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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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Vampire Ship

    On April 28, 2014, a fishing trawler intercepted an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, a day after the tanker had left Dubai for Greece. Three men climbed aboard the tanker and spent the night packing hundreds of small sacks of heroin, weighing at least two metric tons in total, into its ballast boxes. After they finished, two of the men sailed back to the coast. One stayed behind. He carried a handgun and ordered the tanker’s crew to keep sailing.

    By late May, the tanker, which was called the Noor One, had passed through the Suez Canal. Early on the morning of June 6, it nosed into Elefsina, a grimy port just west of Athens. The next afternoon, four Kurdish men in a black Mercedes SUV pulled up in front of the ship, hauled the sacks of heroin out of the Noor One’s ballasts, and began transporting them toward Athens.

    The Kurds had spent years preparing for the heroin’s arrival. They had negotiated to pay more than $20 million for the Plaza Resort on the Attic Riviera, planning to use the tourist destination as a money-laundering site for proceeds from its sale. They had leased a warehouse and an industrial chicken coop in the olive groves near Athens International Airport; here, the Noor One’s heroin would be diluted with more than five tons of marble dust from a quarry on nearby Mount Pentelikon. To transport the shipment, they had purchased a forklift and several hundred canvas bags stamped “Pakistan White Sugar.” In early May, an associate from Belgium had arrived in a cargo truck outfitted with secret compartments. The truck was supposed to move most of the heroin to a port in northwest Greece, then across the Adriatic by ferry to Italy. From there, it would be distributed to the street corners of Belgium and the Netherlands, kicking back hundreds of millions of euros to its owners.

    All the pieces were in place, in other words, for a latter-day Mediterranean sequel to The French Connection. But as was the fate of that famed heroin transaction, the Noor One deal quickly unraveled.
    ………………………………………
    But that was just the beginning of the story. The seizure of the drugs shipped on the Noor One has triggered a long series of seismic aftershocks in Greece and around the world. The planners of the smuggling operation have turned on one another in a war of retribution that has left at least 17 people dead on three continents. Phone records are exposing scores of police whom the smugglers bought off, from Turkey to the United Arab Emirates. In Greece, an investigation into the Noor One captivated the national press—and then spurred a new wave of public interest in the case via a preliminary criminal trial and the rise of a new media magnate. The country’s current prime minister and one of his predecessors have accused each other of having connections to the heroin. And an ongoing investigation into who funded the Noor One threatens to ensnare Greek oligarch Evangelos Marinakis, one of the most powerful figures in global shipping and soccer.

    A long but very intriguing, and convoluted, story that has a few more chapters to be written before it is finished.

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  2. Bill says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Louisville police department announced early on Tuesday morning that it will restrict vehicle traffic downtown “due to increased attention and activity in anticipation of an announcement” and to “ensure the area is as safe as possible for those coming downtown to express their first amendment rights”.

    The department also declared a “state of emergency”, which means all off-days and vacation will be cancelled and officers will be expected to work 12-hour shifts. Federal buildings in downtown Louisville have closed, according to local news station WAVE 3, and federal forces have been summoned to protect federal buildings.

    Seems to me it would have been cheaper to not have issued a “no knock warrant” on an apartment he hadn’t lived at in quite some time, but that’s just me.

    Legal experts have said that whether the officers will be charged is unclear but may be unlikely given the protection that is offered to police.

    Apparently, others disagree.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Trump memo on Comey firing was ‘tinfoil helmet material’, Mueller prosecutor says

    Weissmann says Comey’s firing reminded him of the case of John “the Teflon Don” Gotti, in 1992. The lead prosecutor, he writes, explained to him then that “the outcome of this case would not hinge on the proof – the proof was overwhelming.

    “The verdict hinged, instead, on the degree to which the proceedings would be interrupted or undone by interference – whether witnesses would be coerced out of testifying, the jury would be tampered with, or the jury would simply be too intimidated to render the proper decision.”

    Weissmann contends that at the end of a near-two-year investigation, Mueller himself was too intimidated to render the proper decision.

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  5. Bill says:
  6. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Donald Trump’s original draft statement justifying his firing of the former FBI director James Comey was “tinfoil helmet material”, according to a top prosecutor who worked for the special counsel Robert Mueller, and who in a new book calls the draft “excruciatingly juvenile, disorganized and brimming with spite, incoherent and narcissistic”.

    So, basically a representation of Trump himself.

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  7. CSK says:

    Or you could call this the Hump Day Forum.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US airlines are facing what one leading analyst calls a “Thelma and Louise” moment as the industry approaches a government-funding deadline that could decide its future.

    On 30 September a government aid packages used to protect workers expires, the airlines have already announced huge layoffs but what comes next could be even worse.
    ……………………………………
    The situation is dire. Over the summer, American and Southwest both posted quarterly losses, with American dropping more than 86% to $1.6bn from nearly $12bn a year earlier. Southwest’s sales fell to $1bn, a drop of 83% from $5.9bn last year. With passengers avoiding airline travel over the peak summer months, conditions have barely improved.

    Delta has warned that it may furlough more than 1,900 pilots, American said in July it could cut up to 19,000 workers and United could furlough 36,000 workers or nearly 40% of its staff, if enough employees do not accept buyout packages.

    “Travel since March has been subsidized and the activity that is out there is 70% down and at fares 30% lower than they used to be,” said Mann. “There are no business travelers out there because companies have told them they’re under a travel ban, and if you do then don’t come back in the office.”

    International travel is down even more dramatically, with carriers operating a reported 2% to 4% of their normal number of flights.

    I find it hard to believe that the GOP is going to drive off the layoff cliff just before an election, but they may have decided they are toast and they want to burn as much of everything down as possible and then blame Biden for not being able to wave a magic wand and fix it all.

    Last week, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told the Dallas Business Journal his guess is the industry will receive more financial support from the government.

    “My guess is that there is a Cares Act II, and I think as long as it has enough room, my guess is that there will be support for the airlines again,” Kelly said.

    The logic for it was simple, he continued: “The whole idea was to preserve the infrastructure and the jobs to get through this trough. And I think that that was a good idea. I think the only mistake was everyone underestimated how long that trough is going to take.

    Not for a second do I believe they can’t connect the cause/effect dots, but I’ll bet donuts to dollars he and his fellow board members have contributed mucho dinero to Republicans in the run up to this election because they think they are personally immune from the impending disaster.

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  9. Jen says:
  10. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I am not sure I would care to consume the food offerings of someone named “Malaise.”

    And…”Pho Keene Great”? Seriously?

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  11. senyordave says:

    My wife and I have been watching The Handmaid’s Tale these past two weeks. We never binge watch anything, plus we are getting the DVD’s through the library, so we are only through episode in Season 2. It is unquestionably the most disturbing show I have ever watched. No horror movie comes close to some of the horrific images in the show. We usually watch at night, and then we’ll discuss what we saw when we walk the next morning (we take a three mile walk every morning). I always question whether you could get people to do the things they show. Surgeons amputating hands as punishment, sewing women’s mouths shut, etc. Male guards pistol whipping the handmaids, mock mass executions.
    I’m not sure I will make it through the whole series, it is so exhausting and depressing to watch. And yes, I suspect you probably could get people in this country to do some pretty horrible things. The Germans had no problems getting women to work in Auschwitz.

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  12. sam says:

    One Man’s Trash contains the wonderful word ‘encrappification’.

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  13. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I find it hard to believe that the GOP is going to drive off the layoff cliff just before an election

    Unfortunately I think you are underestimating just how disconnected from reality your average Republican is.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: That could well be true. The closest I get to FOX is the American Conservative, never mind OAN. I don’t listen to AM radio either.

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This new commenting plug in has a few bugs. Not that the old one didn’t but for me they used to be very rare occurrences. Just now, for the 2nd time this AM, after posting a comment my comment remained in the composing box, and once it reappeared after I refreshed the page.

    Just an FYI.

    Oh yeah, Microsoft (10?) and Firefox.

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  16. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    The edit function has mysteriously disappeared. I have to refresh the page to get the latest comments. I’m using a Chromebook.

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  17. Kylopod says:

    @senyordave: I commented on the show here recently, and I’m interested in reading the original novel but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. (I’m a bit puzzled as to how New England is supposed to become Ground Zero for a takeover by Christian extremists, but maybe it made more sense in the book’s 1980s context. One commentator I saw explained it by saying New England used to be more conservative–but I don’t think that really holds true; it was a bastion of liberal Republicanism, which isn’t quite the same thing. It’s been one of the most secular regions of the country for more than a century, even when it voted Republican, just as the Deep South was heavily evangelical even back when it voted Democrat.) I took some issues with the direction the show takes later, but to avoid spoilers I won’t discuss my thoughts here. I agree that the first two seasons are absolutely riveting, and way more disturbing than overt gore-fests like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: It just disappeared for me too in the last half hour or so, maybe more. It’s been here and gone all morn, mere here than gone, and when it was gone refreshing seemed to bring it back. No more.

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  19. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I was thinking of switching to my laptop that’s loaded with Firefox, but I guess that won’t help, since you’re using Firefox.

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  20. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: When I read the book, I just assumed that it was because New England would be the easiest to cut off from the rest of the country, geographically speaking. It could also be that it was where she felt most comfortable writing about.

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  21. Kathy says:

    There was a phrase common in the late 90s about the Palestinians (ie the PLO), and how they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    This applies all the more so to Trump.

    Consider, if he had just moderated his rhetoric a bit, stopped attacking the media and the Democrats, and Democratic voters, for all issues major and especially minor (or even insignificant), and made even a token effort to reach out to the majority who didn’t vote for him, he’d have had a more normal (aka positive) approval rating and pretty much coasted to reelection 8with a caveat I’ll get to in a moment).

    Or think about the Russia investigation. It was ongoing since before the election, but ti wasn’t a big deal until after he fired Comey. That made it a scandal, plus AG Sessions had already recused himself from it. An FBI investigation, even of a presidential campaign, does not attract anywhere near the interest and prurience as a Special Counsel investigation does.

    Lastly, the pandemic. Managing a pandemic is not easy. But all Trump had to do was give the lead to the experts in the CDC and associate agencies, and appoint someone to set up and coordinate a national response. He could then appear in daily briefings, read statements prepared for him by scientists and PR people, and urge the country to follow the guidelines. It would have been easier for him, and better for the country and the world.

    There would still have been massive amounts of cases and deaths, and massive damage to the economy, but it wouldn’t have been seen as his fault or responsibility.

    There’s a lot more, but going over each would take a looooong time*. What’s clear to me is that Trump is too stupid, or stubborn, or ignorant (not sure which or what combination), to do even simple things for his own benefit, when he can instead indulge his grievance and hurt real or imagined enemies.

    It bears noting these “enemies” may not even wish him ill, much less be working against him, but merely differ in opinion or politics, or offer criticism of Trump’s actions. Afterwards, of course, they will begin to work against him, as anyone would.

    *A brief list: Kashogi, Putin, Syria, Kim, Iran, the useless wall, concentration camps for children, dangerous unarmed black people who must be kept out of the suburbs, etc.

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Give it a try anyway. My computer hates me. Maybe yours doesn’t.

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  23. Teve says:

    Lol. Hugh Hewitt, being his usual tard self, started talking about how deeply anti-Catholic the Democrats are. Approximately 6,000 people pointed out that both Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are Catholic, and Hugh started lashing out.

    @KevinMKruse

    I’ve been called “intellectually dishonest” by Hugh Hewitt, which is sort of like Brad Pitt telling you you’re handsome.

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  24. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:
    @Jen:

    Imagining and writing about a dystopia is easier than imagining and writing about how it came to be. The latter gets to be relegated to the background or given a purposefully distorted backstory (see 1984).

    It’s easy to see why: can we even explain the reasons for the dystopia we find ourselves in right now? Do we even know what all the relevant events and conditions are?

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  25. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I’m a seventh-generation New Englander on the paternal side, and the region certainly wasn’t any less secular in the 1980s. It’s not that people don’t attend church, synagogue, or mosque; it’s that they’re not in-your-face about it the way parts of the south and midwest are. If I moved to a new town in Massachusetts, no one would ask me if I’d found my “church home” yet, the way they would if I were in Iowa or Tennessee.

    It’s ironic, in a way, because 17th century New England (what there was of it) was of course absolutely God-ridden. Most people here believe in minding their own business. Happily.

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  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: What’s clear to me is that Trump is too stupid, or stubborn, or ignorant (not sure which or what combination), to do even simple things for his own benefit, when he can instead indulge his grievance and hurt real or imagined enemies.

    It’s his narcissism. Everything, absolutely everything, is about him. If it’s a good thing, he’s responsible for it. If it’s a bad thing, it’s obviously the result of some evil lefty plot against him.

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  27. Teve says:

    Lastly, the pandemic. Managing a pandemic is not easy. But all Trump had to do was give the lead to the experts in the CDC and associate agencies, and appoint someone to set up and coordinate a national response. He could then appear in daily briefings, read statements prepared for him by scientists and PR people, and urge the country to follow the guidelines. It would have been easier for him, and better for the country and the world.

    There would still have been massive amounts of cases and deaths, and massive damage to the economy, but it wouldn’t have been seen as his fault or responsibility.

    All he’s done, all his life, is bullshit and deny responsibility. Any intelligent person would’ve done as you suggest.

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  28. Teve says:

    13-yro autistic kid stands disobediently. A cop empties his gun at him.

    https://twitter.com/davenewworld_2/status/1308401343149809664?s=21

    WTF is wrong with these cops.

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  29. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @Teve:

    You know how water always flows downhill, and an electric current moves through the path of least resistance?

    Essentially that’s what Trump had to do, especially with the pandemic, but chose to flow uphill where resistance was worse, all in pursuit of a worse outcome.

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  30. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    It’s not that people don’t attend church, synagogue, or mosque; it’s that they’re not in-your-face about it the way parts of the south and midwest are.

    True–though in fact its church attendance is among the lowest in the country.

    It’s ironic, in a way, because 17th century New England (what there was of it) was of course absolutely God-ridden.

    And I think the show (I don’t know if this was in the novel) does seem to be deliberately calling up some of the stereotypical imagery of Puritan New England, with the handmaids’ dress and headgear.

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  31. Teve says:
  32. KM says:

    @senyordave :
    The truly horrifying part is that Atwood didn’t have to make up much – many of the atrocities are things that’s actually been done to women and subjected people over the centuries to punish and maintain control. She wove together terrors with to create a possible dystopia based on what we know already exists. Gilead is very possible under the right circumstances…. and those circumstances are far more likely then people are comfortable thinking about.

    And yes, I suspect you probably could get people in this country to do some pretty horrible things.

    You definitely can. Give them a framework or legal system that allows it and watch that number increase. As we’ve seen with the rise of Trump, once you allow someone to publicly indulge in their inner bastard, they’ve got no problems gleefully turning on their fellow citizens. Make that violence and hate legal or morally obligated? The show may end up being a best case scenario….

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  33. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    The clothing the female characters in THT wear somewhat resembles that which Amish girls and women wear, and I think some people believe that Atwood based her fiction on the Amish. The Amish have denied that there is any similarity between their practices and those of the THT dystopia. Indeed, I’ve never heard of the Amish engaging in torture and subjugation.

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  34. Mister Bluster says:

    Bears Hall Of Fame Running Back Gayle Sayers Dead At 77
    Chicago Bears legend Gayle Sayers, known as the “Kansas Comet,” became the youngest player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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  35. mattbernius says:

    Bloomberg Raises $16 Million to Clear Debts and Restore Voting Rights of Former Felons in Florida
    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/09/bloomberg-clears-debts-restore-voting-rights-former-felons-florida.html

    I am happy that he finally did something about this. I hope that this is not too little and too late for these system-impacted folks to participate in this year’s election.

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  36. James Joyner says:

    Testing “replies to my comments only” functionality as logged-out user.

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  37. James Joyner says:

    @James Joyner: Conducting said test by replying to my own comment.

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  38. Michael Cain says:

    When the comment textbox is preloaded with something I’ve typed seems to be pseudo-random. Firefox 80.0.1 on MacOS 10.15.6.

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  39. Jen says:

    @CSK: Interesting–I see now the Amish attire notion, but I always thought THT resembled convent clothing. Notably, I was raised Catholic, so I wonder how much of my impression has to do with my upbringing. Also, the Catholic Church *does* have a bit of history with both torture (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!) and subjugation, so there’s that.

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  40. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    Also, the Catholic Church *does* have a bit of history with both torture (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!)

    The Spanish Inquisition was started by King Phillip (IIRC) in opposition to Rome as a political tool. And… everybody expected the Inquisition–They gave you 30 days notice so you would have time to “think on your sins and repent”.

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  41. Monala says:

    @CSK: I have eaten at a number of pho restaurants that use it in some sort of play on words… Pho Real, Pho King…

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  42. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Oh, indeed the RC church does have a history of torture and subjugation. But then, the seventeenth century Protestant inhabitants of Mass. weren’t too kind to those whom they considered to be witches: drowning, hanging, pressing. There are few major religions that don’t have some sort of bloodthirsty history.

    Atwood said she was inspired by several things: the rise of the Christian right, the Islamic revolution, and the tale of Mary Webster. Webster, who lived in Hadley, Ma., was hanged in 1684 and apparently buried alive–but survived.

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  43. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    Pho sure. 😀

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  44. JohnMcC says:

    There was quite a thread here when Aunt Jemima changed their branding. Uncle Ben’s rice has now followed suit.

    Which was to experiment with the comment function. Popped right up after ‘refreshments’.

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  45. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That’s a Monty Python sketch, I guess I shouldn’t assume everyone is familiar with it.

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  46. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster: As a Chicagoan I used to watch Sayers as a little kid. He could read a field in a split second and accelerate like a Tesla, but it was the sheer beauty of him in full sprint, leaping gracefully over opponents, that took my breath away.

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  47. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    I’m very familiar with it.

    I just enjoy being pedantic sometimes and sharing odd bits of trivia.

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  48. Mu Yixiao says:

    Maine court approves ranked choice voting for federal elections.

    Won’t make much difference given the third-party choices, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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  49. Monala says:

    @Mister Bluster: The hardest I’ve ever cried while watching a movie was during, “Brian’s Song.”

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  50. MarkedMan says:

    Just trying to comment from Chrome icognito mode, and therefore no OTB browsing history, and seeing if i will get the edit function.

    FWIW in both incognito and regular mode I’m getting the subscribe function with “Don’t Subscribe” as the default.

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  51. MarkedMan says:

    Edit function did not appear

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  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Monala: Everyone cries at “Brian’s Song”. It’s considered Proof of Life

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  53. Bill says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Everyone cries at “Brian’s Song”. It’s considered Proof of Life

    And James Caan says the N word at least twice in Brian’s Song. Try saying that on a major network television show or movie today…..

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  54. Bill says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Maine court approves ranked choice voting for federal elections.

    It’s probably good news I don’t live in Maine then. Who do I rank first Benson Dubois or Eugene Xavier Gatling?

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  55. Kurtz says:

    The movie JFK came out in 1991. Garrison cracks a throwaway joke when he describes another character (Guy Bannister IIRC) as “slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.”

    Nearly 30 years later, I guess it wouldn’t be so absurd to be taken as humor. Apparently being to the right of a ruthless warmonger is a badge of honor.

    The GOP is a joke.

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  56. Mister Bluster says:

    The item I linked to that was apparently written by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from the south side of Chicago spelled Mr. Sayers’ first name “Gayle”. Every other source I can find including the Bear’s NFL site and the NFL Hall of Fame site spells it “Gale”.
    I should also note that Gale Sayers was the Athletic Director at my Alma Mater, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale from 1976 to 1981.

    ETA The edit function has reappeared after I hit “Post Comment” once and then reloaded the page after it posted the first time.

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  57. Mister Bluster says:

    Test 8 98.6

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  58. Mister Bluster says:

    Test 8 98.6

    Fail

    No Edit Function

    ETA Edit Function Returns.

    Edit function sure is fickle.

    ETA Flying Fickle Finger of Fate

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  59. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Monala: I don’t cry easily, but while doing research for a piece I was writing, I watched his tribute to Brian Piccolo near the end of Brian’s Song. I lost it at that point.

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  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m reminded of what I heard some RWNJ (I believe it was someone named Lars Larsen) said considering the downrange destruction of the auto industry while he was opposing the bailout in 2008:

    At least we’d be getting rid of all those high-paying jobs.

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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I guess that the moral to this story is to be thankful that the police in SLC are deficient in shooting range practice. 🙁 Pretty rare for a police officer to empty his gun into a suspect and have the suspect live.

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  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Monala: Longview WA’s best pho restaurant is called “Pho Evah.” (And I know that it’s the best because I don’t actually like pho, but will go have it there.)

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  63. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jen:
    Keep living up to your state motto, guys/gals! Thanks @Jen, I needed this today!

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  64. flat earth luddite says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I suspect that none of this will seem real to them until they can’t get a flight to any place, at any time, at any price. But then again, I may be wrong, spinning away out here on the edge of the disc.

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  65. flat earth luddite says:

    @Kathy:
    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @Teve:

    This reminded me of the quote from von Hammerstein-Equord (9/26/78-4/24/43):

    There are clever, hardworking, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined
    … One must beware of anyone who is both stupid and hardworking; he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always only cause damage…

    To my mind, Orangeade is stupid/lazy, but combined with a severe inferiority complex, and the same “rich boy” privilege I saw way too much of in my early days of being Della Street. He turns this into effectively hard work, despite his inherent laziness. As you all noted, he can’t forget, or forgive, any slight, real or imagined, is incapable of letting anyone take credit or the lead, and insists on his way or the highway. Makes Nixon and Wilson both look flexible and pragmatic. Hell, he makes Jefferson Davis look flexible and pragmatic.

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  66. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Bill:

    Who do I rank first Benson Dubois or Eugene Xavier Gatling?

    Is Mrs. Kraus not eligible?

    Dubois got out of politics a long time ago and went on to be Managing Editor of a great sports show on CSC.

    ETA (and test): I didn’t even need to click the link. I remember them very fondly.

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  67. Mu Yixiao says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    This reminded me of the quote from von Hammerstein-Equord (9/26/78-4/24/43)

    He lived backwards in time?! Duuuuuude!

    On a side note: After years living overseas (and many more dealing with non-Americans), and working with computer filing for decades, I’ve seen the light. The American way of writing dates needs to be abolished. It’s absolutely idiotic.

    Dates should follow the international standard: YYYY-MM-DD

    Today is 2020-09-23

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  68. Mu Yixiao says:

    Okay… can someone with skills in statistics look at this and tell me if the data and methodology is valid before I start ranting about how they can’t know the race of the voter when they check the ballot?

    In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

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  69. flat earth luddite says:

    @Mu Yixiao: you’re absolutely right, although I’m willing to give Wiki and him credit for invention of the time machine. Instead, I’ll just blame it on too much blood in my caffeine stream and an inability to live in the 21st century. Of course, it should have been 1878/09/26 to 1943/04/24. But at least I made sure you were awake…

    btw. belated thanks to our fearless leader for his efforts in keeping this blog up and running!

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  70. Kathy says:

    How about that? Violent rioters have been found in Oregon.

    They all back Trump.

    Of course, some confirmation would be good.

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  71. Mu Yixiao says:

    One last post before I sign off for the night and enjoy some entertainment.

    I had a dentist appointment in an “ethnically diverse” section of Madison today. There were lots of Biden/Harris signs. One place had a life-size cut-out of Biden fastened to a sign post. With a “Biden/Harris bumper sticker just below the belt.

    Dark blue suit… white sticker…. You just couldn’t look anywhere else.

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  72. Kurtz says:

    @Kathy:

    The link brings me back to the OP. Can I have the cite?

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  73. Kathy says:

    @Kurtz:

    Bad link, sorry*.

    Try this one.

    *Sure, blame your carelessness on an innocent link.

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  74. Gustopher says:

    @Kurtz: Copying Kathy’s link and removing the troublesome parts that refer to this site leaves this:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/23/oregon-portland-pro-trump-protests-violence-texts

    The new site features might be mangling some links

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  75. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    No, that one’s on me. I pasted into the address box on my browser instead of copying, and then I tried hitting ctrl-z (undo), the address on the bar changed, so I assumed it was the link I wanted. It wasn’t.

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  76. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao: The article doesn’t make any claims as to why black voters’ mail in ballots are being rejected more. I think there is a question as to whether the ballots are flawed at a higher rate by black voters, or whether ballots of blacks are thrown out for more trivial reasons.

    The first could be the result of a voter education campaign that reaches only white people. “Remember to put your ballot in its security envelope” or something, playing on country radio stations but not hip-hop or something.

    Alternately, it could be an artifact of education levels — poor school districts receive less funding, and face greater challenges. while black folk are more likely to be poor.

    The second pattern would depend on how much information the vote tabulators have. The article quotes people as saying that there is no ethnic information available, but doesn’t say what information is available, and a lot of that can be a flawed proxy for ethnic information. Precinct, name, etc. — not explicitly saying black, but… close enough.

    There have been studies showing that people with ethnic names get fewer job interviews from resumes. I’ve noticed this myself (my middle name has an ethnic flare that I myself do not, and when I include it, responses drop).

    So, it’s possible that ballots are being rejected by racists. Even if precinct-level information is not there, and the person’s name is not there… if you are voting in state senate race X, that’s going to appear on the ballot.

    So, there are reasons to believe that a discrepancy based on race could exist for either benign or malicious reasons. The story passes the plausibility test.

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  77. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao: YYYY-MM-DD is also nicely ASCIIbetical, so they always sort well in directory listings, should you name files by date.

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  78. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Dates should follow the international standard: YYYY-MM-DD

    I’d no idea that was a standard. Some labs we work with date their reports that way, so I’ve seen it before.

    I thought dating conventions correspond to language use. In Spanish we date DD/MM/YYYY, largely I assume because that’s how people speak of dates “23 de Septiembre de 2020.” In US English it’s MM/DD/YYYY because the spoken date is given as September twenty third two thousand twenty.

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  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher:

    There have been studies showing that people with ethnic names get fewer job interviews from resumes. I’ve noticed this myself (my middle name has an ethnic flare that I myself do not, and when I include it, responses drop).

    So that if the ethnic portion of your name is the family name part, you’re just screwed altogether? Good to know. 40 years too late, but maybe it explains why my resume was better received in Korea (where an ethnic euigook name is likely to signal an American nationality) than America.

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  80. mattbernius says:

    Man, it really seems that–despite the expressed will of the voters–Flordia Republicans don’t want formerly incarcerated individuals who have completed all the terms of their sentences to have the right to vote… like ever.

    https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/elections/2020/09/23/florida-attorney-general-asks-for-investigation-into-mike-bloomberg-plan-to-help-florida-felons-vote/

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  81. Moosebreath says:

    @Kurtz:

    That’s OK, I grew up in Philadelphia, when Mayor Frank Rizzo was running for re-election and said:

    “Just wait after November you’ll have a front row seat because I’m going to make Attila the Hun look like a faggot.”

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  82. Mister Bluster says:

    A Louisiana officer who claimed someone shot him actually shot himself, police say
    John Michael Goulart Jr., 25, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of criminal mischief and one count of malfeasance in office after falsely claiming he’d been shot,..

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  83. Gustopher says:

    @mattbernius: I’m sure Bloomberg is just acting as a front man for George Soros. That’s my crazy, ineffective conspiracy theory, and I’m sticking to it.

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  84. Mister Bluster says:
  85. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Try saying that on a major network television show or movie today…..

    See most any Quentin Tarantino movie, especially if Samuel Jackson is in it..

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  86. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    See most any Quentin Tarantino movie, especially if Samuel Jackson is in it.

    I’m not sure Tarantino would be able to get away with the dialogue of his early films today. The most recent films where he had characters using the N-word were The Hateful Eight and Django Unchained, where the historical context arguably made it more justified than in his earlier works; it wasn’t in quite the same category as the casual way it’s used in films like Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction. It’s notable that the word doesn’t show up at all in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

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  87. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    The ISO date format
    The international format defined by ISO (ISO 8601) tries to address all these problems by defining a numerical date system as follows: YYYY-MM-DD where

    YYYY is the year [all the digits, i.e. 2012]
    MM is the month [01 (January) to 12 (December)]
    DD is the day [01 to 31]
    For example, “3rd of April 2002”, in this international format is written: 2002-04-03.

    Note that this format can also be used to represent precise date and time, with timezone information

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