The Best of the Online Elite for the Democratic National Convention

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DNC chairman Howard Dean recently unveiled the State Blogger Corps, welcoming 55 bloggers who represent all 50 states plus Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Democrats Abroad and the District of Columbia. Selected from a pool of 400 to attend the convention in August, the State Corps will get “unprecedented” access to the floor proceedings and will be “embedded” with their delegation with internet hookups to blog the proceedings. Those not chosen for the State Corps have the opportunity to be part of the General Blogger Pool with rotating access to the floor proceedings.

The ideologies of the blogs are overwhelmingly progressive but not universal in their praise of candidates or issues. Tone, content and web fluency vary widely. Some are rebels, taking umbrage at the maneuverings of their state and national parties, others more rank-and-file in their support. Many raised issue with the prevailing whiteness of the blogs included in the Corps while, no doubt, checking August airfares.

Get to know your bloggers by understanding what makes them tick. You may be able to strike up conversation with them as they huddle under Starbucks awnings in the rain trying to get broadband access, and they in turn may be able to fix your Blackberry in exchange for a ham sandwich or a ten-minute nap in the backseat of your car.

Here are the 16 Bests of the blogs:

Best Geology: West Virginia Blue I mean, West Virginia. Come on. People are watching you.

Know Your Rocks: Geological Map of West Virginia by: Clem Guttata Mon Mar 19, 2007 at 13:53:37 PM EDT

West Virginia is a state of rather varied geography. Parts of the Eastern Panhandle are very old.

Parts of the Northern Panhandle and Ohio River Valley are quite young. In between, there's areas just right for coal formation.

What's it like in your neck of the woods?

Best Governor: My Left Nutmeg, Connecticut

From the site “where Connecticut Dems scratch that progressive itch,” M. Jodi Rell has a cigar and a message for her constituents:

Best Advice: DCist.com, District of Columbia

A selection of Megan Carpentier’s friendly advice for interns flocking to The District this summer:

4) Shut up. Everyone here is smart, and probably smarter than you. If you keep your mouth shut, you won't be able to make the fatal error of bragging about how great your Hah-vard education is to someone that went to the JFK School and had a dual-degree with the law school. 8) Use a condom. We're not kidding, definitely use them. Look at the stats. This is not a small college town and you don't know everyone else that person has slept with, so stock up. 9) Don't attend Senator Coburn's sex ed lecture No, seriously. Just don't. 10) Don't sleep with anyone important. I hear that power is an aphrodisiac, though I've never felt its effects myself. But, seriously, don't be the next Monica, Jessica or Julia. You might find infamy, but the sex will probably suck and you'll never get a job here again.

Best Recurring Hitler Reference: Tondee’s Tavern, Georgia

This picture made the rounds of a few blogs, but no where was it more deftly treated than at Tondee’s:

Given the rising cost of gas, the impact to air quality, and clogged streets and roads, I'm thinking this is very timely… Clearly some folks were not getting the snark or historical significance of the poster. Jokes people!

Best Threat: Turn Maine Blue

From Eddie in ME:

Thu May 22, 2008

This is a kitten. As you can see, it is adorable. Sam Spencer {Democratic National Committeeman for Maine} has been informed that every day that he waits to endorse a candidate, God kills a kitten. I have implored him to think of the kittens. I have told him in e-mails, and at the Truman Dinner in Portland, and now, I have told him on his blog. And now, I issue this call to action to you, kind reader. Please be sure to visit Sam's blog at www.samspencer.org and defend the right to life... for kittens everywhere.

Surely even someone as divine as a superdelegate cannot resist defending such a cute and cuddly creature. Sam Spencer must stand up for the kittens. I could never possibly vote for anyone who cannot defend my feline friends, and I hope you feel the same.

Thank you for your time. And please... have your superdelegate spayed or neutered. ;)

Best Buy: Minnesota Monitor Kudos to Paul Schmelzer, Cara DeGette and the Colorado Independent for this series of must-have, best-buys for the convention

Riot Toyz R Us: Let's go to jail! Fri May 30, 2008 at 12:00:00 PM --Just like their reticence to detail exactly what they plan to spend 50 million smackers on for security during the Democratic National Convention, Denver city officials haven't released their plans for what they plan to do with any mutineers that get nabbed. (Anyone notice a pattern here?) But, in a country with about one of every 138 people in jail or prison, the opportunities for the latest in capture gear are endless.

The Capture Hood

The manufacturer claims this black sheath was developed for an unspecified "government agency" -- gee, dare we venture a guess? Intended for "military training and for hostage and similar training," the "capture hood" can also be used for related tactical situations -- including taking prisoners to “holding pens” in undisclosed sites. $27.95 each

Best Headlines: New Nebraska Network

1) President Bush's Approval Rating "Skyrockets" To 44% In Nebraska by: Kyle Michaelis Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:51:06 PM CDT

2) '68: The Year Nebraska Mattered - Wednesday, May 7th at 8:00 PM by: Kyle Michaelis Mon May 05, 2008 at 11:12:54 AM CDT

Best Bond: Everydaycitizen.com, Kansas

Stimulated Posted by Henry Schwaller on May 28, 2008 The “stimulus” checks are on their way; perhaps you are one of the approximately 130 million Americans who will receive a rebate from the IRS. Here’s how Nick in Pennsylvania spent his big rebate: “I used my $600 to bail myself out of prison, along with $6900 more.” Nick, 28, Welder, Ephrata, PA

Best Argument: Room 8, New York


posted by UMDUMB Tue, 04/29/2008 - 4:00pm


Best Photographer: DemoOkie, Oklahoma

Here is some of DemoOkie's great work from the 2004 convention in Boston. He will put the photographic talents of Special Correspondent Earl Mitchell on display in Denver. He is currently exploring his People Passed Out and Crazy Ass Hats periods.

Best Local Coverage: Jusiper, Puerto Rico

Presidential race a huge story in Puerto Rico Posted by Sini NOT. 6:05 PM | Post or Read Comments (0)

Best Overstatement: Badlands Blue, South Dakota

The Whole World Is Paying Attention To South Dakota by: rradical Sat May 24, 2008 at 18:32:15 PM MDT

“I think we've seen this primary and caucus season go on much longer than normal. It's finally come to South Dakota and I think people really see the history here and want to be involved with it,” McLarty said. “People are really hearing the message.”

He said with the South Dakota and Montana primaries ending the primary season, the candidates and the national media are sure to swoop all over the state in the next few days.

“I think we're going to see Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama back in the state,” McLarty said. “With South Dakota and Montana being last, winning those states adds a big psychological advantage.”

He said the state party has received media calls “from literally all over the world. The whole world is paying attention to South Dakota. I think it absolutely benefits the state party.”

Best Coverage of Creepiness: Burnt Orange Report, Texas

Todd Hunter channels his inner "Gene Seaman" by: M. Eddie Rodriguez Fri May 30, 2008 at 08:04 AM CDT

Can't get enough of chubby 60-something men making painfully off-color anecdotes at legislative events? Been awhile since you've watched the iconic footage of Gene Seaman's now-legendary floor speech on Viagra?

This week House challenger Todd Hunter managed to forge the bonds of creepiness with Seaman in an appearance at a candidate’s forum in Corpus Christi.

Asked about the relative value of seniority in the Texas Lege, Hunter thought the appropriate response would be "size matters."

...After the Corpus Christi Caller-Times wrote a Sunday piece describing the bizarre awkwardness of the moment, the Hunter campaign's nimble response was to release an 843-word press advisory desperately trying to spin the concept that this had nothing to do with sexual innuendo. They pathetically try to point out the term "size matters" could have meant all kinds of things, and as examples, they refer to the use of the term "in title of a Playstation 2 video game; it’s the name of a clothing store for big and tall men in Philadelphia; it is a album title by the band Helmet"

Well here's album cover from Helmut (it has no sexual innuendo at all, right?):

Best Cute Blog: Utah Amicus Political blogs from Utah are the cutest things ever. Craig and Jason are two of the bloggers who are joining The Utah Amicus Team in Denver on August 25th to attend the 2008 Democratic National Convention as credentialed bloggers for the State Bloggers Corps Craig and Jason were so overwhelmed that they decided to drive to Denver this weekend, camp out in a parking lot, and check out...

The Pepsi Center! Here's where Jason and Craig will spend much of their free time:

Best Movement of Men: HorsesAss.org, Washington

Tacoma/Pierce County News-Tribune reporter Niki Sullivan was denied access to GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi’s event with the Christian Businessmen’s Connection. HorsesAss.org took up the call.

Dino’s “movement of men” by Jon DeVore, 05/21/2008, 6:19 PM ...I decided to check out their national website. Nothing too unusual. Biblical inerrancy combined with a multi-level marketing approach to religion, plus plans to proselytize the known universe (or at least the top 100 cities in the country, anyhow.)

Best Bizarre Babymaking Blog: SquareState.net, Colorado

What are we going to do about protecting embryos if Colorado says they are life? by: johne 05/31/08 @ 11:53:10 AM MDT

A comment in another diary gave me a few ideas. That is that an ectopic pregnancy threatens the life of the mother - one where the embyro implants itself in the wall of a fallopian tube. The procedure is to remove these as they are unviable, and of course are very dangerous to the expecting mother. If we will have to consider these embryos as "human life" should the "egg-mendment" pass, clearly this is in contradiction with protecting the life of the human being carrying that embryo. I thus suggest that the makers of baby car seats, immediately begin development of something along the lines of this:

How do we crash test this to ensure safety though?

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