Open Forum

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

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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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Simone Biles gets two more skills named after her at gymnastics worlds

    American Simone Biles landed the triple-double on the floor exercise and the double-double dismount off the balance beam at the world gymnastics championships in Stuttgart on Saturday to have two new skills named after her.

    The triple-double – a triple-twisting double backflip – on the floor exercise will now officially be named the “Biles II” while the double-double tuck (two flips and two twists) dismount off the beam will simply be called the “Biles”

    Her performance.

  2. Teve says:
  3. Teve says:

    If you like subpoenaed colluders,
    And getting caught out with Ukraine.
    If you can’t stand Obama
    And don’t have any brains.
    If you like tweet storms at midnight,
    Raging out from the can.
    Do you shun extradition? I’m planning an escape.

    -Rob Payne

  4. Matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: She’s so bloody ridiculous…

  5. Mister Bluster says:


  6. Mister Bluster says:

    Had to Cry Today
    Ginger Baker

  7. Bill says:
  8. grumpy realist says:

    Brexity silliness continuing. The Bright Idea that Boris et al. have come up with is to “request an extension” (while at the same time claiming they’re not), then make enough of a nuisance of themselves within the EU (refusing to act on next year’s budget) that the U.K. will get kicked out.

    If it weren’t for the Irish border problem, I’m sure that the U.K. would have been cheerfully let go a long time ago.

  9. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Or the EU can just hold to the current status quo and just let them leave with no deal in [checks calendar] 25 days and save all the additional drama.

    Yikes! Is every one in Right Wing politics a loon?

  10. Teve says:
  11. Teve says:

    Reiterating my support for a Recent Comments sidebar.

  12. Gustopher says:

    Hot Take: Do not leap out of the bushes and yell “Surprise” to wish an elderly man with a gun a happy birthday.

  13. Tyrell says:

    The pulse quickens as you pick up your keys. You have been anticipating this moment as a child waits on Christmas. You turn the key and 825 horses, 429 cubic inches of steel and aluminum rumble to life. The car trembles. The feeling can best be described as sensual. Welcome to the new, Ford Boss 429 engine, 2019 version!
    You take to the road and the power seems unlimited. People turn their heads; even a police office gives it a glance. Drivers at the stoplights look over in awe and envy.
    You cruise through the drive-in and the people gather. You pop the hood and they look at the motor as if it was the Mona Lisa!
    “The Boss 429 is one of the coolest and rarest Mustangs ever produced, but they have gotten so valuable that most owners won’t drive them,” company owner Jason Engel said at the time. “This offers people the chance to own an incredibly rare car that they can actually drive, and with modern chassis and engine tech these cars will actually be faster and easier to drive than the original.”
    The original mill was so large that Ford had to refit the Mustang engine bay! Are you serious?
    See the new Boss Mustang 429. But it doesn’t have to be a Mustang The engine can also be fitted into other Ford cars and trucks after making some alterations.
    “Have you driven a Ford lately?”
    Story source:
    “Ford Mustang Boss 429 Goes Back Into Production With 815 HP “ (Motor 1)
    See also “1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429” (Consumer Guide) The most powerful engine ever put into a passenger car: to meet NASCAR rules.

  14. Teve says:


    Oliver Willis

    If you’re a black person backing Trump, you don’t like black people

    Andy Richter

    If you’re a white person backing trump you’re probably not a fan either

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Good advice. Indeed!

  16. Jax says:

    @Teve: I concur. It’s been pretty interesting around here, my browser is so confused with all these windows open on the same web page so I can pick up where the comments last left off on each post when I had to step away from the computer. 😉

  17. Moosebreath says:


    He kind of skips the part about constructing the moat itself, as the terrain does not naturally lend itself to holding water in one location. That would add substantially to the cost.

  18. Teve says:

    @Moosebreath: oh yeah he’s just pricing the animal aspect. I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation that was waaay too conservative and I got four hundred billion for the moat.

    This is all for fun anyway the moat is a child’s idea of a solution.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @Gustopher: One wonders about the intelligence of both sides.

  20. Jen says:

    Well, the swamp just gets even swampier. This is somewhat complex to follow, but boy howdy this does not look good for anyone: not Guliani, not Rick Perry, and surprise, surprise, certainly not the President:

    AP sources: Trump allies sought changes at Ukraine utility

  21. Moosebreath says:


    “This is all for fun anyway the moat is a child’s idea of a solution.”

    Which is why Trump thinks it’s a great idea.

  22. CSK says:

    @Jen: This is far too complex for Culr45 to follow.

  23. Cris Ericson says:

    Is Fake News Media falling back on the sex strategy?
    Getting nervous about undisclosed informant #1,
    who because #1 remains undisclosed,
    could also be the same person as #2,
    so just resort to the good old standby of a sex scandal?

    Who would throw the first stone?
    Who will throw the first stone if they themselves
    did the same thing, in regards to paying someone off to be quiet
    about sex and our fine elected officials?

    President Trump paid a woman with his own funds, allegedly,
    prior to being sworn in as President of the United States of America,
    a free country, where consenting adults have a legal right to
    enjoy each other’s bodies.

    In the United States of America, unlike some other Countries
    today on Planet Earth, WE DO NOT STONE PEOPLE TO DEATH

    Is that what Democratic Party Presidential candidate
    leaders want,
    to stone President Trump to death,
    for having had sex outside the
    marriage bed before he was sworn in as President
    of the United States of America?
    Do the Democrats want to take us
    back to the Stone Age?

    Look how the United States Congress has used your tax dollars
    to pay off women who claim they were sexually harrassed by
    members of the United States Congress:

  24. Gustopher says:

    @Cris Ericson:

    How can I talk to Vermonters without
    saying I was abused in past elections
    in which I did not win?

    I’m not a huge fan of this modern poetry with no rhyme scheme and irregular meter — it feels like poorly formatted prose — but I do really like the emphasis of “Vermonters without”.

    It pulls in all sorts of implicit meanings that simple prose cannot do. Read as prose it’s just a complaint, but with that line break it emphasizes that the Vermonters are themselves without something. Well done.

    Also, the proper term for people in Vermont is Vermen, pronounced like vermin. The ladyfolks are Verwomen.

  25. Teve says:

    Seth Abramson:

    Republicans believe Trump will break the party in two, and permanently destroy its political capital in the U.S., if they betray him. What you’re seeing from Trump, Barr, Giuliani, diGenova, Graham, McConnell and others is *literally* a global effort to save the Republican Party.
    1/ I’ve on multiple occasions heard this theory⁠—regarding the basis for Republicans’ historic treachery against the US⁠—referred to as “schism theory.” The idea is that the only thing that’d cause the GOP to betray America like this is an existential threat to the whole party.
    2/ In recent weeks we’ve heard several reports that behind the scenes at least 30 Republican senators have no love whatsoever for Trump, and would vote to impeach him if they could do so anonymously. But I think there’s a still greater fear for the future of the Republican Party.
    3/ Never forget that Trump threatened to run as an independent if the Republicans did not nominate him. It was this threat that made it impossible to unseat him as the nominee at the 2016 Republican National Convention, even though many establishment Republicans wanted to do so.
    4/ I’m of the opinion we should stop saying on TV/radio that we don’t understand why Republicans are acting this way. I get a bit nauseated when I hear folks scratch their heads about it. What we’re witnessing is an attempt to forestall the collapse of the GOP. Period, full stop.
    5/ McConnell could’ve gotten all the judges he wanted from Pence. And Republicans would’ve had an easier time passing legislation and maintaining longstanding Republican domestic/foreign policies on the budget and America’s role abroad. The issue was being unable to betray Trump.
    6/ The Republican Party has been unsustainable for a long time. It lost the vote in 1992, 1996 and 2000. It moved around voting machines in Ohio in ’04 to win the WH by 50,000 votes. It lost the vote in 2008, 2012 and 2016. It’s on its last legs, so it cheats and betrays America.
    7/ I don’t know what the solution is. I just know the GOP died when Bush Sr. lost in 1992. Since then the party has not supported the rule of law, free and fair elections, easy ballot access, transparent government, an unbiased media, or anything else that America now stands for.
    8/ So none of this should be a surprise to anyone. The Republican Party has been dying for nearly 30 years, and like a hideous giant flailing its arms about wildly as it falls into a bottomless abyss, it has grasped for *everything* Americans love to take with it as it goes down.
    9/ The problem is, our system of government lacks a mechanism to allow one of its two great political parties to die. The GOP is “too big to fail,” so it maintains access to the levers of justice and the corridors of media attention that artificially prop it up and give it power.
    10/ I think in 100 years historians will say everything that happened in this period of U.S. history was the result of no one being willing to accept that one of America’s great political parties had failed, thereafter becoming a threat to rule of law and American democracy. /end
    PS/ None of this is to say that the Republican Party was always tragically flawed in this way or that the Democratic Party doesn’t have its own problems. But the Democratic Party isn’t presently inconsistent with the continuation of America as a nation of laws and free elections.

  26. Kathy says:

    As Star Wars is leaving Netflix (The Clone Wars was gone as of October), I broke and watched the first two eps of The Good Place season 4.

    I forced myself to watch one ep on Saturday, and the other on Sunday, and to wait until evening to do so. So I guess I’ll be anxiously waiting for new eps to drop on Fridays… It will be like a podcast on TV 🙂

  27. The Great and Unmatched Teve says:

    Julia Davis

    The Trump administration is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allows the United States and our allies and partners in Europe to monitor Russian military deployments. Withdrawal risks dividing the transatlantic alliance.

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: How did you like them? I’m not sure that I’ll even watch the remaining 10 or so episodes myself. On the other hand, this is my first Michael Schur show that was ever funny enough to watch more than one episode of, so I guess that 2 seasons of decent comedy is pretty good.

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    5/ McConnell could’ve gotten all the judges he wanted from Pence. And Republicans would’ve had an easier time passing legislation and maintaining longstanding Republican domestic/foreign policies on the budget and America’s role abroad. The issue was being unable to betray Trump. [emphasis added]

    I see this as the big mistake. They should have been willing to roll the dice on steamrollering Trump from the get go. What are Red Staters gonna do? Vote Green? Libertarian? The base would have fallen in line just fine because just like centrist Democrats posited during the DLC days, “The Left” had nowhere else to go. Same is true of “The Right.”

  30. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    My main interest is the story, not the comedy, but they were funny.

    They also seem to be tackling other areas of philosophy aside from ethics. A character is engaging in solipsism. Arguably two of them are, really. Three was too much figuring out what to do with the experiment’s subjects, and some redoing of old scenes.