Quick Hits

Gotta clear those tabs.

Six months after Biden’s inauguration, just six State Department candidates have been confirmed on the Senate floor. Some 60 nominees have been awaiting confirmation for months. Now Cruz has effectively stopped the Senate from voting on senior department nominees unless Democrats take the time-consuming steps needed to overcome a filibuster for each nomination, leaving around a dozen offices without confirmed leadership.

Cruz wants sanctions on the Russia Nord Steam 2 pipeline:

The administration waived sanctions on the firm behind the pipeline and its German CEO in an effort to rebuild ties with Germany, a crucial ally on several foreign policy priorities. The Trump administration also decided not to levy sanctions. US officials and outside analysts say that while the pipeline is almost complete, the Biden administration’s repeated threats that the waivers could be lifted at any time are enough to keep it from becoming operational anytime soon: businesses that would insure or operate the pipeline aren’t likely to take that risk.

This paragraph is, well, just something:

Love, a self-branded “conservative porn star” who is a contributor to The Federalist, found herself besieged by the combination of white supremacists and moralizers, leading to her eventual expulsion from the event while triggering a debate on the right over whether the conservative movement should embrace Love.

That sounds like a bit of hyperbole, but perhaps not entirely. The piece runs down a bit of Trump’s history with Brady, and then notes Brady’s visit to the Biden White House with the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Brady declines a trip to the Trump WH when his Patriots visited). Note these jokes:

FILED UNDER: Tab Clearing, , , , , , , , , , , ,
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:

    Hopefully the worst day in the Ass’s life is yet to come, and it will involve an orange jumpsuit.

  2. mattbernius says:

    Love, a self-branded “conservative porn star” who is a contributor to The Federalist, found herself besieged by the combination of white supremacists and moralizers, leading to her eventual expulsion from the event while triggering a debate on the right over whether the conservative movement should embrace Love.

    Charlie Kirk’s explanation of the expulsion, and the “research” it was necessary for him to do to confirm who she was, is a great (though slightly NSFW*) example of Poe’s law in action. See the following tweet for more details:


    * NSFW in terms of, well, language I guess… not pictures.

  3. CSK says:

    As I noted the other day, Trump has been frantically trying to make Brady his BFF for years. He even wanted Ivanka to marry him.

    I always knew Brady had better taste.

  4. CSK says:

    Why doesn’t Kirk capitalize the initial letter of “Christian”? As a self-proclaimed devout one, he ought to do so, oughtn’t he?

  5. Mu Yixiao says:


    Hmm… I think I’m going to have to do some research on this. 😀

  6. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Well…damn…guess I won’t be watching any more Brandi Love scenes…

  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I suspect Charlie Kirk imagined himself as Trump and thought he was going to get a little from the porn star.
    When it didn’t work out that way, his feel-feels were hurt.

  8. Mister Bluster says:

    Jaden McNeil, a Fuentes devotee and self-described “conservative gamer,” wrote on Telegram on Saturday that “There are 13 year old kids at this conference and TPUSA has pornstars as VIPs.”

    I was 12 years old and in the Boy Scouts in 1960 when our Troop would conduct paper drives. We would go house to house on a Saturday morning and collect newspapers that the neighbors had saved for us. At the time the old papers were sold to some salvage operation for reuse. (I don’t think that recycle was a word yet.)
    Every now and then we would find a Playboy magazine in the stacks of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle or the Times-Union that some degenerate had hidden from his wife.
    Wow! What a find!
    I would carefully remove rip out the centerfold and fold it up so it would fit in my wallet. It was a tight fit but I had no money to carry so “Miss September” was alone in my billfold with the work permit that the State of New York issued to me so that I could deliver the aforementioned Times-Union every afternoon even though I was under age for regular employment.
    Of course the influence of my teenage perversion eventually manifested itself some 18 years later when I ended up living “in sin” with a woman. Neither one of us wanted to get married.
    At 22 she had been married and divorced once and had no desire to revisit that institution. “Who want’s to live in one of those?”
    I had never taken the plunge at 30 and was happy to shack up with her as long as she wanted to.
    We lasted for 16 years.

  9. inhumans99 says:

    Steven, those clips you put up, THAT is how Trump should have handled being ribbed (gently or not) by folks who made him the punchline of a joke/put-down. You laugh because even though the put-down/joke is at your expense it is still funny and it is just a fleeting moment in time at which you were the butt of a joke/put-down and you move on with your life like everyone else.

    That the GOP might possibly lead us to another Civil type conflict that involves folks shooting at each other (Trump supporters vs everyone else) because they refuse to tell their figurehead to grow the heck up and not have such thin skin just continues to boggle my mind (and I have to imagine a lot of other minds too).

    Anyway, I also like the paragraph you highlighted about the Conservative Porn Star, the last line really does sum up the decision the GOP will need to make sooner or later, whether to embrace Love or not.

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    I couldn’t care less who bangs who, and I missed the part of the Constitution that addresses threesomes.

    Article IV Section 3 Par. 1
    New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

  11. Mu Yixiao says:


    A comment in an Ars Technica article is commenting on Differential Privacy…

    Later posts go into the math of DP too, if you’re interested in that too.

    Umm…. 2+1 ??

  12. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: 2+1=10. In trinary 😛

    Anyway what’s Differential Privacy?

  13. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’ve only just heard about it, but it’s a way of querying a data set accurately, but not being able to identify any specific individual.

    So… for cell phone location data, you would be able to see where people go, but not where a specific person goes.


    It’s being discussed in a case where a news org bought location data from a phone company and was able to pick out a single individual and out him as gay based on his location data and his use of Grindr–even though no “personally identifiable information” was in the data set.

  14. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: gotcha

  15. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I think I read one time that if you just have like four location points, on average you can separate out an individual. It probably wasn’t four, but a similar number.

  16. Mu Yixiao says:


    It’s 4.

    By analyzing 15 months of cell phone mobility data from 1.5 million people, researchers have found that only four spatio-temporal points (an individual’s approximate whereabouts at the approximate time when they’re using their cell phone) are all that’s needed to uniquely identify 95% of the individuals.

  17. Stormy Dragon says:


    Most people spend roughly 1/3 of their time at home and a 1/3 of their time at work. So with 4 points, there’s an ~80% chance one of the four is inside their home, which makes it pretty easy to figure out who it is.

  18. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    When you remember that 83% of the US population lives in cities, and location data on phones doesn’t include elevation (and is fairly course in its accuracy), it becomes a lot less likely to identify a person by the building that they’re in.

  19. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Calculating further, if we assume 1/3 at home, 1/3 at work, 1/3 other, given four random points, ~62% of the sets will have both the person’s home and work location in it, ~19% just the person’s home location, ~19% just the person’s work location, and ~1% neither location.

  20. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    That’s where the work location comes in, that’s usually enough to resolve the ambiguity if the home is in a multi-unit dwelling.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Yeah, not gonna work on me who doesn’t work anymore and lives in a cell hole where I can’t receive a signal. I have to drive 11 miles into town just to get my messages. Whadya want from a retired Luddite?

  22. Ken_L says:

    It’s a given that the administration is not going to change its position with regard to Nord Stream 2. Nor should it; the notion that America ought to coerce long-time allies with sanctions affecting their commercial energy arrangements was always preposterous. It’s likely that the former guy saw it as a clever way to force the EU to buy more gas from America – another of his “terrific trade deals” that failed to materialise.

    Anyway the point is that Cruz is just being a dick for the sake of being a dick. Which is pretty much how he’s going to spend the rest of his time in public life, now it’s clear his presidential aspirations are dead and his colleagues don’t look to him for leadership.