Showing posts from November, 2003

Daily Review

Dean Assails Bush on Defense Dean says states should turn down No Child Left Behind money Dean Ruled From Fiscal Center in Vermont Howard Dean/ Jimmy Carter Hardball Battle for the White House:Howard Dean

The Battle

Politics is war by peaceful means. But it is war. It is a struggle for power. In the case of the U.S. Presidency it is a struggle for ultimate power, the greatest source of political power and legitimacy the world has ever known. Let there be no mistake. Bush will have far more money than we do . He will have the power of incumbency to shape events as he likes . He claims, already, to have 10 times the troops in the field that we do . He and his Congress will spend like drunken sailors . He has the media, he has the political establishment, and surveys show him with an approval rating over 50 – a magic number because Presidents above that usually win, those below that usually lose. The best honest surveys show Howard Dean to be about six points behind . We have perhaps 8 months to enroll millions of new voters, knowing Bush will have all the money in the world to do the same. We know we must bring millions more new people to this process, knowing the RNC will also do the

Queer Meets World

In her screed from last week "Some Folks Just Shouldn't Get Married" Charlotte Alllen makes this ludicrous case: There are reasons why formally and publicly recognized unions of men and women constitute the world's oldest and most enduring social institution. By keeping, or at least attempting to keep, sexual activity and procreation within the family, marriage fosters the stable emotional and financial conditions that are best for the raising of children; parents focus their energy and resources upon their offspring and each other. Marriage also protects women financially and emotionally after their years of childbearing and peak sexual attractiveness have passed. It creates powerful kinship networks that transcend personal feelings -- witness "The Sopranos" -- ( NOTE : yup, gangsters are far better than fags) and provides incentives for the accumulation and orderly transmission of property. Well, in Saturday's LA Times , three letters appeared that

Dialog with Dan Darling

Dan Darling is a blogger I highly respect. He has extensive experience writing about and analyzing Islamic fanatacism, without a trace of anti-Muslim sentiment. His writings at Winds of Change.NET about the war on Terror have always been informative and thought-provoking (even when I disagree, it's educational). And he is also a devout Catholic who welcomes, as I do, the influence his beliefs have upon his domestic political opinions. He also probably won't be voting for Howard Dean - and in a post on his blog written as a response to comments at mine, he lays out the primary reasons why. In a nutshell, he finds Dean's comments that southerners vote against their economic interests to be unconvincing and condescending. He also has specific gripes about Liberalism as a whole (mainly driven by his religious convictions). I'm highlighting it because while I doubt there's any point in trying to convince Dan to vote Dean (or for him to try and convince me to

Clark piles on

This is a pretty despicable attack on Dean by Clark on Thanksgiving day: "I didn't have as much practice skiing as the governor did. He was out there skiing when I was recovering from my wounds in Vietnam," Clark, a former supreme allied commander in Europe, told WNTK radio on Wednesday. As all the other candidates know full well, Dean showed up for his physical and was rejected on account of his spinal condition. The rejection was not under his control. After Dean wins the nomination, watch for the same line of attack to be played out in the general election, with Bush quoting Clark by name. UPDATE: It may have been more innocous than it seemed at first blush. The CNN report has some mitigating comments from Clark : Clark did mention Dean by name earlier Thursday, when a radio interviewer jokingly asked if he'd be interested in a ski competition between candidates. "I didn't have as much practice skiing as the governor did. He was out t

NPR discovers blogs

interesting piece on NPR about the political impact of blogs. Here's the abstract from NPR's site: Online web logs are a resource for political junkies of every political bent. Candidates blog, their campaigns blog, volunteers blog, and countless observers blog, too. It remains to be seen how the political blogs will influence the campaign process. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

Daily Review

Why I'm for Dean You Have the Power Critics in Vermont Rally Around Dean Financing Moves by 2 Democrats Recast Early Campaign Fights

Governor Dean's Thanksgiving Message

May we always remember how much we have to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, Dean Nation. From Dean for America ... Across the country, families and friends are drawing closer to one another today, as we celebrate and give thanks in the same way Americans have been doing for centuries. Thanksgiving is the first holiday that was uniquely American. It says something fundamental about us -- that humble congregation and gratitude for our blessings is deep within our national character. Across the country are those whose blessings are few and whose need is great. Millions of families will be having a wholesome meal in a community center or soup kitchen today, never far from the reality to which they will return tomorrow. As we give thanks for all that we have, let us dedicate ourselves to building a world in which this day’s abundance becomes every day’s, for all to share. Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Richardson & Horseshoes

In politics as in horseshoes, sometimes close does count. Interesting article from Hispanic Business Magazine regarding New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's supportive "non-endorsement" of Howard Dean: Gov. Bill Richardson has to stay neutral in the 2004 race for the Democratic nomination for president because he has been tapped to chair the Democratic National Convention to pick the nominee in July in Boston. But Richardson certainly spoke highly of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, when Dean came to Albuquerque Wednesday to meet with Hispanic leaders and address the National Congress of American Indians. Richardson is massively important to Dean -- and really all the Dems -- for a host of reasons. First, as Energy Secretary for Clinton, he provides a bridge to that successful and popular administration, and he's one of the most vocal and most qualified critics of the Bush/Cheney energy policies. Second, he's probably the most well-known and well-respected H

Daily Review

Dean Doubling Ad Buy in Iowa, Will Air New 60-Second Spot Joan Jett Running to be a Dean Delegate Clark: Carving Is for Turkeys, Not Rivals Kucinich Supporters Can `adopt an Intern' Possible Remains of Dean's Brother Return to U.S.


Michael McCord writing for the Democratic Underground -- which has not been a hot-bed of support for Dean I hasten to add -- turns in this report on Dean from the campaign trail: A year ago the notion of a "Dean Juggernaut" would have been fantasy. Even six months ago, the concept was a punch line in the making but today with the New Hampshire primary fast approaching, it's a sobering - no make that horrifying - fact for the rivals of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. "Every day I wake up sick," a staffer from a rival campaign responded when asked about Dean. "They (the Dean campaign) act like it's Mardi Gras every day and we're just dressing for a funeral." The candidate who couldn't afford a pollster at the start of his campaign is now at the top of primary opinion polls. [...] The place [in Rochester, NH] was mostly filled with more than 375 Dean fans and potential supporters who waited patiently as Dean ran almost an hour late from

yeah, THAT liberal press!

The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby takes a look at the Vietnam records of Bush and Dean through a Gore-lens. Oh yeah, that liberal press - they really are mean mean mean to those poor, mistreated, so-called conservatives: KRISTOF LOCATES A LIAR : In his own puzzling profile of Bush’s Guard service, Kristof showed mastery of one press corps rule—all reports in Campaign 2000 must reflect poorly on Gore. Remember, Kristof was reporting on Bush, not on Gore. But he managed to sound a key press corps theme. Despite the problems in Bush’s record, it turned out that Gore was the liar : KRISTOF (7/11/00) : Mr. Gore was always a serious, ambitious young man struggling with deep moral questions and, in the case of Vietnam, with deeply practical calculations about how his actions would play in his father’s re-election campaign. Some critics have also suggested that in later years he embellished his Vietnam role for his own political career . Read the rest here. Thanks to Dean National Jon Emer

Meet New York Deputy Campaign Manager David Bender

David Bender is the deputy campaign manager for Dean in New York. I caught up with him in New York City on the New York Univeristy campus at Cooper Union (11/5/03). Sorry to bring it up again, I know it's painful, but he had some words for the troops about the flag flap and making it all happen for Dean (us) with mousepads and shoe leather. Bender's another reason why we'll succeed in taking our country back from psychotic journalists like Matt Drudge who helped pioneer the NEO-CON wrath on the airwaves. Here's the video clip QuickTime 56K Download file 100K Download file Windows 56K Download file 100K Download file Happy Thanksgiving to all of Dean Nation from the team where this video is stored with other spare parts of the people's People-Powered Howard documentary!

is nothing sacred?

I'm not even going to excerpt this smear job from Drudge. The insinuation is that there was "pressure" on the military to expedite Charlie Dean's repatriation and the forensic identification, ahead of the queue. It's laced with anonymous outraged servicemen "fuming" at the flag honors and other "special treatment" afforded to Charlie. Note Charles Dean, although a civilian, is considered by the U.S. government to have been a prisoner of war , according to Larry Greer, spokesman for the Pentagon office in charge of POW and MIA issues: There are currently 1,875 Americans missing from the Vietnam conflict, including some civilians such as Dean, Greer said. He did not have a precise number of missing civilians but said they include government contractors, missionaries and those like Dean who had no connection to military operations. The military tracks those missing Americans for two reasons: Government contractors deserve the same effo

Money, Money, Money. It's a Rich Man's World.

Who can resist an ABBA reference? ;-) But seriously, there is much speculation in blogland and in the mainstream media about the impact of the evolving economic realities/spin on the 2004 race. Questions are flying: With the recent announcement of a "surge" in GDP for the third quarter , are Bush's chances for reelection salvaged? Will his plummetting poll numbers recover? And from the Democrats' point of view, will a supposedly brightening economic picture in coming months potentially weaken the Dems' chances against Bush next year? Obviously, no one really knows. But there's some excellent discussion and speculation out there for your reading pleasure. The good folks over at Daily Kos think the Democrats' Economic Message is Unharmed by Upward GDP Revision . If a single quarter of GDP growth were the be-all, end-all measurement of how the economy has performed during the Bush presidency, [Bush] might well be sitting in the catbird seat right

Dean Leads in Some Unlikely Places...

A side dish of polling to go with your turkey ;-) First, some very encouraging news from Florida, of all places... Dean is Close 2nd to Lieberman in Latest Florida Poll Far from his Northern base, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is surging in the Sunshine State, threatening to displace South Florida favorite Joe Lieberman. (snip) Only 6 percent of Democrats said they would choose Kerry if Florida's primary were held now...That put the Massachusetts senator far behind Lieberman, the Connecticut senator who gained popularity in South Florida's Jewish and Democratic strongholds when he was the vice presidential nominee in 2000. Lieberman led the poll with 21 percent support, just ahead of the 17 percent for former Vermont Gov. Dean. The Lieberman and Dean numbers were within the 5 percentage point error margin for the portion of the poll that interviewed 379 Democrats likely to vote in the primary. While the sample size is a bit on the smallis

Josh Marshall and Al Gore on the RNC ad

Josh Marshall, writing in The Hill, analyzes the RNC ad and makes some points that I think the Dean campaign should take notes on: We now know that the U.S. Central Command started cycling personnel out of Afghanistan while we were still in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants to get ready for the invasion of Iraq. We know that a lot of our diplomatic capital with countries in the region is being expended on dealing with the Iraq issue rather than on assistance in the fight against al Qaeda. And of course we hear almost daily stories about gaps in homeland security — whether its airport screeners, port security, or bio-weapons sensors — which could easily be funded with the literally hundreds of billions of dollars we’ve already spent on a mix of war fighting and reconstruction in Iraq. These arguments aren’t made for 30-second TV spots or quick rejoinders in presidential debates, but a summary of them easily can be: The president talks a good game on taking the

Give Thanks For This Community

Tomorrow is THE Thanksgiving of the Howard Dean campaign. By the next Thanksgiving we will know the result of our work. So it is important for me, right now, to give thanks for this community. This American community has been atomized for generations, lying in living rooms, hidden behind car windshields. But now it is stirring, it is re-connecting, and life will never be the same. This is something Dean's opponents don't get. They think it's about anger, or being against Bush, or it's about the Internet. It's not. It's about community. It's about re-creating the personal connections we lost in the 20th century, to TV, to air conditioning, to the motor car. When we go out into the world, when we interact with folks who are different (and everyone's different), we change. We become less fearful. We become more fulfilled. It's Christmas every day. I pray today that nothing, even victory, takes that away. We need one another. It's hum

Daily Review

Dean breaks off campaigning as presumed brother's remains were to arrive Debate-winner Dean is back on top in Iowa Democrats to Hold Non-Binding Presidential Primary Dems in Des Moines, and the Invisible Candidates More attacks on Dean Dean builds local support Howard Dean For President Gephardt Questions Opponents on Affirmative Action

The FAUX-volution Will Be Televised

Neal Gabler takes on the FAUX-volution: So, why all this talk of conservative ascendancy? In a sense, it's pure invention. What conservatives have been able to do is deploy the same postmodernist techniques that celebrities have been using for decades, and for the same purpose: to make the buzz into the buzz. Like the Osbournes, conservatives take their little triumphs and package them as phenomena, which the media -- including the conservative media -- eagerly retail to the public . Blogger Andrew Sullivan, for example, calls the new cultural trend "South Park Republicanism" because "South Park" has taken its whacks at political correctness and other liberal shibboleths. But whether or not there is such a thing as South Park Republicanism, the idea is media-genic because it suggests something big is happening that the media want to be in on. You just whisper it into what critics of the right have called the "right-wing echo chamber" -- of conservati

transcript: Iowa Democratic Presidential Candidates' Forum

via the Washington Post. Some excerpts: BROKAW: Governor Dean, you've long been interested in Medicare reform. Isn't it possible that once this bill passes -- and there's every indication that it will -- that next fall, whoever the Democratic presidential candidate will be facing George W. Bush will be able to say to America's seniors, "I delivered prescription drugs for you and I did that with the help of Democratic senators and the AARP, the largest single organization of senior citizens in this country"? DEAN: Tom, the problem with that is they didn't deliver prescription drugs for anybody. What this bill does is help the seniors that don't need it and charge them for it, and then charge the seniors that do need it, and they don't get any help. Once you spend more than about $200 a month on drugs, you get cut off of help. This bill doesn't make any sense. It's a $400 billion charge to our grandchildren's credit car

Ninja III: The Domination

check out who's listed as playing "Policeman" - ok, it's probably NOT the same Howard Dean, but that makes it funnier since IMDB thinks it is the same Dean (they've listed Dean's recent Leno apearance under the ninja Dean's filmography). how about an open thread on the best ninja-style slogans for Dean? My suggestion: " Dean-fu and the Ancient Art of American Democracy".
Next Monday on Hardball: Howard Dean

Daily Review

Republican "Reality" New pro-Bush TV ad targets Dean and other Dem critics Dean-Gephardt Fight Travels to Iowa Dean Grabs More New York Endorsements Dean bid showing strength in Mass Gephardt, Dean Spar at Democratic Debate Dean's Family Closer To Closure Dean Assailed for 'Tough Choices' in Vt.

Dean on TV today

Iowa debate is on MSNBC right now. No online broadcast, naturally. *sigh* Also, set your VCRs. According to the O-blog, Dean will be on Letterman tonight. Dave's long-suffering cameraman Biff Henderson filmed a segment with the Gov in New Hampshire. Biff segment's are usually pretty funny, so I'm hoping that this is a good spot. And if anyone is watching the debate, feel free to leave a summary in the comments. update : I just checked MSNBC's schedule. The debate will be rebroadcast tonight at 9pm Eastern. update : Pulled from comments on the O-blog: Debate is live on CSPAN radio. Click here .

Backbone Award: Massachusettes Supreme Court. Jellyfish/roll: AARP

Rather than pick on individuals this week, we’ll give recognition to two groups as warranted by your opinions: Backbone : The Massachusettes Supreme Court gets the nod this week for its 4-3 decision last Tuesday, that gave the Legislature six months to rewrite the state's marriage laws for the benefit of gay couples. During a time in this country when the courts are becoming increasingly politicized, starting with the Supreme Court’s election of George W. Bush in 2000, the Mass. Supreme Court found that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. According to two polls released soon after the decision found that fifty percent of Massachusetts residents surveyed for a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll said they agreed with the ruling, while 38 percent opposed it. A separate Boston Sunday Herald poll found 49 percent said they support legalizing gay marriage, while 38 percent oppose it. Sure, the courts had to take on this issue. But knowing it’s going to be one

Welcome home, Charlie

The remains of Charlie Dean were returned to the United States earlier today, and are currently awaiting positive identification in Hawaii. In a departure from current policies , this repatriation was captured by AP photographers: Let it be clear that I am not posting this picture to exploit Charlie Dean or cause pain to the Dean family. I am posting this picture because it's news and because the image really got me thinking. We've brought three more Americans home from Asia, but there are still (according to DoD figures) 1,875 families who's loved ones are still unaccounted for. The anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, Charlie Dean's homecoming, Howard Dean's run, and Gulf War 2 converging along the same timeline really got my gears grinding this weekend. While I will not make a direct Vietnam-GW2 comparison, I will say that I can't help but draw some parallels. With Charlie, we have pictures, we have stories from the grieving family, and hop

Gwen Graham Logan joins Dean for America

Gwen Graham Logan, beloved daughter of Florida Senator Bob Graham, has joined the team: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 24, 2003 Contact: Press Office, 802-651-3200 Gwen Graham Logan Joins Dean for America BURLINGTON--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., announced today that Gwen Graham Logan has joined the Dean for America campaign as National Surrogate and Southern Regional Advisor. As a surrogate, Graham Logan will speak on behalf of Governor Dean throughout the country. She will also assist the campaign in the South, including her native Florida. Graham Logan is the eldest daughter of United States Senator and former presidential candidate Bob Graham. "While campaigning for my father, I got the opportunity to know Governor Dean. I believe in him and his message of hope and change. This campaign is not about one person, one interest or one policy; it is about empowering the American people to take back this country for themselves. I am proud t

Guilt by Association

Ted Rall drew an offensive cartoon after 9-11 , and wrote an offensive editorial. This is because Ted Rall has an extreme leftist perspective (which one could charitably call "Nader-Kucinichian"). Then he praised Howard Dean . This praise was noted by the Dean campaign's weblogger Matt Gross , who linked to it as he does dozens of articles of week. Apparently, Matt's note of the praise by Rall on the Dean campaign weblog is tantamount to Howard Dean " cherishing " Rall's endorsement, as far as Volokh is concerned - and Glenn also comments disapprovingly . If this is the new moral standard by which to judge a politician, then what should we make of the explicit courting of the white supremacist vote by former GOP chairman Haley Barbour? That's the kind of association that should be setting off alarm bells, not this. The point here is that whatever you think of Ted Rall, it's not an endorsement of his views to accept his praise.

Remember to join DeanLink!

and a Monday Morning open thread...

Gephardt moves left to attack Dean, becomes unelectable

I think attacks like this only strengthen the case for Dean in the eyes of the general public: The latest assault came Sunday in a speech in Cedar Rapids in which Rep. Dick Gephardt, in a pitched battle for Iowa's labor vote in January's caucuses, said Dean was too eager to cut social programs for the disabled and funding for children in poverty during his 12 years as Vermont's governor. "Time after time, when faced with budget shortfalls, Howard Dean's first and only instinct was to cut," Gephardt said. "This is the measure of the man who would be president. I believe in a very different approach from Howard Dean." ... Speaking in a telephone interview from New York, Dean responded with his own assault on Gephardt's record in Congress. "My response is this is a guy with no executive experience and who has never made a tough decision," Dean said. Dean said Gephardt, D-Mo., former Democratic leader in the House, has been t

video: Dean's Response Ad to the RNC

  (video) RNC Response Ad This is what People Power can buy .

video: Flat Howard

Dean may have found the perfect running mate : The creation of a Dean supporter in New Hampshire, Flat Howard made an appearance at the Rochester, N.H., Opera House Friday night where the doctor turned politician spoke to a group of undecided voters (though most of them were wearing Dean paraphernalia or carrying Dean signs). As members of the traveling press headed out of the hall to the waiting bus, Flat Howard stood in the lobby prepared for a brief press conference. What’s an ever-inquisitive press pack to do? Questions began to fly from every which direction. How come you never wear brown suits any more? Are there any more turkey sandwiches? Why can’t the press stay at nicer hotels? Who has the power? Although Flat Howard made no comment, he smiled politely throughout the questioning. Just as the press conference concluded, 3-D Howard Dean joined his cardboard cutout for a few moments of lighthearted campaigning. the meeting of these great minds has been recorded f

Statement by Governor Dean

From Dean for America: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 23, 2003 Statement by Governor Dean NEW YORK--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., today challenged the FBI's practice of gathering information on anti-war demonstrators, as outlined in today’s New York Times. "I am deeply concerned that the FBI appears to be engaged in a coordinated, nationwide effort to gather information on Americans opposed to President Bush’s unilateral war in Iraq. "I am committed to providing local law enforcement with the tools to ensure demonstrations remain safe and peaceful for all involved, but we cannot allow a return to the dark days of Hoover's FBI and COINTELPRO, when the government harassed, smeared, and even spied upon people who criticized U.S. policies. "John Ashcroft must remember that questioning the government does not make you a terrorist. In fact, the right to assemble peacefully and the right to petition our government are so

Dean For America Responds To RNC Attack

From Dean for America... FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 23, 2003 Dean For America Responds To RNC Attack Thousands of supporters contribute to air response; fundraising drive continues DES MOINES--Fueled by donations from more than 5000 supporters, Dean for America will hit the airwaves on Monday, November 24 in Iowa to respond to the first attack ad being aired by the RNC which question Governor Dean's commitment to fighting the war on terror. We must "show that we're not going to allow the administration to wage an air war on the American people," Campaign Manager Joe Trippi said last Friday in an email to supporters, asking for help in raising $360,000 by Tuesday at midnight in order to fund a response to the attack. That's "$5000 for every hour they are going to lie to the American people with their ad," the email read. Dean for America will begin airing an ad of its own beginning Monday in Iowa, setting the record straight abo

Congressman Crowley Endorses Dean for President

From Dean for America... FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 23, 2003 Congressman Crowley Endorses Dean for President NEW YORK--Congressman Joseph Crowley today endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., citing his record on delivering results for America’s working families. "I am thrilled today to be the first member of the House Democratic Leadership to endorse Howard Dean for America in 2004. Dr. Dean is the guy who stands up for the people—the hardworking men and women of our great country—to make sure that they are not forgotten, that they are not left in the dust. Dr. Dean is a man who knows what all Americans need and want—healthcare for all, better education for our children, new jobs and a strong economy and continued security for our nation. Dr. Dean is a New Yorker at heart—and I look forward to working with him to help take back America in 2004,” Crowley said. "I am proud that Joe Crowley has decided to join the half-million Am

Congresswoman Velázquez Endorses Dean for President

From Dean for America... FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 23, 2003 Congresswoman Velázquez Endorses Dean for President NEW YORK--During an event here today, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez today endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D. "Howard Dean does not answer to corporate America, big drug companies, the oil industry or Dick Cheney's Halliburton. He answers to hardworking American families across the country that struggle each day to pay the bills and make ends meet. Howard Dean would lead with conviction. He leads with resolve and he will make it clear in his campaign that people come first," Velázquez said. "I am proud that Nydia Velázquez, a true leader in her community, has joined the greatest grassroots campaign presidential politics has ever seen. Nydia’s unique perspective and her strong organizing skills will be of great benefit to our campaign,” Governor Dean said. Velázquez, who was the first Puerto Rican

More From Joe At The Grassroots Summit

Looking at my notes, I found some other important points from Joe Trippi’s “Dean Summit” speech. (I assume he gave the same sort of talk everywhere, but I heard this in Atlanta.) "People have to get over their belief that they can’t make a difference. The system has taught all of us you can’t make a difference, that your $25, your $100, your four hours tabling don’t mean a hill of beans. And they’re right. By themselves it won’t do anything. But 2 million Americans doing that, the same small thing, is huge. It will change this country’s political history, it will change the country. We’re not just talking about changing Presidents, we’re talking about changing politics.” Trippi discussed James McGregor Burns, the historian, who wrote about the difference between “transactional” and “transformative” leaders in 1977, expanding on it in 2002 . As Publishers Weekly notes, “He distinguishes between ‘transactional’ leaders, who thrive on cutting deals, and ‘transforming’ leader


From Dean for America... FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 22, 2003 STATEMENT OF GOVERNOR DEAN ON THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY DETROIT--Governor Howard Dean, M.D. issued the following statement on the anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy: "Forty years have passed since President Kennedy was assassinated, but we still remember the shock and pain of that awful day. We lost a president, and our country grieved, and yet we knew that we could not lose the hope that Kennedy represented and instilled in an entire generation. "When he was running for president, Kennedy spoke of offering America not a set of promises, but a set of challenges. This was his greatest legacy: his willingness to challenge each one of us to do better for ourselves and for our country, bolstered by his faith that we were ready for the challenge. "He spoke often of America's ideals, and we honor his memory when we strive to live up to them.

Backbone Award!

Another fascinating week of events during fascinating times is winding down in this new millenium. So it's that time again to reflect on the people we'd like to carry on our shoulders--or NAIL TO A CROSS-- as we gather with the throngs of people who are so hungry for a leader with backbone. Last week we had a pretty good consensus on US Senators Harry Reid D-NV (backbone) and Zell Miller "D"-GA (Jellyroll). Who was standing tall this past week? Who was washing up on the beach in the form of an slimy, jelly-like blob? Let's see...there was the Massachusettes Supreme Court on Gay Marriage, Wesley Clark's gutsy FOX tirade, Lieberman's AARP waffle, Soros, Vidal... Let us know who you think should get credit where credit is due.

The Bat Is Back

The Bush attack ads have started, and Joe Trippi has responded in the best way we know how, with McBat. McBat is aimed at raising $360,000 to knock Bush' silly "soft on terrorism" charge out of the park. Feed the goal. The goal is beating Bush, not Gephardt. As usual, Joe knows how to pitch. Do we still remember how to hit? SWING...batter batter batter! UPDATE (Aziz) - updated the sidebar... Matthew Yglesias takes on the new ads over at TAPPED: In the context of a presidential campaign ad, it seems reasonable to assume that "some" refers to the people challenging Bush for control of the White House. But the Republicans can't very well come out and say that because the fact is that, of the Democratic contenders, precisely none is "attacking the president for attacking the terrorists," just as none is calling "for us to retreat." If the president wants to run on his foreign policy differences with the Democrats, then t

Dean Summit Report From Atlanta

I spent this morning at the Atlanta Dean Summit. I counted about 80 people there, including a few from Alabama. (Not bad on a few days' notice, on a weekday when we were supposed to be working.) Some were experienced Democratic organizers. Others were Dean people who knew nothing about politics six months ago and are now better at it than the pros. Their breakfast spread, for instance, was outstanding. An army travels on its stomach. There was at least one TV crew, from Channel 11, and Tom Baxter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “collecting string” for future stories. I showed him the homemade apple-cheese pastries. “Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?” he joked, and enjoyed them immensely. Joe Trippi, not the pastries, was what had brought Baxter there, of course. Joe didn’t disappoint, although he could never be a candidate because he tends to ramble, to give away his strategy, and to offer 10-minute answers to 1-minute questions. But the crowd ate it up.

running a national campaign

Keeping the eyes on the prize... The former Vermont governor has stumped in 14 states this month, including some with late primaries — Oregon, Idaho, Florida and Pennsylvania. This week alone, he is visiting seven states, including Texas, Michigan and New York. While his competitors focus their energies on half a dozen early-primary states, Dean has already segued into general-election mode by dashing around the country, hoping to create a sense of inevitability about his selection as the Democratic nominee. "We've proven over two quarters that we can compete with the Democratic field," campaign manager Joe Trippi said. "Now, this is about building a campaign that can defeat George Bush." Also, don't miss this editorial in the student newspaper Maroon of the University of Chicago that makes a great self-contained overview of why Dean is supremely electable against Bush.

open thread

have at thee! Link goes to DeanLink signup - don't forget to join! I also have a request for all you web graphic designers out there. Dean Nation needs a good favicon (the small icon that displays in your local browsers Favorites or Bookmarks next to the link). Please design one! I've got a lame one up there now... but I know you guys can do better :) And leave a URL to your image in the comments... we'll use the best one!

Gay rights are a winning issue for Dems - and Dean

I've talked with a fair amount of people (off line) about Dean's candidacy, and even managed to sway people from supporting Clark, Kerry, and even Bush. But among the Anybody But Bush crowd, there was a sense of real despair about the Massachusetts court ruling which struck down the anti-gay marriage law. The feeling is prevalent even among gay rights advocates in the gay community that the ruling may have handed Bush another four year term. And that Dean, by virtue of having signed civil-union legislation, is even more vulnerable. This is exactly backwards. When it comes to gay marriage, far too many liberals and progressives have internalized the bias of the conservative media, and assumed that the majority of Americans are indeed strongly opposed. And, it blurs the distinction between civil unions and marriages. This is a deliberate strategy by the GOP, which sees gay marriage as a wedge issue with which to peel off conservative moderates, and tars support if civil union