Monday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kylopod says:

    Here’s my update of what the 538 averages are saying. Biden’s lead is now +9.1, about a 1.5-point drop since last week. And the race has also tightened in most of the battleground states, though Biden’s relative strength across states has stayed mostly the same, with PA still the tipping-point state. The most interesting thing (and this was discussed in another thread the other day using the RCP numbers) is that TX seems to have moved to the left of OH. OH might be starting to pull away from the Dems–Trump is now ahead there by 1.5. But in TX he’s only ahead by a razor-thin 0.1.

    As to why it’s tightened overall, my first thought was that it’s something we’ve seen throughout Trump’s presidency: he gets a stream of bad news for a while–in this case the disastrous first debate and his Covid diagnosis–then after a certain amount of time passes, his soft supporters return to him.

    But someone I talked to last night posed another intriguing theory: people who have already voted are getting underrepresented in subsequent polls due to nonresponse, and because those early votes are disproportionately Democrat, later polls are going to show an apparent swing toward the Republicans even though that isn’t what’s actually happening.

    Whether or not that theory is accurate, it does seem likely that the unusually high level of early voting will blunt any potential impact from a late shift in the race.

    MN: +7.9
    MI: +7.6
    NV: +6.6
    WI: +6.6
    PA: +5.7
    AZ: +2.6
    NC: +2.6
    FL: +2.4
    IA: +1.2
    GA: +0.4
    TX: -0.1
    OH: -1.5

  2. Bill says:
  3. Billi says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: I am not an obsessive poll watcher so maybe I am misremembering, but I seem to recall that most races naturally tighten in the final days.

  5. de stijl says:


    The Dallas Morning News / UT Tyler poll has Biden at +3.

    If Rs lose Texas that is game over. That and Arizona.

    I am way too gunshy to call it, but damn it looks good across the board.

    Even if it turns out a bust, making Rs defend and spend on TX, AZ, and NC is a really big win.

  6. sam says:
  7. de stijl says:

    SLC in particular and Utah in general is coming very close to being over-run. Too few beds for the patient load.

    That always my biggest fear. Hang on, my dudes!

  8. CSK says:

    Okay…that’s eerie.

  9. de stijl says:


    I only hear Green Needle. I tried and could not hear Brainstorm at all.

    I gave it 20 more shots and I did hear Brainstorm.

    That is so freaky!

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:
  11. Paine says:

    This was posted over at Slate. Very funny…

  12. CSK says:

    Junior is a walking, talking denotative definition of the term “sad sack,” isn’t he?

  13. Neil Hudelson says:


    Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.

  14. CSK says:

    The New York Post has endorsed Trump for re-election.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    A couple of mask testing updates.

    First, I said I would test some cloth masks last week, but have had 4-5 hour meetings each day for 2021 planning and that makes it not worthwhile to drive into work. So I’ll test those the next time I go in.

    Second, I’ve been saying that masks should actually become more efficient with time. A colleague just ran an N95 mask through hundreds of tests and, while the “more efficient with time” statement is generally true, there is a caveat worth mentioning.

    First, some background. The testing is a stress test and does not represent the real world. In particular, the particle size is very small (<1 micron with a 0.19 micron peak) and that is far different from what you would be breathing in through the mask. It deliberately represents nearly the worst case for penetration. However, the lack of the larger particle sizes means that the fiber growth (which would result in better penetration values) is very slow. And the pressures are substantially higher than you could do with your breath. So, what were my colleagues results? This particular mask started out at 99.8%, moved smoothly to 99.1% and then came back smoothly to 99.9%.

    Bear in mind that this was an N95 mask from one of the top manufacturers. We haven't seen numbers this good from KN95 masks which are more typically 96% or 97% to start.

  16. de stijl says:


    This sets me off so damned hard.

    Kid, you absolute fucking moron, The Presidency represents all of us not just those who voted for her or him.

    This shit makes me so livid.

    Does no one get civics education anymore?

    Fuck you. FUCK YOU! Two hands flipping you off, you nasty pustule.

    That type of partisan idiocy triggers me so hard.

    Yaargh. Fuck me, I am righteously pissed off.

  17. de stijl says:


    Obviously based on merit.

  18. de stijl says:


    I purposefully bought a mask that accepted filters.

    Is there any point beyond the one more layer?

    I want be appropriately safe to others and for me.

  19. Mu Yixiao says:

    She used to clean City Hall. Now she runs it.

    “Token” opponent wins mayoral race in Russian town.

  20. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I saw that story yesterday.

    Very cool.

  21. Kathy says:

    I mentioned some days ago that commercial air travel has been made safe by various means, including preparation for all possible known emergencies and anomalies. The list is vast, but one i worth mentioning: fuel.

    there is something of a contradictory goal here, as economy demands carrying as little fuel as possible, because you need to carry extra fuel in order to carry more fuel (the basic rocket equation). But there are rules on how much fuel any given flight should have at minimum.

    So, and I’m sure I’m leaving stuff out, at minimum you need enough fuel to 1) fly to your destination, 2) effect a missed approach, go around, and land safely, 3) divert to an alternate airport if landing is not possible at the destination, 4) 15 minutes of flight time beyond all that as a reserve.

    BTW some flights are a bit ridiculous when it comes to alternates. I’ve heard that in the short flight from Mexico City to Acapulco, for example, the alternate for Acapulco is Mexico City.

    anyway, are these rules adhered to? Yes, in very large measure. Offhand, I can’t think of a dozen instances where low fuel was an issue in an accident or incident in the jet era. One was the result of taking too little fuel by mistake, and another involved a fuel leak that developed during the flight. I’m leaving out the LaMia accident in 2016, as there the captain purposefully disobeyed the rules to save money.

    The plain truth is that flying is inherently risky. Therefore measures need be taken to reduce risks.

    And this is what I mean when I say pandemic response should be similar. We know, now, many things that can exacerbate an outbreak: asymptomatic transmission, airborne and/or aerosol transmission, lack of hospital space, lack ventilators, etc. We don’t know how likely such things are, but we know they are possible.

    Therefore we need to be prepared for all. If a new pathogen emerges, especially a respiratory one, we should all wear masks until we find out it’s not transmitting that way. The inconvenience and expense is small, especially if governments have stockpiles they can distribute in an emergency, and the payoff in life and health is huge. We need a stockpile of ventilators that can be distributed at need promptly. We need stockpiles of other PPE to keep front line health workers, and first responders as well, as safe as possible.

    No we don’t know whether this will be necessary, but we know it may be. And we know we can’t provide all these things, and more, on an emergency basis as the pandemic takes palce.

  22. de stijl says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Charlie Murphy can tell a damn good story.

    The Prince story is gold.

  23. Bill says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    She used to clean City Hall. Now she runs it.

    There goes tomorrow’s headline of the day….

    My late Father-in-law served briefly as a Tacloban City commissioner after Marcos* cronies were swept out in wake of the People’s revolution. Tatay was working at Alangalang city Hall when he and my mother-in-law. It wasn’t as a cleaning person but some kind of low level clerk’s job.

    BTW the only political rally I have ever been to was for Tatay. It was in late 1988 and I married my wife the following May.

    *- Imelda Marcos was from Talosa Philippines, which was just outside Tacloban.

  24. Teve says:

    “One thing we’ve seen in a lot of the black community, which is mostly Democrat, President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about but he can’t want them to be successful more than that they want to be successful”

    -Jared Kushner

    video here

  25. Kathy says:

    Any plans for election night?

    Four years ago, before the dark times, I developed the uneasy feeling that Hillary might lose. Rationally this didn’t make sense. But the election looked to be close, which also rationally didn’t make sense.

    So I decided to go to bed early, as I didn’t want to agonize over every state called, and knowing I couldn’t affect the outcome.

    I woke up around 3:30 am to use the bathroom, and I switched on the TV to provide illumination (the switch for the lights is inconveniently located). I saw the reports of what had happened, decided it couldn’t be so and that I must be having a nightmare. Then I went back to sleep.

    That memory retains a surreal feeling.

    This year I’m thinking about tuning into CNN and leaving it on until I go to bed, which probably won’t be too late. It depends on how many states can be called during the evening. I expect a better result this time around.

  26. de stijl says:


    My dear lord. Smdh.

    The obliviousness is so blatant.

    Kushner needs to look up “outreach”. Hint: outreach is not blatant victim-blaming.

    That was painful. Wow.

  27. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: Depends on who he’s reaching out to. Kushner’s comment, ‘It’s their own fault for being Black.’, is bog standard outreach to the GOP base. And it’s worked for them so far.

  28. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I’ve discussed my 2016 experience here before. I was working that night, and I didn’t finish until 11PM EST. As I got onto the elevator, I flipped open my phone and turned to 538’s liveblog. That was the simplest source I could think of that would quickly give me an idea of what was happening. The first thing I saw–the first piece of information I got about the election results–was that they now projected Trump to have a 58% chance of winning.

    After staring at the screen for several moments in shock, it hit me that Hillary was toast. Of course, 58% is hardly “inevitable.” And it wasn’t until hours later that the networks would declare Trump the winner. But given how low his chances had been rated before the election, for him to be suddenly favored to win, even if only marginally, meant that things must be going very badly for Hillary.

    Fast forward two years to the 2018 midterms. Once again, I planted myself on 538’s liveblog–early in the night, as I wasn’t busy. Some of the initial results were disappointing for Dems. Before long, 538 estimated that Republicans now had a 60% chance of keeping the House. I had the sinking feeling that I was watching 2016 all over again. The polls had failed once again, and Republicans had triumphed. But then the Democratic victories began piling up, and as we know they ended up killing it. Nate Silver went on Twitter and basically apologized, stating that his probability tracker had screwed up by reacting too sensitively to those early Republican victories.

    But it was a sign of how 2016 PTSD affects us all. If next week Trump somehow pulls off another surprising win, most of us won’t be anywhere near as surprised as we were in 2016. And the fact is I don’t think I was as surprised as some other people. Like you, I had lingering worries. In my last call to my parents before the election, I asked them “Are you ready for the Trumpocalypse?” I was only half-kidding. As I’ve mentioned before, a few days before the election I posted a scenario for what a Trump win would look like that ended up being strikingly accurate. It was 538 that kept me a little on my feet. But I chose to suppress my doubts because so many other smart people I read were busy reassuring Dems they had nothing to worry about. And keep in mind–I’m used to worrying about elections no matter how well the Dems appear to be doing. I had had similar worries about 2012. While I still got that surreal feeling so many of us got when Trump won, I have the sense a lot of other people were just totally gobsmacked when it happened–they’d never even considered it.

    And I cannot emphasize more that it wasn’t the polls that generated this feeling. It was that people simply could not wrap their heads around the idea of Donald Trump winning the presidency. I think frankly that even if he’d gone into the election ahead in the polls, numerous people would have refused to believe it. This led to confirmation bias so that when people looked at Hillary’s modest polling advantage, they interpreted it as proof that she couldn’t lose even though that isn’t what the data showed. It’s actually not that typical for Dems to put this much faith in polls. They accept the science of polling more than Repubs do, but if you look at past elections they are in general in a constant state of neuroticism about Dems snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I remember in 2008 how many Dems I came across who were on edge about Obama’s chances despite his big polling advantage. What happened in 2016 wasn’t some massive, unprecedented polling error (that’s a myth, it was actually a minor, unremarkable error no worse than in 2012, albeit in the other direction), it was due to Dems’ faith in their idea of America being shattered.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: @de stijl: I heard nothing at all. Don’t know if that is my stone deaf left ear or my not subject to suggestion brain.

  30. Gustopher says:


    Four years ago, before the dark times, I developed the uneasy feeling that Hillary might lose. Rationally this didn’t make sense.

    She wasn’t breaking 50% on any polls. The number of undecideds were huge compared to the delta between the candidates. I never understood why so many people thought she had it in the bag. Favored to win? Sure. Strongly favored? No.

    I did poorly in statistics, but it seemed like people were going past what the statistics showed, and depending on bad assumptions. Like treating it like 50 totally independent races where the undecideds would break differently, anywhere on a bell curve in each one, rather than there being regional or national trends.

    I feel more confident about this election, for what that’s worth (nothing). Biden has been flirting with 50% is a lot of polls, so he needs fewer undecideds to break his way, and there are fewer undecideds over all. In a non-pandemic year, I would be certain the Biden would win. This year, it comes down to whether Republicans and Covid can disrupt the vote enough to disrupt a Biden victory.

    Anyway, pay it no attention and go to bed early. We won’t have a winner on election night with all the absentee voting.

    Huh, Republicans and Covid, working hand-in-hand.

  31. Jax says:

    Say, has anybody noticed if Kit has commented on anything recently? Or HelloWorld? I was considering the COVID death toll and wondering if we’ve lost members of the commentariat who used to be regulars.

  32. de stijl says:


    I tried again. Closed my eyes, kept my mind as blank and open as I can. Breathe deep and release.

    I heard Green Needle 68 times out of a hundred.

    This is utterly fascinating.

  33. Teve says:


    I know that Republicans are convinced that the court expansion stuff is a bluff and Democrats lack the intestinal fortitude to do it. But they’re really misunderstanding how quickly and radically centrist Dems are shifting on the issue. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  34. Kathy says:


    IMO the main reason just about everyone, even most Republicans thought Hillary would win, was simply that a trump win seemed so ludicrous as to beggar belief. The problem is that it still does. I recall several Republicans, not Trump acolytes, at the time in message boards I followed, spun notions that Trump was a Democratic plant, whether unwitting or not. It seemed that preposterous.

    Today it’s even more so, as Trump has amply demonstrated his inability and unwillingness to govern, much less govern effectively.

    In a late 90s books, I think Executive Orders, Tom Clancy described the US electorate as, paraphrasing, “40% will vote Democrat, 40% will vote Republican, no matter who either party nominates. the other 20% will vote on the candidates’ character.”

    The numbers are off, but the trend seems essentially correct. We’re past the time when a weak or ineffective or unqualified candidate won’t be voted on by their party, even if they nominate Donald Trump.

  35. de stijl says:

    Election night 2016 was basically getting kicked in the groin every twenty minutes over the span of eight hours.

    I wanted to vomit.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Almost exactly the same experience as you, down to the time I woke up and checked the news. I couldn’t go back to sleep. It was one of the worst feelings I’ve had in my life. I am dreading next Tuesday night. I honestly wish I could take a pill and go to sleep for 36 hours.

  37. Kathy says:


    It was one of the worst feelings I’ve had in my life.

    Not for me, but the closest feeling I’ve had before when I saw the news, wide awake, the next morning, was how I felt on 9/11: deep shock and disbelief, accompanied by very strong foreboding that things would change irrevocably and for the worse.

  38. Kathy says:

    BTW, Jill Lepore had a bonus ep in her podcast, The Last Archive, with an interview of veteran TV journalist Bob Schieffer on election coverage.

    Mr. Schieffer said something that stuck with me. That they try not to make predictions during election coverage, because there’s some likelihood to get it wrong. but also that if no predictions are made, people don’t watch.

    If he has it right, my challenge for the evening will be not to listen to predictions.

  39. de stijl says:

    Every morning I sit at the bottom of my basement stairs (less street noise) and concentrate on deep breathing and a slow release.



    open and still and calm

  40. KM says:

    @Jax :
    There’s a bunch of names I haven’t seen lately. People come and go all the time but with the pandemic…. I’m wondering if there’s a way to do a census on posters – perhaps our hosts could send a “are you OK” email or something anyone who’s posted in 2020 (assuming the email is kept anywhere)?

  41. de stijl says:


    I appreciate the thought and sentiment, Jax’s too, but what you proposing is too much.

    People drop in when they want and drop out when they want.

    I would resent the hell out of being checked up on in this manner.

    *It is not our business* At all.

  42. Jax says:

    @KM: Kit used to be pretty regular….I think the last time I remember seeing his name was when the schools shut down.

    Maybe Doug will come back after Trump loses? 😉

  43. Mikey says:


    Junior is a walking, talking denotative definition of the term “sad sack,” isn’t he?

    I believe it was Molly Jong-Fast who coined the term “failson” for Junior. That fits well, I think.

  44. Mikey says:


    Any plans for election night?

    I will be on a business trip. Go figure…first business trip since January (I usually do 4-5 a year) and it’s on election night. I already voted, so no biggie, but I really wanted to be home to celebrate Trump’s defeat with my wife (or, should the at-this-point-apparently-unlikely occur, start planning our future escape).

  45. BugManDan says:

    @Kathy: I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t think it would be worse than W. I figured that he had insulted enough Reps that he just wouldn’t be able to get anything done.

  46. Teve says:


    I cannot emphasize enough how much McConnell’s actions on Garland and Barrett have radicalized Democratic senators.

    As I’ve argued before, McConnell’s single most consequential legacy may be what he convinces Senate Democrats to do: How Mitch McConnell is Changing the Democratic Party

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: @Kathy: I went out to my truck and took off the “Black Lives Matter” that had been on the rear window since the bullshit up in Rosebud and replaced it with “Got Vaseline?”

  48. Mikey says:

    I ran the Marine Corps Marathon today! (Virtual edition.) It was a bit odd getting all dressed and putting my race number on my shirt and then running all by myself, and it was hilly which kinda sucked at times, but I did set a new personal best time so I’m quite pleased.

    Hopefully next year it can be the full event, I missed my 25,000 friends.

  49. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl:

    I purposefully bought a mask that accepted filters.

    Is there any point beyond the one more layer?

    I want be appropriately safe to others and for me.

    Sorry, guy, I’ve got no special knowledge on the efficacy of cloth masks for the wearers, with or without added filters. As far as I know, there has been no real world research published yet, and for cloth masks real world is important. They don’t have a fluid barrier so a) it’s not obvious if they would protect from droplets, and b) they will get damp as they are being used and who knows what effect that has.

    On the other hand, they are very likely to make others safer if you have C19, so the mensch factor along makes them worthwhile.

    Early on I bought 10 KN95 masks and because of what I do have added some to that mix as I’ve tested them for fit and put them on, rendering them unfit to keep in our sample stock. I generally wear one of those when outside. Short of that I would wear a surgeons mask with a real water barrier (you can test by placing a drop of colored liquid on the outside and seeing if you can rub it off on the inside).

    When I’m exercising outside I generally wear a cloth mask as the KN95 and the surgeons masks become uncomfortable when I sweat.

  50. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Ah, breathing exercises. It’s a hop, skip and a jump from there to MBSR and meditation.

    That’s the stuff that helped my anxiety, although it was never as bad as you’ve described yours. And it changed me — my friends say “85% for the better, and… yeah, that other 15% man…”

  51. Teve says:

    @Mikey: cool! I’ve been trying to get back in Triathlon shape for several years but it’s a lot more of a struggle at 44 than it was at 29. I was doing some sprints up a hill three days ago and sprained my Achilles tendon for the first time in my entire life. What was your time?

  52. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: Kit is a he? I may have misgendered him. Sorry Kit.

    This blog has changed over the past year, to being a bit more chummy. Like a miniature Balloon Juice. I expect that people who don’t find that appealing have drifted away a little bit.

    I also expect that if Biden wins, we will shift back more into the traditional conservative-with-a-small-c hosts and a wide array of mostly liberal commentators, and there will be a bit more division on the issues. Pro-FEMA Re-education Camps vs. “Those people can’t be educated”, etc.

  53. Sleeping Dog says:


    Pro-FEMA Re-education Camps vs. “Those people can’t be educated”


    Perhaps the cages where Trump kept migrants.

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: Maybe being deaf in one ear makes a difference, but I heard “brain needle.”

  55. Kathy says:

    I think after he loses the election, Trump will go on and on, aside from denouncing fraud (ie voting against Trump in the trumpish pidgin), about how great his healthcare plan was, and now you losers voted me out and you will NEVER know what the bestestest evah! plan for healthcare was!11!

    Oh, he may slip out that he’d have made the Regeneron antibodies free for everyone, which there is no way in Hell he can actually do, save paying for them out of his own money (yeah, try typing that with a straight face).

  56. I think this piece about how polarizing it is to read Facebook is super important:

    I’m less concerned about the partisan effect and more concerned about the general social effect. I guess you could read this as concern trolling, but just the same, I know and love people who are generally conservative, and Facebook is bad for them. Maybe worse than watching only Fox News. (FN is ok if you are also getting news from other sources. It’s a much lower impact.)

  57. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:


    I purposefully bought a mask that accepted filters.
    Is there any point beyond the one more layer?
    I want be appropriately safe to others and for me.

    I’d be curious to know this, too.

    The only ones I’ve seen with filters (supposedly by 3M) were specifically for PM2.5 filtration. Very popular in China.

  58. Mikey says:

    @Teve: 44…I didn’t even start running seriously until I was 44. I really wish I’d started at 29! I’m 54 now. I still really enjoy running and it keeps me fit and relatively slim.

    I ran a 3:58, which was only a two-minute PR but it broke my previous best which was just over 4:00. And I set the previous five years ago, so I guess even a little bit better at five years older is a plus. My previous two marathons were 4:06 and 4:11 so I did improve quite a bit.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah. I know what you mean. My very first reaction was just a sort of high pitched squeak or squeal sound. As the processing of the sound into message happened the “B” sound and “eedle” became the dominant elements. I never heard “storm” even when I tried to and looked at that word.

  60. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I’ll say it again: mark my words, after the election assuming he loses, he’s going to launch a TV show called “Donald Trump – the REAL President.” He’ll appear in a replica of the Oval Office where he does presidenting stuff like looking at the camera and talking about how he was the greatest president the world has ever seen. He’ll refer repeatedly to “Fake President Biden,” a phrase he’ll repeat on Twitter, at rallies, and in interviews. He’ll reassure his audience that Fake President Biden is going to be kicked out of the White House, and that Trump will get his rightful office back, just as soon as the courts step in, which will happen in the next couple of weeks. Always the next couple of weeks.

  61. sam says:

    David Simon@AoDespair

    Oct 24
    Today in history: In 1601, Tycho Brahe — a learned Danish nobleman who accurately described every other astronomical facet of his known universe but still had the sun orbiting Earth, died. “Fuck Copernicus,” were Brahe’s last recorded words. “No, seriously, fuck that guy.”

  62. sam says:

    Can I get sprung from moderation stir? In the interests of history, of course.

  63. CSK says:

    Given that his original intent in running for the presidency in 2016 was probably to use it as a launching pad for TrumpTV, your prediction doesn’t seem far off the mark.

    But…he can’t do this till after the inauguration, since he’ll be occupying the real Oval Office until January 21, 2021.

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    On election night, since Goldwater days, I’ve always looked for any station that was running regular programming with a crawl for results or a station break recap, so I didn’t see any results for 2016 until I went to bed at about 11 PST. My reaction seeing that Trump had been projected to win was “son of a gun, I didn’t expect that.” I also have to admit that Trump exceeded my expectations for how incompetent he would actually be, too. Interesting reactions from different people.

  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    But Don Jr does seem to be the Trump offspring most inclined to politics.

    Of course he does, he’s the only Trump offspring who doesn’t have a job. (And who’d hire him anyway, as far as that goes?)

    Barron doesn’t count, he’s still in high school.

  66. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: I think this is an underreported and underexamined result of McConnell’s actions…when Republicans inevitably start their whole weeping and gnashing of teeth routine in the near future with whatever horrible thing Democrats want to do, Democrats need only gently remind them that they are only following the Republicans’ lead…

  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @An Interested Party: Democrats need only gently remind them that they are only following the Republicans’ lead…

    Disagree. DEMs should gently remind voters that they are only following the Republicans’ lead by doing whatever the constitution allows, while telling Republicans that they can go fvck themselves.

  68. Kathy says:


    He’ll reassure his audience that Fake President Biden is going to be kicked out of the White House, and that Trump will get his rightful office back, just as soon as the courts step in, which will happen in the next couple of weeks. Always the next couple of weeks.

    I can just picture Pessimus doing this. He never lets anything go. the biggest slight of his life will be when he gets voted out. He’s also always the best and has never made a mistake in his life (see Sharpiegate). So obviously he can only lose if he gets cheated.

    He’s also addicted to political rallies, and won’t give them up just because there’s no point to holding them. I expect he will now charge a hefty entrance fee, and sell more Minimus branded merchandise than before. And he’ll complain even more than ever that CNN and Fox are not carrying his rallies live.

  69. An Interested Party says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Good point! Much better…

  70. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Ah, I think I’m misunderstanding the question. There are cloth masks that you can buy with a slot to put in a piece of filter paper, usually a coffee filter. I don’t know anything about them.

    P100 Respirators that use an external cartridge are the real deal. In addition to being tested for penetration and liquid barrier they can also be fit tested to make sure they seal to the face and typically are seriously designed with multiple adjustable straps to ensure this seal. The P100 NIOSH standard is essentially HEPA filtering (99.97%).

    I’m not sure what is meant by PM2.5 filtration, but in general PM2.5 means particles <2.5 microns in size, which can get deep into the lungs. PM10 was the standard in pollution measurement in days past and is still very meaningful in places with lots of soot and dust and other big particles. PM2.5 particles are more prevalent with internal combustion engines and higher efficiency industrial processes.

    All the standards we test to, however, call for the aerosol generator to knock out everything above 1 micron. This is predominantly because standard filter technology tends to be very good with those big particles. The most penetrating particle size for most of the filter media I've looked at is somewhere between 0.1 and 0.25 microns, and the standards typically call for a normal distribution around roughly 0.2 microns. Of course, once you get small enough, say 0.01 microns, you are starting to talk about "molecular" particles (a common way to describe them but not really accurate) and those can make it through. Otherwise, even air wouldn't make it through.

  71. Kathy says:

    Apparently, Trump is planning another super-spreader event, to celebrate judge Amy Covid Barret.

    Justice Thomas will be in attendance.

    I’m not wishing anything on anyone. But if they choose to gather in large numbers indoors and eschew masks and social distancing, the pathogen they’re courting will surely find them.

    Did someone say something about that some people can’t be educated?

  72. Kathy says:


    In Asimov’s Robot Novels, the hyper-hygienic (and hyper-eugenic as well) Spacers wear nose plugs with filters, to guard against the germs carried by people from Earth. They also keep their distance.

    I recall when reading these novels in the 80s that I thought they should also wear some kind of mask, as they left their mouths unguarded*. You do aspirate through the mouth when speaking. not much, but given that Spacers lacked any innate defenses against Earth germs, and that even the common cold could kill them, you’d think they’d be more careful.

    I imagine putting N95 filters in nose plugs wouldn’t work so well. Not to mention that people who refuse to wear even a cloth mask won’t be keen to insert stuff up their nose.

    *Later in the series, in books written decades later, a Spacer with strong Earth sympathies, Gladia, mentions she has a mask available if needed. She also proves all fears of contagion baseless when she spends lots of time with little protection on Earth.

  73. Teve says:

    8 days from the election, Trump’s losing, only halfwits bought Russia’s Hunter Biden disinfo…

    …surely they’ll go for broke and come out with a last-ditch Big Surprise. Wonder what it’ll be.

  74. Mikey says:


    …surely they’ll go for broke and come out with a last-ditch Big Surprise. Wonder what it’ll be.

    An enormous, reeking, fly-infested pile of Prime Grade A Bullshit.

  75. Kylopod says:

    I’m banking he’s going to announce the vaccine over the weekend. It’ll enable him to spend the next few days before the election screaming about how he, SuperDon, has personally fixed the pandemic, while not giving the media quite enough time to call BS on it. (Actually, they’ll do that immediately, but he’ll pull the stunt anyway.)

  76. Kathy says:


    The latest actual news on the vaccine front, was that a Brazilian participant in the trials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine died. Since the trial wasn’t paused, I assume he was on the placebo. No cause of death was mentioned last I checked.

    That’s not a vaccine ready for approval, never mind distribution.

    As it is, the trial schedules are incredibly compressed as compared to earlier vaccines. Normally they take a couple of years. We may have approval by December, or just after a year since the first outbreak. that’s the record to end all records.

    I’m hopeful for a vaccine, and dread the effects as well. I fear lots of people will ditch masks as soon as a vaccine is approved, which is insane. Even ditching the mask after you take the vaccine is major league stupidity. it takes days if not weeks for the vaccine to take effect, assuming it even does.

    Hang on to your masks. It will be a long Winter, and relief won’t come until Spring.

  77. de stijl says:


    The increased chumminess is due to a higher ratio of Open Threads to news / policy posts in the post Mataconis OTB.

  78. Mikey says:

    Probably the cutest thing you will see all week.

  79. Jax says:

    @de stijl: Most of us have been here a while, by now. We’re like Cheers, but on the internet, and we looooove talking politics….and music, and food, and books, and whatever strikes us at the time, thanks to these awesome Open Threads. 😉

    It’s actually pretty brave of our hosts to trust internet denizens with Open Threads, given what every other comment section on the internet looks like.

  80. Mikey says:

    “Information I could have used a little while ago…

  81. Sleeping Dog says:


    And he’ll be banned from twitter.

  82. de stijl says:


    The Tycho Brahe riff was brilliantly nerdy.

  83. Teve says:

    Well this is the official Twitter account of the Republican house judiciary committee


    Amy Coney Barrett confirmed. Happy birthday, @HillaryClinton!

    You know what, add 18 more seats to that fuckin court.

  84. Sleeping Dog says:


    It helps that our hosts are willing to 86 any idiots that are unwilling to be civil.

    Before Covid happened, I was mulling the idea of arranging a meeting for the few contributors who live in my area. That could have been fun. And with that, a shout out to @OzarkHillbilly, I’ll be passing near your area in late June 21.

  85. Jax says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Oh, we’re having an OTB meetup, Kathy and I were already planning it….pre-COVID. Might have to wait for trustworthy vaccines, now, but we HAVE to all meet. 🙂

  86. de stijl says:


    All of the above plus CBT.

    A friend suggested meet-ups or group therapy.

    Aah. Agoraphobes and meet-up would have a very spotty turn-up ratio.

    She meant well. Her heart is good.

  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    PM2.5 particles are more prevalent with internal combustion engines and higher efficiency industrial processes.

    And, apparently, forest fires; PM2.5 was the level that was being measured a couple of weeks ago in the daily “Worst Air in the World” measurements during the Oregon and Cali forest/wild fires.

  88. Kathy says:


    I’m aiming for a meet up, preferably in Las Vegas, for April 2022. It might be possible for late 2021, but by then work picks up and I can’t take a vacation.

    I’d be willing to have it elsewhere, and am open to suggestions.

  89. de stijl says:


    I imagine I will always wear a mask while in a store or a public place for the rest of my life.

    A really big upside for me is that I no longer have to wear fake teeth to go grocery shopping. I hate my fake teeth so much.

    For me, masks are pretty goddamned brilliant.

  90. de stijl says:


    The Wedding Singer is not a half bad movie. Sandler checked his worst impulses (before he riggedy riggedy wrecked himself).

    Billy Idol featured in the role of Billy Idol.

    Dante is a good running gag.

    Alexis Arquette not treated as a punchline.

    Punch-Drunk Love is a great movie. Reynolds was riffing yesterday on how anger colored his life.

    Magnolia and Boogie Nights are way up there on my fave list.

  91. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: From The Princess Bride:

    Fezzik: Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?

    Man in Black: Oh no, it’s just that they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

  92. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I’m open to Canada and we all move there, if Trump wins again. 😉

    Except we’re pretty much trapped in our country. Thanks, Trump. (eyeroll)

  93. Sleeping Dog says:


    Lost Wages??? ugh Though April, 22, is a realistic time frame.

    A video conference would be doable.

  94. Jax says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I never thought about a video conference! We all gather ’round with our favorite swill and have a toast when Trump loses?

    I’m down for that.

  95. Kathy says:


    If trump wins, I’m opening my apartment up for refugees. I can take two.

  96. de stijl says:

    New Zealand or Iceland.

    I would want the comfort and assurance of 1000s of miles of oceans between me a you lot.

    Y’all are crazy.

  97. DrDaveT says:

    (Carried over from yesterday…)
    @de stijl:

    I need Sigur Ros in my ears.

    Loves me some Sigur Ros, but I’m even more fond of Ylja and Árstíðir.

  98. de stijl says:


    Eivor Palsdottir.


  99. de stijl says:


    The live version of Hoppipolla at Heima is transcendent.

    Jonsi is a god amongst us.

  100. scotty says:


    Opens apartment, gets rammed in (2) unwelcome ways … Oops.

    Liberalism in Nutshell.

    The ‘edit’ feature works.

  101. scotty says:

    @scotty: @Teve:

    You were the guy who said nasty things a week ago.

    Fuck you, Teve.

    Now your guy will lose the election.

  102. Teve says:

    @scotty: LOL wanna put some money on that?

  103. de stijl says:


    Ylja are like folk Icelandic Haim. Very cool.

  104. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    Eivor Palsdottir.

    Duly noted! Thanks.

    Total tangent — what do you think of Unleash the Archers?

  105. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Magnolia and Boogie Nights are way up there on my fave list.

    This. And There Will Be Blood.