voting deadline Sunday! (ways to help in less than one minute)

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’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. each idea has comments, so get involved in the discussion.  First of all, on our idea: if people do a search on FISA and PATRIOT Act they’re most likely to look at the ones with most comments first, and it might as well be us 🙂   Secondly, get involved on other good ideas related to FISA, the PATRIOT Act, wiretapping and civil liberties.  For an example, check out my comment on OppressedCitizen‘s excellent Restore the Constitution (also included in a comment below). Thanks to Victor for the suggestion on Facebook!

Digg: digg it! *updated link * detailed instructions here.

Twitter: Tweet away!  See our twitter page for examples.

email: followup with the people you told about Ideas for Change, letting them know about our top-10 finish … and tell them about the idea on as well.  Make sure to include the URL!   The full URL is … a shorter one is

blogs: blog about it (perhaps using a catchy title like “Get FISA Right on!” ).  Feel free to cut-and-paste shamelessly from this post, and please link back here if you do!  If you haven’t already mentioned our to-10 finish in Ideas for Change, now would be a good time — Frank Greve and David Coffey’s Progressives offer Obama their top 10 ideas for change in the Miami Herald is a good article to point them to.

comments: and mention it in comments on blogs and news articles.  Make sure to include a link to the idea, and mention the deadline.

Other suggestions welcome!

There are a lot of excellent ideas on, including several on accountability (1, 2, 3) that point in similar directions to the one we endorsed in Ideas for Change.  At least a couple of  other Get FISA Right endorsers are backing ideas on too, including the DREAM Activists , the Bridging the empathy gap folks, and Michael Connery of Future Majority.  Please check them out as well!

Yeah, I know it’s the weekend, but it’ll only take a couple of minutes to follow the links and do all the things I listed on this page.   So please get involved!


* For more about Citizen’s Briefing Book, see articles by Nancy Scola on techPresident and Sam Stein in Huffington Post

** The overall leader (legalization of course) is over 80,000 points, it currently takes about 45000 to get into the top 10.  (Each vote counts for 10 points, so the numbers aren’t really as big as they look, but still.)  Disclosure of ET contact is at 13000, and I can only imagine the ribbing my friends will give me if we don’t catch them …


18 Responses to voting deadline Sunday! (ways to help in less than one minute)

  1. jonpincus says:

    And to any of our erstwhile (love that word!) competitors from Ideas for Change: please see my post The ‘Team of Rivals’ road trip: => for more!

  2. jonpincus says:

    Here’s my comment on OppressedCitizen‘s excellent Restore the Constitution:

    great idea, oppressed citizen. it’s got my vote! and great comments all. (and nice to meet you, Irregular Jim’s brother!)

    please also consider voting for our idea “Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties”. It was just named one of the top 10 “Ideas for america” and presented to Obama’s internet director at the National Press Club, and we are running an ad in DC on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the Comedy Channel for the inauguration, so we’re trying to get the message to him as many ways as possible.

    More at

    It’s a lot of detail but about the length of some of the other comments in the thread. As always I started by showing that Ihad read the thread and wasn’t a spammer 🙂 Irregular Jim, by the way, is a longtime FISA activist the FISA for dummies video, the upcoming protest for the Constitution at the Inauguration. the tone on is somewhat serious, as it should be, so i decided it wasn’t a good time for “hiiiii! (waves)”

  3. Jori Manske says:

    Thanks, Jon, for the link – voting at .gov done.
    I am looking forward to – and rooting for – how this all comes into fruition for FISA. I am glad this proposal made at

    Thanks for all your support for Empathy Gap over the last few weeks.

    By the way, given how so many long URL’s break, I created a short URL for Bridging the Empathy Gap on change. gov:
    Want to vote and include that in your blogs, too?

    Maybe you would like to create one in your promotions? I also like how you included numbers (1, 2, 3) as active links in your blog where you suggest options. Looking for ease for us all in getting attention for all these ways to promote a better life for us all!

  4. jonpincus says:

    Hi Jori, thanks for the post — and all the help we got from Empathy Gap supporters at! I edited the post and added in a link, sorry about missing it earlier.

    Time’s short enough that we’re not sure what promotions we’re doing … suggestions welcome! One thing that people can do is to share their opinions in a comment … given’s functionality, this is the easiest way for people to navigate to other ideas they might be interesting. click on my name in the comment in your thread and you can see what else i’ve commented on — oh look, there’s Get FISA right!

  5. Offbeat idea: use site to make a “Shepard Fairey Obama style” image (the 4 color one of Obama looking up thoughtfully).

    1) Go to
    You do have to establish a username and password, and it is best to do that first.

    2) You can then either upload a photo and “obamiconize” it, or use your webcam; I did the latter (had to hold a white posterboard behind me to mask the bookshelf clutter behind me.) Either way you can fiddle with the mix of the 4 colors until you like it, by moving indicator arrows back and forth (you’ll see).

    3) Then choose the “custom” message option and write “Get FISA Right” or words to that effect; you have 20 letters worth of room.

    4) Eventually you click “take snapshot” and then “Save and Submit” which adds it to your photo gallery. The site lets you download the image or share it via facebook (though the latter didn’t work well for me) or others, twitter I think.

    5) You can then upload it to facebook photo area, tag it with your own name, and make it a profile pic. Or you can use it in a blog post or emailing or whatever.

    Here’s my picture, as stored at photobucket with a helpful message.

  6. OK, how to upload photos to facebook:

    1) log in to facebook, go to your profile, select the “photos” tab.

    2) I believe you need to “Create a Photo Album” if you don’t have one; humor me and do that, give it a name, “my first photo album” or something.

    3) choose that album (or another one if you have it) from along the bottom of the page; then choose the “add more photos” from along the top of the resulting page

    4) you get a page with 5 “Browse” buttons, allowing you to upload 5 photos. Click one of them; you are now browsing around in your computer. Navigate to where you stored your “obamiconized” photo from above, and click “open” [NOTE: this is all for Windows PC users]. The field next to the browse button now contains the full file name for the image (which needs to be a .gif, .png, or .jpg image if I recall correctly).

    5) click the “I certify” (it’s mine) checkbox, then click the blue “Upload Photos” button. The upload can take a while, something about facebook I think.

    6) When that’s done, you’ll see the photo with any others that are already in your album (it will be at the bottom). Mouse over it; your pointer turns into a “+”. Click, and choose your name to tag the photo with. This makes it “eligible” for use as a profile photo.

    7) Find and open that photo again, and click “Make Profile Picture” at the bottom right. You’re done; check out your profile and the new picture will be at the upper left.

  7. jonpincus says:

    Thanks for the detailed instructions, Thomas … I just obamiconized myself and the Get FISA Right logo. Very very cool!

    Our logo is at … please rate it if you get a chance!

  8. slwtanaka says:

    Hi folks,

    Yes I noticed all those duplicates. I voted for the original when John first notified us of it, and then went back and voted for all the duplicates–Jon indicated the original had 200 this morning, but I thought I noticed one of the duplicates had 550 when I checked last night. Of course it is always possible neocons are logging in and voting us down too. At any rate, I think we vote on all of them and hope one makes it into the finals.

    And thanks Jon for posting comments to the other related proposals.

    The anti marijuana prohibition and UFO people must have been incredibly organized to get this much traction so early in the process. Also, I didn’t recall seeing the UFO people on the proposals. It doesn’t seem that this citizen’s briefing site was open that long.

    We don’t have to worry about vote splitting as you can vote as many times as you want, so if either John’s proposal, a duplicate or any related proposal makes it up there we’re good. (And because there is no restriction, there would be no way to sort the votes to combine them.)

    So this is another top ten deal? Too bad. There are are lot more than ten really fine ideas submitted. Unfortunately, some of the most popular are not among the best. (And some of the best, like John’s proposal, are not among the top ten so far.)

    “Citizen’s briefing book” and related searches have been fruitless on the NYT site, so I haven’t figured way to comment to an article or NYT blog to get likely supporters’ attention and post the link so they can vote. I will explore other tactics, but we are running out of time.

    Two more hours. Let’s keep determine whether the president’s briefing book will be an ongoing project and, if so, continue to submit this idea and support until it does get into the President’s briefing book. It seems clear that to succeed extremely fast organization is needed to propel the idea to the top almost immediately, as with the UFO and anti-marijuana prohibition folks. I think success breeds success on this site, and early success was more important than for the top ten, where Jon’s proposal seemed able to continue to gather more momentum more easily than John’s proposal has on

    I heard a troubling comment at a meeting last night that Obama has met with the CIA and FBI and decided to leave the present FISA in place after talking with them, so we are going to need to assert a great deal of counter-pressure to get any traction on this.

    Thanks to all above for all those great suggestions. I am learning a lot from you folks.

  9. Craig Nazor says:

    Being a musician by trade, I just listened to the concert at the Lincoln Memorial, and it was great. There is A LOT of good energy building up. Go to change .gov and vote to help push change forward for our FISA issues plus a lot of other very good Constitutional issues, While you’re there, consider voting for an issue I am supporting concerning preserving biodiversity:


  10. […] We would up at somewhere around 1450 points in the Citizens Briefing Book — a great learning experience.  Hopefully John and/or Craig will do a followup post at some […]

  11. jonpincus says:

    Thanks all for the help. We wound up at 1480 points … it’s hard to know just how many votes that is, we were voted down at least a few times, so it’s probably in the 150-200 votes range. It would have been great to do better, and I really wonder what would have happened if had managed to come through with a mailing for us, but still: not bad at all for our late start, short notice, over a weekend, with people burnt out. Back when he competition started in November, it took us several weeks to get up to that level of votes, so this is definitely encouraging.

    Some other statistics:

    – for the Facebook event, we got 59 accepts, 71 maybes, and a total of 329 responses in the first 24 hours after I sent it out, and a total of 94/96/525 … this was without sending a “message-all” to the large Facebook group (although I did send the event invitation).

    – the Facebook deadline thread got 17 responses from 9 people. This led to updates going out to about 630 friends.

    – we got 65 diggs on the first link (for the voting) and 26 for the second. between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday, we got 40 diggs, but were only +110 on Not sure whether this means most people were just digging (and not voting) or wheher we were also getting voted down on not that it made any difference this time, but in retrospect, i should have started by digging the instructions on Saturday, and then followed by digging the link on Sunday. a good lesson.

    – we got about 100 views on our blog on Saturday, and 200 on Sunday.

    Thanks again for all the help! And now, time to celebrate!

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