Best ‘Post of the Year’ Nominations

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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18 Responses

  1. Burt Likko says:

    No fair — that Tod called for nominations. Now everyone’s going to think this was rigged, but I assure you all this was not arranged in any way. Because for me, it’s an easy choice, not really a choice at all.

    I nominate Tod’s “Sailing Away To Irrelevance” series of posts. I include two others in that category as intellectual companions to them:

    Prequel: Watching Partisan Media
    First: Flubbing The Sandra Fluke Affair
    Second: Denying Facts For Liberal Bias
    Third: Gunplay
    Fourth: Benghazi Blunders
    Fifth: Defeating A Treaty
    Companion Piece: The Value Voters Summit

    Between the formal series and its two companion pieces, Tod has discerned, researched, and analyzed something critically amiss in the body politic only hinted at anywhere else, and run a warning bell with understanding and fluid, lucid prose — and without antagonism to conservatives and Republicans.

    In the entire year, I didn’t read anything better and more powerful in any venue, whether in a blog post, a magazine or a newspaper, or even a book. To share blogspace with the author of such writing is an honor. These posts are the reason I love this blog, and they are a powerful demonstration of what blogging is capable of.

    I want to be like you when I grow up, Tod.Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Thanks, Burt – but you’re supposed to nominate one of YOUR posts!

      If you’re stumped, might I recommend your McCullouch v. Maryland post? Any of the great cases would work, I guess, but this one was my favorite – and one of the best posts I read all year anywhere. I still think you need to turn these into a book.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Wow, I just actually read what you wrote. Thank a LOT. Thanks quite a thing, what you said.

        Blushing, just a bit.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        That’s still something I want to do — in my copious free time!Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I really think my own contributions to the League this year were more community-oriented — organizing Leaguefest, promoting the second symposium, and moderating one of the earlier Leaguecasts — than epistolary.

        As to the Great Cases, I really had to wait until both my professional calendar cleared and the muse sung again before I could do McCulloch v. Maryland the justice it deserves. I’m a bit disappointed in myself for not being as productive on that front as I had wanted to be. If I’m permitted to go back a calendar year from the call for nomination, I can tell you that I had more fun researching and writing about Fletcher v. Peck and Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee. It still surprises me that non-lawyers are so interested in this stuff, but I think it’s really cool that you all are there. I’ve been sitting on what feels like a three-quarters done Gibbons v. Ogden for a while now — there’s so much history and economics and other non-legal stuff that comes up in that case, it’s difficult to focus on the law. Yes, yes, it’s coming soon, I promise. Although I’m also preparing two cases out of order for the upcoming Guns in America symposium.

        I wish my clients would actually read what I write for their benefit, and I’ve made the most substantive references back to that particular post since writing it of nearly anything I’ve written. And naming a planet was a whole lot of fun.

        On the front page, I wrote two pieces I’m still pretty proud of, one about California’s jungle primary, and the other about L’affaire d’Pussy Riot, although looking that over in retrospect, I think I was unfairly harsh on the defense attorney. Still, I think that one was the best front-page contribution I made this year.

        Again, if I’m permitted can go back a full calendar year to squeeze a few days out of late December 2011, I think some of the best writing I did was on my cell phone on a brisk morning while early to court. And the most fun I had researching and preparing for a post was either for Vesper or a naming contest.

        Oh, I can only pick one? The writing I’m most proud of myself for producing is that meditation on downtown Los Angeles, both for the circumstances under which I wrote it compared to the quality of the end product. If I had to pick a “most important” post, I would pick Pussy Riot rather than McCulloch v. Maryland but I sincerely thank you (and the rest of the readership) for thinking so highly of my popularization of a subject as arcane as Constitutional law!Report

        • Will H. in reply to Burt Likko says:

          I really like your “Great Cases” series.

          I wish you would do one on the rules changes. There are historical notes in the foreword to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but even a guy like me, whose tastes in reading material tend past the dry toward the arid, finds this sort of thing difficult to wade through.
          The Rules are important, because they substantially affected each and every case that came after them.
          There are a host of interesting topics there, from the exceptions to the notice pleadings to the abolition of the writ of mandamus.Report

          • Burt Likko in reply to Will H. says:

            [Grins.] Damn, you are a glutton for arcana, aren’t you!

            I’m sorry, Will H. I can work up a fire in my gut about two centuries-old land title disputes, but an FRCP revision seems just a bit too dry.

            Besides, I’ve been solicited to write a post about playing a video game. And doesn’t another cocktail sound nice?Report

            • Will H. in reply to Burt Likko says:

              I understand completely.
              But I was wondering if there was any particular case leading up to the rule changes that made them a priority.
              I don’t see the judiciary acting on their own accord to revise things broadly very often. I get the feeling that something must have happened.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Ditto this on Tod’s “Sailing Away” posts. I have a friend, an academic political scientist, who never wastes time on blogs, but I pointed out Tod’s post about all the made-up stories from the conservative media, and he was profoundly impressed, in awe, and immediately made sure all his other friends saw it. And the series as a whole is certainly the best unified set of blog posts I’ve ever read.Report

  2. Dan Miller says:

    Jason’s post on Azathoth and extropianism was one of the best things here. I’d encourage a nomination for that.Report

  3. Rose Woodhouse says:

    I loved Tod’s series and would second them. Two others stand out: Russell on the CIA’s actions to get bin Laden
    Conor on Teacher Hatred and Class Warfare:

    Elias writes so many good posts so often that I’m really astonished.

    My favorite symposium was unquestionably the inequality symposium.

    I’m sure there are others and I’ve forgotten them.Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    close the thread, this was the best post on this site this past year, and even more relevant today.Report

  5. aaron david says:

    I nominate Jason’s post here. This was, in my opinion, the best post.

  6. Kazzy says:


  7. ktward says:

    As a reader, I couldn’t possibly pick a fav without risking an accidental Xanax overdose. But I have bookmarked this page so I can work my way through the ones I’ve missed.

    Also too, thanks for reminding me to drop by BJ every now and again. This comment left me in stitches. Still stitching, actually.Report

  8. Chris says:

    I’m too lazy to look it up, but Hanley’s post-election post was impressive both for its depth and the fact that it came pretty much minutes after the election.Report