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24 hours to stop an environmental catastrophe

A message from Kaili Lambe: DFA Member - We have 24 hours to stop the U.S. Senate from giving the green light to a project that would have a catastrophic impact on our climate. You may have heard about the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that would ship dirty tar sand oil from Canada to the Gulf right through America's agricultural heartland. Not only would this disastrous project jeopardize our water and land with the threat of leaks and spills -- it would also make our efforts to stabilize climate change virtually impossible. Last month President Obama rejected construction of the pipeline, but many Senators are rushing to resurrect it in order to protect some of their biggest donors -- Big Oil. To stop them, we need a remarkable response. Democracy for America has joined with dozens of other organizations to collect and deliver 500,000 messages before tomorrow's vote. Add your name now. The petition says: "Senators: Block any efforts to revive the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline." There is no way to build Keystone XL that does not accelerate production of the tar sands and contribute disastrous amounts of carbon to climate change. Only Big Oil would benefit from pipeline -- every single claim about the positive economic impact has been proven false by independent review. For the next 24 hours, it's all hands on deck. Tomorrow we will deliver boxes upon boxes of signatures to the U.S. Senate. It will be a unified show of our power -- our voices against the money of Big Oil. We don't have a second to lose. Can you sign the petition to the Senate right away and then share it with your friends? Thanks for everything you've done already -- and everything you will do to make the next 24 hours a really big deal. Let's do this. - Kaili Kaili Lambe, Politcal Campaign Manger Democracy for America
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What We're Reading - Super Edition

This weeks What Were Reading: Super Edition takes a closer look at issues for one reason or another are SUPER important to DFA staff members. These issues affect us all personally and many of them strike at the nerve of political outrage. Jim Dean, Chair Pick of the Week: File this under the Super Unbelievable category. The story of a successful businessman who got ripped off by mortgage lenders, researched the problem and then went to Fannie, Freddie, and the big banks with the research, thinking that they would heed the warnings and take steps to avoid the meltdown. All of this happened several years ago. The article is really a shameful indictment of corporate corruption. A Mortgage Tornado Warning, Unheeded By Gretchen Morgenson You might wonder why Mr. Lavalle didnt speak up. But he did. For two years, he corresponded with Fannie executives and lawyers. Fannie later hired a Washington law firm to investigate his claims. In May 2006, that firm, using some of Mr. Lavalles research, issued a confidential, 147-page report corroborating many of his findings. Kate Lesniak, Deputy Finance Director Pick of the Week: Here is a look at why our current tax system in completely and utterly SUPER broken. The Zuckerberg Tax By David Miller Our tax system is based on the concept of realization. Individuals are not taxed until they actually sell property and realize their gains. But this system makes less sense for the publicly traded stocks of the superwealthy. A drastic change is necessary to fix this fundamental flaw in our tax system and finally require people like Warren E. Buffett, Mr. Ellison and others to pay at least a little income tax on their unsold shares. The fix is called mark-to-market taxation. Monique Teal, Campaign Academy Organizer Pick of the Week: I'm SUPER angry at religious conservatives trying to co-opt my civil liberties. As someone who was born to a teenage mother, access to and use of birth control has nothing to do with my relationship to God and everything to do with freedom. Knocked Up: Republican Presidential Candidates Plan for American Women By Adele M. Stan For the Republican base, with its antipathy to what it calls "Obamacare," the controversy over birth control is quite perfect. That base, as it exists today, is largely composed of the religious right, which stands in opposition to women's equality, and the Tea Party movement, which was organized by political operators in opposition to the healthcare reform legislation that became law in 2009 as the Affordable Care Act. Laurie Childers, Accountant Pick of the Week: This week am I am SUPER distressed over the escalation of bloodshed in Syria and am fearing war between Israel and Iran. It is deeply frightening and I feel helpless to do anything about it. On the good news side a home town girl (she went to high school just down the road) won a Golden Globe award this week. She says in the interview that you can always tell Vermonters where ever she goes in the world. "They have fresh air around them". And Prop 8 in CA is nearly dead after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Yeah! I can not stop governments from killing their own people, but I did find some good news to wake up for. Prop 8 unconstitutional: The sanctity of marriage equality By Susan Brooks But I am wholly and completely persuaded that standing up for equality in marriage for LGBT people is a holy act, an act that is worthy of reverence. Sanctity in general means being in a state of being holy, and if there were ever an institution where holiness should apply, it is the right to be married to the person you love. Jase Roberts, Technology Director Pick of the Week: Im SUPER interested in watching how this whole debate unfolds and Im glad that tech groups are becoming more active in political issues that effect the tech community. Coalition of tech, rights groups demand u-turn in copyright debate By Stephen C. Webster "Instead of finding new ways to punish copyright offenders, they urge lawmakers to back away from the issue entirely and think of ways that current copyright law can be amended to repair loopholes that sometimes allow content creators to abuse their rights. Some of those abuses have related to companies using the law to crush potential competitors, stifle scientific and digital security research, and censor journalists." Levana Layendecker, Communications Director Pick of the Week: Scott Brown was quoted saying In Massachusetts we have such a strong demand for this because our family and cultural ties...This is kind of a no brainer. Hmm...If only there were other states that happen to border to the US where there are such strong family and cultural ties that it would justify an easier path to citizenship. Oh Wait! I will be waiting for similar legislative proposals from Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. #RepublicanHypocrisy101 Sen. Brown: Irish immigration bill about to pop By Hillary Chabot Brown filed the bill, which would boost the number of work visas per year for the Irish to 10,500, last year but struggled to get support. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) filed similar legislation but Republicans balked because it would allow a sort of, backdoor amnesty. It wasnt going anywhere, Brown said.
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It's GOTV time

A message from Kaili Lambe: Dear DFA Members: Election day may be a little less than nine months away, but there's a very important vote for you to cast before this Tuesday, February 14th. 200 Democratic challengers are competing in our Grassroots All-Stars Contest and your favorite candidate needs your support in order to make it into the next round of the competition. Vote for your Grassroots All-Star now. The top ten candidates who have applied for a DFA endoresment will proceed to the final round after Tuesday. Just a few dozen votes separate some of the candidates currently in the top 25. We rely on the input of DFA members like you to determine which candidates have the grassroots support it will take to win in November and build a more progressive Congress. The winner of Grassroots All-Stars will automatically receive our biggest endorsement of the year -- and along with it our commitment to raise $20,000 for their campaign. But they can't do it without you. Who's your favorite Grassroots candidate? Thanks for helping us find the best grassroots candidates in the country. - Kaili Kaili Lambe, Political Campaign Manager Democracy for America
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Electing a progressive majority starts now

A message from Nick Passanante: Dear DFA Member: Ilya Sheyman is a grassroots leader and he needs our help. February 12th is the last day for Ilya's campaign to make ad buy decisions ahead of the Illinois primary and we need to make sure he has the resources to win. Ilya is the progressive in IL-10, but in order to take on Tea Party Congressman Bob Dold in November, he has to beat faux Democrat Brad Schneider in the March primary. Schneider has a history of supporting Republicans for Congress -- like Sen. Mark Kirk, who now holds President Obama's old Senate seat. Now, Schneider is pumping his own fortune into his campaign. If we're going to take back the House with progressive fighters like Ilya, we need to have their backs in tough primary elections like this one. Ilya has the support of progressive champions like Gov. Howard Dean and Alan Grayson. We need to have his back in this primary -- Please contribute $12 right now to elect a progressive to Congress. Why is electing Ilya so important? Because he's one of us. Ilya has worked with DFA members for years to elect progressive candidates and make change. Now, he's a candidate himself and he's running a grassroots campaign to win -- one fueled by volunteers and people-power, not big corporate money. Gov. Dean always said that voting isn't enough. He said that progressives needed to contribute, volunteer, and run for office themselves if we were going to take this country back. When one of us, like Ilya, does that -- we need to have their back. Please contribute $12 ahead of the February 12 deadline. Thank you for everything you do. -Nick Nick Passanante, Deputy Political Director Democracy for America
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Give John Boehner the Boot

Were two months into the new year and political punditry is clashing with ordinary Americans. If you were one of 111.3 million Americans who tuned in to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, two ads managed to stir up political controversy - Chrysler's ad highlighting the Auto industrys revival narrated by Clint Eastwood and GOP candidate Pete Hoekstra xenophobic ad promoting blatant racism. If these ads tell you anything about 2012 its that the stakes are high for both parties. One thing remains perfectly clear - the winner of Novembers election will be a direct result of the parties efforts to turn out their base. Progressives - 2012 is not a year to sit on the sidelines. This weekend many headlines were made. First, Mitt Romney won two consecutive GOP primaries with his strong showing in Nevada - essentially cinching up the Republican nomination. But everywhere else the news remained poor for Mitt - the more Republican-identified voters see of Mitt, the less inclined they are to vote for him. Ladies and Gentlemen - its only February - potential voters have 9 more months left of the election cycle. This is a clear indication of the frustration republicans face. If the Republicans have difficulty turning out their base for the name at the top of the ticket - it is clear that every candidate below will have a hard time riding the coattails of a losing presidential nominee. Other positive news from this weekend includes the jobs report numbers that came out on Friday - pointing out that the economic struggles might lessen and strong polling numbers that indicate President Obama has a clear lead over Mitt Romney. President Obama even declared that he deserves a second term. The reason? President Obama stated; When you and I sat down, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month... now were creating 250,000 jobs, Obama said, referring to Fridays job report which showed unemployment falling from 8.5 percent to 8.3 percent. Weve made progress. The key now is to make sure we dont start turning in the wrong direction. If stronger economic prosperity isnt enough to get you to commit to voting for a progressive ticket in November - then maybe this will help change your mind: The Republicans are concerned their control over the House could be lost. Aaron Blake from the Washington Post states, Given that weve seen three straight election cycles with at least 24 seats changing parties, is it really that outlandish to think a 25-seat GOP majority isnt safe? The answer - no, nothing this year is safe and that is why this election will come down to progressives like you. If you cant find motivation it vote this November, DFA has hundreds of progressive candidates to motivate liberal voters to turn out on November 6th. While all the attention is being shown to the candidates at the top of the ticket - the true power players in Washington - Congress need to be shaken up. And thats just what these candidates will do. Imagine - candidates who represent the 99 percent and have stood alongside the occupy movement. It seems incredible that voters in California can vote for an American Hero and Astronaut to join the ranks of the Congress. And, progressive candidates of every shape, size, gender, race, and religion all are asking for your help - by voting them into the top 10 for DFAs sixth annual Grassroots All-Star. DFA's Grassroots All-Star contest is simple, fun and promotes non-incumbent endorsements for the U.S. House of Representatives. The goal is to identify the progressive challenger with the most broad-based support from our members nationwide. The winner earns the title of Grassroots All-Star, bringing media exposure and increased grassroots resources to the campaign. This fast-track endorsement is chosen directly by DFA members and others in the progressive grassroots community through two rounds of voting. This week is the final full week of voting with the first round ending on Tuesday, February 14th. Democracy for America is calling on you - get involved by voting to elect the best slate of progressive candidates weve seen in years. It is time to elect true progressives to seats all across the country and instill honest progressive voices back into the House of Representatives. Lets give John Boehner the boot - vote for the next Grassroots All-Star today.
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