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


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

  1. […] Get FISA Right submission on change.GOV’s Citizen’s Briefing Book … […]

  2. jonpincus says:

    Thanks so much, John, for driving this and working through the bugs on the site (subtly different than the equally-irritating buts on the site). The submission looks great. Unsurprisingly “ending marijuana prohibition” is #1 as I write this, with 63000+ points (each vote is 10 points) so we’ve got a long way to go … on the other hand we’re probably one of the few ideas in the briefing book running a cable ad.

    Thanks also for the rework on the blog, it looks great too! Although I’m not 100% sure the theme of “Contempt” quite matches our usual tone 🙂

  3. jonpincus says:

    Also, there are a couple of important differences between the voting schemes in Citizen’s Briefing Book and Ideas for Change:. First of all, CBB has the option of voting down as well as up; so just like on digg we should expect neocons and other pro-surveillance types to oppose us. Secondly I don’t think people are limited as to how many votes they have in CBB. Finally without comments or private messages on the site it’s much harder for people to be able to make contact with each other (fortunately the links John put in give people a way of contacting us).

  4. jonpincus says:

    How to promote this idea effectively? A few thoughts:

    1) add a link to it on our Idea for Change page. It’s not open for editing yet so I put it in a comment

    2) mail it out to the MyBO list

    3) edit our wiki’s front page to point to the idea (and while we’re at it, highlight that we’ve won the competition).

    4) set up events on Facebook and MyBO (and ideally MySpace too).

    What else? And, can anybody help by taking the lead on these?

  5. slwtanaka says:

    Thanks John and Jon posting this and the promotion suggestions. As I go through the entire list–a few observations:

    Lots of great ideas ranked (by vote) above John’s including a number related to ours (Restore the Constitution, etc.)

    I didn’t understand Jon’s comment about “Finally without comments or private messages on the site…””

    Comments are allowed, each proposal has a note about how many comments have been submitted. Click on that and you get access to comments, and a box to add your own at the bottom.

    [Perhaps Jon was referring to another aspect of these sites I don’t understand yet (private messages?). Bear with me. I am new to all this–most of my “blogging” has been done on NYT sites.]

    Soo…maybe we can comment to all the related ones and ask people to support John’s as well, and add links as Jon suggested for the Idea for Change page.

    Another suggestion. Reach people through links on discussion blogs on papers like the New York Times. Once we have a direct link (see next comment), if that is possible, we can spread the word to other audiences this way. And if we can’t get a direct link, we can create easy to follow directions to lead them to John’s proposal.

    A direct link to John’s proposal on one of the MyBO list emails that have been regularly coming my way would be very helpful. I think I went through about five links to get to John’s proposal and vote. I am willing to do this, but many of those I am encouraging to vote for this will not be as dogged and if I can send them a single link, I will have more success with them. (Also a little note warning them that they need to set up an account on to vote, etc.) We need to make it as easy as possible for people who are not as committed but agree with us to support this. As Jon pointed out, we have a long way to go–when I voted I think John was at 160 or so, and we are competing with all the ending marijauna prohition and UFO people.

    I would also like to see some links added to some of the old pages that were posted to the MyObama site with excellent explanations about the real impact of the summer’s FISA amendment and the Patriot Act. Hopefully we will attract new people who may not have gone through the analysis before. Let’s arm them with the careful analysis that was done before the fateful vote so they can spread the word.

    Final question–it may be on the briefing book web site somewhere–I haven’t found that it is easy to find answers to questions like how many times can you vote so far–I agree with Jon that it seems to be unlimited–so far that is my experience–but is there a time limit like we were facing on It seems from the Jarrett email that the Citizen Briefing Book will be a permanent administration feature. So do we need to start over once a week, a month, whatever, or does a proposal sit on this until if moves up enough in the rankings to be added? Anyway, I am not certain how this will work yet.

  6. jonpincus says:

    excellent suggestions and questions slt.

    the direct link is … does that work for you?

    as far as i know nobody’s sent it to the myBO list yet.

    our FISA resources and references page has links to some of the articles from last summer at

    no idea about the time limit on … all we’ve seen so far is “after the inauguration”, which is kinda vague. if anybody finds this out, please let us know!

  7. slwtanaka says:

    Thanks so much Jon! Very very helpful. I’ll send an email out to my people tonight urging them to vote for John’s proposal.

    So far the briefing site has been somewhat frustrating to use. I was reading through all the proposals, or trying to, was interrupted and the site kicked me off, so I had to re log in, and start over at page 1 of the proposals, and there was no way I could see to jump pages so that meant going through everything one 10 proposal page at a time. Extremely frustrating. Did it once, but the second time I said to myself, forget about it.

    There are a number of similar proposals which can easily be assessed so you can vote on them by typing in something obvious like FISA in the search box.

    As far as time limits, I did see one proposal indicating that the briefing site limit was this Sunday at 6 P.M.–the person commenting was quite indignant and their proposal was to keep the site up and working after that time. Maybe they were misinformed. Sorry, it would be impossible to find it again given how the site works. But if it is true, we have to work fast!

    Still, it is not clear exactly how this will work. The fact voting is allowed must have some significance, but there are some really wild proposals, some of which have received a lot of votes, that I can not believe Jarrett is going to assemble for a presidential briefing, so I don’t think it is necessarily simply based on number of votes like

    I’ll check the Caucus on the NYTs and see if anyone is posting about this, so I can comment with the link.

    (Also, unlike, you can not change your vote once you vote for something. So on the other proposals take some care before pressing the button!)

  8. slwtanaka says:

    Hi Jon. Just visited the WetPaint FISA Resources and Reference page. Great job and exactly what is needed! Saw many of my favorites there. I think Rep. Russ Holt may have made a very good speech also that may be worth posting.

  9. John says:

    note: it’s not possibly to edit the CBB submissions after they are submitted (folks in other venues have suggested changes).

  10. I have to say, I can not agree with you in 100%, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong.
    p.s. You have a very good template for your blog. Where have you got it from?

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