All Good Things Come To An End

Danny Glover has been a good friend to many of us in the blogosphere during his tenure at National Journal. I heard from him a while ago that he would soon move on from that position, and today will be the last day he updates what has been a vital Beltway blog. He posts his valediction at Beltway Blogroll this morning:

My tenure at National Journal ends tomorrow with the final issue of Technology Daily, where I served as the managing editor for six years before being promoted to the editorship in November 2006. Beltway Blogroll, a direct outgrowth of the interest I developed in politics and technology while at Tech Daily, will cease publication at the same time.
Its death is by no means sudden. I started Beltway Blogroll and a companion column for in June 2005 with the goal in mind of proving that blogs would quickly gain power in policy circles inside the Beltway, just like they did in the political realm in 2004. Mission accomplished.
If you doubt it, take a look at the blogroll to your left. It is at least twice as large as when I started Beltway Blogroll — and inside-the-Beltway blogs are started with such frequency now that I long ago stopped trying to find them all. That’s especially true of the “mainstream blogosphere” occupied by professional journalists. Why do so many of them blog now? Because that’s what more and more people in Washington read.
The proof of blog power abounds: regular blogger conference calls and briefings by politicians, think tanks and trade groups; bloggers who work for presidential campaigns and other candidates; bloggers who have infiltrated mainstream newsrooms or who write columns for major publications; and the achievements go on.

Be sure to read it all. Danny has chronicled a dizzying array of stories during his tenure at BB, and worked hard to fairly capture the essence of Beltway blogging about them. We will miss his tireless work and trenchant analysis, as well as his inherent fairness.
Fortunately, Danny will remain in the blogosphere at Air Congress. With any luck, he’ll pick up there right where he leaves off today. Join me in wishing my friend Danny “Not The Actor” Glover all the best.

If It’s An Election, There Must Be A Conspiracy

After watching the Democrats spin wild conspiracy theories about how they lost the 2000 and the 2004 elections, it shouldn’t surprise that similar paranoid thinking has arisen in 2008. However, this time the target of the conspiracy thinking isn’t Republicans, but other Democrats. Progressive bloggers have begun launching accusations of fraud and vote-rigging in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s surprise victory in New Hampshire’s primaries:

The results weren’t even in when the blogosphere started to hum with a theory that sharply divided Democrats online: Barack Obama lost to Hillary Rodham Clinton in New Hampshire because the vote was rigged.
“Something stinks in New Hampshire,” a commenter posted on the popular liberal site
Curious about the “wildly inaccurate” polls that put Mr. Obama in a double-digit lead going into Tuesday’s primary, blogger Brad Friedman, a Los Angeles-based election-fraud watchdog, questioned the results as soon as they arrived, and all day Wednesday.
“Other folks that I’ve spoken to, who follow this sort of thing, share my concern at this hour,” he wrote on “If I was Barack Obama, I’d certainly not have conceded this election this quickly. I’m not quite sure what he was thinking.”

I’d make one criticism of Karen Brooks in this instance. She shouldn’t hold John Aravosis responsible for the opinion of a commenter at Americablog. If John has made these allegations, as Brad did at Bradblog, then Brooks can rightly use that as an example. If John didn’t write the comment, then it’s a bit unfair to show him as a purveyor of this charge. The same holds true at Crooks and Liars, where it appears that Brooks surveyed the comments and not the posts.
The conspiracies have popped up in my threads as well among the supporters of Ron Paul. They’re claiming that their fifth-place finish springs from a Diebold conspiracy to discredit their candidate. Paul and his crew have a long history of conspiracy theorizing, and Paul himself appears regularly on the Alex Jones radio show, which lives off of them. Just because those comments appear on my site doesn’t mean I agree with them, and as far as I know, no one else on the Right outside of the Ronulans have given it a second thought.
Mostly, this is a debate taking places on the fringe of the progressive blogosphere and primarily among commenters. It’s still amusing to see it, however, because if one follows the conspiracy theory to its natural conclusion, it indicts the Democrats’ biggest assets. Who benefitted from this alleged vote rigging? Bill and Hillary Clinton. It mirrors the conspiracy mongering on the Right during the 1990s involving Bill and Hillary, at least on the fringes. It makes it harder for the Left to castigate conservatives over the real phenomenon of Clinton Derangement Syndrome when their own allies suffer from it.
Danny Glover notes at Beltway Blogroll that none of the campaigns have floated the notion of fraud. I also notice that the one group that would most benefit from that explanation — pollsters– have not mentioned it as a reason for the surprise Hillary win. Will that make a difference for those who see wheels within wheels everywhere they look? Probably not.

If You Enjoy DBD … (Bumped)

I’m pleased to put up a guest post by my friend and partner, Chris Muir, the author/artist behind Day by Day.
I am asking readers of DaybyDay to contribute $10 or more for the 2008 DaybyDay Fundraiser. This amount is based on a ‘guesstimate’ of how many serious readers DBD has. Perhaps this will result in a Fundraiser that is held every 2 years , instead of every year. Perhaps it will keep DBD going for just a month.
What I do know are that funds are needed to continue the strip, well, day by day.
This Fundraiser will end January 30, 2008.
I know this is very much a vote from readers on DBD. Contrary to rumor, I’m not rich, and I need the help of every reader. If you have donated in the past, ask someone you know who reads DBD to contribute. What will really determine things is meeting the minimum cost of running DBD for one year.
If you find DBD speaks to you on the issues you find important, I urge you to step up. this kind of grassroots participation is what defines New Media, and frankly, it will only be the small donations of the many that will matter.
Chris has brought his delightful and provocative point of view to Internet viewers for the last five years, free of charge, including e-books. If you have enjoyed his work, please consider giving something back. I appreciate your consideration.
UPDATE & BUMP: Chris has seen a great response to this fundraiser, but I’m going to bump it up to today as well. Several CapQ readers have been kind enough to hit my tipjar as well; it’s much appreciated.

Travel Day

I’m taking a short vacation this weekend, and I’m traveling today and Monday; posting may be limited. I’ll have my normal Week in Review show with Duane Patterson on Heading Right Radio this afternoon, and Monday will be a “Best Of” show. In between, I’ll post a couple of updates on the race and other critical stories, but otherwise will busy myself with the Little Admiral, Mickey, Minnie, and the beautiful weather in Florida.

So This Is 2008

Hmm. So far, seems a lot like 2007. I’m just amazed I stayed up late enough to see it change.
I hope you all had a great (and safe) celebration! I got to spend it with the Little Admiral and the First Mate, which is as spectacular as I wanted. We watched the Back to the Future trilogy after having an early dinner with the Little Admiral’s other grandparents. It seemed an appropriate choice for ringing in a new year. I’m assuming the ball dropped in Manhattan as it always does.

Happy New Year

At the first real “career” job I had at Hughes Aircraft, I worked in the Tech Pubs department as an editor and writer. It paid well and it allowed me to learn a lot about the military, corporate America, and life in general — and taught me a few lessons about professional behavior, too. On one occasion just before New Years Eve, I decided to leave a little ditty on my white board that I had seen on a poster:

See Dick drink.
See Dick drive.
See Dick die.
Don’t be a Dick.

My boss, an old Senior Chief from the Navy (and a good but tough manager), did a double-take as he walked by my cubicle. He looked as though he wanted to say something to me, but then shook his head and walked off. When we came back from the holiday, someone had removed my Public Service Announcement from the office.
Now that I own the joint, I can put up whatever message I want on the white board, I suppose. Have a happy and joyous New Year celebration, but be safe, and don’t be a …. well, you get the idea.
UPDATE: And give thanks that these folks can celebrate the New Year, this year (via Bruce Kesler):

It was something not seen in Baghdad since before the 2003 invasion — people publicly welcoming a new year with singing, dancing and general revelry. The ballrooms of two landmark hotels — the Palestine and the Sheraton — were full of people for the first New Year’s Eve celebrations after four years of violence that has bloodied Iraq.
“This place is now more secure,” said Zahraa, 23, adorned with heavy black eyeliner and red lipstick, sitting with colleagues at the Palestine hotel, which was the target of huge car bombs in 2005. “Yes, we are still afraid, but we need to lighten our moods occasionally.”

Blaming The Jews, Again

Why do people fall into anti-Semitism? It happens on the fringe end of both the Right and the Left. It almost seems as though people need to think that a vast conspiracy operates against them, personally and individually, in order to explain their own shortcomings — and the Jews make a great scapegoat. This sign of a weak mind showed up in the blogosphere, and on Christmas Eve of all days, as My Left Wing blames the Jews:

Several months ago, at the suggestion of MSOC, I returned to this site, resolved that I would never again descend to the moral cesspit occupied by the haters. I would willingly engage in civil and rational discourse with anyone of good will, but if they refused, I would ignore them.
Unfortunately, the same persons whose emnity and hostility were so pervasive before immediately resumed their campaign to discredit me, not only rejecting my overtures of peace, but mocking them.
These hateful persons are Jews. At one point, I would have disregarded this fact, but I no longer can. This site has been nothing but the battleground of the Jew Wars, and it is not possible to escape the toxic fallout.
Some persons here have posted remarks offensive to Jews, remarks that no one would have regarded seriously if not for the Jews, as they stridently identify themselves, calling for banning and lynch mobs and denunciation of the posters whose words have offended them. They have made it very clear that they are willing to destroy this site, to make it a barren no-man’s-land where no civil discourse can survive, unless the persons they charge with antisemitism are silenced and driven out.
I know that these Jews will continue to conduct their hate campaigns with impunity as well as self-righteousness, because the people in charge of this site regard them as friends, but they are false, treacherous friends, willing to destroy the site that has befriended them.
And these same persons, these Jews, have not only continued their malicious attacks on me, but others, also Jews, have joined their Hate Squad, solely on the grounds that they are Jews and have been offended by someone, and thus arrogate to themselves the right to hate and insult a person who has done them no harm and no offense.
And the consequence is this: I now find myself, for the first time in my life, hating Jews. I find myself hating the Jews on this site, both the Jews who have conducted their malicious campaign against me for so long and the Jews who have stood by in silent solidarity with them, never saying a word against their vile attacks, their cruelty and ugliness.
I find myself thinking that Proximity perhaps has the right idea, that Jews regard other human beings as objects, to be sacrificed to the interests of Jews. That Jews will always stand with other Jews no matter their guilt, and against non-Jews, no matter their innocence. The face of Jews has become unspeakably ugly in my sight, because of the ugliness of the Jewish haters here.

MLW is run by Maryscott O’Connor, who became the subject of a Washington Post feature in April 2006. The Post noted the lifestyle of “MSOC” at the time:

In the angry life of Maryscott O’Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O’Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.
Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O’Connor’s reputation is as one of the angriest of all. “One long, sustained scream” is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day.
She smokes a cigarette. Should it be about Bush, whom she considers “malevolent,” a “sociopath” and “the Antichrist”? She smokes another cigarette. Should it be about Vice President Cheney, whom she thinks of as “Satan,” or about Karl Rove, “the devil”? Should it be about the “evil” Republican Party, or the “weaselly, capitulating, self-aggrandizing, self-serving” Democrats, or the Catholic Church, for which she says “I have a special place in my heart . . . a burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures of the damned”?

Should it surprise anyone that a blog run by a woman who immerses herself in hate from the moment she awakens would one day have a post like that seen on Christmas Eve? Hatred begets hatred; it makes people irrational, and that irrationality can’t be compartmentalized. Once someone believes they have launched a Holy War against an object of hatred, it doesn’t take long to conclude that all who oppose you are evil and are conspiring for your defeat.
And as we have seen with radical Muslims, it doesn’t take long to blame the Jews when the Holy War gets thwarted. The Nazis did the same thing. Germany got defeated in the Great War? But Germany is invincible! It must have been a stab in the back — and that means someone conspired for the defeat. The Jews!
It’s as inevitable as it is pathetic. Unfortunately, one cannot remain silent in the face of such irrational bigotry, even though attention can make the individual case of insanity worse in the short run. Joe Gandelman has a great roundup of reactions from both Right and Left.

Don’t Forget The Bookshelf For The Last-Minute Gifts!

If you’re looking for some last-minute gifts — and who isn’t? — you still have time to order them through the Captain’s Quarters Bookshelf and Amazon widget. Orders placed by 4 pm ET tomorrow will still get delivered in time for Christmas, in most cases (check the stock status before you order, of course). Shoppers can also buy Amazon gift certificates through the Bookshelf’s Amazon widget.
All sales through Captain’s Quarters results in a small percentage paid to me by Amazon. It helps defray some of the tech costs of the blog, as well as giving me a handy method to purchase gifts for others. All of the books promoted on this blog use links that sell through my account.
Thanks for your support, and I appreciate all of those who have put cash in my tip jar for a more direct gift this Christmas season. (thanks to Instapundit for the reminder)

Cheney The Time-Traveler, And Thoughts On The Poll

Tom Maguire has a great takedown at Just One Minute. It seems that Dick Cheney not only is all-powerful in linear time, but also has traveled back in time to make America a land that potential immigrants fear. Be sure to read the entire post.
On another topic, the AOL poll seems to have worked pretty well today. Despite a script problem that we quickly overcame, the poll has generated 39,000 votes already today. Comments, as you may imagine for a Ron Paul post, have been overwhelmingly negative, including one ambiguous threat that I’m reviewing at the moment. However, the poll itself shows that only 29% of respondents think that Paul should have kept the donation. Only five states show a plurality of votes for that option, and nowhere does it get above 40%. Only two states favor sending the money back, again none over 39%. The rest of the states believe that the money should have been given to charity.
We’ll have something just as provocative the next time, and I hope everyone enjoys it!