A Monday Open Forum

Let the week begin

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. 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

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    I occasionally head over to The American Conservative as there are a few good columnists there. Hiwever, lately it seems that all discussion of political or legal events related to Trump is off the table. (The foreign policy of the administration seems still to be allowed. ) Or is it just coincidence in my timing?

    Edit: After writing this I figured I better go over and make sure that things hadn’t changed overnight. They haven’t – still no discussion of Bob Barr etc, but Dreher is interesting, albeit not for a good reason. He used to have worthwhile insights but in the past few years has exclusively written on how icky the gays are and how they shouldn’t have any rights. But today is different! A conspiracy laden post about how the corona virus (or rather, COVID19) was deliberately engineered by the Chinese and that’s why white people are immune.

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  2. Guarneri says:

    I’m sure the fair minded commenters here will want to consider Prof Turleys remarks. Once they are done calling me names and STFU, in an educated, thoughtful manner of course.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/483210-juror-1261-in-roger-stones-case-was-justice-undone

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I just read James’ Does Stop-and-Frisk Disqualify Bloomberg for President? post and a few of the comments. Why do all the arguments in favor of this man always seem to come down to “Ignore all of the negative things this man has done and supported in the past because he’s rich and he’s white, which means that he and only he can beat trump. Besides, he helped that little old woman across the street that one time so he can’t be all bad!” Not to mention, “I need my Daddy!”

    I get it. People thought trump could never possibly win. And when a perfect storm of Russian electoral skullduggery, the many and varied Republican vote suppression schemes, and electoral college quirks installed the idiot in the White House, people reacted at first with disbelief, and then growing horror at the accumulating damage this small minded, short fingered, vulgar sack of id could inflict upon the country. And now they are scared. I get it. I really do.

    But all the ex Republicans who are telling us DEMs we are about to lose the election because we are picking from all the wrong candidates? That’s rich. You had your shot at defeating trump in 2016, didn’t you? Who did you pick to beat trump? Jeb “it’s my turn” Bush took a shot, and missed. Ben Carson (Ben Carson???) failed. Ted “punch my wife, please” Cruz couldn’t do it. John Kasich should have stayed in Ohio. Big hands Marco Rubio came up short, Rick Perry of the serious glasses and a short memory was a waste of money, Jim Gilmore (who?), Chris “throw my allies under the bridge” Christie, Carly “they payed me millions to go away” Fiorina, union buster Scott Walker, dead man walking Bobby Jindal, Lindsey “Wah, I am so lost without my McConscience” Graham, George “blue dog” Pataki, Rick (say no more, this is a family blog after all) Santorum, Mike “I am saved”Huckabee, and Rand “son of Ron” Paul. Jeebus, these were the best you could come up with?

    Please, don’t tell us we need to run a more successful and less repugnant Republican against trump. You’ve been doing that for decades and none of them could ever have won without appealing to the lowest instincts of your voters. And that’s how we got trump.

    Oh and please do everybody a favor and get over your “The Clintons are corrupt” fixation. They have been investigated to ad nauseum and the worst anyone could find was Bill lying about a consensual blow job. You guys had been beating the dead horse of Clinton corruption for almost 30 years and she still got 3 million more votes than trump. Which is far more than any of your weak sisters could assemble.

    Besides, neither one of the Clintons will ever run for political office again.

    BUT…. (there’s always a but, isn’t there?)

    The other day I pointed to a Michael Harriot piece in the Root and quoted a little bit of it. I think it was at the end of an Open Forum post, long after most had stopped reading. I’m going to quote a different part here because he distills the issue of voting for Bloomberg very elegantly:

    First, you try to get free.

    Margaret Garner tried to get free.

    On January 28, 1856, Margaret, her husband, their four children and 11 of their fellow enslaved freedom-seekers stole their master’s horse, sleigh and gun and absconded from their Boone County, Ky. plantation owner, Archibald K. Gaines. The family crossed the frozen Ohio River and split up. The other escapees eventually made it to freedom via the Underground Railroad while the Garners hid out at their uncle Joe Kite’s house.

    When fugitive slave catchers discovered the family’s location, they surrounded Uncle Kite’s house; 22-year-old Margaret knew they were done for. Described as a mulatto who was always “cross tempered,” Margaret was probably the product of a slavemaster raping her mother. Historians say at least two of her own children had been conceived from the same rampant slavemaster’s sexual assault. Knowing the horrors that would undoubtedly befall her daughters, rather than see them suffer the same fate, Margaret grabbed a butcher knife and slit her 2-year-old daughter’s throat.

    To sacrifice the fruit borne of one’s own womb is a decision that only oppressed people can know. When contemplating the choice between the proverbial lesser of two evils, there can be no solace; only desperation-fueled practicality informed by an anguish with which we have become all-too-familiar.

    We are always forced to choose, to lay our children on an altar in a desperate plea for future freedom. We gave them to the policemen’s batons and terrorist bombs in Birmingham. We subjected them to unfiltered hate in Louisiana and Little Rock.

    And just when you thought it was over, you’re forced to choose between an unabashed white supremacist and a billionaire fugitive slave catcher who submitted a sealed bid for the presidency of the United States.

    First, you try to get free.

    When all else fails, you vote for Michael Bloomberg.
    ………………………………..
    If the comparison to Margaret Garner seems overwrought, you should ask one of the parents who sacrificed their sons and daughters to Bloomberg’s overseers. Ask the members of the Exonerated Five if they could vote for Bloomberg. Ask the parents of Sean Bell. (avoiding the dreaded 4th link, one can google him) Or Ousmane Zongo. Or Remarley Graham. Or me.

    I know I am too weak to make my son a ghost for a collective lesser evil. As a father and a black man who has been stopped and frisked, I do not think I could cast a vote for Michael Bloomberg. I know what he thinks of our unnoosed necks.

    In her book, Beloved (based on Margaret Garner), Toni Morrison wrote:

    And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they’d just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver—love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.

    Then again, it is easy for me to say this. I understand that Trump is the reason why some people are considering Michael Bloomberg. And if Bloomberg is the Democratic nominee, he definitely deserves a vote more than Trump.

    But first, we should at least try to get free.

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  4. Kurtz says:

    @Guarneri:

    1.) It appears Hart should not have been on the jury.

    2.) plenty of people here thought the original sentencing was excessive.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kurtz:

    1.) It appears Hart should not have been on the jury.

    Sounds like an issue for the appellate courts to me. Isn’t that how our justice system is supposed to work? I mean, it’s good enough for black men on death row.

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  6. Kurtz says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    But all the ex Republicans who are telling us DEMs we are about to lose the election because we are picking from all the wrong candidates? That’s rich. You had your shot at defeating trump in 2016, didn’t you? Who did you pick to beat trump?

    […]

    Please, don’t tell us we need to run a more successful and less repugnant Republican against trump. You’ve been doing that for decades and none of them could ever have won without appealing to the lowest instincts of your voters. And that’s how we got trump.

    Thank you. I’ve gotten a bunch of pushback when I have urged people to stop considering the opinions of Never Trump Republicans.

    The Dems have been stuck in second gear because of their insistence of DLC-style candidates.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Comparatively good climate news:

    Delta announced an ambitious plan on Friday to become the first US airline to go carbon neutral, committing $1bn over the next 10 years to mitigate all emissions from its global business.

    The move by Delta will put pressure on other airlines to follow suit at a time when the UN is warning that airplane emissions of carbon dioxide will triple by 2050.

    Carbon dioxide emitted by airlines increased by 32% from 2013 to 2018, according to a study by the International Council on Clean Transportation. A Guardian analysis found long-haul flights generate more carbon emissions than the average person in dozens of countries around the world produces in a year.

    “There’s no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution. We are digging deep into the issues, examining every corner of our business, engaging experts, building coalitions, fostering partnerships and driving innovation,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive.

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  8. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What is going to be the fuel source, used cooking oil from Burger King? Or will they take a look at some sort of ion thruster type engine ?

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: Here’s an idea: Go read the article, than you will know WTF they are trying to do and can speak without sounding like a complete ignoramus.

    Or is that too much to ask?

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  10. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: I also occasionally glance at TAC. I don’t end up reading much, I don’t read Larison because I didn’t go to TAC to read people I agree with and I don’t read Dreher because he’s obsessed with stuff toward which I’m indifferent. But I do read a few pieces. Is it just me, or have the commenters gotten better? For a long time comments there struck me as an erudite version of RedState or Lucianne commenters. They now seem a deal more moderate, and willing to really push back at Pat Buchanan’s excesses.

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  11. Kurtz says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I agree with you.

    I posted that to highlight how Guarneri’s perception of the commenters is different from the reality.

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  12. mattbernius says:

    @Guarneri:
    Well if you’re actually interested in discussion on that topic, I highly recommend David French’s deep dive into that topic:
    https://frenchpress.thedispatch.com/p/is-there-a-stone-jury-scandal-not

    Especially the part where Hart’s background came out in voir dire and the Stone Defense Team, who still had strikes, choose not to challenge her (they did challenge 38 other Jurors).

    To that point, note what Turly wrote about the Stone defense team from your article:

    Stone’s counsel, Robert Buschel, also asked a few questions but was either entirely uninformed or utterly incompetent. Buschel only asked about Hart being a Democrat who ran for Congress.

    So the reality is that this was a defense council screw up more than anything else. They struck 38 other witnesses, but were just “meh…” to the former Democratic congressional candidate? Unless someone can demonstrate that Hart lied on the survey, this is another case of Conservatives clutching at pearls when they suddenly discover that jurors have personal biases because they didn’t like the outcome of a trial against someone on their team.

    Since you are so interested in discussion, I look forward to your serious engagement with this response.

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  13. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:
    Also, I recommend also reading the Judge’s rejection of Stone’s request for a new trial based on the jury allegations for additional context:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xXzrZuUv7PdrRUKOZtcyoxsJjvPCT5jc/view

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  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:
    Stone was found guilty on all counts, unanimously. Anyone who payed attention to the trial would have no doubt about his guilt.
    I’m sure you and Turley (who made it clear he is bias in the Impeachment Hearings) would both love to have only Trump sycophants on the Jury. That’s not the way the Justice System works.
    Stone is free to appeal the verdict. Trump is likely to pardon him, in any case.
    No matter the details above…Barr has damaged the credibility of the Justice department, perhaps beyond repair.

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  15. gVOR08 says:

    After writing the above comment about TAC I went over for another skim of them. Found a book review of The Cost of Loyalty by one Tim Bakken, a civilian prof at West Point, one of 105 civilians in a faculty of 550.

    They are prone to corruption, too—and it is widespread among the officer corps in all of the branches—as one learns in the early stages of the assembly line that rewards come to those who suck up, button up, and don’t shake things up.

    Bakken talks about the mediocrity military-wide that has produced generals like Tommy Franks, who bungled the initial invasion and aftermath of Iraq, and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who did nothing when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld refused the military more forces for the initial invasion in 2003. He points to the dangerous loyalty of Gen. Colin Powell, who helped President Bush lie about weapons of mass destruction, and the hubris and arrogance of Generals Douglas MacArthur and William Westmoreland, who were responsible for massive strategy failures in Korea and Vietnam respectively. He talks about Gen. David Petraeus, a slick status seeker who told every Congressperson what he wanted to hear, and still managed to keep his reputation of military prowess after failures in Afghanistan and a shortsighted slight-of-hand Surge in Iraq.

    Bakken blames the civilian society for enabling the military to become everything the founders didn’t want at the birth of the country. If we do not take control back, he warned, the corruption, the self-destructiveness will only get worse. The wars will never end.

    “If civil society doesn’t act to reform the military institution,” he writes, “we will all remain at the mercy of its failure.”

    Petraeus in particular had a reputation as a warrior scholar. I read Petraeus’ manual for counter-insurgency warfare. I read it with a viewpoint of, “If I were a newly appointed brigade intelligence officer in Afghanistan, what should I do?” What I found was a load of philosophizing and pop sociology.

    I’m not one to tell our hosts what to write about, but I did want to call the review, and the book, to Dr. Joyner’s attention.

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  16. mattbernius says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m not one to tell our hosts what to write about, but I did want to call the review, and the book, to Dr. Joyner’s attention.

    James actually tweeted quite a bit about that article this morning. You can see the threadreader version of them here: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1229395918753009664.html

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kurtz: Yeah, I kinda figured you did.

    I just wanted to highlight how trump fans seem to think being subjected to our system of justice is the GREATEST POSSIBLE INJUSTICE IN THE WORLD for trump’s guys, but it’s perfectly fine if we execute a few innocent poor men and send black men to prison at 3 times the rate we send white men to prison for the exact same offenses.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: Thanx for the reference. On my way too long already “to read” list.

    What I found was a load of philosophizing and pop sociology.

    I didn’t read it but I did see that greasing a few palms worked wonders in Iraq.

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  19. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Yesterday Trump made a campaign stop at the Daytona 500. The Presidential Motorcade was used as a prop. It is illegal to use official apparatus of government (e.g. Limo) for political events.
    Brad Parscale, Trump’s Campaign Manager:

    “NASCAR fans are patriots who support the president in huge numbers, so we definitely wanted to communicate directly with them about Keeping America Great during the Great American Race.”

    Beyond the legality…I’d like to know who paid for this?
    Who is paying for all of Trump’s campaign rallies?
    We know the Trump Campaign has stiffed cities for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    Are they also sticking taxpayers with these campaign expenses?
    We won’t know because Mnunchkin is withholding disclosure of presidential travel costs until after the 2020 election.
    Why do you think that is?

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  20. Sleeping Dog says:

    Trump Effort to Keep U.S. Tech Out of China Alarms American Firms

    While I don’t hold the belief that Tiny’s administration is wrong about China’s threat to the US, their 19th century world view of power won’t be effective in a globalized world.

    Despite the nationalist trend among many governments, business leaders aren’t toeing the line.

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  21. Teve says:
  22. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I just want to know if any of the racers burned up a clutch slipping it to maintain that slow, slow parade lap behind Trumpsky. And why didn’t it rain on Trump’s parade rather than NASCAR’s? Supposed to restart this afternoon. I think they got in twenty laps before it rained yesterday.

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  23. Kathy says:

    I’ve found I should hoard my audible credits, and blow them on 2 for 1 sales they run now and then. This weekend I got six, including the one I’m reading now, “Winners Take All” by Anand Giridharadas.

    The thesis is interesting. What Mr. Giridharadas claims is that the rich people trying to change the world through actions, are also concerned with maintaining their earnings and status. Ergo they promote change so that things will stay the same.

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  24. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @gVOR08:
    Trump an NASCAR…they are both afraid of the rain.
    That they don’t race in the rain tells you everything you need to know about NASCAR.
    Even MotoGP goes in the rain.

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  25. mattbernius says:

    On Trump at Daytona, it’s worth noting that he’s following GWB’s playbook (who buzzed the race in 2004 — another election year). In fact the Trump team initially shared photos of the 2004 race claiming it was them.

    Some more context (including Democrats and NASCAR): https://www.foxsports.com/nascar/gallery/15-moments-when-potus-and-nascar-crossed-paths-110816

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  26. Teve says:

    @Kathy: Bill Gates has given a lot of money to charity, and miraculously gotten richer the whole time. By the way, follow Anand on Twitter, he’s really good.

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  27. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:

    So the reality is that this was a defense council screw up more than anything else.

    BTW, one conspiracy theory I’ve seen on this is that the Stone team intentionally screwed this up to preserve an “ineffective assistance of council” on appeal. That really isn’t the way that criminal defense works — if it was defense attorneys would be doing it all the time.

    Also, unless to French’s point, it lies (either direct or via omission) can be proven (again, really high bars to clear), Conservatives are about to discover how high the bar for ineffective assistance is.

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  28. gVOR08 says:

    @mattbernius: Thanks for the pointer. I follow like three people on Twitter, and find that distracting. But I may add James. I agree with Jame’s point that comparing acceptance rates is maybe apples and oranges. Also, the book talks about low SAT scores at West Point, but the SAT is supposed to be a predictor of academic success, not fitness for military command. And yes, I wonder about the author as a guy who taught at West Point for twenty years and got a whistleblower finding to keep his job while bitching. I don’t recall the review noting his subject area.

    But the point remains that we don’t seem very good at fighting wars anymore. Or, having worked with suppliers, at buying stuff. And I was highly unimpressed with Petraeus as an exemplar Modern Major General, even before it turned out he’d exposed secrets. The military does seem insular. But I suspect it’s more what Rick’s argued in The Generals, where he said that amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics, but real experts talk about personnel policy. We used to fire generals who didn’t measure up, then rotate them to a training or logistics command where they could be useful, even come back up to a combat command. Now we just let them go on until the end of their, short, rotation.

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  29. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @mattbernius:
    I’m not taking issue with the visit…really no different than throwing out the first pitch (something Trump is afraid to try) or having teams visit the White House.
    Two issues:
    Was it on the taxpayers dime…I’m willing to bet that it will not be reimbursed by the campaign…and Mnunchkin is obstructing oversight.
    The use of the Secret Service and the Motorcade as a prop, which is clearly a violation of the Hatch Act.

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @mattbernius:

    Since you are so interested in discussion, I look forward to your serious engagement with this response.

    I’ll wait with you. I’m sure he’ll be back with a well-reasoned response.

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  31. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I haven’t followed Gates’ post MS career. But no one claims he has to give away all his money, or not make any more.

    But it’s not a money issue per se, except as far as modern plutocrats refuse to pay a living wage. There are structural issues from stripping employee protections and benefits (think Uber), to a lack of affordable housing close to where jobs are, to a lack of effective public transportation.

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    @mattbernius:

    Well if you’re actually interested in discussion on that topic,

    I assume this is sarcasm?

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  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Ever see the movie, Rush? It’s one of like three decent racing movies, ever. It shows the poor visibility in the rain. If you asked if it’s really that bad, I’ve raced in the rain, it can be worse. NASCAR cars aren’t open cockpit or open wheel, but still, it’d be bad.

    I’ve sometimes felt like NASCAR are wusses for not racing in rain, but no, they could run rain tires, but 40 packed cars in the rain, on an oval, at high speeds, is a really bad idea. And IIRC they would run road courses, Watkins Glen and Sonoma, in the rain.

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  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    Does anyone else think it was probably Bloomberg who released the tapes of some of his more obnoxious interviews? We’re getting a whole lot of oppo on Bloomberg all at once. If you know it’s coming, wouldn’t you want it all out there at once rather than drip drip drip? He has the Nevada debate coming up, a state where he’s not on the ballot and if that’s a pile-on it will either do serious damage or enhance his position by making him look like a front-runner. And we’re still a long way from Super Tuesday.

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  35. Michael Reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:
    I finally watched (most of) Ford vs. Ferrari and found it boring. I made it halfway on the first round. Did some more last night and had to ask myself why I was putting myself through it. Massive, all-powerful Ford overcomes bankrupt Ferrari? After which they do what, create the Taurus? It was just a big PR stunt and on-screen it’s guys shifting gears and looking intense.

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  36. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    The thesis is interesting. What Mr. Giridharadas claims is that the rich people trying to change the world through actions, are also concerned with maintaining their earnings and status. Ergo they promote change so that things will stay the same.

    I’m more worried by Piketty’s prediction that as wealth concentrates, that wealth will be used politically to ensure wealth, and power, concentrate further. I’m not sure it’s fair to call it a prediction as, like global warming, we can see it happening all around us.

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  37. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    That’s interesting. I could see it.

    I’ve wondered for a long time if campaigns should release the less flattering moments on their own rather than letting someone else do it.

    One, it looks like you were trying to hide it. Two, it allows you to craft a persuasive response over a longer period rather than having to rush one after a story breaks. Three, when it comes out from someone else, your response it usually appears as if a campaign is pushed back on its heals.

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  38. Teve says:

    @Kathy: what I meant w/r/t Gates’s wealth is that, as Anand states, plutocrats are only willing to do beneficial things that don’t involve them really losing anything.

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  39. Teve says:

    @gVOR08:

    I agree with Jame’s point

    Jesus fucking christ.

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  40. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I mentioned there have been like three decent racing movies. Ford v Ferrari wasn’t one of them. F v F wasn’t a racing movie, it was a standard issue buddy movie with cars, and a largely fictitious buddy story.

    (Rush, Le Mans, and an old Clark Gable movie called To Please a Lady)

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  41. mattbernius says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I assume this is sarcasm?

    I’m taking him at his word. He asked us to seriously consider Turley’s take on the issue. I would hope that for consistency’s sake that means he’s prepared to seriously consider French’s take as well.

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  42. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @gVOR08:
    F1 (which Rush was about) goes in the rain…those cars are way faster than NASCAR.
    MotoGP…the motorcycle equivalent of F1…goes in the rain.
    LeMans cars go in the rain.

    NASCAR is a joke.

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  43. @Guarneri: The main part you are missing is that yes, there are general reasons to be concerned by both excessive sentences and even juror bias, but it is highly problematic when it is only addressed to help out the colleague of a powerful individual.

    Trump and Barr are not seeking justice, they are seeking to help Trump.

    Remember how justice is supposed to be blind?

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  44. t says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Here’s an idea: Go read the article, than you will know WTF they are trying to do and can speak without sounding like a complete ignoramus.

    Or is that too much to ask?

    it’s pretty clear from his response he was joking so calm down gramps

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    F1 (which Rush was about) goes in the rain…those cars are way faster than NASCAR.
    MotoGP…the motorcycle equivalent of F1…goes in the rain.
    LeMans cars go in the rain.

    NASCAR is a joke.

    none of those series (other than nascar) run on banked ovals.

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  45. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    I never understood the point of racing in ovals. I watch F1 races now and then, which use convoluted tracks with many types of turns. These are better, but really way too long. About half as many laps would be a better show.

    F1 drivers race in the rain, unless it rains too hard. individual drivers have, at times, refused to race due to weather conditions.

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  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kurtz:
    It’s not original to me, actually, it was Nicole Wallace on MSNBC a week ago (?) and none of the panelists picked it up. But the timing is pretty spot-on for Bloomberg – after he’s gained some traction and before any relevant contests? Hmm.

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  47. t says:

    @Kathy:

    About half as many laps would be a better show.

    this exact mentality is why they have stage racing now. which fucking sucks.

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  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    The whole sport of racing could use more death. Wait, hear me out! Ben-Hur wheels. You can’t tell me a car race wouldn’t be much more exciting with bladed hub caps, a reinforced prow for ramming, and a flame thrower.

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  49. Michael Cain says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    That they don’t race in the rain tells you everything you need to know about NASCAR. Even MotoGP goes in the rain.

    I was talking the other day with a friend that has kicked around the edges of auto racing all of his life about why IndyCar doesn’t drive if it gets too chilly. After poking around in the rules, his opinion was, “If those were the only tire choices I had, I wouldn’t drive in the cold either. You’d never get them up to a reasonable temperature.” NASCAR has rain tires, but is always loath to break them out. As I understand it, the European racing organizations give the teams a whole lot more choice about tires.

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  50. Moosebreath says:

    @Kathy:

    “I never understood the point of racing in ovals.”

    Me neither. It’s like they are competing over who can best make the exact same turn hundreds of times in a row. If I attended a NASCAR event, I’d be the one holding up a giant TURN RIGHT sign.

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  51. t says:

    @Kathy:

    I never understood the point of racing in ovals.

    have you ever been to a NASCAR race or an F1 race? maybe you should do that…

    on an oval it’s easier to keep all the action in front of you…easily observable.

    at an F1 race you walk around a 3-5 mile long road course with massive elevation changes and you have to pick and choose which corner you want to sit at and you get to watch that 1 corner for the whole race…

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  52. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Right. He’s not on the ballot in SC. I don’t think he can win delegates in Nevada, correct? Take the hit now. Let any effect fade before it matters.

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  53. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I think they should have to use actual stock cars. If they race on Sunday they should have to go to the dealership on Saturday and buy an Impala or whatever off the lot. That would be exciting!

    ReplyReply
  54. t says:

    @Moosebreath:

    It’s like they are competing over who can best make the exact same turn hundreds of times in a row.

    in varying track conditions* (things like humidity, shadows, air pressure or maybe the race started during the day and now its night so you have to completely change the setup on the car to get it to run competitively)
    with cars doing 200mph inches away from each other*
    maybe your car has damage*
    maybe you’re nursing your tires home*
    maybe you’re trying to nurse your car to make it on fuel so you’ve turned down the wick a little bit*

    also the tires are laying down rubber as they degrade so the corners will also get faster over time.

    if you make a mistake more rubber will be thrown up on the outside of the corners off the racing line so it will get more slick out there.

    by the end of the race the outsides of the corners will be covered in these “marbles” of rubber…making it feel like ice on that unused park of the circuit.

    but yes. its the “exact same corner, every single time”

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  55. Moosebreath says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    In my youth, I played a game entitled “Car Wars” which allowed for that. The game’s motto was “Drive Offensively”

    Even stranger than that, I once played in a home-brewed role playing game, and rolled up that my character came from the Car Wars universe, and had a ridiculously wealthy pair of parents. My vehicle was a moving van, fully equipped with every weapon I could think of.

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  56. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    Maybe I should add Piketty to my reading list.

    More than a predictions, it seems to be a trend.

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  57. Jen says:

    I enjoyed both Rush and Ford vs. Ferrari–my husband is a big F1 fan, and the joke in that group is that NASCAR announcer at a race only needs to say “flat out…turn left…”

    In Ford v. Ferrari, IMHO they missed adding context around Mollie Miles (Ken Miles’ wife). She was also a race car driver for a short time.

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  58. gVOR08 says:

    I agree NASCAR is a joke. Apparently I’m in an agreeable mood this morning. And they’re losing popularity. But I think it’s more that they’ve become spec racers, engines that sorta, kinda are Ford or Chevy motors. Or a Toyota motor that’s sort of a Ford or Chevy motor except allowed to copy the best features of each. But the cars are basically identical except for the decals. So the race on Sunday, sell on Monday, tie is pretty weak. And for marketing purposes they’ve aligned themselves with a cultural demo in decline. Sort of like the Republican Party that way.

    F1 cars aren’t really faster. They might be if reconfigured for speed rather than cornering. But the price for the aerodynamic downforce is huge drag. In the rain the difference is open wheels (spray) and open cockpits. I don’t see racing a close pack of forty cars on a high speed oval, even with windshield wipers and rain tires, as a very good idea. On the other hand, there’d be a lot of wrecks, which might please the NASCAR crowd. (I’ve attended one NASCAR race. A relative worked for an engine builder and had complimentary tickets. Our whole bleachers section were complimentary tickets connected to NASCAR somehow. But when a guy hit the wall below us, I and my wife were the only ones grimacing, everybody else was on their feet whooping.) They’ve done a lot to protect the drivers in a wreck, but not much to prevent the wrecks. It’s sort of like hockey and fights.

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  59. a country lawyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Indeed.
    As a veteran federal criminal defense attorney with hundreds of cases under the sentencing guidelines, I have never seen the government’s attorneys argue that the sentencing guidelines are too harsh. Nor have I heard from fellow attorneys of such position being taken on behalf of the government. What makes the revised sentencing position of the government in the Stone case so obscene is that it was done only after the President’s tweet and was done on behalf of one of his cronies.

    Does anyone believe the government would take such a position on some poor person of color facing a mandatory life sentence for a repeat offense of selling drugs. When pigs fly!

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  60. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    I never understood the point of racing in ovals.

    All oval racing is an offshoot of short dirt track ovals scattered around North America, upgraded in various ways so people could go faster (and faster, and faster). There have been thousands of the things built. Everywhere I’ve ever lived in the US, if you dug into local history some, there were one or more short dirt track ovals where they held Friday and Saturday events. There are still hundreds of them in operation today.

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  61. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @t:

    none of those series (other than nascar) run on banked ovals.

    So? What’s your point? F1 features 1,000hp cars that weigh 1,500 pounds and go from 0-100 in 5 seconds. And 100-0 just as fast. And they corner at around 5 G’s. If cars that extreme can go in the rain, then anyone should be able to.
    Also, none of them feature red-necks waving confederate (symbol of treason) flags, either.

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  62. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @a country lawyer:

    Does anyone believe the government would take such a position on some poor person of color facing a mandatory life sentence for a repeat offense of selling drugs.

    Trump still wanted the Central Park Five executed even after they had been exonerated.

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  63. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Piketty is very good. He comes from a French tradition of narrative in econ, and less math. He really builds a solid case. Builds, and builds, and builds his case. It’s long, and a more than a bit tedious. I’d suggest a certain amount of skimming may be appropriate. And WIKI’s summary is pretty good.

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  64. t says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Also, none of them feature red-necks waving confederate (symbol of treason) flags, either.

    yeah they just feature the tifosi dressing up in blackface to mock lewis hamilton…

    F1 features 1,000hp cars that weigh 1,500 pounds and go from 0-100 in 5 seconds. And 100-0 just as fast. And they corner at around 5 G’s. If cars that extreme can go in the rain, then anyone should be able to.

    so you want nascar to completely change what it fundamentally is..and you want costs for individual teams to spiral out of control up into the hundreds of millions of dollars and you want to put unnecessary risk to drivers and property in order to…

    race in the rain…

    how is this not clear to you that it’s just easier to park the cars in order to not have teams go out and tear up equipment all night long.

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  65. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @gVOR08: So. I read the article, and I can tell you I have a real problem with these Military academic– Monday morning quarterbacking of people that are actually IN the fight.. who have to make decisions with incomplete knowledge, in changing environments, where the adversary gets a vote. It’s easy to look smart when you have the 20/20 lens of history behind your back.

    Dont misunderstand me, I completed all 3 levels of Officer Military Education. The work done in our War colleges are instrumental in getting officers the tools they’ll need to divise the military strategy to how we project power. Each school also stresses, ad nauseam, that military power is but ONE component of the problem set. The rest of the Gov’t also needs to do their role. What I object to, is the pejorative language in the article that places the blame solely on the Military for failed team effort.

    Iraq would never be successful without a heavy lift of the Department of State. At the height of the war, State had less than 25 percent of their people deployed to Iraq. State successfully lobbied Bush to assume the least risk and basically outsource their role to the DOD– a role DOD was ill suited for. DOD does not train and rehearse to conduct Regime change, build civil institutions, or (at that time) defeat counter insurgency. In the last 17 years, we’ve built at best counter insurgency force on the planet….at the expense of maintaining force capable of taking on nation states like Iran, Russia, or China. That’s the way it works when you have limited resources. You build the force that answers the nation’s call today. And you hope the people you have looking at future combat made the right guesses for what we need tomorrow.

    I’ve stressed in this forum before, that we actually do have civilian control of the military. You can devise a perfect strategy, the SecDef and President can line item reject any parts of those strategies. So all the talk about institutional failure of the general officer corps is misplaced without the context of what they proposed vs what they were authorized to do by POTUS. Bush and Cheney were given the scope, the intelligence, and everything else they needed to make decisions about: 1. Is Iraq a threat? 2. Should we go to war? and 3. What will it take to achieve our objectives? By the time those assessments and plans left the Beltway they were transformed into the $hitstorm you saw executed in Iraq. The DOD has to try to make chicken salad out of chicken $hit more times than you’d like to know. I didn’t care for Franks as a leader but he could have never been successful with a plan that was resourced at less than 50% of what the experts said was required..with unrealistic objectives and a reliance on expertise not even within the Department. I dont think the public realizes how much the political environment influences the work that comes from the regional experts. Not that these people are sages and could never be wrong, but they provide expert recommendation. By the time you learn about it on cable news or the papers…its not the same product anymore.

    Frankly, if the country wants more success out of DOD, they should stop electing Presidents that have no military experience. At the very least, they should have the civilian equivalent of Strategic Planning experience. So they have an aptitude that can grasp concepts bigger that winning or losing battles but of a continuous setting of conditions across a continuum of engagement. Within that paradigm, one would assess say, the killing of Solemani quite differently. I’d say Trump set conditions against his own interests of renegotiating JCPOA…despite this being a tactically useful exchange in the short term.

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  66. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Cain: I doubt it’s still true, but some years ago paid attendance for motor racing in the US was higher than for any other sport. It wasn’t the hundred thousand people at Indy or NASCAR big ovals, it was all those hundreds of local short tracks.

    It’s not my thing, but I did go to one weekend of dirt racing at Eldora. Most entertaining racing I’ve seen. Not all that fast, but wheel to wheel and you can see the whole track.

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  67. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @t:

    so you want nascar to completely change what it fundamentally is

    Nope…I could care less. There are a ton more interesting race series to watch.
    I merely point out that NASCAR is a joke…and that both Trump and NASCAR are afraid of the rain.

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  68. mattbernius says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    State successfully lobbied Bush to assume the least risk and basically outsource their role to the DOD– a role DOD was ill suited for.

    Do you have any good articles on that? My understanding had always been that State had been somewhat shut out of the initial planning and immediate aftermath by the powers that were at the time.

    DOD does not train and rehearse to conduct Regime change, build civil institutions, or (at that time) defeat counter insurgency.

    There are not enough upvotes possible for this one.

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  69. t says:

    @t:

    yeah they just feature the tifosi dressing up in blackface to mock lewis hamilton…

    oh and

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Bahrain_Grand_Prix_protests

    oh and

    https://www.thenational.ae/uae/india-s-race-for-f1-status-leaves-poor-in-the-dust-1.601600?videoId=5771275459001

    and

    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/11/sports/autoracing/a-challenge-for-russia-and-formula-one.html

    so you can sit there and preen about your precious formula 1 and denigrate all NASCAR fans as uncultured sisterfuckers.

    but the truth is much more complicated.

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I could care less.

    oh could you?

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  70. t says:

    why was my last comment moderated.

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  71. @t: Multiple links trigger the filter.

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  72. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Moosebreath:
    It’s time for a real life Grand Theft Auto. It would be the best reality show ever. But to level the playing field it should be run someplace where the ‘pedestrians’ are well-armed and can fight back. Like Mogadishu or Caracas or New Orleans. It would be like The Amazing Race but with car-mounted mini-guns vs. guys with shoulder-launched missiles.

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  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy:

    But it’s not a money issue per se, except as far as modern plutocrats refuse to pay a living wage. There are structural issues from stripping employee protections and benefits (think Uber), to a lack of affordable housing close to where jobs are, to a lack of effective public transportation.

    As designed by our corporate overlords.

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  74. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @t:
    The worlds most popular international race series has some issues? So surprising.
    I was at the Belgium Grand Prix in September and didn’t see a single black-face mocking Hamilton, so I’m not even sure what that’s about.
    Every NASCAR race I’ve ever been to (Daytona, Pomona, New Smyrna Speedway, Devil’s Bowl Speedway) was over run with American’s celebrating treason against the United States. I’m very sure what that is all about. But few of them seem to realize that the traitors lost…bigly.

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  75. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I didn’t care for Franks as a leader but he could have never been successful with a plan that was resourced at less than 50% of what the experts said was required..with unrealistic objectives and a reliance on expertise not even within the Department.

    That’s when I started to really worry about the outcome. If the professionals say you need X and you insist on half of X, you’re on your way to trouble. Imagine FDR telling Ike he’d get less than half of what he needed to hit the beaches in Normandy.

    Then when the Iraqis were looting museums and the military had to admit they lacked the force to do anything about it, it was clear we were fucked. How in God’s name do you invade and occupy a country with effectively no military police?

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  76. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius:

    I’m taking him at his word.

    Heh. Teeheehee. Haha. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    Thanx, I needed a good laugh.

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  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @t:

    it’s pretty clear from his response he was joking so calm down gramps

    tyrell’s past comments have made it pretty clear that he has no sense of humor. The odds of him cracking a joke are less than nil.

    ETA: You young whippersnapper! 😉

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  78. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    From today’s self-awareness file…
    Ted Cruz commenting on a law proposed in Alabama, as a reaction to last year’s abortion ban bill in that state, that would require men to undergo a vasectomy at age 50 or after 3 kids:

    “Yikes. A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything…literally!”

    Cruz has supported a full ban on abortion with no exceptions, including rape and incest or the health of the mother, stripping funding for Planned Parenthood, and allowing companies to deny birth control coverage.
    Cruz has also “liked” pornography on social media.

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  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Cruz has absolutely zero, zip, zilch, no self awareness. At all. He still thinks he can parade around as some kind of tough guy after trump pantsed him in public.

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  80. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “You can’t tell me a car race wouldn’t be much more exciting with bladed hub caps, a reinforced prow for ramming, and a flame thrower.”

    If that works,we could arm football players with handguns, as in The Last Boy Scout…

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  81. CSK says:

    @wr:
    A friend of mine who played college football once told me that the fans showed up to see blood and mayhem, not an athletic contest. Maybe we should bring back gladiators.

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  82. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    Bill Gates has given a lot of money to charity, and miraculously gotten richer

    To be filed under: Rich Peoples Problems
    There is a tipping point where an individual can have enough wealth where he/she can’t spend or give it away faster that it grows. This is why early 20th century foundations such as Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller still give away millions per year. I have a wealthy friend who jokes that his only financial problem in life is giving away his money as he’s not interested in creating generations of entitled princes and princesses.

    It seems perverse, but a person at retirement age who has a retirement portfolio in the low 7 figures, is likely to have more money when they die 30 years down the road than they had at retirement. Of course that assumes they maintain a life style similar to the one they’ve lived.

    @gVOR08:

    (Rush, Le Mans, and an old Clark Gable movie called To Please a Lady)

    I’d add John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix to the list

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  83. Gustopher says:

    @Guarneri: I do love the underlying belief that Republicans can only be judged by Republicans.

    The question asked of jurors is not “are you as pure as driven snow with regards to any and all potential bias?” but “can you make an impartial decision based on the facts presented in the courtroom?”

    There is no sign that she lied during jury selection, and the relevant information had come out. Even the defense was fine with her.

    Sometimes defendants are just guilty.

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  84. Tyrell says:

    @gVOR08: “slipping the clutch”: that brings up an interesting point about these “stock” cars. Years ago the idea was kicked around of using automatic transmissions in the NASCAR race cars. It was pointed out that those would overheat and burn up. At one time Jim Hall was using a torque converter in his Chevy Chaparral road race cars, but that was in another racing organization. NASCAR finally switched to fuel injection around 2004.
    Rumors are that NASCAR is studying an EV division. Also, will Honda go to NASCAR? I doubt it.

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  85. Gustopher says:

    @t:

    how is this not clear to you that it’s just easier to park the cars in order to not have teams go out and tear up equipment all night long

    Who said sports should be easy?

    My main problem with NASCAR is it’s just boring to watch. It’s like professional sailing, but on a small oval track — there’s all sorts of things going on, but they aren’t apparent until you’ve really invested a lot of time and energy into understanding the sport. There really isn’t a beginner’s level of enjoyment, other than to watch the crashes.

    (Professional sailing doesn’t even have the crashes)

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  86. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    NASCAR finally switched to fuel injection around 2004.

    From Wikipedia:

    The first race in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to use fuel injection was the 2012 running of the traditionally carburetor-friendly Daytona 500; which took take place on February 26

    Technologically antiquated. NASCAR is going to (gasp) 6 speed transmissions in 2012.

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  87. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Does anyone else think it was probably Bloomberg who released the tapes of some of his more obnoxious interviews? We’re getting a whole lot of oppo on Bloomberg all at once.

    It’s more likely that the flavor of the month is just getting his first real scrutiny. We aren’t finding out anything that wasn’t really, really available … yet.

    There have been sexual harassment stories following Bloomberg around forever, and stop-and-frisk was in the news a lot, and his comments on red lining were noticed at the time. I’m not sure we are even at the research phase — more at the “hey, I remember we ran a story about this a few years back” phase.

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  88. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Sometimes defendants are just guilty.

    Notice none of them are arguing Stone’s innocence…only questionable jury bias.
    I followed that trial pretty closely…Stone’s guilt was clear. It was also pretty damning to Trump; Stone’s trial illustrated just how involved the President was in encouraging his campaign’s interest in foreign interference. That Stone was in direct contact with Trump and the Campaign, and how Trump and his Campaign welcomed the release of stolen emails and documents damaging to Democrats by WikiLeaks. The trial also showed the extent to which the Mueller Investigation was hampered by obstruction.

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  89. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Agree. Grand Prix somehow skipped my mind this morning.

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  90. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: @Gustopher:

    Notice none of them are arguing Stone’s innocence

    Or Trump’s, for obvious reasons: innocent people don’t block 100% of attempts to subpoena the witnesses and documents that might prove their innocence.

    When I was popped I’d have shoveled any and all exculpatory evidence at prosecutors. The main problem being that there was no exculpatory evidence because of that whole being guilty thing I had going on.

    Even the culties don’t try to pretend any of the Trump Crime Family is actually innocent. They aren’t unaware, they’re just liars, very angry that their tin God’s been caught.

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  91. Jay L Gischer says:

    I am not remotely a Bloomberg fan. He’s way down my list of candidates. This stuff coming out about him doesn’t seem to mean much. For instance, I looked into one of the allegations closely, and it appears that the meaning of what he said was distorted somewhat to make the remarks seem more generally targeted than they actually were, and the remarks were made a long time ago.

    So, I’m thinking, maybe the rest of this stuff is the same caliber. Not without some substance, but way, way magnified. And after all, he was way down my list. This stuff seems a lot like the boy crying wolf. There’s so much of it, and it means so little that it makes it easy to ignore all of the hit stuff, like the stuff on Trump.

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  92. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I knew this guy who fancied himself an American matador. He took the training, murdered some bulls and took me to the big show in Madrid where among other things I saw a bull the size of an SUV stick a horn through a guy’s ankle and shake him like a rag doll.

    It occurred to me at the time that bull-fighting would be a great Vegas show – but only if there was less quasi-religious mysticism and more mayhem. You’d need a goring at least every few days and say, three or four deaths per year.

    And of course there’s no reason not to place advertising on the bulls. Longhorn Steakhouse would be a natural.

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  93. Chip Daniels says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    And feature one driver who drove slower than all the others, with his right turn signal on the whole time.

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  94. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The main problem being that there was no exculpatory evidence because of that whole being guilty thing I had going on.

    But Guiliani has a lot of information coming out “any time now”.

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  95. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It’s time for a real life Grand Theft Auto. It would be the best reality show ever. But to level the playing field it should be run someplace where the ‘pedestrians’ are well-armed and can fight back.

    We have that. It’s called Detroit.

    This one made me crack up… only in Detroit would you get this:
    https://www.motortrend.com/news/2020-chevrolet-corvette-c8-wheels-stolen-blocks/

    As to NASCAR… that was likely fun once, but now it’s corporate and capitalism demands bigger and more profits, like most events in the USA.

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  96. grumpy realist says:

    Now that Brexit has happened* the Brits are having to amuse themselves with the “weird and strange” people entering the government per Mr. Johnson. (And their departures, as well.)

    *(“happened” == “getting roughly 2% of the job done.”)

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  97. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @mattbernius: I did a quick Google search but most of the results were too recent and ironically were about how State pushed to get their people out after we withdrew and ended Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    This is a decent article:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/19/world/struggle-for-iraq-planning-state-dept-study-foresaw-trouble-now-plaguing-iraq.html
    Basically the DOD source says that State did not bring usable plans to the table. When this happens, it’s on the POTUS to throw the BS flag on State. Bush never did.

    I can appreciate the position Gen Powell was in as SecState. State Civilians are not like Uniformed military. You cant mandate they deploy. Even DOD Civilians are only deployable if they volunteer or are in a specially coded positions.

    State did what they always do…write position papers about needs to happen. They really are akin to a giant thinktank. Implementing and executing is not their forte.

    Military plans are written in 4 phases with conditions that trigger each phase. Phase 4 is peace and stabilization. So for them to give themselves a pass by saying they were shut out is State covering its ass. They have the longest lead time of ANY phase of the plan and can monitor conditions on the ground to adjust their plans as necessary. Despite my opinion of their role in the failure, I’ll also give them the same pass I give to DOD. The mission of State is not to use their expertise to facilitate regime change. Where I don’t give them a pass in on making a bunch of CYA position papers and mailing it in. They could have recruited and hired thousands of deployable diplomats to take the lead on Phase 4. They didn’t.

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  98. mattbernius says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Thanks sir! Much appreciated.

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  99. Kingdaddy says:
  100. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    A conspiracy laden post about how the corona virus (or rather, COVID19) was deliberately engineered by the Chinese and that’s why white people are immune.

    What?

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  101. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I just went back to check to see if it was still up. Yes. Yes it is. And the comment section is just a fetid swamp of racists congratulating each other about how this shows they were right all along about the differences between the races. I invite them all to take their lily white asses and sit next to a bunch of Chinese folks suffering from the virus.

    I think it was SJ Gould in “The Mismeasure of Man” where I read about all the “scientific literature” from the turn of the previous century carefully explaining why the American Negro was incapable of ever excelling in sports. Because of genetics, doncha know?

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  102. gVOR08 says:

    @Jim Brown 32: It’s a long time since I read Thomas Ricks, Fiasco. I recall him describing a meeting of senior generals in one of Saddams palaces just after the fall of Baghdad. It was almost a slapstick, “OK, give me the Phase IV plan. I thought you had the Phase IV plan. Anybody got the Phase IV plan?” But IIRC Ricks blamed it all on Cheney who seized control over all planning, cut State out of the loop, and failed to plan for the occupation.

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  103. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: According to westpoint.edu,

    Tim Bakken is a professor in the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, at West Point. Prior to his academic career, he practiced law in New York City, where he served as a prosecutor in the homicide bureau of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office (Brooklyn) and worked at law firms focusing on federal and commercial litigation.

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  104. Jen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: That didn’t make any sense to me either, but conspiracy theories are not really worth my time.

    @grumpy realist: Question for you re: Brexit–how is LHR handling flights that land there from the US that are destined for another part of Europe? We’re thinking of heading to Europe sometime in the fall, and were trying to figure out if we need to structure our plane tickets such that if we can’t fly direct, we should remove LHR from the list and try and change flights somewhere in the EU if a plane change is required. The idea of having to go through customs twice, once in London and then again at our ultimate destination is irksome.

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  105. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    That’s a tricky subject. No “race” is immune to any infectious disease, but some groups have a kind of built-in resistance to some infectious agents, which comes with a hefty price tag.

    For instance, several African black populations have a gene that gives them some resistance to the malarial parasite. This is a good gene to have where malaria is common. But get two copies of the gene, and you develop sickle-cell anemia.

    Something similar has been found in groups of Eastern European Jews. They get resistance to tuberculosis, but the double gene imparts Tay Sachs disease, which is a horrible thing.

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  106. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    No clue about LHR, but there are plenty of EU options: Dublin, Reykjavik, Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, and Amsterdam. the latter two ought to have the most connectivity to the rest of Europe.

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  107. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Thanks–thus far, most of the flights we’ve considered go through LHR, with a few through Paris. Because we visit the UK frequently (usually at least 1-2 times a year) our preferred airline is BA. Might have to expand our options, just to avoid the potential hassle of 2x customs.

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  108. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    You’re welcome.

    I forgot Frankfurt with Lufthansa.

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  109. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @gVOR08: I could believe that. I wasn’t in the beltway during that time so I know what I picked up from Officers that were. There is no way to understate the fact that Dick Cheney was the Senior, Lead Planner for the entire operation. That it failed so spectacularly and no one on that team was held to account…frankly is incredible. This is the legacy of the fracture media environment. Without Fox News, Bush and the GOP would have been pushed for a decade for a colossal waste of blood and treasure. If I’m the DNC or a billionaire Democrat…I start a campaign to discredit Fox.

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  110. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: You are correct. There are genes that, if expressed in an individual, will lessen the effects of the malarial parasites while simultaneously killing you slowly and painfully. And members of genetically segregated pockets of people who existed generationally in malarial areas are statistically more likely to have those genes than other groups. But you or I could have that gene and it wouldn’t make us any more (or less) African or Jewish. As for genes that make you more or less susceptible to a specific corona virus, well it’s not my area, but that just seems extremely unlikely. Corona viruses have made their way all over the world for many, many millennia. It’s hard to believe there are pockets left that are more susceptible than others and further that’s it’s because of some kind of genetic selection process. There are 1.4B Chinese. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more genetic variation in that population than in all of Western Europe combined, even today.

    But to you and I it’s just an interesting discussion. To the bottom dwellers in the TAC comment section (and of course to their bloated leader, All Hail Buchanan!) these racial fantasies gives justification to the hatred and loathing in their souls.

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  111. gVOR08 says:

    On NASCAR. Got home tonight in time to watch the last 11 laps. It was worse than watching the last minutes of a football game. Took an hour. Couldn’t go three laps without a wreck and a restart. They finally did ” NASCAR overtime”. If they stop the race with less than two laps remaining, when they restart they do two laps, green, white, checker. Green flag to start, white flag to signal last lap, checker to end it. If they have a caution before the white flag, they try again. First try, two guys wrecked going under the green flag. Last try, after the white flag, the guy in third nudged the leader. The leader, Ryan Newman, hit the wall, flipped, and looked to me like got hit in the driver’s side while inverted and airborne. In the hospital, no word on condition.

    This is not racing. This is ten guys forming a pack and hoping to win the coin flip at the end. Hoping for good news on Newman’s condition.

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  112. Kathy says:

    A few days ago Airbus reported a net loss of 1.4 billion Euros.

    It also announced it’s paying a dividend of 1.8 Euros per share.

    I don’t get it. Sure, the loss is a result of a fine due to Airbus having paid bribes to sell airplanes. the fine is 3.6 billion Euros (not a good look for the company, but I must say that’s a fine with a real bite). So before being hit with a fine and penalties, the company would have posted a profit.

    Still, I don’t get paying a dividend when the company lost money for the year.

    Is this common?

    On other aviation news, Canadian company Bombardier sold their share of the A220 (formerly the C-Series) to Airbus. This means Bombardier is out of the commercial aircraft business, as it had sold the CRJ program to Mitsubishi earlier. They still make business jets.

    The other side of their business, which is really odd when you think about it, is trains. Trains don’t seem to be plentiful, but they really are. Aside from passenger trains in Europe, Japan, and China, there are lots and lots of subway trains all over the world, not to mention a respectable amount of light commuter trains as well.

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  113. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan:
    From memory, so suspect, but about 2% of the population in Africa are naturally immune to HIV. The original research involved prostitutes who were infected but the virus just disappeared without any treatment.

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  114. Teve says:

    It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Medicare for All. That’s why I’m impressed that Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign reached out to me to independently review her proposed financing plan for the program. Her numbers add up and her plan fully finances the program without imposing any new taxes on middle-class families.

    Warren is right: her Medicare for all plan wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle-class.

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  115. An Interested Party says:

    All the Democrats should be running ads like these…well, the tops ones anyway…

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  116. Mister Bluster says:

    @An Interested Party:..well, the tops ones anyway

    The tops Democrats or the tops ads…or both?

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  117. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan:

    A conspiracy laden post about how the corona virus (or rather, COVID19) was deliberately engineered by the Chinese and that’s why white people are immune.

    Could you explain why anyone would believe the Chinese would create a biological weapon that only affects them? If they are trying to commit racial suicide, 2% fatality rate just isn’t going to hack it.

    Also, I assume the whole white folks are immune is pure bullshit. I would not object to being immune to a likely pandemic, but it sounds like bullshit.

    (I admit to paying almost no attention to COVID-19 — I figure most “news” is badly sourced partial information presented out of context. My panicking isn’t going to help me.)

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  118. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain: A quick google of reliable sources like the NIH shows that there is a certain percentage of all populations that, when exposed to HIV, never develop symptoms. I’m not sure what the current research shows because it seems that while in some of the earlier studies this natural immunity was deemed as high as 10% many of those subjects eventually developed symptoms, sometimes a decade or more later.

    Further, Africa and Africans encompass way too many people with extraordinarily genetic diversity to make generalizations. Africa is comprised of 40+ countries on a landmass that is larger than China, the US, Western Europe, and Brazil, combined, with plenty of space left over. It has pockets of people who existed for millennia in some of the wettest ecosystems in the world as well as some of the driest. There were pockets who developed as ocean fishing communities, and plains hunters, as seasonal flood irrigated farmers, as bush hunter gatherers. There are pockets that to this day are so geographically isolated they have children that have never seen anyone from outside the community and they have cities that have had sea going trading empires for thousands of years. (Fun fact: a lot of those exotic kingdoms mentioned in the Bible were in Africa.) So talking about Africans being genetically immune is like saying some combination of Asians, Europeans and South Americans are genetically immune.

    Finally, while it is possible that certain isolated populations located in particular regions of Africa could be more or less immune to something like HIV, we are talking about a corona virus here. Probably every adult you know has had dozens of corona virus infections because many of them can be transmitted by simply sharing air. The head cold you had last month could have been a corona virus. They are both extremely common and rarely fatal, making it hard to imagine that a group as large and genetically diverse as “the Chinese” collectively have more or less genetic susceptibility to this one instance.

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  119. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Kathy: Yes, paying dividends when you lose money is fairly common. There are a variety of reasons from “paper losses”, to the types of business (MLP’s vs corporations, for example) and the payouts they are required to make, to not wanting to stop paying a dividend because it almost invariably hammers the stock, to good old greed and incompetence. But it’s not particularly unusual.

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  120. Kathy says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    My mind’s just blown away, and not in a good way.

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