LIBERTARIAN DEMOCRATS. On the eve of YearlyKos, Markos himself has penned possibly the first full account of his personal political philosophy. He is, he says, a "Libertarian Democrat." It's a style he's stealing from the Western Democrats like Brian Schweitzer, Jon Tester, Jim Webb, and Paul Hackett and hoping to popularize as a "progressivism for a new century" in an upcoming book.
COURTING THE BLOGS -- PARTY AT THE STRATOSPHERE. Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will be the main attraction at the first ever Daily Kos convention, Yearly Kos, that will be held in Las Vegas this weekend, and he's got plans to welcome the bloggers with open arms. Warner is one of several possible '08 presidential candidates speaking at the convention; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack will also make appearances. So will some Democratic leaders: Former '04 presidential contender Gen. Wesley Clark, DNC chairman Howard Dean, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Barbara Boxer, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
PRE-K BLUES. While universal pre-k enthusiasts mourn yesterday's defeat of Rob Reiner's awesome California initiative, Gene Sperlingreminds us that, at the federal level, the Bush administration and congressional Republicans have "allow[ed] Head Start to have lower enrollment in 2005 than it did in 2002, and give[n] Head Start its first outright funding cut in 19 years." Gotta pay for the estate tax repeal somehow.
CORRUPTION, BLEH.Markos makes an important point about the Bilbray-Busby race outcome and what it all means:
The "culture of corruption" is a nice secondary theme to weave into our broader narrative, but it can't be the message on which we pin our 2006 hopes. "We're better managers" won't inspire our troops to head to battle.
THE HARD TO SPLIT DIFFERENCE.Jacob Sullumnotes an abortion prohibitionist going off-message in Louisiana. "I had a strong belief that we could finally protect the innocent life of an unborn child," said state Senator Ben Nevers. "This is about the U.S. Constitution granting every person the right to life."
SCORE ONE FOR THE TWO-PARTY SYSTEM. A couple months ago, Rasmussen Reports deployed some polls that found a xenophobic, enforcement-oriented third-party candidate would net 30-some percent of the vote, a mere single percent below the Democrats' haul. At the time, I dismissed the results as an irrelevant artifact. Now, Mike Crowleynotes that precisely such a candidate ran in the CA-50 election. His haul? A pathetic 3.7 percent. So much for that.
THE NATURE OF SPERM.Linda Hirshman's discussion of the history of religious thinking about sperm reminded me that there have been some fascinating studies coming out lately about the biology of human reproduction. And since the only people who know less about their bodies than women are men, the male readers of this site may be interested to learn that whether they know it or not, they, too, have biological clocks that tick.
THE TARNISHED GOLDEN STATE. You've already heard that Brian Bilbray defeated Francine Busby to keep Duke Cunningham's seat in the Republican column. I'm with Byron York in finding fewer portents here than others have, but Mike Crowley makes a strong case for a deep, impenetrable gloom. Silver lining? This may lower expectations for Democrats in November.
CAITLIN REVISITED. A helpful comment by Mark Schmitt on my post below suggests that the verb �to Caitlin,� meaning �to provide a hot nightly dinner to the male head of the household,� should actually be �to Paloma,� since it is Caitlin�s Hispanic employee who actually does the work around the house, while Caitlin scribbles about how women should quit their jobs to do the work around the house. I offer instead a friendly amendment to the definition, to include �to provide, or hire Hispanic employees to provide, a hot nightly dinner. I wouldn�t want to coin a phrase that discriminates against the wealthy elite, or what our Republican friends call �class warfare.� Okay, Mark?
CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? For a dreamy-eyed globalist, Tom Friedman often seems seduced by a weirdly dark and apocalyptic view of the international scene. After witnessing the great diversity on display at his daughter's high school graduation, he chooses to celebrate this bit of cosmopolitanism with the observation that "Our greatest asset is our ability to still cream off not only the first-round intellectual draft choices from around the world but the low-skilled-high-aspiring ones as well, and that is the main reason that I am not yet ready to cede the 21st century to China. Our Chinese will still beat their Chinese."