Hi everyone. Just a F.Y.I.: TPM just blocked me from making comments,

    and removed all of my comments made on the new system.

    Just a heads up to all TPM users and refugees why I am not posting there anymore.

    All of a sudden early this afternoon, I got a message on top of all comment threads that reads

    The site has blocked you from posting new comments.

    And 96 of the 97 comments I made on the Discus system have been removed, save for the last one, which the "delete all," or whatever they used. seems to have missed. Some just disappeared from the threads, others say comment removed.

    I got no email(s) from them, zero warnings, and no explanation

    Guess they don't like me and my propensity to make meta suggestions, huh?

    You don't have the appropriate smiley available on your menu. I guess the best one would be this: Surprised

    The last ones were to Gettsyburg on Peter Dreier's healh care thread, and before that on Koroush Karimkhany's thread, (helping stillidealistic and leftloosey find their profile pages, reporting an AVG warning I had gotten on the site, questions on why Jim Sleeper's posts weren't showing their comments and other columnist archives, suggestion for a self-help thread, responding to thank yous.)

    So it goes, you're a loyal (if critical) user for over 5 years, and then you're not. Without a hint that something you were doing bothered them besides them ignoring recent queries and comments on threads when they might sometimes respond before.

    Not posting this for any other reason except to let people know that I didn't disappear by choice, and to make them aware that there's definitely some kind of different wind blowing there.


    Those guys are pansies. When I want to silence an irritating user, I firebomb his house.

    Seriously, though that's nuts. Are you sure that it wasn't an error? Did you try to contact them?

    There's no reason to contact them, as there was a pattern of removing a couple meta comments earlier, which I had stupidly just shrugged off as gltiches, and which I reposted as points yesterday lin a different form on Koroush's thread. And then this happened pretty quickly in response. It's pretty clear that some of teh powers that be of the new system don't want criticism or asking questions except on those points which they chose to bring up, in the order they chose to bring them up.

    I can see to them I was being a rabble rouser, ruining their plan, whatever the heck it is. That there was no announcement of the Discus tracking features and they are not fully installed, and that they never acknowledged me and others telling people about them is real strange, very suspicious. And it was two steps they took, not one, blocking and removal of comments, between them there was a lag and I got some strange page loads.

    If it is the case that it was done by a mid level underling, and not directly from the top, I don't really wish to be there in that situation either, to have to worry if I am offending someone. I'm not into that being hated.thing that some forum participants seem to love.Laughing

    And DAG founders et. al.:

    Don't get ascared! (Where's that smiley again? Surprised)

    I am definitely not going to start making meta suggestions here.  You run this place just dandy as far as I can see, sorta like, um, your basic standard forum on the internet, with all the regular working services that has come to mean.

    I get it now. I was fooled until you wrote "You run this place just dandy." Obviously, this is not the real artappaiser. Nice try.

    PS You can make all the meta comments you want here. Well, actually, I find meta discourse a little boring. Constructive feedback is good, though. Bring it on.

    No, really, you get it. Most people who run forums do get it. They get what people want to do on them because they participate themselves. I'm really not as picky as some might think.

    Now on content, that's another matter, talk about picky....Tongue out

    Please, please, please no meta. At least until we do something that really pisses you off. I loved TPM readers posts and used to read them all every day, until most of them went meta. I just couldn't engage in the drama! 

    Goodbye TPM and good luck.

    Mr. Day, mho, you are much better off anywhere you are appreciated for the large and varied audience you draw, and never causing any trouble in the process,with  like near zero trolls, as your manner nips that in the bud. And you're doing that day in day out without charge, it's a gift to the site you are on..

    How rude.  As if generally ignoring any feedback wasn't enough. :-/

    It seems very clear now that Josh is shutting down the Cafe altogether.  Maybe the Bartleby analogy wasn't so far off.  Maybe Josh is tired of providing a soapbox for some of his regulars like <mumble><cough>MJ</cough></mumble>.  Goodbye audience; goodbye poster.

    Just a thought.

    Yeah, it's traditional to give a warning or to send an email saying "I can't stand you on my site anymore, please leave.". Maybe they are just at wit's end, cracking up over there, who knows.

    Thinking back, there was one reply t I made on the Koroush thread that might have really got someone's goat. Someone said they signed in from Facebook but can't get a dashboard anymore. And I replied, there's no dashoard anymore, here's a link to a thread on the new tracker, w/short explanaion.  Then I joked (with a smiley at the end)  that I noticed that there was more commenting going on over at TPM Facebook's page lately than there was here on the site, that maybe they should just sell the whole thing to Zuckerman and move the whole thing over there, seems where the current trajectory was going. My bad, maybe too much acid..

    Maybe they are just at wit's end, cracking up over there, who knows.

    I know if I were caught between the A-J lobbies, I would have cracked up long ago.  They are worse than Terminators.  Terminators just want to kill you.  The lobbies enjoy making lives miserable.


    That is awful news, artappraiser.

    I guess they should block me too since I was even more negative than you on the Karimknay thread.

    I am removing tpm from bookmarks. Enough is enough.

    Hi moat, I responded to your last comment there about Discus, but it's water over the damn stuff now.

    Hey AA:

    It could be a technical thingie, because after I read your post here I tried to log in there and couldn't.  Hmm, unless of course I've been banished as well?   Stay tuned.


    Hi Bruce,

    Everyone else's comments are still there.(I can still track them, am subscribing to I think about 40 people if  not more. I was waiting for you to show up on the new system so I could subscribe to you, but you never did. Your case is probably that of the login problem)

    My comments all got removed. It was very deliberately done-if it would interfere with context,  it says "comment removed," if it didn't interfere with context, it just disppeared.

    Well, AA, if they really banned you, I'm absolutely dumbfounded, but I agree with what you write below--TPM is not the place it was when I started reading Josh back in 2001 or 2002.   I don't fault him for making changes; indeed I applaud him because he's built quite a business.  And I never bought into the notion that Josh owed us anything; I thought all that stuff at the end was pretty silly actually.  But on the other hand the site is nothing like it once was.  It's more Drudge than anything else.  And Drudge sells.  You're correct; we went there out of habit.   So, as they say, the hell with em if they can't take a joke.  Let 'em post the same Rosenberg piece with a different headline over and over to their heart's content!  And, on the front page, bring on the drunken, naked senators and all that jazz. 

    Bruce, I can't tell you how happy I am to see you at Dag! Please stick around! I love your voice!!

    Genghis and all you other DAG bloggers,

    Mho, probably best for youse guys to stay away from this thread like the black plaque is on it. Thank you for letting me have a space to post it, sorry if it causes any grief.

    Same thing happened to me.  I add a link to our 'Fight The Crazy' facebook page and they deleted the comment.  I tried to post it again I was banned.  Which is probably just as well... it forces the 'break up' to be final between us, lol.

    Oh and I sent an email questioning why they did this and never heard back from them... it's over.

    Oh yeah, I noticed what happened to your comments. Especially because I thought it real ironic given history of the site. Back in the first year of TPMCafe I was one of a  few being pushy about Marshall making a clear mission statement, on the many meta threads he started (he had an interest back then in talking to the Cafe audience about it.) He started a mission statement but never finished it, and had a hard time expressing what he meant by saying he wanted the site to be for activism as well as commentary and journalism. I was arguing the traditional, the activism part conflicts with the journalism part, I felt that was why some things were happening that displeased him. In any case, he wanted people to use it for activism. It looked like things were different now given what they did with those comments of yours.

    AA, I have no doubt that you got the message, but it HAD to be an error.  Every comment and suggestion you made was constructive and helpful.  I haven't been able to comment for days, despite creating a new account, and also trying the new MYID.com (which was smooth, and got be logged in over there, but gave me the same error message about not being logged in as every other try I made.)  Anyway, I'm glad you found your way here and I look forward to your comments and (hopefully) blogs as well.


    A healthy lagoon (that's SC speak for bayou) is a marvelous, essentially self-regulating, inflow and outflow eco-system teeming with flourishing fish and turtles, ducks and wading birds, frequently buzzed by butterflies, dragonflies, etc..

    Pretty marvelous place. And a safe place -- unless a particular lagoon is dominated by an alligator intent on proving, by harsh example, that it owns the territory.

    The problem an alligator presents to the habitues of a lagoon is not so much one of food chain risk. Yes, in a pinch the alligator will eat anything but his strong preference is red meat. So that when his version of a prime rib wades in -- a fox or a raccoon, or a deer or even a dog  --  that creature may become the specific target of the alligator, who moves in for the kill. The problem for prey is that the alligator has more often been perceived as a sluggish creature, one rarely observed at all but, when seen, likely to be napping on the bank or idly floating about with only his eyes above the water.

    This lulling works in the alligator's favor. For when it is so moved, it is the nature of the alligator to lurk entirely underwater, or nearby in a thicket, completely unseen. From which position it moves with lightning speed, taking its prey down swiftly, without any prior notice .....

    Oh well -- that's life in the jungle, eh? But with alligators, that's not quite all. You see, what distinguishes the alligator from other predators is that he or she does not eat its kill right away. Rather, after stunning and drowning its target, it lodges the body in the root systems of the lagoon bank to "ripen" --  the tangled roots effectively keeping the corpse in place, preventing it from floating freely away with the current.

    Days pass. The alligator becomes increasingly truculent --  it's hungry, wanting its feed but nonetheless waiting -- another day, and then another, delaying its gratification according to some primal dictate known only to the programming of its own DNA.

    Finally, the time is right ...... Crunch. 

    Thought these random thoughts about the nature of one kind of beast might amuse you, AA, as  a little comfort food, in the form of an after-dinner story..... although, it is rare to have the opportunity to tell the story to an intended entree. So, if you were the target I'm delighted that you made it out alive and if you were not the target, but only got tangled in the root system, then I'd like to recommend you spend some time at THIS lagoon, which seems to be in ecological balance, without a Gator in sight. 



    I'm honored to have inspired such a luscious allegory.  Americana, too--one of my favorite things.  But I must disagree with the vision.  I see not an alligator but a snapping turtle, hard shell over a very soft body, and with very strong jaws but no teeth at all.Wink

    You're quite right, AA.

    I've just got alligators on my mind this week -- and I do mean that in the literal sense -- as Queenie, the one who rules the lagoon by which I now live, has been waking me up the past few nights roaring at interlopers she perceives as being after her latest catch .... which is apparently not ripe enough yet. Needless to say, my pets and I are looking forward to hibernation season.  Undecided

    I have some experience with Snapping Turtles.  I actually save them when I see the hideous, stinking things in a road.  I learned how to pick them up, and you might find this enlightening:


    You must push on the carapace (back) really hard, and grab them by the tail.  If you try to hold them by the sides of their shells, their impossibly long necks can reach around and their beaky mouths can grab you -- if that happens proceed to the nearest ER for a cleaning out and high doses of antibiotics -- but otherwise the back pressure and tail-grab will work just fine.


    Then put it in the trunk of your car and let the little monster go in a river.  


    Hey, they didn't ASK to be ugly!

    Do you think that technique would work with a gator? Let's see -- I press on its back, and then pick it up by its tail...ok, I'll try it and let you know....

    you might find this enlightening:

    I'm still pondering it. Wink


    Speaking of the message, I did a screen shot of it if anyone wants to see what it looks like, here:


    it's in the orange box right above every thread of comments. I am still logged in at top the page and can look at all the comments, and can use Discus to track them,  Along with the orange box notice that I have been blocked  from commenting by the website, I don't get a comment entry box.

    It really appreciate you spending the time to say what you have, because I really was trying hard to be constructive, but their secretiveness, strange lack of ability to communicate or whatever the hell it is about site changes once again (we've both seen it like 10 times before!) was starting to get to me.

    My general impression, from all the clues I got the last couple weeks, is that people shouldn't read too much into what happened to me.. Despite what Jim Sleeper says below, what I really suspect is going on is the bean counters are in charge, have been given charge because Josh Marshall wants to get back to content, doesn't want to deal with any of these details. (Note that Koroush is the CFO of TPM Media.) I suspect I was troublesome because I was agitating everyone to desire/ask for/complain about features that they don't want to offer anymore, because they are too expensive for a site their size. They don't even want people asking about it, out of sight, out of mind. Just use what you've got.

    It could even be simpler than that--it could be something like they don't want people to use the Discus tracking and don't appreciate me telling people how to do it, like it might cost them more if lots of people use it I have looked into it enough to know it's not installed the way it's supposed to if it was fully operational at premium level-- there's supposed to be full menus above each comment that suggest how to do everything, you don't have to do the mysterious hover and right click thing.

    I know for sure they didn't like me trying to report that Exploit warning that I got on Steve Clemons thread. It has something to do with code inserted in advertising.. They deleted that comment the first time, before this happened.

    It'sso  ironic that so many of you are still having trouble logging in because clearly they care about those logins very much. They very much want everyone to log in, both the CEO and CFO have done more than one post on it, and they wrote up a long apologetic FAQ's why they changed the logins. They've spent a lot of time explaining the reasoning, something they don't do with other changes. Login is clearly what they want people to do, it's very important to them.

    Art-appraiser, I, too, have been boluxed by the system, and I fear that one of your comments (which I loved and took heart from!) was accidentally removed when my attempt to respond to it also failed. I've told them this, and theya re really working on it, and supposedly the Discus people are on it.

    Obviously all we can do is hold on awhile and hope for the best. TPM isn't trying to exclude anyone, that I can tell you.

    Meanwhile, here's my latest post, of just a few minutes ago: Jim Sleeper



    Mr. Sleeper,

    Oh I am so glad to hear from you on that, I was hoping you saw that comment! Your articles on NYC in TNR back then really did mean a lot to me and it was a suprise of recognition that it was you who wrote them. I was thinking of emailing it to you after it got deleted.

    I want to tell you, moving from Milwaukee to the NYC of 1984 was quite the traumatic shock and still a strong memory.. (Now it's a shock every time I go back to Milwaukee,it's like the tables have totally turned, hah.)

    On Koroush's thread that did me in, I admit I was whining about your threads not having the comments marked, as I did elsewhere. I suggested you might not know the comments are there and might not be able to log in to comment. I also said that I noticed that when one clicked on your name, the archive was all screwed up, and I said I suspected you are not logging in to blog properly. All that got deleted right away.

    See, you one of the few there I still enjoy reading very much, partly because you addressed cultural issues, but moreso because you often interacted with the commneters in a way that kept the comments on a higher level than the usual. That takes a teacher's skill, demanding high caliber feedback, and a lof ot bloggers dont't have it.

    P.S. Mr Sleeper,

    Unless the set up there is that you contributors have buttons to access Discus system protocols, and remove comments, I very much doubt you had anything to do with removing my comments. (I didn't just lose comments on your thread, I was blocked from commenting via the Discus system as well as having all of my comments removed, 96 of them.)

    And I think it's extremely unlikely that it works that way, especially since you couldn't figure out how to log in to comment yourself.  I noticed that now you finally gave up and signed up for a second account in order to comment on your own threads.

    Jebuz H. Crizist. RU Kidding me? [Shakes head]

    Synch has a post up saying the deleted her account too. I stopped commenting when they made you sign up with friggin twitter or facebook. Whatever. They've got problems.


    I am pleased to see you pipe in here. You are one of my favorite commenters-even tho I don't always agree--no surprise as I am usually always a fan of the input of smart independents. I went looking for ya when you didn't turn up at TPM, and happened to see your reception at OnceuponaTPM, was aghast, wrote up a big rant to post in response and then decided it was not wise to do that. Was thinking that pseudocyants might have been right at your side there. Sigh, that hope thing is real problematic ain't it? (You don't hafta answer that, it's a rhetorical.)

    Couple of nights ago in the wee morning hours I was trying to get signed up Mywhatever OAuth  site.  It was not working for me.  I went back to my google and updated it and did the same thing at yahoo.  I did a few test comments on K's cafe sign up update blog with yahoo and google sign in.  He responded to my 3rd little tests and told me it would be 3 or 4 days and the thing was a little buggy.    Which was all I understood from his long response to my 3 test comments. I anserwed with a quick OK.  And have not been back to TPM.   I have not figured out discus yet but have it bookmarked when you posted it's site addy on TPM last month.   Reading the cafe was what kept me interested in TPM which I did not realize until it was gone.  The best commenters are now gone even on the front pages and with out avatars it is teadious to wade through all the new names that I can't remember and read all of it to get to good commentary.   By the time I get a chance to read on the internet it is late and I heard all the news on cable.  All I was interested was the well thought out comments, replies and cafe. 

    What ever is going on with the software over at TPM it sure is a mess.   I hope to read you here.     

    All I was interested was the well thought out comments, replies and cafe

    The strange thing about people like us there, who come for that, is that often over the years it seemed like they kept trying to kill it, over and over, and eventually we'd come back and recreate it. (See for example, Tom Wright's "The End of Conversation "of Feb. 2008.) They'd take away the tools we had to do that and, while such users badgered them for replacements, users would figure out workarounds and patiently wait to be able to do it again.

    Strikes me that you're doing that now in faithfully trying to log in, despite how aggravating it is and despite how  interacting with Koroush on that is like trying to talk to an alien. And past history has shown it's worth it to stick with it and be patient.

    But I've always thought it important ito keep in mind that Josh Marshall has never allowed comments on his own posts and that he seems to prefer feedback from readers and discussion with readers via email.

    This time, it may truly be over, if it is the case as I suspect with me that one can be banned for talking about it? He may be sick and tired of keeping us in the style to which we have been accustomed? When they say to users: be patient--I'm not sure they are talking to us types.


     Hmmm . . .


    I was just now over in the Dreier thread at TPM....

    The last ones were to Gettsyburg on Peter Dreier's healh care thread

    Gettysburg's posts were all there just now that were there some 16 hours ago.

    I think there may have been a big glitch in the system and/or the gremlins pushed the wrong magic buttons.

    Or meta threads that are not on the subject matter of the actual post are not welcomed.

    Although, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am registered with Disqus as a "general member" and not as a member of the  disqus.com/talkingpointsmemo registration system.

    Of course ducks are good at flying under the radar. Cool



    Hi OGD,

    I didn't mean to imply Gettysburg's comments were deleted, they weren't.

    No one else's comments around mine have been deleted. Where context would be ruined, my name is still there with "comment deleted." Other times, like with the reply to Gettysburg, where context would not be ruined, my comment just disappeared.

    I replied to him on that thread early on, with a pretty long and serious comment, in between my replying to people on Koroush's thread. That's when the ban on my commenting happened .I saw it published, checking a couple of times for reaction, then I saw it disappear when shortly thereafter the ban notice showed up, all my comments were removed, except the last one. Here's an example of one where they kept my name but deleted the content to avoid deleting stillidealistic and moat replying to me, and here's an example of where they kept my name to avoid deleting Josh Marshall's reply to me.

    I really don't think it's a glitch. Again, here's a screenshot of the ban I see.

    I too can still see all the commenting going on, nothing else has changed status quo that I can see. I've noticed a few deletions that appear to be for moderation purposes, but nothing like all of someone's comments being deleted  Like you, I have not been able to "capture" my ID on Discus, it does not recognize me as the same person on TPM, instead, but I can subscribe to myself, and I am subscribing to maybe 40 people.

    Synchronicity got the same ban for posting her "fight the crazy" request as a comment on a bunch of threads, see above.

    Re: flying under the radar--you've never been one to be crtical of management there, as such I don't think you'll have any problem. They don't seem to be putting a block on people whose comments are removed for what they say to others, you can be as combative as you like, they just remove the individual comments they don't like, probably from others flagging them, and let them proceed with commenting.


    This is quite interesting . . .

    Hello back at ya' . . .

    ...you've never been one to be critical of management there.

    Hmmmm... And just how would you know this? How would you know what communication has gone on between me and Josh and others on the staff over the past 5 years? How would you know how many comments I've had deleted? How would you be privy to how many of those comments I've had re-established after emails back and forth?

    You see, I deem that it's in my best interest and the best interest of the community as a whole to take my issues to email. I don't get a big rush out of airing the laundry in public.

    Apparently whatever you posted in that comment that was removed here the management decided they didn't want it published on their site.

    As a  test, to see if the management comes in and removes my comments I even went over into that thread and posted a comment in reply to one of your comments that remain. You can find it here. I'll keep checking back in to see it that comment disappears.

    Maybe they just got tired of listening to others tell them (for everyone to read) what color their walls should be painted and what type of carpet they should use.

    Just saying... ya' know?

    Paddlin' on...


    I disagree with your conclusion that artappraiser had it coming for making her views known publicly. She made her statements on meta posts that were theoretically published by the site to get feedback from the readers. She hasn't hijacked other posts to do so.

    What you posted on tpm as an "experiment" is a public airing of site matters. I refrained from making a comment about the ban because it didn't seem right to talk about someone in the third person without them having the power to respond.

    AA has been banned from commenting there.

    And how would you know this?

    I meant in public.

    Maybe they just got tired of listening to others tell them (for everyone to read) what color their walls should be painted and what type of carpet they should use.

    Just saying... ya' know?

    Yeah, I know, I've basically been saying it a lot myself this whole thread, in many different ways as a matter of fact.

    We probably differ on what the results of public community input there have been in the past, and whether it was appreciated or not. But that's really water over the damn and there's no need to discuss it. For crying out loud, this post starts out suggesting they probably got tired of my whining.

    If you think I stilll need to be chastised and razzed, feel free to carry on without my further input.

    And please note I only offered suggestions above on this site when asked for them, and was still reluctant to do that. I think I should refrain from doing it further to avoid more razzing about being a busybody from you and upsetting the nice tone of this thread so far.

    I'll keep checking back in to see it that comment disappears.

    I doubt very much that it will or that they will even notice it, I also doubt they are obssessed wtih this matter. The post itself has scrolled off the page.


    From Josh via his twitter account:


    "annals of new media - critical server project delayed as developer/consultant decamps to #burningman


    my god, are they still burning the man?

    lol, lally, you're like the jack-in-the-box of the blogosphere, popping up unexpectedly after months in the box, always with a juicy tidbit or two in your hand

    See my speculation upthread artappraiser at 09/23/2010 - 16:04 in reply to Emma Zahn

    Maybe they are just at wit's end, cracking up over there, who knows.

    Fun aside, I note that the 2010 Burning Man theme is Metropolis citing,

    Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.— Jane Jacobs

    as in: yay, let's all go out to the desert to celebrate urbanism.


    I couldn't resist and thnx for not choosing the bad penny allusion. ;~{)


    This desert dweller wouldn't be caught dead on that miserable packed playa full of flesh-eating penetrating dust that sifts into crevices you didn't even know you had......Andrew Sullivan has been having an ongoing "discussion" with insulted burningman aficionados on his Atlantic blog.

    BTW.... On the other matter, I do suspect some petulance could be at play. But that's just me.

    Andrew Sullivan has been having an ongoing "discussion" with insulted burningman aficionados on his Atlantic blog

    Thanks for that tip. In the performance art world, Burning Man has been outre so long that its time for it to be in again.Laughing.

    It's Outsider & largely ephemeral Art and the collectivity of teh cult lite experience trumps all for those so inclined and/or addicted. Lots of folks in the latter category from what I gather. The conditions and cost preclude lookieloos.

    Mas TPM-related down is up tweeting conversation. #2 is my CnP insertion: 

    @BernardFinel well, all wheat and no play ... but i hear ya. we'll keep it in mind

    1. @joshtpm Hi josh. Yes, lots of great stuff. But your wheat to chaff ratio is not as good as before.
    2. @BernardFinel crits keep us on toes; we appreciate; would note detailed, expensive (i think best) coverage of tax debate. you see that too?

    3. @MikeDrewWhat I just feel it has gone downhill. Too big. Too focused on scandal. Less quality control. Was better before hit big.

    4. Anyone else think @tpmmedia is a bit too obsessed with sex?http://bit.ly/bRPbcE Used to love TPM. Now, not so much.

    Hey, WTF! I've been thrown outta' better joints than that, anyway. Pull yourself up a barstool, aa, and let's talk about your ban from TPM.

    I think maybe this explains what happened. And it don't look good.

    Josh expresses the desire to make certain that reader discussions remain "respectful and civil" - like the kind that might occur in a coffeehouse. "If you wouldn't say it to someone in person in a coffee house setting, don't say it in the comments section here."

    I have not reviewed any of the comments that preceded your apparent ban from commenting, but I know and appreciate the style and depth of content that you contribute to the discussion, whatever the topic might be. None of that matters anymore at TPM, apparently. I'm guessing you were deemed to be "out-of-bounds" by the resident barrista and have been encouraged to move elsewhere, without so much as an opportunity to finish your scone and latte.

    Well, hell, I prefer a good, old fashion gin-joint working man's bar to a Starbucks, anyway. The kind of place where you get laughed at if you dare respond to someone's well-placed insult with the ol' "Aw, you hurt my feelings!" whine. The kind of place where the customers can make up their mind who to sit next to and who to engage in conversatiion and who to ignore. The kind of place where we don't need a bartender-in-a-nun's-habit moderating the discussion to make certain that no one gets their feathers ruffled.

    Maybe we're better off here?

    Oh, and your mother wears combat boots, too! (There!  Go ahead! Pull the trigger! Throw me to the curb! "Bailiff! Whack his peepee!")

    I wish all the best to Josh and TPM. But I'm not about to moderate my comments in an attempt to placate a moderator's sense of what is appropriate or not. I prefer instead for that to be determined by my fellow participants in the discussion. If I step over the line, I compromise my personal credibility and my ability to make a convincing argument. People will ignore and avoid me. The person who engages in an irresponsible attack and "flame-wars" actually contributes to the discussion, albeit usually by imparting a message about the credibility and personal integirity of the author that usually serves at cross-purposes to his or her objective to win the hearts and minds of the audience.

    A well-placed and creative insult, however, can serve as a very effective exclamation point in these discussions and is effective when applied appropriately. (And, dare I say, the creative insult can actually be quite entertaining, as well!) I'm therefore not about to pull my punches and surrender the sharp points from my rhetorical quiver as the prerequisite price to be paid for admission to the discussion. I'm a big boy. I can handle myself. I expect the other readers here are themselves quite capable, as well. I otherwise expect they belong at Starbucks, sucking their lattes as the only warmth they dare experience in their efforts to discuss the topic of the day.

    Now, get off my lawn! Dammit!

    aw, you don't fool me with that last line, you're not a "get off my lawn" kinda guy, you're a "hey kids, come play catch" kinda guy.

    And thanks for the link, I wouldn't have noticed that he put that up. The whole thing is really ironic because unlike you, I've always been supportive of that policy, I knew those were his feelings from past meta threads he did (they even had a link to the short version of that  on the old comment box.) So that really doesn't have anything to do with my particular situation, but it's interesting to see him do it right now--it's shaping up more and more like they are working on major changes but they don't want to talk about any of them until they are in.

    I understand the comments that apparently got you into trouble did not run afoul of the policy, as stated. And I don't mean to hijack the discussion here. But I think your experience shows the problem that occurs in trying to enforce such a policy by moderating the comments and choosing what is appropriate and what isn't. The act of deleting and banning becomes reflexive, I believe. Thus, you offend the host and suffer the consequences of being treated to the remedy that is so readily at hand.

    There are reasons to ban contributors, but they should be pretty universally understood as falling beyond the pale of acceptable behavior. Hate speech, stalking, gratuitously personal attacks are among those things that cannot be condoned or allowed to proliferate on any blog site.

    But the path toward regulating "good manners" or "proper etiquette" via use of a hatchet is fraught with peril. And the introduction of the threat of being banned for violating someone else's sensitivities introduces a severely chilling aspect into the discussion. Finally, the use of banning as a tool to shape the discussion more toward your liking can become too enticing to ignore.

    I prefer taking the chance of having my feelings hurt. But then, that's just me. Cool

    It isn't the language that drags a good discussion down, it is when some needy troll tries to make the discussion revolve around themselves. That gets very tedious. Unfortunately some people can't stop feeding trolls.

    There's a cartoon where two people have a contest to get the most hits. One guy throws in every internet meme he can think of into his post, but loses. The other guy says it was simple, I misspelled a word in my post, so everyone had to respond.

    "Internet" is always supposed to start with a capital "i."

    The period should be outside the quotes.

    LOL I guess it will be longer than 3 or 4 days.  They have been working on it after hours.  LOL ...bit off more then they could chew, did they? 

    Sooo. . .back to the original thoughts here about problems with TPM.  I went on last night, signed up again through Google with my original name, did a trial comment to see if it worked, and found that it did.  My comment appeared but my bookmarked reader page is frozen in time, as are my comments.  Nothing past the cut-off date appears, so I have no idea how to keep track of my comments there and respond to the responders.

    Solution: Stop commenting.


    Sounds like you missed this:

    Good news: the new TPM system does have tracking of comments by user, and "Dashboard" style capability, Art Appraiser's Blog, September 9, 2010

    Which really does bring us to the topic of this thread.

    There is a new tracking system there. But apparently they don't want to tell people about it. And when people, like me, write on it and ask questions about it on meta threads, and about similar things, and want to know why or what's up with this or that and how is it going to work, it would be nice if ya told the users--well, then they are blocked from talking about it, or anything else on the site.

    So that's top secret, ok? And beware you're hearing it from a dangerous agent provocateur, me.Wink

    Solution: Stop commenting.

    Be happy you have a choice on that; I don't.Frown

    artappraiser, thanks for the link.  You've done an awesome amount of work trying to figure out a go-around there.  I wish Josh appreciated your efforts.

     When I left TPM earlier my avatar was there, but when I went back just now it was gone.  Can't click on an avatar if it isn't there.  I bookmarked the link to the dashboard that someone gave me, but that doesn't work anymore, either.

    All I can do in settings is to re-register my username.  I suspect my avatar might show up if I do it again, but I'm just too damned tired of jumping hoops.  They'll send me a code and then I'll have to click on it and then I'll be back on.  And every time I want to comment I'll have to do the same thing.

    It's just not worth it to me anymore, but I do appreciate the offer to help.

    It doesn't have to be your real avatar that you want, and it doesn't work like a live link. It's just that it's in the avatar space.. But it's very easy.

    You just right click on whatever picture is being used as your avatar (even if it's just a blank white space there, I've even gotten it on those). That causes your browser to give you a pop up menu. Chose "open in new tab" and you will see all of the comments for that user in that new tab screen.

    You can do this for anyone on the site, it works for any user name that has managed to log in on TPM and comment.

    If you want to subscribe to a feed of a bunch of commenters, now I believe that might take signing up with Discus, but just looking at anyone's record of comments doesn't even require that.

    If I knew where you put the new comment you managed to make with a new login, I would show you your list on Discus, but I couldn't find anywhere you had commented on a recent thread.

    Here is erica2.0's for an example, I just took it off a comment she made on a thread there:


    I took that off her "square pumpkin head" avatar that is the substitute avatar for many people.Actually it looks like one of the reasons they are having so much trouble with avatars is that they don't have much to do with how it works.

    Thanks for the kind words about being appreciated.

    Well, shoot--if I would just pay attention!  Missed the "right-ciick" direction, but found it now.  Thanks.  (my comment was on Muckraker--the DADT post here)  Still seems way more complicated than it needs to be, but if I feel like going over there at least I won't be completely lost. 

    Lonely, maybe, but not lost.

    ok, gotcha, now we can all stalk you:



    Stalk away, but don't blink or you might miss it.  Just remember the stalkee might also be the stalker. Cool

    With all due respect to dagblog, I’ve looked in many times, and it just isn’t a place that’s right for me.  While I’m trying to be glad that it is for so many of you, and even realizing the site will evolve, I’d rather go back to a vibrant Café.  Even with the smackdowns I took from my many detractors, all in all it was a wonderful experience there for me. 

    Reading the love-fest here over the past two days makes me shake my head in wonder, once again, at how outside the norm I am again.  My stars.

    And no, I won’t detail it, no one does or should give a fart about my blogging needs.  I did appreciate, Genghis, how you accessed your Inner Vulva and made it all right with me, plus had some fun with it!  And the now famous Golden Vagina Club did not have to threaten Blog Actions against the site; whew; you at least dodged *that bullet*!  (So did we, by the by…)    ;o)

    But seriously; it looks at this point that this won’t be a fertile field for enlisting aid to lobby Josh.  But regarding JMJ’s blog about commenting and civility, I’m guessing it was aimed at commenters on D.C and Muckraker; it was getting pretty putrid and disgusting over there.  Too many overtly scatological references aimed at other commenters.

    That’s all.

    (No it's not; I've failed the CAPTCHA test thrice in a row now...Just one more diss to add to my deteriorating self-confidence; Feh!)

    Wendy, I'm sad to hear that dag doesn't stimulate your b-spot, as I really like your writing.

    Now I will have to console myself with my inner vulva. We're here if you change your mind.

    Thanks, Sweetie.  I appreciate it, but as the old joke goes:  "It's not you, it's ME!"

    And hell's bells; if I succeeded in adding to your Inner Vulva Power, what more could as woman ask for in life?  I can retire now, and rest on my laurels.  LOL!

    I may need to be part of a larger venue, free to blog in the many directions I seem to go, and I sorta liked the rough-and-tumble nature of Cafe debates, full of passion and disagreement.  That was how I frequently learned things.  Some of my favorite blogs had a couple hundred comments disagreeing with me, or allowing me to see some different perspectives. 

    Y'all are so well-behaved here, LOL!  I loves ya anyway, dear.


    You forgot to mention that those 200 comments disagreeing with you all came from me.

    Of course that was one of my better days, normally I only dis people 50 or so times.

    Honey; I always took your terminal crankiness into account, and was rarely offended by your disses.  ;o)

    One of the funniest things I ever read about myself on the boards was a recent comment by Miguelito on DD's Goodbye Blog.  He said that it was time to admit that he was one of wendy d's sock puppets; and that he was just trying to ab=void some of my more ardent trolls! 

    I howled for ten full minutes!


    Do you mean you can't "capture" your profile on Disquis? If so, I suspect you might be trying to do something that's not possible or at least extremely difficult to do. I suspect Disquis is not set up to do that on TPM. You just have to subscribe to yourself to track your own comments, that's what I was doing. Just sign up as any user and subscribe to yourself among others. It works well enough, you just go back to your comments and check them for replies.

    That's one of the puzzles I was asking about before I got banned. They haven't talked about the Discus tracking at all. I suspect they didn't like me talking about it, either.

    My last comment, the one that is still there, was me seeing the full Disquis menus appear for a split second when I was in the process of trying to figure out what was going on when I was blocked. I thought they might be installing it right then. Instead what was probably going on was that they were blocking me, and in that process, I saw a flash of parts of the Discus system that have been blocked in the installation being used there.

    For whatever reason, it's pretty clear to me now that they have not installed the full Discus system. Maybe they plan to and are waiting to announce it, maybe they aren't. In any case, it works well enough for tracking the comments of anyone you want, including yourself. You just right click on their avatar and then hit subscribe. Your feed is located on "My Activity" page, "subcriptions" link on the menu at left.

    Yes, if you haven't "captured" yourself, the other two links there ("My Comments" & "My Replies") don't work--but the "Subscriptions" link works whether you have or not. So you just subscribe to yourself, again, by right clicking on your avatar on a comment.

    Also, it's very easy and works mmediately to unsubscribe someone, so you can subscribe temporarily to someone you are having a conversation with, to see when they post on a thread, and then you could take them off later if too many on a feed bothers you. TNote the feed is continuous, no cut off date like with the Dashboard, you can keep loading the 10 before and the 10 before and the 10 before etc.

    Oh, Arttie, thank you.  The CAPTCHA is the little box I have to try to read and type the same alpha-numeric nonsense in order to comment here.  Were I not so stubborn, it would not be required.  If God and my shrink weren't so very adamant that I need to remain Unverified, the problem would go away.  On average, it takes me three times before I pass the test, and even reach the low bar of Unverified! 

    My personal theory is that the CAPTCHA software is misogynistic.  I'm sure you'll agree.  Same for that new TPM software.  Hates women.  Proof: only you and synch have had trouble, eh?  See???    ;o)

    (I have all your disqus info on my Favorites.  Twice, embarassingly enough...)

    I must correct you here:

    CAPTCHA software is misogynistic

    Should read:

    Software is misogynistic.

    Related link Wink.

    wendy came to sound off:

    but she stayed for the corrections.


    C'est si bon.Wink


    She says at the end, in English, "you get what I mean, don't you?"

    I do get it, when she asks.

    very charming.

    LOL!  I even googled the spelling, and STILL couldn't type it right!  Shoulda seen the ass-kickin' I took over my Sy Hersh blog; I'd just put up a blog about the Herschel deep-space telescope, and Wham!  Cemented that spelling in my cranium.  Then everyone found a million typos; damn, it was a fun blog.  Though come to think of it, the gist of the blog did get subsumed by the humor (all at my expense, by the by.)  LOL!

    Oh, moatie dear; how right you is...ares..wuz...

    Not subsumed.

    At least not for me.


    Just went over to TPM Cafe for a minute and nearly had a heart attack when I saw the username Z1061 had a readers' post up.  Seeing as how he's a guy I dated for a very short time in early 2009...and he wrote his one and only post at TPM then.  Movable Type is acting somewhat like Hal over there at the moment, is my guess. 


    I saw those go up, and they were up for a day or so, stable, after the most recent were taken away, What I suspected is that they are working on moving stuff around and redesigning and some techy just picked those three for a placeholder--the space is emplty now, just the title to the menu, looks like the box will disappear soon. (See upthread lally's post about a Josh Marshall Tweet that said the guy in charge just up and took a vacation to go to the Burning Man festival.)

    Edit to add: and now all of a sudden they are back. Sure looks like a purposefully wacky mix to me, tho, not just serendipty, especially with "No More Vicodin For Me" at the top and "Some Inane Ramblings" by your ex at the bottom.

    Dave, good morning!!

    Hi Hal.

    How are you this morning?

    Just fine Dave, just fine although I am a little concerned with Josh this morning.

    Why is that Hal?

    Well Josh seemed a little sluggish and his bowel movements are slow to come as they say.


    Yes Dave

    Stay the hell out of our shite!!!


    the end

    13,468 people like this.

    Hahahahahaha.  Laughing

    I forgot all this.

    This was a great blog AA.

    You know it is fun once a month to see some old blog of mine show up.

    But this really was terrific and I hope others chime in.


    I meant it, still do. wink

    I'm sorry but the only reason I replied to your reply

    is so that others might re-read this wonderful blog.

    the end.


    Why reread this blog again? Really, why?

    Yeah it was a good discussion back then. And yes, Josh fucked up and treated a lot of loyal readers, bloggers, and commenters poorly. Many of us are here because we felt we were treated badly.

    But what is the value in bringing it up over and over and rehashing it? I've kinda gotten over it and moved on. What is the particular relevance for you in rereading it now?

    I dunno!

    But I did just re-read some Freud lately.

    I thought it illuminating.

    And it has curbed my masturbatory habits of late. 

    Could just be age. Most people tend to masturbate less as they get older. I'm just a bit curious why you want to discuss the frequency of your masturbation here. If this is another one of your very important issues there's lots of good therapists and discussing that with one of them would probably be more productive.

    I guess I'm just inconsistent. I have trouble holding a grudge over what I saw as some bad behavior by some web site owner over three years ago. But cling to it if you need to or give some good explanation why you think its relevant now or what ever. It just seems petty and silly to me.


    Maybe I'm wrong but I got the impression that Richard just enjoyed the playful interaction between commenters on this thread. It's not the topic of TPM per se, but the social side of it, a group of people who interacted somewhere else now interacting en masse again. Like revisiting photos of a school reunion...

    Maybe, its just hard for me to separate out the playful interaction from the topic. I can't help thinking, "My god, give the poor guy a break. It has been three years, you know."

    FWIW AA, it does look like Disqus is becoming an industry standard.  McClatchy is switching over to it for their commenting system.  I haven't read all the comments here, but hope the ban on ArtAppraiser at TPM is lifted.


    Oh miguelito, thank you so much for coming by to drop that link!

    It's much more interesting to me than even you suspected, beyond the forum meta thing that has always interested me. It suggests some answers to some mysteries.

    First, when I clicked on it, as someone who has signed up with Discus, I am already logged in and ready to go, it offers me an "add a comment" box with my name already on it. Also, they have the "edit profile" link and the "like" buttons that are missing from the TPM installation of Discus.

    Notice too that there is--ta da---an introduction to the new system by McClatchy with INSTRUCTIONS, something TPM has never had an interest in posting with any of the three software changes I saw the site go through. Interesting also in those instructions, it says avatars won't migrate from their old system and that if users want one, they will have to upload it from the Facebook Discus or Twitter account that they log in with. Meanwhile, over at TPM, both Josh Marshall and Kouroush told people having trouble with avatars that they are working on figuring out how come it's not working for everyone and sort of blamed it on Discus. However, they chose not to enable log-in to TPM from Discus.

    I now suspect because they chose not to allow that (Discus log in to TPM,) but only use Twitter, Google, Facebook and Yahoo, and now OpenID, that one really can't use the full Discus system as intended, hence they don't want to tell people about what it does and their dislike of me telling people about it and asking questions about it?

    As I said above, they seem very interested in making sure everyone logs in, so much so that there seems to be some financial importance to that.

    But on the bigger meta level, this feature at your link that was most interesting to me: McClatchy has chosen to turn on a "subscribe to this thread" function for their users,apparently they care that their readers should be able to carry on a conversation on topic over time, fancy that. Not just the 24 hour news cycle and then throw it all away.

    I had an account at mcclatchy before the change to disqus and I had do nothing - absolutely nothing to comment after the change.  The only difference is that my user name with disqus is different than the one I was using with mcclatchy. 

    And I was impressed (and said so, in a comment now deleted) with how my login initially worked at TPM. Initially they had carved out Reader Blogs to stay in Movable Type, for the active bloggers to use it for a while, and I could bounce seamlessly back and forth between the two systems, my avatar staying the same even though I was commenting in the old system on reader blogs and in the new Discus system elsewhere. A logout would only happen if I blogged, as it always had done, when you left Movable Type to go back and comment.

    Other people weren't so lucky, though, had a hard time. I suspect mine working was because my registered email at TPM was a gmail associated with a fuller google account.

    But it does look like Discus knows its business. It also looks like TPM is asking them to do something unusual that they usually don't, like migrate avatars, especially when the users aren't even being given the choice of using Discus to login.



    Jeez, Arty! Quite the party you got going here! Like others, I appreciate your efforts over at TPM to help figure out what was going on and pass along the info. They were dropping the ball, and as far as I can tell, all you were doing was trying to advance it down the feild. I'm mildly shocked that Josh didn't at least e-mail you and tell you that he wasn't ready for all of us to use the tracking yet (or whatever the problem was!)

    The past couple of weeks I've realized it wasn't TPM itself that held me there, it was the people of the cafe that did. I don't care where we all are, as long as we're together. I've lost a lot of respect for Josh. I think he treated us shabbily, and banning you and synch? That was just plain stupid.

    I've tried to stay engaged over there, but I'm sorry, the left side people just don't do it for me. Never did.

    I have some of Wendy D's concerns that it it is just too "nice" here. But, maybe as time goes by and more people show up, the conversations will get a little more heated...not "mean" just a bigger variety of views.

    Hey stilli,

    You probably should have resisted coming to the party, even as late as you did, because you never know, you could be indicted as an alleged co-conspirator. (The evidence of the old thread on the old system is still there, I ain't gonna link to it here, it might get deleted.).Laughing

    As to your other suppositions, things are looking clearer to me, see my reply to miguelito above. More and more it looks like a case of me advancing what they wish to remain silent about, like I was asking troublesome questions that they don't want users thinking about. That goes along with a seeming preference for a new audience--new people don't know what was there before so they won't be whining about not having it. (Theoretically on that last point, that is, bcause basically every frigging other forum has a lot of features and new users are not likely going to be neophytes to commenting on the net.)

    It's the way they go about that that I find disturbing, not their choice of doing it, I'm a big one for agreeing that nobody is owed freedom of speech on someone else's website. But why not send the person an email asking them to shut up about it first? Or actually have the bravery to come out in public and say it? Why always the mystery? It's so Machiavellian looking, or even Straussian.  It's always been like that in my experience. Everyone there (except Al Shaw, and he seems to have been silenced on this one) has either seemed to loathe spending time explaining to readers how to use the site, or worse actively wants to keep it a secret. So strange, almost loony, for a site interested in making transparent the workings of journalism, government and political groups and parties is not so interested in doing that themselves about what they are doing.

    I used to think it was dropping the ball, I do less and less. I think they have business priorities and also have plans for the way they want to influence the national politic, but that they don't want to be honest with their users about them. And once again, that's their right, but they also shouldn't necessarily expect respect for proceeding that way.


    I'd be interested in hearing the hindsight take of those who resisted (and protested) the new account-interlinked log-on system through Facebook, Twitter et al -- those who stuck it out using Moveable Type, gradually losing their ability to comment and/or to blog .... who dealt with the necessity of using one workaround after another (that were also gradually turned off) while awaiting the promised alternative, non-linked account log-in system called "O Auth" (is that name right?) 

    Am I correct that O Auth never happened? So that, in the end, many people who wanted to continue to comment and/or blog did eventually succumb to the linked log-in system, as well as to Disqus that, itself, was never quite functional in the way it had first been presented? 

    My question is obviously neither here, nor there, now; nor does it affect me personally, because I didn't do the new log-in or register at Disqus.  I'd just like to have a better understanding of what did and did not happen, and whether people who signed up for the new log-in have now found it to be harmless, or are busy disconnecting themselves from it.



    Actually, the alternative log in was being proudly introduced by Kouroush on the very same thread that I think precipitated my blockage or whatever you want to call it.

    It's here:


    and linked to at the top of this thread in my post.

    Since there were no other meta threads, I had jumped on the chance to use it to pose all other questions I had seen peeps like me were wondering about. Soon after, all my comments were removed.

    But everyone else's comments are still there. You can read for yourself how it went over.

    Most people were asking about the avatar problem. I got the impression he wasn't that interested in hearing  that.

    I do believe Josh Marshall used the term OAuth on some older threads but he may have been confused/mistaken, Kouroush says there the alternative is "OpenID," and what he says at the end suggests that the other logins are "OAuth."

    BTW, one of my comments on that thread was to politely suggest that he should post it elsewhere as well as the TPMCafe home page because many of the users who had complained about the new login to them by email wouldn't see it there.

    And I also suggested in the same comment a possible meta help thread pinned somewhere, where users could help each other if staff did not have the time. That comment was removed with the others, hah--and guess what, the new log-in announcement soon scrolled off the page with few probably seeing it. (You can't even access the weekly archive on the TPMCafe page right now, what you see on that single page is what visitors get. Sure you can find things through google if you know what you are looking for, but if you came to like read the past two weeks of Clemons' posts, you are screwed.) That's one example in support of the "clueless" argument, that sometimes they don't even seem to get where or how to announce things to their users so that they will see them...I mean really, you don't see that anywhere else.Tongue out

    What you are bringing up suggests is that a lot of users that Josh Marshall liked may have given up and left. I agree that's probably the case. Because they don't know how to pin announcements so people can see them. Everything is geared to "breaking news" and then disappearing in short order. Even when they try, I don't see it functioning--how, for example, does a user find the FAQ's that they wrote up on login or the new comment policy? They probably don't.



    wws...Quite awhile ago, I created an e-mail address using my pseud, and although I initially used my personal e-mail address to register with TPM, I changed it to the new address. Then when this latest uproar occurred, I used the pseud e-mail address and the name Still Idealistic to register with google, giving no personal info whatsoever, and used that account to do the log-in with TPM.

    I was able to avoid the open id registration, and avoid connecting my real world and cyber world info. Now, I don't know that some evil forces haven't connected the two out there somewhere, but I'm as comfortable as I am capable of being that my privacy is relatively protected. But then, if the two were to be connected, I wouldn't face being fired...just the wrath of my kids, and they'll get over it. Someday. :-)

    You used the word "Straussian" - ummm... boy "noble lies" ... Money has got to be involved here, no doubt ... so who's paying?  I hate to phrase it that way...  But it's as if there's a hidden agenda, and you peeked under the curtain, when the curtain is supposed to be the "reality" - the supposed ideals and all that. 

    Could LisB please write a poem expressing all this?  Truly, this cries out for some kind of existential theater.  Maybe performance art of some weird sort.  Can no one express this through strange music or art or something?  Words do no suffice...  Nor is there any emoticon to express it either...  Maybe tearing one's hair out - does that exist?  Along with professional mourners hired for the occasion.  You're an art appraiser.. please, help us!

    Well, ok, I'm leaving here in chuckles... satisfied with my imagery... ;)

    Yeah I think you did quite well there on getting across the whole dada or lost in existential-land nature of being a user of TPM for any length of time--you did just fine all by your lonesome without the assistance of a poetess.Wink

    Thinking it over, I imagine Josh's original reason for starting TPM was to become an important mainstream journalist at some point, with lots of "access". Things grew from there. After analyzing the Cafe, which was sort of a "Topsy and how she grew", he decided that the Cafe Reader's Blogs were not doing anything to further his original goal and perhaps obstructing it and he decided to shut all of that down. Si non e vero e bien trovato.


    re: with lots of "access"

    I get that sense, too.

    re: Topsy and how she grew"

    On that one, I do have a strong opinion: nobody's fault but his own. He was begged for a mission statement at the start by many, not just me, including initial donors to the start up of the Cafe. He started one but clearly backed off and didn't finish it and went vague in order it to see how it would grow like watching a herbarium or ant farm. Then when that ended up with something that he wasn't happy with, he went for a trial of promoting reader blogs (early 2008-- I can furnish his own words on Tom Wright's threads and elsewhere, hoping to see talent emerge--by readers voting on it, yet.)

    On that talent thing, the only ones I ever noticed him really getting excited about were FlyonTheWall's election analysis and American Dad's high numbers. Genghis has said many times that he has been very gracious to him, but I don't recall him ever promoting Genghis' posts, maybe I just missed it.

    I meant what I said to you on one of your last threads there, that I don't understand why he never asked you to be a columnist, especially when content was running low, it should have been a no brainer to add variety. I myself don't agree with a lot of your P.O.V. but hell, you're just as good or better a writer than most of the columnists and you're a great deal more integrity than a certain someone who has been called a "marquee" draw. I think the first Cafe editor, Kate Cambor, would have asked you straight away to be a columnist, especially seeing how you handled interaction with readers.

    I thank you for the comment that you put there on my banning, I did see it. You addressed it in the manner which I would like to see it addressed, if it is at all (am kind of ambivalent on the latter)--i.e., why no desire to avoid it looking sinister, what's the deal here? I am neither upset nor sad, nor do I care whether I can comment again under that name, and I doubt I would sign up for another name to do so, as I sort of give up, should have given up long time ago. (It's not a way I want to spend my fun/addiction time trying to avoid work, by having to self-censor worried about whether what I am saying is going to irritate the proprietor--that's precisely why I am avoiding work and posting on teh internt, because I have to worry about pleasing the clients.) It's more like what TheraP suggests, a mystery that seems to have something to do with something that may not be so trivial after all--especially if they continue to be a player in U.S. politics.

    I have found over the years that when I try to figure out people's motivation for doing things, I am often proved wrong, and that there turns out to be a perfectly logical explanation I never even considered. Given that, I hate to even speculate about why what is happening is happening. But whatever it is, it sure is fishy smelling! When you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing. And plenty is being hidden in this case. If there was a simple, rational, explanation, you'd think he'd do a quick little post letting us know, and spare himself the bad-mouthing.

    But, then again, maybe he's just happy to be rid of us and is willing to put up with the annoyance. Oooops! There I go speculating! Ha! Hard to avoid it.

    At any rate, as I peruse the comments over there now, I see very few names I recognize, and it seems that the majority of the comments, are just that...comments. There is little back and forth discussion, and much of it is juvenile name-calling...not what attracted me to the site and kept me there for over 2 years.

    But, I remain curious, for lack of a better word, why he finds what he has now to be preferable to what we had in the cafe...

    BTW, I'm not afraid of being implicated! I'm half tempted to go over there and be naughty so I can get banned, too.

    Be my guest, Stilli.  Then you could say:  "Therapy made me do it!"


    There are 130 Comments 325 Facebook Recommends, 105 tweets on this:

    Claremont Institute Tells TPM O'Donnell's 2002 Resume Listed Oxford University
    Christina Bellantoni | September 30, 2010, 4:44PM

    including this mocking complaint about the amount of O'Donnell coverage at TPM and this suggestion of why that is the case: it draws traffic.

    Today there is this "feed your O'Donnell addiction" editor's post.

    Keep in mind that the main explanation for cutting reader blogs was that they brought a tiny amount of traffic and that they were expensive to maintain to boot.

    Sometimes it looks to me like one can get addicted to traffic just like one can get addicted to a certain forum space on the internet. Where someone who once wrote "thoughtful" style thus becomes someone who instead adjusts content to feed a habit of liking to see high numbers attached to stories on web pages. In this scenario, it doesn't hurt if they come to complain that you are covering it, as long as they come. In my mind, it does happen to have a lot in common with how Fox News grew and also how some trolls operate on the internet. That's also why I have said I have often felt guility at time about participating there.

    Is it unrelated that M.J. Rosenberg was defended not long ago not for the caliber of his writing or opinions, but as being a "marquee" draw for TPMCafe? My opinion about him has always been he knows how to troll--the inflammatories, the personal atttacks on pundits and politicians, they get comments. One thing I know is that Josh Marshall's opinions on Israel/Palestine are strongly contrary to a lot of what is said in comments on Rosenberg's posts.

    And how about those Golden Dukes Awards? They are presumably about muckraking, but have always looked more like "the most salacious wins" to me.

    That's why the hypocrisy thing has slayed me when I see fans of Josh Marshall complain on TPM about "the MSM" not doing serious coverage of issues being one of the main problems of this country. He straight out stated in Jan. 2008 that he isn't going to do issues anymore. While TPM does not follow Fox ideology, it certainly does promote the politics of personal destruction and certainly does seem more and more every day to follow Rupert Murdoch media theory, including that of Fox regular network (i.e., The Simpson's, Married with Children, American Idol, reality TV shows, etc.)

    And you know what? That whole bag of what Fox did/does, has helped Republicans win in this country, so maybe distracting the political junkie public with attack journalism against "the crazy" conservative personalities, instead of talking on issues, is what a PHD in history decided is what has to be done for Democrats to win, and then got addicted to its popularity to boot.

    The way I come at this is that it's just that it's not my taste, not the way I like to spend my time. And then throw in that it's probably bad for the country for journalism to continue on this trajectory, it's the win, but lose your soul thing, gets me feeling guilty for participating where it is practiced.

    Yes; but Joshua Micah Marshall made it onto Olbermann's program last night:


    Perhaps now he will be able to afford some version of Reader Blogs...  ;o)

    I curse Lally above for getting me to look at it, and I'm gonna stop now, I swear, Laughing

    nonetheless, from recent http://twitter.com/joshtpm

    igorvolsky  RT @mattyglesias:
    Rare @joshtpm TV appearance on Hardball right now / With Snazzy TPM background
    6:07 PM Sep 28th  via TweetDeck
    Retweeted by joshtpm and 3 others 
    You know what the internet needs? More random slideshows designed to inflate pageview totals.
    10:42 AM Sep 28th  via TweetDeck
    Retweeted by joshtpm and 11 others

    As regards the latter, it was hard not to notice that there are two on TPM front page postdating that tweet, the Rahm goodbye slideshow, and this one with a promotional post by Josh Marshall:

    09.30.10 -- 3:31PM //  RECOMMEND (50)
    Slideshow: Up from the Coven

    It had to happen. The ultimate, definitive, bestest Christine O'Donnell evah. We start with this pic from 2002 with Christine spending some quality time with Ozzy Osborne. Perhaps during a moment of backsliding toward the Occult? Everyone has their moments of weakness, right?

    I mean it about stopping, as the cynicism one can see there about his work is not pretty. Everyone who is a fan should check it out at least once.

    Edit to add: on second thought, maybe they don't need to check it out, as its pretty clear they are already fans of news about Jon Stewart over old fashioned news about things happening in the world.

    Do you think either Josh or Yglesias would want to know that I stopped reading them because they post too much?  I even moved them to a Later folder in my reader. 

    Both are good thinkers and writers but keeping up with them leaves little time for other voices or much of anything else. 

    I still follow them on Twitter.  So far they have not made my TooTweety list. :)

    I do agree regarding Yglesias, as the breadth he covers is enormous and the links are often really good ones, and my interests and his often intersect. But I get so tired of following one person's view, also the thing like ending up being a groupie turns me off. Also, he's just so representative of a single generation view and an elite one at that. But if you read him, you end up with no time for reading anyone else, and come out with the downsides I've described. So I really can understand your choice of just following the twitter feed, it's like you're editing him down to a manageable size?




    It seems the discussion has come around to views I have been contemplating for some time.


    The object of the TPM site seemed not to be, acquire the most traffic.

    Over years the decisions seem to be the opposite of this objective.


    What rings most out of tune is the reason for not allowing comments on managements posts. I do not have the wording exactly, it talks about the special relationship with e mailers. Do you have the exact wording?


     "False Flags" may be flown if there are no "where I stand" blog comments and only “private” emails are used.  Is this view out of reality?



    I don't fully understand what you are trying to say in your comment but I do agree that initially it was not a traffic-oriented site. I think that changed quite some time ago, though. And I don't think it's all about money, rather I suspect it's about having influence on the politics of the country. Also, a reminder that TPM Media LLC did get a backer a while ago--I never investigated more about that--but it's usually the case when that happens that the monetary support demands efficiency in expenditures, whatever the goal--even if it's something other than strong profit.

    On the talking about the workings of the site in public instead of via email, maybe I'm crazy, but I think it's standard to use the website to tell people how it works and to answer their questions. Like McClatchy above--they introduced Discus commenting system with a page of instructions, and there are 7 pages of comments there now with people asking questions and their questions getting answered. I've just always been puzzled with TPM not following that standard, it's really that simple--what is the problem--what is that all about. So yeah, people wonder and suspect when everything is so atypically secretive, if that's what you're saying. And this time it appears that someone there may have censored me precisely for simply asking those kind of questions, so it's even more zany.

     Maybe ...


    The investment in the cool TPM studio stretched the budget and dumped us all like a closet full of old shoes...



    It's all about notoriety now . . .


    Paddlin' on . . .


    I do like the closet full of old shoes metaphor. But I can take it further and say he's no Imelda Marcos. Wink  He did ask if people would come back if he put reader blog functions back in. Then I basically said (in a comment now removed,) well, if you'd tell people what you're gonna have in the meantime, maybe they can answer more honestly about that. He used that to say it was an argument in favor of getting rid of reader blogs in some kind of strange explanation I didn't understand. Always mysteries. It does look to me now though that the activity level is right back up where he'd like it, and as for the Cafe, it can be used indefinitely for the friends to post as op-ed columnists without much trouble, without much attention needed (as long as they don't mind glitches like the page saying there are zero comments on their threads, that is.)

    WARNING! SITE ADMIN - these previous anonymous posts to this long dead thread may tray to trojan in a bogus version of Shockwave Player.

    Recommend you delete the thread.

    Glad I opened it.  Or not.  Just got a shockwave update yesterday.  Hope it's not bogus or troublesome.

    TPM is the loser.

    Your contributions seem to me to be a model of what one wants to read . 


    thank you, Flav, what a nice thing for you to do, to dig up this old thread and say that.

    Shall I wasting in despair  

    Die because a maiden's fair?  

    Or make pale my cheeks with care

    Because another's rosy are?


    Be she meeker , milder than

    Turtle dove or pelican  

    If she be , not for me

    What care I for whom she be?


    Quit, quit. For shame,  

    You shall not win , you shall not take her.

    If of herself she will not care

    Nothing will make her.


    The devil take her! 

    smiley Just saw now.


    The truth is, AA, it wasn't you.  The TPM site software has all been nationalized and is being forced into use on the Obamacare web-site.  They need to get the Obamacare site up and running perfectly by the end of this month, y'know, and they are now so desperate, they have contacted Josh Marshall to help get healthcare.gov up to snuff ... so to speak.  

    Unfortunately, that means that they have replaced the TPM site with the programming from the original healthcare.gov roll-out.  Please be patient and expect long delays and spotty prevarications until this matter is ironed out.   P.S.  Did they tell you that you can't keep your internet connection past Dec. 31st?   ;-)  


    I must admit I immediately thought of this whole thing the first time I saw a post by Josh Marshall trying to do talking points (small T & small P) for the administration on the healthcare.gov problems. I definitely thought: well, he certainly has experience with trying to manage and make excuses for shitty software rollouts.wink

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