I don't have any trouble imaginging my fellow yuppies needing this sort of help. Most of them have never been on a bus in their lives, and the fear of getting stuck somewhere is a powerful disincentive to try.
I would not want to do this sort of work on a percentage basis, though; too many people will go through the counseling but not really want to follow through with it, and you don't want someone to be penalized because the client wasn't really serious. The same problem would apply to judging the effectiveness of a service like this. You can lead a horse to water....
I'm for Edwards. There are things to like and dislike about all of the candidates, and I would be perfectly happy to have Edwards, Obama, Clinton or Richardson win. Heck, throw Gore in there too. So for me it's kind of a tossup on the issues. But when I look at them as people, Edwards is the only one I get a strong positive feeling about. I don't expect that to matter to anyone else, certainly I'm not looking to convince anyone by saying that, but since the question was asked, that's why I support him.
I have learned to trust my instincts about people, mainly by regretting it when I have not, so these days my take on someone is just as important as the issues. I wouldn't vote for someone whose policies I seriously disagreed with just because I liked him (or her), but I also wouldn't vote for someone if they were saying all the right things but my spidey sense was warning me away. Unless, of course, the rest of the choices were even worse, which does sometimes happen!
My husband uses a wireless card from Verizon in his Mac Book Pro and says it works flawlessly. Their data network is also much faster than AT&T's. I hate to say it because I don't care much for them as a corporate citizen, but when it comes to getting online and moving data, Verizon really is better right now. We've had better luck with AT&T for actual phone calls.
As always, your mileage may vary. So much of this stuff depends on the situation in your exact location.
The particular comment I was thinking of was in the comments on a diary, and I doubt very much I could find it. Apologies if I misstated the exact words used; I probably shouldn't have given the example without a link. I stand by my primary point, however. It's a tone thing, and the tone of DailyKos is very different than the tone at MyDD. Different doesn't necessarily mean worse, but IMHO it does lead to the issues Chris was writing about.
I agree with everything you said, Chris, but I think there's more to it.
It's generally accepted in the business world that the person at the top sets the tone for the company. In my opinion this is true for online communities as well, when the person (or small group of persons) at the top have a strong presence and identiy. In fact, due to the less structured form of online communities the person doesn't even have to be a leader; all they really need to do is have a forceful personality and writing style. Pretty soon the entire group starts to sound like them, whether that is a positive change or not.
In the case of DailyKos, Markos has a strong, opinionated style that is sometimes a bit on the intemperate and inflammatory side. Because the other participants look up to him, and because his "voice" is so unmistakeable, they tend to emulate his style, but not always with his substance. Pretty soon the mud is slinging in all directions, as we see here.
As a concrete example of what I mean: Markos feels very strongly that Iowa and New Hampshire no longer deserve their "first primary/caucus" status (if they ever did) because in his opinion they have made poor choices that don't represent the rest of the country and don't sufficiently take electability into account. One can agree or disagree with his opinion on this, and that's as it should be. Where he goes off the rails, in my opnion, is when he personalizes the issue by using words like greedy and whiny to describe the state parties, and basically calls anyone who disagrees with him on this an idiot. That's absolutely not helpful to making his point or convincing anyone to listen to him. When you have the guy whose name is on the "masthead" saying things like that, how can one possibly expect the rest of the discourse on the site to remain civil? It's just not going to happen.
I guess, to tie this in to your premise, the problem with sites like DailyKos is not so much that they are family-style, but that they are dysfunctional family-style. :)
Just so no-one suspects me of ulterior motives, I've only commented a handful of times over there, and they were all favorably received. So I have no axe to grind. I just have found myself a bit dismayed by some of the things I've read which I feel hurt the site's credibility, and this post reminded me of my thoughts on that.