I had barely touched down in California when it was time to take off again. This time, to Detroit, to attend Netroots Nation, billed as the United States' biggest annual gathering of progressive activists, organizers and online social justice innovators.
A photographer in the field who isn't directing their subject on how to pose, where to sit, or which way to tilt their head, has to anticipate the person's next move and be ready to capture it in that 1/250 of a second. Therein lies the art of being a street photographer.
Obesity is an American plague -- and no, I'm not talking about overweight Americans. I'm talking about Big Election, the thing that's moved into our homes and, especially if you live in a "swing state," is now hogging your television almost 24/7.
Political campaigns demand levels of trust and commitment that are best generated face-to-face. Humans respond deeply and profoundly to the unique chemistry of community that arises when we gather together.
When I launched Lady Geek in 2010 it was an incredibly daunting prospect. I had a cause that I believed in -- making the technology industry more accessible to women -- but when it came to getting our voice heard I had to start completely from scratch
Overall, Republicans will have a big edge in the no limits contribution game this year and are likely to warp Congressional races in their direction. But at the presidential level will outspending be the key to swamping the campaign effort of President Obama?
But to get someone to act, first you almost always have to ask -- and their answer determines whether or not you've succeeded. Therein lies the complexity -- how, when and what do we ask of people to help them realize their true political potential?
For instance, yesterday I found that when you type "Romney" as a search term on Google, one of the first auto-complete suggestions is "Romney attacking President." Could a consistently negative tone be part of his messaging problem?
It's a continuing game of racial politics -- now played by both blacks and whites in more sophisticated manner without traditional perversities -- in a regional system still struggling with historic black-white disparities and tensions.
Campaigning, media coverage would have us believe, thrives on creating differences. There is clearly much truth in this. But governing, in the end, succeeds when it fosters agreement. Yet we don't learn much about the candidates' abilities to do this through media coverage of campaigns.
Our elections are increasingly funded and controlled by too few special interests. With super PACs and other outside groups taking in and spending unlimited checks, often from anonymous sources, the voices of everyday people are already being drowned out by wealthy special interests.
Politics would be much better served if we approached it in the same manner that we approach life and our relationships -- that we should communicate in campaigns in the same way that we operate in our personal lives.
Limiting spending in campaigns would give the senator time to listen. Lobbyists and special interests would be limited. There would be time to debate rather than fundraise. And the people would recoup their government.
The capacity for compromise has long been one of American democracy's greatest natural resources, which we are now squandering. As the 112th Congress convenes, its conservation has never been more needed.