Wednesday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Exxon’s Plan for Surging Carbon Emissions Revealed in Leaked Documents

    Exxon Mobil Corp. had plans to increase annual carbon-dioxide emissions by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece, an analysis of internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg shows, setting one of the largest corporate emitters against international efforts to slow the pace of warming.

    The drive to expand both fossil-fuel production and planet-warming pollution has come at a time when some of Exxon’s rivals, such as BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, are moving to curb oil and zero-out emissions. Exxon’s own assessment of its $210 billion investment strategy shows yearly emissions rising 17% by 2025, according to internal projections.

    The emissions estimates predate the Covid-19 pandemic, which has slashed global demand for oil and thrown the company’s finances into distress, making it unclear if Exxon will complete its plans for growth. The internal figures reflect only some of the measures Exxon would take to reduce emissions, the company said. The largest U.S. oil producer has never made a commitment to lower oil and gas output or set a date by which it will become carbon neutral. Exxon has also never publicly disclosed its forecasts for its own emissions.

    But the internal documents show for the first time that Exxon has carefully assessed the direct emissions it expects from the seven-year investment plan adopted in 2018 by Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods. A chart in the documents lists Exxon’s direct emissions for 2017—122 million metric tons of CO₂ equivalent—as well as a projected figure for 2025 of 143 million tons. The additional 21 million tons is a net result of Exxon’s estimate for ramping up production, selling assets and undertaking efforts to reduce pollution by deploying renewable energy and burying carbon dioxide.

  2. sam says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    from Ghislaine Maxwell lawyers attempt to keep deposition details secret

    The judge had a further question.

    “Is it fair to say your client did not deny knowledge of any activity involving underage minors? Or did she? What’s your view of this?” Cabranes asked. “Did she or did she not deny knowledge of any activity involving underage minors?”

    Mueller responded: “Your honor, I’m hesitant to answer the question, because at the moment the deposition is sealed. I’m not trying to avoid answering the question, I’m hesitant to offer answers.

    I’ll bet he said that with a straight face too. Only a lawyer.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:


    Only a lawyer.

    Reminds me of the line that asks;
    Why do lawyers like golf so much? The golf course is the only place that they can lie with impunity outside a courtroom.

  7. Scott says:

    Pentagon Leaders Reject Calls for Militarized Election Season

    Senior Pentagon leaders are seeking to tamp down fears and demands that the military will be called upon to handle any election-related chaos in November and beyond.

    The D.C. National Guard has received no requests from other federal agencies related to security or potential unrest surrounding the 2020 election, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said on Tuesday. He sought to downplay any role the Guard might serve in November, telling Pentagon reporters that its role would be limited to helping protect federal property and to “support[ing] law enforcement.”

    “We support law enforcement,” McCarthy said. ”We don’t police American streets.”

    It would be better coming from DoD Secretary Esper but it’s a start.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Uh oh… Here come the lawyer jokes. 😉

  9. Scott says:

    Most Americans have no idea how deeply entwined white supremacist groups are in the military

    White nationalist groups, who make up some of the most serious terror threats in the country, find new members and supporters in the U.S. military. These groups believe that white people are under attack in America.

    In the most recent poll by Military Times, an independent media organization covering the military, about one-fifth of service members have reported seeing signs of white nationalism or racist ideology in the military community. Those include the casual use of racial slurs and anti-Semitic language, and even explosives deliberately arranged in the shape of a swastika.

    More than one-third of service members surveyed in 2018 said white nationalism is a significant threat to the country – which is more than were seriously concerned about threats from Syria, Afghanistan or immigration.

    But active-duty personnel have also been involved in white nationalist activity. In July 2018, a white nationalist was dismissed from the Marine Corps for his involvement in hate groups, including attending the 2017 “Unite the Right” protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    In February 2019, a Coast Guard officer stationed at the agency’s headquarters was arrested and accused of stockpiling weapons as part of a plan to start a race war.

    In April 2019, a Huffington Post investigation revealed that at least 11 members of various military branches were under investigation for involvement in a white nationalist group.

    In September 2019, an Army soldier who had expressed support for right-wing extremism was arrested after sharing bomb-making instructions with undercover agents. That same month, an Air Force master sergeant who had been involved with a white supremacist group was demoted but allowed to continue serving.

    In June 2020, an Army private was charged with terrorism offenses after he leaked sensitive information about his unit to two white supremacist groups.

  10. Scott says:


    Maybe I spoke too soon.

    Esper doesn’t commit to keeping troops away from polling stations

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper stopped short of committing to keep troops away from polling stations next month, prompting Democratic lawmakers to call on the Pentagon chief to vow that the military won’t be used to influence the election.

    Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) and Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) told reporters on Tuesday that Esper was evasive in written answers to questions they submitted on the politicization of the military and the role of the armed forces in a peaceful transition of power.

  11. sam says:
  12. Kylopod says:

    Trump plans to hold a competing town hall at the same time as Biden’s.

    Personally I think this is a run-up to his holding a competing presidency. After Biden wins, Trump will get some show (maybe on Fox) called “President Trump — the REAL president.” You heard it here first.

  13. Paine says:

    I received my Washington State ballot in the mail yesterday. Just need to spend some time at the kitchen table filling it out and then drop it off at the ballot drop box downtown and I’m done. No lines. No waiting.

  14. Jen says:

    @sam: Fun, and really remarkable engineering and math. Determining the spacing, speed of the train to accomplish the end result, and placing the different sizes really would be a lot of work.

  15. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: I vacillate between thinking he’s going to be too busy dealing with lawsuits, and that he’ll need the platform to continue grifting to raise money for said lawsuits.

  16. Kathy says:

    Sorry to re-post this from yesterday. It still cracks me up:

    This is good, a tweet from Biden doing to Trump what Trump did to Dr. Fauci, only more so:

    Donald Trump in his own words.

  17. CSK says:

    Yesterday Trump tweeted that Fauci was as bad in his prognostications* as he was as a pitcher.

    So tell me: If Fauci is that lousy a doctor, why did Trump fake an endorsement from him?????

    *There’s no way Trump knows the word “prognostications. Someone wrote that tweet for him–and then explained what the word means.

  18. sam says:

    Here’s a nice essay on a philosopher that most people have never heard of, but whose influence on Anglo-American philosophy was immense: Frank Ramsey: A more human philosophy. I’ve always found what is called “Ramsey’s Maxim” is be quite useful: In any metaphysical dispute between two diametrically opposed factions, you can usually find some third thing both sides agree on that is false.

  19. Joe says:

    Thanks, sam. That was a nice start to the day. I would have liked to have seen a wide-scale shot of the bottles, but this is basically a music box design done in a linear fashion rather than on a roll. Pretty cool.

  20. Matt says:

    @sam: Well that was one October surprise I was worried about.

  21. Matt says:

    @Scott: This started under Bush Jr. White supremacist groups had been pushing for their members to join the military prior to Jr but it was Jr’s adventures that forced the military to loosen the requirements for recruits to the point that obvious white supremacists were able to start joining. Also 9/11 caused an increase in the belief that the coming race war was near so groups were even more eager to get military recruits or send of their members to join the military to gain experience killing sand n*****s… I’ve seen this first hand and indirectly via certain forums.

  22. gVOR08 says:


    I vacillate between thinking he’s going to be too busy dealing with lawsuits, and that he’ll need the platform to continue grifting to raise money for said lawsuits.

    Trump’s been quite useful to Putin, first money laundering, then the Birther thing to harass Obama, then disrupting the 2016 primaries, then, against everyone’s expectations, becoming President*. Once out of the presidency Trump will have to do enough against Biden to keep the oligarchs from calling his loans. Putin and the boys would like to see the Trump base kept intact and angry. Assuming he can stay out of jail.

  23. Bill says:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    Florida Gators suspend football activities after COVID-19 spike, 19 positive cases

    This news comes a few days after Florida’s head coach said the Gators should pack ‘The Swamp’, their home stadium.

  24. Bill says:
  25. Bill says:
  26. Kathy says:


    The New York Post is attempting one where Hunter Biden’s ties to Burisma resulted in Joe Biden pressuring Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating the company.

    I thought it was settled that yes, there was a demand by the Obama administration that this prosecutor be fired, because he was corrupt and purposefully not conducting competent investigations of such companies.

    So more of an October Rehash than a Surprise.

    but I still worry.

  27. JohnSF says:

    That’s being pushed again?
    Good grief.
    Between that, and Barr and Durham coming up with dry wells, looks like October Surprise is off the menu.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill: You gotta love the moronic coach who is still claiming to be a model of safety. College football coaches are the most pampered bunch of corrupt idiots in the world, with endless sycophants anxious to hail them as geniuses in all fields because they are good at a game.

    Sadly, at least some of these athletes will have reduced lung capacity for long enough that they lose their chance at the pros and getting payed as much as this drooling moron of a coach. But, of course, college athletics is all about building character, ammirite?

  29. Kathy says:


    Apparently the bombshell is that Hunter introduced his father to a Burisma executive when he visited the US.

  30. Teve says:


    :: We crossed 1,500 COVID deaths today in Wisconsin.

    A big reason: a lot of people in our state are not taking this thing seriously.

    One of them emailed tonight asking “Yeah, big deal. How many died of the flu last year?”

    The answer is 183.

    You don’t have to be a moron to be a Trumper, but it sure helps.

  31. Jen says:

    There are SO, SO many holes in the Hunter Biden “bombshell,” it’s like Lorraine cheese. Not even Swiss cheese, *Lorraine* cheese.

    Let’s start with the Mysterious Laptop. We have:

    – an unidentified store owner
    – a laptop dropped off in early *2019*
    – a mystery owner who never came back for an expensive laptop
    – store owner “thinks” the owner is Hunter Biden because–wait for it–it has a Beau Biden sticker on it (where TF are the store owner’s records?)

    The story just gets less plausible from there. Honestly, this smacks so deeply of planted evidence it’s hard to know where to even begin.

    They do appear to be getting smarter, because the email in question is an image, which makes it hard (impossible?) to grab any metadata.

  32. Teve says:

    @sam: brilliant!

  33. Kathy says:


    I think they’re trying to do the same thing they did with Clinton’s emails, namely keep the story alive and discussed in the media, to drive down voter enthusiasm for Biden as it did for Clinton.

  34. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Oh, I’m sure you’re right.

    I say, good luck with that. People are waiting in line for 5, 6+ hours to vote for Biden. That’s enthusiasm of a sort.

    Whether it’s enthusiasm for Biden or against Trump doesn’t matter. People are already voting and this sketchy AF story (from Steve Bannon, no less) shouldn’t matter.

  35. JohnSF says:

    Hah; I’ve previously called Giuliani and associates Ukrainian escapades a three stooges tribute act.
    How very wrong I was:

    “… made a copy of the hard drive and later gave it to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello.”

    OK Abbott, stop hiding…

  36. Kathy says:

    Bumps along the COVID-19 road continue unabated.

    Johnson & Johnson paused the phase 3 trial of their vaccine due to an unspecified illness in one participant. Eli Lilly similarly paused their trial of monoclonal antibodies for unspecified safety reasons.

    There have been two reported cases of reinfection with a genetically different strain of SARS-CoV-2, against which any immunity acquired on the first go round proves ineffective or insufficient. As yet there have been two reinfection cases like this, so we can’t yet generalize. Naturally these two patients were infected by someone else, so the second strain is out there, and that’s about as much as can be said. We don’t know how prevalent it is, how deadly ti is, etc.

    All outbreaks burn out eventually, when there aren’t enough fresh new hosts for the pathogen. So this, too, shall pass. But it may take years, and it will kill millions, unless a vaccine or effective treatment, or both, can be developed

  37. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve read things about climate change. I would not say that I have firm views on it – Amy Coney Barrett

    Based on her testimony yesterday, I wonder if ACB can manage to have an opinion on anything without consulting her clerks. Makes one wonder who she cribbed in her student days.

  38. Teve says:


    I’m having flashbacks to 2000, the first year I wrote for The Times. During that campaign, Bush’s key policy claims — about taxes and Social Security — were clearly, deliberately false. But The Times wouldn’t let me use the word “lie”, which they considered too harsh 1/

    In 2020 I can’t think of a single Trump theme that isn’t a blatant lie: Biden is senile, anarchists are looting major cities, Trump will protect preexisting conditions, the virus is going away, we’ve won the trade war. And media still tend to shy away from saying this plainly 2/

  39. Kathy says:


    Back in 2006, when His Covidiot majesty Manuel Andres I lost the election, he alleged widespread fraud, without providing any evidence, demanded a full recount of all polling places, closed down a major avenue in Mexico City (well, his supporters did), and declared himself the Legitimate President.

    Past keeping Reforma avenue closed for weeks, people mostly laughed it off. The law provides for filing formal complaints for irregularities observed or reported at any polling place. His Covidiocy’s campaign filed such complaints against a small number of polling places, which led people to wonder why he didn’t file against all of them as he demanded a full recount of all results?

    I expect Trump to attempt something similar, adapted to the peculiar US system (Mexico has a popular vote election, so it doesn’t matter who wins what state or district).

  40. Kylopod says:


    I think they’re trying to do the same thing they did with Clinton’s emails, namely keep the story alive and discussed in the media, to drive down voter enthusiasm for Biden as it did for Clinton.

    Of course. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to them that there isn’t a shred of evidence the Burisma story has resonated like the email story did. You can see by looking at favorability polls that emailgate hurt Clinton going all the way back to 2015 when it first broke. It was probably the #1 thing driving down her popularity. When Comey completed the initial investigation in the spring of 2016, her poll numbers against Trump immediately took a hit. They recovered afterward, but it was clearly a point of vulnerability for her. So when Comey “reopened” the investigation in October, it gave a burst of news coverage to something that had already proved damaging to her. It wasn’t just something that came out of nowhere and destroyed her–what it did was remind voters why they disliked her in the first place, at the worst possible time. Burisma, in contrast, seems to have inspired nothing but yawns and shrugs from the public, outside of the hardcore Trumpist base. The mainstream media isn’t bothering about it, the way they did with the emails. If you watch Fox News or OANN it’s the second greatest scandal in American history (after Obamagate of course), but it hasn’t ever penetrated that bubble, so there’s no reason to think it suddenly will now.

  41. Teve says:


    ted cruz just called birth control, “abortion inducing drugs” so yeah they are coming for your birth control and your IVF.

  42. Teve says:


    Everything we’ve seen so far tells me that Trump answering questions from voters for 90 minutes on Thursday night will probably end up being an in-kind contribution to the Biden campaign.

  43. sam says:

    Donald J. Trump
    Oct 13
    Republicans will be providing far better Healthcare than the Democrats, at a far lower cost…And will always protect people with Pre-existing conditions!!!!

    Lord John Whorfin: Where are we going?
    Red Lectroids: Planet Ten.
    Lord John Whorfin: When?
    Red Lectroids: Real soon.

  44. Joe says:


    People are waiting in line for 5, 6+ hours to vote for Biden. That’s enthusiasm of a sort.

    And we should all be stunned and outraged that there are 5 and 6+ hour waits for early voting! If the state can’t address that backlog, it is not doing its job (or its doing some other job for someone else).

  45. Teve says:

    By global standards the median American makes a lot of money. This is basically the only fact I know that distinguishes America from Third World countries.

  46. Teve says:

    Jeff Greenfield:


    The decision by NBC News to run a Trump town hall directly opposite ABC’s Biden town hall is indefensible.

  47. inhumans99 says:


    I actually think that continue attempts to use Hunter Biden against Biden this late in the game are actually hurting GOP efforts go get voters on Trump’s side.

    So…something I have noticed is that when a “bombshell” piece of news came out in 2016 that was designed to hurt Clinton she was extra screwed by the news because there was no story or news items to counter the narrative that Trump and his friends in the GOP were creating for the type of person Clinton is and would be if she was “allowed” to become the next President.

    This happened time and time again, a piece of news related to Benghazi comes out and she gets pummeled in the news cycle, a piece of news about “but her emails” comes out and she gets pummeled, some time goes by and then a few weeks before the election more “but her emails” news when Comey holds his presser. In hindsight it was even more brutal than it seemed at the time as Clinton could not catch a break.

    Fast forward to this year and the GOP tries to gain traction with the stories that Biden assaulted women, but the press does their job for a change and looks into the story and discovers some of the folks accusing Biden of bad behavior are not as credible as you like them to be when making such an accusation, so that does not stick to Biden.

    Ron Johnson gets on a high horse to investigate Burisma and Hunter Biden, but when the report finally comes out he whines that no one is taking it seriously, as it shows Biden is not fit to be our next President, no it does…Ron Johnson said so, we just need to take another look at the report and stop calling it a nothing burger, so that does not stick to Biden (and this is the first evidence that attempts to hurt Biden might be backfiring as people on both sides are not happy the GOP went after Biden’s son).

    Today, Bannon tries to peddle yet another piece of news designed to get the public against Biden, but lo and behold instead of this story completely consuming the news cycle, it comes out that the Trump admin buried a report that basically exonerates Obama which deflates most of the punch this story might have towards getting the public to finally turn against Biden.

    This was supposed to be what, at least the 2nd or 3rd investigation that took place on Trump’s orders that was supposed to be THE October surprise that would sink Biden and provide proof to the public that Trump was right all along that Obama should be locked up when the investigation concludes and reveals his criminal activity (even Trump’s loony tunes supporters roll their eyes when Trump goes around screaming Obama should be locked up and the investigation will prove him right)…what’s that you say, the report proved no such thing, has anyone told Trump this information yet?

    Whether or not the GOP realizes it the lack of push back when Trump goes crazy on twitter is hurting the GOP at the ballot box, Trump’s actions and words reek of the actions of someone who is desperate and no one likes to see a President act out of desperation.

    It is like that saying that you do not want to reek of desperation when you are interviewing for a job as no one wants to hire someone who looks desperate to get a job. That is Trump right now and the GOP barely has enough time to start forcefully denouncing some of the more outlandish stuff Trump says before it is too late.

  48. Jen says:

    @Joe: I 100% agree with you. It’s an absolute tragedy and farce that anyone should be in line that long to vote.

    It’s sort of how I feel about those “aw, person x raised enough money on GoFundMe to pay for xyz treatment” stories. That’s not a feel good story, it’s a health care failure story. Waiting in line for what amounts to an entire work day is not a feel good story, it’s a “the system is %#^*ing broken” story.

  49. Teve says:


    They call it “Originalism” because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is hard to pronounce.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been musing on just how this pandemic is almost designed to be a perfect storm for Trump supporters. They seem to have an unhealthy need to follow a strong leader and subsume their will into his, coupled with an equally strong compulsion to pick as that leader whatever person displays the most alpha behavior, and they have no ability or desire to check whether that person actually has any capability beyond putting on the alpha act. Their behavior with respect to masking, social distancing, etc is essentially mass delusion, the closest I’ve ever seen to a real life enactment of “Well, if Donald Trump jumped off a bridge would you do it too?”

    Normally, I would simply be sad for them but unfortunately their mass hysteria has effects on rational people too.

  51. gVOR08 says:

    Going back to yesterdays Open Forum there was some discussion of the idea conservatives lack imagination and have a need for certainty in their beliefs. I felt I had seen this in some book or article. DrDaveT suggested George Lakoff.

    This seems like something Lakoff might cover, but I have his Little Blue Book, Moral Politics, and Whose Freedom in my Kindle library. I tried text searching with a list of terms that seemed relevant and struck out. Anybody have any other suggestions, or a specific cite from Lakoff?

  52. Kathy says:

    I tend to agree the October Rehash won’t hurt Biden, but count no one happy until Trump first loses the election and then goes out of office.

    So I worry.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Well sure. But because of GINI coefficient differences, it takes a lot more money to be poor in the US than it does in the Third World.

  54. gVOR08 says:


    They call it “Originalism” because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is hard to pronounce.

    That. And calling it “Cherry Picking” would kind of give the game away.

    I’ve just read a book Ideas With Consequences which purports to be a study of the Federalist Society. It’s not a very good book, but it is unintentionally revealing. It discusses in mind numbing detail a handful of cases and issues. In the book, everything is driven by a pure dedication to correct interpretation of the law. However the anti-regulatory agenda is pretty obvious, much of it revolving around narrowing the Commerce Clause. However the first example she uses is gun rights. One might wonder why a focus on gun rights. Turns out they’re hoping to use the issue to drive a bizarre interpretation of the 14th Amendment that would cripple state regulatory power. It’s all about Chuckles Koch and his ilk’s desire to handicap regulation. The word “abortion” appears once in a passing mention. It’s not a priority for the FS, it’s a bone to hold out in front of the rubes.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: “…is indefensible.”
    Worst than that. It may be a bad ratings move. Then again, based on what I’ve seen on NBC recently, maybe nobody’s watching anymore anyway.

  56. flat earth luddite says:

    Gawamighty, what an incredible shot! Still, can’t imagine being anywhere near that close to that magnificent cat.

  57. JohnSF says:

    Interesting article by Derek Lowe on why the coronavirus reinfection new is not necessarily massive problem re. a potential vaccine.

  58. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Re pause in clinical trials.
    Just what does that mean practically? People who have been inoculated are to temporarily stop keeping their diaries, or not go to scheduled medical appointments?
    Best I can imagine is that it only means that (a) temporarily stop recruiting and or (b) do not inoculate any more qualified participants.
    Either way it suggests that the trial has not achieved it’s participation goals .

  59. inhumans99 says:

    Not a direct reply to Kathy but I really am less stressed today than I was yesterday. I believe that the report Barr had buried was supposed to be THE smoking gun that would bury Biden’s chances at becoming President. I could be wrong, but I think this is the report he basically admitted would come out right before the election as it was designed to hurt Biden…he said this out loud and was well aware he was saying yeah, I am trying to screw over Trump’s political enemies.

    A lot, and I do mean a lot of political capital was expended towards generating these investigations with promises that the Democratic Party would be shaking in their boots right around now. Politico had multiple articles up over the past few months questioning the validity of these investigations and whether or not they were simply witch hunts to bring down Biden and the GOP kept insisting these investigations were important and the public had a right to know.

    I hope the following point I am about to try and make using the film Poltergeist makes sense, but remember the scene where the dad yells at the guy who developed the land his house was on that he removed the tombstones but did not remove the bodies….a very powerful scene.

    I feel like members of the GOP should grab ahold of McConnell and scream at him you spent all this political capital but you did not release the report, you did not release the report…how could you do this!?!

    I apologize that this post is a bit silly, but I think it is just a horrible look for the GOP to have spent so much time claiming that this report they buried was Important, it destroys any credibility they have even amongst some of their more hardcore supporters.

    I feel that we are about the discover the GOP is not invincible and we do not have a Teflon Don as President.

    I also feel like Democrats should be screaming at Barr to release the report everyday until the election. The schmucks that comprise today’s GOP were practically salivating with glee that this report would wreck the Democratic Party so for the report to not see the light of day is unacceptable. The GOP made their bed and they should be forced to lie in it.

    Whew, on that note I will stop posting about this subject. Maybe I am making too big a deal out of it but if feels like this report was supposed to be THE Death Star blast that would take down Biden.

    After this election that GOP is going to need to rebuild their credibility.

    Also, no edit button so sorry for typos.

  60. Teve says:

    @flat earth luddite: he wasn’t. It was a camera-trap shot.

  61. JohnSF says:

    The 14th Amensdment:
    How in the heck do they intend to use that amendment to effect regulatory powers?

    It was meant (please excuse any errors I may make here, on grounds of being British) to ensure that freed slaves couldn’t be denied citizenship (which I happen to know because I re-read Maldwyn Jones’s The Limits of Liberty recently).
    What are they on about?
    Am I missing something here?

  62. Teve says:
  63. Jen says:

    @JohnSF: IANAL, but 14th Amendment cases fall under the application of the Equal Protection Clause. Broadly, it prevents discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and (I believe) any other so-called suspect classifications.

  64. Jen says:

    For example, Obergefell v. Hodges was a 14th Amendment case.

  65. If any of you watch Trump on NBC tomorrow night…I’m coming for you…

  66. JohnSF says:

    Just spent some time reading the 14th Amendmet.
    IANAL (and furthermore IANAAmericanL)
    But just maybe, a rather perverse reading of :

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States


  67. Teve says:


    Wow, Barrett will not say if Griswold was correct. That’s a major tell.

    Who had “they’re coming for birth control too”? If you’d like to step over to the cashiers…

  68. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnSF: They want to drive a truck through the “Privileges or immunities” clause.

    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

    They want to reverse the precedent of an old case called “Slaughterhouse”. New Orleans got tired of after every flood having offal and dung in their streets and yards and set up a scheme to force the slaughterhouses to move from upstream to downstream. The slaughterhouses objected, claiming this interfered with their employees right to work as they could elsewhere and that such a right was imposed on the state and city by this clause. The court appears to have given that argument all the consideration it deserved and held for the state. The FS tried to claim the right to have a gun was granted by this clause. The Court held for them in Heller but rejected this part of their argument. Had the Court agreed, I expect they’d also argue all states have to honor any states concealed carry permit. They would then argue that corporations are citizens and this clause gives them a right to operate as allowed by the loosest state.

    Given context, the intent of the 14th seems clear, but not to a Federalist Society “Originalist”.

  69. Teve says:

    Extremely high pressures transmitted by diamond pairs were required to make this happen, so it’s not going to turn into technology next year or anything, but it’s still amazing and potentially important that physicists have created a room temperature semiconductor

  70. MarkedMan says:


    it destroys any credibility they have even amongst some of their more hardcore supporters.

    You are giving hardcore supporters way too much credit on their ability to draw a line between two points…

  71. Teve says:


    This is a huge tell. A GOP strategist tells Bloomberg that Senate Republicans don’t want a big stimulus bill now because they want to pivot hard to austerity under a Biden presidency, which could cripple it. No wonder McConnell is laughing. New piece:

    (WaPo paywall link)

  72. Mu Yixiao says:

    Emily Miller didn’t get fired from the FDA. She got… promoted?

  73. flat earth luddite says:

    Yeah, I knew it was. Still a stunning image, and the photog’s patience was well rewarded.
    (although we also loose a few photographers every year who should know better about where/what/when they’re shooting, but with that forest it had to be a trap, or a death wish ;^)) )

  74. flat earth luddite says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    But guys. everything on Comedy Channel’s a repeat, and I need the laughs!

  75. Teve says:

    Now Amy Covid Barrett is saying she can’t say whether or not she agrees with Lawrence v. Texas.

    What is the point of this hearing?

  76. CSK says:

    Trump last night in Pennsylvania:

    “Suburban women: Will you please like me? Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, okay?”

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats a racist groveling and pleading for votes.

    Followed by a threat:
    “You damn well better vote for me, Pennsylvania. You better vote.”

    The man needs a psychiatric intervention.

  77. JohnSF says:

    Yeeks! That is an impressive bit of stretchery going on.
    (Or else they’re smoking crack.)

    Using an Amendment to the original Constitution, required due to the clear failures of the original re. race and slavery, as a device of Originalism, though!
    Extra points for audacity there!

    Also, reading around it recently, the “Originalists” can’t seem to make up their minds if the initial amendments did or did not uphold common law (and other arguable at law) rights and if so is the Common Law not allowed to alter past 1791?
    Arguing the latter would get a mighty swipe of side-eye from any English judge!

    Anyhoo, I reckon these Federalists ( and I’d suggest that name’s got Alexander Hamilton yearning to leap out of his grave and pick a fight) are missing a trick here.
    If this extends the right to bear arms, and to conceal arms, and that corporations are citizens, then surely companies have the right to “well regulated militias” of secret private armies! With heavy artillery!

    And these people call themselves conservatives?

  78. Teve says:


    Twitter has suspended a number of fake accounts purporting to be owned by Black Trump supporters, saying the accounts broke rules on spam and platform manipulation.

    Many accounts used identical language, like: “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!”

  79. JohnSF says:

    What the heck is going on with the comment/edit function?
    Was not able to edit befor; but now showing an edit function BUT WITH THE TEXT OF A PREVIOUS COMMENT!
    Wt (and I speak advisedly here) F?

  80. Jen says:

    @Teve: That makes my blood boil.

    Millions unemployed, we’re about to face an eviction crisis of epic proportions, and McConnell is doubling down on his inner @sshole.

    That man is a threat to the Republic. Honestly, I wish McGrath had a chance in hell of winning because McConnell needs to go. He’s evil.

  81. Barry says:

    @gVOR08: “Trump’s been quite useful to Putin, first money laundering, then the Birther thing to harass Obama, then disrupting the 2016 primaries, then, against everyone’s expectations, becoming President*. Once out of the presidency Trump will have to do enough against Biden to keep the oligarchs from calling his loans. Putin and the boys would like to see the Trump base kept intact and angry. Assuming he can stay out of jail.”

    It’s pretty cheap for them, as well. Assuming that Trump owes twice what he owes in public records, say $1 billion, it might be equivalent to $100 million/year.

    I can see Putin feeling that that chaos is worth the price.

  82. Teve says:

    @Jen: destroying businesses, causing evictions, preventing people who want to work from getting jobs, probably causing some suicides, just so he might get some political advantage out of it… honestly if somebody decided to assassinate him I would throw a party.

  83. Kathy says:


    The 14th Amensdment:
    How in the heck do they intend to use that amendment to effect regulatory powers?

    Various iterations of the Supreme Court have interpreted the 14th amendment as applying to corporations as well as individuals, both being persons entitled to equal protection under the law.

    I think corporations have been involved in more cases involving the equal protection clause than actual people.

  84. Gromitt Gunn says:

    The State of Texas regulatory body that governs social workers has removed rules preventing social workers from discriminating against LGBT people and people with disabilities, at the request of the Governor’s Office.

    There are over 100 Texas counties with a mental health practitioner shortfall designation from the US Government. Many of them are rural, some of which are vast. There are places where it can take a couple of hours to drive to the next county’s population center. Assuming you have a car and can drive.

    The Texas GOP once again proves that it simply has no lower bound.

    This is why it was never just about wedding cakes.

  85. Kylopod says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: I will never forget the time Rick Perry attacked a memorandum from the Obama Admin opposing anti-LGBT policies around the world. Perry claimed it was advocating “special rights” (which is, by the way, a Jim Crow-era phrase). The memorandum was largely in reaction to Uganda’s move to make homosexuality a capital crime. Perry apparently believed it was giving gay people “special rights” to oppose their execution.

  86. JohnSF says:


    Once again, I say:
    “Oh Originalists, you fail in ambition! For if corporations are persons, then persons can be corporate.
    And if people can own corporations, therefore…”

  87. Kathy says:


    There’s no all points bulletin to order B cells to stop producing antibodies, nor any attempt to drain monoclonal antibodies from patients 😉

    But, yes, they stop inoculating or infusing more participants, which delays the results of the trial. Maybe only by a few days, but with hundreds of thousands of new cases worldwide every day, it kind of matters.

    More important, a pause can signal a major problem. It’s unlikely, but it can always happen.

  88. Kathy says:


    I think I’ve come to realize the most potent law in the universe is the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    I’d bet all of Trump’s fortune, such as it is, that the people who drafted the 14th amendment used the word “persons” rather than “men” or “citizens” or “residents” both for economy and inclusion, not to grant an association of partners or investors the status of persons.

    If it’s any consolation, similar laws apply in other countries. In Mexico there are “physical persons,” meaning people, and “moral persons,” meaning corporations, partnerships, companies, etc., albeit with clearly defined rights and obligations for each kind.

  89. CSK says:

    Barron Trump has tested positive for Covid-19.
    Trump said, “Barron”s fine,” and then resumed talking about how Amy is doing a fantastic job (he repeated that twice) and yammering about tomorrow’s rally.

    Nothing like a caring dad!

  90. Jen says:

    Incidentally, as perhaps expected, the entire NY Post story about Hunter Biden has come crashing down. The email was apparently forged, and the computer repair shop guy crumpled like a cheap lawn chair during a press conference.

  91. Kathy says:

    Veering off COVID-19 and US politics, Mexico recently debuted new food labeling for packaged products.

    The nutritional info is unchanged (very similar to that found in the US in fact), but now the front has to contain black hexagonal labels with white typeface warning about excess sodium, sugar, calories, or saturated fats.

    I’m finding this rather useful. I do read labels, but when one product says how many saturated fats it contains in grams per serving, what does that mean? Now I know, or I think I do.

    Now, you wouldn’t be surprised to find hot sauce labeled as “excess sodium” (I do better quantifying sodium, as I use little to no salt when I cook), but many also warn of “excess sugar.”

    It’s not universal yet, there’s a grace period. Some products came out with new labels or boxes, others have placed stickers on top of existing labels, and a few have done nothing yet. And I haven’t looked at many products other than those I usually buy, but I’ve noticed a few things. For instance a breakfast bar promoted as healthy, it’s called Fiber One, has warnings for excess sodium and saturated fats. Nice.

  92. Jen says:


    What have we here?

    Remember when that entire courtroom floor was shut down during the Mueller investigation?

    Exclusive: Feds chased suspected foreign link to Trump’s 2016 campaign cash for three years

    I, for one, would not have guessed Egypt was behind door #2, but here we are…

  93. JohnSF says:

    Mexico would be “Roman Civil” Law based I assume?
    English Law (IIRC and IANAL) has companies as “having legal personality”, but as an “artificial person” I think the term is. So distinct from an “actual” person.

    And (theoretically) Parliament could and did (and in theory still can, I assume) grant para-statal powers to corporate bodies, or whatever other privileges it might choose (the joys of the absolute sovreignty of Crown-in-Parliament).
    The classic example being the East India Company.

    Also companies could be corporations, but usually weren’t; under traditional usage “corporations” were primarily such things as municipalities, universities, charities, guilds and “livery companies”.

    More recently, English and Scottish Law has not been affected by baroque constructions based on constitutional amendments, for obvious reason.
    It has been heavily influenced by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; which does give companies defensible rights, but has never gone to the lengths found in the US.

    Makes me think: not having “Founders” can have a advantage in not being inclined to revere them.

  94. JohnSF says:

    I am shocked. SHOCKED, I say!

  95. Teve says:


    Now, you wouldn’t be surprised to find hot sauce labeled as “excess sodium” (I do better quantifying sodium, as I use little to no salt when I cook), but many also warn of “excess sugar.”

    I was reading some reviews of hot sauces the other day and there was a big taste test done where Frank’s Red Hot came out number one by a long shot*, but the article mentioned that it also has a shit ton of salt compared to other hot sauces. Which just gave me a excuse to buy the chipotle version of Tabasco sauce instead. 😀

    (*really surprising to me was that Cholula came in dead last in a blind taste test)

  96. Roger says:


    Going back to yesterdays Open Forum there was some discussion of the idea conservatives lack imagination and have a need for certainty in their beliefs….I tried text searching with a list of terms that seemed relevant and struck out. Anybody have any other suggestions, or a specific cite from Lakoff?

    I wonder if you’re thinking of psychologist Glenn Wilson’s The Psychology of Conservatives, where he argued that conservatives have a “generalized susceptibility to experiencing threat or anxiety in the face of uncertainty.”

  97. Scott says:

    @Teve: We used to use Cholula as our everyday hot sauce but ever since my daughter came back from a semester in San Luis Potosi, we’ve been buying Valentina both in mild and hot varieties usually in 1L bottles.

  98. JohnSF says:

    And also, even if the purported messages re, a Burisma executive being introduced by H. Biden to J. Biden were true, so what? Giuliani hath laboured to bring forth a nothing-mouse.

    (Unless Joe Biden or his spokespersons had denied something provably true; that might alter things.)
    It was the absentee owner of Burisma that was was the object of investigations, not Burisma the company.

  99. Sleeping Dog says:

    Why I’m Glad I Left America

    Even when Trump is defeated and gone (hopefully to jail), life here will simply be bad, not awful.

  100. Sleeping Dog says:

    Sorry if this has been posted.

    538 has updated their election forecast. Biden’s chance of winning is up to 87% and from their simulations, the most likely EV total for him is, be calm now, 400.

    Here’s the link

  101. Kathy says:


    I find Cholula too mild and Valentina too hot. I use one called Tajin for snacks and over raw vegetables with lime. Also the chipotle version fo Bufalo hot sauce.

  102. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    538 has updated their election forecast. Biden’s chance of winning is up to 87% and from their simulations, the most likely EV total for him is, be calm now, 400.

    That’s interesting, since he hasn’t actually pulled ahead in their average for Texas, which is the only way realistically he’s going to break that 400-marker.

  103. JohnSF says:

    Quinnipiac Universty Poll:
    GEORGIA: Biden 51%, Trump 44%

    7% lead in Georgia? Can this be correct?

    But even if not, it indicates Biden campaign is parking its tanks on the GoP lawn.
    If they are fighting to hold in places like Georgia…

    Plus Dems shading them in BOTH Senate polls in Georgia!
    If my rough calcs. are right-ish, that would likely give Democrats the Senate?

  104. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: Do you have a link?

  105. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    The Senate forecast now favors the Democrats to win a majority. Until recently they were only slightly favored (meaning not very far removed from an even chance).

    Guess Trump’s recuperative powers failed to deliver a COVID bounce.

    Also, Amy Covid Barret has to be the most ignorant person ever to be nominated for the Supreme Court, or she’s been lying about half the time during her hearing.

  106. JohnSF says:

    I like Cholula; but if you want to add a tad more hot, and don’t mind violating the Mexican border: Encona Habanero/Scotch Bonnet West Indian Sauce works for me!

  107. Teve says:

    @Kathy: my Mexican friend Daniella puts Tajin on fruit.

  108. EddieInCA says:

    Alabama Football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for Covid-19.

    I’d say I hope he recovers, but I’d be a lying hypocrite.

  109. Jen says:


    Sure–sorry! Here’s the email being broken down as a forgery: Link

    Here’s the weird computer shop dude interview: Link

  110. JohnSF says:

    I was thinking “Well, Ms. Barret, why not just answer the questions? You know you’ve got the votes anyway. Why be coy?”

    Then it came to me in a flash of revelation!
    It’s obvious!
    Amy Coney Barret is a Deep State Maoist sleeper agent! What other explanation can there be?
    “Paging Q-Anon, Mr Q-Anon to the white courtesy phone…”

  111. inhumans99 says:


    The more I google and read articles on this story the less stressed I become, these are the supposed smoking gun emails that the Senate committee investigation team chose not to use because they came from dubious sources. Some right wing folks were probably livid that the Senate committee chose not to run with bogus information and are releasing this stuff on their own.

    Trump is already super mad at twitter and FB whenever they warn people his posts may contain factually incorrect info so good on them for choosing to continue to risk the wrath of Trump by limiting the amplification of this story.

    Also, this is another “bombshell” story that the GOP is hoping gets picked up and starts to dominate the news cycle but so far other than a mention in Politico’s Daily Playbook post section and a few mentions at sites like Reason and Media Matters none of the majors are taking the bait.

    Good, this is not the October surprise the GOP was hoping for.

    In 2016 anytime I latched onto checking out a story involving Clinton’s alleged misdeeds it started to fill me with dread but it is the opposite with stories like this one by the Post that try to take down Biden…they are such obvious attempts to plant disinformation in the minds of folks who have more than two sticks to rub together in their head that it is almost embarrassing the GOP is trying to claim they want to get Biden and Hunter back in front of Congress to answer questions. Biden seems not to be taking the bait.

    I have to say, I am impressed at how disciplined Biden’s campaign has been because Biden certainly seems to be listening to whomever is telling what to say and how to act when he is in front of a public audience. Biden put out a carefully worded statement that the alleged meeting in The NY Post story never actually took place and that seems to be as far as Biden wants to take things when it comes to replying to the story…good on him, his discipline is looking likely to take him into the White House again this November.

  112. Teve says:

    Andy Borowitz

    Amy Coney Barrett Refuses To Tell Domino’s What She Wants On Pizza

  113. DrDaveT says:


    Based on her testimony yesterday, I wonder if ACB can manage to have an opinion on anything without consulting her clerks.

    This is a top lawyer; you have to parse more carefully. She did not say that she does not have strong views on the subject. She said that she would not say that she has strong views on the subject. Similarly, I would not say that I ate the last brownie, though it was delicious.

  114. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: The hearing was supposed to have a point? I thought it was simply a procedural move before the Republicans railroaded her in.

    I had no idea…

  115. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: I don’t see the cognitive dissonance as much. Conservatives at base and in the dark night of their souls are supporters of aristocratic government. The closest we have to an aristocracy here are the oligarchs who control most of the capital of the nation and run most of the businesses. Of course these people should have private armies. It’s only natural. I’m surprised that they don’t seem to be working harder at creating these private armies. In a generation or so, the one’s who were slow off the mark will be sorry–and hanging from lampposts by their entrails because there’s not enough ropes.

  116. Kathy says:


    I feel that we are about the discover the GOP is not invincible and we do not have a Teflon Don as President.

    Well, Teflon is not quite as non-stick as DuPont would have you believe. Notably, meat tends to stick to it when it gets too hot (pure coincidence, I’m sure). it also tends to get more sticky with use (another pure coincidence. what are the odds?)

    I’ve found ceramic cookware more stick-resistant, as long as you don’t raise the burner much past medium, and it also wears off in time. My new favorite is marble (which I’m sure it’s not real marble, but rather what it looks like). I got a pot made with it, and it seems to repel even oil (it kind of coalesces into one big drop). I want to see how it does with melted cheese.

  117. Teve says:

    new Biden ad

    Check that shit out.

  118. Teve says:

    @Kathy: ceramic is really good while it lasts. Right now I’ve got an anodized aluminum pan and it’s really nice.

  119. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, thing is I’m fine with aristocratic government, within the bounds of a mixed constution, adapted to contemporary circumstance.
    I have no problem with an hereditary monarch as nominal head of state and a part of the sovereign “Crown-In-Parliament”.
    I find an unelected House of Lords including a hereditary peerage element unobjectionable.

    What astonishes me is that they forget that the ending of feudal “livery and maintenance” by Henry VII was an important part of establishing modern civil order in England.

    Or that one thing the Revolutionaries, Bonapartists, Restoration, Confederation, Second Reich etc all agreed on in France and Germany and Italy was that feudalistic private armies must be stamped on with hob nailed boots to enable a modern society to develop.

  120. Mister Bluster says: Biden ad

    Nice… I voted eight days ago at the Courthouse…every Democrat on the ballot…

  121. flat earth luddite says:

    Of course, why didn’t I recognize this before? We must let the sheeples know!!

  122. JohnSF says:

    What IS IT with the edit function?

    Further to previous:
    Even if the “corporations” don’t have armed forces, to allow them to wield overt political power seem to me to be wildly “unconservative”, in that you are skewing the balance of power in the state in favour of a certain elite in a manner that invites over-reach.

    (See also why idiot “libertarian monarchist” advocacies of non-democratic systems are a pile of steaming pants from the point of view of prudential conservatism)

  123. DrDaveT says:


    I wonder if you’re thinking of psychologist Glenn Wilson’s The Psychology of Conservatives, where he argued that conservatives have a “generalized susceptibility to experiencing threat or anxiety in the face of uncertainty.”

    That sounds like a more precise match than my Lakoff suggestion. I was thinking of Lakoff’s analysis of conservatives as needing a “strict father” to impose discipline and tell right from wrong, but Lakoff doesn’t (at least in the sources I was able to find quickly) talk much about how they deal with ambiguity or uncertainty.

  124. JohnSF says:

    BLOODY edit function ate a previous post somehow!
    I like Cholula for flavour; but if you want to add heat and don’t mind crossing the border, I favour Encona West Indian Sauce (scotch bonnet/habanero)

  125. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: My cast iron pan when sprayed with food release sprays is the most stick resistant pan in my small set of kitchen ware and my wok come in a close second, but only because the food is floating on an oil slick at the bottom of the curve. My cast iron pan is a chicken frying pan, though, so it’s pretty heavy and doesn’t do omelets very well.

  126. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Did I mention anything about Republicans wanting a modern society? If so, my bad. I see no evidence of Republicans wanting modern anything.

  127. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I have a griddle pan for cooking steak etc.
    Cast iron, no coating.
    Weighs about 5lb (don’ drop it on your foot).
    Trick to getting it to be non-stick is to get it so hot it’s radiating in the UV band,and will melt your eyeballs if you look at it too long 🙂
    Then oil the steak (or whatever) before cooking.

  128. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: I see the disconnect clearly now. You are assuming that “conservative” carries with it principles of public good, effective governance, moral wise leadership, concern for the rights of minorities and people potentially easily oppressed, and other hallmarks of a functional social contract. Conservatives here seem to hold no such principles, as I attempted to note when I referred to those who hold control of the bulk of the capital as “oligarchs.”

    My bad. I didn’t explain my view clearly enough.

  129. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: A more efficient way of putting what I just said would have been to say that I see no evidence of “prudential conservatism” in the US. Conservatives are fully ready to burn the country to the ground in return for the right to rule over the ashes and carnage.

  130. Teve says:

    @JohnSF: by Wien’s Law, if you want the griddle pan’s radiation to peak just into the UV, you’re going to need to heat it to 13,267°F 😀

    (I don’t often get an excuse to drag out the old physics these days)

  131. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Chohula Green is my default hot sauce. Not very hot, but very, very tasty.

  132. Teve says:

    @JohnSF: I love spicy food, but just like the trendy breweries that make IPAs too bitter, there’s been a trend in hot sauce to make it unproductively hot. Dave’s insanity sauce, Mad dog 357, etc. too hot to enjoy the flavor of the food. So I generally like sticking under 50,000 Scoville units. The chipotle Tabasco I’ve got right now is only like 2000 units. I wonder where Encona West Indian is at.

  133. flat earth luddite says:

    headline in Seattle newspaper today:

    As he battles for seniors’ votes, Trump tweets a meme mocking Biden’s age and placing him in a wheelchair

    Really, conservatives/GOP? This chucklehead was the BEST you could do? Really? My wife’s backpack/purse is brighter, and has more political nous, than Fearless Leader. And it’s a stuffed black bear…

  134. Kathy says:


    So about thirty second on the bare pavement in Vegas in July? 😉

    BTW, every piece of cookware is non-stick if you ad enough oil, be it on the pan or on the food. The trick is not using that much oil, or with no oil at all. I’ve a deep Teflon saucepan I love for making sauces and dishes with lots of sauce, but beef, chicken, eggs, cheese, and potatoes stick to it with a death grip with the amounts of oil I use.

  135. Kathy says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    This time next year, or maybe three weeks from now, Republicans will be telling themselves, “Well, a ham sandwich could have beaten Hillary Clinton.”

  136. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    And the British Conservative Party seems to be going the same way.
    Takeover by mad activists and a nexus of “hedgie”/”Old Boy/”new right”media/TuftonSt lobby groups.
    Then again, though a “conservative” in some respects, I have never been a Conservative, let alone a Tory. (Margaret Thatcher, for instance, I would peg both as a Conservative and as a rather intolerant liberal).
    I’d be more inclined towards e.g. Ernie Bevin, or Clement Attlee etc: a socialist conservative 🙂 (hopefully minus the faults of the old Labour Right re. racism and sexism though; and definitely not a nationalist socialist)
    And shove a bit of distributism in the mix.

  137. Kylopod says:

    @inhumans99: @Kathy: The practice of calling certain politicians “Teflon” has always been lazy. It kind of made sense with Reagan, who was for the most part extremely popular (even that isn’t entirely true–he had low approval ratings during much of his first term, and he later took a hit from Iran-Contra) and won two massive landslides. Trump has never been popular, he got into office in a squeaker, and he suffered a horrible midterm while the economy was doing well. If the current polls hold and he suffers a total blowout, his presidency will have been one giant political catastrophe.

    Even the notion that he has some special ability to survive things that would have destroyed other presidents or candidates is questionable. Take the Access Hollywood fiasco. Would that have guaranteed defeat for any other candidate? We don’t know, because there never really has been a comparable situation before. And it didn’t happen in a vacuum: he was faced against an opponent with her own problems, and while I think the way Hillary’s emails was equated with Trump’s problems was ridiculous, there’s no question Hillary was damaged goods. The fact that he benefited from it may say more about her weaknesses than it does about his strengths.

    What Trump’s “survival” up to this point has really proved is that a lot of things people have long assumed are necessary for a candidate really aren’t; it’s just that nobody bothered to test it before. And to a large extent his “survival” has more to do with how he’s protected by the institutions (namely the GOP and the ways they’ve figured out how to game the system) than it does about the voters.

  138. JohnSF says:

    Oh, not that hot.
    About 6000 IIRC.
    That’s about the upper limit I’d consider useable.

    I’d agree with you: spicy is great.
    Napalm death of the mouth is just silly (usually macho BS IMHO); what’s the point of food you can’t taste over a chili inferno?

  139. Sleeping Dog says:


    Over at the Bulwark, Charlie Sykes has been mocking Barrett, to the effect of, a self proclaimed originalist, can’t discern that founders expected peaceful transitions of power.

    These SC hearings are a joke. The senators have what 3 minutes for questions and then they bloviate for 2.5 and the nominee doesn’t answer the question. They’re worthless and best ignored.

  140. Teve says:


    Faith-healing church school in Redding CA flouted mask and social distancing rules. It’s now the source of a superspreading event, with 274 new cases of #COVID19 so far in less than a week.

    Well you best get to faith healing!

  141. Jax says:

    Sturgis is still leaving it’s mark. My biological grandfather lives near there, and is currently on a ventilator/sedated because of COVID. I wondered how he would fare, with his numerous Facebook posts decrying lockdowns and mask orders.

    I wish him the best. He’s not gonna get the care his idol got, that’s for damn sure. :-/

  142. gVOR08 says:

    @Roger: @Roger:

    I wonder if you’re thinking of psychologist Glenn Wilson’s The Psychology of Conservatives, where he argued that conservatives have a “generalized susceptibility to experiencing threat or anxiety in the face of uncertainty

    I hadn’t run across that. I’ll check it out. Thanks.

  143. Teve says:

    You’ll never see a more narcissistic 19 seconds in your life.

    I watched it twice to be sure I heard what I thought I heard.

  144. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Well, they sowed the seeds for civil war, and Jefferson said that thing about the tree of liberty and the blood of patriots…


    We can adapt an old joke. It ends with the religious guy dead of COVID-19, asking God why didn’t He save him. God says “I gave you social distancing, I gave you face masks, what more did you want?”

  145. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: Wait, do the Trumpers now believe Trump won a Nobel Peace Prize?

  146. Teve says:
  147. Kurtz says:


    People are fleeing California. Taxes too high, Crime too high, Brownouts too many, Lockdowns too severe. VOTE FOR TRUMP, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE!!!
    12:27 AM · Oct 15, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

  148. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: They also believe Rittenhouse isn’t being charged for anything, and cheering for it.

  149. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: Trump underestimated suburban women, and their desire to NOT let their little boys grow up like Donald Trump, I suspect.

    There’s only so much pussy-grabbing and child imprisonment a gal can take, after all. (eyeroll)

  150. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: Wait, he didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize? But he was nominated, and if he didn’t win it then he would be a Nobel Prize Loser!

    “It’s an honor to be nominated” is something losers say.

    I mean, even Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize…