Saturday, January 24, 2004

The Agony of the Great Plains 

SoonerThought talks about the diaspora from the Nation's Breadbasket. An excerpt:

The bad news continues. In U.S. News & World Report, there recently was a story about the collapse of the Great Plains population. The Great Plains account for one fifth of the country’s land mass, encompassing all or most of 10 states in stretching from the Texas panhandle straight through Nebraska ending up north to the Dakotas. It has long been called the nation’s breadbasket, and most of the jobs are related to agriculture. But, according to the article, over the past 50 years, the rural counties of the Great Plains have lost more than a third of their inhabitants, even though the nation as a whole has added 130 million people. “There are rivers of people flowing out of the Plains,” the article said.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Captain Kangaroo is dead 

Bob Keeshan, childrens' advocate and star of Captain Kangaroo for 36 years, died this morning.

Fred Rogers died about the time I started blogging and I was surprised at the outpouring of saddness from the blogging community. I respected Rogers and felt bad, but I'm old enough that I didn't have a strong emotional attachment to him. Captain Kangaroo is a different matter.

For maudlin boomer reminiscing, visit me at archy.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

What a Sorry Lot of Whiners 

When I was in grad school at the University of Colorado in Boulder in the 1980's, the College Republicans made a lot of noise about how many of the faculty were registered Democrats and how they were somehow insidiously indoctrinating the soft pliable minds of students with filthy left-wing propaganda. Now they're at it again, this time starting a website to "to document discrimination against conservative students and indoctrination to the liberal viewpoint."

There's more on this at Bark Bark Woof Woof.

On Liberal Anger 

This is a tidbit from my post on the new liberal anger, its causes and its consequences:

Liberal Anger

An oxymoron? So it seemed until quite recently. As Molly Ivins points out,

Guys like Rush Limbaugh figured that out a long time ago--attack a liberal and the first thing he says is, "You may have a point there."

Conservatives, on the other hand, are excellent haters. They have had the hate arena mostly to themselves for the last decade, after all, and practise does make perfect. Liberals are no match for voices such as Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh, though they are the targets, naturally. So puny has the left resistance been in these games that some right-wingers have had to turn to attacking their own to stay in training. Here's David Frum, a neo-conservative, on the paleoconservatives of his own party:

They began by hating the neoconservatives. They came to hate their party and this president. They have finished by hating their country.
War is a great clarifier. It forces people to take sides. The paleoconservatives have chosen — and the rest of us must choose too. In a time of danger, they have turned their backs on their country. Now we turn our backs on them

Well, things are looking up for Frum and other underemployed conservative pugilists. Several recent articles have declared that liberals have finally turned angry. "I hate Bush" begins Jonathan Chait in last September's New Republic, and he notes that he's not the only one.

- Read the rest here

Live Blogging From NH 

Just to let everyone know, I have been blogging on the ground in New Hampshire for the last few days, starting with the Dean arrival at 2AM after Iowa.

So far:

1. Howard Dean, 2AM Arrival From Iowa
2. Joe Lieberman's Union Leader Endorsement
3. Wesley Clark, "State of the Union" Party
4. John Edwards Stumping in Portsmouth

You can expect NH-related updates on a semi regular basis.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


I couldn't resist all the acronyms; as an ex-military guy, I'm sort of fond of them.

Apparently unlike quite a few members of the Coalition, I actually sat through the entire State of the Union Address last night. My neck is sore this morning because I think I shook my head in disbelief even more than Ted Kennedy. It's a good thing there were no hard surfaces for me to bang my head on.

Lots of bloggers have dissected the speech in a hundred different ways, but one phrase struck me as particularly egregious as far as misleading our fellow citizens.

...already the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities...
Last year's SOTU was laced with references to Iraq's WMD, which BushCo blusteringly told us were all over the country and an imminent* danger to us all. This year it's a passing reference to WMD "related program activities."

What the hell is that?

It's certainly a long way from the threat of mushroom clouds and remotely piloted vehicles being used to deliver chem-bio weapons to the U.S. mainland. And yet the lie - among so many others - passed glibly from his lips. I wonder, does he even know what he's reading from the teleprompters? Does he understand the big words that he reads?

In a comment thread on somebody's blog this morning I said the only thing that improved this year from last year's SOTU was that Shrubby stumbled over fewer lines. I thought that meant that either he was sober when he rehearsed this year or Karl Rove had his hand further up the sock puppet.

For my take immediately after the speech, see this entry at the Fulcrum.

* Trolls: Yes, I know that the word imminent was never actually used; but the words that were used were all synonymous.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Our Comments Are Down 

It seems our comment provider, which I believe is HaloScan, has gone down. Hopefully, they will be up and running soon.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Real Time Results 

You can get real-time caucus results here.

The Gotham City 13

Rock Us To The Caucus 

Here's some blog feeds that will be updated all throughout the day of the Iowa Caucus:

Bloggerstorm at Dean for America. It is NOT just Dean-favorable blogs, by the way, it's any blogger in Iowa who is writing about the Caucus.

Blogging the President has got all day "live" blogfeed as well, from a group blog of some of the smartest people in Bloggerland. Did I say "Blog" enough for you yet?

Some quick hits: Iowa Blog News Aggregator (Let's go for all out blogplosion and call it a bloggregator.) There's also updates expected regularly at Needlenose,

You can be pretty sure our Conservative Pals over at the NRO will be posting plenty of biased, factually inaccurate coverage by day's end.

But through it all, keep in mind what Howie Kurtz has to say about Iowa:

"I don't know who will win tonight in Iowa. You don't know who will win tonight in Iowa. The hordes of reporters criss-crossing the state don't know who will win tonight in Iowa. But that hasn't stopped them from deluging us with polls, punditry and prognostication. And once the results are in, look out! We'll be hearing who's the new front-runner, who's toast and who's on life support. Which is, on its face, ridiculous."

Which won't stop my blog from pinging that kind of analysis all day long.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Off Topic Question of the Day: 

I'm writing a paper for class and I need to know who said (or where it was said) that there are only eight stories, that all subsequent stories are just variations on those eight archetypal plots. Anyone know this?

I know this is seriously beyond the scope of our founding purpose but we've got a lot of knowledgable members here so I thought I'd use you guys as a resource.

~Keith at The Invisible Library

LC Blog-a-round Menu 

Heres my LC blog-a-round menu for the this round. And, I apologize to those I didn't list this time, there are just too many to visit in one post.
Here goes:

Steve Gillard
Invisible Library
Gotham City 13
Trish Wilson
Chris Lefty Brown
Sooner Thought