RIP: The indefatigable critic of all things RW, @BartCop (est. 1996) has passed away. [….] 4:36 PM – 7 Mar 2014
If I recall correctly, my first ever blog post was on Bartcop’s site – an account of a small number of us picketing George W. Bush’s Dick Cheney’s photo-op at the U.S. Treasury Service Center in Kansas City in July 2001 (where they were printing the checks for dubya’s disastrous “tax rebate”). I sent my description of the event to Bartcop via e-mail. He replied, “This would be even better with photos, don’t you think?” I had to get the film developed and then scan the prints. A few days later the post was up.
In those good old days we used chisels and stone tablets. Times have changed.
If blogtopia had existed then to the extent it does now dubya’s cronies would have never been able to steal the 2000 presidential election.
Bartcop was among the very first. He definitely was an original.
We’ve had a really interesting week here at Show Me Progress.
Most of the traffic spike has subsided. Near as we can tell, the main post, ancillary posts, and our site entry URL combined for a traffic spike of 35,000 unique hits. That’s the equivalent of three to five months (depending on the time of year) of normal traffic. We’ve had traffic spikes in the past, just nothing like this
Log scale of selected posts (including site entry URL) at Show Me Progress.
The Associated Press story (incidentally, it was good reporting and well written) included our basic blog URL as text in the body of the story, so when news outlets across the country ran it they included that information in their cut and paste. A lot of people made their way to us in this fashion.
At one point we were approaching 2000 hits an hour. And, at times, in our real time observation, we had peaks of over fifty hits a minute.
We’ve already written about how we came to the story:
…Perry Beam, a musician from Higginsville, attended the rodeo at the Missouri State Fair with his spouse and an exchange student. He posted his account on Facebook. Bob Yates saw it and posted Perry’s account and photo on Show Me Progress and the Great Orange Satan (Daily KOS – without a photo at first). At that point I noticed a small traffic spike on our site statistics, driven by Great Orange Satan traffic seeking the photo, noted that it was Bob’s post, then promoted it to the front page….
….Other people saw stuff all over social media and then we were off to the races. I was called by the Associated Press, KSHB (the Kansas City NBC affiliate) and contacted by the Kansas City Star…
If Bob Yates had known initially how to post a photo on the Great Orange Satan and not cross posted here with the photo it is quite probable that the story would have dropped like a rock in their queue with minimal notice.
Social media certainly played a part. And continues to do so.
Jason Rosenbaum @jrosenbaum
This quip from ShowMeProgress’ @MBersin makes me chuckle: “Anyone interested in some posts on campaign finance?” [….] 5:33 PM – 12 Aug 13
There’s a darker part of the social media aspect of this. The comment thread at the original Kansas City Star story by Yael Abouhalkah was not a paragon of wholesome goodness. Perry Beam’s Facebook page had a few comments along those lines, too. St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones endured jaw dropping vitriol directed at her on her Twitter account.
We had a few trolls stupid enough to downrate frontpager comments (there’s a waiting period to post comments or diaries – our trolls have short attention spans, they couldn’t wait). Dudes, we have keys to the store. It’s our blog. Your garbage gets removed and you get banned for life – sort of like a rodeo clown.
And no, banning here is not a First Amendment issue. It’s our blog. The First Amendment allows you to post on your own blog- and maybe other people will read it, or not.
We also received a handful of emails at our group blog address. We usually get so little email that the system ends up waiting a while to aggregate enough to forward to us. We generally don’t feed the trolls, but Blue Girl sometimes likes to practice her verbal evisceration techniques. It’s a terrible thing to watch, yet you can’t avert your eyes – it’s sort of like watching a hunter on the ice club a baby harp seal.
So, if you send us a sub-literate email we’ll either ignore it or post it on the blog and publicly mock you. That depends on anyone’s mood and if it’s a slow news day. It is August, you know.
That this story was covered and had reach is a good thing. Bringing it out in the open will have the eventual and ironic effect of pushing those attitudes out of the world of acceptable discourse at public venues. In time, with no fresh public to consume them, those attitudes will whither away in the dark.
I recently happened across a scrappy little blog that is obviously Democratic Party centered. It pointedly covers out-state politics in western Missouri – from the perspective of campaign insiders. Snark abounds.
There have been four posts total since August 20th, each taking republicans to task for their campaign foibles.
Senator David Pearce (r), his legislative assistant, and the republican primary in the 34th Senate District got some attention yesterday:
….Apparently Pearce hadn’t taught his staff Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican”. This quote about Schaaf would have been fine if Michelson would have done his job and helped get Mr. DeStefano through the primary. However, DeStefano managed to receive only 35% of the vote in the Republican primary to Rob Schaaf….
an address by William J. vanden Heuvel to the Monthly Meeting of The Century Association
Thursday, April 4, 2002
…FDR was, of course, a consummate political leader. In one situation, a group came to him urging specific actions in support of a cause in which they deeply believed. He replied: I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it…
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) defends her “moderate” bonafides on her blog:
I worked hard to help elect President Obama. I believe he will be a terrific President because he understands that change means listening and compromise, not political posturing. The way forward is almost always up the middle. I look forward to helping the President find that way forward on health care, energy, and our struggling economy. The left and the right shouting at each other hasn’t gotten much done. Red vs Blue hasn’t been very successful either.
I always try to be an independent voice for Missouri. I evaluate every issue, not as a party vote, but as a policy vote. There is nothing about the group of moderate Democrats that undermines President Obama. Just the opposite, I believe we can help bring people together around good policy and get away from some of the nasty partisan food fights that have blocked real progress for so long.
It all depends on how one defines “middle”, eh? Let’s just not keep tugging it right.
There will be a letter sent to the CEO of AIG from most, if not all, of the Democratic Senators momentarily. This letter will demand that any bonuses be withheld or repaid immediately. The letter goes on to explain that we will proceed to recover the bonuses through taxation if AIG fails to recover this money for taxpayers. We state the obvious in the letter, bonuses should not be given for failure.
Legislation wil be introduced in the next 48 hours or so that will tax these companies and the bonus recipients. The tax will be aimed at executives at companies that have recieved significant taxpayer assistance through the TARP funds and will recover almost all of these funds for taxpayers. The Finance Committee is drafting the legislation with the assistance of a number of Senators.
I feel better. We are taking action. It’s time we right this wrong on behalf of hard working Americans everywhere.
I will post the letter and the legislation on my senate web site as soon as they are available. www.mccaskill.senate.gov
Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions about this mess. Your input matters.
I’m fascinated by that part of the culture at AIG which made them believe they could get away with this. Amazing.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user nancyscola. Disclaimer: Mike Lux will be at our blogger meetup, but I make no promises regarding Josh Brolin.
Maryb2004 has put together St. Louis area blogger meetups several times over the last couple of years, including a lovely picnic in Tower Grove Park last summer. So it’s perhaps fitting that one of her favorite bloggers on the national scene, Michael Lux, will be our special guest at The Dubliner in downtown St. Louis this Friday, March 20th at 4:30 PM for happy hour. Michael is in town to kick off the Grand Opening weekend of Left Bank Books new downtown location with a talk and sign copies of his new book The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be. The Left Bank Books event will begin at 7:00 PM. (I also hear there will be an introduction at Left Bank Books from a surprise guest, but I’ll have to stay hush on that for now.)
You can be forgiven, I suppose, for not knowing who Mike Lux is. I certainly had no clue who he was in the summer of 2007, when I had first heard of him. He suddenly appeared alongside Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers at OpenLeft.com, after the two split off from MyDD.com to do their own thing. At that site, he has offered invaluable commentary on the 2008 presidential primary season (particularly on Iowa), and put into contemporary context some of the hard lessons learned by progressives in the 1990s.
It’s not surprising that Mike would offer such a compelling voice at OpenLeft. He’s been in politics since the 1970s, working first locally in Iowa and later becoming senior staff on the Joe Biden and Paul Simon presidential campaigns. He cashed in those connections to become a lobbyist… for the AFL-CIO. In 1992 he worked in the Clinton/Gore campaign as National Constituencies Director, and later served in the Clinton White House, helping to coordinate the first budget battle (we won) and the health care reform battle (we know how that went.) After he left the White House, he again cashed in his connections… to work for major liberal organizations like People for the American Way. He was one of the first inside the Beltway to understand the power of Internet organizing by working with Wes Boyd and Joan Blades on their online petition to censure President Clinton and “move on” from the Lewinsky scandal. The result of that online petition is MoveOn.org. I haven’t read his book yet, but I’ll be sure to pick up a copy on Friday.
One of the great things about the blogosphere is that it allows ordinary citizens to have a voice and medium with little added effort or startup cost. It allows us to share our experiences and our ideas with one another, with people you would probably never meet in the offline world, and get feedback from those same people. What many so often fail to understand is that the online world is not only beneficial for those who haven’t ever had access to policymakers – it’s good for those at the top to share their experiences and ideas, and just as importantly, to hear feedback, too.
That’s why I’m glad Mike is blogging at OpenLeft.com, and why I’m glad he’ll be with us at the Dubliner this Friday at 4:30 PM and at Left Bank Books Downtown at 7:00 PM. Don’t miss it!
Steve Bough over at the Jackson County Democratic Blog notes that the Chamber of Commerce-anointed HJR 31 that I mentioned earlier today gives the “Sweet Sixteen” group of moderate, pro-labor Republicans a perfect opportunity to show their true colors:
The Sweet 16 are a group of allegedly moderate Republicans in the Missouri House who take money, support and votes from organized labor and are allegedly supportive of unions. Well, we will see.
Indeed. Are these so-called moderates going to side with the Chamber of Commerce or their friends in labor when they have to vote on an anti-labor constitutional amendment?