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:

    Zoomcock Archivist

    the priests of Conservatism thank Governor Noem for her generous offering of constituent lives in sacrifice to the MAGA Gods, ensuring the party a bountiful harvest of judicial appointments

  2. charon says:

    New cases per day of covid, normalized by population. nationally:

    115 days ago – 20.2/100K (the midsummer peak)

    14 days ago – 22.5/100K

    now – 38.7/100K

    All above are 7 day rolling average, most recent day – 43.7/100K

    Another site I like:

  3. sam says:

    David Simon@AoDespair
    Nov 9
    I yield to no man as a defender of public education, but every single teacher who worked with this submoron between the 3rd and 8th grades, when his education concluded, needs to be horsewhipped as a warning to the rest of the profession. The idiocy of the Trumpists astounds.

    Quote Tweet Jebediah Grant MAGA
    Flag of United States
    · Nov 9
    Replying to @JoeBiden

  4. charon says:

    Some individual states are worse, e.g.,


    SD- 137.0/100K

    IA- 128.0/100K


    IL- 91.6/100K



  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Maricopa County Judge Rules To Unseal Evidence In Trump Lawsuit

    1. The lawsuit is regarding “overvoting.”

    Overvoting is when voters mark more options than allowed in a particular race. Things like stray markings tabulation machines to register a ballot as an overvote and are programmed to alert voters when that happens. Election tabulation machines allow options for a green “cast” button and a “spoil” option in which voters can disregard the ballot and start over if issues like that arise. Voters could then choose to “spoil” the ballot and request a replacement, or cast the original ballot with the warning that overvotes may not be counted.

    The Trump campaign’s lawsuit alleges election workers either pressed, or in some cases induced voters to press, the green button so that those ballots would not be counted. A handful of voters signed affidavits as part of the lawsuit, according to the Arizona Republic.

    But Thomas Liddy, an attorney for the county, said that only 180 ballots could be identified as potential overvotes, and that there was little evidence of a systemic problem.

    “There were 155,860 votes voted in person on Election Day [in Maricopa County],” Liddy said. “Of those, the tabulator only identified 180 potential overvotes on the presidential line … 180, that’s it.”

    180, that’s a real game changer.

  6. Scott says:

    Such victims.

    Vets for Trump co-founder remains jailed on gun charges, claims he’s a ‘political prisoner’

    Two veterans — including a Navy vet who co-founded the Veterans for Trump organization — remain locked up in a Philadelphia jail and facing gun charges after their arrest last week outside a convention center where election officials were counting ballots from the Nov. 3 presidential election, according to court documents obtained by Military Times.

    A press release from the Veterans for Trump group characterized Macias and LaMotta as “political prisoners” of an “activist” district attorney. A Veterans for Trump official did not respond to a request from Military Times for further comment.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Worldometer will break thru a quarter million this wkend.

  8. Scott says:

    As an ex-president, Trump could disclose the secrets he learned while in office, current and former officials fear

    All presidents exit the office with valuable national secrets in their heads, including the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, intelligence-gathering capabilities — including assets deep inside foreign governments — and the development of new and advanced weapon systems.

    But no new president has ever had to fear that his predecessor might expose the nation’s secrets as President-elect Joe Biden must with Trump, current and former officials said. Not only does Trump have a history of disclosures, he checks the boxes of a classic counterintelligence risk: He is deeply in debt and angry at the U.S. government, particularly what he describes as the “deep state” conspiracy that he says tried to stop him from winning the White House in 2016 and what he falsely claims is an illegal effort to rob him of reelection.

    “Anyone who is disgruntled, dissatisfied or aggrieved is a risk of disclosing classified information, whether as a current or former officeholder. Trump certainly fits that profile

    It’s not only Trump but all the others who were granted security clearances over the objections of the security professionals.

  9. Scott says:

    I, for one, welcome our new robot dog overlords.

    Tyndall is DOD’s First Base to Adopt Robot Dogs

    The 325th Security Forces Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., will be the first unit in the Defense Department to start using Ghost Robotics robot “dogs” to semi-autonomously patrol the base. The unmanned ground vehicles, which walk on four legs and are outfitted with sensors and cameras, will not replace the squadron’s military working dogs, but will have a set patrol “path” on the base where personnel and cars can’t easily access.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US deports migrants who accuse detention center gynecologist of abuse

    Immigrant advocates have urged federal investigators to examine not just the doctor but also the detention center and any role Ice had in sending patients to him.

    While people who have been deported might still be able to serve as witnesses in a criminal or civil case, many end up in unstable countries or situations where it becomes difficult to maintain contact with them.

    The deportations are occurring in the last weeks of Donald Trump’s administration following his defeat in last week’s election by Democrat Joe Biden.

    “Ice is destroying the evidence needed for this investigation,” said Elora Mukherjee, a Columbia University law professor who is working with several of the women.

    Nobody could have ever predicted this.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: I wonder if they’re all bark and no bite.

  12. Mikey says:


    Some individual states are worse, e.g.,

    If you map these states out you will see Sturgis, SD pretty much at the center. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Florida braced for Eta as new study finds hurricanes staying stronger for longer

    In a record year for Atlantic hurricanes, the latest news came as a new study showed hurricanes are keeping their staying power longer once they make landfall, spreading more inland destruction.

    Warmer ocean waters from climate change are likely making hurricanes lose power more slowly after landfall, because they act as a reserve fuel tank for moisture, the study found.

    The new study looked at 71 Atlantic hurricanes with landfalls since 1967. It found that in the 1960s, hurricanes declined two-thirds in wind strength within 17 hours of landfall. But now it generally takes 33 hours for storms to weaken that same degree, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature.

    “This is a huge increase,” study author Pinaki Chakraborty, a professor of fluid dynamics at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan. “There’s been a huge slowdown in the decay of hurricanes.”
    Meanwhile, the new study published in Nature found that in 2018 Hurricane Florence, which caused $24 billion in damage, took nearly 50 hours to decay by nearly two-thirds after making landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Chakraborty said.

    Hurricane Hermine in 2016 took more than three days to lose that much power after hitting Florida’s Apalachee Bay.

    As the world warms from human-caused climate change, inland cities like Atlanta should see more damage from future storms that just won’t quit, Chakraborty said.

    “If their conclusions are sound, which they seem to be, then at least in the Atlantic, one could argue that insurance rates need to start going up and building codes need to be improved … to compensate for this additional wind and water destructive power reaching farther inland,” said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, who wasn’t part of the study.

  14. steve says:

    The big numbers on Covid are important, but maybe the micro numbers will help reinforce what we are seeing. At our peak our network had about 250 Covid pts admitted to a hospital. 4 weeks ago we had 10 Covid pts in house (averages for the week). 3 weeks ago 20. Two weeks ago 35. This week 65. In the last 48 hours we have admitted about 40. We dont know where this ends. We do know that the college kids are going to come for the holidays soon and expect that to contribute to a further increase.

    On the positive side, LOS is shorter. People get hit with an aggressive combo of therapies as soon as they are admitted (not including HCQ I would note*). Percentage of discharges within 3 days has seen a big increase. We are also seeing a lot fewer being admitted to the ICU. While admissions remain mostly for older pts, a bit over a third of admissions are under the age of 60.

    * For those who still care JAMA just published another prospective, randomized, blinded study on HCQ and found that it has no effect.


  15. CSK says:

    That remind me: Didn’t Trump tell us last spring that he was taking daily HCQ tablets? Didn’t help him much, did they?

    Of course, I don’t believe he was taking them. It was just more bullshit from the Bullshitter-in-Chief.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    France has paid tribute to a six-year-old boy regarded as its youngest resistance hero, as part of the nationwide Armistice Day ceremonies in memory of those who died in the first and second world wars.

    In a special ceremony, the name of Marcel Pinte was inscribed on the war memorial of Aixe-sur-Vienne, just west of the central city of Limoges.

    Marcel, known as Quinquin after a children’s song, acted as a courier for resistance fighters who opposed the Nazi occupation during the second world war, slipping past enemy patrols and carrying messages under his shirt. His father, Eugene Pinte, was a local chief of the “army of the shadows” led from London by Charles de Gaulle, who set up an operations centre at a farm outside Aixe-sur-Vienne. His farmhouse received coded messages from London, and parachute drops of supplies in a field nearby.

    Marcel died, aged just six, on 19 August 1944, when a large deployment of resistance fighters arrived by parachute ahead of an expected battle around Aixe as allied forces began to liberate France. They were heavily armed and Marcel was hit by several bullets when a Sten submachine gun went off accidentally.

    “People who pass by this monument to the dead will notice his name and particularly his age,” said a family member, Marc Pinte. “It’s an honour. It throws a light on those who remained in the shadow but who fought for freedom.”

    Several days after Marcel’s death, containers fell in the field in a final drop, but the parachutes were black.

    “The British knew that the little Marcel played a real role. This parachute was the calling card sent to the family,” Pinte told Le Monde.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    What with all the angst over the presidential vote, I had all but forgotten about this: Prop 22: why Uber’s victory in California could harm gig workers nationwide

    After a historic spending spree and an aggressive public relations campaign, Uber and Lyft emerged victorious on election day when California voters passed a ballot measure that exempts gig companies from having to treat their drivers like employees.

    For big tech companies, the win was a crucial step in their fight to protect their business model, and they hope it will serve as an example for tech legislation around the US.

    For opponents, it showed the power of big money in fighting legislation, and represents a harbinger of the labor rights battle to come.

    Prop 22 was authored by Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Instacart, and will carve out an exception for these firms from AB5, a landmark labor law in California that came after years of complaints from driver organizers and would have forced ride-share and delivery companies to treat drivers as employees.

    Under Prop 22, workers at gig companies will continue to be classified as contractors, without access to employee rights such as minimum wage, unemployment benefits, health insurance, and collective bargaining.

    I will never use these leach mf’ers.

  18. Mu Yixiao says:


    “Ice is destroying the evidence needed for this investigation,”

    The evidence is being destroyed by frozen water?

    Pedantic nit-pick: It’s ICE. It’s an acronym. This annoys me–especially when the BBC keeps doing it with “Nasa”.

  19. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That’s a BBC style decision.

    News outlets often have style changes that differ from common usage. I noticed this had run amok early on in the covid crisis–some used the acronym (COVID-19, which is the World Health Organization official format), some use covid-19, some use Covid-19, and so on.

  20. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Pedantic nit-pick: It’s ICE. It’s an acronym. This annoys me–especially when the BBC keeps doing it with “Nasa”.

    We do that with a lot of things. Covid. Fox News. “Wasp” for the people, not the insect. There are even examples of this that are totally standard by now, such as “laser.”

  21. Jen says:

    Wow, this is a nutty story. The fact that more than one race was affected by this tactic seems to point to it being deliberate.

    Evidence suggests several state Senate candidates were plants funded by dark money

    Why would candidates for Florida Senate seats do no campaigning, no fundraising, have no issue platforms, nor make any effort to get votes?

    Local 10 News has found evidence to suggest three such candidates in three Florida Senate district races, two of them in Miami Dade County, were shill candidates whose presence in the races were meant to syphon votes from Democratic candidates.

    Comparisons of the no-party candidates’ public campaign records show similarities and connections that suggest they are all linked by funding from the same dark money donors, and part of an elaborate scheme to upset voting patterns.

    Florida, leading the way again.

  22. charon says:


    If you map these states out you will see Sturgis, SD pretty much at the center. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    Correlation is not causation.

    If you look around more detailed maps (by county or by congressional district) you can find other hot spots. E.g., Miami-Dade, El Paso, TX, the TX panhandle.

  23. Monala says:

    @charon: I saw a map yesterday that colored the states with increasingly dark shades of blue, based on their cases per 100k of population. The central states were the deepest blue, with surrounding states growing increasingly paler the further you looked towards the coasts.

    Someone remarked that it looked like a nuclear fallout map with ground zero at Sturgis.

  24. charon says:


    You can correlate with a lot of things. Not wearing masks while shopping, being in a red state or district. There is a lot of covid in the Navaho Nation, so poverty and poor sanitation are likely factors also.

  25. Kathy says:

    The Guardian no longer has a direct access to election results on the front page of their website.

    CNN does, but not at the top.

    And in case anyone cares, the democrats have kept the House.

  26. Sleeping Dog says:
  27. charon says:

    AZ needs to be called BTW, the number of ballots still not counted is in the low teens.

    Maricopa county has posted 13,143 ballots.
    Biden: 5,826 (44.3%)
    Trump: 7,019 (53.4%)

    Biden leads Trump in Arizona by 11,635 votes.

  28. Mikey says:


    Correlation is not causation.

    Nor is it irrelevant.

  29. Kylopod says:

    @charon: Decision Desk HQ called Arizona last night.

  30. Monala says:

    @charon: true. The map is striking, however.

  31. Kathy says:

    As bad as America has been in handling the trump pandemic, when you look at the stats it’s clear Europe has not exactly excelled in that regard, nor have most other Western countries, except New Zealand and Australia. The big successes, outside of small, isolated nations and territories, are all in Asia and Africa.

  32. Mu Yixiao says:


    That’s a BBC style decision.

    And the BBC is wrong. NASA identifies all caps in their style and usage guide. When the organization in question specifies how their name should be written, that’s how you write it.

  33. Joe says:

    Still waiting for NYT to call AZ. Just checked and they haven’t yet.

  34. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    That is funny.

  35. Kylopod says:

    @Joe: A lot of this has to do with over-caution. Fox (yes, without caps, nyah-nyah!) called it over a week ago, and AP soon followed suit–but then the count subsequently tightened, and a lot of people felt they’d jumped the gun. So the other outlets have avoided calling it until the count is practically over.

    The Trumpists now have a hate-on for Fox.

  36. CSK says:

    The lead article (at the moment) at is about how Trump plans a “digital media empire” to take down Fox.

    Among other things, doesn’t this imply that he knows he’s lost?

  37. CSK says:

    Oh, they’ve hated Fox for a while now, some of them for the past four years, they claim. It hasn’t been sufficiently supportive of Trump, you know.

  38. Mu Yixiao says:


    There are even examples of this that are totally standard by now, such as “laser.”

    Laser, scuba, radar, et. al, are not, however, proper nouns. NASA is a name. And as pointed out, NASA says their name is NASA–all caps.

  39. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m not going to get into a ridiculous argument over this, but I will explain where it comes from.

    BBC started as radio. When you are reading news copy on radio, it is helpful to know which acronyms are listed as initials (e.g., CIA, FBI are pronounced using the letters, C-I-A and F-B-I) and when they are pronounced as words (e.g., NASA is pronounced as a word, “Nasa,” not N-A-S-A. RADAR has long been pronounced as a single word “radar,” not R-A-D-A-R, even though it too is an acronym).

    So, this is a holdover from radio days when news copy was handed to radio reporters, so they’d know which acronyms to read as words vs. just initials. “Crisper” is likely soon to come.

    They’ve simply adopted as a style that which they used for a specific reason.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I’ll believe it when I see it. It will be the trump steaks of TV.

  41. mattbernius says:

    This is just to say I have checked the claims about ballotsthat are onthe internetand whichyou were probably thinking are trueForgive methey are false so misleadingand so wrong— Ciara O'Rourke (@ciaraorourke) November 12, 2020

  42. wr says:

    @Kylopod: ” Fox News”

    Not to disagree with your broader point, but Fox News is not an acronym. It’s a news channel formed by the (then) 20th-Century Fox corporation. There was a brief moment when the other Fox network was going to go with an acronym like the Big Three — they called themselves FBC — and then decided they liked the differentiation that a non-acronym brought.

  43. JohnSF says:


    …several state Senate candidates were plants funded by dark money


  44. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I think it’s complex. They’ve been angry at Fox before, but there hasn’t quite been a unified rejection of it up to now. I think its decision to call Arizona early, and to join with other networks in calling the overall election for Biden on Saturday, will be a final nail in the coffin for a lot of these folks. It’ll make Fox (at least its “news” division, as opposed to commentators like Tucker and Sean who still garner their respect) go down in a similar way to Chris Christie in 2012, as the Judas-like betrayers who threw the election to the other team.

    The right definitely appears to be settling around a stolen-election narrative that they’re going to cling to for years to come. Of course this is hardly the first time they’ve cried about voter fraud or questioned the legitimacy of Democratic presidents; that goes back decades. But I think it may be the first time they’re embracing a very broad narrative that the Republican outright won the election and had it stolen from him in a blatant power-grab by Democrats.

  45. CSK says:

    Apparently it’s not going to be tv, because that’s too expensive. It will be a digital media operation.

  46. mattbernius says:

    Apologies for the double post, but it really needs the requied WCW formatting for the joke to work:

    This is just to say

    I have checked
    the claims about ballots
    that are on
    the internet

    and which
    you were probably
    are true

    Forgive me
    they are false
    so misleading
    and so wrong

    — Ciara O'Rourke (@ciaraorourke) November 12, 2020

  47. CSK says:

    Oh, it’s complex, to be sure–and a great deal of it is retrospective. The same people are claiming that they always hated the Bush family, and I know this isn’t true. They might not have adored and worshiped the Bushes the way they do Trump, but the rage at them didn’t exist prior to the Bushes making public their disdain for Trump. It’s the same with Fox.

  48. Jen says:

    @mattbernius: That’s brilliant, probably one of my favorite of the WCW internet genre. Thanks for sharing!

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: They were also going to abandon twitter and facebook.
    @CSK: Oooooo ooo, I’ll bet FOX is shaking in it’s boots.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday the subject of Ghana came up and I mentioned Jerry Rawlings the former dictator and then one term president of Ghana. A complicated man but one who I have a lot of admiration for when taken as a whole. Apropos of that, he just passed away. Here’s my paragraph summary: Truly an amazing man. Started out as a military dictator. Saw the writing on the wall with respect to their ally, the Soviet Union and so went to the World Bank and basically said “What does Ghana have to do to become your greatest success story”. Privatized much of the economy, then called an election, ran successfully in a fair contest, served one term, then transitioned peacefully to a successor government.

  51. Franklin says:

    @Scott: You’re assuming that Trump can remember facts.

  52. Jen says:

    Interesting thread from a Scottish reporter on investigating Trump’s property deals over there.

  53. Sleeping Dog says:


    It would cost him a fortune to buy access to the cable companies and imagine the customer up roar when the Trump Network is added to your basic or one step up cable plan. Digital is the way to go with low cost of entry and the product sits out there forever for future viewers.

  54. inhumans99 says:


    Triffids! I have never read the novel but I have seen the fantastic film. I did find an early edition Popular Library published paperback version of the book the film is based on at a cool bookstore in Glendale, CA many years back and still have it. The title is Revolt Of The Triffids with The Day Of The Triffids in parentheses, and it cost me around $20 or $25 at the time which was a lot but worth it. It has held its value and is just a cool item to have given its age and contribution to the world of science fiction story telling.

    Someone at Los Con many years back had a poster in decent shape for sale but it was way, way, way outside of my budget (it was an original poster, not a reproduction).

    Happy Thursday everyone.

  55. Kylopod says:

    Has anyone followed the incident of Kenneth Copeland’s bizarre forced laughter in reaction to Biden’s victory? (For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a clip of it.) There’s a lot to unpack here, but what stands out most for me is what it says about right-wing “humor.” We’ve discussed this before, how conservatives can’t do comedy and how most attempts at it are just baffling to anyone outside their bubble. A lot of it centers around the idea that liberals aren’t just corrupt, anti-American, anti-religious, etc.–they’re also ridiculous. It’s a theme that pervades the right-wing world, and a central part of why it’s so hard to talk to these people–no matter what we say, they look at us and see blubbering clowns.

    When Sen. Inhofe brings a snowball to the floor of Congress to disprove global warming, it’s not that he’s committing a logical fallacy or engaging in a straw-man, though those are no doubt the case. It’s that he thinks (or is playing to people who think) that global-warming “believers” are so ridiculous they can vanquished by a snowball. Not only is he presupposing that global warming means all weather everywhere is immediately getting hotter, it doesn’t even occur to him that the argument might be more complex. The possibility never even crosses his mind–which may partly reflect a failure to understand nuance or elementary scientific reasoning, but it also comes from a deep-seated certainty that the other “side” is too laughable to take seriously long enough to consider its arguments.

    But I also think it reflects the right’s obsession with dominating one’s opponents–with not being the beta. That’s why right-wing “humor” is the humor of a school bully taunting others he perceives as weaker–or, more accurately, wants to prove are weaker. Copeland’s laughter is basically just a grownup version of Nelson Muntz’s “haw haw.”

  56. Northerner says:


    If you map these states out you will see Sturgis, SD pretty much at the center. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    I have it on good authority (the Internet, source of all sorts of evidence for fraudulent voting) that Sturgis is connected by a quantum-tunnel to Area 51.

  57. Michael Cain says:

    @Kylopod: AZ is pretty interesting this year. I would have called it about the same time Fox did, because for the last several elections there’s been a blue shift with votes counted after a certain point heavily favoring the Democrats. (Eg, Sinema/McSally was pretty much a dead heat the day after the election, but Sinema eventually won by almost 60,000.) Given the numbers at the time, my mental model said, “Biden’s up by 30,000, that will go to 100,000 when they finish counting.” Instead it’s down to about 11,500 — the blue shift didn’t happen. In hindsight, my opinion is Fox called it too soon, with the same sort of flawed model I had, but they’re going to get away with it. At the time, though, I would have made the same call they did.

  58. Kathy says:

    Is it just me, or are we all less sanguine about what Biden will be able to accomplish in his first term? Especially as regards judicial reform.

    I know I am. My best case scenario is a 49-51 Senate in the GOP’s control, with 52-48 far more likely. If the former, there’s a small chance of inducing someone on the GOP side to defect, but even then ending the filibuster or any meaningful judicial reform is very unlikely.

  59. MarkedMan says:

    Just to put the 240K confirmed Covid deaths since February (via the CDC):
    Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
    Heart disease: 655,381
    Cancer: 599,274
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 167,127
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 159,486
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 147,810
    Alzheimer’s disease: 122,019
    Diabetes: 84,946
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 59,120
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 51,386
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 48,344

  60. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: And just to put North Dakota in perspective: Its daily Covid death rate is now equivalent to its daily death rate for all causes in 2018. Think about that. Everyone in the state who died by heart disease, cancer, accidents, COPD etc, stroke, Alzheimers, diabetes, flu and pneumonia, nephritis (not sure what this is) and suicide – COMBINED. And their rate is continuing to climb.

    But remember what the Trumpers say: no worse than the flu. Explain to me how we are supposed to take anything they say seriously.

  61. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Yes; that seems to be what he’s thinking–to the extent that he thinks.

    I’m reminded of the Sarah Palin Channel on, a streaming site. For $99 a year, you could get all Sarah, all the time. It was a disaster; I don’t think it lasted more than 11 months, because she was too lazy to provide any new material and just assumed her viewers would be happy with the contents of her Facebook page.

  62. CSK says:

    Nephritis = kidney disease.

  63. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Correction – He served two four year terms, 1992 to 2001

  64. Mu Yixiao says:

    Sometimes I’m really reminded that I’m in Wisconsin: the person on the phone ends the call with “mmBye”.


  65. Kathy says:

    Will history remember that at the height of the worse pandemic in a century, the Republican party and Pessimus Trump dedicated their efforts to filling a SCOTUS vacancy and contesting a fair election?

    BTW, my advice for those of you planning a family gathering for Thanksgiving and Christmas: don’t.

  66. charon says:


    And their rate is continuing to climb.

    There is a 2 to 3 week lag from new case to death. 7-day rolling avg:

    now – 170.1

    14 days ago 107.6

  67. DrDaveT says:

    @mattbernius: Man, I love the quality of humor around here. It took me about 30 seconds to figure out why the first (unformatted) version seemed so familiar…

  68. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: FWIW, I use the Washington Post stats. As of today the 7 day moving average per 100K is 2.26. For the last completed year, 2018, their average rate for all causes combined were 2.32.

  69. charon says:


    I just looked at the Post, I see 177/100K for ND, your decimal points seem off.

    I really like these two sites, lots of options there to deep dive into the stats.

  70. charon says:
  71. charon says:


    Sorry, my bad – I was talking new cases, your number was deaths.

    I am seeing deaths at 1.86/100K

  72. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: I followed your link, mostly because I didn’t recall who Copeland is. Good gawd.

    I do think you give James Inhofe too much credit.

    The possibility (that AGW may be more complicated than his snowball stunt) never even crosses his mind–which may partly reflect a failure to understand nuance or elementary scientific reasoning, but it also comes from a deep-seated certainty that the other “side” is too laughable to take seriously long enough to consider its arguments.

    It’s that, of course, but it’s mostly that he’s paid very well to not think about it very carefully.

  73. charon says:

    I like to visualize deaths this way;

    In a normal year,

    2.8M in the U.S., population 330M – thus 0.85%

    1.86 * 365 = 679/100,000 = 0.68%

  74. charon says:


    If hospitals become overwhelmed, excess deaths may be greater than covid deaths.

  75. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: Honest to god, I’m looking at the page right now with the Daily Counts default on, looking at the the state by state small plots with “Deaths” and “Adj. for population” clicked, and for today, Nov 12 I get:
    -ND 2.26
    -SD 1.74
    -MT 0.86
    – WI 0.8
    – NM 0.67

    as the top five, and for the bottom five (with more than ten deaths for the week)
    – CA 0.11
    – VA 0.12
    – OR 0.12
    – NY 0.13
    – NJ 0.14

    What are you seeing?

    BTW, I don’t know about NJ but I know the rise in NY is focused on the Trumpiest areas which are real death zones right now. And is probably worse than indicated because the cases in the upstate Hasidic community Kiryas Joel which were exploding through the roof suddenly dropped to near zero, so it looks like the word has gone out not to go to the hospital but instead let people die at home.

  76. Kylopod says:


    It’s that, of course, but it’s mostly that he’s paid very well to not think about it very carefully.

    In my previous sentence which you didn’t quote, I hinted in parentheses that Inhofe might be playing to an audience–but that I was going to assume for the sake of this anecdote that he’s a true believer. I’ve discussed this before, but when it comes to politicians and pundits, I think it’s complicated how much they believe the nonsense they’re peddling. I think a lot of them are grifters, but also believe in some of what they’re saying. Their failure to observe Covid-19 restrictions is proof of that.

    My point about Inhofe wasn’t to probe whether he actually believes in the snowball argument–he may or may not. But it’s unquestionably true that many right-wingers find this reasoning compelling, and I think it’s worth exploring why. It’s not just simple-mindedness or poor critical-thinking skills. They literally can’t comprehend the possibility that the scientists who say the earth’s getting warmer aren’t laughable fools. It’s what they’re told to believe, and it’s what they find comforting to believe. It’s an absolute starting point to their entire worldview, and it seals their mind off from doubt.

  77. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: Just saw this. Got it.

  78. charon says:


    I am looking at the same page, we must just be looking at different places on it.

  79. Kathy says:

    I wonder how much of the latest huge COVID increases are due to the street parties that celebrated Biden’s victory.

    Many in the footage I saw wore masks, but there was no distancing and there were lots of people.

  80. charon says:


    The hasidim seem determined to make no behavior adjustments for covid whatsoever, so yeah – Borough Park in Brooklyn is another hot spot.

  81. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: My daughter lives in Brooklyn and NYC is zoned block by block. She has a major Hasidic neighborhood a few blocks away and she said it is bright red.

  82. Sleeping Dog says:


    Times had an article this AM that Staten Island, which they described as NY’s conservative bastion is bright, bright red.

  83. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Republicanism is an active danger to the country as a whole and to people individually. The modern Republican leadership is incapable of acting to avert a bad outcome, having spent two full generations promoting the idea that government shouldn’t do anything at all.

  84. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: This misses the mark substantially in understanding what Copeland was doing. He comes out of the Pentecostal/Evangelical tradition where speaking in Tongues is orthodoxy.

    The Evangelical view of Tongues is that it is a language given by God to the Believer and is, in effect, the Holy Spirit inside of them speaking to God in Heaven. Depending on the circumstances, the audible sound of the Tongue (language) being uttered can sound completely different times. Now, their arose another group of Tongue talkers in the Pentecostal tradition who reported that, at times, their “Tongue” when uttered sounded like laughter. Within the factions that accepts Tongue talking–its about 50/50 who accepts laughter as a genuine Tongue inspired by the Spirit.

    There is almost nothing that Copeland’s sect doesn’t accept as inspired by the Holy Ghost. So the weird laughter was merely him speaking in Tongues which the congregation promptly joined in on queue. Obviously to this group this is complete poppycock–but it is what was happening.

  85. EddieInCA says:

    Mu Yixiao says:
    Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 09:59


    That’s a BBC style decision.

    And the BBC is wrong. NASA identifies all caps in their style and usage guide. When the organization in question specifies how their name should be written, that’s how you write it.

    Sorry. Have to disagree. As an example, Elon Musk pronounces the name of his Tesla cars as TEZZ-la. The company is named after Nikola Tesla, who pronounced it TESS-la. So I’m now supposed to call it a TEZZ-la because Elon Musk says so? Um… No. It’s TESS-la.

  86. Kathy says:

    One problem in counterfactuals (or alternate history) is finding an ultimate cause.

    Take how Pessimus won the 2016 election. There’s an overall consensus he would have been beaten by just about any candidate not named Clinton (this includes Comey’s letter). Ok, but why was Clinton the nominee? Several factors, not the least of which was the tragic death of Beau Biden in 2015.

    Do we end it there? no. Why was Clinton in a position to win the nomination? Well, because she and her husband had built a base of support deriving from his time as president.

    And why was Bill Clinton able to win a presidential election? Again, many factors, but one part is the decision by most Congressional Democrats not to back approval for Gulf War I, which kept better-known candidates from running (and then there’s the whole Jennifer Flowers affair, which was a minor miracle of its own for Bill), even when Bush the elder’s cloak of invincibility-through-popularity went threadbare in record time.

    But why was Bush the elder president in 1991? Many factors, but also because Gary Hart had an affair (and couldn’t perform minor miracles), and dropped out of the race, leaving the Democratic race to be won by Michael Dukakis.

    This is as far back as I care to take it, but other questions to explore are why Democrats opposed war in the Gulf in 1990, why Bush lost his popularity so quickly (it was a rather mild recession, after all), why didn’t Mario Cuomo run in 1988, how Reagan got to be president, why didn’t Hillary Clinton win the nomination in 2008, and more.

    And that’s why in alternate history you pick a point of departure and not an ultimate cause.

  87. Kathy says:

    You know what SNL should do now that Jim Carrey is a semi-regular playing Joe Biden? A Trump-centric version of “Liar, Liar” where Don Jr. or the other toddler (Eric), makes the wish that his father won’t be able to lie for one day.

  88. Kingdaddy says:

    @inhumans99: The book is way better than the movie.

  89. JohnSF says:

    Now that’s interesting; McLaughlin cites Green MSP Patrick Harvie as raising the question of using an “Unexplained Wealth Order”.
    As I said here back in September re. Turnberry

    What’s needed is something like an Undisclosed Wealth Order investigation by the Scottish courts; but the political pressure against any such thing will be huge;

    It’s nice to know someone with a political platform is pushing this.
    And with Trump out of office the UK-FO pushback will be much reduced.

  90. DrDaveT says:


    They literally can’t comprehend the possibility that the scientists who say the earth’s getting warmer aren’t laughable fools.

    That’s not my take. My take is that they can’t comprehend the possibility that the scientists who say the earth’s getting warmer believe that for reasons that have nothing to do with what the scientists want to be true. The GOP (ironically) has bought in to hardline postmodernism, in which all beliefs are motivated and all claims of fact are just attempts to manipulate others. After all, that’s how GOP beliefs and claims of fact work. The projection remains strong.

  91. Kingdaddy says:

    @Kathy: Love that idea.

  92. Mu Yixiao says:


    Sorry. Have to disagree. As an example, Elon Musk pronounces the name of his Tesla cars as TEZZ-la.

    That’s an accent. That has nothing to do with proper style in the presentation of a name.

    Apple devices start with a lowercase ‘i’. It’s an iPod, not an Ipod. It’s DeVry University, not Devry. It’s eBay, not Ebay. The BBC is incorrect to “just choose their own way of writing it”.

    These are specific names–tied very directly to a strong branding. NASA’s branding is specific about the acronym being presented in all capitals.

    On the other hand, I have no problem with a Brit pronouncing it Naah-saah or someone from France pronouncing it Nay-sah.

    Oh… and minor point: As a Croatian Serb, it wouldn’t be improper for Nikola to pronounce his own name “tez-lah”. Depends on the regional accent. My real surname is Croatian. There’s an ‘s’ in it that, properly, should be pronounced ‘sh’ or ‘zh’, but we’ve accepted the standard American ‘s’ pronunciation.

  93. Jax says:

    We now have 44 active cases and 5 hospitalizations in our county of around 6,000 (A county larger than the state of Rhode Island, I might add). Two of the hospitalizations are children, one is a baby and the other is a little girl in my youngest daughter’s grade. They are both very ill, the 6th grader has been diagnosed with post-COVID septic shock and her survival is iffy, from what I understand.

    The local populace is outraged over the mask order the Public Health Officer is requesting from the state.

    This is why I’m homeschooling. Every nitty gritty, dirty day of “Oh my God, I’m really not equipped for this” is worth it if I don’t have to see my kid in the PICU. Every day of seeing their loneliness and missing their friends, and wishing people would just get their shit together so they could go back to school…’s worth it, right now, this day, and every day forward until people DO get their shit together.

  94. dazedandconfused says:


    Why were the Democrats mostly against Gulf War 1?

    The specter of Vietnam still hung in the air then. Might seem ridiculous now, but going in to that conflict it was still strong. The speed and ease of Iraq I rinsed Vietnam almost completely out of our collective memory, hence it seems at first glance a puzzle today. After Iraq I we viewed ourselves as invincible once more, which is the main reason George II was able to get approval for Iraq II. During the ginning-up of Iraq II the Dems felt embarrassed by their nay-saying from the first time around, felt like fools for predicting Iraq I would be a “quagmire”. Even Hillary felt compelled to approve it.

    Side note: I have read from very credible sources that George HW Bush’s first reaction to the invasion of Kuwait was to let it slide. It does not matter who sits on the oil, they have to sell it. Two things changed his mind: Saddam moving forces right up to the Saudi border (everyone knew the Saudis stood no chance if Saddam were to go for Riyad) and Margaret Thatcher’s shaming.

  95. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I probably shouldn’t wade into this, but I would separate names from acronyms. I think the spelling of acronyms being dependent on how they are pronounced is useful and ingenious. But I think people are free to spell and pronounce the things they have named the way they want is also important.

    Off-topic: I used to think that the strange symbol Prince went by for years was an indication of how eccentric and trippy he was, only to discover it was actually an ingenious solution to a dispute with his former record company. It turns out he felt they had screwed him and wanted out of his contract. They wouldn’t let him out of it and without that exit he couldn’t release an album with his name on it. So he came up with this crazy symbol and insisted it had no pronunciation… thereby forcing every radio DJ, music reviewer, TV gossip show, etc to refer to him as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”. He didn’t put his name on the album, but he never took a new name either.

  96. Mikey says:

    I’ve just started Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk. (On audiobook, to keep me company during my DC-area commute.)

    I’ve heard the prologue and a good chunk of Chapter 1 and it is utterly enraging. Everyone knows the Trump administration basically trashed the extensive pandemic response guide the Obama administration, using what was learned handling H1N1, produced and left for them. What we learn in The Fifth Risk is they trashed EVERYTHING ELSE as well. The only reason Trump even had a transition team is because it’s legally required, and when he found out money had been raised to fund it, he went off on Christie and Bannon for taking “his money.” They didn’t staff agencies, Bannon shitcanned all the work that managed to get done, the one competent guy at the top (Christie) got kicked to the curb because the execrable Jared Kushner didn’t like him. It’s unbelievable how bad they are at…everything.

    I’m already starting to think we are actually lucky we didn’t get something worse than COVID-19 because we’d have lost millions to Trump and his administration’s combination of incompetence, disinterest, and contempt for even the most basic and legitimate functions of government.

  97. Kathy says:


    It’s fashionable to the point of cliche to say everyone fights the last war, but it’s true more often than not.


    I read the audiobook, too.

    What enrages me is not so much that Trump and his team are so bad at everything, but that they are so unnecessarily bad at everything. Like trashing the pandemic playbook instead of implementing it. It’s almost like they were handed the keys to a mansion, dumped them in the nearest sewer, and then proceeded to demolish doors and break windows all over the place.

  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: I grant no credibility whatsoever to someone who cannot say “Johns Hopkins University” without stumbling over the name given 3 tries to do so and then eventually deciding to go with “you know what place I mean.” [smh] [facepalm]

  99. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Not less sanguine, no. I always assumed that Biden accomplishing anything would be conditional on 1) having a Democratic majority in the Senate, and 2) being able to circle all of the wagons in that Democratic majority. For my money, neither one was a given. I was hopeful about a Democratic majority in the Senate, but I don’t think I ever saw it as sufficient to Biden accomplishing anything noteworthy.

    I know that I never did, don’t now, won’t tomorrow either, believe that Biden would be a source of bipartisan restoration of the Congressional role in government. It would be nice, but it would ultimately only mean keeping some, but not necessarily all, of what Obama accomplished–at least the part that hasn’t already been demolished by Trump and Co. But I’m old and white, so I don’t need government to accomplish anything.

  100. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It’s not as common in the PNW anymore, but “mmBye” to end a phone call is not unique to Wisconsin. I do it myself sometimes.

    mmBye! 😉

  101. Mu Yixiao says:


    I probably shouldn’t wade into this, but I would separate names from acronyms. I think the spelling of acronyms being dependent on how they are pronounced is useful and ingenious. But I think people are free to spell and pronounce the things they have named the way they want is also important.

    Agreed. I have no issue with non-name acronyms that have become words (e.g., scuba, radar, laser). But NASA is a name. And they have clearly stated “this is how we want our name to be spelled”. I may balk at the million and one pronouns being required, but I do my damnedest to use the name someone wants to be used.

    Off-topic: I used to think that the strange symbol Prince went by for years was an indication of how eccentric and trippy he was, only to discover it was actually an ingenious solution to a dispute with his former record company.

    I knew about the reason almost from the start. And before that, I knew that there had to be a good reason for it, because you wouldn’t throw away all that marketing foundation for no reason.

    The same thing happened to a local blues band. They changed their name and essentially became a cover band of themselves until their contract ran out. They did, however, release one CD under their temporary name. I think it was the only one.

    If I recall, there was a major artist who was under contract for X albums and had only done X-1 when they got seriously pissed off with the label. So they recorded an album that was so pathetic it could never be sold. Like… 3rd-grade talent show quality. 🙂

  102. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: And one of the things that might be important to consider when contemplating the musings of Mu Yixiao is that he may be taking contrarian positions for the purpose of being able to stimulate/contribute to the conversation.

    I do that sometimes, to. (See my previous comment, above.) 😉

  103. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Well, the polls misled me to hope for gains in Maine and North Carolina. That would ahve made 50 seats.

    As to the rest, I was sure a Democratic Senate would do away with the legislative filibuster, just to be able to get something done. I agree it’s a bad idea, but the worse idea would be to leave it in place.

  104. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It’s not as common in the PNW anymore, but “mmBye” to end a phone call is not unique to Wisconsin.

    It’s said in the PNW? Interesting. I’ve never been there so I wouldn’t have known. My experience is most east of the Mississippi–excluding Texas–and I’ve never heard it anywhere outside of the Great Lakes region.

  105. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: I feel great sorrow that the child is so sick and hope that dshe recovers fully and without further complications, but given that “[t]he local populace is outraged over the mask order the Public Health Officer is requesting from the state,” sorrow for the child’s suffering is the best I have to offer. Should the child pass on, her parents wailing like the Banshee as they put her into the ground will leave me dry eyed.

    I’m a good enough person to feel some sorrow at suffering, but I draw the line at self-inflicted harm through stupidity or hubris. ETA: You chose wisely. Hope your kids stay safe. You, too.

  106. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: My son and his ex feel exactly as you do.

  107. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dazedandconfused: And we got IraQ II: The Quagmire.

  108. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    he may be taking contrarian positions for the purpose of being able to stimulate/contribute to the conversation

    Nope. This is a serious pet peeve of mine.

    Excluding linguistic and grammatical requirements (e.g. Germany v Deutschland or CCP vs CPC), news sources should list names the way that the name-holder presents themself.

    It would, for example, be wrong for the BBC to call you “Just nutha ignint water biscuit”. That is not your name.

    And… looking for some examples, I just noticed something. The BBC is internally inconsistent. capitalizes things the proper way. does not. actually uses “Ebay”–which is wrong–but follows Apple’s branding with “iPhone”.

  109. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Progressive Wins: Voters Supported Down-Ballot Reforms And Candidates That Address Racism, Police Abuse, Mass Incarceration

    The upsurge of protest since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, compounded by the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha in August, another police murder, of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia in late October, and similar incidents of police violence in recent years raised Americans’ awareness of the reality of what many candidates began to call “systemic racism.” Although most voters don’t want to “defund the police,” they’ve expressed growing concern over racial profiling and other forms of police misconduct, mass incarceration of people of color and the racial disparities of the war on drugs.

    While Trump sought to tamp down these attitudes with racist appeals to “law and order,” including the use of federal troops to quell protests in Portland and other cities, the idea that “Black Lives Matter” echoed from the streets into the voting booth (and mailed ballots). On several fronts, voters embraced candidates and ballot measures to reign in the police, restore voting rights to people on parole, relax drug laws and challenge long-standing racist practices.

    More at the TPM link.

  110. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’m out for the night.

    I’m going to see if I can wade through the second half of the “New Mutants” movie.

    I read the comic when I was growing up (I think I still have the graphic novel that started it all) and loved it. At first, I thought the approach described in the promotional material was a good compromise and could prove to be a great way to introduce the characters without any baggage.

    The director has no clue who these characters are supposed to be (and the needless changes in their backstories shows that). He’s showing cliches where the source material showed complex–yet immature–characters.

    At this point I’m just hoping the SF/X in the second half are pretty.

    G’night, y’all.

  111. Kylopod says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Please. I admit I’m only vaguely familiar with the practice of speaking in tongues–I read an account of it in a book by a former Pentecostal–but I don’t see how that contradicts anything I said. I’ve known several Pentecostals, and not all of them are politically conservative. Copeland was clearly expressing a right-wing message, and just because it was done in the style of a Charismatic preacher, and that you wouldn’t expect the same behavior from, say, Sean Hannity, doesn’t change the fact that he’s still being influenced by the broader conservative culture, including the idea that Dems are ridiculous. It isn’t just random “speaking in tongues.” There’s a purpose and assumption behind it.

  112. DrDaveT says:


    Elon Musk pronounces the name of his Tesla cars as TEZZ-la.

    Perhaps he mistakenly thinks, as I did, that Tesla was Hungarian.

  113. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I grant no credibility whatsoever to someone who cannot say “Johns Hopkins University”

    When I was an undergrad there, I had a T-shirt that said “John Hopkin Univerity”.

    (Technically, it’s The Johns Hopkins University, but given how annoying people from Ohio State are, I don’t insist on that.)

  114. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: The sense of what Copeland was doing in that moment was more: “My God is going to show the Media who runs things….” Evangelical Bravado if you will

    Copeland is quite popular with Black Evangelicals–who are not wholly sold out on the Republican Party. He knows he has to tread judiciously with any overt Partisan attacks on Democrats because a sizable portion of Black Evangelicals are “little c” conservatives–but Democrats. IIRC it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 40%. They send donations, by books, and pay tithes–he might be a kook but he’s not going to spoil his own grift. Straight out attacking Dems is going to lighten his collection plate and lower book sales from one of his most dedicated demographics.

  115. Teve says:
  116. Teve says:

    When she’s doing stuff, especially around the 3 minute, lord help.meJeus I don’t understand howitsbt happenin.

  117. de stijl says:

    You’ve been sucked into the cult of Nandi.

    Everyone will be eventually.

    Her joy is too fascinating to withstand.

  118. de stijl says:


    Her dad introduced her to punk on Tuesday and on Wednesday she banged out Anarchy In The UK.

    I texted out links to friends and then called them up and badgered them to listen for at least one minute.

    She is real deal, no fooling.