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Grayson With Ratigan: Best Interview Ever

By davidswanson - Posted on 23 June 2010

By David Swanson

The video embeded at the bottom of this article and posted on the frontpage of may be the best corporate television interview ever. Not the funniest or most entertaining, but the most willing to directly and clearly expose the most forbidden topics and insist on the most needed changes in perspective.

The CongressmanWithGuts website is Congressman Alan Grayson's public and participatory demonstration of a simple fact that should be made known to a few hundred congress members who have not grasped it: If you do what the public wants and reach out to the public, you can raise your own funds and not depend on the Party Leadership to fund your campaigns. This, of course, is what allows you to do what the public, and not the Party Leadership, wants.

An example: H.R.5353 -- The War is Making You Poor Act which would require that wars be funded out of the military budget, and which would provide tax credits from the savings on separate war funding, eliminating federal income taxes for everyone's first $35,000 of income ($70,000 for couples) while also paying down the national debt by over $15 billion. Sound good to you?

Another example: In what I think is an unprecedented move, Congressman Grayson has set up a website for people to lobby his colleagues in Congress to oppose war spending. Here's how Grayson announced this:

"In the New York Times for June 13th, the Pentagon proclaimed that Afghanistan holds almost one trillion lira - no, sorry, that's one trillion dollars - in hitherto-unknown mineral wealth.
Allow me to offer these revelations:
(1) Paris Hilton actually is Albert Einstein, with a wig. Think about it - you've never seen them together, have you?
(2) The Moon is made of green cheese. Specifically, a lovely Camembert, slightly fruity, that goes very well with cabernet.
(3) While you were at work today, someone broke into your house, stole everything, and replaced it with an exact duplicate (apologies to Steven Wright).
$1 trillion dollars in mineral wealth in Afghanistan. What a lame excuse for a lame excuse.
But the interesting thing is that the Pentagon felt it necessary to serve up this fevered imagining. Why? Because they say that they need another $33 billion for the war by July 4th, or, or, or, I don't know - they just say that they need it. And for once, Congress isn't falling all over itself to give the generals whatever they want. So get ready to hear about lithium in Afghanistan, oil in Iraq, and diamonds in your bathtub.
With 14 million Americans out of work, support for endless war is crumbling. People want an America that is #1 in health, #1 in education, #1 in quality of life, not #1 in number of foreign countries occupied.
Send an e-mail to your Member of Congress. Ask him or her to oppose the "emergency supplemental" for more and more war.
Hope. Change. How about some peace, for a change?
Alan Grayson"

The website is working on a project to prove to congress members from around the country that they can do this sort of thing too, if they only find the guts. Here's how Grayson explains his fundraising campaign:

"On JUNE 28, 1919, the United States put an end to a world war, after less than two years of fighting. In 1945, the United States ended another world war, after less than four years of fighting. But in 2010, we are embroiled in two wars, after almost nine years of fighting. When will it end? When Blackwater and Halliburton say so? When we're all broke? It's time that someone spoke out for peace. We need jobs, better health, and a clean environment, not endless war. Join our June 28 Peace Party, and contribute. WE WANT PEACE!"

Put something in the hat, please!

And watch this:

He's right on everything but Israel and horribly wrong on Israel
I am not offering him as a model human being

I keep saying this, no politician or political lobbying from the public will get things straightened out. This guy and his website won't accomplish anything except, possibly, giving people some false hope.

The only cure for greed at the level of the elected official is to withhold what is meaningful to them - money. They don't care about what we think or what we want.

The reason the government spent over a trillion dollars in this most recent geopolitical exercise is because we gave them the money. As soon as we did that it was out of our hands and beyond our control. The only way to stop a corporation is through a boycott. The government is an administrative arm for the corporations that pay them.

We have to stop looking at them as our representatives. There are some who want to do the right thing, but that is beside the point. If they were going to be affective, they would have done so by now. Like us, they can't do anything by talking.

You have a large audience, organize a boycott. Call it what you want - A National Strike. What would happen if the money stopped? What would happen if a third of the nation just said, "I quit..." ?

I think you want to see things get better. I think, I don't know. I could tell for sure if you advocate a solution. The solution is staring you in the face.

Watch this again, David. I think you will see that it is Ratigan who provides all the feisty rhetoric. Don't get me wrong. I think Alan Grayson is terrific. But I heard him speak in person twice and watched this and other interviews, and he NEVER criticizes other Democrats who you, me, Ratigan and all other progressives worth their salt know are just as bad as Republicans MOST of the time.

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