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     Yeah, me too. I spend a lot of time at Daily Kos, can't seem to stop. This diary is my contribution to the Official War on Christmas Fundraiser. Click through and I'll tell you what keeps me here. Maybe I can nudge you to subscribe, buy a gift subscription or just donate.

News

      No doubt about it, Daily Kos is far and away the best place to get news and analysis. It's crowd-sourced, thousands of like-minded people reading newspapers, magazines and blog posts and linking you to items that they think are important. When I fire up the machine in the morning, I look first at the front page of the New York Times to see what will dominate that day's MSM. I rarely read any of their articles. There's a local blog I check, maybe Charles Pierce at Esquire, maybe HuffPo if I feel the need to check on Miley or Kim or some anorexic Princess, but then it's on to our site where I know I'll find links to more sources than I could ever check on my own. Is Krugman good this morning ? I don't bother opening it because I know that if it's worth reading at all somebody at DKos will link to it. Did a political figure say something stupid or, more rarely, intelligent on TV ? Someone will point me to it. Foreign sources, obscure blogs and small-town dailies; if it's good, if it's relevant, somebody will link it.

      Then there's the original content. The front page of Daily Kos is a go to source all by itself. Our front-pagers are smart, funny and well-informed. DKos would be worth a read even if there were no recent list. But there is a recent list. This is the part that amazed me when I first signed up, and I'm not easily amazed. High-profile liberals like Michael Moore, Leo Gerard and Alan Grayson post here. There's an Indian anthropologist posting an unending stream of interesting stuff about Native American history. Just recently a guy from England showed up posting diaries about obscure English aircraft. How cool is that ? I've gotten countless book titles and new recipes here. For someone like me, who loves learning new things, Daily Kos is a treasure.

Community

      Community is born in the the comment threads. I don't want to get into what they call "meta", but I will say this, There is nothing like a DKos comment thread. Kossacks are just so passionate, and so smart. I warn people not to say anything in a comment that they aren't absolutely certain of because whatever they're commenting on, somebody out there has a Ph.D. in it. (I used to think this was an exaggeration 'til it actually happened to me.) So you comment, maybe argue a bit and eventually you start to recognize usernames and you begin to "know" people, you begin to form a virtual community. This is a good thing, I suppose, as far as it goes, but now we've got local groups and this is the really cool part.

      I live in a red state. My town is purple, but still, there is much redness. This can make social situations difficult. I'll go to some function and sort of look around the room wondering, is this one a wingnut, or that one over there ? We learn to watch what we say. Sometimes someone will make a remark, maybe repeating a right-wing talking point, and I'll begin to think, "Did this person support the invasion of Iraq, did they vote for George Bush, do they believe in free-market fairy tales, do they sneer at public school teachers, do they understand that they've enabled a neo-feudal plutocracy, are they so god-damned stupid that they vote against their own best interests time after time after time ?" I'll have these thoughts and stew for awhile 'til I want to grab them by their collars, shake them violently and scream, "ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, YOU FUCKING IDIOT!?"  Well, when you are among other Kossacks, you know you will never have these thoughts and that you can say whatever you please. For liberals in red states this is the lifting of a tremendous burden, truly liberating. And again, Kossacks are really smart, well-informed and, more often than not, sarcastic as hell. Great folks, fun to be around. I urge you all to meet-up with your local group or, if you don't have one, start one. You'll be glad you did.

Action

       I've told you why I love DKos; what keeps me here. So here's the action part. If you've got any money to spare, if you've taken care of your local food bank and whatever fund drives you already do, if you can, please buy a subscription for yourself or someone else HERE or just donate whatever you can HERE. What would our lives be like without Daily Kos ?

     

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