Surprise! Live Chat! (and Open Thread)

15 11 2008

 Come on over to the chat room in the Mudflats Forum!  We’ve scheduled an impromptu live chat so everyone in the “Night Kitchen” can connect in real time! 

We’ve got philosophical cocoa, political smores, and a roaring fire of discourse!

Directions:  Click the link in the sidebar that says Join the Conversation.  When you are in the Forum, click the link in the upper right-hand corner that says in tiny purple letters:  Live Chat now available 24/7 right here.

See you there!

(Or use this post as an open thread.)


I Saw Walt Monegan Today.

15 11 2008

I was running around town today, doing a few errands and who should I see, but Walt Monegan. I’ve met him before briefly, but I was sure he wouldn’t remember me. I was taken by surprise, and I felt like I had so much to say. I wanted to thank him for his service to the state. I wanted to tell him I though he really got the short end of the stick. I wanted to tell him that I appreciate all he was doing for the Troopers, and for rural Alaska, and that I was sorry he never had the chance to make his plans a reality. I wanted to ask him if he needed anything….I don’t know what it would be, but I, like so many others wish I could do something. He looked a little tired.

I froze. Maybe, I thought, he just wants to have a Saturday afternoon running errands like everybody else. Maybe he just wants one small block of time without having to think about Sarah Palin, or talk to anybody about Troopergate. I know I have times where I just don’t want to think about Sarah Palin anymore….I can only imagine how he feels.

Then I started thinking that people are always grateful for kind words. Maybe I’d make it really short, so I wouldn’t interrupt his day, but so he’d know that there was one more person out there pulling for him, and doing what they could to support him. I wouldn’t engage him in conversation, but I ‘d let him know I was on his side. But what would I say? I stood there for a minute composing the perfect 10-second statement that would encompass all those things, and come out just right.

Of course by the time I had mentally composed my script, he was gone. I saw him with his wife off in the distance, and thought maybe I could still catch him if I ran…but then I decided it would ruin the effect of my casual quick 10-second support statement if I had to arrive there gasping and out of breath from running top speed down the street to catch up with him.

So, I hope Walt and his wife had a nice afternoon, and I hope they didn’t think about Sarah Palin.

President Elect Obama’s First Fireside Chat.

15 11 2008

Welcome to the 21st century.

In addition to regularly videotaping the radio address, officials at the transition office say the Obama White House will also conduct online Q&As and video interviews. The goal, officials say, is to put a face on government. In the following weeks, for example, senior members of the transition team, various policy experts and choices for the Cabinet, among others, will record videos for


But online political observers say President-elect Obama’s innovative online fueled campaign will likely evolve into a new level of online communication between the public and the White House–the Internet-era version of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous “fireside chats” between 1933 and 1944,

“The Obama team has written the playbook on how to use YouTube for political campaigns. Not only have they achieved impressive mass — uploading over 1800 videos that have been viewed over 110 million times total — but they’ve also used video to cultivate a sense of community amongst supporters,” said Steve Grove, head of news and politics at YouTube. “Obama told us in a YouTube interview last year that he plans to have ‘fireside chats’ on video, and we expect his administration will launch a White House YouTube channel very soon after taking office.”

Added Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for government transparency: “We’re living, after all, in the Internet era. This is an individualized version of the ‘fireside chats.’ It’s not delivered between 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. but whenever anyone wants to see it. I don’t know if it necessarily creates transparency — it’s still a controlled, one-way message. But it creates the aura of a much more accessible presidency.”

Bedtime in Alaska – Night Kitchen – Open Thread

15 11 2008

Good night everyone.  I leave the virtual lodge in your capable hands.