Welcome to the restored Captain’s Quarters archives

Not long ago, I wanted to access my archive here to find some work I had done years ago on a topic at Hot Air. When I attempted to access the site’s archives — already tricky since the domain has redirected to Hot Air for almost a dozen years — I kept getting yanked off the site. It turns out that some old code in the CSS calls out a now-defunct domain, Blogrolling.com, and the domain registrar’s site takes viewers to a sales pitch.

This just reminded me that I have been remiss for years at tending the old site. I used Movable Type back in the day, which has all but gone defunct itself, and I haven’t used it almost since the day I joined Hot Air. It took me a while just to recall my login, and then to refamiliarize myself with the interface. I tried to cull out the blogrolling.com scripts from the CSS, but apparently I can’t find every instance of it. Until I did, the old blog site would remain inaccessible.

Instead of trying to fix the old site, I decided instead to export the content to a less-encumbered WordPress blog. That export process ran smoothly enough (thanks, Movable Type c.2007!) and it was rather simple to import it into a new WordPress blog. Thanks to my friends at Hosting Matters, it was even simpler to set up that new site.

As you can see, my days as a blog designer are long gone. The site is functional and at least not too unpleasant on the eyes. I’ll be tweaking it here and there to fix things, and the theme might change too as I look for a better fit. However, at least the archives are once again accessible for anyone looking for my old work. And the domain no longer needs to redirect to Hot Air, so now captainsquartersblog.com will point directly to here.

Hope you all enjoy this as much as I do!

I’m So Glad We’ve Had This Time Together

The time has come to sail Captain’s Quarters into drydock. Tomorrow I officially start my new adventure at Hot Air, and as we have discussed all week here, all of my blogging efforts will go into building on the success at that site. I will continue to write as I like, as often as I like, on subjects that I like, with my own perspective, and gain access to a much larger platform at which to do it.
The site will remain on the Internet. The archives will be accessible at this link, so if you ever decide you wish to review my work or search for a favorite post, it will be ready to serve you.
I hope all of the commenters at Captain’s Quarters will join me at Hot Air. For those who missed the open-registration deadline, I can add people manually. Send an e-mail to “register” at “captainsquartersblog.com” (without the quotes), and be sure to include your preferred username and password, as well as the e-mail address you want to use for your account. I can add people manually or fix earlier registrations at any time, so keep that e-mail address handy.
For my last post here at Captain’s Quarters, I’d like to thank a few people. First, I want to thank the entire CapQ community, which has been an absolute blessing. I want to thank Hugh Hewitt and Duane Patterson, who have mentored and befriended me and opened many, many doors. Rush Limbaugh has shown me many kindnesses, most of which have come quietly. Of course, it goes without saying that Michelle Malkin — for whom I will begin working tomorrow — has been a wonderful friend to me for almost the lifetime of this blog.
I don’t have the room to list all of the bloggers who have assisted me over the years, but I do want to acknowledge a few. Glenn Reynolds has given me many links and has served as an inspiration, of course, as he does to many of us. Robert Bluey at Heritage has been a good friend and a sounding board. Rob Neppell has become a good friend, as has Mark Tapscott.
Mostly, though, I want to thank my friends on the Northern Alliance — Mitch, King, Brian and Chad at Fraters Libertas, and John, Scott, and Paul at Power Line — who gave me encouragement and guidance without any reservation or condescension. They are a great group of bloggers, but more importantly, a great group of friends, and I’m lucky to have them.
Finally, and crucially, one person remains to thank. If it weren’t for the support and love of my wife Marcia, the First Mate, I never would have been able to do this. She has been nothing but supportive and encouraging, even when the blogging became a much larger effort than either of us ever dreamed.
Simply put, I’m one lucky man to have all of this.
Let’s all take the next step on the adventure.

Once More, With Feeling: Registration Open at Hot Air

In case anyone lost their sanity in the Byzantine series of updates on my earlier post, comments registration has been open all day at Hot Air, with a few glitches. The link to the registration page is here. It will remain open until later tonight.
However, I can also add people myself to the user database, if commenters are having problems registering. Send an e-mail to “register” at “captainsquartersblog.com” (without the quotes), and be sure to include your preferred username and password, as well as the e-mail address you want to use for your account. I can add people manually or fix earlier registrations at any time, so keep that e-mail address handy.
Some have asked whether I will be cross-posting most of my material at Hot Air for the remainder of the time left at CapQ. I believe I will. With Bryan already hard at work at his great new job as Laura Ingraham’s producer, he hasn’t had an opportunity to post at Hot Air. It gives me an opportunity to learn the ropes there as well. Starting on Saturday, I’ll post all of my new material there exclusively anyway.
One last note: Several people have asked me whether I plan to post less now that I’m going to Hot Air. Not at all! In fact, I may post more, now that other responsibilities have been removed. This week, though, has been insane — so that’s why the output seems a little low.
Thanks for all of your patience and understanding.

Open Comment Registration At Hot Air Today! (Update)

UPDATE IV: Some commenters are continuing to have issues with creating a login. If for some reason you just can’t get it done through the system, e-mail me your preferred user name and password to this account: “register” at “captainsquartersblog.com” (without the quotes). I will manually add you to the system — but give me some time to get it done.
BUMP: Registration is now open. It will remain open until later tonight. Link to register is here.
UPDATE III, 9:30 am CT: Had a glitch with registration this morning, but it’s fixed now.
Earlier this week, we held a comment registration event at Hot Air to try to get as many CapQ commenters into the system as possible. Some missed the window, however, and I have received many requests to hold another open-registration event. As I reported yesterday, we have scheduled another period of open registration today, February 28th, between 9 am CT and 9 pm CT.
Why does Hot Air limit registration to certain periods? They have had many more problems with abuse than we have had at CapQ, and they have had to build their community in a different way as a result. Any site with the level of traffic that Hot Air generates becomes a target for trolls and spammers, and the management issues increase accordingly. This method has succeeded at Hot Air in keeping trolls and spammers to a minimum while allowing for dissent and debate in the comment threads.
When the registration period opens, those wishing to register will need to post a comment on a Hot Air post, which will go into moderation. I’ll approve it, and that will register the commenter. It would be helpful if CapQ commenters keep their current names so I can recognize them in the comments.
I look forward to getting everyone into the system. In the meantime, I hope you have been enjoying my cross-posts at Hot Air, and jumping into the commentary.
NOTE: This is an update and bump from yesterday’s announcement.
UPDATE: For those who may have lost their passwords — please e-mail Hot Air with your info, and we will get your account reset.
UPDATE II: I will be crossposting most of my material today and tomorrow at Hot Air, but not all of it.

A Farewell To BlogTalkRadio

Earlier this morning, I wrote about my new position with Hot Air and the new opportunities it affords me. I didn’t write about my status with BlogTalkRadio, in part because of some miscommunication on how to address it.
I will leave BlogTalkRadio at the end of the week. I want to thank Alan Levy, the CEO and my boss since last April, for the wonderful opportunity I have had to work as Political Director and later as Director of Customer Relations. I have enjoyed working with Alan and the entire crew at BTR, as well as the bloggers and talk-show hosts who have created a strong conservative presence on the BTR network. Let me assure you, my departure doesn’t diminish the commitment of BTR to the political channels, especially the vibrant Heading Right community I had the great fortune to build.
I will do my normal schedule of shows this week. Next week, my 3 pm ET show will get rebranded as The Ed Morrissey Show, and hopefully we’ll retire that name quickly as we transition to a Hot Air-branded interactive show. We plan on airing the show from March 3 to March 28 at the Hot Air site with BTR’s network. After March 28, we may reconceptualize the entire idea. I will not do any other shows after February 29th, however, except my afternoon show.
As you might imagine, I am deeply appreciative of BlogTalkRadio and believe in its power to give voice to the individual. It’s been a great ride, and I know they will prosper in the future.

The Road Goes Ever On

Today brings exciting news and an end to a time in my life that has proven far more successful than I ever dreamed. Beginning on March 1, I will begin working for Michelle Malkin, a friend, mentor, and writer I have long admired. She has offered me a position as writer at Hot Air, and my blogging will appear exclusively there.
That means that I will close out Captain’s Quarters sometime in March. This saddens me, as it has become my ever-ready home and because of the terrific community it has generated. I hope that the CapQ community comes with me to Hot Air, and Hot Air will have open registration today for 12 hours in order to allow CapQ commenters to join me at my new digs.
Michelle and I have different voices, and sometimes different points of view. Rest assured that Michelle respects these differences and wants them as part of Hot Air. My writing and my viewpoints will continue, and find even more encouragement than before. In fact, we look forward to debating on some of these points between her personal blog and Hot Air, much as we have between her personal blog and CapQ – with respect, affection, and the absolute belief that we have it right!
In short, nothing really changes except location. I’ll still write as I have always done, perhaps with even more frequency, as I join Allahpundit at Hot Air. I’ll continue my daily show as a key piece in building the Hot Air brand and increasing our visibility. The show may take new directions before long, but we’ll talk more about that when the time comes.
At some point, we’ll redirect the CapQ domain to Hot Air. My archives will remain on line, though, and I intend to keep them available permanently at this link. Comments will close on all posts after March 1, even though I may cross-post for another few weeks to make for a smooth transition.
I want to thank everyone who has helped make Captain’s Quarters such a great success. I hope you will all join me on the next part of the great adventure.
UPDATE: Michelle wrote a warm, welcoming announcement at both Hot Air and her own blog. Be sure to register as a commenter today so that we can all pick up where we left off here on March 1. Also, I’ve done my first (cross-)post at Hot Air.
UPDATE II & BUMP, 10:39: The link for commenter registration is here. There is no requirement to register to just read the site. And let me say thank you to the numerous well-wishers in the comments and on e-mail this morning.

Today’s DBD Cartoon

Chris Muir has an unusually provocative cartoon for today’s Day by Day, one which has stirred up a hornet’s nest here at CapQ. In it, Chris appears to equate a quote from Michelle Obama to the kind of “Arbeit mach Frei” statements of the Nazi regime. Here’s the quote from Mrs. Obama:

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

Quite frankly, I consider that statement a little creepy. Who is Obama to demand that I shed my cynicism? When dealing with government promises of Utopia, I consider cynicism very, very valuable — and history has proven me correct. Given Obama’s economic agenda, I’d say that engagement will be necessary as well as deep skepticism, at the least.
Also, there’s more going on in this cartoon than just the second panel. For seven years, we have heard the Left compare George Bush to Adolf Hitler. I find the sudden outrage over Chris Muir’s deliberate poking of this impulse more than just a little hypocritical. Try googling “Bushitler” to see the point of Muir’s satire here today.
In one sense, though, the cartoon does go overboard. While Mrs. Obama’s speeches on the stump are completely fair game for criticism, I think using her words to make this point is a little unfair. I’d rather see this level of satire aimed at the candidate himself rather than any of the surrogates, including the spouses.
I probably wouldn’t have drawn this panel. However, I’m not going to ask Chris to take it down, either. Let people debate its propriety and meaning in the comments.

Blogs Should Be What?

The International Olympic Committee has deigned to allow athletes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to blog. However, the IOC wants to make sure that athletes know the rules beforehand. They cannot post pictures, audio, or video of the events because the IOC does not recognize blogs as a form of journalism:

The IOC has set out guidelines for blogging at the Beijing Games to ensure copyright agreements are not infringed. They include bans on posting any audio or visual material of action from the games themselves. …
“The IOC considers blogging… as a legitimate form of personal expression and not a form of journalism,” the Olympic authority said.
“Blogs should be dignified and in good taste.”

Dignified and in good taste? The IOC obviously hasn’t spent much time reading blogs. Or, maybe they have.
Since this Olympiad takes place in China, where oppression on free speech and Internet access has been a major issue, who becomes the arbiter of dignity and good taste? Will the athletes have to pass their posts through an IOC censor before the text can hit the web? Or will that fall to China’s authoritarian regime, as it does for more than a billion Chinese? Once pre-publication standards get put in place, enforcement always follows.
The real concern isn’t about dignity and taste. It’s the fear that the athletes will use blogs to make political statements about the oppression of the Chinese government. The Olympics have a long and inglorious history of being manipulated for political purposes, by both its athletes and its host nations. The IOC wants to cut off the athletes while looking relaxed, but has no problem staging games in countries known for their dour attitude towards liberty, free speech, and free access to information.
In effect, the IOC has become a mini-me to Beijing in an attempt to straddle that line. Only the East German judges would have given them high marks for courage with this statement — if freedom hadn’t eliminated the ersatz nation of East Germany almost two decades ago.

Do Blogs Matter In Presidential Politics?

Ron Klain wonders what happens when bloggers speak truth without power in his New York Times blogpost. Klain focuses on the Democratic race, where blogger favorites Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, and Chris Dodd (whom he doesn’t mention) all sank without much of a fight:

The ultimate measure of this shift of influence [towards the blogs] came this summer, when virtually every Democratic candidate for president attended the YearlyKos Convention in Chicago, and skipped the annual convention of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council in Nashville.
But notwithstanding this stunning success, this week’s withdrawal by John Edwards, coming a week after the departure of Dennis Kucinich, means that both of the preferred presidential candidates of the liberal blogosphere are now out of the race. Instead, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the two candidates who have drawn some of the sharpest criticism on progressive blogs, are the only ones who will make it to Super Tuesday. A similar thing happened in 2004, when Howard Dean and Wes Clark, the two candidates most strongly backed by blogs, were beaten by John Kerry, who wasn’t a blog favorite.
The blogosphere has had impressive electoral success in Senate and House races, especially in 2006. But at the presidential level, while the blogosphere has been effective in changing the political debate and the party’s direction, it has been less successful in helping its preferred candidates to victory. Why?

I’d challenge Klain on a number of his assumptions. First, I see no evidence that the blogosphere has had “impressive electoral success” anywhere. The high-water mark came in 2006, when Ned Lamont beat Joe Lieberman in the primary, only to get thumped in the general election by the same opponent running an independent campaign. Where are the wins involving candidates that weren’t already backed by party establishment? And while Markos Moulitsas deserves a great deal of credit for the Yearly Kos convention, it is a political truth that politicians will attend the opening of a wallet anywhere it happens.
Klain doesn’t mention Republicans in this post, but it applies to conservative bloggers as well. Fred Thompson had tremendous support in the Rightosphere, but that made little difference in his ultimate fate in the primaries. No one has on-line support like Ron Paul, and so far that has translated to nothing more than single-digit support in the primaries. Huckabee had a burst of blog support as well, but has lost momentum since his win in Iowa.
The blogosphere has influence, of course, but mainly on policy and not on candidate campaigns. They also can help raise money, but not usually in the kind of amounts that give them king-making power, a gap that Lamont’s flop in November 2006 aptly demonstrated. Even with the 10-1 advantage in fundraising between the progressive bloggers and conservative bloggers, the actual amounts came to a pittance in the overall totals among the Congressional candidates.
Why do bloggers succeed on policy — say, with porkbusting, immigration, and other issues — and not with candidacies? The answer is actually very apparent. Blogs do best at dicussing ideas, delving into detail and utilizing rhetoric to motivate and to persuade. The candidates have to sell themselves. Blogs don’t do much as surrogates in those efforts, and as history shows, have a very poor track record in elevating any but the most already-elevated candidates.
Blogs aren’t irrelevant in elections. However, they do best in enlightening people on policy, which secondarily may boost candidates who champion them.

Technical Notes

I got several e-mails complaining about load times this week, and it appears the problem came from multiple appearances of both the BlogTalkRadio player for my shows, and from multiple appearances of the AOL Hot Seat Poll script. I took out all but one of each and the site appears to load faster now. I’ll keep this in mind as we go along, and from now on there will be one instance only for both. Since the BTR player for Heading Right Radio sits on my sidebar, I won’t post the one for my show with Nikki on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This should resolve the problem. Thanks for the feedback!