Monday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mystery metal monolith vanishes from Utah desert

    “All that was left in its place was a message written in the dirt that said ‘bye bitch’ with a fresh pee stain right next to it,” Marino posted to instagram.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Sistine Chapel of the ancients’ rock art discovered in remote Amazon forest

    One of the world’s largest collections of prehistoric rock art has been discovered in the Amazonian rainforest.

    Hailed as “the Sistine Chapel of the ancients”, archaeologists have found tens of thousands of paintings of animals and humans created up to 12,500 years ago across cliff faces that stretch across nearly eight miles in Colombia.

    Their date is based partly on their depictions of now-extinct ice age animals, such as the mastodon, a prehistoric relative of the elephant that hasn’t roamed South America for at least 12,000 years. There are also images of the palaeolama, an extinct camelid, as well as giant sloths and ice age horses.

    These animals were all seen and painted by some of the very first humans ever to reach the Amazon. Their pictures give a glimpse into a lost, ancient civilisation. Such is the sheer scale of paintings that they will take generations to study.

    The discovery was made last year, but has been kept secret until now as it was filmed for a major Channel 4 series to be screened in December: Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:
  4. CSK says:
  5. charon says:

    @CSK:

    This all stems from one simple underlying issue: The President is nuts and the entire Republican Party/ Conservative movement is firmly and fervently committed to pretending he is not nuts. (They do not care for the consequences of acknowledging the obvious).

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Stonekettle@Stonekettle
    Just in time for Joe Biden to take over.

    As usual, Republicans trash the country and hand rich people a bunch of money in the process. Then leave it to somebody else to clean up the mess.

    Every. Fucking. Time.

    Wild Bill Wellman@WildBillWellman
    Jesus fucking Christ. Like this is a ticking time bomb scenario.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:
  8. CSK says:

    @charon:
    It’s getting harder and harder for them to keep up the pretense.

    The full-out Trumpkins, on the other hand, are apparently launching, today, a 2-week bus tour of the East Coast and swing states to “Stop the Steal,” as they put it. This will culminate in a “massive march for Trump” in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 12.

    Tis, the season, I guess.

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  9. Kylopod says:

    It’s official. We know Dems stole the election because Republicans other than Trump did so well.

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    “Democrats suffered crushing down-ballot loss across America.”
    @nytimes
    . This is true. All statehouses won, and in Washington we did great. So I led this great charge, and I’m the only one that lost? No, it doesn’t work that way. This was a massive fraud, a RIGGED ELECTION!
    This claim about election fraud is disputed
    9:55 PM · Nov 29, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

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  10. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    He’ll never admit, even to himself, that most people can’t stand him. And obviously that includes a goodly number of Republicans.

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  11. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, I spent the weekend thinking about how slow progress is in certain areas because the primary motivation of advocates is to get people to change their mind and publicly admit they were wrong, and the desired change in law is only the secondary motivation.

    Ex: People who don’t believe in global warming should acknowledge that they are wrong, rather than the easier (but not easy) lift of having them agree to reduce pollution.

    Another: People who think the “homosexual lifestyle” is immoral must see the light and acknowledge the error of their beliefs, rather than the easier (but not easy) lift of having them agree that the government shouldn’t be deciding who can and can’t marry.

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  12. sam says:

    @CSK:

    That would be the Croaken.

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  13. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod: That’s what’s so ridiculous (well, one of the things that’s ridiculous) about this whole dopey conspiracy theory. If the Democrats really had the power to “steal the election,” why stop with Trump? Seriously, as long as there’s a GOP Senate, McConnell can still kill any useful legislation while he continues to pack the courts with unqualified Federalist Society drones. Why on Earth would a party with the power to “steal the election” not “steal” the Senate too? It makes zero sense unless of course you’re Trump and you think literally everything that happens is about you.

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  14. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Praise Q! That monolith was a 4th Dimensional portal that gave alien space pedos direct access to earth to ravage Red State aborted children. Glad Q was able to avoid FBI & CIA goons guarding it and remove it to a Blue State.

    (Too bad Bills not around, that would’ve been an ebook idea for him.)

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  15. CSK says:

    @sam:
    Which appears to be croaking.

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  16. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: But public opinion does change–look at the dramatic shift on same-sex marriage over the past decade and a half. Of course people who are fanatically anti-gay didn’t change, but the fanatics aren’t really the target of most attempts at persuasion.

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  17. @Kylopod: @Mikey: As best I can tell after having read far too much of the fraud truthers stuff the last couple of days, one version of the fraud is a bunch of ballots only marked for Biden.

    This, of course, makes no sense, but that is the basis of their claims that the other elections aren’t tainted, just Biden’s.

    (Although one guy on Twitter yesterday did tell me that computer hacks leave no evidence, which is crazy convenient for a conspiracy theory–although exactly why they didn’t hack the Senate in that version of the theory of the case, I couldn’t possibly say).

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  18. Joe says:

    @sam and CSK:
    Or the Choken which appears to be choking.

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  19. ImProPer says:

    I’ve been doing  some pondering  about
    possible strategies Rudy the Ruse might have left at his disposal in the courts.  This was  one that didn’t involve some type of an  armed coup.

    “Your honor, prior to presenting exhibit A, evidence that while overwhelming, is virtually invisible. That you may see it,  plaintiffs would ask that you use these clarifying eye-drops and dim the lights for 15 minutes”

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  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Ex: People who don’t believe in global warming should acknowledge that they are wrong, rather than the easier (but not easy) lift of having them agree to reduce pollution.

    But first you have to convince them that Carbon Dioxide is pollution and the entire fossil fuel industry will spend billions to fight that.

    Another: People who think the “homosexual lifestyle” is immoral must see the light and acknowledge the error of their beliefs, rather than the easier (but not easy) lift of having them agree that the government shouldn’t be deciding who can and can’t marry.

    I don’t know a single pro gay marriage person who is against the proposition that “the government shouldn’t be deciding who can and can’t marry.” In fact, they are all quite in favor of exactly that. I have yet to hear somebody say, “I insist on getting married in this church that hates me.” If some people want to believe that “the “homosexual lifestyle” is immoral”, fine. As long as they keep it to themselves and their fellow religious zealots. The problem is, they can’t, and they just have to try and impose their religious bigotry on other people.

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  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: he can’t “pack the courts with unqualified Federalist Society drones” if Biden doesn’t appoint any.

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  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    Can anyone recommend a reliable and durable small LED flashlight, something powered by one or two ‘A’ cell batteries? I have halogen bulb flashlights that I’ve had for 30 years that operate fine, though the light is dim compared to LED.

    I keep small flashlights stowed about the house and vehicles, where I may need one and the LEDs seem to have a half life of about 6 months when they quit working and changing batteries has no effect. Though sometime rapping them on the side of the workbench gets them going again, briefly.

    All of the LEDs I’ve had are popular brand names from big-box stores with cost between $7-$15

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  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: Sure. But taking the pollution one as an example, if we can get global warming skeptics behind a carbon reduction bill because taking particulates out of the air reduces the incidence of asthma in children, why not take the win? Why do we have to add the borden of them having to see the light on global warming?

    I just listened to a podcast about a Congressional Rep in New England who was formerly known as the Queen of Coal, because her coastal hometown did so well financially by hosting a giant coal fired power generation plant. When she saw the tax revenues drop by 90%+ over the course of less than a decade, she worked hard to get an offshore wind farm built and renamed herself the “Witch of Wind”. One of the things that was highlighted was that neither she nor almost anyone else involved talked about climate change. It was jobs, jobs, jobs. They took the win, and instead of a new gas fired plant that would be around for 20-30 years, we have a completely clean source of energy.

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  24. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hahaha…I had overlooked that point…go me. In my defense I sat in horrible traffic this morning and my 40 minute drive to work took two hours and I’m a bit punchy.

    Anyway, so no Federalist drones. We’ll probably go back to confirming hardly any judges at all, which is what McConnell did to Obama. There were so many open federal judgeships the last couple years of Obama’s second term that it hampered the operation of the federal judicial system.

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  25. Jay L Gischer says:

    So, certain hacks of computer systems don’t, in fact, leave any evidence, and this is what was so terrifying about the use of Diebold machines in 2004, for instance. This is why I, and so many other computer professionals, recommended that they use a system that is auditable.

    So for me there is this very strange echo in this stuff from 2004 and our complaints about the Diebold machines. This time it’s the Dominion system.

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  26. Jen says:

    @CSK: What the ever-lovin’ hell is that? How does someone not know how to use the space bar??

    Wow. I mean just…WOW.

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    you have to convince them that Carbon Dioxide is pollution

    See my comment above. I’m explicitly stating that you don’t need to do that. Instead, you find a project that satisfies your desire to reduce greenhouse gasses and then find reasons they should support it. Significantly easier than first, getting them to publicly admit they were wrong about something, and then getting them to support the project.

    they just have to try and impose their religious bigotry on other people.

    And my point is that if the goal is to protect the actual rights of LBGTQ people by insuring they have the legal protections afforded by marriage, then when trying to get the support of religious bigots, focus on reasons why they would support such an expansion. They are free to try to spread their bigotry (this is America, after all, and we have free speech) but all of us should be wary of the asking the government to enforce anyone’s religious beliefs. I’m not saying you are going to convince a whole lot of them, but I’m willing to bet that’s what actually happened in the gay marriage debate. A not insignificant number of people held the belief that being gay was a sin while simultaneously believing that it wasn’t right to use the government to enforce non-sinning. Most hyper-religious people already felt that way about heterosexuals “living in sin” – they were personally against it but didn’t want the government to break down doors to hall away the sinners. And of course, once gay marriage became a thing and the world didn’t end, then more people became accepting.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: I’ve been awake since 1 AM. Really surprised I was able to catch it.

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  29. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    The most hilarious excuse I’ve heard so far from the Powell acolytes is that converting something to PDF changes the spelling and spacing. I know, I know.

    I gotta say, that business about Rudy’s hair dye trying to escape from the room had me in fits of laughter.

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  30. MarkedMan says:

    Re: my point above about finding common ground, I think this is similar to the problem with bad sales rep: they refuse to take “yes” for an answer. On a number of occasions I’ve watched a rep lose a sale they had won because they just had to convince the buyer about some point the buyer didn’t agree with.
    “Thanks for the sale! And this will really increase your throughput!”
    “Nah, I don’t think it will. I bought it because it will reduce defects.”
    “Sure, it will do that too, but the important thing is that it will increase throughput! Let me explain why you are wrong in excruciating detail!”
    … and thus begins an uncomfortable conversation that ends with the customer never issuing the PO and avoiding the reps calls.

    There was a nurse recently who talked about the patients who were denying Covid existed even while they were dying of it. A lot of people reacted, “How can they be so stupid?!” But I think I understood their motivation and it wasn’t stupidity, or at least was directly related to stupid. They had probably been the obnoxious loudmouths who had ridiculed the virus to any and all who would listen. And now they were proven wrong in the most horrifying way possible. And even then they would rather be known as a tough son-of-a-gun who stuck to their beliefs and couldn’t get pushed around, then as some loser who was wrong.

    Bottom line, the motivation not to back down is an incredibly powerful one. And just as strong is the motivation to get people to back down. This is core, and most certainly not limited to humans. But because of these competing motivations, we spend way to much time futilely beating each other with verbal fists rather than figuring out a way to sidestep such a primordial battle and making progress with other arguments.

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  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: First off, what you said was,

    Ex: People who don’t believe in global warming should acknowledge that they are wrong, rather than the easier (but not easy) lift of having them agree to reduce pollution.

    The fossil fuel industry is going to hammer hard on the fact that CO2 has always been in the atmosphere and those who want to keep driving their gas cars are gonna say, “YEAH!”
    2ndly

    focus on reasons why they would support such an expansion.

    Please explain to me where we might find this magical unicorn, because they are hyperventilating over the possibility of overturning Obergefell now that ACB is on the court. That and the end of abortion are the holy grails they have been searching for.

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    My kingdom for an edit button!

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  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: You give these people way too much credit.

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  34. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: See my comment at 9:57. A wind farm was successfully built of the NE coast after two decades of opposition and the primary motivation of almost everyone involved was something other than CO2 emissions.

    And abortion is a good example on my side. The pro-abortion side has actually been very good at this. They focus on choice, about women deciding for themselves and don’t spend a whole lot of time trying to convince people their preachers and priests are wrong on the religious aspects.

    The tactics I’m describing don’t change minds, and they don’t even work with large majorities. But they can work to get enough people to accept change that things can get done. As I paraphrase Hillary Clinton from more than a decade ago, “F*ck hearts and minds. Change laws! That’s what will make a difference in peoples lives.”

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  35. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    You give these people way too much credit

    Not in my eyes. To me, the inability to admit error is a character flaw. Stupidity is just how you were born. (And not to be confused with ignorance, which can be corrected.)

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  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: As an old caver, I don’t use flashlights, I use headlamps. This is a good rundown on what to look for: Best Headlamp for Caving: Best value for beginners

    I’m still using my ancient (20 yo) Princetontec around here (I don’t cave anymore, Too old, Too fat, Don’t care) but the technology has improved so much it is way outdated. I know a # of cavers who now use the Zebralight H600Fw Mk IV 18650 XHP35 Floody Neutral White Headlamp

    Why a headlamp? Hands free.

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  37. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..He’ll never admit, even to himself, that most people can’t stand him. And obviously that includes a goodly number of Republicans.

    At least not this week.

    Trump:
    …but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That’s all.
    Source

    Cry me a river!
    ——————-
    EDIT BUTTON WOO HOO!

    Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
    Mark Twain
    Born on this day 1835 in Florida, Missouri.

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  38. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: To repeat a link I put up last night, here’s the legal fisking of the above mentioned hairball that Sidney coughed up.

    How that woman passed the Bar is beyond me….it’s like she vaguely remembers there’s something called a permanent injunction, but doesn’t have a clue as to how to get one. And has totally forgotten everything she ever learned about Evidence and Due Process. Read the Twitter thread. It’s a hoot.

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  39. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    How about…because you’re a churl and a boob, Donny?

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  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I don’t feel like arguing and this will be my final word on the subject as I am going to go take a nap. I did see your comment at 9:57. Yeah, a wind farm off the coast of Maine. Great for them but it isn’t going to fly in Appalachia and it won’t stop the drilling in Texas or Wyoming where they are putting up wind farms galore.

    And abortion is a good example on my side.

    NPR:

    A total of 77% say the Supreme Court should uphold Roe, but within that there’s a lot of nuance — 26% say they would like to see it remain in place, but with more restrictions added; 21% want to see Roe expanded to establish the right to abortion under any circumstance; 16% want to keep it the way it is; and 14% want to see some of the restrictions allowed under Roe reduced. Just 13% overall say it should be overturned.

    And yet access to abortion becomes more restricted every year. There is an entire political party that is dedicated to ending abortion and even if most of their voters are in favor of it to some extent, they will keep voting for the people trying to end it.

    But they can work to get enough people to accept change that things can get done.

    Like during Obama’s 2nd term?

    So to repeat myself, you give these people way too much credit.

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  41. Michael Cain says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I keep small flashlights stowed about the house and vehicles, where I may need one and the LEDs seem to have a half life of about 6 months when they quit working and changing batteries has no effect. Though sometime rapping them on the side of the workbench gets them going again, briefly.

    Pure speculation here. You’ve described them as using one or two 1.5V batteries. That would generally require some sort of step-up power supply, and cheap ones are subject to failure. (Household LED bulbs almost never die because the LED itself failed, they die because the cheap built-in AC/DC converter fails.) My rule of thumb for cheap flashlights is get the ones that use three or more batteries — no step-up supply necessary.

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @MarkedMan:

    …the government shouldn’t be deciding who can and can’t marry.

    In 2012, when Rs in the NH legislature had a veto proof majority and tried to repeal gay marriage, government interference with individuals was the argument that sunk the effort. The libertarians in the R caucus simply wouldn’t go along w/the religious right on repeal. As a result, the repeal issue barely got 40% support in the House.

    That certainly shocked Rs around the country.

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  43. KM says:

    @MarkedMan:

    They are free to try to spread their bigotry (this is America, after all, and we have free speech) but all of us should be wary of the asking the government to enforce anyone’s religious beliefs.

    Here’s the thing: these folks used to understand the reason they couldn’t go around having the government enforce Xtian Sharia is because it legally meant Sharia Sharia would be in play too. It’s only been in the last few years when they’ve packed enough courts to neuter the whole expectation of equal application of the law that they’ve gotten bolder in their insistence. Mutual destruction was what kept the balance – “beliefs” meant anyone’s belief, not just the Approved Fundie List. Now you can’t expect them to care about the gov enforcing beliefs because they explicitly understand it to mean THEIR beliefs only will be enforced, having rigged the system to ensure just that. The ideological truth we’ve lived under for decades has been rendered toothless and they know it.

    Bottom line, the motivation not to back down is an incredibly powerful one. And just as strong is the motivation to get people to back down. …… we spend way to much time futilely beating each other with verbal fists rather than figuring out a way to sidestep such a primordial battle and making progress with other arguments.

    A part of that is the need to win vs the need to not back down, certainly. However, there is also a pressing need to ensure that others really do get it and agree and not, you know, get stabbed in the back the second the alliance isn’t beneficial anymore. When you crow jobs, jobs, jobs they’ll do what’s necessary to address the jobs part, not the actual pollution part. They’ll still be engaging in all the bad habits that contribute to the death of this planet. When someone smokes 100 cigarettes a day, it’s a really a victory to get them to drop it down to 95 “for their health”? Having someone accept your premise means they’ll be more likely to act on it, rather than co-opt part of it for their own agenda. Making it about jobs may get us some small victories but it won’t be enough to turn the tide. You can’t fix a problem you refuse to admit exists – you may be able to address some symptoms that bug you but in the end, you can’t solve what you willingly won’t see.

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  44. James Mahoney says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Thanks, that makes sense. All the ones I have trouble with use one or two A or AA batteries. I’ll give one w/3 or more a try.

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  45. ImProPer says:

    @CSK:

    “This is laugh-out-loud funny”

    I missed this gem before posting my theory a little earlier. Now I’m not a 20k/ day attorney, but do think a little orange sunshine in some eye drops would be an easier sell than getting the judge to smoke some Kraken.

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  46. KM says:

    @KM:
    Damn, hit enter before I was done:

    Compare it to severe alcoholism denial. You may not like people moralizing at you, telling you that you’re ruining your life, health, relationships, blah blah blah because day drinking is fun and you don’t care what they think. Will scolding you stop you from drinking? Nope! Screw those guys, how dare they tell me I’m hurting my kids and wasting my money? Sure, you feel like hell in the morning but that’s what Advil’s for! Don’t need to stop drinking or admit it’s a problem for that headache to go away. Oh, you get sick from mixing your liquors? Just focus on the Jameson then, vodka’s a dead end. Don’t need to stop drinking or admit it’s a problem for that sour stomach to never happen again as long as you follow some rules! There’s no such thing as cirrhosis and even if there was, it’s certainly not your drinking that’s causing your body to shut down. And hey, that’s what medicine is for – science will save you later in life from all your screw-ups today so why change your behavior?

    You may stop drinking for a small period of time – applying for a job and need to look respectable, stuck in a hospital and no access to booze, outta money and liquor store won’t bargain. Unless you *choose* to accept that your drinking is an issue, you’re just go right back to bad habits the second you can. You’ve learned how to live with or work around negative consequences; they’re no longer a deterrent until they get so damn bad you can’t pretend anymore or you’re dead. You can agree to go to rehab but you’ll just backslide unless you accept the underlying premise of rehab – you have a problem and need to change so the problem will stop. Anything less is just bandaids on a fatal wound; acknowledgment is necessary for ultimate success in any endeavor.

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  47. Sleeping Dog says:

    Over at the Atlantic, Tim Noah has an article up discussing what we might yet learn about Trump.

    Access to the documentary record will be limited by other considerations too. Under the 1978 Presidential Records Act, the National Archives may not grant the public access to presidential documents for a period of five years. Ex-presidents are given considerable latitude—too much, really—to restrict access to certain types of records, including those related to national-security and medical matters. This means that it may be a while before we find out what prompted Trump’s unexplained Saturday-afternoon visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in November 2019. (The White House said it was part of his “routine annual physical exam,” an explanation that the press immediately concluded was a lie.)

    (emphasis mine)

    Now, if I were an R operative seeking to put Trump and the Trump years behind the party, I would see an opportunity in changing the access law to, two years from the current 5. Trump would surely holler, but any potential R who fancies herself the R presidential candidate in 24 would see a benefit in getting the ugly out. As far as upsetting the Cult, this would be very inside baseball for them and it can be framed as transparency.

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  48. Flat earth luddite says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I recommend the LED Lenser brand. I’ve got 2 of their small As a lights in the car, and others in the house. Metal, solid, great light. Bought online through a hardware store in Whatcom County, although they’re sold everywhere. Btw, a retired engineer I knew told me to never buy a flashlight with button switch on the base (opposite from shiny end) because those switches always are a failure point.

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  49. Matt says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    computer hacks leave no evidence

    There is evidence left behind every single time. The very act of a hacker entering and changing a system leaves evidence behind. The best a hacker can do is to make sure that the evidence left behind isn’t helpful for their target.

    @Jay L Gischer: The very nature of hacking leaves evidence behind. Anything that changes the original platform or software is noticeable if people bother to look. Just because someone refuses to see the evidence doesn’t mean it’s not there. The problem with the diebold machines was the willful ignorance of those using them. Proper testing would quickly uncover any mass hacking attempt. Unfortunately I lacked faith in the ability of people in charge of those areas to do a proper test. So I too advocated for a paper trail to at least somewhat make up for this.

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  50. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Although one guy on Twitter yesterday did tell me that computer hacks leave no evidence

    And apparently somehow eat the affected paper ballots. IIRC the rap on the Diebold machines@Jay L Gischer: mentioned wasn’t just that the company was run by Republican donors, but that they didn’t leave paper ballots for audit. The Dominion machines, and the others in current use, are – wait for it- paper ballot readers. The machines just read hand marked ballots, except that people with disabilities can ask to use a tablet to mark a ballot, which is printed for counting.

    By what magic did the hackers work the same hack on the GA hand recount? Some of the recounts elsewhere were machine recounts, but by different people, in different order, on different machines. How do you work the hack with exactly the same results? And I believe even without a recount most jurisdictions do random partial recounts to validate the counts.

    Essentially all of the stories I’ve seen mentioning Dominion fail to mention they’re just counting paper ballots, which are saved for audit.

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  51. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Flat earth luddite:

    Ordered 3, will give them a try.

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  52. flat earth luddite says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    And as @Michael Caine said above, 3 cell lights, whether AA or AAA, are always a better bet. The headlamp type that @Ozark mentioned sits in the emergency bag in the spare tire well. Perfect for that early morning flat tire fix!

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  53. Kathy says:

    All social, political, and economic problems can be reduced to this one thing:

    NOTHING is ever due to just one thing.

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  54. @Kathy:
    Agree. Been saying this for years. Our brains may be obsessed with binary choices but reality is not. The answer is almost never A or B or C, it’s usually D: All of the above.

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  55. Kathy says:

    Well, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia have all certified their election results. Of the five states Biden flipped from 2016, only Wisconsin is left.

    As Pessimus Trump rants and rave and throws a tantrum, the country begins to move on and leaving him behind. I feel so sorry for him, it’s all I can do not to laugh.

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You can hack the Presidential election with one hack, but hacking the Senate takes 33 discrete hacks? You’d be right if you note that doesn’t make sense, but it’s the best I can do on short notice with limited knowledge about how election hacking works.

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  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The court packing will slow down considerably during the coming 4 years, but it seems to me that feature is built in with a GOP Senate majority. We’ll just go from approving Federalist Society hacks to approving no one.

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  58. JohnSF says:

    Played an old CD from 1991 at the weekend, that I’d rather forgotten, for the first time in years.
    And I have an anthem to see out the year:
    The Mock Turtles: Why Must I Share This Air With Foolish Men?

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  59. Sleeping Dog says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I have several headlamps and never had a problem, even with the cheap ones, just the flashlights. I like keeping both around, usually I’ll leave one in a closet/drawer that’s poorly lit or around the AV equipment, old eyes you know. Working on the motorcycles, it is often nice to shine the light in from the side or back and a headlamp doesn’t do that.

    I’ll give these a try and see what happens.

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  60. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    The Kraken, despite its appearance in a movie about Greek Mythology with visual effects by Ray Harryhausen, is a creature of Norse mythology. I don’t think it was orange.

    Anyway, there’s this candy bar called “Krackel.” It was milk chocolate with crisped rice inside (not bad). As far back as when I saw the aforementioned movie, I find the name too similar to a candy bar to inspire anything other than laughter.

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  61. MarkedMan says:

    I though this excerpt from a behind-the-paywall piece at TPM was interesting:

    But focusing solely on the ousting of this particular president and his friends — and on their considerable failures as leaders — risks missing a deeper, more fundamental point: that though Donald Trump lost reelection, the ideology and belief system underpinning so many of the debacles of his presidency prevails, and was always doomed to fail the country in the face of a disaster like this one. A response to COVID-19 and the economic crisis it triggered guided by and grounded in a conservative worldview would always have failed us, regardless of who was in the White House. At base, conservative ideology itself was just as responsible for the failure to appropriately and effectively respond to this crisis as Trump’s personal failings were. And that ideology will still be present — rife, in fact — in our government long after Trump is gone.

    Now, like any ideology, conservatism is not homogenous. It spans a spectrum of ideas that can roughly be grouped under a broad umbrella. But there are some important core tenets of the conservative movement that most, if not all, adherents share to some degree. First, conservatism posits that that government itself tends to cause more problems than it solves, and that free markets — unencumbered by government intervention — are always best positioned to allocate resources and improve society. Second, modern conservatism argues that the economy is primarily driven by capital and its owners, and as such, the interests of capital owners are paramount. And third, conservatives tend to see differences and disparities along racial and gender lines as either irrelevant, temporary, or — in the most pernicious form — deserved.

    Certainly, conservatism means more than just these three ideas. But these three in particular, and their corollaries, are all critical tent poles for the modern conservative movement that permeate all levels of our government and economy. And as we lay out in detail below, these are arguments that fall flat generally and are especially ill-suited to the current COVID crisis.

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  62. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Oh, I know that the Kraken was Norse. I’m also familiar with the Tennyson poem.

    Sidney Powell may not be.

    I do like Krackels.

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  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I always preferred Nestle’s Crunch, myself. But I’m more of a dark chocolate fan. Krackle bars just don’t taste enough like chocolate to me.

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  64. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Except for Krackels, my great preference is for dark chocolate.

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  65. Kathy says:

    And now Wisconsin has certified its election results.

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  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @flat earth luddite: Want to note that for a caver, light is life. There is a location in one cave I know of called “Last Match Pass” because that is where the “spelunker” burned his last match and had to wait for a caver to come and rescues his ass. We always carry 3 sources of light because “shit happens”. There is no flashlight that is anywhere near as reliable as what a caver puts his life on the line with.

    The voice of years of pushing back the edges of the known world sayin’…

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  67. ImProPer says:

    @Kathy:

    “I feel so sorry for him, it’s all I can do not to laugh.”

    I’m a much weaker person. Your compassion, and discipline is commendable ;•)

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  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Exactly.

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  69. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’m of the opinion that milk chocolate only lives up to the first half of its name.

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  70. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    It’s insipid. Even as a very young child, I preferred dark chocolate.

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  71. flat earth luddite says:

    @ImProPer:
    Indeed. And then there’s this from today’s Bulwark.

    Over the weekend, Flynn gave an interview to an outlet called Worldview Weekend. In the course of his remarks, Flynn had this to say about Donald Trump and the 2020 election:
    “There is no doubt in my mind that he won this election. Hands down. In a landslide,” Flynn said about Mr. Trump during a phone interview that was uploaded to the internet afterward.
    “I believe that at the end of the day we’re going to find out that he won by a massive landslide and he’ll be inaugurated come this January,” Flynn stated later during the interview.

    What I want to know is what these people are smoking. Not that I want any, I just want to make sure I don’t accidently smoke it. Wowsers!

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  72. Kathy says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I think it’s self-evident they’ve smoked some bad covfefe.

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  73. DrDaveT says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    What I want to know is what these people are smoking.

    What I want to know is whether Flynn was already a dangerous lunatic when he was Assistant Director of National Intelligence. It seems there is some evidence that he was. That’s scarier to me than any current Trumpery; the vetting process should be better than that.

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  74. Jax says:

    @DrDaveT: Particularly in the age of Trump and Q. There are now legions of people who should fail any governmental vetting process if they espoused beliefs that indicate they were suckered by Q. I don’t want them anywhere near the levers of government.

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