On A Personal Note

Checking in after an extended absence.

As James Joyner has noted in previous posts — here, here, and here — I’ve been absent from OTB, and more generally speaking from social media for an extended period of time. This absence was abrupt and unplanned and I apologize for all the concern that I caused. Suffice it to say that it was unavoidable.

In any case, I just wanted to post a short note to thank everyone here and on social media who have reached out in concern about my whereabouts and well-being. Honestly, I didn’t realize my absence would cause this much concern, especially given the fact that our relationships are mostly electronic. I suppose it has taught me that online relationships can be as real as “real life” and family relationships. In fact, it appears that they can be stronger. I’d also like to thank some specific people, such as my good friend Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, who reached out in a more personal way. Again, I apologize for the undue worry I caused everyone.

I’m not sure when I’ll be getting back into the swing of things here at OTB, but I hope it will be soon. I have been keeping abreast of the news in my absence — such as the Mueller report, the resignation of Kristjen Nielsen, and Trump’s idiotic threats to close the southern border —and I suppose it’s comforting to know nothing has really changed in my absence. You can imagine what my comments about all of this might be. In any case, I hope to be close to back to “normal” soon, especially since we’re heading into the busy season for Supreme Court opinions. Finally, I’d like to extend a belated welcome to Butch Bracknell, the newest member of the OTB stable of writers.

As for me, as I said I am okay to at least answer that part of people’s concerns. I’m not sure how much of what has happened I’ll be sharing in the future. Like many people, I tend to be circumspect about those parts of my personal life I share on the Internet. In any case, as I said. the one thing I’ve learned from all this is the strength of the online communities we create on social media and the blogosphere and I appreciate all of the concern and words of encouragement I have received. They meant quite a lot to me when I did see them.

Anyway, that’s it for now. You’ll probably see the occasional political post from me in the coming days. To be honest, I need to get used to the new post format that came with the WordPress update that James wrote about last week. It’s a bit different from what I’ve been used to for the past two or three iterations of the software. At the very least though I’ll try to check in more regularly until things get back to what passes for normal.

In any case, as I said, thanks to everyone for your concern.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, OTB History
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    1) Don’t share any more than you’re comfortable with.
    2) Take what time you need.
    3) Get back to posting.

  2. @Michael Reynolds:

    Duly noted on all three counts.

  3. Jeff Sexton says:

    (the new version also has a plugin that recreates the old interface. #ijs – it is what I use :D)

  4. CSK says:

    Can’t say it better than Michael Reynolds did. Take it easy; don’t push yourself. OTB will be here.

  5. Kathy says:

    Welcome back.

    I’m sure we’ll all respect your privacy.

  6. Mu says:

    You are alive
    You didn’t make CNN Headline
    Everything else is gravy.
    Welcome back

  7. Guarneri says:

    I suspect that, at the risk of speaking for many here, philosophies aside, that we collectively wish you well whatever life has thrown you. Life can be that way. OTB is, relatively, a minor side show. In the end, the things that matter are family, your well being and friends.


  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Thanx for touching base, Doug, it is good to hear from you personally that you, personally, are OK. I hope that with time whatever situation you have been dealing with is resolved in a positive way. As for,

    This absence was abrupt and unplanned and I apologize for all the concern that I caused.

    You owe us nothing, least of all apologies. Take care of what needs taking care of. The rest will take care of itself.

  9. Moosebreath says:


    “Take it easy; don’t push yourself. OTB will be here.”

    This. And we wish you the best.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    Was very glad to see a post with your byline

  11. Kate Stokes says:

    Glad to hear from you, Doug. You’ve been missed. No explanations needed.

  12. grumpy realist says:

    Take your time, make sure you are in good physical and mental health before anything else. This blog can wait until you’ve recovered. Now that it’s spring, go out and smell the flowers on long walks, make sure you’re eating appropriately, and take some time to really relax.

  13. Gustopher says:

    Glad to hear you’re well and things are settling down. I hope it’s settling down into a good place, and not just less worse than this crisis.

  14. SKI says:

    I don’t have much to add to what my fellow commentators have said. We missed you, take whatever time you need and you definitely don’t owe us explanations – though we do appreciate the updates and hope the positive trajectory that appears to be in play continues.

  15. Raoul says:

    Good to hear from you.

  16. Jen says:

    Glad to hear from you, and take care.

  17. Terrye Cravens says:

    It is good to see you back. I am glad you are okay. I tend to lurk more than comment, but I was concerned.

  18. Blue Galangal says:

    It’s great to hear from you, and we are all wishing you well. {{{virtual hugs}}}

  19. Peacewood says:

    Great to see you again, Doug.

    Please take care of yourself; everything else is 1s and 0s.

  20. SC_Birdflyte says:

    We’ll be here, waiting for your return.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    Welcome back Doug. No explanations needed.

  22. Kari Q says:

    I’m glad you’re okay, Doug, and look forward to the time you are able to post regularly.

    I urge you to keep your private life private. Only those truly close to you are deserving of information about your personal life.

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @grumpy realist: (Famous last words. We just got hit yesterday with up to 7″ of snow here in Chicago. All melting today, but boy did it wreck havoc with transportation and everything!)

  24. the Q says:

    Welcome back Doug, we missed your presence here.

  25. mattbernius says:

    Welcome back Doug. Don’t feel pressure to share anything! We are just glad to hear you are ok. And I am glad you got the reminder that online relationships can be “real.” We missed you and we can about you!

  26. JohnMcC says:

    long past post-time but perhaps you’re saving these somehow…. Glad you’re back and keep correcting me in the future.

  27. Dumb Brit says:

    Welcome Back

  28. de stijl says:

    This sis very late, but I need to say it re Michael Reynolds bit:

    1) Don’t share any more than you’re comfortable with.
    2) Take what time you need.
    3) Get back to posting.

    I’m totally on board with 1 & 2, but 3 is entirely optional and not in any way mandated.

    Post again if you want to. If you don’t want to, don’t. This is ephemeral – it really does not matter.