Sunday’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:

    Trump’s public lands chief axed after court rules he was serving unlawfully

    A federal judge has ruled that a controversial Trump official who has overseen a vast weakening of public lands protections cannot continue in his position since he has not been approved by the Senate.

    US district judge Brian Morris ruled that former oil industry attorney William Perry Pendley had been unlawfully running the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which oversees nearly one out of every 10 acres of US land, for 424 days.

    Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, argued that as a result, courts could potentially strike down every major BLM action in roughly the last three years.

    “They’ve never had a valid person running that agency,” said Hartl. “Even before Pendley there was just a never-ending list of rotating acting people, and that’s not what you’re supposed to do.”

    The US constitution requires Senate approval for agency heads, for which the Federal Vacancies Reform Act sets time limits. The Trump administration nominated Pendley to the post but rescinded the nomination when it became apparent he might not secure enough votes.

    Surprise, surprise, surprise!

    Under Pendley, the BLM has finalized plans to permit drilling, mining and grazing on the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments in Utah, both downsized by Trump. It has proposed oil and gas drilling in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, a national historic park where Native artifacts have been found.

    Pendley has also begun moving the bureau from Washington DC to Grand Junction, Colorado – which longtime staff believed was meant to weaken regulatory abilities.

    All these actions are now under scrutiny.

    So yeah, quite a bit at stake here.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As if 2020 wasn’t already bad enough: Texas residents warned of tap water tainted with brain-eating microbe

    Texas officials have warned residents of some communities near Houston to stop using tap water because it might be tainted with a deadly brain-eating microbe. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality warned the Brazosport Water Authority late on Friday of the potential contamination of its water supply by Naegleria fowleri.

    The commission issued an advisory warning people not to use tap water for any reason except to flush toilets in Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute and Rosenberg.

    Those communities are home to about 120,000 people. Also affected are the Dow Chemical works in Freeport, which has 4,200 employees, and the Clemens and Wayne Scott state prison units, which have 2,345 inmates and 655 employees.

    The advisory will remain in place until the Brazosport authority’s water system has been thoroughly flushed and tests on water samples show the system’s water is safe to use. It said in a statement that it was unclear how long it would be before the tap water was safe.

    There must be a special place in God’s heart for Texas.

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  3. Bill says:
  4. CSK says:

    Of particular interest to Jen and Sleeping Dog:

    A Trump Superstore has opened in Salem, NH. You may purchase all things Trump there, including bobbleheads, which arrived yesterday afternoon.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A very interesting read: Harvard’s Chetty Finds Economic Carnage in Wealthiest ZIP Codes

    When Covid-19 hit, Chetty and his team of about 40 researchers and policy specialists dropped everything—including work on inequality in housing, higher education, and longevity—to document the pandemic’s lopsided impact. The result is a data tracker that gives a day-by-day, state-by-state, and even neighborhood-by-neighborhood view of the coronavirus economy. First uploaded in May and frequently expanded since, it relies on nonpublic, proprietary data supplied by some of America’s largest corporations to give a level of detail, in real time, that traditional economic indicators can’t match.
    ………………………………..
    Chetty and his team have been talking about their newest project to any politician who will listen. On video calls with dozens of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, as well as Treasury officials and state and local policymakers, his message has been consistent: Get the virus under control at all costs—a task the U.S. has so far failed at pitifully. No matter how many businesses are allowed to reopen, normal economic life will not resume until their customers feel they’re no longer at risk of contagion. In the meantime, he tells them, target assistance to the people, businesses, and places that need it. There’s no use sending stimulus checks to people making $150,000 a year or cutting their payroll taxes. They have plenty of money; what they lack is places to safely spend it.

    In the weeks before the U.S. government’s first jolt of stimulus ran out, Chetty was optimistic that both parties in Washington seemed to be getting the message. “I’ve consistently found an appreciation for what the data have to say, even in these polarized times,” he said then. But with infection rates spiking in a dozen states and Congress and the White House at an impasse over what should take the place of the now lapsed $600-a-week pandemic unemployment benefit and other assistance furnished through the Cares Act, Chetty has become alarmed by what his trove of data is telling him: The recovery has stalled.

    Until recently, the Covid crisis of 2020 looked nothing like the Great Recession of 2008—or any other slump. With American businesses and workers held aloft by trillions of dollars in stimulus, the worst damage had been limited to certain sectors and had even started to heal. Now the economy’s woes could metastasize, taking down industries and workers that were untouched before.

    All this threatens to make Chetty’s work much more difficult. The American dream is dead, as he’d proved with exhaustive government data showing today’s workers can no longer expect to earn more than their parents did. Now those left behind by the economic changes of the past few decades could be robbed of any remaining opportunities to get ahead.
    ……………………………….
    Chetty doesn’t pretend to have simple solutions to the Covid recession, or to America’s worsening inequality gap. What he has to offer are smaller but often easier-to-implement fixes, like the program in Seattle. Because of his scientific bent, he likes to see policies tested in one particular locale before they’re rolled out more widely. “A lot of the solutions that are going to have the greatest impacts are going to be locally led and community created,” says Rippel of the Gates Foundation.

    Unlike some high-profile economists who have strongly partisan viewpoints, Chetty doesn’t ask elected leaders or their voters to abandon their political ideologies. He just tries to get them to pay attention to the people and places the economy has shunted aside. We’ll only see their suffering if we obsess less about aggregate measures like GDP, and more about what’s happening on street corners and in schoolyards where Americans are blocked from reaching their potential.

    To figure out how to restore opportunity for the disadvantaged, Chetty will need lots more data. So he’s still on the hunt for fresh inputs for his tracker: better ways to measure cash transactions, health-care spending, housing costs, and the balance sheets of businesses and households. The more data you have, the more “it brings to light the interconnected nature of the economy,” he says.

    Plenty more about what he is trying to do and how he is going about it in the story. Their website: Opportunity Insights.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I’d buy some of the bobbleheads if I knew none of the money would get to him. I can think of dozens of uses for them.

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  7. Kingdaddy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Great news, both for addressing the problem of acting heads of agencies, and the BLM.

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  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    The town motto of Salem is Gateway to the White Mountains. As kids we modified that to be either The Armpit of the White Mountains or The A$$hole to the White Mountains.

    So it is no surprise that this store would open there.

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  9. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I wouldn’t mind owning a bobblehead or two myself, but the owner says he’s making donations to the Trump campaign, so…I think I’ll eschew patronizing the enterprise.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kingdaddy: Yep, and of course, the trump admin is appealing.

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  11. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Have you seen Salem lately? Rockingham Park is completely gone, and something called The Tuscan Village is replacing it.

    I have to say that the state liquor store, the three Market Baskets, and the original Tuscan Market are still worth a visit.

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Trump Pandemic
    A blow-by-blow account of how the president killed thousands of Americans.

    On July 17, President Donald Trump sat for a Fox News interview at the White House. At the time, nearly 140,000 Americans were dead from the novel coronavirus. The interviewer, Chris Wallace, showed Trump a video clip in which Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned of a difficult fall and winter ahead. Trump dismissed the warning. He scoffed that experts had misjudged the virus all along. “Everybody thought this summer it would go away,” said Trump. “They used to say the heat, the heat was good for it and it really knocks it out, remember? So they got that one wrong.”

    Trump’s account was completely backward. Redfield and other U.S. public health officials had never promised that heat would knock out the virus. In fact, they had cautioned against that assumption. The person who had held out the false promise of a warm-weather reprieve, again and again, was Trump. And he hadn’t gotten the idea from any of his medical advisers. He had gotten it from Xi Jinping, the president of China, in a phone call in February.

    The phone call, the talking points Trump picked up from it, and his subsequent attempts to cover up his alliance with Xi are part of a deep betrayal. The story the president now tells—that he “built the greatest economy in history,” that China blindsided him by unleashing the virus, and that Trump saved millions of lives by mobilizing America to defeat it—is a lie. Trump collaborated with Xi, concealed the threat, impeded the U.S. government’s response, silenced those who sought to warn the public, and pushed states to take risks that escalated the tragedy. He’s personally responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.

    This isn’t speculation. All the evidence is in the public record. But the truth, unlike Trump’s false narrative, is scattered in different places. It’s in emails, leaks, interviews, hearings, scientific reports, and the president’s stray remarks. This article puts those fragments together. It documents Trump’s interference or negligence in every stage of the government’s failure: preparation, mobilization, public communication, testing, mitigation, and reopening.

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  13. Jax says:

    @CSK: My daughter got me a Trump toilet scrubber/toilet paper for Christmas. I’ve been waiting for Trump to lose before I use the toilet scrubber, it looks like a “single-use” device. They should make industrial strength ones, I’ll happily scrub the crap out of my toilet for years with a Trump toilet scrubber. It’ll be therapeutic. 😉

    Don’t think I’m gonna use the toilet paper. It’s probably got cooties of some sort.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: No doubt it would inflame the hemorrhoids.

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  15. CSK says:

    @Jax:
    I could get enthusiastic about a Trump toilet scrubber.

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  16. Michael Cain says:

    @Kingdaddy: I assume the damage has already been done to BLM. Announcing the move of budget and Congressional liaison staff to Grand Junction seemed to be targeted at getting anyone who was any good at that sort of jobs to leave voluntarily rather than have a lot of their future opportunities cut off. After a year, the good ones are probably gone and major rebuilding will be needed.

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  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    As much as possible, I try to avoid Salem, so if I go through there it is on my way somewhere else and I avoid Rt 28 like the plague. It helps to know the back roads.

    I knew the track was gone but never learned what development was going up. If this Tuscan Village was developed by the same Tuscan chain that is HQ’d in Salem, MA or Peabody, they’re endanger of failing. That group dropped nearly $2M in projects in Portsmouth that are failing. One was the redevelopment of an abandoned strip mall into a high end restaurant, event center and market, the market failed almost immediately and the restaurant and event center closed due to Covid. Downtown they bought a office building and first floor restaurant. This is more a pure real estate play so it may survive, but the restaurant is tenuous as the weather cools. At the time of the purchase, the transaction was considered a bit of an overpay, but the long term value should be good, but the debt service they must be facing.

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  18. BugManDan says:

    @Jax:
    If the TP comes with Trump brand bronzer pre applied, it might be just the solution for those pesky tan lines from laying out while at Maralago.

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  19. Teve says:

    @chrissyteigen

    The wildest thing about this Barrett nomination is we’re so caught up in her conservativeness that we forget TRUMP DOESN’T EVEN HIMSELF BELIEVE THIS SHIT. he is not a religious man. A family man. Nothing. It’s a lie that got so out of hand he’s gotta roll with just to stay a DICK

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  20. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Trump didn’t bother to attend Franklin Graham’s prayer march in D.C. yesterday, which seems to have split into two parts. He did, however, send Pence to one part and a written message to be delivered by “readers” to the other.

    I imagine our good Christian president spent the day either golfing or watching television.

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  21. Gustopher says:

    Wisconsin Republicans gave Rittenhouse’s mother a standing ovation for raising a murdering little shit who murdered the “right” people.

    I hate Illinois Nazis.

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  22. Gustopher says:

    The National Senate Republican Committee is selling Notorious ACB t-shirts, because they a fucking ghouls whose only platform is to trigger the libs and make America a shithole country.

    I hate NRSC Nazis.

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  23. de stijl says:

    Been thinking a lot about Reynolds’ question from Friday on the dearth of protest songs in the top twenty over the last few decades.

    There are plenty, but few Top 20.

    Also what is protest vs. political?

    I have thought of two that fit the political bill and were top 20:

    Luka by Suzanne Vega
    Runaway Train by Soul Asylum

    Both were implicit calls to action lyrically. The video for Runaway Train was a very explicit one.

    Both make me cry to this day.

    Runaway Train hits me very hard.

    But these are from so very long ago.

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  24. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Chrissy Teigen is incredibly savvy. Fierce when provoked. Best back clapper extant.

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  25. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: ok that’s a little too Germany 1938 for my tastes.

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  26. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Generally, the highest profile protests songs in pop music are coming from hip hop, but the performers aren’t popular enough to crack the top 50. There is a smattering of protest songs from folk music, but what rises to notice on Americana (music for old, white folks) is pretty subtle. Protest in country music has always been subtle and now it is gone due to the treatment of the Dixie Chicks. Performers no longer are willing to offend some part of the audience.

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  27. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Agree on hip-hop. Would add punk.

    Metal as well, but I am not as well dialed in to that scene.

    Yo! I like Americana. Give me some old Jayhawks or Golden Smog.

    You did peg me; I an an old.

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  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    @Sleeping Dog:
    Not explicitly political, but definitely protest. If we get a GONE TV series I’d love to use this as the theme song. Hollywood Undead:

    We are young
    But we have heart
    Born in this world as it all falls apart
    We are strong
    We don’t belong
    Born in this world as it all falls apart

    I see the children in the rain like the parade before the pain
    I see the love, I see the hate, I see this world that we can make
    I see the life, I see the sky, Give it all to see you fly
    Yes, we wave this flag of hatred, but you’re the ones who made it
    Watch the beauty of all our lives passing right before my eyes
    I hear the hate in all your words. All the words to make us hurt
    We get so sick oh so sick, we never wanted all this
    Medication for the kids with no reason to live

    So we
    March to the drums of the dammed as we come
    Watch it burn in the sun, we are numb
    We are young
    But we have heart
    Born in this world as it all falls apart
    We are strong
    We don’t belong
    Born in this world as it all falls apart

    [chorus]

    As we walk among these shadows, in these streets, these fields of battle
    Take it up, we wear the medal, raise your hands with burning candles
    Hear us whisper in the dark, in the rain you see the spark
    Feel the beating of our hearts, fleeting hope as we depart
    All together, walk alone against all we’ve ever known
    All we’ve ever really wanted was a place to call our home
    But you take all we are; the innocence of our hearts
    Made to kneel before the alter as you tear us apart

    We will fight or we will fall
    Till the angels save us all
    We will fight or we will fall
    Till the angels save us all
    We will fight or we will fall
    Till the angels save us all
    We will fight or we will fall
    Till the angels save us all

    We are young
    But we have heart
    Born in this world as it all falls apart
    We are strong
    We don’t belong
    Born in this world as it all falls apart
    We are young
    But we have heart
    Born in this world as it all falls apart
    We are strong
    We don’t belong
    Born in this world as it all falls apart

    Of course that’s like 10 years old and I doubt it charted.

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  29. flat earth luddite says:

    @Sleeping Dog: 0
    Fond memory confirms this. About 2009 Daughter and (almost) SOL got me tickets to see Charlie Daniels at the local (90 miles away) tribal casino by the sea. Sucky acoustics, great tickets, front row. No one cared that I brought my Canon with 70-200 2.8L lens (think coffee can size). Burned about 400 frames (thank gosh for digital). Spent half an hour talking with Charlie and band after the show. They did a solid 2 hours IIRC. I commented that the one song I wished he’d sung was Uneasy Rider from my college days. He sighed, chuckled, and said, “S***, I haven’t been able to perform that one anywhere in maybe 10 years. Even then.

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  30. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If you like Hollywood Undead, check NF.

    Also I know you are a Rancid fan. Tim Armstrong would kill it. Anybody who can do Olympia, Wa and Under a Blood Red Moon and Ruby Soho is a talented and far-reaching fella.

    Be you, though.

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  31. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Red Hot Moon not Blood Red Moon.

    I knew people like Casey.

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  32. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    True story….

    5-6 years ago, I go to see “Hollywood Undead” in a venue in Atlanta. Small-ish venue. Holds maybe 1,000 people. I’m a big fan. I’m also not the target demo. I’m the oldest guy in there by 25 years, easy. So I go to the show, enjoy it. They do put on a good show.

    As I’m walking out, I hear some kids behind me say, “Dude. Somebody brought their dad, man!” I looked around. Yep. They were talking about me.

    A few months later, I’m in South Florida at a Rammstein Concert, and walking out, I hear the exact same phrase, “Dude. Somebody bought their dad, man!” Different kid. Same “dad”. Me.

    At the Paul McCartney concert, I was one of the young’ins.

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  33. de stijl says:

    This is something who sort of have to feel from the inside, but whaling down the street with a mohawk and pegged pants and high boots is indescribably fine and right.

    You feel like a righteous god.

    And people react to you so differently. I would go out of my way to be as proper and polite as possible to mess with folks. I am proper and polite by nature.

    I would go out of my way to be the pleasantest person they had interacted with that day.

    It amused me greatly.

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  34. de stijl says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Fuck that noise. Be you and fuck them.

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  35. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    In my case it’d be, ‘someone brought their grandpa.’

    I almost never go to live music. I don’t dance or respond to rhythm – no, really, some wire in my brain is loose – so I just watch, like an alien trying to pass as human, observing. Enjoying, too, but sort of like a Mainer enjoying a good joke*: no external indication.

    *Applying for work in Portland, Maine, early 80’s, I was starting to think either I’d had a stroke or Mainers were slow, because none of the interviewers ever responded to a jest, a snark, a wry comment, nothing. Slowly it dawned on me: they got the jokes, they’d just be goddamned if they’d laugh. Mainers.

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  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    Now, see, if the edit function were available I’d correct ’80’s’ to ’90’s.

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  37. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Well, you were applying for a job, which suggests you didn’t know any of the people with whom you were joking. It used to be customary for New Englanders not to acknowledge people they didn’t know, or to return a greeting with a blank look. Since you were being interviewed, the interviewers were forced to acknowledge your existence–but by God they weren’t going to laugh at your jokes.

    New Englanders, up until about fifty years ago, were accustomed to “not knowing” people with whom they’d worked or attended school for several years.

    The influx of people from other parts of the U.S. and the world has, thankfully, pretty much ended the habit of ignoring people unless you knew of their great-great-great-great grandfathers.

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  38. Michael Reynolds says:

    The LA Times today:

    Looks like about a 5,000 word piece, with details and specifics of their failures. Toward the end:

    On behalf of this institution, we apologize for The Times’ history of racism. We owe it to our readers to do better, and we vow to do so. A region as diverse and complex and fascinating as Southern California deserves a newspaper that reflects its communities. Today, 38% of the journalists on our staff are people of color. We know that is not nearly good enough, in a county that is 48% Latino and in a state where Latinos are the largest ethnic group. We know that this acknowledgment must be accompanied by a real commitment to change, a humility of spirit and an openness of mind and heart.

    Kudos, LAT.

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  39. An Interested Party says:

    A prime example of how vile tribalism is…when even this guy can’t turn against someone he knows is total trash, how can the rank and file be expected to turn against their party…

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  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    That’s it, exactly, they didn’t know me, and didn’t owe me a laugh.

    I quite like Mainers. I’m taciturn and anti-social, they’re taciturn and anti-social. I waited tables and managed at a restaurant in Old Port (the historic downtown of Portland) and – under another name – was the weekly restaurant reviewer for the Sunday paper. My column did well, and I’d basically decided to write it as a sort of humor column. They have a sense of humor, they’re just not giving it away.

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  41. Teve says:

    @katiephang

    WATCH THIS VIDEO:

    Judge Amy Coney Barrett asserts that it’s wrong to fill a SCOTUS vacancy during a presidential election year and when it will “dramatically flip the balance of power.”

    not that these religious fanatics will give a shit

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  42. de stijl says:

    @CSK:
    @Michael Reynolds:

    Do Mainers not understand how rowdy and crazy back of the house gets?

    I thought I was jaded until I worked a pizza delivery joint.

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  43. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Ayuh.

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  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: And please note that she’s not refusing the appointment because taking it would be wrong. “Somebody’s gonna get the seat, it might as well be me.”

    Principles shminciples.

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  45. de stijl says:

    I knew NOFX had a cover of Olympia WA but I found a Mexican band called Sin Efectos (clever) doing NOFX doing Rancid in very traditional norteno Mexican style. A cover of a cover.

    Sin Efectos – Jalisco, MX

    Instead of 52nd and Broadway NYC to Olympia they want to go from LA to Jalisco.

    It is astounding.

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  46. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Once again, I nominate Muse Uprising
    Because a) I like Muse b) it charted and c) I generally have very little clue about what’s been in the charts this century.

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  47. sam says:

    @CSK:

    “New Englanders, up until about fifty years ago, were accustomed to “not knowing” people with whom they’d worked or attended school for several years.”

    And this is good old Boston,
    The home of the bean and the cod,
    Where the Lowells talk to the Cabots,
    And the Cabots talk only to God.

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  48. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: It will make no difference, but it would be nice to see her asked about it, just because I enjoy shamelessness.

    We aren’t going to keep her from being seated. We could delay it by tossing articles of impeachment over the wall again, or denying unanimous consent to every single thing and getting quorum calls, and dragging out the entire thing.

    But, we definitely should get the shamelessness on record. Just for our amusement and fundraising.

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  49. Gustopher says:

    Really, all we can do is generate cute memes at this point. So we should at least do that.

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  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    The NYT has Trump’s tax returns.

    God, I wish Drew would drop by so I could dance around him and sing, ‘toldja so, toldja so.’

    The man loses money like an Atlantic City retiree working the quarter slots. And even when he owned the casino where that retiree fed the machines, he still lost money.

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  51. sam says:

    The Times has got its ink-stained fingers on Trump’s tax info:

    The Times obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due.

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  52. CSK says:

    @sam:
    True, true. But I have to tell you, back in the good old days of student protests, and claims by bluebloods of their solidarity with the, uh, less privileged among us, nothing–absolutely nothing–was funnier than listening to somebody named Winthrop Winslow Cabot Lowell Forbes Quincy Adams Lodge XIV agonize about getting back to his working class roots.

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  53. de stijl says:

    Some things make me want to punch God in the the dick and scream NOOOOOO as loud as I can.

    That sounds like “protest” to me.

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  54. de stijl says:

    If anything – a book, a poem, a song encourages one person to vote or to be motivated to engage, it is a positive good.

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  55. sam says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I dunno. Drew and the like. I mean how fucked up does your life have to be? How beleaguered and put upon do you have to feel? How powerless to shape the contours of your existence must you believe yourself to be? To lodge your hope for the relief of the pain of these deeply felt inadequacies in the over-flowing sewer that is Donald Trump?

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  56. Kathy says:

    So, the NY Times got Trump’s tax returns.

    I wasn’t stopped by a paywall.

    I don’t think this will make any difference.

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  57. flat earth luddite says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @sam:
    How da fwk do you lose money running a casino? My grandmother ran a card room for the Seattle area mob (Asian) in the 40’s-50’s. I supplemented my income playing in mob-run casinos in old Vegas (when single deck and counting were actually things you could do) and HOW DA FWK do you lose money running a busy-ness where EVERYONE is GIVING you their money? I mean, GOP, I understand we wanted a venal, corrupt rube in the WH, but you honestly want me to believe that nincompoop was the best you could find?

    I mean, even the guys at bespoke make money selling 24k gold rolling papers. Casino losing money? Nah…

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  58. flat earth luddite says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Went to a Bowie concert in Tacoma in, IIRC, 82 or 3 (after I returned to society) with Cracker. We both had followed Bowie since he first started getting airplay; when we were leaving, we both joked that we needed our nurses to wheel us back to the “home.” Saw Dweezil play in Portland a few years ago… I was definitely at least 1.5, maybe 3 generations older than the rest of the crowd. Even without the tinnitus, I can’t deal with it any more. Maybe I’ll change my handle to Cranky Old Dude.

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  59. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I don’t generally watch debates. The only thing that matters is reaction the next day. I think I’m going to watch Tuesday’s debate.

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  60. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Not only did Trump go broke promoting gambling, he lost money selling booze. Trump Vodka was a major league flopperoo.

    Gambling and liquor…two sure-fire ways any imbecile can make money, except for Donald J. Trump.

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  61. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    Losing money like that makes my whiskers twitch.
    The next question a certain type of curious mind will ask is “who are they losing the money to…”
    And in these sorts of affairs there’s generally a rather high probability that somewhere between the “millions in gross income” part and the “even more millions in tax deductible losses” part will be the “crooked b@stards squirreling it away in offshore accounts” part.

    Paging Michael Cohen, Deutsche Bank, and Allen Weisselberg…

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  62. Michael Reynolds says:

    @sam:
    People like Drew support Trump out of a mix of racism, misogyny and spite. As long as someone other than them and their friends is hurt, they’re happy. It’s how they deal with their hollow, empty lives. As long as they have someone to hate that’s as close as they can come to joy.

    If I were a better man I’d feel sorry for people like that.

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  63. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:

    Trump Vodka was a major league flopperoo.

    Every third actor in Hollywood is selling booze and shoveling the cash. But then, as a businessman, Trump is obviously no Diddy or Ryan Reynolds.

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  64. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Diddy? Reynolds? Shit, man, I made more money selling lemonade when I was 10 than Trump did peddling vodka.

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  65. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    True, it’s not really news or any surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention for the past five years.
    And it’s not going to change the views of the committed Trumpkins; or of anti-Trumpers.
    But there’s still that remarkably large section of the public who pay zero attention to politics; and the smaller subset of those who are “floating” voters, who may pay attention coming up to an election and who will vote.
    Not a massive number perhaps?
    But also, perhaps enough to be significant in e.g. Pennsylvania.

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  66. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I knew you were probably cooking today, so I wanted to share my Sunday recipe with you…..I’ve been watching a lot of Iron Chef lately, so I combined a french onion/roast pork soup base with salt and seasonings in the crock pot all day, added fresh mushrooms finely diced, carrots and celery sliced super thin, and cabbage, with some homemade baguette. Deeeeeelicious!!!

    I wish I could make flatbread as well as I can make baguette!

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  67. de stijl says:

    @Jax:

    Sunday night for me is either tacos or curry.

    I have stopped browning meat for both. It’s an added step that adds less than the time required. You lose some fond depth though. Let it bubble on low heat the longer the better.

    Dicing, adding, timing is really low key. Make some rice. Char some tortillas (if taco night). Chop some cilantro. Cut some lime wedges.

    The brilliance is you have leftovers for days you want to eat instead of if I don’t eat this soon it will go bad. Two hours on Sunday usually gets me through til Tuesday night.

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  68. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    That sounds really good.

    I made some rethreads this week, nothing of note.

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  69. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I finally got time for some Shepard’s Pie earlier this week….added creamed and whole corn to both the meat mixture and a layer on top of the mashed potatoes, topped with cheese. It ended up being big enough for a turkey roaster pan, so I fed my parents, all the neighbor kids that came over during the week, and myself and the kids for 3 full days! It was delicious, though, I’m gonna do that creamed corn trick every time.

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  70. BugManDan says:

    @de stijl: If it wasn’t for the kids demand for variety, it would be Saturday night slow cooker carnitas every week. With cabbage ribbons and rice and or tortillas.

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  71. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Lately I’ve been thinking I should try to mix cornmeal with mashed potatoes, which I’m sure is a terrible idea (the cornmeal won’t cook). So instead I may try adding potato flakes, the ones in instant mashed potato packages, to cornbread the next time I make any.

    I get this odd notions from time to time. Sometimes they work well. Like adding a mix of orange juice, peanut butter, and soy sauce to sautéed cabbage with soy bean sprouts and onions.

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  72. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: This, of course, won’t make any difference to Trumpers, as they are impervious to reality, and in any case, are voting for Trump because he stokes their anger. Although they claim they support him because “he’s a business genius” that’s just an excuse and even it they believe the NYTimes it won’t matter. They’ll find another excuse.

    This won’t make any difference to the likes of us, as we always knew that Trump’s bragging was based on nothing, that he was a lazy moron who burned through his father’s fortune, then had an incredible piece of luck with “The Apprentice” and used it to gull many millions out of suckers who thought playing a business tycoon on TV was the same as being an actual tycoon.

    But I wonder if it will make a small difference with a few fence sitters, people who voted for Trump because they were fed up with politicians and thought that putting successful businessman was a real chance at change. It won’t make them rally behind Biden, but it might keep them home.

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  73. MarkedMan says:

    Former campaign manager for Donald Trump, Brad Parscale, who was replaced by the President less than four months until November’s vote was reportedly armed with a gun and threatening to harm himself at his Fort Lauderdale home on Sunday afternoon.

    I said it in 2015: Anyone, and I mean anyone, who thinks they can ride the Trump Train to their own advantage is a fool. The lives of everyone associated with him turns to shit.

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  74. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But I wonder if it will make a small difference with a few fence sitters, people who voted for Trump because they were fed up with politicians and thought that putting successful businessman was a real chance at change. It won’t make them rally behind Biden, but it might keep them home.

    My thought exactly. It makes it a bit harder for him, and he was already likely fucked.

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  75. MarkedMan says:

    From Sullivan:

    This is what we’ve been dealing with in the figure of Donald Trump now for five years, and it is absurd to believe that a duly conducted election is going to end it. I know, I know. I’m hysterical and over-the-top and a victim of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” Trump is simply too incompetent and too lazy to be an actual tyrant, I’m constantly scolded. He’s just baiting me again. And so on. But what I think this otherwise salient critique misses is that tyranny is not, in its essence, about the authoritarian and administrative skills required to run a country effectively for a long time. Tyrants, after all, are often terrible at this. It is rather about a mindset, as the ancient philosophers understood, with obvious political consequences. It’s a pathology. It requires no expertise in anything other than itself.

    You need competence if you want to run an effective government, or plan a regular campaign, or master policy with a view to persuading people, or hold power for the sake of something else. You need competence to create and sustain something. But you do not need much competence to destroy things. You just need the will. And this is what tyrants do: they destroy things. Richard III ruled for two short years, ending in his own death in battle, and a ruined country.

    This is Trump’s threat. Not the construction of a viable one-party state, but the destruction of practices, norms, civility, laws, customs and procedures that constitute liberal democracy’s non-zero-sum genius. He doesn’t need to be competent to destroy our system of government. He merely needs to be himself: an out-of-control, trust-free, malignant narcissist, with inexhaustible resources of psychic compulsion, in a pluralist system designed for the opposite. All you need is an insatiable pathological drive to avoid any constraint on your own behavior, and the demagogic genius to carry a critical mass of people with you, and our system, designed as the antidote to tyranny, is soon unspooling into incoherence, deadlock, and collapse.

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  76. EddieInCA says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    @EddieInCA:
    Went to a Bowie concert in Tacoma in, IIRC, 82 or 3 (after I returned to society) with Cracker. We both had followed Bowie since he first started getting airplay; when we were leaving, we both joked that we needed our nurses to wheel us back to the “home.” Saw Dweezil play in Portland a few years ago… I was definitely at least 1.5, maybe 3 generations older than the rest of the crowd. Even without the tinnitus, I can’t deal with it any more. Maybe I’ll change my handle to Cranky Old Dude.

    I’m fortunate to make a decent living. My wife, unlike alot of wives, doesn’t spend money. She’s not into designer clothes, hates branded anything, and doesn’t do jewelry. The one thing she loves is music, and live music. So I’ve told her, “Spend whatever you want on Music. That’s a whole lot cheaper than Chanel or Prada.” So she does. I’ve mentioned our (her) ridiculous music collection, which she has bought, song by song. But we also like live music. We flew to see Pink in New Orleans last year, week after Mardi Gras 2019. And we were Green Day groupies for three days in 2018. We saw Green Day at the Staples Center (Los Angeles) on a Thursday, drove to Las Vegas to see them on Friday, then drove straight to San Diego to see them on Saturday night. It was a blast. I still love going to concerts. That’s one thing I’ve really missed during the pandemic.

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  77. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    I love Green Day. I think Billy Joe Armstrong is one of the best songwriters in the business.

    and doesn’t do jewelry.

    My wife used to laugh at the idea of diamonds and jewels. Hah hah! she would cry. Ptui! Then, I bought her a diamond and sapphire ring.

    Don’t do that. It doesn’t end well. Or end.

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  78. Jax says:

    @Kathy: You never know when you might find delicious goodness in a food idea, or that’s what I’ve learned from Iron Chef! 😉 I never would’ve imagined liver ice cream, but there ya have it.

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