In February, when I asked Senator Sheldon Whitehouse if his "Buffett Rule" bill raising taxes on the wealthy was a mere political stunt, he insisted that he had a real plan for passage. One element of that plan: bring up the legislation for a vote over and over again, as a way to pressure the Republicans into passage. The method, he said, had been pivotal to passage of the financial reform bill last year.
The netroots story can seem so, well, 2006. But this is actually a remarkably fertile time for online activism. Witness the Internet's January revolt against the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills, the web-based protest against the Susan G. Komen foundation, and the Kony 2012 video (see my recent piece "Game Change?")
While my esteemed colleague Chris Faraone was inside at a Netroots Nation panel discussion about the Occupy movement this afternoon, I popped out to see what the Occupy movement was up to. Just in front of the main entrance to the Rhode Island Convention Center, some 15 Occupy types were sitting in a semi-circle on the pavement, listening to an older guy, in glasses and a "Stop Keystone XL" T-shirt talking about the need to end corporate subsidies.
Headed to Netroots Nation? Here's are five bars, restaurants, and cafes to check out within walking distance of the Rhode Island Convention Center. Oh, and if you want to sound like a local, it's "DownCity," not "downtown."
1) Tazza, 250 Westminster St. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, beer and some upscale hipster ambience.
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I take a look at the state of the online progressive movement, in preparation for Netroots Nation 2012 coming to Providence. It's part of a package of articles on the conference.