Sunday’s 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


  1. Teve says:

    Deep Dive into Stupid: Meet the Growing Group that Rejects Germ Theory

    My favorite part was the idiot who said the author’s PhD in microbiology from UNC just “indoctrinated” her into all these false beliefs. 😛

  2. Teve says:


    Alabama crowd cheers state’s low vaccination rate during Marjorie Taylor Greene event


    I’ve never had much faith in overall human intelligence but honest to god I never thought so many people would stupid themselves to death.

  3. Teve says:


    DeSantis’ game plan appears to be the “burn through the population” route, figuring that the entire state will be infected and a bunch of people will die THIS fall in the hopes that by NEXT year Florida will have “natural herd immunity” in time for his re-election.

    Assuming this is his strategy, it has two major flaws: First, he assumes that voters memory is short enough that they’ll forget who helped kill their family & friends a year earlier. Second, it assumes there won’t be OTHER uglier variants which pop up between now and then.

    NOTE: I didn’t say that his “strategy” makes *sense* mind you, just that I can’t figure out what the hell else would explain this insanity.

  4. Teve says:

    Matt Bernius says:
    Saturday, 7 August 2021 at 22:34

    Larison no longer weird for the as of a few months ago. I don’t know the specifics.


  5. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: Herd immunity is only possible if the infected population can hold antibody levels high enough to starve covid of hosts over a period of time.

    This doesn’t appear to be the case.

    The vaccines send antibody levels through the roof and there is still only a small amount of antibodies in the nasal cavity…but enough to provide good protection from infection.

    I mention this to some of the more persuadable folks in TrumpLand and you can see a fuse pop behind their eyes because they hadn’t considers it and they know its a plausible theory to make.

  6. CSK says:


    I hesitate to speak for Matt Bernius, but he may have meant “Daniel Larison is no longer weird enough for The American Conservative.”

  7. CSK says:

    Larison says he was fired from TAC on March 5, 2021.

  8. Teve says:
  9. Sleeping Dog says:


    If that, or something like it, is DeSantis plan, he’s dumber than he appears. Achieving herd immunity to Delta, does not guarantee protection from the next variant. After all, people get the flu, winter after winter. The same is possible with Covid variants.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: he’s dumber than he appears.

    Yes he is.

  11. CSK says:

    @Teve: @Sleeping Dog: @OzarkHillbilly:
    Maybe DeSantis is doing what he thinks his constituents want. After all, in the next state over, they’re congratulating themselves on their low vax rate and cheering Marjorie Taylor Greene for telling them to practice the Second Amendment on any government officials who might come to their doors.

  12. Sleeping Dog says:


    Could it be that the brain drain of talented and smart southern children leaving for/after college to greater opportunities in the star cities on the coast has hit critical mass?

  13. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Could be. I’m just trying to think of plausible explanations. I have to disagree with Ozark Hillbilly about DeSantis being stupid. You don’t get through Yale and Harvard Law if you’re stupid. And I’m sure DeSantis and his family are fully vaxxed.

    I’m not excusing him; I’m looking for a rationale.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:


    Interesting, but given how small a portion of the market hybrids are, <5%, seemingly rapid growth is easy to achieve.

    Hybrids present a conundrum, they do provide better fuel mileage, but at the possible cost of much higher maintenance costs as you need to maintain 2 power trains. That probably isn't an issue for those leasing or trading every 3-4 years, but it is certainly a consideration for anyone who is a buy and hold car owner. Add to that since 'hybrid' covers a range of power train technologies, the experiences of Prius owners, isn't readily comparable to what you may expect from say a Volvo or Kia.

    Pure EV's hold out the talisman of cheap maintenance costs (though that may not be true, here and, hybrids are quite likely to have higher maintenance costs and regular ICE cars.

  15. Barry says:

    What a lot of these governors and state legislators have learned is that if you say the right sh*t, your base will love you even with record death levels.

    The most important thing about COVID and US (Brazilian, UK, etc.) politics is that it doesn’t kill enough people so that the survivors are resistant to propaganda.

    Peel of 1% of the GOP base dead and 5% with long COVID, and they can still lie their way through it.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:


    “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
    — P. T. Barnum

    And DeSantis is out trolling for them. He doesn’t believe what he’s saying, at least not yet. Like TFG, overtime he will internalize his lies and they’ll be his reality.

  17. Teve says:

    How a Shorter Workweek Could Make You More Productive

  18. charon says:

    Sen Blumenthal said that Rosen presented new facts that he believes will force the Senate Judiciary committee to answer “profound and important questions” about the roles that individuals in Trump’s orbit played in the effort to undermine the peaceful transition of power.l

    Important new detail on Trump’s coup attempt, from NYT. Then-acting AG Jeffrey Rosen has privately disclosed that the letter urging DOJ to publicly cast doubt on Trump’s loss was done amid direct collaboration with Trump:

  19. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’ve always thought the downside of hybrid was that you’d have to halfass both systems. When a friend bought a hybrid Volvo sedan I was wary.

    But to say he loves it is an understatement: he is infatuated with it, and he constantly posts about how he’s having to fill the tank every 600 miles etc etc. And it will encourage more charger infrastructure too, because ’lectrons are cheaper.

    Fully electric will be the endpoint, but hybrids can indirectly help us get there.

  20. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I give DeSantis credit for being far smarter and less self-delusional than Trump. (I grant you that’s a very low bar to hop.)

    Also: Trump doesn’t actually believe anything. He just says what he thinks he needs to say at any given moment. Remember when he changed his mind on abortion three times during the course of one afternoon? First he said women should be punished for having abortions. Didn’t fly. So then he said doctors should be punished for providing abortions. Didn’t fly. He concluded by saying the law (presumably Roe) should be left alone. All between lunch and the beginning of the cocktail hour.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I’m puzzled to. Maybe the simple modern Republican explanation? Never admit you are wrong, never show weakness?

  22. charon says:

    This is the NYT linky:

    WASHINGTON — Jeffrey A. Rosen, who was acting attorney general during the Trump administration, has told the Justice Department watchdog and congressional investigators that one of his deputies tried to help former President Donald J. Trump subvert the results of the 2020 election, according to a person familiar with the interviews.

    Mr. Rosen had a two-hour meeting on Friday with the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general and provided closed-door testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday.

    Mr. Rosen also described subsequent exchanges with Mr. Clark, who continued to press colleagues to make statements about the election that they found to be untrue, according to a person familiar with the interview.

    He also discovered that Mr. Clark had been engaging in unauthorized conversations with Mr. Trump about ways to have the Justice Department publicly cast doubt on President Biden’s victory, particularly in battleground states that Mr. Trump was fixated on, like Georgia. Mr. Clark drafted a letter that he asked Mr. Rosen to send to Georgia state legislators, wrongly asserting that they should void Mr. Biden’s victory because the Justice Department was investigating accusations of voter fraud in the state.

  23. Teve says:


    Peel of 1% of the GOP base dead and 5% with long COVID, and they can still lie their way through it.

    Maybe, maybe not. In the 2018 election, DeSantis won by 0.4%. That might be why the accelerating death count now has him spooked. Further, one month from now schools all over Florida will have delta outbreaks 10 ways to Sunday and angry parents demanding solutions.

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Serendipity is a weird and wonderful thing. I was having difficulty composing a response that DeSantis just doesn’t think like that. I decided to let that simmer a bit and flipped over to Digby where I found a brand new post quoting Dr. K. explaining that DeSantis is a conman trapped in his own con.

    DeSantis isn’t stupid; he probably realizes what a disaster he’s presiding over. But he staked his political fortunes on pro-Covid policies; if he were to back down now, even an inch, he’d have to find a new career

    You see this as a question of governance. For DeSantis it’s a political question, I don’t think governance plays much of a role in his world view. Dr. K describes Trump’s worldview as not extending past his mirror. If DeUseless had any concern or respect for his constituents he’d never have chosen this Trumpian path to reelection in the first place.

    It’s worth clicking over to the link for the picture, which I hope, but frankly doubt, is prophetic.

  25. Sleeping Dog says:


    Not just 2 drive trains, but for some, managing the transition from one to the other.

    When the Prius came out I drove one and was impressed at how smoothly the car transitioned from electric to gas power. A few years later I had the opportunity to drive one with ~125K on the odo and the transition was kind of like a novice shifting gears on a manual transmission. Both drive trains functioned fine, but the hand off, while it worked, was unacceptable. This was probably due to deferred maintenance, but lots of high mileage cars suffer from deferred maintenance.

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @gVOR08: I should add that Newsom seems to be under real danger of recall, which strengthens DeUseless’ belief he’s taking the right path.

  27. CSK says:

    That could also be it. Then again, he’s been urging people to get vaxxed since July. Seems like a mixed message.

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @charon: I find it frustrating that this Clark story is appearing as a new revelation. We have new detail, but we knew months ago that Clark was pushing to overturn the election, and trying to use it for his own personal coup attempt to get himself named Acting AG.

  29. CSK says:

    Well, Trump told Dan Bongino on Fox last night that if it hadn’t been for him (Trump), 100 million people would have died (worldwide, I presume) of Covid.

  30. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: getting trapped in your own con is endemic on the Right. In DeSantis’s case, it didn’t occur to them, when they set their course, that there comes a point where the pile of bodies can’t be overlooked anymore. I was just looking this morning at new Florida cases and new Florida deaths, and we’re 1-2 weeks from hundreds of deaths per day. And unmasked schools are restarting this month. By September 8, DeSantis will wish he could rewind to August 8.

  31. Teve says:
  32. charon says:


    What we know is not the same as what can have consequences.

  33. gVOR08 says:

    I finally found a respected economist saying something I have suspected since 2008 when the “savings glut” and its search for unsustainable returns triggered the Great Recession. In his blog Brad DeLong notes,

    Capital to fund investment is really not a big constraint right now—incentivizing savings in financial assets really is just pushing on a string.

    Economics has long assumed capital to be the choke point in the economy. This may no longer be true. And if not, requires a massive rethink, not so much in Economics, the equations still work, but in the cartoon version of Econ 101 in the minds of politicians and officials.

    Picketty teaches us that the last time inequality and wealth concentration got this bad it was cured by two World Wars and a massive depression. I hope we find less drastic solutions this time around.

  34. charon says:


    The strategy was formulated without knowing the future, specifically, a fresh surge powered by a more infectious variant.

    They went out on a limb without expecting the limb to get cut off.

  35. Teve says:


    Economics has long assumed capital to be the choke point in the economy. This may no longer be true.

    I think that’s just a belief among supply siders, I don’t think it’s a consensus view. I’ve seen several economists say that bubbles happen when too much capital is chasing too few returns.

  36. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: I hope your right. Not that I hope COVID will get worse, gawd I hope science and math are wrong. But that as the body count inevitably increases it will impact DeSantis. But my friends and neighbors here in south Sarasota County were able to largely ignore the last two peaks pretty easily. On the other hand, I did see a handful of masks last time I was in Publix, which was up from me and one or two others the time before.

  37. charon says:


    I was just looking this morning at new Florida cases and new Florida deaths, and we’re 1-2 weeks from hundreds of deaths per day.

    FL is already at hundreds, many hundreds, of deaths daily – daily reports are juked by not including late reported deaths which is most of them.

    Read down the various tweets in this thread for explanation:

    So what is going on? 175 is the *currently known & reported* deaths for the past week, yes, but death reporting in Florida is NOTORIOUSLY SLOW—most deaths reports weeks or months late. 616 is the backfill report of *newly discovered deaths*… same thing in May… let’s dive in—

    3) so where are the extra deaths from? They are the notoriously slow backfilling of new death reports of deaths that occurred in prior weeks. But this also means that the “40” deaths below are completely meaningless if most actual deaths are discovered and reported later.

    4) Furthermore, Florida has a trick up it’s sneaky sleeve… unlike most other states that report any deaths in their state’s hospitals, Florida will only count deaths if someone dies and they are a legal bonafide Florida resident! Let’s not forget just how fluid FL population is.

  38. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: the last few days of Florida new cases are already much higher than any previous peak, plus we have the unmasked schools restarting this month. I think the combo will be much harder to ignore.

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: That’s kinda why I qualified my remark as applying more to, if you will, pop economics more than actual Economics. Also capital surplus seems to be becoming a permanent condition, not a business cycle thing. As to supply siders, they believe their corporate and wealthy sponsors should pay lower taxes. Any pretense of theory is just window dressing.

    I’m too lazy to go Googling for it, but I’ve seen a chart or two of interest rates over time, a long period of time. From the earliest available records of loans and rates, which were IIRC Medieval, interest rates show a more or less steady long term decline, trending toward zero in the very near future.

  40. Teve says:

    @charon: the state is definitely lying. But there are secondary impacts that can’t easily be lied away. All over the state, cancer surgeries, gall bladder removals, hip replacements, etc, are being postponed for at least several months. People with heart attacks and strokes are having trouble getting beds. Etc.

    And starting tomorrow public schools are in session. All Florida counties restart public school between tomorrow and next Tuesday, with the exception of Miami Dade on the 23rd. The shit is about to hit the fan.

  41. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: I see the vaccination rate is going up faster in FL than the U. S. average. (In the link you may have to click “Add a State” and check FL.) That’s a hopeful sign both that it won’t get as bad and that maybe people are seeing reality. DeUseless’s current effort to blame it all on Biden allowing illegal border crossers (from GA?) does have a faint aroma of flop sweat.

  42. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: it is going up, and that’s a good sign. Idk how evenly distributed that is though. My own Trumper county is still ~2/3rds unvaxxed.

  43. DrDaveT says:


    Economics has long assumed capital to be the choke point in the economy. This may no longer be true.

    I’ve been saying that in this forum for years now, in the context of advocating for transaction taxes on market activity. The argument against it has always been that it will disincentivize investment and throttle growth and innovation, harm liquidity, and otherwise generally throw sand in the gears of The Market. The truth is that it would disincentivize arbitrage and short-term manipulation, de-privilege insiders, and raise enormous amounts of revenue to provide public goods. Such as healthcare, and other infrastructures. All without any noticeable effect on the ability of publicly-traded firms to raise capital.

    Ask yourself: how much of a percentage drop in investor return would a 1% tax on transactions cause? Now, how much has investment volume gone down historically at times when the stock market was paying that much less on average? The elasticity is practically zero — the amount of investment is driven by the level of wealth looking for something better than a money market account, not by the exact anticipated level of return of the market.

  44. MarkedMan says:

    A number of weeks ago, I was pretty adamant that Mitch wouldn’t give Biden a win on the infrastructure bill. That prediction is looking more and more likely to be wrong. I still wouldn’t bet against a last minute discovery that he is “Shocked to find gambling going on in this casino!” and a subsequent last minute dashing of the effort, but I wouldn’t put any new money down on it either.

    So, barring that, I have to give some thought as to why Mitch seems to be allowing this to happen. Is it that he felt his Senators up for election next year needed something positive to run on? Maybe. Republican voters are not usually motivated by positive things, but swing voters may well be impacted.

    Or, and this would be more interesting, did he whip against it in the background only to discover more than 10 Republican Senators wouldn’t get in line? If that’s what happened, and Mitch lumbered panting and wheezing to the front of the crowd so it looked like he was leading, we will eventually hear about it.

  45. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: One of the commonest theories being put forward is that blocking the bill will increase the chances that Dems scrap the filibuster.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I’m calling it a duck.

    You don’t get through Yale and Harvard Law if you’re stupid.

    Maybe, but he might well be the exception to the rule. Besides, as I pointed out the other day, just because a person is intelligent doesn’t mean they aren’t an idiot.

  47. CSK says:

    I agree that otherwise intelligent people might be stupid in some areas, or blinded by preconceptions.

    As for Yale and Harvard, in the past they did admit a fair number of dumbos because the dumbos were blueblooded scions, or “legacies,” as they put it. I don’t think that was the case with DeSantis.

    I too fall into the trap of thinking that people with whom I disagree are stupid. Most do, I suppose. It’s not a good idea.

  48. Kylopod says:

    Walk down memory lane….

    Declaring that “silence is acceptance,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Republican officials should reject Trump’s candidacy on moral grounds that transcend partisanship. Trump, in a 2005 conversation with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, said as a celebrity he could do “anything” to an attractive woman, including grabbing them “by the pussy” and “they let you do it.” Trump also talked casually about seducing married women.

    “Any Republican politician in this state who continues to stand with Trump is going to be unseated very soon in the political arena, because no New Yorker tolerate this,” Cuomo declared during an interview on NY1, his most pointed denunciation of Trump so far. “We have an opportunity as a state to stand together, Democrats and Republicans together, as New Yorkers first, to say this is intolerable, inexcusable. … This is not about partisanship. Anyone who has a mother, a daughter, who has a female friend, this is just disgusting.”

  49. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There are days I’m forced to wonder if someone of modest intelligence can get through Harvard Law on hard work and tying into the right study groups. But I don’t really think DeSantis’s problem, or Cruz’s or Cotton’s or Hawley’s etc. is intelligence so much as ethics. And empathy.

  50. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: Wouldn’t the Dems just fold the bipartisan infrastructure bill into the reconciliation package if it didn’t beat the filibuster?

    (My theory is that after the bipartisan bill goes through, the Republicans bring massive pressure to try to break away 1 vote on the reconciliation package, with Sinema being the one who breaks away)

  51. de stijl says:

    Absolutely pointless shower thought of the day (I woke up late):

    Pointillism is basically paint-by-numbers done by fancy pants people.

    Admittedly they do invent the numbers themselves, so that technically makes them artists, but the larger point stands.

    Seurat is a paint-by-numbers guy. It makes A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte be re-interpreted as a thing done by your weirdo aunt on a whim when she’s day drunk on boxed wine.

    Neo-Impressionist my butt!

  52. dazedandconfused says:

    It’s complicated due to the factor of leadership. It might seem stupid but for the unethical the way to power can be getting in front of the stampede and pretending to lead it.

    It’s ultimately a poor method. Yes, one can manage a stampede by championing their BS, but what you have then is a herd which has a sense of entitlement to believe whatever they wish. A fairly unmanageable herd. Not a big issue for the unethical, who simply want to line their pockets and GTFO.

    IOW, it’s not uncommon for con men to be intelligent but behave like morons for personal gain. DeSantis, Cruz, we call them idiots but we also call them Governor and Senator.

  53. Kylopod says:


    Wouldn’t the Dems just fold the bipartisan infrastructure bill into the reconciliation package if it didn’t beat the filibuster?

    Yes, for sure. I think the argument is that even if it won’t stop infrastructure in particular from passing, Mitch’s being seen as blocking every major bill will increase the Dems’ general resolve to toss the filibuster. And if he’s going to give them something, this is the easiest (unlike, say, voting rights).

  54. CSK says:

    Cuomo may well have long since convinced himself that he did nothing wrong. After all, as he says, he’s Italian, and that’s how Italian guys act. Right?

  55. Kylopod says:


    After all, as he says, he’s Italian, and that’s how Italian guys act. Right?

    Definitely. Being mere Scots-German, Trump has no excuse.

  56. CSK says:

    Okay, you made me laugh out loud.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Picketty teaches us that the last time inequality and wealth concentration got this bad it was cured by two World Wars and a massive depression. I hope we find less drastic solutions this time around.

    Still, no reason to suspect that the minds behind the system will go any way other than to the time honored methods. Unless they dump their holdings in munitions, that is.

  58. Matt Bernius says:

    Autocorrect ftw

    And @CSK that was what I was trying to write.

  59. de stijl says:


    I have known incredibly smart, learned, intelligent people. And also dumb as a punch- drunk boxer past his prime.

    I am gassing a bit here, but I think the phenomenon of smart / dumb people might hinge on fixation.

    The guy I am thinking about in particular was an MBA peer who was fixated on monetization.

    Yes, Heather thought up and created a nifty little application for office management. But it was done in Access and the underlying structure is atrocious because she is utterly unschooled in data analysis and database structures.

    No fault on Heather. She thought up and built an application that made her life better. Good on her. It was impressively decent.

    But, dude! Seriously! This is years away from being commercially viable and we could license a better version now that has version control and dedicated support from a third party.

    She cleverly re-invented the wheel. Someone already owns that niche market. You are years late.

    He was obsessed. Pointlessly and fruitlessly. On monetization of under-utilized assets. He was a peer. I learned I needed to manage around him.

    BTW, I asked permission of Heather to have a look-see under the covers of her app. She said yes. I looked. It was very clever if quite inelegant. Work-management she had nailed impressively hard, but the back-end structures were amateurish. I asked permission of her boss to steal a few hours of her week to walk her through ways her app could be improved.

    It was easy-peasy 3rd normal form clean-up and UI improvements. Some work-flow efficiency changes. Arranged for nightly IT backups (which was an utter major bureaucratic nightmare). Pulled in a UI programmer to replace Access generated screens with C++. Took him maybe 3 days. Again, a majorly bothersome process to get his boss to agree to release him to me conditionally.

    I spent four to six hours pro bono on my free time for every hour or twoI spent with Heather walking her through why normalized database structures improve efficiency. I decided to go for practicality rather than theory mentoring.

    It was a fun and enlightening process. I kept my boss up to speed (except for the off-time prep for mentoring sessions which was a major mistake).

    What should have taken 3 or 4 days time and a cumulative ~ 120 to 150 people hours to get it done took 2 and a half months of bureaucratic wrangling. So much wasted time. Again, I was keeping my boss up to speed on all of this.

    Eventually, it got done. I could have done all of it myself at 90+ efficiency in about 20 hours excepting nightly backups had I went in heavy handed and not mentored and just re-jiggered her app unasked and kept it all in Access.

    My boss was impressed. My reward was a cursed promotion to determine and rationalize home-grown apps across the whole enterprise. 118,000 folks in god only knows how many locations. I was already tasked with managing third party applications and updates enterprise wide.

    Tl;dr. Don’t bother. MBAs are a bother and a time suck.

  60. CSK says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    Glad I got it right. As to the specifics of Larison’s firing, it appears from the comments at Larison’s blog that he wasn’t sufficiently Trump-adoring for TAC.

  61. de stijl says:


    Cuomo has to go, and Ds have to seen as asking him forcefully to leave now. His behavior is utterly unacceptable. Sexualized passive coercion is persona non grata behavior, even if he’s Italian.

    I was totally on-board with 86ing Al Franken. The hassle and bother are not worth the ding to the image of forthright propriety on coercion. Practically, a MN D Gov. is going to appoint a D senator for the interim anyway.

    Speech that even approaches appearing as if to somewhat defend Cuomo is no-go territory for all Ds.

  62. Matt Bernius says:

    That was my guess/understanding as well. But I didn’t have the time to confirm and I didn’t want to spread rumors.

  63. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Another contributor is likely the Brent Spence Bridge. Famous for years as the bridge from which the opening of WKRP was shot, but lately you see it in the news as a big infrastructure item. It carries I-75 and I-71 across the Ohio River. WIKI says it’s the 3rd busiest bridge in the country after the George Washington Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge. It’s very old and it wasn’t designed for anything like the traffic it carries. There’s money for a replacement in the bill, which is probably why Rob Portman of OH is playing a major role in negotiation. And it is absolutely vital to McConnell’s home state of KY. If Moscow Mitch votes against the Brent Spence the ads write themselves. Oddly, I don’t find much on where Rand Paul stands except some generic waffling.

    ETA That’s weird. This went into moderation. One Reply link. Does “waffling” have some erotic meaning I’ve missed?

  64. CSK says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    Larison didn’t comment further. But he did “like” a comment that noted TAC’s increasing;y “slavish devotion” to Trump, and he didn’t delete anyone who echoed it, so I’m assuming his failure to bow to the Orange God was at least part of the reason for his firing.

  65. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul is “preparing” for Cuomo’s resignation.

  66. Teve says:

    @CSK: If Cuomo doesn’t want to resign, I’m in favor of civil disobedience until he does. Make every fucking thing he tries to do an Ordeal.

  67. CSK says:

    He’s said to have powerful allies, and I believe that, but the entire NY congressional delegation wants him to resign. The NY Assembly wants him to resign. Pelosi wants him to resign. Biden wants him to resign.

    If he has to be dragged out kicking and screaming (i.e. impeached and convicted) then he’s going to be an even bigger object of contempt and ridicule than he would be if he just calls it quits. Is he so arrogant he doesn’t see that?

  68. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I apologize for the very poorly chosen “passive coercion” verbiage. I was intending to differentiate a boss harassing a subordinate coercion from actual rape. My wording choice was bad and grossly inappropriate. I apologize.

  69. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: He would become the first governor since Blago to be formally removed without resignation, and the second since Evan Mecham.

  70. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: I myself am a little puzzled that groping gets placed into the general umbrella of “sexual harassment” rather than sexual assault.

  71. de stijl says:


    Groping is assault. Touch = assault per my understanding.

    Words and actions are treated differently under the law. IANAL.

    One December we had a late afternoon holiday party at a club we’d rented out. They’d tried to control rowdy behavior via drink tickets at 3 per person, but cash gets you more if you’re feeling frisky.

    A senior manager and a young woman not in his department started making out really blatantly in a fairly well lit corner. Everyone could see.

    Next day we got a memo that manger X was leaving. Between the lines it was blatantly clear he was fired.

    That wasn’t even harassment; that was just two randy folks hooking up at a bar. Under different circumstances no biggie. Two consenting adults.

    Under the rubric of a work party it was blatantly unacceptable. What was going through his mind then baffles me. Poor impulse control is a bad trait.

  72. CSK says:

    Generally speaking, sexual harassment is a civil offense and sexual assault is a criminal one. NY might not want to go so far as to charge a sitting governor with sexual assault.

  73. Mimai says:



  74. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: I do think that McConnell telling the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling in the reconciliation bill is an effort to avoid a filibuster that will have to be broken by breaking the filibuster.

    But the first approach will try to be to peel off Sinema from the reconcile bill so the non-bipartisan parts go down in flames.

    Republicans might just be split on wanting bridges and wanting to screw over Biden, so the bipartisan bill gets to go through on that.

    If I were Schumer, I would want to just roll the bipartisan bill into the reconciliation bill as an amendment. Let the Republicans do their yes votes on the amendment, but pass the two as a unit. Reduces the chance of mischief.

  75. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: sexual harassment, as a civil offense, has a much lower burden of proof. And it has much lower consequences.

    It also generally requires a pattern of abuse, or a flagrant incident, or a crossing of a well-defined line (supervisor hitting on subordinate, for instance).

    What’s a pattern of behavior? As the legal council for a former job explained in our anti-everything training, the courts haven’t provided clear guidance beyond it being more than once.

    So, when you have your off-color joke you want to send, always ask “is this my one? If I send this one, will I find something better?”

    And with hitting on coworkers… same rule applies. You get one freebie so long as it isn’t gross, use it well, and if someone demurs with a “i’d love to but I’m busy that night” respond with “per advice of our council, I will assume that you are sparing my feelings and never ask again” and put the burden on them.

    When asked if it was one chance ever, or one chance per person, he shrugged and said the case law is unclear, but if it was him, he would figure that if three people shoot you down at work, you’re just bad at reading signals and should give up at work before you get sued.”

    It was actually a really good, practical presentation.

    That said, making out with someone at a work party is just gross. No one wants to see that unless you’re both hot interns, in which case it’s time to create on OnlyFans page and monetize that.

  76. Teve says:

    TV notes:

    Season 2 of Mythic Quest was funny but much deeper than Season 1.

    Halfway into the 1st season of For all Mankind. It’s a very good alt history of how the US space program develops when the Soviets beat us to the moon, then put a woman on the moon, etc.

    This week i’ll rebinge Season 1 of Ted Lasso, which is my favorite show in years. There’s a reason it won 784 awards.

  77. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @CSK: and evidence qualifications are significantly different

  78. de stijl says:


    Some of my best relationships started at work.

    It’s low-key professional engagement and interaction. Easy way to get the measure of a person in working with them. It’s quasi intimate.

    I fancied a woman peer pretty hard (different boss and different department so no worries if I played it cool). I would drop into conversation that I was thinking about going to see x or y. Did not invite her. Just dropped it in.

    She bit on z which was an Impressionist showing at MCAD. We went and gawked and talked art. Ate at her favorite Indian joint which became my favorite instantly too. The place is boss.

    I was trying to figure out if this was a date or a friendly shared interest outing. Either was okay with me because she was whip-smart, gorgeous, and curious. Great company either way.

    Turns out it was a date. I figured that out when we started making out like bandits in her parking lot for an hour and a half.

    We went out for nearly a year. Didn’t work in the end, but it was a good run and no regrets. She wanted a more conventional type than I was comfortable with being. I can front as if at work all day every day, but under the hood and in off hours I enjoy being weird. I need that.

    K was a god damned awesome person.

  79. de stijl says:


    I discovered Ted Lasso last week. I had known of it for awhile, but had resisted since Sudeikis can annoy me easily.

    But, damn! The fish out of water structure works really well.

  80. Jen says:

    @Teve: A friend in Florida has considered getting an E-vehicle, but she’s concerned about evacuating in event of a hurricane.

    I’ll be honest, this never occurred to me before. How long do electric vehicles hold a charge?

  81. Teve says:

    @Jen: I never thought about that but it’s not unreasonable. Charge loss isn’t a big deal, usually ~1% per day or thereabouts. But range could be. To go from downtown Miami to downtown Jacksonville is 345 miles and you haven’t quite left the state yet. On the other hand, hurricanes don’t usually require you to leave the whole state. And if you can get to a Tesla Supercharger you can get 170 more miles in 30 minutes, which’ll get you to Atlanta 😛

    Where I’m currently sitting in North Florida I’m 140 feet above sea level, and I’ve never had to evacuate from here.

  82. Teve says:

    (Correction sans edit button: halfway to atlanta)

  83. Teve says:

    Just browsed twitter for a bit.Takeaways:

    1 Trumpers are Piiiiiiised at Fox bc Dan Bongino did an interview w Trump and Trump ranted about the Stolen Election and Fox edited that junk out.

    2 Bongino is insisting that Republicans impeach Biden immediately, somehow.

    Information Superhighway, y’all!

  84. Jax says:

    @Teve: There was a Republican House rep who was drawing up impeachment articles because of the eviction moratorium thing, then I saw Turley had article up bitching about “What are we gonna do without the rule of law?!”

    Good luck, motherfuckers. We had 4 years of ACTUAL lawlessness and norm breaking that they did with the express purpose of hurting people of color, the poor and the downtrodden, now we have a president willing to kinda sidestep the law so people don’t lose their homes during a pandemic? Pardon me while I clean my eyeglasses and get my GoPro ready to see what the back of my head looks like while I eyeroll.

  85. Teve says:


    Stranger asks you what time it is = kinda annoying

    Stranger asks you what year it is = pretty concerning

    Stranger asks you what century it is = extremely exciting