What’s Up With the Howard Bean Cafe?

Patrick Mullikin, who aparently sold Riverwalk Records last month has not sold the other names associated with his business, most notably “The Howard Bean Cafe” and “Great Green Mountain Bob Dylan Wanna-Be Contest”.

One word… BUMMER! regardless of the fact that I visit Montpelier just about every weekend, I don’t think I would have ever known about Riverwalk Records had it not been for the Howard Bean Cafe inside.

Mulkin writes:

Bob On The Auction Block?

How would it feel? How would it feel? To be the one who owns. . . the Great Green Mountain Bob Dylan Wanna-Be Contest?

Patrick Mullikin, who sold Riverwalk Records last month, is considering selling the registered trade name, The Great Green Mountain Bob Dylan Wanna-Be Contest.

“While I have kept it a free community event, it does have the potential to be a money-maker for the right company or individual — say, for example, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. From a publicity standpoint, this event it is priceless. Dylan’s popularity continues to grow, and people are willing to stand up before an audience to imitate him. Odder yet is that there is an audience willing to watch all this.”

The annual event has gained international attention and/or notoriety, during its two years, and Mullikin says he’s heard people as far away as Australia who have expressed interest in participating in next year’s event, which he had planned to hold in the fall. “We had more than 225 people attend last year’s event. I also own the registered trade name The Howard BEAN: A Cafe for America, which I might be interested in selling as well as Mr. Dean continues to gain notoriety. It would not surprise me at all to see him in the next presidential race.”

The new owner of Riverwalk Records, Jacob Grossi, did not want to continue the cafe or purchase the Howard BEAN name.

Interested parties may contact Mullikin at 802 229-9905 or email him at:GGM.BobDylan.WannaBeContest@adelphia.net

“Great Green Mountain Bob Dylan Wanna-Be Contest” seems like a great thing, although I admit I don’t know much about it. From what I hear it is basically an open mic where people sing Dylan tunes and imitate him with the hopes of winning the contest by replicating that Bob Dylan nasally tone. Aparently it’s pretty popular so I’m sure someone will pick it up.

The loss of the Howard Bean Cafe, however is a true tragedy! Howard Dean continues to be a visionary and bring light to the Democratic party. Having the “Howard Bean” twist on his name in such a public light servers to remind people about the excellent work he is doing for us, and as Vermonters, it makes up proud. If you are ever in Riverwalk Records and see the new owner Jacob Grossi, give him a talking to about his decision to not bring along the Howard Bean name. I know I will!

Downing Street Memo picks up traction

Not to revisit recent topics, but I must say that I really am amazed that the mainstream press has finally started talking about the Downing Street Memo. More than two months after the memo was leaked, the so-called “liberal” media has finally gotten around to covering it, albeit not with much enthusiasm.

Not that they came to it on their own, mind you. Bloggers have bee covering it since it came out and congress has taken note with many House and Senate Republicans demanding an explanation from the White House. Democracy For America even has a petition with more than a half a million signatures calling for an independent investigation, yet somehow, up to now, the major news sources have fallen silent.

When bloggers, and the United States Congress cover a political scandal like the Downing Street Memo long before the major news sources we are supposed to be trusting for independent, objective reporting, we have to start asking ourselves about the integrity of our Nation’s media. We are living in a time when multinational conglomerates control both our politicians and our news sources. They used their money to finance the campaigns of their pocketed politicians, and their news channels to ensure the public maintains a favorable opinion of them. While voters maintain an illusion of the electoral final say, the truth is a disturbing flourish of Orwellian smoke and mirrors.

Sign the petition! >
Read the Memo! >

Howard Dean Speaks for me!

I’m getting a little sick and tired of hearing supposed Democrats wine and complain about how Howard Dean in not speaking for them. Dean mentions that Republicans are mostly a “White, Christian” party; a statement that is entirely backed up by scientific data, and these cowards get scared and start knifing him in the back again.

Maybe it’s true. These fair weather Democrats have clearly bought into the Republican lies and rhetoric, and are now feeling guilty about their own political party and convictions. In that case, Howard Dean, a person who is willing to stand up for his beliefs and the values of his party, is most certainly not speaking for them, or anyone else who lacks the backbone to speak out against those in power.

I have a message for these wavering politicians. Howard Dean speaks for me, and he speaks for a lot of other people that would still be cynical and uninterested in government had it not been for his empowering message! Not only is he the first politician I have ever campaigned for, he is also the first political candidate to whom I’ve made a campaign contribution. If the Democratic party is to form a cohesive unit with a single, powerful message, we need Howard Dean at the helm.

So join me in demanding that these “Democrats” stop knifing the leader of our party in the back. By doing this, they are not only weakening their own credibility, they are destroying our chances of taking our country back from the Neo-Conservitive radicals in power.

Sign the “Howard Dean Speaks for me petition > 
Cheney’s runs his mouth again >


The Downing Street Memo

A secret British document revealed last month — the Downing Street Memo — all but confirms a sickening truth. Obsessed with Saddam no matter what the cost, President Bush and his aides dragged the nation to war with fixed evidence and false claims about non-existent Iraqi WMD’s.

The Downing Street Memo makes clear that Bush wanted intelligence that justified a war, no matter how the facts had to be bent to get it.

The memo consists of the minutes of a meeting where the British intelligence chief, just back from the White House, told Prime Minister Tony Blair that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts,” the Downing Street Memo continues, “were being fixed around the policy. The [National Security Council] had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”
Today, American soldiers and their families deal with the aftermath of a war hastily planned and poorly executed by an ideologically obsessed White House that finds money for corporate welfare, but not for armor for our troops.
The American people deserve an explanation — but it’s clear that even with Blair in Washington this week, the press won’t do the job on its own. So we will have to take the memo directly to the people. Here it is.

As originally reported in the The Times of London, May 1, 2005

From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02
cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell

Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

Sign the Downing Street Memo PetitionJohn Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam’s regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.
The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun “spikes of activity” to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.
The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.
The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.
John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.


(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)

[Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide]

Sign the Downing Street Memo Petition

The Howard BEAN: Begins Campaign for New Owner

The Howard BEAN: A Cafe For America has begun an international campaign for a new owner, its current owner announced today. The Montpelier, Vt., cafe opened on election day 2004 and was named (tongue-in-cheek) after a certain former Vermont Governor who is the chair of the Democratic National Committee. The cafe is also home to the monthly meetup of the Central Vermont Democracy for America.

As our cafe continues to gain a national following, we want to be certain that the person who takes over is truly the ideal candidate and will continue to serve a no-frills, affordable cup of coffee. None of that $4-a-cup, whoop-de-do, latte-boca-cucaracha-grande nonsense, says owner Patrick Mullikin. The Howard BEAN is, after all, a cafe for America.

The cafe is located at Riverwalk Records and Psychedelic Poster Gallery, which hosts the annual Green Mountain Bob Dylan Wanna-Be Contest, featured on Vermont Public Radio. Riverwalk Records was instrumental in resurrecting the again-vibrant live music scene in Montpelier and hosts in-store concerts featuring local artists.

For further information, e-mail: info@riverwalkrecords.com, or call (802) 223-3334 or (802) 229-9905.

Howard Dean Victory Celebration

Last Sunday, DFA, and the Howard Bean Cafe in Montpelier, VT organized a victory celebration for Howard Dean’s election to the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. The local news media were there, along with dozens of DFA Members and Howard Dean supporters. Free coffee, cake, and a wonderful time was had by all

The overall feeling was that of relief. Many of those attending became excited by politics for the first time in their lives because of Howard Dean’s empowering message, and had been frustrated by how the former Democratic establishment had treated him. Most of those I talked with expressed a renewed hope for the party now that Dean is at the helm, and were excited and optimistic about the future.

Howard Dean truly is what our party needs. An honest, trustworthy person who tells America the truth and speaks from his heart. He more than anyone else at this point has the political understanding, and grassroots support to take the moral high ground back from the conservative radicals, and turn the red states blue!

Howard Dean has the votes needed to take the DNC Chair!

On February 4, Donnie Fowler, the last viable opposition to Howard Dean, exited the race for DNC chair, and endorced Dean with the following words:

“The Republicans have adopted a cynical strategy in the last few years when it comes to pushing their radical agenda. First, they scare us – WMDs! Social security crisis! Then they take our money and tell us it’s good for us – $5 billion a month in Iraq; reduced benefits after paying into retirement funds. Finally, when the truth comes out, they change the story – WMDs? Not any more! Freedom!”

Fortunately, the Democratic National Committee will get the kind of change it needs. With Howard Dean as its next chair, the Party will have someone who not only understands change, but knows how to make it happen.

According to the “National Journal”, Howard Dean now has the public endorsements of 250 of the 447 members of the Democratic National Committee. Provided the broad range of support he has built continues through next weekend’s vote, Dean will become the next Democratic Party chairman.