12 thoughts on “United States Representative Grayson endorses Bernie Sanders

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  4. The first free college in the United States was the City College of New York, founded in 1847. My father went there. So did 10 Nobel Prize winners. My father actually enjoyed free college twice over, since he qualified under the GI Bill.

    My mother’s college wasn’t free, but it wasn’t all that expensive, either. She paid significantly less than $1000 each year.

    I took out student loans, and I also worked all through college and graduate school. In my first job after graduate school, I made $21,000 a year, so I was a bit stretched, but three years later I was making much more than that, so I was OK. Still, I didn’t get those loans paid off for ten years.

    I just paid my daughter’s college tuition today. Her college costs $62,000 each year.

    God, it seems as though we’re moving backwards. Why does my daughter’s college education cost 100x as much as my mother’s?

    Let’s see. The national minimum hourly wage is $7.25. So at that rate, my daughter could pay her college expenses if she worked 171 hours a week.

    Unfortunately, there are only 168 hours in a week.

    Chip in $10 or more now to help me fight for free public college in the U.S. Senate >>

    Here are some countries that offer free college – in English, no less: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Slovenia and Brazil.

    I’d like to see the United States on that list. That’s why I’ve introduced the Bernie Sanders “College for All Act,” H.R. 4385, in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Let’s compare free college and universal healthcare. I support universal healthcare because, among other reasons, I don’t want to see sick people inflicted with massive debt, and forced into bankruptcy. And I support free college education because I don’t want to see young people inflicted with massive debt, and enslaved by it. I want our best and our brightest to be able to find a good job, buy a home, buy a car, enjoy health coverage and save for retirement – not remain indentured servants to our banking system for their entire lives.

    Most of my colleagues in Congress just don’t get it. They never had to struggle to get by. But I did, and I do get it, and that’s why I’m fighting to make public universities free.

    College should be a joy, not a soul-crushing burden. And students should be able to concentrate on learning, not worrying about how they can possibly make their loan payments.

    We live in the wealthiest country in the world. We should also live in the best-educated country in the world.

    Knowledge is power.

    Contribute $10 or more now to help me continue fighting, in the U.S. Senate, for free public universities for all Americans >>

    Courage,

    Alan Grayson

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  5. I’m going to explain one reason why I support universal healthcare. If you’re with me on that, then you can show your support here >>

    Let me tell you about my first experience with “socialized medicine.” When I was 19 years old, I decided to spend a summer in Malaysia. I correctly surmised that it would be cheaper living there than at home, and I figured that I could find some work as a freelance writer – which I did. I scored a round-trip ticket on Thai International for less than $800, folded my six-foot-four frame into a very small coach seat for 22 hours, and there I was, in Kuala Lumpur. I found a hotel for $2 a night (no extra charge for the cockroaches), and a street vendor who would feed me my two meals a day for 30 cents each. (I still love the taste of nasi goreng, KL-style.)

    Everything was going fine, until I got really, really sick.

    I made my way to a small fishing village on the east coast. This is where the giant turtles land, to lay their eggs. They reputedly swim all the way from the Galapagos Islands. Just the female turtles; the males stay home and play poker, I guess. I took a shack on the beach for a dollar a day, including meals. During the day, I walked along the beach and swam in the ocean. At night, I read the Complete Works of Shakespeare that I had brought from home, and went out to see the turtles as they landed on the beach around midnight.

    There is exactly one word in the English language that is derived from the Malay family of languages. It’s the word “boondocks.” I was in the boondocks.

    Quite unexpectedly, one Thursday night, this quiet fishing village suddenly filled with drunks. They played loud, horrible music, on AM radios. I inquired as to the cause. Start of the Sabbath, I was told. I retreated to my shack. I kept hearing that awful music from the neighboring shack until 2 am, at which point I went into that shack, found several people passed out on the floor, and turned off their radio – without objection.

    The next day, for whatever reason, I found that I was having serious difficulty breathing. An asthmatic attack. Before long, I couldn’t stand up straight; I had to bend over in order to breathe at all. I had to take little baby steps, or I would pass out. Some kind villager packed my bag, and helped me out of the village. It was less than a mile to the nearest road, but because of the baby steps, it took me more than an hour to get there. At the road, I flagged down one of the taxis that served as public transportation in the boondocks. I told him to take me to the nearest health clinic – which was 50 miles away. As I said, I was in the boondocks.

    So I arrive at the clinic, having no idea what to expect. Do they have witch doctors? I don’t know. There are 150 people in the waiting room, but the intake nurse can see that I don’t have much time left, so after five minutes, she takes me in to see the doctor.

    The doctor is a happy gentleman wearing a doctor’s lab coat. I feel much comforted by that.

    He says to me, in English, “I see your problem – you can’t breathe.” Well, yes. He takes off his stethoscope, puts it on my ears, and holds it to my chest. It sounds utterly horrible – like Darth Vader’s breathing. (That was the year that Star Wars was released.). The doctor says, with a smile, “I’m going to do something for you, and you will get better. But it’s going to be very painful. Just for a short time.” I say fine.

    He gives me an injection of adrenaline.

    I feel excruciating pain all over my body – for around ten minutes. I lay down in a fetal position. Then the pain disappears, and I can breathe a little better. Not very well at all, but better.

    The doctor tells me that I need to go home, because I’m still going to be sick for several weeks. I agree. I thank him.

    I asked him how much I owed him. He said nothing.

    He was wrong, of course. I owed him my life.

    Malaysia – at that time, one of the poorest countries on Earth. Wracked by a civil war twenty years earlier, and divided by ethnic strife. A place where people were lucky to earn two dollars a day. But a place where everyone, even a foreigner like me, could see a doctor, and get the care that we needed to stay alive – and tell you about it today.

    “Socialized medicine.” It doesn’t sound so awful now, does it?

    Contribute today to our campaign – our campaign not just to win a Senate seat, but our campaign to make sure that everyone, rich or poor, can see a doctor when he or she is sick >>

    Courage,

    Rep. Alan Grayson

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  7. Tomorrow is Alan Grayson’s 58th birthday. It’s not a national holiday – yet. (GOP leaders offered to make it one, as long as it would be in memoriam. Alan replied, “you first.”)

    In honor of this semi-demi-hemi-momentous occasion, we have decided to enumerate 20 things about Alan Grayson that you may not have known. (We actually listed 58 things originally, one for each year, but that seemed a little excessive.) If you love our Congressman with Guts (soon to be Senator with Guts!) as much as we do, add your name to our birthday card, to wish him a happy birthday >>

    Alan has five kids — Skye, Sage, Star, Stone, and Storm.
    He is 6’4”, the same height as President Abraham Lincoln.
    He is Jewish.
    He grew up in public housing in the Bronx, and went to a “magnet” school called the Bronx High School of Science.
    In junior high school, a bully threw him under a moving bus. He survived. But you knew that already.
    He was in the chess club in high school. Yes, we still make fun of him for it.
    He was accepted to Harvard College when he was just 16 years old.
    He joined a union, the American Federation of Government Employees, when he was 18 years old. Despite the fact that all Congressmen are government employees (duh!), he is the only Member of Congress who is an AFGE member, too.
    He worked his way through Harvard, cleaning toilets, working as a night watchman on the midnight shift and then (oh, the shame of it!) as a reporter.
    He earned three degrees from Harvard – a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude, a master’s degree in Public Policy, and a law degree cum laude. He also finished the coursework and passed the general exams for a Ph.D. in Government.
    He worked with Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg before her elevation to the Supreme Court, and then worked at her husband’s law firm. He also worked with Judge (later Justice) Scalia.
    He loves science fiction — especially Battlestar Galactica (the remake), and anything that Philip K. Dick wrote.
    He owns nearly 50 pairs of zippered ankle boots, including studded, metal-tipped, glittered and checkered furry boots. (He refers to those as his “checkered cheetah” boots, a species so rare that it doesn’t even exist.)
    He owns more than a dozen flag ties. Also ties depicting Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” Picasso’s “Don Quixote,” Munch’s “The Scream” and Monet’s “Water Lillies”. And one that ornately spells out the eight-letter word abbreviated as “BS,” if you turn it sideways.
    He owns a DeLorean and a Cadillac – a 25-year-old Cadillac (not vintage or classic; just old). He hopes that the DeLorean will turn into a time machine, and make the Cadillac new again.
    He firmly believes that it is never a bad time to stop for ice cream, no matter how many lanes of traffic must be traversed or how many U-turns are required.
    He used to have a beard. Don’t worry — we won’t let that happen again. (By the way, he held a vote among local Democratic Party members on whether he should shave it – democracy in action.)
    He has been to every state in the country, every country in the world, and both the North Pole and the South Pole. (Somalia was . . . interesting.)
    He collects masks and swords.
    His favorite employee, by far, is his digital director.

    Well, there you have it, or at least the first installment of it. Because you know so much about Alan now, you and Alan are basically best friends, maybe BFF. And friends sign birthday cards for each other. Sign our birthday card for Alan Grayson right here, right now >>

    Courage,

    Holly Fussell
    Digital Director & Grayson Historian

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  8. My Tea Party foes can be very belligerent.

    I started getting death threats from them in 2009. We kept them in a manila folder. It eventually grew into an accordion folder.

    I didn’t let them knuckle me under. That’s one reason why I deserve your support before Thursday’s deadline. Give $20.16, or whatever you can afford, before the FEC deadline:

    Chip in $10

    Chip in $20

    Chip in $50

    Chip in $100

    Chip in $200

    It irked me, greatly, when they dragged my children into this. I invited two of my kids to join me at an August “town hall” meeting. A national hate radio host gave out the meeting information, and invited his tea party storm-troopers to bust it up. Since space was limited, we opened attendance only to constituents – people who actually lived in my district. The tea party undead from outside the district, possessed by their hatred, circled the building and started to chant “F*ck Alan Grayson.” My children could hear it.

    As I said, this irked me. But it didn’t get me off my game. I continued to fight against tea party lunacy, and for justice, equality and peace. That’s another reason why I deserve your support today >>

    We reached the pinnacle of perfidy, the crest of contempt, the summit of shame, when I was in DC one day, about to vote on the Affordable Care Act. Some tea party wretch called my home number in Orlando. My five-year-old son hit the speaker button. Thinking that it was me, she said to my son, “if you vote for healthcare, I’ll kill you.”

    I heard about it, and then I voted for healthcare. Healthcare for all. And to hell with her.

    I won’t cave in, I won’t give up, I won’t retreat, I won’t submit and I won’t surrender. But I can’t do this alone. I need your help.

    Help me keep my campaign going, no matter how viciously they attack me, by making your contribution now >>

    I’m been standing up to all the haters for years now. Will you stand with me?

    Courage,

    Rep. Alan Grayson

    “Well, I won’t back down.
    No, I won’t back down.
    You can stand me up at the gates of Hell,
    But I won’t back down.”

    – Tom Petty, “I Won’t Back Down” (1989).

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  11. I told you a couple of days ago that Marco Rubio was running an ad here in Florida condemning me because I voted for the Iran nuclear agreement, and because I’m against using our naval base at Guantanamo Bay as a gulag.

    Now let me tell you what Rubio’s spending to air that ad:

    $2,176,120.

    I just got an update on political TV spending in Florida. That’s the number.

    Don’t let Marco Rubio drown us out with wretched right-wing propaganda, paid for the by the military-industrial complex. Make a donation of $3 or more, and give us the means to fight back >>

    I’ve mentioned from time to time that more than 100,000 people have contributed to this campaign. Well, it’s time for everyone to step up. Here is the math:

    $2,176,120 / 100,000 = $21.76.

    If 100,000 supporters contribute $21.76 each, we can match Rubio’s spending, and broadcast our progressive platform of justice, equality and peace.

    So please do it. It’s time. Please contribute $21.76 or more to our “Fight Back” fund today >>

    Courage,

    Rep. Alan Grayson

    P.S. In 1955, Flannery O’Connor wrote a short story called “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” (part of the book entitled “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”) Well, in the case of your support, The Nation You Save May Be Your Own. Help us

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