Thursday, January 29, 2004

Joe Trippi talks to MSNBC's Deborah Norville
I just saw Deborah Norville conduct a marvelously professional interview with Howard Dean's ex-campaign manager Joe Trippi. Norville is head and shoulders above Diane Sawyer in the "class department". It was an incredibly emotional, truthful, and heartfelt interview. Joe actually spoke to Deborah from his automobile on his way back to a home in which he's spent a total of SEVEN DAYS this past year! He stressed how much he still supported Howard Dean and the campaign and that he hopes everyone will remain every bit as supportive. He became tearful speaking about the whirlwind of the past year and I realized how terribly lucky Governor Dean was to have had such a man helping to bring him where he is today. More to come on the interview after I've re-reviewed the tapes.

Some of Joe's words:
".....changing the political system in this country is really important. That‘s what got me involved. That‘s what—how the governor inspired me. And I still very much believe that‘s important. I actually think the Dean campaign may be the last chance for the American people to really change the system, to really get special interest money out.........this campaign has more heart than any of the other campaigns out there. Again, I think it‘s the heart of the American people that have joined with it are going to make a big one is going to change this country for you. You‘re going to have to do it........Howard Dean has shown tremendous courage. When no one else would stand up against the war and say so out loud. When it wasn‘t popular to do it, he did it........George Bush is going to have $200 million. And they‘re using it now to hammer on the Democrats, on whoever the presumptive nominee is going to end up would do you—how could you possibly match that kind of force? I mean, brute force and it‘s all by pioneers and rangers bundling hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars for the president. And there is only one way. It‘s a couple of million Americans giving $100. And that‘s the only way to do this. And if you can do it, you not only will change presidents, you‘ll change this country forever. You want to help here in this country? It‘s because the special interests stop it. And, you know, you want a balanced budget. Do you want real campaign finance reform? Do you want you know real policies in this country that aren‘t driven by the special interests? The only force in this country is the people. That‘s what the Constitution says. And this is our shot. And you know that‘s what I think.........."

Democrats owe a debt to Dean by Mark Shields
"..the Dean candidacy has already profoundly changed American politics for the better..."
I think it's wonderful of Mark Shields to say these true things about Governor Dean, but I think, when all this falls out, Dean's new-found, newly-awakened followers will see that all the support hasn't necessarily "paid off". After all, the Democratic establishment has still pushed, quite publically and obviously, for a "Washington-business-as-usual" candidate. The mainstream media followed the coy lead of the Democratic advisor-pundits. The media swallowed the anti-Dean kool-aid.
The Conservative pundits were more riled up by Dean than by Kerry. Rush Limbaugh was absolutely wild with worry about Dean..we liberal-types can smell Conservative fear when it's present. I have seen the mainstream media buy into this Conservative stop-Dean-by-mocking-Dean drumbeat.
The Democratic public-at-large gets most of their information from the mainstream. They make their voting decisions based on what they hear and see.
In my opinion, the media is partially culpable for the primary results we are seeing. They bought into the Democratic establishment and the Right Wing stop-Dean rhetoric. Just as the media was culpable in misleading the American public in 2002 when they beat the drums of war based on Bush's rhetoric and war fervor.
How can Howard Dean possibly beat these odds?
How does the Democratic party actually believe that there will be the same money-raising spirit that Governor Dean inspired after he was systematically trashed at every his own?
If things do not change, I hope the Democrats will understand when many of the disillusioned young people recently brought into the system fade away again. I think they've made a crucial mistake.
The South Carolina Democratic Candidates' Debate
"A through Z"

Note- These are not all verbatim statements--they convey the ideas presented by the respective candidates in tonight's debates in Greenville, S.C.

A- About healthcare: I mean Senator Kerry no disrespect, but he sponsored nine healthcare bills in the Senate and none of them passed.
--Howard Dean

B- Bremer should be "out"---NATO should take command of forces in Iraq.
--Wesley Clark

C- Clear misleadings, clear exaggerations from the Bush administration. Cooperation needed around the world. Clash of civilizations must be avoided.
--John Kerry

D- Doctrine of pre-emption and unilateralism led us into Iraq. It's a wrong doctrine--ideologically driven. Re-engage the world community.
--Dennis Kucinich

E- End the runaway deficit!
--Wesley Clark

F- Fritz Hollings...Fritz Hollings....Fritz Hollings..
--John Kerry

G- Giving up our liberties: You know, it seems the terrorists may have already won. The Federalist Society doesn't see our Constitution the way most Americans see it.
--Howard Dean re: Patriot Act attack on fundamental civil liberties.

H- He [Bush] doesn't think he needs a permission slip from the UN!? Why, he doesn't think he needs votes from the American people to be President!
--Al Sharpton

I- I'll take these hands and heal America. "Out of many, we are one."
--Dennis Kucinich

J- Jim Clyburn...Jim Clyburn.....
--John Kerry

K- Kay, David- Tom Brokaw says that David Kay claimed Bush was "abused" by bad intelligence agencies. Candidate's Reply: VP Dick Cheney went to the CIA before the Iraq strike and berated their reporting.
--Howard Dean
See June 5 story, See Newsmax excuses for Cheney

L- "Lying to the American people is NOT the way to run a country!"
--Al Sharpton

M- McAuliffe says if a Democratic candidate hasn't won in the next two weeks, he should think of geting out of the race.
--Tom Brokaw

N- "Nation of Islam": Tom Brokaw asks a question about Islamic nations and mistakenly uses the phrase "Nation of Islam". Candidate's reply: 'If you're talking about a religious group in America called the Nation of Islam, it has nothing to do with your question!'
--Al Sharpton

O- Only moderates: "I'm the one experienced moderate in this field. And in states like this, it is only moderate Democrats who win elections."
--Joe Lieberman

P "President is playing politics with National Security!"
--Wesley Clark

Q- Question on Islam: "Blame those who use religion to do deadly acts. DON'T blame religion! Christ Himself couldn't join certain American Christian churches today.
--Al Sharpton

R- Require lawyers to have cases pre-reviewed by independent experts before clogging the judicial system with frivilous suits. A new idea by..
---John Edwards

S- Saving accounts only for those who are ABLE to save is not good policy.
--John Kerry

T- Talent: "There's so much talent here. The race will go all the way to the convention. I look forward to it.
--Dennis Kucinich

U Unfair trade: FAIR trade--not FREE trade. We need to globalize worker's rights..human rights. You cannot trust the Right Wing with your money.
--Howard Dean

V "Voters-be bold! Nominate me! Defeat George W. Bush-give America a fresh start!"
--Joe Lieberman

W- "...who lobbied for the telcommunications industry!"
--Tom Brokaw (attempting his own little GOTCHA! about Roy Neel). Brokaw felt the need to interrupt/interject on Howard Dean's time as Dean was explaining that Joe Trippi was not "fired" (as Brokaw had clumsily claimed) and that Roy Neel was the new campaign manager.

X- Xtra-important statement: "Buy American or Bye-Bye American!"
--Dennis Kucinich

Y- "You mischaracterized my position!"
--Dennis Kucinich to Tom Brokaw re: replacing US troops in Iraq with UN enforcement.

Z- Zingle payer healthcare plan only. Accept nothing less.
--Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich agree

Other highlights:

"If the American people like what's going in Washington, then they should vote for people who've been there and been part of the Washington scene – 'No Child Left Behind' and all the rest. I haven't been."
–-Wesley Clark.

"That's how we're going to fix Medicare, is to get somebody who has executive experience in governing, particularly in health care, particularly somebody who is a doctor who understands these things, who is willing to get stuff done. And I don't think we are going to do that getting somebody from the United States Senate to be the Democratic nominee."
-– Howard Dean.

"What has happened is that the Republicans take the South for granted. And too many times, the Democrats ignore the South."
-– John Edwards

"I intend to hold (Bush) accountable in this election, because the American people's pockets are being picked to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, and our troops are at greater risk than they needed to be. And we deserve leadership that knows how to take a nation to war if you have to."
–-John Kerry

"By and large, the American people are not aware of how trade has changed dramatically. It's no longer about protectionism vs. free trade. It's about global corporations who are accelerating a race to the bottom, trying to get cheap labor wherever they can get it."
-– Dennis Kucinich

"There are people that I can bring into the process that won't come in if someone like me is not in the process."
-– Al Sharpton.

Hmmmmmm....they are apparently"sure"of where Osama is now...why not go and grab him?

I read an article titled "U.S. military 'sure' of catching bin Laden this year" You never hear "sure" unless someone is...well.....sure. So, if we know where he is and we've suspected it for some time, why are we allowing him to continue this offensive against our troops? Shouldn't his capture be our Number-One top priority? No holds barred?
Why not get him now and stick his head on a pole before more of our troops lose their lives?
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty has said the military now believed it "could seize him within months".
I'm not convinced. This.."could seize him"... this doesn't sound like a "sure" thing to me. Hmmm, I'm confused here.
Lt. Hilferty Quote: "We have a variety of intelligence and we're sure we're going to catch Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar this year. We've learned lessons from Iraq and we're getting improved intelligence from the Afghan people."
With all we now know about the Bush administration and how they've conducted their wars on a GOP-beneficial political-schedule, I wouldn't put it past them to wait until the moment was no less than perfectly politically-advantageous to go in for Osama bin Laden. Perhaps they've known where he's been for a long time and haven't tried their hardest to capture him. How creepy is that possibility? In my heart, I can't believe even BUSH would do something so awful. Yet...with all the lies his administration has already told us...can you blame me for the very thought? Forgive me for thinking out loud. Perhaps if the word "sure" hadn't been flaunted so boldly......
God helps those who help themselves,
but Bush Helps CBS. And CBS Helps Bush

When it comes to censoring Super Bowl commercials, CBS is way out of bounds.
Guardian UK / Comment
After the Hutton Report:
Important points to remember
"The future of journalism is at stake"

From this article, here are some important points to bear in mind after the post-Hutton report smoke has cleared:
...although Andrew Gilligan's report on the Today programme was wrong in one important respect, the broad thrust of it was right. Gilligan was not the only journalist who reported that the government had exaggerated Iraq's weaponry in order to make the case for war, but his report was the one that stirred up the biggest row between the government and the BBC in the history of the many feuds between them....

...Lord Hutton has ruled that the accuracy of the dossier does not lie within his remit. But this dossier was vital in making the argument for war....

....Hutton's verdict, although a huge relief to the government, does nothing to justify the war in Iraq on the grounds on which it was argued before hostilities began.....

....I profoundly hope that the BBC does not lose its nerve as a result of this reverse. In many ways it sets the standards by which other news broadcasters are judged. This is not the time for the BBC to play safe, although there may be every temptation to do so. Not only is its reputation for independence at stake, but the future of all journalism in this country. The way that broadcast journalism, and some print journalism, holds the government to account and never allows it to become too triumphalist, as it was yesterday, is important to our [British] democracy.....

....I understand why Gavyn Davies, the BBC chairman, felt it necessary to resign, but the self-flagellation should end there. The BBC must pick itself up, dust itself down and continue to provide the news service for which it was famous...

N.Y. Times Editorial: On the Democrats' Race for the Presidential Nomination

The N.Y. Times editorial today says that John Kerry's ability to win the hearts of Democrats all around the country is not a will be tested..and that his strongest opponents should not give up now. They hint that Joe Lieberman should drop out and that John Edwards has yet to face the toughest scrutiny. I wonder, though, why they would suggest that Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton stop participating in the debates? If you ask me, Kucinich and Sharpton are carrying unique and important messages that have been too often ignored by the likes of the New York Times and the television news networks. Lately it seems the debates are Sharpton and Kucinich's only opportunity to "keep the debate real" while the moderators (Peter Jennings, Brit Hume, etc) avoid the real and important issues. Instead, the moderators from the media raise inflammatory tabloid-style confrontation. It's quite sickening.
I also ask myself why the N.Y. times editorial states: "[Kerry] generally seems wooden on the campaign trail, and it's important to see how voters take to him in the South and West, and in minority communities. If he stumbles, Senator John Edwards and former Gen. Wesley Clark will be waiting."
Hello?? Howard Dean came in second (with twice as many votes as Edwards and Clark) in New Hampshire. If he does not stumble, he may be leading.
This race could go anywhere, let's face it. I've never seen pundits with so much egg on their faces. The South and West may be sending the Democrats many surprising messages in the weeks to come.
I regret that any of these candidates have dropped out of the Democratic race.
Perhaps Terry McAuliffe is worried that he has created a monster with this new kind of primary season. I think what he's really done is expose the idiocy of the media and Democratic "advisors" while giving the Democratic constituency a real choice. The media does not know how to handle reporting on such choices. The Carvilles and Begalas obviously didn't know what to expect, the DLC is scrambling for what they had previously thought was their secure political life, and the Democratic voters can look directly into the soul of the people who are running their party. We are surprised by what we are seeing.
We Democrats thought this primary season would be handled with the utmost attention and care to secure the truest form of democracy..after all, isn't that the Democrat's claim to supremacy? The more I see the pulling of strings from within the party to prop up one candidate while deliberately harming another, the more I lean towards becoming an Independent again. I guess I have Terry McAuliffe to thank for allowing me to see the light.