Monday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open 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

Comments

  1. Dude Kembro says:

    2022 is now a referendum on Treason Trump’s fascism. His sore loser election lies are inciting division, hate and violence to destroy America. The entire GQP is a cowardly, weak Republican Trump cult.

    Corporate media haters won’t report it, but Biden’s stimulus, anti-poverty recovery bill, and childcare credits have lifted millions from poverty. Unemployment is down 4%, wages are up 8%, and Biden ended the Afghan war.

    In 2022, we must reject Trump’s fascist GQP and elect more people-oriented Democrats who will help Biden, Harris, Schumer and Pelosi end the endless wars, fix climate disaster, and invest in healthcare, education, infrastructure, broadband, and mass transit. #VoteBlue

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  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    Awaiting JKB’s response.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today’s contribution to the “Who’da Thunk It” file:

    US schools gave kids laptops during the pandemic. Then they spied on them

    When the pandemic started last year, countless forms of inequality were exposed – including the millions of American families who don’t have access to laptops or broadband internet. After some delays, schools across the country jumped into action and distributed technology to allow students to learn remotely. The catch? They ended up spying on students. “For their own good”, of course.

    According to recent research by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), “86% of teachers reported that, during the pandemic, schools provided tablets, laptops, or Chromebooks to students at twice the rate (43%) prior to the pandemic, an illustration of schools’ attempts to close disparities in digital access.”

    The problem is, a lot of those electronics were being used to monitor students, even combing through private chats, emails and documents all in the name of protecting them. More than 80% of surveyed teachers and 77% of surveyed high school students told the CDT that their schools use surveillance software on those devices, and the more reliant students are on those electronics, unable to afford supplementary phones or tablets, the more they are subjected to scrutiny.

    “We knew that there were students out there having ideations around suicide, self-harm and those sorts of things,” a school administrator explained to the CDT researchers. “[W]e found this [student activity monitoring software]. We could also do a good job with students who might be thinking about bullying … [I]f I can save one student from committing suicide, I feel like that platform is well worth every dime that we paid for [it].”

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  4. JohnMcC says:

    @Sleeping Dog: You are curious about what Ludvig Von Mises said about it?

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  5. CSK says:

    According to the Daily Beast, Corey Lewandowsky has been banned from setting foot on all Trump properties.

    I still think this has more to do with him boasting about “controlling” Trump’s endorsements than it does with him molesting even a major donor’s wife.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I still think this has more to do with him boasting about “controlling” Trump’s endorsements than it does with him molesting even a major donor’s wife.

    I’m not so sure, trump may well consider “molesting a major donor’s wife” as poaching on his territory.

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  7. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Possibly. But remember that Trump hates the appearance of being manipulated or directed by someone else. That’s probably because he is so easily led.

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  8. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m having serious trouble with my youngest and her school-issued laptop. They don’t do ENOUGH to protect the kids. She has proven several times to me that she is not socially or emotionally mature enough to be allowed unfettered access to all of the major social media platforms, she’s 12, and kids that age are animals that act like the internet is their jungle and their peers are prey. There are zero controls on her school-issued laptop that block social media, or ANY questionable internet content at all. I have parental controls on the devices I own that block all social media and alerts me if she’s accessing internet content she shouldn’t be, but there’s not a damn thing I can do about her school computer.

    They had iPads when my oldest was in middle school, and they blocked all social media apps from the app store, it was wonderful. Then they switched to Chromebooks and it’s like they don’t care. The kids and the way they use social media hasn’t changed, block that shit! They have no business using school property for social media, if their parents allow social media, they can do it on their own devices.

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  9. @JohnMcC:

    You are curious about what Ludvig Von Mises said about it?

    Hey, man, there’s a Von Mises quote for every situation!

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  10. Kathy says:

    Question: why is Mitch so opposed to ending the legislative filibuster?

    Not at the present moment. That’s obvious: because it would let democrats legislate.

    But he opposed it when his party controlled the White House and Congress, too, even in the face of ferocious whining by Benito the Tiny Cheeto. You know, when they wanted to repeal and “replace” ACA. I can’t imagine he cares about partisanship.

    So what gives?

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  11. Tyrell says:

    How about them Cowboys!

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  12. @Kathy:

    So what gives?

    In my view, the positive ability to legislate on occasion (repeal of ACA) is far outweighed by maintaining a long-term minority veto.

    The Reps’ agenda, legislatively, is mostly to block, not act. Hence the desire to keep the filibuster.

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  13. @Tyrell: Indeed!

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  14. gVOR08 says:

    I recently read Fintan O’Toole’s The Politics of Pain because someone, perhaps a commenter here, said it was a good explanation of the psychology of Brexit, which it is, and also reads on MAGA, which it does. He’s pretty insightful, and entertaining.

    On the lunatic fringe of Brexit – a fringe long enough to get in the eyes of rational governance – there is a belief that England can find itself only when the remnants of socialism and liberalism are burned off in the crucible of pain. Suffering is not a side effect of the great project; it is the medicine.

    One of the side effects of Brexit is to make progressives recoil even further from English nationalism, which they never trusted and now blame for the disaster. But they need to do what they mostly did not do in the pre-Brexit decade: take it seriously. Address it. Precisely because it remains so poorly articulated and self-contradictory, it is up for grabs.

    What we have seen with the lid off is the truth that Brexit is much less about Britain’s relationship with the EU than it is about Britain’s relationship with itself.

    O’Toole sees it as basically about self-pity, and self-harm. He has a chapter centered on Johnny Rotten. He does a good job of explaining the emotions of the Leave voters, but doesn’t answer my questions as to what motivated Mercer and his ilk into pushing it. He has a chapter on the glibertarian dreams of some of the super-wealthy to be free of not only the EU, but all government. Our Billionaire Boys Club have similar dreams, but they put money into politics to buy very concrete benefits, tax cuts and unfettered carbon exploitation. What are the Brit billionaires buying? Today’s NYT has, I suspect, a partial answer in a column titled The City of London Is Hiding the World’s Stolen Money.

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  15. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Question: why is Mitch so opposed to ending the legislative filibuster?

    My first guess is that he’s got no consistent position on the filibuster and simply supports whatever he thinks will help the GOP. There are quotes from the mid-2000s in which he backs the nuclear option to break a Democratic filibuster on judicial nominations (to my knowledge that was when the phrase was first coined).

    But it’s possible to believe with perfect consistency that there should be a filibuster for legislation but not nominations. Now, McConnell hasn’t been totally consistent about that, either (he voted against the 2013 rule change), but during the 2017-18 period, while he did unhesitatingly nuke the filibuster for SCOTUS nominations to get Gorsuch through, as you pointed out he repeatedly resisted calls from others in his party (including Trump) to do the same for legislation, even though it created obstacles for the GOP’s legislative agenda.

    I’m not arguing this is any evidence of “principle,” but I do think it suggests he sees some long-term value to keeping the legislative filibuster. Part of it I think is that almost the entire GOP’s legislative agenda (which consists of little more than tax cuts) can be passed through reconciliation. Also, it may be a way of protecting Republican lawmakers from unpopular votes. Without the legislative filibuster, he’d have been expected to craft a bill that made massive, disruptive regulatory changes to the health-care system. The so-called “Obamacare repeal” bills the Senate actually came up with were basically just a mix of tax cuts and Medicaid reductions–in other words, the usual Republican crap they’d have been trying to do regardless of the ACA. And he couldn’t get even that through.

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  16. Yyrell says:

    @Jax: A few years ago some parents had that problem at a local school. They met with their school board member and an IT person from the main office. The next day the IT person went to that school and put filters and controls on every student Chrome book. Teachers also have a program that allows them to monitor every student in the class when they are using their C books. So no playing Fortnite or checking out music videos during math practice. School board members usually listen to parents, especially when they threaten to put their kids in the local private schools.

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  17. Jax says:

    @Yyrell: Already been that route, was told by the IT head they’re not willing to do that. They only allow school work to be done on school computers during school hours, once school is out that control turns off and it’s the wild, wild west as far as what they can access.

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  18. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I lean toward this view.

    @Kylopod:

    There is a kind of principle involved: if you don’t do anything, you can’t be blamed for it.

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  19. CSK says:
  20. @Kylopod: I think we have to see the judicial filibuster and the legislative filibuster as separate.

    Getting rid of the judicial filibuster clears the pathway for the Reps to proactively do something they want to do: confirm judges.

    They are far less concerned about proactively legislating (especially since they cannot count on control of the H,S, and WH at any given moment) and being able to block the Dems, even while controlling none of those institutions, is a huge boon.

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  21. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: The Billionaire Boys Club realize their program has no chance of winning a fair popular vote. They can only con the sufficiently racist and gullible minority. Of late they’re putting a lot of effort into ending fair votes, but they’ve been working out for decades how to implement minority rule, or at least block majority rule. Remember REDMAP? The conniving on Garland and Barrett? They’re not going to give up the filibuster without a fight. And McConnell will continue doing what he’s paid to do.

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  22. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: There is a principle involved. Hacker and Pierson, in Winner Take All Politics, call it “drift”. It’s a basic asymmetry driving our current situation. The idea is that the people who are doing well under the status quo are just fine with the status quo. They don’t need anything and don’t want anyone else to get anything. They’ve rigged it so they can get tax cuts through reconciliation and judges (who are key to ratfracking future elections) without a super majorities. Otherwise they’re fine with stasis. The filibuster is a major element in the inability of our government to function, which is all they want.

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  23. Kathy says:

    I got to thinking about alien lifeforms (reminder, we still have found none), and wondered how similar to known life they may be at a cellular level.

    If you look at random cells from different species, you find many common elements: chromosomes arranged in a nucleus, mitochondria, ribosomes, cytoskeleton, cell membrane, etc. This is not surprising, because pretty much all life is interrelated to very remote ancestors.

    How much of this would be true of alien life?

    We can assume some form of nucleic acid, most likely DNA (though RNA might also serve), because such molecules are self-reproducing in addition to being self-organizing like amino acids and proteins.

    Past that, it’s hard to say much, especially if you’re not a biologist.

    Cells are pretty much beehives of nonstop biochemical activity, drawing energy and making more complex structures from nutrients. We may assume alien life will be much the same, but we can’t assume the mechanisms will be the same.

    So alien cells will need a power plant, sure, but it may be something other than mitochondria, especially as aside from making adenosine triphosphate, they do other things for their cells. Alien cells may evolve a different organelle, or a different means of obtaining biochemical energy.

    I think the first time a person examines an alien cell their reaction will be “WTF is that?”

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  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: But remember that Trump hates the appearance of being manipulated or directed by someone else.

    I never said otherwise. I’m just saying that bull elephant seals brook no competition on their beach.

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  25. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    And I agreed with you that this was very possibly his motivation here. But Corey bragging that he runs Trump would drive The Former Guy insane.

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  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: We seem to be arguing over which of the 2 impulses, *both of which we agree* are present, motivates trump more.

    ** except that I am arguing with at least half my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek. At least, I think I am. When it comes to trump, I can never really know how low he will go.

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  27. flat earth luddite says:

    Alrighty, folks, and now for something completely different…

    Spalding County (GA) Sheriff’s Deputies announced Friday they’ve arrested two people for a violent assault that took place on May 1 at a local restaurant. The two suspects lived in Oregon.

    It gets better…

    The suspects, 40-year-old Dustin Wendelin and 29-year-old Charles Montgomery, of Freewater, OR, are accused of an attack that left a man with a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain.

    Both suspects are members of the 1% Pagan Outlaws. Wendelin was a chapter president of the Pagans in Oregon and Washington.

    And now, ladies and gentlemen (and anyone else), for the punchline…

    Wendelin has been employed by the Washington State Penitentiary as a correctional officer since 2011.

    As my Organic Chem prof used to say, “Questions, comments, observations?”

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  28. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I was just thinking the same thing. It’s probably not possible to determine which of Trump’s baser instincts–because all his instincts are base–is driving him at anyone time.

    I do think Maggie Haberman had a good point about Corey being canned because of the bragging.

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  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    Obviously the type of character that a correction system would view as a net positive.

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  30. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Well, attempted murder isn’t exactly a new thing for the 1% Pagan Outlaws.

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  31. flat earth luddite says:

    @CSK:
    Apparently the dude they beat was performing karaoke at Big Jim’s Wing Shack when they came in and put the beat-down on him. Seems a bit harsh to me, but then again, my singing is on a par with my golf game… both have been ruled as international war crimes.

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  32. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Apparently they beat the guy half to death because they wanted to maintain and increase their status in the gang.

    Have a great time in prison, dudes.

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  33. CSK says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted “Happy Columbus Day” to all her fans.

    Unfortunately, she spelled it “Colombus.”

    She had deleted the original tweet and corrected it.

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  34. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: 72%* of all arguments anywhere boil down to “we both agree about these two things but, dammit, you should recognize that the one I prefer is the more important one”.

    *And 28% of all arguments are caused by people just blatantly making up facts

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  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Yeah but I’m right.

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  36. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Perhaps.

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  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    @gVOR08:

    This was known even before Brexit:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/theresa-may-still-searching-for-a-brexit-deal/#comment-2385860

    There’s been speculation that Brexit is really about the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive that goes into effect January 1, 2019 and that super wealthy brits (like Philip May) wanted a hard brexit from the beginning so that they could avoid being subject to it. What we’re seen now is just kabuki theater so that they can back into a hard brexit while not taking the blame for doing so.

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  38. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    I’ll have to get round to reading Politics of Pain sometime.
    I’ve read some of O’Toole’s articles; they are interesting, but I’m not sure he’s right about the drivers of the Brexiters.
    Not least because there are several different groups assembled under that flag.

    One is that of the “Libertarian Tories” and related ultra-Thatcherite economic liberals.
    And they are interwoven with the City groups who include the money laundering elements (a minority in it, but a significant one) and the “Tufton Street Mob” with their trans-Atlantic connections including the Matthew Elliott, the Atlas Network and links to advocates in the Koch and Mercer milieus.

    The really ironic thing is that the Libertarian/NeoLiberal Brexiters look like ending up being screwed out their win. (Except, maybe for the tax dodging side play. Which is in fact smallish potatoes.)
    Why?

    Because the fools made the mistake of trusting Boris Johnson, who cares not a whit for their agenda except as a vehicle for his own ambitions.

    And as his power requires the votes of the lower middle class mass base for Brexit, who want the NHS, regulation, subsidies, wage increases, etc (and above all are anti-immigration) Johnson will kneecap the neoLibs, and be cheered to the rafters by the Tory Party while doing so.

    If I wasn’t trapped in the rear seat of the bus, it would be amusing to watch Boris throwing the Libertarians under it.

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  39. Stormy Dragon says:

    @CSK:

    Colombo Day, celebrating the Peter Falk character, would be a much better federal holiday

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  40. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    My opinion is that it was not personal tax avoidance that was the driver.
    There are ways round that issue; the thing, for some, was the prospect of future EU (and possibly US) anti-laundering regulations.

    Not for their own wealth; but that they service. For a part of the City (and the supporting cast of lawyer, estate agents, PR firms, accountants, etc etc) the “grey money” of Russian, Chinese, Arabs, etc is enormously lucrative.
    More than enough to justify oiling the wheels of politics.

    Incidentally, a lot of what are thought to be separate “offshore tax havens” have increasingly become little more than brass nameplates that are in reality run out of London offices:
    British Virgin Islands (British Overseas Territory)
    Cayman Islands (British Overseas Territory)
    Bermuda (British Overseas Territory)
    Jersey (Crown Dependency)
    And those are just the biggest and best known.

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  41. flat earth luddite says:

    @CSK:
    Well, maybe Wendelin is gonna have a little trouble in a GA prison. After all, even if he’s a leader in the Pagans, he’s still a nuthin but a friggin screw to the other inmates… and now he’s on the wrong side of the bars after night count. Sleep tight, mutherfugger!

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  42. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Yeah, but Falk (or the screenwriters) spelled it “Columbo,” too.

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  43. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Couldn’t happen to a nicer person, right?

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  44. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kathy:

    All of the amino acids (and thus all the proteins made from them) come in two forms, a so-called right handed version and a left-handed version that are mirror images of each other.

    All earth biological forms use the right-handed versions exclusively. An open question in biology is whether there is some unknown benefit to the right-handed versions that drove this or was it an essentially random choice made by a common ancestor that subsequently got inherited by all of its descendants?

    If it was random, there could be alien biomes that chose the left handed aminos and thus are virtually identical yet completely incompatible with earth biology.

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  45. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnSF: Should you read The politics of Pain, I’d love to hear your comments. O’Toole talks a lot about Boris Johnson, none of it complimentary. Including Johnson’s belief that Leave would fail. Now he’s the dog that caught the car (my words, not O’Toole’s).

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  46. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: Corrected it to “Colombus?” If so, that’s hilarious.

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  47. Mikey says:

    24-hour update on COVID vaccine booster. We both had Pfizer for the initial vaccination and booster.

    Me: Slight arm soreness, slept nine hours and could have slept more, felt run-down until a couple hours ago.

    Wife: Arm soreness more significant than mine, mild headache most of the day.

    We’re both feeling pretty much normal now, as with the first two shots the mild side effects lasted about a day.

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  48. CSK says:

    @Just nutha:
    No, she corrected “Colombus” to “Columbus.” But only after the error was pointed out to her multiple times.

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  49. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I suppose a left-handed biome would pose a lower risk of infection, at least as viruses are concerned.

    That’s one of my pet peeves in science fiction. Alien microbes are never dangerous, unless the script calls for them to be. A more realistic portrayal, IMO, would have everyone meeting for years in hazmat suits (which would be tough to film, I concede).

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  50. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:

    …he’s the dog that caught the car.

    But IMO he’s quite happy about that.

    I was also inclined to think he expected to lose; then would position himself as the champion of the Brexiter, the darling of the activists, the man who could unite the party, win over the UKIP vote, and (always) , yadda yadda.
    While Cameron would be fatally damaged, and the party base never forgive the Remain leaders (esp Osborne) and at the same a failed referendum would have shot Farage’s fox.
    Perfect for Johnson.

    But a win was almost as good, once May wrecked the chances of a smooth EEA/EFTA mode SM/CU deal. And enabled Johnson to very neatly undercut her.

    Sure, Johnson has no real strategy now, in terms of managing the economic/strategic consequences.
    But he simply does not care about that.
    Or policy of any kind.

    As a Conservative said: “All Johnson cares about is being king of the world, and shagging.”

    Also long as Labour continue to falter in the polls (variety of reasons for that) he will simply sloganise with whatever plays to the “new Conservative base” in polls and focus groups, and hope to ride out the storms.

    As long as the polling holds up in the vote base, the Party will accept whatever he serves up.
    And that includes screwing over the small-state, tax cut, low regulation, free trading “economic Right” to win the votes of the “Red Wall” lower middle class.

    Johnson to Tufton Street:
    “You screwed up; you trusted me.”

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  51. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kathy:

    I think more likely is a situation were the biomes fundamentally don’t work with each other, so nothing is infectious, but everything is extremely poisonous.

    Imagine diplomacy in a world where everyone has to bring their own food to state dinners.

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  52. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    “All Jonson cares about is being king of the world, and shagging.”

    No wonder The Former Guy called him “the Donald Trump of England.”

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  53. Barry says:

    @JohnSF: “And as his power requires the votes of the lower middle class mass base for Brexit, who want the NHS, regulation, subsidies, wage increases, etc (and above all are anti-immigration) Johnson will kneecap the neoLibs, and be cheered to the rafters by the Tory Party while doing so.”

    Lie to their faces, make Big Noises about a Big Deal which will make their lives better, have the Brexit media support that with 24/7 headlines, then f*ck them later.

    If they even notice, tell them that the EU was responsible.

    I’ll bet on that working long, long after the UK is a clapped out wh*re, stripped of assets and only serving to launder Russian billions.

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: @OzarkHillbilly: WA! I can’t speak outside of what’s going on here, but both of my school districts have controls on the Chromebooks 24/7 and keep logs of how students use the devices both during and after school. Because Washington is a socialist hell hole, the districts have the students sign documents that set the parameters of how the tools can be used and with the warning that the devices subject to monitoring for the duration of the agreement. Additionally, some teachers activate a program that the schools have that allows staff to actively monitor individual devices and classrooms full simultaneously. I’ve used that system myself. It’s pretty neat. When I work middle school, I remind the kids that the eyes of Kelso SD IT are on them all the live long day. It helps keep them on task a bit at least.

    Jax, I find it fascinating that your district has the attitudes that it seems to and is willing to say so right out in front of God (or Flying Spaghetti Monster/who-whatever). Then again, I would have thought that it was in the interests of the district to keep kids from contracting Delta variant, but apparently, I’m wrong about that, too. Just from a retention of investment basis, a laptop that unlocks most of the time has a far higher black market value than one that has to be hacked open to be useful outside the parameters of schoolwork. When the districts here decided to issue Chromebooks to the students instead of simply sharing a batch among several classrooms, I asked some students about the security of the devices–other students taking yours when you’re distracted, having someone in the community steal one, and such. The all agreed that even though the devices are several hundred dollars each, the street value is virtually non-existent because you can’t do anything with them outside the school’s permitted usage guidelines.

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  55. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnSF:

    If the US and EU continue to move on the path of squashing money laundering, and they likely will. Boris and the UK neo-libs will be in a bit of a pickle. Brexit has burned bridges with the EU and it is quite likely that any trade deal with the US will come with strings attached. I guess the UK economy could become a subsidiary of China, Inc, but that wouldn’t be very good. But imagine the world’s past, great mercantilist nation becoming the dutiful servant to the neo-mercantilist nation.

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Oh. That’s not nearly as funny. (Rats!)

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  57. Stormy Dragon says:

    Dave Chapelle’s new special as seen by a black LGBTQ writer:

    Dave Chappelle’s Betrayal

    A few beats later, Chappelle declares “We Blacks, we look at the gay community and we go “Goddamn it! Look how well that movement is going.” Never mind that, in addition to being both Black and gay, I also happen to live in the state of Ohio, as does Chappelle himself, where our governor just signed a provision that will allow doctors and other medical professionals to deny healthcare to LGBTQ patients. As the activist Raquel Willis said on Twitter, “It’s convenient for Black cishet male comedians to talk about LGBTQ+ folks as if our group is only or even predominantly white. With that frame, they don’t have to contend with how Black cishet folks often enact (physical and psychological) violence on Black LGBTQ+ folks.”

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  58. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    What about allergies to left-handed proteins?

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  59. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: They are apparently not tracking anything that goes on with the Chromebooks outside of school hours, because I printed out a series of social media incidents involving other kids at the school coming onto HER social media accounts and starting shit about her being gay/trans. Both the IT head and the principal acted shocked, SHOCKED I tell you that their little angels could be acting like this on social media. “But there’s really nothing we can do because it happened outside of school hours.” Same with the school resource officer when I showed him the DM’s they’d sent her threatening to beat her up when she got back to school after Covid quarantine.

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  60. Jax says:

    On the Covid front….we had 3 deaths last week. All directly related to unvaccinated attendees of the infamous 90th birthday party on September 12th. 3 more are on ventilators. 85 new cases last week, what will the death toll be in a month, I wonder?!

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  61. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: In the original Marvel comic book, Transformers were said to have evolved from naturally forming gears and pulleys. So that’s another “possibility.”

    (That origin has been retconned, sadly, and every continuity seems to have a different origin, except the movies by Michael Bay, which feature a different origin in each movie.)

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  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Both the IT head and the principal acted shocked, SHOCKED I tell you that their little angels could be acting like this on social media. “But there’s really nothing we can do because it happened outside of school hours.” Same with the school resource officer when I showed him the DM’s they’d sent her threatening to beat her up when she got back to school after Covid quarantine.

    Contact a lawyer. That will get their attention.

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  63. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m compiling my evidence. I would normally have told my kid to shut her social media down, since her only access is on the school computer, but after talking to the IT head and the principal I figured we might as well let them dig their hole, and clued my kiddo in on why. She’s still in trouble for STARTING the social media accounts, and she’s only allowed to post certain things, but….these kids are brutal. It doesn’t matter what she posts, they come after her.

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  64. keef says:

    Well. Well. Well.

    Florida is 48 out of 50 in case rate. Heh. Doc Taylor ain’t much of a doc.

    Meanwhile, Border Czar Kamala is making The View-worthy videos complete with child actor props and a childlike demeanor. No wonder this woman never passed a bill as a senator and couldn’t get past Iowa. I hear she’s got a good, perhaps talented, back story, though…………

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  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: Years ago in Seattle, a continuing dust up between two groups of minority students eventually evolved into a large scale community/school district meeting. The school district reps put on their finest Senator Collins furrowed brows and lamented about how shocked they were that they were hearing the stories that they were hearing as this was not what they were seeing (from the windows of their offices on the other side of Capitol Hill from the school). The parents of one cohort were shocked also–along the lines of your building admin and IT guy–and just as helpless to solve the issue (or inert–as the case may be).

    The main spokesperson for the other community members, who some people claimed was mobbed up (but I NEVER believed that and I’d met him*) spoke next. He commiserated with both the district personnel and the other families and then told them not to worry “because if you can’t solve the problem WE can.”

    The district and the other community’s spokespeople suddenly realized that with some work and resolve that they could be part of the solution after all.

    The LGBTQ+ community is lacking such influential people in it’s ranks at the moment. I would imagine that this is especially true in Wyoming. I wish I could help but my breaking heads intervention leading days are long past.

    *I happened to meet Mr. Patu because he’d come to our warehouse to buy some bananas for some sort of community barbeque coming up. I’d been instructed by our manager to take him through our banana rooms and give him whatever he preferred. I remember him well. He was about 2 inches taller than I was (I was 6’3″ at the time) and very solidly built (I would guess about 20 pounds heaver than my 240), and wearing a… maybe $3000… camelhair car coat. He was very polite and brought 4 guys with him to carry the boxes out to his International Travelall and offered me a $50 tip for my help and taking me away from my usual duties. I thanked him, but told him that I was paid very well and our contract prohibited our taking gratuities from customers. At which point, he apologized for embarrassing me.

    Now how could he possibly be mobbed up? 😉

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  66. Just nutha ignint crackerd says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: COMMENT REMOVED. Edit button showed up.

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  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @keef: You really need the voices in your head to give you better information. I wasn’t able to follow why Dr. Taylor is a bad doctor (and of what, as far as that goes) simply Florida has been eclipsed in Covid-19 statistics. Statistics for Covid-19 change very rapidly; it’s possible for someone to read older data points and think “well that’s not true now without those statistics being untrue then. It has to do with time flow. Ask your voices; they can explain it to you.

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  68. Gustopher says:

    @keef: They’re #10 for deaths/100,000 so far this pandemic, which doesn’t seem like something to brag about unless you’re in the casket or body bag industry.

    That’s with them playing games with the numbers, too. That’s their best numbers.

    If, in two years, basically everywhere on Earth has had 250-300/100,000 dead from Covid, I’ll applaud Florida for getting it over with relatively quickly. But so far they’re doing pretty shitty, even in a country that has decided that vaccines are the devil’s semen or whatever they are pushing on OANN these days.

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  69. @keef: Please keep your misogyny to your yourself.

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  70. @keef:

    Florida is 48 out of 50 in case rate. Heh. Doc Taylor ain’t much of a doc.

    Yeah, but because at some point, cases come down. Do you sincerely not understand how any of this works?

    FWIW, Florida is 10th overall in deaths, adjusted for population.

    1. Mississippi
    2. New Jersey
    3. Louisiana
    4. Alabama
    5. New York
    6. Arizona
    7. Massachusetts
    8. Arkansas
    9. Rhode Island
    10. Florida

    It is worth noting the northeastern states suffered the worst at the beginning, when we had no mitigation initially, no knowledge of treatment, and no vaccine.

    Alabama, to pick the case that I know the best, piled on the deaths well after we knew what to do and had the vaccine.

    ( I just noticed that @Gustopher beat me to it, but I have written this, so here it is).

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  71. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    How could they know the leak on the other side of the lifeboat would reach their side of the lifeboat?

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  72. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is worth noting the northeastern states suffered the worst at the beginning, when we had no mitigation initially, no knowledge of treatment, and no vaccine.

    I think the common denominator at first was that the densely populated metro areas were the most vulnerable, and those areas tend to be strongly blue (regardless of which state they’re in). Since the vaccine, that’s when you begin to see the strong polarization by politics. The places most hurt are largely the red states and red areas, because those are the places where people aren’t getting vaccinated (and to a lesser degree, aren’t following the Covid safety protocols such as masks). Unlike in 2020, these places tend to be more rural because rural voters lean Republican. But one of the states with the lowest case rate is very-blue and very-rural Vermont. Politics is the bottom line at this point.

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  73. @Kylopod: Indeed. I went through a lot of the numbers recently, but keef keeps ignoring that post.

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  74. flat earth luddite says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: of course Keef’s ignoring that post, it doesn’t prove his pre-determination of the “facts.”

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  75. @flat earth luddite: Funny how that works, yes?

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