Sunday, December 14, 2008

A note to our readers

Hey --
Sunday, Sunday . . .

Along with Dallas, the following worked on this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
and Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends.

We thank them all. We thank Isaiah for allowing us to reprint his comic in a feature, we thank readers.

Here's what we came up with:

Truest statement of the week -- Dee Dee Myers really earned this spot. And then some

Truest statement of the week II -- Marie Cocco has now earned her fourth or fifth truest. 2008 was really a strong year for her.

Editorial: The treaty's not that confusing -- What sort of thing results in delays? 20 minutes were spent on this editorial's first sentence. And that's after it was written. C.I. does not believe in "I told you so"s. Since it's more of a "we" than an "I," C.I. relented. (And I tossed out all the links at the end under "See also:" which provided the many, many entries C.I.'s written on the treaty.) This is a strong editorial and special thanks on that go to C.I. and Mike. The edition never seemed to end and a lot people were fading. Everyone assisted on this editorial but the star players were C.I. and Mike. (And the rest of wanted to credit them here for that. So don't e-mail asking, "How is ___ supposed to feel when you write . . .")

TV: Left In The Dust -- I read Ava and C.I.'s commentary to everyone and it's probably the only thing that gave us the second wind needed for the editorial and for deciding who were the truests for the week. This is really strong and, at a time when a number of pieces were still not working, this brought about relief over the quality of this week's edition.

Best digital download buys -- We do not plan on doing a feature like this every week. It so happens that we've now done several in a row. But don't think that every week we're doing one. There's one that's in the process of being researched and will probably be covered in the Christmas edition because Betty and C.I. have pushed it. (And they'll both be working on that edition as will Ava. Who else? We're not sure yet. Dona and I are going to have to do both sets of parents so we won't be working that weekend. "I" is Jim.) This feature pulled together a number of purchases under the heading of best buys. With three different choices, we hope there's at least one that interests you. On music, NPR webcast Aimee Mann's concert live last night. We listened. We planned to cover it. But they have a note up that says the audio archive of the concert will be added shortly. For that reason, it makes more sense to note the concert next week when those that missed it can stream it.

The remake of Stranges On a Train -- This was one of the features that did not work. And since I uploaded the photo Saturday morning (uploaded to Flickr) I was bound and determined that we would use it. This wasn't working so badly that Dona asked Ava and C.I. if they would consider using the photo in their TV commentary (to shut me up, though worded more kindly)? They said sure but pointed out that the problem was we were making it a lengthy piece and it was a short piece, "Criss-Cross, like Jim wrote at Flickr." With that in mind, we stripped out all but two written lines and quickly rewrote the rest. As a short feature it works. Sadly, we went through five lengthy drafts last night and this morning before the thought of it being a short feature became a lightbulb.

A gold watch for Robert Byrd? -- We were going to do this feature many, many times this year. I didn't think John McCain would be the GOP nominee. (I thought it would be Romney until the primaries started and then I thought they'd nominate Huckabee up until his Texas loss.) I forget the original reason this got pushed back (and Dona says this was first proposed in December of 2007) but when McCain became the nominee (March 2008), we had to push it back. We were not supporting John McCain and had made that clear for some time. Doing an article that could be seen as "retire them all!" would be seen by some as playing into the "He's too old" mantra coming out of the MoveOn types. (And Barack's campaign.) As we note in the article, Robert Byrd could run for president and, if elected, that's the will of the American people. This isn't an article about presidents or presidential candidates. We were 'assisted' in the narrowing down of the focus by Byrd announcing last month that he 'decided' to step down as chair of the Appropriations Commitee (no, he was pushed out). The fact that Democratic leadership in the Senate is trashing senority allowed us to focus on them. At various times, when this article has been pitched, the focus has always been larger. For example, the oldest person in the House is Ralph Hall -- the one-time Democrat who quickly flipped Republican in part due to Bully Boy's 2002 popularity but also as a result of his hurt feelings. (We could do an entire article just on the latter.)

The Princess Brat Diaries -- Continued coverage of Caroline. And next week we may explore why she seeks appointments and not campaigns. Isaiah's comic runs in this and remember my 'we thank our readers'? Here's one example. Three of you have written in that Isaiah's comic ran in an article and was not credited in the article or the note. Please tell us which article and we'll fix that. In the meantime, my apologies to Isaiah.

Hmm . . . -- I think Kat, Dona, Jess and C.I. were laughing at this. Dallas was looking for a photo at the White House website and he does a very good vocal impersonation of the White House occupant so, to amuse, he started reading from the Radio Address yesterday. They stopped him with Dona crying out, "Short feature! Absolutely!"

Amy Poehler leaves SNL (Ava and C.I.) -- They covered this (Ava and C.I.) due to several friends' requests and also because they needed to note 30 Rock's ratings in something. We thank our readers? I said that earlier, remember? Last week, Ava and C.I. wrote two lengthy pieces. Not the TV commentary, but the other one (which is why I'm noting this here and not on the TV commentary) was a hit for most of Sunday. However, those e-mails were quickly overtaken by ones asking, "Why did you change their writing?" They didn't change anything. Nor did we. We've changed passwords again and are taking other efforts. We'll see it as a prank and not as malice. When Ty and Dona saw the e-mails, they immediately pulled it up and, yes, it was obvious that Ava and C.I. had not written that section (the end). They called them and Ava and C.I. quickly dictated an approximation of their ending from the road. Thank you to readers who caught the change (which is first noted Sunday evening by long term reader Jessica).

Corrente's Sarah Did Not Vote -- You can say, "I didn't vote for Barack." That can be true. If you say, "I didn't vote for Barack, I voted for Hillary," you better check your state's guidelines to find out whether you did or not. Those living in Texas, like Sarah, either wrote-in a candidate on the list of write-in candidates or they did not vote for president.

ETAN Says NO to Dennis Blair -- If this hadn't gone to the SPAM e-mail folder, we would have posted it last Sunday.

Highlights -- Stan, Marcia, Ruth, Wally, Cedric, Kat, Rebecca, Betty, Elaine and Mike wrote this and picked all highlights unless otherwise noted. We thank them for this.

And that's what we've got. Hopefully something to make you think, make you laugh or make you mad.

See you next week.

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
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