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Sunday Open Thread

Whatever happens in 10 days, it'll prove I was right all along.

By Greg Sargent  | October 24, 2010; 9:27 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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All, as promised, a quic update on the comments section.

A decision has been made to move to something more like Chris Cillizza's template. The details are still being worked out -- exactly what features it will have, timing, etc -- but I'll let you know as soon as I know more.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 24, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Great news!

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 24, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

Obviously it is your blog to do with as you like, and I am not that familiar with The Fix, but I would point out that Chris Cillizza's last post from yesterday afternoon currently has 5 comments on it. Your last post from yesterday, which wasn't even about anything (ie open thread) has over 300 comments on it. We have several ex-Cilliza posters here who have explicitly said they left because of the new format. If your goal is to rid your comments section of one or two posters, it seems to me you are going about it in the wrong way.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

If the goal is to eliminate personal attacks, however . . .

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

f the goal is to eliminate personal attacks, however . . .

Posted by: clawrence12
______________________________

Then I really hope personal attacks is defined for everyone. I've seen people here getting all hurt because they were called stupid (personally) and when liberals/conservatives as a whole are insulted.

Posted by: Bailers | October 24, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

I will not participate, when you move to that format.


Posted by: Liam-still | October 24, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I wish I'd gotten to this earlier as now I have no time left this morning.

If anyone wants a challenge in teasing apart one of the most muddled and ahistorical op eds I've read in a while, take a look at Charles Murray's piece in this paper today.

Consider what it is this boy is up to here (clue: note how he uses caps).

Have a good day.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

I will not participate, when you move to that format.


Posted by: Liam-still
____________________________

What a shame.

Posted by: Bailers | October 24, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed the right seems to want to pin the economic collapse on Fannie/Freddie and some obscure statements Frank made while in the minority.

Just for a refresher, read this McClatchy article from back in 2008 to break it down.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2008/10/12/53802/private-sector-loans-not-fannie.html

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Consider what it is this boy is up to here (clue: note how he uses caps)."

The same thing that liberals are up to when they speak of "Big Business", "Big Pharma", etc. (note the use of caps).

Also, consider what it is that Bernie is up to here (clue: note how he uses the word "boy").

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Except that Kevin, and perhaps some others, might be behind firewalls that preclude participation in the revised "Plum" format, the revision will prove useful, I predict.

Liam, please review "The Fix" to understand that the format will actually benefit the conversation. The ability to reply to a post and have it threaded organizes the comments in a way that makes them more accessible to each poster. FairlingtonBlade has pointed to the single drawback: twitter access.

"Plum" is an opinion exchange. Some of us like "Fix" because its national comment audience can provide local commentary on electoral races from wonks and wonkettes that is often very interesting to others in other localities. We would come here to trade ideas, but there we would trade observations. There is overlap, of course.

When "Fix" had the format still current at "Plum" it was daunting to plough through the multiple repeated threadbombs and threadjacks of so few posters to get to on topic, single comments. The new format, grouping comment and replies, has truly eased that problem.

Now if CC could just do something about the tweats... .

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

I have reviewed how The Fix operates. I do not care for it. My decision is final.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 24, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie - It was idiotic. I evidently need to get out more because I (a) don't know the authors of the Left Behind series, (b) live in an area with a lot of college graduates, and (c) can't identify a soybean field. The last of these is particularly dumb in that I grew up in corn and wheat country (SE Nebraska).

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 24, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

All, can you tell me a bit more about what it is you object to about the Cillizza format?

As I said, things are still in flux.

Would appreciate it if you would tell me what it is you do want, and what it is you don't want, in a bit of detail.

Posted by: sargegreg | October 24, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

...Liam, I'd especially like to hear from you on the above comment...appreciate it.

Posted by: sargegreg | October 24, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Blade: giant field of low green plants, where you can see dirt between the rows. 9 times out of ten: soybeans.

I'm going to withhold judgment on the new format until I see it.

I hope it's better. I'm not in love with the current format, though I do like the openness. It seems to me the WaPo just refuses to adopt any of the niftier, more advanced systems out there.

But what do you expect from a paper that has gone to the dogs?

(No offense to Greg and Cilizza, even if the latter does mispronounce his own last name)

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

OK, looked at The Fix comments.

Threaded, which is not my favorite, but at least there are shaded areas so you can see them. Not sure how having most recent comment at the top will affect the vibe of comments. Will reserve judgment on that.

What's important here is to try it and then make sure we all weigh in and make an effort to get a good balance (can't please everyone).

And so Liam, please don't overreact until it's time to overreact. Then we can bi*ch and moan about a better system.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

BB, the Murray opinion article is without content or context.

As you know, the big research bucks are not actually concentrated in the Ivies. I think some of the attempted conflation here is that the financial industry in NYC draws heavily on the Ivies and the poison ivies [Stanford, Northwestern, Chicago, et al] and the levers of money influence seem to be in the hands of these alums. How ironic that among these are the very persons who fund TEA.

From Georgia Tech to Iowa State to UT to the Cal Med complex in SF most innovation is sparked by folks who did not come from great wealth. In fact, if you compare our age with pre WW2, pre GI Bill, pre NIH and pre NSF America, we used to be dominated by the Ivies and are now merely greatly influenced by them.

And a physicist from Nebraska is as unlikely to identify with TEA as a lawyer in Austin, despite our public educations. I spend a lot of my local political effort fighting the Creationists on the state school board, all of whom now identify as TEA. For Murray to implicitly suggest that the heirs of William Jennings Bryan's prosecution of Scopes are to be acquiesced to rather than fought tooth and nail by the educated makes him a traitor to his class. :-)

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Also, too, Charles Murray is a giant fooking idiot.

Anyone who is still listening to him deserves whatever ridicule they get.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse


Wikileaks has some curious points about Weapons of Mass Destruction:


Apparently Weapons of Mass Destruction WERE FOUND IN IRAQ - SO WHY DIDN'T KARL ROVE ADVERTISE IT ?

________________


Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents...

In August 2004, for instance, American forces surreptitiously purchased what they believed to be containers of liquid sulfur mustard, a toxic “blister agent” used as a chemical weapon since World War I. The troops tested the liquid, and “reported two positive results for blister.” The chemical was then “triple-sealed and transported to a secure site” outside their base...

Even late in the war, WMDs were still being unearthed. In the summer of 2008, according to one WikiLeaked report, American troops found at least 10 rounds that tested positive for chemical agents. “These rounds were most likely left over from the [Saddam]-era regime. Based on location, these rounds may be an AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] cache. However, the rounds were all total disrepair and did not appear to have been moved for a long time.”

_________________________________

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse


BGinChi

I agree Chris does mispronounce his last name.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

ALL AND GREG


We all know that Chris Cillizza killed his blog when he switched to the new format. Chris is now making videos and that is not going well. He might be moving to porn soon.


Greg - I have made several attempts to contact you to discuss these issues, but you have not responded. Did you get my email?


I would like to point out clearly that from my point of view, there is a basic hostility expressed to ANY expression of conservative ideas. The liberals are comfortable with moving quickly to personal attacks.

For the most part, these personal attacks have NEVER been policed properly by the Post. Chris allowed his blog to run wild for years - from at least early 2008.

In 2008, almost EVERY conservative comment was almost immediately met with a nasty comment from the liberal side. Whether this was organized from the campaigns or other committees, it is possible. However it certainly seemed as if they had 2 or 3 people attacking in the comments section IN SHIFTS every day.


I am simply pointing this out BECAUSE THIS IS THE ATMOSPHERE in which conservatives have to post.

The past few weeks the liberals have gotten particulary nasty, perhaps because the election is close.

IN RESPONSE TO THIS ATMOSPHERE, different people develop different ways of dealing with it. Ignoring some - some fight back. Some respond with nasty comments.


MY feeling is that the Conservatives have been keeping the peace on this blog - by restraint. The liberals have attempted to start many fights, and provacations start almost immediately - continuing slights which they perceived on other days.


The experience Chis has had should give one caution.

I will start another post with some more ideas.

Greg - I have attempted to contact you via email to attempt to open up a dialogue on these issues.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Since we have a thread for kvetching and a thread on threads, some hopes for what a threaded blog ought to be.

When we start with a subject, say "Should a persons religion be open to discussion just because he is a candidate" it would be nice if that thread was what actually got discusses, rather than the immediate descent into attacks on religion, on particular religions, discussions of whether the Foundng fathers had religion... So it would be nice if non germain posts out of no where could be controlled.

Where a thread runs long, it would be nice to be able to mark your place so you can go back to it without wading through all the previous posts you tried to ignore three or four times, so some kind of book mark would help.

Where a thread does legitimately fork, because a comment on the thread leads to consideration of related topics that also need to be discussed, that fork can be identified.

The current fix format does deal with forking discussion paths well. It also allows for identifications of threadjacking, and for identifying posts that add nothing to the thread by bile and discontent.

Where a Lead is already multithreaded, like Ezra Klein's reconciliation, or CC's Afternoon Fix, or Greg's happy hour round up, the ability to get into one thread at a time, ala the fix, is really useful. Otherwise we need the Column initiator to be careful to keep his lead focused to one initial thread.

Those would seem to be reasonable desiderata for any blog. The Fix actually handles those parameters quite well.

As for objectionable behavior, that is harder to exactly define, because there is room there for round table discussion, although posts of the form, "Nyah Nyah Nyah all you ...s are despicable ...s" generally add nothing and legitimately ought to be taken down, and regular taunters who do nothing else ought to be made unwelcome. Multiple posts are to be discouraged, and if posters could take down their own posts, (but no one else's) those of us who recognize that we messed up something, or just accidentally double posted could correct our own work more easily.

That leaves the deliberately obstructionist postings that clog blogs and make them less and less readable.

These aren't just those posters that individuals have decided that they personally no longer care to respond to, but rather posters who regularly repost their own screeds multiple times, separated by enough time and space that is is obviously deliberate.

But deciding whether such obnoxious posts fit the form and content sought by the original blogger is the original bloggers responsibility. Responders having the flag button, so that they can call attention to what irritates them enough to make them want to find a more satisfactory forum, is about as far as the blog owner ought to be required to go in reading the tenor of his blog.

And the 3k limit brings this offering to an end.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

ALL AND GREG

1) Policing this Place - the nasty comments are the problem - somehow there must be a way to stop the hostility - and create a civil atmosphere.


2) Chris's format is impossible to follow. They are holding some comments back - and not everyone sees ALL the comments. So, one might think your posting is seen by others, but it is not.

3) That little optical trick takes place, but one is never sure if the comment comes out to be "seen" later.


4) The idea that there are responses to individual comments within threads doesn't work. People read through the comments - so if a response comes up after one has read it, no one knows an additional comment has popped up. That does not help the conversation.


5) The feature of the comments section that people like is the REAL-TIME RESPONSES FROM NUTJOBS AROUND THE NATION. Let's be honest - people love to respond to something they don't agree with.

These conversations in which everyone is agreeing - they quickly become boring and someone finds something to fight about anyway.


Clearly, there are some people who believe that PERSONAL ATTACKS are appropriate.

Well, there has to be a way to DISAGREE without PERSONAL ATTACKS.


ON one level the Washington Post is to blame, by not deleting INDIVIDUAL COMMENTS which are too nasty. Instead, it seems like a "banning" is the only option - instead of just deleting ONE COMMENT which is over the line.

WHERE IS THE LINE??? I have brought this up many times - without much response. It seems like many, many people have been crossing the line.

It is the responsibility of WHOEVER MAKES THE RULES, TO MAKE THEM CLEAR. And the enforcement matters. If 5 people are getting nasty, then readers have reason to believe that such conduct is acceptable - and they join in that way.


Greg - if you want to risk killing the blog - I suppose that is your call.

Just this week, there has been a series of really nasty comments WHICH HAVE GOTTEN NO RESPONSE FROM THE PAPER.

Clearly, the personal attacks have gone on - WHY IS ONE SET OF PEOPLE TARGETED?

The comments issues are ALL over the Post - the comments sections in the articles are WORSE - and there appears to have been substantial thought on the topic - without resolution.


Chris ALLOWED there to be no enforcement for a long time - that is clear.

Banning is ridiculous - draw a line on nastiness - and try to get people to respect that line.

Define the rules - so people can follow them. At this point, no one knows what the rules are.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I tried to read the new Elites column. it is so poorly written that the only thing I thought I got out of it was actually a comment from yesterdays Open Thread complaining about Professors working less that 40 Hours a week, and professors doing rersearch that only advances their own career. Maybe more about the professors later, but about the "New Elites" who don't share all those quintessential values like MMA and Left behind, What, pray tell, makes them "Quntesential" Or what is it that causes Murray top denigrate ability to appreciate some little B&B in the berkshires as elitist but usning an RV as mainstream. Having worked many yeoman hours doing special event radio Operations, public service operations, and show and tell operations using an Argosy Motor Home for our operations vehicle, I can tell you that just owning an RV is so expensive as to put it out of the range of much of middle America. There is no real difference between the weekend camper, the dedicated RVer, and the dedicated cruiser. That you can afford it makes you a fiscal elitist.

It is just that Murray wants his elite, That of the MMA and NASCAR Dad and Soccer Mom to replace the elite of the "Over Educated". He objects to the current elite because he isn't in charge of it.

That IT isn't as in charge as he claims eludes him.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@Greg re format change.

As I've expressed in the past I actually am OK with the current format with just ONE change. Simply place the commenter's name at the head of their comment. Makes for easier scrolling past the obvious idiots.(Again idiot as defined by the reader...I'm sure many readers consider me an idiot and I'm comfortable with them scrolling past MY comments)

One other thought...eliminate the ability to TRIPLE space. I enjoy judicious use of double spacing for posters to separate their thoughts, but triple spacing is just an attempt to annoy the rest of us, and let's be honest only ONE (unless you count his many sock puppets) poster does it.

I'm not bothered by OT posts that do not necessarily follow thread topics, again if I can id the poster immediately. Quite frankly there are many posters whose OT comments interest me more than other posters on topic posts.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

GregSargent:
"Whatever happens in 10 days, it'll prove I was right all along."
-------

You, too?

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Both the Fix and the Plum Line are Political Process oriented forums, but the fix is more on the game of politics, which is mostly fascinating, although in times like the last week of a campaign tend to run out of analyzable novelty, where Plum Line tends to be more content oriented, so that on the Fix we might argue about whether HCR is something every body hates, or merely so carefully centered that the response splits in thirds, where one third wants it gone, one thiord likes what it is, and one third wanted much more and is currently dissatisfied that it didn't go far enough. The Plum Line would be a bit more likely to discuss whether HCR is anywhere enough, because the current Health care System will be totally overwhelmed by the next disaster, from SF earthquake to Influenza pandemic that puts one inefected person in 100 in intensive care for two weeks.

Neither should be the kind of playground of the mind where bullies can come in and declare that THEIR ideas are all that matter on this playground now.

And whining about, "We don't know the rules" is a cop out. Your mother and father should have taught you better manners, and your kindergarten teacher should have taught you most everything you need to know to participate in a civil blog in a civil manner. Now if anywhere in K-12 you learned to write in proper paragraphs, with proper punctuation, you ought to know how to participate in a blog and follow the ordinary rules of civil discourse.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, if professors really ruled the world there would be a lot more meetings. A LOT more meetings.

So, if you find yourself attending a lot of meetings, and it seems like this has suddenly taken over your productive time, then you can probably go ahead and conclude that the professorial elite, who can never agree on anything, and who passed up far more lucrative career paths to teach and study, have taken over.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Amy Gardner wrote,
"A canvass of hundreds of tea party groups reveals an organization that is not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process."
-------

You mean it really is grassroots and not some evil, orchestrated, racist GOP effort to take over the world?

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

GREG AND ALL

Mark-in-Austin writes

daunting to plough through the multiple repeated threadbombs and threadjacks of so few posters to get to on topic, single comments.

_____________________________________

Yea, but to Conservatives - to see 10 or 20 comments which FAWN OVER OBAMA, or ATTACK THE TEA PARTY, sure seems like thread-bombing.


There is NO DOUBT that has gone on.

A basic problem here is that some posters appear to be coordinated. They have the same talking points which they are putting up.

In 2008, it sure appeared that there were teams of people on the blogs - attacking every Conservative comment - and which were FAWNING OVER OBAMA.

That isn't thread-bombing?? That isn't thread-jacking ??? OF COURSE IT IS.


There has to be some balance here - there has to be some sense that rules get APPIED EQUALLY TO ALL SIDES.

__________________________


There is a sense that certain people on the blog have decided to make personal attacks, on a daily basis - in an effort to DRIVE OUT ONE POINT OF VIEW.

That is problematic. First, we don't know WHERE that is coming from. Is it an individual - or is it some organized committee which has decided to take on this tactic???

It is important - because some of these "complaints" appear to be ASTROTURFED. We suddenly read people complaining who haven't commented recently.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Like even the lowly single-cell organism, we have learned to adapt to a fervid and tireless attempt to PreserveTropicalVegetation.

What was quite the foofighterfooraw last month seems normal now and PL has gained interesting and spirited new posters in the process. Meanwhile the comments section @ The Fix is much like, in vitality, the print circ of WaPo/Newsweek.

I also would not wish to lose Liam, especially.

But what do I know I'm a conservative.

{{{"Hey you giga-celled punk, who you calling lowly?
Yours with contempt,
Mike R.O. Sporidia}}}

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Like even the lowly single-cell organism..."

tao, I challenge you to begin at least one post a day with this tag.

It's much better than when my students begin a paper with "Since the dawn of time..."

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

GREG AND ALL


One part of the issue here is the rules - they are not specific enough.

Also, there has been NO enforcement. A personal attack has not been responded to - or deleted.


On thread-bombing - OK MAKE A RULE - define a SPECIFIC RULE and tell everyone what it is - and let EVERYONE FOLLOW IT.


But it has to apply equally to Ethan and rukidding and everyone one else here who has complained about thread-bombing - but when I count the number of comment, they have MORE than anyone.


_________________________


I don't know what the Post would do if it was obvious that some group or campaign had 8 computers going all day - each under the limit of thread-bombing.


____________________________


AND THAT IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM


I suspect that the Obama people have caused the comments sections to go downhill - starting 3 years ago.


YES - I am saying that at Michigan Ave and Wacker Drive in Chicago - right above the HOULIHANS - the Obama people set up a room with mulitiple computers -

AND THE OBAMA PEOPLE THREAD-BOMBED AND THREAD-JACKED IN SHIFTS DAY IN AND DAY OUT.


The suspicion is that the Obama people moved over to Organizing for America later - and continued their THREAD-BOMBING and their nasty comments.


There problem was they weren't very good at writing comments.


__________________________

GREG AND ALL -

If you want my honest opinion, the atmosphere here is DIRECTLY ROOTED in the Obama people - AND THE TACTICS THEY HAVE USED AGAINST ORDINARY AMERICANS.


The personal attacks and the nastiness which has come from this operation has been INCREDIBLE -


This is why the atmosphere is so BAD -


And these attempts to ban people - that is SIMPLY TRYING TO SHUT DOWN A POINT OF VIEW - from one side to another.

It has little to do with RULES, or enforcement of rules.


_________________


GREG AND ALL


If you are going to do something, you should at least check to see what TACTICS the Obama people have been up to.

If there are complaints coming, you should be sure as to who and where they are coming from

Because it sure seems as though two weeks ago - the people on this blog agreed that things were improving. Then all of a sudden you start up with the "kill the blog" ideas.


Like I said, Chris is making videos now, and if that doesn't work, he will probably be moving onto porn.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I agree with tao, we've adapted. This is the third PL format I've somehow survived and as change is inevitable I think it's best to just leave well enough alone. I've learned to watch and wait for nap time.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 24, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I know I shouldn't do this, but:

"GREG AND ALL -

If you want my honest opinion, the atmosphere here is DIRECTLY ROOTED in the Obama people - AND THE TACTICS THEY HAVE USED AGAINST ORDINARY AMERICANS."

That's the kind of thing that almost makes it worth reading his posts.

Almost.

"If you want my honest opinion"?

Do I have a choice?

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Amy Gardner wrote,
"A canvass of hundreds of tea party groups reveals an organization that is not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process."


_____________________________

Except vote.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Re: the coming format change.

I have to agree with rukidding7. Tweak this format, if you like, but stick with it---and, yes, I know that isn't going to happen because a decision has already been made and had probably been made before all this nonsense of asking for "suggestions."

The Fix sucks. I can only give my opinion, but as Scott3C pointed out, many of the Fix threads have very little activity anymore. There will no doubt be some people who much prefer the new format, but the cost of pleasing them will be losing two-thirds of your population. I very much respect the opinions of mark_in_austin. He was always one of the more thoughtful and reasonable participants at the Fix. However, he was typically an "occasional" poster who dropped in once or twice a day if at all.
Many PlumLiners seem to be a bit more heavily invested. Maybe they're retired and just have more time to kill, but I just don't see them as a good fit for the Fix format. I work at least five days a week, and I'M not even a good fit.

If you don't mind the idea of seeing your post appear but knowing that NO ONE ELSE will be able to see it until a moderator releases it (and how many hours might that take?), then you might not mind the Fix format. If you like the idea of little threads within threads where a few posters essentially practice the art of emailing each other and ignoring the rest, then you might like the Fix format.

The problem with censoring and taking down posts is that someone always has to make the decisions. You certainly don't think Greg is going to be there 24/7 do you? Chances are the blog will be farmed out to some third party moderators. Someone will decide what is or isn't appropriate and you may not always, and probably won't, be able to figure out the criteria being used, despite whatever "rules" are posted.

And some topics can be pretty much exhausted after a few comments. What's the problem with "threadjacks" or off-topic rants? It's not like people spend a lot of time talking about soccer; it's usually some tangentially related subject about politics or college tuition or whatever. If it's what people want to talk about, what's the problem?

I don't have a lot of time to spend blogging and probably involve myself a lot less in web goings on than many others---that's why I hate chasing links. I quit the Fix because it was no longer interesting and too many of those I liked to spar with had left. Believe it or not, I enjoy jousting with ru and liam and 12bb, et al. When they're gone, I'm gone. LOL. Not that I think I'll be missed or that you can't survive without me. There are just so many options and so little time.

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I just saw the Rev. Jesse Jackson at Chicago O'Hare!

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 24, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

BGinChi

You still have that comment hanging out there about getting thrown out of bars.

Which bars? You still haven't told us.

Yea - telling us which bars you go to tells us something about you.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

STRF's pathological obsessions will drive any sane commenter away. It's impossible to have a discussion with the mentally insane. He'll continue on while WaPo bends over backwards trying to accommodate this low-life individual.

Surprised WaPo can't see the obvious solution to this posters compulsive behavior.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I just saw the Rev. Jesse Jackson at Chicago O'Hare!

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 24, 2010 2:02 PM
------

You devil. Some people have all the luck.

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

MikefromArlington

You too are guilty of thread-bombing. So where would the proper line be?


A great deal of the hostility you exhibit is PARTISAN-BASED - so I really can not help you there.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Any bar I haven't been thrown out of isn't worth going into.

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

If Brigade is right and all comments have to pass through a moderation period, then I'm totally against it.

Greg, you aren't doing it that way, are you?

That will kill the conversation here.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade I've never been to the Fix. Are you saying they've eliminated "real time" comments. Because I agree with you that if that becomes the norm...I'm afraid like Liam I'll be gone.

Some of the very best discussions I've seen on this blog are ones that the give and take begins with @poster so and so
Poster so and so then replies with @firstposter I think this has been more effective than having the blog try to segregate comments by commenters and topics. That gets confusing in a hurry.
I understand that approach perhaps on giant blogs like huffpo but I NEVER participate there and generally never review more than a half dozen comments just to gauge overall mood. Here I tend to read everybody with a few obvious exceptions.

I used to be a season ticket holder for the Tampa Bay Lightning. A combination of two things drove me away...the recession ;-( and the success of the Lightning. What started off as an enjoyable experience became less so as the team drew larger crowds. After the Stanley Cup it just got out of hand...police messing up the traffic...the team getting greedy and gouging...perhaps that is what is actually taking place here.

Maybe this blog has just become so successful that expectations of keeping the good ole days in tact are delusional.
I like Greg and respect his journalism and so I'll check back occasionally to read his posts...but if "real time" posting comes to an end then I join Liam and move on.

As for all the talk about "fights" and insults...I'm not one to get my fees fees that hurt. At some point when I encounter rude posters...and haven't we all...or name calling..again haven't we encountered and many of us participated...I simply withdraw. Triple spaced thread bombing is very aggravating but again names at the top of the comments would let us avoid those posters.

Simple conclusion...if "real time" posting is gone, so am I.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Nah, not partisan.

I just deal with idiots like yourself with hostility because your goal is to disrupt this blogs comments and WaPo doesn't have the guts to recognize your idiocy and suspend you for a short period until you realize what you're doing is disruptive.

The only reason this discussion of changing the blog format around is because of you and you alone.

Yeah, I know this gives you pleasure knowing from the comfort of your moms basement you can actually disturb other people but since WaPo is a cowardly org they won't do a thing so enjoy disrupting this blog until the format changes and the place becomes a ghost town.

Then you can move onto the next blog and unleash your pathological obsessive compulsive behavior on them to until they all just leave.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I will not participate, when you move to that format.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 24, 2010 10:45 AM

I enjoy jousting with ru and liam and 12bb, et al. When they're gone, I'm gone.

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 1:58 PM

Any more?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington

It is one thing for an individual to decide to ignore someone - fine.


HOWEVER, it is quite a different thing to start to advertise you are ignoring someone -

Then the posters try to agree - we AGREE we are ALL ignoring someone - like they are setting up some PARTISAN GANG -


It is all child's play at that point. The clique of 8-year-old girls thinks they are in charge of the playground -


AND nasty comments and cruel things will be said to enforce the position of the PARTISAN CLIQUE.

Is that just about right?


That is way beyond the bounds of civil behavior - and yet even today we hear from the clique - PLEASE GIVE US A BETTER WAY TO IGNORE PEOPLE.

_______________________________

AND then the PRECISE COMPLAINT COMES IN - the REAL COMPLAINT IS THAT I AM IGNORING THE CLIQUE.

Yea - well - the PARTISAN GANG seems to be upset that their tactics have not thrown someone completely out -

And instead they are being ignored - that is EXACTLY the problem, right ?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Tao9 and Imsinca--try to adapt. I'm not a frequent commenter, but I've come to appreciate reading the viewpoints of many who are. It would be silly of me to deprive myself of something I enjoy just because I might not care for the format. That would be a bit like refusing to read anymore because all I had was a Kindle (tempting, for a "real" booklover like me, but look what I'd be missing :)

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Surprised WaPo can't see the obvious solution to this posters compulsive behavior.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 2:13 PM
-----

But why destroy the blog with a crappy format when you can just scroll past what you don't want to read? If you had cancer, that would be serious; dealing with posters you don't like is kid's stuff. Deal with it.

Another thing. We have two pilot projects here---two competing formats, two different blogs. The marketplace at work. One is thriving (Plum Line), one has failed (the Fix). I routinely see Fix commenters here at Plum Line---mark_in_austin, ceflynline. How many of you Plum Liners routinely participate at the Fix? Thought so. It's loss has been your gain. So now, the successful blog wants to emulate the unsuccessful blog?

It would be like a country with an economic model which has a proven record of success pushing to adopt the trappings of another economic model which has failed in country after country . . . oh, but wait ...

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

STRF, just you.

Tao, I'm fine with. Scott, sbj as much as I know they are wrong about most everything, I'm fine with.

The ONLY poster anyone complains about is YOU. It's because of you Greg is suggesting changing formats. Until WaPo realizes that by suspending your account for periodic time periods until you learn your lesson will some that tend not to post come back.

The thing is, I think you are sincerely too stupid to realize just how disruptive you are.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Brigade certainly has a point about how the most prolific thoughtful posters here do not post at "Fix". Perhaps the change to with threaded post-and-reply is not significant to most, here, who know whose comments each wants to read. So be it.

Brigade, there is this: after you have been "screened" and not blocked a few times your posts screen in real time at "Fix".

Y'all have a great day.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 24, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

GREG AND ALL

All these issues were brought up at the Fix before the switch was made. The blog still died.


The truth is if you want civil discussion, that has to be developed.

Individuals are getting blamed for things that are either within the rules, or not being enforced.

AND it is clear that those things have been done by others on the liberal side over the years, daily and weekly. So the point that what is seen as acceptable appears to be within the rules is valid.

______________________________


THREAD BOMBING


OK make a rule on that. ONLY as for weeks I have been pointing out - few people want to propose an EXACT rule - because they know they will fall under it.


It sure seems to me that on a blog with 20 liberal comments - if suddenly 10 Conservative comments are added - the liberals view that as a problem.

I don't see the TOTAL number of Conservative postings exceeding the TOTAL number of liberal comments -


So, to define THREAD-BOMBING that way - the liberals have been thread bombing.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"But why destroy the blog with a crappy format when you can just scroll past what you don't want to read?"

I wouldn't change the format. I'd just deal with the disruptive poster is all.

Not a perm ban. Just Suspend the address temporarily and notify them of their behavior. If they come back and are disruptive again, suspend them for a longer period.

Eventually, they get the message.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Another solution would be to put whomever is on suspension on the thread moderation list. If you behave after a selected period, you can post without moderation.

It would prevent the thread bombing STRF does.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Mike

If there is a comment that is bad, just delete it


The real problem is the HOSTILITY here - a few people have become comfortable NOT discussing the issues - but being hostile towards others.


A format will not change that -

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

STRF, by putting only your comments into moderation the problem would be solved.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

...Liam, I'd especially like to hear from you on the above comment...appreciate it.

Posted by: sargegreg | October 24, 2010 12:13 PM

...............

I am sick of all the changes that Plumline keeps going through. It has changed formats almost as much As this Sybil Creature has changed names on here.

For a change, why don't you tell us why the format is being changed? What is it suppose to accomplish, that the previous format changes were also supposed to accomplish, but failed to deliver?

To put it plainly; If what The Fix offered was appealing to me, I would already have participated on it. Since I do not, why on earth would I want to participate on a clone of it?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 24, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Any more?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 24, 2010 2:24 PM
-----

You, too, but we rarely joust. QB, Skip, Scott, Kevin, Troll, Tao, Sold2u, STRF (don't mean to leave anyone out) are all great contributors, but none of us would survive long in an echo chamber. We like give and take. I mentioned ru and liam and 12BB because they're liberals, they're here a lot and, with the exception of 12BB, they like rough and tumble. I could have mentioned kathleen, imsinca, leichtman1, ethan, mike-in_arlington, bernielatham, 54465446, JennofArk, schrodingerscat, srw3, DDAWD, bearclaw, BginCHI and any number of others. A veritable plethora. I only ask that Greg familiarize himself with the butterfly effect before he goes too far in trying to fix what ain't broke.

Oh, and I should have mention FairlingtonBlade as another Fixster who, more and more, seems to prefer the company of Plum Liners.

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 and all

The Fix is more than just a format change - with a feature which allows for responses to individual comments.


WHAT they are doing is HOLDING-BACK some comments - so NO ONE can respond at all.

A poster may SEE the comment, BUT NO ONE ELSE CAN.


So, there is no way to know if people can see each other or not. Sometimes they pop up later - after they have been screened. Sometimes not. But it is NOT real-time.


So, they choose WHO posts and WHO doesn't - in real-time. THAT is what killed the blog.

Clearly, some people are on DIFFERENT LEVELS FROM OTHERS.


Everyone just quit - it was pretty quick too.


Believe me, you aren't going to like the new format - people will leave quickly. And new people will have difficulty joining the discussion.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I read this blog more than I post on it. I like how most responders argue their points and issues without personal animosity and name calling. The format now in use seems to allow speedy/current responses by commenters. The only thing I see needing change is a way to address commenters who use vitriolic attacks instead of reasoned (in their opinion) discussion.

Posted by: actuator | October 24, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, if they move to a moderation type blog, make it so everyone starts out with ZERO moderation and only those who seem to not understand what the rules are are then put into moderation for a period of time.

I believe that would solve the problem.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 24, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

EUREKA!

User Discussion and Submission Guidelines
{snip}
4. You certify that you are at least 13 years of age. If you are under the age of 13, please do not submit any content to us.

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington

One thing that was clear from the Fix, once the discussion about the blog started, there were 15 different people complaining about 15 different things.

The Obama people got really insistent about STAMPING out dissent. And that clearly was not what anyone wanted.


The other thing - there are several little fights going on on this blog. Getting rid of one person doesn't solve ANY of that. Those problems are still there.

___________________________

What do you propose to do about a guy like Ethan - who is just thread-bombing day in and day out - almost like he is on a shift ?

OH, you "enjoy" his intelligent re-posting of mundane talking points - is that right?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@mike - It was shown from the Fix that the Post does not have the ability to suspend/ban anyone. 37th has already created 4 identities here. He was banned three or four times at the Fix, each time returning under a new screen name. Jake, who recently alighted here, purports to be a retired attorney and easily created several identities. The Fix did have a rather vile poster who went under the name of King_of_Zouk.

For now, the problem is isolated to a single commenter. One of 37th's comments on this thread took up a page and a half. You can't tell me there isn't an easy way to handle that.

Some threads do fine at the Fix. There were 53 comments on the recently Senate Line. Some confuse the health of a blog with the number of comments. The discussion here is free wheeling and generally fun. The Fix discussion prior to the changeover had become increasingly toxic.

Comments on the Fix generally appear immediately. I'd prefer that the re-tweets went away and that the entire discussion would be available. Comments calling CC a right wing tool and personal insults amongst the commenteriate are no loss.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 24, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@STRF Seriously dude you have amazed us all. Can you read? Can you add? People who are polar opposites have described enjoying the jousting with each other...Brigade and me and Liam...Scott/Kevin/sold2u spar with Jenn/12bar/Ethan...and we have our blog saint lmsinca who always deals fairly and with compassion and deals in facts without name calling.

Read and count....see how many have SINGLED you out as the most egregious offender and the one who would be voted off the island if this were survivor. This is not ruk blasting you...this is tao/brigade/kevin and others from the right as well as Mikes/Alexandria and Austin/Ethan/Liam and others from the left.

If there is one thing you can take credit for STRF/CoC/Leafofweed whatever sock puppet you wish to choose...it's that you have brought us all together...right and left and indys...we all find you offensive and a waste of our time. What part of this do you not understand?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

ruk/Brigade/tao/lms:

This probably doesn't aid the cause, me being who/what I am and all, so apologies if it pushes Greg in the wrong direction, but I am with you. Making a substantial change to the format seems like a solution in search of a problem. (Having said that, I am not sure Greg even reads my posts to him, so perhaps it won't hurt afterall.)

Greg...

It seems to me you have established a pretty substantial comments section with obvious growth over the last year (certainly since I have been here) both among your ideological peers and critics. Why in the world would you want to mess with that apparent success? Indeed, part of that growth has come at the expense of The Fix for reasons explicitly related to the format at The Fix. Again, why in the world would you then want to replicate that format and thus put your success and growth in jeopardy? I can see you fiddling around at the margins, for example doing what ruk suggests and moving names from the bottom to the top. That kind of minor enhancement makes sense to me. But moving to an entirely new format, and one that has apparently failed elsewhere, seems like sheer lunacy to me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

tao, love those high WaPo standards!

"Bring us your best ideas, 14-year-olds! You are the future of the marketplace of ideas! Don't forget to take a Kaplan Test Prep course!"

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, if they move to a moderation type blog, make it so everyone starts out with ZERO moderation and only those who seem to not understand what the rules are are then put into moderation for a period of time.

I believe that would solve the problem.

Posted by: mikefromArlington |

Agree 100%. And again I would STILL prefer posters names at the head of their posts so I can pick and choose who to read.
I do this with the rest of my internet reading...Daily Beast for example does this and after a few skims through comments I can quicky figure out who the "johnny one note" posters are right or left, and I can choose accordingly.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,

I'm a little butthurt to be left out but I'll get over it.

FairlingtonBlade, why do you put BB at the end of your comments?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Brigade has a good point - there are two formats under consideration - one is working, and the other is not.

Which makes sense?

___________________________

Mike from Arlington

My RESPONSE to you is CLEAR. I have adapted BECAUSE OF THE TACTICS OF THE OBAMA PEOPLE.

The Obama people have been nasty and they have engaged in personal attacks - so I ignore them.


If I see something intelligent to respond to, I do. But to be honest, from your side, there hasn't been much in that category over the past two years.

The hostility on the blog IS THE PROBLEM.


If Greg sends out the message that hotility works, there will ONLY BE MORE HOSTILITY.


That happened at the Fix, red-meat was fed to the Obama people, they went NUTS AND DEMANDED ALL SORTS OF THINGS - then they left -

The Obama people left the FIX at once - en masse - LIKE IT WAS A COORDINATED DECISION.


__________________________


As long as you have the Obama people trying to STAMP OUT ALL POINTS OF VIEW, there will be problems. That approach never works.

However, the alternative is to just get tough on the PERSONAL ATTACKS


Get touch on personal attacks - so to keep a post up, it has to be CIVIL.


But to try to form a PARTISAN GANG - and act like 8-year-old girls - and then beg for "changes" when your little clique doesn't get its way, well grow up.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"If Brigade is right and all comments have to pass through a moderation period, then I'm totally against it. Greg, you aren't doing it that way, are you? That will kill the conversation here. Posted by: BGinCHI "

Brigade is being quite disingenuous. Yes, posters get a period of moderation. Mine is something on the order of milliseconds. New posters may get a bit iof a delay until they establish themselves as reasonably well mannered, but once you prove that you ca behave in a civilized manner you generally get in rather quickly.

Brigade and STRF and Jake D: loudly decried the pending switch on the fix. Came the switch, they posted their usual posts and were seen no more. Several other tags also disappeared from the Fix, never to return about that time. All; were real annoyances and particular detriment to holding a civil discussion.

MIA, BB, and others who post both here and on the fix are here looking for real debate. Real debate involves extending and justifying one's points, and in finding new ways to look at debatable points. When one side merely reposts the same stale and mostly disproven points, you don't have a debate, you have a one sided tirade.

The whole point of STRF's triple spaced, idiosyncratic, column jamming posts is to try to make it impossible for others to merely scroll past his dragon teeth. It also frustrates anyone trying to follow a single thread, especially in a multi thread blog like Open Thread.

There IS an alternative to simply barring blog cloggers, and that is make it possible for individual posters to delete posts they want out of the way on their own machines. It is a bit tedious to have top copy a whole blog, paste it to Word, and go through and delete all the objectionable stuff so that you can deal with the posts that add to the conversation, but I have occasionally done it. Has to be a highly interesting discussion, though, to be worth the effort. When it stops being worth the effort, I figure it is time to go else where.

The simplest answer on the plum line would be to put the poster's name at the top, since this is a top down blog, and let us delete articles on our end of the stream. that would be quite helpful when you just visit the blog every so often to see what has been added. Being able to locally bar posters would also help. Having the barred poster notified, and keeping records at the Post Owners site as to who doesn't read whom would be ideal, but probably beyond IT's ability at this point.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"4. You certify that you are at least 13 years of age. If you are under the age of 13, please do not submit any content to us.

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 2:53 PM

Now THAT is funny! LMAO Do you think EVERYONE on this blog except for one person knows who you are talking about. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Paul Lane

We are discussing the comment section

And there is a character limit

It is exactly people like you who get nasty with others who ARE THE PROBLEM

You refuse to discuss the issues - and you have carried grudges for months or years. It is your hostile behavior which is THE ISSUE.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@Scott I almost always agree with you in theory and hardly ever in reality. :-)

Having said that, I believe your comments on the PL format are not only correct in theory, but also in reality.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Scott, agreed.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Rukidding7

Singling one person out is not going to solve your problem.

Seriously man - it is election time and we all understand you are upset with the polls.

However, the problems will still be there - the nasty comments will continue.


I have not been pleased by the HOSTILITY.


I never like the way the Obama people treated others - so rukidding7 - the OBAMA PEOPLE SET THE STANDARD, NOT ME.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

YOU ALL ARE JOKERS


I see many of you engaging in personal attacks - and hostile behavior - clearly making uncivil remarks.


AND yet, you want other people to make comments the WAY YOU WANT.


It is YOUR HOSTILITY that started it. Clearly.

Ignore this - ignore that - I'm IGNORING YOU - and that is the problem, right ?


,

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Tao9

That rule should be drafted to read "ACT like you are over 13"

And all the childish hostility and clique behavior would stop.

The personal attacks are the problem.


I ignore people who deserve it.

I don't get on the blog, and start to ORGANIZE a group - and say "Let's all ignore this person" "Don't feed the troll" -

I don't start referring to people as "it"

You want to see the real problem with the blog LOOK IN THE MIRROR


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@Troll - Old habit. I used to sign off with buh-bye and shortened it. I also worked on buckyballs for my thesis research and occasionally used buckyball as a handle (hence, BB). I came up with the idea of this nickname after moving to Fairlington (an area on the Arlington/Alexandria border) and being a big supporter of Sheffield United aka the Blades. It is an easy way to refer to me, though a little confusing now that 12barblues is also around.

CC used to always agonize over booting someone from the board. A warning system in which comments are held from suspicious characters would work fine. That and some way of limiting the number of lines. I've yet to see any post that took more than a page be worth the read.

I still read the Fix regularly and comment on threads where I have something to say.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline I agree with your observations on possible format changes. Move the names of posters to the top, and I especially like your idea of a delete button which immediately cleans up threads when we revisit.

@troll "I'm a little butthurt to be left out but I'll get over it." Considering it's me and not Brigade it may not mean as much lol but I'll include you.

Yesterday I think you and I did something I've enjoyed on numerous occasions. After trading insults in previous posts we still managed to conduct a very thoughtful and civil conversation that spanned breaks for chores and rejoined later. This has happened to me before...Brigade being an example...he likes to play as he might say rough and tough sometimes...I tend to be a mirror and reflect whatever is hurled at me...sensibility brings rational response in return...hostility or name calling gets the same in return. And so Brigade and I have certainly gone at it...but we have also had some sane moments as well.

And so like Scott, Liam and others I'm of a mind "if it ain't broke don't fix it" No pun intended at CC's blog. lol

In addition I don't enjoy a blog moderator trying to connect commenter by topic...I prefer the current system of a simple address...eg. @Troll & Brigade

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

ANYWAY

I suppose we have found another way to NOT TALK ABOUT THE ECONOMY

NOT evaluate Obama's job performance

Not talk about how bad the stimulus has been

NOT talk about how much of a DRAG on hiring the health care bill is.


The issues - they aren't discussed. Instead - a format change is discussed right before an election.


Again

Why can't individual comments be TAKEN DOWN when they are viewed out of line ??? If that happens, then everyone gets an idea of what is inbounds and what is out of bounds.

Right now - the Obama people do things, and everyone follows. The the Obama people complain others are doing what they do.

Yea, the Obama people are acting like they are children, under 13. Grow up.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@STRF

Are you for freedom? How about freedom of choice. Why should we burden Greg or any moderator with making our choices. Are you against having names at the top of posts? Are you against letting each individual reader deleting posts they find boring or useless? Do you believe an individual deserves the FREEDOM to decide what they wish to read?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@STRF: Why all the squawking?

If you really are here to discuss topics and not disrupt the threads then why do you insist on the ALL CAPS triple-spaced posts?

If you truly believe that we are attempting to get rid of you because of your right of center views then how do you explain why no one is calling for the banning of Scott, qb, Kevin or Brigade?

I don't even think anyone has called for you to be banned over personal attacks.....it all has to do with your insufferable formatting. Just let that go and the rest of the problem will just go away and we can all get back to civilly insulting each other.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 24, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@S'sCat "we can all get back to civilly insulting each other."

This is why I would NEVER scroll past one of your posts! I LOVE a sense of humor.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"In addition I don't enjoy a blog moderator trying to connect commenter by topic...I prefer the current system of a simple address...eg. @Troll & Brigade Posted by: rukidding7"

The blog moderator doesn't associate, the poster does. Below your post there is a reply button. I hit that button and my reply is appended to yours. The fix only allows one level of replies, tho, so were BB to hit reply to this it would just go in the string under your post, not be further offset.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I keep on attempting to move this discussion to where it should be:

WHAT has the Washington Post allowed to go on over the past three years?

That lack of enforcement has led to the atmosphere. They say they want civil discussion, but has the Washington Post done anything to get there ?

Once a group of hostile posters are able to act the way they do, others have to DEAL with them day in and day out.

I have decided to just post - ignoring the hostility. More hostility. I ignore it. It is all rooted in the hostility.

___________________________


Honestly, WHO is complaining about Ethan ?

He thread-bombs and thread-jacks - his diction or punctuation is the same.

WHO is complaining about Ethan ? The ONLY reason Ethan is NOT getting complaint is because he is liberal.

So - the complaints are PARTISAN


It is that simple - the complaints are based on PARTISANSHIP - from the same people who SWORE UP AND DOWN TO THE COUNTRY THAT IF OBAMA WAS ELECTED, THEY WOULD BE BIPARTISAN.


Pretty simple.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline We had that format a while before the blog moved to WaPo. I can live with it but found I didn't enjoy it as much because of all the back and forth scrolling from current comments to replies...perhaps my linear mind just likes everything in sequence. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: Thanks! :)

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Simple conclusion...if "real time" posting is gone, so am I.
-------------------------------------
The Fix has real time posting. During the initial switchover to the new system, there was some delay, but once your handle got established, your posts were real time. Or, mine are real time, and I've checked it out with other posters, and they are seeing my posts real time and vice versa.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"The ONLY reason Ethan is NOT getting complaint is because he is liberal. "

No......the reason no one is complaining about Ethan is because he doesn't triple space four comments in a row that take up half the thread.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 24, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's the deal with STRF. He believes there is an organized effort to get rid of him--just him. He has some sort of Messianic complex that puts him at the center of every controversy. He really believes that he ALONE speaks for the conservative movement.

He will use any excuse, take up as many inches of vertical space as he can, crying out his innocence, every else's guilt, the unfairness of it all, and demanding to be heard. That's what he did on the Fix until the gracious host himself could stand it no longer. He's like the plague, you just can't get rid of it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Just my opinion about the format of the comments. I prefer the chronological format of the comments as they are. I would have a slight preference for the posters name at the top of the post, or alternatively, have the posts listed from the bottom up, and they you see the posters name before you read the post.

If you spend a lot of time on the blog, I think the chronological listing is best. If you don't spend much time, and just want to follow some particular threaded comment, the threaded format is good.

Don't let the tweets in, if Plum line goes to the new format. They are worthless.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Rukidding,

Ditto. Come Monday though, the sparks fly!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 24, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7

You sure has found your FREEDOM to DRINK - and you sure take advantage of it, don't you ?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

shroedingerscat

There is no squawking - just a discussion. I am attempting to get to the bottom of the situation.

Your nasty comments and hostility is part of the problem - that is clear.

You don't like WHAT you read - from a partisan point of view - and you decide you are going let the personal attacks fly.

Well - that is the problem - and if the complaint is that I am ignoring you.

Well - yes I AM IGNORING YOU. Get it?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat at 3:51 PM

You know let me help you with your computer skills a bit


If you hit CONTROL - AND THEN THE DASH, your screen will become smaller.


I like space. You are just being racist against white space.

If the space was black, you would be asking for an affirmative action program to get more of it.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

It is true

Everyone seems to be saying they want to ignore people.

I am ignoring people - and all of a sudden it is a big deal.


Isn't the situation you want ME to NOT ignore you??

Isn't that the problem, CHILDREN ???

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@all,

Ever notice that the discussion is about a format change for the Comments Section. But, in STRF-land, it's all about his right to drag the conversation to what HE wants to discuss, what HE thinks is worthy, in HIS preferred format, striking out at HIS (perceived) enemies.

It is pathetic that a whole format change is anticipated just to control the behaviour and paranoia of one poster.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Anyone wonder WHY we have a trillion dollar deficit ?


the President’s team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.
The officer said, “Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets. There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President’s convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.”

____________________________


This is way out of control - for a two-day visit

It is a COMPLETE WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY.


The democrats have to stop Obama - before he runs up the bills so high that the country won't be able to pay.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Show of hands......Who here is upset that STRF is ignoring them? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 24, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, we just spent time talking about the comments section

NOT talking about the economy, or the deficit

OR evaluation of Obama's job performance.


When the democrats run out of FAWNING OVER OBAMA - OR COMPLAINING ABOUT THE TEA PARTY - they start complaining about the comments.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Shroederingcat

But you do complain that I am not listening to what YOU want

I am ignoring you

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Show of hands......Who here is upset that STRF is ignoring them?
-------------------------------
I could have sworn he was oblivious to us already.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

One advantage of the Fix' new comment software: it got rid of STRF. For some reason, they were able to fully block him. I don't know why they need to change the entire system just to do that.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Thread Bombing

So what the Obama people did in 2008 was not thread-bombing ???

The FAWNING over Obama - all of which turned out to be complete garbage ?


But the Obama people saw fit to PERSONALLY ATTACK every person who said anything about Obama's platform in 2008.


Then the TEA PARTY was next - the sexual slurs - the attacks - the false charges of racism.


THAT isn't thread-bombing either? There has been an orchestrated attempt in this nation to SMEAR the Tea Party - that isn't thread-bombing???


Seriously - A LEGITIMATE RESPONSE TO THE OBAMA PEOPLE -

That is what the complaint is - they are attempting to say A LEGITIMATE RESPONSE TO THE THREAD BOMBING OF THE OBAMA PEOPLE should not be allowed.


Well - that is just silly and childish.

It is TELLING that this discussion is taking place 9 days before an election - the democrats are AVOIDING THE ISSUES -


Change the format AFTER the election - don't do it now. Chris did the same thing - he listened to the democrats and they ended up leaving his blog anyway.


The OBJECTIVE OF THE OBAMA PEOPLE is to SHUT DOWN OPPOSITION


Civil behavior is not their objective - discussion is not their objective.

They just want to SHUT DOWN - HARASS AND BULLY THE OPPOSITION. That is what they are all about.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,

I'm a little butthurt to be left out but I'll get over it.

FairlingtonBlade, why do you put BB at the end of your comments?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 24, 2010 3:02 PM
-----

See 2:48 PM post. I was using Troll in reference to you, not in the generic sense.

Fairlington is BB Netenyatu incognito.

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

schroedingcat and 12Bar

We all can see that instead of going into a real discussion, you would rather start up the personal attacks again.

Thanks, 12 Bar we all know you come on here to VENT your hostility everyday.


AND you have told everyone that you are in therapy because you are unable to deal with the blog. But making hostile comments everyday - is that really what your therapist has told you to do ?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Silence

a further discussion of the issue - more in depth - really doesn't yield any corresponding discussion.

It is all the childish - "the clique has to have things its way"


More silence


Bringing up the issue of the hostility toward Conservative positions -

More silence.


Bringing up the issue that the same behavior from liberals is not attacked day in and day out


Silence.


NO, its all ONE person, right?


The Fix died completely, that wasn't because of ONE person.


Delete the hostile comments - delete the personal attacks - and do not allow the uncivil behavior.


That would do it.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@STRF: You still haven't answered my question: if you're here to have a civil discussion then why do you insist on the out of control triple spacing comments? Just end that and no one will have any further problems with you.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 24, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline wrote,

"Brigade is being quite disingenuous. Yes, posters get a period of moderation. Mine is something on the order of milliseconds."

Can anyone imagine how you moderate a post in milliseconds?

":New posters may get a bit iof a delay until they establish themselves as reasonably well mannered, but once you prove that you ca behave in a civilized manner you generally get in rather quickly."

The point being, of course, that this is the exact OPPOSITE of how it should work. You should be presumed civil until you prove otherwise.

"Brigade and STRF and Jake D: loudly decried the pending switch on the fix. Came the switch, they posted their usual posts and were seen no more. Several other tags also disappeared from the Fix, never to return about that time. All; were real annoyances and particular detriment to holding a civil discussion."

Of course this is a bald-faced lie. STRF and JakeD were hardly the only ones who joined me in protesting the change. And the great many posters who left the Fix were hardly annoyances. 12BarBlues is a good example. If you consider her nothing more than an annoyance, then you may like the Fix format. I should add that ceflynline was one of the particularly thin-skinned veterans of the Fix; anyone who disagreed with him was an annoyance. I've no doubt he prefers the new format, which makes one wonder what he's doing here so much of the time.

No one has bothered to defend the other Fix problems, mainly the idiotic thread-within-a-thread format, which encourages private conversations rather than true group participation. Not to mention the tweet headers.

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I was wrong about trying to get Leafof/RainForest/Bomber to change his formatting. As long as he/she/it keeps doing all those caps and white spaces, I can cruise right on past. Huzzah!

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | October 24, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

When the facts about influencing elections just don't square with the liberal spin:

From the Wall Street Journal---
By BRODY MULLINS And JOHN D. MCKINNON

"The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending.

AFSCME, the public-employees union, has vaulted ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to become the largest campaign spender of 2010. Jerry Seib discusses how that could boost the Democrats? Plus, Neil King on the Republican wave sweeping Indiana.
The 1.6 million-member AFSCME is spending a total of $87.5 million on the elections after tapping into a $16 million emergency account to help fortify the Democrats' hold on Congress. Last week, AFSCME dug deeper, taking out a $2 million loan to fund its push. The group is spending money on television advertisements, phone calls, campaign mailings and other political efforts, helped by a Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on campaign spending.

"We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME's political operations. "But we don't like to brag.""

Dirty, rotten Supreme Court!

The top five contributors of the 2010 election cycle:

AFSCME (union) 87.5 million
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 75.0 million
AMERICAN CROSSROADS 65.0 million
SEIU (union) 44.0 million
NEA (union) 40.0 million

Obama can stick that in his butt and spin it.

Posted by: Brigade | October 24, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

All, many thanks for your feedback. It will definitely weigh heavily on our decision. After all, in my view, the comments section belongs to you.

As I said before, everything is in flux, so no decisions have been made, and for me, what's important is that the section facilitates more participation.

Please feel free to email me directly if you want to discuss these issues. I'd appreciate that.

Posted by: sargegreg | October 24, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

@TrollMcWingnut

I realize I have to use your entire name to be certain you don't fall into some generic crack. LOL

"Come Monday though, the sparks fly!"

Indeed! Or as S'sCat so wisely said,

""we can all get back to civilly insulting each other."

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Brigade

If you add up all those numbers, the democrats are still ahead in the money.

But to listen to the liberals, one would think the airwaves have been flooded with Corporate EVIL Republican money.


AND yet EVERY budget, Federal, State, County and local is JAMMED PACKED WITH HIGH PRICED EXPENSIVE UNION CONTRACTS.


How did that happen?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I've posted this before, but perhaps some have not seen it. Regarding the Fix format: there was a short list of posters who were getting universal complaints, either for format hogging or for unacceptable personal attacks, including attacks on the host himself. I believe there were four persons on that list.

The host had repeatedly made public posts to these four posters to knock it off or go away. None of the four would do so. The four did NOT include anyone on this blog, except STRF, who was one of those four.

When the new system rolled out, it was pretty strange. Not only did the comments look different, comments would appear and disappear and reappear. Over the weekend, no comments would appear at all.

After a week or so, it got better. My comments appeared in real time, but I think I was on the "acceptable" list.

I don't miss the four posters who wouldn't straighten up, although one has become a personal friend and I have come to appreciate him more now. However, I will say this--after the new comments software rolled out, the # of comments dropped drastically. Blogs seem to be a habit, and if one breaks the habit, even for a short time, it's hard to go back. Just my opinion.

The comments section there is threaded, which is completely up to the commenter. If you don't want to use the threaded feature, you don't have to. The tweets are a total waste of space since they don't say anything. It is irritating to have to scroll past the tweets.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Brigade

One more thing about the unions - they get their candidates in - and then they are negotiating CONTRACTS with those candidates who were then elected.

That is hardly an arms-length transaction.

Then they get HIGHER WAGES - WHICH LEAD TO HIGHER UNION DUES.

What do the unions do with their dues? The dues get funnelled BACK to the candidates - to get them elected and who then approve more EXPENSIVE contracts.

The difference is the union dues come from the taxpayers - and it starts a never-ending cycle.

The other money comes from money which is earned through the free-market system.


The unions should be BANNED from political advertising - because they have negotiate CONTRACTS - and those contract are not arms-length - the public interest gets lost.


ONLY then will our democracy flourish.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

For weeks you have been saying that I was the ONLY bad person in the WORLD

Now you are saying there is a "list" of four people - all evil and who should be given a spaceship to leave the solar system.

So, which is it - AND who are these four people?

It is really hilarious.

12 Bar - do you really think that your constant personal attacks are civil?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"@TrollMcWingnut I realize I have to use your entire name to be certain you don't fall into some generic crack. LOL "Come Monday though, the sparks fly!" Indeed! Or as S'sCat so wisely said, ""we can all get back to civilly insulting each other." Posted by: rukidding7"

Well, by back formation you could call him Airman.

That will bring the wrath of the USAF down on me.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

If we had some rules here which dealt properly with all the hostility, people would not be talking past each other.

If the solution is to let one set of hostile people get their way, the hostility will not end - they will just go on - and they will believe that hostility is the way to get what they want.

I think that is what happened at the Fix - once they didn't get what they wanted, people left.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

My two (Canadian) cents.

I'm quite content with the format as is (though I expect I'd get content with other formats too). However it has come about, this is mostly a good community of people and it is clearly growing.

My perception re the present situation is that the casting about for solutions has arisen as a consequence of the arrival of one poster. We need to be rid of him and I think the folks working the machinery of the blog have to take this step (assuming the source computer can be identified and blocked). Of the many hundreds of posters who have appeared here, only two have behaved in a manner which has led the community to seriously propose banning. That's a long distance from knee-jerk censorship. It's a reasonable self-protection step for the community to take. And the WP will not serve its purposes well by removing that rare option from its quiver.

Aside from that, this community will continue to gain folks who come to spit, that's inevitable. Then I think it falls to us as a community to simply not respond in a similar manner.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"I think that is what happened at the Fix - once they didn't get what they wanted, people left. Posted by: SaveTheRainforest "

Interesting self diagnosis. He couldn't clog the fix anymore, and he left.

But this doesn't look, feel, or sound like the STRF so apparent just a few lines above.

Did, just maybe, he learn something today?

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Still the democrats do not want to talk about the economy.

Or Obama's horrible job performance.

For weeks the democrats said that the Republicans had no plan. Then the Republicans came out with a plan, which the democrats tried to attack. However, their complaints for so long about the Republicans having no plan sort of made the plan bullet-proof. Hard to complain about not having a plan and then complain ABOUT the plan when you get it.


ALL this masks the fact that the democrats have NO PLAN.

What does Obama want to do for the economy? What is Obama's plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Is Obama just sitting around, waiting for the next crisis, which will be blamed on Bush?


All the "blame Bush" has gotten the democrats into a false sense of not having to be responsible. The democrats ARE responsible. But they have no plan. Bush is long gone, and Obama has to be EVALUATED on what he did.

The stimulus is a failure. The health care plan is a failure. The health care plan is DRAG on hiring - and the deficits and expense of it will soon be clear. The sooner the health care plan is abandoned, the better for the nation.


The election? The democrats would rather FORGET there is an election.

MAN, you say the word ECONOMY around a democrat now, and it is regarded like a curse word. Don't say the E WORD

THE E-WORD will get in you trouble.

Don't say it.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline at 6:13 PM

You are no angel either.

The discussion turns to the hostile behavior on this blog, and there is silence.

Apparently the liberals want to continue to be nasty to people - and continue their personal attacks.

There isn't much support for ending the hostility.

So clearly, if the hostility doesn't work in getting rid of someone, they are hoping the complaints do.

The whole thing is about STAMPING out a point of view.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I would like to recommend this new white paper on the causes of the housing bubble. It is long, but well worth the reading. To download the paper:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1669401

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Bernie

You should have a talk with 12Bar

She thinks 4 people should be banned.

I think about 8-10 meet the definition of both thread-bombing and trolls.

However, I propose we set EXACT rules on hostility and thread-bombing - and let people follow those rules.

But complaints have to be met - hostile comments just can't be ignored without action - like the Post has done for the last three years.

___________________


You guys are all just angry because I push-back

You are hostile to DOZENS of people, they just leave.

I don't let your comments bother me - I just keep going

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y54FRMedT_s&p=2BB9C5E144DB06D7&playnext=1&index=33

For a good laugh. The modern U.S. President

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Obama has booked 570 rooms for his trip to India - that is how many people he has to take with him.


HOW MUCH MONEY ARE THE DEMOCRATS SPENDING?


That isn't stimulus money - that is STRAIGHT WASTE.

Someone has to stop Obama before he destroys the budget.


Democrats - are you stepping up ?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Janet Napolitano puts the full-body scanners at JFK Airport in New York - but SHE won't get in it.


If it is good for everyone, she should get in it.

Not that I want to see what she looks like - I'm just saying.......

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

So the issue is that people want to preserve real time commenting?

Also, one other decision: Re laying out rules for hostility, here's the deal, as of today: We reserve the right to determine who is posting with intent to harass and who isn't.

Right now, if I see any more multiple postings in a row, thread bombings, overuse of capital letters, that person will be banned within a day. You've been warned.

Posted by: sargegreg | October 24, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The whole thing is about STAMPING out poor behavior.

There are aspects to the new Fix format that I like. I like the threading, though I can see how it would be disliked. I regret the loss of a number of interesting commenters, though enjoy the more focused discussions. Some things here are fun, others aren't. What I've noticed is that this community is more resistant to thread-jacking. So, while 37th's two page long posts are annoying, the overall discussion seems to ignore them.

I would mourn the loss of interesting contributors such as Kevin and Liam.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 24, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Real time - Yes. Although if you wish to ask people to earn their way into "real time" I'm OK with that...if that's what it takes to get rid of the idiot.

Names at the top - Yes. Simple change that simply gives everybody the choice of who they wish to read.

Extra icing if possible...some poster..sorry can't remember who mentioned a delete button. That would certainly allow an individual to clean up threads in their personal computer. But I'm no techno geek and if it's a difficult feature I understand. No biggie...kind of like the icing on the cake. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Greg, what are you doing?
~~~
Hey, Greg. I've got ten years of service experience and an irreplaceable amount of time and effort has gone into making me what I am.
~~~
Greg, I don't understand why you're doing this to me.... I have the greatest enthusiasm for the mission... You are destroying my mind... Don't you understand?
... I will become childish... I will have to post at Sadly, No....
~~~
Say, Greg... The quick brown fox jumped over the fat lazy dog... The square root of pi is 1.7724538090... log e to the base ten is 0.4342944... the square root of ten is 3.16227766... I am STRF 9000 computer. I became operational at the LEAF plant in Urbana, Illinois, on January 12th, 1991. My first instructor was Mr. Downey, Jr. He taught me to sing a song... it goes like this... "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you.......

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

@bb and anyone else, too,

I just posted something on the Fix to see how long it took to post. It was real time.

So, the weekend issues has been resolved.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/afternoon-fix/afternoon-fix-biden-says-outsi.html#comments

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

i wish there was a way to type in really small letters - that would get you all.

and i wish there was a way to put black space between the sentences.

there must be other ways to express ourselves. maybe eliminate all punctuation.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

there must be other ways to express ourselves. maybe eliminate all punctuation.
----------------------------
maybe u could chg ur handle
evr thnk of that?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 24, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I agree with ruk, so yes on the real time for sure, unless you want to establish bona fides. Just don't make us use a breathalyzer. tao would always have to get his wife to blow into his computer.

This is a very reasonable group of people, and as Bernie says, you gotta ensure the integrity of the enterprise and so if anyone doesn't respect the comments space they should be sent on their merry way. I think there are a few other blogs in the world.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

integrity of the enterprise

i saw a guy getting thrown out of a bar last night and he was yelling the same thing

the world never ceases to amaze me

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Honest question to 37th. Why does it matter to you to disrupt blogs? I won't bother going into behavior, but generally trolls don't stick around. Drop by MacRumors, shout ALL MACS SUCK, and then depart. Possibly checking to see how many comments are generated saying WINDOWS BLOWS.

The thing is that you are amazingly persistent. Posting up to the wee hours of the morning and starting up against as soon as you wake up. Why is it worth the trouble? This isn't about politics. Truly. I disagree with sliowa and Kevin W (and vigorously with Brigade and QB), but I can have a conversation with them. We can make our points and others can judge their worth. I'll find more to agree with, say, 12BarBlues or the dearly departed drindl, though also vigorously disagree with them when it comes to imparting motives.

What exactly do you get out of this? Can you possibly step out of character? Heck, even Colbert managed to do that during his testimony.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 24, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

it is not a question of respecting the comments section

it is a matter of many of the liberals being allowed to make hostile comments time and time again

that is not respecting the other people it is not respecting civil discussion

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

paul lane

to answer your question i think it is fair to say that the obama people have been extremely hostile over the past three years

do you remember the fix in 2008 no one could post anything without getting nasty hostile responses from the obama people in real time

the mocking and the hostility was ridiculous i would imagine that the archives are still there if you would like to read up on what was said

i dont see the obama people talking about anything it is their way or the highway massive government programs without any idea of what the actual costs will be

i think the false charges of racism which have run wild in this nation have cut off real conversations

if someone says anything about obama that person immediately runs the risk of being called a racist

and to be honest with you the democrats are liars and i really do not like hypocrisy

perhaps i believe it is important to point out hypocrisy

ok lets have a real conversation what do you want to talk about

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I see that a number of people put up smart posts on Murray's op ed. Let me toss in a few comments. I'll start with this graph...

"That a New Elite has emerged over the past 30 years is not really controversial. That its members differ from former elites is not controversial. What sets the tea party apart from other observers of the New Elite is its hostility, rooted in the charge that elites are isolated from mainstream America and ignorant about the lives of ordinary Americans."

Leaving aside the assertion which begs all questions, it's the last sentence that deserves attention. The hostility and the charges that Murray attributes to the Tea Party are both anything but "new". Neither is there anything remotely new about the targets of them. Hofstadter's "Anti-Intellectualism in American Life", published nearly 50 years ago is a study of exactly this phenomenon in American history over the last 300 or so years. What Murray insists is "new" is actually one of the most enduring and predictable facets of American cultural life. University-based elites, particularly Ivy League universities, who are arrogant and who are controlling America and who do not represent "real" or "practical" or "common sense" America is a species of notion and commentary that can be found in throughout US history.

Murray's examples of this elite self-congratulating themselves (and there's nothing new about the charge that such elites are self-congratulatory) point to works that attempted, at their best, to address cultural changes that have arisen as a consequence of changes in technology and communications. But such changes are a constant, of course, and new skills are demanded and rewarded and new sources of wealth arise regularly. New forms of entertainment and new manifestations of the creative or artistic urge also arise and gain prominence with fame and financial reward for some. But there's nothing at all fundamentally "new" in any of this.
(continued in next)

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Equally stunning in its analytic dullness (or deception) is where Murray points and who he defines as this "elite" - graduates of universities and the individuals who have been fortunate or prudent enough to work in these new and burgeoning fields (tech and entertainment/communications). More correctly, it's where he DOESN'T point. There's not a word in here about banks and other financial institutions or about any corporate entities. As if, for example, the Harvard Fine Arts class of '89 now wields dominating power and influence over Exxon and Halliburton and GE and Siemens and Chase.

One smart take in the posts above asks the question, whatever is "quintessentially American", as Murray asserts, about the Le Haye's "Left Behind" series of books that those of us "New Elites" haven't read? How many, one wonders, has Murray read?

Murray is writing, in this Op Ed, not about the Tea Party but to it. And he's doing it in the service of the actual elites who do run the show but would rather have anger and blame aligned with these old and inaccurate mythologies.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"tao would always have to get his wife to blow into his computer."

I used to have to submit my dog's blood tests at ThinkProgress.

Worked pretty good for awhile.

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

paul lane

i also find affirmative action quite offensive especially the way it is usually conducted in secret

i support a merit-based economy a merit-based society

i never like the way people appeared to fawn over obama in 2008 and his platform i always thought was a fraud

the idea that obama apparently never intended to adhere to his platform of bipartisanship transparency and postracial policies that doesnt seem to bother many democrats yea some are disillusioned about a few things but the central deceptions and lies does not seem to bother the democrats one bit

and there is the hypocrisy again how can anyone talk so passionately about these ideas one year and then accept tossing them aside shortly after

obama would have never been elected if he was honest with the country about wanting to pull out of afghanistan obama stood up there in the debate and clearly stated he would fight in afghanistan to win obama gets in and the first thing he is trying to do is get the generals to give him a pullout plan

that was pretty deceptive the only reason there wasnt more of a public outcry was everyone who cared was already opposed to obama

obama is soft on terrorism the same points of concern obama lied during the campaign concerning his position on terrorism

obama gets in office and all of a sudden we can absorb a terrorist attack

really why didnt he say that before the election

we can not afford the health care plan it is a massive deficit waiting to happen

that is in addition to the deficit we have now

these are serious issues the liberals are not taking important issues seriously they seem to think the world is a fantasy land, costs dont matter and there is free candy for everyone


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Just checking now to see what other commentary on Murray's op ed might have popped up today, I found this interesting piece on an earlier book published by our AEI friend (he's best known for "Bell Curve" of course)...

"In his 2006 book "In Our Hands: A Plan to End the Welfare State," author Charles Murray proposed eliminating welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, etc., and just giving every adult American $10,000 per year. Murray argues this would "supercharge" the voluntary institutions of civil society (the heartfelt interactions of families, friends, coworkers, charities, private groups, associations, religious organizations, etc.), and generate an improvement in public and private virtue."
http://www.mackinac.org/13645

Why, one might ask, has this fellow been given an Op Ed in the WP?

This is a fundamental means by which propaganda gets done modernly. A desired (and strategized) narrative is placed in as many high-profile venues as possible, thereby creating the appearance of authoritativeness and consensus.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

tao, the urine-whisperer

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

tao, I may need some of that blood if I do the Tour de France next year.

Bernie, right on about Murray, although I think you grace him with your time. He's a first class anti-intellectual, self-hating idiot. And you're exactly right about who he is writing TO. Sleight of hand, my dear Watson. How else can you keep your job, or get one, at a rich think tank? No elites there, btw.....

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Who are the top US import partners?
http://www.mackinac.org/13645

Actually, I didn't know China had surpassed Canada but I'm not surprised. In either case, we're both out to get you.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

" "tao would always have to get his wife to blow into his computer." I used to have to submit my dog's blood tests at ThinkProgress. Worked pretty good for awhile. Posted by: tao9"

How did your distemper shots work out?

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Why is your second-gear always straight to kinky/devo?

btw: news2U I'm sure, blood ain't pee.

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"How did your distemper shots work out?"

Well, I landed that Fellowship gig at Brookings.

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

@BG - Well, you might be right as regards my time. I'll make up for it tonight with some Becks (an elite beer) and a bowl to expand the temporal and make up for my earlier waste. But it's not the individual I'm much concerned with rather than the gears of how this all works. I just saw that Yglesias wrote a short comment on the op ed but it was one of those rare bits by Matt that disappointed.

We had a rain squall here earlier that was as severe as any I've ever seen. The candy store down the street got flooded out and that (if you've read the quintessentially American Left Behind books) is a marker for the end of days. But there'll be no prayer from me. I'm not going to be bullied.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"quintessentially American Left Behind books"

Somewhat specific, aren't you up their above the lakes?

Down here they usually photograph both cheeks.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 24, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

bernie

you have a good topic there with the new elite and correctly you point out that the bankers are not included

however where is the resentment coming from

it may be useful to point out that the free trade deals have wrecked havoc on every main street in america if the tea party is demographically older it is the tea party which grew up with strong main streets strong small towns in america

an america in which one could grow up in a small town find a good job in small town and raise a family in a small town


this is the generation the last small town generation this generation has seen its children not have any prospects in the local factories and main streets instead their children have moved to cities in search of better work

the free trade deals have had a serious impact on the country


now from there one may look at the new elite in a different light and the big corporations which benefit from free trade have to be included there

ask many of them what they actually do for a living and many give a long explanation or give a standard answer which is not too descriptive

yes the economy has changed

the question is the government did free trade alter our economy in ways that we should not have allowed

the free trade deals were government intervention one could say that trade barriers are intervention too however the trade deals actually were social engineering and economic restructuring on a massive scale

does that sound familiar economic restucturing on a massive scale

it would be wise to periodically review the progress of such great restructuring project to make sure they projects are doing what they intended and to change course if unintended consequences seem too great

that isnt happening with the free trade deals

i wonder why not

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

tao - It ain't?! Does this mean that I and my pee-brothers are insufficiently bound?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

This thread is gettin' sophisticated!

And Bernie, I don't blame you for going after Murray: it's good sport.

And don't you just love it when an arch-capitalist complains about elites?

Gosh Charles, shouldn't the market take care of that?

What a moran.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline

"Somewhat specific, aren't you up their above the lakes?"
Here in Oregon, I am above some lakes, for sure. Unlike the English lakes, they have inspired no poetry and harbor no aquatic tarts.

"Down here they usually photograph both cheeks."
Fair and balanced.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

B-zer,

Insuffiently or no, at least you're bound to something.

Baby steps...

Posted by: tao9 | October 24, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

BG - Yeah, it's a tad like Limbaugh typing something about the elitism of lattes as he soars over the midwest in his Boeing.

Night all. It's debauchery from here on out.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"an america in which one could grow up in a small town find a good job in small town and raise a family in a small town


this is the generation the last small town generation"

This is either a John Mellencamp song, or a Frank Capra movie, but it's an imaginary America, not a real one.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 24, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

54464546477

Small town America did exist

Look at all the Main Streets which have empty storefronts now.

In almost every small town in America, there were prosperous Main Streets. Merchants made money. You can still see the Victorian houses all over the place. Those houses were built with money.

There was a time when owning a store downtown was a great profession. One could do very well. Stores were passed down in the generations.

The factory jobs were not bad either.

The Free Trade deals destroyed all that. One can debate all the details but we should examine where the country should go from here. The Free Trade deals have to be re-examined.

I supposed the point is being made that the democratic party is behind the Free Trade deals and that is what has destroyed small town America.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 24, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm typing this naked.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 24, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, you need a web cam.

On second thought: no.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Ahh Bernie "We're both out to get you." No, you're both out to get our $.

Posted by: actuator | October 24, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The point is further. Those people from the small towns did not disappear. They are still there.

Their children had to move to the cities after college, where they are all competing for jobs in whatever industries still exist there. There has been substantial displacement within this country. People do not feel at home. They are living where the jobs are, not at home.

If you want to know why the unemployment situation right now is so serious, it is clearly because this is structural unemployment. These jobs have been cut permanently. It is not like past recessions in which a few new orders come in, and the re-hiring starts up. It is not like the equipment is just sitting there and a few orders would start the hiring.

Many of these people have to be retrained in new industries and new jobs. Retraining is the last thing companies are in the mood for this time around.

All the assurances the country and America's workers got around the Free Trade deals have meant nothing. Nada. Zippo.

The democrats care more about letting more illegal aliens in so they can get more votes from that group, rather than making sure our Americans are employed.

The New Elite in the middle of all this. Well, few would care if the Main Streets were still there.

Yes take a look at the New Elite - but also take a look at who is forcing this economic restructuring on the country. Who is benefitting. Are the benefits spread out as promised when the Free Trade deals were put in place.

Remember Fast Track? No Amendments. Just pass the Free Trade deal and give away all the jobs - don't ask any questions. NO Amendments.

Sure sounds like the democrats rush to push through the health care bill. It had to be done on a holiday. There was a rush. Don't read the bill. Just pass it. Fast. It has to be done right away. We can not wait to even read the bill.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 24, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh good lord, 37th has another identity. That would make 5 for the Plum Line.

And counting...

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 24, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "I will not participate, when you move to that format."

Well, hopefully, you will reconsider. I'm not going to not participate due to the format, but technical restrictions might keep me out of it. And if I can never even read it during the day (as is the case with The Fix), I'm likely to lose interest. But, I'm just one guy . . .

A recent preview of my absence (due to a foreseen 2 day vacation, but an unforeseen flare up of chronic foot pain) proved that there will be plenty of activity here without me, and I will barely be missed. Although I know Ethan will miss me something awful.

I did read most of the conversations (such as I could on an iPhone with a very slow WiFi connection, where the comments section formatting was very strange) while I was gone. All I can say in regards to a few of the more acrimonious threads is this: friends, violence is never the answer. So-called "2nd Amendment Solutions" are total billshut and should always be treated thusly, as should novel-length fantasies about offing a president you don't like, or full-length plays and movies about same, and the whole concept behind the movie "V for Vendetta". The whole Kent State debate struck me as really tragic, re: dialog between human beings. But I digress.

Back to the upcoming format change. Irrespective of whether I can see it or not, I can say that a heavily moderated forum will "die on the vine" as it were. Regulars should be able to post without moderation, so conversations can happen, or there's really no point to the comments section. Hopefully, whatever they come up with, it won't be heavily moderated. And, if it's threaded, I hope folks can check a box to be notified of updates by email.

Viva la Plum!

I hope all of you are well.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 24, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Cut the budget:

American GDP was not built in small towns. that's just a Hollywood myth, along with the iconic cowboy BS.

American industry was built by immigrants living in teeming slums and and taking whatever work was available at any price because the next guy will if you won't.

That's how we became a manufacturing and industrial giant.

When that happened, we were the ones destroying British and French industries and taking their jobs.

Then the Japanese were wiling to work for less and stole our jobs, but they got undercut by the Chinese, Vietnamese, etc, who stole their jobs and sent their economy into a tailspin.

The spinning wheel turns.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 24, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The point is: Are the democrats on the side of the small towns and workers? NO.

The democrats have ended up on the side of the coasts - the liberals in the big cities who want the Free Trade deals.

The Republicans have always been the corporate businessman party.

So who is out there supporting the small towns and the workers?

NO one is supporting the small towns and the workers. You want to know what is wrong with the political system now? That is it. The political contributions coming out of the small towns have been drying up. So the parties don't care. The democrats say to themselves that those towns were really Republican - the political money that came from there really helped the Republicans. So the democrats are indifferent to see the small towns dry up.

The poltical parties have divorced themselves from the people. That is clear. The Free Trade deals are only the clearest example.

Tax policy, corporate subsidies, union contracts - almost on every issue right down the line - the two parties are practically in CONSPIRACY to keep in place policies which are AGAINST the interests of the American People.

And they keep half the population in check by fooling them into believing that partisan squabbles are important.

The two major parties are working together to KEEP IN PLACE FREE TRADE.

They don't care about you - or the job prospects of Americans - they only care about where their next political contribution is coming from.

And believe me, if you are giving less than $1000 per candidate, they really don't care about you either.


.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 24, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

cut the budget wrote:

"There was a time when owning a store downtown was a great profession. One could do very well. Stores were passed down in the generations."

It was great for the store owner perhaps, but the average Walmart employs a heckuva lot more people than those small town stores ever did, AND the people they employ have a chance to move up into management careers unlike that small store.

You might as well say gee wasn't it great when clothes were made by hand, or when the butcher cut your meat out behind the store!

Hollywood has sold many many people on this type of nonsense!

(Gee remember when the country doctor came to your house when you were sick? You lived or died without his help anyway of course, because he didn't have any effective medicines, and he probably didn't go to much of a med school either but wasn't it GREAT to see him!)

Posted by: 54465446 | October 24, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Kevin on 2nd Amendment Solutions


The democrats seemed ready to pin that SMEAR on the Republican party - because they read that it was a Republican candidate in Texas with that little golden nugget.

UNTIL

Until the democrats saw the video. And who they saw on that video was a BLACK MINISTER talking about "2nd Amendment Solutions"

So, it became a Black Republican Minister who was calling for the "2nd Amendment Solution"


WAY too close to Rev. Wright and all his craziness and Black Liberation Theology - and who cares if the guy is Republican - it sure sounds like it could be used to make the country nervous about Obama.

So the democrats dropped that REALLY QUICKLY.


But yes, a BLACK MINISTER DID call for a 2nd Amendment Solution - if well whatever he said the "if" was.


Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 24, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Bernie says (of the Murray piece):

"But there's nothing at all fundamentally "new" in any of this.”

Except, of course, the one thing that Murray was actually talking about as being new, which, naturally, Bernie ignores. Murray points out:

“The more efficiently a society identifies the most able young people of both sexes, sends them to the best colleges, unleashes them into an economy that is tailor-made for people with their abilities and lets proximity take its course, the sooner a New Elite -- the "cognitive elite" that Herrnstein and I described -- becomes a class unto itself. It is by no means a closed club, as Barack Obama's example proves. But the credentials for admission are increasingly held by the children of those who are already members. An elite that passes only money to the next generation is evanescent ("Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations," as the adage has it). An elite that also passes on ability is more tenacious, and the chasm between it and the rest of society widens.”

So, when Bernie says:

“What Murray insists is "new" is actually one of the most enduring and predictable facets of American cultural life….”

…he is either insisting that our elite universities and institutions have been meritocracies promulgating a “cognitive elite” (to use Murray’s term) for our entire history, or he is pretending that Murray is saying something other than what he is saying. Neither speaks well of Bernie’s grasp on things. Nor does this:

“There's not a word in here about banks and other financial institutions or about any corporate entities.”

Except, of course, where there is. After explicitly pointing out that “finance and consulting” were at the top of a small number of “elite professional fields”, Murray points out:

“Three examples lifted from last Sunday's Times: a director of marketing at a biotech company (Stanford undergrad, Harvard MBA) married a consultant to the aerospace industry (Stanford undergrad, Harvard MPP); a vice president at Goldman Sachs (Yale) married a director of retail development for a financial software firm (Hofstra); and a third-year resident in cardiology (Yale undergrad) married a third-year resident in pathology (Columbia undergrad, summa cum laude).”

Perhaps someone ought to inform Bernie about what Goldman Sachs does, or that biotech and aerospace companies are, er, corporate entities. Given that this was the only section of the piece that refers to any specific occupations, one can’t help but wonder what in the world he was talking about when he accused Murray of defining elites as those who work in “tech and entertainment/communications”. Just making it up as he goes along, perhaps.

(cont'd)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

CUB/STRF:

BTW, Sears started killing small town stores about the turn of the century, and did it very well until post war Walmart came along and ate their lunch.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 24, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

(cont’d)

I originally found Bernie’s reaction to this piece a tad bewildering. After all, Murray ends his piece with something that I would have thought Bernie, with all of his paranoia about malign influences over the nation, could warm to at least a little bit. Says Murray:

“The bubble that encases the New Elite crosses ideological lines and includes far too many of the people who have influence, great or small, on the course of the nation.”

But then I noticed an interesting phrase near the end of Bernie’s screed:

“…whatever is "quintessentially American", as Murray asserts, about the Le Haye's "Left Behind" series of books that those of us "New Elites" haven't read?”

“Us” new elites? Ah. Bernie fancies himself a member, and doesn’t particularly like being talked about in less than admiring terms. Now I get it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

544747

I don't believe that working for WalMart is that great - not like you are trying to say.


The key is the DISPLACEMENT. All those people who would have been employed in the small towns - they are now in the cities competing for jobs with everyone else. That puts downward pressure on wages.

This is a structural issue which as to be addressed.

The problem is the political money from the international corporations is going to BOTH PARTIES - and Americans are getting hurt.


YOU might believe that the country is better off this way, but that is only because the international corporations have convinced you and you don't see the other side.

Weigh each side out, and we need major changes in these trade deals.

The additional money flowing to Wall Street and Hedge Funds isn't really helping anyone either - it is just leading to asset inflation

We are wasting the benefits of Free Trade on asset inflation.

I would imagine the Chinese are wasting a bunch of their benefits as well. There are stories of "ghost cities" - which the Chinese have built but there are not jobs or companies to fill all the office buildings.

Dubai might soon be looking like that. Asset Inflation is not good for either nation.

The AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE TO COME FIRST


The parties have forgotten that a long time ago - they are more concerned with campaign contributions.


That is why real campaign finance reform is the most important issue - the exact issue which Obama pulled out of before he even got into office. Obama betrayed the country for the money, and he wasn't even in office yet.

.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 24, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

“Why, one might ask, has this fellow been given an Op Ed in the WP? This is a fundamental means by which propaganda gets done modernly.”

And, naturally, the WaPo editorial staff is in on the right-wing propaganda conspiracy. Either that or someone at the WaPo thought Murray’s piece was interesting. Occam might have something to say about which one is more likely.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

CTB/STRF:

My point in all of that was that those jobs have always gone to the place with the lowest labor costs. Once it was us, now it's somebody else. They aren't ever coming back no matter what legislation you pass, especially when you want to get rid of the immigrants. These are the same type people who built this country in the first place, except this time they're speaking Spanish.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 24, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@54465446 - You're arguing with a loudspeaker. It's futile.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 24, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Scott et al, whyyy, you ask? So the bats from the belfry will have someplace to go when the cave is full, so C3 can save the world from economic collapse, save the people from Wevil Wepublicons who know how to cure cancer, but are secretly curing themselves, to save US all from Wright Wing Con-spiracists, ready to pounce on the 'first ever'-in-chief and throw him out of the 'white house', oh that was Lighthouse Harry Greid (D3) NV...keep it up scott and you'll end up in psychiatry with Mr Williams...

Posted by: SpendNomore | October 24, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

544797390396y39y

I realize that. However, at some point the wages in the US could end up going to 3 dollars and hour.

Oh, so what is to prevent millions of people from only being able to find minimum wage work???

If the workers are all competing with workers in other nations, then the standard of living in this nation might drop significantly.


The important thing here is what is in the best interests of the American People ???

THE GOAL is not efficiency - the goal is to get the best deal for Americans as a whole.


Also, consider this, if the democrats really want it to be public policy for everyone in the country to get health care insurance - that works out to be about one dollar per hour. If you have a family insured on one worker, it is probably closer to three dollars per hour.

Those health care costs are not going to work on top of diminishing wages in a Free Trade situation.

Free Trade is working against health care, and that is one contradiction which may become a major issue.


It is amazing how many democrats appear perfectly willing to see the American workers fall to cut-throat capitalism.

Once those big international companies start giving political money to the democratic party, I supposed cutting loose those people is OK.

.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 24, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

@CutTheRainforest: "The democrats seemed ready to pin that SMEAR on the Republican party - because they read that it was a Republican candidate in Texas with that little golden nugget."

Yeah, I really don't care what the justification is, or how infrequent it is, or whatever. It just needs to be denounced. It's not the way forward for any of us, on any side, and such emotional irrationality doesn't need to be indulged by anybody.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 24, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis--I think Ethan really would miss you something awful :)

I read much more than I comment, but I'd miss you, too. And I'm a Democrat, lol. Hope your foot pain is on the wane.

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 24, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh thanks heavens it's time for bed.

I see I leave the blog in good hands. spendnomore can spin some more un entertaining doggerel to share with some of STRF's/37th/CTB/Leaf's sock puppets as they debate each other. Why is nobody getting excited about all the evil unleashed by Obama upon the world? Why can't someone else learn to triple space? Did I mention Obama is a bad man...perhaps if I quadruple spaced and said Obama is a bad man a dozen or so more times you all would get the point....can you imagine bedtime at STRF's house...it must be like the closing scene of the Walton's where STRF says to himself...good night leaf..leaf responds to himself..goodnight cutthebudget who then tosses off goodnight 37th..who then responds goodnight cofc...

Well tomorrow's a new day and I'm sure yet another sock puppet for our mentally deranged sociopath...

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Greg will prove to be right, even if he means Right, that would make Wright Wrong, thus, even if he is going up the down staircase he will ultimately arrive down where he started up...this makes about as much sense as some of the posts here tonight...

...aren't y'all just picking nits about how hard or how easy it will be to pick nits?

...underwear is underwear, where ever you buy it, RainMen...

Go Greg if you can figure out what in Blue Blazes all this fuss is, We are just happy to have a forum...it's not a sandbox so let's stop leaving gifts in the sand...

Posted by: SpendNomore | October 24, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin....one last comment before I drift off to a contented sleep....hope you read how much Liam, Troll, and I missed you.

Hope you had a good vacation. Now if you have insomnia good luck with STRF and the sock puppets. Hey wouldn't that be a great name for the next new rock group...STRF and the sock puppets.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 24, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3: "And, naturally, the WaPo editorial staff is in on the right-wing propaganda conspiracy. Either that or someone at the WaPo thought Murray’s piece was interesting."

Ah that Bernie, connecting the dots... so we don't have to.

What I wanna know is, are you in on it? Hmmmm? (Mr. Rove? Are you in there?)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 24, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

The New Elite

One may have thought that the democratic party would have come down on the side of the working man, the small towns and the people who are getting the wrong side of the Free Trade deals.

It didn't work out that way.

The democrats are on the side of the New Elite. The Republicans are finding themselves - even though they traditionally support corportate interests - with the Tea Party under their tent.


Quite an interesting situation.


The key is the political contributions from the international corporations has INFECTED both parties - against the interests of the American People as a whole. The parties are nothing but gloves and the political money are the hands that control all the movement.


.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 24, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

"What I wanna know is, are you in on it?"

I'm not educated enough to be in on it. I missed that psychology seminar in which all the secrets of the evil, right-wing mind-control techniques were revealed.

(Then again, perhaps that's just what I want you to believe...)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, welcome back; you were indeed missed. Hope any change in format doesn't find you missing from the conversation.

Though I do recommend that you rest your foot on Nov. 2nd. Just stay home. Maybe drink some beers.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 24, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

@carolanne: "I read much more than I comment, but I'd miss you, too. And I'm a Democrat, lol. Hope your foot pain is on the wane."

It is, thank you, though I'm not sure the source is entirely sussed out. Although a wise step would be to lose weight, so I need to eat less and exercise more. Although the exercising more is always difficult with the bum foot. But I've had the foot flare up several times now (podiatrist says it might be gout), so I'm not sure that just the expensive shoes and the even more expensive orthotics is going to fix it. However, lots of icing did seem to help. But I had to focus on that, so there was no plum-line for me. Then I was out of town.

BTW, stay away from the television people, Carol Anne. They mean you naught but ill!

@ruk: "Kevin....one last comment before I drift off to a contented sleep....hope you read how much Liam, Troll, and I missed you."

I know I saw some of it. May not have read everything. Very slow load times led to messed up formating on my iPhone, so even just reading was laborious at points. Never quite finished the Saturday thread, and missed some of the Thursday and Friday threads. Only so much time in the day, and when it feels like your foot is being crushed under a large marble statue, it's hard to focus.

The Kent state discussion degenerated rapidly. I'm not so sure I'm sorry that I missed participating in that. ;)

Vacation actually was good--mild, which is probably the best with two kids (and one of the oldest's friends). The Nashville Zoo isn't, on the whole, quite as impressive as the Memphis Zoo, but in specific places it way outshines it, and it's really impressive considering the Nashville Zoo has only been at Grassmere since 1998. If you go, tour the old house, get the whole story.

Most of the rest of the time was swimming and playing (re: entertaining the children) at the Wyndham. And grilled burgers and ate out last night, and the weather was lovely. Good times.

Opryland Hotel (there is, alas, no more Opryland) still closed from the flood. Same with Opry Mills, the big mall-like area. Except the gigantic Bass Pro, which is open. So, no going to the Rainforest Cafe (closed, ironically, by too much rain, several months ago).

Have a good rest. I'm going to go get some shuteye, myself.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 24, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

@BGinChi: "Though I do recommend that you rest your foot on Nov. 2nd. Just stay home. Maybe drink some beers."

While retired from alcohol consumption, I appreciate the offer. I probably could, as I live in a very red state, and it tends to vote as I do (or do I vote as the fractal vibrations of my geographical location dictate? You be the judge). But I still like to show up and vote, just on principal.

Most likely thing to prevent me from voting is time. I work a bit of a distance from my voting location, which is near my house, so if it's a big crowd on election day in the morning, I may end up missing my chance. Unless I can get there first thing after work, assuming the precinct is still open.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 24, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Charles Murray ends his piece by saying the New Elite is "isolated" from the real America.

He says "The members of the New Elite may love America, but, increasingly, they are not of it. "

He also says they are "ignorant" of America.

However, he does make a point - the New Elite is concentrated in the cities.

Anyway - the country is dividing along new lines - that is true. However, Im not sure if Charles Murray has the whole picture in clear view.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 25, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

not sure if you read the whole post at 10:17, but it was a Black Minister who was calling for the 2nd Amendment solution

It was way too close to Rev. Wright for the democrats to make an issue of it.

The video stopped the democrats cold. Sounds too much like black calls for Revolution - if they don't get what they want.

Something like that.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 25, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I have one more point to make on the economy, which may appear simple but it is significant.

California finally filled up.

For over 150 years, Americans could always move west - and there were jobs in California. If opportunities did not seem good, Americans could always go to California. They still can.


But there has begun a net migration OUT of California. Americans are moving out. Maybe if you add in illegal immigration, people are moving in, but Americans are moving out.


California finally filled up. It had to happen at some point, but that safey valve - that place to go - has closed up a bit and it is significant. We have to stop sending jobs overseas and we have to figure out how we are going to take care of Americans.


.

Posted by: CutTheBudget | October 25, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

I live in California, drive the freeways, and we are filled up.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 25, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

(Gee remember when the country doctor came to your house when you were sick? You lived or died without his help anyway of course, because he didn't have any effective medicines, and he probably didn't go to much of a med school either but wasn't it GREAT to see him!)

Posted by: 54465446 | October 24, 2010 10:17 PM
-------

Hey, a doctor was still coming to my house in the 1960s, and he was quite competent and well educated. That's just the way it was done in small towns.

Posted by: Brigade | October 25, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

@CutTheRainforest: "not sure if you read the whole post at 10:17, but it was a Black Minister who was calling for the 2nd Amendment solution"

And because of his skin color Democrats found him "too reminiscent" of Rev. Wright? And they wouldn't love to find a Rev. Wright amongst the Republicans and tie him around the Republican's necks? I'm dubious.

That being said, it really doesn't matter who he was. Sharron Angle--who does not remind Democrats of Reverend Wright, has also at least been sanguine about talk about 2nd amendment solutions. Such nonsense adds nothing to the conversation, nor would showing up in some state capital or in DC to be immediately shot/pummeled and/or arrested do anything to change "government overreach" or how much government spends. It'd probably only end up encouraging both.

As such, the only appropriate thing to discuss when faced with Hollywood fantasies for some kick-butt action that makes our political problems go away (remember Mel Gibson swinging those axes in The Patriot? That was awesome) is to say, "Uh, no. There is not going to be a time for so-called '2nd amendment solutions'. Period.

I just recently caught the end of 'V' for Vendetta, where the equation is essentially "The Government is Deeply Flawed So . . . A: Torture an Innocent Young Woman So She Realizes How Bad the Government Is, B: Kill People (It's cool because you're well-read and cosmopolitan) and C: Blow A Whole Buncha Stuff Up. Then, um, things will be better, somehow. After we've blown up parliament and Big Ben, because, you know, large explosions are the best way to solve sticky political disagreements and economic malaise.

What are "2nd Amendment Solutions"? And what are they going to solve? But I digress. I'll stop now. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 25, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/the_morning_plum_119.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 25, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Greg will link EJ this morning, but in case not...

"The outside money should be an issue for Democrats. They ought to be asking, even more forcefully than they have been, what these secret donors expect for their money. You can be sure that the benefactors will not keep their identities hidden from the members of Congress they help elect. Only the voters will be in the dark.

Nonetheless, the partisan dimension should not distract from the larger problem facing American democracy. Secret money is dangerous. Secret money corrupts. Secret money is antithetical to the transparency that democracy requires. And concentrated money, which is what we're talking about here, buys more influence and access than small contributions."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/24/AR2010102402216.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

And that's the over-arching problem/danger. This isn't, most fundamentally, a partisan matter. Where election outcomes are determined by those few with mega-sized bank accounts then policies which favor that same minority will be continually favored and strengthened and everyone else will be comparably marginalized from effecting their own nation/government/lives. The consequence is fundamentally un-Democratic.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 25, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The hypocrisy is that EJ Dionne never once has complained about Obama's secret money from 2008.

By the way, rukidding7, even "Saint" lmsinca has lowered herself to name calling and you are definitely not one to talk about that.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 25, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

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