Open Forum

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

The floor is yours.

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Teve says:

    Biden’s new flubbed comments about poor kids and whites is just another eye-rolling indication of how tedious this next 7 months is going to be before he drops out and Warren becomes the nominee.

  2. Kit says:

    With all the recent talk about Electoral College math, I was wondering what people here thought would happen after the election. Here’s what I imagine:

    Biden or Warren wins a discouragingly close race. D’s don’t flip the Senate. Republicans play hardball from Day 1. The other side… does not. A recession starts to bite hard, but Trump will have shot all the Fed’s bullets beforehand in an attempt to juice the economy in the run up to the election. Of course, there can be no stimulus, and the conversation is all about budget cuts (those entitlements! the debt!), tax cuts (to get the economy running again, you know), and shut downs. R’s popularity will dip for a while, but they will control the narrative and pay no price down the line.

    Legislation is impossible. The new President will be told to respect previous norms. Very few Executive Orders, and generally struck down in the courts.

    Speaking of the courts, few judges will be confirmed.

    People will be told to forget about Trump and not turn him into a martyr with prosecutions. He will continue to stir the pot.

    Domestically, competent people will be returned to the various agencies, but plenty of good people will have left for good, never to be replaced. The worst abuses at the border will be corrected; ICE will be shaken up but not broken up. The now open borders, ahem, will become a new rallying cry.

    Internationally, countries will breath a sigh of relief, but we’ll never be trusted again. Congress will prevent any official changes to the status quo. The Right will scream that we have lost respect.

    Two years later, a Red wave will sweep away the House. D’s will be assured that the future is theirs. The climate will increasingly say that there is no future. Historians will start arguing about just when America became a thing of the past.

    Too pessimistic?

  3. Teve says:


    Republicans play hardball from Day 1. The other side… does not.

    what unspecified thing are you blaming the Democrats for not doing?

  4. Guarneri says:

    So the Ohr 302s were released, and confirm what any sane person already knew. The Steele document was garbage, and that both DoJ and FBI knew it well in advance of the FISAs. Worse, Steele and “Fusion Nellie” Ohr kept feeding the DoJ, FBI and WEISMANN through Bruce Ohr, even after Steele’s firing and everyone knew it was garbage info.

    A total con job.

  5. Kit says:

    @Teve: Without the Senate, no legislation can be passed. So the only way forward would be Executive Orders, and sundry norm breaking which I don’t see a Democratic president going for. Do you see it otherwise?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Man carrying weapons, wearing body armor arrested at Missouri Walmart

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    ETA: As far as I can tell, he broke no laws. The cops desperately want to charge him with something tho. I suggest the police chief start packing his boxes, because in Misery that just can’t be tolerated.

  7. Teve says:

    @Kit: I’m probably just overreacting. I just got tired of, when Republicans control the Senate and stop everything, or push through shitty judges, people blaming Democrats for not Getting Tough when there was literally nothing they could do.

    and I’m already tired in advance of the people who are going to blame Democrats when Roe vs Wade is overturned, when it was the bottom 46% of voters who guaranteed that in November of 2016.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Guarneri: And you have swallowed the con hook line and sinker and are now trying to spread it far and wide. Nice to see you have a hobby.

  9. Kit says:

    @Teve: I don’t blame Democrats, apart, perhaps, for having been naive. For the past two generations, Republicans have been pushing on every front, using means fair and foul, to bring us where we are today. Taking the high road is not a winning strategy. Not any more. Unless Warren can ride a blue wave, and come out swinging (below the belt), I think we are forked. That’s my Hail Mary pass.

  10. Michael Cain says:

    @Kit: A great deal of what the federal government does now is by rule-making, not law-making. Environmental policy is set largely by the EPA these days. Drilling and mining on public lands is controlled by the Dept of Interior without consulting Congress. The Dept of Justice indirectly sets lots of policy by choosing which cases it will prosecute or defend (eg, in at least one case the DOJ literally changed sides early in 2017). Note that this is all “by design”; Congress has delegated an increasing amount of the details of legislating to the executive branch for the last 120 years.

  11. mattbernius says:

    So for those interested in the Ohr document release, Politico’s article is a good primer:

    One particular paragraph is very relevant:

    However, the first interview with Ohr — at least in the files released Thursday — was more than a month after the FBI asked a judge to approve surveillance on Page on October 21, 2016.

    That application makes clear that the FBI was already dealing with Steele directly and includes a cautionary footnote disclosing that “a U.S.-based law firm” hired Fusion’s owner Glenn Simpson to conduct research on Trump. (Neither Steele, Simpson or Trump were mentioned by name.)

    “The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign,” the application said.

    Emphasis mine…

  12. Scott O says:

    @Kit: Your prediction is about exactly what I expect. Even if Biden or Warren or whoever were to win by a landslide it wouldn’t make any difference. A Trump reelection is also quite possible.

  13. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I saw that story last evening.

    What an insane thing to do so soon after a shooting. As the police said, he’s lucky he’s still alive.

  14. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Creating a public nuisance? Inciting a riot? Reckless endangerment of children if there was a round chambered? Depending on Missouri case law, assault?

  15. gVOR08 says:

    @Kit: I’d say you’re about right. But I’d add that GOP pols will make out that it was all Trump’s fault and we can trust the rest of them now, all the while telling the base Trump was a martyr to political correctness or immigrants or something. Some GOP billionaire will fund a Trump canonization effort naming bridges and airports after him, as they did for St. Ronald of Bel Air, and the supposedly liberal MSM will continue to use Trump as click bait, running nostalgia pieces about where is he now and wasn’t it nice to have had a plain speaker in the WH and what ever happened to Javanka.

  16. Michael Cain says:

    @Kit: Not as pessimistic as me. I think, in the long run, the US will not survive as a single country. Different regions are all going to agree to go their own ways.

  17. Teve says:

    @Kit: if we get a Dem Senate we might at least hold on to the status quo. Most likely we won’t, we’ll be in a trump recession, Republicans will turn it into a depression, and in 2024 Tom Cotton gets elected the last American president.

  18. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    A total con job.

    Intelligence is clearly something you are unfamiliar with.
    As for the dossier…it’s broad assertion; that Russia waged a campaign to interfere in the election is in fact true.
    The only con job is in the Oval Office.

  19. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain: there was an interesting article a few years back on slate or vox about how the United States is unique in terms of how long it’s gone without an insoluble constitutional crisis. I really wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing fractures into like 4 to 6 regional countries in the next 20 years.

  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I don’t get it? What’s new here?
    Also…the Steele Dossier was never the prime evidence used to secure FISA warrants, that was Papadopoulos, and the broad assertions of the dossier has been proven to be correct.

  21. Kit says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Not as pessimistic as me

    And I was just trying to squeeze a bit of optimism out of your previous post about rule making… 🙂

    There’s just no way that the country could ever agree on how to divide itself. We cannot agree on anything. This would be just about the moment for a real leader to step forward, but we don’t seem to make them any more.

  22. mattbernius says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I don’t get it? What’s new here?

    Honestly, not much at all… Ohr definitely reads as concerned about Trump. But beyond that language, nothing new is revealed.

    Also…the Steele Dossier was never the prime evidence used to secure FISA warrants, that was Papadopoulos, and the broad assertion of the dossier has been proven to be correct.


    In other news, this Twitter Thread from a Republican Foreign Policy expert is one of the best summaries of the Trump presidency (and it’s issues) I’ve read to date:

  23. Kit says:


    If we get a Dem Senate…

    Warren + a Dem Senate is the Hail Mary pass.

  24. Mikey says:
  25. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    Honestly, not much at all

    Oh…so @Guarneri continues to be full of shit. Phew. I thought maybe the world had tilted off axis or something.

  26. Teve says:

    @Kit: oh I know. I’m not an optimist.

  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    In other news, this Twitter Thread from a Republican Foreign Policy expert is one of the best summaries of the Trump presidency (and it’s issues) I’ve read to date:

    Yes…I read that thread on Twitter earlier today.
    But none of groups will stop using those arguments…and the media will continue to allow them to, without questioning it at all.

  28. Kit says:

    @Scott O:

    A Trump reelection is also quite possible

    I have been wondering if that’s what we need: let people see just where all this BS leads, and then win 60+% next time. The body politic probably cannot survive until so long, but just maybe people would be ready to consider drastic action.

    If I close my eyes and wish away the cancer of Trump’s 40+%, I can almost see it…

  29. Teve says:

    Stephen King
    Tucker Carlson is your basic white, well-fed, complacent and entitled fuckdoodle. As with Bill Buckley, you’d think him too bright to be spouting such nonsense, but apparently you would be wrong. Must be bred in the bone.

  30. Jen says:

    @Mikey: Yes.

    Now, combine that with the loss of career intelligence officials, the hollowing out of our intel community, and the broad loss of morale in the intel community.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  31. Kit says:

    Whatever happened to all the other investigations that were spun off from Mueller’s? You know, the ones with all the really juicy stuff. There was something in the news recently about tax returns, and something else about Deutsche Bank releasing some documents. It all just seems to go into a black hole. Is there any reason for hope on this front?

  32. Guarneri says:

    “The DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, through the Perkins Coie law firm, commissioned Glen Simpson’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, to investigate candidate Donald Trump. Simpson hired former British spy Christopher Steele for the job. Steele compiled an incriminating, unverified and unverifiable dossier which alleged ties between Trump and the Russian government.

    The FBI used the bogus dossier as the basis for its application to the FISA Court to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The FBI had been warned by Ohr in September 2016 that the dossier was both unverified and that Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”

    The FBI had also received an email from State Department official Kathleen Kavalec, which included documentation, reiterating Ohr’s warnings. Still the FBI presented the dossier to the FISA Court as “verified” on October 30, 2016. They received the warrant and renewed it three more times.

    In the meantime, James Comey, who signed off on the first application, presented a summary of the dossier to President-elect Trump in early January 2017 as “salacious” and “unverified,” and continued to present it to the FISA Court as “verified.”


    “The 302s provided new information and corroborated previously known information.
    For example, the State Department played a larger role than had been thought. In the first interview Ohr told agents that “reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia were going to the Clinton Campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI…Ohr knew that [Fusion GPS’s] Glen Simpson and others [were] talking to Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.”

    Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked as a contractor for Fusion through September 2016. Nellie was hired to conduct research on members of Trump’s family. Bruce provided his wife’s research to the FBI. In late September 2016, Ohr describes a person (likely Christopher Steele) as “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”


    “Ohr knew that [Fusion GPS’s] Glen Simpson and others talking to Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.”

    Glenn Simpson directed a person whose is redacted to speak to the press. It appears as if the press that person went to was the far left leaning Mother Jones.

    On December 5, 2016, Ohr promised to “voluntarily” give his wife Nellie Ohr’s Fusion GPS research to the FBI. He also provided the FBI with a report on Paul Manafort titled, “Manafort Chronology.”

    On December 12, 2016 Simpson gave Ohr a thumb drive with Fusion GPS research on it. Ohr claims to not know what is on that drive. During the meeting Simpson, based evidently on a meeting with Glenn Simpson, identified Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer as having “many Russian clients.” Simpson also told Ohr that Cohen, “may have” attended a meeting in Prague.

    Ohr describes Simpson directing someone to talk to the Mother Jones reporter “as it was Simpson’s Hail Mary attempt.”

    On December 20, 2016, Ohr provided the FBI with his wife’s Nellie Ohr’s Fusion GPS research, “which contained the totality” of her work “but the Fusion GPS header was stripped.”
    On January 23, 2017, Ohr tells the FBI that Steele told him that Steele “spoke with a staff member of Senator John McCain’s office sometime prior to October 2016.”

    The FBI interviews show that Ohr texted and talked to Christopher Steele using the WhatsApp application. On February 2, 2014, the FBI tells Ohr to see if Steele would be “comfortable getting the name of an FBI agent” as a contact. Ohr tells the agents that State Department official Katheen Kavalec spoke with “Steele several times prior to the U.S. Presidential election and believed Steele’s reporting to have [been] generated mainly from [REDACTED].
    On Feb. 14, 2017, Ohr tells the FBI that Steele communicated with him via Facetime that Steele was “beginning to worry about his business.” Steele discussed brokering new business with the FBI and told Ohr, ‘You may see me re-emerge in a couple of weeks.”

    On May 3, 2017, Steele called Ohr to tell him that he “had been worried about Director Comey’s upcoming testimony to Congress, especially his response to questions that would be raised by (Senator) Grassley.”

    Although what he was specifically worried about is redacted, Steele was “happy with Director Comey’s response.”

    Steele also stated that he was limited in “his ability to testify before Congress” because of disclosure laws in the UK being more narrow than the United States.

    On May 12, 2017, Steele called Ohr to discuss a letter the Senate Intelligence Committee sent him. According to Ohr, “The letter requested answers to the following questions:
    Had Steele provided information to the US Government?
    What was the scope of Steele’s investigation?
    Did Steele have any additional information to provide?”

    In May, 2017, Ohr was asked by the FBI to ask “Steele if he would be willing to have a conversation with FBI agents in the UK.” Steele responded that he would, but he would need to check with a redacted name.

    “This new Bruce Ohr FBI 302s show an unprecedented and irregular effort by the FBI, DOJ, and State Department to dig up dirt on President Trump using the conflicted Bruce Ohr, his wife, and the Clinton/DNC spies at Fusion GPS,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FISA courts weren’t informed of this corrupted process when they were asked to approve and reapprove extraordinary spy warrants targeting President Trump.”

    Spin to your hearts content, people.

  33. Jen says:

    No need to spin anything. There’s no “there” there.

    Any reason there’s no link to the original source?

  34. Neil Hudelson says:


    I think the Deutsche Bank matter is in courts. Some of the other investigations continue, just without much fanfare. Yesterday it was reported that Citibank, JP Morgan, and another bank that escapes me, turned over records relating to mortgages Trump took out.

    EDIT: Found the article. Apparently there were deutsche bank records mixed in too.

  35. mattbernius says:

    I wish I could say that, provided its accurate, this reporting from the Guardian about Trump in El Paso was particularly surprising:

    Doctors at the Del Sol medical center in El Paso, where some of the survivors are still being treated, later said the president appeared to “lack empathy” after he boasted during the visit that he drew a larger crowd at a January rally in the city than one held by “crazy” Beto O’Rourke.


    Trump subsequently lashed at out at O’Rourke, mocking his name and polling numbers and ordering him to “be quiet”.

    Using highly pejorative language, Trump then described the alleged gunman as a “pussy” for allowing himself to be arrested instead of killing himself or dying in a gun battle with police.

  36. CSK says:

    @Jen: The source is Redstate. The author, Elizabeth Vaughn, is not particularly reliable; she’s had two articles there removed recently.

  37. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton

    Judicial Watch…partisan hacks. From Wikipedia;

    JW has made numerous false and unsubstantiated claims that have been picked up by right-wing news outlets. Courts have dismissed the vast majority of its lawsuits.

    Spin to your hearts content, people.

    I still don’t see where the fact that Russia interfered in our election to help Trump is in any way questioned? Or that anything in the Dossier is debunked. Can you point any of that out for me?
    You are so embarrassed by being conned that you are grasping at anything to make you feel better. You poor emotional child.

  38. mattbernius says:

    Our resident defender of racism for the lulz and tax cuts never posts his sources because he’s just bright enough to realize that the deep partisan nature of the sources will discredit the argument.

    He also never actually participates in debates because us mean progressives are too partisan.

  39. Kit says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Thanks, Neil. After a quick search, I found this: 29 investigations as of July 30th.

  40. Jen says:

    @mattbernius: I figured it was something like that, but I’m juuuuust generous enough to give the benefit of the doubt that it was perhaps an inadvertent oversight.

  41. Neil Hudelson says:

    The bump in the stock markets yesterday has evaporated. Down 250 points as of this writing, and trending downward.

  42. Tyrell says:

    @Michael Cain: No. There will be some groups that talk loud about some sort of secession, but that is as far as it will go. Still too close to the last time that happened. And people around here for sure don’t want another Billy Sherman coming through.

  43. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Dude…you got me interested so I did some looking around.
    Please respond to this?
    Or this?

  44. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Judicial Watch was founded by Larry klayman, who is often regarded as “the dumbest lawyer in America not named Mat Staver”. In July the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility Ad Hoc Hearing Committee recommended suspending his law license for several years for unethical behavior. He’s occasionally in the news for doing things like convening “citizens grand juries” to indict Obama for being a Communist Muslim and trying to citizen’s arrest him.

    He’s right up the Trump Chumps’ alley.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I take it that you’re good with hearing “Pocahontas” and “Fauxcahontas” over and over again for 8 or 9 months, then?

  46. MarkedMan says:

    The modern Conservative movement is completely suffused with racism. That’s apparent to anyone not in total denial. But I suspect that at least a portion of that racism stems from their fundamental value system being heavily based on class. The automatic and visceral revulsion the modern Conservative has for anyone doing anything to “get above their station” or “speaking ill of their betters” and especially “not knowing their place” seems to be programmed in.

  47. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Brave Sir Guarneri runs away.

  48. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: yes I am. And photoshops of warpaint and headdresses and Trump rallies where Trump chumps make whooping noises and tomahawk motions. Because by next Fall that’ll look so tired and racist and retrograde that it’ll be an embarrassment. The racist dummies will enjoy it, and nobody else will want to be associated with them.

  49. mattbernius says:


    The modern Conservative movement is completely suffused with racism.

    I’m not sure it’s *complete suffused,* but its undoubtedly there. For example, from the 2018 PPRI Race in America survey:

    More than six in ten (61%) Republicans believe that the shift to being a majority-nonwhite country will be a mostly negative development.

    Again: a majority of Republicans surveyed believe that the shift to being a majority-nonwhite country will be a mostly negative development.

  50. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The guy who puts on body armor and weapons to go into Wal-Mart makes me think of all the right wingers spewing constitutionally protected hate speech just to trigger the libs — technically legal, but if one of the many injustices in the world were to befall them, I would not mind.

    Troll culture and Gamergate, playing out in real life.

    They’re ruining spite for everyone.

  51. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Everyone should check out the latest WaPo story on Trump’s undocumented workers and how he continues to use them while also vilifying undocumented immigrants.
    I don’t pay for the Post so I can’t provide a link.

  52. gVOR08 says:
  53. charon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    This one maybe? ..

    OSSINING, N.Y. — For nearly two decades, the Trump Organization has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees to build fountains and waterfalls, sidewalks and rock walls at the company’s winery and its golf courses from New York to Florida.

    Other employees at Trump clubs were so impressed by the laborers — who did strenuous work with heavy stone — that they nicknamed them “Los Picapiedras,” Spanish for “the Flintstones.”

    For years, their ranks have included workers who entered the United States illegally, according to two former members of the crew. Another employee, still with the company, said that remains true today.

    President Trump “doesn’t want undocumented people in the country,” said one worker, Jorge Castro, a 55-year-old immigrant from Ecuador without legal status who left the company in April after nine years. “But at his properties, he still has them.

  54. Tyrell says:

    I would like to see these questions answered: Who was controlling the investigation? (It wasn’t Mueller, obviously).
    Who chose the various people who made up the investigating team? What were their backgrounds and political connections? You have the Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein connection. That right there is very suspicious and improper.
    Who authorized the SWAT style raid, with assault rifles, into a peaceful neighborhood?
    At what point did it become clearly evident that their had been no collusion?
    (after two weeks?)
    How about the Russians that were charged? I want to know when the trial begins.
    A committee should be formed to investigate the investigation. This group should be made up of private citizens of various backgrounds: but no politicians.

    I realize these thoughts might be inane and a waste of time.

  55. charon says:

    Some Bitecofer stuff re 2020, her model was spot on for the HOR in 2018:

  56. Teve says:

    @mattbernius: Taco Trucks on Every Corner!!!11 Run For the Hills!!!

    (And then once the line is short Teve gets All Teh Pastor!)

  57. Mikey says:

    @Teve: If you have Netflix, check out Taco Chronicles. Episode 1 is all about Al Pastor.

    Great thing about the series is it’s all done in Mexico by Mexicans. Spanish with English subtitles.

  58. Teve says:

    @Mikey: I will, thanks!

  59. Michael Cain says:

    @Tyrell: Not secession, which is unilateral, an agreed-to partition. Three or four regions, say, each with its own reasons for thinking that it would be better off without constantly struggling with the others. We’re 20+ years from talking seriously about it, 40+ from actually doing it.

  60. Teve says:

    Wajahat Ali
    You know how we get gun control? Me & all Muslim men of color will buy big guns, register at gun ranges, take selfies with our guns, post it online, and then casually stroll around in open carry restaurants and Wal-Marts with a big smile on our faces and guns on our shoulders.

  61. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain: I’ve been a math tutor for 20 years and one thing that I learned a long time ago is if you can put an algebra problem in terms of money, kids get instantly twice as smart.

    So I’m worried that if partition talks ever get seriously underway, the Red States will realize just how much money they get from the Blue States and they’ll smarten up and abandon the talks.

  62. Neil Hudelson says:


    Wasn’t that the theory behind the Brexit referendum?

    When it comes to stupid people, the desire to own the libs outweighs any self interest.

  63. Teve says:

    @Neil Hudelson: maybe. wasn’t brexit already supposed to happen like several times by now? I’m not convinced it will.

  64. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: Oh, Brexit will probably happen, because the people on the right want to remake their Singapore-on-the-Thames, but with fewer regulations so they can sell off the NHS and other stuff to the Yanks and get all that lovely loot, the rich guys owning the want the U.K. out so they can continue to avoid paying taxes, and the Lexiteers on the other side want the U.K. to crash out with all the nasty aftereffects being blamed on the Tories so Jeremy Corbyn can nationalise everything in sight and create his own Labour nirvana.

    And everyone else has gotten so sick of it the attitude is “fine–let’s leave and get it over with.”

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Guarneri: FAKE NEWS, DUMBSHIT. Even if some wee parcel of that IS true, it’s fake news. Get your head out Roger Ailes’ zombie asshole and try thinking for yourself.

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:


    He also never actually participates in debates because us mean progressives are too partisan.

    He also never actually participates in debates because us mean progressives rely on facts.

    FTFY. You’ll get your bill in the mail.


  67. MarkedMan says:

    Just for the record, Mueller most certainly did not find “no collusion”. Far from it. Instead he found, tried, and saw convicted several senior members of the Trump campaign for selling influence to Russian frontsmen. And he made it clear that his attempts to investigate the President himself were repeatedly obstructed by Trump, including by him instructing witnesses to lie. And he further made it clear that if not for the bizarre temporary immunity granted to a sitting president, he would have charged Trump with criminal obstruction of justice.

    Modern Republicans, who have no ethics or morals that I can discern, trumpet this as “no collusion”, but thinking people see it for the impeachable offense that it is.

  68. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: The worst part is that even if Trump gets “perp walked” when he’s “eventually not President”, like the criminal he is, they’ll still declare it fake news.

  69. Guarneri says:

    Ya don’t say………

    NYC Businesses Struggling After $15 Minimum Wage Results In Layoffs, Understaffing

    It’s been over six months since New York City implemented a mandatory $15 minimum wage, and businesses are already starting to struggle with the increased labor costs.

    “They’re cutting their staff. They’re cutting their hours. They’re shutting down,” says Queens Chamber of Commerce president, Thomas Grech – who reports seeing an uptick in small business closures over the past six to nine months.
    “It’s not just the rent.”

    Bronx Chamber of Commerce president Lisa Sorin notes that the increase has hurt small businesses the most, while Manhattan employers and their customers can afford to pay more to compensate. “It’s almost like a whirlwind of keep up or get out,” she said.

    This dynamic is reflected in a new survey reported by Gothamist, which reveals that NYC restaurants are ‘thriving’ amid the $15 minimum wage, but acknowledges “Nearly 50 percent of respondents to the Hospitality Alliance’s survey said they would have to eliminate jobs in 2019 to make do.”

    Meanwhile, National Interest notes that from the same survey, “Roughly 77 percent of NYC restaurants have slashed employee hours. Thirty-six percent said they had to layoff employees and 90 percent had to increase prices following the minimum wage hike, according to a NYC Hospitality Alliance survey taken just one month after the bill took effect.”

    These small businesses are trying to find creative ways to cope with the crunch without laying anyone off. Susannah Koteen, owner of Lido Restaurant in Harlem, said she worries about the impact raising wages could have on her restaurant, where she employs nearly 40 people. She hasn’t had to lay off anyone, but the increase has forced her to cut back on shifts and be more stringent about overtime. She said she changes her menu offerings seasonally and raises prices more often since the wage boost. “What it really forces you to do is make sure that nobody works more than 40 hours,” said Koteen.

    And according to New York City Hospitality Alliance director Andre Rigie, restaurants and other establishments with less disposable income have become challenged – and are all experiencing changes in customer habits. He suggests that state and local governments should try and mitigate the crunch with tax incentives – as well as preserving the so-called ‘tip credit,’ which allows restaurants to count some or all of an employee’s tips towards its minimum-wage contributions. “Many people working in the restaurant industry wanted to work overtime hours, but due to the increase, many restaurants have cut back or totally eliminated any overtime work,” said Rigie. “There’s only so much consumers are willing to pay for a burger or a bowl of pasta.”

  70. An Interested Party says:

    Once again copying and pasting without providing a link…of course, since that piece comes from Zero Hedge, I understand why no link was provided…even Trump toadies get embarrassed eventually…meanwhile, here’s an article that refutes the nonsense from above…

  71. An Interested Party says:

    I know it was mentioned on another open thread, but I’m surprised that none of this site’s writers have posted about Joaquin Castro tweeting the names of Trump donors in his congressional district…were we not told by the Supreme Court that political donations are free speech? And yet we have Republicans clutching their pearls over this as if it wasn’t already public knowledge…and if people were to use this knowledge to boycott the businesses owned by these donors, is that not the free market at work? Oh, that’s right, Republicans no longer believe in that either…

  72. Mikey says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Zero Hedge

    For those who don’t already know, Zero Hedge is basically Russian propaganda.

  73. Teve says:

    Nypost reporting that Epstein done kilt hisself.

  74. Teve says:

    Teve says:
    Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 11:26

    John Fugelsang
    If it turns out Jeffrey Epstein has tapes of powerful men then I hope his prison bodyguard has a bodyguard.

    10:56 PM · Jul 19, 2019·

  75. gVOR08 says:

    Just to beat it to death, I see NYT followed up on that stupid “equation” by asking mathematicians what they thought about it. (Not much.)

    The ruckus was like expounding the exceptions to “i before e except after c” and wondering why a Shakespearean scholar is not sharing your excitement in discussing the English language.
    Interpret the expression one way, you get 1.
    Interpret it the other way, you get 16.
    There’s no aha moment, just confusion and discord.
    “No one in good spirits would ever want to inflict it on anyone else,” Dr. Ribet said.

  76. Kit says:

    @gVOR08: I read that article, and my eyes really opened wide at the following:

    In isolation, without context, mathematical expressions like this say nothing. But equations really can solve problems when they describe a question you want to answer.

    Is this where we are now? The NYT needs to gently assure us that math really does have uses?

  77. gVOR08 says:

    @Kit: Hey, at least NYT is standing up for objective reality here. Not something they always do.

  78. Teve says:

    @Kit: word count padding.

  79. Mister Bluster says:

    Biden Says He Was Vice President During Parkland Shooting
    Joe Biden said he was vice president when the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, took place. Except, it happened in 2018, more than a year after he left office — the latest gaffe by the Democratic presidential front-runner.

  80. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Guarneri: So the moral of the story is raises in the minimum wage are bad for restaurants (an industry with a remarkably high failure rate to begin with) unless they can get laws permitting them to hire people willing to work only for tips and because restaurant owner-managers now have to pay attention to labor costs?

    “Ya don’t say…” indeed!

  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kit: In an age where right wing nut jobs are complaining about “Common Core” math? Yeah, the NYT probably does need to provide calm reassurances that math has purposes. (Particularly if instruction in math ends up resulting in black and Hispanic kids getting better jobs than sweeping floors and picking fruit.)

  82. Gustopher says:

    @Mister Bluster: He probably meant one of the other shootings. There have been so many that it’s reasonable to get them mixed up.

    If he thought he was VP during 9/11, that would be concerning.

    Hopefully if asked about it, or if it becomes a right wing meme, he responds by pointing out how sad it is that there are so many mass shootings that they blend together, and how long the NRA and the Republicans have been blocking even modest reforms.

  83. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: well, not quite. You’re missing that Guano is providing no data, just anecdotes from people with a vested interest in not paying employees decently. And even that if from a ridiculous right wing propaganda site.

  84. An Interested Party says:

    This is one of the more important reasons why the trash in the White House has to go…he has blood on his hands, and anyone who dismisses that is only enabling his repulsive behavior…

  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: I’m really not missing that point, just not choosing to point it out. For all the time I was a teacher, I had students trying to write papers about eliminating the minimum wage as the key to burgeoning prosperity for all Americans who didn’t understand the difference between anecdote and data, incident and trend, so I just ignore that part these days. It’s a feature of the genre.

  86. de stijl says:

    To Jax:

    Next open thread I have something I hope your daughter likes. Strong, confident young women doing good work. Stay tuned.

  87. Mister Bluster says:

    @Gustopher:..He probably meant one of the other shootings. There have been so many that it’s reasonable to get them mixed up.

    Excuses, excuses.
    When Trump is confused about reality he is sundowning.
    With Joe “it’s reasonable to get them mixed up.”

    This kind of rationalization will not work.
    If Biden is serious about defeating Trump in the general election he CAN NOT give the Republicans any sound bites that demonstrate mental deficiency.
    I fear he has already given them too many.