Dailyish update

January 29, 2009

Note: this is the first attempt at a regular update as described in the Communications Channels post.  It’s longer than an update would normally be and so gives a good idea of the range of things we’ll cover.  The Next dailyish update page on the wiki has more about the process we have in mind.  There’s plenty of room for improvement; feedback welcome.


These are links to active discussions from the blog and wiki.  If there are important discussions in email, Facebook, etc. they could also be listed here although they might be hard to link to.

Discuss: ad campaign choices (blog)

Post Ideas suggestions bills legislation initiaives (wiki)

Communications channels: status and discussion (blog)

Next steps for ad and change.org (blog)

Open thread (blog)

Volunteers Needed

– next editor-of-the-day — please leave a comment here!
– Wiki help wanted! There’s a list of to-dos at http://get-fisa-right.wetpaint.com/todos/updated
bloggers wanted!

FISA in the news

*** Frank suggests: use Google Alerts to track the news yourselves ***

NSA Spying on Journalists: We Need a New Church Committee

Whistleblower: NSA collected credit card info.

Obama sides with Bush in court case

Like Bush, Obama disables our privacy(Nat Hentoff) Obama

A promising start for Obama (discusses his and Holder’s position on FISA)

Discuss: ad campaign choices

January 24, 2009

The most recent phone/chat conference was in part about the direction the ad campaign should take. Broadly speaking, there are two issues:

  • how aggressively to promote the ads
  • where to run them

The first issue is related to the familiarity viewers have with the topic — is language used in the ads such as “Congratulations” or “Don’t Let Our Constitution Die” too esoteric, too “inside baseball”? (For example, “FISA” is not defined in the “Congratulations” ad.) If so, that may argue for a limited rollout of the current ads, and the development of a new,  more easily understood educational message.

The choice of which markets to place the ads in depends (it seems to me) on what goals are being pursued. For example, if Representatives or Senators can be identified who seem persuadable about reforming/restoring FISA, that might argue for buying ads in their congressional districts or states.   The list of cities where SaysMe.tv can run our ads is:

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Bangor (ME), Charlotte, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando-Daytona Beach, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham, Reno. St. Louis, San Francisco, Savannah, Seattle-Tacoma, Spokane, Toledo, Washington DC, West Palm Beach – Ft Pierce, Atlanta (2/1/09), Boston (2/1/09)

The recent TV appearances of former NSA worker Russell Tice makes me wonder if it’s possible that our ads might inspire others like him to blow the whistle on the NSA warrantless surveillance program.  If so, continued or perhaps specially rewritten ads in the DC area and other NSA locations might be worthwhile, wherever they are — e.g., Fort Gordon, GA (Augusta), Bridgeton, MO (ATT facility), etc. — if served by one of the media markets listed above.

Alternatively, perhaps outreach to certain audience demographics might be best — e.g., Comedy Central for younger, politically engaged viewers, Fox for conservative viewers.  Either way, ad rollouts in local markets will be even more successful if they’re accompanied by press releases like the ones Patrick Bruckart sent to local Virginia papers about the “Congratulations ad.”

What do you think?  (Links to ads and news stories to follow)

Communications channels: current status and discussion

January 23, 2009

Ever since the my.barackobama.com email list melted down in July, Get FISA Right has had problems with communications.  We discussed it in November/December, and after getting people’s input, I made a proposal, which included introducing a blog,  trying to shift discussions from the spam-infested message board to the discussion forum on the wiki, and introducing “newsletter-style” updates that get broadcast to the email lists (and twitter, and Facebook).

Putting it into practice for the first time in the Ideas for Change finals, we unsurprisingly ran into a few challenges.  In a message on the Google Group email list, Lee mentioned that she’s still overwhelmed by the number of different communications channels — and bombarded by too many notifications. So this thread is an attempt to describe our current situation, give some recommendations for how to stay in touch today, and discussions for future improvements.

If you only want to check one place, the blog (https://getfisaright.wordpress.com) will have all critical updates and most of the discussion.   The RSS feeds for entries and comments are an easy way of seeing what’s new. If you want to follow a specific thread after you comment, click on Notify me of followup comments via email (more here).   If you want to bring up a new topic, we’ll try to make sure there’s always an “open thread” on the front page — here’s the current one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Open thread

January 22, 2009

There’s a ton of FISA-related stuff going on … most dramatically whistleblower Russell Tice’s revelations on Olbermann about the extent of the warrantless wiretapping.  Nicole Belle has a transcript on Crooks and Liars, and I’m sure there are going to be discussions of this all over the web; if you see some interesting ones, please share them in the comments.

And if you get a second to add a comment in to some of the discussions elsewhere, make sure to mention Get FISA Right and point people to where they can leave a comment for President Obama at https://getfisaright.wordpress.com/?p=228#comments.

Speaking of whistleblowers, this is a good time to mention the Thomas Tamm legal defense fund.

What else?

Thoughts on any of these?

Please discuss!


UPDATED: Notes, action items and download link for Wednesday conference call

January 21, 2009

Update, Wednesday 9:30 PM: notes (action items and download information) are in a comment.

Please continue the discussion!

Hey, we’ve got a new President!  I hope everybody’s had a chance to check out the fireworks theme on the wiki 🙂  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Okay, now back to work.

There is as always a lot to cover in tonight’s conference call: promoting our ad, following up on Ideas for Change, and organization going forward.   The agenda and dialin information are below the fold.  For those who can’t make it to tonight’s conference call, we’ll be recording it and will get notes up afterwards.*  For those who can,  we’ll also be discussing in the chat room at http://www.chatterous.com/gfrchat/.

Whether or not you’re going to be at the meeting, please leave your input on any of the topics as a comment here on this thread.  Discussion before the meeting can help us make much better use of the hour when we’re all on the phone.  Thanks much, and looking forward to it!


* hopefully.  we ran into problems with this last time, so no guarantees.  but we’ll do our best.  apologies to those whose cell-phone plans have limited minutes during weekdays; we will work on scheduling some future calls on weekends as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Get FISA Right launches new pro-Constitution video on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and Comedy Channel

January 19, 2009

Get FISA right is delighted to announce that our new video/cable TV ad, Congratulations, President Obama.  Please get FISA right, premiers January 20, Inauguration Day, on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and the Comedy Channel.

How cool is that?  All the more so because our top-five finish in change.org’s Ideas for Change in America (details TBD, latest update here), which means we’ll get to work with change.org and MySpace Impact to promote it.  w00t w00t!  Thanks to SaysMe.tv for all their help, to Jason Rosenbaum of The Seminal for a key blog post, and to Get FISA Right members for collaboratively writing the script — and contributing to launch the ad in DC.

Get FISA Right members (and anybody else who wants to help): please share the video with your friends.  Email the link, blog about it and mention it in comments, post and share on Facebook, change your status (mine currently says “Jon is going to be on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and Comedy channel tomorrow! http://tinyurl.com/8jpwso.etc”), tweet, etc, etc..  Thanks!

If you’d like to congratulate President Obama,  please leave a message in a comment either at the bottom of this page — or on Facebook or on YouTube, if you prefer.  If you want, you can also share your views with him and the new administration about FISA, the PATRIOT Act, and civil liberties.  Please keep it down to a few sentences at the most (and link out to anything longer), and stay positive and on-topic.  And if you’d like to congratulate other Get FISA Right members, feel free to do so as well!

Draft media release below the fold.


PS: If you’d like to help air the ad on cable TV stations in DC and across the country, you can donate on the SaysMe.tv site, or sign up to help with our February money bomb on Facebook (details and other sites coming soon).  We’ll be working with change.org and MySpace Impact to promote this, as well as our next video/ad, Innocent Words, Misinterpreted.  Stay tuned!

Read the rest of this entry »

Time to celebrate! (and Ideas for Change update)

January 18, 2009

obamiconized logo

Get FISA Right conference call Wednesday: notes and download info here.

The winning ideas were accepted on behalf of the Presidential Transition Team by Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media and the person who oversees our second-favorite website, Change.gov. Macon then addressed the attendees of the event, which included nonprofit leaders and grassroots activists, and spoke about the importance the administration will place on citizen-driven efforts like Ideas for Change.

– change.org Managing Editor Josh Levy, on the Blog for Change.

change.org’s press event on Friday featured some great speakers and got some nice press, for example Diego Graglia’s Immigrant Students, DREAM Act Supporters Hoping Obama Will Take Up Their Cause on Feet in 2 worlds, Nancy Scola’s Ideas for Change Settles on a top 10 on techPresident (which has the vote totals for the top ten finishers), and Prerna’s Undocumented Students Raise Voices Online for DREAM Act in New American Media (a great description of how our allies the DREAM Activists approached the competition).  Get FISA Right’s Thomas Nephew was there in-person and discussed it on newsrackblock.com in We’re Number 5!  We’re Number 5!

Yay us!  And there’s a lot of ways we can build on this … discussion starts below.

At this point, though, the top priority is to take a break, enjoy the Inauguration, and recharge yourself.   At least in SF, where I’m spending the weekend and the weather’s beautiful, it seems like everybody’s got a spring in their step — and that should go double for Get FISA Right.  Congratulations both to us, and to President Obama!  So, please, take it easy for the next couple of days … I’m going to be doing that too, so other than a couple of blog posts, expect to hear a lot less from me.

Macon Phillips, director of new media for the Obama transition team, thanked the group for its efforts. “A lot of people in the transition have been paying attention to Change.org and are very interested,” he said.

(Obama’s transition site, Change.gov, is easily confused with Rattray’s group, but Change.org actually is older.)

— Frank Greve and David Coffee Progressives offer Obama their top 10 ideas for change in the  Miami Herald

Read the rest of this entry »

change.gov: voting deadline Sunday! (ways to help in less than one minute)

January 17, 2009

Update, 8 a.m. Monday: voting closed.  1480 points.  Thanks all for the help!

info on Obamiconizing yourself on Facebook in the comments!

Man, you’d think they’d give us the weekend off so we could focus on service … but noooooo, the voting in change.gov’s Citizen’s Briefing Book closes Sunday.  It’s similar to Ideas for Change: vote for the ideas you’d like Obama to see.  The difference is that Citizen’s Briefing book is run by the Obama administration.*

Our idea is Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties, submitted by John Joseph Bachir.   Please vote.

And even though everybody’s burned out after Ideas for Change, please spend a few moments helping to promote it.  It’s a great chance to see how effective low-effort  short-term outreach can be, and good practice for getting the word out quickly in the future.  We’re currently at 200 points, and while we’re very unlikely to make it into the top 10 starting this late,** we can still make a decent showing.

Here are some very easy things you can do:

Facebook: sign up for the event here, and then reply to the thread on our Facebook page* new * Then change your image to an Obamicon of you with Get FISA Right — see Thomas Nephew’s description here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Get FISA Right submission on change.GOV’s Citizen’s Briefing Book

January 16, 2009

change.gov has put together a new tool where citizen’s can submit their ideas, vote other user’s ideas up and down, and make comments on ideas. It’s called Citizen’s Briefing Book:

Share your ideas on any issue facing the new administration, then rate or comment on other ideas. The best rated ideas will be gathered into a Citizen’s Briefing Book to be delivered to President Obama after he is sworn in.

Citizen Briefing Book’s concept and functionality are remarkably similar to change.org‘s Ideas For Change. I don’t know if this is a coincidence, if it’s a copy/flattery, if it’s meant to distract from the change.org effort, or what.

But regardless, the fact that the president is running a site like this is amazing!

I just put together the official Get FISA Right submission. Vote on it here.

Bloggers wanted!

January 16, 2009

Although I’ve been doing all the blogging here for the first few weeks, that’s certainly not the plan going forward … and now’s a good time to start changing it.

So this is an open invitation to Get FISA Right members who are interested in blogging here (or helping to administer the site).

To start with, please make sure you’re signed up on WordPress.com … once you do that, leave a comment in the thread telling us a little bit about you and what you’d like to discuss on the blog.  If you already have your own blog, please include a link!  I’ll gradually add people over the next few days and we can get going …


PS: don’t be surprised if this process is a little rocky.  I’ve never administered a group WordPress blog before and so will be learning as we go … apologies in advance