Friday, August 20, 2010

Islamic Center Near Ground Zero, Eleciton issue- GOP,last post before Nantucket!

Dear Obama/Biden Supporters:

The whole discussion on the mosque is really getting out of hand. I didn't want to harp on it or give more attention to the media craziness but how can we avoid talking about this? It seems to me that most of the discussion is about how much people can hate one another. It is like not even about ideologies but just about anger, hate, and whipping the crazies up so they won't concentrate on the things the GOP haven't done! Here we have 34% of the country not knowing Obama is a Christian and 18% believing he is a Muslim,and a even higher than ever % believing he is not a citizen.This is getting outrageous and someone must put an end to this. It is only divisive and hurtful and imagine what other countries must think about this discourse! What would you do if someone absolutely refused,even with proof of a birth certificate, to believe you were a citizen of this country,and this is the President of the United States of America. It is so outrageous and yet every news channel talked about it tonight! Only Chuck Todd on NBC nightly news showed anger when stating outright that it is a lie ,and that the president is both a citizen and a Christian .

Republican rhetoric is very dangerous because it not only makes a mockery of the Constitution but is in some ways a victory for Osama bin Laden by dividing this nation and making us look small ,prejudiced and uneducated. It seems to me that the horrible history,throughout the past centuries, of killing in G-ds name must stop. Maybe, the intolerance could be alleviated by building this community center/mosque which could possibly bring Muslims and non-Muslims together . The mosque is in a place that it resided since 1970(before the Towers were built) and could possibly serve as a reminder of a movement towards peace and tolerance. It being so close to the site of 9/11 would possibly be a constant reminder that violence has no place in religion. I saw an article that really hit home with me about this argument. The author stated,"Should we also believe that the Jim Crow laws helped the freed slaves assimilate into white America?Or that the detention camps helped secure the loyalty of Japanese-Americans? The opposition to a mosque(really a cultural center) at ground zero(really two blocks away) is not the legitimate expression of some second America that is "cultural" rather than "constitutional"-it is the American underside the America of the Klan and McCarthy,and it is to be repudiated,not excused" . We are better than this and can't let this turn into another Obama bashing incident. I believe the President and Mayor Bloomberg are speaking out forcefully against intolerance and opportunism! I do believe Obama is stepping into dangerous political waters, but to me he represents the best of American values. He has taken a principled stand on the right of Muslims to practice their faith freely and openly. It seems that the Republican party is being reduced to rabble rousing and cheap politics in this emotional debate!


A Mama 4 Obama

From Kathy in MO:

Got the blog. Looks good!

From Val in Ohio about mosque issue:

Diane Remm had a very balanced discussion on this issue today on NPR. You can find it on the NPR website. I like the observation that if Timothy McVeigh had confessed to being a Christian, if that would have caused an uproar if church groups tried to build at the site of the bombing.

I have to admit some consternation when Obama decided to weigh in on this issue. Guess we'll have to get used to the fact he doesn't run and he doesn't hide from controversial topics.

#2 JOHN BOEHNER: Spends $250k on Golf, Screws the Unemployed & Advocates Raising Retirement Age

More about the orangeman:

From Congresswoman Nita:

You are so special! Have a wonderful time in nantucket.Rest up we need you in September.

From Jeff in Scarsdale:

Part of the problem is that success is harder to explain than failure. The negative is easier to report and discuss. The positive legislation that Obama has signed into law is complicated and still has not evolved into a day to day reality.



Ninety years ago women gained the right to vote. Your vote this year honors those who fought so their daughters could cast a ballot.

To gain the right to vote 90 years ago, it took a movement of women who fought so that their daughters and granddaughters would not be denied a full measure of citizenship.

This year’s election presents the opportunity to keep moving forward with the fight to bring down barriers. Honor the legacy of those who couldn’t vote but reached for that right by promising to cast your ballot in November.

Talking Points: Relief for Small Businesses

· Small businesses have historically created two-thirds of all new American jobs, and they are a vital part of the American economy and our economic recovery. That’s why the President has called for a number of measures that will make it easier for small enterprises to get off the ground, grow, and hire new workers.

· The President’s proposals are built on the idea that although government can’t guarantee an entrepreneur’s success, it can help to remove some of the barriers to business creation and expansion, like the lack of affordable credit. And although government isn’t able to replace the millions of jobs that disappeared in the recession, it can support the conditions that enable small businesses to hire additional workers, through tax breaks and other measures.

· This Administration has cut taxes for small businesses no less than eight times. They passed an economic plan that has already supported more than 70,000 loans for small businesses. And they waived fees on new SBA loans to help business owners save money. Those loans and additional savings helped small business owners to get the capital they needed to invest in and build their businesses.

· Under the jobs bill enacted by the President last March, businesses that hire unemployed workers are eligible for tax cuts, and businesses that invest in new equipment are able to write those investments off. And as a result of health insurance reform, 4 million small business owners have received a postcard informing them that they may be eligible for a health care tax credit that could be worth tens of thousands of dollars this year.

· But there’s still more that government can do to help small businesses. So President Obama is pressing Congress to quickly approve additional tax breaks and lending incentives for small businesses – measures that will boost growth and job creation.

· If the legislation the President is supporting is passed, small businesses will see new benefits immediately. The legislation Congress is considering does away with capital gains taxes for critical investments in small enterprises, increases the deductions that small businesses can claim for investments and expenses, and increases the availability of credit.

· Despite Republicans’ history of partisanship and obstructionism, they should be able to join with Democrats to provide this critical relief for American small businesses. Those businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy and they are at the forefront of the economic recovery – it is simply imperative that this legislation pass.

From Tommy Sowers office in MO:

Have you been following all the coverage of Tommy recently?

It has been a very busy summer for the Sowers campaign. A couple weeks ago Tommy published an important Op-ed pointing out the realities of war and asking the tough questions about America's role in Afghanistan.

Many major newspapers, including the Southeast Missourian, The Miami Herald, The New York Times and Politico have all picked up and been reporting on Tommy's leadership.

Tommy has demonstrated that his eleven years in the Army have prepared him to be the effective and vocal leader that Southeast Missouri needs. And clearly Tommy is not only shaping the debate here in Southeast Missouri, but also is setting the tone for the whole country.

The campaign is taking this summer's great momentum marching forward. We are excited to tell you that by the end of August, we will have opened new campaign offices in West Plains, Dexter, Farmington, Cape Girardeau, and Poplar Bluff.

Tommy is looking forward to challenging Rep. Emerson in the debates on her undistinguished record in Washington. Emerson finally agreed to participate in at least four debates, set to take place across the district in October.

None of this, however, could we have done without you. The support for Tommy has been unparalleled. Our Army of volunteers is growing everyday. Donations have been coming in from the district and all over the country. This is a campaign that people want to be part of. On behalf of Tommy and all the staff, we really appreciate your support.

Now is the time though for us to show our strength. Will you continue to help us by making a contribution?Every little bit helps as we march forward in this growing movement. You can click here to make a secure contribution online:

From Mira in NYC:

Subject: A Year of Positive Thinking

My Whole Street is a Mosque

Posted: 19 Aug 2010 08:13 AM PDT

I live on Lispenard Street just south of Canal Street in Lower Manhattan, fourteen blocks North of Ground Zero. From my corner I saw with my own eyes the second plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center and I lived downtown through the scary nights and the many rough months after September 11, and I am here to say that my whole street is a mosque. Several times a day, small groups of Muslim men, mainly African street vendors who peddle carvings or fake Vuitton bags and Rolex watches on Canal Street, pull out prayers mats, often just rolls of cardboard they store in the nooks and crannies of the buildings around, they take their shoes off in all weather, wash their feet with water from bottles, kneel towards the East and pray, fourteen blocks from Ground Zero, on ground they’ve spontaneously “hallowed.” And the only thing one can say, in the words of my Holocaust refugee Polish Jewish mother, is “Only in America.”

Or, at least, only in New York, where these outdoors rituals take place on the street surrounded by crowds of Chinese vendors, NYPD cops, business men, rich men’s children and their nannies, and busloads of women tourists from the American South who have come to buy those fake Vuitton bags from those vendors (nice Christian ladies who have no problem breaking New York City’s tax laws by buying fake label merchandise). Every day I pass these men praying on my street, across the street from my front door, and on corners throughout Lower Manhattan. It is an example of the religious freedom and tolerance that makes this country truly great.

Politicians like President Obama should be wrapping themselves in the American Flag, waving the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights and hollering about Freedom of Religion, the Mayflower, the Founding Fathers, Ellis Island, Land of the Free, at the top of their lungs, throwing every righteous trope in the rhetorical book of the myth of America at those who would destroy “the better angels of our nature,” not getting all wimpy and conciliatory in the face of people who pander hatred and bigotry and who are cynically manipulating Ground Zero Families and using the “hallowed ground” of Ground Zero as this week’s battering ram against America’s true greatness.

From Joyce in Harlem:

My friends,

Please read the article below. This is the second article about the 15th C.D. race in two days and by different reporters. In today’s article I am listed among other candidates as “a woman” – no name, no background etc. The day that I’m “a woman” against an Adam Powell, or frankly anyone, tells me that I need a “advocacy squad” similar to Kirsten Gillibrand’s “Truth Squad”. I’ve copied Austin Fenner, the campaign’s media and press person, on this email. The article was written by Devlin Barrett; his email is help me on this and feel free to suggest anyone else who can help or I should call. And just as a reminder, I have attached my bio. It does not list everything I’ve done in 25 years of public and political life. Let me know what you think? Many thanks,

ONCE Again from OFA/DNC and for all of you out there making calls and setting the record straight!:

To hear some pundits tell it, the outcome of the midterms is preordained disaster for Democrats. Not so fast. Much depends on how Democratic candidates frame their efforts - and how Progressives in general frame the political debate over the next three months.

Here are nine keys to Democratic success:

1). The election narrative -- the election must be framed as part of a struggle between everyday Americans and corporate special interests.

Everyday Americans believe the economy is a disaster and the country is on the wrong track. They won't change that view until the economy actually improves.

The Republicans are doing their best to pin the blame on the leadership of Democrats. Democrats are absolutely correct to frame the election as a choice between moving America forward and going back to the failed Bush economic policies that allowed the recklessness of the Big Wall Street banks to collapse the economy, and cost eight million Americans their jobs.

But we need to make certain that we are not only offering a choice of policies - we are offering a choice of leadership. On the one side, those who will fight for the interests of everyday Americans and on the other, leaders who stand up for the interests of Wall Street, insurance companies and Big Oil.

We need to describe a narrative that is about struggle - not policies and programs.

This is especially important when Democrats talk about Congress' many accomplishments this term. In fact, this has been the most productive Congress in recent history. But if a candidate tries to talk about "accomplishments," that will not resonate with the experience of everyday voters.

Instead we should talk about "battles won." Democrats won the battle with Wall Street and the Republicans to rein in the power of the big Wall Street banks. We won the battle to begin holding insurance companies accountable and prevent them from discriminating against people with "pre-existing conditions." We won the battle to rescue the economy from the death spiral created by Bush administration policies and the recklessness of the big Wall Street banks.

The language of struggle, and "battles won" has enormous advantages:

It allows us to talk about what Congress has done in terms that everyday voters can understand. It takes their pain and unhappiness and explains why it happened.

It places the blame where it belongs and creates a narrative with a clear antagonist and protagonist.

It allows us to be on the offense - not the defense.

It positions our candidates as outsider champions for everyday voters and their values - not insider apologists for what Congress has "accomplished."

It creates the basis for a powerful mobilization narrative that engages the emotions of anger and inspiration.

2). The antagonist in our narrative should be defined as the corporate special interests - Wall Street, insurance companies, Big Oil - and their Republican enablers.

We are much better off doing battle with these massively unpopular special interests than we are engaging in purely partisan warfare.

It is also much easier to convince voters that the big Wall Street banks, insurance companies and Big Oil are responsible for the economic disaster (which they are) rather than simply Republican policies (which are equally responsible). By tying special interests to Republicans we go to their motivation - to whose side the Republicans are on - not simply the effectiveness of their policies. And, of course, it is true that Republicans and the big corporations are, practically speaking, synonymous.

3). Remind the voters that when the Republicans were in charge, they wrecked the economy and created zero private sector jobs.

George Bush and the Republicans cut taxes for the rich and allowed the big Wall Street Banks free rein to engage in the reckless behavior that collapsed the economy and cost eight million Americans their jobs. They said that their policies would "grow" the economy. Yet, every dime of growth went into the pockets of the wealthiest 2% of Americans and, worse yet, Bush produced zero new private sector jobs.

The New York Times reported last year that, "For the first time since the Depression, the American economy has added virtually no jobs in the private sector over a 10-year period. The total number of jobs has grown a bit, but that is only because of government hiring."

Now compare that to the Clinton administration where the rich paid Clinton-era tax rates. Of the total of 22.5 million new jobs, 20.7 million, or 92 percent, were in the private sector.

Do we really want to give the keys back to the people who completely failed to create jobs and wrecked the economy just two years ago?

4). It's all about turnout.

We obviously need to do everything we can to move persuadables - but at the end of the day, just as in 1994, this election will be decided by who turns out to vote. That means two things:

Our campaigns and party committees must make a major priority out of the mechanics of GOTV. No message works better to increase turnout than: "I won't get off your porch until you vote."

The language of struggle must be used to engage base Democrats who have been discouraged or demoralized. Basically, we have to describe the midterm elections as the Empire Strikes Back: "The Wall Street Banks, insurance companies, Big Oil and other wealthy special interests see this election as their best opportunity to reverse the results of the election in 2008. They want to turn back the clock to the failed economic policies of the past so they can undo Democratic victories that will hold them accountable. They want to have free rein once again to siphon off every ounce of economic growth for themselves at the expense if middle-class families. They're counting on us to sleep through the election. We have to stop them."

5). The Arizona Immigration Law, persuasion and turnout among Hispanics.

The difficulty passing comprehensive immigration reform (which mainly had to do with the unwillingness of Republicans to work on the issue) had caused substantial levels of demoralization in the Hispanic community. Had we been successful, we could have used inspiration as a major tool for voter mobilization there -- no such luck.

But when the Republicans passed the Arizona Law (SB1070), they handed Democrats a cudgel. The Arizona law goes to the identity of Hispanic voters -- as does the Lindsey Graham proposal to repeal the 14th Amendment.

For that reason we have already seen in the polling how, when they support the Arizona law, electoral support for Republicans among Hispanic voters drops. In the last Presidential election Hispanics broke Democratic by 76%. That should now increase. Increasingly leaders in the Latino community are also using the bill to harness anger and fuel turnout.

Their basic message goes something like: The Republicans who passed the Arizona law -- and those who support it around the country -- completely disrespect the Latino community and its enormous contribution to America. We have to go to the polls on November 2 to show them that if they don't respect us, we will no longer allow them to occupy positions of public trust.

6). Seniors.

Seniors will show up disproportionately to vote in this election. As a consequence, a big chunk of persuadable voters is over 55 years old.

Congressman Paul Ryan and his friends have handed us a silver bullet to move these constituencies. They actually say out loud that:

Republicans want to cut benefits and privatize Social Security.

Republicans want to abolish Medicare and replace it with vouchers for private insurance.

These two positions are like political Kryptonite. Focus groups and polling show them to be devastating attacks on Republicans. We have to put these two issues squarely on the public agenda in September and October.

7). Wall Street Banks.

Polling around the country indicates that a three-part attack on Republican connections with Wall Street is especially powerful.

Congressman X received almost a million dollars from big Wall Street banks, then he voted for the bank bailout and against holding the big Wall Street banks accountable.

a). Contributions

b). Bailout

c). Against holding Wall Street accountable

Where Democrats voted for the bailout, we can make the distinction clearly that our guy also voted to hold the big Wall Street Banks accountable and the Republican did not. Most Republican challengers will have received money from Wall Street and opposed the Wall Street reform bill.

8). Staying on Offense

If we're on the defense -- we're losing.

A top message priority of every campaign and political operation must be to always stay on offense - defining the debate in terms of our frames - constantly challenging the Republicans.

9). Defining our candidates as outsiders.

The insider-outsider dynamic is key.

This is not a political environment where it is helpful to brag about how powerful or connected you are -- or how your long term of service helps you deliver for the district. It's not a time to highlight all of your "accomplishments."

In general, voters think the "elites" in America have screwed everyday Americans in order to feather their own nests (and they're right). Instead, they want leaders who can effectively lead the charge against the bastions of elite power. That certainly isn't the Republicans who are owned by Wall Street, Big Oil and the insurance companies.

To win in this environment, our candidates need to portray themselves as populist outsiders, not elite insiders. In the end, whoever wins that battle will prevail on November 2nd.

Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of the recent book: "Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win," available on

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why can't we Dems learn to celebrate our accomplishment?

Dear Obama/ Biden Supporters:

When are we Democrats going to learn how to celebrate our accomplishments? Why aren't we partying and getting out the word that now that we have finally wrapped up business for the summer( by approving additional border security money) and passed more legislation than anyone since the Great Society programs of Lyndon B. Johnson! All we seem to hear from the press is that Congressional Dems are on the defensive and getting ready for terrible losses in both the House and Senate in upcoming midterm elections. Call me Dorothy from MO (not KS ,please sorry Suzi, Barbara etc. ) but this isn't the way I see it at all. Okay, it is terribly frustrating that much of the public is unimpressed by the legislation signed into law in the first two years of Obama's term:the $787 billion stimulus package,an anti-age-discrimination law,long sought after tobacco regulation,expanded community service(as indicated by the terrific Conference of volunteering and Service started by White House in San Fran and then here this summer in NYC!),Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act(so proud of you Lilly!!!),credit card consumer protection,the landmark health care law,Pentagon contracting changes, Wall Street regulation,tax cuts,credits and so many more . Now I ask you, how does this stack up against any other President in past history except FDR's New Deal and before mentioned LBJ? Why are we not out there naming specifics like this and asking what has the GOP done for you? Okay, yes they got us in two wars, yes they used up all the Clinton surplus, yes they cut taxes for the richest Americans, but what for you other than veto continued small business support, energy controls and on and on. Get out there and tell it like it is-we have the facts and the record and in the words of Nancy Regan(someone I thought I'd never quote), "Just do it"!!!!.

A person I am fond of quoting, Kathy from MO says it like it is:"The bills that we passed in spite of the worst obstruction in Congress in history were historic. The thing that Dems are terrible at is messaging, and we had better get good at it really fast! The Karl Rove group and Americans for Prosperity (really should be Rich Guys for our Own Prosperity) and other rich hate groups are set to spend millions in Dem districts. The first thing they are attacking is the stimulus. They have managed to confuse people and make them hate it. They are saying it is the same as Bush's bank bailouts of 2008. Obama is getting blamed for how all of that was handled even though he was not even elected yet.

The rethugs are great at getting a lie going and all of them staying on message with it. They are great at wedge issues and sound bytes that really have no substance! The Dems, this summer, need to get some good memorable phrases that they all repeat in every public forum. There is so much we have accomplished and so much harm that the Republicans have done. People need to know what is really going on! Hammer them on voting against small businesses and job creation, against the unemployed calling them lazy, about wanting to do away with Medicare and Social Security, about voting against the first responders of 9/11, about apologizing to BP for having to set up a fund to pay for their horrendous damages, and wanting to protect the Bush tax cuts for the top 2%. They are liars and hypocrites about being concerned with the deficit on the backs of our children! Hogwash, if they were concerned about that they would let those tax cuts for the wealthy expire! Messaging is everything. If the people don't know what is going on, it is our fault for not getting it out there!"

I must tell you that the comments made by many of the GOP about President Obama are not only ridiculous and disrespectful but not rooted in reality. How about the ad made for Dan Quayle's son Ben where he charges that "Barack Obama is the worst president in history". The GOP is counting on a stumbling economy to cause the electorate to lose sight of what has taken place in the last 10 years .Under the last 8 years in the Republican white House

as I said before, we had two wars, one unnecessary, a trillion dollars of tax cuts for the rich ,deregulation of the financial sector and an economy teetering on another Depression. Note that under President Obama another depression was avoided,the economy is turning around, health care and financial institutions have been substantially reformed, one war is winding down, the other attempted to be properly fought and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are going to expire. I ask you what the GOP are talking about,do they think we Americans are morons? I love one of the statements that really made an impression on me at the Women's Leadership forum in DC. Barack Obama is working for the next generation not the next election. Now it is up to us to get the word out and make our accomplishments know and celebrated!!!

I will be on vacation in Fantasy island (Nantucket )for the next two weeks. I intend to rev up for the fight ahead with facts and more facts and was to get the message out. If you haven't gone to our Facbook or blog pages here is that info once again. Gerald and I are working on making our interactions with each other easier and more accessible to all! See you in September except when I am able to get on to Facebook from ACK!


A Mama 4 Obama


Please join me at both of these sites where you can make statements and they will reach many more people than in the past. In order to get to the blog please go to and read my updates and make comments

You can also find me on Facebook at "The Sunny Side - Political news for the Friends of Progressive Government" at!/pages/The-Sunny-Side-Political-news-for-the-Friends-of-Progressive-Government/141511589209655.

From Elizabeth in Mamaroneck: **Note from Sunny,so sorry Judy-having just sat with you at Nita's event this is truly embarrassing. I apologize-Elizabeth is right you are so special and so good as County Legislator this needs to be pointed out!!!!

Great job, dear Sunny! One point: Judy Myers is Westchester County Legislator, elected member of the County Board of Legislators. She's not elected to the NYS Assembly. This is probably just a typo, but Judy does such a superb job, day in, day out, that I think it's worth clarifying.

From Val in Ohio:

It was a more streamlined presentation. There were times with the blog that I had to cut and paste because the words ran outside the margins for my e-mail. I'm a bit confused about the links. I guess the main website will have all of the blog postings and that's all I need.

I'm all for anything and anyone who can lessen the load for you. You have gone over and beyond the call of duty to keep the blog up and running. I, for one, appreciate all that you do.

From Lilli in NYC:

We at Big Brothers Big sisters are pleased to announce:

September 25,2010, the Sixth Annual RACE FOR THE KIDS in Riverside Park will take place! The event was started to increase the awareness of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC’s mission and to underscore the importance of health and exercise among the thousands of children they serve in NYC. It has evolved into their biggest and most fun filled event of the year.!

Race for the Kids is a great thing to do with children as they have partnered with Nickelodeon (Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, the cast of DeGrassi High and Nickelodeon’s Brain Surge game show will all be at the event) as well as adult friends (LeBron James, Wyclef Jean, and Nick Canon will also be there!)

Please join us in supporting BBBS of NYC's efforts to profoundly impact the lives of young people in NYC by providing them with a mentor and encouraging an active lifestyle. You can do this by either joining or donating to our team, Lillipalooza!


If you would like to join us on race day:

The below link will take you to our team page, click Join Team, -- there is a $25 registration fee:
If you are unable to attend but would like to donate to Lillipalooza:

To donate to Lilli's team:

From Ron R in NYC:

Sunny...Whats with your friends from Missoura....Reactionary to the

max....Not helpful for our guy.....Ron....

Subject: Yahoo! News Story - Missouri vote puts health care back in

crosshairs - Yahoo! News

Missouri vote puts health care back in crosshairs - Yahoo! News

From Roz in Larchmont:

I think you are the most wonderful. Please keep me on all of your lists. You light up my day.

From Fran in Larchmont:

..."Everything I have read about the new HHS regs indicates that women in the most vulnerable health will be excluded from benefitting from Health Care Reform of 2010 if they want to terminate an untenable pregnancy. The Hyde Amendment forbids the use of federal funds for abortion. Obama succumbed to pressure from the antis and issued an executive order on March 24 affirming that the Hyde Amendment would extend to the Health Care Reform bills. These new HHS regs go beyond the new law regulating what certain women are allowed to do with their own money. This is not, in my mind, SAME. This is new BAD.

Answer from Lee to Fran(above e-mail):

The people/women that we are talking about did not have insurance before and therefore did not have abortion coverage. This program is giving them health insurance and it does not preclude them purchasing abortion coverage or paying for an abortion themselves which they would have done previously. It is not true that women in this pool are being given less than what they had access to before.

From Megan in CT:

Great email Sunny! I'm so with you - I was actually cheering Robert Gibbs this week for his comments! (Which I thought also showed a good sense of humor.) Have joined your Facebook page!

From Betty in Scarsdale:

Welcome to the newish world!! Great to catch a glimpse of you yesterday at Nita's event!!

From Dani in Brooklyn:

Love the new site - congratulations! We need your voice and collectivity more than ever if we are to surmount the mounting chaos. Let the Sunnyside shine far and wide...

From Isolde in Brooklyn:

Fabulous and hi-tech!

Hope all is well.

From Gary in Yonkers:

Congrats on going FB!

I've 'Liked' ya and look forward to the future updates.
Keep on keepin on Sunny!

From Betty in Scarsdale:

I don't know if you get these but here's some great fighting points! Its very frustrating how the dems have allowed the crazies to take over a great progressive agenda--look @ immigration--the much needed stimulus etc. I'm with you! Think Bill was trying to nudge all to speak up and out!!!

Subject: Learn how to fight like a liberal - the Tea

I am writing to invite you to set aside your good manners, your tolerance, your measured understanding of policy differences, and your earnest do-gooder ideas for a just a moment to join me in telling the Tea Party what you really think of them.

I have created an instructional video and a website with exciting products to help you.

Not sure you want to fight like a Liberal? Consider this:

On August 28th, the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" will be celebrated in Washington with a Tea People rally featuring Glenn Beck speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (anyone remember where MLK gave his speech?).

The 3 Tea People who want to be U.S. Senators have ideas like the following: 1) repealing the 14th amendment to exclude the children of illegal immigrants, 2) paying doctors with chickens and 3) believing the coal mining industry can self-regulate.

Oh and 57% of Tea People think George W. Bush was a good President (FYI: at this point I don't even think George Bush thinks George Bush was a good president).

Maya Angelou once said, "When someone shows you who they are believe them." Well, Tea People, I believe you.

From Sister Suzi in KS after seeing the Youtube above addressing the Tea Party Crazies!

I loved the video. Can’t believe what people will believe. Thanks to our media we can persuade the masses to believe what they want them to. Most of America really doesn’t care about anything and because of that they are easily swayed to think like the loudest person they are hearing. Talk to you soon.


From Kathy in KCMO: After seeing the YouTube

Great video! These people and the statistics about them are truly frightening!

These tea baggers make me sick! They are crazy. We can only hope and pray that the majority of the electorate sees the tea party candidates for who they really are and keeps them out of power!

The Dems may be disillusioned that Obama did not get us everything we wanted in the first 18 months, but they had better get out and vote this fall or we are in deep sh*t!

From Stef in NY(Gillibrand Women's OUtreach Coordinator):

I am so excited to be following you on facebook- "The Sunny Side" is great!!

Can't wait for the women's week!


I hope you are enjoying your summer! With campaign season well underway, I wanted to update you on Kirsten's work and ways for you to be involved!

Save the Date for the Women's Week of Action October 3-October 10, 2010: Kicking off on Sunday October 3, the Women's Week of Action will mobilize women across the state to hold phone banks in their homes, organize their friends, and inform their networks about how important it is to turn out the vote for Kirsten. Stay tuned for more information or contact me at or 212.481.2010 with any questions!

The Senator has been working hard in Washington and across New York State and here's some news we didn't want you to miss!

Kirsten attended the BlogHer conference in NYC on August 6th where she sat down with a group of 25 women bloggers for a Q&A. The topics ranged from the importance of electing more women to Congress and what Congress can do to incentivize more women and girls to go into the sciences to the issues of cybersecurity and pay equity.

Click here to read CNN's piece about the event. Pictures of the event are up on the Women for Gillibrand Facebook page.
Also last week, we saw history get made with the confirmation of only the 4th woman Supreme Court Justice in US history, Elena Kagan. Senator Gillibrand was proud to vote for Kagan's confirmation, saying:

"Solicitor General Kagan is a strong, brilliant New Yorker, and I was proud to cast my vote for her confirmation to the Supreme Court. Solicitor General Kagan's historic achievements as the first woman to become Dean of Harvard Law School, and the first woman to serve as U.S. Solicitor General, demonstrate her level of excellence and strength of character. Her record of achievement, respect for the rule of law, and ability to build consensus earned her strong, bipartisan support. I believe she is exactly the kind of Justice we need on the high court and I am pleased my colleagues joined me in voting for her confirmation."Please mark your calendars October 3rd-October 10th for Women's Week of Action and start thinking about how you would like to be involved!

Stay tuned for more updates and please don't hesitate to be in touch!
From Barbara in KS:

Trust me, this one is a winner!!

So cute!

Cute - add this to your presidential repertoire.

From Chris in Fl (originally from KCMO)

Kathy B,from MO, told me about your blog and I'd like to post my articles to your fb page and your site. My main question is how do you want me to do so? Also I can always use advice on how to make my writing better and how to reach a wider audience. Are there any guidelines you need me to follow? I'm looking forward to working with you to help support our President and progressive causes nation wide. I've been so bewildered and frustrated this year! I can't believe people are actually considering giving control back to the Republicans. Their platform has gotten so far right, so out of touch with what America needs that it scares me. I'm really trying to be a voice, to be the cry to action that I firmly believe people need, especially where I live. There are so few democrats, let alone progressives, that I think those of us here are scared to be noticed, to come out and be heard. It's a challenge but I hope I end up making a difference. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you!

Here is the link to my examiner page. Take a look and lets see what we can do! I do have another article I'm getting ready to post, just a little review of our gubernatorial candidates, which I should hopefully have up within a day or so. I really hope that the Republicans here will spend so much time fighting each other that they don't even notice how well the Democrats do. Ever since I moved to this state I've been so shocked at how long Republican mismanagement has been allowed to continue. I suffer no delusions it will change anytime soon but I sure hope it happens soon enough. The state economy is doing so poorly and the only answers coming from Tallahassee that you hear in my neck of the woods is "more conservatism," "cut taxes," "no Obamacare," and of cours no change that could actually help the state if it doesn't involve pandering to the far right wing's delusions. Well let me know what your "tech guy" says and I'll let you know as soon as my next article is up! Take care and look forward to hearing from you.

**** Note from Kathy about Chris:

I think he wants to post on the site. He has starting posting his thoughts op/eds on The Examiner in Panama City, FL. They are very good and insightful pieces. I think they would really compliment what you and others post. I am impressed with his passion and his writing. He is one of Marisa's best friends from college. You can have him post his articles with you or a synopsis of them with his link so people can read the whole article. Is that a problem for you? I enjoy his articles, I think your friends and readers will too.

From Pam in Larchmont:

I think Obama just put the nails in his coffin.Agreeing to the Mosque near ground zero..terrible..Bloomberg agrees..I strongly disagree
That is a nice humble opinion u sunny little girl:) humble opinion is ..Obama is acting like Jesus and Jesus was crucified!This is not the ideal world and if I heard many top islamic leaders in the media denouncing this cr**,then it would be ideal,but there r not!!They are not well represented,it's not right,no way!!but that' my humble opinion and I send u hugs!!:) oh well..who knows..I wish I were wrong about the islamic people,but it's their own fault and I stand by my convictions..and u know I'm pretty laid back..but,not on this as much as I love bloomberg too!


:)good am...NYer article is so small and long..will pull up on computer when I have time..blackberry too small.Anyway,got alittle of it.I assume Obama and Bloomberg just did the politically correct gesture knowing it will never be allowed.I'm hoping that's the case.I don't care if it's not right on ground's something I will always think is a big mistake.It's gotten to much coverage and controversy at this point.They should forget it! I do not control the world,so I will watch,be agitated and hope for the best.The way the world operates is not always easily understood,but I have confidence in the flow of the universe that all will be as it should be...otherwise I will be in a state of agitation about all I can't control..oui?Time will tell and we will see!

From Elizabeth in Mamroneck:

Proud « The Reality-Based Community

Here is a copy of Obama's great speech last night.

#2 Here is article on mosque!

Click here:

..Ah, the “Ground Zero mosque.” Well, for a start, it won’t be at Ground Zero. It’ll be on Park Place, two blocks north of the World Trade Center site (from which it will not be visible), in a neighborhood ajumble with restaurants, shops (electronics, porn, you name it), churches, office cubes, and the rest of the New York mishmash. Park51, as it is to be called, will have a large Islamic “prayer room,” which presumably qualifies as a mosque. But the rest of the building will be devoted to classrooms, an auditorium, galleries, a restaurant, a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001, and a swimming pool and gym. Its sponsors envision something like the 92nd Street Y—a Y.M.I.A., you might say, open to all, including persons of the C. and H. persuasions.

Like many New Yorkers, the people in charge of Park51, a married couple, are from somewhere else—he from Kuwait, she from Kashmir. Feisal Abdul Rauf is a Columbia grad. He has been the imam of a mosque in Tribeca for close to thirty years. He is the author of a book called “What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America.” He is a vice-chair of the Interfaith Center of New York. “My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists,” he wrote recently—in the Daily News, no less. He denounces terrorism in general and the 9/11 attacks in particular, often and at length. The F.B.I. tapped him to conduct “sensitivity training” for agents and cops. His wife, Daisy Khan, runs the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which she co-founded with him. It promotes “cultural and religious harmony through interfaith collaboration, youth and women’s empowerment, and arts and cultural exchange.”

Click here:

From Kathy in MO:

I think he said the right thing on the Mosque. He is defending the Constitution. That is what he is supposed to do! It is amazing how the haters are all about "defending the Constitution" until there is something in there they don't like! The progressives have been hard on him because they didn't get everything they wanted right away. He had to compromise or we wouldn't have gotten anything. I think they are mad at advisors like Rahm Emanuel who encourage him to start the bargaining with giving something up instead of going for it all and then compromising. I don't like Rahm. I think he is the antithesis of Obama. However disappointed some may be, they had better look at the big picture and keep the Dems in power because things are going to get especially ugly if the rethugs get back into power. They are being driven in all they do by the far right wing crazies so their legislation and actions will be that much more extreme. We have no time for midterm apathy this year. This is too important!

Give me a "Professor" any day! He is smart and practical and so good for our country. It is too bad that we haven't gotten that message out!

You are the miracle worker, Sunny! You keep us all going strong! Keep inspiring us.


From Ruthie in AZ in response to right wing e-mail ;anti-immigrants and anyone different in that state:

Between the drug cartels and the non-hispanics who are coming across the border you almost wish for the good old days when it was just the hispanics who wanted to work. There have been too many murders within a few miles of the border and it's pretty much out of control. I sure don't know the answer and one of the problems is even if they send in the guns and control Arizona's border there is still NM and Texas and California. Don't get me wrong here - I HATE Arizona's governor and on that count I'm not happy with Obama that he took our wonderful Janet Napalitano who was such a good governor and put her in Homeland Security. Not that she isn't doing a good job but he KNEW what he was leaving us with and it was just bad timing. So, I just re-read the e-mail from the "lovely friend in Scottsdale" who sounds unbalanced to me. I think this woman is just your basic right wing republican who believes whatever the republicans send out. Yes, Arizona is in a sad state when our best choice for senator is actually John McCain!

From Val in Dayton,Ohio: (who alerted me to stores supporting local tea party owned businesses):

Guess this isn't working out for them.

DAYTON — Tea Party Exchange founder Donald Hutchinson’s website touts the advantages of using “local, tea party owned” small businesses. But when he needed a database programmer for the site, Hutchinson outsourced the work to India.

Hutchinson whose politically conservative exchange has become increasingly controversial since his rollout last week, said he sees no conflict in promoting American companies while using an Indian programmer. “I designed the website myself. However my programmer is outsourced,” said Hutchinson, president of Washington Twp.-based Essex HR and Associates. “Local database programmers are welcome to talk to me.”

Last week the web pages at said “Website Outsourced to DESIGN Web Graphic,” an Indian web-design company. On Friday, Internet bloggers picked up on it, with some criticizing and others supporting outsourcing. By Monday the website had been changed to say “Website by: DESIGN Web Graphic, USA.” “I’m not opposed per se to people outsourcing, but your outsourcing something that’s supposed to promote local business, that seems hypocritical,” said Dayton blogger Steven Saus, who began the internet blog discussion on his Hutchinson said he changed the name on the website because he now has a partnership with the Indian company and will be offering website services. DESIGN Web Graphic officials in India could not be reached Monday. ..

#2 Good news, tea party boycott shut down!

Today's news article indicated the program has shut down. No word of any refunds being issued. I'm hosting a post card party this weekend so I'm sure we'll be working for all of the candidates with a "D" beside their name.

From Doni in New Jersey:
No one said it would be easy re-drawing the American political map on Israel.

The right-wing voices that have dominated the landscape for decades certainly weren't going down without a fight.

It's no surprise to see leading neocons and figures from the religious right unite in a new effort to attack courageous politicians who have chosen to stand with JStreetPAC for security through peace and for American leadership to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [1]

Let's be clear -- their goal isn't simply to hurt particular candidates but to intimidate others from speaking out courageously on our issue in the future.

To succeed in our mission to create new political space in Washington, we have to prove the power of our movement by delivering meaningful financial support to the candidates we endorse.Two of the most important this cycle are Senate candidates Russ Feingold and Robin Carnahan. Both are willing to stand up for pro-Israel, pro-peace policies and both are in the fight of their political lives.The non-partisan Cook Report just moved Feingold's race from lean-Feingold to a toss-up -- and Carnahan's been rated a toss-up for months. [2] With razor thin margins like this, your $50 contribution can really make a difference.

As a 3-term Jewish Senator who is known for his independence and intellect, Feingold has been a strong friend to Israel during his time in the Senate and on the Foreign Relations Committee.

He vigorously opposed the Iraq War, stood up on civil liberties and has championed a host of progressive issues. On Israel and the Middle East, Senator Feingold told us during his interview that JStreetPAC's views were right in his "sweet spot" -- standing up for Israel, but recognizing the urgency of achieving a two-state solution now.

Feingold is likely running against a self-funding Tea Party candidate in Wisconsin, so he'll need all the help he can get from pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans like you.Currently serving as Missouri's Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan made her common sense pro-Israel views on the Middle East known in her interview with JStreetPAC. She believes strongly in the importance of US leadership to secure Israel's future as a Jewish, democratic home through a two-state solution and countering Iran through tough, strong diplomacy paired with sanctions. Her opponent is already blanketing the airwaves with attack ads; she'll need help from us to fight back.Click here to support both Feingold and Carnahan with a gift of $50 right now.The course President Obama and his team chart in the Middle East will be impacted greatly by the lessons they draw from the 2010 elections about the shifting politics around Israel and the Middle East.Will JStreetPAC and our friends do enough to prove to the White House and the political class in Washington that it's politically feasible to make bold moves towards peace?That's up to us.Please stand with us and our candidates and help us win -- not only in November, but in the broader fight for peace and security in the Middle East.

From Robin Carnahan's Campaign in MO:

Let me say in no uncertain terms: we're in this race to win.

And in the weeks leading up to the election, we'll be holding Congressman Blunt accountable for his 14-year Washington record of wasteful spending, corruption and sticking it to the middle class.

Please donate to help us keep this on the air!
Our first television ad, "Nine Years Later," outlines how Congressman Blunt, the ultimate Washington insider, helped wreck the economy and was then a key leader in passing the $700 BILLION Wall Street bailout.
But don't worry about this ad hurting Blunt's feelings; the Congressman doesn't seem to shy away from his big business buddies. In fact, he has already taken $1.6 million from Wall Street special interests, and he's been using that money to attack Robin.

Take a look at our brand-new ad and see for yourself. And help us continue to fight back against Congressman Blunt's attacks.

Thanks, and please show this ad to your friends in telling them what's at stake in this election.P.S. Congressman Blunt's record represents the very worst of Washington, yet he's attacking Robin who has consistently stood up for middle class families. Please donate $25 to help us keep this ad on the air.

From Kathy in MO: Lets all join Kathy and Judy and get Robin elected!!!! Come on MO,make us proud!

You are right. We have to pull everyone together. There is no way Blunt should be leading in the polls. He is corrupt as they come. They are putting "rubberstamp for Obama" in front of Robin's name at every turn. We have to get the word out about who this guy is and what his agenda is. It is truly vile. The only way the rethugs can beat us this fall is if we don't show up. They keep talking about an enthusiasm gap. Well, we had better find some enthusiasm before it is too late!

Don't worry, I am on board and will start working for Robin tirelessly. After Labor Day sounds like a good target to start really pulling people in.
Have a wonderful time in Nantucket. We are trying to relax and beat the heat in CO. Then it is back to work!

From Betty in Scarsdale:

Subject: [KGTruth] great new Siena poll
More good news:

“For the first time, more voters -- 38% -- would rather elect Kirsten Gillibrand to the Senate seat she was appointed to, rather than the 36 percent who support ‘someone else.’ Additionally, her favorability rating improved to 40-29% , up from 34-29% in July,” Siena's Steve Greenberg said.

The poll shows an uphill battle for Gillibrand's three GOP rivals:

She leads Bruce Blakeman 55-28%, up from 51-28% last month. She leads ex-Rep. Joseph DioGuardi 54-29%, up from 51-29% in July. She leads David Malpass 55-27%, up from 50-27% last month.

Among Republicans, DioGuardi continues to lead with 19% to Blakeman's 8% and 5% for Malpass (In July, it was 24-7-5). The big winner among enrolled Republicans: Undecided, with a comfy 68%.

#2(Refers to video in upper part of e-mail)

The Tighty-Righties apparently did not appreciate our light-hearted (and very stylish) campaign to expose the Tea People for who they really are.

Greta Van Susteren, Michele Malkin and thousands of others lit up the web on Thursday after Ben Smith covered our campaign on the front page of Politico and the story was picked up by Huff, CBSnews and others.Bill Kristol joined the bleating today. "The "f*ck tea" movement-that's what the left has come to," he lamented. While he did concede that the Tea Party hasa "slightly" negative image (30 positive - 34 negative); he boasted that it was "considerably better" than either the Democratic or Republican parties (sort of like being the very biggest chihuahua in the dog park, no?). In an effort to civilize the dialogue, he encouraged the "pro-Tea Party wing (dare I say the pro-American wing?) of the American public" to . . . . "choose the high road: . . . "light a candle!" . . . "ignore the left's sad vulgarity" . . . and "choose cheerful doggerel."

The Tea People did not get the memo."You will go down in flames." "ALL LIBERALS SHOULD BE STERILIZED", "The agenda project is nothing more than a who's who of socialists and communists", "I have guns." And my personal favorite "You are just a left wing whore and an enemy to my country."Jeez. Tea People.It's just a Tea Shirt. Oh, and a mug. Maybe it was the instructional video that set them off. FT girl is after all way hotter than Sarah Palin.
If you haven't done it already, we hope you will join the 30,000+ people who have watched our informative video and visited our beautiful website for handy tools to show the Tea People what you think of their idea to hold a rally at the Lincoln Monument with Glenn Beck on the Anniversary of MLK's I Have A Dream Speech.Come on! It's fun.
PS. If you know any Tea People personally, you may want to let them know that we are just getting started - there's even more fun ahead.

From Robin in North Salem,NY:

Fabulous and all so so true.and when she runs for Prez I will be right there campaigning for her!
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand - A Breath Of Fresh Air!
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Really good one!!

From Ross in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's camapign:

We have less than nine days until our key FEC fundraising deadline at midnight on August 25. Kirsten said it best - she may not have the bottomless pockets of these Republicans, but she has something even more powerful: She has you.

We're counting on grassroots donors like you to push back against the self-funders and corporate-backed Republicans. They're going to use their millions to buy air time and spread lies, we have to be ready to take them on before the September 14th Primary Election Day.

Click here to rush your donation of $5 or more to Kirsten's campaign. With less than 9 days left before this critical filing deadline, Kirsten is counting on you to help her push back against the self-funded Republicans.Thanks for stepping up,

From Brave New World:

“There is a coordinated effort to devalue everything you value. There is a coordinated effort to highjack this country.”

This is how Glenn Beck, the man who recently compared Obama’s America to ‘Planet of the Apes’ began his morning referring specifically to Brave New Foundation and attacking our work during his radio show.

Beck’s attack came in response to the billboard we just put up in Phoenix through Cuéntame protesting the immigration law SB1070. Beck himself refers to the law as ‘anti-immigration’ NOT ‘anti-illegal immigration’. Because that is exactly what this law is. It is not comprehensive immigration reform; it is an attempt at institutionalizing discrimination and racial profiling. And we will defend our right to speak up now and in the future. We will not be censored or silenced.

Beck is rallying his troops against us, “So, you're going to have to get involved because look who paid for this billboard…Robert Greenwald…one of the things he did was he bashed the FOX News network with a movie Outfoxed.”

Beck is angry because we consistently point out the mistruths in his and Fox’s propaganda. We must be prepared to keep fighting and defending our rights.

This billboard was decided on and money was raised by the 38,000 members of Cuéntame. Beck is coming after us because we’re so effective at getting our voice heard. Our position and billboard have already been covered by media from the Associated Press to local news stations.
Brave New Foundation stands behind Cuéntame and the collective voice of its members. We will not be silenced by Glenn Beck and his outlandish, fear-based attacks. There is a place for dissenting opinions and Brave New Foundation will continue to be the catalyst for creating important dialogue needed to affect social change.
“I mean, this is it, gang. This is who's controlling your country and now they're coming with Brave New Foundation.”
Your gift of $15 will help us speak loudly, even when attacked by the likes of Glenn Beck.

From Fran in Larchmont:

You will remember that when we were together at EngenderHealth Joseph Ruminjo referred to the fact that they had just been in Washington testifying before Congress. Here’s more about that experience:

EngenderHealth’s Dr. Joseph Ruminjo Testifies before Congress

On June 10, Dr. Joseph Ruminjo, the clinical director of EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project, and Josephine Elechi, the First Lady of Ebonyi State in southeastern Nigeria and the founder of the Mother and Child Care Initiative, were among a group who briefed members of Congress on obstetric fistula. Read more: One hopes that someone was listening!
From Joyce in Harlem,NY:


Don’t let the naysayers call this race before it has even begun.

We only have one month until the September 14 primary election. I am Joyce Johnson and I need your financial support now because the FEC filing deadline is August 25th.Perhaps you have been following this election in the news.Some journalists say its going to be an uphill battle against Charlie Rangel. I agree. My campaign is gearing to unseat a 38-year incumbent who has enough time to get too comfortable and take his seat for granted. Some media outlets in recent articles about the race chose not to even mention the name of the sole woman running.But while the pundits are speculating, my campaign workers and I are knocking on doors, making calls, stuffing envelopes and reaching out to people at farmer’s markets, street fairs, and cultural events throughout Northern Manhattan. This kind of work takes support.

I need support from folks who believe that there is indeed a real choice for Congress this September 14—Joyce Johnson. As a 30 year community activist, I have volunteered my time towards programs and policies that promote economic development, affordable housing, education, and women’s empowerment. We need leadership committed to fighting for decent living wage jobs, better schools, and a healthier and safer community. You can help us reach the voters who are looking for another option. You —not the media— will help determine this race. Please go to: and contribute as much as you can: $50, $100, $250, or if at all possible, $500.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer great for getting ready for November and getting Democratic agenda out!

Dear All,

Just a note, before I sound off about politics, that I am trying to move into the new social networking world. My friend Gerald helped me(really did it) to set up a Facebook page and revitalize my past blog spot.

Please join me at both of these sites where you can make statements and they will reach many more people than in the past. In order to get to the blog please go to and read my updates and make comments

You can also find me on Facebook at "The Sunny Side - Political news for the Friends of Progressive Government" at!/pages/The-Sunny-Side-Political-news-for-the-Friends-of-Progressive-Government/141511589209655.


Dear Obama/Biden Supporters:

All we hear is whining and negative talk about the Obama administration and it being a "socialist state" or that "his Afghanistan war" is escalating. This is the same administration that has passed health care, financial regulations, and is proposing a climate control bill as we speak. The "party of no" continues to scream and yet has no suggestions for an alternative plan. Why aren't we shouting that we want to see what they would do other than to fight against eliminating the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. There is an enormous disconnect between the president's achievements and his popularity numbers. You have to wonder what is holding his numbers down, too liberal or too intellectual or just losing the daily reporting news cycle contest! Paul Krugman said in his column last week, "Objective economic conditions-not clever television ads,debate performances, or the other ephemera of day-to-day campaigning-are the single most important influence on an incumbent president's prospects for re-election".

Issues don't seem to matter because voters are often so ill informed. This is where we come in and our voices must be heard. The GOP had engaged in obstructionism since Obama took office. They are united against him getting anything through Congress. They are united and don't seemt worried about how their non actions will look. They are blocking Democratic efforts to alleviate the economics woes (just barely got unemployment insurance passed with help of three "moderate" Republicans last week). If the GOP can stop the economy from growing they may win a huge victory in November! The one thing this group can do to stop this negative trend is to motivate Democrats to come out and vote! If we don't work the phones and our grassroots connections all the pundits will say, well Obama was too liberal and this is why we lost the midterm elections. I would venture to say that if we lose our majority in the House, it is because we lost the enthusiasm race to the tea party crazies. We have to use this summer to organize, register voters, and bring back that magic of 2008! Tom Toles ,prize winning cartoonist from the Washington Post said last Sunday of the GOP, "We're not going to help the unemployed because you don't reward people for nothing..except in NOVEMBER. The elephant is wearing a button that says vote GOP, Obstruction'10"! I think that about says it all and if we don't get to work we will be rewarding a party that has done nothing but vote against the agenda for the American people from Barack Obama .

It seems to me that the size of the responsibility taken on by Barack Obama as he came into office was unreal, and that he has MLK,FDR and Thurgood Marshall on his back watching him. The difficulties of this country after eight years of W is a heavy load.One can't imagine it going to a more intelligent, caring person than Obama. Once Justice Marshall was asked if he had served the black and brown Americans well with his stint on the court. His answer was, he believed he served all Americans well from his time on the Supreme Court! I believe we will look back on these difficult times and see that Barack Obama also served all Americans well.His agenda is one of bilateral talks within a framework for dealing with a nuclear program including our many allies,exploring the best avenues for economic recovery and to increase jobs, passing health care reform and continually refining it, as well as supporting innovative ways to better our education system, and pushing for a clean energy reform bill. Susan from rye sent a terrific article about nine key issues for midterm elections and getting Dems elected(!

Please don't waste the rest of the summer and do reach out to those you know will start phone banking and reconnecting with independent voters who may be totally misinformed by the conservative press. This group has relentlessly tried to fool them by separating the GOP from the excesses of Palin-Fox-Beck nuts and the Tea Party candidates like Sharron Angle of Nevada. As Frank Rich said in his op ed piece Sunday,"To hear most non-Fox conservative pundits tell it on Sunday talk shows or op-ed pages,these unruly radicals are just a passing craze. However, take Paul Ryan (who would be elevated to chairman of the powerful budget committee in a "Republican House") His much publicized "Roadmap for America's Future"-not only revives the failed Bush proposal of partially privatizing social Security but tops him by replacing Medicare with a voucher system that, like Ryan's skewed tax cuts, would benefit the super rick while raising taxes and medical costs for everyone else" .So you can see what we are up against, but why doesn't everyone see this? It goes back to what I mentioned in the beginning of this note which is we have got to get the facts out. We have to show people what a GOP win means to the constituents personally.We need to give them specifics about how their life and their benefits will change under the GOP if they don't get out and vote. This is too important to back off now, we wanted change and we got it. We wanted hope and we still need it . Lets go get em team, so not only can we keep our majority but fight on for an agenda that makes sense for all of us!


A Mama 4 Obama

From Elizabeth in Mamaroneck:

Terrific job with the blog, Sunny! I'll never know how in the world you manage all this, but Wow!

From Val in OHIO (after I asked about Justin Coussoule's( chances to take out Boehner:

It's a well known fact that Boehner's district is gerrymandered. The area where his office is located is West Chester, an affluent suburb outside of Cincinnati (very conservative). The district meanders up into part of a northern suburb of Dayton called Huber Heights. That's a middle class to low middle class area with conservative whites and some African-Americans who probably support Obama. I have done some canvassing in that area during the presidential campaign.

Someone from the regional OFA called yesterday to get me to volunteer NOW. I think they know we can't wait until the fall.


Friends and colleagues:

This past month we had the First Anniversary of the formation of Doctors for America ( Dayton was one of the many cities nationwide where such celebration of a grassroots organization occurred, an organization of a unique kind of physicians and medical students with a common vision and voice of patient care advocacy, of better health, of health care for all, and of a more intelligent and cost conscious health delivery system. The event was highlighted by the main speaker, Dr. Zee Beams, a pediatrician from Maryland and Director of Advocacy for Doctors for America, and local physicians who reflected on their experiences and actions over the last year in the fight for health care reform. Thanks to New Left Media (, here is the link to a video of the event :

From Judy in Mamaroneck:

Subj: Check out YouTube - Am Funniest Home Video-Kid and President's Legacy.mpg

You will love this.... (***and I did!!! SYG)

Click here: YouTube - Am Funniest Home Video-Kid and President's Legacy.mpg

From Gwynneth in White Plains:

Thank you, Sunny. So many articles I missed while on vacation. Just so you know it is more critical than ever to keep up our good work. We recently returned from a 2900 mile driving vacation to the South--North Carolina, South Carolina & Georgia are chock full of many many talk-radio stations so Conservative and just full of the Tea Party rhetoric. So we cannot underestimate the challenges ahead of us for the Fall.

Thanks for all you do!

From Donna in NYC:

love obama but what a struggle...repubs are such onerous

ox...weighting everything down but truthfully, i am SICK of


From Fritzie in NYC:

Yesterday evening, the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which sets the initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), approved a $2.5 million increase for the NEA in its FY 2011 spending bill. Chairman Jim Moran (D-VA), a longtime champion of arts and culture, presided over his first Interior spending bill as chairman of the subcommittee. It is significant that Chairman Moran has proposed an increase for the agency in light of a spending freeze on federal discretionary funds and a lower budget request by the administration. Please send a message to your members of Congress telling them to support this funding increase that Chairman Moran made in subcommittee!

Currently funded at $167.5 million, this increase would bring the NEA's budget to $170 million. In his statement, Chairman Moran acknowledged that, "the increase recognizes the value we place, as a nation, on our artistic and cultural heritage."

On Arts Advocacy Day 2010, Americans for the Arts presented a panel of witnesses before Chairman Moran's Appropriations Subcommittee calling for a significant increase in funding for the NEA. This diverse group of witnesses included Terri Aldrich, Executive Director, Minot Area Council of the Arts; Brig. Gen. Nolen V. Bivens, U.S. Army (ret.); Jeff Daniels, Golden Globe-nominated film and stage actor; Kyle MacLachlan, Emmy-nominated TV, film, and stage actor; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Charles Segars, CEO, Ovation; and Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts. Video from the hearing and further details, including the witnesses' testimony, are available Thanks to all of our grassroots advocates for your letters and calls to Congress and for attending Arts Advocacy Day this year. We're seeing the results of your participation!

Next Steps:

The FY 2011 Interior Appropriations bill will next go to full committee and then to the full House of Representatives for consideration. Both the House and Senate have been slow to proceed on funding measures this year, and it's possible that many of the final appropriations decisions will take place after the elections and conducted in a "lame duck" session in November and December. Nonetheless, we must continue to put pressure on the Senate to match this funding level. Please take two minutes to visit the Americans for the Arts E-Advocacy Center to send a letter to your members of Congress letting them know that the arts are important to you! Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today--it's free and simple.

From Ruthie in AZ/CO:

We're in Colorado for the summer - the dogs LOVE the cooler temps. We're really lucky to be here. Lots of liberals here so it's refreshing after Arizona's ridiculousness.

From Judy in Mamaroneck:


From Val in Ohio:

Just read this in the Post. I knew you would appreciate it.

Enough right-wing propaganda »

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics. This is not, as the now-trivialized phrase has it, a "teachable moment." It is a time for action...(Read rest on line)

From Jackie at Points of Light:

For more than two decades, Points of Light Institute has equipped nonprofit organizations to celebrate National Volunteer Week, providing visibility, thematic focus and resources to enable them to commemorate this signature week of volunteer recognition.

In recent weeks, we have received significant feedback about the official dates for 2011. As a result, we have changed the dates: National Volunteer Week 2011 will take place April 10 - 16, 2011, in order to avoid conflicts with religious holidays.

Through programs such as the President's Volunteer Service Award, Daily Point of Light Award and the Extra Mile - Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, Points of Light Institute recognizes volunteers and the tremendous impact they are making on our country's most critical challenges year-round.

To learn more about these recognition programs and how to nominate volunteers for awards, click here.

To tell us about the impact volunteers are having in your community or through your organization, click here.

We will continue producing resource guides for recognizing volunteers and equipping organizations with the valuable tools they need to make their work successful. To access resources and more information about National Volunteer Week, click here.

If you have any questions about National Volunteer Week, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Geckler at (404) 979-2941 or

From Joyce Johnson in NYC:

Being elected is not a right. It's an honor and a privilege bestowed by the people.

Over the last few months, the people of the 15th Congressional District stepped forward in support of my candidacy to bring change to Northern Manhattan and Congress. I am proud to announce that we collected and submitted nearly 10,000 nominating petition signatures! We went door to door, greeted people during their morning commutes, and took our cause to the streets in order to launch a tremendous grassroots effort…. and the work paid off. Thanks to my campaign workers and contributors, my place on the ballot is now secure, and I am completely invigorated to forge ahead toward victory. Financial support is crucial for our continued success. To make a contribution today, please visit

You are probably going to hear a great deal of negativity in the press over the next few weeks about how this district is currently represented in Washington. But from the bottom of my heart I implore you, please do not get distracted by media stories that take the attention away from the real, urgent concerns of the people of Northern Manhattan. Much like anywhere else in America, people here want resolutions to many pressing, critical issues such as:

— How can better prepare our children for the future?

— How we can ease the economic burdens for struggling, working families?

— What can we do to ensure equality for women in the workplace, especially since the survival of many families and communities depend on the wages that women bring home?

My plea today extends beyond my asking you to support “Joyce Johnson for Congress”. I am asking you to stepping forward and help the people of the 15th congressional district claim a seat that belongs to them---- a seat that should be reserved only for those who want to represent the constituency in spirit and in truth of action.

In this political landscape, financial viability is now the most influential factor in attracting the most voters to a candidate. You can make a significant and immediate impact on this race today by making a financial contribution to my campaign.

We must act swiftly and together to implement real change. We need to keep on pace to raise $20,000 a week. Please support us today.

Go to and contribute as much as you can, knowing that every single dollar will go toward realizing a worthy, and necessary objective. If you prefer to make an offline contribution, you will find the link below to download a contribution form for you to complete and mail in with your check or credit card information.

With your support, I will move forward ardently towards success in this election, and the results for the people in Congress.

From Gerald in New Rochelle:

Think the group would like this and the more people who know about it ,the better it is!

Man running 100 marathons in 140 days for mentally ill daughter - News - on MSN


From Senator Gillibrand:

When the radical, right-wing fringe launches its attacks against Democrats, there's only one good way to respond - FIGHT BACK.

I've proven that I'll always fight for Democratic values. When health care reform was on the ropes, I was at the forefront of the fight for the public option. When BP tried to duck responsibility for the oil spill, I helped lead the effort to guarantee a thorough investigation to hold them accountable. I'm doing everything I can to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

But taking on the usual right-wing bullies means they will surely come after me. I need help from 500 donors before July 31 to make sure I can fight back. Click here to make a contribution today of just $5 to my campaign. Even a small contribution from you helps show the extreme right wing that we'll never back down.The reason these national Republicans spend all their time attacking us is obvious. They don't have a real plan for getting Americans back to work and moving this country forward.

Their only response to any problem is to figure out what Democrats are for, and then rant and rave about repealing it. That's not leadership. That's just flat-out obstruction.So instead of real ideas for creating jobs or finally doing something about climate change, we get the right-wing media running sideshow stories 24/7. Their only interest is making Democrats look bad and scaring us into backing down from the values we hold dear.They don't scare me, and I'll never give up our core principles. I need your help before the end of the month to show them once and for all: we're sick of their scare tactics, and we're fighting back.

I know politics is a tough business. But the truth is that hearing the radical right say some nasty words about me is nothing compared to the struggles New Yorkers face every day trying to put food on the table and to give their kids a better life.

That's who I'm fighting for. I know I can count on you to stand with me every step of the way.

From Danielle:

FYI – Below is a joint statement by Secretaries Clinton and Geithner on European and Canadian Iran Sanctions. It is also available online here:

European and Canadian Iran Sanctions

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner

Washington, DC July 26, 2010

The following is the text of a joint statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner.

The United States welcomes the strong steps taken by our European and Canadian partners to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1929. Consistent with the Security Council’s mandate, these measures impose additional sanctions against Iran’s financial, insurance, transportation, trade and energy sectors, as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, significantly increasing Iran’s isolation. These steps underscore the steadfast European and Canadian leadership to hold Iran accountable for its failure to meet its international obligations and set a high standard for global implementation of sanctions.

The new measures contain important restrictions on Iran's ability to use its transportation infrastructure and energy proceeds to support its nuclear and missile programs. The strong restrictions and prohibitions on Iran’s ability to access the Canadian and European commercial and banking systems will further protect the international financial system from abuse by Iran.

These measures, combined with the new and existing U.S. sanctions, underscore the international community’s deepening concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and refusal to live up to its international responsibilities. We have already begun to see the impact of these sanctions, as companies around the world refuse to do business with Iran rather than risk becoming involved in Iran’s nuclear program and other illicit activities.

Moving forward, the United States will continue to work with the European Union, Canada, and our allies and partners around the world to put additional pressure on Iran and ensure that existing sanctions are vigorously enforced. The message to Iran’s leaders is clear: Meet your responsibilities or face increasing isolation and consequences.

We applaud the EU and Canada for these decisive actions, but regret their necessity. The United States remains committed to a diplomatic solution that resolves the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program. We will continue to work with the European Union, Canada, the P5+1 and all of our partners to pursue our dual track approach of engagement and pressure to achieve this objective and await Iran’s official reply to the P5+1’s outstanding offer of talks. We once again urge Iran’s leaders to pursue a path of cooperation and responsibility rather than confrontation and further isolation.

From Tim of NY for Change:

From 2008 to 2010, you took to the streets, called your members of Congress, emailed your friends, rallied in Times Square or Washington DC, and simply would not give up until health care reform was the law of the land. This spring and summer, you took to your phones again and made sure the Wall Street reform bill that became law last week wouldn't get watered down any further by many of the same corporate lobbyists and interest groups that put health care reform in peril for so long.

You've done great work -- but now, one political party is explicitly running on a repeal of both health care reform and Wall Street reform. In short, they're promising to undo everything you've helped to win.

************From Susan in Rye: Wonderful article for discussing Midterm elections and issues!!!!

If you missed this piece, it's a good manual for the midterms. Time for us to go on the offensive!

From Joe in Ohio:

I am SICK about how Americans, the American news media, etc are discussing the illegal’s issue. How cruel, aggressive and selfish has our nation become? Have we all been brainwashed in the BUSH AGENDA of aggression?

These are humans which we are talking about, humans who all Americans have benefited from their hard (cheap) labor. It is a disgrace how American is discussing this issue as if these people are an OBJECT.

Arizona is the same S--- HOLE it has always been, run by wealthy rednecks, “STUPID DONE GOOD” These same people will gather in December to celebrate their savior’s birth and yet show NO compassion for these people…..SHAME ON AMERICA

At this point the TV advertisements are all attacking Strickland of the loss of jobs……..they are running them continually. Strickland has pulled the advertisements about the GOP and the employment with Wall Street and the financial gains. The GOP advertisements state that Strickland does not address his accomplishments, because under his leadership Ohio has lost so many jobs. It does concern me……..between you and I …….please do not share……Strickland has also appointed a large amount of African Americans to key positions and the rural crowd is eyeing this issue (white farmers) and then add to the equation that Strickland’s attn. general running mate is a black female…….Ohio is not as diverse as the east coast or west coast The rural is the land of Mom and Pop………this is starting to be a concern of some of the loyal city Dems. There is nothing wrong with these appointments, but Kevin Boyce – state treasure, black male has been criticized because he has hire many of his church friends…….this has been noted in the media and sadly the information is true. Ohio is sensitive to this type of an issue, especially with the high unemployment rate.

America’s news media will in sight fear and railroad our nation’s recovery all for ratings and greed.

America must be reminded that the GOP invested in 2 wars and has spent BILLIONS of dollars on these wars and where is Bin Laden ??? What are the results of all this war spending???

SO after a 1.5 years and the stimulus spending by DEMS………..We as a nation continue to wait 8+ years for our victory in the 2 Wars, but now due to the Media in sighting FEAR and GREED……..some of our nation is ready to head back to those who created this situation to begin with.

From Marceline in NY:

Unfortunately, I was unaware of Obama on The View. Am getting increasingly frustrated at the communications side of things. They should be hammering home every single day the mess he inherited and all the wonderful things he has done. And ignore the noise. Of course, the leaks thing, oil spill, Sherrod, all didn't help.


Obama on Iraq

Posted by Joe Klein Monday, August 2, 2010

Well, at least he didn't announce the end of major combat operations

in Iraq under a banner that said "Mission Accomplished." He did it in

front of the Disabled American Veterans, the most grave and sober

audience imaginable. And appropriately so, after a war that should

never have been fought, a war that by some estimates will cost $3

trillion before it's done (including the health care services rendered

to those represented by the DAV), a war whose casualties number in the

100s of thousands. The war in Iraq hasn't been much in the news over

the past year, but this is an important moment, a moment for

reflection, for humility in the face of a national disaster.

There is no "victory" in Iraq, nor will there be. There is something

resembling stability, but that might not last, either. There is a

semblance of democracy, but that may dissolve over time, or in the

next few months, into a Shi'ite dictatorship--which, if not well-run,

will yield to the near-inevitable military coup. Yes, Saddam is

gone--and that is a good thing. The Kurds have a greater measure of

independence and don't have to live in fear of mass murder, which is a

good thing, too. But Iran has been aggrandized. Its Iraqi allies,

especially Muqtada Sadr's populist movement, remain a force that will

play a major role--arguably one more central than ours--in shaping the

future of the country. This attempt by western neo-colonialists--that

is, the Bush Administration--to construct an amenable Iraq will most

likely end no better than previous western attempts have. Certainly,

even if something resembling democracy prevails, the U.S. invasion and

occupation--the carnage an d tragedy it wrought--will not be

remembered fondly by Iraqis anytime soon. We will own the destruction

in perpetuity; if the Iraqis manage to cobble themselves a decent

society, they will see it, correctly, as an achievement of their own.

There are other consequences of this profound misadventure. The return

of the Taliban in Afghanistan is certainly one; if U.S. attention, and

special forces, hadn't been diverted from that primary conflict, the

story in the Pashtun borderlands might be very different now. The

credibility of the United States--slowly recovering due to the efforts

of Barack Obama--is another, after a war promulgated by a gale of

ignorance at best and chicanery at worst. The sense of the United

States as a nation of tempered, honorable actions may never recover

from the images of the past decade, especially the photographs from

Abu Ghraib prison...(read rest on line

From Joyce Johnson in Harlem:


Candidate Expresses Concern over “Mudslinging, Without Answers”

Joyce Johnson, Candidate for Congress in New York's 15th Congressional District, made a statement today regarding the ethics charges brought by a Congressional investigative panel, alleging that Representative Charles B. Rangel had violated House rules over the past several years. The investigative panel did not disclose specific details on the nature of the violations.

Speaking to a group of supporters at her campaign headquarters, Ms. Johnson remarked, "These allegations are of a grave and serious nature, and I am sure the panel will work to expose the truth, whatever it may be. But more serious are the urgent and critical issues our community faces every day. Our neighborhoods are being ignored while politicians engage in a circus of punditry and prediction. This is why I am going to continue to focus on mobilizing support to create jobs, clean up our environment, ensure equal pay for women, and fix our ailing economy. There is too much at stake to engage in mudslinging without answers to our most urgent problems. This very unfortunate time has only strengthened my resolve to see that real change comes to Northern Manhattan.”

While Johnson maintained Mr. Rangel is innocent until proven guilty, what disturbs her most about the matter is that “since Thursday, none of the insider chatter has increased the number available jobs for his constituents, eased local parents’ anxiety over the upcoming school year, or dealt with our senior citizens’ fright over the proposed closing of senior centers throughout our community.” She continued, “If found guilty, I will be the first to call for Mr. Rangel’s accountability in his violation of the public trust. Until then, I will concentrate on proving to voters that solving the problems facing our District is what’s important to me as a leader.”

Johnson also expressed concern over a lack of affordable housing in the District, “Housing is a need shared by all of us, by people of different ethnic and economic circumstances, and an affordable place to live is a necessity in maintaining a healthy life.” She continued, “As someone who has vigorously lobbied her city and state elected officials to preserve existing, and create new, affordable housing, it saddens me to hear the charges that Mr. Rangel may have abused the system.

A mother and grandmother, Joyce Johnson has devoted her life to her community. For 17 years, she rose through the ranks of Joseph Seagrams and Sons, Inc., a fortune 500 Company. After pioneering as a woman in production management, she broke through the glass ceiling by becoming National Director of Equal Employment Opportunity. Since leaving the corporate sector, Joyce has diligently served in several public service and community activist roles. Most recently, Joyce became a part of history as Barack Obama's New York State Field Director. She resides on the Upper West Side.

From Barbara in KS:

Can the Republican tide be stopped?--this week in the ObserverWill either strategy work?--please do not circulate until Tuesday--don

Breaking the Wave? By Don Rose

Early warning signals from both parties hint the November mid-term elections might turn into a Republican “wave,” much as in 1994 when they won more than 50 seats, taking over the House of Representatives for the first time in decades. Or like 2006 when Democrats not only won the House but the Senate.

The conundrum is that the Obama Administration has had an amazingly productive 18 months, passing more major legislation than any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson—including a very unpopular stimulus that merely rescued the economy from a sharp plunge into oblivion.

Of course no good deed goes unpunished, so landmark benefits such as the health-care program and the new Wall Street financial reforms—while imperfect in the eyes of progressives—will be further demonized as electoral targets by an energized Republican Party.

Tragically, the rising economy has not yet lifted the most important boat of all—jobs. Employment is a lagging indicator of the nation’s financial health and it lags farther behind the Dow than it should. Everybody knows someone who is unemployed. That’s nerve wracking—overshadowing the beneficial legislation one normally would cheer in a better economic environment.

The Republicans, meanwhile, continue to offer little more than criticism—both valid and hypocritical—with no programs of their own. Nothing new, that is, except the perennial elixir of tax cuts and damnation of the deficits. Some believe that is all they need to ride the wave.

In a wave election, emotions, not programs, ride the crest, sweeping all before it.

But this is still mighty early to forecast a wave, despite all the harbingers. The election is more than three months away and that, in this incessant 24-hour news cycle, is more than one political lifetime.

The White House is strategizing how to reduce the wave to the point where some seats will be lost in both houses, but the Democratic majorities maintained—especially in the House.

The two options at hand—to oversimplify, as I am prone to do—is whether to localize or nationalize the election. (Likely some admixture of both will be done.)

By localizing, one takes the lead from the special election in Pennsylvania to replace the late Rep. Jack Murtha. The unexpected winning Democrat ran more like an alderman than a congressman, pounding away at local unemployment and promising a fix while ignoring or even attacking national Democratic programs.

Expanding this to a full-scale program means minimal use of the president, but powerful thrusts from Bill Clinton and even Joe Biden criss-crossing the country and shoring up each and every one of the 50-plus House seats that appear to be at risk. Obama of course would be utilized strategically in the places he still polls well.

Nationalizing the election, however, would base the strategy on the highly salient fact that while all politicians are unpopular, and no matter how much blame is put on Democrats, the GOP in congress is held in even lower esteem.Out of this would emerge a tidal wave of TV and other media playing up the worst of the worst from Republican candidates—especially the maddest of the mad tea partiers.

How about Sharon Angle, the senate candidate from Nevada becoming the face of the GOP calling for an end to Social Security and Medicare?

How about a barrage of “no” votes for things even most Republicans believe in—such as extension of unemployment benefits?

How about offering to reduce the deficits by ending George W. Bush’s tax cuts for zillionaires?

In fact, why not a complete resuscitation of W—showing how he got us into a war everybody hates and turned a huge surplus into the economic deficit that set the stage for our recent economic catastrophe?

Current Obama speeches use the line that the Republicans drove us into this ditch, so why hand them back the keys just when we’re inching our way out of it?

Democrats ran successfully against Herbert Hoover for nearly two decades. It’s been less than two years since we bid bye-bye to W. It shouldn’t take much to remind people of what he brought in his eight years.

It is likely, too, that health-care will continue to grow in popularity in the next 90 days—and though jobs will not become plentiful, there may develop a sense that the economy has really turned for the better.

That’s the hope of the “nationalization” approach. If it is adopted and works the way its advocates hope, November’s wave could be reduced to a big splash.

From Susan W in NYC:

This is a video by a British stand-up comedian, who is making a very common sense statement about the plan to build a mosque at “Ground Zero” in New York. Where is similar, cogent outrage from anyone in our media or government?

Condell is a British stand-up comedian, but this video isn't comic, it's pure truth, and utterly brilliant

From Assemblyperson Judy in Westchester:

July 27, 2010

Dear Neighbors,

Even as we move closer to those (hopefully) lazy days of late summer, it has been anything but quiet here on the County Board of Legislators, where I have spent the last six months working toward achieving very clear goals – cutting costs while preserving our quality of life.

Meeting that challenge has not necessarily been easy. In these tough times, my Democratic colleagues and I have been forced to fight to implement the means and measures I believe are necessary to maintain community services while reducing expenditures that have, simply, created too big a burden on local residents. I am happy to report, though, that we have indeed made progress on issues that matter – and that Larchmont, Mamaroneck and Rye residents will soon start seeing the benefits.

One particularly good piece of news is that, after more than a decade, the Westchester Children’s Museum is close to having a home – and it couldn’t be in a better place: the south bathhouse at Playland. After spending $7 million renovating this historic building, my colleagues and I are developing a lease for the museum, a step that is now working its way through the final process. To me, it is very exciting that we are on the brink of having this asset – and in our district to boot!

I also have been very focused on cutting current County spending, and have taken steps to do so. Approving a plan under which County employees will now pay a portion of their health care costs was one particularly large step. Under the plan, approved in May, County workers will now pay between 10 and 20 percent of their health care costs depending on their salary. I also supported a measure aimed at reducing the county workforce through “early separation” incentives, an initiative that will save taxpayers about $7 million.

In doing so, though, I remain committed to maintaining county services and programs aimed at helping hard working residents house and raise their families in these particularly hard times. That is why I am fighting the unauthorized elimination of two child care subsidy programs – a move that would make it virtually unaffordable for countless Westchester County parents to continue to work. I also stand by my support of the landmark anti-housing bias law my colleagues and I approved in June, which makes it illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants who rely on Section 8, Social Security or government subsidies like disability to pay for rent. Unfortunately, the County Executive vetoed this measure in mid-July.

With some of these issues still on the table, I will continue to pursue them and keep you up-to-date in the process. I know fully well, though, that there is still much to be done in the months ahead as issues of import to both you and me continue to unfold.

My door, phone and email are always open to you, and I hope that you will share with me what your concerns and needs are moving ahead. If you are around on Saturday Aug. 7, Assemblyman George Latimer and I will host another “Coffee With George and Judy” from 10:30 a.m.-noon at Ruby’s in Rye and from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Nautilus Diner in Larchmont/Mamaroneck.

From Elizabeth in Mamaroneck:

Apple Ad Spoof Reveals Dirty Secret Shared by Mac and PC

New video reveals the connection between our consumer products and war in Congo

Here’s what Apple’s classic “Get a Mac” ads don’t tell you: both Macs and PCs help fuel war in the Congo – the deadliest war in the world. Actress/director Brooke Smith and cinematographer Steven Lubensky created a new version of the ad for the Enough Project to show how both Macs and PCs help fuel war in the Congo. They teamed up with actors Joshua Malina and John Lehr to create a version that wittily explains how.

Because consumer demand to buy conflict-free products will help create a market for them, the Enough Project invites people to share the one-minute spoof video with friends, in hopes it will go viral. And it’s off to a roaring start.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof premiered the video in his op-ed column for the Sunday, June 27 edition of The New York Times. “Electronics manufacturers have tried to hush all this up. They want you to look at a gadget and think ‘sleek,’ not ‘blood,’” writes Kristof.

On Monday, The Huffington Post spotlighted the video on its homepage, with a link to an op-ed by Brooke Smith and Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast, “Hello, I’m a Mac, and Here’s How I Help Fuel the World’s Deadliest Conflict.”

High-tech tastemakers Gizmodo, ComputerWorld, GottaBeMobile, and Fast Company have featured the video, too. And in its daily Idea Feed for June 28, Big Think asks, “Are Phones the New Blood Diamonds?”

From Judy R in Mamaroneck:

Click here: Op-Ed Columnist - How to Lose an Election Without Really Trying -

From NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

Last night, the House of Representatives voted 255 to 159 in favor of legislation to give September 11th survivors and first responders the health care they deserve. However, the bill failed to get the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. It is simply outrageous that anyone - Democrat or Republican - would prevent these American heroes from receiving the health care they deserve.

While we are all too aware of the damage that was done on September 11th, 2001, what is less well known is the long-lasting harm that has been done to the health and well-being of the thousands of first responders who were on the scene that day as well as all the men, women, and children who were exposed to the toxic debris that was spread all throughout Lower Manhattan after the towers fell.

We have an undeniable moral obligation to provide them the help and treatment they deserve.

Working closely with the people that are suffering and the doctors that are providing care, I authored legislation in the Senate to provide permanent health care services to these American heroes.

As we approach 9 years since the attack, nearly 20,000 responders and innocent residents of New York have fallen ill due to the harmful toxins released at Ground Zero - some have even died because of these illnesses. New York firefighters, EMTs, police, construction workers, clean-up workers, and innocent men, women, and children who lived and worked in the area are suffering.

I am hopeful that as members of Congress return home in August they will hear from all of you - hear from your families, friends and neighbors - that this kind of charade is unacceptable. And when Congress returns in the fall, we can pass this legislation and fulfill our moral obligation to the heroes and survivors of September 11th.

From Westchester Congresswoman Nita Lowey:

Care for September 11 Responders

Last week the House of Representatives failed to pass legislation that would provide medical care and monitoring for those who responded to the September 11th attacks at the World Trade Center. This failure is unacceptable, and I will continue working to pass this critical legislation.

Click here to watch my remarks during debate of this bill.

Opportunity for Americans With Disabilities

Last week was the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark law that prohibits discrimination of persons with disabilities and ensures equal access to education, employment, buildings, transportation, and other services. For more information and opportunities for persons with disabilities, please click here.

Job Training for Young Veterans

Helping veterans who have left the Armed Forces prepare for successful careers is a critical part of our obligation to those who served our country. The federal Job Corps is conducting an expenses-paid demonstration project to provide career development services to veterans age 20-24. The program includes transportation, housing, meals, academic and career training, job placement, and more.

To sign up for the demonstration project, please call (800) 733-JOBS (5627) or visit

From Lee in OFA/DNC NYC/ DC:

The White House Blog

Ensuring Women Get the Care They Need and Deserve

Posted by Tina Tchen on August 02, 2010 at 1:30 PM EDT

No matter who you are, the Affordable Care Act will help make your health care better. The reforms in the law will help bring costs down and will improve the quality of care for all Americans.

But we know that women in particular suffered under the old health care system and will especially benefit from the important changes in the new law. This was confirmed last week, with the release of a new report from the Commonwealth Fund highlighting how important the new law is for women across the country. The report notes:

Up to 15 million women who now are uninsured could gain subsidized coverage under the law. In addition, 14.5 million insured women will benefit from provisions that improve coverage or reduce premiums. Women who have coverage through the individual insurance market and are charged higher premiums than men, who have been unable to secure cover-age for the cost of pregnancy, or who have a preexisting health condition excluded from their benefits will ultimately find themselves on a level playing field with men, enjoying a full range of comprehensive benefits.

Under the old health care system, a healthy 22-year-old woman could be charged premiums 150 percent higher than a 22-year-old man and many insurance companies treated simply being a woman as a “pre-existing condition.” Many individual market health insurance policies didn’t include maternity care and some states even made it legal for insurers to reject applicants who are survivors of domestic violence.

The new law makes important changes that will help ensure all women get the care they need and deserve. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from denying any woman coverage because of a pre-existing condition, excluding coverage of that condition, or charging more because of health status or gender. Being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition.

The law will also help ensure women have access to a host of preventive benefits including mammograms and pap smears. If you purchase a new insurance policy after September 23, insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you a deductible, co-payment or co-insurance for these and other preventive services. You can learn more about these new preventive services, and get information about your health care choices at

And beginning in 2014, Americans will have access to a new competitive insurance marketplace. The new marketplace will include health insurance exchanges where millions of Americans and small businesses will be able to purchase affordable coverage, and have the same choices of insurance that Members of Congress will have.

To learn more, read about the benefits of the new law for women.

Tina Tchen is Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls
The White House Blog

Insurance for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

For too long, too many Americans with pre-existing conditions were left out of the health insurance marketplace. Health insurance companies could charge these Americans more or simply refuse to cover them. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the health care system will no longer leave out the people who need care the most.

Starting September 23, the new law makes it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against children under 19 with preexisting conditions. In 2014, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition will be illegal, but we know Americans need relief now. That’s why the new law created the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. This plan offers coverage to uninsured Americans who have been uninsured for at least six months and unable to obtain health coverage because of a pre-existing health condition like cancer, diabetes or lupus.

Coverage will be available at the same rate as it is for an average person who does not have such a condition and the program is entirely funded by the federal government. The program is temporary and will last until 2014 when discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition will be illegal. If you’re interested in joining the program, you can click here to learn more about the program in your state.

Today, HHS issued an interim final regulation laying out the rules for the PCIP program. The regulation describes the options for determining who has a pre-existing condition, how to verify citizenship, and how an individual can appeal a PCIP decision. It also details how Federal funding will be allocated, ways to prevent “dumping” of already-insured people into the program, and strategies for preventing fraud.

The regulation also lists the benefits that can and can’t be covered under this temporary federal program. Covered benefits include hospitalization, outpatient care, maternity care, and, hospice, and home health care.

The list of services not covered parallels that of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP), which serves government workers and their families, including Members of Congress. And like this program, PCIP prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion services, except in cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered. This policy meets the President’s commitment throughout the health reform debate to neither expand nor scale back current restrictions on federal funding for abortion and ensures that no federal funds will be used to cover abortion services other than the exceptions mentioned above

Much has been made of this policy by both sides of the debate. But, in reality, no new ground has been broken. The program’s restriction on abortion coverage is not a precedent for other programs or policies given the unique, temporary nature of the program and the population it serves. It does not restrict private insurance choices and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will continue to be guided by the law and the President’s Executive Order.

What is new is the benefits from this program detailed in the regulation. Studies have estimated that 200,000 to 400,000 uninsured people with pre-existing conditions could be helped, doubling the number of Americans insured through existing high risk pools. And this new coverage will help all of us by reducing medical debt, improving health and worker productivity and reducing the amount of uncompensated care provided to the uninsured, potentially by billions of dollars.

Every day, the Affordable Care Act is making it easier for Americans to take control of their health care by giving them easier access to better health coverage choices. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan helps meet that goal.

This post is from the White House blog.

From Jen in Tommy Sowers MO Campaign and tommy's response:

Wow...Jen, what a touching email.

I want you to know it's an honor to work with a talented, dedicated group of people--which is rare in life. To work on a cause that is just and needed. To see every day the fruits of hard labor. That this time, these next 92 days should be enjoyed and relished.



To: Tommy Sowers

One year ago this week, at the funeral of a dear friend's father in Rolla, MO, I met the guy she grew up across the street from, Tommy Sowers. He told me he was leaving the Army to run for Congress.

I'd finished the presidential campaign in Missouri several months before and was close to receiving an appointment in DC. I wanted to serve my country in a meaningful way.

I promised my husband no more campaigns. The last one was difficult; 16-20 hour days, weekends away from home, birthdays missed, friendships lost, little pay.

So when Tommy asked me to be his Finance Director, a position I did not want and never held before, I said no. But then I thought about the district, incredibly poor and suffering from an absentee representative. I thought about the military career Tommy was leaving to save his home. And I thought about the people whose lives would benefit from a Congressman who would fight for them as hard as he did for his country in Iraq.

There are moments in life to lead, to sacrifice, take a chance and make a difference in the lives of others. So, I called Tommy and said yes. And I called the White House and said no. And I've never looked back. Today, I'm making a donation to the hardest working, noblest candidate I know.

I hope you'll sacrifice something too.

Jennifer Haro

Finance Director

Tommy Sowers for Congress

From Fran in Larchmont:

Dear Pro-Choice Larchmont/Mamaroneck Friends!

Here in southern Westchester County we are blessed with several excellent support programs for people who have been diagnosed with cancer and are just getting into treatment, as well as for those whose cancer has relapsed or have advanced cancer. But until recently those in the middle -- people who have been treated and are essentially free of their cancer -- found little available to them by way of support services. In "Surviving Cancer -- Charting the Course to Renewed Strength," which is airing through Labor Day a nurse practitioner, an internist and a cancer survivor join in dynamic dialogue to reveal the strengths and benefits of the new Cancer Survivorship Program at Lawrence Hospital Center in Bronxville.

Future Choices is brought to your home either on Channel 75 (Cablevision) or Channel 36 (Verizon). The show airs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm with repeats 3 am, 9 am, 3 pm and 9 pm the following day. See full schedule:

N.B. Future Choices shows can usually be viewed anytime online as well — see hotlink at

From Lee in NYC/DC-OFA,DNC:

Dear WLF Supporters and Friends,

Happy 45th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Please see this special video message from John Lewis which has just been released.

The DNC Weekly Report is attached. You may forward it to anyone who would benefit from it.

Talking Points: July Jobs Numbers

· The July jobs numbers illustrate the work we still have to do. Although some parts of the economy have improved, others are still struggling, and millions of hard-working Americans remain unable to find jobs.

· After 22 consecutive months of job losses, the American economy has now added private sector jobs for seven months in a row. But as President Obama noted when he first took office, the road to recovery is not a straight one or a smooth one.

· In early 2009, the economy was shedding an average of 750,000 jobs every month. This year, private sector employers have added 630,000 jobs over seven straight months of private sector gains. Manufacturers alone have added 183,000 jobs so far this year.

· In July, private sector employers added 71,000 jobs. But with the Census concluding, 143,000 Census jobs were lost. Although the Census helped put Americans to work, those jobs were explicitly temporary. And the Administration continues to focus on creating permanent job growth.

· The bold steps the President took to rebuild our economy with the Recovery Act and other recovery legislation – from tax cuts to investments in America’s infrastructure – pulled the American economy back from the brink of depression, and they are putting Americans back to work. To that end, this summer is to be the most active Recovery season to date.
· But we still have a ways to go to achieve full recovery. It is simply not possible to reverse overnight the devastation caused by a decade of failed Republican economic policies and the resulting economic crisis. It is going to take time to create jobs to replace the 8 million that have been lost.

 However, our country is heading in the right direction. Private sector employers added more jobs in the most recent quarter than in the one before it. But the President knows that we can’t move fast enough for the millions of Americans still looking for work. That’s why he’s doing everything in his power to fight for additional recovery measures that will keep the economy growing. And, as it has been from the beginning, job creation remains his top priority.

 That’s why the Democrats in the Senate overcame Republican obstruction to approve a bill authorizing aid to cash-strapped states to help them keep at least 160,000 teachers in classrooms across the country – teachers who would otherwise be out of a job as a result of painful state budget cuts and resulting layoffs. That’s why President Obama and Democrats in Congress have cut taxes to enable small businesses to hire more workers. And that’s why it is so critical that Republicans in the Senate stop blocking a jobs bill that will enable more small businesses to get the credit they need to expand, grow, and hire.

· Republican delays pushed that bill into the August Congressional recess. As a result, small businesses will have to wait even longer before they can get the loans they need to grow and take on new workers. There is no reason that politics should stand in the way of their doing so when everyone agrees that is what is required for Americans to get back to work.

Talking Points: Elena Kagan’s Senate Confirmation

· Today, the Senate voted to confirm Elena Kagan as the next Supreme Court Justice. The confirmation vote affirmed her incredible brilliance, her character, her fair-minded temperament, and her thorough understanding and respect for our nation’s Constitution and laws.
· During her confirmation process, the Senate had the opportunity to take a good look at Elena Kagan, and having done so they came to understand the qualities that throughout her career have garnered respect from individuals of both political parties. That bipartisan respect was reflected in today’s bipartisan confirmation vote.
· Elena Kagan is one of America’s top legal minds. She has demonstrated that she will be a fair and impartial Justice on the Supreme Court, and that she understands how the Court’s decisions impact the lives of everyday Americans. Her legal career has been defined by her fair-minded approach to the law and an insistence that all Americans receive a fair hearing under the law. Because of those qualities, President Obama believes that she will make an excellent Supreme Court Justice.
· It is important to remember that Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court brings the total number of women serving on the bench at one time to an historic three – more than at any one time in American history. The Supreme Court is now more inclusive and representative of our country as a whole – an important step forward that all Americans can appreciate.

From Doni in New Jersey:

We're writing today to urge you, as an American who cares deeply for Israel, to join with many Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, in raising our voices in protest at the destruction of the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib in the Negev and the forcible removal by some 1,500 Israeli police of over 300 Bedouin Israeli citizens - mostly children - leaving them homeless, expelled from their land, and bereft of their possessions.

On July 27, bulldozers from the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) demolished their homes, sheep pens, fruit orchards and olive tree groves, so that the Jewish National Fund, which is leasing the land from the ILA, can plant a forest on their land near Beersheva.

Over 1,000 Israelis have already signed a Hebrew petition, to be delivered to Prime Minister Netanyahu's office on August 10, calling for an end to the destruction of Bedouin villages in Israel and a just and comprehensive solution to the plight of Israel's Bedouin Palestinian Arab citizens in the Negev.

Join them, and a growing list of prominent American Jews including Leonard Fein, Michael Walzer, Mandy Patinkin, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Peter Beinert, Daniel Sokatch, Deborah Dash Moore, Debra DeLee, MJ Rosenberg, Steven M. Cohen, Theodore Bikel, Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, Rabbi Sharon Brous, Rabbi Laura Geller, Rabbi Ellen W. Dreyfus, Rabbi Marc Gopin, Rabbi Arthur Green and many others, in a petition of solidarity.

Click here or on the image below to watch the video and send a protest email right now to Prime Minister Netanyahu

From Sunny for all you people from MO!: Take action and vote!!!

KC Star editorial: "Missouri's puppy-breeding industry needs a dose of accountability"

Missouri's puppy-breeding industry needs a dose of accountability

Spread out across Missouri’s farmland and tucked into its rural hollows are at least a third of the nation’s dog breeders.

And those are the ones with licenses. Officials believe hundreds of other breeders are operating outside the state’s licensing and inspection system.

A massive signature-gathering effort financed by animal rights groups has succeeded in placing a proposed constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot. It seeks to toughen Missouri’s regulations and enforcement of businesses that keep 10 or more female dogs at a time for breeding.

Among other things, the ballot measure would:

•Limit commercial breeders to 50 adult breeding dogs.

•Require that cages be large enough to permit adequate movement and not be stacked.

•Ensure that dogs get regular exercise and not be subjected to extreme heat or cold.

•Require an examination by a veterinarian at least once a year.

The proposed amendment will almost certainly kick off a vigorous debate about standards for the 1,483 licensed Missouri breeders who are estimated to supply four of every 10 puppies sold at pet stores around the nation.

Such a debate would be more appropriate for the Missouri legislature. But lawmakers in tune with rural and agricultural interests won’t cooperate in any effort to further regulate animal industries.

In fact, rural legislators this year tried to head off a statewide vote on puppy-breeding operations by pushing for a constitutional amendment that would require a two-thirds majority to pass any petition issue dealing with animal agriculture. A simple majority vote is currently required for all constitutional amendments. Happily, the outrageous maneuver was eventually set aside.

The Humane Society and other groups say Missouri’s current standards for commercial breeding operations are outdated and inadequate.

Animal agricultural groups counter that the problem is insufficient enforcement.

That’s a worthwhile debate. But what’s unquestionable is that Missouri’s dog-breeding industry is riddled with abuses.

The Department of Agriculture and law enforcement agencies frequently raid dog-breeding operations, usually unlicensed, and report horrific conditions — dogs coated with feces, infested with fleas, sometimes half starved.

Three Missouri audits over the last 10 years have noted problems with breeding operations and observed that commercial breeders have little incentive to comply with state laws. Inspectors almost never meet their goal of visiting every licensed facility annually. Fines for violations are rarely levied, and even notorious breeders are seldom forced out of business.

Missouri’s booming puppy-breeding industry is badly in need of stricter standards and better enforcement. The state’s leaders shouldn’t require a public vote to do the right thing, but that’s where we are.

From Westchester 4 Change:


Sat. Aug. 14, Mt. Kisco

Two shifts:12:00 PM, 3:00 PM (arrive 15 min. early to receive instructions)

Join our friends with Tribeca for Change (Alan in helping Congressman John Hall win re-election. The canvass will begin at John Hall's Mt. Kisco campaign office: 293 Lexington Ave. Mt. Kisco 10549, but when you sign up, someone will get back to you with more details about the canvass:

Email or Call with Questions: Alan Howard, or 917-328-0531

Sun. Aug. 15, Croton

Two shifts:12:00 PM, 3:00 PM (arrive 15 min. early to receive instructions)

Join one of our northern Westchester organizers, Justin in supporting both Congressman Hall's re-election and Mike Kaplowitz's election to the State Senate. The canvass will begin at the Croton-Harmon train station. NOTE: the link says Mt. Kisco, but Sunday's canvass begins in Croton. When you sign up, someone will get back to you with details:

Email or Call with Questions: Justin Wagner, or



Sun. Aug. 29th

Sunday, August 29th 12:00-3:00pm (arrive at least 15 min. early to receive instructions)

Join your friends and neighbors from Westchester for Change in canvassing for John Hall. We will leave from Harrison at 11:00 or you can meet us at the Mt. Kisco Campaign office: 293 Lexington Ave. Mt. Kisco 10549 at 11:30am. Either way, join us!

Email or call with questions: Rachel Estroff, or 914-525-1940.

From Dani in Brooklyn:

Stop the Stealth Attack on Social Security

Tell your representatives not to reduce Social Security benefits

After taking action, please support our work!

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is moving under cover of darkness to recover the billions spent on Wall Street bailouts, tax breaks for the wealthiest and unfunded wars. How? By cutting benefits under the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. President Obama created the commission to review the country's budget deficit but recklessly also gave the body authority to consider Social Security and other entitlement programs.

The commission is stacked with people who are hostile to Social Security and/or indifferent to the devastating effect cuts would have on millions of middle-class people, especially women. Congress can stop this runaway train, but only if there is the political will to do it. During this August break, we need to demand promises from every member of the House and Senate that they will do whatever it takes to prevent any cuts to Social Security -- including raising the retirement age and privatization.

Action Needed

Call, email and visit your representative and both senators. They are home for the August recess, so you can meet with them in their district offices. Urge them to personally promise you they will do everything in their power to prevent cuts to Social Security -- no direct benefit cuts, no raising the retirement age (which is approximately an eight percent cut for every year the retirement age goes up) and no privatization. Even if you are in a Republican district, make that call or visit. Polls show huge majorities of Republicans, Independents, even self-styled Tea Partiers, as well as Democrats, are opposed to cuts in Social Security. Every representative who is not retiring is up for re-election this year, as are 37 senators. Let them know they need to stand with the people of this country and against the secretive Fiscal Commission's assault on Social Security...(see rest at site)

From Brad in NY:

Who Is Gustavo Rivera

I am running for State Senate because my neighbors deserve a passionate and proven advocate in Albany with the experience to get things done and the integrity to do things right.

I learned government from some of the best people in New York, Albany and Washington, leaders like State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Jose Serrano, Councilmember Annabel Palma, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and President Barack Obama. I’ve worked all over our city, state and country to bring about change where it is needed, yet always come home to the Bronx. I am a native of Puerto Rico but the Bronx has been my home for a decade. Like my neighbors, I know the challenges of paying rent, keeping the lights on, and trying to earn a living. Our State Senator personifies everything wrong about government and doesn’t even live in the Bronx. My entire career has been about serving people. Not lobbyists, not special interests, not my bank account. It is time for our State Senator to put our community and our people first.

Democrat Gustavo Rivera Endorsed By Bill Samuels and New Roosevelt Initiative

NEW YORK – Bill Samuels and the New Roosevelt Initiative (NRI) today threw their full support behind the Democrat Gustavo Rivera in the 33rd State Senate district against disgraced State Senator Pedro Espada. Samuels cited Rivera’s integrity, backgrou...

Published: Friday, July 16, 2010

The New York Times

Espada Faces a Well-Financed Opponent

The left-leaning Working Families Party has decided to focus its considerable organizational resources on ousting Mr. Espada and electing a candidate who is running his first race - Jose Gustavo Rivera, 34, a former aide to Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand.

Published: Monday, July 19, 2010

City Hall News

From Lee in NYC/DC, OFA/DNC:

To help you when speaking with others about the important choice this election. Democrats are fighting to repair a decade of damage and grow an economy based on the values of hard work and responsibility that strengthens our country and middle class families for the long run.

Talking Points: President Obama’s Speech on Higher Education

 If our country is serious about creating a stronger American economy and guaranteeing American success in the 21st century, it is absolutely critical that we ensure American children receive the best possible education.

· Education is simply an economic issue – and quite possibly the most important economic issue of our time. If other countries are able to out-educate America today, they will out-compete America in the future. We have long acknowledged education to be a prerequisite to prosperity, because an individual’s success is becoming more dependent on higher education – from a college degree to workforce training.

· But unfortunately, we have allowed America to fall behind other countries in terms of educational achievement – falling from first in the world to twelfth in terms of college education in just one generation. The current educational status quo is unacceptable, but we can change it. To that end, President Obama has set a goal to recapture America’s global leadership by educating the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020.
· The President wants to make sure that America not only leads the world in college graduation rates, but also that American graduates emerge from school ready to work and compete in the modern economy.
· One of the ways the President hopes to accomplish that goal is by increasing the affordability of college – so that higher education becomes an option for more Americans. Rather than offering big banks and other lenders $60 billion worth of subsidies to administer student loans for the next ten years, this Administration is using that money to make college more affordable for almost 8 million students and to improve our country’s community colleges.
· The President is tripling funding for the biggest tax credit available to middle class families for college; stabilizing funding for Pell Grants by increasing how much Pell Grants are worth and working to ensure that the value of Pell Grants keeps pace with inflation; making loan repayments easier for more than one million student in coming years; and making financial aid forms simpler.
· This Administration is also working to ensure that a college education prepares students for a career. To that end, the Administration is working to help community colleges teach students the skills demanded by local businesses and growing industries.
· And this Administration has taken on the challenge of increasing college completion rates. Right now, more than one-third of all American college students and more than half of minority students don’t finish college. So the Administration is taking a hard look at college programs that are increasing achievement and graduation rates and is working to help other colleges implement similar programs.
· Those are the efforts the Administration has undertaken to help more Americans earn a college degree. That is how they plan to increase America’s share of college graduates and to make America a world leader by 2010. And this is how they plan to boost opportunity and bolster the American economy.