Quick Takes

A few stories to consider.

CC0 Public Domain

“Guess what? We have furries and fuzzies in classrooms,” Bolduc told the crowd. “They lick themselves, they’re cats. When they don’t like something, they hiss – people walk down the hallway and jump out,” he said, as a hissing sound could be heard.

“And get this, get this,” he continued. “They’re putting litter boxes, right? Litter boxes for that. … These are the same people that are concerned about spreading germs. Yet they let children lick themselves and then touch everything. And they’re starting to lick each other.”

“I wish I was making it up,” concluded Bolduc. “I honestly wish it was a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit.”

Except, of course, he doesn’t wish he was making it up. He is more than happy to try and use these fictional events to try and dehumanize trans persons in the hopes of scoring political points.

After self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk closed the $44 billion deal on Twitter, anonymous accounts set about testing the limits of the social media platform’s moderation policies, The Washington Post reported.

The Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), a research group that analyzes social media content to predict emerging threats, said that use of the N-word on Twitter increased by nearly 500% in the 12 hours immediately after Musk’s deal was finalized.

The newspaper also noted that several online trolling accounts called on others to use racist language in the aftermath of the deal.

“Elon now controls twitter. Unleash the racial slurs. K—S AND N—–S,” said one account, using slurs for Jewish and Black people, per the outlet. 

This is not, unfortunately, surprising.

The United States has released the U.S. military’s oldest prisoner of the war on terror, a 75-year-old businessman who was held for nearly two decades as a suspected sympathizer of Al Qaeda but was never charged with a crime.

The man, Saifullah Paracha, a former legal resident of New York, was one of Guantánamo’s most unusual and better known “forever prisoners.” Military prosecutors never sought to put him on trial, but review panels considered him too dangerous to release until last year.

I have no basis to judge whether Paracha was a threat or not, but I can’t help but note that it is simply unacceptable to hold a human being as a prisoner for two decades without any charges or trial.

Ukraine has carried out a “massive” drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, damaging one warship, Russia says.

Nine drones were used, a top official said. Ukraine has not commented.

Further evidence of Ukraine’s willingness to take the fight to Russian forces.

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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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Use of N-word on Twitter jumped by almost 500% after Elon Musk’s takeover as trolls test limits on free speech, report says

    Helping humanity one racial slur at a time.

    Military prosecutors never sought to put him on trial, but review panels considered him too dangerous to release until last year.
    it is simply unacceptable to hold a human being as a prisoner for two decades without any charges or trial.

    I suspect that at least some of these individuals were held for so long w/o charges because authorities were loath to admit they got it wrong.

  2. Kurtz says:

    How dare CNN use that particular picture of Balduc.

    In that shot, and only that shot, he looks too much like awesome character actor Robert John Burke. And I don’t think the actor should be sullied by even one likeness loosely associated with Balduc.

    Enjoy this scene.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    While the Times is reporting this AM that sources within twitter are telling them that Musk plans to terminate as many as half of the employees this week.

    Hard to see how the company operates with that sort of staff reduction.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    Trump was notorious for continuing to repeat lies after they had been fact checked. He was the master. His GOP pupils have learned much from him.

  5. Kurtz says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Obviously, he’s going to personally moderate every tweet himself while he hand builds a space ark to Mars that will launch by the end of the year with enough people, equipment, flora, and fauna to terraform the Red Planet and turn it into a paradise within ten days of arrival, cures all forms of depression so everyone can stop taking evil anti-depressants, develops the grand unified theory of physics (doing all the math without a computing device), the proof written with his left foot on a single institutional brown paper towel, solves world hunger by Thanksgiving, brings Tesla manufacturing costs so low that every family can afford two, while completely eliminating the need for nickel, builds a working cold fusion device that can be manufactured for $1.27, codes a bug-free app that cures cancer, and uses Google Maps to locate where Elvis and Tupac have been hanging out all these years.

    If he has to sleep on the floor of his office like he’s Daniel Plainview, then dammit, he will do it.

  6. Kylopod says:


    Trump was notorious for continuing to repeat lies after they had been fact checked. He was the master.

    That makes it sound like a skill, when it’s more a reflection of Trump’s limitations. When he declares that black is white and up is down, this is literally the only thing he knows how to do. He doesn’t possess the social intelligence to mislead and distort in a strategic or underhanded way, the way traditional politicians have done for ages. He’s the four-year-old with crumbs on his mouth who screams that it’s Joey who took from the cookie jar. The fact he doesn’t end up spanked or sent to his room is on the parents. His ability to get away with these lies says more about the political and media infrastructure in this country than it does about any particular skills he possesses. And that’s the real lesson other Republicans, like Bolduc, have figured out. It’s the easiest thing in the world to do, once it becomes clear they won’t be held accountable.

  7. CSK says:


    IIRC, during 2016, Trump took three different positions on abortion in the course of a single afternoon. First he said that the women undergoing abortions should be prosecuted. Then he abandoned that position and said that the doctors performing abortions should be prosecuted. Then he said the matter should be dropped.

  8. Stormy Dragon says:


    Given the reports that Musk is using Tesla engineers to do code reviews at Twitter, he’s also likely about to get sued relative to why he’s using Tesla company resources on projects for a completely unrelated personal venture and how exactly that fulfills his fiduciary duty to the Tesla shareholders.

  9. Slugger says:

    Re the kitty litter story: how is it possible that people are not laughing about this? And this guy is a retired general; what kind of people do we have in our military?

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Slugger: 2 words: Mike Flynn.

  11. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If Mike Flynn, a man who travelled in the highest circles, believes those highest circles are filled with pedophiles raping children… I think we need to get search warrants for his home and all electronic devices.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: I think we need a court ordered commitment to a mental institution for him.

  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kurtz: I don’t see the resemblance. Bolduc is about 20 or so years older, has an alcoholic’s face, and frizzy hair, in addition to not resembling the actor.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    And 20 or 30 extra pounds.