Tuesday’s Forum

Discuss the hints and allegations.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. 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

Comments

  1. Kari Q says:

    I can call you Betty
    And Betty, when you call me,
    You can call me Al.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    (Guardian) Robert Reich:

    The coronavirus has been especially potent in the US because America is the only industrialized nation lacking universal healthcare. Many families have been reluctant to see doctors or check into emergency rooms for fear of racking up large bills.

    America is also the only one of 22 advanced nations failing to give all workers some form of paid sick leave. As a result, many American workers have remained on the job when they should have been home.

    Adding to this is the skimpiness of unemployment benefits in America – providing less support in the first year of unemployment than those in any other advanced country.

    American workplaces are also more dangerous. Even before Covid-19 ripped through meatpackers and warehouses, fatality rates were higher among American workers than European.

    Even before the pandemic robbed Americans of their jobs and incomes, average wage growth in the US had lagged behind average wage growth in most other advanced countries. Since 1980, American workers’ share of total national income has declined more than in any other rich nation.

    In other nations, unions have long pushed for safer working conditions and higher wages. But American workers are far less unionized than workers in other advanced economies. Only 6.4% of private-sector workers in America belong to a union, compared with more than 26% in Canada, 37% in Italy, 67% in Sweden, and 25% in Britain.

    So who and what’s to blame for the worst avoidable loss of life in American history?

    Partly, Donald Trump’s malfeasance.

    But the calamity is also due to America’s longer-term failure to provide its people the basic support they need.

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  3. Kit says:

    From The Guardian: Italy to reopen bars and restaurants from next week:

    Bars, restaurants, hairdressers and beauticians will reopen across Italy from 18 May.

    Safety measures will need to be implemented before the establishments can open, with restaurants required to set distances of four metres between diners.

    For those who prefer barbaric measures, that’s about equal to thirteen of your feet. I can translate into other body parts for those who are interested.

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  4. Kari Q says:

    @Kit:

    distances of four metres between diners.

    For those who prefer barbaric measures, that’s about equal to thirteen of your feet.

    My husband was testing some medical software, which involved creating fake patients and entering their age, height, and weight, in metric units of course. He entered 5/55/55: 5 years, 55 cm and 55 kg. The software rejected it, and he couldn’t figure out why until he did the conversion.

    His hypothetical patient was 5 years old, less than 2 ft tall and weighed 120 pounds, and the software wasn’t having it. He decided that was probably a well designed bit of code.

    And was I the only one who read “hints and allegations” and immediately began singing “Call me Al?”

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  5. Kari Q says:

    I just glanced at National Review. From the headlines, it appears that the president must be Cuomo, Biden, or Boris Johnson. Trump was curiously absent from all but the videos.

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  6. MarkedMan says:

    @Kit: If you are going to use Stormy Daniels preferred measuring for Trump (and she should know), it’s roughly 50 units.

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  7. Kari Q says:

    I’ve been among those who thought it was ridiculous for Biden to announce his choice for VP early. I still think it is, mostly. But one little voice in the back of my head is whispering: what if, heaven forbid, something happens to Joe?

    If he’s named his VP, it’s likely that the party would quickly unite behind that individual as the new nominee. If not, we get a brokered convention and chaos.

    Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t worry about this. With a pandemic and a 77 year old candidate, I can’t help worrying just a little.

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  8. Scott says:

    This week’s Defense News has a series of articles with a focus on the strategic importance of the Arctic, a region we don’t normally think of when it comes to defense. If you want to browse, start here:

    Gallery: Great power competition in the Arctic

    For the rest: Multi-Media Report: Frozen Pathways

    Personally, I think we have been going backwards as a nation and a world. Once upon a time, the emphasis has been on demilitarizing regions like space, Antartica, and the Arctic. To me the fastest path to militarization and warfare is the passage of time and the fading of memories.

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  9. Teve says:

    Senate Republicans Break with Trump over ObamaGate

    President Donald Trump’s aggressive campaign to encourage sweeping investigations of his predecessor Barack Obama met a unanimous response from Senate Republicans: No thanks.

    Trump’s Senate allies on Monday stopped short of echoing Trump’s claim that Obama acted illegally when the Justice Department began probing incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn in late 2016. And they indicated that the Senate would pass on investigating the former president as they conduct their own investigations that could soon ensnare other senior Obama administration officials.

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  10. Teve says:

    Russia’s interference in the last presidential election is among the most closely studied phenomena in recent American history, having been examined by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors, by investigators working for congressional committees, by teams within Facebook and Twitter, by seemingly every think tank with access to a printing press. It’s possible, however, to mistake a plot point—the manipulation of the 2016 election—for the full sweep of the narrative.

    Events in the United States have unfolded more favorably than any operative in Moscow could have ever dreamed: Not only did Russia’s preferred candidate win, but he has spent his first term fulfilling the potential it saw in him, discrediting American institutions, rending the seams of American culture, and isolating a nation that had styled itself as indispensable to the free world. But instead of complacently enjoying its triumph, Russia almost immediately set about replicating it. Boosting the Trump campaign was a tactic; #DemocracyRIP remains the larger objective.

    Putin is well on his way to stealing the next election

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  11. Mister Bluster says:

    @95 South Sez:..I heard some politicians can’t even operate excavators.

    Ha! You got that right!
    Supreme Leader and Chairman of the Republican Sex Workers Party Kim Jong-Trump can’t run a government!

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  12. An Interested Party says:

    Latest Biden ad against Trump…indeed, Trump can’t run a government…

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  13. sam says:

    Having 50 states and more territories do competing and uncoordinated experiments in reopening is “daring Mother Nature to kill you or someone you love,” Dr. Frieden said. “Mother Nature bats last, and she bats a thousand.”

    Dr. Tom Frieden, former head of the CDC.

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  14. An Interested Party says:

    As if anyone should take a cue from Mitch McConnell, of all people, about what is “classless”…

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  15. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party:

    McConnell didn’t say whether he thinks it’s OK to incessantly comment on the administration that came before you. Obama said in his call that the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic had been an “absolute chaotic disaster.” By some counts, Trump has attacked Obama more than 400 times on Twitter since he entered the White House.

    lol.

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  16. steve says:

    White House staffed are now wearing masks. Will be fun to hear the conservatives explain why this is OK.

    Steve

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  17. Teve says:
  18. Bill says:
  19. Kylopod says:

    @Kari Q: Jonathan Chait did a good piece a couple of weeks ago titled “The Secret to Making a Liberal Argument Sound Dumb: Pretending Trump Doesn’t Exist.” Since NYMag has an article limit for non-subscribers, I’ll provide a quick summary. He picks apart a Rich Lowry column at National Review that barely mentions Trump at all but mocks Democrats for making arguments that only make sense as a response to Trump. Specifically, he attacks Biden for a comment imploring the Trump Administration to follow the science and listen to experts. Lowry launches off into a ramble about how science doesn’t have the answer for everything–while completely ignoring that Biden in no way made such a claim, or that the context of his comments were to refute an administration that has scuttled qualified scientific experts altogether and wallowed in some of the most inane pseudoscience and medical quackery. Chait goes on to make the broader point that this is a bait-and-switch tactic that conservative intellectuals are always pulling in the Trump era, practically ignoring Trump’s existence in order to make his critics sound silly. In Chait’s words:

    Conservative intellectuals caught between a president who has turned the idea of having any intellectual basis at all for one’s ideas into a dada joke, and an audience that demands fealty to him, have found refuge in anti-anti-Trumpism. The art of anti-anti-Trumpism often lies more in that which goes unsaid than that which is said. It consists largely of tightly narrowing one’s focus to Trump’s critics, whose actions can be analyzed as if Trump himself did not exist. The attraction of this technique is that it permits relative fealty to the facts without offending the Trumpian base….

    An ad for a restaurant promising that its food would contain absolutely no rat would look silly. After all, avoiding rat is not one of the criteria most of us usually focus on when choosing our dining options, and in theory, a restaurateur who obsessed over rats to the exclusion of the taste and price of his meals would be making a mistake. However, if it happened to be the case that a competing restaurant was loading rat meat into every entree, then a no-rats ad campaign would be perfectly sensible.

    That is how the anti-anti-Trump conservatives devote their attention: picking apart the claims of the people who are promising America not to serve up plates full of rat every day. Why are they so obsessed with rats? Is rat meat really less healthy than, say, starvation? Didn’t the health inspector once detect mouse droppings in their own kitchen?

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  20. Teve says:

    @DJJud

    Tonight’s Team Trump Livestream features Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who, talking COVID-19, tells Lara Trump, “clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration, any kind of game plan for something like this.”

    Mitch McConnell has the same level of respect for Republican voters as I do. 😀 😀 😀

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  21. @Kari Q: And I can be your bodyguard and your long last pal.

    I thought this one might be too easy! 😉

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  22. Jen says:

    @Kari Q: I’ve had that thought almost daily and I need to quash it quickly so I don’t start edging toward anxiety. It’d be a mess, and I don’t want to even think about it.

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  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: And I still have no idea what you guys are referring to. Going back to my cave now.

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  24. Kari Q says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    This

    @Jen:

    Sorry to have spoken your worry out loud.

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  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Scott:
    I generally have half a dozen projects in the category of, “I should write this…some day,” floating around my computer desktop. One of the oldest is an idea occasioned by the fact that while the entire planet is owned by one or another nation state, there’s a whole big continent that doesn’t belong to anyone. Tentative Title: 90 South. It just seems, based on the entire history of the human race, that sooner or later someone is going to make a grab for it.

    I’ve come at it from half a dozen different directions over the years, but never quite put it all together to make a book.

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  26. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Surely you have heard this song.

    Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al

    I actually met Paul Simon on that tour, a close friend of my ex-wife worked for the record label and got us into the after-party. He was a nice guy, we talked about his campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

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  27. CSK says:
  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Asha Rangappa
    @AshaRangappa_

    Can someone ask Trump why, if as he has claimed “Article II gives him the right to do whatever he wants,” the same wouldn’t apply to Obama? I’d *really* like to hear his answer

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  29. JKB says:

    @sam: Dr. Tom Frieden

    2.2 New York City Health Commissioner, 2002 to 2009
    2.3 CDC Director, 2009-2017

    If there is anyone whose career neglect of planning for a pandemic is directly implicated, it’s Dr. Tom Frieden.

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  30. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This country has Medicare. This country has the Affordable Care Act. I was talking to a local independent insurance agent and she said she could have anyone signed up for health insurance in less than thirty minutes even if they have pre conditions.
    I am not crazy about Medicare. Some specialists will not take it. There is a way to work around that too, if you file the claim yourself. Just check with Medicare to make sure they will cover it and get that bound airtight. I learned that the hard way. Medicare does not cover everything but has a range of supplements.
    I am looking for an alternative such as a private insurer or maybe even the Affordable plan.
    I like the doctors and specialists I have. I don’t have to wait months for an appointment. Usually, I can get one within a week, or sooner if I am in pain or sick. I go to the doctor and pharmacy of my choice.
    Many doctors have said that they would not participate in any sort of Universal plan. That could leave a lot of people out in the cold and driving hours to a specialist.
    One local doctor does cash/check only, you file it. His visits are around $40 and he has patients lined up out the door. He doesn’t spend his time typing on a laptop. He actually talks to you.
    I went to him for a sore throat once and I have used his special treatment ever since: works every time. No, not some antibiotics.
    “If you like your insurance plan you can keep it”
    “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”

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  31. Kari Q says:

    @JKB:

    I forget. How many pandemics killed 80,000 Americans during those years?

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  32. An Interested Party says:

    Are there enough voters who are stupid enough to believe this projecting bullshit?

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  33. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Trump’s own Attorney General has written:

    The Constitution vests all Federal law enforcement power, and hence prosecutorial discretion, in the President. The President’s discretion in these areas has long been considered “absolute”…[emphasis in original]

    Of course, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised that Trump and his servile party would apply this “l’etat, c’est moi” principle to Trump and not to Obama, but still, there it is, straight from Trump’s man in the DoJ.

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  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: Yeah I heard it, ad nauseum. It was another brick in the “I can’t take any more commercial radio” wall I was building. Seriously, hearing the same 17 songs a dozen times a day is why I haven’t listened to anything other than community radio in 3 decades, and not any radio at all since moving out here 18 years ago (KDHX’s signal doesn’t reach this far).

    If it wasn’t for the recommendations of fellow commenters I would be totally ignorant of nearly all new music. As is I’m 98% ignorant of it. Also, I’ve kind of gotten used to peace and quiet.

    Oh yeah, GET OFF MY LAWN YOU Fn’ KIDS!!!

    ETA: just for the record, I really like PS’s stuff, but I still can’t listen to that one.

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  35. Mikey says:

    @JKB: Oh, you ludicrous toady, there WAS a plan. They even gamed it out WITH THE INCOMING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

    But Trump and his people shitcanned it.

    And even if what you say were correct, how long has Trump been President? How many years will it take before you quit accepting lame excuses and transparent blame-shifting?

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  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    Oh, so he was the guy who was warned repeatedly in his daily intelligence briefing that a pandemic was coming? That bastard! He totally ignored what US intelligence was telling him! He did nothing but lie for six weeks and he’s still lying. . .

    Or is that someone else I’m thinking of?

    Transparent much, JKB? Does this count as your daily devotional to orange Jesus?

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  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: I am not crazy about Medicare.

    Yes Tyrell, your deep ignorance of all things Medicare is well known. People have told you time and again how much you don’t know about it and yet you still parrot the same talking points.

    It is obvious that you are impervious to facts.

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  38. Mikey says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Are there enough voters who are stupid enough to believe this projecting bullshit?

    Hey, JKB, I think this call is for you.

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  39. Kari Q says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Trump wins if voters view the race as a clear choice between Biden and him, but if “the election becomes a referendum on Trump, it’s a much closer call,” one senior Trump-administration official told me. “This race has to be a contrast,” says John McLaughlin, a Trump pollster.”

    Trump wins if it’s a choice between Biden and Trump? That sounds like whistling past the graveyard.

    Not that I blame them for trying this. It’s all they’ve got.

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  40. Teve says:

    One of the reasons I pay taxes is so that after JKB’s parents die the state will be able to take care of him.

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  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: Yes, he’s the one who forced trump to toss out the pandemic playbook he and so many others spent years putting together. He’s the one who made trump disband the pandemic response team. He’s the one who made trump cut the funding for the pandemic early warning program. And he’s the one who told trump to ignore his intelligence agencies early covid reports.

    trump is not responsible for anything.

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  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: In that case, I’m gonna blame you.

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  43. Bill says:
  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Danny Ocean ➐
    @The_UnSilent_

    ·
    May 11
    He tweeted 125 times yesterday

    That’s 1 every 7.5 minutes for 16 hours straight…
    Neutral face

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  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kari Q:

    While the death of a candidate is rare, it happens, witness Paul Wellstone and Mel Carnahan. Wellstone’s death likely resulted in Dems losing the Minnesota senate seat, though the corpse of Carnahan, went on to beat John Ashcroft.

    Irrespective of the virus, Biden’s age is reason to be concerned and have a plan in place. Short of death, the possibility of a debilitating medical condition arising is significant. Bernie was fortunate that his heart attack could be addressed with stents, if he by-pass surgery was required, there was no chance that he would have been back on the campaign trail in two weeks.

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  46. Teve says:

    what would happen if Trump got COVID-19 tomorrow and died?

    I mean aside from a global hyperparty that would shame V-E day, I mean as far as deadlines for appearing on state ballots and so forth.

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  47. An Interested Party says:

    trump is not responsible for anything.

    This should be on full blast from now through November 3rd…plug it into commercials, put it on bumper stickers, place it on button pins…it is the perfect summary of the trash in the White House…

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  48. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    trump is not responsible for anything

    He’s got no problem taking the credit, though. This morning he is tweeting about how all the governors with sky-high approval ratings on their handling of COVID-19 couldn’t have done it without him. “From Ventilators to Testing, we made it happen!”

    I mean…wow. Testing still isn’t half of what it needs to be. There are still people today who want tests who can’t get them. And we all know the shitshow his administration generated with ventilators. And we all heard him and his useless son-in-law basically tell the states “you’re on your own.”

    And yet there are still millions of Americans who will read that tweet–a tweet that states the EXACT OPPOSITE of what actually happened–and think, “yeah, those blue state ingrates, they just don’t give our President proper credit.”

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  49. Pylon says:

    @Tyrell: I live in a country with single payer medicare. I see any GP. Same for pharmacy. I get in to my doctor for a complaint on the same day as I call (annual physical requires a loner appointment). All doctors “take” medicare because that’s how it works.

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  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    Interesting hypothetical. The obvious answer is that the GOP convention would look to Pence. I’ve always believed Trump picked Pence because he needed someone so stupid and so utterly devoid of charm that people would hesitate to replace him with his Veep. Still, it’d probably be Pence because while he lacks the seething nastiness they love in Trump, Pence is still a religious fanatic with a head full of finest oak and an absence of empathy. Evangelicals would miss their their racist, misogynist creep, but I believe their second choice would be a misogynist imbecile.

    Or they might draft Hannity. That could work for them.

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  51. Kathy says:

    What modern Western Civilization needs right now, is to wean itself from the supremacy of money and profit.

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  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was wondering why I got the down vote on this, so I did the math. Turns out Mr Ocean was wrong. It’s a tweet every 7.5 minutes for 15.625 hours.

    My apologies. s//

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  53. Pylon says:

    @Kari Q: Simon drew enough controversy over that album that Steven Van Zandt had to intervene with AZAPO to get him off the hit list (even though he didn’t like Simon).

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  54. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    May 11
    He tweeted 125 times yesterday

    That’s 1 every 7.5 minutes for 16 hours straight…

    Or, one tweet for every 40 Covid deaths.

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  55. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    Game that out a bit. If Tiny got the virus, Pence would step in and the Rethugs would need to decide what to do about Nov. But if Tiny has it, it would be likely that Pence would as well, which would leave Nancy president, till one of them either recovers or till 1/20/21. There would likely be an attempt at finagling the 25th amendment and not declaring Tiny or Pence incompetent to fulfill the requirements of the office, but that would be a tough argument if both were on ventilators.

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  56. Bill says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    While the death of a candidate is rare, it happens, witness Paul Wellstone and Mel Carnahan.

    Also Nick Begich, Jerry Litton, Hale Boggs, Mickey Leland, George Mickelson. All in the last 50 years. Boggs death led to Tip O’Neill becoming Speaker of the House.

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  57. Kingdaddy says:

    @Kari Q:

    I need a photo-opportunity
    I want a shot at redemption
    Don’t want to end up a cartoon
    In a cartoon graveyard

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  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Oooo… That is just plain mean and below the belt. I love it.

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  59. Kari Q says:

    @Pylon:

    Steven Van Zandt had to intervene with AZAPO to get him off the hit list (even though he didn’t like Simon).

    He didn’t like Simon? But I understand that Simon’s modesty is legendary.

    Van Zandt was a force for good there. We’re lucky he involved himself in the anti-apartheid movement.

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  60. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    If both Trump and Pence were on ventilators we would be leaderless. So, pretty much the way we are now, but with far less rage tweeting.

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  61. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’ve run through the scenario in my head before. A crucial question is whether there’s a significant subset of voters who would vote for Trump but not Pence. I suspect not—while there certainly were such voters in 2016, my sense is that they’ve either abandoned the GOP by now or been subsumed into it. True, Pence doesn’t excite the base as much—but on the other hand he’s the sort of traditional Republican who knows how to fool parts of the bourgeoisie into thinking he’s sane and rational, so I think he’d bring back some conservative voters who gag at the sight of Trump, despite his years of propping up and enabling him.

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  62. Kylopod says:

    I found out recently that there was just one major presidential candidate who died the year of the election. It was Horace Greeley, the leading challenger to Ulysses Grant in 1872. He ran on a temporary party called the Liberal Republican Party. (A newspaper editor who had never held public office, he had been a member of the Republican Party, and incredibly he was also a socialist. A socialist Republican? Yes, that was a thing in those days.) The Democrats, decimated politically by the Civil War, didn’t bother to field a candidate, so they just endorsed Greeley. He died after the election though before the electoral college had convened.

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  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: I talked to an independent insurance agent about a different health insurance policy last year at the time for Medicare enrollment. And he said that he could get me a policy without restrictions for preexisting conditions to.

    And it was only going to be about $1000/mo.

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  64. An Interested Party says:

    Despite the dissembling of President “I Don’t Take Responsibility at All” as well as the furious denial of reality sputtered by his toadies, most people realize the truth of this disaster and rightfully place the blame where it belongs…we can only hope these polls translate into similar numbers for the election in the fall…

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  65. CSK says:

    @steve:
    Cult45 is ignoring the White House mandate that all shall wear masks except, of course, for President Trump. It’s what they always do when there’s a contradiction between belief and practice: pretend it didn’t happen.

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  66. inhumans99 says:

    @Bill:

    Silly man, he should know better than to bring beer to a screwdriver fight.

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  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Why would the people who run Western Civilization want to wean themselves from the supremacy of money and profit when they are the premiere beneficiaries of that dependency? I agree that it would be nice if it happened; I just don’t see the circumstances where it would.

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  68. Pylon says:

    @Kari Q: They got into an argument over Mandela, for one thing (Simon figured he was a communist and questioned Van Zandt’s support of him). https://africasacountry.com/2014/01/when-steven-van-zandt-convinced-azapo-to-take-paul-simon-off-a-hit-list-and-what-paul-simon-really-thought-of-nelson-mandela

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  69. CSK says:

    @inhumans99:
    Now if it had been an Orange Blossom…

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  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: As long as they get the judges and taxation system that they want, who among the power brokers of the GOP care whether Pence is sane and rational or not?

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  71. Kari Q says:

    @Pylon:

    I failed to include my snark indicator. It’s my understanding that Simon is known for his arrogance and his ability to drive people away. I’ve got tremendous respect for his talent, though.

    I was serious in my praise of Van Zandt.

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  72. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    As long as they get the judges and taxation system that they want, who among the power brokers of the GOP care whether Pence is sane and rational or not?

    I wasn’t really thinking about the power brokers as a factor here; they’ll support whoever is the nominee, and I think they secretly prefer someone like Pence to someone like Trump, as it gives them everything they want but without the profound instability. They may be afraid enough of the Trumpist base not to try to push him out, but I suspect that if Trump dropped dead tomorrow they’d be privately celebrating.

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  73. An Interested Party says:

    Do you know who should really be hostile to the trash in the White House? Any proud Republican who admires Ronald Reagan and his legacy…to pick just one example, when it comes to immigration, Trump makes Reagan look like some radical Leftist by comparison…

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  74. gVOR08 says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Are there enough voters who are stupid enough to believe this projecting bullshit? (Running against Biden by projecting a failed COVID response onto Biden.)

    This is standard Karl Rove, attack the other guy’s strength. If your candidate dodged the draft in the TX ANG Champagne Squadron, then flunked out of that over his coke habit, you Swift Boat your war hero opponent. If you’ve completely screwed up your virus response, of course you declare victory, “I brought us back to normal with only X hundred thousand dead.” and make up a narrative of how bad Biden might have done.

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  75. CSK says:

    Trump tweeted this morning that we should all remember that every governor enjoying sky-high approval ratings owes those ratings all to him and the feds. I’m surprised he gave the federal govt. credit.

    Apparently Trump never got the message that this non-stop begging for praise is very unbecoming. Well, he’ll never get it from the people from whom he wants it most. Poor Donnie, doomed always to stand outside on the cold sidewalk, his nose pressed up against the window, gazing at the elite on the other side of the glass. All his life he’s wanted to be one of them, and he never will.

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  76. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:
    My thought is that Pence would be a tougher opponent for Biden than Tiny. Suburban, nominal rethugs that are appalled by Tiny would be more comfortable with Pence and likely return to their political home.

    Biden doesn’t excite the Dem base and is counting on revulsion of Tiny to put him in the WH, absent Tiny, Biden has neither hatred or enthusiasm to carry him.

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  77. Mister Bluster says:

    Any proud Republican who admires Ronald Reagan and his legacy…
    You are referring to this Ronald Reagan…

    (In 1970, then Governor of California) Reagan responded to questions about campus protest movements saying, “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with. No more appeasement.” WikiP

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  78. An Interested Party says:

    @Mister Bluster: Oh you won’t get any argument from me about St. Ronnie…I agree with you, but Republicans who claim to love Reagan so much…how can they now support this charlatan…

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  79. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Of course they wouldn’t. But that’s the direction to move the culture to. How? Well, if I knew that, I’d be rich 😉

    Seriously, a beginning might be made with the idea that the purpose of a business is to make goods or provide services, and profits are the means by which they do so. Rather than the way it is today, where the purpose is profit, and the goods and services are the means.

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  80. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    Oh, they’ll tell you that Trump is greater than Reagan.

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  81. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Remember Reagan’s speech at the Wall in Berlin? Immortal words like: “Why don’t they sell me the wall to put in the border with Mexico? The Mexicans are paying for it! They really should clean up the graffiti side. I build great walls. Many people say that. Beautiful Berlin-style walls, with gold-plating, and diamonds!! ”

    The Great Communicator indeed.

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  82. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    The funny thing is, Cult45 really does regard Trump as a Great Communicator, because he talks the way they do.

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  83. 95 South says:

    Yesterday someone was saying the Kimmel story about Pence delivering empty boxes didn’t matter, because it was only Kimmel (even though Teve passed it along as if it was true, and MarkedMan was still trying to defend it).

    Today I saw this clip from Meet The Press, including the unedited portion from the Barr interview. Notice how Chuck Todd explains his clip. “He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law.”

    https://twitter.com/greg_price11/status/1259549689239818240

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  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I couldn’t find the quote, but I remember an econ professor that I worked with and took a class from noting in a lecture one day that appearing before a Congressional committee the then President of General Motors stated that GM does not make automobiles, GM makes money–automobiles merely being the dominant product toward that goal at the moment.

    That was sometime during the late 50s to early 60s IIRC.

    The idea that the purpose of business it to make products may be a tougher sell than one would hope. Sorry.

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  85. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South:

    and MarkedMan was still trying to defend it

    And I’ll still defend it, despite the fact that Kimmel accepted the VP’s explanation and apologized. Bottom line, they showed up with a “truck load” of PPE but everything back of the front row was actually empty boxes. When Pence realized the rest of the boxes were empty he asked “should I bring in the empty ones, for the cameras?” and the other guy made a joke. Then Pence sort of joined in on the joke. Look, I’m not claiming it was a total fake in delivering to health care workers as I originally thought. They delivered the minimum necessary to get their photo op and faked the rest.

    Because of what I do now, I know for an absolute fact that PPE plants are working round the clock and adding shifts and production as fast as they can. But US hospitals cannot even get the amount of PPE that they were able to get before. That’s on Trump and the other Republicans.

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  86. Teve says:

    I wasn’t wrong. I was being sarcastic. 😀

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  87. An Interested Party says:

    Today I saw this clip from Meet The Press, including the unedited portion from the Barr interview. Notice how Chuck Todd explains his clip. “He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law.”

    Who cares what some TV bloviator thinks…the collective opinion of over 2,000 former Justice Department officials is much more important, and they agree that Barr was inappropriate in dropping the Flynn case…

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  88. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: I agree that Chuck Todd clip was taken out of context. Barr is a corrupt liar and worse, so there is no need to struggle to find examples of his duplicity.

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  89. gVOR08 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It’s true that GM’s purpose has always been to make money. But there does seem to have been a period in which short term returns to stockholders did not override every other consideration. There did seem to be a time when a CEO worried about all stakeholders, customers and employees, as well as stockholders. (I seem to vaguely recall a quote to that effect from Mitt Romney’s father, as well as remarks by various economic historians.) There was not the obsession with the next quarter, driven by bonus packages. There was some ethic of loyalty to the company as an institution. AT&T operated Bell Labs at a loss to support the long term future of the company. More recently Donald Dell said any CEO doing R&D was betraying his stockholders. Not something I know much about, but something seems to have gone very wrong with corporate governance in this country.

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  90. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    @gVOR08:

    Think of art. You have artists who want to express a vision, or make a statement. You have others that seek recognition or prestige. And still others who want money. The purpose of their art may not have anything to do with the quality of what they produce, but you see the spectrum of motivations, sometimes mixed.

    With modern business, money is above all else. It’s gone beyond the fact that a a company that doesn’t turn a profit will go out of business, to investors pressuring to make ever more money regardless of other considerations (so long as these can be avoided or overlooked).

    And not only has this led to wage stagnation (must control labor costs), but it has led to shoddy products, despite the virtues of competition. See the 737 MAX, or the opioids prescribed as pain medication. Planes are not supposed to crash, and medications are not supposed to make people addicts.

    But then, the last commercial airplane company that tried to design something that would benefit the airlines and the passengers, Bombardier, wound up selling the C-Series (now A-220) program to Airbus.

    It’s not just business, it’s all of us. We let them do this, and we elect the government that encourage them.

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  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: It’s certainly true that we’ve reached some sort of an apex (and one might hope, critical mass) in corporate dysfunction and bad governance. My thought is that the seeds of this perennial were planted long ago and it has deep roots. The shift to short-term outlooks are probably more recent as lifetime employment as a concept and a goal of most workers was the hoped for routine for both labor and management. It’s only in the 2nd half of my career life that the question “where do you want to be in 5 years” came to prominence and only later that the answer “here, doing what I do” became the wrong answer. (Even for teachers–as one administrator who passed on hiring me noted. He simply didn’t want anyone who “had no goals.”)

    ETA: Ironically enough, the last time I was asked that question was in Korea when I was 60 years old. Even more interesting was that the question before that one was “you’re 60 years old, why are you even looking for a job at all.”

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  92. gVOR08 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    lifetime employment as a concept and a goal of most workers was the hoped for routine for both labor and management.

    I worked briefly for a machine tool company that went out of business in the Reagan/Volker recession. They laid off employees whose fathers and grandfathers had worked for the company.

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  93. wr says:

    @95 South: Great. Now explain what crimes “everyone knows” Obama committed in Obamagate.

    Or are you just here to carry the administration’s water?

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  94. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thanks for your attention to my writing. I am still learning some things about Medicare and it’s various supplements and parts.
    I received tons of information in the mail, email, telephone, and even had a few people actually come in person before I went on Medicare. I frequently talk to the administrator, United Health Care when I have questions. .
    I have long favored letting anyone sign up for MC, but it should be an option.
    The best thing is the free membership to any gym.

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  95. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: I can’t speak to before 1974, but at least from that point on, GM was a disaster.

    ReplyReply
  96. sam says:

    Trump promotes conspiracy theory accusing MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough of murder

    The man has lost what few marbles he had left.

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  97. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Tyrell:

    “If you like your insurance plan you can keep it”
    “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”

    Jan 22nd – “we have a plan.” “We have it under control”
    Feb 27th – “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,”
    March 6th – “Anybody that wants a test can get a test”
    March 10th – “Just stay calm. It will go away”
    Source

    Today: CDC reports 1,342,594 coronavirus cases, 80,820 deaths

    What was that about keeping my doctor?

    As to my insurance plan, I work for a major corporation, with a $4000 deductible and a $7000 out-of-network deductible.

    Having just spent 5 days in the hospital (1 ER, 4 Inpatient w/. Surgery), my bill could have wiped out a family of lower financial means. And damned if my first billing of $2000 wasn’t handed to me while I was still in the ER.

    Medicare? that would have been like nothing. So no, I don’t really want to keep my insurance company.

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  98. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Those of us that understand the basics of uncontrolled virology understand the following, but it’s nice to finally see it in print:

    How to Create a Pandemic Depression

    … But getting the virus under control doesn’t mean “flattening the curve,” which, by the way, we did — we managed to slow the spread of Covid-19 enough that our hospitals weren’t overwhelmed. It means crushing the curve: getting the number of infected Americans way down, then maintaining a high level of testing to quickly spot new cases, combined with contact tracing so that we can quarantine those who may have been exposed.

    To get to that point, however, we would need, first, to maintain a rigorous regime of social distancing for however long it takes to reduce new infections to a low level. And then we would have to protect all Americans with the kind of testing and tracing that is already available to people who work directly for Donald Trump, but almost nobody else…

    Bringing the infection rate way down was a lot easier for countries that acted quickly to contain the coronavirus, while the rate was still low, rather than spending many weeks in denial. But even places with severe outbreaks can bring their numbers down if they stay the course. Consider New York City, the original epicenter of the U.S. pandemic, where the numbers of new daily cases and deaths are only a small fraction of what they were a few weeks ago.

    But you do have to stay the course. And that’s what Trump and company don’t want to do.

    For a while it seemed as if the Trump administration was, at long last, willing to take Covid-19 seriously. In mid-March the administration introduced social distancing guidelines, although without actually imposing any federal regulations.

    But lately all we hear from the White House is that we need to reopen the economy, even though we’re nowhere close to where we’d need to be to do so without risking a second wave of infections.

    At the same time, the administration and its allies are apparently dead set against providing the financial aid that would let us sustain social distancing without extreme financial hardship. Extend enhanced unemployment benefits, which will expire July 31? “Over our dead bodies,” says Senator Lindsey Graham. Aid to state and local governments, which have already laid off a million workers? That, says, Mitch McConnell, would be a “blue-state bailout.”

    As Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare and Medicaid under Barack Obama, puts it, Trump is a quitter. Faced with the need to actually do his job and do what it takes to crush the pandemic, he just gave up.

    And this retreat from responsibility won’t just kill thousands. It might also turn the Covid slump into a depression.

    Here’s how it would work: Over the next few weeks, many red states abandon social-distancing policies, while many individuals, taking their cues from Trump and Fox News, begin behaving irresponsibly. This leads, briefly, to some rise in employment.

    But fairly soon it becomes clear that Covid-19 is spiraling out of control. People retreat back into their homes, whatever Trump and Republican governors may say.

    So we’re back where we started in economic terms, and in worse shape than ever in epidemiological terms. As a result, the period of double-digit unemployment, which might have lasted only a few months, goes on and on.

    In other words, Trump’s search for an easy way out, his lack of patience for the hard work of containing a pandemic, may be precisely what turns a severe but temporary slump into a full-blown depression.

    (emPHAsis mine)

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  99. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy:

    Think of art. You have artists who want to express a vision, or make a statement. You have others that seek recognition or prestige. And still others who want money.

    I have known and *worked with dozens/scores/hundreds of artists* over the years Kathy, and I can say without reservation that that is all the same artist. They all have a vision they want to express. They all dream of receiving recognition and prestige. And not one of them would turn down a dime they might make in pursuit of their art. The fact is tho 99% work 2 or 3 different jobs just so they can make their art.

    **protip- working with artists is mostly a real pain in the ass because everything has to be done in service to the purity of their vision. I recommend avoiding it.

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  100. Jen says:

    @sam: IMHO, he is now operating with a marble deficit. He’ll need to borrow marbles to lose any more, or, he’s cashing in on marbles he doesn’t own. Something along those lines.

    The man is very accustomed to debt, I get that, but this is ridiculous.

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  101. An Interested Party says:

    And damned if my first billing of $2000 wasn’t handed to me while I was still in the ER.

    Best health care system in the world, dontcha know…

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  102. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Trump Has Lost the Plot
    The president is talking about things most Americans can’t comprehend, let alone care about.

    Trump’s psychology is defined by his terror of rejection. The most stinging insult in his vast vocabulary of disdain is loser. And yet every poll, every powerful Biden TV ad, forces Trump to contemplate that he is headed toward a historic humiliation. He’ll stand with Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover, the incumbents rejected because they failed to manage economic crises.

    Trump failed to prevent the crisis. Out of envy and spite, he dismantled the pandemic-warning apparatus his predecessors had bequeathed him.

    Trump failed to manage the crisis. At every turn, he gave priority to the short-term management of the stock market instead.

    Trump failed to message the crisis. He not only lacks empathy; he despises empathy.

    Angry, scared, and aggrieved by the lack of praise for his efforts, Trump turns for safety to television, where his two-dimensional friends explain how everything is everybody else’s fault. They tell him that he is right and all his critics are wrong. They promise that miracle drugs will—poof!—make all his troubles vanish without effort. Sean and Tucker and Laura and Jeanine and the Fox & Friends romper room tell him stories that hold the terror at bay.

    But those stories have drawn Trump into a twisting ghetto of craziness that is impenetrable to outsiders.

    Strawberries, bitch.

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  103. gVOR08 says:

    @sam: Indeed. But given how heavily Scarborough was using Trump as click bait in 2016, seemed like Trump was on the phone with Scarborough every couple days, there is a certain poetic justice in Trump attacking him.

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  104. An Interested Party says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: It’s interesting how conservatives, like Frum and Rick Wilson, among others, seem to make the best attacks against him…makes sense though, as he hijacked their political party…

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  105. Teve says:

    @gVOR08:

    There was some ethic of loyalty to the company as an institution. AT&T operated Bell Labs at a loss to support the long term future of the company. More recently Donald Dell said any CEO doing R&D was betraying his stockholders.

    short-term insanity. I remember reading a few years ago that Microsoft was an appealing target for corporate raiders, because raiders could buy the company, eliminate the $10 billion MSFT spends on R&D every year, put all that on the profit line, and resell the company at a premium, cuz hey, MOAR PROFIT!

    Sure, the company would probably crash and burn in 5-10 years as a direct consequence, but who cares.

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  106. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party:

    It’s interesting how conservatives, like Frum and Rick Wilson, among others, seem to make the best attacks against him

    Is it just because they’re Republicans and therefore they have a vicious streak?

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  107. An Interested Party says:

    Is it just because they’re Republicans and therefore they have a vicious streak?

    Oh, I’m sure that’s part of it, but I think there’s more…it’s incredible how this fraud was able to completely take over their party, he’s done a wonderful job of exposing how venal and corrupt the GOP is…he’s completely shattered the idea of the Party of Lincoln…as a comparison, notice how Sanders wasn’t able to take over the Democratic Party…

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  108. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Tyrell:
    Your “free” gym membership comes at a cost to you.
    I assume that you are enrolled in a United Healthcare Medicare Advantage Plan, if so, you will find that your are not completely free to go to any medicare doctor. OTHO, if your current doctors are in the managed care network, you are golden —- for the moment.

    Doctors and hospitals negotiate yearly to be in network, they can and do drop out of network, so you can find that your doc is in network and then suddenly isn’t.

    But you should have known all this before you enrolled. Bottom line, you are relinquishing your freedom to choose your doctor to get your “free gym”.

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  109. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kathy: This is the downside of globalism. Multinational monied interests do not give a rat’s ass about national quality of life, product safety, etc. They want returns. Period. In a previous time, national monied interest did care about quality of life because they would have to wash in the same bathwater as the people they shit on.

    Now that money knows no borders, those considerations are no longer a concern. One can enjoy life far away from the damage caused to the small fish too weak to fight the current. The run of the mill right winger has correctly identified the toxic forces corrupting nations around the world, they just cant bring themselves put the right face on it. And it’s more fun to win the Libs…

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  110. An Interested Party says:

    It’s a shame that Ron Paul wasn’t somewhere else the night his spawn was conceived…who would you want to get your medical advice from? Dr. Fauci or this douchebag

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  111. 95 South says:

    @wr:

    Great. Now explain what crimes “everyone knows” Obama committed in Obamagate.

    Or are you just here to carry the administration’s water?

    You’re not making sense. I don’t know what Trump was talking about, and I don’t have to explain it because I’m not carrrying anyone’s water. I can criticize him when he’s wrong, and I don’t have to latch onto stupid fake stories to make sure every sentence repeats my political slogans. I’ll be a functioning adult through the whole Presidency.

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  112. Mister Bluster says:

    …I’m not carrrying anyone’s water.

    @95 South Sez:…
    Republicans will do what is morally right without regard to party.
    Republicans have a history of putting country before party.

    I wouldn’t call this water either…

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  113. 95 South says:

    @Mister Bluster: I was writing about impeachment. Democrats put party over country. Republicans put country over party.

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  114. An Interested Party says:

    Democrats put party over country. Republicans put country over party.

    And you, quite obviously, put fantasy over reality…no wonder everyone thinks you’re a Trumpist…

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  115. 95 South says:

    @An Interested Party: You can at least admit the one time a party has gone against a President from their own party it was the Republicans.

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  116. wr says:

    @95 South: “I was writing about impeachment. Democrats put party over country. Republicans put country over party.”

    But remember boys and girls, this man will never never never never never never carry Trump’s water.

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  117. 95 South says:

    @wr: You didn’t answer my question. Regarding impeachment, do you admit the one time a party has gone against a President from their own party it was the Republicans?

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  118. Mikey says:

    @95 South: The House Democrats who voted to impeach Bill Clinton would like a word with you.

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  119. 95 South says:

    @Mikey: They can come over to my studio apartment. I have enough chairs for them. We can even practice social distancing.

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  120. Mikey says:

    @95 South: Don’t try to move the goalposts now. You set the criterion, I proved you wrong.

    31 House Democrats voted in favor of the impeachment inquiry into Bill Clinton. Will they all fit in your apartment?

    You should see a spine specialist, your back will be hurting from the combined weight of the goalposts and all the GOP water you’re carrying.

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  121. 95 South says:

    31 voted to commence the impeachment. 5 voted to impeach.

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  122. @95 South: Is this an argument based on the behavior of Nixon-era Republicans?

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  123. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mikey:..Don’t try to move the goalposts now.

    Leave him be. This might be the most football we get all season.

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  124. 95 South says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I think the Republicans have been right on every modern impeachment. I don’t expect everyone here to agree with me, but at the least they should be able to admit the Republicans have been the only ones who have gone against their party with Nixon. I personally think Gore would have won if Clinton was removed from office, so they went against their interests there too. Sincere Democrats may believe their party was correct on every impeachment, but they have to admit their party has always voted for Democrats and against Republicans.

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  125. @95 South:

    I think the Republicans have been right on every modern impeachment.

    That is a legitimate position to have, but having that position is different than your definitive statements about country over party and morality.

    Republicans have been the only ones who have gone against their party with Nixon

    It was a very different partisan context (as well as a different media environment) so that comparison is historically true, but not proof of the moral superiority of the GOP.

    I personally think Gore would have won if Clinton was removed from office, so they went against their interests there too

    This is a valid personal opinion (that Gore would have won–indeed, he did win the popular vote), but it doesn’t prove “they went against their interests” in the impeachment vote.

    Sincere Democrats may believe their party was correct on every impeachment, but they have to admit their party has always voted for Democrats and against Republicans.

    But that is not what you said above, you clearly think the historical record proves the moral superiority of the GOP.

    But if the Republicans who asked Nixon to resign were morally right, so, too, were the Democrats who wanted to vote to remove him. You can’t use Nixon’s impeachment to prove the moral inferiority of Dems and the moral superiority of Reps.

    The issue in each case is not how the party’s voted, but as to what the correct moral choice was.

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  126. @95 South: Side note this is another case (impeachment) wherein you support the Trump position, even though you don’t support Trump (and that leads to confusion as to what you support).

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  127. 95 South says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Someone once said we should drop the debate about whether I support Trump.

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  128. 95 South says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You can’t use Nixon’s impeachment to prove the moral inferiority of Dems and the moral superiority of Reps.

    I can note the Republicans have at least once cast impeachment votes against party interests and the Democrats never have. It doesn’t prove the Democrats are morally inferior though. I can also note how many of their supporters spent the eighteen years from 1998-2016 oblivious to power dynamics and sexual pressure.

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  129. An Interested Party says:

    You can at least admit the one time a party has gone against a President from their own party it was the Republicans.

    That’s not accurate, as today’s GOP is nothing like the GOP of the early 70s, it’s like they’re two totally different political parties…

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  130. wr says:

    @95 South: In the immortal words of Miss Mona Lisa Vito, “No, I will not answer, because it’s a bullshit question.” It presumes that anyone from the president’s party who did not support impeachment acted this way because he was putting party over country, and this ignores the more likely scenario that many Democrats — because we’re talking about Clinton here, let’s not treat the readers like idiots — voted against conviction believing that removing a democratically elected president over a blow job would do massive harm to the country.

    You would be far more correct to say in that case that the Republicans, who had no problem with their own members screwing interns and lying about it, were acting for their party instead of their country.

    And frankly, comparing the Republican party of 1973 with that of today is as moronic as those people who insist that it was Republicans who freed the slaves, so clearly it’s Democrats who are the real racists today.

    Sorry I won’t play your little game, but it’s clear you’re happiest playing solitaire.

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  131. DrDaveT says:

    @95 South:

    I can note the Republicans have at least once cast impeachment votes against party interests and the Democrats never have.

    You seem to be unaware that Nixon was not impeached. He resigned. This matters.

    You also seem to be claiming that the Republicans who voted to leave the corrupt incompetent dangerous criminal Trump in office were doing so in the best interests of the country. This pretty much eliminates any claim you might have had to objectivity.

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