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Blue America Special Edition: Let’s Get Rahm’s Back! (Seriously)

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UPDATE:  A few people have had trouble finding the song link, so I’m moving a link up to the top of the post as well.  You can get the mp3 of Have You Had Enough? here.  (Huge thank you to Crooks and Liars!) 

Yesterday’s live blog session with Charlie Brown (and his wife Jan) was an exceptionally good one. Charlie and Jan came across as just plain concerned folks, like most of us, and as beacons of integrity– quite a contrast to Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle, Washington’s poster-couple for unethical, and perhaps criminal, behavior. I was astounded by the pace of contributions. It’s been 24 hours and our Blue America Act Blue Page has taken in over $3,400 for Charlie’s campaign! Our page is closing in on $150,000. Many people who contributed to Charlie’s campaign yesterday also took the opportunity to kick in some extra bucks for Ble America faves like John Laesch, Larry Kissell, Coleen Rowley, Jerry McNerney and, of course, Ned.

As I’m writing this, our collective contribution to Ned’s campaign is $59,108.33. That "us" are all the Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars, and Down With Tyranny community members. Over 1,300 of us have donated some money to help elect a decent and progressive man to the U.S. Senate from Connecticut and to help retire a reactionary rubber stamp– even Rahm Emanuel called Lieberman a rubber stamp today!– and to send Bush a message that we’re sick of his hideous policies and his divisive, hateful politics. And as our pal Rahm-of-the-Beltway says, "What’s playing out here is that being a rubber stamp for George Bush is politically dangerous to life-threatening."

I never thought I’d write these words, but let’s all back up Rahm Emanuel today by getting Ned over the $60,000 mark. I think if everyone on our blogs who think this race is important kicks in just $5 today, Blue America will have handed Ned a nice round number on what promises to be a down-to-the-wire primary contest on Tuesday. In fact, I have a Martha Stewart box set, THE HOLIDAY COLLECTION, to offer to the person who actually puts us over the $60,000 mark.

Now there’s more news too. Today our community is "releasing" a record. Actually, the "official" release day is tomorrow and the "record" is a free download song. John is hosting the music at Crooks and Liars. You should get a chance to hear it before the offical release day because it flowed directly out of Firedoglake.

As you know, every Saturday at 2 PM (Eastern time), members of the Firedoglake, Music For America and DownWithTyranny communities get together for a live blog session with a progressive candidate at Firedoglake’s Blue America. On June 24th our guest was Larry Kissell, a grassroots, populist Democrat running against the ultimate rubber stamp bozo, Republican incumbent Robin Hayes. You can check out the archive of the session here.

That day over 50 members of our communities contributed around $1,500 to Larry’s campaign. The first couple dozen donors "won" Eric Clapton CDs, which I mailed out on Monday morning. A week later I got an e-mail from a community member, Tommy Yum, who identified himself as Tom Maxwell, formerly of the late, great Squirrel Nut Zippers. Tom, a North Carolinian excited about Kissell’s candidacy, wanted to thank me for the Eric Clapton CD and also offer more direct help. This led to a discussion that went on for a week or so during which we decided that he would adapt one of his SNZ hits, "Put A Lid On It" (recognizable from the 1999 Superbowl) as a campaign song for our Blue America candidates.

Tom and his partner Ken Mosher, another former Squirrel Nut Zipper, worked on the lyrics and the 3 of us started exchanging files and e-mails every day. I loved the dynamic process and how enthusiastic and cooperative these two guys were. Before they totally finished the lyrics they asked me what I thought about finding a woman singer to trade off lines with them. Judging from the music it only took me one second– literally– to come up with the perfect singer: a friend who I worked with when I ran Reprise and who is a very dedicated political activist and savvy idealist, Rickie Lee Jones. Rickie was on tour at the time but we communicated by e-mail and she loved the 45 second file I sent her and agreed to do it.

After that I called producer/musician Andy Paley, an old friend. I thought of Andy because I had been so impressed with his production work on similar music for the Dick Tracy movie soundtrack on which he produced artists as diverse as Madonna, k.d. lang and Ice-T. We were doing this whole project with absolutely no money at all and Andy, like everyone else involved, was happy to help out and even got Dusty Wakeman at Mad Dog Studios to let us use his awesome and historic facility gratis.

A few days after she got back to L.A. from her tour, Rickie Lee drove over to Mad Dog. Basically she nailed it on one take. Everyone’s jaw just dropped! She did a few more takes for good measure but Rickie’s voice was just made for this song! The next day Tom and Ken had mixed it and sent it to me. We want to get it out to as many people as possible and, of course, we want everyone to enjoy and share the music for free. We’re going to start a political action committee so we can raise some dough to make 30 second radio spots with this music for our candidates. If you want to send a check– and even $5.00 will help– you can make it out to Blue America and send it to P.O. Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA 90027. As soon as we get all the paperwork done with the FEC we’ll get an Act Blue Page up for online donations. Meanwhile, enjoy the music and send it to everyone you know. You can download it right here.

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Howie Klein

Howie Klein

Howie Klein spent much of his life wandering around the world living in places like Afghanistan, Nepal, Holland and Morocco. He moved backed to America when Richard Nixon resigned and promptly helped start the first punk rock radio show in the country and then a DIY punk rock record label. His adventures in the music business ended a couple of years ago when he retired as president of Reprise Records. He began blogging almost immediately, starting Down With Tyranny. Jane taught him html while he held one of her dogs at a party. He is a raw foodist, lives in L.A., swims and hikes every day, thinks Howard Dean could be a president as great as FDR and will never be completely happy until Bush and Cheney are behind bars.

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