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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. de stijl says:

    Aztec Camera The Crying Scene.

    Tell me it doesn’t move you.

  2. de stijl says:

    Aztec Camera also does a weird ass version of Jump by Van Halen.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:
  4. de stijl says:

    If there is a definitive version of True Colors not recorded by Cyndy Lauper it is by Roddy Frame and Aztec Camera.

    Seriously, check it. Not fooling it is really quite a good take.

  5. Teve says:

    Sam Stein

    NEW — Trump wants Eddie Gallagher to campaign alongside him in 2020. Scoop via @swin24 and @attackerman

    Matt Separa

    Just so we’re clear, multiple members of Gallagher’s squad testified that they altered the optics on his rifle scope so he would miss targets because they had seen him snipe civilians.

    I imagine the end of Rome was something like this.

  6. de stijl says:

    Aztec Camera’s Good Morning Britain with Mick Jones.

  7. de stijl says:

    Done now. No more flogging.

  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    It’s Not Just Poor White People Driving a Decline in Life Expectancy

    Beyond drugs, alcohol and suicide, is our crummy fat, artificial sugar, fructose diet catching up with us?

    Interesting that the 2 states showing a drop in the death rate are Wyoming and California. I suspect that both states have high levels of social capital that while very different reach the same end.

  9. Teve says:

    Christopher Wylie ️‍
    Facebook is researching algorithms that can bluff even experienced poker players. Because teaching AI how to deceive humans seems like a really great idea right now…

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Fact‏ @Fact

    Fake people have an image to maintain. Real people just don’t care.

  11. Teve says:

    star trek’s continual return to earlier and earlier times post-Voyager reflects a growing cultural inability to imagine a utopian future

  12. Teve says:

    ruthless quotas at Amazon are maiming employees

    and yet I deliberately shop there, because as bad as Amazon is, Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Dollar General, etc are worse.

  13. de stijl says:


    That’s sad. If we lack the concept of utopia and cannot imagine a way forward, we have lost our way.

  14. Jen says:

    Via The Root:

    Luckily, as soon as I agreed to take a phone call, the phone rang. The voice sounded vaguely familiar and I knew it wasn’t a surrogate or a campaign volunteer when the person said:

    “I don’t think I’ve ever been called a ‘lying m*th*rf*ck*r’ before.”

    It was Pete Buttigieg.

    Well, I thought. Maybe he does want to fight.

    *My edits, not The Root’s, because I don’t know what might activate filters here.

    I don’t know if he’s going to win the primary, but I can’t picture any other candidate making that phone call.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    JoeMyGod‏Verified account @JoeMyGod

    Steyer and Bloomberg have already spent a combined $89.8 million.

    The next nine Dems on the list have together spent $70.8 million.

  16. Bill says:

    Long-time film and theater and film critic John Simon has passed away. He was 94.

    I read Simon’s film criticism when he wrote for the National Review. I also own two books of his.

    Simon was infamous for his harsh reviews of plays or films plus his commentary on the appearance of certain performers. Of Barbara Streisand he once wrote- “looks like a cross between an aardvark and an albino rat surmounted by a platinum-coated horse bun.” Melanie Griffith he once said was miscast in a PG movie because ‘she is obliged to hide her one talent (or two depending on how you count it…them)’.

    Simon was harsh but he could also be quite funny like when he compared the Trapps of the Sound of Music to the Corleones of the Godfather movies or his review of Love Story where he said of Jenny (Ali McGraw) that she was from Rhode Island, not Alabama or the Bronx!

    Simon was a talented writer. RIP.

  17. de stijl says:

    Pete is not without issues and also kinda rocks.

    I should not want to vote for someone so underqualified.

  18. Teve says:

    I’ve not been shy over the last two years in saying that humans are not smart enough or selfless enough to deal with climate change, and humanity is ultraboned.

    Kevin Drum: the world is giving up on climate change

  19. Sleeping Dog says:

    Random thought: Tiny is nothing if not transactional and out for himself, Michael Bloomberg has piles and piles of money. Mike, rather than run for president, why not offer to make Tiny a real billionaire if he resigns and goes away.

    I understand St Peterburg RU is lovely this time of year.

  20. Sleeping Dog says:


    Not a surprise. Even people who believe it is caused by humans and who have seen the early effects have a difficult time with the life style changes required. Here at the beach, the early rumblings of the town/state need to do something to save the waterfront homeowners has started, but those folks are as likely to be deniers as believers.

  21. Jen says:

    BTW, if anyone here has parked a Twitter account that they don’t use in order to preserve the username (I did this for my business, I have no desire to tweet out on that account but didn’t want anyone to grab the address), you should be aware that Twitter is doing a wholesale purge of accounts that have been inactive for 12 months or more. So now I have to spend time using that account and hoping that it doesn’t evaporate.

    As pointed out on Mashable, this is a hot mess of an idea–will lead to scammers grabbing those accounts when they come back up as available. Yeesh.

  22. CSK says:

    @Jen: I did the exact same thing as you. Damn it. Damn Twitter. Thanks for the heads up.

  23. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: yeah even the people I know who understand the basics of climate change, including myself, aren’t willing to do anything significant. Sell my car and move within walking distance of my job? Quit eating meat? Keep this smartphone for 10 years? Forgo plane trips? Nope nope nope and nope.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:
  25. Tyrell says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. Safe traveling if you are heading off. Enjoy the food and shopping.

  26. Teve says:
  27. Jen says:

    @CSK: Here’s the story on Mashable, sorry, meant to link.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Putting the lie to “white supremacy”:

    Y’all … I legit thought this was a troll job. She stopped a black man for looking suspicious carrying packages in her neighborhood… in his UPS uniform. (via niko15.7/IG)

  29. CSK says:

    @Jen: Thanks. What a pain in the ass this is.

  30. Teve says:

    Trump just said he’s raised median income for average Americans $10,000 each

    He’s such a goddamn liar


    He’s just spewing complete nonsense now, and his cult believes him

  31. Kathy says:


    Shades of RUSH’s “Limelight.”

    Living in the limelight, the universal dream
    for those who wish to seem.
    Those who wish to be
    must put aside the alienation
    get on with the fascination
    the real relation
    the underlying theme.

  32. Teve says:

    Undecided voters aren’t as rational as you think. a classic piece from Chris Hayes 15 years ago.

  33. Kingdaddy says:

    My wife died last year. Today, I probably have to put my beloved dog to sleep.

  34. KM says:

    My sincerest condolences. I have no words that can truly comfort, only the belief that our dearest pets are among the first to greet us when we arrive at our final destination. Animals are better, kinder people then humans are so if there is a benevolent divine presence, they’ve surely got an in. This is not your last goodbye, just the longest period of separation you will know.

  35. Jen says:

    @Kingdaddy: I am so, so sorry. I know the thoughts of random internet strangers might not matter much, but do know that I’m sending you healing thoughts. I’ve never lost a spouse, but I did have to put a very much loved dog down (a decade ago this month, in fact) and I still have dreams about that dog. He got me through my divorce. I absolutely adored him.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kingdaddy: So sorry for both losses.

  37. Kathy says:


    Remember the good ship Michael Burnham’s Ship (that is the show’s title, yes?) jumped 1,000 years into the future. This leaves the past far behind. I’m convinced, because of the contrived insert, completely out of character for Spock and Starfleet, to drag continuity back where it was in the first show, that Discovery, won’t be returning to its original time.

    That’s the good news.

    The bad news may be, from what little I’ve heard(*), the show now moves into a dystopian phase. A Trek dystopia is a strange concept. I mean, it’s ok for a couple of eps, like “Mirror, Mirror,” or “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” But on a season-long basis? I guess we’ll see.

    (*) I try not to read about upcoming shows and movies that I know I will see no matter what i read about them. This way I don’t get spoilers.

  38. CSK says:

    @Kingdaddy: My deepest sympathies.

  39. Teve says:

    Jim Bakker: Trump loss in 2020 would speed up Christ’s return

    Of course televangelists are Trump supporters. Game recognize game.

  40. Kit says:

    @Teve: So voting for Trump is voting against Christ? I think objectives are starting to align.

  41. Teve says:

    @Kit: the televangelists are nutcases. Dave Daubenmire is right now saying that Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi are either possessed by demons, or literal demons in human disguise.

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Pretty much, yeah. Just without the SUVs and Internet.

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: No. You compliment them by calling them nutcases. They don’t believe any of their nonsense. They are mercenaries, sociopathic mercenaries. Little different from our President.

    Not precisely true. The best liars I’ve met were gullible. They sincerely believe what they say. For as long as it takes to say it. And if convenient they’ll believe the exact opposite five minutes later.

  44. Kit says:


    You compliment them by calling them nutcases.

    Nutcases or not, that BS they produce isn’t all for self-medication: there’s obviously a large market.

  45. DrDaveT says:


    yeah even the people I know who understand the basics of climate change, including myself, aren’t willing to do anything significant.

    The good news is also the bad news: there is no lifestyle change you could personally make that would matter at all — not even through its indirect influences on the people around you.

    The only thing that can possibly slow global warming is massive governmental interference, internalizing the externality by taxing the crap out of the behaviors (many of them corporate, not individual) that are causing the problem. People respond to tangible incentives.

    The only thing you, personally, can do that might matter is to lobby for that massive governmental interference.

    Suggested reading: But Will the Planet Notice?, by Gernot Wagner.

  46. DrDaveT says:

    @Doug Mataconis: A very important tidbit that I saw at WaPo today, that I don’t think the OPs here have commented on:

    President Trump signaled Tuesday that he may try to throw his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani under the bus as part of an impeachment defense strategy. During an interview with Bill O’Reilly, the president suggested that Giuliani wasn’t working at his behest. “No, I didn’t direct him,” Trump said. “Rudy has other clients, other than me. He’s done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years.”

    If Rudy wasn’t working for Trump in Ukraine, because “he has other clients” there, this opens a new enormous can of Teh Corrupt — starting with “who exactly was paying for those flights and hotels again…?”, and moving on through various flavors of conflict of interest, misrepresentation as a public official, …

  47. Tyrell says:

    @KM: I am very sorry to hear that. I will be thinking about you during these days. I am sure it is hard.

  48. de stijl says:


    No loss for me. I posted pics of pangolins because pangolins are bad ass. Always look they’re flexing.

  49. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT: I saw that. It was just a matter of time, wasn’t it?

    Rudy goes under the bus; Rudy gets a presidential pardon.

  50. de stijl says:


    Moneychangers in the temple.

    Jesus would spank these prideful fools.

  51. de stijl says:


    The guy who once prosecuted organized crime is going sit at the other table.

  52. 95 South says:

    @Teve: Dave Daubenmire? The influential Dave Daubenmire? So, you read Right Wing Watch.

  53. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: and I do vote for the Democrats who would try to do the most to fix the problem. But I don’t think it’s politically viable anyway. We are too stupid and greedy. We’re driving this fucker off a cliff.

  54. de stijl says:


    Be well. Enjoy today. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

  55. Teve says:
  56. Mister Bluster says:

    Coach Dave:..“There are non-humans walking the earth,” he added. “Some of them probably in positions of high authority in America.”

    More evidence from a reliable source that Trump is the anti-Christ!

  57. de stijl says:

    @Teve: @Mister Bluster:

    Jesus is a-comin’ and his spanking hand is fully flexed up.

    I was semi-raised Protestant so deadly sins weren’t front and center, but that level of capital P Pride is pretty bad, right?

    Trying to figure out how a non-human, not Demon exists. Is it a golem? Is Nancy Pelosi a golem? Is she made of clay?

    Here’s the taxonomy in his head: humans (blessed by God, obvs), demons (possessed by Satan, also obvs), not-humans ???

    What are the not-human but also not-demon people? Robots? Holograms? Is Adam Schiff a figment of my imagination?

    So confused!

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I get Steyer ads on my Roku/Hulu feeds and I think he’s been advertising in Portland, OR on CBS (my other streaming feed). He sounds like a nice human being who has made some community-centered business decisions in his career. Do I believe that this will translate into better domestic, economic, social, and foreign policy? Meh, not so much. But we could do worse. In fact, we’re doing worse now, but better than the status quo is not a high bar to jump, or even limbo under.

  59. Teve says:

    I just watched a 30-second news clip of a guy in Boca Raton Florida telling a news person that he used to be a Democrat, but now he’s a Republican, and supports Trump, because his main concerns are family values, integrity, and honesty.

    Something that doesn’t get explicitly discussed very much in the media is just how goddamn stupid so many people are.

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Not to mention the difference between wanting to save other places/the planet and wanting to save “my property/ass.”

    (And not necessarily even my neighbors, just mine. 🙁 )

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    will lead to scammers grabbing those accounts when they come back up as available.

    Yes, but Twitter will have the foresight this time to sell the commercially viable ones rather than simply giving them away. (At least, I would think so.)

  62. DrDaveT says:


    now he’s a Republican, and supports Trump, because his main concerns are family values, integrity, and honesty

    “I joined ISIS because I value diversity, nonviolence, and preservation of precious cultural artifacts.”

  63. CSK says:

    @Teve: If Trump is this guy’s avatar of family values, integrity, and honesty, he has a serious cognitive dissonance issue.

  64. Teve says:

    Kevin M. Kruse
    Wow, thanks for the comment.

    Can you recommend any historians I could “check history” with?

    Barbara Stokes (MAGA2020)

    Replying to @KevinMKruse and @DineshDSouza
    The vast majority of KKK members were Democrat. All you have to do is check history for the proof. Dems voted no to freed slaves owning land and voting. Again. Check history.

  65. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: I enjoy Roman Polanski and Woody Allen movies because I value sexual restraint and propriety.

  66. Teve says:

    So I’m throwing my Lenovo laptop in the trash and just ordered an iPad tablet. I want a really nice leather case for it, but there are 500 makes and models, if anybody has any brand suggestions please let me know.

  67. Kathy says:

    Apropos of a different thread: if you keep feeding the trolls, they’ll never leave.

  68. Gustopher says:

    @Kingdaddy: I’m so sorry. That’s a lot of loss for one year. Tell the puppy they are a good puppy.

  69. Teve says:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    Earlier this year, Congress rushed to approve BILLIONS more $ for ICE + CBP.

    I saw members voting YES w/o even a summary of the bill. Nobody cared then how we’d pay for it.

    Now ICE is setting up fake universities to trap students.

    Yet we were called radical for opposing it.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    This is honestly one of the big reasons why the argument about “pay-fors” in healthcare, housing, etc so often are made in bad faith.

    I see decisions made every day that cost the American public billions of dollars a year for bogus reasons and nobody asks how we pay for it. /2

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    None of the politicians who brand themselves “fiscally responsible” ever raise concern about rushing to shower ICE & CBP w/ $billions with 0 guardrails or oversight.

    None of them ask about how we pay for corrupt contracts or mass incarceration.

    Ask yourself why that is.

  70. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I did a few term papers on honeybees in college. They are a pretty fascinating case study in questions about intelligence and consciousness. Their “waggle dance,” discovered in the 1930s, is one of the most complex systems of communication known in the animal world. Yet it’s performed with a very primitive nervous system where almost all behavior is dictated by instinct. One anecdote in particular stuck with me: scientists observed the bees pushing out dead members of the hive, and they wondered how they detected that a bee was dead. They discovered that when a bee dies, it emits a chemical known as oleic acid. With that in mind, the scientist put some oleic acid on a live bee, and sure enough, the other bees pushed their wriggling hive-mate out of the hive. Scientists have also gotten robotic bees to be accepted into hives–sort of like the Turing Test for insects.

  71. Jax says:

    @de stijl: We watched a movie called Ophelia tonight. I’ve always been a sucker for a good historical romance. I did not know there was a song called Ophelia, and now it’s stuck in my head. 😉

  72. Mister Bluster says:

    A true American Hero. RIP

    William Ruckelshaus, Deputy Attorney General Who Defied Nixon’s Request in Watergate Firing, Dies at 87
    The lifelong Republican also served as acting director of the FBI. But his moment of fame came on Oct. 20, 1973, when he was a deputy attorney general and joined his boss, Attorney General Elliot Richardson, in resigning rather than carry out Nixon’s unlawful order to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

  73. Teve says:

    Next president Elizabeth Warren is using more secure email than the Trump campaign.

  74. Teve says:

    Jake Tapper

    Trump Administration to cut its financial contribution to NATO – CNNPolitics

  75. Kit says:

    Only four messages posted yesterday?! You might fool others into thinking that you had better things to do on Thanksgiving. You might even fool yourself. But you don’t fool me! Or is everyone waiting to be the first to post on the new forum thread?