"Howard Dean is right," declared the silver-haired Hollings, launching into a spirited defense of Dean's assertion that Americans are no safer now that Saddam Hussein has been captured. "Saddam wasn't causing anybody any problem. You have some little smart-aleck announcer on television asking, 'Do you think we're better off with Saddam gone?' What else is gone? We have 456 dead; 11,000 maimed for life, and I don't think it was worth it. I had intended to vote against that resolution [giving Bush the authority to wage war against Iraq], but Rummy and Condi Rice and Cheney said you can't wait until the smoking gun is a mushroom cloud. I thought they had some intelligence, that they knew something."
Fortunately for me, in my first tentative steps of connecting with the media again today, I found this encouraging article on Alternet:
The Democratic candidates, the media and perhaps the Bush people seem to be ignoring what seems inarguable: Dean has been the candidate of change from the onset, and their attacks add emphasis to that status. He staked out clear positions where the voters were most angry: the rush to war, a tin-eared imperial presidency, a faltering economy, corrupt cronyism and an overall feeling of powerlessness. He stood up for something. In a climate of powerful models of voter frustration — most notably Arnold Schwarzenegger's election as governor of California — Dean captured the mantle of change, and he's just tightened his grip since then.
Never give up, never surrender.
From its derisive treatment of allies to its rejection of important global agreements, this administration has favored a go-it-alone approach and a determination to use force as its weapon of first resort. Its approach has alienated friends and bolstered foes. Its agenda isolates the United States, placing responsibility for all the world's problems in our hands, and runs counter to America's traditions as a republic.
By contrast, my national security policy reflects the best of our mainstream tradition. I believe the United States must exercise leadership by working with allies and partners to advance common interests, rather than advancing our power unilaterally.
I was in Seoul when Koizumi's summit was announced, a day or two after John Bolton (the so-called 'Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control' in an Administration that has wrecked arms control) arrived to denounce Kim Jong Il personally and his regime more generally as evil, a menace to peace, the greatest security threat in the region etc. He did this again in the summer of 2003, as six-party talks on the North Korean problem were about to be held in Beijing. A brutal tyrant had North Korea in the grip of 'a hellish nightmare', he said, causing Armitage publicly to distance himself from Bolton's rhetoric. When a reporter from the Times asked Bolton what the Bush policy was towards the North, 'he strode over to a bookshelf, pulled off a volume and slapped it on the table. It was called The End of North Korea, and was by an American Enterprise Institute colleague. 'That,' he said, 'is our policy.''
The whole basis for opposing the war is the argument that Hussein did not pose an imminent threat to America.
If that's your view, why would -- why should -- that change with Hussein's capture?
Wouldn't Dean's opposition to the war be far shakier and far less sensible if he suddenly agreed that the main objective of the war bolstered American security, yet he still opposed the war?
On Dec 30, at 7:30PM, we'll gather at my pad in Arlington for a conference call with Governor Dean, and a celebration of 311 days to victory.
The goal is to raise $5000 at our humble house party, so please contribute what you can afford.
Click here to read the original thread about this idea.
Mr. Bush's team, taking full advantage of its control of the Republican Party apparatus, has a more audacious goal: creating a seamless national political machine that subsumes existing state and local party operations and infuses them with new recruits, money, technology and discipline.
Bush campaign officials say they envision tens of thousands of volunteers, many armed with palmtop computers with access to a database of voters' names and the issues that move them, fanning out through just about every neighborhood in the country in the weeks leading up to Election Day.
If the situation on the ground in Iraq stabilizes, isn't that bad news for your campaign?
Of course not. That would be good news for the Iraqi people and for the world. If Iraq is stabilized and does not blow up into an actual threat to our national security--and our troops can come home sooner rather than later--we will all be happy. My campaign isn't based on the outcome of the war in Iraq but on a hopeful and idealistic alternative to our current political reality--not as a protest against the Iraq war.
What would you do to restore relations with our allies?
If I win, I'm going to go, before I am inaugurated, on a world tour of the countries we desperately need to repair our relations with. And not just in Europe, but also in Asia and in Latin America. We're talking a little presumptuously here because the votes haven't been cast in one primary yet. But I've thought about this a lot.
The cramped headquarters, with its coterie of dressed-down young staffers, feels like the sort of Internet start-up that Trippi once worked for in Silicon Valley. The senior advisers are so overwhelmed that Trippi has to keep changing his cell-phone number to limit press calls, and Enright and her tiny staff admit they cannot keep up with the hundreds of daily inquiries. And that doesn't even count the waves of foreign journalists the campaign has basically had to ignore.
Click here to read a great post that an expat in Germany left, which mentions this site and shows her enthusiasm for the Dean campaign. If you have a minute, I encourage you to do the same. Let the campaign know you're watching, you're thinking, and you're acting.
If anyone else has Dean events happening in your area, feel free to let our community know about it. I expect we'll have more and more of these activities as we move closer to the official nomination.
In a disclaimer, the Dean04Worldwide website says it is not authorized by or affiliated with the Dean for America campaign, but is 'totally independent and free.'
The website urges 'all visitors and users...to observe FEC laws and CFR Regulations at all times...' It includes links to the official Dean website, Moveon.org, and the Federal Election Commission, among other websites.
In a 'Countries4Dean' section, the website urges readers to clickon the link 'corresponding to your country of residence below to find other Dean supporters near you, get organized beyond the Meetups, obtain the latest news from the Dean campaign, and make sure US expat [expatriate] votes count in 2004.'
William Saletan is no exception, as I believe is clear from this latest article countering the negative spin:
I haven't seen such certainty about an incumbent party keeping the White House since September 2000, when I called George W. Bush 'toast.' I was overconfident then for the same reason others are overconfident now: We forget how quickly people forget. Problems, once solved, disappear. Voters take for granted what has been accomplished. Each success, initially framed by the president as an end in itself, is reframed by the challenger as a means to a further, unfulfilled end. Bush ought to know that this can be done to him in 2004. It's what he did to Al Gore in 2000.
December 14, 2003
Dean for America Press Office (802) 651-3257
Statement by Governor Dean on the Capture of Saddam Hussein
WEST PALM BEACH - "This is a great day for the Iraqi people, the US, and the international community.
"Our troops are to be congratulated on carrying out this mission with the skill and dedication we have come to know of them.
"This development provides an enormous opportunity to set a new course and take the American label off the war. We must do everything possible to bring the UN, NATO, and other members of the international community back into this effort.
"Now that the dictator is captured, we must also accelerate the transition from occupation to full Iraqi sovereignty."
-- 30 --
For all Dean's talk about wanting to represent the truly 'Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,' the paradox is that he is a third-party candidate using modern technology to achieve a takeover of the Democratic Party. Other candidates -- Joseph Lieberman , John Kerry, John Edwards -- are competing to take control of the party's fundraising, organizational and media assets. But Dean is not interested in taking control of those depreciating assets. He is creating his own party, his own lists, his own money, his own organization. What he wants is the Democratic brand name and legacy, its last remaining asset of value, as part of his marketing strategy. Perhaps that's why former vice president Al Gore's endorsement of Dean last week felt so strange -- less like the traditional benediction of a fellow member of the party 'club' than a senior executive welcoming the successful leveraged buyout specialist. And if Dean can do it this time around, so can others in future campaigns.
If you have any questions about voting, be sure to check out the FAQ at the FVAP site. We have also provided a few general tips on the Expats for Dean forums.
Al Gore was in Tokyo on Friday and Howard Dean was in a van in Iowa, and for 45 minutes, their cellphone conversation was not particularly extraordinary, people close to both politicians said.
Dr. Dean had sent Mr. Gore a draft of a foreign policy speech that Dr. Dean was to deliver next week in California, and Mr. Gore was calling with a few suggestions. Then, at the end of their chat, Mr. Gore dropped the bombshell: "I've decided I want to endorse you," he told Dr. Dean.
All year the elves at his law firm, Baker Botts of Texas, have been working day and night to prevent the families of the victims of the 9/11 attack from seeking information from Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom's funding of Al Qaeda fronts.
It's tough work, but this week came the payoff when President Bush appointed Baker, the firm's senior partner, to restructure the debts of the nation of Iraq.
And who will net the big bucks under Jim Baker's plan? Answer: his client, Saudi Arabia, which claims $30.7 billion due from Iraq plus $12 billion in reparations from the First Gulf war.
Howard Dean's initial appeal has been to those Americans who always knew they were on the margins of George Bush's America. Not the socioeconomic margins, not the African American and Latino communities, but the political, cultural and existential margins -- the young, urban, white middle class in particular. Dean's are the people who were bowling alone -- not churchgoers, not union members. They shared a set of beliefs on which they'd never before had an opportunity to act collectively.
The secret of Dean's success has been twofold. Alone among the serious Democratic candidates he understood that the party was shirking its obligation to oppose -- indeed, that the grass roots was furious at the failure of its leaders to realize this. Second, his campaign became the real Meetup for millions of Americans who'd had no place to go to affect politics in the age of Bush. Dean's edge is that his campaign has provided thousands of young Deaniacs with a dimension of meaning that their hitherto disaggregated lives may have lacked. No other candidate is within light-years of offering that.
"'He was the only major candidate who made the correct judgment about the Iraq war,' Gore said. 'And he had the insight and the courage to say and do the right thing. And that's important because those judgments -- that basic common sense -- is what you want in a president.'
'Whether it is inspiring enthusiasm at the grassroots, and promising to remake the Democratic Party as a force for justice and progress and good in America, whether it is a domestic agenda that gets our nation back on track, or whether it is protecting us against terrorists and strengthening our nation in the world, I have come to the conclusion that one candidate clearly now stands out,' Gore said.
Here's what The Pakistani Newspaper had to say about it:
The Arab-American and the Pakistani communities which voted overwhelmingly for Bush in the last election, because it considered Al Gore too pro-Israel and was put off by his choice of an orthodox Jewish running mate, has now realised that it made a mistake. In the next election, both Arabs and Muslims are expected to vote for Democratic party candidate who, it is increasingly likely, is going to be Howard Dean. Some months ago, Dean triggered a storm of protest among America’s Jews when all he had said was that the United States should follow an “evenhanded policy” in the Middle East...
The chairman of Dean’s presidential campaign. Steve Grossman, is a Jew and a former president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful Jewish and Israeli lobbying organisation in America. Grossman has said, “Even if the Jewish elites aren’t supporting Dean, the grassroots has been passionate about Howard Dean, and many are Jews.”
According to pollster John Zogby, an Arab-American, the majority of Jews is with the Democratic party, as is the majority of Arabs.
Dean seems in many ways to be the first Teflon-coated Democrat. Unable to make any charge stick, the other Democratic contenders and the press keep searching for that secret vulnerability. But there is no consistent theme to these challenges. One week Dean is portrayed as a dangerous left-winger who will lead the Democrats to McGovern-like defeat. The next week he is depicted as an insensitive Northerner who does not understand the hateful imagery embodied by the Confederate flag. The attacks are all over the ideological map, as critics can't decide whether Dean is a states-rights ally of the gun lobby or a kamikaze liberal.
Take a minute right now to leave a message in your country's forum; please also leave a message in the suggestions forum for how we can improve. Registration is not required but does allow you to use more of the forum's features.
"It was kind of scary, meeting those pale blue eyes of his," recalled McCormack, who favored the tax. "I remember him saying, 'Dick, for your sake, please don't underestimate my resolve on this subject.' "
Dean Ruled From the Fiscal Center in Vermont
Mr Karl Rove, the President's chief political strategist, said he regards Florida as 'ground zero' so far as next year's election is concerned.
He also said he hopes the Democrats select the liberal, anti-war, pro-gay union Dr Dean as their candidate. Yet his public glee appears to mask a private fear that countering Dr Dean will not be straightforward.
It will require the Republicans to go into early attack mode. And they will need to think out of the box to rebuff the doctor's boundless energy, astonishing fund-raising prowess and ability to generate headlines day after day.
First, of course, Dr Dean has to win the Democratic nomination.
I finally got around to updating our meetup totals, and we have a whole batch of new additions to report: Taipei, Taiwan (2 members), Porto Alegre, Brazil (2 members), Arhus, Denmark (1 member), and Trondheim, Norway (1 member).
I also wanted to mention that Munich, Germany -- a group which just formed at the beginning of the month -- continues to astound me with its incredible growth, more than doubling their membership within the past three weeks! That's grassroots at its best.
I'd also like to thank Howard Dean, for being cool, having guts, keeping it real and giving me real hope for a future where we are all in it together. Thanks Doc!
How are you guys spending this Thanksgiving? Roasted duck? Tandoori turkey? Enjoy the day. I have a good feeling this day next year is going to be even better.
"When you put a sign on the freeway people will read it until someone takes it down"
Let me be perfectly clear. When I assumed office, I put my hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. I did not put my hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible, the Torah or the Koran. The people of the Second District of Illinois did not elect me to be their pastor, priest, rabbi or imam for the purpose of shepherding their souls. They elected me to be their political representative and the guardian of their Constitutional rights.
I must say it fits perfectly with Dean's style. If I had a penny for every time the good doctor said "Let me be perfectly clear"... well, let's just say I'd have a lot of yen converting to do.
The following is an excerpt from Dean's official policy statement:
"America has an obligation to ensure the health and wellbeing of women and girls around the world."
As President, I will seek to reestablish America's role as a moral leader in the international community. Critical to this mission will be investing in the health and well-being of women around the world. Such an investment would promote social development, economic growth, democracy, and international security.
The combination of poor educational prospects and early marriage forces too many girls around the world into poverty, exposure to HIV/AIDS, and often a life of prostitution. We must recognize the cultural differences in many developing countries that prevent girls from receiving equal treatment, and devise strategies to encourage change in harmful practices.
Dr. Dean, the former governor of Vermont seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said he would also use tax credits so college graduates would never owe more than 10 percent of their annual income in loan payments and would retire their debt within 10 years. For students who become nurses, teachers, police officers or firefighters or otherwise pursue public service, the loan repayments would be capped at 7 percent of annual income.
In addition, Dr. Dean said he would quadruple AmeriCorps, the program that enlists young people for two years of domestic service, to 250,000 slots a year.
This loan payment cap is an absolute plus for students who would like to work in low paying jobs upon graduation, but otherwise could not consider this because of the amount of debt they face. From an international perspective, this means that more people can consider jobs such as working for a nongovernmental organization overseas, or accepting a teaching position in underdeveloped countries.
I think it's a wonderful step in the direction of cooperation and giving to the world rather than merely taking from it. My only complaint is that he could have gone beyond the domestic plan of AmeriCorps, and tacked on international public service as well... but understandably he is focusing on how this will help our country, and most people aren't too excited to hear about shipping off our citizens overseas no matter how high-minded the goal. (Too bad for us, isn't it?) And perhaps Dean can make an international outreach part of "phase two", once we actually regain other countries' respect and support.
"The joint endorsement of the two unions strengthens Dean where he’s already strong, in America’s cosmopolitan centers. AFSCME is as concentrated in New York as the SEIU is in California. Neither union has much strength in the anti-union South, though AFSCME does have politically active locals throughout the Midwest. And those are the two regions where Dean could use their help — or anybody’s — the most.
As the primary season assumes clearer shape, the key question now is which candidate will emerge as the anti-Dean. (At least, that’s the key question unless Dean implodes, and to date, Dean has shown himself to be both error-prone and implosion-proof, a somewhat oxymoronic condition that may not be sustainable.) If Dick Gephardt manages to beat Dean in Iowa, that distinction may be his. If not, that mantle may pass to Wesley Clark should he emerge the victor in South Carolina, where he currently leads in the polls. John Kerry would have to defeat Dean in New Hampshire to get back into the race, an outcome that looks less and less likely.
Unless Dean blows everyone away early on, the contours of the contest would go something like this: Dean wins the New York and California primaries on March 2, though the real contest that day could come in Ohio. One week later, the scene shifts to primaries in Texas and Florida, where Clark, if he’s still around, could have a good shot at beating Dean. That would set up a climactic showdown in the March 16 Illinois primary, where the endorsement of Richard Daley the Younger could be key. Even in the age of MoveOn and MeetUp, it’s nice to have the Daley machine on your side."
LA Weekly: Columns: Powerlines: Dean's November
SEIU and AFSCME, two of the largest unions in the country, have chosen to endorse Howard Dean. Why? Two reasons: 1) he has a platform that will help America's working families, and 2) he can beat George Bush! Take that, ye naysayers.
From a Washington Post article about how the two unions came to believe in Dean's candidacy:
The only similarity was that at the beginning of their discussions, Dean was not on either union's list of likely endorsees. Last December, at one of their first meetings, Stern asked Dean if there was any way he could help him, thinking he could open some union doors to the little-known candidate. "He said, 'Well you can endorse me,' which I thought was a pretty bold, first opening comment," Stern said. "And I said, 'Well, we're a little far away from that,' and he said, 'Well, if you endorse me, I'm going to be president.' "
The SEIU offered all the candidates the same resources: a list of their local leadership and a warning that the route to the endorsement began not in Stern's fifth-floor office on L Street NW but through the rank and file. "Everybody got the same advice," an SEIU official said. "Howard Dean took it to heart." No other candidate came close to Dean's outreach. "Shockingly" not close, Stern said.
I was way off on my earlier estimate. The media has been reporting the Medicare blimp ($600k) campaign as lasting 12 months. The actual duration is 3 months. Based on the latest quotes I have received the actual cost (12 months) is 2.3 million - 195,000 per month (Lightship Group) for 120 hours (6 hours a day, 5 days a week) of flight time. $2.3 million is the same price as 30 seconds of Superbowl commercial airtime. A blimp over a city the size of Chicago gets an estimated 1.6 million impressions a day. That is 32,000,000 impressions a month & 384,000,000 over 1 year. In one month of blimp advertising we can get the same visability as one 30 second Superbowl commercial for under $200k as opposed to the over $2 million for the Superbowl not to mention the free media you get with a 12 month blimp campaign. Do you still think it is worth it?
"The centrepiece of the protest will be a huge march on 20 November arranged by the Stop the War Coalition which will go through the capital and end at Trafalgar Square, where a giant statue of George Bush will be pulled down in a parody of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad. It will be led by American nationals living in the UK who have gathered under the title Expats Against Bush. They will carry banners reading 'Proud of my nation. Shamed by my President'."
UPDATE: the march takes place on the 20th, the article had it erroneously as the 19th
This seems to be the blog of the Expats Against Bush group mentioned in the article. If there happen to be any Dean supporters in southern England who, amazingly, aren't already making plans to attend, let me just note that it certainly looks like it will likely be a lot of fun.
Republican officials said that if Dean becomes their opponent, his campaign-financing decision could dramatically change the landscape for Bush in the months between clinching the nomination and the Democratic National Convention in late July. Bush's strategists had assumed the Democratic nominee would be low on money, or broke, during that period and would have to rely on advertising by outside interest groups, which cannot legally coordinate their messages with the campaign.
Republican officials have said they expected to be able to use that time to run a flood of advertising -- with separate waves promoting Bush's record and bashing the Democrat, with little direct opposition on the air. Bush, who is pouring much of his money into elaborate get-out-the-vote operations, now faces the prospect of an ad war with a well-funded competitor through the spring and summer.
"It is the central focus of my life," Soros said, his blue eyes settled on an unseen target. The 2004 presidential race, he said in an interview, is "a matter of life and death."
Soros's Deep Pockets vs. Bush (washingtonpost.com)
November 10 (San Mateo, CA) - The policies of leading Presidential contender Gov. Howard Dean, M.D., and their implications for post-election America, are the subject of a dynamic new online resource, the interactive Dean Issues Forum (DIF).
The Dean Issues Forum opens to the public today.
The DIF is yet another of the all-volunteer initiatives by Dean's supporters that are changing the political landscape. The DIF, not officially affiliated with the Dean campaign, comprises 26 "issue forums" including Dean's policies and issues pertaining to healthcare, education, labor, ethnic communities, seniors, young people, globalization, the economy, foreign relations, the environment, and gender in America. A special humorists forum is in planning. The DIF is staffed by more than 40 "moderators," each an expert in his or her field and a Dean supporter.
"The Dean Issues Forum addresses a need among Dean supporters to chime in on the candidate's policies as they are and as the supporters, who're a very smart bunch of people, think they should be," said Bob Jacobson, founder and administrator of the DIF. "Our moderators keep the discussions flowing. We expect that the official Dean policy team and Gov. Dean himself will find the DIF to be a repository of good ideas and a place to review new policies as they're being readied for roll out."
[edited 8:40pm by Heather; view edited portions in comments]
It is good to be challenged to defend the hope we have in Dean. It's important to always be realistic about whether Dean is the strongest candidate. I believe our ultimate goal has to be to take back the White House, and if Dean can't do it, we shouldn't vote for him.
Here's an editorial that may help you solidify your thoughts. It's definitely not the kind of argument you'll hear from Karl Rove or the mainstream media, but I think it's the right one.
"Let us not be fooled by misguided conventional wisdom. [Howard] Dean is a threat and Republicans better not ignore him."
The latest press release from the "Dean for President" campaign? Fresh political insight from the lefties at The Nation magazine? Michael Moore or Al Franken's recent rantings?
No, this is the considered judgment of two respected Republican pollsters -- Bob Moore and Hans Kaiser -- from Portland's Moore Information. Their Oct. 6 memo should be a welcome read (www.moore-info.com) when Dean visits here Tuesday.
A few of you might have caught my recent comments posted on the O-blog about a Dean 2004 Blimp. Call me kooky but I think it's a good idea given that we need cost effective ways to engage in a national campaign. What do yo think? Imagine this flying over LA traffic for a week, the Superbowl, Nascar or Kentucky Derby. We could get some great photos of crowds at Dean rallys too :) The Dean Blimp
UPDATE 11.10.03, Added an online poll, pics, more links and news. Thanks goes out to DeanCore and DeanNation for featuring this front and center!
I also wanted to alert you to the dynamite efforts going on in Frankfurt, Germany. They had two members as of October 31st, and now they are up to eight!! That's 400% growth in under ten days! Incredible.
Also, Munich, Germany, which I announced as a new location last week, now has enough members to actually hold a meetup! It's very exciting to see new groups come out of the woodwork like this.
Finally, I am proud to announce two new additions to our international Meetup list: Beijing, China (2 members) and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (1 member). Welcome!
If your home state has primaries before March, I encourage you to vote absentee; on the other hand, if you have a less meaningful primary, please consider pledging to attend the Democrats Abroad caucus in your country. According to the Dean site, Dems Abroad is 30% of the way to its pledge goal of 50 people.
Dean has a slight edge in the East and South. In the West, Clark enjoys 22% compared to Dean's 17%. In the East, Dean (18%) is followed by Lieberman (15%) and Gephardt (11%), and Kerry trails with just 8%. Dean is the leader in the South with 13%, followed by an 8% tie of Edwards, Lieberman, and Sharpton. Gephardt has a slight lead on Dean in the Central-Great Lakes area, 16% - 15%.
How 'bout them apples?
...Paul Johnson, an independent voter from Nashua who supported John McCain in 2000 and has supported Dean since May, tells Dean that he's "deeply troubled" by the idea that his candidate is going to turn down federal matching funds and bust the caps on campaign spending. Politics is awash in too much money, Johnson says. Why not take the moral high ground and abide by the current system? That sounds like a great idea until Bush spends $200 million, Dean says. Well, then "challenge him to spend less," Johnson replies. Tell him you'll stay under the spending limits if he does, too. Dean's face lights up. "I'll do that at the press conference on Saturday," he says. "That's a great idea." (Saturday at noon is when Dean is scheduled to announce the results of the campaign vote on whether to abandon public financing.)
" I believe the budget needs to be balanced by 2002. This ought not to be a debate between the Republicans and Democrats. The question is how do you balance it? The first thing the speaker and his folks in Washington did was cut a small program to feed children breakfast and lunch in school to solve the trillion dollar budget deficit program. You have to go where the money is and cut there, but you don't cut programs for children."
"Within two years I want this Congress to guarantee that every child in America whose family lives in poverty receives health care. That would cost less than the difference of opinion between the president and the Congress on the defense budget. I am not asking anybody to cut the defense budget."
"All I am asking of the Republicans is for them to agree with the president on his number, and that the extra money be spent insuring every child in America. How much stronger would our country be today if working people who can't afford health insurance could feel that they can take their child to the doctor when the child gets ill. It is cheap."
-Howard Dean, 1998
Here is the important part of the DFA email:
WE REALLY NEED EVERYBODY TO VOTE ON THIS!
Then vote here:
We need to get as many people to vote as possible, so that we can be sure that we're doing what our grassroots supporters want!
What he doesn't mention is that the ballots are considered spam by ISPs with increased spamguards. Some service providers dump it in your bulk mail folder (as mine did), whereas others go so far as to return it to the sender. If you didn't receive your ballot, you should go to the official site and click the "request ballot" link to have a new one sent to you.
Op-Ed Columnist: Flags Versus Dollars
What do you think of this move by the campaign? How do you think the vote will turn out? Let us know what you think by posting on the Expats for Dean forums.
137,900 people, 820 locations, 50 states, 20 countries. What a night! The West coast Meetups are just getting warmed up, but early reports from the East Coast, Midwest, and European locations are all pointing toward another successful Meetup day.
Now let's get some of our lesser known locations noticed! It would absolutely make my day if Pakistan and India were mentioned... I guess it will take a few more sign-ups for that to happen.
But Dean did feel the need to express his regret, and apparently a whole lot of other people did, too. So while I am in the minority, I also have to say that the New York Times article about his apology is amazing.
And who am I to say what Dean should and should not do? He is clearly his own man, as this portion of the article makes abundantly clear:
Some in the Dean campaign had wanted to stick to today's script, an important announcement about letting supporters vote on whether to abandon the public-financing system.
Even an hour before his Cooper Union appearance, Dr. Dean said he was unsure how or when he would address the flag issue. In addition to President Carter, Dr. Dean consulted yesterday with the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, as well as several African-American labor leaders and elected officials.
Behind stage moments before noon, aides said, Dr. Dean scribbled down remarks on race, saying his gut told him to go ahead.
"You can blame the media or blame my opponents, but the fact is, I've got to own my own words," Dr. Dean explained yesterday evening in Manchester. "And that's what I decided at about 3 o'clock this morning."
They say you can often predict a presidency by the patterns that develop during a campaign, everywhere from how they handle money to how they respond to negative press. Dean may have lost supporters through this debacle, but if this is the kind of repentant remark we can expect from him as President, I am all the more committed to helping him go all the way.
"Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has raised $25.3 million so far, and has $12.4 million on hand. Among his top contributors are Time Warner ($61,000), Microsoft ($30,000) and IBM ($25,000). Dean's own campaign staffers have contributed nearly $21,000 to their boss' campaign, making the group of them his sixth biggest donor.
Two of Dean's top five donors -- and 10 of his top 20 -- are groups of university employees. University of California employees attained the highest ranking of any organization, with more than $63,000 in contributions to Dean. Dean has raised money from the professors and staff of at least 450 colleges and universities. Those in the education field have contributed a total of $852,000 to Dean's campaign, behind only the legal profession ($966,000).
One-fourth, or $3.1 million, of Dean's itemized contributions has come from California. Fourteen percent, or $1.8 million, was raised in New York state. Dean has collected nearly $930,000 from Massachusetts and $693,000 from his home state of Vermont."
You've got to love Dean's response, though. From the Washington Post:
Yesterday, Dean said he wants to create a biracial coalition in the South. 'For my fellow Democratic opponents to sink to this level is really tragic,' he said. 'The only way we're going to beat George Bush is if southern white working families and African American working families come together under the Democratic tent.' "
At first I was going to vote in the primary in my home state, but I recently learned that Democrats Abroad holds a caucus in February. I've decided to participate there instead, and potentially make a big impact on Dean's level of support among Americans abroad.
To pledge to attend your Democrats Abroad caucus, click here.
"With just over a year to go before the next presidential race, touchscreen voting machines don't seem like the cure-all some thought they would be. Skeptics fear they'll only produce more problems, from making recounts less reliable to giving computer hackers a chance to sabotage results" CNN.com - Worries grow over new voting machines' reliability, security
This week I have the pleasure of announcing two new international meetup groups: Belfast, N. Ireland and Munich, Germany! Both of these areas need a few more members before Meetup will grant them an actual meeting, so if you know any Dean supporters who live there, have them visit the Dean Meetup site and sign up!
Do the ads live up to the hype? Hardly. In the New Hampshire ad, Dean says of Iraq, "The best my opponents can do is ask questions today that they should have asked before they supported the war." In the Iowa ad, he says of seniors' prescription drug costs, "Instead of fixing the problem, the best my opponents can do is talk about what was said eight years ago. … For years, the politicians in Washington have talked about health insurance and a prescription drug benefit, and all you got was talk. But in Vermont, we did it."
That's it. No names. All issues.
There's an interesting story at Democracy Now about a "new report by retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner charges the U.S. and Britain relied on information warfare and psychological operations to inform the public in the lead-up and during the invasion of Iraq. He outlines over 50 stories that appeared in the U.S. media that were either purposely false or misleading."
Maybe his stance on the war shouldn't mean as much as it does, but there you have it.
sacbee.com -- Politics -- Taking Bush head-on, Dean is riding high
Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, Dean has overtaken Clark as favorite for the party's presidential nomination for the first time since Clark entered the race, with 15 percent. Close behind, 12 percent favor Clark, while Kerry, Gephardt and the Rev. Al Sharpton are tied at eight percent each.
NEWSWEEK POLL: A Majority (58%) of Americans Say the U.S. is Spending Too Much Money on Iraq: "Dean Overtakes Clark As Favorite For Democratic Presidential Nomination for the First Time "
This go-it-alone style prompted the question: Do you listen more than you used to? "No," Dean replied without missing a beat. "But I listened a lot when I was governor. People misunderstand the way that I listen. I really push back hard on people. You can't just come in and say, 'This is what we ought to do' and I'm going to say, 'OK, let's go do it.' That never, ever worked with me. I want to know why we're going to do it. That's exactly the process that I went through trying to decide if the Iraq war was a good idea or not."
USATODAY.com - Despite hoopla, Dean is still Dean
Pollster John Zogby: "This is stunning. Dean leads 43-20 among Democrats and 35 to 11 among Independents. He hits 40 among all age groups, union and non-union voters. His lead is 57-17 among self-described progressives, 50-20 among liberals, and 34-14 among moderates. Married voters give him a 38-13 edge and singles a 45-21 point lead. He holds huge leads among all education groups, among investors and non-investors, men and women. This qualifies as juggernaut status. Can he be stopped?"
Keep sending those letters! We're making a real difference!
Dean's supporters call this arrangement empowering. As many as 800 groups have formed around the candidate, a number rapidly on the rise. And this growth spurt defies easy labels. Dean followers now include self-described geeks, dykes, security moms, and expats, along with graphic designers, hackers, economists, and the unemployed. They call the campaign 'intoxicating' and 'electric,' and they treasure their autonomy. As long as supporters make clear that they aren't campaign staffers, they're free to organize as they like.
The article also touches on why the other campaigns don't want to use our strategy, for fear of a muddled message. Phew! For a minute there I thought the other campaigns were going to wake up and give us some actual competition.
...Puerto Rico will have its first Dean Meetup on November 5th if enough people sign-up,
If you know anyone living in or near San Juan, ask them to join the Dean Meetup there today!
Or maybe it's time for you to take that vacation you've promised yourself... People have signed up for Dean Meetups in 43 foreign countries. Join the Americans meeting up for Dean in Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Montreal, Stockholm, Sydney, or London.
Click here to read the whole post, which announces that Dean Meetup has now hit 126,000.
Before, I lleft the US. I worte letters to Iowa at a meetup in New Hampshire. Such letters are very effective and something we can all do from afar.
If you follow the information in Heather's post it should work.
The official campaign has asked Dean supporters to write 10 letters to undecided Democratic voters in Iowa on the 18th of every month, and 10 letters to the undecided Democrats in New Hampshire on the 22nd of every month. Check out their letter writing tool for details. (Requires DeanLink registration, for which you should use your absentee voting address.)
If you want to write to more people, you might want to consider a completely grassroots effort in South Carolina, where the Dean campaign doesn't even have an office yet (much to their chagrin). Jen in SC, from the official blog, is coordinating an effort to target voters in counties that leaned toward Gore in the 2000 Election.
Thanks and remember to vote for your November Meetup venue!
Well, it looks like he may be doing just that. Check out this article from the Washington Post for opposing perspectives on this.
Just in case you don't have time to read it, permit me to share my favorite excerpt:
Samuel L. Popkin, a political scientist at the University of California at San Diego, who has worked in a number of Democratic presidential campaigns, said win or lose, the Dean campaign may well prove to be significant. "New blood is important whether it wins right away or not. There are 'new blood' losers and bad losers," he said. Goldwater lost by a landslide in 1964, but he helped start the conservative revolution within the Republican Party that culminated in the election of Reagan in 1980, Popkin noted.
In all honesty, we can't control how people are going to vote at their primaries and caucuses. We don't know for a fact who is going to win the nomination. But I think we can say with great certainty that to support Dean is to support a sea change in politics, a shifting of the tide away from special interests and toward the will of the American people. Win or lose, we can be proud to have stood up and been counted for this great man.
That being said, please make sure you are registered to vote. All of this energy and enthusiasm is just chatter if you can't actually participate in your homestate's primary or caucus.
Project Vote Smart - Mr. Dean - Speeches and Public Statements
How did we ever get by without the internet???
So what does this mean in terms of general IP reform? Is he thinking what some of us are thinking? Could Dean actually be the all-out open source candidate that readers of Lessig and Slashdot have been demanding?
Check out this thread on our very own forums for other thoughts on this.
But now that Bush has raised $49 million in this quarter alone, and that Dean is at $25 million for the year, he is reconsidering. Maybe he should forgo public financing after all.
When I first heard about this, I wrote directly to the campaign and told them not to do it. My impression was that this would take politics out of the hands of the people and back to special interests. I felt that the campaign finance reform was there for a reason and he should set an example.
But now, I must admit, I have been converted. Dean is considering this move because he is receiving so much support from ordinary people. This would allow him to get even more of that kind of involvement. That's a pretty incredible development, considering Dean is a Democrat...
Here is an article that supports my opinion on this. Feel free to disagree in the comments thread.
But when done right, as the Howard Dean campaign apparently is doing, the blog is a tool for building community. The trick is to turn the audience into the speaker. A well-structured blog inspires both reading and writing. And by getting the audience to type, candidates get the audience committed. Engagement replaces reception, which in turn leads to real space action. The life of the Dean campaign on the Internet is not really life on the Internet. It's the activity in real space that the Internet inspires.
None of this works unless the blog community is authentic. And that requires that members feel they own their gabbing space. A managed community works about as well as a managed economy. So the challenge is to find a way to build community without the community feeling built.
Click here to read the full article.
Here is an article from one of them who makes an interesting -- and I think accurate -- case for why Dean is an excellent candidate, not (just) for liberals, but for anyone who wants a president who will use his brain while in office:
The New Stop-Dean Candidate - Howard Dean. By William Saletan
Meanwhile, Kerry's campaign was pleasantly surprised.
'We've never seen it happen in a debate before. And I've been doing this for 14 years,' said Mike Gehrke, research director for Kerry's campaign." 'Spin room' a busy place during debate
I am posting this article on U.S. military suicides because 1) it is important that we be aware of what these men and women are going through, and 2) as Americans abroad we can sympathize with the intense emotions that come with merely being in a foreign land for an extended period of time.
My heart goes out to the families of the deceased, to those men and women in uniform who may be falling into depression, and to any of you who feel the same. These are dark times, and I encourage you to all stand together, get professional help if you need it, and cherish whatever hope you have left inside.
"A campaign of hope will beat a campaign of fear every time." - Howard Dean
Some of these capital letters are music to my ears -- NAACP, APN, and NOW for example -- while others leave me grinding my teeth in agitation. Yet sometimes we've got to talk about those "others", to remind ourselves of who exactly is in power right now and why it is so important to work for change.
We'll take this nice and slow so as not to cause an epidemic of ulcers and Tourette's Syndrome across the Expats4Dean readership. I will simply direct you toward a recent -- and graciously brief -- Washington Post article on how AIPAC has become a tool of the Bush administration.
I still find it hard to believe what Bush has done to our country. But there it is.
Go here for even more information about the 2004 Election. A good friend of mine from Democrats Abroad Japan swears that this site is as good as it gets.
And in case you were wondering where the nickname Ho-Ho came from:
Dean is an intense and energetic 53 years old. Freyne's nickname for the governor, 'Ho-Ho,' does not refer to the dessert manufactured by Hostess ® (a chocolate cake rolled with creamy filling), but to Dean's energy and enthusiasm. Freyne explains that the name was coined by the late state Rep. Mary Everti in the early 80's. Upon seeing Dean, she remarked to Freyne, 'It's Ho-ho-ho!' because Dean was always on the go. Dean 'on the go' is still evident today."
Friends recall Howard Dean’s intensity, worldly ways. With the turbulent ’60s as a backdrop, what his friends remember most are the good times and Dean was at the center of that — a fun guy, quick to organize a mixer and hang out for a card game. New Haven Register
The Phoenix Debate - Klutzy Clark, Dizzy Dean, and other highlights from the Democratic face-off. By William?Saletan
Wikipedia: Election 2004
The incredible rising of Howard Dean
May be its too early to summarize successes of Howard Dean in the third quarter. But with the eyes of a foreign in a foreign nation things look really awful impressive:
1. Howard Dean and his grassroot supporters changed the way of political campaigns - not only in America. The world gets inspired! Politics will get more participative, more based on contents and arguments, more web-based and better connected to people. Howard Dean consequently uses the web for decentralised self-organizing of his supporters and with sweeping successes he shocks the establishment in the democratic party - his grassroot campaign shocks the experts in their ad agencies - and nearly every competitor tries to copy. You have proved that the ordinary people can be empowered in the political process and you have shown that hollow marketing approaches are not that much sufficient anymore.
2. He changed the political climate in America! Beginning with his powerful questions "I wanted to know..." Bush and his extremist gang warfare of neocons now finally came under fire. They fell behind and do not dominate the political process and the minds of the American people anymore. Why? The media dare to be critical again and the whole democratic party followed Howard Dean and strikes back against Bush.
3. Want your party back? The democratic party was brought back to life. Isn't it incredible that almost every democratic nominee now clearly says that he is against the Iraq war and unequivocally against Bush politics? Isn't it incredible that now only Lieberman tries to be a kind of a moderate Bush and that nearly the complete rest of the party criticizes Bushs politics with full power? Howard Dean as driving force has energized the democratic party. You will get your party back!
4. Did you hear the quite clink? Howard Dean helped a lot to break a thing that I would call "patriotic blockade": Bushs neocon gang have exploited the patriotic feelings of the Americans for elimination of critical thinking and for their wicked international agenda. Indeed they do not care for the values of America. To be liberal is less patriotic? In the land of the free its unpatriotic to defend freedom rights? What a bad joke! In the land of the free its unpatriotic to stand for international democracy? In the land of the free its unpatriotic to use the freedom of speech to criticize Bushs administration and their shameless special interests politics? In the land of the free it is less patriotic to insist on equal rights for all? To take care for each other is less patriotic? Bankrupting America and the future of his childs is a patriotic thing? Bush and his gang lost their glassy trump card.
5. Maybe "only" 14 Mio fundraising in the third quarter and "only" 440.000 supporter in the third quarter. Hey, even this failure would be *very* much wonderful!
For sure Deans indeed historical successes are just as successes of his grassroot supporters. Maybe (I absolutely don't think so) Clark or Kerry will gain the upper hand - but you are the people who influenced a lot of their agenda! With the energy of Dean and the energy of his supporters you will win. From my (foreign) point of view I discern:
You are the people and you are the future of your nation!
(Dear Dean supporter, please be considerately with me and my not very sufficient english language)
- Jörg-Thomas Hansche
The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town
Some ideas specific to international groups:
You can read more about what DFA has in mind by clicking here.
Did anyone else have media presence at their meetup this month? Any press releases sent to your local paper? If not, you might consider inviting them to your next meeting. It does wonders for the motivation of your members, as well as the obvious benefit of getting Dean more coverage.
Neocon quiz | Christian Science Monitor
(Disclaimer: I plan to highlight all such efforts on this blog. It is DFA's strong internet presence that allows overseas supporters to be so involved in the campaign; hence I believe it is to our advantage to be aware of developments as they arise.)
We've already posted about the Net Advisory Net and grassroots open source software, but I also wanted to alert everyone to a few forums that are going live this month. Keep in mind that there are not many users at present, as all of these are still in the infant stage, but if users like us register, a strong community will follow.
In first place I will put in a plug for our very own Expats for Dean forums. Check it out if you haven't already, and be sure to introduce yourself to others from your part of the world.
Secondly, Dean for America is coming out with their own official version, called Forum for America.
Finally, there is the Dean Issues Forum. Unlike the first two I mentioned, DIF is more of a high-level, policy discussion forum where experts in various areas will have a conversation. The official campaign will be watching this forum closely and seriously considering the ideas that spring from it.
In the comments for this post, I have listed the topics within the DIF forums and a more detailed explanation of the forum, should you be interested in learning more.
Free Software for Politics
Go here to listen to the show
Dean for America: Net Advisory Net
I love this campaign...
- National House Call breaks the record
- Americans for Dean total just hundreds away from reaching goal of 450,000
- Third bat certain to crack by midnight
Stay tuned to the official blog as events unfold!
President Bush's senior advisers describe the Democratic field as unusually weak heading in to the coming election year, Monday's NEW YORK TIMES is planning to report in a Page One splash.
'Each of them has relative strengths and weaknesses, but happily for us, in each case the relative weaknesses outweigh the relative strengths,' Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, tells the TIMES.
'They're all Howard Dean now. They have adopted harsh, bitter, personal attacks as their approach. They are a party of protest and pessimism and offer no positive agenda of their own.'
Team Bush has delayed the start of running any advertising until a single Democrat is selected.
'We expect it to be a hard-fought, close election in a country narrowly divided,' Karl Rove tells the TIMES. 'When a Democratic nominee is finally selected, our expectation is that it could be a close and hard-fought race.'
Like the Democrats, the Bush campaign is convinced that the election of 2004 could once again turn on a relative handful of votes in key states."
Americans overseas are that handful of votes. I believe this is the first time the Bush camp is mentioning Dean by name. You know Rove is watching the bat right now and sweating. The numbers of contributors are scaring them more than the money being raised. This is a whole new ball game and guess who has the better bat?
"Whatever it is that Howard Dean knows, or whatever it is that he eats for breakfast every morning, if I could give it to every other Democratic office holder and would-be office holder, we would immediately become the majority in the Congress and we would have about 35 governors. I have to tell you, I think a big part of it is just producing for people, actually doing what you say you're going to do at election time."
President Clinton said that in a speech to the governors association back in '97. Reading this just makes me all the more confident that we are fighting the good fight here.
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Expats4Dean is an independent grassroots effort in support of Gov. Howard Dean, M.D. for President in 2004. Expats4Dean is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dean for America.