Democratic Underground

Blog Box

January 22, 2005
Compiled by Bucky Rea, The Brown Bag Blogger

The Readers' Choice

At the end of this column each week I ask you blogfans to let me know what bloggers are most in need of mention in this space. Generally the advice yall give me has been helpful. This week, however, I'm going to let the advice totally run the show. I'm only mentioning people you say I have to read.

Let me explain why. In New Orleans yesterday, Democrats and associated patriots held the official Jazz Funeral for Democracy. I found that a pretty grim thought at first. Democracy ain't dead, I wanted to complain to somebody. But then Howard Zinn yesterday morning, appearing on Democracy Now explained the rationale to me over the radio.

Jazz funerals, Howard tells us, don't play joyous party music just to console us about the losses we suffer. Jazz funerals are really about reaffirming life and celebrating the things that keep all of us survivors still dancing along. So maybe a little bit of democracy dies every time some network reporter softballs a question to George Dubya. And maybe the Constitution goes a little cold every time the Department of SoCalledJustice throws the key away on someone because he's accused of belonging to one of the hate groups that don't help Wall Street. And of course my representation is nothing when only 32 Democrats in Congress demand that every vote be counted.

But democracy goes on. Every time you speak your mind democracy lives. Every time you correct your idiot coworker's misstatements about the war, every time you write your editor, poke a finger in some hypocrite's face, or encourage a boycott of a company you disagree with, democracy lives. You don't have to point out that the Emperor wears no clothing and that his "suit" doesn't even hang very well on him (altho it's fun to do so). You just have to participate as citizen. It's now just voting, it's about owning the process and making yourself heard.

So this week I'm doing my little bit for the vox populi by just shutting up and letting the readers decide where the column goes. What I'm giving you this week is a list of who all of yall have told me I oughta read.

Blogs Populi

Since I started this column, a week has not gone by in which someone did not ask me to highlight that foul mouthed champion of progressive truth-telling, the Rude Pundit—even on the week in which I actually did feature the Rudester as the quote of the week.

Last week, among the usual gems (such as his coquettish plea, Please, Dr. Rice, F**k Us Again), The Rude One opened himself up for a rare sensitive moment and told the story of what Social Security meant for his family after his father died.

Well, I guess that must've hit a nerve with his readers. Yesterday Rudey posted a list of personal accounts from his readers who have also benefited from the security part of Social Security. When the Bushies and their billionaire buddies talk about "privatizing" the social safety net into the legalized gambling of the stock market, someone remind them that even Bill Bennettnever gambled the milk money.

Speaking of unutterable obscenities, the Ratfuck Diary has been talking about yet another 800-pound gorilla, the president's health. It's not comfortable thinking about why your commander in chief keeps falling off of stuff, but RF Diarist Joy Tomme thinks you need to think about that.

You history buffs out there may remember the term ratfucking from Donald Segretti's Watergate Era dirty tricks squad. Joy's readers get to learn that it was the second wife of former New York governor Averell Harriman who coined the term. Once again, literacy pays off in trivial returns.

The Philly News's blogger Will Bunch is not your usual big media yes-man. Will's readers this week only learned about how the guy who broke the Bush DWI story in 2000 has fallen on suspiciously hard times, has joined the ranks of a number of real journalists for whom the Bush administration has spelled career troubles (or worse). Will is not only looking forward to Mr Bush's karma-delayed day of reckoning, he's even counting down the days until the impeachment.

Of course that countdown will need to include either a Democratic Congressional sweep or a sudden outbreak among Republicans of valuing national interests above partisan interests. Your Buckaroo is sympathetic, but not holding his breath.

Ordinary People

Over at the Blog for Democracy, the 14-member crew of once-and-future-Deaniacs are of course celebrating the widespread Counter-Inauguration movement.

Are you ready for some good news? Some not so political bloggers are getting PO'd about the Stupid One getting celebrated this week, too. Fans of the Ludic Kid's Ludic Log are usually treated to bizarre, quirky lists and transcripts of the kinds of graduation speeches that Dungeons and Dragons characters must hear before they enter their chosen career fields. But Ludic audiences were treated this past week to a full tilt, red blooded, white knuckled rant from the Kid, using the Bush administration's bogus quotes to feed the fire in his belly.

And reality critic Maggie Osterberg took off one day from asking What The Hell Am I Doing Here? to uncover the one truthful thing Dr Rice could've said during her confirmation hearings.


Voice of a Veteran is the blog an actual patriot in an age of straw Americans who wants to know who in Congress will speak up for the interests of the troops whom the Bush Administration sent into harm's way. The answer to that question, the Vet is finding out, is "no one in Congress, apparently." Vet also got the scoop on the president's last minute concession to reality at a hastily called news conference by an anonymous White House spokesmodel.

"This will be a short news conference to make another important announcement. The president has concluded, after considering all the evidence, that the earth is probably not flat."

If you've got an eye for the numbers, A Violently Executed Blog may be for you. Despite the occasional invocation to Cthulhu and Joseph Stalin, Adam is gifted at crunching and explaining your tax dollars at waste.

If you're looking for insider stuff, ten Washington savvy progressives at Political Strategy give you pure, groundtested poli-news without the pollyanna. Recent irreplaceable entries include a list of the enemies we face in the war for Social Security, a liberal case for promoting Condi Rice, and a wrap up on their bookmarkworthy Tactical Assault Project.

Busybusybusy is a sort of jiujitsu weblog, allowing idiot conservatives to speak for themselves and then quietly summing up their mudding thinking with little to no comment. Author Elton Beard seems to bear a particular grudge against Bush apologist David Brooks, so there's a good chance they're family.

Baseball addicts must always have it a tough in the winter months, with nothing to write about except contract negotiations and the occasional drug bust. So the Joy of (Red) Sox blogger named, of course, Red Sock, keeps his mittens warm by typing about politics too, every now and then.

Secret Pen Pal

There's a runner up for quote of the week, too, this week. It goes to CNN. Well, not all of CNN. But quote kudoes go to the guy or gal who writes the headlines for CNN's website for this gem on Wednesday:

"Bush: Better human intelligence needed"

I think we have a friend somewhere in Atlanta.

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