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Thursday, December 23, 2004

NM Recount Denied by State Supreme Court

The NM Supreme Court has denied the request of the Green and Libertarian presidential candidates for a recount, as reported in this morning's Albuquerque Journal. No reason for the denial was given in their court order.

Justices Pamela B. Minzner, Patricio M. Serna, Richard C. Bosson and Judge James J. Wechsler concurred. Judge Michael D. Bustamante dissented. State Court of Appeals Judges Bustamante and Wechsler were named to replace Supreme Court Chief Justice Petra Maes and Justice Edward L. Chavez, who recused themselves.

The article quotes Governor Richardson's spokesman Billy Sparks as saying, "The governor believes now more than ever that it's time to look forward and focus on election reform in order to fix the significant problems that arose in the last election."

The Green Party's presidential candididate, David Cobb, said, "The law seemed clear. In fact the law is clear, and I think it's an example of Bill Richardson and the ruling elites of New Mexico simply making a decision that the law won't be followed and the Supreme Court going along with them."

According to the Cobb's attorney, there's still a chance that NM would accept the $1.4 million deposit, although he questioned whether that kind of money could be raised.

December 23, 2004 at 09:12 AM in Candidates & Races, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

DFA Donates 200,000 LD Phone Minutes to Vets

From Democracy for America:
Last week, Arianna Huffington touched on the subject of wounded soldiers who are unable to call home during the holidays because the government will not pay for their long-distance calls.

Feel like talking to your loved ones while you recover from a wound you received fighting for your country? Not unless you can get someone to give you a handout.... Yet here was Rummy claiming: "We're focused on the power of saying 'thank you' to people. And not just 'thank you' to the troops, but also their families." As long as it's a local call.

In November, we asked the DFA community to step forward and revitalize the service aspect of Democracy for America with a call for phone cards for those men and women who are spending the holidays in veteran's hospitals. In response to that call, you have generously contributed over 100,000 calling card minutes!

Democracy for America is matching your outstanding efforts with our own contribution of 100,000 minutes. This means hundreds of veterans across the country will be able to connect to their home for free. We are sending the cards to nine veterans hospitals in seven different states this week. Every hospital we spoke to was thrilled to receive the minutes—most know this will be the only way for their patients to make a long-distance call home this holiday season.

Governor Dean was also impressed by the DFA community's effort, "There is more to Democracy for America than just politics and campaigning. Our supporters want to personally make a difference in people's lives. These phone cards are just one small way to tell our troops thank you for keeping our country safe and secure."

Congratulations on a successful inaugural DFACorps effort—we hope that this is becomes the first step of many. Together, we can make changes happen!

Editor's Note: DFA-Democracy for New Mexico groups in Albuquerque and Santa Fe donated more almost 4,500 minutes to this project. Thanks to all who participated!

December 22, 2004 at 11:59 AM in DFA, DFNM - Albq, DFNM - Santa Fe | Permalink | Comments (0)

Richardson Wants "Moderate" to Chair DNC

According to a story in today's Albuquerque Journal, NM Governor Richardson wants a "moderate" to chair the Democratic National Committee. He said he will join with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in endorsing a candidate prior to the DNC meeting on February 10-12, when a new chair will be elected. Richardson was recently elected to head the Democratic Governor's Association, and is viewed by some as a top Party leader.

The article reports that Richardson believes the next DNC chairman shouldn't be a high-profile liberal or someone with strong ties to Washington, and that his preference is for "an outside-the-Beltway moderate."

My suggestion? Why not just elect a Republican and jettison all our Democratic values and positions in favor of cowardly conformity to Republican views? Why go with a Republican-lite DNC chair when you can have the real thing?

Richardson has already jeopardized support for the Democratic Party here in NM with his arrogant and self-serving handling of the Green and Libertarian push for a presidential vote recount. If his attempt to box out progressives from the DNC chairmanship succeeds, I predict it will hasten the flight of large numbers of liberals (dare I type the word) from the Democratic Party.

The selection of a "moderate" -- read timid and spineless -- DNC chair would underline the inability of insider Dems to understand and unite with the increasingly powerful progressive grassroots. Despite progressives' donations of millions of dollars and millions of hours of volunteer work, it's evident we're still viewed as an annoyance and embarrassment by the powers that be. Isn't it time for the Party to take a strong stand in favor of the rights of the people over the profits of corporate conglomerates? Not if Richardson has his way.

It never ceases to amaze me that the Party honchos, whose wishy-washy, weak-kneed approach to Democratic values has resulted only in losses in the presidential race and the loss of Congress to Republicans, have the nerve to claim we must continue hitting our heads against the wall their way in order to win. Talk about a thoroughly discredited strategy. Maybe it really is time for the Democratic Party to go the way of the Whigs. And I say that as a lifelong registered Democrat.

December 22, 2004 at 10:47 AM in Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Caroling: Not Ready for Prime Time!

Bells From Mary Ellen Broderick:

Last night was the DeanCorps or DFACorps caroling event. What fun we had! It was a small group, but the voices were huge -- even if our singing wasn't exactly ready for prime time! Two sets of jingle bells for accompaniment helped. One of our group members brought a whole family of beautiful people from Guadalajara, Mexico. They were our Hispanic singing contingent, and shared some wonderful traditional Mexican carols, some of them playful and funny.

Nance Crowe deserves a big thanks for organizing this event. We really had fun, and spread some loving cheer to those less fortunate. We started at the Albuquerque Rescue Mission, where the homeless were just finishing their dinner and getting ready to load into school buses to take them to a shelter across town. The homeless men and women smiled big and sang along! We gave out Hershey kisses, which were devoured and sometimes stashed away for later.

Next we went to the Dismas House. Here were folks just out of jail and living in a halfway house. Again the carols lifted the spirits! Hershey kisses passed around. Noel ... Oh Come All Ye Faithful ... Silent Night ... and of course We Wish You a Merry Christmas! Our next and last stop of cheer was Barrett House, for battered women and children. Standing next to their very pretty Christmas tree, the singers sang all the usuals, the kids loved it and one ended up wearing one of the caroler’s Santa hats for keeps.

What fun. What simple good fun. To bring joy to these people, to reach out and touch their lives -- it was such a wonderful experience and brought joy in return to us. After the singing was complete, we went over to Nance Crowe’s house and ate the best posole I have ever had, with tamales and chili rellenos and all the fixings.

I could not help but keep thinking about the wide variety of folks we had seen tonite, all wanting to sing and have some candy. What I saw were many sweet, sweet souls just down on their luck, or who took a wrong turn, or who had been born into bad situations, or were mentally ill, or who had served their country and been changed forever. The common thing was that they all seemed to be poor, tired and hungry.   

At the end of the night, all I could think was how lucky and fortunate I am. Plenty of clothes, shelter and a warm bed every nite, plenty of food -- maybe more than all the people I saw tonite have altogether as belongings.

I am blessed and I am a liberal. I wish I could do more. New Year's resolution for 2005 is that I AM going to do more for the less fortunate.

It very well may be me one day.

December 21, 2004 at 05:03 PM in Sound Off! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Yule, and a Very Merry Winter Solstice


Winter solstice arrived at 5:42 AM (MST) today. Starting tomorrow, the days get longer and the nights get shorter.

Chaco Canyon was inhabited from the 9th century by people of the Anasazi (Early Pueblo) culture. Every year, at noon on the day of the winter soltice, light shining through stone slabs casts a wedge-shaped beam upon the center of a spiral etched into the rock (photo above). This spiral is believed to be a solstice marker created by this ancient culture. See the Solstice Project.

From the Odinist Forum: Except for the Nativity Scene and Christmas Mass, everything celebrated, practised and observed by Christians at the "Yule" (Winter Solstice) season, or so called "Christmas", was appropriated from Heathen/Pagan sources, i.e., the ancient Northern European, pre-Christian religion, in its various forms . . .

“Christmas” traditions with Heathen/Pagan origins…

  • Feasting
  • Gift giving
  • Singing
  • Tree decorating
  • Performing Religious Rites
  • Visiting Relatives and Friends
  • “Christmas” Parties
  • Eating “Christmas” ham
  • Eating “Christmas” Pudding
  • Drinking “Christmas” Punch
  • Father “Christmas” Reindeer
  • Burning a Yule Log
  • Hanging a “Christmas” Wreath
  • Hanging Mistletoe
  • Decorating with Holly
  • Lighting of Candles
  • The twelve days of “Christmas”
  • The word “Yule” or “Yuletide”

To celebrate Solstice Week, photographers all over the Earth are producing another World Wide Panorama. You can see their previous efforts. Photos for a winter's day. Enjoy.

December 21, 2004 at 01:23 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tell Blogpac What to Ask DNC Chair Candidates

Your chance to submit a question to the candidates for DNC Chair. From MyDD:

What would you ask a DNC candidate?
Chris Bowers

Blogpac plans to hold a series of group interviews with prospective candidates for DNC chair over the next few weeks. I want to know what you would like us to ask the candidates.
Note: Blogpac is described as:

Borne from those who spend their times online and embrace participatory media and politics, we will use online tools and technologies to further the cause of progressive politics in our nation.

BlogPac is, indeed, the first PAC to wage politics entirely online.

Here's a partial list of the bloggers behind BlogPac, those serving on the advisory board. Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, Jerome Armstrong of MyDD, Duncan Black of Atrios, Jeralyn Merritt of Talk Left, John Aravosis of AmericaBlog, Matt Stoller of BOP News, Anna of Annatopia, Jesse Taylor of Pandagon, Chris Bowers of MyDD, Steve Gilliard's News Blog & others that are aligned with the effort. We will have more info on the direction of BlogPac in the near future.


December 21, 2004 at 12:32 PM in Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Desperately Seeking Senators

Actionelert Progressive Democrats of America is asking progressives to urge Senators to challenge the Electoral College vote on January 6th. After you've read this post, go to the PDA website to take action, where they've made this easy to do.

From Progressive Democrats of America:

We all remember that early scene from Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911", where one African American after another stands up in the well of the House to challenge the Florida vote from 2000, only to be ruled out of order due to the lack of a single signature from a single Senator.

Not this time.
On January 6, 2005, the House and Senate will once again meet to consider the electoral vote count. And once again, that vote count is likely to be challenged by a group of progressive House members, who will make the case that the misallocation of voting machines (especially in Ohio), the abuse of provisional balloting in numerous states, and the refusal and/or inability to conduct the recount in an open and auditable manner in Ohio, in Florida, and in so many other key states, mean that the certified electors should not be seated.

This time, we want several U.S. Senators to join with them, to make a serious voting rights challenge that the entire world will hear. This time, we want so much polite-but-firm grassroots contact from progressive voters beforehand that a whole group of Senators will choose to stand up and fight for the voting rights of African-Americans, Latinos, and youth voters that the Republican Party targeted for disruption and disenfranchisement in the 2004 election.

This time, we want several U.S. Senators to join with them, to make a serious voting rights challenge that the entire world will hear. This time, we want so much polite-but-firm grassroots contact from progressive voters beforehand that a whole group of Senators will choose to stand up and fight for the voting rights of African-Americans, Latinos, and youth voters that the Republican Party targeted for disruption and disenfranchisement in the 2004 election.

Some who need to hear from us are new, such as Barak Obama of Illinois and Ken Salazar of Colorado. These new Senators could use cover from the new leadership of the Senate, especially Dick Durbin, who also hails from Obama's home state.

Some Senators depend on African American and Latino votes to be elected, and thus could be expected to stand up tall when voting rights issues are on the line, including Joe Biden of Delaware, Carl Levin of Michigan, Bill Nelson of Florida, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, Jon Corzine and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

Senator Byrd of West Virginia was once a Klansman; but his eloquent leadership against the Iraq War has inspired us all, and he has the courage and fortitude to cap his career with an outspoken battle on behalf of abused African American voters. Senator Lieberman of Connecticut rightfully brags about his youthful efforts to register voters in the Old South in the 1960s; on 1/6/05, he will have the chance to demonstrate that his youthful idealism still survives.

There are Senators who are safe, and could do the right thing--like Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Charles Schumer of New York, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin.

There is Jim Jeffords of Vermont, an Independent who was brave enough to stand up to the Bush White House once before. There is Senator Lincoln Chafee, a Republican in a solid Democratic state, the namesake of Lincoln, a moderate caught in a far right party.

And, of course, there is John Kerry.

To remind them why they're in Washington, click here. Ask them to stand for every American's right to vote (and have it counted.)

Thank you for forwarding this action alert to your networks.

Standing tall in solidarity,

Tim Carpenter
Progressive Democrats of America

email: info@pdamerica.org
phone: (877) 368-9221
web: https://www.pdamerica.org

December 21, 2004 at 11:07 AM in Candidates & Races, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 20, 2004

A Winnah!

A "gracias, muchacho" goes out to Jess of the local blog, Life Or Something Like It,for naming Democracy for New Mexico the  Best Single Issue Blog. If you have a few minutes, go check out the rest of his awards and say hello to Jess. We've got to stick together in these frigid political times!

December 20, 2004 at 02:14 PM in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (3)

Foodboxes for Families

You may recall Dory and Elena presenting this DeanCorps idea at our DFA Meetup in Albuquerque this month. From Dory Shonagon:

Foodboxes for Families.  This is a simple idea.  Make up foodboxes for needy families and give them directly to the teachers and/or social workers in the schools, who know which families are most in need.

I have done this with one South Valley school and I think it is a great way to get food to the families, through the kids and teachers/social workers. This is espectially important at the end of the month, when food stamps run out, etc.

You can contact a local school directly and talk to teachers or social workers there. I would suggest picking a south valley school or one in a neighborhood where there is a high need for poor families.

I am also helping coordinate this by hooking teachers up with potential donors -- food or dollars for food.  So if you need help doing this, please contact me.  Or if you would like to contribute food or dollars for Foodboxes, please let me know.

We are trying to do this EVERY month, not just Christmas time.  New Mexico has a large population of hungry kids.  They need to eat every month, not just at Christmas time.

Please call or email me if you need help or information.

Dory Shonagon, 363-8488, dshonagon@earthlink.net

December 20, 2004 at 11:04 AM in DFNM - Albq, MeetUp | Permalink | Comments (1)

What Movie is Your Christmas Most Like?

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Each year, you really get into the spirit of Christmas. Which is much more important to you than nifty presents.
What Movie Is Your Christmas Most Like?

I guess I still haven't gotten over Time's choice of you know who for "Person of the Year." Or Richardson's refusal to allow even a limited recount. Or something. But I don't feel like posting anything political this morning. So instead I'm posting this silly quiz . And encouraging people to participate in our DeanCorps caroling tonight at various shelters in Albuquerque.

December 20, 2004 at 09:38 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)