Friday’s Forum

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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. Kathy says:

    Factoid of the day: Astronauts in orbit don’t get ice cream.

    Why not? Because no crewed vehicle nor space station has any refrigeration facilities (not for food), with one exception. The exception was Skylab, which had a fridge and a freezer, so the crews who served in it had ice cream (and also cold drinks).

    What about the infamous “astronaut ice cream” found in the gifts shops at NASA sites, science museums, and EPCOT?

    Well, it’s freeze-dried ice cream, so technically it’s ice cream. But it’s neither cold nor creamy, and overall not much of a pleasant experience. And although NASA had it developed for use in the Apollo program, it wasn’t used either then or since. It was listed in the manifest for Apollo VII, but may not have been included, as the last living crew, when asked, had no memory of it (not to mention the aftermath of that flight for that crew).

    Things might change. The Crew Dragon capsule has a freezer compartment. Unfortunately, it’s meant for samples which require it. But if it flies at all and there’s spare room, NASA will send up some individual ice cream servings.

    You also won’t get a Coke in space, either. And all the coffee is instant. And somehow none of this keeps people from going to the ISS sometimes for months.

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  2. Bill Jempty says:
  3. MarkedMan says:

    Josh Marshall prints a message from a reader that pretty much sums up my feelings about Israel (no subscription needed):

    o get different choices made in Israel, the Israeli government needs different people running it. Barring an act of God or a major rupture with the United States, it won’t get them, and the war will continue indefinitely. Since we can’t count on a timely act of God, the Biden administration would best pursue the rupture, and lance this boil. The war in Ukraine and the tense situation in the South China Sea are both of much more importance to the United States than the fighting in Gaza. The preservation of American democracy is too. Holding the hands of that ingrate in Jerusalem is taking time and effort the Biden administration cannot spare.

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  4. Bill Jempty says:

    The headline of the day- Algerian man found alive in cellar after 26 years

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  5. Tony W says:

    More performative nonsense from Louisiana this morning as they are trying, again, to get the 10 Commandments into every public school classroom.

    That’s just so ’90s guys. Geez, try to keep up. These days it’s all about limiting trans folks’ rights.

    Louisiana is so backward…they can’t even keep up to date on the fake outrage de jour

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  6. becca says:

    Greg Abbot and Sam Alito are competing for biggest partisan nut jobs this morning. Abbot pardoned a murderer cuz, hey, he only killed a lefty protester – nothing wrong with that!- and the Alito residence flew an upside down flag in their yard, representing their allegiance to the Dumpster after the Dumpster lost the election in 2020. Way to project judicial independence, Sammy.
    In a sane world, those two would not be anywhere near positions of power. Disgusting.

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  7. Bill Jempty says:

    @becca:

    In a sane world, those two would not be anywhere near positions of power.

    Since when has the world ever been sane?

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  8. Mikey says:

    @becca: Alito threw his wife under the bus for the flag thing. How white male conservative of him.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: They are never at fault for anything. That whole Dobb’s thing? Jesus made him do it.

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  10. MarkedMan says:

    While I’ve enjoyed her movies, I don’t normally think to look to Whoopi Goldberg for wisdom, but this sounds about right:

    “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg defended Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, who is under fire for suggesting women should prioritize being a homemaker over their career ambitions.

    “These are his beliefs and he’s welcome to them,” Goldberg said during an episode of “The View” on Thursday. “I don’t have to believe them. Right? I don’t have to accept them.”

    Butker, 28, recently delivered a controversial commencement speech to Benedictine College — a Catholic liberal arts school in Kansas — in which he criticized Pride Month, President Biden, abortion and women in the workforce.

    He is now facing widespread criticism across social media, and a petition urging for his dismissal has amassed more than 115,00 signatures as of Thursday.

    Goldberg compared the controversy to that faced by former San Fransisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who faced backlash for kneeling during the national anthem starting in 2016 to raise awareness about police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S.

    “The ladies that were sitting in that audience do not have to accept them the same way,” she said. “We want respect when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee, right? We want to give respect to people whose ideas are different from ours.”

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  11. Jen says:

    I genuinely do NOT understand the Justice Alito thing. It’s not like he’s new to the bench. It’s not like his wife hasn’t had YEARS to understand how public political displays might be perceived by others.

    My parents were covered under the Hatch Act for decades. But even if they hadn’t been, they would have resisted putting something public up because of their government-held positions. JFC, this is EASY STUFF. That *justices* are failing to clear the low bars is scary.

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  12. Mikey says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene got her ass handed to her, rhetorically speaking, after her lame attempt yesterday to insult Jasmine Crockett (D-TX):

    “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading,” Greene said.

    An uproar ensued, with Committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) calling for order, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) demanding the committee “take down” Greene’s words, essentially reprimanding her for insulting another lawmaker.

    […]

    Eventually, after several more minutes of parliamentary arguing, the committee voted to allow Greene to finish her allotted speaking time. But Crockett wasn’t finished.

    “I’m just curious, just to better understand your ruling,” Crockett said. “If someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody’s bleach blonde, bad built, butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct?”

    “Bleach blonde, bad built, butch body” now that’s true art.

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  13. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    There’s no mystery: he can get away with it.

    Same as Uncle Thomas taking bribes. Justices have a lifetime appointment, and can be removed only by impeachment. As that’s never going to happen, they can and will keep getting away with flouting all rules and norms of decency.

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  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    I watch comedy the way a pilot watches a windsock. It’s revealing. It has tides, ebbs and flows.

    Something big just happened in the world of comedy that signals a change in the wind: Bill Burr laughed at Bill Maher, to his face, while announcing that no one cares about cancel culture anymore, it’s over. Burr is a very smart comic. Smarter than Maher, more adaptable, a deeper guy, though his persona is ‘angry Boston loudmouth,’ while Maher plays the cynical intellectual.

    We’re having a moment where thesis and antithesis are reaching synthesis. Woke and anti-woke are both burned out, and what’s left is a residue of each, and thankfully, hopefully, we can get back to comedy that is allowed to take chances and push boundaries, but has at the same time come to accept that being provocative just to provoke is for middle school.

    Maher and Chapelle, to pick two obvious examples, now seem tired, old and irrelevant. Chapelle is brilliant, but he has failed to adapt. Jimmy Carr, who I love, is falling into that same category, but he may be smart enough to escape the trap. On the ‘woke’ side, Hannah Gadsby has never been funny, and is less so now. Amy Schumer was funny, and then she dived into the polarized fray and lost her funny. Hassan Minaj committed career suicide.

    The future is comics like Taylor Tomlinson and Nate Bargatze (and lots of others, of course.) They both stood apart from the woke/not woke struggle.

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  15. Franklin says:

    @Mikey:

    “Bleach blonde, bad built, butch body” now that’s true art.

    Omg, the t-shirts should be being made right now!

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  16. CSK says:

    Twenty years ago today Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, the first state to do so. You can thank attorney Mary Bonauto for that.

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  17. just nutha says:

    @Jen: Alito is 74 years old, and I would assume his wife is of similar age. I’m guessing early onset dementia. Sadly, the Constitutional provisions for handling such an eventuality are weak.

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  18. CSK says:

    @Franklin:

    I rarely disparage anyone’s physical appearance, but I’m sick of looking at Marjorie Trailer Queen’s short, fat arms. I wish she’d wear sleeves.

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  19. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds: My wife and I have been re-watching The Mandalorian and Burr has been in a couple of episodes. In the first he was part of a larger group and didn’t do much, but they brought the character back for a second episode where he was a very important role and had a lot of screen time. He was really good, although it wasn’t a comedic role he did give his particular spin which made it very entertaining.

    We enjoy his stand-up, too, and we thought his turn in The Mandalorian was very well done.

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  20. wr says:

    @Mikey: “Alito threw his wife under the bus for the flag thing. How white male conservative of him.”

    To be fair, Hispanic Democratic male Robert Menendez did the same thing.

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  21. Mikey says:

    @wr: Yeah, I saw that. Of course, such assholery is not confined solely to one demographic.

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan:

    We want to give respect to people whose ideas are different from ours.”

    No matter how loathsome those ideas are.

    I’m sorry, everybody has the right to be as idiotic, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, etc etc etc as they want and even say as much. That does not mean I have to give them any respect. Fck that shit.

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  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen:

    I genuinely do not understand the outrage over the Justice Alito thing. I mean, as far as political speech goes, this is pretty mild.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That does not mean I have to give them any respect.

    I think she meant that we have to respect his right to say what he wants. She made it pretty clear she does not agree with it.

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  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Bluedog
    @HereLiesBlueDog

    Did anyone else notice Lauren Boebert’s attempt at making the sign of the cross during the shouting match that happened last night in congress?

    AND SHE GOT IT WRONG!!!

    These people are so fake!

    I haven’t been in a church for anything other than funerals and marriages for almost 50 years, but I still know how to do a proper “sign of the cross.”

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  26. JohnSF says:

    A little point from this weeks news.
    I didn’t realise at first where the Putin-Xi summit was being held.
    Harbin.
    I suspect someone in the Chinese foreign ministry has a nasty sense of humour.
    These sort of things seldom happen by accident.

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  27. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: A sitting SCOTUS Justice displayed a symbol indicating he at least sympathizes with, if not agrees with, people who conducted an insurrection against the US in order to steal a Presidential election. I would not categorize that as mild.

    Furthermore, he is currently sitting in judgment of a case that will determine whether the chief director of that insurrection is immune from prosecution for it. I think that makes the display of solidarity with insurrectionists even more disturbing.

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  28. Mikey says:

    Wow. This is awful. What a piece of shit P. Diddy is.

    https://x.com/yashar/status/1791516240965701917

    BREAKING

    CNN has obtained footage of Diddy repeatedly beating his then girlfriend Cassie in a hotel hallway.

    I want to note that Kimora Lee Simmons has warned people about Diddy’s conduct for years, and she has either been attacked for doing so or ignored. Diddy also threatened to hit her when she was pregnant.

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  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    David Corn
    @DavidCornDC

    What a “tan” line. Could Trump not afford more bronzer? Or is it just incompetence?

    This photo is not altered. It comes from a GOP fundraising video shot at the trial.

    I like the yellow tie trump is wearing in that pic. It matches the yellow streak down his back.

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  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: Let me just say this: His flying the flag upside down is merely symbolic of…. Something.

    Maybe, “he… sympathizes with, if not agrees with, people who conducted an insurrection against the US in order to steal a Presidential election.” Maybe not. (yeah, I know better)

    Furthermore, he is currently sitting in judgment of a case that will determine whether the chief director of that insurrection is immune from prosecution for it.

    Whether he flew the flag upside down or not is immaterial to his “sitting in judgement” of whether or not some people are bound by our laws or not, but even that is nothing new. As Frank Wilhoit pointed out “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.”

    And we all know, and have known for quite some time, what Alito’s preference is.

    I just can’t get worked up about an upside down flag while the real insult is his continued existence on the most powerful court in America.

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  31. JKB says:

    In Hollywood movies, being poor is the most shameful thing

    In Hollywood movies, the most shameful thing is to be poor.
    In Bollywood movies, the most shameful thing is to be unmanly or unfeminine.

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  32. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @MarkedMan:

    The bigot’s right to say stupid and hateful things was fully respected. He wasn’t arrested, fined, imprisoned, or exiled for what he said, was he? No one in the local, state, or federal government, took any judicial notice of the shit he spewed out in public and then posted, or was posted for him, online.

    If he’s condemned for what he said, or loses his job over it, or gets criticized for it, or gets mocked and ridiculed, his rights are still fully respected. See above about what the various levels of government haven’t done about it.

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  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    The example supplied points to the absurdity of this study. (And I use that term loosely.) The incident cited had nothing to do with poverty, it was about the work ethic. We do shame people for laziness, lack of effort. We do not shame people for poverty per se, indeed politicians bend over backward to cite any example of poverty in their lives precisely so they can then regale us with their tale of hard work and perseverance.

    ETA: In fact I flaunt my poverty, I’m proud that I used to have a hard life, and survived, and by virtue of work and discipline and a lot of luck, I am no longer poor. If anything, like a lot of people, I have to resist a feeling of scorn for people born well-off. I include my own kids.

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  34. just nutha says:

    @JKB: What’s your point? Why does the reader need to care about what you just said?

    We can’t read your mind, at least partially because there are no complete paragraphs there. 🙁

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  35. Mike in Arlington says:

    @JKB: Dude, you’re just phoning it in now. You can do better trolling.

    2.5/10

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  36. inhumans99 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I do not proclaim that what I am about to say is anything profound, but it does seem overdue that as Michael notes, since tarring someone as overly woke seems to be losing its power to label someone as out of touch with the “average” voter in this country, that we start to lean into not trying to cancel someone, or no longer go hard at trying to prevent certain individuals from participating in a speaking engagement that a college campus invited them to give a lecture.

    That “provocative” individual who wants to “shock” the audience by saying racist or just patently dumb/ignorant sheet, let them speak on a college campus full of liberals, let them be free to tour and try to make money at venues, such as comedy clubs.

    Instead of all this effort to cancel folks, let them get up on stage and get booed by the audience, this individual does not have a constitutional right to insist I cheer them on like a MAGA critter at a Trump rally, and if they keep getting booed, and the audience for their words starts to dwindle and is starting to lose them money, maybe, just maybe they will cancel themselves and realize that yup, Colleges and other venues no longer seem to be “cancelling” them, but a quick look at the books will show that they need to figure out another way to bring home the bacon as their schtick has worn thin.

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  37. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: Here are some of the words that we don’t really need to give a lot of respect to:

    Congress passed a bill where stating something as basic as the Biblical teaching of who killed Jesus could land you in jail

    That’s just antisemitic bullshit. Also, no one is being jailed.

    (Plus, we all know it was the Romans.)

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  38. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Mild or not, a JUDGE (and, by proxy, a judge’s wife) should know better. Be better. Act better.

    Public officials are (or should be) held to a higher standard, but especially judges, whose impartiality (perceived or real) is the very currency of their position.

    Justice Roberts has been worried about the legacy of his court…he can start by course-correcting Alito and Thomas.

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  39. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Roberts has nothing to worry about. The odds of the Roberts Court being regarded as regressive, repressive, corrupt, and illegitimate, are so high as to be certain.

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  40. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    When did Boobert become or pretend to be a Roman Catholic? I thought she claimed to belong to some “Christian” nondenominational holy roller cult, at least nominally.

    Those people don’t believe Roman Catholics are Christians.

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  41. CSK says:

    Speaking of Boobert, she also says that Trump “looks pretty when he sleeps” in court.

    She added that she believes he might be praying, not sleeping.

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  42. dazedandconfused says:

    @Jen:
    Problem there is the Chief Justice lacks a wood-shed to take them to. He can’t fire them or fine them and they know it. He must cajole when possible but he can’t berate effectively.

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  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JohnSF:
    If it were another nation you might think, coincidence. But the Chinese? No, that was deliberate. It was bear-baiting.

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  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Folks, how many of us defended the rights of an individual to burn the flag as an expression of speech? How many of us defended the rights of an individual to kneel during the national anthem as an expression of speech? And you are going to get your panties in a bunch over a SC justice displaying the flag upside down???

    What? He became a SC justice and gave up his right to free speech?

    I went to countless union meetings where I refused to swear allegiance to a flag but instead swore allegiance to the Constitution. (and yes, the Pledge of Allegiance began every meeting)

    The fact is, you, me, that guy over there, the women standing at the polling booth… None of us give a rat’s ass about anything he says outside of opinions. What we really object to is his existence. Especially his existence on the Supreme Court.

    That is me, you, and 51.2% of our fellow Americans.

    I couldn’t give a rat’s ass if he wiped his ass with the flag. He’s already done so with the constitution.

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  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @inhumans99:

    Instead of all this effort to cancel folks, let them get up on stage and get booed by the audience, this individual does not have a constitutional right to insist I cheer them on like a MAGA critter at a Trump rally, and if they keep getting booed, and the audience for their words starts to dwindle and is starting to lose them money, maybe, just maybe they will cancel themselves and realize that yup, Colleges and other venues no longer seem to be “cancelling” them, but a quick look at the books will show that they need to figure out another way to bring home the bacon as their schtick has worn thin.

    You and I have no disagreement. Speech is not free. It comes with costs.

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  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Mild or not, a JUDGE (and, by proxy, a judge’s wife) should know better. Be better. Act better.

    Sorry, I was disabused of that notion long ago. We don’t live in that world anymore.

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  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I have no idea what she proclaims to be. Suffice it to say, she ain’t a christian.

    eta: not that I am.

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  48. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The flag thing didn’t happen in a vacuum. It indicated he is on the side of insurrection. How you can give him the benefit of the doubt after all he’s done frankly puzzles me.

    He’s not Joe Schmoe burning a flag. He’s not even Kaepernick taking a knee. He has power, real power that can change America for the worse for generations to come. And he’s on the side of authoritarian fascism. That’s what flying the flag upside-down immediately after January 6 2021 means.

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  49. gVOR10 says:

    @Jen:

    Justice Roberts has been worried about the legacy of his court…he can start by course-correcting Alito and Thomas.

    Senator Durbin, chair of the judiciary committee was onTV this afternoon. When asked what should be done, he started out with Chief Justice Roberts needs to show leadership. I just broke out laughing.

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  50. DrDaveT says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    What? He became a SC justice and gave up his right to free speech?

    Yes. Exactly. Of course. ALL civil servants give up basic free speech rights — check out the Hatch Act. In the judiciary, it’s the whole point of impartiality. You can be a legitimate Supreme Court Justice, or you can be a partisan. You can’t be both. Duh.

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