Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy your turkey, pass the collective guilt:
From 1616 to 1619, a series of virgin-soil epidemics spread by European trading vessels ravaged the New England seaboard, wiping out up to 95 percent of the Algonkian-speaking native population from Maine to Narragansett Bay. The coast was a vast killing zone of abandoned agricultural fields and decimated villages littered with piles of bones and skulls. This is what the Pilgrims encountered when they landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Not a pristine wilderness, but the devastated ruins of a once-thriving culture, a haunting boneyard which English libertine Thomas Morton later described as a “newfound Golgotha.”
It is an inescapable fact, therefore, that this proud country was born in the aftermath of a shameful ethnic cleansing that is largely absent from the collective memory. It behooves us to refresh that memory.
If only the Natives had enforced a tougher immigration policy and deported smallpox.  Side dish of irony: "Thirty-five percent of respondents said that immigrants who entered the country illegally should be required to leave."

Not the worst survey stat of the week: 77% of white evangelical Protestants believe climate change is caused by "biblical end times."

That doesn't encourage looking to the future. But Brad Anderson, who ran 2014's best yet unsuccessful campaign, looks to the future for Iowa Democrats:
Nathan Blake. Nathan Blake ran for State Senate, he ran a positive, optimistic campaign, came in a close second but people really look to him as potentially a future leader. There's a guy who runs Hawkeye Hotels who lives in Iowa City, Ravi Patel. He's a good democrat, young guy, people aren't really talking about him publicly but I can tell you behind the scenes they are. And so these are new people. We've got Janet Petersen, of course, who a lot of people look to. Liz Mathis out in Cedar Rapids. So we've got people in place and, again, I think there will be new people down the road that we're not talking about.
And if the Democrats want to go Back To The Future, we could hardly do better than the Howard Dean years:

There are Democrats everywhere, and if you want to nurture the party you have to nurture all of them. If you focus only on the states that are mostly Democratic, it’s demoralizing to the other states. So you never get any growth. So the origin of the 50-state strategy was to be prepared to go anywhere. The idea was, if you ever wanted a Mark Begich, you had to invest in Alaska before a Mark Begich came on the horizon so you could be ready. Mark Begich is the example that I use. Nobody expected Ted Stevens to be indicted, but when he was, we were ready.
And no one expects Chuck Grassley to do the Last Minute Switcheroo, either...

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