Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Remembering and honoring the men and women who have given their lives in service to their country.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MarcyWatch 2010 - Winograd for Congress June 8 - Why I Support Marcy Winograd, and Why You Should, Too - Even If You Don't Live In California

Today is the day of Marcy Winograd's fundraising goal - the campaign is aiming for $50,000 towards a final media effort to get Marcy on TV, radio and the Internet in these closing weeks before the election.

We have less than two weeks until June 8.

I contributed today to Marcy's campaign, even though we are squeezed financially. Some things are worth biting the bullet for, and right now I can't think of a cause that's more important than getting a true progressive leader - Marcy - into Congress.

Right now, our country is being hobbled by Democrats who are not acting like Democrats. We cannot begin to slow down, much less repair, the damage that has been done to America by eight years of George W. Bush and the complete implementation of conservative and neoconservative political and social values unless we change course. The election of Barack Obama, while definitely preferable to a McCain presidency (and the possibility of a tragic snowmobiling accident), has not been the waving of a magic wand.

What we have seen so far with a Democratic majority and a Democratic president has been Republican-lite - corporatist Democrats who are bought and paid for by the same interests that own Republicans, and are afraid (or not permitted) to put forth any ideas that might meet with disfavor from the very industries that have brought America to its knees - the banking industry, the credit-card industry, the oil industry, the coal industry, the defense industry, the health industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry. These Democrats are afraid to take a stand with Democratic values, and instead are seeking to appease those industries, hoping for their approval so they won't have to fight.

Sorry, Dems - that's not going to happen.

I understand the rationale to a certain extent, even though I don't condone it. It's like this: the reality of politics is that getting into office and staying in office, as our system is set up now, depends upon corporate money and corporate influence. Even well-intentioned Democrats find that it's not so easy to stick to your guns when you're asked to look at an issue from the perspective of the businesses and industries who offer the huge amounts of money necessary not only to get elected, but to stay in your office. And not only that, if you choose not to support the corporate view, but the view of those who can't afford that sort of largess - regular American people - not only will you not receive the money for your campaign chest - but these corporations will look for and support your opponent! It becomes easier, you say to yourself, to go along with those who control the purse-strings and try to do what you can within those parameters - after all, your opponent might not be as progressive as you are. If you brand yourself as hard to do business with, you won't be chosen for any important committees, and left out of the sphere of influence.

And, with the revolving door between political office and corporate lobbying, you will be cutting yourself out of any chance at money and influence when you leave office if you don't have good relationships with these corporations. This is more than just running for office; this is a lifetime lucrative career in Washington - in and out of office. Your connections as a Congressperson are coin of the realm on K Street.

This is the harsh reality of politics and government. And until we can fundamentally change the process of running for office and running for re-election, this is how most politicians end up doing business - Democrats and Republicans alike.

There are only a handful (with fingers left over) of Congresspeople who have the independence and the courage to stick to their progressive values in the face of this kind of pressure - Dennis Kucinich, Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Donna Edwards, Barbara Lee (and my namesake sister, Georgia State Representative Alisha Morgan, an up-and-coming young progressive leader - watch for her!). Love them or loathe them (and I love them - but, then, I'm a liberal), they stand up for their values regardless of convenience and so-called 'bi-partisanship'. It is time to add one more name to that list:

Marcy Winograd.

I first became aware of Marcy when she challenged Jane Harman in the last 3 months of the 2006 Congressional race. A complete unknown, a high-school teacher and peace activist, she garnered close to 40% of the vote against the extremely wealthy and entrenched long-time incumbent, the hawkish Jane Harman, who has called herself the 'best Republican in the Democratic Party.' As I had begun blogging in 2004, I found myself needing to become active on a local level as well as on the Internet, and I started by joining Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, of which Marcy was the co-founder and president at the time. I phone-banked for Marcy, and the more I found out about her, the more certain that I was that here was a real progressive worth getting excited about. Marcy's mother Teddi Winograd was a longtime progressive activist, and Marcy proudly followed in her footsteps and forged her own path in public service - real public service, not government glad-handing. Teaching, caring for the environment, supporting labor, working for peaceful solutions to conflict - this has been Marcy's way her entire life. From a young age she was active in progressive causes, and has always 'walked the talk' - not with an eye on public office, but a dedication to making working people's lives better, working for peace, social justice and a healthy planet - all of those 'old-school' liberal values that seem to have fallen out of fashion in the national discourse and derided as 'socialism' even by those who are most damaged by their absence.

But Marcy is so much more than progressive ideas - Marcy is a fighter. Her life demonstrates that her values are not for sale to the highest bidder; she is not looking to enrich herself, but to fight for what she knows to be right. Marcy knows that we need jobs, not wars; healthcare, not wealthcare. She knows that we must rebuild our nation from the bottom up - the poor, the working class, the middle class - not shower money on those at the top and hope that it will trickle down. We have seen what happens when we do that - they take care of themselves and give the rest of America the middle finger. And if you don't believe that, try getting a loan modification.

As I have gotten to know Marcy over the last four years, I am more and more impressed with her integrity, her determination, her willingness to take a politically uncomfortable or unpopular position and stand up for it. I am also impressed with her compassion, her ability as a community leader to work with people in all walks of life to get things accomplished, and her formidable leadership skills. She fights hard for the things I care about. Her honesty, integrity, and passion for justice make her a force to be reckoned with - a force that we so desperately need in the Democratic Party, and in Congress.

You do not have to live in California or Los Angeles to support Marcy! As a Democratic member of Congress, Marcy will be able to be a progressive voice for all Americans - and she is one of the very few people that I know I can count on to be who she says she is, to fight for us - for jobs, for the environment, for health, for peace, for justice - even in the face of the pressure of the go-along-to-get-along Washington status quo.

Wherever you are, if you are a progressive (or even if you aren't - you'll benefit too!) please consider supporting Marcy Winograd for Congress with a contribution to her campaign. Or, you can volunteer - you can phone-bank from your cell phone; if you're local, you can canvass the district - contact the campaign for more information. There are so many ways you can give Marcy support! Marcy does not take corporate contributions, so we need your help to get the word out to the people of California's District 36!

This is the time to take out Blue Dogs, and replace them with real Democrats - a fighting Dem like Marcy Winograd.

I was honored to be asked by Marcy to sing at her campaign kickoff, and I can't wait to see this campaign culminate in victory - not just for Marcy, but, more importantly, a victory for America.

Marcy's Website

About Marcy

Marcy's Stand on the Issues

Meet Marcy; Volunteer!

Donate to Marcy's Campaign at ActBlue

Marcy on Facebook

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MarcyWatch 2010 - Winograd for Congress June 8 - Help Us Get to $50,000 by Tomorrow

Marcy is on the home stretch! 

We have two weeks left before the election; two weeks to defeat Jane Harman in California's 36th congressional district.

In these final days before the June 8th election, my campaign must make key decisions, which you can put into action. We're making one final push to have the best fundraising month yet and we're so close.

Please help us raise $50,000 by donating to my campaign before midnight tomorrow, May 26th. It's time to get rid of Blue Dog Jane Harman!

Jane Harman has had her chance, and in the past 15 years hasn't had much to show for it. Being best buds with Wall Street, Big Pharma, and weapons manufacturers may help with someone's re-election, but it doesn't do much for the American people.

I have kept my promise to run a people-powered campaign and have refused to accept one cent from corporations. It's time to inform the rest of our great district about what is really at stake in this election. It's time for me to get on TV, radio, and all over the internet to get the word out!

Help me spread my message to the people of District 36 by contributing by tomorrow. With your help, we will end Harman's reign and elect the People's candidate - Marcy Winograd - to join the ranks of Sestak and Halter.

June 8th is just around the corner and we have plenty left to do. With a little effort and your support, we can do this.

Onward to victory!

Marcy Winograd

Monday, May 24, 2010

MarcyWatch 2010 - Winograd for Congress June 8 - Marcy Challenges Harman on War Vote Profit

May 24, 2010

Congressional Candidate Demands Opponent Divest War Portfolio & Return Campaign Contributions

(Marina del Rey) Before Congress votes on another $33 billion supplemental war appropriation, Congressional Candidate Marcy Winograd (CA-36) challenges her opponent Jane Harman to immediately divest of up to $8.3 million worth of investments in military contracting firms and return over $60,000 in campaign contributions from military contractors.

Says Winograd regarding Harman's investments, "Clearly, Harman's votes to take us to war in Iraq and escalate in Afghanistan are making her richer by the hour. No wonder she voted for the Iraq invasion, despite pleas from constituents not to attack Iraq. With a portfolio heavily invested in weapons production, Harman should have recused herself from each war supplemental vote or divested her stock in military contractors."

According to Harman's 2008 financial disclosure statement filed with the House of Representatives, Harman has the following investments in weapons manufacturers: Boeing $130,000 to $350,000, Lockheed Martin $80,000 to $200,000, Caterpillar Inc. $195,000 to $500,000, and General Dynamics $80,000 to $200,000. (Click here for full list.)

Winograd notes Harman not only invests in military contractors but also relies on them, sometimes the exact same companies, for campaign contributions. According to her filing with the Federal Election Commission, Harman has received the following 2009/2010 campaign contributions from military contractors: Boeing ($10,000 maximum), Raytheon ($10,000 maximum), Northrop Grumman ($10,000 maximum), Honeywell International ($7,500), General Dynamics ($4,500), and Lockheed Martin ($2,000).

Says Winograd, "If we follow the money from Harman to war contractors and back again we see a symbiotic you-scratch-my-back and I'll-scratch-yours relationship. Unfortunately this political pandering comes at a great price to our veterans, our district, and our nation. Our district deserves a lawmaker who will not send our youth to war simply to benefit her own financial portfolio or guarantee her campaign coffers are filled for the next election."

Adds Winograd,"In Congress I will work hard to expand the reach of aerospace into the new green economy, so that our engineering talent and skilled work force can build mass transit, develop solar and wind power, and fix our aging bridges and water treatment plants. We need to bring manufacturing back to the United States and the 36th congressional district could be the anchor for the new economy."

To learn more about the Winograd For Congress campaign, visit Winograd for Congress website: - or - Facebook:

Contact: Caitlin Frazier, Press Secretary
Tel. (405) 818 4077


Sunday, May 23, 2010

MarcyWatch 2010 - Winograd for Congress June 8 - Weekend Edition

All work and no play?

Not here, folks!

To thank all of Marcy's awesome volunteers, her campaign is throwing a big bash - 

Free Concert and Rally for Volunteers, May 30!

We are all limited to a single vote on election day, but there is no limit to your voice in a democracy, and your efforts will win this election. Our polling indicates we're within four percentage points of Jane Harman. Help us close the gap!

We’re mounting our biggest event yet, to rally our volunteers prior to Get Out The Vote week and thank you in advance for your help with the final efforts of the campaign.

The Winograd for Congress Campaign will be throwing a party at Venice hot spot The Stronghold in the heart of the Abbot Kinney area on May 30 —and the Winograd for Congress campaign volunteers will be the guests of honor - our VIP's! Come hear Vonda Shepard, Chris Shiflett (of the Foo Fighters), Matt Keating, Lili Haydn, Wendy Starland, Tom Freund—and of course our own Marcy Winograd, Congressional Candidate for CA-36 in the June 8th Primary - plus other very special guests.

This is Marcy's way of saying "thank you" to all of her fantastic grassroots volunteers whom have made her Congressional Campaign in the CA-36 June 8th primary race a smashing success.

Tickets are free for the Winograd for Congress Volunteers. All we ask is that you::
  • Show up at the campaign headquarters (11:00am to 9:00pm; see address below) before May 30 and put in at least a two-hour shift phone banking or precinct walking;
  • Commit to just one more shift on GOTV week or Election Day.

Tickets can only be obtained at the HQ, and there are only 125 available. It's first come first served--so hurry!

May 30th, 8:00pm – 11:00pm
The Stronghold: 1625 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice 90291

Saturday, May 22, 2010

MarcyWatch 2010 - Winograd for Congress June 8 - Weekend Edition

What's up with Marcy this weekend?

Would you like to meet her for yourself and find out?

You can meet her in Torrance if you hustle :-) at 11am at the Torrance Farmers Market

11:00 am at the Winograd Table
2400 Jefferson Street
Torrance, CA


Marcy Winograd and Bill Rosendahl at Bikeside Speaks!

Marcy and Bill Rosendahl will cap off a full night of talks at Bikeside Speaks.
7:00 pm
Bikerowave, 12255 Venice Blvd., Venice

Contribute to Marcy's campaign at ActBlue!

Friday, May 21, 2010

MarcyWatch 2010 - Winograd for Congress June 8 - Who Let the (Blue) Dogs Out?

Progressives, that's who!

Joe Sestak just routed Arlen Specter, and Blanche Lincoln is on the run.

It's time to get rid of the Wall Street enablers and war supporters on the Democratic side of the aisle.

As the Republican Party is heading over the right-wing-crazy cliff, held hostage by the increasingly radical liber-terribles and teabaggers, where even a moderate Republican is considered anathema to the cause, we must define who we are as a party and represent.

And we must elect progressives - there is no other way to stop this free-fall. Conserva-Dems and Blue Dogs are moving to the right - we need to claim our position, as the Republicans have.

Otherwise, we will continue down the same disastrous path we've been on - and it's only getting worse.

Help Marcy Winograd win on June 8! Marcy is a people-powered Democrat, representing the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, and needs your help to face the corporate-funded, corporate-friendly Jane Harman, one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

Marcy has what it takes to stay focused, principled and progressive in the lobby-licious environment of Congress. If you want a Congressperson who will stand up for working people and not Wall Street, who will not cave in to big money, you want Marcy Winograd in Congress.

Marcy's principles are not for sale to the highest bidder.

Winograd For Congress - June 8

Thursday, May 20, 2010

MarcyWatch 2010 - Winograd for Congress June 8 - Foreclosures Break Records!

Marcy Winograd for Congress Countdown - Vote on Tuesday, June 8!

Donate to Marcy via ActBlue here!

One huge reason to kick Jane Harman to the curb is that she signed the vile, loathsome Bankruptcy Bill of 2005, the disgusting bill that closed off a last attempt to protect ourselves from the rapaciousness of the credit card companies - an industry-written bill that the credit card industry had been attempting to purchase from Congress for the previous 20 years. One of the components of the bill rescinded the ability of bankruptcy judges to order banks to modify home loans. And, as we have found, if asked instead of ordered, banks will refuse to do so.

Here's Marcy's take on the foreclosure crisis:

In light of record foreclosures, more than 7,000 in our district last year, Marcy supports a "First Right to Rent" rule for homeowners losing their homes. "If banks were required to rent to those facing foreclosure, we would have far fewer foreclosures," says Marcy, "because banks find it harder to sell a home with tenants in the house."

Foreclosures not only impact those losing their homes, but also neighborhoods that suffer vandalism and lower property values, as well as counties that lose their tax base, thus forcing cuts in social services that hurt the newly homeless. Marcy's opponent, Jane Harman, voted for the 2005 bankruptcy bill which makes it easier for banks to foreclose by prohibiting bankruptcy judges from ordering banks to modify home loans.

For more on the foreclosure crisis, read the Associated Press report below:

Mortgage Delinquencies, Foreclosures Break Records
by Alan Zibel

WASHINGTON - The number of homeowners who missed at least one mortgage payment surged to a record in the first quarter of the year, a sign that the foreclosure crisis is far from over.

More than 10 percent of homeowners had missed at least one mortgage payment in the January-March period, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. That number was up from 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 9.1 percent a year earlier.

Those figures are adjusted for seasonal factors. For example, heating bills and holiday expenses tend to push up mortgage delinquencies near the end of the year. Many of those borrowers become current on their loans again by spring.

Without adjusting for seasonal factors, the delinquency numbers dropped, as they normally do from the winter to spring.

More than 4.6 percent of homeowners were in foreclosure, also a record. But that number, which is not adjusted for seasonal factors, was up only slightly from the end of last year.

Stocks slid Wednesday as investors looked past a rising euro and focused on the U.S. economy, including the rising number of foreclosures. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points in early trading.

Jay Brinkmann, the trade group's chief economist, said the foreclosure crisis appears to have stabilized. Seasonal adjustments may be exaggerating the change from the previous quarter, he added.

"I don't see signs now that it's getting worse, but it's going to take a while," he said. "A bad situation that's not getting worse is still bad."

Economic woes, such as unemployment or reduced income, are the main catalysts for foreclosures this year. Initially, lax lending standards were the culprit. But homeowners with good credit who took out conventional, fixed-rate loans are now the fastest growing group of foreclosures.

Those borrowers made up nearly 37 percent of new foreclosures in the first quarter of the year, up from 29 percent a year earlier.

The risky subprime adjustable-rate loans that kicked off the foreclosure crisis are making up a smaller share of new foreclosures. They made up 14 percent of new foreclosures in the January-March period, down from 27 percent a year earlier.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MarcyWatch 2010 - Winograd For Congress June 8 - Interview Today at 3pm PST

It's the countdown to the election we've been working towards for the last four years. I will be posting daily updates on Marcy Winograd's Congressional race for CA-36.

The election is June 8!

Marcy is a true progressive, and we have never needed progressives in Congress like we do now. The results of conservative policies - predatory, unregulated crony capitalism - are visible each and every day; and with each new disaster - the BP oil leak, the spate of fatal mining accidents, the foreclosure crisis - we see how imperative it is that we find a way to stem the tide of corporate greed which is superseding the interests of the American people and our right to protect ourselves, our families, our jobs, our health, our environment. When corporations are allowed to call the shots, and their interests run counter to the public interest, people die. "We can regulate ourselves! We know our own industry best, after all!"

Really, BP? Really, Massey Energy? Really, Wall Street?

A Democratic President, obviously, isn't enough. And if there is to be any kind of pushback on behalf of the American people, it has to come through Congress. This is why we need real progressives - dare I say, liberals - in Congress instead of corporate-beholden 'moderates', and this is why we need Marcy Winograd - not just for California, but for the nation.

Today's Marcy update:

Marcy will be interviewed today at 3pm PST (6pm EST) on Nicole Sandler's radio show "Radio Or Not" - you are invited to call in at


Find out more about Marcy at Winograd For

Friday, May 14, 2010

Justice, Arizona Style

Be very careful, my friends - the trouble is already beginning!

Thanks to my SL friends Rev.paperboy and Tammy and Dan (AKA Bookem and Dano)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Illegals, Watch Out - We're Taking Back Our Jobs!

(reposted from Sept. 09)

There's a new movement afoot in the American Right. Inspired by the rabidly anti-immigration, tirelessly pro-American-worker Lou Dobbs, it's springing up all across America. From the meatpacking plants of Iowa to the dairy farms of Arizona, from the kitchens of New York's finest restaurants to the Salad Bowl of California's Salinas Valley, in hotels, motels, and Holiday Inns all across this great nation of ours, the patriotic men and women who for years have stood by and watched illegal immigrants swarming across the border to brazenly steal their jobs have had enough.

Formerly known as the Minute-Man Movement (or 'Beer Guts Across America'), whose aim was to merely monitor the flow of illegal immigration across the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the troubled group disbanded amid infighting and accusations of internal corruption and financial misconduct in 2007. Yet, the dissatisfaction and frustration felt by these hard-working American patriots has only grown more intense, as they watch job after job after job go to those with no legal right to that job, while they themselves, deserving natural-born citizens, sit at home on their couches, with an ice-cold Coors, a family-sized bag of Chee-tos and a remote in their hands as they wait around for the job that never seems to materialize.

Well, the time for waiting is over.

The time for action has arrived.

Illegal criminals, take notice - Conservative Americans are taking back their jobs!

Yes, from the ashes of the failed Minute-Man Movement, the Gimme Back My Job, Dammit Coalition (GBMJ,DC) has risen, and it has spread like wildfire among conservatives sick and tired of illegals taking the jobs from deserving American citizens. No longer content to wait for the government to do it for them, these patriots have taken matters into their own hands. Now they're doing more than just protesting or watching from the sidelines - they're taking back their Constitutional, God-given right to a job. Suddenly, you see them everywhere - on the sidewalk with a leaf-blower strapped to their back, in the parking lot of your favorite restaurant with the keys to your car or inside, balancing a heavy-laden bus tray full of dirty dishes as they adroitly refill your iced tea glass on their way back to the kitchen. You may find them bent over in a lettuce field under a blistering sun with a rake in their hand, or endangering their limbs with casually-maintained but lethally sharp meat-cutting machinery for fourteen hours or more a day while earning somewhere around three dollars an hour, with no benefits, medical insurance, workman's compensation, or even bathroom breaks.

Most of them say they've never been happier.

"For the first time in my life, I feel needed," says Coalition member Chuck B. Liggett, 70, a former accountant who now works in a chicken-packing plant in Amarillo, Texas. "When the floor boss screams at me for slowing down, I feel a surge of pride because what I do actually matters. Now, I do an honest day's work for my pay, and by the time I collapse on my filthy mattress on the floor of my stinking room at the end of my fifteen-hour shift, I know I really earned that forty dollars!"

And it's not only men who are flocking to this bold new movement. Conservative women are finding satisfaction, fulfillment and a sense of what it feels like to be a real American as they embrace this exciting, energetic new way of life. Darlene Simmons, 47, works in a factory in downtown Los Angeles, sewing elastic bands into men's underwear seven days a week.

"It works out great, because working seven days means that I can save the expense of a car and an apartment - not that I could afford them on my salary," she explains. "I just fall asleep sitting at my sewing machine, and when I wake up, I'm right there ready for another day of rewarding, eye-straining, repetitive-stress-injury-inducing work!"

The jobs bonanza has been beneficial for Darlene's whole family as well.

"We're going back to the good old-fashioned American work ethic that made this country great!" says Darlene. "My kids used to be spoiled, lazy, smart-mouthed and never satisfied. No matter how much stuff we bought them, it was never enough. Now my kids work in the factory right along with me! Even my seven-year-old daughter can sew a button on a fly with those itty-bitty hands of hers - she's pretty handy, considering how she was always so busy texting her little friends! And you'd better believe there's no more complaining - you should see them cry with happiness for a little half-cup of water!"

Not even Darlene's aged, infirm 94-years-young grandmother has to miss out on the fun - when she was fired from the factory for sewing her hand to a pair of extra-large briefs, she soon found work again as a housemaid to the factory owner's wife. With tears in her eyes, choked up and unable to speak for gratitude, Grammaw merely trembled with joy, as Darlene quickly interjected, "They're so good to us here!"

Conservatives are done with talking - now they're stepping up to the plate and claiming what's theirs. All those cushy jobs that the illegal immigrants have been stealing are now back in the rightful hands of natural citizens like Chuck and Darlene. Unemployment? These stalwarts don't know the meaning of the word.

As a wise American patriot once said, "How uniquely American."