Help Win 2016 ~~ Blue Florida Fund ~~

AlterNet on behalf of Alan Grayson: a repost

Do you know a thing or two about politics? Then listen up.

You’ve been hearing a lot about the 2014 elections. Well, I’m asking you to set your gaze a little further out, and think about what it will take to keep a Democrat in the White House in 2016. And beyond. Forever.

It’s simple: As Florida goes, so goes the nation. The winner in Florida has won every one of the last five Presidential elections — including that very painful one, in 2000. In each case, the margin of victory was five percent or less. Florida makes Presidents, and no President has won Florida by more than five percent in over a quarter of a century.

And as Central Florida goes, so goes Florida. The Panhandle in the north is red. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale is blue. So for better or worse, Central Florida decides who our President will be.

Who represents Central Florida in Congress? I do. And I have a plan to win Florida for the Blue Team in 2016, and ensure a Democratic Presidential victory. But I need your help.

Contribute to our Blue Florida Fund to re-register Democratic voters who move and give them absentee ballots to vote at home. Let’s lock up Florida for 2016.

When I first ran for Congress in 2006, I asked a certain Senator to host an event for our campaign. He said: “No, but I’ll give you some advice that’s more valuable than any event that I can do for you.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Raise all the money you can, and spend it all on 30-second TV ads.”

I ignored him. And I’m still ignoring him. Our campaign registers Democratic voters in Central Florida, knocks on their doors, and helps them to vote.

In the 2012 election, we raised $5 million, and we spent $1 million of that in our “field campaign,” to get out the vote. I’m pretty sure that no other House candidate spent $1 million on field.

We had 50 paid “canvassers,” going door to door, from March to November. Every Democratic voter got three knocks on the door.

So what happened? I went from a devastating loss in 2010 to a tremendous victory in 2012. According to the House Historian, it was the biggest comeback in the history of the House.

But that’s not all. Unlike those 30-second TV ads, our field program helped good Democrats above us and below us on the ballot.

There was only one area in Florida where President Obama did better in 2012 than he did in 2008. My district. When the Obama Campaign was asked to identify one place in the entire country where fieldwork had made a difference, they identified Osceola County – in the heart of my district.

When Democrats vote, Democrats win. And we know how to get Democrats in Central Florida to vote.

Our Blue Florida Fund can win the gubernatorial race in the third-largest state for the Democrats this year, and it can lock down the Presidency for the Democratic candidate in 2016 – whoever she may be. But only if you help. Contribute to our Blue Florida Fund today.

Here’s how we do it. (And please – don’t forward this note to Karl Rove.) The average voter moves roughly ten times in his or her life. Democrats move more often that Republicans do. Every time a voter moves, he or she has to re-register. So we track down Democratic voters who move to Central Florida, or within Central Florida, and we register them.

Cost: $10 per voter.

Now here’s a funny thing about Democrats: a lot of us work on Tuesday. In fact, some of us work two jobs on Tuesdays. So it’s rather unfortunate for Democratic candidates that elections are held on Tuesdays.

We have an answer for that: Vote By Mail. Someone who votes by mail is twice as likely to vote as someone who votes on Election Day. You can look it up.

In every election year, the highest turnout is in Oregon. Why Oregon? Because in Oregon, everyone votes by mail.

So what do we do? We sign up Democrats to vote by mail – in massive numbers. There are 27 Congressional districts in Florida. At one point in 2012, however, one-quarter of all of the Democrats who were signed up to vote by mail in all of Florida were Democrats in our district. And another big chunk lived in the neighboring district, in the part that I used to represent.

Our canvassers go door-to-door, signing up Democratic voters to vote by mail.

Cost: $5 per voter.

Our Blue Florida Fund delivers votes, in huge numbers, by boosting Democratic turnout. Your contribution to the Blue Florida Fund doesn’t pay for some nasty attack ad – it pays to get Democratic voters out to vote.

Now here is the best part of all. In Florida, we are allowed to sign up voters to vote by mail for two election cycles. Therefore, we are signing up Democrats to turn out to vote in 2014 and . . . in 2016.

More votes for Congressman Alan Grayson, and more votes for Hillary. (Or whoever our candidate may be.)

But here’s the problem: On Election Day, we celebrate our victory, and on the following day, everyone gets fired from the campaign. It’s really, really weird, but that’s how it’s done. So the voter registrations stop, and the absentee ballot requests stop.

I don’t want to do it that way. I want to keep registering Democratic voters and arranging for them to vote by mail until Florida is sky-blue, and then as blue as the ocean. Because once we do that, the Presidency is ours for the rest of my life – and yours. There is no way – no way – that the GOP can win the Oval Office without Florida. (And they know it, which is why Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are considered serious candidates.)

So to keep that field program going throughout the year, we need to have at least 1000 people sign up to give $20.16 each month for the Blue Florida Fund. And I need you to be one of them.

Why $20.16? You figure it out. But if you participate, then we can keep our field campaign going. not only between now and November, but all the way through the 2016 election.

Do the math. Your $20.16 each month will register 54 more Democratic voters between now and the 2016 Presidential election. Or it will yield 108 more Democratic voters who will vote by mail.

Does that matter? You bet it does. If you believe the official reports, then Bush beat Gore by just 537 votes in Florida. So you, and only five others, could make all the difference in 2016, and thereafter.

Please sign up for our Blue Florida Fund today, and contribute each month toward a Blue America, and a Blue Future. Plus, if you join our Blue Florida Fund, then I will be your BFF.

Now there’s an offer that you can’t refuse.


Rep. Alan Grayson

P.S. If you join our Blue Florida Fund, then on November 2, 2016, Hillary probably won’t send you a thank-you note. But she ought to. And I will.


Rep. Alan Grayson

In 2014, in 2016, and Forever. Here’s How..

9 Insane Facts About Your Food That Will Give You The Ultimate Shock!

Originally posted on The Zeit:

Mother feeding child Shocking Food Facts
Photo by marin

1- The most expensive coffee in the world is brewed from beans partially digested and defecated by toddy cats. How do you take your “poo”? With sugar and cream please.

2- The common bread ingredient L-cysteine is derived from human hair. Don’t believe it’s only hair from your head if you know what I mean; eeuww!

3- Chicken McNuggets contain industrial chemicals. TBHQ, a petroleum derivative, is used as a stabilizer in oil field chemicals amongst other things. TBHQ has been linked to stomach tumors. Another chemical used as an ingredient is Dimethylpolysiloxane which is a type of silicone. It is used as a filler for breast implants, and is the key ingredient in Silly Putty.

View original 351 more words

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Just in: the new food revolution starts NOW

Tell President Obama it’s time for a National Food Policy.

Mr. President, we want a food revolution.

Our food and agriculture system is broken. A National Food Policy would transform our food system to ensure healthy, sustainably grown food for all.

Tell President Obama: It’s Time for a National Food Policy


Have you heard? In this weekend’s Washington Post, UCS joined prominent food leaders Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, and Olivier de Schutter in a call to President Obama. It urges the president to do something bold and necessary: issue an executive order establishing a National Food Policy.

We all know our food and agriculture system is broken. For decades, UCS has demonstrated the costs of diet-related disease, the environmental toll of industrial agriculture practices, and the iron grip corporate giants have on information about what we eat. Government policies have contributed to this mess, and legislative attempts to fix it have been disjointed, lacked a clear direction, and often just made the problems worse.

A national policy for food, health, and well-being would, for the first time, define a comprehensive vision for our health, the sustainability of agricultural lands, and social and economic justice. It’s the first step toward the massive overhaul that we need to transform our food system to ensure healthy, sustainably grown food for all.

This won’t happen overnight. But right now, the real work begins—with you.

Sign the petition today to tell President Obama that you want a National Food Policy.

Take Action

Ashley Elles
Ashley Elles
National Field Organizer
Food & Environment Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
Twitter: @acelles

Remembering Robin Williams

a repost



The sudden death of Robin Williams has left the world without an acting genius. Williams was able to bring characters of all kinds to life not just for a few hours on the screen; he was able to make them stay permanently in his audience’s memory.

Through these characters, Williams was able to elevate social issues in movies in a way that few actors can. To honor the man, Think Progress assembled a list of seven such issues Williams touched in his films. We give you an excerpt below:

1. Homelessness and mental health in ‘The Fisher King’. Williams earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Parry, a homeless man suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder living on the streets. The National Alliance for Mental Illness named The Fisher King one of the top movies for mental illness, and while there’s been some debate over how accurate his portrayal of mental illness was, the movie clearly reflected Williams’ personal dedication to the issue.

2. Gay identity and gender expression in ‘The Birdcage’. In a time when it was still relatively controversial to be gay in America, Robin Williams and Nathan Lane played a loving gay couple who fought through stigma and showed their son why he shouldn’t be ashamed to be part of a gay family. It was just one of several Williams films that positively portrayed drag to mainstream audiences, but more than that it normalized gay love and adoption writ large.

3. Press freedom in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’. War and censorship are rarely laughing matters, and in other hands the the 1985 film “Good Morning, Vietnam” could have been a maudlin flop. Instead, Robin Williams took on the role of Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer and performed with such gusto and conviction that the movie rightly is remembered as one of his best.

4. Addiction in ‘The Crazy Ones’. Williams returned to television last year on David E. Kelley’s sitcom “The Crazy Ones,” playing a character not far from himself as Simon Roberts. Roberts, a recovering addict who had struggled with mental health issues (“I prefer nutjob or psychologically interesting,” Roberts quipped), was still able to build a successful advertising agency around his extraordinary energy and creativity.

5. Domestic abuse in ‘Good Will Hunting’. In 1997’s Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams and his co-star Matt Damon worked together to give heightened national attention — and a human face — to the struggles of those who endure domestic violence and abuse. The role earned Williams an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

6. Deforestation in ‘FernGully’. In the 1992 Australian-American film fully titled FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Robin Williams provided the voice to a fruit bat named Batty Koda, in his first role in an animated film. The plot revolves around a protagonist who leaves his rapacious team of loggers that threaten a magical rain forest, and joins the indigenous magical natives to save it.

7. Single parenting in ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’. In character as Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams addresses the stigmas of divorce and single-parenting, responding to a note from a little girl: “You know, some parents get along much better when they don’t live together. They don’t fight all the time and they can become better people. Much better mommies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together. And sometimes they don’t, dear. And if they don’t… don’t blame yourself. Just because they don’t love each other doesn’t mean that they don’t love you.”

BOTTOM LINE: Williams’ characters evinced progressivism and were role models for our lives. He showed us what it meant to be compassionate, open-minded, empathetic–and, of course, how to have a good laugh.