Monday’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:

    Laurie Garrett

    Since #Trump admin stripped #COVID19 data collection out of @CDCgov & put it in 2 private companies (under no-bid contracts) answering to @HHSGov we have NO RELIABLE DATA.
    But @washingtonpost obtained @FEMA dataset, and it’s terrifying.

    2/ Last week >450,000 new #COVID19 cases were ID’ed nationwide, with surges in 42 States. “Numbers of #coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the U.S. went from 36,158 on Jul1 to 52,767 on Jul31. FEMA reports a sharp increase in the number of patients on ventilators.”

    3/ “37 states & Puerto Rico will probably see rising daily death tolls during the next 2 weeks compared with the previous two weeks, according to the latest ensemble forecast from the U of Mass at Amherst that combines more than 30 coronavirus models.”

    4/ #DeborahBirx “What we are seeing today is different from Mar & Apr. It is extraordinarily widespread. So everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune.”
    “Every community is at risk.” – Dr. Beth Cameron

    5/ 33 States have #SARSCoV2 test positivity rates above 5%, the @WHO
    benchmark for govts deciding whether to reopen their economy. “Above 5 percent, stay closed.
    Of states with positivity rates below 5%, nine have seen those rates rise during the last 2 weeks.”

    6/ “The U.S. saw >1.9M new infectns in July; 42% of the >4.5M cases reported nationwide since the #pandemic began & > 2X the number documented in any other month.” (my emphasis-OH)
    At the start of July average death toll = 500/day. Last week, averaged >1,000 daily.

    7/ #COVID19 numbers are climbing all over the world, but only America has such widespread devastation, from huge cities down to hamlets. America is driving the global catastrophe, which is now 17.9 million cases, 680K deaths, with cases in 188 countries.


  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Uncle Grumpy Calls Bullshit. 864511320

    Read until the end…….. Wow!

    Quite the obituary. I get the feeling they are a little angry.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Lincoln Project

    Oh the places we can’t go.

    A map of the world, looks like we can travel w/o restrictions to 5 different countries.

    So. Much. Winning.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Woman Who Reportedly Accused Fauci Of Assaulting Her Said Trump Supporters Paid Her To Lie

    There’s a reason why the story gained little traction. It involves Trump supporters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, both of whom regularly drum up fake sexual assault accusations that end up backfiring against them. They’ve put out several false allegations over the years in an effort to hurt Trump’s enemies.

    But Diana, who says her real name is Diana Andrade, spilled the beans against both men. She not only retracted her accusation and apologized to Fauci, but she also recorded a damning conversation with Wohl and Burkman exposing their scheme and proved her connection to Wohl through pictures.

    “Hi Nancy, I hope you are having a nice weekend,” Andrade wrote in an email to Reason reporter Nancy Rommelmann, who fielded the accusation from Rodriguez only ten days earlier. “I feel very bad about lying to you and others about Dr. Fauci. I took it upon myself to call Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman and record them. Many thanks and again, I feel very bad about all this. I apologize to you, the other reporters, and Dr. Fauci.”

    Sometimes I wonder how it is that these 2 useless fcks are not only still able to walk the streets but actually have enough money to pay for these shenanigans, but then I remember, America.

    And in the recording:

    “Mother Nature has to clean the barn every so often,” Burkman said. “How real is it? Who knows? So what if 1 percent of the population goes? So what if you lose 400,000 people? 200,000 were elderly, the other 200,000 are the bottom of society. You got to clean out the barn. If it’s real, it’s a positive thing, for God’s sake.”

    Why do I feel a very strong urge to engage in some serious barn cleaning myself?

  5. Bill says:
  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    Yesterday time was wasted spent discussing Q-anon and wild conspiracy theories. Well let’s launch our own conspiracy or at least an interesting coincidence.

    For a few weeks the Reality Show Host has had a hard-on (so to speak) for Tik-Tok, mostly because it is owned by the Chinese and is part of his hate on all things China charade (except for soliciting Xi’s assistance for his campaign). Recently FaceBook launched/announced a Tik-Tok clone. During the last couple of weeks Zuckerberg met privately with the Reality Show Host. Friday the RSH announced he would ban Tik-Tok (which he has limited power to do) despite word coming that Microsoft was in negotiations to buy Tik-Tok and threatened Microsoft if they didn’t back off.

    Does it seem to you dear reader, that Friday’s threat was a quid pro quo to FaceBook for the social network to continue to allow the RSH and his minions to lie with impunity.

    Kara Swisher has a good summary of why a Microsoft acquisition of Tik-Tok is a good thing.

    As with most trumpian pronouncements the RSH backtracked on Sunday. Likely another advisor(s) pointed out that to the world he was looking like Zuk’s poodle and the Dem/Lincoln Project attack ads were writing themselves.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    How do you say empty threat in Oklahoman?

  8. EddieInCA says:

    A perfect American ancedote (or.. Why we can’t have nice things):

    So here in Utah, this morning, a new crew member from Georgia, who has:
    A. Taken a PCR Covid Test in Atlanta.
    B. Quarantined until he got the results back.
    C. Drove from Georgia to Utah for the job.
    D. Arrived in Utah, and took another PCR test.
    E Quarantined for four days while waiting for his results.
    F. Tested negatively again, so therefore cleared to start work today.
    G. Got his temperature taken at the gate, to be allowed in the facility.

    …said that “wearing a mask goes against his rights, and won’t wear one at work.”

    He’s on his way back to Georgia. He threatened to sue us. He called his union, who told him, and I quote: “Put on the f**king mask. WE negotiated that on your behalf to keep all our members safe”.

    He threatened to sue his own union. They told him that was his right, but that he’d lose.

    The rest of his crew? They said “Good riddance.”

    Must be nice to throw away a $42/hr job during a pandemic because your “rights are being violated.”

    If someone had told me the story, I’d have not believed it. I lived it this morning.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EddieInCA: But he is the victim. Stupid is as stupid does.

  10. Michael Cain says:

    The Nevada legislature passed a bill yesterday to distribute a ballot by mail to every registered voter in November. The Democratic governor is expected to sign the bill. Trump’s response on Twitter included “See you in court!”

    That makes seven of the 13 western states distributing ballots almost exclusively by mail this year. Plus 80% in Arizona, 70% in Montana, and 60% in New Mexico.

  11. Kathy says:

    I caught a report on CNN on the weekend about Mexico’s COVID-19 mortality rate. It’s sky high, at around 11%.

    The report says the government claims a high prevalence of comorbidity conditions like diabetes and obesity. Others claim a low quality public medical system, in particular as relates to intensive care.

    Both claims are plausible, but there’s definitely more. Namely lack of testing. 5 months into the pandemic, there are officially around 980,000 tests total. I don’t know if this includes tests done by private labs and hospitals. In any case, the number ir insanely low. It means, too, pretty much only the sickest patients get tested in large numbers. It may mean not everyone who requires hospitalization gets it, too.

    So both cases and deaths must be quite higher than we know. And the official numbers are already very high: over 460,000 cases and over 46,000 deaths.

    Oh, the CNN report showed lots of video of people out and about. they didn’t show crowds, and most people wore masks. But a lot of those wearing masks either had their noses uncovered or had them around their neck. You also saw lots of people in groups of two or three walking close together.

    Telling people to wear masks is all well and good, but how do you get them to actually wear the masks so they do any good?

    A vaccine can’t get here soon enough.

  12. Scott says:

    @Kathy: Keep your expectations down.

    Coronavirus Today: What to expect from a vaccine

    When it comes to a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, scientists say it’s unlikely we’ll get a one-time shot that prevents the disease for years, like we have for measles, polio or shingles. Instead, we should expect routine immunizations similar to the ones we get for the seasonal flu.

    And the efficacy threshold for a COVID-19 vaccine, per recent federal guidelines, is 50%. That means a successful vaccine would minimize the most serious symptoms in just half of the people who receive it.

  13. Teve says:
  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Update…they knelt.

  15. EddieInCA says:


    Just got off a call with the head of Labor for the studio I’m working for, along with legal for the union representing the worker from this morning. Priceless.

    Union Rep: Well, the guy has a right to believe the way he does.
    Labor Lawyer: Is that your official position?
    Union Rep: Yes. But, having said that, the guy is out of his f**king mind and an idiot. I can’t help him if he has his head that far up his ass. I told him he was wrong. I told him he had to wear the mask to work because it was negotiated as part of collective bargaining. He told me he thought he lived in America. I told him he does. And in America you have to wear a mask to work in Film and TV.
    Labor lawyer: So we’re good?
    Union Rep: Yep. We’re good. No grievance.

  16. Kathy says:


    It cleverly co opted the national and much os the states’ leadership. It’s like the KGB, which liked infiltrating a target nation’s counterintelligence agencies before setting up espionage networks.

    It helps that in its single strand of RNA, it holds more brains than Donald Trump.

  17. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: I am agog.

    That’s insane. It’d be surreal under normal circumstances, but in our current economic situation, it’s…astonishing that anyone would be that stubborn.

  18. EddieInCA says:


    That’s the right word. Insane. It’s not tethered to reality. I have 95 people working for me right now. He’s the first knucklehead. He drove all the way across the country to work, and wouldn’t wear a mask, costing him a job. The guy who brought him in hasn’t stopped apologizing. He feels bad.

    But, in that crew members mind, his right trumps everything else, no pun intended. He said, “I have a right not to wear a mask.” I told him that was correct. But he didn’t have a right to work if he didn’t follow the rules of the company and his union. He called our Covid Compliance Officer, a certified Paramedic and former Army Medic in Afghanistan, a “Covid Nazi”. I was proud of the guy for not punching him the face.

  19. EddieInCA says:

    Poll out of Ohio today has Biden up 4 in Ohio.

    The poll ended July 15th, and nothing good has happened from/to Trump since then.

  20. Kathy says:


    Oh, my expectations are low: All I want is less stress when I go out to the store, maybe being able to watch a movie or two in a theater without feeling I’m risking my life.

    Truth is no one knows yet how effective a vaccine will be. It may ameliorate symptoms, which would still be a lot better than what we have right now. It may prevent infection in only part of the population, which would still be better than what we have now, and would begin to allow us to control contagion.

    That’s why efficacy trials are required. To see how effective the vaccine is.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:


    The guy is probably over on some RW BB dissing the studio and his union, screaming that he stood up for his RIGHTS. Of course they’ll cheer him on and after he sobers up his wife will ask how are they going to pay the bills.

  22. Teve says:


    I can appreciate it if you loathe the Hallmark Channel

    What? Where did I say that?

  23. Teve says:

    @Kathy: on a podcast I was listening to yesterday a doctor said that vaccines for coronaviruses are typically not very effective.

  24. Kathy says:


    There’s a lot of rampant speculation by too many people.

    We know the immune system manages to clear most cases of SARS-CoV-2. We know plasma with antibodies from recovered patients helps hospitalized patients. So there are signs that immune response does help.

    But, I repeat, that’s why there are efficacy trials of vaccines.

    Unfortunately they take time. More unfortunately, the Moderna vaccine takes two doses 28 days apart. So while the trial started last week, actual results won’t begin to get in until at least September.

  25. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I’m concerned that the rollout of a vaccine, when and if it arrives, will result in most of those nuances being ignored, even if we have a more responsible government in charge by that point. Americans are desperate for life to return to normal, and a vaccine will be seen by a lot of people as a signal that the crisis is over.

    I especially think so since Democrats are just so bad at messaging. That was a problem that plagued the Obama Administration, and now we’ll have his vp in charge, who isn’t anywhere near as gifted a communicator as his former boss. Presently, polls show that the GOP’s anti-mask, anti-social distancing, anti-quarantine views are overwhelmingly rejected by the public at large. But that could change quickly once they’re no longer the ones in power, particularly after the vaccine arrives.

  26. Joe says:

    Teve and Kathy:
    I would expect that we only need enough immune response to emulate herd immunity and impede the rampant spread, so safe and pretty effective would be a large step forward. If we need annual or more frequent boosters, still a step forward if it emulates herd immunity.

  27. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Yeah, it’s a long drive from Utah back to Georgia. He has a ton of time to think about exactly he’s just given up.

  28. CSK says:

    @Jen: @EddieInCA: He can join this outfit.

    “Our rights are being stripped away from us. Medical freedom is all but gone, and it’s been horrifying to see how easy it was for the government to lock us in our homes, shut down businesses, and give away ‘free money’ faster than they can print it. Social media, You Tube, Google, and Facebook are being censored. This is a safe space to get information, share ideas, and connect with other like-minded members of your community.”


  29. Teve says:

    Mayo Clinic:

    Herd immunity can also be reached when a sufficient number of people in the population have recovered from a disease and have developed antibodies against future infection. For example, those who survived the 1918 flu (influenza) pandemic were later immune to infection with the H1N1 flu, a subtype of influenza A. During the 2009-10 flu season, H1N1 caused the respiratory infection in humans that was commonly referred to as swine flu.

    However, there are some major problems with relying on community infection to create herd immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. First, it isn’t yet clear if infection with the COVID-19 virus makes a person immune to future infection.

    Research suggests that after infection with some coronaviruses, reinfection with the same virus — though usually mild and only happening in a fraction of people — is possible after a period of months or years. Further research is needed to determine the protective effect of antibodies to the virus in those who have been infected.

    Even if infection with the COVID-19 virus creates long-lasting immunity, a large number of people would have to become infected to reach the herd immunity threshold. Experts estimate that in the U.S., 70% of the population — more than 200 million people — would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the epidemic. If many people become sick with COVID-19 at once, the health care system could quickly become overwhelmed. This amount of infection could also lead to serious complications and millions of deaths, especially among older people and those who have chronic conditions.

    Nationally the US has about an 8% positivity rate. And ~155,000 deaths. If we have to have nine times that infection rate you’re looking at about 1.4 million deaths as a back of the envelope calculation. A little more than double the Spanish Flu deaths.

  30. Kathy says:


    I’m almost certain the very worst spike will come after the vaccine gets rolled out.

    Same as the worse has come since reopening. A lot of people assumed this meant it was over, and stopped taking precautions.

    Me, unless the vaccine(s) works wonders and new cases come down close to zero, I plan to remain as cautious as I can manage until next year. Hopefully we can still stage an OTB Bye Bye Trump celebration in Vegas by May 2021 (not June; Vegas is unbearably hot beginning in June), but I’m not counting on it.

    The combination of a partially effective vaccine, and idiots who refuse to take it, will prove, literally, deadly. add idiots who think they are invulnerable because they’ve had the vaccine, or because others have had the vaccine, and we’ll be in deep s**t.

  31. sam says:

    Get your motor runnin’
    Head out on the highway
    Lookin’ for adventure
    And whatever comes our way.

  32. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: I just mentioned this to my daughter who is working her first job in video production in NYC. Even she, who has only a vague idea how lucky she is that she still haS a job, was floored by the idea that someone would give one up because they wouldn’t wear a mask.

    You know, in my career I’ve been in food service or food processing facilities and had to wear hair nets, I’ve been in surgeries and had to wear masks and scrubs, I’ve been in clean rooms and had to wear hair nets, masks, gowns and booties. It’s not particularly inconvenient but it never once occurred to me to demand that I be exempted from these rules because of “socialism”. What the hell is wrong with these people?

  33. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: I once had a job where I had to wear a tie. And there was absolutely no contact with the public — we were researching and writing business factoids so some business cluck could use them in a newsletter and call himself a guru.

    I didn’t like wearing a tie, I wasn’t comfortable wearing a tie, and I was completely aware at all times there was no reason for me to be wearing a tie. But that’s what the job required, so I wore a tie until I got my next TV gig and could walk out forever.

    It never occurred to me that even this arbitrary dress code was impinging on my “freedom.”

  34. Sleeping Dog says:


    A little more than double the Spanish Flu deaths.

    America was a more unified country then.

  35. EddieInCA says:


    @EddieInCA: I just mentioned this to my daughter who is working her first job in video production in NYC. Even she, who has only a vague idea how lucky she is that she still haS a job, was floored by the idea that someone would give one up because they wouldn’t wear a mask.

    I know it’s obvious to most of us how ridiculous that man’s actions are/were. Yes, there is a whole swath of American’s who can see ANY rule as an infringement of their personal rights.

    I read this, but don’t know the author, but I’ll re-post it anyway. It captures the zeitgeist perfectly. MODERATORS: I have cleaned it up as much as possible without losing the humor.
    I saw this on a thread in a travel group. So accurate.

    *Covid hits Europe*

    European Governments: Hey we need to lock down for a while. Everybody please wear masks.

    European citizens: OK. Good idea.

    American citizens: Haha! Silly Europeans. It went from China to Europe. It will never hit here.

    *Covid hits America*

    American government: Hey, We all need to lock down for a while. We’re in this together. And wear a mask, please.

    American Citizens: Okay. Cool.

    American Citizens, one week later: F**k you! Open everything. I’m not wearing a mask. I want a haircut

    American Government: Guys c’mon really. It’s only been a week. Hang in there. And PLEASE wear a mask. Stay six feet apart when possible.

    American Citizens: F**k You, liberal Governors. (They point assault rifles in governments face.) Open everything. Now. We want hamburgers.

    *Covid gets better in Europe*

    European Governments: Hey guys. Great Job. You all did your part. We can start reopening now. Just still wear a mask please.

    European Citizens: Sweet! Thanks. Glad we could help.

    American Government: Since y’all are mad, we’ll start reopening, but please wear a mask.

    American citizens: F**k you! I don’t want to wear a mask. Socialism. The virus is fake anyway. It only hits cities. We’re fine. F**k you!

    *Covid gets worse in America*

    American Government: Guys. Seriously. If you don’t wear a mask, we’ll have to lock down again. Nobody wants to do that.

    American Citizens: F**k you I’m not wearing a mask! I’m not locking down. I have my rights!!! Freedom!!

    European Governments: Guys, you did a great job. Feel free to travel and go hang out. Go enjoy your summer. J ust bring your masks and be safe by staying 6 feet way when possible.

    European citizens: Yay summer! I’m gonna go visit my friends! The beaches look great.

    American citizens: Stupid Europeans! They’re sheep. We’re the best country ever. Freedom! The Chinese created the virus. Drink Bleach. It’s just sniffles.

    *Covid keeps getting worse in America*

    American Government: Guys c’mon we told you… we need to lock down again please please wear a mask please

    American Citizens: They just want to control us!! Masks are tyranny!! We’re not gonna wear any damn masks.

    European Governments: We gotta quarantine America, don’t invite them to your summer parties, or even your countries.

    European citizens: Yeah. Good idea. Those people are crazy.

    Canadian Government: Americans not welcome here. Those people are crazy, eh.

    *Covid cases hit record numbers in USA*

    American citizens: We’re number 1. We’re number 1. Freedom!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. CSK says:

    I wonder how these folk cope with “No shirt, no shoes, no service”?

  37. Kathy says:


    I once had a job where I had to wear a tie.

    I understand bow ties and bolo ties, I can even comprehend the cravat, but the modern European swatch of cloth is just ugly as sin. What’s the purpose? To hide the fact the shirt has buttons?

  38. Mister Bluster says:

    Now Donald Trump is trashing Dr. Birx.

    “So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!” Trump wrote.

  39. flat earth luddite says:

    @EddieInCA: I’m reminded that truth is ALWAYS stranger than fiction, because fiction HAS to make sense. Thanks for the laugh, though. Got room on your crew for an overfed, over 65, child of the counterculture?

  40. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I was stumped when you asked what the purpose of fashion was. If clothing was about utility we would all be wearing muumuus, compression socks and those old people grey Velcro shoes…

  41. CSK says:

    Well, that sounds as seductive as hell.

  42. Kathy says:


    Not the purpose of fashion, the purpose of neckties.

    The purpose of fashion, as opposed to mere clothing, is display. That this sometimes leads to rather ridiculous, uncomfortable extremes is obvious.

    Neckties are ugly, ridiculous, and uncomfortable. So as fashion, they are an utter failure. What’s left?

  43. Monala says:

    @Kathy: Once upon a time, the tie was the bib you wore to wipe your mouth when you ate…

  44. CSK says:

    Trump’s retweeting himself today:
    I have no idea what caused him to repeat this. The tweets are stand alone.

  45. Kathy says:


    That makes sense. But it also sounds like an urban legend.

  46. sam says:
  47. Jen says:

    @sam: Would love to see more Native American bands. Also, love that song.

  48. JohnSF says:

    Apparently the cravat was the original version of the tie, and named after Croatian soldiers in the service of Louis XIV of France.

    And it’s purpose was simply to hold the top of the shirt together and/or keep the neck warm, and replaced the previous high, tight collars or ruffs.

    Continued in similar vein until roughly the 20th century when the modern necktie was developed.

  49. JohnSF says:

    AP News: New York prosecutor in subpoena call for Trump tax returns cites allegations of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”

    Also, appears a Deutsche Bank internal investigation is under way into an employee who was the main account handler for Trump and Kushner.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Taste is everything. Personally, I like a well knotted silk tie. As for comfort, well, 1) don’t kid yourself on your collar size, 2) silk, never polyester or strange blends, 3) get a shirt with a proper top button so you don’t have to strangle the knot to hide it. But of course, I wore Catholic school ties from the ages 6-18. I was as used to ties as shoes.

  51. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: and those sunglasses you buy at the VA made out of one piece of vinyl.

  52. Kathy says:


    I’d heard about the Croatian provenance.

    I don’t have an interest in fashion as such, though I can spend hours and hours shopping for clothes.


    Usually I believe that personal opinions in matters of taste are entirely subjective and neither right nor wrong.

    In this case, I can make an exception 😉

  53. Teve says:

    Holy cow Jon favreau tweeted that Trump said he can executive order all voting by mail stopped.

  54. CSK says:

    Confirmed by the NYTimes and U.S. News and World Report.

  55. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Ties are very slimming — they break up the vast expanse of belly.

    When you see someone who looks fat wearing a tie, just remember that they are really even fatter than that.

  56. CSK says:

    Is that why President Lardass wears his ties down to his crotch?

  57. Kathy says:


    Uncanny how Trump the Moron gets into every thread…

    I admit the look of a suit jacket with no tie is not flattering. Still, the tuxedo with just a bow tie, buttons, and some shirt ruffling exposed the whole abdomen and looks good for many men.

    Men really need to rethink formal and business wear. It looks almost like they are wearing a uniform, with the colors optional.

  58. CSK says:

    I think businesswear is supposed to give the effect of a uniform.

  59. Kathy says:


    The Patriarchal Uniform?

    Women’s business wear is as varied as any other kind.

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Certainly, but when I was a youngster, color was not optional, nor was fabric. I had a friend who was being considered for a job at a large insurance corporation (national, buys stadium naming rights and such) who was given a dress code noting that employees at his “level” would not be permitted to wear: 1) shirts of any color other than white, 2)suits any color other than charcoal, 3)suits or shirts made of striped fabric, and 4) neck ties that were not four-in-hand, rep striped–no bowties, ties with pin dots, paisley decoration, solid color, etc. Those types of styles were restricted to upper management.

    Also, no jewelry other than watches and wedding bands–no school or military or signet rings, and only women could wear wedding rings with stones in them. Those were the days. [Sigh…]

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Again, when I was young, women who worked in management, accounting, or legal all wore those shirts with the big floppy bows made of the same fabric most of the time, but they did have the extra latitude of being able to wear blazer skirt combinations rather than suits. Women who were just office workers, clerical, retail were free to wear what they wanted–more or less.

  62. Liberal Capitalist says:


    Not the purpose of fashion, the purpose of neckties.

    They are a tool of identification. The tie, the Brooks Brothers suit (the real ones, tailored to fit, not the ready to wear strip mall stores), the Bally shoes or Oxford Brogue (wax laced, of course), the quality pen, the watch, the Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses…

    One must be sure that one is dealing with people of the right background.

    This, I learned, by watching the rich in the wild… how their herds move, how they interact. Their plumage and use of color at times of recreation… their penchant for abusing small white spheres with sticks…. All of this defines their sub-species.

    By mimicking their behavior, I was able to integrate into their subculture, and the tie is a critical part of the identification process. The material, the sheen, the thickness, and the skill of tying a Windsor or half Windsor, all critical in that initial meeting where the traditional motions take place to establish trust.

    I still have my well worn Hartman tweed briefcase, although I no longer require to walk amongst them with identifying symbols.

    Unintentionally, by learning their ways, I have acquired the status that allows me to now no longer wear the costumes of their tribe.

    But still, I will admit: I had not mastered the pocket square, nor the cuff link. But I was never one of them.

  63. Mikey says:


    Trump said he can executive order all voting by mail stopped

    Every day I think I couldn’t hate that fucker any more, and the next day he proves me wrong.

  64. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I think it was Frank Borman who, when he was CEO of Eastern Airlines, decreed that his male executives could wear only white dress shirts. No light blue. No yellow. God forbid any shade of pink. I remember reading about this when I was a kid and thinking: “Jeez, I’d hate to work for him.”

    At the Harvard Business School, the saying was “Red ties for investment bankers; yellow ties for management consultants.” That was for the men, of course. For women, it was suits with short square jackets, full baggy shin-length skirts, and high-necked blouses with ties as you describe. Hideous. This was the eighties.

  65. Jax says:

    @Mikey: I second that. I don’t “hate” easily….but boy, I hate that guy. I’m not sure there’s ever been a more awful human being, up to and including the most prolific and demented of serial killers. He’s not much different than them, he’ll happily watch us all die if he feels like he’s “winning”. Hitler without a plan.

  66. Mikey says:

    @Jax: I am 54 years old. In my whole life, I have never actually hated anyone until Trump. And that makes me hate him even more, for the corruption of my spirit he has caused.

  67. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: FWIW, to me, bow tie with a tux is acceptable. Bow tie with anything else strikes me as pretentious.

    One of the best things about being a boring guy is dressing for work. For years I had four pairs of dress slacks: very dark gray, very dark navy blue, black, and tan. I had roughly 15 shirts. All were solids. Half were blue, the others various shades of cream or white. I could literally reach into my closet at random and pick any pair of slacks and any shirt and they would match. Match the socks to the slacks and then decide on a belt. Match the shoes to the belt. Done and done.

    Over the past ten years I’ve slowly added a couple of pinpoint check shirts one in maroon and one in blue, a light green one and a pair of tan/brown houndstooth slacks. This is me going wild.

  68. MarkedMan says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: I was never “one” of them either. But I am a sucker for well made, long lasting clothes. My five slacks are all the same style of Brooks Brothers. Half my shirts are Brooks Brothers. Most of the others are 15-30 year old Lands End shirts from when they made good clothes. I’m gradually replacing my shoes with Allen Edmonds.

  69. Teve says:

    I never understood why Warren Buffett wore a tie. You’re worth dozens of billions of dollars dude you don’t have to have that snake choking your neck anymore.

    I can’t seem to Google the story of the European aristocrat who I think it was that he became king and yanked off his tie and said finally I don’t have to have this shit choking my neck every day.

    Ties look great on Jeff Bezos and James Bond, but fuck those things.

  70. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: I work in sales for a major cell phone carrier. I’m paid more than I’ve ever been paid in my life, including when I was an engineer. It just happens that of the eight people who work at my store, three of them are men, and we are all absolutely nuts for shoes, and in my interview I spent time talking about the special-edition Airmax 90s that my interviewer was wearing, and when they came out, and how special that colorway was. I am certain that I got the job, despite having no relevant experience, because we talked in the interview about how the Jordan 14s may or may not have been better than the Jordan 11s, and that the Jordan nines were under appreciated because Michael was playing baseball and Anfernee Hardaway wore those a few times.

    I appreciate that Allen Edmonds are great looking shoes, and for dress shoes they are great ones, but I work in a job where I can wear basketball or running shoes, and I just bought a shelf for my locker so I could keep some new Adidas boosts in there without them getting dirty. I’ve never found a shoe more comfortable than certain running shoes.

    The dirty secret of boost though is that it’s a heavy foam, and the Nike react shoes I’m about to switch to do not suffer that drawback.

  71. Mister Bluster says:

    The daughter of Rep. Louie Gohmert publicly rebuked her father for not wearing a mask and ignoring medical expertise before he tested positive for coronavirus last week.

    “Wearing a mask is a non-partisan issue. The advice of medical experts shouldn’t be politicized. My father ignored medical expertise and now he has Covid,” said Caroline Gohmert, a musical artist who goes by Caroline Brooks and also uses the stage name BELLSAINT, in a pointed statement on Twitter Friday, two days after her father’s diagnosis was made public.
    “This has been a heartbreaking battle bc I love my dad and don’t want him to die,” she continued. “Please please listen to medical experts. It’s not worth following a president who has no remorse for leading his followers to an early grave.”

  72. steve says:

    “One of the best things about being a boring guy is dressing for work. For years I had four pairs of dress slacks: very dark gray, very dark navy blue, black, and tan. I had roughly 15 shirts. All were solids. Half were blue, the others various shades of cream or white. I could literally reach into my closet at random and pick any pair of slacks and any shirt and they would match. Match the socks to the slacks and then decide on a belt. Match the shoes to the belt. Done and done.”

    Detest the whole clothing thing. Have not bought an article of clothing other than shoes in years. Wife buys everything. Every few years I agree to go in and get measured if needed. The downside is she picks stuff with patterns and different colors. If she dies suddenly I toss it all and buy a bunch of khakis and white shirts. If she has a protracted illness she has agreed to sew little animals on pants, ties and shirts so I will know what goes together. That, plus I can send texts to my son to know what matches. Actually, I can retire any time now so I would probably just retire. Good thing I mostly wear scrubs at work.


  73. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Those types of [necktie] styles were restricted to upper management.

    Ah, yes, sumptuary laws. It’s amazing how petty the powerful always turn out to be.

  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’d forgotten the color coding for the ties. At that time, in addition to my blue collar work, I was trying to build a small creative endeavors business, so I used to pay attention to those kinds of details. Since I was an entrepreneur, my clothing latitude was much higher, but I used to buy all my business clothes at the shop where executive-types bought bespoke tailored suits and shirts so that my outfits would carry the right image.

    Like I said, good times. 🙁

    @MarkedMan: Allan Edmunds shoes are overkill for my situation now being retired, but I wore them as a young man. One pair I had lasted me about 25 years. Cost over duration of use, they really are less expensive no matter what you pay for them. Even including resoling and restitching the uppers (which I did to those twice).

  75. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Even including resoling and restitching the uppers (which I did to those twice).

    I hear you. I just replaced a pair of Johnson Murphy loafers which were my go-to travel shoes (easy to slip off and on in airports). Leather soles, rubber heels. Resoled three times in 12 years. I’ve had a pair of Allen Edmonds that I bought 8 years ago that I’ve worn regularly, if not quite as often. They look brand new and still have plenty of leather on the sole.

    I just paid $300 on sale for the Allen Edmonds loafers that replaced the JM, and I fully expect they will still be in my closet when I die. And amazingly comfortable after only 4-5 days of wearing them.