December 10, 2004
Compiled and written by Bucky Rea, The
Brown Bag Blogger
Blogs are hot. Blogs are trendy. No, wait: blogs, my fellow net-Democrats,
are totally post-modern-trendy-hot. An unremitting barrage of words,
ideas, and stolen graphics zoom past you on a million web logs on
the World Wide Information Super Autobahn every minute of the day.
If you step out there, you get plowed over. If you blink, you miss
So I suggested a couple of weeks ago to DU that we, as a cybercommunity,
really oughta keep track of some of the better jalopies zoom-zooming
along out there in that gridlock of data and opinion. And EarlG
was all like, "yeah, cool, but you read that stuff, Buckaroo, and
tell me what you find."
And what did I find? I found that blogging is red hot. Blogging
is sexy. No wait, blogging is red-hot sexy, independence-day sexy,
auto-sexy, do-it-yourself sexy, hang-it-out-the-window-and-see-if-the-sailors-whistle
sexy. Blogging, my fellow net-Democrats, has arrived. And Democratic
Underground is here to make sure at least some of it is covered
for you, even if you do blink.
Now on with the show...
Blogs in the News
Two metathings excited bloggers as December began: First, this
past week it hit the news that, according to Mirriam
Webster (I think she's the receptionist who prints out the hard
copies from Dictionary.com), the word "blog" is the most
important word of the year. Sorry, Mirriam, but blog was actually
the most important word of 2002. Nice try. The most important word
of 2004 is, of course, "squarepants."
The second thing getting the Bloggonians blogviating was a whim
concocted by Frank Paynter for the IT
Kitchen. He asked 35 bloggers about themselves and
- wallah! - a meme was born. Soon bloggers were metablogging
on blogging in hot meta-on-meta action. This
is one blog posting where you must hang around afterwards and read
all the comments just to get the full effect: a deafening roar of
self contemplation among technically savvy shut-ins (thanks to ZenYenta
for pointing to this).
The metathing that excited absolutely no bloggers at all? Bill
Gates has started up a free* blogging
service, too. Yawn. Looks like just more Gates-crashing to me.
Stories of the Week
But real news exploded from Blogland as well.
the directory of wonderful things, continues to push the envelope
of what constitutes "wonderful things" by being the first out the
gate to publicize the latest collection of disturbing
pictures of Americans in uniform getting tough on Iraqis who
like to shoot at invaders. Thanks to all the postmodern bloggers
out there, the pictures were not lost to history. For what it's
worth, the photos so far seem to show no atrocities other than the
atrocity that any unjustified vanity war is.
BoingBoing also got a chance to do a follow up
on his ongoing coverage of the Hooters restaurants' attempt to place
a trademark on boobies.
Talking Points Memo is hot
on the trail of why new Homeland Security nominee Bernard Kerik
out of Iraq after fewer than three months when he was supposed
to spend six to eighteen months there training Iraq's elite fighting
police forces. The latest
evidence suggests that Kerik was slated for replacement within
six weeks of arriving in Iraq. But one should not be so quick to
condemn Kerik for being so quick about leaving his security post
in Iraq. Things are goddamned dangerous over there.
Animal" Drum dug up
a gem seemingly lost during the big debate over moral values last
October. Abortion rates went up during Reagan's term in office and
went dramatically downward during Clinton's tenure. One would almost
think that balancing the budget and managing a sound economy were
moral issues. Guess what abortions rates
have looked like under the lesser Mister Bush? Okay, now
guess again. Not pretty.
And finally, in the news, Wonkette
found something vaguely sexual-sounding to giggle about.
You Do the Math
Report continues to hammer away at the voting fiasco
that used to be called Ohio. He give
props to DU's own TruthIsAll for his ongoing
fight by analysis and logic, the biggest WMDs in our war against
the stupids (Truthy also is getting attention from the Blue Man's
Rick "Revere" Wilkerson's intervew with Wayne Madsen
from last week still remains a vital read for anyone wanting the
skinny on what democracy activists are dealing with in order to
get an honest and accurate recount in the states riddled with voting
In the next two weeks we'll probably learn the long sought after
question of what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable
object. The only variable is whether you are gonna help make
the force irresistible.
But the best display of deadly math skills last week came from
Boffin, who crunches some numbers from the Washington
Post and OpenSecrets.org
to figure out that Bill Frist lost over 40% of his current campaign
chest in the stock market. Bolo also doesn't miss the obvious implications
of what this means for Frist and Bush's plans for investing Social
Security funds in the stock market.
Nice catch, Bolo. Someone remind me never to cross a Tennessee
Eschaton (yeah, try saying that three times
fast) is dealing with a big ol' headache from a story CBS News did,
focusing on bloggers. Among other things, CBS took Atrios to task
for the "ethical problem" of hiding his political partisanship.
In the immoral words of Scooby-Doo... "huh?" Can any thinking person
spend more than three minutes reading the Eschaton and not conclude
that Atrios stands squarely and openly on the partisan side of the
angels? I mean besides the geniuses at CBS, obviously.
Frustrated with the glib, half-fact-checked story about bloggers
and Campaign '04 (because there's really not enough coverage out
there on blogs right now, if you don't count the gazillion other
major news stories about bloggers and Campaign '04), Atrios
penned a poison letter to the network's top rhymes-with-brass:
Dear CBS & David Paul Kuhn
I'm writing to you regarding your recent story titled "Blogs: New
Medium, Old Politics." Your article, which was concerned with, among
other things, whether "bloggers are credible," contained some errors.
First, the title of this blog is "Eschaton" and not "Atrios." This
is apparent from the big black letters at the top of the page...
It doesn't get prettier from there, but that definitely makes for
the quote of the week.
If you're wondering who's the better journalist, Lois Lane or Clark
Kent, wonder no more. The Accordion
Guy discovered the very first use of the word "blog"
in literature. Lois Lane is officially designated "Mrs Blog" way
back in the Eisenhower years. And the way the word is used, well...
let's just say this can't be coincidence.
The Brand Democrat bandwagon,
courtesy of blogging marketing whiz Oliver Willis,
continues to grow, carried along largely by the enthusiasms of fellow
independent bloggers. Most recently Joho
the Blog, Lindsay
Fincher, and Burnt
Orange threw out some props to the smartest sales
pitch this party's had in a long time. You should, too. And yes,
I know it's arriving about two months too late. Just try and think
of it as arriving 20 months early.
fans out there, as if there were any Bartcop fans who are not
at least a little bit "out there," were treated this week to a useful
compare and contrast essay about Bart and Rush Limbard (as usual,
Bart has no internal links within the page. You just have to scroll
down a little over half the page and look for Bart's reply to the
"meta-monkey mail" from Dan K.
continues the poetic adventures of Mister Bosh, his archetypal anti-hero
with a heart of stone and the brains to match it.
with one of the best blogrolls on the internet, quit picking on
David Brooks and Nicholas Kristof for a bit last week and started
smacking a little chap named Jeff Jacoby around. Oops, you blinked.
Now BZ3 is back onto Kristof.
New Yorkers should be glad to see that Elliot Spitzer is now blogging
at his website Spitzer2006.com.
I have no idea what the "2006" there in his domain name might stand
found the very honestest Bush image on the internet. And no, it
doesn't involve a comb-over and short mustache.
Credit Whether it's Due or Not
One last quick reminder: the 2004 Weblog Awards are getting closer
by the day. This wouldn't be news except, apparently, a predictable
coterie of hysterical conservative bloggers are claiming that Kos
is ballot-stuffing the competition. And their evidence? This damning
statement found right on Kosblog:
Vote early and often. And by often, I mean "once."
Because that's all that's allowed.
Oh my, such a scandal! Kosblogger David Weigel uses an extremely
overused and entirely recognized cliché (voter early and often)
and then proceeds to clarify that Kossacks (as they call themselves)
can only vote once for real (as if anyone was gonna think otherwise).
And that's all there is to the bogus ballot stuffing claims - although
at least one conservative blogger not linked to here is calling
for the removal of the best liberal blog category for this bogus
If Internet popularity contests mattered for anything at all you
could call this "DailyKosgate." But they don't so we won't. I only
mention this stuff because it's a good example of how the conservative
movement operates - and the host site of the awards does seem to
be a bit of a winger. They find something to kvetch about and they
don't quit whining until someone throws them some candy. Yep, this
is how they're leading us into the Era of Responsibility. Sheesh.
Know a hot blog that needs some coverage? Send your recommendations
to the Brown Bag