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. Teve says:

    More people have died in South Dakota, than South Korea.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Apparently there is a lot of conservative butt hurt over a Vogue cover:

    Harry Styles is a 26-year-old popstar. He’s talented, unfathomably famous, worldly and charming. In Styles, a combination of youth, confidence and the aesthetics of the moment have fused into a compelling beauty of great commercial appeal. Unsurprisingly, he has just appeared on the cover of Vogue. He is wearing a ruffled Gucci ballgown, under a velvet jacket, inflating a balloon.

    Online, the American Right have lost their shit about it. The tone is of panicked heralds sounding trumpets against an oncoming gender war.

    “Bring back manly men!” cried a rightwing commentator who is promoting a new book.

    “The POINT of Styles doing this photo shoot is to feminize masculinity,” bleated another with a Facebook distribution model for his work.

    Their adherents chimed in at full social media volume, echoing claims that a gorgeous young man playing designer dress-ups was an obvious Marxist plot to destroy norms and shred tradition. “It is an outright attack,” claimed the book-promoter, who really should be shown some photographs of the Soviet march on Berlin. When Marxists attack, they tend to use tanks and plant flags on the Reichstag, not muck around with Vogue photoshoots.

    As a bleeding-heart, Marxist-feminist snowflake who never met a victimhood I couldn’t fetishise, I view the Right’s conniptions about Harry as a desperate cry of pain. The culture wars that so many of them fought for a Thousand-Year Trump have certainly polarised discussions of gender, race and sexuality around the west, but they haven’t brought them victory.

    Pobrecitos….

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  3. Kylopod says:

    The plot ensues…

    GOP Election Officials in Michigan Now Want to “Rescind” Their Votes to Certify Detroit-Area Results

    Essentially, what’s happening around the country now is that Republicans aren’t staging a coup. They’re pretending to stage a coup. (Or perhaps I should say they are staging a coup, emphasis on the word “staging.”) It’s a PR stunt they’re using to build up the “stolen election” narrative for rallying up the troops in an attempt to cripple the Biden Administration and set up to take back power later. It’s the new Tea Party.

    And it’s a true sign of our times that this is the optimistic take.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: I tell them “With all this rampnat demoncrat voter fraud, why would you even bother voting? It’s all rigged anyway.” I hope it works.

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  5. JohnSF says:

    @Kylopod:
    The Republican politicains are making a serious mistake here.
    The more they reinforce Trump’s claims for fear of the short term damage he might do them, the more they set up Trump to assume the mantle of the “cheated Prince”, the true President-in-Exile.
    And anyone who questions Trump’s right to lead the GOP automatically becomes a RINO to be cast aside and primaried.

    Do they really want to be reduced to being mere bag-carriers for Trump in 2024; or Don Jr or Ivanka in 2024/28/32?

    Or to trust that Trump won’t wreck their chances in 2022, for that matter?

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  6. An Interested Party says:

    Apparently there is a lot of conservative butt hurt over a Vogue cover:

    They seem to especially freak out when it comes to transgender folks…they act like the robot in that episode of Star Trek TOS that goes nuts when confronted with a logic problem…

    Meanwhile, it’s nice to know that the GOP is presenting a double dose of corruption in the Georgia Senate races…

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  7. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    These are all very astute points.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Colette

    On the anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg trials, 90-year-old Colette Marin-Catherine confronts her past by visiting the Nazi concentration camp in Germany where her brother was killed. As a young girl, she had been a member of the French resistance and had always refused to set foot in Germany. That changes when a young history student named Lucie enters her life. Prepared to reopen old wounds and revisit the terrors of that time, Marin-Catherine offers important lessons

    “If these hills could talk, I think we’d hear screams.”

    It’s 25 mins long, and worth every second of it.

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  9. CSK says:

    I’ve made before this–countless times–the point that Trump’s, like Palin’s before him, supporters not only identify with him, but have merged their identities with his. This article lays out that point in greater detail:

    http://www.thebulwark.com/the-marketing-theory-which-explains-why-trump-owns-the-gop/

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  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    Sitting here looking at OTB and glance out my window to the (fairly regular) parade of does heading SE through the yard. A few seconds later a very young buck races past in pursuit. A couple of minutes later the does are retracing their steps followed by the buck.

    Just like the closing time, horny guys, chasing gals playing hard to get.

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  11. Northerner says:

    @Kylopod:

    GOP Election Officials in Michigan Now Want to “Rescind” Their Votes to Certify Detroit-Area Results

    I’m oddly reminded of the opening credits of Monty Python’s Holy Grail:

    “We apologise for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked … We apologise again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.”

    Except of course, Monty Pyython is much cleverer and imaginative.

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  12. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been contending that since the Republicans on the Supreme Court gutted the pre-clearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act, the Republican Party and their sponsors have not only been steadily returning Klan Governance to the covered states, but have been expanding it across the country. This Washington Post article covers the same territory, albeit without the reference to the VRA.

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  13. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    There’s data that a few thousand people who voted by mail in Georgia’s primaries, did not vote in the general election. The speculation si they were turned off from mail-in voting by trump, and couldn’t or wouldn’t vote in person.

    I don’t know if that’s so, but it’s a great look that El Cheeto’s tantrum may have cost him 16 EVs.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Raffensberger said the number of GOP who voted in the primary via absentee but didn’t vote in the general at all was about 24,000. He said the loss was was trump’s own damn fault.

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  15. MarkedMan says:

    In 2007 Errol Morris had an extensive three part series in the NYTimes concerning a Crimean War photograph taken in the Valley of Death (“Into the valley of death rode the 600…”), and Vox revisits this in a video explainer… kind of. The Times essay starts with a question, “Did the photographer pose the picture or not?” and then explores in excruciating and extensive detail the months (years?) Morris spent in trying to answer this, including all the blind alleys, false “aha!” moments, and wasted trips he took. Yes, in the end he definitively answers answer the question, but that becomes almost an afterthought to the deeper lesson of the article. To me, it’s all about the difficulty in determining the truth, the craft and the work needed, the determination and will in not letting those wonderful “Aha!” moments drive your belief system.

    By revisiting this, Vox unintentionally highlights the difference between video and print, between news casters and news reporters. I’m not slamming Vox here, as they cut out all that deeper meaning and just present it as a neat little mystery posed and solved in five minutes, with a few minutes discussion after. But trying to contemplate why they did that, and imagining how they would have translated that lengthy three part series into a video news segment just makes it clear that is not what video news is for. It basically makes my case when I say that watching tv news is a waste of time. (I used to qualify this by saying, “except when the actual video itself is important”, but that’s no longer true. If the video is important, the Times or Washington Post will have it with the story.) With the exception of a few in-depth video news magazines, all the money in TV news goes to camera and film and location shot and they are pikers with actual reportage. I stopped watching TV news when I was in college for exactly this reason, and nothing in the past four decades has changed my mind.

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  16. sam says:

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Abraham Lincoln
    November 19, 1863

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  17. KM says:

    @JohnSF:
    They counting on him to die or become irrelevant shortly and the boys *never* had a shot at getting real power. They’re there because Daddy’s the Boss for Now and I do believe they’ll be shocked at how quickly nobody gives a damn about them after Jan 21st. Even in the cult they exist only to do Donny’s will so without him, they’ll get shunted to the back PDQ.

    Ivanka might have been a problem but thankfully her own party is full of mysgoinsists and incels who’d never make a woman their Boss, not even Donald’s Precious Princess at his command. She’s very aware that their power comes from Daddy and wants back into the business / socialite scene where she’s at least got some cache to her name.

    Trump himself may hang on for a few more years but the man’s 74 with known health issues. What the GOP really needs to be concerned about is a demented Trump tweeting nonsense and state secrets and the inevitable conspiracy theory around his demise. They’ll quickly start sidelining him or offering him goodies to keep his mouth shut – Twitter and FB will get an under-the-table incentive to ban or delete him once he starts getting too troublesome. He’ll get some speaking engagements to make him happy but I suspect his retirement to Mar-a-Largo’s been all planned out for him……

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  18. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Thank you.

    I kind of rendered my post irrelevant by not specifying it was the GOP primaries.

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  19. Jen says:

    Apparently, we are going to get treated to an RNC news conference at noon today, showing a “clear and viable path to victory,” according to Trump.

    This is starting to get very old. Biden is closing in on a 6-million vote gap.

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  20. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Trump is like a low-rent Captain Ahab, isn’t he?

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  21. Kylopod says:

    The stolen-election narrative actually comes from a convergence of two threads. Partly it’s a reflection of the bizarre personality of Donald Trump. His entire public persona–as a celebrity, long before entering politics–has always been that he’s not just the greatest, he literally never loses. At anything. As a kid he never lost a game of Chutes & Ladders or the card game of War. He never went bankrupt, or when he did it showed his awesome business acumen. Trump Steaks, Trump Wine, Trump Fidget Spinners never went off the market. His TV ratings were always the highest, and when he failed to win an Emmy it was because the Emmys were rigged against him. He never lost a caucus or primary, and when he did it was because Ted Cruz cheated. He couldn’t lose the general election unless there was cheating, and after he won, he didn’t lose the popular vote; it was those damn illegal aliens voting in California to give Hillary an electorally meaningless PV win just to spite him. He didn’t lose the midterms, it was a red wave, and whenever a Republican candidate lost, it was due to not staying close enough to Donald.

    But all this merely reinforced something that’s been building up within the GOP since long before Trump entered the political scene. They’ve been crying about voter fraud for decades now. They were talking about ACORN back in 2008; even McCain started yammering about it toward the end of his campaign. And while he did graciously concede in the end and never claimed the election was stolen, I remember running across righties at the time who at least flirted with that notion. Still, that wasn’t a widespread claim in the right-wing universe. Their usual argument was that McCain genuinely did lose, but only because he was a RINO who didn’t go after Obama hard enough. Delusional, but not to the point of questioning the reality of the election results. And while birtherism was certainly an attack on Obama’s legitimacy as president, it was not a claim that the voting itself was fixed.

    Yet this was also a reflection of their (racially tinged) worldview that certain Americans are more legitimate than others–Palin’s “real America,” who are protected by the EC from the tyranny of the coastal elites.

    Trump brought all this together–the racism, the grievances, but most of all the narrative of total and absolute invincibility. He helped them cast aside all pretenses of right and wrong and reorient themselves toward the question of winning and losing, which in practice meant refusing to acknowledge that defeat was even possible. No matter what happened, they always won. Even when they lost, they won. After Trump barrelled his way through the primaries in the face of all the snooty elites claiming it would never happen, after the now-legendary Election Night that shocked the world and supposedly contradicted all the “Hillary landslide” polls, the invincibility narrative was cemented in their minds forever.

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  22. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    How? Is he going to expel California from the Union?

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  23. dazedandconfused says:
  24. Fortunato says:

    @Northerner:

    ..the opening credits of Monty Python’s Holy Grail:

    And Colludy Rudy, traipsing from one failed court appearance to next, is in fact The Black Knight (“tis but a scratch”)

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  25. Sleeping Dog says:

    @KM:

    Ivanka might have been a problem but thankfully her own party is full of mysgoinsists and incels who’d never make a woman their Boss, not even Donald’s Precious Princess at his command. She’s very aware that their power comes from Daddy and wants back into the business / socialite scene where she’s at least got some cache to her name.

    It would be difficult to imagine cult45 warming to a woman candidate, even Daddy’s girl, who rejected Christianity to become a Jew. As far as returning the the NY social scene, she has only a slightly better chance at that as being an R prez nominee. Palm Beach, maybe, but that’s a small pond.

    It is difficult to imagine any woman, Nikki Haley, Kristi Noem or you name her getting an R prez nomination in the foreseeable future. VP yes, but not prez.

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  26. Loviatar says:

    Followup to yesterday’s post by James on “Emily Murphy’s Plight” There is no plight, just do your DAMM job woman.

    Administrator Murphy Shows ‘Remarkable Lack of Curiosity’ About Foreign Spending at Trump’s D.C. Hotel

    “The only thing I know is what I’ve read in the paper,” the Trump appointee responded when asked about the amount of money foreign governments have spent at the Old Post Office Building, which is owned by the federal government and leased to the Trump Organization.

    “This is a remarkable lack of curiosity on the part of GSA,” a visibly perturbed Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said in response to Murphy.

    Tell me again how these are not calculated choices made by a partisan Republican.

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  27. Jen says:

    @Kathy: I’ve long abandoned investing any time in trying to understand what that crew of misfit toys is thinking.

    Since posting that, I’ve seen an article that said that Trump *personally called* the two election officials in Michigan who are now trying to rescind their certification of the vote there, so my guess is something along those lines: stall certification in a few key states with GOP legislatures, and then try and get them to appoint electors who will cast EC ballots for Trump. (This won’t work and I’m not suggesting it’s a wise path (cough), but it’s the only thing I can think of that would even be potentially a “clear and viable” pathway.)

    @dazedandconfused: Yes, excellent synopsis.

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  28. Jon says:
  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    Very well-put.

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  30. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I was thinking about the Georgia runoff election and I think this could be a slam dunk for Dems if they simply made the election a referendum on Mitch McConnell.

    Paper the entire state with his ugly Turtle face and the clip of him stating he was going to make Obama a one term President and I believe believe people would crawl over broken glass to deny him Majority leader.

    Of course we are talking about Democrats so they’ll be busy on the Defensive about the hurty words the GOP attack machine is cranking out about them. Hopefully the Lincoln Project team can come to the rescue.

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  31. Jon says:

    D’oh, @Jen beat me to it and edit disappeared on me.

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  32. Loviatar says:

    Meanwhile:

    Sabotaging America

    “They aren’t sabotaging Biden, they’re sabotaging America – our people, our troops, our quality of life, our security. It is treason.”

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  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Don’t forget/underestimate Lynn Cheney.

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  34. Jen says:

    @Jon: Thanks for posting the link! I was too lazy to hunt it down… 🙂

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  35. inhumans99 says:

    Folks, not going to try and link but put this into Google: Could GOP states ignore voters and send Trump delegates to the Electoral College? which takes you to a Politico article.

    It will put you at ease…no, seriously, it will. The GOP does indeed feel that any schemes to over-write the will of the people are indeed hare brained. Also, if I understand what I just read the post-election process to certify votes and have members of the Electoral College register their votes has already been baked into the cake as of 11/03.

    All of this delaying by Trump to keep up the lawsuits and prevent certification in certain counties is literally just him being a big baby and not accepting reality.

    The GOP is working at a breakneck pace to confirm judges, etc., because they know this will grind to a halt once Biden is sworn in on 01/20, as they are aware of who actually won the election.

    I mentioned in a post yesterday that I am smart but can also be considered at times to be hopelessly naïve but I still hold out that sometime in the hopefully not too far-off future the GOPs actions will finally start to embarrass Republicans and back-fire a bit on them. Again, hope springs eternal…lol!

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  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: I’m almost entirely sure that McConnell and others in the Senate without Presidential aspirations are aware of that danger but simply don’t care as long as it damages Biden’s administration. They don’t care what the country they rule is like, as long as they rule. “Ashes, rubble, and dysfunction? As long as I’m in charge of it, it’s all good.”

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  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I wouldn’t count on the Lincoln Project for this. It’s basically an anti-Trump organization, not a GOP suicide pact. But I might be wrong, have they produced an ad for the GA runoff?

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  38. CSK says:

    Team Trump has decided to can its lawsuit in Michigan.

    I’ll be really interested to hear the announcement at noon from the RNC talking about how Trump will prevail.

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  39. Sleeping Dog says:

    Over the last couple of weeks, there have been several articles about clawing back powers that congress and the judiciary have abdicated to the executive. Here’s and example. Generally these are good ideas that deserve both liberal and conservative support, but the focus on the executive is too limited. Congress, in particular the Senate needs reform, along to a lesser extent the judiciary.

    The filibuster and cloture get a lot of press and do need reform, but most blockages in the senate are caused by the arcane rules, customs and procedures under which it operates and under a skilled parliamentarian such as McConnell, makes passage or even discussion about legislation impossible. Rs had total control of government for 2 years and virtually nothing but tax cuts, judges and budgets (mostly continuing resolutions) passed.

    Most of what doesn’t happen, occurs behind the scenes often in secret and is reported on sporadically, that needs to change. Yes, claw back executive power, but also allow a 1/3 of the senate to force discussion of legislation to the floor and then force a vote. Quit allowing senators to avoid publicly taking a position on legislation and loosen the bottleneck that is the majority leader.

    Some may ask what about the House? The house has its own issues, but under both R and Dem majorities legislation has been passed that dies in he senate without discussion.

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  40. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: To their credit, the LP did run ads against Republican Senate candidates before the election, with the message that they were all Trump enablers.

    By no means do I trust the LP, especially after Trump’s defeat, but I have to say their ads have been excellent, and if nothing else Dems ought to learn from them. This is how it’s done.

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  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “… because they know this they will grind the process to a halt once Biden is sworn in on 01/20…”

    Fixed that for you.

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  42. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Well, he could take Doc Brown’s DeLorean for a spin and do a different campaign, or a different, real administration.

    But that’s unrealistic. No way Donnie Pessimus will do all that work all over again.

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  43. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod:

    Essentially, what’s happening around the country now is that Republicans aren’t staging a coup. They’re pretending to stage a coup. […] It’s a PR stunt they’re using to build up the “stolen election” narrative for rallying up the troops in an attempt to cripple the Biden Administration and set up to take back power later. It’s the new Tea Party.

    Trump didn’t want to win the presidency either. Just remember that, and let that sink in.

    The people fucked up losing the presidency. They then fucked up winning re-election. And now you think they’re just playing at trying out a coup? I’m going to be optimistic and believe they really mean it.

    Also, at a certain point, motives don’t matter. We want to forgive the man who steals a loaf of bread to feed his family, but we shouldn’t want to forgive Jeffrey Dahmer if he lures young men to his home, murders them and cooks their remains to feed his family.

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  44. Jon says:

    @Jen: And I was too lazy to check if somebody had already posted about it. Perfect storm of lazy 😉

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  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod:

    …if nothing else Dems ought to learn from them.

    On that I will agree with you. If you really need a job done, it’s not wise to delegate it to others.

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  46. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    Trump didn’t want to win the presidency either. Just remember that, and let that sink in.

    This isn’t just about Trump now. It’s about the GOP. Trump would execute a coup if he could. I just don’t think other members of the party are going along with it, even if they’re pretending to do so.

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  47. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Not that I’ve seen, and I follow them on FB, but they did do some ads against Collins, McConnell, and Graham during the campaign.

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  48. Loviatar says:

    Administrator Murphy just do your damm job

    We’re joining 140+ leading health experts in demanding that @GSAEmily
    immediately begin the presidential transition.

    Biden’s transition team is being denied access to essential info about COVID response and vaccine development.

    Delays mean more Americans will suffer and die.

    Administrator Murphy will probably cause the death of hundreds, maybe thousands, possibly 10s of thousands of Americans. The banality of evil is that we all see it but not enough of us care to stop it.

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  49. Jen says:

    This is past ridiculous.

    Trump tries to subvert the election, inviting Michigan G.O.P. lawmakers to the White House.

    Someone needs to do something. I don’t know what, but this is stupid, wasteful, and dangerous.

    Also, hey, government is about to run out of money so great timing on all of this. Anyone want to take bets on whether or not Trump tries to finagle something out of his signing a bill to continue funding?

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  50. gVOR08 says:

    Don’t know if this will continue to work in VT, they’re surrounded by other states. But this VOX article seems to be a picture of how it could have been everywhere. Vermont has about the same population as ND but is strongly reacting to a rise to 100 new cases per day while ND is seeing 1,800. The article doesn’t say how they’re paying for it, but in our current interest rate situation the Federal government can and should run up whatever debt is necessary to support states through the emergency.

    So what’s the key to Vermont’s success? It’s pretty simple, Sosin said. Instead of just talking about how “social distancing is a privilege,” leaders in the state thought about how to make sure health policies actually addressed barriers to social distancing.

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  51. gVOR08 says:

    Here I refreshed and got EDIT. On the other thread, ten minutes ago, nothing produced EDIT. Insert a few bars of the Outer Limits theme.

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  52. PJ says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    @Kathy:

    The Lincoln Project is making ads against Purdue and Loeffler:
    https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1327219666507411456

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  53. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    That happens to me all the time. Some threads you get the edit function after refreshing, some you don’t. Look on it as a crap shoot.

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  54. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Some may ask what about the House? The house has its own issues, but under both R and Dem majorities legislation has been passed that dies in he senate without discussion.

    I agree with your larger point, but I wouldn’t give the House too much credit. Part of the reason it passes so much legislation (like 40+ repeals of Obamacare) is they they absolutely KNOW it will die in the Senate. I think a lot of the things the D’s have nearly unanimously passed (within the Democratic party that is) the last couple years will also get a lot harder if the Senate does come under Democratic control.

    It’s easy to be a bomb thrower and virtue-signaler on votes that don’t matter. Much harder to, you know, govern. Primarily a R problem, yes, but you’re kidding yourself if you think the enormous pile of House passed bills from the last couple years would get passed again unscathed if the D’s take the Senate.

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  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @PJ: Thank you for the information. I withdraw my skepticism.

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  56. JohnSF says:

    Sad news: Arecibo radio telescope is to be decommissioned because damage following cable failures.

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  57. JohnSF says:

    Interesting financial news.
    The euro passes the dollar as most used currency for global payments (not first time, but first since 2013).
    Maybe the “collapse of euro imminent!” crowd will give it a rest, for an hour or so anyway.
    Top ranked were:
    euro
    dollar
    pound
    yen
    Canadian dollar
    yuan

    Bare ranks conceal the real differences though: dollar and euro around 37%, next three combined a bit over 12%, yuan a little under 2%.
    This is payments, mind.
    When it comes to finance, the dollar is still top dog: 50% of all international loans and bonds, dollar-denominated, 85% of total forex trades, 60% of official reserves.
    But it’s certainly not the absolute dominant position it held in the second half of the 20th century.

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  58. DrDaveT says:

    I think I recall something from the other day about the Nobel committee finding it difficult to come up with good candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I have a recommendation for them.

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  59. sam says:

    Stephen Punwasi @StephenPunwasi
    · 2h
    Only 12% of Americans think Trump shouldn’t concede.

    Almost as many Americans thought HTML was a sexually transmitted disease.

    I bet there’s a big overlap in these demographics.

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  60. flat earth luddite says:

    @Northerner:

    Except of course, Monty Python is much cleverer and imaginative.

    Agreed. Much more to the tune of a failed Benny Hill skit. Or one of Dave Allen’s barstool rants. Or for you youngsters, pick your least favorite SNL skit.

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  61. Kathy says:

    For this week I’m thinking a rich, creamy, chicken stew with lentils and potatoes.

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  62. al Ameda says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    lol, the poor perpetually aggrieved and victimized American Right … and you just know that Styles, much like David Bowie decades earlier, has to fight off (or not …) hundreds of beautiful men AND women who want a ‘date night’ with him.

    Harry Styles is a 26-year-old popstar. He’s talented, unfathomably famous, worldly and charming. In Styles, a combination of youth, confidence and the aesthetics of the moment have fused into a compelling beauty of great commercial appeal. Unsurprisingly, he has just appeared on the cover of Vogue. He is wearing a ruffled Gucci ballgown, under a velvet jacket, inflating a balloon.

    Online, the American Right have lost their shit about it. The tone is of panicked heralds sounding trumpets against an oncoming gender war.

    “Bring back manly men!” cried a rightwing commentator who is promoting a new book.

    “The POINT of Styles doing this photo shoot is to feminize masculinity,” bleated another with a Facebook distribution model for his work.

    Their adherents chimed in at full social media volume, echoing claims that a gorgeous young man playing designer dress-ups was an obvious Marxist plot to destroy norms and shred tradition.

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  63. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    I’m making that this evening with sauteed mushrooms and broccoli.

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  64. Kathy says:

    About the latest COVID-19 vaccine developments, I think it germane to quote one of Niven’s Laws: “No technique works if it isn’t used.”

    The mere existence of a vaccine, no matter how effective, will not protect you, or anyone else, if the vaccine is not correctly given to a very large number of people (like millions in every country).

    This is true even if you already have been given the correct dosage, and enough time has elapsed for the vaccine to work. 95% effectiveness means there is a 5% chance it wasn’t effective on you.

    Until literally billions are inoculated worldwide, and we break the chains of transmission for good, we are all still vulnerable.

    Keep your mask on and the hand sanitizer nearby. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s still very far away.

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  65. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Last Sunday’s dinner was coq au vin; and very nice it was too, if i do say so myself.

    This time of year stews and casseroles are very much back on the menu.

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  66. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Getting that many Trumpies to take it is gonna be a problem. My Facebook is full of these Wyoming yahoos sharing the Patrick Henry meme, “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” over a simple mask mandate today.

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  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: That’s what we’re her for, right? To fill in each other’s blanks? How many times have a cited some half remembered fact….

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  68. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    When it gets colder, I’ll want to make cream of tomato soup (later mixed with white rice and a little lime). I do it with fresh tomatoes, some milk, chicken bouillon, and cottage cheese, with only a little onion and garlic.

    The problem is cool weather coincides with high workloads and late nights and long hours. So it takes a major effort to skin, core, and seed a dozen tomatoes.

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  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: They have attacked too many trump sycophants. They are dead in the GOP and they knew it when they started. Mind you, this doesn’t make them DEMs.

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  70. Loviatar says:

    People will Die because Administrator Murphy refuses to do her job

    When people die because @GSAEmily, drunk on partisan loyalty to a corrupt president, refuses to release transition resources during a deadly pandemic, could anyone seriously argue that she’s any less culpable than a drunk driver who crushes a dozen school children at a bus stop?

    —–

    Do Your DAMM job Administrator Murphy

    This is huge. Even the National Association of Manufacturers has had enough of @GSAEmily damaging America by blocking the transition. Do your job, Emily Murphy!

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  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al Ameda: They’re just jealous.

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  72. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    My Facebook is full of these Wyoming yahoos sharing the Patrick Henry meme, “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” over a simple mask mandate today.

    Damned entitled Trump Cultists always demanding to be given something.

    It goes deeper than that, IMO. I’ve mentioned lots of coworkers who don’t wear masks, not to mention the millions and millions who merely pretend to wear them (uncovered nose and the like). And lately I’ve noticed more people than usual on the street without a mask at all. There’s something about masks that people seem to hate or are unable to stand.

    On other vaccination musings, I’ve been thinking about smallpox lately. Evidence suggests it was around for millennia, causing outbreaks from time to time through Asia, Europe, and Africa. It wasn’t as contagious as COVID-19 is, but it was pretty damn contagious, and mitigation and prevention were just about nonexistent.

    Meaning lots of people caught it, developed symptoms, and around 30% or so died. Most who recovered were left with scars, and many also went blind. So it was bad with a capital B, no question.

    And yet, we never developed lasting herd immunity against it. It’s possible a region afflicted with it would not see it again in many years, seeing as many who got it were left with some form of immunity to reinfection, making for a less fertile field for variola. But eventually it would recur. We got the lasting herd immunity only after widespread vaccination. We were even able to eradicate it (yay us!), with lots of effort and cooperation.

    If the COVID-19 vaccine proves ephemeral, then even with yearly shots we may not be able to eradicate it. but we’ll have the lasting herd immunity that will keep it in check. We can avoid a recurrence of this particular pandemic, with a lot of effort and cooperation. And that’s no small thing.

    But we’ll never get herd immunity simply by letting SARS-CoV-2 have a field day with the maskless and their victims.

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  73. CSK says:

    According to thehill.com, Lara Trump (Eric’s wife) is thinking of running for the senate in 2022 from North Carolina, her home state.

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  74. Jax says:

    @Kathy: If it only took those who refused to wear masks, at this point I’d be fine with it just taking them, they’ve proven they have no interest in the communal interest of keeping people alive. Unfortunately, they WILL have victims they have caused physical and financial hardship, and possibly death.

    I’ve been wondering how many states in total have laws on the books regarding liability for disregarding public health orders, but it varies so widely by state and municipality….

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  75. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    The thing about masks is they are better at keeping things in than keeping things out. Therefore they work best when everyone wears them.

    Severity doesn’t seem to depend on a particular strain, either. So a person with a completely asymptomatic case, can infect hundreds or thousands over the course of several days, and many of those may die or have long COVID syndrome.

    Mask resistance is as dangerous as shooting bullets in the air.

    The other problem I worry about is how many Covidiots will refuse a vaccine on political grounds, claiming it’s now a Biden vaccine.

    Also, the mRNA shots, both Moderna’s and Pfizer’s, require two doses, 3 or 4 weeks apart depending on the manufacturer. I bet a lot of people will get just one. Worse, some may get a shot of each, and who knows whether that will be effective at all.

    I plan to get the vaccine at the first available opportunity, and to keep wearing a mask until it’s very clear the pandemic has burned out, which may mean late into 2021.

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  76. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I’m excited the COVID vaccines aren’t grown in chicken eggs. Despite being the “crazy chicken lady”, I can’t eat eggs or get flu shots due to being allergic. It’s like being the drug dealer, as far as selling farm fresh eggs, and not being able to eat my own product.

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  77. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    A few years back, I met a man with a wheat allergy who worked for the largest manufacturer of bread and baked goods in the country. It happens.

    Allergies are another much misunderstood issue, unfortunately. Maybe because occasional allergic reactions are common. These are far different from chronic allergies, which can cause very serious, as in deadly, reactions in those who suffer from them.

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