Ten Thousand and Counting

This week, 538 Refugees hit 10,000 comments. That’s an average of 2,500 per month, or about 85 per day.

This is the time of year for navel gazing. In the publishing world, readership is down and most of the staff are on vacation, visiting friends and family. The same is true here. Content will be light from now until New Year’s Day. It’s not that we have run out of things to say (not by a long shot!); there is much more to come in January.

We’ve come a long way in the past four months. The entire staff of five volunteers is very proud of what we’ve accomplished, but this site is utterly pointless without your contributions. It’s the conversations among the commenters that truly make 538 Refugees what it is. We appreciate your continued support.

About Michael Weiss

Michael is now located at http://www.logarchism.com, along with Monotreme, filistro, and dcpetterson. Please make note of the new location.
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34 Responses to Ten Thousand and Counting

  1. Number Seven says:

    Congrats!!! That was quick. I had no idea so many were commenting.

    Way to go!!!

  2. robert verdi,

    Apologies for that getting caught in the spam filter. It’s really common for spammers to post short generic compliments with their URL link pointing to whatever spam site they have. Yours just looked way too much like that. 🙂

  3. WA7th says:

    Congrats. good job, and thanks everyone for helping break my habit of visiting that other site far too often.

  4. GROG says:

    I haven’t commented much lately as I’ve decided this site seems to be better suited to a leftwing echo chamber audience. I don’t want to be a troll. Best of luck.

  5. dcpetterson says:

    As one of the columnists, I am grateful to all the commenters. Grateful also to the lurkers who drive up the hit count. I hope to be informative and thought-provoking as well as entertaining.

    Feel free to leave a comment on what you want to see.

  6. Monotreme says:


    I do so love self-referential comments. “I don’t want to be a troll, so I will be a troll.” Masterful.

  7. mclever says:

    Come now, GROG. Don’t let the “troll” haters drive you away.

    Being contrarian will always draw fire from the majority, but we need alternative opinions around here, because that’s what drives discussion. There are a lot of smart people commenting on this site, so anyone who says something unpopular has got to be prepared to explain why. Preferably with references and data to back ’em up.

    And, because most of us are liberals, there will be plenty of times when we challenge each other for saying something unfounded or illogical, too. Being clear when something is opinion vs. fact and being gracious when one is shown to be wrong are two very important survival traits for any internet discussion.


  8. GROG says:


    Thanks for the comment. I wish all the commenters here were like you my friend. You’re respectful, thoughful, intelligent, and are not afraid to challenge the other liberal commenters.

  9. Max aka Birdpilot says:


    Original thought is much better than “yeah, me too!”. Too many times of late you seem to doing just that in support of Bart. Look back at the times I’ve been hard on you.

    To paraphrase what mclever said, when one calls, the rest of us want to see your cards. If you can’t or won’t show your cards, you’re not going to be allowed to simply take the pot.

    And has there been anybody on the left of center here that I haven’t, at one time or another, called to task as well? (Except maybe filistro, but she’s just TOO damned smart for me)

    And I can take it as good as I can give it. I seem to remember an entire Saturday, on the old 538, defending my comments against the simplistic notion that the American Civil War (The War of Northern Aggression) was fought over slavery vs the “Compact Theory” of states rights.

    It’s when y’all bail on the rest of us and NOT pee in the whiskey every day, that this will become a echo chamber.

  10. Mule Rider says:

    “I haven’t commented much lately as I’ve decided this site seems to be better suited to a leftwing echo chamber audience. I don’t want to be a troll. Best of luck.”

    Ditto that. I agree wholeheartedly. Getting banned a while back (though, obviously, it’s been lifted) did for me, especially with the reasoning that I was “vulgar,” “combative,” and “obnoxious” when people like Max, Number Seven, shortchain, shiloh, and Barbuster are some or all those things in spades.

    And to be fair, de Palma’s non-stop blatherings aggravate the hell out of me and he’s the most prolific instigator on this site.

    Were all of the commenters akin to mclever, Realist, and Michael Weiss, I could really buy into the idea that this is a place for “reasonable political discourse.”

    I’ve still got a place in my heart for Mr. Universe, filistro, and shrinkers/dc, but their penchant for the delusional/theatrical/hyperbolic and tenuous grasp of reality most days makes them unpleasant more often than not.

    I’ll pop in from time to time, but don’t you worry, I won’t be upsetting your nice little echo-chamber you have going…

  11. Monotreme says:

    Thanks for elevating the discussion, Mule Rider.

  12. filistro says:

    C’mon, Monotreme… you’re just jealous because Muley didn’t call you “delusional, theatrical and hyperbolic.”

    I LOVE that description. It makes me feel like I’m wearing a strapless sequined gown, a pink feather boa and six-inch heels. 😉

  13. shortchain says:

    If Grog or Muley really want to see what an “echo chamber” looks like, they could just surf over to Hot Air and read any of the comment threads. It’s routine, over there, to see a comment like this:

    — 50 lines from another comment, quoted —

    Someone gets it.

    Good job.

    Now, that’s an “echo chamber”.

    Personally, if I didn’t think I had any information or a spark of insight to offer, I’d just read the comments, I wouldn’t feel compelled to comment.

  14. Monotreme says:


    “I am big. It’s the blogs that got small.”

    His description of you is more Gloria Swanson than Sally Field.

  15. Mule Rider says:

    “C’mon, Monotreme… you’re just jealous because Muley didn’t call you “delusional, theatrical and hyperbolic.””

    I certainly put Monotreme and Jean – two people I unintentionally left out (can’t plug everybody though) – closer to the rational/reasonable end than the irrational/unreasonable.

    While there’s no denying which side of the fence they hail from and they can be staunch partisans, they are usually pretty fair towards me and other conservative commentators and our differing viewpoints.

  16. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    It’s called “fighting fire with fire” Muley!

    When one makes “reasonable political” arguments and are willing to point out the basis for a particular position, I’ll challenge you to show a SINGLE circumstance where I responded in an ““vulgar,” “combative,” and “obnoxious” ” manner.

    But you WILL find when someone on EITHER side of the equation insults the intelligence of the group with false or misleading assertions and then refuses address when called out for it in a “reasonable” manner, I will fight fire with fire.

    Most every time. Sorry if that hurts YOUR sensitivities. But I will NOT apologize for using the tactic. See Sun Tzu.

    I notice, though, that shiloh, bartbuster, monotreme, shrinkers, among others, ALL “lefties” whom I have called out in the past, don’t make the same argument you do. Generally, that’s because they then respond with citations and “reasonable” argument in support of their position. AND we have, many time, agreed to disagree in the end. “Reasonable” people can do that and remain on good terms.

  17. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    @ filistro

    Ma’am, if’n y’all will wear that “strapless sequined gown, a pink feather boa and six-inch heels.” outfit, I’ll ask y’all out to the Saturday night barn dance and I’ll wear that “Ranger” outfit you like so much!

  18. filistro says:

    LOL Max! Won’t we look grand?

    Now I can’t get that distracting image out of my head… and I still have some work to finish.

    Bad Max! BAD!!!

  19. filistro says:

    Well now, Muley… if you count in Jean and Monotreme among the “reasonable” folks, that already makes a total of FIVE, and I’m sure you’d also count Jeff, Emerson, GROG, parksie, Armchair Warlord, all of whom are smart and reasonable righties. Plus a few others we haven’t thought of offhand….

    So where else are you going to find a blog with people of all political stripes that includes at last a dozen people you find “reasonable?”

    Better stick with us, sweetie. Nobody else can “love and understand you” like we do… 😉

  20. shortchain says:

    Sniff! I feel so left out. Not that I either desire or wish to be regarded as “reasonable”. And I’m stuck also with the image of an imagined filistro in a strapless sequined gown, feather boa and 6-inch heels trying to do a barn dance.

    Speaking of which, did you get that feather boa from Jesse, our ex-gov’nor and fellow conspiracy aficionado? Now I’m wondering if it’s a conspiracy. The “boa conspiracy”.

  21. Mule Rider says:


    I had a very long response that got lost because I didn’t have the name/email fields filled in….no way I can go back and get the spirit of that initial post with a redo….arrrgggghhhh!!!!

  22. Mule Rider says:

    I’ll summarize, which it was basically a response to Max’s “fighting fire with fire” comment:

    Basically that’s how I justified my behavior for 2-1/2 years since I first stumbled across the old fivethirtyeight.com. I didn’t intend to launch any pre-emptive bombs against liberals; I just felt like they were doing it “first.” And I was just defending conservatives from unnecessary and unreasonable vitriol and hate.

    The problem is, nobody ever owns up to doing it “first.” There’s always somebody out there trashing people like you, whether they initiated it all themselves or they’re just fire-breathing in response to something they were offended by someone else.

    So you can always justify your “fighting fire with fire.” But I’m not going to do that anymore. Life’s too precious and short to waste this much time arguing and bickering with people on blogs who have a different worldview than your own.

    If someone truly wants to be reasonable and civil, I’ll reserve my dialogue for them and them only. I’m not going to get pulled down those dark roads of endless banter and mindless vitriol ever again.

  23. mclever says:

    Fighting fire with fire just ends up with everyone dead and toasty.

  24. shiloh says:

    I don’t want to be a troll, so I will be a troll. Masterful. lol

    Of course, a true definition of a troll includes they never leave, eh ie grog, MR etc. will always be lurking at 538, whether they post or not notwithstanding! 😀

    you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave …


    Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

  25. mclever says:

    I will add that I find it extremely flattering that anyone would put me in same category as Realist and Michael Weiss, two contributors on this site whose intelligence, expertise, and reasonableness I’ve certainly come to respect and admire.

    Thanks for making me blush, Mule!

    Compared to Monotreme, Jean, Shortchain, Mr. U, and others, I tend to feel like a little fish swimming in a big pond full of braniac fish, so I may have to come up with something theatrically hyperbolic and delusional to say, just to keep things in perspective!


  26. Mule,

    I had a very long response that got lost because I didn’t have the name/email fields filled in….no way I can go back and get the spirit of that initial post with a redo

    Sign up and sign in to WordPress.com, and it will be much easier. It’ll automatically keep those fields on.

  27. Mule,

    I’m not going to get pulled down those dark roads of endless banter and mindless vitriol ever again.

    Good. I wish more people would do that.

  28. filistro says:

    Muley… I’m not going to get pulled down those dark roads of endless banter and mindless vitriol ever again.

    As you know, I’m not a big fan of “mindless vitriol.” But I gotta say, “endless banter” is one of my very favorite things 😉

    (Fili flings feather boa over shoulder and levels sultry, come-hither glance at handsome mule. Mule’s ears twitch. Corral gate slowly opens…. )

  29. filistro says:

    Hey Muley, you’re a beautiful writer. Why have you never shown this to us before?

    Without changing a word, I can make a poem out of your last post…

    I didn’t intend to launch any bombs
    I was just defending from vitriol
    the problem is, nobody ever owns up to doing it “first”
    there’s always somebody out there trashing people
    so you can always justify “fighting fire with fire”
    but I’m not going to do that anymore
    life’s too precious and short
    I’m not going to get pulled down
    those dark roads
    ever again

    I’m not kidding, this is beautiful writing. Muley, you continually surprise me.

  30. shiloh says:

    I didn’t intend to launch any bombs

    Indeed, you just couldn’t help yourself, if one is to believe your song and dance rationalization/excuse/defense …

    And unlike MR, I’ll resist commenting on filistro’s … nevermind.

  31. Number Seven says:

    I just have to say I am proud to be considered vulgar, combative, and obnoxious by a person representing, more often then not, a political philosophy I consider, destructive, greedy, short-sighted, bullying, obstinate, and yet wants to play victim at every chance possible.

    It means I’m doing my job 😉

  32. dcpetterson says:

    It means I’m doing my job

    You betcha.

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