Thursday’s Forum

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. Lost in Quebec says:

    From CNN

    US soldier kicked out of Army after FBI says he enlisted to become better at killing Black people

    A former soldier who prosecutors say claimed he enlisted to become better at killing Black people was kicked out of the Army following an FBI investigation that uncovered ties to White supremacist organizations and Nazi ideology.
    Killian M. Ryan was arrested August 26 and charged with one count of knowingly making a false statement on his application for a secret security clearance, according to court records. On the same day, he was discharged from the Army for “serious misconduct,” said Lt. Col. Terence Kelley, an Army spokesman.

    Prosecutors say Ryan operated social media accounts where he was in contact with extremists, including where he made the shocking claim about why he decided to join the military.

    Ryan had been serving as a Fire Support Specialist and held the rank of Specialist when he was discharged, Kelley said. A Fire Support Specialist gathers intelligence and enemy target positions to help the Army in deploying and firing artillery. The job requires a secret security clearance. Ryan had served with the 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery and the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. He had not deployed.

    The former paratrooper was discharged for multiple driving under the influence of alcohol violations, according to a defense official, but prosecutors say they found far more serious issues during their investigation.

    On his application for a secret security clearance in May 2020, Ryan allegedly said that it had been more than 10 years since he’d been in contact with his father, who has felony convictions for drug violations and auto theft.

    But investigators found a number of social media accounts, all allegedly registered to Ryan, which were used to contact his father during the 10-year period. They also found recent photos of Ryan with his father, court records say.

    When investigators further probed the accounts, they noted that one of Ryan’s accounts had “been in contact with numerous accounts associated with racially motivated extremism,” court records said. The account username referenced Sigurd — a figure in Norse mythology that is sometimes co-opted by White supremacists — and an email registered to the account referenced Nazi ideology.

    The world is full of nuts.

  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    There was a poll out yesterday, that DeSantis’ lead over Christ was down to 3%, about the margin of error. There is a reason that Romney didn’t run for reelection as MA gov, when he planned to run for Prez. The risk of losing is real and even underperforming expectations can seriously damage a candidates chances. Here’s hoping that DeSantis suffers that fate. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    In Voter Fraud, Penalties Often Depend on Who’s Voting

    No surprises as to who gets off and who faces stiff penalties. what is amazing is how little fraud there is, 1.5 cases on average per state. Most states treat individual fraud as a minor crime, but a few, and you can guess which ones… They also treat the offenders much differently.

  3. CSK says:

    @Lost in Quebec:
    I do love the fact that his first name is Killian.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    John Green
    The United States will soon drop out of the Top 50 nations in terms of life expectancy.
    Every country above us has a public option for health insurance of a publicly funded healthcare system. Not some. Not most. Every single one.

    ian bremmer
    china passes united states in life expectancy
    should be a headline in every us newspaper

  5. CSK says:

    There are two good articles in today:

    “Trump Is Caught in a Double Bind,” by David A. Graham

    “The GOP’s Dominant Faction Isn’t Conservative Anymore. It’s Authoritarian,” by Peter Wehner

  6. Scott says:

    The mainstream pundits, commentators, and media don’t want to touch this subject but Christian nationalism is, in my opinion, at the core of the danger to democracy that everyone is currently wringing their hands over.

    Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn: Government insider to holy warrior

    The crowd swayed on its feet, arms pumping, the beat of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” thumping in their chests. The people under the revival tent hooted as Michael Flynn strode across the stage, bopping and laughing, singing the refrain into his microphone and encouraging the audience to sing along to the transgressive rock anthem.

    “We’ll fight the powers that be just/Don’t pick our destiny ‘cause/You don’t know us, you don’t belong!”

    The emcee introduced him as “America’s General,” but to those in the audience, Flynn is far more than that: martyr, hero, leader, patriot, warrior.

    The retired lieutenant general, former national security adviser, onetime anti-terrorism fighter, is now focused on his next task: building a movement centered on Christian nationalist ideas, where Christianity is at the center of American life and institutions.

    Flynn is “one of the most dangerous individuals in America today,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian and expert on authoritarianism and fascism who wrote the book “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present.”

    “He is spearheading the attack on our democracy, which is coming from many quarters, and he is affiliated with many of these sectors, from the military to Christian nationalism to election denial to extremist groups,” she said. “All of this comes together to present a very live threat. And he’s at the center.”

  7. Scott says:

    And the religious liberty scam goes on:

    HIV PrEP coverage violates religious freedom

    A federal judge in Texas on Wednesday ruled that the government cannot require a Christian-owned company to cover HIV preventative medication because it violates their religious rights under federal law.

    District Judge Reed O’Connor said that the Department of Health and Human Services did not provide any “compelling” evidence to argue that “private, religious corporations” should be required to cover HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly known as PrEP, “with no cost-sharing and no religious exemptions.”

    O’Connor ruled that ACA’s PrEP mandate violated Braidwood’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected.”

  8. Mikey says:


    The crowd swayed on its feet, arms pumping, the beat of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” thumping in their chests.

    Here’s what Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider has to say about this:

    ATTENTION QANON, MAGAT FASCISTS: Every time you sing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” remember it was written by a cross-dressing, libtard, tree hugging half-Jew who HATES everything you stand for. It was you and people like you that inspired every angry word of that song! SO FUCK OFF!

  9. Scott says:

    @Mikey: Hope that was accompanied by a cease and desist letter or a lawsuit.

  10. Mikey says:

    @Scott: Snider has issued cease-and-desist letters, but of course the MAGA people consider themselves entitled to whatever so they just ignore him.

  11. Tony W says:

    @Scott: Biden needs to recall General Flynn and submit him to a military tribunal. I don’t say this lightly – he appears to be a traitor to his nation.

  12. CSK says:

    Queen Elizabeth II is “under medical supervision” at Balmoral, and all her children have gone there to be with her.

  13. Kathy says:

    Aeroflot announced yesterday it’s buying over 300 narrow body aircraft from Irkut, Sukhoi, and Tupolev.

    Sukhoi currently makes a regional jet modestly called Superjet. This was the plane that helped bankrupt Interjet. Tupolev makes a narrow body not unlike the old B757, used mostly by the Russian government (it saw service in Russian, Cuban, and North Korean airlines, too).

    Irkut makes the MC-21, a mainline narrow body intended to compete with Boeing and Airbus. It got delayed in certification, in part, because they decided to replace the joint venture engines with Russian made ones a couple of years ago.

    All three companies are trying to use Russian made components. I don’t know if that’s even possible. neither Boeing nor Airbus use only US or EU made components, after all.

    the thing is, Russia won’t be getting new Airbus or Boeing planes any time soon, so they’re making their own.

    The MC-21 has been coming for over a decade. Consensus is the Mad Vlad regime can force its domestic airlines to acquire it, just like Xi will make Chinese airlines take the COMAC C919. Now they have no choice. No doubt Cuba and North Korea, and maybe Iran, will take some, and for the same reason.

    Other than that, prospects will depend on the quality of the aircraft. Safety, fuel burn, passenger experience (no, really), maintenance costs, reliability, etc. This remains to be seen, but the Superjet’s record does not bode well. Interjet pretty much cannibalized half its fleet to keep the other half going, then parked them (until lessors repossessed their A320/1 fleet due to lack of payment).

    In other words, it’s beginning to look a lot like the Cold War years for Soviet civil aviation (what?). Only these times they have fewer client states, and are in no condition to impose terms on some of them.

  14. Kathy says:


    Sitting heads of state tend to seem to die suddenly, because their overall health condition is usually not made widely known.

    The Queen is in her mid-90s, I think, and despite what her subjects might feel like, she’s as mortal as the rest of us.

  15. CSK says:

    Steve Bannon, despite his vow to shoot it out with the cops, has surrendered to NY authorities.

    Chicken. Loser.

  16. Kathy says:


    First they came for Steve Bannon, and I cheered and whooped and smiled, because its about time for seditious miscreants to face the consequences of their treasonous, criminal activities.

  17. Scott says:

    @Kathy: Looks like they’ll have to do the same with their automobile manufacturing which currently looks to be a lot of joint ventures with Western manufacturers. Maybe carburetors will have a comeback.

  18. JohnSF says:

    It’s been plain that the Queen has been ailing for some time.

    Beyond actual reports of illness, and calling of attendances due to medical advice, there’s the more general handover of many duties to Charles, like the last Royal Speech for the Opening of Parliament.

    Moving from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle; staying at Balmoral and having Johnson and Truss go there for resignation and appointment.

    It’s not a surprise, to anyone who pays attention.
    Will not make it much easier, though.

  19. CSK says:

    When I was a young teenager, I read an article by an American journalist about QEII that ended with a quote from a London cabdriver: “Your presidents come and go. Our queen, God bless her, is forever.”

  20. EddieInCA says:


    The crowd swayed on its feet, arms pumping, the beat of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” thumping in their chests.

    Here’s what Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider has to say about this:

    ATTENTION QANON, MAGAT FASCISTS: Every time you sing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” remember it was written by a cross-dressing, libtard, tree hugging half-Jew who HATES everything you stand for. It was you and people like you that inspired every angry word of that song! SO FUCK OFF!


  21. Kathy says:


    The foremost feature of Soviet era cars, is they were never enough of them to meet demand.

  22. Jen says:

    @JohnSF: The Queen is 96, my MIL is 80–Elizabeth II has been a constant throughout their lives for many Brits. It’s inevitable, but still will be a bit of a shock, I think.

  23. Jen says:

    What the h3ll??

    A hacker bought a voting machine on eBay. Michigan officials are now investigating

    […] And, in an additional tweet, Benson noted that the voting machine was originally from Wexford County and clarified that it was not used to tabulate ballots. (The Dominion-made apparatuses are built to function as voting machines or ballot printing devices. In Michigan, they were used to print voter ballots.)

    The U.S. Election Assistance Commission says voting machines should be meticulously inventoried and kept under lock and key “in a tamper-proof location, preferably within the election office.”

    Hursti is a cybersecurity expert who is often contracted by state-level election officials to test vulnerabilities in voting machines. That’s why he bought the Dominion ImageCast X machine as soon as he saw it online, he told NPR during a phone interview.

  24. Kathy says:


    I admit I haven’t been paying attention.


    I suppose is like your grandma dying. She’s been there all your life, too.

  25. Slugger says:

    There are a lot of articles around about the recent declines in housing prices. The tone of these articles is that this is bad. Why is no one cheering the improvements in housing affordability that this means as well? Established people who own a house are not more important than young people trying to get into one.

  26. Stormy Dragon says:


    The crowd swayed on its feet, arms pumping, the beat of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” thumping in their chests.

    From Dee Snider himself:

    ATTENTION QANON, MAGAT FASCISTS: Every time you sing "We're Not Gonna Take It" remember it was written by a cross-dressing, libtard, tree hugging half-Jew who HATES everything you stand for. It was you and people like you that inspired every angry word of that song! SO FUCK OFF!— Dee Snider (@deesnider) August 26, 2022

  27. Jen says:

    @Slugger: A decline in prices doesn’t necessarily mean affordability. It does stabilize the housing market a bit, but there’s a one/two punch hidden there…first, with interest rates climbing many homes are still out of reach for many young people. Second, home builders freak out when housing prices drop even a little bit. Delays in construction or cancellation of projects means that we’ll still be struggling for years with less housing stock than is needed.

  28. EddieInCA says:

    Oooof…. This one is gonna leave a mark…

    The Lincoln Project ad, released on Thursday, went as narrated:

    Dear MAGA, we have some bad news. No, not that he lost. Not that your little coup attempt failed and its planners and the attackers are going to jail. No. The really bad news is why Trump told you he lost. Why he set it up way before the 2020 election. It wasn’t voter fraud but it was fraud.

    Trump told you the election was stolen ripped you off, to sucker you, to take your hard-earned money and shovel it into his pockets. He spent it on himself not to take back the White House.

    It was the biggest scam in political history. Every dollar you sent him paid to keep his shady business empire and lavish lifestyle going. It was a sucker game all along. And you know who the sucker is? You.

  29. Jay L Gischer says:

    @EddieInCA: I would love to know what their game plan is for when Trump sues them for defamation. I mean, they said “fraud” right out there.

    I think they have one, I just would like to know what it is.

  30. Scott says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Well, there is this:

    Federal grand jury probing Trump PAC’s formation, fundraising efforts: Sources

    A federal grand jury investigating the activities leading up the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the push by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the result of the 2020 election has expanded its probe to include seeking information about Trump’s leadership PAC, Save America, sources with direct knowledge tell ABC News.

    The interest in the fundraising arm came to light as part of grand jury subpoenas seeking documents, records and testimony from potential witnesses, the sources said.

    The subpoenas, sent to several individuals in recent weeks, are specifically seeking to understand the timeline of Save America’s formation, the organization’s fundraising activities, and how money is both received and spent by the Trump-aligned PAC.

  31. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    The current quality of Benito’s legal representation these days?

  32. Kathy says:

    I’d tell Mad Vlad: You know you’re losing the war, when your cheerleaders complain about you losing the war.

    On the other hand, can you loose the war when you’re actually at special military operation with the enemy?

  33. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    It ain’t defamation if it’s true.

  34. EddieInCA says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Jay. Seriously? Are you freaking kidding me???? WTF?

    Top Trump Executive pleads guilty to fraud.

    n civil litigation in federal court, a witness’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment may give rise to an adverse inference “when independent evidence exists of the fact to which the party refuses to answer.”

    Trump and his foundation were just forced to admit their fraud.

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: If a company doesn’t want to allow it’s employees access to potentially life-saving treatment, I’m okay with that. I’m also okay with pharmaceutical companies listing the companies that don’t want to in ads with banner headlines reading “These Companies DGAF About Your Health.” Balance in everything. I’m also in favor of more evangelicals who take weird positions of stuff being challenged using Jesus’ own purported words.

    Even so people gonna believe what they want. And Earnest Aingley was right–Jesus can save your soul, but you’ll still be stupid. [paraphrase]

  36. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The problem is the double standard. If the company does want employees to use birth control, religious liberty means the company’s views are more important than the employees’ views. If a CVS pharmacist doesn’t want to you to use birth control, religious liberty means the employee’s views are more important than the company.

    It’s basically a religious heckler’s veto where whoever the most extreme Christian is gets to enforce their theology on everyone around them.

  37. JohnSF says:

    On the rather transactional nature of Sino-Russian “friendship”:

    The Sakhalin-2 LNG export plant in Russia’s Far East sold several shipments to China for delivery through December at nearly half the current spot price

    Though as Bloomberg notes, given height of current spot price, Russia is still turning a profit.
    But they miss that this is unlikely to have been gas for the EU market in the first place; it’ll be from the Far East fields, that sell LNG in east Asia, unless I’m much mistook.

  38. Jay L Gischer says:

    @EddieInCA: I think you misunderstand me. I’m not doubting they have a case. What I’m wondering is just what punches they are gonna use. If it gets into discovery, what are they gonna ask for? And so on.

    Let me elaborate. A political ad that goes so hard in accusing someone of criminal activity is really unusual. And it’s even more unusual to tell people “you have been conned”. Generally, doing that doesn’t work at all. So what’s up with this?

    I think I get it now, though. This is the sort of thing that definitely makes Trump look bad. It is serious bait to him. He feels, rightly or wrongly, that not responding to it would make him look weak, and admit to the charges. So he’s really motivated to respond. But how’s he going to respond? The logical thing would be a defamation lawsuit, targeting the accusation of “fraud”.

    None of the cites responding to me above show that fundraising with regard to the “stolen election” has been prosecuted successfully as fraud. So that seems to be the line of attack.

    Trump bilks people routinely, but generally skirts the line of outright fraud. Generally. He has never incurred criminal liability for fraud.

    So just how is this going to play out? I’m sure that the Lincoln Project has gamed this out and think it’s lose-lose for Trump. He loses if he doesn’t respond, and they’ve got a plan for the hurt if he does. I would love to know their plan, that’s all.

  39. Skookum says:

    Los Angeles Times Michele Obama reflects on U. S. turmoil

    The very mention of democracy seemed freighted with meaning. And as she continued, describing America’s peaceful transition of power — long taken for granted until Trump’s brazen attempts to retain the presidency after losing the 2020 election — it was clear whom she was talking about, even though she never mentioned his name.

    “The people, they make their voices heard with their vote,” she went on. “We hold an inauguration to ensure a peaceful transition of power. Those of us lucky enough to serve work, as Barack said, as hard as we can for as long as we can, as long as the people choose to keep us here. And once our time us up, we move on.

    “And all that remains in this hallowed place are our good efforts and these portraits — portraits that connect our history to the present day, portraits that hang here as history continues to be made.”

  40. Scott says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Stormy Dragon: All the more reason to get rid of employee-based healthcare. These people believe that benefits are to be used to control the behavior of their employees.

  41. Michael Cain says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I would love to know what their game plan is for when Trump sues them for defamation. I mean, they said “fraud” right out there. I think they have one, I just would like to know what it is.

    Discovery, in the legal sense. The chance to get their hands on all sorts of internal papers and communications. As I recall, Trump has a tendency to drop cases, or settle out of court, shortly before the discovery process would actually have to start.

    When I worked for giant telecom companies, I was occasionally involved in projects that were the subject of lawsuits. Always a fun day when you get to work and there’s yellow crime scene tape across your cubicle’s doorway. Paralegals and technical staff thumbing through your files and making copies of the disk drives in your computers. You develop habits that most people think are peculiar. Eg, I still tend to reread e-mail messages a couple of times before I click on send, with an eye to “Did I say anything that I would be unhappy about having read in court?”

  42. Mikey says:

    Queen Elizabeth II has died.

  43. CSK says:

    Queen Elizabeth II has died.

  44. Scott says:

    @Mikey: @CSK: That is really sad. An end of an era. But she lived a life worth living.

  45. Mister Bluster says:

    With all due respect and humility.
    My condolences to you John SF and all the subjects of The House of Windsor.

  46. SC_Birdflyte says:

    The Queen’s passing is truly the end of an era. When she ascended the throne, I was a two-year-old toddler. I’m now seventy-two. She is also the last living leader with World War II connections.

  47. JohnSF says:

    The Queen is dead.
    Long live the King.

  48. Franklin says:

    @Lost in Quebec: Why are white supremacists never supreme?

  49. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    She reigned for longer than I have been alive.
    Rest in peace your Highness.

  50. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Michael Cain: Certainly a possibility and it crossed my mind. But then, what do I know about this stuff? I’m a programmer and engineer.

  51. Gustopher says:

    @Scott: I’m wondering who the insurers are that are willing to offer the religious nut policies, and whether they can be pressured to not offer that shit.

    Workers are more likely to take a job which offers well known insurance that MyPillow Health Insurance.

    Although it’s not like health insurance companies have good reputations to begin with, so the big names might not care that people are saying they hate gay people or women.

  52. EddieInCA says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I 100% misunderstood you. My apologies.

  53. Just nutha says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’ve been tripping over double standards since I was in middle school. The ugly reality is that as long as CVS will hire people who put their religious beliefs above service to the patient and defend them for doing so, the hecklers will keep winning.

  54. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    This is another example of what I really really appreciate about our hosts’ blog and site. How many other sites do you know where people remain this civil to each other, and sincerely apologize when either their comment or the response has been misunderstood, or said an error.

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: And they are mostly lawyers. Even if they don’t know much about litigation, they know lawyers who do.

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Where’s the fun in that?

  57. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    By my calculations, Elizabeth II reigned for a little over 70 years. That’s far longer than Ramses II at 66 years, and Queen Victoria at 63.

  58. CSK says:


    Louis XIV of France went for 72 years. Pity Elizabeth didn’t.

  59. CSK says:

    Pres. Biden has ordered all flags to be flown at half-mast for the next ten days “as a mark of respect for the memory of Queen Elizabeth II.”

  60. Mister Bluster says:

    DOJ appeals decision to appoint special master in Trump FBI raid document case
    The DOJ’s appeal was filed at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which holds appellate jurisdiction over cases from district courts in Florida.
    The DOJ also asked Cannon to stay her order blocking the agency from further reviewing and using the seized documents that bear classification markings for criminal investigative purposes.
    The DOJ said in that request that it is likely to succeed on its appeal as it applies to the classified records, which represent a fraction of the documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago.
    Trump “does not and could not assert that he owns or has any possessory interest in classified records; that he has any right to have those government records returned to him; or that he can advance any plausible claims of attorney-client privilege as to such records that would bar the government from reviewing or using them,” the DOJ wrote.

  61. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well duh, but even a sociopathic Luddite needs an occasional respite from sitting in my secret lair, stroking my pet cat Armageddon, and giggling manically.

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Huh. And here I thought your sociopathy was limitless. The things I learn.

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nearly every day fresh revelations emerge in the federal investigation of the national security and presidential records that Donald Trump purloined from the White House. So far, his alibis have been exposed one after another as empty, and we have seen no adequate public reckoning of why he took those papers, what he meant to do with them, how some went missing, or even exactly how many documents he hijacked to his Florida estate.

    As more and more evidence of the former president’s reckless and potentially criminal misconduct comes to light, he and his defenders keep pointing to “her emails.” They insist that because the Justice Department declined prosecution of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after a long and thorough probe of how she handled allegedly classified information, there should be no investigation, let alone indictment or conviction of Trump.

    But while we don’t yet know the extent or nature of Trump’s abuse of classified documents, we can determine how many were found by investigators, after exhaustive searches, among Clinton’s thousands of State Department emails.

    The accurate and definitive answer is zero – although few if any news outlets have informed the public of that startling fact. Moreover, it is a fact that the Trump administration itself confirmed three years ago.

    In the recent coverage that references her emails, former FBI Director James Comey is sometimes quoted as saying that of the 33,000 Clinton emails examined by bureau investigators, three had classification markings. That’s less than one-hundredth of one percent, and not worth comparing to Trump’s malfeasance anyway, but it’s still false — apparently meant to bolster Comey’s absurd claim that other Clinton emails were “classified” although never marked as such.

    Those three State Department documents were “call sheets,” innocuous memos reminding Clinton to make scheduled phone calls. During her FBI interview, investigators showed her one of those memos, reminding her to place a condolence call to the president of Malawi–not exactly a top secret matter. As Comey himself later admitted, any classification marking on that sheet had been wrongly applied.

    In short, the three supposedly classified documents attributed to her emails were barely even confidential, let alone secret or subject to the sanctions of the Espionage Act.

  64. Gustopher says:

    Listening to the Sex Pistols’ “God Saves The Queen”, as one does on a day like this, I was struck by the fact that since John Lyndon turned out to be a rabid conservative, and Sid Vicious’s sporadic ironic Nazi attire was to cover his genuine Nazi views, they probably genuinely did want God to save both the Queen and her fascist regime.

    Who would have thought that they were being entirely earnest at the time?

    Definite forerunners to the alt-right’s deployment of ironic white supremacy that shifts between “can’t you take a joke?” and genuine white supremacy depending on who they are speaking to. I thought fake-irony to cover deplorable earnestness was a relatively new thing that started with the internet.

  65. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: For anyone with an open mind who actually paid attention, what is remarkable about the Clinton emails is how clean they turned out to be. Tens of thousands, and she and her correspondents never slipped up on following protocol. The examples I’ve seen of the things she “should have known were classified” were laughable I suspect that if there were stronger examples we would have heard Olof them a thousand times over by now.

  66. Kylopod says:


    I thought fake-irony to cover deplorable earnestness was a relatively new thing that started with the internet.

    Nope. There’s a reason for the Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.” They weren’t ever a majority, but they did exist within the movement. The neo-Nazi skinheads started out as a punk offshoot. And the line between “ironic” ones and the real thing could get pretty fuzzy. They were the original 4chaners.

    Back when he was a big alt-right figure, Milo directly cited punk as an inspiration for his antics.

  67. Stormy Dragon says:


    That reminds me that today would be a good day to go re-enjoy the story of the time Sid Vicious tried to be a tough guy with Freddie Mercury and got his ass kicked. =)

  68. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well, that was what the DA claimed back in the day, but what’d he know?

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Sid reminded too much of the wannabe toughs in the yard. Maybe 1 in 10 was about half as bad as he thought he was… The rest not even that much, unless they outnumbered you.

  69. Beth says:


    I that’s one of the reasons I never really felt at home or safe in the punk scene here in the 90’s. A lot of the violence, misogyny, and homophobia were just covered by the thinnest level of irony and BS.

    Although, I did start getting harrassed a little bit less in school when I walked in on the first day of sophomore year wearing all black, purple docs, two inch thick wallet chains, and this tee-shirt:

    and promptly punched the first person that called me a fag in the face.

    Edited to add: I do wonder sometimes what it would have been like if he had beaten Feinstein for SF Mayor

  70. gVOR08 says:

    You’ll remember the MI board of elections turned down a ballot initiative for an abortion rights amendment because the two GOPs on the four man board didn’t like the word spacing on the petition. The MI Supreme Court just put it back on the Nov ballot. The opinion is apparently one step more judicial than, “Are you effing kidding us?”

  71. Thomm says:

    @Gustopher: one of the two, I can’t remember which, appeared on judge Judy in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. So very punk.

  72. gVOR08 says:


    what is remarkable about the Clinton emails is how clean they turned out to be.

    More broadly, the Clintons are the most investigated people in the world. And all any of the very aggressive investigators ever really found was a dubious claim of perjury* and a consensual BJ. They have to be the most squeaky clean pair of politicians in recent history.

    *I’m not going to dig back to confirm, but IIRC when asked if he’d had “sex” with Lewinsky they got the judge to define “sex” as genital intercourse. So Clinton and his team did a very lawyerly job of deception, but not technically perjury.

  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: True. But he’s a reformed and rehabilitated sociopath–as he’s often told yours truly. He no longer sociopaths just for the sociopathy of it. It’s got to be goal oriented.

  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “The accurate and definitive answer is zero – although few if any news outlets have informed the public of that startling fact. Moreover, it is a fact that the Trump administration itself confirmed three years ago.”

    Sure, but no one’s going to get any clicks for articles titled “Hillary Didn’t Do Anything Wrong Trump Administration Confirms.” And I doubt that they’re really getting any noticeable traffic from “Mar a Lago Raid–Part 25,” beyond our OtB readership, either.

  75. Jax says:

    Scheduled my updated Covid shot for Tuesday. They’re supposed to call and let me know if they’ll have the kids’ shots available.

    Oddly enough, as soon as I made the appointment, I got the bad Covid headache. Going on two days now with random stabbing pain coming in through the top of my head and behind my right ear. The headache is the only “long” symptom I associate with Covid…never got headaches like that before Covid, and they’ve come off and on ever since I had it. Never for two days running, though. Wondering if it’s psychosomatic….I’ve been low-key stressing about updated shots for months.

    If so, Tuesday can’t come fast enough!

  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Thomm: It would have to have been Lyddon given that Sid shuffled off this mortal coil in 1979 at age 21. But I’ve never been sure about how many viewers realize that lots of people went on JJ or the Peepul’s Court because the producers put up enough money to pay a modest appearance per diem as well as the total amount needed to settle the dispute. It was a good opportunity for Lyddon to stretch his 15 minutes and get paid, too. All you needed was the ability to take Judge Judy screeching “I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!!!! ” at you. Not a bad deal, all in all.

  77. Kylopod says:

    There’s a comment by Beth that I saw in my email because I’m subscribed to the thread, but which for some reason hasn’t shown up in the thread yet. (It’s got three links.)

  78. Kylopod says:

    Also, I wouldn’t call the Nazi imagery among some punks “irony” per se. I think the theme was shock value.

  79. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod: The Dead Kennedys did a whole song about Nazi punks.

  80. Kylopod says:

    @Mikey: Yes. I mentioned it in my previous post.

  81. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod: Aha, I didn’t scroll up far enough.

    I was a mid-80s punk and had run-ins with Nazi punks and racist skinheads. Definitely more of the latter but the former were certainly there.