HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Alan Grayson » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 32 Next »

Alan Grayson

Profile Information

Member since: Sat May 22, 2010, 01:02 PM
Number of posts: 478

Journal Archives

Six years ago, today.

Do you remember?

Six years ago today, Democrats were playing nothing but defense on health insurance reform, after months of relentless, dishonest attacks — like Sarah Palin’s absurd lie about Obamacare creating “death panels.” Yet the Republicans never introduced any plan of their own to help the 40+ million Americans who (at the time) did not have health insurance. Nor did they introduce any legislation to save the lives of 45,000 Americans who were dying each year, because they had no health coverage. In fact, when President Obama asked the House Republicans to show their healthcare plan to him, they waived blank pieces of paper at him!

Congressman Grayson had had it UP-TO-HERE, so he took to the House Floor armed with nothing but poster boards, an American flag tie, and a lot of courage.

And he did something that so few ever do in Washington, D.C. — he told the truth:

“It’s my duty and pride tonight to be able to announce exactly what the Republicans plan to do for health care in America … . It’s a very simple plan. Here it is: The Republican healthcare plan for America: ‘Don’t get sick.’

“If you have insurance, don’t get sick.
“If you don’t have insurance, don’t get sick.
“If you’re sick, don’t get sick. Just don’t get sick!”

And the GOP’s “backup plan”:

“If you do get sick, America, the Republican healthcare plan is this: 'Die quickly.’

Congressman Grayson had the courage and the guts to say what we were all thinking six years ago today – but no one else was saying. Contribute $3 or more to help us send him to the U.S. Senate, so he can keep speaking truth to power.

That speech — that moment — is classic Grayson:

· That sublime set-up.

· That devastating, monumental mockery of the Republicans.

· That funny, pointed truth.

· That invincible progressive spirit.

This speech from Congressman Grayson gave Congress the push it had to have, to pass monumental legislation like the Affordable Care Act. It rocked the GOP back on its heels, and to this day, they have to answer to Grayson’s simple question: “what’s your plan?”

Alan Grayson has shown us, time and time again, that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stand up for us. He is the champion that we’ve loved in the House, and he is the champion we that need in the United States Senate. On this day, the anniversary of the date when Congressman Grayson told the truth about the Republican health insurance plan, let’s do WHATEVER IT TAKES to stand up for him.

Help us reach $300,000 raised online from over 15,000 online contributions, by making a contribution of $3 before midnight tomorrow >>

Show your support for a Congressman (and soon-to-be Senator) with a head, a heart, and a spine. Give today.


Team Grayson

Shut Down the Shutdowns

Two years ago, right after the GOP shut down the federal government, I took to the House Floor to tell the Republicans exactly what the public thought of the GOP-controlled Congress:

“Dog poop.”

Well, more accurately, “worse than dog poop.”

I pointed out that, according to scientific polling, the American people have a higher of opinion of “dog poop” than Congress. Even though the Speaker of the House wouldn’t let me finish my sentence, the fact that Congress is less popular than dog poop — at this low point in American history — will forever be in the Congressional Record.

Now, you’d think being less popular than “dog poop” would be enough to motivate the Republicans to stop shutting down the government over petty political poppycock. It wasn’t, because Here We Go Again with another GOP attempt to deprive millions of Americans of healthcare by forcing a government shutdown — only this time, they’re threatening to shut down the federal government if we don’t defund Planned Parenthood. This time, their targets are only poor, sick women, not poor, sick men and women.

That’s why I introduced a bill to Shut Down the Shutdowns, and I need your help to make it law. Become a citizen co-sponsor today >>

It’s a painfully simple idea: should Congress fail to fund any federal agency, then it will continue to be funded at the existing level. Then once the GOP gets its “dog poop” together, and approves new appropriations, the funding changes. And if the GOP never gets its “dog poop” together, then at least the government stays open. Now, doesn’t that sound a whole lot better?

If this bill passes, we won’t have to worry about the Republicans’ “Freakout of the Week”™ assassinating the budget. Next time, when the GOP is trying to defund an organization that provides pap smears, cancer screening, AIDS screening, other lifesaving health services to millions of women, we can let them have their temper tantrum, and just ignore them. Like the spoiled children that they are.

Click here to help us ignore Republican temper tantrums by signing the petition to support my Shutdown the Shutdowns Act >>

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

“It’s cruel enough to threaten to shut down the government for crass political purposes. But to threaten to shut down the government in order to deny sick people the care that they need, that’s just evil.”

That’s why “dog poop” is in the Congressional Record. Because no matter how bad it stinks, “dog poop” isn’t evil. The so-called “leaders” who want to take healthcare away from poor, sick people – they’re evil.


Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for U.S. Senate

I'm saying what you're thinking

On Thursday night, I joined Chris Hayes on MSNBC to talk about the movement that we’re building around the country, and what it means to be a real Democrat with guts:

“People have told me over and over and over again that I’m saying what they’re thinking, what no one else is saying. Those people who say that they are good solid Democrats. They’re champions of justice, equality, and peace.”

So am I — and that’s what we need in the U.S. Senate right now, another leader like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They who aren’t afraid to take the fight to Wall Street, and speak truth to power about the important issues we’re facing as a nation. That’s who I am — and that’s the kind of United States Senator I’ll be.

Your contribution of $3 is urgently needed before midnight tonight to match the money Wall Street bankers are spending to defeat me >>

While our campaign has built incredible momentum — we are leading the nation in small-dollar contributions — Wall Street is doubling down on its support of my opponent’s campaign. And the more momentum and People Power we build, the harder and harder they’re going to come after us.

That’s one of the reasons we need to reach this 5,000 donor goal tonight — to show them the power and depth of the movement we’re building.

Show Wall Street what you’re made of, with a $3 contribution today >>

Don’t let Goldman Sachs and the Wall Street bankers buy another election — join our campaign to elect a bold, progressive Senator with Guts.


Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for U.S. Senate


Yesterday, a group of anti-reproductive-choice zealots protested outside my Orlando district office to demand that I defund Planned Parenthood and return all contributions the women’s health organization has given to my campaign. I thought you’d like to know what I told them:


It’s really that simple. I will never waiver in my support for reproductive freedom and women’s health care.

Make a $3 contribution and stand with my continued support of Planned Parenthood >>


Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for U.S. Senate

Florida's First Liberal Governor

You won’t hear this from the loser “blue dog” Florida Democrats who think that the only way to beat a Republican is to be one. (When has that ever worked? Like, never.) But liberals and progressives can win statewide in Florida, and have won statewide in Florida, going all the way back to the 1950s. For instance, perhaps you’ve heard these three words: “President Barack Obama.” He won Florida in 2008 and 2012, while being called a “liberal,” a “Muslim,” a “socialist,” and even a “liberal Muslim Socialist!”

There are also plenty of homegrown Florida progressives who have carried the state. Today, I want to focus on one of them, LeRoy Collins, who was the Governor of Florida from 1955 to 1961. Collins was the first Governor of Florida to serve two consecutive terms in office. His opponents called him “Liberal LeRoy.” But history has shown that that label wasn’t a slur; it was a badge of honor.

Support my campaign so I can keep LeRoy Collins’ liberal spirit alive in Florida. Become a “Grayson Sustainer” by pledging to give $20.16 (or more) a month now. Contribute today.

Collins, a Democrat, was born in Tallahassee, and he served in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate for almost 20 years before becoming Governor. Civil rights was the fundamental issue of the day. Initially, Collins, like almost every other white Southern politician, had reservations about the civil rights movement. But he also understood the depravity of segregation, and in 1956, he became the first Southern governor to speak out against it publicly. At last, civil rights had its Southern white champion.

“I believe very deeply that I represent every man, woman and child in this state as their governor, whether that person is black or white, whether that person is rich or poor, or whether that person is influential or not influential,” Collins said during a 30-minute television and radio address, making the moral case for ending segregation.

The whites-only segregationist-led Florida Legislature saw it differently. It tried to pass an “interposition” resolution. “Interposition” was the 1950s version of “nullification,” the notion that the states could ignore the U.S. Constitution and federal law. But Collins saw it coming, and in a stunning display of courage, using his powers as Governor, he adjourned the legislature before they could close down Florida public schools.

No other southern Governor would join Collins. They didn’t have his progressive courage.

Collins also opposed capital punishment. He fell just a few votes short of sending a constitutional amendment to the voters to abolish it. Poignantly, he said that every time he signed a death warrant, “it left him feeling nearly as guilty as the murderers." Collins also was an early crusader against Big Tobacco’s advertising to hook children on cigarettes.

Later, Collins served under President Lyndon Johnson as the first Director of the Community Relations Service, where he continued his work to improve race relations. "Above all else, it is the moral duty of our generation to plow under racial injustice everywhere in the United States,” he said in 1963.

In fact, as time passes, more and more conservatives, liberals - everyone on all sides – are praising Liberal LeRoy Collins for his integrity and courage in the face of violence and bigotry. Right after Liberal LeRoy Collins died in 1991, the Florida House of Representatives passed a unanimous resolution proclaiming Collins the “Floridian of the Century.” And last year, Jeb Bush gushed, “Florida’s greatest governor, LeRoy Collins, set a national example of principled leadership here that his successors have strived to follow.”

There it is: the only thing I can think of where Jeb Bush and I agree. Liberal LeRoy Collins was Florida’s greatest Governor.

I won’t hold my breath and wait for current Florida Republicans Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, or even former Republican Patrick Murphy, to offer any kind words about Liberal LeRoy Collins’s progressive principles, or mine. Perhaps like Jeb Bush, who sat in Collins’ chair in the State Capitol for eight years, maybe in a few decades, they’ll come around!

But I don’t need their praise and we can’t wait for the Republicans to have an epiphany of conscience and morality. What I do need is your help. If you support another progressive champion like “Florida’s Greatest Governor,” Liberal LeRoy Collins, then I urge you to support my campaign for justice, equality and peace. Become a “Grayson Sustainer,” and pledge to give $20.16, $50 or even $100 a month now. Every dollar helps.

Courage in the Collins tradition,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

Republicrat Patrick Murphy is Attacking Me

If you’ve been following the race to replace Marco Rubio in the Senate lately, you know that former Republican Patrick Murphy has gone on the attack. Murphy, who was a Republican for his whole life until a month before he ran for Congress – Murphy, who contributed $2300 to Mitt Romney’s campaign – Murphy is claiming that a real Democrat like me cannot win statewide in Florida. So we Democrats have no choice but to nominate a fake one like him.

Patrick, have you heard of Barack Obama? He’s won Florida, twice. You can look it up.

Oh, and two different polls show me beating the GOP candidates in the general election.

What’s Murphy’s real motivation? Maybe it’s because today, the fourth poll in a row came out showing me beating him in the Democratic Primary. Or maybe it’s because in the first 24 hours after I told you about my decision to run for Senate, we received contributions from more than 1,000 individuals.

Maybe Republicrat Patrick Murphy is attacking me because he can’t obviously talk about his plan for “across the board” cuts to Social Security or Medicare, or his votes to weaken the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law (in exchange for lots and lots of PAC contributions, of course). Maybe he’s slinging mud because he doesn’t want anyone to notice that the lobbyists and special interests he dials every day, to get them to dump money into his campaign coffers, are the same uber-rich elites that that have stacked the deck in Washington, DC against everyday people like you. He gets along well with them, because he’s one of them.

Do you want to talk to Patrick Murphy about some issue that’s important to you? No problem. Just bring along a $10,000 check.

You’ve heard the phrase “time is money”? Well, Patrick Murphy’s time is your money.

Whatever Murphy’s reasons are, one thing is clear: With powerful special interests behind him, we know that he’ll have plenty of money for his campaign. And he’s used that money to hire a “communications team” dedicated to smearing me, 24/7. That’s their full-time job: slinging mud at me. It’s outrageous.

But I’m not worried. Murphy may have Big Money behind him, but I’ve got you. Grassroots progressives like you are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. You are the ones who lick envelopes, knock on doors, and do the hard work that helps Democrats win.

So I need your help.

I’m running for the Senate because deepening inequality is choking off opportunity for almost everyone. We must expand Social Security and Medicare, because seniors deserve a raise. We need to make sure every American can attend college without racking up outrageous debt, because education is the key to being all that you can be.

In order to win in the general election, in order to be fair to the voters and give them a real choice, the winner of this Democratic Primary must draw a contrast between what we believe and what Republicans believe. With me, what you see is what you get. But the contrast between Republicrat Patrick Murphy and Republicans is like the contrast between khaki and ecru, or Diet Coke, Coke Light and Coke Zero. It barely exists. Murphy and the GOP nominee would be just two more candidates who want to cut the law into little pieces, and then auction it off to the highest bidder.

Here’s a real contrast for you. Unlike my opponent, I am unbought and unbossed. That’s why I need your help, and that’s why I deserve it.


Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

Another Day, Another Allen West E-Mail to Me

At 3:23 am this morning, there was a tremor in the Force. No, it was not the planet Alderaan being destroyed – that doesn’t happen until Episode IV. The tremor was caused by another e-mail that landed in my inbox touting Allen West for Senate.

This is the same Allen West who once called me “despicable,” “demeaning” and “disgusting” – the Triple Crown of insults starting with the letter “D”. Perhaps West was angling for the Nobel Prize in Literature, if it were awarded by Sesame Street.

We need to stop Allen West from entering the Senate. Please contribute whatever you can to our Stop Allen West fund. Every dollar counts.

Why Allen West? Because, the e-mail says, “In Congress, Allen West was a principled conservative and a leader in the Tea Party movement.”

You can see what this is all about. You thought that the Tea Party was dead. Well, apparently, it is undead. And all of the reanimated corpses have an insatiable hunger to see Allen West in the Senate.

Allen West is a hero to the Tea Party. Is that what we want to see in the U.S. Senate? No-No-No! Help make sure that that never happens, by donating to our Stop Allen West fund.

West thinks that I’m a Marxist. (Karl, not Groucho.) How do I know that? Because he said so. On April 10, 2012:

Weird Question: “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or International Socialists?“

Weird Allen West Answer: “It’s a good question. I believe that there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

Yes, yes, you can put away the rubber hoses, I confess – I’m a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In fact, it’s a matter of public record that I’m the Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus PAC. (“The horror! The horror!” as that other famous colonel, Colonel Kurtz, would say.) Hence Allen West has concluded that I’m a commie.

So, basically, if you support justice, equality and peace – if you’re in favor of progress, for goodness sake – then West thinks that you’re a Communist.

The Tea Party group “Restore American Liberty” says that “Allen West is the strong conservative leader needed to take on the Democrat in the general election and help the Republican Presidential nominee win Florida’s electoral votes.”

Don’t let that happen! Contribute $20.16, $50 or $100 to our Stop Allen West campaign today.

In 2012, Allen West left Congress, and I returned to Congress. It was a massive Allen/Alan upgrade. Let’s keep it that way.


Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

“I ain’t missing you at all,
Since you’ve been gone.
I ain’t missing you.”

- John Waite, “I Ain’t Missing You” (1984).

May I Have 7 Minutes of Your Time?

Most campaign announcement videos look like someone played MadLibs with drivel:

I really tried hard to do something different with mine. I didn’t want it to be a concatenation of clichés, a pastiche of platitudes. I wanted it to mean something.

So we put together a video explaining why I’m running for the Senate, and what it will mean to you (not to me, to you) if I’m elected.

If you haven’t done so already, please take a look.

Here is what I say at the end of the video:

In the past two years in Congress, I have written more bills, passed more amendments on the Floor of the House and enacted more of my bills into law than any other Member of the House – #1, out of 435 of us. Slate magazine labeled me the most effective Member of the House. Because of all the good we have done, more than 100,000 supporters have given their hard-earned money to our campaign. That’s more than any other Democrat in the House. In 2012, and again in 2014, I was the only Member of the House of Representatives who raised most of his campaign funds from small donors – not lobbyists, or special interests, or millionaires, or multinational corporations. I don’t work for them; I work for you. I am unbought, and unbossed. I owe nothing to anyone but the People.

I wake up each day knowing that there are 700,000 Floridians who are counting on me to do something good for them in their lives. Next year, with the voters’ support, that number will be over 19,000,000. I will do my best to help every one of us, whenever we need help. I will work hard to be your representative, your champion and your friend.

If you want to learn more, or you want to join us and show your support, then go to the website SenatorWithGuts.com. I’m Congressman Alan Grayson, candidate for the U.S. Senate from Florida, and I approve this message of justice, equality and peace. Thank you.

Maybe words like this mean something to you. If so, then come take a look at our video. Forward it to your friends. And while you’re at it, maybe you could toss in a few shekels for our campaign – yours and mine – for justice, equality and peace.


Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

You Really Ought to See This Video

We’ve put together a video explaining why I’m running for Senate, and what difference it will make if I’m elected.

Please take a look.

Here is what I say at the beginning of the video:

I’m Congressman Alan Grayson, and I would like to explain why I’m now a candidate for the U.S. Senate. I grew up in the tenements in the Bronx, surrounded by people who were different from me, and from each other. People of different races, different languages, different religions – even the food that we ate. And I learned from that that our differences are not something to overcome, or tolerate, but rather something to cherish. The things that make us different are the things that make us special. And with so much in common as human beings, we all deserve equality, dignity and respect.

I was a sick child. I had to go to the hospital four times a week for treatment. Luckily for me, my parents both had good union jobs that provided health coverage to them and to me, even when they were on strike. If not for that, I might not be alive today, and talking to you. That’s why it’s so important to me that everyone, young or old, rich or poor, can see a doctor when he or she is sick.

Where I grew up, you had to work hard just to survive. And I realized that if people had genuine opportunity, unchained by poverty, prejudice, poor health, poor education or discrimination, then we all would be better off. I’ve met plumbers who could be engineers, truck drivers who could be lawyers, nurses who could be doctors. That’s the real American Dream – to be all that you can be. And when everyone is better off individually, then everyone is better off together.

Maybe words like this mean something to you. If so, then come take a look at our video. Forward it to your friends. And while you’re at it, maybe you could toss in a few shekels for our campaign for justice, equality and peace.


Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

“If your life were on video tape,
Wouldn’t everything be all right?”

- “Video Tape,” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1984).

The Euro – A Burning House With No Exit

William Hague, the U.K. Conservative opposition leader and Foreign Secretary, once referred to the euro, the European Union currency, as a “burning house with no exit.”

That sounds about right.

If Greece leaves the euro, it will suffer the tortures of the damned. And if Greece stays in the euro, it will suffer the tortures of the damned.

Listen, I love Greek tragedy as much as the next theatre-goer. Especially Sophocles. But this is ridiculous.

Consider how we came to this point. Virtually all of the world’s economies got whacked, very, very hard, by the Crash of ’08. Essentially, “aggregate demand,” the total demand for goods and services, collapsed, because much of that demand had been sustained by borrowing against wealth (think, “home equity loans,” “margin loans,” etc.), and then wealth collapsed. When aggregate demand drops, there are only four ways out of that hole:

(1) Borrow and spend (a/k/a fiscal policy).

(2) Print and spend (a/k/a monetary policy).

(3) Put everything on sale (a/k/a trade policy).

(4) Say goodbye (a/k/a emigration).

That’s it. There are no other solutions to that problem.

So let’s look at what happened to Greece after the Crash of ’08, when aggregate demand collapsed.

When Greece joined the European Community/Union in 1981, it had to agree to zero tariffs and the unencumbered movement of goods between Greece and other EC/EU members, as well as an external trade policy that is uniform throughout the EC/EU. So after the crash, Greece couldn’t impose tariffs, subsidize exports, establish import quotas, or anything like that.

Trade policy – no.

After Greece adopted the euro as its currency in 2001, it could no longer expand the money supply in order to spur domestic production. The European Central Bank had that authority, not Greece. Nor could Greece impose any capital controls to keep euros circulating within its borders. And as Greece’s economic problems deepened, capital fled the country.

Monetary policy – no.

A government accepting the euro as its currency must commit to keeping its annual budget deficit below a certain ceiling. Fair enough. But what happens if large chunks of government revenue are shipped outside the country to pay external debt, rather than circulating within the country? That just depresses aggregate demand more and more. Greece went into the Crash of ’08 with an external debt of around 300 billion euros – for a country of 11 million people. The mere interest on that debt (forget about principal) sucks an enormous amount of money up out of Greece each year, and sends it elsewhere. That made it impossible for the Greek government to borrow more money and spend it domestically, to restore aggregate demand (think “American Recovery Act”). And Greece’s creditors have insisted that the government run a “primary surplus,” meaning that net of the debt payments, the government actually removes money from the domestic economy.

Fiscal policy – no.

With no trade policy, no monetary policy and no fiscal policy, the Crash of ‘08 and the ensuing turmoil utterly crushed Greece’s aggregate demand. Gross domestic product has dropped 25% – the largest peacetime collapse in any advanced economy since the Great Depression. Unemployment in Greece was more than 25% before this month – imagine what it is now, after the banks were closed. That left desperate Greeks only one option: to leave. And, in fact, the population dropped by 1.5% in just four years. But there are very stiff barriers to exit; among other things, you have to learn a new alphabet. And the population drop further depressed aggregate demand, especially in the housing market.

Emigration – no.

John Maynard Keynes said that the government’s most important economic responsibility is to match aggregate demand to aggregate supply. Too much demand = inflation. Too much supply = unemployment. Greece simply has no tools to match that match. Domestic aggregate demand is far, far short of supply, and it’s getting worse.

The superficial problem in Greece is the external debt. The deeper problem is the relinquishment of national sovereignty, the tools that are needed to raise domestic demand and bring about an economic recovery.

And the alternative, the neologism-of-the-year “grexit,” where Greece just drops the euro? That is, in fact, the only alternative to the slow suffocation of the Greek economy. But no one wants even to think about how fiendishly complicated that might be. How do you mop up a currency that’s been sloshing around for 15 years inside your borders, and replace it with money backed by the “full faith and credit” of a bankrupt nation?

At least for Greece, the euro is one of those many, many things in life that are wonderful in theory, and horrible in practice. And the amount of pain that has been inflicted is staggering.

The house is burning. And there is no exit.


Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

“Watch out – you might get what you’re after.”

- Talking Heads, “Burning Down the House” (1983).
Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 32 Next »