Inauguration Day Forum

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

Comments

  1. Teve says:
  2. de stijl says:

    Trump pardoned Bannon.

    I know that face. Those eyes.

    Bannon is a hard drinking man. I recognize that face. Those eyes. A drunky barely holding it together.

    Every night is struggle to drink enough to wash away the pain but not too much so I’m incapable tomorrow.

    I know him.

    3
  3. de stijl says:

    Okay, Taylor, Joyner coordinate.

    Unless you want to compete?

  4. PJ says:

    @de stijl:
    I am looking forward to Bannon being sued in civil court.

    1
  5. JohnMcC says:

    @PJ: Not only Bannon. Broidy and etc. Now with no 5th Amendment right to keep silent.

    2
  6. de stijl says:

    @PJ:

    With that stress he will crack hard. I am loving it already. Reap what you sow, motherfucker.

    1
  7. Teve says:
  8. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Sometimes ya gotta go for pure fun.

    Glamorous by Fergie.

    Btw, you’re stealing my schtick and I love it. Steal away.

  9. de stijl says:

    @Teve:
    @de stijl:

    A smaller man might be embarrassed by embracing pop fluff. I laugh at them.

    Olivia Rodrigo’s Driver’s Licence kicks fucking ass!

    1
  10. Teve says:
  11. PJ says:

    So, a pardon costs $2M, lets assume clemency costs $750K.

    That would be 73*2+143*0.75 = $253M minus whatever Giuliani etc will take for their part in the scheme.

    Still, easy money!

    1
  12. Teve says:
  13. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    I love that song!

    Educators should not use that word, but dayum…

    Plus Fergielicious. Actually the dudes pretty much carried that show.

  14. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Bad Romance

    That is a great ass song, man.

    It’s so spiky!

    1
  15. de stijl says:

    Bad Romance has 1.3b views. B as in billion.

    How many folks live on this planet?

  16. Teve says:
  17. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Best song of this century. No doubt.

  18. Teve says:
  19. de stijl says:

    The best bit of the Hey, ya! vid is the kids dancing at home. Makes me proud to be an American, frankly.

  20. de stijl says:

    It pisses me off the Big Boi and dre fell out. They were an awesome duo. The world needs more Stankonia.

  21. de stijl says:

    So fresh. So clean.

  22. sam says:
  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is [4 and one half hours away from being] over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws, and not of men. Here the people rule.

    Gerald Ford

    2
  24. Kylopod says:

    Things that managed, despite many doubters, to survive Trump’s presidency:

    Obamacare

    TikTok

    The Deep State

    Joe Biden’s candidacy

    American democracy

    5
  25. Scott says:

    @sam: That made me laugh out loud. But it surely isn’t real?

    1
  26. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: May be a bit technical, but I’ve always been fascinated by the fact they managed to have a massive hit dance song with a highly uncommon time signature (11/4 I believe).

  27. CSK says:

    @sam:
    Is this for real? It can’t possibly be?

  28. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    I assume Hey, Ya!

    It is a devilishly weird song in structure.

    Freaking great, but weird.

    Until unseated it is my song of the century.

    Propulsive and catchy as hell.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:
  30. Jim Brown 32 says:

    An incredibly glorious day! Its +45 here in Florida…still a little chilly…but we’ll take it since it means its -45 in DC.

    4
  31. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: I always said if American couldn’t survive one terrible Presidency it wasnt worth saving. Our system has antibodies against anti-democratic Presidents…which is good to know.

    1
  32. de stijl says:

    Any song that does “All right” × 14 (I counted) is all right by me.

  33. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: Remember back when it first came out how the Polaroid company issued a public statement informing people that it’s not good to, you know, shake a Polaroid picture?

    1
  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Gregg Housh
    @GreggHoush

    Possibly the sanest Trump supporter in the world, which isn’t saying much, yelling at cops to protect the Capitol.

    So at least one person there recognized the wrongness of what was happening on 1/6.

    1
  35. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Very clever. 😀

    3
  36. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Shake it.

    Sh shake it.

    Sh sh shake it.

    Next you will be telling me that Trump and other slugs did not encourage 1/6 rioters.

  37. PJ says:

    Dianne Feinstein defends GOP senators’ right to object to election results

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein defended Republican senators who objected to Electoral College results and downplayed the importance of an upcoming impeachment trial for President Trump, diverging from her Democratic colleagues.

    The California Democrat was asked Tuesday about Republicans who objected to the Electoral College results that Congress certified early Jan. 7, after a pro-Trump insurrection that resulted in five deaths had been cleared from the Capitol. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri led the objections to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory even after members of Congress were forced to hide from the rioters, and have faced calls for censure or punishment as a result.

    Feinstein, however, defended their right to object, calling Senate debate the “highest-level dialogue” in democracy.

    She also filed initial paperwork to run for re-election in 2024… When she’ll be 91.

  38. Kathy says:

    On completely irrelevant topics:

    I rather like the animated series Tron: Uprising. there are only two problems with it. One is that it only lasted a season, so obviously it will feel very incomplete. Too bad.

    The other is that I find it impossible to buy into the premise that the characters are programs living inside a computer. To be honest, I found it difficult since the original movie came out in 1982, but then they kind of worked harder at the pretense. Like one program saying his user would be very upset, or Clu receiving instructions from Flynn, or Tron getting data from Alan.

    In the series the programs have jobs, home, they drink, there’s weather, there’s water, they can drown, they sleep, they dream, they can choke on gas, they can get sick, etc. They’re way too human in a too normal environment. It’s more believable to think of it as an alien world, or a far future world.

    I had the same problem with another cartoon, Ozzy & Drix, a sequel to the Osmosis Jones movie. the protagonist are a generic white blood cell (Osmosis Jones, aka Ozzy), and a common cold capsule (Drix). They live in the body of a teenage boy called Hector, whom they help protect from pathogens and other dangers. The rest of Hector’s inhabitants are other kinds of cells (the mayor is a neuron, the chief of police a muscle cell, etc.)

    Fine, but they eat, sleep, have jobs, hobbies, take vacations, etc. and what is the body they live in made of? Cells!

    I still enjoyed it, as I’m enjoying Tron, so the disbelief doesn’t bother me. IT’s just an observation that a metaphor can be carried only so far.

    1
  39. Jen says:

    @PJ:

    She also filed initial paperwork to run for re-election in 2024… When she’ll be 91.

    IIRC, you can only transfer funds to other candidates from an active campaign committee fund, which requires being a perpetual candidate.

    3
  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Craigslist ad I just came across:

    To These Flag’n F-Tards Flag’n my Horseshoeing business (De Soto)
    © craigslist – Map data © OpenStreetMap
    To These Flag’n F-Tards Flag’n my Horseshoeing business!!! You are taking food out of their mouths, taking a roof from over their head, taking clothes off my family’s back. So you need to flag and block my business. To try to accumulate clients, because yours sucks so much. Let the clients judge for themselves. I can forgive one for trying to sabotage me, but when it comes to my family. It’s a complete different universe.

    He seems a little upset to me.

    1
  41. Mikey says:

    Damn…Lady Gaga can sing. I mean, yeah, she has all the big hits and whatnot but she was just up there all alone with no fancy studio stuff and she just absolutely nailed the National Anthem, which is notoriously difficult to absolutely nail.

    7
  42. Mikey says:

    History is made. For the first time in our history, America has a woman as Vice President.

    6
  43. DrDaveT says:

    Watching the administration of the oath, my wife and I simultaneously had the same realization: Trump was not forsworn! His oath was to do various things “to the best of my ability”, and he clearly never had any ability whatever to do any them.

    3
  44. JohnSF says:

    And there we are. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is sworn in.
    (It’s live on the two main UK terrestrial TV channels, BBC1 and ITV1)
    Congratulations to the United States of America!

    5
  45. Jax says:

    We made it, guys and gals. The deranged toddler no longer has control of the nuclear football. I have happy tears and an immense sense of relief.

    6
  46. RWB says:

    WOW! the crowds at Biden’s inauguration are huge, much bigger than Trumps!

    5
  47. Scott says:

    @Mikey: It was excellent. I watched her performance of “Climb Every Mountain” at the Oscars and knew she could nail the Star Spangled Banner.

    3
  48. Mikey says:

    “For there is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it…if only we are brave enough to be it.”

    I’m not crying. You’re crying.

    5
  49. Sleeping Dog says:

    @RWB:

    Yes the souls of the 400,000 Americans who died under Trump’s watch, were in attendance.

    9
  50. Kathy says:

    @Mikey:
    @Scott:

    She sang the national anthem once before in Super Bowl 50.

    1
  51. DrDaveT says:

    @Mikey: The line that got me was “not just by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”

    4
  52. CSK says:

    Melania didn’t write her own thank you notes to her staff; she had a minion do it.

    To be fair, however, I should point out that her grasp of written English is probably insufficient to the task. And she did sign them herself.

    2
  53. inhumans99 says:

    Doh…I thought there was no Inauguration forum up yet when I posted a few comments about the inauguration in the grief thread started by Kingdaddy.

    Catching up on most of the event on-line. I thought that Lady Gaga and J Lo did a solid job with their songs, and I was able to watch Garth Brooks live. Will enjoy catching up on bits of the event throughout the day.

    1
  54. Jen says:

    @CSK: That’s unfortunate (truly). One of the few things that people who work in the White House can keep are things like thank you notes, and written in their own handwriting it’s a memorable keepsake. Dumping the task on others is just so…Trumpian.

    1
  55. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    To me, the transition period felt as though it took far more than 2 and a half months. Probably due to all the events that filled it, including the Putsch of January 6th. It felt like the actual transfer of power would never come.

    Finally, it is here.

    2
  56. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    I initially was going to say “You’re thinking too hard” but that would be a bad take and perhaps perceived as semi-snotty.

    I’m glad my brain cells (the mayor?) Nipped that notion in the bud.

    Think hard about nonsensical plot holes.

    Tron 2 had Olivia Wilde who I like. Bridges, obviously.

    Unless it were an AI, programs have no agency. They are triggered and react as they were programmed to.

    A user sucked in would be static stuck in Memory jail frozen forever.

  57. de stijl says:

    @Mikey:

    Told you!

    (See Bad Romance comment)

  58. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I feel like I’ve just left an abusive relationship. I started feeling some hope when he got banned on Twitter, but damn….I didn’t realize what a release of stress seeing Biden sworn in would be!

    3
  59. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Tron 2 had Olivia Wilde who I like

    That was perhaps the one good thing about that movie.

    I don’t always think too hard. But when you see not just rain, but a “program” holding an umbrella, that’s just to much. Not to mention when you see a program using what amounts to a computer. What’s it running?

    Unless it were an AI, programs have no agency.

    Sure. And a user couldn’t talk to a program past inputs the program can comprehend. I can overlook that. I can also accept everyone’s armed with a deadly weapon, and that programs are as hard or easy to kill as their importance in the casting demands. That’s par for the course in modern entertainment; like how everyone is afraid of Stormtroopers in Star Wars, even though they’ve never once hit a target.

    1
  60. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Melania probably had it written into the pre-nup she had revised before she would agree to move into the White House that during her tenure as First Lady she’d have to do as little as possible. That probably included everyday traditional courtesies.

    In an odd way, she and Trump as well-suited. They both exploit others and then toss those people aside when they’ve outlived their usefulness. Why would they thank them?

    I’m sure the permanent WH staff are very glad to see the last of them.

    2
  61. Kylopod says:

    (Reposted after mistakenly posting to the wrong thread.)

    In March 2020, Byron York wrote a column titled “Three reasons Joe Biden will never be president.” The three reasons are:

    1. No one who served several decades in the Senate has ever become president. Proof: Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain all served several decades in the Senate and failed to become president.

    2. No former vice president out of office has ever become president–except Nixon. But Nixon was a lot younger, so that explains how he was able to overcome this hurdle.

    3. The “14-year-rule” says that no one whose first Senate or gubernatorial victory was 14 or more years ago has ever been elected president. As Biden’s first Senate victory was 47 years ago, that means he’ll never be president.

    I am not exaggerating. This is what Byron York, a prominent conservative pundit, was paid to write back in March of last year.

    5
  62. MarkedMan says:

    Just took a break and cycled through my news feeds. Went more quickly than usual and I gradually realized while there is still a fair amount of articles focusing on Trump, I had no interest in them. Examining my reaction a bit, I realized that I was categorizing them in the Celebrity Gossip mental category, and I almost never click on that.

    2
  63. CSK says:

    Well, it’s 3:33 p.m., and as far as I can tell, no armed patriots have stormed either the White House or the Capitol Building again to Take Back Their Country.

    2
  64. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Now he can repurpose that column with the title “Correlation is not Causation, and Here’s the Proof!”

    One could point that out. Also that with under 100 elections stretching over 232 years, hard stats are impossible to find.

    3
  65. Jen says:

    Bloomberg is reporting that at 12:04 p.m. the Chinese government sanctioned a whole bunch of Trump administration types including Mike Pompeo, Peter Navarro, Steve Bannon, and more (28 in total). They cannot set foot in China (or Hong Kong or Macau), nor can their families, AND any companies or institutions that are even associated with these individuals will face sanctions from China.

    That will likely hurt some job prospects.

    4
  66. Kathy says:

    Some Q anon fantasists (can’t think of a better term), are suffering major trauma as reality shatters their unhinged fantasy world.

    Others are doubling down, parsing whatever verbal diarrhea any trump spews for clues.

    And a few, the deity have mercy, are embracing a new savior: Joe Biden.

    You.Can’t.Make.This.Stuff.Up.

    3
  67. Kathy says:

    It seems hard to believe, but it was only four months ago, late September, when we* were horrified that the US had reached 7 million COVID cases and 200,000 deaths.

    *At least I know I was.

  68. Sleeping Dog says:
  69. Joe says:

    @Jen: How about Ivanka, she of the many trademarks?

  70. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Yes. They all got played. Jerks.

  71. de stijl says:

    Mike Pompeo deserves to be a faceless, nameless intern at some obscure company who make ephemeral floss deep the hinterlands. I hear MyPillow is hiring.

    Like Papadopolous – a coffee boy.

    Karma never works as it should.

    Dude is gonna land on two feet and make a fortune on the lecture circuit. Fuck me.

    1
  72. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Now he can repurpose that column with the title “Correlation is not Causation, and Here’s the Proof!”

    I think there are other logical fallacies there as well, such as cherry-picking, and, I think, false dichotomy. He isn’t considering the possibility that a particular attribute of a candidate may be a weakness without guaranteeing the candidate’s electoral defeat.

    I’m reminded of a popular bit of presidential election lore, which is the idea that “the taller candidate always wins.” This happens to be false, as there are several counterexamples just in the modern TV age. Romney was taller than Obama; Kerry was taller than Bush; Ford was taller than Carter. What is accurate is that presidents are significantly taller on average than the general American populace, and what’s especially striking is that this tendency seems to predate the TV era and go back to the beginning of the Republic. Washington himself was 6’2″, which was very tall for his time (I think the average height for a man at the time was 5’7″).

    The problem with reasoning from that to the conclusion that “the taller candidate always wins” is, as you put it, confusing correlation with causation. But more specifically–and this is what’s relevant to Byron York’s arguments–it only considers the vote between two major-party nominees, and ignores the entire process of how the men got to be nominees in the first place. Very likely the taller average height of presidents reflects trends that start much earlier than the general election. Taller men are likelier to be nominated than shorter men, and it’s possible the pool of people who get to be even considered as potential candidates are taller on average than the general populace. And while there’s research suggesting people subconsciously tend to associate height with leadership, there are other factors that could play a role. The men who have been major candidates for the presidency in our nation’s history have always tended to be wealthier than average, and also have tended to be of predominantly Northern European ancestry.

    York is making many of the same errors. Take the idea that there haven’t been very many vice presidents to make it to the presidency outside of succession. This is true, but there also haven’t been very many such vps who have become presidential nominees in the first place. This may be an interesting fact in itself, but it doesn’t really tell us anything about how strong or weak such a candidate is as a nominee in the general election.

    One thing I will say is that York gets close to some possible truths about presidential politics, but ruins it by going overboard. I think Biden is in a category of candidates who are essentially heirs apparent to previous presidents. Historically, such candidates have often been vice presidents, but not always. In the 19th century there were several Sec. of State in this category, and Taft and Hoover held other administration positions. I believe Hillary Clinton, in 2016, fell in this category.

    In any case, heir-apparent candidates–whether they successfully reach the presidency or not–tend to be viewed by the public at large as weaker than the presidents they’re associated with, as existing in the shadow of the more dominant figure. John Adams to Washington was the first example of this phenomenon, and it’s a pattern that’s been repeated over and over throughout American history.

    2
  73. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I have to go back to there having been few elections in over two centuries, and thus we can’t generalize from it.

    For example, I can’t recall a political outsider ever winning. therefore Trump can’t possibly win four years ago.

    And yet…

    You get this spurious correlations for many other major events. No team qualifying as the bottom seed has won the Super Bowl, or no team playing all post season games on the road either. But there’s only a few Super Bowls, and they are also spread widely in time.

    Not to mention these kind of correlations tend to ignore specifics. In this case, there was more animus against Trump than support for the Orange Ass. This, BTW, fulfills Heinlein’s dictum: there may not be a candidate worth voting for, but there’s always one worth voting against.

    1
  74. Jen says:

    @Joe: Unfortunately, apparently no. She of sweatshop fame is not on the list.

    1
  75. Jen says:

    @de stijl: He’s establishing the groundwork for a 2024 run, no kidding. He really thinks he’s going to be able to compete in 2024. I don’t think he’ll do well in NH, but who knows.

    1
  76. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: York is a perfect example of the reason I’m constantly searching for good conservative writers. The few times I’ve bothered reading him he struck me as a moderately intelligent guy with a mediocre imagination who is simply repackaging the “conservative conventional wisdom”* of the day. The problem is, that pretty much defines the perfect conservative writer in the view of the right wing power brokers, i.e. the people that fund such pundits. There is no incentive to be creative or innovative and an actual disincentive to be intellectually consistent (after all, you have to be able to pivot from being a deficit hawk to advocating “conservative” programs that blow up the budget, sometimes in the space of one column).

    There is no shortage of progressive writers who think things through and understand them at a deep level before they open their mouths. Fallows, Klein, Madrigal pop right into my head (what is it about current or former affiliation with The Atlantic?). I have to admit, I don’t follow anyone I consider lefty as I find their analysis just act weak as the conservatocracy, and unlike that group they are fronting groups that have very little power.

    I find Rod Dreher at TAC endlessly fascinating. He’s a guy capable of deep thought, and who wants to be consistent but is so driven by deep, visceral fears he can’t keep it up for more than a few days before he goes off the deep end. Most fascinating to me is that, in this day and age, he is often driven to hysterics by the belief that literal demons are acting against him and other righteous men. (And yes, I mean “literal” literally.)

    *Despite the name, it is neither conservative or wise, although it is conventional

    3
  77. Terri says:

    @Kathy:

    You get this spurious correlations for many other major events. No team qualifying as the bottom seed has won the Super Bowl, or no team playing all post season games on the road either.

    I’ve just been following this great blog for a while and I’ve learned a lot from the conversations. I just couldn’t let this pass.
    SuperBowl XLV–Green Bay Packers, 6th seed (bottom), all games on the road–won it all.

    3
  78. Terri says:

    @Kathy:

    You get this spurious correlations for many other major events. No team qualifying as the bottom seed has won the Super Bowl, or no team playing all post season games on the road either.

    I’ve just been following this great blog for a while and I’ve learned a lot from the conversations. I just couldn’t let this pass.
    SuperBowl XLV–Green Bay Packers, 6th seed (bottom), all games on the road–won it all.

    1
  79. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    I can imagine a crowded GOP field for 2024 which includes Donnie, Jr., and Javanka, even before the Trump cabinet leftovers form their exploratory committees.

    I do hope the Orange Ass will carry through on his threat and set up his own party. That would go a long way in really fracturing the right wing, and perhaps allowing a reformed GOP to emerge (not likely).

    The duopoly is quite entrenched. Even a charismatic figure like Perot couldn’t crack it from outside (I wonder if he’d have won had he run for the GOP nomination). Trump might, as he has a large, for some reason loyal following he has just sold out. But then any people remaining int he Republican party would go to war against him.

    At best, from the GOP’s point of view, Trump’s party drives him to a well-deserved oblivion. At worst it breaks the GOP in half.

    So I’m saying this would be a venture for Soros to get behind 😉

    BTW, there was a period during the 2016 primaries, before it was certain Trump would get the nomination, when the GOP leadership begged him not to run on a third party ticket if he lost the nomination.

    1
  80. Terri says:

    @Kathy:
    You get this spurious correlations for many other major events. No team qualifying as the bottom seed has won the Super Bowl, or no team playing all post season games on the road either.

    I’ve just been following this great blog for a while and I’ve learned a lot from the conversations. I just couldn’t let this pass.
    SuperBowl XLV–Green Bay Packers, 6th seed (bottom), all games on the road–won it all.

  81. Mu Yixiao says:

    Can anyone recommend some good news sources? And/or pundits?

    Right now, I get my news from BBC and Al Jazeera. The reasons are two-fold: 1) They have an RSS feed, 2) They have “static” websites (it’s not auto-play video and crap flashing all over my screen).

    * I don’t mind if the source has a bias–as long as it’s not too much and I understand what it is.
    * They MUST have an RSS feed. I don’t care if it’s just the headline and sub-head.
    * They should adhere to the basics of good journalism.

    I know I’m posting this at the end of the day. I’ll repost it in tomorrow’s open forum if needed.

  82. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I have a custom news aggregator that I’ve had since the 90’s (don’t laugh), but it’s my.yahoo. Gives me the top 3 headlines from anywhere that has an RSS (including local/regional feeds), and I get to add and delete as I please. I’ve literally been using it since the 90’s, so it’s like an old comfortable shoe. 😉 Memeorandum does pretty much the same thing, but it’s national. I also have Lawfare, emptywheel, OTB, Ordinary Times, The Bulwark, and a few other sites bookmarked for easy reference.

  83. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    To speak to Byron York’s motivations, he hoped to influence Dem voters away from Biden. Which was probably his motivation for the column.

    2
  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I dunno. If my band had been chosen to march in an inaugural parade when I was teaching music, I would pick that if the outgoing Prez was Trump. It might well be the only tune we played–when I marched, our bands usually played 3 or 4.

    1
  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @PJ: Going after Strom Thurmond’s record? She’ll need one more reelection after ’24.

    1
  86. Mikey says:

    My wife and I are watching the inauguration special and Tim McGraw is playing from Nashville. I said something like “Nashville that got blown up by some whacko on Christmas” and she said “what?…oh, yeah, that’s right” and I’m like wow, the last month had been such a complete shitshow that a suicide bomber in a major American city didn’t even rate.

    I’m not at all religious but still…thank God Trump is finally gone.

    1
  87. MarkedMan says:

    @Terri: Terri! The perfect first post!

  88. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I have a ranking of news sources that I think is useful.

    Table Stakes: Honesty and Objectivity

    Most Important: Size. Let’s be serious. While there are many news sources that can get reporting from any area on short notice, they do so by accessing a database of stringers for other organizations and maybe free-lancers who they deal with only occasionally. When the melamine scandal hit China a decade or so ago only the New York Times was able to get over 100 reporters and assistants in the field on a moments notice, coordinate them through a competent staff, and send them to over twenty different factories involved in the scandal and get interviews on record befor the Chinese government realized what was going on and shut it down. BBC might be able to pull it off. The wire services have the people but not the oversight, coordination, or editorial knowhow. And TV news is a joke. All their budget goes to getting lighting, camera crews and pretty faces to stand in front of a beautiful building near where something actually occurred.

    Next: Willingness to call it like it is. This is why I stopped reading the Washington Post for a couple of decades. In Washington politics is a game and the Post is a home town paper. They could report on what one or another of the players said but were oh so careful never to judge whether black was white or up was down. They’ve been better in the Trump years but it won’t last.

    Next: Smartness. There are darn few resources that push smart people to the front. The Atlantic pushing Ta Nahesi Coates to the front and center was based on his brutality honest and minimalist analysis, and not because he checked the diversity box. Coates comforts no one.

    Here are my everyday general News Sources with reporting as opposed to analysis or opinion:
    NYT
    WaPo (for now)
    Atlantic
    NPR (audio only)
    Talking Points Memo for reasons I find hard to put into words

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  89. Kathy says:

    @Terri:

    Yeah, that’s why I said spurious.

    The Steelers played three playoff road games before winning Super Bowl 40.

  90. inhumans99 says:

    I just realized that Alex Padilla represented the 7th district in Los Angeles, which is where I grew up (San Fernando Valley, aka…Latino District) and since he was sworn in by VP Harris CA has just experienced a 180 degree turn when it comes to how we will go from being retaliated by the powers that be in D.C. to gaining back some cachet when it comes to setting the tone for the rest of the nation. With Padilla taking VP Harris’s spot in the Senate us Californians have some significant representation in D.C..

    In the abstract, it feels good. One of the more odious things Trump did during his time in office is try to pit Red States against Blue States, and threaten retaliation against states like CA. We no longer have the sword of Trump hanging over our heads, again…it feels good and I admit I breathed a sigh of relief today.

  91. Terri says:

    @Kathy:

    I did catch “spurious”, but didn’t know there was another counter-example. Actually, I don’t follow football very much. It’s just hard to avoid the Packers in this neck of the woods.

    BTW–I didn’t mean to post 3 times. I was trying to end block quotes by experimenting. I should have known the #$%^& edit button wouldn’t function properly.

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  92. Terri says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Thanks, but I guarantee my future posts won’t live up to that standard :).
    Do you or anyone know what I finally did to get the block quote to end properly?

  93. Jax says:

    @Terri: No, ever since the last update, we all feel like we won the lottery if we get a block-quote option OR an Edit button.

    Welcome to the crew!