Monday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. Bill Jempty says:
  2. Bill Jempty says:
  3. Franklin says:

    @Bill Jempty: It’ll be interesting to see if it was really the fog and difficult terrain.

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  4. Kingdaddy says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: Pre-revolution (iirc) 212 Bell helicopter. My money is on mechanical failure.

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  6. Kathy says:

    Iran happens to be a member of ICAO. Accident investigation rules allow the country of manufacture of the aircraft to be part of the investigation. The helicopter in this accident was made in America.

    It’s on the country where the accident took place to determine the lead investigator agency. This usually means the country’s own agency takes the lead, but not always.

    We’ll see what happens.

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  7. drj says:

    The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants against Hamas’ leadership, as well as Netanyahu and defense minister Gallant for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    A panel of ICC judges will now have to consider whether to grant these warrants.

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  8. Kingdaddy says:

    Random nature news: Coyotes and badgers team up to hunt.

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  9. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    My money is on mechanical failure.

    Sanctions have made spare aircraft parts hard to come by in Iran, so pretty much every aircraft is held together with duct tape and baling wire (that’s really only a minor exaggeration). None are what we in America would consider safe. It was only a matter of time until some senior Iranian official died in an aircraft accident.

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  10. Bill Jempty says:

    Business headline of the day- Red Lobster, an American Seafood Institution, Files for Bankruptcy

    I used to dine at RL some. My mother-in-law liked eating there. She died in 2010. Dear Wife and I haven’t eaten at a RL in 4 or 5 years even though there is one not far from where we live. DW finds their food too salty.

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  11. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @Mikey:

    Overall, most accidents involve several factors, best explained with the Swiss Cheese Model

    For starters, one has to assume these helicopters were in good enough condition that high officials used them. Even so, a well-maintained craft can fail unexpectedly (see the Southwest jet that had an uncontained engine failure). But given the weather conditions, mechanical failures is far from certain.

    I’d be willing to entertain speculations in this case, because I don’t think we’ll get much in the way of answers from Iran. They’re far more likely to use it as an opportunity to lay blame on the US sanctions, and on Israel because why not.

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  12. Bill Jempty says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    My money is on mechanical failure.

    It is a strong possibility. As is bad weather. Wikipedia has around 4 dozen notable accidents categorized as being caused by fog. Tenerife is one of them.

    Get them there itis may be at play. The pilots decided to fly in poor conditions because somebody was in a hurry. It was a factor in the Smolensk disaster. That crash killed the President of Poland.

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  13. Sleeping Dog says:

    Minnesota blues legend, Spider John Koerner passed away late last week.

    John and his musical partners, Dave Ray and Tony Glover were far more influential than their popularity would have implied, now all are gone. John Koerner was also one of the nicest people that you would ever want to meet.

    Good Speed, John.

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  14. Joe says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    Dear Wife and I haven’t eaten at a RL in 4 or 5 years

    Well, there you have it. My now-adult niece, as a child, always called it “Crab Lobster” which maybe made more sense.

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  15. Bill Jempty says:

    @Joe:

    My now-adult niece, as a child,

    Wben I was young and my family was on one of its yearly trips, We’d go to Howard Johnsons for their Friday Fish Frys*.

    Howard Johnsons restaurants are no more.

    *- In one of my short stories, set circa 1970 or so, had a character visiting HOJOs for just that.

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  16. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    A woman that I once worked with loved Red Lobster, her husband who grew up in New England, simply rolled his eyes.

    On the topic of restaurants, one for @MichaelRichards, we had a “crumb catcher” sighting at a restaurant in Boston. As soon as the dinnerware was cleared the server appeared an whisked away the the offending bits, before reviewing the desserts.

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  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: The last (only?) time I was in a Red Lobster was for a going-away lunch for a colleague in the early ’90s and the food was a) 90% deep fried and b) relentless meh. Never had the urge to go back.

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  18. gVOR10 says:

    WAPO (gift link) has an article today on a retired general’s testimony to the House committee “investigating” the Afghan withdrawal. It strikes me as a perfect example of what’s wrong with the supposedly liberal MSM. This isn’t really news, but someone leaked a transcript to them and they just had to report it. I say “report”, but as as is the style these days they wrote a 1,500 word essay, milking it for every column inch they could get. After slapping a clickbait headline on it,

    General says he warned that Afghanistan would get ‘very bad, very fast’

    Like everyone involved at the time didn’t know that?

    If you read the whole 1,500 words, they can try to make a case it’s balanced. But the impression a casual reader (i.e. almost all readers) will get is that it was a disaster and Biden owns it. The committee can be expected to continue to selectively leak through the election year. And the MSM will “report” each leak.

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  19. DK says:

    @gVOR10: Do generals ever say, “The military screwed up”?

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve long since come to the conclusion that if what you are interested in is to create positive change, whether it be policy or practice, aligning your cause with a particular political party is a losing strategy. The vast majority of voters treat their party membership as almost exactly akin to their fandom for the local home team. For this majority there is no real reason to support their party other than it’s “their team”, and if you’ve aligned your goals with another team, especially the hated cross town rival, they will be mindlessly against it. It’s for this reason that I think smart crusaders for a cause have their best chances in single party states. In the past, I’ve assumed that this would only work for issues that could be divorced from partisanship. For example, campaigning on “environmentalism” is a loser in a red state, because that’s a democratic issue. But PCB contamination of groundwater from a factory? That can fly. But this article has me rethinking. It’s a Politico piece about a Republican politician in Idaho who lost his seat to an extremist and is now trying to get it back. What caught my attention was that “Idaho’s lone abortion rights organizer” reached out to him in a sustained and reasonable way, in order to show him the harm caused by his previous votes for harsh anti-abortion legislation. Did she covert him to be pro-abortion? Of course not. But if she can get him and others like him on board, they can roll back the most egregious parts of the legislation, the ones that caused a hospital to close its obstetrics department, and has engendered a severe shortage of OB-GYN and doctors in general.

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  21. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR10: I’m with Kevin Drum on this one:

    Aside from a lone suicide bomber, the withdrawal went well after a single half (½) day of chaos at the start. The embassy, in particular, was fine, and performed heroically throughout the entire time—something the State Department has long deserved more credit for. In the end, we evacuated more than 100,000 people under the most stressful conditions imaginable.

    The Biden administration deserves credit for staying the course and finally getting us out of Afghanistan. The military deserves credit for implementing a massive evacuation plan and executing it well. The State Department deserves credit for staying open at the airport and risking their lives to process papers for a huge number of evacuees.

    Republicans in Congress, by contrast, deserve nothing but jeers for continuing to try to find somebody to blame for those CNN pictures on August 16 that lasted for a grand total of about four hours. As usual, they should be ashamed of themselves, but they aren’t.

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  22. Paul L. says:

    The current rebuttal to the smear that the KKK was a Democrat Front group.
    The parties swapped due to the Southern Strategy.
    Abraham Lincoln would be a Democrat today.
    Woodrow Wilson would be a Republican today.

    No doubt these statements will be confusing to the sophisticates here.

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  23. JKB says:

    Wall Street Journal shows Joe Biden’s inflation is killing household wealth since 2022.

    Adjusted for inflation, net worth (assets like stocks, bonds, cash and property, minus debts) increased by 0.7% under Biden versus 16% under Trump.

    See item 5 on this daily rundown for the chart that is behind the paywall

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  24. Franklin says:

    @Bill Jempty: There are still Howard Johnson hotels, however. I assume they were related?

    As for the 80s singer Howard Johnson, I actually preferred Howard Jones.

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  25. CSK says:

    This is funny:

    Police were notified that a homeless encampment had sprung up on the sidewalk outside the courthouse where Trump is being tried. It turns out that the homeless were MAGAS waiting to gain entry to the legal proceedings.

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  26. Kathy says:

    Now and then on videos about kitchen gadgets, and once on tech gadgets, I’ve been coming across automated cookers like Thermomix and Tokit.

    These are not new machines. Thermomix has been on the market since the 70s. What has changed is the addition of a largish touch screen and computerized directions. Results tend to be good, even when used by people who don’t cook often or at all, provided the directions are followed.

    the downside is that these things are expensive, starting around $1,200 to $1500, and will require additional accessories and tools to be able to use the full range of cooking techniques. So an investment of $2,00, to $3,000 is far more realistic. And what happens if the company that made it stops supporting it or goes out of business? Will the recipe catalog and instructions remain or not? And how durable will they be, if they get used several times per week?

    I’ve no idea how earlier Thermomix models worked. The current one has been around since 2014 or so. Again, not new.

    Thing is other companies are making their own. The one I caught on a tech review was made by Xiaomi. It sells at around the same price as the better known brands, but seemed to come with more accessories (the video didn’t specify what it came with, just hurriedly showed the unboxing). I’ve looked a bit online and found known and unknown brands, some for under $1,000.

    So, now I wonder if this will be the next must have kitchen appliance, like the instant pot and air fryer.

    The big argument against it, is that it does too much. People who like to cook, well, like to cook. these machines tend to reduce the cook to chopping, peeling, and pressing buttons. They also like to modify recipes to suit their style or tastes. You can cook how you want in the automated gadgets, though.

    The bigger argument, made above, is price.

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  27. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: The last time I ate at a restaurant that had anything except a glass sheet topping the table was so long ago that I can’t even remember the name of the place. It is good to know that such places still exist though.

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  28. Bill Jempty says:

    @Franklin:

    There are still Howard Johnson hotels, however. I assume they were related?

    The hotels and restaurants were related. Beginning in the late 80’s, HOJO restaurants were slowly closed down one by one. The last closed its doors in 2022.

    My last HOJOs restaurants experiences came between 1985 and 1987. After Mom died, Dad would frequently eat at the one in Boca Raton. When home on leave from the Navy, I’d eat there with Dad. That stopped when I PCSd from Balboa in San Diego to Subic Bay. I don’t think I ever took my wife to one.

    There was Howard Johnson the baseball player too.

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  29. just nutha says:

    @DK: Given that withdrawals from protracted futile conflicts are predominantly political affairs rather than military ones, I’m not sure how useful blaming the generals for screwing up really is. As always, YMMV, and probably will.

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  30. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: I doubt that “the vast majority of voters” even have membership in political parties in the US. Fraternal organizations — Masons, Eagles, Odd Fellows, the Rotary, etc.–are dying organizations, by appearances, but even those organizations have more members among the non-political general public than political parties do. Your point may be well taken, though I have my doubts, but the fecklessness of the public about organizations they have no real stake in is a different problem than what you present it as.

    Then again, I’m not much on changing the system. Changing people is more important and harder to do (if for no other reason than all the useless hypocritical religious people such movements attract).

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  31. gVOR10 says:

    @just nutha: Can we all agree on blaming W. Bush, who created the whole situation?

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  32. Mimai says:

    @gVOR10:

    Be a uniter, not a divider.

    By which I mean: Blame the Libertarians. #somalia #incels

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  33. anjin-san says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    Red Lobster, an American Seafood Institution, Files for Bankruptcy

    I blame liberals in San Francisco…

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  34. Kathy says:

    Yeah, Rudy deserves to be served a hair dye stained indictment at a sex shop parking lot.

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  35. dazedandconfused says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I wouldn’t bet on anything. The report of fog and mountains opens the door to CFIT* and loss of control. See the Kobe Bryant crash.

    Helicopters are significantly harder than fixed wing to fly on instruments and this is compounded by helicopter pilots not getting much practice in normal ops. Furthermore the good jobs, and “pilot” qualifies bigly, in Iran are heavily tainted by nepotism.

    *Controlled Flight Into Terrain

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  36. Stormy Dragon says:

    House ethics complaint filed over GOP staffer’s anti-trans email

    A senior government official told the Blade in a written statement that the email was not out of character for Donnellan:

    “I’ve heard from two colleagues several months apart about two separate transphobic emails, using identical language, from Matthew. Unfortunately these emails—though inconsistent with the typical collegiality one would expect from a Chief of Staff on the Hill—is likely a reflection of both increased partisanship on the Hill and a rise in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from the right.

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  37. Bill Jempty says:

    @anjin-san:

    I blame liberals in San Francisco…

    I blame libertarian librarians in Liberia.

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  38. MarkedMan says:

    @just nutha:

    Masons, Eagles, Odd Fellows, the Rotary, etc.–are dying organizations, by appearances, but even those organizations have more members among the non-political general public than political parties

    Are you defining political party membership as something other than “registered as X”? It was more difficult than expected to find the percentage of registrations for each party nationally, but state by state it seems that somewhere between 60-80% register as Democrats, Republicans, or some other named party, with the remainder registering as Independents. And of course if you’re not registered you can’t vote so it doesn’t really matter what those people say.

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  39. anjin-san says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    libertarian librarians in Liberia.

    They have much to answer for…

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  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..if you’re not registered you can’t vote.

    When I attained legal voting age of 21 in 1969 I registered to vote in Illinois. I did not register as a member of any political party or as an independent.

    Illinois does not have a political party registration system. However, in a primary election, you must select one political party ballot to vote or request a non-partisan ballot (public questions only) if available. You have the freedom to change your party choice in each primary election.
    Source

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  41. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy:

    Tell him it was either that a Borat movie set…and the server preferred the one in which Rudy has his pants on.

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  42. Bruce Henry says:

    My first legit job, the kind where taxes were deducted, etc, was at Red Lobster in Daytona Beach FL from late 1971 to late summer 1972. I was hired as a dishwasher for $1.60 an hour, minimum wage at the time.
    By the time I quit I had been promoted twice, first to “back-up cook,” and then to fry cook, and was raking in a whopping $1.80!

    I’ve read that the reason Red Lobster is bankrupt now is that they were bought by a vulture capitalist, the land underneath their buildings sold out from under them and then leased back at exorbitant rates until, bled dry, they died. Don’t know if that’s true.

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  43. CSK says:

    Ivan Boesky, 87, has died. He was the model for Gordon Gekko.

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  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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  45. Jack says:

    An entire thread. No mention that “star witness” Michael Cohen perjured himself the other day, and admitted to a felony today.

    Yeah, OTB is the place to go for solid commentary…….

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  46. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Indeed.

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  47. DeD says:

    @Jack:

    Yeah, OTB is the place to go for solid commentary…….

    Which raises the question…

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  48. Gustopher says:

    @DeD: Liquid commentary?

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  49. DeD says:

    @Gustopher:

    More like why tf is he even here, then? I’m willing to bet not even a handful of us here — beside the obvious culprits, that is — would be found trolling around on Breitbart, Newsmax, or Townhall. So, why does he even bother?

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  50. Jax says:

    @Jack: It’s the Open Forum, and nobody cares if Cohen perjured himself yet again? I mean, maybe if Trump showed up to perjure himself, it would be worth it, but…..yawn.

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  51. just nutha says:

    @gVOR10: I’m always willing to blame politicians for bad outcomes in war. It’s been my life experience, after all. 🙁

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  52. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: Yes, indeed I am. “Registered as X” is to membership in an organization as “eats beef” is to cattle ranching. I realize that registered is the standard, but it one of many meaningless pseudo-standards that our nation has. But whatever, bro. Wish for what you want.

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