Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy and Healthy New Year to those celebrating,time to rally "the troops"!

Dear Obama/Biden Supporters:

Just a note to tell you I am back from the "fantasy island" of Nantucket . Also, I wanted to send out the blog to reach those of you celebrating the Jewish holidays before sundown. It is my wish that all of you who are celebrating have a happy,healthy,peaceful and sweet holiday. It is also my hope that you and others will reflect on how important this time is for helping our Democratic candidates across the country. It will be part of my prayers this year that we have the strength to get the word out about the convictions and policies of candidates who are reasonable people who care about moving this country forward with positive suggestions instead of stagnation. So may it be written that the country regains its sanity and does the right thing in these difficult times by electing caring,capable candidates! We need to inspire Americans and begin rational and productive discussions to help all Americans. We can do this by pointing out how absurd and cynical ideas like those from the Republican leadership, about cutting taxes and tackling the deficit ,are at this time. We can mention that in Kentucky, the Republican Senate candidate actually opposed the Civil Rights Act. In Nevada, the Republican Senate candidate actually wants to "phase out" Medicare and Social Security. Even in New York , the Republican Party has strayed a long way since the moderate leadership of Jacob Javits, for example. We are hearing rumblings of teaching creationism in public schools and that climate change is not caused by humans since many in the party don't believe in science. I could go on and on about the extremists who are hijacking the Republican party, but most importantly I want to urge you not to be complacent and be respectful of other opinions while standing up for your values. We were the winners in November and we can be again if we oppose the extremists by talking to voters and encouraging them to vote for voices of reason in the up coming elections.

I heard from many of you while I was away and read the papers about the impending doom of the Dems! I ask you where are our voices raised against the ridiculous press coverage of people who think the President is not a citizen or if he is, that he is a practicing Muslim. When talking to Tracey ,a blog member from Nantucket, it really hit home what we are up against. She related a story about going out to dinner with friends who she knew to be "reasonable Republicans". She started a discussion that turned into a no win situation with her "reasonable friends" condemning Obama and all of his policies as not only socialistic but un American. She said they were accepting what they heard on Fox and Glen Beck as truisms no matter how she tried to set the record straight with facts. Now how do we handle this kind of negativism and outright lies that after being said enough are becoming "truths". It can only be done through manning those phones,making those calls, and not letting up until we get our message across. All of these false accusations must be answered as strongly as possible.The President was his old self again in Milwaukee and gave a heck of a speech. Bob Herbert of the NY times (see Jane/Larchmont**) suggested ,"In a speech that was rousing, inspirational and, at times, quite funny, the president outlined a $50 billion proposal for a wide range of improvements to the nation’s transportation infrastructure. The money would be used for the construction and rehabilitation of highways, bridges, railroads, airport runways and the air traffic control system creating jobs jobs jobs...

Bob Herbert continued,"Obama seemed to take a wicked, almost Truman-ish delight in going after the Republicans in his speech. It doesn't matter what actions are taken or proposed to help ordinary Americans or to rebuild the economy, he said, “almost every Republican in Congress says no.” In fact, he suggested, the Republican Party is committed to saying no to absolutely anything and everything, no matter what the topic: “If I said the sky was blue, they'd say no. If I said fish live in the sea, they'd say no.” As if on cue, Republican leaders denounced the president’s infrastructure plan as more “out of control” Democratic spending. "

So where are we on this bumpy road ahead? I'd say we are major players who have to rev up and "rally around the flag" so to speak! If they can rev people up with all their mumbo jumbo,we should be able to rally the troops by acknowledging how scary it is that our voices are not being heard or believed. It is beyond comprehension that so many Americans are willing to put their faith and future in the hands of some far out crazy actors and politicians who have enough simplistic buzz words to evade the issues and make people believe their lies. Our only ability to turn things around is by swelling our grassroots organization that has been a proven success and made a difference once before. It is essential that we do it again! Happy and Healthy New Year to all of you!!!!


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 Randy in Berkeley:

I don't think it's all because the Dems aren't voicing their good

deeds enough but that MOST Americans are just plain stupid. If so many

can still think Obama is a Muslim, that says it all for me.

From Wiesje in CT:

I hope your summer was great and now we need a GREAT fall. I was reading in Time mag an article by Tony Blair it is from his book and i like to send this little bit of it:Then there is Barack Obama,who stepped into the aftermath of the fin crisis and the wars in Iraq Afghanistan.And as if that weren,t enough, he faces the challenges of avoiding a double recession and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. As ever with a new leader , the political character cannot be fully formed or comprehended immediately but perhaps over time. The personal character however, is clear:this is a man with steel in every part of him.The expectation of his presidency was beyond exaggeration. The criticism is now exaggerated.He has remained the same throughout. And believe that is hard to do.I achieved that serenity only at the end. this in the sept.13 issue of Time pag.44

All the best we will win !

From Congresswoman Nita:

It is a devastating decision.

A federal judge has overturned the Obama Administration’s common-sense standards for embryonic stem cell research. This stunning and unexpected ruling may now force scientists throughout the country to abandon promising research into the treatment of diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism, heart and lung disease, Parkinson's, and stroke.

For all the fulminating we hear on the Republican side about “activist judges,” the simple truth is that today’s judicial activism is coming almost entirely from right-wing jurists, who have aggressively and arrogantly tossed out both administrative and congressional actions that conflict with conservative political orthodoxy.

The conservative make-up of the federal courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court, makes it all the more important for Democrats to retain Congress. Remember that when the Supreme Court threw out an equal pay law, it was Democrats in Congress who responded by passing the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Now, in the aftermath of this terrible decision on stem cell research, we will explore every possible legislative solution to assist medical researchers in their essential and life-saving work.

In short, we need Congressional majorities in order to repair the damage done by the courts, and if we lose those majorities on November 2nd, then the impact of this recent court decision will be just a taste of much worse to come.

We cannot let that happen. We need to stand together, and we can begin by leveling the financial playing field. Your generous donation will not only help here in the 18th Congressional District, but will also enable me to support progressive allies in tight contests throughout the country. You can make a huge difference. Go to to make a contribution.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. Together, we will win this fight.
From Judy in Mamaroneck:

Click here: Op-Ed Columnist - Frank Rich- The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party -

Click here: Op-Ed Columnist - Bob Herbert - Glenn Beck in Washington -

From Sharon in Scarsdale:

Brilliant 4 minute short film ! Extremely sad ending, but brilliantly filmed !

Click the link below to watch ~

From Tommy Sowers in MO:
The fight is on. Jo Ann Emerson just started running a misleading attack ad.

This week, we took to the air war with a new television spot highlighting what Jo Ann Emerson fears the most - the truth. Folks here love our ad and are thankful that for the first time, the truth IS getting out. I met a gas station clerk yesterday evening that said, "You're that guy on tv. I sure ain't voting for Emerson. Plus I like your shotgun."

We knew Emerson would panic once people became aware of her job killing trade deals and Wall Street Bailouts. So right on cue, she dipped deep into her special interest dollars and yesterday launched a misleading attack ad against me.

Our ad has backed Jo Ann Emerson and her shameful voting record into a corner. The only thing she can do is throw money towards a vain effort to misdirect voters.

It's time to turn up the heat on Emerson and keep the air war going. Let the truth rain.

I need your help. Will you make a contribution to the campaign so we can keep the truth on air?

I appreciate your support.

From Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in NY:

I hope you're enjoying the last days of summer. We only have 60 days until Election Day. It's the homestretch! I'll be traveling all over New York in the month of September and I'm hoping you'll be able to join me for one of my events. (Click the location for more details!)

New York City on September 12th, 14th, 20th, 26th, and 27th (a tour of work by Mark Rothko on the 14th; special guest Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright on the 20th)

Westchester on Sunday, September 19th

Brooklyn Heights on Sunday, September 12th

Upstate on September 4th and 25th
Click here to read about some of my latest work in the Senate.

I'm so excited to see you! For more information about any of these events, please contact Ross at or 212.481.2010.

From Marceline in NYC and Elizabeth in Mamaroneck:

As you probably know, August 30 New Yorker has a damning piece on the

Koch Brothers, their hateful ideology, how they're trying to bring

down Obama and their multifarious influence through tentacles that

reach through various nonprofits-- some of which are outright fronts.

Etc. Stomach-churning reading. By Jane Mayer.

Aren't you glad I wrote? My sister read it this morning and almost

lost her breakfast.

From Elizabeth: I realize this is long, but it's amazing and worth the effort, in my view.

Click here:

From Stef in Senator Gillibrand's office:

I hope you are enjoying your last week of summer!

Primary Day is two weeks away (September 14th!) and we need your help to secure a resounding victory for Kirsten!

We have a fantastic state wide operation so please reply to this email ASAP to learn about ways to volunteer in your area.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you!
P.S. Follow us on facebook! If you're on facebook, please become a fan of Kirsten Gillibrand and Women for Gillibrand to stay on top of news and campaign updates!

From Herb in KCMO:

Hi....the attached was forwarded to me today, by an old movie friend, a Republican. As briefly as I can, allow me to mention my response to George. Basically, there's a bunch of very selfish people in the world, and a great many are in New York City. Sure, the twin towers came down in New York, so New Yorkers have their reasons to protest the possibility of a Mosque built 4 or 5 blocks from twin towers. But here's what so fascinating about this on-going affair: New Yorkers believe Muslims have no right to build a house of religion (actually a Community Center, open to everone). They evidently believe EVERYONE else should believe as they do. The constitution of the United States is UNimportant, as long as these pro-testers have their own way and the Mosque does not get built in that location. What's more fascinating--aside from their own selfish attitude--is total disregard for what U.S. soldiers have fought for in Iraq: freedom of religion. 4,500 of our young soldiers have died in the senseless conflict which Mr. Bush instigated , so that Iraqi's can have the freedom to be a Shite, Sunni, Catholic, or Muslim in Iraq. Get the irony? We invaded Iraq---a country of MUSLIMS!! So that Muslim's could be FREE-- to practise their Muslim religion! (Well, sure, Bush/Cheny had oil insterests behind them, of course) But were we not sold a bill of goods, stating that Hussaien was a bad person, and he persecuted Iraqui's and that we invated Iraq to bring FREEDOM (democracy!) to that small nation? So here we have Americans in NYCity---citizens of our country, protesting the LEGAL right of a group of Muslim's to practise their religion by means of a new Mosque in Manhattan.

Subject: Fw: Anyone see this on the news?

Herb...Here is another point of view...I agree that under our laws they have
the right to build...however this is sure an IN YOUR FACE location to choose.(Republican friend sent this)

Censored Protest at Ground Zero

June 16, 2010, New York, N.Y., – by El Marco Americans Stand Up Against Radical Islam in New York – We Will Not Submit! Not one major network sent a satellite truck or camera crew to this event. Without bloggers this newsworthy event would have remained unknown to the public and history

On Sunday, June 6th, a multi-ethnic, multi-racial coalition of Americans opposed to Islamic violence and intolerance rallied at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. 9/11 families were joined by immigrants from India, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Africa, Iran and Europe to show opposition to the construction of a mega-mosque at Ground Zero. Others flew in from overseas to speak or just to share their particular ethnic communities’ experiences at the hands of Muslims. These are parents and spouses of firefighters killed on 9/11. The rally took place just a minute’s walk from Ladder 10 Firehouse, where their loved ones were stationed for duty that terrible day. Ladder 10 lost seven firefighters. Crowd estimates ranged from 5,000 (NYPD) to 10,000. The crowd overflowed the police barrier enclosures that ran the full length of two city blocks. This photo shows the enclosure in front of the stage at the intersection of Liberty and Church Streets. The second enclosure ran the length of the next block and can be seen on the other side of the traffic lights.

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are the founders of STOP ISLAMIZATION OF AMERICA, which sponsored the rally. Ms. Geller is a citizen journalist and blogger who runs the human rights web site Atlas Shrugs. Mr. Spencer is the author of several books on Islam and head of the influential web site Jihad watch. Pamela Geller:

“Ground Zero is a war memorial, Ground Zero is a burial ground. We are asking for sensitivity…It is unconscionable to build a shrine to the very ideology that inspired the jihadist attacks at Ground Zero, right there. We are asking the imam Rauf and Daisy Khan to be sensitive. For mutual respect and mutual understanding that is demanded of us every day.

There’s a hair-trigger sensitivity in the Muslim world, you can’t run the cartoons, you can’t say Mohammed, this is offensive. This is an offensive mosque. To build a shrine, an Islamic flag of conquest on the sacred ground the cherished site, of a conquered land. This is historic, this is Islamic history. It’s what they do. The St. Sofia in Turkey, the al-Quds, at the holiest Jewish site in Israel. Not here. This is where we take a stand. We must take a stand. We must say no.”...

The issues at stake will certainly affect the heart of American freedom, democracy, cultural values and tolerance. America is a tolerant country that allows for the free worship of all its citizens. But our tolerance has limits. Do we have to tolerate intolerant Islamic ideology and Muslims who preach intolerant Islam?”

I do not believe that the landmarks commission controlled by Mayor Bloomberg, is going to stop this mosque. It’s not going to happen. Here’s Omar Muhamedi, on his human rights council, a CAIR lawyer, who sued the airlines and the Jane and John Does that saw something and said something on those airplanes, if you remember. That’s who’s on his human rights commission. It ain’t gonna happen with Bloomberg. We have to make it happen. You have to get involved.” (Pamela Geller)

From Joyce Johnson in Harlem:

Women for Joyce Reception

Thursday, September 9, 2010

6—8 PM

At the Home of Janet Dewart Bell

444 Central Park West, #14B, NYC

(Between W.104th & W 105th Streets)
Please RSVP by Sept. 6th:

(212) 662-3032
Suggested Contributions:

$100, $150, $250, Other

Download PDF Event Invitation

Contribute Online or Download a Contribution Form to Mail


This beautiful week-end brings great news.

Today, The New York Times endorsed Joyce Johnson for Congress in the 15th CD. The Times praised her as "a strong advocate for women's rights and civil rights for many years."

I’ve known that for years. And now, thanks to the Times, people everywhere are finding out too.

With 25 years of public service -- fighting for better schools, affordable housing and economic justice, encouraging greater participation in the voting process -- she'll bring a new spirit and a strong voice to fight for her constituents in Washington. She is not only the best candidate for the job...
Joyce is a candidate we can all be proud to support.

Everyone with the campaign feels a new wind at our back. Since the endorsement this morning, the campaign has already had 200 new donors. But Joyce is facing a mighty war chest and a crowded field. With only ten days until the primary, she needs your support to spread the word.
You can help send this woman to Washington... donate here.
If you'd like to volunteer with the campaign, please sign up here.
With Joyce, we have the opportunity to elect a leader we can be proud of and one her constituents deserve.
Ronnie Eldridge,
Former New York City Council Member
Westside Leader, Obama for America 2008

From Joe in Ohio:

I am sad to say, I think America is STUPID as HELL. They now believe in the GOP because the DEMS have not corrected 8 years of the idiot BUSH in 1.5 years………SELFISH AND STUPID……….

I guess if the GOP gets in control AMERICA got what they asked for……..SICK

***From Jane in Larchmont: *****
Hope you had total rest and enjoyment in Nantucket.

A good one-- from Bob Herbert

On Labor Day afternoon in Milwaukee, President Obama finally began to vigorously push the kind of high-profile, rebuild-America infrastructure campaign that is absolutely essential if there is to be any real hope of putting Americans back to work and getting the economy back into reasonable shape over the next few years.

In a speech that was rousing, inspirational and, at times, quite funny, the president outlined a $50 billion proposal for a wide range of improvements to the nation’s transportation infrastructure. The money would be used for the construction and rehabilitation of highways, bridges, railroads, airport runways and the air traffic control system...(See rest on line)

From Brad in NYC/DC at DNC:
Dear Friend
Please join us for a small dinner and discussion with President Obama at the home of Ellen and Richard Richman in Greenwich, Connecticut on Thursday, September 16th at 6:15PM. This dinner will be no more than 50 guests and will be for the Democratic National Committee.

We hope you can join us for this special evening. To RSVP and for more details, please see OR contact Brad Thompson at, 202.479.5171. Hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

From Lee in NYC/DC:

Following his remarks in Philadelphia, Chairman Kaine will appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart followed by Vice President Biden on The Colbert Report.

Talking Points: Infrastructure Investment

· From the day President Obama took office, this Administration has worked to reverse almost a decade’s worth of failed Republican economic policies that helped to lead to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. This Administration has taken action to lay a new foundation for economic growth, one that ensures that the American middle class not only weathers the economic crisis – but is also able to thrive and prosper in the future.

· In the past year and a half, America has come a long way. After 22 consecutive months of job losses, private-sector employers have added jobs for eight straight months. But there is still more to be done. And there are a number of actions our government can take that could help to make the difference by boosting growth and job creation in the short-term, and increasing America's economic competitiveness in the long-term.

· That's why President Obama is outlining a bold strategy for rebuilding and modernizing our country's transportation infrastructure. To that end, this Administration will make new investments to renew and expand America's roads, railways, and runways. Those investments are in keeping with the President's long-term vision for America.

· The President's plan will add American jobs to our economy right now, it will be fully paid for, it will not add to the deficit over time, and it will boost America's growth and productivity in the long-term. President Obama will work with Congress to pass legislation that makes a new up-front, targeted investment in America's transportation infrastructure.

· If we make this investment in America's future, during the next six years our country can rebuild 150,000 miles of American roads; build and maintain 4,000 miles of American railways; restore 150 miles of American runways and install a next generation air-traffic control system that will lower travel time and reduce delays for American travelers.

· In addition, this Administration will establish an Infrastructure Bank that will put federal dollars to use to make the smartest investments in our country. That Infrastructure Bank will change the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars on infrastructure. It will focus less on wasteful earmarks and outmoded formulas, and focus more on fostering the competition and innovation that gives Americans the best bang for their buck.
· This Administration will guarantee a sustained, results-oriented commitment to a national high-speed rail system over the next generation by adding to the investments America has already made, and building a system that increases convenience and reduces America's dependence on oil.

· This Administration will strive to reduce waste and bureaucracy by modernizing and prioritizing investments in infrastructure, consolidating more than 100 different and in many cases repetitive programs and putting in place performance measurements and competition to guarantee that this Administration is funding the best and most useful projects.

· The status of America's transportation infrastructure and investments in that infrastructure have attracted bipartisan support in the past, and President Obama is hopeful that they will garner bipartisan support today. The President will continue to reach out to members of both parties to get leaders to work together on behalf of the American people. And the President will continue fighting to strengthen the American middle class and keep our economy moving forward.

Talking Points: August Jobs & the Economy

· After 22 consecutive months of job losses, private sector employers have now added American jobs for eight straight months. But as President Obama has said, the road to full recovery will not be straight or smooth. There is still more work to be done.

· Although some economic sectors have improved, others are still struggling. Millions of Americans are still looking for work but are unable to find employment. So job creation remains the President’s priority and the priority of his economic team.

· In early 2009, the American economy shed an average of 750,000 jobs every month. This year, the private sector has added 763,000 jobs.

· In August, private sector employers added 67,000 jobs. In addition, revised data show that private sector employers added 66,000 more jobs in June and July than were originally thought. But in August, 114,000 Census jobs were lost as the Census wound down. Although the Census put Americans to work, Census jobs were explicitly temporary. This Administration is focused on permanent job growth.

· To that end, President Obama is committed to taking the actions necessary to keep the American economy growing, actions that include:

o Providing assistance to small businesses.
o Promoting exports.
o Extending tax cuts for middle class families.
o And investing in economic sectors that have high job growth potential, like infrastructure and green energy. · When Congress returns, the President’s top priority is passage of his small business jobs bill. As the President has said, now is not the time for Republican obstructionism.
· Too many hard-working Americans who want a job still can’t find one.

· The reality is, the economic crisis was the result of almost a decade of failed Republican economic policies, and it will take years to fully mend the damage. But our country is again headed in the right direction. And this Administration will do everything possible to help American businesses grow and create jobs and to take America down the path toward a more prosperous future. What we can’t afford is to go back to the same failed policies that led to the crisis in the first place.

· The Recovery Act has helped America to make progress. The independent Congressional Budget Office estimates that during the second quarter, the Recovery Act supported or created as many as 3.3 million jobs. The bold measures the President took pulled America back from the brink of a second Great Depression and are helping Americans get back to work.

· But there is still more to be done. The President won’t be satisfied until every American who wants a job is able to get one.

From Courtney in Mo (Robin Carnahan's camapign:

Please Join
Anne Hess ,
Patti Kenner
Sarah Kovner
Rita O’Connor
Barbara Zakin
For a breakfast honoring

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri
Robin Carnahan
Missouri Secretary of State
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Home of Patti Kenner
720 Park Avenue
(Between 70 and 71 Streets)
New York City
Co-Host: $1,000
Friend of Robin: $500
Please make checks payable to Robin Carnahan for Senate
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Courtney Collard or
Kim Kauffman at 202-544-7708 or

#2Two pieces of good news below for Robin Carnahan’s campaign 1.) the DSCC has placed an independent expenditure (IE) TV buy for our race that started a week ago and has been extended for another week already, this is earlier than expected. This is in addition to the $4 million they've reserved in airtime for ads in October here. 2.) August 26th poll results from the Springfield, MO NBC news affiliate showing dead heat.

Poll shows dead heat in U.S. Senate Race

By Paula Dowler
Story Published: Aug 26, 2010 at 5:12 PM CDT
KY3/Missouri State University polled voters about races for U.S. Representative and U.S. Senate. The poll also questioned voters about the job performances of President Barak Obama and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. The poll results are below.
Missouri U.S. Senate Race

Survey Question: If the 2010 election for U.S. Senate from Missouri were held today, would you vote for Robin Carnahan, the Democrat, or Roy Blunt, the Republican?

MO U.S. Senate Carnahan Blunt Other Candidate

Respondent Demographics (N = 785)

Strong Democrat 91.4% 8.6% 0%

Weak Democrat 80.7 19.3% 0%

Independent, lean Democrat 100% 0% 0%

Independent Independent, lean Republican 50.9% 8.3% 44% 86.5% 5.2% 5.2%

Weak Republican 16.7% 83.3% 0%

Strong Republican .8% 97.7% 1.6%

Other Party 33.3% 52.4% 14.3%

Missouri Total 48.4% 48.8% 2.8%

Ellen and Howard Deixler's home

9 Stoneycrest Rd.

Rye, NY 10580

Sunday, September 12, 2010

4:00 p.m.

We are excited to announce that John Hall will be attending the event! An exciting raffle will be held for one pair of tickets to the Jackson Browne concert (John's good friend) at the Beacon Theater in NYC on Sept. 15th, including backstage passes for a photo op after the show. Raffle tickets are $20 each or $100 for a book of 6 tickets. All proceeds to benefit John Hall's re-election campaign.

You do not need to buy a raffle ticket to attend the party, but all donations, big and small, are welcome. Also, you do not need to be present to win the raffle.

John Hall is running in a very tight race and needs our help. The progressive agenda is at stake as each of these vulnerable Democrats' seats are being hotly contested.

Please make all checks out to John Hall for Congress

R.S.V.P. or

Questions: Call Susan Van Dolsen 914-525-8886

From Elizabeth in Mamaroneck: Please NY Dems don't forget to vote!!!!!

Everyone I know who follows Albany closely says Eric Schneiderman is extraordinary and would make a superb Attorney General. Please note Citizen Action Director Karen Scharff's words below and consider voting for him in the September 14th primary.

Primary day is just two weeks from today. That means we only have 14 short days to make sure Eric Schneiderman is the Democratic nominee for Attorney General.

The Attorney General can make a real impact on the lives of New Yorkers. Eric's candidacy is our opportunity this year to build the movement for progressive change - and we need to do everything we can to make sure he wins.

Citizen Action volunteers have already been phone banking from our regional offices for weeks, but we just launched a new way for members like you to make calls from home. All you need is an internet connection and a phone. Plus, we've selected a call list of New Yorkers who are already familiar with Citizen Action's work so there will be no cold calls.

Click here to sign up to make calls!

Eric deserves our help because he has done so much for New Yorkers in his 20 years of public service. When The New York Times endorsed Eric last week, they cited his role in abolishing the Rockefeller-era drug laws, supporting the expulsion of Hiram Monserrate from the State Senate, and his efforts to reform Albany to make sure our voices are heard.

We know that Eric has done all this and much more because he has been a fair-minded, strong, and committed progressive partner for the past 20 years.
While Eric travels the state to introduce himself to New Yorkers, we can help by making some calls.

Click here now to sign up to make calls!

We wholly support Eric in his campaign to be our next Attorney General, and we hope you'll help introduce Eric to other New Yorkers so that more people will understand why we're so enthusiastic about his campaign.

We've worked with Eric to change the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws, end the unconstitutional, undemocratic, and racist practice of prison-based gerrymandering, and to pass Ian's Law and other health care consumer protections.

Eric is a proven progressive fighter for the people of New York. We can't miss this opportunity to push Eric to victory.
Even if you can only make calls for one shift between now and Primary Day, you'll be part of an amazing group of dedicated volunteers who are making the change we need right here in New York. Every call we make will make a difference, so sign up to make calls now! Thanks for all you do,

Karen Scharff

Executive Director

Citizen Action of New York

From Susan in Rye:

If you've got your blog going out this week, please make sure to include the cool event we have coming up on Sunday, Sept. 12th. John Hall will be attending.


WHERE: Ellen and Howard Deixler’s Home
9 Stoneycrest Rd.
Rye, NY 10580

WHEN: Sunday, September 12th

TIME: 4:00 p.m.

An exciting raffle will be held for one pair of tickets to Jackson Browne at the Beacon Theater on Sept. 15th, including backstage passes for a photo op with Jackson Browne after the show. Raffle tickets are $20 each or $100 for a book of 6 tickets.

All proceeds to benefit John Hall’s re-election campaign

You do not need to buy a raffle ticket to attend the party, but all donations, big and small, are welcome. Also, you do not need to be present to win the raffle. Please make all checks out to JOHN HALL for CONGRESS.

R.S.V.P. or

Questions: Call Susan Van Dolsen 914-525-8886

From Barbara KS:

Subject: Re: Bad theology about Obama--this week in the observer (From brother, Don)

I know we say this to one another every time but it is getting really rough out there. Glen Beck's Revival was about all I could take. I fear that our side is losing in a really big way.............JB now told me that he is adding Haley Barbour to our Sarah Palin list and if nominated, we are going to run. Any place is better than the people those two represent. I really don't know how this started with the hatred on day one or before but something has gone wacko with whomever is running the game.

The Problem With Franklin Graham

By Don Rose

Most of the time I look with a mixture if disdain and comic bemusement at the “birthers” who purport that Barack Obama was not born in America or that he is a Muslim or both. For many it’s a political tool used to help delegitimatize his presidency; for others it’s a way of expressing their dislike of either his blackness or “otherness” without quite admitting racism or bigotry.

There will always be a lunatic fringe on one or another side of American politics—including those on the left who still think 9/11 was an “inside job” or an airliner never really crashed into the Pentagon.

I tend to shrug off these lunacies because they are simply beyond reasonable argument. Yet I maintain a singular disdain for the worst offenders: public figures who know better, such as some congressmen and senators who play the political game with evasive, ambiguous responses.

Then there are the members of various state legislatures that are passing laws denying a position on the presidential ballot to anyone who can't prove he was born in the USA. They're cognizant that such regulations are invalid because federal law supercedes them. They are not loons, but the worst kind of divisive, pandering politicians.

All of which is preamble to expressing my total disgust with a highly prominent and respected clergyman who recently spewed a misleading piece of political poison about Obama, putting himself in the orbit of the Limbaughs, Becks and Hannitys who make their living that way. However, because the perpetrator is so prominent and a man of the cloth, few commentators or editorialists called him out for it.

I speak of Franklin Graham, the Christian evangelist son of Billy Graham, who, aside from any pope was the world’s best-known clergyman of the last half-century. Franklin is widely known, though he never filled his aged father’s shoes in recognition or as friend and counselor of presidents of both parties. Conservative Billy had his gaffes, but nothing to top Franklin’s recent statement to CNN about Obama:

"He was born a Muslim. His father was a Muslim; the seed of Muslim is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother,” Franklin said. “He was born a Muslim; his father gave him an Islamic name….You can be born a Muslim. You can be born a Jew. But you can't be born a Christian."

Graham added: "Now, it's obvious that the president has renounced the Prophet Mohammed and he has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That's what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe the president is what he has said."

Where do we begin?

By pointing out that although Obama had an African Muslim grandfather, his father—who abandoned the family soon after Barack’s birth—was never a practicing Muslim but an atheist? Just as his white mother, though from a mainline Protestant background, was a humanist agnostic, believing there is much to be gained from the teachings of all religions, but also things to criticize, including elements of Christianity.

Barack Obama was born into no religion, got no early religious training, briefly attended Catholic and secular elementary schools in Indonesia, but later in life adopted Christianity—the mainstream United Church of Christ. He was never known to or had any reason to “renounce” Mohammed or Islam.

Without going into complex and convoluted theological discussions, all the facts indicate Islam is a religious belief, not a genetic condition. If one is “born” into it and raised in it one must still practice it. Though most Muslims believe in patrilineal descendency, there is no “seed” that automatically makes you a member of the faith. Even patrilineal descendency is questioned by some Islamic theologians.

Just for the record, while matrilineal descendency (seed?!?) is current Jewish doctrine, historically it has not always been. Recent science, searching for anything resembling a “Jewish gene” found only one possible strain—passed along only by fathers of one priestly tribe.

Graham’s inaccurate and misleading comments—unforgivable from a trained theologian—can only stoke the fires of the birthers and feed the growing hatred of Islam currently pervading the nation.

From a clergyman of his standing they can accelerate Muslims’ worldwide fear that we are really at war with Islam. Which can only breed more terrorists, including many here at home like the Fort Hood murderer and the Times Square bomber. Billy ought to wash out Franklin’s mouth with soap.

From Susan in Rye:

Did you read the article in the New Yorker about the Koch brothers? What a scary piece. On NPR, Jane Meyer, the author of the article, said that the Koch's did not dispute any of the 10,000 words in the article.

The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama : The New Yorker

A REPORTER AT LARGE about billionaire libertarians Charles and David

Koch and their funding of think tanks, grassroots groups, and other

organizations that oppose the Obama Administration’s policies. With

his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually

all of Koch Industries, ...

From Judy in Mamaroneck:

Click here: Op-Ed Columnist - Freedom’s Just Another Word -

From Tommy Sowers in MO:

The Hon. Bob Kerrey, Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.), Shelley & Donald Rubin, Lorne Michaels,

Craig Albert, Michael & Arlene Berner, Michael Bogner, Binta Brown, Paul Bucha,

Chele Chiavacci, Paul Critchlow, Robert Diamond, Mitch Draizin, Patricia Duff, Stephen Fusco, Koma Gandy,

Les Gelb, Larry Gottlieb, Mark Gonzalez, Neil Hattangadi, Zach Iscol, Harry Kamen, Col. (Ret.) Jack Jacobs,

Robert Johnston, William McMullan, Wes Moore, Michael Niemtzow, Bruce Payne,

Bob Pietrzak, Ted Post, Ali Samadi, Rick Stamberger, Jack Thomas, Daniel Tisch, and Ed Vick

(host committee in formation)

cordially invite you to join

Tommy Sowers

Iraq Veteran & DCCC "Red to Blue" Candidate

Monday, September 13, 2010


at the private gallery of

Shelley & Donald Rubin

17 West 17th Street, 8th floor
(between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York, New York

for a reception benefiting Sowers for Congress
Suggested Contributions:

Sponsor: $2,400
Co-Sponsor: $1,000
Guest: $500

Please RSVP by contributing at

or contact Margaret Burgess at

From Letty P in NYC:

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. Author of the book Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror, he has reported from the Middle East and Africa. He also writes the magazine's advice c'

Fidel to Ahmadinejad: 'Stop Slandering the Jews'

Sep 7 2010, 12:06 PM ET

(This is Part I of a report on my recent visit to Havana. I hope to post Part II tomorrow. And I also hope to be publishing a more comprehensive article about this subject in a forthcoming print edition of The Atlantic.)

A couple of weeks ago, while I was on vacation, my cell phone rang; it was Jorge Bolanos, the head of the Cuban Interest Section (we of course don't have diplomatic relations with Cuba) in Washington. "I have a message for you from Fidel," he said. This made me sit up straight. "He has read your Atlantic article about Iran and Israel. He invites you to Havana on Sunday to discuss the article." I am always eager, of course, to interact with readers of The Atlantic, so I called a friend at the Council on Foreign Relations, Julia Sweig, who is a preeminent expert on Cuba and Latin America: "Road trip," I said.

I quickly departed the People's Republic of Martha's Vineyard for Fidel's more tropical socialist island paradise. Despite the self-defeating American ban on travel to Cuba, both Julia and I, as journalists and researchers, qualified for a State Department exemption. The charter flight from Miami was bursting with Cuban-Americans carrying flat-screen televisions and computers for their technologically-bereft families. Fifty minutes after take-off, we arrived at the mostly-empty Jose Marti International Airport. Fidel's people met us on the tarmac (despite giving up his formal role as commandante en jefe after falling ill several years ago, Fidel still has many people). We were soon deposited at a "protocol house" in a government compound whose architecture reminded me of the gated communities of Boca Raton. The only other guest in this vast enclosure was the president of Guinea-Bissau.

I was aware that Castro had become preoccupied with the threat of a military confrontation in the Middle East between Iran and the U.S. (and Israel, the country he calls its Middle East "gendarme"). Since emerging from his medically induced, four-year purdah early this summer (various gastrointestinal maladies had combined to nearly kill him), the 84-year-old Castro has spoken mainly about the catastrophic threat of what he sees as an inevitable war.

I was curious to know why he saw conflict as unavoidable, and I wondered, of course, if personal experience - the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 that nearly caused the annihilation of most of humanity - informed his belief that a conflict between America and Iran would escalate into nuclear war. I was even more curious, however, to get a glimpse of the great man. Few people had seen him since he fell ill in 2006, and the state of his health has been a subject of much speculation. There were questions, too, about the role he plays now in governing Cuba; he formally handed off power to his younger brother, Raul, two years ago, but it was not clear how many strings Fidel still pulled.

The morning after our arrival in Havana, Julia and I were driven to a nearby convention center, and escorted upstairs, to a large and spare office. A frail and aged Fidel stood to greet us. He was wearing a red shirt, sweatpants, and black New Balance sneakers. The room was crowded with officials and family: His wife, Dalia, and son Antonio, as well as an Interior Ministry general, a translator, a doctor and several bodyguards, all of whom appeared to have been recruited from the Cuban national wrestling team. Two of these bodyguards held Castro at the elbow.

We shook hands, and he greeted Julia warmly; they have known each other for more than twenty years. Fidel lowered himself gently into his seat, and we began a conversation that would continue, in fits and starts, for three days. His body may be frail, but his mind is acute, his energy level is high, and not only that: the late-stage Fidel Castro turns out to possess something of a self-deprecating sense of humor. When I asked him, over lunch, to answer what I've come to think of as the Christopher Hitchens question - has your illness caused you to change your mind about the existence of God? - he answered, "Sorry, I'm still a dialectical materialist." (This is funnier if you are, like me, an ex-self-defined socialist.) At another point, he showed us a series of recent photographs taken of him, one of which portrayed him with a fierce expression. "This was how my face looked when I was angry with Khruschev," he said.

Castro opened our initial meeting by telling me that he read the recent Atlantic article carefully, and that it confirmed his view that Israel and America were moving precipitously and gratuitously toward confrontation with Iran. This interpretation was not surprising, of course: Castro is the grandfather of global anti-Americanism, and he has been a severe critic of Israel. His message to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, he said, was simple: Israel will only have security if it gives up its nuclear arsenal, and the rest of the world's nuclear powers will only have security if they, too, give up their weapons. Global and simultaneous nuclear disarmament is, of course, a worthy goal, but it is not, in the short term, realistic.

Castro's message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, was not so abstract, however. Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the "unique" history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence.
He began this discussion by describing his own, first encounters with anti-Semitism, as a small boy. "I remember when I was a boy - a long time ago - when I was five or six years old and I lived in the countryside," he said, "and I remember Good Friday. What was the atmosphere a child breathed? `Be quiet, God is dead.' God died every year between Thursday and Saturday of Holy Week, and it made a profound impression on everyone. What happened? They would say, `The Jews killed God.' They blamed the Jews for killing God! Do you realize this?"
He went on, "Well, I didn't know what a Jew was. I knew of a bird that was a called a 'Jew,' and so for me the Jews were those birds. These birds had big noses. I don't even know why they were called that. That's what I remember. This is how ignorant the entire population was."

He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. "This went on for maybe two thousand years," he said. "I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything." The Iranian government should understand that the Jews "were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God. In my judgment here's what happened to them: Reverse selection. What's reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation." He continued: "The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust." I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. "I am saying this so you can communicate it," he answered.

Castro went on to analyze the conflict between Israel and Iran. He said he understood Iranian fears of Israeli-American aggression and he added that, in his view, American sanctions and Israeli threats will not dissuade the Iranian leadership from pursuing nuclear weapons. "This problem is not going to get resolved, because the Iranians are not going to back down in the face of threats. That's my opinion," he said. He then noted that, unlike Cuba, Iran is a "profoundly religious country," and he said that religious leaders are less apt to compromise. He noted that even secular Cuba has resisted various American demands over the past 50 years.
We returned repeatedly in this first conversation to Castro's fear that a confrontation between the West and Iran could escalate into a nuclear conflict. "The Iranian capacity to inflict damage is not appreciated," he said. "Men think they can control themselves but Obama could overreact and a gradual escalation could become a nuclear war." I asked him if this fear was informed by his own experiences during the 1962 missile crisis, when the Soviet Union and the U.S. nearly went to war other over the presence of nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba (missiles installed at the invitation, of course, of Fidel Castro). I mentioned to Castro the letter he wrote to Khruschev, the Soviet premier, at the height of the crisis, in which he recommended that the Soviets consider launching a nuclear strike against the U.S. if the Americans attack Cuba. "That would be the time to think about liquidating such a danger forever through a legal right of self-defense," Castro wrote at the time.

I asked him, "At a certain point it seemed logical for you to recommend that the Soviets bomb the U.S. Does what you recommended still seem logical now?" He answered: "After I've seen what I've seen, and knowing what I know now, it wasn't worth it all."
I was surprised to hear Castro express such doubts about his own behavior in the missile crisis - and I was, I admit, also surprised to hear him express such sympathy for Jews, and for Israel's right to exist (which he endorsed unequivocally).
After this first meeting, I asked Julia to explain the meaning of Castro's invitation to me, and of his message to Ahmadinejad. "Fidel is at an early stage of reinventing himself as a senior statesman, not as head of state, on the domestic stage, but primarily on the international stage, which has always been a priority for him," she said. "Matters of war, peace and international security are a central focus: Nuclear proliferation climate change, these are the major issues for him, and he's really just getting started, using any potential media platform to communicate his views. He has time on his hands now that he didn't expect to have. And he's revisiting history, and revisiting his own history."

There is a great deal more to report from this conversation, and from subsequent conversations, which I will do in posts to follow. But I will begin the next post on this subject by describing one of the stranger days I have experienced, a day which began with a simple question from Fidel: "Would you like to go to the aquarium with me to see the dolphin show?"

From Robin in MO:

Please Join
Laurel Dutcher and Charles Deull

Anne Hess and Craig Kaplan
Elaine and Tino Kamarck
Sarah and Victor Kovner

Richard Robinson

For a reception honoring

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri

Robin Carnahan,Missouri Secretary of State

Monday, September 20, 2010

6:00 PM
557 Broadway
(Between Prince and Spring Streets)
New York, NY 10012
Co-Host: $2,400
Friend of Robin: $1,000
Please make checks payable to Robin Carnahan for Senate
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Courtney Collard or
Kim Kauffman at 202-544-7708 or

From Councilwoman Liz Krueger in NYC:

Many say that fortune favors the prepared and the bold. To that I would add that fortune favors the hard-working.
In the past few days, Gustavo Rivera, who so many of us are supporting to oust disgraceful Pedro Espada in the Bronx’s 33rd Senate District, has earned the strong endorsement of the New York Times as well as the benefit of a recent opponent, Daniel Padernacht, suspending his campaign.
Gustavo needs your financial support today so that we can defeat Pedro Espada. Pedro continues to have a tremendous financial advantage, but Gustavo can win as long as his campaign has the resources to get out our message to the voters in this last week. Your contribution will make that possible.
The New York Times had this to say about Espada: “Here are just a few reasons for voting against him: He owes more than $10,000 in fines for campaign finance violations (the maximum fine is $500 each); he is accused of milking his medical clinics for personal and political expenses including $20,000 worth of sushi delivered to his home in Westchester; he forced fellow senators to give him a fancy title and padded his office with a fawning entourage.”

And after all that has been said about Gustavo Rivera, he is succinctly and correctly described as this: “Mr. Rivera, an educator and political activist, has promised to vote for the kind of real reforms the state needs.”

To that I would that Gustavo is also a truly decent man, a committed progressive with a good head on his shoulders, and someone with whom I look forward to working with in the State Senate. He hasn’t just promised to vote for the kind of reforms our state needs, he is precisely the type of person we need in government.

With just one week until polls open, it is absolutely vital to support Gustavo and our energetic and organized grassroots campaign to help restore sanity to Albany. Simply stated, it’s the right thing to do.

From Jane in Larchmont:

Very disturbing developments--what direction is the administration taking on the economy?


Obama Just Doesn't Get it, Joan Walsh, Salon,

Why we need a second stimulus--Laura Tyson--New York Times

Meet the 18 People Who can Determine the Fate of Social Security

From Mira in NYC:

A Year of Positive Thinking

Stephan Von Huene, Feminist Teacher

Posted: 04 Sep 2010 11:12 AM PDT

I wrote this appreciation of Stephan von Huene, the American sculptor later based in Germany, upon the publication of a beautiful catalogue of “Tune the World,” his retrospective exhibition at the Hamburg Kunsthalle, 2002-2003. Living in New York City I could have only the diminished pleasure of reading the catalogue, Stephan von Huene, Resounding Sculptures, rather than the full pleasure of experiencing works whose synaesthetic performances remain fresh and vivid in my memory. However the catalogue with its accompanying CD does a great service in bringing to mind a wonderful and complex artist, human being, and for me, a teacher and mentor of inestimable importance.

Perhaps some of my reflections on his role as my teacher at a particular historical moment may be of some value in deepening the contextualization of his work while giving some personal impressions of the man. He was my mentor at CalArts after I left the Feminist Art Program. There are some people in one’s life who are absolutely irreplaceable, Steph was one of them. He remained a supportive friend and benevolent influence for me until his untimely death from cancer September 5, 2000. At that time, I had hoped to find a publisher for a draft of this text but was not able to do so. Here it is part of a group of posts exploring the theme of “Teaching Contradiction.” In this case the “contradiction” is that Stephan was the most nurturing teacher I had in graduate school and thus as much a Feminist teacher as any other...(Read rest on line)