Wednesday’s Forum

Here to relive your darkest moments.

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. Scott says:

    West Point’s Class of 86 Finest:

    Esper on Trump church photo-op: I thought we were going to ‘talk to the troops’

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he was given no notice before President Donald Trump led him and other senior administration officials to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a widely criticized photo opportunity.

    “I thought I was going to do two things: to see some damage and to talk to the troops,” Esper said Tuesday night in an exclusive interview with NBC News.

    Esper said he believed they were going to observe the vandalized bathroom in Lafayette Square, which is near the church.

    So weak.

    Goldfein: ‘Every American should be outraged’ at police conduct in death of George Floyd

    Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein denounced the death of George Floyd and the conduct of the Minneapolis police who killed him in a strongly-worded memo Monday night.

    In the memo, distributed to Goldfein’s wing commanders and other commanders and obtained by Air Force Times, Goldfein called Floyd’s death “a national tragedy.

    “Every American should be outraged that the conduct exhibited by police in Minneapolis can still happen in 2020,” Goldfein said.

    Goldfein’s memo was sent hours after his top enlisted advisor, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright, who is black, posted a lengthy Twitter thread about the deaths of black men at the hands of police that declared, “I am George Floyd.”

    Goldfein’s follow-up memo said that Americans have to confront the awful reality of racism — and acknowledge that it also exists in the Air Force.

    “Sometimes it’s explicit, sometimes it’s subtle, but we are not immune to the spectrum of racial prejudice, systemic discrimination and unconscious bias,” Goldfein wrote. “We see this in the apparent inequity in our application of military justice. We will not shy away from this; as leaders and as airmen we will own our part and confront it head on.”

    Good for Gen Goldfein to speak out.

    Guard troops in DC say they want to ‘give people the opportunity to express their First Amendment rights’

    Hours after the sometimes chaotic protesting died down, two soldiers with the D.C. National Guard kept watch at the mostly calm corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street N.W.

    It was about 11:30 p.m. at the midpoint between the White House and the Capitol building and Staff Sgt. Jeremy French and Pfc. Rich Lynch were stationed to make sure no vehicles headed northwest on Pennsylvania Ave.

    They were part of the largest domestic mobilization of Guard troops in the nation’s history, with more than 17,000 activated for civil unrest duties and about 45,000 more to help with the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The D.C. troops were armed only with defensive weapons, Guard officials said. Rubber bullets, shields and batons. They were not assigned to arrest or detain anyone, and the use of proportional force was only allowed if their lives were endangered.

    “It kind of makes sense to me that they would chose Washington, D.C., to come and be heard,” French said of the thousands of people who flooded into town to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who prosecutors say was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer who had his knee on a restrained Floyd’s throat.

    “That’s because right there in the background is the U.S. Capitol,” said French, nodding his head toward the gleaming domed structure four blocks to the southeast. “Those are the people who make the laws. So if you had something you wanted to be able to have your voice heard about, to make an impact and maybe change, that would be the place to do it. So I think this is the appropriate place to be heard.”

  2. Scott says:

    Former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff:

    Adm Mike Mullen

    I Cannot Remain Silent

    Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.

    It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent.

    Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    How Sister Act II: Back in the Habit became a classic musical:

  4. Teve says:

    Given all the footage of uniformed psychos, Cops vs Protesters might have the opposite effect some people think.

  5. Teve says:

    “There is no such thing as rock bottom for Trump. Assume the worst is yet to come.” -George Will

  6. MarkedMan says:

    Here’s Amber Ruffin of the Seth Meyers show describing an incident with the Chicago Police some years back. The cop involved matches exactly the CPD cops I knew (friend’s fathers) back in the 70’s. Nothing changes.

  7. Matt says:

    @MarkedMan: Chicago cops are well known to the locals to be corrupt assholes that you try to avoid attracting the attention of at all costs even if you’re a well off white person.

  8. charon says:


    The worst will never come. He always can and will get worse.

    Charlotte might be thinking of Chicago 1968 and wondering how much they really want the RNC Convention anyway.

  9. CSK says:

    Some of us having been making this identical observation since 2015, haven’t we?

  10. Teve says:
  11. Teve says:

    @charon: @CSK: I forget which Republican said ‘We can’t nominate Trump. If we nominate Trump that’ll prove everything that the liberals always said about us is true.’

  12. CSK says:

    That may be an apocryphal saying. But once upon a time Lindsey Graham said, “If we nominate Trump, we will be destroyed. And we will deserve it.”

  13. Kathy says:


    If the GOP wanted a banana republic in America, they could have picked a better tin-pot dictator.

  14. sam says:

    Dallas Police asked public for videos of protesters—it didn’t go well

    Apparently, the app site got flooded with K-pop videos. Reminds me of an old Billy Wilder comedy, One Two Three, with James Cagney and Horst Buckholz. The Buckholz character is tortured by the East German police (the action takes place in the then-divided Berlin). The torture consists in forcing him to listen hours of “Itsy-Bisty Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” played on an offkilter 45 record. He’s reduced to pablum.

  15. Jen says:

    @sam: I remember that movie! It was funny–I do wonder sometimes if the humor would hold up over time. There have been times when I’ve said to my husband, oh, we HAVE to watch [whatever old movie] and either my sense of humor has changed, or the times have, and I barely chuckle when in my mind I remember being reduced to tears I was laughing so hard…

    With older films, it’s usually some sexist stereotypes that get under my skin now (paging Bond, James Bond…).

  16. charon says:

    Senator Warren:

    AG William Barr reportedly ordered law enforcement to clear Lafayette Square for Trump’s photo-op himself. He should resign. And
    should investigate the role that AG Barr &
    personnel played in this ugly propaganda event.

    A whole thread more at the link.

    My thought is LEO misconduct will be a big issue this election year.

    Warren and her husband were talking to protesters at the White House at the same time Trump was doing the St. John’s photo op.

  17. charon says:
  18. Scott says:

    I had th same reaction when I watched the John Wayne film McClintock!. I remember it as being pretty funny as a broad western farce with Maureen O’Hara and Stephanie Powers. So it popped up and I watched it. And parts of it were funny. But it had not one but two scenes where the the two women were spanked for whatever actions. It was very loosely modeled after Taming of the Shrew but that was an OMG “Did that just happen?” moment.

  19. Michael Cain says:

    It may be fascinating to watch the states where the Republicans might try to move their convention. For example, Gov. Kemp in Georgia has said they would love to have it. Mayor Bottoms of Atlanta has said that the city’s reopening plan does not presently include allowing any large events in August. Almost certainly there is nowhere else in Georgia with the necessary convention and hotel space. What’s the governor going to do? Occupy the city? It strikes me that not even the RNC is dumb enough to run a convention on those terms.

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    Note to Supreme Leader and Chairman of the Republican Sex Workers Party
    Kim Jong-Trump:

    This Constitution*, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;..

    (*Not your Holy Book)

  21. CSK says:

    Oh, Lawd. On Brian Kilmeade’s show, Trump vigorously disputed the idea that he retreated to the bunker for his own safety. He says, instead, that the Secret Service suggested that he might want to take a look at it in case he ever needed it. Uh-huh. Suuuurrre they did.

    The sad thing is that Cult45 will seize on this bullshit with enormous relief as proof that Trump is The Bravest President Evah.

  22. sam says:

    @Michael Cain:

    He could try Nuremberg. They have experience with those kinds of things.

  23. Bill says:


    I had th same reaction when I watched the John Wayne film McClintock!. I remember it as being pretty funny as a broad western farce with Maureen O’Hara and Stephanie Powers. So it popped up and I watched it. And parts of it were funny. But it had not one but two scenes where the the two women were spanked for whatever actions.

    A deeply misogynistic movie which some people consider a classic is Zorba the Greek. What happens to the two main characters is appalling and the reactions of Zorba and the Alan Bates character just as bad.

  24. Mike in Arlington says:

    The Mount Vernon Police Tapes: In Secretly Recorded Phone Calls, Officers Say Innocent People Were Framed

    I saw this on Elie Mystal’s twitter, and thought there might be some interest in this article here.

  25. Sleeping Dog says:

    Bad political ad placement

    The other night I was surfing around YouTube, looking for an old concert video to watch, found one and started it. Of course it was preceded by an ad, this time for Trump, featuring his moronic daughter-in-law Lara. As I clicked the thumbs down button I giggled for about the few pennies the Trump campaign wasted on that ad placement. The video a 10 year old concert by Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.

  26. Stormy Dragon says:


    C.R. MacNamara : Cigarette? Cigar?
    Peripetchikoff : Here, take one of these.
    C.R. Macnamara : Thanks. Hm, ‘Made in Havana’.
    Peripetchikoff : We have trade agreement with Cuba. They send us cigars, we send them rockets.
    C.R. Macnamara : Good thinking.
    C.R. MacNamara : You know something? You guys got cheated. This is a pretty crummy cigar.
    Peripetchikoff : Do not worry. We send them pretty crummy rockets.

  27. de stijl says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Not just framed but beaten too.

    It’s like a pattern or something.

  28. charon says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Kemp may believe it safe to curry favor with the MAGA and Trump because he thinks it will never happen anyway.

  29. Kathy says:


    That would be perfect. Next year we could hold the trials there.

  30. de stijl says:


    1968 was a bad year. I hope 2020 remains a really bad year and not go to 1968 depths.

    Future historians will write about this year. Hopefully as a transition to a better America.

  31. de stijl says:

    I predict the Rebublican National Convention will be held on a cruise ship just inside terretorial waters.

  32. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Trump seems to have co-opted the word “transition,” as in his latest slogan “Transition to greatness.”

  33. de stijl says:


    I reject his attempt.

    Trying isn’t doing.

  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    I thought he was going to make America great again, we’re still waiting.

  35. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Trump and Cult45 will have to make up their minds. Is it Keep America Great or is it Transition to Greatness? It can’t be both.

  36. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    See my reply to de stijl above. I think Trump and Cult45 believe he’s already Made American Great Again.

  37. @CSK: The narrative is that he had created the greatest economy in history (I think he said as much the other day) and the Dems plus Covid-19 destroyed it. So, now we have to transition back to greatness.

    To which I can only say: barf.

  38. Mister Bluster says:
  39. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Barf indeed. My reading of “transition to greatness” is Trump admitting that he didn’t actually make America great again, and certainly didn’t manage to keep America great, but if you give him another term, he’ll manage it.

  40. @CSK: My point is that he is arguing he will transition us from the Covid-19 shutdown (back) to greatness. I think that is a narrative his base will buy.

    There is no doubt that Covid screwed up “Keep America Great” and street protests only amplify that.

    Logic and facts are another matter, of course.

  41. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Also, “so much winning.”

    Waiting on that still.

  42. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Well, his base already believes that Covid-19 was a hoax with two purposes: to destroy Trump and to install a Marxist fascist government. The impeachment didn’t succeed, so stronger measures were necessary.

  43. Kathy says:

    About invading the US, I don’t think any existing nation can do it even if nukes never come into play.

    There are two salient issues. One is how to bring enough troops, along with heavy equipment, to effect an invasion. This would requires lots of ships and aircraft to ferry troops to either Mexico or Canada, assuming a land invasion.

    And this highlights the other issue: America projects power all over the world. Any potential invader could see their invasion force sunk or shot down as it tries to gather. Not to mention US forces could hit back at the invading country, or coalition of countries, from any of a number of bases it has in Europe, the Middle east, and Asia, and even from the continental US using aircraft like the B2 and aerial refueling.

    A determined opponent with nuclear weapons of their own and a delivery system that can hit the US, could invade and conquer a small American possession like Guam. But not more than that. Even trying to invade Hawaii would be difficult.

    During the Cold War, the plausible scenarios the world’s militaries trained for involved mostly the Soviets trying to invade Western Europe. And the reason they could, technically do this is that they had control over all of Eastern Europe to move troops though by land.

  44. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Trump wrecked the greatest economy in history.

    Perhaps too far. Trump presided over the economic collapse. He didn’t create C19. He did handle it worse than average.

    I have a bugbear in that our economy is designed to be fragile and business cannot sustain operations through disruptions.

    If you have a mortgage and a second mortgage and a home equity loan, and you lose your job you are fucked.

    In 2007-8, those folks were called parasites.

    Most businesses are in the same boat now.

    Lose a few months of income, and they are dead in the water.

    A robust economy has got to be resilient. It really pisses me off we are not.

    Folks are cautioned to maintain savings for a 6 month income crisis.

    Capitalists are Pollyannas because they can privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

  45. @de stijl: I am not going to argue any of that. I am just stating what the narrative is going to be (and already is).

  46. Bill says:


    A determined opponent with nuclear weapons of their own and a delivery system that can hit the US, could invade and conquer a small American possession like Guam.

    Real life would then imitate fiction but will the President and all of Congress be killed by a beserk pilot afterwards?

  47. Kathy says:


    Yes. But only because a fanatical airline pilot cannot get a Donald Trump elected.

  48. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Like your new avatar pic. Very professiorial!

  49. Tyrell says:

    David Dorn: “Retired St. Louis Police captain killed after responding to a pawnshop alarm during looting” (CNN Susannah Cullinane) So here is a person trying to help his friend defend his store – his property – from looters and nuts.
    If the police aren’t safe, where does that leave us? I
    Mayor Bill of NYC has been attacked for showing support for his police.

  50. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Roughly 42% of us will buy into that branding message.

    Maybe it is over the definition of narrative.

    I call The American Dream a narrative.

    Internalized legend of bootstrapping your way up the ladder by grit and perserverance regardless of birth.

    You can be rise the ladder and be anyone you want to be. We are classless.

    However, our social mobility is really quite poor and well below the OECD average.

    Maybe I am overvaluing national myth.

    I do argue that attempted brand messaging is not narrative; it is the attempt to make it so and often fails.

  51. Kingdaddy says:

    Trump’s efforts to sound and act like a Mafia don in the movies is a prime illustration of why I don’t enjoy Mafia movies.

  52. de stijl says:


    If the populace is not safe where does that leave us?

  53. de stijl says:


    I like Mussolini wannabe. It rhymes and is quite accurate.

    Trump and his lackies have diemboweled DOS, DOJ, and are working on DOD hard.

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    But once upon a time Lindsey Graham said, “If we nominate Trump, we will be destroyed. And we will deserve it.”

    And yet, here he is… one of Trump’s staunchest supporters.

    The things people will say when they’re running for office…

  55. Scott F. says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Indeed. And that will be STILL be the narrative for the Trumpkins when, gods willing, Trump loses.

    Now, history will eventually & inevitably view Trump harshly, but I hold out hope that he and his enablers will get a genuine comeuppance while Trump is still alive to endure it. That probably means Trump is going to have to be criminally indicted and convicted (you pick ‘em: obstruction of justice while in office or tax fraud from prior) in order to put the deep stink of Loser on him. The true believers will still see him as a martyr, but he will be a pariah to his enablers.

  56. Jen says:

    I know the Vitamin D notion was mentioned previously a bit tongue-in-cheek, but there is apparently some science behind its use for bolstering the immune system and is gaining some traction in the fight against covid-19.

    I’m not terribly surprised. Low vitamin D levels have been observed in all kinds of immune function issues and autoimmune diseases. Not a miracle cure, and as a fat-soluble vitamin high levels can actually be dangerous, but interesting.

  57. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @sam: Good idea. I’ve been there. It has a wonderful facility with lots and lots of open space. Even observing social distancing, you could easily fit 100,000 people inside.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I would have been more likely to guess just outside US Territorial waters. Legal considerations.

  59. Sleeping Dog says:


    Unless the invader is the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, in which case Tiny will surrender.

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: No, I think they get credit for that one. I know that I’M bored with what those yahoos call winning, for example.

  61. Sleeping Dog says:
  62. de stijl says:


    This is entirely anecdotal.

    That first sunny day in late February when you can smell the earth again. When you can walk in a sweater instead of a jacket.

    Man it feels so good just soakin’ up that vitamin D that day. Yes, it is psycholgical, but it feels real.

    I grew up in the north, and there is a mindset for winter. Bunker down, stock up, drive careful, wait it out.

    The waiting get tiresome. February, screw the actual calendar, is the longest month of the year.

    But that day you can smell the earth again is transcendent. Life is reborn. Spring is coming.

  63. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    This is tricky. I understand why Ellison did this, but by elevating the charges against Chauvin, he’s increasing the chances that Chauvin will be acquitted. It’s very, very hard to get a jury to convict a cop of first or second degree murder.

  64. Monala says:

    @de stijl:

    I have a bugbear in that our economy is designed to be fragile and business cannot sustain operations through disruptions.

    Exactly. Seen on Facebook: “Weird how folks living paycheck to paycheck are expected to have months’ worth of savings for emergencies, but billion dollar businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy after a few weeks of reduced profits.”

  65. MarkedMan says:

    This is omninous (via Talking Points Memo)

    According to a report this afternoon from Garrett Haake of NBC News federal law enforcement officers of some kind pushed the crowd perimeter back from the White House but refused to identify themselves, what agency they represented and had removed all insignia or name plates that might identify them.

    Who’s to say they are even Feds? Isn’t it just as likely they are some of the gun nuts who have self appointed themselves as the posse?

  66. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    To the best of my knowledge, the Fenwicks have never lost a war.

  67. Kathy says:


    I consume about a cup of milk (250 ml.) nearly every day, between oatmeal at breakfast and adding a bit of milk to coffee. I also eat some yogurt every day for dessert, but I don’t think that’s fortified.

    I’m skeptical of supplements. As I understand, it’s about 50/50 whether they even contain what they purport to contain, and whether it’s in a form that the body can absorb as it should.

  68. de stijl says:

    @Kathy: @Jen:

    As a general rule, unprescribed supplements make your urine very expensive.

  69. CSK says:

    Apparently Federal leos aren’t required to wear identifying badges, etc. I find that…alarming.

  70. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @CSK:

    David Frum says these guys were from the Bureau of Prisons (they have no law enforcement powers outside of prisons). They have since been replaced by Nat. Guardsmen.

  71. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Yeah, but I bet it still smells.

  72. de stijl says:


    I prefer leather tanned with rich peoples’ pee.

    It’s classier.

  73. CSK says:

    A good friend of mine who’s a professor of craniofacial surgery at the Harvard Medical School was, about 15 years ago, involved in some clinical trials of Vitamin D. The upshot was that they discovered that it was beneficial for more things than they initially suspected. I’ve taken 2000 ius a day since then.

  74. Scott says:

    @de stijl: Yep. Americans have the most expensive pee in the world.

  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Of course, it’s possible that the escalated charges are theater. Create the image for the protesters that “we’re serious this time” and give a wink to the police (who see the situation as injustice against them).

    “We tried our best, but…”

  76. de stijl says:



    Aren’t there legislative restrictions on this?

    Posse Comitatus Act, etc?

  77. sam says:

    @de stijl:

    “I grew up in the north, and there is a mindset for winter.”

    One must have a mind of winter
    To regard the frost and the boughs
    Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

    And have been cold a long time
    To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
    The spruces rough in the distant glitter

    Of the January sun; and not to think
    Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
    In the sound of a few leaves,

    Which is the sound of the land
    Full of the same wind
    That is blowing in the same bare place

    For the listener, who listens in the snow,
    And, nothing himself, beholds
    Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

    Wallace Stevens, The Snowman

  78. Joe says:

    It strikes me that not even the RNC is dumb enough to run a convention on those terms.

    Time will tell, Michael Cain, time will tell.

  79. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Ellison is also going to prefer charges against the other three cops. I don’t think he’d do theatre so Chauvin could get off scot-free, do you? This is Keith Ellison, remember. I don’t think he fancies letting rogue cops go unpunished.

  80. de stijl says:


    I like Wallace Stevens a lot.

    He’s a practical poet. Had a day job.

  81. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I don’t see Ellison as a dude playing games with this.

    He was the first Muslim elected to the House.

    Remember, he was the guy that requested to be sworn in on Jefferson’s copy of the Quran. Raised quite the ruckus on RW media back then as anti-American, troubling, dangerous.

    He represented me in Congress.

    I would be astonished if he monkeys with charging sublities to benefit Mpls police. Quite the opposite.

    Plus, the act seemed willful to me. (Ianal)

    The video convicts.

  82. Sleeping Dog says:


    I don’t know. The AG’s office and state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension have been investigating the incident, maybe something popped up in that process. Also it wasn’t clear in the article whether the 2nd degree charge is in addition to the 3rd degree and manslaughter charges or replaces them. Of course the aiding and abetting charge for the other 3 were the first time they were charged.

    Leverage for a guilty plea on the manslaughter charge?

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Ellison the AG is African American and a Muslim. He is the former congress critter from the district that Mpls is in and prior to that represented the northside (AA neighborhood) on the city council, I doubt it’s theater. He grew up in that community. Everyone I know who know’s him, says he’s a stand-up guy.

  83. de stijl says:


    There is a clarity and angle of mid January northern sunshine that makes me gape at the stunning beauty of it. The color.

    In a shitty neighborhood in a sketchy part of town there was this undeniable thing.

  84. Sleeping Dog says:

    The following have cut ties with the Minneapolis Police

    The Mpls Park Board
    Mpls Public Schools
    University of Minnesota
    Walker Art Center

    All hired off-duty MPD officers to work events or in the case of the school district, building safety officers. The park’s department has its own force but they have identical uniforms that the city cops have, that’ll change.

    This will get the MPD cops where it hurts, their wallet.

  85. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:


  86. Kathy says:

    A few notes on the pandemic.

    We got the lab’s invoices for the SARS-CoV2 tests. The price is around $52 US each, at their special rate, which is rather reasonable. They’ll also test anyone who can pay, and are offering the service to businesses to test their employyes.

    Contrast this with a few other commercial labs I’ve seen advertising the same test. They charge around $140 US, and will do the analysis only if referred by a physician.

    At work, the reaction to my request “don’t stand so close, please” is now more often met with annoyance or anger rather than amusement. Social distancing isn’t even an ideal to aspire to, but a catch phrase on PSAs.

    Add the incredibly low testing rate nationwide, the eagerness to reopen while cases are rising ever higher, and Mexico is going to go down the gutter even faster than America. The figures will be lower only because our total population is only 1/3 that of the US.

    I think I should request vacation time for the last two weeks of June.

  87. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Winter sunshine, what’s that? Jen and I never see that, well maybe after a blizzard.

    The only thing I miss about Minnesota winters were those sunny days, it gave you the illusion that it was warm outside.

  88. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Off-duty Minneapolis cops in security or bouncing gigs are the equivalent of a protection racket.

    Nice bar you have here. Would be a shame if it got shut down.

  89. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I can remember the day it sunk in.

    On Franklin between Hennepin and Lyndale.

    I was walking to my car and BAM. Epiphany. I was not prepared. It was almost painful in the intensity of it. I was overwhelmed.

    January sunlight is sublime.

  90. Tyrell says:

    @de stijl: Thanks for the reply. If some crackpot is breaking into the house, and the police are busy, it leaves me calling my neighbor who has a 44. I don’t have a gun, bow, slingshot, or a pitchfork.

  91. de stijl says:


    There were huge flocks of crows that would settle in the sculpure garden by the Walker.

    Thousands and thousands. I watched them watching me.

    There are at least thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird.

  92. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    The off duty cop racket is bad now, but it was worse in the 70’s and 80’s, when the department had no control over those assignments. It was managed by a lieutenant who ran it as a side business. Cops would call in sick to take more lucrative side jobs. Then the city would get stuck with defending the cops in the inevitable brutality lawsuits and paying the victim to go away. Finally the city had enough and took the scheduling into the department. Of course that was after about a half million dollars was spent on restitution in a year.

  93. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: This is the reason I think Biden having an AA AG pick is more valuable than the VP pick. Would gladly trade the first AA women VP for 1st AA women AG and AA man SCOTUS… is nothing else for the comedy of watching Clarence Thomas squirm when being shot the “really n–ga?” look every session

  94. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I was there then.

    There was a ringleader. Some guy who had like 8 incidents and was getting kickbacks from his crew.

    I ran with a crowd that sometimes got negative police attention at times. Many bad stories.

    Never let male cops put a female into a squad car and drive her away.

  95. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Wasn’t Loretta Lynch the first AA AG? She served in that capacity from 2015-2017.

  96. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I’d be really interested in that. I’m extremely skeptical of supplements but am always curious about actual clinical trials. Some things occasionally turn out to have specific benefits.

  97. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: Damn you’re right! Old man brain is creeping upon me fast. Completely forgot…

  98. MarkedMan says:

    @sam: Once, a few decades ago when I was still single I finished up a late, late night debugging, put on all my various layers, trudged out to my car in the parking lot, brushed off the snow that had accumulated all day long and drove the salted roads across the bay and into the heart of town. I didn’t even go upstairs to my apartment but instead out for a walk, mindful of my steps where the salt had thawed the sidewalk ice in the day but now it was too cold even for the salt and it had refrozen, slick and slippery. I made my way past the giant old houses converted into apartments and found a little walk shoveled square and perfect into the back of an old stone church. It led me to a tiny flagstone courtyard with two benches, everything cleanly brushed, and when I sat down the snow all around me was higher than my head and I couldn’t see anything but the bare branches above me and a fiercely silver moon beyond that. I sat there for close to an hour and just let the moon pour in and all my tensions and worries pour out. I think it might have been the most beautiful moment of my life.

    So, yeah, I’ll take that any day over 98 degrees and the air thick with humidity and mosquitos.

  99. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Hey, it happens to the best of us.

    I wish I could cite you a source, but I didn’t see the results; my friend told me about them. From what I recall, they had originally set out to test the efficacy of Vitamin D in a few discrete areas, and then discovered that the health benefits were more wide-ranging than they anticipated.

  100. de stijl says:

    If George W. Bush thinks you are an immature jack ass unfit to lead, you are Donald J. Trump.

    Congrats! The second worst President called you out on incompetence.

    Better had it been Cheney, but I’ll take it.

  101. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Let’s see; Harris as AG, Susan Rice as VP and Obama to the Supremes. You’re right about another AA on the SC making Thomas uncomfortable. We’d love to listen in on the deliberative sessions.

    @de stijl:

    The ringleader, I’ve been trying to remember his name for a couple of days. He finally left the dept for a chief’s job in a small city in So. Ill, where he went from bum to hero when he figured out that the city & county officials were taking all sorts of kickbacks. He tipped off the FBI and the feds locked them all up.

    As I mentioned somewhere else, I drank in dive bars that didn’t hire cops as bouncers, so I avoided those run ins. If you frequented Moby Dicks or any of the bars on E-block you had a good chance of having a problem.

  102. de stijl says:


    I always saw her name Loretta Lynn and my brain would do a somersalt every time.

  103. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’ve been looking and can’t track it down.

    Some brain cells think it’s something like Mauro or close. Could be entirely wrong. An impression of an echo of a memory.

    Most bars were cool, but if you went to see a band, the venue usually bought security.

    Not all security are dicks, and not all dicks are in security, but a lot of them were dicks.

  104. de stijl says:


    Quiet times are often the best times.

  105. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: My viewpoint on the legal system is so jaundiced that I am no longer surprised by any miscarriage of justice or perversity in the process, the procedure, or the outcomes produced. 🙁

    ETA: Ellison will only do whatever meets his long-term needs and goals. Serving the public, justice, society, the nation are strictly incidental and will only be considered to the degree that including them serves his personal bottom line. We know what Klobuchar did in that role now, and she’d been considered a “real public servant.”

  106. de stijl says:

    If you a being a dick to others and are not responsive to requests to dial it back, no issue if you get bounced.

    Do have an issue if you get beat.

    Two different issues.

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I think I was inside Moby’s once. Not my scene.

    I do remember the marquee. They apparently served a whale of a drink.

    Across the street from the cult that took over the old movie house. Eckankar?

  107. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    If Ellison were to do that he would be unelectable in Minnesota or nationally.

    The likelihood dude is going to do face heel turn right now when everyone is watching is next to nil.

    I respect cynicism, but it is unwarranted sometimes.

  108. An Interested Party says:

    General Mattis has something to say about all of this and it sure is a doozy

  109. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    The business about a lack of mature leadership for three years is gonna sting.

  110. Monala says:

    @Jim Brown 32: @CSK: Eric Holder

  111. CSK says:

    Holder wasn’t a woman. Jim Brown32 was asking that we have an AA woman A.G. I replied that that had been Loretta Lynch, not noting that she is, of course, a woman, nor did I note that she had been Eric Holder’s successor.

  112. Michael Reynolds says:

    I know of no evidence that women make better AG’s. If they did then Amy Klobuchar would still be in the running for Veep and Kamala Harris wouldn’t be scared of being pushed out. Power corrupts women as well as men.

  113. Michael Reynolds says:

    @An Interested Party:
    The Mattis statement is very important. He just chided the Chairman and the Sec Def, gave zero cover to Trump and sided with the protesters. Mattis is far more respected in the military than Esper or whatsisname. Right now Trump is waking up to the reality that he could very easily lose the support of the military and set off a cascade of resignations in protest.

    And he got a whole bunch of bad, bad polls today, many of which included post-Minneapolis people. Not just national polls, either, but swing states.

    George Will, George W. Bush, General Mattis, Admiral Mullen, they’re all backing the protesters over Trump. Pat Roberston chided him. I mean all that should be a gimme under the circumstances, but in the cowardly Republican Party any resistance is surprising, and will absolutely enrage Trump and worry him, as well. He’s all-in on law and order and Republican governors suddenly remembered they have this thing they have to go to, totally forgot, but hey good luck Mr. President.

    Trump thrives on fear and intimidation. He’s a bully, a thug, a mafioso. But his tough guy act is fading fast. The man’s losing his grip. Angela Merkel and BoJo and Trudeau openly disregarding him, overriding him. It’s hard to be a bully when no one’s scared of you anymore.

    Tonight Trump is as scared and as enraged as he’s ever been in his life.

  114. de stijl says:

    Amy is the daughter of Jim Klobuchar who wrote a column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune since time began.

    Back then newspapers mattered.

    Speaking of which, I sorta lay Trump on the NYP’s doorpost with their bought and paid for Page Six bullshit “coverage” of some schmuck from Queens.

    That pay for coverage bullshit got us Trump as President eventually.

    (no offense to Queens. Queens is awesome.)

    Absent that he would just be some local real estate jagoff not an international threat to world order.

    It was pay for play and the Post is complicit.

  115. de stijl says:

    The Mattis thing hits way harder because he was there and saw it firsthand.

  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: Make no mistake; I would be overjoyed to be wrong about Ellison. CSK asked a “don’t you think…” question, and I answered it as I normally do–“no I don’t; I’m to cynical to believe x.”

    Just like on filling the straight, you can hardly go wrong rejecting the idea that people are basically good.

    ETA: I might be willing to accept that many people are basically innocuous, though. I haven’t considered it very closely.

  117. Sleeping Dog says:

    George Floyd tested positive for Covid-19 from his autopsy.

    @de stijl:

    I don’t remember what was on that block across from Moby’s. There was a multiplex theater either on that block or between 7th and 8th and Hennepin. On the street level under the theater was a strip club, which I remember, not because I was a regular, but because a shop I was a partner in built the stage and bar and bar back.

  118. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    You are right to be cynical, but I would be shocked if Ellison were gaming this by overcharging Chauvin and the 3 bystander cops.

    There would be no upside for him. He is black and Muslim. His glass ceiling is a hard cap. No one in Black Duck is voting for Ellison ever even if he intentionally fluffs the case by overcharging.

    He looks, sounds, and walks like a duck. There is no upside in suddenly declaring he is a goose.

    Nothing in politics is certain, but I’m 99.99% sure Ellison is actually a duck and honestly believes that 2nd Degree is the most appropriate charge.

    All politicians are slippery, but he always struck me as more solid.

  119. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Well, yes. I agree. But I’m not sure why you’re directing your comment to me. Jim Brown32 mentioned that he’d like to see the first AA woman AG under Biden, and I pointed out that we’d already had one under Obama. I expressed no opinion about whether men or women were better as AGs.

    What I do think is that Trump has stretched everyone’s nerves to the breaking point.

  120. Michael Reynolds says:

    Yeah, lazy of me, sorry, was supposed to be Jim.

  121. de stijl says:

    Best record store for music I liked was on that block opposite. Maybe second best but close.

    Met my gf there. She gave me shit because I did not know who Gene Vincent was and was entirely unschooled on rockabilly. I liked her immediately. She gradually stopped disdaining my existence.