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MINNEAPOLIS -- "We pay tribute to a leader -- a true DFL liberal..." shouted US Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, invoking the initials and the ideological tradition of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party to honor his fallen colleague, Senator Paul Wellstone.

The Iowan's battle yell drew the loudest cheers of a night filled with tears, laughter and passionate reflection on the legacy of the Minnesota senator Harkin described as "the soul of the Senate." The crowd of more than 20,000 that packed a University of Minnesota arena and an adjoining sports center rose in a foot-stomping, fist-pumping frenzy as Harkin continued: "That's right! A DFL liberal who constantly reminded those of us who are Democrats of the real center of gravity in our party -- the progressive grounding of our being: that everyone should be able to reach their whole potential in our society," Harkin bellowed as the crowd stood and cheered."

The official memorial service for Wellstone, his wife Sheila, daughter Marcia and campaign aides Will McLaughlin, Tom Lapic and Mary McEvoy -- who perished Friday in a plane crash on Minnesota's Iron Range -- was more a rally than a funeral. Busloads of Wellstone partisans from across the state poured into Minneapolis to share the memory of the man many of them had marched with, rallied with and campaigned with across two decades of struggle against conservatives in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

The USA Patriot Act was passed with much fanfare last October, but it was soon clear that lawmakers passed the package without examining all the parts.


TO MR. T.: LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!

Los Angeles

Most Americans had no idea where Eveleth, Minnesota, was until they saw the maps showing where Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife and daughter, three staffers and two pilots perished in a plane crash Friday.

Not so Bob Dylan.

A native of Hibbing, a city just 30 miles from Eveleth, the songwriter grew up as Robert Zimmerman on the northern Minnesota Iron Range where Wellstone was a populist hero to the Steelworkers and other trade unionists who continue to dominate the region's politics.

Call me a McGovern wimp, but it was refreshing to run into the man himself and be reminded by this genuine patriot and war hero of just how thoughtless is the current rush to war with Iraq.

It's difficult to tell given what seems to be a mainstream media brownout of the emerging US peace movement, but this past Saturday saw the largest day of antiwar protests in this country since the Vietnam War era.

Hundreds of thousands of people came out nationwide to register their voices against an invasion of Iraq. Approximately 100,000 people turned out in Washington, DC, according to the Washington Post, with organizers putting the estimate closer to 200,000.

The largest protest outside of DC was in San Francisco, where roughly 75,000 folks participated in a march and rally featuring US Rep Barbara Lee, actor Amy Brenneman and folksinger Utah Phillips. Elsewhere around the country, 12,000 marched in St. Paul, Minn., 5,000 in Seattle, WA, 4,000 in Denver, CO, 2,000 in Spokane, WA, 2,000 in Augusta, Maine, 1,500 in both Madison, WI, and Kingston, NY, and 1,000 in Montpelier, Vermont--a town of 8,000--while 2,500 people in Taos, NM joined a march that ended up at the doorsteps of Donald Rumsfeld's summer house. This is in addition to countless smaller events in cities, towns and villages across America.

When initial reports of Senator Paul Wellstone's death reached Minnesota's Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party leaders and activists immediately asked: "What about Sheila?"

The question was grounded in a mixture of human concern and political calculation. The human concern could be traced back to the fact that Sheila Ison Wellstone, the senator's wife of 39 years, seemed to maintain a personal friendship with everyone who had ever stuffed an envelope or walked a precinct for the DFL. The political calculation was an extension of that fact: People who knew Sheila and Paul Wellstone were well aware that Sheila was the Minnesota Democrat best suited to win the November 5 election and fill the senate seat left empty by her husband's death.

"You could talk to one and know you were talking to both," explained Sarah Stoesz, a former member of Wellstone's Senate staff who now serves as chief executive officer for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota and South Dakota. "They were fully coupled and united in a way that is very unusual in Washington."

This is the text of the speech given by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., at the anti-war rally in Washington, DC, on Saturday, October 26.

In the darkness of death, it is hard to line up thoughts, to arrange memories, to process feelings and ideas. Instead, we can, in this instance, let the dea...

For grassroots economic and social justice activists, there was never any doubt about the identity of their representative in Washington.

The Democrats and Republicans will convene after the election to choose
their leaders for the next Congress.

The party of tired blood badly needs a "regime change" of its own. For
the greater good of the Democrats, Gephardt and Daschle should go.

One of the great disappointments of recent decades is that Democrats
have more or less swallowed whole the underlying economic theories of
their Republican rivals.

Unanimous is what the vote count was.
He didn't miss a voter, to our knowledge.
The triumph his, he now remains in charge,
Unless he lost in the Electoral College.

Cartoonist Jules Feiffer dropped a pinpoint protest on First Lady
Laura Bush's National Book Festival on October 12 in Washington.

As the United Nations Security Council neared approval of a resolution
on Iraq, it appeared that Council resistance was giving way to rising US
pressure.

The New York City public school system doesn't have the money, time or
organizational skills to make sure every child has a dictionary--or a
desk.

In a weapons producing nation under Jesus
In the fabled crucible of the free world
Camera crews search for clues amid the detritus
And entertainment shapes the land

The man behind the "Jeffords Jump" is aiding Democratic efforts to stay on top.

Democrat Paul Wellstone, the only vulnerable incumbent senator to vote
against blank-check authorization to use force against Iraq, is locked
in one of the year's closest Senate contests.

Unions have improved their political game but are unhappy with the
results.