Saturday, December 10, 2005

Speaking of lost in the dust..

I was doing some work on the blog and somehow the Haloscan comment code got messed up. Since there had already been a comment to Sylvie's post before she took the post down earlier, I was able to retrieve that link and at least make the alternative comment link for you all to chat in while I tracked down the code problem. After several attempts, I did manage to get Haloscan properly reinstalled, but it generated a new comment link for Sylvie's post that didn't match the old one. Clear as mud? There is no earthly way I could figure out how to make the two comments links one again. Maybe if I tried reversing the polarity?

Well, in any event, here's a new thread which hopefully will have the same comments whether you click the standard comment link or the hand made one. Sorry about the confusion.

Update: Yes, I said I was going to bed. Fine, I "flip-flopped" on that. But I just had to add a little something to this post, so I'm adding this bit of satire I just spotted:

Dennis Hastert and Jerry Falwell purchase Holiday Inn chain, rename it Christmas Inn

Alternate link for comments

Another question lost in the dust...

I know that there has already been lots of blogging about this all week long, especially at Kos. I'm thinking of Dean's statement about "not winning the war" in Iraq and the debate that statement sparked throughout the blogosphere. I don't want to discuss the validity of the statement itself, although it is interesting to see how little discussion has focused on the claim itself (i.e. are we winning the war in Iraq, or are we not? And by the way, since the war in Iraq has been so artfully equated with the war against "terror" by the Bush cabal, one could ask at the same time whether we are loosing that war too or not). And I don't really want to talk about how the mainstream media handled the whole thing either, even though that added much oil to the blogging fire.

What I find amazing, after reading some of threads Dean's statement provoked in the last week is how divided we progressives are when it comes to how we should behave in relation to our own beliefs.

Because at the end of the day, there are few people out there on the left of the blogosphere who argued that the statement was erroneous. What was being debated was the political soundness of making such statement. So on the one side, you had people with whom Dean's statement resonated deeply: "Oh my God, am I dreaming or is someone saying out loud what I have been thinking for who knows how long?"

And on the other side were those who chastised Dean for not thinking about the political consequences of making such claim: "Oh, no, there goes Howie again, telling the world what we actually believe in! That's it! We're cooked!"

That debate has been going on for a long time now: the "idealists" on the one side, and the "pragmatists" on the other. On the one hand are those who believe that the problem with the Democrats is that they don't stand firmly for what they believe in; on the other hand are those who believe that the problem rests in finding a way to "frame" these beliefs to make them "acceptable" to "mainstream America".

Lost in that broader debate is just what it is that we really believe in, and whether or not we progressives actually agree on a core set of beliefs or not.

All week long, all I could think of was what would each individual Democrat and progressive's answer be to that simple question: "Do I believe that the US is losing the war in Iraq?" Maybe there would be lots of "yes" to that question. Maybe there would be lots of "no". Maybe it would be fifty-fifty. Do I know? No, and neither do you. We don't know because we were too busy debating the political value of saying something, rather than thinking about whether "we" believe in that something or whether that something is true or not.

Of course, politics are politics, but I sometimes wonder whether the main problem with "us progressives" is that we fail to answer the more basic questions, the kind of questions that everyone in America is rightfully asking his/ herself in the silence of their own mind. I can imagine that people are wondering whether the US is winning the war or not. But I don't think they are wondering about whether X should be saying Y in Z way or not.

More importantly, the Democrats' tendency to shy way from that kind of questions only reinforces the belief that they do not stand for anything. Even if Americans are divided on that question ("Do I believe that the US is losing the war in Iraq, yes, or no?), the fact that no one is asking it does not help anyone figure out what the answer is.

I can believe that there is a war of ideas going on out there, but this sure is no way to be fighting it.

Tags: , , ,

Alternate link for comments

Richard Pryor 1940-2005

I'm sure many of you have heard the sad news already, but here's a new thread for it, with some links.

Comedian Richard Pryor dead at 65

Groundbreaking black US comedian Richard Pryor has died after almost 20 years with multiple sclerosis.

Obituary: Richard Pryor (BBC News)

In quotes:

I had some great things and I had some bad things. The best and the worst... In other words, I had a life.

You have to have lived some life. You've got to have paid some dues.

Update: The official page is currently unavailable, but I tried looking for it in the Internet Archive site. I guess I can see why the site would be taken down today, but the image that had greeted visitors to the site certainly spoke volumes about Pryor's irreverent fighting spirit.

And a very
to Holly J!!!!!

Alternate link for comments

Helping Bill O'Reilly

In the Christmas spirit, I really feel like I should help Bill O'Reilly and those like him, who feel hurt when people in stores don't wish them a Merry Christmas. Apparently they say "Happy Holidays" instead, because they can't tell just by looking at someone if they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, or none of the above. When I was growing up, there was a hymn we used to sing in church: "They'll know we are Christian by our love, by our love. Yes they'll kno-ow we are Christian by our love."

Whoops. No help there. Then how about special buttons they can wear while shopping?
Thank you for wishing me a Merry Christmas

Alternate link for comments

Howard Dean: still speaking for his base

I would like to recommend this great Kos diary by Patriot for Al Gore

If according to Harry Reid, Dean is not setting the message for the Democratic Party...

Then why are his truthful words about the war in Iraq ruffling so many feathers? Personally, I wish he could set the message about this. At least we would then have someone who speaks his mind in there, and who tells it like it is. And "immediate withdrawal" to me is not defined in that every troop just picks up their knapsack and makes a run for it. It is absolutely SHAMEFUL how the Democratic Party is once again allowing the Republicans to define these terms and set the tone when they should be out there explaining what this means.

To me it means you start drawing down numbers NOW ( hence, "immediate") so that within at least three to six months you have the majority of these troops home, and just have a small contingent there to work with humanitarian workers and aid the people. They then are handed the keys to their country to run it perfect or not, and our representatives then get down to taking care of the AMERICAN peoples's business and OUR security, damn it.

Is that also why Dean got the DNC Chairmanship? To box him in and shut him up, and to USE his tremendous grassroots support to fund these phony asses who go the way the wind blows instead of telling the truth? Howard Dean is not someone I have always backed regarding remarks he has made in the past either. However, on this war, HE IS ABSOLUTLELY F**** RIGHT, and I for one think that this Party is going the way of the jackbooters of the Republican Party with this "let's put a muzzle on Dean" crap.

Amen! And please, can't Democrats take to heart the "Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me" thing? I am freaking sick and tired of Democrats betraying their base by distancing themselves from true, accurate words spoken by Dean. They continue to act like the schoolyard taunts hurled by some Republicans are valid, and it scares them away from standing up for us. I hear people express optimism about Democrats making gains in Ohio--how do you s'pose we're going to do that when we still can't trust the voting machines. But many Dems shy away from talking about such issues because they still have "Sore Loserman" ringing in their ears. And they can't have that--they want to be the COOL KIDS! Well, guess what? Your job is to stand up for the people who elected you to represent them. Sometimes that's "hard work" and not very glamorous. Sometimes the mean kids will call you mean names. Be adults about it and stand up for your fellow Dems when that happens.

Thankfully, still speaks for about more Democrats adding their voice to his rather than working to undermine or disavow it?

Alternate link for comments

Friday, December 09, 2005

It's Never Too Late

Teri Mills is a longtime Democracy For America community member. Her guest column on health care appears on Blog for America on Fridays and she blogs at

This year, the first night of Christmas actually begins on Christmas Eve (24th), the first night of Hanukkah is also the 24th at sundown, and the first night of Kwanzaa begins on the 25th at sundown. The Eastern Orthodox Christmas begins while other Christians are celebrating Epiphany (the night of the January 5th). So many faith celebrations will coincide this year that it's an especially great time to unite in generosity and love. In other words, if we, the people of Democracy for America, wanted to perform a DFA Corps activity for the holiday season, it is not too late to do so. It would require some imagination and a few tasks to make it happen, but it's never too late to give a gift to others who are less fortunate, especially after the horrific year of natural disasters we have just gone through.

Last week, I asked the blog to make suggestions of what they thought would be an appropriate DFA Corps activity for this holiday season. Voodoo Sophie McPherson suggested a massive letter writing campaign to our troops overseas in Baghdad and Afghanistan. Here's what needs to happen to accomplish this - BFA writes a post on the blog asking us to email letters of support to our troops, just like it asks us to sign petitions with comments. We collectively email this link on to others. Within two weeks, there are thousands of emails that can be sent to America's finest. Tom Hughes could send us an email too to remind those who don't regularly check the blog anymore that their letters of encouragement would be appreciated too.

Lindab said it would be wonderful if we could adopt a family in New Orleans. Now maybe we couldn't find employment for them, or even travel to Louisiana to build their new home, but we certainly could set up a link on the blog to collect money as a group, and then DFA staffers could phone the American Red Cross to locate one especially needy family. I bet Monisha may even know of one that could use our help.

Finally, Charlene suggested knitting scarves for the homeless - she donates hers to the Pine Street Inn in Boston. If you have a love of knitting or crocheting, maybe DFA would allow us to mail in scarves and they could deliver all of these together to a homeless shelter in Vermont. It is certainly chilly enough and the need would be there.

It is never too late to make a difference, and never under estimate the power of one or a group of thousands of activists.

Teri Mills, RN, MS, ANP
Democracy for Oregon

Alternate link for comments

Puppy blogging/Open thread

Why should cats get all the bloggy love? So, even though Friday cat blogging is a web tradition, it's going to be puppies this time. The one in the back row in the pink collar is one of the puppies my mom raised for Canine Companions for Independence. More pictures of their early days here, and my own site about dogs, Puplinks, can be found here.

Other than that, consider this an open thread. Check out Dean is wrong because he's right by Gary Boatright, and Teri Mills' post It's never too late over at Blog for America. (Traveling mercies to jc, who usually posts Teri's Friday entry here, but is on the road today.) Feel free to post any other good diaries or stories you've seen today in the comments.

Alternate link for comments

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Howard Dean is right (yet again)

There is a piece by John Judis over at The New Republic entitled In defense of Howard Dean's comments on Iraq. After detailing the anti-Dean babblings of Republicans and several spine-challenged Democrats, Judis goes on, oddly enough ;-) to defend him...

There are, however, two very different questions to ask about Dean's statements on Iraq. The first is whether they are politic--whether they have advanced his own or his party's electoral chances. Probably not--I am no fan of Dean as a national politician or party chair; and I would certainly concede that a Democrat in Georgia, Florida, or Nebraska might not want to run on what he says.

The second question, though, is whether his judgment on Iraq has been sound. And there I would say that it certainly has been. During the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, and during the invasion and occupation, Dean has been almost consistently correct in his statements. He has been the Democrats' and the nation's Cassandra--willing to reveal bitter truths about which Republicans and his fellow Democrats would prefer that he remain silent.

Dean's statements perfectly fit Michael Kinsley's definition of a "gaffe"--an assertion that is impolitic but true.

He then goes on to detail a timeline of Howard Dean's remarks about Iraq, how he was attacked for them, (not just by Republicans but by fellow Democrats, including the one whose tepid 2004 presidential campaign he worked tirelessly to support). And how it keeps turning out that Howard Dean was right. Go ahead and click that last link, it takes you to ! And over at Kos, floridagal has a great diary about the fact the the Democratic party has no clue why Dean has so much support.

Also, over at Alternet there is a piece by Jan Frel, entitled Howard Dean: Just Plain Right. (Frel's byline indicates that he worked on Howard Dean's presidential campaign.)
Authored by Lawrence Korb and Brian Katulis, the plan is titled "Strategic Redeployment."

That report suggests a global redeployment of 80,000 troops in 2006 composed of all Guard and Reserve troops (roughly 46,000) back to the United States, 14,000 soldiers to Kuwait, and 18,000 to Afghanistan. One thousand would be sent to Southeast Asia and another 1,000 troops to the Horn of Africa (including Somalia and Sudan) to support "counterterrorist operations" there.

It's only a matter of time before Bush's "strategy for victory" evolves into a "strategy for withdrawal."

I have to admit, is a much more noble human being than I am. As far as I can tell, he has consistently demurred each time he has had the opportunity to say "I told you so!" Heck, by now I'd be feeling the urge to add an "In your face, Lieberman!", and maybe even do a little victory dance. Granted, especially now as party chair, Howard needs to be above that sort of thing. So I'll just say, yet again, "Thank you, Howard Dean!"

P.S. Hit the bat!

Alternate link for comments

Remembering John Lennon

Today is the 25th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. It's also, according to Wikipedia, Ann Coulter's birthday. So, not a bad day for wearing black.

This image is part of the Yahoo News slideshow about the Beatles.

Alternate link for comments

Howard on CNN's American Morning

Here's the transcript from Howard's interview this morning. The interviewer is Miles O'Brien, who is clearly in over his head:

O'BRIEN: Can the war be won in Iraq? How should the war in Iraq be won? You'll get all kinds of opinions on that particular set of questions and that's just within the Democratic Party. Joining me now is Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who on the radio just the other day, a San Antonio radio station, weighed in on this and caused -- well, sparked additional debate on this subject. Dr. Dean, good to have you with us. Let's just share with viewers, just to remind them, because I'm sure they've heard it by now, but just let's share a little excerpt of that interview for just a moment with them.


HOWARD DEAN: I supported this president's war in Afghanistan, but I do not believe in making the same mistake twice. And America appears to have made the same mistake twice. I wish the president had paid more attention to the history of Iraq before we'd gotten in there. The idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong.


O'BRIEN: All right. Out of context, you want to recant it or is that how you feel?

HOWARD DEAN, DNC CHAIRMAN: No, it was a little out of context. They kind of cherry-picked that one the same way the president cherry- picked the intelligence going into Iraq. We can only win the war, which we have to win, if we change our strategy dramatically. The Democrats are coalescing around a very different strategy. We hope the president will join us. This is a strategy of strategic redeployment. We want to serve our troops well who are doing a fantastic job in Iraq. And if we want to win the war on terror, we cannot pursue the failed strategy we've pursued for the last three years in Iraq and we've got to start telling truth to the American people about what's happening there. We have a plan to do that and I'd be happy to outline it for you.

O'BRIEN: Yes. Well, let's -- I want to talk about strategic redeployment in just a moment, because that's an interesting notion. ("Interesting notion" my ass. He's in hot pursuit of another "Democrats are divided story."--Ed.) It seems like there's some Democrats coalescing around it. But first, I do want to get this notion that there's somehow this sense of pessimism that is at the root of all this. Let's listen to the president for just a moment.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There will be good days and there will be bad days in this war. I reject the pessimists in Washington that say we can't win this war.


O'BRIEN: All right. Are you a pessimist?

DEAN: The president has said it himself we couldn't win the war. Matt Lauer showed that clip himself. I mean, the truth of the matter is, this president got us into this war without telling us the truth, he didn't listen to his own military advisors. This sounds an awful lot like Vietnam (or Korea.--Ed.) when the government's not truthful with our soldiers, our citizens or our allies. We will be, as Democrats. We can and we have to win the war on terror. We can't do it with this kind of approach, with this leadership that this president's showing. As he's going in the wrong direction, we'll go in the right direction and save soldiers' lives while we're doing it.

O'BRIEN: All right, let's go to the right flank of your own party, Senator Lieberman, and listen to what he has to say about this.

Editor's note from Renee--that would be this Senator Lieberman.


SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, (D) CONNECTICUT: It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years. And that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.


O'BRIEN: Do you beg to differ with the senator?

DEAN: I'm not as worried about the president's credibility as I am about the lives of brave American soldiers who are giving their lives and coming back wounded. I'm with Jack Murtha on this. We need a strategic redeployment of our troops. We need to bring the 50,000 guard troops home in the next six months. They don't belong there in the first place. We need a special task force of anti-terror troops stationed in the Middle East because we're going to have to deal with Zarqawi for a long time. We need 20,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, not in Iraq. We need to redeploy our troops and make -- and stop making our troops the target over there. We can turn this over to the Iraqis. It's time to change our strategy and the Democrats have a strategy, we're supporting a strategy. We believe that talking about the president's failed strategy in Iraq is not unpatriotic. It may undercut the president, but it does not undercut our troops. We're going to save our troops' lives and we're going to learn from the experience of Vietnam and not wait for five years with promises made for political reason here at home. We are for the troops. We're going to stand up for these troops. They deserve better support than what they're getting.

O'BRIEN: All right. Final, quick thought here though. With all the debate within the Democratic Party, you lay out a plan, a strategic redeployment, which seems to be gaining some steam in certain quarts. The American people, though, think the Democrats don't have a plan. Why not?

DEAN: I think that's mostly press gobblygook (ph). The press wants to focus on the differences. The differences are pretty small. Perhaps Senator Lieberman excepted. Most -- not only do most Democrats, most Republican senators now believe that the 2006 has to be a transition year. Even Senator Lieberman voted for that resolution. We need a change in Iraq and we will provide that change in the Democratic Party. We have a plan that we can coalesce around. We may have some small disagreements on timing. We know the direction we're going on is a very different direction than the president. We want to serve our troops better. We believe they deserve better. We want to serve our people better and we want to win the war on terror and we want to do it smart because we can't do it the way we're doing it now.

O'BRIEN: Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, thanks for your time.

DEAN: Thank you.

No, Howard, Thank you.

Alternate link to comments

Thursday Comics

And my favorite for today: Outsourcing

Alternate link to comments

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Open Thread with extra kittens. here for a page of jumping cats. This one brings to mind Howard Dean's fighting spirit. ;-)

Alternate link for comments

Handouts for Linkup tonight

I need to go teach now, but I wanted to make sure this got posted. If someone wants to edit this post to pretty it up later, be my guest. Handouts about the support Howard Dean Act Blue page.

Html version here
PDF version here

Alternate link for comments

Wednesday Cartoons

And my favorite for today: Mein Kampf

Alternate link to comments

Open Thread/Tuesday Potpourri

I know, with (at this writing) only 24 comments in the previous thread, we really don't need a new one. 'Cept I want to, and I'm still getting over this yucky cold, so you all can humor me, right? Mostly, I wanted the opportunity to share some funny pictures from a site Corinne linked to in the comments this morning. But first, some links to today's posts--there were a lot of them, so they moved down the page pretty quickly.

Oscar's Tuesday's Comics

Your Vote Can Make a Difference by Jessica, with a request to support Peter Welch of Vermont on Russ Feingold's Pick a Progressive Patriot page. Jessica noted, "I'm sure all the candidates are fine people, but in a small state like Vermont, $5,000 will actually make a difference in the campaign."

We also had a Blog family update from Page and Frank in Amsterdam, with pictures of their kitties and the canal their home overlooks, More reports from the DNC fall meeting, including a picture of Howard Dean (whale tie alert) with Ed Asner and John Melendez. And last but not least, we now have our own Howard-Empowered DNC bat.

Anyway, here's that link I was telling you about--it's for "Baby Bush Toys". Check out fine products like the "Terror Alert Xylophone"

and the Smasher Breaker--"nail home the concept of cause and effect".

And finally, don't miss jc's post about Just-Us Sunday III, which ends with this musing...

P.S. Doing graphics, I work with fonts and can usually identify a lot of them. I've noticed in their logos that politicians often use fonts with names that "sound" patriotic, and I guess, in some cases, they must pick a font because of its name, rather than what it looks like. In that context, I wonder if we should be worried that the Theocracy crowd chose a font that bears a striking resemblance to "Futura Extra Black?"

When I posted these words over at Street Prophets, left of center commented:
Will the Theocrats hold onto power in '06?
Answer: Don't count on it.
I guess their futura is looking extra black.

You can't be a political bully in this country and get away with it for long - even in the name of God.

And on that hopeful note, good night, wonderful Dean people. ♥

Alternate link for comments

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Our own Howard-Empowered DNC bat!

In the previous thread, Anne from Vermont gave us the heads-up that Howard Dean was coming up on Hardball. Soon after that, she posted:

Whee, the scream. Hit the DNC bat!

I recalled that before the 2004 election, the DNC had individual fundraising pages. I actually had one set up myself once upon a time, but when it seemed clear to me that the DNC leadership at the time was working against Howard Dean, and therefore against we, the people, I quickly lost interest in supporting that sort of organization.

But now, with our Howard as chair of the DNC, I wanted to be able to show that we have his back. That's why I added the "Buy Democracy Bonds" link in the sidebar. Not everybody here is on board for supporting the DNC, and I respect and understand that. But, for those of us who do want to support Howard Dean in this particular way, I felt like there should be a way to tag contributions as coming from us.

Shortly after reading Anne's comment, I was clicking around online and found the Act Blue web site. I don't know how I'd forgotten about that, but it's perfect for what I was looking for. So I set up a page for us, and asked Demetrius to update one of his images from People-Powered Graphics.

We've got our own bat! W00t! Look for a smaller version of this in its permanent location in the right sidebar.

Alternate link for comments

More reports from the DNC fall meeting

Here at Howard-Empowered People, we really appreciated Cheryl taking the time to send her report from the DNC meeting in Phoenix this past weekend--including an enviable picture of herself with, as Stephanie Miller calls him, Doctor Governor Chairman Howard Dean. This evening, I thought I'd also draw your attention to this page on the DNC web site, where they have been collecting people's reports from Phoenix. Here is an excerpt from the report of Debbie Marquez, DNC Committeewoman from Colorado and the first Latina elected from Colorado.

I was very nervous at the podium, speaking to a mic, in front of the room, for the first time at the DNC Hispanic Caucus. I was here to propose the resolution. Reading from a document full of "Wherases and Therefores".Trying to summarize so I can quickly get to the "Be It Resolved".

I remembered to breathe. My voice didn't crack. I paused when I needed to. And the silence was ok. No one yelled and said 'Come on - get with it.!' In fact the pause that seemed much too long to me was in retrospect only a few seconds. I did it! I presented, they voted and the Democrats are going to oppose the Colorado Anti-Immigration Initiative. I accomplished my goal. Si Se Puede!

I felt it was most appropriate that we passed this today - the anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama. So today I asked and received support of the party of civil rights and human rights - the party of the people. The party of my people. Our people. The Democrats whose leader, Howard Dean is known for doing what's right, not just what's popular. Today just might be a magical day for activism.

Also, checking in on the "Our Chair" page, I thought you might appreciate Heeeeeeere's Howard!, which is about Howard Dean's Tonight Show appearance last week.

Alternate link for comments

Blog family update from Page and Frank

Continuing the theme for the week of Blog family updates, here is word from Page in Amsterdam.
Note: you can consider this e-mail to be from Frank as well, since he's
sitting right here smiling about the whole idea, and says "sure, it's
from me, too!"

So, Frank was "Frank in A'dam" on the old Dean blog (he's "Frank" on dailyKos). And I'm "Page in Amsterdam" now, 'cause I don't live in Albuquerque anymore ("Plutonium Page" on dailyKos).

We originally told our story here, at BFA. I know that you hung out in Chat For America, so you'll remember that's where Frank and I met. Anyway, people can click the link to learn the rest of the story.

Frank spent a lot of time in Albuquerque in 2004, including most of the summer. He was also there for the election, but we don't like remembering that awful night. Also, I spent every other month with him in Amsterdam; basically, we weren't apart more than two weeks at a time.

Fast forward to April 2005, when we got married at a beautiful little place in the mountains outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was a really small, happy, laid-back wedding.

I had already decided that I was going to move to Amsterdam, which I did in September. We bought a wonderful place on a canal, and fixed it up over the summer (as in, getting rid of the awful linoleum, painting, etc.). The view is fantastic,

and our three furry four-legged children appreciate it too.

So, there you go. We're very happy here in Amsterdam. As for blog stuff, we have such fond memories of the good ol' days (um, before Iowa, sigh) on Blog for America.

It's getting late here, so I'll send this e-mail.


Page and Frank

Alternate link for comments

Your Vote Can Make a Difference

I know there are a zillion online polls out there, and most of them are a waste of time, but this one can help the Vermont Democratic Candidate for US House receive a $5,000 contribution from Senator Russ Feingold's Progressive Patriots Fund.

I'm sure all the candidates are fine people, but in a small state like Vermont, $5,000 will actually make a difference in the campaign.

Please vote for Peter Welch!

Alternate link for comments

Tuesday's Comics

And my favorite for today: Debtors' Prison

Alternate link to comments

Monday, December 05, 2005

Howard Dean on The Stephanie Miller Show

While Blogger has no working front door entrance, I've been posting the transcript of Howard Dean's radio interview with Stephanie Miller in the comments. Since it looks like it is possible to compose a post--even if no one can see it just now--I'm going to go ahead and post the transcript in its entirety. It will be ready whenever Blogger is ready again. Here's the link to the audio.

(phone rings)

Stephanie: What? Celebrity hotline? Why, who could that be, Chris?

Chris: Why, it's DNC chairman Governor Howard Dean! (trumpets and applause)

Stephanie: You know on this show, because we have so much respect for him, we refer to him by all three of his titles. And that is Doctor Governor Chairman Howard Dean.

Doctor Governor Chairman Howard Dean, good morning sir.

Howard: Good morning, and congratulations on more than one million listeners! (more trumpets)

Stephanie: Thank you, sir. (He laughs.) You know, I told my producer, Chris, that I am not shocked that we can *get* people like you on the show, I'm surprised that we can get you *back* on the show after having once been on. And slobbering all over you. But thank you so much for taking time for us again.

Howard: A million people is an audience you do not turn down--I'm delighted. Thank you!

Stephanie: So you just had a big meetin' in Phoenix--

Howard: Yes, we had a great meeting in Phoenix. We're focusing on states like Arizona, like Texas, Arkansas, places that we believe are fundamentally *not* Republican states and that we can win back. And so we're doing a lot of work in those states, we've got organizers on the ground there, we will have for four straight years, and we're looking forward to the 06 elections.

Stephanie: You can be honest with us, 'cause there's hardly anyone listening, Governor. When you see the latest poll numbers every week, do you giggle, a little bit?

Howard: No. (Stephanie can be heard giggling in the background). I don't take any great pleasure in the poll numbers because this is fundamentally bad for America. You know, the Republican party, I think they're corrupt, and they have not done the things that need to be done in America. But this is not so great for America to have three more years of a leader who people don't trust and don't believe. Who is unfortunately in competent...incompetent in conducting the war, incompetent in dealing with the economy, incompetent in dealing with national disasters...this is a sad presidency and it's a sad day for America. But we're going to change that. We have some things that we are going to do that are going to improve things dramatically.

Howard: First of all, we're going to balance the budget--Republicans haven't done that for 40 years.

Stephanie: You know who did that before--a governor from Vermont that I've heard of. I believe it was a Democrat.

Howard: Yeah, we need to balance budgets. We need to have health insurance for all our people. Thirty-six countries have it and balance their budgets. We're losing jobs in America because businesses can't pay their health care bill. And we're going to have honesty in government. People always giggle when you say that because they believe that politicians are corrupt. The truth is, most of them aren't. Unfortunately the Republicans have brought a culture of corruption to a lot of the state governments and the federal government. I want ethics legislation, and I want Democrats to have to live under that too, and if they cross the line then they ought to be out of office too.

Stephanie: Well, you know, Governor, that is absolutely true. I mean if ever there was an operative phrase for 2006 it has to be "Throw the bums out." Because at this point you can't say it's just one guy. When you say "culture of corruption" people go "Oh, talking point!" but it's not. When in your memory was there--you've got Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, you've had the White House procurement officer arrested. You've had the Vice President's Chief of Staff indicted--it's just unparalleled in my opinion.

Howard: All that is bad--very, very bad--the worst thing is that Karl Rove is still in the White House with security clearance, having given away the name of a CIA agent. Now that's not a reflection on Karl Rove, that's a reflection on George Bush. George Bush thinks it's okay to have a security clearance for somebody who leaks CIA agents' names in a time of war? This is a thoroughly corrupt, incompetent administration. And I'll tell you the last time we had one, but it wasn't quite as corrupt, and that's Watergate, and Nixon had to resign. They didn't have the House and the Senate mired in corruption at that time. Now you've got the Republican leader of the Senate under investigation for insider stock trading, the Republican leader of the House is already indicted, you've got congressmen now resigning for having taken bribes--you've got more to come, too. This is not the last one--you're going to see more Republican congressmen go down under this one. This is awful, it's awful for the country, and we *will* do better.

Stephanie: I gotta tell you, I am so thrilled to have a platform--a progressive platform to offer people. 'Cause I'm so sick of this "liberal media" thing. I read a transcript of you recently, I think it was on Nightline. But I thought where do they get this liberal--they only question this administration as roughly as they question you, I think it was about Tom DeLay. It's like, a lot of things that you say, turn out to be right, but at the time they're like "Oh! Governor Dean! Did you hear what he said about Tom DeLay?" And then of course he gets indicted!

Howard: Did you hear what I said during the campaign about how we're not any safer now that Saddam Hussein has been captured. Hell, they can't even try the guy! Lawyers keep quitting and the trial is in disarray. This is an administration that cannot get its feet out of its own way. It's just appalling to me. At least the Nixon people were smart--this is unbelievable.

Stephanie: Well, this is about people dying--this is not about a burglary.

Howard: That's right.

Stephanie: So, tell us about Iraq and what your thought are about John Murtha--

Howard: I think Democrats are coming together. I had a long talk with a group of senators this weekend about this. You know, there's different points of view, but when Jack Mutha stood up, a 37 year Marine corps veteran, he really, I think, got the attention of the country. And the basis of some of his discussions were based on a paper by a guy named Lawrence Korb, who was oddly enough an official in the Reagan administration, who *has* a way out, and I think it makes a lot of sense--

Stephanie: --I do too--

Howard: --and the president is flying off someplace not paying attention. But this is a sensible plan, he calls it strategic redeployment. What he says is that we ought to take 20,000 of the troops and send them to Afghanistan, because we need more troops there, and that *is* a war that has something to do with national defense. Then we ought to bring home the 80,000 National Guardsmen and Reserves--they have no business being in a war like this. They shouldn't have been there in the first place. That we ought to take 14,000 troops and put them in a nearby friendly country. Because we are going to have a real problem--I mean this isn't going to go away when leave, all this chaos over there. And we are going to have to deal with Zarqawi, which was not a problem before--

Stephanie: Governor, I hope we've learned our lesson though as Democrats that--when you add in the phony pre-war intelligence--that we have to stop being afraid of being called weak on terror or weak on national security. I was saying earlier in the show, I feel like the Republicans take away the ability for us to have a reasonable discussion about what to do in Iraq, because they immediately call you a coward, basically. You're a "cut and run" guy--you're a coward!

Howard: I blame the Democrats for that, not the Republicans. The Republicans are a bunch of name callers and all that, but we just need to stand up against them. Jack Murtha did that. And Harry Reid did it when he shut down the Senate and said "You promised us a year ago you'd tell the truth and do an investigation, you haven't done it, and we're going to do it now. That's the kind of thing that makes people say yes, the Democrats will stand up and fight for us. If the Democrats get intimidated by a president who hasn't been truthful with us, then we deserve what we get. And I think that those days are coming to an end.

Stephanie: I was so thrilled, Governor, when you became chairman of the Democratic National Committee, because I said, we need a fighter. That's why we need to Colonel (sic) Hacketts and we need the Howard Deans. Exactly. We need people who are going to stand up and fight against these guys. Now, talk quickly--because that's what they do is divide. So, immigration is going to be their new wedge issue--

Howard: All right, there's a sensible program we can have on immigration, and oddly enough John McCain is on this bill, not just Democrats. But here's basically what we ought to do. One, we should enforce the border laws. The President's been there for five years, and all of a sudden this is a big issue now--

Stephanie: Yeah, he's on it now! He's all over it now!

Howard: --we ought to enforce the border laws. And we ought not to have the Minute Men doing it (Stephanie laughs) we ought to have employees of the U.S. Government. Secondly (laughing) the President says he's going to kick all the immigrants out, and the illegals out and send them back to Mexico or wherever. Well, this is a guy who can't find a 6'4" Saudi running around in the desert, he's not going ot find 11 million undocumented immigrants. It's ridiculous! He doesn't have the money to do it even if he wanted to do it--

Stephanie: --with a dialysis machine! Governor, we are out of time, I'm so sorry, but please, any, ANY time. Thank you so much for fighting the good fight for us!

Howard: All right, thank you so much!

Alternate link for comments

Blog Family Updates

If you weren't here over the weekend, you probably missed the Blog Family Anniversary/Reunion post. It was crossposted at Daily Kos, MyDD, Booman Tribune, and My Left Wing.

In response so far, listener sent in her bio for the first time, and a few people sent or posted updates. The following was posted at Booman Tribune:

well, my id has changed. I think I was "Ken from Arlington VA" back in my BFA days. I didn't even know about most other open blogs in those days, and first heard abou dkos while in NH for Dean over the T'giving weekend in 2003. I think I probably first joined dkos around Jan of 2004, under my current internet idea of teacherken

I did not get my own blog (on blogspot) until later

and as a result of my posting at dkos and here I was invited by MSOC to have frontpage status at MLW.

Sorry I didn't get to IA for the blogger's breakfast

those I've met have been through

* ongoing Dean events in DC and N Va (in fact I am going to a dinner of what was mainly Dean people originally this evening, to celebrate Kaine and hope for Deeds)
* various Kossack and related get-togethers, including one organized by MSOC in DC during the protest a few months back -- that's where I finally met Booman (although I may try to make the December DL in Philadelphia since i have family and friends up there)
* I have a get-together next week with "Martin in Maryland" at his new place of employment, XM Satellite Radio. This is as a result of series of recent exchanges on one of my diarys at dkos
* not dierctly related to BFA, but to my blogging in general: avhe had pieces reposted in electronic journals, and repostetd and/or excerpted in several educational print outlets, and tomorrow I am having coffee with a national polictical figure whom I have gotten to know electronically

So blogging can have interesting consequences, can it not?

Now I have to be a good boy and get back to correcting tests. Ah, the life of a teacher...

Oh, and I should note that one other thing on my plate is the CPT hostages, since Tom Fox is from my Quaker Meeting, and we of course are quite involved and concerned about the situation. Some members who knew him better have agreed to talk with the press. I have been involved with some electronic responses, and ahve had one extended phone call with people from CPT. I also had a member of his support community talking with my AP Go vernment classes yesterday, although he had alrady been scheduled to come, and talked more about his own work doing community building in Afghanistan

ahh .. as noted, the life a teacher leads, even if one were not also a committed citizen and human being

peace all

Teri Mills sent this update:
New Blog Name:
National Nurse (Teri Mills)

After publishing America's Nurse in the New York Times on May 20, 2005, several nurses around the country decided we indeed do have the power to improve healthcare in the United States. Our official website is and our mission is to see that Congress passes legislation to embrace, support, and fund an Office of the National Nurse. Here's a short list of what the proposal suggests a National Nurse would do:
* Give public recognition to the work nurses do every day and help stem the nursing shortage by attracting others to the profession.
* Collaborate with members of the health care team to determine the health care agenda for America.
* Participate each week with an expert nurse to address the entire nation, not just a targeted population, on ways to prevent disease and promote health (for instance, how to have a healthy heart or strategies to prevent diabetes).
* Utilize the Internet to make the above information available in multiple languages to reach our diverse population.
* Encourage every nurse licensed in the U.S. (there are presently 2.7 million nurses) to volunteer to be a member of a National Nurse Team in their own community.
* Organize and promote four nationwide health education days per year that will be coordinated and delivered by the National Nurse Teams in every city and town across America.
* Build an infrastructure of ready available nursing teams that could assist during the time of a national disaster/epidemic.

In addition to working on the National Nurse endeavor, I also write a weekly column on health care for Blog for America which appears every Friday and I serve as a steering committee member for Democracy for Oregon.

From PDX Kelly:
These days I hang at DKos when I'm on the internets. Locally, my husband and I are precinct captains for the county Dem party. My involvement with the county party has gotten me into all sorts of fun and challenging things. I've made great friends (and a couple of formidable enemies!) through my Dem activities hereabouts.

Meetup is still going strong. One of our meetup hosts is running for city council, so there's plenty to be done there.

And finally, Andrew C. White had this to say at Booman Tribune:
There are lots of us out and about the internets. There are lots of us with our own sites now, our own candidates, our own party committees, etc. Did you see the preview of the upcoming Salon article posted on the BFA blog yesterday. We of DFA, we of the Dean campaign, are beginning to get noticed for the work we have done and are doing in retaking America. The campaign did not fail. It is an on-going enterprise and we will win. It is already a done deal. The only question is how long it will take and how many more lives the Bush administration will destroy before they are finally eradicated from the halls of power.

Who else will be hear from this week? If you'd like to update your blog family about what you've been up to, either leave a comment here, or email howardempowered at

Alternate link for comments

Monday Comics

And my favorite for today: Redneck Pres'dent

Alternate link to comments

Shop New Orleans

One way to help New Orleans bounce back is to support its local economy. Perhaps you can plan to visit New Orleans. But, even if you can't, you can shop at many New Orleans businesses using the internet and the telephone.

For some suggested businesses to get you started with your holiday shopping, you can click the button below or visit this link.

If you have some suggestions for businesses to add to the list, here's the contact email.

Alternate link for comments

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Dean Corps

It's cold in Springfield, MA. The snow, that went on for most of the day, has stopped and several people on the street are plying snow blowers. According to, at 2:45 p.m. Less than five minutes ago as I write) it was 28 deg. F (felt like 23 deg.) and cloudy.

I love watching the snow, and especially waking up to find the world white. Of course, I'm perfectly comfortable and safe. Though my family has never subscribed to the "turn the thermostat up to 80 in the Winter and down to 60 in the Summer) theory of home climate management, and though I often need a cardigan or pullover even with a wool turtleneck here in our hard-to-insulate, 110 year-old Victorian, our house is seldom uncomfortably cold. Once in a while the furnace goes out, or the electricity does so, taking the furnace with it. But, such inconveniences are rare and last only a few hours at most. They are soon remedied and soon forgotten.

At 2:45 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, it was partly cloudy. The temperature was 13 deg. And felt like 3 deg.

At Pine Ridge, the houses are less solidly built than my house. The electricity is far less reliable than in Springfield. Some homes have no electricity at all. And the explosive rise in heating fuel prices, that has my father turning the thermostat still lower and rushing to hang insulated curtains, means at Pine Ridge that many people cannot afford heat at all.

I've been vaguely mulling over potential Dean Corps projects for us to undertake. Collecting phone cards for hospital-bound veterans strikes me as a fabulous idear, even if it did originate at They Whom I Do Not Name. Donating books and magazine subscriptions to hospitals has also occurred to me; as well as the musicians in our ranks donating time this month to entertain at hospitals, shelters, and prisons.

The principal problem with all these idears lies in the very nature of Deaniacs for America/Howard Empowered People. We are scattered all across the country. How would we coordinate any drive? Would each member donate time, money, goods, etc. to a cause in her/his own hometown? Would we select one place (one VA hospital, say) and direct all our donations there? The logistics of any organized action defeated my non-organizer's brain.

Then, Susan suggested helping out the Friends of Pine Ridge association's web site. Susan's chief concern is heating fuel. But, the projects page lists a number of other needs as well.

While it is true that Pine Ridge is only one reservation, and its residents represent only one small pocket of desperate need, the truth of the matter is that we can't do everything. We can't help all those who are cold and hungry and houseless in the U.S. this Winter, not to mention all those in need elsewhere in the world. We can help our sisters and brothers at Pine Ridge, though.

Remember the heady days when BFA members would break a bat in a matter of hours? And, for what? To support some candidate or other. It seems to this Deaniac that we could easily make a tremendous difference at Pine Ridge if we used the bat mentality. We wouldn't be able to see it, unless JC and Renee can rig some sort of bat-like meter that shows dollar amounts disassociated from names. But I'm sure we could raise several thousand dollars for Bob's Gas Service's fund for the elderly, for instance.

Other things we can see. The college library needs magazine subscriptions. As of today, six of the magazines on the list have not yet been donated. They are:

Having sent a subscription myself, I'd very much like to see the rest of these magazines listed as donated by Saturday evening. Hell, knowing Deaniacs, they could all be taken care of by midnight tonight. Don't forget to e-mail to let the folks at FPRR know which magazine you've sent.

When I wrote, I identified myself as a member of DAFD. It might be a good idear for people to do this in general; identifying oneself as a member of Deaniacs for America, DAFD, Disabled Voters for Dean, Blankets for America, Poets, Artists and Musicians for Democracy, etc. The names won't mean anything to the FPRR folks at first, but gradually they may come to recognize and associate the names.

In any case, I propose that, whatever other projects we undertake, we adopt Pine Ridge for a period - one year, three months, whatever, and during that period send whatever we can whenever we can. Though this is not support of a candidate, it is nonetheless a political act, and a profoundly good one.

Alternate link for comments

Why is the Democratic Party Recruiting Republicans?

I received this email from an Old Friend. I wonder if we could put up a bat and raise money for this people-powered-candidate?

Thanks Freespirit for the heads up.

The following is a description of a 16th Congressional Democratic candidate forum which took place recently in Highland County, Fl. Carol McLean is the candidate describing the event:


On Saturday, September 17th, I attended a meeting of the Democratic Club of Highland County, Florida. It was a "Meet the Candidates" night. There were candidates and representatives from several races, but the key one was the race for US Congress Florida District #16 (against Republican incumbent, Mark Foley). All three Democratic candidates for the race were there in person: David Lutrin, Tim Mahoney, and me, Carol McLean. The meeting hall was in Sebring, in the center of Florida. It was a 125 mile drive each direction. This is an awfully big district! It was mostly senior citizens with about 125 in attendance.

David Lutrin was the first of the three of us to speak in my race. He is a schoolteacher in Palm Beach County - a good, decent, family man who came with his wife and daughter. We have a good relationship, and have vowed to make our goal getting "the interloper" out of the race altogether. Then, when the race will be just between the two of us, it will be based on the issues. We have the same slant on the issues, so it will really be a matter of personalities. He's very poised and professional. He had written a very eloquent speech that summed up his position very well, and was interrupted several times by applause.

Then Tim Mahoney stepped up to the mike. He was dressed in blue jeans, a cowboy shirt, and a huge cowboy hat. ("Get yourself an outfit, you can be a cowboy too") Evidently, he thought this would make him fit in with the people in the room. He was just so folksy and cowpokey, although he is from New Jersey. He had no prepared speech, but just sort of rambled on about why he boughta ranch in Highland county. He said that he had bought a painting of a pastoral scene, and because it was such an expensive painting, he was entitled to contact the artist and ask questions. So he called and asked the location - it was Venus in Highland County. He drove up here while attending a funeral, saw the same lovely landscape, and immediately bought 100 acres.

He went on to tell us that his life plan was to make all of his money during ages 20-50. He has several internet finance and investments, he is almost 50, his plan is to get involved in politics. He said that 7 weeks ago he got a call from Washington DC and they asked him to run for office. The DCCC spent a lot of time wooing him, although he was a registered Republican. And while standing there in DC with the capitol in the background he felt that this would be an awesome undertaking. He was very concerned about the difference between the "haves" and the "have not"s and wanted to help that situation. The speech was boring and lack luster.

Then it was my turn. I started out by introducing myself as one of the "have not"s that he just spoke about. I pointed out that the difference between him and me was that, when I saw a lovely pastoral scene I'd just take a snapshot of...I did not buy up 1/4 of the town.

And the starting gun was fired!

Then I said that I too had gotten a call from DC, as did David Lutrin, about the election. However, it wasn't to ask me to run - it was to ask me to drop out. When I inquired why, they told me that they already had a good candidate (Mahoney) who had $2 million to put into his campaign. They asked me how much I had. Well, if I counted the $5 McDonalds coupon in my wallet, it came to exact $13. I was going to raise my funds by grassroots. They scoffed that off, and told me they would not back me. Fine! However, as a person who has been a member of the Democratic Party longer than Mahoney's seven weeks, I was still going to run - with or without them. I added that I was unaware that the elections were limited to only rich candidates. Congress is already filled with rich, good old boys …. And they've gotten us to where we are today. Perhaps its time to vote in the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker ….. and the teacher.

I turned to David Lutrin who was beaming at this point, and said, you people know that Mr. Lutrin and I are both teachers. You know how we earn our money,and you know how much we make. I don't know what internet finance is, but I know that mainstream America doesn't have millions, and that these rich good old boys are so far detached from mainstream America that they have no idea how we live.

I pointed out that I had mainstream America experience as a teacher - with overcrowded classrooms, no text books, working around the flawed FCAT, with low pay, and poor insurance. And when the school board couldn't find Americans to work under those conditions, the good old boys went over to the Philippines and hired them, to teach in our Palm Beach classrooms. Out-sourcing with a hometown touch!

I have a son in college and watched the Stafford Loan interest rate double over this summer, while the number of families qualifying for the Pell Grant dropped radically, and the costs of tuition housing and books soars. The rich good old boys raised rates and dropped assistance.

I live in Hurricane Central and still have people in my neighborhood with blue tarps. FEMA paid nothing to anyone on my block, even though a tornado removed everyone's patios and dumped them somewhere in Wisconsin … but not a dime from FEMA. The mind-boggling part is that the people in Miami, who never came NEAR a hurricane, got $31 million, while the people in Punta Gorda, which was virtually destroyed by Charlie have been asked to repay "overpayments". I might add at this time Michael "one-heck-of-a-job-Brownie" Brown was head of FEMA. Who holds FEMA accountable? I will demand that they become accountable to the people.

I had a child with brain cancer and the resulting overwhelming bills. He was one of six critically ill children I brought over from Tonga. My church and the Shriners paid for their surgery, while I housed them in my home, fed, and clothed them for over 4 years. I've made those decisions to choose between medicine and the mortgage, cat scans and the credit cards. I know about hospital expenses that push you into bankruptcy, but the rich good old boys in Congress have now made it impossible for most people with serious medical bills to declare bankruptcy.

I am a small business owner and knew about big business trying to push us out. As a small business, we have no health insurance, and that premiums, even if we were eligible, are over $1600 per month per person. My health policy is "Don't get sick"

I am in fear of this new eminent domain ruling. I live in a tract house on a golf course on a lake, and already the greedy rich developers are eyeing the houses in my neighborhood professing that they could put up condos and a strip mall and bring the town more tax money. The people in Highland country have beautiful, rolling farmland, but the rich good old boys (Exhibit A being Candidate Mahoney) are coming up and buying up the land so they can have a ranch-toy too. And now, when their rich buddies come visit, they eye all this land and think - malls, condos, housing projects, Walmart……..MORE MONEY!!

This country has serious problems - and we need serious people, who understand mainstream America, to solve them.

The debacle of Hurricane Katrina - and now putting the restoration of the city in the hands of Karl Rove. Isn't he better known for destroying lives, rather than rebuilding them. It that isn't the epitome of cronyism - its not even sane!

FEMA. We want accountability and rapid response.

We have this Avian Flu headed for us this winter. It is a newly mutated virus and no one has any immunity. We have no vaccine for it, and won't until 6 months after the virus hits. It has a very high mortality factor, worse than the Spanish flu of 1918 that killed 25% of New England in a 3-month period. Onlyone place in the world makes the antibiotic to control it., and they distribute it on a first come- first served basis. They are filling the orders for the other countries who cared enough about their people to actually order the medicine. The US is at the bottom of the list for the protocol because Mr.Bush failed to get in line. England now has enough for 25% of its population, Australia has enough for its entire population, but Bush failed to get in line. We have at the most 2 million doses. My guess is that Mr. Bush and the rich good old boys get those doses.

The rich good old boys passed CAFTA to outsource our jobs to Central and South America. They have us import our food from Mexico, why won't they let us import our medicines from Canada? ….Because the rich good old boys run the pharmaceutical companies.

Our senior veterans and new vets have been violated by the cutbacks in the funding of the VA. A country that sends it boys and girls to serve their country in battle, then walks away from them when they are wounded, is a disgrace. But the rich good old boys in Halliburton are making a lot of money from this war.

The War in Iraq is...(I fumbled for words, then blurted out)...stupid. (Big cheer) We need our soldiers here guarding OUR borders, OUR airports, OUR ports and saving OUR people. The Iraqis are going to have to take care of themselves. The Saudis say they are our friends. Let them send their soldiers to protect their good neighbor Iraq. Let's bring our soliders home!

Healthcare - we need a national healthcare system - take the money from 2 weeks of the war and it could fund the entire thing.

If we don't clean out Congress - get rid of the rich good old boys and replace them with the butcher the baker and the candlestick maker...and the teacher, - then we are headed for disaster. We need to take back the House and Senate in 2006. In 2008 we take back the White House. Then we can reverse the laws passed by these rich and self-serving good old boys and take our country back.

I was interrupted several times by applause and got a lot of pats on the back as I took my seat. David Lutrin came over and gave me a big hug. His wife came over and said, "If I didn't have to vote for my husband, I'd vote for you!" The people at my table all asked where they could send donations (I had flyers and envelopes all printed up and ready to distribute).

Through my entire speech, Candidate Mahoney just sat there with his head bowed. I said nothing to him. But at the end of the meeting he went over to Candidate David Lutrin and said, "God, she crucified me! But I guess I should have expected it."

My guess is that I am going to get some calls from Mahoney, the DCCC, and the Florida Democratic Party tomorrow. This ought to be interesting!

Alternate link for comments

Since it wouldn't be Sunday without an Oscar

I stole this from his other blog.

Culture Of Losing

The[y] still make decisions based more on comfort than conviction, which is why their culture of losing remains rampant.

You can't fear the unpopular move. You can't fear ticking off people. You can't fear failure in the quest for success.

But that requires a core principle.

Yet it seems the organizational blueprint remains unchanged for decades: Keep telling the [voter] what he wants to hear.

With little editing, Drew Sharp's column about the persistent vegetative state in which the Detroit Lions are now found can easily be transformed into an indictment of the Democratic Party. Long ago Howard Dean said, "I don't think we can win the White House if we vote for the President's unilateral attack on Iraq in Washington and then come to California and say we're against the war." Sure enough, John "I voted for it before I voted against it" Kerry got smashed, and now that the polls show that your average Joe is no longer in favor of the war and Democrats are beginning to criticize Bush's Misadventure In Mesopotamia, what is the first salvo that BushCo fires back? Democrats "actually voted in favor of authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein." Never mind how Rude that line of argumentation might be, the point is that Democrats should never have been in a position for Bush to flip the script like that, and Democrats would be in a much stronger position if they'd have stuck to their core principles instead of capitulating and compromising their integrity.


Perhaps that's the problem - when a politician's core principle is self-preservation then it is up to us, We The People, to let politicians know that they will be held accountable for their actions by us, We The People. Right now it is Bechtel and Halliburton and ExxonMoble that is holding Congress accountable. That has to change, and the change has to begin with us. We need to purge everyone who voted for the Iraq War Resolution. Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but it's a starting point for a necessary discussion. Let's discuss.