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:

    Oklahoma GOP leader compares vaccine mandates to the Holocaust: ‘Take away the star and add a vaccine passport’

    Republican Party chairman John Bennett on Aug. 1 doubled down on his comment comparing vaccine mandates to the persecution of Jewish people. (Oklahoma Republican Party)
    Jaclyn Peiser
    Today at 4:45 a.m. EDT

    On Friday, John Bennett, the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, posted on the group’s Facebook page and made a striking comparison: Private companies requiring employees to get the vaccine, he said, are just as bad as the Nazis forcing Jews to sew the yellow Star of David onto their clothes.
    “Those who don’t KNOW history, are DOOMED to repeat it,” read the caption, below an image of the Star of David patch with “Unvaccinated” written across the top.

    The post triggered swift condemnations from top state Republicans and Jewish organizations in Oklahoma. But on Sunday, Bennett doubled down on his comments in a nearly seven-minute video he shared to the party’s Facebook page.
    “[The Nazis] gave [Jews] a star to put on, and they couldn’t go to the grocery store, they couldn’t go out in public, they couldn’t do anything without having that star on their shirt,” Bennett said. “Take away the star and add a vaccine passport.”

    Bennett, a Marine Corps veteran who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was elected chair of the Oklahoma GOP in April. The former state lawmaker has a history of making hateful comments, specifically about Muslims, according to the Oklahoman.
    In a town hall in 2014, he said Islam “is a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out.” In 2017, Bennett drafted an 18-question survey for Muslims in Oklahoma to fill out before he agreed to meet with them in his legislative office. One of the questions asked was “Do you beat your wife?” A senior imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City told the Oklahoman that Bennett threatened to demolish all the mosques in town.

    Bennett is the latest GOP official to equate the persecution of the Jewish people during the Holocaust to mandates related to covid. In March, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) compared vaccine passports to Nazis forcing Jews to wear the yellow Star of David. In June, Washington state Rep. Jim Walsh (R) wore a yellow Star of David during a live stream, stating that it conveyed how “denying people their rights … can lead to terrible outcomes.”

  2. Teve says:

    His campaign is over. But Trump’s political groups are still spending donor money at his properties.

    Former president Donald Trump speaks at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on July 7. (Seth Wenig/AP)
    Isaac Stanley-Becker
    David A. Fahrenthold

    Yesterday at 1:08 a.m. EDT

    Save America, the leadership PAC where former president Donald Trump is asking loyalists to direct their political contributions, paid for lodging about two dozen times in the first six months of 2021.
    Nine of those times, the payments went to properties owned by the former president, according to a filing made public on Saturday. All told, the PAC sent at least $68,000 to the Trump Hotel Collection, showing how the real estate mogul — long after ending his presidential campaign and leaving office — continues to use donor money at his own properties.
    Make America Great Again PAC, a repurposed campaign account, spent about $200,000 on office and restaurant space in Trump Tower, according to its filing for the first half of the year. Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, separately has spent $2,200 at Trump properties so far this year, according to a filing by that committee. And a Trump-backed PAC overseen by Corey Lewandowski, his 2016 campaign manager, paid $21,810 to rent space at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., it reported on Saturday.

    These are small sums compared with the kind of spending Trump did at his properties on the campaign trail and as president. But they stand out because of the relatively little spending Trump has done from his post-presidency war chest. His Save America PAC spent little more than $3 million in the first half of the year, while raking in $62 million — part of a haul that left him with a political war chest of $102 million.
    Since Trump entered the presidential race in June 2015, he has used his political campaigns and associated committees to pump more than $19 million into his own businesses, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal campaign-finance records.
    The practice began during his 2016 run, when Trump’s campaign paid his businesses about $12.5 million — transforming donors’ political contributions into private revenue for his businesses. Trump billed his own campaign to fly himself on his Boeing 757 jet, to rent office space in Trump Tower and to hold events at Trump golf clubs. His name-branded “Trump Ice” water even showed up on the campaign’s tab.

  3. Teve says:

    I was just at looking at jobs and I can tell you that at least around here the job situation is markedly different that 1-2 years ago. Jobs that would have been $10/hr are now $13-15. Employers can’t take advantage of desperation like they could before.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Woohoo! Washington County made the front page of the STL Post Disgrace:

    In this rural Missouri county, the vaccination rate is low and opposition high

    As the coronavirus has picked up pace in recent weeks, she is among only 23% of Washington County residents to be fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. That’s among the lowest county vaccination rates in Missouri, where just 41% of the population is fully vaccinated.
    On Wednesday, the large sign in front of the health department didn’t mention the vaccine was free and available, Monday through Friday at 520 Purcell Drive. Another sign out front by the road advertised a farmers market that’s meeting every Wednesday in a nearby pavilion.

    Mark Stevens, 46, was over there, selling sweet corn, watermelons, green beans and tomatoes out of the bed of his pickup. He wouldn’t walk across the parking lot to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

    “You’d have to drag me dead or alive,” said Stevens, who’s 6 feet 2 inches, weighs 340 pounds and throws around a lot of other numbers he’s gleaned from Newsmax, a conservative cable network and website. Stevens said he watches less of Fox News since it started leaning too far left.

    “Why trust your life in the hands of an administration that lies about everything,” he said as one of many reasons why he’s not getting vaccinated.

    Exhibit A, he said, was the presidential election results, followed by lots of hypocrisy. “(President Biden) supports abortion. … Your body, your choice. But he wants to make us get the vaccine?”

    Debbie Boyer, one of his customers, said she got vaccinated after her sister-in-law died from COVID-19. Now, she’s having second thoughts. She’s upset with the priorities of the federal government championing vaccination while ignoring other hot-button issues.

    “They are so afraid of COVID, yet the border is open,” she said. “Are they vaccinating those people? No. They are letting them go anywhere they want. It’s not that I am this dead set Trumper. It’s that this is so blatantly in your face.”

    “We’ve got half of America that agrees with us,” Stevens said.

    Home sweet home.

  5. Teve says:

    Did you know—I didn’t until just now—Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton is still having Long Covid issues, like dizziness and blurred vision, 8 months after having the illness?

  6. Sleeping Dog says:


    Not to forget that he’s suffering from a bout of Max Verstappen Red Bullitis on the track.

  7. Kathy says:


    And those who don’t understand history, are doomed to misuse it in the worst way possible.

  8. Teve says:


    “Americans suffer from an ignorance that is not only colossal, but sacred”

    -James Baldwin

  9. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I’m glad that there are people, as outlined on the top post for today, who are willing to do the work of reasoning through this situation with the reluctant (desperately trying to avoid saying “those people”) because I never had any fucks to give about this even when it started and I certainly don’t have any now.

  10. charon says:

    From San Diego:

    Replying to
    Ps I hope this means per 100,000 vaccinated people and per 100,000 unvaccinated people, respectively…

  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: He still needs to come up with better grifts. He’s making pennies on the dollar on this stuff because of over head.

  12. charon says:


    Vaccination reduces likelihood of COVID diagnosis by factor of 8, but also likelihood of hospitalization or death by factor of 25.

  13. Teve says:

    @charon: and the trajectory of the not vaccinated line suggests the number’s going to go far above 8.

  14. Teve says:
  15. charon says:

    States that have BANNED schools from requiring masks:

    South Carolina

    Keep in mind, children under 12 literally cannot get the vaccine

  16. charon says:
  17. Kathy says:

    Yesterday I ordered a new batch of masks. Some more KN95 and a few KF94.

    Back near the start of the pandemic, there was a meme in FB more or less like: “It’s the Schrodinger virus. You must assume you don’t have it and take precautions against catching it. You must also assume you have it and take precautions against spreading it.”

    that’s where we are now. Again. If you’re vaccinated, your risk of catching COVID is small, yes. It’s smaller if you still take precautions.

  18. Mikey says:


    States that have BANNED schools from requiring masks

    When–and sadly, it’s probably when rather than if–there arises a variant that is lethal for kids, we will know who to blame.

    Not that blame will make any difference to the dead, or to their parents.

  19. charon says:

    The way COVID19 is surging in the South ahead of school openings this month, it’s difficult to imagine how in person classes can go well without requiring Covid vaccinations for all the adolescents, teachers, and staff, as well as masks. Even then it won’t be easy

  20. Kathy says:

    After four and a half years, its finally Infrastructure Week at the US Senate.

  21. Mikey says:

    @charon: In my county, school starts in three weeks. Masks will be required for everyone, and pretty much all the teachers and staff are vaccinated (including my wife, a school bus driver). My son is, as well. How many of his classmates are is an open question, but they are all at least 17 so hopefully the percentage is high.

    The one I still worry about is my wife who will be transporting busloads of kids too young for vaccination. Of course all will be masked on the bus as well, but still…

  22. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I feel like I’m currently at the place a lot of people were last year–they’d go out and do things, but heeding all the safety precautions of masks, social distancing, trying to do things outdoors when possible, ventilating indoor places, and so on.

    Last year I wasn’t in that category, since I was avoiding going out altogether. And when I did go out, I went BANANAS with the safety measures–I would frequently double and triple mask and place a scarf around everything for good measure. After I got the vaccine, I cooled off about that.

    In the past few weeks, I’ve started wearing masks again when I go to indoor or crowded areas, but I’m not particularly avoiding going places, although I’m still being assigned to work from home and I still use Instacart for most of my groceries because I paid a fee at the beginning of the year to waive travel costs, and I’m taking advantage of that until it runs out next January.

    I went to a restaurant the other day, but we took the stuff out and ate at an outdoor table in the park. I also went to a movie recently. Those are activities I wouldn’t have done during the pre-vax Covid period if you’d paid me. I also regularly attend synagogue services on Saturday morning, and so far I’m one of the few people there who’s bothering to wear a mask. (The women do it more than the men, I’ve noticed.) But I didn’t attend any in-person services for the 14 or so months between the start of the pandemic and my being fully vaxxed, not even for the major holidays.

    I’m not afraid of dying from Covid anymore. Certainly, there are way bigger dangers to worry about. I’m in my mid-40s without any sort of immune disorders that might make the vaccine less effective. But I think it’s worth avoiding catching Covid again, even if I get it mildly or asymptomatically. My feelings toward the recent surge in Covid cases around the country are more annoyance than fear.

  23. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: I would be surprised if they stick with this. The first dead child will be on them. And a significant segment of parents will hold their children back from school

  24. Monala says:

    @charon: I read today that these bans mean that even healthcare facilities cannot require mask wearing.

  25. Sleeping Dog says:


    Yes, it will be interesting to watch conservatives using the power of the state to coerce parents to send their kids to school where they won’t be protected from a possibly deadly virus due to a political choice point. The dissonance makes your head explode and again proves the adage that conservatives are only concerned with the well being of fetuses.

  26. Monala says:

    I read this in Twitter today, written by someone who formerly had TB:

    Do you like living in a country that’s not riddled w/ TB? Including resistant strains? I think you probably do. Because TB sucks & the meds for the resistant kind are even worse than those for the treatable kind. We’re talking liver damage, neurotoxicity, & deafness.

    And, if you like living in such a place, do you know why you get to? Because public health takes infectious people like me and threatens them with jail if they are not surveilled for 6+ months, including checking under your tongue for misplaced pills. Every day they do this.
    That’s why you get to live without TB. That’s why you are not in danger.

    So stop whining about mask & vaccine mandates. You only care b/c you are now *seeing* public health for the first time.

    But public health has been doing this all along. And that’s why *you* are safe.
    And trust me, I was a *compliant* TB patient. I understood the risk I posed to the community. But even I might have messed up the drug regimen or taken a break after a few months if it were not for public health controlling every aspect of my life.


  27. charon says:

    Houston area chart:

    #Houston-area COVID hospitalizations increased for the 17th consecutive day, to 2,166.
    This is the longest pop. ⬆️ streak of the pandemic.
    Still well below July ’20 and Jan. ’21 peaks, but this growth trajectory remains unsustainable.

  28. Just nutha says:

    @Kathy: And it took Democrats willing to take what they could get after their coworkers in the GQP gutted the process to have it today.

  29. Kathy says:


    I’ve been in that place since April last year.

    Yesterday’s paper had a breakdown of vaccination per age group. We’ve seem to be falling behind at around the same proportion as other countries. WTF is it about vaccines that some people don’t want them? If it were a less lethal disease, like H1N1 was in 2009, I’d get it. That one killed under 400 people in Mexico back then. But we’re at over 240 thousand death officially, and as many as 300 thousand unofficially, and people still would rather take their chances than a vaccine. It’s literally insane.

  30. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha:

    Is about one third of a loaf better than no loaf?

  31. Teve says:
  32. Jen says:


    WTF is it about vaccines that some people don’t want them?

    There’s no one answer to this question. Some have a misunderstanding of what vaccines do–they think it’s like medications, where side effects can show up years down the line. I cannot count the number of times someone has posted “…but Thalidomide…” in threads about *vaccinations.* Completely different things, but people don’t understand that. Then there are the “…we’re weakening our defenses if we don’t let our immune systems fight this stuff off…” types. This goes to confusion of a lot of things–how our immune system works, the difference between bacteria and viruses, and a historical blindness of how many people used to die of simple things like infected cuts. Add in some woo-woo about crystals and essential oils. Some people just don’t like shots. Some don’t think covid is “that serious.” Some don’t understand exponential growth. Etc.

    I’m as pro-vaccine as you can get. *I* keep track of when my boosters are due, I reminded my healthcare provider when I was due for another Tdap. I got vaccinated against shingles at the first medical appointment I had after my 50th birthday. I genuinely do not understand why people wouldn’t line up for this stuff. Yeah, your arm is sore but really that is NBD. I’d much rather have a sore arm and some tiredness for a day than deal with the pain of shingles. I’d much rather have a sore arm than [covid, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, flu…etc.].

    BTW, my husband and I had an absolutely delightful midday visit with Sleeping Dog and Mrs. Sleeping Dog yesterday. Lovely weather, good food, and excellent company. Highly recommend, 10/10 will do again.

  33. Kathy says:


    I bet he has a fascist in mind, and their name rhymes with F**d-up Carlson.

  34. Kylopod says:

    @Jen: Many years ago as I went to get a routine flu shot, I remembered the stories of people getting the shot and contracting Guillane-Barre, and I realized that at some fundamental level it did spook me. There is something in the human psyche where we instinctively feel that not doing something is intrinsically less risky than doing it. We go out of our way to get an injection, and even if we know rationally that we’re decreasing our risk of serious illness, just the fact that we’re taking an action that confers any risk feels like a more dangerous choice than simply doing nothing.

    It’s kind of like the way many people are a lot more scared of flying in an airplane than driving or riding in a car even though the latter is statistically a far riskier activity. Even for people who rationally know this (and I think most people do), fear of being in a plane is a far more common phobia than fear of being in a car. Some of it is the feeling of lacking control, which is a much more powerful feeling in a commercial plane than in a car, even if you aren’t the one doing the driving.

  35. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: Agree, absolutely that’s another factor, potentially the biggest one, that I neglected to list. There are likely many other reasons too, which is why it’s so hard to develop communications/messaging to address vaccine reluctance/refusal.

  36. Mu Yixiao says:

    In other news:

    On Sunday, SpaceX finished stacking what it is calling “Booster 4,” the first of its Super Heavy rocket boosters expected to take flight. This is a massive, single-core rocket that is approximately 70 meters tall, with a diameter of 9 meters. It has a thrust approximately double that of the Saturn V rocket that launched NASA astronauts to the Moon.

    Then, overnight, something remarkable happened. Technicians and engineers at the SpaceX build facility near Boca Chica Beach attached 29 Raptor rocket engines to the rocket. Twenty-nine engines. Each with intricate plumbing lines and connections. This is the number of engines that Super Heavy will fly with for initial flight tests, although the final configuration is likely to have 32 engines.

    Ars Technica

  37. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: there were some tweets of techs plumbing the fuel lines yesterday or Saturday. It looked impressive.

  38. @Jen:

    Then there are the “…we’re weakening our defenses if we don’t let our immune systems fight this stuff off…” types.

    This one is really driving me crazy. By that logic (so to speak), we should never have had vaccines for smallpox and polio (and mumps, measles, rubella, chickenpox, pertussis, and so forth).

    Or, really, we shouldn’t use antibiotics.

    It is just asinine.

  39. Teve says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I suppose you’re too much of a snowflake to handle a little cholera in your water supply.

    Ugh. Kids these days.

  40. Sleeping Dog says:


    Yes, and we were complete David Brook’s Bobos, brewpub, locavore menu, grow their own herbs and lots of other customers brought their fur babies. Hilarious thing is that I’ve known Jen’s husband for ~10 years.

    A good time was had by all.

  41. Jax says:

    @Sleeping Dog: No kidding?! Small world!!! Glad you guys had a great day!

    Now we need COVID to lay down so we can start planning the Great OTB Meetup!

  42. KM says:

    For me, fear of flying isn’t about dying, it’s about not being in control of the vehicle. (TBF, I don’t like being the passenger either) Theoretically at least, a passenger in a car can do something to recognize and prevent a crash. The driver’s *right there* – doing something you know how to do and often do easily without thinking. You can substitute for the driver or take control of the wheel by reaching over; you can monitor the driver’s status and surroundings, alerting to a danger that may have been missed. You know you can assume control in a way you just can’t on a plane. Worse come to worst, you can exit the vehicle when it stops (or even when it’s still moving) when you can’t do that with a plane.

    Statistically, the car’s more likely to kill me but if things go wrong, I stand a way, way better chance of doing something to fix the issue then on a flight. I have to trust the pilot, sitting behind a door I can’t open and doing things I can’t comprehend or repeat, to get me home safely. I’m not expected to have the level of trust in a car driver and so the fear of flying takes over.

  43. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I wanted to tackle that one, too.

    Scientists who favor the hygiene hypothesis, highly recommend getting every available vaccine, even ones for pathogens one is at low-risk of contagion, in order to keep the immune system busy. the exact opposite of “strengthening” it with infection.

    the adaptive immune system reacts exactly the same way against vaccines that it does to pathogens. That’s the entire point of vaccination. it only does so for a shorter period. after all, the Moderna shot does not keep producing spike proteins for weeks. the same goes for dead virus and weakened virus vaccines.

  44. JohnSF says:

    In Europe:
    A very interesting article by trade policy analyst Sam Lowe on significant moves by the EU that are passing under the radar of most news media:
    This ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race
    Short version: the EU is equipping itself with really heavy duty legal instruments for trade sanctions/retaliations.
    He doesn’t speculate on the “why”; I’ve seen some thoughts that it’s prep for a breakdown in UK/EU relations over the NIP/TCA agreement.

    Johnson and his lead minister on this, Lord Frost, are stamping on toes on this.

    But IMO it’d be overkill; just tariffs on motor vehicles and some disobliging acts re. euro-bonds would suffice to wreck Johnson’s propects.
    And a lot of EU capitals believe for that reason that the Tories are just throwing chum to the media/party base.

    My suspicion: it relates to co-ordination with Washington re. “Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism” taxes as the backup for possible failure of a negotiated real deal at the Glasgow Climate talks in November.
    Message to Beijing: time for cynicism on this issue is past.
    Deal or be dealt unto.

    If they are brought in by EU and USA, that hits c40% of Chinese exports.
    Also, estimated hit to Russia minimum of C.$60 billion.
    Not to mention impact on the Arabians.

    That sort of action will trigger pushback. Europe is prepping its counter to that.
    Indicating they are serious and strategising this out.
    That’s my guess, FWLIW.

    Big question now: will the US Congress follow suit?

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Tucker Carlson’s audience is even more broken than he is.

  46. Kylopod says:

    @KM: I’ve never had a fear of flying, so I can’t speak for those who do, but what you’re describing fits what I was trying to say perfectly. It’s fundamentally a fear of losing control and putting one’s trust entirely in the hands of someone else we can’t affect. The trust and control issue hovers heavily over vaccines as well.

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just weeks after its launch, the pro-Trump social network GETTR is inundated with terrorist propaganda spread by supporters of Islamic State, according to a POLITICO review of online activity on the fledgling platform.

    The social network — started a month ago by members of former President Donald Trump’s inner circle — features reams of jihadi-related material, including graphic videos of beheadings, viral memes that promote violence against the West and even memes of a militant executing Trump in an orange jumpsuit similar to those used in Guantanamo Bay.

    The rapid proliferation of such material is placing GETTR in the awkward position of providing a safe haven for jihadi extremists online as it attempts to establish itself as a free speech MAGA-alternative to sites like Facebook and Twitter.

    Birds of a feather flock together.

  48. Kathy says:


    The driver’s *right there* – doing something you know how to do and often do easily without thinking. You can substitute for the driver or take control of the wheel by reaching over; you can monitor the driver’s status and surroundings, alerting to a danger that may have been missed.

    I’m dubious of all but the last one, and that is often a generic “watch out!”

    But, if it makes you feel any better, there have been aircraft accidents where a passenger notified the crew something was wrong, and they were not listened to*. One was a Varig flight which was supposed to head northeast**. Instead it headed west, which a few passengers noticed and informed the cabin crew. They did not notify the pilots, apparently. the plane wound up flying over thick rain forest when their fuel ran out.

    You are often better protected against collision in a car, if you’re wearing a seat belt and the car has air bags. Airplanes should come with shoulder belts rather than mere lap belts, and airbags would be helpful, too. But that would cost money.

    *And more where another pilot warned, or tried to warn, the captain, and were not listened to.

    **Their heading was 27 degrees, instead they headed to 270 degrees.

  49. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..Airplanes should come with shoulder belts rather than mere lap belts, and airbags Captain Sully.

  50. CSK says:

    @Jen: @Sleeping Dog:
    I am so, so sorry I missed this. It sounds wonderful. But I’ve been caring for an indisposed close relative. Next time, I hope.

    In other personal news: Some of you may recall me bitching a year or so back about the lunatic who lived down the hall from me. Well, she appears to have sold her condo, which I assume means we’ll no longer be plagued by her idiocies. If there’s a building-wide celebration in honor of her departure, I’ll try to be there.

    P.S. The apogee of this woman’s derangement was when she accused the woman across the hall of neglecting her children. The accused has no children.

  51. Teve says:

    The Salazar Option

    These people are 100% down with fascism.

  52. Jen says:

    @CSK: You were missed! Here’s hoping for a next time, perhaps with blue-cheese-stuffed olives in a vodka martini on offer.

    Congratulations on the possible departure of the, um, “interesting” neighbor. She certainly sounds like a handful.

  53. Jax says:

    @Teve: Good Lord!!! I see the author of that piece lives in Florida. Here’s to hoping COVID does it’s thing. 😐

  54. CSK says:

    Oh, thank you! I really did want to meet (in person) you all.

    As for the loonie–I devoutly hope departed now–I once received an email from her stating: “I know when you’re here and when you’re not here.” I casually mentioned this to another neighbor, sane and very nice, who promptly screeched: “Report her to the police for stalking!” I wish I had. She also seems to have had a camera installed outside her door so she could record what was going in in the hall. I can report that absolutely nothing was going on in the hall. Ever.

  55. Teve says:

    @Jax: am I just noticing fascism more, or is it increasingly popular? I’d like to know the answer.

  56. Jax says:

    @Teve: I’m going to go with it’s increasingly right out in plain sight. They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

    It’s why I, personally, am increasingly more frustrated with this “We just have to try to understand them more!”

    I totally get that guy. He wants me, and people like me, dead. And he’s spending a lot of time, effort and words to convince others to go along with it. He’s a sociopath, at the very least. I don’t feel even a little bit bad that I hope he’s unvaccinated and dies a horrible, choking death.

    Odds are he IS vaccinated, though. All the real sociopaths are. The unvaccinated are just cannon fodder for their cause.

  57. Sleeping Dog says:


    Indeed, we were disappointed that you couldn’t make it, but lives get complicated. We’ll do it again or suggest a time and we’ll show up!

  58. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    the operational costs would be lower, as there’s already an allowance for that component in every commercial airplane, even those carrying cargo only.

    The R&D costs would be astronomical, especially the part that cranks out adult Sullenbergers with a shelf life measured in decades.

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    John Harwood

    ex-Harvard Business Review editorial director @foxjust
    “Over the nearly 75 years for which we have reliable quarterly GDP and monthly jobs numbers, the growth of both has been markedly faster during Democratic presidencies than Republican ones.”

    GDP Growth Under Trump Was the Worst Since Hoover
    The pandemic was partly to blame, and there are some measures that make his record look better. But it was not a stellar performance.

  60. Teve says:

    So my Android phone is approaching 3 years old and based on lots of reading and thinking in the past few years i’m fed up with using ‘free’ services which result in global tech megacorps headed by sociopaths like Zuckerburp selling my data to the highest bidders. I’ve mentioned this before.

    Well, i’ve switched to Safari with blockers, Protonmail, Proton Calendar, and their VPN, and recently to DuckDuckGo. (Neeva’s even better but I’m temporarily unemployed). The last big move is coming up in 2 months when the iPhone 13 comes out. At that point I’ll have no apps from Google or Facebook installed, and few apps period. Some apps, like Weather ones, are notorious for trying to steal all the personal data they can.

    I’ve also hardened my passwords against dictionary attacks. Dictionary attacks commonly use abridged dictionaries of the most common 10,000 words or so, so all my passwords are now like BruxismCyanicDivalentOrrery&9^904

    There is a whole community of techies who have created Android distros modified to interfere with the Google advertising ID and so forth, but it’s been 15 years since I messed with Linux and networks and config files and all that business and I’m not eager to spend dozens of hours like that again. And I like that Apple gave both middle fingers to Zuckerburp, so Imma go that route.

  61. Teve says:

    Proton Errthing, for anybody who is interested, is like $75/year.

  62. Mikey says:

    @Teve: Carlson is featured as a prominent speaker at a Hungarian far-right conference and just met with fascist quasi-dictator Viktor Orban, who has succeeded in corrupting Hungary’s public institutions toward the enrichment and power of himself and his friends.

    Carlson and his fellow neo-fascists aren’t going to Hungary for the paprika. They’re going there to learn.

  63. Teve says:

    @Mikey: IDK man, Hungary is the place to go for Paprika. Maybe they’re just goulash fanbois.

  64. Teve says:

    @Mikey: Rod (Heh) Dreher thinks we need an American Orban.

    And of course he’s defending Tucker on that:

  65. Teve says:

    @Teve: i was going to leave a comment about what a dumb stan for Fascism Rod is, but I got this message:

    We are unable to post your comment because you have been banned by theamericanconservative.

    So I musta done something right, back in the day!

  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I doubt that they’re even pro-fetus; they’re only pro-punishment. If the fetus were to die in the process of denying the woman an abortion, they’d not shed a single tear, but rather claim that the death of the child was God adding his punishment to the interrupted sin.

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I don’t know if it’s better or approximately the same as no loaf, but it’s definitely better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Time will tell on the first part.

  68. Just nutha ignint cracker----- says:

    @Teve: If Bunter Hiden’s “scandals” lead to fascism, how did we not get the end of civilization as we know it in 1973/74? Hyperbole much, Tucker?

  69. Teve says:


    Ron Johnson on the radio this morning, suggesting that if we just let COVID run its course it’ll go away in two years — just like the Spanish flu


    Spanish Flu / Number of Deaths



    Also, now there are 4x as many people on the planet


    Not if Ron Johnson gets his way!

  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: I’m going to disagree with you. The people who have the community memory to have thought up the “but Thalidomide” argument understand the difference perfectly; they’re just disingenuous. The people who are parroting the “but Thalidomide” argument probably don’t even know what it was prescribed for–or even that it was prescribed (but apparently not in the US [where the FDA did not approve it–according to Bing] and that it is still used sometimes to treat Leprosy and some cancers [Wikipedia]).

  71. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s probably just me (and I’m probably just mean) but I LIKE IT!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

  72. dazedandconfused says:
  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Yeah. Go ahead and wish that into one hand and shpit into the other and let me know which one fills up first.

  74. @Teve: I saw headline and have not had a chance to read it yet, but good grief.

  75. Jax says:

    How many “future Presidents” are DeSantis and his ilk killing with their COVID policies?! Can nobody think about the baaaabies?!

  76. Teve says:

    A month from now, a buncha school kids are gonna be testing positive for Tha Rona, in states where the governor has banned mask requirements. And it’s gonna get Lit.

  77. Jen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: In my admittedly small sample size, no they do not know/understand the difference.

    I very painstakingly explained vaccines vs. medicines in a non-combative way, and several people chimed in to say that they didn’t know/were not aware that there has never been a vaccine that has demonstrated a negative side effect outside of 2 months. Quite a few people who–IMHO should know or understand this–did not.

    It’s not ignorance so much as disinterest. People equate “something medical going in my body” with medicine. That vaccines are designed to train the immune system to recognize disease and medications are there to treat existing illness is a nuance that doesn’t sink in.

  78. Jax says:

    @Teve: The first of the super-spreader events in my county from LAST weekend are now testing positive for COVID, according to their Facebook feeds. They’ve spent all week at the county fair where all of the darling children and their parents spend the whole week armpits to elbows with sweaty animals in a barn, plus all of the dances/concerts/associated fair events…. Three weeks from now, right when school starts, is absolutely gonna be lit.

  79. JohnSF says:


    100% down with fascism

    Hmm; I’ll come back to that.

    I read bits of that reactionary drivel and sensed neurons dying in sheer frustation at the a-historical idiocy.
    The amusing part is he mentions the last reel of the movie, then slides past it:
    – The Revolution of 1974, and possibility, thankfully avoided of full-on civil war.
    – The actual wars in Angola and Mozambique which killed around 150,000 people.
    – The ironic outcome which sees modern Portugal a mainstream European liberal democracy

    The modern Republic has seen the Catholic Church disestablished.
    In the election of 2019 the Socialist were the largest party with 36% of the vote; second the Social Democrats (misleading name, actually centre right) with 27%; third the Left Bloc (populist left) at 9%; the UDC (communists, basically) on 6%; the conservative-right Peoples Party got 4%
    Yep, “conservatives” Salazar was totally worth it in the long run.

    He also mentions in passing Spain and France; curiously the little matter of the Spanish Civil War gets bypassed, as does the Vichy regime.
    Roach seems unable to process that reactionary catholic conservatism destroyed itself.
    The right in France was essentially re-founded on a “modernising” basis, with the old “ultras”, the monarchists and anti-modernist Catholics marginalised.
    A similar process took place in post-Franco Spain; and arguably analagous in Italy.

    Now, as you might expect, knowing me: its quibbling time!
    I’d strongly argue that the Salazar regime was of the broad category of late-18th to mid-20th century European reactionary Catholics conservatism.
    An entirely different breed of cat to fascists.
    Collapsing variant political traditions into two camps of “democrat” and “fascist” is a mistake.

    The Catholic reactionaries often ended up collaborating with fascists, out of sheer hatred and fear of the liberals and socialists, but thereby destroyed themselves.
    Interestingly the non-Catholic right e.g. British Conservatives tended to avoid this fate; IMO because not fatally constrained by the doctrine of Pope Pius IX and the “Syllabus of Errors” of 1864.
    And not trying to resurrect a dead dream of monarchical-aristocratic rule.

    Notable that in 1939 the Salazar government announced that the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance remained in effect; but as Britain had not asked for assistance, Portugal would remain neutral until asked.
    It got a bit sticky at times, but generally both Portugal and the Allies thought neutrality the best option.
    And that history was why Portugal (unlike Spain) was included in the Marshall Plan and NATO.

    So, unpleasantly reactionary, yes. Fascist, no.

    And Roach is a twerp, who thinks he’s being clever.