As regular readers know

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As regular readers know, my wife Millet and I were married last month. (It’s pronounced Mill-ette. It’s a Hebrew name that isn’t even a name in Hebrew. Long story. But, as you can imagine, it’s one I adore.) And when some readers asked why I had come back online so soon after the big day I explained that we had decided to take our honeymoon in May.

Well, that day is upon us.

We’re going to be away, south of the border, for a week. And we’re leaving early Sunday morning.

Now, a cynical and untrusting person might say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. You spend days raising funds from hundreds of your readers. And the first thing you when you’re done is leave the country?’

I admit one can arrange the facts in that way. But I assure you that doing so creates a false impression. Rest assured, I am returning. And TPMCafe is on track for our launch in mid-May.

I’ll say a bit more about that in a moment. But first, I want to introduce you to the two guest bloggers who will be minding the store in my absence: Matthew Yglesias and Kenneth Baer.

I’m never up to speed with what all the latest blogs are. But I started reading Matt’s blog when he was still in college only two or three years ago. He’s a staff writer now at The American Prospect. And he’s simply one of the most impressive young journalists in Washington today, in any part of the profession. I’m especially pleased that he’s been such a strong and cogent voice on Social Security since we are sure to face a new tide of bamboozlement in the week ahead.

Kenneth Baer has one foot in the world of journalism and another in the world of brass-tacks DC Democratic operative land. He was a speechwriter for Al Gore in 90s. And I find that usually when I bring up this or that Democratic pol in conversation, it ends up that he’s either worked for them, worked for someone who was running against them, wrote a speech for them or knows some secret about them that I’m psyched to know but would just assume others didn’t. In any case, he knows Democratic DC — a diminished specimen, admittedly, but still worth knowing more about.

Kenny’s guest blogging stint, which will get started Wednesday afternoon, because he’s following the British elections (which are next Thursday) extremely closely. So he’ll be able to get you up to speed on Wednesday and explain all the ins and outs of it as the results come in Thursday evening.

I’ll be back on Sunday.

Let me sign off with a note to contributors. Again, thank you. More than 1500 of you contributed over the previous ten days. You all gave generously. And many of you wrote notes that meant a great deal to me. To say that I was and am humbled would be an understatement. But I must confess that that was not my only or perhaps even my most potent feeling. As I looked over the notes yesterday and the names of various contributors, I had this moment when I imagined all of the various contributors in a crowd or all together in one place. And the thought suddenly came to me: #$@!, I really better make sure this thing doesn’t suck!

So, let’s hope. But I think you’re going to like what we’ve come up with. We’ve got a great stable of contributors lined up. Journalists, pols, essayists, political operatives, novelists, policy hands, academics and various people I’m not precisely sure how to categorize. We’re also working on new ways for the community of people who read this site to communicate with each other and contribute to the site with their own ideas, insights and observations.

And one other thing. And this again to contributors. In many of your notes you write “to Josh and staff” or something like that. Well, there is no staff. There are various folks without whom I couldn’t put this site together — the guy who helps me with the tech side of the operation, my research assistant and others. But the site has never had a staff — as in people beside me who have regular paid job working on this site. That, in fact, was the main reason, for the fundraiser, because with the new site in addition to TPM I need to hire a staff of at least one to help me run the whole thing. As of now, though, no staff. Which brings me to my final point. As I said, I’m very appreciative of all your contributions. And I’m responding to each of you individually with a note of thanks or responding to questions you asked. But, honestly, writing 1500+ thank you notes takes a long time. This was actually the only major planning failure of the whole fundraiser. Tomorrow I’m leaving for my honeymoon and I feel confident my marriage will not last long if I spend much of any time working on writing the thank you notes.

All of which is a long way of saying that most of you won’t hear from me individually till after I get back. But let me assure you nonetheless that your contributions are greatly appreciated.

I’ll be back in a week.

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