DownWithTumblr

BLUE AMERICA: Targeted Contributions Now Will Determine The Results November 6 

blueamerica:

The End Of The Quarter Approacheth, And…

Let’s prove to the DCCC what we already know: focused effort in strategic districts reap maximum rewards (plus wins for Progressive Democrats.) What you donate to our Independent Expenditure page will absolutely make a difference November 6. Please…

blueamerica:

An Eric Clapton/B.B. King Platinum Award Is Priceless— 

A Patsy Keever Win Would Be Too

When I was a teenager I worked at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village for a stint and in 1967 I saw Eric Clapton, then 22 and a member of Cream, perform with American blues great, B.B. King. More than 30 years later I was the president of Reprise Records when Eric told me he had gone into the studio with B.B., who he idolizes, and they had recorded several songs. This turned into a collaborative album, Riding With The King, which hit #1 on the Billboard blues chart, #3 on the Billboard album chart, sold over 2 million copies and won a Grammy Award. The RIAA certified the album “double platinum” in 2000 and the custom award plaque is one of the most aesthetically beautiful RIAA awards ever made. Only a small handful were given out and, of course, it was never sold or made available to the public.

Eric and B. B. gave me one. I want to use it to help raise some money for one of the most deserving progressives running anywhere in America, Rep. Patsy Keever, an intrepid Democrat taking on Wall Street shill Patrick McHenry. Patsy’s record as a representative of the NC legislature showed she is a staunch believer in helping working families, standing up for civil rights and including everyone in our America. We invite you to listen to a music video from “Riding With the King” as you ponder how big a donation you can give to help get Patsy elected.

Another fighter for working families from North Carolina, Brad Miller, is supporting Patsy’s run. He told us that “The contrast between Patsy and Patrick McHenry couldn’t be greater. Patsy is a respected community leader, not a self-promoting political operative. Patsy has strong progressive instincts grounded in her understanding of what people’s lives are really like.”

I never talked with either Eric or B. B. about politics and don’t know where they stand on the issues… but they did cover Charlie “Hoss” Singleton’s classic “Help the Poor” on Riding With The King— and they’re both very decent, generous human beings so… I’ll just jump to the logical conclusion.

To get a chance to wind up with this plaque on your wall, just contribute to Patsy’s campaign— any amount— at this ActBlue page. We’ll randomly select one person to thank by sending him or her the plaque.

McHenry is widely considered one of the worst Members of Congress and his record shows him to be a total shill for Wall Street’s corrupt banksters. On issue after issue after issue, Patsy Keever is showing the voters how they differ. “Patrick McHenry,” she told North Carolina voters last week, “wants to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system that would cost seniors at minimum an additional six thousand dollars a year for their health care. I want to keep our promise to our seniors and protect the current Medicare benefits that they have earned by paying into the program throughout their lifetimes.”

Clear and simple, so there can be no confusion in voters’ minds who’s with them and… who’s not. Please consider standing with Patsy today and contributing whatever you can spare. And if you wind up with an Eric Clapton/B. B. King collectible, all the better. You can contribute by clicking on this link or by sending a check to Blue America at P.O. Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA 90027. And if you want a chance to win the award plaque but don’t have even a dollar to spare, just send us a note to that P.O. Box and we’ll include you’re name as well.

We are all in this together,
Howie, for Digby, John, and the Blue America team

blueamerica:

The “Grand Bargain” isn’t shared sacrifice, it’s human sacrifice.

Blue America mandate: Prosperity Economics.

Please help us elect candidates who will go to Washington with a mandate for Prosperity not Austerity. We desperately need fearless progressive voices in the congress who will stand up for working families and the poorest and most vulnerable among us. Last week we alerted you to professor Jacob Hacker’s manifesto called Prosperity Economics and asked you to take a look at what could be the blueprint for a progressive approach to our nation’s economic problems. We believe this is a plan that can restore growth, reverse inequality and revitalize our democracy. It will even cut the deficit without resorting to slashing vital government services and the already frayed and weakened social insurance programs.

Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the plan of many in the Democratic Party which remains focused on Grand Bargains, “balanced approaches” and Simpson-Bowles, all of which are basically conservative con games devised to slash government at the worst possible time. These Democrats have inexplicably defined victory in these negotiations not as the preservation of vital government programs but winning a nominal tax hike for the wealthiest Americans in exchange for their cooperation in cutting the safety net. Unfortunately for the American people, the Republicans seem to be seeing their winning hand: GOP moneybags David Koch revealed this week that he would be in favor of the tax increases. If his congressional minions follow suit, the Democrats may get their “victory.” Unfortunately, the people will lose, and lose big.

This is why we must have a progressive bloc in congress that is willing to stand up to both parties in cases like this and be the bulwark against a raid on important government services in the name of austerity. This is why we need our Blue America candidates to be elected this November.

Just as we asked you to look at Prosperity Economics, we asked them too. And the response was remarkable. You can read them all at this page . Alan Grayson had this to say:

“This coming election is too important to be about nothing. And that is why Jacob Hacker and Nate Loewentheil’s “Prosperity Economics” platform is important— it’s not nothing, it’s something. Something big. For a Democratic victory to be meaningful, for it to create a “mandate,” we owe it to America to explain what we would do with that victory. We need to make some promises, and then do our darnedest to try to keep them. “Prosperity Economics” is a coherent, comprehensive plan that offers the hope— the essential hope— of leading us out of the wilderness.”

This is where the Democrats should be planting their flag. Agreeing to cut vital government programs including Social Security and Medicare in order to obtain some tip money from millionaires isn’t “shared sacrifice” —- it’s human sacrifice. Up until now the Tea Partiers in Congress have refused to take yes for an answer. But if David Koch is now willing to accept some token tax hikes you can be sure the Republicans are waking up to how foolish that stance is.

No matter who wins the presidency and the majority after November’s election, the nation will be facing the GOP’s well-laid trap of the so-called “fiscal cliff.” And unless there is a bloc of Democrats willing to demand Prosperity instead of Austerity there is a very good chance we will be thrown into another recession, just as our British friends across the pond faced when their government chose the slash government in the midst of an epic slump. And even if we manage to dodge that bullet, we will have more slow growth, rising inequality and the further degradation of our vital social safety net. It is the wrong prescription for the Democratic Party and the people of this country.

You can help by helping elect these progressive House candidates who will come to Congress with Prosperity Economics as their mandate. We urge you to read their comments at Blue America’s Americans for REAL Prosperity page and give what you can.

We simply must make our voices heard in Washington on this important issue

PROGRESSIVE LEADERSHIP… EVOLVING

Blue America has been especially thankful this cycle that progressive champions— particularly Raúl Grijalva and Alan Grayson— have been lending a much-needed hand to progressive challengers all over the country. As co-chair of the Progressive Caucus and a proven fighter for working families, Grijalva’s endorsement has become the gold standard for first-time candidates looking for credibility with national progressive donors. And now he’s working towards institutionalizing this through the Progressive Caucus itself, which is expected to start endorsing candidates next week. As for Grayson, there isn’t another Democrat anywhere in the country who has been as generous in helping to raise money— both for his old colleagues (like Dennis Kucinich, John Lewis, Jesse Jackson, Jr. etc) and for a wide range of progressive challengers. In the past this function has been attended to by corrupt careerists like Steny Hoyer, Joe Crowley, Wasserman-Schultz, etc. Grayson is setting an example for progressives to help each other. And today something extraordinary happened. Michigan progressive activist, Trevor Thomas, sent a fund-raising letter to his own donor list, 130,000 people, thanking them for the support they gave his campaign and asking them to contribute to the campaign of Dr. Lee Rogers in California. Trevor and Lee see eye to eye on the issues and both are committed young Democrats but there’s something else that unites them as well. Trevor:

"Dr. Lee Rogers is up against extreme, Republican Congressman Buck McKeon who is also the chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. I’ll never forget Buck because when I was working on the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ he did everything possible to stop our efforts, along with his notoriously anti-choice record on women’s rights and his strong opposition to helping kids stay in the U.S. through the DREAM Act. Please stand with Dr. Rogers— an amazing progressive— and offer your support today. Together, we can help Dr. Rogers win and turn the U.S. House blue.
Blue America has activated a special Trevor Thomas Backs Lee Rogers ActBlue page to collect contributions. Please consider helping out. Lee is an independent-minded Democrat who isn’t beholden to the corrupt Beltway organizations. This will help allow him stick to his guns on important bills that come up in Congress, represent his constituents and help make him impervious to the blandishments of party bosses.

blueamerica:

When voters in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District head to the polls in November they will be presented with a stark choice. On the Republican line will be a far right-wing libertarian being backed by Ron and Rand Paul and on the Democratic line will be a pragmatic progressive that has spent his entire life dedicated to saving and improving lives.

This week Blue America is endorsing that pragmatic progressive Democrat, Dr. Syed Taj and he’ll be joining us for a live chat at CrooksandLiars.com on Wednesday, 2pm (ET). Normally we meet our candidates on Tuesdays but Dr. Taj informed me he meets with his patients on Tuesdays at that time. The excuse says a lot about who he is and what motivates him.

Dr. Taj needs our help to make sure every voter in the 11th District knows just how stark the differences are between him and the crackpot running against him. Please donate what you can to his campaign today, and don’t forget to join us Wednesday at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific for a lively hour of discussion on how we move our country FORWARD.

We’re all in this together,

Scott Brown is the Wall Street shill running against consumer protection advocate Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Today he mentioned that he has “secret meetings with kings and queens” everyday.

One of Blue America’s earliest forays into electoral campaigning besides raising money for progressives came in 2006 when we got together with Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher from the Squirrel Nut Zippers along with the legendary singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones, storied music producer Andy Paley and talented videographer Mike McIntee to come up with an iconic song we were able to use in over a dozen congressional campaigns, Have You Had Enough? 

This week, the folks behind DefeatMcKeon.com approached us about working together on a new version of the song. Considering that there isn’t a worse Republican up for reelection who’s likely to be defeated, we were only too glad to join in. The result is the video you can watch— and hopefully spread— up top. And if you’d like to help us get this 30 second clip up on local cable TV, please consider contributing to our I.E. PAC here.

I thought this might be a good time to take another look at why Rickie Lee and the guys from the Squirrel Nut Zippers decided to record the song in the first place. Let’s start with the note Rickie Lee sent me, late summer, 2006:

At this point, it might be easy for someone like me to say ‘why bother? He got his two terms (albeit illegally), the damage is done, our economy is wrecked, our ecology is three steps backwards, our domestic policy is “every man for himself,” and our foreign policy reads something like “how do say that in English, buster?” Our standing as a military power is forever tainted, and our flag, as a beckon for freedom if only to ourselves, is tattered and sad.’  

So why kick them out now? Because, they can still do a lot of damage. Because, they deserve to be expelled. Because, they have committed crimes far more grievous than the last guy, with his 80% approval rating, whom they scalded, bewildered and ultimately defeated with a relentless media campaign. I mean, looking back, it wasn’t Clinton who was defeated. It was us, the Americans who elected him, who stood up to the bullies. So they impeached him because we, the people, just wouldn’t go along with it. Where is the media now, when there are REAL criminals in office? 

You can hear the voices of the people on the Internet. Where is one echo in the media? Imagine, if a sweet little song rallied the folks to storm their local newspaper or TV station and say ”HEY, how about putting our point of view on now? Except that there would be no one there, since Clear Channel bought up most of the radio stations and has a clear right wing agenda. How about the newspaper? No, Rupert Murdock, an Australian, seems to own most of the American news organizations. No, whatever fear you have of his regime, it cannot stop you from letting Bush know you that are furious with him and his criminal entourage.

Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher are best known as musicians and songwriters for the Squirrel Nut Zippers. But they were the original creative impetus behind the whole “Have You Had Enough?” project. Tom, whose good nature and modesty is so endearing:

The goal, obviously, is for this song to get a lot of attention and air play. We want to use the machine to further our political goal of minimizing, if not annihilating, the comprehensive assault on our institutions of government. Although I can admit to a certain parochial thrill at the attention, it’s far more reassuring to be part of a much larger gestalt. Certainly, by working with such powerhouses as Rickie Lee and Howie Klein, I have stayed true to my operating principle of being the weakest link in the musical chain!

And so this song is dedicated to you: the politicians whom we support, who have decided it can and must be done better, the bloggers, who helped me articulate my inchoate rage and frustration and thus informed these lyrics, the selfless volunteers “in the trenches,” who do the most important but decidedly unglamorous GOTV work, and the all of those “who hunger and thirst for righteousness’ sake,” who may have resigned themselves to valid, but ultimately illusory, feelings of despair and powerlessness.

Our name is legion, and we have had enough.

The other former Squirrel Nut Zipper and half of Maxwell-Mosher, Ken Mosher, like so many of us, is both hoping for a leader to help us change direction and, simultaneously, taking matters into his own hands in the hope of pushing that along. 

I honestly thought back in November of 1988, when I worked for MoPIRG and did volunteer work for the now-defeated Michael Dukakis and the Democratic Party, that things couldn’t be worse for our country.

Then in 1997, when the Squirrel Nut Zippers played one of the Clinton Inaugural Balls, I thought that things couldn’t be better.

Now in 2006, we have truly reached a bottom for this country and our international relations. We need leaders to turn this nation around, and to get there, we need all citizens to come out of the woodwork, activate and demand that we change the direction of the country.

Have YOU had enough?

Who’s Paying For The Right’s War Against Democracy? You Are

At Netroots Nation today, Paul Krugman applauded the blogging community for boycotting the companies that finance the anti-democracy organization ALEC, which is working to introduce fascism to America. Many companies that have been financing ALEC have now stopped. One conglomerate that will never stop, of course, is Koch Industries. The same way that the Koch father financed the John Birch Society in the ’50s, the Koch brothers are financing ALEC and the GOP today. When you buy products from any Koch companies, you’re arming them for their fight against democracy. That doesn’t make you a bad person. This information is not advertised to you. Besides, if you have a life and things to do, it’s hard to keep track of everything. I understand.

There is only one thing we can do besides voting (please do this).

We must start a boycott movement.

Not just a boycott, but a boycott movement. Don’t boycott for a month. Boycott forever.

If you bring down the ones funding fascism, you bring down fascism’s latest thrust into America. 

We need to go big or go home. We need a nationwide boycott of those trying buy this country out from underneath us.

KOCH Industries contributed $2,147,513 to the Republican Party™ in 2010 and are a major force behind the Teaparty™ and the Wisconsin GOP’s™ Anti-Union jihad. Since then they have contributed even more. Every time we buy a Koch-made product, we put money directly into their campaign against our families and friends.

KOCH Industries products include…

Angel Soft® toilet paper

Brawny® paper towels

Quilted Northern® toilet paper

Soft n’ Gentle® toilet paper

Dixie® plates, bowls, napkins, & cups

Mardi Gras® napkins and towels

Sparkle® napkins

Vanity Fair® napkins

Zee® Napkins

Georgia-Pacific® paper products, lumber and building products

INVISTA® products

Lycra® products

Stainmaster® Carpet

Not along ago we discussed why we ought to look for alternatives to Republican Party funding operations like Gold’s Gym and the Omni hotel chain. Among the other funders of American fascism are AT&T, Fox, Aflac, UPS, ExxonMobil, Target, Home Depot and CitiGroup. It’s something we need to revisit every so often.

Today, over at DownWithTyranny we looked into House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon’s relationship with armaments manufacturers and war contractors. Short version: he takes their bribes and votes for their agenda. Time for the folks in Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley to vote him  out and replace him with Dr. Lee Rogers.

Do ALL The Members Of The House Financial Services Committee Take Bribes From The Banksters?

"Contributions from parties with an interest in legislation are really nothing but bribes. Sure, it’s legal for the most part. Sure, everyone in Washington does it. Sure it’s the way the system works. It’s one of Washington’s dirty little secrets— but it’s bribery just the same."- Jack Abramoff, Republican Party bribery expert

There are certain committees, congressmembers love getting on— and sometimes pay to get on— especially the committees that play a role in regulating big-money industries, like Agriculture, the Military Industrial Complex, Health Care and, most of all, Finance. Finance has paid out bigger bribes to Congress than any other sector— by far. Since 1989, the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector has ponied up $1,710,713,286 in congressional races. This cycle, they’ve given $135,085,054 so far. The numbers are so big, they’re almost incomprehensible. But to the banksters, this kind of cash is an investment, an investment that pays enormous dividends— like, for example, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which helped make lots of millionaires multimillionaires and some multimillionaires into billionaires. It was also very lucrative for a number of congressmen, particularly members of the House Financial Services Committee.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that members of the Financial Services Committee who take large bribes from the banksters are entitled to a fair trial before they’re thrown in prison. And yet, they almost all do take large bribes from the banksters. Among the biggest donors within the sector this year are:

Goldman Sachs

Bain Capitol

Citadel Investment Group

National Assn of Realtors

Bank of America

JPMorgan Chase & Co

PricewaterhouseCoopers 

New York Life Insurance

Morgan Stanley

Wells Fargo

Below is a simple list. These are the memvers of the House Financial Services Committee and how much they took this cycle from the Finance Sector. Only Boehner ($2,269,358) and Cantor ($1,051,900) have taken more than Spencer Bachus this year. The names bolded are the committeemembers who are notorious bribe takers and who trade their votes for cash. Each of them belongs in prison… for a long time.


Spencer Bachus, R-AL, Chairman ($1,041,825)

Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, Vice Chairman ($708,347)

Peter King, R-NY ($166,300)

Edward Royce, R-CA ($681,685)

Frank Lucas, R-OK ($154,500)

Ron Paul, R-TX ($872,406)

Donald Manzullo, R-IL ($162,729)

Walter Jones, R-NC ($43,000)

Judy Biggert, R-IL ($374,094)

Gary Miller, R-CA ($146,970)

Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV ($240,700)

Scott Garrett, R-NJ ($630,370)

Randy Neugebauer, R-TX ($383,683)

Patrick McHenry, R-NC ($295,350)

John Campbell, R-CA ($292,750)

Michele Bachmann, R-MN ($262,213)

Thaddeus G. McCotter, R-MI ($103,250)

Kevin McCarthy, R-CA ($649,247)

Stevan Pearce, R-NM ($91,550)

Bill Posey, R-FL ($167,050)

Michael Fitzpatrick, R-PA ($208,750)

Lynn Westmoreland, R-GA ($191,635)

Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-MO ($234,385)

Bill Huizenga, R-MI ($183,790)

Sean Duffy, R-WI ($272,684)

Nan Hayworth, R-NY ($503,371)

James Renacci, R-OH ($299,484)

Robert Hurt, R-VA ($262,982)

Robert Dold, R-IL ($635,350)

David Schweikert, R-AZ ($359,000)

Michael Grimm, R-NY ($421,281)

Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R-TX ($304,226)

Steve Stivers, R-OH ($508,210)

Stephen Fincher, R-TN ($303,813)

Barney Frank, D-MA, Ranking Member ($285,250)

Maxine Waters, D-CA ($19,200)

Carolyn Maloney, D-NY ($409,323)

Luis Gutierrez, D-IL ($58,750)

Nydia Velázquez, D-NY ($116,000)

Melvin Watt, D-NC ($103,750)

Gary Ackerman, D-NY ($107,100)

Brad Sherman, D-CA ($217,400)

Gregory Meeks, D-NY ($197,000)

Michael Capuano, D-MA ($60,350)

Rubén Hinojosa, D-TX ($26,700)

William Lacy Clay, D-MO ($58,850)

Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY ($214,460)

Joe Baca, D-CA ($77,301)

Stephen Lynch, D-MA ($50,500)

Brad Miller, D-NC ($45,000)

David Scott, D-GA ($139,120)

Al Green, D-TX ($33,900)

Emanuel Cleaver, D-MO ($112,739)

Gwen Moore, D-WI ($138,805)

Keith Ellison, D-MN ($84,812)

Ed Perlmutter, D-CO ($358,556)

Joe Donnelly, D-IN ($121,561)

André Carson, D-IN ($94,927)

James Himes, D-CT ($623,449)

Gary Peters, D-MI ($280,750)

John Carney, Jr., D-DE ($224,250)

More Information