Alan Grayson's Journal
Member since: Sat May 22, 2010, 01:02 PM
Number of posts: 347
Number of posts: 347
Rarely is there a political ad that can change Congress. But I just saw one.
You know Congressional candidate Carl Sciortino, whom we endorsed in August. In his groundbreaking ad, he "comes out" as a progressive to his Tea Party father. Watch it. It's stunning. Almost 400,000 people have seen it already on YouTube. They are passing it around to their family and friends, and even Weird Joey, who lives down the block. ("Yo, Joey, check this out!") It's that good.
Carl's not just running for Congress. He's running for Congress as a progressive. And if he can win, showing his true colors, then it will encourage candidates all over the country to do the same. And change Congress.
So help him keep this remarkable ad on the air. Watch it, and give.
There are five people running to replace Ed Markey in the House (Ed having joined the U.S. Senate). Only one of them -- Carl Sciortino -- is running as a "True Blue Democrat." And that's whom we've endorsed. In this low-profile special election, we have the chance to send a genuinely principled, pro-peace candidate to Congress.
Give $35 to Carl's campaign, or whatever you can.
We need Carl Sciortino on our team, in Congress. He has a bold record in the Massachusetts Legislature on Social Security expansion, the right to organize, marriage equality and peace. Carl has demonstrated that he's a leader. And with this brilliant ad, he has shown that he's one of us, a True Blue Democrat who deserves your help.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Tue Oct 8, 2013, 07:49 PM (6 replies)
The government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling showdown both are a farce. Neither one is necessary. But the Tea Party lunatics want it this way. This is what they do. They manufacture one crisis after another, hoping either that the President or the Democrats in Congress will bend, or America will break. Either way, they win.
Well, we will not bend. And we do not have to bend, because I have a solution. I introduced a simple, two-page bill to END THE LUNACY. It does two basic things:
1. Ends the shutdown by funding the government at least at the "sequester" level for the next year. (I hate the sequester cuts. They hurt poor people, sick people, minorities, women and children. But in order to get everyone to agree to this bill, both Democrats and Republicans, we'll need first to restore the budget at some level, and that means the sequester level.)
2. Ends the debt ceiling crisis by suspending the debt ceiling until the end of 2014.
Sign our petition supporting my bill to end the lunacy, at EndTheLunacy.com.
This bill goes by two names: the "Anti-Self-Destruction Act" and the "Fiscal Sanity Act of 2013." Why? Because if we shut down our own government, and destroy our own credit, we're only hurting ourselves. And that's nuts.
We can't let Speaker Boehner and the radical wing of the Republican Party (a/k/a the Tea Party) cut our nose to spite their face. As I said recently on national TV, the Republican Party may be the largest suicide pact in history, but we can't let them take us all with them.
It's time to fight back. Sign our petition at EndTheLunacy.com. I will personally deliver your views to Speaker Boehner's office before the debt ceiling deadline, which is fast approaching.
Rep. Alan Grayson
P.S. If you care about our future, then share this with your friends via Facebook or Twitter. Not just your Democratic or your Independent friends, but also your Republican friends. There still are some sane Republicans who do not support the Tea Party's blackmail and extortion. Let's all join forces to wipe out the Tea Party's bullying, once and for all.
P.P.S. Senator Ted Cruz has been leading the Tea Party's efforts to shut down our Government and default on our debt. Cruz's wife is Vice President at Goldman Sachs, a Wall Street investment bank with just under $1,000,000,000,000.00 in assets. So no matter what happens to all of us, he'll be just fine, thank you.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Fri Oct 4, 2013, 11:40 PM (9 replies)
Well, first, before we say anything else, we want to say "thanks" – just for reading this. We're going to go out on a limb, and guess that this may not be the only campaign fundraising pitch that you may have seen during the last few days. So thank you for taking a little time out of your day, and reading what we have to say.
Not all fundraising pitches are created equal. Here are three reasons why Congressman Alan Grayson's campaign deserves your support – three reasons that you probably won't be hearing from any other officeholder or candidate:
1. Alan Grayson gets things done.
2. Alan Grayson gets good things done.
3. Alan Grayson involves all of us.
If you have read these e-mails before, you may already know that Slate magazine named Alan Grayson "the Most-Effective Member of Congress." Why? Because Alan has passed more amendments than any other Member of the House – 13 on the Floor of the House, and 33 in his committees. Some of them have already been approved by the Senate, and signed by the President – they are now law. And Alan accomplished that even though he is a Democrat, and the House is controlled by Republicans.
And these are real, important amendments – not renaming post offices, or establishing commissions, or requiring reports to Congress. Among other things, Alan Grayson's amendments prohibit seven different federal agencies from awarding contracts to contractors who have been indicted or convicted of serious crimes. One of Alan's amendments prohibits torture by the U.S. military. Another one prohibits racial profiling by the Department of Homeland Security. Another one forbids the use of weaponized drones in the United States. Yet another increased the budget for bilingual housing counseling by 50%.
And outside of Congress, time after time this year, Alan Grayson has organized, organized, organized. Alan personally delivered to House Speaker Boehner's office three million petition signatures against cutting Social Security COLAs ("No-Cuts.com"). Alan mobilized 100,000 public supporters against military intervention in Syria ("DontAttackSyria.com"). Alan has been an outspoken opponent of NSA's domestic spying. Alan has already galvanized tens of thousands of supporters against more "free trade" giveaways ("TradeTreachery.com"). Then Alan Grayson has squared the circle by having our supporters, our activists, make their opinions clear to Members of Congress and the Administration. Alan Grayson has been building a new progressive movement.
Who else in public life is doing things like this? Answer: no one. No one but Alan Grayson.
So if you have received other campaign solicitations lately, ask yourself: "What has this party/official/candidate actually accomplished?" Think about the answer. And then contribute to Alan Grayson's campaign.
And why “TODAY”? Because it’s the end of the fundraising quarter, and we need to show the corporations, the military industrial complex, and the Tea Party Republicans that Alan Grayson isn’t going anywhere. He’s going to stay in Congress – and continue fighting for us.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Mon Sep 30, 2013, 08:47 PM (8 replies)
In 1967-1968 I went to Vietnam as a combat infantryman. I wanted to go, I volunteered, and I saw a good deal of action. I didn't understand exactly what I was fighting for. Certainly it took me years to understand. Now I do.
I support Congressman Alan Grayson because he supports peace -- and I'm asking for you to support him.
I thought we had woken up from the nightmare of war, but we didn't. And we kept going back to wars in my lifetime. The Cold War became the War against Terrorism, and it continues. Two wars in Iraq, one in Afghanistan.
The world is becoming more and more militarized. We need clarity. Congressman Grayson speaks out for the people who are trying to analyze and see through this morass. And he is a strong voice, he doesn't back down, he doesn't change his tune. He says it no matter what pressure is brought to bear on him; he sticks to his points, and his guns.
Join our movement for peace by contributing $35 to Rep. Alan Grayson’s re-election campaign by tonight's critical deadline.
He's the kind of guy I like, because he's not just a warrior, but a warrior for peace.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Mon Sep 30, 2013, 03:46 PM (0 replies)
It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in – particularly when you are the only one. That's exactly what Congresswoman Barbara Lee did in 2001, when she was the only Member of Congress to vote against the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force. Congresswoman Lee called it a "vote of conscience" - and during the war in Iraq, her conscience was clear.
Now, Congresswoman Lee is no longer alone. She has a friend and an ally in Congress, and his name is Alan Grayson. As Congresswoman Lee puts it, "In Alan Grayson, I see another Member of Congress who shares my love for peace."
Last month, Congressman Grayson and Congresswoman Lee worked together to prevent another war in the Middle East. They fought side-by-side to take control of our foreign policy away from the military-industrial complex, and return it to "We, the People."
As we approach a crucial fundraising deadline on Monday, Congresswoman Lee wanted to share an important message with you: "Support Congressman Grayson's campaign for justice, equality and peace."
Please take a minute to watch Congresswoman Lee's video, and click on any link to make a contribution before the end of the quarter.
Join our Peace Party, by contributing $25 or more to Rep. Alan Grayson's re-election campaign today.
I'm Congresswoman Barbara Lee. I was the only Member of Congress to vote against the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force, and I founded the Out-of-Iraq Caucus in Congress. I'm asking you today to support Congressman Alan Grayson.
In Alan Grayson, I see another Member of Congress who shares my love for peace. We have worked hand-in-hand to try to prevent another U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. We have labored arm-in-arm to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have fought side-by-side to take control of American foreign policy away from the military-industrial complex, and return it to "We, the People."
Alan Grayson is an articulate, plain-spoken and eloquent champion for peace. From the time that Alan Grayson entered Congress, he and I have worked together to realize John Lennon's dream, imagining all the people of the world, living life in peace. Please join us in that dream, and contribute to Alan Grayson's campaign right now – a campaign for justice, equality and peace.
Rep. Barbara Lee
"Imagine all the People,
Living life in peace.
You may say I'm a dreamer.
But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us,
And the world will be as one."
John Lennon, "Imagine" (1971).
Posted by Alan Grayson | Sun Sep 29, 2013, 04:05 PM (3 replies)
Monday is the end of the fundraising quarter. It is crucial. The candidates who have failed to raise enough money during this quarter will immediately have targets on their backs. The fallout? A barrage of attack ads from the likes of the Koch Brothers, the sewer-money-drenched special interests and the military-industrial complex.
Let’s show all of them that our Champion for Peace, Congressman Alan Grayson, has an entire party behind him… a Peace Party. Please give to our campaign by Monday and let Congressman Grayson know that he can count on your support, not just for his courageous stand on Syria, but for all his years of promoting peace.
As the fundraising deadline approaches, Team Grayson wants to share another excellent video from our archives. It comes from award-winning actor and peace activist Martin Sheen. As he so eloquently puts it, “Peace is a family value.” Please take a minute to read Sheen’s passionate message, watch the video if you like, and click on any link to make a contribution before the end of the quarter to show your support for Congressman Alan Grayson.
I’m Martin Sheen.
Congressman Alan Grayson has demonstrated the personal courage and leadership to speak out against war. We need that kind of courage in the people whom we select.
So please, join me in supporting Congressman Alan Grayson’s re-election at CongressmanWithGuts.com.
Because non-violence and peace are family values.
Join our movement for peace by contributing $35 to Rep. Alan Grayson’s re-election campaign by the September 30th deadline.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 03:58 PM (2 replies)
“Nothing man has ever done to man in the horrible caprice of power and cruelty, exceeds his self-inflicted punishment.” Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge
America is the strongest nation on Earth, the strongest nation that the world has ever seen. America is so strong that the worst things that ever happen to us are the things that we do to ourselves.
Or the things that the Teahadist D.C. Republicans do to all of us. They want to cut our noses, to spite their faces. They want to shut down our government.
And why are the Tea Party Republicans so desperate to burden the body politic of America with this self-inflicted wound? Just to “de-fund” Obamacare, and make sure that 50 million Americans cannot see a doctor when they are sick.
These are some of the points that Alan Grayson made on national TV a few weeks ago, discussing the possible shutdown of the U.S. Government, by the U.S. Government. Listen up:
Cenk Uygur: Congressman Grayson, you know, policy-wise, I’m sure you don’t want the government to shut down. It has a lot of consequences. People might not be paid their Social Security, you might not be able to pay the FBI, et cetera, et cetera. On the other hand, politically, God, wouldn’t the Republicans be doing you guys an enormous favor?
Congressman Alan Grayson: Yes, they would. And I think that it would be the end of the Republican Party as we know it. But let’s talk a little bit about how we’ve come to this point. What Obamacare actually does is that it extends health insurance coverage to 50 million Americans who didn’t have it before now. And in addition to that, it makes health coverage affordable by very simple things like letting buyers pool their buying power through these exchanges, and coming up with transparent form contracts for insurance, so that you can get all the coverage you think you’re getting, without becoming a master of the fine print. Simple things like that. And are so far against letting poor, sick people see a doctor, that the Republican Party, many in the Republican Party, are willing to shut down the American government in order to prevent that from happening. They are so incessantly bent on seeing to it that there’s no healthcare for 50 million Americans that they willing to go that far to do it. That’s crazy. That is absolutely crazy. You know, Barney Frank used to have a bumper sticker that he circulated inside the Caucus saying, “Democrats may not be perfect, but Republicans, they’re crazy.” And that really is crazy. Osama Bin Laden, in his wildest dreams, never could have dreamed of shutting down the American government, and here the Republican Party is going to do it for him. For his ghost. And for the sake of what? To make absolutely certain that sick people can’t see a doctor? It's crazy.
Is shutting down the Government in order to deny sick people the care that they need to stay alive:
(l) Business As Usual for the GOP, or
(m) All of the Above.
Click here to see the video, and support the Grayson campaign for justice, equality and peace.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Thu Sep 26, 2013, 05:41 PM (3 replies)
On issues of war and peace, it looks like there's going to be this whole new thing from now on, called "democracy." Remarkably, we seem to have seized this authority away from the Permanent Foreign Policy Establishment, and the Military-Industrial Complex. It's hard to believe, but going forward, "We, The People" may have a chance to weigh in on war and peace – at least through our elected representatives in Congress. Which makes it very important that those representatives are pro-peace.
Here's a funny thing: before someone actually is elected to Congress or the White House, he or she never actually has to make a decision on whether to go to war. The most experienced state representative, county commissioner, school board member, lawyer, businessman, doctor or even general never has to make that call. So it's a conundrum: how do you know whether a candidate for Congress will be pro-peace, when they've never had to vote on it?
All we've got to go on is what they say. But sometimes, that's enough.
There will be a special election soon in Massachusetts to replace Rep. Ed Markey, who has taken a seat in the U.S. Senate. There are seven candidates. During the recent debate over U.S. military intervention in Syria, six of those candidates decided that the safe thing was to avoid taking any position on the issue, apparently concluding that the shortest route to immense popularity is to stand for nothing. (This "logic" is all-too-common in public life, unfortunately.)
There was one exception: State Rep. Carl Sciortino. Carl Sciortino held a news conference, with me, to announce his opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria. That news conference received very wide coverage, including a prominent story in the Boston Globe.
Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. In Carl's case, that sleeve is embroidered with a peace sign.
Here's another funny thing: after Carl Sciortino held that news conference, the other candidates in the race announced that they, too, were against U.S. military intervention in Syria. Maybe they did that to try to demonstrate that they are right on the issue. But what they actually demonstrated is that Carl Sciortino is a leader – a leader on war and peace.
I hope that that is enough to motivate you to support Carl Sciortino's campaign. But in case it is not, there is something more: a chance to receive the custom plaque for Eric Clapton's diamond album, "Unplugged." Here is Blue America's Howie Klein, explaining how that works:
"Contribute any amount – no amount is too small – to Carl's campaign here and you will become eligible to win. You probably know what a gold record is – an award for 500,000 RIAA-certified sales in the U.S. For a platinum award, the number is a million. In recent years, the music industry created a new category: diamond, to mark 10,000,000 in domestic sales. Eric Clapton's ‘Unplugged' album was one of the first – and only – albums to achieve that status. What we're giving away is one of the original award plaques for 10,000,000 sales of ‘Unplugged,' which was made for the President of Eric Clapton's record company, who is a big fan not just of Eric Clapton, but also of Carl Sciortino. This stunning 30" x 30" custom plaque isn't something you can buy in a store, no matter how much money you have. Only a handful were ever made, and they were never sold."
So that's the deal. I'm asking you to contribute to Carl Sciortino's campaign because he is a champion for peace. Or because you like Eric Clapton. Or both.
Will you help?
Posted by Alan Grayson | Mon Sep 23, 2013, 10:54 AM (2 replies)
After three frenetic weeks, during which time Team Grayson was burning the midnight oil every night, it's time to take stock of what we've accomplished.
Here were the headlines in late August, just before we started our campaign against U.S. military intervention in Syria.
"Syria crisis: UK and US finalise plans for military strikes" - The Guardian, August 27.
"Syria strike due in days, West tells opposition - sources" - Reuters, August 27.
"Strike Against Syria is Imminent" - Reuters, August 27.
"Obama Will Bomb Syria" - Politico, August 26.
"U.S. military ‘ready’ to attack Syria, Hagel says" - CBS News, August 27.
And here are the headlines, now:
"Obama to explore diplomatic route on Syria," - Reuters, September 10.
"U.S. to Work Through U.N. on Syria Arms Proposal" – The New York Times, September 10.
"Obama Agrees To U.N. Discussion Of Putting Syria Chemical Weapons Under International Control" - Associated Press, September 10.
"Syria Will Sign Chemical Weapons Convention, Declare Arsenal, Foreign Ministry Says" - Reuters, September 10.
Let's go behind the headlines, to the numbers in Congress. Bloomberg News just came out with its own count of how every single member of the U.S. House and Senate would vote on war with Syria. In the U.S. Senate, which is institutionally designed to favor war and bailouts, the war vote is losing 34-22. That's shocking - the Senate is voting for peace!? In the U.S. House of Representatives, it's even better. House members oppose war by a 10-to-one margin. The Washington Post has it at 26 in favor, 251 against.
In other words, we are winning. Peace is winning.
How did this miracle happen?
To answer that question, look in the mirror.
You did this. Your calls and e-mails. Your pressure. The military industrial complex, the neoconservatives like Dick Cheney, the foreign policy corporate-funded think tanks in D.C., the warmongers at the State Department - they wanted war, but you wouldn't let them. We stood up for peace.
Now, what's interesting is not just that we averted military action (so far). It's also what has happened, because we averted military action. We showed that successful diplomacy, shunted aside just a week ago as irrelevant, is actually possible.
Think about this. We are on the verge of a solution that:
- Removes chemical weapons from Syria, preventing another attack and putting them out of the reach of both the Assad regime and Al Qaeda,
- Does not require the use of dangerous military force by the United States,
- Compels Syria to become a signer to the Chemical Weapons Convention,
- Restores the role of Congress in matters of war and peace, and
- Rejuvenates the United Nations as a platform for peace.
This happened only because of our work. To his credit, President Obama listened. He listened to Congress, to the voices of allies around the world asking us to pause, and most importantly, to We the People of These United States. But you spoke, President Obama listened, and now peace may bloom.
Of course, we may still go to war - the war lobby is fierce and relentless. Even as we speak, warmongers in Congress are writing new war resolution language, thinking that if they tweak this word or that word, making it an itsy-bitsy, teensy-weensy war, it can pass. To that, we say, “a big, fat NO.”
We have shown that Peace can be more powerful than War.
And hopefully, one day soon, we will not be arguing about where to direct our bombs. If you and I keep working together, we will be trying to figure out what to do with the fruits of peace – the Peace Dividend.
Rep. Alan Grayson
Posted by Alan Grayson | Wed Sep 11, 2013, 11:31 AM (2 replies)
The United States should not attack Syria. And I need your help to make sure that we do not.
The White House is seeking permission from Congress to attack Syria. Let’s make sure Congress says “NO.”
Ask your Member of Congress to vote NO on ANY legislation authorizing a U.S. attack on Syria. You can call here: 202-224-3121
Right now, calls to Congress are running 100:1 against intervention.
And Members of Congress are listening. More than half the members of the U.S. House of Representatives have said they are leaning against authorizing an attack. But we need more than that. We need them to say “NO,” loud and clear.
So call! Ask your Member of Congress to vote NO on ANY legislation authorizing a U.S. attack on Syria, under current circumstances. You can call here: 202-224-3121
Or you can e-mail your member here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
This is when it matters.
After you’re done with your call or e-mail, please tell me what you heard from your Member’s staff by going to this website: http://dontattacksyria.com/call-congress-now-dont-attack-syria/
Using the information you give me, I will be compiling a list of Members to whom I need to talk about this.
Finally, get your friends and family to sign up at DontAttackSyria.com. More than 60,000 people are working together RIGHT NOW to stop this attack on Syria. Let’s add more and more. Share this on Twitter and Facebook, and forward it to your friends.
We’re all in this together. And we’re going to win.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 05:05 PM (30 replies)