Help Blue America Award A $5,000 Check-- And Join Us For Lunch With Darcy Burner On Tuesday

We've had tremendous interest in our little Blue America contest that Crooks & Liars and our blogging partners at Firedoglake, Digby and DownWithTyranny started last Saturday. So far our $5,000 seed money has brought in close to $20,000 spread out between our 9 candidates. It's been a see saw battle between Annette Taddeo (D-FL), Russ Warner (D-CA) and Debbie Cook (D-CA), although both Dennis Shulman (D-NJ) and Sam Bennett (D-PA) have been moving up and are in striking distance. In terms of cash, Debbie Cook's campaign alone went over the $5,000 mark this morning! You can "vote" and follow the competition on our special Blue America Contest page.

A new twist, though: a generous donor has offered Blue America PAC another $1,250 for a second check-- kind of a runner up prize-- if we can raise enough money in the PAC to match it. So... please think about donating to the PAC as well. That way on Saturday we'll be awarding a $5,000 check to whomever gets the most votes and a $2,500 to whomever comes in second.

And for Crooks & Liars readers in southern California, we're having an intimate lunch with Darcy Burner (D-WA) this coming Tuesday at noon in Silverlake. If you'd like to join John Amato, Digby and myself in welcoming Darcy to Los Angeles, all the info is at DownWithTyranny.



Chris Carney, Comcast and Warrantless Wiretaps

Blue America has been asking for donations to help in our nonpartisan campaign to hold members of Congress accountable when they vote against the Constitution. For the past two weeks we've been running TV spots, radio spots and newspaper ads in Chris Carney's northeast Pennsylvania congressional district to make sure his constituents know that he is behaving like a Republican rubber stamp, not like the Democrat they thought they elected in 2006. Today the ACLU, as well as Senators Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold issued strong statements showing what a complete sham the "compromise" the Republicans and a handful of reactionary Democrats have worked out. On top of that, as Glenn Greenwald explained yesterday, Comcast-- Carney's #2 campaign donor-- is protecting him from his own constituents by censoring the debate and refusing to allow the Blue America ads to run (although all the radio ads, 7 full page newspaper ads and the non-Comcast TV ads have all been running). Listen to the Blue America radio ad that has been running all over Carney's district.

I'm sure you can guess which side of this battle John W. McCain is on. If you would like to stand with Blue America, most congressional Democrats and Barack Obama in preventing warrantless wiretaps on American citizens and preventing retroactive immunity for criminal allies of the Bush Regime please consider even a $5 or $10 contribution to the Blue America vs Retroactive Immunity fund today.



Blue America Welcomes Sen. Regina Thomas

Today's Blue America candidate is Georgia state Senator Regina Thomas. She's taking on one of the very worst and most reactionary of all the congressional Blue Dogs, John Barrow, in a district that encompasses much of Savannah and Augusta. Barrow votes more frequently for the Bush agenda and with the GOP than any other Democrats, although he's sometimes tied with Nick Lampson and Jim Marshall. Regina will be blogging live at Firedoglake today at 2pm (Georgia Peach Time). Blue America worked with singer-songwriter Jason Joseph to put together a little music clip for Regina. If you'd like to help us get this spread around, please consider donating to Regina's campaign at our Blue America ActBlue page today.



Take Back America with a Responsible Plan For Iraq

Our current Congress isn't doing it. But progressive activists aren't taking that lying down. At the Take Back America conference currently going on in Washington DC, we have asked an initial 10 progressive congressional challengers to sign on to our Responsible Plan for Iraq. The plan, which calls for no residual troops and a diplomatic "surge", will be announced formally here at the Take Back America conference in DC at 5:30 Eastern today. Brig. Gen. John Johns has also made a video supporting a Responsible Plan.

Darcy Burner (WA-08) (you can watch the streaming video of the announcement at 5:30 pm Eastern on her site)

Jared Polis (CO-02)

Donna Edwards (MD-04)

Eric Massa (NY-29)

Chellie Pingree (ME-01)

Tom Perriello (VA-05)

George Fearing (WA-04)

Larry Byrnes (FL-14)

Steve Harrison (NY-13)

Sam Bennett (PA-15)

We'll be adding more as we near the election. These are candidates that have promised us that they WILL work to end our occupation of Iraq and to support a progressive agenda.

Please reward these challengers at our Blue America page for support. This is our chance to create our "Contract For America" but this time, actually make things better here.



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes

I hope you had a chance to meet our newest Blue America candidate, Jim Neal, this morning; the transcript is here at FDL. A couple weeks ago he told me that when he made his final decision to take on Elizabeth Dole for a senate seat once held by Jesse Helms, he was listening to Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes. I put together a little clip with some random images and the music but it's really the music I wanted to talk about tonight. When the Philly dance sound hit in the 1970s this group, which had been around a long time, just took off like a rocket with... Teddy Pendergrass as the frontman. Their biggest hits were "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "The Love I Lost," "Don't Leave Me This Way," "Bad Luck," and, of course, "Wake Up Everybody." Harold Melvin, who was almost as old as John McCain-- but not that old-- died in 1997.



Open Thread

h/t QueerVisalia. Happy Darwin Day, by the way... Open Thread below...

John Amato: Donna Edwards routs BushDog Al Wynn!...She's one of our Blue America candidates....Pitch in a little if you can...



Late Night Music Club with Red Smear

Today's NY Times made it clear that the WGA strikers were the stars of last night's Golden Globes ceremony-- and that NBC just did a bumbling and inauthentic job in presenting a situation that wasn't pre-packaged or TV-simple. Blue America collaborators, Iowa-based band Red Smear and award-winning film makers Traveling Light Media, put together this song and video for us. It looks like Red Smear will be traveling up to Illinois to play at a labor rally for John Laesch and then to Ohio to do one for Vic Wulsin.



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Squirrel Nut Zippers

You've probably heard the Blue America theme song former Squirrel Nut Zippers Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher adapted for a couple dozen of our candidates based on their song "Put A Lid On It"-- like this one for Darcy Burner and this one for John Laesch. But the Squirrel Nut Zippers had two pretty big hit singles, "Suits Are Picking Up the Bill" in 1998 and a year earlier, "Hell," our LNMC selection for this evening.



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Woody Guthrie

Tomorrow's Blue America special guest is Sam Bennett from Pennsylvania's Leigh Valley (PA-15). When Darcy Burner said we need "more and better Democrats," she could have been talking about Sam. Come by and meet her tomorrow at Firedoglake, 2pm, EDT. When I asked her what music she likes, she went right to "This Land is Our Land" and specified her favorite version is the original by Woody Guthrie who wrote the song in 1940 as a kind of workingmen's answer to "God Bless America." It's based on an old Baptist hymn.

And of course Sam isn't the only fan of Woody's fantastic American anthem. Listen to his son Arlo do it-- along with Bruce Springsteen, Taj mahal, Emmylou Harris, Little Richard, Bono and John Mellancamp do it. There have been versions by Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, and... Bush's father used it as his campaign theme song.



Open Thread Victory Style!

As the House seats keep getting counted, we are constantly adding to a stronger majority. Senate is still very much in play and many on the right are already conceding control to the Democrats. Just think of what we have done:

- We have fought back against the ultra-funded GOP machine. All their money could not top us this year!

- All the gerrymandering that Republicans thought would save them proved futile this day.

- We over-came the dirty tactics of the GOP and their robo-calls, voter intimidation, "poll watchers" and everything else they threw at us!

And finally as TRex sez:

- "Subpoena Power....Activate"

This is our time and it is just starting. The netroots are growing strong and becoming a greater influence in the political landscape of America. Blue America did a great job also. We will have the final tally's on all our candidates some time tomorrow. Plus we have this great piece of information from Howie:

UPDATE: HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH WINS A GRAMMY Oh, it wasn't a Grammy. Salon says it was the #2 political video after the Michael J Fox stem cell one. Coolio! May I recommend, in light of the victory building in KY-03, that you watch the one Mike did for John Yarmuth (81% of precincts counted and Yarmuth holds a 50.3- 48.5% lead of Northup). Their review: "This great ad, which uses the Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Have You Had Enough?" and a charming Rickie Lee Jones vocal, has been recut and reused in about 18 Democratic races across the country (here, in John Laesch's unlikely effort against House Speaker Dennis Hastert). It's catchy retro stylings made voting against the GOP House seem not only fun but incredibly cool."

Another great accomplishment that must be passed on to the readers of Crooks and Liars, as well as Firedoglake and DownWithTyranny.

And finally, as Kos said earlier today "Today is the End of the Electronic Voting Machine". It wasn't just a bunch of "crazy liberals" screaming about problems this time. It was EVERYONE. There will be calls for major changes in the way we practice our power to vote, and those calls will come from every political stride.




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