Friday’s Forum

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. Bill Jempty says:

    Can a computer software you bought over 10 years ago update itself without you knowing?

    I know Microsoft Windows, Web browsers like Firefox, antivirus programs are periodically updated but always notified. What has me curious is my computer baseball program made by Strat-O-Matic.

    SOM comes out yearly with an updated program but the version I’m using is at least a decade old. When playing MLB games, there is commentary going on sometimes that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the game. Pizza comments, why Yogi Berra doesn’t buy new luggage*, trade rumors. After 21,000+ games I’ve seen the above too many times. But today I read a comment I have never seen before. A streaker on the baseball field and Yogi Berra’s answer** to the question whether they knew the culprit was either male or female.

    I would remember if I had seen that bit of commentary before. So SOM has me scratching my head this Friday morning.

    *- Because you only use it for traveling.
    **- Yogi couldn’t tell because the streaker had a bag over their head.

  2. Scott says:

    Just another depressing Friday story about our dysfunctional and impotent society:

    “It’s hell”: Surge of Texas kids dying from gun violence carves canyons of grief through families

    One hundred and seventy-three more youths in Texas died from gunshot wounds in the eight months that followed Shane’s death, according to state health data. Each death represents a growing, gruesome trend. In 2020, gunshots became the leading cause of death for Texas youths. The number of youths — those younger than 18 — killed by guns in Texas went up from around 100 a decade ago to nearly 300 in 2022.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Medicaid ‘unwinding’ breeds chaos in states as millions lose coverage

    Seven months into what was predicted to be the biggest upheaval in the 58-year history of the government health insurance program for people with low incomes and disabilities, states have reviewed the eligibility of more than 28 million people and terminated coverage for over 10 million of them. Millions more are expected to lose Medicaid in the coming months.

    The unprecedented enrollment drop comes after federal protections ended this spring that had prohibited states from removing people from Medicaid during the three pandemic years. Since March 2020, enrollment in Medicaid and the related Children’s Health Insurance Program had surged by more than 22 million to reach 94 million people.

    The process of reviewing all recipients’ eligibility has been anything but smooth for many Medicaid enrollees.

    Some are losing coverage without understanding why. Some are struggling to prove they’re still eligible. Recipients and patient advocates say Medicaid officials sent mandatory renewal forms to outdated addresses, miscalculated income levels, and offered clumsy translations of the documents. Attempting to process the cases of tens of millions of people at the same time also has exacerbated long-standing weaknesses in the bureaucratic system.

    Some suspect particular states have used the confusing system to discourage enrollment.

    “It’s not just bad, but worse than people can imagine,” said Camille Richoux, health policy director for the nonprofit Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. “This unwinding has not been about determining who is eligible by all possible means, but how we can kick people off by all possible means.”

    As Gomer Pyle liked to say, Surprise surprise surprise.

    Kids accounted for varying shares of those disenrolled in each state, ranging from 68% in Texas to 16% in Massachusetts, according to KFF. In September, President Joe Biden’s administration said most states were conducting eligibility checks incorrectly and inappropriately disenrolling eligible children or household members. It ordered states to reinstate coverage for some 500,000 people.

    Idaho, one of a few states that completed the unwind in six months, said it disenrolled 121,000 people of the 153,000 recipients it reviewed as of September because it suspected they were no longer eligible with the end of the public health emergency. Of those kicked off, about 13,600 signed up for private coverage on the state’s ACA marketplace, said Pat Kelly, executive director of Your Health Idaho, the state’s exchange. What happened to the rest, state officials say they don’t know.

    California, by contrast, started terminating recipients only this summer and is automatically transferring coverage from Medicaid to marketplace plans for those eligible.

    The Medicaid disenrollment rates of people reviewed so far vary dramatically by state, largely along a blue-red political divide, from a low of 10% in Illinois to a high of 65% in Texas.

    Geee, I wonder why the disparity?

  4. Kylopod says:

    One thing I’ve noticed about Trump’s lawyers over the past several months is that they seem not to be engaged in any serious effort to construct arguments likely to succeed in court. I don’t think they’re trying and failing due to incompetence (though incompetence has to be considered, as in their failure to get a jury trial in the New York fraud case due to not filing the necessary paperwork on time); it feels like they aren’t even trying. It feels like all his lawyers do is spout Trumpist propaganda that Trump himself might say, just with a little legalese thrown in.

    For instance, here’s a sentence from the document challenging his gag order in DC:

    No court in American history has imposed a gag order on a criminal defendant who is actively campaigning for public office—let alone the leading candidate for President of the United States.

    This isn’t a bad argument. It’s not an argument at all. It’s a patent non sequitur. I don’t even know if it’s accurate (it’s certainly true that plenty of politicians in the history of the United States have been criminally indicted), but it’s also completely irrelevant. If no one in his situation has ever had a gag order imposed on him, it’s possible no one in his situation ever violated the terms of their release. It’s as if a bank robber who head-butted a teller in the course of the robbery complains that no one’s ever been charged with head-butting a bank teller, as if that’s a defense. There’s no reference to any real legal precedent, just the usual Trumpian rhetorical device of framing his facing the consequences of his actions as evidence of persecution.

  5. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod: Trump believes he’s always more knowledgeable than anyone else on any topic. This includes the law. I would bet he spends a lot of time haranguing his attorneys to include dumb shit like the statement you highlighted because he thinks it will sway the courts.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: He’s the client from Hell. My bet would be they are very sorry they took him on as a client.

  7. gVOR10 says:

    @Kylopod: @Mikey: At some point I suspect they realize they can try to be effective advocates for their client or they can keep the client happy and get paid, but they can’t do both. Not to mention the issue of what sort of lawyers would take Trump as a client at this point.

  8. Kylopod says:

    @Mikey: I agree. But I also think he’s pushed away so many lawyers he’s really at the bottom of the barrel at this point. And, as I said, I don’t think the problem with his current ones is mere incompetence. He surrounds himself by yes-men and yes-women who try never to tell him anything he doesn’t want to hear. As a consequence, he’s probably getting a load of bad advice that simply echoes his own instinctive reactions to the situation. I’m not even sure he understands the cases he’s embroiled in (just the other day he made a motion to dismiss the fraud case even though it’s already been decided he committed fraud, they’re just working on how much he has to pay), but with Trump it’s always hard to tell what’s genuine confusion on his part as opposed to a deliberate attempt to obfuscate. It feels like there’s no real effort being made to win the case, and that his only over-arching strategy is to stall as much as possible then hope he wins the presidency and is able to squash everything, even the state-level cases that would presumably be outside his reach.

  9. Kathy says:


    To paraphrase an old soviet worker saying, “as long as our client pretends to pay us, we will pretend to represent him.”

  10. Beth says:


    After reading about how his attorneys are handling the New York fraud trial I’m convinced that the attorneys are trying to do like a weird Chewbacca defense. I think they’ve figured out that they’ve already lost on the merits; factually, legally, procedurally. The only thing they have left is to piss off the judge so bad that either he has to declare a mistrial or the appellate court declare a mistrial. I think the hope is that once a mistrial is declared the state will just go away rather than redo the whole thing. I don’t know what else they could be doing. Unless they are just monumentally stupid.

  11. Kathy says:

    We worked only half the day Wednesday. So, for once I had lunch at home, and then I decided to take a nap a while later. I slept about four hours, which is far longer than I usually nap.

    Next day was a day off, so of course my brain unwilling to waste time woke me at 4:45 or so. I napped again in the afternoon, but not as long.

    I had a nice rest, but today is Friday and it feels like Monday. it has me all out of whack. Not to mention that equating Friday with Monday in any way, shape, or form feel sacrilegious.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Thanx for that, a good and depressing read.

  13. Sleeping Dog says:


    No number of children is too many to sacrifice at the alter of the gun.

    Thoughts and prayers, and the like.

    Bet those parents will still vote for R’s.

  14. gVOR10 says:

    It’s conventional wisdom that people vote based on some sort of tribal identification. I feel like GOPs have done a good job of defining their tribe as, from their point of view, “Real Americans”, while Dems have failed to build a clear, compelling identity. Too many people see Dems as the party of minorities, poor people, and the rest of the “47%” losers. How many GOPs have been quoted as saying they can’t stand Trump, but they could never vote for a Dem? I have trouble clearly articulating this view. This morning I see Tom Sullivan over at Digby’s place quoting Anand Giridharadas talking about Biden making this election about democracy v autocracy, which seems about a 50/50 proposition with actual voters,

    The left needs to build what it has failed to so far: a “galvanizing, inviting, seductive movement…. I think we need to throw a more fun party.” Right now, the dytopian, dehumanizing, Bizarro America movement the right leans into “reads as the more fun time.” At the same time, the left’s movement (what there is), is “the most inclusive platform, perhaps in any country in the history of the world,” yet reads as “tedious, moralistic, scoldy, wonky … we are playing the fiddle of wonkery while democracy burns.”

    Obama kind of made Democrats the fun party for awhile. Most of the creatives are on our side, surely we could create a party identity as, to use a phrase from my youth, the happening party. (The underlying problem is Ds have nothing akin to, for lack of a better term, the Kochtopus. The Billionaire Boys Club financed bunch of interlocking “think” tanks, activist orgs, law firms, etc. that create GOP messaging and impose some discipline.)

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    An interesting question is, if Roy Cohn were still alive, would he take Trump as a client?

  16. gVOR10 says:

    Having marked my age by using “happening”, I’ll pitch a get off my lawn bitch. Drafting the above @gVOR10:. I fat fingered “Tom Sullivan” and found smart spell check had written “Tom unbelievable”. Most readers would have skipped right through “ullivan”, reading it as “Sullivan” without even noticing. Those who did pull up would soon figure out “Sullivan”. But there’s no way to get from “unbelievable” to “Sullivan”. I find myself having to proofread much more carefully with smart spell check than with dumb. And I find what are obviously smart spell check errors even in places like NYT and WAPO. AI is smarter than ewe are.

  17. gVOR10 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    if Roy Cohn were still alive, would he take Trump as a client?

    IMHO, yes. And play him like a fiddle. And run enough side hustles based on the Trump association he could live with getting stiffed by Trump.

  18. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..Thoughts and prayers

    Several years ago, somewhere not far from where I live there was a child shot when the kid’s young sibling found their grandfather’s loaded rifle in the camper trailer where they were playing. The gun was picked up by the child. It discharged killing the young victim.
    All that I clearly remember was the dead kid’s aunt saying that it must have been “God’s will” that this happened.

  19. DK says:


    Too many people see Dems as the party of minorities, poor people, and the rest of the “47%” losers.

    Democrats probably can’t hold onto its base while winning over people that think minority/poor = loser. Such people are a) probably not the best people and b) would not support the Democratic Party’s platform without impossible changes.

    Successful Democratsic messaging might show pride in representing people of color and the have nots, and embody their hopes and dreams for a better world. Clinton did that pretty well. Obama too, in 08.

  20. Kathy says:


    I don’t post here, or anywhere, much using a phone. On the desktop browsers, the spell check marks misspelled words but does not correct them automatically. Same for Word and other software.

    Except for one particular word in Excel. There’s a brand of fruit-flavored sugar drinks called “Bida.” That’s not a valid word, but it should pass as a proper noun. Even though Excel is not set up to check spelling on its own, it always corrects that one to “Vida,” meaning “Life.”

    We don’t offer that product often. When we do, I have to write it as beBida, meaning beverage, and change the color on the first two letters to match the background so they don’t show up.

    Ah, the wonders of the computer age.

  21. Michael Reynolds says:


    Most of the creatives are on our side, surely we could create a party identity as, to use a phrase from my youth, the happening party.

    Not possible given the current mentality of many Democrats. Republicans focus their intolerance on ‘the other,’ Democrats focus their intolerance inward, toward other Democrats. They hunt witches, we hunt heretics. We are the humorless party, the party of tight sphincters always on alert for a chance to take offense, “tedious, moralistic, scoldy, wonky …”. We are the people most likely to interrupt someone while they’re speaking with an, ‘actually. . .’ or a, ‘you shouldn’t use that word, you should use this awkward neologism that means exactly what the first word meant.’

    We’re also the competent party, the party that actually tries to improve lives, that gives a fuck, but we are so insufferable and unlikable we’re left to hope that the electorate will actually vote for competence. I mean. . . sometimes that works.

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “Hey, as a Reasonable Gun Owner (TM), I just want to point out that unless you can accurately cite the muzzle velocity of each of the guns involved you have no right to talk about dead children.”

  23. Jay L Gischer says:

    @gVOR10: What the Republicans have that the Democrats do not have is billions of dollars doing marketing for them in a multitude of forms.

    Let’s take an example that’s near to me. I regularly see ads on YouTube for a thing called the Epoch Times, which is a clear right-wing alt news outlet. For some reason, I’m on their target list. This list must be construed very broadly, in that they are shotgunning ads at very broad categories. That, in turn, takes money. I have absolutely no interest in the Epoch Times, whose ads, I note, don’t give away their political affiliation at all. Though they use the classic, “they don’t want you to know…” business.

    And now I’m getting ads about gender-affirming care from the Epoch Times (hint: they are just “asking questions”) that demonstrate very high production values, and are shotgunned out as ads for their “documentary”. Classic scare material in the trailer, too.

    This all seems evidence of big money behind them. Money that seems to not be interested so much in creating a new news outlet, as it is interested in advancing certain points of view.

    I would dearly like to see a media counter campaign where we just gave some trans people and their parents a chance to tell their story, about how gender-affirming care saved someone’s life, or changed them from a depressed wallflower to an active and engaged young person.

    The reason is money. Maybe another reason is Democrats don’t think that’s an ok thing to do. Maybe there are lots of Democrats who are worried that maybe the New York Times is right and these parents are being too ideological or something. Maybe the trans people and their parents are fearful of violent reactions.

    But the silence is deafening. It bothers me a lot. However, I think it comes down to money.

  24. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Particularly because of things that late* lamented Harvard Law 92 used to tell us about Trump, anyone who takes Trump on as a client deserves whatever happens.

    *Not “late” as in shuffled off from the mortal coil, just no longer with us here.

  25. just nutha says:

    @gVOR10: Too many divergent groups–including conservatives for whom “the right” has simply become too insane–for “the left” to become one cohesive whole. Sorry.

  26. Kathy says:

    For anyone interested, there will be a total solar eclipse next April 8th 2024, which will be visible across much of North America. Here’s a link to the path.

    Total eclipses aren’t exactly a rare phenomenon. I think there’s one every year somewhere on Earth, and that’s the problem. “Somewhere” includes the 99.999999999% of the world that’s elsewhere from where you are. If one occurs for a few seconds of totality over the ocean, it won’t be much of a show for most people.

    Having one right over you or nearby is therefore rather rare.

    I saw my first, and thus far only, in 1991. Smack in the middle of rain season, passing right overhead. The chances for an overcast sky were high. It managed to show through a break in the clouds.

    The only thing wrong with a total eclipse, is that it spoils one for other eclipses. An annular eclipse is nice, but nothing to get too excited over. Ditto a partial eclipse. You see the Moon cover part of the Sun, but not all of it. You don’t get to see stars in he daytime, nor experience the peculiar illumination the corona provides, nor do you see the corona at all.

    This time, totality will not pass near Mexico City (how inconsiderate). So, I’m looking for the closest, minimally expensive location. Going with direct flights, the best options seem to be Mazatlan, Torreon, and Durango. Best of all, I don’t need a hotel or anything. Just take the flight, wait for the eclipse, return to the airport.

    Of course, if the flight is delayed than there’s not even a point in taking it. So maybe I should fly the day before, just to make sure. and then if the weather’s not good, well, nothing to be done about it.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: For some reason, I’m on their target list.

    You know what you did.

    @just nutha: I thought I saw Harvard Law 92 leave a drive by comment recently (it may have been not so recently). It was noteworthy because it had been a while since last I’d seen his nym. Hopefully he is just super busy with lawyer things and will soon get a reprieve.

  28. Daryl says:

    I think their only goal is to get his inevitable convictions to the SCOTUS and hope his judges save him.
    I believe Thomas will. The others may be a bridge too far.

  29. Joe says:

    @Kathy: Carbondale was on the center line of a total eclipse that passed over Southern Illinois in August of 2019. The Southern Illinois University football stadium was the place for viewing. I was in Carbondale to return my Saluki senior, but not in the stadium. It was a beautiful day with just a few passing puffy clouds, one of which completely obscured the stadium for the entire eclipse. Luckily, we were a mile away and got to watch the last 30 seconds of totality, etc.

  30. DrDaveT says:


    Even though Excel is not set up to check spelling on its own

    Yes, it is.

    Go to the File tab (the leftmost) and click on Options at the bottom. (That’s where those are in my version of Office; yours might vary.) In the list on the left, select “Proofing”. There should be a button somewhere on that page called “AutoCorrect Options…”. Click that, and it should let you add or delete autocorrect behaviors.

  31. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Michael Reynolds: That may have been the case historically but not so much now. There are a lot more RINO’s than DINO’s, Tuberville is getting roasted primarily by other R’s, Greene and Boebert are at war (I’m rooting for casualties), and the entire debacle replacing McCarthy comes to mind. There is far more heretic hunting going on with the right at the moment.

    Democrats are more likely to be trying to focus on problems rather than demonization. And because problems are complex and intellectual you get disagreement. There’s no left-wing equivalent of the Kochtopus and Murdochs feeding anger to a base or focusing on an enemy (except Trump, who largely pissed everyone on the left off by himself) above all other issues, and so you end up with a fractured movement. Has nothing to do with a lack of humor (have you watched late night recently?) or the entire left simply being unpleasant. It’s just there is no singular focus (again, except for no Trump) because these days it’s the left that recognizes the world is complex and are trying to deal with reality, unlike the right.

  32. Slugger says:

    Following up on my comment yesterday, the speech by the leader of Hezbollah did not appear to increase the flames over there. Of course, he may have been dissembling.

  33. Mike in Arlington says:

    I forgot to thank whomever shared the scientific paper testing the use of parachutes while jumping out of airplanes.

    That was hilarious.

  34. DrDaveT says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    I forgot to thank whomever shared the scientific paper testing the use of parachutes while jumping out of airplanes.

    I was hoping it would include a summary of their human subject IRB findings. All we got was:

    Ethical approval: This research has the ethical approval of the Institutional Review Board of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (protocol no 2018P000441).

  35. Kathy says:


    One good thing about it happening in the rainy season, was lots of rain puddles and wet surfaces reflected the movement of the Moon over the Sun.

    But the real show is totality. It’s like nothing else in the world.


    Thanks. It didn’t quite work out that way, but I found it was configured to IGNORE WORDS IN CAPS. That would explain why it sometimes would say no spelling errors were found, even after I introduced some to test it.

    Also, I’ve no idea what the IT department does to it, especially now that we’re running files on the cloud.

  36. gVOR10 says:


    I think their only goal is to get his inevitable convictions to the SCOTUS and hope his judges save him.
    I believe Thomas will. The others may be a bridge too far.

    “His” judges are really Chuckles Koch’s justices. Koch badly wants a GOP prez. He’d prefer a GOP other than Trump, but he’d take Trump over any Dem. IMHO if their decision means a Republican, any Republican, has a better chance at the presidency, the Supremes will find for Trump 6-3. If it’s just a matter of Trump going to jail or being fined, with no effect on who’s prez, Trump’s toast, 9-0 or, as you suggest, 8-1

  37. Kylopod says:


    IMHO if their decision means a Republican, any Republican, has a better chance at the presidency, the Supremes will find for Trump 6-3.

    They didn’t find for Trump in any of his 2020 election lawsuits. They didn’t back the independent legislature theory, they didn’t back racial gerrymandering in the Deep South.

    I’m not under any illusion that the 6 justices are committed to a fair reading of the Constitution, and don’t abuse their power to effect electoral outcomes they like. Of course they do. But they have limits. They don’t want be seen as officials who simply rubber-stamp the wishes of the dictator. If nothing else, they like the power they have, and don’t want it compromised even if it’s from the party they favor.

  38. Matt says:

    @Kathy: Hey Kathy you probably missed my response and since you seem to have a genuine curiosity I’m going to answer your question here. Muzzle velocity on it’s own is fairly meaningless as a bb traveling at 5000 fps has about 232 joules of energy on impact which is not much.

    Energy being dumped into organic material looks like this.

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    I have lived in or around Carbondale since I came here to finish college at SIU in June of 1968. Where was I in August of 2017? Columbia, Missouri where my sister lives. My brother and his wife flew from Southern California to Missouri and I drove the four hours to Columbia so we could all watch the eclipse together. Since I have had cataract surgery in both eyes and am extremely paranoid about my vision I sat inside and watched the eclipse on TV while they sat outside to view the event. Sure enough the television coverage that I saw featured scenes from the SIU football stadium so it was almost like being there.

    On an unrelated matter.
    Once a month I deliver the Jackson County Book of Homes Real Estate catalog. One of my stops is at the local Holiday Inn Express. The people at the front desk are always pleasant and greet me with a smile. A few months ago I saw a new face at the desk. She called me by name as I left. I have no idea who she is. She has been there every month since summer and always greets me by my name. I’m always in and gone as I make these deliveries but I always give her a see ‘ya later as I leave. Today she followed me right to the rack where I drop the Real Estate guides and asked me if I had any plans for the weekend. “Huh? Me?” I was not ready for that.
    I quickly replied: “I’m going to sleep all weekend.” And I was out the door.
    Why is a good looking women who I am sure is not half my age (I’m 75, she might be 30 but I doubt it.) curious about my weekend?
    I’m just an old man and when I travel I stay at the Super 8.

  40. Kathy says:


    I don’t know much about guns. However, muzzle velocity is an important variable when considering potential tissue damage, along with the mass of the projectile. Kinetic energy equals 1/2 the mass times the square of the speed.

    Overall, the higher the muzzle velocity, the higher the terminal speed. Unless you’re shooting bean bags or other “non-lethal” munitions.

    Then there are such things as rate of fire, bump stocks to increase it, magazine size, etc. And less directly tangible stuff like the mass of the loaded gun, and even the aesthetics of it.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: Here in Washington Co MO it was hot as blazes that day. We still had one hell of a party and 2 1/2 mins of totality.

  42. gVOR10 says:


    They didn’t find for Trump in any of his 2020 election lawsuits.

    None of the cases presented would have reversed the election. They’re not going to throw away their reputations for nothing. And they do like to see their conservative plaintiffs make some effort to write a presentable case. Claiming Ken Paxton has standing to challenge an election in PA is a bridge too far even for them.

  43. Matt says:

    @Kathy: Yes that’s why I gave the BB example. Clearly I know the physics behind it as I was able to calculate the joules of a .2 gram projectile. If you want to see tissue damage then gel blocks as seen in the youtube videos I linked are used. Calculations are great but the actual physical design of the round matters.

    “non-lethal” should be called “less lethal” as they can cause fatalities even when used properly. Of course in the field improper usage happens.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Toooo funneeeeeeeee!!!!!

    Ivanka was ordered to testify in the trial last week—but then appealed the decision on the grounds that she would face “undue hardship” if she had to find childcare in order to testify during the school week. It looks like the judge thinks finding a babysitter isn’t all that hard.

    [sigh] It’s soooooo hard to be a mom these days. 🙁

  45. Kathy says:


    How do you think attempts at mass shooting would go if, regardless of caliber and velocity, all guns were breech-loading, bolt action, without a magazine of any sort?

  46. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    IMO, if they’re not being asked for a pound of flesh, the rich never face any sort of hardship, undue or otherwise.

    But Mary Trump raises an interesting point:

    Mary Trump, the former [White House occupant’s] estranged niece, doesn’t see the children’s testimony helping their father.

    “They’re going to have to walk a very thin line between obfuscating in a way that’s not perjury and appeasing their father’s ego so that he doesn’t throw them under the bus when he testifies, which of course he’s going to do no matter what they do,” Mary Trump said in a newsletter exclusive, referring to the two sons.

    I don’t think Benito will have a Winston Smith Room 101 moment. For one thing, the pressure on him to blame it all on his accomplices is not that great. For another, he’d look weak pleading to be spared, and he’s allergic to that*.

    But he might kind of sort of imply the kids were running things, especially after 2016, and made a mess of it.

    *Yes, I know he constantly looks weak, and idiotic, and foolish, and outmatched, etc. But not in his mind.

  47. The Q says:

    Re: Dems

    Perhaps if they gave a schite about white non college educated blue collars instead of worrying about illegal Pedro graduating from UCLA Law School we would never lose an election. Go to a Dem club and dare say the border is a mess, we need to control access in a major way, then wait for the chorus of “you’re a racist” come cascading down.

    Think about it. From 1932-92, the House for 56 out of 60 years was Dem. Ditto the Senate. 48 out of 60 years run by us.

    Whites were 71% of actual voters in 2020. Blacks and Latinos combined were 26%.

    We lose or barely win because we over emphasize the minority vote and alienate the vast majority of white voters. Trump got a whopping 63% of those white non college white voters who comprised almost HALF OF THE ELECTORATE (44%). We pick up 5% of those votes and it’s a Dem landslide.

    Look at it this way – for every black or Latino voter we gain, we potentially lose 2.2 white votes who are fed up with the reparations/defund/white privilege/no bail/get rid of prisons/open borders rants of the far left BLM/La Raza crowd.

    Of course I will get flamed by the neolibs, but to paraphrase Mr. Reynolds, “I’m right about this” while all you caterwauling against my comments gainsay the truth of the matter.

  48. Gustopher says:

    @The Q: But what do you think Dems should do or say?

    When the right wing is demonizing trans folks, queers, Latinos, blacks… should the Democrats just shrug and say nothing?

    Where is this mysterious middle ground that gets Democrats some more white non-college educated votes without losing the minorities in larger numbers?

    Worse, given that the activists cannot be controlled top down, how should elected Democrats respond to the clips of Socialist #5 or whatever saying that Trans kids should be able to get healthcare? Announce that Trans kids can go fuck off?

    (I would say that too many of the elected Dems are generally silent)

  49. Matt says:

    @Kathy: I’m only aware of one breech loading bolt action rifle. I’m sure there’s more but +150 year old designs are out of my wheelhouse. Probably wouldn’t have much effect on the raw number of mass shootings as the bar to meet the definition has been decreased so low that a murder suicide is now counted as a mass shooting. As it is mass shootings account for less than 2% of all gun deaths a year (over half of which are suicides). Usually in the USA more people are killed each year with punches/kicks than via mass shootings. In the USA ALL rifles account for less than 3% of all gun murders of which the “assault weapons” account for a small percentage (talking <1% of total murders).

    If you really want to see the potential difficulties that are inevitable in future gun regulations check out GFEN's Gun Maker's Match on youtube/google. People are printing selective fire weapons at home and taking them to competitions already. This is going to be a bigger problem in the future as more advanced printing becomes cheaper and easier to use. I really have no answer for this.

  50. Kylopod says:


    None of the cases presented would have reversed the election.

    Texas v. Pennsylvania would have reversed the election if the Court had ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor (it would have enabled the state legislatures in GA, MI, PA, and WI to decide the electoral outcomes in those states), though it would have been the height of absurdity for the Court to rule that way.