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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign lifted portions of its policy plans from news outlets, not-for-profit organizations and policy groups, in some cases plagiarizing passages verbatim, according to the Intercept.

    At least eight plans or fact sheets put out by the Bloomberg campaign copied material from news outlets including CNN, Time, and CBS, and organizations including the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the American Medical Association, without attribution.

    In a statement, the campaign said the policies were sent out via an email newsletter service that “doesn’t support footnote formatting”, adding: “We have since added citations and links to these documents.”

    Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and billionaire businessman, is connected to some of the organizations from which his campaign pulled information. He co-founded Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, and Building America’s Future Educational Fund, a not-for-profit focused on infrastructure investment.

    In some cases, the Intercept pointed out his campaign appears to have cobbled together passages from several sources. His plan for green infrastructure, for example, pulls verbatim from Recode, Curbed New York and Governing magazine, as well as Building America’s Future and other sources.

    After the Intercept approached the campaign, the entire fact sheet on “Smarter Faster Safer Greener: A Plan To Bring America’s Infrastructure Into the 21st Century” was taken down.

    The best plans money can steal.

  2. Kit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: After free basing on Trump for the past three years, lesser drugs like plagiarism [insert stifled yawn] no longer provide the kick I need.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kit: Not me. Rich men taking credit for the work of others always pisses me off. Probably has to do with being a carpenter who spent 35 years listening to rich developers and contractors who never swung a hammer talk about the things they were building.

    Sound like anybody else in the news?

  4. CSK says:

    As someone who writes for a living, and who’s been plagiarized, I feel for you. Plagiarism is theft. Period.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Antarctica logs hottest temperature on record with a reading of 18.3C

    Antarctica has logged its hottest temperature on record, with an Argentinian research station thermometer reading 18.3C (That’s 65 F for the metrically challenged out there), beating the previous record by 0.8C. The reading, taken at Esperanza on the northern tip of the continent’s peninsula, beats Antarctica’s previous record of 17.5C, set in March 2015. A tweet from Argentina’s meteorological agency on Friday revealed the record. The station’s data goes back to 1961.

    Antarctica’s peninsula – the area that points towards South America – is one of the fastest warming places on earth, heating by almost 3C over the past 50 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Almost all the region’s glaciers are melting.

    The Esperanza reading breaks the record for the Antarctic continent. The record for the Antarctic region – that is, everywhere south of 60 degrees latitude – is 19.8C, taken on Signy Island in January 1982.

    Those Chinese are going too damned far with this hoax of theirs.

  6. Scott says:

    I found this article on election forecasting in Politico Magazine to be interesting reading:

    An Unsettling New Theory: There Is No Swing Voter

  7. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: I’m with you on this.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Oh come on. This is plagerism how? He is talking about policies he supports and will try to implement. He’s not pretending he was the first person to come up with them and this is not something he is selling. For crying out loud, if some Republican maroon starts babbling about a flat tax, are they required to credit Steve Forbes? If a Democrat says they are in favor of NAFTA, are they required to footnote it every time they quote something from it?

    Let’s not play into obvious Republican ratf*cking simply because it concerns someone we don’t like.

  9. DrDaveT says:

    Here’s the best scientifically-literate popular article I’ve seen in a long time on how to de-carbonize the economy.

  10. Teve says:

    STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): To comment on this, we’ve got the executive director of Unhyphenated America, Christopher Harris joins us from DC. Christopher, good morning.
    CHRISTOPHER HARRIS (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNHYPHENATED AMERICA): Good morning. No, not good, great. It’s a great day.

    DOOCY: It is.

    HARRIS: Listen, I would argue that it’s probably three of the greatest years since maybe Jesus walked the Earth with his ministry. And also, yeah, good morning to you. Great day.


  11. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: the problem isn’t science, scientists have known since 1856 that CO2 traps heat.

    The problem is there is barely a fraction of the political will to even scratch the surface.

    halting climate change, as he himself says, requires us to “dramatically alter our way of life.” This is not something most people are willing to do, regardless of empathy. We may feel tremendous empathy for the child in the well or the victim of a tornado, but we still aren’t willing to dramatically alter our way of life to help them. At most we’ll send some money to the Red Cross.

    This is something that too many people don’t get. What makes climate change different from other environmental calamities isn’t that it’s bigger or farther away or difficult to see. Those things all contribute to our inaction, but the key difference is that halting climate change requires us to dramatically alter our way of life. All of us. For a very long time.

    Human beings aren’t wired to do this. You aren’t doing it. I’m not doing it. Europeans aren’t doing it. No one is doing it. We’re willing to make modest changes here and there, but dramatic changes? The kind that seriously bite into our incomes and our way of life? Nope.

    When I mention this to people, a common reaction is disbelief. You really think people will let the planet burn before they’ll give up their cars? That’s exactly what I think, because it’s happened many times before. Over and over, human civilizations have destroyed their environments because no one was willing to give up their piece of it. They knew exactly what they were doing but still couldn’t stop. They have overfished, overgrazed, overhunted, overmined, and overpolluted. They have literally destroyed their own lifeblood rather than make even modest changes to their lifestyles.

    Anybody who’s interested in constructing a realistic plan to fight climate change has to accept this. It’s the the single biggest obstacle in our way, and it can’t be wished away or talked away. As frustrating as it is, it has to be addressed on its own terms. Anyone not willing to do this simply because they don’t like it needs a very deep gut check about what they really think is important.

    -kevin drum

    We’re re not even slowing down our use of carbon. We’re increasing it.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: in some cases plagiarizing passages verbatim,

    Reading is fundamental.

    Let’s not play into obvious Republican ratf*cking simply because it concerns someone we don’t like


    Do NOT play that kind of bullshit with me. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with Republicans, unless you are noting that he has been a Republican before and probably will be again.

  13. Teve says:

    BTW, There’s been some talk that if Trump wins reelection he’ll maybe appoint RWNJ Jay Sekulow to the Supreme Court.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    I just don’t see how this is plagiarism. Did he ever claim he was the author? If there are twenty policy proposals floating around, and I say I support this one and quote it, but don’t credit the original author, then, yeah, I just don’t see that as plagiarism…

  15. mattbernius says:

    Man, Susan Collin’s was totally right about the President learning his lesson:

    Trump administration delaying arms transfers worth $30M to Ukraine: report

    Also, there was a comment from a Trump supporter a little while ago about how the President has reduced travel expenses, by staying at his own properties. Here’s the latest on that:

    Secret Service spending at Trump hotels: Rooms for agents cost up to $650 per night

    JKB recently talked about “Clinton Cronies sucking cash out of the party” — Gotta hand it to Trump from cutting his cronies out of the equation and just plain directly sucking cash out of JKB’s (and the rest of our) taxes.

  16. Neil Hudelson says:


    I thought that article was interesting only in that the ‘new’ theory is coming from someone in academia, challenging other academics. But, unless I’m missing something, her theory is essentially that modern elections are turnout elections–‘swing’ voters aren’t really real, and elections are won by whichever side is more motivated to go out and vote.

    It’s what Karl Rove and half the commentariot here have been saying for years.

  17. Tyrell says:

    News you may have missed in the last week:
    “150,000 without power in North Carolina as tropical storm-force winds roar through” (Raleigh News and Observer) Storms sweep southeast: tornadoes, lightning, high winds, cyclone bomb rains, trees down, power off, schools closed.
    “More corona virus cases on quarantined cruise ship” (Market Watch)
    “Giant Flocks of Crows and Huge Mosquitoes Seen Near Coronavirus” (Strange Sounds) What’s next in China?
    “Billions of Locusts Are Swarming East Africa” (Smithsonian) A plague of Biblical proportions
    “5G May Be Slower Than 4G” (Forbes)
    “Fair or dangerous? Days after ending cash bail, New York has second thoughts” (NBC News) Police, citizens on edge as criminals take to the streets after misguided bail reform.
    “Marvel stock up 7,798 % since 2009” (Motley Fool) Are you kidding?
    “Windows 10 problems continue” (Forbes) Search bar went black.
    “Life on Europa a sure bet” (Forbes) Send a rover to Europa. Let’s see.
    “Burst of gravitational energy waves hit our planet. Astronomers have no clue” (Space) Effects on magnetic field, earthquakes, weather, animals?

  18. CSK says:


    It’s plagiarism if you lift passages word-for-word and pass them off as your own work.

  19. Mikey says:


    BTW, There’s been some talk that if Trump wins reelection he’ll maybe appoint RWNJ Jay Sekulow to the Supreme Court.

    The Republicans of G. W. Bush’s time had the sense to put the kibosh on Harriet Miers. Does anyone think today’s Republicans would do the same with an utterly unqualified hack like Sekulow? Of course not–one need only look at the raft of unqualified hacks they’ve crammed into lower courts.

    There was a time SCOTUS nominees had to exhibit at least a veneer of judicial integrity. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hit that principle in the head with a brick, but Sekulow would murder it permanently.

  20. Kathy says:


    Also, there was a comment from a Trump supporter a little while ago about how the President has reduced travel expenses, by staying at his own properties. Here’s the latest on that:

    People tend to completely misunderstand economics and statistics/probability more than any other subjects. These cultists probably assume that, of course, Dennison doesn’t charge the Secret Service for lodging and food. after all, it’s his property.

    Some years ago my father owned a garment factory, and my mother owned a boutique. Dad sold clothes to many stores, including my mom’s. I was a bit shocked to learn, aged all of five or six, that he sold rather than gave clothes to mom’s store.

    That’s ok at age 6. It’s not ok for an adult.

  21. Scott says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Right. Also, talked about people primarily voting against someone, not for someone. And intensity of feelings about their vote which drives the probability of someone actually voting. A voter may prefer a candidate (the typical polling question) but not get so emotionally exercised to actually vote. So the issue in forecasting is polling the probability of voting, not necessarily who they vote for.

    It’s not necessarily new but a question of emphasis and extrapolation in the forecasting world.

  22. mattbernius says:


    People tend to completely misunderstand economics and statistics/probability more than any other subjects. These cultists probably assume that, of course, Dennison doesn’t charge the Secret Service for lodging and food. after all, it’s his property.

    It doesn’t help that the President’s surrogates and family* make regular claims that the properties are letting the Secret Service stay “at cost.” Or perhaps those supporters are ignorant enough to believe that $650/night per room is “at cost.”

    * – As a reminder, that’s the same family that were ordered by a court to have to take lesson in how not to defraud charities.

  23. Jen says:


    These cultists probably assume that, of course, Dennison doesn’t charge the Secret Service for lodging and food. after all, it’s his property.

    That might be what they assume, but it’s against the law for a civil servant to accept gifts, and that’s what a free room at a hotel would be considered.

    The Secret Service is required, by law, to pay for those rooms at the prevailing market rate–which, in this case, should be the government rate set by the hotel.

    Aren’t we all lucky that this is one law the President cares to follow.

  24. Kathy says:


    Much to my surprise, I’m re-reading 1984. Here’s a choice tidbit that applies to this case:

    “In a way, the world view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.”

    Also, in this very specific case of room rates, the industry is odd. I’ve noticed many times the posted room rate while checking in, where it is posted in plain view, and they always are less than what I’m paying. hotels, like airlines, price largely on supply and demand. That’s why room rates skyrocket when there is a major event that draws lots of visitors to a city.

    One can argue that “at cost” means the posted rate, which is higher than most people would pay if it were a regular commercial rate. But people will always think that “at cost” means the lowest rate/price possible.

  25. Kathy says:

    What do you suppose the odds are El Cheeto will be impeached again between now and November? aside the fact the Mueller report made it clear he engaged in obstruction of justice, he’s bound to do something else that’s a “high crime” just because he now knows he can get away with it.

    If he gets reelected, gods forbid, and the Democrats keep the House, he is certain to be impeached again in his next term, with high odds it will happen in 2021.

    In a way, I hope no impeachment takes place for the remainder of what will hopefully be his sole term. Familiarity breeds contempt. already the process has become partisan, there’s no need to make it irrelevant as well.

    Related, I think Flake’s claim that “at least 35” GOP Senators would vote to remove Trump if they could do so anonymously, is either wrong, or wishful thinking on his part, or a comforting lie he tells himself.

    Come, if over half the GOP Senators wanted to oust Trump, they’d have managed to send a stronger message to the Orange clown to that effect. They could have moved the vote to 51-49 to remove, which would still be an acquittal. They could negotiate a censure motion.

    As is, I doubt even Moscow Mitch took him aside and said “We’re letting you off with a warning, but be more careful from now on.”

  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    My youngest daughter and her new boyfriend (thank you, Jesus!) are visiting and inform me that according to the internets my wife and I have a net worth of more than (deep breaths) 123 million dollars. Needless to say: no. No, not even close, not even in if we’d somehow held onto every last penny of income ever (so very much, no) and also invested it brilliantly (hah!). I mean, Wells Fargo let’s us live in a nice house as long as we keep paying them, and I have a fairly cool car, but damn. No.

    It’d be funny except I have kids who could be targeted by kidnappers who’d then demand a ransom we couldn’t even begin to pay. And it could draw hustlers and creeps to my kids. It puts a bullseye on my family – people with that kind of money have real security folks not ADT.

    Not to mention the disappointment when we croak and the kids hear the will being read. You get your dad’s car, you get your mom’s car and good news: both tanks are more than half full! And, here’s what they died owing the IRS.

    Also according to Wikipedia we have a third kid. Maybe we did and just misplaced it. But it seems like something I’d remember. Especially since according to one site’s version, we adopted said unspecified third child while on a trip to Africa. Where neither of us has ever been.

  27. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Maybe we did and just misplaced it.

    Where neither of us has ever been.

    Not to state the obvious, but I think I know where your kid is hiding.

  28. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Did you adopt a Nigerian prince in some information theft scheme gone awry? That might explain all the extra money and the extra kid.

  29. Gustopher says:

    Pangolins may or may not be the original host of the new coronavirus, but they are definitely pretty cute.

    If artichokes were animals, they would be pangolins.

  30. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I sympathize; I’ve read some unbelievable nonsense about myself. The late Philip Roth once had a running argument with Wikipedia, which claimed Roth had based one of his characters on Anatole Broyard. Roth insisted he hadn’t. Wikipedia insisted that it had two sources that said he did. So…Wikipedia won that battle, as far as I know. I believe Roth.

    I’ve heard similar complaints from other writers. The best you can do to counteract the misinformation is to put the facts on your own website. But it appears to be an insoluble problem. Wikipedia doesn’t vet a lot of its sources too closely.

  31. Kit says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It sounds like whoever stole your identity is having a grand old time: travel, kids and money. Hmmm… That sounds like a cute idea for a film: the identity thief who actually excels the original.

  32. Kit says:


    The best you can do to counteract the misinformation is to put the facts on your own website. But it appears to be an insoluble problem. Wikipedia doesn’t vet a lot of its sources too closely.

    I read once about someone who went so far as to write the definitive book on some subject or other in order to get Wikipedia to change a page. He failed.

  33. CSK says:

    Well, that’s the whole problem with an encyclopedia written “by the people.” You get a pack of semi-literate crackpots with axes to grind as contributors instead of dispassionate experts.

  34. gVOR08 says:

    @DrDaveT: Good article. The technology is there, capital is cheap these days. The only thing missing is political consensus, which is almost entirely a function of the funding of the Republican Party.

    The article kind of slid past “unsubsidizing fossil fuels”. I happened over the last week or so to see two references to estimates of the cost of subsidizing fossil fuels. Direct subsidies, IIRC, are something like 100 billion. There’s also whatever share of the Defense budget goes to protecting sources. Keeping the Saudi royal family in power is an expensive hobby. But the big number is externalities for health care and the cost of early deaths due to pollution. Subsidies and externalities together amount to, again IIRC, 500 billion to a trillion. Those numbers are annual, US alone.

    Economists of all stripes, except the many hired guns, dislike externalities. They distort markers and drive sub-optimal decision making. Which is exactly what’s happening with fossil fuels. If we paid the full cost of using fossil fuels, we’d all already be driving electric cars powered from solar and wind. And flying on planes powered by bio-fuels.

    Charles Koch and Rex Tillerson are rich because the rest of us pony up a good shot at a fracking TRILLION dollars a year. I don’t know about others, but I ain’t that fond of them.

  35. MarkedMan says:


    It’s plagiarism if you lift passages word-for-word and pass them off as your own work.

    Agree. No argument. But did he do that? Did he say, “I came up with these ideas, and no one else had them before me?” Then, yes, that is definitely plagiarism. But if he said, “These are the things I believe in and will try to implement”, it simply doesn’t feel like plagiarism to me.

  36. Kit says:

    @CSK: Given what I’ve seen of human nature, Wikipedia should be impossible. But in reality, it’s a fantastic resource, and I often cough up some money when they pass around the hat. But as with politics and sausage making, one had better not look too closely as to how it gets made.

  37. CSK says:

    But it is. Bloomberg might not have done it personally, but someone on his staff did.
    It’s not the idea; it’s the manner of expression of that idea. If you express the idea in the identical words of your predecessor, you’ve committed plagiarism.

  38. wr says:

    @Guarneri: “I wish you well in prospering and your children’s safety, but this is what The AOCs, Lizzys, and Bernie’s of the world create.”

    AOC is rewriting Michael’s Wikipedia page because she thinks he has too much money? Two presidential candidates are running on a ticket based on his having adopted a child from Africa?

    Do you have any idea what kind of harm this much alcohol does to your liver?

  39. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I took a gander at your Wikipedia page and I don’t now see anything about a third child. While I was there I discovered that we share an unusual parenting experience.

    Dap all around.

  40. @wr: Come now! It is sooo obvious that asking for higher taxes on the wealthy leads to kidnapping.

    It is known.

  41. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott: I happened to see that article after I started reading Ezra Klein’s new book, Why We’re Polarized. Looks like Klein is headed in the same direction as Dr. Bitecofer in your linked article. Klein opens the book saying he called political scientist Larry Bartels to ask, ‘What happened in 2016!?!?’ To which Bartels replied that nothing happened in 2016. The people who vote R voted R, the people who vote D voted D. Non-college white guys turned out in somewhat higher numbers, a few of them in just the right places.

    And it looks like Klein is going to attribute the polarization to the same structural issues our own Dr. T talks about.

    Dr. Bartels has a fundamentals model that pedicts presidential popular vote margins based solely on incumbent time in office and change in per capita real income in the two quarters before the election. (Somewhat inconveniently, the last quarter’s data is not available before the election.) Like all econ models, it works very well for the history it was based on. Tomorrow, who knows. I put in the numbers for 2016, it said Hillary would lose the popular vote by 0.5%. That’s why push back on talk of how badly Hillary campaigned. She beat the fundamentals by 2.5%. These days that’s pretty damn good.

    Bartels talks about “voter fatigue” to explain why time of incumbency matters. Bitecofer, in Dr T’s link, talks about there being few real independents, some of whom habitually vote aganst the status quo. She, like Rove, as someone above noted, thinks it’s largely a question of who turns out. And turnout is driven more by negative partisanship, voting against, than by voting for. She predicts a Trump loss pretty much whoever the Ds nominate. I encourage her to keep her mouth shut about it as there seemed to be a 538 effect depressing D turnout in 2016. (Unfair to 538 as they predicted odds of only 2:1 for Hillary. Hardly the lock Comey and FTFNYT thought she had.)

  42. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Guarneri: The whole “that person has oodles of money” game is very old. Older than AOC, older than Warren, even older than Bernie. In fact, it’s as old as money itself. It’s just louder now because of the internet.

    People make stuff up just to look smart to their friends, or to drag them down, or whatever. This is not known to have any particular political affiliation, except that these days, rich guys try to use Republican Party norms to keep people from doing it to them.

    The internet encourages us in millions of way to write the punchiest, most partisan things possible, because that way other partisans will see it and hit the +1 or “like” or whatever, or retweet or replay “Yeah!” or a hundred other things that are really gratifying.

    But we’ve done nothing to understand the world better, which is what I’d like. So as an alternative, whenever you are tempted to post that punch, highly partisan, slug, ask yourself, “Is there another way to understand these facts? Might something else be going on?”. I avoid a considerable amount of media from the center-left, despite being politically aligned with them, precisely because they don’t do this.

    I’m not asking you to change your politics, or your attitude, just to take a little more time, and show up more. I know Paul L., for instance, can do better. I think maybe you can, too.

  43. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Tyrell: Hey, I really liked that Forbes piece about Europa. Thanks!

  44. @gVOR08: I hope to comment on that Bitecofer article soon.

  45. Joe says:

    If you express the idea in the identical words of your predecessor, you’ve committed plagiarism.

    Actually, CSK, if you express the idea in the identical words of your predecessor, you’ve committed copyright infringement (recognizing that there are potential fair use exceptions). If you do so while asserting, implicitly or explicitly, that you were the original source of that expression, you have committed plagiarism. I have not gone back to look at the originals, but I expect there’s some ambiguity about whether Bloomberg’s website implied they were the source of those expressions. Better to have the sources cited, which they apparently now have been.

  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    The extra kid was on my wife’s page, (maybe she and I need to have a little talk. . .) and I suspect my Twitter folk will have fixed it.

    You have a trans kid? I imagine that’s where it started, but in my experience having 1 kid change gender still leaves you with 1 kid. And here I was hoping transitioning would mean I’d finally be able to win an argument with her.


  47. Scott says:


    And turnout is driven more by negative partisanship, voting against, than by voting for.

    Thinking forward, I think I know what passions drive Republicans (guns, abortion, grievance) but I don’t know what passions drives Ds even though I mostly vote Democrat these days.

  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @gVOR08: @Steven L. Taylor:
    I hope you do write about that, Steven. It was a fascinating piece. I’d appreciate reading an angle on it.

  49. CSK says:

    I was fairly sure it was implicit, given my previous comments, that the plagiarist was claiming authorship. If not, let me make that clear now.

    You cannot quote one of J. D. Salinger’s letters, even with full attribution to him, without infringing his copyright. But you wouldn’t be plagiarizing him.

  50. gVOR08 says:


    but I don’t know what passions drives Ds

    Long term, yeah, there isn’t the passion for economic fairness, ethnic or gender rights, even AGW, except for activists on certain issues. This time around, hatred of Trump should do it.

  51. gVOR08 says:
  52. Jen says:

    IMHO, James Carville nails it. This is a man who knows how to win elections, and he’s going to get torn apart for saying this stuff out loud. But he’s right.

  53. CSK says:

    That was very interesting. Thanks for the link.

  54. Scott says:


    I liked the last line:

    Falling into despair won’t help anyone, though. I mean, you can curse the darkness or you can light a candle. I’m getting a fucking welding torch. Okay?

  55. Joe says:


    I didn’t mean to exclude potential copyright infringement from an instance of plagiarism.

    You cannot quote one of J. D. Salinger’s letters, even with full attribution to him, without infringing his copyright. But you wouldn’t be plagiarizing him.

    Again a technicality: You cannot quote one of J. D. Salinger’s letters, even with full attribution to him, without implicating his copyright. But you wouldn’t be plagiarizing him.

    A “fair use” of those quotations in your literary analysis (no doubt, properly attributed due to the purpose of the work and to avoid plagiarism) is not an infringement.

  56. Jen says:

    @Scott: There were quite a few one-liners in there that had me nodding my head. I liked that line in particular too.

  57. CSK says:

    In the case of Salinger,nothing from any of his letters can be quoted. Salinger copyrighted all his letters to prevent Ian Hamilton from doing so in a biography. Joyce Maynard, Salinger’s lover, was similarly constrained from doing so in her memoir. In her introduction to the book, she mentions that she’s prevented from quoting the letters even briefly.

  58. Mu Yixiao says:


    In the case of Salinger,nothing from any of his letters can be quoted.

    Not entirely true. First, it depends on what his estate says. Now that he’s dead, they control the rights–and it doesn’t matter what he may have wanted.

    Secondly, the letters can be quoted (in part) in quite a few situations under Fair Use–the rules for which are somewhat complicated and, at times, arbitrary. So it might be a crap-shoot if the estate is protective of the works.

  59. Stormy Dragon says:

    Something I’d like to know Dr. Taylor’s views on:

    While recognizing making the changes necessary are virtually impossible now, what does political science say about how our government would be different if the Attorney General was an independently elected office rather than a political appointment by the President? How do states with independently elected attorneys general differ from ones without?

  60. Tyrell says:

    @DrDaveT: That is a good article and goes along with what I have been thinking. Here are some issues connected to increasing EV ownership:
    Range needs to be higher, a lot more charging stations needed, problem of battery disposal, minerals for the batteries are expensive and not in abundance, charge times need to be shorter, and the cost of EV’s are high.
    There are other developments: hydrogen power and a gas fired turbine engine. Some owners are installing their own hydrogen cells using kits.
    A NASCAR EV division would create excitement and sales.
    Another question is that of trucks and heavy equipment. Bio-diesel fuels would need to be increased.
    Electrical consumption in the residential section has decreased, the result of the homeowners and builders using more insulation, thermal windows, caulking, solar units, and high efficiency appliances; done using their own money and work.
    Ground source heat/ac systems are on the increase. Radiant heat – of what kind? The best heating system for homes is radiant using baseboard radiators and hot water heated by a natural gas furnace. Natural gas is clean, safe, cheap. Electric strip heating uses a ton of electricity. I had a home that had heat strips in the ceiling! The homeowners in this country have done their part.
    Research and development along with technology is the way to go, not carbon taxes, fees, and regulations on the working people. All the coal fired plants around here have been closed. The source now is nuclear, with a few gas fired turbine generators. So the use of carbon based fuels continues to decline, at least in this country.
    See: “The problem that could derail the EV revolution” (Alph – Omega Recycling)
    GM needs to restart the Pontiac brand as an EV division. Imagine an electric Firebird TransAm that could hit 200mph! “We build excitement”

  61. Mister Bluster says:

    Vindman, a star Trump impeachment witness, escorted out of the White House
    Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a central witness in the impeachment charges against President Donald Trump, was removed from his job and escorted out of the White House on Friday, according to his lawyer.
    One of Vindman’s lawyers, David Pressman, said his ouster was clear political retribution for his role in the impeachment inquiry. “There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House,” Pressman said in a statement shared with reporters.

  62. Kurtz says:


    Yes, cuuuuuuuuult.

    this appeared in my feed today, so I figured I would share it with you. I doubt you will agree, but there is data for what I was talking about the other day.

  63. mattbernius says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    FWIW they also fired his brother Yevgeny. I am sure Susan Collins will be up in arms after promising no retaliation.

    Full statement on Yevgeny here:— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 7, 2020

  64. Bill says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I took a gander at your Wikipedia page and I don’t now see anything about a third child.

    Where is the page. Nobody at Michael Reynolds seems to fit.

  65. Teve says:
  66. Bill says:


    Bill: Michael Grant


    Speaking as a wikipedia editor who’s created at least a couple of dozen* biographies there, his article is badly sourced. Three of the Inline citations shouldn’t be used for biographies.

    My modest success as an ebook author doesn’t make me Wikipedia notable. Not that I mind.

    *- I’ve created over 100 WP articles.

  67. Kathy says:


    I made an error in my comment. I meant the posted room rates are always higher than the rates I’m paying.

    BTW, some hotels in Vegas have a posted room rate inside the room, usually on the door where the fire escape map is located.

  68. Michael Reynolds says:

    I made an error in my comment.

    God dammit, Kathy! This is the kind of shoddy work we cannot tolerate here at OTB Comments Inc.

    I just hope you can live with what you’ve done.

  69. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Oh, I expect I’ll forget it by tomorrow.

  70. Bill says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    God dammit, Kathy! This is the kind of shoddy work we cannot tolerate here at OTB Comments Inc.

    The punishment? 50 Lashes with a wet noodle.

  71. de stijl says:

    To young uns.

    You never had to deal with LPs or cassettes.

    For LPs, you needed a receiver, speakers, and a turntable as the basics. You’d upgrade to better components, a needle brush, a degauser. It was a money pit.

    You had to sit through uninteresting songs unless you got your butt up off the couch to lift and drop the needle to the song you wanted.

    With cassettes, you still had song a, b, c in a row, but you could rewind / fast-forward. The skill was to know how long it took to rewind or fast forward to the song you wanted. The context was still album.

    You could record a super awesome set for your girl / guy. I really liked making mix tapes.

    Then, we got got cd’s. You had to buy a new gizmo, but instant rewinds / fastforwards. Revolutionary! If I wanted to go to track 8, I just clicked 8 times. That was so cool!

    Songs lists, auto-replay. It was transformative and glorious!

    Eventually, you could burn your own. Mix cd’s. You had to buy a new gizmo of course. I really liked making mix cd’s.

    Now, streaming.

    I like now.

    I can still save lists. I can play “Snowy Day” list in a few strokes. That is awesome!

  72. de stijl says:

    The first time I heard Iggy Pop’s Home was in passing. Didn’t hear the intro.

    I thought he was saying “hole”

    I thought that was really radical and something I would not ever hear off a radio station sponsored by ads.

    He was saying “home” and I am an idiot, but at first that was I heard.

    That same night that same radio station, I heard Frente’s version of Bizarre Love Triangle which was a life changing event.

  73. de stijl says:

    I got busted by maintenance staff dancing like an idiot to I Touch Myself which in retrospect is a creepy hypersexualized lust song.

    It’s still a really great sounding song if you ignore all the implications.

    A really great, really gross and creepy song.

    If I had to get busted by a guy with a vacuum cleaner at 11pm, that’s a song I stand by with a boatload of caveats.

    You could deem it slut positive in the current understanding of that word. Progressive, even. Transformative.

    Anyway it was a fun song to dance to, and I got busted by vacuum guy when I was dorking about in the file room to that song on my headphones.

    I’m a great dancer in my mind. What you think is your business.

  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: You’ve convinced me. Bloomberg is even more evil than Hillary and I will NEVER (eeeeeeeeeeever) vote for him!

  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Fair Use is comparing apples to cranberry hard candy. In a book being written to be sold on the open market, there’s only paying royalties–if you get permission to use at all.

  76. de stijl says:

    Was at the grocery store and the overhead music triggered me.

    I was flirting with a cute girl decades ago and she said I reminded her of Rick Astley. Nothing wrong with man save for that voice should not come out of that body. It’s very incongruent.

    Being compared on looks to Rick Ashley was probably a kinda compliment by her but dashed my small reserve of self confidence.

    Which reminded me of the worst cut I’d ever got. In Jamaica, on break, hot girl said I was totally like Ferris Bueller. FB was a sociopath, a narcicist, a snake, a dodger of all responsibility.

    She also probably meant that as a compliment, but it cut me. Why would she see me as that?

    I was fairly pretty when I was young. The Rick Ashley bit was in the realm of possibility. He is a handsome man.

    Ferris Bueller was a flat out dick. Intentionally harmed his friends and then did not really think about the consequences except how it effected him.

    Shallowly, you could vibe him as charming. I hope she meant that.

  77. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    What are you talking about? I never said anything about either one. Did you click the wrong reply button?

  78. de stijl says:

    This is a stretch, but dude from The Killers reminds me of dude from The Fall.


    Whole songs constructed to highlight super dramatic guy’s inflectected reading of lyrics.

    With The Fall it worked consistently, with The Killers it was often corny. I do like When We Were Young and what’s that song, Mr. Brightside; it works there corny or not, kinda.

    Another very dramatic singer is Connor Oberst. I love Bright Eyes. Lua is a phenomenal song.

    Possibly Iggy Pop.

    Hyperdramatic works if the song is good. If not, it grates.

  79. de stijl says:

    Guy from Death Cab For Cutie / The Postal Service.

    Please observe my singing.

    It really works for Marching Bands Of Manhattan cuz that’s a killer song.

    Sort of explains why he and Zooey Deschanel hooked up for a while.

    Please partake of this overly dramatic read on this lyric that I conjured. She And Him was precious by design.

  80. de stijl says:

    Dude from Snow Patrol. Chocolate

    Look at me sing.

  81. de stijl says:

    This hurts because I utterly adore both:

    Lloyd Cole
    Regina Spektor

    Jennifer In Blue

    Seriously anything by these two. Lloyd Cole should have been a superstar: he had so many great songs. Regina kinda is a big deal. I adore her weirdness.

    Still, they are both super dramatic.

    It works when paired with a great song.

  82. de stijl says:

    In Regina Spektor’s video Fidelity, the dude is Scooter McNairy before he was famous. He’s so young!

    Halt And Catch Fire was great. Season one was wobbly, but thereafter it killed. Comparable to The Americans.

  83. de stijl says:

    I cannot recommend Lloyd Cole and Regina Spektor enough.

    Both are hyperdramatic. Both are unabashedly really great at pop songs.

  84. de stijl says:


    Reynolds deserves a safe space to kvetch about the world.

    Yeah, he is a published author so he has a wiki page.

    If he wants to play with a pseudonym, that is his business. Don’t be a stalker; it’s creepy.

  85. de stijl says:

    People underestimate Regina Spektor because she presents as an oddball hipster. Affecting a very dramatic voice and tone.

    She slips in home truths all the time in every song. She dares you to miss it by presenting as odd. Most do. A stiletto stabs deep and fast, you don’t even know you’ve been stuck until it’s over and you are bleeding.

    Girl is a ninja.

  86. Teve says:

    We don’t have a new open thread yet so I’ll just put this here.

    I just learned something that blew my mind. A few weeks ago I bought a chefs choice electric knife sharpener. I will probably have that thing for the next 20 years. But on social media I’m now getting ads for chef’s choice electric knife sharpeners. And I always just thought that was a stupid defect in the algorithms, ha ha poor dumb Facebook etc.

    I just learned that like so many other things, it’s actually part of a tech company scam. If they find users who just bought X, then show them ads for X, they can tell their advertising customers so-and-so percent of people who saw our ad for X bought X within the same week/month/day etc. They don’t tell the customers that the ad happened after the purchase, they just use the correlation numbers to make the ads look affective.

    It’s not a defective algorithm. It’s a way that Silicon Valley rips off people who buy their ads.

  87. Teve says:

    @de stijl: it’s not stalking, it’s pretty much common knowledge to anybody who’s been in the comment section here for several years.

  88. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    Was at the grocery store and the overhead music triggered me.

    Back in the early ohsies, there was a time I was grocery shopping, and there was a song playing that seemed familiar, but that I couldn’t quite place. After about a minute, it dawned on me that I was listening to a Muzak cover of “I Wanna be Sedated” by the Ramones being played on a xylophone.

    This song has haunted me ever since, because I can’t decide if it was an abomination or a stroke of genius that actually captures the song’s theme better than the original.

  89. de stijl says:


    I’m not saying we should not know Reynolds is an author, just we should mostly ignore it.

    Does that make sense?

  90. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I watched a documentary recently. Well, a series of shorts.

    It was one continuous long shot of a nearly dead mall and the overhead piped in music played to no one.

    I don’t know the right descriptor. Haunting? Sad? Invigorating? Melancholy? It was something profound.

    If I can find the link I will post it.

    I always liked The Ramones, but that song makes me sad. I wanna be sedated means you do not want to not feel or be present. Come, oblivion.

    I understand that pull. It’s scary.

  91. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I always use aughts. Ohsies is brilliant. Mind if I steal?

  92. de stijl says:

    Everyone pegs Andrew W.K. As Party Hard guy, or a a hair whipper.

    Actually, he is a boss mic cord flipper. Not an easy skill but he nails it and incorporates into his act. Easy to try, hard to master.

    Most people don’t. They practised without a working mic so it’s unnatural when they play for real, or the stage is too shallow front to back to be effective.

    The only equal I can think of is Beej from a band you’ve never heard of called The Suburbs. I remember graduation party at Hamline. We opened. We could never be as good as they were. In a billion years.

    There was a clear distinction between us and them in songwriting and everything, whatever, showmanship. Beej could do the mic cord flip. It was intimidating and corrective. Get better or quit.

    We were done by early September.
    I did meet Margaret that day. That was cool. Punk rock girls rock so hard.