Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dean: Time for Bush to Return Dirty Money

"June 30, 2005---

With the arrival of the second quarter fundraising deadline, DNC Chairman Howard Dean called on President Bush to return the $2.4 million in tainted money that his campaign has collected over the last six years. From scandal plagued lobbyist Jack Abramoff to disgraced coin dealer Thomas Noe, the Bush team gobbled up funds from anyone willing to pay for access. Numerous Republicans lawmakers in Ohio have already returned money that Noe raised for their campaigns, but the President of the United States has refused to do the same.

“President Bush should do the right thing, follow the lead of numerous lower-level officeholders and return the money raised by his disgraced donors and fundraisers,” said Dean. “The appearance of corruption is seeping into this White House because George Bush and the Republicans have refused to return money raised and sever their ties to people like Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Tom Noe, all under federal investigation. By accepting millions in campaign cash from donors now facing federal investigations, the Bush-Cheney campaign looked the other way while their coffers were filled with dirty money."-from the DNC website today.

''Democrats struggle to find one voice on Iraq''

"WASHINGTON -- House and Senate Democrats, sensing an opportunity in President Bush's sagging poll numbers and an increasingly unpopular war, have held a series of long, closed-door meetings over the past several weeks to find a common position and a sharpened political message on the Iraq War. Some participants in the meetings said Bush's failure to articulate an exit strategy in his speech on Tuesday night only underscored the need for Democrats to devise their position. But they also acknowledged that within the party, there are fundamentally different views on the war. ''The case for an exit strategy is only growing stronger every day," said Representative Martin T. Meehan of Lowell, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who is pushing his fellow Democrats to commit to a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. ''Congress seems less than willing to do it, unfortunately, and there's a great need for it."-from the story in today's Boston Globe.

''Democratic Ranks Pleased by Dean Performance''

"WASHINGTON — Capitol Hill Democrats may be saying that the chairman of the Democratic National Committee doesn't speak for them, but Democratic activists and rank-and-file members outside the Beltway say they are happy with Dean's no-nonsense approach.

"People outside Washington, D.C., love Howard Dean. He raises money for state parties, he sends money to state parties and he's attacking Republicans. That's what the chair of the party is," said Bob Mulholland (search), a campaign adviser to the California Democratic Party and one of the DNC members who in February voted for the former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential hopeful to become chairman.

"There is overwhelming support for Governor Dean, and [Democrats] say, 'keep hitting them Republicans,'" Mulholland said, adding that he has seen no backlash against Dean since some comments he made about Republicans drew fire in early June. "Since then he's been on the road and getting good crowds."-from the story on Faux News tonight.

''What Howard Dean's plan means''

"In these troubled days for our country, Americans are tired of this rubber-stamp Republican leadership forcing its will on the country. People are ready to stand up for the nation's best ideals, and it couldn't come at a more important time.

This administration and its Republican lap-dog Congress think they have a mandate to reverse much of the progress we have fought so hard to achieve.

Under Howard Dean's leadership, Democrats are fighting back. Our party is energized, and ready to fight for our values on every major issue. I can't overstate what an effect it has here in Washington knowing that, all across the country, Democrats are standing with us.

Now we have a chance to send another powerful message to President Bush and the Republican Congress. As the first half of 2005 comes to a close, we can show our strength with a last-minute surge of grassroots support that matches the Republican special interest payoffs.

Show your support by making a donation to the Democratic Party today."-from Ted Kennedy's email message today.

Joan Vennochi: 'Democrats buy into Bush's War'

Writing today in the Boston Globe, Vennochi is one of the better msm scribes: "THERE WAS a rare expression of candor concerning the Iraq war on Tuesday night. It did not come from President Bush. It came from Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Kerry, who was interviewed on "Larry King Live" after the president's speech, was asked by substitute host Bob Costas if he and other Democrats were "too docile and too compliant" in the weeks leading up to the US invasion of Iraq and failed to ask tough, skeptical questions in the run-up to war. Replied Kerry: "Many of the questions were raised, but not enough. I plead guilty. And I think a lot of people in the party would." It was an acknowledgement of political truth from the former Democratic presidential nominee. For the most part, Democrats bought into Bush's war when he first promoted it, and they share some responsibility for it now. And despite their noisy criticism of Bush, they still do buy into his war. Democrats complain about the deception that got us into Iraq in the first place and the mythical link between Iraq and the September 11 terrorist attacks that Bush continues to advance. Still, leading Democrats seem to agree with the president: We can't leave now."-via The Smirking Chimp. She's half right concerning Howard Dean. He never "bought into" this war.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Dean: Bush made ''huge blunder''

"In an exclusive wide-ranging interview with MSNBC-TV's Chris Matthews, DNC Chairman Howard Dean reacts to President Bush's primetime address and the war in Iraq. Dean tells Matthews, "The president made a huge blunder in defending the United States. And I think ultimately the American people have figured that out, and he's going to be accountable for that."

Following is the full transcript of the interview."-from MSNBC. There is also a link to video of the interview there.

''Lady Liberty Says ''GOP: I'm Taking Names''

Photos from last weekend's Seattle Gay Pride Parade, courtesy of Dina Lydia Johnson. Democracy for Washington is represented, as well.

''Dean: Troops Deserve More Than Bush's ''Discredited'' Rhetoric''

"Despite being previously forced to back away from unfounded assertions about links between 9-11 and the war in Iraq, President Bush once again twisted a national tragedy to distract from his own failed foreign policy," said DNC Chairman Howard Dean. "Instead of offering the American people a clear path to success in Iraq, President Bush returned to the same defensive and discredited rhetoric. The American people, and most especially our troops, who are serving with great courage, deserve better than discredited, shopworn political rhetoric from their Commander-in-Chief.

Reagan Aide David Gergen "Offended" by Repeated Mention of 9/11. "I was troubled and offended by the regularity of coming back to 9/11, because as you say, none of the terrorists were linked to Saddam and there has been this myth for a long time that is not true that Saddam is somehow responsible for 9/11..." [CNN, 6/28/05] -from the press release on the new DNC website.

''Democrats reject Bush's Iraq-terror links''

"Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Bush's 30-minute speech showcased "the darkness of divisiveness, attempting to garner support for his failed policies by pandering to fear, rather than inspiring us with a plan for hope."-from the UPI story.
Here's the full statement, with audio.

'''Uniter' Biden says he can win in the red states''

"Biden has embraced Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean's strategy of targeting rural voters and challenging the GOP in all 50 states instead of confining combat to some 14 battleground states."-from the story in The Hill today.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

National Democratic Party funneling money to South Dakota

"YANKTON, S.D. - South Dakota Democratic leaders said the state party will be better funded thanks to new national chairman Howard Dean's efforts to send money to all 50 states. State Executive Director Jason Schulte said it will allow the South Dakota party to hire three full-time positions - a legislative director, field director and communications director. Schulte said the state party has been badly understaffed and has had to rely on volunteers and activists. He said the money will help the party restart its grass-roots organizing efforts.

North Dakota Democrats have said they're getting $84,000. Schulte said he expects South Dakota will get a similar amount."-from the AP story tonight. is Two Years Old Today had its first post on June 28, 2003. I'm pretty sure it was done by Our Founder, Mike Begley, but the poster isn't identified. The article, "Seattle-Powered Howard," features the mug of a certain present day Seattle City Council candidate.

Monday, June 27, 2005

''Come Back To the Five & Dime, Howie Dean''

This post on AlterNet contrasts Howard Dean's current messages about the war in Iraq with his position during the presidential primary campaign. It offers some possible explanations, as well. It argues that he must present a more forceful opposition to the present situation. Thanks to Bev Marcus for passing this along.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Listen to Howard Dean at WSU Vancouver on June 13, 2005

"Governor Howard Dean, Chair of the Democratic Party, spoke to a packed and enthuiastic house at WSU’s Vancouver campus on June 13, 2005.
To listen to Show 4, go here, read the show notes and then press the “please click here” link."-from Blue Washington.

''Stellar Advice to DNC: Hijack the Family Values Mantle''

"Attention Dr. Dean! Here's the best political strategy advice for the Democratic Party that I've heard in quite a while: According to a research study released by EMILY's List on June 22 entitled "Women at the Center of Change," Republicans are losing the support among women that won them the White House in 2004. The national survey of more than 2,000 women and 600 men found that one third of women who voted for Bush are not planning to vote Republican in the 2006 Congressional election.

"There is a clear message from the women we spoke to: never stand between a woman and her desire to protect and care for her family," said EMILY's List President Ellen R. Malcolm of the study. "Republicans will continue to lose women if they fail to respect that women see themselves -- not government or politicians -- as the arbiter of family values."-from the post on Heart, Soul & Humor, cross posting "Women Lead the Progressive Charge" by Tamara Straus on AlterNet.

Al Franken on David Letterman

For a few laughs at our current US administration's expense, better late than never, via Crooks and Liars.

IRAQ 101

The New York Times tells us "Three Things About Iraq:

1.The war has nothing to do with Sept. 11.

2.The war has not made the world, or this nation, safer from terrorism.

3.If the war is going according to plan, someone needs to rethink the plan."

If "our newspaper of record" has just figured this out, perhaps they need to hire me and about ten million of their readers (or in my case, former readers) as consultants.

''Iraq Occupation: This war can't be won''

"The questions about U.S. presence in Iraq aren't about winning or losing. The driving factor must be improving, protecting and respecting the lives of the Iraqi people.

Those are people such as Hassan Juma Awad and Faleh Abood Umara, two oil worker union leaders from the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Visiting Seattle with the King County Labor Council yesterday, the two men had no doubt about what the United States can do next to help their country recover from the reign of Saddam Hussein, whom Awad refers to as "a criminal, in capital letters."

The occupation, they believe, must end. And withdrawal must be followed by a massive rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure, with U.S. support.

Iraq poses thorny questions not just for the family men from Iraq but also for policy-makers worldwide. An international conference in Brussels this week produced more good words about cooperation in rebuilding but no new plans for genuinely internationalizing the occupation, setting a timetable for U.S. withdrawal or considering a rapid pullout.

The Bush administration is revving up its media manipulation machinery with a new push on "winning" in Iraq. In the latest sales pitch for why we are there, President Bush says, in effect, that Americans are fortunate to have drawn terrorists into a fight on somebody else's soil.

His neocon policy advisers have been wrong about almost everything else in Iraq. They foisted this war on the United States and the world with patently false assertions not just about weapons of mass destruction. The increasingly famous Downing Street memo only hints at the scope of mass deception. The neocons also spread absolute fantasies about how we would be greeted in Iraq, how many troops would be needed to establish security and how much time, money and blood would be spent in an occupation.

Whatever elements of truth may exist in the latest PR pitch about foreign fighters in Iraq, U.S. convenience alone can't justify our presence there. As is hard to remember when watching pictures of destruction from Iraq, that land is the home of real people like Awad, Umara, their wives and their children.

Awad and Umara, who had a cousin executed by the deposed dictator, have no doubt that their country can do better at governing and reuniting itself if the United States were to leave immediately. They could be naïve or wrong. But they think that it is the United States that is being misled, again, with the talk of fighting jihadists on their soil. If the United States has good intentions toward Iraq, we must ask ourselves -- and Iraqis -- what the overall effect of occupation is on the Iraqi people."-from the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD, published in Friday's Seattle P-I.

''Shout It Out, Howard, We're Listening''

"Howard Dean's election as Democratic National Committee chairman was a shot across the bow of Washington's power clique, so it does not surprise us at the state-party level in Oregon that he is making our kin inside the Beltway nervous. In fact, it delights us.
Dean speaks loudly about things our folks in Washington tip-toe to avoid. He condemns the Iraq war as misguided. He wonders why we don't worry more about nuclear weapons in North Korea. Republicans preach morality, he says, but ignore poverty in the United States. Where is the respect for privacy when Republicans want to legislate end-of-life decisions for a brain-dead woman? And Dean, the white Christian, acerbically grumbles that our nation is not stronger if we are viewed only as Caucasian mono-religious.
Are those comments misguided, or are they timely? The way we see it from this end of the country, the former presidential candidate is catching the wave."-from the op-ed in Sunday's LA Times by the chair of the Oregon Democratic party, Jim Edmunson.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

''Required Report on Trip by House Ethics Chairman Is Missing'' (UPDATED)

"The chairman of the House ethics committee apparently did not properly file a required report about a $3,170 trip to Canada last year. His staff said it must have been lost in the mail.

Perhaps the report, due nine months ago, will turn up. But this is a potentially embarrassing juncture for the chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), to suffer a paperwork blunder. Intense scrutiny of the travel of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has impelled lawmakers from both parties to file or amend reports on more than 200 trips, some from years ago. The Hastings committee, currently stalled by a partisan standoff, eventually will have to decide whether any of that tardiness should be punished."-from today's story in the Washington Post.
Update: Saturday's Seattle Times publishes a bigger story: " Rep. Doc Hastings, already under fire as chairman of the stalled House ethics committee, accepted a $7,800 trip to England in 2000 from a company he championed for a multibillion-dollar contract at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, records released by an advocacy group yesterday show."


"Senator Kerry (D - MA) sends letter to Senate Intelligence Committee pressing for answers on the Downing Street Memo and other Downing documents. The letter leaked to Raw Story, is also signed by Senators Johnson, Corzine, Reed, Lautenberg, Boxer, Kennedy, Harkin, Bingaman, and Durbin. The text of the letter is below."-from Raw Story.

''Dean: Democrats must cultivate Hispanics''

"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Jun 24, 2005 — The Democratic Party is losing more and more Hispanic voters to the Republicans and must cultivate them if it is to win the 2008 presidential victory, Democratic Party leader Howard Dean told Latino officials on Friday.

More than 7 million Latinos of Central and South American, Mexican, and Puerto Rican descent voted in the 2004 presidential race.

But with each successive race, a higher percentage of the growing number of eligible Hispanics has voted for the Republican Party candidate. In 1996, there was a 51 percent gap between Sen. Robert Dole and President Bill Clinton, who won 72 percent of the Hispanic vote. In 2004, there gap narrowed to 20 percent between President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry, who won nearly 60 percent of Hispanic votes."-from the AP story tonight.

Friday, June 24, 2005

''Why the Mainstream Media Is Catching On''

"The Downing Street Memo continues to spread in American political discussion despite efforts to dismiss its significance.

The DSM story, as the top-secret British document it is known on the Internet, has legs because it really represents two stories: an emerging alternative history of how the United States came to attack Iraq and a story of how the New Media has usurped some of the Old Media's power to set the agenda."-from the story today in the Washington Post. Yes, the Washington Post.

''Howard Dean Interview-The Daily Show''

Brian Hopkins posts this video on Dem Bloggers: "This interview right here is why I support Howard Dean. He was and is the right choice for our Chairman. He is doing a great job and like he said he is here because we are the party with a plan and we are the party that care about the people." Crooks and Liars has the video, as well, in two parts: I and II.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

''Give 'Em Heck, Howard''

"...mild-mannered Democrats may still be confused as to why we need a pit bull to lead our party when many would prefer a poodle. I understand their trepidation because it's true: The political debate shouldn't sound like a squabble of snotty bloggers. But then, Republicans shouldn't have allowed a gang of corporate crypto-fascist criminals to take over their party, either. As far as this not-so-mild-mannered Democrat is concerned, Dean is only responding in a reasonable and proper tone to a power-hungry monster whose method is to utterly destroy all opposition, and then kick the corpses when they run out of fresh meat. when the Rove Regime wants America to think something, they pass it on to the likes of Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Armstrong Williams and Baby Face Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Bob Novak and Joe Scarborough ... you know, the whole right-wing lynch mob, which exists solely for the purpose of making the opposition look like enemies and thoughtful Americans look like freaks.

These hyenas can get away with saying virtually anything that crosses their little hyena minds. "Liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots," says Ann Coulter, and earns herself a Time magazine cover for such repugnant drivel. Michael Savage calls the grand tradition of liberalism a "mental illness," and becomes one of the top radio personalities for the feeble-minded talk show addicts.

But do the leaders of their party object to such inflammatory slop? Are the leaders of their party concerned that such vitriolic rhetoric is unhealthy-dangerous to a functioning democracy and civil society? Do the leaders of their party demand apologies from such frothing lunatic Nazi retards?

Of course not. But when Howard Dean points out the obvious, that "Republicans are mean and nasty people," they go sensitive schoolboy on us and want him to take it back. Screw 'em. The right called the duel, named the weapons and came up with the rules. Now let them lose fair and square."-from Bill Cope's column in the Boise Weekly(ID).

''Mainstream News Media and the Right to Vote''

"Ten days ago, I was in Chicago, participating in a panel discussion about the need to add a Right to Vote amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The event was part of the annual convention of Reverend Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition/Push; among the other speakers on the panel were Howard Dean and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who has introduced such an amendment into congress and has been actively promoting it for several years. The amendment now has 55 congressional co-sponsors.

This is an important issue -- since the absence of a federal right to vote (no, it isn't in the bill of rights) has many ramifications that affect the conduct of elections and the political participation (or not) of American citizens. I could go on about that (and often do), but that's not the point of this blog.

The point here is that some significant news was made at that event in Chicago on June 12: Howard Dean, chair of the DNC, endorsed the right to vote amendment sponsored by Congressman Jackson. This is not a small development: Dean is a key political figure, and nothing is more fundamental to American political institutions than the right to vote.

One might have thought, thus, that Dean's public endorsement would get some attention in the press, particularly since numerous reporters were in attendance. But at the press conference that followed the event, reporters displayed little interest in (or knowledge of) the right to vote amendment -- although they had just spent two hours in a room where it was the sole subject of discussion. A room where hundreds of people, many of them African-American, seemed to enthusiastically welcome the prospect of an amendment that would guarantee their right to vote."-from Harvard Professor Alex Keyssar's post on The Huffington Post.

''Dems Say Rove Should Apologize or Resign''

"White House adviser Karl Rove should either apologize or resign for saying liberals responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes by wanting to "prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Democrats said Thursday. Adding to the rancor, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested that Republican charges that Democrats were undermining the war on terror with their criticism of administration policies amounted to an act of desperation. "The president wanted to go to Iraq in the worst possible way and he did," Pelosi said. "The president is on the ropes."
Bush's chief political adviser, Rove said in a speech Wednesday that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he told the New York state Conservative Party just a few miles north of Ground Zero, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."
Rove said the Democratic Party made the mistake of calling for "moderation and restraint" after the terrorist attacks.
Democrats were quick to respond — and in growing numbers. "Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks or he should resign," Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement. "I hope the president will join me in repudiating these remarks."
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called on Bush to "show some leadership and unequivocally repudiate Rove's divisive and damaging political rhetoric."
The White House defended Rove's remarks and accused Democrats of engaging in partisan attacks. Rove, said spokesman Scott McClellan, "was talking about the different philosophies and our different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism."
During a Senate hearing on Iraq in which Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other military leaders testified, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., read Rove's statement and urged them to reject the remarks."I would hope that you and other members of the administration would immediately repudiate such an insulting comment from a high-ranking official in the president's inner circle," Clinton said."-from the AP story today.

''House Ethics Chairman May Quit, Officials Report''

"WASHINGTON, June 22 - The chairman of the House ethics committee, Representative Doc Hastings, Republican of Washington, is warning that he may resign from the post this summer because of a stalemate of months with Democrats over whether and how to conduct investigations of Representative Tom DeLay and other lawmakers, Republican Congressional officials said. They said Mr. Hastings had told colleagues privately in recent weeks that he might step down out of frustration with what he considered intractability of Democrats on the panel and their repeated public attacks on his leadership.

The committee is deadlocked over several issues, including staffing for the committee, and has been unable to pursue investigations of Mr. DeLay, the majority leader, or anyone else. House Republican officials say the departure of Mr. Hastings and the appointment of a new chairman could mean months of additional delay before the committee is able to resume any of its investigative work. Mr. Hastings has also faced criticism in recent weeks over newly disclosed documents that show he has worked closely for years with lobbyists at a Seattle-based law firm that is under scrutiny because of its ties to Mr. DeLay. The firm's former star lobbyist arranged lavish overseas trips for Mr. DeLay, a Texas Republican.

Last week, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, cited the lobbying ties in calling for Mr. Hastings to recuse himself from any investigation of the majority leader. Newspaper editorials in Mr. Hastings's home state have joined in urging him to step aside to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. An article this week in The Tri-City Herald, the local newspaper of Mr. Hastings's hometown, Pasco, detailed his ties to the Preston Gates & Ellis, a Seattle law firm that has been linked to Mr. DeLay, and to one of its major lobbying clients in the 1990's, the government of the Northern Mariana Islands, an American commonwealth in the Pacific.

At the firm's urging, Mr. Hastings introduced testimony into the record in the House in support of the islands' efforts to prevent the federal minimum wage from being imposed on its clothing factories. The headline on the article was "Hastings' Link to Islands Sullies Ethics Post." The firm's former chief lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, is now the focus of a federal corruption investigation here."-from the story in today's New York Times. "Sully: 1. spoil: to spoil or detract from something, especially somebody's reputation, that has previously been pure and honorable, or become spoiled or tarnished (a reputation sullied by scandal). 2. make dirty: to make something dirty"-from the Encarta Dictionary.

WA Post: ''Democrats Say 2004 Election System Failed in Ohio''

"Democratic Party officials charged yesterday that the election system in Ohio broke down in last year's presidential race, citing numerous problems that frustrated or disenfranchised voters while concluding there was no evidence of fraud in the outcome. The findings reignited a partisan debate that has colored efforts to improve voting procedures around the country.
"The results show that our election system failed the citizens of Ohio in 2004 and in particular failed African Americans, new registrants, younger voters and voters in places using touch-screen machines," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told reporters. During a question-and-answer period, he declined to rule out that partisan actions by the Republicans may have contributed to the problems.
Even before Dean and members of the Democratic task force finished their presentations, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman issued a statement denouncing the findings. "The report is pure political fiction," he said, charging that some Democratic-aligned groups had engaged in fraudulent or illegal voter registration activities in Ohio. Members of the DNC task force, led by Donna Brazile, the chairman of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute, enumerated a series of problems on Election Day in Ohio, including too few voting machines in certain precincts and long lines that appear to have caused some voters to give up and go home. The study, which included statistical analysis of the voting patterns and polling to gauge voters' assessment of their experiences, found a clear lack of confidence in the system among African Americans."-from the story in today's Washington Post.

Cincinatti Enquirer--"Dems: Voters blocked in Ohio"

"WASHINGTON - Blacks and young voters in Ohio faced widespread voter suppression - mostly because of long lines and improper identification checks - during last year's presidential election, a new report released Wednesday by the Democratic Party said.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said that while it's unclear whether the suppression was intentional or whether it influenced the election results, the party's five-month, $250,000 investigation showed that 28 percent of Ohio voters - and twice as many black voters - reported facing challenges on Election Day.

"You have a particular ethnic group that has to wait three times as long as other voters, then clearly there is something going on that is aimed at particular precincts," Dean said at a news conference in Washington. "This is really a serious problem." Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, said: "This report belongs in history's trash bin right next to Howard Dean's failed tenure as DNC chair. Dean is a national disgrace."-from the story in today's Cincinatti Enquirer. Note that Mr. LoParo does not dispute the report's conclusions, but chooses to make a personal attack on the messenger.

Toledo Blade: ''Democrats fault voting process in Ohio''

"WASHINGTON - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said yesterday that a study commissioned by Democrats of the election in Ohio last November showed that the system "failed the citizens of Ohio in 2004, and in particular failed African Americans, new registrants, younger voters, and voters in places using touch screen machines. The report claims:

●More than 1-in-4 Ohio voters had problems with voting, including waiting long lines;

●Two times as many black voters as white voters had problems. Blacks reported waiting an average of 52 minutes compared with 18 minutes for whites;

●Five times as many voters had identification questioned than there should have been, based on registration statistics."-from the story in today's Toledo Blade.

''The Gloves Come Off''

AOL News sets up a Dick Cheney vs. Howard Dean competition: "This certainly isn't the first time politicians have publicly traded barbs. But now it's getting personal between Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean."-from AOL's Daily Pulse. They have some online polls:

Who do you think won this war of words?
Howard Dean 52%
Dick Cheney 48%

Does this type of exchange make politics more or less appealing?
Less 68%
More 32%

Total Votes: 118,419

Who is a bigger asset to his party?
Dick Cheney 52%
Howard Dean 48%

Who do you think is the more effective public speaker?
Howard Dean 51%
Dick Cheney 49%

Total Votes: 121,518

Exercise your right to vote here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 Awards Howard Dean 'Wings of Justice Award' for His Courage

"CHICAGO, June 22 /U.S. Newswire/ --, a leading internet news website, awarded Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean the "Wings of Justice Award" for his courage to stand up to the Republican Party's efforts to weaken America and his relentless fight for our democracy. The "Wings of Justice Award" lauded Dean's efforts because "fighting words aren't enough if you don't put up a fight."

The "Wings of Justice Award" to Howard Dean stated:
"It takes a guy with courage to take on the schoolyard bully who threatens democracy -- and Howard Dean passes the gut check with flying colors. Not only does Dean have to take on the radical anti-Constitutional Busheviks, he has to contend with the appeasement wing of his own party. "But Dean knows this simple truth that eludes so many Democratic Party poobahs: it's not the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog. Americans respect a person who is willing to put up their dukes and throw some punches to defend their convictions. Dean is proving his bonafides that Democrats can handle national security because he is willing to battle the GOP thugs, the DNC apologists, and the media. He gives as good as he gets -- and doesn't back down."-from Yahoo News.

''Democrats must learn to frame the debate''

Joel Connelly, writing in the Seattle P-I, quotes George Lakoff to bolster his own opinions: "The high point of the Democrats' annual shrimp feed on Capitol Hill used to be a stemwinder speech by Rep. (later Gov.) Mike Lowry forecasting that liberals would eventually win the day because, in Lowry's words, "We're right and they're wrong."

George Lakoff, linguistics professor at the University of California-Berkeley, rejects such reasoning. "The truth will NOT set you free," argues Lakoff, author of the book "Don't Think Like an Elephant: Know Your Values, Frame the Debate." Lakoff is a new star in the Democrats' constellation. He was here last week doing a non-stop series of lectures, meetings and interviews on how the liberal-left can catch up to conservatives in the art of defining public issues.

Here's one listener who didn't entirely buy into his theories. Not only do liberals need help with packaging, but the quality of the product also requires work. Lakoff is, however, provocative and on the mark in assessing why President Bush won re-election last year."

Howard Dean on PBS's News Hour

"Howard Dean is asked about his inflammatory comments and he doesn't back down. He is asked about Senator Durbin's recent comments and refuses to be drawn into this trick. He also mentions the recent DNC election report and focuses on the issue of voter suppression."-from Crooks and Liars tonight, with video.

''Dean Charges Black Vote Suppressed in Ohio''

"WASHINGTON — Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday to fire up his party base by lighting up an issue Democrats have been hot about for months — the alleged suppression of African-American votes in Ohio during last fall's presidential election. Dean, who was in Washington Tuesday night in part to offer a spirited defense of Sen. Dick Durbin (search), D-Ill., over remarks he made comparing prisoner treatment at Guantanamo Bay to some of the world's most heinous regimes, released a Democratic study on Wednesday that described voting problems in Ohio last November.

"The results show that our election system failed the citizens of Ohio," Dean said.

Among the charges laid out, the study concludes that 52 percent of African-Americans in Ohio reported significant problems at the polls and, on average, African-American voters waited three times as long as white voters to vote. According to the report, the systemic problems plaguing Ohio's voting process included: voter suppression, negligent and poorly trained election officials, long lines, problems with registration status, polling locations, absentee ballots and provisional ballots, and unlawful identification requirements at the polls.

Dean suggested the report backed up his claim that Republicans worked actively to suppress the African-American vote."-from the story today on Faux News.

AOL Newroom Picks Us Today

AOL's Blogzone picks up on our post today: "Howard Dean was right," with this bullet point: ''Focus on what Dean's really angry about, Howie responds." This was posted on as well.--traffic increases.

SF Chronicle Coverage of Downing Street Memo/World Reactions

"WORLD VIEWS: 'Downing St. Memo' reporter says U.S., Britain goaded Saddam; Conyers hearings grab headlines -- overseas; Bush pans Iran elections; and more. Will the Downing Street Memo please just go away?

For George W. Bush and Tony Blair, continuing attention -- which is slowly increasing in mainstream U.S. news media -- to the secret British-government document and to others like it (they've now all been dubbed, collectively, "the Downing Street Memos" (AP/Guardian)), has become a festering annoyance."-from the story today.

''Ohio Voters Plagued by Systemic Problems on Election Day 2004''

DNC to Review Proposed Election Administration Reforms

"WASHINGTON, June 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- An exhaustive five- month investigative study of the troubled presidential election of 2004 in Ohio has concluded that the state's voters encountered widespread system failure, with more than a quarter of voters -- and 52 percent of African Americans -- reporting significant problems at the polls.

According to the report, which was presented to DNC Chairman Howard Dean at a news conference today, the systemic problems plaguing Ohio's voting process included: significant evidence of voter suppression, negligent and poorly trained election officials, long lines, problems with registration status, polling locations, absentee ballots and provisional ballots and unlawful identification requirements at the polls."-from the U.S. Newswire press release.

''Democratic chairman blasts Bush''

"WASHINGTON Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is accusing the Bush Administration of ignoring the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran while mishandling the situation in Iraq.

Dean told approximately one-thousand supporters at a Democratic Party fund-raiser last night that the Republican party stands for "all the wrong things."

Dean says the Republican Party preaches adherence to "moral values" while failing seniors and low-income people in need of educational opportunities and health care.

Dean says that while Democrats believe in a "small government just big enough to get things done," Republicans "believe in a government just small enough to sit inside Terry Schiavo's (SHY'-vohz) nursing-home room." It was a clear reference to Republican attempts to keep the brain-damaged woman on life support."-from the AP story today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

''Howard Dean was right''

"Howard Dean, the Democratic Party chairman, was right on the money when he said recently that the GOP is "not very friendly to different kinds of people," and he was right when he said the Republicans are "pretty much a white, Christian party."
This is the party that wants to end affirmative action, outlaw abortion, put prayer in public schools, post the 10 Commandments in court houses and amend the Constitution to discriminate against gays. Of course they're a white, Christian party.

So what's all the fuss about?

Dean's error was strategic, not substantive. In politics, you never attack your enemies when they're making a mistake, and Dean's attack diverted attention from the Republicans' numerous mistakes. The Republicans get away with their hypocrisy only because the pathetically feeble Democrats won't stand up and challenge the GOP. The Democrats still haven't learned how to be an opposition party. When Republicans take a position, they stick to it with remarkable discipline and repeat it ad nauseum until the media reports it and we believe it. They have slandered and smeared their opponents -- from Dukakis to Kerry -- with hot-button lies and distortions. Remember the Dukakis "Pledge of Allegiance" controversy, the Kerry Swift Boat attacks and the meandering Clinton Whitewater investigation. The Democrats, on the other hand, step forward timidly and then retreat as soon as they encounter even a tiny bit of resistance. Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, Bill Richardson, Mark Warner and Nancy Pelosi all left Dr. Dean hanging when asked to respond to his remarks. But that's exactly why Howard Dean's hard-edged approach resonates with many disenchanted Democrats. "The one thing that we have to do in the Democratic Party is to stop being afraid of being different from the Republicans and stand up for what we believe in," Dean said recently.

He's right. Somebody needs to speak out repeatedly and forcefully against the gross mismanagement, unbridled corruption and criminal abuse of power in Washington. If the Democrats don't do it, they don't deserve to be elected. Instead of getting outraged about Howard Dean, we should get outraged about the things that outraged him -- the GOP's widespread mismanagement, greed, corruption and rampant abuse of power. Would the real Democratic Party please stand up?"-former Clinton White House staffer Keith Boykin on

''Dean raises cash, party spirits''

"In a defiant speech at a party fund-raiser in Boston, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean vowed yesterday to continue his fiery critique of the Republican Party and followed up with a pointed jab at Vice President Dick Cheney.

''We are going to be much tougher and in-your-face with the Republicans when they say things that aren't true," Dean said, in an apparent response to criticism outside and inside the Democratic Party that he is using over-the-top language to rally his party."-from the story today in the Boston Globe.

''Gov. Dean to Appear on The Daily Show''

"Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean will be Jon Stewart's guest on The Daily Show this Thursday at 11 p.m. Be sure to watch!"-from the Blog for America.

''Show America the Truth''

"In order to get the truth out about Iraq, you and I need to keep
pushing our leaders and the media to come clean. That's why we've put
together a new Flash movie about the Downing Street Memo -- a movie made to help you spread the word. In just over a minute, you can show your neighbors, family,
co-workers, and others why President Bush owes our troops -- and
every American -- an explanation. Watch the video, and then send it to as
many people as you can."-from Tom Hughes at Democracy for America.

''Conyers At the Gate''

"After almost a thousand days of marching, organizing, screaming and shouting over the illegal and unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq, a day of change long awaited finally came. With the suddenness of a windstorm at sea, this nation's capitol was swept up in a large, loud and defiant chorus of demands on Thursday, June 16th, that the Bush-maintained status quo of violence, disinformation and despair in Iraq must change, and must change now. By far and away, however, the most important events took place in a small room in the Capitol Building, in a small park across the city, and before a long, black gate.

In that small room, Rep. John Conyers and a roomful of House allies listened to compelling, factual testimony from four individuals - Ambassador Joseph Wilson, retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, constitutional attorney John Bonifaz, and a Gold Star Mother named Cindy Sheehan - who described in searing detail the import and consequences of the Downing Street Minutes. As this hearing was concluding, a large gathering of protesters gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House. There, the crowd was exhorted by Medea Benjamin, PDA Director Tim Carpenter, the mothers of fallen soldiers and many others to stay the course, to continue pounding on the Minutes, to continue to demand that the occupation of Iraq be brought to an immediate conclusion. As the Lafayette rally grew in size and volume, a small group of people walked with deliberation towards the black White House gate. In their arms were stacks of paper - tens and tens and tens of thousands of signatures from ordinary Americans who want the bloodshed in Iraq to stop.

This, again, was Rep. Conyers, flanked by Rep. Waters and several other allies. They placed themselves before the gate, surrounded suddenly by media cameras and protesters, and demanded that the White House guard take those signatures inside. After a few moments, the gate opened and the signatures were handed over. As Rep. Conyers later recounted, this was the first time this administration had accepted papers from anyone for any reason. Why the sudden reversal? Perhaps it was the poll numbers of the Bush administration, which have been plummeting like a gravity-captured meteor."-from Will Pitt's account of the Conyers "Forum" and walk to the White House to deliver petitions.

''Democratic chairman answers Cheney's comment about mother''

"BOSTON --Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, responding to criticism from the vice president, said he doesn't "care if Dick Cheney likes my mother or not."-from today's AP story.

"Move Over, Boomers"

"The old era of political party identification is giving way to a disaggregated thunderdome of cause-based politics, distributed democracy, MoveOn house parties and do-it-yourself politics," writes Dan Carol in Alternet's new book, Start Making Sense. "Peer-to-peer politics ... is replacing the party as the place where new stuff happens."

The class interests of the practivists may be their weakest link. Taught that identifying with or romanticizing the oppressed is akin to colonizing them, many of these bloggers, culture jammers and radical consultants operate from a place of privilege not rooted in working America. Howard Dean's call for small-donor support of the Democratic party, for example, applies more to middle-class voters with cable modems and time for meet-ups than to workers struggling to raise children and navigate the minefields of economic instability and mass culture."-from the article in In These Times.

''UPDATE Dean Speaks For Me petition. Please read. Need help.''

"Please recommend so it stays visible.
15,349 signatures went to DemFest this weekend and were delivered to Governor Dean on Saturday night at Stubbs BBQ. This is how the scene was described: "The crowd was dense and several people in the front were holding up DEAN SPEAKS FOR ME signs. Jim called Howard to the stage (crowd went wild) and proudly presented him with 15,000+ signatures. He looked pleased, maybe surprised. There was lots of noise and cheering going on".

There were 296 pages, 1-1/2 inches thick. I had them spiral bound. It looked pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. I am still working on getting the petition and signatures delivered to congressional leadership. I will be talking about that with someone on Wed. The petition is approaching 17,000 signatures. After seeing how they looked bound, the new goal is 20,000 signatures in 2 'books'. What you can do below the fold."-from the post on Kos.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Dean in Boston

"BOSTON Democratic National Committee chairman and former presidential candidate Howard Dean takes aim at Governor Romney.
Dean spoke to about 300 Democrats at a fund-raiser in Boston tonight. The former Vermont governor says Romney -- a Republican -- has changed his position two or three times on fundamental issues, including abortion. Romney is seen as testing the waters for a possible 2008 presidential run." Dean's comments were immediately denounced by state G-O-P chairman Tim O'Brien as (quote) "evil rhetoric." O'Brien says Romney has done lots of good for Massachusetts. Dean says Democrats will take a message of hope and reform to every state in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election."-from the AP story tonight. Notice that O'Brien did not challenge the truth of Dean's comment.

''Howard Dean meets with local APAs''

"Howard Dean, chair of the Democratic National Committee and a former presidential candidate, met with members of the state Democratic Party's Asian Pacific American Caucus at a private meeting on June 5 at the Center for Career Alternatives in Seattle. Dean was already in Seattle to rally support for the 2008 election. Frank Irigon, chair of the APA Caucus, set up the meeting so that the former Vermont governor could meet local Asian Americans, many of whom supported his bid for the presidency last year. Dean told the 30 or so there that the Democratic Party was in the process of clarifying its message so that Americans understand that it is a party of fairness and inclusiveness, one that is committed to individual rights and fiscal responsibility.
Republican spin, Dean believes, has spawned the impression that Republicans are pro-life, and therefore Democrats must be pro-abortion. In actuality, the party chair said, abortion rates were lower when the Democrats were in power.

Dean, who was elected national party chair in February, said he wants the national party to hire more people of color -- particularly those who can stay on for years at a time -- and work more closely with community and ethnic media, as well as the mainstream press. He also called on increased support for small businesses, since many small-business owners are APAs.
Dean also encouraged APAs to run for public office, including school-board positions. He said he would like to see people of color elected in every county and precinct in America.

Cindy Ryu, a Korean American candidate for the Shoreline City Council, told Dean that APAs were well organized in the last presidential campaign, but that they became frustrated when dealing with party representatives outside of the local community who felt they could call the shots. Dean replied that the new party structure replaces the "top-down approach" with one that allows information to flow both ways between the state and national leadership structures.
Dr. Gail Nomura, a University of Washington American ethnic studies professor, pointed out that the Asian contribution scandals from the Clinton-era campaigns have made APAs hesitant to become active in politics. Dean answered that he recognized that the illegal contributions had been made by only a few individuals and promised that he would acknowledge this in future solicitations of support from the APA community.

Many of those in attendance were impressed that the former governor took time to meet with APAs. "(Dean) said that the DNC would provide staff and materials to help us organize throughout the state. It's a major step toward assuring communities of color, including (Asian Pacific Americans), that we have the full support of the party organization," said Dolores Sibonga, a former Seattle City Council member. Dean also agreed to back a national summit of APAs. Yvonne Kinoshita Ward, an Auburn attorney who requested the DNC's support for the summit, said she was happy to hear it. "He recognized that the power of the API vote can be maximized only with a national coordinated effort from the ground up, not from the top down. He personally committed to the project after the forum, and we committed to do the groundwork." Irigon, who helped arrange the meeting, praised Dean as "both an intellect and a fighter. Both traits will serve the Democratic Party well in our fight to retake America. He is also sensitive to the needs of minorities and, in particular, our own Asian Pacific American community."

Even though she was pleased that Dean was willing to meet with APAs like this, one supporter at the meeting confessed that she was most grateful for the fact that he did not ask them for contributions to the Democratic Party."-from the article in the current Northwest Asian Weekly by Kiku Hayashi. Kiku was a Dean delegate from the 37th LD to the Washington State Democratic convention.


Annie Robbins passes along this article, about "What the Pentagon can now do in secret," from The New Yorker magazine, earlier this year. It won't brighten your Monday, but it may wake you up.

''Frame Up? Dems, Dean Hit in Message War''

"Interesting analysis from ABC News, including a weigh-in from George Lakoff. Frame Up? Dems, Dean Hit in Message War (ABC News) - Analysts: GOP Scores as Howard Dean Gets 'Blunt':

"The Republicans are attacking Howard Dean more than Howard Dean is attacking Republicans — but the way the stories are being handled in the news media, everybody is assuming the opposite," said Anthony Pratkanis, co-author of "Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion," and a psychology professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz.
'Republican Message Machine'
Experts on propaganda and political branding declared Republicans the winners of the dust-up over Dean's comments, calling Dean's attacks imprecise, poorly targeted and open to mischaracterization (Dean was forced to clarify several remarks once they were reported).

The result is little surprise to George Lakoff, a linguistics and cognitive science professor at the University of California-Berkeley, who said "the Republican message machine" has been far more effective than Democrats in recent years at framing the opposing party through disciplined message management, repetition of phrases and other techniques. Democrats, he said, can't currently match the GOP's level of organization. "The reason for this [Dean flap] is that you have Republican media people putting this stuff out — combing through the speeches, taking out a quote and taking them out of context," said Lakoff, a self-styled "progressive" Democrat who was in the audience for Dean's "honest living" remark and feels it got mischaracterized in the media. Whether the Dean controversy was fueled by Republicans framing Dean's comments or by the comments themselves, the attention paid to it may have revived a media portrayal of Howard Dean as a loose cannon, at a time of falling poll numbers for President Bush and the Republican agenda. In other words, Pratkanis said, just as they stumbled, Republicans may have pitched a psychological message to future voters that, "We're all that keeps you from Howard Dean."

The take-away for me is not that Dean should shut up per se, but that Democrats need to get on message and get some discipline--that, and George Soros needs to buy a couple of networks. Boy, wouldn't that be refreshing."-from the post on, based on the post from ABC News.

Print Media Coverage of the Conyers ''Forum''

If you are a media geek: here's a roundup of the stories on the Conyers "Forum" compiled by David Swanson on


We broke the story here on June 3rd. Today, the P-I finally gets around to covering it: "Speeches by King County Executive Ron Sims might soon become a lot livelier. Sandeep Kaushik, known for hard-hitting and entertaining stories as a reporter for The Stranger, has left the paper to work for Sims. Carolyn Duncan, spokeswoman for Sims, confirmed that Kaushik started last week as a deputy communications director. He'll work on general public relations and speeches. "It's true. We're thrilled to have him," she said.

But if Kaushik brings with him The Stranger's taste in language, Sims might just require the services of a censor, as well." The main stream media, always going to for the sensational angle. Just keep scrolling down past the stories on cherries, Paul Allen and Cleveland.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

''We Love Howard Dean''

"The Bush GOP is a Wal-Mart of five-and-dime ethics, self-enriching corporate sponsored war, imitation morality made in China, and a fresh baker's dozen of half-truths for every occasion. America on sale: to the right folks in the right place at the right time for the right price. Going once, going twice ...

Bible-thumping-bunko artists shove the hand of God into your pants pocket for thirty pieces of silver to buy membership lists from the likes of David Dukes and the KKK, because we all know, Heaven is white with just a touch of beige. And if you question that, James Dobson will take his Bible belt and show you the lashing love of Jesus. We've long since passed murder at 1600 and now head to 1700 dead soldiers in Bush's war on Iraq. And while Condi visits the troops, with a smile that could slit your throat from ear to ear, nobody asks what the plan is for this sandbox game of death.

The Downing Street Memo is all the talk to avoid. There are some people who want the American media to cover the contents of the memo that show Bush and Blair conspired to wage war despite their promises otherwise. But the media won't cover the memo any more than they covered Bush's words in the second presidential debate of 2000 when he said: ".... The coalition against Saddam has fallen apart or it's unraveling, let's put it that way. The sanctions are being violated. We don't know whether he's developing weapons of mass destruction. He better not be or there's going to be a consequence should I be the president."

So what is the topic that grabs the news and the Democratic leadership's attention?

Howard Dean said something mean.Extra! Extra! Read all about it!"-from John Cory's post on Reading this is reminds me of the beat poets.

''Iraqi lawmakers call for foreign troops to withdraw''

"BAGHDAD - Iraqi lawmakers from across the political spectrum called for the withdrawal of foreign forces from their country in a letter released to the media on Sunday. The move comes as US President George W. Bush is under increasing domestic pressure to set a timetable for the pullout of American forces in the face of an increasing death toll at the hands of insurgents.

Eighty-two Shiite, Kurdish, Sunni Arab, Christian and communist deputies made the call in a letter sent by Falah Hassan Shanshal of the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), the largest group in parliament, to speaker Hajem al-Hassani. Some of those who signed urged that a detailed timetable be established for the withdrawal."-from the article today in the Khaleej Times.

''Democrats need Dean''

"There's reason Demos are in minority these days -- too timid.

WASHINGTON - Buck up, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. You're on the right track. Noisy is good. Mean is even better. The Republicans can ridicule you all they want. It only means you have their attention and they are worried. The lame duck blues are upon them. And they need a taste of their own medicine. The Democratic congressional leadership, as usual nervous about Dean's outspoken habit, cravenly criticized Dean for recent incendiary anti-GOP comments and urged him to tone it down. But there's a reason the Democrats are in the minority everywhere in the federal government -- too much timidity in the face of controversy. Grow a spine, fellows. When the Republicans push, promptly push back.

Good manners never won an election."-from today's nationally syndicated column by MARIANNE MEANS.

Dean: Texas GOP made 'pretty big mess'

"Democrats can win in Texas, despite the 10-year-long Republican stronghold on state government - that's the message Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean brought to Texans during his two-day tour of the state, which made a stop at a private fundraiser in Corpus Christi on Saturday. "We're not going to give up on any state," Dean said."There's been a Republican government in Texas for a decade and they've made a pretty big mess."
Dean's stop in Corpus Christi is the first of any acting Democratic National Committee chairman, said Josh Earnest, DNC regional media director. The former Vermont governor cited both education and healthcare as two primary areas where state government has failed Texans.

"Education has been hurt more than anything," Dean said. "And education is opportunity, it's how you move up in society." On a national level, Dean said Republicans' biggest failure has been the budget deficit. "Republicans can't manage money," Dean said. "Democrats would balance the budget and invest in health care and education. Reaching out to Hispanic voters, many of whom in recent years switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, is also one of the DNC's top priorities, Dean said. "We want to make sure Hispanics understand that Democrats have the moral values that will support families," Dean said. Local attorney Vance Owen hosted the fundraiser at his Ocean Drive home and said Dean's visit is both a memorable and proud moment for the lifelong Democrat.
"We need some hellfire and brimstone to jumpstart the Democratic Party," Owen said. "I can't think of a better spark plug than Howard Dean."-from the story today in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

''Congressman Conyers hammers the Washington Post's Dana Milbank''

"I write to express my profound disappointment with Dana Milbank's June 17 report, "Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War," which purports to describe a Democratic hearing I chaired in the Capitol yesterday. In sum, the piece cherry-picks some facts, manufactures others out of whole cloth, and does a disservice to some 30 members of Congress who persevered under difficult circumstances, not of our own making, to examine a very serious subject: whether the American people were deliberately misled in the lead up to war. The fact that this was the Post's only coverage of this event makes the journalistic shortcomings in this piece even more egregious."-from Conyers' letter, in RAW STORY.

''Democrats Urge Inquiry on Bush, Iraq''

I finally found a news story on the Conyers "forum" on Thursday: "WASHINGTON - Amid new questions about President Bush's drive to topple Saddam Hussein, several House Democrats urged lawmakers on Thursday to conduct an official inquiry to determine whether the president intentionally misled Congress. At a public forum where the word "impeachment" loomed large, Exhibit A was the so-called Downing Street memo, a prewar document leaked from inside the British government to The Sunday Times of London a month and a half ago. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the event. The Democratic congressmen were relegated to a tiny room in the bottom of the Capitol and the Republicans who run the House scheduled 11 major votes to coincide with the afternoon event.

"We have not been told the truth," Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Baghdad a year ago, told the Democrats. "If this administration doesn't have anything to hide, they should be down here testifying."

The White House refuses to respond to a May 5 letter from 122 congressional Democrats about whether there was a coordinated effort to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy, as the Downing Street memo says. White House spokesman Scott McClellan says Conyers "is simply trying to rehash old debates." Conyers and a half-dozen other members of Congress were stopped at the White House gate later Thursday when they hand-delivered petitions signed by 560,000 Americans who want Bush to provide a detailed response to the Downing Street memo. When Conyers couldn't get in, an anti-war demonstrator shouted, "Send Bush out!" Eventually, White House aides retrieved the petitions at the gate and took them into the West Wing. "Quite frankly, evidence that appears to be building up points to whether or not the president has deliberately misled Congress to make the most important decision a president has to make, going to war," Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said earlier at the event on Capitol Hill. Misleading Congress is an impeachable offense, a point that Rangel underscored by saying he's already been through two impeachments. He referred to the impeachment of President Clinton for an affair with a White House intern and of President Nixon for Watergate, even though Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment. Conyers pointed to statements by Bush in the run-up to invasion that war would be a last resort. "The veracity of those statements has — to put it mildly — come into question," he said. Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson said, "We are having this discussion today because we failed to have it three years ago when we went to war." John Bonifaz, a lawyer and co-founder of a new group called, said the lack of interest by congressional Republicans in the Downing Street memo is like Congress during Nixon's presidency saying "we don't want" the Watergate tapes."-from the AP story via Yahoo News. Also, THE BRAD BLOG has extensive coverage of the "forum." One Member of Congress from the state of Washington is quoted in the Q & A discussion: "We are not going away. They have hit the mattress on this, and their reply is "we don't need to respond". There is no greater need to respond when they are putting our armed forces through this and this assertion is made." Your first guess as to who it is may be incorrect.

''DNC Chairman Statement on Anti-Semitic Literature''

"Washington, DC - Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, issued the following statement condemning the distribution of anti-Semitic literature at an overflow room of an event organized by staff of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee:

"Yesterday members of the Judiciary Committee held an important hearing on the so-called Downing Street Memo and its implications. Unfortunately, some members of the audience took it upon themselves to distribute anti-Semitic literature at the Wasserman Conference room where an overflow crowd observed the proceedings on television. We disavow the anti-Semitic literature, and the Democratic National Committee stands in absolute disagreement with and condemns the allegations."-from the DNC website. There have been some news stories about this statement.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Downing Street hearing video

"If you haven't gotten to see it yet, Crooks and Liars has a 30-minute condensed version of the Downing Street Memo hearing on the Hill yesterday, including comments by Joe Wilson, John Bonifaz, Cindy Sheehan, and Ray McGovern."-from the post on Florida Blues.

''Dean takes fundraising effort to Texas''

"HOUSTON -- Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean is taking his party's fundraising efforts to President Bush's backyard - Texas. Dean is scheduled to appear at events in Houston, Austin and Corpus Christi this weekend, taking his message to a Republican stronghold that had been written off by Democrats until Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ethics problems began."-from the AP story tonight.

''Dean fund-raising lie persists among conservatives''

"The conservative media continues to falsely assert that Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Howard Dean is an ineffective fund-raiser. In the past week, Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes, New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, and Washington Times chief political correspondent Donald Lambro all cast Dean as a fund-raising failure. In fact, when compared with fund-raising in the most recent non-election year, Dean has raised more money in raw dollars, and more in comparison to the Republican National Committee (RNC), than did his predecessor.

As Media Matters for America has documented, Dean raised $14.8 million between February and April 2005, versus $8.5 million raised by former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe during the same time period in 2003. Dean has also raised more money than McAuliffe relative to RNC fund-raising."-from the post on Media Matters for America.


"Reair of House Democrats Meeting on Downing St. Memo and Iraq War
On C-SPAN2 at 8pm ET" (5pm, Seattle time)-watch it online here. Hit the "Live Streams" button for CSPAN2.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

''Ron & Sandeep K-I-S-S-I-N-G''

"After 3 years, brainiac Sandeep "Beam on the Rocks" Kaushik is leaving the Stranger for a job in King County Executive Ron Sims' office where he is expected to resuscitate Ron "I promoted Julie Anne Kempf & Hired Dean Logan Too" Sims. Good luck with that, Sandeep. I'm not sure if even a one-man political think tank such as yourself will be able to pull it off. We'll miss you. However, I'm sure Microsoft is relieved that you're giving up on your true calling here at the Stranger. Here's your going away card .

The Stranger 1535 11th Ave. ~ 3rd floor ~
Seattle, Washington ~ 98122- 3934 voice:
206.323.7101 ~ fax: 206.323.7203

June 3, 2005
King County Executive Ron Sims

701 5th Avenue, Suite 3210
Seattle, WA 98104

Please consider this is a request under the Public Disclosure Act, RCW 42.17. We would like to review any e-mails, memos, letters or communications about the monorail between Ron Sims’ staff (including Deputy Communications Director Sandeep Kaushik) and Sound Transit; and between Ron Sims staff (including Deputy Communications Director Sandeep Kaushik) and Metro in which Sims’ office (especially Communications Director Sandeep Kaushik) is surreptitiously plotting to destroy the monorail. Please consider this request to exist in perpetuity. As you are aware, you have five business days to respond to this request.

Thank You,

The Stranger" NO hard feelings though, right?

''Howard Dean's the man for a tough rebuilding job''

"Concerning Howard Dean's rhetoric: His Democratic critics misunderstand Dean's strategy. Moderate Republicans and independents are not the target group Dean has in mind to rebuild and move our party to the winning column once again. Nor is that group the responsibility of an opposition party offering a better solution. In this period of renewal, our target is the 40 percent of the electorate who have opted out of the system because we Democrats are not speaking to and for them. And our target are the Reagan Democrats who left us because we were not addressing their economic needs and speaking to them in populist, bread-and-butter, dinner table language.

What his critics fail to understand is that Howard Dean is leading in a manner we progressive populists have elected him to do. We tried the capitulation strategy favored by Berg and others in the party for the better part of the last 15 years under Democratic Leadership Council-based party leadership. We progressives, at least many of us, endured and even support their attempt out of misguided party loyalty."-from Stan Merriman's column in the Houston Chronicle.

''Conyer's Bizarro World''

Booman comments on the Washington Post and NY Times editorials about the DSM (Downing Street Memo/Minutes): "The Washington Post can go fuck themselves.
The New York Times can go fuck themselves." He also explains why he feels this way.


"It’s bad enough that the Bush administration had so little international support for the Iraqi war that their “coalition of the willing” meant the U.S., Britain, and the equivalent of a child’s imaginary friends. It’s even worse that, as the Downing Street memo confirms, they had so little evidence of real threats that they knew from the start that they were going to have manufacture excuses to go to war. What’s more damning still is that they effectively began this war even before the congressional vote."-from the post on The Huffington Blog by my homey from West Seattle, Paul Loeb.

Dino Lossi

"As Rossi pursued his legal challenge to Gregoire's razor-thin 129-vote victory, he claimed he has no interest in challenging the vulnerable first-term senator, who is up for reelection in 2006. But if he does, Cantwell could be in trouble: A recent poll showed her trailing Rossi by close to double digits in a head-to-head matchup. Whatever the future holds, Monday's decision was a huge win for the Democrats. By any objective measure, the rout was near total."-from the story by our pal Sandeep in The Stranger. We may not have him to kick around much longer.

Dean Visits North Country

"What we need is to re-establish the provider patient relationship so there is a bound of trust that is re-established. We would not be willing to spend 50 percent of our medicare dollars in the last 6 months of our life, but it happens to us in large part because of corporate medicine and technology, and we need to find a way to undo that," said Dean.

Dean did take questions from the press after the talk but refused to answer anything unrelated to healthcare.

He would not speak about the recent criticisms of Republicans he made as Democratic National chairman, or the reaction from Republicans, including Vice President Dick Cheney."-from the story on WCAX(NY).

''Bare Truths about the War, from a Small Paper''

Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., accused President Bush of lying to the nation about a war which has consumed tens of billions of dollars and claimed more than 1,700 American lives -- including the life of (her son) Army Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan. ...
Let’s see how the big newspapers perform on Thursday when Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Democratic colleagues hold a hearing on the so-called Downing Street Memo. Sheehan is scheduled to testify, as are outspoken opponents of the Iraq war such as former ambassador Joe Wilson and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

How will the event be covered in Friday’s editions of the New York Times and Washington Post? Or will newspaper editors at those newspapers decide not to wield that most beautiful tool of democracy – the First Amendment – and run no story at all, as they appear to have done so often these last few years?-from the article in Editor and Publisher.

''Democrats seek to regain party's soul''

"At conferences and in soul-searching magazine articles, national liberals are in a funk, asking why they keep losing elections. Some Philadelphia liberals recently decided to quit wringing their hands and instead launched a political group, Neighborhood Networks, to change the direction of the city Democratic Party on the ground. The idea, organizers say, is to build a system of division and ward leaders to push for liberal candidates and causes - and clean up city politics. Group founders drew 230 people to a June 4 inaugural meeting, many of them activists still flush from success in mobilizing anti-Bush voters last fall. "It's going to be a shadow party," said organizer Marc Stier, a Temple University professor from West Mount Airy who lost last year in the Democratic primary for state representative.

Organizers hope that, by November 2006, they will have leaders in 400 to 600 of the city's 1,681 voting divisions. These "captains" will work neighbor to neighbor, expanding on the model provided by MoveOn, the Democratic group that organized anti-Bush voters in key precincts last year."-from the story today in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


"Greg Palast, unable to attend hearings in Washington Thursday, has submitted the following testimony," here.

''Ask Your Senator to Speak Out''

Ted Kennedy is circulating this message to his fellow U.S. Senators: "The Downing Street Minutes and the conduct of the Bush Administration as they prepared for war in Iraq must be discussed at a national level and the American people should know about it! Please ask your Senator to speak out about the Downing Street Minutes." Thanks to Jason Call for sending this to me.

''Hearings and Rally in Washington June 16''

Everything you need to know in one place:

''Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on The Downing Street Minutes'' (UPDATED)

"When: Wednesday, June 15th, 3:30 PM Pacific/6:30 PM EDT,

Where: Everywhere...

How to Participate? Two ways:
1. RSVP ASAP ( to guarantee a spot on the conference call.
2. You may also Log in to ask questions online while you listen at
(This chat room may also be used to que questions if necessary)
We have invited the Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee (D) Texas, 18th, a member of the House Judiciary Committee to join us to discuss the relevance and potential consequences of the recently discovered Downing Street Minutes. As concerned citizens around the country push for a Resolution of Inquiry, to force accountability on Bush administration fixing of intelligence to justify the Iraq invasion, the Backbone Campaign is proud to provide this opportunity to you. Join us to discuss this quickly evolving controversy with the Congresswoman and other experts such as Constitutional Lawyer John Bonifaz ( bio) the day before Thursday's WA D.C. hearings and demonstrations. After last Friday's Judiciary Committee Patriot Act hearing fiasco, which was prematurely brought to a close by House Judiciary Chair Congressman James Sensenbrenner turning off the mics, Congresswoman must will certainly be able to provide some insights on the looming battles ahead.

If you have have further questions please feel free to call Backbone Campaign Director Bill Moyer at 206-408-8058."-thanks to Roger Fulton for passing this on to me. UPDATE: Sharon Lynch tells me that a poster on Kos says the Conyers Hearing will be televised on C-SPAN3. See the announcement here on the C-SPAN site, under "This Week on C-SPAN" (Thurs., June 16, at 11:30am Seattle time).

Candidate's Forum 6/16

Mayoral candidate (there are only two!) Christal Wood ) reminds me: "Consider yourself invited to the 46th District Democrats Candidate's Forum, tomorrow (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary (NE 95th St./8th Ave. N.E.). It promises to be fun and informative."

''1090AM's opportunities drift by, ratings drift down...''

blatherWatch says KPTK, the local Air America affiliate, is getting screwed by the lack of promotional push by its corporate parent and the absence of any locally-produced programming.

''Urge C-SPAN to Cover Downing Street Memo/Minutes hearing'' (UPDATED)

"The Downing Street Memo/Minutes hearing, led by Rep. John Conyers, is Thurs., June 16, at 1:30pm EST in the Wasserman Room at 430 S Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C. The rally is at 5pm EST in Lafayette Park. Urge C-SPAN to cover these events: Main Number: (202) 737-3220; Viewer Services: (765) 464-3080 (for programming Qs);

"Sean McLaughlin, deputy chief of staff for Chairman James Sensenbrenner, recently wrote to a minority staffer on the House Judiciary Committee: “'I’m sitting here watching your "forum" on C-SPAN,' McLaughlin wrote. 'just to let you know, it was your last. Don’t bother asking [for a room] again',” reports The Hill."-from the post on Booman Tribune by Susan Hu.

UPDATE: The American Street says "As of now it looks like Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) will be allowed by the Republicans to hold his hearings into pre-war planning and propaganda in the Capitol instead of in a room in the DNC building. Let freedom reign, huh? Of course who knows what tricks Tex Sensenbrenner has up his sleeve. He may interrupt the proceedings to bang his shoe on a table or cut the mics. Starting at 2:30pm ET, C-Span will be covering the hearings, forum, whatever the Republicans are forcing them to be called. If you live in or near D.C., you can join in the post-hearing/forum/gathering march (it’s a march!!) from Lafayette Square Park to the White House to deliver Conyers’ letter to BushCo. The letter has over 540,000 signatures - a big, peaceful march to deliver it would be a beautiful thing."

''Democrats on the Way Back!"

"Guess who stopped by Democracy for America headquarters today for lunch?"

''Does Howard Dean Speak for You?'' (UPDATED)

Today is "Support Howard Dean Day"and here's where you can show your support, swing the bat and buy a tee-shirt! Ray Minchew at Democracy for Washington passes this along with his invitation to join DFW at this weekend's Seattle Pride Parade. Email Ray: UPDATE: Oops!! Ray corrects me: the Seattle Pride Parade is NEXT weekend, all the better to make your plans!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

''Dean defends blunt style, gets backing from activists''

"CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean plans to spend his summer working with state party leaders to craft a message and broaden the party's focus to all 50 states. "We're going to have a 50-state campaign," said Dean. "We're done with an 18-state campaign. There is not one state or one part of a state we can't deliver our message in." Dean continues to defend his often-abrasive style and is working on rousing activists with a reprise of his fiery campaign speech.
"We need to stand up for what we believe in," said Dean. "We don't have to be a Republican to win." "I am glad he is standing up for the Democratic Party," said Davenport Democrat Bill Gluba, mulling another run for Congress. "We need to stay the course and I just gave him that message."
Former state legislator Art Ollie, of Clinton, said Dean stirs strong passions, and that's an asset in a party leader. "The head of the party has to be an energizer," said Ollie. "He has to be an outspoken person." In addition to broadening the party's campaign effort, Dean said it needs to sharpen its message. "We need to talk to folks differently," said Dean. "We talk about issues, but a list of issues is not a message." He said he would work with state party leaders during the summer to develop a concise message that Democrats could offer in each state.

While Dean's presidential aspirations faltered with a third-place showing in Iowa's leadoff caucuses, he continued to appeal to party regulars with a fiery campaign speech pledging a defense of Social Security, health insurance for all and an assault on the "culture of corruption" in the Republican-run Congress. "Social Security is a symbol of responsibility we have for each other," said Dean. "We are all in this together. Any attack on Social Security is an attack on the fabric of this country." -from the article in the Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier (IA).

''Why Dean Is Right''

"As if the relentless assault from attack dog Republicans and wimpy establishment Democrats and media weren't enough, Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraisers are now jumping on the anti-Dean bandwagon. In recent weeks, three top money barons for the DNC have resigned, The Hill reported recently. Why? Because the poor party bigwigs feel neglected. You see, Dean -- unlike his inside-the-Beltway predecessor Terry McAuliffe -- is actually trying to build an alternative to the corporate base of the GOP. Even Newsweek's Howard Fineman, long a reflection of conventional Washington wisdom, recognizes the importance of this shift. "Early in the last 'cycle,' in 2001, the Republican National Committee outraised the DNC by a 3-1 margin," Fineman writes. "So far this year, that ratio has been cut to 2-1."

More important," Fineman continues, "is the way it was raised. In the past the party relied on 'soft money' from millionaires. But such donations are now illegal. Officials estimate that $12 million of the $14 million the Dean regime has collected so far this year has come from those who gave less than $250. 'For people who really look hard at the numbers, he's wowing people,' says Elaine Kamarck, a respected DNC member."-from the op-ed by Ari Berman, in The Nation, via Yahoo.

''Consider immediate withdrawal of troops''

Here is an excerpt from the letter Chad Shue wrote to the Everett Herald: "As we observe the third Memorial Day since the Bush administration led this nation to invade Iraq on a series of mistruths and innuendoes, we are left to wonder how best to honor the sacrifice of the brave men and women who have given their lives in this effort.

The most lasting memorial we may offer those who have paid the highest price in service to their country is to say that we will hold those who called for that sacrifice accountable for the highest levels of honesty and integrity."

''A Dean Democrat -- Finally''

"There's a grassroots groundswell building over the Internet that started this past weekend. Certain diarists, blogs, and bloggers like Dana Blankenhorn in the blogosphere have finally decided to stand up and be counted. The catalytic issue?

Howard Dean.

I'm not going to reference all the press the DNC chair has been getting in the last few weeks -- just type in the man's name in any search engine to see what he's been saying lately -- nor can I possibly relate all the ways in which the right wing spin machine has taken those words out of context and spun them into untruths. Nor do I wish to document the shameful behavior of high-ranking Democrats who are so afraid of the right wing attack dogs that they'll cannibalize their own party rather than take a stand (for this one, search on "Joe Biden" OR "Bill Richardson" OR "John Edwards" + "Howard Dean"). What I am going to do is what I always do. I ask you to get informed on the issues, then decide what you think. If you like what Howard Dean is doing (as I do), please consider sign an online petition that tells the Democratic leadership in that Howard Dean does indeed speak for us -- and that we wish they would, too.

For too long, the Democratic party's communications has gone one way: From the top down. They tell the party membership what to think, the party membership sends them money. And don't them with what the party membership really thinks or feels. From what I've seen, Howard Dean is already changing that, and has the potential to change it even more. He's paying attention to what mainstream Democrats want to see, and is willing to call spades in order to show them that he's listening. The Republicans don't like it, nor do their "propaganda outlets" like FOX News. In fact, our notorious Veep, Dick Cheney, said in a taped interview to be aired today, that "I think Howard Dean's over the top. I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does."

This, from the man who told Senator Patrick Leahy to "go f@ck yourself."
I wonder which side of his mouth the VP was speaking out of, this time...?

In any event, Howard Dean is making a lot of waves right now, and giving the Democratic Party the shake-up it's so desperately needed if it's ever going to regain a reputation as the party of the people. Keep it up, Howard. You've got this dyed-in-the-wool undeclared voter ready to declare as a Democrat. Note to other, wimpier Democrats: As with most other Americans, where my loyalty goes, my pocketbook is sure to follow."-from
the post on the meta4life blog.

''Honor Our Dead--Demand the Truth''

John Conyers is holding a hearing and leading a march to the White House on Thursday. For more information go here. Raw Story has more details today.

''Extraordinarily rancid justice''

"As the Senate votes on Bush's long-filibustered nominees, the nuclear option compromise is looking more rancid than reasonable. The seven Democrats who helped broker the compromise pledged not to filibuster except in the most extraordinary circumstances. But given the track record of Priscilla Owens, Janice Rogers Brown, and William Pryor, I wonder how extreme a candidate has to be before these Democrats and their seven Republican colleagues would reject them. Would a prospective nominee have to be caught wearing white Klan robes to Sunday church? Having public sex with a live animal? Receiving videotaped bribes from Don Corleone? I suppose these actions might meet the "extraordinary circumstances" standard, but running roughshod over legal precedents to favor the wealthy and powerful clearly doesn't.

Because the participating Democrats agreed not to filibuster Owens, Brown, and Pryor, the public barely heard the stories of why their nominations crossed an unacceptable line. We heard mostly the inside baseball of legal abstractions. In return for establishing these judges as a new acceptable standard, the seven compromising Democrats kept the theoretical right to filibuster. But it's guaranteed only if they don't exercise it. They saved an abstract principle at the price of agreeing to cave in practically every imaginable circumstance."-from the post by Seattle writer Paul Loeb, on Working for Change. Paul showed up at Dean's fundraiser for the DNC in Seattle last week.

''Finally, More Democrats Taking a Stand on Iraq''

"A few weeks ago, I wrote about the most important vote on the Iraq War that Americans hadn't heard about (thanks to the media, the GOP and certain factions of the Democratic Party). It was a vote in the House on a simple non-binding resolution that would ask the President to submit at least some details of an eventual exit strategy from Iraq. The resolution, supported by a gutsy group of Democrats and a few Republicans, tried to honor the War Powers Act of 1973 (specifically, section 4b). Unfortunately, it was voted down by both Republicans and Democrats.

Now, though, with a new poll showing almost 60 percent of Americans favor a withdrawal, more Democrats are springing into action. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), for instance, courageously announced that he will be introducing a Senate resolution that is almost the exact same resolution that was voted down in the House. Meanwhile, House Democrats - ALL of them - will have another shot at actually standing up for something now that Republican Rep. Walter Jones (NC) has said he will be re-introducing a similar resolution."-David Sirota, on The Huffington Post. The post doesn't quite live up to its headline.

''Mara Liasson gives 'em hell for Howard''

If, like me, you thought Mara wasn't capable of this---check it out: "Mara Liasson, the lone progressive on the "All-star" panel on Special Report 6/13/05, was in rare form as she defended Howard Dean against conservatives Fred Barnes, Bill Sammon, and Brit Hume."-from the post on News Hounds, where their motto is "We watch FOX so you don't have to."

''Democrats, don't put muzzle on Dean''

"Instead of muzzling Howard Dean, Democrats should give him a bullhorn. Rather than urging him to retreat from his attack on Republicans, party leaders ought to send him off to a political war college - preferably the one the late GOP strategist Lee Atwater attended. As chairman of the Democratic Party, which is teetering between political renewal and functional extinction, Dean should be making war, not peace. But that's exactly what his critics within the party seemed to be suggesting last week when they admonished him for his tough talk about Republicans. Americans, for the most part, love politicians who fight for what they believe - and they abhor political wimps. Dean is a fighter, albeit one who needs to learn that in an ideological spat, a well-placed jab often can do more damage than a barrage of roundhouse punches. But he can't learn that lesson if Democrats won't let him take the fight to the GOP."-from the op-ed by DeWayne Wickham, and this is the surprising part, who writes weekly for USA TODAY.

''Why are the Democrats such weenies?''

Jon Carrol, a columnist who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, poses this rhetorical question and then comments, "Howard Dean makes the unremarkable statement that the GOP is the party of white Christians, and other Democrats run and flee and say, "Oh no, oh no!" And a Republican yahoo accuses Dean of "political hate speech." Neither "white" nor "Christian" is an epithet. A glance at the videotape from last year's Republican convention indicates that both characterizations are entirely fair.

And yet some Democrats think Dean is being too confrontational. We should be nice to the lying liars or people will think we're, gasp, partisan. "Partisan" is a good thing; it's what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The problem comes when one party stays very partisan and the other party starts modifying and mollifying and trying to find some mythical friendly center. I loved Mister Rogers, but I never thought he'd make a good chairman of the Democratic Party. Be not afraid, Democrats. This is not an occasion in which the meek will inherit the earth. Speak for the people, because the people need you to end the madness."

''Dean's Secret Fans''

"...there's little talk of ousting Dean, whose support is stronger than ever among the Democrats who were largely responsible for putting him there in February. That includes state party chairmen from conservative parts of the country. "He's doing an excellent job," says Wayne Dowdy, party chairman in Mississippi, where, he says, a Dean appearance in April drew 1,200 people ("We've never had half that number before at a state party event") and raised more than $100,000. State Democratic parties have complained for years about being ignored by the national operation in Washington. Since taking office, Dean has traveled to some two dozen states and has sent state groups nearly $1 million. In places like North Dakota, chairman David Strauss will be able to use a promised $84,000 to pay six months of salaries for an executive director and three other jobs. Still, Dean's manner has alienated some of the party's biggest donors, who grumble they can't even get their phone calls returned by the national party headquarters. Dean aides say he is doing fine for a year in which there's no presidential race, raising roughly $1 million a week so far. But that's less than half what the Republicans say they are bringing in this year."-from the story in TIME magazine. I post this so you will know what people in various waiting rooms across America are reading about Howard Dean this week.