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Democracy is not an eBay item

A message from Nick: As Congress gathers for tonight's State of the Union address, we need to ensure they hear one message loud and clear: Our Democracy is not an eBay item going to the highest bidder. We have gathered over 95,000 signatures in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders' constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United. As long as this decision stays in place, the progressive agenda for 2012 will be in jeapordy. This week we will deliver the petitions signatures to your Senators. Help us get to 100,000 signatures in support of reversing Citizens United -- Now is your last chance before we deliver the petitions. Plans from tonight's State of the Union address to return the middle-class to work and make the wealthy pay their far share will only go so far as long as unlimited money rules politics. Let's fight back for the system we deserve. -Nick Nick Passanante, Deputy Political Director Democracy for America
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REMINDER: Join Rep. Ellison tonight at 8PM ET

A message from Levana: Thank you for signing up to attend tonight's LIVE call with Rep. Keith Ellison beginning at 8:00 Eastern Time to help protect voting rights in this country. At 8:00 PM you will receive a call that will connect you to the Telephone Town Hall with Rep. Ellison. If at any point during the call you would like to ask a question of Rep. Ellison, you will be able to speak with a member of DFA's staff who will add you to the speaking queue. If for some reason you are unable to join us via phone tonight you can access the call on the internet by using this link: democracyforamerica.com/ellisoncall Thank you again for signing up to attend this call with Rep. Keith Ellison and the DFA community. We look forward to speaking with you tonight. Thank you for everything you do. -Levana Levana Layendecker, Communications Director Democracy for America
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What's Really Going on in South Carolina

A message from Jim Dean: Today in South Carolina while Republicans are picking their candidate, they are working behind the scenes to stop thousands of Democrats from voting in November. On Martin Luther King Day the Republicans held a debate where they touted South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's efforts to block African-Americans from voting by requiring a state issued ID at the polls on Election Day. This bill was so egregiously targeted toward disenfranchising the African-American vote that the Department of Justice stepped into block it. This is an outrage. For the first time in history state legislatures around the country are working to shrink the numbers of Americans who can vote. And to add insult to injury, this effort to disenfranchise 21 million voters is being funded by the Koch brothers. That's why we are fighting back on two fronts. DFA is hosting a live Telephone Town Hall with Rep. Keith Ellison, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, to talk about what we can to do stop corporate millionaires from ruining our Democracy and to defend everyones fundamental right to vote. Join the live Telephone Town Hall on Monday, Jan. 23rd at 8:00 PM EST with Rep. Keith Ellison. While the 2008 election saw more people turn out to vote in over a decade, as many as 5 million voters will be restricted from voting in this upcoming election due to state laws that have already passed. It's no surprise that those disenfranchised voters include African Americans, Latinos, elderly, students and others. Why? It's all part of a larger Republican strategy -- to restrict voting rights to people who have traditionally voted for Democratic candidates. Almost five decades ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965, outlawing discriminatory voting practices. The bills champion, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, fought tirelessly to expand voting rights to all Americans. As we celebrate his legacy this week we need to keep a keen eye on every attempt to keep Americans from the polls. DFA and Rep. Keith Ellison are fighting on the legislative front and to expose the corporate money that funds these efforts to disenfranchise voters. And, we need your help. We want to hear from you at the Live Telephone Town Hall on Monday, Jan. 23 at 8:00PM EST with Rep. Keith Ellison. Sign up to join in here. Thank you for everything you do. -Jim Jim Dean, Chair Democracy for America
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What We're Reading - The Internet Lives On Edition

The Rise of the New Groupthink By Susan Cain Culturally, were often so dazzled by charisma that we overlook the quiet part of the creative process. Consider Apple. In the wake of Steve Jobss death, weve seen a profusion of myths about the companys success. Most of the focus on Mr. Jobss supernatural magnetism and tend to ignore the other crucial figure in Apples creation: a kindly, introverted engineering wizard, Steve Wozniak, who toiled alone on a beloved invention, the personal computer. Laurie Childers, Accountant Pick of the Week: This week DFA took action on SOPA/PIPA. When I got home from work and sat down to dinner with my family My 15 year old son said he was thrilled DFA was against SOPA/PIPA. The family (19, 17 and 15 year old young people) had a great discussion about it last night and again this morning. This is democracy at it's best! The Story Behind the SOPA Blackout By Siddhartha Mahanta and Nick Baumann "By this weekend, the writing was on the wall. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House Majority Leader, announced that SOPA would not come for a vote in the House before the controversy over the bill is resolvedessentially killing it for the time being. The White House issued a statement opposing significant portions of the bills. And Issa canceled the hearing planned for Wednesday, saying he's "confident" the bill is dead in the House." Julielyn Gibbons, Training Director Pick of the Week: As the daughter of a former teacher, I know as well as anyone the value of a college education, but as conservative state governments continue to de-prioritize the investment in higher ed, more and more current and potential college students find themselves asking if it's really worth mortgaging most or all of their financial future for an education that can no longerguaranteea job. Paying for Dream - House and Car Cost Extra By Dana Hollowell Obamas initiative comes as students prepare to enter a tough job market. In a recent study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, 90 percent of 2006-07 graduates found work, with a medium income of $30,000. However, that percentage dropped to 56 percent in 2010, with graduates who found work earning a medium income of just $27,000. Ruby Reid, Online Training Organizer Pick of the Week: I have a personal friend whose family is fighting against the foreclosure monster Bank of America. She shared this post with me yesterday, and I couldnt help but want resolution. Heres more background on Bank of Americas role in demolishing our country and fueling the foreclosure crisis. Crippled by Foreclosures, Nevada hits Bank of America with Sweeping Suit By Paul Kiel According to the suit, borrowers were duped into unaffordable loans and then victimized again through a misleading mortgage modification program that homeowners tried to use to avoid foreclosure. Finally, the suit alleges, the bank filed fraudulent documents to move forward with the foreclosures. Jase Roberts, Technology Director Pick of the Week: My pick for the week is a dense but absolutely outstanding analysis of why we keep getting terrible Internet regulation bills coming out of Congress, session after session. SOPA: the tech industrys self-inflicted wound By Jason Lefkowitz But one question keeps coming up that nobody really seems to have a good answer for: how did the tech industry find itself in this situation in the first place?...The most common answer Ive seen given to this question is a simple one: the content industry paid Congress off. Levana Layendecker, Communications Director Pick of the Week: As a country we celebrated the great legacy of civil rights fighter Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While he worked tirelessly to stop Jim Crow era segregation laws, today the United States continues to see Republican legislatures disenfranchise voters in their communities. Do Something About the War on Voting By Martin Longman As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, we rightfully note how much progress we've made in this country, but we cannot forget that the Department of Justice recently had to "nullify" a South Carolina law because it would disproportionately disenfranchise black voters. Since the 2011 legislative year began, 34 Republican state legislatures have introduced bills designed to deny the vote to people who cannot produce specific types of state issued ID. Linsey Pecikonis, Deputy Communications Director Pick of the Week: The GOP field of Presidential candidates may be shrinking, but the heat around which candidate will be the inevitable nominee continues to rise. One article shows why Mitt Romney had a poor showing in last nights debate and the other article takes a larger look at Newt Gingrichs moral dilemma. Romneys Prevent Defense Yielding Big Gains to Opponents Posted Nate Silver "At one point on Thursday, while delivering asomewhat rambling answer about his tax returns, Mr. Romney explicitly invoked the idea that he wanted to be careful about his disclosures so as to minimize the potential general election fall-out. Thats a perfectly rational strategy for a politician, but it just isnt good politics to say it out loud in the context of an intraparty debate. (Mr. Romney hashad these sort of problems before.)" Moralizings High Cost New York Times Editorial In this political cycle, it is Newt Gingrich who has been unable to escape the toxic combination of infidelity and sermonizing. The stories about his three marriages have been known for years, but every time he seems to have escaped the wrath of Republican voters, they rise again. TOP VIDEOS OF THE WEEK: Here are two selections you just cant miss -A brazen video out of the DNC on Mitts tax problem and a video of the POTUS crooning Al Greens Lets stay together.
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Grassroots

A message from Kaili Lambe: In a post-Citizens United world, corporations and the 1% can spend unlimited money to buy elections. But that doesn't mean our democracy is dead. Around the country, candidates who fight for the 99% are mounting people-powered campaigns to take back Congress. Just look at Elizabeth Warren's tremendous money bomb yesterday. She raised over one million dollars in a single day -- not because of large donations, but because of people like you and me pitching in $5 or $10. Grassroots support for progressive candidates is going to win out over the barrage of money and negative ads. That's why we're excited to launch our Grassroots All-Star Campaign to highlight how many strong, progressive candidates are running. Who's your pick for 2012 Grassroots All-Star? Corporations and the 1% may have unlimited funds, but the candidates running these people-powered campaigns have a more valuable resource -- grassroots supporters. DFA's endorsements are always driven by our members and now we're asking you to tell us who you think should win our biggest endorsement of the year. We're looking for the best progressive candidates to defeat Republican incumbents and win open seats across the country -- Nominate your favorite candidate to win Grassroots All--Star now. Thanks for everything you do. - Kaili Kaili Lambe, Political Campaign Manager Democracy for America
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