Turn Up The Heat On Congress Over FISA

Run, don't walk...

Christy at FDL has all the pertinent numbers.

There has always been a tension between individual liberty and governmental power. National security issues are a natural fault line, given the difficulty of protecting the nation while simultaneously upholding the values of freedom and liberty. And politicians, bless their hearts, always try to find ways to consolidate their power while pretending to do so in the public interest -- and not their own and that of their cronies who benefit in some way from their decisions.

They miscalculated this time regarding how many people in America are paying attention to civil liberties concerns these days. And it is our job to make certain that they learn just how badly they have misjudged this.

It is one of the many reasons we are working so hard to build incentive through our Blue America FISA actions. (You can donate here.)

UPDATE: Sen. Russ Feingold has a factsheet on FISA and why it's a bad deal for Americans.



Congressional Races Update

Mark Kirk (R-IL10): "if we see Obama, there's a shoot-on-sight order". He meant to say Osama, but how many times will we see this mistake from a Republican?

Darcy Burner (WA-08): Darcy is catching up big time on Republican incumbent Dave Reichert. The latest poll has her within 6 points. Reichert knows he's in trouble and has called in the "heavyweights" of the Republican Party to help raise funds, including Gingrich and Boehner. You can fight by donating to Darcy's Blue America account here.

Nancy Boyda (KS-02): The latest polls show Boyda comfortably leading both challengers Ryun and Jenkins.

And finally, in NM-01 and 02, Robert Novak of all people, recognizes that the Republicans are going to have a tough time of it:

New Mexico-1: "This could be a very bad year for Republicans in New Mexico"Together with the likely loss of the U.S. Senate seat, both GOP-held house seats are in danger.

In the Albuquerque seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Heather Wilson (R), Republicans have the benefit of a strong candidate in Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R), but they have the disadvantage of demography and a bad political environment. Democrats have nominated Albuquerque City Councilman Martin Heinrich (D).[..]

Considering only the candidates, White has the edge, but the political landscape seriously favors Heinrich. Bush's name and the GOP brand are dirt in New Mexico.[...]

Because we expect a strong Democratic tide, White's strengths look likely to be wiped out by a Democratic surge. Leaning Democratic Takeover.

New Mexico-2: This is the "Republican district" in New Mexico, but it could be represented by a Democrat next year. In 2004, Bush took 58 percent of this district, which covers the Southern half of the state, but the GOP might have nominated the wrong candidate.

I think we may have cause to celebrate much come November.



Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Naturally) Jokes About The Death Of Hillary Clinton

NW Progressive:

Not only is Dave Reichert an ineffective congressman, but he has a twisted sense of humor, as the Tacoma News Tribune's Niki Sullivan reports:

Right now, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is up. He repeated a joke I first heard him tell at the Pierce County Republicans' Lincoln Day breakfast earlier this year. It involves an airplane that's going to crash, one fewer parachute than passengers and, ultimately, Hillary Clinton dying.

It sounds, as David Goldstein observes, like an unoriginal, crass schoolyard joke I used to hear all the time from classmates when I was younger and attending elementary school. [..] The punch line relies on the assumption that the adult in question is stupid.

Now, Reichert or anybody else can argue that Hillary Clinton is ambitious, or stubborn, or shameless, but she is certainly not dumb.

To her credit, she's exceptionally sharp and calculating in addition to being determined... and that has carried her a very long way.

Joking about the death of one of the two Democrats seeking the presidency, if not inappropriate, is certainly not classy, and is further evidence that Dave Reichert himself does not have good judgment.

Perhaps this is because he isn't truly invested in his job.

He doesn't work hard on Capitol Hill, his campaign is ambling or meandering along at a lazy pace, and he's frequently careless with his choice of words. Last cycle his campaign finished with a condescending, sexist TV ad.

Reichert is running against Blue America candidate Darcy Burner. Please considering helping Darcy's campaign so we can show Reichert out the door.



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.



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with the Flaming Lips

Tomorrow our Blue America candidate is an extraordinary state senator from Oklahoma, Andrew Rice, a seminary school graduate who is firmly anchored in basic progressive values and principles. And he's taking on one of the most reactionary maniacs in the entire U.S. Senate, Jim "No Such Thing As Global Warming" Inhofe. Make your way over to Firedoglake tomorrow at 1pm Central Time (11am here on the West Coast) and get involved with the live chat between Andrew and members of the Blue America Community. You can also contribute to his campaign on our Blue America page.

We asked him what his favorite music is and he told us he's always singing Woody Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills" to his kids but that among contemporary bands, he's got some constituents he's very gung-ho over: the Flaming Lips. In fact here's a live version of "She Don't Use Jelly" recorded right there in Oklahoma City.



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Simon & Garfunkel

(Guest blogged by Howie Klein)

As we sometimes do, we asked tomorrow's Blue America candidate to tell us about his favorite music. Tomorrow Rancho Cucamonga businessman Russ Warner will be over at Firedoglake at 11am (PT) explaining why he'd be a better bet to represent his L.A.-area congressional district than rubber stamp incumbent David Dreier.

But put politics aside for a moment and let's just get into Russ' head on a music level. I asked him to give us a song that has been a real inspiration in his life. He didn't hesitate for a moment. "I was driving in a car, maybe 1970 or so; someone had given me an 8-track," he recalled with a laugh. "The message was so powerful, I had to pull over so I could hear every word. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel describe who we are at our core of humanity. Everyone has problems and everyone needs a bridge and a helping hand at one time or another. It's something every one of us has in common regardless of political party." You've probably guessed Russ' favorite song by now:

If you'd like to win a beautifully embroidered "Impeach Cheney?" baseball cap tell us if there's a song that has meant something like this in your life and why. Entries to downwithtyranny@aol.com



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Paul McCartney

(guest blogged by Howie Klein)

The first time I met David Kahne he was sweeping floors at a recording studio in San Francisco. At the time, I had a small indie label, 415 Records. A few weeks later he brought me a tape of a song he recorded with a local band, Pearl Harbor & the Explosions, when the studio had some down time. The song put my company-- and him -- on the map.

David, who is now a consistent Blue America supporter, went on to win grammies and produce records for lots of artists including The Bangles, Romeo Void, Sublime, Tony Bennett, Fishbone, Sugar Ray, Wilco, k.d. lang, 311, Regina Spektor, Orgy, The Strokes, and, finally, his musical hero: Paul McCartney. He's worked with Paul on Driving Rain, Freedom, From A Lover to a Friend, Back in the U.S., Back in the World, and, now the newest McCartney release, Memory Almost Full, Paul's first release that won't be on Capitol/EMI. Here's the debut single, "Dance Tonight:"

Cool, huh? If you're as excited about this release as we are, take a look at the EPK they put together. Our pals over at Concord have donated 5 Deluxe packages of the album to the Late Nite Music Club so tonight we're looking for five winners, not one. Just send us an e-mail telling us what you think the significance is of Paul McCartney, one of the best-known names in music anywhere, becoming an "indie artist," rather than recording for a major corporate label. Send it to downwithtyranny@aol.com



Dan Gerstein: A Permanent Blog Stalker

dangerstein1.jpg Gerstein has a problem with my friend, Jane Hamsher. Yes, Hillary Clinton blogged at FDL. It made sense: discuss equal pay on a blog that is run by strong, progressive women. I'm asking other candidates to come on our Blue America team to discuss other progressive issues as I blog right now and that has irked old Dan. I wonder how long it will take Lieberman's good pal Sean Hannity to pick up on this? He needs help. I'm starting a new 12-step program for politicos that have no political life left except to attack bloggers.

And he can't get his facts straight. Forget her movie credits, now Jane is best known for changing the way "trials" and events will be covered. FDL's live blogging of the Scooter Libby trial was incredible and she got a front page article from the NY Times about it. But he's not going to give credit to a top-tier blogger whose tireless work gave Ned Lamont the Democratic ticket in Connecticut, since it proved how out of touch Dan was with the Democratic voters in his work for Holy Joe. He's completely irrelevant to the netroots and what's new and refreshing in politics today and it makes him sulky. He's not alone.

I feel for you, Dan. I can help you if you let me. But the first step is understanding you've hit bottom and admitting you have a problem.

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A C&L Happy New Year

cl_logo1a.gif Happy New Year!!!!

For 2007---I'm going to keep exposing the media smears as best as I can and just echo Duncan's words:

And, I suppose this is as good a time as any for my occasional reminder as we enter the silly season. Ads appearing on this site by candidates are paid ads and do not imply any support or endorsement by me. I actually don't expect to get behind one candidate or another, though that could change, especially if suitcases filled with money appear on my doorstep. I'll try to do my best to avoid at least some of the food fight once it begins, though I'm human and have opinions and happen to write a blog about politics, so I imagine I'll get sucked in at times.

I'll definitely give my opinions about the policies candidates support and the way they try to deliver their message. And, of course, I'll be busy trying to push back against unfair media smears of any of the candidates. But, again, the fact that I praise or defend candidate X does not mean I've joined their team.

Bob Somerby nails the Authenticity narrative perfectly:

Which of the hopefuls is most authentic? We have an answer to that: STFU! If we Democrats have an ounce of sense, we’ll steer the discussion toward serious topics—topics which are less subjective. In the past fifteen years, the public has generally agreed with Dems on the vast range of major issues. For that reason, Republicans wants to talk “authenticity”—and so does your script-reading press corps...read the entire post...

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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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