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. James Joyner says:

    Hey all, I’m headed out of town later this morning and not back until Sunday evening. I’ll not have time for blogging and, indeed, am no bothering to take my laptop.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In How Michigan Democrats took control for the first time in decades I read this:

    Pre-election polling by Epic-MRA pollster Bernie Porn also highlighted how this year’s abortion rights initiative benefited Dems. Asked what single issue was motivating them to vote, 43% of respondents said abortion, which topped inflation by about 14 points.

    After the first paragraph, I thought there was a website dedicated to Bernie Sanders and his policies. Nope:

    “Abortion, abortion, abortion,” Porn said. “This proposal drove women and younger voters to the polls … and if Democrats in other states have a mechanism to put an abortion ballot proposal on the ballot in 2024, then they should consider that.”

  3. Jon says:

    @James Joyner: Enjoy and travel safe!

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: am no(t) bothering to take my laptop.

    A required step if one really wants to “get away from it all.” Hope you have a peaceful, restful trip.

  5. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Enjoy your trip!

    *We’ll try to behave ourselves in your absence, honest!

  6. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:
    I hope this is a well-deserved break and not work-related.

  7. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: Enjoy your trip!

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In the last video I have of my mother, she’s 54. It’s 2002. Her childhood friend films her feeding her ageing dog and rebellious cats and she’s laughing, delighting in them.

    A few months later, on 17 November, she suddenly died from a ruptured colon, before my emergency flight from Los Angeles arrived in New Jersey, before I could say goodbye. I was 27.

    The grief I felt was profound and I wondered when it would subside. But it never did. I just got used to it.

    I got used to not talking to her, to not asking for her advice.
    I got used to not heeding her sense of propriety, the importance of church attendance, the insistence that she would not be going anywhere with me if I was dressed like that.
    I got used to not receiving her letters filled with beautiful, thoughtful words.
    I have gotten so used to life without her that it rarely occurs to me that I haven’t said the word “Ma” in 20 years. That’s what I called her. Short for Mami. The word is utterly unfamiliar to me now, like something from another existence.

    Life has reshaped itself around the hole in my heart, a permanent wound that contracts and expands.

    It’s a beautiful piece, not too long, well worth the read.

  9. Kathy says:

    Yesterday I get an email from a coworker at 9:45 PM asking me to do a price list (c. 450 products) for today before noon. He’s had the request from the client since Monday evening.

    I reply “Go f**k your m***er,” and suddenly it’s me who’s being unprofessional.

  10. Scott says:

    @James Joyner: Have a great trip! The family and I are flying out Saturday for a week. Kind of dreading air travel these days plus it’s a family obligation vacation. It will be an endurance test.

  11. Mu Yixiao says:

    Winter’s First Snow:

    Pic 1
    Pic 2

    That’s part of my morning commute.

  12. grumpy realist says:

    Anyone with any sense of what Elon Musk is trying to accomplish? The only thing I can think of is that in response to being “forced” to buy Twitter, he’s trying to shove it into bankruptcy ASAP.

    Anyone who thinks this last “now you have to work 60 hrs per week all the time but your salary will be exactly the same” isn’t just going to get rid of the people who know they CAN find jobs elsewhere, leaving the deadwood behind….?

  13. Mu Yixiao says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I don’t think he has a plan. I think he finally hit the mental tipping point and is in full-on panic mode.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner: Probably too late to catch you before you closed the laptop, so for when you get back, hope it was planned as a pleasure trip and turned out so. (Soto voice – Hey guys, where’s he keep the liquor?)

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: In other words, just another day on a construction site.

  16. Kathy says:


    In all my years here, I can assure you we’ve never done anything that could remotely be construed as constructive.

  17. Scott says:

    Michael Gerson, one of the good guy conservatives, passed away of cancer. While here are many things he wrote I would disagree with, the overarching perspective is not a Manichean one but one that is approached with a sense of grace.

    And age 58 is far too young for anyone.

    Michael Gerson, Post columnist and Bush speechwriter on 9/11, dies at 58

    Michael Gerson, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush who helped craft messages of grief and resolve after 9/11, then explored conservative politics and faith as a Washington Post columnist writing on issues as diverse as President Donald Trump’s disruptive grip on the GOP and his own struggles with depression, died Nov. 17 at a hospital in Washington. He was 58.

    A tribute by one of his colleagues:

    Michael Gerson followed his faith — and America was better for it

    One of the biblical injunctions sometimes cited by Michael Gerson, who died Thursday at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer, comes from the New Testament book of Colossians: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

    That advice works not only for Christian believers such as he was, but also in the sometimes brutal political world in which he made his mark. He was a presidential speechwriter whose own words were, indeed, singularly seasoned and notably full of grace. For the past 15 years, he enriched the pages of this newspaper as a columnist for the Opinions section.

    But civility, as Mike also noted, does not preclude tough-mindedness. Nor should it be mistaken for a lack of principles or perspective. His own were rooted in the faith that fueled and defined his involvement with politics, and he was scorching in his assessment of his fellow evangelicals when theirs took what he saw as a more cynical turn. In a September essay he wrote these supposedly conservative Christians “have broadly chosen the company of Trump supporters who deny any role for character in politics and define any useful villainy as virtue. In the place of integrity, the Trump movement has elevated a warped kind of authenticity — the authenticity of unfiltered abuse, imperious ignorance, untamed egotism and reflexive bigotry.”

    “This,” Mike wrote, “is inconsistent with Christianity by any orthodox measure.”

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: HA! Well turned.

  19. Kathy says:


    Glad to spread the sunshine.

    Speaking of which, this week I’ll do chilaquiles with shredded chicken, and take the broth made by boiling the chicken to make pasta e fagioli. that’s just a fancy name for pasta and beans. Pretty much chicken broth with tomato puree, pasta, and white beans.

  20. Mu Yixiao says:


    We’re having a pot-luck at work today, so last night I made “black chicken soup”. Standard “put whatever veg is available in some water”, but with home-made chicken stock, and “black chicken”: Small cuts of chicken breast fried in a wok, then simmered in low-salt soy sauce and rice vinegar (both of which are black and give the chicken a dark color). Pour all that into the broth, which has been seasoned with ginger, fenugreek, galangal, Chinese five spice, and ajwain.

  21. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Pretty, but it doesn’t make me miss the walk from the milking parlor to the house. Safe commute.

  22. Scott says:


    Retired Air Force lieutenant colonel from Grapevine found guilty at Capitol riot trial

    A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel from Grapevine was found guilty Wednesday of six crimes in connection with his involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Larry Brock, 55, posted messages on social media, including one on Dec. 27, 2020, in which he wrote, “I prefer insurrection at this point,” and another on Jan. 5, in which he declared, “our second American Revolution begins in less than two days.”

    U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington found Brock guilty at a bench trial of the felony crime of obstruction of an official proceeding and five misdemeanors: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol Building; entering and remaining on the floor of Congress; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.

    Hope this happens also (about $70K/year):

    Veterans in receipt of VA pension will have payments terminated effective the 61st day after imprisonment in a Federal, State, or local penal institution for conviction of a felony or misdemeanor. Payments may be resumed upon release from prison if the Veteran meets VA eligibility requirements.

  23. Kylopod says:

    @grumpy realist: @Mu Yixiao: I’ve been saying for the past few weeks that we’re witnessing this generation’s version of the New Coke fiasco. It’s not hard to see where this ends.

  24. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    No no no, kids, I promised Mr & Mrs Cleaver we’d behave. Lumpy, don’t open the cupboard above the fridge…

  25. Mu Yixiao says:

    heh heh (emphasis added)

    There are no astronauts on this mission, but that doesn’t mean the Orion spacecraft is traveling empty. In addition to a Snoopy plushie, a few Lego astronaut figurines, and a couple of manikins, reports that it is also carrying tech that will be used to scan the moon’s surface for water and yeast cells that scientists hope will yield some clues about the potential damage caused by long-term exposure to radiation in space.

    And, dare we hope, maybe will make for a really interesting beer


    Now there’s some good PR for space industry. 😀

  26. Tony W says:

    Apparently, Rep. Madison Cawthorn has simply walked off the job, two months before his term expires. Phones disconnected, offices vacated, voice mail terminated. He’s just gone, and moved to Florida.

    What’s the protocol here?

  27. Scott says:

    @Tony W: Make him pick up his paycheck in person?

  28. Jay L Gischer says:

    Well, here’s what Musk says he’s up to: Payment processing, for instance. Be more like TikTok and WeChat, for a couple more.

    He describes WeChat as an “everything app”. It can be used to order food and hail cabs. So, let’s take on all of those guys.

    He’s always been an ambitious guy.

  29. CSK says:

    @Tony W:

    I don’t know, but Cawthorn just bought a 1.1 million dollar house in Cape Coral, Florida.

  30. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: I found that having a reputation for being mercurial and ill-tempered was quite valuable despite the negatives while I was in warehousing. Very low downside.

  31. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: You can motivate people to work crazy hours to build rockets or a cool electric car, but to generate better ad hit rates for people selling porn?

  32. grumpy realist says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Considering how Musk has been dealing with Twitter, fake names on accounts, and firing the programmers responsible for crypto-security, how in the hell is he going to get the level of security up to that necessary to deal with payment processing?

    This is crazy. Musk is trying to create something that security-wise has about the same chances of success as level 5 ADAS for Tesla. Which he hasn’t been able to do either.

    “Move fast and break things” does not work when crappy security means you suddenly discover zero dollars in your bank account. And Musk needs only one scandal like that for his new version of Twitter to totally implode.

    (Also, if he’s going to go all the way of destroying Twitter and driving it into the ground before rebuilding it as a WeChat clone, why in the heck did he purchase it in the first place? I’m sure $44B would have hired quite a good number of top-level programmers.)

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Everyone wants their app to be the everything app, and Google, Apple etc, have invested years and billions with only minor success. So far only one Company has succeeded and only in China. Musk can “want” all he wants but he’s at the mercy of consumers.

  34. just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I had to look up black rice vinegar. I’ve only ever seen white in the US. (Never paid attention in Korea–stores mostly sold fruit vinegar for drinking.)

  35. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    Good to know!


    Well, you can if 1) you pay them well enough adn 2) you don’t overwork them to the point they burn out in a short time.

    TL;DR you can’t.

    @grumpy realist:

    Because it’s ok for an oligarch to overpay smaller oligarchs, but it’s not ok for him to pay a fair wage to a mere commoner employee. What would the neighbors think?

  36. CSK says:

    Nancy Pelosi is resigning the Speakership but will remain in Congress.

  37. becca says:

    @just nutha: Back in the day in NashVegas, there was an engineer behind some great records who had a really gruff and kinda mean personality. He actually had T-shirts that had “ When you’re good you don’t have to be friendly” printed on them.

  38. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: What Musk and the rest of the “my app does everything!” crowd fail to understand is that from the viewpoint of the consumer, it’s usually no skin off their nose if they’ve got 1 app on their smartphone or 9 to do the same thing.

    Second, from a robust engineering point of view, I’d rather have multiple apps that I can download that will do more or less the same thing (or have overlapping capabilities) rather than trust the “one -app-fits-all!”, especially if the latter is produced by someone who does not behave prudently.

    Plus, most of us are far more willing to trust our banks for our “move money around” apps simply because they have skin in the game if the money vanishes. Musk doesn’t.

    (P.S. there’s supposedly been another two fatalities with Tesla. More crappy engineering, Mr. Musk?)

  39. Mu Yixiao says:

    @just nutha:

    I had to look up black rice vinegar.

    It’s on every table in every restaurant in China. 🙂 And… I think it’s rice. Could be something else.

    Yep! Rice. Zhenjiang vinegar

  40. wr says:

    @Scott: “Michael Gerson, one of the good guy conservatives”

    You are more generous than I. Yes, he did talk about how un-Christian Trump is. But he also spent years invoking his deep faith in Jesus to justify torture for Bush and Cheney. If what he claimed to believe in turns out to be true, he’s going to spend a big chunk of eternity having what he preached practiced on him.

  41. Jay L Gischer says:

    You know, guys, here’s the thing. What Musk is doing is very risky, and it’s clear why he took the company private, since the market would react exactly like your reacting.

    I have to thread a needle here, because I don’t necessarily endorse it, and yet, I can’t say that he can’t do this. He has a very, very good idea how to do financial transactions, after all. And if he fired a security team, it’s because he has something other than what they were doing in mind.

    Here’s how he thinks: If you can’t prove it’s impossible, then it’s possible, and if you insist on telling me it’s not possible, you’re fired. I don’t endorse that as a way of dealing with human beings. But it does explain his behavior.

    He is engaging in very high levels of risk, yes. That doesn’t make him crazy or stupid.

    And by the way, this makes the “bluck check” stuff make more sense. He wants Twitter to be an identity service, just like Google and Facebook are. (Github is too, but that’s not relevant to anyone who isn’t a programmer).

  42. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist:

    it’s usually no skin off their nose if they’ve got 1 app on their smartphone or 9 to do the same thing.

    Apple iPhones continually fight the Android competition in China because the much ballyhooed Apple ecosystem doesn’t matter all that much. I remember about 10-12 years ago sitting in on a yearly “Worldwide State of Telecommunications Tech” session and hearing that the average Chinese user only used 3 downloaded apps on their smart phones. (FWIW, I have well over 100). I’ve never heard a good reason but I’ve always suspected that it’s at least partly due to trust. There is so much malware and scam-ware in China that that perhaps once a user finds a company they trust like TenCent they are more than happy to go to its Weixin app (WeChat is a stripped down international version of Weixin) for everything. The same dynamics don’t apply here, so we have little concern about downloading another app. Probably too little concern.

  43. Tony W says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Giving anybody the right to buy a blue check mark and assume the identity of anybody else is a strange way to establish an identity service.

  44. JohnSF says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    If he wants Twitter to be an identity service, and especially if he wants to be one handling financial transactions (but handing of the fin. risk to 3rd party?) he would be wise to desist from pissing off European regulators any further.

    If he thinks EU rules on regulation of speech are a PITA, wait till he meets the happy smiling gnomes in charge of data protection laws, never mind financial service regulation.

    Of course, he could just shift to excluding the worlds largest high-income consumer market from his prospective user base.
    I can just picture the faces of his investors if he pitches that as his cunning plan.

  45. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Tony W: Yes it is.

    I don’t know what he’s up to, or what he has in mind, but Musk has said that identity theft will get you booted from the service. So he has something in mind. I have no idea what that might be, though I feel it’s likely the strategy involves neural networks and bot recognition.

    One thing Musk wants is to level the playing field. He doesn’t want the divide of “elite” users and regular users. (By the way, this is how Reddit works, for instance). If stuff doesn’t work right away, that’s business as usual for him. Do you remember how many of those first SpaceX rockets didn’t work?

    By the way, this is a great moment to consider the legal standing of someone who impersonates someone else. If they engage in certain kinds of behavior openly, that might be easily prosecuted as defamation of some kind (libel, I think?). If they mean to engage in satire, on the other hand, it’s probably ok.

  46. Jay L Gischer says:

    @JohnSF: You know, I’m pretty sure he knows what the EU rules he has to deal with are. I’m pretty sure he knows he has a long road to get there. You know, like going to Mars. Or converting the world to using electric cars.

    For instance, I’ve done some reading on the big layoffs and how they are structured. They are absolutely structured in a way that protects the company legally. That’s not something that came out of his head, he had a very experienced team do it.

    And did I mention I thought it was quite significant that he took it private? That means a lot less of having to explain what you’re up to, especially in public. I’d guess he’s said a lot more to Jack Dorsey, for instance, about what he plans to do and how he plans to do it.

    In my world, risky does not equal stupid. That’s really my fundamental point.

    If you’re someone who is an avid Twitter user and you were happy with the status quo, you’re probably unhappy now, and I don’t blame you at all. It’s an upheaval, and it isn’t going to stop any time soon.

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Jay L Gischer: If those rockets had had live humans on board and had blown up, I doubt you would have seen the same history.

    And Musk can say that “identity theft will get you booted from his service”, but that’s a bit after-the-fact, isn’t it? If Musk’s crappy technology has facilitated some jerk to clear out my funds kept in Musk’s pseudo-bank because of a fake identity, it’s not very useful to me that Musk then kicks the guy off Twitter, is it? I’d much prefer not be stolen from in the first place.

    I suspect that the validity of Musk’s vision is going to be about the same as that of crypto exchanges….which keep blowing up themselves. A bunch of crypto-bros may eagerly stampede into whatever Musk offers, but I think that a lot of the rest of us will be looking for another alternative.

  48. KM says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    One thing Musk wants is to level the playing field. He doesn’t want the divide of “elite” users and regular users.

    OMG this isn’t a thing. There are no “elite” users – just people who have proven they are who they claim they are. Even if he’s willing to offer blue checks to every-damn-body as matter of course, there will always be a distinction between official accounts like @POTUS and my own crappy tweets. That’s not elitism, that’s common sense. In fact, it was this nonsense about elitists blue checks’ suppressing the common (*cough* alt-right *cough*) poster that got Elon into this mess in the first place – he fell for the copium and we’re all paying for it now.

    Do you know why there’s no official Reddit account for people? Because businesses wanted nothing to do with the hellhole Reddit was for a long time (and arguable still is in some places *side-eyes /pol*). Bad for business. Twitter got where it was by offering blue checks so you could trust your brand wouldn’t tank when posting as people could you from Alien Bob. Your PR team isn’t on Reddit trying to get you business because it’s way, way, WAYYYY too easy to fake it and ruin any cred you might have; meanwhile Eli Lilly was cool till Elon hit and down goes the stock price because of a single tweet.

    Twitter *needs* to have the concept of “elite” verified, official accounts in order to be anything close to profitable. He cannot be pushing this “there’s no such thing as a special account, we’re all in this together” and hope to get any traction for new features. Nobody is going to accept the app that you use to get gossip about stars and have funny cat memes is safe enough to do banking with if there’s a level playing field with shitposters, identity thieves and literally anybody in the world. There needs to be a wall between those who aren’t taking this seriously and the important info that governs your life. Your bank doesn’t have an open public comment forum linked to your account for a *reason*.

  49. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Do you remember how many of those first SpaceX rockets didn’t work?

    I think Falcon 1 successfully achieved orbit on the fourth attempt.

    (Checks Wikipedia)


    I’m not sure how to qualify that. I can name several launch system which were successful on their first flight, and some that took more than four tries.

    Now, if Twitter gets a range safety package… 😀

  50. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I suspect that the validity of Musk’s vision is going to be about the same as that of crypto exchanges….which keep blowing up themselves.

    Yep. His spiel smells of crypto-BS or perhaps Theranos. One-stop shop for all your needs, never mind that the tech’s not there and safety/data security’s not up to snuff. All flashy promises that will come crashing down and ruin a lot of little people’s lives while the con-men move on to the next mark.

    Twitter’s fine as it is – he needs to figure out a better way to monetize what’s there rather then attempt to slash and burn to success.

  51. JohnSF says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    Avid Twitter user? No. I have an account, had one since 2019.
    Only logged into it much since the “login to view” script became a PITA.
    Mainly use it to catch up on some subject experts who interest me.
    But I don’t follow anybody.

    I have three or four posts in total.
    More replies I’ve posted, because I can’t resist trolling fools every so often. 😉
    (I’m a bad person)
    I have actually accumulated 6 followers, gawd knows how.
    Probably the most disappointed followers on Twitter, LOL

    So, not personally much invested, except I’d miss tweaking the noses of fools from time to time. A bit. Not much

    Back to Musk:

    (The layoffs) are absolutely structured in a way that protects the company legally.

    Maybe they are in the US; but they are very very close to, if not over the borders of, legality in Ireland re. employment law, and thus potentially in all EU re General Data Protection Regulation
    IIRC if he has screwed this particular puppy, worst case scenario for Twitter = 108% of their annual global revenue in fines.

    I suspect Musk simply didn’t pay attention to Twitter Irish legal on this.
    Just as he was reckless about his Twitter bid itself, and tried to back out.

    He has in past week tried backpedaling fast re. Irish employees; whether fast enough to avoid the nasty smelly cess-pit of EU law, we shall see.

  52. grumpy realist says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Actually, the whole going-off-to-purchase-Twitter-for-a-ridiculously-high-price I think is sufficient evidence to show that Musk isn’t all that intelligent after all.

    There’s been discussion over at Reddit that this might have all been one of Musk’s attempted pump-and-dumps (e.g. see Dogecoin) and one of his attorneys took him aside and pointed out that Musk had pissed off the SEC sufficiently already and if Musk didn’t want a Twitter nanny for every single comment he made on anything he’d have to make a good-faith attempt to in fact purchase Twitter.

    Which, of course, blew up in Musk’s face courtesy of collapse of both Twitter and Tesla stock prices.

  53. dazedandconfused says:


    I’ll never understand a someone with a last name like “Porn” fails to legally change it. What’s the deal here? A need to continue the Porn family legacy?? Does he think his wife wants to be known as “Mrs Porn”? What kind of hell will his kids have to suffer in school I shudder to contemplate.

    A writer with an ungoogle-able name makes no sense whatsoever.

  54. wr says:

    @Jay L Gischer: “One thing Musk wants is to level the playing field. He doesn’t want the divide of “elite” users and regular users.”

    Ah, Saint Elon, who wants to wipe out the artificial divisions between “elites” and regular folk. Which is no doubt why one of his first actions was to invite and encourage vile racist and Nazi messaging while tracking down, banning and firing anyone who said mean things about… him.

  55. wr says:

    @JohnSF: “IIRC if he has screwed this particular puppy, worst case scenario for Twitter = 108% of their annual global revenue in fines.”

    The good news is that under Musk’s brilliant leadership, Twitter’s annual global revenue should be about six dollars and a half.

  56. Kylopod says:

    @dazedandconfused: In Baltimore there’s a local sports writer named Peter Schmuck. I don’t know much about his background or ancestry, but my guess is that the name comes from German, not Yiddish, and in German that word has never had an insulting meaning–it just means jewelry.

    No idea where the name Porn came from, though, and I think there’s a nontrivial possibility that he adopted the name himself.

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Pobrecito…

  58. just nutha says:

    @wr: As a former conservative myself, I tend to contextualize conservatives as “less” rather than “good.” Gerson is less toxic, less greedy (maybe), less self-centered (maybe), etc.

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:
  60. SenyorDave says:

    @dazedandconfused: Remember the show Hill Street Blues? The sleazy detective, JD LaRue, was pushing and up and coming comic named Vic Hitler.

  61. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I think you’re trying to fit a curve to an in correlated series of points.

    The scarcest resource in the tech world is engineers. He started by firing half of them, and has doubled down on that with his ultimatum email.

    If he wanted to capture Twitter’s user base and expand into other markets (finance, identity, trading horses for sexual favors, etc), losing most of the workers who would do that is a shitty way to go about it.

    Buying companies for user-base or engineers is pretty common. Immediately upending the user-base by giving the Nazis a free pass, letting the advertisers get burned, and firing half the staff as soon as possible… not so common.

    I think the simple answer is that he is just a man acting out a mid-life crisis on a world stage, upset that his wife/gf left him for Chelsea Manning and his kid is trans and that “those people” are somehow winning culturally. He bit off more than he could chew by being held accountable for running his mouth off and being backed into buying Twitter, and now he is flailing.

    He did a very dumb thing. And he was enabled by surrounding himself with Trumpy yes men.

    I am impressed with the Twitter engineers who have built their systems to be resilient enough to still be mostly serving up responses. It could collapse at any moment, but it’s stayed up so far. (The ads targeting is clearly failing more than usual, notifications are being dropped, etc., but pretty graceful failing so far)

  62. Just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Korean restaurants usually don’t have condiments on the tables. The theory seems to be that food should be seasoned in the kitchen. You can get gochujang (hot pepper paste) brought out if you ask for it and pork and beef grilling places serve side sauces. But that’s about all.

  63. DK says:

    Anyone who really believes Elon Musk gives a flying f*** about helping regular people needs to lay off the crack.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: What Musk is doing is the same damn thing he has been doing ever since he offered to buy twitter: Trying to get out of it, then limiting the damage ever since he realized he couldn’t get out of it.

    Really Jay, I want some of what you are smoking.

  65. Michael Reynolds says:

    I predicted he’d have to sell at a huge loss in six months.

    Too much schadenfreude. You saw the NY Post piece on Trump’s announcement? I do like a nice piece of writing.

  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ve decided what my own personal heaven is. It’s about 8 PM, I’m with my wife, in San Sebastian (Donostia) not many tourists around, a bit chilly, and all the pintxo bars are bright. They’re busy, but there’s still a table. I see mussels and anchovies and quail eggs and ham and tortilla and peppers and olives, and all I have to is point. And yet, I never gain weight.

  67. Jamie says:

    @grumpy realist: Avoiding this from coming out:

    Short form: Elon Musk doesn’t actually have much more than a degree in economics or business, despite his entire reputation being built on science degrees from multiple universities, and he was consequently an undocumented immigrant in the US without a visa.

  68. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @SenyorDave: Yeah, I laughed all the way through those episodes. One that sticks in my memory is when Vic Hitler told JD LaRue that his grandfather had claimed that Hitler was an honorable name until a guy whose real name was Schnicklgruber stole it.