a grossly belated time article informed me that june carter cash passed away. my country music scholarship isn't far enough along that i can say much about the carter family dynasty, but she was one hell of a collaborator with her husband. their relationship had a spooky where the red fern grows quality - given that and the way he's been looking in publicity for his latest album, i fear he's not long for this world. one can't really picture him playing backgammon with bob hope for the next twenty years, but - johnny cash, please don't die!

the new york times doesn't seem especially enthused about howard dean.
...Dean manages to cast himself, like John McCain. as the candidate of "straight talk," when in fact his straight talk seems calibrated not to offend.

This balancing act will get harder as the campaign season gets more intense. The only sure way for Dean to get beyond it is to attach his campaign to some larger agenda for the country, something that defines him more as a problem-solver than as a protester. That hasn't happened yet. Dean's campaign caught fire before he really figured out what he wanted it to be about; even on his signature issue as a doctor, universal health care, he allowed Dick Gephardt to seize the initiative by getting there first and with a bolder, albeit pricier, plan. At least so far, Dean seems more prepared to exploit people's rage than to channel their passion into something positive, and historically speaking, that is not a winning formula.
or a bit cold on the idea of protest candidates, at least. i love the fact that dean galvanizes liberals - his speech footage is awfully nice - but i do quake at the thought of a (slightly) more (but not) popular (enough) ralph nader. gore was preferable to bush; even dick gephardt would be preferable to more bush. not sure if it matters, yet, that i like dean - electability's a dirty word these days, but it's awfully important.

and there are the concealed weapons and capital-punishment-in-some-cases issues to consider - i'll think about endorsing you, howie, but i'll have to sleep on it.

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