Saturday, February 04, 2006

Saturday night dog blogging

Way back in August, I wrote a diary called "Saying goodbye to big puppy-dog eyes". It was about the experience of going with my mom to turn in the pup she had raised for Canine Companions for Independence, so that he could go on to advanced training.

(In the picture above, he's the one in the back row wearing the pink collar.)

I just wanted to let Larkin's admirers know that this is a big week for him. He and 11 other dogs are going to spend the week working with 8 different human handlers. The goal, as I understand it, is to find the dog that each person best "clicks" with. So, strictly looking at the "odds", Larkin has a 2/3 chance of getting placed (hired?) But since it's about making a good match, I don't think there is any known formula that can tell us what his chances are.

So, anyway, wish him luck, okay? Maybe a quick prayer to St. Francis, if that's your thing. Or "hold him in the light". We're all really hoping he makes it!

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Feminist Betty Friedan Dies at 85

At home, on her 85th birthday, writer and feminist, Betty Naomi Goldstein Friedan, died today of congestive heart failure.

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Friedan attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and also did some graduate work at the University of California in Berkeley. She had a 20-year marriage to Carl Friedan, and her son, Daniel Friedan, is a noted theoretical physicist.

Friedan authored the 1963 bestseller "
The Feminine Mystique" which dealt with women's roles in society and promoted the then radical idea that women might aspire to separate identities as individuals. She also cofounded the National Organization for Women and became its first president in 1966, covering a wide range of groundbreaking issues for women.

Other books by Betty Friedan include "The Second Stage" (1981), "The Fountain of Age" (1993), and her 2000 memoir "Life So Far."

Betty Friedan is considered one of the most influential people in feminist politics. More on Friedan can be found at wikipedia and the National Women's Hall of Fame.

"The problem that has no name - which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities - is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease."

- Betty Friedan

May she rest in peace.

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Saturday news roundup

Well, I *planned* to add links to the open thread, but I can't get in to edit it. It appears not to exist, which is a trip, because people definitely seem to be commenting on that thread.

So, I'm posting a new thread that hopefully won't disappear into the ether. The image above is from one of the items in jc's "Designed for You" Cafe Press shop.

'Grandpa Munster' Al Lewis Dies at 95

Here's something I didn't know about Al Lewis:
Just two years short of his 90th birthday, a ponytailed Lewis ran as the Green Party candidate against incumbent Gov. George Pataki. Lewis campaigned against draconian drug laws and the death penalty, while going to court in a losing battle to have his name appear on the ballot as "Grandpa Al Lewis."

He didn't defeat Pataki, but managed to collect more 52,000 votes.
More links of interest...
Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Feb. 2 (includes interview with Michael Schiavo, and Bill O'Reilly winning, once again, Keith's "Worst Person in the World" award.

And a couple diaries to check out:
Single-Payer Health: Cheaper, Better, More Competitive by bonddad
Impeachment: Methods For Your Madness. by Kagro X
Rummy is setting the stage for us to attack Iran by John in DC (Americablog)

Ohio 2nd blog has some live blogging of today's statewide candidate forum.

And finally, please check out my new blog, Faithful Ohio, and pass the link along to anyone you know who might be interested. I've added some links to the sidebar, and posted some excerpts from an excellent sermon Bono gave at the National Prayer Breakfast.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Open Thread

I thought it was about time for a new thread, and I wanted to include this picture, because it makes me smile. I found it at a site called Cute Overload!

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Ciro Rodriguez: Why I'm fighting to get elected

Ciro Rodriguez has just posted his first Kos diary. For anyone who needs a reminder, Ciro Rodriguez is the Democrat who's running against this guy (seen here getting the smooshy-face "Who's a good little subserviant Democrat? Yes you are! Yes you are!" treatment from Bush.)

So, let's hear what Cuellar's opponent has to say...

People often ask me why I am running for Congress. It's simple, I wanted to continue to do more to work for the people of this district and for the values that I believe are important to hardworking Americans everywhere.

This is a solidly Democratic district. Yet, we have someone in Congress who does not represent the people who live here. In fact, we have someone representing us who doesn't live in the district or keep his Congressional office in the district. We should not have someone in Congress who is consistantly voting on the other side of the aisle! It would be one thing if he was working to enhance Democratic values and morals, but he isn't. He has basically sold out to special interests, big money, Tom DeLay and his Republican pals.

Click here for the rest. And please recommend the diary if you're a Kos member.

Ciro Rodriguez for Congress
Ciro Rodriguez' Act Blue Donation Page

John Aravosis has more on why Ciro Rodriguez is worth supporting.

More from Kos: "Ciro is a good guy, a good Democrat. In the 107th Congress, Ciro was ranked 122 out of 213 in the party's left-right scale, right in the middle. He scored more liberal than such party stalwarths as Patrick Kennedy and Joe Hoeffel, and just behind Zoe Lofgren, John Dingell, and Corrine Brown.

"This is a guy who showed Henry Cuellar the ropes, introduced him to donors, to other Democratic congresspersons including the entire Hispanic caucus, mentored him, until DeLay redistricted them into the same district and Cuellar decided his personal ambitions were more important than the help and friendship Rodriguez provided.

"It's been about 23 hours since I started posting on this race, and in that time the netroots, Atrios, and Firedoglage ActBlue pages have collectively raised nearly $30K. The Cuellar people dismissed our efforts yesterday as a "one-day story". Too bad for them it won't be."

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Gore Helps DSCC Raise Money

Just FYI. I know there is no love lost between many here and the DSCC, but on the other hand, many of us admire Al Gore as one of those seemingly rare "Democrats with spine".

Gore Helps DSCC Raise Money

For the first time in a while, ex-VP Al Gore put his name to an e-mail fundraising solicitation on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Commission.

Gore, in the letter: "Let me be perfectly clear. Our American values are at risk. George Bush is pursuing a truly breathtaking and unprecedented power grab that marginalizes the role of both our federal courts and the Congress. As a result, he has been able to enact the most extreme aspects of his right-wing agenda in virtual secret and without meaningful oversight. It stops now. Together, we can change the balance of power in Washington. We can elect a Democratic Senate in just 10 short months that will stand up to the Bush administration's unprecedented power grab and will stand up for our American values again."

"The single best way to end one-party rule in Washington as soon as possible is to support the DSCC in its mission to elect a Democratic Senate."

Read the rest here.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

A leap of faith

Crossposted at the very new Faithful Ohio blog.

About three years ago, troubled that the public face of Christianity often seemed to be pro-war and anti-compassion, I started a web site called The Religious Left. Now that the voices of groups like Ohio Restoration Project and Reformation Ohio are growing louder and more strident, and seeking to use their numbers and influence to promote an agenda that is harmful to "the least of these", it is vital that other voices of faith speak out.

As you can see from the posts here, some have already begun to do so. Another group has started to meet, focusing not on fighting Rod Parsley and Russell Johnson, but by offering an alternative message.

In November, about 150 religious leaders quietly gathered Downtown at the First Congregational United Church of Christ on E. Broad Street, where Ahrens is senior minister. And from that meeting, a movement is budding - a push back of pastors and rabbis.

"We intend on organizing and having pastors and rabbis talk about issues that are important to the community through their sermons and in the media," said Eric McFadden, Columbus-based field director of the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, a Washington-based nonprofit group.

"We want to bring attention to many issues we feel that this movement on the right is not conveying to the public - issues of poverty, job loss, health care and a general lack of humanity."

This development is exciting and encouraging to me, and I want to do what I can to help this group, and other compassionate religious voices in Ohio, be heard. And to help us find each other--sometimes progressive people of faith can feel a bit isolated, and it is reassuring to be reminded that we are not alone.

But while I felt moved to start this blog, I know that I won't be able to keep it going without some help. What if I build it, and nobody comes? Could be embarrassing. So, starting this blog, and publicly announcing it, is a real leap of faith on my part.

Here is what I am asking for.
I need:

--help watching for relevant news articles, like the one I linked above.
--relevant links to add to the sidebar
--submissions from people in Ohio, expressing how your faith compels you to work for social and economic justice.

Please email ohiorenee at if you have something to submit.

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"You have already started to change the party" Dean, Feb 2004

Kudos to floridagal whose diary was just frontpaged at Booman Tribune, along with these words: [From the diaries by susanhu. Beautifully written, FloridaGal -- as always.]

We're proud to have you on board here, floridagal!

Here's a link to the diary, which is also crossposted at Daily Kos. Click to read the whole diary, in which we are reminded of what Howard Dean said when he dropped out of the race for the presidency in February of 2004. Here's how the diary ends:

But he has shown staying power, acting like a leader showing the party how to go on the offense. He said several months ago they were just learning to an opposition party. He was most surely right on that one.

I thought about 3rd party as well. I was raised pretty moderately, sort of turned liberal since Bush took office. Now some of my friends here in my area and I had to make some decisions. We decided to start getting positions within the party and changing the old ways of doing things. We have partly succeeded, but a way to go yet.

I for one have decided that Dean meant what he said, my husband and I and our friends trust him to keep working to get the party into a fighting machine. I am angry at many of our Democrats, but I have decided to work with the party to change things. Someone in a post said Dean should have more power in the party. He can have that, but only if those of us who want change are willing to work with him.

He is not liberal, but he is practical and sensible and cares about the people more than corporations. He's a virtual bulldog about things when he knows he has people behind him. So I am. I wish us luck.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Olbermann takes down O'Reilly

If you haven't seen this yet, I highly recommend it. Keith Olbermann does a hilarious point by point take-down of Bill O'Reilly.

And, if you haven't seen it yet, here's the State of the Union parody that's been posted around the blogs this week. Also, check out Frank Caliendo's Bush Routine. He looks nothing like Bush, but he's got the mannerisms down. Gets a bit of Clinton in there too, and nails that as well.

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Supporting this site

Someone asked me recently if there was a way to make the transcripts more printer-friendly. I've tried this with Howard Dean's recent interview on Air America's Politically direct. The transcript can be found here. I will try to do that with some of the other transcripts when I get the chance.

If you find these transcripts useful, please consider making a small donation via one of the Paypal buttons on this page, or shopping at one of the affiliate sites. (This page also has links to Cafe Press stores featuring designs by Demetrius and jc.

Or, if you're low on cash (like many of us these days), another valuable way to help this site is simply by sharing it with others. Especially if you have a Linkup tonight, you might let the people there know about And particularly about this message, which can be found in the left sidebar:
This is a "people-powered" blog, in the spirit of the high level of do-it-yourself grassroots contributions to Howard Dean's presidential campaign. The people who blog here have taken to heart Dean's message "You have the power!" If you would like to submit a guest entry, please email it to howardempowered at

Okay, shameless plug mode off now. It doesn't come easily to me, and in fact it kind of makes me squirm. I promise not to go into that mode too often.

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More rapid response

In the previous thread, I posted this rapid response link from Howard Dean's statement about Bush's State of the Union address:

I think it is also important to use that link to do some rapid response about the treatment of Cindy Sheehan last night. *This* says something pretty grim about the State of the Union.

Cindy's version of the story is posted as a diary at Kos.

This afternoon at the People's State of the Union Address in DC where I was joined by Congresspersons Lynn Woolsey and John Conyers, Ann Wright, Malik Rahim and John Cavanagh, Lynn brought me a ticket to the State of the Union Address. At that time, I was wearing the shirt that said: 2245 Dead. How many more?

After the PSOTU press conference, I was having second thoughts about going to the SOTU at the Capitol. I didn't feel comfortable going. I knew George Bush would say things that would hurt me and anger me and I knew that I couldn't disrupt the address because Lynn had given me the ticket and I didn't want to be disruptive out of respect for her. I, in fact, had given the ticket to John Bruhns who is in Iraq Veterans Against the War. However, Lynn's office had already called the media and everyone knew I was going to be there so I sucked it up and went.

Click here for the rest.

Also, here is Paul Hackett's response to Bush's speech:
Addicted to Rhetoric: Bush's State of the Union

Update: Thank you, jc, for creating the "Dead to me" board (inspired by the one on The Colbert Report) that now graces the right sidebar of this blog. It's not going to stay there forever. Just...long enough, whatever that turns out to be.

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Message from Howard Dean on the SOTU has this post up at the Democratic Party blog:

"Message from Governor Dean on the State of the Union"

Governor Dean sent the following message to Democrats across the country following the president's speech tonight.

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Remember this? "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Those are George Bush's famous 16 words from his 2003 State of the Union address, delivered less than two months before he sent troops into war in Iraq.

They were false. Three years later Americans are still demanding answers on the manipulation of intelligence by an administration eager to start a war.

Americans have a lot of questions that went unanswered tonight. When George Bush delivered his State of the Union address, he had a big megaphone and the world's attention. He had the opportunity to regain some degree of credibility with the American people -- more than half of whom disapprove of his performance as president. But he failed to answer the real questions ordinary Americans have about the state of our union:

Click here to read the rest, and check out the following links for more reporting and pictures of last night's festivities.

AP Photo

Satisfactions v. Signatures
Live at Satisfaction in North Carolina
What a Difference 30 Minutes Makes
Watch Parties Getting Started
Governor Dean Just Got off the Stage
Governor Dean Introduction Video
More Photos from North Carolina
Join the Party ... Here's the Conference Call Information
Photos: Dean in North Carolina

One more piece from Howard Dean's response to the State of the Union:
Please take the time to write a letter to the editor about what's wrong with the Republican priorities -- and what we'll do to put America on the right track:

And here's the Kos diary by Tim Tagaris: Governor Dean in NC: Template for a New Democratic Party. Click and recommend, if you're a Kos member.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Member of the blog family needs help

I don't know how many here remember cdmarine, but she used to post on the big blog back when Dean was running for president. At Daily Kos, she posts as hyperbolic pants explosion, and in the past few days a family crisis has been unfolding. I'm not sure how much of the story I should post here, but please check out her most recent Kos diary: Brother Update III: Advice Needed ASAP

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The man who should be president

I'm not watching the State of the Union. If tonight wasn't a night I had to teach, maybe I could have made it to a State of the Union watch party, but it's pretty hard under any circumstances to make myself watch that man speak. Howard Dean is attending one of these parties in North Carolina. Okay, watching the SOTU under *those* circumstances might actually be bearable.

Now *that* man should be president. Tim Tagaris is blogging tonight's fesitivies over at the DNC blog. Click here for a brief video of Howard Dean being introduced. Tim promises more video by morning.

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State of the Union Open Thread

I don't know if anyone had a State of the Union thread planned--if one shows up, we can always delete this one. I'm about to be away from the blog for the evening, but here are some links to get the conversation started:

Your State of the Union Checklist from Democracy Arsenal
State of the Union Puts Bush on Collision Course With Himself from the L.A. Times
State of the Union Transcript from Think Progress

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Ohio voter rights being stolen *now*

The phone just rang, and I heard my husband saying, "What?! That's insane!" When he got off the phone, he informed me that the call was from the mother of one of our daughter's classmates, telling us about a protest that is going on right now. I had no idea about the part of H.B. 3 that you see below in boldface, until we got this call and I went Googling for it:

Demonstration at the Ohio Statehouse at noon to raise our voices against House Bill 3, the bill that will require showing an ID to vote and preventing any challenge to the results of a federal election in Ohio.

Location:Ohio Statehouse, Broad and High Streets, west lawn.

I have no idea if there is anything that can be done at this point, but at very least I wanted to make some noise about this. If anyone has any ideas about how we can respond at this late hour, please share them.

Crossposted at Daily Kos, Booman Tribune and My Left Wing

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"We have no right to be discouraged"

Many of you have probably already read that Coretta Scott King has died at the age of 78.

Young, (a minister in the United Church of Christ) who was a former civil rights activist and was close to the King family, told NBC's "Today" show: "I understand that she was asleep last night and her daughter went in to wake her up and she was not able to and so she quietly slipped away. Her spirit will remain with us just as her husband's has."

For anyone who missed this when I first posted it, here is an excerpt from Howard Dean's speech at St. Stephen's Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year:
"It's discouraging because it seems so hard to make progress," Dean said. "People say, 'Where is the Democratic Party? Where is our message?'"

No matter how bad conditions become, Dean warned, pessimism is not an option.

"We have no right to be discouraged," Dean said. "Dr. King went to jail. He and his people were beaten. Think of what he felt in that Birmingham jail writing those letters. He was looking at a whole country that needed to be woken up."

I balked when I first read those words. With so many of our rights under attack these days, couldn't we please keep our right to be discouraged? I don't think it's asking that much.

But in the end, I must admit that Howard Dean is right. Again.

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Floor vote on Alito

I was off looking for the list of those who voted no on cloture--I know it was posted on a blog yesterday but I can't recall which one. I checked C-SPAN to see if they had that somewhere, and discovered that the official floor vote on Alito will take place at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Just FYI for anyone who wants to watch.

Update: Alito was confirmed 58-42. You can see the roll call here.

From Howard Dean's interview on Politically Direct:

The problem is, as you know, Democrats in Washington are risk aversive, and they've got to get over that if we're going to win the presidency back and win the White House back.

Image hosting by Photobucket

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Monday, January 30, 2006


WARNING: This post is not suitable for those with an aversion to strong language - you should utilize the alternate link to the comments now.


What does it mean to be a Democrat? Are there common beliefs that hold us together? Is it a common enemy that binds us to one another? Is it a unity of purpose that keeps us under this common label we call the Democratic Party? What does it mean to be a Democrat?

It means jack shit.

If something as fundamental as opposing a nominee whose record shows that he is openly hostile to any and everything that the Democratic Party supposedly stands for is not enough to keep so-called Democrats in line to ensure that he doesn't receive a lifetime - LIFETIME - appointment to the highest court in the land then the Democratic Party doesn't stand for jack shit. Nothing. If the Party actually stood for something then such a move would be cause for immediate rejection from the Party. Frankly, I don't know what my problem was thinking that these panty-weight punks would actually put up a fight - they only know how to stab their own in the back. Therefore, I only see two plausible options (the mere mention of the third option - the "Patriotic Option" - would earn me a one-way trip to Gitmo):

Option 1 - Give the fuck up
Hate to go all nihilist and shit but fuck it - why bother? Can't deal with the Republicans and the Democrats have all the balls of an Ethiopian eunuch. Why not just throw up the hands and say, "Fuck it!"

Option 2 - Go to war
Tempting, though Option 1 may be, I'm not a quitter - I fight - so it's time to open a keg of whoopass on some punk ass Senators. Here's the to-do list:
Each and every last one of these Senators must be defeated in their primary, and if we fail to oust them in the primary then we need to make it our mission to defeat them in their general election. Is this cutting off our nose to spite our face? Please! Won't that just serve to give us a filibuster-proof Senate? Guess what? We already got that! Fuck 'em - they've got to go. As a practical matter it is probably too late in the game to raise the kind of money needed to recruit and fund 10 challengers (vs. Kohl, Carper, Conrad, Nelson & Nelson, Lieberman, Bingaman, Byrd, Cantwell, & Akaka, all of whom are up for reelection this year) - we'd need to raise $200 million in less than 10 weeks - but we can target one of these traitors for privatization, and that one example ought to be Jomentum Lieberman.

Fat Joe already has a primary challenger, Ned Lamont, so all we need to do is to get Ned Lamont $20 million over the next month or two. Even the paid consultants acknowledge that the blogosphere is pretty good at raising butt-loads of cash and providing excitement for a campaign, so we need to get the entire blogosphere behind Ned Lamont to demonstrate to the Senate that we can and we will punish those who sell us out. After Joe's sent home we have to get ready to privatize Rockefeller, Baucus, Johnson, Landreau, and Prior in 2008. Some of these Senators have been friends in the past, useful in the struggle against the GOP agenda, and well-received in these quarters.

Fuck em.

Why We Fight

A graphic reminder of why challenging Samuel Alito every step of the way is vitally important:

The Republicans know very well that their future depends upon Americans continuing to see Democrats as weak and lacking in conviction. That's all they've got.--Digby

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.

Abraham Lincoln
February 27, 1860

UPDATE: Well, I wish I could say it was even close. The vote to end the debate was 75-25. We'll see what the final final vote is tomorrow. To those of you who are seriously considering ending your affiliation with the Democratic Party, all I can do is ask you to reconsider. We've turned a corner. The Republicans were dropping bricks over the prospect that a Democratic filibuster might actually succeed. It scared the Democratic establishment, too. Why? Because the grassroots got moving because too much was at stake to sit by and not try to affect the outcome. Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

Stick around; help the party elect Democrats we know we can count on to the Senate (and the House). If your Senator supported us by voting 'no' on cloture, be sure to call and say thank you. Alito is just the first battle in the war to take back Congress.

If you need some inspiration, look no further than the guy who inspired us all. Nearly 2 years ago he dropped out of the race for president and I was wondering if that would be the last we'd ever see of him. Thankfully, he stuck around--and we did too. Stay a bit longer.

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Howard Dean on Politically Direct (Part 2)

You can find Part 1 of the interview here.

Bender: Governor, you talked before about how Newt Gingrich had laid out a strategy and, as a tactician, he was very effective. We saw that Karl Rove, who is a tactician if nothing else--maybe no ethics, maybe no conscience--but has laid out a strategy again to the RNC. The same exact strategy from four years ago: they're going to run on 9/11. And, I believe at the time, your comment was, here's Karl Rove who breached our national security for partisan gain.

Dean: Right.

Bender: How do we get people to understand that these people continue to invoke 9/11 on national security and have yet done nothing to make us safer?

Dean: Well, this is actually something that I'm learning the hard way. You know, I rail against injustice and lies and stuff like that, and there's no more dishonest person in the government than Karl Rove, and that's saying something in this government. But the truth is, in some ways we can't respond to it. We have been attacking them because we get so indignant when they lie through their teeth. The truth is, we have to say what our values are. The reason people like this get reelected is because we don't provide an alternative. We have to have a *real* alternative, and we can foam at the mouth as much as we want to about how dishonest and incompetent they are--and they are--but we *absolutely* have to say what we would do differently. We have to tell people what *our* values are. Not just honesty, but balancing the budget--we have to be the party of "our brother's keeper". They're not, they're the party of selfishness, and we have to contrast that we're the party where we all hang together as Americans.

Bender: Governor, is there a Democratic "Contract with America" in the offing?

Dean: Yes.

Bender: When will we see that?

Dean: That is a matter of some dispute and discussion, but you'll see one. Let's not forget we've got a lot of time, and Newt Gingrich did not put his out until the September before the election, so I don't want to wait that long, but we think there's wide agreement among the leadership of the Democratic party that we do want a very plain, easy to understand layout of what we will do within the first hundred days when we take back Congress.

Bender: You've asked, going back to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, that people sign a petition in time for the State of the Union. I believe that petition is at

Dean: Oh, you're even better at this than I am! (Laughs) And while you're at it, buy a Democracy Bond at, while you're standing up for honest government.

Bender: So, you sign the petition, buy the bond, and then go out to lunch, because--

Dean: No, you sign the petition, you buy the bond, and then you go down and spend your lunch hour working for a great local Democratic candidate near you.

Bender: Well, that sounds like a plug for a movie: The Great Local Candidate near you. Ken Melhman, speaking of people who can go over the top, asked this rhetorical question last week, and it occurred to me I should ask you so that you can have a chance to answer it. Do you really think that when the NSA is listening in on terrorists planning attacks on America, that they need to hang up when those terrorists dial sleeper cells in the United States?

Dean: That of course is a ridiculous question. (Bender laughs, "You think?") In fact, if the president *wanted* to obey the law, he could have. The law says that you don't need a warrant in an emergency to listen in on a terrorist conversation. You can get that warrant afterwards. This president doesn't believe he has to go to the courts at all.

You know what's more scary? This is really frightening. Now the government is trying to find out what you look at on the internet. They asked Google, who fortunately refused, to provide a million names to them, and their internet habits. That means if you go to some web site that they think is dishonest, they'll know it. Or that they think is defense filled. Now, supposedly this is a child porn sting. Well, fine, go to the child porn people and find out who's looking at that, if that's what you want to look at. This basically lets them have access to whatever they want--it's the Patriot Act, looking at people's library habits, on steroids. And given the persecution of various church people by the IRS, and given the persecution by the FBI and the eavesdropping on people they disagree with, I think that's pretty dangerous to be able to look at whatever you want. Whatever you've looked at on Google they want that too in the government. This government has become a more and more Nixonian and Agnewonian, if I may.

Bender: Agnewonian?! (Bender and Dean laugh) May I quote you on that? I really love the word.

Dean: Well, it's sort of like subliminable.

Bender: Governor, you have an anniversary coming up. As of February 12, you will have been Chair of the DNC for one year. How do you like the job?

Dean: Well, it's a hard job, because as you know, we're fighting battles every day. But a lot's gone on in one year--you know, we've got 30 years of catching up to do with the Republicans. But we now have people in every state, from that state, paid for by the DNC, organizing everywhere. We've elected African American mayors in Mobile, Alabama, we've had four wins in a row in special elections in Mississippi. So, we're making real progress in states that Democrats had previously given up on. So, we're getting ourselves in shape, but it's a long process. I like to tell people "We've turned the wheel, and now we're waiting for the aircraft carrier to respond."

Bender: Well, you're not going to be landing on the *deck* of an aircraft carrier any time soon.

Dean: Uh, no. And mission is not accomplished.

Bender: Well, Governor Dean, thank you as always for joining us on Politically Direct, we're going to be looking forward to the Democratic "Contract for America"--

Dean: Well, we won't be calling it anything like that, either!

Bender: Well, let's have a contest to see what we can name it--

Dean: Maybe "American Values for America".

Bender: --and we'll do it right here on Air America. Thank you for joining us and we look forward to having you back to talk about that when it's released.

Dean: Thanks, David.

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Shout It Out, Howard, We're Listening..a fine op ed from last year.

I am practicing my first post, so keeping it simple. I ran across this mighty fine analysis of Howard Dean in the LA Times last year. So I thought I would post it because it still fits the times, and it sounds like this guy appreciates a truthspeaker like we do.

Dean speaks loudly about things our folks in Washington tip-toe to avoid. He condemns the Iraq war as misguided. He wonders why we don't worry more about nuclear weapons in North Korea.Republicans preach morality, he says, but ignore poverty in the United States. Where is the respect for privacy when Republicans want to legislate end-of-life decisions for a brain-dead woman?

And Dean, the white Christian, acerbically grumbles that our nation is not stronger if we are viewed only as Caucasian mono-religious. Are those comments misguided, or are they timely? The way we see it from this end of the country, the former presidential candidate is catching the wave.

One more thing. Washington Democrats tend to see the world through the prism of their own political futures.

There is more to leading this party than not scaring the horses.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Payday Someday

Apparently, there are Democrats who have a problem with filibustering Samuel Alito, primarily out of fear that the Party doesn't have a plan to win the overall campaign against Scalito. My response is this: if the Democrats do not have a plan in place for this fight then they ALL need to be voted out - right here, right now. We knew this day was coming as of November 3, 2004. Plans should have been set way back then. If the Democrats don't have a plan for dealing with the narcoleptic public then every last one of them need to find themselves challenged by a well-funded primary challenger, from Harry Reid to Barak Obama. WTF are they there for if not to stop this very nomination? It's kinda like in Goodfellas. Remember when Henry Hill talked about Paulie?
Now the guy's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy's gotta come up with Paulie's money every week no matter what. Business bad? F you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning huh? F you, pay me.
Same thing goes with party loyalists - Democratic, Republican, or otherwise. Any problems? Go to the base. Trouble with oppo research, funding ads? Go to the base. Need foot-soldiers for GOTV and visibility? Go to the base. There's a price tag attached to the base's support, however - we expect you to vote our way on our issues, to oppose our enemies, and to fight for our interests like your life depends on it, because if you sell us out then your political life is over. Poll numbers down? F you, pay us. Got caught porking an intern? F you, pay us. Linked to licentious lobbyists and connected to corporate crooks? F you, pay us. Rather be golfing or wind surfing? F you, pay us. I know that a lot of Democrats don't go to church any more, but they'd be wise to listen to an old R.G. Lee sermon, Payday Someday.

It's Payday.


Naturally, as Susanhu noted, some paid consultant believes that the blogosphere is not to be taken seriously, that it is little more than an ATM, but this should come as no surprise - if bloggers are exercising power (i.e. influence) over the process then that means that someone is losing power and influence. Who is that someone? Paid consultants. So what is a paid consultant inevitably going to say about bloggers? "They're an undeniably good fundraising source (because if I could deny it then I would, but the numbers don't lie) but you don't want to seem like you're their captive - after all, you're my captive."

My solution is simple - declare war. Any Democrat who votes for cloture (or worse, actually votes for Alito) gets a primary challenger, and if the primary challenger loses then we fund and work for his/her Republican opposition. If folks aren't willing to go to war over this nomination then they are wasting oxygen with their continued existence within the Senate's chambers. Can you imagine what would happen if a soldier on D-Day said, "I don't think that shooting at the Germans is such a good idea - they might get angry and shoot back." Two to the dome - we can't afford dead weight. If we're going to lose then let us lose while standing and fighting for what we believe - not bending over, on our knees, taking one for the team; I don't get down like that. Sometimes you have to speak softly while at other times The Bat™ must be unleashed.

Batter Up!

I'm with The Rude One on this: Politics is about power, [m-f'ers]. Use it or lose it. Sure, sure, there's easy principles to defend in blocking Alito because of what Alito believes, but there's also the pure assertion of power against those who seek to disempower the rest of us. The Rude Bar Analogy is on point as well: In the end, if you don't stand up and fight for the one thing you've said you'll throw down on, then you may as well say that you don't actually believe in anything. You gotta be willing to get up out of your seat and tap that [Oler] on the shoulder and tell him to step outside. It's time for the Democrats to put up or shut up, and if they punk out then the blogosphere has to put up or shut up - the time for talk is over.

Of course, if we can't wage war then we need to sit down, shut up, give money and excitement to the paid consultants, and stay out of the professionals' way. What say ye?

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Howard Dean on Politically Direct (Part 1)

This is the transcript of the first part of Howard Dean's interview with David Bender on Politically Direct. I missed the first few seconds of it, but here's the interview from the point where I tuned in.

Dean: The people who brought us Medicare Part D are now going to try to do surgery on everybody else's healthcare system, and I don't think that's a very good thing. Thirty-six countries in the world *have* a system where everybody benefits and when the Democrats get back in, I'd like to put that up front and center.

Bender: Even Costa Rica, as I recall.

Dean: (Laughs) As I used to say during the campaign. But it's true, if they can have universal healthcare in Costa Rica, we ought to be able to have it in the United States.

Bender: One of the things that you said during the campaign that struck me, this last week. I was at Constitution Hall this last week to see Al Gore's speech. Did you see, or see coverage of the speech?

Dean: I saw coverage of it. You know, he's given four remarkable speeches over the last few years, and that was truly a remarkable speech.

Bender: Well, actually what you said was, "The best speeches given during the presidential campaign in 2004 were given by someone who wasn't running."

Dean: That's true. I think Al is a really deep thinker and a great writer.

Bender: And I guess my question is, why isn't what he is saying shaping the debate more than it is within the rest of the Democratic party? He seems to be our front but people haven't followed in the direction he's been leading.

Dean: Well, I think they are. I think the grassroots people *are* following. The problem is, as you know, Democrats in Washington are risk aversive, and they've got to get over that if we're going to win the presidency back and win the White House back. I, frankly, as you know, I don't agree with anything that Newt Gingrich believes, but I do believe that he's a great tactician and strategist, and what he did to take back the Congress was to differentiate the Republican party from the Democratic party. And before that, the Republicans who were in the minority were doing the same thing that we've been doing which is "Oh, let's *be* like the Democrats, and then maybe we'll win a few seats."

We have to clearly show that we're different. And we can't just say "Oh, the Republicans are corrupt, which is true, we've got to say what we would do differently and how we would lead in a positive way. Now, I think we're making some headway on that. But it's hard, and the progress is sporadic, but I think we're getting better.

Bender: I talked to Senator Obama on this program last week and we talked about the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. And I asked him, because it puzzles me, both sides, both Democrats and Republicans are coming forward with reform legislation. But is seems like people's perception of this is that it's rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Dean: That's not entirely true. It's true on the Republican side, but the Republicans just basically threw this together. I mean first of all, they don't have agreement between the Senate and the House. Second of all, they're not doing anything about the K Street project, which is where all the corruption came from in the first place. The idear that they would just run all the Democrats out of business and just allow people with a lot of money to give Republicans access, and that is really just blatant corruption.

Bender: But Governor, 82% of the American people, when the Abramoff scandal broke, the question was asked, "Is this unusual or is this the way government works?" And 82% came back and said "This is business as usual, no matter who's in power." How do you change that perception?

Dean: Well, I think they're actually telling the truth. I mean, part of the problem is that the RNC, the Republican National Committee is *much* better at propaganda than we are. And part of the problem, frankly, is the media is lazy as all get-out. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the media write that Democrats were involved in taking Abramoff money. That is simply a lie! Nor did he direct any money to any Democrats. But you wouldn't believe the mainstream newspapers that print that crap. It just is astonishing to me that the reporters won't get off their butts and look at the truth.

Bender: I watched you with Wolf Blitzer. I don't know if you ever saw the footage of it.

Dean: I never did.

Bender: He was remote. You told him, flat out, that he was wrong, and then there was a pause, for a long period of time on the television. He was frozen there, unable to respond.

Dean: Well he *is* wrong. This is a Republican finance scandal, David. And I know, everybody, "Oh a pox on everybody's houses!" No, Americans don't like politicians, but the truth is, in this case, this is a Republican scandal. Not one Democrat has been implicated in this--not one.

Bender: Well, I watched Tim Russert trying to do this again just a week ago. He said that it was 3 million dollars of Abramoff *related* money that went to Republicans, and 1.5 million that went to Democrats. How is he slicing that up, how is he making that contention?

Dean: Because Abramoff has some clients who independently gave money to people like Reid and Dorgan, because they're in their district. People give money to politicians for a variety of reasons. One, they're directed to for quid pro quo, which is what Abramoff has pleaded guilty to. That's corrupt. The other, is they support people who they like. Just like you and I would give a hundred dollars, or a thousand dollars if we can afford it, to a candidate that we like. So the Indian tribes that gave money to Reid and Dorgan, are giving it because they like what they do. It has nothing to do with Abramoff. As I said before, there's not *one* evidence--not any evidence whatsoever that Jack Abramoff directed a dime to any Democrat. We checked through every FEC report, he didn't give a *dime* to any Democrat. He gave thousands of dollars to Republicans. This is a Republican finance scandal, and the media is *lazy*.

Bender: Governor, hang on a second. We need to take a quick break, and we'll come right back.

Will try to post part 2 of the interview tomorrow.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Arguments for and against filibuster

We've had a lot of posts here about the filibuster in the past few days, and primarily they have been pro-filibuster action item focused. Tonight I want to share one of the links that takes the "anti" stance, a post from John at AMERICAblog entitled Why I Oppose the Filibuster. He gives a number of reasons, but here's one that might resonate for a lot of people here. POsting it without any comment of my own--just putting it out there.

John Kerry is using you.
A leader who uses you for his own personal gain - who plays on your understandable angst and tricks you into supporting a filibuster with no plan whatsoever for victory, who has no plan to win the war of public opinion regardless of the outcome of the vote, who simply is doing this because he wants to win the Netroots' support for his 2008 presidential campaign, to hell with how much it hurts the very goals that Netroots wants to achieve - is no leader in my book.

On the other side of the argument, we have this analysis from Atrios:
Cruising into Tuesday evening next week there will be two possible storylines:

1) The Democrats are a bunch of losers, as are all of their supporters. Bush and his giant codpiece looked magnificent at the state of the union, and Mrs. Alito was very happy and smiling sitting next to Mrs. Bush safe and content now that the magnificent and mighty President Bush made that bad Ted Kennedy go away.

2) The Democrats shocked Washington today by holding together, dropping a mighty turd in the punchbowl of the Bush administration, dealing a deadly blow to his nomination of Alito. The president won't be too happy tonight as he gives the 2006 state of the union speech.

Those are the choices.

Oh man--I've gotta tell you that this is a *big* driving force behind my desire to see a filibuster. You *know* that this timing can't be an accident. Bush wants to go into his reading of the State of the Union address with the freshly achieved victory of an Alito nomination adding swagger to his step. I want to see him (metaphorically, got that, NSA?) kicked in the shins so that he is not swaggering but *limping* up to that podium.

Anyway...thoughts on all of this?

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Truth Hurts

Note from Renee...Oscar let me know in the comments of the previous thread that he had this post in the hopper ready to go when we need a new thread. I dedided to go ahead and flip the switch now, because the previous post wasn't much of a post, but mainly a heads-up that Howard Dean was about to start speaking on Air America Direct. That show is now over, but I wanted to let people know that I will continue to update that post with new links related to the filibuster. So, after you finish reading Oscar's post, don't forget to check out the post below it.

Originally posted on PARRISH, The Thoughts

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8
If Truth is stranger than fiction, why are people so compelled to make stuff up?

Whether it's James Frey and his all too recent understanding of what separates truth from fiction, or the President of the United States and his own idea of selective truth, it becomes more and more obvious that truth isn't what it used to be.

Mind you, this is the SAME president that led us into war under two premises, neither proven to any degree of verification, both exhaustively refuted in the mainstream media, and both believed by a majority of Americans despite said refutation.
  1. Saddam Hussein played a role in 9/11
  2. Saddam Hussein had WMD
And lest you think only rich white folk have the sickness, Consider the case of one Willie Lynch.

You DO know...the letter is a fake, right?

The immediate response by those who float this stuff out there is to act as though since the letter addresses some actual issues that we as African-Americans face, it is just as relevant.


If it didn't actually happen, IT DIDN'T ACTUALLY HAPPEN.


You cannot use any lie to prove any kind of truth. No end is righteous enough to be justified by that means.

Yet it pervades our very fabric. And with the emergence of the Internet and it's inherent anonymity, the lure to stretch and contort a small and simple kernel of truth into an all-you-can-eat buffet of justification is just too easy to pass up.

Sending an email asking you to Watch Jamie Foxx's special on NBC because he has a diverse cast of African-American characters isn't enough; there has to be a nefarious conspiracy against the man; who is everywhere at the moment.

Sometimes in our search for the "truth" we make mountains out of molehills when they are, in fact, merely molehills.

Is Kanye West REALLY comparing his plight to that of the Savior of the World?

No...he is just being Kanye West and trying to sell records and magazines.

Far be it for me to do any more to help him than to say his album is great.

Don't worry about the cover...its just marketing masquerading as truth.

No physical likeness - or movie for that matter - can compete with the actuality of what Jesus suffered and why. Some men wore crowns of thorns and some were crucified - justifiably in some cases - but only ONE man rose on the third day and saved me from my sins. Kanye West isn't that man, nor does he pretend to be.

Kanye West, in that tortured genius artist way of his, takes the little truths that live in his mind (George Bush doesn't care about Black People; I am the best in the world at what I do, I have NO problem telling you so, and I think deep down you are jealous of the whole thing) and cultivates them into something that has you talking about him, which is ultimately what this is all about.

To get worked up about a media stunt like that is only to feed into the very insanity such beliefs rely on to survive.

"The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies." - Sir Francis Bacon

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to accept the Truth,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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Howard Dean appearances/Filibuster links

Thank you floridagal for providing this link to the transcript from Fox News of Howard Dean's interview. BradBlog has the video.

Howard Dean is on Air America *now*. (Update: This is over now, but I hope to have a transcript available at some point. I didn't catch it from the beginning, but I was able to record most of it.)

Some filibuster links/diaries:

FILIBUSTER Swing Votes (CALL NOW!) by judybrowni
Alito Filibuster: Kennedy knows what he's talking about/ Are We Listening? by Tanya
A last, desperate attempt to get through to Senator Salazar by Unitary Moonbat

People for the American Way has this page set up so that you can fax key senators.

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Sunday Morning Open Thread

In the previous thread, I saw a note from floridagal about Howard Dean appearing on Air America Direct today, so I added that to the upcoming appearances on the upper left hand side of this page. I did this while I was waiting for Fox News Sunday to come on, so that I could press the record button on the VCR, but not actually watch the whole show waiting for the segment with Howard. What came on instead was Fox and Friends, so I went to double-check the schedule. Turns out I was watching the wrong Fox channel. Apparently it's still coming up, but it's after "Breakthrough with Rod Parsley". I *really* can't have the sound on for that. For anyone who doesn't know this, Rod is the local right wing televangelist who is working to help get Ken Blackwell elected governor of Ohio. Other church leaders in Ohio have called for an IRS investigation of Parsley and another minister. I just saw a discouraging article in The Other Paper (our local newsweekly) which ends by saying

Even if Parsley's accusers make a strong case at the IRS, punishing him would require the approval of an appointee of President Bush, who won re-election in 2004 with considerable help from World Harvest Church.

Professor Wood said the IRS would not shut down a low-level investigation for political reasons. But once it reaches the top of the organization, "I don't know."

And as long as Parsley doesn't say "Vote for Ken Blackwell," odds are good he'll continue to piss off liberals from his tax-exempt pulpit.


As an antidote to that bummer, check out yesterday's post On our Howard Dean Reunion if you haven't seen it already. It's crossposted at Kos, MyDD, My Left Wing, and Booman, in case you want to check out the comments people have left.

Update: Check out Donna in Evanston's report on a fundraiser with Al Franken here.

Finally, check here and here to see how CNN is becoming more Fox News like, and call them on it if you feel so inclined.

Use this as an open thread.

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