Blue America's new Afghanistan action on war funding: 'No Means No!'

Media error

(h/t Heather)

Rachel Maddow highlights portions of the ridiculous McChrystal memos that were leaked to try and strong-arm Obama into sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Maddow: Over and over and over again this leaked report raises the specter of failure, of defeat in Afghanistan. Even as it defines what's going on in Afghanistan right now as I quote, "not a war in the conventional sense." If it's not a war but a thing that's not a war that we could lose....

Of course no one quite understands what it would be to win this not war either, but losing is perhaps politically stronger than the existentially dread of doing something indefinitely that just can't be won.

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Blue America is taking a stand against an escalation in the Afghanistan war as the military is putting on their propaganda full court press on President Obama to send more troops in. We want to empower the 32 progressives in Congress that voted no to funding the war supplemental last time out and also expand the list so we can block further funding of the war. The American people do not like this war and Congress should represent that fact. C&L honors our troops and makes sure to list the members of the military that have fallen in Iraq Afghanistan every Sunday and although the media for the most part ignores our fallen heroes, we do not. I was happy to see that the President wasn't immediately bowing to the mighty general and remained cautious in his approach to the Afghanistan situation.

“Until I'm satisfied that we've got the right strategy I'm not gonna be sending some young man or woman over there — beyond what we already have,” Obama said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I'm not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan or saving face or, in some way – you know, sending a message that America is here for the duration.”

Howie Klein explains:

Starting today expect to see a concerted attack on the president from the "We-Want-Obama-To-Fail-Right," making it harder for Democrats to back away from his misguided Afghanistan policies. But none of these games changes the fact this is a pointless and unwinnable war and must be brought to a close as soon as possible. This week Blue America is launching No Means No! a fundraising effort to help bolster members of Congress who already know that and who have been working diligently to end it.

If Obama keeps his pledge to end the Bush-era supplemental funding process, future appropriations for Afghanistan will be part of the budget, which means Pay-Go rules kick in. That leaves Congress with two choices when allocating money for the occupation of Afghanistan: raising taxes or cutting social programs. That's the next big battle facing Washington.

Here's the list of the House members who stood tall and refused to be strong-armed by Rahm Emanuel into voting for more war funding. I'll be having on Alan Grayson Thursday for a live chat on C&L to discuss the unfortunate situation George Bush left President Obama and America to deal with.

Digby lends her sharp perceptions to the latest campaign being waged by the military to hijack another war.

The military is obviously turning up the heat in Washington to get us into a much bigger war in Afghanistan and it's being done the usual way, with lies and leaks and back stabbing and grandstanding. And the politics are as confused as ever.

For me, this one is easy. Afghanistan is the most unlikely place to win a war on the planet. To apply the lessons learned in Iraq (such as they were) to this country seems insane to me --- especially the concept of "counter-insurgency," so beloved by the McChrystalites, which is being bizarrely misapplied. But more important than that: whenever you hear people saying that the primary purpose in continuing a war is because "to leave would send the wrong message" and declaring that "perceptions" are the reasons for continuing a slaughter, you know you are in Pentagon NeverNever land.

When you realize that we've had a hundred thousand more troops in Iraq -- which is like a third of the size of Afghanistan geographically -- then you really see how insane it is to send in a few more thousand troops into the impossible situation of trying to maintain the peace and defeat an insurgency and Taliban uprising. The Karzai government is also having problems being viewed as a legitimate ruling body by the Afghan people with all the charges of voter fraud.

Rachel Maddow, in the above video clip, goes over McChrystal's memo in detail and makes some accurate observations. His arguments are silly and really make no sense at all. Kevin Drum writes that even Gen. McChrystal describes the Afghanistan government as corrupt:

"The weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power-brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials, and ISAF's own errors, have given Afghans little reason to support their government," McChrystal says.

The result has been a "crisis of confidence among Afghans," he writes. "Further, a perception that our resolve is uncertain makes Afghans reluctant to align with us against the insurgents."

Spreading 28,000 troops throughout a country where we already had 140,000 in place would almost certainly have had no effect. But most of the troops were deployed in Baghdad, where it meant a near doubling of capacity, and that did have an effect. Baghdad was so central to the rest of Iraq that a reduction of violence there had a country-wide effect.

But no such concentration is possible in Afghanistan. Kabul isn't as important to Afghanistan as Baghdad is to Iraq, and in any case Kabul is already relatively safe. It's the rest of the country that needs more troops, and it's hard to think of any single place they could be concentrated enough to have a real impact.

Even though Kevin is uncertain about what will happen, what he outlines is a hopeless situation. How can we win this war, if it is a war and the hand-picked government is corrupt and their people know it? It's not shocking that Bush turned the country over to a man that seems to have rigged the election.

But let's face it, Americans don't like to lose in anything. So using the "we'll lose if you don't give me more troops or else" " strategy can have an impact to some who have not been following the situation closely.

Obviously the Neocon warhawks who helped get us in Iraq and Afghanistan will be given a huge megaphone to attack the president by the media even though they should be shunned. So please join in Blue America's action, because these bold progressives will be put under tremendous pressure again to vote for more war funding...



Real Democrats Standing Strong For American Working Families

One week ago we started a Netroots-wide action at Blue America, inspired by Darcy Burner's closing keynote speech at Netroots Nation, thanking the 65 stalwart progressives who have promised-- in letters to Speaker Pelosi and HHS Secretary Sebelius and to activists from Firedoglake-- to stick with the public option, even after the bribe-besoted Senate tries to kill it in the Conference Report this fall. Since then more than 6,400 donors have contributed almost $400,000.

Every member on the list has received over $3,000 from grateful donors, but some have been given way over that. People have asked me why some congressmembers-- like Barney Frank ($11,717), Lloyd Doggett ($9,173), Anthony Weiner ($9,836), Dennis Kucinich (7,622), Donna Edwards ($7,457)-- have wound up with so much more money than some of the others. After all, 60 of them signed Grijalva's letter to Sebelius clearly stating that they "stand in strong opposition to your statement that the public option is 'not the essential element' of comprehensive reform. The opportunity to improve access to healthcare is a onetime opportunity. Americans deserve reform that is real-- not smoke and mirrors. We cannot rely solely on the insurance companies' good faith efforts to provide for our constituents. A robust public option is essential, if we are to ensure that all Americans can receive healthcare that is accessible, guaranteed and of high-quality. To take the public option off the table would be a grave error; passage in the House of Representatives depends upon inclusion of it... a final proposal for the President's signature, MUST contain a public option."

Generally speaking the members with the most donations and the highest totals are the ones who have spoken out the most forcefully during the recess. Barney Frank's contributions shot to #1 after a Larry King Show YouTube went viral (over a million views) showing him answering a crazed and delusional teabagger comparing President Obama to Hitler. GOP propaganda whore Rush Limbaugh pushed Barney's donations even higher when he went off on a snide homophobic tirade the next day.

Similarly, the way Lloyd Doggett handled a disruptive mob of teabaggers at his town hall meeting early in the month won him a great deal of admiration from progressives, not just in Texas but across America. Anthony Weiner's aggressive and spirited defence of the Public Option on Morning Joe bumped him through the roof.

Donna Edwards' unimpeachable record of leadership has been an inspiration for progressives inside and outside of Congress. Last week she reiterated her commitment to real healthcare reform:

I just want to be absolutely clear-- comprehensive reform must include a robust public health insurance option. Otherwise, we're just tinkering around the edges and run the risk of giving even more power to the already too powerful insurance and pharmaceutical industries and their overpaid CEOs. I am unequivocal, unwavering, and unapologetic about my support of a robust public option-- in and outside of the Congress. Indeed I appeared on the CBS Evening News just this week urging Democrats to move forward on healthcare reform, including a robust public option, with or without Republican support since they seem more interested in the politics of taking down President Obama than healthcare for millions of Americans.

It is important that we stay focused on getting a robust public option included in the House version of the bill-- nothing watered down. As a progressive member of the House of Representatives, I can't spend time guessing or speculating about what the Senate will do. I do know that if we don't do our work to get a strong bill out of the House, we won’t be able to beg, borrow or steal a robust public option from the Senate. And, the naysayers and opponents of reform know this-- they know what's at stake. That's why they've tried to use August to kill reform. With your help, it hasn't worked and it won't work.

To accomplish our goal, we must be vigorous advocates for a public option that uses the Medicare provider network, starts immediately without triggers, and has a payment system that encourages quality patient care. We're almost there, and that's why it will take your voices outside of Congress and those of us inside to encourage our colleagues and our President to be courageous to the end. I hope you will continue to join me in this fight for comprehensive health care reform.

No more tinkering.

No more dictates by the big insurers and pharmaceutical companies.

No more deceptions and distractions.

Let's fight for a robust public option to ensure quality, affordable healthcare and lower costs for everyone and provide transparency and accountability. I know we can do this. I will keep fighting, but I need you to keep fighting with me.

Friday Steve Kornacki at PolitickerNY emphasized how powerful Jerry Nadler's message on health care has been and Nadler is assigning credit to the grassroots efforts inspired by Darcy Burner's epic speech.

“If they try to get a bill through the Senate with 60 votes without a public option, it won’t pass the House,” he said. “We will make sure it doesn’t pass the House.”

Other House progressives have been making similar threats, and Nadler admits he’s not sure how seriously the House leadership and the White House have been taking them-- until now.

He described a conference call this week for all House Democrats in which “people who you’d be surprised at” spoke up and told Pelosi they’d reject any bill without a public option. It was only a few weeks ago, after she struck her deal with the Blue Dogs, that Pelosi seemed to sneer at the threats of progressives.

But now, Nadler said, “I think she’s probably going to take that more seriously.”

“We’ve got to draw the line somewhere,” he added. “And this is where we’re drawing it. And we have to draw it here. We probably should have drawn it a little closer in.”

So what happens, I asked Nadler, if the House is ultimately presented with a bill with a cop-op provision instead of a public option-- and if the White House and House leadership then tell progressives that it was the best they could do and that if it fails, the Obama presidency might be sunk?

“They can’t allow it to come to that situation, because I’ll vote no,” he replied. “They cannot allow it to get there, and that’s what we’re telling them now. If it comes to that, enough members, I think, will vote no. And they certainly don’t want to test that.”

Strong stuff, huh? Yesterday's biggest recipient of netroots money on our page was Maxine Waters, who sent an unequivocal message to the Democratic Leadership that the line in the sand is for real. She spoke at a town hall meeting in a part of L.A. where teabaggers and nightriders don't venture and she made it crystal clear that without a public option she will oppose whatever the Insurance Industry and their congressional shills try shoving down our throats. I doubt there's much Emanuel can do to her-- except take her off the White House Christmas card list. Addressing President Obama directly, she reminded him that "[t]he people of this country elected you and gave you a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate... Yes, we know that you are a nice man, that you want to work with the opposite side of the aisle. But there comes a time when you need to drop that and move forward. We're saying to you, Mr. President, 'Be tough. Use everything that you've got. Do what you have to do. And we have your back.'" As for the corrupt members of the House of Lords... I don't think Rep. Waters will have their backs any time soon.

"Not only are we going to do everything we can to organize and put pressure on the senators-- some of whom are Neanderthals-- we're going to say to the president, 'We want you to use every weapon in your basket in order to get those senators to do what they should be doing,' " Waters said.

So... if you haven't said thanks yet, I'd recommend today would be a good day to think about Maxine Waters, Jerry Nadler, Donna Edwards, Barney Frank... and any of the other members you've heard speaking out forcefully about the public option. You can donate to one or two or as many of the 65 members of the House who have promised to stand firm as you'd like at the Blue America page.



MoveOn jumps into the Blue America "Standing Up For The Public Option" fundraiser.

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MoveOn has generously joined in on our Standing Up For The Public Option fundraiser and it's helped keep the thermometer rising. When last I looked we were over 300,000 dollars and over 5000 donors. I can't wait to wake up and see where we are next. (I wrote this post at 11:15 PM Thursday)

Howie Klein adds:

UPDATE: MoveOn.org Joins The Battle

If you've noticed that our thermometer is going through the roof today, that's because MoveOn is in the process of sending out a request to their millions of members to join the effort to thank the Democrats in Congress who have drawn the line in the sand for a robust public option and real health care reform beyond the siphoning of public money that the insurance companies and their congressional shills want.

I was watching MSNBC and CNN yesterday and all I was hearing was that progressives supporting the public option are left to the left. WTF does that mean? When Bush used reconciliation to pass his massive tax cut for the rich bill, the media didn't say that it was a right to the right position. We get tarred for having a brain.

And now Terry McCauliffe of all people has said that he's for the public option and is offering to do a fundraiser for anyone who endorsers it in Virginia. Wow.

Not Larry Sabato has worked with Terry McAuliffe to do a major fundraiser for any Virginia candidate who makes the pledge (an effort probably worth six figures).

Terry McAuliffe? Wow! That's an effort! In fact, I'm going back on the Blue America page and donating some more.

And a new poll shows 77% percent of Americans still support the public option.

Yet, while the issue continues to be hotly debated in the halls of Congress, a new poll by Survey USA finds that the idea is as popular as ever amongst the American public:

More than three out of every four Americans feel it is important to have a “choice” between a government-run health care insurance option and private coverage, according to a public opinion poll released on Thursday.

A new study by SurveyUSA puts support for a public option at a robust 77 percent, one percentage point higher than where it stood in June.

The SurveyUSA poll finds similar results to several other polls that also show that the public option is very popular, a fact that some members of Congress consider to be a detriment.

Yes, I'm a 77%er...

Jane adds:

The House Dems have 77% of the country behind them. Conrad and Bayh have WellPoint and Blue Cross behind them, and messy financial ties to boot. Will they join with the Republicans to filibuster a Democratic health care bill? Because as Kagro X says, that is very much what they are saying they will do.

I guess we will see.



The Netroots are on Fire: Blue America's 'Standing Up For The Public Option' is rocking!

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The progressive blogosphere is rocking D.C., and we really want to thank our readers for their support in our drive to reward the supporters of the public option. Progressives in Congress are learning what it means to do the right thing by your actions. Please donate if you can.

And Digby reads the NY Times and gets annoyed because they can't frakkin' read.

This NYT story indicates that it comes as some sort of surprise that progressives have just suddenly decided to hang tough. That's just not true. I first wrote about this back on June 3rd:

Darcy mentioned to me that this week is an important moment in the health care debate, in which it might be helpful for members of the netroots to weigh in with a little positive reinforcement to the progressive caucus, which has been holding the leadership's feet to the fire on the public plan option. Everyone pretty much agrees that if that goes down, health care reform will be a meaningless shell game.

I was somewhat surprised frankly (in a good way)to hear the the progressives caucus had pulled together on this one and was actually wielding some clout. They represent over 70 m4mbers of congress, which is a big bloc of votes. If they can stick together on the public plan, it will happen.

If one of these House members is your Congressional Representative, all the better. But contact one or more of them even if they aren't. They need to know that people other than lobbyists and big donors are engaged and informed on this and that we know what's at stake with the public plan.

The Village seems to have just awakened to the fact that the progressives are holding the line, but they've been organized around this for months.

Digby is usually ahead of the curve when it comes to matters of intelligence. There are so many people that have helped in "holding the line," but if you read the MSM you'd never know it.

Blue America, CPC, PCCC, DFA, C&L, Hullabaloo, Howie Klein, KOS, the Courage Campaign, Calitics and FDL -- to name a few -- have been targeting the House and the Baucus Dogs in the Senate for months now. Kudos to all. You know that the Ben Nelsons are dying to get their grubby hands on some of our money, but they'd have to act like real Democrats for that to happen.



Blue America and the Netroots thanks Democrats for backing the "Public Option" and you can too!

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Blue America wants to thank all the Progressives and Democrats for standing up for the "public option." We've already raised over 30K. They need to be made aware that we also appreciate the good things that they do too.

Darcy Burner made this point at Netroots Nation on a great panel discussion about what we've been doing on the health care front regarding our organizing efforts (and in her keynote speech as well). I heard from several members of Congress at NN how hard it's been in their freaked out town halls, but they believe in the "public option" and will not buckle from misinformation and people intent on killing health care reform. Progressives in Congress fired back at the White House and the Senate standing up and saying it's the public option, baby!

Please thank progressives for holding the line and donate to Standing Up for the Public Option.

The Netroots has been stepping up and pushing back hard against the ConservaDems plan to support the health care industry over American families. It's a sad choice they are making, but looking at the campaign donations they receive from the Health Care Industrial Complex, it's not surprising. It should be and the media has finally started to highlight all the money the Baucus Dogs have been taking from them.

Digby writes:

I was on a panel at Netroots Nation with Congressman Eric Massa. He was adamant about the public plan. There was no need to cajole him into supporting it, he had been there all along. He is also in a very tough swing district and his town halls have been horrific. It didn't move him, he stood and fought with his own constituents and came out even more committed because he realized just how important it was going to be to the very people who were so sadly misinformed.

That's called leadership and it deserves our support and thanks. So, Blue America thought it would be a good idea to do a little positive reinforcement and thank those who have gone out on a limb on this and are standing fast. 65 members of congress have pledged that they will not vote for a bill that does not contain a public plan and we would like to reward them.

If you have a couple of bucks to spare to thank the Progressive Caucus members who have drawn this line in the sand, please click here and give them your support.

Howie Klein put together the Act Blue page and writes:

You may remember that a few days ago I included all the names and phone numbers in a post and I want to encourage all DWT readers to call up congressmembers on the list and thank them. Thereisnospoon at Daily Kos explained the thinking behind whole campaign this morning. And Blue America is hosting an ActBlue page for people who would like to give any of the congressmembers who are standing up for the public option a dollar or two.

Is your congressmember on the list? Is your favorite member of Congress? Take a look -- and make your voice heard -- with a dollar.

Washington is paying attention. The top story at Politico today is headlined "Liberals Revolt Over Public Option":

Jane Hamsher:

The battle is not won, not by a long shot. Howie Klein and the Blue America team put together an Act Blue donation page that includes the 60 members who signed the letter, plus five more that our whip count effort have secured promises from that they will not vote for any bill that does not have a robust public plan. Thereisnospoon and Hekebolos over at Daily Kos are also on board.

Democracy for America is letting these members know that they have the support of their constituents, and Howard Dean -- well, he's been on fire. Eat it, Rahm.

Meanwhile, HCAN is going to spend $650,000 -- attacking Republicans. If grassroots efforts weren't under way to fight the real battle here, and we had to rely on the big moneyed interests, the public plan would have been lost a long time ago.

Americablog:

As everyone knows, we've been pretty upset at the Obama administration and some members of Congress over the health insurance reform debate. On Sunday, it looked like the Obama administration was going to drop the public option -- a provision that Obama has repeatedly told us is critical to reining in the insurance industry. That's proven to be unacceptable to many members of Congress. Since Sunday, a number of progressive members of Congress have stood up and basically said, ENOUGH!

Those members need to hear a big thank you from the progressive community. We need to strengthen their resolve. And, while we're quick to call out bad actions, we need to reward good behavior.

thereisnospoon

Piggybacking and expanding on that idea is an ActBlue page created by Howie Klein called Take the Pledge to financially reward those 64 representatives who are doing the right thing...read on



I think Blanche Lincoln needs another round of ads, don't you? Please help

Blue America's first push at Blanche Lincoln proved very worth while. As Greg Sargent reported, we forced her to write an op-ed in which she shifted positions on the public option. We raised almost 28K and ran our first ad for two weeks in heavy rotation on CNN, MSNBC and all the major cable networks in Arkansas. With Max Baucus delaying the Senate Finance Committee bill for as long as he has, Blanche is now shifting back to her old position. Haven't you noticed that you never see Lincoln appear on television to express her POV? She's up for re-election, hence with her keeping a low profile.

Howie Klein explains:

Lincoln reacted quickly, making noises that sounded like she might take the side of her state's working families for a change, instead of the big Insurance companies that buy her fealty. But, alas, they were only noises. Yesterday one of our friends in Hot Springs forwarded us a form letter she got from Lincoln's office. As though it were written by a real Democrat, it acknowledges that there's a problem. But the conclusion is very disappointing, some of it coming straight from Insurance Industry Talking Points that are routinely parroted by anti-health care fanatics like Mike Pence (R-IN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI):

While I support government programs like Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP, or ARKids First,” as it is known in Arkansas) that provide coverage for specific vulnerable and hard-to-insure populations, I do not support moving America to a nationalized single-payer or “government-run” health care system. Instead, in health care reform I will ensure Arkansans and Americans will have the freedom of choice to keep their current insurance plans and current doctors or choose another plan that better meets their needs.

Well, it's time to see if we can raise enough money to run a second wave of our ad. The next one will be the ad I have embedded in this post. It was #3 called "Bailout" Please donate here if you can.

She's also doing some town halls and we can use the good people of Arkansas to go there and represent Blue America and C&L.

Here's her schedule.

Lincoln will travel the state throughout the annual congressional work period. The following is Lincoln’s schedule of events around the state for August 11-15:

Tuesday, August 11—Little Rock, Malvern

9:10 a.m., Keynote address, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas Seminar, “Connecting Your Business with China.” Lincoln will join the State Chamber/AIA, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Arkansas World Trade Center, and business and community leaders to welcome the Chinese Ambassador to the United States. Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham Street, Little Rock.

12:00 p.m., Speak, Lions Club of Malvern. Western Sizzlin Steak House, 621 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Malvern.

Wednesday, August 12—Little Rock

9:00 a.m., Speak, “Jobs for Arkansas” Business Aviation Forum at Dassault Falcon Jet. Lincoln will join Governor Beebe, Senator Pryor, Dassault Falcon employees, and other community and business leaders to discuss the importance of Arkansas’s aviation industry. Dassault Falcon Jet Company, 3801 East 10th Street, Little Rock.

Continue reading »



Help us decide our next Blue America action!

http://www.actblue.com/page/healthcarechoice

We had great news yesterday as our Blue America ads against Senator Blanche Lincoln pushed her to shift positions and begin to talk about actually supporting a vibrant public option for health-care reform. She was a little fuzzy, but still stated a fundamentally different position than she had before the action.

Greg Sargent broke the story, and TPM weighed in as follows: Amid Pressure From Party Leaders And Reformers, Blanche Lincoln Now Open To A Public Option

The ads are running as we speak, so congratulations to all of you for helping make that possible. We're not done with Blanche, but we are having discussions to plot out our next move. I've been focused on the people involved in crafting the health-care reform legislation and the name Max Baucus comes to mind for me, but that doesn't mean we can't focus on somebody like Evan Bayh.

Howie Klein has more:

So where does that leave the Blue America community? Our first batch of TV spots started running all over Arkansas today. We're talking about putting the second wave on hold now that Lincoln (and Pryor) seem to be moving in the right direction. We'll re-assess in a week. Meanwhile, we're trying to decide what state our next target should be. Pennsylvania, where Republican-Democrat hybrid freak Arlen Specter take even more outrageous bribes from the Medical-Industrial Complex and Big Insurance than Lincoln and who is playing a devious behind the scenes role in trying to water down the effectiveness of a public option at the behest of his patrons?

Or how about Iowa, the home of Chuck Grassley, the Republican tasked by the Insurance Industry with being on the front line of offense against the entire concept of "robustness"in a public option. As ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee-- something he held onto rather than take on that position on the Judiciary Committee for the specific purpose of working with his pal Max Baucus to weaken any reform to the point of making it ineffective-- Grassley makes an excellent target of opportunity. He also has to face a politically well-educated voting base in a blue-trending state in 2010. Or maybe you have another suggestion? Let us know-- and, please, continue donating to the Campaign for Health Care Choice. We can make this work, one crooked senator at a time!

Anyway, we'd love to hear what you have to say. Maybe one of you can come up with an excellent action that we can take. We are all ears.

And don't forget to keep the funds rolling into Blue America's Campaign for Heath Care Choice. We're close to raising 25K and we'll need to reload to continue on.



Blue America is set to run the Blanche Lincoln-Public Option ads on Wednesday

Start your engines and....we're off. Awww, some corporate Democrats must be feeling the heat and running to daddy for help. I feel so bad about it.

Howie makes a great point: Did Obama Give Us The Nod To Go After Blanche Lincoln?

The Blue America PAC blogs asked our readers to take a look at the 3 TV spots we made for the Campaign for Heath Care Choice. So far we've raised around $23,000 and this is the ad that the contributors picked for us to run in all of Arkansas' media markets:

--

Is it OK with Obama that we go after one of the worst of the conservative Democrats-- and one of only two (the other being quasi-Democrat Arlen Specter) facing re-election next year-- who is opposing his plan to reform the American health care system fundamentally? Well... we think so. According to today's Washington Post Obama urged groups like Blue America to lay off bad Democrats-- but if you notice Blanche Lincoln was specifically left off the list. Obama complained about groups that are going directly to the voters to expose corrupt Democrats Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Arlen Specter, Ron Wyden (I don't understand why he stuck himself in this detestable camp) and Dianne Feinstein. But the silence over Blanche Lincoln was deafening. Obama must really hate her-- as he should, since she has opposed everything he's tried to accomplish, even after Joe Biden helped her raise a fortune from loyal Democrats for her re-election campaign.

The good thing is that we don't need permission to run our ads from anybody. You've helped make that possible. We're interested in trying to reform health care and Blanche Lincoln is up for re-election and she's a member of the Finance Committee with Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley that is looking to cut out the public option. Here's a little info on what you've helped us create with our Campaign For Health Care Choice action.

It is a two week flight, starting Wednesday July 8. almost 700 (680) spots running in Little Rock, Jonesboro and Ft. Smith DMAs. These spots are not on the weather channel, either, they are running on well-watched cable channels, like USA, TNT, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, ESPN, Food, History, Lifetime - big (for cable) stations.

This is the first wave - second wave will be bigger and cover the Memphis DMA as well.

Thanks once again for helping us out and America thanks you too.



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As you know, Blue America is targeting Blanche Lincoln because she has said she will not support a public option when it comes to the health-care debate. As Jane Hamsher says:

But in the fourth year of their terms, every Senator becomes a Representative for two years. Blanche Lincoln is running for re-election in 2010. If she's ever going to be persuadable, now is the time.

I agree with Jane completely. All Democratic politicians should be backing the public option if they want to see any kind of reform in the health-care industry.

We have a way we think can persuade Lincoln:

You can donate to Blue America's Campaign For Health Care Choice, here. It's getting harder every day, but it's not over. Blanche Lincoln is on the health sub-committee of the Senate Finance Committee and she's running for re-election in 2010. Let's see if her constituents think she should be handing out government goodies to these health industry fat cats and getting nothing in return while they struggle with health care premiums and growing unemployment.

We aren't standing still while the fat cats get fatter. So here's the thing. We've produced three different commercials with the help of BNF's to run in Lincoln's state of Arkansas and we need your help.

We've already raised over $18,000 so far and that's awesome, but what we want you to do next is it to vote for the ad that you think we should run first and you'll be letting us know by adding one, two, or three cents at the end of your donation on our Blue America's Campaign For Health Care page. Here's how it will go.

#1 Blue America Health Care Campaign - Blanche Lincoln: "I Thought We Had Insurance" Add one cent to your contribution if you want to vote for this spot.

#2 Blue America Health Care Campaign - Blanche Lincoln: "Bonuses" Add two cents to your contribution if you want to vote for this spot.
#3 Blue America Health Care Campaign - Blanche Lincoln: "Bailout" Add three cents to your contribution if you want to vote for this spot.

That's it, so a donation for #1 would look something like $20.01

Howie Klein explains:

Help us get the word out about Senator Lincoln by donating whatever you can afford to the spot (or spots) you think will persuade her voters to give her a call. The spot that collects the most money by Friday at noon will win. And if we persuade her to commit to the quality public plan, so will all Americans.

Everyone knows that if we don't have at least a vibrant public option, then health-care reform will be nothing more than health insurance companies giving us empty talking points about cutting costs and they will ultimately bamboozle their way into making just as much money by gaming the legislation and finding as many loopholes as they can. With a public option, we'll at least have a choice about the direction we want our health care system to go and remember, it's a huge start. America has been trying to reform health care since Harry Truman.

Digby has an incredible post up that chronicles the history of this debate. As you can see, it's been an almost impossible task.

But right now there is a real chance for the first time in 65 years to enact universal health care, however imperfect the specifics of it may be. I'm sure whatever they pass will be inadequate, just as medicare and Social Security were inadequate when they were originally passed. It seems to be the American way. But if our political and business elites have finally come to the consensus that America should join the first world and create a system that guarantees coverage to everyone, then I think we have to take the leap while we can. History shows that these chances don't come along every day. In fact, they come along about every couple of decades and we very rarely can even take an incremental step. We need to get universal health care on the books.

Quinnipiac just did another poll which said that almost 70% of Americans want the government to create a health care alternative: Most Americans Support Public Health Care Option, Poll Finds

Sixty-nine percent of Americans support creation of a government-run health plan to compete with private insurance companies, a new poll found. In addition, 52 percent of those surveyed by Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University said such a plan would keep the private insurance companies honest...read on

"If we build it, they will come." So, let us know which ad you want us to run and keep the money flowing.



Blanche Lincoln, here we come!

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We spent almost all day yesterday filming our commercial spots which target Blanche Lincoln's non-support of a vibrant public option at the C&L Bat Cave. Digby, d-day and BNF's were amazing. Gordon Skene of Newstalgia also joined the crew and did a bang up job.

I want to thank the readers that have donated to Blue America's Campaign For Health Care Choice so far. We can still use your help. I told you that we weren't going to sit by and watch and we're getting to work.

Adam Green from the PCCC wrote a nice post about our effort called:

Progressive Super Heros vs. Blanche Lincoln...who will win?

Some of my favorite progressive bloggers are teaming up with one of my favorite progressive filmmakers to air a new ad in Arkansas calling out Blanche Lincoln for selling out on the public option.

I'll be donating to help put it on the air -- you can consider it too...read on

While we were shooting all day did we miss any Republican sex scandals? Huh, anything? Maybe Newt Gingrich switched religions again?




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