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. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I for one got a tremendous amount of satisfaction watching that heckler rip Ron Desantis’s face off during his briefing yesterday day.

    I may have even accidentally brushed a nipple–or both

  2. Bill says:
  3. de stijl says:

    Grant Imahara from Myth Busters died.

    He was nerdy cool. I always liked him. Was into combat robotics.

  4. de stijl says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I am open to people being open about their thing.

    That may have been an overshare. 😉

  5. Bill says:
  6. de stijl says:


    State officials have to actually respond to public demand.

    If the election system crashes we are no longer a democracy. (Granting that the current system overcounts votes from less populous states by design.)

  7. Bill says:

    de stijl:

    State officials have to actually respond to public demand.

    If the election system crashes we are no longer a democracy.

    We are a republic not a democracy. I learned that in Junior High School or earlier.

    I just put up the headline. The kerfuffle over mail-in ballots doesn’t interest me (Early voting confounds me too. Why stand in line for hours when on election day you can out in minutes?) to be honest. I just wish I didn’t get the junk mail. Dear Wife and I will vote in person for Florida’s August primary.

  8. de stijl says:

    Today could see the potential comeback of Jeff Sessions. I felt that Trump treated him poorly so I feel for him, but then I remember how Sessions has behaved in the past and might again in the future. He is a loathsome actor.

    I’m positive his opponent is as bad or worse, but it would be a new person with less power to enact hateful measures.

    In a Sessions / Tuberville run-off there can be no winners.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Got a link for that? I could use a laugh…

  10. MarkedMan says:
  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jeet Heer

    This is perhaps the best fact check I’ve ever seen on twitter.

    Scott Charles

    The John Wick fantasy vs. the reality.

    Drew Grahn

    The best part is that this dude posted it himself, as a defense

  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    On a regularly traveled street in town, there are 3 consecutive houses that have had reelect you know who lawn signs for months. The signs are gone now, not sure if someone took them or the residents have had a change of heart. We’ll see if the signs reappear.

  13. de stijl says:

    There was a local homer broadcaster who used to crow “Touch ’em all, Kirby Puckett!” when dude smashed one out.

    We turned that into “Touch ’em both, Kirby Puckett!” and thought ourselves so clever.

    Around then there was a Spike Lee joint called School Daze with a song called Da Butt.

    Kirby Puckett got a big ole butt (oh yeah?)

    That man had glorious glutes, gotta say.

    We also had Bert Blyleven as the analyst so it was a fair trade.

    Before he was a Redsox, David Ortiz was a Twin. He could smash hard, but if someone was trying to pitch him close in and jam him, he would rotate his hips and take it on the cheek. HBP and trot to first, easy peasy. His HBP stat was insane.

    He may have done the same in Boston, but I only watched their big games so I cannot say.

    Big Papi got a big ole butt (oh yeah?)

  14. sam says:
  15. PJ says:
  16. de stijl says:


    What the hell was that nonsense? I swear that guy overwrote his memory of the actual event with gun nut fantasies.

    Don’t mean to sound like a defense of him. That that is his now recollection it is really damning to him. He reconstructed that into he was a good guy and a hero.

  17. Scott says:

    It is Primary Runoff elections day here in Texas. Early voting had record turnouts despite Gov Abbott not mandating mask wearing at the polling stations.

    Texas primary runoffs: Democratic enthusiasm fuels record turnout

    In spite of 90-plus degree heat and a pandemic that shows no signs of stopping, the 2020 primary runoff elections have already drawn record-high turnout across Texas during the longer-than-normal early voting period.

    Gov. Greg Abbott months ago delayed the May runoffs to July in response to the coronavirus and later added an extra week of early voting. But as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has risen more than ever before, turnout has still soared — especially among Democrats whose ballots include a heated battle for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination.

    More than 1 million Texans cast a ballot between June 29 and July 10, including more than 652,000 Democrats and more than 411,000 Republicans, according to data from the Secretary of State’s office.

    With only early votes in, the election is set to surpass overall turnout in 2012 — the last time more than 1 million voters cast ballots in a runoff — when former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz were on the GOP primary ballot.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: He reconstructed that into he was a good guy and a hero.

    People do that a lot, I’ve seen it time and again. Nobody likes to think of themselves as bad, so they start coloring the memory around the edges, just a little bit at first but eventually, it’s a whole ‘nother world.*

    Still 2 things:
    #1 he kept a news clipping about his own arrest (he musta been pretty proud of making his “suburban white boy bones”)
    #2 He posted it without even reading it, thinking it told the tale of heroism he had convinced himself was his and his alone.

    *I like to think I wouldn’t do it, but… How would I ever really know? The best I can say is that I have no problem laughing at myself and if I make a mistake, I’m not afraid to admit it. I’ve done some things in my life that a lot of people would think unsavory. Some of them I still feel I had no choice. Others… I’m not so sure. I’ve made peace with myself over them.

  19. An Interested Party says:

    We are a republic not a democracy.

    This tired cliché again…as the author of this piece makes clear, people often use this phrase simply to argue against positions they don’t like and, as the author notes, it is a lazy way to argue …

  20. Kurtz says:

    @Jim Brown 32: @de stijl:

    This is not the first time Jim Brown has referenced touching his nipples. The other I am aware of was a reference to a Bloomberg commercial. So HOT 😉

    Are they pierced? Jim, tell me they’re pierced.

    I haven’t laughed in two days. Thanks for this.

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    If the United States was a true democracy Hillary Clinton would be President since she got more votes in the election than her opponent.

  22. de stijl says:



    I choose not to judge. It ain’t my business what invokes self nipple play in other folks. 🙂

  23. de stijl says:


    When I do a dumb thing I am immediately moved to share it.

    I call people up. JoJo you would not believe how stupid I was today. People note it and josh me.

    But then again I never brandished a gun at the Tiki Hut and then followed my gf home and threatened her with deadly violence.

    Diffrent strokes.

    Guy rewrote his own history and made himself the hero when he was the villian. Or “prep”. Was he wearing madras shorts at the time?

    Mine are I left the toaster oven on for two days and did not realize. (Actual thing I did.)

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Yep. I figure if everybody else is gonna laugh at me, I might as well get in on the fun too.

    ETA I blew up my hand once, hard to explain, but every one had a good laugh at my expense. Some guys I worked with even made me a Darwin award for it.

  25. de stijl says:


    I guy I know once clamped his hand over a leaking hydraulic hose to prevent the mess from getting worse. Unfortunately, it was under pressure and he ended up injecting his hand full of fluid. He kept it, but it was quite close. His hand was black for years. It eventually faded.

    We gave him so much shit.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: clamped his hand over a leaking hydraulic hose

    Owwwwowowowowowowowoooooouch. That hurts just thinking about it. I just had to get a bunch of shrapnel removed from my hand.

    Once while brushing my teeth I knock over a glass (a glass glass) and the whole time my hand is reaching forward to try and catch it, my brain was screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….” right up to the instant the glass broke and I jammed my fingers into the falling shards. I could’ve used some stitches but was sans insurance and seeing as all the fingers still worked I reasoned I had missed all the important parts.

  27. Kylopod says:

    @An Interested Party: Steve Taylor has built up an entire library of his own pieces addressing this trope. I’ve compared the trope to the split-infinitive “rule,” in that it’s a bit of schoolroom lore that people think makes them sound smart even though it has no actual basis. Go tell a political scientist that the US isn’t a democracy but a republic. You’ll either be laughed out of the room or just get a blank stare. It’s also something with a long history of being invoked by right-wingers–as one of the commenters here pointed out to me a while back, it was a favorite talking-point of the Birchers in the ’60s. It’s essentially the ultimate all-purpose excuse to fall back on when someone points out an inequity in the American system, whether it be the Electoral College, the Senate, or gerrymandering, none of which actually have much to do with the republic vs. democracy distinction anyway. (I’ve even seen a claim that if the US were to abolish the Electoral College and go to a national popular vote, that would mean it would be embracing “direct democracy,” which is a laughable claim–France, Brazil, South Korea, and numerous other countries elect their presidents by popular vote, and that sure as hell doesn’t make any of them “direct democracies.”) The American design of government isn’t some idealized conception of the proper balance of power between the masses and the elites; it was created through a messy process that involved many compromises and which ended up functioning in many ways completely unlike the Framers envisioned. It was also the first small-d democracy in the modern world, so the Framers didn’t have any other examples to compare it against–which further reveals how silly it is to assume what they came up with is some kind of ideal compared to the many democratic systems that were to follow.

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: TheRepublic not a Democracy thing is an expression of conservative psychology. A Democracy is ruled by the mob, those people, the takers. A Republic is ruled by the best people, people like me.

  29. @Kylopod:

    The American design of government isn’t some idealized conception of the proper balance of power between the masses and the elites; it was created through a messy process that involved many compromises and which ended up functioning in many ways completely unlike the Framers envisioned.

    Amen and amen.

  30. Kathy says:

    I want ot note one thing that is really good about this comment section.

    Sometimes I forget to fill in the name and email boxes, then go on and type a long comment with multiple quotes and even a link or two. When that happens, the system preserves the post and one only need fill in the boxes. Most other comment/posting systems in my experience will lose the comment/post. So this is a very nice feature to have.

  31. CSK says:

    That’s interesting. If I do that–forget to fill in the name and email boxes–and click on “post,” I lose the entire post.

  32. Kathy says:


    That’s odd. I thought it was universal.

    I use Chrome on Windows 10. It works equally at home and at work.

  33. EddieInCA says:


    Are they pierced? Jim, tell me they’re pierced.

    Dude. You made it weird.

  34. grumpy realist says:

    another nitwit.

    If you follow through to the original newspaper article, there’s a nice rundown of some of the crazier conspiracy theories out there about COVID masks and guns. Can’t figure out whether these are due to Russian trolls or bored 4chan idiots. Hey, might as well come up with a really stupid internet rumour to amuse myself….

  35. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: I get a complaint as well, not a loss.

  36. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Stupidest thing I ever did, no question, was slice a lime while I held it in my hand. I sliced clear to the index finger of my left hand, luckily not deep. Decades later, you can still clearly see a line where the knife went through.

  37. de stijl says:


    No, Kurtz made it interesting.

  38. CSK says:

    I think the post is retained on Chrome and Firefox. That’s not the case with Edge.
    @grumpy realist:
    Not sure what you mean.

  39. de stijl says:


    I totally get why he did it. It is instinctual. If you drop something you grab it. 99 times out of a hundred it is the proper response. If a chef’s knife, definitely a poor decision as I can attest.

    It was spewing liquid all over his shop. Stop doing that! his brain screamed.

    Unfortunately the psi of the hydraulic fluid was greater than the surface tension of his skin could withstand. Physics then happened. It actually squirted through his hand and he got a wound on the back of his hand before his brain caught up and said “Abort abort abort! Withdraw! Bad engagement!”

    He clamped it for a few seconds at most.

    At the time it was brutal. Later it was hilarious.

  40. de stijl says:


    Cut the tip off my left thumb while trying to slice an onion.

  41. Sleeping Dog says:


    Works for me like it does for Kathy. Maybe they’re trying to tell you something CSK 🙂

  42. Mister Bluster says:

    Safari notes that I have not filled in Name and Email and preserves my prose.

  43. senyordave says:

    It is getting so tiring to wake up every morning and see a barrage of ridiculous news concerning Trump and his associates. We need to replace Trump, and I nominate Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. In case you’ve never seen him in action, here’s a link:

    And here’s his cabinet (and I would take his Sec of Ed over DeVos any day):

  44. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl: @EddieInCA:

    Not mutually exclusive.

  45. de stijl says:


    It allows you to reconsider. It erased my comment. What do I say now?

  46. Kathy says:


    Camacho is too smart to pull a Trump.

  47. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:


  48. de stijl says:


    Does it contain electrolytes?

  49. de stijl says:

    Years later I was replaying Fallout 3 and picking up paper money from containers and I just sort of started saying “I like money” a la Dax Shepherd in Idiocracy. Obsessively. Money is great because it is weight free. Per value to weight ratio way better than cigs.

    I cheekily tweeted at him with that and he oddly tweeted back saying he says it too much too irl.

    That was pretty cool.

    Shepherd got his leg up on Ashton Kutcher’s prank show Punk’d. Now he is married to super bae the glorious Ms. Kristen Bell. I so hate him.

  50. de stijl says:


    It bled like a mother.

  51. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Maybe I hexed you. 😀

  52. Jen says:

    The Trump Administration today launched an advertising initiative aimed at people who are unemployed or “unhappy in their jobs.” Ivanka is leading the charge, which, no joke, is titled “Find Something New.”

    You don’t have a job because Trump’s covid-19 response was an utter failure and epic disaster? No worries! Just “Find Something New”!

    These people are beyond caricature at this point. Check out the trending #findsomethingnew hashtag on Twitter to see how America is reacting to this gem of an ad campaign.

  53. CSK says:

    I can’t seem to find the Twitter reaction to this idiocy at the #findsomethingnew link you provided.

  54. Sleeping Dog says:
  55. de stijl says:

    Here is something new. Don’t employ your daughter or son in law as senior advisors.

    A. Really bad at their jobs.
    2. It is really unseemly.

  56. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    Cut the tip off my left thumb while trying to slice an onion.

    You are Sylvia Plath, and I claim my five pounds.

  57. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Not expecting an actual squirrel. Nice double fake.

    Anyone who says dogs do not understand words is nuts. You can point and say “Squirrel!” and they just tear over and look for a tender scrap to bite.

    They hate squirrels so much! Never catch ’em. Not even close. That’s half the fun.

  58. Matt says:

    @Kathy: All my firefox installs keep whatever I’ve typed out when I forget to put in the username/email.

  59. de stijl says:


    Holy crap! That was cool as fucking fuck!

    She was before me in the timeline, but I tried to to adhere the flappy bit hanging by a tendril of skin back to my thumb. If I mashed it tight enough it might reattach.

    That does not work, by the way. It stinks after three days.

    Oh My Homunculus!

    Why does she speak in a semi-quasi-English accent? That is odd.

  60. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kurtz: Not pierced…yet. If they were I dont think Id make it through a meeting with a straightface because Im a fidgeter…. And Id absolute not make it through a Zoom meeting

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: the google is my friend:


  62. Kurtz says:


    Click trending at the top of the homepage. It’s somewhere toward the top.

    While you’re at it…

  63. Jen says:

    @CSK: Ah, bummer. I’d linked to the trending hashtag and it must refresh, rather than being a permalink.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thanks! That’s the ticket.

  64. CSK says:

    So…any word from Tim Murtaugh on when the postponed Portsmouth will take place? Weren’t we told it would be delayed a week or two? Don’t some advance arrangements have to be made for these? I mean, you can’t just throw them on the spur of the moment, can you?

    The number one requirement for being a Trump worshiper is a complete lack of memory.

  65. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Thought that it would be fun.

    One of my dogs caught a squirrel. He was young then with lots of spring in his legs, the squirrel made it to the tree, but didn’t climb high enough. Pooch went up and got him by the tail and unlike the proverbial car, he knew just what to do, one good shake and dead squirrel. Another time he ran down a rabbit and brought it back to show me. He never caught a bird, as hard as he tried.

  66. de stijl says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Dude, you fucking slaying me.

    This has been a fun thread. Heartily approve.

  67. CSK says:

    The Google didn’t work for me. But thanks.
    Good God.
    What happened to all those millions and millions of jobs Trump said Ivanka created?????

  68. Kurtz says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Humor in dark times. Thanks, bud.

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I have 2 rescues: A black Lab and a Beagle/Spaniel mix. When he was young, All I’d have to do is look at the door and calmly say, “Squirrel.” and the Lab would be at the door bouncing around and as soon as it opened… GONE! Not that he ever caught one.

    The B/S mix? He couldn’t care less about squirrels. Rabbits are his game. Once he catches a scent it’s Sayonara baby. He’ll be on it for a half hour at least, baying the whole way. Tho he did catch a young woodchuck once that I had to finish off.

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I said google was my friend. He tells me you suck.

  71. Monala says:

    @Kathy: It works that way for me, too.

  72. CSK says:

    Google just wants you to think that because he feels sorry for you.

  73. de stijl says:

    Terry Crews seems like a really cool human.

    Plus he can do the pecs thing.

  74. sam says:
  75. Mister Bluster says:

    I’m not sure if I was even 10 years old so this was in the ’50s. My dad took me to Red Wing Stadium to see Rochester play some International League rival.
    I couldn’t wait till between innings to go to the bathroom so he sent me alone so he could watch the game which wasn’t a big deal in those days.
    I was in a hurry and somehow managed to catch the tip of my little pecker in the zipper of my pants as I pulled it up. As young as I was I quickly figured out the only way to get it out of there was to unzip. Yikes! Talk about the double hurt!
    You would think that this would be something that a guy would only do once.
    Yeah…sure! OUCH!
    Don’t remember the when the second time was but some how I managed to do it again…

  76. Jen says:

    @de stijl: It’s called the Mid-Atlantic accent, and it’s kind of fascinating.

  77. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    That give-it-a-good-shake-to-break-its-neck move seems to be instinctive with dogs. Once I tossed my dog an old leather wallet I’d just emptied. Sure enough, she gave it a good shake to kill it and then settled down to rip it apart.

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Funny, that’s just what my wife says.

  79. Kurtz says:


    This site is endlessly fascinating. The map is detailed and splits the various dialects of English by pronunciation paaterns.

  80. OzarkHillbilly says:
  81. Kylopod says:


    It’s called the Mid-Atlantic accent, and it’s kind of fascinating.

    I prefer the term trans-Atlantic accent. “Mid-Atlantic accent” is a little confusing because the “Mid-Atlantic” is also used as a general term for the non-New England Northeast. (The Census defines the Mid-Atlantic as the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Delaware and Maryland are often included in the definition, and occasionally even Virginia is.) So a “Mid-Atlantic accent” might refer to how people from Maryland, Penn., or Jersey sound, which is quite different from the quasi-British accent you see in very old movies.

  82. Sleeping Dog says:


    This dog I had when I was a kid, he was a Brittany-English Spaniel mix and he’d chase anything, cars included. The housing development that I grew up in ended about 5 houses beyond us a fallow field, some juvenile woods, a river, ponds and marshes. Boy did he flush birds, he didn’t really point, just stopped for a beat and then into the bush. He once saw a frog jump off a bank and into the water he went after it.


    It is instinctive, though my wife’s pug checks to see if it is edible before shaking.

  83. Kathy says:


    It does seem like a modern version of “Let them eat cake.”

  84. CSK says:

    She is clearly an intelligent woman.

  85. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Your wife’s pug is refined. Most dogs I’ve known will rip apart any object just for the thrill of savaging it.

  86. Kathy says:


    My little Emm would shake her plush toys before chewing on them. She never shook the rubber balls she also liked to chase and chew on, though.

    When I played with her in the backyard, sometimes I’d kick a soccer ball, gently, downfield. She’d chase it, get in front of it, stop it with her forelegs, and then tried to chew it.The ball was almost as big as she was.

  87. CSK says:

    I think the plush and rubber toys vaguely resemble living creatures, so the dogs figure why not give them a shake just to make sure they’re dead.

    Breaking news: Ghislaine Maxwell has pled “not guilty,” surprise, surprise. Her trial will begin July 12, 2021.

  88. de stijl says:


    Katherine Hepburn

  89. Mister Bluster says:


    I am sitting in the Panera trying not to laugh out loud…
    Ben Stiller, Markie Post, Elliot, Silverman…I don’t know why I haven’t seen that movie yet…

  90. Mister Bluster says:

    Please release me from moderation.
    Must be an error in eMail address or name.

  91. de stijl says:


    That is cool. Thanks!

  92. Kathy says:


    Sometimes when she came to my room, I’d give her a toy and she’d just sniff it, lick it, and then ignore it. Often, not always, I’d offer it to her again, but using it to mask my mouth. then I’d growl and bark. Her ears would perk up, which I think indicated surprise, and she’d jump at the toy, grab it, shake it, and chew it.

    So there’s that.

  93. CSK says:

    To quote the late Robert B. Parker: “Dogs are very mysterious and often do things I don’t understand.”

  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I don’t know why you’d say that. After all, she married me.

  95. Kathy says:


    I sometimes wonder what dogs make of us.

  96. de stijl says:


    Dogs are awesome.

    Kinda stupid, yes. But overall very good boys and girls.

    There is no thing more heartening than coming home and doggo attacks you with “I missed you sooo much” jumps and butt waggles. The world is instantly better.

  97. Bill says:

    @An Interested Party:

    This tired cliché again

    No, the tired truth. The people elect someone to represent themselves. Not the definition of a democracy.

    Tired truth or conventional wisdom is too often the refuge of bullsh@@. Like churches pay no taxes, the new millennium started on Jan 1 2000, sporting events or any activity hitting a milestone anniversary (say 50) in the year that it is actually the 50th version of it and the 49th anniversary. Etc etc

    Too much dumbing down and what do you get? President Donald Trump.

    PS- To those of us born in the United States, I think most of you have said these words “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and for the Republic for which it stands…..”

  98. de stijl says:


    They think us large and stupid. We utterly ignore so many intoxicating odors. They forgive us when we cuddle.

    Cats, on the other hand…

  99. Kathy says:

    Here’s an idea. At protests against racism and white supremacy, people ought to burn confederate flags.

    Partly because it seems the Confederate States of America need to understand they lost the war. But mostly to see who react and how. Will some moron, say Trump, call it unpatriotic? Will people be accused of erasing history?

  100. Bill says:


    TheRepublic not a Democracy thing is an expression of conservative psychology.

    A saying that is a favorite of mine-

    All generalizations are false. Including this one.

  101. CSK says:

    There’s a science fiction story somewhere about a group of aliens who visit the earth, and bring along their version of the village idiot. The idiot finds that he can read the minds of earth dogs, and he discovers that dogs actually run the planet, and are engaged in a giant canine conspiracy to keep this from humans. Dogs know that if they act cute and wag their tails, they can get humans to feed them, shelter them, and care for them.

    I may be remembering this wrong. It was a long time ago.

  102. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    What happened to all those millions and millions of jobs Trump said Ivanka created?????

    As far as I’ve been able to tell, they’re still in Bangladesh and China. It’s about the only stable condition during this whole administration.

  103. CSK says:

    Like Mr. Google, she took pity on you.

  104. Kylopod says:



    TheRepublic not a Democracy thing is an expression of conservative psychology.

    A saying that is a favorite of mine-

    All generalizations are false. Including this one.

    Note that I did not say the “Republic not Democracy” thing was intrinsically a conservative claim. I just said a lot of conservatives have used the claim. But whoever uses it, it’s still false–and I urge you to read the links we’ve provided instead of just flippantly dismissing the criticisms.

  105. Kathy says:


    It sounds a bit like Clifford Simak’s style. He liked using dogs in stories, as characters. In some they gain the ability to speak and have dialogue and all.

  106. Bill says:


    But whoever uses it, it’s still false–and I urge you to read the links we’ve provided instead of just flippantly dismissing the criticisms.

    They have an opinion, so do I.

    Don’t forget something, if the founders of this country were forming a democracy, we wouldn’t have the Electoral College.

    And calling me flippant. I don’t think that term was used towards me when I have said multiple times here ‘Florida- rob $100 at 7-11, get 10 years in jail. Rob the federal government of a billion dollars, get elected Governor and Senator.’ Dumbing down of America as I said.

  107. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Whatever her reasons for allowing me to stay, I am grateful and I pray every night that on the morrow she doesn’t wise up. 😉

  108. CSK says:

    It probably was a story by Simak. Thanks.

  109. Michael Reynolds says:

    Biden up by 10 in Florida.

  110. grumpy realist says:

    @Sleeping Dog: My dog was into rabbits. Never caught any, but boy did he like to chase them.

    My cat, on the other hand…his thing was mice (of course) and birds. You’d think “oooh, poor birdie getting jumped on by evil cat hiding in bushes.” Nope. It was “large grey 15 lb cat sitting under birdfeeder licking his chops and obvious as hell, bird comes down, he reaches up….and bye-bye birdie.”

    I stopped feeling sorry for the birds after watching him a few times. There’s “vulnerable”, and then there’s a reason for the term “bird-brain”.

  111. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    And Trump has reversed his decision not to admit foreign students who are studying remotely. He’s really giving up. If he doesn’t get his big party in Jacksonville, he may bail.

  112. inhumans99 says:

    So this story I am talking about is a day or two old from Politico but they noted that DeVos, the same woman who is practically screaming that schools must open in the fall, decided to meet with some Federalist Society members for a meeting or something like that instead of you know, actually hunkering down with Pelosi, McConnell, and other top Congressional members to hash out how they can help schools re-open safely, and work out a stimulus deal that gives the school districts the funds they need.

    It is almost like she is just saying reopen the schools to make her boss happy because she sure as heck is not acting like someone who is actively engaged behind the scenes to make school re-openings in the Fall a reality.

    Also, I think someone in this thread already brought it up, but Israel is not very happy with how things shook out after they opened up their schools, so maybe someone from Israel will make sure that Trump gets the memo that if he forces a mass re-opening of schools but it goes pear shaped that he and many other members of Congress might not even be able to get elected dog-catcher when this Nov. rolls around.

    The sad thing is that it might take the myth of schools being a safe space for kids to go back too being shattered into pieces for the GOP to start to remove their head from where the sun does not shine and take things seriously.

    Or, all of the pearl clutching over schools is overwrought on my part and Trump gets the victory he is looking for with this issue. It is quite the gamble to go forward with forced reopenings but heck, our President likes to gamble, he even opened his own casino, so the question I have for him and the GOP is do they want to take the bet that opening schools will be a winning issue for them come election time. I think the answer is not as cut and dried as some folks might think it is, but they do have to ask themselves do I feel lucky.

  113. inhumans99 says:

    Sorry to spam with posts but too late to edit my last post. James, you must be groaning at the news that Trump is going to appoint Sebastian Gorka to the National Security Education position.

    Seriously, it is like Republicans no longer give a flying fig about the security or image of the United States. Straight up racists are being given positions…I do not know how to digest this, maybe this is Trump realizing he is on his way out so he decides, screw it…I am going to appoint anyone I want and let the next guy sort it all out. Put it this way, I do not see Biden actually listening to anything that Gorka has to say even if he cannot force him out of his position on the NSE board, which I guess might minimize any impact Gorka has on the NSE board.

  114. DrDaveT says:


    Don’t forget something, if the founders of this country were forming a democracy, we wouldn’t have the Electoral College.

    By your definition of “democracy”, there has never been one in human history. By the definition of “democracy” that political scientists and political philosophers have used for centuries, the US is a democracy.

    But please, by all means, continue to argue that “a moot point” must really mean a point to be debated, because etymology.

  115. CSK says:

    I think your belief that Trump realizes he’s on his way out, so he’ll do whatever he pleases is correct. It’s as if he’s saying “the hell with everything.” At this point, Gorka is the best Trump can do. Who else would work for him?

  116. Bill says:


    And Trump has reversed his decision not to admit foreign students who are studying remotely.

    Anyone who thinks this is something new, should read this.

  117. Michael Cain says:

    @Kurtz: I grew up in a small part of the western Midwest that was — back then — considered free of local accents. The networks all trained their newscasters to speak that way. I was disturbingly old before I realized that there were actual people who spoke with those funny regional accents actors used on TV…

  118. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: My sister brought home a snow white cat. A stone deaf snow white cat*. It liked the furniture a little too much, so my mother said if the cat stays, the foreclaws have to go. And away they went. A stone deaf, snow white cat, without foreclaws. To keep it safe, and close to home, if it went outside it was on a tether. It killed birds. A snow white, stone deaf, declawed cat on a tether was killing the birds. My mother liked her backyard birds. So she put a bell on it’s collar. And this stone deaf, snow white, declawed cat on a tether with a bell on it’s collar… Killed birds.

    “Stupid birds.” was all my mother said.

    * I read/heard somewhere that all all white cats are stone deaf. I have no idea if this is true and not near enuf curiosity to google it.

  119. Kathy says:

    Breaking news, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized.

    It doesn’t seem serious, but in a person her age “serious” can be just about anything.

    My nightmare scenario for this year, is that a liberal Justice passes away, letting El PITO appoint, and the GOP Senate swiftly confirm, another Supreme Court Justice.

    I would lay money that a lame duck trump even with a lame duck Senate, would try to appoint a justice, given an opening of any kind, even a day short of Biden’s inauguration.

    So I hope nothing opens up.

  120. de stijl says:


    Hopefully this job doesn’t require security clearance. Gorka couldn’t get one last time. I very much wonder why.

  121. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: Thanx for the chuckle. Can always use another.

  122. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: At this point, every one’s scared.

  123. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: A few years back I got exasperated about the number of web pages I encountered that made you want to find the designer and ask, “Did you study ugly and unreadable, or are you just naturally gifted?” So I wrote a chunk of Javascript that runs against almost every page I download and changes fonts, sizes, text contrast and some other style stuff to provide a consistent appearance I find pleasing. Combined with an ad blocker and a paywall bypass plugin, the web that I see appears very different than the web that, for example, my wife experiences. A few months back I added a small bit of code so that on sites where I comment somewhat regularly, it looks for the name and email input boxes and fills them in for me. At least on those sites, I can’t forget and leave them blank.

  124. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: Braggart. 😉

  125. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It has become a personal moral crusade. My side of the crusade is, “I will choose what software runs on my computers, what data it downloads, and to the extent necessary, how that data is presented.” The other side in this crusade are the people (including corporate “people”) who say, “Shut up and consume what we shovel at you.” How serious am I about it? I learned f**king Javascript, didn’t I?

  126. Kathy says:

    This is small fry, but too good to pass up:

    Voter fraud found!

    By a Republican Congressman running for reelection.

  127. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I think that is sometimes called Northern American English or General American English.

  128. An Interested Party says:

    No, the tired truth. The people elect someone to represent themselves. Not the definition of a democracy.

    Oh sweetie…let’s look at the definition of democracy, shall we?

    Definition of democracy
    1a: government by the people
    especially : rule of the majority
    b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
    2: a political unit that has a democratic government
    3capitalized : the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the U.S.
    from emancipation Republicanism to New Deal Democracy
    — C. M. Roberts
    4: the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
    5: the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges

    Looks like, per meaning b, we are a democracy…I do wonder, though, about these people who use the phrase “we’re a republic, not a democracy”, what is the point they are trying to make?

    Too much dumbing down and what do you get? President Donald Trump.

    Indeed…like arguing that we are a republic and not a democracy, when we obviously have elements of both…

  129. DrDaveT says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I do wonder, though, about these people who use the phrase “we’re a republic, not a democracy”, what is the point they are trying to make?

    That while people like them are not a majority, they are nevertheless the ones who matter most.

  130. @Bill:

    Don’t forget something, if the founders of this country were forming a democracy, we wouldn’t have the Electoral College.

    The EC is more democratic than monarchy, it just fails to be as democratic as it ought to be.

    Regardless, I deal very directly with the Framers in some of the links provided above.

    And it is true that the Framers installed some limitation on representative government.

    However, 1) that doesn’t make the “we’re a republic, not a democracy” claim make sense, nor does it mean 2) that we have to accept the Framers’ conception of democracy.

    After all, they believed in denying women the vote, requiring property tests for free males to vote, and allowed chattel slavery.

  131. Michael Cain says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Too few people appreciate the difference between what “enlightenment values” were in 1776, and what they are in 2020.

  132. Kurtz says:


    I’ve even seen a claim that if the US were to abolish the Electoral College and go to a national popular vote, that would mean it would be embracing “direct democracy,”

    Wait, somebody said this? They were serious?

  133. Gustopher says:


    I would lay money that a lame duck trump even with a lame duck Senate, would try to appoint a justice, given an opening of any kind, even a day short of Biden’s inauguration.

    Well, you might only have to worry until January 3rd. That’s when the new Senate gets sworn in.

    I would be very amused if there is a Democratic senate on a January 4th if RBG just quit. With an impotent lame-duck Trump unable to get a nomination to the floor.

  134. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    Holy crap! That was cool as fucking fuck!

    Glad you liked it. I fell in love with that one the first time I read it, almost 40 years ago. I still think that’s one of the great opening lines of all time: “What a thrill! My thumb instead of an onion…”

  135. Jax says:

    I….ALMOST….feel bad for Jeff Sessions. He lost to Tuberville. Are we sure Doug Jones is toast?

    Gonna go check Vegas odds now….

  136. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: According to Cortana, white cats are no more likely to be deaf than any other color, but people still believe that they are all deaf. Another urban legend blasted to bits by the interwebs.

  137. james hunt says:

    @Sleeping Dog: If we do not re-elect Trump, Biden and the rest of the stupid liberal will destroy America!!! GO TRUMP 4 MORE YEARS, then Don Jr. for 8 , then the first woman President Lara for 8 then Barron for 8 that takes us to 2048 to keep LAW ORDER, Strong Boarders, Strong Economy, getting rid of welfare as we know it and making people work, make fathers responsible for their children and not the tax payer, American made and the hell with China and the rest of the world, CRUSHING Ativa, BLM, KKK, Black Panthers, unruly protest, KEEPING OUR GREAT HISTORY , Bible as a guide line for out country!! Law and order,strong POLICE FORCE, DEATH PENALTY BROUGHT BACK and put on PAY FOR VIEW! Destroying Socialism!Bringing GOD back into our schools, government and STANDING FOR THE FLAG AND KNEELING FOR THE CROSS! TAX PAYER ABORTION ABOLISHED! GO TRUMP!!!!!

  138. DrDaveT says:

    @james hunt:

    Strong Boarders

    I am very much in favor of strong boarders. In addition to paying rent, they can help out with heavy lifting around the house.

    (Now I need to power down so I can wipe the spittle off the inside of my screen…)

  139. @james hunt: This comment is an excellent illustration of Poe’s Law.

  140. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @james hunt: Get a job.