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. Bill says:
  2. Teve says:

    NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
    Tonight on
    travels to Michigan, where a new school is being built with curved walls and hiding places – specifically designed to deter active shooters.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:


    and hiding places

    I’m not so sure giving school shooters places to hide is such a good idea.

  4. dennis says:


    And black people everywhere are praying, “God, please don’t let this fool be black …”

  5. CSK says:

    @Bill: And there’s another idiot suing them because they ran out of chicken sandwiches.

  6. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Bill: Alas, why am I not surprised this occurred in Texas?

  7. Kylopod says:

    @Bill: Surprised no mention of this.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: A classic. I need to see that movie again.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Another one bites the dust: Fifth Texas GOP Congressman Will Not Run For Reelection

    While I suspect this rash of retirements is mostly due to the fact that being in the minority sucks donkey balls rather than any difficulty in getting reelected, I do wonder if there will be any DEM pickups beyond Will Hurd’s seat.

  10. KM says:


    I’m not so sure giving school shooters places to hide is such a good idea.

    And this is why I don’t really understand the purpose of active shooters drills considering the person most likely to shoot up the place isn’t a stranger but a student or employee. You’re teaching them EXACTLY where everyone is going to be hiding and telling them the tricks used to avoid… well, them. One of my friend’s little girls was talking about how they teach them to hide in the bathroom and tuck up their feet so it “looks empty”. Well, now that all the students know that, would one who wants to hurt people simply just shoot into the stalls rather then bothering to check or assume? Simply shoot a line down near where the handles on the stall doors are (about the right height for someone on the toilet) and anyone hiding is screwed. Quick, everyone hide in the library! Well, guess where the shooter’s gonna head since that’s where they’ve been taught it’s a “safe place”. Maybe that’s even where they start to remove a haven and get anyone fleeing towards shelter. Here’s the armed guards and where they’ll be – guess who’s in for an ambush?

    These kinds of procedures make sense when the enemy is without and invading – they don’t know the layout or specifics of your emergency plan. But when it’s an inside job……

  11. Teve says:

    Jason O. Gilbert
    I love when there’s a headline like “TCBY Announces Customers Can No Longer Carry Guns In Stores” and the first 1000 comments are tough guys with Rambo avatars saying stuff like “I GUESS I’LL BE GOING ELSEWHERE FOR SOFT-SERVE PARFAITS”

  12. Teve says:

    Kevin M. Kruse
    I love you, Twitter.

    Mrs. Mack
    · 1h
    Replying to @KevinMKruse and @DineshDSouza
    I don’t trust a thing you say. Sorry it’s just the way it is. The Left has proved themselves over and over again to be lairs. Especially when it comes to history. You can’t change that. You aren’t an authority of anything. You are just a person on twitter. That’s all you are.

    (for anybody who doesn’t know, Kevin M. Kruse is an award-winning historian at Princeton)

  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Just in case you’re not convinced that things are fwacked up in ways that make even Trump look like just another blip on the radar: School Expelled Student for Reporting Sexual Assault [her own, apparently]

    Sing it with me! “And the beat goes on (yeah the beat goes on) and the beat goes on and on and on and on and…”

  14. Kathy says:

    Android 10 is out today. I expect to experience it once it’s truly obsolete.

    My first device was a Nexus 7 2012 tablet. At the time, I thought it was the best electronics purchase I’d ever made. In time, it became less so. It came with Android Jelly Bean, then upgraded to Kit Kat without issue. But when it upgraded to Lollipop (*) it did a reverse Cinderella end became a brick.

    I managed to downgrade it back to Kit Kat (not easy**) and it kept chugging along for a few years, but it got slow and prone to lagging. I still have it, but haven’t even turned it on for the past year or so.

    I thought about getting a new one, but it turned out the larger Android phones more common today serve well enough for games, reading, browsing, etc.

    (*) Apparently the cutesy candy/dessert names are out, as Android 10 is known as Q. Hope they don’t get sued by the owners of the James Bond franchise.

    (**) Ok. I paid someone to do it.

  15. KM says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    That happens. A LOT. Even in 2019. It always has because by reporting an assault, the woman is *gasp* “admitting” some form of sexual intercourse took place. Doesn’t matter that it was against her will or not her choice, plenty of schools were more than happy to “honor code” a female and toss her out then deal with have a rapist running around on campus. Makes them look bad, you see – can’t keep the students safe and propagates “immorality”.

    Women always pay the price for men’s crimes. They get kicked out of schools for reporting, get shredded and demeaned in court for standing up for themselves and the police generally treat you with disbelief because “both sides” at best and “bitches be lyin’ ” at worst.

  16. KM says:

    LOL Walmart went and pissed off the gun nuts but taking a tiny step towards rationality. Conservatives are demanding armed guards for Walmart stores because they “no longer feel safe”. Honey, it’s a Walmart – if you’re worried about the types of people shopping there endangering your safety, remember YOU are shopping there and others are probably thinking the same thing!!!

  17. 95 South says:

    @KM: Shooters target gun-free zones. Happens a lot.

  18. Kathy says:


    Do you feel safe in stores than no longer will sell some specific types of ammunition as soon as their current inventory runs out? Next thing you know, Walmart greeters and cashiers will break into your house and take your guns.

  19. KM says:

    @95 South:
    Actually, shooters target specific places that (a) mean something to them or (b) have a lot of people for them to attack. They shoot up places they hate, full of people they hate. In several of the latest incidents, there have been “good guys with guns” who were unable to stop the shooting from taking place because surprise, surprise it’s a freaking surprise attack. AT BEST, they can limit causalities but then we’re playing the damage mitigation game, not prevention. You are not safe anywhere, 95 South. Someone who doesn’t care if they live can open up right on the floor of a gun show and can take several lives before they’re brought down. It’s a complete fallacy to think just because someone nearby has a weapon you cannot be shot by someone who wants you dead. After all, the battlefield is awash with guns and yet soldiers don’t think they’re safe from enemy fire because of that.

    The problem isn’t gun-free zones – it’s idiots who think gun-free zones are a personal insult to them and their rights instead of a constitutionally protected choice made by free Americans. Property rights are a thing older then this nation and the right to bear arms means you have the right to NOT bear them or have them born on your land. It used to be that walking around armed was the sign of a 3-world or failed nation and open-carry nuts are doing it solely because “FU That’s Why”. It doesn’t make you safer and it makes it harder to detect people who mean to kill.

  20. Teve says:

    Holy shitballs this is pathetic and funny.

    Dennis Mersereau
    · 45m
    The President of the United States altered a National Hurricane Center map with a sharpie to falsely extend the official forecast toward Alabama so he didn’t have to admit he was wrong in a tweet.

    photo and video here

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: Already have the t-shirt and souvenir visor for that particular thrill ride. Live across the river from and worked with a guy who eventually lost his job as principal at a high school where his actions in “investigating” a sexting/harassment complaint before calling in the State Police and county prosecutor got ended with him narrowly escaping charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution. (He avoided prosecution by surrendering his principal’s credential, but the state let him keep his teaching certificate.)

    His comment on the issue was that he didn’t believe that it was fair that his career was ruined by those kids.

  22. KM says:

    The best part – I mean other then looking completely fake and childish using a black sharpie when the circle is white? The sharpie addition isn’t even the width of the projected circle since that’s just empty gulf waters. It was literally just to cover AL coast – I mean, who cares about any ships or rigs in those endangered waters? They don’t need Trump’s fake warning, nor does TX if it’s flying that far southwest!

    Save the gulf coast boaters!!! They can’t possibly know the horrible danger headed their way!!!!

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Well personally, I feel safer not only with that situation but also in knowing that somewhere in this great nation of ours and at this very moment a courageous hand gun or AR-15 is sacrificing its life so that we can have an additional sewer grate or manhole cover.

    But I may be an outlier in the polling.

  24. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I’m a simple man.

    A simple man with degrees in Political Science and Sociology.

    So, I find this article of great interest today:

    Last week, at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, the winner of the best paper award in the Political Psychology division was “A ‘Need for Chaos’ and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies.”…

    It argues that a segment of the American electorate that was once peripheral is drawn to “chaos incitement” and that this segment has gained decisive influence through the rise of social media. …

    Petersen, Osmundsen and Arceneaux find that those who meet their definition of having a “need for chaos” express that need by willingly spreading disinformation. Their goal is not to advance their own ideology but to undermine political elites, left and right, and to “mobilize others against politicians in general.” These disrupters do not “share rumors because they believe them to be true. For the core group, hostile political rumors are simply a tool to create havoc.”

    Pizzagate, birtherism, Q, Sandy Hook, racial hostility, white identity politics. All formats of chaos.

    Who knew that Maxwell Smart and Control were so correct in fighting KAOS.

  25. 95 South says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Does the paper single out the Right?

  26. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @95 South:

    Does the paper single out the Right?

    Are you asking if the article says something like…

    The intense hostility to political establishments of all kinds among what could be called “chaos voters” helps explain what Pew Research and others have found: a growing distrust among Republican voters of higher education as well as, both of which are increasingly seen as allied with the liberal establishment.

    Well, if the shoe fits…

    However, there has always been chaos. Different factions, over the decades, so I don’t think any party “owns” chaos… Whether the hippies of the 1960’s, or the anarchists of the 1930’s… However if you look at a very short timeline only, then…

    On a less cataclysmic level, the authors’ analysis helps explain the intensity of anti-establishment voting that drove Trump’s successful takeover of the Republican Party in the 2016 primaries.

    The authors describe “chaos incitement” as a “strategy of last resort by marginalized status-seekers,” willing to adopt disruptive tactics. Trump, in turn, has consistently sought to strengthen the perception that America is in chaos, a perception that has enhanced his support while seeming to reinforce his claim that his predecessors, especially President Barack Obama, were failures.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: You do realize that you’ve just discredited their whole argument in the minds (or lack thereof) of the 95 Souths of our humble community, right?

    (I mean, he/she was never going to buy it anyway, but…)

  28. Teve says:

    @KM: that Sharpie bullshit is so amazing even WaPo was stunned: Trump’s war on reality enters bizarre new terrain

  29. Mister Bluster says:
  30. 95 South says:


    It’s not clear that Trump is the one who drew that little loop, though it wouldn’t be terribly surprising. His affinity for marking up documents with black marker is well-known.

    Is that an example from LibCap’s paper?

  31. Teve says:


    Trump Administration Is Rolling Back Rules Requiring More Energy-Efficient Bulbs

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Trump administration announced new rules on Wednesday to roll back requirements for energy-saving light bulbs, a move that could contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The Energy Department’s filing in the Federal Register will prevent new efficiency standards from going into effect on Jan. 1 under a law passed in 2007. The changes are likely to be challenged in court. “We will explore all options, including litigation, to stop this completely misguided and unlawful action,” said Noah Horowitz, director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards at the Natural Resources Defense Council, last week in anticipation of the move. “One part of the new standards would have required the adding of four kinds of incandescent and halogen light bulbs to the energy-efficient group: three-way, the candle-shaped bulbs used in chandeliers; the globe-shaped bulbs found in bathroom lighting; reflector bulbs used in recessed fixtures; and track lighting,” the report adds. “A rule that will be published Thursday in the Federal Register will eliminate the requirement for those four categories of bulbs.”

    503 days til this loser is gone.

  32. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Ha! Bet you it works for Alabama! 😉

  33. CSK says:

    @95 South: May I ask you a question? Do you really revere Trump the way his cultists do, as the greatest president we’ve ever had? Or do you find him appallingly buffoonish but marginally preferable to any Democrat? Surely even you must find this idiocy with the weather map pathetic.

  34. charon says:


    Is Trump’s behavior evolving? The New Yorker seems to think so:

    The Trumpian extremes on display in the third August of his Presidency revived a debate about whether he is descending into even less Presidential behavior, shedding the remaining constraints imposed upon him by his office and the efforts of his ever-changing staff. If it seems as if Trump is wackier, angrier, more willing to lash out, and more desperately seeking attention, that is because he is. This, at least, is my conclusion after reviewing his Twitter feed from the past month, along with his public statements, remarks to the press, speeches, and rallies. To revisit a month in the life of this President was exhausting, a dark journey to a nasty and contentious place. And, while Trump’s performance raised many questions that we can’t answer about just what is going on in his head, it was also revelatory: the thirty-one days of August, 2019, turn out to be an extraordinary catalogue of Trump’s in-our-faces meltdown.

    At first I wasn’t sure that anything about Trump’s frenetic August was really different. There had been many previous months of dysfunction. He has always courted controversy and trafficked in insults. But then I looked at August, 2017, during the first summer of his Presidency, which was one of the more shocking months of his early tenure. Back then, Trump warned of “fire and fury” against North Korea and spoke of good people on both sides of the white-supremacist march in Charlottesville that culminated in the killing of a peaceful counter-protester. And yet the Trump of two years ago was different—to a degree. He was provocative and insulting and fact-challenged, of course, but to a much lesser extent than he is today.

  35. Jen says:

    @Teve: The Sharpie B.S. is also, apparently, against the law. I learned today–via a Fox News meteorologist, no less–that it’s against the law to falsify a National Weather Service forecast and pretend it’s real.

  36. DrDaveT says:

    Very belatedly, I just stumbled across an issue of The Economist from July, with the cover story “The global crisis in conservatism”. Wow, I thought — this should be interesting. They might even take a cut at defining what conservatism is, or even (gasp) evaluating it.

    On page 9, we find that article — an unsigned opinion piece with the subhead “The new right is not an evolution of conservatism, but a repudiation of it.” So far so good…

    In paragraph three we get the informative statement that “Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as a disposition. The philosopher Michael Oakeshott put it best: ‘To be conservative… is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant.’ […] Liberals say that social order emerges spontaneously from individuals acting freely, but conservatives believe that the social order comes first, creating the conditions for freedom.”

    It seems to me that, if that’s an accurate characterization of conservatism (or of liberalism, for that matter), it’s quite damning in a number of ways. First, it means that conservatives are always against making things better. It means that they lack basic empathy, both for those disadvantaged by the current system and for those ‘far’ from them physically, socially, or culturally. It also means they are shocking hypocrites when they deny facts that conflict with their preferred theories. (That “prefer fact to mystery” part seems to me to be the biggest empirical error in describing the conservative disposition — conservatives will deny any fact that suggests a need for change.) On the positive side, this description leaves open the possibility that conservatives don’t disagree with liberals about what kind of society is desirable, but rather only disagree about the best way to get there.

    The piece goes on to talk (accurately) about how the various reactionary, nativist, fascist movements sweeping the US and Europe are anything but conservative. Well, yeah. Duh. However, the piece does NOT take the opportunity to address the regrettable historical identity between conservativism as a disposition and the protection of privilege, wealth, and status (and any accompanying injustice) at all costs. Instead, it says:

    But the new right is clearly winning its fight against Enlightenment conservativism. For classical liberals, like this newspaper, that is a source of regret. Conservatives and liberals disagree about many things, such as drugs and sexual freedom. But they are more often allies. Both reject the Utopian impulse to find a government solution for every wrong. Both resist state planning and high taxes. The conservative inclination to police morality is offset by an impulse to guard free speech and to promote freedom and democracy around the world.

    …at which point I have to wonder what planet this author has been living on. Skim past the idea of the current Economist as a liberal newspaper, classical or otherwise. If you can find any evidence that liberals abhor high taxes or government solutions to problems that only government can solve, or that conservatives promote freedom for anyone but the wealthy anywhere in the world, I’d love to see it.

    As best I can tell, the problems with this author’s before-and-after analysis are entirely on the ‘before’ side — he has no clue what conservativism actually does or leads to.

  37. charon says:

    I once subscribed to the Economist, long ago. Dropped it when I realized how much bullsh!t their take on American politics is. So, not surprised you noticed their writer full of sh!t.

  38. Teve says:

    @charon: just a few days ago somebody said he tweeted or retweeted 50 times that morning. I didn’t check it out but it certainly would fit in with the declining cognitive situation if that’s true.

    In other news Republican House member James Sensenbrenner just said Peace Out Bitches.

  39. Teve says:

    @Jen: and now Trump is denying that he had any knowledge of anybody using any kind of sharpie on any such map.

    Dude. You’re the only President I’ve ever seen sign official documents with a black sharpie. Do you smell burnt toast? Are you experiencing periods of missing time?

  40. Kathy says:


    The best part – I mean other then looking completely fake and childish using a black sharpie when the circle is white? The sharpie addition isn’t even the width of the projected circle since that’s just empty gulf waters. It was literally just to cover AL coast

    This is my evidence that it wasn’t drawn by anyone remotely familiar with hurricane tracking.

    You’ll notice the cone of uncertainty gets bigger the farther away in time it is. this is because the observations thus far can’t account accurately for the storm’s track. Someone familiar with this simple, and obvious, principle, would have drawn a much bigger circle.

    As an analogy, suppose you see a car entering the freeway at 30 mph. You know the car will most likely keep moving, but not at what speed, and it might stop for short periods, or speed up. You know where the nearest exit is, so you can accurately say where the car is likely to be in the next five minutes.

    For the five minutes after that, your accuracy goes down. It might stay on the freeway or take an exit. it might speed up or slow down. If it exits, it might continue along a lateral road, or take any side roads available. So your prediction of where the car could go will now be a bigger area.

    For the five minutes beyond, the area gets bigger. And so on as far as you want to take it, assuming you cannot make further observations.

    Hurricanes are not tracked full time. There are no weather stations in the ocean, satellites don’t stay in one place, and storm-chasing planes can only be out there so long. So there’s a lot of uncertainty as to the path, strength, and displacement. That’s what those cones get bigger and bigger.

    Now, while we know nukes won’t stop or weaken a hurricane, land does do that. Therefore if Dorian went through Florida, chances are it would weaken and not make it very far past the peninsula. If it does, it would gain strength once it was over water again. It has happened before. But usually hurricanes that hit florida and then the Gulf Coast, hit places like Miami and then the Gulf.

  41. Kylopod says:


    Do you smell burnt toast? Are you experiencing periods of missing time?

    Occam’s Razor. He’s not forgetting the sharpie. He’s just a liar. He lies, and then he lies about lying, and then he lies about lying about lying. And his #1 motivation isn’t political gain or self-preservation, but simply his compulsive inability ever to admit to a mistake. The day when he’s on his deathbed he’ll still be insisting he’s right on some petty, trivial matter no one cares about that he’s obviously wrong about anyway.

  42. DrDaveT says:


    So, not surprised you noticed their writer full of sh!t.

    Sure. On the other hand, I’m hoping that some of the conservative-leaning posters here (including our Beloved Hosts) will comment on whether they find that characterization of what conservatism is to be equally full of sh!t.

  43. 95 South says:

    @CSK: The cultists on this site are the people committed to Sharpiegate just because they want it to be true. They don’t need evidence. They believe everything. Some people realize Trump’s an idiot without believing all the stupid MSNBC talking points. Good for you for remembering that.

  44. Kylopod says:

    @95 South:

    Some people realize Trump’s an idiot without believing all the stupid MSNBC talking points.

    Thank you for admitting what 99% of Republicans today are committed to denying in face of all available evidence. Now all you have to do is take the next step: admit that the reason we’ve assessed Trump’s intelligence and competence accurately isn’t because we’re “believing all the stupid MSNBC talking points,” but because we’re fundamentally more in reality than the people on your side.

    I mean, really. You remind me of the late Charles Krauthammer when he agreed with Obama on stem-cell research but then spent column after column excoriating him for approaching the issue in a cliched way, while praising Bush to high heaven for allegedly being thoughtful about it. You know we’re right, but you’re twisting yourself into a pretzel to avoid giving us any credit.

  45. 95 South says:

    @Kylopod: Sharpiegate? Senilitygate? Cosigngate? The echo chamber is so far from reality it isn’t funny.

  46. Kylopod says:

    @95 South: What exactly have we gotten wrong? You’ve been complaining about sharpie-gate but haven’t explained how our take is incorrect, and now you just admitted the entire point at issue: Trump is a moron. What exactly is your problem?

  47. Teve says:

    Jesus, Colbert says Trump tweeted and retweeted 122 times this weekend.

    For comparison, in the 149 months Barack Obama has been on Twitter, he’s tweeted 15,700 things, or approximately 3.5 things per day.

  48. 95 South says:

    @Kylopod: Trump’s a moron, and so is Lawrence O’Donnell. Anyone who assumes Trump doctored a weather map without evidence isn’t running Mensa. Choose how dumb you want to make yourself.

  49. Kylopod says:

    @95 South: So what is your explanation for the, um, marking on the map including an area that Trump, and only Trump, falsely claimed was affected by the hurricane, and being the only noticeable difference with last week’s map?

  50. MarkedMan says:


    He’s just a liar

    If only it were so simple. I understand liars. I don’t like them, but I understand them. But calling Trump a liar is a category error. Trump literally has no concept of truth or reality and so it is not meaningful to say he lies. He says whatever words he happens to find coming out of his mouth. He doesn’t compare these utterances to objective reality because he is as blind to objective reality as a severely color blind person is blind to the color red.

    More interesting are the Trumpers. To continue the analogy, they are so bought into Team Trump that despite being able to see red and green themselves, they blindly accept it when Trump declares there is no red and there is no green, only grey.

  51. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: What is the explanation? He’s a Republican. Nothing is more important than never admitting he is wrong, no matter how ridiculous it makes him look.

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: All due respect, but you are arguing with a Trumper. You may as well argue with a See N Say.

    Actually, this is about the clearest example you are ever going to get that Trumpers are little more than mindless bots. I can’t even conceive a clearer example of Trump going to ridiculous lengths to destroy reality. It is comical. He is an embarrassing clown. I often compare Trump to an 11 year old but this farce is more on the level of the 4 year old caught with chocolate all over his face denying they had eaten a single piece of candy. Again, I literally cannot conceive of a more ludicrous yet incontrovertible example of Trump’s childishness and inability to separate fact from fantasy. And yet the Trumpers are still there with him. “Fake News”, “No Evidence”, “Haters gonna hate”. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by arguing with a wall. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by arguing with a Trumper.

  53. liberal capitalist says:


    … by arguing with a Trumper.

    Wow… I could hear the mic drop and hit the floor hard, all the way from here!

  54. Kylopod says:


    All due respect, but you are arguing with a Trumper. You may as well argue with a See N Say.

    Actually, to make that point I think this clip may be more apropos.

    Arguing with a Trumpist is pointless only if your goal is to convince them. That is not my goal. My goal is to expose them.

  55. Teve says:
  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South: What kind of idiot buys this kind of transparent bullshit?

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South:

    Anyone who assumes Trump doctored a weather map without evidence

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….. He’s holding the evidence right there in his fucking hands you idiot! Or is your dodge that we can’t prove he personally did it? That somebody with a steadier hand but just as limited an intellect as his did it at his request?

    Why don’t you just admit it: You hate liberals. You don’t even know why anymore but I suspect it is because we are right about things way too often for your comfort.

  58. 95 South says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t know. Anyone could have marked that map, to cover for their boss. It could have been printed that way. It looks too good for freehand. Blaming Trump because he likes black sharpies is transparent bullshit. But the echo chamber does it anyway.

  59. 95 South says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My last comment was a reply to “What kind of idiot buys this kind of transparent bullshit?” not to the comment where you made my map argument for me.

    I don’t hate liberals, but I hate it when people make themselves stupid. If you blame Trump for changing the map as if no one else could have, you make yourselves stupid.

  60. Teve says:
  61. KM says:

    @95 South:

    I don’t hate liberals, but I hate it when people make themselves stupid. If you blame Trump for changing the map as if no one else could have, you make yourselves stupid.

    I actually agree that Trump himself probably didn’t alter the map, simply because of the smoothness of the line. He’s 70+ and his handwriting ain’t great – it would be all wobbly because he would be too proud to use something to make a semi-decent circle. I mean, it’s possible but it’s much more likely he ordered someone to make this petty change to assuage his ego. It’s beneath him to do that sort of thing, you know. It would also require him to know where AL’s coast is and that’s not something I’d bet folding money on.

    HOWEVER, it’s still his fault. HE is the one pushing the falsehood of AL being hit. The map would never have been altered if not for his BS. Someone did it on his behalf or bidding. Nobody just alters a map like that for shits and giggles. Not only that, he went out there with a CLEARLY ALTERED map, showing he didn’t take 5 freaking seconds to look at it. If he had, he would have IMMEDIATELY noticed it like everyone else did and asked about it. The map’s a week old and the path’s changed since then but nooooo, he couldn’t be bothered to notice something a child can easily spot.

    I don’t give a damn who’s hand drew that circle. It was for Trump or by Trump but in the end, you cannot deny this man presented a false map to the country solely because he lied and it was an attempt to “prove” he was right. We’re not the ones being “stupid” by pointing this out – you on the other hand are going to great lengths to split hairs so it doesn’t look as bad for Trump personally as it really is. There’s no excuse for this, no justification. He did it himself – fail. He made someone do it for him – fail. He didn’t notice some toadie did it to curry favor without telling him – fail. He is at fault in all of these scenarios so stop trying to pretend we’re “stupid” when we point out the bleeding obvious.

  62. Kylopod says:

    @95 South:

    Anyone could have marked that map, to cover for their boss.

    Notice how you keep moving the goalposts. First you defend Trump, then after being called on it you admit Trump is an idiot but mock people for thinking Trump did the sort of thing that an idiot would do, such as doctoring a weather map. Finally, after I point out the absurdity of the markings on the map, you admit the map was likely doctored–you just deny it was Trump himself who did it. It was just a staffer covering up for him. But Trump? Nah, we’ve got to be an idiot to be believe that.

    Pretty soon you’ll be admitting Trump did doctor the map himself, only he was sleepwalking when it happened so that doesn’t really count.

  63. mattbernius says:

    @95 South:

    Anyone could have marked that map, to cover for their boss.

    And there in is the most striking thing about Trump’s relationship to the truth. It’s not that he lies about the smallest and most meaningless gaffes. Its his ability to, intentionally or not, get everyone around him, not to mention anyone supporting him, to actively participate in the lie versus admitting that he got it wrong.

    This goes all the way down to all the ways people on comment threads like this been twisting yourself to suggest that this wasn’t an intentional effort to cover-up a simple gaffe.

  64. Neil Hudelson says:

    LOL read of the day: GOP Senators Who Backed Trump’s Emergency Declaration Lose Military Funding

    “Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), one of those who voted in support of the declaration, announced early Wednesday that the Trump administration was diverting $30 million in funds from an Army base in her state to construction of the wall ― even though she previously received assurances from an acting secretary of defense that her state would be spared.

    Other Republican senators whose states are impacted by Trump’s diversion of military construction funds to build the wall include Thom Tillis of North Carolina ($80 million), Mitch McConnell of Kentucky ($62 million), John Cornyn of Texas ($48 million), Lindsey Graham of South Carolina ($11 million) and Cory Gardner of Colorado ($8 million).

    All of the above senators are also up for reelection in 2020, and they all similarly voted in support of Trump’s emergency declaration in March.”

  65. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I wonder if such things will help in the Senate race. You know, “Senator X voted to divert $XX million from our state.” and so on.

  66. Teve says:

    #TrumpSharpie is great.

  67. Teve says:

    “The Ambulatory Care Center at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will go without its renovation….President Trump’s executive order took money away from health care for service members to pay for a wall we don’t need that he promised Mexico would pay for.”

    What the pentagon is sacrificing to pay for the border wall

  68. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: 🙂 😀 😛

  69. Guarneri says:


    And they say it’s not a mental health issue…….

  70. Neil Hudelson says:


    Have you had the sandwich? I think we are likely looking at an addiction issue here, not a mental health issue :-P.

  71. Guarneri says:

    You know, I may be coming around to you guys point of view. This is very disconcerting and ugly. The UN via the AP:

    “UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed…..Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ″eco- refugees,′ ′ threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.

    He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.

    As the warming melts polar icecaps, ocean levels will rise by up to three feet, enough to cover the Maldives and other flat island nations, Brown told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.

    Coastal regions will be inundated; one-sixth of Bangladesh could be flooded, displacing a fourth of its 90 million people. A fifth of Egypt’s arable land in the Nile Delta would be flooded, cutting off its food supply, according to a joint UNEP and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study.

    ″Ecological refugees will become a major concern, and what’s worse is you may find that people can move to drier ground, but the soils and the natural resources may not support life. Africa doesn’t have to worry about land, but would you want to live in the Sahara?″ he said

    Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheatlands, while the Soviet Union could reap bumper crops if it adapts its agriculture in time, according to a study by UNEP and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

    Excess carbon dioxide is pouring into the atmosphere because of humanity’s use of fossil fuels and burning of rain forests, the study says. The atmosphere is retaining more heat than it radiates, much like a greenhouse.

    The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth’s temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years, said Brown.

    The difference may seem slight, he said, but the planet is only 9 degrees warmer now than during the 8,000-year Ice Age that ended 10,000 years ago.

    Brown said if the warming trend continues, ″the question is will we be able to reverse the process in time? We say that within the next 10 years, given the present loads that the atmosphere has to bear, we have an opportunity to start the stabilizing process.″

    He said even the most conservative scientists ″already tell us there’s nothing we can do now to stop a … change″ of about 3 degrees.

    ″Anything beyond that, and we have to start thinking about the significant rise of the sea levels … we can expect more ferocious storms, hurricanes, wind shear, dust erosion.″

    He said there is time to act, but there is no time to waste.

    Nations will be asked to reduce the use of fossil fuels, cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as methane and fluorocarbons, and preserve the rain forests.

    ″We have no clear idea about the ecological minimum of green space that the planet needs to function effectively. What we do know is that we are destroying the tropical rain forest at the rate of 50 acres a minute, about one football field per second,″ said Brown.

    Each acre of rain forest can store 100 tons of carbon dioxide and reprocess it into oxygen.

    Brown suggested that compensating Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya for preserving rain forests may be necessary.

    The European Community istalking about a half-cent levy on each kilowatt- hour of fossil fuels to raise $55 million a year to protect the rain forests, and other direct subsidies may be possible, he said.

    The treaty could also call for improved energy efficiency, increasing conservation, and for developed nations to transfer technology to Third World nations to help them save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, said Brown.”

    Ten years is not a long time. And the consequences are dire. This is a real problem…….oh, wait. This was written in June of 1989.

    Never mind. And call CNN.

  72. Guarneri says:

    And after you call CNN, call Huddleston. He’d like a pastrami on rye……

  73. Guarneri says:

    So Neil, is Chick-fil-a better?

  74. 95 South says:


    Notice how you keep moving the goalposts.

    You people say Trump did it because it was a sharpie, then when I call you out, you say that Trump didn’t do it because it’s too neat but that proves how Trump corrupts everyone around him.

  75. mattbernius says:

    Shorter @Guarneri — *derp* I’m just smart enough to know that I cannot attack the science, *derp* so instead I’ll attack a time frame prediction of a single individual. *derp*

    *derp* I can’t wait until it starts snowing again so I can say climate change isn’t happening. *derp*

    At least you didn’t pull a Paul L and just started posting easily disproven climate bullshit.

  76. Teve says:
  77. wr says:

    @95 South: “Choose how dumb you want to make yourself.”

    Good to see you’re living by your own advice and have chosen to be as dumb as humanly possible.

  78. DrDaveT says:


    Ten years is not a long time. And the consequences are dire. This is a real problem…….oh, wait. This was written in June of 1989.

    You did read the part that said ten years was how long we had to avoid irreversible change, right? Not that the temperature change itself would happen in 10 years?

    You can relax — you’ve won. The catastrophic consequences are already unavoidable.

  79. DrDaveT says:

    @95 South:

    You people say Trump did it because it was a sharpie, then when I call you out, you say that Trump didn’t do it because it’s too neat but that proves how Trump corrupts everyone around him.

    I don’t care who drew the bubble. I care that Trump is the one who violated 18 USC 2074.

  80. liberal capitalist says:
  81. CSK says:

    @Teve: I can’t stop laughing.

  82. Liberal Capitalist says:

    All #sharpiegate kidding aside…

    Did you see that the trumpster tweeted a heavily modified “Spaghetti Map” (path of hurricane) that showed (in the pen or sharpie drawn version) that the storm could have very easily gone into Alabama.

    Extra bonus points: includes picture of the original map before freehand presidential doodles.

    Is it too much for one man to say: “I was wrong, I misspoke” ?

  83. Guarneri says:


    Not me, man. I’m scared shirtless. I even ordered my home stilts, asking for the Obama Nantucket Discount. I had to show them my engineering degrees to get it.

    Funny thing, the background noise on the phone sounded like a boiler room op, and I thought I heard something like (in a Chinese accent) “another USA AGW dope order, build another factory” in the background.

    Maybe I misheard…….

  84. Guarneri says:


    That’s why I play golf everyday, have sex every night, and poke fun at you guys whenever I get bored.

  85. mattbernius says:


    I thought I heard something like (in a Chinese accent) “another USA AGW dope order, build another factory” in the background.

    My favorite part about you is when you just double down on being aggressively willfully ignorant (or just plain stupid) in the name of “pwning the libs.”

    That’s why I play golf everyday, have sex every night,

    Virility proclaimed at a level of volume and crassness that is rarely seen outside of incels desperately trying to compensate. Not saying that correlation equals causation or anything…

    BTW, since you are rolling in the dough, any interest in placing a bet on the 2020 election? I mean, your so sure in your faith in Trump that I’d guess that you’d be willing to take my easy money.

  86. Guarneri says:


    Blah, blah, blah

    Why yes I’d make a bet. What number makes you very uncomfortable?

  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @liberal capitalist: My favorite was the wind farms with the “Danger! Cancer Mills!” sign added.

  88. mattbernius says:


    What number makes you very uncomfortable?

    Well I’m just a loud mouth working at a non-profit start up. So how about $200 to the charity of the winner’s choice? Plus public bragging rights, of course…

    I’m sure you can find that between your couch’s luxurious cushions. I mean you might have steam clean it to get out all of the leavings from all the sex you’ve been having on said couch, but we all have our crosses to bare.

    Of course, if you’re looking for a more exciting wager, I’m sure MR can swoop in with someone that’s at your level.

  89. Jen says:

    How do people not understand the difference between “we have 10 years to change things before we’re beyond the point where it will matter” versus “10 years=immediate threats”?

    Runaway effects are an actual concern, and it’s quite possibly *too late already* to do anything. We don’t precisely know where the tipping point is that melting will cause methane stored in ice to be released–but, wouldn’t it be better to, you know, try to avoid that versus snarling about a report from 1989?

    It’s amazing, in a really horrifying way, to see how little people truly understand about why climate is a crisis issue. Humans are horrible at estimating their futures, and boy, we’re all going to pay for this aspect of collective myopia.

  90. CSK says:


    “In America, sex is like money. Those who really have it don’t talk about it.”
    –Patrick Dennis

  91. Libberal Capitalist says:
  92. Liberal Capitalist says:
  93. 95 South says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: A ‘Need for Chaos’ and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies

  94. Scott O says:

    “UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says …

    What do you think was inaccurate in that statement?

  95. Gustopher says:


    If only it were so simple. I understand liars. I don’t like them, but I understand them.

    Hey! Liars are great people, we just understand that a story can tell a greater truth than mere facts can.

    As a young child I was told that my family changed their name at Ellis Island due to a fear of antisemitism, which they believed was a hatred of the Dutch. That lie tells so much more about my family and my ancestors than any truth could have.

    Unless it was the truth. Or unless I just made the entire thing up as a disparaging tale about my father.

    Last time my family was together, we retold the old family stories with all our personal embellishments, and we each had a couple great ones, which we have incorporated into the family lore. I learned so much.

    There remains some debate as to which of my parents, upon getting a call from the assistant principal alleging that my brother called him an asshole, said “well, you are an asshole.” My father insists that it was my mother, despite all us remaining kids witnessing this.

    My mother has been dead for twenty years, and it’s just sweet that my father would offer this truly wonderful story to her. I like him more for that.

  96. Kylopod says:

    Fake news!

    “It was Trump who used a black Sharpie to mark up an official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map, which he displayed during an Oval Office briefing on Wednesday, according to a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.”

    Said the official: “No one else writes like that on a map with a black Sharpie.”

  97. Scott O says:

    @Scott O: Upon closer reading this line, “The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth’s temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years, said Brown.” is hogwash. I sincerely doubt that any climate scientists in 1989 were predicting a 7 degree increase in 30 years. I bet Mr. Brown was reading a prepared statement that said 30 years when it should have said 100 years. But yes, that statement was inaccurate.

    I think the rest of it holds up. We didn’t act, probably a pipe dream then and now. A 3 degree increase in global temps will happen though not in my lifetime.

  98. de stijl says:


    Why is there no post on this yet?

    It’s just so silly. Trump said a dumb thing in a tweet, but rather than acknowledging the dumb thing and apologizing, he quadripule downs on that Alabama was really, truly on the path and super threatened. For zero benefit. In fact it makes him look poorly informed and foolish and thin-skinned, and so easily avoided. Just acknowledge you were wrong.

    And yet he continues to push a false assertion that he was initially correct.

    Good lord, just own up to a minor error. It won’t kill you.

    This may be the stupidest “scandal” ever. So easily avoided had he not gotten weirdly defensive about an obvious minor error.

    And now it’s a really big thing because he made it so by being so double/ triple down friggin’ weird about it.

    He has major issues.

  99. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Oh, I’m sure he has sex every night. Alone, in front of his computer.

  100. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: It goes without saying that there have been utterly abysmal presidents who did not sink to Trump’s level of derangement. That isn’t a credit to them. I don’t feel the urge to “praise” Bush for not descending into petty, narcissistic squabbles like this. It’s like praising someone for wearing clothes. Just because Trump fails at even the most basic standards of civilized human behavior doesn’t mean we should lower our own standards for judging other leaders. Yet sometimes it feels like that’s exactly where we’re at. The most under-appreciated destructive consequence of Trump is how he numbs us to the other failures in our system.

    If you’ve ever seen the movie Game Change, one thing that’s clear is that McCain staffers like Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, though they eventually recognized the catastrophe of the Palin selection, they had nothing but the utmost respect for McCain himself. They practically worshiped the ground he walked on. And in a certain way I can understand this view. I think McCain would have been a disaster as president–he had poor judgment, was impulsive and erratic, his foreign-policy instincts were nucking futs–but I get what his admirers saw in him, and it totally makes sense that he commanded respect from those around him.

    Now contrast that with Trump. Several on his own team have called him an idiot, and if there were ever to come out hidden video footage of what was going on in the White House when he was there (sort of a visual equivalent to the Nixon tapes), I bet we’d see a ton of face-palming. I find it impossible to believe–I refuse to believe–that at any point in his entire life, anyone who has ever worked for Trump, was ever an associate of Trump, or ever counted themselves among his “friends,” has ever really liked or respected the man. It’s all transactional: people join Trump only if they think there’s something in it for them. (Even Thomas Barrack, one of the few people who’s described as an old personal friend of his, is reported to have referred to Trump in private as a moron.) But we’re all being gigantically gaslighted to make us think everything’s hunky-dory, that we’re the crazy ones for thinking this is all massively abnormal and dysfunctional.

    After Trump’s gone, whenever that happens, I suspect it’ll be like waking up from a bad dream–a weird bad dream, a paranoid Kafka-esque nightmare where nobody makes any sense. I’m sure some of the elements of Trumpism will persist–the shameless lying, the doubling down, the appeal to the lowest common denominator. But what worries me even more, as if that weren’t bad enough, is that it’ll make a lot of the public (and much of the media) vulnerable to measuring every future Republican against the ridiculously low standard Trump has set–“He may be an incompetent, dishonest, racist plutocrat, but at least he’s not Trump.”

    And what will we do with the handful of conservatives who have temporarily become our allies–the Jen Rubins, David Frums, Bill Kristols of the world, the people who spent years shilling for the likes of Bush, McCain, Romney? I’m always put in mind of the classic Onion piece, “‘Iraqi Gandhi’ Preaches Slightly Less Violence.” That’s what the American right is like: as it descends into ever more extremism, it makes a lot of people inclined to view more favorably those who aren’t quite as terrible. I’ve been making this analogy for years, in fact long before Trump, but Trump is the absolute apotheosis of it. He represents a level of dangerous unfitness like nothing we’ve seen before, and yet at the same time he makes people more inclined to be complacent about the slightly more subtle versions–the not quite as overtly deranged. That, I suspect, is going to be Trump’s most enduring legacy, but the one people are least likely to notice.

  101. charon says:


    One of those things is not like the others.

    Jen Rubin may still be a center-right person, whatever that is, but she not does merely currently advise voting Democrat, she has made it clear her divorce from the GOP is permanent.

  102. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @95 South:

    And sometimes, a rumor is not a rumor when it is researched fact.

    Item #1: With Melania, it is clear that he did not have a degree. so her getting into the USA on an “Einstein” green card is very questionable.

    Why would an eastern European model (with very little actual experience in that) get that type of fast track entry to the USA? Could it have something to do with who she was dating?

    Item #2: The $50M dollar loan to himself is a tax avoidance scheme. Trump is the lender (through a wholly owned Trump sub-company) and he is the mortgage holder.

    As a result, no tax paid on $50 million.

    There is a difference between documented illegal activities and rumor-mongering. I hope one day you can realize the difference.

    Hint: when facts are listed, in a timeline, verified by multiple sources, that does not mean that it is “fake news”.