Archive

Archive for the ‘Correspondence’ Category

Letter from Gov. Howard Dean, M.D. Founder, Democracy for America

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Margot –

I have known Bernie Sanders for more than 20 years. I have often worked with him in Vermont, but when he took to the floor of the Senate last week to stand up and denounce the extension of the Bush tax cuts for billionaires in an unconventional nine-hour filibuster, I’d never been more honored to call him my friend and my Senator.

Bernie is a progressive hero. He has spent his entire life fighting for the poor and the middle class, just as he is now in this tax cut fight.

Make no mistake about it; this tax cut deal that President Obama struck with Republicans may be good short-term politics, but it’s not the best course for the country. It’s not fiscally responsible in addressing the deficit, the biggest long-term threat to America. There is no shared pain in this agreement. Instead, this is the easy way out for everybody.

Bernie Sanders didn’t back down against long odds — he had the backbone to stand up and fight for what’s right. Washington needs more bold leadership like Bernie’s. Let’s make sure that every Democrat in Washington gets the message: when you stand up and fight, we’ll have your back.

Support a progressive hero — Please contribute $5 right now.

This isn’t just about tax cuts for the rich either. The deal includes borrowing $120 billion from China and other sources in order to make up a shortfall in revenue for the Social Security Trust Fund caused by the additional payroll tax cut.

We all know Republicans are chomping at the bit to destroy Social Security. Cutting funding will only embolden them to step up their attacks to cut benefits, raise the retirement age, and privatize the program entirely.

Social Security is a cornerstone of the American middle class yet Republicans, who will control the House of Representatives in 2011, want to destroy it. This payroll tax cut sets us up to make it that much harder to stop them. So while most in Washington are ignoring the real damage this bill could cause in the years to come, Bernie has made it a central part of his opposition.

Today, we can send a message even Washington will understand by supporting a progressive hero for standing up for America.

Please contribute now.

Bernie stood up for us. Let’s make sure everyone in Washington knows we have his back.

And thank you, Margot, for everything you do.

-Howard

Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
Founder, Democracy for America

Democracy for America relies on you and the people-power of more than one million members to fund the grassroots organizing and training that delivers progressive change on the issues that matter. Please Contribute Today and support our mission.

Paid for by Democracy for America, http://www.democracyforamerica.com/?akid=390.1527674.OKe95N&t=3 and not authorized by any candidate. Contributions to Democracy for America are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

Categories: Correspondence

Why I’m Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange (A statement from Michael Moore)

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Friends,

Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.

Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:

**Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks “has violated the Espionage Act.”

**The New Yorker‘s George Packer calls Assange “super-secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal.”

**Sarah Palin claims he’s “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” whom we should pursue “with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.”

**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign manager) said about Assange on Fox: “A dead man can’t leak stuff … there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”

**Republican Mary Matalin says “he’s a psychopath, a sociopath … He’s a terrorist.”

**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a “terrorist organization.”

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won’t be so easy because the tables have been turned — and now it’s Big Brother who’s being watched … by us!

WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks (“they’ve released little that’s new!”) or have painted them as simple anarchists (“WikiLeaks just releases everything without any editorial control!”). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do their job. There’s no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don’t want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept … as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at this photo. That’s Mr. Bush about to be handed a “secret” document on August 6th, 2001. Its heading read: “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.” And on those pages it said the FBI had discovered “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.” Mr. Bush decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.

But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about bin Laden’s impending attack using hijacked planes?

But back then only a few people had access to that document. Because the secret was kept, a flight school instructor in San Diego who noticed that two Saudi students took no interest in takeoffs or landings, did nothing. Had he read about the bin Laden threat in the paper, might he have called the FBI? (Please read this essay by former FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, Time’s 2002 co-Person of the Year, about her belief that had WikiLeaks been around in 2001, 9/11 might have been prevented.)

Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read “secret” memos from Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to give him the “facts” he wanted in order to build his false case for war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that time that there were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction, do you think that the war would have been launched — or rather, wouldn’t there have been calls for Cheney’s arrest?

Openness, transparency — these are among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 — after the Pentagon had made up the lie that our ship was attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin — there had been a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million Vietnamese) might be alive today.

Instead, secrets killed them.

For those of you who think it’s wrong to support Julian Assange because of the sexual assault allegations he’s being held for, all I ask is that you not be naive about how the government works when it decides to go after its prey. Please — never, ever believe the “official story.” And regardless of Assange’s guilt or innocence (see the strange nature of the allegations here), this man has the right to have bail posted and to defend himself. I have joined with filmmakers Ken Loach and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting up the bail money — and we hope the judge will accept this and grant his release today.

Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps. But that’s the price you pay when you and your government take us into a war based on a lie. Your punishment for misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in the room so that we can see what you’re up to. You simply can’t be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.

And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done. WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.

I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I ask the judge to grant him his release. I am willing to guarantee his return to court with the bail money I have wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice to continue unchallenged.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. You can read the statement I filed today in the London court here.

P.P.S. If you’re reading this in London, please go support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks at a demonstration at 1 PM today, Tuesday the 14th, in front of the Westminster court.

Join Mike’s Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike’s Facebook Group | Become Mike’s MySpace Friend

 BACK to margotbworldnews.com

Categories: Correspondence, World

How Corporate America Is Pushing Us All Off a Cliff …a letter from Michael Moore

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showin...

The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showing the limestone facade of One Wall Street in the backg...

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Friends,

When someone talks about pushing you off a cliff, it’s just human nature to be curious about them. Who are these people, you wonder, and why would they want to do such a thing?

That’s what I was thinking when corporate whistleblower Wendell Potter revealed that, when “Sicko” was being released in 2007, the health insurance industry’s PR firm, APCO Worldwide, discussed their Plan B: “Pushing Michael Moore off a cliff.”

But after looking into it, it turns out, it’s nothing personal! APCO wants to push everyone off a cliff.

APCO was hatched in 1984 as a subsidiary of the Washington, D.C. law firm Arnold & Porter — best known for its years of representing the giant tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris. APCO set up fake “grassroots” organizations around the country to do the bidding of Big Tobacco. All of a sudden, “normal, everyday, in-no-way-employed-by-Philip Morris Americans” were popping up everywhere. And it turned out they were outraged — outraged! — by exactly the things APCO’s clients hated (such as, the government telling tobacco companies what to do). In particular, they were “furious” that regular people had the right to sue big corporations…you know, like Philip Morris. (For details, see the 2000 report “The CALA Files” (PDF) by my friends and colleagues Carl Deal and Joanne Doroshow.)

Right about now you may be wondering: how many Americans get pushed off a cliff by Big Tobacco every year? The answer is 443,000 Americans die every year due to smoking. That’s a big cliff.

With this success under their belts, APCO created “The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition.” TASSC, funded partly by Exxon, had a leading role in a planned campaign by the fossil fuel industry to create doubt about global warming. The problem for Big Oil speaking out against global warming, according to the campaign’s own leaked documents, was that the public could see the “vested interest” that oil companies had in opposing environmental laws. APCO’s job was to help conceal those oil company interests.

And boy, have they ever succeeded. Polls now show that, as the world gets hotter, Americans are getting less and less worried about it.

How big is this particular cliff? According to the World Health Organization, climate change contributes — right now — to the deaths of 150,000 people every year. By 2030 it may be double that. And after that…well, the sky is literally the limit! I don’t think it’s crazy to say APCO may rack up even bigger numbers here than they have with tobacco.

With this track record, you can see why, when the health insurance industry wanted to come after “Sicko,” they went straight to APCO. The “worst case,” as their leaked documents say, was that “Sicko evolves into a sustained populist movement.” That simply could not be allowed to happen. Something obviously had to be done.

As Wendell Potter explains, APCO ran their standard playbook, setting up something called “Health Care America.” Health Care America, according to Potter, “was received by mainstream reporters, including the New York Times, as a legitimate organization when it was nothing but a front group set up by APCO Worldwide. It was not anything approaching what it was reporting to be: a ‘grassroots organization.’ It was a sham group.”

Health Care America showed up online in 2007 (the year “Sicko” was released) and disappeared quickly by early 2008. You can still find their website archived here. As you’ll see, their “moderated forum” allowed normal, everyday, in-no-way-employed-by-the-insurance-industry Americans to speak out. For instance, here’s something Nicole felt very strongly about:

“Moore shouldn’t be allowed to call his film a ‘documentary.’ It should be called a political commercial. We need to fix our health care system, but we shouldn’t accept a Hollywood moviemaker’s political views as the starting point.”

Here’s what Wendell Potter revealed about the insurance industry’s media strategy:

“As we would do the media training, we would always have someone refer to him as ‘Hollywood entertainer’ or ‘Hollywood moviemaker Michael Moore.’ They don’t want you to think that it was a documentary that had some truth.”

Thanks for your perspective, “Nicole”!

Now, how big was THAT cliff? A pretty good size — according to a recent study, 45,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance.

And here we are in 2010. A lesser PR firm might be resting on its laurels at this point, content to sit back and watch hundreds of thousands of people continue to be pushed off the various cliffs they’ve built. But not APCO! Right now they’ve taken on their biggest challenge yet: leading a giant, multi-million dollar effort to help Wall Street “earn back the trust of the American people.”

We may never know the size of this particular cliff. But we can be sure it’s gigantic. According to the New York Times, one of the things Wall Street’s recession gave us is “the crippling of the government program that provides life-sustaining antiretroviral drugs to Americans with H.I.V. or AIDS who cannot afford them.” Internationally, organizations fighting AIDS and other diseases are “hugely afraid” of cutbacks in funding.

Of course, there are the 101 ways recessions kill quietly. For instance, children’s hospitals are seeing a sharp 55% rise in the abuse of babies by parents.

And that’s just the previous cliff. If APCO and its Wall Street co-conspirators lull us into turning our backs on them again, we can be sure the next cliff — the next crash — will be much bigger.

Anyway, this is all just a way for me to say to APCO: No hard feelings! My getting mad at you would be like a chicken who’s still happily pecking away getting mad at McDonald’s. Compared to the millions you’ve already turned into McNuggets, you’ve actually treated me much, much BETTER! Spying on my family, planting smears and lies about me, privately badgering movie critics to give the film a poor review, scaring Americans into believing they’d be committing a near-act of treason were they to go to the theater and see my movie — hey, ya done good, health insurance companies of America. And, most important, you stopped the nation from getting true universal health care. Good job!

There’s only one problem — I’m not one of those “liberals” you fund in Congress, the ones who fear your power.

I’m me. And that, sadly, is not good for you.

Yours in good health,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. It seems to me that APCO’s discussion of pushing me off a cliff should legitimately be part of their Wikipedia page. And why not something about their role in Wall Street’s new PR offensive? So I’m asking everyone interested to write something up that meets Wikipedia’s guidelines and help bring the APCO Worldwide entry up to date. Post it somewhere online and send a tweet about it to @mmflint. I’ll award a signed copy of “Sicko” by noon Sunday to the best entry…and then deputize you to post it on Wikipedia for real and make sure APCO’s minions don’t take it down. Just be sure afterward not to walk near any cliffs!

P.P.S. The late, great comedian Bill Hicks had some thoughts about marketing and the people who do it.

Join Mike’s Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike’s Facebook Group | Become Mike’s MySpace Friend

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

They Said They Would Push Me “Off a Cliff” …a letter from Michael Moore

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Michael Moore interviews a physician from the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Friends,

Yesterday, on the TV and radio show “Democracy Now” hosted by Amy Goodman, the former Vice President of CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, revealed that CIGNA met with the other big health insurers to hatch a plan to “push” yours truly “off a cliff.”

The interview contains new revelations about just how frightened the health industry was that “Sicko” might ignite a public wave of support for “socialized medicine.” So the large health insurance companies came together over a common cause: Stop the American people from going to see “Sicko” — and the way to do that was to cause some form of harm to me (either personally, professionally or…physically?).

Take a look at this stunning section of the interview with Wendell Potter:

WENDELL POTTER [former executive, CIGNA]: …We were concerned that the movie [“Sicko”] would be as successful as “Fahrenheit 9/11” had been. And we knew that if it were, it really would change public opinion about our health care system in ways that would be harmful to the profits of health insurers. So, it was very important for this [attack] campaign to succeed. At one point during a strategy meeting, one of the people from [the insurance companies’ public relations firm] APCO said that if our efforts, our initial efforts, were not successful, then we’d have to move to an element of the campaign to push Michael Moore off a cliff. And not meaning to do that literally, but to—

AMY GOODMAN: Are you sure?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, I’m not sure. To tell you the truth, when I started doing what I’m doing [as a whistleblower], I was concerned about my own health and well-being, maybe just from paranoia. But these companies play to win. And we’re talking about some big bucks at stake here—billions and billions and billions of dollars.

AMY GOODMAN: So what were they talking about when they said, “If this doesn’t work, we’re going to push him off the cliff”?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, it would be just an incredibly intense PR effort, if necessary, to spend more premium dollars to defame Michael Moore, to discredit him even more as a filmmaker.

AMY GOODMAN: So, were you doing research on him?

WENDELL POTTER: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: You were going—personally?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, I was a part of the effort. I didn’t—that was part of the reason for hiring APCO and to work with a trade association, is that it relieved me of the responsibility of doing that kind of work. You paid for it to be done by people who were experts in doing that kind of research.

AMY GOODMAN: But they were doing an investigation into him personally?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, absolutely. We knew as much about him probably as he knows about himself.

AMY GOODMAN: About his wife, about his kid, about—

WENDELL POTTER: Oh, yeah. You know, it’s important to know everything that you might be able to use in some kind of a campaign against someone, to discredit them professionally and often personally.

AMY GOODMAN: And did you use that?

WENDELL POTTER: You use it if necessary.

The interview goes on as Potter reveals how his front group was able to get its talking points and smears into stories in the New York Times and CNN. It is a chilling look inside how easy it is to manipulate our mainstream media — and just how worried the health insurance companies were that the American people might demand a true universal health care system.

In particular, Potter talks about how they may have succeeded in influencing CNN to run a factually untrue story about “Sicko” by its reporter, Sanjay Gupta (which led to my infamous encounter with Wolf Blitzer and later, an apology from CNN for getting their facts wrong).

Potter believes his work to defame “Sicko” succeeded, as the film didn’t end up posting “Fahrenheit 9/11” grosses. To be clear, “Sicko” went on to become the 3rd largest grossing documentary of all time at that point. And as the release of “Sicko” in June of 2007 was the first time since the defeat of Hillary Clinton’s healthcare bill in 1994 that the issue of health insurance was brought to the forefront of the national media, I believe it helped to reignite the issue during the 2008 election year by exposing millions of Americans to the truth about the health insurance industry. More than one person on Capitol Hill will admit that “Sicko” was a big help in rallying public support for the compromise bill that eventually passed earlier this year. But I agree, their smear campaign was effective and did create the dent they were hoping for — single payer and the public option never even made it into the real discussion on the floor of Congress.

(There was really only one reason “Sicko” didn’t sell as many tickets as “Fahrenheit” and that was because of a felony that was committed — a felony that I will discuss for the first time on this site in the coming weeks or months ahead. Stay tuned.)

Please read or watch the entire interview with Wendell Potter. It’s a fascinating peek behind the curtain of how corporate America really runs this country. And how if any of us get in their way, then those people must be stopped. It begs the question: Seeing how there’s more of us than there are of them, how long will we let their takeover of our democracy continue?

God Bless the Ruling Class,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. Over the next few days I will continue this examination of the Wendell Potter revelations on “Democracy Now” and in his new book. Please check in to my website.

Join Mike’s Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike’s Facebook Group | Become Mike’s MySpace Friend

 

Let’s Pass Some Laws Before the Republicans Head Into Town (after all, that’s what they’d do)

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Michael Moore in 2004

Michael Moore in 2004

…an open letter to Congressional Democrats from Michael Moore

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Dear Congressional Democrats:

Welcome back to our nation’s capital for your one final session of the 111th Congress. Come January, the Republicans will take over the House while the Democrats will retain control of the Senate.

But Dems — here’s something I don’t understand: Why do you look all sullen and depressed? Clearly you’re not aware of one very important fact: YOU ARE STILL COMPLETELY, TOTALLY, LEGALLY IN CHARGE! When (and if, mostly if) you wake up to the reality that you can do whatever you want for the next seven weeks, you will realize that you have two clear options:

1. You can continue your “Sit Quietly and Hope No One Hits Me” strategy and thus lay the groundwork for an even bigger ass-kicking two years from now;

Or…

2. You can actually use the power you hold for the next seven weeks and have the Senate pass the legislation that the House has already passed!

Wake up, Democrats! You are in an awesome position right now. The House of Representatives, in this current session of Congress, has already passed an astounding 420 bills since January of 2009 — 420 bills that are just sitting there on the Senate leader’s desk. The Senate has refused to take up these House bills because they’ve been afraid of a Republican filibuster. Well, Dems, here’s the truth: You can pass all of these bills and turn them into law RIGHT NOW, TODAY, by simply calling for a majority vote of 50 Senators (plus Vice President/President of the Senate Joe Biden). Yes, you will need to change the filibuster rules. So do it. You have the votes! And yes, the Republicans will scream bloody murder — so let them! Make them. Let America see them in all their hateful, spiteful ways — it will act as a beautiful coming attraction trailer for all the world to see. Let all of America watch the Republicans as they try to derail democracy by holding up a bunch of bills that nearly every American I know would want to see as the law of the land. Many of these bills are so safe, so innocuous, I have a hard time understanding what the heck the problem was in the first place. Like the bill that’s already passed the House to name a post office after Jimmy Stewart. I know, I know, the idea of a post office named after Jimmy Stewart is really, really, incredibly controversial and divisive and somebody on the other side of the aisle might yell at you. Be brave, Democrats!

There’s a whole slew of these bills the House has passed. Some are no-brainers; others are absolutely necessary. You can pass them in the next seven weeks. And because you Dems seem to have a problem with properly naming your bills and communicating effectively with the average American, I have helpfully renamed them for you so they sound like what they actually are — things people would really want. Here’s a partial list of the bills the House has already passed and are now just in need of approval by the U.S. Senate:

• The “Give Mom a Raise Act,” officially known as the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” which addresses pay gaps between men and women. Now, who out there still believes women should be paid less than men? I REALLY want to see Republicans try to stop this one.

• The “Don’t Amputate Our Feet Act,” aka the “Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention Access and Care Act of 2009.” Which Republican will stand to speak out in favor of diabetes?

• The “Pay Up, BP Act,” aka the “Audit the BP Fund Act,” which makes sure BP is paying people hurt by the Gulf oil spill as quickly as possible — and makes BP pay the cost of keeping track of where the money’s going.

• The “Stop Foreigners From Hitting Grandma Act,” aka the “Elder Abuse Victims Act.” This doesn’t really have anything to do with foreigners, but our fellow Americans seem to automatically dislike people from other countries, so this should help just in case the Republicans think an “elders abuse victims act” doesn’t sound patriotic enough.

• The “Let’s Try Not to Destroy Planet Earth Act” (aka Cap and Trade, a lousy half-way measure to begin with, but about the best you can expect from you Democrats these days).

• The “National Bombing Prevention Act” (it’s actually already called that, which is hard to improve on).

And while those of you in the Senate are taking care of all that, the House can come up with a better version of Michelle Obama‘s “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” to improve child nutrition. The Senate has already passed this bill. (The House should fix it so that it isn’t paid for by cutting food stamps to poor people. Yes, you, a Democratic Senate, did that.)

Then there are also things that neither the House or Senate has dealt with. These would take more work during the next two months, but that’s what highly-caffeinated “energy” drinks are for.

Jenni Suri of Ligonier, Indiana, has set up a petition with a good list, which anyone can sign here to tell the Congressional leadership to get started. Among the “to do” items on the list:

• Extend emergency unemployment benefits

• Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

• Pass the DREAM Act (to provide young immigrants with a path to citizenship)

• Pass the Disclose Act to force corporations to say what politicians they’re giving money to

• Pass the Employee Free Choice Act, so we can have unions again in the U.S.

• Pass Rep. Donna Edwards’ constitutional amendment that — in the wake of the Citizens United decision — would give Congress the power to regulate corporate spending on elections

So what do you say, Democrats? What’s the worst that could happen — you’d lose an election? You already did that! C’mon, here’s your one last gutsy chance to show us that you’re made of something other than wish and wash.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. Be sure to let the Democrats in Congress know right now you expect action from them during this next month. You can call your Senators and Representative at (202) 224-3121 or find their direct number and email at Congress.org.

P.P.S. If you missed Bill Maher or Larry King on Friday, here are the links to watch my visit to both of them: Maher, Part 1, Maher, Part 2, King, Part 1, King, Part 2, King, Part 3 and King, Part 4.

Join Mike’s Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike’s Facebook Group | Become Mike’s MySpace Friend

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

Dems Come Alive! …a follow-up from Michael Moore

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Friends,

Ok! We’re halfway through the week and we’re off to a great start. Last week I gave the spineless Dems five friendly suggestions for things they could do on the off chance they were interested in winning the midterm elections on November 2nd:

1. Deliver a blunt, nonstop reminder to the American people about exactly who it was that got us into the mess we’re in.

2. Declare a moratorium on home foreclosures.

3. Prosecute the banks and Wall Street for the Crime of the Century.

4. Create a 21st century WPA (hire the unemployed to rebuild America).

5. Pledge that no Dem will take a dime from Wall Street in the next election cycle.

So how are we doing 5 days later? Not bad! It turns out that at least some of these ideas were so simple even elected Democrats could come up with them!

1. Dems have started running tough, killer ads that have balls and SAY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID. Check these out:

In the California Senate race, Barbara Boxer is going after Carly Fiorina on the outsourcing Fiorina did as CEO of HP.

Rep. Tim Bishop of Long Island, New York hits his GOP opponent Randy Altschuler on how HIS business sent jobs overseas.

Richard Blumenthal half-nelsons his Connecticut Senate opponent (and former WWE CEO) Linda McMahon who said we should consider cutting the minimum wage and then lied about having said it.

Jeez, it’s like they wanna win! More of these, please — NOW!

2. Foreclosure Moratorium fever among the Dems has amazingly swept the nation in the last week!

Democratic Attorneys General all over the country are now demanding moratoriums for their states: California (Jerry Brown, now running for Governor), Connecticut (Richard Blumenthal, now running for Senate), Delaware (Joe Biden’s son Beau), Massachusetts (Martha Coakley, who probably wished she’d done this earlier since she lost the special Senate race in January to Scott Brown), Illinois (Lisa Madigan), Texas (Greg Abbott — a Republican!) and Colorado (John Suthers — another Republican!). And so is Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (at the urging of Rep. Ellijah Cummings, who you may remember from ‘Capitalism: A Love Story‘).

Meanwhile, the Attorneys General of Iowa, Ohio and North Carolina are opening probes into the mortgage industry. And the banks are feeling the heat — GMAC, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have already suspended foreclosures in 23 states (with Detroit’s Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, calling on them to extend it to Michigan and the rest of the U.S.).

Wells Fargo? Citibank? Are you paying attention? Now’s the time to do something good so you can later mention it to the sentencing judge.

Rep. Gabrelle Giffords of Arizona has called for a nationwide foreclosure moratorium, and Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey says that may be necessary.

And it goes on and on. Check the special section on my website that I’m updating every day as more and more Democratic officials announce they will no longer allow banks to kick families out of their homes.

3. Prosecute the bastards! Looks like that’s what they’re maybe finally going to do. Check out this stunning letter sent to Attorney General Holder yesterday by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and 30 other members of congress (PDF):

“…we urge you and your respective agencies to investigate possible violations of law or regulations by financial institutions in their handling of delinquent mortgages, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures. … The excuses we have heard from financial institutions are simply not credible three years into this crisis. … It is time that banks are held accountable for their practices that have left too many homeowners without real help.”

According to the New York Times, banks will likely face a “wide range of government investigations” for years. Judges may ask for them to be indicted for perjury or obstruction of justice. The Justice Department could prosecute banks for mail and wire fraud, or for making false statements to the government. And the SEC could open civil investigations.

Now we need to hear the Justice Department announce their investigation.

And look — Larry Summers is gone. Great move! The people’s advocate, Elizabeth Warren, is in — genius move! If that’s the direction Obama is now heading in, then these bankers may be shaking in their Salvatore Ferragamos.

So, not a bad start, Democrats (20 months late)! Just four weeks to go and I’m feeling that maybe, just maybe, we may prevent the All Souls Day Massacre. The pundits, who are essentially tools for the Corporate States of America, may have to eat a lot of crow. And if the Dems escape death’s door, they had better not let this nonsense happen again.

So, President Obama and Congress, let’s get busy on ideas #4 (WPA jobs) and #5 (pledge to take no further campaign money from Goldman and their friends).

C’mon everybody — there’s at least 3 million of you reading this (including the 700,000 of you who are my Twitter followers and my 300,000+ close Facebook friends). Let’s pressure the Dems to quit cowering and kick some butt — NOW!

Tell them it’s easy and to repeat after us:

* Stop the foreclosures!
* Prosecute the banks and Wall Street and war profiteer corps!
* Remind the public 24/7 who created the mess!
* Announce a real jobs program!
* Promise not to take Wall Street’s dirty money!
* Win the election!

Simple!

Do it!

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. On a different subject… One of the most moving, hopeful and powerful documentaries I’ve seen this year (or any year) opens at the Quad in NYC on Friday. It’s called, “Budrus,” and it’s about a town by that name in the West Bank. The Palestinians in that town (and many of their Israeli neighbors on the other side of the Wall that’s being constructed) come up with a way to totally undo the Israeli Defense Forces: pledge to defeat the occupiers by never firing a bullet, never throwing a stone, never causing any harm to their Jewish brothers and sisters. Whoa! What happens next is so effed up, so incredible, you have to see this movie to believe it. The film is brilliant. It won the top Founders Prize for nonfiction film at my film festival this summer. It will soon be coming to other cities. Do not miss it!!!

Join Mike’s Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike’s Facebook Group | Become Mike’s MySpace Friend

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

Five Ways the Democrats Can Avoid a Catastrophe and Pull Off the Mother of All Upsets

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Michael Moore in 2004

Michael Moore

…a letter from Michael Moore

Five Ways the Democrats Can Avoid a Catastrophe and Pull Off the Mother of All Upsets

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Friends,

The election is one month from tomorrow and, yes, it looks hopeless. November 2nd — the day the Dems are expected to crash and burn.

Sadly, it’s a situation the Democrats have brought upon themselves — even though the majority of them didn’t create the mess we’re in. But they’ve had over a year and a half to start getting the job done to fix it. Instead, they’ve run scared ever since they took power. To many, the shellacking they’re about to receive is one they deserve.

But if you’re of a mindset that believes a return to 2001-2008 would be sheer insanity, then you probably agree we’ve got no choice but to save the Democrats from themselves.

Memo To: President Obama and the Democratic Party Leadership

From: Michael Moore

Subject: 5 Things Dems Can Do to Turn It Around by November 2nd

1. Immediate Wall-to-Wall TV Ads, Internet Videos, and Appearances Hammering Who the Hell Put Us in the Misery We’re In.
We Americans have very short attention spans (Quick: Who Won the Oscar for Best Picture last year? The World Series? Exactly.). People need to be reminded over and over that it was the REPUBLICANS who concocted and led the unnecessary invasion of two countries, putting us in our longest war ever, wars that will eventually cost us over $3 trillion. Bush and Co. also caused the biggest collapse of our economy since the Great Depression. I don’t know a single person in Hollywood who wouldn’t shoot and produce those spots for you for FREE. Dems: Do not pull a single punch on this. Quit being a bunch of wusses and let the bastards have it! The public will be astonished that you’ve found your courage and your spine. We expect you to be Muhammad Ali, not Ally McBeal.

2. Indict the Criminals.
Announce that the Justice Department will seek indictments against both those who caused the economic collapse and those who became war profiteers. Call it for what it is: organized crime. Use the RICO statutes. Use the basic laws that make fraud of any kind a crime. Get in the face of those who stole the billions, make them pay for it — and the people will love you. We want Dirty Harry, not Dirty Dancing.

3. Announce a Moratorium on All Family Home Foreclosures.
Last month (August) there were more home foreclosures than in any month in U.S. history. Worse than any month in the worst year ever, 2009. The bleeding hasn’t stopped — it’s only gotten worse. And now, this week, two of the largest crime organizations who are throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes (GMAC and JPMorgan Chase) have been forced to momentarily stop doing this. It turns out, they don’t really have the paperwork to prove they actually own these houses! It’s madness. So if you do one thing for the middle class this week, do this. It will take an hour of your time to draw up the decree and issue it. We’d rather watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” than “Poltergeist.”

4. Announce a New 21st Century WPA.
“Who’s hiring? THE GOVERNMENT IS HIRING!” Put together a simple plan to hire enough people to repair our roads, fix up our aging schools, and rebuild our infrastructure. Fund this by taxing the richest 1% who have more financial wealth than 95% of Americans combined! Unemployment will drop to 5%. Can you pass it? Well, you sure can’t unless you try! And as you’re trying, announce that you will force the Republican senators (who until now simply have had to say they “intended” to filibuster in order to kill a bill) to have to actually filibuster! Make them stand on the floor of the Senate and read from the phone book 24/7. They won’t last a day. And America will see them for who they really are.

5. Declare That No Democrat Will Accept ANY Wall Street Money in the Next Election Cycle.
Pick a day in the coming week. Have all your fellow Democrats in Congress stand in front of the Capitol (with President Obama) and pledge that if America allows you to retain control of Congress, none of you will take a penny from Wall Street for the 2012 election. Instead, promise to accept donations of only $2, $5 and $10. You will also pledge not to take a job as a lobbyist or lawyer for ANY corporation for ten years after you leave Congress. The message will be a powerful one to the average American fed up with corrupt political hacks. Act like Honest Abe, not Fast Freddie — and see what happens.

And here are two bonus suggestions: Use what sense of humor you have and go after these candidates and their agenda with all the hilarious ridicule they deserve. And quit complaining about “the base” not doing enough to help you. You want help? Do something this week to earn it. I’ve offered five suggestions. I’m sure the rest of “the base” has a few more.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

Join Mike’s Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike’s Facebook Group | Become Mike’s MySpace Friend

BACK to margotbworldnews.com