Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Community Blog

Marco Rubio is an empty suit. #RubioRuse

by UniteBlue on April 14, 2015

The game is rigged; and Florida has long needed a Senator who fights to turn the tables in favor of the middle class. Instead, we have had a do-nothing Senator in Marco Rubio.

Marco Rubio has mastered the art of slick talk, but when you look behind the curtain all you will find is an empty suit willing to say anything to satisfy his wealthy donors. Asked about climate change last year, Marco Rubio responded, “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate. Our climate is always changing.” Rubio says he is not a scientist, but he isn’t even willing to ask a scientist for advice.

Rubio voted against veterans three times in the last year; the most glaring was his vote against Senate Bill S. 1982 which would have provided funding to get our homeless veterans off the streets and to protect the pay of current military personnel from being cut. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Florida is home to the third-highest number of veterans in the United States and over half of them are living in poverty. That is unacceptable. Florida needed a Senator who does not advocate for war at every turn. Our junior Senator loves the soldier, but hates the veteran.

Florida needed a Senator who is going to make the right-to-organize a priority, who will fight to repeal the ridiculous requirement that has burdened the number-one employer of veterans, the United States Postal Service, by requiring them to prefund their employee’s retirement 75 years in advance. Eliminating such a requirement will free up $5.65 Billion in funding making the USPS one of the most profitable entities in America. Rubio fought to keep that requirement in place.

Florida needed a Senator who will direct additional funds to the state and pressure the state to invest in education. Florida needed a Senator who will not interject his personal beliefs into his job. Florida needed a Senator who has actually worked with foreign leaders, not one who criticizes a country he’s never been to; one who will support the complete removal of the embargo against Cuba; and help foster fair elections in Haiti. Rubio wants to go to war with Iran because he stands to make a lot of money. The man just wants to send our sons and daughters to die needlessly; and he is as anti-diplomacy as a cotton gin.

Florida needed a Senator who will fight for immigration reform. I am a first-generation American and I understand that we are a nation of immigrants. A real leader would have “stuck to his guns” and really pushed for immigration reform and not pander to the Tea Party. He retreated on immigration reform. Let’s not forget how he lied about his family fleeing the Castro regime. We needed a Senator who would vote for the Violence Against Women Act. We need someone running for President who can do more than give a speech while he is thirsty!

Marco Rubio’s only accomplishment in the United States Senate has been to pass a resolution congratulating the Miami Heat Basketball Team on their World Championship; and now he tells you he should be President of the United States? It’s all a smoke screen.

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UniteBlue does not take sides in primaries.

by UniteBlue on April 12, 2015

Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her campaign for President of the United States later today. As can be expected among any progressive community, UniteBlue members are already expressing a wide range of reactions. So we have been asked: where does UniteBlue stand “officially?”

When we began this experiment of bringing the Left together in 2012, we saw how Democratic primaries cause division among the grassroots. We understood that taking a position in these elections would undermine our core mission to build unity. At that time, UniteBlue established the policy that we do not take sides in Democratic primaries, and that we support the eventual nominee. It’s a pretty simple policy that we stuck with in 2014, and that we will continue through 2016.

Don’t think that means we are staying out of the 2016 election! On the contrary, we have a lot of work to do holding the GOP accountable and exposing their true motives. We have already hit Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. We will continue to destroy each of the leading GOP candidates as they announce and campaign over the next 575 days.

No other group can force a hashtag to trend nationwide in a matter of minutes, at key moments such as the announcements of Republican candidates for President. The media and public have already noticed and will continue witness our collective strength and our ability to shift the national conversation when we work together.

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Give Peace With Iran A Chance #NoMoreGOPWar

by UniteBlue on April 5, 2015

Americans have longed for peace since we first elected President Obama. For many years, we have hoped that Iran would meet us at the negotiating table. The announcement of a framework agreement over Iran’s nuclear program is a momentous occasion.

Now, the greatest threat to diplomacy is the GOP. They have avowed to do everything in their power to thwart President Obama’s efforts towards peace.

When Congress resumes session in mid-April, the GOP will introduce a bill that would prevent a nuclear deal while imposing new sanctions — and they almost have enough votes to override the President’s veto. We cannot let that happen.

Let’s be clear: the alternative to diplomacy is war.

The GOP says they want a “better” deal with Iran, but refuse to describe any achievable alternative. Just as we are still waiting to hear their “replacement” for Obamacare, we are still waiting for the GOP to describe any viable, “better” deal. Don’t hold your breath. They know it is not possible — but they do not care, because the GOP will simply blame Obama when the unachievable is not attained.

America and our allies have worked for years on this deal. They have fought for every inch of ground, and we are grateful for their hard work. If America walks away now, then Iranians’ distrust for America will be affirmed, Iranian hardliners will be emboldened and Iran’s march towards a nuclear weapon will resume. The only solution left will be military, threatening a much wider conflagration in exchange for a temporary delay in their nuclear program.

This agreement may not be perfect, but it is undoubtedly an important step in the right direction; and America’s best option.

We have seen what the Republicans in Congress can do, not only as history’s greatest obstructionists to President Obama’s restorative programs for the U.S., but now showing themselves as the warmongers they truly are. Once again the GOP is pushing us towards the precipice of disaster, with some experts warning us of the possibility of World War III.

It’s time to say #NoMoreGOPWar! Help us tell the GOP that we won’t stand for their underhanded interference and their attempts to make this world less safe for us all.

Join us tonight in celebrating the progress toward peace made by our President, in concert with our allies, in reducing the risk that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Now is the time to send our messages of peace, particularly to our Democratic senators, that we stand behind our President with his peace negotiations, which should be finalized by the end of June.

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Imagine #IfWomenRuledTheWorld

by UniteBlue on March 8, 2015

International Women’s Day celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women — past, present and future. Tonight, we want to hear your ideas of what it would be like #IfWomenRuledTheWorld.

If women ruled the world, might and power would not be equated with brute physical strength and such abusive control. Domestic violence and rape would begin to vanish, because there would be no rigid role models to which to adhere.

We would not have to worry about our reproductive rights. We would make sure that family planning was a part of public education, including the right to a safe abortion if so decided by a woman and her doctor.

Major world religions would be shaped differently. No longer would the largest religions of the world (such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism) be based on patriarchal principles going all the way back to Abraham in a tent with many wives. Instead, matriarchal societies would have formed and permeated global culture, where perhaps the first Pope was a woman.

Our matriarchal societies, historically speaking, had a point of view that life proceeds in cycles and Mother Nature was deeply respected. Since the burning of fossil fuels threatens the earth’s atmosphere and could eventually annihilate all of its inhabitants, including the human race, our matriarchal leaders would have immediately turned to solar and wind technology, regardless of the cost.

Women focus on the future with its new possibilities. We are optimistic. The individuals in our society would be free to act when the time is right. The result would be new creative decisions arising from inner freedom.

In solidarity,

Laurel Davila, Linda Hill, and Kathy Smith

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Fight for Net Neutrality. #SaveOurNet

by UniteBlue on February 22, 2015

This has been a great week for UniteBlue and America.

Last week, UniteBlue launched our first Twitterbomb of 2015 — and #ILoveObama trended across the United States for three days straight, racking up nearly 250,000 tweets! The outpouring of love and appreciation for our President is now quite clear. We call that a win. Thank you!

Then the news came last Thursday that Walmart is raising their minimum wage to $9 per hour in April; and again to $10 per hour next year. This will affect over half a million workers at America’s largest private employer; and it is happening thanks to labor organizing from people like you. In fact, the push for higher wages at Walmart was UniteBlue’s very first Twitterbomb three years ago when we called for folks across the country to #WalkoutOnWalmart in solidarity with Walmart strikers and major unions. We have fought for progress consistently over the past few years; and while we need to keep fighting for a $15 per hour minimum wage, we are excited and proud to see movement in the right direction!

This week, another major turning point in history is coming. UniteBlue was one of the first organizations to speak out on the issue. We are on the verge of another major win and we are going to see it through to the end. This Thursday, the FCC will decide the future of the Internet.

Why is it important to join the fight for a free and open Internet? The core of the issue is that large companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon should not be able to provide an Internet “fast lane” for their subscribers who pay a higher price and a slower lane for the poor. This is a form of corporate monopolization — which we, at UniteBlue, must rise up to prevent.

The FCC has clearly listened and responded to public comments throughout their decision-making process; and while it seems that Net Neutrality will be protected in broad strokes, they will be making several critical decisions this Thursday. The devil is often in the details, and how the FCC implements Net Neutrality matters. Tonight is your chance to tweet members of the FCC Commission directly and make your voice heard. Here are their accounts:

Tom Wheeler: @TomWheelerFCC
Jessica Rosenworcel: @JRosenworcel
Mignon Clyburn: @mclyburnfcc
Michael O’Rielly: @mikeofcc
Ajit Pai: @AjitPaiFCC
*more information can be found here: fcc.gov/leadership

Michael O’Rielly and Ajit Pai are the two conservative members of the FCC Commission. Ajit Pai is the most vocal opponent. He also happens to be quite active on Twitter. Let’s push him towards the right direction and make sure all five members of the Commission hear our voices. Do not stop tweeting and commenting all the way up to the vote on Thursday. This is too important.

You can also submit your comments directly to the FCC using this form on their website: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/display

We need a fair and open Internet more than ever. It is an essential utility, similar to our streets and bridges with our physical transportation infrastructure. We shop online, go to college online and bank online. Our Internet is an essential part of our everyday communication.

We want you to add your voice to keep our Internet open and fair. If there is no governance over Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) through the FCC, as Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing by reclassifying consumer broadband service under Title II, then we are allowing large ISP’s to steal our Internet right out from under our noses.

Let’s ask The FCC to vote “Yes” on Tom Wheeler’s proposal to recognize that our Internet must be free of blocking or throttling by large companies. We must demand greater transparency between points of interconnection between the ISP’s and the rest of the Internet.

I hope you will join our voices at UniteBlue to demand that there is no paid prioritization of our Internet.

Although understanding the importance of the FCC vote on February 26th is difficult to follow, it isn’t difficult to see the slow, steady erosion of our rights and freedoms…if giant corporations and the GOP have their way.

Without fair and easy access to the Internet, most of us will be left in the dust or forced to pay higher fees to keep getting content and services we take for granted. Just think of the implications for job-seekers, students, start-up websites and small businesses.

But there is still time! We can still make our voices heard around the nation if we use that voice this weekend prior to the all-important FCC vote on the 26th. You still have a chance to make your voice heard! Let’s join together with one, united voice to help #SaveOurNet!

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NO To Omnibus

by UniteBlue on December 12, 2014

JR Gaillot


Is that the image you want to wake up to again? Housing market crashes even further, all your savings and retirement wiped out. This is what we are facing again with the new Omnibus bill.

The White House has signaled a willingness to sign the new Omnibus bill. Why? To avoid a government shutdown. Last year when the Republicans shut the government down over Obamacare, it was a miserable attempt to deny Americans a right to healthcare. This time the same Republicans and, by extension, Wall Street, want their friends – the rich and powerful like the Koch brothers – to get even richer. They want to gamble, but with our money not theirs, and they are going to place bets that the economy will crash. When it does, they will be the winners, not us, at our expense.

We have a huge problem in America; the income gap is greater today than at any point in our history. The middle class is disappearing before our eyes – we are disappearing, women still make less than men, and college education costs a fortune. When someone does manage to graduate from college, they are in so much debt that the majority of their income (if they are lucky enough to get a well-paying job) is spent paying back student loans (loans that cannot be added to bankruptcy declarations). The final outcome is that the standard of living for their families is much lower.

This spending bill must not pass. This is a call to action!

We cannot afford to let Wall Street banks run our lives again; we trusted them before and we ended up with record foreclosures and retirement losses. We are just beginning to recover. Not a single banker went to jail because of the 2008 crash. Let’s join Senators Warren and Sanders in calling for this bill to change. Let’s hold the Republicans accountable.

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Thank you, #UniteBlue.

by UniteBlue on November 5, 2014

Thank you for fighting. Thank you for voting. We know you worked hard, and we expect you feel disappointed. Take a few seconds.

Now shake it off. That’s all you get. We have work to do.

Republicans aren’t waiting — they are already planning how to destroy President Obama’s legacy. They are already plotting ways to cripple Obamacare and testing excuses to justify impeachment. We must respond with greater unity and resolve.

As President Obama said, “If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible, well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void.”

Let’s be clear: we didn’t lose the Senate because Republicans have better ideas or because they’re appealing to more voters.

We always knew 2014 would be an uphill battle. Only 40% of eligible voters turnout for midterms, 21 out of 36 seats up for grabs were held by Democrats, and those seats were won during President Obama’s surge in 2008.

2016 looks completely different. Over 60% of eligible voters turnout for general elections, 24 out of 33 seats up for grabs are held by Republicans, and those seats were won during the Tea Party’s surge in 2010.

Mark my words: Democrats will win back control of the Senate in 2016.

In the meantime, the GOP is facing a daunting challenge that could wreck their chances of keeping the House of Representatives and winning the White House: they have to govern. Republicans cannot continue to cripple Congress then blame Democrats. Unfortunately for them, Republicans also cannot control the nihilistic, extremist wing of their party, and will undoubtedly anger mainstream voters with their radical policies.

UniteBlue will be there to hold them accountable. We’ll be there to protect Obamacare, women’s rights and voting rights. We’ll be there to reduce gun violence, climate change and the corrupting influence of money in politics. We’ll be there to push for immigration reform, a living wage, and veterans benefits.

After all, last night’s elections showed we’re on the right side of the issues. Just look at the ballot measures that passed. Deep-red states such as Arkansas and Nebraska voted to raise the minimum wage. North Dakota and Colorado rejected personhood amendments. Washington state expanded background checks. When progressive positions stood on their own, they were embraced every time.

There’s plenty more good news that pundits won’t be talking about. Pennsylvania dumped Tom Corbett, the first governor to ever lose re-election in the state’s history. Scott Brown was rejected, again, and now we’re wondering what state he’ll try next. Minority turnout in Georgia reached record-breaking levels, a promising step towards turning that state blue. Women also have over 100 seats in the House for the first time in history.

Those are promising steps forward, but we must remember that politics is about more than any single election. It’s a fight for the soul of our country. We know that change takes patience, but we also know that “change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

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Democrats need to #OccupyTheNarrative

by UniteBlue on November 5, 2014

The Patriotic Liberal


Republicans have been successful at occupying the political narrative of the country since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. Democrats need to learn to #OccupyTheNarrative just as effectively if they want to have more electoral success. Democrats can do well in presidential elections due to demographics, but the left needs more unified messaging if we want to win more Congressional, state, and local elections — including midterms.

Put 10 elected Democratic leaders in a room and you will hear 20 different policy positions. Put 10 elected Republicans in a room and you will hear ONE ideology. Republicans know ideology and values are more important than policies when it comes to winning elections. Democrats do not.

More Americans agree with Democrats than Republicans on most policy issues, but Republicans still win many elections. One reason for this is that many Americans believe Democrats do not have the same values as them, even when they agree with their policies. Many more do not know Democrats want the same policies as they want, because Democrats are ineffective at communicating their policy positions. This is because Democrats do not connect their policy positions with their values. Democrats are not packaging their policies in an overall ideological context that voters are connecting with emotionally.

Republicans have been communicating one consistent ideology for over 30 years. Democrats have not. Republicans have been connecting emotionally with their base through this ideology and through common values. Democrats have not.

This has also allowed Republicans to define Democrats as something they are not, because the Democratic image is more emotionally vague. Republicans have the Conservative Entertainment Complex to get their message out. Hate Radio, the Misinformation Web, and Faux News are all powerful. The false talking points put out by the Right Wing through the Conservative Entertainment Complex sound “truthy” to their base because they connect with the ideology the right has been crafting for over 30 years. What they hear does not have to be true, it only has to sound true.

Republicans are much better at lying than Democrats are at telling the truth.

Democrats need to unify their messaging around a shared ideology that makes an emotional connection to their base. Democrats need to consistenly use the same talking points to reinforce this messaging. Democrats need to connect their values to their policies. Get on the same page Dems! A unified message that connects with values wins.

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Limbaugh Bullies #StopRush

by UniteBlue on September 24, 2014

Terrified after losing over 3,170 sponsors and watching his ratings drop like a rock, Rush Limbaugh is lashing out at the #StopRush movement. Rush is now paying his PR firm to harass, intimidate and smear activists disgusted by his bigotry, homophobia and misogyny.

Last night, Rush Limbaugh “exposed” #StopRush in a long, impressively inaccurate post on his website. He released the names and locations of several activists in an attempt to bully them into silence. Posting personal information on private citizens is truly disgusting, even for Rush. Luckily, most of it was completely wrong.

Rush thinks he can distract, divide and discredit his opposition — and his lies are endless.

Rush Limbaugh specifically claimed that “secret software from UniteBlue allows #StopRush to send automated Tweets without any human interaction.” That was certainly news to us. We don’t have secret software, or automate any accounts. It seems Rush decided to just make things up as he goes.. though that shouldn’t be surprising.

UniteBlue is not officially affiliated with StopRush, or any other group, but many of our members overlap and we will not stand by quietly as proud progressives are smeared. Twitter’s political power rests partly in the ability to confront the powerful without intimidation or fear of retribution.

We won’t let Rush Limbaugh bully the Left. He awakened a sleeping giant.

The #StopRush movement holds Rush Limbaugh accountable for his message of misogyny, racism and divisiveness. Their purpose is to politely contact advertisers who usually are unaware of exactly what they are supporting with their ad placement during his program.

The database of advertisers at www.stoprush.net has current advertisers and provides all known contact data. Join us tonight in asking sponsors to say no to Rush (and letting him know that no actually means no).

We’ve compiled ten quotes from Rush Limbaugh below; ask sponsors whether they want to be associated with these messages.

  • “I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.”
  • “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”
  • “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
  • “What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.”
  • “How many guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that no means yes if you know how to spot it?”
  • “When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it’s an invitation.”
  • “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
  • “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”
  • “Holocaust 90 million Indians? Only four million left? They all have casinos, what’s to complain about?”
  • “If you feed the children three square meals a day during the school year, how can you expect them to feed themselves in the summer? Wanton little waifs and serfs dependent on the State. Pure and simple.”

Rush Limbaugh fancies himself the titular head of the Republican Party.  Republicans kiss his ring and will not rebuke his wildly offensive speech. Republicans who have attempted to confront Rush have been forced to apologize, including former RNC Chair Michael Steele, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and former Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC). They won’t confront Rush. We will.

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#WinWithWestlund in Wisconsin

by UniteBlue on September 23, 2014

When Kelly Westlund announced her candidacy for US Congress in December 2013, she was called a long shot candidate going up against a two term incumbent. Now with less than two months till election day, Westlund has moved from an unlikely contender to the 2014 cycle’s ‘dark horse’ underdog. She is one of Democrat’s lone pick up opportunities for the House of Representatives.

She has a growing coalition of support, from national union organizations, to local environmental nonprofits, to Progressive action PACs. Participation is easy. We will be using #WinWithWestlund beginning at 6:00 pm central on September 23rd. But to concentrate our efforts and demonstrate the power of our collective voices, there will be one twitter storm at 6:00 pm central time.

SAMPLE TWEETS:

Please feel free to customize and use any of these sample tweets beginning on

September 23 starting at 6:00 pm central.

Hard working families need the opportunity to succeed. Let’s #Raisethewage and get Wisconsin back to work. We can #WinWithWestlund.

We deserve a government that works for us, not against us. Elect @Westlund4Wi to Congress! #WinWithWestlund

Our service­members and #veterans need our support 100% of the time. Not only when it’s politically convenient. #WinWithWestlund

Investing in our infrastructure and our schools are what’s going to get Wisconsin back to work! #WinWithWestlund

No unfair trade deals! We need #jobs to stay in Wisconsin and America. #WinWithWestlund #wiunion

We need .@Westlund4Wi in Congress b/c she knows when working people succeed our country succeeds. We can #WinWithWestlund

.@Westlund4wi is not afraid to stand up to powerful interests and stand for the middle class. #WinWithWestlund

Let’s close tax loopholes so everyone, even millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. #WinWithWestlund

Working ppl deserve good paying jobs and a living wage. A vote for @Westlund4Wi is a vote for opportunity. #WinWithWestlund

In 2014, women are paid 77 cents for every $1 dollar paid to male counterparts. Let’s close the wage gap! #WEmatter #WinWithWestlund

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