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Welcome, welcome, friends and fellow progressives, to the 29th edition of the Carnival of the Liberals! My name is Ebonmuse, my weblog is Daylight Atheism, and I’ll be your guide on this tour of some of the best progressive political writing on the Internet.

As the glow of our well-deserved victory in the American midterm elections slowly fades, we should be looking forward to the future. Tomorrow, America’s new Democratic Congressional majority will be sworn in, and it’s up to us to keep our new leaders on course and remind them whenever they falter of the progressive principles we elected them to uphold. Just as importantly, we need to work on building a political infrastructure to cement our new majority so that we do not have to suffer through another national nightmare like that of the last few years. I believe that the posts in this edition provide some excellent reminders both of why the Republicans lost power and what the Democrats should focus on if they want to keep it. And so, without further ado, here are this week’s selections.

The first post in this edition is something a little different. Although I wouldn’t ordinarily accept a submission from a conservative blog for a liberal carnival, I had to make an exception for the indisputably serious and sincere Jon Swift. In “John Derbyshire’s Wonderful Life“, Swift entreats us to remember the neediest group of all: wealthy conservative pundits. It’s the holiday season, after all.

Musing on Tony Blair’s legacy, Chris Dolley suggests that the soon-to-be-departed prime minister could take a lesson or two from Saparmurat Niyazov, the recently deceased dictator of Turkmenistan who turned his entire nation into a bizarre cult of personality centered around himself.

green | rising explains why the World Trade Organization can and should play a vital role in protecting the environment, in “The World Trade Organization and Sustainable Development“.

In “The 2008 Democrat“, Staring at Empty Pages analyzes the presidential aspirations of some prominent Democratic politicians who have either already declared their candidacy or are likely to do so, and makes his own choice from among them.

The Largest Minority writes about the execution of Saddam Hussein in “Saddam’s Fall: The Hard-Earned Trophy“, and asks the provocative question of whether the American leaders who supplied him with the weapons of mass destruction he used to commit his crimes should not also be held to account.

After several decades of steady widening of the wealth gap between the world’s rich and the world’s poor, there are finally some encouraging indications that the pendulum is beginning to swing back the other way. However, we have a long way to go, as Sox First reports in “Excess all areas on Wall Street“.

The next post is on a topic near and dear to my own heart: the fictitious “War on Christmas” invented by religious-right fundamentalists to scare and outrage the flock into opening their wallets each year. Just a Guy Who Reads the Papers – but a guy who has also spent 25 years as a pastor and religious journalist – nails it when he points out that Christians have never been less persecuted than they are in America today.

And Doctor Biobrain’s Response Is… considers what types of acts by the President or other elected officials should or should not lead to removal from office, in “Personal Impeachment“.

Blue Gal emphasizes the importance of protecting each individual’s private choice to worship or not worship as they see fit, and the peril of excessive certainty about which political party God belongs to, in “First Freedom First: Worship…or Not“.

The November election of Keith Ellison, America’s first Muslim representative, and his subsequent announcement that he intends to take the oath of office on a copy of the Qur’an have driven right-wing bigots up the wall. But when it comes to frothing at the mouth, none of them have outdone Roy Moore, Alabama’s disgraced “Ten Commandments Judge”, who was himself removed from office for putting his own religious beliefs above the law of the land. Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub slams Moore’s glaring hypocrisy in “‘First, Roy Moore came for Keith Ellison…’

Finally, there’s one more post I couldn’t resist including. If the old Latin saying “in vino veritas” is true, there must be a lot of veritas in Divided We Stand, United We Fall‘s after-dinner post, “Bartender! One more Rum & Mac for the road“. Even a drunk in a bar could spot the similarities between outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his predecessor Robert McNamara.

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of the Liberals. Although I couldn’t include every post, I’d like to sincerely thank everyone* who submitted something for their effort and their contributions. The next edition of the Carnival of the Liberals will be held on January 17 at Shakespeare’s Sister, so show some love and get started writing! We also need hosts, and editions from January 31 onward are open for anyone who wants to volunteer.

* Maybe not everyone. I won’t name names, but there was one individual who seemed a little confused about the purpose of this carnival and submitted a post arguing that we have to hate Muslims more and treat them with more cruelty if we want to win the war on terror.

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...