Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A Little Honesty

Phil Zelikow, either in an unaccustomed moment of candor, or suffering of a blow to the head, admitted that the Iraq war was launched to protect Israel, and had nothing to do with American security.

”Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 -- it's the threat against Israel,” Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia, where he is a professor of history, on Sep. 10, 2002.

Zelikow is currently the head of the 9/11 commission, was a member of Bush's transistion team, at which time he wrote a memo for Rice on reorganizing the NSC, and also served with Rice on the first Bush's NSC. Zelikow also served on W's President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 2001-2003. As such, he is in a unique position to know what Bush and his Neo-Con foriegn policy team's thinking was.

If you conclude, as do Richard Clarke, Gen. Shelton, Gen. Zinni, and others, that the Iraq war diverted needed resources and energy from pursuing terrorism, Zelikow's statements make clear that the White House compromised American security and endangered American lives for the sake of the strategic military position of Israel in the Middle East. That might be a legitimate trade-off, depending on your viewpoint, but I think most Americans would not agree to such a trade-off, or approve the means by which it was accomplished, if they knew the truth.

Friday, March 26, 2004

The Mouse That Roared

The GOP is set to declassify Clarke's 2002 testimony, following Majority Leader Frist's attack on Clarke's integrity. Claiming that Clarke gave two different accounts of the White House's counter-terrorism efforts under oath before the Congressional investigatory panel and the 9/11 commission, both Frist and Hastert suggested they are prepared to have the testimony de-classified.

First, this is an extra-ordinary measure for a secrecy obsessed government to declassify material that they would not even turn over to the 9/11 commission for 6 months because of security concerns. It certainly highlights how seriously they take Clarke's challenge to the credibility. And how far they are willing to go to discredit him. My prediction is that they will release it, and then ask the FBI to investigate possible charges against Clarke for lying to Congress.

There are a great number of ways in which this is laden with hypocrisy and irony. Given the great number of times that the Administration has directly lied to Congress, or pressured people to lie, it is ironic that the Administration is going after Clarke for having taken his marching orders like a man. They may accidentally open a rich field of inquiry into lying to Congress which cannot be easily closed. Nor does this development bode well for the White House, strategically. Obviously there are two interpretations of any inconsistencies in Clarke's testimony - he's lying now, or was lying on the Administration's behalf then. By pressing the issue, the White House is simply forcing people to choose which they think it is.

They stand in very little danger of convincing anyone who already doubts the integrity of the Administration that Clarke is lying now (only 5% of Democrats do not find Clarke credible, while over 26% of Republicans find him to be at least somewhat credible). What they are going to accomplish is to keep the issue front and center of public attention, and pit their integrity against that of Clarke. This is clearly a foolish move; Clarke exudes integrity, and has proven himself anything but a pushover.

I am actually rather embarrassed for the GOP. Their obvious fear of Clarke is painful to watch (though not without lashings of schadenfreude...). From the agit-prop media to the floor of the legislature and the halls of the West Wing, every GOP attack dog has been loosed on Clark. Other than Colin Powell, who demonstrated a tiny bit of laudible independence by refusing to attack Clarke's integrity, the GOP is investing their political capital heavily in bringing Clarke down. If Clarke is able to withstand the assault of the entire GOP, it will demonstrate clearly that the mouse is roaring.

They Just Can't Help It...

The Administration lied about the extent of the Lybian nuclear program. They vastly overstated the extent of the program, the amount of equipment and material, and the probable timeline to acquiring weapons grade material, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

So what? Exactly. The Bush Administration scored a PR coup with the Lybian agreement, even though they mischaracterized it as Quadaffi running scared because of Iraq. So why lie? Well, there really isn't any reason except that they could - so they did.

The DSM-IV does not have an actual diagnosis of 'pathological liar' or 'compulsive liar', because there is no such condition. But you might find it interesting to note that frequent, or compulsive lying is a symptom of anti-social personality disorder or sociopathy. I have maintained for some time that I truly believe that Bush, and perhaps others on the White House staff and Cabinet, display the syptoms of this condition. It seems that Kurt Vonnegut, for one, agrees with me. So, we have yet another peice of proof that these people whose fingers we have placed on the big red button have no concern whatever for the rules of ethics or morality, for the feelings or fate of others, or for the consequences of their actions. That they'll lie when it doesn't even benefit them, and even though they are absolutely sure to be caught in thier lies, demonstrates a very deep pathology at work. People should be much more concerned about what these people will do if they find themselves in a position where they've truly got nothing to lose - like the months of 'lame duck' status following a loss in November.

Fox News reveals Clarke to be unnamed source

Fox News revealed that Richard Clarke was their source for a 2002 background briefing outlining the Bush Administration's progress on terrorism. The substance of the briefing contradicts some of the allegations regarding Administration policy in Clarke's recent 9/11 commission testimony and his book.

It is highly unusual for a press source to reveal the identity of an official speaking on background, i.e. condition of anonymity, for obvious one obvious reason; they would lose the trust of officials and thus their access to information. But in this case, the White house quickly approved the release of Clarke's identity when Fox News asked.

It really makes one wonder why the White House couldn't so efficiently resolve the Plame affair by similarly granting Novak permission to release the indentities of those who outted a CIA agent while speaking to him on condition of anonymity? Makes one wonder, too, if there might be a some sort of political motivation for the different treatment of the two cases. Heh. No, I must just be imagining things, don't you think?

John Kerry's Presidential Package has more brains that I

I ran across this and laughed so hard... I almost swallowed my tongue. I thought it was a genuine peice of amateur propaganda, until a kind reader pointed out that I'm a shit-wit. It's a hoot, obviously. I over-looked the URL on it of WhiteHouse.org, a very funny parody site. Ah well, I can dream of a perfect world where GOPers are not just mean and sociopathic, but completely inept at propaganda and suspciously loud about their pride in the size of their gennies. Isn't that right Dick? Dick, say it isn't so...

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Clarke's Perfect Storm

If you listen closely you can hear it even from here... a whine. A steady constant churlish whine eminating from the GOP and all their little attack dogs in the press. A whine of frustration. punctuated by whimpers of fear. Every op-ed you read is full of surly invective. Their fright and frustration is palpable in every petty, spiteful word. It's kind of sad, really.

The person causing all this angst amongst the fashionable fascists is Dick Clarke. His testimony before the 9/11 commission was like watching Bruce Lee kick ass on a room full of slow, fat white guys. It will make you laugh, make you applaud, and make you gasp in awe. Clarke clanks when he walks, I swear. I hope that he put his loved ones in protective custody somewhere, because the Administration simply cannot let testimony this explosively powerful go unanswered, or failing that, unpunished.

Tommorrow morning will unleash a perfect storm of Dick Clarke. He will be on every newspaper cover in the nation. He will be the endless topic of conversation among the chattering class. If there is any justice in the world, his bold and unaswered statement that the war in Iraq has made us less safe will be the clip that every news service chooses for endless play. Dick will be taking his brassies on the talk show circuit to promote his book, and to face the music he's created. The music of the frustrated attack dogs, whining for a taste of Dick's balls; what surprise for them when they try to clamp down on those clankers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Next We Invade... Tennesee

Welcome to Armageddon. In a shack, on a hilltop, in TN sat several several barrels of a WMD called P-Fib. A substance to which even a slight exposure kills you brutally via a "dry-land drowning" as your lung inexorably fill with fluid over a tortuious 48 hour period.

Like so many elementary excercises in risk management, the steps neccessary to prevent a WMD from ending up in a shack, available to any terrorist who bothers to jump over a fence, depends on planning based on solid information, coordination with professional and international organizations, and money; actions this Administration seems to be incapable of carrying out, and a mission to which it devotes few resources - Threat Reduction.

The Bush Administration seems to be fond of threats, and uses them skillfully for political purposes (Video). The level of stunning incompence these barrels on hill in TN represent, however, should give even the staunchest Republican pause. The Bush Administration is simply not taking such threats seriously. And the first warning you get that mistakes have been made is when your child comes home from school with a little cough, and is dead 48 hours later, having struggled for breath like a fish out water right before your eyes the entire time.

It's an awful thought. The only one worse. is that Bush might weasel his way out of responsibility for that horror, too. How many will die for Bush's venality and incompetence? How many already have?

Monday, March 22, 2004

Clark Drops the Dime on Bush

On 60 Minutes Clarke indicts the Bush Administration for their Iraq tinted glasses in no uncertain terms. He condems Bush for an obsessive focus on Iraq with no evidence whatever. Clarke slams Bush for running for re-election on terrorism when he did nothing to prevent 9/11 and diverted our resources into a pointless war in Iraq.

The main defense that the Buish Administration raises is that Clarke is politically motivated because otherwise he would not have waited until now to go public. McClellan said:

"Well, why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he's raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, he is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book. Certainly let's look at the politics of it. His best buddy is Rand Beers, who is the principal foreign policy advisor to Senator Kerry's campaign. The Kerry campaign went out and immediately put these comments up on their website that Mr. Clarke made."

The problem is, that he did not wait. He's been saying the same thing since mid 2002 when he left the Administration and Time ran a cover story on the subject. But the press was not paying any attention and the story didn't find it's legs with the major media until now that the campaign is heating up and Clarke has released a book on the subject. Clarke clearly passes the consistency test. Bush will have some serious explaining to do when Clarke testifies to the 9/11 commission tomorrow.

DeLulio, O'Neil, and now Clarke: how long can the extreme criticisms of several former cabinet and high level Administration officials be brushed off as sour grapes? At some point it becomes clear that the Bush Administration is simply so political, and so inept, that even their own allies can't stand the smell of them. Is it going to take a mass defection from the Administration, a joint Bush effigy burning, and a petition from a vast chunk of the Executive Branch for people to begin to realize that we are watching a failed Administration dissolve?

Al Qaida Claims The Bomb

Dr. al-Zawahri claims that al Qaida is now a nuclear power. It's hard to imagine any possible deterent effect of the claim, but it does inspire rational terror. That is motive enough to lie about the subject in my view, but that nuclear experts are taking the charge seriously, though with a grain of salt, indicates what a complete failure the Bush Administration has been in pursuing seriously Cooperative Threat Reduction and non-proliferation.

Of course, the first warning that we may have could very well be a mushroom cloud over New York or Washington DC. Isn't it interesting how rhetoric that goes around, comes around?

Saturday, March 20, 2004

The Apparat

Jerry Landay, writes in Media Transparency about The Apparat, the Soviet-style political agit-prop establishment of think tanks and research foundations that the Right Wing has established to subvert American politics. As liberals we all realize that a left leaning media is a thing of the distant past. What we may not realize, is how organized, well-financed, and singularly motived these organizations are. They are intimately connected to the GOP; one might even say the RNC has become nothing more than a tool for the Nomenklatura of Right Wing ideologues, wealthy patrons, and grassroots organizers who control the Apparat.

We have to throw off the blinders that the "vast Right-Wing conspiracy" claque have placed upon us. Millions flow from from trusts and industrialists every year into the Apparat for one purpose only; to attack the enemies of the radical right and to keep their subversion of the political process quiet. The results are all around us; a Federal government dominated by facsists, a rolling assault on the independence of the judiciary, a concerted effort to pervert the nation's media, and a political climate in which fear, recrimination, personal attacks, and dirty tricks are the only weather.

The security state consumes over half the Federal budget every year, with no rational accounting for our money, yet we don't even question it. Those within its military-industrial warrens act extra-constitutionally to eliminate governments and leaders overseas that it does not like. We just witnessed the handiwork of the security state in Haiti, yet few, even on the left, will believe it, let alone care. Those very same unaccountable people formed the Office of Special Plans to cook Iraqi intelligence and frog marched the world to war in Iraq.

There is a an unbroken thread of causation between these events that we must recognize and talk about. Only when normal, everyday people point out the unbelievable hiding in plain sight, cloaked only by its own improbability, will people be empowered to see the obvious, and immediate threat to our way of life posed by the Bush Administration and his Right Wing puppeteers.

If Bush wins re-election I firmly believe that it will signal the end of meaningful democracy in America. We may continue to have elections as a mummery show for the masses, but they will mean nothing. The Soviet Union, too, had regular elections, which achieved nearly 100% turn out rates, yet meant absolutely nothing. We will be plunged into new, ruinous wars across the globe to protect the markets and perogatives of multinational and American corporations and to feed the appetites of war profiteers. The violence and frequency of attacks on the American people will escallate, and there will be no incentive to protect us so long as we can be made to direct our hatred and fear outward. Dismantling the capacity of self-governance and the social state that built the middle-class will continue apace. Our people will slide further into debt, be forced to compete ever-more abjectly with third-world labor, be stripped of ever more of our economic and constitutional rights, and slide ever further into poverty to enrich a tiny few, while our children are deprived of the services they need to become the informed, educated, healthy and self-confident citizens of tomorrow.

Don't think that the Right Wing's assault on our children is a simply a by-product of a cruel and irresponsible philosophy. No, like so much else that we dare not acknowledge, it's just part of the plan. What better way to subjugate a population permanently than to begin their degradation at the root of a new generation, while they are still children, and thus will not yearn so much for freedom, having never tasted it?

Ojo Caliente- A New Civil War

Art Jacobson, who sometimes guest blogs here, wrote in his own blog, Ojo Caliente, about feeling a certain turning of the screw of late in political discourse, both in the public and private realms. "Something is different about this political cycle, and I seriously wonder if it won’t leave the nation more radically divided than any previous ‘campaign,’" he writes. "I need help getting clear about this myself. What do you think?" The crux of his concern seems to be that "when the election is over…whether we win or lose…there will be no coming together of any sort whatsoever."

Indeed. What do you think? Please leave comments on his blog or this one. I share his concern and go beyond it to a fair degree of certainty that, one way or the other, there won't be much room for a diversity of opinion following this election. Here is what I think:

"I think that it might be high time for America to get the shit slapped out of it, and to have a few scales dropped from our collective eyes. We've been living in a security state for the past 60 years that has been responsible for untold suffering and death, predominantly by the peoples of the third world. We have been the lucky few beneficiaries of that suffering. Now those same people, thanks to our own folly, the massive flood of arms we have spread across the earth, and globalization, have discovered means by which they can carry the fight home to us. The security state is now busy turning inwards, consolidating their control, in order to fight on the new battlefield - our own country. The result is the fascistic turn in our political cuture that we are witnessing.

"The battle will come home, not just in terms of terrorism, but as civil unrest and violence as the security state attempts to crack down here at home to create a united front on the home front. The result will be clashes between elements of the state and the citizenry that we can no longer ignore. The cameras turned away from the repression and brutality in Miami, but the battles will next be in New York, Boston, and TODAY, the anniversary of the Gulf War, as activists mobilize across the entire nation and the world (including here in Tucson at 10am at the UA mall). There's a limit even to the blindness of the mainstream press. If there is blood on the streets and some heads broken, then that may be the price paid to awaken a self-indulgent and self-absorbed America from it's long bout of denial.

"I think the whiff of violence you caught is only the edge of a front of stench swiftly closing in. People are at a snapping point; conversation and compromise are swiftly becoming irrelevant. Push is coming to shove, and slinging mud will turn to flinging rocks. It may take this to discredit the security state, to uncover its snarling face and iron club for all to see. The ugliness is already apparent in the halls of power, in our foreign policy, and in the unabashed cruelty of the Bush domestic agenda, for anyone who knows what they are looking at. But to those to whom names like Lumumba, Mosadegh, Allende, and Arbenz, or places like East Timor, Cambodia, Mozambique, or El Salvador, mean nothing in particular, days are coming in which they will learn what sort of country they are REALLY living in. How we deal with widespread knowledge that modern America is only a comforting veil draped over a mangled corpse, will be the real test of whether the coming months will be a needed purge, or a dangerous retreat further into denial."

I am afraid that interesting times are upon us, and that the beast that we created, the secretive and unaccountable security state, lurking under the thin skin of our Constitutional order, will not retreat safely into hibernation. No. Ringed around with terrorist threats, and faced with the dawning realization of the people that perhaps the United States can no longer afford to spend more on its military than budgets of the next dozen largest militaries on earth combined, as it is, it will chose to fight. And only one of us is coming out of the battle alive.

Either civil society, with its civil rights and Constitutional political system, or the security state, with its immense power, secrecy, incestuous bureaucratic politics, and monopoly on the use of coersive force, will survive the struggle. They cannot both rule the same nation. We were relatively safe so long as the security state was largely directed outward, at play in the rough and tumble of international affairs. But now that the security state sees a threat here at home in form of international terrorism, it is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with sharing power with the Constitutional order, and increasingly adept at operating in a domestic arena. In the end, only one system can survive. And that is what concerns me.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Bush's domestic legacy (sic)...

I just loved DHinMI's synopsis of the political effect of the Medicare Drug Prescription bill on Daily Kos, and would like to share share it here.

In order to pass what they said was their most politically important domestic initiative, the White House appears to have done the following: they low-balled the cost by 30%; they lied to Congressional Republicans to get their votes; if lying didn't work, they offered Republican Congressman bribes; and they used bogus taxpayer-funded commercials to sell the new policy.  Despite all that, their biggest institutional ally deems the entire effort "a mess," voters not only don't credit Bush with lessening the problem, they blame him for making the problem worse, and the means the White House used to obtain passage of, and build public support for the Medicare bill have spawned investigations into three separate areas, each of which could eventually point back to malfeasance by the White House.  No wonder the Bush campaign wants to keep talking about the "War on Terror"; they've got nothing else to talk about.

Coupled with other Bush domestic policies, a picture of a truly disasterous Presidency become undeniable. Consider: a disastrous tax policy that has created deficits as far as the actuaries can predict while inequitably distributing benefits to the wealthy and tolerating blatant tax avoidance by formerly U.S. corporations; an environmental policy summed up best with the injuction, "do as ye wil;" a labor policy which has netted a loss of 2.3 million jobs, stripped overtime from millions, and union protections from still millions more governement employees in the Homeland Defense department; a health care policy which has made a virtue of neglect and allowed a rolling 40 million American's to continue uninsured, and whose only substantive policy proposals are to 'reform' malpractice in a shameless sop to the insurance industry and medical savings accounts which low income people are not even eligable to use; an educational policy in NCLB which is nearly universally reviled by educators and their unions and state legislatures nation-wide (AZ's own recently seriously considered pulling out, but stopped short because of the possible political damage to the Bush Administration resultant); and a complete failure to deliver on promises made to terrorism's first defenders nationally.

I am certainly overlooking much that could be fairly described as disastrous domestic policy, but even this short litany of failures illustrates that the Bush Administration not only hasn't any domestic successes to point to, but are better off avoiding domestic policy issues like the plague. Of course, the only reason why American's are vulnerable to Bush's blandishments regarding his foreign policy record, is because they do not have to live in the nations where the immediate effects of those policies are felt. Were American's forced to live in the M.E., or among the multitudes of enemies and critics Bush has won for us the world over, it would be quickly apparent that Bush's foreign policy legacy is actually worse than his domestic policy, as hard as that might be to conceive.

When you least expect it...

Asked about whether he felt Kerry was soft on defense, as the Bush Administration has changed, Senator John McCain said he did not believe Democratic candidate John Kerry, a friend and Senate colleague, was weak on defense or would compromise national security if elected president.

"This kind of rhetoric, I think, is not helpful in educating and helping the American people make a choice," McCain said on 'The Early Show' on CBS."You know, it's the most bitter and partisan campaign that I've ever observed (Ed. - that's saying a lot considering the nature of the one he observed first hand in 2000). I think it's because both parties are going to their bases rather than going to the middle. I regret it"... McCain knows just how unprincipled the Rovian attack machine can be, having suffered at its hands himself. Push having come to shove, our Senator McCain looks like he is putting national interest ahead of partisan loyalty, both in this matter and on his WMD panel.

"The senator from Massachusetts has given us ample doubts about his judgment and the attitude he brings to bear on vital issues of national security," Cheney said in a speech Wednesday, in which he laid down the gauntlet for the Administration.

Asked on NBC's 'Today' if he thought Kerry was weak on defense, McCain said: "No, I do not believe that he is, quote, weak on defense. He's responsible for his voting record, as we are all responsible for our records, and he'll have to explain it. But, no, I do not believe that he is necessarily weak on defense. I don't agree with him on some issues, clearly. But I decry this negativism that's going on on both sides. The American people don't need it."

When asked on 'The Early Show' if Kerry's election would compromise national security, McCain responded: "I don't think that -- I think that John Kerry is a good and decent man. I think he has served his country."

I was disappointed that McCain would not realistically be able to mount a challenge to Bush for the nomination this cycle, but it seems apparent that he is determined to challenge Bush from a position firmly within the Party. He may not be running against Bush, but he may ultimately do more damage to Bush by working as a critical ally of the Bush Administration. He is able to selectively snipe and bedevil the Bush Administration on their weakest points with a unique credibility. Though McCain is far from my ideal from a policy standpoint, he consistently impresses me with his integrity and professionalism. Republican though he be, John McCain is the sort of principled and heard-nosed realist who knows how to hit the marks .

Rather than lionizing Bushnoccio and Tricky Dick Cheney, today's young Republican leaders of tommorrow ought to venerate John McCain; a true man among men, and a leader in a party dominated by sychophants, careerists, ideologues, Chicken Hawks, and opportunists.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Al Qaida determined the outcome of Spanish election!? Qué mierda!

Despite The White House's recent claim that the Spanish gave in to terrorism by throwing out Aznar, experts on Spanish Politics disagree with such a self-serving characterization.

The troops in Iraq, and Aznar's anti-majoritarian collusion with the Bush Administration's war of aggression (which 90% of Spaniards opposed), combined with Aznar's own self-serving lies regarding the attack being sponsored by ETA to produce a victory for the Socialists. A wave a resentment mobilized a higher than expected turnout and voted the Popular Party out as punishment for their crimes and as an endorsement of an alternative, saner, policy.

The Spaniards weren't cowed by terror and to claim such is immensely insensitive and undiplomatic of the Administration (nothing new there...). In fact, what we just witnessed was an incredible act of political courage. In the face of terrorist carnage such as Europe has not seen in living memory, the Spanish stood up and tore down the government whose policies were putting them in peril, even while claiming to be the people's protectors.

The reason why the Administration is so determined to spin 3/11 is that they recognize their own demise in the determination and courage of the Spanish electorate. Aznar had used the same techniques to sow fear in his populace that Bush uses to sow fear and division here at home. Aznar got his come-uppance for treading on the democratic will of the Spanish people; just as Bush will get his walking papers from America's in November.

The Administration just recognized that the people will not be cowed, even by terrible acts of violence conveniently close to an election. The Administration cannot entertain the possibility of the nation rallying around the leader should a terrorist attack occur here just before our election. Without that possibility, they realize they are deeper trouble than ever. Thus, they have to try to spin the Spanish electorate as cowards and terrorist appeasers, when in fact they were brave, stallwart, and fed up with Aznar's government.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

A Message from T. Stephen Cody, LD 29 Secretary

Dear progressive Southern Arizona Democrats,

Join me in creating November's Headline:

"Dean-invigorated Democrats Defeat Bush, re-take House and Senate, and gain in state and local elections nationwide"

There is only one person who can Beat Bush, and that is the Democratic Party's nominee for President.  We need to support the Democratic Party and its nominee for President in order to fire the Bush Administration and take our country back. To help that person govern well, we also need to elect a supportive House and Senate, and supportive elected officials in state and local government.

We also need to hold our Party and elected officials accountable to the "Dean principle" of fact-based policy focused on the common good (as opposed to policy dictated by those special interests who are able and willing to buy it).

YOU HAVE THE POWER. To exercise it, do three things NOW (details below):

  • get active in your local Democratic Party,

  • get appointed as a PC (Precinct Committeeperson) for your voting precinct, and

  • get elected as a PC in your local voting precinct.

If you have any questions, contact Barbara Bernstein at the Pima County Democratic Party 326-3716, bberstein@azdem.org or the Pima County Precinct Committee Person Recruitment Chair, Peter Newton, at newton530@aol.com.


Start (or continue) attending meetings for your legislative district (LD) Democratic Party committee.  To find out your precinct, city, legislative, congressional and other districts, check your voter card, or look it up using your residential address and zipcode at:


To get info on monthly LD meetings, officers and elected state representatives for your district, see links to the LD (legislative district) committee pages at:

or at:

Become a Precinct Committeeperson (PC) for your precinct. You can be appointed now by filling out a form and submitting it to the Pima County Democratic Party chairperson, Paul Eckerstrom.  Forms are available at Democratic Party Headquarters (HQ) (phone: 326-3716, address: 4639 E. 1st Ave., near Speedway and Swan).  The off-hours phone answering message has info on location, office hours, email and website for the Pima County Democratic Party HQ.

Pima County Democratic Party website: http://www.pimademocrats.org/

For an overview of what it means to be a PC, see the "Precinct Committeeperson Online Handbook" at:


Attend a PC training session and learn about the duties of being a PC and how to get elected.  The next training session is on March 27th at HQ at 10 AM.

ALL PC slots will be up for election at the Primary Election in September this year. Here is paraphrase from a letter (sent to all current PCs) that I received from the Pima County Democratic Party Chairman, Paul Eckerstrom:

"...We strongly encourage you to run for election, as it is very important to the Democratic Party to have elected PC's.  Pima County receives 1 State Committee slot for every 3 elected PC's, not for appointed PCs.  

In addition, only elected PC's will be able to participate in the re-organizational meetings for the County & District Parties next December and January.  Further, if replacements are required for members of the Legislature in the coming term, only elected PC's will participate in the process of recommending a replacement to the Board of Supervisors.

If you have not done so before, you will find running for election to be a fairly simple proces. You must file a signed and notarized affidavit with the Division of Elections, giving your address, how you want your name to appear on the ballot & other info. You must file a petition with signatures of registered Democracts in your precinct.  The number of signatures is based on the Democratic registration in your Precinct.  However, the most signatures you will need are 10 under Arizona law. We strongly suggest you obtain at least 10 signatures from Democrats in your Precinct...(Ed: these signatures MUST be registered Democratic voters in your precint) After you have had your affidavit notarized, you may bring it and your filled petition to the Democratic Headquarters and we will file them for you at the Division of Elections. We will help check your petition to be sure it is filled correctly. (The back of the petition must be filled out & signed by the circulator - which can be you) You may also be a petition signer on the front. Since the filing period is from May 10 through June 9, you have plenty of time to get this done. Thanks for your continuing help and support of the Democratic Party."

NOTE: Most precincts have more PC slots available than people to run for them, so once you've qualified for the ballot in those precincts, all you have to do is vote for yourself and you're elected!

You can get the partisan nomination petition and the affadavit (titled "Pima County Partisan Nomination Paper Affadavit of Qualification Campaign Finance Laws Statement [A.R.S. 16-311, 16-905 (K)(5)]") from Pima Dem HQ.

You can also get the partisan nomination petition online at:

Thanks for your continuing support of the Democratic Party. Si se puede!

T. Stephen Cody, Democratic Party LD29 Secretary

Renzi picks up 100K in fat cat contributions

Cheney raises $100K for Renzi. Republican incumbent in District 1 was assisted by VP Dick Cheney in raising about $100K at a single high-dollar fundraiser. Democratic challenger Paul Babbitt can defeat Renzi, who votes with the Bush Administration over 90% of the time, but he needs your help to do it.

Please contribute anything you can to Paul's campaign, and, in any case, sign up for Paul's Meetups to see how you can help defeat Renzi. You don't have to live in District 1 to help out. It is the responsibility of all AZ Democrats to help oust Renzi from his district of convenience before he is able to burrow in any deeper. We need a real resident of District 1 to represent District 1. Please look for links to Pauls website, Meetup, and Yahoo Group on the side bar.

Republicans using government resources to attack Kerry

A House Resource Committee web page on the Congressional servers is being used for campaign attacks against Kerry. This is an outrageous misappropriation of the people's tax dollars.

Perhaps the most pitiful thing is that Republican members of the Committee blame the terrible toll of job outsourcing on Kerry! What? It's absurd, but there it is. The allies of Bush call the loss of jobs due to outsourcing a terrible thing (though Bush thinks it's great), and bemoan rising energy prices (though they control the Congress, and the very committee that should be dealing with the issue is blaming Kerry!). It is downright farsical.

And could be downright illegal. The government is not allowed to use government resources for lobbying the public. This press release is not news, it's an attack ad. At the end it even quotes a transcript from a Kerry press interview, suggesting a Kerry flip-flop. That is nearly the sine qua non of contrast advertising.

Write your Congressmen. Time for yet ANOTHER investigation of Republicans who think they are above the law. It is getting to be almost a daily occurance, isn't it? Perhaps Congressional Dems should just install a GOP corruption hot-line phone bank to make reporting all these shenanigans easier.

Kerry's Response

Kerry's response to Bush's recent attack ad "100 days" was not engaging. Kerry should learn a lesson from Dean's demise in Iowa. He needs to either rise above, or find substantive ways to neutralize his opponent's attacks. Stay on message and on target, but if a response is needed devote an entire ad campaign to it. Trying to both counter an attack and present a positive message in the same ad only makes both parts of the message a waste of air time.

I forsee Kerry rolling out an ad in response to Bush's latest attack ad, "Troops", which is perhaps the most misleading and hypocritical ad I've ever seen. I hope that Kerry doesn't make the same mistake. Kerry's approach in "Bush Misleading America" of calling such attack ads misleading is a good one, but it needs to focus strongly on the credibility gap of the Administration on all subjects, and not just the specific attack ad's charges - that is just playing defense, losing Kerry's immense political initiative. If Kerry gets set back on his heels by these ads so that his message becomes simply responding to attacks, he is toast.

Folding the issue of misleading political ads into other specific examples of lying and distorting the truth by the Bush Administration is, I think, the most effective approach. Using response ads to directly undermine the credibility of Bush Administration's pronouncements and messages will reduce the need to respond to such attacks in the future. Kerry needs to hammer a point home about Bush in his responses, i.e., that you cannot trust anything the Bush Administration says, not just about John Kerry, but about anything. Then, perhaps, we'll some galvanic skin response by viewers.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Kerry's Strength

Having just watched Kerry address the Int'l Assoc. of Fire Fighters it was impressed on me what may be Kerry's greatest asset. Perhaps it is a residue of leading men in battle, but Kerry best stirs me when he speaks of the bonds of loyalty, duty, and mutual sacrifice, shared between people in adversity.

His rhetorical style is often orotund, overly fussy, ponderous, and indirect. He winds up for far too long, and once he pitches his point, it is weighted with dependent clauses, clichéd modifiers, and unnecessary repetition and variation. The result is often rambling and flabby, yet enpurpled, diction that leaves the listener vaugely annoyed, rather than moved.

But much of this drops away, or just seems more appropriate, in the context of duty, shared sacrifice, and values. The frisson one gets upon hearing something that truly resonates with one's own deeply held views, thrums in me when Kerry hits his stride on the right topics. If it's not just me responding to these themes, and, having observed reactions at several Kerry events, I don't think it is, then Kerry has a good chance to really touch people in this campaign.

He needs to carry these themes into every area of his campaign. If he couches his policies consistently in terms of values, rather than promulgating abstract policy goals and details as he is apt to do, he should do very well and gather considerable enthusiastic support.

It was Dean's appeal to values and ideals of Americans which won him such strong support, not agreement on every point of policy. It was his demonstrated personal qualities of honesty, plain-spokeness, and humility that endeared him to so many. Kerry would do well to emulate Dean in this. Kerry can yet earn the admiration and support of all Democrats by playing to this strength, in place of the resigned support for an anybody but Bush which animates most voters support of Kerry at present.

Administration Now Faking the News

As if U.S. media weren't compliant and toothless enough,the Administration has taken to simply faking the news for political gain.

The HHR Dept. produced a 'video newsrelease' of Bush signing the Medicare Drug bill and receiving a standing ovation narrated by a 'reporter' who provided voice over spinning the benefits of the bill. The 'reporter' was an acress hired by the Administration to read a script. The tape was intended to by-pass the 'filter' and be used in local television broadcasts.

The Medicare Lie

Richard Foster,Medicare's Chief Actuary says he was threatened into silence about cost of prescription drug Medicare bill. In fear for his job, he allowed Congress to proceed upon the bill without the full and correct information about the cost of the program.

This is yet another example of the Bush Administation's habit of leading with lies and threats. Strong arming a public servant with the threat of termination if he told the truth to Congress is reprehensible and possibly illegal. Congressional Democrats are calling for an ethics investigation and a re-vote on the legislation. They should call for Bush's head on a platter.

This is just the latest instance of leadership by deception and threats by this Administration. Internal documents and admissions by the Administration make it clear that the White House knew of the higher cost estimates for months. It is also clear that they expect to pay no political cost for their mendacity and thuggery.

One has to wonder how far this Administration has to go to really outrage the public? Public assassinations of American citizens? Nope. Did it. No outrage. Torture of prisoners? Nope. Did that. No problem. Agressive war justified by lies, and costing hundreds of American lives? Nope. Did it. People liked it. Toppling peacful democratic governments? Did that; working on yet more. Not a peep. Outing national security assets for base political purposes? Uh-uh. Tried it. Worked well. Can probably avoid any indictments. Disappearing hundreds of innocent citizens and residents? In spades. No repercussions. Domestic spying against the poltical opposition by computer intrusion? Check. Counter-attacked, and will likely get away with it. Intruding on the privacy of American citizens. Natch. Not an issue. Carrying out undercover ops, including incitements to violence, against domestic political opposition groups? Co-intel Pro is back. No outrage. Beating and intimidating peaceful protestors? Miami rocked, man! The city counsel deliberately passed an unconstitutional law banning public gatherings and repealed it right after the FTA protests. No public response.

Is it any wonder, given this PARTIAL accounting of the unethical, illegal, and anti-democratic actions of this Administration and its allies, that they think they can get away with any outrage? They can. They have. One has to wonder if, like a victim of spousal abuse, we have begun to comply with our own victimization. The first time we failed to stand up for ourselves, it was forgivable. But each time we failed to walk out on our abusive government, it became easier and easier to make us victims, and harder for us to reverse the course of our subjugation. Lucky for us, the marriage contract has an option to renew at 4 years. Perhaps we can pluck up our courage and marshall our outrage sufficiently to refuse to renew for another 4 years of abuse and degradation. If we don't throw the bastards out, statistics will tell you that there is a very high probability of our ending up terminally victimized by our abuser.

The Empire Backfires

The Empire Backfires by Jonathon Schell is a fine retrspective on the purposes, costs, and out comes of the Iraq war.

If you have not read it, I strongly suugest you do so. It will put you in the cat-bird's seat next time some smarmy conservative blows hard about Bush being "strong on defense". Confront them with the reality of the war's effect on nuclear proliferation and throw in a morsel of Bush's weasel-like manuevering on cooperative threat reduction. Watching a grown person's worldview shattered is not a pretty sight, but it can be a satisfying one.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Holy (Log)Rolling

I thought to myself, "You have got to be kidding..." upon first reading about The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 (PDF). A more obtuse and meaningless lump of language could hardly be imagined. I learned of it because the Russian's were making fun of us about it. Anything that makes us the butt of Russian jokes has got to be unbelievably stupid. In part, it states,
"The Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government."

If you are left shaking your head, or scratching it in confusion, you are not alone. Introduced by some the worst reptiliod throwbacks in Congress, including the increasingly loathesome Zell Miller, this bill seeks to cut the heart out of the Federal Judiciary's jurisdiction by the moronic device of invoking God. That's right; invoke God's holy name and collect a "get out of Constitutional scrutiny free" card.

Inspired by the obnoxious controversy of displaying the ten commandments in courthouses around the Bible Belt, the law seeks to place God above the state. What is delightfully amusing about this is that the idiots who promulgated this pap don't seem to realize that, given America's demographics, they are likely to land Buddha, the Qu'ran, Ganesh, 100 various saints along with blood sacrifices, and a life-sized resin cast statue of Bob Dobbs in courtrooms, along with their own idolitrous slabs of marble bearing the decalogos.

Perhaps more serious are the, hopefully, unintended consequence of this sloppily drafted beast. Because an officer would be protected from relief in all their acts, official and personal, this "law" it would essentially constitutionalize any executive act made in the name of God, no matter it's content or purpose, and allow government officials to violate the Constitutional rights of citizens, so long as it was done with God's name in their mouths. I could not draft a law which would be worse for religion in America if I tried.

Finally, in another section, this "law" also makes it an impeachable offense for any judge to cite to any law of a foriegn nation, or international organization or agency in any written opinion. This is obviously retaliation for citiing to foreign laws in Bowers v. Harwick, which Constitutionalized sodomy. This would of course make it impossible to administrate justice in any modern nation. No international law, no rules promulgated by international bodies, no trade law, no internatinal standards, no treaty based administrative directives, no UN. No kidding? Guess we can forget about our relations with the rest of the world. As poor as they are with Bush in the Oval, at least there is a considerable residue of law which cushions the effect of even the worst bungler in the White House. All of which would be uninforcible under this "law".

The whole tissue of this proposal is absurd and naive, akin to fishing with dynamite or cyanide. Not only is it deeply stupid, bad for religion, injurious to America's status in the world, but is itself most assuredly unconstitutional in at least a dozen ways. Our civic debate has become horribly debased by zealotry and symbolic politics such as this "law" and the FMA. The perpetrators need to be punished at the ballot box before they can do our nation real harm. Next time you debate a Conservative, tell them about the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 - and try to keep a straight face.

FMA: Farsically Mendacious Amendment

Bush's pet culture war project this election cycle is the Federal Marriage Amendment. A perfect vehicle for every 'family values' politician to take a principled stand against the realities of modernity. This simple fact is, if you are trying to save the 'traditional' nuclear family, which has historically been anything but the norm in the vast majority of civilizations for most of human history, that cat has already left the bag.

America is no longer capable of having man+woman+2.5 children=family as the norm. The legal and economic emancipation of women has gone too far. Women will never give up their independence, and woe betide anyone who tries to take anything away from them. The mores and dictates of religious marriage receive far more lip, than service, even from those whose lips are raw from kissing their Scriptures. Even places where 'covenant' marriage (which disallows no-fault divorce) is available, like AZ, such marriages are less than 1% of marriages performed. That homosexuals want access to the solemnization of marriage should cheer traditionalists, not enrage them. Their demands for inclusion are a reflection of the great legal and economic benefits we have heaped upon marriage, the cultural status conferred upon marriage even by those outside the mainstream, and the innate strength and utility of a pairbond for raising children. Making marriage available to any two people, regardless of their status, will ultimately strengthen the institution, allowing it to wheather the storms of modernity.

The biggest open secret of the FMA is that it hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of passing. The super majority needed to get it out of Congress just isn't there, let alone the votes to pass 3/4 of the State legislatures. Bush is only dangling it as a convenient way to present politically cheap red meat to his Conservative base. The FMA is as much a hypocritical joke as one of Bush's other favored Amendements: the Balanced Budget Amendment. Sometimes one wishes that these GOP blowhards would get what they ask for; perhaps then we wouldn't be staggering under some of the largest deficits in our history. If the GOP are as true to the ideals of the FMA as they have been to the Balanced Budget Amendment, look for them all to divorce their wives in a mass televised ceremony on the Mall, make their children wards of the state, and live in sin with a series of cheap floosies, the maintenance of whom will be made tax deductable, of course.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Board of Regents approves another huge increase

This week's Board of Regents 8-1 tuition vote pushes the cost of tuition at AZ Universities past $4,000 on an annualized basis. Add this year's increase to last years nearly 40% increase, and in-state tuition has gone up over $1,400 in the last two years alone.

For anyone who has college-age children, this should be a wake-up call about Bush's so-called "tax cuts". Did your taxes go down by $1,400 per child? No? What Bush's "Federal Revenue Starvation Diet" (TM) really amounts to is a way of hiding huge tax increases on the middle class by transferring the bite to State services. Retail psychologists would call it, "the old bait and switch." Apparently, the old dog still hunts.

Bush's 9/11 Ghouls

Just when it seems the Bush Administration couldn't possibly get any more crass, running an ad which exploits the 9/11 tragedy for re-election traction, along comes news of something worse.

Donald "the quacker" Rumsfeld, and undisclosed high-level FBI officials, stole evidence from the World Trade Center site to keep as momentos. Rumsfeld apparently keeps a shard of one of the airplanes that struck the tower on his desk to amuse vistors.

The Bush Administration has a long history of perfidy regarding 9/11: air quality lies and cover-ups, failure to deliver promised aid to New York City, failure to fund first responder equipment upgrades, slow-walking and starving the 9/11 Commission, trying to name Kissinger as head of said commission, trying to prevent investigation of any aspect of 9/11 that could hurt them politically, allowing the bin Laden family to be escorted out of the country rather than questioned. Add to this history the ghoulish revelation of 9/11 momento taking, and I would not be surprised to learn that Bush himself donated a charred skull from the towers site to the Skull and Bones temple.

Have these people no sense of propriety? Have they no shame? Write to secretary Rumsfeld and tell him where to put his shard.

Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Kerry Should Hit Bush on CTR

Kerry is not putting enough emphasis on the one homeland defense issue that will truly resonate with people, and on which Bush has been craven: Cooperative Threat Reduction. Bush has refused to fully fund it, even though the budget is mere pittance in comparison to it's importance. CTR is purchasing and securing nuclear weapons and materials in former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc nations which can no longer afford to adequately assure these weapons' security. If the Bush Administration were truly concerned about WMD falling into the hands of terrorists, this would be their number one priority. The personnel guarding and staffing the facilities where these materials are stored are tremendously vulnerable to bribery, blackmail, trickery, or force, and border controls lack sophistication. Materials with which terrorists could easily build a crude device, such as highly enriched uranium, are surprising insecure. A terrorist could be obtaining these materials as you read this, and the first notice we would have could be a mushroom cloud over New York harbor.

CTR is the homeland defense issue Kerry should hammer Bush the hardest and most frequently. I hate to advocate this, but there isn't a more thoroughly frightening issue out there with which to overcome Bush's own constant scare tactics by frightening people justifiably and for good reason. If Kerry works to make people understand the issue, people will come to see that loose nukes and fissile materials are the single greatest threat to US security. Failure to prioritize and fund CTR could result in a mushroom cloud over NY or LA. CTR only costs a few dollars per American - YET BUSH WON'T SPEND IT! He'll spend billions on missile defense so that large aerospace contractors can get contracts, but the real threat will probably arrive on a Liberian container ship. Bush will spend 100 billion on a war on Iraq that has failed to find a single WMD, but he won't spend a measly billion to purchase fissile materials and pay for upgraded security measures in foreign nuclear facilities where we KNOW there are precursors to WMD or even live nuclear warheads.

Cooperative Threat Reduction is a perfect frame for illustrating that Bush doesn't really care about homeland defense, and that Bush has failed to provide leadership to make America safer. CTR requires more than one line in Kerry's platform. It needs the appointment of very powerful and well supported 'czar', a pledge to support the Nunn-Lugar 1 billion dollar CTR program, and an action plan for stepping up the purchase of weapons material for reprocessing and for securing research stocks of fissile materials.

Kerry can beat Bush mercilessly with the contrast between the 100 billion and hundreds of lives the Iraq war has cost us to chase an illusory threat of an Iraqi bomb, but he won't fully fund a measly 1 billion for CTR. which goes after nuclear materials that we know exist, know where they are, and that are in the hands of people who might actually sell them to al Qaida. Most importantly, the dangers of loose nukes can be abated without any danger to our troops.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Congress Punishing Families Again

The FAIR TAXES FOR ALL national coalition has designated Wednesday, March 10 a National Call In Day to oppose the Senate Budget Resolution. PAFCO and many other local member groups are members of this national coalition protecting federal funding for education, health, social services, environmental and other needed citizen programs.

Call our Senators at 202-224-3121 (or at numbers below) on Wednesday March 10 and urge them to oppose the proposed Budget Resolution, because it cuts Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and other children's programs, while cutting taxes so that we would still have a budget deficit of $200 billion in 2005.

The message:

• Ask them to vote against the reconciliation instruction to cut Medicaid and the EITC, against the two year budget cap, and for any amendment that would require tax cuts to be balanced by other increases in revenues. Senator McCain is a key Senate vote. Make sure to call his office to urge him to vote against this budget resolution.
• Urge members of Congress to enact a responsible budget resolution with fair tax policies that result in adequate revenue to assure the well-being of America’s children and families.

Please take action so these twisted budget rules can be defeated. If these rules are not defeated, poor and vulnerable families will suffer from the budget cuts that will result. Specific addresses and phone numbers are below if you prefer not to go through the switchboard number provided above.

McCain, John - (R - AZ)
(202) 224-2235
Web Form: mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=Contact.Home

Kyl, Jon - (R - AZ)
(202) 224-4521
Web Form: kyl.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Latino Voters Critical to Democrats

A recent Miami Herald Poll indicates that in Florida Kerry leads Bush 49% to 43%, with the suicidal 3% of the electorate supporting Nader. This is good news from a state the leans Bush and many Democrats had written off. But one worrying figure in the good news is that among Hispanics, Bush leads Kerry 56 to 40 percent. The Bush number includes not only the typically GOP-voting Cuban Americans, but also traditionally Democratic non-Cubans who backed Al Gore in 2000.

The Latino vote in this country is not securely Democratic. Latinos are very much a swing constituency; one with a lot of untapped potential. Latino voter registration rates are very low. Both Democrats and Republicans see great potential in spending money to bring more Latino voters into the process on their side.

One Democratic group that is taking Latino votes very seriously is the New Democrat Network, which is now airing a 5 million dollar buy. This series of Spanish language ads on Spanish language TV networks, rolls out initially in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque (the major media markets of the three most volatile Southwestern swing States). This is important work, and laudably relevant to a crucial goal. I do not hesitate to suggest rewarding such intelligent behavior with your Treasury ballots, even though I do not support all of the views of the NDN. Now days, we Democrats need to recognize those whom we agree with more than 50% of the time for who they are: allies and friends.

If you wish to act locally to help in an intensive effort to register Latino voters, you will want to work with Raul Grijalva's Congressional campaign in Arizona's District 7. Grijalva is without any seriously challenges in this cycle. This is indicative of his strength in CD7 that he lacks any serious opposition in his Sophomore term. Compare this to Rick Renzi in CD 1 who in his Sophomore term is facing a very credible, high-quality challenger in Paul Babbitt. The breathing room that Grijalva's hard work to secure his district for Democrats has bought gives us the chance to focus all our efforts on growing the Latino electorate for the Democratic party.

Renzi's Financial Woes

Rick Renzi, the Virgina carpetbagger Congressman from whom Paul Babbitt is seeking to wrest back an Arizona seat, is apparently having lots of financial difficulty lately. His consultants are suing him, the bank has foreclosed on the Arizona home he bought to establish residency, and the government sought to auction of a part of Mr. Renzi's winery to pay back taxes.

Of course, Mr. "I understand the bottom line" Renzi has excuses for all this financial irresponsibility, but it really comes down responsibility. A man who can not even be trusted with his own affairs and finances doesn't seem to be the best choice to manage the finances and affairs of our State and our Nation. "Fast and Loose", is not a good campaign slogan, but that seems to be the message which Mr. Renzi seem to be sending to voters.

"Vote for me, and I'll treat the taxpayers money like it was my own," Mr. Renzi might say to the voters of Arizona. Let's just hope he plans to break that promise, too.

Grassroots sending out rhizomes in AZ

Here is part of an article that I stumbled across from Mike Moore, a reporter from the Journal Times in Milwaukee, WI

"OK, here's a quick math problem. You've got 183,000 people, a Web site and a presidential candidate. Take away the candidate and what've you got left? The answer came Wednesday night, as about three dozen Howard Dean supporters showed up at Milwaukee's Bean Head Cafe for the monthly session organized through something called meetup.com.

Since their beloved candidate stopped chasing the ultimate bone a couple of weeks ago, I figured the answer to the problem would be easy: You've got squat. Well, for a wake, this gathering seemed pretty dang chipper. The noises emanating from the cafe's back room were whistles and cheers, not uncontrolled sobs.

All right, so maybe you've got some good memories. A few people spoke up and expressed their disappointment that the campaign fell short. They got a little dark humor out of the fact Dean won his only state, his home state of Vermont, after he'd dropped out. Still, this didn't have the feel of a wrapup event, especially since some came for the first time.

Everybody wanted to fight on, either through local elections or by
continuing to push their guy's positions. The real answer, then, is you take away the candidate and you've still got a boatload of motivated people."

The reason why I quoted that article was that it so nicely echoed what I saw at my Meetup at the Northwest Neighborhood Center in Tucson. I arrived late, as I got out of class that night at seven and had to drive over.

People were already working diligently on what's next, not crying over what might have been. There was a sense of purpose; a desire to build something, to create new opportunities, and to work for change locally.

After we selected a parlimentarian to avoid the excited cross-talk, it became apparent that people were bursting with energy and ideas. These people weren't beaten - they were ready to take a bite out of the GOP's hold on the legislature and the AZ Congressional delegation. They were circulating petitions, working for Democratic candidates and causes and looking for places to put their shoulder and push.

Many had become or were becoming PCs or had been elected to positions within the party. Most were going to the party delegate selection caucus that happened today. In fact, I saw many of them there today, true to their word.

We discussed the future of our Meetup further. Everyone was determined to continue it and even expand it, even with Dean gone. Few wanted to join the Kerry campaign, though we agreed that we must help Kerry in November.

We also discussed how much we had admired the people from other campaigns that we had met while working the primary. We agreed that we had to reach out to the supporters of other candidates, and invite them to continue to take part in the
grassroots movement that our Meetups will eventually become. With our candidates out of the picture, maybe now we could step back and see what we all had in common.

In some ways, I think that having Burlington no longer running the show is a relief for many of us. Now we can take our Meetups and our politics local, and we can set our own agenda for change. We are all looking forward to what Dean wants to accomplish, and we all expect that DFA2 will continue to be a guiding light for the grassroots.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Tucson Peace March

The Progressive Caucus of the Yuma County Democrat Committee is arranging a car pool so that the Yuma region will be well represented in Tucson. We need to protest everything about Bush--including his stink invasions. Fritzi

Thursday, March 04, 2004

To those who do not wish to support Kerry with time and money:

I can certainly understand your choice, and respect it. Nobody should ask you to violate your ideals or your conscience. I seriously considered that course myself. Ultimately, I decided against it, and here's why.

I suspected that I was making the perfect the enemy of the... not great? Passably benign? Non-malignant? Anyhow... There are a lot worse things than Kerry, even if he is a son-of-bitch and belly crawling bastard character assassin. Specifically, everything to do with the Bush Admin and the GOP's right wing.

So? Let others carry the load. Unfortunately, from those with great gifts are great feats asked. The simple fact is that we Deaniacs are the heavy hitters of the small donor Democratic electorate. No one else has the money and, more importantly, the willingness to open their wallets to beat Bush that we have demonstrated. If we don't step up and fork over the green with one hand while holding our noses with the other, then Kerry cannot rely on small donors for even a substantial portion of his campaign needs.

Guess what that means? Kerry being the special interest whore and practical fella that he is, he'll suck up to the very same donors who are bundling millions for Bush. Don't think that he won't. We have the rotten bastard at least talking the talk now, we may be able to teach him to walk the walk. But if we take the money leash off him, he'll run off, piss on BCRA, and take the tasty treats from Mr. Lobbyist who lives down the street.

The best way to insure that the bastard is OUR bastard is to stuff his treasury with grassroots money. I know it sounds bizzare and counterintuitive, but the only way to get a populist into the White House now, is to buy one. The fundraising revolution of Dean is not one of technique, or message, or technology; it's just never been this bad. I gave so much to Dean because I was desperate, and I was in love. I don't love Kerry, but I'm still deperate. And upon self-examination, the love just made the money easier to part with. The desperation is what really opened my wallet.

So. You all need to come to your own conclusions and follow your own lights, but I have made up my mind. I'm pissing myself contemplating another Bush Administration. If a few thousand bucks can stave that off, and maybe keep Kerry off the special interest sauce, then I'm in.

Guess I better liquidate what's left of my 401K...

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Call for Authors

We need you! Or maybe someone you know... BlogForArizona.com is going through a transition. Now that the nominee has been decided, our focus will be changing to the general election, criticizing Bush even more (if that's even possible), and following important local and state elections in more detail.

We welcome people close to those campaigns who want to communicate with Arizona Democrats to chime in with their opinions and news. We need people from journalism, professional and elected politicians, and deep thinkers from every Democratic candidate's camp to put thier voices online, anonymously if you want, or literally if you choose (we have voice blogging available). Everyone who wants the Bush Administration, and the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellians to end can now unite to take our country back. It's time to set aside any differences and take aim on the radical right at every level.

Many Greens, Republicans, Independents, and others have joined together in the struggle against Bush and the rest of the radical right. We welcome you, as well. Both your perspective on the opposition, and your critique of the Democratic Party are important to keep us on track and prevent the echo chamber from keeping out the voices of people who are not so passionate about politics and don't share our views.

The traffic on this site has dropped off from the several hundred hits a week we were getting with Dean still in the race, but we are retooling, rethinking, and refocusing our efforts. You will notice many changes over the coming weeks, but our openess to the voices of any who wish to join in will not change. With your help, this site can become a home for all forward thinking citizens who care about politics and government, and all those who want to learn more.

If you are interested in contributing to this blog, even if it is only occasionally, if you already have an account and haven't posted in while, or if you know someone who would be a good fit, please write to mbryan@aol.com and introduce yourself. Working together we can keep this site a vital resource for Arizona citizens.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Bush Toppling Western Democracies

With the attempted coup in Peru in 2002, and his current support for insurrectionists calling for an end to Chavez's Presidency, and growing evidence that American forces were behind Aristide's ouster, it is becoming clear that Bush is secretly pursuing regime change against duly elected democratic governments. People may have legitimate differences with the Chavez or Artistide governments, but it is both illegal and hypocritical to depose elected leaders with no legal process. How long until Bush decides the government of Canada's Paul Martin needs to fall, or that of his former buddy Vicente Fox? Perhaps November 2004 isn't soon enough to get rid of Bush.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Divide and Bicker

Divide and Bicker, this story by Howard Kurtz hurts to read. I don't given Kurtz high marks for varacity, but even when taken with a whole Margaritta rim, this doesn't go down easy.

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