Showing posts from May, 2004

Deanlink data update

The campaign definitely did NOT authorize the use of the data on Deanlink by any third party. I was personally contacted by three former staffers who gave me their word. So how did the data get to Plink? As several commentators pointed out, the DeanLink data was stored in public FOAF (RDF / XML) files on the web. As a result, a well-designed spider could crawl through DeanLink and extract the information. I had thought that these feeds were locked behind a registration barrier, but apparently the feeds were designed to be read publicly . The feeds are still active - check out this example . Some people expressed concern that other data might also have been sold, such as one who starte getting Kerry solicitations without asking for it. Rest assured that the Kerry campaign is using mailing lists also compiled from public sources, and this isn't an issue. I myself have received Nader and even Bush mailings, which is kind of funny. However, it's entirely possible that email

Bob Faust for Congress

Bob Faust is running for Congress in CO-4 . Here are some of his issues: "Faust Health Care Plan" is a basic foundation for a National Preventive Health Care Program that will ensure ALL Americans have health care coverage the Equal Rights Amendment should be "given new life" and expanded from addressing only gender - to include race, ethnicity, age, nationality, religion, heritage, and sexual orientation. Our government must not only be fiscally responsible in its taxing and spending, it must also assure all people are called upon to contribute in a manner that is consistent with the principles of equality and impartiality. Faust is a Republican. I've long argued that a progressive agenda is completely consistent with conservative values - for example, nationalized health care (if done properly) can be a huge relief to small businesses and provide for job growth, by removing the burden of benefits from their shoulders. Faust is doing hard work in trying to sta

My Life by Bill Clinton

Won't be released until June 22nd, but already ranked #5 on Amazon and #8 on the New York Times.

did the Dean campaign sell their user data?

I had registered for Deanlink during the campaign. My registration data, and friends' lists through the Dean Commons, did not stay there. . It seems that Deanlink's data has found it's way into this new site,, intact. If you registered for Deanlink, you are probably in plink's database as well. This is really somewhat disturbing. What did the Dean campaign do with the contact information of people who donated through our site? What else did the campaign sell? How many privacy concerns does this raise? UPDATE: the campaign did not sell the data, thankflly. But there are still some proivacy issues here - check out this subsequent post for more details.

Lay off the Bush twins

Ted Barlow speaks truth . President Bush's daughters are off-limits in the bounds of civil discourse. Not for electoric strategy reasons but for simple human decency. Until they strike out on their own and become public figures in their own right, they should be granted a measure of privacy from scrutiny.

Columnist Dean?

This seems legitimate : Former Vermont governor, and presidential candidate Howard Dean has a new job as a newspaper columnist. Dean has signed a deal with a California firm that will distribute his column to about 700 newspapers across the country. Laura Gross, a spokeswoman for Dean's Democracy for America organization, says the column will give Dean a chance to talk about political issues. Dean's first column will run next week. Also, don't miss this decent column on AlterNet that sums up Dean's DFA goals pretty well. I think that a column will give Dean a chance to maintain his public spotlight.

Dean, Edwards, and Soros

On June 3rd, all three will be addressing the "Take Back America" conference. Check out this newswire report for more details: Campaign for America's Future co-directors Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey today announced that philanthropist George Soros, Senator John Edwards, D-N.C. and Governor Howard Dean, D-Vt. will address the organization's 2004 "Take Back America" conference on Thursday, June 3, 2004. Thousands of progressive leaders, experts and activists will gather in Washington to "Take Back America" at the Campaign for America's Future's conference Wednesday, June 2nd through Friday, June 4th. The conference will bring together all of the groups working hard this year, independent of the Democratic Party, to change the national debate, to challenge the Right and to promote a positive agenda for change. The full conference Agenda is available on-line at , and there are a lot of other speakers and plenary sessions. A

Politics Without Ego

The second edition of the "Dean Dozen" has arrived, and a pattern is starting to emerge. The new Howard Dean is without ego. He said during the campaign this wasn't about him, and he's as good as his word. He's becoming as useful an ex-candidate as Jimmy Carter is an ex-President. What the "Dean Dozen" is about is highlighting people who were inspired to run by Dean, and who have a commitment to Dean's principles, no matter what they're running for, no matter whether they're incumbents, no matter (even) whether their race is "strategic." How else do you explain Don McDaniel , a candidate for the Georgia General Assembly from heavily-Republican Gwinnett County. Don works in the tax law department of Cingular Wireless, and first got involved with politics last year through Georgia for Dean . (Of course he has a blog .) Does Don stand a chance? Maybe, maybe not -- I don't know. Would he make a decent and thoughtful rep

Texas Tuesdays: Max Sandlin

From Charles Kuffner's new site devoted to Texas congressional races: this week's Texas Tuesdays effort is on Max Sandlin, who has a brand-new campaign website and an opponent who just fed at the Cheney fundraising trough. Intro post is here, more to come in a little while: As always, thanks very much for helping us get the word out. Charles I've been remiss in advertising Texas Tuesdays before due to my preparations for my Kyoto trip, but we will feature it every week henceforth. Kudos to Charles for his efforts (and everyone else over at TT).

Nominating Kerry has not made us safer

sorry for the obligatory jab at Kerry, but Matthew Yglesias' piece revisiting Dean's then-infamous and now-prophetic statement that "capturing Saddam Hussein has not made America any safer" really brought up some serious feelings of loss here. Go read the piece in full, it deserves full attention rather than selective quotation. However, in another way, the article does highlight just how disastrous in the political sense it was for Dean's most attractive quality, his plain-spoken bluntness, was as a liability. Dean would have been chewed to pieces by the Bush campaign by now in a way that Kerry has weathered remarkabbly well, and I grudgingly concede that Kerry's war record gravitas has been far more of an asset given teh instability in Iraq than I had previously thought. All this leaves me wishing more for Dean to be active as Kerry's proxy, saying what can't be said by teh candidate proper, but still making the blunt statements of fact that get not

Strange bedfellows, indeed

reprinted from the Times without comment. Make of it what you wil: Apparently Mr. Bush is not the only American capable of bringing Democrats together. Ralph Nader is doing his part, too. A group of former Democratic enemies announced Wednesday that they had formed a group called the National Progress Fund to woo Mr. Nader's supporters into the party with a television and an Internet campaign warning that a vote for Mr. Nader could help elect Mr. Bush. The group's president is Tricia Enright, who was the communications director for Howard Dean's campaign. Among her colleagues are John Hlinko and Chris Kofinis, who were credited with pushing Gen. Wesley K. Clark into the race. The idea for the group came from David W. Jones, a Democratic fundraiser who was behind Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values, which ran scathing attack advertisements against Dr. Dean. One showed Osama bin Laden's face as an announcer questioned Dr. Dean's defense credentials

President Temporary

Temporary was George W. Bush's nickname in the Skull and Bones Society at Yale. Why? Because he was too lazy to think of one for himself: [Bush], never fond of Eastern elitism, seriously considered joining a different secret society at Yale less known for ancient rituals than for its parties. Although he acceded to his father's wishes, he became a relatively unenthusiastic member who did not even bother thinking up the requisite Bones name for himself. He ended up being called Temporary . Given the latest polls , I think it still fits. In fact, given Bush's governing style, it really fits. I think a Google-bomb is in order.

Russ Feingold

The only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act looks secure, even in a swing state like Wisconsin. This, my friends, is proof that standing up for the values of the Democratic party is not a ticket to defeat. We can't be complacent, though - given how few Americans follow politics closely, there's always a huge reserve of people who don't have clear opinions of officeholders other than the President. Unless we keep pushing our message, the GOP will be all they have to listen to.

Dean Dozen

Early tomorrow morning I fly to Morocco for two months, so don't expect much posting from me. (as if that will be a change) In the meantime, though, what do we think of the Dean Dozen?

Off to Kyoto

Hey everyone - I apologise for the lack of blogging recently, I've been preparing for my trip to Kyoto to attend the ISMRM conference. I leave tomorrow morning, and plan to blog my trip at UNMEDIA, so do stop by if you're interested (or have any travel advice :). When I get back the following week, things will pick up - I am considering a new look for Dean Nation as a combination weblog and discussion forum. What I really need is feedback from all of you however, on what you want to see and what you think we should be focusing on. So chime in and let's talk about the future of our community.

The New Bigotry

Since David Brooks launched his Media Matters Web site, aimed at documenting the right-wing media conspiracy's excesses, one big story has emerged. That is a new, violent anti-Arab bigotry that reminds me (as a Southerner) of nothing so much as another rising of the KKK. It started with Limbaugh -- Brooks documents both the statements and the condemnation -- but it has now extended throughout the right, to Savage, Oliver North, and Dick Morris. Lee Harris at TechCentral Station has documented the view and found it widespread. He is plainly worried: Many Americans simply wish the Arabs would go away; others wish to blow them away -- and wish to blow them away not because they see this step as inevitable and tragic, but because they rejoice at the prospect of getting them back for what they have done to us. Most normal Americans today just don't care any more about the Arabs and their welfare, or about their humiliation, or about their historical grievances, simply bec

Keep Rumsfeld

You know, it's hard for me to sign onto the movement to force Rumsfeld tor resign. The single biggest reason is because I don't think the buck stops at the Secretary of Defense - I hold the President accountable for failures of leadership. Bush didn't know of the Abu Ghraib torture until seeing the pictures on television. By calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, we are giving Bush yet another avenue of escape from his responsibility. And should we succeed, then the Case will be Closed as far as the public is concerned - especially after the barbaric beheading of Peter Berg. Already the White House is refusing to release the additional torture photos - firing Rumsfeld would ensure they never see the light of day. I'm willing to wait until November for Rumsfeld - and the entire Administration - to be fired. Our country will be better for it. And by keeping Rumsfeld on-board, the current (and assuredly temporary) diligence of the media in keeping a focus on the Administ


Sen. Inhofe (R-OK): First of all, I regret I wasn't here on Friday. I was unable to be here. But maybe it's better that I wasn't because as I watch this outrage that everyone seems to have about the treatment of these prisoners I have to say and I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment. The idea that these prisoners, they're not there for traffic violations. If they're in cell block 1A or 1B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents, and many of them probably have American blood probably on their hands and here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals. During today's hearing on Abu Ghraib Inhofe went on in this vein for some time, pronouncing himself "outraged by the outrage." Senator McCain walked out. Other Republicans are being asked which side they're on, Inhofe's or McCain's? I

Humanitarian Aid in Afghanistan

Some of you may remember that we are currently fighting a war in Afghanistan against people who attacked us on September 11. Here's a news clip related to that: "The US-led coalition in Afghanistan has distributed leaflets calling on people to provide information on al-Qaida and the Taliban or face losing humanitarian aid. The move has outraged aid organisations who said their work is independent of the military and it was despicable to pretend otherwise. "Medécins Sans Frontières, the international medical charity which passed the leaflets to the Guardian, said the threat endangered aid workers. Fourteen aid workers were killed in Afghanistan last year and 11 so far this year. "After examining the leaflets yesterday Britain and the US said they had been a mistake and it was not their policy to link aid with military operations in that way. The decision to distribute the leaflets had been made at a local level, they said. "Last night the Pentagon


Let it be known that I am furious with the way George W. Bush and his administration have run this country. I've felt that way for at least a couple of months now, but it's taken this long to calm down enough to post it. It is difficult for a President not to do some good things, and the raw power of the United States is such that there will always be some successes. However, this only serves to make catastrophic mistakes more glaring. The cost to this country of the Bush administration - in terms of national security, global moral authority, and on a number of domestic fronts - has been high even discounting partisan issues like abortion or the nature of the tax burden. And some of those costs we are going to be living with for years to come. The above is cross-posted from my blog , and I know there's not much substance. I may find something interesting later in the day. Until then, let this be an open thread.

Daily Review

On return to Statehouse, Dean urges Dems to organize You Broke the Bat Arianna Huffington, Joe Trippi Challenge Kerry to "Go Big"

demand more

I hate disagreeing with Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis, but I think it would be suicidal to vote against the $25b request for Iraq and Afghanistan. First of all, the money is badly needed for body armor, etc. Second, the war in Afghanistan is underfunded as it is. Third, there's still a Homeland Defense Credibility gap to cross with swing undecided voters, and voting against this money gives all too easy a soundbite to the opposition (Tom Delay already invoked the Support Our Troops meme). What Kerry has to do is demand more money - about $40b. Make the discrepancy large enough that it becomes a wedge between Bush and the fiscal conservatives. Kerry needs to emphasise that this war has been fought on the cheap with poor planning, and that the troops still don't have the body armor they need. Given that the Senate will grill Rumsfeld on the failures of training and discipline, Kerry's message that the troops are not being supported by the Administration will resonate.

The Growing Iraq Split

The Iraq War is quietly splitting the Democratic Party. Howard Dean opposed the war, but his position was "we broke it, we must fix it, we can't bug out." Unfortunately, the situation since his campaign has gone completely FUBAR. Our reputation is in tatters, our best-and-brightest are getting killed left-and-right, we left Fallujah to a Saddam-ite general, we're leaving Najaf to Shi'ite mullahs, and our boy Ahmad Chalabi is now playing footsie with the Iranians. As a result a growing chorus is crying "get out." The main choice seems to be between a Bush Administration that will throw a fig leaf on its retreat and a Kerry alternative that "we were duped" but we've got to get in deeper. That's no choice. Thus, Nader's share in the polls is growing. Anyone see a way out? Discuss.

The Howard Dean Show

According to Reuters, Howard Dean is considering hosting a TV talk show. I think this is something that would really help progressive causes in the United States, as Dean - in contrast to many liberals who have tried - has an aggressive personality that would make for interesting viewing and cutting commentary. However, one should emphasize that politicians are often rumored to be considering joining the fourth estate, and it might be best to take an "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude until something formal comes out.

Patriot Act

Defenders of the Patriot Act often claim that no one has pointed to any specific cases where the act has been abused. However, as this post by my friend Joe Gratz reveals, some of the act's provisions require such deep secrecy that abuses wouldn't be reported without violating the law itself. (Not a true Dean post, but still relevant to our concerns. Cross-posted at my blog .)

November is a referendum on incumbent leadership

I've got a lengthy post at the Kerry Skeptic blog discussing elections from the perspective of being a test on Leadership. I think it's the essential purpose of the vote, and for this election specifically an argument that needs to be made to former Dean supporters, leaning Nader supporters, and even disaffected conservatives. Do take a look.