“‘It is a relaunch of the country,’ said Andriy Shevchenko, an independent MP who is aligned with the largest opposition party called Fatherland. ‘You are witnessing not just the collapse of the dictatorship, you are witnessing the country getting rid of its post-Communist legacy. It’s not about running away from Russia. It’s about running away from the Soviet Union and the post-Communist legacy.’” - The Globe and Mail, 2/23/14

While the skimmerhat project is currently on hold pending a cash infusion from a wise VC firm, or a sudden inheritance from a previously unknown eccentric uncle, we would still love to talk to you about our vision and how we believe skimmerhat can change the nation. Please email me at andrew@skimmerhat.com to start the conversation.

Where are we now? 

Maxwell lives in Myrtle Beach, SC where he services the I.T. needs of a local hotel group while teaching himself code in his free time. It seems it is far easier to learn code than finding a develop who doesn’t have a million equally amazing ideas as his own to pursue.

Spencer lives in Atlanta, GA where he is an account executive from an award-wining, up-and-coming email marketing agency. He is also active in fundraising efforts for his alma mater, Clemson University. All those hours spent pitching skimmerhat for seed money are paying-off. 

Andrew lives in Charleston, SC where he is the marketing coordinator for an apparel manufacturer. Outside of his 9-to-5, he offers fundraising consulting for the 2014 Barr Congress campaign, and writes a weekly column for The Weekly Surge.

From time to time, we grow nostalgic for the weekly Google Hangouts, with Max’s Dunkin Donuts HQ in the background.

6-0

"A North Dakota court has preliminarily upheld the first-ever use of an unmanned drone to assist in the arrest of an American citizen." US News & World Report, 8/2/12 

The summary reads: “The Commission concluded that skimmerhat’s proposed platform would be permissible under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, (the Act) and Commission regulations.”

And, that’s pretty much that. 

After many, many months of researching, writing, editing, conference-calling, and waiting, the FEC voted 6-0 in favor of skimmerhat’s advisory opinion request. Cue the music and let the bubbly flow.

The AO approval is no small order. Since our business model takes us into Federal elections, dealing with the FEC was an inevitability. And, getting the blessing from the FEC is a huge hurdle in avoiding any sort of future complications with election law. 

So, yeah…we’re pretty stoked. 

If you want to read the final draft of the Advisory Opinion Response, go here for the minutes from the meeting.

Thanks to everybody who made this happen. And, thanks you all of you for your continuing support. 

- Andrew

"The eyes of the world will focus on Britain tonight — and they should “B” prepared for the greatest show ever seen. The very Best of British will be on display as the 2012 Olympic Games finally kick off with a dazzling £27million opening ceremony viewed by billions across the globe." - The Sun, 7/26/12

A few weeks ago we posted that our long awaited “Advisory Opinion Request” (AOR) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was finally live and online. Such requests are standard for any person, or organization, that will be taking actions that may fall under regulations set forth by the FEC regarding elections. It’s a interesting and fascinating process, and can save you a lot of headaches (and fines) by making sure everything is kosher before you, say, build a business. 

Well, we just got word today that the FEC’s general counsel has presented a draft version of the Advisory Opinion (AO). And, it was great, great news for us. Essentially everything we plan to do is permissible under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), and is — really — about everything we could have hoped for. 

Needless to say, we’re doing a little bit of a “happy dance” right now. 

To read a copy of the draft(s), you can download the .pdf here

The FEC will be taking public comment on the draft AO, and then will have a public hearing we’re skimmerhat will be participating remotely, and answering any questions the Commissioners may have regarding the facts of our plan. This is scheduled to take place on Aug. 2. Then, after that, they will vote on whether to approve one of the two drafts (the difference between the two being if skimmerhat must charge candidates a fee for access to manage their candidate profiel; one says we do, the other says we don’t). We expect to hear back officially the second week in August. 

So, cross your fingers the good news keeps coming in. And, thanks again for all your support. 

“Blistering heat blanketed much of the eastern United States for the third straight day on Sunday, after violent storms that took at least 15 lives and knocked out power to more than 3 million customers.” - Reuters, 7/2/12
The skimmerhat AOR is officially up on the FEC’s website, as shown in the picture above. If you click this link (http://saos.nictusa.com/saos/searchao) and then go to “Pending Advisory Opinion Requests,” you can read it there.
We are pretty excited to hear the ruling/outcome from the FEC. Stay tuned!
— Spencer

Blistering heat blanketed much of the eastern United States for the third straight day on Sunday, after violent storms that took at least 15 lives and knocked out power to more than 3 million customers.” - Reuters, 7/2/12

The skimmerhat AOR is officially up on the FEC’s website, as shown in the picture above. If you click this link (http://saos.nictusa.com/saos/searchao) and then go to “Pending Advisory Opinion Requests,” you can read it there.

We are pretty excited to hear the ruling/outcome from the FEC. Stay tuned!

— Spencer

"Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to meet with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Tuesday as part of his attempt to stave off a vote to hold him in contempt of Congress." - The Hill, 6/19/12

We are a week late on mentioning this on the blog, but since it is a major development in terms of campaign finance we still wanted to touch upon it.

Last week the FEC ruled in favor of the use of text messaging by political committees to receive contributions. The ruling came when the FEC issued an advisory opinion requested by m-Qube, Inc (it was their fourth request). Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The Commission concluded Monday that m-Qube, Inc.’s proposal that would allow political committees to use mobile phone text messaging to collect contributions is consistent with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, (the Act) and Commission regulations and conforms to the Act’s prohibition on corporate contributions. The Commission further concluded that the proposal does not implicate the contribution forwarding requirements of the Act and satisfies the segregation requirement for commercial vendors that process political contributions.

We wrote a few weeks ago about the possibility of this development as the FEC begins to embrace more and more initiatives to engage the small donor — or those who contribute $200 or less.

Megan Wilson of The Hill wrote last week about how the text messaging will work:

Text donations would be capped at between $10 and $50 per billing cycle and campaigns would enforce that restriction through tracking donations from a single user’s mobile phone number to a single premium short code assigned to the political committee. The short code would also enable the aggregator and carriers to ensure “the $50 limit is never exceeded for one political recipient.”

m-Qube wrote that they could block all foreign and pre-paid cellphone numbers to comply with FEC donation regulations. According to the advisory opinion, users will receive a text response following their donation text that reads, for example:

“Reply YES to give $20 to Romney & certify ur 18+ & donating with own funds, not foreign national or Fed contractor.  Terms m-qube.com/r Msg&Data Rates may Apply.”

The link to m-Qube’s website will explain terms such as foreign national and federal contractor, and require donors to enter a PIN to confirm they would like to make the contribution.

As mentioned, many believe that this service will give more citizens an opportunity to become involved in a world of campaign finance that seems to be dominated by Super PACs. The Hill continues:

Government watchdog groups also support the measure and see it as a way to make it easier for small donors to participate in the election process and compete with larger interests, as made possible by 2010’s Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision.

Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign, reacted positively following the ruling on Monday night.

“With billionaires and super-PACs drowning out the voices of hardworking Americans, text message campaign contributions can enhance the role of small donors and, combined with public matching funds, could provide a megaphone for the masses,” he said.

Public Campaign and nine other watchdog groups signed a letter in support of the measure, writing: “Small donors are a critical component of our democratic process, and technology can play a crucial role in helping to empower the voices of more Americans. More than 30 million Americans have texted a contribution to a charitable cause, and many people would likely text a donation to a political candidate if the practice is enabled [at the federal level].”

Former FEC chairman Michael Toner also chimed in on the development via Twitter:

Expect bursts of presidential txt msg contributions when VP choice is made,convention acceptance speech nights & during the 3 fall debates.

We believe that the decision by the FEC is a positive one in attempting to engage small donors into the process, which is a main motive behind skimmerhat as well. It will be interesting to follow how and to what extent this option for contributing to campaigns is used by citizens.

— Spencer

"Greeks voted on Sunday in an election that could decide whether their heavily indebted country stays in the euro zone or heads for the exit, potentially unleashing shocks that could break up the single currency.” - Reuters, 6/17/12
As the above image — taken from a great scene in the movie Office Space — displays, when Americans begin to evaluate Congress they often come up with a simple question: “What do you do?”
Citizens expect results, and when progress is negated by the deafening noise of business as usual in Washington, they begin asking questions.
But we as Americans can push for better. Instead of asking questions, we can take action to ensure our voices are more accurately represented and, thus, we will not have to continuously sit down at a table to say, “Congress, what exactly do you do?”
— Spencer

"Greeks voted on Sunday in an election that could decide whether their heavily indebted country stays in the euro zone or heads for the exit, potentially unleashing shocks that could break up the single currency.” - Reuters, 6/17/12

As the above image — taken from a great scene in the movie Office Space — displays, when Americans begin to evaluate Congress they often come up with a simple question: “What do you do?”

Citizens expect results, and when progress is negated by the deafening noise of business as usual in Washington, they begin asking questions.

But we as Americans can push for better. Instead of asking questions, we can take action to ensure our voices are more accurately represented and, thus, we will not have to continuously sit down at a table to say, “Congress, what exactly do you do?”

— Spencer

"Egypt’s highest court declared the parliament invalid Thursday, and the country’s interim military rulers promptly declared full legislative authority, triggering fresh chaos and confusion about the country’s leadership." - CNN, 6/14/12

A major characteristic of skimmerhat is the concept of ideas, and using ideas to find and fund candidates who believe what you believe. Our hypothesis is that this caters to a large and growing group of issues-based voters — citizens who first want to characterize themselves based on their beliefs as individuals. And, still, even those who define themselves through party allegiance because ultimately their allegiance is defined by a set of ideas.

We also feel like looking at candidates through the lens of ideas and issues — and being educated on each — can begin to cut through the seething divisiveness that is present in today’s politics.

We may be correct. Or we may be totally off base.

But when gazing at the landscape, one thing is for sure — citizens are fed up with Congress (which is our concentration with skimmerhat). The lack of progress on a range of issues frustrates many Americans who feel their representatives are unable to accomplish the objectives that are expected of them, just as every citizen is expected to perform their individual  job to a certain standard on a daily basis.

One organization that clearly displays this frustration is called No Labels. No Labels is:

A movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving.

Their description continues:

We stand united behind a simple proposition: we want our government to stop fighting and start fixing.

No Labels has set forth a dozen proposals to Congress under the campaign “Make Congress Work!” The first and most popular proposal/initiative is called “No Budget, No Pay" which is described in this way:

Congress rarely passes spending bills on time, which makes it virtually impossible for members to intelligently consider why they are spending taxpayer dollars in the first place.  No Labels Solution: If Congress can’t make spending and budget decisions on time, they shouldn’t get paid on time either.

There are over 65 Congressional co-sponsors of the No Budget, No Pay legislation and No Labels as a whole has been rapidly growing with a healthy grassroots movement and social media following.

Organizations like No Labels helps citizens look at progress through a different lens; in their case, through non-partisanship.

At skimmerhat, we aren’t naive enough to think that people won’t congregate behind parties or factions or organizations. There will always be labels — after all, even when you search for a candidate within skimmerhat through a certain stance/side on an idea or issue, you are labeling or characterizing yourself in a certain way.

However, that doesn’t mean we don’t think there can be a better way to make sense of and push progress in a complicated, and some would say convoluted, political environment. It all starts with the collective power of individuals.

With No Labels, there are Americans who recognize this and are making their voices heard.

And with skimmerhat, we hope citizens will realize it as well, so their voices are more accurately represented in Washington.

— Spencer

Watch live streaming video from pdf2012 at livestream.com

"In an election here on Tuesday, residents of North Dakota will consider a measure that reaches far beyond any of that — one that abolishes the property tax entirely" - New York Times, 6/12/12 

The above video link is one that connects to the live stream of the Personal Democracy Forum 2012 in New York City. The two-day event is described as “the world’s leading conference exploring and analyzing technology’s impact on politics and government” where “hundreds of individuals interested in how technology is changing politics, governance and society will gather.”

Yesterday was the first day of the event and some of the discussion was pretty fascinating; from Alexis Ohanian's talk on the need for “heroes” to stand up for the rights of the Internet as was seen with SOPA to Jaron Lanier's proposition that the middle class may suffer from the proliferation of networks that don't take into account “micropayments” to the Sunlight Foundation introducing a pair of new tools — Scout and Call on Congress — to stay in touch with what is going on in Congress.

The list of attendees and speakers is impressive.

So listen in if you get a chance.

And here is an archive from some of the first day’s sessions.

— Spencer

"Standard & Poor’s said on Friday it expects U.S. lawmakers to set aside their differences to prevent a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts from hurting the economy in early 2013." - Reuters, 6/9/12
The political cartoon above paints a provocative illustration of the fundraising tactics used by Congressmen across the country. And though the imagery is outlandish, it isn’t that off base in depicting the skewed reality we are seeing — our representatives are willing to hand over power, influence and results for the right amount.
Whether one agrees with the notion of Super PACs or not, nearly every American would affirm that the direction of our country is better placed in the hands of individual citizens, who as a collection can leverage their power. Influence and results ultimately rests with us.
— Spencer

"Standard & Poor’s said on Friday it expects U.S. lawmakers to set aside their differences to prevent a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts from hurting the economy in early 2013." - Reuters, 6/9/12

The political cartoon above paints a provocative illustration of the fundraising tactics used by Congressmen across the country. And though the imagery is outlandish, it isn’t that off base in depicting the skewed reality we are seeing — our representatives are willing to hand over power, influence and results for the right amount.

Whether one agrees with the notion of Super PACs or not, nearly every American would affirm that the direction of our country is better placed in the hands of individual citizens, who as a collection can leverage their power. Influence and results ultimately rests with us.

— Spencer

"The expectations are so high for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Thursday to say something revealing about more Fed easing that he can probably only disappoint markets." - CNBC, 6/6/12

A week ago, we wrote about Congress and its wrestling match with the issue of bulk legislative data. Many open government activists were unhappy at the time as the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations released a report that essentially passed the responsibility for improving public access to legislative data to a non-public task force with no set reporting date.

However, there is an update, and it is positive.

A statement from House leaders on Wednesday went like this:

“The coming vote on the Legislative Branch appropriations bill marks an important milestone for the House of Representatives:  the moment lawmakers agree to free legislative information from the technical limits of years past and embrace a more open, more transparent, and more effective way of doing the people’s business. Our goal is to provide bulk access to legislative information to the American people without further delay.

“The bill directs a task force to expedite the process of making public information available to the public.  In addition to legislative branch agencies such as the Library of Congress and the Government Printing Office, the task force will include representatives of House leadership and key committees, as well as the Clerk of the House and the House Chief Administrative Officer.

“This is a big project.  That’s why accomplishing it rapidly and responsibly requires all those with a role in the collection and dissemination of legislative information to be at the table together.  Because this effort ranks among our top priorities in the 112th Congress, we will not wait for enactment of a Legislative Branch appropriations bill but will instead direct the task force to begin its important work immediately.

Positive, indeed.

The Sunlight Foundation and Daniel Schuman follow up on this development:

The debate over whether there should be bulk access to legislative data is over. Because bulk access is a top priority of the 112th Congress, we expect to see tangible progress in the upcoming months. The remaining questions largely concern how bulk access should be implemented to meet the needs of the public while respecting the legitimate concerns of Congress and its support agencies.

While we are disappointed that the task force will not include members of the public, we hope that the public will be consulted. After all, the American people are the intended end-users. Sunlight and our friends in the transparency community stand ready to be of assistance as the technical, policy, and scope issues are addressed.

While this is clearly progress, there’s still much more to do. We will be monitoring this issue closely.

Perhaps the most important line from this excerpt is the last one, which touches on remaining steadfast. Verbal progress is good, but consistent, tangible steps forward will prove that Congress is true in its initiative about creating transparency.

Kudos to everyone who works tirelessly in this space and pushes for advancement. Let’s see where it goes from here.

— Spencer

On Fear & Common Sense

"Partisanship in America is at a 25-year high, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, with the majority of that movement to the two ideological extremes coming in just the last decade.” - Washington Post, 6/4/12

A quote we really like at skimmerhat is: “If we’re going to win our never ending war against the idea of being afraid, there are going to be casualties, including common sense.”

It can be applied to various aspects of one’s life — from talking to the pretty girl across the room to taking a new direction that breaks up the status quo.

The quote speaks to us on a couple levels. First, on beginning a business venture, something none of the current founders have ever done from scratch. It’s an adventure. And second, on beginning a business venture in a space as volatile and divisive as government and politics (we’ve written on a similar topic here).

Perhaps, the second point has never been more true than now. The excerpt from the Washington Post in italics at the top of this post displays as much. The article delves into the partisanship that seems to be taking a stranglehold on progress, especially in Congress.

They write:

What’s even more remarkable than that rapid growth in partisanship is the fact that there has been almost no noticeable change in other major demographic categories on Pew’s values question. White/black, men/women, religious/not religious — no matter where you fall in these demographic categories the difference between how you and your opposite broadly conceptualize values has not changed markedly since Pew started polling on this in 1987.

The partisanship that has been created has many layers and just as many reasons one could point to in how or why it has grown over the years — whether it’s the politicians, the citizens, the money, the media or a combination of everything.

But that isn’t a discussion for this blog post. The problem is staring us in the face — dissension and gridlock. The proper discussion is what will we do from here?

As Americans, we can’t be afraid to get our hands dirty and attempt something different. Fear of what could happen leads to acceptance of the present; it is the most efficient way to stifle change and progress.

We also must go ahead and throw common sense to the wind. A vision for the future requires us to loosen our grip on the world as it is now because if we are going to realize a different state, it isn’t going to make much sense to any of us at this point in time. Any great advancement in the history of the world seemed inconceivable to a group of people at one time.

This applies to our government and its politics. If Americans are to create the country we collectively think we can, we must be unafraid and accept the casualties, including common sense.

It will undoubtedly require a good bit of time and a solid dose of mental compromise as well.

At skimmerhat, we believe the sharing and discussion of ideas are at the core of this advancement, not party dogma or political rhetoric. Which is why we are building a platform dedicated to finding and funding candidates who share your ideas — the citizens and individuals who make our country what it is.

With this, we are cooking up a new primary feature for the site when we go live. It’s one that hasn’t been included in any of our videos or posts yet, but it embraces the concept of ideas. We will have more updates on this in the very near future, so please stick with us.

And as always, if you are interested in following skimmerhat, take a look at any of our social media links on the sidebar to the right or sign up on our email list.

— Spencer

"Feeble hiring by U.S. employers in May roiled markets and dimmed the already-cloudy outlook for an economy that appears to be following Europe and Asia into a slowdown." - Wall Street Journal, 6/2/12
Has this become the modern campaign platform? In many ways, yes; when you consider how much money is funneled by PACs and Super PACs by a limited number of people and the success rate of candidates who raise more money than their competitors.
But why can’t individuals and small donors collectively disrupt this evolution of the modern campaign platform? We think they can.
— Spencer

"Feeble hiring by U.S. employers in May roiled markets and dimmed the already-cloudy outlook for an economy that appears to be following Europe and Asia into a slowdown." - Wall Street Journal, 6/2/12

Has this become the modern campaign platform? In many ways, yes; when you consider how much money is funneled by PACs and Super PACs by a limited number of people and the success rate of candidates who raise more money than their competitors.

But why can’t individuals and small donors collectively disrupt this evolution of the modern campaign platform? We think they can.

— Spencer

Congress Wrestles with Legislative Transparency

Stocks tumbled on Wednesday as surging bond yields in Spain and Italy ratcheted up tensions in financial markets about Europe’s ability to solve its growing debt crisis.” - Reuters, 5/30/12

Congress takes quite a bit of public flack, especially considering their record low approval ratings and all.

Perhaps it is not always deserved (debatable by many), but there are events when one can’t help but heap blame on our representatives in D.C.

One such case will likely rear its head on Thursday, May 31 when the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations is scheduled for a full vote on the Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill for 2013, outlining spending on legislation.

Many have hoped the bill would address the longstanding issue of improving public access to legislative information in forms that are easily consumed and accurately distributed in the digital space. Well, in a draft report, the committee does address the problem, but not in the most forward thinking way.

A number of respected open government advocates have chimed in on this, so we will let them explain further.

Daniel Schuman and Eric Mill of the Sunlight Foundation write (definitely recommend reading this link in its entirety):

Appropriators misunderstand how data can be “authenticated,” and kick responsibility for improving public access to legislative data to a non-public task force with no set reporting date. Unless corrected, this draft report represents a tremendous step backward for transparency, and fails to seriously grapple with the history of efforts to free legislative information for widespread public use.

Meanwhile, Waldo Jaquith, who created ethics.gov, gives his thoughts:

This is bullshit. Either that or congress is relying on advisors who are simultaneously very smart and very stupid. What congress fears here is actually none of these things, but instead they are afraid of the fact that it is 2012. By not providing bulk downloads of legislation, they’re requiring that Josh Tabuerer keep scraping its text off their website to post at GovTrack.us, from which all of other other open congress websites get their text. If Josh wants to verify that the version of a bill that he has is accurate, he’s out of luck. There’s no master copy. For all technical purposes, congress is silent on what their bills say. (I have this same problem with Virginia legislation on Richmond Sunlight.) For Appropriations to argue that releasing legislation as XML presents potential problems with the accuracy of the circulated text is to pretend that a) there’s already a healthy ecosystem of unauthorized bulk congressional legislative data and b) that their failure to participate in that ecosystem is the source of any accuracy problems, and that by providing data themselves, then it becomes technologically trivial to verify the accuracy of a copy of a bill.

This is a real embarrassment, both to congress and to the United States. I’ve got a bit of experience in the federal data realm, and I can tell you that in the realm of open data, compared to the White House, Congress is trapped in the stone age. Now we see that they intend to stay there.

As Jaquith points out, people are already editing legislative data and many of these people want bulk data from Congress to ensure absolute accuracy, rather than tampering.

It’s not about control, it’s about transparency and providing correct data for citizens.

Finally, David Moore of OpenCongress lets us know who we should contact with our concerns:

Primary point of contact here should be office of Rep. Ander Crenshaw [R, FL-04] – 202-225-2501 - on behalf of the intentionally, insistently closed-off Legislative Branch Subcommittee of House Cmte. on Appropriations. Give them a ring and let them know that even if you’re not a constituent, you demand bulk access to public legislative information – literally the data that shapes the laws of the land & our shared, lived public policies – and that they’re unforgivably standing in the way of progress on basic government transparency. If anyone from Rep. Crenshaw’s staff or office is reading this, give me a ping on Skype at davidmooreppf to chat voice or video chat, and I’ll politely reiterate the extensive testimony submitted by OC & GovTrack & Sunlight & others on behalf of the millions of people who want access to public data in real-time. Rep. Crenshaw profile on OC; office phone: 202-225-2501.

This is obviously an ongoing issue, but one that is of vital importance to creating a more transparent and accountable government.

Congress appears poised to turn its nose up to this cause. In which case, citizens should be poised to take collective action.

— Spencer

"The US’s top military officer has warned Syria it could face armed intervention as international outrage grows over the massacre of women and children by tanks and artillery in Houla.” - Guardian, 5/28/12
On Memorial Day, we are humbled by the heroes and their families who have given everything for our country. Our gratitude is endless, and we continue to lend our thoughts to the troops who fight for our freedom.
The above picture was taken by Todd Heisler for the Rocky Mountain News feature called “Jim Comes Home” in 2005. The article was written by Jim Sheeler and it won a Pulitzer Prize. It was about about a Marine major who helps the families of comrades killed in Iraq cope with their loss and honor their sacrifice. The above photo shows Katherine Cathey the night before the burial of her husband — Second Lt. Jim Cathey of the Marines, who lost his life in Iraq. She refused to leave the coffin, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her. Also, note the Marine standing guard behind her.
— Spencer

"The US’s top military officer has warned Syria it could face armed intervention as international outrage grows over the massacre of women and children by tanks and artillery in Houla.” - Guardian, 5/28/12

On Memorial Day, we are humbled by the heroes and their families who have given everything for our country. Our gratitude is endless, and we continue to lend our thoughts to the troops who fight for our freedom.

The above picture was taken by Todd Heisler for the Rocky Mountain News feature called “Jim Comes Home” in 2005. The article was written by Jim Sheeler and it won a Pulitzer Prize. It was about about a Marine major who helps the families of comrades killed in Iraq cope with their loss and honor their sacrifice. The above photo shows Katherine Cathey the night before the burial of her husband — Second Lt. Jim Cathey of the Marines, who lost his life in Iraq. She refused to leave the coffin, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her. Also, note the Marine standing guard behind her.

— Spencer

“Two raging wildfires in southwest New Mexico merged on Thursday to become the biggest blaze among fires that have torched forest and brush in parts of five Southwestern states.” - Reuters, 5/25/12
The above cartoon displays how many citizens view Congress — we ask questions and we get little in response.
It’s troubling and it’s why Congressional approval ratings have been hovering at historic lows over the past year.
But as citizens, we don’t have to continue to ask questions. We can take action, and when we collectively apply that power, we will begin to receive more than silence and gridlock. That’s why at skimmerhat, we believe in education and action.
Check out some of the other political cartoons and memes we have gathered here.
— Spencer

Two raging wildfires in southwest New Mexico merged on Thursday to become the biggest blaze among fires that have torched forest and brush in parts of five Southwestern states.” - Reuters, 5/25/12

The above cartoon displays how many citizens view Congress — we ask questions and we get little in response.

It’s troubling and it’s why Congressional approval ratings have been hovering at historic lows over the past year.

But as citizens, we don’t have to continue to ask questions. We can take action, and when we collectively apply that power, we will begin to receive more than silence and gridlock. That’s why at skimmerhat, we believe in education and action.

Check out some of the other political cartoons and memes we have gathered here.

— Spencer