New Year’s Eve Forum

Last call for 2022.

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


  1. Kathy says:

    Years ago we took a course on the latest reforms to the federal government’s acquisitions law. A point the lecturer repeated over and over was “governments don’t buy goods or services, they buy papers.” Meaning the acquisitions process is more focused on the legal and technical requirements than on the goods that are the object being bought. This is what one might expect in a bureaucracy, perhaps.

    Well, Thursday a request for proposals dropped by one big customer, to acquire food for five large government hospitals. The actual list of products they want wasn’t included then. They only uploaded it to the portal yesterday around 10 pm., like an afterthought.


    One thing, the people who work on government sales tend to conform to the government’s view. From time to time, private companies publish requests like the government does and invite known suppliers. I attended a meeting for one such. Their acquisitions committee was led by the kitchen and food management staffs, not by the bureaucrats. So they were more interested in quality, logistics ability, timely deliveries, etc.

    Many of the participants kept hammering on the legal and technical requirements, brushing off questions on how many delivery vehicles they had or planned to use, or how they source meats and vegetables. Some of us did recognize the shift in perspective, and made a big deal of highlighting commercial relationships we had to big food producers, certified meat producers, refrigerated warehouses, etc.

  2. Jen says:

    If anyone needs something wholesome and sweet to watch to see out 2022, I give you…the Dogs of 2022.

    You’re welcome. 😀

  3. Kathy says:

    On the matter of Buttigieg and Southwest’s meltdown, here’s some follow-up to the story.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Deleted, Jen beat me to it.

  5. CSK says:

    @Jen: @OzarkHillbilly:

    I love the dog doing the snake imitation.

  6. Kathy says:

    On the Southwest story, there’s one thing that has been largely ignored, though to be fair I just recently found about it. Southwest runs what it calls direct flights. These are not non-stop flights, but rather a series of short(er) flights on the same plane using the same flight number*.

    This practice was far more common in the past (and in some instances there was a change of plane, but that’s another topic). Some referred to them as “milk runs,” as in they make a lot of deliveries along a route.

    For instance, Southwest might have a direct flight, call if flight 451, that goes from LA to Denver to Austin to Fort Lauderdale to Washington DC.

    Suppose Flight 451 gets stuck in Denver due to weather, and then the infamous scheduler software loses track of its crew when they time out, and can’t find another crew to take over. that wrecks the direct flight chain in three more cities, even if it’s only one flight.

    *The other thing about direct flights, is you don’t have to get off the plane at a stop if you’re continuing onward.

  7. Monala says:

    My daughter has been through more tragedy in her high school years than many people experience in a lifetime. Over the last few weeks, she has had the cathartic opportunity to write about her challenges in her college application essays. Many of these essays are so good that they brought me, and a few friends of mine who she has allowed to read them, to tears. It did strike me, after reading yesterday’s thread about George Santos, that some admission officers might think she’s lying. I will hope, however, that her guidance counselor, who’s aware of everything she’s been through, will confirm it all in his letter of recommendation.

  8. CSK says:

    Trust me: Admissions officers can spot a fabulist from 50 miles away. Your daughter will be fine. Let us know how she does.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: @CSK: I have fallen into a “Dogs of 20–” you tube rabbit hole.

  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    And…. my response got eaten (probably because of too many links to yesterday’s forum).

    Hopefully the hosts aren’t too drunk to release it. 😀

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: If I understand what my nephew was saying, this is one of the things that crashed the scheduling system. If flight 451 gets stuck half way, and they substitute a different plane at the next stop for the remainder of the flight, then they need to pull an unused flight number for that. With enough reschedules and reroutes they eventually run out of flight numbers and the system crashes.

    FWIW, a Delta (? I think) gate agent once told me that when you have been grounded at an airport and all the flights have been cancelled, you should get there early the next day and look for 4 digit flight numbers, because these have been added special and they might be going to where you need to be. If you aren’t there to board they will never alert you. She said that since those planes are needed elsewhere they won’t hold them even if there is only a few people on them.

  12. wr says:

    @Kathy: ” Some referred to them as “milk runs,” as in they make a lot of deliveries along a route.”

    Oh, THAT’S why they’re called “milk runs.” I’ve read and heard the phrase for decades, pretty much knew what it meant, but never understood where it came from. So thanks to you I’m ending 2022 better informed than I started it!

  13. Jax says:

    Slow day around here, so I’ll post the pictures of our friendly cows. These are just a few, really, there are others with names and varying degrees of friendliness, but they don’t crowd up to us when we’re feeding like these girls do.

  14. Mister Bluster says: of our friendly cows

    Udderly delightful!

    Happy Moo Year to All!

  15. Kathy says:


    That would explain the cryptic remark about not having enough flight numbers… It’s amazing what small details can bring down a huge operation.

    Direct and milk run flights are not as common today. The current usage is point-to-point non-stop flights. I recall one time at Monterrey a flight, say, 909 docked at the gate where I was waiting for flight 501 home. 909 came from Cancun, and we got on that plane under a different flight number. So it wasn’t a direct Cancun-Monterrey-Toluca flight.


    I don’t think there’s much door-to-door milk delivery anymore, if any. So the milk run metaphor might be lost to better days.

  16. JohnSF says:

    Happy New Year to everyone!
    And especially to the dogs,
    And the coos.

  17. Jax says:

    Wally, Smokin Annie and Sweetie all know their names. I wish I could post video, I have some really funny videos of them being heavily pregnant and running to me from across the field. 😛

  18. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: One note on fabulists, related as much to yesterdays threads as todays.

    Andrew Tate was arrested for human trafficking after getting into an unprompted twitter fight with Greta Thunburg, and then posting a furious response to her “small dick energy” comment, where a pizza box from a Romanian pizza shop was in frame.

    There are people claiming that the Romanian police already knew he was in the country for other reasons, and that the timing was coincidental. These people may be correct, but they are no fun.

    Which world would you rather live in, knowing that there is no practical difference in your life: a world in which a scumbag is arrested because of a ridiculous series of actions that he triggered resulted in him doxxing himself in real-time with a pizza box because he was angry about his small penis, or one where it was just someone checking flight records or whatever? Again, it will make no practical difference in your life or anyone else’s.

    I’ll take the world with the pivotal pizza box. It’s just better.

  19. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: Tell them I said “moo.”

    Respectable people say “moo” when they see cows, and I have aspirations to respectability.

  20. JohnSF says:

    I came across this in relation to a Brit r.w. nutter, Julia Hartley-Brewer and her fawning over Tate as against Thunberg, mere hours before Tate got his scuzzy collar felt.
    Because G.T. is a hate figure to the right-wingosphere, here as in the US.
    (I have my political differences with Thunberg, but they’re marginal: my usual thing about greens being a bit unrealistic as to decarbonisation technicalities)
    Anyhoo, final comment from GT:

    This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes

    Sometimes the arc of the universe DOES tend to justice.

    “Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough, and I will move the world. ”

  21. JohnSF says:

    And on that fairly happy note, time to sign off and crack open the champagne for the party.
    Happy New Year all!

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Mooooha…

  23. Jax says:

    “Yesssss….all hoomans must say “Moooooo cow” when they see us, and then they must look at what kind of grass is around us, to see if we’re well-fed. If no grass or hay is visible, personal judgment should be applied to our TERRIBLE owners.” 😛 😛

    They’re surprisingly…..just like that. And all 1,200 pounds of them is awful damn cute….as long as they’re not mad at me.

  24. Beth says:


    I like that they all have earrings.

  25. Jax says:

    @Beth: Wally’s famous for hers. She does pretty good up on the forest as far as not being too much “up in people’s faces”, but when Wally goes to the mountains, I have a whole set of friends who send pins on “Wally sightings”. 😛 😛

    Smokin Annie and Sweetie just come swinging their whole 1200 pounds into a city person’s campsite and pull up a chair. Which, as you might expect, kinda freaks out the city person. No sense of personal space, those two. 😛

  26. Jax says:

    @Beth: Happy New Year, Real You, Beth! I was wondering how you were feeling!