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One of the more prolific and visible left-of-center political web logs (blogs): written by Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, the Daily Kos derives its moniker from Moulitsas's nickname during his stint in the US Army. Every day opens with a general forum thread for readers to discuss anything they feel is appropriate that is not covered by the daily discussion points put up by Kos. Posters run the usual gamut of thoughtfully informed and angrily belligerent. Moulitsas's points are the primary draw: his ruthless criticism of U.S. governmental policy is balanced only by his belief that the system can work, a factor which distinguishes him from numerous other left-leaning blogs.

Other features include: the dKosopedia, a collaborative effort not entirely unlike E2 through a purely political, leftist filter; Ourcongress.org, a daily monitor of the progress of Senate and House races throughout the country; Governor Outlook, which does the same for governor races; and Money Map, which analyzes Republican vs. Democratic donations county by county.

The Daily Kos is often credited along with illustrious (and hated) figures and organizations such as Michael Moore, Al Franken, George Soros, Howard Dean, moveon.org, Air America, alternet, and ACT for the rebirth of an organized, vocal, and assertive progressive movement in the United States. While crediting a simple blog with such an enormous (and yet-to-be-proven) achievement may seem like a supreme overstatement, the impact of the internet as an organizing tool for the left cannot be denied: voter registration drives run by independent internet organizations have already outpaced those run by the Democratic party itself; worldwide protests against the Iraq war in 2003 were the largest in history (this before the war had even started); and the recent barrage of documentaries and books assaulting Bush, FOX News, and various conservative pundints have shown remarkable consistency and organization in their method of attack.

So where does lil ol' Daily Kos fit into all of this? By leading the charge in providing the talking points and data necessary for progressives to engage their extremely well backed conservative counterparts. The Republican party realized more than two decades ago the value in creating a unified, informed set of policies that could be quickly diseminated amongst various Congressional representatives, columnists, talk-radio hosts, and the like. The Democrats have been notoriously lackluster in their response, often repackaging or outright aping Republican talking points instead of offering their own. Daily Kos's daily analysis and forum discussions have offered a refuge and rallying point for progressives who refuse to accept the Democratic party as "Republican Lite." Kos keeps the pressure on and the grassroots informed. Whether it proves to be enough to save the Democratic party from irrelevancy remains to be seen.


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