Friday, February 28, 2014

Signature needed ASAP. Huge breakthrough. We can delay--even reduce--the devastating food stamp cuts

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Chris Bowers, Daily Kos" <>
Date: Feb 28, 2014 1:20 PM
Subject: Signature needed ASAP. Huge breakthrough. We can delay--even reduce--the devastating food stamp cuts
To: <>

Daniel, food stamp cuts impacting 850,000 families have passed Congress and been signed into law, but there is still a way to delay--or even reduce--these cuts. We might only have until Monday to make it happen:

Sign our urgent petition to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: Use your authority to delay implementing food stamp cuts until the fall. You need to do this. Give families time to adjust and prepare. Give states a chance to restore benefits.

Here's the story: People who are receiving heating assistance qualify for increased food stamp assistance, so that families don’t have to choose between eating and heating their homes. But Congress moved the goal posts for these families, increasing the minimum amount of heating assistance required in order to qualify for an increase in food stamp benefits -- effectively forcing poor families to make the choice between eating and heating.

But the states facing cuts--most of which are blue states controlled by Democrats--can reduce the impact of food stamp cuts for their residents by increasing the amount of home heating assistance they provide to low-income families.

The thing that states most need to reduce the food stamp cuts is time--and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack can give them that time by delaying the implementation of the food stamp cuts until the fall.

Nearly 100 members of Congress are pushing Secretary Vilsack to delay the food stamp cuts until the fall, and he is expected to announce his decision as soon as next week.

Sign this urgent petition to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: Delay implementing food stamps cuts.

Keep fighting,
Chris Bowers, Daily Kos

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St. Pat's speaker announced, and more

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "YTDO Announcements" <>
Date: Feb 28, 2014 5:44 AM
Subject: St. Pat's speaker announced, and more
To: <>

(Mailing list information, including unsubscription instructions,
is located at the end of this message.)

Dear York Democrats and friends,

We're pleased to announce that Mike Frerichs, State Senator and candidate for State Treasurer, will speak at our annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner this year. Also scheduled to join us, but not yet confirmed, is Lieutenant Governor and Comptroller candidate Sheila Simon.

You won't want to miss this event, so go to and buy tickets now. You can still get tickets at last year's prices if you pay in advance. Ad space in the program book is also available.

In other news:

* This Saturday morning, 3/1, please join our friends from _A Better Illinois_ for a community education forum at the Illinois Federation of Teachers office at 500 Oakmont Ln. in Westmont, IL.  The meeting will go from 11am -12 pm and take place in Meeting Room "F", featuring ABI campaign director Kristen Crowell and Ralph Martire from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. A fair, graduated income tax will be a big part of the solution to Illinois' economic woes. ABI has taken the lead in this fight so come out to find out how you can help win it.

* Our regular monthly meeting is Wednesday, March 5, at the log cabin in Four Seasons Park, off 16th and Main Streets in Lombard. Doors open by 7 PM, meeting to start promptly at 7:30. Besides the usual business, we will hear from Marty McAlpin of ABI (see above) and also from a representative from Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) who will present very briefly on the Affordable Care Act (see below). Still additionally, there will be Democratic candidates for office, including Tio Hardiman who was scheduled to be at our last meeting but was under the weather. Mr. Hardiman is running in the primary against Governor Pat Quinn. We are not taking sides in the primary but would like to hear what Mr. Hardiman has to say. If you would like that too, then be there.

Illinois PIRG offers the tips below on finding the best deal on health insurance.

"1. Check out new options at Get Covered Illinois, the new health insurance marketplace. The plans listed there include coverage for doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, emergency room care, prescriptions and more.  Learn more:

"2. Find out about financial help that’s available. You may qualify for new tax credits you can use to pay for coverage.

"3. Compare plans in plain language. The new marketplace lists the details of costs and coverage in plain language. Make sure to look at out-of-pocket costs as well as the monthly premium.

"4. Don’t take no for an answer. For coverage starting January 2014, insurance companies can no longer deny you due to a pre-existing condition.

"5. Keep in touch. Tell us about your experience. We want to hear what you think so we can spot trends and advocate for stronger protections for Illinois consumers. Find us online at:

"6. Take advantage of expert help by visiting: SEIU Benefits Center at 2229 S. Halsted St. Ste. 122, Chicago, IL, online at, or by phone at 1-855-744-6878."

The health care problem in the USA won't really be solved until we get rid of insurance companies and make health care a public service as it is in other countries. That would let us cover everyone in full, for less money than we're spending now, and no persons would need to gamble on how much coverage they would need and risk bankruptcy if they guess wrong. But until we win that fight, it's good that these options are available, so please turn out for our meeting next Wednesday to learn more.

Yours, etc.

Gary Kleppe
YTDO Chair

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

William Rivers Pitt | The Ocean Is Coming

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "t r u t h o u t" <>
Date: Feb 27, 2014 3:48 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | The Ocean Is Coming
To: <>


Thursday, 27 February 2014

t r u t h o u t

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First Canadian Tar Sands Oil Flows Through Southern Keystone XL Pipeline as Senators Warn of Cancer Risks

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The CEO of TransCanada announced Wednesday that "we just moved the first batch of Canadian oil right through the whole system from Canada right through the Gulf Coast." Even without a new northern section of the Keystone XL pipeline, tar sands oil is now making its way to Texas refineries.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary


Feds Refuse To Release Public Comments on NSA Reform - Citing Privacy

Read the Article at Wired


Who's To Blame for Recurring Oil and Chemical Disasters? Why Should Taxpayers Pay for Toxic Cleanups?

Read the Article at BuzzFlash


What Jan Brewer's Gay Bill Veto Means for Arizona - and the Country

Read the Article at National Journal


Does Tackling Inequality Hurt Growth? No.

Read the Article at The New Yorker


Suffer the Children: Voices of Pain and Peace

Read the Article at BuzzFlash


UK Spy Agency Intercepted Webcam Images of Millions of Yahoo! Users

Read the Article at The Guardian


The GOP's "Judicial Activism" Flip-Flop

Read the Article at The Washington Post


More than 90 percent of Truthout's budget comes from reader donations - you have a critical role to play in ensuring we have a future. We must raise $20,000 more by midnight: If you've been inspired or informed by a Truthout story in the past year, please give today. We're counting on you!

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William Rivers Pitt | The Ocean Is Coming

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: Keystone XL, fracking, coal-oriented water disasters, serial poison spills, oil train derailments and the practice of allowing the fossil fuels industry to write its own regulations - it all adds up to a suicide pact that William Rivers Pitt did not sign up for.

Read the Article 

Fruits of Iran's Revolution

Nima Shirazi and Tyler Cullis, Truthout: February marks the 35th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution - an epochal event whose ultimate significance remains unknown. Accurately assessing the fruits of the revolution is crucial to understanding Iran today.

Read the Article 

The Poisons of Extreme Wealth and Inequality

Richard Waddell, Truthout: Excess wealth, widespread poverty and inequality are all poisonous to our nation. These poisons threaten our economy, our democratic process, academic integrity, our justice system and our culture.

Read the Article 

Triple Divide: Interview With Mark Ruffalo on Fracking Documentary

Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog: Triple Divide is a timely, cautionary documentary about the fracking industry in Pennsylvania. Clean water is the star of this film. The toxic impact of the fracking industry is the villain. The directors and narrator Mark Ruffalo discuss why the issue is so important.

Read the Interview and Watch the Video 

The Five Commandments of Barack Obama: How "Thou Shalt Not" Became "Thou Shalt"

Karen J. Greenberg, TomDispatch: In January 2009, Barack Obama entered the Oval Office projecting idealism, broadcasting five commandments by which life in his new world of national security would be lived. Five years later, Obama's commandments need a rewrite.

Read the Article 

Creating a Pedagogy in Common: Excerpt From Toward a New Common School Movement

Noah De Lissovoy, Alex Means and Kenneth Saltman, Truthout: In this excerpt from their new book, Toward a New Common School Movement, the authors argue for defending a not-yet-realized "public" in the public schools that should be the privileged territory for a movement to invent democracy, against a schooling system that has historically parodied and persecuted it.

Read the Excerpt 

Liberals Face a Hard Day's Knight?

Michael Winship, Moyers & Company: Political scientist Adolph Reed Jr. argues that Democrats and liberals have become too fixated on election results, kowtowing to the status quo rather than aiming for long-term goals that address the issues of economic inequality.

Read the Article 

We Have the Right To Know What's in Our Food

The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program: It's pretty clear that there are still a lot of questions out there about GMO foods. As a result, the American people deserve to know which foods on grocery store shelves are chock-full of genetically modified ingredients.

Read the Article 

Keystone PipeLIES Exposed: The Facts on Sticky Leaks, Billion-Dollar Spills and Dirty Air

Dave Saldana, PR Watch: This in-depth report looks at various aspects of tar sands extraction, from leak and spill cleanup paid for by tax dollars to the health effects of its byproducts on local citizens.

Read the Article 

Adolph Reed Jr.: The Surrender of America's Liberals

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company: Adolph Reed Jr. sees the populist, progressive wing of the Democratic Party giving up to the corporate wing, putatively embodied in Hillary Clinton sailing forth surrounded by a mighty armada from Wall Street.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

New Fed Study Says Health Reform Can Reduce Financial Stress

Wendell Potter, The Center for Public Integrity: A new study in Massachusetts is providing evidence that the reform law passed in that state in 2006 (and which served as the model for the Affordable Care Act) is indeed making a significant dent in bankruptcy filings.

Read the Article 

On the News With Thom Hartmann: The UAW Isn't Giving Up on Workers in Chattanooga, and More

In today's On the News segment: The UAW isn't giving up on workers in Chattanooga; a new report by the Economic Policy Institute proves that our economic system is rigged; since 2010, low-paying jobs have dominated the job market; and more.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

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Fwd: #GetAWarrant

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Sam Adler-Bell," <>
Date: Feb 27, 2014 1:29 PM
Subject: #GetAWarrant
To: "Daniel A. Stafford" <>


Okay. At this point, we basically know the NSA treats our privacy rights like a cheap doormat. But can you imagine if hundreds of other government agencies could read your emailwithout a warrant?

The bad news: they already can.

Thanks to a bill called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)—enacted in 1986 before most people had a computer or used email—agencies like the IRS, FBI, and DEA can access your stored emails and documents in the cloud without getting a warrant from a judge.

Click here to tell Congress to stop this absurd invasion of our privacy.

The good news: Congress is considering a bill—the Email Privacy Act—that would ensure all government agencies need to get a warrant to see our online communications. The bill, HR 1852 in the House, has already picked up 180 cosponsors from both parties. To pass, it needs 218 votes. 

The momentum is clearly on our side. Five lawmakers have signed on as cosponsors in the past few days alone. We need to keep the pressure on.

Click here to contact your Representative in Congress and urge them to cosponsor this bipartisan, commonsense privacy bill. 

Thank you,

Demand Progress Team


P.S. It's urgent that we spread this message far and wide. Click here to share it with your friends on Facebook.

Paid for by Demand Progress ( and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

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Democratic Party of DuPage County, Illinois: Why Dems Might do better in Midterms than we think.,+Illinois)

Let's Talk About Comcast, Netflix and Net Neutrality

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Mary Alice Crim," <>
Date: Feb 27, 2014 11:08 AM
Subject: Let's Talk About Comcast, Netflix and Net Neutrality
To: "Daniel A. Stafford" <>

free press action fund

RSVP for a Free Press Member Call on Comcast, Netflix and Net Neutrality.

Dear Daniel,

The Internet we love is under attack like never before. A federal court overturned the Net Neutrality rules, Internet service providers have been slowing traffic to Netflix and Comcast — the nation's #1 cable and Internet company — announced plans to buy its chief rival.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks — but with you by our side we're fighting back.

We’d love to talk with you about what’s happened, how all these issues are intertwined and what you can do to fight for your rights to connect and communicate.

Please Join Us on March 6 for a Conversation About Comcast, Netflix and Net Neutrality.

Thanks for all that you do—

Mary Alice, Candace, Josh and the rest of the Free Press team

P.S. Our member call is just one week away. RSVP here.

P.P.S. If you haven’t already, please share our Comcast-Time Warner Cable action and these resources with anyone who doesn't want the Internet to turn into a corporate playground.

The Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization building a nationwide movement for media that serve the public interest. The Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Learn more at

Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The "Deep State" - How Much Does It Explain?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "t r u t h o u t" <>
Date: Feb 26, 2014 3:47 PM
Subject: The "Deep State" - How Much Does It Explain?
To: <>


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

t r u t h o u t

View Recent Newsletters

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Donate Today!


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Swiss Banking Giant Helped US 1% Evade Taxes on Billions of Dollars, but Justice Department Hasn't Prosecuted

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Big banks who help defraud the US Treasury are not a Department of Justice prosecution priority, according to a new Senate report. That's exactly what Credit Suisse bank did without criminal repercussions, the analysis charges.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary


If Money Is Speech, Chevron Just Bought a Megaphone

Read the Article at BuzzFlash


Supreme Court Could Soon Open the Floodgates for More Anti-Gay Laws

Read the Article at Talking Points Memo


Prosecution in Terrorism Case Relied Partly on Surveillance Done Without a Warrant

Read the Article at The Washington Post


Putin Puts Troops in Western Russia on Alert in Military Drill

Read the Article at Reuters


The Legacy of Chokwe Lumumba: The Mayor Who Brought an Economic Democracy Vision to Mississippi

Read the Article at The Nation


Hillary Clinton Revs Up the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Read the Article at BuzzFlash


Not a Threat, but Threatened: On the Second Anniversary of Trayvon Martin's Death, Can Young Black Men Feel Safe?

Read the Article at Al Jazeera America


Corporations are working every day to prevent the internet being an open forum for ideas and information-sharing. Truthout is proud to be one of the few independent sources of news and analysis. But if we don't raise the remaining $28,000 we need in less than 48 hours, this could be at risk. Please chip in today with a tax-deductible donation!

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Lofgren, Giroux, Cole, Bacevich, Wu, Bogosian and Brian: The "Deep State" - How Much Does It Explain?

Mike Lofgren, Moyers & Company: Everyone knows about the military-industrial complex, which, in his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned had the potential to "endanger our liberties or democratic process.” But have you heard of the "Deep State”?

Read the Article and Watch the Video 

Spying on Activists: New Document Shows Army Targeted Olympia Anarchists, War Protesters

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: According to documents, a criminal intelligence analyst on the Army payroll infiltrated the anti-war activists in Olympia to gather intelligence, which he shared with police departments, the FBI and a fusion center in Washington. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the Army and law enforcement agencies can be sued for damages.

Read the Article 

Richard Wolff: Enterprise Structure Is Key to the Shape of a Post-Capitalist Future

Leslie Thatcher, Truthout: Richard Wolff talks about "The Shape of a Post-Capitalist Future," his entry in the new anthology Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA, and his conviction that making the transition from capitalism to socialism requires a deliberate critique of capitalist workplace organization.

Read the Interview 

Thailand and Shinawatra: Errors, Omissions From the Left

Michael Pirsch, Truthout: People in the Western world are being fed lie upon lie, omission upon omission - including from alternative and left media - about the demonstrations in Thailand. The reasons for the protests are being inaccurately reduced to defending the "Bangkok elite" from poor northeastern farmers.

Read the Article 

Big Oil, Bad Air: Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas

Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer, The Center for Public Integrity: Oil money is so thoroughly ingrained in the Texas culture and economy that there is little interest in or sympathy for those who have become collateral damage in the drive for riches. This in-depth report looks at the effects of drilling in Eagle Ford Shale.

Read the Article 

Zen Over Zinn: Avoiding Unpleasant Truths With David Brooks

Steve Breyman, Truthout: The New York Times columnist David Brooks is a pseudo-intellectual, soft right, victim-blaming reality dodger. His latest target? The American "precariat." Let's cut through Brooks' truth avoidance about the death for many Americans of the American Dream.

Read the Article 

The Mainstream Media's Criminal Climate Coverage

The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program: The mainstream media is failing us when it comes to covering the story of the century - made climate change. And there's no better example of this failure than the decline of climate coverage at Reuters since that news organization hired Paul Ingrassia as deputy editor-in-chief.

Read the Article 

Keystone PipeLIES Exposed: New Film Refutes Jobs, Security, Gas Price, Tax, Safety and Climate Claims

By Staff, Center for Media Democracy: The Center for Media and Democracy released a new short film, Keystone PipeLIES Exposed, and major investigative report debunking key claims of proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline as the State Department solicits comments from the public on its controversial environmental impact assessment.

Watch the Video and Read the Article 

Incremental Raises to Minimum Wage Will Not Increase Unemployment

Jessica Desvarieux, The Real News Network: A recent Congressional Budget Office report claims that up to half a million jobs could be lost because of a minimum-wage increase, but its claims are based on weak analysis and ignores the potential gains for workers' standard of living.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

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Kicking Asphalt February 2014

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Better World Club" <>
Date: Feb 26, 2014 11:03 AM
Subject: Kicking Asphalt February 2014
To: "Dan Stafford" <>

February 2014


BWC Recycled, Refurbished, and Revamped our Website: 20% Off New Members Celebration.

Celebrate our new fancy new site launch with 20% off new memberships: FDAY2014

Suffering nostalgia over the old site? Don't worry, you can still find the old pages by contacting the NSA.

Happy Website Day!!! We launched the new version of our website on February 1, 2014. Over the course of the month, we have been making minor changes and adding content. You may notice significantly fewer pages than our previous website. Some of the content was out of date, and some of the resource pages are still being redesigned and content updated or removed, but the bulk of who we are and why we are such a great auto club is up and ready for you to use and share with your friends.
To celebrate the launch of our new site, New Memberships are 20% Off through March 31, 2014! Share the Code FDAY2014.

Note: For folks renewing in February and March, remember your principles of fairness from Kindergarten. We want to show equal value the other months in class, so we can't give you an extra treat.

Other site news...

Find Out MoreLike this on Facebook

Positive News

Tesla finishes coast to coast charging network

Texans still reporting sporadic range anxiety.

Tesla Charging Station

Tesla Motors announced the completion of their coast-to-coast charging network which allows Tesla Model-S owners drive to and from most major cities and all the way across the United States. Charging stations take about 30 min and are intentionally located near major highway interchanges, close to restaurants, cafes or shopping.
Read MoreLike this on FacebookBetter  World Travel

Washington Watch

New Bill would improve funding for Bike/Pedestrian projects through TIFIA

1% dedication might not sound like much, but it would mean millions of dollars for Bike and Pedestrian projects all across the United States.

Republican and Decomcratic cyclists cheer. Tea Party members sit in their cars in silence.

This Bill was introduced by Sen. Albino Sires to help better fund safety and transportation infrastructure for Biking, Pedestrians, and for Americans facing economic hardship.

The bi-partisan backed announcement came after President Obama's State of the Union Address and withholds 1% of TIFIA funds for bike and pedestrian infrastructure loans. 25% of those funds will be reserved for low-income communities.

Read More. Like this on Facebook

AAA Watch

AAA Hates Bike Lanes!

Hmm...Perhaps "Hate" is too strong...

How about "AAA Feels Bullied By Bike Lanes"

AAA: It's just not fair! Bike lanes should be wider, and cars should be allowed to use them!

In January, AAA pushed back agains Los Angeles bike lane and economic development plan, MyFigueroa.

MyFigueroa is a plan supported by Council District 9 as well as the Mayor's Office as a "signature project" to bring cycletracks, pedestrian improvements and a "road diet" to South Figueroa Street between Downtown Los Angeles and South Park near USC.

Read More. Like this on Facebook

Bike Promotion Update:

Buy a bike before 3/31/14, and your first year of Bicycle Roadside assistance is Free!

A Tran's Bay Bike Shop in San Francisco, CA added to list of participating shops

Makup with Mica  in it. Better World Club was partnering with select local bike shops in Portland, OR and Boston, MA to offer 1 year of bicycle roadside assistance for free with the purchase of a new or used bike (used bikes need love too). Shops have approached us since we've started this promotion, so now we have a shop also in San Francisco California!

If you are in the market for a bike, and you are near one of these participating shops, please support them. Submit a copy of your receipt showing purchase between 10/1/13 and 3/31/14, and you will receive 1 year of bicycle roadside assistance for free!

Read More. Like this on FacebookBetter  World Travel

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Eight Year Old Micah is Mining Mica in India for Your Makup

Conscientious consumers who think they need makeup struggle to look their children in their unpainted eyes. Many turn to Curella De vil for advice.

Makup with Mica in it.Child labour in India's mica mining industry has been a problem for years. Unfortunately, the industry supply chain is shrouded more heavily than the face of a worried woman under a dozen layers of foundation, primer, and concealer.

Recently, Fairfax Media in Australia investigated the industry and sent repeated inquiries about product sourcing to major companies such as the Estee Lauder Companies, Heritage Brands, and L'Oreal Group. These three conglomerates own most of the make-up companies you know.

Read More. Like this on Facebook

Travel Site Of The Month

Community Made Maps Across the World:

From Boston to Bangladesh, Home Grown Geo-Drivers Have Mapped the Globe is a Collaborative project using community sourced data to create a map of the world. Think Google maps meets Wikipedia. This map is edited, corrected, and maintained by people like you. While map data varies around the world, is compared favorably to proprietary (privately owned and protected) data sources.

If you are a map enthusiast, you must check this out.

For more information about, see their Wiki page.

OpenStreetmap.orgLike this on FacebookBetter World Travel

Not a Member of Better World Club?

BWC's Member Discounts More Than Pay for a Membership!

Our discounts can more than pay for your membership. BWC members save money through hotel, car rental, travel, or other discounts. Join Better World Club now and get in on the savings! Join from our newsletterand we'll take 10% Off your new Better World membership.

And Remember to Tell a friend about BWC!

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