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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

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- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Monday, 19 July 2004

Topic: Backgrounder

Bob Patterson, the World's Laziest Journalist, sends along this note on an odd news day.
After I zoom around the Internet and hit three or four sites I check each morning - Romenesko's Media News, Drudge - maybe Instapundit.

I hit a brick wall. What should a person read to find out what's the topic de jour for blogs? Is there a good Washington morning report? Other than Instapundit, who else is worth checking?

You said recently that for your own reading (books) you seem to like serendipity and spontaneity. Do you like unpredictable nonsense? Where do you go to find it?
Ah, good questions.

The daily political topics being tossed about are best found at these sites:

Real Clear Politics - with links to the major editorials of the day, about two-thirds on the right side of things.

Cursor - which by noon eastern time each weekday provides links to the major stories, a bit from the left.

From the left side? Working for Change - which always posts the latest Molly Ivins item, and a daily cartoon, and a quote, and "This Day in Radical History."

Later in the day Slate starts filling up with commentary, some of the best, but it is owned by Microsoft and MSNBC and co-produces the NPR radio show "Day to Day" weekdays at noon. Mainstream. Slate carries good summaries of movie and book reviews too.

For the daily wire stories and everyone's schedule, ABC's "The Note" is useful. That's here. If you want to know just when Bush will arrive in Peoria tomorrow, they have it.

The Blogs?

Here are the majors, and minors....

Andrew Sullivan - issues as seen by a conservative gay right-wing Republican, born and raised in the UK but now living at the tip of Cape Cod. Yep, he's conflicted.
Bartcop - very angry left and not terribly coherent...
The Best of the Blogs - not really, but pretty good.
Whiskey Bar - one of the most thoughtful, with long-form essays, not little nuggets.
Body and Soul - again, mostly long form, but the best of real humanism. Recommended.
The Daily Kos - much into being specific, with lots in individual states and their issues.
Altercation - Eric Alterman Monday through Friday. Forceful. Recommended.
Eschaton - short and sweet entries by Washington insiders. The granddaddy of them all. Highly Recommended.
FafBlog - way off the wall political humor from the Medium Lobster.
Hullabaloo - blunt and essential. One of the best. Recommended.
Political Animal - Kevin Drum's daily blog for the Washington Monthly is a must. Highly Recommended.
Oliver Willis - short, pointed, and spotty.
Semi-Daily Journal - Professor Delong here, of UC Berkeley, used to work in the White House as an economist for the Clinton Administration. So this is mostly about economic issues.
Tacitus - from the middle right, not the left.
Talking Points Memo - Joshua Micah Marshall, the ultimate Washington insider. The most depth. And a careful man. Highly Recommended.
Talk Left - multi-award winning blog on criminal and constitutional law, by attorneys but quite readable. Highly Recommended.
The Left End of the Dial - James Benjamin is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Behavioral and Social Science at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Politics as seen by a psychologist - and some jazz items too, as he's a fan.
The Volokh Conspiracy - a big-gun UCLA law professor, his students and friends hold forth on the issues of the day, from the prospective of constitutional, criminal and copyright law.
This Modern World - the cartoonist Tom Tomorrow and his friends hold forth on the day's issues.
War Blogging - one very angry and very articulate ex-military dude posts every third or forth day.
World O'Crap - "A daily diatribe about current events, bad movies, pop culture, Ann Coulter, etc." And so it is.

Others of note?

Matthew Yglesias
Roger Ailes - no, not THAT one, the other one...
Sadly, No!
Tapped - the blog of The America Prospect
Quark Soup - a science blog from David Appell, and sometimes a bit technical of course
Margaret Cho - the comedienne of the left side of things ...
Patriot Boy - General JC Christian who signs each item "Heterosexually Yours" - the manly man - tries to rid himself of his "inner Frenchman" and wonders why his little general (and two grenades) won't stand up at attention when called upon.... You get the idea. Political satire at its snarkiest.
UggaBugga - often has good diagrams but posts at odd intervals...
Sisyphus Shrugged - wise woman blogger

That should hold you for a bit.

Odd stuff?

For what's up in France try these:

The Tocqueville Connection - for AFP wire items in English updated several times a day
RFI Press Review - Radio France International's daily English summary of the top stories in the French national press
France Daily - an infobot that pops up all stories from the wires that have the word France or Paris in the title or first paragraph
Yahoo - France - current AP and Reuters (and other wire services) stories regarding France

The arts?

Arts and Letters Daily - a service of The Chronicle of Higher Education providing links to stories on music and all the arts, book reviews of note, and some politics
About Last Night - Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal on music, dance and theater, with neat quotes now and then, and no politics at all

Finally, an odd UK tabloid site -

Ananova - and check our their "Quirkies" of course....

That'll do for now.

Posted by Alan at 11:43 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 19 July 2004 11:54 PDT home

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