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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Thursday, August 21, 2003


Dean Nation's Backbone Award

posted by Trammell at Thursday, August 21, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Okay, I'm going back to posting these on Sunday night, work and local Dean stuff is just too hectic during the week to get the award up on Mondays. I'll post the nomination thread late on Thursday so folks have all day Friday to make nominations.

And Dean Nation's Backbone Award goes to....New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Now, Governor Richardson has already shown some Backbone for his "aid and comfort" to the Texas Killer D's. But last week, he came out punching. Long before the blackouts Richardson was a strong proponent of strengtheneing the power grid and a critic of the Bush Administration's energy policies and cozy fireside relationship with big oil and gas interests. But lately you can't to read an article on energy without reading a quote from Richardson, who was Clinton's Energy Secretary, and a far better one than Spencer Abraham -- and more quotable, too, it seems. This from Larry King Live:
Larry, when I was secretary of energy, I went around the country warning that this could happen. We held what we called reliability summits around the country saying, one, we and America were a superpower, but we have a third world grid that needs to be modernized, that is antiquated. We've got an overload on our transmission lines. We've got to build more transmission lines in the country because we've got more technology. We've got more computer demand. We've got more heat waves. We've got more people. And unless we take those steps, we're going to have massive blackouts. [...] There are a lot of lobbies in the utility industry that like to keep the status quo so that they can keep making profits. And as a result, our systems, our electricity grid, is overloaded with power.
He has criticized Bush for not immediately calling for reliability standards. And in his contnung quest, Richardson landed on the Op Ed page of the The New York Times, and what he wrote is illuminating:
We can and must do better. There are moves we need to make quickly to ease the crisis facing our electric transmission system. First, we must establish mandatory reliability rules. In 1998, President Bill Clinton proposed legislation that would have required utility companies to protect and promote grid reliability. Utilities now operate under voluntary guidelines developed by the reliability council, which in practice means no one has to comply. An almost identical measure is pending before a House-Senate conference committee. Congress needs to stop delaying and pass this legislation.
Yes, Governor, they do! Please call or write Governor Bill Richardson, State Capitol Room 400 Santa Fe, NM 87501 Phone: (505) 476-2200 (no e-mail) and let him know that you are a Howard Dean supporter, tell him about winning Dean Nation's Backbone Award, and ask how you can help! Contact your Congressmen, too!

Our first and probably only ever FunnyBone award to Al Franken for pissing off Bill O'Reilly enough to get sued by FOX News:
"As far as the personal attacks go, when I read 'intoxicated or deranged' and 'shrill and unstable' in their complaint, I thought for a moment I was a Fox commentator.

"And by the way, a few months ago, I trademarked the word 'funny.' So when Fox calls me 'unfunny,' they're violating my trademark. I am seriously considering a countersuit," he said.
And now, pre-orders of Franken's book are topping the charts on Amazon, mosts days at a 1 or 2 rank while pre-orders of smug O'Reilly's book linger at 1,694 level. Nice job of selling Al's book ya'll! You just can't pay for press like that...funny how that "free speech thingy" works, huh Bill? various ways to contact Franken here.

An honorable mention for Backbone to all the bloggers who supported Franken on "Fair and Balanced" day -- you know who you are!

Finally, The Fruitcake goes to Bill O'Reilly for being the biggest boob to ever whine their employer into a frivoulous lawsuit against a political enemy. Write Bill O'Reilly and tell him that you were gonna buy him some diapers, but instead, you're giving a few bucks to Howard Dean! UPDATE: See this hillarious Op Ed in The New York Times by Paul Newman regarding the FOX Franken Flap.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.