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Providence, RI
Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, proprietor of Daily Kos, the most popular liberal blog web site, came to Providence May 22. The famous blogger, who looks like John Cryer, was promoting his book, Crashing the Gate (about how to effect progressive change with the Internet), with coauthor Jerome Armstrong, who hosts MY DD and helped set up Howard Dean's Internet operation that was emulated by Kerry and others. He spoke at the Brown book store, and the Trinity Brew House, attended by almost every top Dem political campaign assistant for the various RI campaigns. Daily Kos Site costs $4000 a month to maintain, about $50K a year to handle 1/2-1 million hits a day.

He slammed Senator Lincoln Chafee on his enabling of the Republican agenda and environmental groups endorsement of him, "They want to destroy everything we stand for. NARAL, NOW, League of Conservation Voters, and Sierra Club pretend that Lincoln Chafee isn't the corrosive influence he is on their interests. He confirms every single one of George Bush's judges, and the ones that he didn't vote to confirm, like Sam Alito, he voted for cloture, so the vote that would matter, he voted the wrong way. He's enabling the judges who are going to make war on progressivism for the next 30 to 50 years on the federal bench.* There is no such thing, in today's landscape, as a moderate Republican, who may be an alright guy. His good votes have all been meaningless, and the one that could have mattered, he voted the wrong way."

Surprisingly, he wasn't that optimistic on the Dem's chances to retake Congress, "Right now the only way we're going to win is if the Republicans keep screwing up enough- so if Hookergate becomes a bigger deal, that's going to help... I'm looking long term. I'm building a movement."

Chafee is opposed by the likeable former AG Sheldon Whitehouse, who most observers give a very good chance of knocking off the ambivalent legacy. Disgust at the Republican war, corruption, malfeasance, and dishonesty is simmering in this most Democratic state (after Hawaii).

Moulitsas's parents were Greek and Salvadoran. The 34 year old lawyer grew up in El Salvador, served in the US Army in Germany in 1989-92, and now lives in Berkeley.

Jerome Armstrong said Kos was a blogger on his site, MyDD, first.

The first major convention of liberal bloggers, Yearly Kos, is taking place in Las Vegas June 8-11, featuring speeches, workshops, and panels by Barbara Boxer, Howard Dean, Harry Reid, Joe Wilson, Ralph Neas, Arianna Huffington, Robert Greenwald, Tom Vilsack, and Mark Warner.

* A federal appeals court sided with the Bush administration Friday on an electronic surveillance issue, making it easier to tap into Internet phone calls and broadband transmissions. On the 3 member court, impeachment plotter David Sentelle, and the venal Janice Rogers Brown.

Michael Hammerschlag's commentary and articles (HAMMERNEWS.com) have appeared in the Seattle Times, Providence Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, Hawaii Advertiser, Capital Times, MediaChannel; and Moscow News, Tribune, Times,  and Guardian. He explored the Cheney shooting, broke the first comprehensive story on media mistakes in the 2000 election, spent 2 years in Russia as the empire collapsed, and has covered 2 Presidential campaigns. In 1998-99 he helped invent blogging in regular reports when the anti-Impeachment org he founded, STOP THE MADNESS, spread from Maui to Dallas to RI to DC, and successfully lobbied 22 Republican Senators.