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:

    Christians in the US could be a minority group by 2070, study finds

    To predict how the US religious landscape will change over the next 50 years, the center posed several questions: “What if Christians keep leaving religion at the same rate observed in recent years? What if the pace of religious switching continues to accelerate? What if switching were to stop, but other demographic trends – such as migration, births and deaths – were to continue at current rates?”

    The center modeled four hypothetical scenarios, based on trends including no switching, steady switching, rising disaffiliation with limits and rising disaffiliation without limits.

    The scenario of no switching hypothesizes that Christians will keep their majority through 2070. But in that scenario the center predicts the share of Christians will still decrease by 10 percentage points over the next 50 years, “primarily as a result of Christians being older than other groups, on average, and the unaffiliated being younger, with a larger share of their population of childbearing age”.

    The steady switching scenario predicts that Christians will lose their majority but will still be the biggest US religious group in 2070.

    Plenty more at the link.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A statement from Mosby’s office read: “To be clear, the state is not asserting, at this time, that Mr Syed is innocent. While the investigation remains ongoing, when considering the totality of the circumstances, the state lacks confidence in the integrity of the conviction and requests that Mr Syed be afforded a new trial.”

    An interesting way of saying… TBH, I’m not sure what she’s saying.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff secretly bought a book in which 27 mental health professionals warned that the president was psychologically unfit for the job, then used it as a guide in his attempts to cope with Trump’s irrational behavior.

    News of John Kelly’s surreptitious purchase comes in a new book from Peter Baker of the New York Times and Susan Glasser of the New Yorker. The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, will be published next week. The Guardian obtained a copy.
    Kelly, a retired general, became Trump’s second chief of staff in July 2017 – after Trump fired Reince Priebus by tweet – and left the job in January 2019.

    His struggles to impose order on Trump and his underlings and his virulent falling out with the president have been extensively documented. According to Baker and Glasser, who interviewed Kelly, the retired Marine Corps general bought a copy of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump as he “sought help to understand the president’s particular psychoses and consulted it while he was running the White House, which he was known to refer to as ‘Crazytown’.”

    “Kelly told others that the book was a helpful guide to a president he came to consider a pathological liar whose inflated ego was in fact the sign of a deeply insecure person.”

    He could have saved his money and just quit for all the good it did.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just weeks ago, Irina was working in the Russian occupation administration in Kupiansk, a large town in northern Ukraine that had been captured days after Vladimir Putin launched his war against the country.

    But then, as Russian troops fled the city and the Ukrainian army retook occupied territories in the country’s north, she and her family fled what they expected would be swift punishment for collaborating with the Russian invasion force.

    Evidence emerging from the newly retaken territories indicates that Russian troops regularly used violence to put down any local dissent and maintain control. At the same time, some have said they welcomed and helped the Russians. Others listened to the insistence by Moscow-installed officials that they were there to stay for ever and decided to cooperate or simply try to live quietly under Russian rule.

    “Everyone had told us we’re here now, we’re here, you have nothing to be afraid of,” said Irina, recalling promises from officials sent by Moscow. She had taken a job in the accounting department of the new local administration installed by Russia, she said. “Five days ago they were telling us they would never leave. And three days later we were under shelling … And we don’t understand anything [about the offensive].

    “We don’t understand what the point of this is then,” she said of the Russian military operation.
    “We’ll never go back,” said Sergei, Irina’s boyfriend, who was carrying a small bag with shoes and sweaters from the aid centre. “There’s nothing for us to go back to.”

    I don’t think you’ll be missed Sergei.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “The power of the Russian flag has declined considerably, and the security system across the former Soviet space does seem to be broken,” said Laurence Broers, associate fellow at Chatham House.
    In January this year, when a wave of protests rocked Kazakhstan, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, approved the deployment of a Russian-led CSTO force to the country. The mission was brief and did not engage in any combat, but was enough to shore up the presidency of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

    With Kazakhstan’s leader indebted to Moscow for the help, Russian forces keeping the peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the Kremlin massing troops on the border with Ukraine, Putin seemed to have more influence than ever in the former Soviet space.

    Much of that has unravelled during the course of Putin’s bloody “special military operation” in Ukraine, and particularly in the last week as Ukraine’s rapid advance threw Putin’s war plans into disarray.

    “We are seeing the collapse of Russia’s reputation as a security patron, which is happening both at the material level with the massive force concentration on Ukraine, but also on the subjective level of the reputation of Russian security guarantees,” said Broers.

    Across the region, the invasion of Ukraine has shocked and worried Russian allies, but also emboldened them to take a tougher stance with Moscow.

    Kazakhstan, traditionally a close ally, has infuriated many in Moscow by trying to remain neutral over Ukraine, refusing to recognise the Russian-controlled territories in east Ukraine and promising not to aid Russia’s efforts to circumvent international sanctions.

    This led some in Moscow to question Kazakhstan’s sovereignty, including the former Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, who called it an “artificial state” in a post he later deleted.

    But while Kazakhstan remains wary of the longer-term threats from its bigger neighbour and supposed ally, there are others ready to step in and fill the gap. On Wednesday, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, arrived in Kazakhstan on what is thought to be his first trip abroad since the start of the Covid pandemic.

    “We will continue to resolutely support Kazakhstan in protecting its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said, in a statement that seemed partially designed as a rebuke to the Kremlin.

    Well done Vlad, very well done.

  6. Mu Yixiao says:


    One thing to keep in mind: A lot of people say their Christian when asked, but never attend church (except for the big three: Hatched, Matched, and Dispatched), don’t follow any actual religious beliefs, and couldn’t tell you the rules of their particular denomination. But… their parents took them to church when they were kids, so… they’re Christian.

  7. Lost in Quebec says:

    An appalling lack of common sense in people never surprises me. Why would an organization dedicated to helping abuse victims hire a level 2 sex offender to work with them?

    Vera House did and even though the offender is no longer on their payroll, the fallout from this stupidity continues.

    Vera House Director of Advocacy who helped hire sex offender resigns from agency

    Syracuse, N.Y. — Another Vera House leader who was involved in hiring a Level 2 sex offender to work as a victim advocate has resigned from the organization, according to Executive Director Angela Douglas.

    Our team called the main Vera House phone number Wednesday morning after multiple people reached out saying Jolie Moran, the longtime Director of Advocacy for the agency, left the organization. The person who picked up the phone told us she no longer works there.

    In an email to us, Douglas called Moran an “incredible advocate” for Vera House. Moran worked at the nonprofit for 15 years.

    Moran was one of several people involved in the hiring of a Level 2 sex offender to work with victims of abuse and it is the second major change in leadership since the revelation, as longtime leader Randi Bregman resigned after more than three decades with the agency on September 2.

    In a July 15 report, I-Team Investigative Reporter Conor Wight interviewed Moran about her excitement about starting the role with Marcus Jackson, using state grant funding from the Office of Victims Services to pay for it. “Marcus kind of came to us with the vision of ‘what if we began to do the work that we have been doing in a more dedicated way’,” said Moran in that interview.

    If you want to read more about this mess, go here.

    Personal note- My baby sister worked for Vera House for almost 10 years. They were a great organization in the part of NY state that I live in.

  8. Reformed Republican says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I suspect there is a meaningful number of church attending Christians who don’t really believe, or maybe only believe in a very nebulous idea of a creator. They go out of habit, because they have friends and family there, it’s a support system, and coming out as a nonbeliever can alienate people. They see benefit in the rituals, but they don’t really take any of it literally.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I thought it was pretty clear. There were other suspects but the police decided that Syed was the murderer. But the prosecutors withheld information about the other suspects, which they are not allowed to do. That renders the trial illegitimate, but it doesn’t make Syed automatically innocent.

    FWIW, Syed also has a grossly incompetent lawyer.

  10. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    @Reformed Republican:

    The Harari Principle: most people don’t believe nor practice the religious tenets they claim to believe and practice.

    In politics, religion is like the ultimate argument from authority to short-circuit thought and reason.

  11. Scott says:

    Updated: A list of oligarchs and Putin critics found dead since Ukraine war

    Another mysterious death among Russian top executives on Tuesday drew further attention to the ever-increasing number of suspicious demises among the oligarchs and critics of President Vladimir Putin, raising questions on whether they have become all too common to be completely coincidental.

    The latest:

    Ivan Pechorin, a top manager at the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, was found dead in Vladivostok after allegedly falling off his luxury yacht and drowning near Cape Ignatyev in the Sea of Japan two days before, according to the local administration.

    “On September 12, 2022, it became known about the tragic death of our colleague, Ivan Pechorin, Managing Director for the Aviation Industry of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic,” a statement from the company said.

    Pechorin is said to have been tasked with modernising Russia’s aviation industry and worked directly under Putin.

  12. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Mu Yixiao: What I find interesting about this projection is that the very question hasn’t received the same attention as the decline in whites, the eventual “majority-minority” status of this country that has been projected to occur some time in the next several decades. This isn’t because the bigots necessarily take less interest in it–Christian nationalism and white nationalism seem to go hand in hand. But religion is generally thought to be a more nebulous category than race. Of course race is more nebulous than it’s often treated in these studies, and one of the criticisms I’ve heard is that the definition of “white” will expand so that the US is still considered majority white by the time the current groups (such as Latinos) grow to that projected point. But with religion, there isn’t even a broadly agreed upon definition of what makes someone Christian now. There’s also the fact that people can choose to enter and leave Christianity, something you cannot do with whiteness (the question of biracial self-identification notwithstanding), which brings the above projection further into question.

  13. Scott says:

    More evidence the accusations are actually confessions. More right wing voter fraud.

    Lawsuit alleges Texas’ True the Vote hacked data and targeted small election vendor with racist, defamatory campaign

    A defamation and computer fraud lawsuit filed this week against Texas-based True the Vote asks a judge to essentially determine whether the election integrity group’s campaign against a small election vendor constitutes slanderous lies or a participation in criminal acts.

    The suit was brought by Konnech Inc., a small elections logistics company based in Michigan. It alleges that True the Vote and its followers launched a stream of false and racist accusations against the company’s founder, forcing him and his family to flee their home in fear for their lives and damaging the company’s business. The suit cites True the Votes’ public claims that it hacked the company’s servers and accessed the personal information of nearly 2 million U.S. poll workers.

  14. Kylopod says:

    Failed Congressional candidate Lavern Spicer (2020 Republican nominee for FL-24, a strongly Democratic district, who unsuccessfully sought the nomination again this year), is currently getting roasted for this tweet:

    Lavern Spicer
    Stop teaching kids pronouns and start teaching them grammar!
    8:49 AM · Sep 13, 2022
    ·Twitter for iPhone

    …and this one:

    Lavern Spicer
    You will never catch me using pronouns.
    3:13 PM · Sep 14, 2022
    ·Twitter for iPhone

  15. Scott says:


    Kelly to Trump:

    — Kelly to Trump, when the president wouldn’t lower the flag after Arizona Sen. JOHN McCAIN died: “If you don’t support John McCain’s funeral, when you die, the public will come to your grave and piss on it.”

  16. Beth says:


    Maybe she went to Reynold’s “Pronouns for Authors” TED talk and had a religious experience…

    I kid! I kid!

  17. CSK says:

    I figure people will choose to do that anyway.

  18. Kathy says:


    To be fair, lots of people would do that even if Benito had done what Kelly asked.

    Not me, though. That’s vulgar.

    I’d bring some dogs and let them be dogs on the best headstone ever.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    Pence just came out with: yeah, the next GOP POTUS, whoever it is, will go for a national abortion ban.

    So much for leaving things up to the states.

  20. Scott says:

    @grumpy realist: And this is surprising how??

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mu Yixiao:..One thing to keep in mind: A lot of people say their Christian when asked, but never attend church (except for the big three: Hatched, Matched, and Dispatched), don’t follow any actual religious beliefs, and couldn’t tell you the rules of their particular denomination. But… their parents took them to church when they were kids, so… they’re Christian.

    So how many times does a person have to attend church to be a Mu Yixiao Certified Christian?
    I have known Catholics who attend mass every day. Are they more christian than those who attend Saturday night or Sunday?
    When anyone tells me that they are christian, I do not argue with them and tell them that they are not.

  22. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    So how many times does a person have to attend church to be a Mu Yixiao Certified Christian?

    WTF, dude? Who pissed in your Wheaties this morning?

    It has zero to do with me, and it makes zero judgements. It’s simply a note on how people answer surveys.

    ABC News survey shows weekly attendance by self-defined Christians:

    Catholic men 26%
    Catholic women 49%
    Protestant men 42%
    Protestant women 50%

    Given the attitudes among progressives regarding those who claim to be religious, it’s important to remember that not all of them are evangelicals, and quite a few of them aren’t even practicing.

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Translate it to “this office committed a pretty glaring Brady violation, but we don’t want to come out and just bluntly admit that, so we are couching it in doublespeak instead”.

    It’s doubly ironic when you stop to consider that Brady exists in the first place because of another Maryland case from right next door in Anne Arundel.

  24. Beth says:
  25. Beth says:


    It’s only surprising in how blindly stupid they are.

    “I’m convinced,” Pence told RealClearPolitics, “that enthusiasm among pro-life Americans in states across the country is equal to, or greater than, any new motivation by people that support abortion rights.”

    Like, how dumb is he? Does he not realized that they just forcibly pulled a ton of people off the sidelines with Dobbs? Wait till people like my Sister-in-law get denied their meds and have to endure a couple of months of unmitigated arthritis pain. They won’t be happy to vote Republican then.

    This is the problem with resolutely believing that GOD! is on your side.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: I’m dumping used cat litter on his grave. That way he’ll always have the pleasure of visiting with the local feral cats.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Ask a certain co-hort of Christians if Catholics are Christian and they will answer with a most emphatic, “NO!”

  28. Kylopod says:

    @Beth: First of all it should be clear that it’s possible to be politically shrewd and push cruel, harmful policies. Republicans have been doing that for decades. Pence has long gotten by substituting a sanctimoniously “concerned” expression for any actual empathy. But it’s striking how out of step he is with the current political environment, both within and outside the party. He’s a prime example of a politician high in his own farts.

  29. Franklin says:

    @Kathy: Avoidance of difficult thoughts can make life easy and people happy. Or, said another way, ignorance is bliss. Can you blame them?

  30. charon says:

    Western official on Russia’s dysfunctional command: “for some decisions, they are still reverting all the way back to Moscow. And back to the front line, which speaks to a lack of agility.” (on which note, see my recent review, below, of
    ‘s book

    Click the link to see the reference. The link is a long thread, too.

    Few things amused me more than the pre-2022 macho bullshit claiming that more inclusive societies and their militaries are “weak” compared to the MANLY RuZZians.

    Authoritarians are so consistently wrong in everything that they make a great decision-making guide: always disagree.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Your a lawyer, I has a question:

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) – Despite calling a class action lawsuit against it “implausible and absurd,” cough drop-maker Ricola will have to face at least two of the nine claims made in it.

    Illinois federal judge Sue Myerscough on Sept. 9 granted the company’s motion to dismiss seven of nine arguments made in a lawsuit that alleges Ricola tricks customers into thinking its Alpine Swiss herbs have a cough-suppressant function that sets them apart from similar products.

    But attorney Spencer Sheehan will get to pursue claims made under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and for unjust enrichment. Not disclosing on the front label that menthol is the active ingredient responsible for helping with coughing is sufficient for making an ICFA claim.

    How is it a class action suit filed against Ricola alleging a breach of a state law is being heard in a federal court?

  32. gVOR08 says:

    @Beth: He said “enthusiasm”, not numbers. He’s stating standard GOP electoral theory. What Rove said, they’re all turnout elections now.

    Their only path to victory is high turn out by outraged minority. They believe MAGA enthusiasm will outvote D numbers. Sadly, they’re often right. Mostly, though, they avoid saying that out loud. It’s kind of dumb to say it publicly. Which makes it unsurprising it was Pence who said it.

    Next thing you know he’ll admit (as one of the dumber spear carriers does now and again) that it’s all about God implanting the soul at conception. (God is a voyeur?) They avoid saying that because it makes the whole thing clearly about religious belief and on the wrong side of church/state. Meanwhile, the Supremes are working to erase that line.

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Try this on for size: “Prosecutorial misconduct? On the record, I’m not going to talk about this.”

  34. charon says:

    Says the ongoing counteroffensive was designed by the General Staff to be on two fronts, simultaneously: Kherson and Kharkiv. “That is their idea how to do it in the two directions.”

    At Stalingrad, the 6th Army (Wehrmacht) needed to retreat but Hitler would permit “not one inch back.” Putin has a similar personality as Hitler, same attitude towards acknowledging setbacks. Kherson is Putin’s “Stalingrad.” Extending the WW2 analogy, Kharkiv is “The Destruction of Army Group Center.”

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: to a president he came to consider a pathological liar whose inflated ego was in fact the sign of a deeply insecure person.” [emphasis added]

    Came to consider? This from a supposed “smartest guy in the room”-type? I realize that military duty tends to culturally isolate a person, but come on now. 🙁

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Because it’s a class action claim, which is federal law.

    what wins in a state vs. federal court jurisdiction battle depends on the issue getting argued about. For instant, a contract dispute involving patents isn’t going to end up in federal court (unless diversity arguments, cough) even though patents are a federal thing. Because contracts are state law.

  37. CSK says:

    A question for JohnSF when he shows up here:

    Do you think Boris Johnson will bestir himself to comb his hair for the queen’s funeral?

  38. Beth says:


    Federal jurisdiction can be complicated, but one way it could have ended up there is that it was initially filed in IL state court and the removed to Federal court based on diversity jurisdiction. The Federal courts still apply state law for the state they sit in as long as it’s not superseded by a Federal law.

    I do my level best to stay out of Federal Court. I don’t have the resources or the brain power to deal with their nonsense.

  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Because of this, and ”seasonal” Christians (Christmas and/or Easter), I’ve contended that Christianity is a minority cultural phenomenon for a long time. Especially in the wake of the rise in political evangelicals, who may know even less about Christianity than the “hatched, matched, dispatched” cohort.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: (Didn’t bother looking for an edit) And most of them were SENT to church, not TAKEN there.

  41. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I am often reminded of the Pragmatist principle and rule: Don’t confuse the thing with the word. And a thing is what it does. In the survey “Christian” is defined by saying one is a Christian. I expect there are words in there to the effect of self-identified. For Evangelicals Christian means “bathed in the blood of the lamb”, whatever the hell that means. To my Lutheran brother, the late Reverend, I think it meant de jure anyone professing the faith, de facto, anyone participating, even the revolving door – in at Christmas, out at Easter. To the Christian nationalists it means having been born into Christian culture. They count poor old ignostic me in their tribe. For Jerry Falwell it was defined by putting dollars in his coffers. I could go on.

    The meaning is entirely context dependent.

  42. Kylopod says:


    Their only path to victory is high turn out by outraged minority. They believe MAGA enthusiasm will outvote D numbers. Sadly, they’re often right.

    Pence wasn’t talking about MAGA enthusiasm broadly. Nobody disputes that’s real, and it’s hardly something that works to Pence’s advantage (they hate him). He was talking about the enthusiasm of anti-abortion voters. That’s what comes off so tone-deaf. Even putting aside all the signs that this issue is working to the Dems’ advantage, I’m not even convinced this is a prime issue motivating most Republican voters right now. Off the top of my head, I’d say immigrants, trans people, and the feds persecuting their dear leader, are far more potent motivators.

  43. JohnSF says:

    In a addition to this surprisingly blunt “hands to yourself, buddy” message from Xi to Putin re. Kazakhstan, there’s also the attacks on Armenian border positions by Azerbaijan.

    As the Azeris are aligned with Turkey, this is probably a indication that Erdogan also thinks Russian power in the Caucasus and Central Asia is waning.

  44. JohnSF says:


    Do you think Boris Johnson will bestir himself to comb his hair for the queen’s funeral?

    I would hope that he’d make the effort.
    Or more likely, Carrie will do it for him.
    But with Johnson, you never know.

    He actually seemed to have tidied it a bit in advance, judging by the pics, when he gave a brief speech outside No. 10. last Thursday.

    But the ruffling his own hair thing seems to have gone from being an artful gesture to a habit.
    He seems to do it now without even noticing he’s doing it.

    I just hope that Monday is the last we see of him for some time.
    Or at least, until he gets hauled up before the Privileges Committee.
    That I am going to enjoy. 🙂

  45. Kathy says:


    I can, but only because I worship learning.

    I understand most people do not.

  46. CSK says:

    As in-your-face gestures go, this one is monumentally silly.

  47. gVOR08 says:


    Kherson is Putin’s “Stalingrad.

    I’ve been thinking more Verdun, but with the attrition more one sided. But Stalingrad is good, down to the rivers. But the roles and directions are flipped. The Volga helped the Germans, the Dnieper favors the Ukrainian counterattack.

    I think the “two direction” thing is very right. The line is a thousand kilometers long. (Maybe a bit less this week.) The Russians can’t defend it all strongly. They had to risk weakening around Kharkiv to strengthen Kherson. . And every vehicle and body they put in and around the city of Kherson is on the wrong side of the river. I’ll be interesting to see if the Ukrainians continue attacking around Kharkiv, take a break, or find another second direction

  48. Scott says:

    @charon: If you have time, check out this podcast with Lt Gen Mark Hertling on Russian and Ukrainian respective Armed Forces. Good background and insight.

    General Mark Hertling: Russia’s Awful Army

  49. JohnSF says:

    To be fair, some Catholics of the more hardcore traditionalist persuasions can sometimes mutter similar sentiments regarding Protestants.

    And there’s an Anglican clerrgyman of my aquaintance who was not entirely joking when he remarked of American dominionist evangelicals:
    “Heretics and lunatics.”

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: I got an LOL out of it. Thanks!

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah. I’ve been in one of those cohorts.

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: And risk not being recognized? Somehow, I suspect not, but I could be wrong. We’ll have to check the red-carpet pictures later.

  53. JohnSF says:

    Another thread on similar lines: an entrenched Russian Army culture of unit officers lying to higher command.
    And the pattern multiplying as information goes up the chain.
    I suspect high command has a very partial picture of actual operational situations and outcomes.
    And then wish-fulfilment orders from Putin or Shoigu or whoever, based on unreality, travel back down.

    Also seen reporting that Russian units have systemic difficulty in co-ordination.
    Where NATO formations would talk direct to each other, Russians have to relay everything up and down to whatever point two (or more) units chains of command converge.

    And the false reporting, habitual pretence, and the culture of glorifying and emulating the WW2 Red Army has also skewed their entire training and exercise practice.
    Alexander Clarkson of King’s College:

    The behaviour of Russian tank units in particular at such incidents as the Battle of Brovary seemed to resemble cosplay LARPing of Russian movies glorifying Second World War heroism more than any effective tactics for 21st century combat

    At times they seem genuinely shocked that the Ukrainians have the damned cheek and effrontery not to stick to their role in the Russian script.

  54. charon says:


    I check Hertling’s twitter at least daily, maybe more, so I have read some threads on that sort of stuff. I never listen to podcasts, I just lack the patience.

    Lots of good twitter feeds on Ukraine, here are a couple:

  55. charon says:
  56. Scott says:

    @charon: Thanks, I check some out periodically but since I deleted my Twitter account (for mental health reasons), I don’t follow too closely.

  57. Mu Yixiao says:


    “bathed in the blood of the lamb”, whatever the hell that means

    Sloppily eating a very juicy gyro?

  58. JohnSF says:

    Another thread on similar lines; this one of the entrenched practice of unit commanders lying to superiors about situations, operations and outcomes.
    And the process multiplying up the chain.

    I wonder how adrift from reality reporting is by the time it gets to Moscow?

    Also other accounts that Russian Army often has great difficulty in force co-ordination.
    Where NATO formations would talk direct to each other, Russian ones often require decisions and communications relayed up to the point unit chains of command intersect.

    And another aspect: the culture of pretence, and the idolization of the WW2 Red Army, has also permeated training and exercises.
    With bad effects on operational behaviour.

    Alexander Clarkson of King’s College:

    The behaviour of Russian tank units in particular at such incidents as the Battle of Brovary seemed to resemble cosplay LARPing of Russian movies glorifying Second World War heroism more than any effective tactics for 21st century combat

    At times some Russians seem genuinely shocked, that Ukraine has the sheer cheek and effrontery not to play the part assigned to them in the Russian script.

  59. Gustopher says:


    And there’s an Anglican clerrgyman of my aquaintance who was not entirely joking when he remarked of American dominionist evangelicals: “Heretics and lunatics.”

    I’m kind of hoping that the extra r in clerrgyman was intentional, and that it’s like Riot Grrls, but clergy. An in-your-face, punk, feminist, political clergy that’s just fed up with everyone’s shit, and would scream “what part of ‘love thy neighbor’ did you not fucking understand? I see a lot of you shitheads casting the first stone!”

  60. JohnSF says:

    Or he might have been very Scottish?

    But, nope.
    Just my hopeless typing, 🙂
    Though he did once admit a fondness for The Clash, and dub reggae, so you never know.

    Also actually has been known to say “And what part of loving your neighbour as yourself is so difficult to understand?” LOL

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: @Beth: Thanx guys. That’s as clear as mud but enough for this handicapped caver who got quite used to looking thru mud.

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: That came up in the article as well, tho it did not mention Erdogan, just that the Azerbaijanis are probably thinking Russia has enough problems on their hands just now.

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: For certain.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Lost Ogle

    Uhm… it looks like this wrecked semi spilled a load of dildos and lube all over I-40! Great camera work, @news9!

    I did NOT have “A wrecked semi load of dildos” on my bingo card.

  65. Beth says:


    That driver looks pretty boned.

  66. JohnSF says:

    Meanwhile, as various analysts have been reporting, the Russian economy is flourishing, the ruble is strong, Moscow commands massive oil revenues, and …. what?
    Oh dear….

    The Russian government is administering an across-the-board cut of 10% in budgetary expenses. This is in reaction to a larger-than-expected decline of fiscal revenues over the summer (a deficit of close to 1.5 trillion rubles). This is likely only the first step.

    That’s 10% nominal; given real inflation estimate, probably more in the region of 30% actual.

    As Toth-Czifra points it, it’s yet another example of Russian leadership taking a short-term decision, and failing consider obvious longer-term issues if everything didn’t go according to its wildly over-optimistic plans.

    (Maybe they hired Rumsfeld as a consultant 🙁 )

  67. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Sloppily eating a very juicy gyro?

    But wouldn’t that be “splattered with the fat of the lamb”?

  68. dazedandconfused says:


    Stirring a media buzz, but the OKC highway workers are a well-oiled machine and should have it cleaned up soon.

  69. Stormy Dragon says:

    Q: What's the difference between cast-off refugees and Alan Dershowitz?A: The refugees are welcome on Martha's Vineyard.— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) September 15, 2022

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Oooofff… If there’s a hell….

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dazedandconfused: If there is a hell, you are heading there too.

  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: snickersnicker…

  73. Stormy Dragon says:


    You want Beth and Dazed to suffer eternal pun-ishment?

  74. dazedandconfused says:


    It’s worse than you think. Only the God Of Edit saved that from being “…have it well in hand.”

  75. Beth says:

    @Stormy Dragon:


  76. Beth says:

    Some what random, but does anyone know how to get your name and email to auto populate in the comment login here? Particularly on an iPhone? I accidentally sent a comment into moderation cause I’m tired and misspelled my email.

    Also, in the fart dressing to the shit salad of a week I’m having: I broke a nail. I’m sure most of the guys here are like so what. Well, this was a “Gel-X” nail, which is basically a plastic nail UV epoxied to my regular nail. Now instead of a pretty nail, I have a thick, razor sharp shard semi-permanently glued to my thumb.

  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: I don’t know how to MAKE the site do it, I just get auto complete suggestions at almost every situation where I click on fill ins on both my computer and my phone (less frequent as I use my phone most for telephone and texting). Look in your “preferences” (or whatever it’s called) file to see if you rejected autofil by mistake. (No, I can’t help you find it. I don’t even know where mine is and have only stumbled across it by accident.)

  78. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    well, still can’t get it to work on the phone, but you did help me fix some other problems with the phone while I was trying to fix that one. So thank you.

  79. mattbernius says:

    For all the people who have seen Judge Cannon’s decision, let me just say that tomorrow I do plan to write a “I was wrong” post.

    Please keep your powder dry until then…. Or, heck, it’s an infinite supply online so you be you!