Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Markos Story Continues to Circulate

The Angryindian sez:
The Outing of a Republican Mole

Establishment liberal blog DailyKos has been outed by a member of the AfroSpear as an operative of the republican party.

Is it true? If the information provided is accurate, it totally destroys the republican mythology of the liberal-dominated media. In other words, perhaps this is why Pelosi and the democrat crew the American public sent to the hill were able to be trusted by the progressive and anti-war public, the DailyKos reported them as the sole alternative to the Bush administration. The very same people who refuse to use their constitutional powers to stop the madness. The DailyKos also refuses to accept commentary concerning 911 that refutes the Bush administration's assertions. Go figure. - The Angryindian
The rest of the post is from one of Francis Holland's Kos posts.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quotable: Meta-Edition

Madman in the Marketplace over at Marisacat's blog:
Like Robert Neville, we are LEGEND, and while we stalk the virtual land no Donklephant, or their thralls, fanboys and blogmaids, are safe.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Orange Letter #163

An "Open Letter" To Daily Kos

Swiped more or less intact from this thread at Marisacat's blog. lucid wrote it. I repost it with A) minor snips and B) his permission.

"I’ve given pause to what I would say to this “community”, if I ever saw fit to comment again. What meta would I nitpick? Which posters would I call out and link to, showing them to be the asshole DP whips that they are? Which cult of personality is the worst? Which ideological cult is the most offensive?

"But why even do that? Most of you believe and defend with savage juvenility the idea that getting any Democrat elected will somehow cure all the ills of society. Most of you are young or naive enough in your ‘politically aware’ lives to forget about the fact that Clinton accomplished more for right wing politics than any Republican could ever have done before him. The gutting of welfare, hey, couldn’t be done under Reagan. Reinstatement of the federal death penalty… a no go there too, so long as a Republican was in office. The gutting of FCC ownership laws with respect to monopoly in specific localities? Hey, no Republican could achieve that either. First Amendment zones? Clinton. Pre-emptive war… Kosovo anyone?

"You bask in a fantastic memory that a Democrat in the White House somehow made the world a better place. It might have been better in this county for the upper middle class and marginally better for the poor, but it sucked just as equally for the rest of the world. We still fought cold and hot wars. We passed the most regressive trade legislation the world has ever seen that expropriated, exploited and killed more people than any of the shitty covert proxy wars we’d fought before.

The system is broken. There isn’t a democracy here.

The machine politicians to whom you contribute will do nothing to speak for the people.

"They only speak for those who show up at their $5,000/plate fundraising dinners. And they don’t give a shit about the “netroots” save the lip service of a staffer diary here and there & the buying of advertisements. That means they really care.

"I had jumped the ship. Then I gave it an ear again, for a time. But when I encountered more of the same, ‘shaming’, party whipping, rejection of anti-capitalist ideas, the complete disavowal of history, I jumped the ship again.

"You live in a fantasy. You haven’t the foresight to recognize the disintegration of everything you hold dear, though it drips away with every passing second."

(Find more from him at, Lucid Culture --what else ?!-- ;), regarding politics, local bands and other things.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Showdown by the Bay: Sheehan vs. Pelosi

You may have read that Cindy Sheehan is considering running against current House Speaker Nancy "Impeachment Is Off The Table" Pelosi in next year's election. First, a quick snip of the AssPress article - courtesy of Marisacat:
Sheehan Considers Challenge to Pelosi
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) — Cindy Sheehan, the soldier’s mother who galvanized the anti-war movement, said Sunday that she plans to seek House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional seat unless she introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.
Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That’s when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group’s war protest site near Bush’s Crawford ranch.
Not too surprisingly, since Ms. Sheehan has been known to frequent Daily Kos, she announced her intentions over there, with the predictable result: a lot of partisan Democrat whining, including the usual dross about her writing a "troll diary," and of course the usual effort by current and former DK front-pagers to show her the door.

What has happened is that the Dems couldn't "contain" Ms. Sheehan. Let's go back to two years ago, when Stan Goff said (circa August 2005):
The Democrats are already grooming a few 2008 candidates, including the execrable Hillary Rodham Clinton who has stated her desire to beef up the war against Southwest Asia. Let's not forget that her husband presided over an Iraqi holocaust that George W. Bush is still trying to match. The Republicans are secure for now with their white nationalist popular base. An active and increasingly militant left is a more immediate threat to the Democrats ­ who have prospered from Republican reaction for decades now by capturing social bases that feel they have nowhere else to go. That dilemma is real, but it is also predicated on the notion that to "go there" we need to contain ourselves in electoralism and pluralist policy fights that are engineered by corporations and NGOs.
That's why Sheehan and others who propose the radical option of simply leaving Iraq are now being surrounded by the friendly faces of "progressives" who will try and redirect this newfound mobilization along the acceptable policy-debate paths.
Something I said from around the same time:

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. And that, as I see it is the real problem with the Dems. The "base" that the party takes for granted has no clue as to what the Dem party actually stands for. Folks periodically ask me what the Dems believe, and I have to say in all honesty that God only knows, and I'm sure even He is a bit puzzled. What we do know is that the Dem party leadership falls hook, line, and sinker for whatever b.s. the White House demands for fear of being labeled "obstructionist," "unpatriotic," and possibly "losing next year's election." That isn't exactly an inspiring approach to representative governing.
Cindy Sheehan has done something that the Dems have largely failed to do with regard to Iraq: she asked the question "why are we there?" If the Dems want to capitalize on the increasing dissatisfaction with the war, they would be well advised to ride the wave of dissent rather than try to contain it. Adding more troops (impractical) and looking for ways to exit with "dignity" (a term that in this context smells of American machismo) aren't going to cut it. Besides, to take an a line or two from an old David Bowie tune, "dignity is valuable, but our lives are valuable too." Tell it straight up: it was the wrong war, at the wrong time, fought for the wrong reasons; and it's high time to get the hell out and stop making even more of a mess of things in the region. There are no good reasons for Americans or Iraqis to keep dying. The party might generate some cross words from the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters of the world as a result, but that would have happened any way. In the process, the Dems might even gain a bit of the respect and trust that they've lost over the last couple decades. Otherwise, folks like me (just one of the "base") will keep on eying the third party scene for a better deal.
I'm sure at some point at one of the various gated community blogs I predicted that Cindy Sheehan's days at Daily Kos would be numbered; once it became readily apparent that Ms. Sheehan was not going to toe a Democrat Party line, she'd become expendable. The rumblings that she'd worn out her welcome at Big Orange were there for a while - now it's out in the open. In truth, the anti-war movement was useful to Dems only to the extent that anti-war voters might help the party get Congressional majorities and perhaps successfully recapture the White House. Once we stop being ATM machines for the Dems and various affiliated groups (e.g., MoveOn), then that bunch of goons simply doesn't want to know us.

Certainly I don't delude myself to think that Sheehan has a snowball's chance in Death Valley of unseating Pelosi. One: it's not entirely clear what her campaign will be about (beyond the Iraq War). Two: even if Sheehan gets it together as far as a coherent candidacy goes, there are more than enough Vichy "progressives" willing to give Pelosi sufficient cover to win in 2008. If nothing else, a Sheehan candidacy against Pelosi would serve to highlight Pelosi's many embarrassing failures as a so-called leader - in and of itself that would be valuable.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Markos Family Jewels: Curiouser and Curiouser

A few days ago I highlighted Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga's fondness for the CIA (the dude - at bare minimum - interviewed for a position there, and is on record as holding a favorable attitude toward the organization notorious for its human rights record). Well, now we find that Markos' own family history is not quite as he would portray it. Francis Holland has a few points to ponder and some questions of his own. If nothing else, we get a more complete picture of one of the most prominent partisan Democrat bloggers and would-be power players, including perhaps some insight into why DailyKos operates in such an authoritarian manner and the positions that the blog appears to favor regarding the political direction of the US.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Poor Blogger's Foundation?

So, remember the other day when I wrote about [employable] bloggers complaining about their own poverty and what I thought about that? (Of course you do. You all read everything I write all the time and commit it to memory. I know. There will be a quiz later). Well, anyway, it appears Susie at Suburban Guerilla has been thinking about that issue too and has actually taken some steps to do something about it:

Jim’s death has made me realize that, despite the yes, millions of dollars and untold hours of volunteer support the left blogosphere has thrown the way of the Democratic party, they will never, ever, ever give us anything more than a pat on the back. “Isn’t that cute? They think they’re special.”

I don’t know what it is about liberal groups whose leaders assume you should live on air while you give your life to the cause. Has it even occurred to them how much harder it is to get a “regular” job when you’re publicly and politically active? I guess not. After all, they’re already employed.

I'm sorry. There were some Democratic bloggers who were actually expecting money from the party or "liberal groups"? Ummm, what?

They don’t really understand that the blogosphere is effective because it works like a swarm of bees. Yes, we have some queen bees, but you need the entire hive stinging from every direction in order to make it work. And to do that, you need to take care of the hive.

And they - the powers that be - Susie, have discovered that the worker bees are more than willing to do their stinging for free. So what else is there for them to understand?

Jim wasn’t unusual. I can name at least a dozen well-known bloggers off the top of my head that are in dire straits financially. I know several with health conditions that could become critical at any moment, and like me, they’re living without health insurance, the Sword of Damocles dangling over their heads.

And you know what? I'm all for donating to bloggers who are unable to work because they are sick. Note what I said in my previous post to the "I want sympathy because I blog and I'm a poor but employable" person, however. Although you noted above that your political activism may make it difficult for you in the real job world, that certainly depends on the type of job you're hoping to land, doesn't it? Not all employers care about your politics and, afaik, they're not even supposed to ask about your leanings. (That's how it works here in Canada anyway.)

So Susie has a plan:

And so I am talking to lawyers about putting together a non-profit to help progressive bloggers. Not, as some groups offer, to help them organize for the Democratic party - to help them personally. I plan to recruit every blogger I can for the effort. One local blogger is working right now to put together a concert benefit with a big name.

Ask the obvious question. I'll wait.

Exactly: whom will that concert benefit? Who will that non-profit group benefit? Which "progressive bloggers"? And why? What's the criteria to receive donations?

If you can't answer those questions now, you have a huge problem already.

In closing, let me leave you with a comment from that blog in response to Susie's post that makes another obvious point:

# frank costa Says:
July 5th, 2007 at 8:23 pm

Your assumption [is] that sitting at a keyboard and sharing your insights, opinions, and surfing discoveries is akin to some sort of hero status.

I was a politicial and social acttivist on the trail of the NWO decades before keyboard kommandos came into being. I’ve got a mouthful of bad teeth, I live in an RV and I am dissed by just about every yuppie “activist” I run into.

While I am in support of your passion you have to take a reality pilll…the easiest thing in the world regarding “activism” is to sit a keyboard and rant about stuff. The hardest is to get off one’s butt and take it to the source.

Only 100,000 of us nationwide marched against the war a while back, which is about one tenth of the bloggers on the web. We all know what’s wrong and what has to be done and daily doses of incremental info isn’t necessary and obviously not very effective.

Get a million activists to show up in DC demanding impeachment and not respect the “free speech” zones or get permits, or even say please…that’s activism, not web chat.

That’s my nickle.

What he said.

Sidebar: Wasn't Bowers talking about a similar foundation or PAC to help poor bloggers as well? What happened to that? Why is it that the PA bloggers seem to be the ones bringing this issue up all of the time? No jobs there? High cost of living? Something in the water?

Hey! Here's an idea: maybe the PA bloggers could just all rent one big house and share living expenses. On the other hand, maybe that's too much of a "hippie commune" type of idea for that bunch. They do seem fairly conservative. I can't really picture BooMan braiding Atrios' hair (thankfully).

Update: There's also a discussion about this at Crooks and Liars.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Armando vs Meteor Blades

And here, we come across that odd snarly beast known as Armando in his natural state: fur ruffled, claws out, teeth bared. Armando aka BTD - who often stalks his prey in the dark of nite (or broad daylight for that matter...) with the fury of a rabid lefty netroots crusader hot on the trail of the latest blasphemer.

An abdication of responsibility (3.00 / 1)

This comment from Meteor Baldes is outrageous:

It's up to us to create a groundswell ... (0 / 0)

...of support. And up to us who believe impeachment is the right move to persuade people who can actually vote to begin impeachment proceedings. When the proceedings started against Richard Nixon in October 1973, only 39% of Americans supported impeachment or resignation, even though only 27% approved of the job he was doing.

You may be right that impeachment proceedings will not happen. Without proceedings, no impeachment. They certainly won't happen without the Democratic votes on the Judiciary Committee. Discussing impeachment will continue whether you like it or not. Personally, I don't think we need to have any more philosophical discussion about whether it's a good idea or not, or whether it's possible. We're split on that and we've all pretty much had our say. No need for further flamewars.

So now, it's up to those of us who believe impeachment is possible, and the right thing, to see if we can make it happen. If we can't, then you can tell us all to shut up.

Can we hold out this long?

by Meteor Blades on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 07:13:19 AM PDT

Meteor Blades has used the Front Page of Daily Kos to forward as harmful a proposal as one could imagine at this time and he does not want to discuss the outrageousness of his actions.

His irresponsibility will forward and harmful discussion instead of moving forward on ending the Iraq Debacle. And he thinks we should not discuss his harmful actions.

Excuse me Meteor Blades. What you are doing is extremely wrong and extremely irresponsible. You have abused your trust as a FPer at daily kso by not considering these issues and instead have assuaged your vainglorious wishes.

Leaders do not behave in this way. Leaders weigh the consequences of their actions. You should be ashamed.

by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 10:26:24 AM EST

You have to give him points for using "vainglorious", at least. That's a mighty fancy-schmancy kind of word. (Not to mention the minimal number of typos - quite remarkable, that.)

Oh, but wait, Armando wasn't done yet and had to follow up his own comment with 2 more:

Here's what I am saying (3.00 / 1)

MEteor Blades should write DIARIES saying this if he believes it is meaningful.

But he shoulod not post it on the FP of daily kos.

He owes the Netroots to consider what the perception and result of his actions will be when he does so.

by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 10:45:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]


As a former FPer (3.00 / 1)

I can tell you that it was well understood what types of issues should merit careful consideration before writng a FP post taking a posiiton on them.

Of course there are a myriad of important issues where FPers would disagree. Those were open for debate and the outside world consequences were largely minimal.

Impeachment is not one of those issues. It is too hot and too potentially harmful for a FPer to just throw out outlandish ill thought out posts as Meteor Blades did.

He should express his opinion on THAt topic in the diaries, not on the FP.

by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 11:04:27 AM EST

Yes, know your place MB, damnit. Armando will have justice or thy punishment shall be swift! Off with your FP privileges, traitor! Send him to the tower.

MB fights back (and is offered some battle tactics to escape the tower by yours truly since BooMan has given up his dreams of conquest and strategerizing because he's an adult now.)

As you are quite well aware ... (none / 0)

...having been a former Front Pager, FPers have a free hand - except when it comes to raising money or violating the FAQs - to write what we want. We represent ourselves only when we write unless we sign onto a piece as a group, which has happened only once IIRC.

by Meteor Blades on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 11:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

There, MB tried the cautious, reasoned approach which we all know drives the beast Armando mad (especially the use of the word "former" - oooo, ouch - like a sword through an enlarged liver).

Re: As you are quite well aware ... (3.00 / 1)

there are and were certain issues where FPers RIGHTLY chose to express their views IN DIARIES understnaidng that the perception of a FP post is quite different from that of a diary.

by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 11:51:35 AM EST

Yes MB, what will the neighbours think?? My god man - think of the children! Think of the intertubes! Think of the donors! Think of the beer money! We may never be able to Drink Liberally™ again!!

Does MB end up back in the tower? Will Armando get his blood?

Want more?

This exciting sneak preview clip of Armando Gone Wild (Again) brought to you by Not Exactly Crashing the Gates While Banging Our Heads Against the Wall and Each Other.

Grab your popcorn! You won't want to miss a moment of this action-packed thriller.

Monday, July 02, 2007

That Super-Duper Secret Townhouse List

Via Daniel Schuman at Mother Jones:

Given that the first rule of Townhouse is that there is no Townhouse, it was quite a challenge to get even one person to talk about the list on record (though I spoke to several people about the list who did not want to be quoted, even anonymously). It's my understanding that any list member who speaks about it publicly, or even acknowledges that it exists, risks immediate expulsion from the list. Incidentally, that's precisely what happened to Maryscott O'Connor of My Left Wing, who was unceremoniously dumped from Townhouse after my article came out. O’Connor had this to say about Townhouse: “It's fucking Skull and Bones, man. The very secretive, behind-closed-doors nature of it is anathema to everything that blogging is supposed to be about: accountability. We are supposed to be showing the way, not skulking around behind closed doors, coming up with strategies. Those are the people who we're trying to fight. I know about 'the real world' and all that shit. But we're the idealists, aren't we?"

Yeah, well that's all fine and dandy MSOC, but the fact is that you still chose to stay on the "fucking Skull and Bones, man" list anyway. If this was about blogger ethics, you should have quit long ago. And exactly which ideals were you holding up while you were on that list if you were so damn opposed to it?

Now, onto this tidbit (which I found courtesy of OP&G):

(Fun fact: According to an email I obtained, sent out to Townhouse members by Stoller in March, the list is now a commercial enterprise. Subscriptions * run $60 per year for individual subscribers and up to $1000 for organizations, the proceeds of which will go to pay Stoller’s rent and health care costs, according to his message.)

About these boyz who cry poverty - I recall Bowers doing just that at dkos a while ago (poor him) - like we're supposed to care. If you can't make a living blogging, get another job or support yourself by flipping burgers while you blog in your spare time. It's as simple as that.

I recently had a private conversation with someone who felt I should have "sympathy" for the fact that they were a poor blogger. Yeah. I don't think so. You, poor blogger, are able to actually work out there in the real world (unlike me and others - who don't complain about not enhancing our bank accounts dramatically from blogging, btw). You choose poverty and expect "sympathy" as if you're Dog's gift to the blogging world? Get stuffed.

There's a glass ceiling in the American so-called left-wing blogosphere which you helped create. So if you keep banging your head on it, buy your own bandaids - or at least be extremely grateful to those who do pass on some cash to you to lower those costs instead of expecting "sympathy".

Anyway, if it's true that Stoller is begging for cash for "rent" and "health care costs" then how did he pay for his recent one week vacation in Hawaii? If that's poverty, sign me up.

And, once again, what is so secret about blogging and issues that an exclusive list like Townhouse needs to exist? Whatever talking points they're throwing out through that list make for a very monolithic and boring read throughout the BBBs because they all cover the same damn things. When was the last time you read a FP piece on any of these blogs that was so utterly compelling and unique that it left you in awe wanting more? Or when did you last see a true piece of investigative journalism on any of the big blogs that broke the BBB mold? If Townhouse acts as some sort of Democratic party newswire which its members then rely on for content, it is doing a huge disservice to blog readers who might as well just read the Democratic Party's web site instead.

Then again, for all I know, maybe they just exchange chess game tips and ring tones. Since no one wants to speak up about it - as if they'll be summarily hanged for treason - I guess we just don't know, do we?

As for this:

One of the questions O'Connor raised when we spoke, an interesting one I thought, is what will become of the once independent bloggers, the idealists, now that they’ve worked their way into the inner sanctum of the Democratic machine. Will they change it for the better from the inside, or simply become a new generation of win-at-any-cost political operatives. It’s a question worth asking, but I don’t think anyone has any answer just yet.

Wanna bet, Schulman?

Related: Schulman's prior piece about the blogosphere, Meet the New Bosses. (Note to Schulman: Daily Kos is not a "liberal" blog.)