"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

And While We're At It

A quick hit of the ol' Politix. I did the Howard Dean meetup thing last night, which was good in all sorts of ways. We're starting to make real headway with the Americans For Dean project. It feels real good to be a Dean pusher right now; feels like revolution in the best possible way. Kos has some excellent commentary on what the doc's candidacy is doing to this country and to the Democratic party in particular. If the Dean machine keeps rolling and Bush keeps sticking his foot in his mouth, this could actually be a cakewalk. Of course, we all know it will be a mean dirty bastard of a dogfight, but in these balmy summer days, it's nice to dream a bit.

Read More


Another Link From The Front

Here's a story direct from the front by Sean-Paul of agonist.org fame. He's currently travelling the silk road, and managed to have some meaningful converation with a GI in Tashkent.

"Well, all you really need to know is that [Afghanistan] is fucked. The pockets of resistance get bigger all the time. Of course the press is obsessed with WMD, Iraq and tax-cuts. They don't give a shit about us guys bleeding in Afghanistan. Nor do the politicians. They got us into this crap and they aren't giving us the tools to fix it."

That's a salacious quote, but there's a lot more to it. We need more of this.

Read More


MoveOn For Dean

Dean wins the MoveOn Primary, but doesn't manage to get the 50% needed to be their sole candidate. Not surprising out of a field of nine candidates. If it had been between Dean, Kerry and Kucinich, Dean would have likely taken it. However, for now there will be no MoveOn cash infusion, so I kicked the campaign $25.00 on the old plastic. I can ill afford the extra debt, but I think it's imporant and my $25 is worth $50 with federal matching funds. If you want to do the same, this is the link to click.

On the primary report tip, the most important numbes of all are these:

Which Candidate Would You Enthusiastically Support?

DEAN 86.02%
KERRY 75.29%
EDWARDS 55.88%
BRAUN 50.54%
GRAHAM 49.70%

People could choose as many candidates as they liked. Dean's leading Kerry by more than 10% here, and even further ahead of Kucinich. This shows that when the time is right we will come together, a good sign to me.

Read More


Tragedies From The Front

The following appeared in the comments today on Howard Dean's official campaign blog, and it kicks. It's apparently in reference to this story.

Dear Dr. Dean:

I know this isn't exactly on topic, but I need a place to put this.

My friend died today.

My best friend, Lance Corporal Gregory MacDonald of the United States Marine Corp died in Iraq when his vehicle overturned while rushing to aid a group of fellow Marines who were being ambushed.

I met Greg when we were both in graduate school at American University. He was studying Arabic and Near East affairs with a focus on the Palestian-Israeli conflict and Iraq.

During the entire build-up to the war in Iraq, Greg argued forcefully and logically that the case being outlined was false and not consistent with any expert opinion on the subject. He was also a man in the finest tradition the USMC has ever produced, and when called to serve with his Recon unit (one of the most dangerous positions, even for the USMC), he did not hesitate to answer the call of duty.

As a final act defiance before setting out to fight a war he knew was wrong, Greg was interviewed on the radio explaining why the President had not made his case for war. He did the interview on condition of anonymity because he did not want his fellow Marines to think he wasn't 100 percent committed to their mission.

Dr. Dean, we need you more than ever. Something is wrong with this country when our best warrior-philosophers are thrown into the cauldren of Iraq by a President who went AWOL from national guard duty. Something is wrong with this country when an actual expert on the subject of Iraq is sent to war by a cynical, unscupulous Vice President who had "other priorities" when it came his turn to serve.

I'm tired of the chickenhawks who lie while our best men pay the consequences.

Greg told me many times that he would support any candidate who stood up forcefully against this war because it was wrong and was not sold on evidence, but lies and ideology.

Greg would have supported you, Dr. Dean.

And I support you Dr. Dean, because I can think of no other way to better honor the memory of a man ten times greater than our President, even when he plays dress-up in a flight suit - unintentially mocking those who fought and died in uniform.

Thank you

Posted by SZ at June 26, 2003 10:41 PM

I've felt for some time that true stories from the front, in all their pain and gore and horror, are the ultimate antidote to the Fox News drumbeat of war. Hopefully I'll be talking to a friend of mine in the air force about this in the next few days. His story just might make it's debut here on outlandishjosh.com.

Read More


Voices from the Front

Salam Pax has a lengthy new post up today, and sadly he seem to be loosing his drive and energy. It was always heartening to hear the ideosyncracies of Baghdad living and to have his generally upbeat tone running through the whole thing. His latest writing is taking a downturn; and it's a shame that his optimism is draining away. Hopefully we can still turn things around there, but it may take regime change here in the US to set the right plans in motion. I can't say I have a great deal of confidance in Team Bush's administration of post-war, and as Salam's latest illustrates so clearly, there's a lot riding on it.

Read More


Dollars For Dean

Holy bajeezus. According to the Campaign Blog the Dean campaign raised over half a million dollars since his announcement speech on monday. They also had more than 5,000 first-time contributors. I'll be breaking out the plastic to send in maybe $20 (it's what I can afford) before the 30th. Just as soon as I square the sublet rent out here. But that's pretty Amazing, 5,000 new contributors and over $500,000 total in two days. Hot stuff.

And in case you missed it, the speech was pretty inspiring. If you didn't get a chance to see it, it's the most-watched video over on c-span.org. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the prospective power of American politics for 20 minutes. Watch it.

Read More


Power On

It's happening. I had amazing meetings on wednesday with Music For America and then a marathon session at Britt Blaser's with Dave Pentecost and Joe Plotkin from bway.net. While at Britts (amazing view... reminiscent of when I lived on Water St. in college) we also did the hack4dean IRC meeting, and people are coming on board. A quick note on language: hackers are good guys. They make things with technology on an informal and independent basis. Benjamin Franklin was a hacker. They're not scary or malicious.

And in conversations yesterday and just in the air, I can feel the potential. It's electric. We are going to allow something truly beautiful and amazing to happen. More on this soon.

Oh! and on this note, there's already someone working on the RNC. This is good. I knew I wasn't alone on this, but now there's proof.

Read More


Bad Day In Iraq

Bad sounds are eminating from occupied Iraq. Someone fragged a couple GIs at a gas station, which we know about only because a photographer happened to see it go down, and another GI was smoked in a drive-by. But don't worry, because as Bush's banner said, "Mission Accomplished."

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, we opened fire on a crowd of unemployed ex-Iraqi army people who were protesting the state of Iraq, killing at least two. They were throwing rocks, apparently. The solders haven't even pretended that they were shot at, which to me calls to mind Kent State. Probably not such a good analogy what with the imperial occupation and language barrier, but still, it's the first time we've admitted to firing on protesters without claiming they shot first.

It's getting hotter and hotter in Iraq, and it would seem that hearts and minds are turning. Laying off 400,000 people with military experience might not have been the best idea. It's not this bad everywhere, but it does seem to be bad enough to ask again why we're doing this and what the plan is to remove our footprint from the region. Or maybe we're not going anywhere. There's already talk of perminant bases in Iraq... it makes one wonder if anyone in charge read any history earlier that WWII growing up.

On the other hand, there are still some real freaky radicals out there giving me hope and humor. These people are hillarious, mixing up Marxism, underground samizdat and hipster electroclash into a pop-art political gag frenzy. Entertaining.

Read More


Moveon Primary

So you've probably already gotten the message a few times, but in case you have not, I would really like it if you would all sign up for the MoveOn primary. MoveOn is a great political action organization that started in opposition to the directing Bush took things post 9-11. They let you send emails and sometimes free faxes to your representatives, and periodically create petitions and surveys. They also fundraise from the grassroots with great efficacy. If they were to pair with the Dean campaign, it would be a big leg up.

Not only will this aid Dean's already formidable grassroots/netroots, this could mean millions of dollars for his campaign. These are millions that will go to waste if they're thrown behind Kucinich, because he won't win the primary and we all know it. These are million of dollars John Kerry doesn't need. These are the millions of dollars that could make Howard Dean the next President of the United States.

It's free, and they rarely send more than one action alert a week, and its usually worthwhile stuff. Once again, click here to register. You will recieve an email with a unique link sometime on June 24th-25th which will allow you to cast your vote. It's takes less than 120 seconds to sign up and less than 60 to vote for Dean when the time comes. Do it.

Read More


A Little Snarking

Noted military expert (years of role-playing, anyway) and one-time war-letter corresponder Steven Den Beste of the USS clueless has an interesting post today about how we aught to go about rebuilding the Iraqi army. It all sounds pretty solid actually, but this line struck me as a little out of place:

There are also major cultural problems. We have to break them of their unwillingness to fail, or to admit failure; we have to instill in them an American attitude towards admitting mistakes so that they can be corrected.

Ah yes, that vaunted American attitude towards admitting mistakes, so brilliantly on display by the current administration amid the WMD scandal. Though I've long sense concluded that Den Beste is somewhat delusional or at least irrationally emotional wrt patriotism and love of country, he does implicitly make a valid point. Democratic leaders admit their mistakes. Trueman said "the buck stops here." Kennedy owned up to the Bay of Pigs. Humility and a willingness to be open and honest with the public are hallmarks of great democratic leaders. It seems clear that the crowd we have in office will never admit to doing anything wrong. I don't know if it's born-again self-righteousness, simple myopia or a truly sinister willingness to manipulate and deceive, but whatever it is, it's one more reason these people have got to go.

Read More