"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

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Ever since people started forwarding me Bob Harris's deft Kucinich vs. Dean tale of the tape, I've wanted to make my own to serve my candidate. Done and done as of this morning. It just hit me and I banged it out. You can catch it here: Why I Support Howard Dean Over Dennis Kucinich.

I also did some flame-warring over on this dkos thread. A little Sunday indulgance.

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Hot Dean Bits

As you may or may not be aware, I've been deep into my Howard Dean thing for a while. I fear sometimes I've lost all perspective on his chances. Dean seems to have the momentum nationally (polls consistantly point upwards) and every time I catch him on the news, on the radio, whatever, he's sounding good. I can't help but love all the stuff that shows up online for him. For instance:

This snagged from the People-Powered Graphics page. There's also a brilliant automagic poster generator. It's all quite heartening, the participation. In other news, the campaign has been running a "Beat Cheny" counter fundraising drive today. It's all over the Official Blog. The story is that some time today Dick will chuckle his way to $250,000 for W's re-election run; selling $1,000 plates at a closed-door luncheon in Columbia, South Carolina to 250 lucky adherants. Over the weekend Dean's supporters have given close to $400,000. At this time there are more than 7,500 contributors, 30x as many as are filling W's coffers.

If I were Team Bush, that might cause me to break a sweat. The barbarians may be at the gate.

And here's your bittersweet bonus link of the day: the words of a member of the Iraqi governing council who has resigned.

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Welcome to Paradise

I've spent a lot of the past couple days in San Francisco -- a beggar bum outside the BART with a cardboard sign: "another day in paradise" -- slumming around various nice places to eat downtown with Britt Blaser and talking about how we're going to turn the screws and take the Dean Campaign all the way. It's heady stuff, talking about what might be and what it might mean for us if we're a part of making it happen. Sometimes I think it's a little too heady, my internal speed warning light goes on. Is this all real?

When I first started working on this, talking with Zack about the possiblities, one of the first things we hit upon was that our effort, though bold and ambitious, was profoundly anti-ego. Or at least, it's non-ego in the classic GodKing kind of sense. It's non-ego in the we don't get paranoid sense. It's non-ego in that we're looking for friends and not followers.

So hang on to that notion kid. It's going to be an eventful year. There's a need for me to make sure my own house is in order. Rule number one is take care of yrself, stay grounded and so forth. Gonna be a challange.

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Kudo For Me!

Well, I did have something here about how people at the Dean campaign liked my site but couldn't link to it due to some of the content I have here; but the comment was potentially trouble-causing and a direct quote is out. It's all good. They're an official thing, and this phenomena ain't exactly new, though it does stir up that old idea of mine to have an "official" blog or website or something... but then I think about what I wrote before, about identity, and I think, fuck it.

Surprising to me that it was the pussy thing on the left, and not something in here. Maybe they didn't know about that part. There goes the neighborhood, but the truth always feels better.

However, I did get another good Kudo. My man "The Girth" is off romping in Canada, and he met someone in Montreal who's seen my site. My ego is just about ready to pop.

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Before I Hit The Road

Some quick hits from the Politx:

That's what the world looks like today; teetering on the brink. I'm off to California to try out new things. Let's not forget that necessity is the mother of invention.

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Wayward Sons

Yesterday in a bit of personally chilling news there was a SAM (Surface to Air Missile) attack on a C-130 cargo plane in Iraq. This is the type of bird my good buddy in the Air Force flies on. According to the news reports there was only one missile launched, which is a good thing. As my friend explained to me in the interview he gave, C-130s are quite versatile and maneuverable (in spite of an enormous wingspan) are very capable of defeating a single missile launch; they can change direction and speed rapidly and release a countermeasure (e.g. a flare to distract the missile), which is usually more than enough to save their skin.

The problem arises when there are two SAMs in play. Once the plane has used up all its forward energy banking and/or changing altitude, the turboprop engines take a while to get the velocity back. In the few minutes after taking evasive action, the crew is highly vulnerable to a second attack as they have little airspeed to maneuver with.

Though this was the second attack of this nature, I dearly hope that these are isolated incidents. For me, the stakes have beeen raised.

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Perspective

Here's something great by way of Salam Pax (the O.G. blogger from Baghdad): Ishtar Talking, a blog by a young(?) woman in Iraq. She writes in arabic and Salam translates for us puny monolingual Americans. The tone of both their writings lately is not so hot. They sound defeated and this is bad. Salam's voice was to me a beacon of hope for that country, representational of a goodness and desire for a better life that just might turn our bumbling occupation into a firtile event. Sadly this seems to be slipping away.

As for me personally, I'm better than an hour ago. The midday heat did something to my bones, something good. I've lost touch with my body lately, lost touch with some basic good things. Maybe I'll take a yoga class down there in the Berkeley. Definitely need to ride more bike.

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The Bigger They Are...

One of the unfortunate casualties of the past's years politix -- especially the war --has been my trust in the mainstream media. It started with the hyping of the 9-11 anniversary, the lack of any real investigative reporting or even independent thought; it went on through the undercounts and newsroom spinning of the peace protests; it crested with the jingoistic blindness of embedded reporters and the ceaseless repetition of the CENTCOM party line. The beast has been sick for some time, but it's now too malignant to even pretend that anything is ok.

Like most of you, I don't feel too suprised at the news scandals that have popped up over the past few months, the shoddy reporting, the page 10 retractions. It seems clear now that most people in positions of power -- and even a good chunk of the rank and file -- within the newsmedia are simply corporate hacks, people who over the years have rendered themselves utterly devoid of spirit or higher purpose. They are an industry, just like any other, and as such almost completely without human value. Just like the corrupt and hollowed-out cancer that is the music business, the current newsmedia structure exists only because of size and seniority. It's a legacy, and not an especially functional one at late. It will either regain its purpose or it will crumble, but frankly I've already moved on.

So I now glance at the NYT only once every few days for local stuff and maybe a column. I get my political opinion from places like Daily Kos and Billmon and I take my news straight from the worldwide wires, usually via The Agonist (for foreign policy focus) and Google News.This weekend while I was offline and doing me own thing, the WMD scandal went from simmer to low boil. Today I decided to pop my head back into the mainstream and see which way the wind's a-blowing. It looks like the worm is turning.

Today's Paul Krugman column starts connecting the dots in a way that looks truly frightening for Team Bush:

So the Iraq hawks set out to corrupt the process of intelligence assessment. On one side, nobody was held accountable for the failure to predict or prevent 9/11; on the other side, top intelligence officials were expected to support the case for an Iraq war.

There's something intuatively right here, something about the half-assed bullshit quid-pro-quo cronyism that pervades corporate America and the current White House team; it seems very plausable that the Bush Squad agreed to shield the intel bigwigs from any responsability for not preventing 9-11, then turned around and leaned on them to provide the cover for Operation Iraq. Not that such explicit words would have been recorded or even exchanged, but there would have been an understanding. The poor intel suckers were so spooked about being held accountable for our national tragedy they rolled over in fear, they gave up their professional obligations, their purpose, and became a part of the Bush industry. That or they saw a path to personal gain, a chance to climb the ladder by doing the boss a favor, a chance to hit the big time. Whatever the reasons, they sold out.

What happened man? It used to be about the intelligence!

Now as the mid-level CIA people, the ones who actually work on things, are beginning to leak en-masse, the Republicans are circling the wagons in a partisan effort to keep the hearings closed and protect the president. People smell the wind changing, the blood in the water. Press conferences are becoming less and less softball affairs; anchorperson hacks are starting to test their claws. These people are sharks and egoists, and they're getting ready to tear apart the monstrosity they helped construct a last desperate bid to retain a scrap of their original moral legitimacy. There's sacrafice in the offing. Some will survive; some will truly change; some will be left to the annals of history. Something big is going to happen.

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Around The Bend

Just so you know, I'm feeling a bit better now. I needed a juicebox and possibly a nap -- that'll have to wait -- but things are looking less disasterous now. Second wind and all. I mean, if reading this doesn't give you a little chuckle, then what can? Oh, Ari... bet he's counting the days until retirement.

If you're up for a little paranoia indulgence, there's this bit of sad news: one of the marines who participated in the operation to retrieve Pvt. Jessica Lynch died in an auto accident today. No explanation yet, just drove off the road en route to his girlfriend's. Supposed to propose to her real soon it says. Tragic stuff, and pretty coincidental too, considerinng the dodgy details around the "resuce operation/movie" and Pvt. Lynch's being sequestered in a military hospital under armed guard.

I'm not saying I believe the military killed him because the whole Iraq war farce is coming apart at the seams, but the thought did cross my mind. Too much X-Files when I was growing up probably. Maybe he just let the car drift: I've read before that many car "accidents" are really suicides, but that after the fact its almost impossible to tell. Some kid in my high school went out like that. The official story was accident, but everyone knew. Perhaps Josh Daniel Speer was wracked with guilt or shame or something else just eating him up inside, couldn't keep it together. War breaks people. Maybe it really was just an accident. Too bad this poor kid is dead in any case.

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Gladhanding

And before I cut out for the day, Americans For Dean has gotten some press in Wired. Guess I should make sure those forums are working and the announcement list is live!

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