Open Forum

So, what do you want to talk about?

Per suggestion, we’re experimenting with periodic open threads where readers can engage one another on topics that, for whatever reason, haven’t been brought up by the front-pagers.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Surreal Norm says:

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT):

    While I’m certain the OTB front pagers have points of view/biases about MMT, I’m also confident that there would be a fair presentation on its pros and cons plus what the proponents of MMT expect from it.

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  2. An Interested Party says:

    A question that needs to be asked of every single Democratic candidate for president:

    But in the event that you cannot, actually, bring us together—if a defeated Trump continues to hold sway among the Republican base and your Republican colleagues, if the Republican Party continues to demonize Muslims, and immigrants, and transgender people, or accuses you of supporting infanticide, or attributes your success to mass fraud or the machinations of a Jewish banker, if, in short, the election of another African-American, or a woman, or a socialist, or even a liberal, has the effect not of lessening political divides but of deepening them severely—how, exactly, do you intend to govern this country?

    As the Obama presidency amply illustrated, the only way that Democrats will be able to get anything done should they win the presidency and both houses of Congress will be to get rid of the filibuster…playing “nice” or by the “rules” or by the standards that have been practiced in Washington for so long will only get them another Republican asshole like Trump in the White House…

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  3. Kylopod says:

    Just a summary of my problems with OTB’s current commenting system (which have been discussed before, but have not been resolved yet):

    1) Number of comments often does not update without hitting refresh.

    2) Have to keep retyping name and info each time commenting.

    3) Still no preview available–always gives the message “Preview error.”

    4) Doesn’t update the upvote/downvote counter to previous comments until a new comment is posted to the thread.

  4. Kylopod says:

    @An Interested Party:

    will only get them another Republican asshole like Trump in the White House…

    That’s why I believe restoring voting rights should be a #1 priority the next time Dems get into power.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    That’s why I believe restoring voting rights should be a #1 priority the next time Dems get into power.

    Indeed, like in this bill…but with the filibuster, it will never go anywhere…

  6. Gustopher says:

    I’ve just discovered that Pete Buttigieg has a one-eyed dog.

    I have a one-eyed cat, so I approve, but this level of pandering really has to stop. It’s getting ridiculous.

  7. Guarneri says:

    Purdue slaughters Villanova by 26.

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  8. Mister Bluster says:

    Switzerland edges Sweden to win world women’s curling title
    WATCH | Tirinzoni edges Hasselborg for gold:

  9. Mister Bluster says:

    For some reason the edit function is unavailable.

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    If Trump is not a White Power advocate why do the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi’s support him?

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  11. Kylopod says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    If Trump is not a White Power advocate why do the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi’s support him?

    Playing a little devil’s advocate, being supported by a group doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ideologically aligned with that group. In 2008 the McCain campaign made hay over an “endorsement” of Obama by a spokesman for Hamas.

    What’s more telling is the tacit support that Trump has given to them. To my knowledge Obama never called Hamas “very fine people.”

  12. Hal_10000 says:

    @Kylopod:

    This particularly applies to white supremacists, who tend to be the barnacles of the political world, latching onto anything perceive as outsidery. For years, they latched onto Ron Paul despite his opposition to things like the War on Drugs.

  13. Stormy Dragon says:

    @An Interested Party:

    One thing I’d like the Democratic president do, which would be easier given it would not require the legislature’s cooperation, is rescind the Civiletti opinion that created government shutdowns and return to the previous status quo of funding continuing at the previous levels in the absence of a new appropriations bill.

  14. Teve says:

    @Surreal Norm: I really need to get up to speed on mmt. I had some economics in college, but nothing that ever covered that. My total exposure to mmt comes from Krugman and a few others bitching about it on Twitter.

  15. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: Democrats have to control the Senate, and the legislative filibuster has to go, or nothing will be accomplished. McConnell has basically said publicly that nothing is more important to him than the government failing when a Democrat is in the White House.

  16. Teve says:

    Florida being part of the Deep South and thanks to voter suppression Republicans are barely holding on to power here, I assumed it would be years before Florida legalized marijuana. THC extracts were legalized for medical patients, but not the plant itself.

    A few weeks ago on a hike a friend of mine said no you don’t understand, DeSantis is a piece of shit, but some cancer people got to him and made the case that they really need to legalize smokable pot because it works better for various horrible diseases, and he’s going to do it.

    I was skeptical but literally the next day the DeSantis came out in favor of allowing the plant for medical purposes. So I think recreational is just around the corner.

    if we can get problem alcoholics to switch to pot, I think potentially millions of lives can be saved.

  17. Kylopod says:

    @Hal_10000:

    For years, they latched onto Ron Paul despite his opposition to things like the War on Drugs.

    I fail to see the contradiction there. Are you suggesting that WNs should support the War on Drugs because it systematically discriminates against POCs? Maybe–but to my knowledge I’m unaware that WN groups have ever held a strong opinion on the subject one way or the other.

    In any case, it’s hardly esoteric why they’d support a candidate who openly opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to this day; who refused to return donations from the founder of Stormfront; who agreed to appear on a white-nationalist radio program; who had his name signed to a newsletter filled with racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism, and although he eventually disavowed the newsletter and claimed it had been ghostwritten, is still on record having openly defended an article that referred to teenage black robbers as “fleet of foot”; and has endorsed a range of crackpot ideas popular on the far right. In the words of David Neiwert in his informative recent book Alt-America:

    Rather quietly and under the radar, Paul managed to unite nearly the entire radical right behind himself, more than any presidential candidate since George Wallace in 1968…. Virtually every far-right grouping–neo-Nazis, white supremacists, militias, constitutionalists, Minutemen, nativists–in the American political landscape lined up behind Paul. White supremacists from the Nationalist Socialist Movement (NSM), the neo-Nazi website Stormfront, National Vanguard, White Aryan Resistance (WAR), and Hammerskins became outspoken supporters of Paul and turned out to rally for him at a number of different campaign appearances. At a Paul rally in August 2007 in New Jersey, a sizable number of Stormfronters showed up. Paul made no bones about welcoming this source of support. Paul made headlines by declining to return a donation from Stormfront‘s proprietor, Don Black, and later posed with Black and his son Derek at a Paul event in Florida.

    Paul’s appeal to the extreme right was a natural outgrowth of his identity. Much of his popular image was predicated on the idea that he was a libertarian Republican–he was the 1988 presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party…. But a closer examination of Paul’s brand of politics showed that he had a closer affinity to the John Birch Society than any genuinely libertarian entity. His declared goals of fighting the New World Order; eliminating the Federal Reserve, the IRS, and most other federal agencies; getting us out of the UN; ending all gun controls; reinstating the gold standard–all were classic elements of far-right populism…. Paul’s multiple appearances on Alex Jones’ radio programs were the best evidence of his close relationship with the conspiracist right.

  18. Kylopod says:

    @Teve:

    Florida being part of the Deep South

    Beyond the northern tip of the state near the Alabama and Georgia borders, this is a very questionable designation.

  19. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: 32 of my 42 years have been spent in North Florida. South of I-4 is more like a northern state, but north of I-4 is the Deep South. I was born in a trailer park in Lake City. The county I live in went 71% for Trump. The only reason it wasn’t more is the county is 20% African-American. If we were to drive 20 miles north of here I could show you a Confederate flag the size of a tennis court flying on a hundred foot tall pole. A friend of mine closed on a house about 5 years ago, and the deed still says that no negroes are allowed to live on the property, unless they are servants to a white family residing on said property. Last year a trailer 2 miles north of me exploded. Guess what the inhabitants were synthesizing?

  20. An Interested Party says:

    This particularly applies to white supremacists, who tend to be the barnacles of the political world, latching onto anything perceive as outsidery. For years, they latched onto Ron Paul despite his opposition to things like the War on Drugs.

    Interesting how they only latch onto Republicans…

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  21. Kylopod says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Interesting how they only latch onto Republicans…

    Usually. Recently David Duke endorsed Tulsi Gabbard for president. I admit to being a bit baffled by this.

  22. Bob@Youngstown says:

    I’d like assurance that Doug is Ok and will be rejoining OTB soon.

  23. Andy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Just a summary of my problems with OTB’s current commenting system (which have been discussed before, but have not been resolved yet)

    Oh wow, and here I thought it was just me!

  24. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Curling is a very underrated sport.

    I used to live very close to the St. Paul Curling Club on Selby Ave. It was one of those members clubs where you had to give them money up front to join. This was decades back.

    Some of the people were basically just jacking around and having fun with their friends, but some were really good and super competitive. At one point the entire US Olympic team was people from that club and the one up in Duluth. And they were just average Joe’s or Jo’s who worked at the tire plant or drove for UPS. Just dudes and dudettes chilling out and curling.

    You could drink cheap beer and watch world class curlers for free. (Well, you did have to buy your beer, but it was relatively cheap all things considered and a bargain it was.)

    You look at the rocks and you think to yourself that’s probably really heavy – it’s basically a cubic foot of granite – That has got to be heavy. And then you lift one and immediately go this is *super* effing heavy holy crap. It’s like when you know you’re going to jump into cold water and you mentally prepare and then you do it and it so much more cold than you had prepared for.

    Btw, if you live north of St. Louis, your town likely has a Polar Bear club and they do the ritual dunking on New Year’s Day – join that club! Seriously, I’m speaking true! It’s cathartic and intense and oddly fun, rather funnish – it’s fun adjacent. Do it! On your deathbed you could reminisce. You can never fully prepare for cold it will be. It shocks a “Whoa! shout out of you reflexively. What else are you doing on New Year’s Day anyway – watching college football where you don’t care about the outcome.

    Whereas, you could be brave and really, really stupid and jump into a hole cut in the ice into freezing cold water.

    There’s nothing more American than doing some random stupid shit because it looks fun.

    Speaking of Selby Ave., here are The Selby Tigers. I like this clip a lot because the audio is wonky and you can’t hear the vocals at all, so you’re just left with the sheer joyous catharsis of thrashing.

    https://youtu.be/ytOD9ZxLvEs

  25. de stijl says:

    My favorite thing that happened this week was here on OTB. Gustopher just dropped this in a comment.

    “and be excellent to one another”

    She or he didn’t call it out and point at it and say look at clever I am, it just organically happened.

    And we had Albert Camus also organically appear on top of Bill and Ted. Life is good.

  26. de stijl says:

    What James, Steven and Doug do is hard. It’s flat-out work and not well compensated.

    We chip in from the side-lines and offer our own takes, but being a principal on a site like OTB is hard work and difficult. You are essentially honor-bound to write well thought-through and properly cited text every day. And as Doug said in a cri de coeur it’s basically SSDD every day forever.

    Very briefly, I was a principal on a site. You have to produce content every day. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. We did a few good bits that no one read, but, thankfully, we pulled the plug. Apparently, you cannot generate traffic out of recycled Sulu “Oh my” gifs.

    James, Doug and Steven produce publication worthy pieces every day. That’s really hard! We owe them our thanks.

  27. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    curling

    Funny… You don’t look curlish.

  28. EddieInCA says:

    @de stijl:

    James, Doug and Steven produce publication worthy pieces every day. That’s really hard! We owe them our thanks.

    This!!!!!

    Thank you.

  29. de stijl says:

    Basically, every piece here is an analysis or opinion piece, and that requires time and effort, and these dudes do not phone it in. You have to marshal a bunch of words into a coherent whole and cite. Every piece posted here takes hours of hard, thoughtful work. This is not an aggregator.

    There was a Right-leaning guy who just blockquoted text he approved of and appended “Indeed.” And he was hugely influential at the time. It was such a scam – “Indeed” was his entire input. Who the hell was he?

  30. de stijl says:

    I cannot recall of a single fellow Polar Bear I actively dislike. Can you say that about your social circle?

    People who intentionally jump into freezing cold water just for the experience of it are a self-selecting group.

    Next January, be stupid and jump in.

  31. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Don’t credit me too much, I was quoting James Pearce back at him — he had quoted Bill and Ted a month or so ago, and everyone mocked him for it. But, he’s not wrong.

    I don’t think that “be excellent to one another” is the be all and end all to solve all our problems in this country, but it’s a start. A necessary start.

    It’s one of the few things Pearce has written that has managed to get through to me, possibly after I mocked him for it. I’ll still assume that some people are lost causes — the Eric Floracks and the Ben Wolfs of the world — but most people, at least in real life, aren’t.

  32. de stijl says:

    I so want to get into ice boating. I need a less expensive outlet. I’m a Vespa guy and I have an ice blue lil beauty. We could be scooter buddies. I love her – she’s so pretty and perfect and aesthetically designed so well. But expensive as fuck.

    Whereas, ice boating could be just the ticket. The up-front is fairly minimal as far as I can tell, and the pay-off is immense. You sit on a wee skating platform and get rocketed around by the wind in your sails. Sign me up.

    Here’s Steven Ogg in GTA5 riffing on being scooter brothers. And then he just shoots the guy down at the end with an SMG. Bloody hell! Still, quite amusing.

    https://youtu.be/BEHXXcW1i8s

  33. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Being excellent to one another is more than a good start. It’s an entire ethos I can totally get behind.

    And if Pearce unironically loves B&T, I’ve misjudged him a bit.

    Also, it’s sort of in the same space as B&T, Dude, Where’s My Car is a gem. It nails the premise. I love and adore Dude, Where’s My Car so hard. It’s intentionally stupid.

    The bit where they’re seeing each others tats and utterly unable to communicate is amazing. It’s so stupid, but it makes me laugh every time. Dude. Sweet.

    And Hal Sparks and Mary Lynn Raskjub and others (Andy Dick your bit wasn’t funny).

    Excluding Andy Dick, that was a good movie. Fight me.

  34. de stijl says:

    This week, the movie I’m most psyched for is Jordan Peele’s Us.

    Get Out was amazing. Genre horror with a point. Many points, actually.

  35. James Joyner says:

    @Surreal Norm:

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)

    I’ve seen a few debates on the issue but don’t know that I have enough expertise to add anything or have formed a strong enough lay opinion to weigh in at this point.

    @Kylopod:

    problems with OTB’s current commenting system

    Yes, they’re annoying. They even impact me occasionally, especially from my phone. Alas, it’s $150 an hour for my IT guy to try and figure it out and I’m already sunk quite a money into it without success. It’s apparently a really hard thing to track down given the number of variables.

    @An Interested Party:

    the only way that Democrats will be able to get anything done should they win the presidency and both houses of Congress will be to get rid of the filibuster

    Probably. I think this is inevitable if probably bad for the country. I think I’ve written on this but I’ll likely write more over time.

    @Stormy Dragon:

    rescind the Civiletti opinion that created government shutdowns

    Doug wrote a couple posts advocating this during the last shutdown. I tend to agree, although long-term automatic continuing resolutions are almost certainly unconstitutional and create bad incentives.

    @de stijl:

    What James, Steven and Doug do is hard. It’s flat-out work and not well compensated.

    Thanks! And, yes. It began as a hobby, briefly turned into a money-making venture, and is back to a hobby. The ads generate so little money that I’ve considered just stripping them altogether.

  36. de stijl says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I used to work for a guy who could talk to any audience and win them over. He could punch out a slide deck in an afternoon and it made sense and told a compelling narrative. He was a capital L Leader. I fed him the technical bits which he correctly glossed over because it wasn’t pertinent.

    It was confounding. I was as smart as him and had comparable if not superior verbal skills, but, in comparison, my efforts were feebly amateurish – too heavy on details about the process, but guy could tell and sell a story.

    I cannot do what Doug does. And he does it every day.

  37. wr says:

    @de stijl: “It was such a scam – “Indeed” was his entire input.”

    That is such a vicious slander. Many of his posts were actually much longer: “Heh, indeed.”

  38. wr says:

    @de stijl: “And if Pearce unironically loves B&T, I’ve misjudged him a bit.:

    My secret shame: Many years ago, when I worked as a script reader, I passed on Bill and Ted. Didn’t get it at all, thought it was one unfunny joke repeated over and over again.

    I think it’s the only thing I ever passed on that went on to make money…

  39. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “The ads generate so little money that I’ve considered just stripping them altogether.”

    But then how will I know what one thing to eat if I have toenail fungus?

  40. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: Have you ever considered Patreon? I’d sign on and I’m sure others would too. It won’t make you rich but it should at least cover the costs of the site.

  41. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Have you ever considered Patreon?

    I established a Patreon account about a year ago and put a button near the top of the right sidebar. But I’ve never promoted it. I feel a little weird begging for money, especially with ads on the site.

  42. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    You mentioned that David Duke endorsed Tulsi Gabbard. Duke also loves Ilhan Omar, calling her his favorite member of Congress.

  43. Kathleen Foster says:

    @de stijl: You post is a spot of beauty on a rough day. Thank you.

  44. Kit says:

    @James Joyner:

    it’s $150 an hour for my IT guy to try and figure it out and I’m already sunk quite a money into it without success

    Have you checked out sites like Upwork? While I’ve not used any of these sort of sites recently, I think that you could submit a bid, and not pay (fully?) if whoever wins the bid cannot deliver.

    Also, consider passing around the hat from time to time. I know OTB was asking a while back, but most of us probably need reminding.

    I’m not sure about Patreon, as it’s likely that the community would slowly dwindle, but are there any options that would keep the content free but restrict comments to subscribers? That might also help with trolls.

    Online polls?

    Meetups? I’m guessing we are too few and dispersed to cross paths very often, but so many of the people here seem like the perfect company for solving the world’s problems over a bottle of wine.

  45. Kathleen Foster says:

    What do I want to talk about? Are you sure you want to know? I am exactly the kind of follower some of you mute in your timelines. I will personalize, state the obvious, and generally lower the Lexile level of any conversation. In return for my engagement (a reply or comment or thumbs-up or like or click on an advertisement) I will be ritualistically ignored and dismissed. An Open Forum is the razor’s edge of intellectual discussion.

  46. Teve says:

    America Blew it on Arugula

    “Arugula was put through the wringer during the 2008 presidential election because Obama’s opponents claimed that it was intolerably fancy.”

    Arugula, Dijon mustard, tan suits, Fox & Friends mocking Beto for reading books… The Republican argument seems to boil down to Real Americans are Basic.

  47. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Duke also loves Ilhan Omar, calling her his favorite member of Congress.

    I wasn’t aware of that–I don’t follow his every public statement–but it doesn’t surprise me. Gabbard is harder to understand. In his endorsement Duke wrote, “Finally a candidate who will actually put America First rather than Israel First!” That strikes me as a strange thing to say for a candidate who’s met with Christians United for Israel, was seen hugging Sheldon Adelson and was given an award by his close associate Shmuley Boteach, voted against a House resolution condemning Israeli settlements, and was not among the Democrats who refused to attend Benjamin Netanyahu’s address before Congress. It’s true that she criticized the Israeli government for the firing of rockets into Gaza last year. But to my knowledge she hasn’t said anything along the lines of what got Rep. Omar in trouble, and I’m unaware of anyone in the mainstream accusing her of being anti-Israel, let alone anti-Semitic. On the contrary, she seems somewhat palsy-walsy with the Zionist hard-right, even if she doesn’t take all their positions.

    What she has done consistently is acted as an apologist for Bashar al-Assad, and I suspect that’s what’s really behind Duke’s endorsement. Discerning Duke’s motives is like trying to crack a code.

  48. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    One of the Sandy Hook fathers has committed suicide .

    This follows the suicides, last week, of two of the survivors of the Parkland School shooting.

    Source

  49. Kylopod says:

    And all along Daryl and his brother Darryl was James Joyner’s secret identity. Who knew.

    /s

  50. James Joyner says:

    @Kylopod: He posted this on another forum and I moved it here where it wouldn’t be OT. Amusing that it kept my image even after switching out the email.

  51. James Joyner says:

    @Kit:

    Have you checked out sites like Upwork? While I’ve not used any of these sort of sites recently, I think that you could submit a bid, and not pay (fully?) if whoever wins the bid cannot deliver.

    Maybe worth considering but I’d imagine it’s hard to figure out issues on a customized theme.

  52. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Saint Louis

    I live about 100 miles southeast of The Gateway City on the other side of the Mississippi in Illinois.
    Fifty years ago when I was supposed to be in college my roommates and I would do hits of acid and then go bowling.
    I don’t need any more excitement than that.

    (I got a vasectomy years ago. Somehow freezing my gonads for no reason doesn’t appeal to me.)

  53. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: that’s nothing. When it comes out that there is no “Eric Florack”, Stephen L Taylor just likes to blow off steam by getting blind drunk and trolling under that name, that’s when the shit’s going to hit the fan.

  54. CSK says:

    @Kylopod: Duke appears to see Omar as a fellow anti-Semite, and his hatred of Jews exceeds his hatred of people of color. That’s true of many white nationalists, as we saw in Charlottesville.

  55. Kylopod says:

    Maybe if the open forum becomes a regular thing and all OT comments get booted here, it should stay at the top of the page so that people’s OT comments don’t get lost in the shuffle.

  56. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Duke appears to see Omar as a fellow anti-Semite, and his hatred of Jews exceeds his hatred of people of color.

    I get that (though he has gushed over Steven Miller, so his enemy-of-my-enemy logic does sometimes go in the other direction), it’s his love of Gabbard that’s perplexing, since she is not commonly perceived by anyone in the mainstream as either anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, and in fact she seems to have cultivated a relationship with supporters of the Israeli hard right. So what’s the appeal? She’s biracial, liberal, and at least moderately pro-Israel. It seems like Duke is basing it entirely on her Syria apologia. He thinks that makes her a stealth foe of “Israel First.”

    OTOH, I’m probably overthinking this. White nationalists have a history of trolling the media like this. I remember in the 1990s an Aryan Nation leader was quoted calling OJ Simpson as a hero, on the grounds that he got rid of a Jew and a race traitor.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr:

    But then how will I know what one thing to eat if I have toenail fungus?

    From the million other places you go on the interwebs? Maybe from your mailbox. It shows up as an ad on my Yahoo mail from time to time.

  58. James Joyner says:

    @Kylopod:

    Maybe if the open forum becomes a regular thing and all OT comments get booted here, it should stay at the top of the page so that people’s OT comments don’t get lost in the shuffle.

    I’m thinking maybe Sunday and Wednesday nights? Or every third day? Given the site design, it would be weird to have Open Forum as the huge post atop the page. Maybe I could add it to the top menu or something. [EDIT: Done. It’s at the right of the category menus in red at the top of the page. Does that work?]

  59. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Dude, Where’s My Car? is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.

  60. Tyrell says:

    March Madness is in full swing: upsets and amazing last second finishes. The football bowl series is good, but not as good as this is getting to be.

  61. Teve says:

    The Hill
    @thehill

    Sarah Sanders: “They literally accused the President of the United States of being an agent for a foreign government. That’s equivalent to treason. Thats punishable by death in this country.”

    And the comments are full of QAnon people supporting Sanders.

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I’m not seeing this upthread, so I’ll add it. Yahoo posted earlier today that one of the Sandy Hook parents took his own life today. It just keeps piling up.

  63. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: I certainly wouldn’t consider it begging to have a once a week post that basically said “OTB has a Patreon account to help support the site. Here’s the link.”

    And now I’m off to join.

  64. MarkedMan says:

    … and done. I encourage everyone else to become a patron. Link is at the top of the page or this should work.

  65. Kit says:

    On the mobile site, at least on my browser, the patron link is so far down as to effectively be invisible. But I rather doubt the link location really matters as this site seems to have a small but dedicated readership. Better to try a different approach.

    Why not raise the subject once per month on the open thread? Inform us about when current finding levels will permit hiring your IT guy, and see which feature would give the most pleasure.

  66. Mister Bluster says:

    A report is out that prosecutors have dropped the case against Jussie Smollett.
    NBC TV 5 Chicago

  67. Teve says:
  68. Teve says:

    Donald Trump nominates man whose firm tripled price of insulin to regulate drug companies

    Alex Azar would be ‘a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices’, Mr Trump said

  69. Teve says:

    Coats, whom Trump, in fits of pique, apparently calls “Mister Rogers,” was quickly frustrated at Trump’s seeming inability and unwillingness to process intelligence briefings, NBC reports. Things reached a boiling point when Coats was forced to repeatedly tell the president that he had not, in fact, been wiretapped by Barack Obama. Trump, however, refused to let it go, and directed Coats to find information that vindicated his false claims. “It was a recurring thing and began early on,” a senior administration official who witnessed the exchanges told the outlet. “You could tell that Coats thought the president was crazy.”

    From Vanity Fair.

  70. Mister Bluster says:

    Just noticed that the archives are up to date all the way to March 2019!
    Good News!