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:

    White People’s Rules:

    Scott Lemieux

    Wait — does this mean they weren’t even making him wear an ankle monitor?

    Cassidy Williams
    · Feb 3
    BREAKING: Kenosha DA says Kyle Rittenhouse has violated bond.

    Court documents say detectives went to the address listed and found he no longer lives there.

    Rittenhouse posted $2 million bond in November, accused of shooting and killing 2 people during Kenosha unrest.


    Prosecutors on Wednesday sought a new arrest warrant and higher bond for Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with fatally shooting two people amid protests in Kenosha, Wis., last summer, alleging that the 18-year-old from Illinois failed to notify authorities of a change in address.

    In a three-page motion filed Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors in Kenosha County alleged Rittenhouse had “minimal incentive to comply with his bond conditions” because his $2 million bond had been paid by a “dubious Internet fundraising campaign.” Championed by some gun rights groups and conservatives as a hero who shot in self-defense and wanted to protect the community from rioting, Rittenhouse left custody in the fall with bail raised by a right-wing nonprofit group.

    Rittenhouse’s lawyer responded with a motion saying his client went to an undisclosed “Safe House” location because of death threats and that prosecutors would not agree to keep that address private when informed of the plans more than two months ago. Rittenhouse “has stayed in constant contact” with his attorney, the motion says.
    Prosecutors say Rittenhouse’s bond requires him to alert the court of any change in address or phone number within 48 hours. A recent notice could not be delivered to Rittenhouse at his listed address in Antioch, Ill., they said, and another man told police he had been living there since mid-December.

    Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, said in his motion filed Wednesday that officials can learn the safe house location provided it is kept from the public. Police told a former member of the defense team in the fall not to give out the address, Richards said.

    His motion cites a November email from Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, in which Binger references Wisconsin’s “proud history of open records and government transparency” and says he is “reluctant to make an exception to the normal practices.”

    Unless the defense can provide a “specific, tangible and imminent threat … that would justify secrecy in this case, I am not willing to agree to redact your client’s address from the public record,” Binger wrote, according to email copies that Richards filed with the court.

    Counties are generally prepared to furnish safe housing for accused murderers receiving death threats or not, keeping them under the 24 hr. protection of Sheriff’s deputies, where defendants are fed and clothed. These facilities are called “jails.” They aren’t much fun. So I understand a person’s desire to not take advantage of a counties hospitality. If however one should be so fortunate as to be allowed to make other arrangements, it behooves one to comply with the terms of release.

    Dipshit’s dipshit lawyers knew this. They violated his terms of release from the gitgo. He should not be allowed a 2nd chance to violate his terms of release. But the dipshit DA “thinks” an additional $200K will be enough incentive to reform KR’s blatant lawless behavior even tho the previous $2M made no impression whatsoever upon him.

    Maybe they practice law differently in Wisconsin, but from where I sit, every single one of these dipshit defense lawyers should be panhandling on a street corner real soon, the DA should find himself facing a strong challenger, and the dipshit defendant should be enjoying the confines of Club Kenosha from now to the end of his trial.

    But that’s just me.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    At least 11 migrant women were dropped off in Mexican border towns without birth certificates for their days-old US citizen newborns since March of last year, an investigation by the Fuller Project and the Guardian has found.

    Based on multiple conversations with lawyers who work with asylum seekers at the border and a review of hospital records and legal documents, multiple US citizen newborns were removed to Mexico after their mothers were subject to a Trump-era border ban that the Biden-Harris administration has been slow to rescind.

    Advocates suspect the actual number of such cases could be higher because the vast majority of these fast-track “expulsions”, as the administration calls them, have occurred away from the public eye and without the involvement of lawyers.

    This recent pattern of removal of US citizens without birth certificates has occurred against the backdrop of immigration policies and practices in recent years that have harmed already vulnerable women and children, advocates and lawyers say.

    But they aren’t “real” Americans.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A teenager who verbally abused Prof Chris Whitty in the street has had his PlayStation confiscated by his mother as punishment, it has been reported. The boy’s behaviour was widely condemned after a video emerged showing him repeatedly accusing England’s chief medical officer of lying about the pandemic.

    As Whitty was buying lunch at a Mexican food stall in a street in central London, the 15-year-old boy is heard saying to Whitty: “You’re a liar. You lie about the Covid-19 cases … stop lying to the TV, man.” The teenager, who has not been named, filmed himself making the false claims to Whitty and shared the video on TikTok. The video was later posted on Twitter by the Conservative MP Matt Vickers, who described the boy’s behaviour as “appalling”.

    Now his mother, 47, has joined in the condemnation and told the boy to record another video apologising to Whitty, according to an interview in the Mail Online. It quotes her as saying: “I was horrified when I saw how rude my son was to Mr Whitty. That is not how I have brought him up and not the behaviour that I expect from him.”

    And she explained how she’d punished the boy, saying: “I have taken away his PlayStation, which is the thing he loves the most. I have not grounded him because he is already suffering enough from the lockdown and does not go out as much as he used to.”

    If this had happened in America his mother would have already hired a lawyer to sue somebody on behalf of her poor child and the kid would have been given a show of his own on Newsmax or OAN.

    Whitty was more forgiving. When asked about the incident at Wednesday’s Downing Street briefing, he said the “young lad” appeared to be “showing off”.

  4. Teve says:

    Seen on facebook w/r/t Covid

    Thought Biden was going to fix this by using his “science”?

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Because science has provided instantaneous fixes for everything from climate change to heart disease. But short of death, it still hasn’t found a way to fix stupid.

  6. Kathy says:

    Inspirational dialogue/quote of the day:

    Continuing with yesterday’s theme:

    If I am the wisest man in Athens, it’s because I alone know that I know nothing.

    Attributed to Socrates.

  7. Kathy says:

    On COVID vaccine news, Johnson & Johnson is requesting emergency use authorization for its Janssen vaccine. In Britain, a trial is underway mixing the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, at intervals of 4 and 12 weeks between doses.

    Heady times.

    The Janssen vaccine requires only one shot, but it’s far less efficacious than most of the two-dose vaccines. It appears to increase immunity over time, too. That is, 60 days after the shot, your odds of catching COVID are far lower than 30 days after the shot. I look forward to finding out why this is so.

    Mixing vaccines may seem unnecessary, but if a mix works, that makes vaccination far more flexible, and thus less dependent on shipments by manufacturers. It would also allow nations to dole out all their supply of, say, Pfizer’s vaccine without worrying about the second dose, and then use the AstraZeneca shot later.

    The time variable is also interesting. I’m curious whether other vaccines may duplicate the claims by Janssen of increased immunity over time after one shot. Say you get an AstraZeneca shot and are scheduled for a Pfizer 3 months later. It would be good to measure antibodies at monthly intervals anyway, and see how they evolve, or how they don’t evolve for that matter.

  8. Scott says:

    I believe this is the real issue in this country. And political correctness prevents the conversation. The Venn diagram between far right Christians Dominionists and other extremist elements is close to being a circle.

    It’s Time to Talk About Violent Christian Extremism

    Neumann, who was raised in the evangelical tradition, is a devout Christian. Her knowledge of that world, and her expertise on issues of violent extremism, gives her a unique insight into the ways QAnon is driving some Christians to extremism and violence.

    She sees QAnon’s popularity among certain segments of Christendom not as an aberration, but as the troubling-but-natural outgrowth of a strain of American Christianity. In this tradition, one’s belief is based less on scripture than on conservative culture, some political disagreements are seen as having nigh-apocalyptic stakes and “a strong authoritarian streak” runs through the faith. For this type of believer, love of God and love of country are sometimes seen as one and the same.

    Christian nationalism is “a huge theme throughout evangelical Christendom,” Neumann says, referring to teachings that posit America as God’s chosen nation. Christians who subscribe to those teachings believe the United States has a covenant with God, and that if it is broken, the nation risks literal destruction — analogous to the siege of Jerusalem in the Hebrew Bible. In the eyes of these believers, that covenant is threatened by cultural changes like taking prayer out of public schools and legalizing abortion and gay marriage, Neumann says.

    “[Christian nationalists] see it in cataclysmic terms: This is the moment, and God’s going to judge us,” she says. “When you paint it in existential terms like that, a lot of people feel justified to carry out acts of violence in the name of their faith.”

  9. Sleeping Dog says:

    One dose down…

    Got the first yesterday and it all went very smoothly. Appt. was at 4:10 and I pulled into the first check point at 3:55, at 4:10 I was pulling into the lot where the vaccine was being administered. Someone confirmed my identity again and at 4:15 a nurse and a pharmacist came to the car and explained about the vaccine and followup procedures and then stuck me. You are required to wait 15 minutes before leaving.

    The operation was run by the Nat’l Guard, though about half of the medical personnel appeared to be civilians.

    Around 10 PM, I received the follow up email to schedule the second shot and did so.

    Got the Pfizer vaccine.

  10. Scott says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Sounds like the same process I went through last week. Only it was run by the city with extensive help from the Fire Dept/EMS folks who wielded the needles. Lot of volunteers doing admin stuff.

    Didn’t have much reaction (Moderna) except a mild headache and nausea a couple days later. But that could’ve been allergies and/or gin.

  11. Tyrell says:

    “Collusion on Wall Street!”
    For the average person, this is very c0mplicated. How does this affect the smaller, part-time investors? Should the population be worried about a ripple effect on the economy? Will this affect pension and life insurance funds? Answers are hard to find.
    “Reddit traders have lost millions over Game Stop, but many refuse to quit” (Abram Brown, Forbes)

  12. Sleeping Dog says:


    Tyrell, Krugman puts GameStop/Reddit in perspective this AM

    This was a classic pump and dump play and a handful of Reddit contributors made a bunch of money on the rubes who got caught up in the bubble. Hopefully they learned a tough lesson. Some hedgies got burnt, who cares, view their losses with schadenfreude.

    This means nothing for small investors, who make their investment decisions based on market and business fundamentals, but for those who look at playing the market like they look at sports betting, then they deserve to lose.

  13. Sleeping Dog says:

    Ezra Klein has an interesting interview with Yuval Levin in the Times this AM.

    If indeed, the vanguard of conservative thought (distinguished from Republican) is that our governing structures should be more minoritarian. then we are in worse shape than imagined.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It seems to me that the DA’s statement is merely the same kind of grandstanding that defense counsel is pulling in order to not be challenged on why he isn’t doing more to pressure defense counsel to reveal their client’s whereabouts and secure the people that they know where Rittenhouse is. Why he’s reluctant to press on Rittenhouse’s location is a question where my comments on it would be too cynical for this forum.

    Needless to say, I endorse Ozark’s conclusions wholeheartedly.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’m beginning to think that Tyrell is just a panic monger. In much the same way as Mu and Andy seem to like being contrarian and Reynolds likes ranting about evangelical white Christians, Tyrell likes stirring up panic–even if only in his own mind.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Yeah, I read Klein’s Yuval Levin interview this morning. “Interesting” wasn’t the word that came to my mind, except in the Chinese curse usage. The man not only wants to keep the filibuster in the Senate, he wants to have one in the House. He thinks it will lead to compromise and protection of minority factions. Klein pointed out that doesn’t seem to be quite how it’s worked out in the Senate.

    I’m not familiar with Levin. You made a distinction between conservatives and Republicans. Is he one of the reformicons who seem completely blind to what the Republican Party actually is? Is he just a contrarian?

  17. CSK says:

    Amusing comment about Trump over at

    “This why they need to impeach him because they know he won and is still the president. They need to ‘remove’ him before it comes out.”

  18. Sleeping Dog says:

    They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them.

    We were quickly able to match more than 2,000 supposedly anonymous devices in the data set with email addresses, birthdays, ethnicities, ages and more.

    The insidious thing is that this data is available for sale and is bought not only by marketers, but law enforcement and other government agencies. Now for LE to use the data to prosecute someone, they’d likely need warrants, but for fishing expeditions to see who was near a crime scene…

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    I’d characterize Levin as a reformacon, which is why his thoughts on expanding the filibuster, I view as dangerous. After Romney’s loss, reformacon ideas offered an opportunity for compromise with progressive ideas that could move the country forward, as opposed to what is now the default R obstructionism. Minoratarianism would be a huge step backwards.

  20. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I hit the paywall hard 🙂

    The lesson is not to bring your phone with you when you’re committing a crime, or to bring a disposable phone instead. and of course, not to post selfies of your criminal activity, nor shoot video live or for posting later, etc.

    The problem gets worse when you’re not out to commit a crime, but your actions are criminalized, as we saw with the BLM protests.

    another problem is what happens if someone steals your phone, and it winds up being used or carried during the commission of a crime. Same if you lose it. I don’t know how many people report a stolen or lost phone, though you can easily get the carrier to cancel or suspend the service (at least the company does that when a company cell goes missing or gets stolen).

  21. charon says:


    “[Christian nationalists] see it in cataclysmic terms: This is the moment, and God’s going to judge us,” she says. “When you paint it in existential terms like that, a lot of people feel justified to carry out acts of violence in the name of their faith.”

    For Christian nationalism and Christian privelidge things are existential. They know all age cohorts (e.g. millennials etc. ) are becoming less religious over time, while each young age cohort is less religious than all the older ones.

  22. charon says:


    “[Christian nationalists] see it in cataclysmic terms:

    They are oriented towards apocalyptic/eschatological thinking in general: Revelation of John/Second Coming/Rapture etc. widely viewed as likely to happen soon.

  23. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    One of my clients has front-line medical employees, so most of them have received both doses of whichever vaccine. The almost universal takeaway is that the first dose is far easier than the second…the second dose has knocked many on their butts for about a day or so.

    That’s roughly how a friend of mine described getting the Shingrix vaccine…first was easy, second one made her feel like hot garbage.

    I am still very much looking forward to getting vaccinated. 🙂 Worth it!

  24. Kathy says:

    You know, we should have seen the slow and problematic COVID vaccine roll out coming. At least I should have.

    Early on in the Pandemic, maybe as far back as March, I read a piece on a simulation exercise involving a large terrorist attack with smallpox. Remember that was much a concern in the years following 9/11?

    Smallpox is both deadly and contagious, and I don’t think there are effective treatments for it. There is a vaccine, but because the disease was eradicated decades ago, it doesn’t get used much. So in this exercise, the big stumbling block involved getting enough companies to make enough vaccines, and distributing effectively, and it was a mess that left many deaths in its wake.

    One thing to look into when all this is over, is what Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, etc. did between the development of the vaccines and the authorization to deploy them. I’ve no clue what they did, aside from conducting trials, but two things they could have been doing is 1) producing lots of doses to stockpile, and 2) gearing up for massive manufacture, expanding their facilities, infrastructure, etc.

    Ok, 1) might be problematic given the low temperatures some vaccines require. It may not be posible to stockpile many doses under such conditions. I also realize many of these companies produce lots of other drugs and vaccines that are both necessary and unrelated to COVID 19.

    It needs to be looked at, so next time we know better how to go about it. Consider, development, testing and deployment of these vaccines was fast, taking like 10 or 11 months. Impressive. How long will vaccinating everyone take? as long, longer, much longer? How long should it take? How long should we want it to take? What’s a realistic interval for full vaccination? Is it enough to spend money on research and commit to purchasing X number of doses, or would it be better to pre-buy millions of doses, understanding they will be available the minute the vaccine is authorized?

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Scott: Braggarts. I might be able to get mine in 2026. If I’m lucky.

  26. Scott says:

    @Jen: I’ve also have received the first Shingrix shot. Was worse than the Moderna vaccine. My wife’s second Shingrix was even more horrible. Looking forward to it.

    Even though studies have shown that having multiple vaccines is safe, in the last six months I’ve had pneumonia, flu, shingles, and covid vaccines. I can feel the microchip in my limbic system and my DNA modifying as I write.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: why he isn’t doing more to pressure defense counsel to reveal their client’s whereabouts

    What I want to know is why the judge (I didn’t even bring him up) hasn’t thrown the defense attys in jail for contempt of court. They flat out lied on a court document. The judge should be incensed. If KR disappears because of the very lax conditions for release, it’s on his/her shoulders even more than anyone else.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charon: I wish they’d stop waiting for Jesus and go to meet him.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: @Scott: The Shingrix vaccine affected me not at all. I got the 1st dose at the same time as the flu and pneumonia vaccines. The 2nd shot at whatever day they gave to come back for it had no affect at all.

    Just lucky with them I guess.

  30. Kathy says:


    You should be picking up 5G with that that many microchips. Do you feel like you can do math in your head that you couldn’t before? 😉

    I don’t recall any adverse reaction to any vaccines, except for a really big lump on my arm after one shot years ago (it went away that night). That said, prior to the flu shot last month, it’s been many years since I last got any kind of vaccine. I had all the childhood ones, and I recall many of them.

    and this seems like a good time for a non-update:

    After emailing the radiology reports to the hematologist, I had to email them again because it turns out physicians are no smarter when it comes to emails than my average coworker. He messaged he’d finally seen them, and scheduled a video call for Monday afternoon.

    I still think if it was serious, he wouldn’t wait for the weekend.

  31. DrDaveT says:


    That’s roughly how a friend of mine described getting the Shingrix vaccine…first was easy, second one made her feel like hot garbage.

    FWIW, both doses of Shingrix wiped me out for a couple of days. Fever, headache, chills, fatigue. (ETA: My wife was essentially unaffected.)

    Worth every moment of it if it prevents me ever having shingles again.

  32. CSK says:

    Christopher Plummer, 91, has died.

  33. Scott says:


    Do you feel like you can do math in your head that you couldn’t before?

    That’s how I know Trump won in a landslide.

  34. CSK says:

    He probably would also want to see you in his office, tout de suite.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:


    Your problem, as I understand it, is that in Misery they are prioritizing respectful, church going Trump supporters and you heathens are out of luck. 🙂

  36. Teve says:

    To the lady at Winn Dixie who surreptitiously paid for my bag of tater chippies and yelled PAY IT FORWARD on her way out the door, I will in fact do that, ma’am.

  37. Kathy says:

    Florida man supports Texas’ right to secede from the Union.

    Okay. Fair enough. The will of the people, yadda, yadda, yadda. Texas shouldn’t embrace a false dichotomy, but rather vote on all available options. For example, Texans might vote to return to Mexico. Why not? They’d be the 8 million pound gorilla in the proverbial mixed metaphor pond. Seriously. Texas a has a GDP larger than Mexico’s. They’d rule.

    Or Texans could vote to split the state in five arts, as Malcolm Gladwell has claimed Congress agreed to when Texas was admitted to the Union in the first place.

    I don’t for a minute believe Texans to be hypocrites at all. Therefore, if they wan to vote to secede from the Union, they will naturally allow the state’s inhabitants to vote to secede from Texas as well. Someone who secedes cannot object to secession.

    By all menas, let it go forward. and pass the popcorn.

  38. Matt says:


    Many of these Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we’re keeping eyes on Texas too, and their consideration of possible secession,” said GOP: Wyoming Republican Chair Frank Eathorne

    Hahaha I love how TPM points out that nearly half of all the land in Wyoming is owned by the federal government. So independent that they have to rely heavily on federal money to operate…

    I just don’t understand… Is it stupidity or outright delusion??

  39. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    If I had to guess, I suspect that the Judge, DA, and defense attorneys all know each other (in a collegial, we can meet at the Bar Association meetings, our wives all know each other sort of way) and have worked together in the past. I’d envision Tony telling Marc and Elizabeth, “Oh, c’mon, he’s a good kid, his mom’s posted the house as bond, we all know he’ll show up to get this straightened out.” Complete BS, but absent evidence to the contrary, it’s usually granted. Of course, once Munchkin vanishes, and mom flips the court the bird, there’s not much to do except track the kidlette down.

    Judge could sanction defense attorney(s), but great stink arises. Ditto slamming DA. Triple ditto for going after momma. Badness badly badded, to (badly) riff on a Cobert phrase.

    OTOH, history tells us that juvenile white males typically get much less restrictive pre-trial conditions, except for alleged murder. Sometimes even then. Like now. If he’d been any other ethic group, he wouldn’t have gotten bail, and would have been held in a jail in the state where the crime happened. Once again proving justice is blind, if you have enough cash.

    Finally, on a “giggle” note, the boys at the state Home for Wayward Boys are REALLY looking forward to meeting this pretty lad. Although there may be some fighting amongst the various gangs, cliques, and groupings who want to “adopt” him. Personally, I wouldn’t cry over momma joining him there.

  40. Kathy says:


    There’s a book called “American Nations,” about what the author claims are the regional cultures of North america (it does include parts of Canada and Mexico).

    One region, I forget which one, he characterized the inhabitants attitudes towards the federal government as “Leave us alone and send more money.”


  41. owen says:

    @CSK: My wife and I were talking about that yesterday. Remember all of the whining that it was un-Konsteetooshanul to proceed with the impeachment procedure because “the 45th President” was no longer in office. If he won the election, how can his sycophants make that argument?

  42. KM says:

    More on Boebart’s mileage kerfuffle- an intriguing new twist if true. So it turns out she managed to pay off almost decade-old outstanding liens to the tune of 20K in the same timeframe she claimed $22K of driving for her campaign. Considering her first mileage reimbursement request was for $1K, $2 (the difference of paying off the liens) would make far more sense as she didn’t have much scheduled and not a lot was open then.

    Coincidence? Possible, very possible. They do happen, after all. Paranoia? Meh, just as likely as this being a ham-handed grift. This was not a year bars were making profits but she manages to pay off liens from 2013 running at half-capacity for most of the year? Sure Jan – the timing’s not even suspicious where you pay off a big debt in late Oct but submit for a huge iffy reimbursement from the gov two weeks later. Not suspicious, not at all. Nothing for the Office of Congressional Ethics to look into.

  43. Jax says:

    @Matt: Ha! I know that guy. It’s a healthy dose of “stupidity-masquerading-as-intelligence”, delusion, and cold, calculating ego. Color me not surprised he’s all in on Trump, OR that he went into politics. I would not be surprised if he runs for governor in the future.

  44. CSK says:

    I think that, like Trump, they believe whatever’s convenient for them to believe at any given moment.

  45. Just Another Ex-Republican says:


    I just don’t understand… Is it stupidity or outright delusion??


  46. Mu Yixiao says:


    Hahaha I love how TPM points out that nearly half of all the land in Wyoming is owned by the federal government. So independent that they have to rely heavily on federal money to operate…


    I can pretty much guarantee that all that federally-owned land is national parks (funds go to DC) and land owned by the Bureau of Land Management–from which the extremely cheap grazing fees go to DC.

    If Wyoming left the union, those lands, their control, and the money they generate, would stay stay with Wyoming[1]. It would be money in black column.

    It’s highly doubtful that this would offset the federal funds they get, so they’d still be in the red, but it’s important to be honest about the basics.


    [1] Yellowstone, for example, generates about $650M per year in economic benefits. 20% of park fees go to DC. That money would stay in WY. Things like concessions, licensing, naming rights, etc., would also stay with WY. And, currently, federal regulations forbid the selling of naming or sponsoring rights to national parks. An independent WY wouldn’t be restrained by that and could use it to gain income.

  47. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: We would enter into a True Trumpublican paradise, if this happened. Almost all of the desert (BLM) and the forests (Forest Service) are Federal, plus Yellowstone. There would be drilling and mining on all kinds of sensitive watersheds and landscapes. We have no state income tax, so all of the tax base would have to be derived from taxes and royalties from energy companies and whatnot. They’re not drilling right now, anyways, cuz it’s not making them any money. These oil cowboys don’t know how good they have it with their cheap grazing fees and federal subsidies for education/health/roads, etc.

    Actually, I should correct that….Oil cowboys like Frank Eathorne know exactly how they could work that situation to their advantage, but the average Wyoming Trumpie does not understand the ramifications.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: You need a refresher in property rights.

  49. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Assuming Wyoming could negotiate secession (no way they do it by force). there would be many other factors to consider:

    1) The US would demand, and very likely get, compensation for the lands it owns there. This would cost like two boatloads of money.

    2) The new country would find it impossible to maintain the low grazing fees, if for no other reason than it needs to make up for lost federal outlays and the money paid in compensation. and were are the ranchers going to graze their cattle? Canada? The fees would go way up.

    3) What kind of trade agreements would Wyoming have as a country? It would not enjoy the free trade it now does with the 49 other states. Nor would it be a part of NAFTA (though they could negotiate this beforehand), or the WTO (same caveat)

    4) What about social security and Medicare? The feds could easily afford to simply return the moneys paid by any residents, and maybe continue to make payments to people already drawing benefits. But who knows? They could even more easily just declare the money forfeit.

    I’m sure you’re aware of all this, and more like the National Guard’s gear, but we can easily see that secession won’t be a simple affair. Brexit was a mess and then some, and the level of political and economic integration was lower.

  50. Owen says:

    What’s Lou going to do now, go back to CNN? My mother-in-law is going to be devastated, I’m sure she’ll call us tomorrow when she finds out!

    I can’t put an exact date on it, but I remember occasionally watching Dobbs in the late 90s/early 2000s. He definitely started going off the rails by 2005, but maybe he was just lining himself up for the Fox gig like Glenn Beck did.

  51. Kathy says:


    Oh, I forgot to add the brain drain from people who do understand what the were getting into. Not all would leave, but many would.

    This may be balanced, quantitatively, by eager hordes of libertarians and trumpublicans, but it’s doubtful they could contribute a fraction of what is lost. Even if they manage to immigrate legally.

  52. Owen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m not sure I’m getting your intent, so I apologize if I misread your comments.

    Let’s say Yellowstone does generate $650M in economic impact, how much of that impact is from venues outside of the park (hotels, restaurants, gas stations), many of which are not in Wyoming? The latest data on the park website says $8.8M is generated in fees per year, with 80% going to park costs, not including personnel costs. The 20% going to DC doesn’t cover those costs.

    Grazing fees? Remember Clive Bundy? Freedom loving Christian cowboys either don’t pay grazing fees, or try to cheat as much as they can on what they do pay. Even with the Federal welfare the ranchers receive, they are unable to compete with feedlots that have feed shipped in from enterprising Mennonites in places like Yuma, AZ where they irrigate six and seven alfalfa crops a year on heavily (Federally) subsidized water that we (the U.S.) are trying to keep away from Mexico.

    Natural resources; as Jax says, oil isn’t viable right now, and even if they allowed extensive operations, they will still have a hard time competing with all of the other resource rich areas out there.

  53. Owen says:

    @Kathy: Immigrate legally? Are you saying we would need to build another wall? Maybe the 45th President of the United States can take on that project?

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: If I were going to take a wild stab at the identity of that section, I would guess the Far West, but as I’ve been noting all day, my view may be too colored by my cynicism right now.

  55. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I’ve actually been looking at land in Canada. I see what’s coming. Biden won…..this time. What comes next will be much, much worse.

    My neighbor’s ranch went up for Sheriff’s Auction two days ago. It’s a run down, beat up shithole with no corrals, no grass, and broke-down pivots. It went for 2.25 million dollars. We should be able to sell ours for 5 times that. Canada, here I come!

  56. Sleeping Dog says:


    Don’t forget that a state seceding would also be responsible for a portion of the current US debt.

  57. Jax says:

    @Sleeping Dog: They don’t think that far ahead, it’s all muskets, 1776, and FREEEEDUMBS!!!

  58. Kathy says:


    America’s loss would be Canada’s gain.

  59. Kathy says:


    Well, yes, of course. But they’d pretend it’s for keeping out people from Mexican countries.

  60. Owen says:

    Mike Lindell comes through with his “Absolute Proof” on Friday as promised. I’m watching it right now, so far all of his slides support his arguments, and there is a haunting soundtrack in the background. “It” all seems to be due to miracles!

  61. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jax:..It’s a run down, beat up shithole with no corrals, no grass, and broke-down pivots. It went for 2.25 million dollars.

    I used to sell real estate. I am curious. How many acres? Is there a habitable dwelling and/or functional outbuildings on the property?

  62. Jax says:

    @Mister Bluster: Roughly 2,000, and some BLM allotments. There were two habitable dwellings onsite at time of sale, but given that it was a sheriff’s auction, I would not be surprised if some of the pissed off kids burned the whole ranch down before they left.

    Hate is tangible, and real. Those two people hated each other so much after 30 years of marriage that they would not come to an agreement and forced it to a Sheriff’s sale. They now have three days to get the fuck off property their family has owned for over 100 years, as per the judge’s orders.

  63. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jax:..Hate is tangible, and real.

    Just in time for Valentines Day.
    You know what they say. Love is fleeting, herpes is forever.

  64. Owen says:

    @Owen: So here are the Cliff Notes on Mike’s Absolute Proof: Dominion voting systems, China, rehash of most of the claims in the 60 odd lawsuits.

    On the plus side, the platform hosting the tirade allows you to run it at 2X speed so it only lasts an hour (that I will never get back).

  65. Jax says:

    @Mister Bluster: Also why you should sign a pre-nup if you own ANYTHING.

  66. Matt says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Either you’re clueless about a lot of things or you really are just a contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. You sometimes have some insightful things to say but man sometimes you just don’t seem to know what you’re talking about at all (like the German education post). The federal government isn’t going to just hand over all that land free to Wyoming just because the state decides to try to secede. Historical precedent is pretty clear on what happens when a state tries to secede.

    Assuming that Wyoming was for some reason allowed to secede there would be all kinds of problems for the state and the citizens. Wyoming is landlocked with no port or direct access to any markets outside of the USA. While the state does have a lot of mining and oil/gas extraction it has no means of selling any of that to a world market without the aid of the USA. Likewise import difficulties would result in skyrocketing prices for common household items.

    Yellowstone would see a massive collapse in daily visitors as very few people outside of Wyoming would be able or willing to go there. Foreigners aren’t going to be interested in flying into that mess of a concept and US citizens would need passports etc assuming they are even allowed into the state. I haven’t even gotten to the point about how all that federal land is either going to need to be paid for or won’t be part of the secession…

  67. Matt says:

    @Matt: Seriously could you imagine Wyoming trying to issue a currency?

  68. Kathy says:


    Of course not. They’d use gold and bitcoin.

    I wonder how hard would it be to strike coins made of iron pyrite.