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The Daily Digest

1. Along with some journalists, attorneys and other organizations, the ACLU is suing the government.

Check out this video of a conversation with ACLU's Jameel Jaffer, The Nation's Chris Hedges and Human Rights Watch's Dinah PoKempner

2. John McCain’s top economic advisor Phil Gramm weighs in: "We’ve never been more dominant. We never had more natural advantages than we have today. We’ve sort of become a nation of whiners."

3. Journalists report Obama raised $30 Million in June; McCain raised $22 million. Some are underwhelmed, some are questioning the numbers.

4. Josh Bolotsky calls it "Obamadodd"

5. Democratic Campaign for the Congressional Committee releases its blueprint for ad marketing.

6. The Horror, the Horror, Iraq was for Oil, a Bill Moyers essay

8. Iran shows a missle test on TV. Washington reacts by preparing to deploy part of its antiballistic missile shield.

9. Lawrence Lessig: Obama’s vote on FISA is not surprising, but he did self-swiftboat

10. Veteran Affairs bans voter registration drives, making it difficult for veterans to vote

11. Psychedelics are again being considered a good medical alternative. The new scientific theory: take whatever makes you feel good.

Reading Liberally: Read of the Day

The one thing every liberal must read today:

PHIL GRAMM IS CONSERVATISM
by Bill Scher, Campaign for America's Future

Bill Scher exposes the real issue with Phil Gramm's comments about America's "Psychological Recession." These aren't the ideas of one radical right winger. These are ideas at the core of the conservative ideals that John McCain is running on.

Lunch at the Century Foundation

Today The Century Foundation hosted the first of three summer brown bag luncheons. Their lovely upper-east side building brimmed with bright, young, progressive, public-policy minded teens and twenty-somethings all eager to listen to a four-person panel discuss our country’s current economic conditions. Forecasts were grim across the board. Economic mobility is an elusive ideal, activist Amaad Rivera explained. Tamara Draut, Director of the Economic Opportuity Program at Demos painted an analogy: While our parent’s generation rode through the job market on an escalator, those entering the job market today will find themselves riding on a moving walkway. Journalist Daniel Brook zeroed in on the ever widening wealth gap. Our economy is unsustainable.

Hard words to swallow for young idealists such as myself. But of course, give the bad news first and save the glass of hope for last. Veteran journalist Jeff Madrick provided the rallying call: what we need is not idealism but pragmatism. "Vote, keep voting and don’t give up. Remember your vote counts," he concluded.

The Century Foundation is a great resource for young people, and their events are well managed and stress-free. I recommend going to the next luncheon. It will be on the impact of the youth vote. Bring your lunch, get a free drink and cookie and get some pragmatic advice. For webcasts and more information, check out their website .

Reading Liberally: Read of the Day

The one thing that every liberal must read today:

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: 'GOODBYE FROM THE WORLD'S BIGGEST POLLUTER'
by Robert Winnett, The Telegraph

The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

The Future Majority of Praying Liberally?

Check out our discussion of the future of the religious left over at Future Majority. Here is a key section:

With interest in religion and spirituality rising on college campuses, andthe fact that the millennial generation is one of the most liberal ever, the community potential is there.

Plus, The fact is there are many progressive religious youth orgs, such as Mitzvah Corps, that get young people engaged in social justice and other progressive causes.

But unlike conservative religious youth groups, progressive ones don't usually self-identify in ways that would explicitly denote them as progressive organizations. Also, these groups haven't formed solid coalitions with the progressive movement, and in that they fail to act as a legitimate gateway for youth into the progressive movement. Introducing youth involved with religious programs into the greater movement was one of the Religious Right's key skills as they grew their power in the last decades of the 20th century.

The progressive movement needs to build connections with these progressive religious youth groups through more liberal faith communities such as the United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist and Episcopalian churches, and the Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish movements. As well as the younger, more liberal generation of church-goers at traditionally conservative churches.

This relationship between "Church" and Progressive Movement could provide us with great new leaders, who like Barack Obama, would come to the progressive movement through their faith community. It could also infuse these religious organizations with new energy, connecting young people to faith in new ways and expanding the opportunities offered to them by their religious community as they see their church, synagogue, mosque or temple becoming more connected with their everyday lives.

Blogging Liberally: Bob Dole

1)The Pro-Viagra Ticket. McCain can’t quite remember why he wants Viagra so bad.

2)As Obama casts his vote to silence the debate on FISA. Is centrism a slippery-slope?

3)SUV sales are down, but carbon ain’t out.

4)It’s cute, it’s cuddly, It is the shiny happy polling results of an Edwards-Obama ticket.

5)Give me Beer, or Give me death! $46 Billion proves brewing and civilization are one and the same.

6)Screw the nuclear program, who let Iran get a hold of power point?

7) Jesse Jackson had a couple things to say about Barack’s nethers

A Detailed Analysis of Obama's Iraq Flip-Flop in Action Figure Form

Laughing Liberally to Keep from Crying
by Lee Camp

Let Them Eat Kibble

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Amanda Milstein

Thousands upon thousands of homes are being foreclosed on, gas is over four dollars a gallon, the economy looks rosy only to the colorblind-and yesterday I learned that Leona Helmsley had left a trust worth between 5 and 8 billion dollars "to dogs." According to the New York Times, this sum represents nearly ten times the assets of all animal-related non-profit groups in 2005 (and I imagine some of those groups might even squander some of their dollars on non-canines).

The article noted that at first Ms. Helmsley had two goals for her trust:

"to help indigent people...[and] to provide for the care and welfare of dogs. A year later...she deleted the first goal."

Trust Ms. Helmsley to have her priorities straight.

Needless to say, giving five to eight billion dollars to our furry canine companions (who, let's face it, really only need some weird meat-flavored pellets and would probably be frightened by a Jacuzzi and bite a butler) is not going to cause a lot of public support in an economy where dog food is beginning to seem like an appealingly cost-effective dinner option. Apparently her trustees have been "frett[ing] about the public outcry," which shows that they're at least somewhat more perceptive than your average Great Dane.

I am pleased to announce that after pondering the question for nearly seven minutes, I have come up with a solution to how the dogs, armed with trust money, could solve the housing crisis: ARFF - Abodes ReGifted by Furry Friends. With 8 billion dollars, the trust could help dogs buy around 25,000 homes outright, or help dog-knows how many families in meeting mortgage payments. The trust could buy the house (or assign the mortgage) to the dog, and give the dog to the people who used to live there. Legal provisions would have to be made so that when the home-owning dog (who would, of course, be required to pay any relevant taxes and mortgage payments out of trust money) died, the home would go to the people, and not, say, the yellow lab next door. That would just be absurd.