Saturday, August 11, 2007

Daily Kos Has Arrived

Markos Moulitsas and Susan Gardner of Daily Kos explain, in an op-ed at the Washington Post, how the mainstream acceptance of the group blog and its many citizen-activist/journalists has occurred and how the DLC, who I believed were advising Democrats wrongly in 2003, has consistently been off the center-mark for which they've represented themselves to be shooting. After seeing regular posters like Senators Russ Feingold and John Kerry, and then having seen Governor Eliot Spitzer at Daily Kos last week coming out to support our online community, these words ring true:
A new day is dawning for the progressive movement. The distrust between Net-roots activists and more traditional progressive players in the party establishment and issue groups has given way to respectful cooperation as we all adjust to new technologies and the promise they hold for institutional change.
I've met many of these leaders face to face. They know who I am. They know I'm not a crazy lady who sits in a dark basement with my pajamas on 24 hours a day (well - at least I don't do that every day ;) I've blogged for, I've blogged for my city's online newspaper website, I've blogged for the Clinton Global Initiative Meeting alongside mainstream journalists. The leaders in our Democratic party have welcomed many of us into the center of their professional world and they understand how powerful citizen-activists can be.

A lot of our success, in blogging, has come from the simple fact that we are informed. We commit ourselves to being informed and that, alone, is a powerful tool because it allows us, individually and on a daily basis, to challenge the rhetoric that once slid past the ears of most people and left the discussion concerning the political realities to political junkies and concerned citizens on isolated barstools, street corners, and sitting rooms.

Not so anymore. We now have a home.

Most of us, including myself, aren't paid a thin dime for what we do. Why do we do it? Because we care. When we found one another and committed ourselves to this new community at Daily Kos, we became a force that is just now beginning to be seen for what it's been for the past five years. Under the radar, the idea for a new Democratic citizen superpower was fostered. The new creation has taken on a life of its own.

I'm Iddybud, User # 4869 on Daily Kos. I hear there are well over 100,000 users now, and I'm sure there will be more to follow.

Don't miss Markos Moulitsas on Meet the Press tomorrow morning on NBC.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I've Been Simpsonized

I've been Simpsonized

Mrs. Hamner - I'm So Sorry

"This explosion, I believe, was preventable. And I don't call this an accident. I call this a disaster."

- Debbie Hamner, wife of Sago miner George Hamner.

Something happened in last night's AFL-CIO debate that struck me to my core. As a woman who lost my own Grandfather as a result of too many years and too little worker protections in the coal mines, in spirit, I am with the families of all miners in their sadness and in their quest for the truth. I found immediate empathy for and agreement with the concerns of Debbie Hamner. [See my 2006 posting]. Mrs. Hamner, who lost her husband George in the heart-wrenching Sago Mine disaster in January 2006, was the first to ask a question of the Democratic panel last night at the debate.

Joe Biden was the recipient of Mrs. Hamner's question. I was shocked and disappointed in him when he offered her a brief message of sympathy and then went on to blast out a retort about foreign policy to the other candidates standing with him if Mrs. Hamner no longer existed. He never answered her question.

I felt awful for her.

It was a stark symbol of how removed some of these people are from citizens like you and me.

Mrs. Hamner - I'm so sorry.

There have been 26 mining deaths this year, twice the pace of last year in a booming industry. The lone survivor's report told of the despairing men reciting a "sinner's prayer" and penning farewell notes. Do bureaucrats need to hear more before doing their jobs and protecting miners' lives?

- [From May, 2006 NY Times editorial]


From Daily Kos:
Biden felt bad about not being able to spend more time on the answer, and Keith Olbermann himself admitted some culpability in setting up the whole uncomfortable situation. Check out the video from Wednesday night's Countdown below:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ed Hamell: Strolling in Baghdad

A nice little ditty from an old acquaintance of mine.