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Newsbrief: BlogWorld, Pakistan and Rudy’s Angel

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Liveblogging from BlogWorld Expo

BlogWorld is a first-ever conference which brings together all elements of the blogosphere for three days of unbridled back-slapping and self-promotion in Las Vegas. It's like YearlyKos but without the little red books and sandals and with a whole bunch of business types involved.

I'm attending as part of the Blogcritics delegation along with other editors and a handful of writers. We have a booth in the exhibit area and I'll be working there and on several panels on politics and other blogging topics.

While at BW I'll be attempting to more or less liveblog the experience using my laptop a cellular modem and my Palm Treo. I'll be posting snippets on Republic of Dave as often as possible and plan to put daily digests here on BC along with whatever other news is hot.

The first thrill of the trip is that I'm currently sitting on a plane with two stewardesses who look like Avril Lavigne impersonators – or maybe like Avril and her Mom after a hard night of drinking – and more importantly, at the far end of the plane in first class is presidential candidate Ron Paul. I doubt they'll let me crash first class to interview him, but I'm keeping an eye open for opportunities.

Tomorrow morning I'm on a panel with neocon apologist and radio host Hugh Hewitt, who gets credit for getting Ron Paul to publicly admit he'd like to use assassination as his foreign policy in a recent interview. They apparently had trouble finding any liberal bloggers for some of the panels so they have me instead. Libertarian and cantankerous might pass for liberal when Hewitt is at the other end of the table. Hewitt may be the one person more pompous than I am so it may be fun.

I'm wishing P. J. O'Rourke or Hunter Thompson were here in my place to do this trip justice, but I'll do the best I can.

Meanwhile the world thunders on…

Pakistan Meltdown

Things are falling apart so fast in Pakistan that it's hard to report on it at all. Every time I start an article something new happens and my news is already out of date. Here are a few of the constants and key developments.

A lot of experts in the region agree that Pakistan is the real threat both locally and in the Islamic world. Before any of the current troubles began those with an ear to the ground were pointing out that Pakistan has a bigger population, a bigger economy and a bigger army than Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran put together. Its government has been unstable and now it's hanging by a string. The fundamentalist faction may be small but they're influential and powerful enough to hide and protect bin Laden for 5 years. Best of all, Pakistan has nukes. Not hypothetical pie in the sky nukes like Saddam and the Iranians but genuine Bombay sunrises waiting to happen. All of that makes Pakistan the increasingly uncalm eye in the hurricane of the War on Terror.

You know something is really wrong in a country when they impose martial law because the lawyers are rioting. As Musharraf cracks down everyone seems to see the chaos as an opportunity as Benazir Bhutto takes her life in her hands to return and President Bush tempts fate by demanding Musharraf's resignation and free elections. The next few days may bring glory or disaster in Pakistan and whatever happens there will profoundly affect events in the region.

Rudy Gets Touched by an Angel

Somewhat surprisingly, at lunch today at the National Press Club, religious media mogul and borderline madman Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy Giuiani for president. The move is surprising not only because Giuliani is the most outspokenly pro-choice Republican, but because he's a lapsed Catholic and Robertson has a history of sympathizing with the Birchers when it comes to the papist menace.

The endorsement is a clear attempt by Robertson to resurrect himself as politically relevant after a couple of bad years when he declared hurricane Katrina to be God's wrath and tried to declare war on Hugo Chavez. To most of us Robertson has been sounding just as crazy as we always suspected he was, but this endorsement of Giuliani is a pretty savvy grab at reclaiming the mainstream. Maybe like a lot of us he's terrified by Hillary or maybe he sees a slot in the cabinet (Secretary of Religion?) in his future.

Regardless of the reasons, it's great news for Giuliani because the god-flogging GOP bluehairs still watch Pat on TV and think his news reports are written on stone tablets by God. This endorsement really solves the one major problem Giuliani had in securing the nomination. If Pat Robertson can ignore absolutely everything about Rudy then so can anyone else.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Heh. Great article. Be sure to tell Dr. Ron Paul I said hello…and would very much like to interview him! :-)

  • Lumpy

    I think that endorsement may be worth more to Robertson than it is to Rudy. The right wing shillls on Fox had some surprisingly nasty stuff to say about robertson tonight.

  • REMF

    Re #1;
    I heard Max Cleland wanted to talk to you…

  • William Wallace

    Please notice: Pat Robertson, who said something equivalent to: “America was attacked because we deserved it”, has endorsed Rudy. Ron Paul did not say America deserved to be attacked. It would seem that Rudy *HAS* heard something like what he was falsely claiming Ron Paul had said. He just didn’t remember ?? Isn’t it strange that Rudy has no problem with Pat Robertson’s endorsement? Does Rudy have a problem with his memory and his hearing? I do not think Rudy is presidential. I think Ron Paul would be the best president since our founding fathers. His views are spot on for our present predicament. Truth remains truth, even this many years later.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    To be fair, Pat Robertson did NOT say America was attacked because we deserved it. He said that America was attacked because it was part of God’s vengeance for our sinfulness. Huge difference.

    And Ron Paul didn’t say that America deserved to be attacked. He said that things which America had done motivated the 9/11 terrorists to attack us. Not quite the same thing. However, it IS a statement which deserves some examination, because it implies that whatever America did to offend the terrorists was sufficient to justify the death of 3000 people – which is what Rudy is taking exception to.

    Dave

  • JustOneMan

    Maybe I am wrong…but there is a lot we can learn from whats happening in Pakistan..,

    The sight of angry crowds beating lawyers in the middle of the street in broad daylight is a big step forward in the evolution of man!

    Why cant we do thes same here? It would male a great national holiday!

    JOM

  • barnyard fowl

    Re: Musharaf:

    Didn’t Bush just say that Musharaf couldn’t be both political leader and General at the same time? While Bush himself does exactly that?

    And no one commented on it.

  • gonzo marx

    “‘m wishing P. J. O’Rourke or Hunter Thompson were here in my place to do this trip justice, but I’ll do the best I can.”

    no one invited me!!

    but i digress…

    Excelsior?

  • moonraven

    This is on Yahoo News:

    WASHINGTON – The Bush White House on Thursday applauded Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s decision to proceed with elections in Pakistan, which has been convulsing from his imposition of emergency rule last week.

    “We think it is a good thing that President Musharraf has clarified the election date for the Pakistani people,” press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement given to reporters who were accompanying the president on a trip to Texas later Thursday.

    The administration issued the statement welcoming the election the day after President Bush exhorted the embattled Musharraf in a telephone call to hold elections and to step down as head of the military in the Southwest Asian nation that has been riddled by unrest for the past several days.

    “You can’t be the president and the head of the military at the same time,” Bush said Wednesday, telling reporters about the 20-minute telephone call he had with Musharraf. Said the president: “I had a very frank discussion with him.”

    RIGHT.

    As he cheers him on. Wait till he drops nukes on his neighbors–then we will see Bush use that as a justification to drop them on every country he can think of.

    (Fortunately, he doesn’t know the names of very many countries–or on which continent they are located. That he has in common with several blogcritics regulars.)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “Hewitt may be the one person more pompous than I am…”

    You do set yourself up for it sometimes, don’t you, Dave?

    MR and REMF, over to you…

  • moonraven

    Sometimes No comment is THE PERFECT comment….

  • Baronius

    Giuliani has been hitting relentlessly on conservative issues lately, especially strict constructionism. It’s ironic, but he’s positioning himself as the candidate most likely to nominate the judges who overturn Roe.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “I heard Max Cleland wanted to talk to you…”

    I’d love to interview him as well. 😉

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    “Hewitt may be the one person more pompous than I am…”

    You do set yourself up for it sometimes, don’t you, Dave?

    Hewitt read the blog and thought my characterization of him was funny, and as it turns out he’s a pretty nice guy and has the right kind of sense of humor to understand that kind of comment. So there.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Dave, if you do meet Cleland, tell him to stop whining about the election. Ashcroft lost to a dead guy and got over it.

  • gonzo marx

    Baronius….never heard Cleland “whine” about it…

    and the dead guy (or his supporters) didn’t lie about Ashcroft, his service or his patriotism, did they?

    apples and oranges, imo

    Excelsior?

  • Baronius

    “It was like the trauma of being suddenly and traumatically blown up, and I in effect relived all that hell of 35 years ago.” – Cleland, on the 2000 election

    Also, Carnahan and his supporters lied about Ashcroft, accusing him of racism.

    When was Cleland’s patriotism questioned?

  • Martin Lav

    I believe his patriotism was questioned during the 2002 Campaign when Republican opponent, Rep. Saxby Chambliss attacked Cleland “for breaking his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.” The attack largely believed to be orchestrated by Karl Rove was due to Clelands voting for an amendment to the Chemical Weapons Treaty that eliminated a ban on citizens of terrorist nations being on U.N. inspection teams in Iraq.

    Max Cleland — and it’s not his style — has begun to quote Shakespeare in a line from “Romeo and Juliet”: “He jests at scars that never felt the wound.”

    Now apparently he’s begun to whine?

  • REMF

    “and the dead guy (or his supporters) didn’t lie about Ashcroft, his service or his patriotism, did they?”

    Gonz;
    Don’t you mean his non-service, since Ashcroft dodged the draft during Vietnam?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Baronius – in the context, i had thought you meant whining about losing his election to Chambliss…Martin accurately delineates one of the attacks on his patriotism..the other was a rash of push poll calling voters at home

    and i had not heard about the dead guy somehow insulting Ashcroft…and i said “about his service, or his patriotism”… if you have a link to the bit about “racism” then i’d love to read it

    Excelsior?

  • Just a Drummer

    And so did Chambliss……had a bad knee doncha ya know….

  • http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3827/is_199912/ai_n8877756 Baronius

    This is my first time providing a link, so we’ll see if it works. The article mentions the charge of racism. Ashcroft blocked the nomination of Judge Ronnie White to the federal court; White and Carnahan called it racism. Well, Carnahan had done college skits in blackface, and the Ashcroft camp had pictures. It was an exceptionally dirty campaign. Then, with Carnahan’s passing, his widow entered the race, as white as snow, and Ashcroft stopped campaigning out of respect. He lost a close election.

    These accusations were prominent during the AG confirmation hearings.

  • STM

    Is Chambliss related in any way to Kirby Chambliss, the Red Bull Air Racer. He’s from Texas, is Chambliss the politician also?? I have just been over the other side of the continent in sunny Perth watching Chambliss zip around the course at high speed without a) crashing, or b) hitting anything.

    Very politician-like