Blue America Special: Alan Grayson joins C&L for a Live Chat! "Peace Party"

If any of you have been over the Daily Kos or many other progressive blogs recently you know that today is the day of Alan Grayson's Peace Party --- a fundraiser to help Grayson keep his seat in this fall's election:

On JUNE 28, 1919, the United States put an end to a world war, after less than two years of fighting. In 1945, the United States ended another world war, after less than four years of fighting. But in 2010, we are embroiled in two wars, after almost nine years of fighting.

When will it end? When Blackwater and Halliburton say so? When we’re all broke?

It’s time that someone spoke out for peace.

Indeed. And it's not surprising that the person speaking out for peace today is none other than the progressive congressman from Florida. I don't know about you, but I am convinced that it takes political fighters to keep us out of war, and there's no smarter or more effective fighter in the Democratic Party than Alan Grayson.

Who else says things like this?

"Imagine if we had decided after 9/11 to wean ourselves off oil and other carbon-based fuels. We'd be almost ten years into that project by now.

"Imagine if George W. Bush had somehow been able to summon the moral strength of Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller, or Martin Luther King Jr, and committed the American people to the pursuit of a common goal of a transformed society, a society which meets our own human needs rather than declaring "war" on an emotion, or, as John Quincy Adams put it, going "abroad, in search of monsters to destroy".

"Imagine.

"Imagine that we chose not to enslave ourselves to a massive military state whose stated goal is "stability" in countries that never have been "stable", and never will be."

Blue America was the first Netroots PAC to endorse Grayson when he decided to run. None of the Very Serious People in politics thought he could win in what was a Republican district but we don't base our endorsements solely on electability, so that wasn't relevant. We felt he had a good chance and we knew that if he won, he would be an articulate and passionate advocate for our values. He has exceeded our expectations, to say the least.

One of the reasons Grayson can be so outspoken is that he takes no special interest money from businesses his committees oversee and so depends on small donations more than other politicians. So far, the netroots have come through for him, giving him an independent funding base and allowing him to operate with much more freedom than the average representative. Today, he's asking for your help again. If you can spare a few bucks, now's the time.

The world is full of supposedly indispensable men and women, virtually none of whom are actually indispensable. Grayson, in my view, is the exception. The progressive movement needs this man in congress, serving as an example of intelligent, aggressive, principled progressivism and hopefully building up a paradigm for others to follow.

Please donate to Grayson's campaign and help keep the progressive movement's most powerful spokesman in office for another term.



Alan Grayson to join C&L at 4:30 PDT/7:30 EDT PM for a Special Live Chat UPDATED: Now 5 pm PDT

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Alan Grayson is joining Blue America on C&L today at 4:30 PST/7:30 EST [UPDATED] 5 PM for a Special Live Chat to help with his fundraising effort. Because the Congressman is so popular and willing to fight for American families like other Democrats refuse to do, he's become a major target for the GOP and their tea party off shoot. He'll be here talking about his new bill, "The War is Making You Poor Act, HR 5353," as well as his new speech which he premiered here Friday based on Eisenhower's "Chance for Freedom' Speech. Please join us later today.

Send Democrats and Tea Partiers a message in the process.



Alan Grayson powerfully channels Eisenhower's "Chance for Freedom' Speech

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We have a little exclusive from the great Congressman from Florida.
Alan Grayson adapts Eisenhower's 1953 speech called: "The Chance For Peace" to make an enormous point in our country today. He's changed a few words to make it fit into our current narrative, but they are still important and explosive words that all Americans need to hear.

We waste over 600 billion dollars a year on the Military Industrial Complex and if we even cut back 20% on that monstrosity, how much good can we accomplish here? How much change and prosperity can be funneled to every day working class families that toil so hard just to make ends meet?

We have a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross, a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and the point of hope that come with this time. God created men to enjoy, not destroy, the fruits of the earth and of their own toil.

They aspire to this: the lifting from the backs and from the hearts of men, of their burden of arms and of fears, so that they may find before them a golden age, a golden age of freedom and of peace. Thank you.

We talk a lot about wingnut welfare and conservatives and Libertarians whine all day long about our tax dollars being used to fund programs that are used for the betterment of our society such as Social Security and Medicare.

Yet they remain quiet and mute, like scarecrows in the middle of a desert when billions upon billions are shifted out of their pockets and into the hands of companies like Blackwater aka Xe Services or some new Star Wars program that is useless unless you're the recipient of those funds -- for the sole purpose of mass destruction rather than enrichment.

Here' Alan Grayson's post called "The Longest War." In it he talks about our need to get out of Afghanistan and has introduced a new bill called The War is Making You Poor Act, HR 5353.

How strange. It turns out that America's chief military strategist for the past decade is Osama Bin Laden himself. We've been doing exactly what he has wanted us to do: spend staggering sums on the military, until the American economy is bled dry. But it doesn't have to be that way. We are a democracy. We can choose peace.

I have voted against Bin Laden's strategy to destroy America, and I will continue to do so. But I've done more than that. I have introduced a bill called The War is Making You Poor Act, HR 5353.

This bill requires that the war be funded by the Pentagon's base budget - "only" $549 billion. And it uses the resulting savings to eliminate federal income taxes on your first $35,000 of income - yours and every American's. It also reduces the deficit.

Bin Laden told us how he would destroy us. And we're following his instructions, to a "t." How absurd is that? No more. We have to make our so-called "leaders" listen to us. If we are to survive.

That's what we're going to do, together. Sign our petition, and show your support for HR 5353. Ask your friends to do the same. Let's stop the war, before it stops all of us.

Don't forget to throw Alan Grayson a few bob at our Blue America10 act blue page. If there is a politician out there who deserves our support, he certainly does.



Blue America Proudly Welcomes Back An Old Friend--Give It Up For Alan Grayson

Alan Grayson is one of Blue America's oldest friends, and someone we are always so proud to be able to say we had even a small part in electing. The Orlando area freshman is unquestionably the most inspiring and beloved Democrat in the entire House. I'm not exaggerating. He's a courageous straight shooter willing to laugh in the face of clownish bullies like Michele Bachmann and Eric Cantor. Freshmen don't have much power but there is no Democrat anywhere who the GOP would like to take out more than Grayson. He's the one who always holds up the mirror and makes them-- and their corporate paymasters-- stare directly into their own vapid, lifeless eyes.

John and Digby and I couldn't be happier to bring Alan back for another Blue America round here at Crooks and Liars. When we polled our PAC's donors for who our first incumbent endorsee for 2010 should be, it wasn't even close. In fact, Alan is the only incumbent on the Blue America endorsement list so far this year. Tomorrow is Alan's money bomb day. Let's make sure part of the money that propels him to a second term is money that comes from his oldest and most loyal friends in the blogosphere and not just from Johnny-come-latelies like Howard Dean (above) and Dennis Kucinich (below).

Now let's repair to the comments section below and find out why anyone would want to have someone as entertaining as Eric Cantor removed from the public forum and, more important, what progressives can do about Afghanistan and about turning Obama's first step in healthcare reform into the long distance run it needs to be. And, please, let's make Alan's money bomb something that old line pols like Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel take notice of. Contribute here.

His 'money bomb' info is here.



Blue America Welcomes Alan Grayson For A Discussion Of American Policy In Afghanistan

Alan Grayson has been a big Blue America fave ever since we first met up with him in January, 2008. He was our first endorsement that year and one of our most celebrated victories, having beaten an entrenched, useless incumbent in a traditionally Republican district in central Florida. Since being elected, Alan has been a progressive leader, primarily in financial regulations through his committee position on House Financial Services. But he also was one of 32 Democrats in the House who stood up to demands from the Obama Administration that a supplemental war budget be approved last June.

It was a ballsy move, especially for Democrats in Republican-leaning districts, like Alan, Eric Massa and Carol Shea-Porter. I doubt Alan ever wavered from his commitment to the voters in his district to not approve any more supplemental budgets. But you can ask him yourself when he joins us for a live blogging session here at C&L, 3pm PT (6pm back East). Alan will be helping us launch a new Blue America Initiative to help draw attention to the situation in Afghanistan and figure out what progressives can do to effect change.

Alan is prepared to work even harder this year to head off an escalation of war in the 8th year of occupation of the country. "We are using a 19th century strategy to fight a 14th century opponent, " he told me yesterday. "Does anyone seriously believe that the best way to defend our borders is to send a quarter of a million Americans 10,000 miles beyond them?" He also told me he thinks we can change Obama's mind and turn this thing around. "He's too smart," said the congressman, "to let someone else's war ruin his presidency."

And with Republican Tim Johnson of Illinois promising to introduce legislation to withdraw American troops, an idea that some other Republicans, like Walter Jones (R-NC) and Ron Paul (R-TX) seem to be embracing, Alan is ready to work across the aisle -- as he has been doing with his crusade to force an audit on the Federal Reserve -- and help focus more Democrats and more Republicans on what he calls "the senselessness of war without end."

If you haven't visited it yet, today is launch-day for Blue America's new ActBlue page, No Means No!. We're asking anyone who can afford to, to contribute-- even if it's just a few dollars-- to the Democrats who have already shown their willingness to draw a line in the sand and not break their pledge. Today, everyone who donates-- regardless of how much-- will have their name put in a hat and 6 random winners will get the new book by New York Senate candidate Jonathan Tasini, The Audacity of Greed. Jonathan donated the books for this event and he autographed each one.

Meanwhile, please take a look at the first segment in the BraveNewFilms movie, Rethink Afghanistan, something that every member of Congress needs to see-- at least as much as the briefings from the Pentagon and spy agencies.



Blue America's Alan Grayson Wins Florida Primary

Congratulations, Alan! Great news from a great progressive candidate.

Down With Tyranny:

(Tuesday) Florida had its congressional primaries and with about 93% of the vote counted it's looking like Donna Edwards may soon have a strong progressive with a reform-minded agenda working with her in Congress. (Oh, there's still the general election in November... but Keller barely managed to hold onto his party's nomination against Todd Long who's getting 47% of the Republican vote.) AP has called the race for Grayson but says it's too close to call on the GOP side. [..]

Which ad do you think will be most effective in the general election?

or this?

Both of them are hard to resist. Please consider donating to our Blue America ActBlue page so he can keep running the ads.




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