Saturday, February 05, 2005
OUT TO PASTURE, PERHAPS, BUT NOT TOTALLY OFF THE RESERVATION:
There is No Crisis responds to the Heritage column:
What Heritage is saying is that American credit is worthless.
It’s economics 101 that savings must be counterbalanced by lending. That’s just how capital markets, or more to the point, addition and subtraction, works. Heritage is lying by implying that you can “save” without putting that money to work somewhere. You can’t. And they are further lying by suggesting that putting money into education, foreign aid, and defense has no positive returns. For example, ever heard of the internet? Yeah, that was kind of a Defense Department project. Ever heard of universal literacy? Yeah, that kind of improves the economy for everyone.
By saying the trust fund isn’t “real,” Heritage is saying that the government can't honor its obligations. But we always have met our obligations over two hundred years; that is in fact the bedrock of the global financial system, the full faith and credit of the United States. Just look at the dollar bill. It’s not gold or food, it’s currency that is defined by the government. So if T-bills are worthless, then so is every dollar out there.
Heritage knows this. But they are lying about it anyway.
posted by Sully 2/05/2005 02:54:00 PM
HE MUST LIKE HEARING THE CRICKETS CHIRP:
Call us quaint and old-fashioned, but where we come from giving up blogging means you don’t blog. It doesn’t mean that you keep sticking your neck out through the closed curtains, even if to publish laudatory emails.
s.z. has the best take on this:
Um, you can stop blogging anytime now, Andrew. Seriously. Just put down the keyboard and never look back!
She also links to Michelle Maglalang, who as you would expect doesn’t pass up the opportunity to spit bile as only she can:Interestingly, Sullivan has already taken a break from his break to publish fawning e-mails from readers. But he apparently doesn't have enough bandwidth to respond to Blair, Balko, or the many other bloggers/contributors who rightly feel gipped by his bloghucksterism.
(Read the comments ... too numerous to mention).
She links to other rightwing bloggers expressing (to put it mildly) dismay over The Blog Queen’s decision to basically take the money and run.
Can’t say we weren’t out there warning you, guys
And you think it’s possible, just possible, that someone who would gyp you financially might also have been gypping you intellectually as well? Just a thought ...
posted by Sully 2/05/2005 02:13:00 PM
Friday, February 04, 2005
TWO MORE TAKE NOTE:
Jo Fish echoes our Osama observation, among other things:Was the “longer project” a respondee from an ad in CraigsList? And if many anonymous someones were to give me upwards of 80 Grand, I’m sure I could become a tax-evading, butt-rubbing pot-smoking pajama-blogger too.
And Joshua Foust is nice but a little pointed:... also taking the month of August off every year isn’t “daily blogging.”
posted by Sully 2/04/2005 01:22:00 AM
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
NOW THEY HEAR THE TREE FALL:
Atrios takes note by linking to and quoting Alterman, and himself boils Sully’s legacy down to a single sentence.UPDATE: Wonkette kisses him goodbye.
Sullivan helped mainstream the notion, once thought utterly un-American, that critical voices are tantamount to treason.
posted by Sully 2/01/2005 02:18:00 PM
HEY DUDE, LET’S BLOG:
Jo with another rib-tickling Sullivan analogy.
posted by Sully 2/01/2005 01:54:00 PM
“SCREW YOU GUYS, I’M GOING HOME!”:
“It's getting to the pointWhere I’m no fun anymore ...”– Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”
The real reason for Sullivan to suddenly (well, not so suddenly, really, if you think about it) stop blogging was more related to his blog’s inability to regain the commanding heights in the rightblogging ecosystem it once held from the more virulent and reactionary LGF and Powerline, where not coincidentally he picked a fight in the last couple of weeks.
When he extended it to his great and good friend and menstrual-synchrony partner Kaus, one can only imagine him stepping back for a moment and saying “My God! What have I done!”, sort of like the Family Ties Very Special Episode in which Tom Hanks plays Mr. Keaton’s talented brother with a drinking problem which he only acknowledges near the end of the show because he hits Alex (Oh shit! We’re starting to sound like s.z. there!).
Whatever. As loyal readers to the last, we’d be the first to acknowledge that he just sounded more and more tired of what he was doing in the last few months, concomitantly making blogging him less fun and more of a chore. And he really does need a break.
And actually, this break comes at a good time for us as well.
We should also crow about the fact that we did sort of predict, based on the patterns of Sullivan’s past career, that he would go dark in 2005. It’s so much fun being right.
But all this should not come without the delicious fun of fisking his announcement!After much hemming and hawing, I’ve decided to put the blog as you’ve known it on hiatus for a few months.
Hmm ... “on hiatus”? Isn’t that what networks say when they don’t want to own up to canceling a show? Hasn’t My So-Called Life been “on hiatus” now for more than a decade?
And really, it hasn’t been the blog as we’ve known it for some time now.The Dish will still exist, the site will be updated weekly with new feature articles, and I’ll still post when I feel like it.In other words, it will go back to being the vanity website I envisioned back in 2000 when I started it.But it won’t have the regularity or content of the past four and a half years.
Well, we’d say that taking the time off does, in fact, count as “the regularity and content of the past four and a half years.”Why?Because we like you! (Sorry!)
Short answer: because it’s seriously started to suck.The simple answer is that I want to take a breather, to write a long-overdue book, to read some more, travel to Europe and the Middle East, and work on some longer projects.That’s a series of simple answers, not a simple answer, which ipso facto makes it a complex answer.
One of the true signs of how far The Blog Queen has fallen is that scant bloggers on the left seem to have taken note today (and we gave everyone at least 12 hours after the post ran and we first saw it to say something). It’s sort of like the end of The Magnificent Ambersons: “At long last, Georgie Amberson Minafer had finally gotten his comeuppance. But those who once desired and hoped for it had forgotten all about it, and about him.”
We suspect that more will learn about this from this post here than by actually reading Sullivan.
The only reader who seems to have actually noticed is ... John Whiteside (and P O’Neill, we hastily add), someone as far as we can remember not actually blogging when we started. Tells you a lot there.
About this passage, he says:
As the line between blogging and journalism starts to blur, there are some interesting issues that pop up. When you write a blog, you have no explicit reponsibility to your audience other than to keep in interesting, if you want people to keep coming back.
But what happens when you start running ads, or taking money to keep your blog running? If you’re a journalistic enterprise, like a newspaper or magazine or news site, you’ve got a responsibility (explicit or implicit) to your sponsors to keep the producing your product. The New York Times can’t just say, “Thanks for the money — we’re not publishing any more.” Salon.com can’t collect subscription fees and then take a quarter off.
So it was interesting to me to see today that Andrew Sullivan, who has ads and has solicited donations from his readers, is taking an unspecified period of time off from his blog.
Really, one wonders if Sullivan could be sued for fraud. Probably not, but he certainly should offer refunds to those few readers who bothered to contribute in recent months.
And speaking of which, since no one’s dropped anything in our jar in a couple of months, we don’t have those same commitment issues (more on that later).
This bit about traveling to the Middle East is also interesting. Does he mean more than just Israel? Will he go to Iraq and be held to account by those he helped to send there with his words? Does he have firsthand intel on when the war with Iran starts so he can be there?Much as I would like to do everything, I’ve been unable to give the blog my full attention and make any progress on a book (and I’m two years behind).
Read: my publisher is threatening to drop me.It’s not so much the time as the mindset. The ability to keep on top of almost everything on a daily and hourly basis just isn’t compatible with the time and space to mull over some difficult issues in a leisurely and deliberate manner. Others might be able to do it. But I’ve tried and failed.
Again, read “I can no longer toe the party line like other warbloggers can.”I was doing this when Clinton was president and Osama bin Laden was largely unknown.
As far as the administration’s concerned, he still is [rimshot].
Uh, back in 2000 bin Laden was known for bombing the African embassies and later the Cole. He wasn’t who he is now, but he was well-known enough that it was easy to suspect him before both towers had fallen.
Sullivan, you might consider your tendency to blithely insult your readers’ intelligence this way during your time off as a factor in why your readership declined.I’ve always thought it’s a good idea to quit something after around five years or so.
Because then you’ve got enough episodes for strip syndication! [rimshot again].
Oh man, we can have too much fun with this one ...
“His five-year mission, to seek out new lies, and new obfuscations ...”
But, one wants to ask, wasn’t he at TNR for longer than that? Oh yeah, he’s still trying to keep his cover over that great feud with Wieseltier. Because he quit, you see, he didn’t get fired.Before it becomes a chore. Before you become numb.Before?
No, it’s not a response to criticism.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. We repeat, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.Or the shark, or the elephant, or whatever metaphor is in vogue these days.I’m a big boy and have provoked critics from the minute this blog started. I deserve much of what I get.
Which can only bring one’s mind to this (didn’t think we were really going to let that go, did you?)But over two million words is a good enough mile-stone to ease up for a while.
Most of which, as often noted, were not your own.I’ll keep posting when the feeling grabs me; but I’m no longer going to promise the kind of daily attention to the news that I have practised so far.
You mean the kind of daily attention that had you picking stories up months or even years after everyone else had them?I hope that after, say, nine months, I’ll return to blogging full-steam with perhaps a new direction or approach to refresh the material.
Yes ... we can just see this now! The inevitable retooling!
“This fall, Sullivan and the boyfriend move to LA with a cute child, where a whole new series of madcap adventures and zany characters awaits him. Keep watching, because some of his old friends just might stop by for a visit!”
Hey, after all, it might be possible ... why nine months? Is he pregnant or something? Y’know, that might be a way to show W up after all — “So you want to ban gay marriage? Here, I’m going to have the first gay pregnancy!”
posted by Sully 2/01/2005 01:01:00 PM
Monday, January 31, 2005
ANOTHER MEME SPREADS SLOWLY:
After a few days off, Jo Fish returns picking up on our idea here (although, actually, Jo, we think it’s an even better nick for Our Fearless Leader hisself).
And to be fair, we made that reference before (and we are only too pleased that it’s become even more apt with time).
posted by Sully 1/31/2005 01:35:00 PM
SO NOW HE’S A POST-STRUCTURALIST, TOO:Failure and success are not always binary in history, or mutually exclusive. Sometimes early success — like the liberating war — can aggravate the problems of an occupation. And sometimes failure - like losing control of security across whole swathes of the country - can lead to unexpected success.
Somewhere, we just know, the late Jacques Derrida is laughing his ass off.
posted by Sully 1/31/2005 01:32:00 PM
Sunday, January 30, 2005
DUBIOUS SOURCES WATCH:
It never fails to amaze that Sullivan continues to use Petrelis as a source on AIDS, given his somewhat spotted past of having been arrested after an alleged telephone stalking campaign (for which he is still on probation).
The skinny on Petrelis: One of those people who, like Sullivan, responded to AIDS and becoming HIV positive mainly with a lot of resentment for the crimping it did of their presumably wild sex lives and its bad taste in killing off hot guys (if only it could have zeroed in on the ugly ones!), which manifested itself in an embrace of any theory they could find that suggested AIDS was overblown or overrated.
Petrelis went a little further, however, and started to see as the enemy more people ostensibly on his own side than a microscopic virus, drawing attention to himself with loud claims that AIDS organizations were wasting or skimming funds. So determined was he to get his point across that it scarcely troubled him to go to some of the most homophobic religious conservatives in Congress and make common cause with them in cutting AIDS funding. (You can see how popular it makes him among his own community).
Prior to his arrest, however, Sullivan had earned some of this enmity toward himself by defending Petrelis as, among other things, a “freelance troublemaker” and “respected journalist.”
He distanced himself after the arrests, adroitly enough, but it now seems like it’s love again.
posted by Sully 1/30/2005 11:51:00 PM
AND NOW FOR THE HARD PART ... YES, THE HARD PART:
We have to admit it was one of the few things so far in this Iraq misadventure that brought us some joy ... seeing all those Iraqis, who knew they were potentially taking their lives in their hand, nevertheless showing up to vote. We have never denied that they wanted democracy; whether they voted to validate the process and hope for a better choice next time around, to rebuke the insurgents or to bring some end to the increasingly desperate situation in which they live, we don’t know, but it’s not important right now. We have never been among those who suggest that there’s something in the Middle East over and above despotic local governments that hampers democracy; if nothing else this will stand as proof that the democratic spirit is still afoot even there.
That said ... Steve Gilliard links to Juan Cole and adds his own thoughts:
There are two real issues which our idiot press is glossing over:
First, many of the Shia voted to get us to go home. What happens when we don’t go?
Second, I saw a young Kurdish woman say to CNN’s Nic Robertson “This is my country. I voted for my country.” Uh, I don’t think she was talking about Iraq. I don’t think that played well in Ankara. Not for a second.
Juan himself is less blunt:Many of the voters came out to cast their ballots in the belief that it was the only way to regain enough sovereignty to get American troops back out of their country. The new parliament is unlikely to make such a demand immediately, because its members will be afraid of being killed by the Baath military. One fears a certain amount of resentment among the electorate when this reticence becomes clear.
Good point. We’d also add that for anyone who thinks makes civil war less likely, to merely look at our own history for how the results of a free and fair democratic election can nevertheless be the cause of civil war instead of its prevention (1936 Spain, of course, offers not only that but a lesson in how that can ultimately kill democracy as well).
Cole’s observation also brings up another subtext to all this: the political risk for the Bushies (Note that Gilliard also referred to “when we don’t go.” Not if.). A majority of Americans, or at least American voices that matter, have been with the Bush administration through every other key juncture in the war (the fall of Baghdad, the capture of Saddam etc., the retaking of Fallujah). Now with elections being held, the continued presence of U.S. troops in-country, especially at their current levels, becomes that much harder to justify (at least to the American in the street). If (well, following Gilliard’s lead, when) violence and U.S. casualties increase again, a tipping point may have been reached as opposition to the war spreads into sectors of society heretofore thought safe from it. And don’t think Rove and Bush will accomodate it in the slightest.
posted by Sully 1/30/2005 11:28:00 PM