February 3, 2012
Julielyn Gibbons, Training Director Pick of the Week: A more scientific look at political ideology, this research being done by University of Nebraska-Lincoln is quite intriguing. Even more so once you compare it to the key issues & values that separate liberals and conservatives.
Fear Factor: The science behind Americas red/blue divide A video posted on BBC
Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are studying liberals' and conservatives' reactions to happy or pleasant photographs and scary or sad ones in an effort to learn more about the cognitive underpinnings of political preference.
The findings? Conservatives tend to concentrate more on images considered to be negative, while liberals' eyes tend to linger on positive images, says political science professor John Hibbing. Jay Henderson, National Field Organizer Pick of the Week: I chose this piece because DFAs Trainer Mudcat launches a fantastic new campaign to defeat some of the most odious Tea Party representatives. America can do better than these Congresspeople.
Tea Party 10 Targeted in Multimillion Dollar Campaign by Liberal Super PAC By Mike Mcauliff
"We're going to empower local activists to organize their friends and neighbors to lay out the truth about their representatives in the most basic terms," Arnold added. "They are anti-woman. They are anti-science. They are hypocritical, bigoted, and have said and done things that are downright crazy. They've done more to embarrass their constituents than they have to govern or work toward solutions. They are unfit for Congress, and we're going to help their constituents hold them accountable."
Kate Lesniak, Deputy Finance Director Pick of the Week:
This article may be from six months ago, but it still remains an incredibly important read.
Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult By Mike Lofgren
But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.
Conner Stewart, Development Associate Pick of the Week:
I cannot believe that the Republican party is stooping to this level. Denying a person their first amendment rights is ridiculous. They are a party hiding behind procedure.
Josh Fox arrested at hearing By Talia Buford
"Josh Fox, Direcror of Gasland and environmental activist, has been arrested after a Democratic member of the House Science Committee filed a motion to allow his crew to film their session on hydraulic fracturing. To no surprise, Republican committee members had Fox and his crew removed and arrested. It's a shame when truth and science get trumped by republican agendas."
Laurie Childers, Accountant Pick of the Week: Just more insanity from the foreclosure giants Freddie Mac!
Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners By Jesse Eisinger and Chris Arnold
Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, has placed multibillion-dollar bets that pay off if homeowners stay trapped in expensive mortgages with interest rates well above current rates.
Levana Layendecker, Communications Director Pick of the Week:
I have always been suspicious of the Komen Foundation and their marketing empire, but they really showed their true colors when they they cut off funding form the nation's number one health provider for women -- Planned Parenthood. How can cutting women off from mammograms possibly be in the best interest of ending breast cancer? Interesting that Forbes magazine picked this up -- I was especially intrigued by the poll at the end where Komen was not too popular with the ladies who have jobs. Susan G. Komen Pink Slips Planned Parenthood -- Who What and Why? Meghan Casserly
One things for sure: Planned Parenthood, despite this blow, seems poised to rise from the rubble with more public supportand possibly more moneythan before. According to filings, Susan G. Komen contributed roughly $680,000 to just 19 of Planned Parenthoods 85 affiliates across the country.
Nick Passanante, Interim Political Director Pick of the Week: A good analysis of what GOP Governors priorities will be in 2012. Lets see if they actually change their tone.
Second Year In, Republican Governors Moderate Tone By Michael Cooper
A gradually improving economy has eased some of the pressure for steep spending cuts. Many state lawmakers face re-election this year, and in many states they are showing little appetite to face the kind of uproar that greeted efforts to curb collective bargaining rights in states like Ohio and Wisconsin last year. And with a presidential campaign unfolding, some Republicans worry that overreaching at the local level, particularly in swing states, would make it harder for them to win in November.
February 1, 2012
Komen Foundation has abandoned hundreds of thousands of women who rely
on breast cancer screenings - over a hundred and seventy
thousand through its partnership with Planned Parenthood in recent
Gov. Howard Dean Burlington, VT Statement from Gov. Howard Dean,
former member of the Board of Directors for New England Planned
Parenthood released today via Facebook:
The Komen Foundation has abandoned hundreds of thousands of women who
rely on breast cancer screenings- over a hundred and
seventy thousand through its partnership with Planned Parenthood in
recent years. By caving in to pressure from the far right, the Komen
Foundation has demonstrated that they lack courage. Organizations which
lack courage eventually fail. I support calls for the corporate donors
to re-evaluate their support for Komen so that consumers aren't forced
to re-evaluate buying their products. I urge continued support for
Planned Parenthood and the work they do to provide women's health
services and organizations who will continue the fight against breast
cancer without endangering women's lives for political purposes. Learn
more about Komen's corporate sponsors at their website: http://ww5.komen.org/corporatepartners.aspx Support Planned Parenthood: http://bit.ly/y0PtUQ.
# # # ABOUT DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA
Founded by Gov. Howard Dean, Democracy for America is a people-powered
Democratic Political Action Committee. With over one million members
nationwide, DFA is a grassroots powerhouse working to change our country
and the Democratic Party from the bottom-up.
Paid for by Democracy for America, www.democracyforamerica.com, and not authorized by any candidate.
January 27, 2012
Jay Henderson, National Field Organizer Pick of the Week:
This article is great.Forthose of us who stare into crystal balls are destined to eat glass.Nevertheless, these Friday morning predictions for the 2012 presidential race are a must read.
The Republicans Electoral College Newt-Mare By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelly
Republicans dont just disagree with President Barack Obama; they viscerally dislike him. And, as Mr. Wade indicates, they dont just want a candidate who can beat Obama. They are seeking someone who will unequivocally bash and bloody him. It's interesting and appalling to see how Citizens United is already affecting the 2012 election. Would Gingrich even be a serious candidate without Citizens United?
HowCitizens UnitedCreated Newt By Jonathan Chait ...His campaign is also blowback to the party Establishment in another, more mechanical way. His campaign is surviving entirely as a result of the Citizens United ruling, decried by liberals and celebrated by conservatives, which allows unlimited campaign expenditures, as long as theyre not coordinated with campaigns. Andrew Ellis, Political Intern Pick of the Week:
This article is a really good look from some brilliant minds on the actions that Obama has taken in South-East Asia and in other regions. I'm particularly fond of Russian-American relations, and this year has been a big step backwards for them, with anti-American tendencies growing in Russia's media circles. It will be an exciting election year around the world, and it'll be curious to see how well Obama's vision of democracy will spread to other countries.
Grading Obamas Foreign Policy Published in Foreign Policy
"The administration has also worked to establish and strengthen regional and global institutions that allow the United States to leverage its own efforts and to cooperate much more efficiently with others.
Arshad Hasan, Executive Director Pick of the Week:
Last week DFA joined with a broad coalition of internet junkies, online activists, and corporations to oppose SOPA/PIPA.The nimbleness of our allies created the largest online protest in history.Im impressed with our ability to accomplish big wins when we all work together.While the protest flexed our political muscle, we must remain vigilant because the assault on internet freedom continues.
SOPA/PIPA Blackout By the Numbers By Carl Franzen
Now that the so-called Blackout Day, has come and gone, it is abundantly clear that the political winds in Washington haveshifted in favor of the opposition. Numerous Republican former co-sponsors of PIPA have shifted sides, and far more lawmakers on both sides who hadnt yet taken a stance have finally come out against the bills.
Eve OConner, Training Department Intern Pick of the Week:
I really liked this article!Its series of short articles highlights the evolution of the State of the Union as a historical tradition in terms of political meaning, technological progress, and emotional impact. These "moments" also emphasize the diversity of the State of the Union's significance for each president and time in our history.
TIMEs Top 10 State of The Union Moments By Josh Sanburn
President Obama will deliver his second State of the Union address tonight it will likely focus on the economy, jobs and U.S. competitiveness around the world. TIME takes a look at some of the most notable State of the Union moments.
Michael Langenmayr, Deputy Political Director Pick of the Week: Agree or disagree with Rep. Giffords on politics, hers is an amazing story of courage and perseverance.
Gabrielle Giffords Resignation: Congresswoman Officially Leaves House Of Representatives By Luke Johnson
"I have given all of myself to being able to walk back onto the House floor this year to represent Arizona's 8th Congressional District. However, today I know that now is not the time. I have more work to do on my recovery before I can again serve in elected office."
Levana Layendecker, Communications Director Pick of the Week:
This is an interesting analysis as to why Newt Gingrich is still able to be a key player in the Republican primary.
GOP Hates Citizens United, Too By Martin Longman
Gingrich's campaign is surviving almost entirely because of one donor. You can learn about Sheldon Adelsonhere. He's one of the richest people in the country, and he has a special fondness for Mr. Gingrich. He and his wife have already donated $10 million to a SUPER PAC called Winning Our Future" that is dedicated to supporting Gingrich's presidential bid. There is nothing preventing the Adelsons from giving Gingrich $10 billion if they want to. And they don't have to tell us about it either. We only know they gave this money because they wanted us to know. This would not have been legal prior to theCitizens Unitedruling.
January 25, 2012
In last nights State of the Union, President Barack Obama stood in front of Congress and promised to take every possible action to safely develop this energy" and said the government would insist on drilling companies disclosing the chemicals used in 'fracking' on public lands.
The State of the Union is a defining speech for any president, but is especially important going into an election year. Last nights speech set the stage to what will be seen as Presidents Obamas opening of his re-election campaign. While his main focus was on jobs and the economy, by mentioning shale gas in the speech he turned the tables on the environmental movement. He said, "Our experience with shale gas, our experience with natural gas, shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don't always come right away," he said. "Some technologies don't pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy."
While this was the first mention of fracking and shale gas in the State of the Union, fracking has been impacting our local communities for sometime now. In Maryland, Governor Martin OMalley placed a moratorium on fracking and established a task force to look at the risks of fracking in the state. But others in the state believe that fracking can and will be done in a safe manner. State Senator Ben Cardin believes that the shale gas industry would be better off with national standards than fight state by state.
In Pennsylvania, this week the EPA delivered water to families whose water source was contaminated by fracking. The EPA is currently testing water around the site owned by Cabot Oil & Cas Corp, assessing whether any residents are being exposed to harmful substances.
In Ohio, voters have become wary of fracking as speculation on the cause of an earthquake earlier this month has been attributed to fracking in the state. Mark Kovac points out that 72 percent of Ohio voters polled want fracking activities to cease until further studies are completed on the potential impacts.
In New Mexico, local communities are speaking up against the big business of the Oil and Gas industries because they are concerned about the chemicals being pumped into the ground and what impact it will have on local drinking water. John Olivas, the Mora County Commissioner said, Im pushing for a ban on oil and gas drillingevidence Ive gathered shows there are threats to the water. In New York, local communities are turning up the heat on the issue of fracking before its too late. Theyre even calling their work an environmental Occupy Wall Street. Whats different about whats going on in New York as opposed to other states around the country is that local communities are banding together and preempting the effects on fracking. Tomorrow, the group Frack Action will be protesting outside of the Democratic Governors Association meeting hosted by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Chair of Democracy for America, Jim Dean said It is critical that Governors around the country rein in this dangerous practice and DFA members in all 50 states will be making sure that they do just that
To participate in the action RSVP on the groups facebook page or email Renee at [email protected]
January 24, 2012
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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