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First POST: Losers

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, October 4 2013


  • "We Win, They Lose" is the name of a non-governmental private list-serv organized by Senator Ted Cruz's staff, where Tea Party leaders, advocacy groups, conservative media and "like-minded" senior congressional staff are discussing and coordinating their responses to the government shutdown, reports the Washington Examiner.

  • The list-serv's name comes from Ronald Reagan's line about how the cold war would end, notes Slate's David Wiegel.

  • Policy wonks know that "Obamacare" has lots of Republican DNA in it (remember that Governor from Massachusetts who ran for president?). But now some data scientists have run a text analysis and found all the policy ideas from previous bills, by party and chamber, and visualized where the language matches up. Turns out Obamacare's parentage is at least 11% House Republican and 28% Senate Republican. The Economist has the chart. (h/t @michaelUCS)

  • Washington Post blogger Vivek Wadhwa, who is VP of Innovation and Research at the Singularity University, says Silicon Valley "seems totally oblivious to what is happening in the nation's capital."

  • Not totally, actually. VC Shervin Pishevar did tweet "Let's just TaskRabbit and Uberize the Government." (He says he was joking.)

In other news from around the web:

  • The Sept/Oct issue of The American Prospect has a long feature by Andy Kroll on Jim Gilliam, the founder of NationBuilder. It's not online yet, but my copy came in the mail today. Reading the piece is almost like watch home movies: it starts with an extended description of Gilliam's show-stopping talk at the 2011 Personal Democracy Forum conference and draws on techPresident's in-depth reporting of the controversy that broke out among progressive techies when NationBuilder made a big deal with the Republican State Leadership Committee. Kroll adds all kinds of biographical detail, and does a great job illuminating both NationBuilder's potential and the reason Gilliam rubs progressives like Stu Trevelyan of NGP VAN the wrong way. One interesting finding from Kroll: "Perhaps the most significant indication of NationBuilder's impact is that its competitors have begun to lower their prices." Obama 2012 CTO Harper Reed also weighs in, saying he wouldn't use NationBuilder in a partisan race, but also saying that he finds the company "fucking exciting."

  • The Independent looks at how is "revolutionizing" campaigns in the UK, one year after its launch there. One of its biggest successes: the "No More Page Three" campaign, which has more than 118,000 signers. The story notes that Change is soon to roll out a "Decision Makers" feature, enabling frequently lobbied individuals and organizations to create their own profile on the site. And it points out that it has begun displacing petitions on the official 10 Downing Street web page. (h/t Greenpeace's MobLab)

  • Twiplomacy is hot! And The New York Times is ON IT. This is one example of a story, by the way, that is much more illuminating if read online than if read in print, as the web version is punctuated by numerous sample tweets showing how diplomats are embracing tweeting.

  • Vanity Fair is out with its annual "New Establishment" list, cataloging 25 "powers that be" and 50 "disrupters." The latter group is filled with even more technology industry moguls than in the past, plus some upstarts that frankly are just the flavor of the moment (the founder of SnapChat, who, at 23, still lives with his father, is on the list). Oddly, for a list of "disrupters" there's only one politician: Cory Booker, the Newark mayor. Really, VF, how can you make a list of "disrupters" and not include Senator Elizabeth Warren? And Matt Drudge as "establishment"?

  • Facebook is building a 394-unit company town "housing community" for employees, walking distance from its campus in Menlo Park, CA, reports the Wall Street Journal.

  • Three British organizations are appealing to the European Court of Human Rights in opposition to the online surveillance programs of Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, its equivalent of the NSA. The challenge, filed by English PEN, the Open Rights Group and Big Brother Watch, seeks to have the collection of metadata declared a breach of the right to privacy.

  • Thirteen people alleged associated with Anonymous have been indicted for conspiring to take down web sites belonging to the RIAA, MPAA, the Library of Congress, Bank of America, Visa and Mastercard. The attackers were using the open-source "Lower Orbit Ion Cannon" to DDOS those sites and many others, according to the indictment, as part of Operation Payback.

  • The Bitly Real-Time Media Map is flabbergasting. It shows which media properties are doing disproportionately well online, by state, relative to their standing in the nation as a whole. In terms of online media, TechCrunch is on top in California and Washington, while at the moment The Onion is apparently keeping most of the other "blue" states sane. Politico dominates, unsurprisingly, in Virginia and Maryland. TMZ is on top in Texas. Note: Your mileage may vary--Bitly says the data is updated every 10 minutes. One extremely nifty feature buried in the map: you can drill down to see what the top stories are at any of the 40 sites that Bitly displays: For example, as of 8:30am ET, the top performer on BuzzFeed is "22 Glorious Moments in Punning History."