REAL Democrats KICK ASS in Recent Primaries! Help elect next batch of Congressional Ass-kickers

REAL Democrats (brought to you by Blue America) KICK ASS! Help elect the next batch of Congressional Ass-kickers by giving what you can today. Thank you!

Although we lost some good candidates in the primaries last week, several of Blue America prospects came out ahead in tough races. Progressive state Senator, Ted Lieu, the California state legislator who was first in the nation write and pass a ban on Republican gay-to-straight "reparative therapy" and to block the state from cooperating with NSA unconstitutional bulk collection of private communication between Americans citizens, beat out two very well-financed conservative Establishment shills-- Wendy Greuel and Matt Miller-- for the Democratic nomination for the CA-33 seat Henry Waxman is giving up.

Victories by either Greuel or Miller would have been nothing short of catastrophic for the progressive movement, statewide and nationally. Although Greuel was seen as a frontrunner--with elements of the transactional Clinton machine behind her-- her viciously negative attack on other candidates backfired and just turned off voters, especially women... and especially her own.

And Lieu wasn't the only great news last week. Two other Blue America challengers won tough races. Although pundits were predicting that Bonnie Watson Coleman would come up short in her race to succeed Rush Holt in NJ-12, she ran away with the race, beating her closest rival, centrist Linda Greenstein, 43-28%. In Iowa former state House Speaker Pat Murphy didn't just win his 5-person contest, he won with enough votes to avoid a costly and unpredictable nominating convention. Like Lieu, Murphy and Coleman will now face Republicans in November, although all three are favored to win-- and become new members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

The other race we were watching closely last Tuesday was the CA-17 challenge from the right by corporate shill Ro Khanna, a desperate hack financed by wealthy Republicans seeking to remove progressive icon Mike Honda. Although they will face each other again in November Honda trounced Khanna 48.6 to 27.1%.

We are sorry to see Californians Lee Rogers and Eloise Reyes out of the running this cycle. You win some, you lose some.

Let's make sure our House challengers who are already guaranteed places in November-- Paul Clements (MI), Ted Lieu (CA), Mike Obermueller (MN), Pat Murphy (IA), Gloria Bromell Tinubu (SC), Michael Wager (OH), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ) and Kelly Westlund (WI)-- have the resources they need to compete against their Republican opponents. That's something you can do here at the Blue America ActBlue page.



Domestic spying? Ted Lieu already wrote a law against it.

One of the most critical primaries coming up next week is for Henry Waxman's House seat on the Westside of Los Angeles-- Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Redondo Beach… Blue America did a dual endorsement for a jungle primary that will yield two finalists for the November general election, hopefully two stalwart progressives. Our picks are state Senator Ted Lieu, a proven progressive leader and champion of working families, and Marianne Williamson, an independent progressive and cutting-edge thought leader.

Ted has been the California legislature's top leader in several areas, including mortgage bank reform and protecting citizens from unconstitutional domestic spying. I spoke to him yesterday and asked him about the phony NSA "reform" the House passed last week. They voted on the so-called USA Freedom Act, a watered-down, pale excuse for reform of the NSA that passed overwhelmingly, 303-121. 51 Republicans and 70 Democrats voted no. I noticed that one of the Democrats working with the Republicans to pass it was Adam Schiff, who is also working to elect Wendy Greuel, one of Ted's opponents. Most of the congressmembers who are working to elect Ted-- solid progressives like Mark Takano, Mike Honda, and Alan Lowenthal-- fought the bill and voted against it, as, of course, did Henry Waxman. I asked Ted a simple question-- Had you been in Congress last week, would you have voted with Adam Schiff and the others who wink and nod at domestic spying or would you have voted the way Henry Waxman, Barbara Lee, Alan Grayson, Raul Grijalva and your own backers did?

His response was clear and unambiguous. "I'm disappointed Congress gutted significant provisions of the USA Freedom Act. Our privacy rights and our Constitution are not watered-down, neither should legislation that upholds our fundamental values. If I were in Congress, I would have voted NO on the watered-down 'reform.'"

Lieu comes from a military background and he doesn't take national security lightly. He's also an attorney and he doesn't take the U.S. Constitution lightly either. "I agree with the National Security Agency that the world is a dangerous place," he told us. "That is why America’s founders enacted the Bill of Rights. They understood there are few things more dangerous than an Orwellian government that overreaches, invades our privacy, and monitors our everyday lives. The NSA’s bulk collection program-- which seizes the phone records of every single American for seven years-- has been described by a federal judge as Orwellian. One of the reasons I am running for Congress is to stop this program and reign in the NSA’s invasions of our privacy and constitutional rights."

Other than Matt Miller, a DC-centric kook who publicly admits he supports bulk collection of personal communications, all the candidates running pay some kind of lip service to privacy rights. In Ted's case, it goes beyond posturing and promising; he's already taken action.

I am proud to author bipartisan legislation, SB 828, that prohibits California officials from supporting or assisting the NSA’s blanket spying on Americans unless the NSA has secured a specific warrant for a specific individual. The Fourth Amendment is clear: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” unless the government upon probable cause secures a specific warrant. The NSA’s blanket dragnet is flat out unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment and it is time we stop this mass violation of our privacy."

Regardless of whether we have a President Bush, a President Obama, a President Clinton, a President Cruz or a President Orwell in the White House, we need principled, capable, independent-minded Members of Congress willing to stand up against the herd. That will never be a Wendy Greuel, an Elon Carr or a Matt Miller. It will certainly be Ted Lieu.

Blue America is helping Ted, who is leading in the polls, raise money for his Get Out the Vote efforts this week, and for his tough campaign against whoever comes in second next Tuesday. Please consider contributing here.



Jimi Hendrix Contest Extended In Honor Of Memorial Day

You're probably aware that we're getting into the final stretch of our Alan Grayson Jimi Hendrix fundraiser. Because of the Memorial Day holiday, we've extended it until Tuesday-- one extra day. You can get in on it here-- and possibly win the rare, collectible Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced? platinum record award.

Do you remember the Blue America-endorsed candidate in Illinois, George Gollin, a particle physicist? Unfortunately, he didn't win his primary against Steve Israel's heavily-funded mystery meat candidate, Ann Callis, who has virtually no chance whatsoever of unseating weak Republican Rodney Davis in IL-13. George, however, hasn't withdrawn form politics. He's still working to make the progressive movement stronger and this is the introduction he wrote urging his supporters to contribute to Grayson's campaign this week:

Howie Klein is a progressive political blogger who writes the DownWithTyranny.blogspot.com blog. He is also helps with BlueAmerica, which raises funds for progressive candidates. Howie passed to me a message asking for help in support of Alan Grayson, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents a district in central Florida.

I met Mr. Grayson for the first time a few weeks ago in Washington. Grayson is smart, progressive, quick, and fearless. He has advanced degrees. And he not only speaks truth to power, but willingly mocks the king who comes into the room unclad. I was not surprised that he was kept off the Democratic side of the House panel that will watch the Right make political hay from the deaths in Benghazi.

One of Grayson’s gigs is serving on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. One of the many reasons we need to help him stay in office is to protect us from the Republican crazies on SS&T. Recall that this is the committee which features Paul Broun (R-GA-10) as a subcommittee chair; Broun is the guy who declared that "All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell." And before he lost his seat in 2012, Todd Akin (R-MO-02) was also a Republican member of the committee. He’s the yahoo who explained that women who have been raped will not become pregnant because "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

So I encourage you to read Howie’s appeal below, and contribute to Alan Grayson’s campaign fund.

We need better people in office than the Democratic organization will tend to support; most recently, they’ve backed one guy with a fake college degree who isn’t even a Democrat and others who appear to have been laundering campaign contributions from their parents to increase their cash intake.

I don’t plan to send you very many messages of this sort, and thank you for your indulgence, and your consideration.

best regards,
George Gollin
Champaign, IL
IL13

You can read all about the "contest rules" and contribute to Grayson's campaign here-- Any amount goes, even one dollar. And if you don't have any cash on hand at the moment and want a chance to win anyway, just send us a post card to Blue America, PO Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA 90027 and you'll have the same chance as anyone else.

Writing to his supporters today, Grayson decided to put the Hendrix context into some context, "so you recognize," he wrote, "just how mind-boggling this opportunity is."

Are You Experienced? was Jimi Hendrix’s first album. Rolling Stone ranked Hendrix as the greatest guitarist of all time.

In the year that Are You Experienced? was released, the readers of Melody Maker voted Jimi Hendrix the Pop Musician of the Year. The following year, Billboard named him Artist of the Year, and Rolling Stone called him Performer of the Year.

Rolling Stone called Are You Experienced? "epochal," and rated it the 15th greatest album of all time, as well as the third greatest debut album of all time. Rolling Stone also ranked "Purple Haze," the lead song on the album, as the 17th greatest song of all time.

Noe Goldwasser, the founding editor of Guitar World, called it "the album that shook the world." He added that it is "the measure by which everything in rock and roll has been compared since."

The album was distributed by Polydor Records. When the head of Polydor first heard the album, he said, "This is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard."

The album contained several innovative effects, like "amp howl" guitar feedback and backward guitar and drum music. It was so unprecedented that when the recording studio master tapes were sent to Reprise Records for remastering, they wrote on the box "Deliberate distortion. Do not correct."

Are You Experienced? reached the Billboard Top 40-- for 27 weeks.

The Library of Congress chose Are You Experienced? as one of only fifty recordings to be added to the National Recording Registry. The archivist of the Smithsonian Institution called it "a landmark recording," because "it altered the syntax of the music," he explained, "in a way I compare to James Joyce’s Ulysses."

At the insistence of one Paul McCartney, Hendrix was invited to play songs from Are You Experienced? at the Monterey Pop Festival. Hendrix closed the set by smashing his guitar, and setting it on fire.

I haven’t done that on the Floor of the House. Yet.

So how special is the RIAA-certified Platinum Album Award for Are You Experienced? Very special. Very, very special.

And thanks to Blue America PAC, if you contribute to our campaign this week, you have a chance to own a special piece of music history and legend, by winning the Jimi Hendrix Platinum Album Award. It’s your chance for Musical Paradise.

Jimi Hendrix released only seven albums in the United States. Six of them went platinum, selling over a million copies. If you have a way to get the RIAA-certified Platinum Album Award for one of those other five albums, go for it. And if you already happen to have one of those other Jimi Hendrix Platinum Album Awards, then by all means, please disregard this offer. But if not, then contributing to our campaign today is the only chance that you’re ever going to have to get one.

Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t blow it.

Plus, we could use your help. Thanks.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson



Barbara Lee's First Endorsement… And The Beatles

Barbara Lee made history when she displayed the guts to stand up and say "NO" to Bush/Cheney's rush to war against Afghanistan in the wake of the 9-11 attack that embarrassed them and exposed their incompetence. She was the only Member of Congress to do so. Today Rep. Lee announced that her Barbara Lee Progressive PAC's top 8 priorities for congressional action starts with "Bringing an end to perpetual war, saving trillions of dollars and millions of lives." And in conjunction with that announcement comes another-- her first endorsement of a challenger for the 2014 cycle, fellow Californian and fellow peace advocate, Lee Rogers. 

"Lee," she said, "is a doctor, a thinker, a progressive Democrat-- and, he can win.

He’s running in California’s 25th Congressional District (Simi Valley-Santa Clarita area). It’s an open seat. And, the Nate Silver number crunchers say that it’s a district where Democrats can win. So help us put a progressive like Lee Rogers in it. She send this message out to her own followers today:

Want to know just how much of an ally Lee Rogers will be in Congress? Consider his philosophical approach from his website:

"Congressional insiders and K Street power brokers sold the well-being of our country in exchange for special deals and political favors.

"All this must stop. It must stop NOW! No more deals, no more special favors, no more double talk and political speak. It’s time to level with the voters, tell them the truth and get to the job of fixing the problems and restoring the promise of America."
This is the kind of fighting Democrat I need working beside progressives like Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, Alan Grayson and me in the House. I’m contributing to Lee. And, I hope you will too.

For his part, Dr. Rogers said he is proud of the backing his campaign is getting from the California powerhouse. "I'm honored to be endorsed by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, someone who is always on the right side of the moral issues of the day. As a doctor, I must use the highest standard of ethics when treating patients. I'll make sure to bring those same ethics to Washington. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Lee to improve the lives of those in my district and our country."

This week Blue America is encouraging progressives to contribute to Barbara Lee's and Lee Rogers' campaigns by offering one randomly selected donor who gives on this page (any amount) a rare, signed Beatles portrait by the band's favorite photographer, Robert Freeman, who shot 5 album covers for them starting in 1963.

The iconic image on the cover of With The Beatles, personally signed by Freeman, is the one we are giving away this week. The image is 32" x 24" and perfect for framing.

It doesn't matter how much you give, just that you do give to Barbara and Lee on this page.



Contest! Sinatra and…South Dakota?

Today Blue America is launching an effort on behalf of prairie populist Rick Weiland, who is running for the open blue Senate seat in South Dakota. With two Republicans running against the GOP Establishment pick in the general election, this should be a great opportunity to elect a dedicated tribune for working families in what the DC pundits see as a tough race.

This week, Rick released his first television ad. You can you watch it here. Digby, John and Howie are asking Blue America supporters to chip in getting the ad seen more widely-- and you can do that on the same page you watch the ad on.

There are basically two big media markets in South Dakota. One covers the Democratic-leaning half the state (East River)-- Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Watertown, Brookings, Huron, Mitchell and Yankton-- and the other covers the more conservative half of the state (West River)-- Rapid City, Spearfish, Sturgis, Custer, Wall, Lead, Deadwood and Hot Springs.

This is a sample of what a typical contribution can buy in the eastern part of the state:

• $28- All In With Chris Hayes
• $35- Southern Charm
• $125- Good Morning America
• $165- Face The Nation
• $225- Wheel of Fortune
• $400- 48 Hours

And this is what we can get in the western part of the state:

• $34- The Rachel Maddow Show
• $50- Inside Edition
• $75- Big Bang Theory
• $120- The Today Show
• $150- 60 Minutes
• $300- The Blacklist

So what's all this got to do with Frank Sinatra? Well, Howie was the president of the record label Sinatra started, Reprise Records. Sinatra started it-- and Howie continued it-- as a haven for artists who didn't want to be pushed around by corporate dictators, an ethos that epitomizes Rick's "Take It Back" campaign.

Howie was awarded an RIAA-certified plaque when Sinatra's greatest hits album, The Very Good Years went double platinum… two million records sold in the U.S. alone. He's donating this gorgeous, historical collector's item to one randomly selected donor to this Rick Weiland effort this week.

The "contest" ends next Monday, April 28, at noon. It doesn't matter how much you give, just that you do give on this page.

And, for the Sinatra fans, some of the songs that are on The Very Good Years: "Fly Me To The Moon," Cole Porter's "I Get A Kick Out of You," "Luck Be A Lady," "Love and Mariiage," "Send In The Clowns," "The Lady Is A Tramp," "Strangers In The Night," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and the song Howie says is the perfect theme for Rick's campaign for South Dakota, "The Best Is Yet To Come." And some of the musicians who played on this record-- Nelson Riddle, Woody Herman, Count Basie and Quincy Jones.

You want to know Rick stands for policy wise? He's a bold progressive and he sums up his political beliefs in that :30 second TV spot we want you to look at.

Remember, a little bit of money goes a long way in South Dakota, so don't be shy about making even a modest contribution.

Thanks, we are all in this together,

Jacquie for Blue America



$10.10… It's Good For Us All

Friday, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich made the case that unemployment is still high and the economic recovery so turgid because of the failed European-style austerity measures being forced on the country by the plutocrats and oligarchs, primarily through their bought=and-paid-for conservative handmaidens in government.

Most companies continue to shed workers, cut wages, and horde their cash because they don’t have enough customers to warrant expansion. Why? The vast middle class and poor don’t have enough purchasing power, as 95 percent of the economy’s gains go to the top 1 percent.

That’s why we need to (1) cut taxes on average people (say, exempting the first $15,000 of income from Social Security taxes and making up the shortfall by taking the cap off income subject to it), (2) raise the minimum wage, (3) create jobs by repairing roads, bridges, ports, and much of the rest of our crumbling infrastructure, (4) add teachers and teacher’s aides to now over-crowded classrooms, and (5) create “green” jobs and a new WPA for the long-term unemployed.

And pay for much of this by raising taxes on the top, closing tax loopholes for the rich, and ending corporate welfare.

But none of this can be done because some wealthy people and big corporations have a strangle-hold on our politics. “McCutcheon” makes that strangle-hold even tighter.

Connect the dots and you see how the big-money takeover of our democracy has lead to an economy that’s barely functioning for most Americans.

A healthy majority of Americans-- including 83% of Democrats and nearly a third of Republicans-- supports the efforts to increase the minimum wage to $10.10. The financiers of congressional careers, however, are not part of that majority. They and their conservative puppets don't want to increase the minimum wage; they want to abolish it. And the faux-moderate position becomes, "let's not abolish it or increase it too much." You can watch apologists for the plutocrats, like Republican Susan Collins (ME) and New Dem Colleen Hanabusa trying to broker "a compromise" that leaves working families in poverty. Both represent blue states with overwhelming majorities that want a $10.10 minimum wage and both take excessive campaign money from the forces that want to hold the level down. And… both are running for Senate in November-- against tireless leaders in the fight for working families. 

Shenna Bellows of Maine and Senator Brain Schatz of Hawaii are pushing very hard for the $10.10 minimum wage increase. In fact, every Blue America candidate is pushing for the $10.10 level. 

I know it sounds a little gimmicky, but today we're asking Blue America supporters to chip in $10.10 for one or more of the Blue America candidates running for Senate.

And believe me, it isn't just Shenna and Brian. Rick Weiland, the prairie populist running for the open South Dakota seat is adamant about raising the minimum wage to $10.10. His GOP opponents, Mike Rounds and Stace Nelson, would like to see the minimum wage disappear altogether. Rick:

Political reality today is that America is being turned into a plutocracy by the ability of big money to buy what it wants from Washington, and increasingly from every other level of government as well.

Political reality today is that politicians who used to be public servants are now servants of the big money that elected them.

How else can you explain the endless array of policy decisions at every level of government that are vehemently opposed by large majorities of ordinary citizens, but are made anyway by elected officials. Think about it. 90% plus majorities of the voting public oppose offshore tax havens for billionaires and yet they persist. 90% oppose shutting our government down, yet it is shut down. Oil spills occur, dangerous vehicles are sold, banks evict families from homes they have been conned into buying, payday lenders extort poor families, all practices supported by virtually no one, but permitted to persist, even encouraged by the representatives supposedly elected by the people these things harm. Most Americans, including independents and Republicans, want to see the minimum wage rise to $10.10 but politicians in the pockets of the self-entitled billionaires are preventing it from passing in Congress.

What more can I say? Is it worth $10.10 to you to help elect tribunes of the people like Rick Weiland and Shenna Bellows?

Take my word for it, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren can't do it by themselves. We need lots more like them.

Our candidates, I can report, were not invited to the Sheldon Adelson primary try-outs. Can you help?

We are all in this together,
Howie, for Digby and John



$1,000 Matching Fund-- Why Shenna?


"Thank you, Blue America supporters, for refusing to give up on our democracy.  Grassroots action is the only way meaningful social change ever happens, and your grassroots support is making a difference." --Shenna Bellows

Digby, John and Howie did not expect to send this note out today. They planned a sabbatical until after the first quarter rush was over Tuesday. But… we got an offer we couldn't refuse-- and one I hope you won't be able to either.

As you probably already have figured out, we feel that Shenna Bellows, the 39 year old former executive director of Maine's ACLU, is our idea of a perfect candidate. Last night she told Howie that she wants to "go to the United States Senate to work with Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul to place checks and balances on the big banks and the NSA. We can restore economic opportunity and constitutional freedoms for all if we have the courage and the vision to try."

That came right on top of a generous offer by one of Blue America's most consistent supporters to match, up to $1,000, all contributions to the Bellows campaign that are made through this page between now and midnight tomorrow (Monday night/Tuesday morning)

"I was originally attracted to the Maine contest," he told us, "by its potential to send the loudest message, of any 2014 race, that voters are sufficiently shocked, by the NSA surveillance revelations, to turn strongly against NSA-apologist incumbents like Collins. But now Collins appears even more vulnerable because of this month's outbreak of open warfare between Senate Democrats and the CIA, over the torture report that Collins may be trying to help the CIA delay or suppress. The more closely I looked at Bellows, the more I saw not only policies I support and political experience, skills and tactics that I respect, but also great potential for proving to be the right person in the right place at the right time."

There is great potential for Susan Collins’ “mile-wide” popularity to be proven “inch-deep,” because people who disagree with Collins’ positions, especially on civil liberties, can be found not only among Maine’s plurality of Democrats but also its substantial contingents of Independents and Libertarians, with whom Bellows has strong rapport.

Let's not leave this thousand dollar offer on the table. If Shenna wins in November, it will be the biggest victory for the progressive movement in America since we helped oust Wall Street favorite's senator, Scott Brown, in Massachusetts and elect Elizabeth Warren.

If you give $10 it's like giving $20 today. And if you give $50, it's like a $100 contribution. This is what Shenna needs to get her message out across Maine. This offer ends tomorrow at Midnight (ET).



Why Blue America Is Taking A Time Out

For the rest of this week, you are likely to be bombarded with hysterical, desperate spam from the DCCC, DSCC and their myriad candidates…ugh.

The New Dems and Third Way candidates from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party have been instructed to send out as many as 5 e-mails per day leading up to Monday, the last day of the FEC's first quarter. So we're not going to send any more e-mails out 'til after that circus is over.

Today, though-- we're offering to send a $1,000 check from our PAC to whichever House candidate our members prefer. You tell us who.

Just go to the regular Blue America page and contribute-- any amount-- to whichever candidate or candidates you would like to see get the extra grand. The candidate that gets the most contributions (not necessarily the most cash) gets the PAC check. Clean and easy!

We want to know who you're feeling so far this cycle. We're not going to make any pitches.

All the candidates on this page have been vetted as Blue America '14 candidates and are worthy of your vote and dollars.

Digby, John and I write about them all the time. You can search our sites for posts to learn more about each of of them.

Or just contribute to the one you already know enough about to want to see win in November.

Thanks,

Digby, John, Howie



You Know-- Even If Republicans Don't-- Hawaii Is A State


There are no perfect candidates. They all have at least one flaw. But we still haven't found one for the progressive seeking the open House seat based in Honolulu, Stanley Chang. Blue America endorsed him because he's quite literally a progressive dream candidate. He's great on women's equality, LGBT equality, immigration reform, environmental issues, and campaign finance reform. But today we just want to emphasize the populist economic vision that puts Stanley, a former student of Elizabeth Warren's at Harvard Law, right in synch with the proud Hawaiian traditions advanced by Patsy Mink, Tom Gill, Jean King, Dan Akaka and Mazie Hirono.

"Social Security," he told us "is the bedrock of the safety net for our kupuna. Make no mistake, 'chained CPI' is a euphemism for deep cuts to Social Security, a program that keeps 22 million seniors out of poverty. I was relieved that the White House dropped chained CPI from its most recent budget proposals, but we should continue to be vigilant. Social Security must be strengthened, not gutted. Let’s look at simple, commonsense reforms, like raising the cap on taxable income, which would ensure that Social Security stays solvent for many more generations. Surely we can do better than to balance the budget on the backs of our kupuna who have worked a lifetime to enjoy a secure retirement."

Same type of progressive attitude when it comes to raising the minimum wage: "When the minimum wage was introduced, it was $10.74 in today’s dollars" he reasoned. "Today, the minimum wage is only $7.25. Many of the homeless on our streets today work full-time jobs, but can’t afford rent or even a security deposit on their minimum wage paychecks. Raising the minimum wage would stimulate the economy, generate more jobs, and lift working families out of poverty. Hawaii is in particular need of a raise as its minimum wage is stuck at the national minimum. No one who works full time should be relegated to poverty and homelessness."

And he's eager to go much further, of course. "Almost one quarter of American families live outside the mainstream banking system and spend, on average, over $2,000 per year on costly fees and services such as payday loans, bill paying and check cashing. With 35,000 locations across our country, the United States Postal Service is well positioned to provide these service at a low cost to families and is exactly the kind of innovation our financial system and working families need. Providing basic financial services at a dramatically reduced rate while pushing some of the most unscrupulous banking service providers out of the market is a smart move for America… I support a new Glass-Steagall Act, which for generations banned investment banks from gambling away people’s life savings. America’s five biggest banks hold more than half the banking assets in the country. Clearly, we must fight to increase capital requirements and break up the banks that are 'too big to fail.' We have to prevent the large banks from keeping all the profit from the good years while forcing American taxpayers to bail out their losses."

Sound like your kind of candidate? He's ours and his opponents in the August primary are a nightmare, mostly a bunch of DINOs from the other wing of the party, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. This district is deep blue; whoever wins the primary will be going to Congress. Let's make sure it's someone who shares our progressive values. You can contribute to Stanley's campaign here. Have you ever contributed to someone running in Hawaii before?

We are all in this together,
Howie, for Digby, John and the Blue America team



We Need Members Of Congress Who KNOW Something

Earlier this month we introduced our newest House candidate, Illinois particle physicist George Gollin. This link goes to the TV ad he's trying to get up on more stations across the sprawling district that goes from Bloomington and Champaign, straight through the Illinois farm belt to the northern suburbs of St. Louis. The election is a week from Tuesday, March 18, enough time to show that ad to the undecided voters who will cast the decisive ballots in this hotly contested race. Can you help him do it?

Even before scientist/Rep. Rush Holt announced his retirement from Congress, a friend of mine put together this explanation of why it's important to help Gollin win this race. He was making an argument that was the exact opposite of the argument for confirming Nixon failed Supreme Court nominee G. Harrold Carswell-- later arrested for trying to have sex with random men in public toilets in Tallahassee and Atlanta-- that was made by Nebraska Senator Roman Hruska. Hruska, no rocket scientist himself, is remembered for this one statement he uttered in his 22 years in the Senate, this one about Carswell: "Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos." Well, I think we can try. We certainly have a very, very long way to go. 

Thoughtful people in the House are really getting tired of listening to people who don’t know what they’re talking about.

One of the dirty little secrets of Congress is that many of them legislate in areas in which they are utterly bereft of knowledge. If ignorance is bliss, then some of the Members must be deliriously happy. (No wonder Sen. Ted Cruz is always smiling!)

Seriously, we have Members on the Agriculture Committee who couldn’t tell a plow from a harvester. We have Members on the Science Committee who couldn’t tell a proton from a photon.  We have Members on the Foreign Affairs Committee who couldn’t locate Indonesia on a globe if their lives were at stake. And we have Members on the Intelligence Committee who are as dumb as...

Well, you get the idea. And don’t even ask me about the Ethics Committee.

So that’s why we're supporting George Gollin for Congress, and why you should support him, too. He actually knows stuff. Lots of stuff.

Even worse, to the extent that Members of Congress know any stuff at all, it’s always the same stuff. According to Roll Call, out of the 435 Members of the House, we have 187 businessmen, 156 lawyers, and 77 educators. Do the math. That leaves 15 Members.

For four years, Alan Grayson worked as an economist. As far as we know, he's the only Member of Congress who can make that claim. Roll Call did not uncover anyone else. And believe me, whenever he starts to talk economics in a Congressional hearing, the eyes glaze over. Quickly.

But don’t worry. Whenever we need an expert opinion on something, we can turn to the three former talk radio hosts in the House. (It was four, until one got caught snorting-- possibly selling-- cocaine.) Or perhaps we can benefit from the expertise of the former professional football player-- whenever it’s third and nine on the Floor of the House.

This is why we need George Gollin in the House. The man actually knows what he’s talking about.

George Gollin is a physicist. In the 70s, he worked on muon scattering, to test quantum chromodynamics theory. (We're not making this up.) In the 80s, he studied neutral K meson decay, to test for CP violation. (I swear that this is true.) In the 90s, he measured the production and decay properties of heavy quarks. (I kid you not.) Since then, he has specialized in the design and construction of electron-positron colliding beam facilities. (This is indeed bona fide.)

So we can elect George Gollin to Congress, or settle for yet another lawyer/businessman tool. What do you think? And as you consider that question, also consider that the U.S. Department of Energy spends roughly $10 billion a year in taxpayer dollars on physics research, with no one in Congress qualified to do oversight on that effort.

Members who serve on the House Science and Technology Committee tell me it's bleak, really bleak. A few months ago, one of the Members on the Committee said that evolution is “a lie straight from the pit of hell.” Most of the Members are climate change deniers. One friend of our on the committee keeps encouraging them to transfer from the House Science Committee to the House Religion Committee, and follow their true calling. (There is no House Religion Committee, but their eyes light up anyway.)

The progressives on that committee need George Gollin’s help there-- and in Congress. So we should help him get there.

Here’s another really good thing about George Gollin-- he’s a liberal Democrat, and he’s not afraid to say so. In fact, that’s exactly what his TV ad says-- that he’s a proud progressive Democrat. For that reason alone, he deserves our support. A progressive who is proud to be a progressive-- how refreshing! I hope that this catches on.

Maybe Congress always will be crawling with witless lawyers and businessman, like vermin. But if someone like George Gollin can win, then maybe not. Maybe there is hope.

…Help George Gollin win his primary next month… because George Gollin has both a head and a heart.

You can contribute to Gollin's campaign on the Blue America '14 Congressional candidates page. Please do.




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