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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    What You Need To Know About The Battle of Portland

    The city of Portland, Oregon is currently in the national spotlight after video evidence of federal agents driving rented vans and abducting activists went viral. This footage was taken in the early morning hours of July 15, and an Oregon Public Broadcasting article published on the 16th brought the matter out of the local social networks of Portland activists and on to the national stage.

    As I write this, mainstream media personalities are beginning to parachute into Portland to cover what some have dubbed the “fascist takeover of Portland”.

    The abduction filmed on the 15th did not happen in a vacuum. As other local reporters have noted, it was the end result of more than six weeks of escalating state violence against largely nonviolent demonstrators. I have been in the streets of Portland documenting this movement since the very first riot. Before the national press unleashes a flood of new stories based on their first few hours in town, I’d like to explain what’s been happening:

    State and Federal law enforcement are at war with the people of Portland.

    The Beginning

    A lot of good info, starting with the first night when

    At a little before 11 p.m., several dozen protesters began to shatter the windows of the Justice Center. They entered the building, trashing the interior and lighting random fires inside. I watched all this happen from feet away, and it is my opinion that the destruction was unplanned, yet more or less inevitable — you could feel it in the mood of the crowd. The 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis had just burned: there was absolutely no way Portland wasn’t going to try to do the same thing.

    Of course, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) arrived very shortly thereafter. In one of the more gentlemanly moments of the entire uprising, they gave a warning to people who’d brought their families and dogs, urging them to leave. A sizable chunk of more moderate demonstrators went home. A thousand or more protesters ranked up, and began shouting at the police. At a little after midnight, the PPB launched the first of what would eventually be hundreds of tear gas grenades into the crowd.

    The crowd scattered, pushed by police in several different directions at once. They split into several groups. One rampaged through a series of downtown banks, shattering windows and lighting fires as they ran from the cops. Another, larger group of demonstrators tore through the luxury shopping district, sacking the Apple Store, Louis Vuitton, H&M and, eventually, looting a Target. The rest of the night was a messy haze of gas, flash-bangs, and burning barricades.

    The Portland Police have stated that more than a dozen riots took place over the last fifty days, but May 29th remains the only night that truly felt like the actual people of this city were rioting.

    Riots, like this one:

    A few weeks later, on July 14th, a second march again formed up around the Portland Police Association headquarters. On this occasion the riot declaration was made after a police officer slapped the phone out of an activists hand and sent it careening into the window of the PPA building. It broke a window, which the PPB used as justification to declare a riot and deploy tear gas.

    So here’s the video, from TeebsGaming on , of an officer smacking the phone from a protester’s hand into the window of the PPA building. And the broken window is what they then used as their reason to declare a ‘riot’ and gas people. #PortlandProtest

    — KBOO Community Radio (@KBOO) July 14, 2020

    A long read but worth the time if one has it and is interested in knowing how things got to where they are now.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    And with @OzarkHillbilly: in mind, we come to this: Federal agents retreat to Portland base as protesters control streets

    Night upon night the chant goes up in front of Portland’s federal courthouse: “Whose streets?”

    The answer depends on the hour of the day. After Donald Trump sent federal agents to take control of a city he said had been abandoned by its mayor to anarchists and mob rule, the protesters still turning out in support of Black Lives Matter can make a legitimate claim that these are, as the chant goes, “our streets”.

    Department of Homeland Security taskforce agents were again out firing waves of teargas and throwing stun grenades against a hard core of a few hundred demonstrators in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The confrontation centered on the courthouse at the heart of several blocks of downtown Portland that have effectively fallen under the control of the protesters after the city police withdrew.

    But after pushing back demonstrators, many of them kitted out in helmets and gas masks, the federal agents retreated into their courthouse citadel to mocking jeers and women who were part of the “Wall of Moms” protest linking arms and chanting: “Our streets.”

    This ritual was played out three times on Wednesday morning but the end result was the same as every other night. The DHS officers dispatched by the president to put down the demonstrations have instead become prisoners of the building they are ostensibly there to defend.

    “The feds don’t have control of the streets,” said a woman holding a sign, “100% not a terrorist”, who gave her name only as Shannon. “I think they’re more scared than us. They’re hiding in there. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

  3. Jon says:

    “The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It’s like you’ll go ‘person, woman, man, camera, TV.’ So they say could you repeat that? I said, yeah. ‘Person, woman, man, camera, TV.’ Okay, that’s very good.”

    I’m not sure I have anything to add to that.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: America has a president bragging on national TV, repeatedly, that he graduated from Kindergarten. Somebody needs to give him his cookie.

  5. Jon says:


    Somebody needs to give him his cookie.

    Yeah, but to be safe somebody should probably cut it up for him first. And it better not be one of those black and white cookies, because I’m not sure I could survive a national dialogue on icing.

  6. sam says:
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sweden hoped herd immunity would curb COVID-19. Don’t do what we did. It’s not working.

    Signed by,

    Sigurd Bergmann, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
    Dr. Leif Bjermer. Ph.D., Professor, Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Lund University
    Barbara Caracciolo, Ph.D., in Epidemiology
    Marcus Carlsson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics, Lund University
    Dr. Lena Einhorn, Ph.D., in Virology
    Dr. Stefan Einhorn, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Oncology, Karolinska Institutet
    Andrew Ewing, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg
    Dr. Manuel Felices, Ph.D., Head of Endocrine Surgery, NÄL Hospital
    Dr. Jonas Frisén, Ph.D., Professor of Stem Cell Research, Karolinska Institutet
    Marie Gorwa, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology, Lund University
    Dr. Åke Gustafsson, Ph.D., Clinical Microbiology, Uppsala University Hospital
    Dr. Olle Isacsson, Ph.D., Professor of Endocrinology, University of Gothenburg
    Dr. Claudia Hanson, Ph.D., Associate professor, Global public health, Karolinska Institutet
    Dr. Stefan Hanson, Ph.D., International Health, Karolinska Institutet.
    Dr. Jan Lötvall, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Allergy, University of Gothenburg
    Dr. Bo Lundbäck, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology of Respiratory Diseases, University of Gothenburg
    Åke Lundkvist, Ph.D., Professor of Virology, Uppsala University
    Dr. Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, Ph.D., Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis, Karolinska Institutet
    Finn Nilson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Risk Management, Karlstad University
    Andreas Nilsson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Gothenburg
    Dr. Björn Olsen, Ph.D., Professor of Infectious Diseases, Uppsala University
    Jens Stilhoff Sörensen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
    Jakob Svensson, Ph.D., Scientific Data Analysis, Max Planck Institute, Greifswald
    Dr. Anders Vahlne, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Virology, Karolinska Institutet
    Dr. Anders Wahlin, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Hematology, University of Umeå

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I wish somebody would explain to Kelly Loeffler that white supremacy is not an “American value.”

  9. Jon says:


    white supremacy is not an “American value.”

    I dunno, seems like it kinda is.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: It is a thing that certain Americans value, you know, like Mom and apple pie.

  11. Pete S says:

    @Jon: My 85 year old father takes that test regularly as part of the assessment in the retirement home. He “aced” the most recent one too. It is the same test every time so even people with cognitive problems over time can burn those answers into their brains. He cannot remember to take his medicine, he does not know what city he is in, he sometimes forgets to wear pants when he leaves his room, and when I visit him weekly he asks every time how his only grandchild is enjoying university (she is in grade 11). He is vaguely aware that there is a virus of some sort going around but does not understand why the hospital staff get upset when he leaves his room and wanders around without a mask touching freshly cleaned stuff. But since he has been taking the same assessment every 3 months or so for the last 7 years, those answers are in the part of his brain that is still accessible.

    I am still convinced that Trump’s kids hate him and behind the scenes they are egging him on to go on camera and twitter saying really stupid crap. Maybe taunting him about cognition as he leaves for an interview.

  12. Sleeping Dog says:


    You get the feeling that the DHS thugs on the ground in Portland are questioning their mission.


    Where Kelly comes from, both location and class, white supremacy is an American value.

  13. Teve says:

    The Last Dance just landed on Netflix and I watched the first two episodes. If you were in your 20s and a basketball nut when the 90s Chicago Bulls were rolling, and you watched a lot of those games, hearing back story about them is awesome.

  14. Teve says:



    Trump announces campaign surge of federal officers: “Today, I am announcing the department of justice will immediately surge federal law enforcement to the city of Chicago. The FBI, ATF, Dea, U.S. Marshals service, and Homeland Security …”

    Easy to see the optics he’s going for here. “Only I can save you from the marauding black Democrats!”

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    You know what will happen now. The tardigrades will evolve, develop a culture, learn to read the books, start building spacecraft and fly to earth to confront their negligent gods only to discover that the Statue of Liberty is half-sunk on a beach.

    At least that’s the most likely outcome.

  16. Teve says:

    there’s a line I read years ago about how “a lot of people don’t know they’re fascists, yet.” After watching the last few years I have no doubt that if Trump were to go full bore fascist he would have the support of 30+ percent of the country.

  17. Kathy says:


    Herd immunity is a pretty bad strategy against a deadly disease.

    Consider smallpox. It’s highly contagious, very deadly, and it tends to disfigure those it spares. There were so many outbreaks of it through millennia, and no population ever developed herd immunity.

    By the XVIII century, Europe and the Americas began to, reluctantly, adopt a practice known in Africa and Asia. To avoid confusion, I’ll use the term “variolation**,” derived from the name of the smallpox virus, Variola.

    This consisted in grinding up pustules form sick people, or extracting fluid from the pustules, which was then inserted inside a cut in the arm of a healthy person. Some went on to develop smallpox, as one would expect, but most developed milder symptoms, and others not even symptoms.

    Those who didn’t get seriously ill from variolation, did not develop smallpox later in life.

    We know, now, that many who worked with cows, slaughtering them and milking them, developed cowpox, which is a mild illness, non-deadly, and which confers immunity from smallpox because the viruses are related.

    Ironically, cowpox has been around at least as long as smallpox, yet it took until Edward Jenner in the late XVIII to use it as a vaccine against smallpox.

    And now we have herd immunity. In fact, Variola exists only in preserved specimens in bioweapons labs.

    ** The other term for the procedure is inoculation, but these days that term is used to refer to the application of any vaccine.

  18. Sleeping Dog says:


    Kathy, you always amaze me with the breadth of your knowledge. Were you one of those kids who would come home from school and read the encyclopedia like a novel?

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: “Wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” Or in Trump’s case, dry humping a flag and carrying a Bible awkwardly.

  20. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Close. We had an encyclopedia at home, and I often thumbed through it. I did read a series of TIME-Life books mostly on sciences, which we got because I really wanted the one by Arthur C. Clarke about space travel (I read that one through many times).

    These days it’s too easy. Between podcasts and audio books, I get a torrent of new information all the time. And there’s easy access to Wikipedia and other online sources. Often I even do quick fact checking on Google before posting here.

  21. Teve says:

    RWNJs like Boris Epshteyn* are posting photos and videos of the riots in Seattle and Portland etc. with captions like “THIS is what Biden’s America would look like!” and people are dumbfounded.

    *Whenever I pronounce his last name it sounds like I’m drunk

  22. Jon says:

    @Kathy: Ha! I think I remember that ‘Man and Space’ book. And boy-howdy do I have have fond memories of our World Book Encyclopedia.

  23. EddieInCA says:


    RWNJs like Boris Epshteyn* are posting photos and videos of the riots in Seattle and Portland etc. with captions like “THIS is what Biden’s America would look like!” and people are dumbfounded.

    I’m just a simple guy, but woudln’t the obvious retort be: “Um… this is Trump’s actual America right now!”

  24. EddieInCA says:

    Coronavirus cases in US total 3,944,151, with 143,380 deaths.
    (As of 3:30 p.m. ET, July 22)

    States experiencing highest percentage increase of cases over past 14 days:

    • AK: 230%
    • MT: 137%
    • ND: 126%
    • WI: 111%
    • MO: 107%
    • KY: 93%

    So much for “It’s a Blue state problem…..”

  25. Kathy says:


    That one. And there were many others. I particularly recall one about organic chemistry, and one about physics. The latter had chapter a la George Gamow’s Mr. Tompkins cartoons, illustrating relativistic effects if the speed of light were 60 miles per hour.

  26. Moosebreath says:


    Meanwhile, a Texas county is admitting that it is triaging COVID patients, not treating those with low survival probabilities:

    “Starr County Health Authority Dr. Jose Vazquez said Starr County Memorial Hospital, the county’s only hospital, on Tuesday implemented an ethics committee and a triage committee to review all coronavirus patients as they come in to determine what type of life-saving equipment and treatment they would likely require and whether they would likely survive. Those deemed too fragile or sick or elderly will be advised to go home to loved ones, he said.


    Starr County has an eight-bed COVID-19 unit at its hospital, but currently there are 28 patients with three on ventilators and life support, including one in the emergency room. Vazquez said physicians will be using a mass-casualty treatment plan devised by physicians in North Texas to determine who gets treatment and who does not.”

  27. Jon says:

    @Kathy: Looks like there are some, uh, ‘gently used’ collections available on ebay:

    Whenever it’s safe again to go visit my folks it looks like I’ll be spending some time rooting through their attic.

  28. Jen says:


    We know, now, that many who worked with cows, slaughtering them and milking them, developed cowpox, which is a mild illness, non-deadly, and which confers immunity from smallpox because the viruses are related.

    Yes. I’ve been wondering if some of the strange response we’ve seen in covid-19 (outside of the age-related factors), with some people barely registering symptoms vs. those who die might be something as simple as those people having had colds caused by other coronaviruses. The thing with the common cold is that there are hundreds of viruses that cause cold symptoms, including four different types of coronaviruses. The average person isn’t going to have any idea whether they had a cold caused by one of those four strains, or something else. I wonder if on a T-cell level, there could potentially be a recognition pattern similar to the cowpox/smallpox issue.

    Random musings.

  29. CSK says:

    Another random musing: Given that there’s Covid-19 related pneumonia, could the vaccination against viral pneumonia administered to people over 65 afford some protection against Covid-19? Could those over 65 who’ve not received the vaccination be more vulnerable?

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jon:..fond memories of our World Book Encyclopedia.

    My dad was an employee of Field Enterprises in the ’60s. He worked at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago as a photo editor for World Book Encyclopedia.
    We had a full set A to Z. I still have the two volume dictionary that they published.

    It’s in the Encyclopedia!
    Rock On Jiminy Cricket

  31. Jon says:

    @Mister Bluster: Oh wow, that’s awesome! That would be a great gig.

    We had the full A-Z too, plus a lot of the annual updates. At least through the mid-/late-70’s.

  32. Kathy says:


    There is a lot of research going on COVID-19 other than for vaccines. So naturally there are a lot of observations which are suggestive, but time and money for studies are in short supply. I’ve come across suggestions that earlier infections of the milder corona viruses does help in surviving COVID-19, but there are no definite studies on the matter.

    It would be great if all it took to achieve immunity or protection was to get a cold for a week to ten days.

    One thing, this pandemic may spur research into broad spectrum anti viral drugs. There’s a lot involved, but in essence viruses have no metabolic activity, and thus are near impossible to kill inside the body, unlike bacteria. Outside the body it’s easy, as many toxic substances like alcohol and bleach and UV light work wonders.

    Thus far most antivirals target enzymes or proteins a virus uses in reproduction within a cell, with varying degrees of success. It’s rare for a drug developed for one virus to work on another, though it happens, unless they are related (like how Tmaiflu can affect many strains of influenza).

    We may wind up with a dozen or so broad spectrum antivirals, each aimed at a different type of virus. Unfortunately they’ll work to varying degrees.

    Overall, we need to do much better in making preparations for future pandemics. COVID-19 is a warning. Even more dangerous pathogens can arise at any time (even during a pandemic). Aside from the obvious, like having plans in place and implementing them early, and stockpiling PPE and ventilators and other equipment, we should be more restrictive with air travel. That’s how infections move from outbreaks to pandemics.

    For instance, people showing any symptoms of an infectious disease should not be allowed to travel, or may do so only under restrictions like wearing a mask and face shield. We ought to screen all travels for fever, too, and do the same for anyone shewing an elevated temperature.

    I make an analogy to traffic laws against driving under the influence. A drunk driver poses a bigger danger to others than to themselves, after all, and we restrict such drivers strictly. Falling ill is not crime, just as being drunk isn’t a crime. But it’s proper to restrict, temporarily, the activities ill or incapacitated people may undertake while they pose any kid of danger to others.

  33. Teve says:

    Learn To Love Trillion-Dollar Deficits

    Our country’s myth about federal debt, explained.

    By Stephanie Kelton
    Dr. Kelton, an economist, is the author of “The Deficit Myth.”

  34. Kathy says:


    I still have my set 🙂

    I haven’t read it in decades, but it’s right there, next to the Britannica Atlas, which I also haven’t opened since Google Earth came along.

  35. Jen says:


    It would be great if all it took to achieve immunity or protection was to get a cold for a week to ten days.

    To be clear, I wasn’t suggesting a prior cold would confer immunity, just the more mild response. On a very basic level, I’m wondering if prior T-cell response is involved.

    For instance, people showing any symptoms of an infectious disease should not be allowed to travel, or may do so only under restrictions like wearing a mask and face shield. We ought to screen all travels for fever, too, and do the same for anyone shewing an elevated temperature.

    The only problem I have with this is that fever is a normal human immune system response, including for a non-transmissible bacterial infection, or even for some women when they are menstruating. With the potential for TMI, I used to run a fever every time I got a UTI.

  36. Tyrell says:

    It’s here. It’s finally here! MLB opening day! It should have started as scheduled back in April, but we will take it and move on. Early power rankings have the LA Dodgers and NY Yankees 1 -2. I am hoping that is accurate and that the Braves are up there. Who knows about the Red Sox.
    WWE and NASCAR got their things together early on and are doing okay.
    I am already hankering for a hot dog and a bag of peanuts!
    Play ball!

  37. Kathy says:


    The only problem I have with this is that fever is a normal human immune system response, including for a non-transmissible bacterial infection, or even for some women when they are menstruating. With the potential for TMI, I used to run a fever every time I got a UTI.

    Proving I’m not immune to the Dubner Principle: Corrections most often turn into over-corrections.

    It would still be a good idea to do some basic health screening of all travelers. But we must not just set automatic, inflexible responses to elevated temperatures. It gets indelicate to ask about cycles at a TSA checkpoint, but it might become necessary. Vaccines can sometimes cause a mild fever, and many people get vaccinated for travel to certain places. Also just running to catch a flight can set off an IR thermometer.

    So we can move to mandating face masks, for example, rather than barring travel.

    This is starting already. Many countries open to travel, at least from some regions, require either taking a COVID-19 test on arrival, quarantining 2 weeks on arrival, or showing a negative test no more than 72 hours before departure.

    This should not outlast the pandemic, but ti’s anyone’s guess how long the pandemic will last. We may still be guarding against SASR-CoV-2 by the next midterm election, or the next general election.

  38. MarkedMan says:

    If I were to chose a site for a new factory or a regional headquarters, these are the states I would check off my list simply because the government is disfunctional, regardless of any other benefits they offer:
    New Mexico
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Puerto Rico
    South Carolina
    West Virginia

    A few surprises in there but for the most part they are the states you would expect that would be unable to take any necessary collective action in order to insure safety.

  39. Neil Hudelson says:


    I’ll be rooting for the Baltimore Blue Jays.

  40. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Are you seriously discussing WWE with MLB and NASCAR?
    Delusional. No wonder you support Trump.

  41. Joe says:

    We know, now, that many who worked with cows . . . developed cowpox . . . which confers immunity from smallpox because the viruses are related.

    And thus we have “herd immunity.” (Kathy, I can’t believe you missed that joke.)

  42. CSK says:

    Trump said in a Fox interview that testing is “overrated,” but he’s “totally willing to keep doing it.”

  43. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    A judge has ruled that the DOJ was retaliating against M. Cohen, for Trump, when they sent him back to jail.
    He has been ordered back to home confinement.
    The sales of Cohen’s forthcoming book on Trump just increased.

  44. Jon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Holy cow, I have to admit I did not see that coming.

    It’s going to be ridiculous when the DOJ appeals this ruling all the way up to the Supreme Court, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

  45. Scott says:

    @Moosebreath: I’ve been watching Starr County all along because that is where my son’s in-laws are from and there is a lot of family there. Mostly older, young folks move to Houston or San Antonio. There was a family reunion of sorts on Father’s Day. Sure enough, a couple of COVID cases came up. A couple were turned away from ER because they weren’t sick enough. So far so good.

    On a side note, there is a lot of right wing insinuation that blames Mexicans across the border for the outbreak. However, in this case, it was traced to one of the younger San Antonio cousins who got it from his trainer/gym.

  46. Kathy says:


    It’s not much of a joke 🙂

    Vaccine comes from the Latin vaccinus which means related to cows, from the Latin vaca meaning cow.

    The Romans and other Latin people would probably have pronounced it “vakinus.” So in English the word should have been vakine, but that’s not how things work out. In Spanish, the term is “vacuna,” which is not just closer but related to current words related to cows.

    See? We’re knee deep in cow terms when even talking about vaccines. This naturally leads to terms like herd immunity.

  47. sam says:

    Seen on twitter: “Zookeepers are coming up to me with tears in their eyes saying, ‘You don’t know how glad we are that someone is identifying elephants correctly.’ “

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jon: I’m reminded of the time when my father was in Alzheimer’s care at a secure facility. The doors had keypad locks where in order to unlock a door you had to key in a code. What was most interesting to me was that the codes were posted at the door, but involved using an order different from the one posted. For example, “enter the code 5-4-3-2 in reverse order.”

    Congratulations are in order to President Trump who has proven that he has mental acuity above the level of Alzheimer’s patients in secure facilities… oh, wait, he didn’t repeat the words in reverse order…

  49. Pete S says:

    I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that our local paper did not start this headline off with the words “Florida Man”.

  50. charon says:


    He was given the Montreal Cognitive Assessment:

  51. Jon says:

    @charon: Yup, and the ease with which people can find the actual test for reference makes it that much sadder how proud he is that he could say “Person Woman ManBearPig” without falling down.

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Joe: “Of course I’ve heard of “immunity”
    “No, I mean the cow herd!”
    “What I care if the cow heard? I’ve got nothing to hide from a cow!”

  53. Kathy says:


    Biden should make sure there’s a ramp at every debate.

  54. Teve says:

    After years of living nomadically, I’m now interested in furniture shopping. Coffee table, end tables, lamps, dining table. Suggestions welcome. Anything less than Restoration Hardware, I’ve got money but not that kind of money.

  55. Jon says:

    @Kathy: Heh, or at least steps equipped with one of those stair lift things.

  56. Teve says:

    New Quinnipiac poll says Biden 51 Trump 38…

    …in Florida

  57. CSK says:

    Try a charity store if you don’t mind secondhand. They have some wonderful things that are astonishingly cheap, and often very high quality.

    The only thing I’d be careful of is padded/upholstered furniture. It can sometimes harbor insects. But bookshelves, desks, tables of any kind, dining chairs…go for it.

  58. Jon says:

    As an aside, watching Trump shuffle down that ramp reminds me of Tim Conway’s old man bits, which then gets me wistful about the Carol Burnett Show in general.

    Good times.

  59. Jon says:


    Also consignment furniture stores, and whatever your local version of the Green Project may be. You often have to go several times to find specifically what you’re looking for, but its a good cause and you can often find some great stuff for a song.

  60. MarkedMan says:
  61. EddieInCA says:


    After years of living nomadically, I’m now interested in furniture shopping. Coffee table, end tables, lamps, dining table. Suggestions welcome. Anything less than Restoration Hardware, I’ve got money but not that kind of money.

    Like the others have posted, I’d look at Craigslist and Thrift Stores, if you’re not in a hurry. I can afford pretty much whatever furniture I want, but I can’t fathom spending $6K on a couch. My wife wanted a blue leather sectional. I found a great Sectional, perfect size on Craigslist for $150 delivered. Then I spent $1K having it completely stripped, santized, and reupholstered in blue leather. Win. Win. Think outside the box and you’ll end up with great stuff.

    If you want to buy new, check out Wayfar, and Overstock. But be careful on who makes the furniture .Alot of stuff looks great in photos, but is pressboard crap when you get it.

    Oh… Also.. Habitat for Humanity Store, if one is near you.

  62. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: FWIW, The vast majority of ikea furniture is junk that decays with each move

  63. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: yeah I’m not really looking at IKEA. Secondhand is a good idea. Wayfair also might be a good choice. I’ve gotten a lot of great deals on secondhand clothing and have a much more impressive wardrobe than I paid money for, I’ll start looking on craigslist etc. for furniture, the only problem being in I’m in a hillbilly area: if I want Dale Earnhardt TV trays the local craigslist is the place to go.

  64. CSK says:

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, says “gracious living” like a matching set of Dale Earnhardt tv trays.

  65. Jen says:

    @Teve: Don’t overlook places like Restoration Hardware, particularly if there’s a warehouse nearby. Every so often they have massive nick-and-dent sales where you can get floor models and customer returns for a fraction of the cost. Ethan Allen does the same.

    I have several floor models from Restoration Hardware (the older style stuff they used to carry) and it’s fantastic furniture.

  66. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    A new Quinnipiac Poll has Biden up by 13 points in FLA.
    In April Biden was up by only 4.
    IF…and I say if…that’s true and it plays out like that in November – that’s game.

  67. Jen says:

    Kevin McCarthy is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, is he?

    How do these clowns even win elections?

  68. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I’ve bought some stuff from Wayfair and am not impressed.
    Restoration is nice but can be pricey depending on your choices.
    I’d start checking out local second hand / antique places.
    My tastes run to mid-century and there are tons of outlets for that stuff now.
    Online…1st dibs is a great resource.
    You can find great regional outlets on Instagram.
    Even Craigslist can be a good source if you are patient.

  69. CSK says:

    I’m sorry I clicked on your link. I suffer badly from vicarious embarrassment.

  70. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Stephen Miller, white supremacist and member of the Trump Administration, lost his Grandmother to COVID.

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: They pick voters even dumber than they?

  72. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: Crate & Barrel has some nice looking and solid stuff

  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Has he noticed?

  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Speaking of smallpox:

    Researchers find earliest confirmed case of smallpox

    The Vikings are known for their intrepid seafaring, fearsome fighting and extensive trading, but it seems it may not only have been goods and weapons they carried on their travels – they could also have carried a deadly disease.

    Researchers say they have found the world’s earliest confirmed case of smallpox, revealing the disease was widespread across northern Europe during the Viking age.

    “I think it is fair to assume the Vikings have been the superspreaders,” said Eske Willerslev, professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Cambridge and director of the Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre at the University of Copenhagen, who led the research.

    More at the link.

  75. Kylopod says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: And now Miller’s spokesperson is denying his grandmother died of Covid-19.

    This is categorically false, and a disgusting use of so-called journalism when the family deserves privacy to mourn the loss of a loved one. His grandmother did not pass away from COVID. She was diagnosed with COVID in March and passed away in July so that timeline does not add up at all. His grandmother died peacefully in her sleep from old age. I would hope that you would choose not to go down this road.

    Do you know what this reminds me of? Years ago I read an article about a Holocaust denier, who argued that Anne Frank shouldn’t be included among those killed by the Nazis, since she died of typhus, a “natural” cause.

  76. CSK says:

    Well, her son David Glosser says that his mother Ruth Glosser died of Covid-19, and so does her death certificate.

  77. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    David Corn claims to have a death certificate.

  78. Teve says:

    The other day representative Ted Yoho, who I can personally tell you is a raging idiot, because his district is next door and he’s always in the local news, called AOC a fucking bitch, and then when some people called for him to apologize he gave a notpology. AOC went to the House floor and gave a 10 minute response. I’d be curious what people here, especially the women here, think of this.

  79. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: ooo, thanks.

  80. CSK says:

    I do have to say with respect to death certificates that sometimes they do list an incorrect cause of death. I know because that happened with my late mother.

  81. Kathy says:



    I thought it was much older than that. And, yes, I’d read about mummified Pharaohs who show signs of smallpox.

  82. Jax says:

    Man, y’all better be careful with that WayFair stuff. I have it on good authority from my Q Anon “friends” on Facebook that you can order a kid in a rug from Wayfair. Next thing you know, Teve, you’ll have the humpty dumpty’s next door thinking you belong to the worldwide cabal of Clintonista’s who bathe in the blood of babies after having their way with them and they’ll show up with pitchforks and torches. /sarcasm

  83. Jen says:

    @Teve: I keep wondering when Republican male elected officials are going to realize that they cannot come at her without getting called out on it, extremely effectively.

    She’s right. I’ve had comments like Yoho’s tossed my way for ridiculously small stuff, like pointing out an error in a presentation before it was given. Or asking to correctly report donations on an ethics form.

  84. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: What’s the standard practice for people with AIDS where the immediate cause of death was something secondary like pneumonia?

  85. Teve says:

    @Jax: I’ll just stash the kids in the basement I have here in Florida. 😀

  86. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: There are CDC guidelines for covid-19 reporting.

    I vaguely remember reading an article during the height of NY’s cases about this issue. Apparently, cause of death is inaccurately reported quite often, something like a 30% error rate across the board.

  87. Jim Brown 32 says:

    In lighter news, I saw a commercial that used the Welcome Back Kotter theme song. Id forgotten how good that song felt…brilliant market move

  88. Kathy says:


    Strictly speaking, there are only two causes of death: heart failure and brain death.

  89. CSK says:

    Good question. If the immediate cause was pneumonia, that might be listed with AIDS as a contributing factor. It was in the case of someone I knew.

    In my mother’s situation, a hospitalist diagnosed her as having colon cancer, and informed her pcp. The oncologist disputed the diagnosis, but didn’t inform the pcp. So the pcp wrote “colon cancer” on the death certificate.

  90. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:You know, my first reaction was “Guy doesn’t realize death certificates are public records”, but then I thought a bit more and realized he is not talking to people like us. He’s talking to the Trump-o-sphere, and they will blindly accept his statement and will not be exposed to a contrary talking point.

    Considering his wife had it, it’s not a stretch to imagine he had it too. So it’s not unlikely he gave it to his grandmother to begin with.

  91. Monala says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I think it was Applebee’s.

    @Kylopod: My husband’s death certificate listed a primary and a secondary cause of death. The form had spots for both, so I imagine having more than one cause of death is common.

  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I’m not a woman but I will say this: Mess with AOC at you own peril. That was so good I think I might send her another $25.

    The thing that gets me is she has been there for a year and a half, and they still think she is a brainless bimbo.

  93. Jon says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Oh yeah, John Sebastian at his best.

  94. Kylopod says:


    Strictly speaking, there are only two causes of death: heart failure and brain death.

    Well, that’s the point, ain’t it? There are gray areas when it comes to determining “cause of death” in some instances, and then there’s out-and-out Insane Troll Logic where you claim the person who got shot in the head died from brain hemorrhaging, not murder. The Trump Admin swims heavily in the latter approach. They did it when discussing Hurricane Maria deaths, and now they’re doing it with Covid.

  95. flat earth luddite says:

    And people think reopening schools like in “normal” times is a good idea?

    Mind you, I don’t have a good answer as to how people will be able to work, or how businesses/employers/people who work for them will survive, because the fat cats in charge can’t be bothered to come up with solutions, like, I don’t know, paying people?

  96. Kathy says:

    It seems to be dawning on Trump the Imbecile that he won’t draw the huge crowd he wants amid a worsening pandemic.

  97. CSK says:

    About 6 minutes later, Ronna Romney McDaniel said that “adjustments” would be made. Does that mean it’s off or on????

    ETA: I see she said this a while ago. Can Trump cancel the convention on his own?

  98. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: @CSK: WhoTF knows with these idiots?

  99. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @flat earth luddite: There is no good answer, that’s why no matter who says what, it always amounts to, “Suck it up.” Depending on who is talking, we know who it is that should suck it up. My preference is the federal govt. Why? Because that way we all have to suck it up.

  100. CSK says:

    The consensus seems to be among the non-Trumpkins that he canceled the convention because no one was going to show up for it.

  101. Kathy says:


    Can Trump cancel the convention on his own?


    The real question is: how does the Republican party accommodate trump’s idiot whims, and make it look like it’s the bestest idea ever?

  102. Teve says:

    Trump’s troubles with having a convention to accept his nomination because of the pandemic that he ignored at the beginning of the year…

    A few months ago it look like maybe things were slowing down and we could get a handle on the virus, and it would just become no big deal, and then the writers managed to bring it back!

  103. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Say WHAT???? Nobody wanted to bathe in the presence of his UNSURPASSED MAGNIFICENCE????

    Say it ain’t so.

  104. CSK says:

    Apparently not badly enough to risk dying of Covid-19.

    I think we can safely assume that he didn’t do this for his stated reason: to protect the health of the people.

  105. Teve says:

    So now all the Jacksonville convention stuff is off?

  106. Teve says:
  107. Tyrell says:

    @MarkedMan: They have good Cinnamon buns.

  108. Teve says:


    Just a reminder that this school didn’t open until 1958. So when someone comes along & tells you about southern history remind them the school was named after a conferate general in the midst of the civil rights movement to intimidate black kids. Period.

  109. CSK says:


  110. MarkedMan says:

    @Tyrell: Ikea? Cinnamon buns? Like, in the same place they sell the chocolate?

  111. Flat earth luddite says:

    And course, Fearless Leader has announced he has no concerns about his son or grandchildren going to school.

    That couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that they’re at high-end exclusive private schools now could it?

  112. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: Overstock is good for stuff like pseudo-Tiffany stained-glass lamps. For other stuff suggest craigslist and even Ebay (you can limit searches to within a drivable distance). Also look to see if there’s a “gently used” furniture store near you. (We had one a block away and I got two marvellous Art Deco mirrors for $20 each because no one wanted them.) If you’re in a large city, check for semi-yearly sales as furniture outlets try to get rid of their floor models. And if you don’t mind some DIY, you can get old-but-solid-bones stuff from Goodwill etc. and reupholster it yourself. (Based on my own experiences–make sure you’re using actual upholstery fabric. There’s enough places out there that sell ends-of-rolls that you can find good quality upholstery stuff at cheap prices.) People seem to be terrified of chairs that need to be reupholstered. I’m in the process of reupholstering a small Victorian chair that I got for $20 because the supporting burlap straps had totally failed and the seat was non-existent. The one thing I’d suggest for any DIY upholstery furniture is check to see how wobbly the stuff is–if it needs to be broken down to the individual wooden components and repaired and re-glued it’s the sort of project that requires a workbench and a garage, a.k.a. more trouble than it’s worth.

    The major advice I would give is: don’t buy something just because you “need a couch” and that one doesn’t look that bad. Make sure that whatever you get is something that you really really like because you’re going to be living with it for a long time.

  113. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: That reminds me that there used to be a regular commenter around here who argued that the government could print all the money it wanted without causing any real problems…does anyone else remember who that was…

  114. Teve says:

    @grumpy realist: thanks, grumpy! Fortunately I’m well-stocked on couches which is good because they can be bug ridden. I just need like hard tables.

    I haven’t decided what style furniture I want yet, but I know I want the exact opposite of this shit. 😀

  115. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: MMT doesn’t say you can print money without limit though.

    (I actually don’t remember what commentor you’re talking about, and you don’t want to say their name in the mirror and cause him to come back)

  116. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: I can see not liking that shit. So, nothing ornate, and very little lathe-work. Figure out what materials you want to live with — metal, glass, wood, painted wood? — and that will begin to steer you towards a style.

    Crate and Barrel has some pretty decent things. Room and Board has more straight lines than that. Restoration Hardware, etc. Browse but don’t worry about cost per say — the goal is to figure out what you want. Also look at shaker, mission and mid-century modern stuff.

    Then hit the vintage stores and the like and you will have a better idea if that nice credenza or funky lamp in the shape of a sad clown leaning against a street light is going to fit when you finally get all the pieces together.