Wednesday’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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Craig Spencer MD MPH

    Recap of yesterday’s #COVID19 statements:

    WHO Director General: “The worst is yet to come”

    CDC Principal Deputy Director: “This is really the beginning”

    White House Press Secretary: “We’re aware that there are embers that need to be put out.”

  2. sam says:

    In yesterday’s open thread, OH wrote: “I always take the back roads. I’m not in a hurry and you never know what your gonna find.” And that reminded me this AM of a book published almost 40 years ago titled Blue Highways by an author with the improbable name of William Least Heat-Moon. Check it out.

  3. de stijl says:

    I love the back roads.

    One car camping road trip we did coin flips every morning to determine the direction (with yesterday’s direction banned – we couldn’t go east if yesterday was west.)

    And no interstates.

    Didn’t always work out well. Not every direction has places to camp. We slept in the car a few nights.

    But those were the rules.

    You meet so many interesting cool people.

  4. JohnSF says:

    To reassure Americans that you are not alone in national nut-housery, the UK government at midnight passed the deadline for requesting an extension to the EU exit transition period.
    The transition period is now irrevocably set to end on 31 December 2020.

    Even if an agreement were in place, the prospect of orderly implementation within 6 months in a pandemic would be minimal.
    With no agreement in place it hands negotiation leverage to the EU, should it desire to use it.
    The UK can now be effectively compelled to accept EU terms or face chaotic “hard crash” to WTO terms.

    Just to pander to the Brexiteer base.
    The government is still, even now, defaulting to “permanent campaign”; it seems incapable of processing that external realities – the EU in this case, the coronovirus in another instance – cares not a whit about whether your poll numbers are looking good and “the media message is cutting through with the focus groups”.

    Utterly daft.

  5. de stijl says:


    International nut-housery seems to be on the upswing.

    US, UK, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Italy.

    Nativism rum amok, mostly. Some of it bordering on proto-fascist.

    It is disconcerting.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: I read that years ago, still have it on my shelf. I 2nd your recomendation. He’s a son of Misery, born and raised here, currently residing in Boone Co outside of Columbia (according to Wiki).

    Interesting bit about his name from the Wiki article:

    Least Heat-Moon has Osage and European ancestry. The Trogdon family name comes from his Euro-American lineage, and the Heat-Moon name reflects his Osage lineage. William’s father is Heat-Moon, his elder brother is Little Heat-Moon, and he is Least Heat-Moon.[2]

  7. Scott says:

    A little factoid I ran across today:

    Since Jan 2017, when Trump took office, 48% of the 241 Republicans (115) in the House have either retired, resigned, been defeated, or are retiring 2020.

    That’s a lot of turnover. And experience. Good or bad depends on your perspective.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Susan Page

    From our new USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll: Two-thirds of those surveyed, 67%, say Joe Biden has “the right experience to be president.” Just 37% say that of Donald Trump, who has been president for 3½ years.

    That’s gotta leave a mark.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Here comes another one: QAnon-linked Lauren Boebert wins her Colorado primary

    It will be Lauren Boebert who goes into the election in Colorado in November after her surprise primary victory last night.

    The owner of a gun-themed restaurant where staff carry their weapons as they serve customers, Boebert won after a campaign in which she accused five-term Rep. Scott Tipton of not being sufficiently pro-Donald Trump, even though the president had endorsed Tipton.

    Boebert wrote in a recent Aspen Times column that “A sober look at the Tipton record shows a back-burner representative that has failed to live up to his conservative chops that he touted on his Tea Party-inspired campaign trail. If his record lived up to his campaign rhetoric, I wouldn’t feel so compelled to run.”

    She made made a name for herself after loudly protesting Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ orders to close businesses to fight the coronavirus pandemic. She opened her Shooters Grill restaurant in defiance of closure orders – county officials ended up having to to obtain a cease-and-desist letter from a district judge to shut her restaurant down.

    She’s also spoken approvingly of the QAnon far-right conspiracy theory saying during an appearance on QAnon-aligned web show Steel Truth: “Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values.”

    Words fail me.

  10. CSK says:

    He was born William Lewis Tragdon, but he changed his name to reflect his Osage ancestry. The book was enormously popular.

    ETA: I see OH beat me to it.

  11. Scott says:

    Pandemic Update:

    Bexar County (San Antonio) had the most cases in Texas yesterday (1268, 9235 in June).

    5754 Tests performed. Even though testing is also surging, positivity rate is still 20.1

    June 1/ June 30 numbers:

    Hospitalizations: 93/966 (1000%)
    ICU patients: 39/288
    On Ventilators: 20/158

    Just can’t wait for school to start. How many older teachers are just going to say bye-bye. Next crisis in August.

    How’s your town doing?

  12. de stijl says:

    I had epitome of first world problems this morning. I bought the fat free half and half by mistake. I blame Land O Lakes for not differentiating the packaging more clearly. My idiot eyes and stupid brain deserve some blame too I guess.

    I know it is silly, but my tea is going to be not correct for the next two weeks. Thank god I only bought the pint.

    I wanted some spaghetti with marinara and got ketchup on egg noodles. I get to live my next weeks like a schnook.

  13. CSK says:

    Donald Trump has Tweeted that he is “THE LONE WARRIOR!”

    As opposed to, I suppose, The Lone Ranger.

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: I’ve had that problem as well. Between the “fat-free” half-and-half and the “fat-free” whipping cream and the “fat-free” sour cream….I’m expecting “fat-free” butter next.

    Grr. I want FAT, dammit! Gimme the real stuff!

  15. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnSF: According to the peanut gallery over at the DT, the U.K. will be bursting onto the economic scene like a regenerated phoenix when it finally goes “no-deal.” Any evidence pointing the other direction is immediately discounted, or dismissed as “a bluff” by the other side.

    (BTW, what is it about the English and their immediate reaction to insist that anything the other side does is a bluff? They constantly do this during negotiations, even when dealing with countries that historically do NOT bluff, a.k.a. Japan. Accusing the other side of bluffing and smugly insisting that England is “calling their bluff” seem to be the only negotiation tactics HMG has in its bag. No wonder everything goes to a no-deal.)

  16. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Half and half is heavy cream + milk.

    How do you make that fat free?

    Say you swap out the milk for skim. The other half is still cream.

    De Niro was half Irish so he was never gonna get made.

  17. Michael Cain says:

    @Scott: One of Newt’s reforms in the 1990s was, for the Republican side, term limits on committee chairs and greatly reducing the role that seniority paid. Paul Ryan — chair of budget, chair of ways and means, and Speaker while still in his 40s — would have been impossible before. It also encourages older member to leave. Who wants to be a backbencher again and put up with the commuting misery at age 60? And it’s even worse when your party is in the minority.

    I have occasionally wondered how AOC and co. feel about having to wait 20 years or more before they get to be chairs and actually write legislation. The current Democratic House leadership are all pushing 80, and there’s a whole lot of members in their 50s and 60s waiting their turn who aren’t about to vote to step aside and let the youngsters go earlier.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: “THE LONE WARRIOR!” who never saw a battle he couldn’t get somebody* else to fight for him!

    *usually a lawyer

  19. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Speaking as a Colorado Democrat… I figured the 3rd district was out of reach, even if 2020 is a blue wave year. Now, maybe not.

  20. Pylon says:

    Happy Canada Day.

  21. CSK says:

    Cult45 is eating this up. Trump is the bravest, most incorruptible man EVAH.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I really don’t understand this particular delusion on trump voters’ part: “He’s a FIGHTER!!!”
    To which a I reply, “He’s a PUSSY!”
    and they stutter.

  23. Jen says:

    @de stijl:

    How do you make that fat free?

    You load it up with thickeners such as carrageenan and corn syrup to mimic the viscosity of real half-and-half. Blech.

  24. JohnSF says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Telegraph comment section: as barmy as the Express or Mail, but with slightly better grammar and spelling.
    Being easier to comprehend makes them even more incomprehensible. 🙂

    A lot us fully understand that the EU is not bluffing.
    Though there is likely some room for negotiating adjustment between some of their starting positions
    But the Brexit enthusiasts in government are high on their own supply.
    They are continuing to campaign rather than govern.

    As to why, there’s a whole load of political psychology to be written on that, with all its variations between leaderships, factions, opportunists, enthusiasts, activists, supporters etc.
    If I started on that right now it would be a very long and tedious post.

    Suffice to say a lot of delusions are going to be come to a bitter end one way or another over the next nine months.
    Either when Johnson caves to the EU but still tries to present it as victory (sort of like trying to present fat free as the real thing 🙂
    Or with the aftermath of a crash out (trying to present a empty broken bottle on the kitchen floor you’re about to tread on as the real thing).

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @sam: Last weekend, wanting a safe outing, we and the kids (in their 50s) drove across FL to the Atlantic side. Packed lunch and ate in a Ft Pierce city park right across from the Navy SEAL Museum. 100 yds to anybody else. Drove up the keys to Cocoa Beach then home again on I4 and state roads. The kids bought tee shirts at a souvee place, but they were enforcing masking. Not a great outing, but everybody enjoyed getting out of the house for a day. Reinforced that FL is hollow. Bright shiny new on both coasts. In between oranges and cattle and a handful of Tea Partiers bitching about them coastal elites dominating the state government.

    I see more mask usage since the record new case headlines. I see Miami-Dade and Broward counties are closing beaches for the 4th of July weekend. No one else that I’ve heard of yet. But it’s OK, it’ll just spread to young people. Saw a headline this morning that the number of cases 75 and over is lagging younger people, looks to be by about a month and still smallish, but is now trending up. They had a chart. Can you say ex.po.nen.tial? If you can, you’re smarter than my beloved /s Gov DeSantis.

  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Apparently on one of the days the Russia Bounty Intel was included in the PDB, Trump spent time meeting with Diamond and Silk, and spent 45 minutes with producers of a play about Strzok and Lisa Page and their text messages.
    I would have guessed golfing…but still…

  27. de stijl says:


    Happy Canada Day to you.

  28. Sleeping Dog says:


    Sam, William Least Heat Moon is native american, a member of the Cherokee tribe if IIRC, his last name isn’t improbable.

  29. Scott says:

    @gVOR08: We did something similar. Went to Padre Island National Seashore for the day. People were pretty good. Everyone parked about 30-40 feet away from each other. Downside was that bathrooms and changing rooms were closed and had to drive back in wet clothes. I figure a day at the beach with wind, sunshine, and salt spray is pretty low risk.

  30. CSK says:

    Richard North Patterson has a long, scary piece about Trump’s lunacy in today’s

  31. de stijl says:


    I spent a week in Orlando in early August and dear lord the humidity. It is weaponized.

    It was a BusinessObjects conference back before they got bought up by SAP so there were super chic French people smoking in fabulous clothes.

    I liked the monorail. Sorry, monothingie. I wanted to check out the glove compartment to see the possums, but it was fully automated and no conductor’s car. I call the big one “Bitey”.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: According to the WIki, Osage. My inner pedant has now been mollified. 😉

  33. CSK says:

    I think it’s one of those things that the really die-hard cultists have to believe, along with the notion that Trump’s a devout Christian, a dedicated family man, a tower of incorruptibility, the smartest man ever to occupy the Oval Office, and a lot of other obvious delusional nonsense. I suppose this is because they identify so completely with Trump (as they did with Sarah Palin) that to allow him to be disparaged is to allow themselves to be disparaged. If Trump is wonderful, they are, too.

    They’re quite different from the Trump supporters who’ll cheerfully admit that Trump’s a mentally disturbed dimwit–but still preferable to a Democrat.

  34. CSK says:

    Trump’s campaign has apparently canceled all his upcoming rallies, so he must be in agony at not be able to get his fix of public adulation. He will be able to speak live at Mt. Rushmore and again the next day in D.C. But after that, the calendar seems to be empty till Jacksonville.

  35. Kathy says:


    I should start charging you for these.

    BTW, the caption photo atop the piece is one of the very best photos of Trump I’ve ever seen used in any media.

  36. CSK says:

    Will you accept my sincere gratitude and appreciation? Lately whenever I post a link, I get tossed into moderation incarceration. Nothing works as an evasive tactic.

    Yes, the photo is good.

  37. DrDaveT says:


    Two-thirds of those surveyed, 67%, say Joe Biden has “the right experience to be president.” Just 37% say that of Donald Trump, who has been president for 3½ years.

    You could ask me to start performing brain surgeries, but 3.5 years (and many corpses) later I would still not have “the right experience” for that job.

  38. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    I bought the fat free half and half by mistake.

    As grumpy realist notes, this is an oxymoron. You can’t have “fat free half and half” any more than you can have “fat free lard” — the definition of half and half is that it is half cream. There is no generalized metaphorical use of the phrase “half and half” the way there is for “milk” in constructions like “soy milk” or “almond milk” or “milk of magnesia”. If it is entitled to be called “half and half” at all, it cannot be fat-free.

    My morning’s first-world problems involve side effects from a shingles vaccine that are making me moderately miserable. Then they will go away, and I will be protected from shingles, which is worth a whole lot more moderate misery than I am enduring.

  39. DrDaveT says:


    Reinforced that FL is hollow. Bright shiny new on both coasts. In between oranges and cattle and a handful of Tea Partiers bitching about them coastal elites dominating the state government.

    Don’t forget the sinkholes. Literally hollow.

  40. Sleeping Dog says:


    I’ll concede the point to Wiki. Oklahoma anyway.

    Another back roads travel book that would be fun to recreate as a trip is, Travels with Charlie, though Steinbeck’s son claims his father never made the trip and the account is fictional.

  41. CSK says:

    According to the Daily Beast (don’t try to link it, Kathy; it’s paywall-protected) Michael Flynn has become a devotee of QAnon.

    I’ve read that Flynn was sane and competent when he worked for Obama. Is this what exposure to Trump does?

  42. Teve says:

    @CSK: The nuts on the Dem side want to fight poverty and police brutality and everyone to have healthcare. The nuts on the Republican side want Donald Trump to lead a secret task force to execute the cannibalistic child molesters like Tom Hanks and Hillary Clinton. So, you know, both sides.

  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    Seems the Minneapolis police have quit and not told anyone.

    Facing ongoing crime, Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood taking matters into their own hands

    Exchanged emails with a friend who lives in Phillips and he confirmed that on his and neighboring blocks they are blocking the streets and alleys.

    Last week I received a rant from another friend regarding the City Councils passing of proposed charter amendment that would grant the council the power to reorganize police and public safety as the council sees fit. My friend referred to them as tin-pot Maoists, but he’s a former Trotskyite and maybe biased.

  44. CSK says:

    Someone named Lauren Boebert in Colorado (she owns a restaurant in which the waitstaff open carry; she’s a real pistol-packin’ mama) has won the Republican primary for congressional representative over her opponent, a five-term incumbent. She too is a big believer in QAnon, saying that if it’s true, it represents a return to conservative values. God help us. I never knew accusing people of being cannibalistic pedophiles was a conservative value.

  45. MarkedMan says:


    I’ve read that Flynn was sane and competent when he worked for Obama.

    If I remember correctly, Flynn was considered a brilliant officer, if a bit likely to go haring off on some lunatic idea. He was eventually promoted to the point that his brilliance wasn’t worth the fact that some higher ranking officer had to constantly ride herd. He was actually fired from the Obama administration.

    All this is from memory and it would only make me depressed to go down the Flynn Google-hole at this point….

  46. Sleeping Dog says:

    America is even being trolled by the Thai’s

    And yesterday, the EU declared we were a shit-hole country.

  47. sam says:

    Hamilton begins streaming on Disney+ this Friday.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’ll concede the point to Wiki. Oklahoma anyway.

    Tee hee hee… Ummm, No, sorry, wrong again. Missouri:

    Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Least Heat-Moon grew up in Missouri where he attended public schools. He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in English, as well as a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri. Least Heat-Moon was a member of the Beta-Theta chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon. He later served as a professor of English at the university.

    Least Heat-Moon resides near Columbia, Missouri, in Boone County near the Missouri River.

    A native son, ranking right up there with Twain.

  49. grumpy realist says:

    I usually don’t link to Twitter threads, but this one about an expat Brit (with double nationality) living in France dealing with his British neighbours is a hoot. A lot of Brits living in Europe who are pro-Brexit are just now starting to realise that loss of Freedom of Movement works both ways….

  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: The EU is right.

    ETA the Thais have a wicked sense of humor.

  51. inhumans99 says:

    Has someone already mentioned the Politico article that notes that the Trump Campaign bragged about getting Biden “out of his basement” but he did not give them what he was looking for, apparently Biden’s press conference went pretty well.

    I love how the Trump Campaign guy gripes that Biden was asked softball questions and he might as well have stayed in his basement if all he was going to be asked to handle were easy questions from the Press (or something to that effect). Oh man, campaign dude…just stop, Biden gives you and your boss what you wanted on a silver platter but it turns out to be yet another in a long line of be careful what you wish for scenarios because your wish might come true.

    I love that Biden gives Trump what he is looking for and it just makes Trump look so much worse than if Biden had not taken the bait. Maybe my worries about his going up against President Trump in the debates were a wee bit overblown.

  52. Teve says:

    @grumpy realist: that thread was amazing. Those Brits were about as intelligent as Trumpers. Kept insisting that somebody had to compensate them for the loss because they didn’t know voting for Brexit would cause them to lose the place.

    In America there’s a certain kind of 50+ white man who refuses to take responsibility for anything ever and blames everybody else for everything. The kind of person who comes into my store and attacks me for cutting off his phone service because his debit card changed and he didn’t update it in the system. Looks like Britain has those people too.

  53. Teve says:

    @inhumans99: on Fox they are lying and claiming that Biden only took prescreened questions. Journalists on Twitter who were there are saying it’s just a blatant lie by Fox.

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: I laughed my ass off. Got it bookmarked cause I have to find out how all this ends.

  55. Jen says:

    @grumpy realist: I read that thread yesterday, it is indeed a hoot…and sort of karmic.

    ETA: I am *slightly* suspicious of the Twitter account itself. Was just created in April 2020, and I cannot find the book series that “RS Archer” claims to be the author of, and an acquaintance of mine seems to have discovered the stock image that was used as the profile photo. Could be completely fabricated, but still hilarious.

    Edited to add further: He explains the stock photo is used because he writes using a nom de plume. Okay. Still very recent account. Hm.

    RE: William Least Heat-Moon–my first thought when I read “improbable name” was “wait, he’s totally famous, isn’t he?” I knew who he was. Then I realized it was likely my years in Missouri that acquainted me with him. He’s definitely well-known there.

  56. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: Just as you don’t link to twits, I try not to read the stupid things. But that was great. Thank you.

  57. Sleeping Dog says:


    Born in Misery? No wonder he changed his name and kept to the back roads. 😉

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I don’t blame him! Of course, I can’t say much, I was born in Texas.

  59. grumpy realist says:

    @Jen: On one hand that thread is so over-the-top that you shake your head and say “naw, that can’t be true”–but on the other hand I’ve run across other examples of every single element in it (the clueless-about-Brexit-effect Englanders, the belligerent (and stupid) son, the British exceptionalism)….so who knows? The stars may have in fact lined up to produce such a gem in reality.

  60. JohnSF says:

    @grumpy realist:
    You caught that eh?
    I picked up on it yesterday, and yep, it’s hilarious.
    And does ring true to the “thought” processes of a certain type of Leave voter.
    I do suspect that Mr Archer may be improving reality just a teensy bit though.

  61. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnSF: There was one comment which said that the parents + belligerent son sound like a walking, talking letter to the Daily Mail.

  62. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: @MarkedMan:

    I have 2 colleagues that worked for Flynn after he made General. Widely known to be an asshole who liked to light briefers up for sport. Neither of them were surprised he wanted to be part of a Trump administration.

    Also, as a general observation, ‘brilliant’ is not an attribute that describes the best Intel officers IMO. The best are extremely thorough, tireless reseachers, great communicators, and can organize complex information so that laypeople can digest it.

    Brillance is something I would ascribe to Generals that build a theory of victory and sculpt a plan of execution around that theory. Intel informs building that initial theory, measuring progress during plan execution and determining when/if a change of course is necessary. Don’t get me wrong, the individual can be brilliant…..but the job itself doesn’t have many opportunities for displays of creativity that we typically use as evidence of ‘brilliance’.

    Of course, Intel officers would say that Im full of shit but they have their opinion and I have mines.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: Had the chance to read several excerpts from it (didn’t make enough then to afford to buy it). Great book. I should look to see where it’s available.

    ETA: Also, name’s not as improbable as you might imagine. He claimed to be Native American and was the youngest son of a family with the name “Heat Moon” according to the preface of the excerpts I read.

  64. JohnSF says:

    If I’m correct about the legalities, their ownership won’t be affected.

    But unless they get a carte de sejour, which may become more tricky post-Brexit, they won’t be able to stay there more than 90 days in a year.
    And to obtain one if they are are retired, IIRC, they will need to establish that their income/assets etc. are such that they will be financially secure.

    Those unable to secure residency rights may be able to rent out the property, especially if in a popular vacation area.
    But maybe not year round; and if it’s their sole home they may be S.O.O.L.

    A similar change may hit even more Brits in Spain (total number c. 1/4 million); though Spain looks like being rather more flexible.
    The key point is that, without an agreement by years end, UK citizens rights in EU become a matter of national policies, no longer an EU competency.
    (The only country not affected is Ireland; IIRC under the CTA agreement UK and Irish citizens will retain full freedom of travel, residency and employment)

    If it were only to afflict Brexiteers it would be karmic justice. Unfortunately a lot of Remain/Deal inclined people will be impacted as well.
    I know several personally.
    And wouldn’t have minded being able to retire to southern France myself…

  65. Joe says:

    The must frustrating thing, CSK, about the Richard North Patterson piece at The Bulwark is that it is an extended explanation of that all of Trump’s attributes that have made his presidency such a train wreck were right out there in front well before he was nominated or elected.

  66. JohnSF says:

    The really infuriating thing is, a lot of the leading Tory Brexiteers will be almost unaffected; they are wealthy enough to obtain residency rights anywhere they please.

  67. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Sen. Warren (D-MA) takes Pence to school.
    I cannot wait for her to meet him on the debate stage.

    These comments stand in stark contrast to the willfully ignorant attitude you have taken
    in recent weeks toward the nation’s coronavirus response. On June 16, 2020, in your op-ed titled “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave,’” you claimed that concerns over a second wave of coronavirus infections were “overblown” and proclaimed that “we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy.” There are only two possible conclusions that I can reach upon reading these statements: either you do not have the slightest comprehension of the scope, causes, and risks from the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak in the United States, or you are deliberately attempting to mislead the American public about the scale of the outbreak

    The one quibble I have; this isn’t a second wave, it is still the first wave. Letter to VP Pence re Surge of COVID-19 Cases.pdf

  68. CSK says:

    That was one of Patterson’s points: that he had made the exact same observations about Trump in 2016 in a piece for the HuffPo.

    I think everybody here at OTB saw what a disaster Trump was going to be back in 2015, very shortly after he and his animatronic wife descended the golden escalator. Unfortunately, all of the things about Trump that we regard as disqualifiers Cult45 regards as qualifiers: the vulgarity, churlishness, stupidity, sadism, and narcissism that are symptoms of a profound mental disorder.

  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: I reported 177 yesterday on the Covid/Schools opening post. Today’s check shows the new number at 194. Which, it seems to me, represents a 10% increase day on day. One hundred ninety-four is still not a bad number relative to other places, but as I noted yesterday, the data are not screaming “OPEN THE SCHOOLS DAMMIT.”

    Fun times. 🙁

  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Scrape me off the griddle. I am soooooooooooo done!

  71. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  72. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Breaking news
    Russians have voted overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments that will allow Putin to stay in power till 2036. Trump will be trying to figure out how to replicate this: no elections to worry about!

  73. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    On the Orange Party News Channel:
    Trump again sides with Putin; calls bounty story a hoax devised by Democrats to fool the IC.
    Refuses to answer question about what he would do if it turned out to be true.

  74. Jen says:

    @JohnSF: That’s my read on the situation as well. They were planning to retire there, so the 90 days a year won’t cut it.

    Getting a carte de sejour is no easy task from what I recall (and my recollection is surely outdated as a family member had to get one when he lived in France but was working in Geneva and this was (gulp) prior to the euro).

    The thread seemed to indicate that they are comfortable but not wealthy by any stretch, so I have a feeling that some dreams are being crushed. Sad really that people didn’t bother to understand the ramifications of the leave vote, or thought that they’d be able to–what?–bully their way into an agreement that had all of the same benefits with none of the messy restrictions?

  75. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: Add me to the skeptical. I’m not sure why they would have to leave or sell their property. I know people who own properties in all kinds of countries they are not citizens of. Not sure why this would be any different?

  76. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: Ah. So the issue isn’t vacationing there, but rather retiring there. I get it.

  77. JohnSF says:

    The carte was generally thought legally unnecessary since 2003 IIRC, though some people still obtained them as a substitute for other ID, and, I think, to permit certain activities (Not certain; need a specialist lawyer!)
    Whether those who have one now will be affected in event of “no deal”; dunno; again IANAL.

    One aspect is that unless there is a deal agreeing health insurance mutuality, with EU or even just UK-France, the loss of automatic health insurance cover looks likely to have a big impact on carte eligibility.

  78. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: Yes–that’s their issue, it’s retiring there. As @JohnSF: notes, the BIG issue is health insurance mutuality. If there’s no agreement, then in order to retire there permanently, they’d basically have to prove that they are flush enough to handle their health expenses out of pocket or some equivalent, if I’m understanding it correctly.

    There are a lot of hoops to jump through to retire in another country, since you haven’t spent your working life paying into the social systems. Brexit negates what agreements were in place that made it easier. I’m just astonished that they didn’t realize this.

  79. JohnSF says:

    Update: those who currently have a carte apparently will need to apply for a new one under the ‘accord de retrait’ ; but seems a LOT of detail still fuzzy, pending a deal (or lack of one).
    Article from February, but can’t find ANY indication of change in the legal position since then, as no agreement beyond the Withdrawal Agreement of 2019 in place, which leaves a LOT of detail uncertain pending “Deal”.

  80. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    You add carrageenan

    First, you remove the cream. At which point it is no longer “half and half”. Then, instead of putting the cream back, you add carrageenan and corn syrup. At which point, it is still not “half and half”, though it is (almost) fat-free.

    It’s like selling “decaf coffee” made by replacing the coffee beans with roasted grain. You can do that, and it is almost drinkable, but it is not coffee, decaf or otherwise.

  81. JohnSF says:

    And most UK citizens don’t have private health insurance, which would likely be transferable according to some accounts I’ve read, but only NHS cover, which needs state-to-state mutual recognition.
    Obtaining full on private insurance at advanced age likely to be expensive if I understand the situation correctly (as Americans probably comprehend quicker than the average Brit).

  82. sam says:


    “Russians have voted overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments that will allow Putin to stay in power till 2036. ”

    Saw this on twitter: A tsar is born.

  83. Jen says:

    @JohnSF: My husband is a British citizen by birth. We have considered moving there a number of times (most recently in Nov., 2016) and one of the big trip-ups for us are the salary requirements that he’d need to hit in order to sufficiently cover me, from what I understand, (and freelance writers are not an “in demand” field).

  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: Hey! I don’t control what the USDA and FDA permit companies to call things. A question was asked, I looked it up and answered it based on the information already provided–that the questioner believed the process started with non-fat milk (which appears to be true).

    Your issue is with Congress, not cracker–although both start with the same letter and so are easy to confuse. 😉

    ETA: And I even provided a link to the source. 😀

  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    the loss of automatic health insurance cover looks likely to have a big impact on carte eligibility.

    And utility, I would expect. If you have to return to your home country for treatment every time you get sick (or pay out of pocket), even if one would be eligible for a carte, it might not be useful to have–especially for retired people.

  86. CSK says:

    Oh, that’s perfect.

  87. JohnMcC says:

    Sweden is starting a deep investigation of it’s unique response to the virus pandemic after they suffered 5300 deaths (most in old-folks-homes I gather). For comparison, Norway had 250, Denmark 600 and Finland 325.

    Let me try this again:

  88. MarkedMan says:

    Stay safe, @Kathy

  89. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnSF: I read somewhere that both France and Spain are waiting to see what the U.K. does for French and Spanish citizens expatting in the U.K. before giving the green light to U.K. citizens. There’s already been a lot of complaints about their treatment by the Home Office.

    The days of the U.K. getting away with demanding special treatment for its citizens is over.

  90. An Interested Party says:

    From our new USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll: Two-thirds of those surveyed, 67%, say Joe Biden has “the right experience to be president.” Just 37% say that of Donald Trump, who has been president for 3½ years.

    Oh, that must be why Trump is going to try to run as the outsider while trying to paint Biden as the incumbent…I would ask if the Trump campaign really thinks that people are that stupid to fall for such obvious bullshit but I already know the answer to that question considering how many people voted for Trump in the first place…

  91. Teve says:

    The Trump campaign appears to now be selling a T-shirt that says America First with an eagle on it in a very Naziesque look. Ben Shapiro is saying that Trump retweeted that white power video because he must’ve had the sound down at the time. They’re being very good Germans.

  92. Teve says:

    People love their rights, but hate their responsibilities. And before you say well responsibilities are never required, yes they are. Jury duty, for instance. You’re required to give up your time and freedom, to participate in our justice system in trials so other people can get benefits…therefore you can be required to do work for the government and your fellow citizens. Jury duty proves it.

  93. Teve says:

    The election on November 3 really is going to decide if we’re living in a democracy or an autocracy, as somebody at Vox mentioned.

  94. flat earth luddite says:


    Wait, you mean Postum isn’t coffee? Shock, horror!

  95. Kathy says:


    Thanks. I’m trying.