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. Kylopod says:

    I wonder why I haven’t seen more discussion of a group of people who have come to be called the “long-haulers”–people who experience Covid-19 symptoms for an usually long time.

    I apparently am in that group. I had symptoms of the sickness for 6 straight weeks–a wide variety of symptoms that included congestion, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pains, fever, chills, and extreme physical weakness. Then I seemed to recover. But even after “recovery,” I continued to have episodes where I felt like I wasn’t breathing comfortably, even while all the other symptoms of illness seemed to have completely gone away. Twice it got so bad that I came right to the brink of calling 911. The second time this happened was earlier this week.

    The first time was several weeks ago, when I woke up around 4AM with these breathing difficulties. I tried a number of things, but nothing seemed to work, and I would have called emergency if not for my trying one last thing: I went outside. And then, with the cool night air going into my lungs, the breathing issues subsided. I suddenly realized what should have been obvious, which is that I was having trouble breathing in my apartment due to the fact that I hadn’t cleaned it in weeks, having been simply too weak to do any housework, lacking even the strength to carry a bag of garbage downstairs. Despite my breathing problems, I now felt a lot stronger. So I spent the rest of the morning cleaning out my apartment of garbage and dust. When I spoke with a doctor, they thought the fact that my breathing improved under these conditions suggested I was not experiencing Covid-19-related breathing problems, but that it sounded more like an allergic or asthmatic reaction.

    My mother has asthma. The first time she ended up in the hospital due to an asthma attack was when she was my age (early 40s), but she later realized she’d had it for years without knowing it. I had one asthma attack at age 6, but never experienced symptoms of asthma since.

    One of the dangers of living alone is that I can’t rely on someone else calling emergency if I were to collapse. (That’s one of the reasons I go outside whenever I feel these breathing problems coming on.) When my brother had a severe epileptic seizure several years ago, if his wife hadn’t been there to call 911, he’d probably have died. That fact has been on my mind lately, because up to now I haven’t had to worry as I didn’t have any serious health problems. If I had called 911 during one of my recent shortness-of-breath episodes, I’m not sure they’d have taken me. I’ve noticed the problem seems to subside–or perhaps I stop noticing it–when I talk to someone. But it feels like there’s something seriously wrong. It’s like that scene from The Abyss with the liquid that’s it’s possible for a human to breathe in. I’m obviously not collapsing from a lack of air, but it doesn’t feel like I’m getting the air I need.

    Due to the clogged health-care system, it’s taken me weeks to get myself checked out by doctors, and I’m still in the process of undergoing various tests. What the tests so far seem to indicate is that I had Covid-19, I no longer have it, and I have ragweed allergy, a seasonal allergy that doesn’t begin till around July or August but can cause reactions to certain common foods. Beyond that, my doctors think I’m still experiencing lingering symptoms of Covid-19, despite the fact that I no longer actively have the virus. They seem to think the symptoms will eventually subside, but I am worried that the illness caused some kind of long-term damage to my lungs, and I’ve found no definitive answer to whether this is possible. The virus is simply too new to know.

    Here is one article on the long-haulers. Here is a more extensive article, but it requires a WSJ subscription.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    Best wishes for a total recovery, Kylopod

  3. beth says:

    @Kylopod: Have you considered signing up for a medic alert system? It might give you some peace of mind.

    My daughter had Covid in April and is having many lingering side effects that while not life threatening are certainly life altering. I fear she’s in for a long haul of ER visits, specialists and large medical bills. Scientists will be studying the after effects of Covid for a long time once we get past the immediate crisis.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:
  5. JohnSF says:

    In a thread a little while ago I commented semi-seriously:
    “I wonder if at Helsinki Putin’s private words really were “Oh, and Semion Mogilovich sends his best wishes.”
    Well, I was just fluttering around on twitter and came across this from Sarah Kendzior, which I was unaware of before, re. the Maxwells and Epstein.

    Small world, eh, Semion?

    I think I need to read Kendzior’s book.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: I’d put my money on the ragweed being the main culprit. Here in Illinois we’ve had the stuff blooming all over the place like crazy. I went by a ginormous bunch of the stuff in the neighbourhood, did a double-take, and thought to myself, “wait, isn’t that stuff supposed to be out later?!!” Although I haven’t had COVID-19, I have been running the entire gauntlet of itchy eyes etc. (Anti-allergy eye-drops have worked.)

    So if you have ragweed allergy, yeah, the damn stuff is already sprouting its fool head off and is probably wrecking havoc with your immune system.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  7. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: I, too, can’t say for Covid-19 but do know that when I get pneumonia or bronchitis (more times than I can even count for both), the doctor treats for the asthma as the primary thing rather than the infection. One of my doctors (a past-president of the Allergy Immunology association in his day) said that when the asthma triggers susceptibility to catching an infection, that the infection will not go away until the asthma symptoms do.

    At least that is what I recall him saying. While I was in Korea, the pulmonologist also doubled up on asthma treatment whenever I came in with a lung infection and kept the increased dosage up for a week or two after the infection had passed.

    I hope your doctors can get a handle on whether and how asthma and this are interacting with each other soon. Wishing you as speedy a recovery as you can get.

  8. grumpy realist says:

    Anyone willing to decipher this Plan By Which Trump Will Remain In Office?

    Trump doesn’t have the brains to think this way, so if Barr et al. go along with it I suspect there’s a huge number of other Republican politicians helping out with the salt-and-peppering back in the kitchen. I guess my question is whether the GOP is so greedy for power that they would be willing to go along with this, because it breaks all political norms.

  9. Monala says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I think I recall reading that thus far, people with asthma have been less likely (or at least no more likely than anyone else) to contract Covid. Doctors think that regular use of inhalers may be a protective factor.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:


    One thing I noticed traveling in the Ozarks were the road-side used furniture sales. A droll friend who had a camp north of Eureka Springs, noted that it was as family ritual each spring to go buy back the furniture that had been looted from the cabin over the winter. Such god fearing people.

  11. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: I’m sorry you’re going through all this. Sending good wishes for your healing.

  12. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Monala: Yes, that seems, at least to me, to be consistent with my doctor’s claim that asthma increased the susceptibility to other lung issues. The current inhaled medications are significantly superior to the oral medications that I took until I was almost 30, which only really lessened my symptoms to the point that I could function–sort of. (And had to be taken every 4 hours during pollen seasons to keep asthma attacks away. 🙁 )

    (And yes, that also meant that I woke up short of breath in the morning frequently, as I recall. 😐 )

  13. JohnMcC says:

    @Kylopod: Wishing you the best health. And mentioning ‘Bill’ who hasn’t been heard from for a while — best wishes to him and to Darling Wife (do I have that right?). And the gentleman who apparently used his whole name and joined us from Brazil.
    Here’s hoping for health to all.

  14. CSK says:

    I think Bill referred to his spouse as Dear Wife, but close enough. The Brazilian is Andre Kenji de Souza, who always has interesting comments.

    I’m glad to see Kylopod’s illness hasn’t prevented him from posting. I hope Andre and Bill reappear soon.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: There used to be a store in the town square of Jasper AR named, Emma’s House of Junk. Emma was a character. It’s been a few years since last I was down that way, it might be there still.

  16. Monala says:

    @JohnSF: you know how everything is projection with Trump? The whole Qanon phenomenon is about accusing Democrats of child sex trafficking.

  17. JohnSF says:

    I was wondering myself, could the part of the pizzagatery/Qanon stuff have been seeded and/or fed by people keen to per-emptively muddy the waters?

    I always used to tell myself, don’t “over connect”, coincidences happen, speculation beyond the evidence can lead to disorganised thinking, review the facts and stick to the most solid deductions and inductions, etc.

    But lately I’m starting to channel ST: DS9’s Garak:

    “Of course I believe in coincidences, Doctor. Coincidences happen all the time. I just don’t trust coincidences.”

  18. Monala says:

    This horrifying story is one more way Trump has ruined our country.

  19. Monala says:

    Has anyone followed the story of Elijah McClain, the gentle young Black man who played violin to kittens at the Humane Society, who was killed by police in Aurora, CO last year? Police are going with the “he had incredible strength!” defense for why they had to use a chokehold and inject him with ketamine, even though McClain weighed 140 lbs.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: I read where they broke up a protest because the police were being assaulted with violin concertos.

  21. DrDaveT says:


    There used to be a store in the town square of Jasper AR named, Emma’s House of Junk.

    There’s a classic bit of British television that I hadn’t thought of in years, called “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin“. At one point, the title character (as a sort of social protest) opens an emporium called “Grot”, with a sign on the front declaring all of the goods within to be guaranteed either broken or useless. He of course immediately makes a fortune.

  22. Teve says:

    Listened to a podcast with a guy who worked at Google for 15 years who talked about how no matter how good they are there are financial incentives to sell your data and to track you etc.

    I’ve been meaning to do it for sometime, but I just dumped Gmail, set up the Brave browser, got a Proton Mail account, and signed up for, an upcoming search engine that won’t show you ads or keep your data. I’ve got money now, I can pay to be the customer instead of the product. But we really shouldn’t have to.

    I’m probably going to keep the Gmail account, because I got on early enough that my email address is just my first name my last name and But I’ll only use it on like job applications.

  23. Teve says:


    “Of course I believe in coincidences, Doctor. Coincidences happen all the time. I just don’t trust coincidences.”


  24. Bill says:

    My friend and golf writer Craig Dolch penned a piece on COVID-19 and how it is effecting his son Eric. It is titled ‘Our failure to wear a mask is costing my son dearly‘-

    There are more than 127,000 reasons for wearing a mask – the number of deaths in the U.S. due to COVID-19 related illnesses in just the last four months.

    My reason is simple: My 29-year-old son, Eric.

    Eric was a healthy 14-year-old in 2005 when a bacterial infection reached his brain and doctors had to place him in a medically-induced coma for almost four months. He survived the illness – barely – but has been left severely disabled.

    In 2012, we placed Eric in a group home because we were no longer able to take care of his many needs and pay nursing 24/7 out of pocket. The group home was the best place for Eric because of its level of care and he could be with seven other young adults with similar health issues.

    Eric’s mom, Ava Van de Water, and I received a phone call from a group home official on March 16. We were told Gov. Ron DeSantis had signed an executive order that prohibited visitors to be allowed in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and group homes.

    Effective immediately.

    We couldn’t see Eric and Eric couldn’t leave the facility other than to go to a hospital for an emergency. There was no chance to say good-bye or to explain to him why we wouldn’t be with him every day.

    As heartbreaking as that news was to hear, I expected it. Every person in that group home has serious health issues and a compromised immunity system, and I knew the emerging pandemic was going to have to change protocols.

    That was 107 days ago.

    For 107 days, we have been unable to visit Eric, hug him, talk with him, feed him, watch TV with him, take him to his therapy sessions, doctor appointments and go swimming.

    We missed Eric’s 29th birthday in May other than visiting the home to bring him his favorite meal, pizza, and trying to get Eric’s attention from outside.

    I thought the 115 days Eric spent in the medically-induced coma – at the time a record at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami – was the longest, most helpless stretch of his life. That will soon be eclipsed by the 107 days-and-counting span of the pandemic.

    Add the coma and the pandemic, and that’s more than seven months of Eric’s life.

    Fortunately, the group home allows Eric’s personal nurse, Carlos Restrepo, to be with Eric several hours a day and Carlos will FaceTime Eric with Ava and I for a few minutes every weekday. But talking to someone on the phone is obviously not the same as being there, especially with Eric non-verbal after a pair of 10-hour-plus brain operations.

    Eric’s situation is no different than thousands of elderly and sick individuals throughout Florida who have been left isolated because of the pandemic. Families have been unable to say goodbye to their parents or grandparents, not to mention how difficult it is for those who have become prisoners in their facilities. More than 1,500 people have died in long-term care facilities in Florida due to COVID-19.

    So excuse me when someone says it’s their right not to wear a mask. What about my son’s rights and others who have no control over how the public reacts to the greatest medical crisis of our lifetime?

    Without a mask, they are the silent face of this pandemic. They have no say.

    For weeks, I was counting down the days to July 1 – the date we expected the governor to allow visitors into these homes again. I stopped doing that two weeks ago when the number of positive tests in Florida started to spike.

    Mostly because people won’t wear masks.

    They are selfish idiots. Ok, that’s the g-rated version of what I think.

    Please go to the link and read the whole piece.

  25. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: Thank you. I wanted to mention all those folks and felt quite jerkish not remembering their names. One of those moments I remember my ex-wife’s opinion of me….

    HI Bill! Glad to see you again (so to speak)…

  26. JohnMcC says:

    Also deserves a mention that Sen Duckwork is blocking some 1100 promotions of military officers until Lt Col Vindman gets his bird. May her days be long and wouldn’t it be nice to get the chance to vote for VP Duckworth!

  27. DrDaveT says:


    Has anyone followed the story of Elijah McClain,

    Yes. Unfortunately, I’ve lost my ability to be shocked by yet another such incident. The weather forecast every night might as well include “…and 20% chance of police killing a black man for no reason” at this point.

    even though McClain weighed 140 lbs.

    The original police report listed him at 220. I Am Not Making This Up, as Dave Barry used to say.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Good to “see” you again Bill.

  29. MarkedMan says:


    for, an upcoming search engine that won’t show you ads or keep your data

    What’s the business model? Monthly fee?

  30. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: yup.

    Neeva has not set a price for its subscription. It will be free for initial users until the end of the year. After that, Mr. Ramaswamy said he aimed to charge a monthly subscription of less than $10 and he hopes to bring the price down over time as more users sign up.

    From nyt.

    Over the next week or so it’s going to be a total of several hours of work to change email information at my bank and Amazon and Fidelity etc etc. but I’m feeling good. And I think when the iPhone 12 comes out I’m going to get one and never load a Google app on it. They can tell Absolut, we’ve got the names of 2 million people who have mentioned vodka in the last week, would you like to pay us for them? But that’s not really what I’m worried about. I’m worried about shit like hey state farm, thanks to our Waze app we have a list of 78,000 drivers in Florida who have sped lately. How much would that be worth you? Etc.

  31. CSK says:

    Ditto that.

  32. al Ameda says:

    Glad to ‘see you’ here Bill.
    Wishing you peace and good health.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Update on our discussion on the prior thread concerning Mary Trump:

    She’s going scorched earth tactics. Her attorneys have now asserted that the asset valuations presented to her by her aunt and uncles were deliberately manipulated downward and constituted a conspiracy to deceive in order to convince her to agree to the settlement and NDA. As a result, she is signaling that she will want both the NDA and the settlement vacated as fraudulent.

    What seemed at first like a simple battle to get satisfaction by publishing her book now seems like it was the opening salvo in what could be all out war.

    If I were a betting man, I’d bet that the next act of this soap opera will be a separate petition to invalidate the settlement agreement itself, accompanied by the requisite financial discovery. She’s indeed doesn’t care how much of the forest burns down. I love plaintiffs like that

  34. Sleeping Dog says:


    I tried DuckDuckGo as a search engine for several months and eventually returned to Google. If I were looking for info on an event or person etc, DDG was fine, but when looking for product information or products to fill a need, the ads Google placed on the search were often more helpful than the search results. Also if I were looking for how to do something, Google would return how to videos, which DDG didn’t.

  35. Teve says:

    May the Flying Spaghetti Monster see fit to protect Mary Trump and keep her safe in his noodley appendages. rAmen.

  36. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: i use YouTube in a browser window for how tos. There are definitely inconveniences. I don’t like brave nearly as much as I like chrome. But I’m just sick to death of being tracked and my info being sold. It turns out all you had to do to build the makings of a Surveillance State was give people free email and kitty videos.

  37. Teve says:

    Eric Trump really does seem to be dumb as shit. He tweeted a photo of Clinton walking Chelsea down the aisle with Ghislaine Maxwell circled in the background, with the caption Birds of a Feather. You can imagine what his replies looked like in the time between posting that tweet and deleting it.

  38. Kingdaddy says:

    @DrDaveT: If memory serves, it was a shop that specialized in gifts for people you don’t like.

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @grumpy realist: This seems a plausible plot, and Barr is vile enough to try it. He is, at minimum, Opus Dei adjacent so Biden is in Barr’s mind a baby killer. (I’m coming to regard fundamentalist Catholics as more dangerous to the Republic than Evangelicals.) So I took some time to dig a little, hoping to find some reason this couldn’t work, and failed.

    We may find on Dec 14th that some electors are still contested. A majority is required, a plurality throws it to the House. However, the Electoral College votes aren’t opened and counted until Jan 6. The new Congress is seated on the 3rd, so it’s clearly the newly elected House that votes for prez.

    Another kicker is that the Constitution says election by the EC requires a majority of the Electors “appointed”. If a state has failed to select Electors because of law suits, are they “appointed”? So are 270 votes, a majority of the nominal 538, really required? Or only a majority of the EC votes actually cast and sent to the Senate. In 1864 I haven’t seen that anyone even raised the issue. If the Confederate states failed to appoint electors, so be it, and the EC was that much smaller.

    So Roger’s scenario seems plausible. It would also seem possible to ratfrack the EC with enough legal challenge to keep D electors from voting. Also simpler. And Roger’s scenario requires a majority of D delegation in the new Congress, fwcking with the EC doesn’t.

    In the end, like everything else, it may well come down to WWRD, What Would Roberts Do. He seems concerned about maintain his own reputation and some shred of legitimacy for the Court. But given a stark choice I have no confidence he wouldn’t fall back to, “Well that’s what the Constitution says, and I didn’t decide, the House did.” The whole scenario is moot if we get 26 majority D state delegations in 2021.

    Five state delegation in the House are tied or lean by one Rep: AZ, CO, FL, MI, and PA. It might, in Roger’s scenario, be possible to sway one or two Reps. There would be a lot of pressure to support the popular vote. And one can never rule out bribery, particularly as the Supremes have made so much bribery legal.

    The solution is vote Blue, no matter who. Make the result obvious no matter how much lawyer the Rs can afford. Particularly if you’re in a swing Congressional District in one of those states.

  40. sam says:


    Yeah. Don Jr. , Eric, Ivanka, and Jared: The Crass Menagerie

  41. Monala says:

    Here’s just a few of the #BlackVoicesForTrump at tonight’s rally! Having a fantastic time!#TulsaRally2020 #Trumptulsa #TulsaTrumprally #MAGA #Trump2020 #Trump2020Landslide

    — Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) June 20, 2020

    [Cain in photo, with no mask, at the Tulsa rally]

    Masks will not be mandatory for the [S. Dakota] event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!

    — Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 1, 2020


    We are sorry to announce that Herman Cain has tested positive for COVID-19, and is currently receiving treatment in an Atlanta-area hospital.

    Please keep him, and all who are battling this virus, in your prayers.

    Our full statement appears below. Updates to follow.

    — Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 2, 2020

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    I’ve got money now, I can pay to be the customer instead of the product. But we really shouldn’t have to.

    Because the people who design stuff for the internet that we use shouldn’t be able to get return on their effort? It seems to me that it’s a binary system–we either pay for stuff or the people who create it figure out other ways to monetize it. If you have a third way (like “the government should give it to us for free” 🙁 ), I’m always ready to embrace new economic models.

    ETA: Check your Gmail user agreement. My school required me to open a Gmail account when I worked in Korea, and the agreement at that time said that Google retains the rights to use both the user name and the account itself for something like 25 years after the user closes an account. I closed it anyway because I never used the account for anything other than school business and I don’t surf on Google (although that hardly matters any more).

  43. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: free stuff and ads are fine but companies should be transparent and they’re not. They present as free and ad-supported and then you find out they’re reporting megabytes about you every day to the home office and selling your location data after lying about it.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: My brother and I had a discussion a few weeks ago where he was lamenting the fact that George Floyd had become a martyr (apparently he listens to Candace Owens in his all too bountiful spare time) and refused to recognize him as one. I replied that Floyd isn’t as much a martyr as he is the “face of the week” for police violence.

    Since our discussion we’re up to four new incidents–or is it 5… or 6? It’s so hard to keep track now; they happen so quickly.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: No fucks left to give.

  46. Teve says:


    9, 9, 9! …weeks in the hospital.

  47. CSK says:


  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: So Roger’s scenario seems plausible.

    Possible? Yes. But plausible?


  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I don’t worry a lot about the surveillance state. I’ve always assumed that if the government ever decided to “get me,” they’d simply frame me up. Stalin didn’t have any of the stuff we have now, and he was very efficient.

    Additionally, it has never taken the FBI longer than a week to run my fingerprints even though the estimated time is 90 days, IIRC. I’ve needed 5 checks over the years. Hmmm….

  50. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: Probably should pick up a pulse oximeter so you can know when you are in actual distress. As long as you blood oxygen saturation stays in the 90s you know youre getting good oxygen exchange. If it dips below you know there’s a problem that would require medical attention

  51. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hell hath no fury like …

  52. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The government surveillance state at least in America is not what I’m worried about unless Trump goes left. (Although in today’s world Michael Reynolds’s life would’ve turned out very different.) There was a great movie along time ago where there’s some kind of deep conspiracy going on and they can’t figure it out, and in the end it turns out the phone company was behind everything because they could listen to everything. We’ve got cops using facial recognition software that goes wrong 94% of the time. If I know your name and maybe where you live or your social, I can now buy from private companies a full dossier about your life, for not a lot of money. You used to have to spend thousands on a private detective to do that. You couldn’t do it en masse. Corporations are using blackbox algorithms to decide who to hire and surprise, the people who it tells you to hire are the same background and race as the people who made the software. Two months ago I placed an order for three items on Amazon, and a few days later I got a scam email telling me there was something wrong with my Amazon order of three items click here, and the IP address was somewhere in like Ukraine. Did you happen to watch one conspiracy video? Well guess what YouTube has lined up 80,000 more for you, and six months from now you’re positively deranged and your family is stressed out. The gamified investment app Robin Hood sends a message to a 20 something telling him that he’s suddenly down 3/4 of $1 million, and he throws himself in front of a train.

    It’s not 1984 and the government is all seeing and all knowing, it’s that we’re letting corporate oligarchs like Zuckerburp make our lives shitty in 1000 little ways.

  53. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: This is why CO is catching smoke for the crazy shit she’s been talking. I mean, martyrdom is not even a cultural concept in the black community. Maybe MLK would fit in that category…but certainly not anyone else.
    Second, martyrs willing take on risks and sacrifice themselves for a cause. George Floyd was a regular dude living his life when he was victimized by the police.

    Candice Owens, Herman Cain and all these black conservative minstrels are monetizing the fact the black people are a minority and live predominantly in one region of the Country. The rest of the country barely gets to see a black person and he comes these TeeVee clowns telling them what they want to here. They are a white conservatives idea of what a black person should be.

  54. Sleeping Dog says:


    Another kicker is that the Constitution says election by the EC requires a majority of the Electors “appointed”. If a state has failed to select Electors because of law suits, are they “appointed”? So are 270 votes, a majority of the nominal 538, really required? Or only a majority of the EC votes actually cast and sent to the Senate. In 1864 I haven’t seen that anyone even raised the issue. If the Confederate states failed to appoint electors, so be it, and the EC was that much smaller.

    Yes, a state legislature could appoint the electors. The states have delegated the selection of the electors to the voters.

    While this scheme can technically work, you would have a president who is widely viewed as illegitimate by a majority of the country with probably both houses of congress in the hands of the opposition. The country would be ungovernable. As far as any contested senate and congressional races, each body can decide who they will seat.

  55. sam says:

    The Lincoln Project
    Donald Trump has almost spent a full year of his presidency golfing cheating at golf.

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Malcolm Nance Retweeted
    Ken Klippenstein

    Starting to realize that Elon Musk is a megachurch pastor for atheists

    Gave this atheist a good chuckle.

  57. sam says:


    There was a great movie along time ago where there’s some kind of deep conspiracy going on and they can’t figure it out, and in the end it turns out the phone company was behind everything because they could listen to everything.

    The President’s Analyst, with James Coburn. There’s a montage of scenes in the beginning, when he first becomes POTUS’s analyst, of him coming out of the Oval Office. In each scene, he is shown becoming more and more paranoid, til in the last, he’s almost batshit. Pretty funny then, maybe not so funny now.

  58. Teve says:

    @sam: thanks. I need to see that again.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
    Maybe there was a method behind the madness of Trump’s Rona dithering.

    Nah… he’s not that clever.

  60. Teve says:

    Well this is interesting, the other day on a podcast somebody was talking about structural racism in the tax code, which I have never ever thought about, and the host asked for examples, and the guy said capital gains versus regular income. Warren Buffett’s and Jeff Bezos’s marginal dollar is taxed at 15 or 20%, Shaquille O’Neal’s and Drake’s marginal dollar is taxed at 37%.

  61. CSK says:

    Good article in The Week by Ryan Cooper: “Massachusetts is an Exception to America’s Coronavirus Failure.”

  62. JohnSF says:

    Once again, I prove my benevolence by assuring Americans that there is another government still in the race for the “utterly incompetent” prize.
    UK wins bid for OneWeb
    Backstory; post-Brexit UK is no longer a full member of the EU Galileo navsat consortium, due to rules the UK itself insisted on.
    So the govt. have been chuntering on about some great British alternative.
    (Actually not necessary, but just a sop to Brexiteer lunacy)

    But they’re the wrong sort of satellites.
    Wrong orbit for GPS, not configured for the clocked signal etc.

    Oh God, it’s pathetic.

  63. Teve says:

    WASHINGTON — After several months of mixed messages on the coronavirus pandemic, the White House is settling on a new one: Learn to live with it.

    Administration officials are planning to intensify what they hope is a sharper, and less conflicting, message of the pandemic next week, according to senior administration officials, after struggling to offer clear directives amid a crippling surge in cases across the country. On Thursday, the United States reported more than 55,000 new cases of coronavirus and infection rates were hitting new records in multiple states.

    At the crux of the message, officials said, is a recognition by the White House that the virus is not going away any time soon — and will be around through the November election.

    As a result, President Donald Trump’s top advisers plan to argue, the country must figure out how to press forward despite it. Therapeutic drugs will be showcased as a key component for doing that and the White House will increasingly emphasize the relatively low risk most Americans have of dying from the virus, officials said.

    “Look, I know that basically every other wealthy country managed to effectively stop it and are safely reopening now, but, uh…we just can’t. So, you know, you’re just gonna have to deal. Peace.”

    White house readies new message to the nation

  64. Teve says:

    Thanks to a new ad from votevets, #BenedictDonald is trending on Twitter.

  65. grumpy realist says:

    Alan Dershowitz is showing he doesn’t know when to shut up.

    @JohnSF: Oh, yes, I loved that. “We bought the wrong type of satellite.” LEO does not equal MEO, guys.

  66. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. Here’s a good in-depth analysis of the OneWeb fiasco. Enjoy!

  67. Mister Bluster says:

    Protesters in Keystone blocking road to Mount Rushmore, National Guard on scene
    At 4:30 p.m. MT, authorities declared the protest as an unlawful assembly over a megaphone. Police are demanding protesters vacate the premises or they will be arrested. At 5:15 p.m. MT, at least one person had been arrested, but the road was still blocked.
    The National Guard fired close range smoke shells on remaining protesters at 5:30 p.m. MT. They donned tear gas masks as well, and pepper spray was used on some of the protesters at 6 p.m. MT, though it wasn’t clear whether the Guard or the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office fired it.
    Protesters and law enforcement were still at an impasse as of 6 p.m. MT. The deadline for the Mount Rushmore ticketholders was originally scheduled for 6 p.m., but it is unclear if they will still be able to enter the park after the deadline.
    As of 6:10 p.m. MT, tow trucks arrived on scene to remove vehicles blocking the highway. Several of the vehicles are missing wheels intentionally, according to an Argus Leader reporter on scene.

  68. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Do you think this is her way of getting the finances dug out under discovery and released?


  69. An Interested Party says:
  70. Teve says:


    Seeing Trump supporters at his Mount Rushmore event yelling “Go home” to NATIVE Americans sure is…something.

    It’s like I’ve always said, Trump supporters are geniuses.

  71. Teve says:


    A bunch of white Trump supporters chanting “Go back to where you came from” to Native American protesters in front of Mt Rushmore is probably THE most American way to celebrate the Fourth of July ever.

  72. Teve says:


    Hey, so, I got #Covid19 in March. I’ve been sick for over 3 months w/ severe respiratory, cardiovascular & neurological symptoms. I still have a fever. I’ve been incapacitated for nearly a season of my life. It’s not enough to not die. You don’t want to live thru this, either. 1/


  73. Teve says:
  74. Jax says:

    @Teve: If only he’d properly learned how to spell Secession….Alas, I have no pity for his succession. Not even if he’s related to Jeff Sessions.

    Somebody cleverer than me will follow up with the Doctor Seuss rhymes that makes this teachable.

  75. Teve says:

    “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e. the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e. the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

    -Hannah Arendt, 1951

  76. CSK says:

    Sometimes I wonder if Garrison is joking.

  77. Mister Bluster says:


  78. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..@Teve: Sometimes I wonder if Garrison is joking.

    Inciting citizens to kill their political opponents is not funny.