New Website Design Live Q&A: Ask the People Advising Cole Questions (About Almost Anything)!

The members of the commentariat who are advising Cole on the new website design asked me to schedule a live question and answer post for them and you. Here it is.

Open thread.

Balloon Juice and the invisible primary

The invisible primary component of the 2020 cycle is upon us:

The invisible primary is when candidates or proto-candidates assess their strengths, test potential coalitions and reach out to rare and valuable resources such as critical staffers and validators. There will be far more people running for president on the Democratic side who will never file an FEC report because the time between waking up in the morning and deciding that the person in the mirror should be in the White House and the end of the day will be quite informational. Quite a few people will have that thought but an inventory of their ability to access resources will show that there is no chance in hell of them even getting to a three way tie for third place in a delegate poor state.

We’re part of this invisible cycle. Balloon Juice is part of the liberal/Democratic extended party infrastructure. This community is part of the wide web of diverse stakeholders that slowly, somewhat haphazardly filters the field. It won’t be perfect; there will be some cranks and there will be one noters. We are part of the filtering process.

Balloon-Juice raised significant money in the 2012-2014-2016 and most recently the 2018 cycle. We generate analysis that is trusted and disseminated to other allied thought leaders and activists. We’ve shown an ability to push pithy responses (“tire rims and anthrax” and “hookers and blow”) to key analytical problems. The commenters and the front-pagers reactions to policies, positions, events and affects are important feedback for a slice of the activist base.

So as the primary season evolves, just remember that the collective zeitgeist of Balloon Juice is part of the invisible primary — not too bad for an almost top-10,000 pet, cooking, health policy, science writing, national security, screaming into the void blog.

Jon Swift

It’s time once again to continue a tradition started by Jon Swift/Al Weisel, the “Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves.” Jon/Al left behind some wonderful satire, but was also a nice guy and a strong supporter of small blogs. (Here’s Jon/Al’s 2007 and 2008 editions.  Our revivals from 2010 through 2017 can be found here.)
If you’d like to participate, just reply to this e-mail or write to me (Batocchio9 AT yahoo DOT com) with your best post of the year before 12/25:
Blog Name
Title of Post
Author of Post
Brief Description/Pitch of the Post (1–2 sentences)
(If it’s not a reply, adding “best post” in the subject line would also help.) 
To modify Jon Swift’s 2008 solicitation:
I would be very honored if you would participate and send me a link to what you think was your best post of [2018], along with a short description of it.  Please make the hard choice and send me only one link.  I would like to post it before the end of the year, so if you could get it to me before Christmas, I would really appreciate it.
One submission per blog, please, otherwise things can get messy. Group bloggers can pick a piece among themselves, but are also welcome to submit their work via their individual blogs, if they have them. 
As usual, I’m aiming to find the right balance between “inclusive” and “manageable.”  If you know a few excellent blogs (preferably on the smaller side) that you suspect might not be on my radar, feel free to send me their website address (and contact info, if you have it).
Contact Batocchio <>.

Quick Housekeeping Note Regarding This Weekend

I will be away on temporary duty from early tomorrow morning through Sunday night. I do not expect, based on the itinerary I was given today, that I’ll have any time to post, let alone comment over the next three days. So try to stay out of moderation as I won’t be here to release your comments.

For those of you who are nosey, which is pretty much all of you, I’m going up to Ft. Bragg. I was given the honor of being asked to give the keynote address at the 100th anniversary regimental dinner for the US Army Psychological Operations Regiment. (they didn’t get my bio quite right…)

Anyhow, it is also the 100th anniversary celebration weekend for US Army Civil Affairs Branch, where I was the Cultural Advisor (under Temporary Assigned Control) in 2012 and 2013. I’ll be participating in some of their events as well. And, of course, it wouldn’t be an Army event if I didn’t have some meetings! All in all, it’s going to be a busy weekend. So you all play nice and stay out of moderation!

Open thread!

Getchya Fresh News Here!

The New York Times reported today on a story you saw in Balloon Juice more than a month ago, based on accounts in Finnish media. A wealthy Russian businessman was buying up properties along an important Finnish sealane. The Finnish authorities raided those properties, which had some of the look of preparing for military action. Finnish government and business websites were then hit with a DDoS attack.

Anyhow, welcome to the party, New York Times!

And open thread!