March 19, 2006

Today’s story from the Boston Globe: Lowell voting problems probed Translating ballot into Khmer eyed By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff  |  March 19, 2006 The US Department of Justice is conducting an investigation into voting problems in the city of Lowell, as advocates called for an increase in voting assistance to growing immigrant populations in the Bay State. The Lowell [...]
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This Week (ABC) - Military veterans Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) will join the program to talk about how they rate success in Iraq and when U.S. troops may head home. George Will, Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson will come together for a roundtable discussion of this week in politics.

Face the Nation (CBS) - CBS Evening News anchor and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer will be speaking to Vice President Dick Cheney in an exclusive live interview.

Meet the Press (NBC) - This week on "Meet the Press," Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and Commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, will talk about the status on the ground in Iraq and their view of the length of this conflict.

Chris Matthews Show (NBC) - Chris will be discussing the dissent within the ranks of Bush's administration, as well as the possible presidential run of Hillary Clinton in '08 with Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, David Gregory of NBC News, Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times and Andrew Sullivan of New Republic Magazine and Time Magazine.

Fox News Sunday (Fox News) - This week, Fox News Sunday will be talking to Sen. Richard Durbin on the censure of President Bush over NSA surveillance program.

Late Edition (CNN) will feature Ahmed Chalabi: Iraqi deputy prime minister, Sen. Richard Lugar(R-IN): Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE): Foreign Relations Committee, Abdullah Abdullah: Afghanistan minister of foreign affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski: former national security adviser and Henry Kissinger: former secretary of state to speak about the state of Iraq, three years after the start of the war.

60 Minutes (CBS) This week's 60 Minutes tells the story of the 37,000-person strong New York Police Department. Larger than the national army of a small country, this mammoth police force has been charged with the critical task defending the city and becoming an "army against terror."

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March 18, 2006


Democracy for Tennessee has been holding successful campaign trainings for the last few weeks. Check out their photos and stories from the Knoxville event!

Our largest crowd yet filled the Knoxville Center Mall's community room to capacity as over 60 activists, volunteers, and candidates turned out for Democracy for Tennessee's "Root Camp" grassroots campaign training seminar.

There was an early-morning scramble to round up enough tables and chairs, but thanks to the efforts of Knox County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Gray and Democracy for Knoxville's Paul Witt, the seating crisis was averted! As usual, there was a brief presentation by DFT Chair Mark Naccarato on the people-powered progressive movement that Democracy for Tennessee is spreading across the Volunteer State. After that, it was time for our "Creating a Campaign" interactive workshop, where "Campers" learned about campaign themes and the types of messages that reinforce those themes. Campers then were introduced to our perennial fictitious candidate, Jane Smith, who is running in a nonpartisan Mayor's race against the uber-conservative incumbent Jack Jones in the Tennessee town of Stepford. Before long, Campers were laying out Jane's campaign theme and her positive platform to bring change to Stepford County.

After constructing Jane's campaign platform, it was time to figure out how to get the message out about Jane and her campaign. Our guest trainer, Jim Grinstead (pictured above), a veternan journalist, publisher, and public relations expert, led the "Read All About It!" workshop on communications and press relations. Thanks to Jim's expertise and real-life media experience, Campers now have a better idea on how to get free media for their candidate, issue, or event.

Freda Player, Outreach Director of the Tennessee Democratic Party

After the communications workshop, it was time for a working lunch session on "Crunching the Numbers". Freda Player, Outreach Director of the Tennessee Democratic Party (above), gave an a/v presentation that showed Campers how to analyze a voter data list, sort it along various geographic and demographic categories, and create a "walk list" for canvassing or phonebanking. She also talked about "scoring" candidates by political party, issue interests, or by their voting patterns. This was an invaluable tool in helping activists target the voters they are trying to reach.

Then came our "For the Cause" workshop, led by DFT's Field Director Georgia Weindling, which taught Campers how to manage the most valuable resource in any campaign... volunteers! It was a great 'How To' guide in making sure that campaign volunteers are used efficiently, are properly trained, and - most importantly - feel like they are appreciated and respected by the campaign and the candidates.

And then, as is the custom of all Root Camp programs put on by DFT, the day ended in a Door-to-Door Training and Roleplaying session. Here is where most of the day's skills pulled together as our Campers broke up into groups and practiced their door knocking skills by trying to get voters (the trainers) to support and vote for Jane Smith for Mayor. As always, this workshop was the most fun and our Campers learned alot about themselves and about how difficult it is to have genuine conversations at the doors of total strangers. In the end, all of the Trainers agreed that this was one of the best groups of canvassers so far in the Root Camp program.

After the workshops officially ended, we celebrated Georgia Weindling's birthday with chocolate cake and a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday".

Then it was on to our special session, where local candidates found out about Democracy for Tennessee's Candidate Training School and about our endorsement process.

This was undoubtedly one of the most successful Camps to date and DFT's thanks goes out to all who attended Camp Knoxville! If you live in East Tennessee and want an even more intense and detailed grassroots training, make sure to sign up for the DFA Training Academy, coming to Asheville, North Carolina on May 6 & 7.

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In an attempt to inspire Democrats to call for change, Hillary fails to mention Iraq.

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Congress authorizes billions more for Iraq; isn't it time to Vote for Peace?

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Around 38 years ago, then-President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not run for re-election. The announcement was the culmination of the War in Vietnam that had cost the lives of tens of thousands of serviceman and women, wounded many thousands more, and killed hundreds of thousands of civilians—all for the sake of fighting an ideology that had nothing to do with the reality of governance or even the realities of our national security.

I remember how horrified I was to see our troops come home to an unwelcoming America that had been polarized by the war and struggled with the notion that we had "lost." Most of these troops had not gone to Viet Nam by choice. They were draftees. These men, women, and their families bore the brunt of an America that was mired in failure and confusion. Make no mistake, this failure and confusion was the responsibility of our highest elected officials and their policy wonks who incredibly misunderstood that we were fighting on the wrong side of a war of independence; a failure by leaders who never had to bear the true consequences of the war, or even be held accountable.

As a young teenager, I remember feeling that sense of failure. I remember the feeling of relief that the War in Viet Nam was over. And I remember the resolve and feeling that no human being of my generation could possibly be incompetent, immoral, and dishonest enough to repeat these same mistakes over again.

On the third anniversary of the start of the War in Iraq, Lyndon Johnson looks like General Eisenhower.

We all know why.

And we all know that the outcome of the War in Iraq must be different. We honor those who serve our country by praying for their safe and speedy return home. We also honor them by making sure that justice comes to those who have been so incompetent and dishonest in the prosecution of the War in Iraq, the war on terror, and so divided this country.

Let's finish the job. Let's bring the President to justice. Because the lessons of Vietnam have taught us that only justice will ensure that no President, member of Congress, or policy bureaucrat ever brings this kind of dishonor to our country and our Democratic institutions again.

Categories: Blogs

March 17, 2006


Bill Monroe is the organizer of the DFA Columbia in Missouri.

The Ashland Senior Center was packed as a politically diverse crowd gathered to voice their concerns about the Bush Administration's planned yard sale of our Mark Twain National Forest land to "Fund roads and schools". Democracy for Missouri played a hand in spreading the word about this gathering organized by Steve Hollis and an ad hoc non-partisan group of Forest neighbors.

Rep. Judy Baker, Democrat from the 25th District,
strongly opposes the sale

This event drew folks from all over mid-Missouri including elected officials and Candidates as well as Forest Service officials and was covered by TV Stations from Columbia, Jeffersn City and St Louis. This is a National issue. Hopefully similar meetings are happening all over the Country. Click here for an article on the sale and here for local news coverage of this event. Click the picture above for more pics...

The call to action from this meeting, is that we need to contact the Forest Service and our elected Representatives NOW during the 30 day "comment period" to stop this and other sales around the Country. Write:

USDA Forest Service
SRS Comments, Land4S
1400 Independence AVE. SW, Mailstop 1124
Washington DC 20250-0003

Or visit the brand-new US Forest for Sale site.

—Bill Monroe

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House approves $92 billion for wars and Katrina cleanup

The House voted 348-71 today, approving $92 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as for Hurricane Katrina cleanup. The amount was slightly less than what the president sought. Bush praised the House vote and urged the Senate follow suit. Despite concerns over budget shortfalls, both House Republicans and Democrats were reluctant to vote against the measure because doing so could have invited election-year criticism that lawmakers were abandoning soldiers or hurricane victims.

Abramoff's sentencing delayed

A federal judge delayed sentencing Jack Abramoff today in response to his prosecutors' request to further the former lobbyist's cooperation with their investigation. Citing Abramoff's cooperation, investigators wanted to defer sentencing until at least June, as opposed to holding a status conference next week that could have lead to Abramoff's sentencing. In January, Abramoff plead guilty to charges of conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion.

Controversy over St. Patrick's day parade

Manhattan's St. Patrick's Day Parade committee chairman John Dunleavy fueled controversy when he refused to allow the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization from participating in the biggest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world. The Roman Catholic event organizers have long refused to let gays and lesbians march as a group in the parade because the church believes homosexuality is wrong. Dunleavy compared allowing a gay group to join the march to allowing neo-Nazis to participate in an Israeli parade.

—Meredith Adams

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Please take a few minutes and complete Democracy for America's new 2006 membership survey. Unlike many other organizations, DFA is built from the bottom-up, not the top-down. Your feedback and support is the foundation of everything that Democracy for America does.

The 2006 DFA membership survey will help us determine more about the interests and priorities of DFA members across the country. It will also help us develop future initiatives and campaigns to fit the interests of DFA members.

Thank you!

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“I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq..."

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Forget those reports saying there were no WMDs, the House GOP chairman of the intelligence committee keeps hope alive.

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With this week marking the third year anniversary of the war in Iraq, it is more important than ever to send responsible leaders to Washington. Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch are two of these leaders—that's why Democracy for America is supporting them for the United States Senate and House of Representatives from Vermont.

Time and again, Bernie has stood up to the radical right-wing and fought for our agenda. As the only Independent member of Congress, Bernie has focused on the needs of the people—working families, the middle class, the elderly, children and the poor. This year, he's running to take his unique brand of independence to the United States Senate.

But it's not going to be easy. Bernie is up against the richest man in Vermont, someone with virtually unlimited wealth, who has already given his campaign over $2 million and is on pace to spend more money per voter than any other Senate candidate in history.

Bernie also faces the smear tactics of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," the infamous right-wing group. Their leader, John O'Neill, wrote in an e-mail that he is on "A mission to stop the most dangerous liberal in America from winning election to the U.S. Senate," Bernie Sanders.

Bernie has earned the admiration of DFA members across Vermont, but he needs your help to fight back against the Republican money machine. Please contribute to his campaign today:

No one understands better than Bernie what is at stake in Vermont, which is why both he and DFA are supporting Peter Welch for the United States Congress in one of the top 10 House races in the country.

Peter has led the fight for better health care, renewable energy, and fiscal responsibility as a state senate leader. He's passionate about demanding accountability for the President's misguided policies and putting a stop to this rubber-stamp Congress. And we can count on Peter to follow in Bernie's footsteps as a champion of working Americans on Capitol Hill.

Peter's Republican opponent has also hired the media firm famous for creating the "Swift Boat" ads that attacked John Kerry and has even taken GOP money from Tom DeLay's protégé, Roy Blunt. Vermont can only anticipate what is on the way.

The choice in Vermont's congressional race is simple. Please join us in supporting Peter Welch for Congress today:

Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch have great records of support for working families. They will continue to work hard for all Americans, but they need your help now in order to win in November.

Thank you for everything.


Jim Dean

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March 16, 2006

Protest the Iraq war on its third anniversary.

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   "How one right-wing billionaire uses his business and media empire to pursue a partisan...
Source: TruthOut
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At the suggestion of another, I offer this article and ask only that you do...
Source: TruthOut
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First my apology for not waiting a full week between diary entries.  I think on...
Source: TruthOut
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The Bush administration once again are underestimating the trouble that a military confrontation with Iran...
Source: TruthOut
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The growing rise in Americans' tax dollars allocated to religious based organizations and their increasing...
Source: TruthOut
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Today's translation from Le Monde is a compendium of excerpts from military tribunals in Guantanamo....
Source: TruthOut
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The struggle going on in France where students and youth and others are fighting against...
Source: TruthOut
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