Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Surprise! DailyKos is All White (and Full of Racists)"

Difference between Markos C.Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga and U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga is the owner of DailyKos. A 2007 post at the Red Alerts blog, was entitled, "Surprise! DailyKos is All White (and Full of Racists)," saying:

Let’s not forget that Kos once banned a Black man after he was called a monkey by some of the “liberal” diarists there.
The Black man who was called "monkey"pointed out that there was a higher percentage of Blacks as delegates at the Republican National Convention (9.5%) than there were Blacks participating at the DailyKos "liberal" blog (2%).

Two years later, nothing has changed at DailyKos., a service that measures site traffic demographics, says that the DailyKos audience is 97% white, 2% Black, and zero percent Latino. Another DailyKos participant argued that "Daily Kos IS NOT THE BASE, never has been..."

When I see these demographics, I ask myself the same thing I ask when I see Woody Allen movies that are filmed in New York, but have no Black or Latino characters and have no Blacks or Latinos in the crowd shots: 'How do they engineer their products to be so utterly all-white in the Democratic Party and the city of New York that are so multicultural?'

The "how" of the reality is debatable, but the reality that DailyKos is a virtually all-white neighborhood is an established fact. And this is so in spite of the fact that

(a) MAMZ's supporters defend him and DailyKos, arguing that MAMZ himself is half-Salvadoran, and therefore cannot be averse to diversity,

(b) because -- contrary to that argument -- MAMZ published an article in which he directly addressed the topic of his own ethnicity; disavowed his Latino roots; and declared himself to be a white man who is not subject to discrimination and therefore need not worry about discrimination. In the article, MAMZ said,
And as I left the ugly reality of racism behind, it struck me that what was such an easy and trivial exercise for me would be impossible for anyone whose skin color or religious persuassion (sic) made them the target of bigotry and discrimination. They would never be able to escape who they were. (Emphasis added.) Markos Moulitsas, Northern Star, Northern Illinois University student newspaper, September 2,1993.
As MAMZ sees it, there is nothing about his background that would compel or incline him toward including Blacks or Latinos at his blog. The statistics show that his blog demographics closely track his personal aversion to minority (and females') issues.

There is a simpler reason why DailyKos is all-white: Blacks simply do not like being called "monkeys", and those who oppose such color-aroused antagonism at DailyKos, such as the Black man referred to in the Red Alerts article, are systematically excluded from participation there.

At least DailyKos is a safe environment for white male gays, right? Not quite. Look at this letter that MAMZ wrote expressing his morbid fear of gay men looking at his "underpants" and arguing strenuously against ALL gay participation in the US military: Read the letter.

Since DailyKos was founded in 2002, while its owner was in training at the CIA, (listen to the public speech in which he says so) the owner's opinion has been that Democrats can win if they simply silence the voices and group-specific advocacy of their various constituencies, like Blacks, Latinos, gays, and women. In other words, the Democrats can win if they just silence the advocacy of the majority of the constituencies who make up the Democratic Party. Ironically, that's just what Rush Limbaugh would like to do as well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Interest in Moulitsas' Sexuality Increasing

Difference between Markos C.Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga and U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga's histrionic challenge to Tom Tancredo over the ex-US representative's lack of a military career has focused the public's interest on the nonexistent combat career of MAMZ himself, and also focuses military people on their doubts about MAMZ sexuality.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Interest in MAMZ's Peculiar Background Increases with His Public Histrionics

Difference between Markos C.Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga and U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga's histrionic challenge to Tom Tancredo over the ex-US representative's lack of a military career has focused the public's interest on the nonexistent combat career of MAMZ himself, and also focuses military people on their doubts about MAMZ sexuality.

The Truth About Kos Site Meter tells me that:
  1. There is fresh interest in the often mistaken belief that Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (MAMZ) served in the Gulf War, as he has often led others to believe, because he creates intentional ambiguity over his service, even though he certainly did not serve in the Gulf War, by his own admission.
  2. There is fresh interest in the ecological harm that the Moulitsas Zúñiga "family business" is doing to the Jaltepeque Estuary in El Salvador, and
  3. There is continuing and consistent public interest in knowing whether Markos Moulitsas is gay or not.
  4. In general, based on MAMZ's own statements, there is a near-complete public certainty that MAMZ trained and worked at the CIA for two years, and he has done nothing to dispel this belief that results from accepting his own assertions to the facts of how he spent his time between 2001 and 2003.
  5. Almost seven thousand people per year seek to learn the truth about Kos by accessing The Truth About Kos Blog, with almost 13,000 page views.
  6. The media has not printed the homophobic CIA, right-wing Salvadoran oligarchy truth about Kos, and his family, because if the national corporate media were doing its job, then the public would not have to resort to this blog and thousands of other blogs by members of the general public to learn what the Washington Post should have but has not revealed about MAMZ between 2003 and 2009.
I'm not going to doubt the validity of the substantive interest in Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga's (MAMZ's) sexuality, because MAMZ put that issue into play when he wrote a letter to a university publication in which letter he vehemently opposed ALL gay service in the US military, whether open and obvious or closeted. In the letter, he took a more conservative position that even most Congresspeople who were fighting Bill Clinton's efforts to open the military to openly gay service. People want to know if MAMZ is a hypocrite, and I think they have a right to know that about a person who proposes to change the nature of the Democratic Party, based on the success of his blog, which is 97% white, 2% Black and 0% Latino.

That's a kind of success that many Democratic Party members legitimately find dubious (and even shocking), while the Klu Klux Klan would probably consider it to be a stunning achievement of blog apartheid in a party that has 20% Black delegates to its national conventions. If Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga is the future of the Democratic Party then apartheid-like bantustans may be the future of Blacks in America. If it were as hard to be Black in the Democratic Party as it is to be Black at DailyKos, then John McCain would have won the 2008 presidential election in a walk.

Meanwhile, is there any evidence that MAMZ is definitely gay? I haven't seen that evidence yet, and I wouldn't be surprised if even he doesn't know for sure, after reading his letter about his personal reactions to gay people and underpants.

One study showed (PDF) that those men who express the most homophobic and punitive attitudes toward gays are also those who show the most penis engorgement when they view movies of men engaging in homosexual sex acts. In other words, the more vehemently men attack homosexuals in public, the more they are likely to show physiological signs of homosexuality when this is measured empirically in scientific laboratories.

Perhaps particularly because MAMZ's letter expressed such personal fear of gays looking at his "underpants", the public believes that MAMZ "doth protest too much." In addition, MAMZ's recent attacks on ex-Congressman Tancredo, for failing to serve in the Armed Forces while MAMZ did, are causing people too wonder what MAMZ did in the service (he served in Bamburg, Germany while others were dying and risking their lives in Iraq) and they want to know, based on what they see of MAMZ on television, whether his effeminate behavior is grounded in homosexuality.

I think that the more MAMZ tries to use his military service as a supposed attribute on his long march on what he has admitted is an ambition for public office, the more servicepeople are going to scrutinize MAMZ's military record, because they have a hard time imagining him risking his life in combat.

When they come to this blog to find out what MAMZ actually did in the Service, they discover that he had no service whatsoever in the Gulf War. And then those who actually did engage in fighting feel insulted that MAMZ pretends to have been a warrior during the Gulf War when he quietly admits that he was merely in the Army simultaneous with the Gulf War, but never in Iraq -- only in Bamburg, Germany -- and not participating in hostile activities of any kind.

And yet, the claim, the self-serving falsehood, that MAMZ was in the Persian Gulf war pops up repeatedly and his many minions to nothing to correct the record, e.g:
  • Build a liberal site such as Daily Kos, as the Persian Gulf War veteran and former Republican Markos "Kos" Moulitsas Zuniga did five years ago, and bloggers either join the discussion or not. Washington Post; ; Sailor's iSteve Blog (quoting the WaPost).
The ambiguity about where he served serves MAMZ just fine, and so he is intentionally unclear about it, mentioning the Gulf War in discussions with journalists while never contacting them to clear up the impression they (and the public) have taken about the fact that he was in Bamburg, Germany when the Gulf War was being fought thousands of miles away.

I predict that it will be difficult for MAMZ to win elective office because:
  • He has lied about his family, claiming that they were poor and humble when they were actually wealthy and influential in right-wing Salvadoran oligarchy circles.
  • He has dissembled about his military service, asserting that he was in the military during the Gulf War, and so he would be opposed by those who actually fought in foreign wars.
  • He seems effeminate to many people, but has potentially shown enormous hypocrisy and cowardice by writing against ALL gay service in the military.
  • He claims to have trained at the CIA for two years, but then to have decided not to be a secret agent, thus wasting the Government's training (unless he is working for them at the present), or inventing the whole story, in which case he is a careless and pathological liar whose future will be full of revelations that will embarrass his supporters. Can anyone say, "Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards" and "Senator Larry Craig"?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"U.S. strikes kill exactly "30" all the time in the news!," Claims BigDanBlogger (hereinafter "BDB") offers a long list of successful US Government CIA and military efforts to mold and misguide US and world public opinion. Among his list of links are two that lead back to "Truth About Kos."
  1. More on the Daily Kos-CIA Connection
  2. Markos Alberto Moulitas ZÚÑIGA "Worked" at the CIA in 2001

In addition, BDB asserts that the US military constantly announces that they have killed precisely "thirty militants" overseas, and the US media dutifully reports this nonsense. I haven't reviewed all of BDB's links to see the pattern for myself, but there are a couple of historic forces acting here:
  1. On the one hand, the military learned in Vietnam that constantly reporting the number of Viet Cong killed lent itself to exaggeration and proved to have no relationship to any success or failure the US was encountering in the war effort.
  2. At the same time, with US and allied troops dying daily, the media and the Government feel the need to assert that the US Government is at least giving as hard as it gets. And so once again we have numbers of dead that cannot possibly be accurate, if only because the US knows that it doesn't know precisely how many people are in the compounds its drones are bombing, and the US doesn't know how many of these are, get this, "the enemy" and how many are just little children trying to grow but without being torn to bits by shrapnel.
Would somebody please take a look at BDB and tell me whether the US is really formulaicly announcing in press releases that "thirty were killed," simply because thirty sounds like a large number, but not so large that anyone would expect it to have any appreciable effect on the war?

Among the additional propaganda efforts of the US Government, BDB points to RawStory article that says:

whitman Senior official in Bush domestic propaganda program remains Obamas Pentagon spokesmanRawStory

A key senior figure in a Bush administration covert Pentagon program, which used retired military analysts to produce positive wartime news coverage, remains in the same position today as a chief Obama Defense Department spokesman and the agency’s head of all media operations.

In an examination of Pentagon documents the New York Times obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request -- which reporter David Barstow leveraged for his April 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé on the program – Raw Story has found that Bryan Whitman surfaces in over 500 emails and transcripts, revealing the deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations was both one of the program’s senior participants and an active member.

As I read all of this, I ask myself, what is the difference between the Pentagon putting retired military officers on news shows to tell the Pentagon fairy tales about Iraq, on the one hand, and Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga, spending four years in the US Army, ostensibly ending his contract there, and then moving on to a two-year training and work program at the CIA, after which he starts a blog whose purpose is to "inform" the public?

Isn't it all a matter of military people serving the US Armed Forces in uniform and then wearing those same uniforms as they tell the public what to think about wars overseas.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another Self-Serving MAMZ Biography Has Obvious Holes

Difference between Markos C.Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga and U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

The following is a pseudo-biography of Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga that I encountered today at Today's Profile.

Atty. Francis L. Holland says, "Since this biography does not mention that MAMZ told an audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on June 2, 2006 that he had spent two years training with the CIA between 2001 and 2003, while he was starting DailyKos, I would not rely on or believe any assertion made in the biography below without independently verifying the facts first."

Did MAMZ really train at the CIA? If he did then, in the minds of many true leftists, he is per se unreliable as a member of the Left, much less as a leader of the Left. If he did not trained for two years at the CIA as he contended he had in a public interview on June 2, 2006, then he must be a pathological liar and sociopath who can tell the most outrageous lies in public and then feel no subsequent need to tell the public what the truth is.

Since MAMZ has had over two years to disavow his statements at the Commonwealth Club, and over a million blog posts and other online discussions have addressed these statements, mostly drawing negative conclusions, I think we have to assume that the statements are true until MAMZ disavows them. The corollary is that if we assume that MAMZ's statements were false, then we have to conclude that anybody who would lie about two years' training at the CIA would lie about just about anything.

My experience with these biographies of MAMZ that are based on interviews with him is that he tells a lot of tales that make no sense and/or are easily disproved with some Google research.

Based on my experience editing the Truth About Kos blog, there is a strong likelihood that research into the information below will turn up fatal inconsistencies, unverifiable assertions, and will be found to lack significant information. Surely, there are important facts missing and what "facts" there are, particularly about his advocacy for Latinos in Boston, deserve to be independently verified or refuted.

In fact, I challenge readers to try to independently verify or refute any detail below, and report the facts that you uncover -- with sources -- in the comments.

Biography Reference BankMoulitsas Zuniga, Markos

Moulitsas Zuniga, Markos
Sep. 11, 1971- Blogger; social activist; writer

2007 Biograph from Current Biography

For four days in June 2006, a group of highly important figures in the Democratic Party gathered at a convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, to meet with a group of their most influential constituents. Harry Reid, then the U.S. Senate minority leader, and Mark Warner, a former governor of Virginia and potential presidential candidate, were the first to confirm their presence on the list of attendees, and other big names soon followed. General Wesley Clark, a former--and possibly future--presidential candidate, Iowa governor and potential presidential candidate Tom Vilsack, U.S. senator Barbara Boxer of California, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and Howard Dean, a former presidential candidate and currently the Democratic National Committee chairman, were all in attendance.

The politicians had not come to meet with a labor union, environmental group, or other traditionally influential segment of voters. They were in Las Vegas to meet 900 left-wing bloggers, all of whom had descended on the city at the urging of one man, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the creator of the most widely read political blog in the country, Daily Kos.

Currently boasting up to 600,000 Internet visits per day, Daily Kos is at the forefront of a movement to reorganize the Democratic Party, and politics in general, by moving a measure of power away from the seat of national government, in Washington, D.C., and spreading it across the country through the Web. "The whole phenomenon has overturned the traditional understanding of how groups organize themselves to affect politicians," Ryan Lizza wrote for the New Republic (June 26, 2006).

As the de facto leader of this phenomenon, christened the "netroots movement," Moulitsas has risen to a position of enormous political influence in just a few years--using only a computer. In its current form, Daily Kos, an interactive Web site, allows anyone with Internet access to post a "diary" on the site; readers rate the diaries, and those with the highest recommendations appear most prominently. Daily Kos bloggers who support particular politicians can reach up to 600,000 people per day with their endorsements, making it worth the Democrats' while to put in personal appearances at conventions such as the one in Las Vegas.

While other left-wing political blogs also hold sway, Daily Kos is by far the most influential in the netroots movement. "I don't have any illusions that I'm a great writer," Moulitsas said to Current Biography, explaining his success. "The skill that I do have is being able to organize communities, and that's why Daily Kos has crushed any other political blog out there."
Blogs--short for "Web logs"--are a relatively new medium.

The veteran journalist Mickey Kaus is widely credited with inventing the blog in 1999, when he began a political diary posted on the on-line magazine Slate. The form soon took off, with people creating blogs on topics from politics to home improvement to motherhood. Blogs and bloggers are part of a culture separate from journalism or other forms of more traditional media: the language is more casual, the effects are more immediate, and, most importantly in the political realm, the blogger is not expected to conform to standards of objectivity.

As a leader in that increasingly influential field, Moulitsas has gained legions of followers as well as his share of critics. He is known for a polarizing personality that has made him a multitude of enemies among both Republicans and the mainstream media. In an article for the New York Times (September 26, 2004), Matthew Klam described Moulitsas as "cruel and superior," and while Benjamin Wallace-Wells noted in the Washington Monthly (January-February 2006) that Moulitsas is "extremely smart," he also went on to call the blogger "intense and high-strung" as well as "irascible, self-contradictory, often petty, always difficult."

Those within the blog world itself, however, tend to speak favorably of Moulitsas. "Kos is the platonic ideal of a blogger; he posts all the time, he interacts with his readers," Ana Marie Cox, formerly a political blogger, told Klam. Alex S. Jones, director of Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, expressed a theory about the level of examination now leveled at Moulitsas, one that has little to do with his personality and everything to do with the revolutionary changes in blogging over the past couple of years.

"The blogosphere has always been mainly about scrutinizing everybody else and expressing violent opinions about them," Jones told Michael Grynbaum for the Boston Globe (July 6, 2006). "Kos is a very powerful blog, so in that sense it's taken on the vulnerability of one of the [political] leaders."

Markos Moulitsas Zuniga was born September 11, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, to Markos Moulitsas, an ethnic Greek, and Maria Zuniga, who came from El Salvador. (In keeping with Spanish custom, his first name is followed by his father's surname--by which Moulitsas is known--and then his mother's surname.) His father was a furniture salesman, his mother a secretary. Moulitsas has a younger brother, Alexander, who is a graphic designer.

In 1975, the year Alexander was born, the family moved to El Salvador during that country's brutal civil war, in which anti-Communist government forces had the backing of the United States. Living in an environment where gunshots and explosions were everyday occurrences deeply affected Moulitsas's views on war--and on recent U.S. policy regarding armed conflict.

In the U.S., "war is a video game," he told Kara Platoni for the East Bay Express (December 15, 2004). "I've seen firsthand the ravages of war and the hatred, and just the notion that politics can be a life or death issue." In 1980, when Moulitsas was nine years old, his parents received an envelope containing photographs of him and his brother boarding a bus to school, a threatening gesture from the rebel troops who wanted to use the Moulitsases' house as headquarters. The family left El Salvador soon afterward and returned to the Chicago area, this time to Schaumburg, a suburb of the city.

After nine years of speaking mostly Spanish, and five years in a war-torn country, Moulitsas found the transition to life in the U.S. to be difficult. For the first two years after his family's return, Moulitsas attended a bilingual program at Schaumburg Elementary School. In fourth grade he switched to an all-English curriculum at another school, Thomas Dooley.

He described his time there--and, subsequently, at Robert Frost Junior High School and Schaumburg High School--to Current Biography: "What was tough for me, of course, was I had the funny accent, and I looked younger [than] my age." Those years, he added, were "pretty miserable." While in high school Moulitsas began taking piano lessons; playing the piano became a passion that provided an escape from the challenges of school and led him to consider a career as a professional musician. His ambitions were not limited to music, though. "I wanted to be everything when I grew up," he told Current Biography. "I wanted to be president of the United States."

In 1989, when he was 17 years old and weighed 118 pounds, Moulitsas joined the U.S. Army, an experience he has cited as the turning point in his life. "I would not be the person I am today without my military service," he told Tim Russert in an interview for CNBC News (June 3, 2006, on-line). "I'm extremely proud of it." He said to Platoni, "It was the Army, basically, that gave me the cocky arrogance I carry these days."

For Moulitsas, who came from a lower-middle-class family, entering the military seemed a good way to obtain a college education. In addition, Moulitsas, who planned to run for elective office in the future, felt that military service would benefit him in the long term. [Emphasis added.]

Francis L. Holland says, "I have always suspected and said that MAMZ was preparing to run for elective office. This idea was ridiculed at DailyKos, but MAMZ seems to have confirmed my suspicion in this interview with H.W. Wilson."

"I thought if I was ever in a position to send people to war, it would be hypocritical for me to do so if I myself had not served in the army," he told Current Biography. During basic training in Oklahoma, Moulitsas managed--despite his considerably smaller build--to finish with the lead group in a grueling, 16-mile road march, the first in a series of confidence-building experiences he underwent in the army. He spent most of his service as a fire-direction specialist for a missile unit in the small town of Bamburg, Germany.

After the Persian Gulf War of 1991 was launched, Moulitsas's unit was scheduled to be deployed to Saudi Arabia. The war ended, however, before they could be called into action. Moulitsas returned to the U.S. with a newfound confidence, the nickname "Kos," and, perhaps most importantly, a radically altered set of political beliefs. When Moulitsas entered the army, he had been a fervent Republican, largely because of the Republican president Ronald Reagan's support for the Salvadoran government.

"I didn't know any better," he told Current Biography. But the communal nature of his experiences in the army made him think differently about what he described as the Republicans' "selfish" approach to government. In 1992, while still casting a vote for the Republican candidate--George H. W. Bush that year--in the presidential race, he voted for Democrats in many statewide races.

"It was hard for me to make a transition because I spent all my formative years as a Republican, and a pretty hardcore one," he told Current Biography. "It's always difficult when you believe in something so long, to admit to yourself that you were wrong." By 1996, however, Moulitsas had become what he called a "straight ticket Democrat," completely embracing a liberal agenda.

Upon his return to the U.S., in 1992, Moulitsas enrolled at Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, where he planned to major in music, with the hope of making a living composing film scores. His focus changed after he read a negative column about Mexican-American students in the school newspaper, the Northern Star. Moulitsas felt the need to write a column of his own in response; a few semesters later, he not only had a regular column but was also the editor in chief of the paper, while also freelancing for the Chicago Tribune.
Francis L. Holland says, "I can't find any evidence in the archives of the Northern Star student newspaper that MAMZ ever did write and publish a letter, column or article "of his own in response" to an article attacking Mexican Americans. If anyone can find this article in the archives of the Northern Star, I would be very much interested in reading it."

Of course there is a difference between asserting that he "
felt the need to write a column of his own in response" and saying that he actually did write such a column. I can't find the column so I ask readers to search Northern Illinois University's Northern Star students newspaper archives and see if there is any record of any such article, or any record that Moulitsas ever used his position as editor of the student newspaper to advocate for Latinos.

He seems to have written a column about "racism" on campus and then publicly disavowed any real interest in the topic in an article that ran shortly afterward.
Under his direction, the Northern Star became one of the first college newspapers to be posted on the Internet, in 1995, in the very earliest days of the Web.

"It's always been a point of pride of mine, that I'm always on the cutting edge of technology everywhere I go," he told Current Biography. He dropped his music major and graduated in 1996 with two degrees--one in philosophy, the other in political science and journalism. Also in 1996, several years before the term "blog" was coined, Moulitsas started the Hispanic-Latino News Service, a Web site to which he devoted three hours each day, sifting through and uploading news stories from around the U.S. and entering all the programming code manually.
Francis L. Holland says, "This is very curious. I read everything I could find on the Internet about MAMZ leading up to the August 19, 2007 publication of " The Indictment of Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA by Justice and History (Updated with Additional Information and Counts). Although the above finds corroboration in a 1999 document by "Susan A. Vega Garcia" of Bowdoin College, I simply have no recollection of this document being available on the Internet in 2007. I wonder why it is available now?
During that period he also served as a quality-assurance tester for a number of software firms, work that helped him remain afloat financially and stay abreast of the continuing innovations in computer technology.

After completing his law degree, in 1999, Moulitsas was offered a job by the Latino Web site and moved to San Francisco, California, in the midst of the "dot-com" boom, to join the new company. PicoSito soon went out of business, but Moulitsas managed to get a job at a Web-development company across the hall. His work there allowed him to stay aware of the latest technology. He has also credited the company with teaching him how to create a distinct product brand, one of Daily Kos's greatest strengths.
The 2002 midterm elections, in which Republicans expanded their control of the House of Representatives and regained control of the Senate, were demoralizing for the Democratic Party and for Democratic supporters including Moulitsas. Moulitsas had been reading and occasionally posting entries on the political blog, founded in 2001. ("MDD"originally stood for "My Due Diligence"; the site was renamed "My Direct Democracy" in 2006.) Inspired by and its founder, Jerome Armstrong, in 2002 Moulitsas created his own blog, calling it Daily Kos, after his army nickname. "When I started, I had no illusions that anyone would ever read it," he recalled to Current Biography, explaining that he created the blog as simply a means of venting his feelings about the election results and the state of the Democratic Party. The blog immediately began attracting a readership that extended beyond his family and friends, the only people Moulitsas had expected to be interested in it.

Soon after Daily Kos's launch, Joe Trippi, the campaign manager for the 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, recruited Moulitsas and Armstrong as technology advisers to the Dean campaign. The pair formed a consulting firm, Armstrong-Zuniga, suggesting such then-radical ideas as using Web sites for fund-raising and enlisting the activist site to organize Dean supporters in their respective locales. Armstrong stopped blogging for the duration of the campaign, moving to Dean's headquarters in Burlington, Vermont.

Moulitsas continued blogging, disclosing his work as a consultant to Dean on Daily Kos the day after the deal was made. He would be criticized often for endorsing Dean while receiving a salary from the campaign, but ultimately, because of his full disclosure, his reputation did not suffer serious damage. Dean dropped out of the race on February 18, 2004; John Kerry later became the Democratic presidential nominee.

As the 2004 election drew closer, Daily Kos grew more and more popular, and Moulitsas's passionate, often harshly worded postings came under greater scrutiny. In April 2004 Moulitsas posted a controversial statement about the killings of four private military contractors in Fallujah, Iraq. He wrote, "I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them." The immediate reaction to his posting was decidedly negative, with Kerry's official Web site removing its link to Daily Kos. Moulitsas later apologized, explaining that he was angry that the contractors' deaths had received much more media attention than the deaths of five marines on the same day. Still, he was not wholly repentant, defending his actions to Martin Bashir for ABC's Nightline (July 24, 2006, on-line). "The blogs are a raw, emotional medium . . . ," he said. "They're not measured conversation. They're not edited. They're raw."

Whether despite or because of that episode, readership of Daily Kos continued to grow. Moulitsas used the site's increasing popularity to start a fund-raising campaign for 15 Democratic candidates for various offices around the country, those he had identified as being most in need of funding in the 2004 elections. Readers donated approximately $500,000 to Moulitsas's picks, often giving money to candidates who were not even running for office in the donors' home states. All 15 candidates lost their races, much to the delight of Moulitsas's growing number of critics.

Moulitsas, however, said that he still considered the effort a success, as he and his readers had forced several incumbent Republican candidates to spend their time and money campaigning for their previously safe seats, instead of traveling the country to stump for other candidates. The Daily Kos's fund-raising campaign also was one of the earliest examples of a movement christened "netroots," driven by an increasingly recognized group of on-line Democratic activists. By rallying his readers around specific candidates, Moulitsas nationalized what would have been, in many cases, races of purely local interest.

With the Democrats' widespread defeat in 2004, most notably Kerry's loss to the incumbent George W. Bush, Moulitsas furthered his efforts to mobilize the party. He and Armstrong wrote a book, published in 2006 as Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics. "This book was really written for those of us--and there's a lot of us--who really thought John Kerry was going to win the election . . . ," Moulitsas told Russert. "When election night came and went, we lost the election, we decided to set out and find out why we lost and what we could do to change that in the future."

The "gate" of the title refers to Washington, D.C., and what Armstrong and Moulitsas see as the insularity of national politics--a quality they believe can be eliminated, at least partially, through the Internet. "What we're saying is that people now are empowered by technology to take an active role in their government, take an active role in the media and not let D.C. dictate what happens and what doesn't happen in this country anymore," he told Russert.

In an assessment for the New York Times Book Review (March 26, 2006), Peter Beinart called the book "persuasive" and an "insightful guide to how the Democratic Party can retake power." Lee Drutman similarly praised the book in the Los Angeles Times (May 30, 2006). "Crashing the Gate is brash and infuriating, as it should be . . . ," she wrote. "It commands attention."

Moulitsas commanded even more attention through the convention he organized in June of that year. Dubbed "Yearly Kos," the conference drew more than 1,000 attendees: 900 bloggers (calling themselves "Kossacks"), 100 reporters covering the conference, and a dozen politicians trying to win the bloggers' support. Widely heralded in news reports as a turning point for the netroots movement, the conference demonstrated a new level of power and influence on the part of the bloggers. As Ronald Brownstein observed in the Los Angeles Times (June 11, 2006), the Yearly Kos "may have marked a milestone in the evolution of the online liberal community from scruffy insurgents to an institutionalized force within the Democratic Party."

Lizza viewed the scene differently, noting the $50,000 party thrown by former governor Warner, the open-bar party at the Hard Rock Casino hosted by General Clark, and the breakfast function organized by Governor Richardson. "Las Vegas could be the beginning of a new era of blogger influence and authority," Lizza wrote. "Or it might just be the weekend they all sold out."

For his part, Moulitsas assured the bloggers that they still represented a movement separate from the political establishment. In his keynote address at the convention, he asserted the need for bloggers and other ordinary citizens to take action. "The media elite has failed us; the political elite, both parties, has failed us--Republicans have failed us because they can't govern; Democrats have failed us because they can't get elected. So now it's our turn," he said, as quoted by Brownstein. "We have arrived," he added, as quoted by the National Review (July 5, 2006). "There's no doubt we're turning the political world upside down."

Indeed, the netroots movement wielded considerably more power in the 2006 mid-term elections than it had only two years earlier. Moulitsas's endorsement on Daily Kos was a major factor in Ned Lamont's primary victory over the incumbent Democratic U.S. senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. (Lieberman went on to run as an Independent and defeat Lamont in the general election, thanks to the large numbers of Republicans who voted for him.) As in the 2004 elections, Moulitsas picked a roster of candidates to support on-line. This time, a number of them--most notably the U.S. Senate candidates Jon Tester of Montana and Jim Webb of Virginia--won, helping to give control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives to the Democrats for the first time in 12 years.

Regarding those results, Moulitsas told Current Biography, "I'm focused, really, on building a long-term movement. So I don't get too disappointed about losing . . . and I don't get too excited about winning." He said that he is looking ahead to the elections of 2016, the year he predicts the Democrats will be competitive with the Republicans in terms of party infrastructure.
Along with the increased influence and popularity of his site has come an increased scrutiny of Moulitsas himself. Although he fully disclosed his work for Dean, Moulitsas consulted in 2004 for a number of other political candidates whose names he refused to reveal, leading many news outlets to speculate that he was being paid to endorse certain candidates on his blog. "While the Daily Kos is a community site, it is hardly a democracy," Brian Reich wrote for the Web site Personal Democracy Forum, as quoted by Platoni. "Make no mistake, it is Kos' world, and his readers are all just playing into it." Others continue to criticize Moulitsas for the tone of his blog. "The liberal blogosphere are a group of people who feel incredibly disenfranchised," Franklin Foer, the editor of the New Republic, told Grynbaum. "They feel their country's been hijacked and they're essentially powerless and the only way to stop it is to scream as loudly as you can." Moulitsas is not particularly bothered by his critics. "Clearly, I make a living throwing stones, so I'm going to take some incoming," he told Current Biography. He also sees little need to defend himself against criticism of his use of Daily Kos to endorse candidates. "My site is my site," he told Platoni. "You can start your own site. That's the whole point: Anybody can do this."
Moulitsas is currently at work on his second book, tentatively titled "The Libertarian Democrat."

He is also working on a redesign of the Daily Kos site that would allow for considerably more traffic; that project is slated for completion in 2008. In 2004 Daily Kos launched, an encyclopedia of more than 7,000 political articles written and compiled by members of the Daily Kos community. In January 2005 Moulitsas began to post SB Nation, a network of sports blogs. Both and SB Nation are active and expanding.

Moulitsas lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Elisa Batista, a former reporter for Wired News, and their son, Aristotle, who is three years old, and daughter, Elisa, born in April 2007. In 2003 Moulitsas devoted an additional blog,, to the travails of fatherhood, and Batista now contributes to, a blog about parenting.


Suggested Reading: Newsweek p34+ July 3, 2006; New York Review of Books (on-line) Apr. 27, 2006; New York Times IV p12 June 25, 2006; San Francisco Chronicle A p1+ Apr. 5, 2006; Washington Monthly p18+ Jan./Feb. 2006

Copyright (c) by The H. W. Wilson Company. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is MAMZ One of US Governments Hundreds of Thousands of Bloggers?

Hat Tip to Socrates.

Why should we distrust Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga, the man who started his "leftist" blog while he was working for the right-wing servant called the George W. Bush CIA? David Meerman Scott over at Web Ink Now supplies a powerful reason: The US Air Force alone employs 330,000 bloggers whose job is to visit websites,

truth about kos,Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Z��IGA,MAMZ,dailykos,Francis L. Holland,CIA,Air Force

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

97% White "Daily Kos IS NOT THE BASE, never has been..."

cia,Marcos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga,Markos Moulitsas,DailyKos,whiteosphere,whitosphere,Francis L. Holland,Truth About Kos,DK demographics,all-white,white supremacist group,blog apartheid,Democratic Party

DailyKos: 97% White

I saw this enlightening comment over at DailyKos today (intelligent poster, but he'll undoubtedly be banned soon), and I think posting his/her comment here is the best way to acknowledge his/her bravery there, over at DailyKos, where censorship is a de facto part of the blog's mission statement:

Daily Kos IS NOT THE BASE, never has been... (0+ / 0-)

...and the last two days around here is demonstrating why it will likely never become that in the near future.

Here is some data I continue to post because I think we need to see who is who on DK and just how unrepresentative of "the base" it is in reality. Of course there have been other examinations done that back also reached the same conclusion.

The netroots and the grassroots are not the same thing. They share overlapping goals, but there is a huge difference in those who tap keyboards, and those who knock on doors.

The netroots simply must become more diverse in terms of race, class, education, and more before it can seriously claim to be "the base".

Arte the netroots a part of the base, absolutely, but is it "the base", no it is not unless one is very inclusive as to what constitutes part of the netroots.

Another key distinction here is that the grassroots is thinking about winning the next election cycle, while the netroots continues to have loud voices cheerleading self-marginalization. The idea that the country is left to Republicans and more wounds are inflicted upon the poor, the working and middle classes (which again aren't well represented on DK or the popular netroot blogs), then there will be a massive outcry and turn to the Left is a continuing netroots fantasy.

Progressives can only become the dominate governing force if we continue to show up. The price for that dominance is voting through your disappointments. If you are not willing to pay that price, as conservatives have for the last 40 years, then you aren't serious about governing, and the Progressive movement, isn't a movement at all, much less "the base".

"Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

by sebastianguy99 on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 12:24:18 PM PST

A couple of years ago, just before I was banned from participation at DailyKos, I pointed out in an article at DailyKos that there was a larger percentage of Black delegates to the Republican Party Convention than there were Black participants at DailyKos. With only two percent Blacks, I have had to ask myself, "Is DailyKos A White Supremacist Group"?

Since then, the contrast has become even more shocking. The Democratic Party has a Black President and the Republican Party has a Black national chairman, but nothing has changed at DailyKos. The blog still has only 2% Black participation and has dipped to ZERO percent Latino participation, as the data shows above.

Difference between Markos C.Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga and U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

Those who defend MAMZ from assertions that he is callous toward Latinos and Hispanic issues should take note of this data: 1/2 Salvadoran blogger MAMZ cannot attract a statistically visible number of Latinos to his blog, from anywhere in Latin America, even though his wife is Cuban. Maybe it's because of what MAMZ has called his "detached selfishness" toward Latinos:
And as I left the ugly reality of racism behind, it struck me that what was such an easy and trivial exercise for me would be impossible for anyone whose skin color or religious persuassion (sic) made them the target of bigotry and discrimination. They would never be able to escape who they were. "Student opinion: Escape will only breed ignorance" , Markos Moulitsas, Northern Star, Northern Illinois University student newspaper, September 2,1993.
I would only add this to Sebastianguy99's observations: DailyKos' administration is not "leftist", is not "liberal" and is not "progressive". The owner of DailyKos, Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga, (MAMZ)*
  • comes from a Salvadoran oligarchy family;
  • his family has received a one million dollar loan guarantee from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for globalization efforts;
  • MAMZ himself admits that he supported Ronald Reagan even as MAMZ was a (Hitlerian?) youth;
  • MAMZ was a precinct worker for anti-abortion Republican Congressman Henry Hyde, who led the Clinton impeachment hearings in the US House;
  • MAMZ opposed ALL gay service in the US military;
  • MAMZ served in the US Armed Forces (very progressive thing to do)
  • And then MAMZ trained and worked at US CIA offices in Washington for two years;
  • Now he operates a virtually all-white blog where men outnumber women by a ratio of 2:1.
If this is what it means to be a "leftist" "liberal" "progressive", then we really are up the creek without a paddle. It's hard to define exactly what MAMZ and his blog are, but it's easy to perceive what they ARE NOT! MAMZ wants to "crash the gates" of the Democratic Party and remake the party in his own image. If his personal history, family history and current activities, and the management of his blog are any indication (and they are) of MAMZ values, then the Democratic Party is better of without being "crashed" by Markos Moulitsas.

If the Democratic Party had the atrociously, overwhelmingly white male demographics of DailyKos, the President Obama could never have been elected, we would not have a Democratic Congress, and John McCain would be president right now.

* Find citations and links for all of the above facts in the right sidebar.