Friday, January 30, 2004

The Version of Reality You Didn't Hear on TV

"After my interview with Dean and his wife I noticed that on that tape he's holding a hand-held microphone designed to filter out the background noise. It isolates your voice. The crowds are deafening to us standing there, but the viewer at home hears only our voice.

We asked the reporters who were there to help us replicate what they experienced in the room. Dean's boisterous countdown of the upcoming primaries as we all heard it on TV was isolated, when in fact he was shouting over the roaring crowd.

And what about the scream as we all heard it? In the room, the so-called scream couldn't really be heard at all."

Thanks for jumping on that right away, Sawyer.
Primary Season as NASCAR Season

For an Iowan, the nomination season is like the NASCAR season. Bear with me while I belabor an essentially meaningless point.

Biggest football game of the year? Well, yah. Super Bowl. End of the year.

Biggest baseball event of the year? World Series. Again, naturally, end of the year.

Biggest NASCAR race? The Daytona 500. Which is the FIRST race of the year.

That's what the nomination season is like for an Iowan. The big one is first then it's all downhill.
'Anti-Police' Rap CD Targeted in Ariz.

"Arpaio faxed his complaint letter to Tower Records' corporate headquarters earlier this week... a spokeswoman with Tower Records, said the company has pulled the discs from the store."

Paging Ice-T...

Sen. Mikulski Makes Plea for Hubble Reprieve

"Without the service mission, which had been planned for 2006, scientists believe the orbiting telescope could stop working several years before its scheduled 2010 retirement..."

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

No Joementum: It's Time to Go, Joe

"He performed best among primary voters who usually think of themselves as Republicans, consider themselves conservative on political matters, attend religious serves weekly, are satisfied with (but not enthusiastic about) the Bush administration, believe the Bush tax cuts should be left entirely in place, and strongly approve of the US decision to go to war in Iraq. In other words, Lieberman is doing best among Bush voters. Does any sane person think that that's a prescription for winning upcoming Democratic primaries and caucuses, and for snatching the Democratic nomination? The longer he runs for President, the more clueless he will seem..."

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

In the Comeback Kid Zone

As of noon Iowa time (1 PM in NH), "exit polls show Kerry in the lead, Dean in close second within the Margin of Error. Dean's visibility operation appears to be the best of the lot making the race more competitive than suggested by polls..."

Followup: Uh, never mind...
Spin Control: Candidates' Musical Tastes

"Music, it seems, isn't a genuine passion for any of these guys, but unless you expect them to DJ your next party, that probably doesn't really matter. It'd be grand if Sen. Joseph Lieberman loved Urge Overkill, or if former governor Howard Dean sincerely thought Metallica totally freaking ruled, or if retired Gen. Wesley Clark believed the New York Dolls changed his life. But we're probably better off with a commander in chief who cares more deeply about, say, nuclear proliferation than his collection of vinyl..."
Alford not amused by Illinois fan behavior

Classic example of Alford's priorities: "they're pickin' on poor Pierre Pierce." Awwww. Why is he still even on campus, let alone on the team?

Monday, January 26, 2004

Republicans choose Diedrich

Herseth says she is looking forward to the race.

"I have been ready for a couple of months now. We have gotten our office open, we have many volunteers ready, and I am more than ready for the next four months," she said.
One More Cheer for the IDP

1/26: "509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded"

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Lieberman Denounces Video Game

I think Joe would have other things to worry about... like the fact that he's at 5 percent in New Hampshire after he rented an apartment there...

No matter how Dean does Tuesday, I'll be a happy man Wednesday when Joe Lieberman gives us a tearful farewell speech. Good riddance.

Even the immediate family vote appears to be in jeopardy:

'He's such a good man. I don't know why he didn't catch on.' - Joe Lieberman's mother

Friday, January 23, 2004

Another point of view

Here's someone who was in the crowd in Des Moines on Monday who's posted video: how it looked if you were there.

Context, everybody, context: On Sunday I was on stage behind Howard Dean, in a hall full of 1600 screamin' Deanies, and I could barely hear what The Doctor was saying.

This is an exciting campaign. It's been a long time since I've seen this many people, especially young people, excited about politics. Embrace the moment.

Meanwhile, the sound clips are funny. Probably they're meant to mock Dean. But juxtaposed against the music, what they do instead is capture a little of the excitement.

I especially like the James Brown one...
Who can beat Herseth?

"Republicans pick a candidate Saturday for South Dakota's open seat in Congress..."
More Good Space Station Viewing

1/23 06:21:19pm
1/24 05:17:47pm
1/25 05:50:11pm

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Top Ten Ways, I, Howard Dean, can turn things around.

Poking fun at oneself is a Good Thing...

10. Switch to decaf.

9. Unveil new slogan, "Vote for Dean and get one dollar off your next purchase at Blimpie."

8. Marry Rachel on the final episode of Friends.

7. Don't change a thing, it's going great.

6. Show a little more skin.

5. Go on American Idol and give them a taste of those pipes.

4. Start vorking out und speaking vith an Austrian ah-ccent.

3. I can't give specifics yet, but it involves Ted Danson.

2. Fire the staffer who suggested I do this Lousy Top 10 List instead of actually campaigning.

1. Oh, I don't know -- maybe fewer, red-faced rants

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Good Space Station Viewing This Week

Wave at the astronauts while they go floating by. You have to look at just the right time but if you know where and when you can't miss it.

6:54 tonight
5:51 Thursday
6:23 Friday
Monday features caucus virgins and famished county chairman

"Carrying a weathered stuffed donkey representing the Democratic Party, Dean party activist John Deeth was leery of the preliminary results..."

And the notorious HoTee (Donkey Ho Tee, ha ha ha) makes his first appearance in print. Along with a really stupid quote from me.

I had to decide how to spell HoTee's name just now. He's had the name for 12 years, I just never typed it out before.

HoTee arrived at the caucus pledged to Dean. During the evening someone tried to realign him to Gephardt, but that proved non-viable.
Count the ways caucus went wrong

"Kucinich, like Dean, has campaigned primarily on having opposed the Iraq war. All the other Iowa front-runners supported it. Despite the Iowa caucuses' reputation for being a thoughtful, deliberative process in which people talk and change each other's minds, there was almost no deliberation or discussion. Kucinich supporters and undecideds followed Edwards after hearing only a cursory reading of a few Edwards positions from a campaign brochure. Apparently Kucinich's competitiveness toward Dean overrides even his core message."

Gephardt says goodbye to White House hopes

"We got them out," said Steve Murphy, Gephardt's campaign manager. "They just voted for somebody else."

Yah. Well. In my precinct they voted for John Kerry in a rather non-random way. And with the way the votes get counted in Iowa, that's what matters.

The attack ads hurt Dean. But they KILLED Gephardt. He was the suicide bomber of Iowa 2004, accomplishing the larger goal (stop Dean!) at the sacrifice of himself.

The Perfect Stormers learned a lot about hardball last night.

We won't be fooled again.
Dozens of Mob Arrests Announced

"The code of omerta has been abandoned," said Pasquale D'Amuro, assistant director of the FBI's New York office.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Up to the minute from the IDP

As of 1:30 this afternoon the OFFICIAL Iowa Democratic Party web site is showing these results:

390 of 1993 precincts reporting
Last Updated: Jan 19 2004 7:40PM

UPDATE 12:15 AM 1/21: 404! Way to go IDP!

Monday, January 19, 2004

Chinese TV Balks at Airing 'Friends' Because It Has Too Much Sex

I'm sure Joe Lieberman is proud.

Speaking of which.

Just got back from the last Howard Dean rally in Iowa. Joan Jett warmed up the crowd, and someone had a banner that read SMELLS LIKE DEAN SPIRIT.

We sure are a long way from the Gore-Lieberman ticket!

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Hard counts, hard counts, hard counts

Now THIS guy gets it:

"The Iowa Democratic Party charged each camp $65K for the list, knowing they had a monopoly to exploit. There are addresses where there is no longer even a physical house, and there are people who have registered recently who are not on the list. And then, of course, campaign rules allow people to register and even change their party registration on caucus night. So, trying to figure out who is voting when there are names on this list that are stale, and people not on the list who are live and in play, is tricky. No, it's impossible."

Gonna buy five copies for my mother

The Rolling Stone Interview with Howard Dean
Sherman coordinates Super Bowl plan

Well, uh, for NEXT year.

The Packers began that process Friday when head coach/general manager Mike Sherman called the firing squad for defensive coordinator Ed Donatell and tight ends coach Jeff Jagodzinski. Actually, as so delicately put it, the two coaches were "relieved" of their duties. As if Sherman called Donatell and said, "Ed, you seem pretty burdened lately between doing the grocery shopping and shoveling the driveway. What do you say if I relieve you of some of your duties? Like your job."

Friday, January 16, 2004

My old nemesis returns!

MUSCATINE - Barry Brauns, a former state representative from Muscatine, today announced his return to politics after a two-year absence...

REAL interesting after the reapportionment pairing with Hahn and the attempt to carpetbag into the adjacent district in 2002 with that post office box in Nichols. Now that the district he actually LIVES in is open...

America as a One-Party State

America has had periods of single-party dominance before. It happened under FDR's New Deal, in the Republican 1920s and in the early 19th-century "Era of Good Feeling." But if President (sic) Bush is re-elected, we will be close to a tipping point of fundamental change in the political system itself. The United States could become a nation in which the dominant party rules for a prolonged period, marginalizes a token opposition and is extremely difficult to dislodge because democracy itself is rigged. This would be unprecedented in U.S. history...

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Glamorous Cities in Race to Host Olympics

Don't know WHY I'm so interested in this. Maybe because I'm still pissed about Beijing.

The complete list of candidates:

  • Havana - beautiful but is there a Castro factor
  • Istanbul - would be first games in Islamic world
  • Leipzig - would be third German host city
  • London - would be three time host
  • Madrid - so soon after Barcelona?
  • Moscow - can they handle it? Would be first "real" games after `80 boycott
  • New York - sentimental favorite in post 9/11 era
  • Paris - supposedly the frontrunner; would be three time host
  • Rio de Janeiro - never been a Games in South America (or Africa)
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2004

    Carol Moseley Braun to Drop Presidential Bid, Back Dean

    "She leaves the race after making no impact on it, except for some bright moments in the presidential debates. Even her own campaign manager, Patricia Ireland, had said publicly there was no way Braun could win the nomination..."

    Oh well. A little good news is still good news.
    A moment of tacky courtesy of Dennis Kucinich

    I promised myself way back at the beginning of this caucus that I was not going to bash the other Democratic candidates (I don't consider Lieberman a Democrat).

    I am going to take a moment here, however, and say a few things about the supporters of one of the candidates.

    Late last night I got word that Martin Sheen and Rob Reiner were going to make a brief stop in Iowa City at one of my favorite restaurants on behalf of my candidate.

    Now usually, I don't care much about the meet-the-big-shot moments of politics. After all the experiences with my daughter, these things don't mean much.

    I also stick to a firm and fast rule. I will only attend a celebrity event if the celebrity is appearing for my candidate. I would have loved to have seen James Carville four years ago. But he was here for Gore, I was for Bradley. People specifically invited me.

    "Oh, John, it'll be OK, you can go, no problem."
    "Sorry, I'd love to. But he's Gore, I'm Bradley. I wouldn't feel right."

    But this one I wanted to go to. I even wanted to do the geeky-autograph thing. I had a wonderful time at Christmas watching The Princess Bride with my father, brother, and nephew, and I had a vision of giving my little bud a signed copy.

    I even made a special sign and a special slogan in honor of Rob's brilliant and hilarious This Is Spinal Tap. Hopefully the phrase "Dean Goes To 11" will catch on.

    Well. I took time off work and went down to the event.

    The place was packed with Dennis Kucinich supporters. It was sign-war time.

    Now, there are some unwritten rules of Sign War. Multi-candidate events, like debates or the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, are fair game. Sign War is expected and you snooze you lose.

    Also fair: Visibility and picketing outside an event. Line the whole sidewalk outside the Hamburg Inn with Kucinich signs? Fine.

    Events with candidates have a different standard. The candidate could and should expect tough questions, possibly from supporters of other candidates. Buttons for other candidates are acceptable (I usually take mine off), but you don't carry a sign.

    But hijacking a non-candidate event by packing it, simply for visibility, is just plain tacky.

    Anyway. After about the third time someone tried to block my dorky little DEAN GOES TO 11 sign with a Kucinich sign, I started to feel that unpleasant feeling I get sometimes and I left, bullied out of my own candidate's event.

    Did they have a right to be there? Sure, you know me and my First Amendment. But was it right for them to do what they did? Not really. It's a typical move: piggyback onto someone elses event. Steal the work my campaign did to set it up. Tacky. Tacky. Tacky.

    I've been busting my buns for Howard Dean for 11 months. And maybe it's selfish or shallow of me. But yeah, I wanted to meet Meathead. I wanted to meet Martin Sheen. They took time to come to my town for my candidate. A lot of people worked hard to make that event happen. And a couple dozen people who decided to be jerks ruined it for me.

    Again, I said I wasn't going to bash the candidates. Dennis Kucinich is a decent congressman (except for a lousy record on choice). But Howard Dean started at the same place in the polls: Asterisk. A year later, Dean is in first place, and Kucinich is still Asterisk. Does that tell you anything?

    Monday, January 12, 2004

    A couple nice human being moments

    I spent Saturday afternoon knocking on doors for Dean with a young guy who came up from Florida to help out.

    Another nice moment was due to my own stupidity. I was quite proud of myself for not driving during last week's cold snap. WELL...

    You know what happens when you don't start a car for a week in winter?

    You don't start a car!

    So. Friday night when this happened I left a note begging for help on the next car over. They didn't help, but they were nice enough to pass the note along to the next car, and so on and so on.

    Saturday night about 10:30 I got a call from the owner of Car #4 or 5. "Yeah, I just got a burger, but I can help ya after I eat."

    15 minutes later, vroom, vroom. I gave him five bucks and told him "here, get another burger," and he was even polite enough to refuse the money once and then take it. Hey, woulda been 50 bucks for the tow truck. 1999-2004 RIP

    The other thing: Mid-afternoon the plug was finally pulled on the old e-mail account. My payment only ran through New Year's Eve and I was wondering how long it would keep flying. The four weeks of lag time since the decision to move gave me enough time to clue eveyone in, I think.
    Some UK Perspective

    "(Dean's) winning the nomination would be roughly the equivalent of Ken Livingstone taking over the Labour party..."

    This guy interviewed me, didn't use it.

    Sunday, January 11, 2004

    4th down and winter to go

    Referring to the McNabb-Mitchell completion, Sherman said: "That was a pretty good situation to be in. You would think you would win a fourth-and-26. We didn't get that done."

    Friday, January 09, 2004

    A Kid Moment

    Went to the post office today. Had a moment at the door with a mom, carrying one kid and holding the hand of another who looked about three. Had one of those polite friendly, we're trying to be in the space "excuse me" moments.

    Then the child took a liking to me as I went the other way, saying her new favorite word:


    I turned around and waved: "Bye!"


    So again I said "Bye."

    Then she very sweetly and innocently said "Bye, stupid!"

    I burst into hysterics. The poor mother wanted to gently admonish the little girl but when she saw me laughing she couldn't do anything but laugh, too....
    Harkin to endorse Dean


    Wednesday, January 07, 2004

    Ralph Hall Update

    The logo says "Republican" now. Goody for Ralph. Now let's see if he can win his primary...

    In other Texas news, my man Ron Gunzberger at says "The (re-redistricting) decision almost entirely eliminates any Democratic chance to recapture control of the House in 2004..."
    Blast from the Past, 1984 edition

    "Former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart is seriously considering a challenge to Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, according to party sources. The two-term senator and two-time presidential candidate recently discussed a possible bid with national and state party leaders who are urging him to jump in, said Democratic sources in Washington and Colorado..."

    Hmm. Hart came out here a year or so ago and was supposedly looking at a presidential run. That seemed beyond reach. But a Senate comeback? Maybe. Campbell vs. Hart would sure be the most colorful race in the country...
    Quote of the day

    NPR's Conan, during yesterday's NPR debate: 'Congressman Kucinich is holding up a pie chart, which is not truly effective on radio.'
    Dean Rivals Accused of Harassment by Phone

    Well, I don't know but here's my story.

    Just after 9:00 last night I got a call from the Kerry campaign. 9:00 is wrap-it-up time by normal phone center standards but OK by me because that's when my minutes are free and I'm a night owl. (A too-late call would only hurt your own team anyway)

    It sounded like a volunteer, right down to phone center chatter in the background, phrased and worded in a slightly awkward oh-gosh style. But when I tried to respond I realized it was a machine call.

    My first reaction was: Kerry doesn't have enough volunteers to make calls, so they're making pseudo-volunteer machine calls and hoping for answering machines. You get home and play the messages, or listen in while you screen out the call, and it would sound like a real person. But if you get a live person, it seems as phony as a chin implant.

    The message itself was OK, didn't mention other candidates, John Kerry would like your support, etc. etc.
    Duvall Had 'Godfather III' Money Issue

    "If they paid Pacino twice what they paid me, that's fine, but not three or four times, which is what they did."

    I always though that was the biggest thing wrong with 3, even bigger than Sofia Coppola: No Tom Hagen. It wasn't just the lack of Duvall's brilliant, subtle character in the Corleone mix. It was the fact that Coppola and Puzo massively rewrote the script to beef up the Hagen role in an attempt to lure Duvall. Then just when they thought he was in, he pulled back out (sorry). So they massively re-rewrote it to shrink the role and transmogrify it into the useless BJ Harrison.
    Gratuitous Espresso-based Dean Bashing

    In the ad, a farmer says he thinks that "Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading ..." before the farmer's wife then finishes the sentence: "... Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs."

    Hey, that's me! (They left out bike-ridin', tree huggin', flag-burnin', name-hyphenatin', and Sunday mornin' sleepin' in.)

    Tuesday, January 06, 2004

    Is Clark on the skids?

    Here's a great one for my Southern Strategy:

    "Dean's relations with the leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus are excellent and he may even choose one of their most legendary figures, civil rights veteran Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, as his vice presidential running mate."

    As for Clark, let's move on:

    Clark, after all, supported the Iraq war and even voted for President (sic) George W. Bush in November 2000. Democrats charged up by Dean no longer believe Clark is essential to give national security and foreign policy credibility to their ticket...
    Bradley Hails Dean's 'Hope' for America

    More proof that the Dean campaign is more than "nuthin' but Net"

    Monday, January 05, 2004 / News / Politics / Dean to make surprise visit to N.H. - Bradley endorsement expected

    At least four people have e-mailed me about this, apparantly my reputation as a Bradley Guy is widespread.

    My rep as a Packer fan has also spread, apparantly it was announced at the caucus training that I skipped yesterday that I was skipping out to watch the game...
    Hire a webmaster, Ralph

    Ralph Hall's campaign website still has an image that reads "Ralph Hall Democrat for US Congress"

    Sunday, January 04, 2004

    Packers are a legit threat to go deep in playoffs

    Be gone, all ye doubters and skeptics. The Green Bay Packers are a real, live, breathing Super Bowl contender.

    Even though the Packers (11-6) now must win two playoff games on the road to reach Super Bowl XXXVIII, it's just possible that they'll look back on this game as the most difficult if they do make it to Houston on Feb. 1.

    Their next test comes at 3:45 p.m. Sunday in Philadelphia against the top-seeded Eagles (12-4), who returned to work this morning after having had seven of the last eight days off. The Eagles were established as a 5-point favorite.

    But guess what? The Packers don't really care because they were all but counted out when they crawled out of Detroit's Ford Field on Thanksgiving with a 6-6 record...

    Favre from finished

    Al Harris never got a chance for a Lambeau Leap. By the time he thought about it, he was buried under an avalanche of teammates.

    The cornerback picked off Matt Hasselbeck's throw and headed to the end zone -- directly past former Packers coach Mike Holmgren -- to score the first defensive touchdown to win an overtime playoff game in NFL history...

    'Man, That Dude Can Dance'

    In response to a question testing his youth-culture awareness, Dean did a brief takeoff of a song by Outkast, the hot hip-hop group.

    But my favorite quote:

    Political analyst Charles Cook thinks Clark may be marginally more acceptable across the country, but says the Democrats should forget the South. "Get over it," he said. "The Democrats couldn't win the South with Robert E. Lee at the top of the ticket."

    Friday, January 02, 2004

    Texas Rep to become a Republican

    This must be the player to be named later in the Barbara Hafer trade:

    "Texas Rep. Ralph Hall, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1980 as a conservative Democrat, joined the GOP Friday. Hall had long been the focus of efforts to get him to cross the aisle. For years, he refused, saying that he had started life as a Democrat and wanted to work to move his party back towards the center..."

    More evidence that Bubba Is Gone Forever. Chalk this one up to the Tom DeLay re-

    Republican map makers in the Legislature gave Mr. Hall more than 430,000 new constituents in their proposed redrawing of congressional boundaries. They removed Tyler and Longview from his 4th District and added Texarkana.

    Throw in a dose of Hardball DeLay Style:

    Hall said GOP leaders denied his appropriations requests: "I've always said that if being a Democrat hurt my district, I would either resign or switch parties.

    Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said Mr. Hall's move will have little effect in Congress: "Ralph Hall has been a Republican in everything but name for more than a decade."

    Local Dallas Story (free registration required)

    Now if we can just get rid of Zell Miller...
    Pat Robertson: God says it's Bush in a 'blowout' in November

    Yeah, well, my Magic 8 Ball says DON'T COUNT ON IT
    Who's Nader Now?

    Some quibbles with the initial premise but the main argument resonates:

    Some of Dean's rivals have launched vitriolic attacks that might as well have been scripted by Karl Rove. And I don't buy the excuse that it's all about ensuring that the party chooses an electable candidate.

    After Dean declared that Saddam's capture hadn't made us safer — a statement that seems more justified with each passing day — Lieberman and, to a lesser extent, Kerry launched attacks that could, and quite possibly will, be used verbatim in Bush campaign ads. (Lieberman's remark about Dean's "spider hole" was completely beyond the pale.)

    By seeking to undermine the election prospects of a man who may well be the nominee, Lieberman and Kerry have reminded us of why their once-promising campaigns imploded. Most Democrats feel that the right, ruthlessly exploiting 9/11, is making a grab for total political dominance. The party's rank and file want a candidate who is running, as the Dean slogan puts it, to take our country back. This is no time for a candidate who is running just because he thinks he deserves to be president.

    Thursday, January 01, 2004

    Pretty cute for a banner ad cartoon

    Now even thoght this Special Kay gal is clearly meant for the gals, she'd certainly be welcome for breakfast at my place. I think she might be Kim Possible's big sister...
    Happy new year

    The new year marks the one year anniversary of John Deeth Blog.

    Over vacation, my dad and I were discussing wins and losses. That's one of the things our chosen fields, sports and politics, have in common.

    He asked me if I though this past year had been a win for me.

    Had to think a moment, but I said yes.