Thursday, March 31, 2005

HBO's America Undercover: ''Left of the Dial''

I pass on Susan Hu's post on Booman Tribune about the video of the day, HBO's Air America docu-drama, or is it just "reality tv"? You decide. As I have said before, I don't have cable, so I will have to pass. Reader advisory: she quotes Drudge at length.

Scott Ritter on Howard Dean

"Dean has to be part of the process of rebuilding and that will take time. Dean cannot run for president, because Dean cannot run as a Democrat – the party is not set up to sustain someone like him. He is one of the exceptions in a corrupt party. He is also not corrupted by his voting record. He is someone who represents something, he did not vote for the war in Iraq, for example...."-from the post on Booman Tribune by our Port Angeles super-blogger, Susan Hu.

''Rallying Democrats, Dean blasts Santorum''

"Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean ripped into U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum at a party fund-raiser in Old City last night. Dean, a former Vermont governor and former Democratic presidential candidate, called Santorum, a Republican who is up for reelection in Pennsylvania in 2006, a "liar" and "right-winger" who actually lives in Virginia. "He doesn't tell the truth," Dean told a gathering of about 150 at Bluezette on Market Street. Dean said Santorum had voted to kill Amtrak, an important service in Pennsylvania, and had then turned around and written a piece for The Inquirer saying he supported Amtrak. He said that Santorum should return the more than $100,000 that Santorum's declared home school district, the Penn Hills School District in Allegheny County, paid over the last few years to educate his children at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. While attending the school online, Santorum's children actually lived at his house in the Virginia suburbs of Washington. The charter school and the Penn Hills district are in a dispute over payments for Santorum's children. Santorum has maintained that he has followed the law. The party chairman said Democrats need "message discipline." He said they should for the present forgo the satisfaction of attacking House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ethics problems or the controversy over what he called the Bush administration's government-paid "propaganda" and focus on attacking Bush's plan to create private Social Security accounts. Polls show the proposal is unpopular. "We're on a roll with Social Security," Dean said. "We need to focus on this, and we need to keep the focus on it." "-from the article in the Philadephia Inquirer today. You'll probably need to register to read the whole thing. Bloomberg catches up with Dean and covers his recent red state travels with "Dean Seeks to Recruit, Energize Democrats in Pro-Bush States."

"Gregoire Left Readiness to Learn out of her draft budget"

As Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean recognized the importance of touching families with young children to provide services that helped them succeed later in school with a program called "Success by Six." In our state, the "Readiness to Learn" program has done the same thing for over ten years."Gregoire Left Readiness to Learn out of her draft budget" "We are distressed that Governor Gregoire has left the Readiness to Learn program out of her draft budget. As you know, this program is critical, not just to New Futures, but to highly effective programs across the state that make a profound difference in the lives of children and families. During the 2003-04 school year, Readiness to Learn served 4,185 families and 5,066 children, and the state grant of $3.6 million leveraged $17.65 million in additional funds at work in our communities and almost $1.4 million in volunteer hours. Here at New Futures, the Readiness to Learn support allowed us to serve over 2,000 individuals in three of our area’s lowest-income, highest-crime apartment complexes, and we know that:• 85% of these extremely challenged children improve one or more grade levels in reading• 80% of families are more involved with their child’s schoolwork• 79% of families feel more able to meet their basic needsThe House budget will be released on Monday, April 4th. Once the House releases its budget, the next step is for the Senate, House and Governor to produce a Final Budget which is due April 15th. Now is the time to act! I know you have long been an advocate active supporter of children and families, and we are so grateful for your support! Please call or email the Governor and members of the Appropriations committee and tell them that Readiness to Learn should be fully funded for the next 2 years. Poverty is increasing in our community, which means that children are coming to school hungry, without warm clothing, from families struggling to survive in dangerous neighborhoods. Readiness to Learn assures that children have the support they need to succeed in school. I know you share our belief that it is imperative that all our children have a chance to succeed.It is vital that Governor Gregoire hears directly from citizens to include RTL in her final budget. You can reach the Governor's office by calling (360) 902-2411, fax (360) 753-4110, or email Equally important is to contact the members of the Appropriations committee: Helen Sommers is the Chair. Her email address is Sommers, Chair (D); Fromhold, Vice Chair (D); *Alexander; **Anderson; **McDonald; Armstrong; Bailey; Buri; Clements; Cody;Conway; Darneille; Dunshee; Grant; Haigh; Hinkle; Hunter; Kagi; Kenney; Kessler; Linville; McDermott; McIntire; Miloscia; Pearson; Priest; Schual-Berke; Talcott; Walsh. All House Representatives contact information can be found here. Time is of the essence. Thank you in advance for contacting legislators as soon as possible."-from the email I received from a local "Readiness to Learn" program in the Highline area, "New Futures." Update: Here are the email addresses for Seattle area legislators:,,, .

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

''Town Hall Forum to discuss the future of Social Security''

From People for Patty Murray: "You are invited to participate in a Town Hall Forum to discuss the future of Social Security. Every American has a stake in this very important issue, and this is your opportunity to voice your ideas.
Please join United States Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator Blanche Lincoln and Senator Barbara Mikulski at a Social Security Town Hall Forum in Seattle this Thursday, March 31st, at 1:30pm.

When: Thursday, March 31st, 1:30pm
Where: Seattle Town Hall
1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca Street)
Entrance is on Seneca Street
Please RSVP by calling 206-220-6400 or 206-553-5545."

''Beyond the Green Zone: Eyewitness Account!!''

Seattle super-Deaniac Dina Lydia posted this on Kos last week. It's a report of Robin Fasano's recent talk sponsored by the West Seattle DFA. Slice of Iraqi life: "Robin said she believes the situation has "spiraled downward" over the past two years: She mentioned the lack of security and accountability. Due to the destruction of infrastructure and lack of basic maintenance, most areas have insufficient electricity, clean running water, telephone or postal service, according to Robin. When she was there, she saw no rebuilding going on, except for satellite dishes and new office furniture in the Baghdad police station. Robin cited a report released in Feb. 2005 by Amnesty International that stated that women today in Iraq are no better off than they were under the dictatorship of Saddam. Under Saddam, women had access to education and health care, and could inherit property. Now the lack of security has many women afraid to leave their homes and, in fact, girls' attendance in school has declined." Earlier this month, I was in the audience when pediatrician Dr. Jahan Hassan from Basra spoke of the struggling condition of her own hospital, and the growing proportion of severe birth defects suffered by the population there. Both reports were similarly distressing."

Dean: We'll do ''anything we can'' to defeat Santorum

Prior to his visit to Pennsylvania today, Dean gives a phone interview to the local press, from AP. There's a longer story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, but you may have to register to read it. "National Democratic leaders urged Casey, the son of a former governor, to run after he won election as treasurer in November with the most votes of any candidate in state history. Casey, who opposes abortion and gun control, did well in counties that have often rejected Democratic candidates. "Somebody's position on choice can't be a litmus test," Dean said yesterday. "I'm as pro-choice as they come, [but] Bob Casey has been a tremendous friend of working people." Some abortion-rights supporters in the party have protested the move to anoint Casey, but Dean said that the "progressive community" would quickly realize that Casey has the right positions on health care and other important issues and is a better choice than Santorum."-from the Inquirer story.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Progressive Majority: ''Where the Action Is''

"Working with Robert Greenwald, the director of Outfoxed, Progressive Majority developed a new video to take you directly to where the action is - in the states. Watch the video here." -email from Gloria Totten, Executive Director of Progressive Majority. Factoid from the video: 32% of the US population is comprised of people of color.

''Schumer helping Cantwell''

Maria is not every progressive's favorite Senator. But the Northwest Progressive Institute's blog has this favorable campaign update: "From the New York Post, (via Kos, and not a source we've referenced before!) we learn that Senator Maria Cantwell is following advice from DSCC chairman Sen. Charles Schumer (New York) on how to get her campaign going and capture local media coverage: After a word from Schumer, Sen. Maria Cantwell, a first-term Democrat from Washington who is considered vulnerable to a challenge, is now churning out press releases and holding Sunday press conferences — a Schumer tradition. As a result, Cantwell was on local TV in her state 20 out of 28 days in February, dramatically boosting her image, an aide said. These are exactly the kind of steps Cantwell needs to be taking in order to secure her reelection. As you may recall, a recent GOP polling firm conducted a poll that showed Cantwell handily beating every GOP challenger except for Dino Rossi...and this poll was from a Republican polling firm! We need to make Maria's seat safe so the party can focus its efforts elsewhere to help Democratic incumbents win reelection and aid challengers in toppling Republican incumbents. It is crucial we win back the United States Senate in 2006."

''Tell your Senator to vote for the Anti-Discrimination Bill today!''

Ray Minchew of Democracy for Washington asked me to pass this along: "It’s time for us to take action. The Murray/Anderson Anti-Discrimination Bill, will soon be up for debate before the state Senate. This bill will prevent discrimination in housing, employment, insurance, and other public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity - protection they don't have today. Currently, the state constitution protects people of faith from discrimination, and the Human Rights Commission enforces anti-discrimination legislation which ensures women, ethnic minorities, the elderly, and disabled citizens will not face discrimination in their jobs, or when renting a home. Tell your Senator to vote for the Anti-Discrimination Bill today! This year, the bill passed the House easily, but the margin in the Senate could be razor-thin. Every vote counts! With that in mind, Democracy for Washington has launched a radio campaign in Seattle and Spokane, and is urging every progressive to contact their Senator today and demand a “yes” vote on the Murray/Anderson Bill. We need everyone’s help to get this bill passed. Tell your Senator to vote for the Anti-Discrimination Bill today! It is wrong to exclude any minority from anti-discrimination protections. This legislation does not provide “special rights”, and it doesn’t change existing laws affecting religious institutions. There is no reasonable excuse to oppose this bill – fifteen states already have this legislation, and our Legislature has debated it each year since 1976. It is time to stop spending taxpayer money on this debate, pass this bill, and move on with equality! Please forward this e-mail to all your friends; it is vital that our state Senators hear from their constituents this week. Thank you for everything you do!"

Monday, March 28, 2005

''Presidential possibilities in 2008''

Eager to distract myself from the current occupant and the harsh realities the rovians create, I am succumbing to this exercise in long-term punditry from the Baltimore Sun: "Howard Dean (D) Recently won national party chairmanship on pledge not to run in '08, but such promises are often and easily broken, see Clinton, Bill, 1992. New job lets him touch base of party throughout the country, where die-hard supporters from flamedout '04 run keep hope alive." Not surprisingly they say Hillary is the "Early Leader" and Dr. Frist is the only rovian they don't have something to say "but" about, unless you count "wants to be heartthrob of social conservatives."


This commentary in The New Yorker points out how "a set of video snippets, provided by the Schindler family and broadcast incessantly by the three cable news networks—CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC—which are themselves entangled in a desperate struggle for dominance," have helped to shape the national conversation on the Schiavo case. "Florida’s made-for-TV passion play" has been created, in part, by these media companies, just as they have helped the paint the pictures that frame our political discourse. Do the words "broadcast incessantly" remind you of anything? I don't know if this observation is obvious to everyone else or not, but since I don't have cable at home, I needed this reminder. Update: My favorite Deaniac in Port Angeles takes this post and runs with it on Kos and crossposts it at Booman Tribune.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

''Combat the use of propaganda by government and corporate media''

The Progressive Blogger's Union, of which this site is a member, has asked us to post on this topic, using the tag "PBU13" as an identifier. My "wry and pithy" contribution: "Man Sells Device That Blocks Fox News." Let's give them as gifts for all occasions, right now you can get them for only $8.95 online, here. If some group like MoveOn sold a few million for ten bucks, as a fundraiser, wouldn't that be a good thing?

''Closing the Credibility Gap''

"While attending an antiwar rally Saturday, March 19, I had profoundly mixed feelings. From an organizer's standpoint, the rally was a success: 5,000 people came out in the rain to hear speeches and music and march around town. The turnout was the largest for an antiwar rally in Seattle in the two years since the war in Iraq began. Moreover, it was part of an international day of more than 700 protests in the U.S. alone. Yet I couldn't shake the feeling that this was not the way to get our troops home, although the germ of an idea was present."-Geov Parrish, writing in The Weekly, continues the discussion on the place of rallies and demonstrations now going on in the anti-war community.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

''Where's Deano?''

"For all the Democratic fretting that he'd be too high profile, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has steered clear of the spotlight since being elected Democratic National Committee chair in February. Dean has done just one interview with a national news outlet as DNC chair--a five-minute quickie with the Associated Press--and won't sit down with the national press for at least a few more weeks. Why the silent treatment? Because Dean is talking exclusively to local media in places where he's making appearances, as he did last week in Tennessee. "We're getting our message out," says a DNC source, "from the grass roots up."-from the US News & World Report's website,

Friday, March 25, 2005

''In Reid, Dean sees vestiges of himself''

"Aides to Dean say Reid's recent aggressive style has earned admiration from the former Vermont governor, and is producing a budding friendship between the two men. ''He's honest and direct, which is what Governor Dean likes," said Laura Gross, a spokeswoman for Dean. ...Dean has worked to repair relations on Capitol Hill, meeting privately with the two chamber leaders in Pelosi's office, addressing the Democratic caucuses of each, and speaking to Reid frequently, according to aides. The rapprochement is not entirely surprising, since Dean's success rebuilding the party will be helped by a united front. ''He knows [Reid and Pelosi] are his two most important individual clients," said Jim Jordan, an adviser to Dean. ''He wants very badly to construct a [Democratic National Committee] that serves their purposes."-from the story in the Boston Globe today.

''How to Turn Your Red State Blue''

"People will vote for Democratic candidates in Texas, and Utah, and West Virginia," he said, "if we knock on their door, introduce ourselves and tell them what we believe."-Howard Dean, quoted in the story from In These Times on AlterNet.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


"And where is Howard Dean when you need him? Apparently, he's been gagged by the Democratic establishment. The doctor from Vermont did tell reporters in Tennessee that the Schiavo case "is a deeply personal matter and ought to be left up to physicians," but compare that to what he said as a presidential candidate in Tallahassee in 2003: "I am tired of people in the legislature thinking they have an M.D. when what they really have is a B.S.!"-Sandeep Kaushik writing in The Stranger, taking Dean to task for failing to oppose Rovian efforts in Congress to intervene in the case. Dean was quoted in the NY Times in a story, "Legislators With Medical Degrees Offer Opinions on Schiavo Case" that came after Kaushik's deadline: "Dr. Frist's remarks were not "medically sound." I doubt this has satified Sandeep. Update: I am assuming Dean's comment from my post below wasn't good enough for Sandeep, as well: "Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who practiced internal medicine, called Republicans' efforts to pass the bill "grandstanding'' and criticized the majority leader's comments. "For Senator Frist to say he could make a diagnosis based on the videotape certainly is not medically sound,'' Dean said. "I would not want my doctor making any diagnosis of me on videotape, and I'm speaking as a doctor.''-from the AP story. To give him the benefit of the doubt, that story probably came after The Stranger's deadline, also.

''As Blackwell Says, Ohio in 2004 was a National Model''

"Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell finally agreed to testify – something he had refused to do in the Moss v. Bush Ohio election challenge before the State Supreme Court and refused to do in Washington DC. His testimony proved so contentious that at one point US Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones told him to “haul ass” if he was unwilling to answer questions about irregularities in the 2004 election. Blackwell vigorously defended his role in last fall’s presidential election that returned George W. Bush to the White House at a congressional hearing on Monday, March 21, at the Ohio Statehouse, claiming critics have smeared his state as if it were a “third world country” rather than the national model of election administration that Blackwell said it was. Blackwell’s wholesale denial of the legal record documenting the scores of Election Day problems that disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters – from the House Judiciary Committee Democrats’ report, to the 900 pages of sworn affidavits and other analysis filed at the Ohio Supreme Court in response to his attempt to sanction the lawyer who filed a lawful challenge of the 2004 presidential results, to the statements made in Washington on January 6, 2005 during the Electoral College challenge – did not go unanswered by Democrats on the House Administration Committee. “Mr. Secretary of State, you have a lot of improvement to do,” said Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-CA, the ranking Democrat on the panel. Blackwell testified after a string of county election directors and election board chairs said his office did not provide adequate funds for poll worker training and public education. In addition, they said their offices were deluged with administrative orders by Blackwell before the election and continuing through Election Day, complicating the process and leading to poll worker confusion, especially in some of Ohio’s biggest cities – the traditional Democratic core. Those complications slowed or sullied the voting process, several county board of election directors said. The county directors and chairs also said voter registration information from Blackwell’s office – the basis for allocating voting machines in some cases – also was typically 6 months old. And Cayuhoga County’s Michael Vu said his effort to tell 6,000-plus poll workers how to better-handle provisional ballots were met with written threats from Blackwell."-from the article in the Columbus (OH) Free Press.

''Dean Says Party Should Speak From Heart''

"WASHINGTON - Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean came back from his tour of conservative states like Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee with new strategies to win over their voters but the same basic message from his presidential campaign. "We have to speak to our hearts and convictions," Dean told a crowd at a waterfront restaurant here Wednesday night. "We are never going to win by being a pale copy of the Republican Party."-from the AP story today. There is a slideshow there from his first fundraiser for the DNC last night, "Mr. Dean Goes to Washington," as well as other recent photos.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

''Dean talks diversity''

"And though Dean enjoys support from a range of Black leaders like Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Illinois), his record on diversity has also been scrutinized. During the Democratic primary, Rev. Al Sharpton chastised Dean for not appointing any Blacks to top-level positions within his administration during his tenure as governor of Vermont. At the time, Dean scoffed at the criticism, saying that he had tried to bring in qualified Blacks from the private sector to work for him but that Vermont has a very small Black population (it is 99% white, according to the latest census figures). Now, Sharpton and others are pushing Dean to appoint Blacks to leadership positions within the DNC. They want him to appoint Marjorie Fields Harris, who runs Sharpton’s National Action Network, to the national committee of the DNC. Harris ran for vice chair of the DNC last month. Though she lost, she garnered 90 percent of the votes cast by Black DNC members—enough votes, Sharpton contends, that she ought to have a place at the table. Dean refused to say whether he would appoint Harris to a DNC post."-from the story in the Amsterdam News.

''The Spoils of War''

"Halliburton subsidiary KBR got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq. But even more shocking is how KBR spent some of the money. Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Bunnatine Greenhouse is blowing the whistle on the Dick Cheney–linked company's profits of war."-from the Vanity Fair (yes, Vanity Fair)article. Yeah, it's just as bad as you thought, maybe worse. Thanks to Annie Robbins for passing this along.

''DNC Chairman Dean Says Republicans Have 'Nothing to Offer' Blacks''

“They think if you have [former Secretary of State Colin] Powell or [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice, this means equal rights,” Dean said, “but the Democratic Party knows equal rights is about hiring power, and we know it’s important that people who make decisions should also be people of color. Imagine trying to convince black ministers that cutting Social Security is a good idea," he said. "On the other hand, I think it’s a good for the Republicans to reach out because it makes us work harder. We have the most diverse senior staff in the history of Democratic National Committee, and that’s important because the Republicans are 30 years behind,” - from the post on

''Democrats must work in state to win it, Dean says''

"If the Democrats want to win in Tennessee, the first thing they have to do is campaign here, Howard Dean told a packed house at Vanderbilt University last night. Dean, national chairman of the Democratic Party, was greeted with a standing ovation from the largely student audience. He said that as the party moves forward it needs to show those who live south of the Mason-Dixon Line that it respects them and the values they hold. ''I don't believe in blue states or red states,'' the former 2004 presidential candidate said. ''I believe in purple states — and some are more purple than others. During a question-and-answer session with the media before his speech, Dean said he had not heard a state GOP radio commercial airing during his visit that pegged him as a ''Northeastern liberal.'' It also labeled Dean and Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen as ''peas in a pod.'' ''I've been called worse things than a liberal,'' Dean said. ''The reason the Republicans call names is because they have nothing to say about balancing the budget, creating jobs or doing anything about health care or education.''-from the story in today's Tennessean. Where's Howard covers this story from a different angle.

Dr. Dean and Dr. Jim Question GOP Medical Meddling

"The result has been fierce criticism of these Republican doctor-lawmakers by some medical ethicists who say they have blurred the line between medicine and politics, and by Democratic doctor-politicians who say their colleagues have gone too far. Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and an internist, told reporters that Dr. Frist's remarks were not "medically sound." Another Democrat, Representative Jim McDermott, a psychiatrist from Washington, accused his colleagues on Tuesday of committing "legislative malpractice." "This poor woman and this poor family are being used as a political football, and these guys will do anything to push the point that they think is so important, that they will invade this family's privacy," he said in an interview. He singled out Dr. Weldon, saying, "This is a guy who's lost track of who he is."-from the story in today's NY Times, "Legislators With Medical Degrees Offer Opinions on Schiavo Case."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Democrats can win in Tennessee if committed''

"Democrats need to be talking every day to Tennesseans about balancing budgets, protecting Social Security and becoming involved in Democratic politics."-Howard Dean, from the AP story tonight.

Dean on Frist on Schiavo

"Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who practiced internal medicine, called Republicans' efforts to pass the bill ``grandstanding'' and criticized the majority leader's comments. "For Senator Frist to say he could make a diagnosis based on the videotape certainly is not medically sound,'' Dean said. "I would not want my doctor making any diagnosis of me on videotape, and I'm speaking as a doctor.''-from the AP story today.

''Beyond the Green Zone''

"The American occupation has actually made things worse for the wounded and ill, she says. Despite the astronomical sums requested for the rebuilding of Iraq, "things are in total disrepair. There is no reliable electricity or water, and hospitals are horrible. There is a 95 percent post-death rate for children who leave the hospital." Fasano remembers vividly the day she traveled with the delegation to visit the children's hospital in Baghdad. The facility has no water, no reliable electricity and no cooking facilities, along with a frightening lack of medicine and medical equipment. Fasano asked the doctor if she could send some medications to help the hospital, but the doctor shook his head and told her that there is no postal service, either--it would never reach them. While the group was touring one of the lower floors of the hospital, a distinct gushing sound prompted Fasano to inquire about its source. A hospital employee explained that because there is no city sewage maintenance, and the hospital is built on a low point in the city, the water backs up and seeps onto the floors. Raw sewage flooding the floors of a children's hospital and an astronomical death rate among sick kids: What did the Bush administration deem a more important use for the 80-odd billion dollars sent to "rebuild Iraq?" Fasano's description of the Iraqi "green zone" provides an ironic contrast from the deplorable hospitals and public services outside its borders. Fasano encountered many American journalists and others of this ilk. One of them, a New York businessman, was exploring ways to invest and make money in the country. When he heard that she was there with a fact-finding delegation to assess the situation of Iraq's women and children under the occupation, he seized the moment to pitch an idea to her. "So, what do you think of a women's radio station that would run women's programs during the day, and at night, we satellite in Yankees games?" he asked excitedly. "I thought he was kidding, but he was dead serious," recounted Fasano. "I said, 'I think it's a terrible idea. Why don't you talk to the Iraqi people and ask them what they want, and find out what their needs are?' A lot of the journalists here don't even leave the green zone."-from the Tucson Weekly story on Robin Fasano, who spoke to the West Seattle DFA last night about her recent trip to Iraq. For information how to help bring medical supplies and aid to Iraqi families and children, contact Dina Lydia (

Monday, March 21, 2005

''Chairman/Gov. Dean and the Democrats''

"Today, a key Democratic source tells The Note, Howard Dean will announce that Tom McMahon will be the DNC executive director. Also slated to be announced: Pam Womack (a long-time DGA fixture) will lead the effort to work with state parties to help identify resources and programs that are needed to maximize efforts on behalf of Democrats in every state. Womack's presence is meant to said a message that Dean will live up to the pledge he made during the race for chair, that he will give unprecedented assistance to the state parties. No decisions yet on political or field director. The DNC's jackie-of-all-trades from 2004, Tracy Sefl, is leaving the party to join the SEIU-funded anti-Wal-Mart campaign. She'll serve as communications adviser and research director for the nascent group. It's a move we think the Walton family will surely Notice. Dean, in Canada, called Republicans "brain dead," which is not perhaps the most politic phrase to use right now." LINK to the story in the Toronto Star. -from ABC News The Note's story, "Life and Liberty."

''How will Howard Dean play in Tennessee?''

"Before Howard Dean lands in Tennessee to help reshape the political party he now chairs, Democrats here are polishing up the image of the former Vermont governor whose liberal tag does not wear so well in the South. Dean, who was elected last month as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is scheduled to be in Nashville on Tuesday and Wednesday. He'll be raising money and speaking to college students — with an eye to the 2008 presidential race that he says should include a Democratic nominee contending in the Southern and Western states that President Bush won."-from the story in The Tennessean Sunday.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

"Antiwar 2nd Anniversary Rally in Seattle Center"

Dina Lydia sends along some photos of yesterday's rally and march and this commentary on the event: "...participants were highly energized. These are the most highly motivated antiwar activists. Speakers included miltary personel, a rapper, Arab-Americans--I wish I could remember all, I heard some exciting and inspiring rhetoric.

Besides the giant backbone puppet, the most spectacular statement was the Uncle Sam persona, leaning on a walker and carrying an oil drum and a dead U.S. soldier. Steve and his wife Karen spent more than a week working on this costume and prop. It weighed about sixty pounds. Only a half-hour into the rally, Steve was already in pain, but he bravely continued along the march. Will he be sore tomorrow! But I hope he did no permanent damage to his back. I stood next to Steve as he was photographed and interviewed by a Channel 4 reporter.

I was dressed as Lady Liberty, with a glittery headpiece, carrying a tall "torch" and a book saying "Where am I?" The costume drew a lot of smiles and comments. I knew the rain would be a problem, but I was determined not to cover the costume. The fabric was covered with rubbery holographic sparkles, so it was somewhat water-resistant. But after a while, the hem was completely soaked and so were my lower arms and neck. I was chilly despite warm clothing underneath. It still looked nice, though.

I was interviewed by a reporter for a public-access cable station. Too bad I won't see it, because I don't have cable. To the question "Why are you here, Ms. Liberty?" I said: "Because everything I stand for, every ideal of this country, is being trashed by the Bush Administration. You've heard of 'Liberty and Justice for All'. There can be neither without Truth. Our government has been supressing and twisting the truth since Day One. I'm here to voice my opposition to that. There can be no democracy without Truth and without citizens participating." She also asked "What would you say to our youth?" Ha, what I SHOULD'VE answered to that one was: "Participating in protest demonstrations gives you a three times higher chance of getting laid--it's a fact."

The rally began at noon in Seattle Center, and the downtown march was planned to start at 1:30, but it was closer to 2. By that time rallygoers were getting restless and chanting "Let's march". The march was peaceful and accompanied by many police on bikes, horses, and motorcycles, plus volunteer "Peacekeepers," who keep the march orderly. Chants included such things as "1-2-3-4, we don't want your bloody war" and "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!" and others--I can't remember. I rarely chant. A couple of what looked like Buddhist monks provided drumbeats. Some individuals had their own messages: one young man screamed "U.S. troops are killing unarmed civilians! That's chickenshit!" A number of bystanders cheered us on--one young girl with a skateboard was ecstatic; she squealed and hopped up and down excitedly. Many downtown shoppers stared in a dumbfounded way, as if they'd never seen such a thing. Maybe they hadn't. Maybe they were thinking: "What's wrong with these crazy people, why aren't they home watching a basketball game, or out shopping?"

After several hours in the rain, the water was streaming down my face, my turtleneck shirt was soaked, and I felt like a wet rat. Hypothermia was beginning to set patient husband was getting weary too, so I reluctantly exited the march before its conclusion. I stood on the sidewalk for awhile and smiled at the dripping marchers, who were amused and pleased to see Lady Liberty. We hopped on a bus back to the car in Pioneer Square. Just in time, as it started pouring hard then.

I was VERY glad to get home and take a hot bath. My fingers had lost their strength, and I had trouble undressing.

I watched several news reports on TV, and was displeased to see that the coverage on Channel 4 did NOT include the segment with Uncle Sam. Maybe he was considered "Too Disturbing". The West Seattle Peace and Justice gang with their banner did appear for about two seconds, as an example of neighborhood groups. And a few seconds of the rapper.

A young blonde Bush supporter in a car was taped saying: "I don't see how this could make any difference. I mean why would Bush pay attention to this happening in Seattle, on the other side of the country?" Idiot! It wasn't just Seattle, it was all over the U.S. and the world. Read a newspaper once in a while! A anti-protest "Support the Troops" demonstrator was taped saying: "I'd ask the antiwar types: 'How would YOU have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein?" Hmm...NOT by lying about the reasons, killing and injuring hundreds of thousands of people, bombing out whole towns, bankrupting the U.S. treasury, getting stuck in a quagmire with no exit strategy, starting a civil war, energizing Al Queda, and turning the whole world against us. But maybe that's just me.I was pleased this morning to see that the Seattle Times did have a close-up picture of the Backbone puppet. The P-I had six measly sentences and NO pictures, at least in their online version." Update: Dina also posted this in a slightly different form on Kos which elicited many comments. Headline: "Must-see photos! Wet white folks at Seattle Antiwar rally."

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Protest Rally in New York's Central Park Today

Michael Minn took these photos there. MyDD offers this opinion, from its post on the event: "Unfortunately, the hearts and minds of America cannot be won in the streets. As Howard Dean has said, they will be won at the grassroots by individuals talking to individuals, by people running for city councils and school boards. They will be won with the creative use of old and new media. But until the passion for stopping the American empire machine truly comes from a broad spectrum of the public, public protest will be little more than a heartfelt sideshow."

Live Radio Coverage from San Francisco's Anti-War Protest Rally

Pacifica Radio's live coverage online here now.

''Misdirecting the Anti-War Movement"

In this article in CounterPunch, subtitled "The Perfidy of the Democratic Party's Puppets," John Walsh takes on The Nation, the Greens, MoveOn, Al Franken, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean for their positions on the Iraq war. In a follow-up email to me, Welsh says: "...Dean himself is pro-war. He advocates sending MORE troops to Iraq and has since the war began. That was clear in his interview with NPR and his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. But Dean did not make that clear to the constituents who supported him because they thought he remained against the war. He WAS against the war - as were 21 Democratic and 2 Republican Senators - BEFORE it started. But once under way, he favored it and advocated sending more troops - just like Kerry. And he remains that way today. might want to reconsider your support for Howard Dean." In the interest of promoting "vigorous discussion," I have decided to post this, even though I usually don't indulge in what I refer to as "blather" about who is more anti-war or less grassroots, etc. In one of my responses to Welsh, I wrote: "I appreciate your criticism of some of Dean's positions, which I don't necessary disagree with. Overall, however, I think he remains a progressive force in removing the current regime from power. For that reason, I attempt to unite the opposition to what I call "the rovians." I don't see how your point of view contributes to building a progressive force, since it serves to divide the opposition forces."

Friday, March 18, 2005

''I think that Howard will do a very good job.''

"Edwards said his time on the campaign trail taught him that Americans want leaders with conviction, a strong set of values and the strength and passion to stand up for those values. Democrats have those core values, he insisted. "We ought to have the courage to stand up for them," he said. After his speech, Edwards declined to name any specific instances in which the party or its candidates lacked the courage of their convictions. But he did praise former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee's new chairman, for being a straight shooter as well as an accomplished organizer and fund-raiser." -from the article in today's Oakland Tribune (CA) on John Edward's speech in San Francisco yesterday.

One Year Ago Today-''We started it here in Seattle''

"Howard Dean officially announced his new advocacy organization in a speech to supporters in Seattle Thursday afternoon. To hear audio of the speech, click here. (Approx. 30 minutes.)"-from the post on Vermont Public Radio on the occasion of the unveiling of Democracy for America, March 18, 2004. Here's their news story on the above, as well as their own interview with Dean in Seattle that day.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

''Mar-19-2003: War in Iraq. Mar-19-2005: Now What?''

This is Seattle and he is our Congressman: Jim blogs on MyDD, here.

''43 Congress Members Vote in Opposition to Additional Funding for Iraq War''

"On March 16, 2005, the U.S. House of Represenatives voted 388-43 to provide another $81.4 billion for continued U.S. occupation of Iraq. While the margin has been described as “lopsided” in the press, we know that the Congressional anti-war movement is, in fact, growing fast – thanks in part to YOUR e-mails and phone calls! Now is the time to join with PDA in congratulating and thanking the fearless forty-three who voted against this funding. They are: Abercrombie (D-HI), Baldwin (D-MN), Blumenauer (D-OR), Capuano (D-MA), Clay (D-MO), Coble (R-NC), Danny Davis (D-IL), Duncan (R-TN), Farr (D-CA), Filner (D-CA), Frank (D-MA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Hastings (D-FL), Hinchey (D-NY), Holt (D-NJ), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Kucinich (D-OH), Lee (D-CA), Lewis (D-GA), Maloney (D-NY), Markey (D-MA), McCollum (D-MN), McDermott (D-WA), McGovern (D-MA), McKinney (D-GA), Meehan (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Owens (D-NY), Pallone (D-NJ), Paul (R-TX), Payne (D-NJ), Rangel (D-NY), Sanders (I-VT), Schakowsky (D-IL), Serrano (D-NY), Stark (D-CA), Thompson (D-CA), Tierney (D-MA), Towns (D-NY), Velázquez (D-NY), Waters (D-CA), Weiner (D-NY) and Woolsey (D-CA). If any of these are YOUR congressional representatives, they need to hear from you now to know they have the active support of their constituents. If your congressional representative is not on the list, they, too, need to hear from you. Let them know you are watching and that you disapprove. It remains important that you and others who agree with your position call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative."-from Progressive Democrats of America.

''43 Congress Members Vote in Opposition to Additional Funding for Iraq War''

"On March 16, 2005, the U.S. House of Represenatives voted 388-43 to provide another $81.4 billion for continued U.S. occupation of Iraq. While the margin has been described as “lopsided” in the press, we know that the Congressional anti-war movement is, in fact, growing fast – thanks in part to YOUR e-mails and phone calls! Now is the time to join with PDA in congratulating and thanking the fearless forty-three who voted against this funding. They are: Abercrombie (D-HI), Baldwin (D-MN), Blumenauer (D-OR), Capuano (D-MA), Clay (D-MO), Coble (R-NC), Danny Davis (D-IL), Duncan (R-TN), Farr (D-CA), Filner (D-CA), Frank (D-MA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Hastings (D-FL), Hinchey (D-NY), Holt (D-NJ), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Kucinich (D-OH), Lee (D-CA), Lewis (D-GA), Maloney (D-NY), Markey (D-MA), McCollum (D-MN), McDermott (D-WA), McGovern (D-MA), McKinney (D-GA), Meehan (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Owens (D-NY), Pallone (D-NJ), Paul (R-TX), Payne (D-NJ), Rangel (D-NY), Sanders (I-VT), Schakowsky (D-IL), Serrano (D-NY), Stark (D-CA), Thompson (D-CA), Tierney (D-MA), Towns (D-NY), Velázquez (D-NY), Waters (D-CA), Weiner (D-NY) and Woolsey (D-CA). If any of these are YOUR congressional representatives, they need to hear from you now to know they have the active support of their constituents. If your congressional representative is not on the list, they, too, need to hear from you. Let them know you are watching and that you disapprove. It remains important that you and others who agree with your position call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative."-from Progressive Democrats of America.

Lieberman and Biden on Dean

"Biden could find little to say about Dean, other than this: "No goddam chairman's ever made a difference in the history of the Democratic Party." His colleague Joseph Lieberman, who is perhaps the most conservative member of the Democratic caucus, said, "Dean was wrong on the war and what he was talking about was bad for the country. We'll see what he does as chairman. If he devotes his energies to building a party at the base, as he talked about doing, good for him. If he continues to be a prominent spokesman on defense policy, I would regret it."-from the post on Kos about The New Yorker's "Letter from Washington" about Biden.


"I drive a pickup, I've got a gun, I have a bulldog named Lockjaw, and I like NASCAR. And Howard Dean is perfectly acceptable to me."-Florida Democratic Chair Scott Maddox, quoted in a story today in the Orlando Sentinel (FL) on his plans for running for statewide office.

''Two Years Ago Today''

"Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protestors claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered. In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists." The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed. Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US. An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant, Falah Aljibury. says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat. Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration."-from an email from Greg Palast. View segments of the Iraq oil plans and read Palast's BBC story here. You can also watch the BBC program online here, available Thursday, March 17 after 4pm PST for 24hrs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Health Care: ''Dean is right. This is a moral issue.''

"You know why we're going to win?" Dean asked. "Because values matter." It was the applause line of the night, just what Democrats gathered for a fund-raiser at the Marriott wanted to hear. Democratic values are fine, he says. What's needed is the conviction to stick by them, and a willingness to butt heads with Republicans. "We've allowed ourselves to be put on the defensive," he said in an interview before Monday's fund-raiser. "They (Republicans) are obsessed with abortion and homosexuality, but they don't do anything to help poor people. We have a president who is cutting food stamps, cutting health care, cutting food to hungry children around the world -- all for the sake of a $70 billion tax cut for the wealthiest."-Howard Dean, in an interview with the Star-Ledger (NJ) during his recent trip to New Jersey. Pay attention to Dean's choice of messages.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Howard Dean: ''Protect Free Speech in the Senate: Sign the Petition''

"Sometimes partisan politics gets overheated -- I know that as well as anyone. But when one party controls all three branches of government, and then seeks to change the fundamental principles and rules of our democracy, we need to talk about it soberly and seriously. The Republican Senate leaders have decided to fundamentally alter the role of Congress -- they want to give George Bush unprecedented power to manipulate the legislative branch and the courts. Today Harry Reid and the Democratic Senators asked us, the American people, to help them preserve the right of our elected representatives to speak their mind on the floor of the U.S. Senate. We have to act. Sign this petition, which we will deliver to every U.S. Senator, asking them to protect the right to free speech in the Senate. If they don't, it is not only their voice that will be silenced -- it will be ours: Act here. Here are the facts: George Bush has appointed judges to lifetime positions at a better rate than any president in nearly three decades. More than 95% of his nominees have been approved. Only ten nominees have been refused -- all because they are unqualified and out of the mainstream. But that's not enough. And on this issue, as on Social Security, it is becoming more and more obvious to everyone that the Republican leadership is out of touch with reality. More Americans voted against George Bush than any sitting president in history. And that same day, across the country, the Democratic candidates for Senate received over 4 million more votes than Republicans. Americans did not endorse the fringe agenda to dismantle Social Security. And they did not endorse dismantling the system of checks and balances that have served our country for over 200 years. Please tell your Senator to stand up for free speech: This is not a partisan issue -- it is an American issue. And we all must act together in order to protect our democracy. Thank you."

Dean: ''We need to stand up for what we believe in...''

Another story about Dean's New Jersey trip, from North Jersey The message: "What they really want to know is that if something happens to their family, or if something happens to their community, or if something happens to their country, the person in charge is going to make decisions based on deep conviction," Dean said. "If we want to win as Democrats again, we need to stand up for what we believe in. We need to be Democrats."

''Dean rallies the Democrats in Jersey''

"What we have to do as Democrats to win is not just organize. That alone is not enough," Dean said. "If we want to win as Democrats again, we need to stand up for what we believe in. We need to be Democrats."-from the story in today's Star-Ledger (NJ).

Monday, March 14, 2005

''Rally for Peace and Justice, Noon to 2:00 PM''

"Saturday, March 19, 2005 marks the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. All across the world people will gather to express opposition to the Bush Administration's wars, war crimes and misuse of U.S. Military. Join us! Rally for Peace and Justice, Noon to 2:00 PM Liberty Bell park, near the courthouse at 4th and Lincoln, Port Angeles. No speakers or entertainment planned. Bring your signs and your energy and ideas for future action."-from an email from Western Washington's premier Kossack and faithful Deaniac, Susan Hu.



''Start Change Now -> Stop Fake News''

"On Sunday, March 13th, The New York Times broke a major story outlining how the Bush administration has used millions of dollars of taxpayer money to produce and disseminate fake news programs that support a partisan political agenda. These government-produced segments have frequently aired on broadcast TV stations across the country without proper disclosure. Not only is this unacceptable, it is also illegal. Please send an email to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department and ask them to Stop Fake News."-from Start Change Now, featured on Talking Points Memo's discussion of the "Bamboozlepalooza Tour." Fake News Update: "Don't they have Google at NYT?" from Kos: "First CBS falls prey to the obviously slanted reporting from a fake news organization, and then the NYT does the exact same thing. Two years ago, CBS "60 Minutes" linked a chicken farm in Georgia to terrorists. Turns out the source of the organization: SITE or Search for International Terrorist Entities, is a bogus front funded by pro-Bush War on Terror backers. But irony of irony, To-day, after a huge story on pre packaged fake news they did it again. in the same issue!!!"

Sunday, March 13, 2005

''I Got Ejected from a George Bush Event!''

Not me, it happened in Louisville, Kentucky to Mike Bailey: "I just had one of the most exciting moments of my life. I think it probably comes in second (after my wedding), and ahead of the first time I swam in the ocean, and receiving U2 tickets (for Dublin) from my wife. I just got thrown out of one of George Bush's Social Security "town meetings." You know, the ones where he scoots around the country, fills up a room full of Kool-Aid-drinking Republicans, and answers softball questions (or just gives his sales pitch with no questions). And all on the taxpayer dime."-from his 'BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION.'

Reframing the President: 'Under Bush, a new age of prepackaged television news'

"A potentially great and damning story that pulls its punches, out of abject fear on the part of gutless Times editors, in order to appear to be "fair and balanced." There is nothing to balance in this story. The truth is all on one side: the Bush administration is the most devious in American history and its propaganda machine rivals that of Joseph Goebbels'. That isn't hyperbole on my part. I've studied Goebbels' methods and academic commentary on it, and it has to have been a foundation in the thinking of Karl Rove. Why doesn't the White House Press Corps simply walk out en masse at the next press conference?"-comment on the story in today's New York Times, reposted on The Smirking Chimp.

''Fight over Howard Dean papers goes before Vermont's high court''

To me this is a non-story, but someone is sure to bring it up at some point. The state of Vermont is trying to keep them closed by appealing a Vermont judge's ruling that they are "presumed open."

Friday, March 11, 2005

''CONVERSATIONS: DNC Chairman Governor Howard Dean''

"I am a business owner, yet because I believe strongly in the union movement I am an associate member of the United Steelworkers of America. What are your plans for the Democratic Party to work with unions to organize, help with enrollment, stand with union leaders and membership in their fights across the country.".Mark K. Seattle, WA"The labor movement and the Democratic Party share the same goals -- a successful economic system in America where everyone benefits from hard work. We need to say unashamedly and often that unions are an essential part of a successful capitalist society."-Howard Dean, from the last Q&A exchange in today's chat on the DNC website, "Kicking Ass."

Thom Hartmann: 'Teresa Heinz Kerry - Hacking the 'Mother Machine'?'

"Two brothers own 80 percent of the [voting] machines used in the United States," Teresa Heinz Kerry told a group of Seattle guests at a March 7, 2005 lunch for Representative Adam Smith, according to reporter Joel Connelly in an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Connelly noted Heinz Kerry added that it is "very easy to hack into the mother machines." Presumably the "mother machines" Teresa was talking about are the "central tabulator" computers, like the Windows-based Diebold central tabulator PC that Howard Dean hacked into and untraceably changed an election on - in 90 seconds - live on the "Topic A With Tina Brown" CNBC TV show late last year."-from the story on Common Dreams via The Smirking Chimp.

Progressive Democrats: ''Not Too Late to Act on $80 billion for Iraq

"The anti-war movement within the Democratic Party is alive! Yesterday alone, over 5,000 PDA activists and friends contacted their Representative to oppose the $80 billion appropriation request for the continued occupation of Iraq! The feedback has been tremendous:'I told Congressman Dick's receptionist our son had just returned home last week from Iraq with the WA National Guard and had received a Bronze Star. We told her to tell Cong. Dicks to vote against the $80B supplement and to end the occupation and to bring the rest of our troops home safely now. She replied: "Amen."Need more inspiration? Read more activist reports here, If you haven't called yet, it's still NOT TOO LATE! The appropriations bill comes to the floor of the House for a vote this coming Tuesday. We must continue to pressure our Representatives right up to the vote. Once this vote is completed, we need to switch our attention to the Senate, which will make its decision in April. And remember, while we may not win on this vote now, we're building the peace movement inside and outside of the Democratic Party. Your action now will inspire others. We're building strength and credibility. Your action is an important investment in our future. Go here and follow our two action alerts on the war. Continue calling via the No More Funds for Iraq War! Alert, and then e-mail your Representative and demand support for Rep. Lynn Woolsey's Resolution, which calls for the development and implementation of a plan to begin the immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and to provide the Iraqi people the opportunity to take charge of their country's reconstruction."-from the Progressive Democrats of America.

''Stop Crying, Start Shaking...And Dems Will Start Winning''

David Sirota, a frequent visitor on Al Franken's Air America show and a Fellow at the Center for American Progress, writing on his Sirotablog: "There's been a lot of vitriol lately coming from the political Establishment aimed at progressives and the grassroots elements of the Democratic Party. Despite Democrats' now assuming a seemingly permanent-minority position, it seems progressives are shunned or vilified anytime they speak up about how sellouts who claim to be Democrats are a big part of the party's problem."

87 Citizen Groups Say ''Verify E-Voting''

From The Lone Star Iconoclast, in Crawford, Texas. Nobody else seems to want to report this: "A coalition of more than 87 citizen groups nationwide have united to address the problems created by secret vote-counting inside the newer electronic voting machines. Under the banner of the Velvet Revolution, mainstream and activist groups have organized to demand re-institution of vote-counting procedures so that all American citizens can verify with certainty that democracy is indeed working accurately. Congressman John Conyers (D), minority chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has endorsed the campaign with a strong letter to nine vote machine companies, telling them that if they fail to implement the requested steps, he will urge members of Congress to pass legislation to deny them funding under the Help America Vote Act." Personally, I would rather get of of e-voting completely, instead of trying to make these outlaws law-abiding.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

''Dean offers new ideas to Democrats''

From Friday's Seattle P-I: "Instead of stiff-arming Dean away from policy debates, congressional Democrats should leverage his durable popularity with the base to rally support for the Democratic agenda. Meanwhile, Dean must acknowledge the ideological uncertainty within the party. In a letter to supporters, he claimed "there is no crisis of ideology in the Democratic Party, only a crisis of confidence." But the "crisis" of self-doubt stems from enduring questions about where the party stands. There is little doubt that when the next elections roll around, Dean will have raised enough money and Democrats will have fulfilled their role as the opposition party. But if they don't work together now to outline a specific and unified Democratic agenda, they may remain the opposition party for a long time."-from the op-ed by Ari Melber, the former Washington state deputy political director for the Kerry/Edwards campaign and a contributor to "MoveOn's 50 Ways to Love Your Country."

"What Democrats are up against in today's GOP"

Gene Lyons writing in the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette via The Smirking Chimp (check out the comments) goes over the GOP "noise machine" again and provides yet another example of how it operates: "Last week, I wrote that Howard Dean, recently elected chair of the Democratic National Committee, appears capable of giving his party a wake-up call because he's scrappy, smart and fearless. Hence, the GOP party line on Dean is that he's a snobbish elitist and an advocate of cultural decadence. Also crazy, because, as we all know, anybody who sees through Bush must be consumed by anger and hatred."

''List of shame in the House''

MyDD includes two Washington state Democratic congressmen on this dishonor roll of 20 Democratic House Members who voted in support of the new bankruptcy legislation. One is predictable, and one isn't. Why it matters: "These representatives are the reason why the anti-humanity bankruptcy reform legislation will not be a national issue in 2006 to run against Republicans. You cannot win a majority with a national platform against the Republicans when you've got safe Democratic Reps treading water for the corporate interest above the interest of their constituents."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

''Dean slams Bush on town-hall meetings''

"Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said yesterday that President Bush’s policy of excluding non-Republicans from town-hall meetings on Social Security reform was “not an American thing to do." Dean spoke at the House Democrats’ weekly meeting for 15 minutes and took questions from lawmakers, according to several sources inside the well-attended closed-door gathering. He made the comments about the town-hall meetings at a press conference after the closed-door session. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), meanwhile, a vehement opponent of the Iraq war, raised the issue of how Iraq should be discussed in light of recent developments there."-from the article in Thursday's The Hill.

'' to launch any moment''

AMERICAblog and Political Wire tout the debut. AMERICAblog hooks you up.

''Your interview with Gov. Dean''

"Governor Howard Dean is going to give a high profile interview — and it's with you. Submit your question today by clicking here and then return on Friday, March 11 to read his answers to this online interview with our grassroots supporters."-from the DNC's "Kicking Ass" blog.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Where's Howard: Spain or Washington, DC? California, too?

The AP says he's going to Madrid, but the Where's Howard site says he's got a lot of meetings set up inside the Beltway this week and doubts that he will make it to the Iberian peninsula. There is also commentary there of how Dean works the insiders as well as the outsiders, and how the power brokers are changing their attitude toward him. Meanwhile, "Dean's money machine to fight Schwarzenegger-- Financial war ahead over special election," says the SF Chronicle. The story covers Democracy for California's campaign to oppose Schwarzenegger's plan to pass ballot initiatives that would "strip lawmakers of the ability to draw political districts, cap the amount the state pays into employee pensions, adopt a new spending cap, change how teachers are paid and extend the time it takes for teachers to obtain tenure." Sounds like Rove meets Tim Eyman. If you have a Democratic legislature, take away their power. Watch out Evergreeners.

''Dean: A good fighter for Dems''

Red state columnist Gene Lyons (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) wonders what would have happend if Dean had been the nominee: "Would Dean have done better? That's impossible to say. But win or lose, he definitely would have gone down fighting. That's why his recent election as chair of the Democratic National Committee strikes me as good news. If nothing else, Dean's a scrapper, and the Democrats definitely need one."-from his column today reprinted in the Decatur Daily Democrat (IN),

Monday, March 07, 2005

''Dean: Democrats raise $3.4M in three weeks''

"WASHINGTON Mar 7, 2005 — The Democratic National Committee raised $3.4 million in three weeks more than double the amount raised during the same time in 2001 after President Bush was first elected, the new Democratic chairman said Monday. "We're just delighted the fund raising is going better than we had dared to hope," Dean said Monday in a phone interview. "We haven't put out an Internet solicitation yet."-from the AP story today. Same AP story, new headline, "Democrats working to close money gap with Republicans." Isn't that framing wonderful?

''Pot, Meet Kettle: Gannon Comments on First Blogger at WH Briefing''

"NEW YORK On his Web site today, he slams Mark Jurkowitz of The Boston Globe and hints that he knows Sen. Joe Biden. But former reporter and escort James Guckert -- a.k.a. Jeff Gannon -- also highlights news that a blogger, after several attempts last week, had finally been cleared to attend a White House press briefing today. The new blogger on the block is Garrett M. Graff, who writes FishBowlDC. (See separate story.) Gannon writes: "The New York Times is hailing the first blogger to be issued a 'day pass' to a White House press briefing. It goes to great lengths to play up his genealogical background in journalism, but fails to mention that the Vermont native served as deputy national press secretary on Howard Dean's presidential campaign last year. Hmmm... no political ties there!"-from the article today in Editor & Publisher. The E & P article goes on to state the obvious differences between the example Guckert/Gannon offers and his own situation: "Gannon fails to mention that, whatever his political background, Graff is not currently employed by a partisan political organization (as Gannon was during his two-year stint at the White House), nor does Gannon differentiate "sexual history" from "selling sex."

''Howard Dean from a Vermonter's perspective''

"Anyone who is paying attention knows by now that Howard Dean is not a liberal. He signed the Civil Unions law after working to make sure it wouldn’t be a gay marriage law. He signed it in a private ceremony with no press coverage. He held a tough line on state spending for social services, including education, social work, and welfare benefits, areas liberals would have liked to see grow. For the bulk of his career as governor, he was opposed to nationalized health care. He was often more lax on areas of business regulation than many of his Democratic colleagues. Howard Dean and I parted ways on a number of issues. But during those “Switchboard” programs on VPR, I got to know a man with many admirable characteristics. He listened to what people asked him. He asked clipped clarifying questions if he didn’t understand the caller. He said he didn’t know if he didn’t know. Usually, he did know his policy in depth. He could cite statistics to back up his agenda or to inform the audience. In those days of Clinton’s presidency, I took mastery of the English language for granted as a necessary skill for public officials. Dean’s communication went beyond Clinton’s, however, in one important way. Dean was and is direct. As I listened to his radio responses, he didn’t mince words. He was seldom eloquent and hardly elegant, but he would tell listeners what he believed even if he knew they wouldn’t like it. Howard Dean was and is a guy who knows how to use the tremendous power of telling the truth."-from a post on the de profundis site, by Matthew Webb.

''Progressive ''jihad'' stirs upheaval at the top''

"Waak pledges to follow former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's model as the new national chairman, shaping a more technologically savvy party that better trains candidates, turns out voters and communicates core values about health care, education and jobs. I'm going to build a grassroots-up party that can deliver votes in every election in Colorado," said Waak, who is little known in statewide political circles. "My election is not about Mike Miles and bad feelings about all that," Waak said. Rather, it's part of a national wave of new Democratic activism, spurred largely by Dean's presidential run and now his leadership of the party, she added."-from today's article in the Denver Post about the new Colorado Democratic Chair.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

''Anti-abortion Democrats May Seek Senate Seats''

"New Democratic Party chief Howard Dean is promising to make foes of abortion more welcome, and some potential Senate candidates are already testing that message. "We are going to embrace pro-life Democrats because pro-life Democrats care about kids after they're born, not just before they're born," Dean said recently in Mississippi as he tried to rekindle Democratic fires in the conservative South."-from the Reuters story today.

''State Dems oust leader''

"Colorado Democrats have ousted party chairman Chris Gates in an upset organized by activists angered by his handling of Mike Miles' failed bid for the U.S. Senate. Miles complains that Gates placed fundraising over political conviction and urged donors not to give to his campaign." -from the story today in the Denver Post that downplays any connection to Howard Dean's call for a grassroots Democratic movement: "Gates' apparent ouster comes less than a month after former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean won the national Democratic chairmanship, promising to return the party's power structure back to its liberal roots. Dean's message caught on in North Carolina and Arkansas, where state Democrats recently elected insurgent newcomers as chairmen instead of more establishment candidates. In Colorado, many say Waak's victory stemmed less from a liberal Democratic trend nationally than from a rift in the state party since the 2004 U.S. Senate race." None of the "many" are identified.

Novak's New Lie

"Speaking at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., on Feb. 23, Dean totally opposed President Bush's advocacy of personal accounts as part of Social Security. However, he did not follow Democratic insistence that nothing need be done about the program."-from his column today in the Chicago Sun-Times. Fact: Dems feel that nothing should be done that would rip-off the Social Security program by turning part of it over to Wall Street. Responding to this criminal's lies is a full-time job, so I will be restricting myself to setting the record straight regarding Dean, as the lies continue.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

''Senior Democratic Staff on Capitol Hill lash out at mainstream press''

RAW STORY quotes an unnamed source: "Senior Democrats in Washington are privately expressing stinging rebukes of the mainstream media’s lack of coverage on recent issues concerning what Democrats see as systematic media manipulation and partisanship, RAW STORY has found. While few were willing to speak by name, aides and strategists alike made harsh attacks on large media organizations. For the first time, one Democratic strategist even singled out a specific publication, The Boston Globe, for failing to reprimand reporter Hiawatha Bray. Media Matters for America, a watchdog group, revealed that Bray had made online attacks on Sen. John Kerry and praised President George W. Bush during the presidential campaign. The same strategist, who spoke only on condition that his name not be used, even went so far as question the “courage” of Democrats in Congress for failing to respond to what he described as a myth–that major media outlets are liberal. “We’re living in the post-Jeff Gannon era where the left can finally show we know how to fight back and hold the media accountable,” the strategist told RAW STORY. “The right wing spent 30 years telling America about the liberal media, it’s time Democrats found the courage to set the record straight.” “We need to send a message that closeted right wingers like Hiawatha Bray can’t act with impunity,” he added, “and he’s just the first domino to fall at the allegedly liberal Globe.”-from the article in RAW STORY.

''Voting glitches haunt statistician''

"Brian Joiner wishes he could "just get over it." He wishes he could ignore the thousands of reported voting irregularities that occurred in the Nov. 2 election, accept the fact that George W. is going to be around another four years and just hope that we haven't created even more enemies or fallen even deeper into debt by the time 2008 rolls around. "I'm sure the Republicans would like me to forget all that stuff, just like they wanted everyone to forget all the strange things that happened in the 2000 election," the retired 67-year-old UW-Madison statistics professor said this week."-from the article in The Capital Times (WI).

''Democratic chief says Rove lurks behind GOP suit''

Back in the old days, when it used to rain a lot in Seattle, this charge from David Postman's story in today's Seattle Times would have been hard to believe. Not anymore.

'Democratic National Committee Announces Ohio Election Review Team''

News you won't see in the MSM: "Washington, D.C. – The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced the members of its Ohio Election Task Force. This group of seasoned professionals in the electoral and technology fields are taking an in-depth look into the issues of voter registration problems, long lines at the polls, the issuance and counting of provisional ballots and voting equipment irregularities that voters faced during the 2004 presidential election in Ohio. The team has been hard at work since January, conducting surveys and reviewing election data from all across the state. The task force will submit its report to the DNC with suggestions for moving forward. "I am confident that Voting Rights Institute (VRI) Chair Donna Brazile and her team of experts will properly investigate what went wrong in the Ohio election process," said DNC Chairman Governor Howard Dean. "This investigation will ensure that every vote will be counted and everyone who is eligible to vote will be able to secure that right."-from the DNC press release, yesterday.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Dean on Greenspan

The American Street site has this post today, "MAESTRO BAITING": "The problem is that the Democrats had a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to stick it to Bush, the Republicans and Greenspan LAST SUMMER, but didn’t do it. Greenspan’s term as Fed Chairman was UP last year. And, of course, Bush renominated him. Howard Dean, showing why he may be the most important Democratic political figure of the early 21st century, actually said that Greenspan should be replaced."

''Pat Buchanan & Howard Dean Speak In Grand Rapids This Morning''

That's in Michigan. Channel 13 there says: "We plan to interview Howard Dean this morning. Keep it on WZZM 13 thorughout the day for continuing coverage." I'm disappointed that they chose to run a "scream" photo with their story.

''Lies! All Lies!--Heroes & Villains''

When I see the word lie in any form regarding the Rovians, I am compelled to post: "We Cornellians were also proud to have HEROIC Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean grace us with his presence last week. But it didn't take long for the VILLAINOUS Right-Wing Conspiracy to follow suit. This time around it came in the form of the Godfather himself. VILLAINOUS Robert Novak, Crossfire insta-pundit and right-wing columnist extraordinaire, blatantly misquoted Chairman Dean and attributed it to yours truly. And we quote: "He spoke at Cornell University last week, and the only paper that covered this was The Cornell Daily student paper, and he said, yes, Social Security has a big problem. Over the years it's going to lose about 80 percent of the benefits." Actually, Robert, if you read the story, Dean said its benefits would be reduced to 80 percent of what it is now. That's quite a difference. Don't expect an apology soon from Mr. Novak, however. There's a long list of people waiting for one of those. What better way to boost readership of a poorly written column than to make up facts and obfuscate the truth? We know; we do it all the time."-from the op-ed in today's Cornell Daily. It's an ivy league college located in upstate New York. You knew that, but I mention it because I am certain Novack couldn't get in.

Party with Progressives, this Sunday @7PM

Ray Minchew from Democracy for Washington sent this email: "We are co-hosting a free reception this Sunday, March 6 with Progressive Majority. The event is at Bambuza (820 Pike Street, Seattle) at 7:00pm this Sunday, and is a chance for members and activists to meet elected officials who have been supportive of DFW values. This is a time change! We will be joined by staff of Congressman Jay Inslee, Craig Mason, and King County Councilman Dwight Pelz. If you'd like to join us and are in the Seattle area, please click here to RSVP."

''The DLC Sputters to a Halt''

"For his part, Dean became the first serious presidential candidate to challenge the DLC openly since Jesse Jackson. But along with his clear antiwar stance, Dean frequently invoked his record of balancing budgets and his A rating from the NRA. (In fact, in 1996 the DLC had praised re-election of "the centrist Gov. Howard Dean" as indicative of a blossoming "New Democratic leadership.") This led many analysts to wonder whether the DLC's animosity was more about power than ideology. "Mr. From fancies himself a kingmaker," wrote then-Wall Street Journal columnist Al Hunt, "and Dr. Dean hasn't supped sufficiently at his table."-from the article in The Nation.

''Dean revitalizes Dems: Liberal icon provides resistence to Bush's agenda''

Another college newspaper ventures a commentary on Dean and his current spot in American politics. Here's a quote from the Manitou Messenger, from St. Olaf's College in Northfield, MN: "The gauntlet was thrown down almost immediately for Dean, as he stated in his acceptance speech, “The Republicans know the America they want and they are not afraid to use any means to get there. But there is something that this Administration and the Republican Party are very afraid of. It is that we may actually begin fighting for what we believe.” Perhaps this is the reason that those who admire Dean were so adamant about his ascension to party chair. Dean, as he had shown in the primaries, is a fighter.While the majority of the other candidates were competing to be “Republican-lite,” Dean openly opposed the War in Iraq, never changed a heartfelt position and refused to apologize for being himself. It still seems as though Dean is one of the only Democrats willing to stand up and resolutely say “no” to President George W. Bush’s agenda.All that is sure to change however, as the attacks that are undoubtedly coming begin to roll in. During the primaries, Republican spin masters painted Dean as “dovish,” “fiscally irresponsible” and “liberal.” In actuality, Dean is one of the most centrist Democrats in the party, certainly less liberal than a John Kerry or a Hillary Clinton.It may surprise even some Dean supporters to hear that Dean is staunchly in favor of gun-owners’ rights, and that he balanced the budget in his home state of Vermont more consistently than any Governor in its history."

"Dean, Buchanan offer some shared concerns at fund-raiser"

"LIVONIA, Mich. Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan disagreed on many issues when they spoke tonight in suburban Detroit. But they agreed that they're concerned about the growing federal deficit and the movement of American jobs overseas."-from the AP story tonight.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

''Why Won’t Dean Talk to the Press?''

The Next Hurrah asks and Where's Howard? answers. Talk amongst yourselves.

More Lies From the Rovians

Big Eddie Schultz directed his listeners today on Air America's AM1090 in Seattle to read the following, from his website: "Sen. Robert Byrd gave an impassioned floor speech on March 1, 2005 for which he is taking heat from the right. Senator Byrd delivered remarks warning the Senate and the American people about a procedural effort being considered by some Senators." Big Eddie is asking us to to read the speech and not just accept more noise from the right wing machine.

''Dean Does Dixie''

Here's an interview and story from the Jackson Free Press (MS), "The City's Smart Alternative." Xlnt comments, too. Dean answers criticism from Charles Evers, Medgar's Rovian brother: "In an interview Monday, Evers told the JFP: “At this point, we shouldn’t be discussing race—the head of the Democratic Party shouldn’t.” But we do need to talk about race, Howard Dean said in a phone interview with the JFP Monday night. “Racism still exists, and we need to talk about that,” he said. “Certainly, Mr. Evers could be a constructive part of this dialogue. I welcome his serious participation, given what his family has done for the Civil Rights Movement. I think it would be good to have a constructive dialogue rather than dueling press conferences.”

''Fight the Right next Thursday Night! a plan for Seattle''

From MoveOn: "Karl Rove recently announced that he was setting up a "permanent campaign" -- modeled on Bush/Cheney ‘04 -- to force a sweeping right-wing agenda through Congress. The same corporate donors are donating, the same ground troops are organizing -- even people like the Swift Boat Veterans are back in business, all working together to gut Social Security, confirm extremist judges, and silence the Democrats. It's scary stuff. We've got to stop them, and together, we will. Our secret weapon? The passion and energy of over 3 million Americans, working together to create change, and a strategic plan to focus that energy in the places where it matters most. But it'll take more than phone calls and emails. That's why next Thursday, we're launching our own permanent campaign -- a national network of neighborhood teams that will take our progressive message to every town in the country. It's a deeper way for you to get involved, and it's a route to real victory in 2006 and beyond. We need someone in your neighborhood to host a party so that local MoveOn members can get together, form a team, and make a plan of action to fight for a progressive America in Seattle. We'll make it really easy to host, and past hosts always tell us it's a lot of fun and a great way to meet some neighbors. Can you provide a space in Seattle for this important work to happen? Our first project will be to oppose right-wing judges. President Bush and the Republican leadership are moving quietly to stack the courts, including the Supreme Court, with judges who favor the rights of corporations over everyday Americans. The key to their plan: before the public notices, change Senate rules to silence Democrats and end the long-standing requirement that lifetime judicial nominees have broad support in Congress. If they succeed, it will literally be too late to stop Bush from appointing Supreme Court judges who will set efforts to protect the environment, health, civil liberties and workers back 70 years. And we have less than a month to stop them." Go here for details.

''It's right vs. left as Buchanan, Dean to spar at Meijer Gardens''

I don't like the left-right frame, but it's a chance to get the message out in Michigan anyway. "Dean, recently elected as the Democratic National Committee chairman, has the task of turning his party's fortunes around. President Bush's continued campaign to reform Social Security will work to that end, he said. "People want us to stand in the way of this," Dean said. "Most people don't think we should turn Social Security over to Wall Street so they can risk all their money and go further into debt. I think the public is on our side." President Bush is "actually weaker" on defense than Democrats, and won't be able to parlay national security issues into Congressional gains in 2006, Dean said. "The president is focused on the war in Iraq, but not Iran or North Korea," Dean said.-from the article in the Muskegon Chronicle (MI).

''Show them your backbone...''

Forrest Jackson sends this along: "The is seeking volunteers for operating that big giant backbone puppet you've seen at all the protests and parades (yeah, the one that looks like a spine and is 70 feet long would be the one I'm talkin' about). He's doing puppet training on Saturday, starting at 11:00 over on Vashon Island. If you've been looking for ways of staying involved and meeting like-minded people of Action (and mischief), get in touch with Bill, by emailing Liberals have more fun, Forrest."


Always seeking confirmation for my use of the word "lies", I found this short post on Upper Left, a local political blog. It links to the DNC site, "Kicking Ass."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

''Dean: Democrats Won't Give Up on South''

NPR has this report from Dean's Mississippi visit by Mara Liasson. Considering the source, it's not that bad. I sense a change in tone from their, or should I say her, previous coverage. Thanks to Where's Howard for this catch. There is also a first hand account there by a local blogger, with a photo, of his speech.

Daily Kos: ''RNC Publishes Fabricated Dean Quote''

Tell another lie, and someone will catch it but the Rovian noise machine will do the rest. Read the comments, where we still rule.

''DNC chief: Stick to core values''

Dean was in Jackson, Mississippi yesterday where he spoke to "cheering Democrats at a fund-raising event." The Clarion-Ledger (MS) has these quotes: "Looking over the large crowd of more than 850 people packed into the Clarion Hotel for a reception and dinner, Dean said he could tell in just a couple of hours "there is nothing wrong with the Democratic Party in Mississippi.'' Dean said door-by-door and precinct-by-precinct the Democrats will take Mississippi back, and he noted there were several statewide election officials in the audience such as Attorney General Jim Hood. Dean also said that Democrats should stick to their values that are not found in the Republican platform. "It is more blessed to give than receive,'' he said. "I didn't notice it in the Republican platform.'' The Sun Herald (MS) goes with an AP story that recaps Dean's recent red state travels and features these messages: "He prayed for American troops, saying even those who had criticized the war in Iraq should support soldiers and their families. He also said the Democratic Party should reach out to evangelical Christians and the party has room for people with divergent views on abortion. "I want to reach out to people who are worried about values," Dean said. "We are going to embrace pro-life Democrats because pro-life Democrats care about kids after they're born, not just before they're born." Where's Howard also has some other comments on the same coverage. P.S. The traffic on this site has been going through the roof. Yesterday we had ten times the usual hits. If you are visiting Rovians, welcome! If anyone has any other ideas, please email me at the address above, located in "my complete profile," under "About Me."

Dean says Democrats 'not going to concede the South'

"Praying for American troops and evoking biblical images of helping the needy, Howard Dean told Mississippi Democrats on Tuesday night that the national party won't give up on socially conservative states. "I want to reach out to people who are worried about values," Dean said. "We are going to embrace pro-life Democrats because pro-life Democrats care about kids after they're born, not just before they're born." Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., a Democrat who's seeking re-election, gave Dean a key to the capital city and told him: "You're already upsetting Republicans here in Mississippi. Keep up the good work."-from the AP story. Note the use of framing, with a southern accent.

''AFL-CIO leaders, Howard Dean plan political strategy in Las Vegas''

"Dean said he supported the AFL-CIO's efforts on Social Security and ridiculed Bush's support for personal investment accounts. "We can do better than turning over one of the most successful social programs in the history of America to Wall Street," Dean said."-from the article today in the Las Vegas Sun.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Drudge Misleads About Dean Comment in Kansas

Here's the story today, "Dean's ‘evil' comment draws Web attention". from the Lawrence (KS) Journal-World:"If you were having trouble accessing a page at Tuesday, you can thank the Drudge Report. About 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Drudge Report ( linked from its front page to a Journal-World story about Friday's visit to Lawrence by Howard Dean, the former presidential candidate who is now chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The Drudge link was titled "DNC Dean Says Republicans are ‘Evil' . . .," which directed readers to a J-W story titled "Dean roars into town." Dean was not quoted in the story directly calling the GOP evil. He told fellow Democrats, "This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good." After Drudge linked to the story, Journal-World servers almost immediately began to pull in overwhelming traffic. "Generally, traffic spikes of up to 10 to 15 times our normal load do not cause any problems," said Jacob Kaplan-Moss, programmer for World Online. "This morning we hit 200 times our normal load. We immediately began serving a high-traffic version of the page, which has everything stripped from the page but the story content." Kaplan-Moss said that as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, the story had been accessed more than 101,000 times from the Drudge Report Web site." The Rovians seem to require systematic misrepresentation in order to maintain and consolidate their power. If you require more evidence of this see "Novak: venal, stupid or both?" from "Where's Howard" about Robert Novack, or "the mendacious traitor" as I like to call him, and his inaccurate reporting of Dean's comments on Social Security. For more debunking of the "racist" charge against Dean, "Where's Howard" has this post: "Black Caucus members stand up for Dean." I don't want to feed the impulse for progressives to be consumed by these trash attacks to the extent that they take us off our messages. But I don't want them to go answered either. I want a very strong and vigorous response which brings us back to our core beliefs and proposals. I am looking to Dean to provide this. David Brock's Media Matters for America says, "Novak misquoted Dean for second time in three days" and then proves his case. Department of "I Told You So": Even before Dean was elected DNC Chair, but as soon as his appointment was certain, the attempt to tear him down with lies and echo chamber trash talk began, just like during the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. At that time, I said here that the Rovians were threatened by Dean and would need to attempt to neutralize him, just like the "Swift Boat" campaign did with Kerry.

''100,000 Iraqis Dead--Got Morals?''

I was pulling out of my local grocery store when I saw the above on a bumper sticker this morning. I looked up to see what I could see about the driver and car. The car: a beige, late model four-door Toyota Camry. Very neutral, anonymous and well-maintained. Two straw hats sat above the back seats under the rear window. The driver was a diminutive, grey-haired female. As we were headed in the same direction, I ended up following her for a time. Her driving style was alert, lawful and active. Maybe it was because I couldn't find anything to post earlier, but I was struck by the message and was hoping to find myself at a stop light next to this lady, and somehow engage her in conversation. Where did she get that bumpersticker?