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:

    The Republican-dominated Mississippi house of representatives has passed a bill to create a separate, unelected court system in the city of Jackson that would fall outside the purview of the city’s voters, the majority of whom are Black.

    The bill, which local leaders have likened to apartheid-era laws and described as unconstitutional, would also expand a separate capitol police force, overseen by state authorities. The force would expand into all of the city’s white majority neighborhoods, according to Mississippi Today. Jackson’s population is over 80% Black.

    Speaking after House Bill 1020 passed on Tuesday evening, Jackson’s mayor Chokwe Lumumba branded the proposed law “some of the most oppressive legislation in our city’s history”.

    “It’s oppressive because it strips the right of Black folks to vote. It’s oppressive because it puts a military force over people that has no accountability to them. It’s oppressive because there will be judges who will determine sentences over people’s lives. It’s oppressive because it redirects their tax dollars to something they don’t endorse nor believe in,” Lumumba said.

    Instead of fixing Jackson’s water system.

    The legislation was proposed by house Republican Trey Lamar, who is white and represents a district in the state’s north-west, which is majority white.

    Lamar, who does not live in Jackson, has cited county court backlogs and crime rates in the city as his motivation for the proposed law. During floor debate, Lamar was asked if any of his constituents had asked for the bill. He replied: “I don’t live in Jackson … but you know what I like to do … I like to come to Jackson because it’s my capital city.”

    Translation: “I want the *fine citizens* of Jackson to know who the boss man is.”

    **translation not necessary, we are all pretty well versed in dog whistle

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Texas judge could upend what remains of abortion access across the US as soon as this week if he agrees to a request by far-right groups to reverse federal approval of a key drug used in medication abortion, which accounts for more than half of pregnancy terminations nationwide.

    Reproductive rights advocates say the ruling could have a “devastating” impact on the already fragile abortion care landscape, severely eroded last June by the US supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

    In November, anti-abortion activists, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian conservative legal advocacy organization, filed suit in the Northern District of Texas asking Trump-appointed Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk to require the US Food and Drug Administration to reverse its longstanding approval of mifepristone, the first in a two-step abortion pill regimen. If the group – which played a key role in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, the Supreme Court case that ushered in Roe’s demise – is granted a nationwide injunction, as requested, the decision could apply to states where abortion remains legal. The court could issue a decision as soon as Feb. 10, when briefing in the case is complete.

    “This ruling could be devastating for abortion care,” Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, told The Guardian. “Cutting off critical access to abortion medication – which is the preferred method for more than half of abortion patients in the country – would cause significant harm, especially at a time when Dobbs has made it difficult or impossible for many to get care at clinics.”

    The “Alliance Defending Freedom” by taking away a woman’s freedom to control her own body.

    A “Christian conservative legal advocacy organization”… These are the people who think yelling “Jesus” at the top of their lungs in church on Sunday is all they have to do to be a Christian, never mind all those messy words* that came out of Jesus’s mouth.

    *if Jesus actually said them. who knows how many semi literate transcribers “improved” them

  3. CSK says:
  4. Stormy Dragon says:


    Reminder that Dick Durbin is personally responsible for this as he’s allowed the Texas senators to block all Democratic nominees to the Texas district courts for two years now.

  5. de stijl says:

    A very good friend just got a very big diagnosis. Big C in her lungs even though she quit smoking 25 years ago. Her husband called me.

    Persistent pain in her back was a node, lobe, metastatic growth, whatever you call it poking out of her lung. A very big bad and likely quite soon.

    I’m reaching the age that really bad shit is going to happen to my friends and I can’t do shit all about it. That’s just life. It’s going to happen to me, too. At least I have a plan for when things go radically sideways.

    I suspect I am going to get better at grieving and comforting others grieving just by sheer practice in the near future. And that is assuming I outlast them.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s been decades since the intersection of forensic science and criminal justice first became a pop culture phenomenon, popularized by countless TV shows, movies and books. But the public’s growing awareness of forensic techniques obscures a far more complex field that’s chock full of bogus science — and the people who champion it, often for profit.

    For years, ProPublica has reported on these dubious techniques as they’ve wormed their way into every corner of our real-life criminal justice system.

    So, what’s legitimate forensic science and what’s junk? Let’s start with the basics.

    Forensic science is all too often a joke, and not scientific at all. I find even the thought of 911 call analysis to be laughable:

    Police and prosecutors trained in 911 call analysis are taught they can spot a murderer on the phone by analyzing speech patterns, tone, pauses, word choice and even the grammar used during emergency calls. These are known as “guilty indicators,” according to the tenets of the program. A misplaced word, too long of a pause or a phrase of politeness could reveal a killer.

    Yeah. Right. Sure. But…

    In the courtroom, it’s up to the judge to decide whether certain evidence is admissible. While judges are experts in the law, they aren’t necessarily experts in the scientific disciplines that make up forensics. Once a type of junk science is admitted in a case, other prosecutors and judges can use that as precedent to allow it in future cases too. In this way, new junk science methods like 911 call analysis can spread quickly through the justice system.

    More at the link.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Senatorial comity before all else. Another fine example of institutional traditions being weaponized by one party to the detriment of the country.

    @de stijl: I suspect I am going to get better at grieving and comforting others grieving just by sheer practice in the near future.

    I’ve gotten worse. I just shut down emotionally.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Deliberate’ bus crash into Montreal daycare center kills two children

    This is what happens when a society limits the type and number of firearms an individual can acquire.

    On the more serious side, speaking as a parent and grandparent I can well imagine the terror those parents were enduring.

  9. de stijl says:


    I read about that, too. It is absolute bullshit theory gussied up as results. Untested, unproven, rank hypothesis. Some brilliant dude wrapped up his bullshit into semi-plausibility for the egregiously incurious and sold it as a “training program” to police departments that lacked adult supervision. (Which is most, btw.)

    Thankfully, I’ve never had to call 911. One time I called the police main phone number to report something that was not an emergency.

    People, at likely the most stressed they have ever been, call 911 for help. Their affect, speech, behavior is going to be all over the map because stress hits people differently and alters their behavior in strange ways.

    I got a call 20 years ago. About a death. On the call I was cool, calm, rational, supportive. Three minutes later I broke my big toe because I kicked a trash can too hard because I was angry, frustrated, stymied, bereft and boiled over with being unable to deal.

    Stressed people are a mess of conflicted shit.

    This is obvious bullshit and a billion miles away from actual science. Why would you pay someone to serve up obvious made-up pulled from the ether conclusions? Utterly untested? Where were the adults?

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That was painful, to such an extent I had to skip whole sections of it to avoid the relentless Republican stupidity. To think that just because trump scared the pants off of them means he had the same affect on Xi is ludicrous. What a bunch of pansies.

  11. Flat Earth Luddite says:
  12. CSK says:

    Yeah, I know. God, what a crew of morons. It’s frightening how Trump was able to infect so many people with his own delusions.

    Trump scared Xi like my sister’s miniature dachshun scares me.

  13. Kathy says:

    I don’t know if we’re having a lot of near accidents in aviation, or whether these just happened to be reported. In any case, a Qatar 787 plunged from 1850 ft to 1000 ft in under half a minute, a short time after takeoff .

    At the sink rate it was going, it came within half a minute of smashing itself to bits on the surface of the sea.

    For all that, the most notable aspect is the incident wasn’t reported.

    I’ve heard the Big Three Gulf airlines are far more punitive when it comes to incidents, and there’s much written about terrible working conditions in the area as well. So one can understand the pilots wouldn’t have said anything, even anonymously. But in air traffic control, they’d have either seen the near accident or would have lost contact if the plane got below the radar horizon. No reports issued from there either.

  14. Kathy says:


    I don’t know. Xi might be scared Benito may fall in love with him.

  15. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    The Republican-led Missouri state house on Wednesday voted against banning minors from openly carrying firearms on public land without adult supervision.

    And it’s much, much worse when you read down through the GQP legislators’ reasons against this proposal. Seriously, I can’t quote excerpts… I’m trying to get my b.p. back in line.

    WTF are these people smoking???

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: That is a terrifying thought. Imagine their offspring.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: It’s the fentanyl.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Astronomers have spotted a ring around a Pluto-sized dwarf planet called Quaoar in the outer reaches of the solar system.

    The observations, by a powerful telescope on La Palma, reveal the ring to be much further away from the planet than is typical, calling into question how such systems form.

    Prof Vik Dhillon, of the University of Sheffield’s department of physics and astronomy, and his co-authors, said: “The ring came as a real surprise and doubly surprising was where it was, well outside the theoretical maximum for where a ring can survive according to classical theory. These are the most unusual rings we’ve seen.”

    The dwarf planet, which orbits beyond Neptune, is too distant and the ring too narrow to be seen directly. The detection was made during a so-called occultation event, when a planet passes directly in front of a star, meaning its sharp silhouette can be briefly observed by Earth-based telescopes.

    “Astronomers who work in this area predict these occultations to the second, years in advance,” said Dhillon. “One of these was predicted and we were on the observatory on La Palma.”

    I am constantly amazed by science.

  19. CSK says:

    There’s a certain amusement factor in the thought of Donald Trump giving birth.

  20. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    For OTB legal minds…

    Hunter Biden’s legal team sent letters to Rudy Giuliani, Roger Stone, Steve Bannon and 11 others on Wednesday asking them to preserve potential evidence for future lawsuits related to the alleged theft of personal data that may include information from his laptop, according to documents obtained by NBC News.

    The story goes that Biden had abandoned his laptop at this computer-repair joint.
    So is it actually theft of that data if someone legally acquired the laptop from said repair shop?
    Seems like a squishy area.
    Any thoughts?

  21. Kathy says:

    On deck for this week are oven baked chicken milanesas with thick sliced potatoes on the side (also baked in the oven).

    For a starter will be pasta in a creamy garlic sauce, with stir fried soybean sprouts, snow peas, and green onions. By the latter I mean onions that are sold as a small white bulb with a long green stem. They may be called something else.

    I figure doing the stir fry and setting it aside. Next putting a little butter on the pan, adding several minced cloves of garlic to lightly toast int he melted butter, then 200 ml (a bit under half a cup), of sweet cream. Finish by adding the cooked pasta and vegetables and tossing well.

  22. de stijl says:

    @Kathy: I would definitely watch the amount of cream. It sounds like a whole lot.

    Just thinking it through that seems like too much cream, but you have to be able to go with the flow. I might be totally wrong. Eyeball it. Trust yourself. Is the consistency right? Remember it will seize a bit so it’s fine to be a bit generous. Add butter.

  23. CSK says:

    I don’t generally talk about goings-on where I live, but there was an apparent murder-suicide of a family of three, mother, father, and son, in my town at about three o’clock this morning. The 12-year-old was an aspiring cellist.


  24. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    He and Hal David discovered Dionne Warwick.

  25. Joe says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Bert Bacharach is an underrated song writer. I always stop when I hear his songs.

  26. Kurtz says:

    Does anyone here know the reason behind a comma after a place name that includes both city and state? Example from the H. Biden letters article from NBC News:

    the computer repairman who first obtained the laptop when Hunter Biden allegedly left it at his Wilmington, Delaware, shop

    I have noticed it a couple places recently, and it looked odd enough that it seems strange I had not noticed it before.

  27. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I now really covet linguine or bucatini with clams or shrimp with a simple cream + butter + parmesan sauce reduced correctly. Oy!

    I have no clams or shrimp. I am bereft. I do have bacon, though. That could work. I now have a plan!

  28. CSK says:

    I’d say the comma after Delaware is incorrect.

  29. CSK says:

    @de stijl:

    Why not make spaghetti carbonara: eggs, bacon, Parmesan, pasta, and garlic?

  30. Just nutha says:

    @Kurtz: Delaware is an appositive describing which Wilmington the sentence is about. Appositives are marked on both ends.

  31. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I’ve been using the two-cup measuring cup too much lately. 200 ml is 4/5 of a cup, not under half a cup.

    The thing is that’s the size of the cream container as sold. Other brands have larger ones.

    It does seem like too much. Now I’ve got to figure what to do with the leftovers…. Does cream freeze and thaw well?

  32. Kurtz says:


    It looks ugly to me, so I do not like it. But I give my commas the freedom to walk off the job if they do not think it is necessary to be there. Their judgment is good enough for me.

    @Just nutha:

    Thank you. I looked it up. I found someone complaining about it.

    Here’s an example of what i’m talking about from the WorldMag Blog:

    Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, California is taking flack for holding race-based pep assemblies to motivate students to perform better on national tests. (“Diabolical Diversity” entry for today, March 1, 2007)

    Now, far be it from me to correct people who have a weekly magazine with a nation-wide readership, but when someone writes “Concord, California” and does add the necessary comma after “California,” it really changes the way the sentence reads. For a second, i was thinkng that California is taking flack, when in actuality, Mt. Diablo HS (which happens to be in Concord, a city in California) is taking flack.

    I cannot imagine reading that sentence any other way than the high school taking flak. Hold that thought.

    I’m seeing this phenomenon more and more, for some strage reason. Is there a reason that people are only putting a comma in between the city and state without also adding one after the state? Don’t they teach this in colleges these days? In my theological writing class in college, my prof would have dinged me crazy on something like that.

    I am a little surprised someone so nitpicky about commas that they initially misread an otherwise clear sentence did not also point out that flack and flak are two different words.

    Oh, Bible verse at the top of the post. Oh, tough theological writing professor. [Checks blogger bio.] Oh, a Reverend.

    Something tells me this writer does not approve of libertine commas. But should he not take exception to periods and commas together? “.,” An abomination. And they just have to rub it in our faces.

  33. Jen says:

    @Kurtz: My training has me adding a comma after both the city and the state.

    MLA Style, AP Style, and Chicago Manual of Style all say to do so.

  34. charon says:

    Jen Rubin with some statistics on Christian Nationalism:

    “Christian nationalism is a new term for a worldview that has been with us since the founding of our country — the idea that America is destined to be a promised land for European Christians,” PRRI president and founder Robert P. Jones explained in a news release on the survey of more than 6,000 Americans. “While most Americans today embrace pluralism and reject this anti-democratic claim, majorities of white evangelical Protestants and Republicans remain animated by this vision of a white Christian America.”

    The poll used the following beliefs to gauge how deeply respondents embraced Christian nationalism:

    “The U.S. government should declare America a Christian nation.”

    “U.S. laws should be based on Christian values.”

    “If the U.S. moves away from our Christian foundations, we will not have a country anymore.”

    “Being Christian is an important part of being truly American.”

    “God has called Christians to exercise dominion over all areas of American society.”

    PRRI found that 10 percent (“adherents”) of American adults believe in these ideas overwhelmingly or completely; 19 percent agree but not completely (“sympathizers”); 39 percent disagree (“skeptics”) but not completely; and 29 percent disagree completely (“rejecters”).


    Christian nationalists also make up the base of the Republican Party. “Most Republicans qualify as either Christian nationalism sympathizers (33%) or adherents (21%), while at least three-quarters of both independents (46% skeptics and 29% rejecters) and Democrats (36% skeptics and 47% rejecters) lean toward rejecting Christian nationalism.” In total, “Republicans (21%) are about four times as likely as Democrats (5%) or independents (6%) to be adherents of Christian nationalism.” Some promising news: There are fewer adherents and sympathizers among younger Americans. “More than seven in ten Americans ages 18-29 (37% skeptics, 42% rejecters) and ages 30-49 (37% skeptics, 35% rejecters) lean toward opposing Christian nationalism.” Support is also inversely related to educational attainment.


    “Adherents of Christian nationalism are nearly seven times as likely as rejecters to agree that ‘true patriots might have to resort to violence to save our country’ (40% vs. 16%),” the news release said. In addition, “While only about 3 in 10 Americans (28%) agree that ‘because things have gotten so far off track in this country, we need a leader who is willing to break some rules if that’s what it takes to set thing right,’ half of Christian nationalism adherents and nearly 4 in 10 sympathizers (38%) support the idea of an authoritarian leader.”

    And more at the link

  35. gVOR08 says:

    @Kurtz: I don’t find it odd to see Wilmington, Delaware in a sentence or an address line, but I find Wilmington, DE disturbing. The two letter state code seems more than sufficient to differentiate it from the city name.

  36. Jen says:

    The death toll from the earthquake is nearing 20,000 and will likely top that number.

  37. Neil Hudelson says:

    Re: creamy dishes, I’ve picked up two tricks recently. One, from I believe Lynn Clark, is that a few tablespoons of light cream cheese thinned with a little water melts beautifully, and is a great heavy cream substitute (albeit with a bit of a tang).

    The other tip I’ve incorporated into a lot of cooking is from this Fennel Gratin recipe in the NYTimes. Use half the cream and blend it with a can of cannelini beans and a bit of olive oil. Less dairy fat, more good fat, more fiber. I doubt it would work with a cream sauce–the fiber from the beans would be noticeable–but for any casserole type recipe this is a great way to boost nutritional value without sacrificing flavor.

  38. de stijl says:


    Liquid dairy does actually freeze fairly well. I freeze milk all the time. The butter fat does separate and rise to the top during the freezing process, but if you stir well once melted it is fine.

    (Or if in a plastic container shake it hard and long once thawed. Shake it like a Poloroid picture. Shake it. Sh-Shake it. Shake it like a Poloroid picture. He-e-ahhh ahh hey yi a ha.)

    Seriously, no fooling, Hey Ya by OutKast is one of my favorite songs all time and I am going to listen that that right now.

  39. CSK says:

    It’s over 20,000 now.

  40. Kurtz says:


    You and the others are correct. Thank you for the info about the style guides. I was curious about that after @ignint cracker’s explanation.

    I did not doubt it was in a style guide, but I was not positive about its ubiquity. Initially, I was trying to think of an example of a sentence that needed the second commas for clarity. I could not think of one so I asked.


    I think the example I saw used the AP abbreviations for the state rather than the postal abbreviations. After @Jen’s response, I considered whether my brain was making shit up.

    Thankfully, I learned that the AP updated the style guide in 2014. Before that, abbreviations for most state names could be used in the text of a domestic article. Stories with an international context used the full state name. In the former cases, it could result in a period and comma shamelessly sleeping next to each other. Doing it in the middle of a sentence for all to see, no less.

    The 2014 update changed the guidelines for domestic stories to be consistent with international stories.

  41. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: At some seasons, we used to sell an onion with a longish and thick green top where the onion was a little larger than boiling size that was called a salad onion. The theory was that they were milder than dry onions, but I never noticed that quality in any I ever ate.

    Occasionally, I see scallion-esque onions that have a bulb on the end. Personally, I prefer that variety, but I don’t see them often or regularly so I don’t know whether it’s a variety or a mutation.

  42. CSK says:

    I don’t know whether I mentioned this yesterday, but Trump has accused DeSantis of being a groomer of teenaged girls.

  43. Jen says:

    @Kurtz: AP Style updates are a bane of my profession. After YEARS of drilling it into my head (and the team of writers/analysts I supervised) that Internet was a proper noun and needed to be capitalized, they changed it. I think they also changed the prohibition of using “over” when “more than” was meant.

    I’ve just about adjusted to “internet” but reflexively still correct “over 15,000 people” to “more than 15,000 people.”

  44. Jen says:

    @CSK: If there ever was a “pot, meet kettle” moment, that’s it. Yeesh.

  45. just nutha says:

    @Kurtz: @Jen: Most of the time, the missing comma doesn’t cause any disconnect for the reader. What I used to tell my students–particularly the ones in Business Communications and Technical Report Writing–was that “most of the time” was an inadequate standard for situations where both message coherence and protecting the image of your employer as an entity that does not let careless mistakes leak through.

    But yes, Rev. whoever was just being a “back in MY DAY…” pill. As to DE used as an appositive taking a comma, I don’t see the postal abbreviation used often enough to know whether it should take a comma or not. (Or I don’t notice that it’s being used at all, which in itself answers the question, I suppose [eyeroll emoji].)

  46. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    I looked up the internet, and Wikipedia tells me scallions and green onions are the same thing. Here they’re called cebollitas, which means small onions.

    They definitely don’t taste the same as red or white onions, but they do taste unmistakably of onions.

  47. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: I have an odd fondness for the Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello album, Painted From Memory.

    It should be awful, but if it is I can’t tell. Perhaps I just have terrible taste.

  48. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I use cottage cheese and milk, mostly liquefied in a blender, when I make tomato soup and other creamy soups or sauces. This time I opted for actual cream.

    @de stijl:

    I recall freezing chocolate milk in molds to make popsicles many, many, many years ago. I son’t quite recall whether the milk dehomogenize in any manner. But that might have been due to the cocoa and sugar in it.

  49. just nutha says:

    “God has called Christians to exercise dominion over all areas of American society.”

    That’s the one that I’ve always had problems with. It is both outside the realm of the fundamentalist worldview I was raised in (where the theory was that if we wanted The LORD to have dominion over all areas of American society, we were going to have to work harder on persuading American society to agree to follow our teachings) and unscriptural. Seriously, show me the verse where Jesus said, “Go into all the world and exercise dominion over all areas of society.” If anything, the Great Commission was a command to go out to persuade people to leave society behind in favor of a better society/lifestyle/philosophy/whatever. (Which means we have to show that we have a better society/lifestyle/philosophy/whatever first, of course. And that’s always been the rub.)

  50. just nutha says:

    @CSK: See? Even Trump, as in the case of blind hogs and truffles, ca…

    Nope. Just this one time, today, I’m going to take the higher, better road and not suggest anything about DeSatanist.

  51. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: Chocolate milk also has lethicin in it (IIRC) to help bind the cocoa and sugar to the milk. That may change the way the milk freezes.

  52. Joe says:

    @de stijl: Check out Obadiah Parker cover of Hey Ya. You won’t be sorry.

  53. Mikey says:

    @just nutha: It doesn’t really make sense until you understand they don’t want Christians to exercise dominion in Christ’s name, but for their own supremacy.

    Christianity is mere pretext. They don’t want to persuade anyone. They want to rule.

  54. de stijl says:

    @just nutha:

    My granpappy used to wear on onion on his belt which was the style at the time.

  55. dazedandconfused says:


    Looks like a case of Flight Director fixation…when it went off because the crew fell behind the workload of re-programming the system. In effect, the FD tells you were to point but raw-data tells you where you’re pointing. IOW, the raw data horizon bar shows you’re nose down….think it’s the FD and you think it’s directing you to put the nose down. So you do…and the bar sinks further…making you think you need to put even MORE nose down, so it snowballs right quick.

    Such a common scenario inflicted on pilots by the professionally sadistic personalities who run simulator trainings that this almost never causes a problem. The command bars are quite distinct from the raw-data horizontal situation indicator bars so it’s plain as day your FD is gone. They will check into the FOs recent duty schedule and further interrogate him on exactly how much sleep he got in the last 24 hours..I reckon. Both of those guys are in for a rough time though.

  56. Scott says:

    @charon: @just nutha: @Mikey:

    In case you missed it but Sarah Huckabee’s speech as response to the SOTU had this line:

    “Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols

    False idols. That code for the Christian Nationalists, for the Christian Dominionists. Other deities need not apply.

  57. Sleeping Dog says:


    Tim Miller has a great commentary on Groomer Ron today.

    Oh, and TFG has no idea what ephebophiliaesque meant.

    Come to think of it, Groomer Ron has a nice ring to it.

  58. de stijl says:


    I have seen this version a few times, but thanks for steering me back to it. It’d been a few years at least. He kills it low key.

    It is such an interesting song structure and the beat is so weird, off kilter.

    Is that 11/4 or one of those oddball time signatures? You’d have to ask a better drummer than me. I suck so bad! You could give me the simplest, most basic beat and two minutes later it is 1.5 to 1.75x faster than it should be. Every bleeping time. Apparently, I like fast. I do suck at it and have great appreciation and awe for those that can do it well without a metronome.

    For some reason the song reminds me strongly of RATM’s Killing In The Name Of in tempo and structure.

    One of my favorite pastimes is thinking of great songs I love and searching for cover versions of that song by random folks. You can find some really interesting versions. Granted, most are boring, but you can find some absolute gems just by poking around.

  59. Kathy says:


    Kind of like following Apple Maps off a cliff.

    The Gulf airlines fly all kinds of weird schedules, per their business model as a transit hub. That has to be problematic now and then. Night shift work is known to mess up all sorts of mental and body functions, too, even if you get enough sleep. We’re not nocturnal by nature.

  60. de stijl says:


    My favorite sub used to be chicken carbonera at Quizno’s. Do they still exist? Is that chain kaput? Haven’t seen one in ages.

    I loved those guys. Ten times better than Subway. I loved those ultra weird sponge monkey TV ads.

  61. just nutha says:


    Christianity is mere pretext. They don’t want to persuade anyone. They want to rule.

    Just in case I’ve been oblique about the point, it hasn’t escaped my notice. I file it as a subtopic of “Love not the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them.”

  62. CSK says:

    Costello was a long time admirer of Bacharach.

    @Sleeping Dog:
    That was withering. Thanks.

    @de stijl:
    Quiznos still exists, according to Google.

  63. Just nutha says:

    @de stijl: The last time I was in Seoul (several years ago), even the Quizno’s in Itaewon was closed. And it was one of the only remaining ones while I lived there.

    I was never a fan myself. I didn’t care for the crumbly too toasted bread, but ordering one not toasted only verified that the bread was stale. But I’m a Subway Vegie Delight with provolone and oil and vinegar guy, so my tastes are suspect to begin with.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I watched half of a murder/suicide. That didn’t really bother me tho certain aspects of it are as clear as the night it happened. What bothered me and what I can never forget are the screams of their children as they came upon the scene. All I could do was bundle each one up in my arms, and get them away from there as quickly as possible by handing them off to my wife or a neighbor.

    Talk about protection mode, I was fending off cops, paternal relatives, and maternal relatives. Called 911 twice. Once for a hyperventilating relative and another time for a child going into shock.

  65. Joe says:

    11/4 or one of those oddball time signatures

    @de stijl: Truly, these are difficult times.

    I will see myself out.

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I now really covet linguine or bucatini with clams or shrimp with a simple cream + butter + parmesan sauce reduced correctly. Oy!

    I have no clams or shrimp. I am bereft. I do have bacon, though.

    What you need is pancetta. I cure my own. Tho I have no idea how accurate it really is, what I make is pretty damned good. Great for Carbonara.

  67. CSK says:

    Pancetta is the ideal ingredient, but bacon will do nicely in spaghetti carbonara if that’s what you have.

  68. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I recall eating once at Quiznos, in Houston in 2012. I don’t remember what I ate or whether it was any good. I last ate at Subway in a highway rest stop coming home from either Guanajuato or Queretaro, around 2013 or 2014.

    The Houston thing has a more interesting backstory. One of the company’s executives was there with his family, for some elective medical treatment his wife needed (nothing serious, as I recall), and someone back home needed his signature for some very important papers. At the time I had a brand new US visa.

    I took a cab to where this person was, got his signature, and then I took another cab to the closest bookshop. I think it was a Barnes & Noble. It was big, located among a strip mall with a Walmart and some fast food restaurants. One the aforementioned Quiznos. Eventually I took another cab back to the airport.

    The only thing wrong with the whole trip was that my laptop bag, sans laptop, wasn’t big enough to hold enough books.

  69. de stijl says:


    Elvis Costello is an interesting guy with interesting tastes.

    I know this is semi-shameful, but EC’s country album was my first foray into old school country outside of Hank Williams and Hee-Haw re-runs. Even then, I knew they were covers.

    Sweet Dreams kicks ass.

    I remember distinctly listening to it on my Walkman in a van full of international relation club nerds on I-35 traveling south to Norman, Oklahoma (no comma) on our way to the collegiate model UN confab.

    That and In A Big Country by, oddly enough, Big Country. (Can you think of another band named after their biggest hit?)

    I was obsessed by both. Costello, mostly, because I knew I loved him already – he helped me get through high school already. Big Country had one song. The rest were vaguely Scottishy pub rock songs and fairly boring. EC was fascinating.

    I need to check out the Burt Bacharach Elvis Costello album as well. Hell, his whole back catalog. Great originals and interesting as hell covers.

    I Write The Book was one of those ear worms that buried deep and was stuck in my brain on repeat for a week and a half. Nearly drove me nuts.

  70. de stijl says:

    @CSK: @Just nutha:


    Man, I loved those sponge monkey Quizno’s TV ads. They were truly bizarre. A punk post-post-post modern deconstruction of a chain restaurant normal advertisement turned on its head and injected with horse tranquilizer and trucker speed. I was obsessed.

  71. Monala says:

    Towards the end of the Netflix thread, James wrote:

    To me, the “edge case” is the dependent child living away at college three-quarters of the year. It seems reasonable to me to still consider them part of the parents’ household—but I can see why Eddie would see it differently.

    (And Eddie’s comment:

    Good for Netflix. If your college age kid living away from home wants an account, have them buy two less Starbucks per month to pay for it.

    I replied:

    I’m about to be that parent. I’m currently on disability, and my daughter is planning to attend an out of state college. I don’t have a lot of disposable income. If Netflix wants me to pay for two accounts, I will probably have to cancel Netflix altogether.

    I just read about a new tax credit in Washington state, the Working Families Credit, for low-income working households with children. The article said that it’s estimated that 1 in 3 children in Washington state live in families that would qualify for the credit. There may be a lot of families like mine, with little disposable income, for which having to pay for 2 Netflix accounts would lead to just cancelling altogether. I guess we’ll see in a year or so what actually happens.

  72. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    That year at the Model UN in Norman we were given Saudi Arabia to represent. It was odd because three of the delegates had been born in Iran. But it seriously helped, Persians probably know Arabs better than Arabs know Arabs. It is the clash of culture and religion thing. Deep, long cultural animosity. You know your “enemy” well. It seriously helped.

    We were a weird school. I believe that we were the first US university to accept students from mainland China all because of one rogue professor who arranged an exchange in 1978 on his own. As well as a boatload of college age kids from Iran. This was just after the revolution and their families fled because they had strong association to the Shah or the previous government, so a lot of academics and bureaucrats. Anti-revolutionary types. Not the kids especially, but their parents tended towards fairly hard-core.

    Interesting times.

    The Iranian folks all preferred Persian over Iranian. There was a nomenclature battle going on us US born folks did not understand. Quite secular and basically the Persian version of apathetic agnostic as a group although there were outliers on both sides.

    Still friends with one guy. Shout out to Hamid! Hamid is a bad-ass dude who goes HAM!

  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: The only Quizno’s ads I recall seeing were the “Mmm… toasty” ones and as I note, toasty wasn’t enough to cover for the stale pseudo baguettes they were made from. “Meh… toas…nah!”

  74. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    They had these extremely bizarre ads in the 90’s with some little critters made from natural sponges. People started calling them sponge monkeys.

    Go to YouTube and search Quiznos sponge monkey, or Google. Those ads were truly demented in a way that has never been bested.

    You need to see. Everyone needs to see. It is extraordinary. It was a meme before anyone thought up the word meme.

  75. de stijl says:

    My friend who is dying is a bit unintentionally
    a tiny bit famous.

    Remember the Metrodome in Minneapolis? Remember the set up for baseball where they had the “baggie” in right field that existed because it was just football seats retracted because they were too stupid to engineer an adequate dual-use stadium properly? The big plastic “baggie” where right fielders smooshed into trying to catch long flies to deep right field?

    That was her domain. The baggie always had an advertisement in later years. She did the graphics for that ad. That was her job. She was queen of the baggie. 70% of the time it was Ford trucks and there was this awesome life-sized Ford F-150 image on the baggie. Jodi did that. She did the graphics. She supervised the install. She did not just supervise, but practically affixed most of the ads onto the baggie herself with help.

    My friend Jodi did all of the “baggie” ads for 15 years or so. Ford, Cub Foods, United Healthcare – all Jojo. That was her shit every game. I got a huge goosebump thrill every time I saw it on local news or ESPN.

    She also did Nascar car ad applications. I can’t give any insight into that because I never watch that, but Jodi did a shit ton of those, too, and applied them herself with assistance. She was off to Charlotte every few weeks with her crew on some job or another.

    Hoist a beverage to my friend Jodi aka Jojo. She kicks ass!

    You have see her work and she is amazing at it.

  76. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: @Joe: I always bought BB records back when I use to have a record collection. Brilliant musical composer. My favorite Bacarach composition was Wives and Lovers. Its even better when Dionne Warick sang it.

  77. wr says:

    @de stijl: “That and In A Big Country by, oddly enough, Big Country. (Can you think of another band named after their biggest hit?)”

    Talk Talk.

    Also, tangentially, Wang Chung. (“Everybody have fun tonight, everybody wang chung tonight.)

  78. anjin-san says:

    @de stijl:

    I need to check out the Burt Bacharach Elvis Costello album as well.

    One of my very favorite records, it catches them both in absolute top form. I just spent way too much money on a sealed MoFi vinyl copy.