Open Forum

Where you can't be off topic because there IS no topic.

The floor is yours.

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


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The gun murder rate in Sweden has exploded in the last 20 years by a thousand percent. They now have 40 per year.

    Gangs in Sweden are now using plastic explosives in their turf wars. They “mostly target empty buildings, offices and cars,” and they are usually small.

    Danes** have gotten so concerned about the violent lawlessness of Swedes that they “have reintroduced border controls”

    All snark aside it is a serious situation, but it’s hard not to look at what is going on there and not think, “In other words, just another day in America.”

    **there have been 2 bombings in Copenhagen they think are connected.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Iran to begin injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges

    Don’t worry, the Iranians are going to come begging any day now.

  3. @OzarkHillbilly:

    You can thank Donald Trump for this. The JCPOA was working until he came along and f**ked everything up.

  4. Bill says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Yeah, my first instinct was to say “So much winning.” but then I decided to give voice to trump’s delusion of grandeur about this particular situation.

  6. mattbernius says:

    @Doug Mataconis: The best part will be watching his defenders have to twist themselves into know to show how Iran respects us more today under Trump and how he has improved things in the region.

  7. sam says:

    Lev Parnas, Giuliani Associate, Opens Talks With Impeachment Investigators

    No doubt Rudy has a daily delivery of Depends on order from Amazon. He just might lose his law license in the end. At a minimum.

  8. Teve says:

    @sam: Some of the people I know on social media have jumped on the bandwagon that Trump wears diapers, and there are several photos that really strongly give that appearance. I wonder if that would have any effect on his supporters.

  9. Teve says:

    “Iran to begin injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges”

    “You know, Mr. President, if you had to invade Iran to keep Americans safe, the people would pretty much Have to vote for you…”

  10. sam says:

    And then there’s this. Jesus H. Christ.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: Jesus has nothing to with it. But you know that already, don’t you?

  12. sam says:

    My hope is that Danny McBride sees this video and writes accordingly.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I read Matriarch of the glen: walking the Highlands’ hidden pilgrim trail this morn, a short interesting read. The author, Sharon Blackie, seems like an interesting person and has written several books. Two of them have really caught my eye: Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shape-Shifting Women and If Women Rose Rooted: The Power of the Celtic Woman .

    Anybody know of her writings?

  14. CSK says:

    @sam: Dear God. Do she and Trump get together in private and laugh hysterically at all the saps who buy this routine?

  15. Teve says:

    Trump rejects Native American Heritage Month, proclaims November “National American History and Founders Month.”

    just passing this on from Twitter, no idea if it’s real or not.

  16. senyordave says:

    @Teve: I think many of his supporters would start wearing diapers themselves. At least the ones who aren’t already wearing diapers. Based on his demographics that is a rather large percentage.

  17. Teve says:

    @senyordave: he’s too busy making deals!

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nasa’s Voyager 2 sends back its first message from interstellar space

    From beyond the heliosphere, the signal from Voyager 2 is still beaming back, taking more than 16 hours to reach Earth. Its 22.4-watt transmitter has a power equivalent to a fridge light, which is more than a billion billion times dimmer by the time it reaches Earth and is picked up by Nasa’s largest antenna, a 70-metre dish.

    And yet even then,

    The second set of measurements, by Voyager 2, give new insights into the nature of the heliosphere’s limits because on Voyager 1 a crucial instrument designed to directly measure the properties of plasma had broken in 1980.

  19. Teve says:

    Daniel Dale
    From June through October, Trump mentioned Obama’s name 366 times. Almost all of them were disparaging.

    During the same period of Obama’s presidency, Obama mentioned George W. Bush ONCE: to praise Bush for condemning bigotry against Muslims after 9/11.

  20. senyordave says:

    Last Sunday I went to a talk about pronouns relating to the LGBTQIA+ community. It really was quite interesting. I learned that in addition to he/hi/his/himself, she/her/her/herself and they/them/their/themself there is also:
    ey/em/eir/emself (this is just they without the th)

    Online there were probably a half dozen more that I found.
    This was part of a series presented by my synagogue. I belong to a reconstructionist synagogue, which is a branch of Judaism that is tends to be very inclusive and liberal.
    The speaker also spoke about some gender/sexuality issues that ranged from mainstream to extremely esoteric. Although some things seem to be over the top, I had to remind myself that what seems over the top to me is a real issue to some people.
    I did have to draw the line at Caitlyn Jenner. The speaker insisted that Caitlyn Jenner won the gold medal in the decathlon in 1976. I said a person who later became Caitlyn Jenner won the decathlon in 1976. The speaker replied that it was Caitlyn Jenner, and even if you are talking about from a purely historical perspective, it was Caitlyn Jenner who won the medal. I said it is a fact that a person named Bruce Jenner won that medal, and nothing that happened after that changed that fact. I didn’t add that IMO her position is intellectually dishonest.

  21. Teve says:

    Lachlan Markay
    · 47m
    County commissioners in Florida voted unanimously to deny local libraries a digital subscription to the NY Times because, as one commissioner put it, “I agree with President Trump” that the paper is “fake news.”

  22. Kathy says:

    So, on episode 6, season 4 of The Good Place, entitled “A Chip Driver Mystery,” Brent, the rich douchebag our heroes are trying to get to improve himself, writes a book.

    No spoilers ahead.

    When he’s told his novel is racist, sexist, and insensitive, and is criticized for some literary aspects of it, he gets angry. He tries a fake apology (ie sorry if you felt offended), then really gets mad and throws a tantrum.

    But, and this is the part I found interesting, he acts very hurt, and very baffled.

    It occurred to me no one explained to him why his books was sexist and racist. But then, he also didn’t listen or ask, just reflexively struck back, claiming not to have a racist bone in his body (yeah, it’s pretty clear he’s channeling a certain orange Republican official).

    It may be this is part of the problem in society these days. Not that Trump, or the alt-right crowd, or the white supremacists don’t know they’re being racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc.. They obviously do know. but many regular people who don’t recoil at them, might not understand what’s wrong. In some ways, their bigotry is like water to a fish (or air to a person?). It’s always been there, and they don’t notice it.

    Just something to think about.

  23. Teve says:

    @senyordave: they and their will probably win I think. I don’t think individual neopronouns are going to catch on. But if they do, good for ¥ix.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    There is often talk here in the comments section about what Republican government officials should do about “their” party. But from my point of view the party no more belongs to those elected Republicans than it belongs to the Democrats. It belongs to Trump and the vast majority of self identified Republican voters have no more love for their non-Trump elected officials than they do for Nancy Pelosi. So the idea of Republican elected officials somehow controlling or overcoming Trump is a category error. They have their position because Trump lets them, and if they don’t come to him obsequiously with hat in hand then they are out. If there is any doubt of that, just look at his “endorsement” of the Republican Governor of KY last night:

    “We work together. Now he is difficult, I have to say. You know. Maybe it’ll cost him the election,” Trump said of Bevin. “He’s such a pain in the ass. But that’s what you want.”

  25. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: neo-Confederate christian nationalist voters could be used as a voting bloc as long as the powers-that-be controlled the media access and money, and thereby controlled the choices. Technological changes have moved power to the voters, is the party’s problem.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Any Republican disagreeing with the direction of the party now that trump runs it has only 2 choices: Go with the flow or leave the party. Amash did it, probably means the end of his political career but that is the choice they all have.

  27. Kathy says:

    Carrying over from another thread, it seem the latest Terminator movie will flop like the two previous movies.

    I’ve said before the second movie ended the near-future apocalypse/machine takeover/human extermination plot line, effectively ending the series.

    For all that, I really like the short-lived TV version, The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It mixed present and future well enough, it tackled some plot holes like why would only one machine be sent back in time per occasion, and had pretty good character development as well. Not to mention the hints of divisions among the machines in the future. It’s too bad that flopped and got cancelled.

  28. Teve says:

    Arielle Duhaime-Ross
    So I’m tired and I couldn’t remember the word for raccoon so I described them to my wife as the “animals that wear a mask and wash their food in the river” and now she thinks I’m crazy and can’t believe that’s how I described a raccoon.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I think it may be a generational thing. People who are old, like me, think of there being two really good Terminator movies starring Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. None of the rest matter. We could be interested in a continuation of those first two. I suspect the younger generation sees instead a mess of really bad movies with a couple of good ones thrown in, although the second one has really hokey looking CGI. They are “watch if there is nothing else on” movies, not “pay $12.50” movies.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:
  31. Jen says:

    @Teve: That is exactly why elected officials should have no place in determining library selections. In NH, we have extraordinary protections for library workers to insulate them from exactly that type of (idiotic) pressure.

    Which is pretty much what you would hope for from a state that had the first free and publicly supported library in the US. 🙂

  32. Kathy says:


    Funny, then, this latest one has both Hamilton and Schwarzenegger, thought I admit not in starring roles.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I guess I wasn’t clear. I knew they were in there, as there have been interviews with Hamilton everywhere. And I think the studio execs are old coots and thought that would be enough. But my generation isn’t going to run out to see another super hero movie unless it is getting good reviews. And, as I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t think the Terminator series has much pull for the younger crowd.

  34. Kathy says:

    The orange tin-pot dictator in Washington wields a mighty Twit.

    Choice quote:

    For experienced diplomatic veterans like Yovanovitch, this kind of corruption and dysfunction was all too familiar. They see it every day in the world’s autocracies.

    “This is the sort of stuff we report on, how the president’s family and its hangers-on run everything. Now foreign diplomats are saying the same things about us,” one US foreign service officer observed recently.

    Which can easily be brushed off by team deplorable as a deep state coup.

  35. Kari Q says:

    “You should hear this in the voice of the most interesting man in the world.” – My husband to his brother, while telling him about my grandmother.

    She was a small woman, under five feet, even when standing on tippy toes. My grandfather was just a couple of inches taller than her.

    They got married the day before Pearl Harbor.

    They lived in California during the war and couldn’t use headlights because of the black out rules, so she would lean out of the window of the car and shine a flashlight on the side of the road, to make sure they didn’t drive off it.

    After the war, back in South Dakota, they opened their own grocery store and ran it for 20 years.

    She made the best lemon meringue pie you can imagine, but only once a year. Too much work the rest of the time, she had better things to do.

    She drank high balls every evening.

    She played a mean game of cards.

    In retirement, they traveled: Germany, Italy, China, all over the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii, every place except Cooperstown. She hated baseball and refused to go to the Hall of Fame. A rare disagreement between grandparents, as he loved the game.

    One of the trips was to California with their granddaughters – my cousins – age 8 and 10. My future husband and I went to Disneyland with them. While waiting for them to finish riding the Matterhorn, he asked “How old are your grandparents?” Me, “Seventy, why?” Him, “My grandparents did not ride roller coasters at 70.” I laughed and said “Mine do.”

    At 80, she went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. He didn’t want to go, so she went with someone else. Apparently the highlight of the trip was seeing a completely naked man walking down the street playing trumpet. Or maybe that was the only part she was willing to tell her granddaughter about.

    At 85, widowed a few years earlier, her doctor said “You’re the healthiest 85 year old I have ever seen. You’re like the Energizer Bunny.” The Energizer Bunny would never have kept up with her.

    At 90, she was still living in her own home.

    At 94, she had moved into an assisted care facility. She developed a habit of getting on the van to the movies instead of the one to her doctor appointments. Why? “The movie sounded like more fun.”

    She passed away this week at 98. She was on morphine at the end, and my cousin who was with her said she was talking like she was a girl again, getting ready to go to the field and play.

    I hope she made it. If she did, I’m sure she found a fellow, just a couple inches taller than her, who has been waiting for her. Those two kids have quite a life in front of them.

  36. JohnMcC says:

    @Kari Q: Thank you for sharing that. RIP Grandma.

  37. Jax says:

    @Kari Q: I am very sorry for your loss, but very glad you have those kinds of memories about her!

    My great grandmother was much the same. 4’10, at best, but she could make grown men cower and “yes ma’am” with a look. She always had a nice hat, pearls, a fur coat and her cane, and her cane had a little knife she could pop out on the end. She swore it was for icy sidewalks. 😉

  38. DrDaveT says:

    So, last night I was surprised to learn that many academic historians have now rejected the word ‘feudalism’ as misleading and useless, to the extent that using it in a talk at a conference would get you mocked. I have no idea what word(s) they now use instead, or whether the splitters have triumphed over the lumpers to the extent that no general terms are permitted.

  39. Kathy says:


    Sorry, I kind of posted prematurely.

    The thing is neither Hamilton nor Arnie can play their old selves again. They do a good enough job this time around, but can’t be at the center of all the action.

  40. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT: This makes no sense. Have you any idea why “feudalism”is now apparently a dirty word?

  41. DrDaveT says:


    This makes no sense. Have you any idea why “feudalism”is now apparently a dirty word?

    The Wikipedia article on Feudalism gives some hints:
    “[Susan] Reynolds argues:

    Too many models of feudalism used for comparisons, even by Marxists, are still either constructed on the 16th-century basis or incorporate what, in a Marxist view, must surely be superficial or irrelevant features from it. Even when one restricts oneself to Europe and to feudalism in its narrow sense it is extremely doubtful whether feudo-vassalic institutions formed a coherent bundle of institutions or concepts that were structurally separate from other institutions and concepts of the time.

  42. Franklin says:

    @Kari Q: Beautiful, thank you! That’s a life worth celebrating, not mourning.

  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    She’s the 21st century Aimee Semple McPherson.

    Film of today’s book burning at 10!

  44. Sleeping Dog says:

    Random thought for the day.

    One thing that I appreciate about Elizabeth Warren is that her views on a number of subjects have changed over the years as she has received new information or came to accept that her prior views failed the reality test. Unlike say, Bernie, whose views have not seemed to change if the past 40 years. This isn’t to say she is pliable, as she can be as stubborn as a mule before giving way to reality.

  45. grumpy realist says:

    @DrDaveT: Considering that there was a big honkin’ legal treatise called the Lex Feodorum which was, dammit, totally separate from the use of the Corpus Iuris Civilis this makes ab-so-lute-ly NO sense whatsoever. Have any of these guys in fact read the legal documents of the period?!

    I suspicion it’s the Marxist influence. When doing research for my M.A. thesis I ran across a book in Italian by a Marxist historian covering European treason law. I used it mainly for the references mentioned in the footnotes–the book itself was a chaotic mess grabbing “examples” from all over the map, totally ignoring that legal concepts changed over the centuries and that “treason” in the 15th century was quite different from “treason” in the 11th century. The historian even tried to shove a Divine Right of Kings (17th century, please) argument into his interpretation of medieval law. Ugh!

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I take a little different stance. I wish that America could get as normal as Sweden is when it’s outrageous there.

    The Danes and two explosions was funny to me. Steve Berry has probably burned down more of Copenhagen in his books than gangsters, spies, and terrorists combined have since the end of WWII.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Firm grasp of the obvious Doug strikes again. So. Much. Winning.

  48. Fortunato says:

    Trump’s spiritual advisor, aka, Elmira Gantry.

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    The investigator, Sgt. Dave Kirkland, told her this call was handled so badly he would describe it as a “catastrophic failure,” according to records.

    Wa! Somehow I think we need a better description than “catastrophic,” but I can’t think of a superlative to describe this.

    But at least it isn’t a “Florida Man” story. Do we need a “Florida Woman” meme now in the name of equality?

  50. grumpy realist says:

    Woman sends fake anthrax powder to Senator Collins, claims it’s a joke.

    Given how much the woman has trashed the rest of her life (read to the end of the article), I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t just her sneaky attempt to get the proverbial “three-hots-and-a-cot” for 10 years.

    On the other hand, she doesn’t seem intelligent enough to do even that level of planning.

    I’ll take “most likely to die drunk, homeless, and in a ditch somewhere” for $50, Alex.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: @OzarkHillbilly: Indeed! Don’t be blaming Jesus for what crazy white folk do! (Although I do have to admit that the spray on pants that don’t quite match the jacket was a masterstroke of style.)

  52. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    And then there’s this. Jesus H. Christ.

    I guarantee you Trump is fuqing her.

  53. Kathy says:

    In one of his books, Yuval Noah Harari posits an AI that destroys humanity and all life on Earth, so it can go on with its programmed task of calculating Pi without distraction or interruption.

    Granted Pi is an irrational number (cannot be expressed as the ratio of two numbers), and as such has a literally infinite number of non-repeating decimals, so that part checks out. But:

    1) The Sun will eventually swallow the Earth, putting an end to the AI’s Pi labors. Even if it manages to emigrate elsewhere, the Universe will likely also come to an end, possibly many billions of years from now. The AI would be no closer to the end of Pi’s decimals than it was when it wiped out humanity.

    2) Who gives any control of anything to a machine that only calculates a number?

  54. Teve says:

    Political strategy for Republicans has always been tack hard right in the primary, then hard center for the general.

    I suspect Warren’s doing the Dem version of this.

  55. DrDaveT says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Considering that there was a big honkin’ legal treatise called the Lex Feodorum which was, dammit, totally separate from the use of the Corpus Iuris Civilis this makes ab-so-lute-ly NO sense whatsoever. Have any of these guys in fact read the legal documents of the period?!

    I suspect that many of the scholars involved would be content if the term ‘feudalism’ were only ever applied to the system (and time and place) described in the Lex Feodorum. The problem is that the term has been used so loosely and injudiciously that the times and places it has been applied to don’t actually have enough in common to justify use of a common label.

    …which makes me want to ask “So what is the correct generic term for hierarchical social systems in which military support and taxes are owed upward, and control of lands, resources, and people is propagated downward, with serfs and/or slaves at the bottom?”

  56. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    I suspect Warren’s doing the Dem version of this.

    I guess…I just don’t get how she walks away from M4A at this point. It’s too big and too radical…she’s branded by it, now.

  57. Mister Bluster says:

    Drip Drip Drip? Or did the Titanic just hit an iceberg?

    Sondland reverses himself on Ukraine, confirming quid pro quo
    “After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Sondland wrote in his addendum, which was released on Tuesday alongside a nearly 400-page transcript of his testimony.

    Trump is looking for a wig and a dress to wear so he can sneak into the lifeboat with the women and children.

  58. grumpy realist says:
  59. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Sondland amended his testimony because he has a decent lawyer. When the options are between federal prison on obstruction and perjury and snitching, the smart choice is to fess up.

    There was a contemporaneous account already in the record or likely to be introduced.

    Sondland followed sound advice and made a rational choice. Who wants to be the moron who goes to prison covering for an idiot like Trump.

    Sinking ship. Rats.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kari Q: A toast to your MeeMaw. She was one hell of a woman. I am sorry I never had the pleasure.

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: You and me both.

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: M4A=healthcare for all. Medicare is pretty fucked up, compared to European systems. There is a lot of wiggle room open to her.

    It all comes down to this: People want to know that if little Johnny comes down with childhood Leukemia, they don’t have to sacrifice the next 40 years to taking care of him for 3, or they want to know that if they get diagnosed with stage 4 Lung cancer, they don’t have to choose between a bullet and their wives retirement.

    Europe has about 17 different answers to this problem. We still have but one: You’re fucked.

  63. Kathy says:


    IMO, and pie in the sky, the US might benefit from a gradual approach rather than a radical change. the first step would be to give individuals ownership of their insurance.

    As I understand it, your employer owns your insurance and allows you to make use of it. So when you lose your job, or switch to another job, you lose or have to change your insurance. I get it that this has to do with how benefits are taxed as compared to wages.

    Can things change so that your employer still pays the same to an insurer, but the policy is yours? Modifying the tax code to keep taxes equal? If you lose your job, you still have the insurance and may manage to pay for it for a few months (especially if a savings account for this purpose was introduced, or if unemployment or severance payments covered it).

    This is nowhere near a full solution, nor is it easy to implement, but it might serve as a step.

    But, of course, the real problem is that policy runs on two-year cycles, with four being a distant possibility if your party hangs on to congress through the midterms. So your first step, and even the second might be good, but then it’s years before the third can be taken, if the first two are not undone before then.

    You’d need a long-term, bipartisan deal. Which might be easier to achieve than winning every lottery on the planet every week, but only just.

  64. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: @de stijl:

    When the options are between federal prison on obstruction and perjury and snitching, the smart choice is to fess up.

    The interesting thing here is that a Trump political appointee, heavily into Trump’s mess, did the calculations and decided that tossing Trump was the smart move. Publicly tossing Trump. Interesting times ahead.

  65. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: You raise interesting questions. I suspect there are many ways to cut a deal. The question is: can Warren pivot from M4A to “Everyone should be guaranteed healthcare, just like every other developed country in the world”. 5-6 months ago I was skeptical that she could, given how badly she was handling various issues that arose. Today, I suspect she could, and will.

  66. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: maybe it’s because most of my friends are in their 30’s, but I don’t see medicare-for-all as radical. If elderly people with nothing to do but listen to Lou Dobbs all day didn’t vote at twice the rate of busy young people we’d have had it years ago. Was Truman a radical?

  67. Teve says:

    W/r/t sondland, GOP senators have switched from Lindsey Graham’s ‘quid pro quo would be impeachable, sure, but there was no quid pro quo here.’ to Ted Cruz’s new line: ‘quid pro quo is fine as long as there’s no ‘corrupt intent’.’

  68. Jax says:

    @Teve: And now we have the ultimate pussy, Lindsey Graham, saying he’s not going to listen to any transcripts at all when it comes to the Senate, because it’s all BS.

    He is forgoing his sworn duty to uphold the Constitution, in favor of Donald Effing Trump. There are more worthy hills to die on, I suspect.

  69. Kathy says:


    Graham says “My mind has been made up for me by the unmatched wisdom of Donald Trump! Don’t try to confuse it with facts!!”

  70. Jax says:

    @Kathy: In the voice of Woody, from Toy Story 1-4…..There’s a Snake in my Boot!!!

  71. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I would like to know which troll downvoted you on the “unmatched wisdom” comment. 😉

    If Kentucky counts are right by morning, Mitch McConnell might actually be puckering a little bit.

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    If you lose your job, you still have the insurance and may manage to pay for it for a few months…

    This is already accounted for in the COBRA act. The problem for most of us is that we don’t have that kind of money. When I left my Teamster job in 1985, I was offered the opportunity to purchase an extension of my insurance for up to 18 months–at ~$680/month (roughly 112% of a week’s salary). I was making the highest wage I would ever make in my life at the time and had just left to go to grad school. (As an investment, didn’t work out. As a change in lifestyle and adventure, what happened afterward was the best part of my life.)

  73. Mister Bluster says:

    Kentucky Governor Results. 100% Precincts Reporting

    Percent Candidate Party Votes
    49.2% Andy Beshear Dem 709,345
    48.8% Matt Bevin GOP 704,012
    2% John Hicks Libt 28,414

    Bevin says he is not conceding.

  74. Gustopher says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I guess…I just don’t get how she walks away from M4A at this point. It’s too big and too radical…she’s branded by it, now.

    She could absolutely do it for the general election. Nominee Warren meets with key members of congress who were opposed to M4A, and then they announce a compromise framework for a public option on the exchanges and lowering the Medicare eligibility age. She ends up being pragmatic. “It’s a big improvement over where we are now, and is the first steps towards M4A”

    The House doesn’t do much other than pass bills to watch them die in the Senate, so they could even start drafting legislation along those lines.

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Can things change so that your employer still pays the same to an insurer, but the policy is yours? Modifying the tax code to keep taxes equal? If you lose your job, you still have the insurance and may manage to pay for it for a few months (especially if a savings account for this purpose was introduced, or if unemployment or severance payments covered it).

    COBRA is the supposed solution to that problem. COBRA allows you to keep your health insurance from your company for a period of time (I forget how long, 6 mos? 1 year?) but you have to pay the entire cost of your health insurance. How many people can afford to do that when they just lost their entire income?

    I didn’t have this problem as a union carpenter. Our union provided our health insurance. Depending on how much one worked in a quarter decided how much of one’s insurance was covered by employer contributions. Work enough in a quarter and you didn’t owe a dime. Work enough during a plan year, and your entire next years insurance was guaranteed, even if you didn’t work at all. It was set up this way because our work was way too volatile. A lot of us were gypsies, work for a company for 3 months and get laid off once they were over the hump. I never had a job I didn’t know I was gonna lose at some point.

    ETA and I see @Just nutha ignint cracker: beat me to it.

  76. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Ted Cruz’s new line: ‘quid pro quo is fine as long as there’s no ‘corrupt intent’.’

    And any blatant law breaking is not indicative of corrupt intent.

  77. Tyrell says:

    Americans in Mexico murdered by drug cartel members! Mexico’s president says he will not get into a war with the drug cartel. Something needs to be done. Stop the drugs.

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Something needs to be done. Stop the drugs.

    Sure. Go ahead. Stop the drugs. A million or more drug users have nothing to say about it.

    Hey, I know! Build a wall! That’ll stop them!

  79. Jax says:

    @Tyrell: Stopping, or even slowing down the demand for drugs in the United States would require millions, if not billions of dollars to increase the existence and availability of both mental health and substance abuse treatment centers. Trump in particular, and Republicans in general, are not going to do that.

  80. Kit says:


    Ted Cruz’s new line: ‘quid pro quo is fine as long as there’s no ‘corrupt intent’.’

    Soon to be changed to: as long as there’s no corrupt result. To later be changed to: as long as the corrupt result stays below a certain threshold. And finally changed to: What about that whistleblower?

  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was going to add the “pay up front” feature, but I wasn’t sure that it was correct. Thanks for that addition. As is true of most “benefits to the middle class,” COBRA was designed to be non-accessible to most of those who might use it. Childcare tax credits come to mind in this category, too. Real boon to the working poor, that one.

  82. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Trump in particular, and Republicans in general, are not going to do that.

    Again and at the risk of repeating myself, if we keep spending all the money on undeserving poor and sick people, we’ll never have enough money available to blow up or go to war with anybody. That’s just not fair to the largest military in the world.

  83. Gustopher says:

    Meanwhile, at Twitter:

    The Justice Department has charged two former Twitter employees with spying for Saudi Arabia by accessing the company’s information on dissidents who use the platform, marking the first time federal prosecutors have publicly accused the kingdom of running agents in the United States.
    One of those implicated in the scheme, according to court papers, is an associate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman

    Just a reminder that you cannot assume your social networks or their employees are well-meaning, or that they won’t access user information.

    I have lots of related stories, but they are covered by an NDA or two.

  84. Teve says:

    The Daily Beast
    Fox News promoted an excerpt claiming the Obama White House frustrated CIA officers with “political correctness” meetings. The author of the book has admitted that he didn’t understand that the initials “PC” actually stood for “principals committee.”

    I’m positive that moron voted for Trump 😀

  85. Teve says:

    Stuart Rothenberg
    In latest NBC/WSJ poll, 27% of respondents say Trump is “honest and trustworthy.” Also, 27% say he has “high personal and ethical standards.”