Thursday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Donald did not have a good day in court yesterday, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    You have to wonder, given the slap down that the court of appeals provided Judge Cannon’s ruling in the classified documents case, what the h&ll was she thinking? It is one thing to be reversed by a higher court and it is entirely another to be publicly dressed down in polite legalese. Pretty much shot her reputation and you can imagine that in future cases that the appeals court will be looking critically at her rulings.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    For all the kale haters out there: Taste of kale makes unborn babies grimace, finds research

    Seeing as I can’t get pregnant, I guess I can continue to enjoy kale in my salad.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    OOPS: McCarthy Accidentally Posts & Frantically Hides Extreme MAGA Agenda (But We Have Screenshots…)

    From the Speaker’s Press Office:

    OOPS. Looks like Leader McCarthy fumbled his agenda rollout by accidentally posting the webpage of House Republicans’ “Commitment to America” – and then scrambled to password protect the website again…

    …but not before we got screenshots.

    Screenshots that reveal that House Republicans are doubling down on an extreme MAGA agenda: to criminalize women’s health care, to slash seniors’ Medicare (including with the repeal of the lower drug prices for seniors in the Inflation Reduction Act), and to attack our democracy.

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  4. Tony W says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They say that using just a little coconut oil on the kale helps it slide into the trash bin a little more easily.

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  5. MarkedMan says:

    Get a load of this, where Trump claims to Hannity that the FBI was really searching Mar-a-Lago for Hillary’s emails, and that he can declassify documents just by thinking it. Oh, and he semi-implies that he sent documents to places other than Mar-a-Lago.

    MAGAs are ridiculous people.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From ‘He’s done’: how Donald Trump’s legal woes have just gotten a lot worse

    Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, noted that the civil component “involves things of particular significance to Trump and his family and his organisation, namely their ability to defraud the public, to defraud banks, to defraud insurance companies, and to continue to subsist through corruption. Without all of that corruption, the entire Trump empire is involved in something like meltdown.”

    Tribe added: “Trump is probably more concerned with things of this kind than he is with having to wear an orange jumpsuit and maybe answer a criminal indictment … As a practical matter, this is probably going to cause more sleepless nights for Mr Trump than almost anything else.”

    and

    Asked by a conservative radio host what would happen if he was indicted over the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, Trump replied: “I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.”

    Kurt Bardella, an adviser to the Democratic National Committee, said: “If the best defence you have for your conduct is: if you hold me accountable, there will be violence, that sounds like someone who has no business being either in public service or being outside of jail.”

    Bardella expressed hope that, at long last, Trump would be held to account. “Everything about Donald Trump has always been about the grift. It’s always been about the con. And now his unmasking is at hand.”

    What with all these witch hunts, there comes a point where one has to think, “Maybe he really is a witch.”

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  7. Kathy says:

    We had an after shock at around 1:15 am. everything seems fine thus far. I even went right back to sleep when it was over.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Conservative activist Virginia Thomas, the wife of supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with the House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection, her lawyer said Wednesday.

    Attorney Mark Paoletta said Thomas is “eager to answer the committee’s questions to clear up any misconceptions about her work relating to the 2020 election”.

    Yeah, I’ll bet that’s what she wants to do.

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  9. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    What with all these witch hunts, there comes a point where one has to think, “Maybe he really is a witch.”

    I can assure you his most ardent supporters are coming up with every conceivable excuse for his malfeasance.

    One example from yesterday: a guy I know maintains Trump would never have overvalued his properties because New York property taxes are already so high and expressing inflated property values would mean Trump would pay even more.

    I mean…wow. The level of ignorance necessary to propose that as an excuse boggles the mind.

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  10. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say el Cheeto has been reading OTB and was really taken with professor Taylor’s Green Lantern Theory.

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  11. Jen says:

    @Mikey:

    One example from yesterday: a guy I know maintains Trump would never have overvalued his properties because New York property taxes are already so high and expressing inflated property values would mean Trump would pay even more.

    IIRC, he’s been caught over-valuing the properties when he needs to borrow, and under-valuing the same properties when he pays taxes.

    Trump is a horrible person and I remain hopeful that the whole house of cards he has built collapses.

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: One example from yesterday: a guy I know maintains Trump would never have overvalued his properties because New York property taxes are already so high and expressing inflated property values would mean Trump would pay even more.

    Obviously, this guy doesn’t know that the property values submitted to banks are not the same as the assessments taxes are based on.

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  13. Jen says:

    LOL, one of the Circuit judges is the wife of a former CIA employee.

    Good luck telling her about the magical declassification mind-powers.

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  14. CSK says:

    There are two good articles in http://www.theatlantic.com today about Trump and his fan club, by Mark Leibovich and David A. Graham. The one by Leibovich is really funny.

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  15. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t really understand why They want her to testify. She seems to be a low level crank and his could backfire and generate sympathy. Perhaps they are probing to see if she admits Clarence was telling her stuff to pass on to her kookie friends?

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  16. Beth says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I have a friend, who works in real estate, that they couldn’t/didn’t want to get appraisals done on their properties because “all appraisals automatically get sent to the Assessor’s office. That’s how they value the properties.”

    I was dumbfounded that they thought the assessor’s office had enough manpower to read appraisals all day.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I doubt dipping her in hot tar would make anybody feel sympathetic to that whackjob that isn’t already on her side, but that is just my bias speaking. Seriously tho, I don’t see closed door testimony being detrimental in any way. If they put her under oath (I assume they are) it might get interesting.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: As to why they want to hear from her, she was involved with several individuals in the lead up to 1/6, some of whom have been charged. They would be derelict in not talking to her.

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  19. becca says:

    @Tony W: in defense of kale- it is great in ham and white bean soup. I braise it in olive oil, garlic, chicken stock. Cook down the stock, squeeze some lemon and you got nice side dish.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    Back to Taiwan for a moment, I think this piece in the Atlantic gets it right. The reason our policy is changing wrt Taiwan is because China’s policy has changed dramatically in the past few years.

    No longer. Chinese President Xi Jinping has turned to nationalist causes to rally domestic support for his ever more repressive regime as the Communist Party’s standard measure of its legitimacy—rapid economic development—runs out of steam. In this context, Taiwan is a plug-and-play issue for Xi, ready-made to tap the patriotic sentiments of the Chinese public.

    Beijing has escalated both its hostile rhetoric and its displays of hard power toward Taipei. Over the past two years, Beijing has engaged in a campaign of military intimidation against Taiwan, regularly sending squads of jet fighters buzzing near the island. That effort reached a new and dangerous level last month when Beijing responded to Pelosi’s visit with extensive military exercises that surrounded the island, creating a partial blockade for the first time. The backdrop to these actions is Beijing’s drive to build its military capabilities and alter the regional power balance with the U.S.

    Beijing’s new aggressive posture toward Taiwan also breaks the long-standing practice that has preserved the peace, and they cannot be taken lightly. Facing such altered circumstances, policy makers in Washington have to ask whether their traditional approach to Taiwan can still serve its main objective: maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait. Now that China’s leaders appear to be concluding that unification with Taiwan on their terms may be possible only with the use of force, the established U.S. policy could be insufficient. The weaknesses of Washington’s strategic ambiguity are becoming apparent as Beijing’s ambitions grow and relations between the U.S. and China deteriorate.

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  21. Mu Yixiao says:

    I haven’t seen this mentioned yet:

    229-203: The House has PASSED the Presidential Election Reform Act to reform the Electoral Count Act.

    NINE Republicans voted in support. None of those nine are returning to Congress next year, either because they lost primaries or are retiring.

    The Volokh Conspiracy gives some background on the act.

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  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Yep. China under Xi, like Russia under Putin, is reverting to a Cold War paradigm. After several decades of relative stability we are back to the game of expansionist totalitarians vs. the democratic West.

    Xi’s foe is geography. Between his ports and the open sea, between his ports and vital hydrocarbon imports, lie those pesky islands with governments of their own and a big bully of a best friend: the US Navy. We absolutely must hold Taiwan, and it is better to be blunt than subtle when making that point.

    Yes, we will fight for Taiwan, which means no, Chairman Xi, you’re not taking it. Best find some other way to distract the population from the collapsing housing market and the maturing (slowing) of China’s economy.

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  23. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Over to Balloon Juice Anne Laurie has a clip of Jamie Raskin going off on Thomas Massie (R-KY). Nice. In passing Raskin mentions the committee has done a thousand interviews. As long as they’re being thorough, they might as well get Mrs. Thomas.

    Re the clip, I had to look up Ray Epps. He’s some nobody Trump supporter who attended the 1/6 rally, went on to the Capitol, did nothing special except try to intervene between a cop and a rioter, and didn’t enter the building. He somehow got picked out for a claim he was a government plant and provocateur and key actor in some nefarious deep state conspiracy. The evidence? He hasn’t been charged, like several hundred others who didn’t enter the building. Because of threats he and his wife had to sell their business and home and are living in an RV at some undisclosed location. The RW character assassination machine has ruined his life over nothing.

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  24. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:

    The conspiracy nuts over at Lucianne.com are really fuming and roiling over Ray Epps. He’s Antifa! He’s an evil government plant! He’s a Satanic provocateur!

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  25. Neil Hudelson says:

    Good morning, everyone!

    Abortions are legal again in Indiana, for now.

    The preliminary injunction was issued by a very conservative judge, one who is on a short list of three for the next Appeals or Supreme Court seat.

    Her decision, which was thorough and considered, essentially said “the ACLU of Indiana clearly knows the state constitution better than the state.”

    We will see what the State Supreme Court does, since this will almost certainly be appealed. But, this decision, coming from who it does and written in the way it is written, gives us hope that we will be able to permanently secure abortion access (though with pre-Dobbs restrictions) in Indiana. This is truly the best possible outcome one could have hoped for in this stage of proceedings.

    https://www.indystar.com/story/news/health/2022/09/22/indiana-abortion-law-blocked-special-judge-in-aclu-planned-parenthood-lawsuit/69511130007/

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  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Has she agreed to appear voluntarily before or after November 8th?

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  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: “Perhaps they are probing to see if she admits Clarence was telling her stuff to pass on to her kookie friends?”

    And that would matter because? Republicans are going to rise up in anger at his corruption and demand he be removed from office?

    This is me not holding my breath waiting. 😐

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  28. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    So Benito has the mysterious Clinton emails? He aided and abetted a major felony he himself has said deserves summary imprisonment?

    I see no other explanation that his mind stops working when his mouth opens.

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  29. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It could matter in two ways:

    1. Actual proof of corruption could be sufficient to get him impeached. He might not get removed, but actually having proof of corruption would be better than what we have now.

    2. With actual proof of corruption every left leaning attorney would have a basis for a motion to
    Disqualify him. Those probably wouldn’t be successful, but every litigant worried about his ruling should file that and force SCOTUS to confront it every single time. That would have an effect.

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  30. Scott says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Although I expressed my total reservations yesterday on vaccine exemptions for military members using “religious rights” and “deeply held religious beliefs” to scam the law, it does my heart good when the tables are turned.

    About a week after the ACLU filed this lawsuit on behalf of clinics that provide abortion, the organization filed another lawsuit in Marion County Superior Court on the behalf of five anonymous plaintiffs that argues the new law infringes on individual’s religious rights and violates the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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  31. Kathy says:

    On deck this week meatloaf patties with pan fried potatoes. A side stir-fry of cabbage, soybean sprouts, snow peas, celery, and bell pepper, with what I call a dressing of orange juice, peanut butter (or powdered peanuts) and soy sauce.

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  32. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Maybe the Committee wants to help out John Robert’s investigation into the Dobbs leak. Ginni just might know something about that.

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  33. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Scott:

    We warned them it was an overly broad RFRA law that could potentially undermine a host of state laws. Not our fault if we’re the first ones to use it in a (potentially) big way.

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  34. Beth says:

    @Kathy:

    I started reading this to the tune of deck the halls..

    “Deck the halls with meatloaf patties! Fa la la, fa la la…”

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  35. Kathy says:

    @Beth:

    That one’s entirely on you.

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  36. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Best find some other way to distract the population…

    War with Russia?

    (Only joking! -ish)
    Did you catch the bit about Xi publicly slapping Putin re. Kazakhstan last week?
    Personally I reckon Xi and Erdogan are looking sideways at Putin and measuring him up for a gimp suit and a bed in the cellar. 😉

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  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    I have a refrigerator to clean out, so this weekend will be:

    Stewing down tomatoes to can for my New Years Chili.

    Cooking down chicken scraps for broth, and canning that with some that I made last week.

    Ham-wrapped mozzarella stuffed in thin-pounded boneless chicken thighs, all of which will get a seasoned breading on the outside. I’ll probably do garlic-rosemary roasted potatoes and steamed green beans.

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  38. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’m thinking that Putin would be wise to stay away from windows and tea cups.

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  39. Kathy says:

    Do you ever think something like “this is designed for me to reject it so fast I’ll break the speed limit of the universe?”

    I had two in quick succession.

    Yesterday I got a message in WhatsApp from an number my phone didn’t recognize. this happens legitimately from time to time, seeing how many people work in our company and might message or call me. Not this time.

    I should add I absolutely loathe text messages for various reasons, including the noise the phone makes to alert me (I get very few).

    This guy sent several short messages instead of a single or few longer ones. So the phone wouldn’t shut up. Add he said he’s from Pakistan, and I don’t know him but he has this once in a lifetime opportunity for me, and plenty of misspelled words (in this era of ducking autocorrect, not the right ones).

    Second the office’s year-end department party.

    Not only has the pandemic not ended, they decided to hold it at a restaurant in Toluca, with festivities following at a coworker’s home. Worse yet, they’ve hired a passenger van to get us there (or more than one), and asked we not bring our own vehicles due to lack of parking. So this means I can’t even leave early, were I insane enough to attend.

    They only left out holding it at a seafood restaurant. That seriously would have me breaking the time barrier as well.

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  40. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Have you seen recent news of what Prizoghin’s been up to?
    I may be mistook , but those two may be heading for a terminal falling out.
    As it were.

    Probably just optics at the mo’.
    But if someone does get a group together to topple Putin its likely to be a hardliner among the siloviki, not a compromiser; and Priz does have his own loyal private army.
    Of course the other guy in that position is Kadyrov; but he’s more likely to stick with Putin, as he and Prizoghin reputedly can’t stand each other.

    And Kadyrov, like Shoigu, is vanishingly unlikely to become the top man himself, being a Chechen, not Russian (Shoigu is a Tuvan).

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  41. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    I was thinking more along the lines of oligarchs replacing Putin with a patsy who will look good, but not threaten their business (see: banana republics)

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  42. JohnSF says:

    Again, in Russia.
    Someone hasn’t thought this through:

    The Russian Ministry of Energy issues notes to national energy, metal and mineral companies requesting 100% of employees to show up at military recruitment offices.

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  43. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Oligarchs don’t have the power; siloviki have the power.
    The two are very different breeds of cat.

    There is some overlap; but generally oligarchs are businessmen first and foremost, sometimes with a side-order of mobster.
    Siloviki are high rank security/militia/police/secret police/paramilitary (rarely actual military though) types; with a lot of gangster-as-they-wannabe attitude with it; often (at the top levels) very to very very rich, but as secondary thing.

    Power is their thing not money.
    If a top silovik wants a yacht, he can always just step up to a billionaire and ask.
    Nicely.
    Or not so nicely.
    As long as its OK with the “Big Roof”: Putin.

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  44. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: That is a “At last, have you no decency?” moment

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  45. Kathy says:

    Apparently Mad Vlad knows he has turned Ukraine into a meat grinder, which for some incomprehensible reason grinds more Russian meat.

    Anti-war protesters were given draft papers after being arrested.

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I was thinking more along the lines of oligarchs replacing Putin with a patsy who will look good, but not threaten their business (see: banana republics)

    I think Benito is between jobs.

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  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JohnSF:

    Did you catch the bit about Xi publicly slapping Putin re. Kazakhstan last week?
    Personally I reckon Xi and Erdogan are looking sideways at Putin and measuring him up for a gimp suit and a bed in the cellar.

    Modi doesn’t seem too impressed with Tsar Vlad, either.

    Putin’s the loudmouth tough guy in the bar who ends up sitting on the curb in the parking lot, bleeding all over his shirt and whining that he was sucker punched.

    It’s not good to be a thug who gets his ass kicked. Xi, Modi, Erdogan – three wanna-be macho guys all now perplexed that their fellow tough guy, the veritable poster boy for macho thugs, is looking like a wuss. He’s losing to a country he denies is a country. (Ring any bells, Chairman Xi?)

    I go back to WW1, the war in which we learned definitively that courage and esprit de corps and manly sacrifice do not trump machine guns.* Conventional wars are wars of technology, logistics and training. Adding 300,000 new draftees with shitty tech, pathetic logistics and no training is not going to save this for Vlad.

    *Could have been learned in, say, 1864, with the advent of rifles and massed artillery. But militaries are not always quick to adapt.

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  47. Michael Cain says:

    @JohnSF:

    Rosie the Riveter makes a special guest appearance in Russia?

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  48. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Adding 300,000 new draftees with shitty tech, pathetic logistics and no training is not going to save this for Vlad.

    The 300,000 being called up are reservists. So they’ve had at least a couple days of training.

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  49. Kathy says:

    From notes on the file I like to call “Why the f**k didn’t you figure this out on your own”:

    Some months ago (last year?) I was issued a laptop requested by a manager. the screen is too small, and the keyboard suffers from various flaws (and lacks a number keypad), but it would have been ok with my existent office monitor and keyboard.

    The problem is the monitor is VGA and the laptop’s video out port is HDMI. When I asked IT for a new monitor and an HDMI cable, I was told it wasn’t necessary because the laptop has a screen. I wasn’t about to pay for a monitor, so the laptop got relegated to gather dust until the blackout last weekend.

    Aside from installing accumulated OS updates and fixing the license issue for Office365, there was an issue with the local corporate account. So I brought it in to work Monday for the IT guy to fix that.

    He did, and I mentioned the monitor issue. Then he said, “Why don’t you get an HDMI to VGA converter?”

    Yeah, Kathy, why the f**k didn’t you figure this out on your own?

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  50. MarkedMan says:

    When I say that we never really had a chance of eliminating COVID, that the Public Health campaign has really been about that but rather about keeping our hospitals from being overwhelmed, I’m not arguing based on my expertise, because I don’t have any. Rather, it’s just a repetition of what epidemiologists have been saying from almost the beginning. Here’s a couple of quotes from a new piece in The Atlantic. It starts out:

    When is the pandemic “over”? In the early days of 2020, we envisioned it ending with the novel coronavirus going away entirely. When this became impossible, we hoped instead for elimination: If enough people got vaccinated, herd immunity might largely stop the virus from spreading. When this too became impossible, we accepted that the virus would still circulate but imagined that it could become, optimistically, like one of the four coronaviruses that cause common colds or, pessimistically, like something more severe, akin to the flu.

    Instead, COVID has settled into something far worse than the flu.

    But could it have been eradicated if we had acted more quickly and more seriously? Here’s what an epidemiologist involved from the beginning says:

    The virus that came out of Wuhan, China, in 2019 was already so good at spreading—including from people without symptoms—that eradication probably never stood a chance once COVID took off internationally. “I don’t think that was ever really practically possible,” says Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia. In time, it also became clear that immunity to COVID is simply not durable enough for elimination through herd immunity. The virus evolves too rapidly, and our own immunity to COVID infection fades too quickly—as it does with other respiratory viruses—even as immunity against severe disease tends to persist. (The elderly who mount weaker immune responses remain the most vulnerable: 88 percent of COVID deaths so far in September have been in people over 65.)

    So – we have a new endemic disease that, at least currently, is more deadly than the flu. It predominantly but not exclusively kills the elderly, but may cause serious long term effects even in the young.

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  51. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kathy:

    Anti-war protesters were given draft papers after being arrested.

    So his plan to deal with resistance is to give them military training and weapons?

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  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: My killer instinct may be blunted, but for my money impeachment without the possibility of conviction and removal is just theatre for the rubes. Additionally, I suspect that the range of “corruption” is narrow enough so that “every left leaning attorney would have [seeking] a basis for a motion to Disqualify him” would just make them look ridiculous. It’s all still in the “when you strike at the king, you’d best not miss” arena. These are misses.

    I wish that Andy’s simile from yesterday (a government/social contract is like a marriage) wasn’t as threadbare as it is. Divorce and destruction of a family is much cleaner and easier to handle than the reality of how broken our system is relative to our belief that somehow impeaching Justice Thomas will make thing different.

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  53. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Perhaps just enough to know that this is going to be a really, really bad adventure.

    Especially as reservists are likely to get thrown into the mincing machine sometime between now and midwinter.
    At least raw recruits have got a few months to pray for defeat before they get send down the line.

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: So Russia is not nearly so much an “oligarchy” as it is an “ochlogarchy” with a much more restrictive than normal understanding of who and what the “mob” is?

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  55. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    In Chechynya it looks like the Kadyrovites are rounding up men from known “enemy” clans and shoving them on buses.
    (lost link, sorry)
    But definitely NOT with guns.
    They are Chechens, after all.

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Funny thing about meat grinders–they just grind up whatever meat is put into them without consideration of the source. (It’s part of the reason we created the USDA.)

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  57. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: I realized that I didn’t include the link to the COVID article in he Atlantic. Here it is. Well worth reading. My takeaway: We now have another leading cause of death in the US (and the world) that slots in somewhere between “Accidents” and “Diabetes” on this list:
    Heart disease: 696,962
    Cancer: 602,350
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 200,955
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 160,264
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 152,657
    Alzheimer’s disease: 134,242
    Diabetes: 102,188
    Influenza and pneumonia: 53,544
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 52,547

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  58. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: If they put them on the front, how are they going to keep these “recruits” from immediately surrending? Sincerely asking, as it is a problem many armies have dealt with in the past.

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  59. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Considering the regulars in the Red Army* had hardly done well, I don’t suppose the second-stringers in the reserves will do any better.

    @Stormy Dragon:

    1) feed the protesters to the meat grinder.
    2) Discourage further protests, with the now implied threat of being fed to the meat grinder.

    *I use the term which much malice.

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  60. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Damfino.
    I do know if was a Russian NCO I’d be taking great care where I slept: not between the most grumpy Tatars in my unit and the Ukrainian lines.

    I mean, consider this:

    Yes, those who signed short term contracts over the spring and summer expecting to clear a sizable payout are now going to find their terms of service extended indefinitely – without the option to break contract terms or refuse deployment.

    There are going to be some very unhappy guys in those units; including some with very few inhibitions indeed.

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  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I don’t know. The article does not say.

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  62. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Close I suppose: best analogy would be if in the USA instead of the FBI prosecuting the Mob, the FBI was above the Mob, was in itself the Mob.
    Like a city where the police are the biggest gangsters of all, and control the city, and the lesser gangsters.
    But there are multiple competing police forces under one Mayor; or multiple FBI’s under one “president”.
    Sort of.

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  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Not a problem. I’m mostly being snarky and trying to imply that she has no intention of carrying through on her word. Sort of like the “I’m arranging to speak with the committee as we speak” announcement of several months ago that she recanted on a day or two later.

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  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Yeah. I was having trouble finding a term that matched what you were describing, too. Russia just doesn’t fit any of the standard paradigms.

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  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Well, they passed a law making surrender illegal, so problem solved!

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  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: “how are they going to keep these “recruits” from immediately surrending?”

    Isn’t that what shooting people in the back is about (among other applications)?

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  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Yeah, I also half expect her to stub her toe the morning of the interview and have to cancel because of it.

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  68. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I still have heard of no study or report that vaccine protection for the original strain has waned to the point it’s ineffective against that strain.

    What happened is it got replaced by Delta. And the original vaccine showed around 30-40% efficacy against Delta infection. Hindsight and all, what should have been done then was a rapid deployment of a Delta polyvalent shot.

    Granted, this would not have helped against Omicron. And there’s much doubt whether a shot for the BA.1 sub variant would prevent infection from Ba.4 and BA.5 sub variants. This may get settled because apparently the EU is going with BA.1, while the US will deploy BA.4 and BA.5 boosters.

    We have eliminated a grand total of one (1) virus from the global ecosystem. We have a decent chance against one other (polio). We won’t ever eradicate a pathogen as prolific as SARS-CoV-2, not only due to its rapid evolution of variants, but because it find ready reservoirs in many mammals.

    But all outbreaks burn out. Smallpox, now extinct, was endemic in human populations int eh eastern hemisphere for millennia. there were no vaccines against it, no effective treatments, nor much awareness about how to contain its spread. It struck repeatedly many times, but it didn’t hang around infecting the same area year round, never mind the whole world.

    New Zealand managed to end community transmission in 2020. South Korea contained it to low levels. The former used a hard and fast lockdown, the latter effective testing and tracing with isolation. Had the rest of the world done the same, the trump virus would be endemic as well, but the outbreak phase would have ended by 2021, and millions more people would be alive today.

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  69. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    Considering the regulars in the Red Army* had hardly done well, I don’t suppose the second-stringers in the reserves will do any better.

    Sorry… My comment failed to include the sarcasm font. 😀

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  70. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: You are in very good company.

    I think it’s good to remember no matter how smart, how knowledgeable, how experienced one is, there’s always something dumb to be done.

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  71. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: I also have no expertise on epidemiology but I’ve assumed it would be endemic once it jumped species. We can’t get Republicans to line up for shots, much less deer.

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  72. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    As to the impeachment stuff, I mostly agree with you. It’s thin, but it’s something and if you happen to have the votes, something is better than nothing.

    As for motions to disqualify, the thing is, Thomas isn’t the king. He may act like it, but he’s not. Each indvidual motion would be ineffective on its own, but collectively, that’s a nightmare for Roberts. Force the court to constantly go on the record why Thomas’s obvious bias and corruption disqualify him from cases, particularly voting rights cases. Roberts demands legitimacy, make him show how illegitimate they are with every single case on the record. Alito and Kavanaugh demand RESPECT. Mock them in every case by pointing out that they are a bunch of hacks protecting an obvious hack of the own. You don’t need to hit the king, just throw up enough shit to make the smell unbearable.

    One of my biggest problems with Republicans is they are never held accountable. In this case, we need to force them to show just how unaccountable they are, constantly.

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  73. Beth says:

    @Kathy:

    Eh, my brain goes to weird places.

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  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Gee, I dunno. Most, or at least lots of cases are going to be on topics where there’s no particular reason for Thomas to recuse himself. If I’m Roberts, the second or third of these “throw up shit” exercises is going to be met with a contempt citation. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know, maybe you can just shrug off a contempt citation, but I would predict more of a dampening effect.

    If the fight were to become extended, one might find the court simply declining to hear cases represented by counsel from some sort of informal blacklist. A real dirty fighter, although I’m not like this at all (no, no, nuh-huh), might create some sort of rumor to such an effect and “leak” it in some medium or another. How would “don’t hire XYZ to plead your case to the Supremes because it won’t get on the calendar” work for someone?

    (And yes, I think there are enough “integrity of The Court” BSers on the current panel to circle the wagons for such a fight.)

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  75. Kathy says:

    @Beth:

    So does mine. But only because those tend to be the best places.

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  76. dazedandconfused says:

    @MarkedMan: Tooth to tail is typically 10% tooth in modern armies. War , particularly defensive works, needs ditch diggers too. Truck drivers, mechanics, cooks, et al.

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  77. Paine says:

    Some news from my neck of the woods. The University of Idaho sent a few buses of international students down to our nearest social security office for routine paperwork processing some concerned citizens started spreading the word on social media that it was a caravan of illegal immigrants being shipped to the area. Crazy.

    https://lmtribune.com/updated-story-at-5-15-p-m-is-that-a-busload-of-migrants-in-lewiston/article_05f9331a-39f9-11ed-8894-1b01c4952b3f.html

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