Saturday’s Forum

All this time, so much to say.

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Jen says:

    Megan McArdle’s father has covid-19. I hope he gets better soon. Her sudden 180-turn demanding better testing from the government is certainly interesting.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Impending death has a way of cutting down the bullshit.

    Tho when the time comes, I suspect that won’t apply to trump.

  3. Teve says:

    @Jen: was she previously blowing it off or something?

  4. Kari Q says:

    My friends and I were comparing notes on what we needed to feel okay going into shelter in place. This wasn’t practical things, it was emotional needs.

    I have three pounds of loose leaf tea.

    One friend has several pounds of butter.

    Another filled their car with gas – even though it was half full and they knew they weren’t going anywhere.

    One bought a couple of power banks to charge phones and tablets – even though they knew there was little chance of a power outage.

    We all freely acknowledged the irrationality of what we were doing, and we all kept doing it any way. I hope we take the lesson forward and are understanding of people under stress who do things that make no sense to us.

  5. sam says:

    …[T]hink of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart, and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?”, she asks, “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

    To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

    David Sedaris in The New Yorker.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kari Q: This wasn’t practical things, it was emotional needs.

    Those are not mutually exclusive. Having ones emotional needs fulfilled can be what allows one to accept other deprivations with “c’est la vie” equanimity. Having a full tank of gas when one doesn’t need it may seem irrational but if it frees the mind from worry over having enough for an unlikely emergency, the resulting peace of mind is more than worth it.

  7. Jen says:

    @Teve: She’s of a libertarian bent and just a few days ago wrote a column about how insurers shouldn’t be required to pay for business interruption losses, even though businesses specifically pay for insurance to cover business interruptions caused by unexpected closures. She had another column pushing a free-market solution to the lack of ventilators, rather than using the Defense Production Act. So yeah, calling for government help when she’s directly affected rankles a bit.

  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kari Q:

    It’s about acting on the things you can control in a time where so much is out of our hand. In many ways it dovetails with the hoarding of paper and cleaning products.

  9. Kari Q says:


    Wise words.

    I’m pretty sure that was what my husband was thinking when he filled the cupboard with canned soup. He only eats it when he’s sick, so I think it must be the equivalent of my tea. He feels better knowing it’s there, even though he feels fine.

    @Sleeping Dog:

    In many ways it dovetails with the hoarding of paper and cleaning products.

    None of us have confessed to hoarding paper products. Either we were too late, didn’t think of it, or won’t admit to it.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ashley fairbanks@ziibiing·
    Yesterday 10,000 cars in San Antonio lined up for food distribution.

    More than any picture or statistic I’ve seen, this is what scares me.

  11. Teve says:

    @Kari Q: or bought an aftermarket bidet attachment in December. 😀

  12. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: i’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that in the great recession when Obama took office we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, and we’ve lost 17 million in the last three weeks.

  13. Jen says:

    @Kari Q:

    None of us have confessed to hoarding paper products.

    I have, I think, the distinct advantage of working from home prior to all of this. My husband was WFH 1-2 days a week before this also. In February, I decided that it was likely we were going to have to be locked-down, just by looking at how every other country (save Sweden) was responding. I did some quick mental math and purchased one 12-roll pack of toilet paper one week, and another 12-roll pack the following week. I’m fairly sure that should set us through the end of the state-mandated quarantine.

    I don’t know if that qualifies as hoarding or not; I would call it advance planning.

    We are, however, running low on Kleenex and going into allergy season that could well be an issue. A tissue issue.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Kari Q: I was trying to think of something I have done in response to covid and to be honest I can’t think of anything. I rather suspect my wife could name a half dozen right off the top of her head.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: It is no surprise that so many state unemployment sites are crashing left and right.

  16. Mikey says:

    France Reports Heart Incidents Linked to Drug Promoted by Trump

    Imagine that…pushing medication with little evidence for its effectiveness and bad side effects leads to injury and death.

    I guess President Metrics-In-His-Head forgot his own advice…”THE CURE MUST NOT BE WORSE THAN THE DISEASE!”

  17. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve been doing all the shopping since my wife’s ankle surgery. I confess that when I saw the near empty shelves of TP I grabbed a couple of big packages while I had the chance. Awkward to be without. Especially with a septic tank that’s a bit picky about what we use.

    I also early in the game figured I’d be laying in hurricane supplies in a couple months anyway, might as well start early. I’ve got two weeks, rather than the usual one week, of canned and dry stuff in the garage. But I’ll wait for a forecast before I fill the gas cans for the generator.

  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Kari Q:

    My friends and I were comparing notes on what we needed to feel okay going into shelter in place. This wasn’t practical things, it was emotional needs.

    Seeing early what was coming, we stocked up. My wife was surprised that I insisted on the staples (sugar, flour, yeast, etc)… now she knows.

    Wasn’t concerned about power or water, but I gave some serious thought to buying a long barrel rifle (12gage shotgun) as it would be most practical. Not concerned about the wackadoo home invasion scenarios… we just have a lot of elk that wander through the property… and a $200 gun could provide quite a feast.

    In the end, decided against it. Never owned a gun up to this point, as I saw the irrational fear and hatred that drove people to buy guns after the 1967 Detroit riots. Couldn’t understand it then… still impacted by that, still don’t want one now.

    And, if I did shoot an elk, all that remaining “mess” would likely just attract the mountain lions… and who needs that kinda problems, right?

  19. Kari Q says:


    We are, however, running low on Kleenex and going into allergy season that could well be an issue. A tissue issue.

    We have three boxes of facial tissue which should last us for a while, but this is when I usually buy more. They didn’t have any at the store last time I went, of course, so I ordered some cloth handkerchiefs online.

    I don’t think I will adjust to the idea of washing and reusing a handkerchief, but I’ll feel better having them if needed.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: I talked for a long time yesterday with a West African doctor I’m very close to about a range of things, including chloroquine. Pretty much every West African above the age of 15 or 20 has taken it, sometimes extensively, so the medical community is very aware of the side effects. He listed off a half dozen people he knew personally, not just as patients but as close friends and family members, who have reactions severe enough that they cannot take it. His wife reacted with tachycardia, with the last incident severe enough to require hospitalization.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    NYT: ‘Not as Wisconsin Nice as We Used to Be’: The Divisions in Dairyland

    The help center was offering farmers who seemed stressed or talked of suicide $100 vouchers they could use in the offices of mental health professionals across the state, a program that had been in place for several years and was paid for through a grant.

    The vouchers soon became a touchstone in the partisan battle in the Capitol.

    Several years ago, the center issued few vouchers — only 26 were distributed in 2014. But as the farm economy worsened, the need increased; seven times as many vouchers were issued just last year.
    At the help center, officials had been granted $200,000 for the vouchers and other programs through the state’s budget process. But members of the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee had yet to officially release the money to the center and cash was running low. A fight over information on the program’s effectiveness ensued.

    “What we were trying to do is be helpful to the agency and helpful to farmers who needed help,” said Representative Joan Ballweg, a Republican who is co-chairwoman of a task force on suicide prevention.

    As lawmakers fought, Mr. Pfaff said he thought back to the frosty morning a year ago when he stood outside a giant dairy barn and marveled at the wreckage from an ice storm. Heaps of snow had crumpled the roof. Animals were wounded, or worse.

    “I saw dead cows stacked up like cordwood,” Mr. Pfaff said.

    Helplessness was all he felt that day, especially when he saw a teenager hop down from his tractor to join his father surveying the tattered farm that had been in the same family for generations.

    That boy might never inherit the family farm, Mr. Pfaff thought. Only $500 was left in the mental health fund, enough for five vouchers. He couldn’t stay quiet.

    “If the Joint Finance Committee doesn’t want to move this funding forward immediately, then they have a choice to make: Which five farmers will it be?” Mr. Pfaff complained publicly.

    Republicans were outraged at the suggestion their inaction was hurting farmers. The Republican Senate majority leader, Scott Fitzgerald, fired off a letter to Mr. Pfaff, calling his comments “offensive and unproductive.”

    Republicans began rallying against Mr. Pfaff. A legislative committee at the start of the year had unanimously voted to support his nomination for agriculture secretary, but Mr. Pfaff had yet to be confirmed by the entire Senate. Rumors buzzed that Republicans might vote to reject him.

    Bunch of f’n snowflakes.

  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kari Q:

    At the start of this, my wife checked and she had a dozen rolls of TP, which should last a while, but last week got concerned that we were running low on dish soap, she eventually found some.


    Jen, if we run out of TP we’ll be in touch! 🙂

  23. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: shitty people with shitty values

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: If the shoe fits, wear it. Unless one is a Republican. They scream and shout about how unfair it is to blame them for how ill fitting and broke down the the $1.52 used work boot they bought for your right foot at the 2nd hand shop is. You should get down on your knees in grateful supplication for this largess and stop complaining about your bare, frost bitten, gangrenous left foot.

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Liquid dish soap is an easy substitute for hand soap, which is all gone. I saw the bottle of Dawn by the sink is almost empty, and I got the last one on the shelf at Publix.

    My wife uses baby butt wipes for cleaning paint brushes. There are none to be had. I guess they’re a fallback for sanitizing wipes. But the diaper shelves next to the wipes are full. As are the adult diapers an aisle over. (It’s FL, we gotta have more incontinent old people than infants.) But there doesn’t seem to be a run on either. And we’re rationing bleach for laundry, none to be had. I did score two fifths of everclear since I normally keep a bottle or two of rubbing alcohol on hand and saw it’s gone. Otherwise, liquor stores don’t seem to have any trouble stocking their shelves.

  26. Kari Q says:

    @Mikey: @MarkedMan:

    Heart disease, including heart failure causing death, is a known side effect of the drug. It can also cause permanent vision change and hypoglycemia. I keep seeing right wing commentary saying it is “safe” and I wonder how many people are going to ruin their health taking hydroxychloroquine out of fear.

  27. Bill says:

    I have been locked down since coming home from the hospital. My health is stable but I have been felt fatigued the last two mornings. My legs are tired for some reason but my breathing is ok, temperature normal etc etc

    The wife did Costco and Publix shopping yesterday and this morning. Costco had toilet paper but by the time she got in the store (There was a line at 8:30) it was gone. Dear wife bought more (Even though I think we had 8-12 week supply already) this morning at Publix. Yesterday she got Paper Towels, Kleenex, and adult wipes at Costco.

    I have some form of food allergy. Sometimes I go through loads of Kleenex shortly after eating. We only had two boxes left. So this was a need.

    From the TMI dept- Ever since I had an anal fissure over 10 years ago, Toilet paper just isn’t enough for me to get clean. So I use wipes too. Unlike most buyers in recent days, this is a product we always go through. We were low on wipes too (approximately just half a box of Cottonelle) before DW found Cottonelle in stock yesterday.

    The shopping DW did today can basically hold us for two weeks so far as odds and ends go (Milk, cat food, Eggs, Bread, Orange Juice, little things) . Dinners we aren’t short of, we have chicken, beef, fish, pasta, pork, the makings of about five tuna casseroles etc that with just a little stretching we could go 5-6 weeks without re-stocking. Our pantry is well stocked in normal times. Being a BJ’s and Costco customer account for that in addition to us having a small freezer in addition to a refrigerator/freezer.

    There is no alcohol in our home. Neither of us drink that stuff. We do have apple cider though and coca cola products aka Sprite and Caffeine free Coke.

    We’re having a roast for Easter dinner. DW and I are Roman Catholic. We will watch mass on television. Our church has been filming these, usually with her lectoring.

  28. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Happy to help out. Septic safe, single ply Cottonelle, FYI.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    General question for the commentariat. My wife and I were discussing this morning about where we want to end up after retirement, and she speculated about Burlington, VT and I was wondering if anyone here has any knowledge of the place? Or, I guess, alternatives.

    – Not too expensive
    – Actual town experience with coffee shops, neighborhood pubs, etc
    – If its a smaller town, it needs to punch above its weight culturally, like a college town. Musicians, plays, that kind of stuff.
    – Within a days drive of the Adirondacks
    – Government for the most part controlled by sane people who can think and plan ahead and who can actually try things and see how they work and try something different if it doesn’t work out

  30. MarkedMan says:

    We usually buy a mega-pack of the softest Wegmans TP and it lasts a long time. Unfortunately we were close to needing another one when this thing hit and we were mildly worried. But the other day the CVS clerk told my wife that if she came at 7am on Thursday she would get some and sure enough, we have enough for a couple of months at least. Unless my daughter and son come back home. Those kids sure go to the bathroom a lot…

  31. Scott says:


    Didn’t realize the local news went national.

    As photos go viral, pressure mounts to help S.A. Food Bank feed thousands

    They’ve had four of these events since March 30. The next one is next week at the Alamodome. In addition to their normal operations. It is a big, pretty well run operation. It is one of the organizations I regularly give to. And a favorite volunteer opportunity for teens and young adults.

  32. Scott says:

    Laffer Redux

    We must protect workers from their moral hazards.

    Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia faces blowback as he curtails scope of worker relief in unemployment crisis

    In recent days, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, who has expressed concerns about unemployment insurance being too generous, has used his department’s authority over new laws enacted by Congress to limit who qualifies for joblessness assistance and to make it easier for small businesses not to pay family leave benefits. The new rules make it more difficult for gig workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers to get benefits, while making it easier for some companies to avoid paying their workers coronavirus-related sick and family leave.

    Still, Scalia has made clear he is wary of taking an excessively lax approach to disbursing aid, an argument that he used to help win GOP support for recent legislation. Writing on Fox Business Network’s website on Monday, he warned that he does not want unemployed people to become addicted to government aid.

    “We want workers to work, not to become dependent on the unemployment system,” Scalia wrote with Small Business Administration chief Jovita Carranza. “Unemployment is not the preferred outcome when government stay-at-home orders force temporary business shutdowns.”

  33. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bill:..From the TMI dept…

    Hope this finds you on the mend.
    As for TMI, no one wants to hear about my ‘roids either. Other than that they are asleep most of the time for which I am grateful.
    Walgreens has always had their house brand 1000 sheet single ply rolls on sale @ 10 for $5 every 6 weeks or so and I stock up each chance I get. They are just as good as Scott and a lot cheaper. I live alone so I don’t have to worry anyone else’s tender tush. No issue with my septic tank. I always have at least 10 or 15 rolls on the shelf at home. I never did consider this to be hoarding just smart shopping.
    After being drunk every day for 30 years I gave up the swill 25 years ago. I choked on the butts for at least that long and was hitting three packs a day when I put them down at about the same time. Don’t miss them at all.
    More recently gave up the noble weed and as much as I do miss the buzz I’m glad I did stop about a year and a half ago considering this virus attacks the lungs.
    My remaining vice is caffeine. Can’t get enough Dark Roast.
    Be well.

  34. de stijl says:

    @Kari Q:

    Apparently my lizard brain likes bread, pasta, rice, and curry.

    That’s what I buy when I go.

    Arguably, quite adaptive. My lizard brain is pragmatic in retrospect.

    It bothers me greatly that there is no toilet paper available for sale.

    I’m tired of using Bounty as an off-label use and I can’t flush it.

    We used to mock the Soviets for this very thing – an economy and a society unable to produce enough tp.

    It’s embarrassing and shameful.

  35. Jay L Gischer says:

    In Israel, and in the US too, but less so, Passover has been completely disrupted. Traditional family gatherings for the seder were cancelled. Much to the disappointment of the faithful. (I am not Jewish, but for some reason I know a lot of Jewish people.)

    Ramadan is set to begin in the US (and elsewhere, I guess?) on April 23 this year. That’s going to be strongly disrupted, too. I know a few Muslim families as well.

    Nobody is persecuting Christians.

  36. Bill says:

    @Mister Bluster: Bottled water is something I forgot to mention.

    We prefer Zephyrhills which can be bought at Costco or BJ’s in bulk. .5 liter or 20 oz bottles that come in packages of 24-28 or 50 oz bottles that come in packages of 15. We have a water pitcher in the refrigerator and the big bottles are used to keep that fueled.

    Dear Wife and I live in South Florida which is potential hurricane country for 6 months out of year. We stay well stocked on water. 1 case of the big bottles and at least two and as many as 4 of the smaller size bottles are in our apartment at all times.

    Right now, I had lunch not too long ago, I counted 8 cases in our apartment. Two of those, both being of being bigger size bottles, are 2/3 or more gone through. We have three cases of .5 litter that haven’t been touched, and another that was just opened. Then DW picked up two 30-33 oz 6-bottle packages of water during the last few weeks.

    I drink 1-2 bottles of water daily. DW goes through as much or more, and she uses the watcher pitcher.

  37. Sleeping Dog says:


    Burlington is a wonderful city. Small enough that you won’t get lost, large enough that it has at least two of everything. Housing costs are moderate, though expensive for VT. Lake Champlain, the surrounding countryside are gorgeous. About 4 hrs to Boston, 6ish to NYC, good air connections. Downside is that taxes are high and I believe they tax Soc Sec, but I’m not sure.

    Other places in the region you may consider Portsmouth NH, though real estate is stupid expensive, Portland, ME, Rockland, ME. If you’re ex-military you’d fit right in retiring in northern NE, particularly the seacoast region of Maine & NH. Something to consider if looking at NH. The state doesn’t have an income or sales tax, but they do have an interest and dividends tax, so if your retirement income is from annuities, those will be taxed. Also NH property taxes are high.

  38. de stijl says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    If you ever decide to bring down an elk, you need to learn how to field dress a downed animal.

    It is a quite visceral thing literally.
    YouTube can steer you right.

    Be safe, be well.

  39. Sleeping Dog says:


    And let’s punish ag workers while they’re at it.

  40. de stijl says:

    @Kari Q:

    This will sound gross, but you are perfectly able to blow your nose and expel phlegm without facial tissues.

    Do it outside.

    What you would expel into a tissue and flush can easily be expelled down onto the ground.

    People blew their nose for a hundred thousand years before the advent of tissues.

    You can do this.

  41. Bill says:

    With the coronavirus putting athletic competitions on hold for a while, some sportspeople are finding they have too much time on their hands.

    Football Coach Undermines Racial Progress at Mississippi State

    Mike Leach has not yet coached a football game at Mississippi State, but he has already undermined the university’s long-held reputation for progressivism through athletics in a state with a painful racial history.

    After sharing a meme on Twitter of a woman knitting a noose, Leach, 59, this week was ordered by university officials to undergo sensitivity training, including museum visits and “listening sessions” with students, alumni and community groups. At least one player has said he will transfer because he considers Leach’s apology insincere and the university’s response insufficient.

    “That’s the prime example of why I need to leave Mississippi,” the player, Fabien Lovett, said.

    Leach, who was hired from Washington State in January, ignited the controversy last week with a coronavirus-related meme — which he later deleted — that featured a black-and-white image of an older white woman with knitting needles. The caption read, “After 2 weeks of quarantine with her husband, Gertrude decided to knit him a scarf.”

    But the woman was knitting a noose, not a scarf, evoking the Deep South’s brutal history of lynching black people. Leach apologized the next day with a tweet that said: “I sincerely regret if my choice of images in my tweets were found offensive. I had no intention of offending anyone.”

    Anyone with half a brain would know noose images or references aren’t a good ideas. Ask Kelly Tilghman or Golfweek magazine editor Dave Seanor.

  42. de stijl says:


    Be safe and be well.

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Obviously, you’ve never eaten elk. Hands down the best tasting meat I’ve ever had.

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill:This guy is definitely clueless but not necessarily racist. I’m the same age as him and in our youth the noose was predominantly associated with Halloween or westerns, whether TV, movies or pulp novels. It seems like every western had a cut scene featuring an ominous noose being tied, or hauled up the town gallows or draped over the head of the hero by the bad guys. (Was there a Clint Eastwood western that didnt have a hanging or at least a noose in it?) And pretty much anyone who did up the yard with Halloween decorations had at least one noose dangling from a tree branch. Up until well into the twentieth century it was the normal way to execute criminals or military deserters. The Nazis convicted of war crimes in 1945/46 were sentenced to death by hanging.

    Bottom line is that people with a foreshortened view of history only know about nooses in the context of sadistic and depraved white on black atrocities, but those of us with a somewhat longer context are not likely to closely associate the noose with the Klan or other town “leaders” intent on racial torture and murder.

  45. Bill says:


    This guy is definitely clueless but not necessarily racist.

    That’s my view too. He should have been smarter and knew this @#$! would backfire on him.

    I’m a movie buff but not a big fan of westerns. So my knowledge of Eastwood westerns isn’t real good. Eastwood westerns I’ve watched are Joe Kidd and interestingly enough, Hang ’em High.

    Richard Hickcock and Perry Smith were hanged for the Clutter family killings aka ‘In Cold Blood’. Other than another pair of Kansas murderers in the 60’s, I’m not sure anyone else has been put to death by hanging in the US since.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: I say thank you to Eugene Scalia, that rotten apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. The campaign ads write themselves.

  47. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Bill: He’s not a Southerner so I’d give him one freebie. But he needs to understand that there are landmines East of the Mississippi and South of the Mason-Dixon that get you sideways with whites or blacks really fast.

    As one Navy Admiral I served under stressed about personal behavior, “If there is a Doubt…that means there in NO doubt. Dont do it”

  48. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve heard that Moose would give elk a run for its money…. I’ve never tried either but hope to one day…

  49. de stijl says:


    Burlington is hard core boss.

    Lived there for a bit.

    It is a cool, bright vibrant community.

    You will not be sorry at the restaurants and bars.

    Sometimes too smug – the Austin / Portland effect. Sometimes too precious, but just walk away and it’s behind you.

    Really cool natural stuff. The lake is amazing. Friggin huge. If you desire varied topography, it is fairly flat nw Vermont.

    Biggest town in the state, but relatively quite small. The cityscape is decidedly underwhelming in scope but kills on charm.

    Almost forgot, there are a lot of hippies. Yankee hippies.

    If you need a big metropolis it is too small. If you need a small town it is too big.

    If you want a cool town, Burlington punches way, way, way above its weight.

    They do have a proper winter. Big snow, cold temps.

    When things get back to normal, the nearest big city is Montreal. Way closer and faster by car than to Boston.

    I highly recommend Burlington. It is an astounding town with great folks and amenities. Somewhat pricey. Go up or down the coast a few miles and it gets way cheaper. Well, it did back then.

  50. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Me, too. At some point, our food system will fail altogether. Right now the lines are due to people’s loss of jobs and income, and the store shelves being bare due to hoarding. What happens when many more people have no income and the shelves are bare because there’s no food, period?

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I found moose to be OK, a little strong maybe, overly tough. A lot depends on where an animal comes from, what it’s been eating, were it was shot and how well it was field dressed.

    The elk I had…

    While hitch hiking across the states I found myself welcomed into a high mountain wilderness camp of people I had never met before and they were passing a roasted haunch around the fire. One would slice off a piece and munch while the haunch made the rounds. I still remember the juice running down my chin.

    It was one of the stranger days of my life, for many reasons.

  52. Monalaa says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s outrageous how blatantly Republicans lie, but they do it because they know their followers will believe their lies. “What we were trying to do is be helpful to the agency and helpful to farmers who needed help,” said the Republican while denying any help to farmers who need it.

  53. de stijl says:


    What happens is that we starve so much we either withdraw or become predators.

    What would you do if your child was starving?

  54. Bill says:

    The what on earth is going on business headline of the day-

    Walmart CEO says we’re in the ‘hair color’ phase of panic buying

    Every time I had chemotherapy and lost all of my hair (I was going bald without chemo), it grew back a different shade of brown. Some chemo patients have had this happen.

    At least I didn’t change into a strawberry blonde. I’ll leave that for some of the fiction ebooks I wrote.

  55. JDM says:

    Some coronavirus jokes taken from San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Willie Brown.

    I still haven’t decided where to go for Easter — the living room or the bedroom.

    Classified ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.

    Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under.

  56. de stijl says:


    That was cool. You made me laugh hard.

  57. de stijl says:


    I am in the dirty copper blond phase of the covacalypse.

    This is bad. 20,000 (as of now) of our neighbors died.

    It is not an extinction virus.

  58. Kari Q says:

    @de stijl:

    People blew their nose for a hundred thousand years before the advent of tissues.

    True, but they did without toothbrushes and deodorant, too. I don’t intend to do without those things either.

  59. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Eugene Scalia, that rotten apple didn’t fall too far from the tree”

    Apparently it’s not enough that these right-wing bastards die. You’ve got to salt the ground so nothing can ever grow there again.

  60. de stijl says:


    Always salt the earth.

  61. de stijl says:

    @Kari Q:

    I go to the grocery store roughly once every ten days.

    I have not seen a single roll of tp for sale since late February.

    Looking back, I should have bought the toilet with the bidet thingy. Penny wise and pound foolish.

  62. gVOR08 says:

    In yesterday’s American Health Service thread there was some discussion of what is and is not “socialism” in the context of current political discussion. That made me curious about something I don’t recall having seen, how much of current healthcare spending is already government. I found a breakdown for 2018 from CMS.

    34% Private health insurance
    10% Out of pocket
    5% Investment
    = 49% Private

    10 % Medicaid Federal
    6% Medicaid state and local
    4% VA, DOD, and CHIP
    21% Medicare
    2% Gov’t public health activities
    8% Other 3rd party (largely government)
    = 51% government

    (I counted “investment” as wholly private, which may be debatable, and I’m not sure there aren’t a few private dollars in “other 3rd party”, but how you score these wouldn’t change the general picture. )

    Roughly half of our healthcare is government funded. The “OMG Socialism!” boat sailed long ago. Whether you want to call a particular thing “socialism” or not, we’ve long since quit having any meaningful debate (as opposed to stupid political debate) about socialism or not socialism. We’re now debating details of socialism.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: And I, for one, would still like to do that. Unfortunately, I live in the Pacific Northwest where even in July and August the water that comes out of the tap is 45 degrees max. I’ve looked into heated ones, but the closest outlet is about 20 feet by wire length to route the cord from the toilet.

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The only real change for me is that I go to the store only once a week. I also stopped going to the gym, but that was imposed by the state, so I try to take an hour-long walk most days instead. Being single and antisocial makes sheltering in place a lot easier than it might be otherwise.

  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Anyone with half a brain…

    And there’s your problem. Mike Leach may be a decent football coach–don’t follow college ball enough anymore, but I don’t recall anything in the Washington press that ever indicated that he had even half a brain.

  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Moose was a little weedy tasting for my delicate palate, but the steak I ate was good, tender, high-quality meat otherwise. I’ve only eaten elk burger, so I don’t really know because it was pretty heavily seasoned.

  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kari Q: Meh, blowing one’s nose sans tissues is easy and painless. Job sites everywhere have spots of snot on the ground, it’s not a big deal tho I can understand why some office pogue might object. 😉

  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Yeah, I think I am the same. Both I and my wife are introverts and we usually have 3-6 months worth of food on the premises just because we raise our own.

  69. An Interested Party says:

    During this weekend which includes the holiest and most important holiday in Christianity, take a few moments to consider the most spiritually impoverished president in the entire history of our country…