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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    Edward-Isaac Dovere
    @IsaacDovere
    ·
    12h
    Obama at his Foundation summit: “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re politically woke, and all that stuff—you should get over that pretty quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”

    95% of my blocks on social media are Global Warming deniers, creationists, and Trumper sub-morons, but 5% are Woker-Than-Thou purity numbnuts.

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  2. Teve says:

    So Lt. Col. Vindman testified that the “transcript” of the phone call the White House released had some incriminating shit removed. Big Surprise!!

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  3. Kari Q says:

    @Teve:

    What annoys me most is when they attack someone who has come around to their way of thinking because they once had a different opinion. Schwarzenegger is a serious advocate for the fight on climate change, but he was once drove a fossil fuel powered Hummer, so he must be despised.

    How about thanking people who change their mind and welcoming them to the fight?

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  4. Teve says:

    @Kari Q: Purity numbnuts annoy me so much I’m considering putting the word “problematic” on the social media mute list. 🙂

    In other news Georgia’s getting ready to purge 300,000 registrations from the voter rolls.

  5. Kit says:

    @Teve:

    “ People who do really good stuff have flaws—Obama”

    Lincoln:

    It has been my experience that those with no vices have very few virtues.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have studiously avoided watching trump’s announcement of al Baghdadi’s death, I mean I do have some self respect, ya know? And if I ever watched Obama’s announcement of Bin Laden’s, it long ago faded from the memory banks. So I had no idea that Obama’s lasted just 9 1/2 minutes but trump incessantly babbled for a full 48 minutes. I can’t believe anybody actually watched the entire 48 minutes but apparently the poor interns at Jimmy Kimmel’s show were forced to (I can’t imagine anybody being paid enough to do it but interns are desperate, they’ll do anything for a chance at a job, right?//)

    We mashed up @BarackObama’s Bin Laden speech with @RealDonaldTrump’s al-Baghdadi speech, and the results are amazing

    Amazingly painful, that is.

  7. Teve says:

    For the record, I’ve been conflating Republicans with Russians for months before Trump just tweeted out the word “Rupublicans”.

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  8. Teve says:

    Go away
    you crazy
    skank

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  9. Scott says:

    3Q GDP up 1.9%. Business Investment down 3%.

    Winning!

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Even I, a union carpenter who regularly uses curses most people have never heard, find the usage of that word… Misplaced. Do what I do, ignore her.

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  11. Teve says:

    @Scott: those numbers must be wrong. According to the Republicans the tax cut must lead to huge business investment.

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  12. CSK says:

    @Teve:

    He’s inviting them over for hamberders and covfefe.

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  13. grumpy realist says:

    @Cris Ericson: Lady, hear it loud and clear: YOU ARE A FRUITCAKE

    Go away, mmkay? At least until you can understand reality and law.

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  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    Ericson’s posts increasingly make me reconsider my pro-marijuana stance and usage.

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  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    I’ve been enjoying the podcast “The Worst Year Ever,” and so far today’s episode on Tulsi is fascinating.

  16. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Well, now, you must take all facts into account.

    Obama was announcing an action that, though not common, was expected, proper, and overdue. Whereas Trump undertook the first ever use of arms in defense of the United States, EVER!!!1! No one else had ever done so before. Lots of people say that.

    And whereas Obama watched the action unfold, Trump has such great and wise powers of seventh dimensional sight, that he could play golf and still make up everything that happened. Why, he was so good at it, he didn’t even fire the aide who suggested he might not want to play golf while the raid was going on. He dint’ even seriously think about firing him, declaring him a traitor and a Democrat, and complaining about stupid aides who hate America. he really didn’t almost think it seriously, and not for more than a few hours.

  17. Guarneri says:

    “Go away you crazy skank.”

    “I, a union carpenter who regularly uses curses most people have never heard, find the usage of that word… Misplaced. Do what I do, ignore her.”

    “Lady, hear it loud and clear: YOU ARE A FRUITCAKE
    Go away, mmkay? At least until you can understand reality and law.”

    And the blog proprietors wonder why the sane people left……….

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  18. CSK says:

    According to the NYPost and Yahoo, Trump is scheduled to attend an MMA fight at Madison Square Garden this weekend. Does he think he’s safe from booing there? Do all MMA fans love Trump?

  19. mattbernius says:

    @Guarneri:
    My god, why are Trump’s most ardent defenders the biggest friggin snowflakes?

    For the record, “skank” got a downvote from me.

    But what she wrote is utterly nonsensical. What’s worse is it’s the sort of attempt at “Let me show you how smart I am and how seriously you should take me” that only leaves you pitying the person who wrote is because they really think they are being smart. There are a couple other Trump supporters here who engage in that same sad pattern of behavior.

    Calling her a “fruitcake” is actually pretty accurate based on the content of her posts.

    Beyond that, you seem to be implying that “sane” means “people who agree with me” or maybe “don’t call bullshit on the utter crap I tend to copy and paste without attribution from Zero Hedge and Daily Wire.”

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  20. Mister Bluster says:

    And the blog proprietors wonder why the sane people left.

    Please show the posts that demonstrate this. Please be specific.
    State the names of the blog proprietors and state the names of the sane people that you claim the proprietors have wondered about.

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  21. mattbernius says:

    @CSK:

    Do all MMA fans love Trump?

    Combat sports, and martial arts in general, tend to attract a weird mix of people from both sides of the aisle. And, in my experience, the people (at least who do it) tend to be pretty passionate about their politics either way.

    Can’t really speak to fans as much. It’s weird, I love practicing BJJ and other martial arts, but I find watching MMA for any prolonged periods really boring.

  22. CSK says:

    @mattbernius: It just struck me as odd that Trump would risk another public event in a non-Trump-controlled venue, given the reception he got at the Astros-Nationals game. I’m also assuming, possibly incorrectly, that MMA fans are somewhat less civilized than baseball fans.

    I also wonder if he’ll be dragging Melania with him.

  23. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    There’s no need to engage in a troll feeding frenzy. Just ignore, downvote, and move on.

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve:

    So Lt. Col. Vindman testified that the “transcript” of the phone call the White House released had some incriminating shit removed. Big Surprise!!

    See? Fox News was right again. He is a traitor.

  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    Horn-tooting. My second adult thriller AN ARTFUL ASSASSIN IN AMSTERDAM has been reviewed twice (PW and Booklist), both highly positive. Ditto my first attempt (PW and Kirkus). I’ve now been compared to P.G. Wodehouse and “road-company Nabokov.” These are the first two books I’ve written in something like my own natural voice so it’s particularly gratifying, and no, I don’t think I deserve mention alongside either P.G. or Vladimir, but I’ll take it.

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  26. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Heartiest congrats!

  27. Gustopher says:

    @Guarneri:

    And the blog proprietors wonder why the sane people left……….

    Are you claiming Cris Ericson is sane?

  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    And yet, Drew, you seem compelled to come back again and again, despite the fact that everyone just ridicules you. You’re obviously desperate to achieve some degree of respect from people you deride.

    Your problem, @Guarneri, is that you aren’t very smart. And what smarts you have are corrupted by your unexamined racism and misogyny and above all by your slavish, taint-licking devotion to your idiot cult leader.

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  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    Least surprising headline ever: Jeffrey Epstein’s Autopsy ‘Points to Homicide,’ Not Suicide, Pathologist Claims.

    A forensic pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother said on Wednesday that evidence suggested that Mr. Epstein did not die by suicide, but may have been strangled.

    The New York City medical examiner’s office concluded Mr. Epstein hanged himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

    But the private pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, said on the morning TV show “Fox & Friends” that Mr. Epstein, 66, experienced a number of injuries — among them a broken hyoid bone — that “are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”

    “I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide,” said Dr. Baden, who observed the autopsy done by city officials.

    Dr. Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and a Fox News contributor, added, “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”

    To steal a line from my eldest daughter: Things we already knew for $200.

  30. Joe says:

    @Michael Reynolds: If you are compared to Wodehouse, I will buy your book. Congrats (on the reviews, not on my purchase).

  31. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Yes, getting a positive review from either PW or Kirkus is terrific. The Kirkus review of my first novel, although not 5-star, was positive – which caused me great relief.

  32. CSK says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: Kirkus can be very quirky.

  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: @CSK:
    I had a public fight with Kirkus over the GONE series. Reading their reviews, I knew the reviewer hadn’t actually read the books. Finally I called them out on Facebook. They suggested strongly that we not do this in public. So naturally I made that public as well. Suddenly a new reviewer read the series finale and liked it. (Like every other critic.) I’ve had no issues with them since.

    I don’t mind people not liking my work but I do kind of like them to actually read it before making that judgment public.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A forensic pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother said on Wednesday that evidence suggested that Mr. Epstein did not die by suicide, but may have been strangled.

    Alternately, the forensic expert hired by Epstein’s brother knows who is paying him.

    Lots of experts hired by Exxon-Mobile come to all sorts of conclusions about global warming. Tobacco companies had many experts as well.

    (The government’s medical examiner also may be biased)

    I wonder if there is a financial incentive to have Epstein be murdered rather than have committed suicide. Life insurance terms, perhaps?

    (I also wonder if there is an investment property that bundles life insurance policies of people likely to get killed or die, and if not why not?)

  35. Gustopher says:

    @Guarneri:

    And the blog proprietors wonder why the sane people left

    I wonder why sanity left so many people on the right — the need to believe things that are objectively not true, and the need to defend anyone with an R after their name no matter how horrible they are, and the need to paint everyone else as traitors and enemies and socialists.

    I mean, the Democrats have a few wack-a-doodles, and Bernie is pretty far out there, but to be comparable 9/11 Truthers would have to be running the Democratic Party.

    What happened, and how do you not see it?

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  36. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Oh, God, that happened to me once. Someone who clearly hadn’t even opened the book trashed it. Sometimes (sh)it happens.

  37. Joe says:

    among them a broken hyoid bone — that “are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”

    I am as suspicious as the next guy, Gustopher, but it appears there are some objective facts that competing experts can opine about. Other experts, like the insurance company’s, are likely to let the world know if broken hyiod bones are actually common in suicides by hanging or if the autopsy does not conclusively establish that the hyiod bone was broken.

  38. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    He was taken off suicide watch at a point where that was a clearly stupid decision. They provide a perfectly plausible explanation which amounts to, we’re understaffed and not terribly bright. As a rule incompetence is the Occam’s choice. And yet, really? Really the administrators had, what, more important, more watched, more potentially explosive prisoners to watch? Like. . . who?

    A great many very powerful, very connected people wanted Epstein dead before he could talk. And he ended up dead before he could talk. So we have a mountain of motive. Motive, means, and opportunity are the trifecta. Motive, established, let’s look at means and opportunity: he was a prisoner with absolutely zero defenses. The murder weapon is nothing more than a rope.

    Strong motive, weaker means and opportunity. What would it have taken to murder Epstein? A bribe to a guard. That’s it. It would have meant bribing one or more people at the jail. Ballparking the amount of money available to stadium full of people who wanted Epstein dead I’d ballpark it at a shit ton. Billions.

    Which leaves the matter of who could have pulled off the bribing of jail personnel. (The jail personnel who are regularly bribed to allow drugs in for whatever spare change the indigent prisoners have in their commissary accounts.) . Would that be beyond the capability of any of a dozen crime organizations? Beyond the capability of MI6?

    So a bunch of people with staggering resources and deep experience at penetrating jail security were hugely motivated to kill the guy. And now a former NY medical examiner says he doesn’t buy the current ME’s conclusion. Sure, he’s motivated. And how much money (and or threats) do you think it takes to motivate the current ME?

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Well done.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: The first medical examiner made note of the broken hyoid bone. S/He also noted that it is not uncommon for the hyoid bone to be broken in the case of older suicides. It would appear that by itself the broken hyoid is not indicative.

  41. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    What would it have taken to murder Epstein? A bribe to a guard. That’s it.

    I suppose it depends on the exact circumstances of Epstein’s confinement, and the overall situation in the place where he was held, but bribing a prisoner to do the deed and the guard(s) merely to look the other way, would seem to be the way to go.

  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:
    Something that happens in prisons on a pretty regular basis. According to Glassdoor a NY prison guard makes between 41 and 72K a year. In Arkansas that might be money, but in NY? These are working stiffs barely getting by. Imagine the effect of a million dollars in a numbered Cayman’s account on a guy with a sick kid or a gambling habit.

  43. Jen says:

    Politico is reporting that Kamala has laid off a bunch of staff in the Baltimore office and is redeploying others to IA and NH.

    In the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, Harris’ fundraising was flat at $11.8 million. She spent $14.6 million — $2.8 million more than she raised and nearly double what she spent in the prior quarter as she built out her operation. Staffing and payroll taxes, at $3.8 million, accounted for Harris’ largest line-item. Her campaign also deferred more than $900,000 in debts, an accounting move that inflated her cash-on-hand figure, which stood at $10.5 million.

    We are still three full months away from the IA caucuses and NH primary, and four months from CA voting. Unless something dramatic changes, that is an unsustainable burn rate of campaign cash.

  44. CSK says:

    @Joe: @Michael Reynolds: @OzarkHillbilly:

    On a personal note, I know Michael Baden and his wife, Linda Kenney Baden. I witnessed an autopsy that Baden performed; he called in a crew of first-class forensic specialists in various areas to assist him. This was no haphazard operation; it took two days. (I was present to document it.)

    Experts can legitimately disagree, but I would take very seriously any of Dr. Baden’s conclusions. I’ve seen him at work.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Guarneri:

    And the blog proprietors wonder why the sane people left……….

    And yet, you’re still here. Hmmmm…

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  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius: For me the boring part is 1) the 15-20 minutes between matches (at least it seems that long to me) and 2) matches where one opponent significantly outmatches the opponent.

    Pro wrestling has such “squash matches,” too, but the difference is that in pro wrestling those matches are for hyping the wrestler to advance a story line. But an MMA match that actually goes the distance is very watchable.

  47. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    Very interesting. Absent knowledge of your work one might suspect you have a bit of a weird kink going on. Of course experts can reach different conclusions, but maybe someone should check whether the current ME recently bought a Mercedes.

  48. Kathy says:

    Interesting news:

    1) Bolton’s been asked to testify.

    2) Twitter has banned political ads globally, effective Nov. 22nd.

  49. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Oh, yeah. 😀 Then again, I did say I was there to document the procedure. Everybody had to receive approval as an officially authorized person in order to be present. No weirdos or kinks allowed.

    I would also check various prison personnel and their bank accounts and expenditures.

  50. mattbernius says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Pro wrestling has such “squash matches,” too, but the difference is that in pro wrestling those matches are for hyping the wrestler to advance a story line.

    And while pro wrestling is definitely very athletic, the results of their squash matches are typically not as physically damaging to the person getting squashed (unless they are taking a really big bump).

    MMA squash matches (unless its a super quick submission) are scary to watch.

  51. mattbernius says:

    @CSK:

    I witnessed an autopsy that Baden performed; he called in a crew of first-class forensic specialists in various areas to assist him.

    You know, despite being a bunch of stupid knuckle draggers who have opted to stick around here and driven all the good folks off, people just keep dropping these tantalizing hints about rich lives outside of OTB.

    Or maybe as MR said, really really weird kinks.

    And, you know, that’s a mystery I kinda want to keep preserved.

  52. Jen says:

    @mattbernius: The breadth of knowledge (and witty repartee) of commenters here is what keeps me coming back. I’ve truly learned things here–from the comments!–which is not standard elsewhere on the internets (understatement of the year).

  53. CSK says:

    @mattbernius: Well, as I mentioned, I was present to document the autopsy, not frolic with the exhumed corpse–which was, by the way, in lamentable condition, and in no shape to participate any esoteric rites.

  54. Teve says:

    Twitter says it’s banning political ads.

    Kathy beat me!

  55. Teve says:

    Vanity Fair headline: “Trump insists he’s smart enough to commit crimes.”

    Sure thing Fake Tan Fredo.

  56. Kathy says:

    What do you think:

    Mushroom risotto
    Baked thin ground beef patties with tomato sauce, cheese, chorizo, and onions.

  57. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: He had tried to kill himself a week or so earlier. Unless that was also a murder attempt, and he was afraid to finger anyone.

    It’s likely he wasn’t the only person who wanted him dead, but he had the clearest opportunity and access to the victim.

    (I am picturing a hired killer showing up, finding the body, and fretting about whether he gets paid…)

  58. Jax says:

    We hit a new record this morning. -26!!!!!

  59. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Sounds good!

    I’ve had a hankering for a good bone broth soup….maybe some cabbage, onions, mushrooms and ham?

  60. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Spoiler alert: he’s not.

    I would make the claim that committing a crime requires not intelligence, but lack of intelligence, given the odds of getting caught.

    What would take intelligence, talent, skill, etc. is being able to commit a crime and not get caught. that’s where Golden Boy Trump fails spectacularly, seeing as he got caught, and he even provided evidence of his own wrongdoing.

  61. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    I love soup, but am too lazy to make them often. For cabbage soup I add mushrooms, onions, garlic, carrots, and bell pepper. I saute everything first, including the cabbage, then add chicken broth and let it boil and simmer.

    Boiling bell peppers ruins their consistency, but they add a nice note to the soup.

  62. MarkedMan says:

    Tru,p to attend MMA? Is that real? Because if he is trying to reconnect with suburban housewives, sitting in a seat smiling while young men and women get pummeled senseless and bloody just doesn’t seem to be the ticket…

  63. Teve says:

    Henry Cavill—roids or nah?

  64. Mister Bluster says:

    Congrats to the Washington Nationals. 2019 World Series Champs!
    First time a team has won 4 road games in a seven game series in any sport to clinch a championship!

  65. Gustopher says:

    @Teve:

    Henry Cavill—roids or nah?

    ‘Roids. The H in Preparation H stands for Henry Cavill.

  66. Jax says:

    @Kathy: If you ever doubt the strength of your bone broth, add a dab of balsamic vinegar. It’s like the bottle was just sitting on my spice shelf smiling at me….”I make everything bettttter!”

    10 year old highly approves of my cabbage soup, and requested homemade biscuits so she can dip her biscuit in the delicious broth, so that’s what we’re doing. Quadruple batch, because the teenager absolutely will not eat cabbage, but she’ll eat biscuits all day long! It’s -15 already, so I’m good with homemade goods. 😉

  67. Kit says:

    @Teve:

    Henry Cavill—roids or nah?

    There are good articles here and here.

    Based on one eye-popping scene from his first Superman film, yeah, I’d say that no one gets into that sort of shape without pharmaceutical assistance. But there’s also no doubt that he has top coaches and iron discipline.

    I find it interesting just how quickly we have grown used to bodies that previous generations would have considered freakish. Look at statues of the gods from Greek and Roman antiquity. While obviously based on real bodies, and still impressive today, none of those splendid models could play the part of Hercules today.

  68. Pylon says:

    @Jax: -26 in US degrees or “rest of the world” degrees?

  69. grumpy realist says:

    @Jax: …and it’s still only October….what do you guys get in January?!

    We had snow here yesterday. Unusual here in Chicago, very wet (melting) snow, lotsa snapped branches. Slush everywhere.

    (Where I grew up we would usually have the first snow the last week of October, but it would never hang around.)

  70. Jax says:

    @Pylon: US degrees.
    @grumpy realist: It’s a little chilly for October, even for around here. We don’t normally get this cold til end of November. January is variable, depending on snow cover. Sometimes it stays that cold through January, sometimes it’s quite nice!!

  71. Teve says:

    Who was the comedian who said “it’s so cold there, I asked the guy what temperature it was and he said minus 50. I said is that Fahrenheit or Celsius? He said “it doesn’t matter”.” 😀

    (Which is approximately true)

  72. Jax says:

    @Teve: “Freeze your nose hairs” cold kinda lumps it all together nicely. 😉

  73. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Fact: -40F = -40 C.

    But then the joke wouldn’t be funny.

  74. Tyrell says:

    Tonight: Dean Cain reveals his top 13 scary movie list. (Forgot what network).
    November 8: “Dr. Sleep” opens at theaters.

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  75. 95 South says:

    @Guarneri: In-depth articles, intelligent threads, budding friendships – this site has none of it. I still look at it every now and then, but I shouldn’t. I want to understand what liberals think, but there’s no thinking on this site. Just regurgitation and bad faith. Why do you stay? You’re not going to convince anyone or make them think, and based on your style you’re not even trying to.

  76. Teve says:

    Older lady came in today to get a tv package for her new house. Woman I was shadowing: “what are your must-have channels?” Lady: “Hallmark, HGTV, and OAN. Oh and whatever channel that Amish Mafia comes on. And the channel with The 700 club.” Woman I was shadowing: “how about Fox News?” Lady: “I gueeesssss.”

    She was probably thinking “why’s this dumb libtard pushing fox?”

  77. Gustopher says:

    Donald Trump has tweeted that he will be moving his legal residence to Florida, and out of New York, because New Yorkers are mean to him.

    Florida Man Obstructs Justice
    Florida Man Betrays Our Kurdish Allies
    Florida Man Commits Impeachable Offense On TV
    Florida Man Releases Incriminating Call Summary, Claims To Be Exonerated.
    Florida Man Camouflaged In Orange Grove