Make Your Voice Count: A Fundraiser

At the end of the Democratic Primary season, this was the situation:

Popular Vote
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: 17,857,446, (48.04%)
Senator Barack Obama: 17,584,649 (47.31%)

Pledged delegates

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: 1,730.5 (39.17%)
Senator Barack Obama: 1,747.5 (39.55%)

(source)

Then, for no apparent good reason, in June Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi decided THEY, not the delegates chosen by the electorate and not the superdelegates appointed via proper party procedure, were going to decide who would represent the top of the ticket for the general election. Now that same leadership wants YOU to legitimize their undemocratic and unprincipled methods by putting their selected candidate into the White House on November 4.

But WE can say no to the subversion of democratic principles within the Democratic Party. We can say no with our votes and by urging our fellow Democrats to pay attention to the particulars of the candidate Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi selected to represent the Democratic Party.

Over the next 24 hours and across the internet, we as a community will urgently be raising money to run edgy and persuasive ads made by Democrats in key battleground states. Generous contributors have pledged $500 in matching funds. Your voice counts. Please contribute now.

CLICK ON ROSIE TO DONATE

Or go to Democrats For Principle Before Party – The Denver Group’s general election website, where you can view other ads the group is running:

In Your Wildest Dreams . . .

In Your Wildest Dreams . . .

Did you ever think you/we would be here at this time in this election year—refugees from our Party of origin, protesting its candidate? Goes to show, we’re still the rebel’s rebel! Ain’t that the story of my life? If that’s the case, and they do pull it off, I’m concerned for my freedoms. It’s so weird, with Obama, Dean, Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd, orange kool-aid types running things, that I feel just as suppressed as when the far Right was in charge.

Many of our disenchanted were out canvassing or making phone calls as Democrats for McCain/Palin last weekend, and they will continue until the election. Some people stepped up right away. Others have cautiously dipped a toe in with mixed feelings. Some PUMA/Just Say No Deal coalition members say it’s the only way to voice our stand for a just and transparent democracy. They consider McCain/Palin more trustworthy, prudent for the economy, and ethical, although most of us disagree with their stance on reproductive rights and the environment.

The Nature of Palin

In my assessment, Palin was very good-natured about being trashed on SNL right in front of her face twice, first by Tina Fey whom she watched on the monitor, then by Alec Baldwin, who told her she was hotter in person. She looked comfy in her body as she moved and danced, which is always a good sign to me.

In comments broadcast the following Sunday from a taped interview on local TV-9 here in Manhattan, Palin spoke of how you much fun it was to do the show, and how nice the cast and staff were to her. When asked if the jokes about her bothered her, she replied that in deciding to go for the job, you have to be thick skinned, but that it hurt to have her family trashed in the MSM. However, she said that running for office is a group deal; everyone in the family knows they need to be on board and also have thick skins. That strikes me as a pretty healthy, energetic attitude. I guess it bothers me that in order to be considered cool, Governor Palin has to get approval by actor, writer, director, Tina Fey, (wow, she’s accomplished—turnabout) who also belittled her on Letterman the previous evening.

Of course, these days we want our prez to be cewl, which is why we liked Bill (in addition to his being brilliant) when he wore shades and played sax on Arsenio and MTV, and jammed along with the band at his Inauguration Ball. Remember, Bill was a product of the type of school system I grew up in, where they offered orchestra, chorus, art, drama, PE, and square dancing. This system helped round pegs like me fit into square holes, but I digress . . .

Donna, Howard, Remember Us?

Nobama has warned: Democrats, be careful, you can still mess it up, just when it looks like you’ve got it in the bag. However, I’m a bit disheartened these days. With Obama raising a record $150 million in September, and 175,000 turning up in Missouri on Saturday, October 19, you might understand why.

So I got this classic Moody Blues song in my head and checked out the YouTube. Their video is your tacky eighties fare, basically about a girlfriend of a rock star. Don’t miss the choreographed dancin’ in the street. But the lyrics could be anybody wondering about a long lost love, friend, dear one, or someone from whom they’re estranged.

This got me wondering if Howard Dean and Donna Brazille ever think about us? You know those bitter white women, old people, the ones Donna declared they didn’t need, and Howard acted like they could win without. They’ll have to, as far as PUMA and Just Say No Deal-ers are concerned. Playing out the roles in the video, I kept getting hung up with the end—when the band is dragging him away, and he just can’t help it, of course. And the girl is standing watching him go, after having tried to get in touch several times, and she’s now a bored housewife. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around which role fit Howard, Donna, me or us. Neither, I think, because we’re not suckers and they ain’t helpless. But that’s not what’s important. It’s the wildest dreams part that’s on my mind, and upon which I’d like to refocus some energy and attention.

If You Want It

Concurring with riverdaughter about the anger, I think it’s time to bring out the heavy-duty tools—as in prayer and intention! You know about The Secret? Sshhh, don’t tell, but as Norman Vincent Peale and healers believe, “You Can If You Think You Can.” It’s like The Little Engine That Could, right? I saw The Secret the movie, didn’t read the book, hah, but it’s about manifesting your life by feeling, thinking, seeing, and being your intention in every cell of your body. Actually, that’s how I work with chronic pain as a somatic practitioner and hands-on-healer. I put my attention into blending with, then overpowering the sensations of pain with my complete attention, leaving no room in my touch or mind for it to be otherwise. Sometimes it’s a battle, pain can be a stubborn sucker, but I always win.

Group prayer can create miracles for its willing recipients. Many people have experienced the power of prayer ease their own or a loved one’s plight. When in dire situations, people may pray for the best possible outcome and the recipient feels at ease, although the result might not be the desired one. I’m no evangelical, but I am ecumenical and believe that no matter what form of prayer or deity one uses as intercessor, it will forward their intention. One might say that the panic-driven recent stock market sell-off, which many observers have remarked is psychological, is a form of prayer or belief working in the mode of fear or negativity. In other words, attention may also be directed negatively and have an affect, as in voodoo. Being a good witch, I always advocate for manifesting for good.

It must be in the zeitgeist, because in her Sunday Late Night Open Thread, riverdaughter played a beautiful video rendition of “Down to the River to Pray.” Earlier in the evening, Heidi Li Feldman, Marc Rubin, and Harriet Christian joined RD, who filled in for Sheri Tag on her “No We Won’t” PURrr show. Recalling all the February HAKA that Obama would beat Hillary according to the numbers, and that there was no way she could win, Heidi Li made the point that this is basically a theme that has been perpetrated upon the American public. It’s like an ad that’s been played often enough over time. She said, “It’s only a self-fulfilling prophesy if you let it,” which reminds me of John Lennon’s, “War is over, if you want it.”

I’m not saying only pray. I’m saying pray and take action. Harriet says: Be pro-active! Do whatever you can to stop Obama. Heidi and Marc say donate to Democrats For Principle Before Party so they can run an ad during the World Series. Murphy invites you to visit PUMA PAC’s Action Center. And last but not least, find out how to join in a variety of activities by visiting Just Say No Deal.

Perchance To Dream

I’ve arrived at my point in a roundabout way, but . . . please use this entry as a way to dream. Listen to the music, take the poll, and comment away about your dreams. You’ll notice that I did not include Hillary as a presidential choice, because I’m asking that you focus on the choices we currently have. We used to dream about some illegality knocking BO out of the race, but in two weeks, with the momentum now, Hillary is just not, well, dare I say, there’s a limit to my band width. Although, of course, you can dream and write her in under “other.” For any interlopers, know that the PUMA McCain choice is a protest vote. Oh, and yes, I question that the options include a Dean/Brazille, et al apology, and, sadly, fair elections.

What is your wildest election dream given our options? Make it happen, people. In its short life to date, isn’t that what our ragtag underfunded coalition has always been about? By paying attention and speaking up, haven’t we actually made a dent in the narrative of this election cycle and the vetting of its candidates? A determined voice that roars like a PUMA. Who knows what we yet can accomplish? In your wildest dreams . . .

Addendum to Poll: Don’t believe the stats as representative of PUMA. I followed a link from The Confluence’s admin page, and it seems that an Obot site put out the word to crash my poll, and they’re giving my cross-post lots of hits from their link to it, which shows up on the poll across sites. Oh. The link to my post was just put up on Just Say No Deal, so let’s see if PUMAs balance it out.

I’m new at this polling thing, and should have known better than to have included BO as a choice. I was just being fair. Hmph, what a concept. So, now I’ve revised and left them a little turnabout surprise: Fair play and touché.

Prologue: A New Voice —

From THE JOURNEY by Mary Oliver, 1986

” . . . though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice . . .”

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own [. . .]

performed by The Keith Jarrett Trio

When You Wish Upon A Star

Music: Leigh Harline
Lyrics: Ned Washington

When a star is born
They posses a gift or two
One them is this
They have the power
To make a wish come true

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those to love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Stephanie Tubbs Jones—I Hear A Symphony

We do not yet know the fate of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, as of 5:00 pm ET, August 20, 2008. We do know that she had an aneurysm last night and according to major news outlets was pronounced dead, then the news was corrected to report that she is on life support.

UPDATE: Rep. Tubbs Jones passed away this evening, Wednesday, at 6:12 pm ET, according to CNN: after her condition declined “throughout the course of the day and into this evening,” according to a joint statement from her family, Huron Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic.

The picture above was snapped at Baruch College in NYC on the eve of June 3, 2008, after the final primary totals were in, and Hillary had big wins in South Dakota and Puerto Rico. Terry McAuliffe introduced her as the Next President of the United States, and Hillary was defiant. It was less than one week after the Democrats slammed her at the DNC RBC meeting by awarding Obama Michigan votes that were not his. Through it all, Stephanie Tubbs Jones stayed strong, loyal, and true to the Clintons and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

I feel like playing this Supremes song in honor of the song Congresswoman Jones has been singing through her passionate and dedicated service to Ohio and this country. I hope she’ll hear the symphony, the violins, and the music she’s made wherever she is. According to The Plain Dealer:

Joe Hewitt, a friend of Tubbs Jones’ family, said the congresswoman’s collapse followed a “full day of activity” including planning for a Sept. 4 forum on electoral reform at Cleveland State University.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

I Hear A Symphony

Whenever you’re near, I hear a symphony, a tender melody . .

I feel this joy within, don’t let this feeling end, let it go on and on and on and on.

Baby, baby, those tears that fill my eyes, I cry not for myself,

but for those who’ve never felt the joy we’ve felt. . . .

— A thousand violins fill the air —

Keep standing so close to me, so close to me, I hear a symphony.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Here’s a portion of her bio from http://tubbsjones.house.gov:

Biography — Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH-11)

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones is the first African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from Ohio. Congresswoman Jones is a lifelong resident of the 11th District, which encompasses most of the East Side of Cleveland and parts of the West Side of Cleveland and includes parts of 22 suburbs.

Currently in her fifth term in office, the Congresswoman, a strong advocate for many issues, has championed wealth building and economic development, access and delivery of health care, and quality education for all. The Congresswoman chairs the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics). Additionally, she serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and is an active member of numerous Congressional Caucuses, including the Congressional Black Caucus.

Most recently, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones introduced the “Count Every Vote” Act of 2005 which seeks to provide an all-encompassing solution to a broad range of voting irregularities that occurred during the 2004 presidential election. She is an original co-sponsor of multiple significant pieces of legislation, including healthcare for low and middle-income families and community reentry for ex-felons.

Congresswoman Tubbs Jones has made a number of historic achievements in her distinguished career as a public servant. Prior to her election to the House, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones served as the first African-American and the first female Cuyahoga County, Ohio Prosecutor. She was the first African-American woman to sit on the Common Pleas bench in the State of Ohio and was a Municipal Court Judge in the City of Cleveland.

In Gratitude
Dear Stephanie: We thank and honor you and your lifetime of service. We are so sorry that you had to leave us way too soon, and we pray for your deliverance. May you continue your good works on your next assignment. I know you’ll be watching over us and pulling some strings during the Democratic Convention. Whenever I think of you, I’ll hear a symphony and hope you’ll hear it, too. Although you may be surprised to find yourself where you are now, may you find peace in your new home.

Direction Home: Hillary’s ConCall And My Cabbie

After The Call

I didn’t really feel like going out on Thursday night, but a longtime friend was in town, and we’d made plans to go dancing. Yes, we are young-at-heart baby boomers.

Basement Bhangra in NYC is an upbeat Indian, family wedding-vibe-type club where ‘the kids’ go to flirt, find a mate, etc. They enjoy the kind of dancing they grew up with in their families of first generation Americans from Punjab. Some are trained as professional dancers and have performed in dance troupes, which is really a treat. They move rhythmically and gracefully, arms and hands extended, as they jump around, while entertaining their partner — feels tribal, subtle.

I held my head down, still deep in thought, trying to push away from the computer. I knew that I should leave, but didn’t feel much like it. I’d just gotten off of a 20-minute conference call with Hillary and some of her supporters, followed by a 2-hour commiserative rant and debrief of the call with a fellow PUMA and Just Say No Deal member.

Hillary’s Conference Call: My Notes

During the call, Hillary gave thanks to her fundraising staff in DC, NY and around the country. The support that each of us has provided to her throughout her campaign made it possible for her to show that a woman could compete in terms of the money, and as Commander In Chief. She was the first woman in history to ever win a Presidential primary.

There is a lot to be grateful for. The campaign involved a great coalition of all races, groups, economic backgrounds. What we have done is a strong part of Democratic history, and she is absolutely committed to continuing to fight for our goals and issues for Democrats and Senator Obama. Given the progress we have made in healthcare, the economy and women’s right to choose, the stakes are too high to not elect a Democrat.

She wanted all those to know who raised money, made phone calls, traveled from state to state: all the things we did really kept her going. Many of us are concerned about the attitudes about women, not just about her but about all women. She was surprised at the press’ reaction to women, said it wasn’t right. Part of why she ran was to make it better for women and girls.

Hillary said we needed to do everything we can to help Senator Obama. She wants help paying her debt so she can pay her vendors, saying she was outspent. She’s not asking us to pay her personal debt, and took it as a given that she spent it because she wanted to. She’s asking us to raise the money however we can.

There are big issues in the Fall. She understands that her campaign was a heroic effort of the finest people and bravest women. She is very hopeful that what she stood for will come to pass.

I Heard What She Said, But What Did She Mean?

I phoned my Hillary friend who was on the call, too. I was dumbfounded. We got nothin’. She gave us nothing, not even the teeny tiniest hint that she was fighting the nomination, that there were caucus improprieties, they’d be taking it to the credentials committee, that she thought she’d won, wanted to be on the first ballot in Denver, didn’t support him, or would be dropping out of the Democratic Party anytime soon to form a third party. Nada. Wasn’t there.

Of course, how could she? How could she say any of that? She couldn’t. Even after last week’s garden party “liberal” ex-supporter Superdelegate women senators met without inviting Hillary, but unveiled her programs and policies as their own. That was maddening. Even after nearly every single colleague in her Party turns their back, she continues on. Ugghhh, that’s why I’m not in politics. Couldn’t do it.

I clung to, “but she said ‘first candidate to win.’ She said ‘win’ — that means she’s acknowledging it.”

My friend knew better, “No she meant she was the first woman to ever win a Presidential primary.”

“Oh right, that she did.”

She went on, “It was canned.”

“What? No way!”

“I think it was pre-recorded.”

“Wow, I hadn’t even considered that.”

“No matter what,” says my friend, “I’m not supporting Obama. We need to take it to Denver. Nobody’s the nominee until they vote in Denver. We need to keep up the pressure. Keep petitioning superdelegates. We can’t let them get away with this. It’s not over!”

Beyond Hillary, It’s About Integrity

I went on: “Right, it’s also more than just about Hillary. It’s about the principle of treating a qualified candidate and former First Lady so disrespectfully. The MSM did it, the DNC, Obama and his supporters, women, the blogosphere. It’s about the caucus improprieties, bullying. It’s about the Democratic ‘leadership’ selecting a candidate for us.”

“There’s nothing wrong with getting progressives in office. We want that. What’s wrong with it is that they chose him, early on. That happened with moveon.org too. I was a member from their inception, participated regularly in their action and voter campaigns. They took a members vote early, perhaps in February, and Obama won. I thought, why are they making us decide now? Just like Pelosi and Reid forced the Superdelegates to choose. Now who’s side were they on? Hint: Do you remember when Pelosi came out and snidely replied to questions about a dream ticket, ‘No, I do not think that will happen'”?

“Howard Dean began working on this campaign right after he didn’t get to the White House the last time, and he’s still trying to get there. He formed an extremely organized grassroots organization, and built it from the ground up. They trained thousands of organizers at the city, county and state level, got all their people in there, and then elected Dean to DNC Chairman! Isn’t that the epitome of hubris? He created an organization so he could elect himself. Their initial intentions seemed good, but why did they make it exclusive? Why did they throw the rest of the Party under the bus? Why were Dean and DFA so averse to Hillary, slamming her in their press release after Iowa, taunting brazenly, look at who’s not inevitable anymore?”

“So if she doesn’t want to continue or want us to do so either, what do we do? I mean, besides helping with the debt, I have to get back to work. It seems to me that now is the best time ever for a third party or a new movement, with so many people seeing right through these Dem schemes. But in order to mobilize people, you need a leader, Hillary, or someone with experience in government who can do the job.”

“Perhaps we need to create a more inclusive, compassionate, responsible, and responsive organization than the current Democratic leadership. Millions of voters are angry that they were manipulated, cheated and bullied out of their candidate. They don’t know what to do or where to turn, but they’re not happy. We need to build a group from this which can be a force for shaping politics.”

Americans Are So Stupid

I went out for the evening as planned, and ended up having a lovely time. On my way home, I stepped in to a take-out place to get a bite to eat. There was an older (than me), upscale-looking white guy who was jumping around excitedly. He exclaimed, “Obama! I was so excited to see the sign on the outside, and that’s why, that’s why I came in!” He was beside himself with glee. I’d entered from the other door, and now looked up to read the storefront window-sized sign from behind, Senator Obama, Yes, We Are Ready. “Oh,” I said.

In New York City, sometimes you get a cab driver who talks in mumbled tones on his headset the entire drive. Other times, you have an engaging conversation. Pretty discouraged after the Obama old guy, I must have been a glutton for punishment, because I dove back in. Believing I’d get an Obama answer, because the driver was black, I asked him, “So what do you think about the election”? He was from Haiti:

“Acchhh, He-lah-ree. I was forr He-lah-ree. She haas the expeerience. She knows what she’s doing. She’s smart. I like her programs. That Obama, I don’t like him. Not his wife either.”

“Oh, I’m surprised.”

“Because I’m a black man?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “Well, I supported Hillary too.”

We commiserated all the way across town. In the end he said, shaking his head,

“People in the United States are soo stuu-pid sometimes. They have something, the best candidate rright in frront of them, and they don’t choose it. The US is sooo stuu-pid!

BE SMART. CLICK TO HELP RETIRE HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN DEBT!

Oops, Didn’t Realize I Was So Late: Dean’s DFA

What and Who Is Democracy For America?

Talk about a bamboozlement. What a strategy. It appears that attempts to organize now, after the Hillary fact, are, well, several years too late, to put it mildly. This one bowled me over, like I’d been hit in the gut. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up; I’m just saying.

Howard Dean, it seems, has been busy training Democratic operatives and bloggers in a highly organized manner for a while now. Where have I been? I hadn’t heard of DFA until this week. This from fellow blogger, Claudiabl*:

DFA (Democracy For America) along with Netroots Nation are organizations founded by Howard Dean for the purpose of “training” campaign workers and promoting progressive candidates

That makes sense, right? It makes sense to have launched such an operation, considering the ass-whooping Dean and company got in 2000 and 2004. At the time, there were rampant “what hit us?” conversations about how Republicans had organized at the grassroots level, situating themselves in local government and on school boards. And what with the “swift-boating,” we were patsies and pansies and weren’t going to take it anymore. (I can’t help it, even though Democracy For America was on my side and ostensibly formed for good progressively strategic reasons, my mind keeps wandering over to the Hitler youth movement as a comparable. I should be ashamed.)

Why Was DFA Founded?

DFA was founded to reform the Democratic Party:

DFA members are working everyday to build a stronger more progressive Democratic Party. We believe the Democratic Party must be driven by people-power and responsive to the needs of everyday Americans.

Why sure, “people-power.” Me too, I’m for that!

Too often, once leaders from any party get elected, they get tied to a culture of incumbency and insular thinking that is dominated by special interests. DFA members fight for a culture of activism and rebuild policies and platforms for grassroots empowerment. It is our mission to constantly revitalize the party with new members, progressive ideas, and effective actions.

Huh. I guess that the Clintons were among those cultural incumbents. Bill had been so wildly popular as to be elected twice (first time for Dems in 40 years), and accomplish so much for our country, that Dean couldn’t wait to take ’em down.

How Are DFA and The DNC Connected?

Evidently, DFA elected Howard to the DNC Chairmanship — Who knew? I had no idea how screamin’ Dean had gotten that position:

In 2005, DFA members elected our founder Howard Dean to the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. With the 50 State Strategy, Governor Dean has successfully delivered on our campaign commitment to stand up for Democrats and our principles in every district in every state.

Our work hasn’t ended with electing a new chairman to head the party, DFA members have run for all levels of party office from precinct captains to county and statewide party chairs. We don’t just talk the talk. DFA members do the work it takes to make change happen. Join us in our mission to reform the Democratic Party.

DFA, The DNC, and Obama

Dean had run a hallmark campaign in 2004. Indeed, it was the first Presidential primary campaign to make effective use of online technology to mobilize and raise contributions from small individual donors. Dean’s training of campaign workers and bloggers would seem like a dovetail fit with Obama’s so-called grassroots community organizing background, combined with the forces of the progressive grassroots moveon.org. Moveon caught the attention of Congress and the DNC with their effective online protest and voter campaigns beginning in 2003. I was an active member, from their Berkeley inception as they grew into a national movement, until their early endorsement of Obama which I protested.

A Florida progressive blog, Florida Politics carries along the DFA message in their state, and notes that their blogging software is similar the Daily Kos, apparently a bragging right. Lately, they’ve reported on the huge Obama operation being set up there, and the takeover by his campaign of a portion of FL’s previous delegate selection. Just as with Michigan, I wonder if the Sunshine State will Remember in November or warm to the candidate who blocked fair reflection and counting all their votes.

Integrating Activists With Grassroots Media

If you fish around on the DFA website under their trainers and training agenda, you will find that we PUMAs and Just Say No Deal Coailtion Members, and likely Hillary herself, ladies and gentleman, are very late to this table.

Last summer we did a session of Night School live from the YearlyKos convention in Chicago. We featured Chris Bowers from OpenLeft.com and Katrina Baker from Living Liberally to discuss building open progressive communities.

Of course it now stands to reason how the DNC could so “quickly mobilize” to announce their move to Chicago last week, and accomplish it over the weekend.

Early Involvement In Presidential Endorsement

Question: How did all the progressive causes that we — I and other Democratic Party members, now-refugees — fought for over our entire lives get absconded by people who seem ready and able to disregard us and our efforts? Hey, over here, I’m a progressive too. How did they choose to throw Hillary away? Or did she or her old-school campaign staff not see DFA as a force?

It appears that DFA had weight in making their early assessments of the Presidential candidates in terms of progressiveness. I don’t see any mention of Hillary Clinton being engaged with them. Perhaps they were deterred by Mark Penn’s purported initial barriers to her easy access, or perhaps Dean didn’t include her? Obama even used their training manuals for his trainings!

All throughout 2007, DFA members were engaged in the Presidential race. DFA kicked off the year with messages to the candidates demanding to hear their plans for ending the Iraq War and combating global warming – and Senators Edwards and Obama, Gov. Richardson, and Rep. Kucinich responded with special videos to DFA members. Gov. Richardson sent campaign staff to a DFA Training Academy and Sen. Obama’s campaign used the Training Academy manual for their trainings. (emphasis mine) This engagement culminated in November of 2007, with the largest online poll of the election season. Over 154,000 DFA members voted in response to “Vote for Me Messages” from the candidates in the race. As a response to the overwhelming support for progressive leaders, DFA launched the Unite for a Progressive President campaign.

Big Tent No More

DFA appears to send out strident press releases, endorsing their progressive candidates and slamming others within the Democratic Party who don’t go along. Evidently, they deemed Obama and Edwards the most progressive, crediting their organization with Iowa’s win, and challenging an unnamed candidate with: what’s all this inevitability talk, huh? Bwa ha ha ha ha.

So, it’s clear that the DNC Chair, under the auspices of Democracy For America, preferentially campaigned, and built an organization, to defeat Hillary Clinton from within, and from the git go — way before Iowa and months, if not years, before the DNC RBC Committee Meeting on May 31, 2008. Pardon me. I am now officially more than naive. I thought I kept up, but maybe I was just a “holiday Democrat” after all. Until this campaign season, I always thought that the DNC was a neutral body that contained all Democrats in “the big tent.” Oops, my bad.

From DFA, originally dated January 3, 2008:

Progressives Win! Obama Wins. Edwards Second.

Democracy for America Lead the Way in Iowa
Des Moines, IA – Democracy for America, our nation’s largest progressive political action organization with over 9,000 members in Iowa, has shown their power tonight in Iowa. With the one-two finish of Senator Barack Obama/Senator John Edwards in the Iowa caucus, it is clear that progressive voters are the key constituency in this election. DFA’s Unite for a Progressive President Campaign made the difference here in Iowa. Democracy for America’s Unite for a Progressive President Campaign brought together the strengths of the Iowa caucus process and the commitment of DFA members throughout the country. The 675,000 members of DFA gathered tens of thousands signatures on a national call to action, wrote over 6,124 letters to Iowa DFA members, and plastered the Des Moines Register with an ad asking Iowa Democrats to not leave their caucus until a progressive wins their location.“If you listened to people last year, it was as if there was no need to vote. There was all this talk about inevitability, but, tonight, Democracy for America’s members here in Iowa proved that primaries matter, progressive values are what make the Democratic Party strong,” said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. (* bold format mine, itals theirs)

In sharp contrast to 2004, issues of concern to progressive voters have been front and center in this presidential race. The activism and involvement of progressive Democrats have transformed the Party and fundamentally altered the primary landscape. From universal health care to ending the War in Iraq to global warming, every Democrat in the race has seen the need to take a strong stance. Those Democrats who have taken a stance have seen their support increase among voters.

“Tonight’s caucus results are further proof that progressive voters make up the core of the Democratic Party – they are the key constituency in this election. DFA members and progressive Democrats support candidates who fight for progressive values: bringing our troops home from Iraq, expanding universal health care for all Americans, and fighting to end global warming,” said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of DFA.

Dean’s Mission Remains The Same

Now I’m wondering exactly when did my candidate and I get voted out of the Party? It would appear as if the strong-arm tone and tactics that characterize many people’s encounters with the Obama campaign have roots in the mission of an organization that has been at play since Dean’s piercing scream. The fratboy doc never gave up. In fact, he has been very hard at work getting back at anyone who ever laughed at him, and is still intent on going all the way to the White House. Memory lane, y’all.

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* Hat tip to Claudiabl for the lead.

Give Me One Reason — New Beginning

“Give Me One Reason to stay here, and I’ll turn right back around.”

Tracy Chapman

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New Beginning

“The whole world’s broke, and ain’t worth fixing.

It’s time to start all over, make a new beginning.

There’s too much pain, too much suffering.

Let’s resolve to start all over, make a new beginning.

Don’t get me wrong, I love life and living,

But when you wake up and look around

At everything that’s going down all wrong,

You see we need to change it now,

This world of too few happy endings.

We can resolve to start over and make a new beginning.

Start all over.

The world is broken into fragments and pieces.

That once were joined together in a unified whole.

But now too many stand alone, there’s too much separation.

We can resolve to come together in the new beginning.

Start all over.”

1993 Tracy Chapman

Raise Your Hand If You Think Florida Is Over

The strong arm of the Obama campaign is (still) passive-aggressively reaching into Florida politics and biting the hands that could now feed him. Sen. Bill Nelson, who sued the DNC for Florida delegates to be fully seated, and last week proposed a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Electoral College, is fighting Obama’s decision to change out some current delegates for his own.

Beth Reinhard writes in today’s MiamiHerald.com about the Dems’ continuing delegate debacle in Florida:

So much for party unity: As Florida Dems prepare for Saturday’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner aimed at bringing the party “together once and for all,” a spat over the Obama campaign’s decision to replace some already-designated Florida delegates with Obama backers has intensified.

And how. DNC member Jon Ausman late Thursday e-mailed Dems (and reporters) choice sections of what he says were e-mails from Obama’s Florida finance chair Kirk Wagar — in which Wagar curses Ausman out and criticizes Sen. Bill Nelson and party director Leonard Joseph.

Sound familiar? Ummm, Nelson stood for fully counting Florida’s votes. He’s a bad guy, right?

The highlights: “You (Jon Ausman) f&^%ed us. We are dealing with it. You need to accept the fact that you f*&^ed us.”

And of Nelson: “I am getting very sick of (Senator) Nelson making a bad situation worse.”

Said Ausman to Wagar: “We are at a point in time when we need to heal and come together. Help me understand how these messages, which you have sent to me in writing, help Senator Obama’s campaign.”

Wagar, dude, you’re fighting a phantom. Nelson’s not there. He’s at constitutional amendment level.

From The Hill, Nelson bill would abolish Electoral College

Posted: 06/06/08 05:18 PM [ET]

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College on Friday, less than a week after the Democrats settled on how to handle delegates from Florida at their national convention.

“It’s time for Congress to really give Americans the power of one-person, one-vote, instead of the political machinery selecting candidates and electing our president,” Nelson said in a release announcing the amendment.

Nelson said his principal argument for making the change is that the Electoral College permits a candidate with fewer votes nationally to win the presidency by capturing narrow victories in big states. In 2000, then-Vice President Al Gore won the popular votes but George W. Bush won the Electoral College.

Nelson cited that election along with this year’s contentious Democratic primary in Florida as reasons for his legislation. He sued the DNC last fall for initially refusing to recognize Florida’s full delegation at the Democratic National Convention.

Democrats on Friday* decided to give each of Florida’s delegates a half-vote as a penalty for moving their primary ahead on the calendar without party approval. The move created a mess for the party after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), whom Nelson supported, won the primary. The result was disputed because candidates had avoided campaigning in the state.

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The second part of the initiative would establish rotating, interregional primaries between March and June during a presidential election year as an alternative to the current primary and caucus system. The third portion would permit early presidential voting nationwide, require voting machines to produce a verifiable paper record, and encourage voting by mail, among other things.

Interesting Friday=an slip in the article, because the DNC RBC Meeting was held the following day, Saturday, May 31, 2008. It’s made all the more haunting in light of the June 11 disclosure by plukasiak, cross-posted at The Confluence:

A document filed as an exhibit in the Nelson vs Dean Lawsuit that was filed in October 2007 in an attempt to force the DNC to seat the Florida delegation provides indisputable proof that the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee singled out Florida and Michigan for sanctions, and ignored violations of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

The article, which contains excerpts from a document filed as an exhibit, concludes by connecting the dots between the RBC’s selective rules enforcement strategy and the damage to Clinton’s momentum:

It is clear that the RBC violated its own rules for political reasons – to stop Hillary Clinton. Without the opportunity to beat Clinton in one of the early states in a meaningful primary or caucus, Clinton’s advantages going into Super- Tuesday would have been impossible to beat. The corrupt officials of the RBC were part of a “stop Hillary” movement, and chose to ignore their own rules in order to make it possible for someone other than Hillary Clinton to get the nomination, and the complete and utter corruption of James Roosevelt, Alexis Herman, Alice Germond and the rest of Obama’s supporters on the RBC is no longer in doubt.

Keep going, Senator Nelson! Drop him a line, give him a call. Tell him, Thanks!


Where Do We Go From Here? Just Say No Deal (Video)

Where do we go from here?

The Democratic Party has abandoned the true principles of its roots.

“If the voters don’t hold the parties accountable, who will?”

We are joining together, many groups and voices, and making a coalition of our own.

Join us!

Just Say No Deal

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* Video Produced by V4Hill!

LBNYC: Music Library

ACTION: WomenCount PAC’s New Ad

From: WomenCount PAC
Date: June 12, 2008 12:22:14 AM EDT
Subject: Need your help to fund important new ad!

Dear Friends,
We are putting the finishing touches on our next ad, which we’re hoping to run in the New York Times as soon as Monday. We think you’ll love the content – and this is no time to sit back and wait. More than ever, we must stand up and be counted – all 18 million of us. But we can’t do it without you. We are still short of the necessary funds to place the ad.

The headline is “We’re still here. We’re listening. And we’re not going away.” It says we will not rest until we hear from the Democratic party and its nominee about how they will:

  • represent the 18 million Americans who voted for Hillary;
  • acknowledge Hillary’s 35 years of experience;
  • reform a flawed nominating process, especially caucuses;
  • address the flagrant, often hostile, gender bias in the campaign;
  • assure parity to the 52 percent of Americans who are women;
  • apologize for their public silence in the wake of the outrageous attacks leveled by Father Pfleger against Hillary;
  • and support the issues we hold dear, such as health insurance for everyone, a good start for all children, a strong economy, and a smart environmental policy.

It is so important that we speak out and speak up at this critical moment. Hillary’s supporters around the country are launching many different efforts, and WomenCount respects all of those views.

We believe that the points we raise in this ad are shared by everyone, and we hope you will get behind our latest effort.

To contribute, go to www.womencountpac.com. Remember that the quickest way to get the funds to us is to send a check by overnight mail or print out and fax back the credit card form you can download from the web site.

Thank you for your continued support.
WomenCount PAC

WomenCount PAC was created to ensure that the 51 percent of American citizens who are women have their values and votes counted in the political process. So far in the 2008 election cycle, WomenCount has run a series of ads related to the presidential campaign and made contributions to several women candidates for Congress.

Contributions to WomenCount PAC are not tax-deductible. Contributions will be used in federal elections, and are subject to federal law regarding prohibited sources and limits. Contributions to WomenCount PAC are limited to $5,000 per calendar year and contributions from corporations and labor unions are prohibited. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $20 in a calendar year.

Paid for by WomenCount PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
WomenCount PAC ~ 1016 Lincoln Blvd., Suite 303, San Francisco, CA 94129 ~ http://www.womencountpac.com