"We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that's what this election is about." -- Barack Obama, DNC keynote address, July 2004

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Tuesday, August 19, 2003


Lessig interviews Trippi

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Lengthy interview of Trippi by Lessig! Excerpts:

A guy named Matt Gross came wandering into my office one day. He told me he had just driven from Utah because he cared so much about Howard Dean. He had decided to drive to Burlington without calling first, looking for a job. He managed to maneuver past the receptionist's desk and stuck his head in long enough to scream out, "I wrote for the myDD"! I immediately said, "You're hired!" And I think about 48 hours later he had this really ugly blog up that was on Blogspot. He was going to run back to Utah and get all his belongings and come back, but I said he had a job on the condition that he got a blog up before he left. And so in 3 or 4 hours, he created what was then the "Call to Action" blog. It was cute and ugly at the same time, but I think it was the first blog of a presidential campaign.

L: What kind of pushback did you get about the idea?

T: Well, I think first on even things like, it was "why would we put an icon for on our site?" and that was from the IT department. And I'd have to explain it and it would take a week to get things like on the site.

Remember, don't confuse Matt with Matt :)


Governor Dean Condemns Proposed 'Victory Act'

posted by Editor at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the campaign...

August 19, 2003

Governor Dean Condemns Proposed 'Victory Act'
Says Ashcroft 'must not be allowed to compromise our freedoms any further'

BURLINGTON--As Attorney General John Ashcroft begins his tour this week pushing for a 'Victory Act' that would build upon the USA Patriot Act, Governor Dean released the following statement:

"After September 11, the Ashcroft Justice Department took advantage of the climate of fear and adopted a series of anti-terror tactics that go far beyond protecting our country and erode the rights of average Americans. We should be rolling these back, but instead Attorney General Ashcroft is trying to build on them with his 'Victory Act' proposal.

"He must not be allowed to compromise our freedoms any further. I call on Attorney General Ashcroft to withdraw this dangerous piece of legislation.

"The September 11 terrorists sought to disrupt the American way of life, including our constitutional freedoms. They must not succeed. As President, I will lead the war on terror in a way that protects civil rights and civil liberties as well as our safety."

Following Governor Dean's statement, a petition was placed on his website,, for Americans to sign who supported his call to stop Attorney General Ashcroft's proposal.

The petition reads, "To John Ashcroft: Stop compromising our freedoms. Stop eroding our basic civil rights. Stop trying to teach our neighbors to spy on each other, and American communities to mistrust each other. I will not stand for your using fear to threaten what it means to be America. The rule of law and due process are at the heart of the American tradition. There is no contradiction between protecting the country from terrorism and ensuring the protection of our basic civil liberties every step of the way."

More information regarding the petition, as well as the governor's statements on the USA Patriot Act, is available at

-- 30 --


Tucson Rally Pictures

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean supporter Anthony Cani provides a link to his pictures from yesterday's rally in Tucson, Arizona, which featured the endorsement from AZ Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. Check 'em out!'s New Tool

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
That's right...we've got a new letter writing tool for you. Go on over and read all about it.


Gov. Dean's Statement on the Bombing of the UN Headquarters in Iraq

posted by Editor at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the campaign...

August 19, 2003


BURLINGTON--Governor Howard Dean, M.D., issued this statement following today's bombing of the UN Headquarters in Iraq:

"Today's bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in Iraq is a terrible tragedy.

"I am saddened by this loss of life and my deepest sympathies go out to those who have been injured and to the family of the US soldier and the families of the other victims killed in the blast.

"I am also saddened to learn that the bombing killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. envoy to Iraq. Vieira de Mello's work in Rwanda, Cambodia, and the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo would have proved invaluable in the rebuilding of post-war Iraq.

"I also share the anger and outrage of Americans and people of all nations against those who would carry out such acts. They must be brought to justice.

"Today's bombing appears to be an effort to dissuade other members of the international community from assisting in the reconstruction of Iraq. We cannot allow terrorists to thwart efforts to internationalize the rebuilding process and the U.S. must redouble its efforts to recruit other countries to participate."

-- 30 --


Janeane Garofalo, how we love thee...

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Check out this transript of last night's Crossfire, which featured one of my favorite ladies, Janeane Garofalo. Not only did she make Tucker Carlson look like a blithering idiot a few times, but she also had a few kind words for our candidate:
CARLSON: Now that contributions are rolling into his presidential campaign, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is waffling on his pledge to adhere to spending limits. Just five months ago, Dean told the Associated Press that, in the name of clean campaigning, he would accept public matching funds and the spending restrictions that go along with that money. Last week, Dean couldn't seem that recall that promise, telling the AP -- quote -- "Could we change our mind? Sure." In other words, Dean supports the principle of publicly-financed campaigns, until that principle conflicts with his political ambitions, at which point it is negotiable. Keep in mind that Howard Dean is running as the only man left in the Democratic Party who has integrity. And maybe he is. Low standards. May he is.
(LAUGHTER) GAROFALO: I would say that Howard Dean is being very pragmatic, in that the Bush campaign flouts any rules whatsoever. There's no caps on his spending or how much he can bring in. And since corporate America loves George Bush, for obvious reasons, he is going to -- Howard Dean has to complete with millions and millions of dollars.
CARLSON: Wait a second, changing the goal posts here. Bush has opted out in the last campaign, says: I'm not going to -- I'm playing by different rules.
GAROFALO: Right. That's so he doesn't have to have any caps. That's so he can have unlimited fund-raising and unlimited spending.
CARLSON: That's exactly right, which is legal.
Howard Dean has said: I'm holding myself to a higher standard because I'm a much better man than George W. Bush is, a much better man than you are out there, Mr. and Mrs. America. I'm a great man.
GAROFALO: Well, he is a better man. He is a better man than George Bush.
CARLSON: And now I'm going back on it.
GAROFALO: He is a better man than George Bush.

Methinks the audience agreed with Janeane. If you wish, you may email Janeane via her agent and thank her for her thoughtful remarks on Crossfire.


From's Last Stand

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
the tide of opinion within the Democratic Party, ane the DLC in particular, is shifting, and Al From is wading against the tide:

Al From is quivering with rage. It's the end of a long day in late July at the Wyndham Philadelphia, and with a sheen of sweat coating his face, he gleams with emotion as he launches into the closing speech of the day at the DLC's annual conference. It's a grim speech, delivered in rousing, impassioned tones more vehement than any other speech that day. "We cannot allow our party to be hijacked!" thunders From, railing against the leftists who have been his bête noire since he founded the DLC in 1985. "The future of our party and more importantly the future of our country is at stake."
Chatter among presidential campaign staffers in the weeks since the DLC conference suggests that From's grip on the younger generation of his ideological compatriots is weakening. "I don't think anyone thinks of From as a leader," says one senior aide to a presidential candidate regularly praised by DLC heavyweights. "People don't like Al From," remarks a campaign operative with a different DLC-backed presidential candidate. "People like [DLC President] Bruce [Reed]." Adds an aide to a third DLC-supported candidate, "I think they've gone out of their way to pick a fight with Dean to satisfy their need to stay relevant."

Those are surprising words from people whose candidates' might be expected to benefit from From's harsh talk and the DLC's now 4-month-old "Stop Dean" campaign. But an increasing number of Democratic elected officials, consultants and campaign operatives are beginning to suggest that the DLC's campaign against Dean involves a fundamental misreading of today's political environment. In Newsweek, James Carville advised Democrats to "give [Dean] a chance" and challenged the DLC take that an anti-war candidate is unelectable. "It's not if you're against the war that matters," he said. "It's how and why you're against the war." At the DLC forum, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell cautioned against "name calling." Washington state Rep. Laura Ruderman, a John Kerry supporter, rose with dismay at the conference to decry the "rat hole" into which the DLC-Dean conflict was dragging the party. "Quite frankly, it's the kind of eating each other alive that drove Jim Jeffords out of the Republican Party," she said. Perhaps the most unexpected salvo came in early August during Al Gore's speech to the online activist group Simply speaking to the anti-Iraq War group was an affront to the DLC, and in his remarks, Gore called for Democrats to respect dissent and questioning of the war, a position From and Reed have decried as "weakness abroad."

The irony here is that From's political influence stems from his excellent work in broadening the Democratic Party's base. But his entire case against Dean is founded on the assumption that Dean is exactly unlike himself. The most cursory of analysis, however, indicates that Dean's campaign is the one that seems almost tailor-made for From's endorsement.


ARG Polling

posted by Ezra at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Below, Matt has some thoughts on the latest American Research Group poll, which has Howard Dean leading in New Hampshire. What makes this poll especially significant is that ARG is the worst polling firm for Dean, consistently clocking him in at 4-6 points below whatever every other polling firm is showing. So for us to be leading in ARG's poll is truly a monumental achievement. Pat yourself on the back folks, we're winning.


Poll Vaulting into the New Hampshire Lead

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Wow. Dean is officially in the lead by a significant margin. According to the latest ARG poll, Dean has a 28-21 lead over John Kerry with Gephardt trailing at a distant third with 10%.

Dean also has the largest favorability reading and the largest net positive reading (tied with Kerry on that latter point).

Other interesting points in the poll? The Draft Clark team needs a new media consultant. Their ads there have done nothing good, with Clark falling from 2% to 1% in a poll, his favorability rating staying the same at 16%, and his unfavorability rating quadrupling from 2% to 8%.

Joe Lieberman's attempt to become the anti-Dean appears to be backfiring, with his favorable rating falling from 49 to 33 and his unfavorable rating increasing from 18 to 37 in the last month. That means he went from a 31-point net positive to a 4-point net negative. Maybe he'll keep digging.

There really isn't much bad news for the Governor here. 32% are still undecided, but we've got time to do work with those folks, who are probably still anxious about committing so early. ARG attributes Dean's movement to his television ads. It also comes right after the letter-writing, so I'm sure we all played a part as well. Not to knock the media consultants, but we volunteers aren't going to let you get all the credit for a nine-point boost in the poll.


Why I'm Going

posted by Joe at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Yet another of your Dean Nation bloggers is heading to Burlington, this time all the way from Stockholm, Sweden. Dean Nation has been a big part of my experience with the campaign so far, so I thought I should share the story with you.

What possesses someone to drop everything and move 3,700 miles to work for free for Howard Dean? You can read about it here.

This campaign has changed a lot of lives, and mine can now be included on that list. Many thanks to all the Dean Nation contributors and readers -- together we have built something special. I'll be posting again when I get to Burlington.


how many troops?

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Kevin Drum asks a pointed question:

Howard Dean got pilloried for being about 10% off in his estimate of U.S. troop strength in Iraq. Do you think we'll see the same reaction to the guy who actually is president for not even knowing if U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan is up or down compared to a year ago?

The real problem is that the Afghanistan war is getting such little attention - I imagine that Bush knows exactly how many troops are in Iraq. The President had near universal support for the war on Afghanistan - including support of Howard Dean. But as Bush pursues his neocon-driven fantasies about reshaping the middle east, Afghanistan becomes more and more of a threat to us. The Al-Qaeda friendly Taliban have already retaken a province.


"I Do" They Don't

posted by Trammell at Tuesday, August 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
What to make of this? I'm biased, so I'm staying out, for now. Please, discuss:
Poll: Majority favors law against gay marriage, opposition to civil unions grows

WILL LESTER -- Associated Press

More than half of Americans favor a law barring gay marriage and specifying wedlock be between a man and a woman, an Associated Press poll found. The survey also found presidential candidates could face a backlash if they support gay marriage or civil unions, which provide gay couples the legal rights and benefits of marriage. [...]

About four in 10 -- 41 percent -- support allowing civil unions, roughly the same level found in an AP poll three years ago. But 53 percent now say they oppose civil unions, up from 46 percent in the earlier survey. The increase came largely from people who previously were undecided, the polls suggested.

Close to half those surveyed said they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who backs civil unions (44 percent) or gay marriage (49 percent), while only around 10 percent said they would be more likely.

"I don't think it's a great idea, the whole idea of marriage is bringing up children," said Jim Martin, a 64-year-old engineer from Alexandria, Va. "If somebody was promoting it, I would vote against them."

The issue poses a challenge for the Democratic presidential candidates in the 2004 election. The six leading candidates say they oppose gay marriage but are sharply critical of efforts to legally ban it, either with a law or by amending the Constitution.

Four of the six -- former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt, Florida Sen. Bob Graham and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry -- say they support civil unions. North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman say they favor benefits for gay partners, but say states should decide on civil unions.

President Bush has said he supports efforts to legally ban gay marriage, but encourages tolerance of gays and lesbians.

In the AP poll, about one-third of people who identified themselves as Democrats and independents said they would be less likely to support a candidate who backs civil unions. Twice as many Republicans said they feel that way. More than four in 10 Democrats support passing laws against gay marriage, according to the poll. Two-thirds of Republicans support passing such laws.

Gay rights have gotten increased attention since June, when the Supreme Court threw out a Texas law prohibiting gay sex, saying such a ban violates constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights. The decision mobilized Christian conservatives, who warned it could lead to legalization of gay marriage.

The poll found 54 percent favor a constitutional amendment that marriage only be between a man and a woman, while 42 percent oppose it.
Your turn. Request, keep the debate appropriate for all Dean Nationals, okay?

Monday, August 18, 2003


U.S. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva Endorses Howard Dean

posted by Editor at Monday, August 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the campaign...
August 18, 2003

U.S. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva Endorses Howard Dean for America
Grijalva: Dean provides 'a sense of values that will benefit all Americans'

TUCSON, AZ--U.S. Representative Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) announced today that he will endorse Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D. Speaking at a ceremony here in Presidio Park, Grijalva hailed Dean as the one candidate who can beat President Bush in 2004.

"I am pleased to announce my support for Governor Dean," said Rep. Grijalva. "I believe that Governor Dean is the only one that can unseat President Bush and take this country into a new era. He cares for the people and is genuine in his beliefs. His leadership will provide Arizona and the rest of our Nation with a sense of values that will benefit all Americans."

In announcing his endorsement, Grijalva specifically cited Dean's stance as an advocate for health care and immigration reform, his support for education and civil rights, as well as his desire to reincorporate American values into its foreign policy.

Click HERE for full press release.


Dean for America is no spam-haus

posted by annatopia at Monday, August 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Over the weekend, a spamming charge was raised against Dean for America. Since this is the third time that such a charge has been associated with DFA, I'd like to try and set the record straight. This story was culled from various sources - both internal and external - and should be considered the "nutshell" version.
In mid-August, a company called "Email Results" was contracted to send a mailing on behalf of DFA. DFA was assured by the contractor that the list was made up of people who "opted in" to receive more information about DFA. Instead, Email Results spammed one of their mailing lists "on behalf" of DFA. When complaints arose and DFA was appraised of Email Results's reputation for spamming, DFA immediately terminated the contract on August 12. ** tech details here **
Two-three days after the contract was terminated, another round of spam was sent out. DFA did not in any way direct or order the second mailing, and they are currently conducting an internal investigation to try and determine who - if anyone - at Email Results authorised it. ** tech details are here **
In looking at the evidence, it appears as though someone is attempting to harvest addresses under the guise of a DFA mailing. For the non-tech, harvesting is a common technique that spammers use to determine whether an email address is valid. If it's valid, that address is later sold to marketing companies and people who create those annoying spam-list cds you see advertised online ("We have 5 million VALID addresses!!"). There are several ways to determine validity, and some sneaky spammers embed little bots in html-formatted emails that will report whether the email was opened or not. That is what happened with this latest mailing. If you receive a mailing with the return/FROM address of "", delete it immediately. Do not open it because your address could end up on another spam list.
Dean for America has a strict no-spam policy, and had they performed a bit more due diligence on Email Results, they probably would not have contracted them. However, mistakes are going to be made (especially if you're blazing new trails) and how they are handling this matter says quite a bit about that no-spam committment. As I mentioned a moment ago, the contracts with the email outsource agencies were terminated as soon as DFA learned of the spamming. DFA has learned the hard lesson that campaign email is best handled internally, where DFA people can exert control over both the mailings and the list data. I've also been assured that DFA has no plans to outsource any email in the future, and that they'll be handling all the mailings themselves. As it stands, the only legitimate way to receive email from DFA is to opt-in via DFA's website. If you receive email from an outside source, it is not authorised by DFA and should be treated as spam.
In addition, if you believe you have been spammed by a contractor, you may email If you have any questions or comments regarding this incident, feel free to leave a comment. Also, the two sites I've linked above have copies of the spam posted, and that might help you identify whether you've been spammed via ER's lists.


if the hat fits...

posted by Trammell at Monday, August 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean blasts Bush performance in Tucson appearance

ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN - The Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. — Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean removed his necktie in the summer heat and offered a blistering attack on President Bush at a rally here Monday.

Dean, a former Vermont governor, told an estimated 500 supporters that Bush's economic and foreign policies have been failures sufficient to earn him a bus ride back to Crawford, Texas.

He said Bush talks tough on defense, but has fallen short in carry-through, failing to buy the enriched uranium left over from the former Soviet Union's weapons program, or to fund inspection of 90 percent of cargo containers entering this country every day.

"You know what I say about this president's position on defense? Just like they say in Texas, 'He's all hat and no cattle"' said Dean in his second Tucson appearance this summer.


Open Thread

posted by Trammell at Monday, August 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Happy Monday, have at it you Dean Nationals you.


you know you're doing something right when....

posted by Trammell at Monday, August 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Bush Makes Re-Election Effort on Internet

By SHARON THEIMER -- Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP)--President Bush's re-election effort plans to complement his campaigning with a new online push, launching a new Web site to take advantage of increasingly e-savvy political donors and activists. [...]

This year, Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean stunned his rivals by raising more than $800,000 over his Web site in one day in June. Nearly half of the $10.5 million the former Vermont governor raised from January through June came in over the Internet.

Dean has also used the Internet to help his supporters plan get-togethers around the country and organize their activities, a strategy some of the other eight Democratic hopefuls are now using as well.

Mehlman said the Bush site will include several ``cutting-edge'' features. Among them, it will have a constant campaign newsfeed and list Bush fund-raising volunteers and donors.

NOTE: Hmmm. Anything sound familiar? Sincere fllattery, eh?


Game of Bridge Over Troubled Waters?

posted by Trammell at Monday, August 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
MSNBC plays The Dean Card today:

Get yourself some at, but don't forget to make a donation to the campaign as well. Proceeds from the cards are not for campaign fundraising purposes, and the cards themselves are not in any way affiliated with Dean for America or us here at Dean Nation -- but we gotta say they are just SUPER! Silly, yeah, but fun!

Sunday, August 17, 2003


...or maybe a soothing jacuzzi, or a...

posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From a great article on the campaign in Iowa by Bob Von Sternberg of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
The candidates run into each other so often, it verges on the comical. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was leaving a ballroom as Gephardt was entering it Wednesday afternoon. "Maybe we should start sharing a plane," Dean said.

"Or we could share hotel suites," Gephardt suggested.

"Great, our own reality TV show," said Gephardt's wife, Jane.
Or, maybe The Ticket? But quick NewFlash to Jane, this IS reality. So, let's have a little fun! What do all of you Dean Nationals think the candidates should share, and which ones should do the sharing?


The View from Vermont...

posted by Christopher at Sunday, August 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here's a great special to the Washington Post by Vermont journalist Darren Allen. Vermont can be a quirky place, and this perspective piece is a good primer on understanding why Dean and his record so confound those 'flatlander' reporters who come up here looking for the 'real' Howard Dean. There's also some info on how Dean got to where he is and his predecessor, Republican Richard Snelling.

An excerpt:

"I can't claim to be an insider yet -- my grandchildren, if they're born here, probably won't be able to shed the "flatlander" label -- but I have watched with some amusement as members of the national media have come scouring the Green Mountains in search of the "real" Howard Dean. I think many have left with a distorted picture of the state and its politics.

As most close observers of Vermont politics note, Dean the Democrat continued to pursue much of the agenda established by Snelling the Republican. Dean worked at balancing a deficit-plagued budget, resisting urgings from the left to abandon Snelling's tightfisted ways. As he told Vermont Public Radio in an interview two years ago, "I think there was an expectation among some of those on the farther liberal ends of my own party that I was going to come in and now things were going to be different, and the facts were that we had a big serious financial crisis and somebody had to deal with it and that somebody happened to be me by chance." "


Now We're Talkin' Honor and Dignity!

posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Via the O-blog, this from Robert J. McCarthy of The Buffalo News regarding Dean's recent appearance in front of the Young Democrats:
If Howard Dean really is the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, he showed the Young Democrats of America national convention, held in Buffalo on Saturday, what all the fuss is about....

"I will never hesitate to send American troops to any corner of the globe as commander in chief to defend our country and to defend our freedoms," he said. "But I will never send our brothers and our sisters, our sons and our daughters, to die in a foreign country without telling the truth."

He said that America's image throughout the world was badly damaged by the war and occupation of Iraq, and that countries that had always wanted to imitate America no longer do.

"This president has destroyed that," he said. "You'd be hard-pressed to find people who want to be like America anymore. If you elect me president of the United States, I will restore the honor and dignity of America in the world."
Wowsa! Umm, am I wrong, or is that the first time he's used that exact quote? I couldn't find it on Google other than in this one article. Echoing Bush's promise to "restore honor and dignity to the White House" -- which of course, was only true if we're talking about marital fidelity nothing more -- Dean has considerably raised the bar. He's defining his candidacy more and more as against Bush and mostly ignoring the other Dems. He also is quite cleverly and effectively using Bush's quote against him while reminding Americans that 1). Bush broke that promise, and 2). Bush actually made things worse for us around the globe. It implies that folks don't dislike America or Americans so much as that they detest Bush, and that the best way to restore our standing in the world community is to boot his butt out of office. And of course, put Dean in. There has been surprisingly little coverage of the quote, but not to worry, I'm sure we'll be hearing it quite often from now on.

Though Sen. Hillary Clinton appeared before the group, the others either took a pass or sent a video. This report from Marc Humbert of the Associated Press, also with surprisingly few pickups so far...
"Borrow and spend, borrow and spend," Dean told about 700 enthusiastic young party members. "He would like to run the United States the way Argentina was run." [...]

The former Vermont governor was the only one of the nine active candidates who appeared in person at the biennial convention of the 43,000-member Young Democrats of America being held in Buffalo. Asked about that after his speech, Dean said: "I think they missed a great opportunity. This group of people are the people who are putting us over the top." He told the crowd that it was his third, straight YDA convention.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich aired videotaped message to the convention on Saturday, as Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina had done earlier in the week. Kerry's well-received video, using an often shaky, hand-held camera and quick-cut editing, showed him sailboarding, playing hockey, riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and talking to lots and lots of young people. If the message was lost on any of the young Democrats, Kerry, 59, told them: "Hopefully this gives a feel for the young people driving my campaign every day ... Without young people I couldn't have a campaign."

At a news conference after his speech, Dean said, among other things:

* That "the straw that broke the camel's back" when it came to his concerns over radio and television monopolies was when one radio group refused to air Dixie Chicks records after one of them complained about President Bush taking the country to war in Iraq. Dean is also opposed to the war. [...]

* That while some of his aides are "chomping at the bit" for him to give up public campaign financing given his fund-raising success, "I would prefer to take matching funds." Dean said there would be "no serious discussion about that certainly until after Sept. 30 and maybe not until after Dec. 30." Those are the next two financial filing deadlines for candidates.

Dean aides provided all those attending the convention with pledge cards they could sign, promising to get at least 10 young people each to register to vote. And, Dean was promoting his own special Web site for young voters:
So, we have a brand new catchphrase that doubles as a Bush attack line, a significant example of Dean's dedication to the next generation of Americans, and not one of the other candidates bothered to show up, instead sending "X-game" videos or "personal messages” or whatever. Further, Dean clarified his refusal to "unilaterally disarm" on federal matching funds from a few days back. Sounds like quite a convention with lots of hard news. Maybe Monday will bring more coverage? Onward and upward with honor and dignity!



posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This story relates little that Dean Nationals haven't heard Dean say before, but the thing that srtruck me was the headline:
Bush challenger Dean makes his case to local Democrats

Taking aim at President Bush, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean yesterday declared himself a centrist who cares about traditional Democratic values.

"We need to stand up to the president and be proud of being Democrats," he told a gathering of about 200 at a fund-raiser in Cleveland Heights yesterday. "The way to beat George Bush is not to be like him, it's to give the 50 percent of Americans the reason to vote again," he said to the group braving a light rain as they stood in the back yard of lawyers Joel and Mary Jane Levin.
Let's hope these sorts of headlines continue. A few months ago he was a Democratic Contender or he was a Dark Horse but now Dean is a Bush Challenger! Guess we're doing something right. Anyone for Dragon Slayer?


that's what i've been saying...

posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Both here and at Points West I've been making the Rove and the CA recall case, as below:

[The recall] is not just about the future of the state, but the future of the nation. The Dems chances of taking back the White House diminish if the recall of Governor Gray Davis is successful and he is replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. He will campaign relentlessly for George Bush, and force the Dem nominee -- hopefully, Dean -- to spend resources in the state that could otherwise be used in key battlgorund states. If you think he can't win, think again....If George Bush, with Arnold's help, eeks out a victory in California, Diane [Fenstein's] place in history will be toast...Some pundits think it's better for Bush to have an unpopular Davis remain in office to kick around. This scenario would require Schwarzenegger to become as unpopular as Davis to be good for Dems, which seems unlikely to me, so I must respectfully disagree.

Check out the comments from that thread, and you'll see that many believed I was loony to think that Bush could be competitive in California. So, here's the analysis from Thursday's Washington Post -- reading it was spookily familiar:

President Bush arrives in California today with his political fortunes increasingly tied to the powerful but unpredictable figure of Arnold Schwarzenegger. [...]

For better or worse, however, a number of Bush aides, Republican strategists and pollsters believe the Terminator's fortunes in the recall, if only because of his dominating presence in the race, will affect the president's reelection prospects next year in the nation's most populous state -- and possibly beyond.

One prominent adviser to Bush said the excitement behind the muscle man's candidacy means "California's not lost forever." On the other hand, said GOP strategist Scott Reed, "If Arnold flames out after this historic buildup, it'll look like Republicans can't get their act together. "Like it or not, the Bush White House is a little pregnant on the Arnold candidacy," Reed said.

In the best scenario for Bush, Davis is ousted, Schwarzenegger triumphs with a united Republican vote and California's bleak fiscal situation begins to improve. With the governorship in popular Republican hands, the state's 54 electoral votes, once a lost cause for the GOP, could come within Bush's grasp in 2004.

Alternatively, if Schwarzenegger's candidacy implodes, it could leave the Republicans without an obvious candidate to face reinvigorated Democrats. And Schwarzenegger's candidacy could turn the vote into a referendum on racial politics because he supported an immigration crackdown in 1994 that continues to infuriate Hispanics. Such a backlash could hurt Bush beyond California in 2004.

Bush's aides and advisers are caught between the potential risks and rewards. Though rumors swirl about involvement in the Schwarzenegger campaign by Karl Rove, Bush's top strategist, the White House is officially mum. "I haven't asked anybody to get engaged, and I'm not aware of anybody that has been engaged," Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. said yesterday.

The White House finds itself in the awkward position of playing spectator in a race that could alter Bush's political future. Though Rove cares so much about California that an associate calls the state "Karl's Ahab," the recall was driven by people at odds with the administration, such as Shawn Steel, who was pushed out by Bush allies as state Republican Party chairman. "It changes the fortune for the presidential campaign dramatically if we win," Steel said.

A Bush adviser acknowledged that "the recall was not something that we wanted to happen because it potentially gives the Democrats a chance to say what's happening in California is all about the recall process and not about the governor and his Democratic leaders." The adviser said Bush's 2004 prospects would be hurt if Davis, or Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D), prevails and performs well in office, or if a Republican wins and does poorly.

"There is fear that, beloved this year, the [new Republican] governor could be unpopular next year," a Bush campaign official said. "Maybe it's better to keep Gray Davis as a punching bag." [...]

The recall effort has already produced benefits for Bush. It has frozen the Democratic nominating contest in a desirable spot for him -- with no obvious challenger. The attention to California is also depriving the Democratic candidates of attention and is expected to cramp their fundraising.

Also, George "Duf" Sundheim, who became chairman of the state GOP earlier this year, said the recall has already boosted Republican voter registration, a potential benefit to Bush next year. "Whatever excitement there is will wear off, but the impact on registration will be lasting," he said.

Even if a Republican governor does not deliver California to Bush next year, Republicans believe it would make Democrats spend more time and effort to win the state. "We can distract the opposition long enough to make them vulnerable elsewhere on the national political landscape," said Dan Schnur, a California GOP operative.
And hey, said a bit differently, you heard it here first. I consider myself vindicated. But read the rest of the article, there are plenty of rays of Sunshine throughout and at the end. Let's all pray that Arnold implodes, he's down in recent polls and the press is turning on him in a big way. (Cross-posted in slightly different form at Points West)

UPDATE: Not sure how I missed it, but Billmon's anlaysis over at Whiskey Bar is quite exceptional. And, he's one the most entertaining and high-quality writers on the Web.

Saturday, August 16, 2003


"This thing rocks"

posted by annatopia at Saturday, August 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Last week's Philly Weekly story prompted a flood of letters to the publication, and they've finally been posted. Other than a very disgruntled Clark supporter, the letters were positive and reflected many of the reasons why we support Howard Dean for President. Several Dean Nationals got letters published, and we were also able to work in a plug for the DDF. Here are some excerpts. Click on the link above to read them all.
Valania's Q&A with Dean was more enlightening, showing Dean to be a candidate who indeed has a "pair," as well as his own mind. I especially appreciated Dean's observations on President Bush's narrow vision of what America is or should be. -- STEVE JOHNSON, Hammonton, N.J.
I tuned into Rush Limbaugh (the Big Fat Idiot) for a few minutes today, and he's ready to give himself a heart attack over Dean. That's definitely a good thing. -- JOE WEHR, Lafeyette Hill, Pa.
I have decided to support Dr. Dean in the primary, and even though I don't consider him the perfect progressive candidate (alas, he does not support a Canadian-style National Health Plan), he comes pretty damn close. -- NAN GILBERT, Lansdowne, Pa.
I agree that by next November Gov. Dean will "be beaten and bloodied" and will be full of arrows. But those arrows won't be in his back. He may wound himself occasionally with an off-the-cuff remark, but he won't turn and run from Bush/Rove's attacks. -- DICK STATER, Lisbon, Iowa
Only Howard has the energy, the courage and the credentials to take on Bush Inc. and win. Why? Because hundreds of thousands of Americans like myself are mobilizing and acting in ways that will truly stun Karl Rove, along with the rest of the country, in short order. -- ANDRE DE SAINT PHALLE, Johnson, Vt.
Our feeling is that it has been so long since a leader has come through--someone who wants the presidency and can do the job. Most folks don't recognize a real candidate. Dean is the real deal. Go, Howard, go! -- JAY ROSEN AND FAMILY, Clackamas, Ore.
Howard Dean knows that you don't beat Bush by kissing up to him. No. You smack him, hard, harder and hardest. You don't stop, ever. -- TAMARA BAKER, St. Paul, Minn.
If it wasn't for Dr. Dean, I think I would be in a deep depression. No, correct that. I would be in a deep depression. With Howard Dean there is hope once again for this country. -- JUDY SUPLEE, Tallahassee, Fla.
There is a general misperception that Dean's surge in the race for the nomination is purely a result of his effective use of the Internet. Dean has caught fire because he struck a nerve in the electorate with his smart, gritty style that gives a sense of empowerment to independents and the Democratic base, not just because he has an army of young computer sharpies on his team. This thing rocks. -- PETER JUNG, Hudson, N.Y.


in defense of Gore

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, August 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Back in July, John Kerry advised the Democratic base to "stop crying in your teacups" about the 2000 election. Fair enough. But the statement does indicate a disconnect between Kerry and the genuine emotion of the democratic base about Al Gore. It's not surprising therefore to learn that Kerry has also bought into the GOP-seeded false conventional wisdom that Gore claimed to have invented the internet:

"The Dean campaign is saying you're kind of stealing their thunder on this on-line petition," Dave Price, a reporter for Des Moines-based WHO-TV 13, to which Kerry responded with a smirk: "Well, the last person I heard who claimed he had invented the Internet didn't do so well."

The response earned restrained yucks from the gaggle of reporters. But Dean's staff hadn't said they invented on-line petition drives, and Kerry didn't refute that Dean's started at the same time.

As an attack on Dean, it's a clumsy one. The well-known Urban Legends page debunks this false claim:

Gore did not claim he "invented" the Internet, nor did he say anything that could reasonably be interpreted that way. The derisive "Al Gore said he 'invented' the Internet" put-downs are misleading distortions of something he said (taken out of context) during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Late Edition" program on 9 March 1999. When asked to describe what distinguished him from his challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Gore replied (in part):

During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

Clearly, although Gore's phrasing was clumsy (and self-serving), he was not claiming that he "invented" the Internet (in the sense of having designed or implemented it), but that he was responsible for helping to create the environment (in an economic and legislative sense) that fostered the development of the Internet.

Note that Vint Cerf, the actual technological father of the Internet (co-designer of the TCP/IP protocol), also credits Gore with political fatherhood:

VP Gore was the first or surely among the first of the members of Congress to become a strong supporter of advanced networking while he served as Senator. As far back as 1986, he was holding hearings on this subject (supercomputing, fiber networks...) and asking about their promise and what could be done to realize them. Bob Kahn, with whom I worked to develop the Internet design in 1973, participated in several hearings held by then-Senator Gore and I recall that Bob introduced the term ``information infrastructure'' in one hearing in 1986. It was clear that as a Senator and now as Vice President, Gore has made it a point to be as well-informed as possible on technology and issues that surround it.
While it is not accurate to say that VP Gore invented Internet, he has played a powerful role in policy terms that has supported its continued growth and application, for which we should be thankful.

And Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web (which runs on the Internet) also credits Gore with a leadership role:

In response to a question, Berners-Lee said, all jokes aside, Al Gore did play a role in the Internet. "In the early days of the Web, Al Gore had a vision of the information superstructure," he said.

"You have to give credit to Clinton and Gore for pushing that the Internet should move from an academic system to a commercial system connecting industry," he added.

The real lesson is that Gore was held to a false standard of truth, whereas Bush was given a free pass. By recycling the "invented the internet" talking point, Kerry has demonstrated an indifference to that reality. It's important that his campaign fulfill its responsibility as a Democratic campaign and retract any suggestion that the media spin on Gore and the internet was correct. What he has done is entrench the lie into the conventional wisdom - and that CW will come back to haunt the Democratic nominee, regardless of whether it's Kerry or Dean.

Polite emails to the Kerry campaign may persuade them to exonerate Gore's record.


Bush's Three Weaknesses,1,2253902.story?coll=la-headlines-sunop-manual

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, August 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Just to revisit the LA Timea article from last Sunday about Dean being the "anti-Bush" - Lambert at Eschaton has identified three major (and entrenched) political weaknesses of Bush that Dean is uniquely positioned to capitalize on:

[1] Dean is correct about the administration's 9/11 and war-related vulnerabilities. After four decades of Bush ties to the Persian Gulf, the family is so interlocked with the local royal families, banks and big-money crowd that duplicity and conflicts of interest abound. The result is White House secrecy and deceit. ... The younger Bush, in turn, may find that by 2004, the 2003 advance on Baghdad has been superseded by two emerging scandals — the cover-up of Saudi participation in 9/11 and the false representations made about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

[2] The Bush tax cuts of 2001-03, flagrant in their tilt toward investors and the top 1% of income earners, echo, albeit far more dangerously and at far greater cost, the elder Bush's insistence on cutting capital gains taxes for investors. The result of this favoritism, in 1991-92 and again today, is a jobless recovery. Investors get some gains, but ordinary folk lose their jobs. ... And this isn't lefty stuff; it's capital-C "Centrism" that would cut like a scythe from Long Island to La Mirada.

[3] The younger Bush's vulnerability for pandering to the religious right is a lot different — bigger, but tougher to nail — than his father's. ... What the younger Bush has done instead is to give the religious right so much patronage and critical policy influence — to say nothing of coded biblical references in key speeches — as to have built them into the system.

The degree is little less than stunning. In late 2001, religious right leaders sampled by the press said Bush had replaced Robertson as the leader of the religious right, becoming the first president to hold both positions simultaneously.

But in the meantime, the chance for Dean to educate a lie-weary electorate and doctor its spirit with candor is clearly at hand. And he can do worse than heed the 1968 achievement of another man from a small Northern state who is still remembered for crystallizing national disenchantment with the first Texas president to fib America into a bungled war.

Friday, August 15, 2003


audio: Dean harmonica

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
courtesy of the Des Moines Register!

 Dean blues harmonica riff (MP3)

He's the man with the positive plan - it's Dean... for America! (please right-click and save locally first)


Maple-Powered Howard!

posted by Trammell at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This credit is long overdue...

Remember way back in May when Aziz asked everyone at Dean Nation to help create some Ben & Jerry's flavors for Howard Dean? Well, the one that was used, Maple-Powered Howard, was suggested by Dean National Joan Bellis! The press described it this way:

Last week, Dean's campaign touted a new ice cream sundae that Ben & Jerry's planned to sell in their Vermont stores in honor of Dean. "Maple Powered Howard" is a combination of vanilla ice cream, maple-flavored whipped cream, maple syrup and walnuts.

But let's not stop there, as it wasn't long at all before Maple-Powered Howard morphed into People-Powered Howard. (Sorry, don't know who came up with that one -- maybe Trippi?) The, rest of course, is history, and it all started right here at Dean Nation. Thanks, Joan!


Dean refuses to unilaterally disarm,1,7600188.story?coll=chi-news-hed

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Back in march, the campaign made a fairly strong commitment to public financing. This means that the campaign would accept a spending cap in return for federal matching funds. Candidates who accept matching funds are eligible to receive up to $18.7 million, with an imposed total spending cap of $44 million through the primary season. The money comes from the voluntary $2 check box on your tax return.

Bush of course has rejected the federal funds - he is estimated to raise about $200 million. Kerry has also indicated he may reject the spending cap, to keep his option to tap into wife Theresa Heinz's ketchup fortune. Now, comes word that Dean is reconsidering his comitment to federal matching funds (and the associated spending cap), in the wake of his opponents'' resources and his own fund raising prowess:

On Friday, however, Dean cited Bush's plans to raise $200 million -- five times the spending limit -- as a reason for keeping his options open.

"I think public financing is a good thing. The question is what do you do with an opponent who can murder you from March to December?" Dean said.

Democrats worry that their nominee will emerge from the primaries broke, restricted by public financing caps, while Bush holds a huge financial advantage until he accepts public financing after the GOP convention in September 2004.

I think this is a smart move. It makes absolutely no sense to impose limits on yourself - back in March the very idea that we could raise $500,000 in one weekend was frankly ludicrous. Why constrain your options and thus deprive yourself of resources that you will need to face a far larger opponent? Note that the DNC has started the ePatriots program for precisely this reason - whoever the nominee will be, they will need cash to fight Bush. Desperately.

However the idea that Dean's campaign will even reach the spending cap is probably over-optimistic:

Dean reported raising about $10.5 million in the first two quarters. Assuming he matches his second-quarter total and posts another $7.6 million by Sept. 30, he would have collected $18 million heading into the last three months of the year, Dean said, calling that "a long way between here and $44 million."

A looooong way indeed. Then again - this is People Powered Howard. Who knows what we can achieve? We still are barely tapping into the vast potential of the netroots. And we won't beat Bush by being frugal.


Michigan for Dean: a call to action!

posted by annatopia at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
You folks are lucky; I read Free Republic so you don't have to. Michigan for Dean, beware. The Freepers are coming after our candidate:
Michigan Rally Targets Howard Dean This Saturday! Democrat presidential hopeful Howard Dean will appear at a fundraiser in Ypsilanti this Saturday, August 16, from 11:30-12 noon. Unfortunately, Mr. Dean wants to raise taxes by repealing President Bush's tax cut. Michigan Citizens for a Sound Economy is organizing a protest to "welcome" Mr. Dean, who is a leading candidate for the Democrat Presidential nomination. Our Michigan team is going to show up shortly after 11:00 AM, as we want to be in place by 11:15. Location: 1305 Grant, Ypsilanti, (a few doors down from West Middle School.) CSE will provide t-shirts and posters with slogans demanding that Dean cut taxes, not increase them. Please visit for some additional background material.

This is also being sponsored by CSE, an organisation run by yet another Texas-based nutbag, Dick Armey. Michigan for Dean, are you reading?


Great photos from Philly

posted by annatopia at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Check out this AWESOME gallery of photos from the Philly rally, submitted by reader Tee Adams. Big time kudos to Tee and the rest of the Philly 4 Dean crew. As a side note, that crowd looks pretty fair & balanced to me! ;)


Bush lied, circuits fried

posted by G at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Cross-posted from my site, in slightly different form: Suddenly, it all gets very interesting. America's best journalist is Greg Palast. he knows a lot about electricity deregulation; before he became a journalist, he was an investigator specializing in corporate racketeers. On the blackout, he writes,
Is tonight's black-out a surprise? Heck, no, not to us in the field who've watched Bush's buddies flick the switches across the globe. In Brazil, Houston Industries seized ownership of Rio de Janeiro's electric company. The Texans (aided by their French partners) fired workers, raised prices, cut maintenance expenditures and, CLICK! the juice went out so often the locals now call it, "Rio Dark."

So too the free-market cowboys of Niagara Mohawk raised prices, slashed staff, cut maintenance and CLICK! -- New York joins Brazil in the Dark Ages.

Californians have found the solution to the deregulation disaster: re-call the only governor in the nation with the cojones to stand up to the electricity price fixers. And unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gov. Gray Davis stood alone against the bad guys without using a body double. Davis called Reliant Corp of Houston a pack of "pirates" --and now he'll walk the plank for daring to stand up to the Texas marauders.

So where's the President? Just before he landed on the deck of the Abe Lincoln, the White House was so concerned about our brave troops facing the foe that they used the cover of war for a new push in Congress for yet more electricity deregulation. This has a certain logic: there's no sense defeating Iraq if a hostile regime remains in California.
The Washington Post also has some preliminary notes on how many people saw the blackouts coming as a consequence of deregulation. Meanwhile, Arianna Huffington raises questions about a May 2001 "secret meeting" between Ken Lay and "prominent Republicans, among them Mike Milken and Arnold Schwarzenegger."

I think Karl Rove realizes that the blackouts will be political poison for Bush if voters mentally connect them to energy deregulation and Enron. From Reuters, "President Bush on Friday called the worst blackout in North American history a 'wake-up call' and said the electric grid must be modernized."

Which is to say that all along the President has been asleep. Just like Sept. 11 was his "wake-up call" about al-Qaeda.

I think Dean needs to get out on front and attack Bush on this right now and help voters draw those connections. The other Dem candidates will jump on the bandwagon of criticism once it gets going. If Dean attacks now, he'll be seen as the leader of the charge against Bush on this count. Trippi, get that press release ready!

update from Anna: I'd just like to reinforce Gabriel's "Bush has been asleep" idea. I don't know if any of you witnessed Shrub's pathetic news conference last night, but I was pretty sure he was full of it. Today, the always informative Buzzflash busts him out:
CLAIM: "We'll have time to look at it and determine whether or not our grid needs to be modernized. I happen to think it does, and have said so all along." - George Bush, 8/14/03
FACT: In June of 2001, Bush opposed and the congressional GOP voted down legislation to provide $350 million worth of loans to modernize the nation's power grid because of known weaknesses in reliability and capacity. Supporters of the amendment pointed to studies by the Energy Department showing that the grid was in desperate need of upgrades as proof that their legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) should pass. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration lobbied against it and the Republicans voted it down three separate times: First, on a straight party line in the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, then on a straight party line the U.S. House Rules Committee, and finally on a party line on the floor of the full House [Roll Call Vote #169, 6/20/01].

UPDATE (Aziz): I changed the title. Hope there aren't any objections?


Dean Nation's Backbone Award: Nominations Open,1,7373653.story

posted by Trammell at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From yesterday's LA Times opinion page:
Fox will richly deserve the bad press it's going to get for filing this lawsuit [against Al Franken], first, for being on the wrong side of a free speech controversy and, second, for attempting to squelch criticism of its coverage of the news. It is egregious for a news organization to try to use the courts to harass its political critics.
So, Franken for the Backbone and FAUX for the Fruitcake? I'm certain there are others quite worthy of both -- what do all of you "activist elite" Dean Nationals think?


Dean Condemns Bush Administration Decision To Cut Soldiers' Pay

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean is on message:

DES MOINES, IA--Dean attacked President Bush's misplaced priorities today and the continued disconnect between the Bush Administration's rhetoric and reality.

"I am becoming more and more concerned by the poor choices this Administration is making. As the President meets today with Marines at Miramar Air Station in San Diego, I encourage him to explain why his Administration will discontinue current levels of funding for imminent danger pay and family separation allowances to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let‚s be clear. Virtually every priority faced by our nation is placed behind this President‚s obsession with tax cuts for those who need them least. As a result, we are now facing a ludicrous situation in which Vice President Cheney will reap a $116,000 per year tax windfall, and yet our soldiers--on extended deployments and tragically dying every day--are facing pay cuts of $225 a month. This Administration's priorities are simply out of sync with the American people's."


history: the Green Mountain Boys

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
When you hear the words "Ethan Allen" - it's tragically likely that the first thought that comes to mind is a furniture store. But just like Samuel Adams and Johnny Walker, there was a real historical figure being exploited for present-day commercialism. Ethan Allen was the leader of a militia, the Green Mountain Boys, around the time of the Revolutionary War. Formed to combat the land-grab by the Royal-appointed governors of New Hampshire and New York, the Green Mountain Boys became a legendary unit, which (alongside a unit commanded by Benedict Arnold) took Fort Ticonderoga in a bloodless victory. The victory at Ticonderoga supplied the cannon that helped Washington reclaim Boston, and sowed the seeds of the defeat of General Cornwallis.

The Green Mountain Boys - in the Green Mountain state (in french, Vert Mont) - exemplified the frontier spirit of American freedom. Ethan Allen played an integral role in Vermont's early history (including drafting its constitution, which predates the federal Constitution and is still in effect today).

An excellent and much more detailed biography of Ethan Allen is found on at the Ethan Allen Institute (a libertarian free-market think tank) website. Virtual also has more history about Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys.

Today, I see echoes of our Revolutionary history in Howard Dean's drive towards the white house. There's a similar struggle to assert the rights of the common man against the powerful forces of the elite. We even have a foe named George. I think that it is important to remember our history and to invoke it in the context of our modern struggles. I dearly hope to see Howard Dean invoke Ethan Allen on the campaign trail.

"They hewed this state out of the wilderness, they held it against a foreign foe,they laid deep and stable the foundation of our state life, because they sought not the life of ease, but the life of effort for a worthy end." -- President Theodore Roosevelt, 1902

any errors in history as related above are my sole responsibility and I welcome corrections in the comments.


A Fair and Balanced Day

posted by annatopia at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
On the lighter side, we're showing some solidarity today by supporting Neal Pollack's Fair and Balanced blogburst. This was inspired by FAUX's decision to sue fair & balanced satirist Al Franken over the title to his upcoming Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. So there's your explanation for our new fair & balanced title bar. Stay tuned for more fair & balanced Howard Dean coverage as the day progresses.


WP on Dean's Music Stint

posted by G at Friday, August 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Wow, you can't buy press like this! It starts off:
Howard Dean, the man suspected of being too liberal, too untested, too dovish or too cranky to be elected president, quoted another obstacle to his campaign tonight: the specter of public humiliation.

The former Vermont governor is approaching a musty blues club, where he has threatened to play a set of blues tunes on guitar and harmonica. And about 150 people are waiting inside, threatening to watch him.

Dean has taken lessons in neither harmonica nor guitar. He taught himself to play both instruments years ago, and has played in public only once before (at a folly put on by Vermont legislators).

He has had no time to practice for this gig. He just met the man he'll be playing with, blues musician and Iowa native Mike "Hawkeye" Herman, about an hour before. They jammed for a few minutes back at campaign headquarters (Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" and the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun"). Now Dean is shaking his head as he walks into Blues on Grand, a low-ceilinged and dark room just west of downtown.

"This is a very frightening thing," Dean says. "This could be worse than that debate in South Carolina."
Click on the link to find out how it went.

Thursday, August 14, 2003


Pre-Order Dean's Memoir

posted by G at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It is coming out in November and will be $10.40 from Amazon. According to Publisher's Weekly, it will be titled Winning Back America. Hmm ... any suggestions on titles for Bush's memoir?


Dean Photo Slide Show

posted by G at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Check out this great set of Dean photos! The first few are of him playing guitar at a blues club in Des Moines.


Another song... People Powered Howard

posted by Karl at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Marcus Ehrlander IM'd me with a link today.

He's written and recorded a Dean song titled "People Powered Howard"

:: Read the Lyrics
:: Download the MP3

I'm guessing someday soon, someone will actually put all this music on a cd.


Dean opposes California recall; Dems united against recall

posted by annatopia at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Just a quick blurb via google news...
"It sounds to me like an attempt by the Republicans to reverse the results of an election, which they have a habit of doing," former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said. He said he didn't know enough about California politics to support an alternative to Davis.

That sounds pretty fair to me. For those of us who don't live in California, it's difficult to fully comprehend the situation. Most of us don't know the history (other than the short-term stuff like the energy crisis and the fact that Cali's budget is as screwed up as every other state), but we do know a power grab when we see it.
The Democratic contenders are united in opposing the recall. Kerry, Edwards, Mosely-Braun, Kucinich, and Sharpton (no word from Gephardt or Graham that I could find) all oppose the recall and have decided not to back an alternative candidate.
Only Lieberman has come out in support of an alternative, who coincidentally is Lieberman's top backer in California. You know what I'm talking about. It's the same kind of coincidence that led DLC chair and paid Lieberman consultant Al From to issue a few memos attacking Dean. Joe, please don't make me take the gloves off. You won't like me with the gloves off...


DN's Backbone Award: Al Gore

posted by Trammell at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
My apologies for posting Dean Nation's Backbone Award so late this week, but I was without computer access for a few days -- crazy-making, I tell ya! By an overwhelming majority, and with the greatest number of comments for any Backbone Award to date, this weeks clear winner is: Former Vice President Al Gore. Last week, Gore gave an important policy address at NYU to over 500 members of
"Americans have always believed that we the people have a right to know the truth and that the truth will set us free. The very idea of self-government depends upon honest and open debate as the preferred method for pursuing the truth -- and a shared respect for the Rule of Reason as the best way to establish the truth."

"The Bush Administration routinely shows disrespect for that whole basic process, and I think it's partly because they feel as if they already know the truth and aren't very curious to learn about any facts that might contradict it. They and the members of groups that belong to their ideological coalition are true believers in each other's agendas."
And Fmr. Governor Howard Dean had this to say:
"Today, Al Gore clearly stood up to this Administration and its falsely portrayed intentions. He should be applauded for that by all who seek a return to truth, integrity, and compassion in our government."
So there you have it, from one Backbone to Another: Al Gore, you earned it, and you deserve it -- especially while refuting the positions of your former running mate, Sen. Lieberman, and speaking truth to power! I was unable to locate a public e-mail address for Al Gore, but you can write or call him at his office: 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN, 37203 (615) 327-2227. As always, let him know you are a Dean supporter, tell him about the award, and give him a big thank you from Dean Nation for standing up to Bush's reckless foreign policy!

UPDATE: Anna writes in the comments: "Gee, have you noticed we haven't heard anything out of the DLC since Gore's speech?" I also just spoke with a very nice women named Holly in Gore's office, and she says that they have had a a huge number of calls since Gore's speech thanking him -- and asking him to endorse Howard Dean! So fire off a letter, or give them a ring!

And now for an honorable mention outside the realm of politics, with a quick note to the media: this is NOT an official campaign position! As an occasional Episcopalian, and as a member of the LGBT community, a BIG thankyou to the Delegates to the Episcopal Convention who confirmed Reverend V. Gene Robinson as their first openly gay Bishop -- even in the face of last minute smear campaigns. Each faith should decide such issues on their own terms, but whatever your position on this issue, the confirmation took an awful lot of Backbone!

And finally, for The Fruitcake as popularized by Lambert over at Atrios' Eschaton: hands-down, this week, the Fruitcake goes to: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) As San Francisco for Dean's Paul Hogan put it in the nomination comments:
One certified recall election: 1.7 million dollars

Campaign signs and web site: 30,000 dollars

Bawling in front of reporters after Karl Rove tells you that the President has decided you will NOT be running for Governor:

You can contact Rep Issa here, and if you do, let him know that you are giving a donation to Dean for America or a donation and assistance to fight the recall -- in lieu of a Fruitcake, of course! And how was your week?


Dean leads national poll!

posted by G at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
For the first time, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is leading the Democratic field for the 2004 presidential elections, according to a new tracking poll taken by InsiderAdvantage in conjunction with MWI Research.

Of respondents who said they plan to vote next year for someone other than President Bush, 15.6 percent indicated they would vote for Dean. This nearly doubles his percentage of 8.6 from the previous month's poll.

The poll was conducted August 6-9. It sampled 500 Americans and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

"This is an amazing change of circumstances," said Matt Towery, a Creators Syndicate columnist and co-founder of InsiderAdvantage. "Since the inception of our cumulative polling on this race, Joe Lieberman had led the Democratic field of candidates, usually by a comfortable margin. But Dean's powerful Internet-based campaign, coupled with the sudden burst of publicity he has received from the national media, has catapulted him to the front of the pack."

Towery, in a special column today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, termed Dean's populist style and use of the Internet as "electro-pop" politics.


Bush salutes the troops...

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
... with his middle finger yet again:

smirkingThe Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.

Unless Congress and President Bush take quick action when Congress returns after Labor Day, the uniformed Americans in Iraq and the 9,000 in Afghanistan will lose a pay increase approved last April of $75 a month in "imminent danger pay" and $150 a month in "family separation allowances."
It's rare for the independent Army Times, which is distributed widely among Army personnel, to blast the Pentagon, the White House and the Congress. But in this instance, the paper has said in recent editorials that Congress was wrong to make the pay raises temporary, and the Pentagon is wrong to call for a rollback.

"The bottom line: If the Bush administration felt in April that conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan warranted increases in danger pay and family separation allowances, it cannot plausibly argue that the higher rates are not still warranted today," the paper said in an editorial in its current edition.

After all, we have to fund those tax cuts for the rich! Combine this news with the fact that Bush has ruled out asking for help from the UN again. Clinton's military won in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Bush rewards them by overwork and underpay.

Commander in ChiefOn the right, only Tacitus is outraged. Given the soft-on-defense canard that still haunts all Democratic candidates, Dean needs to push on this theme hard, and push on this often. Forget the economy! This is much more visceral illustration of how Bush is anti-military.

(for much more on Bush's anti-military record, see these posts from UNMEDIA: Salute to Veterans, AWOL Bush, Victory is not a campaign slogan, Bushed military).

It's time to have a new commander in chief who will rebuild the military, pay our men and women more and make sure they're housed better, and have a focused mission for our military. -- George W. Bush, 2nd Presidential Debate, Oct. 11 2000


Why rural issues matter

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Kevin "Calpundit" asks why the candidates are even bothering with Iowa:

I understand why New Hampshire is so important, but what's the deal with Iowa? It's a caucus, not a primary, and everyone knows perfectly well that it's just one long pander-fest to agricultural interests. So why is it that more candidates don't simply declare that they aren't going to play in Iowa and then spend their time elsewhere?

That question is answered in part by an Atlanta Journal-Constitution guest column which points out how Dean's rural strategy is about building a grass-roots movement:

Rather than pandering to traditional Democratic power groups such as trial attorneys, unions or urban bosses, he is focusing on rural America and the thousands of towns and smaller cities that serve it as centers of daily life. Small-town life predominates Vermont, and Dean is promising to help restore rural communities.

He has tied positions on virtually every issue -- from the economy to the environment -- to the development and growth of rural areas, where he contends that President Bush's policies had little positive impact.

For many people in less densely populated areas, the Web has become a primary tool, from shopping to entertainment. So it may be that Dean's "small-town" thinking was the genesis of his campaign's celebrated strategy to have Web-using supporters forward campaign literature to others.

This allows Dean's camp to expand its reach on the Internet without violating tough rules on e-mail spam. Indeed, Dean's campaign has built a virtual community of online supporters. Many of them rally to the call for "emergency" small-dollar contributions that so far have eclipsed the amounts he has received from fat-cat contributors.

I suspect that by now the other candidates' motives for wooing Iowa are more reactionary to Dean than anything else. BTW, as a related update to the earlier post where y'all busted my chops for disrespecting the wind, comes this additional info about Dean's ethanol position (thanks to Mandy Tempel):

This is an excerpt from a volunteer who attempted to transcribe a speech that Dean gave in MN back in April: He was constantly interrupted by cheers, which is why you can read the repeating…

DEAN: 'And we need – we need an oil conservation policy that makes some sense. It’s not just drilling in the national parks that’s going to save our country. If you want to improve our environment, with green …reduction of greenhouse gases, and improve our ability to defend ourselves against terrorism, you start with a very simple thing. Put 10% ethanol in everybody’s gas tank. Why is that -- [member of the crowd: “No!]. No? Well, listen carefully – listen carefully. Hear me out. I understand that there are a number of people who believe that ethanol, as it’s made today, requires so many BTU’s to do the conversion, it’s not worth it. But, the Brazilians have been using other materials for ethanol, including sugar cane. They run their cars on 90% ethanol. And what that means is, you don’t have to use NTBE, which poisons our water, and it also means that for each 10% ethanol used in your gas tank, we reduce the total oil demand for the entire world by 2%. So this is a technology that we ought to find a way to use. I understand there’s a big subsidy to Archer-Daniels Midland, and I’m not interested in that. But I am interested in clean fuels that stop polluting the atmosphere, and reducing our oil imports from the Middle East, and getting off our dependence from oil, and getting –- moving towards a renewable, biomass-based energy, and this is part of the solution. (cheering)'

My fears are somewhat assuaged by this. I am extremely heartened to see Dean acknowledge the energy deficit issue directly. And note that elsewhere Dean has explicitly stated that he would limit the ethanol subsidies to a volume of production based on family-sized farms (hat tip: Dana). The bottom line is that I trust him not to screw it up or have a hidden agenda - he is focusing on solutions for solutions' sake. And we already know that he isn't exactly in Daniel Archer MIdlands' pocket :)


Clark shows his cards

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
On CNN, Wesley Clark made these hedging-his-bets-comments:

General Clark, who, in fairness, we should say, we consider a friend, joins us tonight from Little Rock.

General, what say we make news here? Going to run?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME COMMANDER: I haven't made a decision. It's not time to make a decision yet.

BROWN: There are those, general, who, in fact, would say that it is too late to make a decision. Assuming, and I do, that you really haven't made up your mind yet, are you concerned that if you decide you want to do this, it is too late to put organization and money together?


BROWN: Not at all?

CLARK: No, I'm not concerned about that.


CLARK: There's a tremendous groundswell of support out there in America for candidates who can offer the promise of leadership. And I see it every day in the mail and phone calls that are coming to me. And it's reflected, really, in the groundswell of support for Howard Dean, it's reflected in the concern of mainstream Democratic Party politicians for John Kerry. It's even reflected in California.

As Liberal Oasis notes, this is more a broadcast announcement of Veep candidacy than any presidential run. Check out the rest of the transcript and weigh in!


speak truth... LOUDLY

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This article starts out with a cute anecdote about John Kerry's neighborhood on Nantucket:

As the ferry from Hyannis glides into Nantucket Harbor, it turns a corner at Brant Point Lighthouse. All worries vanish at the sight of this signature landmark as the old whaling village comes into view to offer its reliably warm embrace. Most regular visitors to the island, however, have already taken note of how much larger the mansions along the seaward side of Brant Point seem to have gotten since their last visit -- and how many more of them have been added, as far up island as the eye can see.

Conspicuous in their size are the summer manses of Tommy Hilfiger and John Kerry, located within a block of Brant Point (and each other), and looking like two beached, grey-shingled whales -- twin testaments to money and power. But if you look a bit more closely at the smaller homes between these two stately residences -- euphemistically called "cottages" though none would be purchasable for less than $3 million -- you will quickly notice something fishy about Sen. Kerry's next- door neighbor -- his yard is festooned with navy-blue-and-white "Howard Dean for President" signs. So is the hedge, the white picket fence and the bumper of the Jeep in the driveway.

Funny, huh? It's not just on the blogs that Kerry is being hounded by all things Dean. But this article makes a larger point - that volume matters, because these aren't ordinary stakes:

Let's get real. The 2004 election is not about liberal vs. conservative. It's about the future of American democracy, of America's once-benign presence in the world, and the long-term safety and health of American citizens -- all of which are in danger if George W. Bush is given four more years to wreak havoc. It's not a matter of if, but when, America's house of cards will collapse if this occurs.
Think about it. Kerry's neighbor, a rich Democrat, could have assured himself many future backyard hobnobs and glad-handing schmoozes with America's shakers and movers by simply not expressing how he really feels, by shaking hands over the hedge, maybe even sporting a "Kerry for President" bumper sticker on his Jeep.

Instead, he has chosen to shout his opinion to the rest of the world.

If rich Nantucketers are worried about a future with Bush, or Bush Lite, then I do believe the tipping point is nigh for Dean, or someone like him.


Troops in Iraq Face Pay Cut

posted by G at Thursday, August 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Is there anyone in the entire country who doesn't consider this absolutely outrageous? Our troops are getting shot at and killed every day in 120 degree heat, and Bush wants to cut their pay by $75 a month. How much would this save? Just $300 million, about $1 per American. This at a time when Bush's tax cuts have brought us a deficit this year that amounts to $1500 per man, woman, and child in the United States. Trippi, get that press release ready! Deanyboppers, let's hear your suggestions for how Dean should criticize this (I know, I know, it's too easy.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


Dean's farm policy

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, August 13, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
One of the areas that I strongly disagree with Dean is farm policy. Dean strongly supports ethanol for example, which in my opinion is a massive welfare-esque boondoggle subsidy. An AP story comes out now with a LOT more detail about Dean's rural plans:

He urged new restrictions on giant factory farming operations, including giving local residents veto power over the building of big livestock confinement operations nearby.

Dean called for new venture capital investments in rural areas, coupled with tax credits for farm-based business development and a boost in grants for businesses that add value to basic farm commodities. For the most part, he did not estimate costs.

He also urged stronger backing for renewable energy sources such as wind and biomass, along with a requirement that there be 10 percent ethanol in gasoline. Ethanol is distilled from corn, a crop that is important to Iowa and many other farm states.

Dean was to outline his policies for rural America on Wednesday at Grundy County Lake in northeast Iowa. He chose the area to underscore his commitment to conservation as part of his development plan.

The appearance comes as Dean completes a tour of 26 of Iowa's most rural counties. His speech and an outline of his policy proposal were provided to The Associated Press.

He also proposed:

_ Banning meatpackers from owning livestock prior to taking delivery for processing.

_ Requiring country-of-origin labeling, forcing the disclosure of where products are grown.

_ Requiring labels on genetically modified products.

_ Moving toward a goal of opening trade with Cuba, while leaving in place sanctions for human rights violations.

There are some good ideas in here and some colossally bad ones (like biomass and windpower as a marge-scale replacement for energy? um, not unless the laws of physics have changed recently. We should be spending money on fusion research). I certainly don't agree with Matthew Yglesias' take, who characterizes the whole package as "subsidizing rural areas" - there certainly is a tougher line towards megafarm corporations. What do you think?


Civil unions debate: bring it on!

posted by G at Wednesday, August 13, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As we've previously discussed, gay rights may prove to be the wedge issue that rips the Republican party apart. The Federal Marriage Amendment currently being pushed in by the right wing in Congress would not just ban gay marriage but also the civil unions Dean has trumpeted in Vermont. Here's the text of the proposed amendment:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.
In his last press conference Bush endorsed this amendment, sort of. I can't wait for the moment in the Dean-Bush debate when Bush says he favors the amendment and then Deans pulls out the following (quoted here from Aug. 7 speech):
We don't have same-sex marriage in Vermont. Our bill says marriage is between a man and a woman, but same-sex couples may enter into a civil union and achieve all of the same legal rights.

And I think that's important.

Let me tell you why I think this is important. Marriage is a complicated business because it's both religious and civil. It started out as only religious. We decided we would leave the marriage to the church, that we were not going to tell any church that they had to marry people if they thought they shouldn't marry.

That is not the business of the state, that is the business of the church. But we also decided that everybody deserves exactly the same rights under the law, hospital visitation, insurance, inheritance. There's a zillion legal rights that you can only get if you're married.

Here's why I believe that. I believe that every single American deserves the same rights that I do. I've said before we were all in this together.

When you run for president, you meet extraordinary people. There's no such thing as a boring American, and I've met some extraordinary people.

And I'm going to tell you a story that happened to me about eight months ago or so in Washington. I gave a speech -- I've forgotten who the group is and I forgot what the speech was about, but after I got down off the stage, a guy who was 80 years old came up to me and said, "Governor, I'm 80 years old. I want to thank you for the Civil Unions Bill."

And I was shocked, so I said, "Oh, thank you very much. Do you have someone in your family who is gay or lesbian?" He said, "No governor, I'm a veteran. I was on the beach in D-Day in Normandy. A lot of my friends were killed, and I'm gay."

Now, there's a guy who did what all of those people in the White House who never served a day in their life abroad talk about all the time, a guy who was willing to give his life for the United States of America, whose friends did die in the service of the United States of America, defending not only American freedoms, but the freedoms of the Western world. If that guy doesn't deserve exactly the same rights that I have when he comes home, then this isn't the country I think it is. And I think this is a great country and he's going to get those rights.


Oklahoma coverage

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, August 13, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Most of the contenders were in Stillwater yesterday for a forum hosted by the Oklahoma Democratic Party. Like Texas, Oklahoma D's are sometimes ignored since they are a red state. But with the front-loaded primary schedule, Oklahomans are enjoying newfound attention:
This year, Oklahoma is one of seven states planning primaries or caucuses Feb. 3. The others are Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, South Carolina, New Mexico and North Dakota. "This is exactly what we had in mind," said Jay Parmley, state Democratic Party chairman standing in the middle of a crowd that waved signs and sported T-shirts for various candidates before the event. "In fact, this has exceeded expectations."

The O-blog has already posted a nifty gallery of images. All the candidates took shots at Bush, but some of the contenders were more well received than others:
Evan Noble came to the forum saying he had an open mind, although he wore a T-shirt backing Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. By the end of the evening, he found he aligned with some of the other candidates more. "He's extremely conservative, and I'm more of a moderate liberal," said the 21-year-old University of Oklahoma student from Tulsa...Janice Mathews-Gordon liked the way the candidates took on Bush's handling of the economy and the war in Iraq. She, too, said she came away unresolved on her pick for the nomination. "I was able to narrow it down," the 44-year-old said. "Lieberman, Gephardt and Dean." ... Retiree Bettye Williams came in supporting Edwards but left saying, "he's young and I don't know."

More local coverage can be found here, including this gem:
Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, was asked about the stark differences between himself and Bush. "I'm a fiscal conservative," Dean said. "I balance budgets. Everyone in my state has health care. So, there are a lot of differences between me and the president."

Dean also sounded a recurring campaign theme, according to WRAL in North Carolina:
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean described Bush's tax cuts as perks for his wealthy corporate friends. "I wouldn't have cut taxes, period," Dean said. "Most people would gladly pay the same taxes they paid when Bill Clinton was president if only they could have the same economy (they had) when Bill Clinton was president." He also said corporations can no longer be trusted to run their own pensions and that an independent pension could travel with a worker who changes jobs.

From what I've read, the Democrats in Oklahoma are fired up and ready to take on George W Bush:
"For them to stop in Oklahoma, that really means a lot to me," said Leslie Warrior, a 19-year-old Oklahoma State University student. She enjoyed the chance to hear the candidates take on Bush. "I don't know if he forgot how to relate to the people or what," Warrior said. "You've got to get back to the people."

If I find any more articles about the forum, I'll append this post. Do we have any Oklahoma readers who'd like to share their stories from yesterday?


a BMW on your credit card

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, August 13, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dwight Meredith crunches the numbers with his usual exhaustive and methodical attention to detail, and finds that Bush plans to charge the cost of a BMW to every taxpaying American's credit card. The BMW line is a great soundbite - and these numbers need to go into a stump speech.


Dowd on Political Blogs

posted by G at Wednesday, August 13, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
No doubt inspired by Anna's tour of the campaign blogs, the NY Times' Maureen Dowd makes the rounds. Her take on the Dean official blog:
Dr. Dean doesn't deign to write his blog, either, but at least it's fun. Mathew Gross, the Dean campaign's "head blogger" or "blogmaster" — who got his job by blogging and who now writes most of the Dean virtual entries — calls blogs the new town hall meetings. "They've revolutionized the way campaigns are run," he says. "It creates an equality among everybody. People are hungry for the old-fashioned discussion and debate.


Stump Speech in Iowa, Aug. 7

posted by G at Wednesday, August 13, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here's a transcript of a Dean speech in Iowa on Aug. 7. Much of it will be familiar to those who have seen him speak in person on the campaign trail. It provides a good general introduction to Dean. One point I hadn't seen before is his discussion in the Q&A about the homeless.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


comments are back

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 12, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Sorry for the outage, seems to be back now. Jeevan at HaloScan wrote to say that they had problems with their host, not with the HaloScan server. But also passed on this great news:

by next week, we will have a new server for donated users (like you) available so that we can at least bring the donated users up and running significantly faster. We will be sending out a mass email to donated users with more detail on the new server info. Thanks for your patience.

Also remember that we have the Dean Forum, ChatForAmerica, and the IRC channel PeoplePoweredHoward on (not to mention the trusty ol' ZonkBoard) as well. We at Dean Nation transcend any one medium to discuss all things Dean :)


The trouble with astroturf...

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, August 12, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I've spent this week reading the blogs that have been set up by the other contenders, and I've noticed a few disturbing trends. In the interest of goodwill, I've created a short list of advice for the other campaigns. Remember, this is in the spirit of cooperation and eventually defeating GWB. Enjoy.
1. Familiarise yourself with the term "freeper". They are the enemy and have earned a reputation for trolling around sites and stirring shit up. They've got a reputation for being petulant, vicious little pricks. You can witness some of this behavior here, here, and here. I strongly suspect they are behind the Dean-Kerry blog flap.
2. Create a "troll goal". This has been successfully employed over at BlogForAmerican. Once the trolls realise they are helping you raise money, they usually go away. Also, please remember not to feed (engage) them. They aren't interested in meaningful dialogue.
3. Respect the other contenders and their supporters. This is a hard lesson to learn, but very valuable. Even though we are opponents in the primaries, remember that we all have the same goal: adding George W Bush's name to the unemployment rolls. Tearing each other up in the primaries isn't going to help any of us win the general. So be nice when supporters of other campaigns visit your site. Try and answer their questions as long as they're being civil, and hilight your candidate's strong points. But above all else, don't try and dismiss people from other camps. We are all going to need each other when the primaries are over.
4. Don't perpetuate big-media lies (I'm looking at you, Lieberman). In other words, don't give the RNC any ammo! You think Karl Rove isn't taking notes? Also, if you see a lie written about your candidate in the media, respond to it with facts. We've successfully done this via our crack rapid-response team, the DDF. Just keep hammering the message home (in a respectful and civil manner) and eventually the media will get it. Trust me, been there done that. None of us wants our candidate to get Gored in 2004.

And now, for your reading pleasure, a review of the other campaign blogs. This might seem harsh at times, but like Howard says I just tell you the truth and you think it's hell.
I really like Dennis Kucinich's official blog. It's functional and informative, and Dennis actually posts there. And hey, if I'm reading, he isn't able to yell at me. *tongue in cheek*
Blog Graham has a silly name and employs a template that's almost as ugly as our's. *wink* However, he seems to have assembled a really good blogging team and I'm sure the site will improve rapidly. Plus the format should suit Graham, who's known to be an avid diarist.
The unofficial Gephardt blog, Gephardt Grassroots, is looking good and seems to be run by some enthusiastic supporters. However, the blogging team over there needs to seriously read and absorb points three and four as outlined above.
I almost feel sorry for the Kerry bloggers. While I think it's a GoodThing that Kerry's got an official blog, I think it's a shame that the Kerry camp has been soiled by their leadership. Let me make this clear to Kerry supporters: I believe John Kerry is a fundamentally good man, he has a good record, and I respect his supporters and believe they have good intentions. I will enthusiastically support Kerry if he becomes the nominee. However, when you're associated with hatchet men like Chris Lehane, it's hard to foster goodwill. So I've got a solution for you. For Lehane's next birthday, buy him a ball gag:

Seriously. That would go a long way towards healing the rift.
*mad props to John at for hooking up this graphic for me

In all seriousness, I wish the other campaigns luck in their blogging endeavors. And remember, when all is said and done we are on the same team. Play nice, okay?

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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.