Glenn Beck is our best spokesperson

I don’t like to brag too much about my wife Lenore.  So I was really glad when my friend Noland sent me this note:


nice work lenore.

Cheese Not Koch Day

I am so proud of Lenore and the thousands of other people, but mostly Lenore, for organizing pro-Wisconson rallies in all 50 state capitals in like three days. I’m at the NY rally right now, loving every moment.

CHICAGO TONIGHT -See you there

Progressive Alliance PAC Launch from 6-9 p.m. at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 1 W Grand.

Five Myths About The Suburbs (My first Washington Post Op-Ed)

Suddenly, I am an expert on suburbs.

The scariest thing about this piece was my interview with Arthur C. Nelson, who is actually an expert on the cost of suburban sprawl at the University of Utah. He described to me the cost of maintenance on suburban infrastructure as a “2 TRILLION dollar infrastructure time bomb” that will haunt taxpayers for generations to come, and is likely to bankrupt many suburban towns.




Exercise Your Values (Literally): 10 Commandments, 9, 8, 7, 6…

Let’s get personal for a sec…

Values Values Values is supposedly all the rage. But um… what are our values again?

It’s hard to remember.

I’m a big fan of mnemonic (memorization) devices.

Below is an example of a very awesome very personal ritual I have developed to remind myself to live my values every day. It may seem like a crazy long list. But the trick is that I have actually memorized the whole thing and I have incorporated it into my morning exercise routine.

I totally recommend doing your own version of this. It’s f-cking awesome. Hoping to start a discussion on:

  • What do you think of this? Does anyone else think this is cool? Or is it weird and crazy?
  • Other easy-to-memorize value systems I should consider incorporating? (it’s open source. It keeps growing…)
  • Has anyone heard of a practice like this? I want to hear other people’s embarrassing personal spiritual practices.
  • How the f-ck are we going to build a movement without some type of values-based system like this, and a simple way for millions of people to memorize and practice it?

Trying to be provocative…


Exercise Your Values (Literally): 10 Commandments, 9, 8, 7, 6…

Stephen Colbert once interviewed a Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) who had introduced a Bill to have the 10 Commandments installed in public buildings.

Colbert nailed him on camera: “What are the 10 Commandments?”

Rep. Westmorland: “What are all of them?”

Colbert: “Yup.”

Rep. Westmoreland: “You want me to name them all?”

Colbert: “Yeah, please.”

Rep. Westmorland: “Hmmmmm…(pause)… Don’t murder…. Don’t lie… Don’t steal… I can’t name them all.”

Don’t let this happen to you.

I have a foolproof system.

Just in case I die tomorrow (cuz y’all know I am riding the Chinatown bus to DC), I wanted to make sure I share it first. This is one of the best kept secrets ever. Anyone out there can adapt it to your own values and morning rituals.

You know when you read a book like the 4 Agreements, or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and you think:

“Damn… I should memorize these. If I could live by them every day, it would make my life better.”

But then you never do?

Like: “Damn, what are those Four Agreements, again?”

About a year ago, I came up with a way to memorize them all and use them every day. The best memory device ever. I do crunches in the morning and recite each value system with each crunch: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6… like this.  I know it sounds crazy. But it takes 10 minutes, flattens my abs, and I swear to God it works. I know you’re probably laughing. But hold your fire for a sec. One day, I’ll do an exercise video. Upski vs. Richard Simmons. Then you can laugh.

What are other dope value systems?  I’ll keep adding them as I go…


10 Commandments

There’s only one God (AKA God is Love)

Do Not Worship False Idols (AKA Materialism)

Do Not take the Lord’s Name in Vain

Keep the Sabbath Holy

Honor Your Elders

Do Not Kill

Do Not Commit Adultery

Do Not Steal

Do Not Lie

Do Not Covet

9 Fruits of the Spirit (New Testament Galatians 5:22-23)










9 Practices of Rockwood Leadership Institute

I’m Enough

I’m Authentic

I Know

I Choose

I am Powerful

I am impeccable

I Listen Deeply

I Breathe

I Stress no more

8 Habits of Highly Effective People

Be Proactive

Begin With the Ends in Mind

Put First Things First

Think Win/Win

Seek First to Understand Before Being Understood


Sharpen the Saw

Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs

7 Values of the League of Pissed Off Voters


Freedom (with Responsibility)



Sustainable Jobs



7 Principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba)

Umoja (Unity)

Kujichagulia (Self Determination)

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

Nia (Purpose)

Kuumba (Creativity)

Imani (Faith)

6 Lessons from Good to Great and Built to Last

Level 5 Leadership: “Personal humility. Fanatical about results.”

Right people on the bus. Wrong people off the bus.

Core values made real and infused

BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)

Confront the brutal facts. Yet maintain unwavering faith

Culture of Discipline.

5 Pillars of Islam (Sunni)

Shahadah (Profession of faith)

Salat (Prayers)

Sawm (Fasting)

Zakat (Giving)

Hajj (Pilgrimage)

5 Dysfunctions of a Team

Absence of Trust

Avoidance of Conflict

Lack of Commitment

Lack of Accountability

Inattention to Results

4 Agreements

Be impeccable with your word

Don’t make assumptions

Don’t take things personally

Always do your best

3 Circles of the Hedgehog

What are you most deeply passionate about?

What are you best in the world at?

What drives your economic engine?

3 Rules from Rha Goddess

Stay True

Get Paid

Do Good

3 Billy’s Rules

Be good

Get power

Don’t do anything stupid to mess up your life

2 Principles of Tao

Yin: Darkness, Earth, Femaleness

Yang: Lightness, Sun, Maleness

Everything reflects and contains its opposite.

1 Golden Rule

Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you

AKA Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

AKA God is Love.. for generations to come.



Pocho Radio interview with Immortal Technique, Chino XL

My interview sounded bad cuz my phone was jacked up, but if you’ve never heard the Pochos or Immortal Technique before, it’s a treat. Shout outs to: The Pochos, as well as Luis Sanchez running for School Board in LA, Presente, Get Equal, Lady Gaga, DREAM Act, United We Dream, SCOPE, Bus Riders Union, Community Coalition, Inner City Struggle.

Don’t Worry –it’s the other Upski

It’s really disturbing to read that another graffiti writer named “Upski”  was brutally stabbed to death.

Rep Alan Grayson: What Republicans Can Do With Their Tax Cuts For the Rich

This is the kind of person I want representing me in Congress. Unfortunately, he just lost to a Republican hack.



GOP won House by less than 250,000 votes

Fun with math: Repubs won the House by less than 250,000 votes out of 75 million cast (or is it 90 million? -I’m seeing conflicting reports).

This is back of the envelope math with 5 races still undecided. The real number is closer to 220,000 with no more than a 30k margin of error. My round number back of envelope math (below) came up with 213,000.

But it’s safe to say Repubs won this “Tsunami” by less than 250,000 votes across 26-29 districts.

That’s less than .3% of the 2010 electorate.

And it’s significant for a few reasons:

1. Progressive voter turnout matters.  A lot. It needs to be invested in by party and independent groups alike. Several of these races were decided by 5000 votes or less. For all the concern about losing independents, Dems could have held the House by turning out 250k more base voters in key districts.

2. There is no Republican mandate.

3. Michael Moore and others have been using the talking point that Democrats lost by 5 million votes overall, which is true in terms of the entire electorate (and his talking points are good overall). But the House specifically was won by less than 250,000. If someone from Moore’s shop is on this list, please pass this along…

Has anyone else crunched these numbers more precisely?

I’d like a partner to work on this with and make sure we’re using the most updated and precise figures from County BOEs.

Anyone have suggestions on best place to look (other than 538, Wikipedia, CNN, Yahoo election center? –these don’t seem to be reliable updated with precise numbers)


ps. Here’s my back of the envelope on the 26 closest repub House wins, excluding the 5 undecided races (rounded to 1000s) –from Wikipedia and Yahoo election center which might not be perfect sources. Also, by highlight of the closest races dissappeared in this version. So the 213,000 only represents the 26 closest ones.


AL-2 5000
AR-1 14000
AR-5 17000
CO-3 12000
GA-8 11000
IL-8 1000
IL-10 5000
IL-14 14000
MI-7 11000
MN-8 4000
MS-4 10000
MO-4 12000
NV-3 2000
NH-2 4000
NJ-3 6000
NY-1 1000
NY-13 4000
NY-19 12000
NY-24 10000
NC-2 2000
OH-1 14000
OH-6 10000
PA-11 16000
TX-23 7000
VA-5 9000
VA-9 9000

I Heart Progressive Book Club

Conversation with Joe Conason last night…