Monday’s Forum

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


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    At the end of yesterday’s open forum, @MarkedMan: I don’t think it works like that. I think the majority party caucuses and the majority winner is speaker

    The whole House votes in the Speaker’s election. They have always* been from the majority party because they have the votes and want to control the House agenda.

    *i am assuming this is true only because I can’t imagine a majority party slitting their own throats by doing otherwise, not because I researched it or anything.

    And now I have to go get my granddaughters. A good day to all.

  2. Joe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have seen county board chair elections where an outlier majority member peals off some of his own majority party and gets the minority party to support his chairmanship and thus beats the majority party’s pick. I assume that in theory that could happen with the speakership.

  3. de stijl says:

    For a seemingly smart person, Elon Musk is botching the takeover or Twitter really, really badly.

    Does he not have PR people? Is he incapable of the simple act of shutting the fuck up for a day or so? He spent $44 billion dollars on a toy because he was vaguely annoyed at moderation policies, and he is now wrecking all of it and trashing his investment out of pique. I really do not get it.

    He is wrecking the company, the reputation of the company, his own reputation, his standing within the global financial community all because he has an ongoing snit over Terms of Service agreement application?

    I’m gobsmacked. Utterly. Musk is behaving so stupidly, so petulantly, and so against his own self interest in an extremely public way. It’s appalling and really revealing.

    This is why I really dislike the way billionaires can control industries. It’s just bad business. Individuals are incredibly fallible, as Musk has evidenced in the last week or two. By his own actions and words Musk is killing his Twitter toy that he spent $44 billion dollars to acquire.

    Fuck that guy!

  4. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    He went into it, IMO, as a PR stunt and way to boost the value of his own holdings (a tactic he’s used many, many times in the past). I’m fully convinced that, from the outset of this adventure, he never expected to actually close the deal and only did (after spending months trying to find a way to wriggle free from the mess he created for himself) because he was essentially backed into a corner and forced to do so. He didn’t expect Twitter to react as aggressively as it did, and now he’s screwed himself to the floorboards.

    Bears witness to the old adage: Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

  5. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I think it’s a bit of both. The GOP will be having a leadership election among its members in both houses very shortly (both are being rushed through for obvious reasons …). The winner of that contest then stands for election as the Speaker by the entire House when the new Congress convenes.

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    Note as well that Musk, after years of delaying tactics in response to a shareholder lawsuit filed in 2019 over that truly obscene compensation package the Tesla board awarded him in 2018, is finally having to show up in court for that lawsuit. The proceedings are being overseen by the same Delaware Chancery Court judge (Kathleen McCormick) that dealt with his Twitter insanity.

    It begins in 22 minutes. Couldn’t happen to a nicer A-hole … 😀

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: That was my point yesterday. The Repubs will hold a vote behind closed doors. It will most likely be vicious and ugly, but in the end they will pick someone. That lone a Republican will go up against a lone Democrat. I can’t imagine a scenario where the Republican loons would be so unhappy with, say, Kevin McCarthy that they would vote for the democrats.

  8. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Joe: @HarvardLaw92:

    Jamie Raskin fears The MAGAS and MAGA-adjacents in the House will make Trump Speaker.

  9. de stijl says:


    He is going to kill Tesla along with killing Twitter. The course he is on is financial and reputational suicide. Seemingly by choice.

    I know the next vehicle I will buy will be an electric. I was super-duper dubious about Musk before this debacle, but now confirmed. Never a Tesla. I will never, ever buy any shit that asshole sells on pure priniciple. Fuck that guy!

  10. charon says:

    Musk only spent $27B on his toy. The rest of the $44B came from some big banks and other patsies.

  11. charon says:


    Jamie Raskin fears The MAGAS and MAGA-adjacents in the House will make Trump Speaker.

    That would please Orville Redenbacher.

  12. de stijl says:


    I have not read that portion of the Constitution that carefully, but presumably the Speaker of the House would have to be a member of the House duly elected.

    BTW, the term “the Speaker” is truly disturbing on many levels and super creepy.

  13. HarvardLaw92 says:


    They don’t have the votes for it, and Jamie knows that. They could certainly vote for him, but he’d never get the necessary majority in the House. This is 100% IMO about horse trading for power and a seat at the table.

    In an odd way, I’m almost glad that the GOP stands to take the House. Their intraparty divisions make it all but a certainty that a GOP led House will be an exemplar of dysfunction that we can subsequently use in 2024 to our electoral advantage.

  14. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    I have not read that portion of the Constitution that carefully, but presumably the Speaker of the House would have to be a member of the House duly elected.

    Nope. Article I, Section 2 just specifies that the House shall choose its own Speaker and officers. It says nothing more on the subject. How that choice proceeds, therefore, is determined by the rules the House sets for itself. At present, they could literally choose just about anyone they wanted (within the confines of the strictures imposed by the 14th and 16th Amendments) whether that person was a sitting Representative or not. How that would comport with federal statutes setting the size of the House is obviously uncharted territory and would almost certainly end up in court were it to actually happen.

  15. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @de stijl:
    I don’t think this is technically the case, although I could be wrong. There has never been a Speaker that wasn’t a member, however.
    Maddie Cawthorn and Margie Three-Toes and the other crazies have talked out loud about making Trump the Speaker.

    In general it seems to me that a significant number of non-crazy House members are not going to go along with this kind of BS. They have seen that crazy lost them a real shot at the Senate, and could still cost them control of the House…although at this point I think they’ll probably have a ~5 seat majority. Pelosi could whip a 5 seat majority. McCarthy cannot. I believe Dems will be able to peel some of those non-crazy Republican votes for bi-partisan legislation.

  16. Joe says:

    He went into it, IMO, as a PR stunt and way to boost the value of his own holdings

    @HarvardLaw92: Where have I seen this plot line before?

  17. charon says:

    To follow AZ voting, this is pretty good:

    As of the ballot drops last night, Katie Hobbs looks very good although not totally safe.

  18. charon says:


    From that link:

    No projections in AZGOV, but make no mistake: Lake didn’t get the tallies she wanted and probably needed out of Maricopa.

    It will presumably close further, but Lake doesn’t have many batches left. Each time she falls short, her target in the outstanding vote gets higher.

  19. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Literally his entire tenure at Tesla, among other examples 🙂

  20. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Also, see: Trump, Donald

  21. Kathy says:

    Benito as Speaker would be a major disaster. And after his term is up, he won’t want to leave or submit to another election. It’s HIS!!!!!!!!!!!

    What the Democrats should do is a Republiqan ACA maneuver. Negotiate with Kevin, offer him support, and then vote unanimously against him.

  22. CSK says:

    @charon: @HarvardLaw92: @daryl and his brother darryl:

    Some wags would like to make Liz Cheney Speaker.

  23. Scott says:

    Wrapped up some TV bingeing this weekend.

    First up is Season 5 of The Crown. My wife and I, after the death of Queen Elizabeth, decided to revisit the previous season. Watching the show that way made clear how each season is tonally different. I think a lot of that is due to the historical stories being told and a lot has to do with the actors playing the roles. Claire Foy as a young Queen growing into her own is played very different than a middle aged Olivia Coleman. The stories wrapped around them were very sympathetic and for the most part positive. Matt Smith’s young Prince Phillip was annoying while Tobias Menzies’ Prince Phillip was played with slyness and humor. In Season 5, Imelda Staunton plays the Queen. Almost feels like Staunton plays the Queen with a hint of Dolores Umbridge. The entire season feels much rougher on the Royal family. Of course, a lot of emphasis on Charles and Diana. They all seem small and petty and entitled. On the other hand, there is a sweet B-story involving Sydney Johnson, the valet to the Duke of Windsor and Mohamed al-Fayed (father of Dodi). The Duke is portrayed as rather kind and gentle and the social climber Mohamed develops a deep friendship with his valet. Interesting contrast. There is a lot to write, including a discussion of historical accuracy but on an entertainment basis, the show delivered.

    My wife and daughter binged Season 3 of Derry Girls (about a group of Catholic school girls in Londonderry during the last three years of the Troubles leading up to the Good Friday Agreement) a couple of weekends ago and I went along for the ride. It is very funny and profane. The last episode, concerning whether to vote yes or not on the agreement, was full of wonder and hope and a great ending.

    So if these shows are your taste, I recommend both.

  24. Scott says:

    @charon: I think the calculations are that Lake needs 58% of the remaining outstanding votes to win. Which seems unlikely.

  25. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Interesting twitter thread on how Musk financed the Twitter deal.
    Complicated stuff, but if I understand only a fraction of it:
    tl:dr is Musk is in a very, very deep dungheap indeed, partly due to rising interest rates.

    He desperately needs maximum ad revenue even to barely tread water; and his flailing attempts to improvise a subscription service as a salvation are only cheesing off the ad-execs even more.

    Not to mention his suggestion (?) of turning into a financial service.
    If he thinks the EU content regulation laws are a PITA just wait till he gets to know to those laugh-a-minute lads from banking regulation offices.

    If he starts needing to sell shares to repay loans, things could get quite hilarious very rapidly indeed.

  26. Sleeping Dog says:


    Gee, what could go wrong with that? (He asks munching another handful of popcorn) If the House Rs want to take a long walk off a short cliff, let them.

  27. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    He is going to kill Tesla along with killing Twitter.

    Unlike Twitter, tesla makes a product lots of people willingly pay money for. If he ruins it, many investors would gladly pay a fraction of the (inflated) stock valuation and try to turn it around. There aren’t that many choices in the EV market. Though there will be in a few years. So St. Elon should hurry and implode Tesla soon, before the fraction investors are willing to pay becomes too small to be seen without a microscope.

  28. Sleeping Dog says:


    Well he sold ~$4B of Tesla stock last week… There was a tweet yesterday to the effect that Musk has cancelled the contracts for 4400 of the 5500 independent contractors that twitter uses, most in content moderation.

  29. de stijl says:


    Well, that was an oversight! Thanks a bunch, Founding Father’s!

    If Rs think appointing Donald fucking Trump as Speaker Of The House is politically advantageous, then I encourage it. Some of these idiots think that is a boss move.

    Do they not understand backlash? The thought is just so much magical thinking bullshit. It wouldn’t help and would actively hurt their “cause”. The idea is insane.

    By all means, please continue, Rs. Your plan totally makes sense.

  30. Sleeping Dog says:


    When Tesla’s stock becomes depressed enough, there will be a host takeover artists that will begin making offers. Don’t be surprised if Apple doesn’t swoop in and gobble them up. Apple has been rumored to be developing an electric car, owning Tesla would eliminate the need to create a manufacturing channel. Apple has lots of cash on hand, allowing it to absorb Tesla w/o taking on a large amount of debt.

  31. charon says:


    Outstanding non provisional ballot estimate as of 7pm 11/13

    Total: 160,959

    Apache 8,500
    Cochise 1,571
    Gila 55
    Maricopa 94,285
    Mohave 500
    Navajo 4,443
    Pima 38,874
    Pinal 10,626
    Santa Cruz 200
    Yavapai 750
    Yuma 1,155

    Pima (Tucson) and Apache are strongly (D) leaning, Pinal (Phoenix exurbs) is strongly (R).

    It seems unlikely Maricopa goes (R) strongly enough to wipe out Hobbs’ current lead plus Pima and Apache.

  32. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I wouldn’t have purchased a Tesla anyway. When it comes to vehicles I 100% prefer function over form and will never pay a premium to own a “cool” car. That’s just money down the drain for no benefit. I need reliable transport, and cheap as possible. I am frugal by nature.

    The only people who would be impressed are people I actively don’t want to know and never want to interact with.

  33. CSK says:
  34. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Welcome back, HL, you were missed!

  35. Beth says:


    So, I maybe understood about 1/3 of that thread directly and maybe another 1/3 indirectly. I don’t see how Twitter or Musk’s personal fortune survive this. I think his personal fortune is at risk both because of his debt security obligations and his own ego melting down. White men whose whole concept of self is wrapped up in how smart they are and how amazing their businesses are tend not to handle these kinds of collapses well.

    I’m also gonna guess he’s going to immolate one or more banks on the way out. No one will save them. They’ll get seized by the regulators and taken apart. Tesla at least has some value either to a legacy automaker or some lunatic like Apple. I’m still dying to know how much Spacex equity is used for security on the Twitter loans. That’s an interesting one. I doubt anyone let’s that one get taken out.

    But what do I know? I’m a simple bog witch real estate attorney that can’t do math.

  36. CSK says:

    Deleted. Replicated.

  37. JohnSF says:


    There aren’t that many choices in the EV market.

    That is changing fast; in Europe Tesla was under 50% mEV market share 2021, and falling.
    The big boys are going to eat Elon’s lunch: VAG sales in 2022 to date are appreciably ahead of Tesla, and Stellantis (Peugeot/Citroen/Fiat) is closing fast.

    But, yes, Tesla does have real value.
    But only a fraction of it’s overblown stock valuation; compared to other auto companies it’s massively overpriced.

  38. Kathy says:

    I didn’t see the game. Buffalo was ahead by 4 with under a minute to play, they had the ball on their one-yard line, after stopping the Vikings’ offense on downs.

    If that’s the situation, doesn’t it make sense to take a safety and give up to points on purpose? As I understand the rules, if that happened then Minnesota had to free kick the ball to the Bills, with no chance for an on-side kick.

    My thinking: give up two points, then get the ball back in a more comfortable position to run out the clock.

    Of course, that may have been the intent. it surely wasn’t a bad snap, fumble, and Vikings TD.

  39. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Whoa. When Mike Pence is feeling oatsy enough to speak ill of Trump, that’s sumpthin’

  40. HarvardLaw92 says:


    His biggest risk, by far IMO, is that he misses interest payments (they’re slated to fall in the 1 billion per year), thus triggering acceleration covenants (which at least one of them will invoke) and putting him into a world of poo.

    I fully expect that he will be trying to restructure the loans within 6 months, at the outside. Probably sooner. There is an outside chance that he’d even try to push through a drop-down, and if I’m concerned about that, they are too. Odds are better than average that one of them sues for breach the second it all starts to go south and then we have a battle royale between a wealthy man and grossly more wealthy banks. It really was, in every sense of the word, a supremely stupid deal. He did the right thing by trying to get out of it, but now that he’s in it, he’s standing in poo and the water is rising.

  41. CSK says:

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Lauren Boebert isn’t getting nearly the votes she assumed she would, because Republicans in her district are repudiating election deniers. Nonetheless, she’ll probably win eventually. But she won’t be a shoo-in.

  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    Trump (or indeed any potential Speaker) would have to get at least 219 votes in the newly convened House to be named Speaker. There is absolutely no way that will ever happen. It’s carnival barking.

  43. Kathy says:


    A truly smart man in St. Elon’s position would seek out those who know better/more than him, and get them to run things or at least advice him how to run things.

    Elon is smart in the popular understanding of Dunning-Kruger* sense only.


    That’s why I advised Mr. St. Elon to ruin the company fast, before the true stock value becomes to small to be seen without a microscope.

    *The part of Dunning-Kruger that escapes popular understanding, is that more competent people tend to underestimate their competence. By about as much as incompetent people overestimate theirs.

  44. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I haven’t seen the explicit terms of the deal, but from the M&A industry chatter Twitter is somewhat on the hook for the loan repayments, not necessarily just Musk personally, but again, that’s informed speculation. I agree, though, that this will not end well. It will not end well at all …

  45. CSK says:


    I corrected the initial link, so I deleted the second.

    To be fair to Pence, Trump has been publicly dumping on him since January 6, 2021. The MAGAs hate Pence’s guts.

  46. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: @Kathy: Uh, if Buffalo touches the ball down in their own end zone, Minnesota gets two points, and the Bills have to free kick the ball to Minnesota, not the other way around.

    So, if Minnesota is able to translate that into a field goal, they win anyway by one point.

  47. Kathy says:

    Long, tedious story omitted, I took a really long nap yesterday (almost 3 hours). I had a nightmare matinee (it wasn’t at night). A mild one. I dreamt I was preparing potatoes to cook, but only a few were in the bag, along with broken pieces of potatoes.

    The odd, and disturbing part, was that in the dream I felt so sleepy I could hardly keep my eyes open. I had to force myself not to fall asleep, in the dream, in order to wash the potatoes on the sink.

    After waking up I had to cook potatoes, too. But then I had no trouble staying awake. Not after so long a nap.

    I still managed to screw things up, never fear. For one thing, I neglected to mash the baked potatoes before mixing them with cream and cheese and stuffing them back in their skins. For another, the idea was to make creamy mustard stuffed potatoes, and I forgot the mustard.

    It was not a total loss. I wound up with lumpy garlic stuffed potatoes, though.

  48. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @de stijl:

    For a seemingly smart person, Elon Musk is botching the takeover or Twitter really, really badly… I really do not get it.

    You shouldn’t get it. He f’ed up. He tried to apply old rules to a new system.

    Here is the thing: We are all taught what appears to be peaceful and empathetic values that in-the-long-run are made to keep the little people in place. Whether it is religion or patriotism or family, the core of keeping the focus small, ensuring the peace and taking care of each other is there.

    (The usual: “God bless America. I take care of me and my family, I don’t need nobody’s help, God will provide take care of my needs.”)

    But then there is capitalism. And Capitalism does not care about peace or empathy.

    I would venture a guess, but most of us here rarely actively participate ACTIVELY in capitalism. Sure, we have glancing blows with it when we purchase gas, go to a store or get a paycheck… but that is more like a fly buzzing around a light. The fly has absolutely nothing to do with anything related to the infrastructure or energy methodology that cause that light to be there.

    In Capitalism, there are only two motivating goals:
    1) Acquire more capital
    2) Reduce the costs of the means of production

    That’s it.

    You, me and other Americans doing the paycheck-to-paycheck thing… we are nothing more than a way to for companies to get goal #1.

    Unfortunately having an educated and opinionated population goes directly against #2. Keeping the workforce in place at low wages and ignorant of what is going on is a must.

    (And why the GOP is against free educational access, any increases to minimum wage and anything that will reduce the costs of healthcare or consumer goods)

    And Twitter was messing that all up. In hindsight, this election showed the power of social networking, proving a source of factual data that did not have a filter. (see: @iampolitics girl as an example)

    And Elon hated getting criticism and corrected by twitter. It was messing with his message and as that was messing with Capitalism #1, and that shit just had to stop.

    Clearly, Elon thought that he could come in and control Twitter in the same autocratic way that he does Tesla and SpaceX. and when you look at the company itself, he has. All about Capitalism #2 — costs slashed, worker positions slashed, server capacity slashed, leadership positions slashed, and remove the filters that prevented the messages that would benefit his beliefs.

    Makes perfect sense, if you are a capitalist.

    But the Twitter users have proven themselves mercurial:
    * The $8 per month fee (along with other ketchup-on-the-wall ideas) has failed with outrageous result. Example: I, an atheist, follow Jesus Christ (blue check verified, so it must be true and teh second coming) on Twitter
    *The advertisers (capitalists) realized that there was a demographic shift (hate speech up 500% and even more bots) pulled away from the mess (because capitalism #1),
    * And the users themselves do not kowtow to Musk himself, because they are not employees fearful of keeping their jobs. (But of course: he is still blocking people madly, as if that has an effect on their followers… getting block by Elon is becoming a real rite-of-twitter passage).

    The users are not afraid of sinking the ship that they are on because social media has always been built on the same firm strong a foundation as cryptocurrency: There is nothing there at all unless people decide that there is… and if it falls out of fashion or goes down in flames, there will be another social media that will pick up the slack (because capitalism #1).

    Mr Elon Musk dramatically misjudged how he could control the Twitter users to get more revenue. That is it. That’s the joke.

    Twitter will fail. Because the revenue will not be there to make the payments necessary to keep it going.

    The banks will sell Elon’s debt at a loss and write off the losses against earnings to avoid taxes (and we pay for that) and Elon will have Twitter declare bankruptcy, eliminating his debt, but choose to “restructure”. because of course he can. He’s a billionaire.


    HOWEVER >>> Twitter’s massive upcoming failure should not be the focus. <<<

    The focus should be how capitalism has failed America. And that is what has gotten Gen Z out to vote.

    They realize that the GOP was propping up the very worst of what capitalism had to offer and they wanted no part of what the GOP was selling.

    Gen Z has been digital-native all their existence. Social media shares ideas rapidly. Information is available, and they have the already-built-in bullshit detectors since the cradle.

    They know the bootstraps thing is complete bullshit.

    So the whole global warming denial, forced birth, police-state & massive incarceration machine, charter schools and the privatization of traditionally public funded functions… all back to Capitalism #1 & #2… it doesn't resonate with them.

    Their source of info is no longer just the pulpit, being told that submission is the way to heaven.

    It's the Sci-Fi movie "They Live". The glasses reveal the real intent.

    And that is the problem: If people like AOC can so successfully call undeniable bullshit on what we have all around us, and she is just one of millions of Americans realizing that we have had a pretty bad deal all our lives, that is REALLY messing with Capitalism #1 and #2.

    Ever wonder why "woke" has become such an insult instead of a goal? Because Capitalism #2.

    The Federalist Society, CPAC, NRA, Heritage Foundation, Turning Point and ALEC are all in place being funded by HUGE amounts of money from those who have benefitted from the results of Capitalism. And those people — that can donate millions to just one election without impacting their wealth — do not hesitate to do so. And that money pays fpr a lot of message that controls Capitalism #2.

    The monied will always fund the destruction of Democracy. Capitalism #1 & #2.

    The reality is: Reality is what we all agree that it is. What will we decide is truth?

  49. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I could swear it was the other way around.. My bad.

    Still, I assume the Bills intended to run the ball further out from the end zone, not give up a TD their defense had labored so hard to prevent.

  50. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I agree with them, it does make it more unavoidable, but we should be honest here: Pence was always going to be at the top of the “want to talk to” lists from the outset. They’d have wanted to avoid that, for obvious reasons, as much as they could. This make it more difficult to avoid IMO.

  51. Beth says:


    Ha, a smart man in Daddy Elon’s position would have been to pay a couple of billion in breach payments to get out of the deal and then whine about how the “woke” were out to kill the deal from the start. That would have been a winning strategy.


    Yeah, I can imagine that the banks were greedy enough to blind themselves to a lot of the negatives of this deal, but I can’t imagine that they were so stupid as to not get as much security as possible. I doubt they could handle Twitter blowing up without other security, and even then. That’s a lot of money to nuke. What to do I know though…

  52. CSK says:

    Remember how Trump said the FBI planted the documents at Mar-a-Lago?

    Remember how he then said he declassified them?

    Remember how he said he mentally declassified them just by thinking about doing so?

    Well, he has a new one now: By taking the docs to Mar-a-Lago, he automatically took full possession of the docs.

  53. HarvardLaw92 says:


    They are already busily – quietly, but busily – trying to partition the loans and sell off the tranches. The oddity there is that it will put Twitter & Musk more at risk of active litigation. BoA could hypothetically handle losing $13 billion without blinking (much). The secondary investors, if any, they and the others convince to take on participation will have smaller pockets and much less ability to weather the storm, therefore they’ll be much more litigious when the music stops (as it must …).

  54. Beth says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I agree with this whole-heartedly, but I have one note:

    The banks will sell Elon’s debt at a loss and write off the losses against earnings to avoid taxes (and we pay for that) and Elon will have Twitter declare bankruptcy, eliminating his debt, but choose to “restructure”. because of course he can. He’s a billionaire.

    It’s more complicated than that. Bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily extinguish the debt itself, it just kills the liability of the individual or entity. So for the unsecured debt, that will essentially get blackholed. That’s why that interest rate is so absurd (but also, who would pay that?)

    As for the secured debt, some of that will linger, just not against Musk or Twitter, but against the security itself. Think of it like this, you take out a note to buy a house and the bank secures it against the house. If you go bankrupt, the bank can’t enforce the note against you, but they can against the house. Bankruptcy courts can’t really do much against a 1st position security. So in this scenario, you have to keep making the note payments to avoid foreclosure, even though you aren’t obligated for the debt anymore. I mean, this is a wild over-simplification of what goes on and in the Musk/Twitter matter it would be even more complex. But that complexity puts the Banks at risk, it puts Tesla at risk and it puts Musk himself at risk.

  55. just nutha says:

    @de stijl: Answer Key:
    1) No.
    2) Yes.
    3) No. He’s doing all of those things because he is an arrogant idiot and has done the personal damage described independent of Twitters Terms of Use on other occasions in the past.

  56. Beth says:


    I bet that work is going hilariously.

    As for BoA losing $13 billion, yeah, they probably could absorb that, but 1. what does that hit look like in reality, and 2. what’s below the surface that we don’t know about. Lol, could you imagine if Wells Fargo took a huge hit? Deutsche Bank? Those places are warrens of hidden traps, scams, whack-jobs and maniacs. I’m constantly amazed that someone hasn’t Old Yeller’d Wells Fargo yet.

  57. gVOR08 says:


    Jamie Raskin fears The MAGAS and MAGA-adjacents in the House will make Trump Speaker.

    God does not love me that much.

  58. Jay L Gischer says:

    So, what Musk is doing at Twitter with layoffs and so on is far from the worst thing that’s happened to a tech company here in the Valley. You can still get people fulminating about the Compaq/Hewlett-Packard merger and cursing the name of Carly Fiorina.

    And where is Hewlett-Packard today? It’s selling computers and printers and ink, exactly as Fiorina, and the board who hired her to execute all that mess wanted.

    Let me be clear. I’m not a Fiorina fan. However, I also think that the “old” Hewlett-Packard, which was a wonderful company, and a great place to work, was already dead by the time Fiorina became CEO. This might also be the case with Twitter. Why else would Jack Dorsey invest a big chunk of his shares in Musk’s new venture?

    Nobody here expects to have a lifetime job with one company. Ten years is a very long run, with five being a bit more typical. It sucks, but that’s how this works. Engineering is by nature project oriented.

    And no, Elon does not use a PR department, nor does he know how to shut up. Yes, it would be better if he did both of those things.

    The demise of Google Plus and before that Google Reader hit me a lot harder than any demise of Twitter would. In the case of those, the CEO’s did keep their mouth shut, and did use PR departments. Did that make it hurt less? Probably not.

  59. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I’m leaning in the real world towards a scenario where Twitter / Musk miss a payment (which will happen …), the lenders are then in a position to accelerate, but they instead use that cudgel (willingness to sideline acceleration) as a tool to rid themselves and the company of Musk (unless, of course, he wants to repay the loans personally). Of course, that becomes dependent on whether Twitter is even salvageable at that point. They’re not going to want to be seen as the evil villains that destroyed Twitter, but they are going to sour on Musk sooner rather than later. In many ways they already have IMO.

  60. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Add in as well the risk that Gigantic Ego (who has never been able to keep his mouth shut even under the best of circumstances) starts unrealistically hyping the platform’s prospects / metrics. Let that happen (again, IMO, it almost certainly will happen) and then we’re off to the races with potential fraud lawsuits from the secondary investors, who will (if they or their expensive lawyers have half a brain) argue that they premised participation on his published statements being factual representations issued by mangement. The rocks just don’t stop falling in this one, methinks. Gigantic Ego finally stepped too far over the line.

  61. Beth says:


    I’m in full agreement with you, except the part about the banks caring about whether people see them as villians. People already see the banks as villians, this won’t make it any worse.

    Also, I went down a brief rabbit hole and think this is relevant to what goes on in Musk’s brain…

    I gotta clean my office now.

  62. HarvardLaw92 says:


    True, and fair enough. I think that, at the end of the day, given a choice between killing Twitter (which is what would happen if they accelerate) or extending Twitter a further lifeline at the price of a Musk exit, they’ll choose the latter. They’d likely frame it as having to step in to save the company from his incompetence.

    How Gigantic Ego would respond to that is up in the air. I had to do a little digging, but the syndicate that funded the loans includes Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, Barclays, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas, and they’re guaranteed by Twitter / the company assumes repayment, not Musk personally. That risk seems fairly well distributed based on the underlying collective capitalization of those banks. We could find that it ends up being the directs – Ellison, QIA, and Alwaleed bin Talal, among others – who make this nasty. I feel pretty certain that all of us agree that it is going to get nasty, and sooner rather than later.

    I certainly have my popcorn at the ready 😀

  63. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Perhaps in theory, but in practice he would simply need a majority of the Republicans. They will put one candidate forward and the house Repubs will all vote for whoever that is.

  64. just nutha says:

    @de stijl: The Founding Fathers never imagined (or intended) a government that wasn’t run by them and their heirs/successors. If they were to come and see the current situation, the first thing they would ask would probably be Why are you letting these people vote/run for office?

  65. Kathy says:


    I think he’s just admitted to stealing classified documents.

  66. Michael Cain says:


    A truly smart man in St. Elon’s position would seek out those who know better/more than him, and get them to run things or at least advice him how to run things.

    Eg, Gwynne Shotwell at SpaceX. Note that management for the Starship part of SpaceX was recently changed to make it much more operations oriented instead of “Elon and his kids’ sandbox”. Once they won the NASA contract for the human lander, so there was outside money riding on all the Starship parts coming together, that made it Gwynne’s.

  67. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @just nutha:

    Indeed. More than a few of them, Jefferson and Adams included, didn’t even believe that the average citizen should be permitted to / was qualified to vote. Landowners and the well-to-do only, please.

  68. CSK says:


    I think so too. If this is the best defense his lawyers can come up with, then…

  69. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    I wound up with lumpy garlic stuffed potatoes, though.

    garlic stuffed taters (lumpy or not) beats no garlic stuffed taters, IMO.

    I checked with SWMBO, and thanks to Costco, we be all popcorn’d up for the show!

  70. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m gobsmacked. Utterly. Musk is behaving so stupidly, so petulantly, and so against his own self interest in an extremely public way. It’s appalling and really revealing.

    It’s like he’s only rich because his dad owned a emerald mine with slave labor and he was able to buy up other companies and take credit for their success and not because he’s a generational genius.

  71. Stormy Dragon says:


    The rest of the $44B came from some big banks and other patsies.

    I’m wondering if any of those banks are going to get sued by their shareholders for agreeing to be on the hook for this debacle without being aware what Elon’s plan was.

  72. charon says:
  73. JohnSF says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    Problem is, there’s no alternative mode for Titter that seems likely to work.
    Subscription media aggregation/distribution service?
    Spatchcocked-on personal banking service?
    Crypto, bro? (LOL)

    Perhaps something might work, by some strange evolutionary process, but there’s no way of getting too THERE from HERE when her now includes umpteen billion in rather short-term and high interest debt, a whole bunch of pissed of ad-execs, bankers suffering sense-of-humour failure at the antics of their idiot “tech” specialists, Arab princelings sharpening the bone-saws, and Tesla investors wondering when might be the opportune moment to drop the pilot.
    While at the steering wheel of this clown car we have is Imperial Sandwormness doing his best KHAAAN! impersonation.

    There just isn’t enough popcorn in the world.

    Obvious endgame: insolvency, Musk and fellow lose a laundry full of shirts, Twitter remnant is bought up for a song, goes back to being a modest ad-funded social messaging ap, shorn of delusions of grandeur, and with a hard line on content moderation.
    It’s the outcome for Tesla that the undetermined thing at this point.

  74. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: Also take a look at hybrids. Europe’s car manufacturers are coming up with a range of vehicles that contain both batteries and ICEs (with a plethora of names that I’m having to learn–micro-hybrids, soft hybrids, etc.). Some are almost completely ICE with boosts from electric motors when necessary, other versions are almost completely electric with the ICE being used to recharge the batteries. A lot of manufacturers are trying to find a “sweet spot” between the weight of the battery and the efficiency of the travel.

  75. JohnSF says:

    edit test

  76. just nutha says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: I think that a key difference between past and current Republican/conservative thou ght is that past corporatists in America have been good at threading the needle between a huddling, ignorant, impoverished mass that still sees a future for themselves and one that is pressed to the breaking point. The likelihood of having a cohort of Americans who would look at their conditions and decide that it would be better to die than to continue to live as they do–and subsequently decide to take a considerable portion of “the rich” to hell as their honor guard–has never been larger in my lifetime, at least by my take. I’m not saying that “burn it down”-type revolution is immanent or anything, but we may be looking at another “eve of distruction” period without a population able to turn it back or a corporatist leadership cohort willing to.

  77. just nutha says:

    @HarvardLaw92: The thing that has always puzzled me about these break-up-the-bad-loan schemes is why smaller (and yet, still relatively large) players buy chunks of marginal paper assets like these. I mean, I realize that buying shares of Twitter debt is a big steaming pile, why don’t they?

  78. Stormy Dragon says:
  79. charon says:

    On a deeper level, Liz Cheney’s theory of the case has proven largely correct:

    There really was a sliver of GOP-leaning voters that could be induced to vote against MAGA candidates if their extremism was highlighted effectively:

  80. Kathy says:


    The best his paid for by the RNC lawyers. I’m eager to see what the ones he won’t pay will come up with.

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Fortunately for me, garlic is really hard to overlook.

  81. charon says:


    From the link:

    After Rep. Liz Cheney lost by 37 points in August to a primary challenger backed by Donald Trump, the former president displayed characteristic grace and generosity of spirit. Trump ripped the Wyoming Republican as a “fool,” hailing the result as a “rebuke of the Unselect Committee of political Hacks and Thugs.”

    Despite that description, the Jan. 6 select committee, of which Cheney is vice chair, is still in business. Many of the most virulent election-denying candidates in the country have gone down to defeat — and the relentless focus on MAGA election denial, orchestrated in no small part by Cheney herself, is a key reason for the outcome.

    The election results represent quiet vindication for Cheney. At a time when Cheney has demanded that Republicans fully renounce the spirit of insurrectionism Trump unleashed in the GOP, defeated candidates include all the election-denying nominees for secretary of state in key presidential battlegrounds such as Arizona, Nevada and Michigan.

    Etc., etc.

  82. charon says:

    To understand why Republicans are on course to barely capture control of the House of Representatives in precedent-defying midterm elections, a district all the way on the other side of the country from Washington, D.C., might be the best place to look.

    In Washington State’s Third District, the Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez was projected over the weekend to defeat Joe Kent, capturing a district that Republicans have held since 2010. Democrats have sought for years to flip the Third, repeatedly spending piles of money to defeat Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler. But what they were unable to achieve, the GOP achieved for them this year: A Trump-backed primary challenge unseated Herrera Beutler and paved the way for a Democratic takeover.

    The self-inflicted wound in Washington is emblematic of how poor Republican choices and MAGA purity tests hurt the party in races up and down the ticket, and cost them their chance at control of the Senate. Senate candidates like Blake Masters in Arizona, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, and Adam Laxalt in Nevada couldn’t beat vulnerable Democrats; in Georgia, Republican Herschel Walker trailed Senator Raphael Warnock, though that race is now headed to a runoff. Extreme candidates for secretary of state flopped, too. The Republican losses show the influence of the anti-MAGA majority.

  83. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    In a three sentence order the Supreme Court has cleared the way for the Jan 6th Committee to get Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward’s phone records.
    Alito and Thomas would have dissented, but no explanation is given.
    Ginni Thomas was in contact with AZ lawmakers regarding the Trump Administration/Campaigns phony electors scheme.
    It is the height of Judicial Corruption that Thomas has failed to recuse.
    Laurence Tribe, a Constitutional scholar who has argued before the SCOTUS 36 times;

    Justice Thomas violated 28 USC 455 (a) & 28 USC 455 (b)(5)(iii) by not recusing himself from this 7-2 decision: His wife Ginny pressed 29 GOP AZ lawmakers to overturn Biden’s victory. He knew she had “an interest that could be affected by the outcome.”

  84. CSK says:

    Matt Gaetz thinks Tulsi Gabbard or Newt Gingrich should be the next Speaker.

  85. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Yeah…Matt Gaetz thinks Matt Gaetz should be the next Speaker.
    Think of all the teenage girls he could pick-up!!!

  86. Beth says:


    Did he get some real high test glue to sniff? That’s just all round bonkers delusional. Someone needs to get him some real drugs.

  87. Franklin says:

    @de stijl: Confession: I own a Tesla. Not sure I would’ve bought it after this year’s antics of their dear leader, but I love the car. I don’t need to impress anyone; it just fits my needs extremely well. I’ve had it for almost a year and my maintenance costs have been exactly zero. Almost entirely charge it at home (which, when I install solar panels, will be environmentally happy). For the occasional road trip for me, the recharging situation is much better than the competition (at this point, at least, and I don’t see a quick change in that status).

    Also, I love torque and being able to put my car into any traffic gap I wish. Unless you’ve bought a six-figure sportscar, I’m faster in a straight line.

  88. dazedandconfused says:


    The only caveat to that is in that old adage: “Borrow a million you’ve got a debtor, borrow a billion and you’ve got a partner.”

    The investors don’t want to crush him but if he does not develop a coherent business plan soon their first step will be to make one for him, and it’s a fair bet at least some of them anticipated having to do that and developed one before they signed the checks. What that might be is impossible to predict. Stock up on the popcorn, this circus has only just begun.

  89. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: @Beth:

    Apparently Gaetz thinks that Gabbard would bring some “folks from the left” into the Republican fold.

  90. Sleeping Dog says:

    @just nutha:

    A friend’s first big hit was buying a chunk of distressed debt for what was pennies on the dollar. But even at that price it was a huge risk and would have wiped him out and into bankruptcy if it all went south. He was 28 at the time and figured he had little to lose and he’d recover if he lost all. It went well and he never looked back.

  91. JohnSF says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:
    Apropos of nothing, what ranking does Matt Gaetz have in the “Most Punchable Face in American Politics” poll?
    I mean, I assume there is such a thing.
    As a public service.

  92. CSK says:


    Gaetz is a strong contender, but Trump beats all competition by a mile.

  93. de stijl says:


    I used to work for Wells Fargo.

    Hell, I used to work for Norwest Bank before they bought out WF and assumed the name. I started as a temp file clerk.

    Went to a expensive private university and got a well-rounded, classical, liberal arts style education and my first job was temp file clerk. The temp agency gave me a test before signing me up. The test was can you alphabetize. Had the test been on eye-rolling and annoyed sighing I would have aced that. I finished their fucking test and was super annoyed, but I shut my mouth for the required twenty minutes after to show I was serious. Or that I could convincingly fake seriousness.

    For some extremely odd reason my brain has retained my old, initial Norwest Mortgage employee ID number. 129xxx. For what purpose did my brain decide to retain that? Seriously, most years I can’t even remember how old I am and have to do the the math in my head to figure it out.

  94. Matt says:


    Also, I love torque and being able to put my car into any traffic gap I wish. Unless you’ve bought a six-figure sportscar, I’m faster in a straight line.

    A stock hellcat/corvette from the dealer with good tires can beat you for under 70k.. I could build all kinds of cars with little effort that could also beat that tesla for far less than six figures. My point? If you care about accuracy you might want to tone that boast/flex back a bit.

    Having said that I am a bit of a fan and jealous of electric’s ability to apply all the torque on a moments notice at any speed. Electric is definitely the future and the performance capabilities are going to make ICEs look like horses…

    I have a lot of nitpicks with choices made by Tesla in both the design and the components used. The most glaring being the short life time of the primary infotainment screen. It’s shorter than even budget cars…

  95. dazedandconfused says:


    With Stephan Miller in that contest I’m afraid everybody is running for 2nd place.

  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    That would please Orville Redenbacher.

    Not as much as you might imagine. Orville sold out to ConAgra decades ago. (Not to mention that he’d be 115 years old if he were still alive.)

  97. de stijl says:


    Hey, man, no judging on my part! If it works for you, it works for you. And that is super cool with me.

    Actually, it’s really none of my damn business so my opinion doesn’t matter at all.

  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: “I’m constantly amazed that someone hasn’t Old Yeller’d Wells Fargo yet.”

    It’s all part of the “too big to fail” mystique. 🙁

  99. CSK says:

    Oh, Miller is repulsive, but I still think no one comes close to Trump.

  100. Kathy says:


    I wouldn’t punch Benito in the face.

    I’d kick him much lower down.

  101. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Sure, but isn’t the theory also that I and “my kind” are going to be the bigger fools? As I understand it, that’s the theory in gold bugging.

  102. JohnSF says:

    I’m not an expert, but if memory serves a Volvo S90 T8-455 TwinEngine, if fully charged on the electric motor, can outdrag most Tesla’s 30-70; around 3.2 sec IIRC.
    Not been in one myself but an relative has and reckons it’s crazy fast in the mid-range.
    Not so much in the twisty bits, being a bit of a hefty beast, but its fast enough in straight line to scare a lot of sports cars.
    Personally, for British roads, I’d sooner go for something slower on the straight but more nimble in the bends.
    Try dragging like that too often on Brtiish A and B roads, and odds are you’ll either lose your license doing it where you shouldn’t, or misjudge a queue and end up wedged up the arse of a builders van.

  103. CSK says:

    Well, yes, I would, too, but JohnSF’s query was about punchable faces.

  104. Beth says:


    He would enjoy that way too much.

  105. Matt says:

    @JohnSF: I’ve only been to England once and I was there for less than a week. What roads I did see were mostly city but I did get to see a good chunk of country roads. I thought country roads in the USA were scary narrow/twisty/hilly but England really has a lot of them beat.

    With the right car (c8 corvette does twisties very well) those roads would be a blast to ride on if they were closed to oncoming traffic.

  106. Beth says:


    I drove in the UK once. I drove in to a hedge near the Scottish border and my friends took the keys away from me. I was stone cold sober. I just couldn’t drive there, broke my brain.

  107. Kathy says:


    You know how far a stiletto heel can penetrate?

  108. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Oddly, I’ve found Twitter to be a far more fun, friendly and positive social network since Musk too over. Way less fighting and hostility, and far more pointing and laughing at the not-potty-trained Muskrat.

    Who didn’t enjoy Eli Lily day? (Other than Eli Lily shareholders, of course)

    I understand the band continuing to play while the Titanic was taking on water now.

  109. de stijl says:


    The Eli Lily insulin thing was genius! That was great social /political commentary buried inside a cheeky stunt.

    1. Set up a fake account.
    2. Pay 8 bucks to get the verification check
    3. Undercut capitalism, and especially rent-seeking big Pharma

    Whoever did that stunt was genius. That was political theater well done. Use their own tools against them. Cheeky and savvy and brutal. I approve 100%.

  110. de stijl says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I hear you. I feel you.

    I once worked a hundred hour week on salary because I really cared about the end product and I wanted the project to succeed. Worked 80+ hours a week on average, on salary, mind you, for months because I thought the result would be pretty cool.

    I was young and foolish. I started to figure things out. How a bad project manager or a a dodgy sponsor could screw up everything. I learned that my time and effort and skill-set was worth something on the open market going about 6 or 7x my current salary, and that if I worked more than 40 hours a week, they were contractually obligated to pay me 2x my hourly rate. So schedule me appropriately and set the task list within a decent achieveable scope and timeframe.

    I no longer consent to extended crunch time. Crunch is basically a management failure and I refuse to pay for your fuck-up. Even during crunch time I don’t work more 60 hours a week. Any more than that and it’s really bad for my body and my head.

    Set aside money to pay for your future therapy bills.

    The downside was constant travel and holing up in strange towns every few months. The upside was being confronted with a new problem every few months. I learned new things constantly. The other upside is that I got paid well for my time, effort, and expertise.

  111. Kathy says:

    Making predictions is risky, but I think I understand the Cheeto well enough to hazzard one:

    Tomorrow chances are sky high he’ll announce a run for the White House (apparently there was room for further defilement). He can’t let go of the fact he lost, never mind that his win in 2016 was a fluke (and he lost the popular vote).

    It’s less certain DeSantis will run. I think it’ likely. he has momentum, and he has been placing himself in the national spotlight for a while now. On the other hand he’s young enough to sit out one term, especially if Biden runs. Challenging an incumbent is riskier than an open election (too bad Benito chose not to do his run in 2012).

    Still, Biden might not run for a second term. In that case, it’s anyone’s guess who runs for the Democratic nomination. Vice President Harris most likely would, who else is an open question (Beto, probably).

    Anyway, if DeSantis runs, expect a mudslinging battle almost as hard as if he were running against Biden or someone named Clinton. If he wins over Benito, there’s no way the latter lets it go. Odds are he’d try an independent run.

    If he does, he won’t do it well. That is, he’ll decide to do it after refusing to concede to the man from Florida, maybe a few dozen lawsuits, a myriad tantrums, etc. He wont’ be able to place his name on every state ballot (I’d bet the house on that), he’ll see donations fall, along with donors and establishment Republiqans begging him not to run. He may pull a Perot and drop out and then back in. he’ll whine about not being invited to the debates, and about having to appear in the debates. Well, you know.

    But an independent Cheeto run is 99.9% guaranteed to harm DeSantis’ run.

    So, Run, Ron!

  112. Stormy Dragon says:

    So apparently now Elmo has started just wandering around the cockpit while the plane is in flight randomly flicking switches to see what happens

  113. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yes, there are always behind close doors discussions in which the majority reaches an agreement. My point is only that every house member has a vote, whether it matters or not.*

    *and if it ever does,it is a truly rare event.

  114. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: God doesn’t love me that much.

  115. CSK says:

    NBC has called Arizona for Katie Hobbs.

  116. charon says:

    All of the states now have “sore loser” laws. Any state where Trump is in the GOP primary he will not be able to then run as an independent if he is not the GOP nominee.

    It appears DeSantis would like to skip 2024 and wait for 2028, but this is probably not a viable option for him. Trump sees him as a threat and is already attacking and insulting DeSantis and probably will soon insult DeSantis’ family too. The GOP base admires macho swagger and is contemptuous of the weak – therefore DeSantis needs to fight back and can not just shrug it off – he really is being forced to make a play for the 2024 nomination and trash talk Trumpy too.

  117. Kathy says:


    Pass the popcorn.

  118. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @just nutha:

    Apologies for the late reply. I got caught up in other things and had to step away. Let’s just say that the banks are working so busily because they’re trying to unload the secondary, less well secured / unsecured tranches and interest has been, in a word, nonexistent. Thus far, there hasn’t been much interest and what interest has been expressed has been geared towards hybrids, where the deals include slice-offs from the secured 1L portions to help underwrite the risk. The banks, from what I’m hearing, have balked at that. It’s essentially a standoff, so end of the day they’ll be stuck with the risk (that they should have known better than to take on in the first place, unless they’re playing some other game. A teenager with a calculator could have seen that Twitter can’t support the repayment and default is a certainty.)

  119. Franklin says:

    @Matt: Ha, I didn’t say whether I had a the S Plaid (spoiler: absolutely not, since I limited myself to around 60k), but yes my statement wasn’t perfectly accurate for cars straight from the manufacturers (which is what I felt I was implying, itcertainly doesn’t apply to cars customized aftermarket). My general point was more that only a tiny percentage of the cars on the road accelerate faster in a straight line. For the twisty bits, I still miss my M3.