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Good morning all,
I am up bright and early this morning to hear a speech from Senator Hillary Clinton.
Right now, Hillary Shelton, Director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP, is introducing the Senator.
Have any of you ever checked out the blog baghdad burning?
It's a blog by an iraqi girl living in baghdad recounting her experiences from the past three years. She gives a critical perspective about the cultural politics of the society she lives in. Really a great read.
It would almost seem that there was a concerted effort to create the quagmire in which we now find ourselves in Iraq, what with insufficient troops and a continued insistence on maintaining those inadequate numbers, ineffectual hit or miss raids on insurgents and a host of other blunders. Or were they blunders? George Bush seems like such a silly little dope that the tendency is to just excuse this all away as jejune ineptitude. Lovable little tyke, just loves to play with those toy soldiers.
In fact, there is little doubt that there has been a deliberate effort to destabilize Iraq and maintain that state of instability and it might be surprising when historical revelation, through the release of classified documents illustrates just how far back the planning of this Machiavellian masterpiece really went.
Victory, as spun by this administration, the establishment of a stable democracy capable of defending itself from threats from within and without, would be the last thing they would want to see happen. It would spell our ticket home, which would not fit in well with the plans of a country building an "embassy" in the heart of Baghdad which is a fortress-like compound the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, shopping centers and self-contained power and water.
Well, it's Sunday morning and Las Vegas is pretty quiet. Harry Reid's speech last night was the climax of the conference. An interfaith prayer service will begin in a little while, followed by a bloggers' brunch. Then everyone heads home and Markos, Jerome, Gina and all the fabulous people who worked so hard to make this happen get some well-deserved rest.
As Jerry Springer would say, "What have we learned here?" The first thing that strikes me is the decency, idealism and love of country that comes through in everyone. Face it, getting 1,000 people to give up several days of their life to think and talk and argue about the future of their country is an extraordinary feat - and a tribute to the aforementioned organizers.
Second, I was struck by how many participants are frustrated with the Democratic Party as a vehicle for their progressive views and values. Markos' line Friday night - "The Republicans have proven they can't govern and the Democrats have proven they can't get elected" - drew huge applause. Markos' next sentence was both a boast and a challenge: "Now it's our turn."
Which leads to a third insight: the role of the "netroots." In one of the panels, Dave Sirota quoted Bill Bennett: "Conservatives see the Republican Party as a means to an end. Liberals see the Democratic Party as an end in itself. That's why [conservatives] are winning."
The progressive vision and values for America are bigger than the Democratic Party, bigger than any party. Netroots activists, and other progressives, will be successful to the extent they can express their values, argue their case, and work for positive electoral change. That will often involve the Democratic Party, but progressives must be willing to hold the party and its candidates accountable for their values and the actions that come with them.
Hope everyone has a safe trip home.
We've been talking about it all week and here it is - the exclusive one on one interview with Cafe Con Leche and Senator Harry Reid.
This is a real hard hard hitting interview and we really get to all the issues! Take a look and let me know what you think!
Senator Reid has been rumored to be making a "big announcement" during his speech tonight. Right now, he is talking about how the Telecommunications Act and how it has allowed huge corporations to take over the media. He is now talking about how someone no longer needs money to be heard, only good ideas. (Reid is referencing the internet) I think he is about to make an announcement about net neutrality.
Senator Reid just announced that he will introduce legislation that requires the intelligence community to document every word that the Bush administration says about Iran!
Reid says that he will not allow "Iran to become another Iraq."
Harry Reid I must say is hysterical. He opened his speech with a joke about how his last grandchild who is named "River Reid," He told the crowd "I have my own little hippie."
Senator Harry Reid is being introduced as "Give em Hell Harry"
The finally of the weekend is here and Jessie Grenfell and myself are in the final reception of the conference.
The conference is opening with a tribute to bloggers, what they do, and who they represent - bloggers share their stories, their ideas, and their vision for a better America.
Now, YearlyKos is highlighting some of the people who made the convention possible and PFAW got a shoutout. More to come.