A Wednesday Forum

For all your Miercoles-based foruming.

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    Well, Rod Blagojevich now describes himself as a “Trumpocrat.”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Does anybody else find the phrase, “otherwise law abiding” to be particularly teeth clenching enraging?

    Today’s offender in the Utah State Senate which wants to decriminalize polygamy so that, “it would make it easier for otherwise law-abiding polygamists to obtain access to critical services such as medical or mental healthcare, education or even employment without fear, she said.”

    Now I don’t have any objections to *polygamy between consenting adults* beyond the fact that the practice is generally rife with abuse, but the same phrase was uttered in defense of Klansmen on trial for lynching black men.

    ** it sounds OK in theory but the real world disagrees

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I still describe him as a “lying corrupt POS” but now I preface it with “trump approved”.

    I’ll bet Steve Stenger will be next in line for a commutation because it will get STL DEMs to vote for trump.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I detect more than a hint of a lack of self awareness here: US tightens rules on Chinese state media over ‘propaganda’ concerns

  5. Teve says:
  6. Teve says:

    Meghan McCain to Joy Behar: “You guys have done a piss-poor job of convincing me that I should vote for a Democrat.”

    Why is this fool on tv?

  7. Teve says:


    I was skeptical at first about the claims that media were deliberately disappearing Elizabeth Warren. But with SEVERAL recent articles at high-profile sites that _completely_ignore_ her, it’s now pretty damned clear that something bad is going on here.


    Can’t imagine why billionaire media owners would decide to blackhole the candidate proposing a wealth tax

  8. James Joyner says:


    Why is this fool on tv?

    Ratings, I guess.

    Honestly, with the exception of Barbara Walters, who retired years ago, I’m not sure why anyone cared about the opinions of any of the women who have hosted the show.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Dear Meghan, we don’t give a rat’s ass if you go to hell for all eternity or not. Vote your conscience. If you have one.

  10. Teve says:

    @James Joyner: @OzarkHillbilly: I just can’t comprehend the mindset of someone who, in February 2020, after the last 3 to 5 years of this stuff, looks at the election in November and thinks, “why shouldn’t I vote for Trump?”

  11. Teve says:

    “You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.”

    -Marcus Cole, Babylon 5

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: She might not vote for trump or the DEM. That is an option for her.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Aaaaaaaaaand, Greitens Goes Full Trump, Says He’s ‘Fully Exonerated’

    Never mind that rapey thing he did or the blackmaily thing he engaged in to cover it up.

  14. Teve says:


    I’ve said several times, the only reason Trump eked out his fake victory is that a lot of people who would’ve preferred Hillary but weren’t enthusiastic about her stayed home because the perception was that Trump couldn’t win. Those people will not be staying home in November.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: From your keyboard to their eyes.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    All of these pardons of crooks and other lowlifes…humph, birds of a feather…

  17. Teve says:

    Paula White: Skip Electric Bills to Send Me Money

    Trump “spiritual adviser” Paula White, a prosperity gospel preacher, told her followers that they should do anything they need to do, including not paying their electric bill, in order to send her as much money as possible. That’s the only way that God will bless them, including curing them of cancer.


  18. Scott says:

    Early voting turnout high in San Antonio, other urban areas across Texas

    First day of early voting in Texas. In San Antonio, turnout was high. But it was shorts and T-shirt weather. Today is 40s and raining. We’ll see.

    It seems weird to be voting so early. There is a dissonance between having early voting in a news cycle that is at warp speed.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Sometimes I really really really hope I am wrong and there is too a God.

  20. Joe says:

    Watching the pardon of so many accused of corruption, CSK and An Interested Party, I was strangely reminded of the scene in the first Ghost Busters when they power down the ghost trap and suddenly the city is flooded by previously incarcerated ghosts.

  21. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yeah but that would create more problems than it solves. I’m just going to hope she has an unusual hobby like riding motorcycles in the rain near semi‘s or riding bulls that were accidentally given too many testosterone injections or something. 😀

  22. Kurtz says:


    I hope that’s true. Gallup showed the Dems trending the wrong way through the Fall and January. But they haven’t updated it for a while.

  23. Kurtz says:

    This elderly lady I work with plays Fox News playing on her phone all day long. My workstation is too close to hers.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kurtz: Ask her to get earbuds because it’s distracting. Hopefully you’ll get the desired result without igniting an office wide firestorm.

    ETA my wife has them and uses them around me all the time for that reason, tho in her case she is listening to audiobooks.

  25. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Sanders refusing to release his medical info is all we need to know.
    It’s disqualifying for Trump, and it’s disqualifying for Sanders.
    C’mon…let’s give the highest stress job in the world to a 78 year old man with a myocardial infarction.

  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Most workplaces (offices) have rules requiring headphones (ear buds).

  27. Jen says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I saw that, and that’s suspicious AF.

    I dislike Trump for a wide variety of reasons, but this new “norm” of refusing to release tax returns and medical history is incredibly damaging. Sanders absolutely should release his medical records–all of the Dem candidates should. We have a right to know that the person we’re nominating has the physical and mental capacity to do the job.

    Goodness knows, whomever is elected is going to have a lot of work to do to just get us back to normal.

  28. Mikey says:


    Marcus Cole, Babylon 5

    A while back, my wife and I met Jason Carter at a sci-fi convention. He was not only a nice fellow, he was also REALLY funny. We hung out for a while, it was cool.

  29. Kurtz says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: @OzarkHillbilly:

    It’s pretty loose here. I would wear earbuds, but I do a lot of things including dealing with the public. The upside is that I’m not at my workstation all that much.

    It’s more or less a low, semi-intelligible murmer. IOW not so different from how it should be considered anyway.

  30. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    I saw that, and that’s suspicious AF.

    Clearly he has decided that the heat he is going to take for not releasing them is not as bad as what is in them.
    (this applies to Trump and Sanders)

  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    I think we need to stop kidding ourselves. Trump’s polling better than he has in his entire term. If I were betting the house, I’d bet he wins. And if we nominate Sanders the Republicans will keep the Senate and may take back the House. Trump has successfully corrupted our government.

  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    This x 1,000

  33. Kathy says:

    Does it make sense to keep money in a government debt fund that 1) pays interest daily (in proportion to the annual rate), 2) is available for withdrawal on a day’s notice (business days only), and 3) does not amount to much interest.

    This is as opposed to keeping it in a bank account that pays a lot less, when it pays at all, but is instantly available 24/7 either in cash or electronic transfers.

    I keep coming back to a line in one of the early Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars novels: half of something is better than twice of nothing.

  34. charon says:

    @An Interested Party:

    All of these pardons of crooks and other lowlifes…humph, birds of a feather…

    It’s performative, a dominance display. The intention is to demoralize his adversaries, show off he can do as he pleases with no adverse consequences. He is feeling his oats post-impeachment-acquittal.

    You will note it is a carefully curated list of well-known people who have mostly done stuff similar to what Trump is accused of.

    Just to twist the knife a bit more, several are known to have sent out some serious money at about the timing.

    It is all just showing off, taunting. It’s what he does.

    The GOP owns this, they are locked in to him now after the acquittal, they must continue to support him.

  35. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Huge news in terms of States that Dems need to win:
    The 11th Circuit upheld the injunction against Florida imposing Jim Crow fees on people returning to the voting roles as part of the 4th Amendment- Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative.

  36. Joe says:


    It’s performative, a dominance display. The intention is to demoralize his adversaries, show off he can do as he pleases with no adverse consequences. He is feeling his oats post-impeachment-acquittal.

    Springing Blago also the very first thing that Trump has done that has drawn immediate and widespread condemnation for Republicans, at least here in Illinois. My feint hope is that this is at least a tiny wake-up call about the monster they are enabling. If he can do it for you, he can do it to you.

  37. charon says:


    I think for Trump it is more instinctive and habitual behavior than a thought-out strategy. It’s just how he is used to behaving.

    So the consequences may be not as intended.

  38. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I will bet anyone $100 that Trump loses.

    ETA who downvoted that MR post?

  39. Teve says:

    Brian Tyler Cohen
    Imagine needing OTHER people to convince you not to vote for the guy who used your dead father as a punching bag at a campaign rally.

  40. sam says:

    Utah senators pass bill to decriminalize polygamy

    Wonder what the defenders of the traditional family will have to say about this.

  41. EddieInCA says:


    just can’t comprehend the mindset of someone who, in February 2020, after the last 3 to 5 years of this stuff, looks at the election in November and thinks, “why shouldn’t I vote for Trump?”

    Stock Market and 401Ks
    No new wars
    Tax Cut for the wealthy
    Keeping Brown People out of ‘Murica
    Killing Terrorists

    The Dems have done a GREAT job of creating a circular firing squad, and learned NOTHING from Trump’s victory in 2016.

    Most recent National Polls show Sanders and Warren combined with 39%. Meanwhile, Biden, Bloomberg, Buttegeig, Klobauchar, and Steyer are a combined 48%. Trump won because too many GOP candidates wouldn’t get out. Same is happening with Sanders, except that Sanders will not win. If you think the majority of Biden, Bloomberg, Buttegeig and Klobauchar voters are going to willingly vote for Bernie, you’re delusional.

    Trump has his highest approval ratings ever. The Economy is humming along. His tweets have become commonplace, no matter how outragfeous. I’m fully prepared for another four years of Trump.

    Teve – I’ll take that bet.

    Edit – At this point, I’m actually hoping for a contested convention. Anything to stop Bernie from being the nominee. With Bernie at the top of the ticket, Dems lose the house.

  42. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Agreee 100%.

  43. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: What does ETA mean in this context?

  44. Kurtz says:


    The downvote could come from several sources.

    A Bernie Bro.

    Someone who reflexively downvotes Reynolds at every opportunity.

    Or a reasonable person who thinks definitive statements about electability are more reflective of the speaker’s preferences rather than reasoned analysis.

    Though I fall into the last category, I don’t downvote very often. I tend to upvote things that are well written. Most often, I upvote well-argued posts with which I disagree.

  45. Kurtz says:


    Edited to Add

  46. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: I’d add one more thing to your very good list: Trump, with all of his flaws, is still the “known” quantity.

    This matters in elections, because voters faced with a choice between a known quantity and an unknown quantity are more likely to stick with the known one. Bottom line, there’s a good chance that there are voters out there who would be left thinking “well, Trump is awful but at least we know what to expect. Maybe some of what they’re saying about [Candidate X/Democrat] is true.” They vote for Trump not because they like him, but because they fear the unknown more.

    Incumbents, even horrible ones, tend to have the upper hand when it comes to this sort of thing.

  47. Mikey says:

    Apparently one of Julian Assange’s lawyers told the court today that Assange has stated after the 2016 election Dana Rohrabacher showed up at Trump’s behest and offered Assange a pardon if he lied and said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC hack.

    It’s Assange, so take it with a sizable grain of salt, but still.

  48. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: sorry, Edited To Add.

  49. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA: I will bet an actual, factual $100 on that. We can escrow the money in a neutral party’s PayPal account even.

  50. gVOR08 says:


    Trump, with all of his flaws, is still the “known” quantity.

    I see this as a problem for Trump. In 2016 he benefitted from being unknown. He was a blank slate on which people could see what they wanted to see. He’s a successful businessman, he must be a competent manager. He’ll step up to the job. He’ll pivot to the middle. Now anyone who’s willing to see can see just what he is. Tempered by realizing most people pay little attention and many people continue to see what they want to see.

    My feeling is being known is a net negative for Trump. But it isn’t a position I feel hugely confident about.

  51. Kurtz says:

    @gVOR08: @Jen:

    It’s hard to say in this case. Unfortunately, the impact of some of Trump’s behaviors are unlikely to be seen for a while. This may lend some credence to Jen’s arguments.

    On the other hand, I’m skeptical that many people are substantially better off than they were four years ago.

    Also, there is decent evidence that incumbency holds less of an advantage now than it did in other eras. But how that impacts a single election is unclear. In that case, it would be dependent on why the incumbency advantage has eroded. It also may apply more to House and Senate races rather than Presidential elections. The latter resist generalizations because of their relative infrequency, and because there is only one when it does occur.

  52. Gustopher says:


    I will bet anyone $100 that Trump loses.

    That’s a really bad bet. Not the odds of it — I have no idea at this point — but just emotionally.

    Let’s say I take that bet. If Trump loses, and I’m overjoyed, and don’t care about the money. If Trump wins, I’ve at least got a hundred bucks to spend on cheap liquor to drown my sorrows, or decent liquor and just dampen my sorrows.

    But from your side. If Trump loses, you’re overjoyed and don’t care about the money — it’s nice, but it’s lost in the noise. If Trump wins, you have the added sting of losing some money as a little bit of spice for your despondency.

  53. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..who downvoted that MR post?

    If this is what posters on this blog want, that upvoters and downvoters be compelled to reveal themselves then maybe the architects of this site should, to coin a phrase, make it so.

  54. Gustopher says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    If this is what posters on this blog want, that upvoters and downvoters be compelled to reveal themselves…

    But then people would know that I downvote for comedic value…

  55. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “With Bernie at the top of the ticket, Dems lose the house.”

    I would like to meet one Democrat who has not convinced himself that he knows exactly how the election will go depending on which candidate is nominated.

  56. Gustopher says:


    Edit – At this point, I’m actually hoping for a contested convention. Anything to stop Bernie from being the nominee. With Bernie at the top of the ticket, Dems lose the house.

    Part of Trump’s appeal in 2016 was that he was talking about economic populism. He delivered tax cuts for the wealthy, but he promised economic populism — people like him would pay more in taxes, higher wages for the middle class, factories wouldn’t shut down…

    I’m not sure that Bernie would be so soundly rejected.

    Meanwhile, if the only viable candidates left by the time the Washington primary rolls around are Bloomberg and Bernie, I’m voting for Warren.

  57. Scott says:

    I have to admit this would make me laugh. I’m so ashamed.

    Monkey menace at Taj Mahal could spoil Donald Trump’s trip

    The monkeys and other stray animals have attacked numerous domestic and foreign tourists till date inside the Taj Mahal. All the efforts made by the local CISF unit and ASI staff, to control the monkeys, have gone in vain

    What’s a little poo flinging?

  58. grumpy realist says:

    @Joe: I’m not too bothered by Trump pardoning Blago and I don’t think anyone else here in Illinois is either. Rod has already completely crapped his opportunities here in Illinois, the appeals court already slammed him back, and Trump gets to show everyone what a contemptuous scofflaw he is all over again and how corruption doesn’t bother him one bit.

    I guess I’ve got the view of a historian: either the U.S. political system will learn how to protect itself against corrupt politicians or we’re going to be dead meat down the pipeline anyway.

  59. Moosebreath says:


    “What’s a little poo flinging?”

    Yes, but the issue is what the monkeys will do, not what Trump will do.

  60. Kathy says:


    Who knows. Maybe he can hire replacements for Jarvanka or Barr, or get a real chief of staff.

  61. CSK says:

    Multiple sources are reporting that Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if Assange agreed to say that Russia was not involved in leaking DNC emails during the 2016 election.

  62. Moosebreath says:

    Meanwhile, in a further demonstration of our President’s continuing disinterested battle against corruption, comes a report that Trump offered a pardon to Julian Assange in exchange for stating that Russia was not the source for the hacked e-mails published by Wikileaks:

    “Fitzgerald [Assange’s lawyer in the extradition case] said a statement produced by Assange’s personal lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, included a description of “Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange… said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.””

  63. Teve says:


    I live in a place where a significant fraction is impoverished, with the kind of poor health that come with poor nutrition, poor education, and a cultural martyr complex.

    Without government disability and Medicaid, they’d be dead. Yet they are ALL conservatives. Every one.

    (Jim recently moved to one of the Trumpier counties in the Florida Panhandle.)

  64. CSK says:

    The BBC, the WaPo, Sky News, the Guardian, the AP, and Business Insider are reporting this now.

  65. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: it’s not fun unless there’s Consequences. 😛

  66. Teve says:


    But then people would know that I downvote for comedic value…

    I typically downvote apostrophe catastrophes. “Bill Gate’s new book”. “Bernie Sander’s debate performance”. Or some obnoxious person whining that the Democrats aren’t any good at politics blah blah blah for the 500th time. That’s like listening to a 70-year-old complain that refs in the NBA don’t call traveling anymore.

  67. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: Not to depress you, but in my first eligible election I voted for John Anderson because I wanted to send a message to Carter and I was confident people would realize what a know nothing bullshit artist Ronnie was.

  68. Gustopher says:

    TrumpyVengeance 2020 continues, with the forced resignation of John Rood.


    From Mr. Rood’s letter:

    It’s my understanding from Secretary Esper that you requested my resignation from serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Senior administration officials appointed by the President serve at the pleasure of the President, and therefore, as you have requested, I am providing my resignation effective February 28, 2020.

    So, a question I have is why would you tender your resignation when asked? Why not wait for someone to fire you?

  69. Gustopher says:


    I typically downvote apostrophe catastrophes.

    Jesu’s Christ, man, and I thought I was petty.

  70. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I’m anxious to see the evidence on this claim.

  71. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: my pettines’s i’s the be’st.

  72. 95 South says:

    @Teve: Says ‘Teve.

  73. CSK says:

    Your right about that. You’re pettines’s is the best.

  74. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    So, a question I have is why would you tender your resignation when asked? Why not wait for someone to fire you?

    Interesting question.
    I don’t know.
    Pension implications, maybe?

  75. Teve says:

    @CSK: 😛

    I don’t down vote any normal apostrophe mistake. I downvote how in the fuck could you possibly think that’s correct? usages.

    It’s important to maintain minimum standards.

    Anyway, theirs’ no real harm, since they’res’ a guy who follows me around, downvoting random posts of mine, probably because hes’ still angry about flunking out of middle school, and it doesnt’ bother me any. 😀

  76. Teve says:
  77. Kathy says:


    I’ve no idea whom I voted for in my first election. It was a 1998 state congress election for the State of Mexico. I think I voted for the PAN candidates. Prior to that, I refused to even register to vote, because elections were a sham.

    In 2000, the first presidential election after that, I voted for Vicente Fox. The other real options were Francisco Labastida, of the entrenched PRI, and Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, who advocated a return to failed socialist policies.

    And I do mean socialist: nationalizing businesses, closing off trade, public works projects to employ people whether or not they did something useful, etc.

  78. Kit says:

    @Kathy: You we’re looking for investment advice. Here it is, from XKCD

  79. CSK says:

    And those mighty rock-hard thighs.

  80. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: Speaking as a diehard DEM, I despise corrupt DEMs with the heat of a thousand dying suns and think the guillotine is too good for them, where as with a corrupt Republican I just shrug my shoulders and say, “Whaddya expect?”

    I’m not sure who that says more about.

  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Why would you want to keep working for a complete asshole?

  82. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Now that we all know what drive’s you nut’s, your’e gonna wear out that downvote’s button.

  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Shouldn’t that be “you’r pettines’s the best?”

  84. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: ha no i wont’ let you guy’s bait me.

  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Why not wait for someone to fire you?

    It harkens back to the days when people who considered themselves “professionals” (as opposed to “laborers”) believed that they could simply move between jobs at will. Leaving because your employer asked you to was considered “the high road.”

    It showed that you weren’t like those grubby union people who insisted on having job security and termination only for cause.

  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: What’s most interesting to me about that particular cartoon is that almost 4 years later, it’s still about Obama.

  87. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Why would you want to keep working for a complete asshole?

    Because it annoys him? Spite is a powerful motivator.if you’re being asked to resign for improper reasons, why would you help the process along?

    It’s like resigning in protest, except in reverse — do the opposite of what he wants.

    Alternately, submit a resignation effective preposterously far in the future.

  88. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Guarneri: Do you really not believe that Sanders has the potential to affect downballot results negatively for the Democrats? Assuming that you can see that potential, how does observing that possibility constitute TDS?

    [On another note: Your comment on the Boy Scouts post was thought provoking, insightful, and showed of wisdom and sensitivity. It’s too bad that you can’t find that Guarneri to write comments more often.]

  89. Kurtz says:


    If you’re so brainy, why is it that you rarely (if ever) actually make an argument?

    If any of the following is erroneous, my apologies. But given that Schuler’s blog wasn’t started until 2004–a full year after Bush launched the war–the following is based on reasonable inference.

    One time recently, you pointed out that Schuler won you over on Iraq, because you will yield to “superior logic.”

    The problem with that:

    If superior logic was persuasive to you, you would have been against the war before it was launched.

    It wasn’t superior logic that won you over, it was negative experience. Those are not the same thing.

    Your politics are based on narrow self-interest. Your foreign policy views are dictated by your preferred political party. Thus your narrow self-interest dictates your views on foreign policy.

    It’s laughable that you try to claim the mantle of logic winning you over after you turn sour on a war you personally supported via ballot box.

    This a great example of how your worldview, that individuals pursuing their self-interest unimpeded leads to a better society, is childish, flawed, and solipsistic.

    The sad thing is, you’re more like Bud Fox than Gordon Gecko. But unlike Fox, you aren’t smart enough or self-aware enough to realize your mistake.

    When I see your posts, I think the same thing that I do when I see a giant, lifted truck with a modified exhaust to make it louder–that guy is overcompensating for a lack of something. That’s probably part of the reason you’re a Trump sycophant–mutual insecurity.

  90. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: and that insane text: (My bolding)


    Rachel Maddow’s Russia Russia Russia! conspiracy claptrap is now behind her. Instead of owning up to her humiliation, she’s instead moved on to a fresh outrage. That is, Trump’s critical tweet about Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendation.

    Maddow dramatically labeled the situation a ‘crisis.’ Eric Swalwell said Trump was injecting a ‘virus of corruption’ into the DOJ and suggested another impeachment process. Various Democrat ‘analysts’ (many are former Obama officials) on MSNBC and other fake news media continue to call Trump a ‘threat to our Democracy.’ Marxists see Democracy as being the road to socialism.

    The Democrats are now breathlessly saying Trump is retaliating against witnesses. The Democrats attack Trump for the very things they have done. Obama and his fellow Democrats helped corrupt the DOJ, the IRS, and the security agencies and used them to harass and spy on their enemies. The Democrats made justice a partisan issue.

    The problem is there are too many Obama holdovers who continue to pull levers of power. They were installed to help Hillary further Obama’s destruction of America, but now these insiders, leakers, and bureaucrats are determined to use their power to destroy President Trump.

    The Russia collusion witch-hunt was a gigantic lie, but the Democrats learned nothing from their failure and humiliation. They continue to create fresh hysterics in order to discredit the president. Roger Stone’s case should be thrown out since he had nothing to do with the Russia conspiracy theory—now thoroughly disproven. Instead, Obama’s functionaries still in government want him to do serious time based on concocted and ridiculous ‘process crimes.’

    We are glad Trump is sweeping out the Obama holdovers. They belong in the gutter.

    —Ben Garrison

    Just fuckin loony.

  91. Kathy says:


    I haven’t reached a point where I’m comfortable putting money in stocks. I still need to make sense of fees and commissions.

    Have you noticed Munroe at XKCD often has one stick person explain why X is a bad idea, and the other stick person says “Great! I’ll do that!”

  92. An Interested Party says:

    Without government disability and Medicaid, they’d be dead. Yet they are ALL conservatives. Every one.

    This isn’t that much of a dichotomy…perhaps their reasoning is that there’s nothing wrong with government disability and Medicaid, as long as only the right people get such benefits…

  93. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Nope. The way I had it was authentic rube.

  94. Kurtz says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Actually, I don’t really see that either. From what I understand, down-ballot races are largely a result of turnout, IOW enthusiasm.

    So to win your argument about Sanders here, you would need evidence of the following:

    1.) that turnout for Sanders would be considerably lower among partisans than for a moderate like Buttigieg, Biden, or Klobuchar.

    2.) That Never Trumper Republicans who would vote for one of the three above, but not Sanders, would suddenly forget that they are Republicans when voting down-ballot.

    3.) That Democrats who would still vote, but not for Sanders, would forget that they were Democrats down-ballot.

    First of all, it seems ridiculous that Dems who are angry about Trump and think that he is an existential threat to democracy would suddenly decide that they were over-reacting since 2015.

    As far as the evidence goes…

    To the extent it does exist is too generic to be useful for your specific claim (old people vote and they hate socialism.) Or the specific evidence shows that Sanders is the most popular candidate on the Dem side, with only Biden approaching him.

    Those two have the least room to grow–they both draw the fewest DK/no opinion responses. But in order to match Sanders’s favorability the other candidates would basically have to win over every one of the people who don’t know who they are.

    The other specific evidence, state head-to-head polls, shows Sanders with a lead over Trump in key states. This was true in 2016 as well.

    The other semi-specific evidence–namely a Gallup poll provided the other day by an anti-Sanders poster here–shows that when broken down by ideology, 23% of conservatives and 51% of moderates would vote for a socialist candidate.

    Before I get into the caveats, I would like to make a point that is reasonable, but certainly not definitive.

    It’s difficult to imagine many people in January of 2020 who answer a question about a generic socialist candidate without thinking of Sanders. Other than Sanders, is there another prominent American socialist? AOC? Chomsky? The former is less known, and far less liked than Sanders. The latter, to the extent people know about him, is associated far more with curmudgeonly, impatient condescension and anarchism than socialism. (though, all three of those descriptions are accurate.)


    It’s one poll of ~1000 people.

    It way oversampled people aged 55+.

    It slightly oversampled Republicans at the expense of Dems. Though, it appears that the sample of independents was heavily skewed toward dem-leaning indies.

    The ideological samples were less weighted between the groups, but conservatives were a little oversampled. But the weighted-n doesn’t seem to risk too much distortion of the results. Even then, it says the reported MOE accounts for the effects of weighting.

    My more general bitch about Gallup is that the article is written much more like a journalist writing up results than a data-science firm reporting its results. It’s filled with “a majority of Americans…” The article also reports the results by party, but not be ideology. Given the difference between the results, at least on the socialist question, it seems like it should have been included.

    Either way, you guys with your definitive prognostications about Sanders are way over the top. None of us know. If 2016 taught us anything, it should be, don’t count out a candidate who seems completely unelectable. It’s especially egregious when you start making tangential arguments about down-ballot races.


  95. Scott O says:

    @Kathy: Mutual funds make it easy. How long till you need to withdraw money? If it’s more than 10 years get a few index funds. 5 – 10 years get mixed funds, stocks and bonds, if you’re risk adverse.

  96. Teve says:

    The fight between Trump and Bezos is on

    Bezos is tenacious, very wealthy, and extremely smart. Trump is none of those things.

  97. Teve says:

    I never watch the debates I just get the replays later, but here’s what I just saw on Twitter:


    Whoa Elizabeth just buried Bloomie #DemDebate


    Yea. Wow. Warren just drop kicked Bloomberg in the nuts and face simultaneously.


    Yeah. Not buried, but definitely clocked in the jaw.

    Wonder what that was about.

  98. Teve says:


    If Bloomberg grips that lectern any tighter, he’s going to rip it off.

  99. Kurtz says:


    Yeah, I don’t watch either. But that has piqued my interest.

  100. Teve says:

    I just read what Warren said about Bloomberg in the first 30 seconds.

    Please don’t ever let me do anything to piss Liz Warren off.


  101. Teve says:
  102. Jax says:

    Warren was on fire tonight. I only got to watch the first part, but she definitely got Bloomberg semi-speechless, with crowd boos!!!

  103. Teve says:


    Jesus Christ, Warren from the top rope.

  104. Teve says:


    Amy Klobuchar is about to prosecute Elizabeth Warren for murdering Mike Bloomberg.

  105. Teve says:


    Listen, some pundits may say that it was unsporting for Elizabeth Warren to kick off this debate by ripping Mike Bloomberg’s arms off and using them to punch him in the dick, but i respectfully disagree

    There is quite a bit of O my heavens Elizabeth Warren was so unladylike garbage going on. If she were a man they would’ve stopped the debate 45 minutes in and just nominated her by acclimation.

  106. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: I lived in John B. Anderson’s district. He seemed a likable, decent guy. Who pandered to the extreme RW. For some reason, Rockford IL was a hot bed of Birchers. When he retired he said it was because he couldn’t continue pandering to those people. But he’d done it for years.

  107. EddieInCA says:

    First Takes;

    1. Great performance by Warren. Seriously great. She knocked every single person on the stage down a peg, EXCEPT the front runner and the one most likely in her way to becoming the nominee.
    2. Bloomberg got destroyed tonight. It’ exposes his TV ads as an obviously false, and idealized version of himself.
    3. Bernie came across as angry – so a normal night for him. But his disdain for Bloomberg is real.
    4. Buttegeig seemed, for the first time, out of his element. His youth really stood out for me. His attacks on Klobauchar fell completely flat. He really has no path at this point. Time to hang it up Pete.
    5. Klobauchar did herself no favors. Tonight should be her last debate. Get out Amy. It’s over.
    6. A good night for Biden, because everyone else, except Warren, imploded in some way.


    1. Warren
    2. Biden
    3. Buttegeig
    4. Sanders
    5. Klobauchar
    6. Audience
    7. Moderators
    8. Lighting Engineer
    9. Random Usher
    10. Bloomberg.

  108. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kurtz: I’m not making the argument; I’m simply repeating Reynolds’s (I did that just for Teve 😀 :-P). I don’t actually care about that issue at all because 1) I live in a majorly red county (94% of eligible voters registered 69% Trump/Republican) 2) in a very blue state (Washington), and 3) because of points 1 and 2, my vote will never matter either in local elections (because I’m no longer likely to vote GOP) or statewide (because Democrats win already w/o my help).

    I haven’t bothered to study the issue to the degree that you obviously have, so I’m not at all surprised that you don’t see the validity to Reynolds’ argument while I’m willing to consider it plausible in my ignint crackerness. All of that aside, my point–as demonstrated by the question I asked Guarneri–was about how the theory represents TDS. That’s all.

    If you want to weigh in on that, please feel free. Otherwise, I’ll go back to relaxing. 😉

  109. EddieInCA says:


    There is quite a bit of O my heavens Elizabeth Warren was so unladylike garbage going on. If she were a man they would’ve stopped the debate 45 minutes in and just nominated her by acclimation.


  110. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Later, there’s a Warren/Biden tag team to fucking eviscerate Bloomberg over the non-disclosure agreements for sexual harassment cases.

    (With a fun interjection by Mayor Pete)

  111. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I was watching the debate (about the 1st 20-30 minutes of it at least) because I was at the gym. Didn’t hear what they were saying, but reading the captions lead me to conclude that everybody was pitching high and fast at Bloomberg and he was standing in the box fouling them off. I conclude that it was about people rooting for their favorites and seeing what they want to see in the debates.

  112. Gustopher says:

    My take on the debate — it needed a few f-bombs.

    Bloomberg was beaten up a lot. It’s going to leave a mark.

    Klobuchar and Buttigieg seemed like also-rans already. Klobuchar more than Buttigieg.

    Biden seemed … fine. Bernie was … Bernie. Warren was on the war path. Buttigieg explains Biden’s health care plan better than Biden does (it’s the same plan as his).

    Buttigieg’s joke that he’s more of a Microsoft Word guy than a PowerPoint guy was a moment that would make any McKinsey consultant laugh. Also, harmless. But he is such a nerd.

  113. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: WaPo had Bloomberg as one of the losers in their recap and Sanders and Warren as the winners. Biden as a loser, too. With all of the principles having delegates, I can’t see anyone dropping out before Super Tuesday. Interesting to watch. Expect a crash on the third turn, though. Maybe Biden, but if Bloomberg was hurt tonight, it could be him pretty easily. In which case, the *strategy* won’t have worked and we can set aside the whole “billionaire buying the election” schtick.