Howard Dean Hub

GOPAC Prez Tells Bill Maher 'Right-Wing' Is 'Name-Calling:' VIDEO


Right-wingers can be very thin-skinned. I'm sorry, homo sapiens with political beliefs on what is known as the conservative side of the spectrum can be very thin-skinned. Just look at David Avella, president of the Republican political action committee and a guest on Bill Maher's weekly talk show last night.

Though Avella admits President Obama's inaugural address had some ideas that the GOP can get behind, he accused the commander-in-chief of hypocritical name-calling.

"There are many things Republicans, thematically, can get behind," Avella said, before explaining that the president also demanded lawmakers not to treat "name-called as reasoned debate."

Avella went on, "This is a week [after] he sit [sic] and name-called and was critical of Republicans in his last press conference." Asked what name the Republicans were allegedly called, Avella replied, "right-wing Republican." Maher broke the news, "I got so many worse than that."

Pressed for an alternate term, Avella said he would have preferred the president said, "conservative" or "my friends on the other side of the aisle."

Meanwhile, former DNC head Howard Dean told Maher he thought President Obama's inauguration speech hit all the right (read: correct) notes.

"I thought the speech was something Americans out to embrace, which was equal rights for all Americans," he said. After the applause faded, he added, "And it's about time the President of the United States stood up to all this crazy crap on the right wing."

Watch video of Avella, Dean and some conversation about Sen. Rand Paul's silly questions during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearance before the Senate this week AFTER THE JUMP

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Howard Dean, Other Former DNC Chairs Back Gay Marriage Platform

HowardDeanObamaIt's looking more and more likely that President Obama is going to have to address the ongoing push to include gay marriage in the Democratic Party's official platform.

After Nancy Pelosi, convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa, nearly two dozen senators and other high-ranking officials have called on the party to embrace marriage equality, there's now word that Howard Dean, Donald Fowler, Steve Grossman and David Wilhelm, all former chairs of the Democratic National Committee, are joining the effort being coordinated by Freedom to Marry.

Their statement, via Politico:

We are proud that the Democratic Party fights for working families, economic justice, and equal opportunity for all.  Times change but our principles must always remain strong. That is why, as former chairs of the Democratic National Committee, we stand with Freedom to Marry, 22 Democratic senators, Leader Nancy Pelosi, and more than 35,000 Americans in urging the Party to include a freedom to marry plank in the platform that is ratified at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this September.

Obama, the ball's in your court. How are you going to play it?

Rep. Jared Polis Discusses Obama Position on Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO


Out Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) joined Lawrence O'Donnell on The Last Word last night to discuss Obama's position on same-sex marriage.

Said Polis, who is largely defensive of the President's progress on LGBT rights issues: "He's going through a journey on this issue."

Says O'Donnell: "The patience that you are willing to demonstrate on this doesn't seem to be shared in some of the groups that energetically supported the President, volunteered, got out there....pushed out the vote..."

Howard Dean also joins O'Donnell at the end of the segment to discuss the bind Obama is in.


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Howard Dean's Open Letter To President: Repeal DADT This Year

Hot on the heels of his surprise appearance at last week's DADT protest in DC, Howard Dean has released an open written to the President asking him to keep the promise he made to repeal the policy. In it, he notes his concern that the repeal could be delayed "indefinitely," due mainly to that now infamous letter by Robert Gates.


Dean writes: "Americans clearly understand that if someone is brave enough to take a bullet for the USA, then they should have the same equal rights guaranteed to every American under the law -- whether they are serving in the military, or when they come home.

While I understand the need to research how repealing DADT will affect members of the military, the law can still be repealed with an implementation timeline this year.

The time to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is now. I urge you to take immediate action to insure that Congress includes the repeal of DADT -- with an implementation timeline -- in the Defense Authorization bill currently under consideration.

Dean has also teamed up with the Courage Campaign and Democracy for America to create a petition urging the President to repeal DADT this year. Sign the petition here.

Read Dean's letter in its entirety, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Six Arrested In Front Of White House At DADT Protest

Over 100 people gathered in front of Lafayette Park by the White House to protest DADT. Six protesters handcuffed themselves to fence and were soon arrested and carted off to jail by U.S. Park Police. Get Equal confirms via Twitter that the six will spend the night in jail.

Get Equal reports the six were chanting "we will not, disappear. We'll remember, in November," when taken away by police.

The Dallas Voice reports that one arrested protester “was proud when they took him away! Even happier when they let him keep his cigarettes.”

Among those in attendance were Lt. Dan Choi and James Pietrangelo who you recall were both arrested recently after chaining themselves to the same fence in protest.

From Metro Weekly: "As Choi was speaking to the crowd in Lafayette Park across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, six activists -- Ann Tischer, Nora Camp, Alan Bounville, Natasha Dillon, Eiona DiBona & Mark Reed – wearing long-sleeved shirts to conceal their handcuffs, attached themselves to the same fence where Choi and Pietrangelo had been with four others two weeks ago."

Get Equal tweeted that Choi told the crowd: "President Obama, I would rather be a bugle for justice than a trumpet for your inaction."

Rgq Howard Dean made a surprise appearance at the protest and took to the megaphone with strong words of support for the repeal of DADT: "The truth is Dan Choi is here. If Dan Choi were still translating Arabic, we'd just be another step ahead of the game. We can't afford to lose any talented people. To kick talented people out of the United States military because they happen to be gay or lesbian makes no sense at all."

He added:

"If somebody is brave enough to take a bullet for the United States of America, they ought to have equal rights under the law when they come home just like everybody else does.

Watch video of Dean's speech, AFTER THE JUMP.

In related news Washington Blade Editor Kevin Naff posed questions yesterday to White House official Brian Bond about the letter we heard about on Friday from Robert Gates.

When the letter came up during a panel discussion highlighting LGBT officials in the White House, Bond read the prepared White House statement on how Obama’s commitment to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is “unequivocal,” but the president wants to wait on implementing repeal until the Pentagon completes its study of the law.

“If change were easy, we wouldn’t be having to have this fight right now,” Bond added. “I think that letter is a good example of how this is going to be a fight and a challenge.”

In response to the statement, Naff noted the White House seems to rules out full repeal at this time but leaves the door open for legislation with delayed implementation, and asked whether repeal advocates can infer that the president supports repeal “as long as the implementation is delayed until after December.”

Bond didn’t say whether the White House supports such a move but said an endorsement of such a proposal is part of an “ongoing discussion.”

(Dean Photo courtesy AMERICAblog)

Watch video of Dean's speech, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Howard Dean: Kill the 'Terribly Disappointing' Health Care Bill


Howard Dean seems to be the only person making any sense in the health care bill debate right now, as the holidays approach, and Lieberman's selfish ego digs in, and  it looks like Democrats will compromise any bit of actual reform out of the bill just to see it pass.

Says Dean: "No, absolutely not. You can't vote for a bill like this in good conscience. It costs too much money. It isn't health care reform. It's not even insurance reform."

Said Dean on NPR earlier: “This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”


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