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. Lounsbury says:

    Very rarely do I read something written by Thomas Friedman and agree, but his column on Putin: Putin Has No Good Way Out, and That Really Scares Me

    In the coming weeks it will become more and more obvious that our biggest problem with Putin in Ukraine is that he will refuse to lose early and small, and the only other outcome is that he will lose big and late. But because this is solely his war and he cannot admit defeat, he could keep doubling down in Ukraine until … until he contemplates using a nuclear weapon.

    Losing early and small and declaring limited victory is indeed our best case but… frighteningly unlikely.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    People talk about how desirable it would be if America had more than two parties, but I’m not so sure. I think a lot of those in favor imagine new parties like, “The Common Sense Party” and “The Just Get Things Done Party”, but I imagine the first new parties will be “The Antiabortion Party” and “The Right to Conceal Carry in Grade Schools Party.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance found off coast of Antarctica

    The “world’s most challenging shipwreck search” for one of the greatest legends of exploration history, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance, lost 106 years ago in the icy waters of Antarctica, has succeeded.

    The wreck has been found, 3,008 metres below the surface of what Shackleton described as “the portion of the worst sea in the world”. It was discovered on Saturday, the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s funeral, the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust said.
    Arcing across the submerged ship’s wooden stern is its famous name, preserved by the freezing waters and the absence of wood-eating organisms.

    The Endurance was found off the coast of Antarctica, approximately four miles south of the position originally recorded by its captain, Frank Worsley. It has not been seen since it was crushed by ice and sank in the Weddell Sea in November 1915.

    Mensun Bound, the expedition’s director of exploration, said footage showed the 144ft ship to be intact.

    “We are overwhelmed by our good fortune in having located and captured images of Endurance,” he said. “This is by far the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen. It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation … This is a milestone in polar history.”

    The tale of Endurance and the men who sailed her is legend. Finding it is a big deal.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: the first new parties will be “The Antiabortion Party” and “The Right to Conceal Carry in Grade Schools Party.”

    So instead of one GOP we’ll have 3 smaller ones? Wouldn’t hurt anyway, might help.

  5. CSK says:

    My father had the book Endurance, by Alfred Lansing, which I’ve always meant to read. Published in 1959, it’s still thought to be the best account of the voyage and sinking.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Do it. It’s a great book. I got cold reading it. It’s probably the source of my fascination with the story. Still on my shelf. My wife has been on me to thin out my books but that one will always be there.

  7. CSK says:

    Thanks; I’ll put it in my TBR pile today

  8. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: It would be an enormous mess. In addition to an American mindset that seems to gravitate towards binary thought, our system reinforces it. I will point out to anyone who will listen that Maine’s execrable Gov. LePage won his first race with around 35% of the vote because it was a 5-way race.

    Or, consider Ross Perot, who received almost 20 million votes in the 1992 election but didn’t win a single electoral college vote.

    Multiple parties would simply make people feel even more frustrated, IMHO.

  9. CSK says:

    The Pentagon has rejected Poland’s plan to give the U.S. its MIG-29s to help Ukraine.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My grandpa has always dressed like a farmer. He favors overalls or Wranglers strung up by suspenders, pearl-snap shirts, boots, and a short-brim Stetson. When he went to church or dinner, he’d wear what he called his “uptown” suspenders, slimmer and printed with paisley or little flowers. When I was little, he smelled like pipe tobacco, and he’d blow smoke rings for me to slap apart before they floated to the ceiling. That smell has always reminded me of him. There were years I didn’t know him at all—divorce and remarriage, different states and countries. I didn’t know, for example, he was from Texas, not Denver, where he lived in a split-level and ran his own barbershop. I didn’t know, until recently, that he’s always wanted to rob a bank.
    At first, I thought he was kidding about the whole bank-robbing thing. But I asked, once, if he was serious. We were sitting on the porch, watching the dogs wrestle, drinking the beer I’d snuck in for him. My dad doesn’t like him to have too many—bad for his cholesterol. I think being in his 90s is probably bad for his cholesterol. So, I sneak him a beer on occasion. He’s earned it. That afternoon, I asked him if he was kidding about robbing a bank. He wiped the condensation off his glass then used it to flatten his wispy hair. He said, “Oh, no. I’m serious as judge. And they’ve got it coming. They took my horse.”

    I asked, “The bank?”

    He said that was back in Texola. He mixes up town names occasionally. Sometimes he tells me Shamrock is where he had the horse. I do know, in the mid-1930s, the bank took the ranch in Shamrock and his family moved to Texola, just across the Oklahoma border, on what’s now Interstate 40.

    I’d been asking him about the Dust Bowl, an obsession of mine. I like writing Dust Bowl stories, and he lived through it. That my grandparents survived it and told these stories when I was a kid may be the root of my obsession. We had to listen to the stories until someone told us to go play outside, but don’t get dirty. I was always only half listening back then. Now, stories need detail, and my grandpa has all the details—how to catch a bunny for dinner by jabbing a strand of unraveled barbed wire in the hole, how his job was to herd the chickens into the house to ride out a duster, how his mom papered the walls with newspaper in a desperate attempt to keep the dust out.

    He’d often wind up talking about his horse named Eagle he rode to school. When school got out, Eagle would be waiting for him. Didn’t even have to tie him up. But until that afternoon in 2018, he’d never mentioned the bank. He said they took the farm, and maybe they had a right. But they had no right to take his horse.

    I thought that was it for a moment. Stories end like that sometimes, drift into nothing, and he’ll ask about supper. But my grandpa grabbed a tissue from his chest pocket, and I saw he was crying. He said there wasn’t anything they could do. The bank took the farm, and then they took his horse. They had no right. “Never trust a bank,” he said.

    I wanted to change the subject. I’d never seen my grandpa cry. I asked about Shamrock, and he said, “Bonnie and Clyde.” Like he’d been trying to remember the name of an actor. But we hadn’t been talking about movies.

    “What?” I asked.

    “Bonnie and Clyde. They were hiding in the barn.”

    “Bonnie and Clyde?”

    “Yep, I brought them their supper,” he said. “I was only 7 at the time.”

    A nice little piece of writing, not too long and a darn good yarn.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: How tall is your TBR pile? Mine almost reaches the moon.

  12. CSK says:

    Mine too. Another thing I like about OTB. Everybody reads, all the time.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Here’s one for the arachnophobes:

    Huge invasive spiders native to Asia expected to spread along US east coast

    People up and down the entire US east coast may soon find themselves living with a large spider species that is a long way from its original home. According to researchers at the University of Georgia, the Joro spider, an invasive species native to east Asia, is expected to spread after thriving in the state last year. The spider, Trichonephila clavata, is known for its ability to spin highly organized, wheel-shaped webs. Females have blue, yellow and red markings and can measure up to 3in when fully extended.
    According to the new study, Joro spiders, which predominantly hail from Japan, will probably survive on the US east coast because Japan has a very similar climate and is located approximately on the same latitude. “Just by looking at that, it looks like the Joros could probably survive throughout most of the eastern seaboard here, which is pretty sobering,” said Andy Davis, a research scientist at the Odum School of Ecology and co-author of the study.

    Last year, the spiders made their way through the yards of northern Georgia, spinning webs up to 3m deep. It is unclear how the spiders traveled from east Asia but researchers say their proliferation is probably due to changes in weather conditions.
    “People should try to learn to live with them,” he said. “If they’re literally in your way, I can see taking a web down and moving them to the side, but they’re just going to be back next year.”

  14. sam says:
  15. Mu Yixiao says:

    Georgia passes bill banning social media from banning people.

    ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia state Senate voted 33-21 on Tuesday to pass a bill that seeks to prohibit social media platforms from removing or censoring content amid an outcry from conservatives that their political views are being discriminated against, even though a similar Texas law has been put on hold by a federal court.

    Senate Bill 393 moves to the House for more debate. It declares that social media companies that have more than 20 million users in the United States are common carriers and that they can’t block people from receiving certain messages based on viewpoints, location, race, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

    Constitution? What Constitution?

  16. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I keep telling people that the place in the ecology that elsewhere is occupied by small mammals is occupied in Japan by insects….

    (I lived in Kyushu for a year. Would stroll off for a walk and all the trees would be wrapped in a thin veil of spider webs.)

    It should be pointed out that the really BIG spiders need to be able to survive year around. Either because of the winter temperature or lack of things to eat, I never saw them north of Kyushu.

  17. Mu Yixiao says:

    In Mice, a Potential New Treatment Eradicates Ovarian And Colorectal Cancer in Days

    An experimental new type of cancer treatment has yielded some impressive results in mice: the eradication of advanced-stage ovarian and colorectal cancer in the animals as little as six days.

    The treatment involves tiny ‘drug factory’ beads that are implanted into the body and deliver a continuous, high dose of interleukin-2 (IL2) – a natural compound that enlists white blood cells in the fight against cancer.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: But these small parties wouldn’t necessarily be aligned with the GOP. The way it works in Israel is the single issue parties wait until there is a close vote between the major parties and then trade their few votes to whoever concedes the most to them. So, for example, Israel has ended up with ultra orthodox rabbis controlling marriage and divorce for all Jews in Israel.

  19. Stormy Dragon says:


    You left out the part about how the giant invasive spiders fly by letting out long strings of silk so that the wind carries them off, so you could be just minding you own business and suddenly there’s a giant spider floating toward you on the breeze.

  20. Mu Yixiao says:

    From Axios:

    Most people you meet in everyday life — at work, in the neighborhood — are decent and normal. Even nice. But hit Twitter or watch the news, and you’d think we were all nuts and nasty.

    Why it matters: The rising power and prominence of the nation’s loudest, meanest voices obscures what most of us personally experience: Most people are sane and generous — and too busy to tweet.

    Reality check: It turns out, you’re right. We dug into the data and found that, in fact, most Americans are friendly, donate time or money, and would help you shovel your snow. They are busy, normal and mostly silent.

    These aren’t the people with big Twitter followings or cable-news contracts — and they don’t try to pick fights at school board meetings.
    So the people who get the clicks and the coverage distort our true reality.
    Three stats we find reassuring:

    * 75% of people in the U.S. never tweet.

    * On an average weeknight in January, just 1% of U.S. adults watched primetime Fox News (2.2 million). 0.5% tuned into MSNBC (1.15 million).

    * Nearly three times more Americans (56%) donated to charities during the pandemic than typically give money to politicians and parties (21%).

  21. SKI says:

    @MarkedMan: But the Israeli system is Parliamentary. The larger minor parties can lend their support without losing their identity. They can get seats without winning a plurality in a particular district.

    We have first past the post. It doesn’t matter how many votes they get if they don’t get the most votes in a particular race in a particular district. The result of splintering in the US (or even in a parliamentarian district-based system like Britain) is loss of power.

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @SKI: You’re right about our current system, but I was assuming the desire for more parties necessitates a corresponding change to more of a parliamentary system.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: A lot of spiders do that as young’uns. It’s how they leave the nest. I imagine if (when?) these guys get here I’ll be taking down their webs. It’s bad enough around here with the orb weavers in Aug and Sept.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: The Constitution is that thing they use when on the toilet.

  25. Sleeping Dog says:

    Looking at the town election results from yesterday, Dem endorsed candidates had a good night in the town and school board races. Had the sense that the local Dems had out organized the Rs this time.

  26. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: That’s reassuring to hear. Not in our town, which passed a tax cap of a 4% increase over *prior year’s actual taxes raised.*

    We also granted town residents permission to pick through the town dump.

  27. CSK says:

    Through the piles of garbage themselves or will the town establish one of those discarded item areas where people might pick up a broken chair to be repaired, or discarded clothing, books, plates and glasses, etc.?

  28. CSK says:

    The U.S. will be sending two Patriot anti-missile batteries to Poland.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    State bar complaint against Attorney General Ken Paxton to proceed after key deadline passes

    A Texas State Bar complaint is moving forward, accusing Attorney General Ken Paxton of professional misconduct when he sued to overturn 2020 presidential election results in four battleground states.

    Sunday was the deadline for the State Bar of Texas to dismiss its complaint, according to Jim Harrington, a civil rights attorney and one of the 16 lawyers who have brought the complaint along with the nonprofit group Lawyers Defending American Democracy.

    The group filed the complaint last year with the bar — which is responsible for the licensing of attorneys in Texas — after Paxton’s lawsuit challenging election results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2020. Election officials have said claims by former President Donald Trump about election fraud are baseless.


    In a separate move, the State Bar of Texas has filed a disciplinary action against Sidney Powell of Dallas, an attorney for former President Donald Trump. The March 1 filing in Dallas County accuses Powell of misconduct for filing a lawsuit speculating that fraud was committed in the 2020 presidential election.

  30. Jen says:

    @CSK: The town got rid of the discarded items area because people were dumping non-compliant stuff there (mostly things that would normally be assessed a fee to dispose of), and the town didn’t have the personnel to staff the area full-time to make sure that only appropriate items were left there. This upset people, thus the petition that passed. I have no idea how they will enforce this–nor do I even understand how people will go about this, since by eliminating the “approved stuff that might be your trash but someone else’s treasure” area, people now dump that stuff in either the bulk waste dumpster or the trash.

    Garbage has become surprisingly controversial since the Chinese stopped taking our recycling.

  31. Kathy says:

    I wonder if you can engineer a fly with some protein or other molecule that’s harmless to the fly, but will produce a toxin when ingested by a specific spider.

    Or conversely do some gain of function on female spiders so they’ll pump out sexual pheromones non-stop, then sterilize them and release them among the general spider population.

  32. CSK says:

    Don’t scientists irradiate male mosquitoes to sterilize them?

  33. Scott says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I performed an experiment on myself last fall. I abstained from Twitter one week and then went back the next. Alternated a couple of months. I felt better on the weeks I abstained.

    I’ve now totally deleted my Twitter account. I needed that separation. I didn’t do much other than hate tweet at Ted Cruz and Chip Roy even though I rationally realized that less than 100 people would actually read those tweets. It’s good to be off twitter just for mental health reasons.

  34. Scott says:

    @Jen: Back in the 60s, I worked with a gentleman who repaired mowers and such. He used to go to the town dump once a week to look for those treasures. He always claimed one could make a good living off of other people’s “trash”.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:


    Next year propose an article that charges the dump pickers for the privilege of doing so. After all there is a cost for managing that process and it is likely that the dump pickers will target stuff that the dump would otherwise recycle at a profit. I’m thinking here of metal, old appliances etc.

  36. Sleeping Dog says:


    In college I dated a woman whose father recycled appliances. Ran an ad everyday in the classified that he’d pick up and dispose of your old refrigerator, washing machine etc for free. He made a very nice living on that. Mom got a new car every year and none of the 5 kids paid a dime for college, including the one who became an MD.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — House leadership announced the “Missouri Stands with Ukraine” initiative in the wake of Russian attacks in Ukraine.

    HB 2913, which House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher sponsored, will forbid private businesses and state entities from doing business with Russia or Russian entities. The legislation is meant to serve as punitive action for Russia’s occupation and assault on Ukraine.

    The bill would also suspend business with other countries that occupy or attack Ukraine.

    I can’t help noticing it wouldn’t bar the GOP from doing business with Russia.

  38. Scott says:

    The US has spent trillions of dollar and spent blood to support these ME countries. I’ve said this before and say it again: they are not our allies. And never have been. Time to play hardball with them.

    Saudi, Emirati Leaders Decline Calls With Biden During Ukraine Crisis

    The White House unsuccessfully tried to arrange calls between President Biden and the de facto leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the U.S. was working to build international support for Ukraine and contain a surge in oil prices, said Middle East and U.S. officials.

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan both declined U.S. requests to speak to Mr. Biden in recent weeks, the officials said, as Saudi and Emirati officials have become more vocal in recent weeks in their criticism of American policy in the Gulf.

    The Saudis have signaled that their relationship with Washington has deteriorated under the Biden administration, and they want more support for their intervention in Yemen’s civil war, help with their own civilian nuclear program as Iran’s moves ahead, and legal immunity for Prince Mohammed in the U.S., Saudi officials said. The crown prince faces multiple lawsuits in the U.S., including over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..I think a lot of those in favor imagine new parties like, “The Common Sense Party” and “The Just Get Things Done Party”, but I imagine the first new parties will be “The Antiabortion Party” and “The Right to Conceal Carry in Grade Schools Party.”

    Here is list of 41 political parties that exist in the United States today that are not the Elephant or the Ass.
    I’m still looking for a political home that reflects the values of the Serve the People Party that I joined in 1968 that won control of Student Government at Sleepytown U.
    In addition to get out the vote drives and demonstrations against the draft, the Vietmam war and womens hours we had volunteers go to local grocery stores and other retail outlets to gather price information to publish in the school newspaper. One of the drugstore owners ran us out of his shop when he found out what we were doing. Then he bitched when we listed his establishment as “Refused to cooperate” in the survey.
    One guy in Student Government had previously run his own pest extermination company so the Student Government funded a program to “Serve the People” by providing free insect and rodent extermination for off campus students and poor people in town. I volunteered (I figured it was a good way to meet girls). Since the other guy had all the permits to purchase and use the pesticides all I had to do was follow his directions on mixing and applying the chemicals and I was good to go. Never wore gloves or face masks. Don’t remember the names of all the chemicals we used but for some reason malathion and the now banned chlordane are vague in my memory. My exposure was limited to a few times a month for maybe two years. I can only guess that 35 years of choking on the butts and drinking the swill before I quit had to be alot worse for my health.

  40. Scott says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Don’t remember the names of all the chemicals we used but for some reason malathion and the now banned chlordane are vague in my memory.

    Yeah, back in the early 70s, I worked in a garden center. Malathion, chlordane, 2,4 D and 2,4,5 TP (basically Agent Orange) were sold in glass bottles. Inevitably, they fell and broke and had to clean it up with paper towels. Apparently survived. Good times!

  41. Jen says:

    Voter turnout yesterday in our little town was barely over 30%. Very depressing.

  42. Scott says:

    @Jen: The Texas primaries just held had a 17.5% turnout. Voter suppression works.

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: But did you meet any girls?


    I can only guess that 35 years of choking on the butts and drinking the swill before I quit had to be alot worse for my health.

    Yeah, I can’t bring myself to worry about all the asbestos and concrete dust I was exposed to for the same reasons

  44. CSK says:

    Is this unusually low for your town?

  45. dazedandconfused says:


    “Flying” spiders sometimes leave a thread anchored to their point of departure too. Found a web suspended from the outside of my chimney last fall that I couldn’t figure out. The thread that held it perpendicular from the outside plane of the bricks spanned all the way to my neighbor’s roof, nearly 50 feet away. No effin way that critter attached a thread to one roof, climbed down, crossed all that distance, climbed a chimney, and then pulled up all the slack. No effin way!

  46. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve seen a few articles in the past week or so about how Truth Social (TFG’s Twitter competitor) is failing. I don’t think this is fair. This is absolutely typical of TFG’s “business ventures” since he lost all his fathers money in the 70’s and 80’s. Hype some scheme, any scheme, up with the main sell point to investors being that “Donald Trump, World’s Greatest Businessman, is PERSONALLY involved! It cannot fail! You will be a partner to the DONALD F*ING TRUMP!” Get the investment money, pay TFG and his co-conspirators all kinds of fees for the managing the business until no money is left, then close up shop. This is exactly how all of his schemes end up.

  47. @Scott: While I am curious as to how that compares to other midterm primaries, I would note that primary turnout stinks in general and that number does not strike me (granted, in a vacuum) as evidence of voter suppression as much as it is indicative of the lack of representation in primary elections.

  48. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: Supposedly about a billion dollars was poured into his SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Corp) Digital World Acquisition Corp. I wonder how many shares Trump has sold to fund his own businesses. In my cynical world, I can see these SPACs as the equivalent of overpaying for real estate. Another way to bribe and curry favor.

  49. Scott says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It was close to the numbers for a non Presidential year. However, in general, voting is not exactly encouraged. The big problem this primary season was the amount of administrative burden put on voters, especially those voters who vote by mail. A lot of mail in ballots were rejected because of “deficiencies” caused by the new rules. But yes, Texas historically has been a non-voting state.

  50. Mimai says:

    Is there a word that captures the following situation:

    There’s a lively discussion happening (IRL or online). And it’s on a specific topic about which you have personal and/or professional expertise. You consider joining but decide not to because it would take too much time/bandwidth — opportunity costs and all that. So you don’t join but you continue to observe from the outside. And it frustrates the hell out of you. Which makes joining all the more tempting. But still you don’t. Rinse/repeat.

    Surely the Germans have a word for this, yes?

    Does anyone else experience this?

  51. @Scott: Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of the new Texas law.

    But my point is that one should be careful in attributing the overall participation rate to voter suppression and, more appropriately, we should use such numbers to rethink primaries themselves. That small a slice of the electorate should not have as much influence as they do.

  52. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @Scott:
    Even if TruthSocial never gets off the ground–Trump’s only posted once on it–Trump has harvested a lot of personal info from the idiots who signed up for it, which will be useful for him when bankrolling his next campaign. That’s probably all it was intended to do. The MAGAs will find some way to excuse the failure.

  53. Joe says:

    @Mimai: The word is “forbearance” or is sometimes rendered as “good judgment.” And yes, it is an exercise that takes years and pain to master and can be compromised by the smallest amounts of alcohol.

  54. Jen says:

    @CSK: It might be. They need to do some more calculations before they can determine that: number of registered voters, who has moved/died vs. new people coming in to town, etc. What’s frustrating to me is that a few years ago our town moved away from the town meeting format on the specific argument that it disenfranchised voters, and that there’s be a better participation by putting everything on the town election ballot. Not so.

    @Scott: Voter suppression really isn’t the issue here. It’s just plain ol’ disinterest.

  55. Kathy says:


    The MAGAs will find some way to excuse the failure.

    The deep state launched a war on Russia to make the Benito app fail!

    That about gets things wrong enough.

  56. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Mimai: You might be thinking of Weltschmerz, though it is a lot more general, but seems to me to apply to the situation you describe.

    And yeah, I have that too. I mean, I can have a conversation with someone and some factually erroneous utterance goes flying by and I think “Should I bother to point at that? Does it matter?” Sometimes it isn’t even material to the conversation, so I feel ok about ignoring that.

  57. CSK says:

    If voter turnout in your town was 30+%, you’re doing s heck of a lot better than most municipalities. I was startled to find that nationally the turnout in Oct. 2021 was 9% and in Nov. 2021 a whopping 16%.

  58. MarkedMan says:


    That’s probably all it was intended to do.

    I don’t think so. This is exactly like so many of Trump’s schemes. Get credulous, unsophisticated investors to throw in money, then spend that money on consulting and management companies that Trump and his cronies own (and provide very little actual consulting or management). Once the money is gone, fold up shop, or at least go into deep freeze mode. As Scott mentioned above, they funded this through a SPAC. Those may be used by sophisticated investors, but they are tailor made to suck money out of gullible people who need to get in on the latest thing.

  59. CSK says:

    I meant on top of grabbing the start-up money through the SPAC. 🙂

  60. JohnSF says:

    My word.
    And I thought UK local elections turnout was poor! IIRC it’s around 35%.

    I’ve long had a vague hope that our local taxes should have a surcharge for people who can’t be bothered to vote.

  61. Kathy says:

    I don’t think we came close to losing a Secret Service agent last Saturday.

    It’s not really uncommon for an engine to fail. Given the number of daily flights it happens a few times per week, though mostly it involves commercial planes. Private planes aren’t tracked as well or as much by sites like The Aviation Herald or Fear of Landing, which specialize in aircraft accidents and incidents.

    At most, Benito was annoyed, and some wealthy douche may have seen his political investment fail along with his plane’s engine.

  62. CSK says:

    I should have made it clear that those are stats for North Carolina. But I think they might more or less apply nationwide.

  63. CSK says:

    In the wake of this news, I saw a ghastly meme of Trump gazing beatifically heavenward with the caption “Don’t take him from us. He’s the only one we can trust.”


  64. Kathy says:

    COVID is running rampant through wild deer. IMO, it’s likely also infecting other animals, ones not so readily available for testing.

    So, I wonder, could we make an airborne version of the mRNA vaccines and spray them large areas of wilderness?

    Probably not. Especially considering the very small amount of mRNA that’s actually in the vaccines.

    It boils down to: we have made COVID an integral part of the human ecosystem. The trump virus will never go away. It will remain with us until we find a way to do ourselves in, or the Sun expands to a red giant and cooks the Earth. And if we migrate to other stars, COVID will come with us.

  65. dazedandconfused says:


    The German language allows words to be strung together to word/terms, so they probably will at some point. Gary Larson covered the situation here.

  66. gVOR08 says:


    So, I wonder, could we make an airborne version of the mRNA vaccines and spray them large areas of wilderness?

    With our vax and booster rates, spray it over cities.

  67. Jen says:

    @CSK: Oh, FFS. (Insert eyeroll here.)

    That said, I am glad all is okay. The conspiracy garbage would have been INSANE. He needs to drift into senility in full public view.

  68. Mister Bluster says:


    Turned out that the Yellow Cab gig was my road to spending quality time with women. I hacked from 1970 to ’73. If I would have known that a few years after I quit that Scorsese was going to make Taxi Driver I would have tried out for the part of Travis Bickle. I’m sure that I could have given De Niro a run for his money!

  69. CSK says:

    I’ve often thought that if Trump were to suffer a stroke or a heart attack and die in a very good hospital, having received top shelf care by superb medical practitioners, the Trumpkins would go absolutely insane screaming that he’d been poisoned by:
    A) Hillary Clinton
    B) Mike Pence (that traitorous backstabber)
    C) The Deep State
    D) The FBI
    E) The DOJ
    F) The globalists
    G) Barack Obama’s fiendish minions
    H) Entities I can’t even think of at the moment

    Actually, I think the person most likely to want him to shuffle off this mortal coil is Melania.

  70. Kathy says:


    The conspiracy garbage would have been INSANE.

    There is some other kind?

    He needs to drift into senility in full public view.

    I think that’s already happened, all the way back to at least the 2016 campaign. The deplorables just find ways to spin it into ten-dimensional chess or something. No one is more thoroughly fooled than the person who fools themselves.

  71. Sleeping Dog says:


    Let him not die in a hospital, when we can all enjoy the madness of an aid finding his lard @ss slumped over his desk or Elvis like curled around a golden toilet. The trumpites would go mad and it would be entertaining.

  72. Just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My uncle in NZ was diagnosed with asbestosis the year before I visited. I needed to postpone because of his treatment but managed to get a good visit with him the next spring. He was 80-something when they discovered it. Not worrying is probably the best choice.

  73. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    The Stalin: Alone, paralyzed by a stroke, lying for hours on the contents of his voided bowels.

    It’s the best way to die, very strong dignity, lots of people say that.

  74. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Well, it would be entertaining, but I fear if were Trump to be found dead, toppled from his golden throne, pants around his ankles, that there would be real civil insurrection. I’m not kidding. There would be armed maniacs roaming the streets looking for Deep Staters to shoot and kill. I’m quite serious.

    If he dies in a hospital, having received excellent medical cared, the response might be less violent.

  75. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: There’s a Bible verse about not putting “your trust in princes” that comes to mind reading your post. I suspect most of them wouldn’t get it, thought.

  76. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: Maybe not. His kids are bound to sue claiming she’s not entitled to his pension or something.

  77. Kathy says:


    If he dies in a hospital, having received excellent medical cared, the response might be less violent.

    What if no hospital will take him, because they are afraid of riots in their premises once he inevitably expires?

  78. Kathy says:

    I’ve read about Hertz’s abuse of the criminal justice system in travel and aviation blogs, but now it’s going mainstream.

    Per the blogs I frequent, on occasion someone will rent a car in one city and return it in another (I’ve done this and gather it’s not unusual, though it may incur extra fees), and the offices in the origin city register the car as not returned. There seem to be other glitches.

    I can see why thieves would want to steal rental cars, and I suppose it’s a problem. Hertz, though, seems to have a real problem sending their customers to jail for their own failures. I’d avoid using it.

  79. CSK says:

    @Just nutha:
    But Trump was sent by God to save us!
    @Just nutha:
    Remember she made him renegotiate their pre-nup before she’d move to the White House in 2017, so I assume she has locked up the money. I was thinking she’d be more relieved to be able freely to carry on her affair with the Secret Service man or the head of security from Trump Tower or whoever it is she’s been seeing for the past six or seven years.
    No hospital would deny him treatment.

  80. Kathy says:


    Perhaps not. That Hippocratic Oath and all (which I’m sure the Cheeto strains anyway).

    But, could a hospital deny to admit him? I’m sure there’d be a lawsuit, or a dozen, but would it be illegal?

  81. CSK says:

    Well, if there’s an emergency, the patient is usually taken to the nearest hospital, and when there are multiple, say, casualties, they may end up in different ERs so as not to overburden one facility.

    I don’t think there’s any legal way for a hospital to refuse to admit a patient needing acute care provided they have the means to treat him or her.

    A friend of mine who teaches orthopedic surgery at Harvard Med told me about the way in which the Boston hospitals swung into action after the Marathon bombing. I wish I could recall the detaisl; it was wonderful.

  82. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Oh wait, you need parts for your planes? Gosh, better check Amazon.

  83. Kathy says:


    I think hospitals have to treat any emergency patients.

    Past that:

    I don’t think there’s any legal way for a hospital to refuse to admit a patient needing acute care provided they have the means to treat him or her.

    Well, gee, sorry, Mr. Benito. We’re full!

  84. Jax says:

    I’m actually really surprised there haven’t been more instances of cattle getting Covid. I’ve been keeping an eye out on the newly released vaccines, haven’t seen any yet that specifically mention Covid-19. Cattle and horses come into contact with humans way more than deer, you would think it would be something we’d have heard about by now.

  85. CSK says:

    Not going to happen.

  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Heh heh heh