Blue America Welcomes Our Old Friend Alan Grayson Back For A Live Chat

Congressman Grayson's clip above is positively existential. It's hard to believe it's coming from a Member of Congress. Of course, it's hard to believe there's a Member of Congress of Alan Grayson's calibre. And I get the feeling there are an awful lot of people in the Orlando area who know just how lucky they are. On the other hand, Alan has drawn a veritable circus sideshow of opponents, each one fringier and more insane than the other. Tomorrow is primary day in Florida and we'll be watching with interest as a small number of disheartened and disillusioned Republicans pick over the 4th and 5th tier candidates hoping for the nomination-- from Patricia Sullivan who (publicly) claims Sarah Palin as a role model, Dan Fanelli who proudly (and publicly) flies his racist flag for everyone to see, to the kook, Ross Bieling, whose platform is impeaching President Obama and the hate talk radio guy, Todd Long, who was found passed out drunk one morning in front of a local elementary school to a state legislator, Kurt Kelly, who disgraced himself last month by interpreting Rep. Grayson's efforts to bring the troops home to safety as wanting them to die and then to the feeble fave of the Establishment, Dan Webster, who's best known for pushing a radical religious agenda that has included ending the right of divorce and introducing the legislation that started the whole tragic Terri Schiavo debacle. And on top of that the Florida TEA Party has nominated Peg Dunmire, someone even nuttier than that crew -- well, not nuttier than Fanelli -- running as well.

Goal ThermometerAnd then there's Alan Grayson, probably the most beloved and effective champion of ordinary working families of any Member of the House. Today's the climax of a moneybomb his campaign launched a few days ago. Blue America has our own goal for Alan's campaign, an even $50,000. As you can see from the thermometer on the right, we're more than two-thirds there. I hope you watched the video up top. It knocked me out. Here's some of what Orlando's greatest gift to America had to say:

There are two groups in this country right now. I call those groups Us, and Them.

We want more jobs, better schools, better health, better pensions, and we want to keep our homes. We want not just jobs but jobs that mean something, jobs that pay a decent wage. We want to live a good life.

And then there's them. They simply have one goal and one goal only. And that is to destroy the government. They're not conservatives. They're anarchists.

I don't know why they want anarchy. In fact, they don’t know, either. Even they don't know what kind of inner darkness causes them to seek wars without end, to burn the planet, to welcome poverty for so many, to leave the old and the sick helpless, to cheer oil in the Gulf. I've spoken to enough of them to be able to tell you that they themselves don’t know why.

But that's what they want. So, now we have to decide who is going to run this country. Is it Us, or is it Them? And what's at stake is the future. The future in a country that my five children will live in, that your children will live in, that you'll live in for the rest of your life.

Are we going to have a country with a decent middle class life for everyone-- jobs, health care, roads, schools? Or, are we going to have poverty, cheap labor, helplessness and hopelessness? The choice is yours.

I think President Obama feels much the same way. I wish he had the guts to say it the way Alan Grayson does. Please, if you only contribute to one campaign this year, it's Alan Grayson who has earned that honor. Please join us below in the comments section to participate in a love blogging session with Congressman Alan Grayson.



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.



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....




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