Remember the U.S. in 2007?
To our dismay, George W. Bush was still president, and war profiteer Dick Cheney was VP. The U.S. was struggling with our presence in Iraq (surprise, surprise). Santa Ana winds fanned 23 wildfires in SoCal that, at that time, were considered among the worst ever—they burned for 7 weeks, killed 10 people, and scorched nearly 400,000 acres. A B-52 bomber flew from North Dakota to Louisiana loaded with six cruise missiles containing nuclear warheads (oops) that were supposed to have been unloaded. The first iPhone became available, and Tiger Woods won his 13th career championship.
Thanks to the Internet Wayback Machine’s image capture, we can see what DK looked like through all seven front page iterations. The first image shows all but the 2007 version, shown next and discussed, and the present 2020 version.
This composite shows five of the seven front-page formats from the past 19 years of DK history. The top image is where DK began in 2002 with stories written by kos, followed by the first upgrade and the appearance of other writers in 2003. In the third image, 2011, the Community Spotlight box appears front and center.
The fourth image, 2012, looks more familiar. The last image shows the hotly reviled 2016 iteration that members despised for many reasons, including “too much white space,” preferring the 2012 version. The seventh, most recent iteration, not shown, is today’s 2020 format, also protested as members prefer the 2016 version. (You might say that protest is a Community personality trait.)
The image below the composite shows Daily Kos 15 years ago this week, on August 31, 2007—a blog with the beloved flag guy first appearing across the top, three vertical columns, and lots of orange.
On August 31, 2007, the left column contained stories from founder kos (Markos Moulitsas) and featured writers. Meteor Blades, now emeritus senior political writer, dissected post-Iraq-War criticism, and DemfromCT, who now writes Abbreviated Pundit Roundup under his real name Greg Dworkin, looked at the British pullout from Basra, Iraq. Other writers in the left column include MissLaura, now Assistant Managing Editor Laura Clawson, and mcjoan, now Senior Political Writer Joan McCarter.
In the far right column, familiar Community members appear. Magnifico posted an Overnight News Digest, as he still does each night along with a team of other members. Rimjob, now named Doctor RJ and a Community Contributor team member, continues to write about television and movies. Others in the right column still write regularly under the same names—FishOutofWater, gmoke, and AndyT.
SusanG, who wrote the Open Thread and Diary Rescue in the left column and created the Rescue Rangers, is now Susan Gardner, the former executive editor who retired last year. Her edition from August 31, 2007, presents 12 stories the Ranger team rescued that day, a number now considered high for an entire week in 2021 (we’ve averaged 10.3 per week this year).
Only one author rescued on August 31, 2007, is still writing here, but that person, grog, also is one of our long-serving Rescue Rangers. His story, “The Katrina Promise: Animal Rescue,” is quintessential Daily Kos Community.
Grog wrote about his wife’s project rescuing animals left behind in New Orleans and reconnecting them with their humans, an endeavor motivated by Steve Gilliard who was one of the earliest featured bloggers on Daily Kos. Gilliard created his own blog, the popular progressive The News Blog, and died in June 2007.
And here we are, 14 years later as New Orleans recovers from the flooding and disruption of another direct hurricane hit, and grog’s evaluation of his wife’s project is still true. “The evacuation of animals seems trivial given the vast swath of human suffering during a disaster. But all you needed to see in New Orleans was the happiness on the face of just one owner reunited with their pet to understand that this facet of disaster preparedness goes a long way to ease the mental anguish suffered by people pushed to the edge.”
SusanG’s introduction to the rescued stories of August 31, 2007, is another truth that persists, so I copied it and her category labels to introduce our rescues for the week ending Sept. 3, 2021.
“One of the biggest disappointments, over the past six and a half years or so, has been the failure of the Traditional Media to call the
Bush administration Republican Party out on its evasions, half-truths, and downright lies. The prescription for this disease is a strong dose of reality. Tonights’ This week’s dkos diarists serve spoonfuls of sugar to help the nasty medicine go down …
Enjoy and please promote your own favorite
diaries stories in this Open Thread.”
15 Rescued Stories from 1 PM PDT, August 27 to 1 PM PDT, Sept. 3, 2021
Community Spotlight’s mission is to ensure that the best stories from the Daily Kos Community aren’t overlooked. We encourage members who write excellent stories with original views to keep writing by promoting work that isn’t receiving enough attention. We further support a healthy Community by not rescuing topics and specific stories designed to provoke bitter comment battles, although we relish strong arguments presented fairly and backed up by credible sources.
Good news: You don’t have to search to find our rescued stories! The nightly News Roundup, an Open Thread published six days a week at 7:30 PM PDT, includes links to each day’s rescued stories.
Reminder: The numbers in parentheses after each author’s name indicate the year they joined Daily Kos, how many stories they’ve published, and how many we’ve rescued.
Bitter Pills & Emetics
Polls reported in this Rescued to Recommended story show that fewer than 50% of Americans claim to belong to any particular religion. Yet, other polls report that “voters were more likely to elect a businessman, an adulterer, or someone who had never held office, than an atheist.” The author asks, “Why is there this disconnect? Credit conservatives and their genius at branding opponents. In the U.S., atheism is indelibly linked with the ‘godless’ regimes of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. It is associated with unAmericanism, much as Catholicism was until Kennedy’s election.”
“COVID times bring the unexpected and the unwanted. But I never expected to get a good set of deltoids out of them.” So begins Robert’s analogy that uses a broken washing machine to relate the short-thinking behind global supply chain issues and shortages.
The author analyzes the odious Supreme Court non-decision on abortion rights and asserts that Roe still is controlling precedent; this was the denial of an injunction. However, a pending case that will probably go before the court could provide another chance to poke a hole in abortion rights. The real danger is the court’s two-page unsigned decision undermines the basic way that judicial review functions in the country. “It attacks the Court’s own ability to serve as the arbiters of just law.”
Antidotes & Vaccines
RonK explains why the ocean’s kelp forests, the most efficient carbon sink on the planet, are on the decline and the programs underway to protect and restore them. Some of the perpetrators are familiar; some are unexpected. “The magnitude of the loss of kelp forests can not be overstated and is akin to the dramatic disappearance of the Westcoast sea stars that I wrote about previously. It will come as little surprise that the decline of these two nearshore critters are related in some locations.”
Discover where natural gas comes from (“Texas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania”), is going (“30% of Natural Gas in the US goes to industrial purposes where it is burned”), and the consequences of use. “Everything that I talked about in the article on oil also applies to Natural Gas: we need to stop burning it, and quickly. But Natural Gas is harder to get a handle on for a few reasons.”
Using research selected from a forestry journal and the news media, plus a conflicting report from conservation specialists, foresterbob offers his view of wildfires and forest management. “Because of the incredible diversity of situations—urban versus rural, steep ground versus flat, good access versus roadless, dry forest versus moist, plus the wide variety of species and sizes—no single prescription fits every situation.”
This edition in agramante’s year-long project on the science of climate builds on the Part 1 discussion of tectonics. Agramante briefly explains oceanic and continental plate formation, movements, and interactions. “The coasts surrounding the Pacific Ocean are commonly called the “Ring of Fire” because an ocean plate is spreading in both directions and passing underneath the surrounding plates, leading to a roughly circular chain of volcanoes several thousand miles long.”
Like many fairy tales, this one is an allegory, and the “dystopian” aspect mirrors the real-life Texan anti-abortion atrocity. “The King of the Prairie was a vain and cruel man. He spent his time inventing rules that would curb the free will of his subjects. He hoped to become Emperor one day, and thought that bluster, rather than kindness, would help him achieve his goals.” The ending of this tale, however, qualifies it to be in the “antidote” blurb category.
Vitamins & Tonic
In our second Rescued to Recommended story that now has 351 recs, lafosner steps back from the blame-filled self-righteous media headlines to examine Biden’s ending the Afghanistan war within the context of history and the electioneering red meat of Republican calls for impeachment. “Let’s also not forget that no country has ever managed a successful and trouble-free evacuation from any war. Not only has Biden done something with almost miraculous efficiency (once the situation left by Trump was fully examined, understood, and corrected) he did it without a template or a map to guide him.”
In our third “Rescued To Recommended” story this week, the number of recs more than tripled within a couple hours after the rescue and now totals 281. The Hope Springs PAC tests out the Georgia Republican assertion that voter IDs are “not an issue … because anyone can get the required ID at their local county registrar’s office.” But even with significant prior organization, not everyone received theirs because of problems like one county registrar’s office ran out of card stock. “I want to reiterate that this action is a result of the thinking about the consequences of the new Georgia elections law by students at the Historically Black College and University Albany State. They thought of this test and put the troops on the ground in these counties.”
LadyJeand takes readers back to her early teen years and the Nixon era. “I had read about the New Deal, and was beginning to think I was going to be a Democrat when I grew up. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. My family were Republicans. They had been Republicans, as far as I know, for as long as the party had existed. But their party was changing.”
Canada’s election system is tripartisan “with a litany of progressive and regressive parties to keep Canuks on their toes. I like to think of it as a sort of Political Neopolitan, with sprinkles of Bertie Botts Every Flavoured JellyBeans; which, as I am equally certain many of you know, can deliver a delicious surprise at times and a real nasty one at others.” GoinFawr goes on to explain the parties, players, and potential outcomes.
Tranquilizers & Muscle Relaxants
Dawn Chorus: Birdbath season by OceanDiver (2012/721/?)
OceanDiver shares her yard—an exquisite refuge for the birds, for her, and for readers. “Birdbaths are a joy in my life and help out the birds. I figure given how human activity has made life difficult for birds, we should do whatever we can to mitigate it. This is a way to act locally!”
This lovingly researched deep dive into the tribal confederations Tolkien calls “kindreds” and their relationship to the Germanic tribes and the Roman Army is taken from the author’s dissertation on Lord of the Rings. “Tolkien, the philologist, seems to stress the importance of language as a cornerstone to Elvendom and acculturation. In the Roman world, it was likewise especially important in the Romanization process to adopt Latin as the official language.”
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT is dedicated to finding great writing by community members that isn’t getting the visibility it deserves.
An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) to the Recent Community Stories section and to the front page at 9:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT).