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DFA Daily — December 17th

Headlines from Wednesday, December 18:

Obama suffers most from year of turmoil, poll finds — Washington Post

His approval ratings are at their lowest point of his presidency.

Judge Questions Legality of NSA Phone Records — New York Times

A federal district judge suggested in a Monday ruling that the program may be unconstitutional.

Stop the Madness! Senate Poised to Advance Budget Deal — Talking Points Memo

Six Republicans and 55 Democrats will likely vote 'yea' today, averting another shutdown.

DFA’s Top Clips Dec. 12-17:

Progressive Wing Waves Elizabeth Warren Banner — Boston Globe

Democratic strategists say there is little evidence that liberal groups including Progressive Change, MoveOn.org, and Democracy for America, founded by Howard Dean, have amassed the kind of power that Tea Party groups have within the Republican Party. But many nonetheless disagree with Progressive Change’s goals.

Populist Democrats Decry Third Way’s Policy Critique — Delaware Online

“This is an opening salvo to a change in the Democratic Party,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America. “There was a long time where it was thought that the future of the Democratic Party was somehow finding a terrain where you could be Republican-lite. What you’re seeing now is a moment where that whole facade is collapsing.”

CNN’s Gut Check for Dec. 11 — CNN

REACTION FROM THE LEFT: DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA IN A STATEMENT: “We will not accept a budget that forces average Americans to lose critical income over the holidays while leaving the wealthiest Americans untouched. Tell Congress to reject this proposal immediately.”

Disruption vs. Intransigence: A Tale of Two Political Parties  — Pando Daily

The Social Security spat last week is exemplary: In that fight, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee activated its huge membership against Third Way-affiliated Democrats and in defense of Warren. It was backed up by Howard Dean’s Democracy for America and Russ Feingold’s Progressives United. The collective push simultaneously cowed the corporate Democrats and prompted Warren herself to go on the offensive with a formal demand for groups like Third Way to better disclose their funders.

The Lead With Jake Tapper — CNN Transcripts

Let me just point out, though, that there's some split on the left as well. Democracy for America sent out an e-mail today that begs the Democrats not to pass this budget because it didn't go far enough to the left.

KUCINICH: But Democracy for America hasn't stirred thing up along the way, the way the conservative groups have for Republicans. And if the leadership -- I don't care where you are in leadership, someone had to speak out against these grips and someone had to take that stand, because they're going to keep going and keep picking off these members for things -- John Boehner takes you anything right with these groups. So I think there had to come a time where he had to push back forcefully and he chose this.

Crossfire — CNN Transcripts

CUPP: Well, Congressmen Becerra, let me bring it back to the Democrats. Talking about the civil war in the GOP, but as I mentioned, Democrats are not completely aligned with this bill, either.

In fact, there seems to be a fissure. Democracy for America, a progressive organization, sent out an e-mail today to members, telling Democrats not to vote for this. They were like "Democrats can't continue to pretend they represent our interests and then accept legislation that hurts working families."

Dems Threaten Budget Deal Over Lack of Benefits for Unemployed — The Hill

Several liberal advocacy groups, including the Campaign for America’s Future and Democracy for America, are lobbying Democrats to sink the proposal based on the exclusion of a UI extension.

“By failing to include an unemployment insurance extension in the budget deal, negotiators have declared ‘War on Christmas’ and potentially sentenced millions of struggling Americans to a very bleak New Year,” Jim Dean, head of Democracy for America, said in a statement. “Rather than caving in to Paul Ryan and other House Republican Ebenezer Scrooge impersonators, Democrats should stand strong and reject any budget deal that fails to adequately protect those who continue to look for work.”

Democrats Doubt Republicans Will Change Their Spots — National Journal

Democrats, and particularly progressives, aren't thrilled with the final budget deal either, which helps explain their lack of elation over the Republican politics of it. The deal lacks an extension of long-term unemployment insurance, asks federal employees to pay in more to their pensions, and lacks other Democratic priorities. Left-leaning Democracy for America referred to it not as a compromise, but as "a sellout."

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Other News:

Edward Snowdon’s Open Letter to the People of Brazil — Buzzfeed

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DFA Daily — December 12th

Headlines from Thursday, December 10:

How Sequester Cuts Divided Haves From the Have Nots — Washington Post

The cuts were supposed to cause equal pain across a spectrum of Washington programs. They hurt low-income Americans the most.

How is Obamacare Enrollment Going?  — Talking Points Memo

On Wednesday, the administration released new enrollment data. Here’s a map of those statistics.

Michigan Women Will Now Have to Purchase “Rape Insurance” To Get An Abortion — Raw Story

Another horrifying attack on reproductive rights.

DFA’s Top Clips:

Dems Threaten Budget Deal — The Hill

Several liberal advocacy groups, including the Campaign for America’s Future and Democracy for America, are lobbying Democrats to sink the proposal based on the exclusion of a UI extension.

"By failing to include an unemployment insurance extension in the budget deal, negotiators have declared 'War on Christmas' and potentially sentenced millions of struggling Americans to a very bleak New Year," Jim Dean, head of Democracy for America, said in a statement.

Congressional Budget Negotiators Reach A Deal — Lebanon Democrat

Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, said Democrats should reject the deal because it failed to include an unemployment insurance extension. "Negotiators have declared 'War on Christmas,' and potentially sentenced millions of struggling Americans to a very bleak New Year," he said.

Sanders: Budget Pact Protects Social Security and Medicare — VT Digger

A petition signed by more than 700,000 Americans opposing cuts in Social Security was delivered last month to the offices of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. Sanders spearheaded the petition effort working with grassroots groups including CREDO, Daily Kos, Campaign for America’s Future, Social Security Works, Democracy for America, Progressives United, MoveOn, Other98, USAction and the Alliance for Retired Americans.

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“Send a strong message to the President and Democrats on the Hill. Join the 20,000 progressives who have already signed on.”

“Yesterday a budget agreement was announced and it's a raw deal for struggling Americans. Add your name to tell the President and Democrats to reject this bad deal.”

“Next time you shop at Walmart, think about this.”

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DFA Daily — December 11th

Headlines from Wednesday, December 11:

House, Senate Negotiators Reach a Budget Deal — Washington Post

The $85 billion agreement will avert another government shutdown, and is a rare show of bipartisan cooperation.

Pope Francis, the Choice — Time

Pope Francis is Time’s Person of the Year. “The leader of the Catholic Church has become a new voice of conscience.”

Uruguay Sets Price of Legalized Cannabis at $1 a Gram — Guardian

Uruguay is the first country to legalize the marijuana trade. 

Farm Bill ‘Not Quite’ Ready Yet — Roll Call

There will not be a Farm Bill before the end of the year.

DFA’s Top Clips:

Left Hook — Slate

Even the progressives, especially the PCCC, took some time to see the potential of the Harkin plan. “We were tired of playing on defense,” explains Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the Howard Dean-founded Democracy for America, who previously worked for the House Progressive Caucus. “Every time the Congress reached a fiscal crisis, you’d see the president caving on Social Security and proposing chained CPI.”

U.S. Rep.-elect Katherine Clark is progressive, partisan and pragmatic, sees herself in "Elizabeth Warren" wing of Democratic Party — Mass Live

Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the progressive group Democracy for America, which did not endorse in the primary, said progressives noted that Clark hit back on Social Security, making it clear she would not cut benefits. Progressives will be watching whether Clark will lead on these issues. “The proof’s going to be in the pudding on how she votes on key issues like Social Security benefits,” Sroka said.

DINO Hunting as the Democrats Gird for their Own Civil War — Daily Beast

“I do think that economic inequality is going to be the issue in the 2014 election the way the Iraq War was in the 2006 election,” said Jim Dean, president of Democracy for America. “And I think you are going to see the Democratic leadership start to move on issues of inequality and financial reform pretty quickly. They understand how upset people are.”

Budget Deal Would Avert Shutdown, Cut Federal Workforce — Legal Pro News

Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, said Democrats should reject the deal because it fails to include an unemployment insurance extension. "Negotiators have declared war on Christmas and potentially sentenced millions of struggling Americans to a very bleak New Year," he said.

US Lawmakers Announce Two-Year Budget Deal — Times Live

Liberal group Democracy for America blasted the agreement for failing to include an extension of unemployment insurance.

"Democrats should stand strong and reject any budget deal that fails to adequately protect those who continue to look for work," the group's chairman Jim Dean said.

Federal Budget Deal Faces Test in House — LA Times

Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, said Democrats should reject the deal because it failed to include an unemployment insurance extension. "Negotiators have declared 'War on Christmas,' and potentially sentenced millions of struggling Americans to a very bleak New Year," he said.

Firing Up the Troops Online for War on Christmas — E Politics

A more traditional approach to holiday political mischief? Democracy For America is asking its members to urge Republicans to “Stop playing Scrooge — end your “War on Christmas” and extend unemployment benefits today.” Perhaps a little online action will warm their frozen hearts!

Sierra Club Endorses Honda — The Hill

In a news release, Honda also touted endorsements from other progressive groups — including MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood and Howard Dean’s group Democracy for America, which endorsed him last week.

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DFA Daily — December 10th

Headlines from Tuesday, December 10:

World Leaders Extol Mandela Before Crowd of Thousands — New York Times

The tribute to Mr. Mandela drew an unprecedented crowd of global V.I.P.'s, including at least 91 heads of state and government.

The GOP Civil War Just Got Worse — Washington Post

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn will face Rep. Steve Stockman in the GOP primary for Senate next year in Texas.

How Democrats Plan to Cut Food Stamps Without Enraging their Base — Roll Call

The government can save $8 billion by eliminating a loophole that enables states to help some low-income residents with nominal subsidies for heating to trigger higher food stamp benefits.

Senators Enter Into “Post Nuclear” World — The Hill

In the first nomination vote since Reid’s invocation of the “nuclear option,” the Senate votes today to approve Obama’s nominees to a powerful appellate court.

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“The next time you shop at Walmart, think about this…”

“Over the last three years, Governor Branstad has engaged in a campaign of deception about job growth in Iowa. By only counting jobs gained -- and not any that were lost -- he falsely inflated the numbers to make his jobs record look better. Add your name.

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DFA Daily — December 9th

Headlines from Monday, December 9:

Budget deal this week amounts to ceasefire as sides move to avert a standoff — Washington Post

Among other things, the deal boasts no major changes to corporate tax loopholes or Social Security, and it will not significantly reduce the national debt.

No Soul Searching for Virginia GOP After Losses — Politico

To hear the GOP tell it, their losses in VA were purely cosmetic.

Top DFA Clips:

“Robbing” The “War on Christmas” — Canada Free Press

So it is that Democracy for America, the progressive organizational arm of the Democrat Party, agitating their voting constituents against the rest of the country, has sent out a memo, accusing Republicans of waging a War on Christmas –

“Well, this year there is a real ‘War on Christmas;’ and it’s not being waged by the ACLU or the Democratic (sic) Party.”

Chairman Jim Dean said, “This year, the Republicans are playing Scrooge, robbing 1.3 million people across America of desperately needed unemployment benefits right in the middle of the holiday season – and setting the stage for robbing millions more of the same benefits later.”

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“Over the last three years, Governor Branstad has engaged in a campaign of deception about job growth in Iowa. By only counting jobs gained -- and not any that were lost -- he falsely inflated the numbers to make his jobs record look better. Add your name.”

“If there were one thing you would change about this community, what would it be?”

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