Friday, October 31, 2003

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. Rejects Sharpton's Racial Rhetoric

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. eloquently chastised Rev. Sharpton for his racially charged criticisms of Howard Dean.

Prediction: This is the begining of the end of questions regarding Dean's ability to attract African-American voters to his candidacy. Black America's leaders will from this point forward see Dean as a viable choice for President. The bottom will drop out of the Sharpton campaign. His steady 1-5 percent will dip into invisibility.

Next Chapter?: Carol Mosley-Braun drops out of the race and endorses Dean. The rumour mill, with a subtle lack of discouragement by Dean, will tout Braun as the possible recipient of a VP nod or cabinet post. March 7th, 2004 Howard Dean accepts the invitation of Joanne Bland of the National Voting Rights Museum to march in the re-enactment of the Bloody Sunday march over the Pettus Bridge. Polling among African-America voters will indicate a large purality preference for Dean among remaining Democratic candidates.

Dean for Americas Announces Hiring of Mike Ford

BURLINGTON--Dean for America today announced that Mike Ford will be joining the campaign as a senior advisor to Governor Dean. Ford has held pivotal roles in numerous presidential campaigns going as far back as 1972, and has also worked as an organizer for AFSCME.

Governor Dean said, “I’m extremely happy to have someone with Mike’s deep experience and understanding of presidential campaigns, and I’m delighted to be able to draw upon his judgment and his expertise.”

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Governor Howard Dean Criticizes Proposed Corporate Tax Cut

SAN FRANCISCO--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D. today attacked a House plan to provide new tax breaks to corporations.

"I continue to fear that we are rapidly reaching the day, as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson warned, where economic power would one day try to seize political power," Dean said. "Once again, Washington is putting large corporate interests -- who write the big checks and, in turn, get to write the legislation -- ahead of the small businesses and working Americans who continue to bear a greater share of the tax burden in this country."

"Among the tax breaks in the bill, according to Monday's Washington Post, are: $652 million for a few shipping companies, $161 million for owners of oil pipelines, and $8.2 billion for large multinational corporations. The bill establishes a preferential 32 percent tax rate for selected types of corporations. It also would reduce the tax rate from 35 percent to 5.25 percent on certain earnings of multinational corporations that have hidden earnings offshore. According to Bear Stearns, S&P 500 companies have some $400 billion of these unrepatriated foreign earnings overseas.

"This latest scheme will put working Americans at least another $60 billion in the hole, at a time when we are already facing $5 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years. Recent reports indicate corporations that used to bear 30-40% of the tax burden in this country, now only pay 8 percent of the total."

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Who the Prancing Prince now?

When asked about the "Mission Accomplished" banner during yesterday's press conference, Bush said the sailors of the ship put up the banner to celebrate the end of their tour. This line of bullshit has been trial-balloneyed by Dan Bartlett for about a month now. Apparently, they completely misread public reaction. The Dem candidates all hit this softball out of the park, but I have to admit Wes Clark slapped the hide the hardest

"I think it is outrageous. He blamed the sailors for that and it is something -- an event -- that his advance team staged. I guess that next thing we are going to hear is that the sailors told him to wear the flight suit and prance around on the aircraft carrier. This is a president who does not want to take accountability"

Delaying the of end of a mission and repositioning an aircraft carrier: 1.1 million dollars

Getting to use the word "prance" to describe the Commander in Chief: Priceless

Even in our midst...


To: Media
From: Dean for America Press Office, 802.651.3200
Date: October 29, 2003
Re: Openly Gay Dean Staffer Harassed at Gephardt Event

Yesterday, an openly gay Dean for America staffer who attended an event for Congressman Dick Gephardt in Iowa (as is common practice among campaigns) was pushed and grabbed by Gephardt staffers, one of whom derided him as a "faggot."

In response, Dean for America campaign manager Joe Trippi wrote a letter to Gephardt for President campaign manager Steve Murphy, calling upon him to find the staffer responsible for this egregious behavior and fire him.

Governor Dean, who signed the nation's first civil unions law in Vermont, is a strong supporter of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Congressman Gephardt has also spoken out against anti-gay harassment. Joe Trippi's letter is below.

October 28, 2003

Steve Murphy, Campaign Manager
Gephardt For President
P.O. Box 34607
Washington, DC 20043

Dear Steve:

I would like to raise with you a very troubling episode which occurred on the campaign trail today.

At one of Congressman Gephardt's events in Iowa this afternoon, members of your staff - including your Iowa state director -- accosted a Dean for America staffer who was recording Gephardt's remarks.  The Dean staffer was pushed and grabbed, and a member of Congressman Gephardt's staff went so far as to call the Dean staffer a "faggot."

You and I have known each other for quite some time, and we both have a long history with Dick Gephardt.  This behavior from a campaign staff member is beyond the pale.

Democrats, including Congressman Gephardt, are fighting this sort of bigotry in the hearts and minds of Americans, as well as in our laws. The fact that the Congressman's own staff member would use a slur like this goes directly against the values and goals of our Party.

I urge you to find the staff member responsible and fire him, and send a strong signal to the rest of your staff that behavior of this kind will not be tolerated in a campaign for the Presidency.  I trust you'll do the right thing.


Joe Trippi

Maricopa County Dean Corps Opportunities

Hi all, As you probably already know, Dean Corps combines campaigning with community service volunteering. It's a grand concept, good for everyone involved. The following 3 Maricopa County Dean Corps projects are scheduled for November: 1. Dean Corps Helps The Hungry, a food drive to benefit St Mary's Food Bank, starting at Nov Meet Ups (please bring canned food!!!) and continuing till 11/18 with volunteers collecting in their neighborhoods and at headquarters. Contact me, Ilene (602) 234-6506; 2.The Dean Corps 200 Pie Challenge, providing pies for Church On the Street's Thanksgiving dinner to feed the hungry. Contact Kathy Peper (602)743-6133; and Dean Corps Helps Phx Clean and Beautiful, a morning clean-up of a few So Phoenix neighborhoods November 8th, 7:30 am till lunchtime. Contact Jan White (480)429-5149. Also, please, everyone, make yourselves a Dean Corps sticker to wear and start collecting (clean please) sweaters, jackets, scarves and blankets for the homeless now so we can help keep a few more people warm as the weather cools down. Please call me or e-mail me about this, or any other ideas you have re: Dean Corps service projects. Thanks so much, Ilene

The Reverend attacks — and this time it is personal

"On Monday night, Sharpton said that he was not surprised by Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s endorsement of Howard Dean. Sharpton said, 'I am disappointed' — but the tone of Tuesday's press release from Sharpton yesterday suggests that 'outraged' is a much more appropriate word."

"Reverend Sharpton termed Dean's agenda 'anti-black' and Noted 'Howard Dean's opposition of Affirmative Action, his current support for the death penalty and historic support of the NRA's agenda.' The campaign pointed out Dean's CNN interview in 1995 where he responded to the question of affirmative action by saying, 'You know, I think we ought to look at affirmative action programs based not on race but on class, and opportunity to participate.'"

"Sharpton then talked about Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. 'Any so-called African-American leader that would endorse Dean despite his anti-black record is mortgaging the future of our struggle for civil rights and social justice to back a candidate whose record on issues of critical importance to us is no better than that of George W. Bush.'"

"Then it was time for a jab at Jesse Jackson, Sr. 'If nominating the candidate with the best chance of beating Reagan and Bush were the standard in '84 and '88, Jesse Jackson Sr. would have had no support at all.'"

"One could postulate as to whether these attacks are a Sharpton campaign strategy or just the result of an unstoppable Sharpton blow-up. But if Jesse Jackson, Sr. decides to join his two sons in endorsing Howard Dean (Jonathan Jackson already endorsed Dean), this could be trouble."

Monday, October 27, 2003


An early Halloween costume party, was turned into a HallowDean event by some of our intrepid volunteers. The prize for the scariest costume of the evening obviously went to Stephen Cody.

Give Blood for Dean

Please read this, Give Blood for Dean, and participate. What better way to inaugurate the holidays than a selfless act?

Mixing it up in Michigan

I just finished watching the Michigan debate on Tivo. It seemed rather uneventful to me. I think Dean was the clear winner. As the front runner, he needs simply to keep the other contenders from laying a glove on him; and he did that well.

It is almost as if these debates have become a deposition for Dean; the less he says, the better off he is. His message is detailed on the internet, as are those of the other candidates - except Clark, who simply doesn't have one. The result is that debates generate sound-bytes and attack spins, not much policy. The less a candidate says, especially a front-runner, the less prior testimony his or her opponents will have to impeach the candidate with. As time goes on it has been increasing common for Dean to use snippets of his time and media tested stump speech in debate.

There has emerged three lobes of debate participants of late; those who use devasting rhetoric to make the most of the debate coverage (Sharpton leads this group, which includes Braun, Kucinich and Edwards); those who attack to try to improve their position (Kerry, Gephardt, and Lieberman are in this faction); and those who bob, weave, duck, saying enough to defend themselves, but little that is new or unexpected (Dean, as the front runner leads this small group, which includes Gen. Clark, the front-runner wanna-be with a lot of history to attack).

The result is that, in the traditional sense of victory in debate (rhetorical filicity, crowd reaction, telling points of logic and insight), Sharpton almost always wins big. The other candidates, by their genuine chagrin at having to follow the Reverend, acknowledge that he rules the debates. "Amen Brother," means "I acknowledge your skills. Please don't set your sights on me."

But that doesn't matter all that much; though it has won Sharpton a following greater than Kucinich, Braun, and Edwards combined. What does matter is the high drama of the front runners and near front runners, running through the mine-field of their envious peers have laid for them. It is this dangerous dance which is the main business of the debates. What makes news is a well research oppo attack on someone's past voting history or statements. A well spun twist on a leading candidate's signature program. These barbs, so effective because they are personal and immediate, with little time to reflect or respond, are worth millions in ad placement. They can propel a meme into media awareness that can bounce along the news cycles for many days, even weeks.

The debates are an echo chamber in which the media allows the candidates to shape the coverage to an advantageous exent which they are seldom given. But as much as it is tool to jockey for political position, it is also a test for front-running candidates. Those who claim the debates are irrelevant are dead wrong; they measure the front-runner's ability to manage the media coverage he recieves. If a candidate fails that test, even the best debate preformance cannot save him.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Gen. Wesley Clark's Compulsory Volunteerism

Maybe it's just me and this author, but I find the whole idea of a civilian reserve rather creepy. Gen. Wesley Clark's Civilian Reserves is not at all like Americorps or the Peace Corps. Those programs are voluntary, not just to join, but to remain. The General's Reserves are not voluntary except when joining. Once you have joined, you are compelled to do what the program decides what you will do. If the "New American Patriotism" calls for my joining a civilian militia which requires my freedom and self-determination for five years at a stretch, I'll have to pass.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Southwest Voter Express

Hundreds of voters from CA, and rumour says some from CO as well, will caravan to AZ and NM over the Dec. 6-7th weekend in a volunteer program called Southwest Voter Express. DFA is aware of the program, and approves, but the effort is really the work of CA volunteers. They've taken the initiative to help AZ and NM turn out the vote.

If you can believe it, there was initially, and for all I know may still be, some resistance to the idea of these CA volunteers sacrificing of the time and money to come and help us out. Some were concerned that the organizational resources needed to bring these volunteers to AZ, put them up while they are here, and put them to work, were going to be more than the effort was worth.

Not only is the migration of hundreds of CA volunteers a major media story in the making, it will be a major shot in the arm to stimulate GOTV, visibility, and door-to-door activity for Dean in both states in the 30 days leading up to the election. I encourage everyone to visit the website, keep an ear to the ground via the listserv volunteers have set up for the project, and offer accomodations to these Democratic footsoldiers for Dean.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Zephyr Touring America... will come to AZ


October 23, 2003
Contact: Press Office, 802-651-3200

Dean For America Calls the Grassroots To Action with a 1978 Airstream

BURLINGTON--Dean for America today announced that it was launching a six-week nationwide call to action. Blogger Zephyr Teachout will take to the roads, traveling in a restored 27-foot, 1978 Airstream bus--organizing, flyering and hearing the incredible stories of Dean supporters across the country.

The journey will take Zephyr, the campaign's director of Internet organizing and outreach, to more than 100 cities in over 20 states as she chronicles the stories of the greatest grassroots campaign presidential politics has ever seen. At each stop, Zephyr will be organizing supporters to travel to Iowa and New Hampshire as part of the campaign's effort to have 5,000 supporters canvas in each state in January.

"For months, we've been telling people to organize and to build their local networks, and now we're going to go out there with them and see the national campaign they've built," Campaign Manager Joe Trippi said.

"Each day, hundreds of Dean supporters across the country are organizing and holding outreach events in their local communities. We're going across America to hear their stories, learn what we can from their on-the-ground efforts, and spread Governor Dean's message far and wide," Teachout said.

At every stop, Zephyr will link up with local supporters to flyer, canvass, register voters, and talk with them about their efforts to build the campaign. She will be blogging constantly from the road on the campaign's official weblog, Ryan Davis, who will be accompanying Zephyr on the tour and videotaping the tour's experience, will be blogging on the Generation Dean blog,

At each stop, Zephyr will also be urging the campaign's supporters to travel to Iowa and New Hampshire in January to canvass and provide get-out-the-vote.

Only the first week of the tour's itinerary is set; the remainder of the journey will be decided along the way, with input from grassroots supporters. People will be able to track Zephyr's progress-and see the stories it's collecting-on The first week's itinerary includes:

September 27: Los Angeles Kickoff

September 28: Santa Barbara

September 29: Salinas, San Jose, and Oakland

September 30: Sacramento

September 31: Davis and San Francisco

Later tour stops will include Reno, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Roswell, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Crawford, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Jackson (Miss.), Atlanta, Orlando, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and dozens of other cities and towns. The tour will conclude in Philadelphia, the nation's cradle of liberty, in mid-December.

Paul Sperry says "Yes, Bush Lied"

It won't be often that I will direct reader's attention to a site such as It is the home of some of the most gawdawful conservative clap-trap you've ever read. But then something like Paul Sperry's article "Yes, Bush Lied" pops up and reminds you that even the most hardened partisan may one day just open their eyes and see what is blindingly obvious to the rest of us.

Paul isn't one of those 'good conservatives', a moderate Republican who cares more about his nation than his damned party. No. Paul is a died in the wool, "there is no truth but my truth," GOP lap dancer pretending to be a "journalist." A Clinton hating, Gore bashing, convinced of the rectitude of the turds in control of our country, Right Wing affliction. And even HE now says Bush lied to America. Interesting times...

Monday, October 20, 2003

Dean got the Blues...

Hep cat Mike Bryan filed this audio report on the Tucson Blues Society Festival table.

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Friday, October 17, 2003

DaBait in Da Desert (Part 5 - The General's Splendid Little War)

The first topic tackled was Iraq. Most noteworthy, due to his somewhat ambiguous record on the issue and his recent entry to the race, are the views of General Wesley Clark. General Clark opined that the main problem was that we went into Iraq without a strategy for success. Not that it was unethical to attack a nation which presented no threat. Not that our unilateral attack destroyed our international credibility. Not that it was wrong to mislead the American people into war. Not that the Iraq distraction has harmed our ability to fight terrorism. No, we just lacked a strategy.

To be fair, he may have stated that these issues were of concern at some point or another, but before the Nation and one of the largest audiences the candidates ever enjoy, he said, "what I say we should do in Iraq is we should have a strategy for success." His concern is the lack of a strategy for success, and not that the war was wrong, wasteful, should never have happened, and must be ended as soon as possible.

What is success in Iraq according to the General? He laid that out in The Times on April 5, 2003. He said that conditions for "real victory" would be:
1) replacing the Ba'ath regime,
2) finding the WMD,
3) stemming terrorist recruitment CAUSED BY the war,
4) putting a new government in place, and
5) making Iraq democratic.
By these standards, we may never win. We did 1; 2 may be impossible, as there is very likely nothing to find, 3 is impossible, because we will always lack sufficient control to accomplish it; 4 we are unwilling to do (and the UNSC just passed a new resolution 15-0 legitimizing continued American control under the current conditions); and 5 would take 50 years or more according to anyone rational.

And where does withdrawal of American troops and an end to the low level conflict and terrorism now endemic to Iraq fit in to the General's plans? Nowhere. The General foresees a military solution to a problem of excess militarism. He said in the debate, "we need to keep control of the military piece and support our armed forces. We need to bring our allies in around us and we need to work for that success strategy." Peace General my ass. Clark is advocating Bush's policy without the bribery and coercion of allies. If fact he praised Bush and Blair for their determination in driving home the attack.

In the debate the General said, "I did praise George Bush and Tony Blair for sticking with the offensive in Iraq once it had begun. But I also noted in every op-ed and every comment I ever made that there was not enough forces there, there was not a plan for dealing with it afterwards."

This isn't quite true. The General praised the military planners who went with a lean force, saying on 4/11/2003 in the London Times:

"The regime seems to have collapsed — the primary military objective — and with that accomplished, the defense ministers and generals, soldiers and airmen should take pride. American and Brits, working together, produced a lean plan, using only about a third of the ground combat power of the Gulf War. If the alternative to attacking in March with the equivalent of four divisions was to wait until late April to attack with five, they certainly made the right call."

"They certainly made the right call." Doesn't sound like criticism to me.

The General did not consistently claim there was no plan. He consistently said we mustn't celebrate victory too soon, because there are long-term goals to achieve. For instance, he said in that same 4/11/03 op-ed:

"Is this victory? Certainly the soldiers and generals can claim success. And surely, for the Iraqis there is a new-found sense of freedom. But remember, this was all about weapons of mass destruction. They haven’t yet been found. It was to continue the struggle against terror, bring democracy to Iraq, and create change, positive change, in the Middle East. And none of that is begun, much less completed."

"Let’s have those parades on the Mall and down Constitution Avenue — but don’t demobilize yet. There’s a lot yet to be done, and not only by the diplomats."

Perhaps the plan was unrealistically optimistic. Perhaps the General is skeptical that the plan would be executed correctly, but his own words leave no doubt that he recognized that Bush had a plan, perhaps a valid one. There is also no doubt that the General sees the resolution of the Iraq issue as a military one as much as a diplomatic one.

To say the Gen. Clark's position is the same as Dr. Dean's, or Ambassador Braun's, or Sen. Kerry's, or Rev. Sharpton's, or Rep. Kucinich's, or Rep. Gephardt's positions on the war is simply a lie. Clark is no anti-war candidate. He's a warmonger in peacenik's clothing.

Next Time... the Debate continued: A Republican in Democrat's clothing?


Just to remind everyone, we will be out t the Tucson Blues Festival this Sunday with the Dean tent, giving out flyers, bumper stickers, and other Dean items. We hope sign up a lot of new Dean supporters and volunteers. Even if you can't work the tables, stop by and say hello. We will be there from early on, but the music begins at 11 AM and runs to 8 PM. The festival is in Reid Park at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center. There is no admission charge. Come and enjoy and help raise Governor Dean's profile. Here's a link to the Daily Star article which gives the complete line up of performers.

Thanks to all who contributed to renting the space and/or are helping at the tables.

DaBait in Da Desert (Part 4)

Having found a parking spot on the four level of a downtown parking garage, we rushed on foot the two blocks to the Wyndam. We knew we were running late; supporters were already out on the street corners waiving placards and chanting for their candidates. Photographers snapped pictures of these groups as if they were odd and endangered species; in fact, in W's America, that may not be far from the mark.

We flew up the escalator to the 4th floor ball room which was already 1/3 full and into the security office. We got bright yellow tee-shirts which read "Dean for America: Security". It's always seemed paradoxical to me that security wears the color of cowards on their appointed rounds, looking like so many pee snowcones. Wouldn't a red, white, and blue rugby shirt with sewn-in muscle pads be more appropriate? Or a Jet black ninja outfit with a menacing black mesh mask? I picked out a two-way radio and tried slipping on the "don't argue with me" attitude of security personnel; failing that, I just adopted a "don't hit me" attitude.

Jonna Lopez was directing security this night. She is a heck of a good organizer in a flustery event such as this. She was joined by other students from UA, ASU, and NAU, and two crusty old organizers, Me and Peter. We were assigned to the float around in front of the ballroom, keep an eye on the auction table and to check upstairs where our guest overflow would go once in a while.

Ilene Hart was in charge of the silent auction. She's a very charming woman and had convinced many supporters to donate some good loot to the cause. I must say I didn't take the duty of watching the table very seriously; only Democrats and cross-over Republicans were in attendance. Even if Bush Republicans were in attendance, I wouldn't worry about the table, but I would want the deed to the hotel in my pocket and the hotel's creditors locked in a closet where no one could find them.

Nicole Felker had a registration table set up with a bank of laptops to check ticket numbers against the database and to enter new supporter information of those who forgot theirs or never had a ticket issued. It looked somewhat slow; they appeared to be using four or five laptops wired to an Ethernet/modem/wireless hub dialed in to an ISP. Of course, the hotel may have had Ethernet laid down. I soon got too busy to ask.

Security is extreme boredom punctuated by moments of panic, or at least grave concern. There was much to do before the debate began. One of the more frustrating moments of the evening was trying to find a suitable spot for a woman who used crutches to support most of her weight. She was standing outside the ballroom looking distraught. The ballroom was swirling with hurrying people. I asked if I could help and she admitted she was intimidated by crowds because of past experiences. I asked and looked around but I could find no designated disabled section. In the end, I escorted her all the way down the isle, an experience likely harrowing to her, and settled her in the front row because it had enough room for her to maneuver.

I spotted Michael Crawford, a Tucson lawyer and former Tucson Councilman who is confined to a wheelchair, at the back of the room. He was hanging out by the buffet for lack of a better place to park. We chatted for a bit and shared the saltiest pretzel ever made by the hand of man. Apparently, at some point there had been a red ribbon across a row somewhere to reserve it for the disabled, he had learned, but it was long gone. More thought needs to be given to the needs of disabled at our events and sites.

People were having a very nice time chatting and mingling, I felt a little jealous until Jonna pulled me aside to give me a full tour of the facilities and the backstage are. Such little privileges make having to work an event worthwhile. The catering kitchen off the ball room had been largely cleared, though it was still functional and the hotel staff were busy keeping the buffet and bars supplied. It was through here that the candidate would pass to appear on stage without fighting through the crowd.

There was a very brightly lit vestibule with an emergency stairway at the end of the kitchen, and off this stairwell, to the right, was the entrance to the backstage area which was kept nearly dark for the rear-projection large screen TV showing the debate to the crowd. I noticed that the large run of cables for power and audio running in front of the door to the stairwell had been "secured" with a Dean for America sign taped over the top. Later, I found the electricians taping down cable runs up on the overflow deck on the 5th floor and I dragged them downstairs to thoroughly tape the cable runs in the dark backstage area. With the sudden transition from bright light to near darkness, I figured anything lying on the ground would be nearly invisible. The last thing we need is a candidate with a broken hip; that would be the end of the campaign for want of a few strips of duct tape.

But now it was time for the debate to begin. I rush out front to watch on the lobby monitor.

P.S. There are no official shots on the Arizona home page. If anyone took photos at the watching party and Dean's appearance after, please send them to me to post.

Next Time: The Debate, Dean Comes...

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Bush Bucks

Arizona Bush donors over $1000.00. There are a lot of them. They include such luminary citizens as former felon Fife Simington, who apparantly hasn't gotten over his defeat; he still lists his occupation as Governor of Arizona. The list of big dollar contributors includes people like Dorothy Finley, of Finely Distrbutors, a financial foundation of conservative politics in Southern Arizona. Also central to Bush's fundraising in Arizona is James H. Click who holds the status of Pioneer (a person who has bundled 100K or more for the Bush campaign).

I recommend you take a peek at Bush's donor list and remember who is making Bush's re-appointment bid possible the next time you are going to spend any money in our Bushonomy. You don't want your hard earned money financing you own oppression. The name of anyone who gives to a candidate is public information and it's your decision what you do with that information. Use it wisely.

From May to October of this year 247 Arizona citizens donated over $1000.00 a peice for a total of $430,426.00 in Bush's re-coronation coffers. CEO's, real estate developers, banker, brokers, lawyers, among others are contributing to our problem. Don't help to fill their coffers.

BTW, isn't this a disgustingly hypocritical picture? From the GW web site, of course.


Remember how well this worked in Vietnam?????

Published on Sunday, October 12, 2003 by the lndependent/UK

US Soldiers Bulldoze Farmers' Crops.

Americans accused of brutal 'punishment' tactics against villagers

by Patrick Cockburn in Dhuluaya

US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.

The stumps of palm trees, some 70 years old, protrude from the brown earth scoured by the bulldozers beside the road at Dhuluaya, a small town 50 miles north of Baghdad. Local women were yesterday busily bundling together the branches of the uprooted orange and lemon trees and carrying then back to their homes for firewood.

Nusayef Jassim, one of 32 farmers who saw their fruit trees destroyed, said: "They told us that the resistance fighters hide in our farms, but this is not true. They didn't capture anything. They didn't find any weapons."

Other farmers said that US troops had told them, over a loudspeaker in Arabic, that the fruit groves were being bulldozed to punish the farmers for not informing on the resistance which is very active in this Sunni Muslim district.

"They made a sort of joke against us by playing jazz music while they were cutting down the trees," said one man. Ambushes of US troops have taken place around Dhuluaya. But Sheikh Hussein Ali Saleh al-Jabouri, a member of a delegation that went to the nearby US base to ask for compensation for the loss of the fruit trees, said American officers described what had happened as "a punishment of local people because 'you know who is in the resistance and do not tell us'." What the Israelis had done by way of collective punishment of Palestinians was now happening in Iraq, Sheikh Hussein added.

The destruction of the fruit trees took place in the second half of last month but, like much which happens in rural Iraq, word of what occurred has only slowly filtered out. The destruction of crops took place along a kilometer-long stretch of road just after it passes over a bridge.

Farmers say that 50 families lost their livelihoods, but a petition addressed to the coalition forces in Dhuluaya pleading in erratic English for compensation, lists only 32 people. The petition says: "Tens of poor families depend completely on earning their life on these orchards and now they became very poor and have nothing and waiting for hunger and death."

The children of one woman who owned some fruit trees lay down in front of a bulldozer but were dragged away, according to eyewitnesses who did not want to give their names. They said that one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt Col Springman, a US commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us."

Informing US troops about the identity of their attackers would be extremely dangerous in Iraqi villages, where most people are related and everyone knows each other. The farmers who lost their fruit trees all belong to the Khazraji tribe and are unlikely to give information about fellow tribesmen if they are, in fact, attacking US troops.

Asked how much his lost orchard was worth, Nusayef Jassim said in a distraught voice: "It is as if someone cut off my hands and you asked me how much my hands were worth."

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The New Stop-Dean Candidate - Howard Dean. By William Saletan

The New Stop-Dean Candidate - Howard Dean. By William Saletan Bill presents an interesting counter-intuitive view of the recent attacks on Dean by the other Democratic candidates; they are strengthening Dean because they consistitute compelling reasons to vote for him for many indpendents.

The Demographics Of Clarkism

In the latest Gallup poll, Wesley Clark once again is the top choice of Democratic-registered voters around the nation. Clark garners 22 percent support, compared to Dean at 15 percent, Kerry and Lieberman at 12 percent, and Gephardt at 10 percent.

These results are similar to an earlier Gallup poll of September 19-21, so Gallup was able to combine the data from the two polls and run demographic analyses of the different candidates' bases of support. These analyses are quite revealing, especially when comparing Clark and Dean.

While Clark receives more support than Dean among both men and women, his margin over Dean among women is just 3 points (16 percent to 13 percent), but an impressive 12 points among men (29 percent to 17 percent). He also beats Dean in every region of the country, but especially in the south (25 percent to 8 percent). Also intriguing is how well he does among low income voters (those earning less than $20,000 a year), clobbering Dean by 26 percent to 5 percent. In fact, Clark bests Dean in every income group up to $75,000. Above $75,000, Dean edges Clark, 26 percent to 25 percent.

In terms of ideology, Dean beats Clark among liberals, 24 percent to 18 percent, but Clark wins moderates by 24 percent to 11 percent and conservatives by 23 percent to 7 percent. The general picture, then, is that Clark does especially well, relative to Dean, among the very groups where Democrats have been having the most problems. That suggests to Public Opinion Watch that the emerging Clark candidacy deserves very serious consideration indeed.
* * *
Clark Leads Democratic Candidates
by David W. Moore
Gallup Organization, October 10, 2003

Lush Rimbaugh in Tucson to dry out?

Rush Limbaugh may be doing time (30 days' detox) in Tucson.

Rush Limbaugh has been reported by Italy Indymedia and the New York Post as having checked himself into the Sierra Tuscon lush spa drug-treatment center in Tucson, AZ.

One article is on Italian Indymedia

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

DaBait in Da Desert (Part 3)

Peter and I found HQ fairly easily. The office is at 3105 N 24th Street, just north of Thomas and handy to the 51. It is a good location and has ample parking.

However, when we pulled up we began to be concerned. As we got out of the car and walked toward the building, we grew more agitated. Peering around the building, locating the only two exterior doors, it became obvious that this property was not accessible to the disabled.

As you can see in this photo, the entrances are steep concrete steps with rails and manual doors. There are two of these and they are identical. There is a tell-tale in this photo: an empty wheel chair. Obviously the occupant was unable to get the chair into the building. Perhaps a manual chair was carried inside and the occupant of the vacant chair carried in to it? Who knows. The point is that the building is not accessible. We went inside to inquire about the problem.

Inside we met Joan Fitz-Randolph, an officer in the Democratic Party, a former candidate for State Representative, and a staunch support of Governor Dean. She didn't know why the building continued to be inaccessible to the disabled. She thought that someone was working on the problem, and I hope that is so. The ADA doesn't require a landlord to make their property ADA compliant, it is up to the tenant to do so, if accessibility is desired. It might cost the campaign a considerable amount of money if the landlord is not willing to make the needed improvements.

We chatted with Joan for some time about the campaign in Maricopa and her experience with converting the PCs of her district to Dean. Her technique is very effective; she politely but pointedly ignores them unless they profess allegiance to Dean. If they want her attention, they quickly learn about Dean and become supporters. She's gotten nearly all of them this way. Go Joan :)

The hour of the debate was approaching, however, and we still had to get downtown, find parking, and take up our volunteer duties as security personnel for the party. It was already past 4PM and the debate was starting soon. Parking in the area was likely to be full. We sped off toward downtown.

Next Time: The Watching Party, Dean's Address and more...

Monday, October 13, 2003

DaBait in Da Desert (Part 2)

Lunch with Bill was interesting. We talked about a few of the regular subjects, of course, sports, beer, and women, but the substance of the conversation was the campaign. It is an open secret that the Arizona campaign has no money. All the great work that Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Sierra Vista, Yuma, Green Valley, Oro Valley, and other communities are doing with only volunteer elbow grease and in-kind donations is astounding. Obviously, the Dean campaign is concentrating it's resources in NH and IA for the time being. Dean has made media buys in other states, such as TX, NM, OK, SC and WA, and also AZ, but they are not yet providing many resources to volunteers on the ground.

Bill is determined to change that. His strategy is to survey the needs of the campaign for infrastructure and materials and solicit in-kind donations to the Dean camapaign to meet those needs. So if you know of people who wish to support the Dean campaign and are interested in helping to deliver Southern AZ in particular, contact me and I'll pass in on to Bill.

We have lots of specific needs for materials and purchases for special projects and events, but the real challenge is infrastructure. Recurring fixed costs are difficult to cover with donations that are unpredictable by their nature, FEC laws which greatly limit how we handle money, and a fairly low limit on donations from each person.

Our first goal is an office. Some place for volunteers to meet and work, to store materials, receive interested voters in person and unify the campaign. It needs good drive-by visibility, a safe neighborhood, good parking, and ideally, ADA compliance. In short, it's prime real estate and we have to find it vacant (not terribly diffcult in this economy), and either for free or for way below market rent (not easy in any market).

Meetups have been serving some of the traditional function of campaign offices across the country and in AZ. This has significantly reduced costs to the campaigns, especially Dean's, and is one of the reasons for the acceleration of this Presidential primary season. Being able to create floating campaign offices to greet new supporters and orient them, to answer the questions of the curious, to court the undecided with the advocacy of supporters and rich media, and to get volunteers to work assisting with the campaign in substantive ways (such as the letter writing campaigns), all while expending hardly any resources has greatly benefitted the Dean campaign, and to a lesser extent those of Kucinich and Clark.

Other candidates failed to energetically support the Meetup movement, and at the same time, the Meetup phenomenon has highlighted the weaknesses of some candidate's campaigns. Meetups for Edwards, Graham, Kerry, Gephardt, and especially Lieberman, were repeatedly cancelled due to lack of participation. They generally had enough people registered to carry out Meetups, but with distressing regularity they failed to get enough people to attend. When people did attend there was little or no direction from the campaign and not much work was done.

I suspect that the main reason for the failure of Meetup for most other campaigns is that most of their supporters weren't interested in being advocates for their candidate. They would bet their chosen horse, but they weren't willing to ride it. Those campaigns are more focused on the traditional activities of campaigning; the private meetings with power brokers, and fundraising in private banquets and house parties. Lieberman and Edwards have been in AZ quite a good bit, but not many sees them because they schedule small talks with narrow interest groups, private discussions, and fundraising events where access to the candidate carries a hefty price tag. They simply don't regard the grassroots as a viable or useful part of the campaign. Thus they end up with ragweed or astroturf.

The second infastructural goal we set is a communication system worthy of the name. Right now, it is nearly impossible to contact volunteers unless you have a detailed knowledge of the people involved with the campaign. One needs a list of numbers the length of your arm, and even then you may find yourself waiting for a response for days or weeks because of vacations, sickness, family and work committments and random happenstance.

There is a number for the Phoenix HQ, but that hardly does someone in Benson or Nogales or Greenlee county any good. The volunteers at HQ haven't any better knowledge of the volunteers across the state than anyone else, even though they are talented and dedicated folks.

The solution is a single phone system, much like a big corporate PBX system, with an extension for each coordinator, forwardable to new personnel when jobs shift or people drop out. It must be capable of following a volunteer around the state or around the county, from number to number, with a extension and a single voicemail box. It should greet callers with a custom greeting and allow them to navigate to the exact extension they need. It must include customer service extensions with pre-recorded information which is most often requested to reduce call volume and conserve volunteer resources. It must offer fax back service for important information one might want a written record of, such as the locations of all the AZ Meetups or a volunteer list for one's home area.

Sound impossible or expensive? It's not. With Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) you can emulate a PBX costing hundreds of thousands for equipment, maintenence, and service charges, using volunteers existing phone numbers and with no equipment to purchase. The cost is generally less than $100.00 a month, including connection fees. Savvy businesses are increasingly migrating to such services, especially small and mid-sized business who want a big company image and automated telephony based customer service to augment their online presence. The moment I mentioned using such a system, Bill said he was not only familiar with such systems, he uses one for his own mortgage brokerage business.

Lunch consumed, Peter and I were ready to continue our business. Since we still had some time before the watching party, we decided to head over to the state campaign headquarters. We took leave of Bill and headed out to locate our Mecca.

Next time: DeanForAZ HQ, the watching party, Dean's post-debate appearance...

DaBait In Da Desert (Part 1)

Peter Newton, Legislative District 30's coordinator, and I drove up to Phoenix to take in the debate and associated events, and to lend a hand with the watching party at the Wyndam. First let me say that I strongly recommend such trips to those who can make them. We met some great people and had a fun time. Only through such interactions among activists from different regions of the state can we build an effective state campaign. Never await an invitation, just arrive and start working.

We started out from Tucson at 9am in order to make Tempe in time to catch Dean's ASU rally. After a long search for parking, the main problem for rallies on Arizona campuses, we set out on foot to find the rally. On the way to the lawn were the rally was to be held, we saw a sad sight. One forlorn and bored looking student sitting at a table advertising a bus to Kerry's rally off-campus. We didn't see any takers. That is the main problem with having a rally for students anywhere but on campus.

The rally seemed of good size at first, but we soon realized the lawn was an amphitheater and there were many more people that we first realized. There were at least 1500 when we arrived, and as we walked around assessing the crowd many more arrived. By the start of the rally, there were easily 2000. As Dean spoke and his voice was broadcast across a good portion of the campus, the rally continued to grow. At peak, I estimated 2500-2700 in attendance. News accounts tend to put the number closer to 1500-2000, they are far too conservative in their estimates.

Dean was right on with his standard stump speech, delivered with comments to the students about their importance to the campaign. His tempo and energy were just right for the crowd and the energy built steadily. Dean is very good at teasing the right responses out of a crowd and building them into a near frenzy. There is a build and climax to a good stumping which is quite akin to sex. The kids got a good stumping that day.

A number of campus Republicans bravely worked the crowd. I must say, I admire their moxie if not their techniques. Several times, I heard them yelling that Dean was a "pussy" and a "wimp". Their aggressive and negative tactics are obviously adopted from their role models: people like Cheney, Bush, Rove, DeLay, Lott, Frist, and Gingrich, who know nothing of substantive debate, only lies, personal attacks, and McCarthyesque innuendo. They have taught our children well.

I don't think they begin to understand what they are trying to accomplish, however. One young idiot, during Dean's standup following the speech, loudly insisted on giving Dean a Bush-Cheney sticker. Under some unknown political logic, reserved for proto-fascist children, this is supposed to humiliate and humble the challenger. I found it amusing that as peaceful and pleasant a young man as Tony Cani, the rally's organizer, can throw a hip check sufficient to dislodge an elephant when needs be. After that, nothing further was heard of the Hitlerian youth.

During the rally I met up with Bill Cozine, the Pima County fund-raising chair. I also met Jodi Patterson in the flesh for the first time; someone called an attractive and harried looking woman "Jodi" and I surmised it must be our state media coordinator. I confirmed it was in fact her, and let her loose, as she was up to her neck in press. I never did get a chance to speak with her in person, she was run too ragged with her duties all that evening. If the poor dear got a moment to enjoy the event, I wasn't present to witness it. Someone should send her a gift certificate for a massage. With some time to kill before the debate was to begin, Bill, Peter, and I repaired to a bistro for lunch, a few beers, and some planning.

Next up: lunch with Bill, a visit to campaign HQ, and the watching party.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

For Whom the Flip Flops

OCTOBER 11, 2002

October 9, 2002: "Let me be clear: I am voting to give this authority to the President for one reason and one reason only: to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction if we cannot accomplish that objective through new tough weapons inspections."

April 3, 2003: "I voted to give the President to have a legitimate threat of force for the reasons he gave: to go to the United Nations and form a coalition. This President failed. It was a failure of diplomacy." (Manchester Union Leader, 4/3/03)

May 30, 2003: Kerry, though, said those in Congress who supported the war "are blameless should no evidence turn up." (AP, 5/30/2003)

July 8, 2003: "I believe that I voted absolutely correctly," he said. (AP, 7/08/2003)

July 13, 2003: "And moreover, he [George Bush] did not need our authority to do what he was going to do. The president has the inherent authority. Bill Clinton went to Kosovo without a vote by Congress. Bill Clinton went to Haiti without a vote by Congress. What we did was provide the threat of force, and what the president didn't do is provide the diplomacy and the leadership necessary to put in place the kind of coalition that could win the peace." (CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, 7/13/2003)

August 11, 2003: "I have the exact same position today that I had then, which is: I voted the right way, I'm proud of the vote, it was a vote for the security of the United States of America based on Saddam Hussein's long record of trying to assassinate a president of the United States, invading another country, lobbing 3 missiles into Israel, and we discovered over 7 and a half years more chemical weapons, more biological weapons than we thought he had, and he was further down the road to nuclear development than we thought. That's our own actual findings. I voted to give the President the threat of force, which was appropriate in order to be able to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. What I regret, and I said it earlier, is that this President did not know how to do that properly. This President didn't do the hard work of diplomacy. This President didn't have the patience. This President didn't know how to give meaning to the words 'last resort,' that I learned so well the meaning of in Vietnam when we lost the legitimacy and consent of the American people. And what I wanted this President to do was to give truth to those words. The United States of America shouldn't go to war because we want to; we ought to go to war because we have to. And you don't have to until you've exhausted all the remedies. I was trying to set up a standard by which a President of the United States appropriately takes America to war, and that is the standard I would apply if I were the President of the United States. (Sheet Metal Workers Union, Democratic Presidential Forum, 8/11/2003)

August 18, 2003: "We have to vote where we vote. My vote was the correct vote for the President of the United States to have a threat of force to hold Saddam Hussein accountable to the very agreement he signed. But we all had a right as Americans to expect that the president of the United States would use that authority properly. He did not in my judgment." (NPR 8/18/03)

August 31, 2003: "I took a position to protect the security of the country, but I also took the position to do it in a way that defended America's values, that defended the troops... That means every country possible by our side. I believe the United States deserved to have the broadest coalition."

August 31, 2003 "And the fact is in the resolution we passed we did not empower the President to do regime change, we empowered him only with respect to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations."

September 2, 2003: "I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations. I believe that was right - but it was wrong to rush to war without building a true international coalition - and with no plan to win the peace."

September 3, 2003: "It's the time for real leadership. I voted correctly on the issue of going to the United Nations and threatening force, legitimate, real, credible threat of force, in order to hold Saddam Hussein accountable, and make our country safer... The President and Colin Powell said to us they were going to build the coalition. They made - Colin Powell came to our committee - and said that war would be the last resort, and that the only reason were weapons of mass destruction. Now there's more than just the vote. I think the vote was the right thing to do... The President didn't need our authorization. What we were doing was creating a one voice message to the United Nations, to the world, and to Saddam Hussein. It was the right message to send, and I stand by it."

So let's get this straight: If John Kerry's position(s) are that he voted only to disarm Saddam (but that he's not responsible if weapons don't turn up), or because he tried to assassinate a former president, or he voted to give a threat of force, in a way that defended our troops, without empowering the President to do regime change, that he was voting to go to the United Nations, that the President and Colin Powell fooled him into thinking they were going to war as a last resort, and that they really didn't need congressional authorization anyway (so it's not his fault regardless), and that all his vote did was send a unified message... Then perhaps the Senator should re-read the resolution that he voted for:


(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Comptroller of Reality

U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, the nation's chief fiscal officer, interjected a dose of reality this week into President Bush's rosy claims that his Administration can cut the federal deficit in half within five years without changing policies. "The idea that this is manageable or that we are going to grow our way out of the problem is just flat false," Walker said.

Increasingly, I expect Walker's brave statement to be the norm amongst professionals in Washingtion. Honest public servants have begun to stand up and demand that the truth be known. Whether it is in the form of White House leaks, former staffers speaking out, or career professionals blowing the whistle, the curtain is coming down. The little man at the controls of the Great and Powerful WOZ is trying like heck to keep that curtain shut, but Toto is too persistent. Career civil service professionals are somewhat jaded by the half-truths and spin which infest the air like wandering clouds of sand flies in halls of DC. They are used to ignoring these distortions and getting on with the serious business of administration.

But Walker, and others like him, have realized that this is not business as usual. The lies of this Administration are so blatant that they are actually trying to poision the well of government data collection and anaylsis to cover themselves. They are working to politicize the creation of formerly objective information in order to lie more credibly. Walker is blowing the whistle because he can't tolerate the Governement being blinded to W's folly. The very systems meant to ensure that descision-making is based on reality-Treasury Department financial indicators, goverment statistics, objective scientific advisory panels, the National Academy of Sciences, foreign intelligence- are being ground out of existence, twisted, and pre-weighted so that the Bush Administration may paper over their failures with fantasies.

The sense of duty of those career professionals in our government, whom we too often dismissively call bureaucrats, is going to play a key role in Take Down 2004. The President may be the most powerful man on earth, but as the old saying goes, no man is a hero to his valet. Those faceless servants in Washington's downstairs will prove to be the Masters' undoing. The "Have Mores" hubris causes them to do their dirty work in full view of the servants and expect compliant silence. But these servants are calling the coppers and turning state's evidence.

P.S. I am still chewing on my impressions and the press coverage of the Debate in the Desert. I will post about it tomorrow for those who might be interested in a first hand account and couldn't make it to Phoenix.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The Upcoming Debate

There is little doubt that the buzz is all about Dean and Clark at the moment. Specifically, many are watching to see if Clark can become anything other than the warrior Prince of the Democratic establishment. His repeated gaffes, flip- flops, and seeming alergy to any substantive positions, are going to over-shadow even his admittedly attractive bio if he does not show some substance in tomorrow's debate.

If he fails to outline a realistic and thoughtful domestic agenda, he will continue the slide he has been suffering since shortly after entering the race to an enthusiastic surge of support which propelled him instantly into the top tier of the Democratic pack. In this debate, the line "I've only been in the race 9 days" is no longer going to wash. If he tries a similar cop out, he'll quickly be met with the come-back "and you've only been a democrat for 4 days."

Yes, Clark finally bothered to actually register as a Democrat in his place of domicile; weeks after announcing he was seeking the Democratic nomination for President. Somehow that strikes me as either un-militaristically sloppy, or just plain in-your-face hubris. If Clark's casual attitude about his party status doesn't put a huge dent in him, I'll be one very surprised pundit. Even the most desparate Democrat will not be so completely heedless of who she supports that she ends up nominating a Republican, just because she thinks he might be able to beat Bush.

An amusing anecdote: A colleague of mine, fairly highly placed in the Clark camp, was going to guest-blog here representing Clark. He had decided he would write a defense of Clark's support for the war. He was half-way through the essay when he realized that he has misread Clark's confusing position on the war. Clark had condemned the war (we're pretty sure about that anyhow). So he abandoned his essay. Finding no essential difference between Dean's position and Clark's he had nothing to write about. It just goes to show that even some of the man's most ardent supporters don't always know where he stands; one wonders if Wesley Clark knows either. I guess we'll have an opportunity to see in the coming debate.

I'm very curious to see if Kerry, Lieberman, and Gephardt continue to focus their faux fire on Dean over Mediscare and the politics of the past, or if they reserve a few rounds for the establishment's new favorite, who is likely be cutting into their funding and support, Wesley Clark. I'm also curious to find out whether Clark, if he still lacks a message of his own, will substitute attacks on the other candidates for substance.

Now that Graham is gone, and with him his reasoned and substantive tone (he was one of the original group of candidates including Braun, Sharpton, and Edwards never to engage in public attacks upon his fellow candidates), I wonder if the attacks are going to become more shrill and dominate more of the debate. I'll be attending the events in Phoenix tommorrow; including the Generation Dean Rally at ASU, the debate watching party, and the after party with Dean. I will be doing security in the interstices, and will hopefully get a chance to talk to supporters of the other candidates. It should be a very interesting day.

Friday, October 03, 2003

(The Other) Dean on the Plame Affair

It is looking increasingly like the Plame Affair may finally be the miscalulation which shakes America out of its complacent acceptance of the criminals residing in our White House. Unlike when the story first broke more than 3 months ago and received scant notice, somehow, this time, the story has rocketed into the public mind. 87% of people think that this is serious matter and 70% think a special prosecutor shold be appointed. The comparisons to Watergate and the paranoia and dirty tricks of Tricky Dick abound in the media. It's just so unjustifiable. Many of Bush's horrible policies won't become disasters for years, so the idiots who believe even the merest utterance from this White House can tell themselves that their "ideology" is right and the horrible results forseen are just liberal media spin.

In this case, being stubbornly resistant to reality is not so easy. Blowing a CIA operative's cover, endangering the lives of many, and compromising American intellegence efforts to work out a political grudge, cannot be judged dispassionately; it crosses too many lines and the damage is too immediate, too potentially grotesque, and far too personal and mean-sprited to pass it off as a policy aimed at the greater good. No matter how you twist it, and no matter who sees it, it is only ugly and hateful and harmful.

John Dean, of Watergate fame, suggests that Ambassador Wilson and Mrs. Plame file a civil suit to help pull down the walls of secrecy the President's men will try to hide behind. Civil discovery can get into some places that even the FBI cannot, or will not, go. Dean suggests intentional infliction of emotional distress as a possible basis. I'm sure there are many others. The question is, whom do you sue when you haven't any idea who leaked, who ordered it, or who tolerated it, or who concealed it? Karl Rove would be an obvious place to start given his rumoured statements that Wilson's wife was 'fair game'. Why not the President, he surely know what was going on in his own Administration? Jones v. Clinton unwisely stripped the President of his immunity to civil suit while in office. Perhaps the Supremes need a chance to reverse their shortsighted decision.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Jonna Lopez, Media Superstar

Our own Jonna is quoted in the Union Leader about the popularity of Dean among students. Way to go Jonna!

October Meet-up at Hotel Congress

The Meet-up at Hotel Congress went well. Although our numbers decreased significantly from the last meet-up. Was this a common thread among the meet-ups? On a good note about half the people who showed up had never been to a meet-up before and a few of them were still candidate shopping. Hopefully we convinced them that Dean is the only one. We completed about 40 letters and hopefully will get some more done tonight at the UofA Students for Dean meeting.

How did everyone else do?

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Dean Tent at Tucson Blues Festival

Thanks to the generous contributions of many Dean supporters, our space at the Tucson Blues Festival is now paid for and reserved. The Blues Festival is a free event sponsored by the Tucson Blues Society in cooperation with Tucson City Parks. It takes place on Sunday, October 19, between the hours of 11 AM and 7 PM at the Outdoor Perfomance Center in Reid Park. At our Dean Tent, we will be distributing informational printouts and flyers about Gov. Dean's postions, giving away Dean stickers and bumper stickers, and signing up new Dean supporters and volunteers. While the space itself is paid for, we could still use donations toward supplies. I estimate we will need several hundred bumber stickers and several rolls of Dean stickers. I have also spoken to Michael Bryan about designing a special Dean button for the event with the slogan: "Howard Dean: the Cure for the Bush Blues." I know these buttons are expensive to make, but it would be nice to have some to give away. Anyone interested in contributing toward supplies for the Blues Festival tent can contact me or Barbara Tellman, who is now handling supplies among her many duties. As with the donations toward the space rental, any donation for supplies must be reported as an in kind donation to the national Dean campaign. I have a number of the in kind forms. Thanks.

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