Tuesday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Bill Jempty says:

    The headline of the day- Minnesota state senator arrested on suspicion of burglary

    Note- Five years ago, a South Florida politician was charged with trespassing. They were accused of trying to change the locks on a hold they had sold just recently.


  2. Scott says:

    I’m hoping this is a sign of a growing pushback by rational Republicans against the far right whackjobs that are wrecking our politics and the country. Unfortunately, Gonzales is in the district adjacent to mine (border about a mile away). I get Chip Roy. Lucky me.

    Tony Gonzales openly blasts fellow Republicans as “scumbags” and klansmen

    U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-San Antonio, ripped into his party’s right flank for voting against billions in foreign aid for U.S. allies last week, castigating his ultraconservative peers as “scumbags” and klansmen.

    “These people used to walk around with white hoods at night. Now they’re walking around with white hoods in the daytime,” Gonzales told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview Sunday. “It didn’t surprise me that some of these folks voted against aid to Israel.”

    Gonazales, a rare flame-throwing centrist who is battling it out against YouTube gun enthusiast Brandon Herrera in the first serious primary challenge, singled out two sitting Republicans by name who have endorsed against him.

    “It’s my absolute honor to be in Congress, but I serve with some real scumbags like [Florida Congressman] Matt Gaetz. He paid minors to have sex with them at drunk parties,” Gonzales said, before calling out Rep. Bob Good for earlier this month endorsing Herrera, whom he called a “known neo-Nazi.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jordy Meiselas: Just a few weeks after you were in Pueblo, Colorado, Congresswoman Boebert left her district. Is that a coincidence or Dark Brandon at work?

    Biden: It’s classified

  4. Tony W says:

    @Scott: My hope is that they are tired of losing. I have always contended that they merely need to adopt more popular policies if they want to win. That has been anathema to this point, but maybe the prospect of a permanent minority and the escalation of more and more hijinks to try and eke out a tiny victory here and there is too daunting to not make a change.

    I’m probably delusional.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    Question for those with service experience: Last night I was volunteering at a men’s live-in recovery center. All the residents are veterans. I was talking to a younger guy and he told me he had just gotten some really good news that morning, he had just gotten notice that he had 100% service (credit?) and that previously to that he had spent 4 years at 70%. He seemed a little overwhelmed and said “this will change my life” and “Once I get out of here I can do all the things I’ve wanted”. I had no idea what this was about, but wanted to focus on him and his reaction so I didn’t quiz him. Does anyone understand?

  6. charontwo says:


    Roy Edroso on abortion politics post-Dobbs.

    Long piece, here are the first few paragraphs:

    Walter Shapiro did a good recap at The New Republic this week of how, when Dobbs came down in June 2022, top Republicans affected to be absolutely convinced it wasn’t going to have much political impact.

    Now it’s clear that some of them, at least — like Kari Lake after Arizona’s loony 1864 anti-abortion law got affirmed by their high court and then defended by their Republican state lege — have been sufficiently freaked out by the avalanche of evidence to the contrary to backtrack on their previous gung-ho anti-abortion rhetoric, a reversal that is pleasing to see, particularly since it’s also clear that everyone — pro and anti — knows they’re lying.

    But what I find more interesting are conservatives who absolutely will not give up the ship even as it goes under. I don’t think it’s a matter of principle — as I have frequently shown, they have none. They appear rather to be frozen in the headlights of popular opinion.

    Republicans are used to simply bullshitting their way through their least palatable policy choices — like the transparently bogus anti-war patter many Congressional Republicans adopted to justify their failure to fund the Ukrainian resistance to Putin. That usually works, because there’s always a new subject they can swing their klieg lights toward — currently it’s protesting college students, always a popular favorite — to make people forget, with the help of a compliant prestige press, their previous screw-up.

    But the Dobbs backlash has been big enough to make that impossible and, their usual evasive tactics being unequal to the task, they find themselves literally defenseless. They don’t seem to be trying anything like outreach toward the large majority of their fellow Americans who oppose them, either. And when they are obliged to publish something of any length about it, it gets bizarre real fast.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tony W: I have always contended that they merely need to adopt more popular policies if they want to win.

    That’s what a rational politician would do but we’re talking about the GOP here.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Keith Boykin

    Dozens of migrants that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tricked into flying from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts for a $615,000 taxpayer-funded political stunt have now been granted visas as human trafficking victims of Ron DeSantis’s actions.

    Oooopps. Bet he didn’t see that coming.

  9. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Tony W:

    The problem for R’s that the master they serve, the wealthy like lots of unpopular programs, so they pander to the MAGAts to get elected and serve the rich. There was an article somewhere a few weeks ago that pointed out that voters in R controlled states have lots of unaddressed issues and the problem is less that they won’t vote for Dems, but they have lousy R’s representing them.

  10. charontwo says:

    Here are the early paragraphs of the TNR piece referenced:


    Virtually every week there is a new outrage: Arizona, one of six states that will likely decide the 2024 election, is reeling from a state Supreme Court decision last week bringing back an 1864 ban on virtually all abortions. Florida’s draconian six-week abortion ban (a gift to the Sunshine State from Governor Ron DeSantis) recently cleared its last legal hurdle before it takes effect on May 1. And a bizarre decision by Alabama’s highest court in late February that frozen embryos should be considered children jeopardized IVF fertility treatments in the state and prompted a national outcry.

    Donald Trump’s desperate efforts to defuse the issue keep colliding with reality. The oft-indicted former president tried to tiptoe away from religious conservatives earlier this month by insisting that abortion laws should be left to the states. Rather than getting to bask in the cynical cleverness of his new position, he immediately had to deal with the reality that all-power-to-the-states could produce the anti-abortion rigidity of Arizona’s 1864 law. Also, Trump’s ego always has to be fed: He could not resist continuing to brag about appointing the three justices who overturned Roe.

    Even a huckster with Trump’s disdain for the truth cannot spin away the fact that Republicans are on the unpopular side of the abortion debate. Fifty-nine percent of voters in a Fox News poll in late March said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And a Wall Street Journal poll in mid-March found that a stunning 39 percent of suburban women in swing states consider abortion to be their most important voting issue in 2024.

    It wasn’t supposed to be like this for Republicans. In the spring and early summer of 2022, as the Alito draft became the official opinion of the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case, the prevailing GOP view of the political aftereffects of the decision was, in effect, “It will all blow over.” No Republican predicted that abortion would still be a powerful weapon for the Democrats in 2024 and beyond.

  11. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan: He’s going from a 70% VA disability rating to 100%, which brings a significant bump in disability pay and a lot of other benefits. If he was medically retired, he may also qualify for concurrent receipt of military retired pay, which isn’t available for lower disability ratings.

  12. DK says:

    @MarkedMan: Probably referring to VA disability rating. A 100% VA disability rating is considered the country’s most generous entitlement, varying a bit by state of domicile: thousands more in monthly income tax free, free health/dental/vision/mental/Rx for self and dependents, property tax exemption, DMV fees waived, free parking all over including some airports, lots of free licensure, student loan debt discharge, in-state tuition waived for self and dependents, free vocational training and career counseling, better private loan terms including mortgages, eligibility for typically-exclusive government contracts, etc.

    Multiple individuals in my immediate and extended family are on 100% VA disability, and it’s as if they won a small but significant lottery.

  13. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: He may be talking about his VA disability rating. By going from a 70% disability to 100% disability, he gets a substantial increase in monthly compensation. If he is a veteran with no dependents, at 70% his monthly pay is $1716.28. At 100%, his monthly is $3737.85. He is also considered to be in VA Priority Group 1 which entitles him to VA healthcare with no copays.

  14. Mikey says:

    So here’s how my day started…

    I have a beard, which I keep fairly closely trimmed (5mm guard). I decided this morning it was beard trimming day.

    I was in a bit of a rush, so I just pulled out the trimmer and ran it down the left sideburn. But it felt different and I immediately realized why: my son had borrowed it to trim his beard (such as it is, lol) and neglected to put the 5mm guard back on.

    So I had just trimmed the left side with a bare clipper, which of course meant that chunk of beard was now lying in the sink.

    Ah well, in a week you’ll hardly be able to tell…lol…

  15. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan: Now how often do you get three answers to a question and the three answers all agree with each other? 🙂

  16. Stormy Dragon says:


    When a veteran is declared disabled, there is a process of determining what percentage of their disability was directly the result of their active duty military service, and that level determines what VA benefits they receive. The person you were talking to was originally rated such that 70% of their disability was a result of their service and that was changed to 100%. I don’t know the exact details, but I understand that last 30% results in a significant increase in the benefits.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: @DK: @Scott: @Stormy Dragon:
    Thanks! I knew the commentariat here would have the answers!

  18. DK says:


    Last night I was volunteering at a men’s live-in recovery center.

    Impressive and admirable, BTW.

  19. Jax says:

    This is why I love this place. Yesterday we went from cannibalism to mushroom risotto, today we get concurring ACCURATE answers to one question. 🙂

  20. DK says:

    The trend in today’s Marist poll:

    Trump’s support among white voters and independents has splintered. Biden is doing better than he did in 2020 among white voters, and he has eliminated the advantage that Trump had among independents earlier this month. Biden has a three-percentage point edge over Trump among registered voters nationally…

    Among those who definitely plan to vote in November, Biden holds a six-percentage point lead. Biden is up five-percentage points in a multi-candidate field.

    Drip drip drip.

  21. Stormy Dragon says:

    So in a shocking discovery by a number of America’s elite research institutions, it turns out that pretextually arresting large numbers of your students tends to further exacerbate already tense situations.

  22. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Whoa. It’s almost like the experiments performed on college campuses (arresting protestors) in the 60’s/70’s still hold true. Whodathunkit?

  23. Scott says:

    I was in 10th grade when Kent State happened. I remember.

    Hawley, Cotton call on Biden to deploy National Guard over Gaza protests at colleges

    GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) called on President Biden on Monday to deploy the National Guard to colleges, particularly Columbia University in New York City, where pro-Palestinian protesters have staged sit-ins and other disruptive activities to focus public attention on the war.

  24. Matt Bernius says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite & @Stormy Dragon:
    As some commenters have pointed out on other websites, what’s especially ironic a “same as it ever was” way is that in a few decades, Columbia and other institutions will encorporate these protests into their “proud history of cultivating a culture where descent and political action are welcomed.”

    Or at least that’s the way they talk about all of the 50’s and 60’s protests on college tours now that there’s enough distance from them to make them toothless.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: I’ve done similar. And yes, it always grows back. Funny how that works.

  26. Michael Reynolds says:


    There’s something happening here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear

    So many protests, and so few protest songs. Where are this generation’s Dusty Springfields, Bob Dylans, Country Joes and John Fogertys?

  27. Michael Reynolds says:


    And yes, it always grows back.

    Not on your head.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Mine still mostly grows back there. Mostly.

  29. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’m pretty sure the protest songs are out there; however, like everything else in this media fractured world, there is no music that permeates everywhere. Heck, I don’t listen to the radio anymore, not even internet radio. I pick and choose my own Spotify music. As an old fogey, I could never get into hip hop which is where I suspect most protest music resides. Even my own kids listen to very different music: one likes country, another indie singer songwriter, and the third hip hop.

  30. Modulo Myself says:


    I think this happened to everyone with a beard and an old beard trimmer. The real problem is when people compliment you on your new look. Finally, they say, you wised up.

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    Recently my iPhone has been plagued with a random 400 error message (request too large for server) when I would attempt to post a Reply™ to comments at OTB. Often the reply that I attempt to post that triggers this error message is not nearly as many characters as other replies that post successfully. The error message would block any attempt to log on to OTB for maybe 20 or 30 minutes and then the error message would be gone without any prompting on my part. I try to remind myself not to reply to OTB posts on my iPhone as that is the only time that the 400 error message appears. Of course I forget about any error messages (I forget about lots of things these days) and blithely post successful OTB replies on my iPhone. Then last week (Saturday?) the 400 error message, which I am retagging the 666 error alert, blocked any access to OTB on my iPhone for hours after I made another Reply attempt. Damn near all day. The diabolical 666 error finally returned to the underworld until this morning when it popped up again, only this time I wasn’t even attempting to post a reply. I had been catching up on yesterday’s OTB posts when I fingered today’s Open Forum and there it was again. 400 error. Fortunately a reload of the page and back to hell it went.
    Now that I have just discovered how to use the Personal Hotspot feature on my iPhone (that I could have been using for the last year and a half but was too lazy to check out. yes I am that lazy.) I don’t really need to access OTB on my phone. It’s just more convenient than my laptop when am sitting on the throne for instance.

  32. Bill Jempty says:


    This is why I love this place. Yesterday we went from cannibalism to mushroom risotto, today we get concurring ACCURATE answers to one question.

    Which are all sure signs the apocalypse will arrive soon.

  33. Modulo Myself says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    How old is your iPhone? Last year, I started getting similar warnings on my old Macbook which was running an ancient OS.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    There are a fair number of people here who seem to believe that Democrats/Liberals/Leftist will never have the equivalent of the Proud Boys or the militias. I’ve pointed out that a fair number of the extremist groups blowing things up, kidnapping people, robbing banks and murdering cops in the 70’s were leftist, but the answer is that “things are different now”. Sure, things are always different now, which means that when “now” becomes “later”, things will be different yet again.

    As a thought exercise: Will the current leftist association with and glorification of Hamas (a radical and ruthless violent group of religious fanatics) lead to the violent radicalization of certain elements of the left? Or, perhaps more likely, attract those type of violent people that seem to need a cause as an excuse for their violence?

  35. DrDaveT says:


    he had just gotten some really good news that morning, he had just gotten notice that he had 100% service (credit?) and that previously to that he had spent 4 years at 70%. He seemed a little overwhelmed and said “this will change my life” and “Once I get out of here I can do all the things I’ve wanted”. […] Does anyone understand?

    It sounds very much like his disability rating from VBA. The 70% and 100% numbers are the giveaway. Was the phrase “service connection”? That would be establishing that the disability was incurred while on active duty.

    Veterans’ disability benefits are rated on a scale in 10% increments, from 0% (you were injured but there is no residual disability) to 100%. The overall rating determines your compensation, and is calculated using a very outdated formula as a function of the individual ratings of your various disabilities. If you are at least 70% disabled and deemed “individually unemployable” (IU), e.g. due to periodic episodes of PTSD, you can get compensated at the 100% level.

    70% compensation for a single man is $1800/month. 100% is nearly $3900/month. Yes, that sounds life-changing.

    ETA: boy was I late, but at least thorough. If you have follow-up questions, I have done research and published reports on veterans’ disability compensation.

  36. Bill Jempty says:


    I have a beard, which I keep fairly closely trimmed (5mm guard). I decided this morning it was beard trimming day.

    For over 25 years, I have had a beard. All during that time I never attempted using a beard trimmer. I go to the barber instead every 4 weeks or my wife would trim it.

  37. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Not on your head.

    Or, at least, not on the correct part of your head. If I live long enough, the only hair on my head will be growing out of my ears.

  38. Neil Hudelson says:

    For style reasons*, I’ve started to freehand trim my beard. You arent’ really living life until twice a week you start your day by tempting fate 10 minutes. So far I’ve not taken a chunk out of my beard, but i’m just waiting for the day when a kid’s or wife’s yell makes me turn my head into the blades.

    *trim guides just contour my beard to my already fat face. Free hand I can chisel it into an approximation of not-a-fat-guy.

  39. Mikey says:

    @Bill Jempty: I couldn’t wait four weeks, I trim it weekly or it just gets too bushy.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: So what do you do to hide your prodigious belly? Maybe I can try it.

  41. DK says:


    Will the current leftist association with and glorification of Hamas (a radical and ruthless violent group of religious fanatics) lead to the violent radicalization of certain elements of the left?

    This already happened long before 7 Oct. There have always been violent leftists.

    The thought exercise relevant to the recent discourse here is thus: will the voters who hold determinative power in Democratic Party — blacks, women, educated whites, Pelosi acolytes and political descendants of the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, and the Clintons — allow the nomination and election of a president from this faction of the far Left, a la Republicans bending the knee to MAGA? Will there be a Hamas Caucus in Congress exercising destructive control over the Democratic leadership, as with Moscow Marjorie and the misnamed Freedom Caucus?

    There remains no evidence that such a Democratic decompensation is likely, besides a speculative philosophical position that “anything is possible” pending some massive future political realignment. At which point this website and most us will be either dead or demented, and forgotten.

  42. just nutha says:

    @Scott: Thanks. I was going to say something similar, but I’d have turned it into a “some people live in *if I’m not aware, it doesn’t exist*-land” snarky troll.

  43. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Where are this generation’s Dusty Springfields, Bob Dylans, Country Joes and John Fogertys?

    Blowin’ in the wind.

  44. Bill Jempty says:

    @Mikey: I have it trimmed to a #1 and tell the barber to make it as short as possible. After 4 weeks mine is still reasonable.

  45. MarkedMan says:


    At which point this website and most us will be either dead or demented.

    Considering that these changes take from 20 to 30 years (think 1950’s beatniks to the Brinks robbery in ‘81) I imagine even I have a shot at seeing it.

    But you raise a good point. Right wingers elected an actual fascist. The most left wing candidate from the left was George McGovern and yet he still believed in the rule of law.

    Still, movements get hijacked, and the hijackers pay only lip service to the original goals. Look at so called Christians.

  46. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I know a way to regrow it on your head! Although most of you will hate the side effects that go with it… =3

  47. Bill Jempty says:

    Yesterday it was cannibals
    Today it is beard trimming
    What’s up for tomorrow. Pitted or unpitted olives?
    Stay tuned!

  48. Bill Jempty says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Yep chemotherapy. Been there, done that.

  49. Modulo Myself says:


    As a thought exercise: Will the current leftist association with and glorification of Hamas (a radical and ruthless violent group of religious fanatics) lead to the violent radicalization of certain elements of the left?

    I think the left is glorifying resistance rather than Hamas. The majority of leftists believe in the Intifada in the late 80s/early 90s rather than the secular cadres who ran the PLO in Beirut or Hamas. I don’t think there’s much ideology or tactics behind this other than capital-R resistance. And I don’t think organized leftist violence like in the 60s and 70s is possible, simply due it to being very hard to go underground now and survive. Look at how easy it was to catch this member of Baader-Meinhof recently. (I’m guessing Germany had been happy to forget Baader-Meinhof and the ‘rehabilitated’ Nazis they went after.) If you look at the remnants of the New Left–from BLA to the Weatherman–they were able to survive for a huge amount of time while being wanted and known. Try that now. If someone in the state is looking for you, they will most likely find you quickly.

    If there’s going to be any violence, it’s going against pipelines and private jets. Even then, you would have to be nuts to think of doing it and then getting away to do it again.

  50. Modulo Myself says:

    By the way, if anyone wants to read noirs about the left and violence, check out Jean-Patrick Manchette. He’s a French James Ellroy–pretty amoral and bleak, but fun.

  51. Mikey says:

    @Paul L.: Trump supporters and fascists (wait, there’s no difference) lied all over the place about what the judge said, so I guess we’re even (except I never spread the assertion he skipped his older children’s graduations because I couldn’t find any independent source to confirm it).

  52. steve says:

    DrDaveT- I cant remember. Are you eligible for full care at the VA with 70% benefits? I sort of think you are but am not 100% sure some care is not pro-rated.

    “Will the current leftist association with and glorification of Hamas (a radical and ruthless violent group of religious fanatics) lead to the violent radicalization of certain elements of the left?”

    I still haven’t read any of the usual sources I read and have anyone glorify Hamas. It’s a big country so I am sure it happens but I think it is a very small group.


  53. Kathy says:

    I left work shortly after midnight, then got up at 6:30 because we have so much to keep doing. At that, I’m one of the lucky ones. Two were still at the office when I arrived at 8 am…

    It’s going to be a crappy week.

  54. Michael Reynolds says:

    The Left generically? Sure. Stalin? Mao? Castro? Pol Pot? But this Left? Nah.

  55. Neil Hudelson says:


    In any conversation I loudly proclaim “I’m up here!” while pointing to my eyes.

  56. Michael Reynolds says:


    I still haven’t read any of the usual sources I read and have anyone glorify Hamas.

    Neither have I, at least not overtly. What we have here are like campus commies in the 1920’s or 30’s before people started to realize they were supporting monsters. They know not what they do.

  57. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    Oh you’re a Snopes believer! Great. Here’s some other Snopes findings for you:

    Snopes: In the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, he repeatedly lied about the integrity of the vote:

    For nearly two months, Trump falsely claimed that there was widespread voter fraud and that the 2020 election had been stolen from him. These lies, in part, spurred a pro-Trump mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

    Snopes: During Trump’s Presidency, US Job Growth Was Worst Since Hoover and the Great Depression?


    Snopes: Judge Barred Trump from Attending His Son Barron’s High School Graduation?


    So you must agree that Trump, who incited the Jan. 6 attack based on lies and who admitted exchanging love letters with North Korea’s communist dictator, also lied when he said he’d been barred from attending his son’s graduation. As did his neofascist acolytes, like Moscow Marjorie and Kari Lake.

  58. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Paul L.:

    Hey man, I’m really sorry that somewhere on the internet you saw someone claim something that was false, but I really appreciate you coming over here to triumphantly tell use that that person was wrong.

    If someone here had made the wild claim that Trump had never attended any of his kids graduations, you would’ve likely had seen some pretty quick pushback and mythbusting. Of course, that didn’t happen here, but that doesn’t matter. The point is that somewhere on the internet someone was wrong, and boy howdy you have the receipts here to prove it. Good boy, *pats head* we were all pulling for you.

  59. Rick DeMent says:


    I’ve pointed out that a fair number of the extremist groups blowing things up, kidnapping people, robbing banks and murdering cops in the 70’s were leftist, but the answer is that “things are different now”. Sure, things are always different now, which means that when “now” becomes “later”, things will be different yet again.

    There was a difference then as there is now, Democratic politicians back then didn’t embrace them the way the GOP is embracing the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers or the militias now. And if left wing violence does rear it’s ugly head I can’t think of any current Democratic politician that would embrace them now, let alone work with them. Or did you want to suggest that Democrats in the 70s stood by the Yippies, the Weather Underground, and the Symbionese Liberation Army?

    Nor only did the GOP embrace the violent groups but they worked directly with them to overthrow the government. So I would be careful making comparisons.

  60. Kathy says:

    I see the NFL draft will begin this week. I’ve read some reports here and there, the usual predictions and pronouncements

    What I’ve yet to see, is any recommendations that Dallas scour the pool of business school grads for a bright young prospect to take over the owner position. That’s where most of their problems lie.

  61. just nutha says:

    @Mikey: Not even I attended my college graduation. Somehow, I survived allt the same.

  62. Gustopher says:


    Yesterday we went from cannibalism to mushroom risotto

    Were we growing mushrooms on the mushroom risotto?

  63. Michael Reynolds says:

    Well, of course I am down with the kids and all the latest musical trends. By which I mean that I do have one Billie Eilish song on my playlist. And no Taylor Swift. But a lot of Rolling Stones. You know, those British guys.

  64. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: My daughter built me and continually adds to it a Spotify playlist. Has music covering over 60 years. My kids like a lot of the old stuff also. It’s called “Songs to play on the porch that my Dad won’t hate”. I have to say it has a lot of contemporary music also.

  65. MarkedMan says:


    I think it is a very small group.

    Of course. The violent radicals are always a tiny fraction of any group (well, outside of a mob). I’m just wondering if the association with a group of bloodthirsty fanatics could be triggering for enough to creat a movement. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think violent individuals such as the Weather Underground or the Proud Boys have anything meaningful to do with any ideology. Most people with these tendencies end up in prison for assault, murder or other violent crimes that have nothing to do with religion or politics. But a subset seem to need some kind of “noble” justification for their actions.

  66. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon: It seems like some people want Chicago 2024 to look like Chicago 1968.

    Give people the opportunity to protest and make themselves heard, and they will do so and feel smug. It’s a little disruptive, but basically nothing. Try to crush it out of them and you risk them getting angry, spiteful and radicalized and way more disruptive.

  67. CSK says:


    I can see business school grads killing for that opportunity.

  68. Beth says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    [mad cackling ensues]

  69. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    What we have here are like campus commies in the 1920’s or 30’s before people started to realize they were supporting monsters.

    Exactly. And the absolutism of the true believers was attractive to certain violent individuals. The fact that for 99.99% the “true belief” and absolutism was jus a passing fad didn’t affect those that had glommed into the movement.

  70. Michael Reynolds says:

    There’s an absence of ideology. Communism masqueraded as a movement for equality and all other good things. It sounded great, even if in practice it was famines and gulags. But what’s the ideological unifier on the Left now? BDS? So far they don’t know what they believe, just what they don’t like. (Dead kids. Unlike the rest of us who love dead kids). I don’t think you build bombs for a somewhat more regulated capitalism, or forgiveness of student loans.

  71. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: May I recommend Bo Burnham’s song “Biden”?

    It’s very short, and mostly consists of the lines “Are they really going to make me vote for Joe Biden?” and “How is the best case scenario Joe Biden?”

    From 2020 rather than the current cycle, but oddly timeless.

  72. Mikey says:

    This morning in Trump’s trial, the first order of business was a hearing on Trump’s repeated and flagrant violations of the gag order. After failing miserably to make his case, Trump attorney Todd Blanche asserted (ridiculously) that Trump was doing his very best to comply.

    The judge’s response was “you are losing all credibility with the court.”

  73. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Another factor that shouldn’t be discounted: we were a much more violent society back then. NYC had ten times the murders they have today. Ten times! No one is certain what changed (although the evidence that it was taking lead out of gasoline seems pretty convincing to me), but for whatever reason, it did and that may change how things play out.

  74. Scott says:

    Michael Reynolds: I think back at all the trends I went through. Progressive rock (Moody Blues, ELP), hard rock (Led Zep, Ozzy), southern rock (The Outlaws, Marshall Tucker), Eagles; Souther, Hillman, Furay; Neil Young. In the 80s, I went somewhat country (Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakum) and, of course, indulged in MTV videos. Nineties were a time of children so it was House on Pooh Corner. Less and less over time. As for Taylor Swift, I started to watch the Disney Plus concert and, I have to say, after about 20 minutes I was bored and turned it off. It may be it is just me but….

  75. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Sometime during the second or third year of my chemotherapy vacation, we finally found a chemo drug that caused nearly complete hair loss. Eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, mustache, and body hair everywhere… except for the tufts growing out of my ears. I could have braided them or done a comb over.

    What came back is very different from what was there before.

  76. DrDaveT says:


    DrDaveT- I cant remember. Are you eligible for full care at the VA with 70% benefits? I sort of think you are but am not 100% sure some care is not pro-rated.

    I mostly worked on the disability adjudication process, so I’m not entirely sure. I know that at 100% you get full free care and first-in-line priority at VA facilities. I don’t think that’s true at 70%, but I’m not positive. (For those of you watching at home, 70% is the next-highest disability tier for most conditions; an overall rating of 80% or 90% is quite uncommon.)

    The nation hasn’t yet noticed, but over the last couple of decades veterans’ disability benefits have ballooned into the largest single welfare program outside of Medicare. Changes in the rules for how medical records are kept and how service connection is established mean that most veterans leave service with multiple disabilities and an overall rating that qualifies them for monthly compensation. “Benefit delivery at discharge” (BDD) means that the checks start arriving immediately. This is a radical change from how previous generations of veterans were treated, and the annual cost of benefits has grown by an order of magnitude (inflation adjusted) even as the Vietnam and earlier cohorts have been dying off the rolls.

    Historical chart at https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/4304058-how-runaway-disability-compensation-is-straining-veterans-affairs/

  77. Beth says:
  78. Scott says:

    @DrDaveT: The benefits exploded beginning in 2004 when the concurrent receipt of retirement and disability benefits began. Previously, disability benefits replaced retirement benefits one for one with the difference being disability benefits were tax free. With concurrent receipt, the beneficiary receive disability benefits in addition to retirement benefits. With this change the incentives to claim disability were greatly increased. Almost 30% of veterans have a service related disability. BTW, service related disability is not the same as a combat related disability. It can be just old age related like bad knees.

  79. SenyorDave says:

    @MarkedMan: IMO it is more than a little disingenuous to compare people who were communists back in the 20’s and 30’s with people who participate in pro-Palestinian marches. In this day and age the world is a much smaller place and we have access to information to a degree that was impossible in the 1930’s.
    We have a pretty good idea how Israel treats and has treated Palestinians since Netanyahu has been PM. From my point of view it is indefensible, and if it doesn’t meet the technical definition of apartheid it certainly seems to be moving in that direction. The protesters know what their cause is, and they believe that the facts are on their side. Obviously there are bad-faith actors out there as in any movement)
    There seems to be three major concerns about the demonstrations. One is out of legitimate concern over antisemitism and from actions coming from it. One is from students who feel uncomfortable (unfortunate, but ultimately too bad for them. Safe spaces and college do not mix well, and they shouldn’t).
    The third group, and certainly the most influential, are those who just don’t want to see pro-Palestinian marches because they support Israel 100% of the time no matter what. And they simply don’t want to hear anything negative about Israel. They use pro-Israel organizations like AIPAC and CAMERA to gin up sentiment against Muslim groups and Muslims in general. And they can rely on the Republicans and some Democrats to push back on any criticism. They have spent decades trying to ensure that there isn’t even a debate in this country about pressuring Israel to find a solution to the Palestinian issue.
    One way that the Hamas attack was successful is that there is at least a mention of a two state solution. If you type in two state solution in google trends, that term is searched for about three times more often than before the attack.
    Some people believe that since Hamas is a group of bloodthirsty, corrupt psychopaths Israel gets a pass on anything. And some people lose it to the point they openly supported genocide (just in case I get called on that, here is a post a little after Oct 7th):
    To me, there is NO two sides to this issue. I stand with Israel completely. If they want to wipe out Gaza and the West Bank, I’ll support it. I’ve been following this shit since the Munich Olympics, and I’m tired of innocent Israelis being killed, then Israel being told how they can or cannot respond to the murder of their civilians.
    Some of the college kids go in with blinders on their eyes, but I suspect a lot more know exactly why they are marching.

  80. anjin-san says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    So many protests, and so few protest songs.

    What’s Going On is as fresh & relevant today as it was over 50 years ago. This impossibly great live version is even better than the album track. I’d like to see protest songs that equal what we grew up on, but I’m not holding my breath.

    What’s Going On (live)

  81. becca says:

    @Scott: Richie Furay and Poco… Crazy Love. ❤️

  82. Kathy says:

    From Pecker’s testimony today at the Lardass trial, I wonder: wasn’t his company providing material campaign contributions to Lardass? I mean, preventing negative stories from being published, holding on to stories until after the election in some cases, etc.

    If they did, did they follow all campaign finance laws? If not, shouldn’t they be investigated for violating campaign finance laws?

  83. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott: Concurrent disability and retirement pay is a thing, but it only affects a small fraction of the veteran population, because most veterans aren’t 20-year retirees and there’s a minimum disability threshold (50%?) to claim concurrent benefits. The much bigger factor was, as you say, assessing disability eligibility as part of the separation process. Another big factor was increasing the set of “presumptive conditions” — ones where you don’t have to prove service connection. If you were in Vietnam, and you have diabetes, it is assumed that your diabetes is service-connected (Agent Orange) and you don’t have to prove exposure. That wasn’t true 20 years ago. Ditto certain cancers.

    BTW, service related disability is not the same as a combat related disability. It can be just old age related like bad knees.

    I’m well aware. Today, they basically look at your physical from when you enlisted, give you a new one when you separate, and treat the difference as service-connected. If you hurt your back playing basketball in the barracks, that’s a service-connected disability. If you developed migraines, that’s a service-connected disability. If you were diagnosed with sleep apnea — which is very common among vets — that’s a service-connected disability (and an instant 50% if you need a CPAP or equivalent).

    There’s a compounding effect here. The formula for overall level of disability was designed (in the 1940s) for people who might have at most two or three service-connected disabilities. It was never intended to deal with people with one 50% condition and a dozen 10% – 30% conditions. Such a person would be rated 90% disabled, even if they were perfectly able to work. I know people who are rated 70%, work full time, and play in a recreational softball league.

    Another issue is that the diagnostic criteria for the level of disability is based on the medicine and economy of 1950, and has not been updated since. The reason that diabetes that requires insulin injections, or sleep apnea, is an automatic 50% is because of how debilitating those conditions were back then. Anything that limits ability to do manual labor also gets a high rating, because that’s what most veterans did for a living in 1950.

    In the other direction, the schedule assumed that disability is constant and permanent. It is not well-suited to assessing how crippling twice-a-year recurrences of PTSD are.

    The whole schedule is long overdue for recalibration, but it isn’t going to happen — it’s a political third rail. Any medically accurate revision would result in a huge decrease in disability benefit payments overall, and nobody is going to vote for that.

  84. Beth says:


    I’d like to see protest songs that equal what we grew up on, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Respectfully, I suspect your frame of reference is, let’s say out of date. I’m 45 (right, I think so, anyway), you’re what 10-20 years older than me? The stuff the kids are listening to and coming up with is nothing like what we listened to. It’s radically different. I’d say it’s even different than that Brutalismus 3000 stuff I shared above.

    I agree with you that “What’s going on” is timeless and relevant, but it’s also of a certain time. If that frame of reference is an immutable standard than nothing the kids do today will meet it. It’s like comparing oranges to space shuttles.

  85. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There’s an absence of ideology.

    I’m not arguing with your central point, but I’ll pick a nit here. I believe that the bad actors are attracted to a movement based on how much it embraces absolutism, how stridently it espouses it and how much it demonizes those who disagree. Ideology is just a uniform, it doesn’t mean anything in and of itself. And that’s true whether it is a political philosophy, a religious one or even, as used to be prevalent in the UK, based on a football club.

  86. MarkedMan says:


    IMO it is more than a little disingenuous

    adjective. lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere:

    I can assure you that I meant what I said. I don’t come here to lie to people, and I think it does you no credit to throw around such accusations.

  87. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul L.: Democrats and Communists

    Thank you for noticing that there is a difference.

  88. Neil Hudelson says:


    The stuff the kids are listening to and coming up with is nothing like what we listened to.

    Yup. I’m 38, so behind you by a bit but not much. Growing up I thought rock and rap would continue to be the dominant forms of music for awhile. I was correct that rap would continue to grow (though its dominance is now starting to wane) but I would never have guessed that we were in the twilight years of rock. My DnD group chat–all of us mid to late 30s–had an extended “kids these days” rant about music recently. “Have you heard such and such band? Not my cup of tea necessarily but at least it has some guitar in it!” I told them they sounded like my grandpa complaining that all the bands today sound like they are just screaming and grunting and can’t we have some nice vocals like Perry Como or Frank Sinatra?

  89. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Heh. Whenever I get on the scale at the Dr’s office and the nurse is getting ready to read my weight, I say “It says ‘fat’.”

    I have actually lost 15 or 20 lbs in the past few months, not sure why.

  90. Mister Bluster says:

    @Modulo Myself:..iPhone

    I acquired my current and first iPhone, an SE, in November of 2022 at the local Verizon store. It runs iOS 16.1 and since I am retired from Verizon Communications (not Verizon Wireless) I get a slight discount on my monthly bill. The 400 error message from hell is the only bug(?) that has pestered me so far. If I pay attention to what I am doing and only access OTB on my laptop* maybe the bug will go away. (Am I that brain-dead to believe that? We shall see.)
    My laptop is a MacBook Air that I bought new in 2017. It runs on Sierra 10.12.6
    I use the Safari 12.1.2 and Chrome.
    When I click on Settings-About Chrome I get this message:

    To get future Google Chrome updates, you’ll need macOS 10.13 or later. This computer is using macOS 10.12. Learn more
    Version 103.0.5060.134 (Official Build) (x86_64)

    I’m not sure how urgent this message is but there is a white exclamation point inside a red dot next to it so maybe I should pay attention.

  91. MarkedMan says:

    Apropos of absolutely nothing 😉 I’ll explain why I think an analogy of the current pro-Palestinian protestors to the Western Reds of the 2o’s and 30’s is an apt one. First, it’s important that in looking across the whole of both movements, I don’t consider the comparison an insult. The vast, vast majority of those early twentieth century communists were painfully aware of a world that chewed up workers and spit them out, broken, as it they were nothing. The US government literally sent troops to intervene on behalf of the wealthy and powerful to break up strikes with clubs, fists and guns. In other words, there were real, life and death injustices they were fighting against. Raw capitalism reigned supreme and was backed with violence by the elites, and those protesting it were right to do so. They correctly recognized the injustices but, as in most human movements, the majority only had a vague understanding of the details of the philosophy they embraced, and naively assumed that anyone who stridently agreed with them must be a hero. But in reality communism was “embraced” by some of the worst humans in existence, albeit using only the trappings to excuse violently and ruthlessly consolidating personal power. And a few of those supporters were unable to distinguish between the words and the actions, and ended up with tragic farces like Jane Fonda, although correctly calling out the wrongs of the Viet Nam war and bravely using her fame to protest against it, also naively embraced a philosophy of “if we are wrong to fight, those we are fighting against must be heroes”.

    I absolutely see parallels here. Being pro-Palestinian and protesting against Israeli actions both in the current war and going back decades is the right thing to do. But thinking that makes Hamas heroes or that Hamas is good for the Palestinian people is as naïve as anything Fonda or John Reed did.

  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul L.: It was funny when they had to reverse this story.

    They got something wrong once? Wow, that is funny. You on the other hand are a laugh a minute.

  93. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Hell, I’m 63 and am very happy that 90% of what I listen to is new, at least to me. I love the old stuff but don’t need to seek it out, it’s everywhere. I think a mistake a lot of people make is looking at the “hits” of the past and comparing it to the “hits” of the present. The ones in the past are the ones with multigenerational staying power and make up a small fraction of what actually charted back in the day. Comparing the hundreds that have survived the past fifty years with the hundreds that make up any year is asymmetrical. Are there a handful with staying power? Sure. Especially when they are the songs that were around when you past the incredible first milestones of young adulthood. I’m not getting many of those at my age.

    On top of that, I find I have to give things time. I’m sure I went through a “I don’t like rap phase”, but now I’d put up Jidenna’s Long Live the Chief against anything out there.

  94. Beth says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I knew that I was officially on the wrong side of old when I heard the absolute garbage (meme music) that my son was listening to. He’s ten and I was like, “WTF are you listening to?” He just grinned. Stuff like this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA5ShB4EmCo man do I hate it.

    On the other hand, I hang out with a lot of 20ish year olds and we all listen to a lot of House and Techno. I’ve found so much awesome music just hanging out with them. Sara Landry being one of my favorite finds.

    I’m slightly surprised there isn’t much rock anymore. I haven’t really listened to any “rock” for the last 10 years. My partner is into Emo and that kinda stuff, seems like there’s a healthy vein of that. But it’s not my thing at all.

  95. anjin-san says:

    @Beth: @Beth:

    It’s like comparing oranges to space shuttles

    Or protest songs to protest songs.

    My interest in music started with my Dad’s Kingston Trio records 60 years ago. Since then, it has progressed over time, and it’s also gone backward in time; listening to “Masterpieces by Ellington”, “London Calling,” and “Choirgirl Hotel” in one afternoon sounds like time well spent to me.

    I mostly look for quality, originality, and execution. When you get that plus hopefully that magic that sometimes comes when artistic people are really on their game, well then you really have something. In any era.

  96. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But what’s the ideological unifier on the Left now?

    If we start from Wilhoit’s Law (“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.”), then the ideology uniting the disparate parts of the Left is the corresponding Anti-Conservative principle: “no one can be protected unless everyone is bound; no one can be bound unless everyone is protected”

  97. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    Snopes is biased and even they can’t push your narrative.

    You cited Snopes. Now you’re admitting your narrative about “Democrats and Communists” is unreliable, based on your cited source.

    Thanks for the admission.

  98. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..prodigious belly

    Forty years ago when I was in the middle of a 16 year live in relationship with old “what’s her name?” (we never did get married) I would stop drinking the hootch for about two weeks once or twice a year just to see if I could do it. After about a week she would say “All you have to do is stop drinking beer and you lose weight.” Apparently my beer belly would disappear! It actually pissed her off because even though she worked out regularly at the local Huff and Puff she always thought, contrary to any evidence that I could see, that she was overweight.
    Now it’s been at least 25 years since I gave up the swill altogether and you would think that I could tighten my belt another notch. I guess if I cut back on the new Chicken Bacon Rancher with aged white cheddar, and ranch dressing on Black Pepper Focaccia sandwich with a side of Macaroni and Cheese and chips at Panera I wouldn’t have to wear loose fitting XL Polo shirts. I have found that the solid black shirts are the best at hiding my paunch.

  99. DK says:


    I knew that I was officially on the wrong side of old when I heard the absolute garbage (meme music) that my son was listening to.

    Anything can be meme music, good or bad. It’s because of TikTok that today’s kids discovered Fleetwood Mac. Through Twitter they discovered Tevin Campbell. Through “Stranger Things” they discovered Kate Bush.

    We tend to think music, movies, TV etc used to be better, but it’s because the only good stuff gets passed down. All the trash (and a decent chunk of the good stuff, sadly) gets forgotten. Every era has a ton of throwaways. “Disco Duck” was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1976. Diabolical. What is that song, if not trollish meme music before memes had a name?

    The same will occur when today’s kids are the future’s olds, looking back on today’s creative output. The crap will have faded away, the cream will have risen, and the oldies but goodies will keep finding reappreciation and new audiences.

  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: I don’t drink much beer these days (he says while looking at the can of Yuengling on his desk) and I’ve given up whiskey of all types (because I like it WAY TOO MUCH) and limit myself to 2 or 3 glasses of wine pre-dinner. Every now and again my eldest offers me a glass of his latest whiskey discovery, and I am reminded why I don’t drink it any more.

    My weight topped out at 204 (working weight of 150-155) and I’m now down to 180+ (I forget what the nurse said).

  101. anjin-san says:


    I’m slightly surprised there isn’t much rock anymore

    This is an interesting take:

    Rick Betao – How Corruption and Greed Led to the Downfall of Rock Music

  102. Scott says:


    Through “Stranger Things” they discovered Kate Bush.

    Interestingly, these days it is through TV shows that I get exposure to music I’ve never heard. I keep Shazam by my side and when interesting music grabs my attention, I just press the app and find out the artist. 9 out of 10 times it is an artist I have never heard of.

  103. Michael Reynolds says:

    Not meaning to be rude and not answer many upstream comments, but I had a family thing come up that is sucking the life out of me. You’re only as happy as your least happy child. Not a big thing, just I may need to go kill some people.

  104. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Yep, you never stop worrying about your children no matter what.

  105. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I hope everything works out quickly and favorably for all of you.

  106. Erik says:

    @Paul L.: Your reminder that Paul L by his own admission is not interested in honest discourse:

    ”I don’t want to convince anyone. I want to see how people will go to defend what I see as indefensible.”

  107. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael Reynolds:..

    I hope your family has bail money and you have a good lawyer…

  108. Franklin says:

    @Mikey: I was once headed for a fancy dinner and went to shave my balding hair close. The electric clippers broke halfway through, leaving me even more hideous than usual. I had to throw on a cap, swing by the drugstore to find new clippers, and did an emergency cut in a bathroom along the way to the event. Excitement in unknown places!

  109. Grumpy realist says:

    @anjin-san: well, historically, we’ve got TONS of protest songs—heck, we’ve got protest operas!

    Try: the Marriage of Figaro
    And whatever opera that was getting performed that actually set off the revolution and downfall of the government in Belgium.

    Against that history, modern protest songs are pipsqueaks.

  110. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Finally have seen something today that triggers my rather sick sense of humor. Top link on the daily that The New Republic sends me reads:

    The Supreme Court Wants Nothing to Do With Homelessness

    Really??? No shit!

  111. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    A teaser from a different article on the same TNR daily:

    The Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments on perhaps the most consequential case on homeless policy in decades, weighing how far cities can go in criminalizing people for sleeping outside.

    And liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor kicked things off with a particularly damning hypothetical.

    Under a law punishing people for sleeping outside, would people who stargaze outside not be punished? What about people who fall asleep on the beach? Or babies in public with blankets over them?

    Sotomayor’s line of questioning in City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson highlighted the obvious flaws in the 2019 law that the court is considering. The town of Grants Pass*, which has no public homeless shelters**, effectively banned homelessness by imposing escalating fines starting at $180 on those who sleep outside. One of the original plaintiffs in the case against the city had over $5,000 in penalties before she died.

    *Roughly the same population size as Longview, WA (from whence I recently moved) and **which has several shelters.

    If Teve were still here, he’d undoubtedly reply “Shitty people doing shitty things.”

  112. DK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The way to quickly solve homelessness is guaranteed income and guranteed housing.

    We can’t do that Because Socialism.

  113. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I have found that the solid black shirts are the best at hiding my paunch.

    Personally, I find that Aloha shirts (in my case, XLT or XX) in loud patterns do an adequate job of hiding my ostomy bag, although that combined with my paunch make for at least a pony keg, if not a regular-sized one.

  114. DrDaveT says:


    The way to quickly solve homelessness is guaranteed income and guranteed housing.

    Don’t forget universal (mental) healthcare. That’s the third leg of the stool. A significant fraction of the homeless would not avail themselves of the housing, or collect the income, because they are broken. Which, of course, means that they need the help even more than the others, but our society doesn’t see it that way.

  115. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Man, I miss Teve. Also de Stijl. I fear we’ve lost him, too.

  116. Jax says:

    @DrDaveT: Sir, I would like to thank you for your posts today. They have been informative and accurate. I learned way more about the VA Healthcare system than I’ve ever learned before. I’m surprised more people don’t know this, outside of the military, themselves.

  117. Kathy says:

    At long last, the aid money bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, has been passed.

    I won’t rehash the many and varied GWP failings, even from those who did support the aims of this bill, but instead just say I hope it didn’t come too late for Ukraine.

  118. Mister Bluster says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:..

    In the fall of 2007 I was diagnosed with diverticulitis complicated by an abdominal abscess. Severe pain that I would not visit on anyone. The immediate remedy was to insert a tube into my belly to drain the abscess. The other end of the tube was inserted into a bag that was taped to my leg. I don’t remember how long I went with that arrangement but I remember visiting the clinic daily for maybe a week to empty the bag and check for infection. After the abscess cleared up the recommendation was surgery to remove a section of my intestine. One of the risks presented to me before I was cut was that I might have to have my bowel resected. Fortunately my natural waste plumbing survived the surgery and did not have to be rerouted.
    The only experience I have with rectal remediation was when I was a personal attendant for my quadriplegic friend Joe. He was a polio victim who could not walk. While he had full control over all is bodily functions unlike a spinal cord case the result of sitting in a wheelchair his entire waking hours led to extreme hemorrhoidal problems. No need to get into the details of the therapy I treated his ‘roids with other than to say it involved a lot of ice cubes.
    Working for Joe off and on for 35 years till he died doing the mundane things for him that I take for granted that I can do for myself gave me a unique appreciation of what it means to be able bodied and reasonably healthy that has stuck with me as I close in on 80. I only hope that my grey matter stays sharp along with the rest of me.

  119. just nutha says:

    @DK: We can’t do it because at large Americans are uninterested in problems that don’t affect them personally. Socialism is only the excuse we use as a distraction.

  120. Gustopher says:


    Or protest songs to protest songs.

    I can only think of one: John Wesley Harding’s “Protest, Protest, Protest.”


    A fine song about how your negativity will get you nowhere, and there’s nothing worth protesting anymore.

    (With all the music chat today, I hope de Stijl is doing well, wherever he is. Haven’t seen him around in a bit, and he very much would not want anyone to ever check on him, but I hope the dude is doing well. )

    ETA: I just noticed Jax wondering about him too. He’s always had irregular absences, and very much likes his privacy, so I don’t see any reason to assume the worst. I hope he’s just clomping around in his big boots somewhere, living life and not thinking about the internet.

  121. Mimai says:

    Re protest song, it’s a few years old now, but this is a good one.
    Jason Isbell “White Man’s World”

  122. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: He would’ve checked in after the Iowa primary, I’m certain.

  123. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: You may be right. Or he may have looked at it all, said “oh, god, not this again” and went off to do something new.

    The dude has always marched to the beat of a different drummer, and I can’t place the tune or even the time signature. You may well have a better read on him than I do.

    That said, I recently discovered that an online group I slowly drifted away from assumed that I was dead, and popped my head in to say “I’m not dead.” So that happens.

  124. Amy H says:

    @MarkedMan: 70% disability, is about $1800 a month. 100% is about $3700 per month, as well as various other non-monetary allowances. It is, indeed, a game changer.