Anything can happen

Today You And The Billionaires Have The Same Number Of Votes-- One

So today's the big day, the culmination of months of hard work by progressives around the country. We have heard from every pollster, pundit and prognosticator and now it's down to citizens exercising the franchise and counting their votes.

There are some good signs for some of our Blue America stalwarts and we are hopeful that all of them will pull out a win. (In any case, we can all take some heart in the fact that many more Blue Dogs are going to go live in a nice farm in the country, if you know what I mean.)

And anything can happen. Just 12 years ago we were all going into a mid-term election assuming huge losses due to what the hysterical media told us was a national repudiation of the president over a ginned up hissy fit. Here's what happened:

For political observers of any stripe, the results of Election '98 were practically unthinkable as Democrats defied precedent and most predictions to gain five House seats, two statehouses, while holding their own in the Senate. Only once since the Civil War has a sitting president's party gained congressional seats in a midterm election, and since 1938, the party controlling the White House has lost an average of 44 seats. Add that to the Lewinsky scandal, and members of both parties figured 1998 to be a year of greater Republican dominance in Congress and the statehouses. For the White House, which faces a GOP-led impeachment inquiry in the House, the results could hardly have been more gratifying.

Polls are usually fairly good at detecting trends and maybe all the doom and gloom will come to pass. But each race has its own logic. And elections like that (and the next one in 2000) remind us all that no matter what, you have to vote.

And if the spectre of two years of gridlock and hearings and trumped up scandals doesn't move you to vote, then maybe this video called "What have the Democrats done for you?" will:

As you know, Blue America is in this movement for the long haul and we expect that there will be triumphs and disappointments. But we believe that by keeping our eyes on the prize, over time, with your help, we will change our politics and our country for the better. We want to thank all of you for everything you've done this year to help support and elect progressives like Alan Grayson, Justin Coussoule, Billy Kennedy, Mary Jo Kilroy, Raul Grijalva and all the other Blue America endorsees. We can tell you also that these progressive candidates know that you are out there and are profoundly grateful for the support they get from you when the going gets tough. And we are too.

Thank you,
Howie, John, digby and the Blue America team



Raul Grijalva has your back on foreclosure fraud. Will you have his on November 2nd?

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Mortgage reform is not a second tier or niche issue. The economy we’re facing now is in part a direct result of the housing collapse brought on by predatory lending and irresponsible policies. I’m proud to have voted for the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which clamps down on these abuses, and will continue to fight for homeowner protections as long as I’m in Congress." --- Raul Grijalva

Raul Grijalva has been speaking out early and often about the greatest banking fraud scandal in American history. Unlike virtually every national Republican, he and other fighting Democrats came out swinging against these fraud merchants from the moment it became clear that banks and mortgage companies were so corrupt and inept that they were foreclosing on homes they didn't even own. (That's also known as stealing.)

His Republican opponent Ruth McClung will never stand up to these interests. Helping average people fight against powerful corporations goes against everything she believes in. After all, she belongs to a party that has been struck dumb in the face of this massive foreclosure fraud, so compromised by their ties to big business and Wall Street that they can't even speak up for average Americans whose homes are literally being stolen out from under them.

Progressive Democrats like Raul Grijalva are the ones out in front, asking for answers, demanding accountability while Republicans are doing everything they can to protect the banks.

If you want someone who isn't afraid to take on the big corporate interests, someone who isn't afraid to take on entrenched political power, who isn't afraid ... period, you'll vote for Raul Grijalva. He's got your back. Won't you get his?

You can donate to his campaign to help him fight the good fight, here.



Earlier today we asked you to consider helping us get our Virginia Foxx ad on TV in northwestern North Carolina. Several people have asked me to contrast Foxx with the Democrat running for the seat she presently occupies, Billy Kennedy, one of the first candidates endorsed by Blue America this year. Rather than go over old ground or republishing one of the half dozen posts we've done on Billy and his campaign, we called him and asked him about how he differs from Foxx on the issue foremost in the minds of ordinary American families-- getting the economy back on its feet again. "Let me get this straight," he started... "if the Republicans have their way, they would take us back to the worst economic policies of the last century by keeping tax cuts for millionaires. I say we just can’t afford it. We have work to do." He sent me this video of his opponent spewing her lies on the floor of the House and asked me to share it today:

Virginia Foxx is great at talking about lowering taxes and controlling government spending, but her rhetoric is just revisionist history. Here are a few of the facts:

• In June 2001, the first of the Republican tax cuts was signed. Three years later, there were 600,000 fewer jobs in our economy.

• The tax cuts at the high end have not produced any jobs. In fact, in Virginia Foxx’s own district, unemployment in Western NC’s 5th district has gone from 5.1% the year Virginia Foxx was elected to 11.2% in 2010. Of the past 12 presidents, the top six in terms of job creation were all Democrats.

• It’s no coincidence that 84 percent of the debt incurred since 1980 has been under Republican Presidents. Republican presidents haven’t balanced a budget in the past 34 years.

• Congressional Republicans’ plan to permanently extend the millionaires’ tax cuts would add $4 trillion dollars to the deficit over the next ten years, doubling the deficit, and irresponsibly leaving the bill for our grandchildren to pay.

Goal ThermometerIf the tax cuts for millionaires are left to expire, as few as 1-3% of small businesses would be subject to higher taxes, including Rep. Foxx, the wealthiest member of the NC delegation in Congress. But under her plan the rest of us are left holding the bill. Americans must make tough choices, she’ll say, but the sacrifices won’t be made by her or her wealthy pals.

If Congress keeps coddling the nation's wealthiest few, this will mean an astronomical $830 billion give-away to these millionaires! We must put an end to the increasing government debt - which has been growing steadily since the 1980’s."

What you don’t get with Virginia Foxx is the complete truth. She will tell you what you want to hear-- even at the expense of the working people she supposedly represents.

There are several ways you can help Billy beat Foxx today. One would be to hit the thermometer and donate to the Blue America ad campaign our PAC is running against Foxx as of today. The other would be to donate directly to Billy's campaign here.



Republicans fear George Bush's new book could influence the midterms

It's all coming into place. My hope that America would be reminded that the mess our country is in is a direct result of George W. Bush's administration is actually coming true. I know the grand poobahs of the GOP have kept George locked in the basement for almost two years. I was pushing for President Obama and Congress to make a point to tell America that they are trying to clean up the mess they were left with via Bush & Cheney, but they've been ineffective on that front. I've written about it and so have many other bloggers, but who would have thought that it would be Republicans and George Bush himself who would lead the charge?


The Atlantic:

"Monumentally bad timing."

According to former Bush aide Matt Latimer, that's the Republican reaction to the news that former president George W. Bush will release his memoir, Decision Points, the week after the 2010 midterm elections. Yes, the races will be decided by the time the book hits stores, but as with any major print release, a slew of excerpts are sure to be leaked in the weeks prior to Nov. 2. Latimer gives his take on The Daily Beast, reporting on Democrats who are "gleeful" at the news, Republicans who are on the fence about it, and what Bush himself might be thinking:

The former president, who I knew to be an often "misunderestimated" politician, may indeed think his book will help his party--by setting the record straight. (There are parts of that record that can use some plain old Texas clarifyin'.) Undoubtedly some people will look more kindly on the Bush years now than they did at the time, particularly on national security. But the problem is that Bush himself will not be able to make his case before the elections. As with most high-profile books, W. will likely be embargoed from talking until his book is released--far too late to change the minds of any voters.

I love this reaction to the news that the Bush Memoirs are being released in November:

One prominent conservative compared the Bushies'
public-relations savvy to LeBron James.

Last night a fan at a Cleveland/Yankee game had to be escorted out of the stadium because he wore a LeBron Miami Heat jersey in Cleveland. Here's the reaction.

I hope this is the same reaction Americans will have to 'The Bush Book Bomb."

In the meantime, if the Obama administration has their way in the media, the weeks before the election could be about revisiting issues the party still has nightmares about: Why didn't we find WMD in Iraq? Did the Bush administration drop the ball on Afghanistan? What did the administration do to stave off the collapse of our economy? Was Alan Greenspan right that the Bush-led Republicans "deserved to lose"? Not to mention Katrina and "Heckuva job, Brownie" and prisoner-abuse scandals and on and on—discussed by the same cast of characters from Rove to Perino to Gillespie who presided when Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama came to power in the first place.

How soon will it be before Rahm Emanuel and James Carville circulate excerpts of Decision Points to major media outlets to get that conversation started? Maybe they'll even co-host the former president's book party.

My hope is that Meet The Press, Face The Nation, FAUX News Sunday, This Week and many others will have George Bush on for a lengthy interview so he can tout his book. Keep your fingers crossed.




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