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Monthly Archives: July 2004

Fraidy Cat

July 30th, 2004 - 9:42 am

Daniel Terdiman, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, disses blogs. A few choice lines:

Everyone seems to be writing a web log these days, and those without day jobs have a decided advantage.


It seems that blogs are still new enough that scepticism about their authenticity has not yet set in.


But even experienced readers let their guard down when they follow a trusted friend’s referral, he says. If a friend passed you the web address, “then you definitely think it’s true”, Rubel says, “because you’re talking about word of mouth”.


Blogs are also often taken seriously these days because of their status as the platform for a new kind of journalism, and the way that many of them imitate the format of news sites.

But a well-designed look and feel do not prove that a site is what it claims to be, Rubel says. “If you think about it,” he says, “there are sites that are blogs that look like professional news outlets that you would never know that they’re written by amateurs.”

One reason that many people put faith in such blogs may be a desire to escape a mundane daily existence.

The only blog actually mentioned by Terdiman is Bill Clinton’s Daily Diary — an obvious hoax. No mention of InstaPundit (whose blog is so untrustworthy that was hired to write for MSNBC), of Andrew Sullivan (who has been in Big Media his entire professional life), or of the fact that many Big Media outlets now have their own in-house blogs.

If blogs are so bad, then why did Terdiman do nothing but take cheap shots at them?

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How to Get the Money Out of Politics

July 30th, 2004 - 9:29 am

Or not.

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Nailed It

July 29th, 2004 - 11:00 pm


“The future doesn’t belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.”

A passive platitude. Try this:

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July 29th, 2004 - 10:53 pm

Sullivan poured the Kool Aid into his snifter. He gave it a good swirl, and brought the concoction up to his nose for a subtle whiff — and then he set the glass back down on the table:

One thought sprang into my mind immediately: what an arrogant jerk.

There’s much more. Read it here.

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There Blogging

July 29th, 2004 - 10:34 pm

Jeralyn Merrit writes:

The speech was everything he needed. I was there–it was electric. Kerry was better than I ever thought he could be. Up there in Blogger Alley, we were all clapping and cheering by the end. And we had read the speech hours before. Until we heard the delivery, it didn’t register as being that special. But, his delivery was perfect.

Well, “I was there” is exactly the problem with analyzing Kerry’s speech. How many people who were there did Kerry need to sway?

Correct answer: Zero.

Kerry needed to move some portion of the estimated 25 million Americans watching tonight. How many did he convince to vote for him? How many did he convince at least enough not to vote for Bush? How many people did he move into the Bush column?

I don’t know. Neither does Jeralyn — even though she feels like it was “electric.” Of course it was electric. It’s electric to be a Nuggets fan in Denver, even when the Lakers comes to play. You know they’re going to lose, but, hey, they’re your team.

That’s not to say that Kerry will win or Bush will lose — and that brings me to Jeralyn’s closing line:

I know you don’t want to hear it, but Bush is toast.

For the exclusive reason that we’re at war and I don’t trust Kerry to lead it, I hope Bush isn’t toast.

However, unlike a partisan like Jeralyn, I won’t call the election three months early, just because I heard a speech in a room full of thousands of people who think like I do. In fact, I go out of my way to show you why this election is still too close to call.

I applaud those bloggers who, like Jeralyn, took the time and expense to travel to Boston (and later, to New York) to provide live blog coverage of the convention.

But is it too much to ask, for a little less cheerleading, and a little more analysis?

(Even if the “analysis” consists mostly of martini-fueled quips?)

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Required Applause

July 29th, 2004 - 9:48 pm

Teem Bleah collected all of Kery’s big applause lines.

And for that thankless job, “Timmy Baby,” I owe you a bottle of very good red wine.

NOTE: If you weren’t at Robert’s Halloween party two years ago, you have no idea what I mean by “Timmy Baby.” For that, you should be thankful — and so should Tim Blair.

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Best Line of the Night

July 29th, 2004 - 9:34 pm

And it belongs to E. Nough:

I dunno… A picture of Kerry/Edwards with the slogan “We can do better” over it is one highly ambiguous message.

Wish I’d thought of that one.

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Still Not a Wrap-Up

July 29th, 2004 - 9:31 pm

Andy thinks maybe I was watching the wrong show or something.

Swear to Whomever, Andy, I was watching the Kerry speech. There was a scary man and balloons and everything. I mean, it’s not like Adelphia Cable has a Clown Channel, right?


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Jay Reding is The Man

July 29th, 2004 - 9:28 pm

“I managed to bring out 2200 words during Kerry’s speech, while drinking two large black and tans.” And they’re all worth reading.

Um — all worth Reding?

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Maybe It’s a Navy Thing*

July 29th, 2004 - 9:18 pm

Thanks to Josette, the Tank Girl, I have a screenshot of Kerry’s not-so-snappy salute.

Almost as bad as Denzel Washington at the end of Courage Under Fire

Man, they didn’t let me get away with salutes that sloppy in high school.

*My apologies for the headline to this post — I’m married to an Air Force brat.

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Not a Wrap-Up

July 29th, 2004 - 9:07 pm

The Speech lasted 49 minutes. I gave you 36 posts in that time.

I ask you — who’s the hardest working blog in the business?

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Live Blogging 36

July 29th, 2004 - 8:57 pm

As acceptance speeches go, that was mercifully short.

I’ll have a wrap-up later tonight. Or perhaps tomorrow, depending on how I feel about the rest of this Citron martini.

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Live Blogging 35

July 29th, 2004 - 8:56 pm

“The hope is there, the sun is rising.”

Kerry sounds a lot like his runningmate. The language is about optimism, but the content is about how royally screwed we all are.


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Live Blogging 34

July 29th, 2004 - 8:54 pm

Here’s where I stand with Kerry, 100%.

Stem-cell research.

If we weren’t at war, I’d be this close to voting for Kerry right now.

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Live Blogging 33

July 29th, 2004 - 8:53 pm

“I want to pray humbly that I am on God’s side.”

Bush promised us a “humble” foriegn policy. He delivered — until 9/11.

This is no time for humility. Or for the “respect” Kerry just mentioned. It’s a time for strength — and I’ve heard precious little of that so far tonight.

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Live Blogging 32

July 29th, 2004 - 8:51 pm

“Big ideas, not small-minded attacks.”

I haven’t heard any big ideas, but I have heard more than a few small-minded attacks. Pot, meet kettle.

NOTE: I don’t expect much better from Bush when his turn comes. It’s a freakin’ covention speech, people.

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Live Blogging 31

July 29th, 2004 - 8:49 pm

“…not the Saudi Royal Family.”

Kerry is talking about oil of course, and America’s foreign dependence.

See http://denbeste.nu on why that ain’t gonna change, no matter who the President is.

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Live Blogging 30

July 29th, 2004 - 8:48 pm

Ah — now here’s a place where Bush is weak: Medicare. Even Seniors don’t like the new prescription plan, by a 2-1 margin.

On the other hand, Kerry just called health care “a right for all Americans.”

And I thought Bush’s plan was too damn expensive.

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Live Blogging 29

July 29th, 2004 - 8:46 pm

More smart stuff — talking about spending on Head Start instead of prison.

Hell, I didn’t even know we were sending any preschoolers to jail. Something must be done about that!

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Live Blogging 28

July 29th, 2004 - 8:45 pm

Uh-oh. Now we know the price John Edwards demanded to get on the ticket — protectionism.

He can raise taxes on the rich all he likes, but “fair trade” will lead to a loss of jobs that could increase the deficit over even Bush’s disgraceful sums.

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Live Blogging 27

July 29th, 2004 - 8:43 pm

“We value jobs.”

Now that’s his Dukakis Moment. “Good jobs at good wages.” He didn’t say it, but he was so close.

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Live Blogging 26

July 29th, 2004 - 8:42 pm

“We believe that what matters most isn’t narow values that divide us, but common values which unite us.”

I might have gotten a couple words wrong, but I got the gist right.

Um… well, crap. We’re on domestic policy now, which won’t be nearly as interesting. Mostly just tirades against unemployment, outsourcing, and promises to spend more money on everybody, and do everything for you under the sun except maybe for giving you a quick shake after you pee.

On the other hand, ever seen a guy with a spray-on tan and flop-sweat? I’m curious to see if the tan starts running onto his collar.

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Live Blogging 25

July 29th, 2004 - 8:39 pm

Welcome, InstaPundit readers.

But one correction: I’m buzz blogging. I’m two large glasses of Meritage and half a martini into Kerry’s speech.

You won’t find that on Fox or CNN.

But you should.

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Live Blogging 24

July 29th, 2004 - 8:37 pm

The crowd is chanting “USA USA USA!!!”

How many of them were chanting that when Baghdad fell?

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Live Blogging 23

July 29th, 2004 - 8:36 pm

“You see that flag? We call her Old Glory. Stars and Stripes forever.”

I knew John Souza. John Souza was a friend of mine. . . oh, wait. Never mind.

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Live Blogging 22

July 29th, 2004 - 8:35 pm

“We shouldn’t be opening fire houses in Baghdad, while closing them in the United States of America.”

Does that mean we shouldn’t send the Army into Baghdad, before we send it into Washington? I’m totally flummoxed as to what he meant there.

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Live Blogging 21

July 29th, 2004 - 8:33 pm

“A strong military… and strong alliances.”

What use are alliances, when our allies goal is to hamstring us?

And how does that square with Kerry’s promise a minute ago never to “ask permission” before going to war?

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Live Blogging 20

July 29th, 2004 - 8:32 pm

“Backdoor draft?”

Sounds like a medical condition, and an icky one at that.

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Live Blogging 19

July 29th, 2004 - 8:32 pm

“Any attack will be met with a serious response.”

What about acting proactively, to prevent attacks? See the previous post to see why I disagree with this.

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Live Blogging 18

July 29th, 2004 - 8:31 pm

“A threat that is real and eminent”

So much for preemptive war — a goddamn tragic necessity in the age of terror.

John Kerry isn’t serious about this war. Iraq was a battle, not the war. He won’t initiate any other battles; he’ll only respond. He just said so.

Nobody who is serious about protecting the US today can vote for this guy.

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