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First POST: Compromises

BY Nick Judd | Friday, May 17 2013

OFA's problems

  • In 2009, Obama supporters splintered from Organizing for America, the successor to the president's first campaign, as progressive activists — including some of the most energized components of the American left — began to chafe at what they were, and were not, being asked to do. All the 2008 campaign "mojo" and the 21st-century toolset of grassroots campaigning was, to some activists, a field gone fallow. That may be happening again. Ryan Grim and Lucia Graves report:

    Top officials from President Barack Obama's campaign arm, which was recently rechristened as Organizing for Action, are working to dampen the passionate grassroots opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, just as the organization launches its campaign against climate change, according to donors and OFA members.

Around the web

  • An industry for civic tech: Code for America's "Accelerator," a program for startups working on CfA's brand of technology for government or for citizens to work with government, is accepting submissions for its second year.

  • House lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require prosecutors to obtain a warrant in order to seize phone records. Currently, they can request records from phone companies through a subpoena.

  • Google I/O, the search engine giant's developer conference, sparked imaginations in a new way this year thanks to CEO Larry Page's vision of a world of "innovation" free of regulations. That may have been dreamer-talk in Google's infancy, but the size and scope of the company's involvement in many people's daily lives gives those words a very different meaning. Mat Honan envisions one possible extreme in a (hopefully) fantasized encounter with Page on his "Google Island:"

    “As soon as you hit Google’s territorial waters, you came under our jurisdiction, our terms of service. Our laws–or lack thereof–apply here. By boarding our self-driving boat you granted us the right to all feedback you provide during your journey. This includes the chemical composition of your sweat. Remember when I said at I/O that maybe we should set aside some small part of the world where people could experiment freely and examine the effects? I wasn’t speaking theoretically. This place exists. We built it.”

  • Under a new "open access" policy, UNESCO publications are available free of charge.

  • Democrats tried to fight back against a Republican anti-Affordable Care Act social media campaign Thursday on the hashtag #Obamacareinthreewords.

  • New York City legislation mandates the creation of a crime map that shows aggregate monthly, yearly and year-to-date data on crimes throughout the city.

    Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle all offer far more detailed data on crime, including access to the raw data underlying the maps they each produce.

  • Amtrak is rolling out improved Wi-Fi on its Acela express trains in the Northeast, as well as some other lines elsewhere in the country.

  • Participatory politics researcher Tiago Peixoto describes a book newly available in English, Christiano Faria's book on open parliaments, translated from the Portuguese edition.

  • This afternoon in DC: "Making the DC Code Open," an event at the OpenGov Hub.