Trump’s Last Day Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Teve says:

    Will Trump pardon his kids?

    Will Trump pardon himself?

    Will Trump pardon the Capitol Deplorables?

    We will find out the answers in the next 30 hours.

  2. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: Last day of the White House being a frikkin reality show.

  3. Teve says:

    Stopped in Olive Garden yesterday with a friend for lunch and the guy standing in front of us had a T-shirt that said

    nobody needs an AR 15?
    well nobody needs a whiny little bitch yet here you are

    I hope he’s on a list somewhere.

  4. Jen says:

    I am SO ready for these clowns to depart. So, so ready.

  5. Scott says:

    We are so numb that it is impossible to realize how extraordinary this is.

    FBI vetting Guard troops in DC amid fears of insider attack

    U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.

    The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.

    Could it be that the warnings (military and law enforcement are infiltrated by far right extremists) that have been issued over the last 30 years are finally being taken seriously?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Matt McDermott

    Final Gallup Poll — Trump leaves office with a 34% approval rating, an all-time low.

    Trump is the only president never to have hit 50% job approval in his presidency, making him the least popular president in polling history.

    He did hit 49% once. Under the rich white man curve that means he got 98% approval for his full 2 terms.

  7. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Scott: Ummmm Im curious as to what this vetting entails. Simply not enough time to actually accomplish the type of vetting that occurs with people nominated for Security Clearances.

    I suspect this vetting could only be running social media searches and some sort of questionnaire. I guess that’s better than nothing….but not actually vetting which entails interviews with relatives and colleagues.

  8. sam says:

    Parler seems to be sliding back onto the Internet, but not onto mobile

    . . .

    Multiple security researchers have also pointed out that Parler appears to have secured the services of DDoS-Guard, a cloud services company based in Russia.

    Cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs last year published an analysis of potential legal liabilities DDoS-Guard might face inside the United States due to its client list. Krebs called the list “revelatory,” noting it includes “a vast number of phishing sites and domains tied to cybercrime services or forums.”

    Most notably, DDoS-Guard also provides hosting services to Hamas, which the US has classified as a terrorist organization for more than 20 years.

  9. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: His final net disapproval (-28) is the worst ever recorded by Gallup (going back to Truman) for an outgoing president at the end of his final term–only Nixon had a worse one, just before resignation (-42). It beats the previous record set by Dubya (-27).

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:
  11. Scott says:

    @Jim Brown 32: It can’t be too thorough, for sure. Redoing local files checks, some data base searches, etc. It is not enough time to duplicate what the Defense Security Service does. Maybe hoping the very act of announcing a more comprehensive screening may out someone or cause a behavior change.

  12. Teve says:

    @sam: and with all that data running through Russia the NSA can legally just stream the Parler traffic directly to some boxes in Utah.

  13. Scott says:

    Nominee for Father of the Year!

    Texas man at Capitol riot allegedly threatened to kill his kids if they turned him in: ‘Traitors get shot’

    Two days after Guy Reffitt joined the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, federal officials said, he returned home to Wylie, Tex., and proudly told his family of his escapade. But by Jan. 11, when Reffitt learned the FBI was on to him, he changed his tune, according to an affidavit.

    “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors … traitors get shot,” Reffitt, 48, said to his son and daughter, according to his wife, who recounted the conversation to the FBI, which did not name the relatives.

    On Saturday, the FBI caught up to him. Reffitt, an oil worker with ties to self-styled militia and right-wing extremist groups, was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly threatening his family and unlawful entry into the Capitol.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:
  15. Teve says:

    I listened to a 30 minute podcast the CEO of Parler did with Kara Swisher, and he was just a straight up moron.

  16. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    I was wondering that, too. Given time constraints, it couldn’t possibly be much more than what you describe.
    If it discourages some people, that’s good.

  17. CSK says:

    Didn’t Paltrow get in trouble a few years ago for peddling a jade egg for women to insert into their vaginas?

  18. Jen says:

    An opinion piece on The Hill speculating about “secret pardons” has my friends all whipped up. The psychological damage this administration has inflicted is going to take years to recover from, if ever.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    Color Copy Machines (continued from yesterday’s forum)
    I remember where I was living when one of the local copy stores (Copy Cat) had a color machine so it had to be 1985 or earlier. I don’t think it was a laser machine.

    From WikiP
    Colored toner became available in the 1950s, although full-color copiers were not commercially available until 3M released the Color-in-Color copier in 1968, which used a dye sublimation process rather than conventional electrostatic technology. The first electrostatic color copier was released by Xerox (the 6500) in 1973. Color photocopying is a concern to governments, as it facilitates counterfeiting currency and other documents: for more information, see Counterfeiting section.

  20. CSK says:

    According to TPM, the FBI is warning various law enforcement agencies that QAnoners may try to infiltrate the National Guard by posing as soldiers.

  21. CSK says:

    Are they worried about who he might pardon or who he might not pardon?

  22. JohnMcC says:

    @Teve: You beat me to that little nugget. I’ll just add that the invaluable Adam Silverman has a fairly lengthy post with more thoughts/information that was posted yesterday evening at Balloon-Juice.

  23. Jen says:

    @CSK: It’s a highly speculative piece that suggests Trump will leave office having secured “secret pardons” for himself and his family.

    The logic of this doesn’t make any sense to me. Even if he could do this (which is debatable), what’s the point? The second Biden’s sworn in, his administration could make it public. Failing that, the moment Trump is sued by one of the many parties in line to do so, the pardons would come to light.

    I have no idea what “secret pardons” would therefore accomplish, short of further eroding norms.

  24. Teve says:


    Ainsley Earhardt: “They’ll criticize President Trump but no one can argue, he is a worker. He doesn’t drink alcohol, he stays up late at night, he watches every show, he’s working — he got to work immediately.”

    There’s often the question of ‘is this person lying or stupid?’ But this is a pretty clear example of just straight lying.

  25. gVOR08 says:


    I am SO ready for these clowns to depart. So, so ready.

    My wife is planning to get up early tomorrow hoping to be able to watch the Trumps depart the WH. We have mimosa fixings in the reefer ready for the swearing in.

  26. Teve says:

    @Scott: I’m happy to see FBIs aren’t playing. They’re following Fat Abbot’s advice to Yolanda.

    “Snatch his ass in a bear trap! Leave that ****** swinging from a tree so high, nobody finds him for days! GLOCK-GLOCK, you know what I’m sayin’?”


  27. CSK says:

    I know; I read it. I’m equally confused, because, like you, I can’t figure out the point of this.

    Does Trump think he can use secret pardons to coerce people into not testifying against him?

  28. Jen says:

    @Teve: “He watches every show” translates to…working?

    Stupidity, like diner coffee, is apparently bottomless.

  29. CSK says:

    Well, Trump did once say that he knew more about ISIS than “the generals” because he watched “the shows,” so there’s that.

  30. KM says:

    I’ve been saying it for years; MAGA fervor is textbook abusive logic to it’s core and so it attracts abusers. It’s no surprise to find out that they are furious their victims might be able to strike back and rid themselves of their abusers; “tell anyone and bad things happen to you” is often invoked to demand silence from their victims. They can and will lash back out and I can sadly promise you someone is going to bleed and possibly die because they reported someone they know.

    If this is you, please please PLEASE don’t brag about it or tell the person in question. You’re not Olenna Tyrell and guess what, it didn’t end well for her, either. Telling an unstable person who’s tormented you for years you’ve set the FBI on them might feel cathartic but it’s not worth your safety. A lot of these people are likely not going to jail so they’ll still be wandering the streets knowing what you did. Do the right thing and report them but for god’s sake, don’t wave it in their face for your own protection!

  31. de stijl says:

    I was listening to Olympia, WA by Rancid and I had a weird recollection. (Btw, Sin Effectos have a killer out-of-left-field Norteno cover called Jalisco, Mx)

    I remember listening to this full blast up to 11 on my way to a corporate job where I had a budget to manage and personnel responsibilities to finesse. Relatively senior and more than I wanted.

    Just yesterday I had a dream about a clever use of outer joins. I am comfortable with heads down work. Managing a team I can do, but not what I was put on this earth to do.

    Thankfully, I had made a shit-ton of money being a mercenary (i.e., contractor) so that I could walk away.

    Rancid reminded me I was poorly placed in that job. I could do it fairly well, but way, way, way better suited to another.

  32. Teve says:

    you know those studies that said that watching Fox News made you more clueless than if you watched no news?


    Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo: “A new report says that some far-right protesters have discussed posing as members of the National Guard to infiltrate the inauguration — the way Democrats infiltrated two weeks ago and put on MAGA clothing”

  33. Michael Cain says:


    The logic of this doesn’t make any sense to me. Even if he could do this (which is debatable), what’s the point? The second Biden’s sworn in, his administration could make it public.

    You assume that Trump will turn everything over to the National Archives as required by law (although there are no punishments for failure to do so). I put the over/under on how much is kept in his own hands/destroyed at a million pages. If it’s not turned over, Biden’s staff won’t find it. I have been told by several people that a properly notarized pardon and acceptance letter produced at time of need in the future would probably be honored.

  34. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Scott: I suspect that was the real intent. Im not too familiar with Guard deployments but Id guess they call for volunteers first before voluntold-ing people if they dont get enough people to fill out the deployment package.

    A little announcement about FBI vetting might convince a Guard member who posted naughty things on Parler to not volunteer for this activation.

  35. Jen says:

    @Michael Cain: The second part of my statement is relevant–

    “Failing that, the moment Trump is sued by one of the many parties in line to do so, the pardons would come to light.”

    That “in the future” is not that far away. There’s simply no need to do this (and, per the Justice Department’s website, all presidential grants–including pardons–are considered public), and there’s no upside to it.

    The President and his adult children are all either currently being sued or there are suits pending. Any “secret pardons” would have to come to light very quickly–so quickly, in fact, that there’s no point.

    Not that thought enters into the picture for Trump, I know. It’s just all so speculative with no visible benefit.

  36. de stijl says:

    Inspector does a very interesting cover of Ruby Soho (Tributa a Rancid)

  37. CSK says:

    According to the Daily Beast, Trump is in a jealous rage about all the A-listers who are showing up for Biden’s inauguration who refused to participate in his.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This is good: Pink seesaws across US-Mexico border named Design of the Year 2020

    A collection of bright pink seesaws that allowed people to interact over the US-Mexico border has won the prestigious Design of the Year award, with its creators saying they hoped the work encourages people to build bridges between communities.

    The Teeter Totter Wall, which bridged across El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico during a 40-minute session, was described as not only feeling “symbolically important” but also highlighting “the possibility of things” by the judging panel.

    The creators of the seesaws, Ronald Rael, a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San José State University, first came up with the idea a decade ago after the Secure Fence Act 2006, which started large-scale building on the border.

    They said they hoped the design would help people reassess the effectiveness of borders and encourage dialogue rather than division. San Fratello said: “I think it’s become increasingly clear with the recent events in our country that we don’t need to build walls we need to build bridges.”

  39. Sleeping Dog says:


    I’m sure that if you are a Paler participant, that your personal data collected by the site will be protected. {smirk}

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: While she was universally ridiculed for that, and so were the women who bought them, I don’t thin she actually got “in trouble” for it.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Failing that, the moment Trump is sued by one of the many parties in line to do so, the pardons would come to light.

    I don’t think a pardon gives one immunity from civil actions. As I understand it they only absolve one of criminal liability.

    Hopefully a lawyer will come along and tell me I know nothing about the law.

  42. Sleeping Dog says:


    The products description didn’t mention that the candle was capable of an explosive orgasm.

  43. CSK says:

    Well, being universally ridiculed could be considered a form of trouble.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: 30 lashes with a wet noodle for you, sir.

    @CSK: I don’t think she notices such things.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In other news: Local woman makes the big time! Sullivan Woman Charged In Riot At US Capitol

    According to court documents, three individuals submitted tips to the FBI based on a widely-circulated video by ITV News, a television news network based in the United Kingdom.
    At approximately the 2:47 mark, a female with brown hair, round sunglasses and a white and gray winter hat, appears to be standing near the same office with the curved entryway. The sign was not there. The person — allegedly Hernandez — appears to hold up a broken engraved piece of wood and a white manila envelope. The fractured wood appeared to be a piece of the same wooden sign previously seen above the Speaker’s office.

    Tipster 1 submitted a photograph taken from Hernandez’s Facebook page to the FBI. It appears to depict Hernandez wearing the same hat worn by the person inside and outside the Capitol.

    Tipster 2 submitted an online tip to the FBI containing a video depicting what appears to be Hernandez wearing the same hat and sunglasses with the dome of the Capitol building rotunda above her.

    Hernandez allegedly posted videos of herself in the Capitol in possession of a fractured piece of wood and a red sign. The tipster is one of Hernandez’s Snapchat friends.

    With friends like these…

    My only question is, who went with her? Generally speaking, 20 yr old girls do not travel across the country by themselves.

  46. de stijl says:


    Sure they do. That’s patronizing. 20 year old girls can do whatever they want.

  47. Jen says:


    I don’t think a pardon gives one immunity from civil actions. As I understand it they only absolve one of criminal liability.

    That is my understanding as well.

    My point is, there IS no point to a secret pardon. The entire point of a pardon is to absolve one of criminal responsibility.

    So, step 1, Trump leaves office, with “secret” pardons in hand. Since they are secret, authorities don’t know about them. Step 2, he and/or his kids are brought up on criminal charges because no one knows about the pardons. So, step 3, the pardons have to be produced.

    Basically, all I am saying is that the “secret” part of this is nonsensical. If there are pardons, we’ll know about it sooner or later.

  48. CSK says:

    She may have noticed the $145,000 fine Goop had to pay for claiming the jade egg could regulate menstrual cycles.

  49. Teve says:

    Jimmy Fallon

    Trump’s the only president in history who if he decides not to pardon himself we’ll be like, “what’s he up to…

  50. dazedandconfused says:


    It would be awkward to pardon someone who is, as far as anyone knows, clean. Perhaps secret pardons would be for people not yet suspected of committing or abetting a crime but should be.

  51. grumpy realist says:

    @dazedandconfused: The problem with “secret pardons” is that whoever is trying to use them will have to prove that they were in fact created during the period that President Trump had authority to make them.

    And no, just because you have an illegible scrawl on a piece of White House stationary isn’t enough.

  52. dazedandconfused says:

    An excellent name for a rock band. -Dave Barry

  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    I would rather have gonorrhea than a record of passionate and convinced #MAGA tweeting.

    Graeme Wood

  54. Teve says:


    U.S. files conspiracy charge against Oath Keeper leader in alleged plot against the Capitol

    Spencer S. Hsu and
    Devlin Barrett
    Jan. 19, 2021 at 8:52 a.m. EST
    Add to list
    U.S. authorities have leveled the first conspiracy charge against an apparent leader of an extremist group in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, arresting an alleged Oath Keeper who is accused of plotting to disrupt the electoral vote confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and proposing further assaults on state capitols.
    Thomas Edward Caldwell, 65, of Clarke County, Va., was taken into custody before 7 a.m. on four federal counts, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States in the attack on the Capitol. The conspiracy charge is reserved for offenses interfering with or obstructing the lawful operation of government.
    A charging affidavit says he helped organize a group of eight to 10 individuals, including self-styled Ohio militia members apprehended Sunday, who wore helmets and military-style gear and were seen moving purposefully toward the top of the Capitol steps and leading the move against police lines.

    Hahahahahahaha suck it bitch

  55. Michael Cain says:


    Basically, all I am saying is that the “secret” part of this is nonsensical. If there are pardons, we’ll know about it sooner or later.

    But timing may be important. There’s the possibility that a USA or AG or DA would conduct an investigation quite differently if they knew that I had been pardoned and couldn’t invoke the 5th Amendment. As time goes by and cases are settled, or dropped, or never even opened, the pardon may be moot before it’s needed. This is the Trumps and associates, who have always been grifters skating along the edge of the law, always scheming, and keeping information secret is preferred unless there’s a benefit to revealing it.

  56. Michael Cain says:

    @grumpy realist:

    The problem with “secret pardons” is that whoever is trying to use them will have to prove that they were in fact created during the period that President Trump had authority to make them.

    I have been told by people whose opinion is more informed than mine that the means to do this that are acceptable in court are straightforward.

  57. inhumans99 says:


    As funny as the story you linked to is what is even funnier is that a side story talks about Gabrielle Union’s retired basketball player husband putting up a nude instagram pic that ultimately icked out their children. I love that the couple’s daughter is quoted as saying she thought it would be a few more years before having to deal with her dad’s mid-life crisis. Gave me a good laugh this morning.

  58. Kathy says:

    On the matter of secret pardons, some people f**k with the system because they want to f**k with the system.

  59. CSK says:

    Two inaugural National Guards have been relieved of their duties because of ties to a militia.

  60. Jay L Gischer says:

    I think the way these “secret pardons” is imagined to work is that other people – not the Trump children – have pardons that are secret and Trump holds. If they play ball and stonewall the cops, they will get their hands on a pardon – eventually. If they don’t, the paperwork goes into the fireplace and never existed.

    There’s a thing I’ve seen before – the “real deed” that is kept a secret – that’s like this. So this seems like an old idea applied to a new situation.

  61. sam says:

    U.S. files conspiracy charge against Oath Keeper leader in alleged plot against the Capitol

    The charge carries a 5-year sentence plus fines. That sound you hear is the puckering of many, many anal apertures across this broad land.

  62. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    That could be a good thing.

    What you describe sounds a lot like extortion, and selling pardons must constitute bribery and corruption. Surely Trump can be prosecuted for that, even if he self-pardons. after all, the action would take place after his term ends, and I’m sure a pardon cannot cover crimes to be committed.

    It would be par for the course for El Cheeto to set himself up for more trouble.

  63. CSK says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    Yes; this is what I was driving at.

  64. Tim says:

    Is it bad that, upon reading the title of today’s forum, I hoped that it would truly be Trump’s absolute last day ever?

  65. Sleeping Dog says:


    The Feds like to start their day with a few arrests and executing search warrants. It makes you wonder how these insurrectionist can go to sleep at night or if they the Feds find them asleep, slumped over their ARs

  66. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    I hope he’s on a list somewhere.

    Whiny bitch that I am, folks like this are on my “gee, who do I get a gun from today?” list. But then again, I have a Sociopaths Anonymous meeting later today.

  67. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Color capable copiers and printers may have been around for decades, but as a staple of office equipment they arrived much later on. Like televisions were sold in the 1920s, but didn’t become commonplace until the 1940s, and not really ubiquitous until the 50s.

    Partly it may be a matter of resolution as well as cost. In the late 90s, we got a color inkjet printer specifically to print photos we needed for work. It was a bust. The resolution wasn’t quite there. By 2006-7 or so, laser color printers could accurately reproduce an image in plain bond paper well enough to be used.

    BTW, I also recall color dot matrix printers. I never had one, but I saw a few here and there. Mostly they printed text in different colors, not images (remember those were the days of “near letter quality” printers).

  68. Jay L Gischer says:

    @CSK: I have no knowledge of the situation and make no accusation. I am simply imagining a possibility of how something might work.

    Another possibility is that the pardons aren’t publicized because of an anticipated adverse reaction.

  69. Jax says:

    @Tim: One of the most depressing thoughts I had during the Trump years was that even if he lost the election, we were still gonna have to listen to him whining on Twitter until the day he died.

    It’s been pure bliss since he got banned from Twitter. I can almost live with the fact that he’s still breathing, aware every minute of the remainder of his sorry life that he’s a supreme LOSER. 😉

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Ah, I did not know of that. However, I suspect that when her dividend check came a penny or 2 lighter per 100 she just said, “I don’t remember buying a dress last month.”

  71. Sleeping Dog says:


    Two great things that we can be thankful for are; Trump being off twitter and the FAA continuing to ban in flight mobile phone usage.

  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Thief returns after stealing Oregon woman’s car, yells at her for leaving 4-year-old son in vehicle

    (CNN) — Oregon police are searching for a man who stole a car Saturday morning without knowing a child was in the backseat and came back to lecture the victim of the car theft for leaving her child unattended.

    When the suspect saw the child, he returned to the mother and reprimanded her, threatened to call the police on her and then drove away in her car, Beaverton Police Spokesman Officer Matt Henderson told CNN.

    “He hopped in the car, drove it, realized there was a 4-year-old inside, and drove back and ordered her to take the child out of the car and then drove away again,” Henderson said. “We’re thankful he had the decency to bring the little one back.”

    The little boy was unharmed, police said.

  73. gVOR08 says:

    @Jax: WAPO’s Trump lie database passed 30,000. They have a graph of total lies over time. It flattens considerably when Trump lost twitter.

  74. Kylopod says:


    WAPO’s Trump lie database passed 30,000. They have a graph of total lies over time. It flattens considerably when Trump lost twitter.

    If Trump tells a lie in a forest, does it make a sound?

  75. charon says:

    Picture of Lauren Boebert Instagram on Jan 5 with Jan 6 participants:

  76. Kathy says:

    It seems trump the Loser has sent invitations for his ignominious exit to everyone he knows or ever heard of, plus five guests each. reportedly Kelly and Scaramucci received invitations (reportedly they don’t plan to attend).

    See, if you want yuge crowd to see you off, you don’t hold the send-off in an open airfield in the middle of winter with guests required to arrive by 6 am on a weekday.

    I wouldn’t put it past El Cheeto to do such things on purpose. Perhaps he likes to complain and whine more than he likes to draw a crowd.

  77. Gustopher says:


    It would be awkward to pardon someone who is, as far as anyone knows, clean.

    This is why I think Biden should pardon Amy Coney Barrett. Just troll the right-wing.

    Alas, that is not in Biden’s nature.

  78. CSK says:

    @Kathy: No,nothing is an important to Trump as drawing a crowd. Nothing.
    As Scaramucci observed, he himself probably only got an invitation because Trump is desperate to have a crowd and will invite absolutely anyone.

  79. dazedandconfused says:


    Boebart’s flashing the white power sign? Well, didn’t see that coming…


  80. flat earth luddite says:

    Ok, several copies vanished after earlier attempts, but dang, this is funny, in a pathetic kind of way:

    Attorney Fired After Posting About Being at Capitol During Riots Files Dubious Lawsuit to Block New Congress

    The attorneys on the lawsuit are asking a judge to block federal law enforcement from taking them into custody in connection with their attendance at the violent events at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

    Snicker. Giggle.

  81. Teve says:


    GOP chair of the Gwinnett County elections board on why she wants GA legislature to impose new restrictions on voting. “They don’t have to change all of them, but they’ve got to change the major parts of them so that we at least have a shot at winning.”…

  82. Kathy says:

    I guess I should have seen this coming. We’re hearing now about people infected with COVID-19, sometimes even dying of it, after having the first dose of a vaccine. There are even some, fewer, reports of people getting COVID after the second dose.

    Ok. Everything takes time. And while the first dose by itself might offer some protection, it’s not that much. Take the two together, and it is weeks before you get not much protection from the first dose.

    The difference between a vaccine and a pathogen, is that the former doesn’t aim to infect you while the latter one does. Otherwise, they have very much the same effects on the immune system. If people acquired immunity immediately after having a shot, they’d also acquire immunity immediately after infection. No one would ever get sick.

    So, it’s weeks before you get not much protection from a first dose. Don’t expose yourself to the virus. Then it’s days at the least before you get pretty good protection after the second dose. Even then, 95% chane of not catching COVID is just a chance, and an average chance at that. Remember several people in the phase 3 trial who got the real vaccine and the two doses, did fall ill with COVID.

    Naturally we all want to know when it will be safe to let our guard down and return to normal. Easy: when community transmission drops to the levels you see in New Zealand or Taiwan. that is to say, when daily cases are measured in single digits. By then the chances of being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 will be very small, and the protection given by the vaccine means you’ve a lower chance of catching it. then it’s safe.

  83. Mu Yixiao says:


    From the UK:

    Out of 47,780 people who were discharged from hospital in the first wave, 29.4 per cent were readmitted to hospital within 140 days, and 12.3 per cent of the total died.

    The current cut-off point for recording Covid deaths is 28 days after a positive test, so it may mean thousands more people should be included in the coronavirus death statistics.

  84. Teve says:

    @Kathy: Science Twitter has been talking about this for a while. Tens of millions of people have been vaccinated now, you would naturally expect at least hundreds of them to have died even if they were vaccinated with saline. Statistically, somebody out there got vaccinated at lunch and then stepped in front of a bus. Science types are monitoring how the news coverage is being done, especially the headlines which is almost all people read.

  85. reid says:

    @Sleeping Dog: What the heck is a “flight”…?

  86. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Not sure what deaths you are referring to, but these are the only ones I’ve heard of. First in breathless panic by some internet folks, then this:

    Norway Moves to Calm Vaccine Anxiety After Elderly Deaths

    Health authorities in Norway sought to allay safety concerns raised by the death of some elderly patients after they were vaccinated against Covid-19, saying there’s no evidence of a direct link.

    The initial reports from Norway raised alarm as the world looks for early signs of potential side effects from the vaccines. Although doctors say it’s possible that vaccine side-effects could aggravate underlying illnesses, they were expecting nursing-home residents to die shortly after being vaccinated because deaths are more common among the frailest and sickest elderly patients.

    “Clearly, Covid-19 is far more dangerous to most patients than vaccination,” Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said by phone on Monday, adding that a connection between the vaccine and the deaths is difficult to prove. “We are not alarmed.”

  87. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dazedandconfused: I don’t see her flashing any signs. As long as I have correctly identified her as the person front and center. The thumb of her left hand is hooked in her pocket and her right hand is resting on the shoulder of the woman to her right.

  88. Sleeping Dog says:


    Saw a report earlier that invitees are bowing out in droves, using the 6AM meeting time as an excuse. Then Axios is reporting that R house and senate leadership is skipping the sendoff to go to Mass with Biden.

  89. Jen says:
  90. Kathy says:


    Here’s one. And I’ve seen or heard of a few others, but have no links handy.

    Of course, there are always false or mistaken claims as well. There were several claims of reinfection before we got hard evidence of it.

  91. Sleeping Dog says:


    Referring to using mobile phones while the plane is in the air,

  92. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Wow. Imagine being so open with their heresy they would rather worship God.

  93. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    This truly warms my heart.

  94. Sleeping Dog says:


    Now that the white supremacists and militia types have gotten the attention of the security state, we’ll be seeing similar reports about their planning.

  95. Sleeping Dog says:

    Trump pardons a Ponzi scheme operator

    Probably identified with him a someone in a similar business.

  96. flat earth luddite says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Simple professional courtesy.

  97. CSK says:

    McConnell shivved Trump on the senate floor today, blaming him for the riot.

  98. Kathy says:
  99. CSK says:

    It worked fine for me.

    What a kick in the teeth from Pence. I love it.

  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Means nothing if he doesn’t vote to convict.

  101. Gustopher says:

    @dazedandconfused: It’s not a white power sign, it’s all just a game to trigger libs. A game that just happens to be played by white supremacists…

  102. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: To be fair, it is very early, and women might be immodestly dressed and Mother wouldn’t like that.

    Trump also wants a 21 gun salute. This is often done at the funerals of former presidents, so I guess we just have to ask how much he wants it. He can make it happen.

  103. Sleeping Dog says:


    It works.

    My wife suggests the only person who’ll be at the Andrews’ sendoff will be the My Pillow Guy and his nieces.

  104. CSK says:

    Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I think McConnell is inclined to convict. Trump was just his useful idiot; McConnell could barely hide his contempt for him. Now Trump has outlived his usefulness. He can be discarded like the trash he is.
    @Sleeping Dog:
    This particular guy seems to have been plotting with the Islamic State group.

  105. DrDaveT says:


    We’re hearing now about people infected with COVID-19, sometimes even dying of it, after having the first dose of a vaccine. There are even some, fewer, reports of people getting COVID after the second dose.

    As you note, “95% effective” means “1 in 20 of you will get COVID-19 anyway, if exposed”. And of course the odds are much worse after only 1 dose, or immediately after the second has been administered.

    People suck at probabilities.

  106. Monala says:

    @Kathy: saw this on Twitter:


    VP Pence is not expected to attend President Trump’s sendoff at Joint Air Force Base Andrews tomorrow morning, per White House officials. He is attending the inauguration later in the day, and aides say it would be logistically challenging for the vice president to do both.


    Trump send off: 8am

    Inauguration: 12pm

    Round trip drive from DC to Andrews AFB in a VP motorcade: 1 hour

    Pence snub level: 100%

  107. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I would like to think that, but I suspect he will be there but abstain. If I have it correct, if 100 senators are there for the vote, 67 are required to convict. So by being there he will ensure that the bar for conviction is higher, but by abstaining he won’t have any trump blood on his hands.

    A very McConnell threading of the needle.

  108. Kathy says:


    It will be hard to get someone into the Oval Office who is more shallow than Trump.

  109. CSK says:

    Well, I said I was trying to be an optimist, didn’t I? I think McConnell is radiant with contempt for Trump, and why shouldn’t he be? Trump is beneath contempt: a stupid, malevolent churl. Besides, I doubt very much that Mitch wants Trump in the mix fucking up the midterm races in 2022 or the presidential election in 2024. Convicting Trump is a great way of insuring that Trump never gets within a mile of a federal office again.

  110. Kurtz says:


    nobody needs an AR 15?
    well nobody needs a whiny little bitch yet here you are

    Ya know, that second sentence can be read as the person wearing the shirt is the “whiny little bitch.” As in when someone fulfills a request and says, “here you are.”

  111. Kathy says:


    I’ll be very surprised if the event starts at 8 am. trump doesn’t strike me as a morning person. So more like 9 to 9:30 for the pointless exercise to be over. Then 1 hour drive, that’s already 10:30 am. By then any reasonable person will be feeling sleepy and dreading another event at noon.

    But above all, I think Pence might still be irritated by trump’s role in the January 6th Putsch, when people were literally clamoring for his head.

  112. Sleeping Dog says:


    I realize he’s an ISIS want to be. The radical right has drawn the attention of the security state, so they’ll be getting the same type of observation as Islamists

  113. Kurtz says:


    Call me a cock-eyed optimist

    Chill out, Billy Mumphrey.

  114. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Rest assured, Mitch’s contempt for trump is absolute. I’m pretty damned certain M wants trump politically dead and buried come 2022, I just doubt very much he wants his fingerprints on the knife when it slips between trump’s ribs. He wants the base tamed for the next election and I’ll bet he thinks he knows how to do it.

    I’m not so sure but a lot of things can happen in 2 years, trump may die, McConnell may die, and who knows, maybe the horse will sing.

  115. CSK says:

    Trump isn’t any any time of day person. All of his rallies started late. He was an hour late getting to the Jan. 6 event.

    I think he likes to keep people dangling because it’s a demonstration of his power over them. The longer they have to wait, he figures, the more revved up they’ll get.

    But mostly, it’s an indicator of the absolute contempt in which he holds the Trumpkins.

  116. Sleeping Dog says:


    Piece up on the Washington Examiner’s website, making the point that it makes no sense for Rs to tie the parties future to Trump given that 65% of the voters hate him. He maybe popular among Rs but he’s poison to everyone else.


    Trump wants to fly to FL on Air Force One and to do that he needs to touch down in FL before noon, when he’ll no longer be prez. He’ll be up.

  117. Kathy says:


    I kind of expect a compromise. There won’t be a conviction, but there will be a vote to bar trump from seeking office ever again.

  118. CSK says:

    That’s a fair point, but the base has been hatin’ on Mitch for quite some time now. I’m sure McConnell knows that. Unlike Trump, he isn’t stupid.
    Can that be done?

  119. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Yes, they have. Which is good.

  120. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I thought he just needs to depart before 11:59:59 AM tomorrow.

    But then he’d be flying in Biden’s plane.

    BTW, I wonder whether the 747-8 replacements for the current 747-200 will be ready in time for Biden to use them.

  121. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: If my brothers are a fine barometer of the Wingnuttosphere, the current talking points are that if white supremacists were considering storming the capitol before Trump spoke to them, then Trump must be innocent.

    I don’t know how many Republican senators will be swayed by that or similar logic, but many will find something.

    For that particular argument, I would have liked 2 articles of impeachment — inciting the violence, and derilection of duty for not trying to stop it.

  122. Kathy says:


    I’m not sure. The people who wrote, the Constitution, were very, irritating in their use, of, commas;

    But I’ve heard the notion floated before. In any event, the GOP could suggest, and the Senate could approve, holding two votes: one to remove and one to disqualify from future office, referring to the former as “conviction.”

  123. Mike in Arlington says:

    The thing is that he doesn’t even need to vote to convict. All he has to do is clear the way of objections and allow members to vote as they wish. There is enough bad blood that other republicans could whip the vote a little, and that might just be enough to get a conviction.

  124. CSK says:

    Any aircraft Biden flies on after 12:01 p.m. tomorrow automatically becomes Air Force One. But I have the feeling that Biden might well bend over backward to demonstrate that all the bullshit panoply that meant everything to Trump means little to him.

  125. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: @Kathy: According to a Vox article from last week, an official must be convicted by two-thirds of the Senate before being disqualified from future office. However, the vote to disqualify only requires a simple majority–or, at least, that’s the precedent. At least one federal judge was removed and disqualified from future office in this way. This hasn’t been legally tested, however. And although this particular article doesn’t go into it, it also hasn’t been legally tested whether you can do any of this to an ex-president. I expect there will be legal challenges to both these matters if Trump is indeed convicted and barred from future office, though I have no idea what the outcome would be.

  126. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Sure, but I’ll bet a bottle of Glinfiddich that Trump brings a couple of Russian Hookers with him on Air Force One and watches them pee on the bed in the Presidential Suite. And the Trumpers will cheer him on.

  127. Kathy says:


    If my brothers are a fine barometer of the Wingnuttosphere, the current talking points are that if white supremacists were considering storming the capitol before Trump spoke to them, then Trump must be innocent.


    It serves a bit as consolation that many, many, many in the Cult of The Orange Ass will stare in disbelief tomorrow as Biden takes office.

  128. Kathy says:


    People suck at probabilities.

    Sometimes those of us who understand probabilities don’t understand probabilities.

    Long story short, I once made a bigger craps bet than usual, about four times, because I had a match bet coupon, meaning the 4 Queens Casino was covering about 1/4 of it. I lost. I still stared in disbelief at the spot my coupon and chips had been.

  129. Kylopod says:
  130. CSK says:

    I’m sure the mattress will be changed as soon as AF1 returns to Andrews, just as all the mattresses in the WH will be changed.

  131. CSK says:

    Even Corey Lewandowski isn’t attending Trump’s gala send-off tomorrow.

  132. Kathy says:


    I suppose one can excuse the framers of the Constitution for not considering, using a term closer to their time, a scoundrel would ever occupy high office, never mind the highest office.

    I wonder what mental contortions the GOP senators will come up with to blame trump yet not vote to convict.

  133. de stijl says:

    One day. I decided to quit smoking while listening to Jesus, etc. by Wilco. I had decided before, but that was my goodbye song. I am a dramatic person.

    Last cigarettes
    All you can get
    Turning your orbit around

    It worked for about 5 weeks. The problem with smoking is that you can never cheat again. You cheat once and you are hooked again.

    Norah Jones of all folks does a pretty cool cover.

  134. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I feel for Jeff Tweedy. He has debilitating migraines.

    From when I was 15 until 45 I would get cluster headaches once or twice a year for a two or three month stretch three or four times a day.

    I understand him.

  135. Jax says:

    On the COVID/vaccine note, apparently our senior center folks have decided since they’ve all gotten their first round of shots, they were gonna open up in-person dining again. It’s essentially the hub of the community here, aside from the schools….they’ve been doing drive-up or delivery lunches since March. They generally serve 75-100 lunches a day, all to the 65 and over crowd.

    I suspect a catastrophe in the making amongst our seniors with the more contagious variant making it’s way here.

  136. Kathy says:


    One time, long ago, I was discussing that with a classmate right before class. She said “Well, there are about 25 people here. What’s your birthday?”

    I said “April xxth.”

    She said “You gotta be f***g kidding me!”

    A year apart, but that was her birthday.

  137. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I once wrote a simple computer program designed to test it. I would have it spit out random numbers from 1 to 365, and see how often it hit upon the same number within every sequence of 25. Indeed, roughly half such sequences included repeats.

    (Of course, in the real world birthdays aren’t all equally probable; some birthdays are significantly more common than others.)

  138. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Yes but how many Republicans can get re-elected to congress when 60+% of their base think they are responsible for the death of trump’s political career? They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They’ve spent 4 years telling their base that trump is all that stands between them and Satan’s minions. How do they now transition to “trump is not the chosen one.”? Sucks to be them.

    You hear those plaintive tones playing in a far off land? That is the world’s tiniest violin, but only for the moment. Anybody who can be convinced that trump was chosen by god to lead them to the promised land can be convinced that Hawley is their true savior. But first they have to stuff a gag in the orange one. Can they do it? Yes, I just don’t think it can be done in 2 years. 4? Maybe.

  139. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: the base has been hatin’ on Mitch for quite some time now.

    Maybe, but somehow or other I don’t think the guy who got re-elected by a 20 point KY margin gives a rat’s ass what the national base thinks of him. His seat is safe. His position as GOP senate leader is secure. It’s only a matter of time until the Senate flips GOP again.

  140. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mike in Arlington: There is enough bad blood that other republicans could whip the vote a little, and that might just be enough to get a conviction.

    Yeah, there is plenty of bad blood but I ain’t holding my breath. Any principled Republicans have already outed themselves (both of them) and the rest know they can’t get re-elected if they piss off their base. In 2 years? Maybe, but not right now.

  141. Kathy says:


    Mitch is around 78, and will be Senator until he’s 84. I don’t think he’s planning for a term beyond that. If that’s the case, he can pretty much do what he wants, that won’t cost him the possibility of being leader of his party in the Senate.

    More troubling, I see 20 GOP seats up for reelection in 2022. Those are the ones most likely to be primaried by an angry Cult base, therefore least likely to vote to convict. One, though, is Lisa Murkowski, who might not care, and is already on the record favoring impeachment.

    This leaves 30 Senators facing elections in either 4 or 6 years. That’s time enough for the Cult of the Orange Ass to cool down or fade away. Whether 15 or 16 of them will vote to convict is anyone’s guess.

    Oh, I assume Romney will vote to convict.

  142. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Where is the *head/desk* emoji when you need it?

  143. Mister Bluster says:

    It worked for about 5 weeks. The problem with smoking is that you can never cheat again. You cheat once and you are hooked again.

    I stopped choking on the butts several times before I quit for good. Usually two weeks or maybe a month. Did that many times. Finally quit when I was burning three packs a day. Cold turkey. Not one butt since then. That was 25 years ago. Can’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke now. I will cross the street to get away from it.

  144. OzarkHillbilly says:

    .@Mister Bluster: I smoked for 36 years. Tried quitting I don’t know how many times. Could never do it. My last year + I smoked 4 cigs a day and I. could. not. let. go. Chantrix made it possible. Even than it took the full 3 months prescription.

  145. Teve says:

    @CSK: if i were Biden I’d publicly oversee all of Trump’s mattresses immediately piled up and torched on the tarmacs and lawns, with assurances of pardons for any violations or prosecutions etc.

  146. Sleeping Dog says:


    My understanding is that he won’t be leaving on the 747 that we see all the time as AF 1, but an Air Force 757. The designation AF 1 is given to any plane that the Prez is flying and if I had any say, I’d have him fly a Piper Cub.

    Though come to think of it, he’s so portly that he may make a Cub over its capacity.

  147. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: you remind me of my own situation in a sense. I’m tired, so forgive the failure of editing. Anyway, my dad smoked three packs a day, my brother smoked a pack or two a day, but for some weird reason, I only ever wanted three cigarettes a day. Not one after a meal or something logical, just…about…three…felt right. And by the time I started smoking it wasn’t cool, the 90s, and I went to college and never talked to my family about smoking. Anyway, I was around smokers and non-smokers and parties and college and stuff and I liked to smoke a little bit. Not zero, not three packs, just about three cigarettes a day. I considered it an idiosyncrasy and never thought about it further. I had moved away to North Carolina and went to school and had a career and so forth and wound up through the vagaries of life returning to my home down, living in a single wide my grandparents had lived in several years ago when they passed. One day, outside admiring the cows in the nearby field, I was having my second or third cigarette of the day, and was chatting with a neighbor and she said I don’t see you smoke very much, and I said well I don’t, it’s weird, I only want about three cigarettes a day. She looked at me a little strange, and said did you know Pauline Morris? I said Pauline Morris was my grandmother. She said Pauline Morris had something strange about her. Her dad smoked, her brother smoked, her husband smoked, but she only smoked three cigarettes a day.

    When they discover that very specific gene, my grandmother should get naming rights.

  148. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I care not one iota nor give one solitary fwk about McConnell’s inclinations. His actions are all that matter. As was the case with Robert Bird, the Senate will become a better place when he has shuffled off this mortal coil. He COULD improve the Senate by resigning, but he won’t; he lacks the self-awareness and loyalty to his fellow Senators to do it.

  149. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    He COULD improve the Senate by resigning, but he won’t; he lacks the self-awareness and loyalty to his fellow Senators to do it.

    Oh, he’s aware… Of his own self importance and ego. The rest of us are merely bit extras in his one man show.

  150. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: No mental contortions necessary: “convicting Trump today is an empty and spiteful gesture and I, for one, refuse to participate in the charade. Count me as an ‘abstain.'”

  151. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Yes. I love her. 🙂

    I want to correct what I perceive to be a misperception tho: I was an addict. Once collapsed a lung while working, spent 6 days in the hospital with a tube in my chest, dragging a tank of blood and chest fluid in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

    Smoked 2+ packs a day for years. Tried to quit time and again. Went under ground repeatedly without a cigarette for over 7 days and what was the first thing I reached for when I finally saw the sun again? A cigarette.

    It was only my last year and a half of smoking I managed to get myself down to 4 a day: Half a cig on the 4 AM drive to the job site, the other half when I got there. Half at morning break, the other half at lunch. Half when I got off, half when I got home. Half before dinner and gawd damned nearly always half after.

    I. could. not. let. go. of those 4 cigs a day.

    After taking Chantrix for 2 months? I was still smoking 4 cigs a day. When I entered the 3rd month I knew, that I was at the end. Either I quit that month or I was dead. That was 11 years ago, and I managed to quit that month, otherwise I doubt very much I would be here.

    It took a few years more but eventually I was diagnosed with COPD. Now, after burying one of my best friends who got the covid, I try like hell to minimize my risks of it. But you know what?

    If I got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer tomorrow, I’d start smoking again in a NY second.

    Fuck nicotine.

  152. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: @OzarkHillbilly: I had a coworker in Korea who smoked one cigarette a day. I saw him smoking outside one day and asked him about it saying “I didn’t know you were a smoker.” He said I hadn’t noticed because he only smoked on cigarette a day. I would see him sometimes at the bar we all went to near campus on Thursdays. At the bar, I would smoke a pipe, or sometimes a cigar, but he never smoked at the bar.

    He was never able to explain his habit. Interesting guy. Good teacher, too.

  153. CSK says:

    According to Mediaite, Trump has been discussing with associates the possibility of forming the Patriot Party.

  154. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..invitees are bowing out in droves,..
    Seems like I remember a report that when the Atlanta Falcons returned to their home airport from Houston after blowing a 28-3 third quarter lead and losing 34-28 to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI in Feb. of 2017 that there were all of 15 fans waiting for them.
    Maybe Pud won’t even have that many to send him off.

  155. Jax says:

    @CSK: I look forward to the Trump-Patriot Party blowing every election for Establishment Republicans for the next 20 years, if that’s the case.

  156. Paine says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’d stuff his fat ass into a cannon and launch him to Mar-a-Lago from D.C. Or maybe a giant slingshot, Angry Birds style.

  157. de stijl says:


    I cannot let go myself.

    I can go three month without and then one night at 3 AM I go to the convenience store and buy a pack. Next day a carton.

    I always tell myself it is just cheating and does not count. It counts.

    Even when I am ex-smoker, I am still a smoker. The craving never fades.

    For a long time my cigarette was my best friend and never let me down. Always delivered.

  158. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Cigs cost a ridiculous amount of money nowadays.

  159. de stijl says:


    12 as of now.

  160. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I have never had a classic migraine.

    I have had cluster headaches a lot. You are just damned during.

    Every day outside the cluster is a crap shoot. Does it start again today, tomorrow? Next week?

    Inside a cluster it is both certainty and a gamble. Guaranteed you wake up with one.

    Later, you run the odds. Can I get and back before it comes again? You whittle down essential trips in such circumstance.

    They do not last that long. An hour. An hour and a half.

    But with pain almost beyond what can be imagined. A nickname for cluster headaches is suicide headache. Imagine a square cc of molten medal one inch behind your right eye. For a hour.

    Imagine the pain of that initial jolt when you break a limb and it lasts an hour and a half and it lives about an inch behind your right eye.

    3 or 6 times a day for two months. And then it goes away for six months or 4 months or for a year. Lurking. Waiting.

    Every day is a gamble. Every trip to the store is fraught. I would say unimaginable pain, but I experienced that.

    At one point I got so good at self-hypnosis I could mentally wall it away and it worked 45 seconds out of a minute. Better than nothing.

    Never worked fully. One night I banged my head on a wall to distract myself. External pain was less.

    Cluster headaches are quite literally hell on earth.

  161. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    One positive thing.

    All during your brain is pumping out feel-good chemo-electrical signals.

    So when the headache fades you are primed with a shit ton of brain chemicals and you feel awesome for about a half-hour afterwards. Internal morphine.

  162. de stijl says:

    Jesus, etc. has an unreliable narrator who claims he will be there for you. He won’t.

    Lua by Bright Eyes has a similar narrator. But really insightful. He claims he will be there then immediately acknowledges it is quite likely he won’t and will bail at the first sign of trouble.

    Me I’m not a gamble
    You can count on me to split
    The love I sell you in the evening
    By the morning won’t exist.

    Some people diss Connor Oberst. I love Lua.