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. de stijl says:

    Gorgeous full moon this morning.

  2. de stijl says:

    Today I am thankful for…

    my local rib joint has a Friday special for a full rack for $9.99. Are they fantastic baby backs? No. But they are decent, and at that price a flipping bargain.

    I utterly enjoyed them. I fed like a woodtick.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    GW Bush and Obama both had 2 Sec of Homeland Security:

    Tom Ridge -January 24, 2003 – February 1, 2005
    Michael Chertoff -February 15, 2005 – January 21, 2009

    Janet Napolitano -January 20, 2009 – September 6, 2013
    Jeh Charles Johnson -December 23, 2013 – January 20, 2017

    Trump is now working on #5:

    John F. Kelly -January 20, 2017 – July 28, 2017
    Elaine Duke (acting) – July 28, 2017 – Oct 11, 2017
    Kirstjen M. Nielsen – December 6, 2017 – April 10, 2019
    Kevin McAleenan (acting) – April 8, 2019 – October 11, 2019

    I wonder if this next one will make it to the election.

  4. Teve says:

    California just banned private prisons.

  5. Teve says:

    Kevin M. Kruse vs Candace Owens. Two people enter, one person leaves.

  6. Tevr says:

    Olivia Nuzzi
    · 14h
    So Trump says he hasn’t spoken to Rudy. But Rudy tells me he spoke to Trump yesterday. Trump says he doesn’t know if Rudy is his attorney. Rudy tells me he is and he has no reason to think he’s not.

    maybe Rudy has some kind of elderly neuropathy and can’t feel the bus that’s currently driving over him. 😀

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tevr: trumpthump…trumthump…

  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    Perhaps the House should add an article of impeachment with regard to Tiny’s abandonment of the Kurds and reanimation of ISIS.

  9. de stijl says:

    Apparently Turkish forces knew exactly where the US observation post outside of Kobane was and lobbed artillery shells a few hundred yards away anyway.

    Mistake or provocation?

  10. de stijl says:


    Private prisons are a disaster.

  11. Teve says:

    Trump has properties in Saudi Arabia and Turkey and none in Kurdistan.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Testing… testing… They just want to see how much they can get away with. Answer? As much as they want.

  13. Teve says:

    After a week of pondering I think I’m down to either Pegasus 36s or React Element 55s. But I’m open to suggestions.

  14. de stijl says:


    I’d go with the Cobalt Impact Zone 3s. Not the CIZ3, but the 3s.

    (I have no idea what you referring to, btw.)

  15. de stijl says:

    @de stijl,


    Ah! Kicks!

    Buy whatever the fuck you want. Hell, buy both!

  16. grumpy realist says:

    (Brexit report) British media going into a tizzy over a possible “breakthrough” at the penultimate moment (talks between Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar). EU carefully not saying much either way. Experts are grumping that even if there is an agreement there’s not enough time left to get through the rest of the process so…extension necessary if the U.K. really wants to do this. Consensus is that a) either Boris has thrown the DUP under the bus or b) been promising everything to everyone, in which case crunch time is Monday when the brown stuff really hits the fan.

    (The idiot commentators over at the DT are screaming bloody murder at the possibility that Boris has gone back to Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement and are threatening anything from total extinction of the Tories to Nigel Farage as Prime Minister. The fact that it’s highly likely the bulk of the British population will be more or less amendable to a “deal Brexit” based on the WA has totally escaped them. The ability of Brexiters to interpret a slight majority vote on an ill-defined topic as U.K. 100% enthusiastic mandate for an ultra-hard Brexit never fails to amaze me. )

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    Brilliant political strategy? Or just plain Dumb?

    Warren trolls Facebook election ad policy with a ‘false’ ad that says company endorsed Trump
    Elizabeth Warren is buying ads on Facebook that falsely claim Mark Zuckerberg has endorsed President Donald Trump, in a deliberate ploy that targets Facebook’s controversial decision to allow politicians to make false claims in paid advertising.

  18. CSK says:

    There’s been a shooting of multiple people at a Pentecostal church in Pelham, NH.

  19. Teve says:

    @CSK: dog bites man.

    @Mister Bluster: Silicon Valley is full of greedy shitty people. Of course they’re going to make money off Trump lying. Cute trick by Warren.

  20. Teve says:

    Padma Lakshmi and 20 others follow
    Rick Wilson
    QAnons/nutter email from this morning warns me to say goodbye to my family since the arrests begin next week.


    Geez Louise what’s taking so long.

  21. Teve says:

    The Hill
    · 13h
    Attorney General Bill Barr: “This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion & traditional values.”

    If you ever wonder why the fastest-growing religious demographic is No Religious Affiliation…

  22. CSK says:

    @Teve: QAnon has been threatening Wilson and others with arrest and transportation to Gitmo for about two years now. Somehow, it never happens.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Jeez. I’d assumed Barr was backing Trumpsky because he, Barr, is a lifelong GOP and RWNJ. He’s a holy roller? That would explain a lot of things.

  24. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: yeah I didn’t see that coming, that gibberish is basically indistinguishable from Dave Daubenmire or Steven Anderson.

  25. Teve says:
  26. Scott says:

    @Teve: Saw that. Actually thought $26 is a little high for a haircut.

  27. Scott says:

    Trump said the United States would not bear the expense of the deployment. “Saudi Arabia, at my request, has agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing,” he told reporters.

    So Trump apparently believes US Armed Forces are mercenary forces.

    BTW, with their bullions, Saudis can buy their own mercenary forces. Or just deploy their thousands of SE Asian pool boys.

  28. Scott says:

    President Knows more than the Generals has put our troops in harm’s way with his gross corruption and incompetence;

  29. Kathy says:

    I wonder if instead of breaking up Facebook, they should be made to pay users for their data.

    And by “pay,” I mean “pay.” As in actual cash or a bank deposit or transfer, no criptocurrencies or “credits” for some overpriced Facebook junk service.

    I know it would amount to a very small amount per person. Too small, perhaps, to bother with for lots of people. But then FB would have to facilitate means for helping users dispose of their payments, like transferring them to a charity, for example, pooling them for a collective payment, etc.

    Lets see how they like having billions of individual suppliers.

  30. de stijl says:


    Shut the front door!

    Padma Lakshmi follows Rick Wilson on twitter? That’s so cool.

  31. de stijl says:


    The Malaysian Housemaid Brigade is fully mobilized and ready to report for duty, but they need a dude to come pick them up.

    They’re frosty 5×5, just waiting on that ride.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Wa! I never spend that kind of money on something I wear out in less than a year, but my needs and resources may be different than yours.

  33. Teve says:

    Richard Engel
    Turkey’s conflict in Syria took a major turn today. First alleged atrocities by Turkish-backed Arab militias, executing Kurds. US military officials tell me it’s true, and they are DEEPLY concerned it opens the door to BOTH ethnic cleansing of Kurds and return of ISIS/Al-Qaeda

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: From Wikipedia, it appears that he’s only a life long career bureaucrat, so he’s probably just reading a script provided by Ralph Reed.

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: Me too. Around here, I pay $10–which provides a 20% tip–when I go to the shop where an employee of the owner cuts my hair or $15 when I go to the guy who owns his shop and charges what he wants. Either way, cutting MY hair is about a 10 minute job so the hourly rate is over $40/hr., and I don’t feel bad about being so frugal.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Or just deploy their thousands of SE Asian pool boys.

    Gee, I dunno about putting guns in the hands of SE Asian pool boys…

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: And the hits winning just keeps on coming.

  38. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:


    I would push hard at FB’s DADT political ad policy.

    Have somebody look directly at the camera and spout outrageous lies about FB and Zuckerberg while subtitles say [This is a lie].

    Loop urbody in. Have EW say “Mark Zuckerberg has a prosthetic nose. His real nose was eaten off by aardvarks.” While at the bottom of the screen it says “This a lie.”

    Have Beto say “Facebook servers will become Skynet.” [This is an untestable assumption.]


    Hell, allow sketchy af Tulsi a go, too.

    At the end, throw up text that lays out FB’s policy on truth in political ads.

    Cap it off with all the participants saying “I approve this message.”

  39. Teve says:

    Facebook and Twitter and the other Silicon Valley companies that let people get away with bullshit on their service do so because they profit from it and they don’t give a shit about the consequences. if Liz Warren started putting up ads saying that Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey were arrested a combined thirteen times by the FBI for touching the childrens, something tells me they would discover a new policy Real Fast.

  40. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’m picturing the creepy guy in the background lighting off firecrackers when Jane, Wahlburg, and Reilly are being menaced by Alfred Molina in a bathrobe in Boogie Nights.

    Arguably, dude was more likely a houseboy than a poolboy.

    It was fantastic when they all flinched when the firecracker went BANG every time.

    That’s a great scene.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve:Yeah, but the new policy would only be that Liz Warren can’t post on Facebook.

  42. gVOR08 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: WIKI only says raised Catholic. Conservative Catholics are as over the top as Evangelicals (cough, Dreher, cough, Douthat, cough) and apparently Barr has some history of this sort of thing. Explains a lot.

  43. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: one of the most clueless creationists active right now is Denyse O’Leary, a Catholic evangelist.

  44. Teve says: