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For progressive Democrats, the 2003-2004 campaign of Howard Dean was a pivotal moment, and June 23rd, will be the 10th anniversary of his official campaign declaration. It is no understatement to say that Gov. Dean's inspired me to political action and profoundly changed my life.

But Gov. Dean had actually been campaigning well in advance of his official campaign launch, and my wife Molly and I saw him a few days prior to that, on June 19th, when Gov. Dean took a few minutes to speak to some supporters at Larkspur Landing. As it turns out, a photograph of the event was featured on the Dean for America campaign homepage which included Molly, red hair glowing in the center of the photo, with me behind her obscured by my video camera.

Appearing in a photo on the home page of a national presidential campaign was kind of a big deal for us, so I captured the page, which I'm posting for the next 24 hours at the link below in honor of this anniversary.

http://www.blueshifting.com/...

It's actually a fortuitous moment that I inadvertently captured, because it also marked the very first appearance of "The Bat", which became the highly successful (and much emulated) fundraising graphic used throughout the campaign. And the page also features the announcement of the June 23rd Campaign Declaration we commemorate today.

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Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:51 PM PST

10 Years at Daily Kos

by Malacandra

It was 10 years ago today that I first discovered the Daily Kos. I have this date documented because of an email I sent that day to a colleague upon discovering this place: it was an oasis during the insanity of the Bush years, and many of us clung to it like a life vest.

You may note that it's been ages since I wrote a diary… and I only very rarely comment these days: but hardly a day goes by that I'm not here.  But when I first became involved in this community I had much more time to write… and I deeply appreciated the platform Markos provided - as well as the assembled talent found here.

It was through this site that I became engaged in Howard Dean's campaign… and became active in state and local Democratic politics. A significant part of my career now involves developing online tools and websites to advance progressive politics, and it all stems from my involvement here. And many of the friends I hold dear today came as a result of this site and the Netroots Nation conferences.

So, I couldn't let this occasion pass unnoticed.  I raise a glass to Markos and all the front pagers, both past and current - with a special toast to the memory of Steve Gilliard - and deep gratitude to this community.

Update: It's been great to see so many old friends chime in – and it's been ages since I've been on the Rec List. I'm verklempt!

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Sometimes when a relationship goes bad, there's nothing else to be done. America has given and given and given to the wealthy, and it just hasn't worked out.

We want a divorce.  And as a result, we get half.

So, here's a one-time, instant solution to our "debt crisis" that's likely to also pull us out of the recession.

Take the wealthiest 5% in our country.
Apply a one-time-only 50% wealth tax.  (That's right, we're takin' half)
Pay off the national debt in its entirety
Give a rebate to the bottom 95%

See how the numbers work out below the fold…

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In the wake of the resignation of Van Jones, I think it would be helpful to look at historical precedents, so that we can keep this in perspective.

Therefore, for your consideration, is a list of conservatives forced to resign due to indignation resulting from statements that were to insulting Democrats, and/or due to suggestions that a Democratic administration had failed to keep America safe:

 

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Thu Dec 25, 2008 at 08:46 AM PST

A Benediction for America

by Malacandra

May we live in an America where preachers are more concerned with ending poverty than ending gay marriage. And where parishioners "defend marriage" by tending to their own.

May we live in an America where approving a policy of torture is at least as unacceptable as visiting a call girl.

May we live in an America where exposed lies told over a period of years by our President would be considered more shocking then one half-second of exposed nipple during a Super Bowl broadcast.

May we live in an America where executives are more interested in building a sterling reputation than having a golden parachute.

May we live in an America where our religious leaders are distinguished by their wisdom, compassion and works of charity, rather than the size of their congregation or their ability to focus scorn and indignation.

May we live in an America where labor is honored and well rewarded.  

May we live in an America where the learned are admired and higher education is available to all.

May we live in an America where all have access to good health care.

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We've seen the outpouring of support for Barack Obama internationally: the huge crowd he attracted in Berlin, the photos of people across the world celebrating his election. Dancing in the streets, both here and abroad, upon the election of an American President is unprecedented in my experience. A national holiday was declared in Kenya!

We've also heard about the dignitaries calling Obama to wish him congratulations: Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict XVI, Nicolas Sarkozy.  This is, of course, traditional.

But this, from the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, is extraordinary:

In lasting tribute to your election, I shall take immediate measures for Antigua and Barbuda's highest mountain peak to be dedicated in your honour and renamed "Mount Obama".

Read the entire statement after the jump:

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Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 12:15 PM PST

The Case for Dean as H&HS Secretary

by Malacandra

There's a diary up about the case for Sebelius as chair of H&HS.  I'd like to make a counter-argument in favor of Howard Dean.

Yes, Dean has been exceptional as chair of the DNC, and I was a very vocal supporter of his getting that position. However,  I expect the role of DNC chair to diminish with a sitting Democratic president, and an Obama surrogate with excellent administrative skills would be a good fit now.

Howard Dean's breadth of knowledge and record of accomplishments in providing healthcare and human services as Governor of Vermont, listed below, is really very impressive.

Although Dean was often characterized as the "anti-war" candidate, the reason he ran in 2004 was because of his concerns around healthcare and early childhood development. And I don't think that's really widely appreciated.

On the flipside I'll list some of his bona fides from 2004 campaign literature:

Poll

Should Dean Become Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services?

76%111 votes
17%26 votes
5%8 votes

| 145 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 10:22 AM PDT

The Content of His Character

by Malacandra

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King - Aug. 28th, 1963

Every four years it happens... I watch the Democratic convention and I get played like a violin. The speakers trot out my most deeply held values and highest aspirations.  Too often that's just been prelude to another crushing disappointment in the form of electoral defeat.  This is a pattern that started for me in 1972 when at the tender age of 13 I was already so horrified by Richard Nixon that I volunteered to stuff envelopes and even help walk precincts for George McGovern.  The choice between Nixon and McGovern seemed so clear to me, and it was something of a trauma to wake up and realize that most of America couldn't see it.  There was nothing subtle about that election: McGovern lost every state but Massachusetts, and the Democratic party started playing defense in every presidential election ever since.  

But something's different this year.

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The Bush administration's department of Health and Human Services recently proposed a new regulation to allow health care workers who oppose abortion to deny legal services that conflict with their beliefs.

Let's imagine that reframed, just a bit...

If you’re a restaurant worker opposed to meat-eating, you soon likely will be able to refuse diners who ask for such food.

The Bush administration announced a controversial proposed regulation designed to protect wait staff, cooks and others who work at places receiving government money from being forced to deliver services that violate their personal beliefs. It’s an effort to protect vegetarians from workplace discrimination.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the proposed regulation would boost compliance of three separate laws protecting federally funded food-service providers’ "right of conscience."

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Thank you!  Thank you very much! [wave] [remember to smile]  Thank you!

I'm here because I want to tell you something about the man I love, the man who will be the next President of the United States, John Sidney McCain III. [wait for applause to subside] [smile again. try to seem warm]

John's story is an American story.  He was born in the heartland, at Coco Solo in the Panama Canal Zone. His father was a four star admiral in the US Navy, and served as Commander in Chief to the US Pacific Command during the Vietnam war. And he was so proud when his son followed in his footsteps and attended the US Naval Academy.

John was a bit of a scamp in those days, and his classmates still tell stories of his youthful escapades and exploits which foreshadow the man that John would become... the maverick that we all find so endearing. Even at that time, he could get away with most anything without any consequences. It was as if the normal rules just didn't apply to him. Some say it was because his dad was such a powerful and influencial man, but I know that the reason was because of his infectious smile and devil-may-care bravado.  

They just love that indomitable spirit in military academies...

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Most historians regard the Alien and Sedition Acts as among the most shameful travesties ever passed by Congress. This isn't the first time in American history that Congress was willing to ignore those inconvenient (yet inalienable) rights of ours because we were atremble in the wake of A Foreign Menace. The French!!! Which goes to show how irrational these fears can seem in retrospect.  

Anyways, in 1799 Congress decided to hand President John Adams authoritarian powers that were clearly contrary to the Constitution.  He hadn't even asked for them.

Imagine the chutzpah of doing that at a time that the framers of the Constitution were still kicking. Of course, we hadn't yet developed the near-religious reverence towards "the framers" that those current underminers of all they stood for now affirm.  But it'd be pretty embarrassing to vote "Yea" on abridging the 1st amendment... and then run into James Madison at a cocktail party.

The FISA law is in the spirit of the original Alien Acts, so let's go all out and also draft a New Sedition Act: an Abridgement of Free Speech for the 21st Century.  It might actually do us some good.  

You can follow my twisted logic after the fold... (don't worry: I won't bite)

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I know you're skeptical... but I have proof.

President Bush yesterday signed legislation into law that will bar health insurance companies or employers from denying or canceling coverage, hiking premiums or making decisions on hiring, firing and compensation based on genetic test results.

I imagine the shock you're feeling right now. You may be wondering "how can this be"?  I understand. These feelings are perfectly natural. Own them.

For once in his life, to the astonishment of the angels, President George W. Bush did something right. Something that will benefit the American people, even though it may (perhaps) cut into the profits of health insurers.

More below the fold...

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