If On A Winter's Night A Former Blogmistress

Aprilfools TDW here. The real deal, yo.

It would appear that there's been some confusion today about the nature of this site now that I'm not in charge. Growing pains, if you will. Allow me to clarify a few points that I hope will make the transition a little easier.

If you are guest-posting here, you need to sign your posts. This was never an issue when I was the only author, but it's an issue now. Even if you use a nom de plume, we're gonna need some consistency, folks.

This site has always been dedicated to Statehouse and other Indiana politics, with the occasional smattering of random stuff I found personally entertaining.

The people who were invited to post here were invited because I thought they understood that my intent was to keep the site focused on those issues. We leave the Democrat-bashing to Republicans, and we try to foster meaningful debate at least 42 percent of the time.

We cool? Cool.

Carry on, then.

An open letter to the retired blogmistress

Dear Jen,

I remember eons ago when you were a fresh-faced blogger. You’d inherited Taking Down Words from someone else and you were surprised that the readers had taken to you so well. I wasn’t.

You accepted my invitation to be a Bilerico blogger back before the Bilerico Project had been imagined, but quickly had to stop contributing due to Taking Down Words’ explosive growth. You were shocked that your audience kept growing by leaps and bounds. I wasn’t.

Your skills with snark and humor took the Indiana blogosphere by storm. The blog became a staple of Hoosier blogrolls and your name is legendary for giving rightwing bloggers conniption fits. You were amazed that anyone was reading at all. I wasn’t.

I’m honored that you’ve asked me to join the elite group you’ve tapped to run Taking Down Words. You’re moving on up in the world and I wish you continued success. We're going to have to turn down the offer to ‘replace’ you though. We can’t.

We'll help keep your seat warm while you’re gone. You’re a natural born blogger and your fans and foes need your intelligence and wit. Taking Down Words won’t be the same without you. It just isn’t.

Your fan and fellow Hoosier blogger,


The Future Of TDW: A Few Eager, Talented Souls Step Up To The Plate

Armchair1 Thanks for all the kind words -- and a few snarky comments -- about my sudden career change and abandonment of this blog and Accidental Mayor. (Just so you know, I'm going to try to keep Bury The Lede up and running to the best of my abilities.)

I have invited several guest authors to take over TDW, and I know they'll do a great job.

If they don't, I expect nothing less than a mutiny. Or, at the very least, an e-mail letting me know I need to find some new guest authors.

One more time for the history books: Thanks for everything.

Good Night And Good Luck: An Open Letter To, Um, Anyone Who Cares

Tdwlogo It's not often that I write in the first person, but since this will be my last post as your friendly neighborhood blogmistress, I suppose it's appropriate that I not talk about myself in a somewhat creepy, distant way.

I have decided, after overcoming the general resistance to change that they beat into you in law school, to join Jim Schellinger's gubernatorial campaign as Communications Director. This means that TDW as you know -- and either love or hate -- it will exist no more.

I will be making arrangements in the next few days either to hand it off or redirect it to someone else's capable hands. (I'm giving some thought to turning it into a group blog. Let me know if you're interested in helping out.)

We've had a good run these past three years, but you can't be the Nastiest Woman In Indiana Politics forever without some long-term effect on your soul. It was time for a change, and I'll admit that motherhood has made it substantially more difficult to be mean. When a four-month-old cracks a legitimate, non-gassy smile and starts cooing at you, it's hard not to smile back.

A bit more on my decision: I've known Jim Schellinger for more than a year, and he and his wife, Laura, are two of the most caring, genuine people I've ever met. Jim's commitment to the state and his life story impressed me from the get-go, but watching him interact with Hoosiers is what hooked me.

When I was up in South Bend at Dyngus Day, I got that chance to hang out at the Hoosier Tap with Jim, Laura and their families. I saw two people who not only love each other but who also love Indiana and want to make it a better place to live.

We often hear politicians talk about the American Dream with the 2.4 kids, white picket fence and some breed of large, shaggy dog running around the yard. It's nice imagery, but it's all the more compelling when it comes true.

To me, Jim Schellinger, with his humble beginnings and lifetime of hard work, personifies the American Dream. He's proof positive that you can achieve what you put your mind to achieving -- and that you don't have to lose your values along the way.

Not only has Jim not forgotten where he came from, but he embraces it and wants to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities he did to succeed. He is, to put it one way, everything Mitch Daniels pretended to be on the campaign trail four years ago. (Without all the ill-founded ideas about selling off the state and screwing over working Hoosiers.)

That's why I'm going to work for him.

I've spent the last three years beating up Mitch Daniels because I don't believe in his agenda, and I think he put on a flannel shirt, rolled around the state in an RV and misled us into thinking he was one of us.

But there's a difference between advocating against something you dislike and advocating for something or someone you believe in.

I was at an event the other night where someone in the crowd asked Jim why he was running for Governor. His answer was essentially that after years of watching government and witnessing things with which he disagreed, he felt like it was time for him to put up or shut up.

I feel the same way, except that I am going to put up and shut up. At least with respect to my blogs.

I want to thank you for helping make TDW the strange little phenomenon it has become over the past few years. I've had a lot of fun, and I think that amid the jokes and snark, maybe we've done a few decent things. (Yes, Glenn Murphy, I'm talking about you and your predatory ways.)

But all good things must come to an end -- or at least be passed along to someone else.

Whether you loved TDW or hated it, thanks for reading. I'll try to post details about the future of the site over the weekend before starting my new job on Monday.

Adios for now.

Get Your Dyngus On: TDW Heads To The Bend For Politics And Beer

Beer TDW will be at Dyngus Day in South Bend today, so you'll have to play with the weekend threads or make your own conversation here.

The blogmistress will bring you coverage tonight from the events -- including appearances by Bill and Chelsea Clinton and other assorted politicking -- in Northern Indiana.

Until then, please behave.

Happy Easter: Eat Some Peeps And Hop On Down That Bunny Trail

UPDATE: Baby TDW chills with pays absolutely no attention to E. Bunny:


EARLIER: If you subscribe to a religion that believes in Jesus and the Resurrection and all that jazz, happy Easter. If you don't, there's plenty of basketball to go 'round. And you don't have to be any particular religion to enjoy sticking marshmallow candies in the microwave and watching them turn into an ooey-gooey mess:

You Pick 'Em: Your Last Chance To Join TDW's March Madness Bracket

Basketballhoop Consider this your last reminder to join TDW's bracket over on the ESPN website.

All the cool kids are doing it.

Entries close tomorrow once the first game gets underway.

Shameless Plug: It's Been Too Long Since We Added A Blog To The Rolls

New Because we welcome diverse political viewpoints at TDW (which is why the comments are rarely moderated), please join the blogmistress in welcoming a new site to the rolls: Indy's Painfully Objective Political Analysis, brought to you by Indianapolis attorney Chris Worden.

It's a mouthful to say, but Chris is passionate about politics, and he makes some good points. TDW doesn't agree with all of them, but if we all agreed on everything, we wouldn't really need blogs, would we?

Not Germane: Your Daily Reminder To Take Part In TDW's Bracket Challenge

Basketballhoop If you haven't already signed up, click here to take part in TDW's annual NCAA tournament bracket through ESPN.

What are you waiting for?

It takes, like, three minutes to fill out, and you might win, which would give you bragging rights for the entire year. (To wit: "Not only do I completely disagree with you on that issue, TDW, but I beat your sorry butt in the NCAA bracket.")

You have 'til the first game on Thursday to enter.

Hoop Dreams: Join The Annual TDW Bracket, Compete For Vast Riches

Basketballhoop It's the Monday after Selection Sunday, which means it's time for TDW to start her annual March Madness tournament challenge via ESPN.

If you'd like to fill out a bracket and compete with your fellow blog readers, click here. (You'll have to create an account if you don't already have one.)

This year's prize has yet to be determined, but it will be something more substantial than the mere glory of besting your political compatriots.

Right. TDW is off to make her picks, which are almost always wrong. But if the blogmistress won her own bracket, someone would cry foul.

P.S. An eight seed for IU? Yeah, we haven't had a great season, but we're not that bad.

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