more news from my end. the problem (for me) is jetpack, which for some reason (i think on dh’s end) stopped communicating with wordpress. disabling that plugin solved the comment problem, but now i cannot reconnect jetpack to wordpress to troubleshoot that.
i see (http://jetpack.me/support/) that jetpack is aware of the 503 issue with dreamhost. i’ve also responded to my customer service dude, to see what he can help with.
some sources online are suggesting its an .htaccess issue, but my attempts to follow their fix borked my whole site and so i backed off. they said that you needed to a) have and b) call out xmlrpc.php in your root dir via .htmlaccess.
hopefully dreamhost will find a fix for this soon as my site looks pretty bare without jetpack running.