Kurtz, DFA, CFA

 Posted by at 17:39  Election 2004
Feb 292004

A Message from Howard Dean

The quotes attributed to me by others in Howard Kurtz’s gossipy rendition of the divisions in the Dean for America campaign are entirely false, as is the description of my reaction after losing the Iowa caucuses, before the famous speech.

The danger of using unattributed sources as Kurtz and so many others do, is that the veracity of the informants can not be evaluated. In this case Kurtz included a significant amount of material which was not true, and produced a story which was greatly exaggerated.

There have been many inquiries about the relationship between Dean For America and the Change for America website. The answer to the question is that there is no relationship. We intend to form a progressive grassroots organization based on the Dean for America campaign, and we will work with other organizations after we get set up. We will announce the set up on March 18.

In the meantime, my deepest thanks to all of you who worked so hard to change America. We are not giving up, and we have an outline about what we intend to do on the DFA website.

Many thanks,

Howard Dean

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 Posted by at 16:51  Election 2004
Feb 282004

Dean Backers Confused by Course of Their Movement

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who has kept a low profile since pulling out of the presidential race last week, said that he will lay out his plans for a new grass-roots organization focused on issues such as universal healthcare and campaign finance reform March 18.

Meanwhile, Dean’s former campaign manager, Joe Trippi, has proceeded with his own organization — ChangeForAmerica.com — to promote the principles of Dean’s insurgent candidacy.

It remains unclear whether Trippi’s nascent group will eventually merge with the group that the former governor is putting together.

“We’re committed to Gov. Dean and helping him,” Trippi said in an interview. “Whether that turns out to be an official thing, I don’t know.”

Dean spokesman Jay Carson said that the former governor sees the two efforts as “strong complements to one another.”

Dean made his first public appearance Thursday since dropping out of the race Feb. 18, thanking more than 500 supporters at a buoyant yet bittersweet rally at a hotel near Yale University.

“You have revitalized politics,” an upbeat Dean told people assembled in the ballroom of the Omni Hotel. “A lot of times people give up…. You can’t afford to do that, because we are fortunate enough to live in a country where politics really matters. And politics from now on is going to be ours.”

Dean asked all of his supporters to remain involved in his new organization, and to rally behind the eventual Democratic nominee. He made no reference to the new group being organized by his former campaign manager.

I kind of think the two organizations, if indeed their are two organizations, will eventually become one. If there are two, my plan is to fully support both of them. Both of them will be doing things in which I strongly believe.

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Fight on for Democrats

 Posted by at 06:06  Election 2004
Feb 272004

Dean urges backers to fight on for Democrats

NEW HAVEN — In the midst of bellowing chants of support, former presidential hopeful Howard Dean told his Connecticut supporters Thursday the state’s fight for a Democratic presidency is far from over.

“The only way to beat George W. Bush in 2004 is to follow the path you have shown,” Dean said after wholeheartedly thanking about 400 campaign volunteers and supporters for their loyalty during his fight for the presidency.

The Democrat’s lavish praise and fiery challenge rang from inside the ballroom at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale during his first public appearance since abandoning his race for the presidential candidacy on Feb. 18.

Dean visited the Elm City mostly because his Connecticut supporters and brother, Jim Dean of Fairfield, were the “genesis of his campaign,” said Susan Wallace, spokeswoman for the volunteer group, Connecticut for Dean.

“The support for (Dean) has been really strong here,” said Wallace.

Using that to his advantage, Dean shouted to supporters for 15 minutes to move forward with the grass-roots organization to secure the Democratic presidential win, with or without him on the ballot.

“All over America there are people that want this country restored and want a Democratic Party that is going to stand up for them,” Dean said.

In order to make that happen, Dean said his supporters must march forward with their “grass-roots ideas and bring new people in politics,” including those who will “stand up for the truth.”

He characterized truths as universal health care, investment in early childhood education, fiscal responsibility, campaign finance reform and strengthening foreign relations.

“We want every single American who supports Dean to stay involved and support the Democratic Party,” he said to an eruption of applause.

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The Hate Amendment

 Posted by at 23:08  Politics
Feb 242004

By Backing a Gay Marriage Ban, Bush Keeps Faith With His Base

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 — It is a cardinal rule of politics, all the more so for a president who saw his father defeated largely because he failed to heed it fully: Pay attention to the party’s base.

In recent weeks, on a variety of fronts, President Bush has done just that, trying to allay the concerns and stoke the spirits of his restive conservative base. His impassioned endorsement on Tuesday of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, after weeks of intensive lobbying by social conservatives, was the culmination of this rapprochement.

But will he pay a price with the centrist voters who so often decide presidential elections, as the Democrats hope? Or is the country at such an ideologically polarized point that the middle simply matters less?

Almost no one suggests that Mr. Bush is operating solely on the basis of political calculations. In his remarks on Tuesday, he emphasized that “an amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly,” and closed his remarks with a plea to “conduct this difficult debate in a manner worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.”

But as David A. Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, put it, “neither is it fair to say that the politics of it aren’t important.”

The administration clearly recognized in recent weeks that it faced political unrest on its right, after what Mr. Keene described as “a short period of denying the problem existed.” The soaring deficits, the growth in government, and most particularly the passage of a Medicare bill that amounted to the biggest expansion of that entitlement program in 38 years, all led to growing discontent among economic conservatives. Other conservatives were dismayed by the administration’s immigration proposal, granting temporary work permits to illegal immigrants.

At the same time, in the wake of a Massachusetts court ruling declaring marriage a basic right that could not be denied to gay people, social conservatives were pushing hard for the president to embrace a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexuals. Still others were frustrated in the face of Senate filibusters of some conservative judicial nominees.

Mr. Bush began to respond. In a classic exercise of presidential muscle, he bypassed the Senate and installed two conservatives in federal judgeships, positions long denied them by Democrats on Capitol Hill. He issued a veto threat against a $318 billion highway and mass transit bill, cheering economic conservatives who have long demanded a harder line on spending.

Finally, after a long period of edging up to the amendment with qualifications and reservations, and after days of news dominated by gay couples getting marriage licenses in San Francisco, Mr. Bush made his intentions clear on Tuesday.

Many are calling it “The Hate Amendment.” I do not know if the desire to amend our Constitution in this manner is based on hate or just a misplaced sense of moral superiority, but I do know that it is the wrong thing to do.

Our Constitution was written to define and limit the powers of government and to further the liberties and rights of individual citizens. It was not written to champion discrimination or to forever relegate a portion of our country’s population to second class citizenship. It is sad that the leaders of our country, up to and including our president, do not understand this.

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 Posted by at 06:05  Politics
Feb 242004

Now teachers are terrorists. It seems that anybody who does not agree with everything the Bush administration says and does is now to be labeled as terrorists.

What’s next? Are they now going to declare that all teachers are enemy combatants and lock them up without representation? Are our teachers going to start mysteriously disappearing?

This crap has to stop.

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Gone but not forgotten

 Posted by at 01:49  General
Feb 242004

I am still feeling a sense of loss since the Dean campaign for the presidency has been suspended. What might have been was not to be it seems. So, since Dr. Dean is no longer actively campaigning, I have removed the Dean links from the left column. I am sad to see them go, but such is life I guess.

The newspapers and television would have you believe that Howard Dean has dropped out of the race. Such is not the case. He has suspended his campaign. He could jump back in at a moment’s notice. If you haven’t voted in your state’s primary yet, you can still vote for him. His name will most likely appear on your ballot. Casting your vote for him will help him gain delegates at the convention so our voices will be heard.

This weblog will now go back to what it was before last April when I discovered Dean for America. It will be a combination personal log and one dedicated to the downfall of the Bush regime. If there is any new news on the Dean front that will also be thrown in.

By the by, I remain unemployed. My personal savings have been exhausted and I am now scraping by on unemployment benefits. I thought I had a job last month. I passed all their testing and they called me in for two sets of interviews (which I thought went well). They promised they would be back in touch after the last interview, but they never called. They will not answer my voice mail or e-mail messages. This is a large national corporation we are talking about. I honestly thought they would have better manners.

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Dean on Nader

 Posted by at 14:33  Election 2004
Feb 232004

Governor Dean’s statement on Ralph Nader

When I announced last week that I am no longer actively pursuing the presidency, I urged my supporters not to be tempted by any independent or third party candidate. I said I would support the nominee of the Democratic Party, because the bottom line is that we must defeat George W. Bush in November, whatever it takes.

This year, our campaign has made the case that, in order to defeat George W. Bush, the Democratic Party must stand up strong for its principles, not paper over its differences with the most radical Administration in our lifetime. In order to win, the Democratic Party must aggressively expose the ways in which George W. Bush’s policies benefit the privileged and the most extreme ideologues.

I will do everything I can to ensure that the 2004 Democratic nominee runs as a true progressive, as a champion of working Americans and their hopes for a better future. I urge my supporters, and all other Americans committed to progressive values and honest government, to stick with us, and stick with the Democratic Party, so our cause can prevail in 2004.

Ralph Nader has made many great contributions to America over 40 years. But if George W. Bush is re-elected, the health, safety, consumer, environmental, and open government provisions Ralph Nader has fought for will be undermined. George Bush’s right-wing appointees will still be serving as judges fifty years from now, and our Constitution will be shredded. It will be government by, of, and for, the corporations – exactly what Ralph Nader has struggled against.

Those who truly want America’s leaders to stand up to the corporate special interests and build a better country for working people should recognize that, in 2004, a vote for Ralph Nader is, plain and simple, a vote to re-elect George W. Bush. I hope that Ralph Nader will withdraw his candidacy in the best interests of the country we hope to become.

Many of my supporters urged me to run as an independent, but I judged it the wrong thing to do. There is still time for Ralph Nader to stand with those in the Democratic Party who are building a progressive coalition to defeat George W. Bush. But time is running out. We can win only if we are united.

I am concerned that if Ralph Nader succeeds in sinking the Democratic bid for the presidency this year as he did in 2000 (many argue that he didn’t, but I’m sticking to my guns and saying that he did) many will say that it was the “disgruntled Dean supporters” who helped him do it.

Hopefully, Governor Dean’s statement will lay that argument to rest. If Howard Dean wanted a third party or independent candidate to run for the presidency, he would have done so himself. I dare say he would have taken a lot more votes than Mr. Nader will. This is not Governor Dean’s intent. It is clear that he intends to fully support the Democratic nominee and he urges his supporters to do the same. Those who truly support him will do just that.

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Letter from America

 Posted by at 01:54  Election 2004
Feb 222004

Please join the others at http://letterfromamerica.org who signed a letter thanking Governor Dean for the contributions he made to our country during his political campaign.

The goal is 200,000 signatures. As of this writing, there are 1,174.

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Say it with flowers

 Posted by at 14:03  Lifestyle
Feb 212004

The flowering of love

Robert Yamaguchi and Raymond Mungo were waiting outside City Hall in the cold early Friday morning when a florist clutching wedding bouquets handed them one. The outside of the accompanying envelope read, “To The Happy Couple, ” and the card tucked inside said simply, “With love from Minneapolis, Minnesota.”

The men — who have been together for 23 years and flew up from Long Beach to make it official — were stunned by the anonymous gift of red roses, irises, lilies and white Gerber daisies.

“Oh, my heart just burst with joy when he handed up those flowers!” Mungo exclaimed as Yamaguchi carried them in his arm like a beauty contest winner. “Some stranger who doesn’t even know us is helping celebrate the event — it’s very touching.”

The couple’s gift has been replicated hundreds of times throughout the week as part of a grassroots movement called Flowers in the Heartland.

Fueled by one oft-forwarded e-mail and a Web-log, callers from across the country have flooded San Francisco’s flower shops, asking for bouquets to be donated to random same-sex couples waiting in line to get hitched.

It appears that the idea may have originated here. I cannot imagine that many bouquets will be sent from my home state of Texas given this state’s long history of homophobia, but wouldn’t it be nice if a few bunches of flowers showed up with a card saying “With love, from Texas”?

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