Friday’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. CSK says:

    Well, it’s Donald Trump’s 78th birthday today. How shall we celebrate?

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: You misspelled “mourn”.

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  3. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Upside down flag at half staff?

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  4. DeD says:

    It has occurred to me that if government will dictate the conditions under which women can obtain abortions (never, in the medieval GOP states) and will outlaw birth control meds, then, sooner or later, that government will pass legislation that specifically and directly dictates that women must become pregnant.

    https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/government-has-long-history-controlling-women-one-never-ended

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m expecting my meat birds today. But instead of them coming to my local PO in Sullivan, they went to Park HIlls, 1 1/2 hours away.

    I see a road trip in my future.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Phoenix police department routinely discriminates against people of color and kills civilians without justification, the US Department of Justice announced in an investigative report on Thursday.

    The government found a “pattern or practice” of the police department using excessive force and violating the civil rights of Black, Hispanic and Native American people. In a first finding of its kind against any US police department, the justice department also concluded that Phoenix police unlawfully detain unhoused people and dispose of their belongings. The justice department further uncovered police discrimination against people with behavioral health disabilities when officers are dispatched to help with people in crisis, and found that police had violated the rights of people engaged in protected speech.

    The sweeping three-year-investigation into the department’s “pervasive failings” follows a steady stream of scandals surrounding police brutality and extraordinarily high rates of killings by officers in the Arizona city. In recent years, the Guardian revealed cases of Phoenix officers attacking and injuring a young woman during a minor traffic stop; burning a teenager on hot pavement while restraining her; and facing accusations of sexual assault on the job.

    A rather damning report.

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  7. mattbernius says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Note that these types of Federal investigations into Police departments for civil rights and other abuses ground to a halt in 2016 with the election of President Trump.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/what-happened-lone-police-department-investigation-started-trump-s-doj-n1231321

    Trump’s DoJ was incredibly pro-police in a way that exceeded even previous Republican administrations. It’s good to see that the Biden administration restarted some oversight.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: The GOP is fine with police doing whatever they want to those people, (back the blue!) but woe to the cop/DA who looks at their shenannigans.

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  9. CSK says:

    The U. S.Supreme Court overturned the ban on bump stocks. The Trump administration imposed the ban in 2017, and Trump’s justices overturned it.

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  10. Kathy says:

    More from Brett Snyder (Cranky Flier), on the Southwest situation

    TL;DR, it looks to Snyder as if the investment firm is looking to loot the company and walk away.

    Southwest has problems. Following the trump pandemic dip, most airlines have recovered to 2019 levels of loads and revenue, or surpassed them. It looks as though most of the demand is on 1) premium travel, and 2) long haul travel. Southwest has neither (nor do Frontier, Allegiant, or Spirit, who are also in some trouble).

    Naturally the massive 2022 meltdown did not help. And I wonder if the all-b737 fleet, including many MAX 8 jets, makes the airline less attractive (the other low cost carriers have Airbus fleets, and that ins’t helping them).

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  11. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Hey, I got off the stage at 65. That all y’all don’t want to and encourage geezers to stay in the game is on you.

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  12. EddIeInCA says:

    @Kathy:

    Over the past 15 years, I’ve averaged over 100K miles per year in air travel, and have flown Southwest maybe twice. Once to ABQ from LAX and once to OKC from LAX. Southwest isn’t even on my radar as most of my trips are to ATL, NYC, MIA, and LHR. Addiitonally, for some reason (and I don’t know why), the Southwest model has never felt “right” for me. So Southwest isn’t even really on my radar when I book flights.

    Yet, I fly Allegiant all the time to MEM, and LIT and Frontier to DEN. So there is no consistency.

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  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddIeInCA:
    My wife and I both have riders on our book tour agreements that we don’t fly Southwest. Which is a pain here in Vegas, because SW basically owns our airport. It’s the whole rush to grab a seat thing, and the absence of a business class.

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  14. Kathy says:

    @EddIeInCA:
    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’ve never flown Southwest. They don’t fly to MEX (they did briefly some years ago), for one thing. Some time ago they had an alliance with Volaris, and for some reason I looked up something int heir website, being redirected by Volaris. I forget what it was or why, but I recall their fares didn’t seem particularly low.

    I don’t much care about it, either.

    Southwest does seem kind of married to their business model. Open seating (which can be quite terrible), no change fees, no checked bag fees, few ancillary fees (no nickel and dimeing customers into paying a lot more than advertised), deficient tech, etc.

    But, to me, share value is of minor importance. More important is whether the airline provides good service (ie does it get you close to on time), provides good value, and is making reasonable profits.

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  15. Kathy says:

    Mad Vlad’s latest plan is for Ukraine to give up territory it still holds, and to become defenseless for when he rebuilds his military, such as it is, for round 2.

    On related news, one Alex Jones of Bizarro World, has been ordered to liquidate his personal assets.

    I’m sure this poor excuse for a man has hidden at least some assets. I wonder whether the court order includes these, or whether the poor and long suffering people who sued him will need to expend more time, effort, and money to get at them.

    What I find remarkable, as John Stewart noted last week, is how different the tune these miscreants sing is when they are in a courtroom. If they sing at all. Many times they take advantage to exercise their right to remain silent.

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  16. reid says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Yesterday, I flew out of LV on Southwest. It’s become one of my least favorite airports because it’s so crowded and doesn’t have enough seating (especially in the B gate where I was). Southwest’s check-in 24 hours in advance if you have any hope of a decent seat is irritating, particularly because I was unable to do so on my return leg. I still choose them because I’m in the southwest and they’re an easy choice. They used to be very reasonably priced, and in their favor, they apparently are still good about not having extra baggage fees or fees for changing flights.

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  17. Kathy says:

    @reid:

    I dislike advising on airlines I’ve never flown in. Still, it seems the “solution” is to buy Early Bird check-in, or pay the business select fare.

    Both cost money.

    I miss the days, not that long ago, when there was one economy fare, and one premium fare (or two in long haul), and you didn’t have to figure out bag fees, seat fees, etc.

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  18. reid says:

    @Kathy: Indeed, for my return trip I did pay for the early bird check-in, which was $40 for both legs. Unfortunately I’m not reimbursed for that (it was a business trip).

    I’m not sure why they continue with this open seating policy, but I’d be fine if they handled that like a normal airline.

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  19. EddieInCA says:

    To our readers across the pond…

    Boris Johnson Goes Nuclear in Desperate Warning About Impending Labour ‘Freak Majority’ and ‘Starmergeddon’

    Speaking over the past week to all of my friends in the UK, literally all of them Tories, Boris is misreading the mood. Even my die hard Tory friends are voting Labour, many for the first time ever. Why are the Tories struggling so much?

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  20. Kathy says:

    @reid:

    Normal airlines are charging for seats now. Some apply to all fares* (like seats closer to the front), others to the “basic” fares, which normally don’t include seat selection (so you’ll pay the fee).

    In other aviation blogs, there’s been talk of a revision of Southwest’s model. Assigned seating has been mentioned, but also seat fees or fare tiers for the best seats (like bulkhead and exit row).

    *I exclude extra legroom fares, as they usually include the bulkhead and/or exit row seats).

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  21. JohnSF says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Why are the Tories struggling so much?

    Largely because, since 2015, they have spent nine years engaged in increasingly epic pooch-pokery, alienating much of their important centre-liberal voters (and “persuadables”) who value prudence, pragmatism, competent governance and caution, to pander to factions within the party and part of its core vote.

    This was disguised in 2017 and 2019 both by the ability to harvest Leave votes, and the rebarbative effect of Corbyn on many voters.
    Now, the Corbyn effect is absent, and the Conservatives have had ample opportunity to display the serial incompetence and unsuitability of Johnson, Truss, and Sunak.
    To display also that Brexit was never an opening to some brave new world.

    And that the Tories are fatally cleft between those hankering after low-tax fantasy economics (Truss, ERG, etc), those willing populist economic ends without populist means (Johnson) and those doing the splits trying to straddle the chasm (Sunak).
    Oh, and the overly-online GOP-ist transatlantic teenagers who think that they can paper over all that failure by importing US-style “culture war” into a wholly different society and polity.

    Now the bill comes due, and Sir Keir Starmer is the amusingly mild-mannered debt collector.
    🙂

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  22. Kathy says:

    Obscure historical fact of the day:

    You know the old Churchill quote “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies”?

    According to a book I’m reading now*, this was said in connection with the need to mislead the nazis about the D-Day landings.

    To this end, the intelligence services enacted an operation (referred to in the sources as either Bodyguard or Fortitude), to deceive the enemy. they didn’t try to hide the Normandy landings entirely, but managed to convince the nazis that it was a diversionary attack, and that the real invasion would land at Calais, a major port near the Belgian border.

    The operation was eminently successful. The nazis did not reinforce their troops at Normandy, as they believed it was a diversion from the real attack.

    It gets better. One of the sources the nazis relied on was a double agent named Juan Pujol García. They regarded his intel so highly, that they awarded him the iron cross medal in gratitude after the Normandy landings.

    *It’s called “The Secret History of World War II.” It deals with the stories of spies, saboteurs, intelligence officers, decryption specialists, and resistance fighters during the war.

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  23. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:

    …Vlad’s latest plan is for Ukraine…

    This really should be a wake-up call for those who think Russia wishes to terminate the war, and is willing to offer a reasonable compromise to do so.
    Not only does Putin demand that Ukraine surrender territory Russia was never able to capture (Zaporhizia, Sloviansk, Kramatorsk) or that it lost to Ukrainian counter-offensives (Kherson).
    But also that Ukraine must also agree to “undergo demilitarization and denazification,” </em, presumably to Moscow's satisfaction.
    And all Western sanctions must be ended.
    And "guaranteed rights" for "Russian Ukrainians" (presumably with Russia as the guarantor and adjudicator of such)
    And all this must be accepted before Russia agrees to a cease-fire and enters
    “further negotiations.”

    The sole intent of this seems to be to play to the more (wilfully) gullible of the “global south” states, and those among the Western appeasement lobbies eager to step into the negotiation/coercive diplomacy trap, again.

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  24. reid says:

    @Kathy: Yes, I should be careful what I wish for; any change is likely to be an excuse to introduce other annoyances as well as lead to higher costs.

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  25. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Indeed.
    General Patton was for some time in “command” of the almost entirely fake FUSAG (First United States Army Group) in south-east England
    Much to the amusement of Montgomery, I suspect.
    The really clever part was that anti-transport bombing campaign in France was designed to look like aiming especially at isolating the Pas de Calais; but served equally well, by cutting the Seine and Somme and Loire bridges, to isolate Normandy.

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  26. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    I knew about several of the deceptions involved in WWII, and had even heard of Pujol. I’d no idea he’d been honored by the nazis. Considering he was feeding them misinformation, that medal is a testament to the skill and ability of Pujol, his allied handlers, and the allied intelligence services.

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  27. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    I recall quite a long time ago reading about Operation XX; essentially the British “turned” every single German agent in the UK, and used them to send deception information.
    And used ULTRA to check the German response to the disinformation.
    It was very ruthless, and extremely effective.

    It’s one aspect of the ironic evolution of WW2: that the Nazis called up a British response eventually almost as bloody-minded, and far more efficient, than they ever were.

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  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Interesting! 15 everyday things that baby boomers had 40 years ago that are luxuries now. I was most impressed with #4:

    Affordable Housing
    “In the ’90s, my mom could afford a spacious house on one wage. Now, that same house’s rent is ten times higher, and wages haven’t kept up.”

    The soaring cost of housing has turned the dream of affordable living into a luxury. The comment paints a vivid picture of a time when a single income could comfortably support a family in a spacious home. It’s a poignant observation on the shifting landscape of housing affordability, leaving many nostalgic for the days when a home wasn’t an unattainable luxury.

    I will kind of disagree on one thing regarding the 90s–even by the 90s, owning a house was outside the reach of most single incomes in many areas. One of the things that surprised me returning from Korea was the number of people I’ve seen living 2 0r 3 to a 3 or 400 sq. ft. studio apartment. In the 90s, that number was essentially zero. In the building before the one I just moved to, it was 4 or 5–in 18 total units. I hope I’m an outlier on this experience but bet I’m not. In Korea, that was pretty exclusively something that only university students did and only in specifically zoned and furnished units.

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  29. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The one about durable clothes hit home with me.

    I own a vintage Burberry suit that I bought at a thrift store. Ridiculously heavy and warm, navy and black herringbone, one small moth hole inside the left ankle, but otherwise like new. It came with Gerald Ford presidential cufflinks in a pocket, so you can guess its vintage. It will last longer than I will. But everything purchased after 2000 has fallen apart, frayed at the cuffs and collar, disintegrated despite very mild use.

    As with the furniture, the only options left on the market are “ridiculously expensive bespoke” and “cheap temporary crap”.

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  30. just nutha says:

    @DrDaveT: And features of life like clothing, furniture, and housing are part of the puzzle of how the economy can seem to some as strong and to others as struggling no matter how the numbers get crunched.

    ETA: As I recall, John Edwards called it “two America’s,” and people said he was daft.

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  31. Jax says:

    It’s a big day tomorrow. I get to bring my Momma HOME!!! I wasn’t sure she was going to survive at all after Dad died. She made me a promise when I lifted her and her walker into the vehicle taking her to the airport that she would see me next summer. It was pins and needles the whole month of November, wondering if she would survive.

    She says she’s all fat and sassy now, AND I AM SO EXCITED TO HUG HER!!!

    Blessed be.

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  32. just nutha says:

    @Jax: Happy reunion tomorrow! 😀

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