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50 Blogs for Feingold Action Team
“It's time to stand up - not to cheer, but to fight back.”
--Senator Russ Feingold, On Executive Power. (Daily Kos, 2006-02-02)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Announcing RussForge

What is RussForge?

Put simply, it's a place to build and make available resources promoting a presidential run by Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

A strength of this site is the ability to share works-in-progress, and work collaboratively with other members of a like-minded community. Have an idea? Make it a reality here, and make it available to all Feingold supporters.

The initial goals of the project are as follows:

  1. Make resources (programs, images, scripts, templates, animations, knowledge-bases, etc.) freely available to support the "50 Blogs For Feingold" project.
  2. Make the same resources available to all Web users who support Feingold.
  3. Pursue the cross-use of these resources beyond the web: presentations, fliers, advertisments, signage, etc.
  4. Engage the creativity and energy of the Feingold movement to push the use of the Internet as a tool for political action.
Some Current Projects

Some Resources Currently Available at RussForge

The above image represents some of the resources available here at Week #3, including:
  • The Image Repository
  • The Russ '08 Powerpoint Presentation
  • The 50 Blogs Project Blog-Plugin
  • The Feingold '08 Menu-Plugin
  • Blog Templates
  • Feingold '08 News/Blog Post Aggregator
  • Feingold '08 E-mail List Aggregator
Have an idea? Join up. Here's how.

How does it work?

RussForge uses the SourceForge model for collaboration and publishing. SourceForge is a site with more than a million registered users and hundreds of thousands of projects. RussForge may be the first SourceForge project working to support a a political candidate.

The SourceForge model is based on a piece of software called CVS (Concurrent Versioning System) that allows many users to have a copy of the same materials on their own hard disk. By use of a "CVS Client" software, you can:
  • check out a copy of the "repository"
  • add files to the repository
  • make changes to files in the repository
  • check your changes into the repository so others can share them

We've written a getting started guide that walks you through the process of working with the repository, available in the "Getting Started" tab.

SourceForge also provides a wide variety of tracking and project management tools. You can explore some of these tools in the "Project Tools" menu.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Welcome Aboard Pennsylvania!

Yesterday evenenting, the 50 Blogs Strategy got another bump as PAJewel brought the 15th state blog, "Pennsylvania For Russ Feingold in 2008" online.

For wonks who think in terms of Electoral College votes, that brings the grand total for the project to 283. Not a bad start, but we're still shooting for all 50 states by November.

PAJewel took advantage of the blogger templates at RussForge and was up and running in well under 10 minutes. (Notice a dip in post frequency here? I've been banging out the new RussForge site lately.)

State bloggers: let's get crackin' on updating our templates and remember Sunday Night Meetings at 9PM EST at

Thursday, March 23, 2006 Write Letter Supporting Feingold's Censure Resolution

Today's E-Mail from MoveOn:

Dear MoveOn member,

Senator Feingold's resolution to censure President Bush for breaking the law is resonating with Americans across the country. With more than 400,000 of us signed onto the petition urging them to support his resolution, Congress is faced with apowerful call for accountability.

In response, the Republican National Committee is already on the attack, running ads accusing Senator Feingold of being "more interested in censuring the President than protecting our freedom."1 They can't defend President Bush's lawbreaking, so they're trying to intimidate dissent by changing the subject.

We need to demonsrate that we're behind Senator Feingold so the media knows how many of us support holding the president accountable for breaking the law. Can you take a moment to write a letter to the editor of your local paper? Our tool makes it easy, all you have to do is click below:

This is a critical week because the media and politicians are still forming their opinions on the censure resolution. The opinion pages are the most popular pages in the newspaper, and if thousands of us write, we can help shape popular opinion and make sure the Republican attacks don't stick.

As Senator Feingold said yesterday, "The President has broken the law, and the censure resolution I introduced is intended to hold him accountable. Nobody says that we shouldn't be monitoring suspected terrorists. Of course we should, and we can under current law." 2 This isn't about whether we track terrorists, it's about whether the Republican controlled Congress thinks the president is above the law.

Here are some points to help you with your letter.
  • This isn't about terrorism, it's about accountability. The president already had the authority to wiretap suspected al Qaeda terrorists and get a warrant days later. But he went around the court set up to prevent abuses and protect innocent Americans—a court that approves virtually all of the wiretapping requests it receives. When the president breaks the law, he must be held accountable.
  • Censure is a reasonable first step to holding the president accountable. Even Republicans have acknowledged that the president broke the law3 and now they're discussing plans to retroactively make his program legal.4

    This isn't about partisan politics, it's about the rule of law. If Congress doesn't support censuring the president, they're saying it's OK for the president—any president—to break the law.

  • All of Congress should be standing with Senator Feingold to protect the rule of law. Senator Feingold is standing up to the Bush administration's attack on our Constitution, and he shouldn't be fighting alone.

This is a crucial moment for Congress. They must hold the president accountable and preserve their role as a check on the power of the presidency—America is watching to make sure they do.

Republicans know the president broke the law, and they know just how serious this issue is. That's why they're desperately trying to change the subject to terrorism when this is really about whether they're serious about accountability. They're in dangerous waters. Now is the time to turn up the heat. Can you take a few minutes to write one today?

Thanks for all you do,
–Eli, Nita, Tom, Adam and the Political Action Team

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

1. "RNC Releases New Radio Ad Entitled 'Censure'," Republican National Committee, March 21, 2006

2. "GOP to air ad criticizing Feingold for censure proposal," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 20, 2006

3. "FACT: Members of Both Parties Believe Bush Broke the Law," Thinkprogress, January 23, 2006

4. "GOP senators propose NSA spying bill," CNN, March 8, 2006

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Look At The DailyKos Straw Polls

Kos PollsKos posted this article showing the results of the last seven Straw Polls.

I was trying to visualize the results, then gave up, and used a spreadsheet. It's available at RussForge for your viewing pleasure.

There's not enough information available to say how many Clark supporters have switched to supporting Feingold since August of last year. However, a guess of 20% of respondents switching from Clark to Feingold is probably in the ballpark.

There are two pronounced bounces for Feingold. It looks like a lot of "No Freakin' Clue" folks switched to Russ between July and September. Feingold's comments against CAFTA come to mind in that time frame. Any other opinions?

The second big bounce came from November-Janurary (USA-PATRIOT Act?) and Janurary to March (warrantless wiretapping of US Citizens?).

I think one takeaway is that there's a lot of lingering affection for Clark in the Feingold camp. Just my opinion - I think that's our ticket for '08.

Rumor: Russ to be on Daily Show Wednesday

Well, it's not exactly a rumor. I was dead asleep until about the last minute of the show. But, right before the "Moment of Zen," I was standing up in front of the television, partially awake, and pretty sure that Jon announced that Russ would be the guest on the Wednesday March 22 show.

I've googled, searched TV-Guide, gone to The Daily Show site and not been able to confirm it. If anyone else saw it, sees a reference to it, or catches a rerun of tonight's show and can confirm it, please leave a comment.

If this was just a figment of my imagination, then I probably need a blogosphere vacation.

Update: It's confirmed. I caught it on the rerun.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Freep These Polls

MyDD and DailyKos started their Feburary March straw polls last night. At time of writing, Feingold is flattening all comers at DailyKos. With over 12,000 votes cast, Feingold leads at 48% with Clark in a distant second at 15%. Warner's at 11% and Edwards at 7%. It's a nice feeling to have your guy in first and like two of the next three. Cast your vote here.

MyDD's voting probably won't go into high gear until sunrise on the east coast, but at time of writing, 126 ballots have been cast with Feingold carrying 50%, Warner 18%, Clark 12%, and Edwards 10%. You can vote here. The MyDD polls have weird spurts, this should be fun to watch.

Both of these monthly straw polls have made it into print in the past. For example, this article at The New Republic.

Take a look down the right column for a few other polls that are voteworthy.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Feingold's "Pick a Progressive Patriot" Competition Begins Today

Pick A Progressive Patriot

Dear oh4russ,

I'm proud to announce that today is the beginning of our second "Pick a Progressive Patriot" event. From the hundreds of candidates you've suggested, I've chosen several great Congressional challengers. Now it's up to you to decide who we should support. Please vote for your favorite candidate, and whoever gets the most votes will receive a $5,000 contribution from the Progressive Patriots Fund.

Vote Now!

It wasn't easy choosing just these candidates. You nominated some outstanding people from all fifty states. But these candidates are all running in tough races against incumbent Republicans who have been voting against the best interests of our country for years. As we've seen in recent months, without Democratic control of Congress, we will have a hard time holding this President accountable for his actions, so I need you to help me identify the best candidates to support in our effort to take back the House.

Vote Now!

If you're not familiar with the candidates in our "Pick a Progressive Patriot" event, you can learn a little more about them by visiting our website. They're all fantastic candidates who I'd be proud to support. With the crucial end-of-quarter deadline approaching, please help me choose who to support next.

Russ Signature
Russ Feingold
United States Senator
Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund

Sunday, March 19, 2006

50 Blogs for Feingold Widget Available

50 Blogs Widget

Based on this thread started by gdennis at the Russ Cafe, I wrote the widget pictured to the right. The purpose is threefold:
  • Get out the word on the state blogs,
  • Get out the word on the mailing lists, and
  • Facilitate identifying and starting new state blogs
The widget is easy to install, simply put the following code on your page:
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Then somewhere after that, put in the following lines:
var selectBox = document.forms["50blogs"].elements["state"];//state;

You can change the state you want displayed first by changing the selectedIndex. Also, you have full control over how the widget looks by use of CSS. An example is posted at RussForge.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

366,146 Sign Feingold Censure Petition

At time of writing, is reporting that 366,146 people have signed their petition in support of Russ Feingold's Censure Resolution. This represents, on average, 14,645 e-mails to every Senator. Not a bad start. Not a bad start at all. To add your name to the growing ranks, click here.

If you haven't signed Feingold's own Petition at the Progressive Patriots Fund, please take a moment to do so here.

Ivan E. posted this to the Feingold08 E-mail List:
Please Visit: to vote in a poll regarding the censure of President George W. Bush. I voted YES.
I'm not familiar with the site, but I popped over and cast my vote anyway. This is the only poll that I've seen us behind on, and our side is down something like 90-10 with about 6,400 votes cast.

Chris Bowers at is keeping an eye on various polls, including the ARG Poll, which shows 46% of Americans supporting censure. This includes 70% of all Democrats, 42% of all Independents, and 29% of all Republicans. Here are the introductory and follow-up articles.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Join The Feingold Revolution

The Feingold 50 Blogs Strategy

A grassroots revolution is taking place, and you're invited to take part.

The conventional wisdom is that it's too early to be working towards the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary. We should focus solely on the 2006 elections, and take the presidential race as it comes.

There is, unquestionably, some wisdom in this approach. But hasn't history taught us some harsh lessons about waiting to long to take action?

Unless progressive activists take strong, early action, Hillary Clinton will be our next presidential nominee. She's got the money. She's got the name recognition. She's got a fair amount of affection from the Democratic rank and file.

Hillary in the White House isn't the worst thing that could happen, but it's certainly not the best.

So, what can we do to stop this?

We can organize. We can set goals. We can meet them. We can help him start his campaign in November from a stronger position. Stronger name recognition. Stronger understanding of his positions. Stronger knowlege of his history of service to this country. And as the campaign ramps up, he'll already have the advantage of connections in the fifty states. Volunteers who have the advantage of knowing their peers across the country. Volunteers who are already battle-tested and ready to do what it takes to put him in the White House.

We already have blogs in 14 states -- we're almost a third of a way there. We need a blog in each state. We also need more contributors pumping their ideas and articles into the blogs. Change history: join the revolution today.

Here are some ways to start:
  1. Join the Feingold08 Mailing List.
  2. Get active at the Russ Cafe.
  3. Stop in at the Progressive Patriots Fund, Russ's Leadership PAC.
  4. Start a state blog. If you want, you can use the templates here.
  5. Contribute content and/or code at RussForge. Learn how here.
Technorati Tags: Russ Feingold, Politics, Current Affairs, Random,News and Politics, 2008, Democratic Primary.

This post is released under the Creative Commons Attribution License. You may modify or use it in any way, as long as it is properly attributed to

MoveOn Mobilizes To Support Feingold's Censure Resolution

MoveOn is mobilizing to stand behind Russ on the censure of the Resident. They're aiming for 250,000 signatures. Off the top of my head, it seems like they got a million signatures against Alito. I'd hope we could at least match that. In any case, let's all do what we can to circulate this message:

Dear MoveOn member,

Yesterday, Senator Russ Feingold introduced a resolution to censure President Bush for breaking the law by illegally wiretapping American citizens.

Censuring a sitting president is serious business. But when the president misleads the public and Congress while willfully and repeatedly breaking the law, there must be consequences—that's how the law works for everybody else.

While most politicians sat back and weighed the political pros and cons of holding the president accountable, Senator Feingold stuck his neck out and did it. Now it's up to us to show broad public support. Can you sign our petition asking Congress to join the call for censure?

Right now it's unclear how many of Senator Feingold's colleagues will stand with him in this important fight. If we can reach 250,000 signatures, we'll deliver your comments to your senators this week to demonstrate widespread public support censuring the president for breaking the law. We'll also send a copy of the complete petition to Senator Feingold to show our support for his courage.

President Bush already had the authority to wiretap suspected terrorists—he could even wiretap first and get warrants 3 days later. But he chose to get no warrants at all, clearly violating the law set up to protect innocent Americans and then he misled the Congress and the public about his program.1

Censuring the president means Congress officially acknowledges that the president broke the law and condemns him for doing it. Given the scale of the president's problem, it's a very reasonable first step to holding him accountable. This is a key moment for Congress to show that they're serious about checks and balances.

Our country was founded on the idea that everyone—even the president— has to follow the law. Supporting censure is the best opportunity we've got to keep that ideal alive. Can you sign our petition today?

Thanks for all you do,

–Eli, Nita, Tom, Adam, Joan and the Political Action Team
Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Update 15 Feb 15:00: "Since yesterday afternoon, when we launched the petition, over 200,000 of us signed up to support Senator Feingold's call to censure President Bush for his illegal wiretapping. Thousands more are signing by the minute..."

Monday, March 13, 2006

74% Support Censure at MSNBC Poll

With 26,526 votes cast, 74% of respondants to MSNBC's non-scientific poll see Feingold's proposal resolution as "A way to hold him accountable" rather than "Political Grandstanding."

These results are suspiciously close to Resident Bush's current approval ratings.

Technorati Tags: Russ Feingold, Politics, Current Affairs, Random,News and Politics, Bush, Censure.

Co-Sponsor Feingold's Resolution to Censure the President

Dear oh4russ,

This week, I will introduce a resolution in the Senate to censure the President. The reasons for censure are clear: the President authorized a program that illegally wiretaps American citizens, on American soil, without a court order; he also actively mislead the public and Congress on the existence and legality of the program.

Congress can no longer stand by and allow such disregard of the Constitution, the rule of law, and two branches of government to continue. Censure is an appropriate first step in demanding accountability from a President who disregards the rights and freedoms on which our country was founded.

Sign the Resolution

Every American wants to fight terrorism and fight those who wish to do our country harm. We all stand together in that fight. Every American wants the government to be able to wiretap terrorists, and we can under current law! However, this President, or any President for that matter, cannot decide which laws they will obey or cherry-pick which articles of the Constitution they will uphold - and this President continues to do just that. He must be held accountable.

Sign the Resolution

I will continue to push my colleagues to stand up to a President who plays fast and loose with the facts, our freedoms, and our nation's trust. Please sign my resolution to help send the message that we can't afford to let the President be cavalier with our rights.

Russ Feingold
United States Senator
Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Site News and State Blogger Templates Available

I've gotta devote another post to the non-political.

First topic: Site News.

I replaced the blogger comment system with HaloScan. There's good news and bad news. First off, we now have trackbacks. That means that if you want to write an article related to an post here, you can get it to show up in the "trackbacks" section of the post here. It's like leaving a comment, but cooler.

The bad news is that all the nice comments that folks have left here are gone. It's a shame, but it's better to do it now than in November.

Second topic: YourState for Feingold Templates.

In an effort to make it easier to start a new state blog, I uploaded two templates to RussForge. They look pretty much like this blog, without a couple of the doohickies under "Obligatory Blog Stuff." They're not going to win any beauty contests, but on the other hand they could save some typing.

Both templates are available here:

Feel free to use, change, or ignore them as you see fit. If anyone else feels like contributing their templates, please see the RussForge thread for information on how to get started.

ThinkProgress Has Feingold's "Censure Bush" Video

As everybody probably already knows, Russ called for censuring Resident Bush this morning on ABC’s "This Week With George Stephanopolous." Instead of writing the 5,432nd blog article about this, I'm going to suggest popping over to ThinkProgress and taking a look.

New Tools For Keeping Track of the Feingold State Blogs

Having difficulty keeping up with the news from all the state blogs? We have some new solutions.

First off, there's the new Feingold State Sites feed. It combines posts from all the state blogs, sorts them by date, and can be plugged into the feed reader of your choice.

For example, here are three quick ways to take advantage of the feed right away:

Add to GoogleAdd to My AOL

If you're looking for a more powerful tool, you can get a desktop RSS reader. A good free one is RSSOwl and a good not-so-free one is FeedDemon. Tools like these can import a bunch of feeds at once in a OPML file. I wrote Feingold.opml and popped it up RussForge for anyone who wants to use it.

(If RussForge looks interesting to you, check out this thread to learn more about it.)

Technorati Tags: Russ Feingold, Politics, Current Affairs, Random,News and Politics, RSS, OPML.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Some Feedback from The Russ For President Petition

Schwompa's Russ For President Petition hasn't gotten the play that it should. I think the main reason is that a lot of Russ supporters don't know it exists. In the final analysis, Russ won't make his decision to run based on it. But on the other hand, there's no reason not to have 50,000 signatures on it.

One thing that I like about it is some of the comments that signers leave. Here are a few choice ones:
  • "Senator Proxmire would be proud" -- Doreen K.
  • "I am proud to place my name on any document that supports a Feingold presidency." -- Chris R.
  • "Thank you for standing up for me." -- Patty N.
  • "I have watched you with interest in the past 6 months and must say I hope you seriously consider running for office. I have been reading as much as I can about possible candidates and am highly impressed with your record." -- Carolyn M.
  • "Hillary Clinton's a nice person and all, but she can't even begin to fix the mess we're finding ourselves in. We need principled leadership, we need it desperately, and when I say "we" I don't just mean Democrats or progressives, I mean America." -- Jillian S.A.
  • "Senator Feingold, you are the most poignant, fearless voice of reason in the Senate. I implore you, take the White House and return this country to it's former glory." -- Jeffrey B.
  • "diebold permitting......" -- Robert S.
  • "Your actions are the epitome of Smart Democracy" -- Nick P.
  • "...It is this kind of integrity that is in short supply in this once great country. And it is this kind of integrity that is required in order to restore this country to what is it once was. I only wish that we could clone this man in duplicates and fill every seat in the White House with his clone" -- Heather I.
  • "We need you to fend off Hillary." -- Anne T.
  • "Russ is the most reliable and steadfast progressive leader we have. We need him. America needs him!" -- Adam E.
  • "I have been researching 2008 Dem choices for awhile. Russ is the first electable person I've found who is anti-NAFTA, pro-universal health care, and anti-Iraq war. Please run Russ!!!!!" -- Earl B.
  • "I've lived in Wisconsin my entire life and there is no one more qualified to run for the 2008 presidential election than Russ Feingold" -- Tarah M.
  • "Mazel Tov!" -- Khain E.
  • "please, you were the only one capable of reading" -- Don S.
  • "People are starving for real leadership" -- Robert E.
  • "He's my Senator, but I'm willing to let ya'll barrow him for 8 years." -- Adam M.

So, if you haven't signed it yet, please consider taking a minute to do so. Consider sharing the URL in e-mails or on discussion sites.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Feingold, Gonzales, and Kris: The Wiretapping Saga

Russ is working the illegal wiretapping issue hard, and deserves some recognition for it. It's a little tricky, but we can break it down into easy-to-digest pieces.

Let's start with the testimony of then-Associate Attorney General David Kris before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 10, 2002:
"Thus, both before and after the Patriot Act, FISA can be used only against foreign powers and their agents, and only where there is at least a significant foreign intelligence purpose for the surveillance. Let me repeat for emphasis: We cannot monitor anyone today whom we could not have monitored at this time last year."
This, we've learned, was false testimony. Bush admitted that he'd authorized domestic wiretaps without FISA warrants. Gonzales has testified to the fact that it was false testimony.

So, why not bring Kris up on charges of perjury? Well, the apparent answer was that he didn't know he was giving false testimony. This point seems capitulated, at least for the sake of argument.

But it brings up another point.

Did senior officials at the Department of Justice know that Kris's testimony was wrong, and did these persons allow him to mislead the Senate Judiciary Committee on the issue?

Russ put that question to Alberto Gonzales yesterday in a letter. Here's an excerpt:
It was therefore incumbent upon senior officials who reviewed the testimony to make sure that the Committee was not misled.

It is unacceptable, under the circumstances, for you to decline to answer my specific question simply because it is normally against DOJ policy to disclose who approved testimony by Administration officials. The Judiciary Committee is entitled to know what senior officials allowed misleading testimony to be presented at the hearing on September 10, 2002.
At least three Senators, Feingold, Leahy, and Specter aren't satisfied with Gonzales's testimony, and there is talk of recalling him for clarification in the near future.

Leahy says that Gonzales needs to "clear up the confusion he created first by ducking our questions, and later by further clouding the issues with a 'clarifying' letter that substantially revised his unsworn testimony." I agree.

Technorati Tags: Russ Feingold,Wiretapping, Politics, Current Affairs, Random,News and Politics, 2008, FISA.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Chat With Russ Friday Morning

Want to thank Russ for his work on the USA-PATRIOT Act? Free trade? Wiretapping? ANWR? Alito? Want to wish him a happy birthday? Want to nudge him to run for president, or to visit Ohio? Here's your chance.

The Progressive Patriots Fund is sponsoring an online text chat with Senator Russ Feingold on Friday, March 10 at 10:30AM Eastern Time. Sign up early at The Progressive Patriots Fund.

Technorati Tags: Russ Feingold,Chat, Politics, Current Affairs, Random,News and Politics, 2008.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Russ's Wit and Wisdom at Wikiquote

Russ Feingold's WikiQuote page is growing rapidly. In the last month, it's grown from seven quotes to the current version with thirty-four quotes in thirteen sections.

There are a number of reasons this is important. First is that it's a huge market, and it's a huge market that doesn't necessarily read kos/mydd/du every day. There are over 1,011,202 registered users. It's the 6,152nd most viewed site on the Web, and its sister project WikiPedia is the 22nd most viewed site on the Web.

Second is the fact that a lot of NetRoots types refer to the WikiProject. For example, here's 40,500 references to WikiPedia at dailykos.

Editing the page is easy, it doesn't even require an account (which is kind of the point). Depending on your inclinations, you can either go straight to the page and poke around or check out the help section first.

In the Wiki markup-language, a completed entry would look something like this:
* "Congress has lost its way if we don't hold this President accountable for his actions." -- ( On the President’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program. [ The Nation, 12 Feb 2006])
So, if you need a quote, check it out. If you run across a particularly pithy pronouncement from the progressive patriot, please purvey it to the project, pronto!

Technorati Tags: Russ Feingold,WikiPedia, WikiQuote, Politics, Current Affairs, Random,News and Politics,Weblog.