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. Scott says:

    Lucky us.

    The average daily count of new cases in Texas has nearly tripled since the beginning of July. The number of people hospitalized with the virus has doubled. And the positivity rate for coronavirus tests has grown to more than 10 percent — a rate not seen in the state since February.

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  2. Michael Cain says:

    @Scott: I looked up my county’s (pop 370,000) numbers yesterday evening. No one’s died in over a month. No new hospital admissions for a week. Vaccination rate is creeping up on 70%. Next month will probably be worse, though, what with people heading for Sturgis and the university resuming.

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  3. KM says:

    Catholic bishops’ effort to deny Biden communion risks alienating church members, a majority of whom support abortion rights

    You shouldn’t be officially taking communion if you’re using BC in any form, male or female. You’re in a state of sin and thus are not in a fit state to receive the sacrament; this goes for being divorced without an annulment or any other sin you didn’t confess to before communion so I’d wager 99.5% of people are in violation when they walk up to the altar. Doesn’t seem to matter and you don’t hear about priests insisting everyone follow the rules before they give out the Eucharist. The stunning hypocrisy of seeing the Church try to deny a man who does his best to live his faith after half a decade of not doing jack about an unrepentant active sinner is galling, especially as it’s clearly a political act meant to punish on a single issue they view as a sin.

    Yes, I’m aware TFG wasn’t Catholic and thus couldn’t be denied communion by them (he wouldn’t have showed up anyways) but they did nothing to indicate displeasure at his sinful, harmful ways in any of the means available to them. This little bit of petty RW control looks so bad to many, especially youths looking skeptically at Christianity. Here’s someone promoting feeding the hungry, caring for the little children, healing the sick and repairing the nation with peace and he’s being told he can’t exercise his faith by some RW nuts willing to give communion to liars, abusers and unrepentant hate-filled souls. This crap is why the pews are so empty; the most egregious sins that will get the Gates slammed shut in your face are fine to modern religious authorities so long as you pay lips service to MAGA but on this one non-Biblical issue they’ll toss you out.

    Church is supposed to be a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints. Turning away someone you feel is in a state of religious error for political reasons goes against the grain of theology. If they feel they must speak out, they should be calling for him to confess and repent as is the traditional call to action of the preacher; denying communion is too far and will alienate or disillusion many even further.

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  4. Kylopod says:

    @KM: I remember the incident in 2008 when Doug Kmiec was denied Communion because he endorsed Obama for president. Even though he identifies as pro-life, it was considered unacceptable just to endorse a pro-choice candidate. This was evidently the first time it happened to a public figure, though John Kerry and others had been threatened with it previously. The Church official who made this decision was later disciplined by highers-up.

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  5. Mikey says:

    @Michael Cain: Here in Fairfax County we’re at 76% of 18-and-older with at least one shot, 67.5% with both. Our 7-day average of daily COVID deaths has fluctuated between 0 and 1 since late May.

    Unfortunately, though, our 7-day average of daily new cases has gone up from 10 to 30 in the last three weeks, which in absolute numbers still isn’t a lot for a county with a population of 1.1 million, but does represent a tripling.

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  6. CSK says:

    If you can stand to read it, there’s a long, good piece about their interview with Trump at http://www.vanityfair.com by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, entitled “‘I’m Getting the Word Out.'”

    Among the revelations:
    1. Donald Trump is the biggest star-maker, ever.
    2. Fauci and Birx are publicity hounds.
    3. In its time, Mar-a-Lago had the biggest pane of glass.

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  7. Jon says:

    @CSK: I had to look up that ‘hospital for sinners’ quote since I’d never heard it before and really liked it. Turns out it is from Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby), of all people.

    The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.

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  8. CSK says:

    @Jon:

    Thank @KM: for pointing it out/using it, not me. 🙂

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: In its time, Mar-a-Lago had the biggest pane of glass.

    And still has the biggest pain in the ass.

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  10. Jon says:

    @CSK: Oops, damn Monday.

    Thanks @KM for learning me something new!

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  11. Kathy says:

    So, tomorrow Jeff Bezos will head nowhere, but he will get there very fast.

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  12. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Good one!

    And did you know that Mar-a-Lago means sea-to-lake? And that it’s the biggest and best in the world?

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  13. Teve says:
  14. Teve says:

    In a short while, the Fox line will be, “Red states are getting covid more because they’re toughing it out, the American way, to get *Natural* immunity, rather than be experimented on by George Soros-linked Globalist Pharmaceutical corporations. I mean, *who knows* what the UN is really putting in those shots?”

    And it’ll 100% work.

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I’m a little surprised no one beat me to it.

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  16. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: It is important to remember that abortion as murder was invented out of whole cloth post Roe v Wade. Up until then it was not a thing. Abortion is never mentioned in the Old Testament or the New. Heck, in the OT there is more than one occasion that it was deemed laudable to kill your children, even into adulthood, for things that had nothing to do with them. OT parental rights were absolute.

    As for the slogan, “life begins at conception”, that’s just New Age gibberish.

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  17. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It is important to remember that abortion as murder was invented out of whole cloth post Roe v Wade. Up until then it was not a thing.

    A bit of an oversimplification–the Catholic Church had been opposed to abortion for a while before Roe, going back to the 1800s. It’s true, however, that its rise as an issue among Protestant evangelicals is mostly a post-Roe phenomenon (and in fact took several years before setting in–the SBC initially endorsed Roe, and continued doing so until the late 1970s).

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  18. Teve says:
  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..As for the slogan, “life begins at conception”, that’s just New Age gibberish.

    Human life begins before conception.
    The sperm in the body of a male is alive and it is human. The eggs in a female body are alive and they are human.

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  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Teve:
    This is a travesty….Prosecution asked for 18 months, probation asked for 15.
    For participating in the attempted overthrow of our Government.
    For what even the sentencing judge called Domestic Terrorism.
    By all accounts it’s likely to be a guide for future sentencing.
    Just 8 months.
    In the meantime Crystal Mason is serving five years for casting a provisional ballot, with a poll worker’s help, which ultimately was never counted.

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  21. Jon says:

    @Kylopod: What set the religious right off was school integration, not abortion. They just pretend it was abortion because pretending to care about fetuses is easier to market than “I don’t want my kid sitting next to a black kid.”

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  22. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I also like to point out that a cancerous tumor is made up entirely of living human cells. For some reason, no one objects to aborting them surgically, or through painful and drawn out methods like radiation or chemotherapy (and lately by siccing the immune system on them).

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  23. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Abortion is never mentioned in the Old Testament or the New.

    I’ve seen claims that infanticide was common among the ancient Hebrews. As I understand it, the Catholic prohibition of abortion, and birth control, dates all the way back to 1930. And most protestant faiths held that “life” whatever that means, began at birth. The evangelicals rewrote their theology post Roe. More examples of eternal, undying conservative principles. Check to see what they are next week.

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  24. Kylopod says:

    @Jon:

    What set the religious right off was school integration, not abortion.

    I agree. There’s a lot of documentation of that. I was just pointing out that it’s inaccurate to say nobody cared about abortion until Roe, when it was the official position of the Catholic Church for over a century and where Roe itself was a product of years-long battles on whether abortion should be legal or not.

    Indeed, a big aspect of the rise of the Christian Right was an alliance between Protestant evangelicals and Catholics, something which would have seemed odd in the days of JFK and Al Smith.

    Some years back I read a couple of books about the early anti-abortion movement in the ’70s, and it revealed that some of the leading activists early on were Catholic leftists who had previously been involved in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the ’60s. They viewed what they were doing as as just another human-rights, social-justice movement, not a fundamentalist imposition of religious doctrine on the populace. Its transformation to fundamentally a right-wing movement (remember that McGovern’s running mate Sargent Shriver was pro-life) was in fact partly a reflection of its being coopted by right-wing Protestants (many of them former segregationists), and an ideological sorting that took place over the next decade.

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  25. senyordave says:

    Are some jokes/comments a fireable offense? Exhibit 1:
    Fox promo for Bongino’s new Fox Nation show on ‘cancel culture’
    Gilbert Gottfried: “The internet makes me feel sentimental about old time lynch mobs. At least lynch mobs they had to put their shoes on, go out, get their hands dirty, and deal with other people.”
    If you don’t get fired for that comment, one would have to conclude that your employer is completely okay with a joke about lynching people. I think it is certain that a comedian making a joke about the Holocaust would find himself without a job.

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  26. Jon says:

    @Kylopod: Yuppers. It was sometime in 1869 before the Pope re-banned it (it had been banned briefly 300 years earlier, for 3 years or so, but then got unbanned).

    Source.

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  27. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Not in my view. Given how privileged towards white men our system is, I was expecting the judge to say, “I sentence you to 11 seconds probation, so just walk slowly towards the door on your way out.” That he got a prison sentence at all is remarkable, though he’ll probably serve half of the 8 months. Still, I don’t want to spend one day in prison.

    Crystal Mason’s situation is medieval and a real tragedy.

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  28. Kylopod says:

    @senyordave:

    I think it is certain that a comedian making a joke about the Holocaust would find himself without a job.

    Sarah Silverman and Seth MacFarlane would like a word with you.

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  29. senyordave says:

    @Kylopod: I should have said a comparable joke. Gottfried’s “joke” is a far cry from the type of joke you might see on Curb Your Enthusiasm (e.g. Larry won’t fire a chef at his new restaurant because he is a survivor, but you find out later that the chef’s tattooed numbers on his forearm are actually his lottery selections).
    Gottfried’s joke is a warped celebration of lynching. I think a comparable Holocaust joke would get someone fired. I suspect Syrius is not thrilled about the joke.

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  30. George says:

    @Teve:

    Not in my view. Given how privileged towards white men our system is, I was expecting the judge to say, “I sentence you to 11 seconds probation, so just walk slowly towards the door on your way out.”

    Only rich white men. Police kill 500 poor white men every year , only a third of the rate that the police kill blacks and indigenous people, but 10x the rate European countries kill, and probably 1000 times the rate they kill rich people.

    Our system was happy to draft millions of white men to fight and die for the profits of the rich, to have tens of thousands of poor white men march slowly (to the tune of 10,000 plus casualties a day) into machine gun fire to gain a few hundred yards of land between trenches. Rich men were able to buy back at home commissions, or were just too valuable to society to waste that way. Or avoid being drafted because of university, or because of bone spurs in their feet.

    The system is happy to let poor white men die because they can’t afford medical care, happy to let them live on the streets because they can’t find work — well, you get the idea. The most successful con the conservatives pulled off is convincing poor white men that they have more in common with rich white men than they do with poor black men. The system considers poor white men disposable cannon fodder, and has from day one. Its rich white men that the system thinks are important — and if poor white men could ever get that through their heads things could change.

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  31. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    It deeply puzzles me that Trump has loudly and repeatedly insisted on claiming credit for a vaccine his devoted worshipers refuse to take.

    Do they really think their omniscient idol would have permitted his vaccine to be adulterated by the evil Gates/Soros combine?

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  32. mattbernius says:

    @Teve:

    https://wsvn.com/news/politics/florida-man-who-breached-senate-during-capitol-insurrection-sentenced-to-8-months/

    I suspect this is going to ruffle feathers, but I think this is the right sentence. As the prosecution noted:

    Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting anyone or damaging property. And prosecutors said he deserves some leniency for taking responsibility almost immediately and pleading guilty to the obstruction charge.

    That alone goes a long way to explaining the lighter sentence. Let’s not forget that he still is going to do time in federal prison (so it’s entirely possible he’s about to lose his job and independent housing). And again, this guy’s life, post-prison, is pretty screwed considering he now has a federal felony that will appear on any background check (and currently there is no way to expunge those). He may even lose the right to vote in Florida (I’m not sure if their felon exclusion laws apply to Federal charges).

    In terms of sentencing, keep in mind: (1) he didn’t fight the charges, (2) he wasn’t an asshole to the court, and (3) he didn’t engage in any direct violence*.

    Again, I personally wouldn’t look too far into this to tell us about what will happen to the folks who are charged with the more violent acts and/or are actively fighting the courts.

    * Note: So I don’t get accused of selective quoting, I will note the following paragraph:

    But [Prosecutors] also noted how he boarded a bus in his hometown of Tampa bound for a Jan. 6 Trump rally carrying rope, protective goggles and latex gloves in a backpack — saying that demonstrated he came to Washington prepared for violence.

    The prosecutors were doing their job and pushing for the harshest sentence they could. But I still think this is a stretch in the eyes of a federal judge.**

    ** – This also gets to the differences between how the federal and state systems tend to handle these types of cases.

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  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: That he got a prison sentence at all is remarkable, though he’ll probably serve half of the 8 months.

    A bright side (assuming what a Fed PD told me years ago is still accurate): Any sentence of 12 months or less has to be served in it’s entirety. That is why there are so many sentences of a year and 1 day.

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  34. mattbernius says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    In the meantime Crystal Mason is serving five years for casting a provisional ballot, with a poll worker’s help, which ultimately was never counted.

    Agreed. Also note that this is a *State* court conviction, not a Federal one.

    On the plus side, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has agreed to hear the appeal. But it never should have gotten to that point.

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  35. Kylopod says:

    @senyordave:

    Gottfried’s joke is a warped celebration of lynching. I think a comparable Holocaust joke would get someone fired.

    I think there’s some subjectivity there, though you also need to consider that mores have changed and things that were considered acceptable a couple of decades ago no longer are. Family Guy back in the day was not only making Holocaust jokes, but rape jokes, AIDS jokes, and some fairly straightforward old-fashioned racist humor, including anti-Semitic humor. I haven’t watched the show in a long time, so I don’t know how much they’ve cut down on that. I do know they recently decided to no longer have a white actor voicing Cleveland Brown, a relatively minor issue compared with some of the material from their early seasons. And I know Sarah Silverman has become circumspect in recent years about some of the humor that put her on the map. Still, that stuff is on their resume, and I think you are underestimating the degree to which that sort of thing has been tolerated over the years, and a lot of Holocaust jokes have often passed under the rubric of being “edgy” even when they were little more than superficial attempts at shock value.

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  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: I’d be interested in any links detailing the RCC opposition to abortion pre-R v W, especially if it wasn’t just lumped in with birth control.

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  37. MarkedMan says:

    @senyordave: If there is a comedian making jokes about the Holocaust, it will be Gilbert Gottfried.

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  38. MarKedMan says:

    @Kylopod: I recently came across a segment from the Chapelle Show that featured the “cool” white guy referring to people with the n word. As in “Hey N*, whachoo think you pullin’ here!?” It was unremarkable. Didn’t get any reaction from the audience whatsoever.

    The Dave Chappell show was premiered 20 years ago. People born during his last season have not yet graduated high school.

    Times change.

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  39. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Not that loudly or repeatedly, not compared to like 99% of all his loud claims. But he has so claimed.

    It’s too bad we can’t make a comparison of vaccination levels among the deplorables before and after the Ass left office. At first, as I recall, vaccination was reserved for senior citizens, healthcare workers, and vulnerable people. It wasn’t opened to everyone until March, if memory serves.

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  40. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:

    It deeply puzzles me that Trump has loudly and repeatedly insisted on claiming credit for a vaccine his devoted worshipers refuse to take.

    Do they really think their omniscient idol would have permitted his vaccine to be adulterated by the evil Gates/Soros combine?

    It’s due to an instilled lack of bandwidth. The trick is to shoe-horn “Trump” into it again by stridently defending Trump’s “Warp Speed” and his decision to release the vaccines prior to full testing on an emergency waiver.

    Exploiting the flaw in the Trump uber-alles conditioning can be effective and fun.

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  41. dazedandconfused says:

    @mattbernius:

    Some degree of leniency should be granted for their motivation being lies told to them by a POTUS, lies heartily endorsed an proliferated by America’s #1 news channel, among others. It seems to me we are breaking new ground there.

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  42. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @dazedandconfused:

    Trump said this past Saturday that people are refusing to take the vaccine because they don’t trust the Biden administration..

    Again, I’m puzzled. Is he suggesting that Biden somehow fiddled with the formula?

    P.S. He also once again took credit for Warp Speed.

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  43. Teve says:

    @George: the academic literature I’ve seen says that regardless of income, crimes are charged and sentenced more harshly for Black defendants than white. There was a U Michigan study I recall that did a pretty thorough analysis. That’s why I was expecting the white guy to get a slap on the wrist.

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  44. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: that’s good to know.

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  45. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    It may be to your credit if you don’t get doublethink.

    The vaccines are terribly dangerous and don’t work, and the Ass is being robbed of the credit for the miracle of producing them so quickly.

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  46. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Is doublethink (I’m very familiar with Orwell; we read 1984 in ninth grade) what we now call cognitive dissonance?

    It does seem to be a characteristic of Trumpkins.

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  47. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Is doublethink (I’m very familiar with Orwell; we read 1984 in ninth grade) what we now call cognitive dissonance?

    No. Doublethink refers to a conscious propaganda technique used by people in power. Cognitive dissonance refers to the internal tension arising from a person holding two conflicting beliefs. You could say these are two sides of the same coin in the sense that the targets of doublethink end up experiencing cognitive dissonance–except I think the latter describes far more than simply people being seduced by authoritarian propaganda. Everybody has some degree of cognitive dissonance. It’s part of human nature. Authoritarians know how to exploit it, but it isn’t restricted to them.

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  48. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Orwell painted it as an oppressive mechanism, and a cruel one at that. What we see happening now is much worse: it’s enthusiastically taken up by masses yearning for an overlord.

    BTW on the last season of her podcast, The Last Archive, Jill Lepore did an episode on Rush Limbaugh. She played a few clips from his show. In one, I don’t recall whether it was dated or not, he tells his listeners they don’t have to bother reading newspapers and magazines, because he reads them, and “tells you what to think.”

    In another clip, after the station’s standard disclaimer about not necessarily representing the views of the station or its management, he says something like “They should represent the station’s views and be federal law.”

    I never wasted my time with Limbaugh’s show, nor tested how high my nausea levels could get. But if these two clips are indicative, then the hardcore trump deplorables have been yearning for a fuhrer for quite some time.

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  49. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    It seems to boil down to the same thing, though I can well appreciate the difference between externally imposed and internally imposed beliefs.

    @Kathy:
    Limbaugh claimed to be “a harmless little fuzzball” who was just joking when he told people he’d do their thinking for them. But I can’t tell you how many times I saw a post at Lucianne.com begin with “Rush has taught us that…” I think his followers took him even more seriously than they do Trump.

    General comment:
    Trump and his supporters may share the trait of not necessarily harboring two contradictory thoughts simultaneously, but entertaining the individual contradictions one at a time whenever necessary. The one difference would be that Trump doesn’t actually believe anything; he says whatever is advantageous for him to say at any given moment. I think his acolytes can go from one firm conviction to the opposite one within the space of five minutes. Perhaps less.

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  50. CSK says:

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, shows you’re a man of the people like flouncing around the Hamptons cocktail party circuit:

    http://www.rawstory.com/jd-vance-hamptons-fundraiser/

    The sad thing is, the Trumpkins remember Vance’s 2016 tweets trashing Trump, and they’ve already written him off for the senate. So it matters not where he goes.

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  51. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    There are just too many instances. like the brave patriots who stormed the capitol in a false flag operation done by Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists.

    BTW, when Republicans claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen, why didn’t they default to their usual m.o. and offer thoughts and prayers and then sit the whole thing out?

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  52. Teve says:

    white people vs everybody

    No longer pretending to care about fiscal conservatism, family values, patriotism or even their beloved troops, the GOP has now become a single-issue party.
    ByMichael Harriot

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  53. a country lawyer says:

    @Teve: A federal sentence of less than one year is served day for day unless the judge provides otherwise in the judgement. In a sentence of over one year the prisoner gets 54 days a year good time.

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  54. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Limbaugh claimed to be “a harmless little fuzzball” who was just joking when he told people he’d do their thinking for them. But I can’t tell you how many times I saw a post at Lucianne.com begin with “Rush has taught us that…” I think his followers took him even more seriously than they do Trump.

    Yet I think the whole “I was just joking” bait-and-switch used by the right is itself an excellent example of cognitive dissonance. They want to be serious and unserious at the same time. To some extent, the unseriousness is employed as an excuse whenever they’re called to task for saying something horrible, but it’s also a reflection of their deep-seated desire to get a rise out of people. In a way, it’s related to what I was talking about before with shock comedy. In our society–and this runs across the political spectrum–there’s a long history of celebrating people who break taboos. But the boundary between doing this in a forward-thinking or backward-thinking way can get muddled in many people’s minds–what’s the distinction between Carlin’s seven words you can’t say and a teenager saying fuck in front of their parents to see how they react? And what if it’s not profanity but a racial slur? One thing the right has managed to do over the past generation is coopt the concept of taboo-breaking in the service of bringing back reactionary attitudes that have fallen out of favor in respectable society. People like Rush and his many imitators made a shtick out of making racism, sexism, and so on seem fun and subversive, and casting liberals as joyless scolds.

    And it’s reached the point where the taboo-breaking itself has become the message. That’s where you get owning the libs, where they aren’t really expressing any consistent belief at all other than that something is good if liberals hate it. And from there you get the 4chan Nazis whose posts and memes are all “4 the lulz,” or so we’re told.

    Trump and his supporters may share the trait of not necessarily harboring two contradictory thoughts simultaneously, but entertaining the individual contradictions one at a time whenever necessary.

    It helps if it comes from generally unreflective individuals. You’re less likely to notice contradictions in your own beliefs if you have trouble even grasping the notion that your beliefs might not be self-evident.

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  55. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Kathy:
    Yes, but you’ll note that the Brave Patriots became Antifa/BLM Thugs only after the Brave Patriots started getting arrested, and reports of the cops getting slammed were made public. It was definitely two contradictory beliefs, but not held simultaneously.

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  56. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I think they do. They say one thing publicly, but they also believe it’s too bad they missed hanging the traitor Pence.

    And COVID is just the flu, and a dastardly Chinese bioweapon, and a Democratic hoax. Triplethink.

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  57. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    And COVID is just the flu, and a dastardly Chinese bioweapon, and a Democratic hoax. Triplethink.

    A Democrat hoax. Sibboleth.

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  58. CSK says:

    @Kylopod: @Kathy:
    I keep trying to find a rational explanation for these things, and I suppose I’m having trouble grasping that you can’t rationally explain something that is by definition fraught with irrationality.

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  59. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    You mean “shibboleth”?

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  60. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: You know Biblical story that was the origin of that word, right? I was alluding to it.

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  61. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I don’t, and I can’t seem to find anything when I Google “sibboleth.” All that comes up is “shibboleth.”

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  62. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: The story in the Bible describes a war between two tribes, and one tribe’s attempt to weed out spies by asking them to say “shibboleth,” because the other tribe couldn’t pronounce the sh-sound, so it came off as “sibboleth.”

    In WWII, some Americans used this method to identify Japanese, with the word “lollapalooza.”

    The word “shibboleth” has since been used to suggest anything, from speech to behavior, that causes a person to be identified as an outsider to a group. In my response to Kathy above, I was suggesting that her use of the phrase “Democratic hoax” instead of “Democrat hoax” was the equivalent of saying sibboleth instead of shibboleth. If she went to a right-wing forum and pretended to be one of them, the phrase would probably give her away.

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  63. Kylopod says:

    There’s an episode of West Wing that discusses the concept of the shibboleth, though I can’t remember the details at the moment.

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  64. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    If she went to a right-wing forum and pretended to be one of them, the phrase would probably give her away.

    Only if the people in the forum are partial to the Republic Party.

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  65. George says:

    @Teve:

    I wonder about that study. I find it hard to believe that say a black billionaire would get a harsher sentence for say break and entry than a homeless white man — and that’s assuming the rich man was even found guilty. If nothing else, that black billionaire is going to have a far better lawyer than the homeless white man, and that in itself would make a huge difference.

    Its true that for a given income Blacks and Indigenous people will get on average a significantly harder sentence for the same crime as white man. However I suspect the difference in income overrides that. For instance, if a homeless white man was caught in say O.J. Simpson’s case, do you think his legal team would have gotten him off? Black and Indigenous people are more likely to be poor and so face a double edged legal sword, racism and poverty. But given how much difference good legal teams can make, poverty has the bigger effect. The median pre-prison income of people in prison is about $20,000. The median American income is about $36,000.

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  66. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Thank you; I didn’t know that. Fascinating.

    Being sane, literate, and well-informed would give you away on a pro-Trump forum.

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  67. Teve says:

    @George: maybe I wasn’t clear. The study said when you control for everything else, race makes a 10% difference. It didn’t say every Black defendant did worse than every white one.

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  68. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: long ago, a Swedish girlfriend told me the Swedes did something like that. They would ask you to repeat back a Swedish tongue twister. If you were Russian or German your lifespan was abruptly shortened.

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  69. George says:

    @Teve:

    Sorry, I misunderstood. Though actually I’m surprised it only makes a 10% difference when everything else is controlled, I’d have guessed far more. Now I wonder about the study in the other direction — I’d have thought it’d be something like 50% higher, though perhaps the difference is higher for some crimes than others (for instance drug possession would be a bigger difference than say murder which I suspect is more uniform).

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  70. Gustopher says:

    @MarKedMan:

    I recently came across a segment from the Chapelle Show that featured the “cool” white guy referring to people with the n word. As in “Hey N*, whachoo think you pullin’ here!?” It was unremarkable. Didn’t get any reaction from the audience whatsoever

    I have apparently started referring to my brothers as “you bitches”, which seems like a step backwards in my personal development.

    You bitches have gone so far into wingnuttese that you’re speaking in tongues. A frothy mix of lies and half-truths and weird pet names and obsessions.

    Go outside. Touch some grass. Connect with reality.

    This was in response to a wall of text messages about Covid, fascist Fauci, Drunkard,Gain of Function, hoax, masks are useless, it’s not a vaccine, etc. I apologize to bitches everywhere for lumping my brothers in with them.

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  71. Teve says:

    @George: yeah I would have guessed more too.

    Also Too: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-run-president-2024-twitter-campaign-1198912/

    Trump’s told three people he wants to run in 2024.

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  72. DrDaveT says:

    @George:

    I find it hard to believe that say a black billionaire would get a harsher sentence for say break and entry than a homeless white man — and that’s assuming the rich man was even found guilty.

    The black billionaire would be killed while resisting arrest, so the question would never come up.

    Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but the underlying difference is real. See, for example, the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. for attempting to open his own front door.

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  73. Jax says:

    How do people make it their whole damn lives without discovering that egg cartons stack inside of each other if you open them up?

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  74. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: I remember that episode! It was the Chinese concert pianist (IIRC) who was seeking religious asylum.

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  75. @George:

    I find it hard to believe that say a black billionaire would get a harsher sentence for say break and entry than a homeless white man

    Consider what your counterfactual has to do to come up with an obvious scenario that would negate racial bias: it makes the Black man a billionaire and the white guy is homeless.

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  76. George says:

    @DrDaveT:

    How about the killing of Daniel Shavers for the crime of crawling down a hallway begging for his life?

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  77. George says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I just went to an extreme because that’s the standard procedure in physics when someone argues that something is always true — finding a single counter case suffices to show otherwise, so boundary conditions are typically used. If race is a bigger factor than wealth, then the Black billionaire should still get a bigger sentence than the homeless white man. If wealth and race are the same in their influence, then they should get the same sentence. I suspect the Black billionaire would get a much lighter sentence (if any at all) than the white homeless man.

    If you want a more likely scenario that still suggests that poverty is a bigger factor than race in sentencing, how about a Black or Indigenous doctor vs a homeless white man for say armed robbery? I’m still betting on wealth being a bigger factor, ie the doctor would get a smaller sentence (or even be successfully defended by a better lawyer) than the homeless man, no matter what combination of races you chose.

    Of course, between a Black doctor and a white doctor I’d bet on the Black doctor getting a bigger sentence. But its a lesser effect than wealth.

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  78. @George: Well, sure, I would tend to agree that wealth can override race (see, e.g., OJ Simpson). But the studies that Teve is citing are highly unlikely to be making “always” or “never” kinds of assertions.

    But the point of study after study is that race clearly is a major variable–even moreso than class, save perhaps at the tails.

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  79. George says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But the point of study after study is that race clearly is a major variable–even moreso than class, save perhaps at the tails.

    Race is definitely a major variable, as I said above. However in a Gaussian wealth distribution (skewed or otherwise) with a large middle class, class differences refer exactly to tails of the distributions. Most would say someone with say 150% of the average wealth and someone with 80% of the average wealth (ie the skewed normal curve) are both still middle class.

    Its at the tails that wealth differences (say someone with 20% of the average wealth vs someone with 200% of the average wealth, or someone with 150% of the average wealth vs someone with 1000% of the average wealth) turn into what most people would call class differences.

    Between two middle class people (both say within plus or minus a standard deviation of average wealth) I’d happily bet that a Black or Indigenous person would get a harsher sentence than a white person (and I suspect it’d be more than the 10% harsher Teve’s report found). But that’s comparing people of the same class. Poverty vs middle class, or middle class vs rich and I suspect the wealth difference becomes more important than race because of how the legal system works.

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  80. @George: I would wager, and I think the literature shows this, that the point at which wealth overcomes race as the definitive variable is more significant than you are assuming.

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  81. George says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    That’s possible, I’m guessing at roughly a couple of standard deviations that the difference in sentencing becomes larger than of race (ie bigger than 10% using Teve’s number), but its just a guess.

    If you have any links to the literature I’d love to see them though, my attempt at Google didn’t come up with anything, but being proven wrong by actual data is always a good thing.

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