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:

    Dozens of angry Iraqi Shia militia supporters have broken into the US embassy compound in Baghdad after smashing a door and storming inside, prompting teargas and sounds of gunfire.

    An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw flames rising from inside the compound and at least three US soldiers on the roof of the embassy. A man on a loudspeaker urged protesters not to enter the compound.

    The angry scenes followed the largest US attack on Iraqi state-sanctioned militia in recent years on Sunday and the subsequent calls by the militia for retaliation, representing a new escalation in the proxy war between the US and Iran playing out in the Middle East.

    Somebody somewhere was quoting Twain** the other day as having said, “History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.” So true.

    The airstrikes also outraged the Iraqi government, which said it will reconsider its relationship with the US-led coalition – the first time it has said it will do so since an agreement was struck to keep some US troops in the country – and called the attack a “flagrant violation” of its sovereignty.

    Yeah, “flagrant violations of other countries’ sovereignty” is kind of our FP modus operandi.

    ** as is so often with such quotes, there is some question as to who actually said it first.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Daybreak never came to Mallacoota. By dawn on Tuesday the orange bushfire glow had disappeared from the horizon, replaced by a black shadow of smoke and ash that made early morning in the Victorian seaside town seem like midnight.

    As massive swathes of the East Gippsland region burned, Mallacoota was one of the few areas where residents and holidaymakers had not been told to evacuate for their own safety. By the time the fire arrived on Monday, it was too late for many of them to leave.

    Amid the darkness, there was chaos. A stampede towards the town’s foreshore where thousands stood and huddled and watched the black sky turn red. As traffic banked up, people abandoned their cars and ran towards the water.

    This is the situation in Mallacoota at the moment. A mother and her kids are sheltering in their boat on the water. People are reporting the sound of gas bottles exploding in town and quite a few homes have been burnt.

    Soon after, emergency sirens from firefighting tankers heralded a further warning. Get in the water. Those who could scrambled onto boats. Others hugged the shoreline or waded in.

    “It’s mayhem out there, it’s armageddon,” Charles Livingstone told Guardian Australia on Tuesday morning from a community centre where hundreds more had taken shelter.

    “The other issue is how the hell we’re all going to get out of here – there’s one road in and one road out.”

    10:30am update from Dad at the wharf in Mallacoota – “fire front not far away”

    Bureau of Meteorology data showed the temperature at Mallacoota reaching 49C at 8am.

    Hell on earth.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:
  4. Teve says:

    Baby Yoda implies the existence of a Sporty Yoda, Scary Yoda, Ginger Yoda, and Posh Yoda

    -orli matlow

  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Absurd Process That Made Trump Possible

    Lots to agree with here.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:


    The only thing that keeps this from completely resembling Armageddon is that sharks have not yet begun circling in the water.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    Joe Biden says he would consider a Republican for his running mate

    Yet another reason to oppose Biden in his pursuit of the Dem nomination.

    Given his age, there is a greater than normal possibility that Biden’s health could force him from office before he completes his term, forget about a second term. That would then hand the presidency back to the Rethugs.

    Biden doesn’t have a clue, somehow he is living in the 1980’s, when Reagan and Tip O’Neil could sit down over cigars and brandy and workout political compromises. That ain’t happening in the 2020’s, we’re living in a zero-sum world.

  8. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I posted this in the other open forum, but do so again, as I didn’t want it to be lost after 100 comments:

    , I thought I would bring to all your attention a show that I watched on the plane: Years and Years

    If you haven’t seen this, you need to. A SciFi based stunning look forward in the next 15 years.

    Here is a link to the short trailer for the show:

    I was absolutely shocked on how well the show lays out the potential development.

    This extended trailer includes a speech really sets the stage:

    What a story. Terrifying.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: What Biden said is that he wouldn’t rule it out, which was a smart thing to say. This race may very well come down to 70 or 80 votes in a few states. Not alienating the fence sitters costs nothing.

  10. sam says:

    Plant-based burgers will make men grow boobs, Livestock News reports.

    Given that some right-wing sites have parroted the story, maybe it’s time to go long on the Bro.

  11. senyordave says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I posted this over at Balloon Juice, it is my sentiments regarding Biden’s “possible” GOP running mate :
    I don’t have any problem with Biden saying that he would be open to choosing a Republican as a running mate. I’m retired and love it, but if an NBA team wanted to sign me (pretty good shape, but I am 61 years old and 6 feet two inches) as a point guard I’d take it in a minute. IMO there is a better chance of that happening than Biden selecting a Republican running mate.

  12. Slugger says:

    I wish joy and fulfillment for all for 2020! Have a glass of champagne on me! Just stop by.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: Bovine Growth Hormone supposedly has that effect on pre and pubescent girls. I don’t know if it is true or not but my 10 yr old granddaughter has rather well developed mammaries. Certainly makes a hell of a lot more sense than “plant based burgers.”

  14. Jax says:

    I would not have a problem with Biden choosing someone like Jon Huntsman Jr. That would really make Trump throw some feces on the wall. 😉

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: As I pointed out over at Balloon Juice, it was a question from a member of the crowd at an open forum. I imagine that when presented with idiotic questions from a crowd a candidates first impulse is to respond respectfully no matter how stupid the question is. Joe is threading needles on the run, not trying to figure out if the questioner is a ratfucker.

  16. CSK says:

    According to CNN, Trump spent one out of every five days in 2019 at one or another of his golf clubs.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Carlos Ghosn, ousted Nissan boss, says he has fled ‘Japanese injustice’

    Japan is urgently investigating after former Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn fled court-imposed bail ahead of his trial on charges of financial misconduct and arrived in Lebanon where he said he would “escape injustice”.

    Ghosn issued a statement on Tuesday morning in which he said he would “no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed”.

    “I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution,” Ghosn said in the statement, adding that he could “finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week”.

    It was not clear how Ghosn, who had surrendered his passports as part of his bail conditions and barred from leaving Japan, had fled the country.

    One of Ghosn’s Japanese lawyers told reporters on Tuesday that his legal team were still holding all three of his passports and that he could not have used any of them to escape Japan. The former auto executive has French and Lebanese citizenship and was born in Brazil.

    Junichiro Hironaka said he had not spoken to Ghosn since last week and that he was “surprised” by his client’s arrival in Lebanon. His client’s actions were “inexcusable”, he said.

    Ghosn arrived in Beirut from Turkey on a private plane, Lebanese newspaper Al Joumhouria said, adding that he was expected to hold a news conference in the coming days. “Ghosn reached Beirut, but it’s unclear how he left Japan,” Agence France-Presse quoted a Lebanese security official as saying.


    Japan’s justice system has been criticised at home and abroad during Ghosn’s detention for provisions that allow suspects to be held for long periods. One of the reasons used to justify his detention before he was allowed out on bail was that he was considered a flight risk.
    Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk

    Ghosn’s bail conditions required him to surrender his passport and remain at a court-designated house in Tokyo preparing for his trial, which was expected to begin in April.

    I always say money can’t buy you love but it can buy a reasonable facsimile there of. I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that it can also persuade corrupt officials to look the other way.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: that was meant to be “79 or 80 thousand votes”

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have nothing whatsoever to say about Ghosn, but the Japanese justice system more closely resembles Stalinist “justice” than Western style norms. Police can hold a suspect indefinitely without giving access to legal counsel. They can interrogate 24 hours a day, or for months or years on end. It is my understanding most serious crimes in Japan are solved by “confession”. The odds that the wrong person goes to prison under such a system are incredibly high. If I was the most innocent guy in the world I would flee if I could.

  20. Mike says:

    @MarkedMan: millions in the bank…. I’d make the Olympics for how fast I’d run. Other choice is die in cage like an animal

  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    I agree. The Japanese justice system is a bad joke, not at all what westerners would expect from so advanced a country. In Ghosn’s place I’d be out the door in a heartbeat. (Of course I had a similar attitude toward California justice circa 1978.) He’d have been a fool to stay in Japan.

  22. CSK says:

    From Axios: Corey Lewandowski has decided not to run for the senate from NH, despite the fact that he’s sure he’d win.

  23. Teve says:

    See new Tweets
    Ezra Klein
    The degree to which this web site takes everything Biden says literally, as opposed to politically, is odd.

    He’s not going to choose a Republican VP. He thinks it’s good politics to signal that he’ll work with Republicans if they’ll meet him halfway. He’s probably right.
    6:29 PM · Dec 30, 2019·Twitter Web App
    Ezra Klein
    Replying to
    To put this differently: what makes it likelier that Democrats win the Senate race in Arizona and keep the seat in Alabama? A nominee who bends over backwards to signal his respect for wavering Republicans? Or one who antagonizes them?
    Ezra Klein
    When Biden says stuff like this, it’s a low-cost way of trying to appeal to 1) the small group of GOP-leaning voters who are persuadable and 2) the much larger group of voters who hate how bitter and angry politics has become.

    Maybe it works, maybe not, but that’s the play.

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @ Tyrell (from the last Open Forum):

    Geneticist will teeth in lab

    Does that mean something?

    Um… you DO realize that Baron Corbin’s interviews are written by the writing staff at WWE, right?

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Tyrell is most likely a political version of Ken M

  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: I would. Jon Huntsman is not on record as being opposed to any current Republican policy position, as far as I know. Irritating Trump is not valuable enough in itself for the Democrats to shoot themselves in the foot by tacit endorsement of Republican policy.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: John Huntsman was Obama’s Republican choice aka Party of Rivals. When Huntsman saw an opening for a run for the Republican nomination he stabbed Obama in the back.

  28. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: I don’t hold that against him. Perhaps I’m a little more familiar with his politics during his tenure as governor due to my proximity to Utah, but I’ve always held him in high regard, despite him being a Republican. He may be one of the few left who would put country over party. And literally the ONLY one I would vote for at this time. I believe he is on the record at one point or another as being for abortion rights and for LGBTQ equality, so he’s kind of an outlier as far as being “Republican”.

    I wouldn’t care if any one of the potential Democratic nominees chose him as a running mate. The bottom line is, we must win, Trump HAS to be voted out. If it takes teaming up with one of the more socially liberal Republicans that still has some integrity in order to kick his orange ass out of office, I’m down with that.

    Just my opinion, of course. It’s going to be an unpopular opinion, I’m sure, but for me, the priority is removal of Trump, not ideological purity. Don’t get me wrong, I WANT all those lofty liberal goals, but the next President is going to have a lot of fixing to do. Choosing a Republican like Huntsman as a running mate would make it oh so easy for those mythological undecided’s to tip the scale for the Democratic nominee, perhaps even for a further left candidate like Sanders or Warren, should they get the nomination.

    My biggest fear is that Democratic candidates are going to get so fixated on attacking each other in the quest for ideological purity that they box themselves into an unwinnable position in the general.

    Given the partisanship in Congress, however, this would possibly cause another problem if we do not take the Senate and/or lose the House. Republicans are going to be itching for some tit-for-tat on impeachment of the next Democratic president, they would go for it with even more gusto if the VP were a Republican. And as much as I like the guy….he’s still a Republican.

  29. Mister Bluster says:

    Here and Now on NPR started a segment interviewing the author of a book advocating for Astrology.
    Apparently because millennials.
    I tuned to another station. It may be a while before I listen to NPR again.

  30. SC_Birdflyte says:

    I want the next Dem president to make passage of a new civil rights act a priority. Said act must include Federal control of congressional redistricting (preferably by a nonpartisan commission). Unlike state legislative redistricting, I think this would have a good chance of passing constitutional challenge from the right. Assuming the worst happens, I would suggest titling it the “John Lewis Civil Rights Act of 2021.”

  31. Kurtz says:


    Don’t get me wrong, I WANT all those lofty liberal goals, but the next President is going to have a lot of fixing to do.

    It seems like this is a problem. This would be the second Democratic administration that would have to focus on fixing problems created by the previous President rather than fixing problems that have been ignored or had a wet band-aid applied to them.

    As a side note, it is important to remember that it is easy to blame Trump, but Fox News is the biggest reason why his rise was even possible. His campaign team just based his platform explcitly on conservative talk radio and the Fox News lineup of propagandists.

  32. Kari Q says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    So Millennials have killed NPR?

  33. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kari Q:..So Millennials have killed NPR?

    If you say so…

  34. CSK says:

    Apparently no one has yet apprised Mr. Trump that he tied with Mr. Obama for Gallup’s Most Admired Man of 2019. Either that, or he furiously resents having to share the honor.

  35. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: I’m Gen X but most of my friends are millennial, and I can tell you the astrology thing is for 9 out of 10 a joke fad kind of thing, not a Deep Religious Conversion kind of thing. It’s partly just an effect of how the right-wing evangelical types are driving young adults away from christianity at warp speed.

  36. Bill says:


    Given that some right-wing sites have parroted the story, maybe it’s time to go long on the Bro.

    Please don’t give ideas for my another ebook. LOL.

    Seriously, this story from a few years back, was the inspiration for something I wrote.

    Inspiration for stories come from interesting places. A newspaper story about a Chinese girl adopted by a Jewish couple, a episode of the Rockford Files, or even getting yourself locked in an apartment house stairwell.

    Happy new year everyone.

  37. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: In my theoretical “ideal” election, we’d have the White House, the Senate, and the House, and the incoming Prez would have a priority list of all the bad executive orders that can be undone ready on Day One. The House and Senate should immediately start hammering out all of the things that have been ignored, or slapped with a band-aid…..I mean, we really gotta put some teeth in that emoluments clause, to start. Immigration. For real, this time. Voting rights. Allllll of the things that we are realizing, in the age of Trump, are not as robust as the Founding Fathers imagined they would/could/should be. Healthcare.

    What would be on your priority list?

  38. Mister Bluster says:

    North Carolina town ends New Year’s Eve possum drop after yearslong battle
    Started in the early 1990s as a “redneck response” to the Times Square ball drop in New York City, the Possum Drop has boomed and attracted hundreds of revelers each New Year’s Eve to watch a live opossum lowered in a plexiglass box at the stroke of midnight…
    Mayor Reid said his goal was to keep a tradition alive and attract tourists to help his town’s economy. But he said he is tired of his voice mail filling up with protest calls, so the stars of the show in Tuesday’s New Year’s Eve party will be a pro-wrestling match and a womanless beauty pageant.

    Happy New Year

  39. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster: So…a womanless beauty pageant would be a male beauty pageant?

    Were any raccoons harmed in the drop?

  40. CSK says:

    @CSK: I mean possums.

  41. Mister Bluster says:

    All I can find is this:

    Andrews New Years Eve Bash!
    Come Join Mayor Reed of Andrews, NC in celebrating the end of 2019 and the welcoming of 2020 with a community party. This is a Free Event!
    Enjoy wrestling, vendors, live music and a Womanless Beauty Pageant: starring Mayors Reed, Ramsey and Baughn, along with WKRK’s Tim Radfors and others.

    And wait to see what gets dropped at Midnight!

    B there or B square!

  42. Michael Cain says:


    Said act must include Federal control of congressional redistricting (preferably by a nonpartisan commission). Unlike state legislative redistricting, I think this would have a good chance of passing constitutional challenge from the right.

    State-created commissions have already passed that challenge (Arizona v. Arizona). The decision surprised a lot of pundits, who forgot that Justice Kennedy was a California boy who knew what a can of worms would be opened in most of the western states if initiative decisions affecting federal elections were banned. I suppose it’s feasible that the SCOTUS would rule that states can create commissions but Congress can’t, but it seems unlikely to me.

  43. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    …the Possum Drop has boomed and attracted hundreds of revelers each New Year’s Eve to watch a live opossum lowered in a plexiglass box at the stroke of midnight…

    With God as my witness… I thought ‘possums could fly.

  44. Bill says:

    Florida headline of the day-

    Boynton police: 14-year-old arrested for threatening mass shooting at Publix

    The teen said it was meant to be a joke. Not funny.

    BTW I live in Boynton Beach. There is a Publix less than two miles away from here.

  45. Kurtz says:


    Well, that’s a tough question. In no particular order.

    -Increase SC seats to nine

    I thought about reducing it to five, thus nullifying the last two seats. I think that is is how it would work, but someone can chime in if I am wrong.

    But in the end, I think nine is a good number. In theory, it should increase diversity of legal thought. It also think it has a decent chance of reducing the number of decisions that come down to one vote.

    -on immigration. I don’t really care much about this topic other than making the system more efficient and protecting people who have been here their whole lives.

    As an aside, though I am culturally white, my paternal heritage is indigenous. This is a nation of immigrants.

    -healthcare reform.

    -lower corporate taxes to something commiserate with the externalities of the given industry…BUT

    -the moment you start taking money out of the business… Yeah, you’re getting hit very hard if you’re making an ultra high income. I don’t think Jamie Dimon truly earns his multi-million dollar salary.

    -Re-enact Glass-Steagal.

    -Automatic voter registration as well as extending voting rights to every citizen regardless of criminal record.

    -ban private prisons

    -robust criminal justice reform. Possibly eliminate all federal drug laws and dissolve the DEA. If so, put limits on state level incarceration of all nonviolent offenses.

    -aggressive enforcement of civil rights standards for law enforcement.

    -public funding of elections.

    -elimination of debt for postsecondary education. Fund vocational schools for those who are not academically inclined so that people can acquire hands on skill sets.

    -restructuring of the housing market. This, along with healthcare are two of the things that make social mobility difficult for a lot of people.

    I have a lot to say on the real estate market, but this has already gone on longer than i wanted it to.

    -ban future bailouts of financial companies.

    Some of these are just me thinking out loud. There is more that needs to be done. I also think a UBI may ultimately be necessary, but I’m not sure how i feel about that yet.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: My point remains that it is funny how no matter where one is and no matter how much trouble you get into, if you have enough money you can buy your way out of it.

    Justice? Just us.

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Oh for dawg’s sake, the possum couldn’t give a rat’s ass. They naturally go into a catatonic state when they feel threatened as a survival strategy. I have picked up a possum by the tail while completely immobile and drooling copiously, put it down, and come back an hour later only to find it… Gone. No harm, no foul. People need to get over themselves and their anthropomorphizing ways.

  48. Teve says:

    -Increase SC seats to nine


    Disclaimer: i may, or may not, be high.

  49. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: I concur with most of those.

    Hey, it’s the start of the new year, we can dream, right?

  50. Kurtz says:


    Yeah, it’s all schwag around here the last month or so. Blah. Plus, I got diagnosed with ADD and my doctor is not happy if I test positive for THC.

  51. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Bill: I’ve always had a suspicion that I might have a book or 2 in me to write. Your last few posts about the subject have inspired me to strongly consider giving it a go.


  52. Kurtz says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Good luck!

  53. Jax says:

    If anybody wants to feel freaky about our last few posts, Facebook is showing me proofreader ads, should I feel like writing a book. And my email address here is not the same I use for Facebook.

    It isssssss……of the devil!!!! 😉

  54. Tyrell says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Thanks for your questions. I garbled that part about the teeth. This is a lab test to grow teeth. This has been researched and tried before, but now they appear to be having some success.
    I understand that the whole WWE pro wrestling events are planned and scripted. King Corbin is certainly causing havoc and mayhem.

  55. CSK says:

    @Jax: It’s probably your ISP number.

  56. Teve says:

    @Jax: @CSK: FB and others use special cookies etc to track where you go on the web. Even if you don’t have a FB account.

  57. Teve says:

    Facebook tracks you online, even if you don’t have an account

    Don’t even get me started on how cell phone companies sell your location data to third parties.

  58. Bruce Henry says:

    So on the recommendation of Liberal Capitalist, I watched all six episodes of “Years and Years” over the past couple of days. Well, I mean I WOULD have watched all six, except for some reason HBO On Demand has Episode 3 missing. I could still follow the story but I wonder WTF.

  59. CSK says:

    @Teve: I have cookie auto delete. Is that why I never get ads on FB?

  60. Teve says:

    @CSK: maybe! I have given into surveillance a bit, For some benefits. For instance when I got this new iPad, I installed Google Chrome and logged in, and all my contacts and passwords and such automatically appear now. Facebook needs to either die or be regulated into behaving.

    I read a journalist a couple days ago say that if he knows your cell phone number he can generally buy your previous minute-by-minute GPS coordinates from data brokers and/or cell carriers. That’s the kind of shit only government regulation can solve.

  61. CSK says:

    @Teve: Is that the reason some people are returning to flip phones or burner phones? I don’t know much about the technology.

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    It also think [increasing the number of SCOTUS justices] has a decent chance of reducing the number of decisions that come down to one vote.

    Or not, depending on the degree the choice is made to install retaliatory counter partisans–which seems to be driving motive for many.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: Yes, Baron Corbin’s character as King Corbin is certainly being written to cause havoc and mayhem. I think the booking is poor because the character is inept and juvenile, but I’m no longer in the target demographic.

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I’m fascinated with how Facebook monetizes the activity of people who don’t use Facebook. I’m guessing that it uses the famed “sucker born every minute” technique of early 2oth Century fame.

    On the other hand, I haven’t gotten any suggestions for writing my own book/proofreading at all, so I’m feeling left out 🙁 .

  65. Bill says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    If we numbered people’s ages the way we number years, everyone would be one on the day they were born, and nine actual years old by age ten.


    Good luck if you take up the writing challenge.

    Some people say write what you know about. I’ve done that, and done stories with golf, chess, a mother on hospital pregnancy bedrest (My wife was for two months when she was pregnant with our son), and other stuff. Other times I have written about things I knew little about but read up before writing the story. Japanese gangster aka Yakuza, figure skating, the process someone goes through if they want to convert to Judaism. It was actually fun learning some of this stuff. My last book featuring espionage had me researching how an an unarmed woman but one who is trained in self defense (Krav Maga) can thwart a man with a knife. The same female character used her skills as a violinist besides her appearance to set a honey trap. So I did research to learn what music would be right for a violin recital. Admittedly most research is much more mundane, finding out how long it takes to fly from point A to point B or looking up the various locales I set a story in order to add some local color. Like the prostitutes (Usually from the Baltic states) who stand by the road between Gdansk and Warsaw Poland who try waving down tourists in hope of getting a customer, a Thai wedding featuring a bride coming to the ceremony riding on a elephant and before then local drag queens entertaining guests or telling a little bit about the Iolani Palace in Honolulu for a story set in Hawaii.

    It helps to enjoy writing when you’re trying to make money from it.

  66. Kurtz says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Yes, that is a possibility, maybe even a probability. But I think there are a few factors that may counteract that.

    -With 11, there is a chance that the political long game becomes less attractive. Imagine a world where the ideological makeup of the court is +2 or more in one direction. It becomes less attractive for elected officials to pin their election prospects on a potential decade long fight. Moderates that will vote with you some of the time become a better bet.

    -From what I understand about the SC, there is a lot of behind the scenes maneuvering and persuading. More voices may not persuade Thomas or Gorsuch of anything, but Roberts or Kavanaugh? Those two are not necessarily closed to it.

    -11 justices would also increase the body of case law via other written opinions. Though they are relatively rare, Justices sometimes write opinions outside the two main issued decisions. I would think that would increase the possibility of fewer binary ideological decisions.

    -Finally, reducing the number of one vote margins also reduces the pressure to conform along political lines. I think it may change the calculus of lower court judges as well.

    I just don’t see a lot of downside to increasing the size of the bench, other than using the opportunity cost of using political capital for it.

  67. Kurtz says:


    I just realized that I didn’t proofread would i wrote. It was supposed to say increase from nine, not to 9. I blame not being able to get stoned and too low a starter dose of Adderall.

  68. Gustopher says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I’ve always had a suspicion that I might have a book or 2 in me to write.

    I am convinced that I have a book in me, that it is a terrible book, and that it would do me no end of good to get it out of me, like a good vomit when you’re drunk.

  69. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Want me to click on the link for ya next time it comes up? 😉

  70. T says:

    @Gustopher: there is an old line about, every reporter thinks he has a book in him, and it should stay there.

  71. Teve says:

    T? iPad not identical to Android. 🙂


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