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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A firearms dealer in Arizona sold weapons to an undercover federal agent he believed would help him carry out his plan for a mass shooting targeting minorities, an attack that he hoped would “incite a race war”, according to a federal grand jury indictment.

    Mark Adams Prieto was indicted Tuesday by the grand jury in Arizona on charges of firearms trafficking, transferring a firearm for use in a hate crime, and possession of an unregistered firearm.
    ………………..
    The indictment says planning for the shooting began in January and took place over several months at gun shows around Arizona, including in Phoenix and Tucson. At the gun shows, the indictment alleges, Prieto sold two rifles to be used in the shooting to the FBI agent.

    Prieto was arrested in New Mexico on 14 May, around the time of the Atlanta concert, while driving east from Arizona. Authorities said they found seven firearms inside his vehicle.

    I await the conspiracy theories about how the FBI pushed him into this plan from the usual suspects.

    8
  2. mattbernius says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    With these tpyes of situations, where all the reporting is coming from an indictment and FBI press releases, I honestly recommend withholding judgement until more details come out from multiple sources.

    The FBI’s record in this area is anything but spotless in cases that potentially involve entrapment. The Marshall project, a progressive leaning journalism project, has done excellent reporting on this topic:
    https://www.themarshallproject.org/records/1273-entrapment

    9
  3. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    As someone here pointed out yesterday, Charles Manson was there first.

  4. DeD says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Targeting “minorities,” huh? They mean Black people. Dude’s last name is Prieto. Technically, HE’S a minority. That anti-Blsck hate is the larger part of why we’re at the political crossroads we are currently.

    8
  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    Someone here in the commentariat has been expressing misgivings about Senator Fetterman, and I ignored it at the time, though it evidently stuck with me. In any case, I just wanted to say, Hmm, you may be on to something. ‘Well over the 70 mph speed limit’ means, what, 85? Suggests a guy letting his position go to his head.

    (Full disclosure: lead foot here.)

    1
  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DeD:
    Don’t sell the man short, he may also hate Asians, almost certainly Jews, and given the pathology of people like this, probably hates other Hispanics. But in the hated-on rankings, Black is still top tier.

    2
  7. DeD says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Indeed. But he was on his way to a rap concert in Atlanta. He wasn’t going there for the Sikhs and Hindus.

    8
  8. DK says:

    @DeD: Ha. When race warriors don’t do their research.

    Rap has been gentrified for at least 25 years now; hip-hop’s Elvis, Eminem, will probably be a grandfather soon.

    Dude was going to a Bad Bunny concert. Bad Bunny is not without black fans, but he’s no 2Pac: Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican sex symbol, the Zoomer generation’s Ricky Martin.

    Imagine Carlitos Manson’s surprise when he would’ve arrived in ATL to discover a “rap concert” full of Latin women, white chicks, and their boyfriends lol

    (Of course, frustrated singer Charles Manson himself made a similar error. The Beach Boys’s Denny Wilson introduced Manson to record producer Terry Melcher, Doris Day’s son. Then Manson got mad at Melcher and targeted him, settling for the Polanskis after they moved into Melcher’s soon-to-be infamous former home.)

    6
  9. DeD says:

    @DK:

    Insanity.

    2
  10. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @DeD: @DK:

    The FBI complaint stated that Prieto was “specifically targeting blacks, Jews, or Muslims.”

    1
  11. CSK says:

    Trump says he might lose the debate with Biden “on purpose.”

    3
  12. DeD says:

    It makes me wonder: If SCOTUS hadn’t been going through the current furor over Thomas and Alito, would the decision have been different?

    https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/06/13/us/abortion-pill-supreme-court?unlocked_article_code=1.zU0.E-AT.VhBxwMSfM8t7&smid=url-share

    6
  13. DK says:

    Record share of U.S. voters back abortion rights and will vote on it: Gallup (Axios)

    The surge in single-issue voters who are “pro-choice” could spell trouble for vulnerable Republicans…

    More “pro-choice” voters now say they will prioritize the issue when voting for candidates. That finding reinforces previous polling showing that abortion rights voters remain galvanized…

    23% of “pro-choice” voters said they only vote for candidates who share their views on abortion, a major increase from the 17% Gallup had recorded in 2022 and 2023.

    On the other hand, 8% of “pro-life” voters said would only vote for “pro-life” candidates, down from the 10% recorded in 2022 and 2023.

    Zoom in: 35% of those survey said abortion should be legal under any circumstance, up about 10 percentage points since 2019.

    Half said abortions should be legal under specific circumstances.

    Those who oppose abortion in all circumstances was down to 12%.

    Prepare for a barrage of campaign ads on abortion and reproductive freedom.

    5
  14. Kathy says:
  15. Kathy says:

    I found a travel site yesterday, which normally wouldn’t interest me. But the Unhelpful Guides are hilarious.

    They’re largely rants about filming TV documentaries, and the many problems along the way.

    2
  16. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Do you have a link for that?

  17. CSK says:
  18. MarkedMan says:

    Apple announced they will be offering a free service that, very unlike most things Apple, is not getting the attention it deserves, because it really has the potential to be game changing: with the release of the new operating system and a reasonably new iPhone (mine works and it is 5 years old), you can receive and send text messages anywhere in the world via satellite when you don’t have a WiFi or cellular connection. You can only receive them from people you’ve previously marked as favorites, and it’s just text, but damn!

    I mean, it took Hollywood screenwriters 20 to 25 years to figure out how to get our heroes out of cellular range. Now they have to start all over again!

    4
  19. Mikey says:

    An all-too-rare piece of good news from SCOTUS: it ruled unanimously that mifepristone should remain available. Plaintiffs lacked standing.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-235_n7ip.pdf

    3
  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I mean, it took Hollywood screenwriters 20 to 25 years to figure out how to get our heroes out of cellular range. Now they have to start all over again!

    In my parochial plot-writing world view I knew smart phones would f-up a lot of stories. I don’t think it’s an accident that we’ve seen so many nostalgia plays in media, not to mention straight-up historicals. So many stories hinge on a lack of communication. Fewer hinge on a lack of data, or an inability to fix location, but that’s also part of it.

    One nice feature is find-a-phone. When my wife is coming home from book tour, I can track her so minutely I can meet her at the door with a nice, cold Manhattan. And when I come home she can greet me with, ‘Oh, there you are, can you clean the cat box?’

    6
  21. Mikey says:

    @CSK: Gawd what an utter imbecile he is.

    I saw a funny thing on TikTok this morning, a guy saying a friend of his was a big Trumper until actually attending a Trump rally, after which the friend said he was no longer a Trumper because he never realized how stupid Trump is until hearing him blather for half an hour.

    This gives me some hope that as the campaigns progress and Trump’s verbal diarrhea is spread over a larger swath of America, his support will consequently decline.

    5
  22. CSK says:

    I hope you all can access this; it’s quite good. Gibberish indeed:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2024/06/trump-sharks-las-vegas-rally-speech-678667/

    1
  23. Mikey says:

    @CSK: That link is broken, this should work:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2024/06/trump-sharks-las-vegas-rally-speech/678667/

    ETA: although paywalled.

    1
  24. CSK says:

    @Mikey:

    Thank you.

  25. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I mean, it took Hollywood screenwriters 20 to 25 years to figure out how to get our heroes out of cellular range. Now they have to start all over again!

    Underground.

    You’re unlikely to get satellite signals there.

    Or use Trek means. You can’t get a signal because you can’t get a signal. You’re being jammed. The battery’s run out.Unspecified interference. High mineral content.

    Or, if that fails, there’s always technobabble.

    3
  26. Michael Cain says:

    @DeD:

    It makes me wonder: If SCOTUS hadn’t been going through the current furor over Thomas and Alito, would the decision have been different?

    A similar question: If the reaction to Dobbs hadn’t been so broadly negative, and the most conservative states hadn’t rapidly passed laws effectively banning abortion, and Democrats doing surprisingly (at least to the pundit class) well in elections following, would the decision have been different? I can envision the most conservative of the justices thinking it’s not a good idea to take another whack at reproductive rights five months before the election.

    2
  27. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I mean, it took Hollywood screenwriters 20 to 25 years to figure out how to get our heroes out of cellular range. Now they have to start all over again!

    I want to read a short story about a private investigator who breaks a case based on using his smart phone as a replacement for the largest number of other devices possible.

    1
  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Sometimes I kinda do a freak out over what I do routinely via technology. Yesterday morning I wandered around around the house holding my iPhone like a dowsing stick, using “FindMy” to locate my house keys in the pair of shorts I had neatly folded in a drawer in my bedroom. Led me right to them!

    On the other hand I was listening to NPR live on the radio as I drove to work and missed something they said and looked down at the controls for a couple of seconds before I remembered there is no “15 second rewind” for live radio

    5
  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: Thanks, I was contemplating linking to that myself.

  30. Joe says:

    @Michael Reynolds: My wife and I have very different feelings about using location on phones. She has her adult kids on locate and always has. I never put my now-adult kids on locate because I thought it was invasive. She says she never stalks them (and I have never seen her stalk them). She does not have me on locate and I don’t have her.

    I have learned that her adult daughter has numerous friends on locate and they have her and they all consider it an important safety feature of their friendships. I have never asked my adult daughter if she does this.

    One interesting attribute of all this locating was the family concern her adult daughter would discover all of her immediate family and friends secretly congregating near her for a surprise party. My wife and stepson turned off their locate, but were afraid she would catch on that they were off the grid. Apparently she didn’t check any locates all day so the surprise was pulled off.

    4
  31. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain: I have to wonder if this difficulty with having our heroes in communication have to do with so many screenwriters growing up in the pre-cellphone era, or at least consuming movies and television produced then. I suspect the younger generation will be able to generate plenty of suspense even for people with an internet connection. After all, if you are on a lonely road and someone is breaking your car door window with the intent to throttle you, what difference does it make if you can call the cops? They aren’t going to get there in the next 10 seconds. And what about the people on the other end of the line who have to listen to you getting choked out?

    1
  32. Joe says:

    @DeD and Michael Cain: I cannot say for sure whether the mifepristone case would have been decided differently but for recent politics, but I will say courts have always been antsy about judicial standing. No court wants to give a bunch of random by-standers the right to start second guessing everything going on around them.

  33. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan:

    On the other hand I was listening to NPR live on the radio as I drove to work and missed something they said and looked down at the controls for a couple of seconds before I remembered there is no “15 second rewind” for live radio

    The current generation set-top boxes used by the cable companies provide rewind capability longer than that for live TV. Streaming services offer pause and rewind capability for live streams. The key is that the media being delivered is coming in digital form. Storage is ridiculously cheap these days, the rest is just software.

    1
  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Joe: I have a few people on Locate that I think were accidental. I never look them up, but once in a great while they show up if I’m using FindMy for something else. My wife has me, and I have her. For some reason my daughter has me and I have her, but it probably has to do more with her general level of anxiety than anything else. My son is on his own for everyone as far as I know.

    1
  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain: Now that I think about it, I think my Subaru does have a rewind feature for radio broadcasts. But that would entail me figuring out how to use it while driving. Doesn’t sound like the best plan…

  36. Michael Cain says:

    @Joe:

    No court wants to give a bunch of random by-standers the right to start second guessing everything going on around them.

    And yet, the district and circuit appeals courts had no problem granting standing in this case.

    IANAL nor a legal historian, but I remember being very surprised when Massachusetts v. EPA reached the SCOTUS and the (then) four liberal justices and Kennedy granted standing based on the argument “unless things are done now, we will suffer severe damages in 30 to 50 years”. CJ Roberts’s dissent on the standing issue in that case was a real rant.

    1
  37. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    In modern fashion, I put your query to Copilot. the results should encourage the many authors in our little comments community:

    Certainly! Here’s a short story about a tech-savvy private investigator:

    **The Case of the Smartphone Sleuth**

    In the heart of the bustling city, private investigator Jack Moreno was known for his unconventional methods. His office was minimalist, with a single desk, a chair, and a charging dock for his most prized possession – his smartphone.

    One rainy evening, a new case landed on his virtual desk. A high-profile tech CEO had vanished without a trace, and the only clue was a cryptic message left on his company’s secure server. The police were stumped, but Jack was intrigued.

    With his smartphone in hand, Jack set out into the night. He used his phone as a GPS to track the CEO’s last known movements, a voice recorder to interview witnesses, and a camera to capture evidence. He even employed specialized apps to control drones that surveyed inaccessible areas and to hack into less secure systems that might hold vital information.

    As Jack pieced together the puzzle, he realized the CEO’s disappearance was linked to a prototype device that could revolutionize the tech world. Someone wanted it badly enough to risk kidnapping. Jack’s smartphone became his lab, as he analyzed data and ran simulations, all through advanced apps.

    Finally, the breakthrough came not from high-tech gadgetry but from a social media post geo-tagged at an abandoned warehouse. Jack’s smartphone led him there, doubling as a flashlight and a silent alarm to the authorities.

    Inside the warehouse, Jack found the CEO, disheveled but unharmed, next to the stolen prototype. The kidnapper was still on-site, attempting to transfer data to a remote server. Without hesitation, Jack used his smartphone to jam the signal, thwarting the transfer and alerting the police to the exact location.

    The case was a sensation, and Jack Moreno became known as the Smartphone Sleuth. His phone had replaced a multitude of devices, proving that sometimes, the most powerful tool is the one that fits in your pocket.

    Jack’s story shows how ingenuity and modern technology can come together to solve even the most perplexing mysteries.

    1
  38. Beth says:

    The car says it’s 88 out. (lol). I had the windows down and was just BLASTING Whitney Houston “I wanna Dance With Somebody” as I was driving through one of Chicago’s gayborhoods. When I got to where I was parking, still blasting Whitney, I got to watch two women run into the street and jump into each other’s arms and kiss. It was so beautiful and wholesome.

    5
  39. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    The other day I was on my balcony, which at present looks over a construction site. A forklift dropped a load of lumber, but I missed the moment and started to back it up. Rewinding reality, which does not actually work it seems.

    @Joe:
    I don’t have my kids on locate, but they do have me. Either they’re worried about me, or don’t want to miss the moment when they inherit.

    3
  40. Beth says:

    @Joe:

    I have learned that her adult daughter has numerous friends on locate and they have her and they all consider it an important safety feature of their friendships. I have never asked my adult daughter if she does this

    Me and a lot of my queer and raver friends have locate on for each other. I go to a lot of unsavory places while quite intoxicated, it’s absolutely a safety feature for us. For me there has always been a conversation and consent about adding each other.

    5
  41. Beth says:

    @Joe:

    I have learned that her adult daughter has numerous friends on locate and they have her and they all consider it an important safety feature of their friendships. I have never asked my adult daughter if she does this

    Me and a lot of my queer and raver friends have locate on for each other. I go to a lot of unsavory places while quite intoxicated, it’s absolutely a safety feature for us. For me there has always been a conversation and consent about adding each other.

  42. Barry says:

    @Michael Cain: “And yet, the district and circuit appeals courts had no problem granting standing in this case.”

    IANAL, but as I understand the case, Krasmyr-whatever accepted the broadest and weakest standing ever, and that this would annihilate multiple industries.

    2
  43. DK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    you can receive and send text messages anywhere in the world via satellite when you don’t have a WiFi or cellular connection.

    So Apple is finally catching up to the WhatsApp model. My read is WhatsApp is the standard texting app outside of the US, and fairly ubiquitous within it. But maybe not for Americans, many of whom are tethered to Apple’s ecosystem.

  44. Sleeping Dog says:

    @DeD:

    “Standing” is a tried and true way for the supremes to deflect a case that they don’t want to hear. Ruling for that doctors’ group would have opened a can of worms with regards to ‘standing.’ They want a better plaintiff, say one or more States, that case will be back.

    3
  45. becca says:

    @Sleeping Dog: And those states, so far, are Texas, Kansas, Idaho, and Missouri. Kavanaugh already signaled that case was where they drop the hammer.

    2
  46. Jen says:

    @DeD: My .02–probably not. When the case appeared to be heading to SCOTUS, I remember reading a pretty dry legal analysis that pointed out the case could upend pharmaceutical companies if they ruled against mifespristone, and thought then “huh, well *that’s* not going to happen.”

  47. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: Phones have a feature called “locate” on them? WA!

  48. just nutha says:

    @DK: The Korean friend that I have occasional video calls with uses WhatsApp on his iPhone. In the post pirates era, Apple may be starting to be a day late and a dollar short.

  49. MarkedMan says:

    AI check: at the top of the Google search page they have started to post an AI summary, which breezily and authoritatively posited that “A slider is a type of breaking pitch that moves towards the batter.” While it may not be useful at least it’s not wrong.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @just nutha: I e never met anyone outside the US (except ex-pats) that use the native messaging on iOS or Android. WhatsApp is most popular outside of China, but I suspect WeChat/Weixin and QQ have as many users. Worth pointing out that none of these apps are as compatible with each other or Apple or Android, as those two are with each other.

    1
  51. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I thought a slider was a type of small burger.

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Yes. And if it moves towards the batter it is a “deep fried slider”

    4
  53. Gustopher says:

    @DeD:

    Targeting “minorities,” huh? They mean Black people. Dude’s last name is Prieto. Technically, HE’S a minority.

    The Off-White White Supremacists are a curious bunch. And there are a lot of them these days, trying to hate Blacks and Jews so much that they will be accepted as White.

    They’re like gay or Black Republicans, except with more guns.

    ——
    There’s a lot of semi-random capitalization above. I’m losing track of who gets capitalized these days. “Blacks” because it’s preferred, “Jews” because I’m 80% sure that’s right as a proper noun (but maybe it’s antisemetic? “The Jews” definitely would be…), “White” specifically for white supremacists who treat “white” as a proper noun… and then the uncapitalized “gay” looks odd. But maybe “Gay Republicans” is acting like a proper noun?

    I wish we would just go back to the 1700s style of capitalizing things at random because you just like to capitalize.

    Maybe I just need to start complaining about political correctness and woke culture. Or is that Woke Culture? Damn it, where’s William Safire when we need him? Dead that’s where. And most of the time he wasn’t dead we didn’t need him.

    4
  54. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    So, the AI messed it up again 😉

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve been using Whatsapp for most messaging since I had a Blackberry phone. But I do get messages in the native Android messaging app, which I think now it’s branded with Google on it.
    Mostly I get spam, and reminders of bank payments.

  55. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:

    An old friend of mine once spent some time in the south, and people would come up to him and ask: “Are you of the Jewish faith?” He’d snap: “No. I’m a Jew.”

  56. JohnSF says:

    News you may, or may not, find interesting, from the UK:

    Crossover!

    Reform overtakes Tories in poll for first time

    YouGov poll results:
    Lab: 37% (-1)
    Reform: 19% (+2)
    Con: 18% (nc)
    Lib Dem: 14% (-1)
    Green: 7 (-1)
    SNP: 3 (+1)
    Plaid: 1 (nc)
    Other: 2 (+1)

    If sustained this portends utter catastrophe for the Conservatives.
    Because of how the mathematics of shifts in 1st past the post and degrees of marginality etc, plugging this into the Electoral Calculus MRP model gives a seat prediction:
    Lab 474
    Con 71
    LibDem 69
    Reform 5
    Green 2
    SNP 14
    Plaid 4
    Other 3 (? don’t ask me)
    NI 18 (complicated)

    Personally I suspect this may be a YouGov outlier.
    I’ll be surprised if Reform get more than one seat (Farage in Clacton).
    But for the Tories the omens are… not good.

    Latest (and perhaps more likely?) R&W poll
    Labour 42% (-3)
    Conservative 18% (-1)
    Reform 17% (–)
    Lib Dem 13% (+3)
    Green 5% (–)
    SNP 3% (–)
    Other 1% (–)

    Consequent EC prediction:
    Lab 506
    Con 36
    LibDem 65
    Reform 3
    Green 2
    SNP 14
    Plaid 4

    LibDems become official opposition? Hilarity ensues.
    Oh my.

    2
  57. JohnSF says:

    Meanwhile, in France.
    Macron calls election, opposition parties promptly form a bunch of circular firing squads.
    People tend to underestimate how canny a political tactician Macron can be.

    1
  58. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:

    Could the Liberal Democrats caucus with the Tories?

  59. JohnSF says:

    Meanwhile in re. Russia:
    G7 agrees to additional loans to Ukraine backed by profits accruing on frozen Russian assets.
    Not full confiscation, but another grandmothers footstep in that direction.

    And new US sanctions have unpleasant consequences on the Russian markets

    And Ukraine continues to hammer Russian air defence sites with missiles.

    3
  60. Jen says:

    @Gustopher: Capitalization rules can be very wonky. It took me months to adjust to “internet” after AP Style decided that Internet was no longer a proper noun.

    I am just happy to see “Republican” capitalized (same with Democrat) when referring to someone’s political affiliation, rather than the small-r “republican” and small-d “democrat” (meaning the form of government).

  61. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:

    Could the Liberal Democrats caucus with the Tories?

    Absolutely in no conceivable universe.
    (Setting aside that “caucus” in the US sense is not really applicable to Commons procedures)
    Trust me on this.

    The LibDems did a coalition deal with the Conservatives in 2010, and it damn near destroyed them.
    And that was with Cameron’s Conservatives.

    There is no way the pro-European, centrist LibDems will make any terms whatsoever with the Tories in their current mode.

    Maybe, in time, if the Conservatives turned away from the siren calls of the right-wring headbangers; but that’s in the lap of the gods.

    At present a “reverse takeover” of the Conservatives by Farage looks more likely.
    Brexit and the “Johnson purge” and the “BlueKIP base” seem to have, perhaps fatally, weakened the position of the OneNation liberals and Tory traditionals in the Conservative party.

    The whole Tory political strategy since 2016 has been based on pandering to the Right; even now, when the consequences of that are immolating them, you can see their CCHQ “electoral strategists” *eyeroll* and the “Party-in-the media” etc refusing to realise the mistake they have made.
    Rather double-down than admit they f*cked up.

    IMO it will take at least another electoral cycle to sober them up; if they survive it.

    Could be a political re-alignment is on the cards.
    Greens as a new left force, LibDems inheriting the former Con middle class (UK not US sense of such), Con &/or Reform &/or merger on the Right (but still unable to decide whether to be economically libertarian or populist).

    Exactly how it may play out, we shall see.

    2
  62. Beth says:

    @JohnSF:

    LibDems become official opposition? Hilarity ensues.

    How would this work, practically speaking?

    Which leads me to a thought I just realized I’ve never had*, what happens when the “opposition” isn’t motivated by stark differences. Like, I get that there are real differences between Labour and the LibDems, but they don’t strike me as the same kind or intensity of differences between say Labour and the Tories. Also, I distinctly hate typing “Labour”.

    *Because we don’t have to here.

  63. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:

    I meant to say coalition, but it came out caucus.

    I was also thinking of past times when the Tories were more reasonable.

  64. JohnSF says:

    @Beth:
    The second largest party in the House of Commons, unless (as in 2010) in a coalition, automatically becomes His Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition
    Leader of the Opposition is a formal position,with a statutory salary, and Privy Councillor standing and rights.
    This bring with it certain privileges in Commons financing, committee representation, right to questions and to move Opposition Day votes, Privy Council and Speakers Council consultation etc etc

    Stark differences aren’t necessarily required; they have been great at times, minimal at others.
    (See 1945 to 1975; arguably 1850 to 1900)

    Re “Labour”: practice makes perfect. 😉

  65. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:

    I meant to say coalition…

    Labour is headed for a massive absolute majority of around 200 to 300 seats (ie c 400 to 500 seats total)

    If current polls are accurate, perhaps the largest since the National Government of the early 1930’s.
    (Setting aside the WW2 “grand coalition” as a non-electoral oddity)
    No coalition could overtake that.
    And oppositions don’t form coalitions: that’s purely a arrangement to jointly form His Majesty’s Government.

    1
  66. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Just curious, the messages you get on the native Android app, are they from US friends?

  67. Beth says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’m vaguely aware of the formal side of it, and it all makes sense as a system. But what I’m asking is how does it work in practice when the Majority and Opposition don’t have massive stark differences. Like, the differences between Labour and the Tories are fairly stark and it’s easy to understand that. Even if you have a time when the parties are both run by relatively sane people.

    Does the government run better? A little less acrimony? Getting together to laugh at the people you both really hate? I would imagine when the ideological difference is real, but not great, there is potentially more room for real cooperation. Even if both parties will guard their respective parties and prerogatives.

    1
  68. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    We may have sent text messages the last time I visited Vegas, but that was in 2015. I recall my SIM chips never worked there without paying outrageous roaming charges. So mostly we used email when there was free WiFi (a rarity in Vegas).

  69. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I want to read a short story about a private investigator who breaks a case based on using his smart phone as a replacement for the largest number of other devices possible.

    One of my favorite classic mystery short stories features a plot that is impossible today in about 27 different ways. It’s “The Homesick Buick” by John D. MacDonald (of Travis McGee fame).

    Spoiler alert: the perps abandon their vehicle near the crime scene. A smart kid checks the five push-button presets for the AM radio, and figures out the one place in the US where someone is broadcasting on all five frequencies at a signal strength that puts them in AM radio range. Knowing where the crooks are from, it isn’t hard to figure out who they are.

    So… AM radio presets actually in use, so few radio stations that a set of five frequencies is uniquely identifying, crooks who travel long distances to commit crimes but go back to where they came from and still live there years later, …

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  70. JohnSF says:

    @Beth:
    Makes little difference to the government itself: HMG is formed by the majority party(s) in the Commons.
    Formally, the government itself are the appointed Ministers of the Crown, who thereby have executive powers under Royal Warrant.
    Informally, the Minister/majority party links are tighter.
    After all, the PM is, these days, always the Party Leader as well.
    But even government party back-benchers can make a nuisance of themselves, if they choose, depending on how amenable they are to party discipline, and on how feisty the Commons committees may be, from time to time.

    But the Opposition have no role in the executive side of government, and very little in the legislative. A well managed majority party has damn near total control of the legislative agenda.

    And unlike the US, all spending and statute bills are discreet and specific: no room for such monkey business as adding a highway project onto a environmental agency budget etc.

    The role of the Opposition is basically only inquisitorial re. ministers, and in proposals or criticisms in debates on legislation.
    An executive emergent from an effectively unicameral legislative body is in practice probably more potent, and less checked, than in the US system.

    1
  71. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “A slider is a type of breaking pitch that moves towards the batter.” While it may not be useful at least it’s not wrong.

    Except that it is wrong. A slider is a type of breaking pitch that breaks away from the pitcher’s throwing arm side, regardless of where the batter is standing. If a lefty throws a slider, it breaks toward a right-handed batter and away from a left-handed batter.

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  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: I really don’t know whether I use any messaging services at all, native or otherwise. I send a few texts and make calls from time to time, and I use my phone to read news while I’m on the bus or something (I used to carry a magazine in my coat pocket for that). I have the KP app on my phone, but only because Kaiser Medical insisted that I needed to put it on to complete registering as a patient. Other than that, I have 40 little pictures on my phone of which I click on maybe 2 in any given day and maybe 4 or 5 t0tal in a week/month/year.

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  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Wow! That looks a bunch like what the GQP did in the Congressional district I lived in before I moved to Oregon. Three or 4 MAGAts ran for the seat as Republicans which split a GOP majority into pieces small enough that the Democrat (who might not even have made the cut in a smaller pool given that the Dems were split 3 ways themselves) was able to place second. When the super MAGAt candidate won on the wing-nut side, the Democrats won the seat for the first time in about 6 or seven elections.

    Rooting for injuries on the right in France.

  74. Kathy says:

    Xlon got his “pay” package approved by shareholders.

    I think I know where I can get pitchforks.

  75. Slugger says:

    @Kathy: I don’t much care. I have no need to buy a Tesla and don’t own any Tesla stock. I’m curious about one thing; where is the money to pay Elon coming from? Does Tesla have that money sitting around, or is he going to get IOUs? I welcome input from someone who understands finance.
    I was talking to a friend who said that America’s culture of entrepreneurship is the source of US dominance in the world. Is this an example of innovation and entrepreneurship?

    1
  76. Kathy says:

    @Slugger:

    I think they get stock or stock options. I’ve no idea how that works, what it’s really worth, or what the Mars Phobos Emperor of God intends to do (maybe panic sell the stock to pay his Xitter debts?)

    It’s still terrible optics, after the slaughter at Xitter not that long ago. It also feel like the board is paying Xlon tribute.

    You know the old riddle where the answer is “nothing”? Part of it says “the rich need it, the poor have it.” Not any more. The rich are getting a lot more concrete in their neediness these days.

    1
  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: Matt, I will allow you to give them the benefit of a doubt. I however have seen more than enough of their shenanigans to know that they don’t deserve the benefit of a doubt.

    If I am proven to be wrong,(always a possibility) I have more than enough ketchup left over from all the times I was proven right.

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: A forklift dropped a load of lumber,

    Ouch. Been there done that. Scary.

    1
  79. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I really don’t know whether I use any messaging services at all, native or otherwise.

    Lol, I was in my glory last night. I was talking (texting) to multiple different people on Discord, Snapchat, Instagram, and regular Messenger. It was wonderful. It was like 6 discrete conversations.

    1
  80. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Still, the shareholders have the right to decide anything they want. It’s their company.

    2
  81. Kathy says:

    If you have a quarter million to spare, you can buy the position of CEO in a fake airline.

    Me, I’d rather name myself CEO, COO, President, and Chief Pilot of my fake airline: Galaxy Airways. We fly an A220 and A321XLR fleet of all-premium economy between Mexico, Central America, the US, and Canada to various destinations in Europe.

    It’s a terrible business model that would never work, but it’s imaginary so who cares.

    More info on the real fake airline here.

  82. DeD says:

    @Gustopher:

    I capitalize “Black” and “White” for a specific reason. They are distinct identities in the U.S. and carry distinct connotation. A woman on another platform mildly reprimanded me for capitalizing “White.” She was one of those annoying, well-meaning liberal “allies” who consistently verbally flays White people but never has a negative thing to say about Black people.

    I never use the term “Jew.” It sounds too much like a pejorative to me. I just use “Jewish people.” It’s may be cumbersome, but I don’t want to have even the appearance of being White supremacist Nazi-adjacent. F*** that.

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  83. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JohnSF:
    Russia is having a very bad day. The sanctions, the 50 billion, the ruble collapse, stopping stock trades, long lines at banks and multiple bank websites down, air defense weapons blown up and and dependents leaving Crimea. And they top it off with a display of naval power in Cuba that no one in the US even noticed – aside from American military folks busily painting targets on those ships. And there’s a Russian lunatic fringe demonstrating in favor of nuking Washington, and allowed to stage their little protest without cops busting it up, which makes one suspect it’s part of Putin’s increasingly threadbare threats. Wow.

    Russia continues its unbroken streak of godawful governments. If you’ll forgive the reference, it’s a bit like 1956 in Suez when the British (and the French) began to realize they were no longer a top tier power and had to reckon with Washington. Russians are delusional. They don’t yet grasp how diminished they are. Putin’s best outcome now, unless Trump wins, is a future life as Xi’s poodle. Or maybe there’s one ambitious colonel left that Putin didn’t kill or co-opt.

    1
  84. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DeD:
    I have the same problem with the word Jew, it has something wrong attached to it, hard to really address logically. It’s complicated, it’s as if Black was your religion as well as race. And as I am Jew-adjacent, I believe I can speak for all of us* in saying, Jewish Person is fine.

    *Any single member of a minority has the power to represent all other members of that minority.

  85. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Sophistry: And I have a right to do what I want with my pitchforks.

  86. wr says:

    @Kathy: “If you have a quarter million to spare, you can buy the position of CEO in a fake airline.”

    Do you really think Boeing would have done worse picking their CEO this way?