Nation-Building

"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, September 30, 2003

 

Forum for America http://www.forumforamerica.com/

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
DFA has created a new site for meetup hosts to work out logisitics, share ideas, and poll our resources. Check out the new Forum for America.

UPDATE (Aziz): Also, don't forget that the Unofficial Dean Forum has an special sections devoted to grassroots planning and organizing media response . I guess that we should start calling the original Dean Forum the "U-forum" and the new one the "O-forum" :)

 

Open Thread: Dean on Leno

posted by Editor at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean made his late night debut tonight. What did you think? I am not entirely convinced that it was his element or that he won over many supporters, but I certainly don't think he lost any. It was almost void of any substance in the conversation, but that must be attributed to Leno. Your thoughts?

 

Union Station webcast now online http://www.websoapbox.com

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The video feed form LA is up and running at websoapbox. I know HD is pretty riveting, but try not to forget to swing the bat while he's speaking. You have the power. Let's break that last bat.

 

Rollover Rover? http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/0,12271,759893,00.html

posted by Trammell at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
An audio report from Julian Borger for Guardian Unlimited states regarding the source of the Plame leak that "...several of the journalists are saying privately 'yes, it was Karl Rove who I talked to.' Now, the thing is that the journalists are not going to name Karl Rove publicly because you don't name your sources and to do so would discredit them as journalists so the White House is safe for the time being but Karl Rove's name is very much out there."

Further, Paul Hogan reminded me of another pesky detail: it is a felony to have knowledge of a felony and not report it. In fact, it is considered aiding and abetting. So, we ask again: What does Bush know, and if he indeed knows who did this, how long has he known it? Who else in this administration knows the identity of the leaker? And, have these individuals also committed a crime by refusing to come forward and report the felonious official?

 

Backbone Award: Ambassador Wilson & Agent Plame http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/09/30/cia.leak.politics/

posted by Trammell at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Well, we have our first double-winner: Ambassador Joe Wilson -- who won the award a few weeks ago -- and by logical extension, his spouse, CIA Agent Valerie Plame. There is simply no way to give Dean Nation's Backbone Award to anyone other than Plame and Wilson this week. Today, the Department of Justice (haha) finally launched a criminal investigation into the felony leak of Plame's identity. Despite some reports to the contrary, she was an undercover agent, but now that cover is blown. Then-President George H.W. Bush at the 1999 dedication ceremony for the George Bush Center for Intelligence (ironically named considering his son, eh?) stated:
"I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources," the former president said at the time. "They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors."
As regards Wilson and Plame, this isn't just about political backbone, this is about courage under fire, national security and the safety and lives of countless CIA agents and individuals. In other words, this shit is real shit, folks. Covert contacts have certainly been exposed, and many of them may already be dead. If not, they are useless, and their lives are worth next-to-nothing. So when you hear Wilson say things like...
"I want to see if we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."
...you should know why. This isn't some harmless political leak. This is a dangerous and evil game, playing chicken with people's lives.

For exhaustive posts and links on this story, I strongly recommend having a double over at Billmon's Whiskey Bar. And, you can read more on the Plame Affair from Aziz at Dean Nation here and a statement from Dean and the campaign here. And, no e-mail that I know of, but you can contact Wilson here. If you do, let him know that you are a Dean supporter, and that Dean and Kerry supporters stand together in support of him, his wife Valerie Plame, and their family, and let him know about the award. You may also want to contact your Senator or perhaps your Member of Congress.

The Fruitcake this week goes to Bob Novak -- not because he originally reported this but because now he's trying to backpedal out of his own words and defend the administration officials who leaked him the info, claiming that "it's all politics" and such rubbish. Yup, Bob, you are right -- but the politics was the leak, not the investigation.

In Novak's honor, The Fruitcake has been re-named as The Spineless Jellyroll. After all, a treasonous felony is a treasonous felony! Now mind you, even assholes have first amendment rights and should be able to protect their sources, but what Novak doesn't seem to get is this: the story isn't that Plame was an agent, the story was that they chose to leak it as retaliation for Wilson's statements -- and that is a crime! Regardless of Wilson's initial motivations, was this an appropriate response? Of course not, nor was it legal, or moral, or ethical. It was, put plainly, evil.

Now, after doing their bidding, he's part of the story and feeling under fire -- poor thing. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, eh? For a couple of great posts on all of Novak's ludicrous excuse-making and story-changing, see Daily Kos here. To contact Robert Novak, write a a letter to the editor of The Chicago Sun-Times or make a comment on this form at Crossfire!

NOTE: I posted a much-abbreviated version of this column earlier, and comments 1-14 reflect only the earlier version. Much was added, but nothing was removed beyond, spelling, syntax repair and typographical correction.

 

Give George W Bush the award he deserves http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/shop/html/weasel_poll.html

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It's that time again. The good folks behind Dilbert are taking votes for the 2003 Weasel Awards. Pop over there and cast your vote. Hat tip to Deb McCarver in Nashville.

 

Deanspace gets Slashdotted http://slashdot.org/articles/03/09/30/170259.shtml

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
So... this is what brought down the O-blog a little while ago (hat tip to Jeff in WA). =) They got Slashdotted! Check out the thread about Deanspace. It seems the Slashdot community is pretty impressed with the idea. As one poster over there said:
I wonder if RMS thought he'd see a US presidential candidate releasing stuff under the GPL when he founded GNU 20 years ago!
That's a gnu-candidate thank you.

For those unfamiliar with Slashdot, they are probably the biggest online tech community. They've been around for ages, and even pioneered their own CMS (content management system, which is what Deanspace is) called Slash. They are a one stop source for all news that is geek, and they have a very vibrant community. Check 'em out.

 

Facts, not fiction http://www.dickfacts.com

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions



If you don't believe in dirty politics, if you don't believe in dishonesty, if you don't believe in special interests controlling our political system, now is the time to take a swing at that bat.

If you believe in a new American politics, if you believe in Howard Dean, if you believe in yourself and this community, and if you want to take your country back, take a swing at the bat. Now is the time. Not tomorrow, not next week, now.

Hat tip to Chris in Philly for the zonkboard link.

 

Texas Rangers Reports http://www.blogfortexas.com

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, September 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Good morning everybody! (yea, I know it's the middle of the afternoon but cut me some slack here okay?) I wanted to direct everyone over to the shiny, spankin' new BlogForTexas.com, where Texans have started posting their stories about our trip to Iowa over the weekend. Be sure to check out the photo gallery, as more images are being added every few hours.
I've gotta say that was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. Iowans are an amazing, progressive bunch of people, and they were incredibly hospitable. They also take their "first in the nation" responsibility very seriously. We really feel that we did some great work over the weekend, and we can't stop now.
As you can see, we're down to the last bat. Right now we stand at $14,127,460 with 178,135 contributors with less than ten hours to go. I know we can do this. I believe in Howard Dean, I believe in this community, and I believe we have the power to take our country back. Now is the time to prove once and for all that nothing can stop us. Not Wesley Clark, not the special interests, and not George W Bush and his cronies. As Trippi says, "LEAVE NO COUCH CUSHION UNTURNED." I'm gonna take another swing at the bat. I'm asking everyone here at Dean Nation to do the same. We aren't the number one Dean Team for nothing. We're number one because we are generous, caring, passionate, motivated individuals who've come together for a common cause. Remember, as individuals it's difficult to affect change, but together, we are powerful! SWING BATTER BATTER, SWING!

Monday, September 29, 2003

 

Open Thread: Making History...Again! http://blog.deanforamerica.com/index.html

posted by Trammell at Monday, September 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I'm on the line and waiting for Governor Dean to join what we all believe will be the largest conference call in world history, and will likely break the Guinness world record! The Governor just joined the call, consider this call -- and this thread -- open! And, don't forget to give to the bat!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

 

Dean Calls for WH Cooperation in Justice Probe http://dean2004.blogspot.com/politics/2003_09_28_deanarchive.html#106480560134805707

posted by Editor at Sunday, September 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2003

Governor Dean Calls For White House Cooperation in Justice Probe
Says Ashcroft Must Allow Independent Investigation by IG


DES MOINES--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., issued the following statement today:

"Today's report in the Washington Post of alleged criminal wrongdoing by members of the White House staff is deeply troubling. The suggestion that the White House may have revealed the identity of an undercover CIA agent in retaliation against the woman's husband not only is highly disturbing and illegal, but may have grave national security implications.

See the rest of the press release HERE.

 

Dean: We Must Meet the Long Term Care Needs of Our Aging Population http://dean2004.blogspot.com/politics/2003_09_28_deanarchive.html#106480681537830946

posted by Editor at Sunday, September 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From Dean for America...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2003

Governor Dean Calls for a New Partnership with America's Families:
"We Must Meet the Long Term Care Needs of Our Aging Population"


DES MOINES, IA--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., unveiled his plan for long-term elder care today. From his prepared remarks:

"Our leaders can no longer ignore America's aging population. In 25 years, nearly one in five Americans will be over 65. The number of people over eighty will swell by nearly one third. Age has many benefits, but it also brings increased risk of chronic illness and accompanying disability," Governor Dean said.

Explaining that a year in a nursing home can easily consume the entire annual income of the average American family, Governor Dean argued that the country is "ill-prepared" to meet the challenge of an aging America.

"I propose a new partnership to take on the challenge of long-term care. It will be a partnership with families, between the federal and state governments and between the public and private long-term care givers," Governor Dean said.

"Our current long-term care system spends nearly three out of every four dollars on nursing home care -- a care setting few families would choose. And the price of admission is your life savings," Governor Dean said. "Yet what is the Bush administration's response to this looming crisis that increasingly threatens our economic, physical and mental well being as we grow older? Nothing at best, or
aggravating the situation even further at worst."

Governor Dean laid out these key points to his Long Term Elder Care Plan:


See the rest of the press release HERE for Governor Dean's full plan.

 

FEED the BAT! http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/TR?pg=personal&fr_id=1090&px=1179278

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, September 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
We have collectively raised $21,000 for Dean - but we have not yet met our September fund-raising goal of $25,000. Remember, the 3rd Quarter ends in 3 days and the campaign still has to raise $2.5 million to reach its goal. We must do our part!

Remember, by pooling our donations we at Dean Nation have taken the lead among all Dean Teams and spoken with one voice - and $21,000 - of our resolve to see Dean win the nomination and defeat Bush.

Doesn't the Plame affair make you angry? Bush 43's white house has broken a law signed by Bush 41 - deliberately blowing the cover of a CIA agent to fulfill a petty vendetta. They place their political gain and their school-yard bully ethics above the national interest, above the law, above morality and basic human decency.

And Howard Dean is the only one who can defeat them.

But we must help Dean raise dollars - and in so doing, again excercise our power as the grassroots, the voice of the People, who are the true engine driving Dean's campaign rather than the special interests.

Do what you can - join us and let's get Dean Nation to our goal of $25,000 - do it for Valerie Plame, do it for all the troops dying in Iraq, the National Guard reservists who have been forced into extended duty, the hundreds of thousands of new jobless every month. Do it for ourselves. This is our country and we have to take it back - and that means we have to FEED THE BAT!

 

Governor Dean Calls For Accountability http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=9396

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, September 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Turns out that the campaign issued a statement just last night on the Plame Affair:

Governor Dean Calls For Accountability

BURLINGTON -- In response to news that the CIA has asked for a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the White House revealed the identity of one of its undercover employees in violation of federal law and in retaliation against the woman's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, Governor Howard Dean issued the following statement:

"I applaud the CIA's request that the Justice Department investigate the Plame affair. I urge the Justice Department to investigate the matter swiftly and objectively, without the taint of partisan politics that have so plagued this Administration's conduct of foreign policy.

But this investigation should not be necessary. Those responsible should resign immediately.

"President Bush came into office promising to bring honor and integrity to the White House. Instead, the President took us to war on what appears to be false pretenses and is now using every means possible to obfuscate that fact. If the allegations are true, someone within this Administration has sought retribution against a former U.S. diplomat who sought only to bring truth to an otherwise murky situation by revealing the identity of his wife, an undercover analyst. This is a very serious charge. If it is true, they have gone way beyond petty retribution - they have undermined a key national security tenet and violated two federal laws.

"Almost three months ago, I demanded answers to sixteen questions surrounding the use of questionable evidence used to bolster the Administration's argument for war. At that time, I stated 'Mr. President, we urgently need an explanation about the very serious charge that senior officials in your Administration may have retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson by illegally disclosing that his wife is an undercover CIA officer.' I called for those involved to take the appropriate action and resign. They have not served in the nation's interest.

"Since that time, we have heard nothing. No one has been held accountable for this serious action, or for the other instances in which senior officials in this Administration have misled the public and the world about their justifications for war with Iraq. Instead, we see a continuing pattern of deceptive statements. I urge accountability now.


but this is not enough. Dean needs to drill the Plame Affair issue at every campaign stop, at every public appearance, and especially at every media appearance for the next month or longer. All too often, the campaign releases a statement and then the issue disappears off the radar - this issue must not be allowed to die quietly.

As Dean points out, the Plame Affair was actually referenced in Dean's famous 16 Questions for Bush - but to my knowledge he hadn't mentioned it once since then until last night. Note that Dean made no mention of Plame in his Face the Nation appearance this morning.

 

The Plame Affair: Dean must lead http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11208-2003Sep27.html

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, September 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
To be honest, the Dean campaign missed the boat with their press release calling for Rumsfeld's resignation. It's a matter of timing - and Iraq has been temporarily eclipsed in importance by the Valerie Plame affair.

the BIG Story was not buried as I pessimistically expected, but was actually picked up over the weekend by the Washington Post and the New York Times (which nicely renders moot Billmon's fears that MSNBC's original lead would be left hanging in the wind).

This story illustrates why the blogsphere is so essential - there is a wealth of inference from the WaPo and the NYT stories that I would not have picked up on from reading them cold. But the major lefty bloggers, with combined experience in journalism and politics, are able to really shed light on the shorthand and the subtext. The major new revelation was by the Washington Post:

A senior administration official said two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and revealed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. That was shortly after Wilson revealed in July that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account eventually touched off a controversy over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak...The official would not name the leakers for the record and would not name the journalists.


This is an amazing excerpt in its own right - it highlights the direct "shopping around" nature of teh vendetta by the White House to deliberately try and payback Wilson. But there's so much more to learn. First, Kevin Drum summarizes the implications:

  1. This involves two top White House officials who blew the cover of a CIA agent solely for payback against a minor political enemy.
  2. They systematically called six different journalists.
  3. Only Robert Novak went with the story. (Which, by the way, actually speaks pretty well of the rest of the Washington press corps.)
  4. There are a whole bunch of people, including Mike Allen and Dana Priest, who know who the White House officials are.


I find point #4 astonishing. The names of the people who blew Plame's (alleged) cover are well-known by journalists. And Billmon takes it further, pointing out that "when the Post reporter gets up at the Monday press conference and asks Scott McClellan if Mr. X or Ms. Y was involved, everyone else will know, too."

Kos speculates that the "two top White House officials" can only be Ari Fleischer and Karl Rove, and Billmon theorizes that the source for the WaPo quote above is likely George Tenet, who has to still be smarting from being forced to eat the Administration's feces on the whole yellowcake affair (which is nicely being re-summarized by the current flap). Apparently, journalists have a spectrum of explicit monikers when they quote sources off the record, which dramatically limits who "top White House officials" and "senior administration officials" can possibly be.

Kevin comes to the same conclusion, belatedly, that most of us who have been following the Administration since before 9-11 already arrived at. But he puts it much more succinctly:

these are radical ideologues who care about nothing except staying in power and will do anything, no matter how craven and malevolent, to get what they want.


That's the reason in a nutshell we need to boot Bush in 2004, not for partisan gain but for the safety and security of our nation itself. That's why I've changed my mind and will even vote for Lieberman is necessary. But only Howard Dean offers the chance to heal these wounds in a meaningful sense - only Dean offers a chance to rebuild American politics on a foundation of civil responsibility to our nation as a whole rather than the naked pursuit of power.

Disappointingly, amongst righty bloggers, only Tacitus has been following this issue. Glenn hasn't touched it yet. I sincerely hope that changes on Monday. But I fully expect that when the right-sphere does address the issue en masse, it will probably resemble the desperate spinning that partisan hack Macallan frantically spews in Tacitus' comments than any substantive critique.

That won't stop those erratic defensive talking points from being appropriated by Fox news, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh in a last-ditch effort to capitalize on their carefully cultivated ditto-head legions to reject the facts. By the end of next week, the story may just be another non-issue. I'm often quite hard on the media for not doing their part, but the public also has a responsibility too.

What the campaign must do is take the lead in making the Plame Affair public. The Plame affair is a shameful example of putting the nation's interests second and political payback first. This is far worse than Nixon authorizing a break-in - blowing the cover of a CIA operative is so egregious that then-Vice President George HW Bush fought hard for the Intelligence Identity Protection Act in 1982, which made it a felony offense. The senior Bush, a true war veteran and builder of a true military coalition for Desert Storm in 1991, must be privately aghast at how his son has aped his career but done so with none of the principled sense of duty and responsibility.

Dean alone can convincingly push hard on this - coming from a partisan like Gephardt the message might be discounted, but Dean is uniquely positioned leverage his status as frontrunner and principled cross-over candidate to this crucial issue. Yes, raising more money before Q3 ends is a big priority, but Dean has a very limited window to use his grassroots pulpit to do major good for the country by addressing this issue strongly NOW. Nothing else is more important.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

 

Why Dean and not Clark? http://www.deanindependents.org/archives/000119.html

posted by G at Saturday, September 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Todd at Independents for Dean beat me to saying why Clark is not as strong a candidate as we expected. Here's a part of what he wrote:
I have been intrigued by Clark, but have come to the conclusion that Dean has better odds of beating Bush than Clark does. Why?

Clark is a "resume candidate". But so is Kerry, and that hasn't worked so well for him, has it? Clark's support is currently more abstract than real: "Pollsters note former Gen. Clark leads only in surveys where he is named by his military title." This support depends on the linking of "credibility" and "strength" with the title "General". However, it is clear that Clark has many enemies within the Pentagon. This doesn't mean anything, due to the normal internal politics of the place, but you can bet the Bush/Rove campaign will trot out four star generals to smear him, using their $200 million war chest. This will have success. Thus, Clark can't depend on his title and military background to be enough. He'll have to equal the Bushies in campaigning skills and resources. And I have not seen evidence that he can do that.

That's not to say that he can't. But we already have a candidate who has shown courage and steel by standing up to Bush back when it was unpopular, who has shown he can energize people, and who has begun building a grassroots infrastructure that might actually compete with the Republicans. Plus the power of the idea: millions of regular Americans contributing small efforts and dollars versus the big money and special interests behind Bush in order to take our country back. This idea needs to continue to grow, and switching support to Clark will interrupt it. He might be able to replicate it, but it seems unlikely in the short period of time available.

The main thing Clark supporters say against Dean is that he is unelectable because people will think he's soft on national security. But those who look at the facts know that 's not so. And those that go by superficial "impressions"? I submit that if they see the fire/steel in Dean's eyes when he is unfairly attacked, as in the debate last night, their impression won't be that Dean is soft. Sure, this is shallow. But the voters the Clark supporters are worried about are shallow. (Here is an example of young Republicans being impressed by Dean's "steely resolve".)
I agree that if Clark runs against Bush, we will see a string of stories pouring forth from the Pentagon from every general who ever had a gripe with Clark. As this Washington Post article makes clear, he has lots of enemies. I suggest reading this account by Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel of one incident that, fairly or unfairly, earned Clark a reputation as a hothead.

I would add that every sign I've seen suggests that Clark's campaign is being colossally mismanaged, which reflects not so much on Clark but on the people he's put in charge. From the move to dismantle the grassroots Draft Clark organization to the decision to drop an unprepared Clark in that 1 hour interview with four reporters the day after his announcement, I think these people are blowing whatever chance Clark might have had.

Friday, September 26, 2003

 
posted by Editor at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2003

Governor Dean Calls For Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz To Resign
'Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz Must Go' To Restore Credibility


WASHINGTON--This afternoon, Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., called for the resignations of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

Following his comments, Dean for America announced that it was launching a petition drive to demonstrate the national support for the resignations of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. The petition is available at www.deanforamerica.com/mustgo.

In making his statement, Governor Dean cited the "long line of problematic statements from the highest levels of the Administration, from the discredited line in the President's State of the Union address regarding Iraq's supposed attempts to acquire uranium from Niger to the Vice President's claim that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear program to Secretary Rumsfeld's claim that he had 'bulletproof' evidence of ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. This pattern of deception is but one major reason that this Administration deserves to be fired by the American people."

"For officials at the highest levels of this Administration to exploit the emotions of the American people regarding the attacks of September 11 to achieve their political objectives is unacceptable," Governor Dean said.

He also cited the "abject failure of planning for the post-war period in Iraq. There is no need to wait until the next election to hold the major architects of this disaster responsible for their gross incompetence. The time has come for the President to fire them. To get Iraq on track, it is vitally important that the Pentagon begins the task of restoring credibility not only in the world community, but here at home as well. That is not possible under the continued leadership of Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. They must go."

"A decision to send our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to war is the most solemn decision any president can make. As president, I will not hesitate to send our military anywhere in the world to defend the United States and its key interests, but I will never do so without telling the American people the truth. The American people expect and deserve the truth from their leaders--especially an Administration that purportedly took office to 'restore honor and dignity' to the White House. But we have seen something very different from this Administration," Governor Dean said.

His complete statement is available at www.deanforamerica.com and on the campaign's official weblog, www.blogforamerica.com.

-- 30 --

 

Dean to Air Spanish Language Ads http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030926/ap_on_el_pr/dean_hispanic_ads_1

posted by Christopher at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Continuing the trend of groundbreaking moves within the Democratic primary, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is launching a spanish-language ad campaign to attract more support from the latino community in America - an extremely important consituency in the coming election. Two things are important about this outreach effort. First, we all need to do our best to make this the most inclusive, diverse campaign in America in 2004. That means all of us need to reach out. Second, the ad features Dean himself doing all the talking (he learned spanish working one summer working alongside Cuban co-workers). It's important that the message is coming from Dean himself.

One thing I've been struck by is Gov. Dean's willingness to talk openly about controversial issues in this campaign - including civil unions and race. The point he's beginning to make, quite persuasively, is that the Bush Administration is "dividing and conquering" this country based on fear (both of outsiders, and of each other). The xenophobic stance of the Bush Administration makes many afraid of people of other nations, and translates into subtle efforts to divide us as a nation along religious, ethnic, racial, and class lines. By doing so, they continue to ensure that a very small minority of extremely wealthy people control political debate in this country.

I'm not saying that Dean can cure ALL of the nation's ills, or bind its racial wounds, but I am saying that by working together we build understanding and a shared future. I think Dean understands that. Perhaps I make too much of this ad campaign - but I believe reaching out counts for something. You might call it leading by example.

An excerpt from the AP story by Will Lester:

"The most important values in the Hispanic community are family, children, education and work," Dean says in the Spanish-language ad. "As governor, I created thousands of new jobs, we provided health insurance for all children and youth and a first-class education system."

"The values of the Hispanic community are the values of Howard Dean."

Dean learned Spanish while working on a ranch in Florida with Cuban exiles during a break in high school, aides say.

Earlier this month, the Dean campaign launched radio ads in South Carolina aimed at attracting black voters, who could make up almost half the electorate in that state's presidential primary, set for Feb. 3. New Mexico holds its presidential caucuses Feb. 3. "

 

Backbone Award: Nominations Open

posted by Trammell at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
So, did anyone show some Backbone this week? If so, who, and why? And, who should get the Spineless Fruitcake? When possible, please provide relevant news links with your nominees. You can now check out all past awardees-- thanks Anna! -- on the lower-left sidebar! Winners (and losers) posted by Monday.

 

More pictures from the Boston Rally

posted by Amanda at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
One of our members at Mass for Dean, Gabriel Ben-Yosef, took some excellent pictures of prepping for the Sept. 23 rally and the rally itself. All pics are copyrighted. Enjoy!

 

Dean vs. Newt http://www.liberaloasis.com/archives/092103.htm#092603

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Liberal Oasis delves into Lexis-Nexis and finds that the record shows clearly that:


  1. Dean opposed the '95 budget that led to the government shutdown: "What they're interested in is cutting the budget and making sure that somebody else gets the blame,"-- Star Tribune 10/27/95

  2. Dean was critical of the lack of health care issues in the GOP budget: "It helps to balance the budget but does nothing to move toward universal coverage in the private system. . . . The Republicans are missing a wonderful opportunity to expand coverage, not reduce it" -- Washington Post 7/11/95

  3. Dean criticized the GOP version of welfare reform (note that Dean successfully implemented welfare reform in Vermont): "When Americans elected the new majority ... they voted to do things in a new way, but I don't think they voted to starve children."" -- Tikkun 5/95

  4. Dean was strongly against cuts in Medicare: "This will bankrupt the state. It will guarantee that either people will go totally without health care or there will be tax increases. This is a disgrace." -- Associated Press, 9/95



However, LO finds that Dean did not toe the Democratic party line, either. He expressed support for some aspects of the Contract with America, and also was receptive to the idea of a balanced budget amendment. Liberal Oasis summarizes Dean's stands on these issues during the time as follows:

So it’s pretty clear where Dean was at:

Opposed to the cruelty and mismanagement of the GOP, but willing to cut spending in popular programs -- not gut them -- to balance the budget and not burden state services.

It’s certainly debatable whether or not Dean was right on those points, but he was not in lockstep with Newt and the anti-government GOP.


However, regarding Medicare, it's a bit more complicated. Gephardt's deanfacts.com site is full of out of context quotes, but LO finds that in context, Dean's position was not that much different from Bill Clinton's:

Dean also said he could defend Domenici's approach to reducing Medicare costs…

…"I fully subscribe to the notion that we should reduce the Medicare growth rate from 10 percent to 7 percent, or less if possible,” Dean said.

Dean has acknowledged the accuracy of the quote (not necessarily the preceding paraphrasing).

But technically speaking, this doesn’t mean he “stood with” Newt, as Kerry alleged, and it’s not the “very plan” that Gingrich backed.

And when the final GOP budget bill came down later that year, Dean opposed it, as noted above.

Gephardt and Kerry supporters can rightly retort that the heart of the Medicare portion, the reduction in the growth rate, was still similar, and Dean expressed support for it.

Then again, so did Bill Clinton. Sort of …on Oct. 5, 1993 [Clinton said:]

"Today, Medicaid and Medicare are going up at three times the rate of inflation. We propose to let it go up at two times the rate of inflation. That is not a Medicare cut. ... So when you hear all this business about cuts, let me caution you that that is not what is going on."

"The president said it better than we can," said [Sen. Pete] Domenici.

Clinton proposed to save $ 178 billion from Medicare and Medicaid over five years as part of his plan to guarantee health coverage for all Americans. It failed in the last Congress...

…But Domenici…did not include the rest of the president's remarks…

Clinton went on to say, "We are going to have increases in Medicare and Medicaid, and a reduction in the rate of growth will be more than overtaken by the new investments we're going to make in drugs and long-term care."

So, what you would do with the savings from slower growth matters a lot.


LO concludes that the important question for Dean is not whether he supported Newt then but what he would do with the savings now? Dean needs to put his statements in the past in context, and issue a detailed plan about what his long-range vision is for medicare. Without his own articulation of his broader goals on this critical issue, Dean runs the risk of having it defined for him by his opponents.

 

bring it on http://slate.msn.com/id/2088895/

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Chris Suellentrop puts the debate Dean pile-on into perspective:

But the real story of the debate turned out to be the same as the old story: Let's all gang up to try to stop Howard Dean. The former Vermont governor continues to be attacked from the right by his opponents, who are using the same tactics that the GOP would surely use against him in a general election: 1) He's a flip-flopping politician who will say anything to get elected; 2) He's weak and inexperienced on national security; 3) He's going to raise taxes on average Americans.

As a result, Dean is facing several candidates who are serving as the functional equivalents of stand-ins for Bush. Kerry is using the "tax families" that Bush used to great effect in the 2000 election to show how changes in tax rates affect specific American families. Lieberman is at least as hawkish as Bush on terrorism and Iraq, and probably more of a free-trader. And now Clark comes along as the candidate who possesses at least the appearance of an unbeatably impressive aura on defense and national security matters (even if substantively he agrees with Dean). During the debate, Kerry accuses Dean of wanting to raise taxes by $1,000 on 32 million couples, and by $3,000 on one specific firefighting-and-teaching New Hampshire couple. Lieberman accuses Dean of abandoning "the Clinton-Gore record" on middle-class tax cuts and trade. And Clark doesn't say anything about Dean, but when you're a general, even an antiwar one, you don't have to.

Democratic partisans are probably dismayed by all the criticism, but the truth is that if Dean wins the nomination, he'll have been made stronger by the gantlet he's being forced to run. And if he can't beat what he calls "Bush Lite," how can he expect to beat the real thing?

 

transcript: NY Democratic Debate (9/25/03) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A433-2003Sep25.html

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
full transcript is at the link above. Note that the debate opened with a question to Clark for his Democratic loyalties, and an invitation for Dean to critique Clark. Dean demurred and shifted the topic to Bush. Excerpts below are the attacks on Dean from Kerry and Gephardt:

KERRY: We Democrats fought hard to put those tax cuts in place, Ron. Those represent the efforts of Democrats to try to reach the middle class of America.

The 10 percent bracket wasn't George Bush's idea. It was our idea. It was in keeping with the spirit of our party to try to help the average American get ahead in a country where increasingly average Americans are getting stomped on, where there's an unfairness in the workplace, where corporate executives, as we've seen, are walking away with millions and sticking the average American with the bill. I think Governor Dean is absolutely wrong. And he's wrong on his facts. The fact is that 32 million American couples get about $1,000 out of the tax cut. The fact is that 16 million American families get $1,500 to $3,000 from it.

Just ask Ted Walsh (ph) and Mia Gloss (ph) in Barrington, New Hampshire. He's a firefighter, she's a teacher. If Governor Dean has his way and Congressman Gephardt, they're going to pay $3,000 additional taxes. We can cut the deficit in half, we can be fiscally responsible, but we don't have to do it on the backs of the middle class.

DEAN: And all due respect to Senator Kerry and the others from Washington that voted for these tax cuts, this is exactly why the budget is so far out of balance.

Washington politicians promising people everything. You can have tax cuts, you can have insurance, you can have special education. We cannot win as Democrats if we take that kind of attack. Tell the truth: We cannot afford all of the tax cuts, the health insurance, special ed and balancing the budget, and we have to do those things.

The fact of the matter is that 60 percent of Americans at the bottom got $325.

That is not a tax cut. Whatever you got out there in tax cuts, the majority of Americans saw their kids' college tuition go up, their property taxes go up, because people like the friend--Senator Kerry's friend in Barrington got laid off because of the enormous tax cuts and no money coming to the states. Let's call this one right. Let's be fiscally responsible and balance the budget. Bob Graham and I are the only people up here that have ever balanced a budget and I think we ought to balance this budget and not promise more than we can deliver.

[...]

WILLIAMS: Senator Kerry, you have accused Governor Dean of playing on workers' fears and advocating protectionism and saying that under him it threatens to throw the economy into a tail spin. It that fair?

KERRY: Yes, it is fair, because Governor Dean, on a number of occasions across the country, has said very specifically that we should not trade with countries until they have labor and environment standards that are equal to the United States. That means we would trade with no countries. It is a policy for shutting the door. It's either a policy for shutting the door, if you believe it, or it's a policy of just telling people what they want to hear.

I think there's a middle ground that's smart for America. No president can shut the door to globalization and no president should.

President Clinton traded. We created 23 million jobs in the 1990s, we balanced the budget, we paid down the debt, we brought more women into the workforce than at any time in American history. We lifted a hundred times the number of people out of poverty of Ronald Reagan. We can do that again, but we have to enforce trade agreements. We have to be fair in our trade.

And I intend to sign no trade agreement that doesn't have adequate labor and environment standards. I'm going to raise the enforcement level. But I'm not going to shut the door, because that would depress the economy of our country.

WILLIAMS: Governor Dean, you have said that the senator from Massachusetts lacks an understanding of the job loss in this country. You have heard the accusation from him.

DEAN: You know, to listen to Senator Lieberman, Senator Kerry, Representative Gephardt, I'm anti-Israel, I'm anti-trade, I'm anti-Medicare and I'm anti-Social Security. I wonder how I ended up in the Democratic Party.

I'm not a new entrant to the Democratic Party. I've been here a long time. I voted for--I supported NAFTA, I supported the WTO. We benefited in Vermont from trade.

But I have spent a lot of time in the Midwest in the last couple of years. Our manufacturing jobs are hemorrhaging. We have to go back and revise every single trade agreement that we have to include labor standards, environmental standards and human rights standards.

And if we don't, the trade policy that we seek to help globalize and help workers around the country and the world is going to fail. I want a successful trade policy, but I'm no longer willing to sacrifice the jobs of middle-class Americans in order to pad the bottom lines of multinational corporations.

Trade has to be fair to workers, not just multinational corporations. And I think Senator Kerry is insensitive to the plight of workers--American workers who have lost their manufacturing jobs.

[...]

WILLIAMS: A question for Governor Dean: What is your position on raising the retirement age?

DEAN: We shouldn't do it.

You know, Dick Gephardt, earlier in his career considered means testing Social Security and Medicare both, something that I have never considered. I considered raising the Social Security age possibly to 70, possibly to 68. I've rejected that. I think Dick has since rejected means testing Social Security.

What we're trying to do as Democrats is save Social Security and Medicare both. And I think we've succeeded in doing that. In fact, many of the things that I suggested in 1995, which Dick Gephardt has attacked me for, were actually incorporated into the Clinton plan to save Medicare and Social Security, and has resulted in the savings of over $200 billion.

So my view is, we do not need to raise the retirement age above 67. We do not need to means test Social Security or Medicare. If we need to do anything, we may need to raise the cap on earnings in order to make Social Security solvent.

But Social Security is solvent today, and it will remain solvent if we can turn this economy around, and that's what we're all trying to do here.

WILLIAMS: Congressman Gephardt, we would be remiss.

GEPHARDT: Howard and I just have a basic disagreement. He said in, I think, 1993 that Medicare was the worst federal program ever. He said that it was the worst thing that ever happened.

He also supported, at our darkest hour--when I was leading the fight against Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America, he was shutting the government down--Howard, you were agreeing with the very plan that Newt Gingrich wanted to pass, which was a $270 billion cut in Medicare.

Now, you've been saying for many months that you're the head of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. I think you're just winging it. This is not the view of Democrats, in my view.

This program has been under attack from the Republicans since the beginning. And we need a candidate against George Bush that can take the fight to him on it, not someone who agreed with the Gingrich Republicans.

WILLIAMS: Governor Dean?

DEAN: That is flat-out false, and I'm ashamed that you would compare me with Newt Gingrich. Nobody up here deserves to be compared to Newt Gingrich.

(APPLAUSE)

First of all, I did say that Medicare was a dreadful program because it's administered dreadfully.

I've done more for health insurance, Dick Gephardt, frankly, than you ever have, because I've delivered it to a lot of seniors and a lot of young people. And I'll stake my record on health insurance against anybody up here.

Of course, we're not going to get rid of Medicare, and you are wrong to insinuate so, but we're going to run it properly because we're going to have somebody that actually is taking care of patients running Medicare and Medicaid in the FDA so we can get the things that we need to get to patients.

To insinuate that I would get rid of Medicare is wrong, it's not helpful, and we need to remember that the enemy here is George Bush, not each other.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

 

Dean for America: John Kerry Should Heed His Own Advice

posted by Editor at Thursday, September 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the Dean Campaign...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2003

John Kerry Should Heed His Own Advice


At virtually the same time John Kerry sent out a fundraising email to supporters vowing to fight back against the politics of personal destruction, he failed to take his own high-minded advice. At the moment in the debate when Kerry had a chance to take the high road and join with Sen. Edwards in calling for the candidates to focus on their own plans and visions and not criticize each other, Sen. Kerry instead joined Dick Gephardt and resorted to the politics of the past by seconding the ridiculous comparison of Gov. Dean to Newt Gingrich.

Despite stating in his email, "I have taken the high road in this campaign," John Kerry continues to distort Gov. Dean's record and attack him at every turn.

John Kerry will soon learn that he is right that these tactics turn good
people away from the process. That is why more than 425,000 people have joined Gov. Dean's call for a new people-powered politics based on participation and hope, rather than based on the politics of the past and fear.

John Kerry should heed his own call.

-- 30 --

 

Debate Wrap & Open Thread

posted by Trammell at Thursday, September 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I'll post more in this space shortly, but let's get some comments going! For those who missed Dean knocking it out of the park -- rebroadcast on MSNBC at 8 p.m. EDT - 5:00 p.m. PDT.

 

Debate Webcast?

posted by G at Thursday, September 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Governor Dean is in New York today for the Democratic National Committee debate, cosponsored by the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. The debate, which will be shown on CNBC at 4 p.m. and rebroadcast on MSNBC at 8 p.m., will focus on the economy.

Does anyone know if the debate will be webcast or broadcast on radio? If so, please let us know!


update from anna: You can listen online via NY public radio. Click here (listen link is top left, says fresh air right now). Right now fresh air is on, but they'll play the debate right afterwards.
update again: My mistake. It's billed as being played live, but it's not. Nevermind. Someone out there have some public radio links? Someone has to be broadcasting the debate online...

 

Anti-Bush moderates http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49775-2003Sep22.html

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, September 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
EJ Dionne writing in the Washington Post:

The analytical mistake is to assume that the anti-Bush feeling, which is there, leads straight to the fever swamps of radicalism. In fact, the dislike of Bush among Democrats is more personal and partisan than it is ideological. Democrats are not, in fact, moving to the far left.
...
To beat Bush, they are willing to back a general whose views on many issues are unknown -- and who appears to have voted for Ronald Reagan. Whether they are right or wrong about Clark, pure ideologues don't do stuff like that. They back Dennis Kucinich.

Nor can former Vermont governor Howard Dean be seen as some kind of leftist. Yes, he won many left-wing hearts by opposing Bush on Iraq. But Dean has been a moderate, even conservative, Democrat on many issues, including Medicare and Social Security. Rep. Dick Gephardt is going at Dean hard on these questions.

If the rebellion in the Democratic Party were primarily ideological, closet centrist Dean would be going nowhere. What Dean understood earlier than his rivals is that Democrats wanted someone who did not seem intimidated by Bush. Iraq became both a substantive issue and a symbol. If Dean was willing to fight Bush on Iraq, many Democrats reasoned that he'd be tough enough to take him on across the board.


not just Democrats! but also centrists like me. The rest of the article is just as excellent, poiting out that the roots of anger at Bush were planted well before the war in Iraq. And this centrist discontent has been steadily building, to the point where Bush is facing routine sub-50 polling numbers.

(also see David Neiwert's comments)

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

 

Dean Remains Frontrunner: Here's Why.... http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0309/24/ip.00.html

posted by Trammell at Wednesday, September 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I've noticed that certain chattering heads have been making an interesting distinction: Clark is the national frontrunner (based on national polls) but Dean is still the frontrunner (based on polls in New hampshire and Iowa). Here's why. First, there is little doubt that Dean will be tops in fundraising for the third quarter. It's already being reported that Dean will easily beat Bill Clinton's 1995 record (10.3 mil) for a Democrat in a single quarter, and this was as a sitting President. If, indeed, Dean takes in 12-16 mil it will be 6-8 times as much as Clark will bring in, and we will likely raise at least double what Clark raises in the same two-week period since he's entered the race. You can help Dean with this effort by giving to THE BAT now!

However, that's not the only reason to be optimistic. Dean's unprecedented grassroots army -- yes, that means you who are reading this! -- is formidable. And, Dean still leads in New Hampshire and Iowa. This means little if you win just one or the other, but if you win both, it may be a lock. Dean is the only candidate who can possibly win both states. Further, no presidential candidate has ever won a nomination by "writing off" Iowa or New Hampshire. From today's Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff on CNN:

WOODRUFF: With me now to talk more about Wesley Clark's chances in Iowa, as well as New Hampshire, are two veteran political reporters. David Yepsen of "The Des Moines Register" and David Nyhan of "The Eagle Tribune" newspapers.

David Yepsen, to you first. We're only a week in, but what impressions so far has Wesley Clark left with the voters of Iowa, would you say?

DAVID YEPSEN "DES MOINES" REGISTER: I think very few, Judy. He made one stop in Iowa City, Iowa for a long-scheduled experience and met a few people and then he was gone.

One thing significant, Judy, that he was not doing, none of his people were collecting any names of supporters. He had about 1,000 people that showed up at the university of Iowa. He got a decent reception. And then he was gone.

If you're not at this stage of the game organizing your people to turn out on caucus night, then you're missing the boat.

WOODRUFF: And quickly, how does that compare to the other Democrats at this point?

YEPSEN: They're way ahead of him. They've got staff on the ground. They've been here for months. They've spent a lot of time here. General Clark is going to have to try to run a wholesale campaign in a retail state, and I'm not sure he can do it.

WOODRUFF: All right, David Nyhan, what about in New Hampshire. What are the voters there seeing or hearing of General Clark so far?

DAVID NYHAN "EAGLE TRIBUNE" NEWSPAPERS: Well, the people I talked to, everybody's astonished that Clark did so well coming out of the gate in the poll. But given the fact that Howard Dean surged to the front in New Hampshire was propelled by his opposition to the Iraq war people were astonished when Clark first said he would have voted for the war resolution because the president deserved to be supported on a war resolution and then that he would have opposed it.

So I think he stumbled coming out of the gate. It remains to be seen whether he's a Seabiscuit of a candidate. But he better be because with barely four months to go in voting in the first primary in New Hampshire, he's way behind the others in terms of organizing on the ground just as David Yepsen finds in Iowa.

WOODRUFF: All right give me a quick example of that, David Nyhan. How is he behind the others?

NYHAN: Well, some of them, people like Kerry, Gephardt and Howard Dean, whose organization has surged on this great -- the great wave of antipathy towards President Bush among Democratic core primary voters, they have built substantial organizations. They have offices in different cities and towns around the state. People are pouring money into the Dean campaign. I mean, it's really a phenomenal growth [perhaps as high as] $20 million in this quarter.

WOODRUFF: Still?

NYHAN: Absolutely, yes. And what I find and some of the Kerry people agree with me is that Kerry as a former front runner underestimated the depth of antipathy to President Bush and to his policies and to people like Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and Cheney and Tom DeLay. The Democrats in New Hampshire are boiling to get a crack at the administration. And Dean was the messenger they selected out of this deck that now includes ten cards.

WOODRUFF: So, David Yepsen, give us a little more of the lay of the land in Iowa. You're saying Clark's barely put his toe in the water there. But what about for the rest of the candidates?

YEPSEN: I think Governor Dean is running quite well. He's got a good organization. He's spent time here. I see nothing that changes my view that [Dean] is a front-runner right now.

Dick Gephardt is right behind him, got a lot of support from labor unions, picked up another won in the laborers. He's got thousands of union members supporting him. And I think Senator Kerry, he's down, but he's certainly not out. He's coming out here in a few days with Senator Kennedy to try to add a little juice to his campaign here.

So these guys have got time to get their campaigns either reignited or to light some fires. General Clark has done none of the basic organizing in Iowa. And I think he sounded an uncertain trumpet with his waffling on whether he would have voted for this war resolution or not.

I was talking to one of Howard Dean's people who said he was really worried about General Clark when he got into the race. And once he saw that Clark waffled on the war issue, he's not worried about the man anymore. If you sound an uncertain trumpet, who will follow? I think General Clark has done that with the anti-war movement. They're just not sure about him. They've got a horse to ride, and that's Howard Dean.

 

LA, get ready for a visit from the Doctor... http://deanforamerica.com/unionstation

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, September 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Tuesday September 30, Gov Dean will be at Union Station. There are appearances scheduled by Martin Sheen, Rob Reiner, CA State Senator Sheila Kuehl, LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti, Patton Oswalt and award-winning spoken-word poet Adam In-Q. To signup for the event, click the link above.

 

Dean gets an assist from SEIU 1199 http://www.cmonitor.com/stories/news/newengla2003/nh__dean_labor092403_2003.shtml

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, September 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Tuesday night, Local 119 union boss Dennis Rivera hosted a Dean fundraiser that raked in at least $30,000 (um, has that been added to the bat, DFA?). Although Rivera didn't formally endorse Dean, Dean's the only candidate Rivera's raised funds for.
"We have been incredibly impressed with him (Dean) and particularly his campaign," union boss Dennis Rivera told a crowd of about 100 union members gathered at the headquarters of Local 1199, Service Employees International Union. "One of the things that Governor Dean is doing is basically campaigning dramatically hard to try and bring more people into the equation and almost changing the way that American politics (is done)."

Rivera seems to understand that reaching out to disaffected democratic voters is the way to win in the general election. Sure, you can play footsie with "centrists" but there's two disadvantages in doing so. First, the centrists float back and forth between parties (hence the term "swing voters"), so you can't really count on them as permanent party converts. Second, by playing to the swingers, you alienate your base and generally you don't inspire new people. And then the result is that the democratic majority stays home on election day. See, we like to be inspired, and playing to the mushy middle just doesn't accomplish that sometimes. Back to the article:
"It's a sign we are impressed and intrigued by the Dean campaign and their ability to mobilize people and contributions, and we're trying to do what we can to be helpful," said Jennifer Cunningham, Rivera's top political adviser and executive director of the health care workers' union, which has more than 200,000 members. "We're not anywhere near an endorsement." The national leadership of the SEIU has said it is still too early to offer an endorsement. Rivera, however, is a key member of the national's leadership. Dean is the only Democratic candidate for whom Rivera is raising money. Nonetheless, Cunningham left no doubt about Rivera's feelings. "We wouldn't be doing an event for him if we weren't supportive," she said.

The SEIU represents many health care workers, and I'm pleased to see that they're open to Dean's health care plan. If anyone knows what ails our county's health care system, it's these rank and file workers who spend every day on the front lines battling the beauracracy while providing the best care possible. While I personally don't worry too much about health care, I know it's a major issue that we need to deal with, especially as baby boomers retire. I'd much rather see the US tackle this problem sooner rather than later. And as my staunchly conservative, baby-boomer, Republican father in law said about two weeks ago when we were discussing the nation's health care crisis, "When you get to be my age, universal health care starts looking pretty damned good."

 

Transcript from Good Morning America http://talkshows.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abcnews.go.com%2Fonair%2Fgoodmorningamerica%2FGMAIndex.html

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, September 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Reviews from this morning's GMA appearance are good, according to comments on the O-blog. I didn't get to see the show since I was already at work (!), so here's a transcript:
ABCNEWS' CHARLIE GIBSON: Are we any closer today to getting assistance from other nations in Iraq?
GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN: I don't think so. I think the president poisoned the well and now he's going to have a hard time getting help. His father had over 100,000 troops in Iraq, and that's the right way to go about it. Now all Americans, including our soldiers, are paying the price.
GIBSON: Would you cede control to the U.N. for the rebuilding effort?
DEAN: I would not cede control of American troops, but I would bring in the U.N. I think ultimately both Afghanistan and Iraq have to be international reconstruction efforts.
GIBSON: But that's not a popular political move in this country. and you're giving control in Iraq to countries that opposed the war in the first place?
DEAN: It is a popular political move in this country, because people want out and we can't get out. We can't lose the peace in Iraq but we didn't afford to get out without somebody taking up the slack. If we do, al Qaeda, which is not in Iraq, which wasn't in Iraq before … or somebody else will take over. And since they're likely to be friendly to the Iranians, that's a huge problem to the United States. I think having a United Nations force in Iraq makes sense. The Americans will play a significant role there, but this business of $87 billion out of the deficit to continue to finance this is going to be …
GIBSON: Would you vote for the $87 billion?
DEAN: If the president will begin to balance the budget. Take that $87 billion from somewhere, mainly from the tax cuts, then I think you have to support the troops.
GIBSON: Absent tax cuts, would you vote for?
DEAN: Unlikely. You can't continue to tell the American people that you can go to war, do something about education, have health care and continue to finance these enormous deficits.
GIBSON: Do you agree with Senator Kennedy that the reasons for going to war were a fraud?
DEAN: Nobody has any way of knowing that, but I think the president was not truthful. He told us Iraq was buying uranium from Africa and admitted there was no obvious connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. Those are the reasons he gave us for going to Iraq and turns out he admits they were not true. That's a serious problem.
GIBSON: You said in a rally in Boston this week, democracy is itself is at stake and then you said the extreme right wing has shown nothing but contempt for democracy. Do you think the extreme right wing is in control of this administration?
DEAN: I think the right wing is in control of this administration, and I do think they show contempt for democracy. The Supreme Court wouldn't count he votes again in Florida. I think that was a mistake. The impeachment of the president, which had nothing to do with his administration, but that was clearly political. Now we have reapportionment in Texas and Colorado with the delivered intent of taking votes way and the California recall election, which is about taking or undoing an election that took place in 2002. These folks believe they have a god-given right to run the country the way they want.
GIBSON: And you think this administration shows contempt for democracy?
DEAN: I do. I do not believe that the rest of us have a voice and this is our country.
GIBSON: Let me turn to the Wesley Clark phenomena. New man in the race. Some people thought you were the frontrunner, all of a sudden he is. How do you explain that?
DEAN: I never get into saying who the frontrunner is. You guys all like to do the horse race thing. I think he's got good credentials.
GIBSON: Is he a true democrat?
DEAN: I think we have to find out about that. we don't know what his positions are.
GIBSON: He said he voted for Nixon and Reagan. Does that disqualify him?
DEAN: It doesn't, but I am surprised. I spent a fair amount of time with him before he got in, because I thought he has very good credentials on foreign policies.
GIBSON: do you think the clintons are behind him?
DEAN: I don't think there's much evidence of that.
GIBSON: We've been asking candidates some sort of frivolous questions but interesting in showing perhaps their character. Your favorite movie?
DEAN: Oh, gosh, there's a lot of them. I would say Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid.
GIBSON: Favorite book?
DEAN: All The Kings Men.
GIBSON: And favorite car?
DEAN: Favorite car? Oh, my goodness. Well, the politically correct answer is a Toyota Prius, but I would have to say Chevy Blazer.
GIBSON: Good to have you with us, covering all the bases.

Notice how Charlie gave Howard two opportunities to tear into Clark, and our man took the high road. No circular firing squad here, and if possible, it should remain that way.
Notice also that Dean comes out firmly against giving Bush yet another blank check for war. You know, something occured to me the other day. We've got an $87 billion dollar request, plus that $75 billion from early on. Didn't Bush's "disgraced" former National Economic Council Director Larry Lindsey say before the war that it was going to cost us $200 billion dollars? Oh that's right, he did, and shortly thereafter he was forced into resigning. So... $75 billion + $87 billion = $162 billion. So I'm assuming we'll get another bill down the line for about $36 billion. Ah, yet another example of BushCo crushing the dissent of anyone in the administration who actually lives on this planet. *sigh* What happened to those oil revenues that were supposed to pay for the occupation?
Anyway, sorry I got off on a tangent there, but the numbers have really been bothering me as of late. We must unseat the Boy King and replace him with a chief executive who not only knows how to handle a budget, but who'll also be able to reverse Bush's diastrous foreign policy and get us some help in Iraq. Unfortunately, it takes money to do that (remember Bush's $200 million dollar warchest?), so if you haven't done it yet this quarter, go take a swing at the bat. Do it for your country. Do it for the future.

 

Why the bat is so important http://salon.com/news/feature/2003/09/23/dean_israel/index.html

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, September 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This Salon article mainly talks about the Israel flap from two weeks ago, and the author leaves out some facts related to the issue (like Pelosi & Dean reaching agreement, for example, and what Dean really said about Hamas). However, it ends with a note that we should all heed:
No matter how many gaffes he makes, then, no one can say Dean's imploding till the money dries up.

It really is that simple. It takes money to win the Presidential race. We need to fill that bat today. Not tomorrow, not next week... today.

 

Snatched by the Wind http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/printer_092403A.shtml

posted by Trammell at Wednesday, September 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From a Truthout article on Iraq by William Rivers Pitt:
A moment will come on January 20th, 2005. It will be cold in Washington D.C. A man who is not George W. Bush will raise his hand and swear and oath to preserve, protect and defend the United States of America. The words "So help me God" will be snatched by the wind and carried across seas and mountains to the furthest corners of the planet. When that happens, all of the Earth will be joined together in the deepest and most profound exhalation of relief. When that happens, George W. Bush will have become in his absence what he completely failed to be with his presence: A uniter.
Am I the only one that was misty eyed while reading this? Thanks to Debra in SF from the Zonkboard for the link.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

 

RealAudio of pre-rally interview with Dean on WBUR http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wbur/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=548916

posted by G at Tuesday, September 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

 

Report from the Boston Rally http://blogs.deanvolunteers.org/m4d/

posted by Amanda at Tuesday, September 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It was a wild day in Beantown! Thanks to Anna for the timely summary (scroll down) -- I'm still catching my breath and didn't have time to post until now.

First and foremost, we dodged a major bullet. A fierce thunderstorm was threatening to blow in all morning and the wind gusts were incredibly strong. All the posters and signs had to be anchored down and the tall signs at the back of the crowd had to be held up by two or four people (side note: duck tape and trash ties are beautiful things). The thunder got really loud about midway through the Governor's speech but the first drops of rain didn't start until a few moments after he finished...and the skies really opened not long after that. Whew!

Mass for Dean volunteers and DFA staff arrived at Copley Square this morning around 8am to set up. Security was much tighter than at past rallies, apparently. So more volunteers were needed to corral attendees and the media, make sure everyone was where they should be, etc. The press area was mobbed. Our MFD photographer and videographer got credentials and mingled with the real press, which was a new experience to say the least! By the way, high quality MPEG video of the speech will be available tomorrow.

We had great t-shirts made for the rally that said "Democracy, Freedom, Action. Howard Dean in 2004." One of our members, Kelly Fitzsimmons, introduced the Governor. Kelly has never volunteered for a campaign before. She did an amazing job of speaking to the theme of the day -- we all need to be politically active in order to safeguard our democracy. You can see a picture of Kelly, along with Dean and numerous Massachusetts state representatives who've endorsed Dean HERE (Kelly is on the right in the brown suit).

Another MFDer, Kim Elliott, was profiled at the rally by Claire Shipman for a "Good Morning America" segment that will air later this week, apparently. (Here's a picture of Kim and I flyering at Fenway Park recently; I'm on the right, Kim's on the left.)

My favorite quip from the speech: Dean spoke about how Bush has refused to deal with North Korea because Bush doesn't like Kim Jong Il. "Well, I don't like him either, but..." Heh.

Best sign from the rally: We Believe! Red Sox '03, Howard Dean '04

Oh and on a personal note, my mother checked the O-blog for the first time today. I've finally corrupted her! Bwahaha! And, to top it all off, my rock rib Republican grandmother informed me this past weekend that she won't be voting for Geedubya in '04...and though she's leaning toward Clark, she thinks Dean is legit. The tides are turning, folks! :-)

 

Another Candidate Takes to the Airwaves http://www.johnedwards2004.com/television-ads.asp

posted by Editor at Tuesday, September 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Sen. John Edwards has launched television ads in Iowa and is expected to soon expand them to New Hampshire. You can view them by the link above. I think they are very well done and portray Edwards in a positive light. Dean got a bump when he was the first candidate on television, but I'm not sure if Gephardt saw similar effects. This is a "must" for Edwards - he's in the single digits and hasn't showed any momentum. If he starts to climb, this could keep him in. If he doesn't, then he may soon have to consider his options. My guess is that he dumps his entire campaign war chest into an ad blitz. I only wish that he was taking this message to the people of North Carolina and seeking a second term. He's needed in the closely divided Senate.

 

Ain't No Cryin' In Baseball http://timesargus.nybor.com/Regional_News/Story/71987.html

posted by Trammell at Tuesday, September 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean, Kerry trade barbs on baseball

By KEN MAGUIRE The Associated Press

BOSTON — Presidential hopefuls John Kerry and Howard Dean have been playing hardball for months over who offers Democrats the best chance at unseating President Bush.

But now things are getting serious.

Kerry’s camp, reacting to news that Dean will hold a rally today in the senator’s hometown, brushed back the former Vermont governor by claiming he’s a New York Yankees fan. Those are fightin’ words, especially within four months of the crucial primary in New Hampshire, a key state in Red Sox Nation. Dean, who grew up in New York, says he dumped pinstripes for Red Sox three years ago.

“When you move to New England, you put your old loyalties behind you,” said Dean campaign co-chairman Steve Grossman, a Massachusetts businessman. “You’ve got to have a sense of humor about this.”

The “flap” began when Kerry’s campaign said Dean’s Red Sox switch was just the latest in his quest for the presidency.

“Of all the flip-flops, this is the most inexplicable and indefensible,” Kerry spokeswoman Kelley Benander said Monday. “It’s like switching from the Redskins to the Cowboys or from Carolina to Duke.”


Dean told the Boston Herald that the Yankees accusation was the “biggest insult” hurled at him so far. He says Roger Clemens’ beaning of Mets catcher Mike Piazza in 2000 was the final straw.

Even Dean’s “bloggers” — supporters who post Web logs on the Internet — are having fun with the controversy.

One blogger described himself as a depressed Yankees fan: “Whoever kidnapped Governor Dean and replaced him with a Nomah-loving impostor, please return him safely, and we promise not to taunt you too badly (save some 1918 chants) when the Yankees win the Series again.”


The Red Sox last won the World Series, of course, in 1918. A year later, they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees. As the Yankees have gone on to win 26 World Series titles, some Red Sox fans have come to believe they’re team has been undermined by the “Curse of the Bambino.”

NOTE: One question: what blogs are these? Nice of them to name their source! If anyone knows, I'll add links. And hey, I'm from the West Coast, this must be like a Giants v. Dodgers thing, right?

 

Beantown is Deantown http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=694&ncid=694&e=3&u=/ap/20030923/ap_on_el_pr/dean

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, September 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Reports are coming in from today's Boston rally, and by all accounts it was a raging success. Yahoo already has a report online (linked above), and the O-blog has posted a transcript of Dean's remarks. Here's the intro:
“We’re here today to talk about what’s at stake in this election. Ten months from today, we’ll be coming back to Boston, not just to decide who will be the Democratic nominee, but to determine the future of our democracy.
230 years ago, right here in Boston, 50 dedicated patriots known as the Sons of Liberty boarded three ships in Boston Harbor to protest a government more concerned with moneyed interests than its own people. Those 50 patriots believed that they had the power and the duty to change their government.
What they did that night became known as the Boston Tea Party. It marked the beginning of the first great grassroots campaign in our history. Their action -- which they took together -- set this country on the path to freedom and democracy. And a King named George -- who had forgotten his own people in favor of special interests -- was replaced by a government of, by and for the people.
The people who boarded those ships in Boston Harbor joined together in common action to create a free society based on individual liberties. And through that action, they changed the course of history.
Democracy and freedom, forged through action. That is the story of America.

The crowd was estimated by a Boston ranger on duty as between 4,000-5,000 - and that was just inside the park. Onsite reports from Deaniacs say that there were people lining the streets well beyond the area that was cordoned off. If you want to see some pictures, Deaniac Donglai has posted his gallery here, and DFA photographer John Pettit's pictures are here. Stay tuned, as I'm sure DN contributor Amanda will be posting her account of today's rally. And don't forget to take a swing at the bat today!

update: The rally's made the front page of the Boston Globe online (great pic there), and they are running the AP article. Boston's Channel 7 also covers the event and they've got a short video clip online. Oh, and C-SPAN has the video archived here.

Monday, September 22, 2003

 

Bush Tanks, Clark Surges http://www.dailykos.com/archives/004271.html#004271

posted by Trammell at Monday, September 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here's a taste of the analysis over at Kos
Gallup has Bush at *50*

The Gallup poll has always been friendly to Bush. Nothing ideological or nefarious. But whatever methodology they used always gave Bush some of his highest numbers amongst the various polling outfits.

So it's amazing to see a 9-point drop in Bush's approval numbers over the past three weeks. That's no typo. The floor is collapsing under the Bush presidency.

Sep 19-21
Approve: 50
Disapprove: 47

Sep 8-10
Approve: 52
Disapprove: 43

Aug 25-26
Approve: 59
Disapprove: 37

Aug 4-5
Approve: 60
Disapprove: 36

Meanwhile, Clark jumps ahead to a major national lead: (Sep 8-10 results in parenthesis)

Clark 21 (9)
Undecided 17 (20)
Dean 12 (13)
Kerry 12 (11)
Lieberman 11 (12)
Gephardt 9 (15)

It may be early, but I think it's safe to annoint Clark the frontrunner, allowing Dean to ease back into his original role as the insurgent. Ironically, Clark's entrance has provided Dean with some respite from incessant attacks, as his opponents have all shifted their guns to Clark.
Many of you may not agree, but I truly believe, at least for the moment that this is good news for Dean. Clearly, it's good news for Dems!

 

pundits and Kool Aid http://www.msnbc.com/news/752664.asp#030917

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, September 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
All veep speculation aside, we Dean supporters do have a challenge to face with respect to Clark's candidacy: the "resume" meme. Eric Alterman gives a perfect example of a pundit fascinated by Clark's curriculum vitae :

So Clark is in. Everybody I’ve spoken with in the past few weeks figures that if he turns out to be a decent candidate, he’s definitely the guy with the best chance to save this country from the catastrophe that is Mr. Bush. That’s a big if, I know, but here’s my question. What are you Deanies gonna do? Let’s all admit that, in the abstract, a decorated general, Southerner, and Rhodes Scholar has a better chance to be elected president of the United States during an age of terrorism than the governor of a hippie state, born and raised in upper-class Manhattan (and with a Jewish wife and kids to boot), who has no military or foreign policy experience.


Of course, its had to argue with the implicitexplicit assumption that it is now only a question of Clark or Dean (though I still give Edwards a chance). After all, Alterman isn't posing his question to Gephardt's or Kerry's fans.

But there's zero reason to accept the reductio ad absurdum thesis that Clark makes all other candidacies irrelevant. For one thing, Alterman completely ignores the importance of the grassroots support - which stands at over 400,000 on email, over 100,000 on meetup, and over $10,000,000 raised in small contributions eligible for federal matching funds. Can Clark inspire the base? Can Clark motivate new voters? Can Clark increase voter participation, run an inclusive campaign, and assemble a broad coalition across party lines and ideologies?

well, I hope so. But he hasn't proven it yet. Until then, Dean fans have every right to back the guy who has all these key elements in place. Thats how you beat Bush - it takes more than a resume.

 

deanforamerica.com/deannation http://www.deanforamerica.com/deannation

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, September 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Try out that URL above and you'll be redirected to our Dean Nation Team page! The campaign is rewarding the best DeanTeams with direct links to acknowledge just how integral we are to the "war effort" :)

And while you're checking out the new link, don't forget to FEED the BAT!

 

Backbone Award: Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32687-2003Sep18.html

posted by Trammell at Monday, September 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Back's Back! -- and for those who think us too Dean-centric please note that this week's Dean Nation Backbone Award goes to a big supporter of one of our chief rivals, Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy -- and boy, does he deserve it. Dean supporters know quite well how difficult it can be to stand up and tell the truth, right? Well, check out this excerpt by AP writer Steve LeBlanc from The Washington Post:
The case for going to war against Iraq was a fraud "made up in Texas" to give Republicans a political boost, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said today.

In an interview, Kennedy also said the Bush administration has failed to account for nearly half of the $4 billion the war is costing each month. He said he believes much of the unaccounted-for money is being used to bribe foreign leaders to send in troops.

He called the Bush administration's Iraq policy "adrift." Kennedy expressed doubts about how serious a threat Saddam Hussein posed to the United States. He said administration officials relied on "distortion, misrepresentation, a selection of intelligence" to make their case for war.

"There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud," Kennedy said.
But did he stop there? Nope. This, from an interview with Judy Woodruff on CNN's Inside Politics:
WOODRUFF: Senator, [what Tom Delay called] hateful rhetoric at the president -- is that what this is?

KENNEDY: Well, it's basically politics as usual. This is the same kind of response that the Republicans had for Max Cleland when they called him unpatriotic after he lost three limbs in Vietnam. It's the same kind of rhetoric from the Republicans that they had for Tom Daschle when he questioned the administration's policy.

It will be the same kind of rhetoric, I guess that they're going to have for the American people who are questioning the administration's policy in Iraq. This is a failed, flawed, bankrupt policy. The American people want answers. They want to know what the peace policy is, what is really going to secure the peace in Iraq? What the cost is going to be to the American taxpayers and when will we be able to bring home our troops with honor?

WOODRUFF: Senator, do you know for a fact that the administration did what it did in Iraq for political reasons, which is in essence what you were charging?

KENNEDY: There's no question in my mind that the White House has hyped the political aspects of the war in Iraq. Karl Rove himself, the principal spokesperson for the Republican Party addressed a Republican National Committee out in Los Angeles in January 2001 and talked about the advantages that this war would have for Republican candidates.

So we also see the bitterness that the Republicans have for anyone that questions -- raising these serious questions about their policy. So they understand what they're doing. They're questioning the patriotism of those that are asking the questions, but the fact is the American people are asking the questions and they should ask the questions.

The administration's had an initial tie between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein; they rejected that. They said we were in an imminent threat of being attacked by nuclear war; that has not worked out. They said we are going there because of weapons of mass destructions; that isn't so. They also said we wouldn't have to ask the American taxpayer for money for reconstruction because there's sufficient oil reserves there and that's wrong, too. [...] The President of the United States ought to come clear with the American people in terms of the cost of this war and also recognize we never had a peace policy. The administration is asking us now for $87 billion more dollars. There's a blank check for this administration and there is no peace policy.
Despite the fact that Kennedy has, not surprisingly, endorsed the junior senator from his home state, I've no doubt he will be a great Dean supporter once we have a lock on the nomination. Please write or call Senator Kennedy -- tell him you are Dean supporter, tell him about the Backbone Award, send him a link to Dean Nation, and request that he continues asking the tough questions of Bush and Co. on behalf of all Americans!

There were some great runners-up this week: Max Cleland, Robert Byrd, Jimmy Carter and Paul Krugman, among others. Something tells me we'll get a chance to honor many of them with a Deany sometime soon.

But what about The Fruitcake? This one is no fun -- the toughest ever. Charter Backbone Winner Nancy Pelosi dodged a fruit-brick and I was ready to personally snatch that virtual statuette right out her hands! But there was no need. Texas Senator John Whitmire -- also a former winner with the Texas 11 -- removed his own spine and caucused with the jellyfish. By breaking the deadlock and throwing the Republicans a probable win in Texas on redistricting, Democrats may not regain the United States House of Representatives for years to come. He might as well switch parties, because personally, I believe he's the most despicable Democrat in the nation today. To add insult to injury, according to a report at Burnt Orange, Quitmire -- who I like to call Twitmire -- took a swipe at protesting Dean Supporters:
All 500 seats in the gallery were filled and I saw some Howard Dean shirts too. The gallery held up newspapers during the Roll Call to show their disgust (since we can't make noise during the actual session.) Then when the Senators voted to disband and meet tomorrow at 10 instead, things got crazy! ... Whitmire...before the motion...made a statement along the lines of "I want to say that the people here in Dean for President shirts are not supporters of mine."
Nope, Senator, they certainly are not! Haven't you noticed? Contact Senator Quitmire and inform him -- Duh! Dean supporters have Backbone!

P.S. While your at it, let Senator Twitmire know that you are giving a contribution, in his name in memoriam, to Howard Dean.

 

Texas challenge http://deanforamerica.com/tarrantcountytexas

posted by annatopia at Monday, September 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As you can see, the bat is back! Time to step up to the plate and take a swing, folks. There's lots of fundraising challenges happening this week, and I'd like to hilight the one we're doing down here in Texas.
In honor of this weekend's Iowa trip by Dean's Texas Rangers, Dean for Texas is taking part in the Texas challenge. This is how the challenge works: we're divided into counties and each county's goal is proportionate to the number of democratic primary voters. The winning county will get lots of kudos as well as some fun prizes.
So, if you're a Texan, please consider making your donation via your county link.
For example, if you live in Bexar county, go to http://deanforamerica.com/bexarcountytexas. For each county, just switch the name to match your county.
We're trying to raise at least $100,000 toward the bat challenge. Take a swing at the bat. And if you're not a Texan, please consider making your contribution via the DN Team page link.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

 

The Split Ends http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

posted by Trammell at Sunday, September 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Josh Marshall, Beltway Typing Head and Talking Points Memo maven has joined DC's hottest new band: The Split Ends. To wit:
Dean's political draw today seems to be the fact that he didn't allow himself to be fooled by arguments about Iraq's WMD. Thus this line Thursday at a speech to the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce in New Hampshire ...
The most important piece of foreign policy is judgment. The other four fellas who supported the (Iraq war) resolution all now say they were misled by the White House. If you were misled by the president and you were in Washington, what kind of experience is that if I could have figured it out in Vermont.
But what about what Dean said on Face The Nation a couple weeks before the war resolution vote, when asked what the president would have to do to prove that there was an immediate threat justifying war ...
I don't think he really has to prove anything. I think that most Americans, including myself, will take the president's word for it. But the president has never said that Saddam has the capability of striking the United States with atomic or biological weapons any time in the immediate future.
More important, what about this whole issue of conditional or contingent support for war? A number of Dean's opponents in the Democratic primaries said at the time -- and still do now -- that they weren't opposed to war under all circumstances. Their position was that if it were going to be done it had to be done in a multilateral fashion, with allies, and so forth -- you know the drill. Dean is now getting credit on the campaign trail for avoiding that kind of shilly-shallying and just arguing that the war was a bad idea in any case.
Call me crazy, but if you can navigate the labyrinthine split ends of these hairs and their attached, selective quotes, please let me know. You see, trouble is, Josh knows better -- is he actually trying to say that Dean has been, in some way, unclear on his opposition to the war? Please. For more about Josh on Dean, check out the comments on this thread over at Billmon's Whiskey Bar.

San Francisco for Dean's Paul Hogan, who has recently joined the emerging blog team over at Points West, writes in his new Sunday Victuals column at PW about Marshall's reaction to a letter from a Dean supporter critical of the above:
Today he is shocked, shocked, that he received a testy response from one of Gov. Dean's unwashed grassroots supporters. So shocked, in fact, that he posts the email and responds:
There is an awfully distressing tendency among a minority of Dean supporters to serve up no end of lacerating comments about other candidates and then to react with a sort of stunned and outraged shock when anyone criticizes their guy
Um, Josh, aren't you reacting with a sort of stunned and outraged shock when someone criticized you?

But I digress. We here at Points West would like ease Josh's distress and help educate him about the rough and tumble world of presidential primary politics. In that spirit I think it might be a nice gesture if everyone could forward to Josh at talk@talkingpointsmemo.com nice examples of the hatemail and/or attack comments you have read from the wingnuts, fanatics and boors who don't like their guy being criticized. Clearly Josh thinks that Dean supporters are exceptional and he badly needs to hear from you.
Trust me, there is not one candidate in this race who lacks a whacky/zealous supporter or two-hundred -- you should see the notes we get at Dean Nation! You can check out the rest of Paul's column here -- there is an especially fun item regarding the recent spate of attacks on Dean by Gephardt and others. Enjoy!

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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.