpation of the people’s right.”
  • IOWA: An Iowa Republican wanted to ban no-fault divorces for couples with children, out of fears that easier divorces may make teenage girls “more promiscuous.” Fortunately, legislative leaders shut that whole thing down.

While some of these bills are laughable, it’s not very funny when they actually become law. In Arkansas, for instance, the legislature just overrode the governor’s veto (which, bizarrely, only requires a simple majority in Arkansas) of a measure banning abortion after 12 weeks. This was briefly the nation’s strictest abortion ban until it was outdone by the North Dakota law mentioned above.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

Medicare spending may fix itself even without more spending cuts.

CPAC attendees blast GOP senator who came out for marriage equality.

Low-income kids being kicked out of preschool thanks to the sequester.

Morning Joe blasts Tea Party darling Ted Cruz: ‘Willfully ignorant,’ ‘condescending,’ ‘playing to illiterates.’

Republican House Appropriations Committee chairman says GOP budget “cuts too much.”

The true cost of the Iraq War: $2.2 TRILLION, 200,000 lives.

Senate Democratic budget cuts same amount of spending, raises less revenue than tax plan often touted by the GOP.

GOP Senate candidate suggests all national non-discrimination laws are unconstitutional.

Maryland abolished the death penalty, becoming the 18th state to do so.

PBO NRA and Rambo

Do you agree?

The 4 Words Our President Spoke That Resonate Now More Than Ever

Or is he?

Surely, ‘Rambo’ Is All For Assault Rifles, Right?

Which reason is it going to be, folks? WATCH :

JON STEWART: The NRA Can’t Make Up Their Mind On Why They Need Guns