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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


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.”
    – Dave Barry

  2. The first public impeachment hearings begin this morning. I’ve got a preview post up early this morning.

  3. Teve says:

    courtney hagle
    Today seems like a good day to remember that in April,
    was smeared as an anti-Semite by the right for *days* for tweeting that Stephen Miller is a white nationalist.

  4. Teve says:

    Matthew Dowd
    · Nov 11
    Let me give President trump credit: he has helped show America exactly who Nikki haley, Paul Ryan, John Cornyn, Lindsey graham, kellyanne Conway, Bill Barr, pompeo, Hugh Hewitt, and so so many others who they truly are.

    Kaili Joy Gray
    Man do I feel sorry for the suckers who were suffering delusions about who these people were before Trump. No wonder we’re so screwed.

    Kaili Joy Gray
    Imagine being unclear on just how deplorable Paul Ryan was until Trump came along.

    Kaili Joy Gray
    Nikki Haley defended flying the Confederate flag and opposed taking guns away from men who beat up women — before there was Trump.
    Kaili Joy Gray
    Mike Pompeo was a virulently anti-Muslim teabagger back when Trump was still a reality TV show host.

    Kaili Joy Gray
    And Hugh Hewitt? Come the fuck on.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    What is white, fragile and sexist? There are innumerable answers to that question, but the one I’m looking for in this instance is the Apple Card. The tech giant released its first branded credit card, managed by Goldman Sachs, earlier this year. The fancy titanium card is famously delicate; Apple has warned people not to store it in a leather wallet because it is easily damaged.

    As it turns out, the card seems to be as allergic to women as it is to leather. Last week, David Heinemeier Hansson, a high-profile tech entrepreneur, tweeted that the card was “sexist” because it gave him 20 times more credit than his wife – seemingly for the sole reason of his gender. Hansson’s tweet went viral and Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak chimed in to say that he had also been given a much higher credit limit than his wife, even though the pair have no separate cards, accounts or assets. New York regulators are now investigating the claims of discrimination.

  6. Teve says:

    Sam Wang
    If you want to get a view of
    as a teacher – the kind of teacher who inspired both liberal and conservative students alike – see this remarkable profile by

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Linky no worky.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Molly Jong-Fast:

    Anyone who’s seen Get Me Roger Stone knows the truth about Roger Stone: He’s a bullshit artist, a guy who plays up his connections to Republican malfeasance because he thinks that it’s a game and that you can’t win if you don’t play. Now, he’s on trial for it. Because it turns out that bragging about crimes will sometimes get you in trouble with the law.

    What’s funny is that it never seems to have occurred to Stone that someday, someone might take him seriously and that he might be held accountable. Stone has spent his career thinking that he was immune from accountability because he was so powerful. Rich and powerful people get away with things all the time. Donald Trump, for instance, had gotten away with everything his whole life. Junior, too. And Putin, obviously. Immunity is one of the things that power buys you, most of the time.

    But it turns that Stone got away with things all these years not because he was powerful, but because he was a joke. The guy who loved thinking that he was in the middle of everything was actually never important enough to be prosecuted for anything. And now at the moment of his greatest triumph—after all, he is, in some part, responsible for making Donald Trump president of the United States—he has finally become important enough for justice to come calling for him.

    And he isn’t powerful enough to stop it.

    There is something deeply tragic about all of this. Putin murders dissidents. Trump allows American allies to be murdered. And all of the principals in Trump World dance and whirl in their turn, enjoying everything, accountable for nothing.

    Meanwhile, it’s the two-bit players who wind up on trial, arguing with each other about who was guiltier of the crime that Trump got away with.

  9. Teve says:
  10. Teve says:

    The Hill:

    Bolton suggests Trump’s Turkey policy motivated by personal, financial interest: NBC

    What? No! I can’t believe it! 😀

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Also at the Bulwark: Trump Hurts Downballot Republicans

    I think he’s giving too much weight to 2016 results when applying that analysis to 2020, but still interesting.

  12. Teve says:

    After 40 something years of being a night owl insomniac my body just flipped and now I’m a morning person and I can’t sleep past 5 or 6 a.m. WTF body.

  13. Tyrell says:

    We are having record cold here, 19 degrees now. November is usually mild and pleasant. We sure could use some of that global warming down here.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: Move to Australia.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:
  16. Kylopod says:

    You know those video-memes where you take a person’s words and splice them together to make it sound like they’re “singing” the lyrics to some older song? (Here is one example.) For a while now I’ve imagined a version of Public Image Ltd’s “Rise” with Rudy G in the John Lydon role. I just don’t have the skills, time, or energy to put it together.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The impeachment hearings aren’t the only thing happening in DC today: DC braces for Erdoğan’s visit 18 months after bodyguards assaulted protesters

    The protesters, mostly Kurdish Americans, are making their own preparations for Erdoğan’s return. They plan to turn up in far greater numbers, with the support of ethnic Armenians, dissident Turks and others, to protest against Erdoğan’s treatment of minorities, the Turkish incursion into Syria, Donald Trump’s support for Erdoğan and the failure to bring any of the Turkish security officers to justice after the last visit.

    Murat Yasa will be among the protesters on Wednesday, just as he was on 16 May 2017 in Sheridan Circle, a large grassy roundabout near the Turkish ambassador’s residence, in the heart of Washington’s embassy district. His life has been utterly changed since that day when he was pushed to the ground and kicked repeatedly in the head.
    He remembered one of his attackers shouting at him as he lay bleeding: “You think when you came to America you saved yourself. Wherever you go, you Kurd bastard, we will come to get you.”
    He knows others who took part in the 2017 protests whose families in Turkey have been threatened. He takes greater security precautions to reassure himself he is protecting his immediate family in Virginia but vows nothing will stop him joining the protests against Erdoğan once more on Wednesday.

    Nineteen people, including 15 Turkish security officers, were indicted for the 2017 attacks. But in the spring of 2018, with no official explanation, charges were dropped against 11 of the Turkish agents.

    I don’t need an “official explanation” to understand why.

  18. Teve says:

    Twitter says Thomas Friedman has written a column about how much he likes Mike Bloomberg. Exactly zero people on planet Earth are surprised.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Interestingly accurate analysis of how the U.S. government works, considering that the author claims to be an Objectivist. You’d think he’d be cheering on Trump the entire way.

  20. LB1901 says:

    Impeachment Vote Will Cost These Dems Their Seats
    “They ran as moderates in swing districts yet voted like radicals. The GOP needs to flip only 19 seats in 2020 to regain control, and there are more than twice that number of vulnerable Democrats in Trump districts.”

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    So THIS happened Monday night. Yes, I slept right thru it. Didn’t even know it happened until my neighbor asked if I’d seen it.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Interestingly accurate analysis of how the U.S. government works,

    Yep. The Obama admin worked with the system, jumped thru all the necessary hoops when putting together executive orders. It’s why so many of his withstood legal challenges. The trump admin has not. It’s why most of his exec orders can’t survive the light of day.

    @LB1901: Supporting trump has cost the GOP their souls.

  23. Jen says:

    @LB1901: I have no doubt that there are some seats currently held by Democrats who are vulnerable. However, I looked at the list, and as far as Maine, NY, NM, and PA go, those reps might be safer than realized.

    The piece at American Spectator also fails to recognize how the increasing number of Republican retirements will affect Republican numbers in the House.

  24. CSK says:

    @Jen: The American Spectator appears to be totally in the tank for Trump.

  25. de stijl says:


    That was effing beautiful.

    The “same as it ever ways” clip sold it.

    That and Trump touching his head like David Byrne.

  26. de stijl says:


    PiL needs more attention.

    Rise is righteous.

    May the road rise with you

    Anger is an energy

  27. de stijl says:

    John Lydon was one the most important voices of the 20th century.

    Check out Time Zone’s (Lydon + Afrika Bambaataa) World Destruction.

  28. de stijl says:

    How did we get here?

  29. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    We are having record cold here, 19 degrees now. November is usually mild and pleasant. We sure could use some of that global warming down here.

    Dumb fuq.

  30. Kathy says:

    On other, lighter matters, I had some ideas for my second attempt at risotto:

    1) Add barley and sliced almonds to the mushroom risotto

    2) coconut risotto. Some years ago I made plain white rice using coconut milk instead of water. the result was rather good. same thing, but with lots more coconut milk and using the risotto cooking method of adding the liquid a little at a time, and unending stirring (with some rest breaks)

    I think I’ll try the first this week, time permitting, as it can be paired with a number of entrees. The coconut version will wait until tangerines are back in season, and I make tangerine chicken to pair it.

    Oh, there are tangerines year round. but the good ones are in season only in December through February.

  31. de stijl says:


    Never considered coconut milk as the liquid. That’s super smart.

    Btw, I have a tip. You’re gonna be stirring for a long while.

    Bring your phone and listen to something. Podcast, music, streamer or whatever. Myself, I like Terry Gross. Best interviewer extant.

  32. de stijl says:

    David Byrne for next pope.

    It befits his nature.

  33. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I wish I could take credit, but I got the idea off the internet looking for rice recipes.

    About 1/3 of all my reading (in the form of audiobooks and podcasts) takes place when I’m cooking. I’m on my third Bluetooth speaker. This latest one is great. a bit too big to carry around, but the battery lasts a whole month, and in a pinch it can serve as a power bank for the phone.

  34. de stijl says:

    Well how did we get here? A brief history of the Talking Heads

    is a nice short (27 minutes) documentary on them.

    On youtube.

  35. de stijl says:


    I prefer to listen to conversations over audiobooks. Reading must be active, listening is often passive.

    I still love listening though. One of my favorite people ever is manyatruenerd aka Jon who narrates himself through grand strategy games.

    Both are active engagement.

    I just prefer to read actively.

  36. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I still own a PiL pin from way back when.

  37. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Most of my reading these days is non-fiction, in particular lecture series from the Great Courses. But I do read fiction now and then in audiobook form, too. I must say I note no difference, except perhaps I’m less bored by long, repetitive passages of filler narrative.

  38. Kathy says:

    This seems like a fine day for a Trump joke.

    One day Donald Trump decides to take flight lessons. Since he knows more about flying than the pilots, he just jumps on a plane with an instructor and takes off. Don’t worry. the instructor never got paid.

    After a few hours traipsing about the sky, the instructor warns they’re running out of fuel and need to land. Trump ignores him, and keeps nearly stalling the plane every few minutes. But nothing bad happens, so he must be the best pilot ever! Lot of people say that.

    Eventually he grows tired of the incessant warnings from the instructor, and heads to an airfield nearby. The control tower advises the runway is shorter than normal for the plane Trump is flying.

    Ignoring all advice from the instructor, he lands the plane, puts on the brakes and overruns the runway by several hundred feet.

    Angry, of course, he declaims “That’s the shortest f***g runway in the world!”

    The instructor, shaken but alive, says, “Look behind you, genius. it’s also the widest f***g runway in the world!”

  39. de stijl says:

    I haven’t even read all of your joke yet.

    “Don’t worry. The instructor never got paid.” in paragraph two made me laugh too hard to continue.

    You do know how to nail the set-up!

  40. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    My PiL pin is now pink. If I recall correctly it was originally hot pink. It’s cheap card stock. It’s faded.

    I do remember the day I bought it. A hot punk girl gave me shit because I didn’t who Ian Drury was.

    I bought the 45 of Ceremony that day on Hennepin Ave.

  41. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:


    I’ll confess something: many of my Trump jokes are ethnic jokes originating in Spain. I won’t name which ethnic group they ridiculed, because in theory they didn’t. These jokes were a means of making fun of Franco without mentioning him by name, or so the story goes. They involve very stupid actions.

    I’ve no qualms using them on Trump.

  42. CSK says:

    Deval Patrick is running in 2020.

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: You have inadvertently stumbled upon the trick of global warming–and the mistake that comes when people talk about it. Global warming isn’t important because it makes the planet warmer; it’s important because it changes the climate patterns. Good job recognizing the problem, though. 😀

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Yeah! Freidman was the other great “American Moderate/Centrist Third Party” guy that I was trying to think of the other day on the post about Bloomberg. Thanks!

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Now if only LocomotiveBreath and his buds in the GOP cared about their souls, you’d be on to something.

    @CSK: American Spectator learned the lesson of the Weekly Standard. What can I say?

  46. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: So after reading that article about Warren and learning things about her I didn’t know, and realizing how intelligent she is and how real she is as opposed to so many other politicians, I compare her to the spoiled brat trust fund baby currently in the White House and wonder how anyone could ever prefer him to her…what a fucked up world we live in…we humans really need to resist that tribal mentality sometimes…

  47. Teve says:

    Jason Campbell
    · 2h
    Fox guest says George Soros controls the State Department, FBI agents, and wants to control Ukraine using the US government

    Spencer Ackerman
    He said THERE’S NO DOUBT that George Soros controls etc etc

  48. teve says:

    @An Interested Party: yeah that was a good article.

  49. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: I’ve read a variant on that joke involving two Polish pilots. Makes me think that you can probably date jokes pretty accurately depending on which ethnic group is considered the “dumb blonde” of the period. (Except Trump. Trump is always considered The Dumb Blond in my universe.)

    The best joke I ever ran across was a French one which involved a triple pun and really really doesn’t translate….

  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Forget quid pro quo, when there’s a drag queen in town you’ll get quip pro quo. And there was no doubt in Washington on Wednesday – there was a drag queen in town.

    Performer Pissi Myles, of New Jersey, sashayed into the congressional building where the first public impeachment hearing in the Trump-Ukraine scandal were taking place.

    In her scarlet dress and stilettos, flawless blonde hair to the heavens, Myles cut a fierce figure on Capitol Hill. She was there to cover the hearing for Happs, a live news startup, and could be seen broadcasting live from a pink smartphone.

    Getting through security was touch and go, but Myles made it to the heart of the action, alongside the hundreds favoring somber suits and conservative coiffure.

    “Tensions are high, and the bar for who’s allowed in the Longworth House is very, very low,” she told NBC News.
    Whether the hearing matched up to expectations is a whole other question. It was certainly a Pissi contest and the only sure winner was Myles.

  51. Kit says:

    For those interested in money (not its vulgar accumulation, but rather the chaste appreciation of its nature), the following article in the LRB might interest you.

  52. Tevr says:

    @Kit: cool!

  53. Tyrell says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Thanks.
    Our summer did last until late October.
    Forecast is for warmer temperatures next week – back up in the ’60’s. That is more like it.

  54. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    You can transfer ethnic jokes concerning stupidity to just about any group. For a while, some people used a made-up group for this purpose, the Ruritarians.

    Example, from back in 1990: The Ruritarians pitched in the Gulf War effort by sending a full army division to the Gulf. The Mexicans don’t know what to do with them.

    Or they can be transferred to Trump. For instance:

    One day at the beach Melania cries out, “Look Donni! A dead seagull!”

    Trump cranes his head upwards and says “Where? Where?”

  55. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I once listened to an audiobook of jokes, and their version of blonde or Polack jokes (I can say that word because my grandparents were Polish) was jokes about Iowans. I think they picked Iowans because they were about the blandest target you could think of; I’m not even sure Iowans themselves would have been offended.

    Traditional Jewish humor had the “Wise Men of Chelm” jokes standing in for this genre. Chelm is a city in Poland, and it became a source of jokes about stupid people. I have no idea when this started.

    On another note, here’s a political joke from eons ago that I’ve always liked:

    Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are out in the Rose Garden discussing policy when all of a sudden a gigantic tornado comes and sweeps them up into the air, only to bring them crashing down a little while later.

    They get up, dust themselves off, and look out in the distance, where they see the Emerald City. They suddenly realize they’re in the land of Oz.

    “Oh, boy!” says Bush. “I’m going to go see the Wizard and ask him for a brain!”

    “Yeah!” says Cheney. “And I’m going to ask him for a heart!”

    “Hey!” says Clinton, looking around. “Where’s Dorothy?”

    Actually this joke is originally from the ‘90s, and the three participants were Clinton, Dan Quayle, and Newt Gingrich. I just thought it sounds better today with Bush and Cheney in the Quayle and Gingrich roles. Cheney was ripe for jokes about having no heart, and most Quayle jokes transferred nicely to Dubya, which in turn could be recast as Sarah Palin jokes.

    Another type of generic target is old men. It seems that every time a really old guy runs for president, whether it be Bob Dole, John McCain, or Bernie Sanders, the late-night hosts all reach into their vault from the Reagan era. (This one I recall from a 1980 Mad Magazine: “Reagan couldn’t have played college football as he claims, because football wasn’t invented until 1867.”)

    Trump is really in a category of his own, and the jokes about him reflect that.

  56. Kathy says:


    Trump is really in a category of his own, and the jokes about him reflect that.

    Well, take the Oz joke and use Trump only. Once in Oz, Trump excitedly thinks he’ll ask the Wizard for a heart! No! A Brain! No, wait. Where’s Dorothy?

    But it would be better if he were along with someone to serve as a sounding board, or perhaps also the other person could say “Is that Dorothy?”

  57. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Are you kidding? Trump would never ask the Wizard for anything. Trump is the Wizard.

  58. Teve says:

    Brian Schwartz
    · 18h
    NEW: Leon Cooperman has responded to Elizabeth Warren’s ad. “She’s disgraceful. She doesn’t know who the f— she’s tweeting. I gave away more in the year then she has in her whole f—-ing lifetime” he just told me.

    Team Warren
    ok billionaire

    You know how much media attention there is when a billionaire gives money away? I just read yesterday that the Forbes 400 gave away 0.4% of their wealth last year.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kit: Thanks for the post. Interesting read. And it revealed a question for me: If Elizabeth Warren had (correctly in my view) identified the tax she wanted to enact as a “chattel property tax” instead of a “wealth tax,” would people in the opposition still be able to fulminate about how it’s unconstitutional?

  60. Kit says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    would people in the opposition still be able to fulminate about how it’s unconstitutional?

    Of course! Always! On the other hand, one lesson I’ve learnt over the past two decades is that the Constitution says no more and no less than what the Supreme Court decides it says at any given moment.

  61. Kathy says:


    there’s that. and there’s the donations to wealthy institutions that don’t need more money, like Harvard or Columbia. Giving them money is like donating water to the ocean, or sand to the desert.

  62. Teve says:

    Bevin may be fucking off?

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:
  64. Teve says:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    Call me radical, but maybe instead of setting ablaze hundreds of millions of dollars on multiple plutocratic, long-shot, very-late presidential bids, we instead invest hundreds of millions into winning majorities of state legislatures across the United States?

    Just a thought!

  65. Teve says:

    Ms. Krassenstein
    WOW! When Rudy Giuliani was asked by the Guardian if he’s worried that Trump will throw him under the bus, he responded: “I’m not, but I do have very, very good insurance”

    In other words, Rudy has dirt on Trump.

  66. Jax says:

    @Teve: Not surprised. Can’t believe anybody would BE surprised. Maybe Trump and his cult, they assume everybody is willing to go down with the ship.