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…
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 Every time I start an article something new happens and my news is already out of date.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.Powered by Sidelines