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. charon says:

    These pieces hit the Washington Post late yestesterday:

    Now we are in it. Cases are exploding. Here in Alabama, the state with the lowest vaccination rate (less than 35 percent), rates of infection have risen from less than three cases per 100,000 people four weeks ago to more than 54 cases per 100,000 this week. Suzanne Judd at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health generated models that show, by Labor Day, cases will skyrocket to two to three times the peak we experienced in January. At our 1,157-bed hospital in Birmingham, Alabama’s largest, we have risen from three cases in-house in mid-June to more than 67 cases on Wednesday. Statewide, the rise exceeds 500 percent since July 4.

    ‘The war has changed’: Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns delta infections likely more severe

    The internal presentation shows that the agency thinks it is struggling to communicate on vaccine efficacy amid increased breakthrough infections

    The delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal federal health document that argues officials must “acknowledge the war has changed.”

    The document is an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention slide presentation, shared within the CDC and obtained by The Washington Post. It captures the struggle of the nation’s top public health agency to persuade the public to embrace vaccination and prevention measures, including mask-wearing, as cases surge across the United States and new research suggests vaccinated people can spread the virus.

    The document strikes an urgent note, revealing the agency knows it must revamp its public messaging to emphasize vaccination as the best defense against a variant so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold.

    Just excerpts, more at the links.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Disgraced former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has paid just $300 in penalties since being given an effective life sentence after abusing dozens of athletes in his care and possessing thousands of images of child sexual abuse.

    According to a court filing obtained by the Washington Post, Nassar spent more than $10,000 from his prison bank account in the three years since he was jailed. But Nassar is only paying $8.33 per month towards the $57,000 he owes in restitution to the survivors of his abuse, the $5,300 he owes to the federal Crime Victims Fund, as well as $834 in court fees.

    Meanwhile, Nassar has had $12,825 in his prison account during that time, $2,000 of which came from a government Covid-19 stimulus payment. According to the Post report, he has spent more than $10,000 on emails, phone calls and purchases from the prison commissary.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have mixed feelings about this. If the work that people do in prison is meant to be an incentive for good behavior, it would defeat the whole purpose if it were confiscated for restitution. Don’t almost all inmates have debts on the outside?

    On the other hand, I thought the pay for prison jobs was on the order of 35 cents per hour, so I’m puzzled he was able to accumulate so much.

  4. sam says:

    Why Managers Fear a Remote-Work Future:

    Remote work lays bare many brutal inefficiencies and problems that executives don’t want to deal with because they reflect poorly on leaders and those they’ve hired. Remote work empowers those who produce and disempowers those who have succeeded by being excellent diplomats and poor workers, along with those who have succeeded by always finding someone to blame for their failures. It removes the ability to seem productive (by sitting at your desk looking stressed or always being on the phone), and also, crucially, may reveal how many bosses and managers simply don’t contribute to the bottom line.

    From my own experience, this is spot on.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I doubt very much he earned that money at his prison job. People on the outside can contribute to one’s bank.

    If the work that people do in prison is meant to be an incentive for good behavior,

    I doubt that is what it is for. I think it’s meant to fill the hours of an otherwise empty life. Idle hands, the Devil’s playground, and all that.

    As far as paying the restitution owed his victims, I doubt he will ever have the means to pay them (doubtful he will ever get out) and I suspect they aren’t holding their breath. I think it’s mostly meaningless theatre, an empty demonstration of how serious we are about crime.

    When it comes to whether or not he should be able to have money in his bank while still owing a debt to his victims, I come to the uncomfortable conclusion of “Yes.” A life sentence in prison is a very slow murder. If allowing him a bag of M&Ms every now and again keeps that punishment from becoming cruel and unusual, than I guess I am in favor of it.

    Other’s will no doubt feel differently.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: those who have succeeded by being excellent diplomats

    Huh, that’s one way of saying brown noser.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Dingley, 37, had been walking solo in the mountains near the Spanish and French border and was last seen on 22 November. Her partner, Daniel Colegate, and her mother, Ria Bryant, said in a joint statement: “We are distraught to report that we have received DNA confirmation that one of the bones found last week belongs to Esther.

    “We have all known for many months that the chance we would get to hug our beloved Esther again, to feel her warm hand in ours, to see her beautiful smile and to watch the room light up again whenever she arrived was tiny, but with this confirmation that small hope has now faded. It is devastating beyond words.

    “At this stage, with just a single bone found and no sign of equipment or clothing in the immediate area (which has been closely searched again over several days), the details of what happened and where still remain unknown.

    “The search and rescue teams intend to continue their search on foot and with drones, particularly trying to find some sign of Esther’s equipment to understand how this tragedy occurred.

    “The family would like to express their gratitude to the officers in charge of the various police units in France and Spain, the British consulates in Bordeaux and Barcelona, and LBT Global, all of whom have remained in close contact with us for months now. Their continued support and their determination to find answers is welcome.”

  8. MarkedMan says:


    People on the outside can contribute to one’s bank.

    I didn’t know that. It doesn’t seem to be fair.

  9. Kurtz says:


    I didn’t know that. It doesn’t seem to be fair.

    I assume your fairness take is specific to Nassar…

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @sam: There may be some truth in this but I think overall the discussion is simplistic. A lot depends on what you do. My staff are engineers. Can they do some of their work from home? Sure. But the ones working from home are never the ones to go in the lab and take the measurements in the lab. They ask the ones present to interrupt their day and do it for them. After all it only takes 10 minutes, right? And I have some people working on big machines that require compressed air and exhaust systems, while others work on bench top devices. The ones at the bench top aren’t available for a quick consult around one of the big machines when we are trying to figure out the problem. (The bench top devices are similar to sections of the large machines, so experience is relevant. ) I could go on, but the bottom line is that I’ve worked with remote teams for decades and it’s not easy to categorize the effects.

    One thing that is neglected in all this conversation is that some employees who are quite productive in an office or lab setting completely fall apart when they are at home all day, either through depression and anxiety or through inability To focus

  11. CSK says:
  12. MarkedMan says:

    @Kurtz: Not really. It doesn’t seem fair that people who have friends and family with resources get relief in prison that people without such resources don’t get. Working for money in your prison account, on the other hand, is available to everyone.

  13. Teve says:

    Trump’s PAC collected $75 million this year, but so far the group has not put money into pushing for the 2020 ballot reviews he touts

    Former president Donald Trump’s political PAC raised about $75 million in the first half of this year as he trumpeted the false notion that the 2020 election was stolen from him, but the group has not devoted funds to help finance the ongoing ballot review in Arizona or to push for similar endeavors in other states, according to people familiar with the finances.
    Instead, the Save America leadership PAC — which has few limits on how it can spend its money — has paid for some of the former president’s travel, legal costs and staff, along with other expenses, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the group’s inner workings. The PAC has held onto much of its cash.

    heh heh

  14. Mu Yixiao says:


    They ask the ones present to interrupt their day and do it for them. After all it only takes 10 minutes, right?

    Thank you! This is the thing so many who say “I’m so much more efficient when I work from home” completely miss. I was that person doing the “it’s only 10 minutes” crap for a year. People forget that it’s not just one “ten minutes”–it’s dozens of them every week.

    Of course you’ve got more time when you’re offloading hours of work onto someone else.

    (Sorry… this has become a bit of a hot-button for me.)

  15. Barry says:

    @MarkedMan: “One thing that is neglected in all this conversation is that some employees who are quite productive in an office or lab setting completely fall apart when they are at home all day, either through depression and anxiety or through inability To focus”

    Yes, but the pre-COVID norm was ‘everybody in the office, all day, every day’ for far too many people.

  16. Mu Yixiao says:


    Huh, that’s one way of saying brown noser.

    Maybe in some cases. But there’s also a lot of actual diplomacy that goes on in large companies. There’s definitely something to be said for the person that can be a go-between when 3 or 4 departments are pushing their own (legitimate) agendas. Quite often it’s simply a matter of R&D not understanding Manufacturing who doesn’t understand Sales who doesn’t understand Technical Support/Customer Service–even though they may all be saying the same thing, just in “their own language”.

    A good manager can translate Tech Support to Manufacturing, and Manufacturing to R&D, and then pass that all along to Sales so that they can explain the product strengths and weaknesses to potential buyers.

  17. Scott says:

    @charon: Here an article that has some interesting points.

    Dr. Peter Hotez: Delta variant ‘like nothing we’ve seen before,’ expect rise in hospitalizations

    The problem is, it’s (delta variant) twice as transmissible as the original lineage. This is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s not quite as transmissible as something like measles, but it’s getting up there in terms of its reproductive number.

    Potentially a reason why delta is more transmissible than anything we’ve seen is it’s more efficient at replicating, especially in the upper airways in the mouth. So when people are releasing virus, they’re releasing a lot more virus. If that turns out to be the case — you know, in proper peer-reviewed studies — that has that has a lot of important implications, both for unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.

    When you’ve got this as the dominant variant, if you’re unvaccinated and you’ve been lucky enough not to get COVID so far, you have to recognize there’s a good chance your luck’s about to run out, and you will likely get get COVID. You should get vaccinated yesterday, right? This is not the time to wait, because the spread of delta is accelerating very quickly.

    So the question is, what’s the interim guidance until we have evidence one way or another? Should we revisit masking indoors?

    One of the most commonly asked questions I get is this: I’m a parent, I’m vaccinated but I have little kids who are not old enough to be vaccinated. Is there a risk that I could shed virus and pass COVID to my kids? In the past, my answer was, “No, that’s unlikely.” Now the answer is “I’m not so sure.” This is getting a lot of people worried and upset.

  18. Scott says:

    We really never learn.

    Everything America did wrong in Afghanistan, according to the top US government watchdog

    “Don’t believe what you’re told by the generals or the ambassadors or the people in the administration saying ‘We’re never going to do this again,’” Sopko said. “That’s exactly what we said after Vietnam: We’re never going to do this again. And lo and behold, we did Iraq and we did Afghanistan. We will do this again and we really need to think and learn from the 20 years in Afghanistan.”

    I could quote the entire interview but none of it is a revelation. We knew this all along but pretended otherwise.

    I still remember the cheering that the “Vietnam Syndrome” is over.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: well said

  20. Neil J Hudelson says:


    I see others have already informed you that you are correct regarding prisoners only making cents per hour, and that people can have outside funds deposited. The issue here, that I don’t think any article I’ve read spells out explicitly, is that the $10,000 Nassar spends in prison goes to the prison. The $8.33 he spends per month on restitution doesn’t go to the prison. The incentives here for the prison administration to ensure Nassar is paying restitution to his victims are f’d.


    I doubt that is what it is for. I think it’s meant to fill the hours of an otherwise empty life. Idle hands, the Devil’s playground, and all that.

    It’s also meant to create a huge profit for the prison. The prison gets a contract for $X thousands of dollars, their labor costs them pennies. It’s a great system. For the prison.

  21. Scott says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: It’s not called Federal Prison Industries for nothing. It’s a business.

  22. Neil J Hudelson says:


    One thing that is neglected in all this conversation is that some employees who are quite productive in an office or lab setting completely fall apart when they are at home all day, either through depression and anxiety or through inability To focus

    I’m happy to admit this is me. I’m a hard worker in the office. Sure, I have my days where I’m on the struggle bus, but those days are more than made up for by the after-hours work I put in at events or taking calls from donors who don’t really know about personal boundaries. But when we transitioned to work from home it was too damn easy to “just take a moment” (it was never a moment) to do some dishes or start a load of laundry. And then once I did get back to work, I had the fun experience of sky high anxiety from constantly examining my own mortality and that of my family in the context of a global deadly pandemic being made worse by my neighbor’s narcissism and selfishness. (Not my actual neighbors. They are good people. But, you know.)

    My struggle with working from home didn’t mean I was lazy or someone who excelled at using diplomacy to hide my deficiencies. It just meant I was bad at working from home.

    All that said, I’m in favor of making work from home more permanent for those people or those offices who can make it work.

  23. Teve says:

    In college I took a class on early American culture. my final paper was 30 pages about how in the 1700s, ordinary and legit political action involved fist fighting your opponents, or disassembling their home board by board with your bare hands. So yeah yelling in restaurants is fine. it’s not true that yelling at a politician in a public place is some kind of shocking inappropriate thing perverting our politics. Sometimes you got to go to the Tear Your Mayor’s House Apart With Your Bare Hands Zone and if this means “yell at them at Wendy’s” that’s 1000% chill. frankly our forefathers would be very surprised that we haven’t gone to Mitch McConnell’s house and literally ripped it apart and thrown the pieces in a river.

    -Laura Michet

  24. CSK says:

    Well, of course Donald Trump would call the Capitol Police officers who testified “pussies.”

  25. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Grab ’em by the Capitol Police!

  26. Jen says:


    One thing that is neglected in all this conversation is that some employees who are quite productive in an office or lab setting completely fall apart when they are at home all day, either through depression and anxiety or through inability To focus

    This has always been top of mind for some of the clients I work with, and most of the companies I am aware of have been trying to figure out solutions for quite some time.

    An anecdote: one client I worked with early last year right at the start of the pandemic had a lot of young people, new in their careers at the company. While they were able to very quickly transition to WFH, it was evident almost immediately that this would be a problem for some employees. Some were still living at home and had difficulty finding a quiet space to work. Some had a number of roommates and there were issues of conflicting schedules (conference calls at all hours, nowhere quiet to work, etc.). The most depressing were cases where home life was…not ideal. Abuse, screaming, and in a case or two actual violence. The company worked hard to set up a covid-compliant protocol so that as soon as they were allowed to by the state, the employees who were struggling could come in.

    They ask the ones present to interrupt their day and do it for them.

    Management can and should prohibit this if it is causing a problem.

  27. CSK says:

    There’s huge irony in Donald Trump calling anyone weak or cowardly.

  28. Kathy says:

    I loved the very few days I worked at home last year.

    There were no constant phone calls or interruptions*, no radio playing music, I could put the TV on for background noise if I wanted, I could take a short nap after lunch, and the work I had to do went actually faster. I was done around 4 pm every day.

    Alas, it didn’t last.

    *My big problem at work is the receptionist dials my extension for anything related to our department. I’ve tried everything, from asking nicely to explaining why to asking angrily, and they still do this. My opinion is if there’s a call for Joe, you dial Joe’s extension rather than mine.

  29. Kylopod says:


    There’s huge irony in Donald Trump calling anyone weak or cowardly.

    Agreed. But it’s not especially uncommon behavior either–it’s one of the central underlying characteristics of toxic masculinity. It’s fundamentally a game of bravado by deeply insecure individuals.

  30. Teve says:


    Ted Cruz last year said “I guarantee you” Democrats would stop talking about covid restrictions if Biden won since they were just playing politics to hurt Trump

    Now he says Democrats are playing politics by still talking about covid restrictions even though Biden is president

  31. Mu Yixiao says:


    One thing that is neglected in all this conversation is that some employees who are quite productive in an office or lab setting completely fall apart when they are at home all day, either through depression and anxiety or through inability To focus

    Going back to this point:

    I’ve had several periods in my life where I was doing freelance web-work–obviously from home. And more, as a teacher, where a goodly portion of my prep and follow-up was done at home. I learned a long time ago that “work from home” is still work. That’s something that I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t seem to realize.

    I’ve had the same conversation with so many people who haven’t been able to make WFH work for them. What I notice is that they’re not treating WFH as actual work. My advice to them:

    * Get up at the same time every day.
    * Go through your standard work-day morning routine (shower, shave, get dressed (get out of your pajamas and into “work clothes”!)).
    * Prepare for and take your “commute” (that 20-foot walk to the “office”); Leave home at home and “be at work”.
    * Treat your office as your office and your home as your home.
    * At the end of the day, shut down your work, leave the “office” and take your “commute home”; Leave the office and “go home”.
    * Make sure everyone in the house understands all these guidelines and follows them.

  32. CSK says:

    Oh, totally. Remember when Trump said he’d have run into Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, disarmed the shooter, and rescued the students who were being gunned down? Sure he would. Right.

    I give him some slight credit–mind I said slight–for adding that anyone would do the same, but the image of a fat old geriatric waddling into the building to save the day a la Clint Eastwood in his prime was ludicrous.

  33. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    One of our former presidents (not Trump, may I assure you) used to leave the White House living quarters, walk around outside the building, and then re-enter it to get to the Oval Office in order to create for himself the illusion that he was “commuting” to work.

  34. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: It’s worth recounting the entire quote by Cruz in 2020 just to be reminded how awesomely wrong it was:

    “If it ends up that Biden wins in November — I hope he doesn’t, I don’t think he will — but if he does, I guarantee you the week after the election, suddenly all those Democratic governors, all those Democratic mayors, will say, ‘Everything’s magically better. Go back to work. Go back to school. Suddenly all the problems are solved.’ You won’t to have to wait for Biden to be sworn in. All they’ll need is Election Day and suddenly their willingness to just destroy people’s lives and livelihoods, they will have accomplished their task. That’s wrong. It’s cynical. And we shouldn’t be a part of it.”

  35. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’ve been a freelance writer/PR consultant for around 8 years, and have been majority WFH for a bit longer than that. Your suggestions are good.

    Before we moved, my husband was a remote worker for a Big Tech company, and I had been freelancing for a while. We shared an office, and it could be challenging at times, so a main “must have” when we moved was separate offices for each of us, along with access to small business-class internet/high speeds.

    I cannot tell you how many times I’ve marveled at just how lucky we are that all of this was already in place for us when the pandemic hit. I am deeply empathetic to those who would prefer to WFH but can’t.

  36. Kylopod says:

    One thing that fascinates me is the the extent to which statements like Cruz’s above are projection. Republicans for years have tried to create fake issues during election cycles only to promptly forget them the moment Election Day passes, such as the caravan of migrants in 2018.

    Just as interesting is Cruz’s description of the Dems as “cynical.” That’s exactly what he and other Republicans are being when they make statements like this: they have trouble conceptualizing the idea that a problem might actually have real-world consequences worth caring about, they’re primed to view everything by default as simply an attempt to score points for one’s team.

    Now, I would agree that the pandemic benefited the Dems politically overall (though even that’s complicated), and I’m sure some Dem politicians took advantage of that fact in a cynical way (though the same could definitely be said about the GOP in the way they’ve tried to exploit resistance to mask-wearing and vaccines–the difference is that it’s way more destructive). But that doesn’t prove it was a fake crisis. In the 1930s the Dems benefited from the Great Depression; that doesn’t mean the Depression wasn’t real or that it wasn’t negatively affecting the lives of millions. Republicans benefited from stagflation when Carter was president. The list goes on. There are always going to be political impacts to real problems, and those impacts aren’t always fair or based on who bears the most responsibility.

    But it’s also worth remembering that many political leaders around the world benefited politically from taking the pandemic seriously and taking the appropriate measures to combat it. The pandemic wasn’t just “bad luck” for the Trump Admin, it was a political opportunity they squandered through their own behavior.

  37. Kathy says:


    The easiest way to figure out trumpish is to remember the Orange Ass is essentially a toddler. So:

    Weak = Anyone stronger than trump (about 99.9995% of the world’s population)

    Coward = Anyone braver than trump (about 99.9996% of the world’s population)

  38. Teve says:

    Florida is headed for being 1/3rd of US Covid deaths.

    Elderly Fox News Idiots + Delta Varietal == Bye-Bye Papaw!

  39. Kylopod says:


    Florida is headed for being 1/3rd of US Covid deaths.

    Just for context, FL contains 6.5% of the US population.

  40. gVOR08 says:

    I still sometimes indulge my guilty habit of checking out The American Conservative in the morning. I note that Dreher quoted the same Douthat/Klein exchange James quoted a day or two ago. Some of the same quotes. I don’t have any particular point to make, just noting an odd bit of propinquity.

    I’m not sure what conclusion Dreher came to. He was deep into his standard presentation of the liberal shift in culture as the result of some leftist plot when I lost interest. You have to admire Dreher’s effort. He must write thousands of words a week. Of course quality does suffer. I generally look at headlines to see if there’s anything relevant to the real world, find nothing, and move on. I did, though, this morning leave a drive-by comment on an article bemoaning that Ben Garrison didn’t win the Pulitzer for political cartooning. (The same way Trump didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize, by not being considered.)

  41. Mu Yixiao says:

    Flight controllers at NASA and Roscosmos averted a disaster on Thursday after a large Russian module docked with the International Space Station and began to “inadvertently” fire its thrusters.

    Ars Technica

    Can we kick the Russians off the station now?

  42. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: Garrison’s latest cartoon is even more reality-deprived than normal.

  43. EddieInCA says:

    Father of five dies after texting fiancee: ‘I should have gotten the damn vaccine’

  44. Mikey says:

    Another in the seemingly endless line of examples of why we are well and truly fucked.

    ‘What’s Covid?’ Why People at America’s Hardest-Partying Lake Are Not About to Get Vaccinated

    Interviews with dozens of the clientele frequenting dockside bars, restaurants and resorts in this area, famously featured in the Netflix dark drama “Ozark,” revealed an opposition to the vaccine campaign and a disbelief in news around the Delta variant so intense it bordered on belligerence. No promise, they say, would entice them to voluntarily get vaccinated, not a $1 million check, or a plea from a loved one, or the encouragement of Donald Trump himself.

    …One woman, Brittany Hanlon, who wears a mask while battling cancer, said she was heckled for doing so while walking through a Wal-Mart. “Take off your mask!” two women shouted at her as she tried shopping. The women told her, “that the mask was making them uncomfortable,” Hanlon recalled, “which I don’t understand. It’s not like I was doing anything mean or inappropriate, I just had a plain black mask on.”

    Fuck these people. I wish each and every one would get COVID, not dying from it but suffering for weeks, incurring bankrupting medical bills, and then experiencing Long COVID for the rest of their stupid, selfish lives.

  45. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA: The radio host I mentioned the other day who changed his tune on vaccines after contracting Covid, has just been put on a ventilator.

  46. Mu Yixiao says:


    Hopefully that’s 6 more people who will be getting vaccinated (as the young ones are able). Too bad it cost them so much.

  47. Teve says:

    @Mikey: We’ve reached the point where frustration has turned to anger. I share it.

  48. EddieInCA says:


    His brother has been telling his radio audience to get vaccinated, and how much his brother regrets being against vaccines.

    We’re going to be reading alot of those stories. It’s about to get ugly. Again.

  49. Sleeping Dog says:


    That the Dems have moved to the left is basically BS. Dems have favored government involvement in society and the economy since at least FDR, particularly the a social safety net. Unionism, the same. 50 years ago liberal Dems, led by Ted Kennedy, rejected Nixon’s proposals for national healthcare because they didn’t go far enough. They wanted a system like Canada or at least what is now known as M4A. Following WWII, liberals, Dems & R’s began advocating for civil rights, first for Blacks and other minorities and later for other groups such as Gays and now Transgendered. The more recent advocacy isn’t moving to the left but continuing a tradition of social advocacy that has long been part of the liberal tradition.

  50. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I think it’s complicated because it depends what “moving left” is supposed to mean, and relative to what baseline. The idea that the Dems have become socialists is BS of course. I definitely agree the Dems have moved left on social issues like LGBT rights, but then so has the country as a whole. I also definitely think the party is to the left of where it was under Bill Clinton, and the progressive wing of the party, while it didn’t capture the presidency, is a lot stronger than it was a few decades ago. Regardless of what type of Democrat Biden is, we can safely say he isn’t going to declare that “The era of big government is over” or pursue anything along the lines of welfare reform, the 1994 crime bill, or DOMA. That doesn’t mean they’re radical commies, but there’s definitely been a leftward shift relative to where they were in the ’90s.

  51. Mu Yixiao says:


    I definitely agree the Dems have moved left on social issues like LGBT rights

    I don’t see that as a “left” thing. I see it as more of a “forward” movement. There have been plenty of countries that are “very left” which don’t exactly have great records on human rights and tolerance. And… you can find a lot of people who would consider themselves religious conservatives who believe that everyone should be treated equally–because that’s what Jesus/Buddha/etc., said.

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, we will. But to your credit, my difference with you stems from my willingness to embrace cruel AND unusual punishment in selected cases. I have no problem to speak of with denying Dr. Nasser anything other than a weekly date with Bruno, or whoever that person is in his institution. I know I should feel badly about this, and sometimes I can. In this case… meh… not so much.

  53. Teve says:


    Today’s Anniversary of Medicare & Medicaid reminds us to reflect on the critical role these programs have played to protect the healthcare of millions of families. To safeguard our future, we must reject Socialist healthcare schemes.


    Totally agree.

    In fact, to further protect Medicare from socialism, let’s strengthen it to include dental, vision, hearing, & mental healthcare and then allow all Americans to enjoy its benefits.

    Trust me, Medicare for All is the #1 thing you can do to own the socialists.

  54. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I don’t see that as a “left” thing.

    I should then ask you how you define “the left” broadly speaking. My understanding of the term is that it’s the part of the political spectrum most invested in pushing society in a more egalitarian direction. That covers a lot of ground, but I think equality movements–on race, gender, and sexual orientation–definitely qualify.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: “My opinion is if there’s a call for Joe, you dial Joe’s extension rather than mine.”

    Joe doesn’t have his phone set to ring yours when he sets his phone to DND? That’s a mistake. 😉

  56. de stijl says:

    Best boss I ever had was an up-jumped programmer. Panic move in the wake of an unexpected departure. Good, decent dude. Average producer, but crazy good at social skills. Had that touch. A total mensch.

    As a peer he was adequately average. As my boss he was fucking excellent. He caught and deflected political bullshit that did not concern us. Had our backs relentlessly. Treated us as humans and not as cogs. Direct goal and task setter. He was very clear. No bullshit filter had to be applied when Dick gave you instruction. You knew what was required.

    A good boss is extremely valuable. Makes your life easier and much more pleasant.

    A bad boss on the other hand…

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: I’d never be good at working from home. I worked long hours–usually 50 or more per week and most of the year–in my first j0b and home, for me, meant the place where I didn’t do work. I just don’t work at home.

    Even when I started teaching, I kept the same pattern. I was at my office–or wherever I had space available that wasn’t home–every hour that I identified as “working hours.” When I didn’t have an office, I’d go to a library, or a coffee shop, or wherever. But I never “worked” at home. It’s bone deep not to.

  58. Mu Yixiao says:


    I should then ask you how you define “the left” broadly speaking.

    The left, to me, advocates for change through government and believes that the government is the best solution for problems–socializing the costs of change.

    The left tends to be more liberal (which would encompass civil rights), but I see that as separate. Many libertarians, for example, are socially liberal but politically part of the right.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: The cartoons have their charm je ne sais quoi, but what really amazes me is how he can construct the lengthy narratives that pitch the drawings without even having whole cloth. He creates the narratives with literally nothing. It’s amazing.

  60. charon says:

    NEW: DOJ officials told Trump that the department had no power to change the outcome of the election. He replied that he did not expect that:
    “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me.”


    NEW: Here are ADAG Richard Donoghue’s notes of phone calls with former President Trump, in which the then-POTUS told him to declare the election “corrupt” and “leave the rest to [him]”.

  61. charon says:

    Trump Pressed Justice Dept. to Declare Election Results Corrupt, Notes Show

    WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump pressed top Justice Department officials late last year to declare that the election was corrupt even though they had found no instances of widespread fraud, so that he and his allies in Congress could use the assertion to try to overturn the results, according to new documents provided to lawmakers and obtained by The New York Times.

    The demands were an extraordinary instance of a president interfering with an agency that is typically more independent from the White House to advance his personal agenda. They are also the latest example of Mr. Trump’s wide-ranging campaign during his final weeks in office to delegitimize the election results.

    The exchange unfolded during a phone call on Dec. 27 in which Mr. Trump pressed the acting attorney general at the time, Jeffrey A. Rosen, and his deputy, Richard P. Donoghue, on voter fraud claims that the department had disproved. Mr. Donoghue warned that the department had no power to change the outcome of the election. Mr. Trump replied that he did not expect that, according to notes Mr. Donoghue took memorializing the conversation.

    “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” and to congressional allies, Mr. Donoghue wrote in summarizing Mr. Trump’s response.
    “Leave the rest to me” and to congressional allies, the former president is said to have told top law enforcement officials.

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Kylopod: I think “the Democrats have moved so far to the left” only really means “I just would rather not live in a world that has stuff that I don’t particularly want being able to be obtained by people I don’t want to have stuff.” “Moved sooooooo far to the left” is much easier to say and doesn’t make the speaker look like an asshat.

  63. de stijl says:


    I have come to respect incrementalism. I value it highly at this point.

    I have always argued for radical change now, but radical change now is not popular and will not be enacted.

    Slow, incremental change works and is palatable to the voting public if packaged correctly.

    The rights of non-standard sexuality and gender people have increased substantially in my lifetime. In dribs and drabs yes, but mostly to the good.

    Slow, steady progress is more effective than well-meaning radicalism.

    Don’t get me wrong. I admire and respect the radical. We need them. They point us to a better future. Incrementalists get us there. Slowly and eventually. Too slow for my blood, but I am an outlier.

  64. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    That the Dems have moved to the left is basically BS.

    I completely agree. On economic issues Ds are where they’ve been. On social issues the culture moved “left”. Ds went along with it and R politics is now based almost entirely on resisting it. Dreher, even more so than most Republicans, can’t distinguish between politics and culture. (OK, the line is blurred because so many people vote based on culture.) Dreher can’t understand that, for instance, gay rights are the result of gay activists pushing and most people just quietly realizing it doesn’t matter to them. He has to see it as some deeply laid plot by liberals, probably funded by Soros, to subvert his traditional freedom to hate on the gays.

  65. CSK says:

    I shouldn’t laugh at this, but I am. It’s just so typical of Trump: “The hell with what’s true! Just say whatever I want you to say.”

  66. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The left, to me, advocates for change through government and believes that the government is the best solution for problems–socializing the costs of change.

    I think you’re confusing something the left has generally advocated with what the left is. For example, anarchism has long been associated with the far left, and indeed the term “libertarian” was originally a description of left-wing movements before it was appropriated by parts of the right to describe ardent defenders of capitalism.

    The fact that you go on to describe the left’s favoring of social equality movements as “separate” from their economic perspective indicates the lack of a coherent definition. The common denominator is egalitarianism. And what I’m saying isn’t a revisionist perspective–it’s pretty much the standard way it’s understood by political scientists as well as being more accurate historically as to how the whole “left-right” conception of politics began and developed over time.

    Michael Kazin’s book American Dreamers, a history of the Left (emphasis on the capital-L–it’s not talking about the center-left), provides a good starting point for understanding the subject. Kazin begins in the middle of the 19th century, and that gets tricky because that was a while before the left-right conception had been adopted internationally. (It had its origins in the French Revolution when supporters of the monarchy were literally seated on the right side of the court and supporters of the revolution on the left. But it wasn’t adopted as a general description of politics outside France until the 20th century, and it didn’t enter US discourse until the 1930s.) Kazin focuses on several movements in the 19th century–the abolitionists, the feminists, the labor movement, and of course the socialists and communists. These groups did not necessarily view one another as natural allies (for instance, some early feminists were ardent white supremacists), but over time they all came to be associated with what would eventually be described as the left.

    The definition you provided–a belief in government as a means of combating economic inequality–grew out of the labor movement (which is why many left-of-center parties in the world bear the name). But that was only one part of the left historically, and that remains true today. It’s the focus on inequality that’s the common thread, whether it’s talking about economics or other forms of social identity.

    Also, while (right-wing) libertarians have often backed LGBT rights, they’ve rarely prioritized it, and they’ve never been at the forefront of the movements pushing for those rights.

  67. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    and we both know how long he would have lasted in Cell Block A, don’t we? I’m perfectly happy with him living a long life in Punk Hollow.

  68. Teve says:


    DOJ notes: Trump told DOJ officials “just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me”; rejected DOJ debunkings of specific claims with, “Ok fine — but what about the others?”; said, “You guys may not be following the internet the way I do.”

  69. Teve says:

    Yes, Covid-19 vaccine mandates are legal

    What the law says about vaccine mandates, explained.
    By Ian Millhiser Jul 30, 2021, 7:30am EDT

  70. Monala says:

    Idiocy is all they have.


    Our @SecDef is vaccinated

    But he arrives in the Philippines wearing a mask AND a face shield

    Embarrassing COVID theatre

    When told that the Philippines requires face shields and Secretary Austin was respecting his hosts, Rubio followed up with two images of Sec. Austin in Asia wearing only a face mask and tweeted:


    I guess the face shield mandate was lifted shortly after he landed

    He had to be told that the two new images were taken in Vietnam and Singapore.

  71. flat earth luddite says:

    Further proof that you can’t fix stupid.

  72. KM says:

    Regarding WFH, one of the things I’ve come to greatly appreciate is the ability to vent when and how I please. Any loss of productivity or efficiency is made up for entirely by me being able to drop F-bombs, scream, rant and rave whenever I need to at workplace BS.

    Back in the office days, I saw a coworker keep a meeting on mute while flipping the phone the bird for over 5 mins straight. He was stuck in how he could respond due to propriety and finally couldn’t take it anymore so middle finger to the phone it was. Meanwhile, I’ve spent the last year audibly expressing my displeasure as colorfully as possible with the occasionally pace around the room vent when the emails, chats and camera-off Zooms get too much. Not having to worry about someone reporting me to HR for my language has done wonders for the stress. Going back was an unpleasant reminder of how much you have to internalize in a professional setting.

  73. Mu Yixiao says:


    I think you’re confusing something the left has generally advocated with what the left is

    And I think you’re wrong in saying that “the left is x”, where x=”anything”. Joe Biden and AOC are both “left” and they’re quite far apart on what they “are”.

    And terms like “left” or “liberal” are always going to mean different things to different people. Politics is highly subjective when it comes to identity. I butt heads a bit with Jen on this the other day, where I was (in that conversation) looking at a 1-dimentional spectrum, while she was looking at a 2-D planar graph. Other times (like this), it’s best to look at politics as an n-dimensional array.

    To me (and that was the question), “the left” is “big government, social programs, and “trust us, we know what’s best for you”. It falls on a spectrum with “middle of the road” and “the right”.

    When discussing social issues, I switch to liberal, moderate, and conservative.

  74. Mu Yixiao says:


    He had to be told that the two new images were taken in Vietnam and Singapore.

    Those aren’t the same??

  75. Mu Yixiao says:
  76. Kathy says:


    Have you tried muttering softly, with the offender standing right there? It works for me at the office.

  77. Mikey says:

    @Monala: While we’re on the subject of stupid GOP tweets:

    Elise Stefanik

    Today’s Anniversary of Medicare & Medicaid reminds us to reflect on the critical role these programs have played to protect the healthcare of millions of families. To safeguard our future, we must reject Socialist healthcare schemes.

    Yes, she really said that.

  78. Christine says:

    @KM: ‘This is my fear of returning to office more than the virus’

    *tongue in cheek

  79. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    And I think you’re wrong in saying that “the left is x”, where x=”anything”. Joe Biden and AOC are both “left” and they’re quite far apart on what they “are”.

    So? And Mitt Romney isn’t the same as Ted Cruz. You can still coherently group them together; there’s a reason both pairs share a party.

    And terms like “left” or “liberal” are always going to mean different things to different people.

    I totally agree, and this conception of politics has inherent limitations. But I still think it’s important to understand how it’s been used historically, and I believe it still has some explanatory power as to which political factions are likelier to see each other as allies.

    It may sound to some people like we’re debating angels on the head of a pin, but my interest in the subject has to do with the way today’s conservatives manipulate the left-right concept to misleadingly imply that liberals and progressives are extremists.

    To me (and that was the question), “the left” is “big government, social programs, and “trust us, we know what’s best for you”.

    Big government? What, like banning abortion, trans women in sports and bathrooms? Kicking LGBT out of the military? Building a wall on the Southern border? Sending federal agents to arrest the undocumented? Break up BLM protests? “Trust us, we know what’s best for you”–last I knew, gay conversion therapy was not a left-wing enterprise.

    You’re just falling back on the common buzzwords on how conservatives like to market themselves. The American conservative movement has long had strong right-wing reactionary elements, yet from the start it has engaged in a decades-long propaganda project to sell itself as being rooted in the liberal tradition. They consistently use the language of freedom against tyranny, ignoring the many issues on which they favor less freedom, when in a broad sense what unifies them–whether we’re talking about the religious right or the libertarians or the Chamber of Commerce types–is an attempt to preserve traditional power structures.

    Even the most consistently freedom-supporting faction of the right–the libertarians–tend to view freedom in a very narrow way. For example, I’ve read the Libertarian Party’s platform, and they oppose all antidiscrimination laws imposed on private companies. They may believe in principle that what people do in their bedrooms is their own damn business, but they aren’t exactly lifting a finger to protect those most vulnerable from those who disagree.

  80. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: amen and ditto

  81. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:

    I have always argued for radical change now, but radical change now is not popular and will not be enacted.

    Or, as a better writer than either of us put it, ‘But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.’

    I’ve settled on the word ‘consequentialist,’ meaning that my metric of political success is real world impact. Does a policy mean more or fewer people living in tents beside freeways? Are more or fewer children getting medical care? On down to the level of, ‘so, is that pothole filled, or not?’

    I would contrast this with many of my political allies who seem to think the metric should be, ‘did I win the argument?’ Or, ‘will my friends admire my wokeness?’

    Pick the fights that can result in real world improvements in the lives of real people. Save the debate club issues for when we have 60 senators.

  82. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: (Rant) If Libertarianism is so goddamn great, how come there has never been any eco-society with a high level of technology and population has managed to pull it off for a reasonable period of time? (and no, some obscure town halls in Iceland in the 12th century doesn’t cut it. Neither does the 18-year old would-be frontiersman heading out West with a gun and a pickaxe.)

    In my experience, libertarians have no knowledge of history, law, or human nature. It’s “Just-So” wishful thinking all the way down.

  83. Michael Reynolds says:

    The Right succeeds in large part because it has wrapped itself in the flag, something the Left rejects. The Right has successfully positioned itself as the party of patriotism, and if the Left had an ounce of sense they’d be exploiting this moment to take that away from Republicans.

    Many long years ago we were asked to write a quickie kid’s bio of Colin Powell and Gen. Benjamin Davis, Jr., who created the Tuskegee airmen. I did a phone interview with one of his pilots. This was a man who had grown up Black under hardcore, unabashed Jim Crow. And he, like Davis, had fought for the right to fight for the very country that oppressed him because despite everything, he loved his country. I found the interview extremely moving, powerful.

    Similarly, MLK criticized America but from a place of wanting more from the Constitution, more from the government and the American people.

    Patriotism is uniquely strong in this country as compared with Europeans. It’s a powerful tool just lying there waiting to be picked up by the Left. So naturally we won’t, and instead we’ll try to gain power by scolding.

  84. de stijl says:


    Why would Rubio spell theater as “theatre”?

    He’s Cuban. Was that an inadvertant tell?

    Is he a Frenchman? A commie sleeper cell dude? The secret son of Che? Enquiring minds want to know.

  85. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Rancid, my friend. All questions can be answered by Rancid.

    Roots Radical.

    Give him the boot. Ya know I’m a radical.

  86. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Why did punk get defined by boots style preference? And the color of your laces? Back in the day it was a big decision. High ankle, mid calf, or full calf? What laces? I went mid-calf and black on black. That was my look.

    I bought some scarily yellow Doc Martin mid calf high boots a short while back on kinda a whim. Super yellow. Black laces.

    Everybody loves my stupid yellow boots. Even normies at the grocery store. Compliment me out of the blue. It is very weird. Kinda freaks me out a little.

  87. de stijl says:


    Who hasn’t flicked off the middle fuck you finger at a muted phone on an office call meeting?

    I am glad I was not there in person and pretend to eat shit and front as if I liked it.

    The downside to today is that everyone is required to Skype or Zoom in. Total bullshit! I demand passive-aggressive defiance where I had the anonymity of a phone mute button.

  88. Michael Cain says:

    @Teve: Just my not-a-lawyer opinion, but I wouldn’t put a whole lot of faith in that case. The Cambridge law didn’t require vaccination; it called for a $5 fine for people who refused. The events in the case also (shortly) preceded the first federal law that required vaccines to be licensed. If it came before the SCOTUS today, I believe the Court would find that no one can mandate that people accept an unlicensed vaccine. (And at least one of the arguments will be that if it’s so important, Congress would have acted.) Like our host, I really REALLY want the FDA to fully license at least one of the vaccines.

    Edit to add, “no one” interpreted as a private party or the executive branch alone.

  89. CSK says:

    I read that article in TAC. It was idiotic. Anyone who seriously thinks Ben Garrison deserves a Pulitzer probably also thinks that the ghostwritten works of Donald Trump deserve the Nobel (excuse me, Noble) Prize for Literature.

  90. flat earth luddite says:

    Smiling gently while leaning in and gradually softening to a whisper while you’re talking to them works, too.

  91. Teve says:


    government: we can force you to go die in a pointless overseas war

    conservatives: totally cool

    government: we would like you to wear masks to prevent the spread of a deadly virus

    conservatives: how dare you try to take away my freedoms

  92. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: Didja see that clip the other day where Chris Cuomo interviews a restaurant owner who has said he’s denying service to people unless they can prove they weren’t vaccinated? The guy claims he’s not anti-vaccines, but “pro-freedom.”

    He also called Cuomo an idiot.

    So let me get this straight. A social media company banning people is an infringement on their rights, but a restaurant refusing service to people is being pro-freedom? At this point I’m less concerned with Covid variants than I am with the headache I’m getting trying to follow right-wing logic.

  93. Kathy says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    If I smiled at work, everyone but the new guy would instantly assume I’m up to something.

  94. Mister Bluster says:

    @Scott:..We really never learn.

    President USA Lyndon Johnson. October 1964
    “…we are not about to send American boys 9[,000] or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”

    By the time Johnson ended his term 36,000+ American troops came home in body bags.
    Read it and weep.

  95. CSK says:

    And would you be up to something, you devil, you?

  96. Monala says:

    @Michael Reynolds: the Democratic National Convention last summer was a beautiful show of patriotism, one that often brought tears to my eyes. (E.g, the national anthem sung by kids all over the country). Just because the right claims to have cornered the market on patriotism doesn’t make it true.

  97. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: I’d like to know what proof of non-vaxxitude that dolt requires.

  98. Teve says:


    yeah, Jingoism ≠ Patriotism

  99. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: The dinnerware don’t cling to the person?

  100. Kathy says:


    If I weren’t, why would I be smiling 🙂

  101. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “To me (and that was the question), “the left” is “big government, social programs, and “trust us, we know what’s best for you”.”

    So to you, “the left” is actually a right-wing cartoon. Thanks for sharing that. Puts things into perspective.

  102. JohnSF says:

    Logic? What is this strange thing you speak of?

  103. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  104. CSK says:

    Saucy wench.

  105. Teve says:

    @wr: It’s a clueless caricature, for sure.

    But just to look at the purported claim—remember that couple who ate the fish tank chemical cuz Trump said Hydroxychloroquine cured it? Or Tennessee pastor Greg Locke, who said if any of his parishioners showed up wearing a mask they’d be kicked out? The people who think Bill Gates is sneaking population-control microchips into the vials? Or think the cure for coronavirus is Vitamin C, or Homeopathy? Or Oil of Oregano? Or ‘Miracle Mineral Solution’ aka industrial bleach?

    The CDC & Fauci do know better than those halfwits.

  106. JohnSF says:

    @grumpy realist:


    To paraphrase Blackadder:
    Libertarianism has one small problem.
    It is bollocks.

    See also, Communism; Anarcho-Syndicalism; Fascism; and various other utopias beloved of over-enthusiastic adolescents around the world, and throughout history; and generally with much more excuse than has a relatively well-off person in a rich modern democracy.

  107. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    And I think you’re wrong in saying that “the left is x”, where x=”anything”. Joe Biden and AOC are both “left” and they’re quite far apart on what they “are”.

    I’m not sure that “Joe Biden and AOC are both ‘left'” isn’t because “Democrat” means “left” in the current parlance where “Donald Trump, Jr” means “conservative” (and by extension “right”) rather than “flaming idiot.” A friend still living in Korea said in our last conversation how dismayed he is that “the left” supported “a conservative Democrat” like Biden. I suggested that “left” and “right” mean different things here than they do in a world that has both “leftists” and “rightists” rather than the sliding scale of “right” that exists in America. FFS, Reynolds a few weeks back was declaring himself a “hard left” liberal. WT_?

  108. JohnSF says:

    re: defining “Left”

    My understanding of the term is that it’s the part of the political spectrum most invested in pushing society in a more egalitarian direction.

    That’s an arguable POV now, in America, perhaps.
    But maybe because I’m getting old, tend to think in terms of historical traditions, and ain’t American, I’m still inclined to argue that regard for personal liberties and equalities as the basis of politics is a characteristic of liberal, rather than left politics.

    I’d define the left more as primarily interested in alleviation of economic inequality.

    I can think of numerous labour/socialist governments that were economically “left” but had pretty much zero interest in issues of either individual or “group” equity or liberty.

  109. JohnSF says:

    And to repeat an old personal hobby-horse: in traditional US politics IMO in many ways both parties are “liberals” (for an arbitrary value of “liberal”) with the republicans more aiming at an individualist liberty, the democrats more at the requisite foundation of equity.

    Though of course, that is a vast over-simplification (especially with the increasingly weird religio-populist trajectory of the Republicans)

  110. JohnSF says:

    When you’re a grifter, running a big grift, and you have to hire grifters to run your big grift, you have the teensy problem that they’ll as happily rip off you as they’ll rip off the marks.
    Sucks to be you, eh, Don?

  111. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    For the sake of clarity, we could rename the political sides, and group them where they belong, thus:

    Democrats make up the left-to-right spectrum.
    Republicans make up the wrong spectrum.

    Neat, yes?

  112. de stijl says:


    Re: random restaurant owner.

    How can anyone “prove” they are unvaccinated? Maybe a blood test could tell.

    I can prove that I am. I have a scrap of paper that documents both injections.

    I could potentially claim I was unvaccinated. Pretend I wasn’t. Why?

    I guarantee you that stone heart restaurant owner guy’s food is shitty. You never would eat there even if your life depended on it.

    Better off dumpster diving. Way less hassle and bullshit and not having to try to prove a negative.

    He should have just posted a sign outside his joint saying “I want to go bankrupt”.

  113. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    He be trollin’.
    Haw de f’in haw.
    What a dick.

  114. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    The reviews on Google and Yelp are excellent. Apparently the business hasn’t suffered yet.

  115. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain: I’m not sure what you mean bu “unlicensed”? I assume you don’t mean when one company licenses another company to produce their vaccine in exchange for a fee. I don’t think you mean unapproved, because of course you can’t even sell or distribute an unapproved vaccine, never mind mandating it. So I guess you are differentiating vaccines approved for emergency use and vaccines approved for general distribution? But there are all kinds of emergency use approval. This one does not mean by any stretch that the vaccine was not proven safe and effective – to the contrary, the FDA based this emergency use approval on just such findings. The emergency use declaration here has much more with the limitations on distribution, storage and usage. Doctors are not free to prescribe this off-label, I.e.for anything other than as a COVID vaccine, in contrast to almost any other drug. And the drug compannies cannot market or promote it. It shares these traits in common with virtually all other types of emergency use approvals, but that’s about it for commonality.

    This isn’t a like a cancer drug that has known horrible side effects but has been shown to help some few people in the end stages, so it is approved in emergency use for those patients provided they are given everything they need to make an informed choice, and are willing to take their chances. In fact, the emergency use authorization for COVID contains no such limitations or caveats. It is approved for wide spread usage in the general population with very few limitations after being shown to be safe and effective.

  116. de stijl says:


    Everyday before work I would stop in to 3 Bears coffee shop for a big black drip.

    The woman who was working the counter always called me “Smiley” and knew my call before I said anything. I think she was owner / proprietor.

    We got to chatting one day and I shared my name. Next day she greeted me with “Smiley x”

    I wish I could go back in time and share a big ole hug with her. She made my life better. She was an awesome person.

    Her name was Glorious and was perhaps the most positive person I have ever met. An immigrant from Western Africa.

  117. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: I think you’re over complicating the situation. I read the quoted selection as merely saying that people are sending money to pay for services related to a recount/accusations of large scale election fraud but that the money is being spent for FG’s personal legal fees, travel, and other perks of being a pseudo-rich guy who actually lives on OPM.

  118. de stijl says:


    Re 90s rock: Garbage.

    I was so in love with Shirley. Pissed off and fiery. Super hot.

    I think I’m Paranoid.

  119. de stijl says:

    Garbage spat out great songs like confetti.

    I think Special is my fave.

  120. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: It may be important to remember that Yelp will only post the nice things people say about your place if you pay them to. If I’m out of town looking for a place to eat, I’ll ask the guy at the mini mart or some random stranger before I’ll ask Yelp.

  121. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: No such thing as bad publicity. That’s what I suspect the owner was banking on.

  122. de stijl says:

    Garbage’s Special does a specific notable call-out to one of the best pop songs ever:

    Talk Of The Town by The Pretenders. 79 or 80. There abouts.

  123. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Garbage were OK.
    But, for bands with female vocalists I’m still in awe of : Curve.
    Or Cranes.

  124. Stormy Dragon says:

    The only non-chain restaurant in my area that didn’t make it through the pandemic was a diner whose owner went hard-core “COVID19 is a hoax and we refuse to do any masking”, which went bankrupt because a big chunk of their regular customers started avoiding it.

  125. Teve says:


    No such thing as bad publicity

    Would Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, and Larry Nasser agree with this?


  126. JohnSF says:

    Or, a bit earlier (1984), the incredible, immortal Cocteau Twins Pearly Dewdrops
    Or perhaps Bleach SHOTGUN! (play it loud!) from 1992

  127. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I didn’t know that about Yelp. I don’t think I’ve ever used online reviews for anything. Like you, I’ll ask a local for a restaurant recommendation.
    I had the same thought.

  128. Monala says:

    @Monala: just for fun, I looked up the video of the kids singing the national anthem from the Democratic convention, and even a year later it is still very moving.


  129. de stijl says:

    The Pretenders Talk Of The Town is righteous.

    Before I was in love with Shirley I was def in love with Chrissy.

    Don’t tell a soul. Such a voice she had!

    I made a wish
    Said it out loud
    Out loud in a crowd
    Everybody heard
    Twas the talk of the town


  130. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Ever hears the Smithereens “Behind the Wall of Sleep”? Fansong to Chrissy.

    Oh, bloody hell.
    “Lead singer Pat Dinizio died yesterday. Age 62.”
    And that’s from three years ago.
    Time will kill us all.

  131. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You must live in a bluer part of the nation. Our local place that decided to defy the masking and such rules had the parking lot filled all day every day until after the restrictions were lifted. Since then, they haven’t been doing even as well as pre-Covid-19–and they specialize in the kind of eating disorder, massive servings of stuff covered in cream gravy that’s been popular here since forever.

  132. de stijl says:


    Curve song gets blocked US Youtube for some whatever reason.

    Cranes I like a lot. Reminds of Frente!

    Frente!’s version of New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle has to be heard. Like Bela Lugosi’s Dead is to goth, Frente!’s Bizarre Love Triangle is to emo. The ur song.

    It is twee and Australian and very extremely fucking awesome.

  133. de stijl says:


    I have been into the Manchester scene lately. Looking things up. Hitting repeat. Just nerding out generally.

    Specifically on Joy Division and New Order.

    It is sublimely glorious.

  134. Mimai says:


    Well this didn’t get any traction! Nevertheless, I wanted to say “thank you” for posting it. These issues are not simple or straightforward. And they need thoughtful discussion. Otherwise, the only people who “discuss” them are, um, less than thoughtful.

  135. de stijl says:


    I enjoyed that a lot. Despite the chin stripe faux pas.

    I understand his obsession.

    One bit really caught my eye. When they superimposed a sped up shot of the sky and passing clouds onto the drum head.

    Somebody on the art team for Guided By Voices’ Alien Lanes album stole that look hard.

    Motor Away.