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Thu Mar 15, 2012, 02:26 PM

I Know Something You Don't Know

I know something you don’t know, unless you happen to have been a Democratic Member of Congress. I know what happens in the House Democratic Caucus Meetings.

Contrary to popular belief among Fox News commentators, we don’t greet each other in those meetings as “Comrade” (although occasionally, the salutations of “Brother” and “Sister” may be heard). We do not begin the meetings with a Pledge of Allegiance to Karl Marx. We do not conduct responsive readings from the Communist Manifesto. 

Just as the other side doesn’t auction off tax breaks to special interests in their caucus meetings. At least, I don’t think so.  I’ve never been to one of those meetings. But I think that they do that some other way.

The House Democratic Caucus Meetings take place in a somewhat crowded conference room, underground.  No natural lighting. And the food I remember most is . . . cold pizza. Maybe that’s the food I remember because I can still taste it.

Anyway, the Leadership establishes the agenda and conducts the meetings. There always is an opportunity at the end for the rank-and-file to speak.

Some Members attend every meeting (the ones who like cold pizza, I guess). Some Members sometimes attend, normally if there is some hot issue that they want to hear about. Some Members never attend. (One Member once told that that he doesn’t attend the caucus meetings because “they don’t listen.” I said, “if you’re here, and everyone else is there, then they can’t hear you.”)

One of my main reasons for attending the House Democratic Caucus meetings is that I was hoping to glimpse something that didn’t happen very often, but was well worth the wait when it did. Something dramatic and vivid and just awesome. Something that I would enjoy at the time, and then think about for days afterward.

A speech by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., the gentleman from Illinois.

The word “speech” doesn’t do it justice. More like thunder. More like a jackhammer.

A volcanic eruption of truth.

It wasn’t really loud, and it wasn’t long, either. It was just this explosive, overwhelming torrent of thoughts and facts and emotions and principles. It was so powerful that Jesse’s body literally quivered – vibrated – as he spoke.

Each Jesse Jackson, Jr. speech was different, but they were all the same. Whatever words that came out that day, it all came down to this: “For all the people who desperately need our help, let’s do the right thing. Let’s help them.”

In all those meetings, I never heard Jesse Jackson, Jr. ask for anything for himself, or for some special interest, or for some donor. It was always something for the ones whom his father mentioned, in a speech that I remember hearing on July 18, 1984. He always asked for something to help “the desperate, the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected, and the despised.”

You know. My kind of people.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. faces a primary challenge in Illinois next Tuesday. His challenger is a former Democratic Member of Congress. I want us to help him win.

I will confess to you. I have an entirely selfish motive. I want to be in Congress with Jesse Jackson, Jr. next year, and I want to hear more of those speeches. Someone needs to keep reminding us what it’s all about.

Please click here to help.

Courage,

Alan Grayson

“My constituency is the desperate, the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected, and the despised. They are restless and seek relief. They have voted in record numbers. They have invested the faith, hope, and trust that they have in us. The Democratic Party must send them a signal that we care. I pledge my best not to let them down.”


-Rev. Jesse Jackson, “The Rainbow Coalition” (1984).

36 replies, 7191 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply I Know Something You Don't Know (Original post)
Alan Grayson Mar 2012 OP
Plucketeer Mar 2012 #1
freshwest Mar 2012 #2
ClassWarrior Mar 2012 #3
Proud Liberal Dem Mar 2012 #5
Turbineguy Mar 2012 #7
Proud Liberal Dem Mar 2012 #8
irondoor827 Mar 2012 #11
Proud Liberal Dem Mar 2012 #12
Ikonoklast Mar 2012 #13
Hugabear Mar 2012 #4
frazzled Mar 2012 #6
midnight Mar 2012 #9
Auntie Bush Mar 2012 #10
90-percent Mar 2012 #24
Auntie Bush Mar 2012 #27
90-percent Mar 2012 #32
rug Mar 2012 #14
TBF Mar 2012 #17
socialist_n_TN Mar 2012 #34
TBF Mar 2012 #35
socialist_n_TN Mar 2012 #36
Skittles Mar 2012 #15
pangaia Mar 2012 #16
OneAngryDemocrat Mar 2012 #18
Doremus Mar 2012 #19
cliffordu Mar 2012 #20
Crunchy Frog Mar 2012 #21
Auntie Bush Mar 2012 #28
babylonsister Mar 2012 #22
ellisonz Mar 2012 #23
SwampG8r Mar 2012 #30
ellisonz Mar 2012 #33
excuse not to write Mar 2012 #25
hootinholler Mar 2012 #26
SwampG8r Mar 2012 #29
BlueIris Mar 2012 #31

Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 02:48 PM

1. And STILL.....

his people wait for their own "White Knight", or knight of any color. Enduring the bottom rung and all the feet that step thereupon.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 03:04 PM

2. Beautiful. Thanks, Alan for everything.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 03:38 PM

3. Welcome to DU, Mr. Congressman.

I'm glad you've joined. You're among friends.

Never Give Up.

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Response to ClassWarrior (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 04:01 PM

5. Is this THE Alan Grayson?

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 04:31 PM

7. The One

the Only.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 04:52 PM

8. Cool!

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #5)


Response to irondoor827 (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 05:39 PM

12. Huh?

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Response to irondoor827 (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 05:43 PM

13. Whole bucket 'o crazy there.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 03:57 PM

4. We need you back in Congress!

Get back in there and give them hell!

Although I wouldn't mind seeing you behind the desk in the Oval Office...one can dream.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 04:05 PM

6. All politics is local

Although I live in Chicago, I'm not in the 2nd Congressional District (my Congressperson is Danny Davis, who is running unopposed).

Jesse Jackson, Jr. is going to win his primary race easily, at least according to polls his own campaign released yesterday, in which he is ahead of Halvorson 59 to 23. So I think we can rest easy. He has the endorsements of Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Governor Pat Quinn. His constituents are sticking by him, even women (very much so). The people of the 2nd District are going to be voting for him.

http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2012/03/13/jackson-jr-poll-has-him-crushing-halvorson

Still, I guess I can help by reminding my son and daughter-in-law, who live in his district, to vote for him on Tuesday.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 04:59 PM

9. For the working people and the homeless and the sick. K&R

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 05:17 PM

10. Go get 'em Alan! Even though I'm from the NE I donated to you.

You're the only one so far...as I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income and have to be very choosey who I donate to. I plan on giving some to Elizabeth Warren as soon as I can...but you are my first and only so far! The best of luck to you and all the Dems in the upcoming election. I hope you check here often.

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Response to Auntie Bush (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 05:38 AM

24. It's what we've got to do

I'm in NW Connecticut and I donated to Alan a few months ago. I am going to do the same for Elizabeth.

And get the bumper stickers. All progressives though out the country must do what ever they can to help.

-90% Jimmy

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 09:10 PM

27. Yes, get a bumper sticker...That's the least we can do!

I'm going to get one for "My dog rides in the car"...with a pic. of my dog. I'm also going to have a few made for some relatives who have dogs. If I give them to them...I'm sure they will sport them too.

I didn't want to put an Obama sticker on my car for fear some light weight fool might deface my car. But A doggie sticker shouldn't rate such ire...at least I hope not!

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Response to Auntie Bush (Reply #27)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 09:55 AM

32. You might be an activist

Posting my outrage on DU is pretty much ineffective preaching to the choir that I share with my peers in this liberal bubble.

So, I try to do other things to be an activist for PROGRESSIVE and ANTI-FASCIST causes. Like bumper stickers. I use bumper sticker sightings a a gauge for public awareness of our descent into "Gilded Age 2.0, this time it's with i-pads."

And my bumper stickers stand for what I believe and I just got a new Ford Ranger this past January (a left over 2011, with decent rebates and it's been discontinued, and it's got 4wd and a decent v6 and sirius and extended cab and elec windows and locks, and fog lites, BUT NO FUCKING CRUISE CONTROL! I didn't want 4wd, but the 2wd choices on the lot were too sterile and under gizmo'ed for me) My preceding Ranger was bought in 2003 and I plastered it with bumper stickers about stuff I feel strongly about - both "current events", Frank Zappa, and nitro cars. It was pretty caustic, as I felt what the GWB traitors were doing to our entire country was pretty caustic also.

I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH THREATS OR VANDALISM in the entire EIGHT YEARS I has those stickers on, until they literally wore out.

It concerned my wife about getting into confrontations with people that did not share my views. Well, you know FUCK IT. I'm 57, I've got to do what I can and stand for something! Republicans, or conservatives, or LOW INFORMATION VOTERS may threaten me, but, screw it, I ain't going through any part of the rest of my life in fear of these ignorant dittoheads!

I regret that I have only one nicely finished deep blue metallic 2011 Ranger to give for my country!

And I hope to travel to an Occupy Protest or two this spring. ("I will love everyone. I will love the cops as they kick the shit out of me in the street." - lyrics to Flower Punk - FZ and the MOI, 1968) Probability speaking, the worst I can fear about doing such things is getting arrested for a long time w/o access to a bathroom with a lot of privacy! I don't like an audience when I pee!

I can also fear some gestapo-cop beating me and breaking bones or teeth. Or pepper spray. Or beanbag shot. Or rubber bullets. Or circulatory complications from the tie wraps they use for handcuffs these days. Or being herded into a free speech zone some distance from the intended protest.

Once again, our young people are fighting our wars. I can enlist to serve OWS simply by figuring out how to get the 100 miles to Wall Street and back home over a weekend. I have friends that know how to travel to and into NYC.

Lastly, I look for like minded bumper stickers, or even any at all, and MY guess, to pull stats out of thin air, that perhaps 1% of ALL CARS ON THE ROAD near me have any indication on their vehicles of any activism at all! I take that as things will get worse and the 1% has us in the Bottom 99% BY THE FUCKING BALLS. We're sheep getting the type of government we deserve!

As Zappa once said, with regard to his musical output and how he could do it; "First, don't stop. Second, keep going." This is a generational struggle and showing up in person for one or two protests ain't going to do it. I plan to remain active until they pry my bumper stickers from my cold dead hands!

My in-progress bumper sticker, that needs polish, is:

OUR INSTITUTIONS ARE INFESTED WITH GREEDY AND CORRUPT SOCIOPATHS

I need less words to appeal to LOW INFORMATION VOTERS, and this can be condensed to :

OUR INSTITUTIONS ARE INFESTED WITH SOCIOPATHS

But, this isn't as concise, as I suspect there's plenty of sociopaths out there that may not be greedy and corrupt.

-90% Jimmy

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 06:25 PM

14. "We do not conduct responsive readings from the Communist Manifesto."

Why the hell not?

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Response to rug (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 08:51 PM

17. Seriously

maybe we'd actually get something done for someone other than the 1%.

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Response to TBF (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 10:08 PM

34. Yeah, that line kind of threw me too........

We're the ONLY ones who are UNABASHEDLY and UNASHAMEDLY on the the side of the working class. And always have been. It's our raison d'etre.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #34)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 11:20 PM

35. I like Alan - he's doing a good job

but liberals would do well to realize we're not the enemy and we may even be useful at times.

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Response to TBF (Reply #35)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 10:52 AM

36. SAme here. For a centrist politician, he does good.................

And I've volunteered to be the red menace boogeyman if it will help get moderate legislation enacted.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 07:39 PM

15. WOOT!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 08:30 PM

16. We need you Alan.

I just sent a modest donation, as I have before... Give 'em hell !

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 09:30 PM

18. Welcome aboard, Alan!!!

And keep up the good work!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 09:45 PM

19. Thank you for all you've done and continue to do.

If we could have a few hundred more Alan Graysons in Congress (to quote a song) what a wonderful world it would be, indeed!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 10:12 PM

20. K&R!!!!

Thank you.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 10:20 PM

21. Somewhat OT, but my brother was at the same military academy as Jesse Jr.

when they were both in 8th grade. I even remember seeing his pic in the yearbook, and he was a really cute little fellow. I think he and my brother were even pretty good friends (though I wouldn't be able to find out anything now, since he and I haven't spoken in nearly 20 years).

And gimme a break about those Democratic Caucus Meetings. I'm pretty sure you guys hold seances to conjour the spirits of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin for guidance in your nefarious plottings.

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Response to Crunchy Frog (Reply #21)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 11:05 PM

28. Time to start talking...maybe someday you won't have that opportunity.

Just my two cents and that's with inflation. lol

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 10:26 PM

22. Mr. Grayson, you are an inspiration! I always liked Jesse Jackson, Jr.,

he has a conscience and a sense of responsibility. Thanks for highlighting that.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 12:05 AM

23. I like cold pizza, never lukewarm.

They should chill and then serve with milk!

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #23)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 01:09 AM

30. know what is better than cold pizza?

cold pizza sammich!
2 frosty slices pressed together in a love fest of chilly pizzanality
if you have 2 different pizzas then your pizza sammich options are doubled!

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Response to SwampG8r (Reply #30)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 05:56 PM

33. Or you could just go for...

...a chilled pepperoni hot pocket.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 05:55 AM

25. Good post, bad header

 

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 10:46 AM

26. If you're still tasting it...

That's some serious pizza. Have you tried Mylanta?

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 01:07 AM

29. congressman please

if orlando ever lets you go again please consider a move to the space coast?
we could use a little new thinking over here

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 04:21 AM

31. Glad to see you posting here, sir.

I was a little worried about you, after reading the story about the car accident.

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