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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Tricounty DFA Meetup Report & Reminder: SiCKO Showing Wednesday With Conference Call
Hello Everyone!

In This Update:

1. SiCKO Showing At The UU Reminder
2. GGF-DFA Meeting Report
3. Election Analysis
4. Former Congressman DWI
5. Paul Krugman To Be At Northshire
6. Torturous...
7. Friday Night FIlm Fest

1. SiCKO Showing At The UU Reminder

I would like to remind everyone that they are cordially invited to attend a screening of Michael Moore's acclaimed new film, SiCKO, at a House Party/Screening on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 7:15 PM! SiCKO will be followed by a live nationwide conference call with filmmaker Michael Moore himself and DFA Chairman Jim Dean.

SiCKO, which premiered in area theaters earlier this year, is a meditation on the state of healthcare in America, an expose of the failures of the American healthcare system and the brutalities it often inflicts on patients and families, a revelation on how other nations provide better quality care for their sick and injured both more humanely and at lower cost, and a challenge to a political and economic system whose goal is to keep people fearful, insecure and timid. It is also surprisingly warm, humane, and very funny, while clear in its anger at what America has come to tolerate.

There will be refreshments: Anyone who wants to help can please bring some cookies or other treats! There will be coffee courtesy of the UU and Host Harvey Noordsey.

Please RSVP now at:

What: SiCKO House Parties
When: Wednesday, November 14, 2007, 7:15 PM
Where: UU Congregation of Glens Falls, 21 Weeks Road Queensbury NY 12804
Admission: Free!

SiCKO is not to be missed! So please attend and RSVP right away at:

2. Meeting Report

We had a productive November meeting at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe last week. There were three main pieces of business we agreed on:

1. We agreed to put off any endorsement of a Presidential candidate by our local group until January.

2. We agreed to investigate becoming a nexus for environmental concerns in the local area, especially land use in Queensbury and around Lake George. This would involved information coordination and sharing, where we would bring other groups together on a coalition basis, connecting them up to become a more effective whole. Pat and Drew will be reporting back to us on this at our December meeting on the 5th.

3. We also agreed to discuss in December a training program of our own centered on the DNC's new Precinct Leader System (what we called the Neighborhood Network last year) and the spectacular Voter Activation Network of the DNC, where local precinct leaders can access the DNC's national voter file, use it, and update it.
We cannot and should not try replace the committees, but we can train others-- we have the experienced people who can perform that service, which would best leverage our human resources most effectively, rather than trying to fill holes ourselves.

I have already downloaded a video of Governor Dean where he talks about the Precinct Leader System and we will be watching it next month!

3. Election Analysis

On the whole, now that we have all had a bit to think about it, last week's election day was a mixed bag. The worse defeat was Val Keehn in Saratoga Springs, but Democrats took other bitter defeats in Stillwater and elsewhere. But Democrats won in South Glens Falls and Fort Edward and Ballston Spa. Ron Vanselow, who our group knows from the previous election when we endorsed him, won in Johnsburg.

Boor and Sanford lost on the Democratic line in Queensbury, after losing the Republican Primary. I think there is an inescapable message there that if you want to be a reformer, you have to be a Democrat. You cannot do local reform from inside the Republican Party. No one is going to try that again, after what was done to Boor and Sanford. That will clarify things in the future because people who want to clean things up will naturally gravitate to the Democratic Party.

Secondly, there is another lesson-- the people who won were the people who ran modern, 21st century voter contact programs. John Strough told me a few days before the election that he had knocked over 1,500 doors in his ward. That is amazing, but voter contact, either by the candidate or the team, is how you win now. The old 20th century idea of treating politics as a form of marketing is done for. The Republicans spent thousands of dollars to beat Strough and got nowhere.

This was a shake out year. In Saratoga Springs, DPW Commission Tommy McTygue was also defeated. From that defeat a new, reformed Democratic City Committee is already beginning to emerge. That will clean up the picture. I think we will see more effective parties in the future. And that will bring the real changes.

In many local areas Democrats are slowly building to a tipping point. I think that happened in Vermont years ago, too. People made slow gains, like we are here, but the base was building, then one day... boom. And everyone will say, where the heck did that come from? But we will know. The first areas that may change are Saratoga Springs, where the Republicans may have had their last hurrah, and Queensbury, where pent up frustration is still slowly building.

I would also agree Colin Neal, of Upstate Blue also cites Washington County as one of our brighter spots, where, as we know, Sheila Comar is doing a fantastic job. Colin has interesting numbers that are really worth reviewing:

4. Former Congressman DWI

After the last election I swore in this posting that I would never mention John Sweeney again, but news too good to resist comes that not only was former Rep. John Sweeney caught driving drunk on the Northway, but that he had a 23 year old on his lap. Where will frat boy do his community service? Inquiring minds want to know...

5. Paul Krugman To Be At Northshire

Legendary New York Times columnist Paul Krugman will appear at Northshire Bookstore, Saturday, December 1 at 7 pm, to discuss his new book, Conscience Of A Liberal. In his book, Krugman challenges America to reclaim the values that made it great. Admission is free.

Krugman is a national treasure, and his columns can now be viewed online, for free, including his blog, at:

The Northshire Bookstore is at 4869 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255 For more go to:

6. Torturous...

Last week brought what is indisputably the lowest point for the Democratic Party since Fugitive Slave Act, which helped bring on the Civil War. Democrats in the Senate, first of all Chuck Schumer, who voted for him, allowed the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General after he refused under oath to repudiate the use of waterboarding. That act put both Senate Democrats and the Senate's stamp of approval on a form of torture the U.S. and its allies prosecuted 60 years ago as a major Axis war crime. George Bush would have gotten no less from a Republican Senate. The Times Editorial Sunday would have to be the
"must read" of the week, the title alone says it all: Abdicate and Capitulate.

That said, Drew sends along this great link to Naomi Klein, author of Shock Therapy, which explains how neoliberal economics has ruined this country's economy and much of the world. It's a bit long, but well worth it:

7. Friday Night FIlm Fest

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Friday Night Progressive Film Fest continues at 7:30pm with:

Friday Nov 16 7:30 pm
LENNY BRUCE: Without Tears (1992) Fred Baker 75 min.
The outrageous, groundbreaking comic whose iconoclastic material in a conservative era got him into tragic trouble is here profiled by a close friend who prefers to remember the laughs Lenny Bruce's memory evokes instead of the tears. Appearances by: Lenny Bruce, Steve Allen, Paul Krassner, Mort

Thanks everyone! See you Wednesday night at the UU for SiCKO! Remember to please RVP:

Larry Dudley

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