Tuesday, May 31, 2005

We Need the NEXT ''Deep Throat''

It's nice to know the name of the man who told the truth about our government's lies and misdeeds, from the inside perspective. But I hope we don't have to wait another 30 years to get the full story on what's curently happening inside the Bush administration.

''DNC Chairman Howard Dean says Georgia still in play for Dems''

"ATLANTA - Howard Dean, the former presidential candidate now heading the national Democratic Party, says Georgia could "shape up as pretty important" to his party in next year's elections despite its drift into the Republican column. "We've got an important governor's race I think we can win and important congressional races," Dean said Tuesday in an interview in advance of a swing through Atlanta for a "low-dollar," $50-per-person party fund-raiser.
Money from Thursday's event will go to the national party, but it won't stay there, he said, explaining it will be used to hire staffers to help in party-building efforts in all 50 states.
"The old Democratic Party would come in and take all the money out. That's gone," he said."-from the AP story today.

"Time to Revive Debate Over Iraq"

"The remarkable thing is that there has been so little debate of late. Congress recently approved another $80-plus billion emergency appropriations bill dominated by spending for the war in Iraq. It took months to get through Congress, but the delay was all about unrelated spending and other provisions freighted on to the bill. The war itself and the strategy for pursuing it were treated as if they were beyond discussion. One amendment asking for a plan for withdrawal was quickly dismissed (and received just 128 votes out of 435).

Compare this to the fracas over the first emergency spending bill for Iraq, which got through Congress in the waning months of 2003. Its $88.5-billion price tag, coming atop the initial costs of the war, brought disbelief and protest from Congress and the country.

An obscure New England governor named Howard Dean seized on that mood, becoming not only the leading anti-war candidate for president but also the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. He forced several of his rivals -- including John Kerry -- to shift gears and vote against the appropriation."-Ron Elving, NPR's Senior Political Editor, awaking from a deep sleep on the NPR website.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

''The Gang of 14, Blogged Down In the Middle''

Beltway Pundit-in-Residence Howie Kurtz claims the blogosphere hates the compromise that averted, for now, the nuclear option. Meanwhile, the mainstream likes it, he says. The headline doesn't fit for me. And he's got no time for nuance.

''RAF bombing raids tried to goad Saddam into war''

For your Memorial Day Weekend reading: "THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown. The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive."-from the London Times, so you know it must be true. Thanks to Susie @ Suburban Guerilla for this catch.

''Who won? Wait for high-court fray: Filibuster pact may cost Dems''

Thanks to Bev Marcus who passes along this column from Dick Polman in the Philadelphia Inquirer, via the Seattle Times: "PHILADELPHIA — This summer, Washington may well vie with Hollywood for biggest blockbuster. The mother of all political battles, over the future of the U.S. Supreme Court, is drawing near.

With Chief Justice William Rehnquist seriously ill — in fact, with eight of the nine justices older than 65 — the odds are high that at least one job will open for the first time in 11 years. And that will unleash passions on the left and right, in the first confirmation showdown of the Internet era, with blogs and Web sites stoking the ideological warfare 24/7.

Anyone tapped by President Bush to fill a vacancy will be forced into the maelstrom. Nevertheless, Bush seems poised to get what he wants: to accentuate the court's rightward tilt, potentially to reshape the bench as no president has done since Franklin D. Roosevelt."

''Will Howard Dean save or destroy Democratic Party?''

Out of Massachusetts comes this loaded question, from a column in the Boston Herald. The answer is inconclusive. It gets posted since it's a slow news day.

Friday, May 27, 2005

''The Most Important Vote on the Iraq War You Never Heard About''

"Hey, did you know that Congress just had one of the most important votes on the Iraq War since the invasion of 2003? No, probably not, because (other than Voice of America's story and the AP's half line buried in a bigger piece) no major American media outlets thought it important enough to tell you.

That's right, yesterday, the House of Representatives voted down bipartisan legislation to ask the White House to submit details of an eventual exit strategy from the quagmire in Iraq. The legislation was non-binding, meaning the White House would not have even had to oblige. It was simply designed to put Congress on record as supporting an eventual move to bring our troops home. You might think that such commonsense legislation would have gotten wide support in Congress, what with 57 percent of Americans now saying the war wasn't worth it. But you would be wrong. Almost 70 percent of lawmakers in the House - including people like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (both of whom I like) - voted against this simple bipartisan amendment. Meanwhile, the Republican leadership actually argued that passing the bill would somehow abandon our troops (apparently to the GOP, continuing to have no exit strategy at all and leaving our young men and women in a violent Middle Eastern quagmire is the real way to show our troops respect).

You also might think that the media would at least give a mention to such an important vote, especially with Americans now saying the war in Iraq is their top concern. After all, this is one of the few ways reporters can cover some of the most important issues pertaining to the Iraq War without having to risk venturing into a violent war zone. Seems like a pretty easy task, and an important one in keeping Americans abreast of where their representatives are on such a critical issue. But a quick Lexis-Nexis search shows that, as of today, not one major American media outlet mentioned that the vote was going to take place, or had taken place other than those mentioned above. This, of course, may change, but according to my Lexis-Nexis search, as of 24 hours after the vote, it's true - almost no major American media outlet has said a damn thing (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong...but I've also checked Google News and I'm pretty sure I'm not)."-David Sirota writing on The Huffington Post.


"A Short-Term Win for Dems, but What About 2006?"-The Stranger's Sandeep Kaushik weighs the pros and cons: "Any deal that pisses those people off can't be all bad. And this deal isn't, at least for those who believe keeping reactionary judges off the U.S. Supreme Court is the most important priority. But if winning the 2006 elections is the top priority, then Democrats may have been better off letting Republican zealots hungry for absolute power run roughshod over the deliberative traditions of the Senate."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

''Time to start bragging''

The Gospel according to Kos. You've probably already read this, or would have soon--but I had to post it anyway.

by kos
Thu May 26th, 2005 at 11:11:41 PDT:

"Be loud, be proud.

The most infuriating thing about Democrats is their fear of standing loud and proud. Rub it in their faces. Make sure American knows who killed Bush's attempts to dismantle social security. As Atrios notes, don't be afraid of what Russert and Broder and Tweety say. Fuck them. They aren't important. And any sort of "compromise" should be completely off the table.
It's time to press the advantage."

''We've got no more ground to give!''

"Goose recently asked at what price has this filibuster deal come?

Well, Bush got three more judges who shouldn't be approved, approved; and four or five more will soon follow. Sure, two other judges now, and two or three others soon, who shouldn't be approved apparently won't be approved; but that hardly qualifies as any sort of "advance" for progressive causes, let alone a "victory" for Democrats -- particularly given the circumstances under which these concessions have been exacted: The threat by the GOP to cheat on the rules -- having Cheney, as President of the Senate, rule incorrectly on a Point of Order that to change the rule on filibuster, as any rule of the Senate, would not require a two-thirds vote of the Senate -- amounts to extortion. Negotiating with a blackmailer is not only nothing to brag about but is also an invitation to endless extortion in the future."-from the Comments from Left Field blog. howieinseattle opinion: the only reason to make the deal would have been an ironclad certainty that the nuclear option would have passed. I don't think we'll ever know, now.

U.S. Senate Debate: Bolton Nomination Online Here

C-SPAN 2 provides "Gavel to Gavel" coverage here now.

''Blackmailed onto the court''

"Thanks to the compromise agreement made possible by seven Democrats who collaborated with Republicans to end the Senate impasse over judicial nominations, Priscilla Owen will now join the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Four years of successful efforts by civil rights, women's rights, religious and consumer groups to prevent confirmation of the right-wing extremist were undone Wednesday, as the Senate voted 56-43 to confirm a nominee whose judicial activism on the Texas Supreme Court was so wreckless that another member of that court, Alberto Gonzalez, who now serves as the nation's attorney general, referred to her actions as "unconscionable." The final vote broke along partisan lines. Fifty-three Republicans and two Democrats, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu and West Virginia's Robert Byrd, voted to confirm Owen. Forty-two Democrats and one Independent, Vermont's Jim Jeffords, voted against confirmation.

Those numbers are significant because they show that Democrats had the 40 votes that were needed to sustain a filibuster against Owen.

As disappointing as the collapse of conscience on the part of most Democrats has been, however, it is important to remember that 18 members of the opposition caucus held firm against the compromise of principles. Those senators -- Democrats Joe Biden of Delaware, Barbara Boxer of California, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Jon Corzine of New Jersey, Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, John Kerry of Massachusetts, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Carl Levin of Michigan, Blanche Lambert Lincoln of Arkansas, Patty Murray of Washington, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Jeffords -- refused to vote for the cloture motion that shut down the filibuster option and cleared the way for Owen's confirmation."-from the column in The Nation by John Nichols, via The Smirking Chimp. Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

''Moving faster''

"Monday I wrote to you about our progress growing the party from the ground up, and put the timetable in your hands. Democrats everywhere overwhelmingly responded to the challenge. The goal was $250,000 by Friday to add another state to the program -- you hit it in only 48 hours.

That means organizers and other resources can be immediately put on the ground in one more state: Kansas. It's a so-called red state where we know we can win. We have won state-wide before -- and building an organized, permanent grassroots base will help elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Your response made it clear that you want to move fast. So I spoke yesterday with the staff leading this unprecedented national organizing effort. I asked them to speed up the process, and they told me that if we have the resources we could have four more states ready to announce as early as next week. This means a bigger commitment to fund the program. But if we can raise half a million dollars through next week we can start hiring and training organizers in four new states.

Several of the organizers you have hired came on the payroll this week. They will be traveling to Washington soon for training. And they will be heading back to their home states to reach out to the state parties, grassroots leaders, and ordinary people who want to get involved.
We saw this week what we can do when we organize. Millions of Americans persuaded seven Republican Senators to abandon their leadership's drive for one-party rule. They joined Democrats to do what was right and protect check and balances. Right-wing demagogues had declared their intention to win this fight at all costs -- this loss will loosen the death grip the right-wing has on the Republican Party. We did this with organization -- with our petitions, phone calls and events. Most importantly, we reached out to each other and to people in our communities and mobilized them, too.
But we need to do more. It's not enough to stop the fringe GOP leadership issue by issue. Building infrastructure and organization in every state will help us do more to set the agenda -- and provide the base to elect Democrats. Can we go into four more states as early as next week?Please make a contribution to get four more states moving now.

So far you have put this program to work in eight states: Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming. Today you put a ninth into the program: Kansas. Our mandate is to take every state to the next level -- building capacity, building experience, and building community among Democrats who want to make an impact.
Please make a contribution to get four more states moving now:

The faster we do this, the more prepared we will be for elections this year and next, and the more people we can bring into the process. But the ability to make it happen is in your hands.

Thank you."

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
"Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean says Democrats want to retake West Virginia.
West Virginia voted for President Bush in 2000 and again in 2004 even though Republicans are outnumbered nearly 2-to-1 by the state's 680,000 Democrats.
Dean was scheduled to visit West Virginia Wednesday to participate in a rally and cookout at the state Democratic Party headquarters beginning at 11 a.m. Gov. Joe Manchin also will participate in the event. The visit is part of a 50-state tour to announce grass-roots organizing efforts across the country. The former presidential candidate has said that the national party will invest almost $500,000 in state parties in Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota and West Virginia.
In West Virginia, the Democratic National Committee will provide $174,000 a year through 2008 to have full-time organizers in West Virginia."-from the AP story today.

''Next Dem Battlefront: Iraq''

"Yes, it’s great that the Democrats staved off the nuclear option. But the reason the nuclear option was even a possibility in the first place is because they have ceded the foreign policy battlefront to a majority party that doesn’t represent the majority of this country on the crucial foreign policy issue of Iraq. Democrats need to realize that they will remain a minority party so long as they only dare to take on Bush and the Republicans on domestic issues."-Arianna Hufffington, looking beyond this week's nuclear option vote on her new blog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

''Gov. Dean on Inside Politics''

"Judy Woodruff, CNN: You have said that these judges who are apparently going to be confirmed aren't qualified to be on the bench.
Gov. Howard Dean: I think there are three judges going on that ought not to go on. However, it's a victory in this sense. First of all, it's a real blow against the right wing. Seven Republican Senators had the courage to stand up do what was right and loosen the death grip of the right wing has on the Republican Party. I think that's really important. That is a victory. It's a victory for the country. We don't know if this is a victory in the long run or not. I mean, there was ambiguous language about the filibuster and so forth. I think the key to finding out how big a victory this is when a nominee for the supreme court comes up, will that person be an extreme person as some of these folks are? Will the president for the first time consult with Democrats as Bill Clinton used to do before he sends up a nomination. If he does that, then we really will have loosened the death grip of the right wing on the Republican Party, that will be good for the country."-from the transcript on Kicking Ass, the DNC blog.

More: "JW: Some democrats I hear them saying, Howard Dean needs to spend more time talking about what the Democratic Party will do in a positive sense rather than criticizing Republicans.

HD: I have done that very thing. The print press only prints the hot stuff. They don't print the agenda. Television is fortunately where you do get your say. The agenda is very clear. We want a strong national defense with honesty when we talk to our parents and support for our troops when they come home and become veterans. We want an economy where we keep jobs at home where we balance the budget. We want individual freedom and personal responsibility. The president talks about freedom in iraq. What about the freedom of leaving the politicians out of personal family decisions like who is to die, who is to live. The government doesn't belong in a decision like that. That's a private, personal decision."

''Dean: Blacks Annoyed by Party's Outreach''

"WASHINGTON - Black voters are upset with the Democratic Party for coming around just weeks before elections seeking their votes, party chairman Howard Dean said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. Taking black voters for granted is a long-standing problem for the party that dates to the 1960s, said Dean, who promised changes in strategy even as he cited diversity at the top of the Democratic National Committee."-from the AP story today. On another topic: "Marking 100 days as the party's boss, the former presidential candidate addressed several issues in an interview with AP reporters and editors, including the compromise in the Senate on President Bush's stalled judicial nominees and the right of Democrats to filibuster. Dean was hesitant to call the compromise a win for his party. "It's a real test of whether this is a real long-term agreement. That will come when we find out if the president consults with the Democrats" before sending future nominees to the Senate, including a possible Supreme Court choice. He was more forceful in describing the impact on the Republicans. "The potential is that we loosened the death grip the right wing had on the Republican Party," Dean said. "It was clearly a loss for the president because he was getting accustomed to ramming things through the House and the Senate without any confrontation."

''DEMOCRACY for Washington State Convention''

Everett, WA ---May 22, 2005

Dina Lydia Johnson took some pictures and promises a write-up in the near future. thanks, Dina!

''Blog Round-up of Reactions to the Compromise''

"Bill Frist tries to save Face/ Freepers are crazed! Not everyone agrees."-headline from Crooks and Liars post of blog opinions. howieinseattle quick response-opinion: "If Lieberman is happy and taking credit, I'm worried."

Monday, May 23, 2005

''A good deal? A bad deal?''

"We're supposed to say we got a great deal to win clearly through spin what could not be won so clearly on the merits. It seems an awfully bitter pill to forego the filibuster on both Brown and Owen, particularly the former.
And the main issue isn't resolved so much as it's delayed. The moderate Republicans agree to preserve the filibuster so long as the Democrats use it in what the moderate Republicans deem a reasonable fashion. And yet the use of the filibuster, by its very nature, almost always seems unreasonable to those whom it is used against."-from Talking Points Memo.

Hands Across the Border: ''Thoughts from the DFO Summit''

Democracy for Oregon met this last weekend: "This weekend I attended the Democracy For Oregon Progressive Leadership Summit. Here are some of my quick thoughts on what I heard: Jim Dean was the first keynote speaker. He really does sound a lot like his brother. He is fully on board with DFA as a vehicle for doing for the Democrats what Ralph Reed did for the Republicans in the 80s and 90s. He described several examples of how DFA efforts boosted Democrat efforts nationwide. He pointed out how DFA helped candidates as much by getting volunteers out for their campaigns as they did giving them money. Probably even more so. He talked about how even a "losing" race can boost Democrats when a competitive candidate can bring 1000 more Democrats to the polls who will also vote for other candidates on the ticket. My thoughts: We have to redefine our conception of "winning" and "losing" beyond the simple calculus of who actually comes out on top in any particular race. I have always said that Howard Dean did not "lose" the race in 2004 since his primary purpose in entering the race was to change the direction of the party (he never really expected to get the nomination). Few would argue that he failed in that goal. Therefore Howard Dean was a winner.

For the afternoon session I attended the "how to deal with the right-wing hate machine" panel with Thom Hartmann. Thom talked about the state of progressive radio today and where it might be heading in the near future. Progressive radio is one of the hottest commodities in the radio bizz today. EVERYONE is interested in it. Air America and Ed Schultz have proven that there is a market for it. We will soon start seeing major radio markets with MULTIPLE progressive stations (Thom said that an announcement of such was already imminent). Once that starts to happen, and it proves to be commercially successful, the impetus will be there for the development of a 24 hour cable news channel to counter FOX. This could all happen within the next 2-3 years."-from the Interesting Times blog.

''Senators Avert Showdown Over Filibusters''

"WASHINGTON - In a dramatic reach across party lines, Senate centrists sealed a compromise Monday night that cleared the way for confirmation of many of President Bush's stalled judicial nominees, left others in limbo and preserved venerable filibuster rules. "We have reached an agreement to try to avert a crisis in the United States Senate and pull the institution back from a precipice," said Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., adding the deal was based on "trust, respect and mutual desire to .... protect the rights of the minority.
"We have lifted ourselves above politics," agreed Sen. Robert C. Byrd (news, bio, voting record), D-W. Va., "And we have signed this document....in the interest of freedom of speech, freedom of debate and freedom to dissent in the United States Senate."-from the AP story tonight. Both sides claim victory, in case you haven't heard.

'Contact your Senators today: support the rights of the minority"


I usually try not to involve DFW in Federal issues, as our focus is on state-level action. But this week’s activity on the Senate floor is too important to ignore, and action is needed immediately.
This week, the U.S. Senate is debating the nomination of Priscilla Owen, a right-wing judge from Texas who has been graded “poor” by her peers on the Texas Bar. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist intends to use this debate to trigger the “Nuclear Option”, in which the Republicans will break the rules of the Senate in order to change the rules regarding the filibuster.

Confusing? They certainly hope so! This change would overturn more than 200 years of tradition, 200 years when the filibuster has been used by the minority party to exert some influence on the agenda of the majority. You see, President Bush’s judicial nominees have been confirmed at an astonishingly high rate – 96% of his nominees are now serving lifetime appointments. It is acknowledged, and the Republicans brag, that the seven remaining nominees will be approved by the Republican majority. The filibuster is the only option remaining for the minority party to block extreme, radical, unqualified judges from lifetime appointments. George Bush and Bill Frist want the United States Senate to become a rubber stamp, approving whatever radical Bush appoints. This threatens the independence of the judiciary, the makeup of the Supreme Court, and indeed the freedoms we all hold dear.

Contact your Senators today and tell them you support the rights of the minority!

Senator Patty Murray:

Phone: (202) 224-2621
Fax: (202) 224-0238
Online here.

Senator Maria Cantwell:

Phone: (202) 224-3441

Fax: (202) 228-0514
Online here. and Senator Cantwell wants to protect the filibuster and our Senate traditions, as well. However, George Bush’s right-wing minions are very organized and are flooding their offices with calls in favor of the “Nuclear Option”, despite polls showing that America is opposed to this nuclear nonsense.

We must stand up and make our voices heard! We must let our Senators know that democracy demands a voice for the minority, and that we will stand with them in opposition to George Bush and Bill Frist and their radical power-grab.
Emails are okay, but phone calls have so much more effect. Please call the Senators and let them know you support the rights of the minority and the filibuster.

Thank you as always,

Ray Minchew,Executive Director, Democracy for Washington."

''Dean Masterful on Meet The Press''

The last word from here on Dean's MTP interview via Deaniac83's Blog: "Ok, let me first go ahead and admit the only mistake Howard Dean made at Sunday (5/22/05) morning's Meet The Press with Tim Russert. He was talking about Iraq and Saddam Hussain at one point, and he kept saying "Osama Bin Laden" in places he so obviously meant "Saddam Hussain."

Bar that, Howard Dean showed what a magnificent person he is. He proved why he was worthy of rank and file Democrats calling, writing and talking to their DNC members 100-some odd days ago before he was elected the DNC chair. Howard Dean showed that he is a man of deep and core convictions with a clear moral compass. He did not back down on his comment that Tom DeLay belongs in jail - and told truth to power, that it was not a matter of prejudgment after the majority leader had been admonished for ethics violations by his own peers in Congress. Not once, not twice, but three times. The Republican Party leadership, without having any idea how to defend Tom DeLay or how to return to ethical policy-making, as usual, whinned and complained like little kids that sounded almost like, "Mommy, Howie was mean to Tommy..." And they are supposed to be the party of mucho-ness? Puleeeze!

Tim Russert tried to "get" Dean by quoting him out of context, but Dean set the record straight every time, and focused like a laser-beam on his message, which was that the Republican leadership is morally corrupt, drunk with power, and that the Democratic Party is the party of freedom, safety, and ethics and moral governance - the party of the people. And he laid out what he had in the works to get this message out: namely, strengthen state parties and adapt message discipline (I think the latter is THE reason the Democrats have had some success on the Hill lately). And he stuck it to those with their own severe moral shortcomings (drug-addict Limbaugh, ethically challenged DeLay) who try to grandstand to others and try to dictate Christian values in their own terms.

Howard Dean, make no mistake, is planting a moral spine in the Democratic party. This one is made of steal. The transplant hasn't totally taken yet, but if Dean is successful, it will. He is not afraid to talk about his faith - as no Democrat should be. He said outright that while he doesn't go to Church often, he prays every night, and that no morally bankrupt Limbaugh is going to tell him how to be a good moral person. He talked about his belief in Jesus Christ. He talked about respect for everyone of all faiths. But far more importantly, he talked about core values and principles that the Democratic party should stand and be counted for: ethical behavior, personal liberty, protection. Howard Dean is not a beloved leader because he pleases all people at all times. He is a beloved leader and respected statesman because people know he is not going to BS them. They respect him because he respects them - agree or not.

I cannot possibly envision a better person to lead the Democratic Party at this time of need than Howard Dean. Yes, I would rather him be president (and he'd rather be president, he has said as much on occation), but history's course is unveiling in front of him as the DNC chair. History seldom accomodates us on the page we want to be on. But every once in a while, history offers us an opportunity to write another page. Right now we are making history with Howard Dean." He can't always spell, but his heart is in the right place.

''Your Progress Report''

In case your letter got lost in the mail:

"We're ahead of schedule.

New party leadership took charge a hundred days ago with a mandate from you to grow our party everywhere, and grow it from the ground up. Since then teams have visited half the states already to listen and learn what it will take to make that happen. The answers vary from state to state, but one thing is clear: there is no substitute for hiring trained organizers who are local to the area. So we're going to put several of them on the ground. They will be on the national party payroll and accountable to the same mandate you've given me. Their job will be to recruit local leaders and organize volunteers in every single precinct -- channeling grassroots energy into a permanent, sustained movement for change.

Today I can announce that, thanks to small-dollar donations from across the country, we have the resources to expand into a second group of states: Nevada, Mississippi, Wyoming and Nebraska. You have kick-started the program months before anyone expected.

The timetable is still in your hands. The budget forecast has organizers heading into new states over the next several months. But if Democrats across the country can put an additional $250,000 into the program by this Friday, another state can be added to the list and start hiring right away. Will you make a donation to bring another state online this week? This is your party -- it's up to you.

Here's what has happened so far: the program started in North Dakota, West Virginia, North Carolina and Missouri. Organizers have started work already -- leveraging resources to beef up infrastructure and reaching out into the community to connect people with the local party. In some cases it's the first time the national party has ever interacted with leaders at the precinct level.

These organizers are having two immediate impacts. First, they are a crucial bridge between the local, state and national parties. They have been asked to tie everything together -- to bring our existing resources to bear in new ways. Their job is to take the long-term view -- building not only for the next election but for the next decade. In the four states they have been at work, we are already doing more -- and doing it more efficiently.

The second immediate impact of these organizers: freeing up other resources for the state parties. In Missouri, the resources you put on the ground helped take the state party to the next level. The result: the Missouri Democratic Party is now adding an organizer of its own and sending them into the field.

If we can raise $250,000 by this Friday, we can afford to start in another state this week -- and create another success story. Will you be a part of it?

We have to be everywhere. We can't afford to run seven-month campaigns in a handful of states -- we need to build a permanent infrastructure to elect Democrats at every level of office. Developing that deep bench of leaders and active citizens is the only way to reshape that red and blue map we see every four years.

It's also the only way to stop the condescending talk about our values. It's the Democratic Party that values honesty, responsibility and compassion. But we have to show up everywhere in order to stand up for those values. When we do that, we will win -- because our values are American values.

All of this will affect you. Growing the party in every neighborhood isn't some abstract idea -- we will reach out in every state, in every precinct, in every community.

It's just a matter of time. How fast it happens depends on you.

Everywhere I go, I meet Democrats who are hungry to win and ready to work hard.
This is your opportunity to put the structure in place to help every one of us stand up for our values in our own communities.

Thank you for everything.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D."

''Mobilizing the base ....."

"seems to have supplanted persuasion in today's polarized America. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean serves up red meat to the faithful, while threatening to make mincemeat of any chances to expand his party's base. Dean decries Republicans as "corrupt," "brain dead" and "mean," even telling one interviewer: "They are not nice people."-Joel Connelly writing in today's Seattle P-I, as he equates Dean with Frist and DeLay, because they are all "hard-liners."

''Tim Russert Ties Me Up in Knots''

We'll give the last word, for today, on the MTP interview to Arianna Huffington: "But the key exchange came when Dean raised the most critical point about Iraq:

DEAN: Because of the president’s actions, I would argue that we are in greater danger now because of what’s going on in Iraq than we were before. Now there are terrorists in Iraq. They have migrated there since our troops were there.

RUSSERT: Let me stay on your rhetoric…

Nice pivot, Tim. Yes, by all means, let’s stay on Dean’s rhetoric rather than on the insignificant fact that our country is less safe as a result of our invasion of Iraq. Good to see you’ve got your priorities in order."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

''Howard Dean on Meet The Press''

Video from the Crooks and Liars site here.


The blogosphere weights in on Dean's MTP interview, via the comments from Suburban Guerilla.

''Dean, Feisty and Unbowed, Stands By Words on DeLay''

The NY Times has its say: "Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman, said Sunday that Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, was likely to go to jail over ethical transgressions and called on him to step down pending the outcome of inquiries into his actions.

Dr. Dean offered a blistering review of the Republican Party - "I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country, I really do," he said - and used Mr. DeLay as an example of the "abuse of power" that he said now permeated Washington.

"This gentleman is not an ethical person, and he ought not to be leading Congress, period," Dr. Dean said on "Meet the Press" on NBC. "And it is endemic of what happens in Congress when one party controls everything."

It was the first national television interview Dr. Dean has granted since he was elected chairman in February, and the appearance is part of the party's orchestrated effort to raise his profile. Reinforcing an impression suggested by his often freewheeling remarks on a 100-day nationwide tour he made when he started the job, Dr. Dean left little doubt on Sunday that he is a different party leader than his predecessors or his counterpart in the Republican Party, Ken Mehlman."-from "news" article today.

''He speaks!''

Dick Polman, who writes about politics for the Philadephia Inquirer and is syndicated by Knight Ridder, offers this sample of mainstream journalistic thinking about Dean's MTP remarks: "Howard Dean, so loquacious as a presidential candidate in 2004, has largely dodged the national limelight as Democratic chairman in 2005. But in his 99th day on the job, the pugilistic darling of the liberal wing finally resurfaced on national TV Sunday - and promptly buttressed his reputation for lobbing rhetorical grenades."

''Give ‘Em Hell Howard!''

Let the punditry begin: "In his interview on Meet the Press this morning, Howard Dean was his usual feisty, combative self. I’ve never been a “Deaniac,” particularly, but I’ve got to say that I admire a guy who doesn’t back down in the face of bullies, whether those bullies happen to be Tom DeLay, Dick Cheney, Bill Frist, or the right-wing media.

This morning, for instance, Russert hounded Dean relentlessly, as if Russert were reading from Karl Rove’s opposition research memos, trying to get Dean to back down from his statements about Republicans (”I hate…everything they stand for”), the corrupt Republican House Majority Leader (”I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence down there courtesy of the Texas taxpayers.”), etc. Here are a few highlights from “Meet the Press” this morning, as Dr. Dean demolishes the Republicans simply by speaking the truth:

“Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings….I don’t think we ought to be lectured to by Republicans who have got all these problems themselves.”

“This gentleman (Tom DeLay) is not an ethical person, and he ought not to be leading Congress, period. And it is endemic of what happens in Congress when one party controls everything.” Later, Dean added, “I don’t think it’s appropriate for Tom DeLay to be in Congress, Tim. I really don’t.” You can say that again!

“Look, we’re not going to stoop to the kind of divisiveness that the Republicans, are doing and we’re not going to stoop to the kind of abuse of power, but we are going to be tough as nails. This is a fight for the soul of America between the Republicans and Democrats.”

“I don’t hate Republicans as individuals. But I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country. I really do. I hate deficits…I hate the dishonesty….the insinuation that the president continues to make to this day that [Saddam Hussein**] had something to do with supporting terrorists that attacked the United States. "

**Dr. Dean mistakenly said “Osama bin Laden” here, although it was clear from the context exactly who he was talking about. This just goes to show you how much this Administration’s conflating of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden has confused the American people!

“I’m not going to be lectured as a Democrat–we’ve got some pretty strong moral values in my party…in contradiction to the Republicans…we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night. Our moral values say that people who work hard all their lives ought to be able to retire with dignity. Our moral values say that we ought to have a strong, free public education system so that we can level the playing field.”

“I don’t know anybody who thinks abortion is a good thing. I don’t know anybody in either party who is pro-abortion. The issue is not whether we think abortion is a good thing. The issue is whether a woman has a right to make up her own mind about her health care, or a family has a right to make up their own mind about how their loved ones leave this world. I think the Republicans are intrusive and they invade people’s personal privacy, and they don’t have a right to do that.”

“I am sick of being told what I and what I’m not by other people. I’ll tell you what I am. I’m a committed Christian. And the fact of whether I go to church or not, people can say whether I should or shouldn’t, I worship in my own way. It came out in the campaign that I pray every night. That’s my business. That’s not the business of the pharisees who are going to preach to me about what I do and then do something else.”

“I’m a congregationalist. People say, “Well, those are liberals.” Well, since when do Christians get tagged liberal or conservative? You either believe in the teachings of Jesus or you don’t. I do. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. But I don’t go around wearing it on my sleeve.”
This is great stuff, especially for all those right-wingers who just love to stereotype Howard Dean - and all Democrats, actually - as a bunch of crazed, immoral, tax-loving, bible bashing, religion hating, unAmerican losers.

Well, sorry to disappoint all you right wingers out there, but we Democrats and progressives are the true Americans, fighting for real American (and Virginia) values like ethics, honesty, the Constitution, freedom, personal responsiblity and patriotism. Maybe what you don’t like is that we stand for “liberty and justice for all,” not just “tax breaks and favors for rich corporations and special interests”

By the way, we know that you right wingers would like nothing better than for Democrats and progressives to sit down and shut up, but that’s not going to happen. So sorry. Instead, what we’re going to do is follow the lead of Howard Dean (and Wesley Clark, and of course Harry Truman) and “give Republicans hell!” Oh yeah, and we’re going to “raise some Kaine” while we’re at it, too."-from the Raising Kaine blog, in support of Democrat Tim Kaine in the Virginia governor's race.

MTP: ''Transcript for May 22, Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic Party''

"MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday: 100 days ago, former presidential candidate Howard Dean elected to lead the Democratic National Committee. This morning his first national television interview as chairman. Our guest, Governor Howard Dean of Vermont, returns to MEET THE PRESS. And in our MEET THE PRESS Minute, another chairman of the Democratic Party, James Farley, from 42 years ago.
But first, since his election on February 12, he has traveled to 17 states, speaking to the party faithful. Governor Howard Dean is back on MEET THE PRESS.

DR. HOWARD DEAN: Thanks, Tim."-read away.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

''The Party of New Ideas''

Another 'Letter to Howard Dean,' this time from Tom Cosgrove, previously a "campaign manager and field director for Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.. and these days runs the political strategy firm The Cosgrove Group."

"The American public has it right -- it is not clear what Democrats stand for. Americans may know what group we stand against -- Republicans -- but they do not know what ideas we have for change or what principles and moral values we share as a party.

They don't know because we Democrats have not, in fact, agreed on these things for years. Our party has nothing comparable to the big ideas and value themes Republicans have been running on. The Republican ideas may be bad, however they are big and bold and driving the debate in America. Not just in Washington, D.C. but in state capitals as well.

Our practice, for decades, has been to leave issues and ideas alone until the presidential election cycle starts. By then it is too late to shape the public's image of our party. In the last cycle we nominated a man based on the perception that his resume made him the strongest "horse" against President Bush. Now less than six months after the election who can name the big ideas of the Kerry campaign?

We need to start now. You can make it happen now. Specifically, I urge you to convene a Democratic National Committee mid-term convention, next year, as a Convention for America's Future. Define the agenda of this convention, now, as having a debate about ideas -- for the United States, at home and abroad. Set up a process focused on getting ideas, collecting data that determine whether these ideas are good or bad, and invite people from all ranks of the Party, to debate those ideas as participants."-from the letter.

''Dean On MTP'' (UPDATED)

Big Shot Blogger Oliver Willis joins me in deflating Novak's hot air ballon: "Does anyone buy this bunk about Democratic operatives bitching about Howard Dean... to Bob Novak? And any Dems who are crying to Novak are the kind of Dems who should be out of the loop to begin with. Howard Dean is a partisan fighter, focused on keeping Dems together and their eyes on the prize. In my book, that's what a party chairman is supposed to be doing.
Yet, according to the media (and its apologists) it's somehow wrong when a Democrat does it. Lord forbid."-from his blog.
Update: I goofed again and left out the link last night. More sleep deprivation. It's there now.

Friday, May 20, 2005

''Dean stands by Delay jail remark''

"DNC chair says House majority leader is 'corrupt'---WASHINGTON - Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, who famously refused to prejudge Osama bin Laden’s guilt, is standing by his judgment that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay may deserve jail time for allegations of corruption. “Tom DeLay is corrupt. No question about it,” Dean said Friday. “This is a guy who shouldn’t be in Congress and maybe ought to be serving in jail.” The House ethics committee is investigating whether DeLay violated congressional rules by taking foreign trips paid for by lobbyists. The Texas Republican has not been charged with a crime, but Dean said he would not apologize for saying earlier this month that DeLay “ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence.” He told The Associated Press on Friday, “Maybe I’m prophetic.” Asked whether he was rushing to judgment, the former Vermont governor said with a laugh, “I got in trouble because I wouldn’t convict Osama bin Laden. Maybe I’ve learned something.”-from today's AP story.

''Dean On MTP''

Big Shot Blogger Oliver Willis joins me in deflating Novak's hot air ballon: "Does anyone buy this bunk about Democratic operatives bitching about Howard Dean... to Bob Novak? And any Dems who are crying to Novak are the kind of Dems who should be out of the loop to begin with. Howard Dean is a partisan fighter, focused on keeping Dems together and their eyes on the prize. In my book, that's what a party chairman is supposed to be doing.

Yet, according to the media (and its apologists) it's somehow wrong when a Democrat does it. Lord forbid."-from his blog.

''Hi Jim!''

Shaun at Upper Left points out that our Congressman Jim has blessed him and our pal Ray Minchew at DFW, with inclusion on his "WEB SITES I LIKE" list. Once again this site is left to lead the Chopped Liver Brigade. But that's ok. I would lose my edge with his approval.

''Screaming at Dean''

Howie Kurtz, Beltway insider and syncophant, provides the echo chamber for Novak and Co. in today's Washington Post:

"Howard Dean is in hot water again.

The right-wing blogosphere is after him.

Bob Novak is after him.

Left-wingers aren't really defending his latest outburst.

And he faces Tim Russert on Sunday.

So much for keeping a low profile."

When Dean got the DNC job, I predicted that they would go after him, if they thought he posed a threat to their power. Wait a minute, who's "screaming" now? Update: Howie Kurtz is a "sycophant", ("fawning flatterer: somebody who servilely or obsequiously flatters a powerful person for personal gain") not that other name I called him. In the heat of name-calling passion, I goofed.

''Dean rallies the faithful...''

"Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him. Howard Dean, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, held a rally at Montgomery County's Music Center of Strathmore to breathe life into the Democratic Party and raise close to $200,000 as Democrats prepare to overthrow Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and any other Republican standing in the way of next year's election. And yes, Dean was not without a few of his patented red-faced rants.

Aside from the expected emotional appeals of gaining back Democratic seats at the national and state level, the message of the day by Dean and the rest of the pack was for Democrats to continue preaching their moral values that they said most American's support. If stripped of labels, "Americans would agree with far more issues with the Democratic position than they would the Republican issue," said Dean."-from today's coverage of Dean's Tuesday visit to Maryland in The Sentinel (MD).

''United they stand, for now''

The Gazette (MD) covers Dean's Tuesday visit to Maryland: "The Democrats are grooving again -- or at least, they're making a good show of it. With the strains of "Let's Get it Started" pumping up the exhortations of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard B. Dean and a troika of U.S. Senate wannabes, the state party hauled in about $200,000 at Tuesday's Strathmore Music Center fund-raiser, billed as the kickoff to the 2006 campaign."

''As Dems shore up base, GOP goes raiding"

It is supposed to be a news story, but I smell opinion in this morning's article in USA Today: "National party chairmen Howard Dean and Ken Mehlman have the same job titles but different jobs. One is on a mission to rebuild, the other to expand."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

''Howard Dean unmuzzled''

Our favorite traitorous, unindicted felon, Journalism Division (Robert Novak), says "anticipation of Howard Dean, cut loose and unmuzzled, on "Meet the Press" Sunday is unsettling for the party's faithful." As usual, Novak doesn't give any evidence for this point of view. Bob's idea of "the party's faithful" is probably limited to Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller. If it draws attention to Dean's appearance, I say "thanks for the free publicity, Bob," even though this column is loaded with false information and twisted logic.

''Dean spills his secret to winning elections''

The headline writer is employing sarcasm, but this is a longer version of the story posted below, ''Dean: Don't mimic GOP.''

Here's a tidbit: "State party Chairman Jim Pederson was less shy about his feelings. "Sure, we could have done a better job on our message last year," he said. "We understand what we have to do to be successful next year and in '08." Peterson said part of that is plugging into what he said is the belief by many Americans that the country is heading in the wrong direction.
"We have to highlight that, we have to articulate that to the American voter," he continued. "And I think if we do that well and, just as Gov. Dean said this morning, if we remain true to our values I'm very optimistic about what's going to happen next year."-from the story today in the Arizona Daily Sun.

''The Silence of the Scams'' (UPDATED)

"Psychological Resistance to Facing Election Fraud, by Diane Perlman, Ph.D.

Thought experiment: What if it was discovered, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there was a widespread pattern of election fraud, with higher spikes in swing states, including hundreds of dirty tricks unreported in the media, adding up to numbers which might shift the outcome of the election, and that most Americans didn't know or didn't want to know? It is curious that an issue so profound and consequential is barely on the radar screens of most Americans, especially those who voted for Kerry. Many say there is fraud in every election, but there was far more in 2004 than in any previous year, and if the errors were random, about half would go in Kerry's favor. Virtually all went in Bush's favor. But rather than demanding a thorough investigation, the American people seem eager to forget the incidents and put the election behind them, thus implicitly supporting such corruption."-from the article by this academic scholar who studies the connections between psychology and politics. As I have said before, I used to teach social psychology and can't let go of this issue. Update: Diane Perlman sends along the following, in response to today's post: "Thanks so much for putting this up. Here is a revised edition - parts edited by Charles of Newtopia, and parts revised by me based on feedback from readers' discussions on the previous version. Thanks, BTW, on the last Real Time with Bill Maher, he and Gore Vidal brought up the subject - but still enormous resistance and suppression, thanks, Diane." There are great comments there, too, courtesy of The Smirking Chimp.

''Dean revs up Young Dems with GOP rhetoric''

"In language strikingly similar to Republican rhetoric, Democratic Party leader Howard Dean said Wednesday in Phoenix that Democrats are the party of "moral values," "individual freedom," "personal responsibility" and "fiscal conservatives." "I am tired of being lectured to about moral values by a corrupt party," the former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential candidate told a cheering assembly of 300 members of the Young Democrats of Arizona.
Dean alluded to record budget deficits, the lack of health care for many Americans, the absence of a renewable-energy policy, and ethics problems faced by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as examples of Republican corruption of ideals. He said his own party's moral values include making sure children are fed, health care is available for all, Americans respect differences in race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, and the nation "leads (the world) by example."-from the story today in The Arizona Republic.

''Dean: Don't mimic GOP''

"PHOENIX - The chairman of the national Democratic Party said Wednesday that the secret to winning elections is for members of his party to stop acting like Republicans. Howard Dean, in a speech to the Young Democrats of Arizona, noted that last November's election didn't end up exactly the way he had hoped. But Dean, who had sought to become the party's presidential nominee last year, said people are prepared to vote for Democrats. They just have to have a reason. "The way the Democrats are going to win is not to become Republicans," the former Vermont governor told the partisan crowd. "The way the Democrats are going to win is to stand up for what we believe and not be afraid to tell the American people what that is."

What that is, Dean said, is a belief in health insurance for all, making sure all children have something to eat and reaching out to "those who are different."-from the story Thursday in The Arizona Daily Star.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Seattle's Pam Eakes Chosen for New DNC Roles

Pam, who was National Finance Co-Chair for Howard Dean's persidential campaign, has been chosen for two new DNC posts: Executive Director of the Women's Leadership Forum and Dep. Director for the New Majority (a new program to be launched in the next few months). Pam can be contacted at 202-488-5097 and her email is EakesP@dnc.org. In Seattle, Pam worked as Executive Director of Mothers Against Violence in America, an organization she founded over ten years ago. You go girl!

Howard Dean on ''Meet the Press'' this Sunday

"Sunday, May 22
Exclusive! Howard Dean, in his first television interview since becoming Democratic National Committee Chairman."-from the show's website.
MTP will air in Seattle at 6 am this Sunday on KING5 and at 10 am on KONG, channel 16 (6 or 10 on most cable systems).

''Ideas, Leadership, and Agenda''

"Did Tom DeLay have it right when he spoke at a dinner in his honor hosted by the American Conservative Union? He said the Democrats have “No ideas. No Leadership. No agenda.” As a progressive with strong Democratic leanings, I can’t identify a clear stance articulated by the Democratic Party today. Is Howard Dean working behind the scenes readying the party for the next round of elections? Where is the voice of Missouri progressives? I’m all for grassroots politics spearheaded by such groups as People for the American Way, Move On, and Missouri Pro Vote, but where’s the cohesion; where’s the spotlight? When working class and poor voters hear the facts, they just might swing in our direction. Howard Dean needs to start framing these issues. "-from the post on MO Progressive.

''Dean jeers DeLay on eve of Valley trip''

"There's corruption at the highest level of the Republican Party, and they're going to have to face up to that one of these days, because the law is closing in on Tom DeLay," Dean said in a telephone interview before heading to an appearance today in Phoenix.

"I think he's guilty . . . of taking trips paid for by lobbyists, and of campaign-finance violations during his manipulation of the Texas election process," Dean said. Dean, noting that DeLay was reprimanded three times last year by the House ethics committee, said, "No wonder the Republicans are a little nervous. It's easier for them to attack me."-from the story today in The Arizona Republic.

''Dean Wants Md. Democrats Unified''

"A few hundred Maryland Democrats gathered last night in the Music Center at Strathmore to hear Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean exhort the party faithful to "take this country back for the people who built it."

Then Dean delivered a warning to those preparing for the 2006 election: "Make sure this is not a scorched-earth race. . . . We need to be on the same page the day after the primary, no matter who wins."-from the story in Wednesday's Washington Post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

''Confidence and Voice''

"Howard Dean, the least sold-out candidate of the 2004 primaries, was ambushed by a corrupt and partisan press and his own sold-out fellow Democrats. He stands, against most odds at the head of the Party now, but the House and Senate leaders have asked him not to speak for Democrats on policy. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are good people, but they are not "Presidential" nor are they fountains of policy genius. They are good caucus people and Reid, especially, has risen quickly to the enormous task presented to him. Senator Barbara Boxer is the unexpected voice of dissent and loyal opposition, Senators Biden and Kennedy are active against the most egregious ploys of the rightwing radicals opposing them, while Evan Bayh and the DLC toadies of centrist Republican Lite politics clog the aisles like so much vascular plaque. Dr. Dean will refashion the Party, but he cannot do it by himself, and he cannot build the necessary coalition without a voice. -from the post on the American Liberalism Blog.

''Newsweek & the Koran''

In case you're wondering, there are lots of published allegations of Qur'anic desecration that pre-date the Newsweek article, and Booman Tribune has them here in their post on the issue.
"Now that the Republicans control the executive and legislative branches of government, trying to squash minority voices and stack the judicial branch threatens the core concept of checks and balances that has preserved our federated republic through countless party transitions and ideological shifts. And that's not the only way in which the Republicans have gone from silly to scary. Once upon a time, Republican leaders spent their time and our tax dollars pursuing sex scandals, renaming French fries "freedom fries," trying to put Ronald Reagan's name and face on everything from airports to the dime, and doing other stuff vital to our nation. Meanwhile, their extremist conservative base was seeking domination of both government and our information. The conservatives built a network of radio and television programs, even a 24-hour news channel. After all, if American propaganda is good enough for Iranians, isn't it good enough for Americans? They even began turning churches into recruiting centers, inciting fear and anger over a couple of extreme issues. And the Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission approved greater media consolidation, which gives a handful of corporations control over more of our information. Now, Republican leaders pay journalists or just create fake news stories themselves when the media aren't placidly echoing their talking points sufficiently. Welcome to the land of media shaped by right-wing government.
The violation and erosion of civil rights, reversing environmental protections, unraveling international relations, a growing gap between rich and poor — on and on goes the list of crazy liberal complaints.
Some Americans cry, where will it all end? Some cry for the many Americans lost overseas. Many cry over the emotional conclusion of "American Idol," and don't care about all that other stuff. The Democrats have been very helpful in not keeping up with most of these tactics. That is what Democrats like to do, after all: help others.

But I'm here to tell you, don't cry, there's good news. People can now see that we have a lot of problems, and there are no tax-and-spend, bleeding-heart Democrats running things in the White House, in the House, or in the Senate to blame it all on. Nope, not a single welfare-loving, tree-hugging liberal in majority control of big government to curse for your lost job, your lack of health care, your polluted environment, your back-door draft, your children's mounting debt, or anything else. More importantly, "we the people" are still who the government responds to, ultimately. As a result, Republicans overturned their own hypocritical change in ethics committee rules, and put House Majority Leader Tom DeLay back on the fast track to a civilian consulting job. Bush failed to privatize our Social Security, and is quickly shifting gears and looking at alternative plans. And since new polls show that the majority of Americans don't feel Iraq was worth it, there may be more rapid results on that front as well.

Still, Democratic leaders remain the political equivalent of a Tom Shane commercial. They start droning on about what the Republicans are doing wrong, and you either fall asleep or change the station.

Meanwhile, the environment won't stop degrading while we delay. China won't stop gobbling up more of our manufacturing jobs. The poor, the sick, children and the elderly, all those people that a guy named Jesus told us to take care of, are getting the short end of the holy Republican crusade.

So while change is in the wind, I hope the wind starts moving a little faster."-Randy Henderson of Kingston, a business analyst who attends Washington State University, writing an op-ed in today's Seattle Times. Maybe he should start listening to Air America.

''What’s new at the DNC?''

"On a conference call with DNC members today, Dean made note of several things.
Dean has been to 18 states since mid-February, helping raise over $800K for state parties. The DNC will, of course, be ramping up its own fundraising in the coming weeks ahead of the June 30 reporting deadline.

The DNC funding for state parties is proceeding and people are being hired. New states to receive funding include Mississippi, Nevada, Nebraska, and Wyoming. A team continues to visit all states and evaluate the parties to determine what they need most.

He talked about the Cornell Belcher poll, which evaluated why people voted the way they did. According to Dean, Democrats must address people’s fears about raising their children in a difficult social environment. Children get sold a culture that often seems to be mostly about sex, materialism, and violence; it scares the hell out of parents (me included). Democrats need to acknowledge the difficulty because people are voting family interests rather than ecomonic interests.

Dean wants to share communications lists, but not fundraising lists (”that would burn out donors”) with the state parties. He wants Democrats to be on the offensive about moral values: feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, treating your neighbors well. He said that people have a hard time understanding why the filibuster is important, but that they get it when

Dean took several questions from the members. One that stood out for me was the woman who said that she is often told that the Democrats aren’t hitting hard enough on every issue. Dean said that responding to everything dilutes our message and that Dems have to pick issues. He pointed out the consistent work on Social Security as a success story. Another question was asked about organizing veterans. He said that a project had started to identify DNC members who are veterans and asked the questioner if he was willing to work on that effort and told him who to contact.

He also gave us some tasks to do. This is great! As a new DNC member, I’m not sure what DNC members did before, but I get the feeling not much was expected. I’ve also heard that conference calls under the previous regime weren’t exactly interactive, and that most of the “questions” consisted of fawning tributes to McAuliffe."-from the post Monday on The American Street.

Monday, May 16, 2005

On DeLay: ''Dean was right on point''

"DeLay's going to be indicted; is there some reason to pretend he isn't going to be? Listen, they do this kind of crap every single day and you never hear them explaining themselves or apologizing. Barney Frank HAS to voice opposition to what Dean said, because he has to get on the floor and work with DeLay. But Dean's laying a floor for our electoral house in 2006 - and we're going to put Tom DeLay on a big stick and wave him around.

People don't like to hear it, but we're not going to start winning just by raising money and interest from the grassroots. We've also got to toughen up and realize this is a tough business. If you're a football fan, you'll know this analogy: Our party's been run by a bunch of Dan Reeves and Brian Bosworth types - they look big and imposing, but they get rolled by tougher coaches and players every time. Dean's our Lyle Alzado, Dick Butkus. He's Da Coach. He's going to say things that make us feel ooky sometimes, and Republicans will get their panties in a bunch because he was "rude", but most people hear this and know EXACTLY what he's talking about, and they're glad someone finally said it.

DeLay doesn't like it? Screw him. He's got a big mouthpiece, he can go ahead and fight back and quit crying about taking some of what he's dished out for the last 20 years. I think Dean was right on point, and has every right and reason to bring Tom DeLay into whatever speech he wants to."-Ray Minchew, Executive Director, Democracy for Washington.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

''Are we honest with ourselves about politics?''

"Let's take a quiz: Are Democrats smart enough to realize that the only man who had the courage to oppose George Bush's war in Iraq before it was popular to do so is now party Chairman Howard Dean?"-from The Benton Courier (AR). There are some other good questions, too.

"Dean rips DeLay at convention"

"Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Party, said yesterday that the US House majority leader, Tom Delay, ''ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence," referring to allegations of unethical conduct against the Republican leader. Dean's remark, in a speech to Massachusetts Democrats at their party convention, drew an immediate rebuke from US Representative Barney Frank, the Newton Democrat and one of DeLay's harshest critics. ''That's just wrong," Frank said in an interview on the convention floor. ''I think Howard Dean was out of line talking about DeLay. The man has not been indicted. I don't like him, I disagree with some of what he does, but I don't think you, in a political speech, talk about a man as a criminal or his jail sentence."-from today's Boston Globe.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Dean speaks to Mass. Dems

"Democrats also heard from Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who warned candidates against launching a scorched earth campaign during next year's governor's race.

"We do not want to destroy ourselves before we get to the September primary," the former Vermont governor said."-from the AP story in the Worcester Telegram.

Friday, May 13, 2005

''Winning in 2006 - Part 3''

"Whatever we do, we can’t afford to remain comfortable or play it safe. We have been getting our heads handed to us for 12 years and until we take strong, gutsy action, it won’t stop. We also don’t have anything to lose . . . things can’t get any worse. So, let’s go get ‘em!"-from the post on Blue Washington, summarizing after making several practical suggestions on strategy and tactics. Here are Part 2 and Part 1.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

''Anti-war, Pro-democracy''

"The US antiwar movement--activists outside and inside electoral politics--must now seize the language of democracy that Bush has so devalued, finding ways to support the majority of Iraqis who want to regain control of their own future. As Naomi Klein said recently at a teach-in sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies, "The future of the antiwar movement requires that it become a pro-democracy movement." And with Iraqis and Americans alike growing impatient, the future vitality of the Democratic Party requires that it become a strong voice for an end to occupation."-from an editorial in The Nation magazine.

''Bolton Nomination Vote''

"The Senate Foreign Relations Committee conducts a debate and vote on the nomination of John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Chair Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Ranking Member Joseph Biden (D-DE) continue a review of the nominee, based on issues raised at the committee's April 19 business meeting."-online on CSPAN here or via your own corporate cable media channel, commencing today at 7AM Seattle time. Homework reading: 'Bolton is Bush's Frankenstein monster.'

Strange Bedfellows: ''Gregoire channels Bush''

David Broder makes the case: "SEATTLE —As a loyal Democrat, Gov. Christine Gregoire would never name President Bush as her role model. But in an odd way, she is demonstrating in her state of Washington the same leadership traits that Bush has put on display in Washington, D.C." Broder's body may be in Seattle, but his brain is still inside the Beltway. Why. you ask, do I say that? He overlooks the fact that Bush's "victories" were marked by voter suppression, a partisan judicial intervention, suspicious tallying, intimidation and god knows what else. The close race in Washington state had none of the above, unless you want to count Snohomish County. He has a point on leadership styles though. Update: "Commander-In-Thief": John Conyers reminds us why 'Bush wasn't given a mandate with election victory.'

''Meet the new boss?''

"The left-wing conspiracy tries its hand at urban politics---TWO YEARS AGO, a nationwide army of disgruntled lefties and idealistic twentysomethings united to make former Vermont governor Howard Dean’s presidential candidacy the most intriguing political insurgency in recent memory. Dean — now safely ensconced as chair of the Democratic National Committee — has since become part of the establishment, but his army lives on. And it has a new goal: winning grassroots races around the nation and building a movement that will give tired, unimaginative, and conventional candidates — and the special interests they cater to — something to think about."-from the story in The Boston Phoenix.

''Paint the Town Blue''--Seattle

"Please join Governor Howard Dean
New Chairman of the Democratic National Committee:
Sunday, June 5, 2005

7:00 - 9:00 pm
Premier Club
1700 1st Avenue, South
Seattle, WA
For more information, or to join the host committee, please contact Seth Rosenbloom at 202-488-5019 or rosenblooms@dnc.org."-from the DNC.
You can get tickets here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

''Can Dems Put the Ball in the Hoop?''

I hate sports analogies just as much as you do, but pollster John Zogby makes some good points today blogging on The Huffington Post: "But what are the Democrats offering to the American people? Where is their plan? They are merely reactive. The Republicans produce the ideas, the Democrats merely react by saying no. If we examine the last several months' offerings from the great liberal magazines, all we see is criticism of the President, criticism of the GOP leadership, criticism of the religious Right, criticism of fellow Democrats, just plain criticism -- without one goddamned new idea to appeal to the middle class and the non-ideological middle."

''Beyond Red vs. Blue''

"A Pew Research Center survey finds that "the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, helped redraw the political landscape in America, giving President Bush and the Republicans an advantage over the Democrats," the Washington Post reports. Interestingly, the results "suggest that Bush's reelection depended not just on motivating the Republican base" -- as is the conventional wisdom -- "but also on his success in attracting swing voters and even some Democrats."

However, the Los Angeles Times notes that the though the "landscape coming out of the 2004 election favored Republicans," there's "no guarantee that Republicans have solidified their hold on things."

The Baltimore Sun covers the surprise result of the poll, observing there "was strong support for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton among some Republican voters."

To find out where you fall on Pew’s political spectrum, complete this survey."-from Political Wire. Turns out I'm a "Liberal." Go figure.

''Dean wants Sanders to help negotiate peace between Progs and Dems''

"MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Former Gov. Howard Dean, now the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Tuesday night he is hoping that U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders can help persuade potential Progressive Party candidates to stay out of next year’s races for the U.S. House and lieutenant governor. “We all recognize that Bernie does not have the power to tell anybody who can and cannot run for office,” said Dean. “But if we are going to work together, we should work together across the board.”

Dean’s comments came in a telephone interview in which the former governor made it clear he has not yet endorsed Sanders’ bid for the U.S. Senate.

“Bernie is going to be an extremely strong candidate, but I think it is a little premature for me to endorse him right this minute,” said Dean. There have been conflicting reports about whether Democratic leaders have endorsed Sanders. Dean said those reports stem from the differing perspectives of Democrats in Washington and those in Vermont regarding Sanders.
“Here’s the problem,” said Dean. “From the national perspective, of which I am now a part of, Bernie is a very strong candidate who votes with Democrats. From a Vermont perspective, there are still some issues to work out to make sure the Vermont folks are comfortable with all this.”-from the story on Foster's Online.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

''Dean wants Prog-Dem peace pact''

"MONTPELIER, Vt. If Democrats give Bernie Sanders a clear shot at the U-S Senate next year, Progressives should return the favor by staying out of other races.

That's the view of former Governor Howard Dean. Dean is now chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean says the election of the independent Sanders to the U-S Senate would be good for Democrats nationally, because Sanders works well with Democrats in Washington.
He says he understands that some Vermont Democrats would like to run for the seat being opened by the retirement of Senator James Jeffords.
Dean says if Democrats agree not to run for the Senate, Progressives should agree not to run for other statewide offices like the U-S House and lieutenant governor."-from the AP story via Channel 3, Burlington (VT).

Dean in Sydney, Australia: Another Firsthand Account

"A few nights ago we went to see Howard Dean speak. He’s here visiting his daughter who’s doing a semester abroad at Sydney University. Even though he’s on vacation, he took the time to speak to Democrats Abroad, an organisation that we checked out after seeing their float in the Mardi Gra parade. The new DNC chair, thousands of miles away from the states, with a small crowd and no media coverage whatsoever, was presented with a unique opportunity to be as straightforward as possible, without all the usual political spin.

It was exactly what I needed. With the movies we’ve been watching lately (The Corporation, OutFoxed, The World According to Bush etc.) coupled with the news that reaches us from the states, I’ve been wondering out loud, what are we going back to?

It’s overwhelming at times.

But Dean got me fired up and ready for another 12 rounds at least. There’s no whining or making excuses. We need to do it better. And we will."-from the post On The Rainy River blog.

''Dean: Dem unity key for victory''

More ink on politics from the Bay State: "Howard Dean says he'll tell Democrats to hold their punches during the gubernatorial primary next year, so one of them can land a knockout blow to Gov. Mitt Romney.

The explosive former presidential candidate, now chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will spread his message this weekend in Lowell at the state's Democratic convention. Before the primaries in winter 2004 abruptly deflated Dean's aspirations to become president, the outspoken medical doctor generated a strong following by issuing confrontational anti-war slogans. He quickly outpaced nine other Democrats in polls and popularity, becoming a target of some of them.

That experience, he said, is having a “big influence” on his leadership of the Democrat Party as it fights to regain seats lost to Republicans last year in the House, Senate and the White House. Although Dean will tailor his message this weekend to state Democrats, he's also been quietly orchestrating a comeback in Congress."-from the story today in the Lowell (MA) Sun.

How does Dean manage do all this while operating "quietly" and being
"outspoken" and "explosive"? And then having been "abruptly deflated"---it's a wonder the man can still breathe.

''Activist Briefing With Senator Ted Kennedy''

"Join our Nuclear Option Conference Call Thursday, May 12---Join the conference call to get inside information from Senator Ted Kennedy about the Democrats' fight to stop Republicans from attacking the independent judiciary and the checks and balances that keep our democracy strong. Fill out the form here to join the call, and be sure to include your question for Sen. Kennedy."-from the DNC.

''Dean's Dilemma''

Shaun at Upper Left quotes The Left Coaster to pose the question: "Should Dean Define Specific Differences Between the GOP and Democrats?" Between the two of them, you will be satisfied that the issue has now been covered.

''al franken uplifts the uplifted in seattle''

"It was all creamy for all us Blue Islanders today as Al Franken and Katherine Lanpher brought their national live show to the genteel auspices of Town Hall, on Seattle’s First Hill.

BlatherWatch attended with David “Goldy” Goldstein, activist/blogger from horsesass.org and superblogger, Andrew of the NW Progressive, check them out--both have blogged smartly on the day."-from the post on blatherWatch with all the poop on the day's events.

''Howard Dean endorses Bernie Sanders' run for U.S. Senate''

"Breaking party lines, former Gov. Howard Dean said Monday he supports Rep. Bernard Sanders' bid for the U.S. Senate, saying the Independent makes a "strong candidate."
"A victory for Bernie Sanders is a win for Democrats," Dean said in a telephone interview Monday. But Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, added that his support is not unconditional.

"We've got a few things to work out with Bernie," he said, adding, "Bernie's not a Democrat."

Dean, the outspoken former presidential candidate whose aspirations for the White House abruptly ended during the primary more than a year ago, refused to describe Sanders' shortcomings in the eyes of Democrats.
"I'd rather tell him in person," Dean said."-from the story today in the Bennington (VT) Banner. That "outspoken" line is getting really old.

''Dean says 'high road' is best for Democrats''

"Howard Dean, the former presidential contender and current Democratic National Committee chairman, yesterday warned Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates to avoid a ''scorched earth" primary that could destroy the party's chances of regaining the state's top office for the first time in 16 years. The prospective Democratic candidates have been polite to each other so far, though the former Vermont governnor appeared to be trying to head off the possibility of a bruising primary battle that would send a wounded nominee into the general election campaign. ''I don't like to lecture states, but if you run a scorched earth campaign, the nomination won't be worth anything," Dean said in an interview. ''We have to have everything on the same page." Dean said a ''high-road" approach is especially important given the short, two-month period between the September primary vote and the 2006 November election."-from the story today in the Boston Globe.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Walter Cronkite: ''Democrats: What Do They Stand For?''

"Arianna Huffington has exercised her renowned wisdom to give journalism another boost along the ever busier Internet. Her blog site promises to be an interesting challenge for those of us lucky enough to be invited to participate with our occasional contributions. Hopefully the product will be at least as interesting.

I'll launch my first contribution right here: Arianna, I offer this first editorial opinion that you settle for "interesting" and recognize that it is not a synonym for "entertaining."

"I've got some other exceedingly interesting pieces up my sleeve, like a proposal that the Democratic Party organize a convention this year to debate and resolve a platform that would provide the confused electorate some idea of what the party stands for…a regretfully missing ingredient in the politics of the moment.

See you on the Blog!"-from his post on Huffington's new website.

''Democrats and Iraq''

"Hayden is impatient with Dean and the Democrats for abandoning their critique of the war. It’s understandable that Democrats have decided to take their stand against the Republicans on domestic issues. Defending Social Security and fighting the over-reach of the religious right are winnable issues. But they are not enough.

In framing his open letter, Hayden acknowledges his own position in favor of immediate withdrawal. “I do not believe the Iraq War is worth another drop of blood, another dollar of taxpayer subsidy, another stain on our honor,” he writes. “Our occupation is the chief cause of the nationalist resistance in that country. We should end the war and foreign economic occupation. Period.

“To those Democrats in search of a muscular, manly foreign policy,” Hayden continues, “let me say that real men (and real patriots) do not sacrifice young lives for their own mistakes, throw good money after bad, or protect the political reputations of high officials at the expense of their nation's moral reputation.”

Sharp words, but Hayden understands the political pressures that shape Democratic Party policy and so settles for something less than immediate withdrawal. His open letter suggests a moderate anti-war position that is politically achievable and won’t give the Republicans an opportunity to foment backlash. To build support for the Democratic position, Hayden calls for public hearings in Congressional districts on the ongoing billion-dollars-a-week cost of the war. The public needs to understand alternative economic priorities. How many schools, job programs, infrastructure projects, and health care initiatives are we losing to the Iraqi budget?

Additionally, Hayden says, Democrats need to unite behind Senator Rockefellers's call for public hearings on the torture scandals. If Republicans refuse to permit such hearings, Democrats should hold them independently. Low-rank soldiers are being scapegoated for criminal activities that the Bush administration has set in motion. "No taxes for torture" is a demand most Democrats should be able to support, Hayden says. And Republicans!

To those who think peace negotiations are folly, Hayden reminds us that “Thirty years after our forced withdrawal from Vietnam, the US government has stable diplomatic and commercial relations with its former Communist enemy. The same future is possible in Iraq.”

The Democrats’ silence on the war is unacceptable. The Party cannot remain quiet on the over-riding moral and foreign policy issue of our time. There is an alternative to Bush’s war on Iraq, and it’s important for the country that the Democratic Party raise it."-Marty Jezer. the weekend columnist for the Brattleboro (VT) Reformer, discusses Tom Hayden's recent "Open Letter to Howard Dean."

''Arianna-On The Blog Now''

"Welcome to the Huffington Post, which, as our motto says, has been delivering news and opinion since, well, a few hours ago. As you look around, you’ll see that our front page features our favorite posts from our group bloggers -- including Mike Nichols, Ellen DeGeneres, John Cusack and David Mamet -- and the top news headlines of the moment. If you are hungry for more, you can always get your fill at The Blog and the News Wire where fresh posts and news stories are added 24/7. And don’t forget to check out Eat the Press, Harry Shearer’s spicy dish about the media. So come in and make yourself at home."-from today's opening day post by Arianna Huffington.

''Calling Air America''

"A disagreement over network versus syndicating was one of the reasons for the birth of Air America's progressive talk competitor, Democracy Radio, based in Washington. "The founders of Democracy Radio and the founders of Air America all originally started as one organization back in the fall of 2002," explains Tom Athans, that organization's executive director. Democracy Radio, which for the nonce has only two nationally syndicated programs, broadcasting a combined six hours a week, is on about twice as many stations as Air America. It also has associated with it a bundle of people with much experience in radio, including Frank Mankiewicz, the father of NPR news. "Syndication is the way of the future. The network is the way of the past," says Mankiewicz, who explains that syndicators have a built-in advantage: It's a lot easier to sell a station one or two programs than nineteen straight hours of programming. The two groups fell out over differences in "approach," which included more than the business plan. While saying that both have the same progressive point of view, Athans explains that Air America was "very big on creating a splash with celebrities, and our belief was celebrities in the long run don't make as big a splash as real broadcasters do. If you want to be successful in broadcasting, use experienced broadcasters."-from the article in The Nation on the past, present and future of lefty radio.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Andree B. Maitland Dean--Howard's Mom

“I thought it was preposterous, the silliest thing I’d ever heard,” says Andree Maitland Dean, a widow (her husband died in August 2001) who works as an art appraiser. “It seemed like such a quixotic quest.”-from New York Metro, commenting on his campaign for president.

"Howard didn't have the least bit of a glamorous upbringing," Ma Dean told the New York Times last week. "When I was growing up, we didn't even treat the servants like servants." -from an interview that first appeared in the NY Times.

"Last week I asked Dean's mother Andree Maitland Dean of East Hampton, N.Y., whether her son is truly a liberal insurgent. "He's not really," she said. A beat passed, and she added with a chuckle, "I hope they don't find that out just yet." -from the story in Time magazine.

"Even the candidate's mother, Andree Maitland Dean, said in a recent interview about his medical deferment, "Yeah, that looks bad." -from the AP story.

"While Dean's father barreled through life, his mother tiptoed. Elegant and aristocratic, Andree B. Maitland carries herself daintily and chooses her words carefully. She met Big Howard through his prep-school friendship with her brother. She dropped out of Barnard College to marry at 18 and devoted herself to entertaining her husband's clients and rearing her boys. She made a softer impression in her sons' lives, acting as confidante rather than agitator. But she encouraged the boys to be adventurers. When her husband was too busy working, she drove the boys on a cross-country trip to Wyoming and took them to Africa. Years later, she would return to college herself, then begin a successful appraising business." -from the story in the Boston Globe.

''Dean: An Indie Band Who Made It Big''

"As someone who initially liked Dean a lot, then couldn't stand him, and now loves him again, my own personal perception is that Dean himself hasn't changed much. Rather, it was my own perception that had changed, each time."-from the post on Kos, in the Diaries.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

'WELCOME AL FRANKEN: a seattle radio market analysis just for you''

"Seattle is the least churched city in the country and second only to Boston as the most bookful. We have a long history of social consciousness, civil unrest and political protest, and, counterintuitively, ambivalence. Our slogan is “On the other hand...”

Tom Robbins swears it’s the light, the “nearly perpetual soft-focus glow that seems to be filtered through frozen squid bladders.”

We ran off all the Republicans 30 years ago; that reprieve from reality improved the aesthetics around here, but frankly, it’s proven to be part of our problem. We tend to find enemies among ourselves."-from the post on blatherWatch.

Friday, May 06, 2005

"WASHINGTON — Subway-riding, penny-pinching Howard Dean has brought a new style to the Democratic National Committee since taking over from the high-rolling Terry McAuliffe.

The changes at the top of the Democratic Party are more than cosmetic, however. Dean is reaching out to new voters, in new ways, just as he did as a pioneering – though unsuccessful – candidate for president in 2004.

Dean, the political outsider in last year's field of Democratic White House hopefuls, is loosening the Beltway's noose on the Democratic Party to a degree that is surprising activists and party officials out in the states.

"They're saying this is the first time someone in his position seems more interested in really winning elections, instead of courting rich donors and protecting the party's Washington players," said Craig Crawford, a political analyst for MSNBC and CBS and a columnist for Congressional Quarterly magazine.

"Dean may be the first grassroots Democratic leader since Andrew Jackson let the mob trash the White House for his Inaugural," added Crawford."-from the story by Cox News Service.

''Open Letter to Rep Dennis Kucinich''

"In both your Open Letters, you make the same mistake that you made about Howard Dean during the primary campaign. You assumed that Dean was totally anti-war and that is why anti-war progressives swarmed to his campaign.

You quoted Howard Dean, "Now that we're there [in Iraq], we're there and we can't get out.... I hope the President is incredibly successful with his policy now." And then you rhetorically asked, "Did these words really come from the same man who claimed to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, and who had recently campaigned on the antiwar theme? What's changed?"

If you had paid attention to what Howard Dean had said during the primary campaign, you would know that nothing has changed in regards to Dean's position on the 2003 Iraq war and its aftermath."-posted on the blog, A Tiny Ripple of Hope,
by Terry Barton, secretary of the Killingly, CT Democratic Committee.

Missouri Democrats and the DNC

"After Matt Blunt defeated McCaskill, Corey and Jack Cardetti--the only two people in the Jeff City office--took stock of the situation and made some crucial decisions. The first was that as of January, they went into "Attack the Republicans" mode. (Details tomorrow!) The second was that they began contacting every Democratic group they could find in the state to begin talks about what those groups needed and wanted to accomplish in their part of the state. The third was tracking down Howard Dean soon after he was elected DNC chair. Corey and Claire McCaskill drove to Kansas, where Dean was speaking, and wangled a private interview. They explained that the party would either have to close its doors in a couple of months or it would start building, and money would be the deciding factor. Missouri's state party was the FIRST to submit a plan to Dean, and it was among the first four targeted by the DNC. With the money they received from the national party, Corey and Jack were able to begin hiring staff."-from the post on the Change for Missouri Blog.