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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

 
Geek Out Live with Rush Holt

by digby

It does not have to be inevitable that the Wall Street friendly, establishment centrist Corey Booker is the next Democratic senator from New Jersey. There are real progressive alternatives, one of whom is a great congressman, teacher, civil libertarian and scientist --- Rush Holt.  Tonight his campaign is holding a major online townhall at 7:30 ET, 4:30 PT featuring a number of big names from the world of science and politics to talk about our future. (They're calling it a GEEK Out, so I know all of my readers will naturally be compelled to tune in.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1PUrjf_KiA

You can GEEK Out Live with Rush, here. I urge you to tune in.  It's an innovative concept --- an intelligent conversation with the American people. Imagine that.

Congressman Holt wrote this guest post for Blue America a couple of weeks ago:
I’m not the most famous candidate running for Senate in New Jersey. If you know me at all, you probably know me as the congressman who beat IBM’s computer, Watson in Jeopardy-- the one whose bumper stickers say “My Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist!”

But as a true progressive, you care about more than celebrity and slogans. You care about electing the senator who will fight the hardest for our shared values.

So let me tell you why, with your support, I will be that person: the truly progressive, evidence-driven voice we urgently need in the U.S. Senate.

As a teacher and a scientist, I used to help run the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and led the nuclear nonproliferation program at the U.S. State Department. This experience gives me a very different perspective from anyone now in the Senate –and gives me the conviction to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

You see, right now, the Senate has zero scientists. And as a result, the evidence in support of our progressive priorities is being ignored:

• The earth’s climate is changing, and human beings are responsible. Every single month for the last 28 years has been warmer than the historic average. If America fails to act, millions of people will die.

• America’s health care system is not the best in the world-- not even close. We’re paying 40 percent more than any other country as a share of our economy, and we’re still leaving almost 50 million people uninsured.

• America is betraying our young college students-- burdening them with an average of $27,000 in student loan debt, then abandoning them to face 13 percent unemployment in the workplace.

If we’re honest about the evidence, the way forward is clear.

We need to tax carbon so that polluters pay for the greenhouse gases they’re dumping into our atmosphere.

We need to move to a single-payer health care system, the kind that has held down costs and improved quality in nations around the world.

We need to make college more affordable by charging students the same low interest rate, 0.75%, that Wall Street banks pay to borrow money from the government.

And we desperately need a senator for the 21st century: someone who has a real understanding of the science and technology that are changing our world.

Because despite what some senators have claimed, the Internet is not a series of tubes, abortions do not cause breast cancer, and breast implants do not make women healthier. And although changing technology does present new challenges to law enforcement, it does not mean the NSA has the need or the right to monitor the phone calls, letters, and e-mails of innocent people-- treating Americans as suspects first and citizens second.

It’s long past time for the Senate to have at least one scientist, at least one voice who follows the evidence wherever it leads, no matter the political or personal risk.
When you think about it, it's kind of shocking that we don't. The closest we have are a bunch of right wing, anti-choice MDs who deny climate change and want to repeal Obamacare.

Please take the time to tune in to Holt's GEEKOut tonight. We really don't need another Big Money centrist in the Senate. That particular constituency is already very well represented. What we need is a progressive, civil libertarian, scientist to challenge the likes of throwbacks like Paul, Coburn and Barraso when they pretend to have scientific knowledge that backs up their antideluvian worldview.

If you'd like to donate to Congressman Holt's senate campaign you can do so here.

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