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You have an opinion, but do you have what it takes to be heard?

So you think you can blog?

From about 1,400 entrants, we're down to ten finalists. Five were picked by Post editors; five were selected by readers. (You can read the initial entries that got them to this point.) This week, we asked our finalists to prove what they can do as bloggers. Each day they had a specific assignment and then had to come up with a second post of their own. Our panel of judges offered kudos and catcalls along the way -- and then named Nancy Goldstein winner of the challenge. Nancy receives the pundit card and automatic advancement. And today we're looking to readers to decide who should advance with her. Cast your vote between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Nancy and three other contestants will get another chance at a byline. The rest will have to go home.

Posted by Marisa Katz on October 17, 2010 8:00 PM
FROM THE CONTESTANTS

Blackwater redux

The dangers and difficulties of relying on private military contractors.

Posted by Nancy Goldstein, on October 21, 2010 5:56 PM

'I love you back!'

Whether it's basketball, politics, or this contest, you try to win.

Posted by Robert Lehrman, on October 21, 2010 5:41 PM

Literacy and learning on the Metro

Wworries me are the conversations that don't happen, especially those between parents and their babies.

Posted by Lauren Hogan, on October 21, 2010 5:22 PM

Guns: the invisible issue

Fact is, the NRA's new slogan could be, "Our work here is done."

Posted by Ted Reinstein, on October 21, 2010 5:02 PM

An NAACP punch in the nose

The NAACP is back and showing some youthful spunk. Not a moment too soon.

Posted by Amina Luqman, on October 21, 2010 4:21 PM

What Matters

November elections are important, but not that important.

Posted by William Cunion, on October 21, 2010 4:17 PM

Tolerance is precarious

Pluralism is under siege the world over.

Posted by Conor Williams, on October 21, 2010 3:12 PM

Europe is from Venus ...

Do our friends and allies in Europe actually "get it"?

Posted by Paul Rosenzweig, on October 21, 2010 2:25 PM

The last 100 meters

Juan Williams, the latest casualty in an attempt to identify Islamic terrorists as our enemy.

Posted by Anthony Tata, on October 21, 2010 2:17 PM

Rebels without a cause

Tea Partiers have empty cups and young voters have full plates.

Posted by Ryan McElveen, on October 21, 2010 2:15 PM

On McCain, unplugged

He should have thought not simply of Boxer, but of himself.

Posted by Ted Reinstein, on October 21, 2010 1:00 PM

Having honest conversations

And I wish NPR hadn't fired Juan Williams.

Posted by Lauren Hogan, on October 21, 2010 12:25 PM

Reid's in a political bunker

He's in hiding, afraid to offend anyone and stand for anything.

Posted by Amina Luqman, on October 21, 2010 12:01 PM

Grow or die

The Coonses of the world need to adapt or become increasingly irrelavent.

Posted by Nancy Goldstein, on October 21, 2010 11:57 AM

The veterinarian and...

I'm astounded that people at The Post believe blogs have to be any one thing.

Posted by Robert Lehrman, on October 21, 2010 11:35 AM

Keeping the Republic

The freedoms that make a democracy great also make it ugly and messy.

Posted by William Cunion, on October 21, 2010 10:14 AM

Learning to Love the USA

Why progressives need to 'speak American' -- a response to WalterSobchak2.

Posted by Conor Williams, on October 21, 2010 8:57 AM

The angel is in the details

The problem with discourse today is that we are too enamored of superficial analysis.

Posted by Paul Rosenzweig, on October 21, 2010 8:43 AM

The complexities of conversation

I received quite a few critiques for my conversation between Hillary and Barack.

Posted by Ryan McElveen, on October 21, 2010 6:44 AM

You had me at hello

JackRyan82, somehow I lost you from my first column in the contest.

Posted by Anthony Tata, on October 21, 2010 1:49 AM

Why should voters vote?

Even idiots should be allowed to vote. But we shouldn't romanticize what people know as they're walking into the polling booths.

Posted by Robert Lehrman, on October 20, 2010 5:57 PM

The real problem with sexual conduct in the military? Don't ask...

The Defense Department shows shockingly little concern over the sexual assault and rape of enlisted women.

Posted by Nancy Goldstein, on October 20, 2010 5:34 PM

An Apology?!

At this moment in American political insanity, there's even space for Virginia Thomas's absurd request.

Posted by Amina Luqman, on October 20, 2010 4:57 PM

Talking about race

People have been asking me about my (edited) bio blurb. Here's the background.

Posted by Lauren Hogan, on October 20, 2010 3:58 PM

Brother, can you spare a truffle?

You know times are tough when white truffles are going for $2,000 a pound.

Posted by Ted Reinstein, on October 20, 2010 3:57 PM

The gr8est generation

How many text messages did you send yesterday?

Posted by William Cunion, on October 20, 2010 2:26 PM

An ode to Penn Station

This past Monday, a birthday came and went.

Posted by Ryan McElveen, on October 20, 2010 1:56 PM

Child Marriage: The Easiest Vote in Congress

Legislative issues can seem complex and impersonal, but this isn't the case with every bill on the Hill.

Posted by Conor Williams, on October 20, 2010 1:30 PM

No wonder the French are crazy

We are now entering the second week of violent strikes in France (something most people in the US have barely noticed).

Posted by Paul Rosenzweig, on October 20, 2010 1:12 PM

Looking for Mr. X

We find ourselves desperately seeking a national security strategy that harkens back to the clear-headed, nonpartisan incisiveness of George Kennan.

Posted by Anthony Tata, on October 20, 2010 1:00 PM

Is Facebook my friend?

The social scene -- a weekly take on American popular culture.

Posted by Amina Luqman, on October 20, 2010 11:58 AM

Mind-Mouth-Unplugged

No need to cast a wide net for this week's most spectacular uncoupling of mind and mouth.

Posted by Ted Reinstein, on October 20, 2010 10:24 AM

Beyond the Beltway

Dedicated to the proposition that most of the important events in the country and the world happen outside of Washington.

Posted by Paul Rosenzweig, on October 20, 2010 9:49 AM

The 3Bs: Three ways to get a bigger bang for the buck

Three ways to get a bigger bang for the buck.

Posted by Robert Lehrman, on October 20, 2010 9:34 AM

This week's polluter of purity

Our Creator--as delineated by the 2000 U.S. census--endowed us with five unalienable races: white, black, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic and the pursuit of 'other.'

Posted by Ryan McElveen, on October 20, 2010 9:26 AM

History Repeating

Current events we've seen before.

Posted by Lauren Hogan, on October 20, 2010 9:15 AM

The road to Hell needs a stop sign

A brief exploration into an idea that did not go as planned.

Posted by William Cunion, on October 20, 2010 8:52 AM

Oy Vey of the Day

Actions by a newsmaker guaranteed to make their PR people weep or the rest of us wince.

Posted by Nancy Goldstein, on October 20, 2010 8:29 AM

And Everybody Knows It: Oil

A weekly spotlight on the latest lies we are telling each other.

Posted by Conor Williams, on October 20, 2010 8:19 AM

The Weekly Six Pack

Six rumors, maybes, or looks-like-it might-happens that aren't part of the monolithic media group-think.

Posted by Anthony Tata, on October 20, 2010 12:18 AM

Being grown-ups

Our kids don't act like kids, and our adults don't act like adults.

Posted by Lauren Hogan, on October 19, 2010 4:39 PM

The P-word

Reality check, poverty is here to stay unless we're willing to talk about it.

Posted by Amina Luqman, on October 19, 2010 4:25 PM

Party first?

I think voting Republican is putting the country first.

Posted by William Cunion, on October 19, 2010 3:51 PM

Was Beaver's mom a 'Grizzly?'

Palin likes tough mamas, for sure -- she frequently mixes motherhood with hockey, grizzlies and pit bulls.

Posted by Ted Reinstein, on October 19, 2010 3:51 PM

1994: lessons learned

There was life after Election Day, even after writing speeches for eleven losers in a row.

Posted by Robert Lehrman, on October 19, 2010 3:19 PM

What if no one's looking at your butt in the shower?

Exactly how many disciplinary problems, resignations, privacy problems, and unit cohesion problems have there been since 'don't ask don't tell' was suspended?

Posted by Nancy Goldstein, on October 19, 2010 3:18 PM

The coming Beltway gridlock

Both parties are going to have a new set of limits.

Posted by Conor Williams, on October 19, 2010 1:32 PM

Exit stage left: Whoopi and Joy

Democrats all over the country have been running away from a record of which they should be proud.

Posted by Ryan McElveen, on October 19, 2010 1:25 PM

Big Brother is tracking you

Changing technology really requires a changed law.

Posted by Paul Rosenzweig, on October 19, 2010 12:12 PM

The Rent Is Too Damn High

We should all give Jimmy McMillan a standing ovation for having the grit to fight for his fellow men and women.

Posted by Anthony Tata, on October 19, 2010 12:12 PM

There you go again

How are candidates in the O'Donnell mold continually gaining ground in this country?

Posted by Nancy Goldstein, on October 19, 2010 11:55 AM

Anger problem? Nah.

Two candidates that paid no attention at all to rules, insulted each other right from the first, and treated time limits like invading armies treat borders.

Posted by Robert Lehrman, on October 19, 2010 11:40 AM

When politics become reality TV

These guys may be able to debate like reality TV, but in the end they'll have to govern in the real world.

Posted by Amina Luqman, on October 19, 2010 11:17 AM

Crossing the Delaware (debate): no Washingtons here

Witchcraft never came up. It didn't need to. O'Donnell repeatedly took flight anyway in directions that were somewhat hard to track.

Posted by Ted Reinstein, on October 19, 2010 11:16 AM

The differences between women and men are a beautiful thing

Christine O'Donnell emerged as the candidate for Delaware senator equipped with more questions than answers.

Posted by Ryan McElveen, on October 19, 2010 10:47 AM

Electing ourselves

The O'Donnell-Coons debate devolved into un-moderated interruption, arguing, and inane accusations almost immediately.

Posted by Lauren Hogan, on October 19, 2010 10:43 AM

Widener University School of Law or Faber College?

I was hoping John Belushi's Animal House character, Bluto, would walk into the O'Donnell-Coons debate with a chainsaw and carve up a dead horse.

Posted by Anthony Tata, on October 19, 2010 10:06 AM

When intelligence is electoral baggage

O'Donnell plays to voter fears of education and experience. Haven't we run this experiment before?

Posted by Conor Williams, on October 19, 2010 9:43 AM

Bothered and bewildered

I don't need to suffer through old episodes of Politically Incorrect to know that I am glad I don't live in Delaware.

Posted by William Cunion, on October 19, 2010 9:35 AM

Coons vs. O'Donnell and the evolving Constitution

Neither candidate did justice to a robust and sophisticated debate about Constitutional interpretation.

Posted by Paul Rosenzweig, on October 19, 2010 9:13 AM

The only qualification that matters

Voters may again start looking to someone new to rescue them from a government that has "lost touch."

Posted by William Cunion, on October 18, 2010 5:41 PM

Wedding bells

That we have political space in America for homophobia is something we'll have to answer for one day.

Posted by Amina Luqman, on October 18, 2010 4:59 PM

Taking care of business

Can it be that certain financial sector writers live in an alternate reality, far far away from the rest of us?

Posted by Nancy Goldstein, on October 18, 2010 4:33 PM

Angry? Take a number.

The sentiment out there is hardly limited to a pouty homophobe in upstate New York.

Posted by Ted Reinstein, on October 18, 2010 4:29 PM

Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- The Appeal

Why Obama is right to disregard his base and appeal last week's district court decision.

Posted by Paul Rosenzweig, on October 18, 2010 3:25 PM

Washington's Mark Antony

A compendium of dishonesty from Fenty and Rhee.

Posted by Robert Lehrman, on October 18, 2010 3:14 PM

Hillary for vice president

Setting: Obama has just returned to the Oval Office after his morning workout, and he's decided it's time to pop the question.

Posted by Ryan McElveen, on October 18, 2010 2:13 PM

Do we believe in government?

This administration may accomplish new policies, but will a new ideology live on?

Posted by Amina Luqman, on October 18, 2010 1:37 PM

In search of a coherent left

Instead of emphasizing their populist commitment to American equality, progressives have presented themselves as technocratic problem-solvers.

Posted by Conor Williams, on October 18, 2010 12:52 PM

The Democrats' slow spinning curve ball

They should have seen the Republican tide coming and timed their swing to counter the surge.

Posted by Anthony Tata, on October 18, 2010 12:39 PM

Let's not be like Germany

Has multiculturalism failed in the United States?

Posted by Lauren Hogan, on October 18, 2010 12:22 PM

Takes one to know one

Maureen Dowd is ruthless in her attack on ruthless politicians.

Posted by William Cunion, on October 18, 2010 11:19 AM

From failed state to fecund state

Regional powers have been preparing for the collapse of North Korea while the U.S. twiddles its thumbs.

Posted by Ryan McElveen, on October 18, 2010 9:52 AM

David Headley -- connecting the dots is hard work

The problem is that a report about Headley is one or two bits of information, more or less, floating in a sea of millions.

Posted by Paul Rosenzweig, on October 18, 2010 9:36 AM

Mythical science and fantastical solutions

Political will to reduce carbon emissions may be lacking, but that doesn't mean other approaches are worth pursuing.

Posted by Conor Williams, on October 18, 2010 9:15 AM

Turning Japanese?

A New York Time piece lost me when it came time to talk about who and what is responsible for Japan's sustained economic woes.

Posted by Nancy Goldstein, on October 18, 2010 8:18 AM

No escaping negative 'narrative'

One could be forgiven for having the impression that no impending disaster world-wide rivals the one awaiting Democrats on November 2.

Posted by Ted Reinstein, on October 18, 2010 8:08 AM

The good news out of South America

Brazil is leading the lower continent out of the throes of dependency.

Posted by Anthony Tata, on October 18, 2010 6:17 AM

They're you

We should grant politicians the complexity we see in ourselves.

Posted by Robert Lehrman, on October 18, 2010 2:17 AM

Unity and change in the DC schools

The person who breaks the system wide open is rarely the same person who can put it back together.

Posted by Lauren Hogan, on October 18, 2010 12:00 AM

 
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