Thursday’s Forum

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


  1. Teve says:


    Swine flu bullshit is an example of having Fox News Brain. When you’re in that bubble, you can’t possibly understand how unbelievably fucking stupid that sounds to most Americans.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From the New England Journal of Medicine:
    Dying in a Leadership Vacuum

    Why has the United States handled this pandemic so badly? We have failed at almost every step. We had ample warning, but when the disease first arrived, we were incapable of testing effectively and couldn’t provide even the most basic personal protective equipment to health care workers and the general public. And we continue to be way behind the curve in testing. While the absolute numbers of tests have increased substantially, the more useful metric is the number of tests performed per infected person, a rate that puts us far down the international list, below such places as Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia, countries that cannot boast the biomedical infrastructure or the manufacturing capacity that we have.2 Moreover, a lack of emphasis on developing capacity has meant that U.S. test results are often long delayed, rendering the results useless for disease control.

    Although we tend to focus on technology, most of the interventions that have large effects are not complicated. The United States instituted quarantine and isolation measures late and inconsistently, often without any effort to enforce them, after the disease had spread substantially in many communities. Our rules on social distancing have in many places been lackadaisical at best, with loosening of restrictions long before adequate disease control had been achieved. And in much of the country, people simply don’t wear masks, largely because our leaders have stated outright that masks are political tools rather than effective infection control measures. The government has appropriately invested heavily in vaccine development, but its rhetoric has politicized the development process and led to growing public distrust.

    Much more at the link, but I am struck by the refusal of some to do simple little things because they are pain in the ass inconveniences, who instead insist there is an easy and cost free (for them) road that will lead them to an Eden of freedom. There is leadership, but it is going in the wrong direction and way too many of our citizens are following them down that road, a road well paved by generations of regulation and tax cutting Republicans.

  3. Scott says:

    This headline made me laugh. Win for the headline writer.

    The Air Force is experimenting with a brand new way to put warheads on foreheads

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    WTO to appoint first female boss as shortlist narrows to two

    The World Trade Organization is set to be run by a woman for the first time in its 25-year history after it was announced that the final choice to be its new director-general will be between South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee and Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
    Okonjo-Iweala has served two terms as Nigeria’s finance minister and has also been her country’s foreign minister. Having also been the number two at the World Bank, she is running as an outsider and as the candidate to give the WTO fresh political momentum.
    Yoo has a record in government stretching back 25 years and has worked on a number of bilateral trade deals, including those with the US and the UK.

  5. Keef says:
  6. Bill says:
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Via Anne Laurie, this years MacArthur Fellows.

  8. Jen says:

    LOL, Summit News? Really?

    Tip to be taken seriously: use reputable sources. Here’s the same story from BBC.

    From the legitimate news source, the following points are made:

    While there is unquestionably harm from the lock downs–including lower vaccination rates for children, which could have profound consequences for public health down the road–they continue to be our best way of managing the spread of covid.

    Additionally, herd immunity remains a huge question. Not only would we have to go through substantial waves of death to get there, we don’t even yet know for how long immunity post-covid is conferred, or even IF immunity is enough to help slow the spread.

    Conclusion, given the unknowns and the damage caused even to those who recover, lock downs remain a best practice public health policy.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD

    But what about the “inconvenient truth” that 30-35% of #COVID19 deaths among African American, Hispanic populations in the US occur in those under the age of 65, wiping out 40-60 yo mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, esp in low-income neighborhoods?

    And here’s the real face of their “herd immunity” 66%, in the US that would represent roughly 200 million Americans, I would imagine easily 1-2 million deaths?

  10. drj says:


    You are transparently clutching at straws.

    Assuming the medical professionals who authored the “Great Barrington Declaration” are right (a very, very big if – because the vast majority of other infectious disease specialists hold contrary opinions), they are still only arguing against a general lockdown.

    They still advocate for specific measures to protect the vulnerable and the elderly.

    So what specific measures and policies does the current administration propose to keep mortality down – apart from injecting bleach and claiming that the virus is “no big deal?”

    The answer is none. Because they don’t give a fuck.

    So even according to the questionable standards of that “Great Barrington Declaration,” the Trump policy is still an utter and abject failure (as are your deflection skills).

    Those 210,000+ deaths are still on their (and their enablers’) heads. This includes you.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Daily Show

    White House aides in the Oval Office today


  12. sam says:
  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: IOKIYAR.

  14. drj says:


    This should be interesting.

    It should, but it won’t.

    Evangelicals, i.e. those who shout the loudest about abortion, are least of all people interested in intellectual honesty and consistency.

    “Us godly & good. Them bad” is just about the only consistent principle they care to hold.

  15. Kathy says:

    File this under odd near coincidence.

    Yesterday I caught an old Simpsons rerun from 2005. It’s an ep where Sideshow Bob is mayor of an Italian village. There’s a balcony scene, where Homer does a Mussolini impression. Lisa warns him not to do that, and Homer replies “Hm. I thought I was doing Donald Trump.”

    Fifteen years ago.

  16. Mikey says:

    Trump is now saying he won’t participate in virtual town hall format for the next debate (made necessary because he’s a COVID-19 super-spreader).

    One complaint was “they just cut you off whenever they want.” Yeah, that’s the whole point, you puling toddler.

  17. Jen says:

    The Presidential Debate Commission has announced that to protect the health of all involved, the next debate will be held virtually. Trump, within minutes, said he won’t participate in a virtual event.

    So THAT’S how he’s getting out of debating.

  18. Mu Yixiao says:


    Reminds me of a song I like

    “Warheads on flatbeds
    Deadheads in Mercedes Benz
    Rockefeller on a shovelhead
    and yooouuuu on my mind.”

  19. BugManDan says:

    @Mikey: Biden says that he is still participating. So he gets a free nationally broadcast town hall meeting.

  20. drj says:

    Perhaps I’m late to the party, but I just found out that Trump called for Biden’s arrest on Twitter:

    Trump twice amplified supporters’ criticisms of Attorney General William Barr, including one featuring a meme calling on him to “arrest somebody!” He wondered aloud why his rivals, like President Barack Obama, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton hadn’t been imprisoned for launching a “coup” against his administration.

    “Where are all of the arrests?” Trump said, after several dozen tweets on the subject over the past 24 hours. “Can you imagine if the roles were reversed? Long term sentences would have started two years ago. Shameful!”

    By early afternoon, Trump was letting loose his frustrations in an all-caps missive that seemed aimed at nobody in particular.


  21. CSK says:

    Well, if nothing else, it’s an epic demonstration of how little history Trump knows.

  22. Jen says:

    @drj: The funniest thing about that is it’s based on a Tweet from some random nobody posted nearly two years ago.

    He’s totally off his rocker. People are just ignoring him now.

  23. CSK says:

    @Mikey: @Jen: @BugManDan:

    Trump says he will hold a rally instead.
    Talk about superspreader events.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Why herd immunity strategy is regarded as fringe viewpoint

    “We know that immunity to coronaviruses wanes over time and reinfection is possible, so lasting protection of vulnerable individuals by establishing herd immunity is very unlikely to be achieved in the absence of a vaccine,” said Rupert Beale, a group leader at the Francis Crick Institute in London. He called the declaration “wishful thinking”, not least because it is impossible to fully identify who is vulnerable and it is not possible to fully protect them.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: The ads write themselves:

    “Donald trump is a coward, afraid to meet Joe Biden in a 2nd debate.”

  26. Jen says:

    He’s gone completely off the rails. This thread is…something else.

  27. Kathy says:


    Not only would we have to go through substantial waves of death to get there, we don’t even yet know for how long immunity post-covid is conferred, or even IF immunity is enough to help slow the spread.

    There have been some documented cases of reinfection. Too few to draw generalizations. Some had a bad case the first time and asymptomatic the second, some had the reverse, some had severe symptoms both times. About the most general observation is that they seem to come months after the first recovery.

    The good news is these have been few. The bad news is, if it does take months for immunity to wear off, the earlier cases were far fewer than the current ones. So if you recovered in March or April, you’re at far greater risk for COVID-19 now than you were then.

    It is beginning to look like the COVDI-19 vaccine will be at least an annual thing. It could be required twice a year. So pretty much they will have to be available year-round

  28. Mikey says:

    @Jen: Is he blaming the Gold Star families for giving him COVID-19?

    I mean, it’s documented that he believes their dead loved ones are losers and suckers, so I guess it’s not surprising he’d blame them for getting him sick, but still.

  29. CSK says:

    And his fans purport to interpret this unhinged shrieking and raving as a sign of his strength and all-American grit.

  30. Jen says:

    @Mikey: It certainly seems like that’s what he’s suggesting, however, his White House reached out to those who organized the event about possible exposure so I think that cat, at least, is out of the bag.

    @CSK: I know, and it’s sooooooo weird. Everyone else is looking around to make sure there aren’t any sharp objects nearby.

  31. CSK says:

    Well, the Cult45 consensus about the virtual debate is unanimous: Trump is right to refuse because it’s a set-up to enable Biden to cheat.

  32. Kathy says:


    But that’s only the consensus of the current split-second. The debate is seven days away, which is like 900 years in Trump TV-watching time. He can agree to the debate, demand changes, pull out, agree again, say he always wanted a virtual debate, throw three rallies, and contradict himself endlessly in between. I expect amidst all that, he’ll claim it was Biden who didn’t want a virtual debate.

  33. Northerner says:


    Moreover, in practice everyone is using targeted lockdowns in any case. For instance, health professionals (such as doctors and nurses), police and firefighters are still working every where. So are essential workers such as in grocery stores, food transport, power companies, Internet providers — well, you get the idea. There’s no place in the world where a complete lockdown is or has been used (and how would you enforce that in anyway, without unlocked down law enforcement out and about).

    The argument has always been about what level of targeted lockdown should be used, and the best practice seems to vary from place to place. Framing the discussion in terms of lockdown vs no-lockdown (as many anti-lockdown protesters are doing) is simply nonsense.

  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    There was no way Trump could go along with a format that wouldn’t allow him to bully and dominate. I mean, what’s he supposed to do? Answer actual questions? From the kind of losers he despises? You know, citizens?

    The Trump wall of bluster is part and parcel of the skill set he uses to conceal his learning difficulties. Dodge, lie, evade, toss in lots of vague, ‘we’ll have to see,’ and, ‘people say’, his usual bag of tricks. Deal respectfully with actual people? No way. His predatory instincts were screaming, ‘it’s a trap, it’s a trap!’ and he’s right, it would be a trap.

  35. CSK says:
  36. Bill says:
  37. CSK says:

    American poet Louise Gluck has won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

  38. CSK says:

    Oh, absolutely. I expect something exactly like that to happen. And Trump will be lauded by the faithful for playing 64-dimensional chess.

  39. sam says:


    Roid Rage, as many are saying.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Damn, I struck out again. Oh well, there’s still the MacArthur Foundation Genius awards. Maybe I’ll win there.

  41. sam says:


    A Fantasy

    I’ll tell you something: every day
    people are dying. And that’s just the beginning.
    Every day, in funeral homes, new widows are born,
    new orphans. They sit with their hands folded,
    trying to decide about this new life.

    Then they’re in the cemetery, some of them
    for the first time. They’re frightened of crying,
    sometimes of not crying. Someone leans over,
    tells them what to do next, which might mean
    saying a few words, sometimes
    throwing dirt in the open grave.

    And after that, everyone goes back to the house,
    which is suddenly full of visitors.
    The widow sits on the couch, very stately,
    so people line up to approach her,
    sometimes take her hand, sometimes embrace her.
    She finds something to say to everbody,
    thanks them, thanks them for coming.

    In her heart, she wants them to go away.
    She wants to be back in the cemetery,
    back in the sickroom, the hospital. She knows
    it isn’t possible. But it’s her only hope,
    the wish to move backward. And just a little,
    not so far as the marriage, the first kiss.

    Louise Gluck, 2004

  42. CSK says:

    My high school yearbook predicted I’d win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    Still waiting.

  43. gVOR08 says:


    And Trump will be lauded by the faithful for playing 64-dimensional chess.

    Well, he has driven his taxes out of the news. (Except for Kamala hitting them pretty good last night.)

  44. Kathy says:

    I recently read a book by Jill Lepore about the Simulmatics Corporation.

    It’s not well-known, naturally. The company was started in the late 50s, with the intention to use computer simulations of people for purposes of marketing and political polling analytics. This is so common now, as we know, that it’s a bit odd to realize it goes that far back.

    The book is partly a history of the salient US political events of the period from around 1958 to 1970, partly the history of what Simulmatics did, or failed to do, among such events.

    One salient fact that left me a bit puzzled is this: throughout the dozen or so years it functioned, Simulmatics never owned or leased a single computer. They bought computer time as needed instead.

    I know the economics of computers were very different back then. What puzzles me is how the various people depicted in the book managed to program anything without a computer. I suppose they wrote their programs and then bought computer time to test them.

  45. CSK says:

    God, that’s good. And so prescient.
    Thanks for posting it.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Heh. I wasn’t in my HS yearbook.

  47. Kathy says:


    Well, this constant snubbing of Donald the Greatest Covidiot has got to stop.

    I propose we set up the Noble Prize Foundation in Service of the Vanity of Trump. To that end, I commit myself to raise the munificent sum of $0.13, to be invested in a Trump property. I pledge half a penny, to be paid over the course of twenty years.

    There are many categories Donnie is eminently unsurpassed in by any person living or dead or yet to be born. For the first Prize, to be handed out as soon as our grand investment grows to the sum of $1, I propose awarding Trump the Noble Prize for Worst Ever Mismanagement of a Pandemic in Human History.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I just heard an interview with her talking about that book on NPR the other day (the OneA show? a new one to me) Really interesting story.

  49. Kylopod says:


    Well, the Cult45 consensus about the virtual debate is unanimous: Trump is right to refuse because it’s a set-up to enable Biden to cheat.

    That’s interesting, because I’ve had the exact same thought about Trump. I’m fuzzy on how they prevent Trump from being forwarded the answers out of sight of the camera. I assume there will be some kind of third party present to verify everything is kosher. In the current situation, that’s sort of like being the king’s wine taster–you put your own health at risk so Biden doesn’t have to.

  50. Joe says:

    Here the cries of America over Trump refusing a virtual debate!
    [holds phone up to America]
    America: [ . . . ]

  51. Mu Yixiao says:


    I know the economics of computers were very different back then. What puzzles me is how the various people depicted in the book managed to program anything without a computer. I suppose they wrote their programs and then bought computer time to test them.

    The programs were probably fairly simple (by today’s standards, anyway) and purely mathematical. They’d be entered onto punch-cards then sent off to be run on a mainframe somewhere.

  52. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl been around?

  53. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I recall writing programs on paper at school, then typing them into an Apple ][c or Commodore 16 in the computer “lab.” These were very simple things, and half the time they didn’t run as expected.

    But then we didn’t really do the flowcharts beforehand.

  54. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: Not yet this week, I don’t think. I’ve noticed he usually checks in on weekends or when something political really has him pissed. 🙂

  55. Mu Yixiao says:


    I think I still have the plastic template for computer flowcharting in my desk at home. 🙂

  56. Michael Cain says:


    He can agree to the debate, demand changes, pull out, agree again, say he always wanted a virtual debate, throw three rallies, and contradict himself endlessly in between.

    Still, the Debate Commission doesn’t have the same flexibility in its dealings. At some point relatively soon it has to tell all the networks whether there will be a debate or not, and what the format is. Holding on to the debate organizing gig depends very much on them looking absolutely non-partisan, so there’s no way they give Biden the mic for 90 minutes. If Trump doesn’t agree to the virtual format within a day or two, the next debate will be canceled.

  57. inhumans99 says:


    I know a lot of folks say the first debate was a debacle but they still wanted to see Trump and Biden debate each other again but other than the Nascar aspect of hoping to view a spectacular car wreck I think nothing really new would have been learned during the second debate.

    Also, even if Trump is mentally denying the reality of his situation I am sure his body is not and is reminding him that he really can use the down-time to rest up and heal as he gets over Covid.

    The dude just needs to crawl into bed and take it easy while his staff comes to him if there is anything urgent that he needs to deal with. When I was recovering from the flu I did not promptly go out and try to run a marathon so hopefully Trump starts listening to his body to chillax.

  58. wr says:

    @Keef: Wow. 6,000. That’s really convincing.

    Of course there are 950,000 doctors and 6.9 million scientists in the US alone, so as a percentage we’re not exactly talking about an overwhelming majority here.

  59. Kathy says:


    Apparently Trump is still on dexamethasone. This suggests he still has trouble breathing. And I’d expect him to be more unhinged than usual.

    Doctors complain about bad patients all the time. I recall once in the mid-90 my father had bacterial pneumonia. He was responding well to antibiotics, but he refused to stay home and rest. His doctor had to hospitalize him so he would get the rest he needed, and prevent him from infecting people at the office.

    Trump’s making the same dumb mistake now. It will cost him.

  60. CSK says:

    I’m dubious that Trump would even heed any answers forwarded to him. He lives to go off-script and just rave on in stream-of-consciousness fashion.

  61. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: ” Oh well, there’s still the MacArthur Foundation Genius awards. ”

    Hate to tell you, but they were announced a few days back…

  62. KM says:

    Yeah, they could have someone feeding info in his ear and a beautiful model holding up placards for him to read off but he’d still go ad lib some word salad that just popped into his brain. Also, he’d give the game away by commenting on the model’s assests or how the earwig bothers him.

    If Trump could stay on script, the GOP would have a hell of a lot less problems on their hands. He’s not starting while high on steroids a few weeks out from an election.

  63. KM says:

    Am curious. Mitch went on record defending Trump’s insanity about the stimulus bill, only for Trump to 180 and now try to claim he’s working a deal. Has anybody pressed Mitch for how it feels to constantly get the rug jerked out from under you again before you even hit the floor?

  64. Jen says:

    @inhumans99: Literally the only value I see in the second debate is the format (a town hall). Having the two of them up there yelling at one another provides no value, but interacting with actual people? That might.

    If the second debate is cancelled completely (per @Michael Cain’s excellent observation that the debate commission must remain impartial), I hope that what happens is they cancel the third one and move the town hall format to the later date.

    I do wonder what this McRanty-pants act is doing to Trump’s recovery. It can’t be good for him to be up and about.

  65. Gustopher says:



    Swine flu bullshit is an example of having Fox News Brain. When you’re in that bubble, you can’t possibly understand how unbelievably fucking stupid that sounds to most Americans.

    There is so much wrong with the world that this is true.

    We absolutely failed to contain swine flu. It was a failure of our processes, and our ability to execute our processes, and we got lucky. People should understand that.

    People should also understand that failure is ok (especially if you get lucky) and that learning the lessons from that failure and not repeating it is what is important.

    The lockdowns that this administration opposes, and the mask mandates, and the social distancing, are efforts to learn from that failure. And the administration has done everything it can to undermine those efforts. Failures with the lack of PPE supply date back a decade, but Trump has the previous 3.5 years of that decade on his hands, and didn’t invoke the emergency powers to boost production.

    Every time it gets brought up by the right, the response should be “and you learned nothing from it you morons”. Almost all of the effective response has been by the states this time out. And the one effective thing, closing travel with China, had a lot of holes, where we got lucky, and wasn’t followed by a similar travel ban from other hot spots, so we just got it from Europe.

  66. CSK says:

    I think McConnell looks at it as the cost of doing business. I recall that early on in the Trump administration, Trump was ranting on about something, clearly illustrating his bottomless ignorance, and McConnell had this Cheshire cat smile on his face as he was leaving the room after the rant had concluded. He knows what an unutterable horse’s ass Trump is. The majority of his colleagues do. But they’re stuck with Trump.

    You understand that I’m looking at this from their perspective.

  67. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Mu Yixiao: So do I. My reluctance to throw out anything that was once useful.

  68. Barry says:

    @Kathy: “I know the economics of computers were very different back then. What puzzles me is how the various people depicted in the book managed to program anything without a computer. I suppose they wrote their programs and then bought computer time to test them.

    Back then, 90% of the time was probably spent on very carefully planning out what one did, statement by statement, before punching a single card.

    Also, they were probably on a regular schedule, with somebody running their cards over to a leased computer center every night, and bringing the results back in the morning.

    BTW, Ross Perot started EDS on the same system. He rented time wherever he could.

  69. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Yesterday, one of my connections on LinkedIn asked for examples of neologisms, an open invitation to creativity. I must’ve had cookies (as in macaroons) on the brain. I came up with “Magarune,” defined as “American political slogan written in Old Norse characters.” Some of the other entries were downright brilliant.

  70. Teve says:

    Damn. FoxNews poll has it 53-43 Biden.

  71. Mister Bluster says:

    Reply to Young Bob from late last night who was replying to my earlier post:

    Mister Bluster says:
    Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 19:02
    Just got a text from “Jan” with the Democrats asking me if I was going to cheer on Kamala in the debates tonight. The text addressed me by my proper first name and not a shortened version.
    My name and phone number are likely in endless databases around the world so I never really think about how a caller or text got that information. I am kinda of curious how I am targeted as a Democrat as I have not stated that info on Facebook or anywhere else that I recall.
    Not that it matters. Since I already voted for all the Democrats on my ballot I see no need to reply to “Jan” or watch the debates.
    I should be able to watch the Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees in the AL Division Series at a National League diamond in San Diego and the San Diego Padres v. Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series at the American League yard in Arlington Texas.
    I can follow the debates on the internet.

    LOOK! There’s the Edit function! Haven’t seen that all day no matter how many time I reloaded the page!

    Bob’s midnight message:

    Bob@Youngstown says:
    Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 23:44
    @Mister Bluster: In many states your voting record is included in the publicly accessible voter list. How they can key you for a democrat is if you have voted in the Democratic Primary.

    My response today (Thursday 10/08/2020):

    When a citizen registers to vote in Illinois the registration is with the County Clerk. For me that is Jackson County. There is no requirement to declare a party preference. Even if you do there is no place to record that in the county records as far as I know.
    In Illinois the primary election is an open primary. A voter is asked for an address, voters name is verified. No ID is required. Voter signs a card before a ballot is issued. Voter requests a primary ballot for party of choice. I have asked the election judges in the past if my party ballot choice is recorded and they tell me no. The card that I sign notes the fact that I have voted to prevent anyone from voting in my name a second time and that card is a matter of public record.

  72. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: Have you ever donated to a Democratic candidate?

    Also, I am not sure what the election judges were thinking you were asking: they have to record what your choice is so that the number requested can be matched to the number of ballots cast–it’s an anti-fraud measure, they HAVE to record it, unless Illinois law is wonky in a way that I can’t understand.

  73. Monala says:

    @CSK: Can you provide a summary?

  74. Liberal Capitalist says:

    While a virtual debate would be different, it would not be so different for many Americans.

    Separated, Isolated, Virtual via some web conferenceing software… it is teh existance that has kept America moving forward in the COVID world.

    Apparently, our president does not share that experience as well, and cannot adapt to the world as most of us have. Sad.

  75. Joe says:

    @Mister Bluster and Jen:
    I also vote in Illinois and it has been my understanding that my county clerk registers me as whatever was the last primary ballot I took, which, for me, changes from election to election depending on what contests I think are important. Many years ago, the local county clerk made himself a hero by refusing to include voters’ phone numbers when the state Republicans – his party – asked for voter records of county Republicans.

  76. Kathy says:


    My experience in programming is scant. I signed up for “computer classes” at school when they were optional, and mostly we were taught some programming language, which was of very limited practical use. I recall BASIC, Logo, and some Pascal.

    In BASIC it helped to run the program as you made it to see how it was going.

    Bu high school, at a different school, someone began to realize that teaching how to use the basics of the operating system, and then the applications in existence at the time like word processors, spreadsheet software, etc. would be of greater benefit to most students.

  77. gVOR08 says:

    My first programming class, FORTRAN of course, involved using one of the card punch machines scattered around campus to punch your cards, taking the deck to the computer lab, waiting overnight for it to run on the University of Illinois homebuilt ILLIAC II, and then going to get your cards back along with the results printed on 15” wide greenbar paper. If it failed to run, you might get the line number it failed on.

  78. Kathy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    While a virtual debate would be different, it would not be so different for many Americans.

    Assuming Trump has even thought about this, he may have been told there can be a bit of a lag. Therefore it would be harder for the Covidiot in Chief to interrupt Biden constantly.

    He can’t have that. It’s his whole strategy.

  79. Mu Yixiao says:

    The Biden Campaign’s response to Trump backing out of the townhall debate.

    (short version: We’ll do our own townhall. Please move yours to the third slot so people can ask both of us questions.)

    Edit: Grammar to clarify that there aren’t only two questions.

  80. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: My classmates had me playing at Carnegie Hall (and I wasn’t even close to being the best musician in the group).

  81. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    My classmates had me being a Playboy photographer. 😀

    I never shot for them, but I do have a very nice portfolio of nudes with pro & semi-pro models.

  82. sam says:
  83. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jen:..Have you ever donated to a Democratic candidate?
    I have never donated a penny to any candidate of any political party.
    I can see that election officials would have to record how many ballots of each party they give out but I don’t see why they would have to keep track of WHO gets them.
    Maybe I’m missing something.

    From the Lake County, Illinois Office of the County Clerk
    Illinois does not have a political party registration system

  84. Jen says:


    Therefore it would be harder for the Covidiot in Chief to interrupt Biden constantly. He can’t have that. It’s his whole strategy.

    Indeed it is/was. Christie coached him on that–know why? When you interrupt someone who is a stutterer, it breaks their train of thought. I’ve mentioned before that I dated a stutterer long ago, and before they speak, they run through their responses to check for any “problem words.” These are words with consonants that give them trouble, so they either substitute other words or rephrase.

    Interrupt a stutterer, and you interrupt that process. Trump’s interruptions were coached. This was by design to trip Biden up.

  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Back in 197o, I took a course in Calculus in which one of the peripheral activities was to learn the rudiments of BASIC (-II, IIRC)–a task at which I failed spectacularly, I might add. Back in those days, there were only 2 or 3 computers for student use available on a campus of about 3 or 4 thousand students, so we always wrote our programs out in longhand before taking them to the computer center (closet, literally) to key in for testing.

  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Joe: Your post reminded me of a running gag in a Jay Ward cartoon about a race car driver named Tom Slick. The narrator would say something to the effect of “the crowd roared” which was followed by a shot of a dozen or so people looking all directions with a yawn sound effect.

  87. inhumans99 says:

    Nice, I went to Politico and see that Trump is blaming Gold Star Families/the military for getting Covid. Blame law enforcement/or the military, two groups that for the most part have remained on your side this year…that should go over well with his supporters.

    Also, bragging about how God blessed him by giving him Covid, that has to sound as insane as it sounds to some of Trump’s less unhinged supporters. Calls to arrest Biden Yesterday, blaming the military for giving him Covid, and in turn also saying he feels blessed to have come down with Covid…someone should be merciful and prevent Trump from opening his mouth over the next 7 days as he is not helping his campaign get him re-elected.

  88. Teve says:


    NEW: “We need to take away children,” AG Sessions told prosecutors, according to a draft DOJ IG report. That statement contradicts Sessions’ previous claim that “we never really intended” to separate children. w/@shearm @ktbenner


    We really do need to put these people in jail after this is over. Either for the human rights abuse or the lying about the human rights abuse, I don’t care, but it needs to happen so it becomes clear these people should never be allowed back in the halls of power.

  89. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: Still, the more important thing was that they didn’t really say what he was implying, so now we’re stuck with trying to figure out if keef is an inept troll or someone who can’t actually process written information.

    I’m not sure that it really makes a difference, but…

  90. Scott says:

    @Mister Bluster: Sounds like Illinois is similar to Texas. You don’t register by party. You can vote in any party’s primary. However, we do have a rule that in the case of a primary runoff, you have to vote in the same party you originally did. You can’t switch and vote in another party’s runoff. That means what party’s primary you voted in is recorded somewhere.

  91. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: They have to record who pulls which type of primary ballot because not matching it to a voter would present a “hole” for potential fraud.

    Precinct xxx hands out 3,001 Republican Ballots, 4,001 Democratic ballots without keeping track.
    Precinct yyy hands out 3,001 Republican Ballots and 4,001 Democratic ballots and does keep track.

    On election day, Precinct xxx records:
    Candidate 1 (R) 1,500 votes
    Candidate 2 (R) 1,501 votes
    =3,001 votes for Republicans
    Candidate 1 (D) 1,000 votes
    Candidate 2 (D) 1,500 votes
    =2,500 votes for Democrats
    Where are the missing ballots?

    Same scenario for Precinct yyy, but, because they’ve recorded who pulled which ballots, they can trace for fraud. “Hello Mister Bluster, we are investigating an allegation of fraud in precinct yyy, can you confirm that you pulled a Democratic primary ballot on Date?” Y/N.

    Eventually, they figure out that anyone who pulled a Democratic ballot between the hours of 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. had their ballot go missing. They can then figure out who was in contact with the ballots during that time period, etc.

    This is a horribly simplistic example, but as far as I know, they need to be able to say, “yes, we handed out x many Democratic ballots, and here’s the list of names that exactly matches that number.”

  92. Scott says:

    @Kathy: @gVOR08: Memories of computer class. I learned programming in Fortran and Pascal. It was always fun to punch your cards, leave them in the queue for overnight processing, come back in the morning to find out the program bombed. Then trying to find your error and start all over again. Then there was the occasional dropping of the card deck into the parking lot slush pile. Good times!

  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Trump still being on Dexamethsone may not be as revealing as we’d like to think. A typical steroid course is 7-days and Dexamethasone comes in a 10 day course. Even if he were getting better, he’d still likely be on the medication.

    On the positive side, needing to take a second course or continue a longer course…
    (Daym, I was so hoping to be a better person today. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.)

  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @wr: Damn! I struck out there too???? People just don’t appreciate true genius anymore.

  95. Barry says:

    @Gustopher:If you are talking about H1N1, from

    There were 12 thousand + estimated deaths in a year. Otherwise known as six days of peak COVID fatalities.

  96. Mister Bluster says:

    @Scott:..The Air Force is experimenting with a brand new way to put warheads on foreheads

    Project Headgear was indeed an attempt to turn sharks into bomb-delivery systems.source

    I have read this item three times and I can not reconcile the subtitle: “During World War II, scientists attempted to use sharks as bomb-delivery systems by strapping explosives to their heads.” with this line in the article: “The project, which ran from 1958 to 1971,..”.

  97. Mister Bluster says:’s the list of names that exactly matches that number.
    If this is all true I will not be voting in any more Illinois Primary Elections.

  98. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: First, see if you can find any local information on that. I’m answering based on what was my understanding when I worked in politics decades ago, so it might not be accurate anymore–or relevant to your state (I wasn’t working in Illinois).

    Chicago got such a bad reputation for voter fraud back in the ’60s that there are a number of checks and balances in place. But I’d be very surprised if there isn’t a method in place that would track numbers and the only truly accurate way to do that is by voter.

  99. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Another way that you might be getting pegged is by demographic and shopping data.

    Data brokers are able to glean amazing amounts of information based on neighborhood data, building records, and shopping habits.

    At the coarsest level, neighborhoods are flagged red or blue based on aggregate data that might include urban/rural, number and types of churches, and school data. This is useful for blanket mailings.

    Getting finer, aggregate data can include magazine subscriptions, known political affiliations by percentage, public donation records, and such.

    At a very fine level, your personal shopping habits tell enormous amounts of information about you. If you have any sort of “rewards card”, your shopping habits are being relayed to data brokers–who match it up with any other information that is tied to your phone number or address.

    So… they can take your DMV info (age, address, type of vehicle), tie it to your insurance and property tax information (value and type of house), cross-reference that to your phone (using address), and then match that to your shopping habits (by phone number). All of those have your full name listed on them, which is how they can call you by name.

    And all of that creates a profile that tells them with high levels of accuracy which way you’re likely to vote–or if you’re a swing voter.

  100. flat earth luddite says:

    Ah, yes. Fortran, Cobol, and then the upgrade to Basic. Scheduled computer lab time at UW (for me, YMMV) was usually 2:45 a.m.., Sunday morning. I introduced several people to the idea of marking the top of my shoe box of punch cards so I could put them (hopefully) back in order after dropping the box. In addition to my programming template, recently found 2 of my slide rules in a box from storage.

  101. MarkedMan says:

    @sam: I’ve been saying for years that the Republucans dalliance with the gun nuts is going to end badly, just as it did at Oklahoma City. These gun nuts have the mentality and morality of obnoxious eleven year olds, with the fire power of a modern day lunch mob.

  102. gVOR08 says:


    Then there was the occasional dropping of the card deck into the parking lot slush pile. Good times!

    One winter I saw a guy walking across the Quad at Iowa State with a card box under each arm. (For the youngsters, they were corrugated cardboard boxes the size of a card by about 15″long, held a few thousand punch cards.) He hit a patch of ice and flung both arms out as he fell, sending both boxes flying. There were about twenty of us chasing cards across the Quad. Hope he knew the thing about felt tipping a diagonal line across the edges of the deck to help sort them.

  103. Jen says:

    Well, this is not a good look for the RNC:

    Ex-Fundraiser for Trump, RNC Charged Over Foreign Lobbying

    Elliott Broidy, a former top political fundraiser for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, has been charged as part of a wide-ranging federal probe into back-channel efforts to influence the U.S. government on behalf of foreign interests.

    Broidy participated in a scheme to illegally lobby the Trump administration to stop investigating the embezzlement scandal at the 1MDB Malaysian state investment fund, according to charging documents unsealed on Wednesday.

  104. Teve says:

    What percentage of voters are knowledgeable enough to know what they’re doing?

  105. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jen:..see if you can find any local information on that.
    I guess that’s what I thought I was doing when I asked the election worker at my polling place if the party primary ballot I had selected was being recorded on my signature card and they said “no”.

  106. Mu Yixiao says:

    On the subject of bringing politics into everything:

    Tinder automatically “matches” you with an account called “election”–which sends you messages about registering and going to vote and stuff.

    You can’t “unmatch”. And there’s no way to say “I’ve already voted, STFU”.


  107. Gustopher says:


    There were 12 thousand + estimated deaths in a year.

    That’s the getting lucky part. H1N1 was not as deadly as the initial estimates by a long shot — weak enough that so few people went to the doctor, so case fatality rate in other countries was crazy high, compared to the actual fatality rate.

    We failed to contain a pretty mediocre version of the flu.

    Our protocols for containment were poor, and poorly executed. We improved a lot of protocols because of that, and had we executed those new protocols well, we would likely be facing a very different landscape right now. We had a (mostly) dry run for a pandemic, failed and learned — an amazing opportunity.

    It’s worth mentioning that our improved processes for containment weren’t a secret known only to us. That is part of why the rest of the world has responded better than we did. And that’s part of why states had some clue of what to do even without a functioning federal government.

  108. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: Fair point. And, it could well be true, but then I’d wonder what anti-fraud measures they do have in place.

    I know that information is recorded here in NH. I’m registered as “undeclared,” so each time I vote in a primary, presidential or for state offices, I have to tell them which ballot I want. They make a mark that I’ve requested an R or D ballot, this essentially “registers” me with that party. I go and vote, and on my way out of the polling place there’s a table where I un-register from the party I’ve just declared, and go back to “undeclared.”

    Since I’ve pulled both Republican and Democratic ballots over the years, I get some pretty weird direct mail, because I’m also a frequent voter (I vote in all elections, town, the NH primary, state–these are all at different times of the year).

  109. CSK says:

    It’s a fairly lengthy piece by Tapper, but the gist of it is that the 1957 movie A Face in the Crowd, starring Andy Griffith as a huckster who becomes a leader predicted (in a way) the advent of Donald Trump.

  110. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: Here’s a list of all of the voter registration lists and what information is available from all 50 states.

    The box for Illinois is blank.

  111. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mu data…property tax information…phone number…

    I’m sure they’ve got me by the balls. (There’s no money in my wallet.)
    The phone number that I use for my Kroger card and My Panera card was for my old landline phone which is no longer in service. I still have DSL internet service from the same carrier and those 10 digits along with 7 more make up the account number on that bill.
    Property tax information. I own a 1/2 acre hillside lot on a private road out of town that I bought 35 years ago. The lot came with a 14×60 1977 model trailer house that I live in. The land would be worth more if I removed the trailer and sold it as a building lot. County charges a mobile home tax of $50.40/year with the senior exemption and the real estate tax on the parcel is $24/year with the homestead exemption.
    I must be in the Democrat’s poor man’s demographic.

  112. sam says:

    Donald J. Trump Retweeted [someone telling one of Trump’s supporters that he, the supporter, is full of shit]

    Andrew Feinberg
    (The 25th Amendment does not work that way, and it’s also not a “coup” to use it)
    Quote Tweet

    Rep. Mark Green
    · 1h
    I wouldn’t put it past @SpeakerPelosi to stage a coup.

    She has already weaponized impeachment, what’s to keep her from weaponizing the 25th amendment?

    We need a new Speaker!…

  113. Kylopod says:

    James and Steven might be interested in Mike Lee expressing the old “The US is not a democracy but a republic” chestnut.

    My interpretation of this? They’re setting up to justify an authoritarian takeover of the US.

  114. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: They’re setting up to justify an authoritarian takeover of the US.

    No, they are setting up to justify whatever election chicanery they try to pull off.

  115. Kylopod says:


    @Kylopod: They’re setting up to justify an authoritarian takeover of the US.

    No, they are setting up to justify whatever election chicanery they try to pull off.

    Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe….

  116. JohnMcC says:

    @Kylopod: The salient point of Sen Lee’s tweets about ‘democracy v republic’ was that we’re pretty damn lucky not to be one of those democracies. Which is pretty much the attitude that the Trump/TeaParty version of the R-party has about ‘democracy’. They seriously believe that we’re remarkably fortunate to have them for our leaders. Now if we’d just STFU….

  117. Teve says:

    VP Pence, in Arizona now, has cancelled events in Indiana tomorrow and will be returning to Washington instead

    Pence got the Rona?

  118. Michael Cain says:

    Geez. I started coding in 1971 and it was some form of timeshare all the way through my undergraduate degree. When I went off to graduate school that applied math department only provided card decks, which seemed an insane step backwards. For me that lasted about three weeks until I arranged to use the Dept. of Sociology’s timeshare system. Don’t ask me why the Dept. of Sociology had a big computer, but to keep it they needed to rack up a large number of CPU-hours per week. I was happy to solve that problem for them.

  119. Kylopod says:


    Pence got the Rona?

    Sheesh, I hope Sen. Harris is okay. And the fly.

  120. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: 😉

    I don’t know if anyone else here has mad note of this but Elliot Broidy has just been indicted.

    (Bloomberg)–Elliott Broidy, a former top political fundraiser for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, has been charged as part of a wide-ranging federal probe into back-channel efforts to influence the U.S. government on behalf of foreign interests via @TheTerminal

  121. Michael Cain says:

    @Kylopod: Lee is scared because Utah’s citizens passed by direct democracy a non-partisan redistricting commission and the ACA expansion of Medicaid. Well, mostly. To stay in line with the state constitution the redistricting commission is advisory but the state legislature has to publish a detailed explanation for every deviation from the recommendation. And when it looked like the expansion would pass — and it did, comfortably — the legislature preempted it with their own more limited expansion.

  122. Jen says:

    Good grief.

    Media are going to give me a heart attack. I just saw this WMUR headline:

    Saint Anselm Poll: Biden widens lead; Sununu, Shaheen, Kuster well ahead; Pappas-Mowers tight

    Chris Pappas is my member of Congress, and he’s great, so I was surprised to see that the race was tight.

    I open the link, and read:

    The closest race of the “Big Four” is in the 1st Congressional District, where Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas maintains only an 8 percentage point lead over Republican challenger Matt Mowers. The district has traditionally swung back and forth between Democrats and Republican for more than a decade.

    The poll by the college’s Survey Center, released first to WMUR, surveyed 1,147 registered voters for the statewide races and about half of that number for the two U.S. House races.

    Emphasis added by me.

    Now, given the numbers polled, the MOE is a bit bigger for the House races (4 pts.), but an 8 point lead is still pretty healthy. Yeesh.

  123. Sleeping Dog says:


    All along I’ve believed that Papas would win, but with a 4-5 point margin. The first is a swing district.

    Today’s MC ride and lawn sign poll, had me heading out through Candia, Bow, heavily trump through Goffstown to Peterborough, which is Biden country, with the return via Mason, Brookline and Hollis, mostly Biden. Nashua and Salem, definitely Trump

  124. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Yep. Very familiar, I’ve been in District 1 almost since I moved to NH, with the exception being in District 2 for a brief period when I lived in Nashua, so I know it goes back and forth (sometimes from one cycle to the next). Still, I read that headline and thought “uh-oh”–and was anticipating a 2-point race. An 8 point lead with a MOE of +/- 4 points would put him right in line with your prediction, which I very much hope is the case. He’s great and I hope he’s on track for US Senate at some point down the road.

  125. Mu Yixiao says:

    And now for your reading pleasure…. Today’s WTF?! moment:

    Yesterday I ordered some “reader” safety glasses. They came today. I reached in the mailer and pulled out… a thin pink box…. of false eyelashes!

    Fortunately, the safety glasses were also in there. But… WTF?! Are those stored in the same aisle at Amazon warehouse? o_O

  126. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: }

    One can hope for an advantageous result for the world.

    I’m not one to cry “conspiracy” for no reason. A cover-up is a kind of conspiracy. The secrecy surrounding Trump’s COVID-19 tests, suggests he found he was positive some time before he admitted it in public, possibly much earlier than we currently think. I hope someone leaks that.

  127. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: @Mu Yixiao: I got texts from Bernie people both in 2016 and during the primaries this year even though I
    1) am not registered to vote
    2) haven’t voted in a primary or general election since 2004
    3) have moved 4 times in the last 20 years–including 8 years out of the country altogether and
    4) have NEVER donated time or money to a political campaign in 50 years of adult life.

    I count the texts as spam and assume that I am on some sort of random number generation scheme for phone, similar to the one that calls me “because you are a valued Marriott customer” despite the fact that I’ve never stayed at a Marriott in my life. (Motel 6/Super 8 until they became too popular/expensive).

  128. Kathy says:

    First computer I ever used was a Radio Shack Pocket Computer, which had a three-line LCD monochrome display, and a whooping 1.2 K RAM.

    At home, after much haranguing my parents, they agreed to get me a computer. I wanted an Atari 800, or failing that an Atari 400, they had respectively 32 and 16 K RAM, could take software cartridges, and had a primitive form of multimedia via an audio tape recorder which also served to store software and files. Unfortunately Atari was known for its game console, and my parents simply would not believe their computers were top of the line.

    So they got me a Radio Shack Color Computer with a whooping 4 K RAM and a tape recorder which served for storage only (both Atari and RS used common audio cassettes for this). It also took cartridges, but there wasn’t much available. It was ok, and I even managed to do a primitive version of the TRON lightcycle games (with lines only). But it wasn’t nearly as good as an Atari would have been.

    By high school, we got an Apple ][e with dual disk drives (I think that one had an amazing 128 K RAM). I did use that one a lot. It ran word processors, games, and lots of other things. I discovered that homework done on it, if saved on a data disk, could be used again even years later for similar classes (I’d still done the work, right?)

    Past that, I had several PCs of various capabilities. Today, aside from gaming dedicated machines, they are all pretty much alike.

  129. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Based on what I see in elections even at the state and local level, I’d be willing to go with ~25%, but wouldn’t argue with anyone about a lower number.

  130. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Enjoy your lashes!

    Seriously, sounds to me like automated arms are selecting products or loading into packaging, and you just got two-for-one.

  131. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Ummmm… maybe…

  132. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I forgot to include that I rent, so I’m not on any tax rolls in my state (Washington).

  133. Teve says:

    I’ve been assuming all day that Pence was going back to Washington and canceling his Indiana events because he had the Rona, but a friend mentions that it’s possible that it’s not that, but rather Trump is crashing. It’s probably the Rona, but…

  134. Kathy says:


    Trump crashing would be better for the world’s condition. It would be better for keeping more Americans alive and free of COVID-19.

  135. Bill says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Motel 6/Super 8 until they became too popular/expensive).

    There is one of each of these hotels close to either my condo or the wife’s work. If we had no electric and a room at either hotel was free, I’d pass. The local ones here have horrible reputations and the police frequent all the time.

    35 years ago when I was serving in the Navy and driving cross country, I vaguely recall staying in a Super 8 and didn’t have problems.

  136. Bill says:


    So do I. My reluctance to throw out anything that was once useful.

    Just before moving out of my home of 17 years, I found a portable floppy drive I’m no techie, but I always liked this commercial.

    Sorry to report, but I didn’t keep the floppy drive. Around a year ago I learned I was still in possession of a pen from a hotel I last stayed in 18 years earlier!

  137. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill: These days, if I’m traveling and need a room for the night, I usually book a room from Expedia or When I came back to the states from Korea, I’d book the “Travelocity Surprise Room” (or whatever it was called). One year I stayed in a room at nice hotel near the Portland Rose Garden arena (now the Moda Center) for about $12/night for a week. Worked out really well.

  138. Michael Cain says:

    Just before moving out of my home of 17 years…

    My wife and I are into the last few days before moving out of the house where we have lived for 32 (“and a half,” as granddaughter #1 says) years. Fortunately the new townhouse has a large basement, so we haven’t had to make all the decisions about what to keep just yet. Still, between outdoors and indoors stuff, there will be approx 30 cubic yards of stuff hauled away.

  139. Teve says:

    So Trump called into Hannity and instead of expressing contempt for the murder plot and support for Whitmer, he’s attacking her.

  140. Teve says:
  141. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    First thank you for the compliment when you refer to me as “Young Bob”. Having completed 75 years on this planet, I’m not often referred to as “young”. However I will take whatever compliments I can get!

    As I wrote last night, “many states”, perhaps I should have been a bit more specific. I have not been a campaign worker in any other state than Ohio for the past 25 years, so prior campaign work experiences with other states may be have been true at the time but are not true today. So I’ll confine my remark to Ohio.

    The county Board of Election has a database (actually an excel spreadsheet) wherein each registered voter is devoted a row. The columns are typically name, address, precinct, phone number, first date of registration, renewal registrations, followed group of columns for each election (Primary & year, General and year, Special and date). By looking at the voters (arranged alphabetically) and sorted by Precinct, you can see that voter’s voting history for the past 5 years or so.
    Say you voted in the 2018 General, the 2019 Primary, the 2019 General and the 2020 Primary. In the field for the General elections there will be an “X”, but in the 2019 Primary you asked for a Republican ballot, The field would be filled with an “R”. However a year later when you voted you asked for a Democratic ballot, that 2020 Primary field would be populated with an “D”.

    These spreadsheets are available to the various political parties and are (or were) accessible on the county websites (if you know the proper access codes).

    In Ohio, you become registered in a party each time you ask for a Primary ballot (just as you describe in NH), however, you cannot change your registration till the following year (unlike NH)!

    Which creates a rather weird situation, in that the OH State Statutes suggest that if you register or take a particular party’s primary ballot you are explicitly aligning yourself with that party’s platform and principles (regardless of the person on the ballot you voted for). Thus the expectation is that you willvote for the party’s nominee in the General.

    This was pointed out to me when I was accused of election fraud, because I had voted for an R in the primary (who I thought was the best of the R field) but fully intended (and did) vote for the D candidate in the General.

    It seems that the Ohio legislature (written by party partisans) did not voters to “change” party between the Primary and the General, regardless of the candidates! (I say, catch me if you can!)

  142. Jax says:

    @Teve: He ain’t ever been right, all the layers of “normal” he’s been taught over the years to hide his inability to feel real, human emotions or even an ounce of empathy are being ripped away. “Drunk uncle” will be tame compared to how he devolves over the next few months. Particularly if he gets flogged in the election.