Andrew Sullivan leaves blogging, gives rise to “blogging is dead” columns

For those of you who haven’t already heard, Andrew Sullivan is leaving blogging.

Why? Two reasons. The first is one I hope anyone can understand: although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career, I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). That’s long enough to do any single job. In some ways, it’s as simple as that. There comes a time when you have to move on to new things, shake your world up, or recognize before you crash that burn-out does happen.

The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.

I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real.

As Ezra Klein of Vox noted, Sullivan’s departure from blogging has given rise to “blogging is dead” columns, but like Klein I don’t believe that blogging as a means of sharing ideas is dead. I know I’m biased given the fact that I run a blog or two, but I absolutely believe that despite the “instant gratification” of social media like Twitter, Snapchat, and Vine and the ubiquitousness of Facebook, there’s still a place for dialogue, discussion, and a sense of community, and that’s why I believe blogs are far from dead. As I’ve written before, I know Blogging Blue is far from a perfect community, but we’re still a community, even more so than Blogging Blue’s presence on Facebook.

Andrew Sullivan’s decision to leave blogging is certainly a loss for the blogosphere, but I know blogging will persist as a means of sharing information and discussing ideas.

So about that “Obamacare is the largest tax increase EVER!” meme…

As noted by Ezra Klein on his WONKBLOG earlier today, despite the echo chamber of conservatives who’ve called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the “largest tax increase in the history of the world,” the truth is that the ACA isn’t even in the top five largest tax increases in the past 50 years, much less the history of our nation.

Since the Supreme Court decision, Republicans have been calling the Affordable Care Act “the largest tax increase in the history of the world.” Politifact rates this false. Kevin Drum’s got a table of the 15 significant tax increases since 1950, and the Affordable Care Act, which amounts to a tax increase of 0.49 percent of GDP, comes in 10th.

Here’s a chart (courtesy of WONKBLOG) that demonstrates exactly how big a tax increase the Affordable Care Act is (if you buy into the notion that it’s a tax increase, which I don’t).

Image courtesy Ezra Klein’s WONKBLOG

I think it’s absolutely hilarious that the supposed tax increase that’s a part of the Affordable Care Act isn’t even as big as the 1982 tax increase signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, the “patron saint” of Republican politics.

For the record, I’m among those who understand the tax penalty included in the ACA isn’t a direct tax – it’s a tax penalty for those who choose not to buy health insurance coverage. Surely that’s a fine distinction, but it’s a distinction nonetheless.

Catch up

Having been at the Capitol almost non-stop since last Wednesday, here are some great links into what has been going on down there and elsewhere. Lots of pics soon and forgive me if these links have been posted!

Scott Walker owes the Koch Brothers!

Did I mention that Walker owes the Koch Brothers?

Robin Vos is a complete douchbag:

“The people who are not around the Capitol square are with us,” said Rep. Robin Vos, a Republican from Rochester and co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee. “They may have a bunch around the square, but we’ve got the rest on our side.”

Sorry Robin, not everyone is on your side!

Ezra Klein breaks it down here. Not quite what governor Walker keeps saying.

Governor Doyle balanced a budget.

David Cay Johnston says we have problem but they are NOT the workers.

The Sconz captured the camel crisis at the capitol.

Even though it would mean the end of his governorship, the National guard will do what their told.

Robert Reich said this is no surprise, it\'s been planned!

Busting unions is not the only really bad thing in his bill…

The Fab 14 are NOT the first to skip town to stop bad legislation. hint: Abe Lincoln did it, and he was right also!

The bill could be devastating for at least one local school district.

I know Robin Vos and Alberta darling are usually off limits to anyone not 100% supporters, for $19 you can break bread with them.

Scott Walker likes to say “To protect our schools, to protect our local governments, we need to give them the tools they’ve been asking for, not just for years but for decades.Yea, umm Scott, not so much.

last but not least, give some love to Blue Cheddar!

Almost forgot: send some food to the Capitol.

Ezra Klein makes it clear what Walker’s budget “repair” bill is all about

This is worth a read…

The best way to understand Walker’s proposal is as a multi-part attack on the state’s labor unions. In part one, their ability to bargain benefits for their members is reduced. In part two, their ability to collect dues, and thus spend money organizing members or lobbying the legislature, is undercut. And in part three, workers have to vote the union back into existence every single year. Put it all together and it looks like this: Wisconsin’s unions can’t deliver value to their members, they’re deprived of the resources to change the rules so they can start delivering value to their members again, and because of that, their members eventually give in to employer pressure and shut the union down in one of the annual certification elections.