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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I thought I was the only one who gets up at 3:30 in the AM.

    Headline of the day? Trump supporter who exhaled over women during protests is charged with assault

  3. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: The AstraZeneca vaccine is more effective with a small initial dose, then a larger second dose, rather than two large doses. So weird. I guess the scientists must know what they are doing to even test that. So very weird.

  4. Teve says:
  5. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: i have lifelong horrible insomnia.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I sympathize my fellow sufferer. In my case tho it is not life long. I developed it just in the last 15 years or so. Before that I could sleep at the drop of a hat and often did.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Patrick Quinn, whose personal battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped power the Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising campaign, has died aged 37, seven years after his diagnosis, according to the ALS Association and his supporters on Facebook.

    Quinn, who was born and grew up in Yonkers, New York, was co-founder of the campaign that raised more than $220m for medical research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was diagnosed with ALS on 8 March 2013.


  8. CSK says:

    @Teve: @OzarkHillbilly:
    That makes three of us.

  9. Teve says:

    Years ago I had a girlfriend who lived three minutes from work. On her lunch hour, she would drive home, take a 30 minute nap, eat something and go back to work. I was incredibly jealous of her. On a good day I can’t even get to sleep in 30 minutes.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: @Teve: My little Sis was horribly cursed with it growing up. Here was this 8 or 9 yo girl wandering the house at 2 AM because she couldn’t sleep. As her teenage older brother I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.
    Now it’s me.

  11. CSK says:

    Same here. Nothing helps.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: When I first came down with it they gave me the anti depressant amitriptyline. After taking one I did sleep. And spent the next day walking around in a fog. My wife said that if I stuck with it it would get better. After 3 days I said fuck that shit.

  13. sam says:
  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Since Bill is no longer here, Florida Headline of the day: Man rescues puppy from jaws of alligator without dropping cigar .

    A man in Florida rescued his puppy from the jaws of an alligator, diving under the water and wrestling the reptile all without dropping the cigar in his mouth.

    Richard Wilbanks, 74, was walking his Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Gunner, around the pond near his retirement home in Estero, Florida, when the alligator raced up from the water and grabbed the dog, Wilbanks told CNN.

    “It came out of the water like a missile,” he said. “I never thought an alligator could be that fast. It was so quick.”

    Cameras set up by the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fSTOP Foundation captured the encounter, which shows Wilbanks in the pond, his head submerged as he tries to grab a hold of the alligator. He then emerges holding the reptile, which still has the dog in its jaws. In Wilbank’s jaws is a cigar – which he never drops.

    Wilbanks moves to the edge of the pond while trying to pry the dog free. Eventually he succeeds, and Gunner runs away while Wilbanks tries to extract his own hands from the creature’s mouth.

    Gunner has since seen a vet, and while he suffered a small puncture wound to his stomach, he is otherwise fine, CNN reported, while Wilbanks said that his hands were “chewed up”.

    He doesn’t want the alligator removed, he said. “They’re part of nature and part of our lives.”

    But he will be keeping Gunner on a leash and at least 3 metres (10 feet) from the pond from now on.

  15. Teve says:

    Seen on Twitter:

    Let me use an analogy. Let’s say you have all your neighbors over and you’re trying to decide what to have for dinner, and a lot of your neighbors want pizza, while some of your other neighbors want to kill and eat you. Even if pizza wins, you still have a big problem.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    Since Bill is no longer here…

    Why is he no longer here?

  17. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    He kept badgering Dean Taylor.

  18. Teve says:

    Trump set on veto of defense bill over renaming bases honoring Confederates

    The president has told lawmakers he won’t back down from campaign threat to scuttle defense spending bill over proposed changes.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    Let him veto it. The senate will need to take time to amend it, which will slow the Moscow Mitch judge machine. Nancy should slow walk it as well.

    In fewer than 60 days, Biden will change the names by EO.

  20. Teve says:


    George W. Bush was the proto Trump. He glorified ignorance and denigrated expertise, he plowed the ground and made monumental imbecile Trump possible.

    Bush doesn’t look better in hindsight. He looks worse.

  21. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: I’ve suffered from sleep difficulties my entire life, but when I reached my adult years it quickly became clear my problem isn’t insomnia, it’s that I’m just a night-owl. The reason I got tired during the day was because I had a habit of staying up at night and sleeping during the day. I’ve done night-shift jobs in the past for this reason, though I discovered it makes my social life more challenging.


    When I first came down with it they gave me the anti depressant amitriptyline. After taking one I did sleep. And spent the next day walking around in a fog.

    That’s exactly what happened to me when I went to a therapist in college about my sleep problems. I don’t remember the drug they gave me, but it had that effect. I never took it again. However, the therapy sessions helped–I discovered I was able to sleep better if I had a clear schedule during the day and did regular exercise.

  22. Teve says:


    Imagine a month in which you are featured in a major motion picture with your hand down your pants, you have a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, your hair dye leaks on live television, your case is dismissed with prejudice—and it’s your colleague who is fired!


    In a way, it’s comforting. Like if this guy can represent the president of the United States, really, I should stop doubting myself so much and just fucking go for it.


    Trump team is the opposite of imposter syndrome. They should be on a poster for positivity and encouragement

  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    What if Trump won’t leave the White House? A hostage negotiator, an animal-control officer, and a toddler whisperer have advice

    The Toddler Whisper: But the nice tone shouldn’t be mistaken for flexibility. “If there is not a choice, I do not ask,” she said. “With a child that does not want to leave a parent, I do not ask, but will give them a choice such as, ‘You can come with me on your own walking, or I will carry you inside so we can start our day.’ ”

    …like to play,” he added, “so sometimes you can get them out…if you show them a ball. Or maybe a golf cart.

  24. Kathy says:


    Three other important aspects of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine:

    1) It’s going to be sold cheap, at around $3-4 per dose, as opposed to$35-40 for the Moderna and Pfizer ones. This means low and middle income countries can afford more doses.

    2) AstraZeneca is setting up manufacturing operations in several countries. This gives them advantages for distribution and volume.

    3) The vaccine uses a virus vector, and can be stored for months at mere home refrigerator temperatures. This is huge when it comes to distributing it in places with limited infrastructure.

    There’s no reason on Earth why one cannot wait a few months for vaccination to start, and then hold a delayed Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family at very low risk in May or June 2021.

  25. Jen says:

    I am beginning to wonder how many Americans are truly cognitively challenged. If this family of idiots is in any way indicative of the mental processing that Americans are applying to this pandemic, no wonder we are where we are.

    How do people think that quarantining for 14 days *and then traveling via public transportation* is the correct process??

  26. Teve says:


    The following is a true story. It’s an American story. Maybe the most American story.

    Stick around to the end.
    In the spring of 1945, in a Nazi slave labor camp 50 miles from Dachau, convict No. B-1713 heard powerful explosions pierce the night air.

    The guards said the “enemy” was advancing and herded the prisoners together to be marched back to Dachau.
    They marched for most of three days. At dawn, on the third day, a squadron of Allied fighter planes, coming upon what they thought was a column of Nazi troops, swooped low to strafe them.
    As the SS-troops hit the dirt and began firing their machine guns, one of the prisoners shouted “run for it!” A group of them ran towards the forest for the trees. The explosions caught most of them, but six, including convict No. B-1713, made made it into the forest alive.

    He hid in the hayloft of an abandoned Bavarian barn. Days passed. And then one afternoon he peaked through a crack in the wooded slats and saw a huge tank leading an armored convoy heading toward him.
    He looked for the swastika on its side. Instead, he saw a five-pointed white star. He ran from the barn, charging toward the tank, screaming and waving his arms.
    From the tank’s hatch emerged CPL Bill Ellington, of the all-Black 761st, son of a slave.

    B-1713, who had lost his family and survived four years in the camps, fell to his knees before Ellington and repeated the few English words he knew: God Bless America! God Bless America!
    Ellington lifted him into the hatch–and into freedom.

    Convict No. B-173 was named Samuel Pisar. He became an American citizen, a successful lawyer.

    His stepson, Tony Blinken (@ABlinken), will become America’s next Secretary of State.

    God Bless America! God Bless America!

  27. KM says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Nice article but :

    Even a nation hooked on drama does not want to see a US president dragged out the front door, noncompliant-airline-passenger style, as Ivanka grasps his hands and Melania looks on.

    Sez who? That’s justice for a good portion of the county.

    Honestly, Americans need to understand that someone with NPD decompensating and in raging denial can’t be talked down or negotiated with. Anyone who’s ever been abused can tell you appeasing them doesn’t make it stop – it *maybe* buys you time. Has anyone ever considered what happens if he tries to come back? Like, just shows up at the WH and throws a fit outside because he can’t get in? Embarrassing people at the workplace is a well-documented behavior for folks like Trump and he freaking LOVES a scene. Get some of his MAGAts there, call it a “protest” and he can kick back at Trump Tower DC literally down the street to watch it unfold.

    If we cater to his ego and appease him on the way out, he’s going to rightly think we’ll keep doing it since we clearly value peace and propriety over an old-fashioned perp walk. What’s to stop him from getting his bitter on if he chooses?

  28. Teve says:

    posting this again

    American Democracy is Doomed

  29. Teve says:

    Even a nation hooked on drama does not want to see a US president dragged out the front door, noncompliant-airline-passenger style, as Ivanka grasps his hands and Melania looks on.

    Shit, I wouldn’t mind seeing him go down like Pablo Escobar.

  30. Northerner says:


    Good. I wonder if there’s a chance of him being convicted.

  31. CSK says:

    “…and Melania looks on.”

    That should read: “…and Melania looks on, smiling enigmatically.”

  32. Northerner says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    As good as it is to take traitors names off military bases, isn’t doing things by Executive Order a bad idea. Not just because it can be undone by the next president (didn’t you just go through that?), but because executive orders are a very undemocratic way of doing things in the first place.

    If the bill passes both congress and senate (meaning its getting support from both D’s and R’s, wouldn’t it just make more sense to re-send it when Biden gets in?

  33. Sleeping Dog says:


    Next to seeing him doing a perp walk in an orange jumpsuit and cuffs, seeing him in a straight jacket, strapped to a gurney would do.

  34. Sleeping Dog says:


    When the discussion of base renaming came up, I recall that the Pentagon already has the authority to change the names and that Trump stymied that through an EO, which is why the change order is in the legislation. Biden’s EO would simply be revoking Trumps.

  35. Teve says:

    Okay, so I donate blood a few times a year. It’s no big deal, I’m not afraid of needles, give back to the community. I went today and as I was waiting for the stick the tech seemed to really be fussing with the apparatus. Finally the poke. And my arm was on fire. I gasped. I thought maybe it was a bad stick and it’ll settle down. Over the next 5 minutes I was in excruciating pain. It felt like I was being stabbed. If I’d had one more atom of pain I would have demanded it stop. I was twisting on the chair. I was sweating. 10 awful minutes passed. Finally it was over I asked her, what one earth happened? It’s never a big deal. But this time the pain was shocking. She said oh. Sorry. Sometimes a drop of anticoagulant gets in the needle and gets in the vein. Did it feel like your arm was burning? Yeah. Yeah that’s what it was. Fuck. If that ever happens again it’ll be the last drop I give.

    Now my shirt is wet but that’s okay, i got a new one

  36. Kathy says:

    I binged most of The Mandalorian.

    Still “Meh.” Its entertaining, and it must have a huge FX budget (and prior to widespread CGI it just would never have been made), but it doesn’t draw me in.

    It is awakening the Trekkie in me. Here we learn that “Mandalorian” is a creed. That conflicts with what we know about Mandalorians from series like “Rebels” (which did draw me in), where it was clear Mandalorians is a nationality, like Briton, and where helmets were just helmets, which were freely taken off in company.

    I don’t really care, because I don’t mind smashing the fourth wall and say “it’s needed as a gimmick in this series.” After all, the tiny, 50+ years old Yoda-like creature is a classic McGuffin. We know some very self-important people in the Empire’s remnants want it very much, but not for what. I can assume it’s neither pet nor food, but past that we don’t know, and I mostly don’t care.

    I did like the references to the fact that Stormtroopers can’t hit anything they shoot at. In one ep a character is introduced as a former Imperial sharpshooter, to which the title character comments “That’s not saying much.” The former angrily says “I wasn’t a Stormtrooper!”

    And there’s the scene of the two Stormies on their bikes waiting for clearance, failing to shoot a target to pass the time.

    I expect I’ll finish it, but the one I’m looking forward to is the animated series “Resistance.” Only two seasons, alas.

  37. Mister Bluster says:

    I had blood drawn before intestinal surgery some years ago. I didn’t know what to expect so I glued my eyes to the needle and watched it puncture my skin.
    I didn’t feel a thing!
    I told the lab tech and she was quite appreciative of my compliment.
    “Why thank you!” she said as she smiled.
    I wish I would have gotten her name.

  38. Kylopod says:


    Okay, so I donate blood a few times a year. It’s no big deal, I’m not afraid of needles, give back to the community. I went today and as I was waiting for the stick the tech seemed to really be fussing with the apparatus. Finally the poke. And my arm was on fire. I gasped. I thought maybe it was a bad stick and it’ll settle down. Over the next 5 minutes I was in excruciating pain.

    I had almost the exact same experience the one time I went to donate blood, many years ago. Unlike you, I am afraid of needles, though I’ve been able to overcome this fear to some extent in medical and dental procedures over the years. I get a little tense, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I’ve considered attempting to try again with blood donation (the last time I had blood taken was this summer during my post-Covid test at a pulmonologist, and it wasn’t that bad), but so far I never have.

  39. Kathy says:


    I’ve donated platelets twice. It’s a longish process. They draw a unit of blood, much like a regular donation, but then they run it through a centrifuge to separate the platelets, and re-infuse the rest of the plasma and red cells back in the other arm. They repeat this a few times, until they have all the platelets they can get.

    They don’t get them all, so the blood coming back can coagulate in the IV line. A doctor supervises the process and changes bags to their appropriate lines as needed, and sometimes injects anticoagulant in the line to facilitate re-infusion.

    It does hurt, I recall vividly, but not the excruciating pain you described, and certainly not for more than a few seconds. Pain thresholds vary, and they can vary between types of pain, so that’s subjective. But duration isn’t. I swear it was never more than a minute.

  40. Northerner says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Okay, that makes more sense.

    What’s the point of allowing executive orders in the first place? It sounds like a carry-over from monarchy (ie a way to give the president some of a monarch’s powers just in case they’re needed).

  41. Northerner says:


    It fits in with habits like smoking, or not exercising or over-eating — short term pleasure over long term health. I’d guess its more a question of self-discipline than intelligence. That is, there are a lot of very intelligent people who smoke and/or don’t exercise and/or over-eat, so its not surprising that there may be very intelligent people who will do pleasurable Covid dangerous activities despite the known risks.

  42. DrDaveT says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    seeing him doing a perp walk in an orange jumpsuit

    Ow, that would clash painfully. I favor an off-white straitjacket.

  43. just nutha says:

    @Kylopod: I had insomnia for decades, and finally a doctor sent me for a sleep study, which discovered chronic and serious sleep apnea. CPAP therapy worked for me–although it doesn’t for everyone, but sleep hygiene type things didn’t do anything for me. I think that being “owlish” rather than “larkish” makes a difference, too, but the doctors say it isn’t so.
    My new trick since I retired is that I usually sleep only four hours before waking up, but the sleep doctor I’m seeing currently tells me that’s not unusual for people my age. The solution is to not go to bed before 11 pm.

  44. Jen says:

    @Northerner: Sure…but it’s not simply doing the risky activities that has me questioning intelligence and sanity. It’s the apparent lack of understanding the function of quarantining.

    Quarantining for two weeks prior to an event–fine.
    Quarantining for two weeks prior to an event and then using public transportation and interacting with untold numbers of people and then being surprised somehow covid has found its way into the circle–that’s just stupid.

  45. Teve says:

    @Kathy: i found the mandalorian to be Meh.

  46. Kathy says:


    I also noticed the faux Mandalorian on Tatooine was wearing Boba Fet’s armor.

  47. dazedandconfused says:

    Nuke sub or herring farts?

  48. dazedandconfused says:
  49. Sleeping Dog says:


    What’s the point of allowing executive orders in the first place?

    Depends on your perspective, for a an advocate of a limited executive, it would be assist in the smooth operation of government within the boundaries of the enabling legislation that controls the issue at hand. For an advocate of a unitary (expansive) executive, it allows the president to do whatever he durn well pleases.

    EO’s that are issued in the first instance are rarely revoked, but in the second, frequently when the government changes hands. The expansive use of EOs has exploded over the last 30 years as the legislature has either abdicated power or has been obstructionist.

  50. Teve says:


    The worst part of the GOP strategy is I’ve spent a decade supporting GOP laws to tighten up our elections. Voter ID, signing the book, etc. I’ve pushed back against Dem claims that we Repubs were trying to disenfranchise people. Now here we are, trying to disenfranchise people

  51. sam says:

    For some reason, Teve’s story about Mr. Pisar reminded me of this story. It happened during the Battle of Britain. Some Spitfires tangled with some Me-109s. All the Spits returned to base. One of them was pretty well shot up. When the mechanics were going over the plane, they discovered and unexploded 20mm shell on the floor of the cockpit. They called the ordnance disposal folks over to take care of it. The ordnance crew pulled the shell out and determined it was a dud. When they opened it, a note fell out. Written in Czech it said, “This is all I can do for you.”

  52. Michael Cain says:


    What’s the point of allowing executive orders in the first place? It sounds like a carry-over from monarchy (ie a way to give the president some of a monarch’s powers just in case they’re needed).

    Presidents issue dozens of executive orders each year. It’s how they take care of things like a statute that says, “The President shall add a new sub-department to the DOJ to do X.” So s/he issues an executive order that says there’s a new sub-department X, with 37 people, one assistant director, three junior assistant directors, and an org chart. It settles where the people fit into the civil service grade level, what they get paid, etc, etc. One of the most common types these days is freezing the assets of people or organizations that are designated as supporting terrorists.

  53. Michael Cain says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    The expansive use of EOs has exploded over the last 30 years as the legislature has either abdicated power or has been obstructionist.

    Most of the more recent presidents are pikers at the EO business. FDR issued over 3,700. Truman over 900. Eisenhower almost 500. Over the last thirty years, the number has ranged from Reagan at 381 down to Trump at 194 (through early August).

  54. Jen says:


    What’s the point of allowing executive orders in the first place?

    Flexibility, for one. Executive orders provide the President a manner in which to manage the Executive Branch operations. Discretionary powers of the President can be a bit hard to pin down, but almost every president since Washington has issued executive orders. It’s just recently that they’ve become a circumvent-Congress thing.

  55. Kathy says:

    I gather from some stray FB and Tweeter comments I’ve run across, that there’s this belief in the Cult of the Orange Fabulist that one does not present evidence in court, but awaits for a chance to present all evidence only to the Supreme Court.

    Have these people never read a word about SC arguments, or seen a single episode of a lawyer show?

    On other related shenanigans, several GOP officials, mostly senators, are demanding signature verification from absentee ballots in Georgia’s latest recount. This is an impossibility, as explained in The Guardian’s live blog thusly:

    Signatures are verified on Georgia’s absentee ballot envelopes before votes are processed. Once a signature has been verified, the ballot is separated from its envelope, and poll workers cannot reunite a ballot with its envelope. Therefore, calls to verify signatures again are meaningless.

    I gather things are done this way because the ballot is secret.

    Surely the people making such demands know this. Certainly the two GOP candidates for Senate should know this.

    But it’s their latest cudgel with which to hammer their “the election was stolen” meme.

  56. Northerner says:


    True, being surprised by it is stupid. I suspect few people who say smoke are surprised by the consequences.

  57. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain: It was a real eye opener for me when I was analyzing how Obamacare (actually two separate laws) might affect the medical device company I was working for at the time. In particular, writing the rules required years of effort, and that was completely legitimate. Remember, this was for laws that were legendary for their length and detail. To take just one example, there were any number of references to a patient’s “medical record”, but in the US there is no such thing. Unlike in other countries, every doctor, every clinic, every hospital, etc etc has their own set of medical records. Ever notice how one of the questions you now always have to answer when signing up with a new doctor is “Do you smoke?” That comes from the ACA, but the law didn’t specify who should ask it, only that it should be part of the medical record. In the end, everyone decided that they should ask and add it to their own set of patient records. But time had to be spent on deciding what that part of the law meant.

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Surely the people making such demands know this.

    No, not surely at all.

    Certainly the two GOP candidates for Senate should know this.

    Should? Yes. Do? That’s an entirely different question.

  59. Mu Yixiao says:

    Heard this while I was in China.

    During WWII, there were Germans (not sympathetic to the Nazis) running factories in China. One factory manager was very opposed to the Nazis and very supportive of his Chinese workers. When he got wind that the Japanese were going to be bombing the area, he had his workers go up to the roof and paint a giant swastika–so the bombers would see it and leave them alone.

    Then he told the workers to bring everyone they could from the town into the factory.

    He saved the town by pretending to be a Nazi.

  60. Teve says:


    “[Mitch McConnell’s] Senate has confirmed six district court nominees since the election … The move broke a ‘123-year tradition against voting on judicial nominees of an outgoing president of the defeated party during a lame duck session.’”

    I’m sure someone will find a way to defend Mitch.

  61. Kathy says:

    Back to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, I’m concerned now it won’t be properly applied, unless the manufacturer goes idiot proof. That is, labeling the half dose that’s apparently needed first as “FIRST DOSE ONLY,” and the full dose that follows “SECOND DOSE ONLY. DO NOT GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO AHVEN’T HAD THE FIRST DOSE 4 WEEKS AGO!”

    Past that, I’ve the same worries about people who won’t get both doses, same as with the mRNA vaccines, how many people will get it, and how many people will keep following precautions after getting it (especially after the initial dose).

    Some people simply never understand anything even mildly complex. I can too easily picture someone who does wear a mask but hates doing so, taking it off and never putting one on again as soon as they get the first dose.

    BTW, no vaccine works instantaneously, the way some drugs do. Immunity takes days to develop and build up. If one provocation elicited a full-on immune response every time, we’d be pretty much immune to everything.

  62. MarkedMan says:


    Some people simply never understand anything even mildly complex.

    I hear you. The Director of Marketing at my company has gotten involved with remote servicing of our products, which is necessary because of current travel limitations. He simply cannot accept what all of us that have had customer experience tells him with 100% certainty: that however good his documentation there are certain customers that will never be able to get something going with documentation alone.

    When I used to design and build systems for manufacturing facilities I would often end up training the line workers myself. I learned to always start out by pulling out my very carefully prepared operator’s manual, flipping slowly through it, and then saying, “For myself, I always like going through the manual section by section with the trainer, but I know some people like it better if we just go through the whole thing verbally and then they can use the manual for reference later on. Which way do you like?” I wasn’t really asking that question. I was giving them a face saving way to avoid having to say they couldn’t read.

  63. Teve says:


    NEW: GSA has informed president-elect Joe Biden the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter from administrator Emily Murphy sent Monday afternoon and obtained by CNN.

    Zeleny is a senior political guy at CNN.

  64. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: if you’re talking about activities that require moving around in space, I think instructions for just about everything will be on YouTube eventually. I had a Nissan Altima 10 years ago that needed a brake job, and I learned how to change the brakes in literally five or 10 minutes on YouTube, when reading and looking at the diagrams in the Chiltons manual would’ve taken me an hour.

  65. Kathy says:


    I’ve $5 that says Biden is not invited to the White House by the Cheeto Dead Duck so-called Administration.

  66. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: But, do you like the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone? Things like A Fistful Of Dollars?

    That’s what The Mandalorian is based on.

    And those were based on Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa, who also created The Hidden Fortress, which the original Star Wars movie was based on. I like that they are no aging a different part of Kurosawa’s work, and eagerly await the Star Wars Ikiru, where a minor imperial functionary is terminally ill, realizes he has done nothing of value with his life, and devotes his remaining days to making a small city park, just so there will be something.

    Also, the Mandalorian as Race vs. Lifestyle will pop up, possibly right after you left off. This series is made by the same guy who did Rebels and The Clone Wars, so it will presumably tie together — but the difference is explicitly noted.

  67. Jax says:

    @Kathy: For which we should be eternally grateful, given that it’s currently a COVID hot zone. 😉

    Such a visit would make a great SNL skit, though. Biden’s whole Secret Service team comes in with cans of Lysol.

  68. Kathy says:


    I don’t like any Westerns.

    Also, the Mandalorian as Race vs. Lifestyle will pop up, possibly right after you left off.

    Maybe. One can explain things away in a number of ways. The trill in TNG had facial prosthetics, and in DS9 leopard spots. And the less we say of bald Klingons in Discovery, the better 🙂

    I’m looking at The Mandalorian more as a travelogue cum world-building.

  69. Kathy says:


    And a big roll of saran wrap to isolate Trump.

  70. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Put all current staffers in those big, clear balls and roll them right down the White House lawn on Inauguration Day. They can’t be released til they pop their…..ah hem….balls on the newly erected fence. 🙂

    I mean, if I don’t get to see Trump in jail, I would settle for him getting rolled down the White House lawn. Kickball, anyone?

  71. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: oh, if you don’t like Westerns, then it’s a surprise you even think The Mandalorian is meh.

    It does drop a lot of the lazy, offensive stereotypes by virtue of being in space (I assume Yojimbo had lazy, offensive stereotypes that western audiences miss), but it is very much a Western. I do wonder how much they will have to subvert that as it begins to run into the rest of the Star Wars universe.

  72. Teve says:

    Trumper Twitter is freaking The Fuck out right now. They can’t understand what’s happening, and they’re scared.

  73. Teve says:

    @Kathy: only saw the first season of Discovery (the tardigrade thing was beyond my substantial ability to suspend disbelief) but the Klingons also bothered me. They were like the Klingons I’m used to, if they’d been subjected to 10 generations of genetic engineering and whole kilos of crystal meth.

    Maybe I’ll give it another shot later. Except I’d probably need another streaming service…

  74. Teve says:

    @Teve: Jenna Ellis just claimed Trump won a Landslide.

  75. Teve says:

    Eric gets his stupidity from Donald, it’s just that Donald has learned to bluster, which hides it.

  76. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: If we take the terrible episodes of Enterprise into account (terrible even for Enterprise), where the Klingons lost their ridges for a few generations due to genetic manipulation, and all the weird variations in makeup including the Discovery Klingons… maybe they always look different because they are manipulating their genetics?

    In a traditional Klingon fashion, it probably started with eating the hearts of their worthiest enemies, and then someone applied technology to make it actually functional rather than symbolic.

  77. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Discovery does not get better. Michael keeps making the same mistake over and over, and still has that same “I’m about to make that same mistake again” expression right before she does it. I watch because it is a ridiculous train wreck of a show.

    Also Michelle Yeoh. She is amazing. Usually in a good way. Sometimes you get the impression that she is the only one who realizes what a terrible show she is in. She’s like Gina Gershon in Showgirls.

  78. Kathy says:


    Oh, the whole tardigrade and magic mushrooms was utterly ridiculous.

    But there were good enough stories and drama. By Season two things get retconned to a more sensible track.

  79. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: The whole saloon scene on Tatooine from A New Hope is straight out of a zillion westerns.

    The Hidden Fortress provided the characters of the droids and Princess Leia.

  80. DrDaveT says:


    I don’t like any Westerns.

    Not even Support Your Local Sheriff?

    (Or does comedy not count?)

  81. CSK says:

    David Dinkins has died. He was 93. RIP.

  82. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: @OzarkHillbilly: @Teve: This might sound weird, but some people are sensitive to the pervasive electrical fields that surround us. One night for shits and giggles…shut the house power off at the fuse box.

    Not really a long term solution if it works…but at least it will be a data point to understand your physiology better.

  83. Kylopod says:

    Another Trump tweet that Trump almost certainly didn’t write, but where the ghost-tweeters saw fit to stick in Trumpisms like random capitals, as if that was going to fool any of us.

    Donald J. Trump
    I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.
    6:16 PM · Nov 23, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

  84. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: i was watching Hidden Fortress many years ago, and suddenly thought shit! This one’s r2d2, and this one’s c3po! Wtf!