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. Teve says:
  2. Teve says:


    The 6 Jan attack on the Capitol was far more dangerous than most realize

    And we have a criminal justice system in place to address it


    Serious question. Does even @marcorubio believe @marcorubio’s bullshit? Do you think he gets home at night and prays for forgiveness, or laughs out loud at the way his followers tolerate his cowardice and lying?

  3. de stijl says:


    Headlines about statistics are often awful. Polling reports have become better recently: sample size, weighting, sample pop, margin of error. We should demand the same from reports on statistical analyses.

  4. Teve says:
  5. de stijl says:


    A few R Senators are dimly realizing that the true defendant in the impeachment process is them.

    The managers obviously do not expect conviction. 17 R Senators cannot be swayed because they would be primaried. (Censured by state and county party apparatus in the mean time – I was told cancel culture was bad by Rs repeatedly. I doubt their conviction on the matter.)

    This process is on the surface about Trump and incitement up to and on 1/6, but fundamentally it is about legislators that went along with the big lie and fed it and encouraged it.

    A savvy few get that it is they who are on trial and that their actions and votes are subject to uncomfortable campaign ads in 2022 and 2024.

    Josh Hawley is failing miserably. He is one sorry son of a bitch, ain’t he tho?

    Rs are tethered to the loonies. Can’t get elected without them unless from a super red district.

  6. de stijl says:

    Meta comment:

    The lack of the type and amount of content Doug used to produce daily is noticeable.

  7. Teve says:


    Hillary Clinton was right.
    They ARE deplorables.

  8. Teve says:


    GOP senators deciding Trump’s guilt or innocence is like having the Sharon Tate murder trial decided by a jury of Manson girls.

  9. Mu Yixiao says:
  10. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I loved this response to that news


    Guess it’s up to me now

  11. de stijl says:

    Death Cab For Cutie:

    Marching Bands Of Manhattan
    I Will Follow You Into The Dark

  12. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Flint was decidedly a bad person, but his 1st Amendment arguments were not stupid nor entirely vainglorious and self-serving.

    He was serious about hypocrisy.

  13. Teve says:
  14. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl:

    Flint was decidedly a bad person

    Ya think? You mean the guy who ran a monthly comic called “Chester the Molester” about a lovable child molester and all the clever “Spy-vs-Spy” shenanigans he got up to in his never ending (and implicitly successful) effort to lure small children off playgrounds so he could sexually abuse them, you mean that guy wasn’t a noble warrior for truth and justice? Who cudda knowd?!

  15. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl:

    He was serious about hypocrisy.

    As I recall he was serious about blackmail. In his later days he would claim to have videos or pictures of conservative leaders and make a big deal about releasing them on a specific date. They were never released so either he didn’t have him or his price was met.

    The defense of free speech principles was important and noble but Flint was the equivalent of the Nazis in the Skokie March case: thoroughly despicable with no redeeming qualities.

  16. Teve says:

    Owen says:
    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 21:59
    @Teve: I applaud your optimism that 99% of folks get science based information from a poor news source, but I’m more inclined to believe that a significant portion (maybe not most) of any population gets their information on science by word of mouth (or FB) from someone they may not even know.

    Those are also poor news sources, but it was an oversight on my part not to specifically mention social media too.

  17. Scott says:

    @de stijl: Yeah, I just left msgs for my Senators Cornyn and Cruz. Basically, I said given that the evidence is clear, this is a test of their character and whether they’ll keep their Oath of Office.

    I hope they past the test. But I’m not confident.

  18. CSK says:

    Well, yesterday a star was born in Stacey Plaskett.

    I also thought Joe Neguse and Ted Lieu were superb.

  19. Mu Yixiao says:
  20. Scott says:

    Newsmax host begins the 5 PM hour: “We have continuing coverage of a bipartisan betrayal of the American people…Let’s watch the dagger plunge even further into the backs of we the people and this country”

    Ah yes. Dolchstoßlegende. Alive and well.

  21. Teve says:

    Facebook is exploding right now with Trumpers whining about Gina Carano’s FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!1 I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA!!11

  22. Teve says:

    I really need to petition news outlets to stop accompanying stories with close-ups of Mitch McConnell’s face. I’m not a serial killer or a pedophile, I don’t deserve that.

  23. Teve says:

    @Scott: wow they even literally said dagger. What year is this?

  24. sam says:
  25. Teve says:

    @sam: holy shit. I couldn’t do that in 100 years.

  26. Jon says:

    @Teve: I am … entertained? … by how the same people screaming about cancel culture are the ones in state GOP parties censuring GOP politicians and calling for their resignations for not being pro-Trump enough.

  27. Mikey says:


    Facebook is exploding right now with Trumpers whining about Gina Carano’s FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!1 I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA!!11

    Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be

    ESCONDIDO, CA—Spurred by an administration he believes to be guilty of numerous transgressions, self-described American patriot Kyle Mortensen, 47, is a vehement defender of ideas he seems to think are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and principles that brave men have fought and died for solely in his head.

    “Our very way of life is under siege,” said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. “It’s time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are.”

  28. de stijl says:


    The classics never fade.

  29. Mikey says:


    I am … entertained? … by how the same people screaming about cancel culture are the ones in state GOP parties

    I’m also entertained by Republicans whining about cancel culture because they actually created it.

  30. Teve says:

    September 2009 I was working at a tutoring company and a fifth grader I was tutoring got there early one day. He said he wasn’t in school today. I said why not, it’s not a holiday. He said Obama was going to give a speech to school kids that day so his mom kept him home.

    Cancel Culture!

    (Really just straight racism in that case)

  31. de stijl says:


    The things Rs do not understand about the 1st Amendment are salient, perplexing.

    A company declining to provide a platform for your speech is not a 1st Amendment issue.

    It is not a get-out-of-jail card for spouting abrasive commentary. Or abusive.

    Actions have consequences.

    Why folks do not get that baffles me. Claim victimhood.

  32. CSK says:

    According to CNN, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has had his Instagram account taken down because of his anti-vax views.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I’m not a fan of firing people for their political views, although publicly promoting false beliefs falls into a different category. What she says about COVID and masks, and what she says about the legitimacy of the election are demonstrably false. Given that she is “talent” and therefore one of the public faces of the business, I think they made the right choice. I wish they had been more explicit about the reason though, as it is very easy to interpret as firing her because of conservative, as opposed to false, beliefs and statements.

  34. de stijl says:


    Kennedy is a dangerous fool who spouts nonsense.

    Nonsense that can get people sick or dead.

    Screw him. Good riddance.

    I have 0 patience for anti-vaxxers.

  35. de stijl says:


    Have you read her take on how Rs are just like Jews under Nazism?

  36. MarkedMan says:

    Interesting take on Kevin McCarthy, from behind TPM’s paywall (they are definitely worth subscribing to if you’ve got the money):

    Kevin McCarthy is far and away the weakest congressional leader, in either party or house of Congress, in living memory. Indeed, you have to go deep into American history to find anyone comparable. And if you go too far back you get to periods when the role of House and Senate leaders were just too different to make any comparisons. So with this fact in hand, I’ve heard a number of people ask just how it is he manages to remain leader. But this question mistakes the structure of the current Republican congressional party, especially in the House. McCarthy is leader precisely because he is as weak as he is. It’s a feature, not a bug.

    To make sense of all this we need to go back a decade to 2011 when John Boehner became House Speaker. Boehner found the job notoriously difficult and eventually resigned in a mix of disgust and relief. But the reality of the situation is important to understand. The 2011-17 House majority was run not by its nominal leaders but by the Freedom Caucus, a sort of proto-Trumpite group, and to a lesser degree by the Republican Study Committee, a sort of earlier version of the Freedom Caucus which is now basically just the mainstream congressional GOP. It served that proto-Trumpite core of representatives purposes to have the nominal leadership in the hands of a ‘mainstream’ Republican like John Boehner – both for the sake of appearances and to be free of accountability.

    Boehner had all the responsibility and none of the power and the Freedom Caucus folks had all the power and none of the responsibility – a very nice deal for the guys in the Freedom Caucus! This was made possible by the fact that the proto-Trump core of the House caucus had little in the way of a positive legislative agenda. They mostly wanted to stop things from happening – a revealing parallel with President Trump himself when he came to the White House. The relationship between three or four dozen proto-Trump representatives and Boehner parallels the larger reality we’ve discussed in other contexts: that the GOP is basically a rightist, revanchist party like France’s National Front or Germany’s Alternative for Germany masquerading as a center-right party of government like the Tories in the UK or the Christian Democrats in Germany. For that reason having a Boehner type with nominal authority was a good deal. And the Freedom Caucus had a veto over everything anyway. So no downside.

    Boehner eventually lost his patience with this arrangement and resigned. The fact that he never really accepted the arrangement made his Speakership one of constant turbulence. He never really reconciled himself to his powerlessness. McCarthy’s tenure has been far smoother – in part because Trump was uncontestably the head of the party – but also because he was entirely reconciled to running the caucus on behalf of people like Jim Jordan and Louis Gohmert and the like. Boehner’s Speakership was like a boat with a bent keel, a source of constant turbulence and instability. McCarthy’s been smooth sailing all the way.

  37. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: Yes, I read it. I think it is a stupid analogy but I also think that the idea that simply to compare a situation to the Jews of the Holocaust, or slavery or similar atrocities is equivalent to being an anti-semite or a racist is ridiculous. A stupid analogy shows a lack of understanding of historic events, but that alone is not promoting anti-semitism.

  38. de stijl says:

    Consequence culture is a decent substitute for so-called “cancel culture”.

  39. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: He’s a living example that the best education can’t keep you from becoming a loony conspiracy theorist.

  40. Jax says:

    @de stijl: I miss Doug as well and often imagine what his take would be on some of the crazy shit that’s happened over the last year. I hope he’s doing well, wherever he’s at!

  41. de stijl says:


    Her producers and the company who fund production decided they no longer wanted to employ her. As is their right, because we have basically shitty at-will employment laws except for some union protections.

    Her employers decided they no longer wanted her services.

  42. Kathy says:

    The band-aid the lab used yesterday on the pinprick to draw blood have amazing staying power. Usually band-aids sort of peel off on their own after only a few hours. This one stayed on for over 24 by now, and survived a morning shower.

    I heard form the doctor yesterday. he just said “one test is missing.” I explained it would take until the 18th or so, he said nothing more.

    On other things, a few months back I read a book by Michael Lewis, written in 1999 (!) about the then rather new and largely unknown Internet.

    Two of his stories were interesting. One was about a high school kid who gave out legal advice, for free, on some website were users asked questions and gave answers, and rated the quality of answers. I forget the name, but there were many such sites back then (there are still some). the kid was highly rated.

    The salient point is he doled out legal advice based on what he learned watching cop shows and lawyer shows, like Law & Order. He did not study law books, nor read actual laws.

    Now, these shows do get some things right. The Miranda warning is real, as are the rights enumerated in it. Cops can’t come into your home for any reason without your permission or a warrant, absent exigent circumstances. Things like that.

    But other things are either highly simplified, like jury selection (which we don’t see much of anyway), or fine points of law, etc. And we know laws vary widely by state.

    So I wonder what kind of trouble people got into, or for that matter out of, taking this kid’s advice.

    The other interesting story was about Tivo. Specifically that they gathered user data (what you watch and when), and monetized it. So that’s been going on way, way back.

  43. de stijl says:


    We often disagreed, but he was a very talented guy. Capable of an ungodly amount of well written and fairly thoroughly researched copy 5 to 8 times a day. Good, coherent pieces of work.

    Incredibly impressive.

  44. charon says:

    Typically people in debt for showing off status symbols:

    Jenna Ryan seemed like an unlikely participant in the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She was a real estate agent from Texas. She flew into Washington on a private jet. And she was dressed that day in clothes better suited for a winter tailgate than a war.

    Yet Ryan, 50, is accused of rushing into the Capitol past broken glass and blaring security alarms and, according to federal prosecutors, shouting: “Fight for freedom! Fight for freedom!”

    But in a different way, she fit right in.

    Despite her outward signs of success, Ryan had struggled financially for years. She was still paying off a $37,000 lien for unpaid federal taxes when she was arrested. She’d nearly lost her home to foreclosure before that. She filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and faced another IRS tax lien in 2010.

    My emphasis.

    BTW, lady was a passenger in someone else’s private jet, and not the only one to go to the capitol..

    The financial problems are revealing because they offer potential clues for understanding why so many Trump supporters — many with professional careers and few with violent criminal histories — were willing to participate in an attack egged on by the president’s rhetoric painting him and his supporters as undeserving victims.

    While no single factor explains why someone decided to join in, experts say, Donald Trump and his brand of grievance politics tapped into something that resonated with the hundreds of people who descended on the Capitol in a historic burst of violence.

    “I think what you’re finding is more than just economic insecurity but a deep-seated feeling of precarity about their personal situation,” said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a political science professor who helps run the Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab at American University, reacting to The Post’s findings. “And that precarity — combined with a sense of betrayal or anger that someone is taking something away — mobilized a lot of people that day.”

    This is a good point. Did they become radicalized because they have money and relationship troubles, or were their money and relationship troubles a red flag for the kind of person who is easy to radicalize? I believe the evidence from terrorism profiles says: the latter.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:
  46. de stijl says:


    I hope you are doing well.

    This may not be straight up your alley as to taste, but it is the best I can figure out now.

    Wilco. “Jesus, etc.”

    This song breaks my heart hard. I hope it is Jax adjacent enough in style and taste.

    Be good, be well, be strong.

  47. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: Even if we had better employment laws, I would hope an exception would be made for people who are the “face” of an organization. It may within your right to be a literal Nazi but a company should not be required to employ someone in a public facing role that will bring that association to the company itself.

    That said, I still don’t think she should be fired because she compared her personal suffering to the Holocaust. It’s a stupid analogy and way too full of “poor poor pitiful me” to be taken seriously, but for god’s sake, she’s literally paid to be a drama queen.

    On the other hand, I think promoting demonstrably false and dangerous propaganda is a fireable offense for someone who is in a public facing role.

  48. charon says:

    I live in a middle class, at best, part of the rural west and its amazing how many 70k trucks, 100k 5th wheels, 100k boats are in everyones driveways. The debt to income ratio out here must be through the roof. Its hardcore maga country too

    Ties into modern gun culture too. AR-15s, fancy attachments, Instagrammed trips to the range it’s all a pricy hobby meant to project wealth and power like a Corvette. Think how many insurrectionists you see looking like SEALs with knockoff OpsCore helmets.

  49. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: I hear you. I remember being at a work happy hour and one of the guys going off on all the guns and ammo he had and I thought, if that is true, that’s like $15K worth of stuff at least. I know how much this guy made, and that probably represents more an investment than his car. I took him aside and pointed out that he probably shouldn’t be talking loudly in a bar about owning all kinds of stuff that is easily sold by criminals. It’s like bragging to strangers you’ve got $1000 in your wallet.

  50. de stijl says:


    Of course Tivo sold / monetized user data!

    It’s what they do. Not just Tivo individually, but all of them.

    It is literally built into the business plan as a revenue stream.

    All media companies do this to one extent or another. Most extremely so.

    Eyeballs looking at advertisements is the core function.

  51. Teve says:


    If you don’t actually ever watch OAN or Newsmax, as many mainstream journalists don’t, you can’t fully understand 1) how bonkers they are, and 2) how dangerous they are, and will continue to get, in the coming months and years.

  52. Teve says:

    Of course Tivo sold / monetized user data!

    It’s what they do. Not just Tivo individually, but all of them.

    It is literally built into the business plan as a revenue stream.

    All media companies do this to one extent or another. Most extremely so.

    Eyeballs looking at advertisements is the core function.

    There’s a reason I pay $48/year for protonmail. No ads, no data mining, no tracking, runs through Switzerland, can end-to-end encrypt. Government asks them for my emails and they say A: No B: we don’t have them anyway and C: No again.

    Also, access services through a browser with tracking blocked and not an app.

  53. de stijl says:


    That needs more likes.

  54. Owen says:

    Speaking of Welfare Queens, the Bundys are back in the news! There is a newer story (2/10/21) in the LA Times, but it’s paywalled.

  55. Jen says:

    @charon: We talked yesterday about the debt aspect of that article, and all that entailed. The lifestyle inflation issue is interesting to me. I’m not convinced that it’s confined to any one segment of society.

    I remember listening to someone being interviewed about financial topics on NPR, and the financial expert said something like, “look at all of the sets of these supposedly middle-class TV shows. These are fully tricked-out kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. If that’s what you are being shown as ‘middle class’ trappings, that’s what you’re going to want in your home.”

    I’m in NH, and the cost of living here is fairly high. We’re also in a very tight housing market, so home prices have been skyrocketing (it’s not just low interest rates, New England, esp. northern New England, has had very low housing inventory for years). I do not understand how people are affording homes in this market–the debt to income ratios must be completely out of whack. Modest single-family homes of ~1500 square feet are selling for $400-500K in some parts of the state, but salaries in NH are not that much above elsewhere. HOW are people affording these homes? I was always taught that 2.5 x annual income is the upper limit of the amount one should spend on a home. The average annual salary of top earners in NH is $95K. State average is around $65K.

    I’m babbling a bit here, because it’s all so strange to me. It feels very much like another bubble. I don’t see how these things are sustainable.

  56. Owen says:

    This whole phone tag thing between Tuberville, Donnie, Rudy and Mike Lee is getting curiouser and curioser.

  57. de stijl says:


    Precarity was a brand new word for me.

    Never seen it in print.

  58. MarkedMan says:

    @Owen: What’s their deal this time?

  59. CSK says:

    If the mob had actually gotten its hands on Pence and hanged him, or just torn him to pieces right there in the chamber, I wonder how Trump would have reacted?

  60. de stijl says:


    I spent the majority of my adult life working for or consulting to folks who do mortgages.

    I cannot explain local pricing that looks stupidly overpriced beyond if enough buyers are willing to pay that for that property over enough time it becomes the price. Supply and demand.

    Mediocre housing in San Jose is worth a multiple of excellent housing in San Antonio because of demand, mostly.

  61. Sleeping Dog says:


    When we were in StL, my next door neighbor was a hedge fund manager, this was after the tech bubble burst and when the housing bubble was inflating. We’d have that conversation about how could people afford the lifestyle they lived. I knew people who made less than I did, who had fancier, larger homes, newer more expensive cars and went on extravagant vacations. Beyond our mortgage, we had no debt, so we weathered both the tech bubble and great recession without much of a problem, beyond a hit to wealth. When those bubbles broke, a number of people I wondered about lost everything. I suspect they are trump voters today.

  62. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: I remember years ago being on a ski trip with a random cast of friends. One was a contract anesthesiologist and had never been skiing before and walked into a ski shop (on the mountain!) and said, “I need everything and I want your best.” Skis, goggles, bright orange jumpsuit (it was the 90’s after all) and everything else you could think of. Later I happened to be riding a lift with another friend, an accountant, and commented that I hadn’t realized Anesthiologists made so much money. She replied that although she didn’t know his specific circumstances, she was astounded at how many of her very well off clients, couples that had two high income jobs and no kids, were so deeply in debt they were technically bankrupt and only avoiding filing by juggling payments and “losing checks in the mail and so forth”, but that they would still max out any new credit card they were able to get within a couple of weeks. As the Dicken’s character said (paraphrasing due to faulty memory): “It doesn’t matter how much you have. Live one penny under your income and you have eternal happiness. Live one penny beyond it and it is eventual doom and the poorhouse.”

  63. owen says:

    @Jen: @charon: A huge driver (but not the only driver) is the re-financing market. With interest rates low, and many real estate markets skyrocketing, home owners are re-financing based on new, often inflated appraisals, and taking the maximum cash-outs to boot. What isn’t to love, the interest is still largely tax deductible, and payments are pushed out 30 years.

    We moved to Tucson in 2005 while I was in the military. At the time my wife and I discussed buying, but Tucson schools were/are horrible, and the fun/suck ratio for me at that assignment was low, so I knew we didn’t want to stay there too long.

    In the 2 1/2 years we were there we met many people who had owned homes for a few years who were re-financing to pull equity from their homes which they turned around and dumped into brand new Escalades and pimped out Silverados. My wife would often ask “How can they afford to live like this?” My response was, “They really can’t.”

  64. Owen says:

    @MarkedMan: Wilkins Micawber! My hero! And that is one of the few names I don’t need to look up!

  65. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, as much as we can, my wife and I have strived to live at about 80% of our actual income. We are certainly not rich and don’t drive fancy cars, but we are able to travel a bit and our kids will graduate college with no debt, and while our retirement won’t be luxurious, it won’t be hand to mouth either, provided nothing goes too terribly wrong and we don’t live to an excessive age. I would endorse that 80% rule to anyone starting out.

  66. dmichael says:

    @CSK: He would have thought it was great TV.

  67. de stijl says:



    Good question. I have no idea. I know he presents as an extreme example of NPD.

    I suspect more weirdness around parental neglect and disdain.

    Glee? Indifference. Turgidity? No clue. IANAPsychologist.

  68. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: Over my house buying lifetime, mortgage rates have changed, the rules for how much banks will lend you have changed, and locations have changed. But every time we brought a house it became obvious that most people in our situation bought a lot more house. I soon realized that the average price of a house corresponded to the maximum mortgage that a household of one income could obtain, and then as more and more two income houses arose, the max that a two income house could obtain. I had friends go heavily into debt to buy fancy houses with a dozen gabled windows and then find out it cost tens of thousands to put a new roof on, which they either had to borrow or dip into retirement funds. It had never occurred to them to factor in cost and upkeep. A coworker built his 5000 square foot dream home for his family of three smack in the middle of the snow belt and then was stunned when he got his first heating bill. I got the distinct impression he was barely hanging on with the mortgage payments and it had never occurred to him that the utilities on a 5000 square foot open plan home could be significant.

  69. owen says:

    @MarkedMan: After Mike Lee’s request yesterday to have his name stricken from the Congressional record regarding the phone call between Donnie and Tuberville, Politico claims to have Tuberville on record, talking about aspects of the phone call. What does it mean? I’m not sure, but there sure is a lot of scurrying.

  70. Teve says:

    There are many interesting facts in The Millionaire Next Door, one of which is that the richest looking people, new BMW, fancy clothes, oversize house, etc are often desperately in debt, while the guy wearing clothes from JC Penney, driving a 10 year old car, 1500 sq ft house, etc, has $1 million in mutual funds.

  71. CSK says:

    That sounds like typical Old Money New England.

  72. Teve says:

    WRT the spirited discussion yesterday about why people vote GOP
    FoxNews is Destroying America

    Fox News is the reason I can never join in the mockery of rank-and-file Republicans who believe in stuff like stolen elections and socialists coming to take over America. They don’t believe this stuff because they’re idiots, they believe it because they hear it over and over and over from folks on TV who wear suits and ties and act like news anchors. It’s the suits and their bosses who are to blame, not anything about the cultural pathologies of the white working class.

  73. de stijl says:


    When I got a corporate job I socked away as much as I could stomach. As quickly and as much as I could afford to.

    Lived well below my income my entire life.

    Growing up poor helped. Being homeless for a short stretch taught me very well although the lesson was harsh.

    Be prepared. Save. Have liquid assets to hand. Do not trust slick people. Buy a property as quick as you can to stop the nullity of rent payments.

    I basically retired at 50. Have done a few consulting gigs since because they sounded fun.

    Zero desire to keep up with the Jonses: their business, not mine. Leave me out.

    In fact, please keep me away from them. Far away.

    Remember when owning a Hummer was a status symbol? What were they thinking? Major predictor of future bankruptcy.

  74. CSK says:

    Yes, he probably would have.

    @de stijl:
    “Glee” sounds about right for his reaction.

    Tuberville apparently informed Trump that Pence had just been evacuated from the chamber. It doesn’t seem that Trump was distressed by this news.

  75. MarkedMan says:

    @owen: My question was about the comment you made about the Bundy’s being in the news

  76. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Many years ago an NPR reporter was interviewing a cultural anthropologist who studied malls in New England and the subject of the off-the-rack blouses and shirts that sold for hundreds of dollars at Neiman Marcus and the like. “I suppose there is a lot of ‘old money’ that would be shopping there?” The anthropologist was audibly horrified at the idea that people from such families would pay outrageous prices for ill fitting clothes. “They understand value and have nothing to prove!”

  77. Kathy says:

    My latest nutritional obsession is to eliminate trans fats from my diet. Long story short, trans fats can crystallize and that’s bad as regards blockages.

    It’s harder than it seems. many products that advertise 0% trans fats, or that list zero trans fats in the nutritional label, may contain small amounts the law allows them to advertise as zero. So the trick is reading the ingredients list. If it says “partially hydrogenated oil,” of any kind of oil, that contains trans fats. Same if the ingredients say “vegetable shortening.”

    Most things I get don’t have them, but I’ve already eliminated a few occasional snacks. Curiously the small, lesser known brands are better in this respect, assuming the info on the label is accurate.

    Before this I eliminated sugar (still do). I was taken aback how many products one would not expect to have added sugar have indeed added sugar. Pasta sauce, hot sauce, salsa, corn flakes, some cold meats, and more.

    Here, too, one must read the ingredients. Some products advertised as “sugar free” or “no added sugar,” contain no sucrose (the form of common table sugar), but have high fructose ingredients (another type of sugar), like high-fructose corn syrup, which is the most common one.

  78. CSK says:

    Quite so.
    One minor point of dispute: I don’t think Old New England Money buys its clothing at J.C. Penney. More likely it comes from L.L. Bean or Brooks Brothers–and they wear it forever.

  79. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    Consequence culture is a decent substitute for so-called “cancel culture”.

    Sometimes it could be called “criticism culture.” Some of the examples of so-called cancel culture are of people simply being criticized and nothing more.

  80. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: the fun thing about the QAnon polls is the 5-7% of Democrats that believe in it.

    “Sure, the Democrats are a satanic cult of pedophiles who eat babies faces and drink their blood, but compared to the number of children helped by SNAP, CHIP and those programs it’s almost nothing — it’s a numbers game, really. You have to grow up and accept that the world isn’t perfect.”

  81. de stijl says:


    My money is on turgid + glee. (Again IANAP)

    Dude is truly fucked up.

    Never apologizing, ever, on principal, is alarming.

    “Dance for me, supplicants!”

  82. Kylopod says:


    the fun thing about the QAnon polls is the 5-7% of Democrats that believe in it.

    First, keep in mind that a majority of voters in West Virginia still call themselves Democrats. Ancestral D’s are still a thing.

    But I’d also say that poll results involving less than 10% of a sub-group within the sample should be taken with a grain of salt.

  83. Michael Cain says:

    @de stijl:

    Zero desire to keep up with the Jonses: their business, not mine. Leave me out.

    I remember reading a paper once that said when the phrase “keeping up with the Jones” came into common usage, it meant keeping up with the richest people on your block. The author said that the problems emerged when it came to mean keeping up with the TV producers’ vision of the people on your block. The most common example given is Friends. Where despite always having work and income problems, the characters live in a pair of what were even then million-dollar-plus apartments.

  84. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Yep, or from an expensive but non-showy manufacturer with a reputation for quality. A good pair of Allen Edmonds men’s shoes could literally last a lifetime, given that they will resole them and entirely re-manufacture them. Or they buy custom. A well fitted custom shirt (as opposed to one that is merely sewed to order) exactly matches your dimensions and its exceedingly rare to find that in a rack shirt. I own a few pairs of Allen Edmonds but never had a custom shirt made. My son did though, when we were in China, and his annual middle and high school dance duds looked astounding on him even though they were made out of relatively cheep cloth.

    To me there is nothing more tacky than wearing clothing with some designer logo on them. And don’t get me started on those ridiculous Yves Saint Laurent bags that literally are nothing but “YSL” plaster over a brown background. I used to have a seam stripper for pulling logo patches off of clothing I bought.

  85. CSK says:

    Ancestral or tribal Democrats used to be a big thing in Massachusetts. Hordes of blue-collar white ethnics would troop off to the polls, pull the lever for the Democratic candidate, and then go home and complain about how the g.d. government was giving all their hard-earned money to lazy ne’er-d0-wells.

  86. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: I have an LL Bean field jacket that is 15 years old. It’s been patched a number of times, and for the past five years gets to spend a week at the local cleaner-tailor’s where they spend time reinforcing the spots where holes are forming with bits of extra fabric from various interior flaps. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more on repair than I spent on it.

    It’s like the kids with their deliberately torn jeans — an ostentatious display of the appearance of frugality.

    If they would make the field jacket in blue again, I would just replace it.

  87. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: My wife worked with a couple who said they had 60,000 rounds of ammunition at home. I have a brother in law who collected guns. He wasn’t a gun nut, he’d have bought and sold antique camel turds if there was a market. One night somebody broke into his house, went straight to his gun cabinet, and scored his six Civil War era Springfield rifles. Yeah, don’t even tell your friends you have portable, easily fenced, valuables. I think I’ve seen statistics that if you own a gun “for home defense” you have way better odds of having it stolen than of using it for defense.

  88. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: I’m also pretty sure that some of those people who think QAnon might be true are so badly informed that they have no idea what QAnon is.

  89. Jen says:


    A huge driver (but not the only driver) is the re-financing market. With interest rates low, and many real estate markets skyrocketing, home owners are re-financing based on new, often inflated appraisals, and taking the maximum cash-outs to boot. What isn’t to love, the interest is still largely tax deductible, and payments are pushed out 30 years.

    Yep, people treating their house as an ATM is a problem. We refinanced to get a lower rate and the mortgage company seemed genuinely confused that we were just doing it for the lower rate and not taking a penny out.

    @de stijl:

    Growing up poor helped.

    For some, including my mother. She is the most financially astute person I know and I paid attention growing up. I also know some people who grew up poor and it’s like a regret-switch got flipped: they buy what they want when they want it, budgets be damned.

  90. CSK says:

    I once had a conversation with an Old Money New England lady and asked her where she got the shoes she was wearing. She snapped: “Marshall’s. Where does anybody buy anything?”

  91. CSK says:

    But you still have it and wear it after 15 years.

    I had an L.L. Bean jacket I wore for 20 years before it finally fell apart. Warmest. Jacket. Ever.

  92. gVOR08 says:


    If the mob had actually gotten its hands on Pence and hanged him, or just torn him to pieces right there in the chamber, I wonder how Trump would have reacted?

    He’d have asked who took over recording EC votes and targeted him.

  93. CSK says:


  94. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: i just got a new pair of Dr Martens 8053’s. I haven’t had any Docs since I was a teenager but I expect to have them for probably 20 years.

  95. de stijl says:


    It depends on where you live.

    In San Francisco housing prices skyrocketed over your lifetime.

    In Duluth whether MN or GA it essentially tracked with inflation.

    Econ 101 supply and demand.

    1000 people are bidding on 1 house because they can afford to and want to live there.

    It creates distorted markets.

    Where do people who work retail live in San Jose? How far out? Are there bus-lines?

    It strikes me as unsustainable. Bubble adjacent.

    Galt’s Gulch bullshit. Market over-reaction.

  96. Mu Yixiao says:

    I grew up with a mom who grew up during WWII, and a dad who grew up during the Great Depression and served in WWII. We didn’t have much money growing up (Mom recalls not eating some days so that us kids would have food).

    I learned the value of keeping things a long time and reusing thing (I’ve got the “coffee can of random bolts” in the basement). I have a T-shirt I was given for Christmas in 1992, and my last day in China I finally threw away a pair of shoes I bought for my first job–35 years prior.

    On the other hand, growing up poor us kids never learned how to manage money. You can’t learn how to handle something you don’t have.

  97. Sleeping Dog says:


    We’ll never know what the R and Trump reaction would have been if the mob had actually caught a congress critter. I’d like to think that the likely result of the impeachment trial would be guilty, but I doubt it.

  98. Teve says:

    @Jen: “
    For some, including my mother. She is the most financially astute person I know and I paid attention growing up. I also know some people who grew up poor and it’s like a regret-switch got flipped: they buy what they want when they want it, budgets be damned.”

    In my 20s I was often very poor. But I ate well because I only ever bought groceries from the BOGO items. I did it for so many years that even after I got middle class I mentally struggled to pay full price for anything. I’m 44 and just yesterday I checked Winn-Dixie’s new BOGO list 😀

  99. Mu Yixiao says:


    i just got a new pair of Dr Martens 8053’s. I haven’t had any Docs since I was a teenager but I expect to have them for probably 20 years.

    Prepare to be disappointed.

    I bought a pair of Docs for work a couple years ago. The soles split wide open within 2 months. Assuming it was just a bad casting, I returned them for another pair. Those soles split within 6 months, the leather has turned rock hard, the insoles bunch up under my toes, and the tops are ripping away from the soles.

    And this was from working in a grocery store, not anything “aggressive”. Compare this to the pair I had in college that lasted over 10 years of daily wear doing carpentry, rigging, and “real work”.

  100. PJ says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    We’ll never know what the R and Trump reaction would have been if the mob had actually caught a congress critter. I’d like to think that the likely result of the impeachment trial would be guilty, but I doubt it.

    We know.

    “It was ANTIFA scum who killed that congress critter.”

  101. Scott says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I think everyone is different and reacts to money in different ways. My Dad grew up poor as an immigrant child. Went to college only because of the GI Bill. Was a pretty successful corporate accountant. Did he save his pennies? No. Because he was no longer poor, he loved to spend his money. My Mom, on the other hand, grew up middle to upper middle class. She was always cautious with money. She ran the household books and had to put my Dad on an allowance. It worked for our family. Me? I’m like Mom.

  102. de stijl says:

    By growing up poor, what I took away from that is to never be vulnerable to outside forces, if possible.

    Debt collectors, past due notices, water service shut-offs, flicking a light switch and nothing happens.

    Never in my adulthood. Nope. I will be prepared as best as I can.

  103. charon says:


    They are taught and believe CNN is liberal so do not contaminate your mind by exposure to it.

  104. de stijl says:


    To Rs criticism is cancellation. See Josh Hawley.

    Performative indifference and disdain to House managers case – fuck him.

  105. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Docs have been sketchy after they were acquired by a private equity firm and production was moved to Asia. Give Danner a shot.

  106. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    To Rs criticism is cancellation. See Josh Hawley.

    I’d actually go further than that. Hawley did lose a book deal. Of course the notion that it’s a 1st Amendment violation is BS, and Hawley (a Yale Law grad) damn well knows it. But at least it was something concrete that happened to him.

    But I’ve seen the “cancel culture” phrase applied to situations where literally nothing happened to the person. For example, look on right-wing sites and you’ll see it proclaimed “Stephen King canceled!” King wrote a tweet saying he believes an Oscar vote should be based on merit and not diversity, and this got some people mad. And…that was it. No Twitter bans, no loss of book deals, no cancelations for films or shows based on his works. None of that would be a violation of his free speech, but it’s a moot point because none of it happened anyway. To some people, criticism = cancelation.

    But as I mentioned the other day, King was actually canceled. By J.K. Rowling. Simply for expressing his support for trans women. Which gets to another point, which is that some of the most intolerant people are the anti-woke.

  107. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: I lived in suburban Dallas for two years in the early 70s. I joked about going into the inflatable Cadillac business. (This was pre-bimmer. In fact a friend at the time bought a new BMW 1600, the first car they sold in the states. Dyam that was a nice car by the standards of the time. A big factor in cars getting better. It was explicitly the pattern for the Datsun 510.) The important thing was clearly not having a nice car, but being seen as owning an expensive car. If I could have come up with a realistic fake Caddy to park in the driveway for, say, 2K$, I could have sold thousands in Texas.

  108. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Prepare to be disappointed.

    I’ve had the same experience in recent years with L.L. Bean and Land’s End. I used to buy their no-iron dress shirts, and they’d last for many years. Beginning about 5 years ago, new dress shirts started falling apart at the seams within a year or two. I switched to Paul Fredricks.

    (And now, thanks to COVID, I haven’t worn a dress shirt more than 3 times since last March…)

  109. de stijl says:


    I have a sweater from them ~35 years ago. A pair of boots of roughly same vintage.

    Buy the classics.

  110. Jen says:

    @dazedandconfused: I love my Danner boots. I bought them in *1996* and they are still going strong. Only thing I’ve had to do is replace the laces.

    L.L. Bean is on and off for me. Some things wear like iron, others shred after a few washes.

  111. de stijl says:


    I have no idea why Rowling inserted herself into that debate.

    What was her thought process?

    Her authority bought acceptance?

    No. That isn’t how these things work.

    Countless queer kids got their mojo on with Potter and pals. Hermoine is an icon.

    I don’t get why she did not understand she was advocating something that would be widely understood as anti trans. It’s baffling.

    Apparently there is a strain of “feminism” quite strong in Britain that objects to transwomen as not of their battle.

    Very disconcerting. Trans rights are human rights.

    She has enough money for 99 lifetimes. She chose this hill. She felt strongly enough to speak out on it. Loudly.

  112. de stijl says:


    Steven King novelist is not a big fan of Steven King – R(IA). The latter is now retired.

    He got cancelled by his own R party for being too white ethno nationalist. Don’t damage the brand.

  113. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I don’t see their problem. Congress has taken absolutely no action against her at all for what she said. Her First Amendment rights functioned perfectly. Her problem was not understanding that when you’re hired for how you look, it’s important to not spoil the image by talking.

  114. Joe says:

    @de stijl:
    I bought a cardigan from a used clothing store in Harvard Square in 1980. I sewed new buttons on it at least twice in the 38 years I had it. My son took it out of my closet and continues to wear it. It was not even the oldest thing in my closet. That might be the 42-year-old band collared shirt I bought the first time I visited NYC. He borrows that a lot too, but puts it back.

  115. Owen says:

    @MarkedMan: Ammon Bundy has been actively building a network of kindred spirits for the last year across a number of Western States, encouraging un-civil civil disobedience:

    “As Bundy told the crowd at the third meeting of the group, if local, state, or federal officials attempt to enforce laws that the group doesn’t like, People’s Rights is prepared to adopt a violent posture. … Already there have been significant clashes and growing rage. In the context of the pandemic, it puts the lives of community members and public servants at risk, straining democratic institutions and damaging civil society.”

  116. CSK says:

    A part of King not being cancelled–at least by his publisher, anyway–is that he’s a huge, huge moneymaker for them.

  117. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: until GM’s lawyers rounded up a posse. 😀

  118. CSK says:

    I bet that was Keezer’s. Am I right?

  119. Teve says:


    I’d actually go further than that. Hawley did lose a book deal.

    Get a load of how not canceled he really was: Hawley lost his book deal with Simon and Shuster. A short while later it was announced that Regnery would publish it. And who’ll be distributing it? Simon and Shuster.

  120. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Luddite often observes that he likes open carry and guys who have lots of NRA paraphernalia. These things show him where guns will be available if the insurrection should erupt during the remainder of his lifetime.

  121. de stijl says:


    You have one bad-ass kid. Tell him that.

    Cardigans are cool. And functional.

    My best looking hoodies are slim fit no zipper. Worn when I go out. My favorite pj hoodies are a bit baggier with a zipper. Because zipper hoodies essentially function like a cardigan, hot? – zip down, cold? – zip up. And it has a hood.

    No brag, but I have some nice cardigans. They might look like crap to others, but I love em. They do me fine.

  122. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Back in the 80s, Andrew Tobias, the financial writer for Esquire among other places as I recall, advocated a similar practice to yours. In one article, though, he noted that the reason it works for the people who do it is because most people won’t, and that if everybody lived that way, the economy would probably tank because of how much it’s driven by consumerism.

  123. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: you communist Marxist Kenyan, I thought this was America.

  124. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Your observation about The Millionaire Next Door reminded me of another of Tobias’ observations:

    Your house is not an investment. Your house is where your children live.

  125. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: What’s a BOGO list?

  126. Mu Yixiao says:

    Dozens of former Republican officials in talks to form anti-Trump third party

    An interesting approach that just might work:

    The plan would be to run candidates in some races but also to endorse center-right candidates in others, be they Republicans, independents or Democrats

  127. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Heh. I’ve got a friend who is a prepper. Some people refer to him as “7/11” as everyone knows he will have food, water, guns and medicine if shit goes down. Seems to me that part of being a prepper should be to keep very quiet about it. But I doubt his need comes from logic. More likely there is some deep and overwhelming fear.

  128. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: As near as I can tell most houses are terrible investments, at least if you had any willpower about spending money. The longest I’ve owned a house is 10 years and technically made money on that but once you factor in inflation, the opportunity cost of the money, the fees, the taxes, the roof repairs, the septic system maintenance, and well, the list goes on and on and on, it was a negative. But my kids had a great place to enjoy a childhood and that was the real point.

  129. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: The statistics on how many times your “home defense” gun kills a family member rather than an intruder are pretty disconcerting, too.

  130. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: She was very lucky. The Marshall’s stores in my area only sell crap. 🙁

  131. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    This conversation took place quite some time ago.

  132. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: The “buy one/get one” list…it’s anything that the market is pushing that week.

    Yogurt ends up on the BOGO list frequently. Soups too. It’s a great way to stock up.

  133. CSK says:

    Buy one, get one free.

  134. de stijl says:


    The duck boots only really get a run out during late winter slush season.

    Not beefy enough for true winter.

    Still, good value if you judge by use over time.

    And the Bean sweater is bad-ass. Navy crew neck with little white blob thingies. Still looks cool af. Works as intended.

  135. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I never had as good of luck with work shoes, so I used to buy them and the Army-Navy Surplus store. I wore out a pair of work boot in about 12-18 months normally. On the other hand, I worked in produce warehousing and a fair amount of any given day we’d be working in an inch or three of standing water.

  136. Kathy says:


    Is that still a thing?

    Most ads I’ve seen, here and in the US, are “buy one, get one 50% off.”

  137. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    Apparently there is a strain of “feminism” quite strong in Britain that objects to transwomen as not of their battle.

    Intersectionality is a problem for a lot of people. I don’t want to get into 3rd wave feminism or whatever, since it would mean learning the different waves, but basically the privileged oppressed don’t want to give up their privilege by identifying with the unprivileged oppressed.

    In the 1970s, white feminists didn’t want to have institutions they were creating co-opted to deal with black issues, and so black feminists were sidelined. Now some of them are onto trans women.

    In the 1850’s the abolition movement didn’t want to be associated with the suffragettes.

    I don’t get it. I’m queer. Somewhere in the bisexual/pansexual space depending on the meanings of labels*. My rights are frequently under attack.

    Would I want to tie my rights to Muslims during a wave of hatred and legislation allowing discrimination? History says I’m next. If a elderly black transgender lesbian Muslim woman in a wheelchair has her rights protected, than my rights are on really solid ground.

    But, I also don’t find elderly black transgender lesbian Muslim women in wheelchairs offensive. There’s a lot there that I don’t understand, and even some I disagree with (Islam seems like an objectively worse religion than most for women’s rights), but none of it is anathema to me. I’m not going to be trying to chase them out of the big tent.

    But, a Trumpy elderly black transgender Muslim woman in a wheelchair… I’m probably going to be doing some serious gate keeping.

    Tactically, I can see not hitching your fate to some group that is struggling more than you until you’re group has reached a certain level of acceptance. But then you have so start trying to pull up others.

    *: I’m not big on labels for the LGBTetc community — you want to screw who you want to screw, your gender is whatever, good luck — but at the same time, I could start identifying as cis-pan, and that is a really awful C-SPAN pun waiting to happen.

  138. de stijl says:


    Builder Of Great Objects
    Bavarian Outlaw Gnostic Omniscients
    Bastards Outta Greater Omaha
    Bobby Orr’s Greatest Outakes

  139. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: my house payments are now less than rent for a comparable size in my neighborhood, and the house is nearly paid off. So… a few years before I break even, and then a few decades of profit — and that’s without looking at the equity.

    If there was another financial instrument in Seattle that was effectively “I’ll start paying 50% more for housing per month now, if I can lock that in long term, and then eventually cut the payments dramatically” I would want to know about it.

  140. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    I have no idea why Rowling inserted herself into that debate.

    What was her thought process?

    I’m pretty sure it was “I’m rich, so my mild discomfort because of my bigotry is more important than other people’s rights.”

  141. de stijl says:


    I like watching the C-SPAN call-in show while I’m doing a puzzle.

    It’s really dorky and then crazy pants person totally wigs out. It’s pretty awesome.

    Be you. By all means be you. The youest you.

    Remember 80’s cable access shows on channel 78 or whatever? I loved those dearly. The sets! The shoddy audio. The odd camera zooms.

    Those were fucking awesome. My favorite was a cranky bachelor doing a cooking show and he had no idea how to cook at all.

  142. sam says:


    I don’t think Old New England Money buys its clothing at J.C. Penney.

    When Filene’s Basement closed, there was much gnashing of teeth and renting of marked-down clothing on Beacon Hill.

  143. Teve says:

    I was concerned that BOGO might be a scam, like did they just double the price and then make it half off occasionally, so I took the Winn-Dixie weekly ad and went into the biggest grocery retailer in the area, Walmart, which has really cheap prices, and I picked about 20 of the BOGO items and priced the effective cost against Walmart’s base price, and it turned out that the BOGO items are marginally to significantly cheaper than Walmart. They did raise the prices on the BOGO things, but not enough to wipe out the discount. Items significantly cheaper than Walmart are probably loss leaders, I’d think.

  144. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    I don’t get why she did not understand she was advocating something that would be widely understood as anti trans. It’s baffling.

    She claims to have been the victim of sexual assault. Not by a trans woman! But she says it’s why she feels strongly about the issue.

    I once saw an interview with a woman Trump supporter who claimed to have been raped by an illegal Mexican immigrant. Let’s assume she was telling the truth. People like her hold these experiences around themselves like a shield against criticism. It’s a way of saying, you don’t know what I’ve been through; I’m the victim, I’m the oppressed, while you wokescolds sit there in your ivory towers lecturing me on how I’m supposed to think.

    And it’s not just a matter of blaming an entire group for the actions of one. That’s not the way they see it. With just about every category of bigotry, there’s a common set of narratives attached to it: black people are unintelligent and criminal; Jews are greedy and nefariously pulling the strings; gay men are pedophiles; trans women are male sexual predators playing dressup to gain access to female victims; and so on. People get sucked into believing these things, and they perceive them as simple truths everyone knows but which some people deny because it’s uncomfortable to admit and they’re afraid of the implications (that’s a lot of what the phrase “politically correct” is meant to imply). And there are a lot of sources out there making the case for these narratives, which can be very seductive to those inclined to believe in them. While we know violent crime is less common among undocumented immigrants than US citizens, there are sources out there arguing the opposite, just as there are sources arguing all the claims Rowling makes about trans people. She doesn’t think of it as bigotry because she thinks of it as the truth.

  145. liberal capitalist says:


    barely anyone believes in QAnon

    … and a boat does not have to be riddles with holes to sink. In fact, it may be lost to just a few.

    I think Trump was betting on that.

  146. Teve says:

    @sam: Beacon Hill reminds me of another great piece of advice from the millionaire next-door. He suggested buying clothes at thrift stores, but with a twist. You don’t go to any thrift store, you find the richest neighborhood you can reasonably drive to and go to the closest thrift stores to that. I used that trick to get a $600 Hugo boss sports coat for 80 bucks a few years ago. Chocolate corduroy, it looks dynamite.

  147. CSK says:

    BOGO is still prevalent here (northeastern U.S.).

  148. de stijl says:


    BOGO50O does not roll off the the tongue quite as easily.

  149. CSK says:

    Back in the 1980s, there was a Harvard professor who’d sell his ties to Keezer’s when he wanted them dry-cleaned, and then he’d buy them back. His reason? It was cheaper than taking them to the cleaner himself.

    Keezer’s was THE used clothing store in Cambridge. At the end of every semester, or school year, JFK’s valet would take his duds there to peddle them.

  150. Kathy says:


    Pricing scams are more common around big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

    Oh, you will fin bargains, because stores include a few loss leaders. But a 25% off is more like 10%.

    You find real bargains after the heavy shopping seasons, when stores need to clear inventory. After Christmas is good. On years when the economy is subpar around that time, you even find a good selection.

    Outlet malls tend to have lower prices, too.

  151. de stijl says:


    Great typo.

    I doubt old money rents clothes.

  152. Kathy says:


    The offer here used to be called 3 for 1 1/2. That’s a straight 50% off. This died off gradually, though ti still pops up now and then. the current buy one, get one 50% off is dominant now. In essence it’s 2 for 1 1/2, or 25% off.

  153. liberal capitalist says:


    …it’s all a pricy hobby meant to project wealth and power like a Corvette.

    Please don’t get me started on my Corvette weakness. The current one sitting in the garage could easily fund several young adults through collage, with plenty left over to feed the homeless for quite some time.

    But then again, I do admit the “capitalist” part of my moniker right up there.

  154. Jen says:

    In today’s least surprising news, Trump was apparently much sicker than was publicly acknowledged when he had COVID-19.

    Via NYT:

    Mr. Trump’s blood oxygen level alone was cause for extreme concern, dipping into the 80s, according to the people familiar with his evaluation. The disease is considered severe when the blood oxygen level falls to the low 90s.

    It has been previously reported that Mr. Trump had trouble breathing and a fever on Oct. 2, the day he was taken to the hospital, and the types of treatment he received indicated that his condition was serious. But the new details about his condition and about the effort inside the White House to get him special access to an unapproved drug to fight the virus help to flesh out one of the most dire episodes of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

    The new revelations about Mr. Trump’s struggle with the virus also underscore the limited and sometimes misleading nature of the information disclosed at the time about his condition.

    “Misleading nature of the information disclosed at the time”–ya don’t say.

  155. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    On the other hand, I worked in produce warehousing and a fair amount of any given day we’d be working in an inch or three of standing water.

    I worked as a meat wrapper. Add blood and fat to the mix. 🙂

  156. Teve says:

    I live 45 miles from UF. You can bet your booty that at semester’s end I’m at Gainesville’s main consignment shop. (Which has the adorable name Sandy’s Savvy Chic Resale Boutique) A lot of well-to-do students find it easier to dump their barely-worn clothes there than to pack them for home. Perry Ellis linen shirt? $10. Lacoste polo shirt? $15. Etc…

  157. de stijl says:


    When I was a teen / young adult vintage clothing stores were very big in my crowd. 30s, 40s and 50s jackets, trousers, suits.

    Ragstock in Mpls was super cool.

    Plus there were so many cute girls to flirt with.

    Ragstock still exists.

  158. CSK says:

    I recall reading that Trump fearfully asked his doctors if he was going to be “one of the die-ers” (weird locution), so I suspected at the time that he was much sicker than anyone was saying publicly.

  159. Mu Yixiao says:

    UW Madison has what they call “Hippie Christmas“. All the student leases come up at the same time. The city allows the students to put whatever they want on the side of the street–and then the city leaves it there for a few days before sending out the fleet of garbage trucks. That duration is long enough for the new students to move in…. and get all sorts of good furnishings from the side of the street. 🙂

  160. de stijl says:


    She’s fairly smart. She must realize the argument is flawed. Well, no, she didn’t.

    She controlled one of the largest entertainment franchises in the world and did not know when to shut up in public?

    I cannot read her mind, but it looks and feels like a dominance, gatekeeping move.

  161. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    We have a Ragstock in Madison. I got a lot of stuff from there when I was in high school. I still have the WWII wool trenchcoat (which, sadly, no longer fits). That served me very well during the Green Bay Winters.

  162. Teve says:

    Wow. Lindsey Graham:

    “These police officers had every right to use deadly force,” he said. “They should have used it. The people in charge of securing the Capitol let the country down.”

    What a POS.

  163. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Fairly common in college towns, but Hippie Christmas sounds awesome!

    I snagged half my furnishings off the street when I was that age.

  164. Teve says:

    Daily Mail (which is a tabloid):

    EXCLUSIVE: Embattled QAnon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene ‘openly cheated’ on her husband of 25 years with a polyamorous tantric sex guru and then moved on to another affair with the manager at her gym
    Marjorie Taylor Greene had affairs with tantric sex guru Craig Ivey and fitness gym manager Justin Tway, has learned
    The embattled Georgia congresswoman, 46, has been married to husband Perry Greene since 1995 and shares three kids with him
    Neither man denied the affairs when approached by, but both refused to comment on their past relationships with Taylor Greene
    ‘I have no interest in talking about anything to do with that woman. Everything with her comes to no good,’ Tway, 42, said

  165. Mu Yixiao says:


    polyamorous tantric sex guru

    That’s a career? Does anyone know if they’re hiring? (asking for a friend)

  166. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: the friend wouldn’t be you, would it?

  167. Gustopher says:


    Embattled QAnon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene ‘openly cheated’ on her husband of 25 years

    That’s called an open marriage, not cheating or “openly cheating.”

    I disapprove of the Daily Mail kink shaming her because she has so many other things she should be ashamed of, and no sense of shame.

  168. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Most sex workers are self-employed or involved in informal employment relationships.

    But, yes, prostitute is a job. Go for it. Live your best life, and if that’s what you need to live your best life, best of luck.

  169. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    She’s fairly smart. She must realize the argument is flawed.

    Why? A lot of smart people fall into bigoted ways of thinking.

  170. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Dude, I had the snazziest late 40s wool trench dressy coat. Very dark gray with ivory flecks. So cool.

    Lost it to an ex.

    Think of the coat Morrissey wears in Suedehead when he gets to Indiana. Like that but cooler.

    Man is an utter dick, but he had fabulous hair.

    I miss that coat.

  171. de stijl says:


    Very true.

  172. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Prepare to be disappointed.

    Yeah. For me it was Levi Jeans. My last pair purchased will be my last pair purchased.

    The denim does not have the same hand. Thin, cheap, and as such overpriced. Remember teh two horse trying to rip a pair on the logo? No more.

  173. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: I don’t know if she has an open marriage or not. She could’ve just been being flagrant. The reason it’s relevant is because she throws her “strong Christian faith” all over the place.

  174. CSK says:

    Well, Marge does advertise herself as a good Christian woman, and as far as I know, good Christian women don’t engage in adulterous affairs.

    I’m sure her fan club will dismiss these allegations as a scurrilous attempt to defame her.

    P.S. I was amused by Justin Tway’s comment. Marge must be some piece–you should pardon the expression–of work.

  175. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I don’t know if it’s an issue with a particular factory or not, but I’ve got friends who swear by recent docs, and I’ve also heard people talk about the sole splitting. We’ll see.

  176. de stijl says:


    She flings about adjectives ending with “ly” as if they were confetti. So, not that smart.

  177. Kathy says:


    A massacre of Trump supporters would have played well among the base. That is, it would have caused many more of them to take up arms and wreak havoc.

    That’s one thing cannon fodder is good for.

  178. Kathy says:


    Why? A lot of smart people fall into bigoted ways of thinking.

    Smart people with prejudices are better at rationalizing and morally licensing their bigotry.

  179. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    She flings about adjectives ending with “ly” as if they were confetti. So, not that smart.

    And frankly, I don’t think the Potter books’ approach to the subject of prejudice is especially insightful or mature. (And I say that as a fan.) It’s what TV Tropes calls Fantastic Racism, where fictional races serve as stand-ins for persecuted groups in our world. That sort of thing tends to be at a very cartoonish and superficial level–a why-can’t-we-all-get-along-despite-our-differences theme–and the Potter books are no exception. It’s fine for children’s books, but people shouldn’t treat it like it’s saying something profound.

  180. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There was a truly horrid movie with Mike Myers from the late aughts called The Love Guru.

    Don’t watch it. Seriously. It’s insulting.

  181. Kylopod says:


    Smart people with prejudices are better at rationalizing and morally licensing their bigotry.


  182. de stijl says:

    Who Greene bangs ain’t my business.

  183. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    There was a truly horrid movie with Mike Myers from the late aughts called The Love Guru.

    I haven’t seen it, but I did see Cat in the Hat, and I know both those films irreparably damaged Myers’ career just when it seemed to be in its prime. Other than the Shrek films, he never had a starring role in a movie again.

  184. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I think you accidentally hit “reply” to me even though you aren’t responding to my post.

  185. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: so I just talked to my friend Eric, he’s had 10 pairs of docs in the last 25 years and never seen the sole problem, I’ve never seen that sole problem either but there’s a lot of discussion about it online, one of the theories is that it happens because of cold weather. Do you by chance live somewhere cold?

  186. Sleeping Dog says:

    MacKenzie Scott’s Remarkable Giveaway Is Transforming the Bezos Fortune

    Bezos and Scott’s split shows how the personalities and priorities of the very rich affect how charities work and who gets help. Complicating it all is the source of their wealth. Amazon’s labor and environmental record has been harshly criticized by some of the same activists that Bezos and Scott have funded. Meanwhile, their wealth is compounding even faster than they’re giving it away: Last year the combined Bezos and Scott fortune, held largely in Amazon stock, grew by $97 billion as the world reeled from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns threw millions out of work.

    Emphasis added.

    For the mega wealthy, the fact that their wealth grows faster than they can give it away is a common problem and a good reason for taxing them more.

  187. Mu Yixiao says:


    My dry sense of humor is once again not understood.

    The DM lists one man by his job (fitness trainer) and the other by a salacious mish-mash of words. I’m poking fun at the DM for their tabloid-level writing.

  188. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    There was a truly horrid movie with Mike Myers from the late aughts called The Love Guru.
    Don’t watch it. Seriously. It’s insulting.

    Absolutely no danger of that happening. I refuse to watch anything with him in it. What passes for “humor” in movies these days is insulting, and Myers is a perfect example.

  189. Mu Yixiao says:


    Do you by chance live somewhere cold?

    {looks at the weather forecast… sees highs in the positive single digits (F) this week}

    Eh… mildly. 🙂

  190. de stijl says:


    You bought em! So cool. Yay!

    I got the yellow mid calf boots and Oh my Gosh are they yellow. I wore em around the house to break em in for a week or so.

    I wore em to the grocery store with skinny black pants tucked and three people commented. All positives.

    They are weird to wear / walk for me because they are too light. I’ve gotten used to super heavy boots. I didn’t note it until I was on the sidewalk. Good snow soles.

    They make me a half inch taller than I am used to in boots because the heel.

    They are extremely yellow.

  191. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: many people online suggest the splitting sole problem is caused by cold.

  192. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Marshall’s used to be a great place to find high quality odds and ends from department and specialty stores who were clearing their racks for new merchandise. In the 80’s I got a great London Fog raincoat for a song when London Fog was still a good brand. But now it is like any other “outlet” store and stocks inexpensive stuff manufactured to sell through then and similar stores.

    One of the things I like about Brooks Brothers “Outlet” stores is that they don’t sell the same labels as they sell in their regular stores. They are good quality but they don’t try to pretend they can have a reliable stock of “end of season” stuff when they probably sell 10 times the amount through outlet stores as they do in the main stores.

  193. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    High Sunday here will be -6F. High temp, mind you. Low is expected at -17F.

    Thor only knows what N Mn will be.

    Coldest I ever witnessed was -46F.

  194. Teve says:

    You gotta figure if you’re hanging out indoors and it’s 70°, and you go outside at night and it’s below zero, that’s some pretty serious thermal shock. Also the soles are PVC and plastic gets brittle in the cold.

  195. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: there are so many outlet-type stores now that the major manufacturers would have to be running entire assembly lines of botched product to fill them. 😀

  196. CSK says:

    Yep. Hit the wrong button. Sorry.

  197. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Good point. I should have made it clear that one of the key factors was the fact that I’ve kept houses for 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years, not in that order. If I had bought my first house and kept it that would have been a different equation. Plus, I always repaired and replaced with top quality materials, even when I knew I would be moving. A good investment for the long term, but a poor one (financially) for the short.

  198. de stijl says:


    Leads with “And frankly…”

    Hat tip to you.

  199. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Could be. Or perhaps it’s “I’ve fought my whole life against asshole men that want to take over everything and now they want to be women and take over the things I fought so hard for”. I think that’s a totally crosswise way to look at it, but I also can empathize (not sympathize) with it. We always admire people who stick up for what they believe in and fight like the devil when we agree with them. But it’s unrealistic to think they’ll be right about everything they fight against.

  200. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Way back in the 70’s my sister worked in the housewares department of Monkey Wars. They had some blenders they couldn’t sell. They priced them at $20, they marked them down a couple of bucks, then a couple bucks more, then put them on a table in the middle of the aisle. Nothing. Then one day she came in to find the manager at that table working on them with a price tagger, making all of them back to $20 but with the red sales tag. Then he put out a sign that said. “Originaly $29.99 Today Only $19.99!” They were gone by the weekend.

  201. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    This reminds me of a carton by Argentine artist Quino.

    First we see a very polluted city, with the pollution caused mainly by one factory, then a man gasping for breath. Next the man sees a doctor, gasping the whole time. The doctor gives him a prescription. We then see the man back in the streets, still gasping, making his way to a pharmacy, where he buys a large jar of pills with a logo. Next we zoom into the factory, which turns out to make the pills the gasping man just bought.

    I found an image of it.

  202. Teve says:
  203. wr says:

    @Kylopod: “But as I mentioned the other day, King was actually canceled. By J.K. Rowling. Simply for expressing his support for trans women. Which gets to another point, which is that some of the most intolerant people are the anti-woke.”

    Oh, for God’s sake. I realize that we are all instructed to expend our full five-minute hate on JK Rowling these days, but she didn’t “cancel” King, she deleted a tweet praising him. Which undoubtedly cost Mr. King exactly zero cents, zero worries, and zero fucks.

    I get why some people are so mad at Rowling. It’s not that she’s significantly worse on this sole issue than a lot of other people. It’s that readers of a certain age grew up loving and identifying with her, and so when she turns out not to be with them on everything, it’s like she’s personally stabbing them in the heart.

    You get that same level of personal betrayal from people who come to realize at some point that Joss Whedon may not be the kind of guy who’d want to hang out with them and just be their pal, and that in fact he is a rich and powerful man who appears to like using his money and power against people with less. Sure, if it’s true, it sucks — good people are better than bad people. But no one would be howling with pain and rage if this kind of thing started coming out about, say, JJ Abrams or Dick Wolf. Because they’re just rich producers, they’re not our dream buddies.

    Read Rowling or don’t. Treasure your Harry Potter books or burn them. But my god let’s find a little perspective when it comes to tweets about trans people from JK Rowling. It’s someone you will never know expressing an opinion you don’t agree with about a lot of people neither of you will ever know.

  204. EddieInCA says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Teve:

    That Docs would split in cold weather makes no sense given that they are designed and manufactured in England, where it gets cold as f**k for four-five months every single year.

    While living in London in 1995 and 1996, I bought three pairs. I still have all three pairs. One pair,, still look like new, despite 25 years of wear. I take them to a shoe guy every year, and he’s taken great care of them.

    I’ve never had an issue and I’ve worn them in London, Paris, Vail, Telluride, Park City, Whistler, and Moose Jaw – all in winter.

  205. EddieInCA says:


    It’s someone you will never know expressing an opinion you don’t agree with about a lot of people neither of you will ever know.

    That’s the best description of the twitterverse I’ve read. Alot of people get worked up over people and things that, literally, have no effect on their lives.

  206. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA: in London it’s 31°F right now. In Morris Minnesota it is -7. Big difference.

  207. de stijl says:


    Why, it’s almost as if there were entire manufactory lines to stock and on-going advertising campaigns for these outlet oopsidoodles that must be sold today lest the potential savings be lost forever.

    They think we are idiots.

  208. Teve says:

    In Park City it’s 40°.

    Doc martens soles are PVC and the colder it gets the more brittle plastic gets and the more thermal contraction you’re going to have possibly between layers.

  209. gVOR08 says:


    Plus, I always repaired and replaced with top quality materials, even when I knew I would be moving. A good investment for the long term, but a poor one (financially) for the short.

    Wasn’t until I was prepping the house in Cincinnati for sale that I was aware of “contractor grade”. Tell the carpet guy, for instance, you want contractor grade, he knows exactly what to show you. It isn’t the cheapest rack, but it’s way closer to it than to premium.

  210. Teve says:

    It’s not conclusive, but it does fit the evidence, my friend Eric who lives in San Francisco has never had a problem in 10 pair, I live in Florida and I’ve never had a problem with three pair, and Mu went through two pairs of soles in eight months in single-digit high temperatures. And I got the idea to ask him if he lives in cold weather because people are speculating online that that’s the cause of it. and I used to do research in polymer physics and it fits my professional experience. (Teve==S. Story)

  211. Teve says:

    Dang Now you can figure out what my first name is 😛

  212. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: Contractor grade?

  213. de stijl says:


    Not a prepper.

    Still maintain enough shelf stable goods to last me two weeks. Two 5 gallons of water.

    I want to outlast a flood that bonks power and water which happened in the 90s.

    That’s a proper response in my book.

    Equivalent to Florida hurricane bags.

  214. CSK says:

    Hi, Steve!

  215. Kylopod says:


    Oh, for God’s sake. I realize that we are all instructed to expend our full five-minute hate on JK Rowling these days, but she didn’t “cancel” King, she deleted a tweet praising him.

    My reference to Rowling “canceling” King was intended as snark. If you look at the paragraph immediately preceding, you’ll see me arguing that King was not canceled in any meaningful sense, even if he did receive his share of hate-tweets and, yes, blocks. But there are people out there claiming those reactions did constitute a “canceling” of King. When I turned around in the next paragraph and said that King actually was canceled by Rowling, I was trying to mock those who use this broad definition of “canceling” by pointing out that some of the loudest voices complaining about cancel culture engage in the same sort of behavior they decry against their targets.

    And let’s be clear on what Rowling actually did during this tiff. Rowling tweeted an Andrea Dworkin quote about how men treat women’s opinions as if they are “acts of violence.” King retweeted the Rowling tweet. Rowling effusively praised King for appreciating the quote’s sentiment. Then a fan asked King for his views on trans issues, and he simply tweeted back, “Trans women are women.” That was it. It was absolutely clear he wasn’t remotely trying to pick a fight with Rowling, who he’d just been perfectly friendly with, and he never singled her out for criticism; he simply expressed an opinion that happened to differ from hers. Rowling immediately deleted her tweet praising King, and it’s speculated that she unfollowed him on Twitter. It should be obvious which one of them is more tolerant of the views of others.

  216. Jax says:

    @CSK: Ha! I was laughing because I NEVER would’ve guessed Teve’s name was actually Steve…, never, not in a million years! 😉

  217. Teve says:


  218. Teve says:

    @Jax: I worked so hard to keep it obscure!

  219. Jax says:

    One thing that never ceases to amaze me around here is the varying backgrounds amongst the commentariat. How in the hell did we all FIND this little corner of the internet?!

  220. Teve says:

    On FB I’m Teve Tory. Really, the only reason for the alias is that I live in a very conservative part of the rural South and I didn’t want to apply for a job and have an employer easily Google my name and find a whole bunch of my Libtard views.

  221. de stijl says:


    Won’t tell a soul.

    Don’t Tell A Soul was The Replacements second to last.

    Okay. Not brilliant. Not egregiously shitty. Bright spots are:

    Achin’ To Be (Great effing song)
    Anywhere’s Better Than Here
    I’ll Be You (almost great)

    The remaster included Portland which is very, very good.

  222. CSK says:

    Very little gets past me.

  223. CSK says:

    You were Teve Tory for a while here as well.

  224. Jax says:

    @Teve: I have a shady name on Facebook, too. I changed the last name every two months as per the seasons, but since COVID I just left it Americanstrong. When I get my shots I might change it to Thankgodthatsfuckingover. 😉

  225. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: Are you familiar with the old SNL skit satirizing the Primary Colors controversy involving Anonymous? I can’t find a clip of it, but the transcript is here. It just reminded me.

  226. de stijl says:


    He was! I remember that vaguely.

    Like 5 years back. Busted!

  227. de stijl says:

    I was listening to Achin’ To Be and thought it might not be @Jax primal core, but it might be fairly close to her vibe.

    Give it a go.

  228. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    All the regulars here are pretty memorable.

  229. Teve says:

    @de stijl: I’ve posted my email addresses before once or twice too. It’s not very high risk, really I’m just trying to prevent the following scenario

    Hiring Manager: huh let’s google “steve story”
    Hiring Manager: OK let’s see what we got “Donald Trump sucks the balls of donkeys with Brucellosis”
    (Sound of Steve’s resume being crosscut shredded)


  230. de stijl says:


    U R such a libtard!

    Is it that bad there?

  231. de stijl says:


    You’re pretty low-key.

    State your business and move on. Not a name caller. Not a line stepper.

  232. de stijl says:


    Here Comes A Regular

    That one always makes me cry.

  233. Teve says:

    @de stijl: The most common bumper sticker in this region a couple of years ago was


    if that helps you out.

  234. Jax says:

    @de stijl: This is actually a little more to my primal core. Both in the sense of humor and I fuckin love my chickens.

    One thing people remember is my laugh…..and how I’m always laughing. Even when it sucks, there’s humor to be found.

  235. de stijl says:



    Be cool, friend.

    Be cooler than I would be and I’m generally pretty chill fella.

    Ice cold. What’s cooler than bein’ cool? ICE COLD

  236. Kathy says:


    How in the hell did we all FIND this little corner of the internet?!

    Well, I had friended Doug on FB through a podcaster I followed. He often posted links to his blog posts, and I sometimes read them.

    Now, proving one can learn too much form experience, I didn’t read the comments. Not for several years. Someday for some reason I did, and I was taken aback by the uncommon degree of civility commonly displayed. Eventually I started commenting.

  237. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is excellent. Ashes of American Flags, Poor Places, and Radio Cure are my personal faves.

  238. Jax says:

    @de stijl: You probably don’t float in the bluegrass YouTube algorithm much, but I kinda like the simplicity of this….

  239. de stijl says:


    Ya know, I did have a pair of Doc shoes that got a split sole that ran up into the heel. Still wearable but I’d get a wet sock. This was way back. 35 years or so.

    Was it winter? I cannot say. But it was Minnesota so likely so.

  240. de stijl says:


    Such a brilliant album. So heartbreaking.

  241. wr says:

    @Kylopod: Sorry for misunderstanding you, although kind of in my defense that rant wasn’t really aimed at you so much as at al the Tweeters.

    But as for your second point… I neither want nor need to be “clear” on what Rowling did. I simply don’t care what Muffy said about Buffy in the playground today, especially since both Muffy and Biffy live ten states away and I will never come within a hundred mile of anyone remotely related to them. And in the same way, I don’t care if Rowling was mean to King or said some icky things that will never have any effect on anyone who doesn’t simply choose to be offended.

    I don’t care which multi-millionaire author is more tolerant than the other, and don’t understand why anyone thinks I should. I’ll read King’s next book and probably won’t read Rowling’s but that’s only because I like most of his and don’t think she’s a particularly good mystery writer…

  242. de stijl says:


    That’s so cool!

    I’m glad you are here. You have a very interesting voice and take.

  243. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Doug’s actually how I found this place, too. I was “libertarian curious”, in like 2010 and decided “Libertarian” meant “Conservative, but we want legal weed and nobody cares what you identify as.” Which is pretty much the same as where I was already at as a Democrat. I stayed for the comments. 🙂 Eventually, y’all kinda became an online family.

  244. Jax says:

    @de stijl: Have you seen the Spoon Lady? Duuuude. It catches me.

  245. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: BOGHO (buy one get half off) comes close, though.

  246. EddieInCA says:


    Hiring Manager: So why did you leave your last job?

    Me: Something my boss said.

    Hiring Manager: Says here you were fired.

    Me: Yeah. That’s what he said.

  247. DrDaveT says:


    I used that trick to get a $600 Hugo boss sports coat for 80 bucks a few years ago.

    I used that trick in one of DC’s wealthiest suburbs to get a vintage Burberry tweed suit — pants and jacket — for $40. It’s the warmest garment I own, and insanely stylish.

    As a bonus, when I got it home I found that it had a pair of official Gerald Ford presidential cufflinks hidden in one of the pockets.

  248. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Last time I bought a Lacoste polo shirt, I paid $10. Switched to LL Bean polos at $8 each. (That was a long time ago, btw. 😀 )

  249. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: wow!

  250. de stijl says:


    Does Montgomery Ward still exist?

    Yes. As an online only.

    Montgomery Ward as a physical retail store folded in 2001.

  251. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    E’rbody loves HO!

  252. Kylopod says:


    I don’t care if Rowling was mean to King or said some icky things that will never have any effect on anyone who doesn’t simply choose to be offended.

    The reason I brought up the Rowling example was to illustrate how people who complain about cancel culture are typically engaging in some level of projection, and are actually just as intolerant of other opinions as they accuse their critics of being. Part of what makes them blind to this tendency is that they make an implicit assumption that “canceling” can only apply to one’s right. Canceling people for being too liberal (e.g. the Dixie Chicks) isn’t called “canceling,” because the way the word is typically used, it’s filled with presumptions about which part of the political spectrum does it more, and therefore by simply uttering the word, it does all the work for whoever makes the accusation. This is how the right uses language, trying to build connotations they favor into various terms (e.g. values, patriotism, law & order) so they need only utter them to make their point.

    I also think Rowling is an interesting case because of her cultural-left background, having spent years as an outspoken supporter of feminism and gay rights, often ruffling the feathers of conservatives in the process. It shows how the concept of the woke mob or cancel culture means different things to different people, yet those who invoke the terms always act like they’re easily definable, monolithic entities–they just always happen to include only those things the person complaining about considers excessive.

  253. de stijl says:

    The later The Replacements missed that Bob Stinson thing. The drone with weird up. Staggering strut.

    He was a true genius. He was too often a drunk. Often blindly so.

    Met him a few times and he was blacked out not really on this planet drunk. Could not stand.

    It’s very sad because he was a flat-out genius.

    Check “Within Your Reach”

    Chris Marrs was killing that too.

  254. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: @Gustopher: Some of it depends also on how one classifies *investment.* In one of the economics classes I took, our professor opined that houses are part of a class of financial instruments called “capital sinks.” Not all economists agree with this assessment, btw. The principle function of a capital sink is that it holds the value of the capital put into it, but normally doesn’t grow in value beyond the level of inflation. It breaks even, if you will.

    With a house, even though it may seem like inflation will create a large gain over the years, you have to add all of the fixed costs of ownership to the overall expense in calculating the *profit.* Principal and interest, property taxes, assessments, upkeep and whatnot are all part of the cost, but we don’t normally include them when calculating the roi (partially because many are not allowed as write down for capital gains tax). If a person owns a house for past the pay off date for the mortgage, there is a better chance of a gain at the end (and directing reductions in rent because the mortgage is paid off can be included if they aren’t *invested* in junkets to Vegas or pony’s noses). And a steep acceleration in housing prices, such as Seattle has had over the recent years make a big difference too.

    The Seattle house that my parents bought for $12000 when I was born and sold for $68000 years later may have made them some money, but considering that over the years they also added storm windows, a remodel that cost more than the house had originally, and put vinyl siding on twice in addition to new roof, carpeting, all the other stuff that goes with ownership makes it likely that any profit was small. The person who bought that home for $640,ooo last June (I happened to look it up on Redfin one day) will probably never turn a profit on it, but will imagine that he or she did.

    My economics professor’s position was that a capital sink does not usually constitute an investment. I’m inclined to agree with him, but not everyone counts the same way.

  255. Mister Bluster says:

    Chick Corea

  256. de stijl says:

    Swingin’ Party (way darker than the title implies)
    Unsatisfied (best song of the twentieth century)

  257. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: That’s why so many rich people buy ranches out here. The cost of running them is a guaranteed loss, so they write it off.

  258. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: Buying assets for the purpose of making your money on taxes is a complicated skill set. Even more so with rates being as low as they are–it costs a dollar in loss to get 38 cents in tax savings–lots of creative finance/accounting there. It’s strictly a game for the big players in my mind; I’ve known a few small fry who went banko trying to do it.

  259. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: I still do this for work clothes. Nothing like a Goodwill or Consignment shop in white wonderland to get clothes that say “Im better than you” for prices a cheapskate can appreciate.

  260. Jax says:

    @de stijl: You will always be Sparky from this video, in my head. With some bright yellow boots and a mohawk!!

    And….I mean, Hillbilly Moon Explosion. If I was gonna start a band, that’s a pretty awesome name.

  261. Teve says:

    @Jim Brown 32: 😀

  262. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Thanks. But here I’m just one of many.

  263. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Those of us who are in the business of trying to make it work on the land call it “Land Rich and Cash Poor”. We can sell out for way more than we make every year. My parents bought this place in 1989 and it’s appreciated more every year than what they’ve made on cattle.

    Eventually everything will be bought and subdivided and all our meat will be grown in vats. I struggle with wanting to get rich now, or continuing to do what I love with people who are….batshit crazy.

  264. DrDaveT says:

    @Mister Bluster: Jean Batiste on Steven Colbert was playing “Spain” tonight… it didn’t occur to me that it might be a tribute. RIP, Chick.

  265. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Buying assets for the purpose of making your money on taxes is a complicated skill set.

    If you are doing things solely for the purpose of tax writeoffs, you are (1) too rich, and (2) an idiot.

  266. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Teve: and now I’ve got Zevon’s “play it all night long” stuck in my head. Thanks!

  267. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Didn’t Gonzo cover this on original Muppet Show?

  268. Mu Yixiao says:


    Mu went through two pairs of soles in eight months in single-digit high temperatures.


    We’re in a cold snap now. The first pair I bought was in August. They started splitting by the end of September. Temps in the 80s & 90s. I got the second pair in November. They split over the winter, but actually lasted longer.

    And the very first pair I had I bought in Green Bay. Temps there would get down into the double-digit negatives on a regular basis. That pair lasted for 10 years of daily wear, and the soles were intact.

    So… no. It’s not the cold that did it. It’s a significant drop in workmanship.