July 29, 2003

We're all bloggers now

By: AF Editors

Raul Damas

  • As one of the few people I know without a personal Web
    site, I thought I’d try my hand at “blogging” this month’s column.
    (It’s official: I’ve
    never written a sentence that made me feel older or seem more out of touch.)
    (Readers are, of course, free to refute the prior
  • As with most of my peers, blogs constitute a large,
    growing and influential portion of my daily reading.
    I consider The Drudge Report, my home page, to be the primogenitor
    of the form. After him, I usually
    hit Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit and The Corner.
    The best blogs in my opinion aren’t personal sites, but National
    Journal’s Hotline and Opinion Journal’s Best of
    the Web. (I won’t link to any of
    the aforementioned because I assume you already read them, or at least know
    about them, and I would just end up being “that guy” who e-mails you obvious
    things like the G-File and whatever brilliance Krauthammer chose to reflect
    on that day.)
  • This little exercise made me realize the
    difficulty of offering readers daily news analysis and opinion.
    It has given me even more respect for the bloggers I read every day,
    while at the same time helping me understand why there are so many awful
    blogs constituted almost wholly of recycled and, ultimately, regurgitated
    material. With that, I give you my
    own humble contribution to blogdom, beginning, of course, with a personal
  • The fact that I’m not allowed to have either my window
    shade drawn or my tray table down during take-off is, in my mind, inextricably
    intertwined with the ever-deteriorating state of the airline industry.
  • Three presidentially-hopeful Democrats–in
    descending order of hopefulness: Gephardt, Lieberman and Kucinich–thought
    they could skip out on the candidate debate at the NAACP’s annual meeting
    last week.
    “After all,” they likely assumed, “we already
    hit the NALEO conference and that should have taken care of ‘the minority

    Boy, were they wrong.
    (Well, actually, they were right.
    Both conferences were predictably nothing more than Bush/Republican-bashing
    Leftfests. The NAACP did, however,
    showcase Al Sharpton getting a standing ovation for having served time.
    Hear that, NALEO?)
    NAACP Pres. Kweisi Mfume addressed the panel of Dems
    who did show…and also spoke to those who didn’t.
    On the stage was an empty chair for each of the Dem non-attendees.
    Mfume subtly chastised the four no-shows, saying
    their “political capital is the equivalent of Confederate dollars.”
    One can only imagine how a high school Mfume
    would have reacted when the cool kids inevitably skipped his party.
    This leads to wondering about what kind of a
    world Mfume inhabits if Dennis Kucinich is one of said cool kids.

    In the end, the three AWOL Democrats caved to
    delicate, restrained needling and publicly fell on
    their swords on the same stage where previously had been just empty
    chairs with their names written on hotel stationary.

    Abandoning what little dignity his “campaign” has allowed him to
    keep, Kucinich intoned, “I’m very sorry I wasn’t able to be here,
    amazing grace, how sweet it is, once was lost, now I’m found.”

    Oh, and as if that wasn’t already beyond parody:
    style=’mso-bidi-font-weight:bold’>Julianne Malveaux
    moderated the debate.

  • href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/style/071803-1v.htm?nav=hptop_tb”>WashingtonPost.com

    currently offers one of the best “online art tours” I’ve ever seen.
    Such tours usually lean toward nothing more–and
    often much less–than slide shows compiled by some intern with a
    digital camera. This, however,
    is a viewable, instructive and occasionally funny review of the

    Museum–the red-headed
    stepchild of the D.C. art museum world.

    art critic Blake Gopnik, just delivered
    from the Art Critic Factory, moderates the tour.
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)
    on C-Span’s Washington Journal, arguing that states should stay
    out of the Head Start business: “How are they to do better with
    Head Start when they aren’t doing too good with K through 12?”
  • Click here to read my analysis
    of Andrew Sullivan’s
    disagreement with
    critique of
    href=”http://www.public.iastate.edu/~llama/brasky.htm”>Bill Brasky’s

    use of the term “negative space” in his total
    of Dave
    apology for labeling David
    wannabe. Fascinating
  • There’s a scene in the live action
    version of “The Flintstones” where Fred, played by John Goodman,
    reads the stone tablet that is Bedrock’s newspaper, “The Daily
    Slab.” The point of
    the scene is to depict Fred reading about some plot point; however,
    in the lower corner of the tablet you can clearly see the headline
    “Middle East Peace Talks Breakdown.”
  • Finally, the mandatory New
    York Times
    correction: “An article on June 29 about enemy
    combatants in

    Guantanamo Bay,
    misstated the Geneva Convention rule on interrogating prisoners
    of war.
    Interrogation is indeed permissible.”
    I guess that’s a minor oversight for an article
    dealing with the “ethical dilemmas” of detaining and interrogating
    captured terrorists.

Raul Damas is director of operations at Opiniones Latinas, a Hispanic-focused polling firm.