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:

    Texas, it’s a whole ‘nother country.

    The message went out over the state’s Amber Alert system, which is blasted to people’s mobile phones, usually to help find a missing child. It was sent three times.

    It described the suspect as being called Chucky and listed him as a 28-year-old with red, auburn hair, blue eyes who stood at 3ft 1in tall and weighed 16lbs. He was said to be wearing blue denim overalls with a multi-colored striped long sleeve shirt and carrying a large knife – matching his appearance in the films.

    His race was listed as “Other: Doll.”

  2. Teve says:


    In 2018, Rep Greene approvingly shared a white supremacist video claiming that “an unholy alliance of leftists, capitalists and Zionist supremacists has schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation, with the deliberate aim of breeding us out of existence in our own homelands”

  3. Jax says:

    Thinking of you today, Kathy, please check in and let us know how the test turned out!!

  4. Kathy says:

    Quick update. The PET CT showed something, but it didn’t show anything definitive. So no “Congrats! It’s not cancer!” But also no “too bad, it’s cancer.” The doctor referred me to a hematologist. The latter asked for the radiology reports, and any recent blood tests.

    Now, I have to ask, do healthy people outside of direct food service jobs have blood tests done on a regular basis? I assume the last I had was when I donated blood and platelets in 2011, and the blood bank lab didn’t share any results with me. I expect he’ll order blood tests, which at least are done quickly.

    Meantime, the hernia surgery will have to wait.

    I did read through the radiology reports. I’m not a physician, but I understand a few things. The second report recommended histopathology tests. That means taking a biopsy and looking at the tissue under a microscope, and/or carrying out tests on it. Now, I may be wrong, but it seems plausible the surgeon could take such a biopsy while repairing the hernia. It’s all inside, isn’t it?

    I’ve had a biopsy once, well back in the 90s, when I had rosacea. One of the dermatologists thought it a good idea to test it for other abnormalities. It came back clean. But that was taken off the skin with a local anesthetic.

    We’ll see. Right now, I’m already tired of calling doctors and labs and such.

  5. Tyrell says:

    This is surprising: “NBC dropping sports”.
    The NHL is probably in a state of shock. It looks like the USA will pick up their broadcasts. That is not good for those of us who don’t have the USA network on their channel list.
    I had hoped that NBC would have been expanding their sports and give ESPN a run for their money. They had been improving. I might contact our Congress representative and see what they could do about this. I don’t have the fifty or so dollars it would take to treat our family to pro sports events, yet in one way or another, some of our tax money winds its way into “pro” sports; usually through stadium funding. It looks like the public broadcasting channels could carry at least the local area teams.
    CNN would be a good candidate for a sports network. They’ve got some good people there. Don Lemon would be a good person to do sideline work and player interviews, like while they are in the penalty box, in the locker rooms between periods. Anderson Cooper could do special reports on such things as goalie stretching exercises, best foods at each arena, how skates are sharpened, explain terms such as “icing the puck” “boarding” “roughing”, and how the ice is put down. I always wanted to see that done some time. Anderson could even try driving the Zamboni!
    Another good, first-rate sports network is definitely needed.
    NBC is on the way down and fast; hasn’t been the same since Brinkley and Brokaw left.

  6. Mu Yixiao says:
  7. Kathy says:

    So, the GOP decided to not even warn the Congresswoman from the Great State of Q next time they may consider slapping her wrist.

    They say she apologized for her past remarks.

    Well, isn’t that special?

    Did she call David Hogg, ask to meet with him at his home, and humbly begged his forgiveness?

    I didn’t think so. until she does, any apology she issues is as authentic as a trump electoral victory in 2020.

  8. CSK says:

    She’s a female Trump. No apology is sincere, is only grudgingly made, and will soon be retracted.

  9. KM says:

    Well, Boebart’s already blatantly grifting as she’s claiming reimbursement on almost 39,000 miles driven during her campaign. Yes, 39K miles driven in seven months, during a pandemic to no publicly listed events in 3 of those months. She’d have had to drive the length of CO three times a day to legit make that number.

    $22K a nice little grift if you think the IRS isn’t stupid enough to be questioning the hell out of massive business travel during a pandemic. Even if they claim it was a “typo” with an extra 0 legitimately mistakenly added at the end, nobody wondered about the huge check? Naw – blatant theft they bet nobody would notice or care about and doesn’t that speak volumes about her future actions in Congress?

  10. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That sounds like a description of the Las Vegas Raiders football coach?

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Damn, my fingers were getting tired. Guess I’ll give them a break and cross some toes instead.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: According to the Hill, she apologized to the GOP caucus. Some members even gave her a standing ovation.

  13. Scott says:

    Although details are still to come, this doesn’t seem to be activity without action but potentially valuable.

    Defense secretary orders 60-day stand-down to confront extremism in the military

    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has called on the services to conduct a 60-day stand-down on the issue of extremism in the military, prompted by the Jan. 6 attack on the the Capitol and subsequent reports of both active-duty and former service members attending a rally calling to overturn the 2020 election and the riot that ensued.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: Long commutes are common for a union carpenter. 150 miles/day was one of my shorter commutes. It does not strike me as unreasonable at all, considering where she was campaigning. She may very well have padded her mileage, it is common enough for folks to do that, (commutes to and from work don’t count dammit! only miles driven while AT work) but if she did it was not by an impossible to conceive of amount.

    The devil is still in the details.

  15. Kathy says:


    The radiology report was done by Tuesday, not Wednesday as anticipated. But then the doctor took the whole day getting back to me. I assume if something really serious had shown up, someone would be in a hurry to let me know.

    I’m trying not to get ahead of the facts, nor to delve into the many possibilities, but it may be simple inflammation as a side effect of the hernia, which was one possibility listed. I suppose there may be two things wrong in the same area that are not related, but the odds would not seem to favor that scenario.

    On other things, I’m getting caught up with Rick and Morty season 4.

    It’s an odd show. The characters are hard to like, and it keeps getting more violent every season. But I love the unbounded imagination displayed with the fictitious science and technology portrayed. It’s more like magic, really, explained in scientific terms.

  16. DrDaveT says:


    Now, I have to ask, do healthy people outside of direct food service jobs have blood tests done on a regular basis?

    Yes. I have a complete series of blood tests done every year as part of my routine physical. There are several dozen distinct tests that are “routine”; the lab runs them all at once.

  17. KM says:

    @OzarkHillbilly :
    The problem is there seems to be nowhere she was going so often. This wasn’t a long daily commute – it was for a single person for a campaign that had no listed activities for the stated months. Where was she driving so often and so far? It should be easily identifiable. If she’s driving the whole state on the regular (possible as you said but every single day??) then she should be able to prove it simply by saying “went here, then here, then here”.

    In addition to straight up padding, I’m betting she included any driving for her bar business as well and would probably claim she was “meeting constituents and potential voters”. As you noted, padding’s common but come on – this is INSANELY excessive and it was noted that it was triple what the incumbent regularly submitted. She went to x3 times the places he did every day? Nope – I’ve lived in a rural area and am no stranger to hella long drives. This is plain ole’ grift. A Simpsons quote comes to mind – “You know a D turns into a B so easily. You just got greedy”

  18. DrDaveT says:


    They say she apologized for her past remarks.

    NPR reported this morning that McCarthy was saying that she had made “a private retraction” of some of them.

    WTF is a “private retraction”? Can you image a newspaper defending a false story by saying “yes, but we internally retracted that one, so it’s OK…”?

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    My suspicion is that a quiet deal was struck, Cheney remained in the minority leadership and Greene got off with a non-apology. The problem with that is Dems will force a vote on Greene and that is a lose-lose situation for many Rs.

    And best to you on happy results.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I’m trying not to get ahead of the facts,

    It’s hard.

    Last spring after my kidney stone episode the ER sent me to a urologist. They wanted to scope me really bad, but I said no (this was during the first months of covid and a lot of Docs were starving for elective procedures to perform) . So instead they took urine samples and tested them for various things including prostate cancer. A week later they called and asked me to give another urine sample because, “They didn’t like the first one.” My mind immediately went to, “They found something and they want to confirm it.” So I gave them yet another and…

    A week later…
    Still nothing.
    A month after that…
    And still nothing.

    After a while I just about forgot the whole damn thing. Every now and again I’d think, “I should call them.” but I really hate talking on the phone and so I’d put it off again. At this point I have to figure if there really was something wrong they would have been pushing hard to get a hold of me.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: Like I said, the Devil is in the details.

    I was directing my comment more to the people who are saying, “39,000 miles in 7 months???? Not possible!” Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

    It just kind of irks me to know that what I used to do every day for a paycheck is considered a fantasy by some.

  22. Jen says:


    Now, I have to ask, do healthy people outside of direct food service jobs have blood tests done on a regular basis?

    I have a fasting panel done every year to check cholesterol levels, and a full panel about every 3 years to check things like iron levels, hormone levels, etc. I’d like to know what my Vit. D levels are, but that is a separate draw and is apparently quite expensive, so unless there’s a medical need they don’t automatically do one. I also once asked to have my blood typed and that too is apparently not done routinely and was told that the test was “pretty pricey.” I ordered a $25 finger-prick test off of Amazon and was able to determine my blood type that way (hopefully it’s accurate).

  23. Joe says:

    @Kathy: Only because you asked, recalling from the days when I attended all my sister’s doctor visits, there are certain blood values that go up (or down) depending on tumor activity.

  24. Joe says:

    @Kathy: Her non-apology is consistent with her statement that she didn’t agree with “all” the posts her “social media” staff was posting. Well, MTG, which ones did you not agree with? Can you be specific? No? I guess you are just trying to keep your cred with the creeps by not disowning any of their beliefs. Same reason she won’t give a public apology and publicly disown any of the specific beliefs that maintain her creeper cred.

  25. Kylopod says:


    WTF is a “private retraction”? Can you image a newspaper defending a false story by saying “yes, but we internally retracted that one, so it’s OK…”?

    Or it’s like if a newspaper claimed a particular columnist had privately retracted something they wrote.

    Back in 2008, it was reported that the head of Jews for Jesus had spoken at Sarah Palin’s church where he claimed that the victims of suicide bombings in Israel were being punished for their failure to accept Christ. A spokesperson for McCain’s campaign told the press that Palin didn’t share those views. Palin herself was never asked about it.

    Imagine if that’s how the Obama campaign had dealt with Rev. Wright.

  26. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: they’re probably thinking, “we’ll let him live out his last few weeks in happy obliviousness. Ain’t no coming back from That.”

  27. Kathy says:


    I had my blood typed at age 18 when renewing my driver’s license. The test took three drops of blood from a finger pinprick, then they added a drop of some reagent to each, and determined type by which reagents reacted. it was all done in a couple of minutes.

    I have A+, according to the test, and confirmed later with blood donations.

    I suppose that early test checks for type A, B, and O, with AB determined if the A and B reagents react. This excludes all the other rare blood types.

  28. CSK says:

    Kevin McCarthy is now saying that he doesn’t know what QAnon is. Last August, he stated that there was no room for QAnon in the Republican Party.

    This is a bit like Trump claiming he didn’t know who David Duke is.

  29. owen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Significantly, no mention of a disavowal, but it would have been insincere, so maybe MTG does have some integrity.

  30. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Feds have forced Tesla to re-call 134000 cars due to defective touch screens, i.e. they stop working. Tesla is whining that they only designed the screens for 5-6 years. I bet that disclosed. The claimed cost to replace the screen is <$1400, but a quick survey of a Tesla discussion group has claims that it cost owners ~$2000. Apparently the screens Tesla has installed are built to the typical consumer electronics standard and not to the standard that auto mfg typically use.

    My advice, lease. If you really want an EV and can't afford a new Tesla, rather than buying a used on get the Nissan, Chevy or one of the dozen or so new entries.

  31. Roger says:


    At this point I have to figure if there really was something wrong they would have been pushing hard to get a hold of me.

    You’re probably right, and I don’t want to raise your blood pressure unnecessarily. But please call about your lab results. When I’m not lurking here, I’m a medical malpractice lawyer. I have handled the case where a urologist didn’t call the patient with bad results and the patient didn’t call because he assumed that no news was good news. It usually is. Sometimes it isn’t.

  32. Kingdaddy says:

    @KM: A little context. Rifle, Colorado, Boebert’s home, is on the western side of the state, approximately 180 miles from Denver. The district of which it’s part, Colorado’s Third, is pretty huge, covering most of the western half of the state. As much as I dislike Boebert, active campaigning across the Third District would involve a lot of driving. Sure, her claim might still be padded, but perhaps not by the amount people assume.

  33. Michael Cain says:


    Now, I have to ask, do healthy people outside of direct food service jobs have blood tests done on a regular basis?

    What’s “regular”? My provider, as part of my free annual wellness visit, draws blood and runs a lipid screening and a few other cheap tests. (My serum creatinine runs a little high and they always want to jump at kidney disease, which they drop as soon as they look at the history chart.) Assorted infectious diseases get tested for every time I donate whole blood.

  34. Michael Cain says:

    @Kingdaddy: My father was a field accountant and safety engineer whose territory included Nebraska and a bit of Iowa, not that much bigger than CO-3. Working out of Omaha, he put 50,000 miles on the company car every 14 months or so. 40,000 during a campaign when you’re the challenger doesn’t seem that bad. I expect it will drop off a lot now that she’s in office and spending a ton of time in Washington.

  35. gVOR08 says:


    Palin herself was never asked about it.
    Imagine if that’s how the Obama campaign had dealt with Rev. Wright.

    Why did Obama have to do a full on denunciation and Palin had to do nothing? One, our supposedly liberal MSM’s bothsides is actually asymmetrical in favor of GOPs. Two, the weight of history leads us to expect no better of GOPs. And yet they get to still be the daddy party. Maybe the MSM is slowly coming around. They may even see the light of truth, given another few decades of Trumpism.

    Question: Trumpism is just white grievance politics. What will we call it once Trump is out of the picture?
    Answer: Mainstream Republicanism.

  36. owen says:

    @Kathy: Wishing you the best. I haven’t been involved with this blog for long, but it’s obvious that everyone here cares for you, and every support network is a valuable tool when going through medical procedures.

  37. Kathy says:


    Thank you.

    As an introvert, you’d find my idea of support may differ. But I appreciate it.

  38. KM says:

    My point wasn’t the distances involved – it was that there was nowhere she would be going that far that often since her own campaign didn’t have scheduled events or issues for most of that time. Her calendar looked like Trump’s for a long while – empty. Again, if she’s hauling so much ass around, where is she going??? CO had lockdowns in place so not everything was open and that limits where events could have been held. These would have been public or semi-public so it should be easy to produce a list that could account for the travel. Bill’s Bar out in Cowpasture CO twice a week then off 100 miles to Jack’s Junction for a speech at the church then back? She was certainly on social media and FOX a lot but physically where’s all the travel too?

    Everyone that’s giving anecdotal evidence is using non-pandemic established paths to use ie a regular commute or long distance work circuit or even a standard campaign. Fine but that’s not what were talking about. This was an atypical year and she didn’t have an established circuit. She ran her bar during this as we have video of her there for pandemic stunts. She wasn’t on the road 100% of the time which makes the miles per day even more suspicious.

    I’m not saying driving around out West doesn’t rack up the miles when stumping for office – I’m calling BS on her for this instance of having publically stated she doesn’t have a lot going on during several months but man did she burn through those reimbursable miles during that time!

  39. CSK says:

    I suspect we’re all somewhat introverted here. And let me add my name to the list of well-wishers to you.

  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    Movie at the Ellipse: A Study in Fascist Propaganda

    On January 6, Trump supporters gathered at a rally at Washington DC’s Ellipse Park, regaled by various figures from Trump world, including Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani. Directly following Giuliani’s speech, the organizers played a video. To a scholar of fascist propaganda, well-versed in the history of the National Socialist’s pioneering use of videos in political propaganda, it was clear, watching it, what dangers it portended. In it, we see themes and tactics that history warns pose a violent threat to liberal democracy. Given the aims of fascist propaganda – to incite and mobilize – the events that followed were predictable.

  41. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    The problem with that is Dems will force a vote on Greene and that is a lose-lose situation for many Rs.

    I dunno. Republicans are, for the most part, lazy and fearful. They don’t like Greene and would like her to be sanctioned or to just go away, but they are afraid of their Trumper voters. Having the Dems do the dirty work is their best option. They can privately encourage their Dem colleagues to go after her, while harrumphing about “precedent” which gives them cover for both their Trumper constituents as well as the others. They can talk out of both sides of their mouths.

  42. Jen says:


    The test took three drops of blood from a finger pinprick, then they added a drop of some reagent to each, and determined type by which reagents reacted. it was all done in a couple of minutes.

    This is roughly what the test I ordered from Amazon did. You get a card, and activate four circles with a drop of water. Then, you prick your finger and place a drop of blood in each of the circles. There’s a “control” circle, and then Anti-A, Anti-B, and Anti-D. You match the reactions to a chart. Depending on which circles react, the test identifies O Pos, A Pos, B Pos, AB Pos, and then the negatives for each (O-, A-, B-, AB-).

    There is a pretty clear warning in red that these cards aren’t for use for screening for transfusions, and you aren’t supposed to rely on the test as the “sole basis” for medical treatment. That said, my response was very clear (B+), which is also logical based on my parents’ blood types.

  43. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: I just hope you don’t get pulled into an increasing chain of tests, each proving negative, but they keep saying “let’s do just ONE more test….”

    I had that a few years ago, which ended up with a pretty invasive biopsy (they did the exact thing they would have done had they found something), a big scar on my chest, and an embarrassed “well, I guess there really wasn’t anything there….” many days later.

  44. Michael Cain says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I just hope you don’t get pulled into an increasing chain of tests, each proving negative, but they keep saying “let’s do just ONE more test….”

    When I was 44 I was diagnosed with low bone density. Low enough that at that age, they were looking hard to find a cause. Every few weeks I went in and they drew another set of test tubes of blood to send off. After one of them, the technician said, “Cool! This one goes to Paris because they’re the only people in the world who can do the test.” They never found anything.

  45. owen says:

    @Kathy: Luckily I’m not an introvert, I just don’t need any friends! 😉

  46. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’m kind of already in one, as I thought I’d have had the hernia repair surgery by now 🙂

    Years ago my dad had some intestinal issue, and he had just about every kind of test, invasive and non, his doctors thought of. On the one hand there was bleeding, on the other they couldn’t find it One involved swallowing a tiny camera, which took a flash photo every minute or so, as it made its way down the digestive tract. IN the end the bleeding kind of stopped on its own. I know they never found it.

    I’ve read, from right-leaning sources, that the large amount of tests in the US comes in part from fear of malpractice suits. I don’t know if this is so. The reasoning seems to be that long-shot diagnoses are considered, even if the diagnostic criteria don’t fully support it, to cover any legal angles regarding negligence.

    Here, I don’t think things will be that bad. So far, we know there’s something and we don’t know what it is. If they keep on not knowing and I keep feeling fine, for me that should do it.

  47. Kathy says:


    I describe myself as a happy introvert.

    Meaning: I don’t much care for social interactions, remote interactions are fine, I don’t need to be around people all the time, I prefer to be alone most of the time, etc. and I’m very happy all this is so.

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Now, I have to ask, do healthy people outside of direct food service jobs have blood tests done on a regular basis?

    Depends on how you define “healthy.” I have lots of blood tests done about 4 or 5 times a year, and I would describe my health as fair–I’m basically healthy, at least to my understanding of health in that I don’t have scurvy, rickets, heart disease, and so on. But, I have anemia, I take blood pressure medications that can affect the electrolyte levels in my blood (on the other hand, my HBP is controlled at the moment), and I have fluid retention in my lower limbs and abdomen that is not associated with congestive heart failure but rather with fatty liver that has started turning to cirrhosis and is associated with having taken prednisone many times a year when I was not as healthy as I am now because of chronic and relatively severe bronchial asthma. I’m Type-2 diabetic, but my A1-C level was 4.8 at my last test, so that condition is dormant.

    But as I said, over all, I’m probably as healthy as I’ve ever been in my life–while I have COPD from the chronic asthma of my child/early adult hood, my asthma has gone to seasonal and is well controlled. The blood tests that I take periodically keep doctors apprised of how things are going and overall the numbers stay pretty good.

    I’ll let you decide whether you think I count as healthy or not, and you can suss out your own answer to your question. As for my take, I’m as healthy as a person who’s 69 in July and had a prognosis of living to be about 35 or 4o at best when he was young can expect to be. I’ve been playing on the house’s money for almost 40 years, that’ pretty good in my book.

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: Since I don’t have cable or NBCs local station over the air, I guess I’ll still not be watching hockey. 🙁 Beyond that, I haven’t watched sports on NBC since the days of Saturday Night Main Event and that doesn’t really count as sports anyway, so I’m not shocked at NBCs decision at all. In fact my first reaction was “NBC has sports?”

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: ETA [no edit button 🙁 ]: You might need to check that fifty or so dollars to treat the family to professional sports thing. Back in 2001, a teacher I worked with was telling me that she and her husband were taking the kids to the Mariners game over the weekend. Total cost:$500, but they were coming back that day, so they didn’t have to stay overnight (afternoon game).

  51. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I suppose by “healthy” I do imply “without existing health issues.” I do know this is rare the older a person gets.

    So let me amend to “someone without existing health issues or conditions.”

  52. Michael Cain says:

    Smartmatic has sued Fox News, some of the talent, and a bunch of regular guests like Giuliani for $2.7B for defamation.

  53. Fortunato says:

    @Michael Cain:

    And Smartmatic wants a trial by jury.
    They want to put Rupert “Prince of Darkness” Murdoch, Lou “The Human Colostomy Bag” Dobbs, Maria “The Tired Tart” Bartiromo, Jeanine “Box o’ Wine” Pirro, Colludy “Hair Stain” Rudy and Sidney “The Kraken” Powell ON THE STAND!

    Dear Jesus, that Fox line-up is truly nothing short of a g.d. Circus Side Show – it’s the troupe that used to inhabit that separate little Trailer o’ Freaks they used to set up in the back.

  54. Kylopod says:


    And Smartmatic wants a trial by jury.

    Why not trial by combat?

  55. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I wonder how this will play out.

    For instance, the defendants can settle separately with the plaintiff. One can envision FOX settling, or trying to, and maybe also covering their hosts on the deal. I see a far smaller chance of FOX covering Rudy and Powell as well. This leaves the Trump S**t Show players out in the cold.

    It’s very unlikely a jury would award such a large sum, or that a judge would uphold it. But tens of millions overall are a real possibility. FOX can afford it. can Rudy and Powell? Regardless, they’ll incur substantial legal fees, too.

    I hope the trial is televised.

  56. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain: @Fortunato: @Kylopod:

    And…the House impeachment managers have requested that Trump testify.

  57. Kylopod says:


    And…the House impeachment managers have requested that Trump testify.

    And it won’t happen because that would be a perjury trap, defined as making a pathological liar testify under oath.

  58. owen says:

    Finally, a tangible benefit of COVID, increased home cocktails apparently. I have noticed a disturbing trend of “peanut butter” flavored bourbon abominations. I nearly disowned my son for a second time for gifting us a bottle of “Skrewball” (the first time was when he admitted he liked “Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey”). The future for this country is bleak.

  59. Sleeping Dog says:


    Except if you’re an R congress critter in a swing district, do you want to spend time and money during the 22 campaign defending your vote in support of Greene? And if you vote to strip her of her committee assignments, you raise the risk of losing a primary. Last night’s vote was a secret ballot the upcoming vote will be a roll call.

  60. owen says:

    @Kathy: I don’t see Smartmatic wanting or desiring anyone to settle. A settlement doesn’t provide them any brand re-validation, which they are claiming as their injury from defamation.

  61. Gustopher says:

    @owen: I brought salmon flavored vodka to a Halloween party once. It was the most frightening thing I could find.

  62. CSK says:

    Jamie Raskin ended the letter to Trump’s lawyers by noting that if Trump DIDN’T testify, his refusal to do so would be taken as a “strong inference” of his guilt.

    Rock and a hard place. I love it.

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: I’d like to know what my Vit. D levels are, but that is a separate draw and is apparently quite expensive, so unless there’s a medical need they don’t automatically do one.

    I get my Vitamin D levels checked every year as part of my standard blood workup. I don’t know the exact process but I know I never pay more than my usual copay.

  64. CSK says:

    That’s terrifying.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Heh. The things they don’t know… Cause I will come back and haunt them into their graves.

  66. Kylopod says:


    Jamie Raskin ended the letter to Trump’s lawyers by noting that if Trump DIDN’T testify, his refusal to do so would be taken as a “strong inference” of his guilt.

    Rock and a hard place. I love it.

    Sorry, I don’t see much of a hard place here. The Senate is going to acquit him, no matter what. But perjuring himself could get him in legal trouble, separate from the impeachment trial. He could wind up in an actual court, not the fake Congressional one.

  67. CSK says:

    He may, against the advice of his lawyers, insist on testifying. I think there’s a good chance he will, because a) NO ONE CALLS DONALD TRUMP A CHICKEN and because b) he thinks this will give him the opportunity to scream about election fraud, which is the defense he wanted to be used.

    I realize I may be engaging in wishful thinking. I’d love to see him perjure himself. And it might force some senators who are on the fence to convict him.

  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @owen: Holy shit. Where did you go wrong???

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: The horror.

  70. Pete S says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Tyrell:
    I think it is just NBCSN that is going away? The regular network has Notre Dame football, Sunday Night football and Triple Crown horse races. I don’t think those are going anywhere. The weekend afternoon NHL games I assume will stick around too.

    I believe the NHL makes most of its TV money here in Canada anyway.

  71. Owen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: He attended Thee University of Alabama. I also blame his mother.

  72. Jen says:


    I get my Vitamin D levels checked every year as part of my standard blood workup.

    Interesting. As far north as we are, and with the science on the issues caused by low Vitamin D levels becoming clearer every year, I cannot understand why it isn’t standard here. My husband had his checked because his autoimmune disease is typically accompanied by low Vit. D levels. His was so low the doctor said he’d never seen a reading that low, and immediately put him on prescription D in high doses. That was a few years ago, he now takes 2,000 IUs a day. So, I’ve always been curious what mine are, but I’ve been told the panel is ~$800 to run and if there’s no medical reason for me to have it, it comes out of my pocket. Sigh.

  73. Owen says:

    @Pete S: Probably a bigger market in the greater Boston area than Ontario or Quebec. And when I lived there the Bruins were on (unless the Pats were playing)!

    Yeah, edit worked so I don’t look like a complete buffoon.

  74. Kathy says:


    The only upside, for Trump, in testifying, is he can then sue his lawyers for malpractice because they didn’t keep him from testifying. I don’t know if that’s enough for him.

    The way to get him to testify is to make it the default assumption, in the media, that he won’t testify because he’s too scared, testifying terrifies him. It would take someone way smarter and with a much hotter daughter to dare to testify. Lots of people say that.

    But even if he does, I don’t expect him to have a Captain Queeg moment, which might leave the GOP no choice but to convict him. For one thing, he already acts paranoid and deranged.

  75. CSK says:

    That’s the point I made: He can be manipulated into testifying by well-placed insinuations that he’s chickenshit if he doesn’t testify. Works every time.

  76. CSK says:

    Trump has resigned from the Screen Actors Guild, saying it “did nothing” for him.

    I believe they were just about to boot him out of it.

  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Huh. I certainly have no answers to this conundrum. I’ve been on Vitamin D supplements for years and have no idea why they checked them to begin with. When I was still working I got plenty of sun except in winter so never thought about it one way or the other. I know they check them because every now and again they adjust my dosage. So far, I’m still using over the counter.

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Owen: Well that explains a lot. I blame my ex for everything too. I’m usually right to and when I’m wrong her denials sound hollow due to her pathological lying.

  79. DrDaveT says:


    He can be manipulated into testifying by well-placed insinuations that he’s chickenshit if he doesn’t testify. Works every time.

    If he testifies, I give it a 30% chance there will be a Captain Queeg moment.

  80. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    do you want to spend time and money during the 22 campaign defending your vote in support of Greene?

    That was my point. By casting this as “not a vote to defend Greene, but a vote in support of PRECEDENT!” they can avoid having to admit it was actual a defense of Greene.

  81. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Anyone up for a bet? I say Trump will not testify if they put him under oath. He will testify if they agree to no oath.

  82. CSK says:

    Trust me: There will be MANY Captain Queeg moments.

  83. Fortunato says:

    Vitamin D test shouldn’t cost more than $50 (extra) as part your annual workup. You can get one from a freestanding, walk-in lab (LabCorp, Quest) for about $50-$60.
    You can even get one mail order for about the same price (of course, someone’s gotta stick you)

  84. Pete S says:


    Not sure about the population of Boston area, Southern Ontario has about 8M people within 75 miles of Toronto and every damn one of them except me is an annoying Maple Leafs fan (I am a Bruins fan so trust me for hockey I would rather be in Boston)

    I was basing my initial comment more on network contracts – the NHL gets about 500M per year from Rogers cable in Canada, about 200M from NBC. Exchange rates don’t cover that.

  85. CSK says:


    His lawyers sent a letter to Jamie Raskin turning down the offer to testify. Damn. I was so looking forward to it.

    Margie Taylor Greene is now excusing herself thusly: “Throughout 2018, because I was upset about things and didn’t trust the government really…I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true.

    My emphasis. Exactly who allowed her to believe conspiratorial horseshit?

    She now says that school shootings and 9/11 really happened.

  86. Kathy says:


    Well, they don’t want to get sued for malpractice.

    I mean, that could be the shortest trial ever:

    Orange Ass: They let me testify under oath
    Judge: Summary judgment for the plaintiff. Defendants are ordered to pay all the money on Earth, plus interest.

    As for Miss Q, is she saying she didn’t trust the government when Republicans held the House, Senate, White House, and a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court? Does that also mean she trusts the government now that Democrats hold two branches?

  87. CSK says:

    Not to state the obvious, but I don’t think Marge is terribly bright. Not that it will matter to her fans.

  88. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @owen: I have to admit, “Skrewball” is the right name for peanut butter whiskey. [where’s the emoji of the green faced guy throwing up in his mouth when you need it?]

  89. Kathy says:


    If she’s not smarter than her marks, she’ll get in trouble.

  90. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @owen: @Gustopher: Can’t see the logic in drinking flavored whiskey. It seems to me that the barrel char and oak would cover whatever flavor you’re adding. I do like peaty whiskeys though; the char and oak are nicely complimented in that case.

    Flavored vodka I get. Salmon is a little outre for me, but I get fruit or herb flavored vodka.

  91. Gustopher says:

    Found this weird bluegrass cover of MGMT’s “Time To Pretend”

    I kind of love insane covers. Even when they aren’t good.

  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: That’s interesting. I also get Vitamin D as part of my work up, and I don’t know how or why it was approved other than my doctor wanted to find out–turned out I was really low, too (took several years to raise in to the bottom of the normal range). Then again, I have asthma and allergies; maybe I clear the approval bar automatically.

  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: “…with a much hotter daughter to dare to testify. Lots of people say that.” You seem to have sort of a mean streak. Do you do any logistics for your company? Asking because a while back, someone tried to hire me for their dispatch/inbound logistics desk because of my reputation as an a-hole. (Not that I think you are one, just a touch mean, maybe. 😉 )

  94. Kathy says:

    Inspirational dialogue/quote of the day:

    Hummin: You seem to be in a brown study, Seldon
    Seldon: I was considering my own ignorance.
    Hummin: A useful task. Quadrillions could profitably join you.

    Isaac Asimov, Prelude to Foundation.

  95. Michael Cain says:


    I nearly disowned my son for a second time for gifting us a bottle of “Skrewball” (the first time was when he admitted he liked “Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey”). The future for this country is bleak.

    I have been known to look complete strangers right in the eye and ask, “Why are you ruining perfectly good bourbon? Don’t you like bourbon?”

  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Is there some way he can be tricked into ranting about “stwrauwberries?”

  97. Sleeping Dog says:


    That doesn’t protect you from from having to defend the vote. Protecting a crazy person to up hold precedent isn’t looking out for the best interests of your constituents. Again if you are in a swing district you can’t afford to lose those those few persuadable voters and prattling on about precedent while your opponent is beating you up for protecting a crazy person won’t help capture that voter.

  98. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Logistics? No, far from it.

    I heard the line you quoted at some point during the 2016 campaign, and it kind of stuck. It concerned getting Trump to admit to something. I think the whole line was more like “It would take someone richer, smarter, and with a much hotter daughter.”

  99. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Maybe about hamberders.

  100. Mu Yixiao says:

    A couple random thoughts while I wait for my fish to cook[1]:

    I notice our favorite author is absent today.

    I’m glad I chose to stay out of “that” discussion yesterday, but I’m sorry I missed the one on small towns. I have a lot of perspective to add to that discussion–including why so many of you are letting your prejudices interfere with the facts.

    I’m currently going through the same “keep testing until we find something” scenario right now. There’s a surgical procedure that could take care of some of the symptoms (and prevent things that run in the family), but wouldn’t do anything about the underlying cause. The blood tests have been inconclusive (except to confirm that “yes, these things are outside of acceptable levels”). Subsequent blood tests have been inconclusive. The x-rays were nominal. The ultrasound was nominal. I’m waiting for a blood test to come back so I can get a CAT scan to find out if I…. have belly-button cancer or something.

    Now… I have a friend over, and we’re watching “Picard” (last night I introduced her to “Tales of the Gold Monkey”–I’m guessing a few of you old farts remember that one).

    [1] I bought a 10-lb box of tilapia for $20. It’s a crappy fish (I resisted the crappie pun), but good for generic protein in another dish.

    I’m making “Turkish bisque” (a soup I made up). Fish baked with butter and milk, covered in sliced tomatoes (to help keep in the liquid) with minced garlic, rolled sage, and cracked black pepper. Once that’s cooked, put it in a kettle with milk, smoked paprika, and whatever else strikes your fancy (I’m using Tabasco tonight). It makes a great soup.

  101. Mikey says:


    I nearly disowned my son for a second time for gifting us a bottle of “Skrewball” (the first time was when he admitted he liked “Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey”).

    I can’t stand Fireball, but I must admit I like Skrewball. And I absolutely did not expect to. I mean, my liquor cabinet contains a lot of fine bourbon and rye and Scotch whisky, and as far as I was concerned putting peanuts in any of them would be an utter travesty.

    But then I tasted the Skrewball, and it’s like Frangelico except with peanut rather than hazelnut, and it’s actually pretty good. Then a friend mixed it with Chambord and holy crap it’s a PBJ that gets you drunk.

  102. Mikey says:


    Exactly who allowed her to believe conspiratorial horseshit?

    Pretty sure it was Marjorie Taylor Greene.

  103. CSK says:

    I liked the way she phrased it: “I was allowed to believe…” Feeblest bullshit I’ve ever heard.

    Anyway, she’s been kicked off her two committees.

  104. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: “Why are you ruining perfectly good bourbon? Don’t you like bourbon?”

    To which I might reply, “Is it possible to ruin bourbon??” Seriously, too sweet for me, tho my son has given me a taste or 2 of a couple that were almost enjoyable. Almost. 😉

  105. Owen says:

    @Mikey: I like peanut butter and I like bourbon (and most other liquors for that matter, neat). I don’t like mixing my foods on my plate though, which is probably a form of OCD. To me Skrewball had an odd taste and after taste, and was too sweet. My relatives in Europe (and generally most hillbillies over there) make some awesome distillates from tree fruits (plums, cherries, sloe berries) that are my preferred indulgence, either neat, or mixed with sweet hot tea.

  106. Owen says:

    @Pete S:I’m sorry, for some reason while I was writing that response I was thinking “that’s silly, NBC couldn’t possibly generate more revenues for the NHL in Canada”, which was silly.

    I was groomed into the cult while living in the Boston area for over five years when the Bruins were 1-1 for Stanley Cups, the Patriots were 2-1 for Super Bowls and the Sox brought home a pennant. A glorious time.

  107. CSK says:


  108. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I liked Tales of the Gold Monkey! I was very sad when it was cancelled (even though I understood exactly why). 🙁 Is it streaming somewhere? I’m almost positive I missed episodes that I should have watched.

  109. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Gustopher: God that sounds worse than grapefruit pruno (and it’s abominable child, grapefruit brandy). Ugh.

  110. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Bing tells me that Slivovitz is made only from Damson plums and that if the liqueur is made from other fruit juices or brandies it’s schnapps.

  111. owen says:

    @CSK: Same thing, but it is “Zwetsch” (Plum) in German. The other drinks are “Kirsch” (Cherry) or “Dirndl” (Sloe Berry). Not sure of the etymology of dirndl to describe sloe berries in the old country, it is primarily used to describe a traditional South German/Northern Alps folk dress with a tight bodice, so I can see where it may have originated.

    There are a multitude of other names to describe Slivovic across Central and Eastern Europe, most are devolved from the Slavic term.

  112. MarkedMan says:


    She now says that school shootings and 9/11 really happened.

    You have to look carefully at her non-denial denials. She has said several things about both events and prominent amongst them is that they were false flag incidents. Most clearly about 9/11 she implied that if it happened it was actually down by our own government for… reasons

  113. owen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: In the region my mother comes from, all clear liquors are called “Schnapps” and are never aged (don’t want to lose any proof), all brown liquors are called “Brandts” (burned) and have usually been aged in charred barrels. It’s commonly understood that the Schnapps will leave you less hungover, but I have found that not to be the case.

  114. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I gotta admit, once I get past super cheap vodka I could never taste any difference in the unflavored stuff.

  115. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Asimov is an oddly great writer. There is a lot of his characterization that screams of “I am a nerd who doesn’t get people but I’ve read books so, why not just imitate what I’ve read?” But then you realize that he actually gets people very well and his writing is somehow very revealing despite, well, the words.

    This isn’t meant to be a backhanded compliment. I like his writing, fiction and non-fiction, and some of his words and works have stuck with me my whole life. I just honestly don’t understand why.

  116. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Sure, to you and me. But remember, they only have to justify themselves to fence sitting Republicans who want to believe in the tooth fairy. People like you and I were never going to vote for him.

  117. Kathy says:


    An interesting point, he largely gave up on fiction between the late 50s and the early 80s. He wrote short stories, but only one novel during that time (The Gods Themselves). Asimov took up fiction again very much under pressure from Doubleday, who above all wanted a sequel book for the Foundation Trilogy.

    No question his latter work is more adult than his earlier efforts. Not that the earlier novels are bad (I’ve read all his novels), but the differences in just about everything from narrative structure to characterization are like night and day.

  118. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I downloaded it when I was in China.