* Salon's Michelle Goldberg has some advice for the "blue states": "If at first you don't secede..." screw everybody else. No, seriously.
For now, of course, secession remains an escapist fantasy. But its resonance with liberals points to some modest potential for constructive political action. After all, as the South knows well, there are interim measures between splitting the nation and submitting to a culture pushed by a hostile federal government. Having lost any say in how the nation is run, liberals may be about to discover states' rights -- for better or worse.
* Total shout-out. Heh. Charles Pierce has this to say over at Altercation:
"The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda."
And there it is. Courtesy of a former (you freaking bet!) top-level spook, as relayed by Knut Royce of The Baltimore Sun yesterday, the single dumbest notion yet to leak out from under the Mayberry Machiavellis. I have enormous respect for the Newsday guys, and I have no illusions that this would ever happen in any major newspaper, but ought not the next piece of the story read something like this?
"Of course, as history and common sense would tell us, this perception no more conforms to reality than it would if the White House perceived the CIA to be a pod of humpback whales, an exaltation of larks, a gathering of the Inuit tribes, or an alternative rock band from Pullman, Washington. Sources have declined comment on whether or not the White House political operation has stopped its brief experiment with psilocybin mushrooms."
* And speaking of the Pullman-Moscow "metro" area, the Seattle Times has an interesting and disturbing analysis of the case of Saudi-born U of I grad student Sami al-Hussayen. al-Hussayen was arrested and charged last year with providing "material support" to terrorists. He was held and (eventually) charged under a provision of the Patriot Act, before an Idaho jury acquitted him of any wrongdoing.
In Moscow, the Muslim students began frantically calling the university's law school early that morning, saying they'd been threatened with jail or deportation if they failed to cooperate, according to Monica Schurtman, a law professor who advised some of them. One was questioned for seven hours, she said.
Just for reference, this is one of the things that really got me concerned/angry about the methods being used by the Bush administration even before the invasion of Iraq. One of those students who was detained by the FBI is a friend of my brother's. It's pretty easy to ignore these issues until someone you've met gets hauled away by the authorities. (The only connection my brother's friend had to al-Hussayen was that they occasionally attended the same mosque. And since there are only about two mosques in the entire area, it was a real stretch.)
* And, finally, The Portland Mercury declares that we're "Better Dead Than Red":
It's time to state something that we've felt for a long time but have been too polite to say out loud: Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America. We live on islands of sanity, liberalism, and compassion--New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and on and on. And we live on islands in red states too--a fact obscured by that state-by-state map... If Democrats and urban residents want to combat the rising tide of red that threatens to swamp and ruin this country, we need a new identity politics, an urban identity politics, one that argues for the cities, uses a rhetoric of urban values, and creates a tribal identity for liberals that's as powerful and attractive as the tribal identity Republicans have created for their constituents. John Kerry won among the highly educated, Jews, young people, gays and lesbians, and non-whites. What do all these groups have in common? They choose to live in cities. An overwhelming majority of the American popuation chooses to live in cities.