Community Spotlight: This week’s stories remind us why Daily Kos is more than a political website

Daily Kos publishes about a thousand stories each week, many written by Community members like you and me. It’s easy for stellar stories to get lost in that volume, which is why the Rescue Rangers assembled 14 years ago—to elevate good writing that deserves a bigger audience. The Rangers are a team of volunteers who read every single story that gets published. If you post a story, know that at least two sets of eyes will review it.

With the shift to the new front page, rescued stories are a bit trickier to locate, so we’ve created this roundup. You can also see the list of our stories as they are rescued day by day. Bésame’s introduction to this series was published last Saturday; it contains some history, some description of rescue criteria, and a lot of great conversation in the comments.

This week’s collection covers all rescues from Sept. 18 at 7PM ET through 7PM Sept. 25. These stories offer a broad range of topics, including polling, health care, and citizen action, along with some culture. That breadth is a unique strength of the Daily Kos Community.

Teachers, COVID-19 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 by LeftOfYou, a lawyer with decades of experience with the ADA, who shares insights into the complex issue of "reasonable accommodation.” Teaching in-person classes places people with certain health conditions at higher risk amid the pandemic, but the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides them with significant legal rights. 

La Mesilla by Desert Scientist explores the author's favorite small town in New Mexico. He writes: "My well over 50 years along the border I think qualifies me to be a certified desert rat. Unlike many Southwestern desert towns, which often look like they died somewhere around 1950 and are quietly melting into the ground, Mesilla was a fascinating place to visit." Details of the town's history and people make this a fascinating story to read.

Movie Review: Scream (1996) And Its Antecedents by disinterested spectator is a trip through the nuances of character development in horror movie remakes and sequels, Warning: It is an amazing collection of spoilers that analyzes the interactions of the people who populate movies in this genre. We get snippets from different movies, including Invasions of the Body Snatchers, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, and An American Werewolf in London as we journey through what characters do and know about themselves and the world—and how that impacts some characters’ fates.

Dawn Chorus: One yard, two worlds (worlds apart in 100 feet) by The Lipsticked Pig is a cheerful exploration of the two different worlds on opposite sides of the author’s mountain home. Photos and words illustrate how the wildlife in the backyard is different from the wildlife in the front, and the author asks “why.” Is it the feeders? Is it the plants?

"Doubt" and "A Wilderness of Error" by GrafZeppelin127 examines the 1970 story of Jeffrey MacDonald, a brutal murderer, through the ideas presented in the play/film Doubt. Can we ever really know what happened? Or is this story so embedded in our collective consciences that none of us can escape our own preconceived opinions?

Tzadik by guavaboy is a personal story inspired by reading a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg that called her a tzadik—a Hebrew word for “a righteous person.” The author recalls an Israeli song which takes on new meaning, now that he understands a tzadik as RBG.

Mozilla Foundation takes a look at political ads on streaming platforms by Alonso Del Arte ponders the dilemma of targeted advertising. If you thought cutting the cable cord and paying to stream content would protect you from unwanted political advertising, think again. Your data could be used, according to the Mozilla Foundation, to target you for particular ads, including deceptive political promotions, on streaming platforms … with virtually no transparency.  

Let’s Blow Apart This Right Wing Talking Point Right Now by Bring the Lions is a rant that indeed does blow up whatever shred of logic underpins Sen. Mitch McConnell's position that the Senate had the right to deny a vote on President Obama’s SCOTUS candidate. The author considers how this kind of authority can extend into even more ludicrous positions.

The Beat Goes On by Jacks Grandpa considers the long-term effect of Supreme Court decisions in a historical context, such as the Dred Scott decision. Public opinion later changed legal decisions like that one, and that may happen again, even with a new hardline conservative Court.

A Democratic Party strategic plan for the next half-century by vjr7121 notes that the GOP race to replace RBG is not a surprise. The big task of progressives going forward, the author argues, must be to strengthen government institutions. Taking back the Senate is key, for several specific reasons.

Using the Dornsife Tracker to Demonstrate how Confidence Intervals Work by Denver11 gets into the details of how the USC Dornsife tracking poll for the 2020 election creates a more realistic view of public opinion than any single poll on a single day. The author illustrates this by “creating a real life, real time demonstration of how ‘margin of error’ or ‘confidence interval’ works in real life.” 

Lest we forget, here’s a partial list of Republicans endorsing Biden or who won’t vote for Trump… by O C Patriot delivers a startlingly long list of GOP defectors. Associated info, such as their government role and when they held it, adds weight and context to their disapproval of Trump.

Diary of a Phonebanker by iLuvReading is a personal essay on how phone banking has changed during the pandemic. The author explores their own questions about the effort, including “Why would I call people I’ve never met, knowing that they might say nasty things to me?  Why would I reach out to voters in states that I’ve never visited?  And why would I call for candidates who might not win?”

Return to the Partisan Divide Cafe by Grey Panther offers an uplifting piece of original prose that begins by focusing on the first sip of a good morning coffee, and ends with this pearl: "Living in the moment of a good thing, and not losing it to fret is a great start to any morning."

Isabel Wilkerson Takes a Deeper Look by Toddlerbob gives a personal dive into Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wilkerson’s analysis of how caste impacts our society in her newest book Caste, the Origins of Our Discontents. He makes connections to other books and media, while highlighting how well Wilkerson provided “lots of examples that the thinker can distill into concepts.”

Counting the Cost by ruleoflaw, who is scheduled for a kidney transplant soon, says "I am one of the fortunate ones. I get health insurance through my job and my employers have been very supportive and understanding … I am presently drawing short-term disability (paid) through them. All this is good news, but before I go under the knife, I’d like to show you the dirty underside of our health care system." He then delineates what his treatments cost and likely why his insurer quickly approved his transplant.

SCOTUS, Civ 4, and Spy Spam by Risen Tree considers what congressional Democrats can do to stop the confirmation of a third Trump-appointed Supreme Court justice. Adapting what he has learned from a game he calls "spy spam," the author suggests different stalling tactics. For example, the House can impeach Trump "over and over and over again" and for good measure, impeach others like AG Bill Barr and the postmaster general. The opposite tactic is needed in the Senate, where the transition of the articles of impeachment should be stalled.

Moody’s Analytics: A Democratic election sweep would be best for the economy by voidstuff discusses a new economic analysis showing "Democratic presidents outperform Republican presidents by every economic measure ... the economy always does better under Democrats because Democrats invest, Republicans cut … Obama’s worst year was better than Trump’s best year. “

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT is dedicated to finding great writing by Community members that isn’t getting the visibility it deserves.

  • To add our rescued stories to your Stream, click on the word FOLLOW in the left panel at our main page or click on Reblogs and read them directly on the group page.
  • You can also find a list of our rescued stories by clicking HERE.

An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 1PM ET (10AM PT).