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. Teve says:
  2. Teve says:

    To repeat from last night:


    President Trump has Covid and he’s still made more public appearances today than #HidenBiden.

    The replies are, well, what we’d reply.

  3. Bill says:
  4. Bill says:

    The headline of the day-

    State wants racist posts in evidence to show motive in Arbery case

    Just in case you need a reminder who Ahmaud Arbery was, click here

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Misery, scraping the bottom of the barrel just like we always do.

  6. charon says:


    President Trump sought to dispel any perception of weakness on Sunday with a surprise outing from his hospital bed to greet supporters even as his doctors acknowledged two alarming episodes they had previously not disclosed.

    The acknowledgment of the episodes raised new questions about the credibility of the information provided about the commander in chief of a superpower as he is hospitalized with a disease that has killed more than 209,000 people in the United States. With the president determined not to concede weakness and facing an election in just 30 days, officials acknowledged providing rosy assessments to satisfy their prickly patient.

  7. charon says:


    More from link (no edit button):

    “Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, wrote on Twitter. “They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”

    In a telephone interview on Sunday night, Dr. Phillips also said the trip raised the alarming question of whether the president was directing his doctors.

    “At what point does the physician-patient relationship end, and does the commander in chief and subordinate relationship begin, and were those doctors ordered to allow this to happen?” he said, noting that it violated standards of care and would not be an option open to any other patient. “When I first saw this, I thought, maybe he was being transported to another hospital.”

  8. Bill says:


    Misery, scraping the bottom of the barrel just like we always do.

    scraping the bottom of the barrel* is what I do most Sunday and Monday mornings so far as the headline of the day goes. Weekends are slow for news.

    *- For further proof, look at my headlines above.

  9. Scott says:

    Meanwhile, in Texas:

    Top aides accuse Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of bribery, abusing office

    Top aides of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have asked federal law enforcement authorities to investigate allegations of improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential crimes against the state’s top lawyer.

    In a one-page letter to the state agency’s director of human resources, obtained Saturday by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, seven executives in the upper tiers of the office said that they are seeking the investigation into Paxton “in his official capacity as the current Attorney General of Texas.”

    The Thursday letter said that each “has knowledge of facts relevant to these potential offenses and has provided statements concerning those facts to the appropriate law enforcement.”

    Our AG is already an indicted felon who has been fighting charges on security fraud for over five years, getting reelected in the meantime.

    I will have fun mocking my Congressman, Chip Roy, who’s a good buddy of his and is always railing against the “swamp”.

  10. Scott says:

    @charon: At this stage in the game, I wish Trump got out of his limousine and hugged everyone of his supporters.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:


    “The complaint filed against Attorney General Paxton was done to impede an ongoing investigation into criminal wrongdoing by public officials including employees of this office. Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law.”

    Threatening to abuse his office after being accused of abusing his office. So Republican.

  12. CSK says:

    Cult45 adores him more than ever as a result of this stunt. He’s so tough! So strong! So masterful! Greatest president of all time!

    No thought at all for those whose health he jeopardized.

  13. Kylopod says:

    The CDC needs to update their symptom list to include verbal diarrhea.

  14. Mike in Arlington says:

    I wasn’t involved in yesterday’s discussion about political reform and specifically, term limits.

    I’ve never been a supporter of term limits, but I do see the virtue of limiting the ability of congresscritters to amass too much power (Mitch McConnell is the most obvious example now, but there have been other examples). The problem is akin to the tragedy of the commons, a Kentucky resident, regardless of ideology, has a large incentive to keep voting for Mitch McConnell because he is very successful in bringing federal largesse to the state, but his power and ability to control the agenda isn’t necessarily the best for the country as a whole. (I think this is something that James mentioned in yesterday’s thread.)

    So, this leads me to wonder if there is any workable term limit solution.

    I have two questions for anybody out there who has some knowledge about the studies and analysis of this proposal:
    1) do you get the same results regardless of the number of terms a representative is limited to? I get that if it’s too limited, politicians need to learn the ropes from people who have a lot of institutional knowledge, and term limits causes politicians to rely on lobbyists for that. However, if the term limits are longer, would that negate that result? Say 5 terms for senators and 10 terms for House members. 20-30 years is long enough to get an idea of how things work, push an agenda that you find important, but not too long to amass power in a way that you become a political noble.
    2) is it possible to create institutional systems that would hold that sort of power instead of lobbyists? For example, it is my understanding that congress used to have a robust, non-partisan research and information organization, but that has atrophied and shrunk since the 90s. Certainly CRS is still around, but IIRC, there have been attempts to eliminate that service in the name of government waste. Would that be a way to keep politicians from relying too much on lobbyists should term limits be used. Is that something that we should have regardless of term limits?

  15. Kathy says:

    Saturday, just when Ir returned from the weekly grocery shop´ping, my very old keyboard decided to stop working. Not all of it, just the keys Q through Y, the SHIFT and CTRL on the left, and half the number keypad. I tried connecting it to another port, and I tried dusting it with compressed air. The fault went intermittent then, but then it died. It was time to get a new keyboard.

    I wouldn’t make much of this, except that keyboard was really old. I’m not sure when I got it first, but it was in the early early 2000s. It was big, had a built in armrest, media controls, two additional USB ports (the wireless mouse was hooked there), and it sat higher off the desk than most keyboards do these days. It lasted through 4 PCs, including the original HP it came with. It worked from Windows 98 through Windows 10 (skipped Win8, aka not a desktop OS).

    It makes perfect sense it died after so many years, but I thought it would last forever.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    The congress critters who amass the most power and influence are those who become committee chairs and part of the leadership. Committee positions are very much influenced by seniority and the benevolence of leadership. One way to address that is to limit how long a critter can be in a committee or caucus leadership position.

    The house R caucus does this for committee chairs and a side benefit has been when chair hits the limit they often decide to retire. This has been particularly true for the R caucus when it went into the minority. It’s no fun to be a back bencher in a caucus that lacks any real power.

    It should be noted that Dems, pointedly did not adopt this model when they became the majority.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:


    RIP Kathy’s key board.

  18. Teve says:

    I’ve been getting incredibly annoying ads on YouTube:

    (Exasperated middle-age white woman): “if Joe Biden wins-“ (throws her arms up in the air) “it’s the end of this great economy we’ve been enjoying…” etc etc

  19. Jen says:

    First dang day of the SCOTUS term and Alito and Thomas are making noise about overturning Obergefell.

  20. Jen says:

    First dang day of the SCOTUS term and Alito and Thomas are making noise about overturning Obergefell.

    Forgot the link:

  21. Kathy says:

    So, aside from replacing my keyboard, I made the following:

    Corn bread batter mixed with cooked shredded potato and corn kernels. I topped this with chicken and onions in tomato sauce with paprika and fine herbs, with a layer of gouda cheese in between. This went into the oven until the cornbread was done (which dried up the chicken somewhat*).

    It’s pretty good. Next time I want to bake the cornbread alone for a longer time, then I can cover the chicken with foil to prevent it from drying out. Or I can reserve some sauce and add it after the dish is out of the oven. We’ll see.

  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    Over at the Atlantic, David Brooks is up with one of his better essays. His focus is on the decline shattering of social trust in America.

    One question has haunted me while researching this essay: Are we living through a pivot or a decline? During past moral convulsions, Americans rose to the challenge. They built new cultures and institutions, initiated new reforms—and a renewed nation went on to its next stage of greatness. I’ve spent my career rebutting the idea that America is in decline, but the events of these past six years, and especially of 2020, have made clear that we live in a broken nation. The cancer of distrust has spread to every vital organ.

    Renewal is hard to imagine. Destruction is everywhere, and construction difficult to see. The problem goes beyond Donald Trump. The stench of national decline is in the air. A political, social, and moral order is dissolving. America will only remain whole if we can build a new order in its place.

    My thoughts are that there are too many forces that are benefiting from the discord in America to reverse the loss of social trust. If the pandemic can’t bring us together, then only a cataclysm that will afflict not only the middle classes and below is what it may take.

  23. Teve says:

    @Kathy: this is the first time I’ve heard somebody talk about replacing their keyboard on the Internet and they weren’t just making some stupid cliché joke.

  24. Mikey says:

    Apparently the current FBI Director isn’t sufficiently thuggish for Trump’s taste.

    Trump Wants to Oust FBI Director Chris Wray After the Election

    Over the past three months before testing positive for COVID-19, the president had indicated to several senior officials and close associates that he intends to replace Wray near the start of a second term in office, routinely expressing dissatisfaction with the director’s performance and apparent unwillingness to swiftly root out Trump’s perceived enemies in the bureau, two people familiar with the president’s private remarks said.

  25. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Ed Burmila has an interesting take on what’s going on and maybe he’s right. We do have a gerontocracy and a bunch of oligarchs like the late Soviet Union. “Remember every news story in the late 70s/80s about the Soviet Union referring to a government of “aging kremlin hardliners”?
    This is it. We’re there. The gerontocracy of the free market: breathing fumes, sedated, rambling, unwatchable. An endless loop of Andropov unable to ascend stairs.

  26. Jen says:

    Kayleigh McEnany tests positive.

  27. Teve says:

    In the age of Trump I’m having a hard time. I’m doing several things to reduce my stress and anxiety level. Like turn off notifications on my phone. (Why should my life be interrupted every time a spam arrives?) One of the things I’m doing is switching from Coffieholism to tea. After a lot of research into supermarket brands the general consensus was that Twinings was the best. I picked up some Twinings Earl Grey yesterday in Gainesville and holy cow the stuff is good. Very low tannins, not bitter at all. Highly recommended.

  28. Teve says:


    “We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism, and isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of Barack Obama?”

  29. CSK says:

    But when Wray took over, Trump was lavish in his praise. So interesting how many of Trump’s picks turn out to disappoint him so gravely.

    There’s a surprise. s/off

  30. EddieInCA says:


    Jen says:
    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 11:32

    Kayleigh McEnany tests positive.

    It’s like Christmas in October… every day.

    You’re all better human beings than I.

    I want her survive and suffer with lung problems for the next 40 years.

  31. gVOR08 says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    2) is it possible to create institutional systems that would hold that sort of power instead of lobbyists?

    Campaign finance reform.

    McConnell’s approve/disapprove is like 20 points underwater in KY. IIRC from living across the river, he has a reputation for not doing much for KY. He gets reelected the old fashioned way, he buys it. He has tons of money in his campaign fund, enough he can spread the largess to other Senators to buy their support for him as Leader.

    He’s a hugely effective fund raiser because he’s never distracted from delivering for his plutocratic backers. You don’t see McConnell screwing around with stuff like immigration and trade wars. He’s head down to appoint Federalist Society Stepford judges and ensure that if there has to be COVID relief money, as much as possible should go to large corporations.

  32. Teve says:

    My friend Eric: “it’s as if the Trump administration called in a decapitation strike against itself“.

  33. Kathy says:


    A PEBKAC* type joke, or something else? Like what did I spill on it?

    I’m very particular about keyboards. One possible replacement earlier on, around 2007, was an HP keyboard which came with a new PC. it was wireless, rechargeable, and came with a wireless mouse. But it had a macro in the controller that opened iTunes whenever I hit the ALT key.

    This was annoying on two levels: 1) I hit ALT a lot to bring up menus, to go back in the browser, and to close active windows (ALT-F4); 2) I’ve never used iTunes even once.

    So, off it went. I think I gave it to a coworker.

    * Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

  34. Kathy says:


    I guess she will be lying from home now.

  35. Kathy says:


    I’ve most notifications turned off on all my devices as well. Email arrives at all times. I don’t need to be awoken at 2 am by spam, or an offer from some e-merchant.

    As to tea, I drink it sporadically. If you like Twinings, I recommend their Lapsang souchong. It has a nice smokey flavor.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: A lighter version of Twining’s Earl Grey tea is their Lady Grey tea, if you want to try it.

    Also see if you can get some good mugi-cha. I used to drink tons of it iced in the summer.

  37. Sleeping Dog says:

    The bond between a malignantly narcissistic leader and his followers, created by a narcissistic collusion — the belief in each other’s specialness and exceptional greatness — is virtually unbreakable. To sever it, those individuals who worship and unreservedly trust their leader would have to experience a life-shattering catastrophe for which the leader would be directly and indisputably responsible. But even, then their need to maintain their beliefs and thus their identity would likely override reality and even solidify their beliefs in the leader’s specialness and infallibility, and, by association, their own.

    The craziness will get worse.

  38. Michael Cain says:

    @Jen: I have to wonder which way Roberts will jump. Many of his corporate masters will be unwilling to give up same-sex marriage for some of the talent, and all of them will be unwilling to have the rules vary from state to state.

  39. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    Yes, that contributes, Dr T has a post up on Age and the Government that is a good read.

    What will cause our decline is the oligarchy, who will stand in the way of attempts to reestablish social trust because it will work against them.

  40. Teve says:

    @Kathy: yeah, I started looking at supermarket teas after I asked for recommendations on Facebook and a friend of mine recommended some lapsang souchong that was 20 bucks a pound. 😀 I definitely intend to try the Twinings kind.

  41. Teve says:

    @Kathy: “
    A PEBKAC* type joke, or something else? Like what did I spill on it?”

    No no no, just a joke about how someone will tell a joke on the Internet and five idiots will rush in with Omy God you owe me a new keyboard durr durr durr. It’s annoying.

    As far as being particular with keyboards, I can still tell you the pluses and minuses of all the keyboards I’ve ever had, and I’m 44. I’ve never had a keyboard as wonderful as the one that came with the Apple IIgs. A friend is building a keyboard with Cherry MX switches and those are supposed to be pretty great. Honestly I’ve done everything for the last eight months on this iPad, I haven’t turned my laptop on since February. I might never have to have a keyboard again. Everything in this post is voice recognition with maybe three corrections.

  42. Teve says:


    Hopefully Kayleigh won’t be McEnany of these comments anymore.

  43. Jen says:

    @Michael Cain: I think Roberts will do what he can to maintain stare decisis. My guess is that will be like Roe, constant attempts at chipping away.

    The utter GALL of Thomas and Alito, though, to suggest that the Obergefell decision threatens religious liberty, and “leaves those with religious objections in the lurch.”

    Find another job. I feel this way about pharmacists who don’t want to dispense birth control, OBGYNs who won’t tie tubes, and clerks who don’t want to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. If your convictions prevent you from doing your job, find. another. job.

  44. Teve says:

    Two Kaylee deputies done got it too.

  45. Teve says:

    @Jen: Christian Supremacy.

  46. Monala says:

    One of Trump’s all caps tweets today:

    Donald J. Trump

    A response:

    God Smiling face with halo
    Replying to

  47. CSK says:

    Cult45 really has gone off the deep end. Now they’re saying that we’re under biological attack from either the Chinese or the Democrats (Democrats are the favored villains) and that Trump’s case of Covid-19 was an assassination attempt.

  48. Kathy says:


    I don’t believe in spending exorbitant amounts of money even for coffee or tea. I will pay extra to get a good coffee over a regular grocery store coffee, but not much more.

    I would use voice recognition to dictate, were it not that I type faster than I can talk, and get less tired doing so.

  49. Jen says:

    @CSK: I am genuinely surprised it took them this long to get to that theory.

  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Thanks for posting that Brooks essay. I found it fascinating, particularly the huge gap in trust. Boomers trust far, far more than Gen Z or Millennials.

    It brought me up short realizing that two works of mine, Animorphs with my wife, Gone on my own, may have contributed to a corrosive mistrust. A smart guy I know, (screenwriter, producer) pointed out that Animorphs was the first of the YA dystopias, way back in the 90’s. Those readers are in their late twenties, early thirties now. And Gone was the first of the 21st century YA dystopias. They are both also by far my most successful work.

    Trying to decide the question of chicken and egg. Did I help in a small way to foster general mistrust? Or was I just reading the room, so to speak, picking up on something that was already in the air, even back in 1995? The odd thing is that like my fellow Boomers, I tend to be trusting. It’s a choice. I recognize I’ll be disappointed and ripped off from time to time, but I choose to trust people for my own mental health. Perhaps irrationally.

  51. Michael Reynolds says:


    In the age of Trump I’m having a hard time. I’m doing several things to reduce my stress and anxiety level.

    Not me. I have my anxiety under total control, proof of my core strength of character. And not at all reliant on sativa, Scotch and cigars, or softened by endless property for sale searches in place far, far away.

  52. Kingdaddy says:

    @CSK: I checked out the relevant discussion at Sweet Jesus, these people are marinated in bile and credulousness. Here are some examples:

    One is not a “nut case” because they can put 2 & 2 together. In the case of Republican Covid infections, it’s more like 2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2. The DNC has been trying to get the President infected for months, while those around him got hit instead.

    I would discount Chinese involvement. The Rats are perfectly capable of pulling off such a stunt without help from the ChiComs. All it would take is some rabid Resistance Warrior on the Cleveland Clinic staff who has access to biological samples coordinating with bitter partisans on the debate staff to carry out a hit job.

    It’s time to waterboard Pelosi and Schumer.

    That last comment got 94 thumbs up.

  53. Jay L Gischer says:

    I ran across this story this weekend about a stalking/harrassment campaign by a corporation vs. a couple of bloggers last year. The corporation in question was eBay, and the people involved (including the then president) are all gone one way or another.

    Good lord, I can’t imagine Meg Whitman doing anything like this. But it seems a common M.O. these days. It sounds like Trumpism.

    I think stuff like this is contributing more to a corrosive distrust than anything Michael may have written. Dystopia was a standard element of Iron Age fiction (I apply this to more than comics). It’s how an author arranges to have heroes have to fill the gap that the government ought to.

    Like Michael, I’m a boomer and I tend to trust. I take the attitude that people can demonstrate to me their untrustworthiness, if the stakes aren’t too high to risk it. Yeah, I’ve been burned a few times, but surprised pleasantly many, many more.

    That said, I have a slightly different take. We are in what I would call a “phase change”. We are going to pass from one operating paradigm to another one, probably in pretty short order. It’s a bit up in the air what the new one will be, and it probably behooves us to all push as much as we are able toward one that is good.

  54. CSK says:

    Well, they’re also the people who’ve been claiming since last March that Covid-19 was a hoax, so they had to do a mental 180 to accommodate this new notion.

    And of course, having Trump be the intended victim of an assassination plot a) makes him a hero bravely facing down the threat and b) absolves Trump of any responsibility for contracting the illness. It wasn’t his refusal to observe basic protocols, you see–it was those dastardly would-be assassins on Team Biden. Trump took one for all patriotic true Americans!

  55. CSK says:

    Yes, really ought to be called See what I replied to Jen above.

  56. An Interested Party says:
  57. Monala says:

    @Kingdaddy: But if it was the Cleveland Clinic staff, how is it that many of the people getting sick weren’t at the debate, but rather were together at ACB’s nomination event (which preceded the debate), while several people who were at the debate, i.e., Trump’s children, are so far negative?

    Right, I’m looking for logic where it doesn’t exist…

  58. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    At first I thought this was from Wonkette.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Yet another reason to limit my use of YouTube although most of the ads that I’ve been getting are Biden and The Epoch Times. The GOP ads that I get are on Tubi when I’m watching Midsomer Murders, and even those are “don’t vote for…” PAC ads.

    There may be advantages in living in a solidly blue area that I never understood. The high percentage of Spanish Language ads on English-Language programming on Tubi and Pluto TV are another. Well over half.

  60. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party:

    “Firsthand experience is always going to change how someone relates to something that’s been happening,” she said. “The president has coronavirus right now. He is battling it head on, as toughly, as only President Trump can.

    14:15 EDT and I’ve now read the stupidest fucking thing I’ll read all day. That’s out of the way.

  61. Mu Yixiao says:


    If you don’t mind loose tea, I’d suggest Longjin green tea. It’s one of the most popular flavors in China. It’s a very light green tea that you can’t over-steep.

    And, to make it properly, there’s a “ritual” (which is rather calming)*.

    1) Put boiled water in your cup, swish it around for a bit and dump it out (this warms the cup and cleans it)

    2) Put the tea in the cup (in a tea berry** or spoon), and fill with boiling water.

    3) Pour out the tea/water.

    4) Refill the cup and allow to steep to your desired strength.

    In China everyone carries a “tea thermos” (I don’t know any better English word for it). They leave the tea leaves in it and just keep adding water all day long.

    * There are variations, but the important part is “washing” the tea. It takes away any dust, and makes the next steep very mellow.
    ** When the fuck did this become an “infuser”??

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: I must be a “better person” than you are given that I merely don’t care if it happens rather than rooting for it. Thank you. That brightened my outlook… I guess.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: I used to drink barley tea and corn tea when I was in Korea. Both were very refreshing and could be had bottled. For home drinking, refrigerated water is refreshing enough for me and way less labor intensive. The most important things for me on tea are no caffeine and low Vitamin K count, so tea is kind of a rarity for me altogether–which is a little sad as I used to like drinking tea.-

  64. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    After reading Francis Fukuyama’s Trust when it came out in the middle 90’s I became interested in how levels social trust (capital) effected the development of political and economic systems. For instance, France, the UK and the Scandinavian countries all have high levels of social capital and allow government to be a large part of their lives, they’ve managed empires when communication was a letter sent by square rigger across the world and developed large complex business units.

    In contrast countries such as Italy and Greece have low levels of social trust which resulted in governing till late in the 19th century via city states and an economic system built around family owned businesses. Or Russia, another low trust country that was the last large, feudal economy and only stays together by authoritarian governments.

    My thought is that for some, your books gave a framework through which the intellectually developing Millennial and Gen Z’r could make sense of the dissonance they experienced between life as it was being explained to them by their adults and life as they are living it.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: The day isn’t over yet, not by a long shot.

  66. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Michael, you like myself, have reached the don’t give a f#ck stage of life. We’ve had our struggles and survived them and while there maybe things we’d like to accomplish, but if we don’t… We care about what we want to care about. We’re financially comfortable and in reasonably good health. Life is good.

    @Teve: on the other hand is at an earlier life stage. But don’t give up hope Teve, it’ll get better for you, if not the larger society.

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: My first guess was The Borowitz Report.

  68. Kathy says:


    I’m surprised only that they admit Trump is ill with COVID-19, and not that he was poisoned, or infected with a “real” disease like H1N1 flu, SARS, etc. I expected the murder accusation, I think I even posted about it here.

    Remember when Hugo Chavez finally improved the world by leaving it? He’d been battling cancer for years. It’s common in many types of cancer to have it recur after successful treatment. Anyone who’s had a cancer death in their family has seen this. Yet when Chavez finally died, many in his cult alleged he was murdered (I assume by the CIA).

    Next, they may claim the assassination attempt was carried out with a face mask tainted with SARS-CoV-2 on the inside, and if only Trump had completely done way with masks he’d be ok today.

    No different than those who claimed deaths caused by seat belts outnumber lives saved by them.

  69. Mister Bluster says:

    WTOP Radio reports Trump tweets he wil leave Walter Reed 6:30 pm today.
    I just heard that live report. There is nothing posted on the WTOP web page at this time.

    Test Edit

  70. Mister Bluster says:

    Washington Post has this.

    More fake news?

    Test Edit

  71. Mikey says:

    President Trump tweeted on Monday that he will be leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda at 6:30 p.m. “Feeling really good!” he tweeted, adding, “Don’t be afraid of Covid.”

    Tell that to the families of the 200,000-plus people your negligence killed, you fucking imbecile.

  72. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..Trump tweets he will leave Walter Reed…

    Edit function where art thou?

    After 4 page reloads the edit function finally appears on my 14:47, 14:50 and this 14:57 post.

  73. flat earth luddite says:

    Thought for the day from headline/comment at the Telegraph (UK):

    ‘Trump’s recovery is imperative for the free world’: Juliet Samuel argues that we should wish Donald Trump a full recovery from Covid-19.

    I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry. Think I’ll have to settle for

  74. Jen says:

    Interesting timing on this CDC “revelation”

    CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

    The President is indeed being released from Walter Reed. I have no idea whether this means he had literally the best health care money can buy, or that he had the world’s mildest case of covid, but there you have it.

  75. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Annnnndddd you’re both way better people than I am. Although given that I care more for the continued health of my neighbor’s yapping dog than any of Team Orangeade…

    On reflection, I actually care more for the continued health and safety of the poor downtrodden serfs at the WH who’ve had to deal with this nonsense for the last 3.1417… years. But as I say, ya’ll are, comparatively speaking, really nice folks.

  76. flat earth luddite says:

    @flat earth luddite: somehow my head banging on the desk emoji wouldn’t show up.

  77. CSK says:

    Is he leaving against medical advice? As far as I know, he can do that. Anyone can. Most of us are smart enough not to do so.

  78. CSK says:

    Every time you think he can’t get any stupider, more boorish, more crass, more insensitive…he does.

  79. Mikey says:

    @CSK: My corollary to this is every morning I wake up thinking there’s no way I could possibly hate him any more than I already do, and every day he proves me wrong.

  80. Liberal Capitalist says:

    This has to take teh oscar for teh best “polishing a turnrd into gold” catagory…

    Remember when COVID was “fake news” and then it was a “Democrat hoax”? Well, give leadership and experience it’s due…

    Trump campaign attacks Joe Biden for lack of ‘firsthand experience’ being infected with COVID-19

    * facepalmslap * !!!

    Man… I jot to look up that definition of Chutzpah again… as I don’t even think that will cover it anymore.

  81. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Interesting; did Fukuyama – or do you – have any hypotheses as why the variation in trust levels?

    My first guess would be an extensive, and law-based state (German version: rechtstaat) providing a legal framework and a wide legally regulated market, enabling evolution of “non-familiar” trust.
    A situation where it is relatively safe to trust because cheats can be reliably punished, while it’s also increasingly profitable to extend trust.

  82. Liberal Capitalist says:

    ps… can you tell my spellcheck on Edge Chromium es no bueno?

  83. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Interesting related point; which I think I first came across in an article by David Brin:

    A common “meme” in Western (and especially American) culture from mid-20th century onward is to doubt authority to some extent.
    e.g. number of works of fiction where the authorities are “covering up”.

    My extension of this: It’s healthy in moderation, when restrained by critical reasoning; but taken to extremes can lead to conspiracy theorising, “anti-expert” irrationality, and erosion of social systemic trust.

  84. senyordave says:

    Trump’s latest:
    Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.
    My order of prayer these days:
    1. Trump, and every one of his diseased sycophants die horrible deaths from covid, literally gasping for air as they succumb in agony.
    2. World peace

    I used to think there must be a few serial killers that would be a better president than Trump, now I believe it would be hard to find one who wouldn’t.

  85. Teve says:



    This country has over 300 million human beings and we elected someone who really might be in the bottom 20 or 30 (not percent)

  86. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: FWIW, a pound of tea is a lot of tea, assuming you are talking about just the leaves with no bags or strings or little staples. I’m not so sure you wouldn’t come out ahead against Twinings.

  87. Scott says:

    Here’s a fun rumor. Maybe Trump is anxious to get back to the White House because there are drugs there he couldn’t get at Walter Reed.

  88. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yes, it is a ritual to throw out the first tea water but it also has the very practical effect of throwing out all the contaminants, natural or otherwise, that accumulated on the leaves as they were growing or as they dried.

  89. Jen says:


    He notoriously hates hospitals.

    From what I’m reading, the steroids he’s on make people feel pretty darn good.

    He’s also a total germaphobe and being in the hospital is probably making him freak out a bit.

  90. flat earth luddite says:


    If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve

    If drafted, I’m taking Cracker with me, that’ll learn you all!

  91. Michael Cain says:

    @Scott: I’d be inclined to bet on the hospital staff not being at his beck and call the way the White House staff are.

  92. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: oh you’re definitely right, buying it by the pound is much cheaper, but I wanted to try it for four bucks before I paid-now that I looked it up-22 bucks plus shipping. I’ve never had it before I just know it’s smoked and it could be good or it could be bad. Right now I bought twinings earl gray, oolong, and a variety pack, and once I find what I like, I’m gonna find a distributor, like I used to do with coffee.

  93. Bill says:

    I’m nearly done watching The West Wing and there’s an interesting line in the episode Election Day Part 2

    Barry Goodwin- “Ten thousand voters had absentee ballots in both Florida and New York ten years ago.”

    Yep there are people who do that. How many I don’t know but I did meet one a long time ago. They are deceased now.

  94. Bill says:

    @Bill: I mistyped. He said four years ago not ten.

  95. Kathy says:

    About trust, IMO a lot has to do with the habitual lies large and small coming from the government, especially since Vietnam.

    I haven’t read widely on the Vietnam war specifically, but I keep coming across it in other books and lecture series. The diplomatic and military advisers were lobbying to end the war even before the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Hell, the French advised the US not to get involved.

    Since then there were other pivotal events like Watergate, the Iran-Contra scandal, Clinton’s serial philandering (to be charitable), the lack of WMDs in Iraq, the financial collapse of 2007-8, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Add to this other lies, more implicit ones, about how the US economy supposedly operates. People have internalized that hard work and education is what it takes to make it economically. Now too many are left with student loan debt and subsistence wages, while the rich grow richer and keep getting tax breaks and “incentives” to “create jobs.”

    The question isn’t why the younger generations lack trust, but why the older ones manage to retain any.

  96. Kylopod says:

    @Bill: I was actually thinking of that last season in light of recent events, especially in the way Josh and the Santos campaign know the, um, event is going to help them politically but they want to avoid openly bringing up Vinick’s past comments and making it seem like they’re politicizing a crisis, so they’re hoping the press gets to it first.

  97. Sleeping Dog says:


    In a significant part of the Fukuyama drew on much social research to provide a frame work of why some countries develop high levels of trust and others don’t. It’s been ~25 years since I read the book and passed it on to a friend who spotted it on my bookshelf, so I can’t reference it. So my thoughts on why are likely a mix of his and others that I’ve read.

    An integral national identity, i.e., I’m French or British rather than I’m a Saxon. It’s interesting the US developed high social trust, despite individuals feeling greater allegiance to their states than to the US and that was predominant even after the Civil War. Another factor is relatively contiguous population groups that might war on occasion, but would trade and in particular inter marry. A beneficent ruling class that offered safety and opportunity. As I recall Fukuyama talked about the causes for trust development in general and with regard to each nation covered and he also differentiated between what the result of the trust was in the various countries.

    The rise of negative feelings in the West about government since the 60’s, maybe even the 50’s stems from the development of the cult of the individual from classical liberalism. The autonomous, self actualizing man person so to speak. Add to that the role of government is to provide order and that often happens by hammering down the proud nail. It was probably only coincidence that fetishistizing individualism came first in the purported hippy left and their do your own thing ethos, before popping up on the right as Randian ideas displaced the primacy of order in conservative philosophy. That of course has devolved to you can’t make me wear a mask. Along the way the concept of the individuals commitment to the broader community was jettisoned.

    Frankly I’m convinced that the American century is over and has been for 20 or so years and we are going to be in for a tough 50 years or so. Perhaps as the Millennial and Gen Z assume the reins of political and economic power they can effect change that will re-balance the country, I hope so.

  98. Sleeping Dog says:


    Brooks’ addressed that in his essay saying that in individuals the concept of social trust is in bedded during later childhood and adolescence when you notice the dichotomy of how the world operates and how you were told it operates and what you can expect out of life.

    By the time Boomers realized that they were lied to about Viet Nam, the concept of social trust was already part of their being.

  99. Sleeping Dog says:
  100. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: love it.

  101. Bill says:


    I was actually thinking of that last season in light of recent events, especially in the way Josh and the Santos campaign know the, um, event is going to help them politically but they want to avoid openly bringing up Vinick’s past comments and making it seem like they’re politicizing a crisis, so they’re hoping the press gets to it first.

    The final election map for the Vinick-Santos race had a few problems. Vermont and Maine go Republican and South Carolina goes Democratic. What were the show’s writer doing, daydreaming of the 1930’s? If they reversed those results the electoral vote totals at the end would have still been the same.

  102. Kylopod says:

    @Bill: Absolutely! I was even thinking of bringing that up, but I decided it wasn’t relevant to my main point. Both of the electoral maps on the show are kind of crazy, but the second one in particular. I mean, it’s one thing to say a candidate might win seemingly unlikely states in the course of a landslide, but the Vinick-Santos election was a nailbiter. So Vermont and Maine go Republican–but the rest of New England stays Dem. SC goes Dem–but the rest of the South stays Republican. That isn’t even 1930s, because it recognizes the South has mostly turned GOP, but with SC as the outlier. Similarly, Vinick wins CA and Santos wins TX supposedly on favorite-son grounds. I guess I could see how the show’s writers might have found the former plausible, given that in the most recent real-world election when this was being aired (2004), CA only went Dem by single digits, and they might have thought a sitting Republican Senator from there (even though there hadn’t been one in the real world since Pete Wilson in the ’80s) might have been able to push it over the top. But the idea of that happening and TX simultaneously going Dem simply because a non-statewide Texas office-holder headed the ticket….

    I know one of the writers was Lawrence O’Donnell, but I’d be surprised if he was the one who made these electoral-map decisions. If he did, he’s a lot more out to lunch than I ever suspected.

  103. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    …the intellectually developing Millennial and Gen Z’r could make sense of the dissonance they experienced between life as it was being explained to them by their adults and life as they are living it.

    Yeah. One of the “downsides” of having decent schools is that, at least among a lot of the kids I see at school, that dissonance is getting very strong–especially among students in the lower quintiles. In a lot of ways, I surprised that good schools–by any definition of the term–are seen as an advantage to many communities.

  104. Teve says:

    The CDC has been prohibited from doing any contact tracing related to any COVID infection at the White House.

  105. Teve says:

    Shit. Watch this video. Trump is obviously struggling to breathe.

  106. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Well, “jot” is an actual word, and spell check is not driven by AI systems that might be able to infer what word you wanted. If your typo had been “xot” or “qot” the system would have gone into action by either asking you whether you wanted “bot,” “cot,” “dot,” “got,” “hot,” “lot,” “not,” “pot,” “rot,” “sot,” or “tot,” or in the case of a system that does have AI to help, would have picked the choice least likely to have useful meaning and maybe even not permitted you to make a manual correction–because AI knows best. 😉

  107. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I remember reading that spellcheckers will sometimes flag obscure words that are technically correct, simply because they’re too similar to common spelling errors of more common words. For example, there’s a device called a “calender,” but good luck not seeing the squiggly red lines after you type it in.

  108. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: Might not work as well as you would hope. I’m currently working on figuring out how to live the phrase in The Lord’s Prayer that, in modern translation, goes

    forgive us our trespasses [in the same manner] as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.

    On the other hand, it might be that I could play “good cop” to your “Psycho Billy cop” and get some balance into the administration that is missing with the current duo of “loathsome cop/stupid as f’k cop.”

  109. Teve says:


    Claudia Conway is like if Deep Throat had a TikTok and began every video with “what’s up, this is Mark Felt, here’s some secrets”


  110. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Try a bilingual spell checker, like on my browser. Words that are correct in Spanish don’t get flagged if they sneak into a post in English.

  111. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Yeah, when I was getting out of HS, I’d run into guys who were seniors when I was a freshman and they’d tell me about finishing college and finding a job in their field. Now a similar kid sees that college grad working as a barista next to a guy/gal who is in their 30’s.

    The HS kid who know’s they aren’t going to college and heads towards the trades, knows there is little future for him/her. Likely their parents are out of work or scraping by on odd jobs. Imagine looking at 50 or 60 years of that, no wonder drugs look appealing.

  112. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Yeah. Lifting one’s shoulders is a technique that asthmatics use to mechanically enlarge the chest cavity so that inflating the lungs is not as stressful. Done that a lot in my day. Beyond that, it starts to become painful to do relatively quickly. Ugh…

  113. Mikey says:

    @Teve: Wow. I actually had some empathy for him. He looks awful in that video, and scared.

  114. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @<a href="#comment-25519

    04″>Just nutha ignint cracker:

    … spell check is not driven by AI systems that might be able to infer what word you wanted.

    No, that is an overthink of the issue I’m having.

    For whatever reason, on Edge Chromium, I have spellcheck enabled… but for whetever reason my spelling eoors (like that one) anre nt beeng flggged.

    I’s a frustration.

  115. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: David Brooks is anti-Trump, and I suppose he should get some credit for that, even though it’s largely a marketing decision. His moderate schtick wouldn’t have survived backing Trump. But his moderate schtick is an integral part of his act. He was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be the world’s champion Republican concern troll. ‘Oh Trump is awful, but please, Democrats, nominate some unicorn Democratic candidate who is really a moderate Republican or you will have betrayed me.’ He’s gone off on this pop sociology kick to explain what’s wrong with the country because otherwise he’d have to admit the problem is Republicans.

  116. JohnMcC says:

    Last glance at the NYT is particularly rewarding tonight. One headline says ‘Nearly 1/3d of Covid Patients in Study had Altered Mental State’. Which having watched pretty closely this weekend I would agree that at least ONE in particular had ‘altered’ status but it would be hard to define because of his pretty severely screwed up baseline mental status.

    But the other really made me want to share. It seems this person made a video upon getting back to his White House in which he told his followers ‘as your leader I had to do that.’ Thus assuring them that this weekend’s craziness had unifying theme: The Fuhrerprinzip. Our leader led us into the valley of the shadow and he’ll surely get us out!

    What could be more proof of ‘altered mental status’ than claiming to be the fuhrer? Maybe it has to be Napoleon to count?

  117. Teve says:


    .’ He’s gone off on this pop sociology kick to explain what’s wrong with the country because otherwise he’d have to admit the problem is Republicans.

    Truer words were never spoken.

  118. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mikey: No empathy whatsoever, but I have experienced what he is probably feeling and done what the video showed him doing and have some inkling of how he might feel.

  119. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Mi aplgiez. Hop i’s brter sun.

  120. Mikey says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I assure you it was quite brief and involuntary.