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Alan Grayson

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Member since: Sat May 22, 2010, 01:02 PM
Number of posts: 427

Journal Archives

My Opponent is Smearing Me, So I Need Your Help

My opponent has just rolled out a disgusting attack website, proclaiming that I’m “without honor.” Her dirty gutter-site spews out utterly specious attacks on my personal life and my professional experience, in lieu of anything resembling an actual discussion of issues.

What does my opponent’s smear-site say about jobs? Nothing.

Healthcare? Nothing.

Education? Nothing.

Foreign policy? Nothing.

The budget? Nothing.

The gap between rich and poor? Nothing.

Taxes? Nothing.

Just trash, slime, muck, crud and scuz. What President Clinton called “the politics of personal destruction.”
My opponent is wrong on the issues. She’s done nothing to help the voters. So all she can do is denigrate me and vilify me, dragging my name through the mud.

So help us fight back. Please – help us fight back.

The great majority of my opponent's dreck-site is just slanderous swill about my personal life. But once in a while, something resembling an actual issue insinuates itself into the stream of calumny -- in a very revealing way.

Here are a few more things that my opponent’s sewer-site chastises me for:

My call for stricter campaign finance laws (which she argues makes me “hypocritical,” apparently because we have so many small donors).

My successful battle to prevent crooked contractors who cheat the taxpayers and the troops from getting new federal contracts (because this supposedly constitutes an attack on “small business”).

My support for a new Planned Parenthood clinic in my district (because she says that it supposedly would “target Hispanics for destruction”; in the GOP lexicon, a pap smear is “destruction”).

My sympathy for the 80,000 people in my district who are undocumented (because, according to my very confused opponent, all Hispanics are “legal US citizens”).

My statement that the Army’s failure to take responsibility for huge increases in cancer and other serious health problems near a base where it tested unconventional weapons was “illogical and cruel” (because the Army denies any responsibility).

Yes, I wish that sewer money would get the hell out of politics. Yes, I think that war profiteers should be punished, not rewarded. Yes, I think that women should have full health coverage. Yes, I feel for the undocumented who live in the shadows. Yes, I believe that the military should accept responsibility when it ruins the lives of innocent Americans.

And for that, my opponent is condemning me.

Look, it’s showtime. The election is just 10 days away.

We cannot let my opponent’s lies defeat our truth. Please contribute to our campaign today, so that we can set the record straight.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

Uh Oh. New Poll Shows Us Up By Only 5 Points.

My opponent has released a new poll showing that we’re up by only five points against her – less than the margin of error (5.7%).

Why so close? Because she says that we can’t get our Democrats to vote. Specifically, she says that “the 2014 race will have a very different voter makeup, mirroring much closer to that of 2010.” 2010 was the worst year for House Democrats in the past century, because Democratic turnout plunged. In fact, our opponent is projecting that in our district, GOP turnout will be 50% higher than Democratic turnout.

Is that what will happen? Not if we have anything to say about it.

Right now, our campaign has more than 40 paid staffers getting out our vote. We’ve distributed over 100,000 voter guides. And just last night, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a national progressive group, organized thousands of volunteer “Call Out the Vote” telephone calls to Democrats in our district.

But we have a challenge on our hands. Statewide in Florida, Republican turnout in mail balloting is 14% higher than Democratic turnout, even though roughly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats received ballots by mail.

We have to get out our vote. And that’s why I need your help – today.

Our paid staff alone costs $4000 each day. And there are 12 days between now and Election Day. So we have to come up with almost $50,000, just to keep that part of GOTV effort going.

Which means that we need 1000 people each to give $50. That’s what I’m asking from you.

I know you’re not a Koch Brother; I know that that $50 means something to you. But I can’t turn to the Koch Brothers for help. I have to turn to you.

In 2012, I was the only Member of the U.S. House of Representatives who raised more money from small donors (under $200) than large donors – and we will repeat that this year.

We are so, so close to finishing this. So many people have worked so hard to take this campaign to victory. Please make sure that we don’t all end up with nothing.

We need your help. Help us now, this once, and on Election Night, we’ll all have something to celebrate.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

We Deny Visas for Whooping Cough, But Not Ebola?

When the Ebola outbreak began to spread across West Africa this past summer, Congressman Grayson was the first elected official to call on the federal government to implement a temporary travel ban on tourists and other visitors from the stricken countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, by suspending visas issued to not-yet-admitted citizens of those countries until the virus has been brought under control. The purpose was to prevent travelers from those countries who had been infected with the virus, but were not yet showing symptoms, from entering the United States. Since then, a Liberian named Thomas Duncan traveled to the United States on a tourist visa, and brought Ebola with him. Because Duncan showed no symptoms at the time of entry, none of the current screening methods would have prevented Duncan from introducing Ebola to the United States -- but a suspension of his visa and denial of entry would have kept us safe, and also saved millions of dollars. In today’s USA Today, on page 6A, Rep. Grayson explains why a temporary travel ban was – and still is – very much needed. Check it out here, and below.

Implement Ban on Travel Now

by Rep. Alan Grayson

The U.S. should implement an immediate temporary travel ban preventing entry by citizens of the West African countries afflicted by the Ebola virus, as I said in July. Had we done that, we wouldn't have Ebola in the U.S. right now.

No blood test can detect Ebola in victims who are newly infected. Human carriers are asymptomatic for as long as three weeks.

When Ebola does start to show a symptom — high temperature — that symptom can be masked with ibuprofen. Thus there is no reliable way to detect Ebola risk through physical examination.

But there is another reliable manner to detect Ebola risk: looking at a visitor's passport. Ebola is ravaging three countries: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Because the virus is spread internationally only by human beings, blocking citizens of those countries effectively blocks the virus. And we already do a 100% check of passports, at every airport and border crossing into the U.S.

Every visitor from these countries who harbors the virus, knowingly or unknowingly, is a potential weapon of mass destruction. Each one has the potential to infect innumerable Americans.

Each one could cost us millions of dollars in medical care for the carrier, care for other victims, quarantine costs, decontamination costs and the cost of tracing and tracking all contacts. Each one raises the risk that Ebola will find an animal reservoir in the U.S., or mutate into something more infectious.

And why should we run such risks?

Let's put this in perspective. We already ban visitors from other countries unless they prove that they have been vaccinated against whooping cough — a far less deadly disease than Ebola. We don't just ban visitors with whooping cough; we ban visitors unless they prove that they cannot get whooping cough.

Suspending tourism from these three countries wouldn't prevent relief efforts. On the contrary, the more we spend here, the less we can spend there.

More than 25 other countries have instituted such travel restrictions. They are protected, while we are not. For now, we are like lab rats — except that all lab rats enjoy health coverage.

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., is a member of the House committees on Foreign Affairs and on Science, Space and Technology.

This is the kind of clear, logical thinking that our policymaking so desperately needs. Show your support for our Congressman with Guts today.


Sincerely,

Team Grayson

Let Me Tell You Something About Sen. Al Franken

Congratulations to Lois Raben of Boca Raton, FL. She won our contest last week; she joined Nancy Pelosi and me in Orlando on Friday; and she received Blue America’s quadruple-platinum RIAA award for the B-52’s album “Cosmic Thing.”

Now on to what I want to tell you, about Sen. Al Franken. (Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it: “Senator Al Franken”?)

Last year, when President Obama was contemplating an attack on the Assad regime in Syria, the Administration arranged for a number of classified briefings for Members of Congress. I supposed that I could tell you what was discussed, but: (a) then I’d have to kill you, and (b) that’s not the point of this story.

There were around ten briefings. At the one that I went to, there were three Senators, and around 15 Members of the House. If you do the math, you’ll see that it’s highly unlikely that all 535 Members of Congress attended even one of these classified briefings.

I’m not sure of this, but I think that Sen. Al Franken attended all of them. If not every single one, he certainly attended most of them. So basically, the briefings score was something like this:

Sen. Al Franken: ~10.
Me and Every Other Member Who Gave a Damn: 1
The Other Useless Clods Who Fool the Voters Every Two Years: 0

For the most part, the briefings were the same generals saying the same things about the same things. The only difference was the Q&A. Each Member of Congress got to ask one (and only one) question at each briefing.

Well, Sen. Al Franken had more than one question. He had lots of questions. And he wanted to hear the answers to everyone else’s questions. So he attended lots of briefings.

And Senator Franken’s questions were intelligent questions. As opposed to some other people. At one point, some GOP Senate doofus asked, “I think that China is behind this. Do you agree? Is China behind this?”

Answer: No. China is not the cause of the Syrian Civil War. In fact, only an idiot could say that China is “behind” the war in Syria. And on that occasion, one did.

But Sen. Al Franken’s question was cool, discerning, sophisticated and revealing. He had done his homework. He knew what he was talking about, and what he needed to learn.

One of the great things about being a Member of Congress is that I get to see my colleagues as they really are. Some disappoint me. Others impress me. Al Franken impresses me.

I will venture to say that no one outside of Senator Franken and his staff knows that Senator Franken took it upon himself to attend one Syria briefing after another, just so that he could learn as much as possible from the Q&A, and make the right decision on war and peace. He hasn’t told anyone. So I will. I’m telling you.

Senator Franken is on the ballot on Nov. 4th. There is a good chance that he will win, but nothing is for sure in politics. Regardless, his campaign gives us an opportunity – only once every six years! – to show him our support, our thanks, for a former comedian who takes his job very seriously now.

Senator Franken deserves your support. So click here, and give it to him.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

Last Chance: Nancy Pelosi, Me and You.

We’re extending this offer through tomorrow: one of our contributors this week will be invited to join Nancy Pelosi and me in Orlando for lunch next Friday, and the campaign will pick up the tab. Will it be you? Click here, make a contribution, and we’ll let you know.

Let me tell you a story about Nancy Pelosi that illustrates her awesomeness. You won’t hear this from anyone else.

Last year, a Democratic Member of the House got into some hot water for saying something harsh about the Republicans. Undoubtedly well-deserved, but nevertheless harsh.

I know what you’re thinking. No, it wasn’t me. Not that time, anyway.

The Right-Wing Umbrage Machine seized on this, and this Democrat took quite a beating in HateLand. Bill O’Reilly was riled. Mark Levin was livid. Michael Savage was savage. It was the Full Monty of faux indignation.

The national media gets its cues from Fox News, so Nancy Pelosi knew that she was going to be asked about it at her next news conference. Probably within the framework of some fake moral equivalence, like this: “Ted Cruz said something utterly moronic last week, but then your guy said this other thing, so what’s the difference, nanna nanna boo boo?”

Now, if Nancy Pelosi were, let’s say, John Boehner, she would have just cut the guy lose. And then driven a truck over him. Because that’s what Boehner does.

That’s not what Nancy Pelosi does.

She called up this other Member, and she asked him what he thought she should say. I italicize because, believe me, this is quite unheard of in Washington, DC. The people in charge don’t ask, they tell. They direct. They order.

Nancy Pelosi asks.

He said that it would do no good for her to criticize him.

She agreed.

She then asked him what he thought he should do. Again, she asked him, she didn’t tell him. He told her that he had made a poor choice of words, and he would apologize for that and that alone. Which is what happened.

Now if this Member of Congress had been a Republican, you would have found his naked corpse in a dumpster, in a very dark alley, with an icepick sticking out of his back. And carved into the hilt of the icepick would be the initials “J.B.”

(And not to get off the subject, but J.B. consumes an awful lot of J&B. Probably to dull his conscience.)

In other words, Nancy Pelosi is not only the highest elected woman in American history, she is not only a great progressive leader, but she also is a decent human being. A very decent human being.

And you have one chance, and only one chance to meet her – in warm, sunny Orlando next Friday. Please contribute to our campaign, today or tomorrow, and that chance is yours.

The illustration for this note depicts Nancy Pelosi as Rosie the Riveter. Rosie the Riveter was an American cultural icon, representing women who made heroic efforts to fill rough manufacturing jobs during World War II, when so many men left those jobs to fight in the armed forces. In real life, Rosie the Riveter was Rosie Bonavitas in the Convair military aircraft plant in San Diego. Evans and Loeb wrote a song about her in 1942, which became a huge nationwide hit.

Rosie Bonavitas passed away in 1966. It’s too late to meet her. But you still have a chance to meet an even greater real-life hero, Nancy Pelosi, if you donate to our campaign today or tomorrow.

And there’s a big bonus: Whoever joins Nancy and me next Friday also will receive the B-52’s quadruple-platinum album award for their album “Cosmic Thing.” Thanks to Howie Klein, of Blue America.

The election is almost upon us. This would be a good time for you to help. Last chance, last dance. It’s time for you to enhance our chance, with some finance. Don’t look askance, and for sure, don’t fall into a trance. Left-click right here, help us out, and I’ll hope that it’s you who joins us in Orlando next Friday.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

Would You Like to Meet Nancy Pelosi?


Would you like to meet Nancy Pelosi? She is joining us in Orlando next Friday, and one fortunate supporter who contributes to our campaign today or tomorrow will have that opportunity. If you’re the winner, we will fly you to Orlando at the campaign’s expense, and you can shake hands – and hug – the first female Speaker of the House, and the highest female elected official in American history.

If you would like a shot at meeting Nancy Pelosi, then contribute to our campaign today. Or tomorrow. But today would be better.

Let me allow Nancy Pelosi to introduce herself, with the special remarks that she made on behalf of all women when she was elevated to Speaker of the House in 2007:

"This is a historic moment – for the Congress, and for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today, we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters, the sky is the limit, anything is possible for them.”

If you would like to meet the special person who not only uttered these words, but made them a reality, then show your support for our campaign, and keep your fingers crossed that you can join Nancy Pelosi – and me – next Friday.

It was Nancy Pelosi who mobilized against and defeated George Bush’s crazy notion to risk our Social Security money in the stock market (down by 2% today alone, by the way, which would mean $25 a month less for every Social Security recipient).

It was Nancy Pelosi who showed her respect for war-weary Americans by opposing George W. Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, which prolonged the war and set the stage for the chaos there today.

It was Nancy Pelosi who insisted on comprehensive and affordable healthcare for all Americans, when Rahm Emanuel and so many others were willing to throw in the towel after Scott Brown won the special election to replace Edward Kennedy in the Senate.

Nancy Pelosi – one of the greatest leaders of our time, and one of the greatest female leaders of any time. It’s too late for you to meet Cleopatra and Joan of Arc, but it’s not too late for you to meet Nancy Pelosi – if you contribute today and you are selected to join us.

I’m a very tough audience. But I have enormous personal respect for Nancy Pelosi. This may be the only chance that you will ever have to meet her in person. Take it.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

Help Ditch Mitch: Mitch McConnell Has Got to Go

Yesterday, I told you that for the first time in four months, an independent poll shows Senate Republican “Leader” Mitch McConnell running behind his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. I asked you to contribute to Grimes. If you did, fine. If you didn’t, then I’m asking again, with more reasons why.

If there is anyone who deserves to lose this year, it’s Mitch McConnell. Click here to help make it happen.

Alison Grimes herself has captured the essence of what is wrong with McConnell. Here is what she said: “If the doctors told Sen. McConnell he had a kidney stone, he would refuse to pass it.” Like he refuses to pass everything else.

Here are a few more comments, in response to yesterday’s note:

“I can’t look at that face anymore, and that mean attitude working Americans.” – Maura R.

“Before filibustering Mitch McConnell took $467,800 from PACs and executives make a profit off the students.” - Jeremy C.

“I’m not a proctologist, but I know an a**hole when I see one.” - Ted F.

“He is paid for by the Koch Brothers. Has no mind of his own anymore.” – Jean M.

“He’s a disgrace to turtles everywhere.” - Mary M.

“What a worthless soul. What a worthless life. What a worthless career.” – Kraig M.

“Well, he wanted to make sure Obama was a one-tmer. He was wrong, and now it is his turn to go into retirement, with the voter’s help.” - Viggo L.

“Looks like he’s been alive since colonial times.” - Gene R.

“He is out of touch with reality, like the rest of his rich friends in Congress who never practice what they preach. Their religion is money, oil and hating Obama.” - Bonnie W.

“I am sure there are some really rich people in Kentucky who just love this guy. Why in the world, however, would any of the other 99% vote for him? I just don’t get it.” – Allen H.

“That eternal frown comes from knowing he’s going straight to Hell when he dies.” - Bret H.


And now we have a chance to get rid of Mitch McConnell. If that sounds like something that you’d like to do, then left-click right here, my friend.

Our last poignant critique of the “esteemed gentleman from Kentucky” comes from Joel P.:

“I simply loathe this man. He could have done SO much to move our nation forward. And he took the money and the low road, to pit Americans against Americans for the degradation of our political process, our financial well-being, our land, air, and water, our wounded souls.”

And now we have this fleeting, once-in-a-sexennial opportunity to expunge Mitch McConnell from public life. Please, show your support for Alison Grimes, if only to send McConnell packing off to Grinchland, KY, or whatever hell-hole he came from.

And as I said yesterday, the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance. If McConnell wins, there is a good chance that he will be Senate Majority Leader on Jan. 5, 2015. If McConnell loses, then it gets very, very hard for the Republicans to take over the Senate. And if Mitch McConnell loses, he’s nothing.

It’s time to switch. Ditch Mitch!

Click here to help banish Mitch McConnell from our lives, forever.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

P.S. As we announced on Sunday, anyone who contributes to our campaign between now and Friday has a chance to win the quadruple-platinum album award that the B-52s (the band, not the bomber) received for their album “Cosmic Thing.” That’s an award that tastes even better than Rock Lobster.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Wed Oct 8, 2014, 07:16 PM (5 replies)

Let’s Get Rid of the Obstructionist-in-Chief, Mitch McConnell

Big news out of Kentucky last Thursday: For the first time since June, an independent poll shows Obstructionist-in-Chief Sen. Mitch McConnell running behind his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

If there is anyone who deserves to lose this year, it’s Mitch McConnell. Click here to help make it happen.

On Jan. 21, 2010, Mitch McConnell was sitting two seats to my left. We were seated in the U.S. Supreme Court courtroom, to hear the Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. That courtroom is known as the Second Highest Court in the Land, second only to the Supreme Court’s private basketball court, on the floor above.

I came prepared for the worst. I already had introduced four bills to try to blunt the Supreme Court’s ruling. I feared that the Supreme Court would open the floodgates to a huge wave of sewer money in politics, and my fears were well-founded.

Mitch and I were the only two elected officials in the room. Between us sat Floyd Abrams, a once-revered First Amendment lawyer who had since given his soul over to the Dark Side of the Force.

McConnell was there for a good reason -- because he had planned the whole thing. He had been pushing this anti-democracy litigation for years, all the way to the Supreme Court. He desperately wanted to establish the constitutional right of every billionaire to buy and sell elected officials, as he sees fit. (To be fair, every homeless person has the same right – just not the same money.)

I listened in horror as Judge Kennedy read his chosen excerpts from the decision. On MSNBC that night, I labeled it “the worst Supreme Court decision since the Dred Scott case” . I added that “if we do nothing, you can kiss this country goodbye.”

Mitch McConnell, two seats to my left as the Supreme Court handed down its decision, was not horrified. On the contrary, he was giggling. Or gurgling. Or some other sound was coming out of some other orifice; in Mitch’s case, it’s hard to tell.

According to legend, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. McConnell giggled. Or gurgled, as the case may be.

And now we have a chance to get rid of Mitch McConnell. If that sounds like something that you’d like to do, then left-click right here, my friend.

With one brief exception, Mitch McConnell has held America hostage since he became the Republican Senate Leader in 2007, almost eight years ago. The filibuster, the Senate rule that requires 60 out of 100 votes on most matters, has made Mitch McConnell a de facto dictator. Between 1920 and 1970, filibusters averaged one per year. As soon as McConnell took over for the Republicans, they doubled. Now they have reached 100 each year. Which means one thing: if Mitch McConnell doesn’t like it, it’s not going to happen.

Time after time, legislation that is overwhelmingly popular with the American public is murdered by Mitch McConnell. Why don’t we increase the minimum wage? Because Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to. Why don’t we have universal background checks for gun purchasers? Because Mitch McConnell doesn’t want that. Why don’t we have immigration reform? Because Mitch McConnell says no. Why doesn’t the federal government recognize medical marijuana use? Because Mitch McConnell doesn’t like the idea.

There was only one significant period in the past eight years when America wasn’t trapped in Mitch McConnell’s thrall. That was the period between July 2009, when Sen. Al Franken was sworn in (after McConnell’s nearly endless maneuvering to prevent that ended) and April 2010, when Senator Kennedy cast his last vote. (And Kennedy, being very ill, had missed votes for several months before that.) During that short time, the Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate, and when they stuck together, they could pole-vault over McConnell’s roadblocks. But other than that, it’s been gridlock, baby, 24/7/52, for eight years straight.

And now we have this fleeting, once-in-a-sexennial (sounds dirty, doesn’t it?) opportunity to expunge Mitch McConnell from public life. Please, show your support for Alison Grimes, if only to send McConnell packing off to Grinchland, KY, or whatever hell-hole he came from.

And remember, the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance. If McConnell loses, then it gets very, very hard for the Republicans to take over the Senate. If McConnell wins, there is a good chance that he will be Senate Majority Leader on Jan. 5, 2015. If he loses, he’s nothing.

After 30 years of Mitch, it’s time to switch.

Isn’t it worth a few of your hard-earned rubles to banish Mitch McConnell, forever?
Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

P.S. As we announced on Sunday, anyone who contributes to our campaign between now and Friday has a chance to win the quadruple-platinum album award that the B-52s (the band, not the bomber) received for their album “Cosmic Thing.” If you win the award, then I’ll meet you by the third pyramid (“Mesopotamia”).
Posted by Alan Grayson | Tue Oct 7, 2014, 02:55 PM (3 replies)

GOP Idiocy: Imprison the Nephews for What the Uncles Did?

Last year the House Foreign Affairs Committee “marked up” an Iran Sanctions bill, taking amendments from committee members before sending the bill to the “Floor” for a House vote.

I offered five amendments. They all passed.

It’s hard to believe, I know, but there actually is a spirit of bipartisanship on the Foreign Affairs Committee, so things went smoothly -- until it was Tom Cotton’s turn.

Some background on Cotton: The Bush Administration created a secret program, of questionable constitutionality, that aggressively monitored the finances of alleged terrorists. The New York Times uncovered the program, and reported it. Tom Cotton, private citizen, called for the arrest, conviction and incarceration of the editor and two reporters who reported on the secret program.

In a deep red district in Arkansas, that soapboxing was good enough to get Cotton elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Which plopped him down on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, with me.

No matter what the subject before our committee might be, Cotton always has to hold forth on how much he loves America. According to Cotton, he really, really loves America. Almost in the biblical sense.

Let me put it this way: When I hear Cotton, I think of Lady Macbeth, another great patriot. “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”

Which, in Arkansas, qualifies Cotton for the U.S. Senate. Yes, Tom Cotton is running for the U.S. Senate.

And we have to try to stop him. Click here, if you want to lend a hand, and keep this schmo out of the U.S. Senate.
So anyway, there we were, trying to pass a bill that would keep Iran from getting nukes, and Cotton thought that he had come up with the perfect idea: imprison all of the Ayatollah’s relatives. Not the Ayatollah himself, just his relatives.

Cotton offered an amendment that would extend sanctions under the bill not only to the high government officials of Iran, but also to their relatives “to the third degree of consanguinity.” In case you missed the quiz on consanguinity, that’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, grandparents and great-grandparents.

But somehow, not second cousins twice removed. It must have been an oversight.

The enforcement mechanism for our sanctions is a criminal penalty. Specifically, five years in a federal prison. So if the Ayatollah violated our sanctions law, and his entirely innocent niece visited the United States, she’d get five years in the slammer under the Cotton Amendment. Just for being the Ayatollah’s niece.

By the way, the Cotton Amendment is a constitutional threefer: it violates three different provisions of the U.S. Constitution at the same time. They are the Fifth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment, and the very rarely heard of “Corruption of Blood” clause. It’s rarely heard of because almost no one is so stupid as even to contemplate punishing the relatives of wrongdoers.

Except for Tom Cotton.

We CANNOT let this a loser like this be elected to the U.S. Senate, where he can do even more harm. Please contribute to his opponent’s campaign, and stop Cotton while he still can be stopped.
When Cotton offered his amendment, I was tempted to say, “Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute.” But that would have been disrespectfully to Bugs Bunny and possibly others, so I didn’t. Instead, I patiently pointed out the constitutional infirmities of the Cotton Amendment.

To their credit, the Republican Members of Congress have some regard for the oath that they took to preserve the Constitution (as they see it), so there were certain murmurings on the other side of the aisle. The GOP Chairman asked Cotton to withdraw his amendment, and he reluctantly did so.

I thought that that would be the end of it. But no. Cotton came to me afterward, and offered to “work with me” to put his amendment back in the bill before the House voted on it. As one Harvard Law School graduate to another, I asked Cotton how he thought that imprisoning nieces for the acts of their uncles was constitutional. He told me, “they’re just foreigners; they have no rights.”

I think that he pronounced it “feriners.”

Seriously, it’s bad enough that someone like this got elected to the House. We have to stop him before he makes it to the Senate.
If Tom Cotton lived in Gotham City, he would reside at the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. But since Cotton’s home is Arkansas, not Arkham, that makes him a Congressman instead, and now a U.S. Senate candidate.

Cotton’s opponent is Senator Mark Pryor. Pryor is not my favorite Senator, but Tom Cotton makes Mark Pryor look like Mother Theresa.

There have been four polls of the Cotton-Pryor race this month. Three of them have Cotton ahead. Cotton’s average lead is four points, with a huge 14 percent undecided. In other words, it’s a very tight race.

And, of course, the fate of the Senate hangs in the balance. But you knew that already.

When I wake up on Wednesday, November 5th, I want it to be with two thoughts on my mind:

(1) We won.
(2) Tom Cotton lost.

And I’m asking your help to do it. Click here, to defeat Tom Cotton and -- if you want -- to help reelect me.
C’mon, make a difference.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

P.S. As announced yesterday, anyone who contributes to our campaign between now and Friday has a chance to win the quadruple-platinum album award that the B-52s (the band, not the bomber) received for their album “Cosmic Thing.” If you win the award, you can place it on the wall of your own Love Shack.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:50 PM (3 replies)

The B-52s: Band vs. Bomber

Hi. Before I say anything else, I want to say thank you -- thank you very much -- to the 3000+ supporters who contributed to our “Oh-My-God-it’s-the-end-of-the-quarter!!!!” campaign. We raised almost $200,000 in contributions and pledges. If you didn’t contribute, fear not – we can still accept your EOQ cash, as in right here.

But we still have campaign bills to pay, and we still need mucho dinero between now and Election Day. So Howie Klein at Blue America PAC has once again stepped forward to provide a little extra motivation to our donors this week: the chance to receive the RIAA-certified award for the B-52’s most beloved album, “Cosmic Thing.” (Hey, man, the B-52’s, as in “Love Shack.” Where were you in 1989?) Anyone who contributes here to our campaign this week has a chance to be selected. Oh, and the winner gets something else, too, but if you want to know what that is, you will have to click here to find out. (Which reminds me of an old joke: “How do we keep all of our awesome supporters in suspense? I’ll tell you later.”)

For avoidance of doubt, I want to make it perfectly clear (in the Nixonian sense) that this offer refers to the B-52s the singing group, not the B-52s the long-range bombers. Obviously, it’s very important to avoid confusion on this point, so let me offer this helpful guide as to how to distinguish one from the other:

The bomber delivers up to 70,000 pounds of weapons. The band delivers up to 70,000 pounds of fun.

The bomber’s nickname is BUFF, which stands for “Big Ugly Fat F***er.” The band is not known by that name.

The bomber was started in 1946. The band was started in 1976.

The bomber can fire air-launched cruise missiles. The band cannot.

On at least six different occasions, the bomber has crashed while carrying nuclear weapons. (I’m serious.) This has never happened to the band.

The bomber is made by Boeing. The band was made by their mothers and fathers. (Not to be confused with the Mamas and the Papas.)

Boeing charges $54 million for a single B-52. The B-52s charge considerably less than that for a single.

On the other hand, here is something that they have in common: The bomber is capable of carrying out its strategic mission without dependence on advanced and intermediate bases controlled by other countries. So can the band.

With that in mind, I hereby invite you to establish your eligibility to receive the RIAA-certified award for the B-52’s best album, “Cosmic Thing,” by making a contribution to our campaign.

Please do so willingly and voluntarily, without any fear of retribution or reprisal if you fail to do so, because neither the bombers nor the band are under my command.

Look, would you please lay a few drachmas on the table for a chance to win the thing? Thanks.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Posted by Alan Grayson | Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:45 PM (2 replies)
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