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July 23, 2004

We're live

Hello, and thanks for coming to our blog. We're very excited about putting this together, and we hope you like it. I was a print journalist until just a few weeks ago, and I'm enjoying working in a new medium that doesn't have to follow the same conventions as a printed weekly news magazine. The feel here is a little more personal, and relaxed. Like a wedding speech.

And what would a wedding speech be without a story? It would be boring. So, I'd like to begin this blog with a little story.

I knew three years ago the 2004 presidential campaign was going to be a bear. One day, I was walking down 7th Avenue in Park Slope,

an affluent and highly civil neighborhood in Brooklyn. It's the sort of place where people actually practice random acts of kindness, like picking up litter that other people dropped, because it's makes the community look nicer and we're all responsible for one another anyway.

I approached a newsstand, three or four steps behind a nice looking couple in their 20s, a man and woman strolling down the street arm in arm, sipping coffee from paper cups. Well dressed and well behaved, educated and professional, hip but not aggressively so, it was hard to imagine either one collecting a parking ticket, let alone vandalizing a neighbor's property. As we approached the newstand, the woman glanced down at a stack of newspapers, with President Bush's face on the cover. Smiling pleasantly, without so much as breaking her stride, she raised her cup and drained her latte on the president's head.

The news vendor, no doubt a hard working immigrant, would have to eat the cost of the damage. For me, the thin veneer of civilization had been lifted. It was clear that the 2000 campaign had never ended. That anger has been coursing through the political system ever since, whipping around like an unpredictable storm. It billowed Dean's sails for a few months, but he wasn't able to ride it for very long. Now, in Boston, we'll see how well Kerry can tack.

06:58 PM

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