It takes real money, a lot of money, to change a nation’s political discourse, to counter all the blatant lies and nonsense we get from the media and to give our readers an informed, intelligent, progressive perspective on our national politics. All that and more have to be done to create and sustain a progressive movement.

So it’s time to ask our commenters and readers and everyone who believes in what FDL does to promote progressive views and ideas to help us sustain Firedoglake. You are the people who keep FDL online; it’s not ads, not foundations, not money from political parties, not tax-deductible corporate "free speech." It’s you. So it’s time for an FDL fundraiser, and we need everyone’s help.

You can get us started by contributing here.

Our tens/hundreds of thousands of smart readers know FDL has become not just the go-to political blog for progressive news, views and analysis, but also a significant political force in promoting progressive ideas and perspectives. But maintaining FDL’s fierce independence and not becoming compromised by corporate money or someone else’s agenda require a funding base founded on individual donations. Only you can provide that.

Jane Hamsher’s political insights and predictions are as shrewd and battle-tested as any you’ll find, and she just keeps getting better. David Dayen’s News Desk reporting has become a must read for anyone following national politics (with the best Roundups anywhere), while Jon Walker’s tireless health care and political coverage became indispensable. And is there any doubt that Marcy Wheeler is a national treasure, whose first rate, often exclusive investigative reporting with bmaz are consistently miles ahead of the tradmedia? Not to mention their smoking sports trash talking.

But FDL is a lot more than Jane and David and Marcy and Jon. It’s also tbogg’s laugh-out-loud humor, and Attaturk’s and Blue Texan’s early a.m. and daily snark mirrors turned on the absurd. It’s Lisa Derrick’s poignant essays and hosting of Movie Nights, and Bev’s outstanding twice-weekly Book Salon.

It’s Spencer Ackerman’s insights on national security, plus superb reporting on Gaza and Afghanistan by Siun and Jim White, and Gitmo/detention/torture reporting by Jeff Kaye.

It ranges from Teddy’s passionate caring, and Peterr’s graceful wisdom to Phoenix Woman’s musings and knockdowns, Jim’s and bmaz’s relentless demands for justice and Dr. Kirk Murphy’s fine reporting on health/safety hazards.

Our evenings begin with the always clever and insightful Eli and Swopa and continue with the irreverent late-night humor led by watertiger, thers, Suzanne, Lisa . . .

FDL weekends are blessed with DeVeria’s relaxing Pull Up a Chair, masaccio’s art reviews and financial/securities analysis, Glen Smith’s social essays. And how could we survive Sunday morning without Elliot’s Talking Heads thread to sound off?

And here’s why we need your help today. It takes a lot of money to run a major blog that covers so much with so many talented writers. You know our irreplaceable Michael Whitney recently brought us people-focused reporting from the Gulf, but he also creates the special tools and mailing lists for primary challenges, health care and audit the Fed initiatives. He and FDL’s awesome tech team create the special pages for the BP Oil Disaster, Cynthia Kouril’s brilliant, ground-breaking series on mortgage foreclosure fraud, or Teddy Partridge’s inspired live blogging (with Marcy, David, bmaz) of the California Prop 8 trial (restarting today).

Meanwhile, Jason’s Seminal page, where his fine team and some of us hang out, is a place where politically sentient and caring people with something to share can take part in a growing community of commenters and Seminal diarists — that’s you — to contribute news, insights and analysis, and sometimes get picked for front page.

Providing this impressive community platform takes a lot of money, so we need your help.

While FDL’s funds go in large part to paying writers/contributors, many are volunteers. In the future, we want to improve that through a reader-supported Writer’s Foundation, but we’ll need your help. Jane will have more on that later.

And like any major blog, FDL has large operating expenses for servers and for maintaining the unnamed but essential backstage tech crew needed to keep FDL operating. We need egregious and Gregg Levine and his editing team every day to help manage the blog’s content; we maintain a tireless team 24/7 of patient moderators to ensure a hospitable place for constructive comments. They’re the best.

Behind the scenes is a support system that must deal with legal, tax, accounting, media and other issues. Every policy campaign FDL runs, from supporting primary opponents to running ads for health care to organizing and creating mailing lists and petitions to affect legislation requires a supporting cast you never hear about. But FDL couldn’t do the impressive work it does without them. None of that can continue without your help.

So it’s time. Time to contribute. Time to let Jane and Marcy and David and tbogg and Jon and Lisa, and Spencer and Michael . . . and all the great folks who make FDL the best progressive blog around, that you care enough to support their efforts.

So don’t just think about it; do it. You can contribute here.

In upcoming posts, Jane will be talking more about where FDL is heading. She and the policy folks are thinking through future campaigns, and your input matters on where we go. But you can bet we’ll know whose butt to kick. Help us get it done.

We need to meet our goal of at least $50,000 by the end of June. So please click here to contribute and then stop by in the comments so we can thank you.