Friday Tabs

And this doesn't even clear them all!

Tuberville has mocked Schumer and the Democrats for not wanting to put in the work of approving the appointments and promotions individually instead of in blocks, which Tuberville’s hold prevents. If the Senate leadership wanted, it could move the appointments, Tuberville has said.


It’s time to give Tuberville what he wants.

Such a thing won’t be pleasant. Estimates for moving the appointments through the hard way have ranged from hundreds of hours to months.

It could mean lawmakers eat Thanksgiving dinner in their offices.

But it’s Democrats’ unwillingness to do the work that gives Tuberville his power over the Senate.

The only way to take it from him is to do the work.

The only way to prove the other 99 members of the Senate care more about our military than Tuberville is to put in the time.

Otherwise, they are as guilty in this charade as Tuberville.

And the best punishment Tuberville could endure is sharing a workplace with 99 colleagues and their staffers who’d gladly treat him to a beating if they could.

I especially like the idea of taking away holiday recesses and trips back home. And, again, they just left three weeks on the table, which is unfortunate.

Similarweb, another research firm, reported last week that usage is “down by every measure” in the year since Musk bought Twitter.

“In September, global web traffic to was down 14 percent year-over-year, and traffic to the portal for advertisers was down 16.5 percent,” Similarweb wrote. “In the US, where about a quarter of’s web traffic originates, September traffic was down 19 percent. The trend was similar, if not quite as pronounced in other countries: -11.6 percent in the UK, -13.4 percent in France, -17.9 percent in Germany, and -17.5 percent in Australia.”

As for mobile use, X was “down 17.8 percent year-over-year based on combined monthly active users for iOS and Android in the US. Worldwide, Android usage was down 14.8 percent,” according to Similarweb. As Similarweb’s Senior Insights Manager David Carr wrote, “nothing Musk has done seems to have translated into lasting improvements to compete better against the social networks that are continuing to grow strongly, such as TikTok, for which global web traffic was up 22.8 percent in September.”

the creation of a criminal offense under state law — empowering Texas officers to arrest migrants, including those seeking asylum — went a step further into a realm of immigration enforcement that is typically reserved to the federal government.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Georgia’s lieutenant governor wants to pay teachers $10,000 a year to carry guns at school.

    Gee, that’s a swell idea. What could possibly go wrong?


  2. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This type of thing always reminds me of 8th grade (1967) when two girls had their squirt guns taken away and locked in a filing cabinet. They broke into the file cabinet the next day and got them back. I can totally see some gun toting yahoo teacher (what are the odds that he/she would be a PE teacher) getting their guns taken by a student.

  3. gVOR10 says:

    Mike Johnson’s advocacy of fossil fuels is hardly the worst of it. Via Digby, quoting David Pepper and others:

    Mike Johnson Doesn’t Believe In Democracy, That’s because he’s never actually participated in one

    “You know, we don’t live in a democracy” but a “biblical” republic. That’s what Mike Johnson said in a 2016 interview as he explained his views on the U.S. government.

    Johnson turns out to offer the perfect example of how in today’s gerrymandered world, people can ride to the highest levels of power without facing a real election their entire careers.

    And then in 2022, even after being one of the most active participants in Trump’s January 6 coup attempt, he returns to his roots and runs unopposed again.

    Mike Johnson IS the current generation of GOP leaders and members. No accountability—ever! Which means all the incentives he’s faced encouraged him to keep being extreme.

    Now imagine hundreds just like him. Of course they’re going to be extremists when they thrive in a world where they CAN be extremists, never facing any real opposition (often no opposition at all) despite taking positions that only a few years ago were soundly rejected by their own party.

    You actually don’t have to imagine it—just look around. It’s so many states. And it’s the GOP chaos caucus in the House.

    And Digby has a later post up on Johnson’s Christofascism. May you live in interesting times.

  4. Kathy says:


    We should run some experiments.

    Get every teacher a paintball gun, then get a designated active shooter with a paintball gun that can fire at the same rate as an AR15. Teachers fire blue pellets and the assailant red ones. Conduct the active shooter drill with an active paintball shooter.

    When it’s all done, count how many kids would have been killed by blue pellets.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    “In September, global web traffic to was down 14 percent year-over-year, and traffic to the portal for advertisers was down 16.5 percent,”

    I suspect Musk has taken much more than that out of the “Cost” column. And I still haven’t seen any serious competition. Threads claims 100M active users and BlueSky is making hand-waving claims but I have not seen a single link from those services here or anywhere else.

    I suspect Twitter will someday get knocked off its perch. But today is not that day.

  6. Kylopod says:

    Fun fact: When Bill Clinton ran for reelection in 1996, he didn’t appear on the ballot for the North Dakota primary, and it was won by some libertarian dude.

  7. gVOR10 says:

    @Kathy: It’s been done. My Google skills aren’t up to finding a link. Not teachers and paintball guns, and I forget the details but a subject was given some sort of dummy gun and told he was supposed to act to defend the group against a shooter who might appear in the experiment, but first there would be a briefing. A dummy gun shooter then bursts into the briefing. Several people, often including the subject, were shot “dead” while the subject was going “huh, whah” and fumbling for his dummy gun.

    (An aviation related historical aside. In WWII American bombers and fighters were armed almost entirely with .50 caliber machine guns. German fighters were mostly armed with 20mm. (There’s a long sad story about the U. S. Army’s failure to develop a reliable 20mm although the Brits had one.) I’ve always wondered how many of the holes in B-17s were .50 caliber.)

  8. Michael Cain says:

    After the three-week Speaker fiasco, the House did one appropriations bill Thursday — energy and water — and then recessed until noon on Monday. Thursday afternoon was spent largely voting down amendments to cut funding for the Dept of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: As if on cue, James leads off a post today with

    An exchange on Twitter substitute Bluesky Social…

    Maybe today is the day?

  10. JohnSF says:

    What on earth is a “biblical republic” supposed to be?
    Something like Calvin’s Geneva, or Puritan Massachusets: the rule of the “elect”, as opposed to the elected?

    I think I’d rather have a hereditary aristocracy 😉 less hypocricy, and fewer irritating claims of superior merit, at least.

  11. gVOR10 says:


    What on earth is a “biblical republic” supposed to be?

    You’re (rhetorically) asking the wrong guy. But there may be a clue in that our founding myths include that the Puritans came here for religious freedom when they really came here so they could do the religious oppressing.

  12. Kathy says:


    I played laser tag many years ago. It’s amazing how often you shoot and are shot by your teammates. I had higher scores when I decided to verify the target before shooting. I got shot more often, but had fewer deductions for hitting teammates.

  13. Neil Hudelson says:


    The last time I played laser tag, probably 7 or 8 years ago, it went something like this:
    “Hey, I know we are all solidly middle aged and also its 10 am but for real, anyone want to play laser tag in about two hours?”

    Two hours later, it was 5 middle aged men against two birthday parties filled with 7 year olds, maybe 30 in all. You know that ol’ question about fighting one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Well based on my experience, the 100 duck-sized horses aren’t going to have the trigger discipline, strategic planning, or understanding of laser technology as the one duck who’s lived long enough to become horse-sized. It makes all the difference.

    That morning was a lot of fun. The kids’ parents had a blast watching it from the gallery.

  14. Matt says:

    @Kathy: I’ve not met a paintball gun that cannot fire faster than an ar-15 even the cheap rentals can.

    The problem with the ‘test’ mentioned earlier is that the attacker knew who the defender was and went straight for them.

    @gVOR10: The 20mm Hispano was used by the USA including the army air core. The early P-51s had 4x 20mm Hispano mk II cannons. Yes they had issues because cannons don’t like cycling when put under changing inertial stress. One of the problems ALL cannons shared was a higher rate of jamming compared to MGs. Then there’s the issue of cannons firing in an arc which meant you had to account for the round arcing up then back down as it traveled. Also you had to account for the low muzzle velocity. The .50 cal in comparison didn’t care much about dog fight forces but would sometimes have issues with jams if you fired in too long of a stream while pulling high Gs. Also in the .50s favor is that the bullets basically fly like lazers at a much higher muzzle velocity. Flat out to 400 meters or so before bullet drop started being noticeable. It was vastly easier to hit planes with a .50 than a cannon. But yeah I too wonder how much “friendly” fire happened in those big bomber formations.

    Obviously this all changed as auto-cannons were vastly improved and rotary cannons became a thing post war.

  15. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I played in my late 20s (not saying when that was). Eventually the laser tag place closed, though I think by then we were growing tired of it.

  16. Kathy says:

    As to the Head Xitter , if all he wanted was a massive tax write-ff, which seems to be what he’s going to get, he should have arranged to do it with $44 billion at SpaceX. I’m sure Shotwell developed something worthwhile with that money.

    As to guns on WWII bombers, the problem was flying in close formations, with enemy fighters mixing it up between bombers. Gunners wouldn’t stop shooting at a nazi plane just because it got in front of another B-17 from the gunner’s perspective.

    I suppose the caliber matters, but where and how the bullets are fired matters as well.

  17. gVOR10 says:


    The problem with the ‘test’ mentioned earlier is that the attacker knew who the defender was and went straight for them.

    I don’t recall either way whether the test subject was identified to the shooter beyond being the guy with the dummy gun. I didn’t find a link to the study. Do you have a cite one way or another?

    The Navy mostly used the Oerlikon 20mm, which the Germans and Japanese adapted to aircraft. As you note the Army decided to adapt the Hispano, as did the British. WIKI actually has a pretty good page on it. There were attempts to use the U. S. M1 20mm, but it proved unreliable. By 1942 we had 40 million rounds of ammunition stockpiled and very little to shoot it with. The Brits offered their successful Mk. II gun or us to copy, but the Ordnance Corps decided to improve it. The resulting M2 was also unreliable. The issue was apparently more an issue of unreliable firing than ammunition feed. I said we were almost entirely armed with .50 calibers because the M2 was successful in the twin engine P-38, which usually had one 20mm in the nose, along with four .50s, so it was easy to provide the 20 with a manual cocking handle that could clear a jam. Having four fifties in the nose eliminated the question of at what range to “harmonize” wing mounted guns to concentrate at the centerline. But as you note, the 20 had more drop than the fifties so for the P-38 there was still the issue of at what range to harmonize them.

    I don’t know that the USAF really got a reliable 20mm until they copied the German Mauser revolver cannon.

  18. JohnSF says:

    Apparently the 20mm was initially used on the B-29 but largely removed because of problems with recoil, reliability, and aiming.
    Seems the US 20mm was known for being very prone to jamming.
    This comes from my father, who was an RAF air gunner, mainly flying a B-24.
    Apparently the general opinion was that a heavier pattern and fire rate closer from a .50 was thought better than the 20mm despite the latter longer range. And also that the B-29 central fire control was a good idea that didn’t always work out.

    Also, quote from Dad re. the right to bear arms etc: “After spending several years sat behind some rather large guns, I think they have little role to play in the everyday life of civilized society”
    This from a man who was a rifle club shooter from his early teens, apparently a phenomenally good shot (from the accounts of those he served with), and who taught me to shoot both rifles and pistols.

  19. Ken_L says:

    Does Georgia’s lieutenant governor envisage disciplining armed teachers who exhibit cowardice in the face of a mass shooter? Or to put it another way, will accepting the $10,000 also implicitly mean accepting an enforceable obligation to risk their lives exchanging fire with a shooter equipped with an AR-15 and probably wearing body armor? Is Georgia ready to be sued by parents whose children were gunned down because armed teachers failed to stop a shooter?

  20. Ken_L says:

    @JohnSF: Like many Australians, I am thoroughly bemused by the extent of gun fetishism in America. In my long life I’ve known precisely three Australians who owned guns: my uncle, with a World War 2 Lee-Enfield .303 with the bolt removed; a cattle station manager who needed guns to kill the assorted feral animals that are a curse in the Australian outback; and a fellow-17 year old in a country town whose family I boarded with for a few months, whose careless use of a .22 to kill anything that moved in the nearby bush was a great argument for later laws tightening the ownership and use of guns. He would certainly not be allowed to own one today.

    I literally cannot imagine what it would be like to know that all the assorted weirdos with anger management problems I’ve known or lived near over the years might well have a loaded pistol in their pocket, or a semi-automatic rifle in the garage.

  21. Matt says:

    @JohnSF: The 20mm in an air mount had a far less effective range as bullet drop was severe in comparison to the .50 cal. That’s one of the big reasons why the .50 was so effective because it was like shooting lasers compared to the cannons. Sure if you score a hit a cannon is going to be vastly more destructive but you have to hit..