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I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and it seems to me that it’s worth the effort to put together a regular or semi-regular diary series (open to anyone who wants to contribute) on labor and labor-related issues here at Daily Kos.  The labor movement is such an important part of the left-liberal/progressive coalition (despite the pummeling it’s taken over the past 50-60 years) that I think Daily Kos is an ideal forum to report on and discuss these matters.  Follow me as I offer some incomplete thoughts on what such a series would entail.

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Last night, before I went to bed, I happened to be channel surfing and happened upon one of C-SPAN's BookTV programs.  The featured author was Arnie Bernstein, a Chicago-based historian and author, speaking about his new book, Bath Massacre:  America's First School Bombing.  I had heard the story some years ago, but was surprised to see that someone had written a book about it.  Speaking as an historian (in training) myself, I find that one of the many delights of history is revisiting an old story with new eyes and bringing it to an audience who otherwise might not have known it.

The Bath School Disaster, as the tragedy is more commonly known, has largely been forgotten (except, of course, to the residents of Bath).  When asked to name the worst school mass murders in American history, most of us would come up with - understandably so - Columbine or Virginia Tech.  Yet the Bath School Disaster was not only "America's First School Bombing", but remains to this day the deadliest:  44 victims were killed and another 58 injured.

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Clearly, we've been seeing a rash of What Is To Be Done?-style posts.  That's a lot to sift through, especially when everyone agrees that progressives need to be "on message."  What is the message?

Many people both here and in the national media have said that liberals need to connect with rural red-state type voters.  Of course, the gut reflex - and I admit to falling prey to this myself - is to say, "We shouldn't have to turn into Republicans!"  Well, we don't.  Read below to see my non-yet-fully-formed thoughts on this.

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At a meeting of the National Urban League in Detroit today, President Bush admitted that the GOP has "a lot of work to do" in order to win African-American votes.  The AP story is here.

What do folks on dKos make of this?  It seems to me that this "outreach" has a twofold purpose:  first, to make the Democrats a little nervous about their base; second, and more importantly, to appeal to white moderates who don't want to think of themselves as racist.

Do folks think there's any traction here?  Or is this an ineffective gesture?

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