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.



Live Chat: Blue America Welcomes Beth Krom (D-CA)

This year the DCCC has decided to spend virtually all of its resources playing defense. They're not spending money on replacing out-of-step, obstructionist Republicans -- not even vulnerable ones like John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Thaddeus McCotter and John Campbell -- but on saving the worthless hides of the mistrusted Blue Dogs who vote most frequently with the GOP and who have opposed most of the president's Change Agenda -- reflexive reactionaries like Travis Childers (MS), Bobby Bright (AL) and Walt Minnick (ID). So once again, it's up to grassroots and netroots organizations like ours -- who helped find and support progressives the DCCC ignored, like Alan Grayson, Donna Edwards, John Hall, and Carol Shea-Porter -- to work toward making Congress a more receptive place for progressive values and ideas that put ordinary working people before wealthy corporate interests. And today we want to introduce you to one of those candidates, Orange County activist Beth Krom. She's joining us live in the comments section below.

Beth is a proven, intrepid, can-do progressive -- a former mayor of Irvine and current City Council member of that city-- who is running for the Orange County seat, CA-48, currently help by one of the most ridiculous of all California Republicans, "Birther Amendment" author John Campbell. The district used to be solidly red but has been changing -- and rapidly. Old style pundits and prognosticators may not have noticed -- they're better at reporting what happened than predicting what's happening -- but districts like Beth's have undergone profound demographic changes. In 2008, in fact, Obama narrowly won the 48th, which helped him run up a 67-31% statewide vote against John McCain.

A dedicated environmental activist, she first ran for City Council in 2000 to stop an international airport from being built at Orange County’s former El Toro Marine Base. Within the first two years she served, a countywide initiative was drafted and passed that rezoned El Toro for park and open space use. Today, where the airport was proposed, the Orange County Great Park is being developed. The park is the missing link in, what will be, once restored, the longest urban wilderness corridor in America, extending from the ocean at Crystal Cove to the Mexican border. When we talked with Beth about the importance of smart growth, open space preservation and balanced planning, she pointed out that "buildings don’t make communities; people make communities."

Beth is exactly the kind of candidate we would like to see replacing a careerist clown and partisan hack like Campbell. Profoundly anti-environmental -- yet representing one of the most beautiful stretches of seacoast in America -- Campbell is every irresponsible developer's fondest dream. Beth has a very different vision for Orange County and for America.

As we experience the “shock and awe” that has gripped the nation in the wake of the worst offshore oil spill in human history, it’s important to consider that our thirst for oil has led to policies that place our entire ecosystem at risk.

When everything is out of balance, we feel the effects on a daily basis. An economy out of balance, a health-care system out of balance and a planet out of balance, reflect public policies that are out of balance. There are no perfect solutions, but ignoring our problems will only lead to greater challenges in the future.

Politics is not about the black and white, it’s about the thousand shades of gray. It takes smart, courageous politicians to advance the kind of policies that will inspire change and help to move our country forward.

We think Beth can win and we think she'll bring a tremendous improvement to Congress and to Orange County is she does. If you can, please consider giving her a hand at the Blue America ActBlue page.



Republican ad asks "Who looks more like a terrorist?"

This is either really, really tasteless satire or the most incredibly stupid ad ever made. You decide which. It must be seen to be believed.

Beyond the obvious stupidity of lining up an old gray white guy and a young burly olive-skinned guy and asking which looks like a terrorist, his punch line actually argues for racial profiling.

"Let's face it. If a good-looking ripped guy without much hair was flying an airplane into the twin towers, I'd have no problem being pulled out of line at the airport."

Or, put a bit differently, racial profiling is really just fine with Dan Fanelli. He thinks it makes us safer.

Oh, he's also one of a zillion candidates running against Rep. Alan Grayson. If you feel so inclined, please consider a donation to Blue America for Rep. Grayson. The idea of any candidate like this actually having a prayer of winning is almost more than my little blue heart can stand.

(h/t ThePlumLine)



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 Craig Pridemore (WA-03)

Please join us in the Comments Section for a chat with Blue America's newest endorsee, Washington state Senator Craig Pridemore, where he joins Alan Grayson and Marcy Winograd on a very short list of Better Democrats.

In 2006, Craig was named Legislator of the Year by Washington Conservation Voters. There were a number of reasons they chose the relatively new state legislator but it certainly had a lot to do with a bill he wrote and successfully passed, the nation's first electronic waste recycling bill which mandated the kind of product stewardship that makes a producer responsible for the full lifetime costs of whatever they make, including the eventual disposal or recycling. Although some electronic goods manufacturers-- some in other countries, where TVs are made-- fought passage, Craig managed to put together a strong bipartisan coalition to pass it. In fact, every Democrat in both houses of the state legislature voted for the bill with only two exceptions, conservatives Steve Kirby and Deb Wallace. Ironically, one of those conservatives, Deb Wallace, is one of Craig's opponents in the Democratic primary for the seat in southwest Washington that has been represented since 1998 by Brian Baird.

Washington's 3rd CD is a non-gerrymandered swing district. Obama beat McCain in 2008 52-46%, Obama's closest win in the state. Bush took the district, narrowly, in 2000 and 2004. Meanwhile, Baird won re-election with 64%, just around what he did in 2006, 2004 and 2002. It's one of Washington's fastest growing areas-- right across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, especially attractive for people eager to avoid Oregon's income tax and Washington's sales tax. With 15,575 homes estimated to be headed for foreclosure in the next 4 years, it has been harder hit by the housing crisis than most of the state. Very much an economic populist, Craig is a perfect fit for the district. A few days ago we had a long talk about how to put WA-3 back on the road to prosperity.

"I have a strong belief that the best thing government can do to stimulate job growth is to invest in public infrastructure and facilities. We can do some targeted tax incentives for new industries, like green energy, but tax incentives alone are not going to stimulate job growth. Businesses are not going to create jobs and start hiring again until demand for goods and services increases. That means putting money in the hands of working people, not Wall Street...

"We've spent thirty years trying to shift as much of the nation's wealth to the supply side as possible and we've succeeded. We need to get back in balance and fuel the demand side as well. We need to get money percolating through all levels of our economy, not just at the top. Republicans seem to have only one strategy for economic recovery and that's to replace good-paying jobs with bad-paying jobs."

Craig comes from a union family. His grandparents met in Hazard, Kentucky, a classic coal mining company town and his grandfather worked in the mine starting at age 15. He was the smallest kind so he had the job of placing the explosives. When he was 17 a blasting cap went off in his hands. His father had to amputate his fingers on the spot. He got docked a day's pay because he had to get his son to town and wasn't working. Craig's grandfather's lost job wasn't replaced by unemployment insurance or workers' comp; nor was there job retraining. Craig's always been very much in sympathy with working people. His dad is a pulp and paper worker and his mom is a school teacher. Everyone's a union member. It helped me understand why Craig is so adamant about fighting for ordinary families, which I heard in his voice when he talked about the battle over health care.

An overwhelming number of people in this country wanted legitimate health-care reform, including the choice of going to a public option. It wasn't just Republicans who thwarted that reform; it was Democrats too. We need strong, progressive Democrats who are going to fight for what the people want-- not just for insurance companies.

"It's clear to me that we will not get Financial Industry reform without election reform. It's clear to me we won't get progressive health-care reform without election reform. It's clear to me we won't end corporate control of Washington, DC without election reform. I'm looking forward to signing on as a co-sponsor of John Larson's Fair Elections Now Act."

Craig is a 49-year-old highly decorated former military intelligence officer who worked after college as a financial analyst the Clark County Public Works Department before being elected a County Commissioner (beating a Republican incumbent heavily financed by the developers' community. It's how he learned about grassroots campaigning, walking 117 miles eight days, meeting with hundreds of people from battleground and Yacolt to Richfield and Camas. He was re-elected and the challenged another Republican incumbent for a state Senate seat. He was re-elected to that job in 2008 with 62% of the vote.

As a state Senator he wrote and passed one of the first successful pieces of legislation for greenhouse gas caps in the U.S. Senate Bill 6001, in fact, directly prevented the construction of a dirty coal plant in Washington, saving untold numbers of people from asthma, heart disease, cancer and a whole battery of chronic lower respiratory diseases. His two main opponents, the aforementioned Rep. Deb Wallace and a millionaire investor, Denny Heck, are both what are euphemistically called "business-friendly" Democrats. That's what Blue Dogs are called before they grow up to be Republicans in Democratic clothing. Heck, particularly -- who has stated no policy positions on anything but who refers to himself as "the only working capitalist in this race"-- has started raking in a great deal of money from all the wrong sources.

Electing Craig Pridemore is an opportunity to make the House a more progressive place and to elect a leader who doesn't just go along with the flow. The first time I spoke with him he told me that "the conventional wisdom up here is that a Democrat can't win if he/she stands for Democratic values. I am absolutely committed to changing that perception and to make WA-03 a reliable, progressive seat in the future." I hope you'll join me in helping him to do just that-- at the Blue America ActBlue page, where Craig becomes the first candidate we're endorsing this who wasn't a previous endorsee.



Blue America Welcomes Back Alan Grayson for a Live Chat on "Money Bomb" day

In the 2006 cycle the candidate who attracted the most support from Blue America donors was Ned Lamont, with his campaign that served notice on the Democratic Establishment that the grassroots was unwilling to just eat up whatever crap it was served up from Inside the Beltway hacks. Blue America raised over $77,000 for him in our first year in action. The following cycle, saw another inspiring progressive primary challenger, Donna Edwards, attract the most donors and the largest amount (almost $65,000). It may be too early to tell, but it looks like 2010 cycle will mark the year of Alan Grayson. It's still only 2009 but Blue America has already raised over $30,000 for him-- without having even made an official endorsement! We've been collecting contributions for him at No Means No, a page dedicated to members of Congress who voted against Obama's supplemental war budget in June, and at Getting Grayson's Back, a page dedicated to standing up for him when he got GOP noses out of joint by telling the truth about their health care obstructionism.

Today Blue America is joining a netroots money bomb effort on behalf of Grayson, urging our community to band together and answer the Inside-the-Beltway and Villager mentality that says there's no room for a plainspoken truth-teller like Grayson in Congress. Nevermind, they tell you, that he studied economics at Harvard, then worked as an economist, then studied law at Harvard and then successfully pursued war profiteers and Bush cronies in Iraq-- even before being elected to Congress in a Republican district and becoming the scourge of banksters and assorted evil-doers dragged before the House Financial Services committee. No, to the Villagers, he's all about "outlandish rhetoric;" he's "the left's Michele Bachmann;" he's "pugilistic" and a "wing nut."

Rep. Grayson joins us below in the comments section where you can see for yourself he's quickly become the favorite member of Congress of Democrats and independents from across the country. And please, help out with the money bomb today.



Alan Grayson will join C&L and Blue America for a live chat Monday: 12PM EST/ 9 AM PST

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Rep. Alan Grayson will join us on Monday for a quick chat before he heads back to DC as we enter the final stages of health care reform. Please check out his website "Grayson Has Guts."

As you know, he says what's on his mind and it's usually calling republicans out for their gutless behavior.

The RNC, GOP and every other republican/teabagger group have targeted Alan Grayson as enemy number one and they want him defeated at all costs.

We're participating in a "Money Bomb" for him that takes place on November 2, so it'll be great that he'll stop by and chat with us during his insanely busy schedule.

See you all tomorrow....



The media, conservatives and the democratic deficit hawks are telling America that the cost of reforming America's health care system better not add one red cent to the deficit. Why doesn't the librul media explain to America that we are paying 10 billion dollars a month on two wars that Americans hate?

I asked Rep. Alan Grayson on a live chat on C&L how much the US of A spends each month on the wars, and he answered thus:

The appropriated cost is around $10 billion a month, which is enough to pay for the entire health care plan by itself. But that doesn't include the future health care costs for injured American soldiers, which is staggering. Nor the cost to the Iraqis or Afghans, of course.

Our soldiers get killed or maimed by one war that has been botched by Bush and we're no closer to a solution in Afghanistan after eight years of occupation and another war that Bush lied us into known as Iraq. The media is uncomfortable whenever we use the word "lie," for some reason. I wish they could give us a truer description of what happened, don't you?

Yet, the media never bothers to explain to us how much money we are actually spending each month that does NOTHING to help Americans. Well, it does fund the military complex and mercenaries like Blackwater, but why the f*&k does it matter to these budget freaks if we have to spend some jack to save the health-care system in the long run? Have they completely decided that America is staying in both countries endlessly and the costs for sustaining these wars is a non-issue?

UPDATE: You can donate to our "No Means No!" Afghanistan action here.



Alan Grayson, a real maverick, takes on the lack of vacation time and the Fed

Blue American’s Alan Grayson has been a maverick -- I mean the real kind -- since he was elected to Congress when nobody said he had a chance to win except of course Blue America. And he is becoming a real leader and not a follower. First, he’s trying to get a bill passed that really does help working-class America:

Howie Klein:

Alan is introducing a bill, the first in (American) history, that guarantees paid vacations. (France guarantees a month of paid vacation per year.)

The bill's provisions, which are expected to meet stiff opposition from Republicans and Blue Dogs poll exceedingly well among average Americans. Nearly 70% of Americans support the idea. This is what Grayson's legislation would accomplish: • Requires one week of paid vacation for employees of companies with at least 100 employees. Three years after passage, the bill extends this requirement to companies with at least 50 employees, and requires two weeks for companies with 100 employees.

• Covers workers after one year on the job. Part-timers must work 25 or more hours a week and 1250 hours per year to be covered.

Read on.

You can be sure that the Blue Dogs and Evan Bayh’s garrison of phonies will do everything they can to block it, but at least Americans are seeing what a good and better Democrat can do.

Now he’s trying to audit the Federal Reserve to see exactly where the 2 trillion dollars that they dished out went.

Jane Hamsher writes:

Last month Charles Grassley tried to push a bill through the Senate which called for the Fed to be audited, but Richard Shelby watered it down before it passed. Now there are 165 cosponsors of Ron Paul's Federal Reserve Transparency Act in the House, but 135 of them are Republicans. (Bernie Sanders stands alone sponsoring the bill in the Senate.)

Alan Grayson is trying to bring Democrats on board: The Federal Reserve has refused multiple inquiries from both the House and the Senate to disclose who is receiving trillions of dollars from the central banking system. The Federal Reserve has redacted the central terms of the no-bid contracts it has issued to Wall Street firms like Blackrock and PIMCO, without disclosure required of the Treasury, and is participating in new and exotic programs like the trillion-dollar TALF to leverage the Treasury’s balance sheet.

Continue reading »



Republicans target Alan Grayson (D-FL) for his strong progressive voice

It's no coincidence that Republicans are going all out to target first term Orlando Democrat Alan Grayson. Grayson's defeat of entrenched rubber stamp incumbent Ric Keller last year was one of Blue America's most important victories ever. Since entering the House in January Rep. Grayson has made a name for himself standing up for working families and flying right in the face of the powerful banksters who have financed the deregulatory mania Grayson aims to fix.

He's fearless and his tough, aggressive questioning of banksters at the House Financial Services Committee, frightens bribe-besotted Republicans and their crooked patrons. He didn't seen intimidated by Republican efforts to recruit a top tier candidate to run against him. Doesn't this sound exactly like Grayson?

"Any Republican in my district who wants to see what it's like to run for Congress and lose is welcome to do so. But whoever it is, the DCCC will leave welts on his back."

More about Grayson and about how much bluer this district has become at DownWithTyranny. And if you'd like to help us get Grayson's back -- here's the place.




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