Friday’s 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


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Republicans meddling in the labor market:

    Millions of unemployed workers face hardship after a wave of Republican governors announced they will seek to cancel federal extended unemployment benefits of $300 a week in response to claims from the restaurant, food service and hospitality industries that they are experiencing difficulties in hiring workers.

    At least 22 Republican-led states have announced plans to cancel the extended benefits, including Montana, South Carolina, Alabama, Iowa, Idaho, Missouri, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Utah, Alaska, Georgia, West Virginia, Texas and Arizona.
    Republicans have blamed the perceived labor shortages on unemployment benefits, despite economists dismissing the benefits as a driving factor, with data showing labor shortages are confined to the leisure and hospitality sector and show no signs of spilling over to other industries or reducing growth within the leisure and hospitality sector, according to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

    Based on the most recent job opening data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there remains a significant job deficit in several industries such as construction, arts, entertainment and recreation, with two unemployed workers for every one job opening.
    Nequia Nichole Fugate worked in childcare in Jefferson county, Tennessee, before the coronavirus shutdowns hit last March. She has relied on pandemic unemployment assistance as the parents she provided childcare for cannot afford childcare services at the moment.

    “I’m really anxious and in a panic since the announcement from the governor. I can’t believe this would happen during a pandemic, these benefits were the only thing helping me get by,” said Fugate.

    She added: “I’m going to be without a phone, a car, gas, groceries and money to pay for my medication. I’m currently in between housing as well. Everyone has just been surviving the best they can. A majority of us don’t have medical insurance, let alone a safety net of savings to fall back on. Stimulus checks have been spent on necessities, funds are lower than when the pandemic started. The struggle is real out here.”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    While other markets are locking up: The World Economy Is Suddenly Running Low on Everything

    A year ago, as the pandemic ravaged country after country and economies shuddered, consumers were the ones panic-buying. Today, on the rebound, it’s companies furiously trying to stock up.

    Mattress producers to car manufacturers to aluminum foil makers are buying more material than they need to survive the breakneck speed at which demand for goods is recovering and assuage that primal fear of running out. The frenzy is pushing supply chains to the brink of seizing up. Shortages, transportation bottlenecks and price spikes are nearing the highest levels in recent memory, raising concern that a supercharged global economy will stoke inflation.

    Copper, iron ore and steel. Corn, coffee, wheat and soybeans. Lumber, semiconductors, plastic and cardboard for packaging. The world is seemingly low on all of it. “You name it, and we have a shortage on it,” Tom Linebarger, chairman and chief executive of engine and generator manufacturer Cummins Inc., said on a call this month. Clients are “trying to get everything they can because they see high demand,” Jennifer Rumsey, the Columbus, Indiana-based company’s president, said. “They think it’s going to extend into next year.”

    I can’t speak for everything butI know lumber has been sky high since soon after the pandemic began due to several factors including sawmills cutting back production in anticipation of an expected decline in construction that never materialized, to trump’s tarriffs on Canadian lumber.

    The difference between the big crunch of 2021 and past supply disruptions is the sheer magnitude of it, and the fact that there is — as far as anyone can tell — no clear end in sight. Big or small, few businesses are spared. Europe’s largest fleet of trucks, Girteka Logistics, says there’s been a struggle to find enough capacity. Monster Beverage Corp. of Corona, California, is dealing with an aluminum can scarcity. Hong Kong’s MOMAX Technology Ltd. is delaying production of a new product because of a dearth of semiconductors.
    For anyone who thinks it’s all going to end in a few months, consider the somewhat obscure U.S. economic indicator known as the Logistics Managers’ Index. The gauge is built on a monthly survey of corporate supply chiefs that asks where they see inventory, transportation and warehouse expenses — the three key components of managing supply chains — now and in 12 months. The current index is at its second-highest level in records dating back to 2016, and the future gauge shows little respite a year from now. The index has proven unnervingly accurate in the past, matching up with actual costs about 90% of the time.

    I’m sure this is the fault of all those slackers sitting at home when they should be working too.

  3. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I see it up close at work. Some mattresses are now taking 3-4 weeks to get to the customer. Some furniture, like Southern Motion recliners, are taking over 6 months.

  4. CSK says:
  5. Teve says:
  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    She’s gonna go far:

    An 11-year-old girl in Florida had the presence of mind to smear the blue slime she had been playing with on the arms of an attempted kidnapper, who threatened her with a knife and dragged her toward his van, so police could identify him.

    Alyssa Bonal, of Pensacola, said she learned the importance of evidence from her favorite TV show, the long-running detective series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Alyssa, who managed to fight the man off, was attacked on Tuesday as she awaited her school bus, her near-abduction captured by a neighbor’s home security camera.

    “I was able to get the slime on to his upper arm and a little bit on his lower arm,“ Alyssa told NBC’s Today show in an interview that aired on Thursday. “I knew that might be better evidence if the cops do find him.”

    Her intuition proved right. Chip Simmons, the Escambia county sheriff, said when his detectives arrested Jared Paul Stanga late on Tuesday after an extensive manhunt, his arms were still streaked with blue dye.

  7. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I had read the earlier story about that and thought it was lucky that he had slime on him; knowing that was intentional–wow, what a kid.

    On another topic entirely, I hope that these fines stick. $52K sounds right for screwing up a flight.

  8. Teve says:
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If you go read that piece at Bloomberg you will read a lot of fear mongering over inflation. Which after all these years of near zero inflation it is not surprising I guess. The piece does note,

    Policy makers, however, have laid out a number of reasons why they don’t expect inflationary pressures to get out of hand. Fed Governor Lael Brainard said recently that officials should be “patient through the transitory surge.” Among the reasons for calm: The big surges lately are partly blamed on skewed comparisons to the steep drops of a year ago, and many companies that have held the line on price hikes for years remain reticent about them now. What’s more, U.S. retail sales stalled in April after a sharp rise in the month earlier, and commodities prices have recently retreated from multi-year highs.

    and then it returns to fear mongering, going on and on about all the various things that are constrained for many disparate reasons. It’s a bit overwrought.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Fine nothing, that asshole had better get a significant all expenses paid stay at the Graybar Hotel:

    a record-high fine of $52,500, following a disturbance onboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Honolulu to Seattle on December 23, 2020. The passenger is accused of trying to open the cockpit door, ignoring crew members, and hitting a flight attendant in the face. The aforementioned flight attendant was also allegedly knocked over and threatened by said passenger, who was eventually restrained temporarily with a set of plastic handcuffs. The passenger managed to escape the cuffs, however, proceeding to hit the same flight attendant again, before getting arrested upon landing, per the FAA.

    He was out of control. I can see scenarios where that plane could have ended up in the drink.

  11. Scott says:

    I wonder if this will be trend:

    Employers caught in the crossfire of the vaccine debate

    A restaurant and bar in the Hill Country is in the spotlight for its COVID-19 policy.

    Boerne-based Richter Tavern said it would no longer cover testing for employees who refuse the vaccine and contract COVID-19, nor would it pay them while they are out for a mandatory 10-day period. To cover the cost of testing, COVID-positive workers would see a $125 deduction from their checks.

    Any of Richter’s employees who get vaccinated and still end up contracting the virus would receive a stipend while they’re home and COVID-positive. The business would pay for any testing for those individuals.

    The policy was a tweak to the establishment’s modus operandi earlier in the pandemic, which was to pay for sick employees’ coronavirus testing and pay them while they had to stay home.

    A memo informing Richter employees of the updated policy circulated on social media this week and was swiftly met with either praise or backlash depending on which corner of the web it found. Guy Sanders, the tavern’s owner, said he has received threatening phone calls from people saying they wanted his restaurant shut down.

  12. JohnMcC says:

    In the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hacking and disruption it was widely reported that — (ahem) — unknown actors had disrupted the hacker. Just found this suggesting that reporting was true: From the BBC: Hackers Bail Out Irish Health Service for Free.

  13. mattbernius says:

    For those not on social media and who are into punk, I give you the Linda Lindas (who, among other things, show that they rock harder in their teens (and preteens) than most of us have over the entirety of our lives):

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I gotta pass this on:

    A driver on one of Japan’s shinkansen bullet trains is facing disciplinary measures after he abandoned his cab to go to the toilet while the train was carrying passengers and travelling at 150km/h.

    The 36-year-old driver, who has not been named, reportedly had a stomachache and asked a conductor to take his place while he went to the toilet.

    The conductor, who was not qualified to drive the Hikari-series train, sat in the driver’s seat during his three-minute absence, but did not touch the controls, according to the Kyodo news agency.

    The incident happened last weekend as the train carried 160 passengers at high speed along the busy Tokaido line, which links Tokyo and Osaka.

    The driver might have got away with his unscheduled toilet break except for the fact that the train was subsequently one minute late, which prompted an investigation in a country famous for punctuality.

    One minute, that’s all it took.

  15. Michael Cain says:

    The Arizona Secretary of State has suggested that Maricopa County may have to replace all of the voting equipment they had to turn over to the Cyber Ninjas. The price tag for that would be about $6M. I previously assumed the equipment would have to be recertified in order to meet federal requirements, but not replaced.

  16. Joe says:

    We just articulated a similar policy in my office. In addition, vaccinated people may remain unmasked and and are not required to get their temps checked. So far, no big push back, though a few fellow owners (unvaccinated) are grumbling.

  17. Jen says:

    @Michael Cain: I just read an article on WaPo about that (link).

    I hadn’t thought about it before, but she’s right: once those machines left custody of the state of Arizona, they became potentially compromised. This is the key/alarming paragraph:

    In her letter, Hobbs wrote that after the machines were handed over to the Senate and Cyber Ninjas, “it is unclear what, if any procedures were in place or followed to ensure physical security and proper chain of custody.” She noted that no election official or observer was allowed to remain with the machines while Cyber Ninjas and its subcontractors examined them.

    That is insane. Absolutely crazy, that no observers were permitted to stay with the machines–they are compromised, and must be replaced.

  18. Mu Yixiao says:


    While other markets are locking up: The World Economy Is Suddenly Running Low on Everything

    I am very aware of this. Our team just got updated on the outlook. Some parts might get here by August. Planning and Sales are putting off new installations for months, and repairs–which used to be in and out in under 2 weeks–are now taking months.

    And this really sucks because we’ve got record orders… which we’re having difficulty filling. Engineering is at the point of re-designing some units using whatever chips they can find that work.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I would guess you are speaking of microchips, which are in short supply largely due to one of those disparate reasons. From the article:

    Across the world’s manufacturing hub of East Asia, the blockages are especially acute. The dearth of semiconductors has already spread from the automotive sector to Asia’s highly complex supply chains for smartphones.

    John Cheng runs a consumer electronics manufacturer that makes everything from wireless magnetic smartphone chargers to smart home air purifiers. The supply choke has complicated his efforts to develop new products and enter new markets, according to Cheng, the CEO of Hong Kong-based MOMAX, which has about two-thirds of its 300 employees working in a Shenzhen factory. One example: Production of a new power bank for Apple products such as the iPhone, Airpods, iPad and Apple watch has been delayed because of the chip shortage.

    Instead of proving to be a short-lived disruption, the semiconductor crunch is threatening the broader electronics sector and may start to squeeze Asia’s high-performing export economies, according to Vincent Tsui of Gavekal Research. It’s “not simply the result of a few temporary glitches,” Tsui wrote in a note. “They are more structural in nature, and they affect a whole range of industries, not just automobile production.”

    In an indication of just how serious the chips crunch is, South Korea plans to spend roughly $450 billion to build the world’s biggest chipmaking base over the next decade.

    There’s a link buried in the article that goes in depth into that issue, but I’m not burning another of my limited free Bloomberg articles on it. 🙁 If i were a rich man

  20. Kathy says:


    These trains travel at high speeds, and there’s just one engineer aboard? What’s to prevent an accident if the engineer is incapacitated in some way?

    Now and then the Aviation Herald reports a pilot incapacitated mid-flight, from illness say. This is serious, but not very dangerous*. There is a second pilot who can take over and land the plane at the nearest airport. One would think a high speed train would have two engineers aboard for the same reason.

    *If no issues with the aircraft develop, and if the weather is not too bad.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: -they are compromised, and must be replaced.

    Feature, not a bug. Something tells me the cost of new machines will be wholly born by Maricopa County. Something else tells me Maricopa Co. can’t afford the $6M cost of replacing all of them. A 3rd thing tells me that Maricopa Co. will have fewer voting machines in 2022 and 2024, which a 4th thing tells me will have the very sad effect of longer lines for voting.

    Which a 5th thing tells me will inevitably result in fewer votes cast in Maricopa Co. Amazing, isn’t it?

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: The article notes that there is a conductor on board trained to take over in emergencies, but it involves a mandated stop at the next station. The driver was trying to avoid that stop.

  23. Mu Yixiao says:


    I would guess you are speaking of microchips

    Microchips, LEDs, power supplies, wire, and even foam for packaging. And those are just the things that I know about.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: They mention a small family owned manufacturer of crib mattresses that is having a really hard time getting polyurethane foam.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Christian Taylor, the two-time Olympic and four-time triple jump world champion and one of American track and field’s biggest stars, will miss this summer’s Olympics after rupturing his achilles tendon only two months before the Tokyo Games are due to start, his partner said on Thursday.
    100 days to the Tokyo Olympics: Twenty-five US athletes to watch
    Read more

    The 30-year-old from outside Atlanta, who trains full-time at the British Athletics’ national performance center in Loughborough, was injured during the Ostrava Golden Spike meet in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, Austrian hurdler Beate Schrott said in an Instagram post.

    “Christian ruptured his Achilles during the competition in Ostrava yesterday. It’s heartbreaking. Really,” she wrote. “I spent quite some time trying to find the right words, but I am giving up. I don’t have words for this situation.”

    She added: “I know he’ll get through this. He will fight his way back. He’ll come out of this situation not smelling like smoke.”

  26. Jon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Apparently the AZ Senate signed an agreement that ‘the Senate would cover costs for the county to replace or recertify equipment that was “damaged, altered, or otherwise compromised” while in the “Senate‘s custody and control.”’

    via TPM

  27. Kathy says:

    I had an odd dream yesterday.

    I dreamt it was Wednesday May 19th, and I was heading out to get the second Pfizer dose. I thought it was too soon, having only been two weeks since the first. Someone, I don’t know who, asked me, “So what? You’re not getting the second dose?” I replied something about waiting a week and then going to San Antonio for the second.

    Really weird. I don’t recall ever dreaming specific dates before.

  28. wr says:

    @Jen: “On another topic entirely, I hope that these fines stick”

    I think the great lesson that asshole Trumpies took from his reign is that you are allowed to do whatever you want whenever you want and there are absolutely no repercussions whatsoever — at least if you are a white Republican. These harsh fines might start working as a corrective to that…

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: Damn. Well, there went that theory, of course, when it turns out the state doesn’t have the money to fully replace the machines… 🙂

  30. Jon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We’ll just send them the machines from this *other* Democratic county ….

  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    It’s the microchips from the first dose.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  33. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Really? Well, the graphics were not that good. I’m terribly disappointed.

  34. Scott says:

    @Kathy: Has anyone analyzed the difference in chip technology between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

  35. Kathy says:


    Hm. If Pfizer’s puts dates in dreams, Moderna’s must advertise Lightspeed Briefs.

  36. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Could the machines be returned to the manufacturer to be rebuilt & refurbished, then subsequently recertified?
    OTOH, that might actually cost more than buying new replacements (as the manufacturer may not be set up to rebuild/restore.

    The AZ Senate has made fools of themselves.

  37. CSK says:

    @Scott: @Kathy:
    I feel so left out. I got the J&J vaccine.

  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Cain:

    The Arizona Secretary of State has suggested that Maricopa County may have to replace all of the voting equipment they had to turn over to the Cyber Ninjas.

    We know that the Cyber Ninjas have had the machines in their unsupervised possession for some time. We know that GOPs are obsessed with the idea that the voting machines somehow flip or create votes. And we know that everything GOPs say is projection. So why would anyone worry? Although I think the SoS concern is the more technical and realistic one that they may not be able to recertify the machines with the chain of custody so badly broken.

    When the Cyber Ninjas are sued for the cost of recertification or replacement, I expect their defense will center on the fact that all these machines do is count paper ballots which are available for hand recount, so they can’t possibly be modifies to change an election. They will fail to see the irony.

  39. gVOR08 says:


    Has anyone analyzed the difference in chip technology between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

    They all use the same Bill Gates supplied chip. The real conspiracy is that the globalist deep state has created a chip shortage by diverting all chip production to what Gates wants for all the hundreds of millions of shots.

  40. CSK says:

    I think you’ve hit on the correct answer.

  41. Mu Yixiao says:


    I got the J&J vaccine.

    But… that means you got the life-extending blood of slaughtered babies. You should feel lucky!

  42. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Yes, but I miss the ultra-high speed internet.

  43. just nutha says:

    @CSK: You don’t need to feel left out; you got the dead babies vaccine. Remember? Plenty of opprobrium to go around.

  44. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I got the Pfizer vaccine. The download speed isn’t really much faster than for my desktop with Xfinity service. The whackos have REALLY OVERSOLD the utility of the vaccine chip. 🙁 (Or maybe it was a typical Gates/Allen overpromise.)

  45. Mu Yixiao says:

    @just nutha:

    I run Linux. I’m pissed about the lack of compatible drivers. I can’t get a connection at all.

  46. Jax says:

    ROFLMAO!!!! Never underestimate the power of “little kid questions”. 😛

  47. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    I suppose I can take pride in being more hated than you chip-implant people. You all are just slaves to Gates. I, on the other hand, am actively evil.

  48. Jen says:

    @Jax: Such a serious issue, but wow, what an outcome.

    Anyone who has spent time around the Smaller Set can tell you, the never-ending questioning can be BRUTAL.

  49. Sleeping Dog says:


    A cynic believes, that the perp must have been white since he isn’t dead.

    Glad the kids and driver were unharmed.

  50. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Apparently he was Hispanic, at least by his photo and name: Jovan Collazo. He was described as “desperate to get home” in the Army Times.

    He’s facing some heavy charges.

  51. Yrump supporter challenger to Cheney impregnated 14 year old girl when he was 28

  52. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Obviously, he doesn’t see a problem and in fact he’s a victim of opposition research. Besides, the girl killed herself, so she had problems that he had nothing to do with. The Trumpkins and the religious right won’t see this as a problem either.

    What’s truly amazing about some of these people is that they appear to have no guilt or remorse.

  53. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis: fake news!

  54. Kathy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Are we sure GOP doesn’t stand for Grand Old Pervert?

  55. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Eighteen, not twenty-eight. There’s a considerable difference.

    Otherwise, I’d say Bourchard is giving Roy Moore some competition.

  56. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..(from yesterday)…Starbucks became a sonic hell,..
    A brand new Starbucks in a brand new stand alone building opened here recently. (The other two ‘bucks in town are inside Barnes and Noble and Kroger and I rarely visit them.) Just in case I develop whatever aversion it is that you have for Panera Swill I need to know what to look out for. How will I know when I have descended into Starbuck’s sonic hell?

  57. Kathy says:

    COVID numbers are rather unreliable, both as regards cases and deaths. This is even worse in countries, like Mexico, where most tests are diagnostic and even then not administered to all people sick with COVID.

    Taking the global numbers as the standard, though it’s highly unlikely these are accurate, and taking excess deaths in Mexico into account as well, and assuming the death rate here isn’t far higher than elsewhere, to get approx. 320,000 deaths, we must have had over 17 million cases.

    Assuming a death rate 50% over the global average, then it’s 10.2 million cases. The number at the Johns Hopkins tracker is 2.4 million.

    I must be making some mistake, because I can’t believe 5 to nine times as many cases as reported would go unnoticed and unremarked.

  58. Sleeping Dog says:

    Covid on the Run
    The pandemic may now be in permanent retreat in the U.S.

    The piece is by David Leonhardt, whose journalism, I’ve come to respect over the years.

    More than 60 percent of American adults have received at least one vaccine shot, and the share is growing by about two percentage points per week. Among unvaccinated people, a substantial number have already had Covid and therefore have some natural immunity. “The virus is running out of places to be communicable,” Andy Slavitt, one of President Biden’s top Covid advisers, told me.

    He goes on to site additional statistics and to point out that future outbreaks will likely be regional.


  59. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: go sit in the Starbucks for 10 minutes. If, during that time, you hear more than 7 high-pitched, screeching alarms, you’re in Starbucks Sonic Hell. Same reason I can’t sit in Mcdonald’s.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: The AZ Senate has made fools of themselves.

    That as been obvious for some time now. Still, they don’t seem to care.

  61. flat earth luddite says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Reminds me of guys in PC at the Home for Wayward Boys.

  62. flat earth luddite says:

    Not a good week. First suffers the Basic Training Breakdown, then the Are We There Yets?
    Probably looking forward to a nice quiet cell somewhere…

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: the never-ending questioning can be BRUTAL.

    “Because I said so.” always ended it for me.

  64. CSK says:

    Marjorie “Jewish Space Lasers” Taylor Greene and Matt “The Younger the Better” Gaetz will be holding an America First rally in Mesa, AZ this evening.

    I knew you’d all be excited to read that.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: More than 60 percent of American adults have received at least one vaccine shot, and the share is growing by about two percentage points per week.

    Not here, and not in many other red state areas. As the saying goes, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

  66. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..high-pitched, screeching alarms,..

    I must admit that the only time I have heard an alarm on a coffee vat was in the local Huck’s convenience store recently. The store clerk said it was time to brew more.
    The two local McDonald’s have shut their indoor dining and have been drive through only for more than a year now. I guess I always thought their alarms sounded so the fries wouldn’t burn.
    When I visited the new Starbucks it was open to order inside but indoor seating was not yet available. Health Department something something they said.
    To be honest much like screaming infants are music to my ears as it is something my failing ears can actually hear I am not bothered by alarms much.

  67. Kathy says:


    I thought you meant something different.

    For me, depending on my mood, a sonic hell would be any place noisier than a busy office. In a bad mood, noisier than a library.

  68. gVOR08 says:

    @Doug Mataconis: The Hill’s story doesn’t seem to mention what I thought would be an important detail. What happened to the child? Who got custody? Did he at least pay support? Am I to assume that in his Facebook Video he failed to mention these little details? Family Values. And of course they were living in Florida at the time.

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Traffic noise is my sonic hell.

  70. Scott says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @OzarkHillbilly:

    future outbreaks will likely be regional

    Not here, and not in many other red state areas.

    Guess which regions.

  71. CSK says:

    Bouchard said that he raised the boy after his mother’s suicide, but that the son has made some bad choices. Bouchard didn’t specify what those choices were.

  72. Jax says:

    @gVOR08: The Casper Star Tribune had a more in depth report….he did raise the child, but it appears they are now essentially estranged because of “life choices”, something something….so I don’t know if the kid’s a druggie, gay, or a Democrat, but he made a wise choice if he’s not talking to his Dad anymore. His antics in the state legislature show up on my Facebook news feed way more than I’d like.

  73. Kathy says:


    I’ve never met anyone who likes traffic sounds.

    I’ve lived and worked at places with little traffic. When driving, there ins’t much choice. If I wore earplugs, I couldn’t listen to my audiobook 😉

  74. Jax says:

    @CSK: Florida was obviously not sending it’s best people when they sent Bouchard. 😛

  75. Joe says:

    The child cannot be more than 10. What bad choices has he had time to make?

  76. CSK says:

    The son’s mother committed suicide in 1990 at age 20, so the son would be in his thirties.

  77. just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That’s all part of the conspiracy. You have to run MS compatible hardware and software to get the advantages. Surely, you didn’t expect Gates to just give stuff to people even if it’s mostly like malware in performance and goals.

  78. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Yes, exactly! And keeping an optimistic outlook is better for your health and happiness, too!

  79. just nutha says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Only a problem depending on how secular Wyoming is. Current evangelical thought places Mary at 14 when the angel made the Annunciation.

  80. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    One takes one’s pride where one must.

  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: DOH!

  82. Kathy says:


    one could ask Wyoming Republicans whether they want to be known as Florida’s dumping ground.

  83. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: At my level of deafness there are noises I can ignore that others can’t, and vice versa. The constant drone of traffic wears on my nerves like few other things can. In a loud bar I just turn off my hearing (I don’t have hearing aides, I turn off that part of my brain) but loud live music can drive me away. A vacuum cleaner? Fingernails on a chalkboard.

  84. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’ve never met anyone who likes traffic sounds.

    For people who live in metropolitan areas, it can be a sort of “white noise”. There’s a great little bit in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil where John Cusack’s character can’t sleep–so he plays a tape of NYC traffic noise.

    When I first saw that movie, I’d never been to a big city except Chicago, and I’d never slept there. But I instantly understood the “familiar sounds” idea.

    Tangential: My parents used to have a small cottage on a man-made lake (a hydro-electric dam was installed early in the 1900s). All the land where our cottage stood was originally owned by one family. The heir became a Catholic priest. He kept a big chunk of land in the middle of the U-shaped road.

    The last I heard, the building on that land was a retreat for clergy. When Father V was alive, however, it was a summer camp for kids from Chicago. It was called the “I Get the Window Club”. Father V would drive a old school bus down to Chicago on Saturday (I think) and pick up a load of kids. The key was that each session allowed only as many kids as there were window seats on the bus. Every one of them got a window seat.

    These were poor, inner-city kids. And as they got out of the city, through the suburbs, and into rural Wisconsin, the kids were amazed. And, on the first night, when he took them outside to look at the sky? Most of them ran back inside in fear. They had never seen stars. He took them to the small public access where they took out canoes, and were encouraged to swim. In a lake. With fish and stuff. Again, the kids were freaked out.

    By the end of the week, they didn’t want to go home.

  85. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I vaguely recall a Mike Hammer ep where Hammer says he couldn’t sleep with all that peace and quiet banging in his ears.

    I can sleep with lights on, even outdoors at noon. I can’t sleep with noise, even if not loud. The other day a TV at a neighboring apartment was on very loud*. I could hear just enough to recognize human speech, but not make out more than occasional words, so not that loud where I was. I still had to fish out some foam earplugs before I could fall asleep.

    I have to be dead tired to sleep when there’s noise.

    That said, a constant noise, even loud, can become background noise for me in a short while. When on an airplane, say, the sound of the engines goes background quickly.

    I still need earplugs if I want to sleep on a plane, because people talking nearby, or the flight attendant call DING! going off, wake me up.

    *As judged by the fact I could hear it at all. Usually I hear not a whisper from the surrounding apartments.

  86. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..I’ve never met anyone who likes traffic sounds.
    Every other summer my family drove from Rochester NY where I was born to Danville IL where my mom and dad were from for a two week vacation. The earliest trips that I remember were in our ’52 Stuedebaker before my brother was born in 1953 so I was maybe 4 years old. We would stop for the night at whatever roadside inn had a vacancy sign lit. Well before the interstates and toll roads were built a long stretch of the ride was US Route 20 through New York State, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. I remember the motels being not far from the road and the rooms were not air conditioned so the windows would be open all night. It was mostly trucks and some cars running down the highway and the drone of the traffic would put me to sleep.
    Years later as I traveled across the country working in the landline telephone industry I spent alot of time in towns and villages that were far enough from the interstates that they still had older motels on two lane roads that reminded me a lot of the places we stayed at back in the ’50s. The hum of the traffic at night would take me back to those family vacations as I nodded off.

  87. Mister Bluster says:

    Calling the EDIT key.

    ETA…It worked!

  88. Kurtz says:


    There’s a link buried in the article that goes in depth into that issue, but I’m not burning another of my limited free Bloomberg articles on it. If i were a rich man…


  89. Kathy says:

    When the trump pandemic finally ends (not this year), there should be a commission that looks at what measures worked to contain the spread of SaRS-CoV-2, which didn’t, and what can be improved in the future. As I’ve said like many seven trillion times before, there will be another pandemic eventually. We’d best be prepared for it.

    IMO, the biggest early misstep was the failure to recommend masks as the first line of defense against viral spread. Whether this was because health authorities wanted to prevent a run on them that would have meant shortages for healthcare personnel, or because they used the wrong lower limit for airborne transmission of 5 microns, doesn’t really matter.

    Respiratory diseases may not go airborne every time, or even most of the time (and this seems true of COVID as well), but they do some of the time. We also can look at the big epidemics in the past 300 years or so, and see that most of them were transmitted either by droplets or were airborne. Think smallpox, flu, polio, SARS.

    Most diseases don’t transmit presymptomatically or asymptomatically, but some do. COVID does. It simply makes sense to go with masks, distancing, quarantine, and otherwise limiting person-to-person contact early on.

    We’ve learned this at the cost of millions of lives, overwhelmed hospitals, untold suffering and grief, and a really bad recession. It was a very expensive lesson, and we’d best not need to learn it again in ten years or fifteen years or five years.

  90. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Nostalgia can do funny things to a person.

    Anyway, my definition of “meet” does stipulate “in person.” I, therefore, stand by my initial assertion, though I can add I know people who like traffic noises.

  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Whether this was because health authorities wanted to prevent a run on them that would have meant shortages for healthcare personnel, or because they used the wrong lower limit for airborne transmission of 5 microns, doesn’t really matter.

    I see your point, but I think it does matter. If they didn’t want people to use scarce resources, didn’t have the resources to spare, it would have been better to just say that and cut right to “how to make a mask that will protect you” right from the get go. (If they couldn’t cut right to there because we needed Japanese and Koreans to show us how to do it, that’s a “whole notha’ story,” as the saying goes.) My suspicion has always been that they recommended against masking primarily because of the supply problem and in fact, remember reading an article that specifically said that there weren’t enough masks for hospitals but that was okay because y’all don’t really need them. I also suspect that they knew that was a lie when they said it but didn’t want to panic the public.s

    Now certainly the more conservative among us (I’m going to refrain from naming names) were going to reply “oh sure, the government didn’t prepare and is expecting us to risk our lives so some nurse in a clinic can have as many masks as she wants,” but those d-ba guys were always going to say that anyway no matter what. The big point is that you can’t maintain credibility if you lie. Even when your intent is good. Just say what the truth (to the degree that you understand it) is and leave it at that.

  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Kathy: Mu tickled my memory bone. One of my cousins married a guy who grew up under/over the EL tracks in Chicago. When they moved to the suburbs of Peoria, he was unable to sleep for months.

  93. Teve says:

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A second mass vaccination clinic in Alabama’s largest metro area is closing within days of an earlier shutdown because of low demand, but health officials said COVID-19 immunizations remain available for most anyone who wants one.

    The site was too expensive to keep open when so few people have been seeking the vaccine to protect them from the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    A mass vaccination site run by the University of Alabama at Birmingham closed on Tuesday in Hoover because of low demand and the high cost of maintaining such operations. UAB has spent about $1.4 million a month operating that location and three others, officials said. UAB will continue providing inoculations at smaller, short-duration clinics as its other large sites prepare to close.

    With only about a quarter of Alabama’s roughly 5 million people fully vaccinated and the rate of immunizations down sharply in just a few weeks, health officials are concerned that many of those who haven’t already received a shot simply aren’t willing.

  94. Jax says:

    JFC on a grilled cheese, we need to stop letting these people run the show! Ammon Bundy has no more business running to be Governor of the great State of Idaho than he did his cattle ranch.

    Couldn’t help but notice he got his paperwork all wrong (eyeroll).

  95. Teve says:


    WASHINGTON (AP) — Feds: Officers guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he killed himself admit falsifying records, cut deal that avoids jail time.

    Nothing to see here, move along…

  96. Teve says:

    (William B. Davis stands in the corner and smokes.)