Saturday, October 02, 2004
The data is in, Kerry's takin' over!
Looks like Big John is getting a big bounce from whuppin' little Georgie's butt in the debate Thursday night.
Polling data from Democracy Corps shows that Kerry made significant gains on Bush, most notably among Independent voters:
Large movement with key demographic groups. In this even race between John Kerry and George Bush, the critical bloc of Independent voters moved considerably toward John Kerry. Kerry’s most notable achievement of the night was the vote shift among Independents where his vote increased 4 points from 50 to 54 percent while Bush’s vote dropped 3 points from 45 to 42 percent. Kerry’s favorability among independents jumped 12 points, and he addressed many of their concerns, both on security – up 10 points on making America safer and more secure, and 16 points on having good plans for Iraq – and leadership qualities – up 13 points on strong leader, up 10 points in having confidence in him, and a drop of 11 points on flip-flopping.These are the very voters Kerry needs in order to win.
Newsweek has the first major poll since the debate, showing Kerry surging 2 to 3 points ahead of Bush on the post-debate bounce:
With a solid majority of voters concluding that John Kerry outperformed George W. Bush in the first presidential debate on Thursday, the president’s lead in the race for the White House has vanished, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. In the first national telephone poll using a fresh sample, NEWSWEEK found the race now statistically tied among all registered voters, 47 percent of whom say they would vote for Kerry and 45 percent for George W. Bush in a three-way race.(Thanks to Atrios for the link)
Removing Independent candidate Ralph Nader, who draws 2 percent of the vote, widens the Kerry-Edwards lead to three points with 49 percent of the vote versus the incumbent’s 46 percent. Four weeks ago the Republican ticket, coming out of a successful convention in New York, enjoyed an 11-point lead over Kerry-Edwards with Bush pulling 52 percent of the vote and the challenger just 41 percent.
Thirteen points is big-time bounce this late into the campaign. But lest we get all giddy, The General reminds us that there are those members of the faithful who refuse to be moved, no matter how badly Bush gets thrashed in the debates:
Joyce Plank, 67, of Leola, watched last night, but it didn’t make a difference to her.I remember Bob Dylan singin' something about that.
"You see as a Christian I have to believe in Bush. I believe Bush can do more for our country because he has God on his side."
Debate Planning and Execution
Be sure to check out the notes that Bush brought to the debate (via Suburban Guerrilla), and the notes he took during the debate (via Atrios).
It's all becoming perfectly clear . . .
Friday, October 01, 2004
For Your Weekend Browsing ...
Take a minute and go visit Life or Something Like It. It's written by Jess, who is sort of family in the twisted way we're all kind of related out here in the rural west.
Anyway, his blog just keeps getting better and better, and he's always got something to make me laugh. Check it out.
Colorado Luis has captured the one line that all of us should use freely around the water cooler at work, at the counter of our favorite cafe, or wherever else we're likely to be discussing the debate over the next few days:
If Kerry were the president and Bush the challenger, would anyone -- anyone -- think Bush has what it takes to be the commander in chief?Feel free to share it liberally.
It's a Tough Job.
Let's hire sombody who can actually do it!
Avedon Carol considers all those times in the debate last night that Bush said how hard the work was:
Clinton made it look easy, like he was having a vacation or partying, and since the Republicans think wearing blue jeans in the White House means you're some sort of slacker, they figured the job just can't be that hard if he could do it. But of course, Clinton just happened to love the work, and Bush plainly doesn't. And there he is, a guy who's never worked in his life, and he is in a job that's actually pretty tough - and he can't cut it.We might add that Clinton was also highly intelligent. George W. Bush, on the other hand...
Big Media Matt Nails It.
Must be why he gets paid to write
Krauthammer, at least when I’ve seen him, manages to exhibit a certain seriousness of purpose in his demeanor and tone; with Bush, the disconnection from reality seeps from every pore, from every inappropriate pause, from every misplaced emphasis, from every moment of staring blankly into space while his opponent speaks. The easygoing, somewhat charming Bush of the 2000 campaign is gone. So, too, is the moralistic, crusading Bush of the address to Congress after the September 11 attacks. We don’t even get the Bush of the catastrophic 9-11 attacks themselves, where a disoriented president at least seemed genuinely disturbed by the events of the day.Then again, there seem to be a lot of people who get paid to write but who remain clueless.
Last night’s Bush looked more like the victim of a psychopharmacological experiment gone awry -- the result of a botched effort to create the speechwriter’s dream candidate, the one who sticks to the professionally written script come what may, an effect achieved only by shutting down the neural pathways that might allow the outside world to impinge upon his psyche. He reminds me of Zack Braff’s character in Garden State, driving off from the gas station with the nozzle still stuck in his tank, presumably spilling fuel everywhere. Except that was funny. It was a gas station in a movie.
I just heard Tony Blankley, former Republican operative who now writes for the Moonie Times. He was part of the panel of journaliests on the News Roundup on The Diane Rehm Show this morning, discussing Bush's debate performance last night. He acknowledged that Bush was pretty bad. But then he put the spin on it, saying that it didn't matter much because the people had seen Bush be president for 4 years, and people realize that everybody has good days and bad days, just like your spouse.
Good analogy, Tony: The President of the United States and my spouse on a bad day.
The Limits of a Simple Mind
I also think the Bush team was under-prepared. I heard someone say this on MSNBC, I think, but I'm not sure. Anyway, the Bush team seemed to think that attacking Kerry's mixed messages, praising freedom, and talking about the "hard work" would be enough to get him through 90 minutes of non-stop debate. It wasn't. I really noticed this after Kerry spoke about nuclear proliferation (I think?) with ease, and Bush was reading some prepared notes. It was clear who had a better command of the issue.Team Bush has been prepping their boy for weeks, getting him ready for this debate.
What if, after all that preparation, this is all that the President of the United States is capable of? What if this is the extent of his command of the issues?
"First of all, of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us. I know that."Scary. Really scary.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
But don't just take my word for it...
Was it me, or was Bush on the defensive the entire debate? He could lip-smack, smirk, roll his eyes, blink like crazy, and look angry all he wanted, fact is, he has screwed things up and he was livid that he had to account for his mess.Atrios:
Kerry presidential. Bush smirked.Kevin Drum:
Bush's performance was mediocre, I thought. He was smirking too much during the cutaways, he alternated between defensiveness and an unattractive belligerence, and he repeated the same phrases a little too much. Staying on message is fine, but sounding like you've been hypnotized isn't.That Colored Fella:
Kerry did pretty well. He explained himself lucidly, he stayed on message, and he was clear and firm. He didn't have any killer lines, but he did have a few good ones. Overall, it seems to me that for an undecided voter who's just now starting to pay attention, Kerry won on points.
Bush’s performance, made clear the ‘plain spoken’ appeal to me. Who else but a bunch of ignorant, Southern white trash that sits in the hot sun all day watching cars circle a track, could be happy with such a dimwit as President. Because, four years later, the stakes and dangers are much higher for this country, should we now opt for the guy with a firmer grasp of the details?Publius:
Bush just got his ass kicked. Seriously, I feared that Kerry would be defending his Iraq stance and the 87 billion all night, but Bush hardly mentioned either. The key is that Bush was on the defensive almost all night - especially in the first (and most important) hour. I was surprised. Bush was clearly angry at having to defend constantly his Iraq positions. And it showed. Bush's strength is that people like him, and think he comes across as a good, decent man. That didn't come across tonight. He was angry and defensive - and that's not how Bush wins debates.
The CEO President looks and sounds dazed and confused. God only knows what he might have said if they hadn't given him a couple of mantras to repeat over and over again.
Kerry looked and sounded confident and completely in command of his facts. He did dip into the minutiae a time or two, but at least he has access to relevant details. Bush only had access to the his mantras.
Kerry by a mile.
Bush League Networks
won't run ads for Fahrenheit 9/11
Susan (the birthday girl) at Suburban Guerrilla noticed this news at the LA Weekly:
ON ANY GIVEN DAY, the major TV networks rarely demonstrate good judgment, much less morality, when it comes to accepting a litany of nauseating advertisements. Hemorrhoid creams. Vaginal ointments. Erectile dysfunction. Army recruiting ads that portray war as a gee-whiz video game. KFC’s claim that fried chicken is the new health food. And, lest we forget, Bud Light’s farting horse during the Super Bowl.Fuck 'em! GET IT HERE.
But ads for the October 5 release of the new Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD?
Now that makes Big Media gag.
L.A. Weekly has learned that CBS, NBC and ABC all refused Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD advertising during any of the networks’ news programming. Executives at Sony Pictures, the distributor of the movie for the home-entertainment market, were stunned. And even more shocked when the three networks explained why.
“They said explicitly they were reluctant because of the closeness of the release to the election."
Is Bush Delusional?
The evidence is mounting
Mark Kleiman picks up on another indicater that the guy who might be the president for another 4 years (if enough voters remain in clinical denial) may well be a few bricks shy of a load (to use a non-clinical term).
Bush said "The Taliban is no longer in existence." Kleiman finds that somewhat facinating, considering that Karzai is being forced to negotiate with them.
But hey, the president's got a lot on his plate these days. Let's not complicate his work with little things like reality.
The Last Great Concert
Now that I've had some coffee and am semi-recovered from too much highway and the delight of trying to get some sleep at an interstate rest area between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m. this morning, I'd thought I offer my report on the Vote for Change concert in Phoenix last night.
As I mentioned earlier, an old (and very good) friend got me a ticket. He and I were not sitting together, but to my surprise my seat was next to that of another old friend I hadn't seen in 15 years.
Anyway, this was a great concert. Bonnie Raitt just keeps getting better. Lot's of singers have nice voices, but nobody can style a song the way she can. And watching her play, I was reminded of an old Chapin Carpenter line, "Who says girls can't play the guitar?"
Jackson Browne was great. The amazing thing was how poignant his songs from the 1980s, (Lives in the Balance, I am a Patriot, America) inspired by the U.S.'s misguided adventures in Central American, remain in today's political/military/industrial climate.
David Crosby and Graham Nash never sounded better together. Steve Stills has lost some vocal notes, but he can still play that guitar. And it was great to see Crosby's son and bandmates from CPR on the stage as part of the band. They were outstanding. CSN opened with a powerul "Carry On", and Crosby's "Allmost Cut My Hair" was as strong as ever. Hard to believe that he can still hit all those notes after 35 years. Saying "nice comeback" doesn't even get close.
Sadly, Keb' Mo' was not there. Apparently Kevin had some personal stuff to attend to and was unable to make the trip to Phoenix. Hard to imagine that this concert could have been any better, but Keb' certainly would have made it so.
Great Show. Catch one near you. I'll write more when I get a little time.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Big Bush Lead in Arizona?
It could depend on the Hispanic vote
A new poll from KAET, the PBS affiliate associated with Arizona State University shows Bush holding an 11 point lead over Kerry among registered voters.
Two questionable aspects of this poll. The sample included few Hispanic voters, and it showed no gender gap.
As I've noted before, most polls tend to underrepresent Hispanic voters. And frankly, I'm not ready to believe that Kerry won't get a majority of the votes by women -- even in Arizona.
So, let's take this poll with a grain or two of salt -- but don't choke on it. There are a lot of telephones in Arizona that somebody isn't calling when they do their poll.
No more posts today. I'm headed for Phoenix for the Vote for Change Concert. Hasta mañana.
CIA, State Dept., Army
are all siding with the terrorists
What other explanation could there be?
Kevin Drum provides:
the PowerPoint version of Dana Priest and Thomas Ricks' survey of opinion in the intelligence community regarding Iraq:Maybe there is another explanation. Kevin (that wild-eyed radical) wonders:
- A former intelligence officer who maintains contact with CIA officials: "There's no obvious way to fix it. The best we can hope for is a semi-failed state hobbling along with terrorists and a succession of weak governments."
- A U.S. government official who reads the intelligence analyses on Iraq: "Things are definitely not improving."
- An Army staff officer who served in Iraq and stays in touch with comrades in Baghdad through e-mail: "There are things going on that are unbelievable to me. They have infiltrators conducting attacks in the Green Zone. That was not the case a year ago."
- An intelligence expert with contacts at the CIA, the State Department and the Pentagon: "There's a real war going on here that's not just the [CIA against the administration on Iraq] but the State Department and the military."
So the war against the happy talk from the administration is coming from the CIA, the State Department, and the military. Is there anyone else who counts?
In other words, is there anyone outside the White House who thinks that Bush has the slightest clue what to do in Iraq?
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Bumper Stickers I've Seen
No soldiers died
when Clinton lied.
Bush is a Dangerous Idiot
War is Good for Jobs
Just think of all those young men in women who are in Iraq instead of standing in the unemployment lines back home.
Okay, so this is from The Onion, but truth is where you find it:
WASHINGTON, DC—A Department of Labor report praised the positive effect the Iraq War has had on the strained U.S. job market, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said Monday. "A whopping 140,000 U.S. citizens are gainfully employed as military personnel in Iraq," Chao said. "The war is not just keeping these young men and women out of the unemployment lines, but it's also teaching them such valuable skills as operating radar equipment, driving an M1A1 Abrams battle tank, or bagging and tagging bodies." Chao said that most troops won't need to look for new work for another four to seven years.Thanks to Prometheus 6 for the link.
More Bad Gallup Numbers:
They're Beyond Bogus
Via Kos, Steve Soto at The Left Coaster catches Gallup reporting more numbers that are based on highly absurd expectations of the number of Republicans vs. Democrats who will actually vote:
Gallup has done it again. After supplying CNN and USA Today with a poll two weeks ago that showed a double-digit Bush lead amongst likely voters that turned out to have a significant bias in its sample favoring the GOP, Gallup did it again yesterday.
Except that yesterday, they not only did it again, they apparently felt that a 7% GOP bias wasn't good enough. So they perpetrated the same fraud upon the media (including their partners CNN and USAT) and voters and this time used a 12% GOP bias in their likely voter screen. I kid you not.
[. . .]
Looking at this, again I have a simple question: how can anyone, especially USA Today and CNN, let alone the rest of the media take a Gallup national poll seriously when Gallup knowingly puts a poll out there for consumption with a 12% GOP bias in its likely voter sample that everyone knows does not exist in the country today or at any time in the last three presidential elections?
Meanwhile Kos adds:
Just got off the phone with a reporter from USA Today who is writing a story on potential problems with the Gallup poll, and the liberal blogosphere's work in bringing attention to the issue.One wonders if the USA Today reporter will ask his publisher why the hell his paper is still paying for Gallup's bogus numbers.
UPDATE: Be sure and see Donkey Rising and the MoveOn.org ad in the New York Times for more on Gallup and his bizarre numbers. It's a brave new world, folks. Jeebus!
"A man's gotta know his limitations."
Let's face it: whatever happens in Thursday's debate, cable news will proclaim President Bush the winner. This will reflect the political bias so evident during the party conventions. It will also reflect the undoubted fact that Mr. Bush does a pretty good Clint Eastwood imitation.Well, that may be true. Except I can't remember Harry Callahan or Gunny Highway ever looking like a smirking chimpanzee.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Michael Moore says, Stop Snivelling --
Kick some Republican butt!
Forwarded to me by a friend who is working for the campaign:
Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"
Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.
They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.
Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"
No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.
Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have. Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.
My friends, it is time for a reality check.
1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.
2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.
3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).
4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.
So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."
Yes...Yes...Yesssss...He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep... sleeeeeeppppp...
WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?
Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands.
Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him.
Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?
He's not exactly posting yet. But something's shakin' over at The Whiskey Bar.
Eerie Parallels or Bad Flashbacks
Iraq and Vietnam
Suburban Guerrilla linked to the Philly Daily News where it's deja vu all over again.
By the end of the first year of Johnson's elected term (he served the last 14 months of John F. Kennedy's term after the November 1963 assassination), the number of American troops in Vietnam soared from 23,000 to 184,300 -- an eight-fold increase. Monthly draft calls were doubled in 1965. Car bombs exploded outside hotels, oil tanks were blown up, and mortar fire rained down on American bases. Insurgents controlled roughly half of the country. Casualties soared.Read it all.
Now, just like in 1964, a president seeks another term in office while softpeddling the need to increase troops in a foreign conflict. This time, it's Iraq. There are some major differences -- major combat has already taken place in the Persian Gulf, and Iraq casualties are already much higher than they were in Vietnam six weeks before the 1964 vote. But for the most part, the parallels are downright frightening.
Already, there is open talk by the Pentagon of a major offensive against the insurgents in Fallujah in late fall. Already, members of Congress are learning of plans for a new mobilization of troops. Just like LBJ's escalation in Vietnam, these moves aren't planned until after the election, and after voters have rendered their judgement.
Bad Polling Numbers
make a scary EV map
I made the mistake the other day of leaving the map from the Current Electoral Vote Predictor up on the computer screen while I took care of some household chore.
Mrs. Rain Storm saw it. She was not happy. It's hard for her to imagine that anyone would vote to re-elect George W. Bush. She is a trained behavioral health professional. She doesn't like to consider the possibility that more than half of the people in the U.S. are out of their fucking minds.
Now Mrs. Rain Storm doesn't read blogs. Hell, she doen't even read this one. In fact, she's usually a couple of days behind in reading our local daily rag (The Wolf Hole Woofer -- no link available). Consequently, she's not at all in touch with the issue of the wide disparity in polling results as of late.
But I felt obligated to take a look at the data being used to justify all those red and pink states at CEVP. And the problem is, it's hard to know who to believe.
RealClear Politics does a good job displaying state polls for most of the battleground states (conspicuous absense of Arizona and North Carolina should be noted). It's a good site for viewing where the different polls agree and where they disagree.
After the revelations last week about how the Gallup Poll skews its numbers (assuming a higher turnout or Republicans than can be justified, given recent voting records) I can't imagine why any electoral vote web site would still include it in their calculations. But that is what CEVP is using on their current map for presuming the likely outcome in West Virginia (weak Bush) and Nevada (barely Bush). While Rasmussen's results in WV are similar to Gallup (Bush up by 6), ARG and Mason Dixon have Bush and Kerry within a point of one another.
In Nevada, Gallup shows Bush with a 9-point lead, Mason-Dixon has him up by 5, and Rassmusen only gives Bush 2 point over Kerry.
Hard to know what to think about Mason-Dixon. They have Bush up by 4 in New Mexico, while ARG has Kerry by 5 in surveys of likely voters done in the same time window. Similar story in Oregon, where Mason-Dixon shows Bush ahead by 4 points and Research 2000 has Kerry up 7 points.
You can see the ARG polls for all 50 states here. As I mentioned last week, the percentage of uncommitted voters is significant in a number of battleground states. If historical trends hold (meaning most uncommitted voters break for the challenger) then Bush is toast.
The two factors that will make or break the election are registering voters and getting them to the polls on election day. The New York Times had a weekend piece that said Democrats have been way out in front of Republicans in terms of new voter registration in key battleground states Ohio and Florida. I have every reason to believe that this is happening in the other battleground states, as well.
The key will be getting everyone to vote on (or before in some states) election day. High voter turnout helps Democrats. And polling data shows that Kerry will get the lion's share of the independent voters, too.
So, to hell with that map at CEVP. Get involved with your local Get-Out-the Vote (GOTV) effort. Work the phones. Talk to your neighbors. Drive somebody to your local polling place.
Help Mrs. Rain Storm feel better. Make America Blue again.
in the LA Times
It was intoxicating while it lasted, as was the sense of community I found with my readers. At the peak of Whiskey Bar's popularity, I could count on receiving 100 or more comments about each post — articulate, querulous and sometimes profane voices from the Internet hinterland.Read it all.
Recently, however, I've watched the commercialization of this culture of dissent with growing unease. When I recently decided to take a long break from blogging, it was for a mix of personal and philosophical reasons. But the direction the blogosphere is going makes me wonder whether I'll ever go back.
Even as it collectively achieves celebrity status for its anti-establishment views, blogging is already being domesticated by its success. What began as a spontaneous eruption of populist creativity is on the verge of being absorbed by the media-industrial complex it claims to despise.
UPDATE: Kevin Drum has a few words to say, as does Digby. Both are thoughtful and worth reading. And, needless to say, I still miss Billmon.