Saturday, December 06, 2003


Keith here from The Invisible Library. I'd like to thank NTodd and everyone for welcoming me to the Dreaded Liberal Coalition (cue evil laughter). I guess I should introduce myself. I'm an aspiring author and a Grad Student at the University of Maryland working on a Masters in Library Science. I like modern art, cats and browbeating conservatives with my encyclopedic knowledge of sexually deviant behavior.

While The Invisible Library is primarily a blog about bookish ramblings and a forum for me to post my own fiction, it's also about progressive politics, especially those relating to free speech. So stop on by, take a gander and leave a comment!

Some New Members

You might have noticed some new blogs in the Coalition roll. Yes, we have some more folks joining us, but I'll let them introduce themselves when they get settled in.

There are also some extremely intense, high-level discussions going on with some other potential contributors right now. We might have to throw in some big signing bonuses, bowls of M&Ms (with the green ones removed) and other perks. Stay tuned!

LC Saturday Has Begun

You know, switching TTLB affiliations seems to have made my weekly liberal-blog roundup a lot easier. :) Y'all are given a nice plug (I hope) at my blog this afternoon; enjoy. Special message in there for T. Rex, as well as dueling pictures with Amy. :)

Well Hallelujah!

With a good deal of patience and a little help I have finally found my way here. I just wanted to be sure and stop by and make my initial appearance and say hello.

There are a few here who I haven't had the pleasure of clicking on before. Well, until today. I made a point to go around and at least take a little peek at everyone today. I just have to say, what a great bunch of blogs!

I hope to be worthy of your fine company and can't wait to get back to the business of blogging.

Have a great night everybody!

At This Rate...

You how they always say on those Learning Channel shows stuff like "if this baby keeps up the rate s/he grew in the first 3 weeks of life, s/he would be 200 feet tall by the age of 5"? Well, our Coalition has grown quite a lot today, and at that rate, by Monday we'll have something like 200 members. Or something like that--math is not my strong suit.

Point is, we've rapidly grown to 16 members, which is just shy of NZBear's floor of 20 to participate in the Showcase sponsorship contest. While that's not our prime objective, it's still a fun and important way to increase the visibility of our members and message. So let's find 4 more like-minded folks to join us. Shouldn't be hard, at this rate.

And again, please note that we're an inclusive group, and "guest" members are also welcome. If you don't want to do the TTLB voting thing, have no blog of your own or whatever, drop us and line and we can still hook you up to our community. Let's work together.

Oh, and don't forget to vote!

Friday, December 05, 2003

FYI Redux

Quick meta-blogging tidbit. NZBear informs me that, per my request, all my duplicate blogs have been deleted from the Ecosystem. Our aggregate link total will drop a bit, but I'm sure once word gets out, we'll see that go back up!

Automagic Coalition Blogroll

Hey folks, you can set up a Coalition blogroll that will always be current by adding the following script to your blog:

Thanks again to NZBear for ginning up the code. Use it well.

Hello All

Yep, another new member welcoming himself to the Liberal Coalition. My name's Jeff, and I run Speedkill. And don't worry, it's not as violent as it sounds. Except for that picture of Dubya with the gun. But anyway, check it out. I look forward to reading everyone else's stuff as well.

I'm happy to be here

I'll be happy to put all the fussin' and feudin' behind us. Let's all get on with the business of helping GW move out of Al Gore's house. Check me out when you get a chance. It's Craptastic!


What a day for the Coalition, eh? We've added several new members (check out the new, automagically updating blogroll, praise be to NZBear), some of whom I see have been introducing themselves. Awesome.

I think I got the mailing list and blog invite e-mails to all the people who have thus far joined, but if I missed you please let me know and I'll rectify the situation ASAP.

And it's great to see people posting some actual content, too. You people rock!

Stay tuned...

Update: I forgot one thing. Everybody should be on the automatic blogroll with the exception of Rubber Hose. There's a problem with the Ecosystem database, so I can't add upyernoz's blog to the roll right now--I've informed NZBear of the issue. In the meantime, I've added the blog by hand.

Thanks for the Welcome

Hey folks, Elayne here. Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. Here's my weblog if you want to get a feel for the kinds of stuff I write about (although I went a little meta-blog'ish today, which is not typical for me); I'm sure it'll be blogrolled on the side soon but N. Todd seems pretty busy at the moment. :) I must say, I'm very impressed by what I've seen of Mustang Bobby's blog so far; he looks like he's going to be a great contributor to the blogosphere, and his entry is more than deserving of a vote in the New Blog Showcase!


I can blog here now
Another outlet for words
Gitmo is certain

Remember Coleen Rowley?

The best article covering one of the most important figures to have slipped out of the news touches briefly on a significant problem. The FBI lacks the resources to pursue all the criminality that falls within its brief. It does, however, manage to find the resources to keep tabs on people actively seeking reform and social justice. Its functions have been hopelessly politicized under John Ashcroft; the man who has offered the Hooveresque suggestion that protest and dissent are the equivalent of supporting people seeking the destruction of America. Look in the mirror John Ashcroft. Your "Patriot Act" and your priorities are anti-American in intent and practice.

The media have not overlooked Coleen Rowley altogether. A few news outlets have managed to cut and paste an Associated Press article that suggests her decision not to run for office is based on financial considerations. That comes perilously close to being a canard. The single sourced quote is sufficient explanation. It would also make a good starting point for a lengthy rant on the influence of public relations firms on politics :-), not to mention the laziness of the media.

Remaking The Thief of Baghdad

Yeah, that was a movie back in the '40's, but it looks like the Bush Administration is ready for a new version. Look at who's in "charge" of Iraq's debt.
Bush Names Baker Envoy on Iraqi Debt
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush on Friday named former Secretary of State James A. Baker III his personal envoy to Iraq on the issue of that country's $120 billion debt.

"Secretary Baker will report directly to me and will lead an effort to work with the world's governments at the highest levels with international organizations and with the Iraqis in seeking the restructuring and reduction of Iraq's official debt,'' Bush said in a statement read by White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

Iraq's huge debt, with annual servicing charges of $7 billion to $8 billion, is seen as a major impediment to reconstruction.

Bush said he made the appointment in response to a request by the Iraqi Governing Council.


Baker, a Houston attorney, is a longtime Bush family friend who has held several high government posts.

In the closely fought 2000 election, Baker headed up Bush's strategy team during the recount battle in Florida, which eventually ended up in the Supreme Court and delivered the presidency to Bush.

He oversaw the presidential campaigns of Bush's father in 1980, 1988 and 1992.

He served as President Reagan's first chief of staff, and as treasury secretary in Reagan's second term.

He left his post as secretary of state to serve as campaign manager in the first President Bush's unsuccessful 1992 re-election bid.
I dunno, maybe it's just me, but why do I get the feeling that when a man who is clearly a political operative is appointed to oversee an occupied nation's debt, he's not doing it out of the goodness of his heart?

this is me. thanks for inviting me

Showcase Note

Our very own Mustang Bobby is competing in his first New Blog Showcase! He has entered his post More On Moore, Who Is No More.

NB: Due to a snafu, the entry's link is truncated on the Showcase page. I've used the correct URL above so you can read the post, but the copy/paste code in the form below has the link necessary for voting. YOU MUST USE THIS URL FOR YOUR VOTE TO COUNT!

So if you'd like to vote for BBWW, copy and paste the following code into your blog (and make sure it stays on your front page until Monday):

The Coalition might not be eligible for the sponsorhip competition yet, but we can still vote! If new members have questions, lemme now.

Peace out.

Teaching the Media Dog New Tricks

Perhaps Professor David Protess could teach the current crop of reporters a few things. Protess, who will be awarded the $100,000 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, is the professor whose senior investigative journalism classes have exonerated several convicts on death row.

Professor Protess and his students also turned around a case known as the Ford Heights 4, perhaps the worst miscarriage of justice in Illinois history. Four men collectively served 65 years behind bars for a double murder they hadn't committed. Two of the men served a combined 29 years on death row.

All have been exonerated and released.
While the SCLM have swallowed everything tossed to them by the Bush administration without questioning (mostly), Professor Protess' students have tirelessly worked for those less fortunate than themselves and uncovered shoddy defense in capitol cases and freed people who had spent years or decades behind bars for crimes they did not commit. Contrast that with national reporters complaining that they were told (not that they had uncovered) that aWol was at his "ranch" while in fact he was enroute to Baghdad on Thanksgiving day. Or the casual acceptance at press conferences of the casual linking of events and people with no discernible causal connection, e.g. Iraq and 9-11, or Iraq and al Qaeda, or Iraq and WMD. Do I really have to go on?

Protess will use his prize money to increase the coverage of cases investigated by his graduate classes. Perhaps he should set aside a small portion of those dollars and offer a refresher course to our national media. He could start with an easy lesson: how to ask a follow-up question.

Maybe, just maybe such an incredible teacher could stiffen the spines of our press.


As you can see, the farmer from corrente has joined our tiny band of bloggers, and he promises to cultivate an interest among the other members of his group blog. We now have help from the most powerful cabal this side of, uh...the Volokh Conspiracy? Whatever. Glad to have the farmer on board!

Also note that we have our first "guest blogger", for lack of a better term. Queen crab (currently blogless) will be posting here from time to time, so welcome her to conspiracy as well!

And please note, there are folks from other alliances who have expressed interest in joining. I would encourage you to do so, with one minor caveat: from the TTLB voting point of view, you can only be a member of one alliance. That said, the Showcase is a means to an end, and we would love to have other voices join us, even as non-voting members. As far as I'm concerned, anyway, you can stay in your current alliance, have your vote counted there, and still be a part of our growing community.

Rock on.

Where am I? This doesn't look like my blog. Where's my brother Randy, where's Kitty Deer? What did you people do with Kitty Deer! Oh MY GOD - Gigantic sidebar TYPE FONTS!!!

Hey, lookee here, someone left some cheese on the dashboard....

Thursday, December 04, 2003


I have some ancillary blogs that I use as ersatz archives. They involve links back to my main site, which has inflated my totals in the Ecosystem (even just a few extra links makes a huge difference in the rankings).

Anywayz, a few days ago I submitted a request to delete each one of those blogs from the Ecosystem, but that's a manual process and NZBear has been swamped, so for the moment I have an artificially high number of inbound links to Dohiyi Mir. Just wanted to go on record about that, per our guidelines below.

Questions? Holler!

But Lilith is susceptible . . .

to a really good sharp Vermont cheddar, as you very well know. Even gets me to eat my broccoli, unlike a certain former president and father of current hellspawn . . . .

Behold, The Power Of Cheese

The bribes of cheese are paying off: Lilith of A Rational Animal and upyernoz with, er...of Rubber Hose have signed on!

What's especially grand about having these two on board is that when Ashcroft tries to throw us into the dungeon, we won't need to worry about being denied rights to legal counsel: Lilith and upyernoz are lawyers. Excellent.

PS--Okay, I don't know where the cheese thing came from. I just felt like saying "Behold..." I'm not susceptible to advertising. Or the Jedi Mind trick.

Charles2 Falls In

From the lake snow lands of western New York and the somewhat random postings at The Fulcrum comes... me. Charles, a.k.a. "Charles2" on various comment threads and my own blog. I picked up the extra "2" because the very first comment thread I posted to already had a Charles, a Charles1, a Chas and a Chuck. Just my luck I guess to run into the first and only Charles convention in the history of blogging on my first day. Oh well... Charles2 it is!

Like everyone else joining in on this adventure, I'm not sure where the "Liberal Coalition" is headed, but I do know it will be fun, exciting and perhaps, we'll all learn something along the way. And that's just fine by me.

"And the monkey pushes the button."

Mustang Bobby Signs On

On behalf of the management of Bark Bark Woof Woof, (okay...that's just me) I'd like to say thanks to our Fearless Leader, NTodd for getting this blog community launched, and join him in encouraging like-minded (and slightly demented) friends and readers to participate in TLC and visit our home blogs, too.

Remember: in case of sudden loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will automatically drop down from the overhead compartment. Place it over your nose and mouth and breathe frantically. Flight attendants will be in the cabin to bitch-slap you if you do not cooperate.

Fare Thee Well

Now I've done it. Here's what I just posted over at the League blog:

Hey folks,

Just a quick post to let you know I'm leaving the League of Liberals. For my part, it's still on good terms.

Some other bloggers and I, who've become friends over the past several months, have noticed that we've become an organic community and would like to create a more formal confederation. So we're creating our own blogger alliance called The Liberal Coalition, and once we get a few more members (NZBear has set a tentative floor of 15), we'll be engaging in a little healthy competition with all y'all over at TTLB!

But that's not the whole reason for our group. As I said, the Coalition is made up of people who have come together over time and found that we already had a nascent virtual community that we hope to develop further. We're still building our site, coming up with a logo, and other administrivia. It's unclear where this will take us, but we were inspired by the League and are slowly finding our own unique voice.

Anyway, thanks to you all for the impetus to do this, the links, the traffic, the discussions here and elsewhere, and I'll see you 'round the blogosphere. BTW, I'll be still be linking to the League and to its members because you're great.

Peace out,

PS--Don't forget somebody will need to remove me from the various League blogs. You don't want a Coalition mole mucking up the works! :-)

Revised Mission Statement

NZBear dropped by and made a few suggestions about our mission/guidelines below. I made some revisions to the post. Check it out and let's discuss!

Also please note that NZB has tentatively set a floor of 15 members for us to be eligible for the sponsorship competition. While that is not necessarily the overarching purpose of this group, I think it would be a good way to get the Coalition and its members noticed. So let's see if we can't get 9 more bloggers to join--probably not enough time to meet the requirements for next week's Showcase, but I think we can do that in a week. Whattaya say?

Chicks, Chicks, We Need More Chicks!

So our dear friend Amy from blogAmY has crashed the boys' club and become the first Coalition member of the female sex and/or gender. Woohoo!

I started recruitment at a slow pace so I could gauge interest and make it easier on me to handle the influx. No slight intended to anybody. We of course are an inclusive group, and encourage other like-minded folks to join our virtual community.

Cat's Out Of The Bag

There has been no official announcement yet, but with a few members already adding the Coalition to their blogrolls, soon droves of people will be visiting our official site. That means we'll need to get our act together and starting behaving like the intelligent, witty, and solutions-oriented liberal bloggers that we are. No stagecraft here, just honest to goodness great ideas.

I've registered our official blog in the Ecosystem and contacted NZBear about getting us added to the list of blogger alliances. I s'pose I should tender my resignation from the League at some point. But maybe I'll wait to see if somebody notices first!

Okay, not ready for primetime players, let's go.

To any visitor stopping by, please pardon our dust and welcome to our virtual community!

Update: one bit of cleanup will be happening momentarily, when I eliminate the redundant HaloScan commenting tool.

Font Funkiness

Unclear why the sidebar fonts are giganto in IE. I'm looking into it.

Update: I think it's fixed. I had H6 tags around the logo, and I think that screwed things up. I used UL tags instead, and now things look okay in IE5.x.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

New Comment Tool

I've implemented BlogSpeak in parallel with HaloScan. Try using the new comment link for a while to see how you like it. If it's cool, I'll delete the HaloScan comments.

And Another Joining Us In Gitmo

Welcome MercuryX23 of MercuryX23's Fantabulous Blog! Now I get that free toaster (sorry Mustang Bobby)...

Calling All Artists

I am not one, as you can tell from my placeholder logo. Anybody an artist, or know of one, who could gin us up a simple logo?

One More Sucker...

...er, Coalition member: Stradiotto of, well, Stradiotto. And he's very happy to be here, as we are to have him!

Publishing Rights On The Coalition Blog

Ultimately I think we should follow the model of the League of Liberals and have all Coalition members be able to post here. I'm going to wait until a few more people sign on, then I'll send a mass invite to make it easier on me. It is all about me, of course.

I'll also set up a mailing list and a new HaloScan (or maybe BlogSpeak!) account.

Tipping Point

I'd sent this excellent post by Dave Pollard (How to Save the World) to Mustang Bobby, and I figured I should post it here for all current and prospective Coalition members to consider as we build our community: THE TIPPING POINT, AND HOW IT WORKS WITH BLOGS.

Another Founding Member

Charles over at The Fulcrum! I'd say this is officially a conspiracy now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

New Member

Mustang Bobby of Bark Bark Woof Woof has become an inaugural member of the Coalition!

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Founding The Liberal Coalition

The Liberal Coalition is a new blogger alliance founded to raise the visibility of left-leaning blogs in the Ecosystem and help enhance the liberal/progressive message in the blogosphere. To that end, one important Coalition activity will be to compete in the New Blog Showcase sponsorship contest at The Truth Laid Bear. We will also collectively work to build a community based on our ideals and to have fun doing it.

We are an inclusive group, are fairly unstructured, and have but a few simple rules:

1) We all will in good faith promote each others' blogs. This means we will endeavor to read the content on member blogs whenever practicable, and will link to entries that we think merit attention. Each member is free to blog as they normally do, and only link to member posts as they see fit.

2) To be a member in good standing, you must vote in the TTLB Showcase each week. We want to achieve 100% participation each week so we can sponsor the Showcase and get our group and member blogs known in the blogging community. Inspired by the League of Liberals, and in the name of good-natured competition, we hereby take on the larger, more established alliances.

3) Our alliance is dedicated to the written rules and unwritten spirit of the TTLB Ecosystem, which means no member will engage in any activity that will artificially inflate individual or alliance rankings based on links or traffic (e.g., massive multilinking, multiple Site Meter counters, etc). We recognize that the TTLB ranking system is just a game, but all games have rules, and circumventing, bending or abusing those rules makes the game no fun for anybody.

A few other notes: this blog will be open for all members to post to as they like; we are working on tweaking the logo and overall look and feel, so all members are encouraged to participate in the design of our community blog; we encourage other liberal/progressive bloggers to join us.

Are we missing anything?

This is a living document, always in draft form, and will be revised over time. Last updated: 12/4, per suggestions from NZBear in comments.