Thursday’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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It started raining yestereve. It was till raining when I woke up on the couch about 1:30. The thunder and lightning was so bad, poor Percy was up my butt with every move I made so I decided to spend the rest of the night on the couch where he could snuggle with me whenever he needed it. I woke up this AM and it’s still raining.

    I helped my wife out to her car as I do everyday she goes to work (I swear, I was a carpenter and I didn’t need half the stuff she takes with her every day) (//s but not by much). While I was waiting for her to come out, I checked the rain gauge: 4″ and still coming down.

    There are a couple stretches of road between here and town that go under in heavy rain, especially if the culverts get clogged. I wonder if she will be able to get to work. I know she won’t be stupid and push anything that is questionable (a true scaredy cat when it comes to driving thru water), but last night she mentioned the number of trees down on the road and as bad she is at backing up, I can see her dropping a tire into the ditch and getting stuck while trying to turn around.

    If that happens when she’s in a cell hole, it might be a long wet walk for her.

  2. grumpy realist says:

    Has anyone been keeping an eye on what’s been happening over at TAC? They seem to have gone into a combination of whining “everybody hates us” and “Christianity, christianity all the time.” Plus they’ve been spiralling down with more and more articles from people who think how Loverly Everything Would Be if the US turned into a Christian theocracy.

    Unless they’re getting financial support from the Catholic Church I can’t see how they continue to survive. Especially since now they’ve put all comments behind a paywall. And certainly their editors (*cough* Rod Dreher et al.) aren’t going to insist that they write something with a relation to the truth.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Floriduh woman arrested for driving golf cart on highway while drunk, police say

    According to a Florida highway patrol report, a semi-truck driver spotted the woman driving in the golf cart in the center lane of Interstate 95 in Brevard county, which is the heart of Florida’s Space Coast.

    The truck driver said she “observed the driver of the golf cart passing out while driving”, the report said. The truck driver used her semi to steer the golf cart to the shoulder of the interstate, troopers said.

    Once on the shoulder, the truck driver grabbed the keys to the golf cart as the woman tried to drive away. Once troopers arrived at the scene, the woman started arguing with them and insisted she needed her bag. Inside the bag, troopers found an open bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire Whiskey, authorities said.

    I don’t think I have anywhere near as much kindness in my soul as that truck driver does.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: Larrison was the only reason I ever went to AC (well, that and to point and laugh at Dreher) Once DL left there was no good reason to go there.

  5. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist: @OzarkHillbilly:
    Didn’t Dreher switch to Eastern Orthodox several years ago in the wake of the pedophile priest uproar?

  6. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: Yes he did. This is the second time he’s changed religions.

    For someone who keeps hammering the drum about “tradition” and “family” Dreher certainly finds it easy to not stick with the family religion. (Not that I think that he should have–but can’t he at least be consistent about his moral system? It certainly looks like “one rule for me, another rule for thee”.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Yes, but I’m not sure the priests had anything to do with it. As I recall, he left the Church because it was becoming too liberal, too politically correct. Like abandoning the time honored practice of burning heretics at the stake. That was probably the last straw for him.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just in case anybody missed it yesterday: Damaging Alex Jones texts mistakenly sent to Sandy Hook family’s lawyers

    Yeah, he be fcked.

  9. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I use to read TAC because of a couple of the writers including Larison. It is useful to get different perspectives. I used to read Dreher going back to his days on beliefnet. I don’t mind reading people’s writings on their faith as long as they stick to how it applies to their own lives. But when they want to rope in the power of government to apply it to the rest of us, then I’m done with them.

    @CSK: Dreher has gone through a number of denominations in his faith journey. I think he is just lost, period.

  10. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist: @OzarkHillbilly:
    I think his family was sporadically Methodist.
    Lucky for him Eastern Orthodoxy recognizes divorce, becausde he and his wife are splitting, correct?

  11. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: Yes, his wife is the one who filed the separation/divorce papers while Dreher was gadding around Europe burbling on about how Wonderful Orban’s Hungary is.

    (Given some of Dreher’s columns going all angsty right after that while insisting that NO I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED I suspect it will only be another year or so before he decides to write a book about the whole thing.)

  12. Kathy says:


    I can’t keep from quoting God’s Last Prophet, Bart Simpson: It’s all Christianity, people! The little stupid differences are nothing next to the big stupid similarities!

  13. gVOR08 says:


    Yeah, he be fcked.

    Besides the proof of Alex Jones’ perjury, there’s apparently financial information that’s going to increase the award against him, hitting him where it really hurts. But will his followers say, “OMG, he was lying all this time!” or “The deep state finally got him for his truth telling.”

  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    The FBI just arrested and charged four Louisville PD officer’s involved in the death of Breonna Taylor.

    “[Defendant Josh Jayne’s attorney] Clay said it was unclear what the official charges for Jaynes are but he believes it relates to conspiracy to falsify records in relation to a federal investigation.”

  15. Jen says:

    @gVOR08: Oh, it’s even worse for him than that.

    Jones’s ex-wife is having her lawyer subpoena those phone records.

    The Jan. 6 committee is allegedly interested in them.

    And, NBC News is reporting that there were some, um, illegal images in the tranche of records.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    I started reading TAC for the same reason I started reading OTB, back when Doug was writing and James was a Republican. I was looking for reasonable conservative voices. Larrison, Bruce Bartlett, and Col. Bacevich turned out to be the people worth reading, two of whom left and the third got a bit flakey. I still try to read it, although locked comments take all the fun out of it. But so few of the articles seem relevant to anything.

    Dreher reminds me of the thirties radical communists and socialists that drifted into becoming neocons. Always looking for the true faith they can bury themselves in. I’ve observed before that the quality of their writers looked like they were in financial trouble. Most of the content seemed to be written by some near anonymous grad student who also writes for American Thinker or one of the numerous staffers with inflated titles. The format change looks to me like a last desperate attempt to stay afloat. Also, didn’t Dreher used to be listed as Senior Editor? Now he’s A senior editor.

  17. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: As much as I’m a fan of “family” and “tradition,” having read some of Dreher’s reflections on his childhood–and seeing mine in them–I’m not up for criticizing anyone family-and-tradition-wise.

    I showed my Korean students on a world map where I lived (Daegu), where my parents lived (Seattle), and where my brother and his wife live (Williamsburg, VA) when my students asked “is your family close.” I’ve always found the distance helpful, but also always envied how close my dad and my uncle became when they were both closer to the age I am now.

  18. Jen says:

    So, resident lawyer/scholars, about the Alex Jones mess:

    What I’m seeing today on Twitter is that a paralegal inadvertently sent the contents of the phone to opposing counsel. Jones’s attorneys tried to claw it back under a provision of TX law, but didn’t follow the correct procedure.

    The judge in the case has denied Jones’s request for a blanket protective order sealing the whole thing, but said that each text will be considered on a case-by-case basis (so things like medical info can be protected).

    Request for mistrial also denied.

    What. A. Mess.

  19. CSK says:

    And…the Jan. 6 Committee plans to subpoena those texts and emails.

  20. Jen says:

    @CSK: Yep, I noted that above, along with his ex-wife and the fact that NBC News is reporting that illegal images were found in the documents.

    Also, the medical info that was found on the phone (who the hell has all of this crap on their phones? seriously my husband and I text “pick up milk please” and “I’m leaving now, home in xx minutes”) were psychiatric records of *Sandy Hook parents*–WTAF??

  21. CSK says:

    Oh. My. God. How in hell did Jones get those?????

  22. Beth says:


    A couple of years ago my friends bought me a cute little purse. For some reason, (normal human weirdness) my partner hated it, so she bought me a new one that was basically the same thing. I’ve been using that purse for a couple of years now. It’s been a great set of training wheels, but it’s too small. I don’t have any pockets, so now I need a much bigger purse, because I am that person. I was telling this to my Partner, who was groaning at me, when our then 5 year old daughter sauntered past us with a bag she filled with basically half her toys and walked out the door. By the time she’s 16 she will be carrying a fashionable trash bag around with her everywhere she goes.

    @grumpy realist:

    I love the word “burbling”. It reminds me of a happy baby, or someone who took a hearty dose of Ecstasy . That also seems to fit Dreher’s weird sort of fetish.


    I was having a hard time understanding whether or not the “illegal images” were something that was part of Jone’s own, um, perversion, or something that they did intentionally to stick it to the Plaintiffs/Plaintiff’s lawyers.

    As for the cell phone, the impression I got was that after the Defense Attorneys sent the cell phone data, the Plaintiff’s attorney called to say they got it and instead of doing anything, just said “whoopsies”. I could be wrong, but that seems to be malpractice either way. Once that stuff is in the wild though, good luck clawing it back. Everyone is going to have that shortly.

    Also, my guess is that he had something like Outlook on his phone that stored copies of all his emails locally on the phone. It’s just a guess, but that would seem why all the medical stuff is there.

  23. Jen says:


    Also, my guess is that he had something like Outlook on his phone that stored copies of all his emails locally on the phone.

    AAAAH, that makes sense. I had it in my head that we were just talking about text messages and couldn’t quite wrap my head around how the hell this was all in texts.

    On the images–I don’t see why they’d be dropping those in to stick it to the Plaintiffs/Plaintiff’s lawyers if they had denied the phone data was relevant/didn’t turn it over during discovery, but who knows.

    I really hope Alex Jones pays, somehow, for the pain he’s caused.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: because he and his wife are splitting, correct?

    So I’ve heard, but that’s another case of “I don’t care enough to check the accuracy that statement.”

  25. Kathy says:


    (who the hell has all of this crap on their phones?

    I hear you.

    And yet, I get work-related photos, WORD and PDF files, and even web links on Whatsapp all the f**ng time from coworkers and managers alike. It’s like they don’t know there’s also an email app on their phones as well.

    Maybe Alex doesn’t know either, and he didn’t bother to sanitize the contents of his phone’s email?


    I favor large, hobo type purses. I carry a lot of stuff around.

    When I dress up nicely, my regular purse clashes, so I have a few smaller, “classier” ones for such occasions (which fortunately do not happen often). At such times, I have to plan ahead and guess what I will need and what I can leave behind. It can get stressful.

  26. grumpy realist says:

    @Beth: (Ha! I used to have a large cross-body purse which I nicknamed “The Elephant” because it never forgot what was put into it….lately I’ve gone for the smaller purses simply because of the ^&$%!!! weight problem when you have tons of coins, a Swiss Army knife, and a plethora of keys in the bottom.)

    Reading about Jones’ attorneys and their antics are the equivalent of gawking at a multi-car pile-up for those of us in the legal profession. And with peanuts attached. (“They did WHAT?!”)

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Jones’s attorneys tried to claw it back under a provision of TX law, but didn’t follow the correct procedure.

    The plaintiff’s lawyer said in court yesterday (to Jones) as best I recall their words, “Do you know how I got these texts? Your lawyer sent them to me. When I contacted them about it, they did nothing.”

    Popehat had several tweets with embedded video and I’m pretty sure that where I saw it. Found it. He said, “When informed he took no steps to identify it as privileged or protected in any way. And as of 2 days ago it fell free and clear into my possession.”

    I’m pretty sure a lawyer can’t lie in court without exposing themself to severe sanctions.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: My wife takes forever to get out the door, she has to bring everything but the kitchen sink for a trip to the grocery store. In a previous life I must have been a notoriously tardy person because I swear to dawg, in this one I have been cursed to have to wait on damned near everybody.

    When I die, my tombstone is gonna say, “I’m not waiting for you this time.”

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: I have never sent a text message and after reading one or 2 I said, “Fck this shit. If somebody has something to tell me, they can call me. Or not.” I have no idea how many unread texts there are in my account. I ignore them all, as they aren’t from anybody who knows me.

  30. gVOR08 says:

    Because I generally use four platforms, a couple of PCs, an iPad and a phone; besides communications, most of my files are in Dropbox, and accessible from my phone. I suspect this sort of thing is common. Anything I regard as confidential, which isn’t much, is password protected. As is my password vault, which is also accessible from wherever. Doesn’t pretty much everyone have a lot of stuff in the cloud one way or another, albeit password protected?

  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: My phone also has it’s own email account (but only because Google told me that if I didn’t set up my phone’s email account, it wouldn’t let my phone send text messages or something, IIRC), but because no one but advertisers knows that address (including me among the no one), my phone’s email account only has messages from Xfinity and advertisements stored.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: I’m sure that people who use several platforms probably have a lot of stuff in the cloud. I have some stuff there that was stored on One Drive by accident, but other than that, I don’t use cloud storage at all. (And I don’t remember what was there and probably can’t access it anymore either–my One Drive subscription has expired.) Then again, I’m kind of an outlier and old in addition.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ron Filipkowski

    Turns out it was Madison Cawthorn who took out the leader of Al-Qaeda.

    Oh my f’n gawd… These cosplay mf’ers… I am… Out of words for them.

  34. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Right, but today in court there was more detail. Jones’s lawyer said “disregard that email,” but didn’t follow the procedure to clarify what he was exercising privilege over. He had a 10 day window in which he could do so, and that expired two days prior to yesterday.

    Jones’s lawyer apparently thought saying “hey just ignore that” was enough, but the plaintiffs lawyers are saying “nope.”

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Shit… You’re centuries ahead of me. I have no idea if I have things in the cloud, how they might have got there, or how I could find out. I am blessedly ignorant of all things cloud.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Ah, got it, thanx. I think Alex Jones got the lawyer he deserved.

  37. Gustopher says:


    Also, the medical info that was found on the phone (who the hell has all of this crap on their phones?

    There’s a lot of medical info on my phone — not other people’s psychiatric records, but all the information my Apple Watch records, along with everything else that integrates into Apple Health (like everything from doctors visits, my scale, etc).

    I don’t view any of it as particularly sensitive though. If you look at me and talk to me for 20 minutes, you will see a large, overweight man with anxiety problems who doesn’t exercise enough. The medical records just make that a bit more official.

  38. de stijl says:

    I walk an hour a day 7 times a week 365. It started as a doctor recommendation. It became a passion near to an addiction. I now have dozens of routes I shuffle through and so many music playlists. I had a taxonomy for the naming schema for playlists that went awry: Autumn cloudy morning 3 has many potential meanings. Now, I know that this seems like a #17 morning. Maybe #24 for the back-end.

    In summer by far the best time for a walk is around dawn. It is as cool as that day will be. Not as pretty as dusk, but totally acceptable all things considered. Dusk is for spring, fall and winter.

    My sleep schedule has adapted without me consciously trying. In spring I had to set my alarm, now I wake up at 5AM as my baseline.

    A few days ago I happened upon a small cluster of deer on this weird residential street down by the creek that runs through the north side of town. A momma, a poppa, a wee one, and an aunt. They were munching on grass. Two on on side, two on the other. Both sets were within ten feet from the street.

    They did not immediately bolt on seeing me. These are urban deer used to traffic and car noise and odd walking humans.

    As I walked towards them they stood stock still and eyeballed me hard. I kept the same pace and started softly talking and telling them they looked beautiful and I hoped they were having a good morning.

    What kinda freaked me out is that not one of them bolted. They all stood crazy stock still and watched me amble by. I ended up equidistant between both pairs at maybe 20 feet away from them. They all stood their ground. I was the intruder. I walked on.

    Wild deer would have bolted when I got within a hundred yards. These guys let me walk within 20 feet of them. They were gorgeous looking creatures with incredibly skinny legs. Made my month.

  39. Jen says:

    @Gustopher: Yes, I was more specifically talking about mountains of documents (like the psychiatric records of Sandy Hook parents)–the point Beth made about it perhaps being Outlook emails makes sense to me, or the notion that it’s stored via Dropbox. As I noted earlier, for whatever reason I had it in my head that somehow allllll of this information was being exchanged via text messaging, which seemed excessive.

  40. Beth says:


    On the images–I don’t see why they’d be dropping those in to stick it to the Plaintiffs/Plaintiff’s lawyers if they had denied the phone data was relevant/didn’t turn it over during discovery, but who knows.

    You forget, lawyers are the pettiest demons on this planet. Discovery is one way we can screw with our opponents and, mostly, get away with it. I’m about to serve discover on a case that’s going to stop the whole litigation dead for a year as we fight this out. Serves them right too, overreaching butts.

  41. CSK says:

    Well, Jones has run through at least 12 lawyers, so he must be scraping the bottom of the barrel for representation at this point.

  42. Jen says:

    @CSK: I just saw on Twitter something along the lines of “Jones is showing us what kind of lawyer you can get when you barter one for overpriced vitamins.”

    It made me giggle.

  43. Beth says:


    I remember one time a judge voluntold my former boss that he had to take on a particular client. He of course graciously accepted and then handed the assignment to me. We were the 12th attorney the client had and her husband was on #11.

    I got lucky because I walked into the courtroom and said “Judge, these two are crazy as all hell.” Opposing counsel’s response was “yes”. Thankfully I was able to demonstrate that the husband was lying and the judge opposing counsel and I managed to put a lid on both of them. That whole thing was awful. 10 year long divorce.

    You fire one attorney, whatever. You fire two, ok. You fire 3, you’re a problem that doesn’t pay their bills and no one should touch you with a 10 foot pole.

  44. Kurtz says:

    @grumpy realist:

    For someone who keeps hammering the drum about “tradition” and “family” Dreher certainly finds it easy to not stick with the family religion.

    New shit has come to light!

  45. CSK says:

    @Jen: @Beth:
    That reminds me: How many lawyers has Trump run through?????

  46. grumpy realist says:

    @Beth: I’m sure you’ve heard the comment made by one of Rod Blago’s lawyers, just before he walked off the case: “I don’t expect my clients to TAKE my advice, but I do insist they at least LISTEN to it!”

  47. Jen says:

    @CSK: No idea, but it has to be a lot considering the fact that they attend to his legal matters in pairs, because he routinely lies about what he’s said/done if there’s only one there.

    Which, right there should show the world how horrible a businessman he is, because he’s got two lawyers billing him for a meeting that probably only one really needs to attend.

  48. CSK says:

    Certainly…but only if he actually pays them.

  49. grumpy realist says:

    Another good article on how the Brits screwed the pooch with Brexit.

  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: We don’t have a phone book big enough to list all of them.

  51. Jen says:


    Oooh boy. Realization starting to sink in…

    Indy Chamber urges pause on abortion bill, says acting now could be ‘reckless’

    Again, this is a tactic that Republicans have used successfully for at least a few decades–get something like this on the midterm election ballot/pass something right before midterms to rile up the base and hope that it’s sufficient to tip turnout in your favor.

  52. wr says:

    @Beth: “As for the cell phone, the impression I got was that after the Defense Attorneys sent the cell phone data, the Plaintiff’s attorney called to say they got it and instead of doing anything, just said “whoopsies”. ”

    I have read some speculation — and maybe one of our lawyers here could weigh in — that the defense attorneys might have “accidentally” sent the contents of the phone because they knew their client was committing perjury and if they let that slide and it were found out later, they would have been in serious trouble.

  53. Jen says:

    @wr: I am not a lawyer, but do find the whole thing interesting. The plaintiff’s lawyer today said that this wasn’t the first time this had happened, and that before he’d immediately let them know and they very quickly provided the information on which items were subject to privilege. I don’t think it’s much of an original thought but to me it feels kind of like they are attempting to force a mistrial, but they’re doing so like Lionel Hutz.

  54. Neil Hudelson says:

    Again, perhaps a lawyer can chime in, but I would think that if the Defendant’s lawyers knew that the cellphone contained texts and emails that they were obligated to turn over, and the lawyers were party to denying to the court that those records existed, they would be facing some sort of punishment too. But, that is speculation.

  55. Beth says:

    Let me start with, if they knowingly transmitted the cellphone data and then failed to mark it privileged when they were alerted to it, they committed malpractice. Full stop.

    If they transmitted the data, because they thought Jones was perjuring himself and they were going to get implicated and didn’t claim privilege once alerted to it they committed malpractice AND an ethical violation.

    When you suspect your client is or is about to perjure themselves you have a duty as a lawyer to tell them not to do that. Best course of action is to put it in a letter. If they continue, then there is a conflict between the duty you owe to your client and the duty you owe to the court. Neither of those duties can be waived. The only proper course of action is to withdraw and make it plain why you are withdrawing, with out stating that you are withdrawing because of possible perjury. There is a very subtle, narrow path for you to take. Screwing that up gets you a malpractice claim and disbarred.

    I don’t know anything about TX law other than its a weird one (all big states are weird). That being said, if Jones’ attorney knew about perjury and did this as an end run around it, they are not going to be attorneys for very long. Also, it wouldn’t shock me if their malpractice carrier is going to be paying a lot of the malpractice claim to the Sandy Hook Plaintiffs.

    Also, if the did think they could use this to force a mistrial, they are idiots. I can see a way where a party wants a mistrial and subtlety does something that causes that. The Judge and the other attorneys will know, but if it’s subtle and played right, the judge might not have a choice. This is the equivalent of the attorney jumping on a desk, taking a dump and yelling, “Judge! I took a dump! Mistrial! WOOO!”

  56. Kathy says:


    Did you ever see the Hyper-Chicken lawyer in Futurama? He makes Lionel Hutz look like Perry Mason.

    Choice quotes:

    Hyper-Chicken: Your Honor, I move that I be disbarred for introducing this evidence against my own clients.

    Judge Whitey: Counselor, what evidence do you offer for this new plea of insanity?
    Hyper-Chicken: Well, for one, they done hired me to represent them.
    Judge Whitey: Insanity plea is accepted.

  57. Kathy says:

    Nature does not have an upper limit on simultaneous pandemics.

    We’re not quite there yet, but Biden has declared monkeypox a public health emergency.

    First, here’s how to protect yourself.

    It’s not as easy to get infected, but not hard, either. I feel quite safe, given my proclivities. Others, well, keep avoiding crowded places, keeping your distance, and sanitizing your hands.

    I doubt vaccines will be rolled out in large numbers, as they were for COVID: Just the same, if you have a chance to take it, you should take it. I’d take it if it were available.

  58. Beth says:

    Holy CRAP! Did anyone see what the Dictator did down in FL? Straight up suspended an elected States Attorney because he refuses to hassle Trans healthcare providers, even though as the Executive Order admits are not illegal, because he refuses to prosecute women for getting abortions and because he doesn’t want the cops to just murder people. This is INSANE!

    Incidentally, the NYT says it’s because of Abortion, when Trans healthcare is first. Which, thanks NYT.

  59. JohnSF says:

    @grumpy realist:

    …screwed the pooch with Brexit.

    The economics are bloody awful, and anybody without other motivations always knew it, and can see it in the data now.

    What makes it even worse is that even (particularly) where those who voted Leave know they f#cked up, they hate being told they did.

    And without being told, and actually appreciating why, they can’t be persuaded to take the required melioratory steps, involving compromise with the EU, when the ConKIP immediately start braying.
    “They are betraying Brexit! Scorning your democratic triumph! Looking down on you as fools, just because you were fools!”
    And then even the neutrals, and many Remainers, who don’t pay much attention to underlying economics till it wallops them in the face, just mutter “Oh god, let’s just forget the whole business”

    Hence Labour doggedly trying to turn it into a non-issue.
    But that just sets themselves up for even louder screechings when they actually do have to address the issue.
    Though I suspect Starmer will, when it comes to it, ride out the screaming.
    Because he will have to.

    It was Britain’s massive disadvantage that it went through the referendum and-post referendum period with Labour captured by the Corbynites, who were often at best lukewarm on Europe, and unconvincing proponents of the national interest.

    And Conservative paralyzed by long-standing inter-party conflicts, scared silly by a UKIP insurgency that they could have fought off, with a series of inept leaders fixated on tactical moves, bullied by the right-wing press, and lately having the much of the party in the country subjected to a UKIP reverse takeover, while Central Office acts like a headless chicken and the ERG wing actually welcomes the lunatic makeover of the asylum.

    That said, I think Haque is laying it on a bit thick about the massive, irretrievable collapse of the British economy.

    It has and is and will hit, badly, UK goods and services that are part of pan-European supply chains, that are substitutable exports to the EU, that depend on imports from the EU.
    It will have severe effects on consumer price inflation, both directly and via the effective exclusion of Europeans from the UK labour market.
    And money lost never ever comes back by magic.

    See the current crisis in the NHS, where treatments are backing up, because hospital beds are unavailable to incoming patients, because current patients cannot be provided with required
    supportive care outside hospital (at home or in residential care) because of a shortage of carers, because EU labour can no longer fill those posts readily!

    But, the UK retains a broad and deep competitive capability in areas such as pharmaceuticals, custom electronics and firmware, aerospace/defence, some aspects of global finance, etc.

    The error is recoverable; it will continue to be so until competitive erosion, and market dislocation, irretrievably cripples technical bases, capital formation, skills retention and educational capacity.

    I would guesstimate we have about ten years, to fifteen outside, to enact remedial action.

    IMO present political/economic trends mean the Conservatives have little chance of being the largest single party, let alone hold a majority, after the next election.

    A Labour government can then begin to take steps to alleviate the worst of the current damage via regulatory alignment and voluntary co-operation on lines the EU has already indicated it is willing to pursue. That should at least staunch the economic bleed-out.

    And quite likely to introduce electoral reform that will minimise the probability of the return to power of a ERG/UKIP Conservative Party on a minority vote.
    (That in turn may well lead to the overdue split of the current Conservative Party into a centre-right and “purist/populist” right.)

    The country will then be on a reasonable course for a consensus on effective EEA/EFTA/CA relationship within the required timeframe.

    But then, I always was an optimist. 🙂

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: When you suspect your client is or is about to perjure themselves you have a duty as a lawyer to tell them not to do that. Best course of action is to put it in a letter. If they continue, then there is a conflict between the duty you owe to your client and the duty you owe to the court. Neither of those duties can be waived.

    I have a lot of lawyer friends, none of whom are litigators*. Now I know why. If I had gone to law school and in my class I had been instructed on these finer “Damned if I do, Damned if I don’t” details of lawyerly practice, I’d have said, “Fck this shit. I’ll go make an honest living.” 😉

    * one friend was a federal public defender until she just couldn’t take it anymore. as I recall, the case that broke her heart was of a 2 time loser who made the mistake of sharing a joint with a prostitute he employed 2 nights after he got out of prison. “Distributing a controlled substance,” his 3rd strike, and there was nothing she could do for the guy.

  61. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:I’m pretty pro-vaccine as you know, but I’m not sure that’s good advice. The original Small Pox vaccine has rare serious side effects and very rare fatal or debilitating side effects. It’s why there is no effort to do a wide spread vaccination campaign. Basically, if we vaxxed as many people as we did with COVID, many more would die of the side effects than would have died of monkeypox, even if every last person got the pox. Immunocompromised people (cancer, AIDS, etc) are significantly more likely to have serious or fatal effects.

    The new vaccine has less side effects, but being brand new, it has some unknowns.

    Everyone is different. If you come into frequent skin to skin contact with people (Yes, gay men, but also salesmen (hand shakes), nursery school teachers, etc even the original vaccine might be worth the risk. But for someone like me, things would have to get a lot worse.

    Problem is, our best defense is education. Avoid contact, check for rashes, notify all the people you touched if you find one. My hopes are not high.

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Nobody ever wants to admit they were wrong about something, even after events have played out in a way where it was undeniable they were wrong. They will cling to the fiction that, “It was the right thing to do, but we did it wrong.” or “Those people fvcked it all up!” or “Nobody could’ve know petrol prices would spike to Mount Everest heights!” or… Ad nauseum.

  63. Kathy says:


    This is the first I hear about it.

    A hasty search suggests if we vaccinated everyone in the world against smallpox, we’d get around 8-10 thousand deaths worldwide. that would be worth it against smallpox.

    Let me see what I can find about monkeypox and current vaccines.

    BTW, assuming I got the smallpox vaccine in childhood, it might no longer provide any protection.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: I finally got around to reading that. Ahem:

    *How will Indiana improve its poor infant and maternal health outcomes, particularly for women of color and women from low-income households?
    Indiana GOP: “Nits make lice.”

    *How will physicians balance their legal risk against the health and well-being of women and infants?
    Indiana GOP: “Let God sort them out.”

    *Will Hoosier employers retain the right to set policies regarding employee benefits and health plans that are necessary to meet their employees’ needs?
    Indiana GOP: “Employers have the right to do what we tell them to do.”

    *How will Indiana retain and attract talent to grow its economy in today’s global labor marketplace?
    Indiana GOP: “Who says they have a choice?”

    *Will the Indy region* continue to attract tourism and convention investments that contribute to the entire state’s economic outlook?
    Indiana GOP: “*Tour Indiana*? What world do you live in?”

    **True story: I was gonna take an Arkansas buddy of mine to a little known Shannon County gem at an MVOR. Some friends asked if I could entertain a couple of Indiana buddies they had but couldn’t take care of that wkend due to responsibilities.

    “Sure.” I said.

    On the way to the cave I buried my truck in the soft gravel of a creek crossing. In my efforts to back it out, the clutch caught fire. Marty and I had both been in such situations before and we tackled the problem like the Ozark cavers we were. The Indiana boys were freaking out a little bit, so we cut them loose to wander where they would.

    I remember them a couple hundred feet downstream at the edge of a bass hole marveling at the color of the water: “It’s blue! The water is bluuuuuee!” Cracked me up. I had never thought a clear Ozark stream was such a thing to wonder at.

    That memory is one I treasure. It reminds me of how blessed a life I have lived. Some times I get to thinking about the things I didn’t do, but could have if I had only been willing to let go of a few things I could never let go of, and I feel the edges of regret creeping in. Then I look at my sons who are doing things I only dreamed of because I had shown them a world most people don’t even know exist is there but if one has the balls to reach out and grab it, it can be yours.

    My mind wanders, but I wanted to share that memory.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Smallpox no longer exists in the wild.

  66. dazedandconfused says:


    Thanks for your post. It is now at least somewhat comprehensible to me.

    The mess gets even hotter.

    The link is to a tweet citing a couple legal docs filed today against the people that gave Alex the personal medical psych records of the Sandy Hook parents. Seems that was illegal. One of the things within the tranche of docs Alex’s lawyers accidentally shared with the plaintiff’s attorneys.

    As Yoda might put it: “The Fustercluck is strong in this one.”

  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Cathy Russon

    Oh my! Cory Hixon, son of #ParklandSchool victim Christopher HIxon gives victim impact statement. He’s darling! #heartbreaking

    Nobody should have to suffer this.