The ThinkProgress crew is heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota today — the great state that gave us Paul Wellstone and Michele Bachmann, Walter Mondale and Tim Pawlenty, Al Franken and Jesse Ventura. We’ll be there to participate in the Netroots Nation conference. It’s an annual experience for the team, which has attended every one of the six Netroots Nation conferences since our maiden voyage to Vegas in 2006.
Blogging will be a little light for the rest of this week on the ThinkProgress sites (Joe Romm’s Climate Progress, however, will continue its regular posting schedule). If you’re attending the conference, please stop by and introduce yourself to members of the team. Some of us will also be speaking on panels:
Fed Up: Decoding Monetary Policy Matters
Thu, 06/16/2011 – 10:30am, M100 H
Years worth of bailouts, banking deregulation and stagnant wages have put a new level of political focus on the Federal Reserve. But so far progressives have had scant engagement with the Fed’s core mission of setting monetary policy, and the debate has taken place exclusively between the status quo and the right’s goldbug cranks. The left urgently needs to get informed and get engaged–the debate can’t simply range between Ben Bernanke and Paul Ryan. At a time of sky-high unemployment, it’s more important than ever for progressives to dive into the ins and outs of monetary policy.
PANELISTS: Matthew Yglesias, Tim Fernholz, Mike Konczal, Kat Aaron
The Politics of Hate and the Rise of Anti-Muslim Bigotry
Fri, 06/17/2011 – 3:00pm, L100 I
Many Americans were startled by the ferocity and intensity of insults hurled at everyday American Muslims during the public debate last summer over the construction of a Muslim/interfaith community center in lower Manhattan. But the controversy–and a spike in hateful and harassing behavior toward Muslims for months afterward–was also the prime-time political debut for several hate groups with an explicitly anti-Muslim agenda. This panel will bring together reporters, bloggers, experts on hate crime groups and community advocates to discuss the politics and political appeal of these organizations and their objectives. How did the internet shift the dialogue on Islamaphobia this past election cycle and what can we expect in 2012? And how can the Muslim community and the broader progressive movement work together online against this behavior?
PANELISTS: Safir Ahmed, Tanzila Ahmed, Farhana Khera, Faiz Shakir, Adam Serwer
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: How Corporate Front Groups are Corrupting our Democracy
Sat, 06/18/2011 – 3:00pm, L100 FG
Over the past two years, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent more than $100 million lobbying against climate legislation from Congress and the EPA. During the 2010 election cycle, it spent more than $75 million in ads helping elect mostly climate-denier Republicans. The Chamber has emerged as the top political spender outside of the political parties, yet Americans know little about it, least of all the 3 million local businesses it purports to “represent.” This panel will explore the implications of the Chamber’s rise to political power and which people and companies control its multitude of mechanisms. You’ll hear from experts on corporate money in politics, progressive business leaders and grassroots strategists as we identify areas of leverage and weakness that the climate movement and progressive community can rally around to fight back against this political juggernaut.
PANELISTS: Jamie Henn, Brad Johnson, Per Olstad, Phil Radford, Richard Eidlin
The Progress Report will be on hiatus, returning June 20 with a recap of Netroots.