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. CSK says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2021/01/26/health/swearing-benefits-wellness/index.html

    Well, it’s an interesting theory that works all the way down to the moron level, I suppose. Donald Trump swears all the time.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Union carpenters are the healthiest mf’ers in the world.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was an FBI informant

    Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys extremist group, has a past as an informer for federal and local law enforcement, repeatedly working undercover for investigators after he was arrested in 2012, according to a former prosecutor and a transcript of a 2014 federal court proceeding obtained by Reuters.

    In the Miami hearing, a federal prosecutor, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Tarrio’s own lawyer described his undercover work and said he had helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people in various cases involving drugs, gambling and human smuggling.

    Tarrio, in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, denied working undercover or cooperating in cases against others. “I don’t know any of this,’” he said, when asked about the transcript. “I don’t recall any of this.”

    Sure you don’t….

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  4. Scott says:

    Let’s hope the cannibalizations continue:

    Republicans demand audit of Kelli Ward’s narrow win for Arizona GOP chair

    After months of sounding the alarm on what she claimed was a stolen presidential election, Kelli Ward is facing questions about her own reelection Saturday as Arizona Republican Party chair.

    Sergio Arellano, the southern Arizona businessman who narrowly lost to Ward in a runoff, has asked state party officials for an audit of the election results, said Kim Owens, a Republican consultant who is serving as his spokeswoman.

    So far, that hasn’t happened, adding to a growing sense of angst among GOP activists that the election had problems.

    “This isn’t about the chairman’s race, this is about election integrity,” Arellano said in a written statement provided by Owens to The Arizona Republic.

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  5. MarkedMan says:

    Question for our film and television affiliated commentators: is it the norm now that if you buy the film rights to a printed work (book or comic book) that you also buy the TV rights? Or would that be two separate transactions, possibly going to two different entities?

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Parkland survivors call for Marjorie Taylor Greene’s censure after harassment

    Survivors of the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, are asking congressional Republicans to publicly censure Marjorie Taylor Greene for suggesting the school shooting was a “false flag” and for harassing a teenage survivor on Capitol Hill in 2019.

    Greene, the newly elected Georgia congresswoman who is known for her support of the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory, was filmed in March 2019 as she followed 18-year-old David Hogg, one of the students who survived the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school, outside Capitol Hill.

    In the clip from 25 March, Greene can be heard calling Hogg a “coward”, demanding that he explain how the students were able to set up meetings with so many lawmakers, and telling him that she herself was a gun owner. Greene tells Hogg that gun control will not work, and that his classmates would not have been killed if one of the law enforcement officers assigned to guard the school had “done his job”.

    She later addresses her viewers, echoing false yet frequently spread conspiracy claims that mass shooting survivors and family members of victims are “crisis actors” and the attacks that killed their loved ones were staged as a plot to pass gun control laws.
    ……………………………
    “I’m a gun owner, I’m an American citizen and I have nothing. But this guy with his George Soros funding and his major liberal funding has got everything. I want you to think about that,” Greene told her viewers.

    In reality, said Eve Levenson, one of the college students who helped organize the advocacy event, the advocacy event and the meetings with senators had been organized by college kids, including herself, from the floor of her dorm room.

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  7. Scott says:

    The Pentagon tried to bury an alarming survey about widespread racism in the ranks

    For years, the Pentagon sat on a 2017 survey showing that nearly a third of Black service members who responded had experienced racism and few troops had faith in the process of officially reporting racism.

    Upon reading the recently released, and lengthy 300-page report, it immediately becomes clear why the Pentagon kept the document buried for so long.

    “Overall, about one in five active duty members (17.9%) indicated experiencing racial/ethnic harassment and/or discrimination in the 12 months prior to taking the survey,” according to a copy of the survey. “Black (31.2%) and Asian (23.3%) members were more likely to indicate experiencing Racial/Ethnic Harassment/ Discrimination than other active duty members, whereas White members (12.7%) were less likely.

    Moreover, the survey revealed that nearly a third of all service members did not have faith that their complaints about racial harassment and discrimination would be taken seriously if they filed an official report, according to the survey.

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  8. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I can only tell you that when I sold a book to the movies (to Paramount) that it was specifically for a theatrical release (i.e., a feature film). As far as I know, these are separate transactions.

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  9. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’ve always been fascinated by these “theories” that depend on the notion that the victims and survivors are “crisis actors.” What about the cops and emergency services people who respond? What about all the doctors and nurses who care for the wounded? What about the reporters who show up at the scene? The bystanders? Are they all “crisis actors”?

    It would involve a cast of thousands, every single one of whom agreed never to reveal they were all part of a plot.

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  10. CSK says:

    @CSK:
    I neglected to add the funeral home employees who prepare the dead for burial. And the church, synagogue, mosque, etc. staff and members who conduct and participate in the services. Actors all?

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  11. Mikey says:

    @CSK:

    It would involve a cast of thousands, every single one of whom agreed never to reveal they were all part of a plot.

    “Three can keep a secret, if two are dead.” — Benjamin Franklin

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The three largest shareholders in GameStop, the video game retailer at the center of a frenzied duel between Wall Street and small investors, have made more than $2bn from the company’s astronomic recent share rise.

    Stock in the company continued its vertiginous rise on Wednesday, hitting a fresh 52-week high of $354.83, making the 13% stake held by Ryan Cohen, 34, GameStop’s largest single shareholder, worth more than $1.3bn.

    Over the past two weeks, according to CNBC, Cohen’s net worth increased an average of $90m a day, or nearly $4m per hour, as GameStop stock has surged more than 1,550% this year alone.

    Other winners include…
    ………………………………
    The gains comes as thousands of small investors have poured into the stock and forced Wall Street hedge funds, including Melvin Capital and Citron, which were betting on GameStop’s collapse, to take billions in losses.

    The trading frenzy over GameStop drew comment from the incoming Biden administration on Wednesday with the treasury and other regulators announcing they were monitoring the situation.

    Cohen was a catalyst in the company’s phenomenal share price rise. Last year the investor and founder of Chewy, an online retailer of pet products, bought a stake in GameStop and launched a campaign for the company to move faster into the digital age to compete with Amazon.

    In January Cohen and two allies joined GameStop’s board. Despite the record rise in the company’s share price it is still planning to close up to 450 stores this year.

    No comment.

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  13. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    Exactly.

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  14. Kingdaddy says:

    The current bobbing and weaving among Senate Republicans about Trump’s trial are Constitutionally ridiculous, and it’s not hard to make a simple rebuttal to them.

    https://thebulwark.com/gop-senators-bogus-arguments-against-trying-and-convicting-trump/

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  15. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Question for our film and television affiliated commentators: is it the norm now that if you buy the film rights to a printed work (book or comic book) that you also buy the TV rights? Or would that be two separate transactions, possibly going to two different entities?

    Those are two separate transactions (live theatre would be another, and I’m not sure how streaming fits in), and can go to two different entities. With companies that have both movie and TV studios, they might buy both sets of rights.

    Oh… and syndication rights are a different transaction.

    The classic example is Star Trek. CBS had the rights to TV, Paramount had the rights to movies.

    The leasing of rights for creative works can get really complicated.

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  16. Mu Yixiao says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    You might want to read up a bit more on the Gamestop thing.

    It’s a “short squeeze”, and all that money they supposedly have will vanish pretty damn soon–it’s just stock value, not actual money.

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  17. Kingdaddy says:

    Is it just me, or does leaving a carefully worded note, with candy, for a pharmacy worker who is not wearing her mask when dealing with the public a bit too high a bar above asking politely, “Would you please pull up your mask?”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/01/tell-someone-pull-up-their-mask/617844/

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I know. I’ve read plenty these past few days. The whole thing is a joke, one that could be very profitable for a few lucky sellers while the rest are left holding the bag. I made no comment for a reason.

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  19. Owen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: True, but the big story is the (primarily hedge fund) short sellers who are being taken to the cleaners. My usually mild mannered son (recent BS in Software Engineering recipient), who has been an avid gamer (and Gamestop client) since age nine is enthralled with this. From what I can tell, most of the fellow travelers in this endeavor are from his demographic and don’t care if they lose some stock value if they can stick it to the “short selling” man. And let’s not forget their hero Elon Musk, who has been railing against short sellers for quite some time.

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  20. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This is a deliberate story. They are starting what we used to call the ‘red on red’ plays to fracture them and will start doing it with other groups as well. It can be very effective in stopping the execution of any operations currently in the chamber. His buds definitely have this in the back of their heads now so he, in their minds, could be a security risk.

    A lot of your most threatening terror groups shot their own people in the head if there were ambiguous insinuations that they talked to the Europeans or Americans.

    Unfortunately for these shitheads and their like, they are fucking around with a law enforcement apparatus that has been developing counter insurgency skills for 20 years and are full of people that came out of DOD doing the same thing. They picked the wrong fight, at the wrong time, with the wrong enemy. And to make it even easier, we can just send police to their door instead of the exponentially harder things we do to neutralize overseas terrorists.

    In the words of Sir Jay Z of Brooklyn (sometimes addressed as Jigga Man) ‘You fucking wit da best!”

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  21. Kathy says:

    I’ve been thinking about regulating social media.

    It’s not going to be pretty. especially as regards misinformation.

    Antitrust remedies have bene proposed often, and they have a point. Facebook, for example, owns also Instagram and Whatsapp, among others, and all manage content and feed in very similar ways. Yet FB does not own YouTube, which uses a very similar algorithm, and the same goes for Twitter.

    So simply braking up monopolies won’t help.

    Next, these services say they are merely carriers, like the phone company, not publishers. Well, no. The phone company doesn’t listen in on your conversations, nor suggests whom you’d want to call next, nor sends you ads of any kind, nor forbids certain kinds of conversations, etc.

    Social media is a different thing altogether. while it creates little content of its own, it does exercise what amounts to editorial functions on user-provided content.

    But this is where it gets complicated. My reading of the first amendment is that the government cannot force social media to ban any kind of content, like say white supremacy groups, neonazis, or other type of vermin. So that’s out.

    But, the government can hold social media companies responsible for the content and activities they do allow, as well as for the consequences of such content and activities.

    This means when a moron group posting about false flag operations gets sued, so does Facebook or whatever platform allowed it. This is common practice in libel cases, because the publisher is responsible for the content of their publication.

    I don’t see other avenues for regulation in this regard.

    There’s the matter of regulating the use of user data, too.

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  22. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Greene can be heard calling Hogg a “coward”

    Georgia is doing well economically overall, but there are parts of Georgia that are still struggling and I’m pretty sure Greene’s district falls into that category. Something like a new distribution center, a new medical center or a factory could make a real difference to the people there. But if I was an official trying to convince someone to locate their facility in my competing district I would just show the prospects this video and say, “Do you really want to deal with these people? This is the woman they elected to represent them to the whole country. You will be dealing with this every day, and any executives you try to relocate to her district are going to worry about raising their family around a bunch of loons.”

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  23. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    The median household income in Greene’s district is $56,150. It’s 56.58 blue collar and 43.42 white collar, and 59.723% urban.

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  24. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Are they all “crisis actors”?
    @CSK:..Actors all?
    Yes and yes.

    Reasonable and rational thought processes are totally absent in the brains of these conspiracy junkies. I once met a woman who bought the “crisis actor” belief about the Sandy Hook tragedy.
    “Obama staged the whole thing so we would lose our rights to own guns.” she said “Those kids are alive!”
    “Bring me one. Just one.” I said. It’s the same thing I say to citizens who claim that outer space aliens live among us.
    “Obama has them hidden in a secret chamber in the White House so no one can get to them.” she said.
    When I noted that Donald Trump had been President for a year when we were having this discussion and asked why he had not released the students from their imprisonment she said that Trump was looking for them and would release them soon.
    I told her she was a sick fvck. I think she took that as a compliment.

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  25. Mister Bluster says:

    test

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  26. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    “Obama staged the whole thing so we would lose our rights to own guns.” she said

    Did you try asking her why Obama didn’t take away their guns?

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  27. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    And where did Obama hide all the cops, EMTs, doctors, nurses, funeral home staff, bystanders, reporters, etc. who witnessed this?

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: This is a deliberate story. They are starting what we used to call the ‘red on red’ plays to fracture them and will start doing it with other groups as well.

    Yeah, I predicted just this in the days after 1/6. Nothing tears a group apart like fear and distrust.

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  29. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..Did you try asking her why Obama didn’t take away their guns?

    Don’t you know? Obama is still working on that with the help of all the liberal, socialist, Democrats in congress.

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  30. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Conspiracy stories subtilty condition their readers to demand the doubters prove a negative. The believers are thereby pre-set to view exasperation in the doubters as victory. A mind-trick which works on the feeble minded.

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  31. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    So he’s been working at it for 8 years and has nothing to show for it?

    Seriously, I wonder what such people use for brains.

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  32. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..And where did Obama hide all the cops, EMTs, doctors, nurses, funeral home staff, bystanders, reporters, etc. who witnessed this?

    They are all being detained at Mar-a-Lago.

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  33. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    It must be bigger than I thought.

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  34. Owen says:

    I wonder how many more cases like Mr. Mackey’s are going to start popping up now that there is a new Sheriff in town. I’m not an expert (on anything!), but from reading the charges, I would not be surprised if there is a steady drip of similar charges over the next few months, if for no other reason than to keep libtards such as myself yelling at a multitude of displays. Just in this case, it appears at least 4,900 people were fooled into voting for Hillary by text in 2016.

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  35. Mikey says:

    @Kathy:

    Seriously, I wonder what such people use for brains.

    I think it’s obvious.

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  36. Owen says:

    @Owen:After I stopped yelling, I realized I should have included some context quotes:

    As alleged in the complaint, between September 2016 and November 2016, in the lead up to the Nov. 8, 2016, U.S. Presidential Election, Mackey conspired with others to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages designed to encourage supporters of one of the presidential candidates (the “Candidate”) to “vote” via text message or social media, a legally invalid method of voting.

    On or about and before Election Day 2016, at least 4,900 unique telephone numbers texted “[Candidate’s first name]” or some derivative to the 59925 text number, which was used in multiple deceptive campaign images tweeted by the defendant and his co-conspirators.

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  37. CSK says:

    @Owen:
    Mackey is being defended by his fans as just a prankster who’s being persecuted by the communists in government bent on taking away our First Amendment rights.

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  38. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “The classic example is Star Trek. CBS had the rights to TV, Paramount had the rights to movies.”

    Well… not really. Star Trek (along with Mission: Impossible and Mannix) has been entirely owned by Paramount since original producer Desilu was sold to Gulf + Western, which had recently acquired the studio. Desilu was transformed into Paramount Television, which produced and distributed all the Star Trek spin-off series from TNG through Enterprise. Paramount Pictures produced the films.

    And then in 2005 Viacom, which now owned both Paramount and CBS, split into two companies. In the deal, CBS ended up with all television production, and since they had no use for two separate TV production entities they absorbed all of Paramount’s TV assets into CBS Television Productions.

    In 2019, Viacom and CBS reunited to form one corporation again. And so the same corporate entity controls all rights to Star Trek, even though the new shows are produced by “CBS Productions” and whatever films eventually get made will be through Paramount…

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  39. wr says:

    @CSK: “I can only tell you that when I sold a book to the movies (to Paramount) that it was specifically for a theatrical release (i.e., a feature film). As far as I know, these are separate transactions.”

    Pretty sure that in previous days this was often the case, but now that they line between TV and movies keeps getting fainter and fainter, I’d bet that most rights deals are now all-encompassing.

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  40. CSK says:

    @wr:
    I’m sure you’re right about the line getting fainter and fainter.

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  41. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    Did you try asking her why Obama didn’t take away their guns?

    Because of the hard work of True Patriots who have been exposing that Sandy Hook was a false flag operation, obviously. These people are heroes, sacrificing their reputations to keep the pressure on, and work to expose the socialist plot.

    That sounds sarcastic, but it’s what they believe.

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  42. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:
    The Boston Marathon bombing was supposed to have been a false flag operation, too. That quaint notion was proposed by a “reporter” from Infowars the day the bombing happened.

    I don’t know how these people can live with themselves.

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  43. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    Some evidence would be nice.

    At the height of the AIDS pandemic, before there were any effective treatments, there was a conspiracy theory going around, among many others, to the effect that HIV did not cause AIDS. Now, it’s perfectly reasonable to suppose a new virus is unrelated to a new disease, even if all people afflicted with the disease carry the virus. It might be just an opportunistic infection, after all.

    But when you research the things, and find HIV infects T-cells, and this results in immunocompromised patients, and then you develop drugs to hinder the virus and the patients actually get better, well, the evidence of cause and effect is very strong. Especially when those who keep denying HIV causes AIDS present no alternative mechanism for why the immune system is compromised.

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  44. CSK says:

    Per the Daily Beast, a 71-year-old MAGAman, Dennis Westover, has been arrested outside the Capitol Building. He was armed with a gun (9mm. Sig Sauer) and 20 rounds of ammunition.

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  45. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Film and TV rights are bundled together in my experience – at the level of book-to-producer. Live theater, theme park rides, etc… are broken out separately.

    I think the disputes arising from the death of movie theaters and pushing everything out via streaming has to do with producer-studio contracts.

    My wife’s ONE AND ONLY IVAN went streaming, but we weren’t in for any back end aside from merchandise*, so basically irrelevant to us. If anyone at the book end got hurt it was her publisher because they paid Katherine for sequel books at a point where they thought IVAN would go to theaters.

    *My wife one of the very, very few book people to get a merch deal with Disney. Her negotiating technique is: I don’t actually want a movie, convince me otherwise. We’re big on walking away. It’s such a power move because Hollywood cannot get its head around the idea of anyone just saying, ‘nah, keep the money, we’re outta here.’

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  46. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    That was the technique I used. You’re absolutely right about Hollywood not being able to conceive of someone who’d just walk away from them.

    I got what I wanted.

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  47. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    I’m starting to see that one of the big differences between book writers and Hollywood writers is that they are, by and large, employees. They live within a hierarchy they are not in a position to ignore. Book authors are independent businesspeople. Had a run-in with a producer who told me that I could not speak with a writer he was thinking of hiring unless there was a producer on the call with us. He actually thought I’d obey. Like I was his employee.

    One of the great lessons of growing up as an Army brat was realizing that I was untethered by geography. And one of the great lessons of being a sociopath was that I was also untethered by relationships. Screw you guys, I’m going home, in the words of the great philosopher, Eric Cartman.

    My wife walked out of a restaurant in Annapolis mid-shift with the (admittedly) unoriginal line, ‘take this job and shove it up your ass.’ I quit a restaurant in Alexandria, VA by handing my tickets to another waiter and saying, ‘bye!’ Three different people told me, ‘you can’t do that!’ Oh? And yet there’s the door, and here’s me walking through it.

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  48. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I once had lunch with one of the three screenwriters I’ve known. I asked him how he was treated. He mimed balling up a piece of paper and tossing it aside.

    I have known a few book writers who went absolutely gaga when their books were optioned. Most of them learned pretty quickly thereafter.

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  49. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Mister Bluster: I have a different take on your conversation. My take is that there are some people who find espousing ridiculous positions to be preferable than ceding any ground to their political opponents in a debate.

    In some sense, admitting that Sandy Hook happened, to them, might be the same as admitting that we need gun control. Therefore it never happened. That might be simply rhetorical, or it might be cognitive. It is less indicative of general intelligence than you might think. (Orly Taitz is a very intelligent person – she often is wrong in a way that only a very smart person can be wrong).

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  50. DrDaveT says:

    @wr: Thanks. That was shockingly comprehensible.

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  51. MarkedMan says:

    Thanks to all who answered about the option rights for various works. I’ve been sharing them with my daughter, who is a year into her first job in the industry. Video production for a NYC based streaming site. Two changes in ownership structure since she started and lot of personal changes. From what I can glean from the periphery, she’s made it through them mostly on the basis of The First Sorting: Who talks a good game vs. Who actually gets their work done well and on time. (Oh, the work that she put into their Quibi series…) And she seems to be sticking up for herself, going in to ask for a raise and promotion and not accepting vague assurances, so that’s reassuring to me as her father. The hard part is she doesn’t know what “normal” is, or what levers there are to work because she’s new and to some extent that part of the industry is too.

    The rights conversation was just peripheral but I think she appreciates any actual experience about anything in the industry, especially from people who have been around.

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  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Of course, it is possible that Tarrio was too baked to remember any of it. 😉

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  53. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    IMO, Occam’s razor says he’s far more likely to be lying.

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  54. Sleeping Dog says:

    Got word that my brother received his first vaccine shot today.

    Yes I did. In was all run by the (NH edit) National Guard, they had their shit together. My appointment was at 1:20 and I had my shot by 1:24

    Well, that’s efficient. I don’t believe that I’ve ever had a medical appointment that didn’t start at least 15 minutes late.

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  55. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: ” That was shockingly comprehensible.”

    Once in a rare while…

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: What you are describing is exactly what makes the crisis actors so heinous in the minds of the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the wing nut right. Those emergency workers and such are the unwitting dupes of a bunch of people who care no more about their own lives or the lives of others that they will slaughter themselves to destroy the rights of loyal “Murkuns” like Ms. Greene.

    They’re no better than terrorists. (And yes, I do know that the preceding sentence has a dangling pronoun as the subject did leave it uncorrected deliberately. 😐 )

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  57. Kathy says:

    @Kathy:

    More on the matter of social media and misinformation. There are laws that cover false advertising. Mostly these are preventive, easily satisfied with mere desistance, largely civil in nature, and largely bereft of teeth other than fines (or lawsuits for damages, but those involve private parties rather than government).

    Given too that securing elections from malicious interference is very desirable, if not popular with a party I’ll not make (it rhymes with trumpublican), and given false advertising is already codified in law, why not continue along that line and pass a law making electoral misinformation a criminal matter?

    It would be tricky if applied to all speech. One can easily share something false out of ignorance, after all. But it could be applied to advertising. TV and social media ads are integral to political campaigns. now they’d have to be truthful. For instance, a certain Mr. Hawley could not be able to claim a stolen election. State legislators advocating for voter suppression laws under the guise of preventing fraud could do so, but could not advertise this in campaigns or in efforts to build popular support for their position.

    One means used in 2016 was social media groups, often targeted at likely Clinton voters, rife with falsehoods and misinformation. Those are not ads per se, and covering such groups under campaign finance laws would be problematic. Sure, they benefit one candidate or party, but among honest groups that’s not the intent. For example groups opposing personhood laws or initiatives, which would effectively outlaw abortion; or another recent example, groups advocating for marriage equality.

    So that’s one big outstanding problem right there.

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  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “…–it’s just stock value, not actual money.”

    Of course, that summation depends on who sells what and when, but it is reasonable to assume that most shareholders will sell to late to really cash in. A sort of Bernard Baruch “the secret of my success is that I didn’t know when to sell” [as in left a bunch of money on the table by being pretty much all in cash by the time of the crash and for some time before it].

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  59. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    And Ms. Greene isn’t bothered by the fact that plots like these involve literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people, all of whose lips are sealed forever?

    FFS, all the stupid bitch has to do is look at all the MAGAs who are frantically ratting each other out over the January 6 riot.

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  60. flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @Kathy:

    Another real possibility is that, if he’s an able leader, you rat him out so that his people think (using that term loosely) he’s a snitch. In addition to taking away his ability to lead “his peepul,” you have the bonus points from the fact that he’ll get shanked in general population within a few months of his incarceration.

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  61. Mu Yixiao says:

    Cloris Leachman dead at 94 (natural causes).

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  62. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I was referring to the “The owners are now billionaires” angle of the OP. The only way that they get that money is selling the entire company–which isn’t going to happen. They can’t even leverage against the stock value because everyone knows it’s going to nose-dive pretty soon.

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  63. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    It would be tricky if applied to all speech.

    I would like Democrats to push a law that says any public speech by a federal elected official shall be deemed to be made under oath — and thus subject to prosecution for perjury. If you’re not willing to sign up for that, the nation doesn’t need you. (It would also be hilarious to catalog the rationales the R’s would present for voting against it…)

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  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK:

    The median household income in Greene’s district is $56,150.

    This statistic raises and interesting conundrum. Specifically, that as an “unskilled blue collar worker” I was making close to that amount almost 40 years ago. Using my amazing Wiki-fu skills, reveals to me that Greene’s district is classified as suburban Chattanooga TN and exurban Hotlanta, GA. Zillow checking of one county–Whitfield–revealed that a typical house probably sells for a quarter of a million dollars with nicer ones going closer to $400-500 K. It may be that people qualify for mortgages of 300%+ loan to income these days; I dunno, but I do know that back when I bought the last house that I owned(~2003), I wouldn’t have.

    TL/DR: “The median household income in Greene’s district is $56,150” sounds like a decent income. It’s not Jack’s shirt. The people in her district are po white trash just as much in any rural community with no jobs and no future. They are, to riff off of Mel Brooks, the common clay of the South.

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  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: I’ve long held that the main way that I know that the Yeti and Sasquatch don’t exist is because NO ONE has the stuffed and mounted head of either in their den.

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  66. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I would like Democrats to push a law that says any public speech by a federal elected official shall be deemed to be made under oath — and thus subject to prosecution for perjury

    Can we also have a law that says any legislator that puts forth a blatantly unconstitutional law be removed from office for blatantly violating their oath of office?

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…

    Oh… wait… it appears their is one.

    18 U.S.C. 1918 provides penalties for violation of oath office described in 5 U.S.C. 7311 which include: (1) removal from office and; (2) confinement or a fine.

    Oh well.

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  67. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Keep in mind, too, that income distributions are typically quite skewed. If the median is $56k, a large fraction are below the poverty line.

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  68. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Well sure! Go with the uncomplicated answer. Easy for you!

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  69. Kathy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    (It would also be hilarious to catalog the rationales the R’s would present for voting against it…)

    I don’t know. one of the least funny parts of “Liar, Liar” is when Jim Carrey’s character tries to explain to his son why adults need to lie sometimes.

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  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yeah. I was looking at the other side of the equation and didn’t read the article. (Riffing off of what other people said was one of my specialties in high school Language Arts. [thumbs up emoji])

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  71. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Keep in mind, too, that income distributions are typically quite skewed. If the median is $56k, a large fraction are below the poverty line.

    I’ve never understood why “median” is the average used. It should be “mode” (with some reasonable mushing from a range into a single, round number).

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  72. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I have no idea why I’ve been following this story. Maybe it’s because I’m the “anti Ted Knight”. I aced algebra and regularly did geometry with feet, inches, and fractions. But put a dollar sign in front of a number and I’m somehow incapable of simple math.

    I have no idea how the stock market works, so this is all some sort of weird magic to me. All I know is that it’s not money. It’s just “numbers on a computer”.

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  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I’ve never understood why…

    I’ve always assumed it was associated with the whole “figures don’t lie, but liars figure” adage.

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  74. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’ve always assumed it was associated with the whole “figures don’t lie, but liars figure” adage.

    To which I reply:

    There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. 🙂

    Time to go watch a movie and get some sleep.

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  75. flat earth luddite says:

    On a major subject skew, risking Michael R’s blood pressure, filed under Oh, jeeze (sigh):

    Christian School Expels 8-Year-Old Girl Who Had a Crush on Another Girl
    Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos

    Actually, the headline’s not accurate… she said she liked her, not that she “liked” her.

    As usual, the link’s not included b/c when I include it, I am immediately sent to my corner, with no milk or cookies (for that matter, no scotch or cigars, but that’s another sob story)

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  76. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I’m sure no one knows how the stock market works, only how it’s supposed to work.

    All I know is that it’s not money. It’s just “numbers on a computer”.

    It can kind of be both.

    Suppose you buy 1 million shares of XYZ Airlines* at $1 each. tomorrow they are at $1.50. You sell them to me, I pay you $1.5 million. that’s cold hard electronic money in your account, which you could in theory exchange for hard currency (like Euros). You have to pay taxes on capital gains and there are transaction fees, but you still should get out with more real money than you bought in for.

    Next suppose the stock price of the same fake company goes back down to $1 per share and you buy another million shares. This time it climbs to $10 over the course of a week, let’s say. You own shares worth $10 million now. If you figured your “net worth,” that $10 million would figure in it. But suppose you decide to hold on to it, because you expect it to climb more. Next day, XYZ Airlines announces it’s going out of business and will be liquidated. The stock crashes to $0.01 per share, and you own now $10,000, which probably no one will buy from you. You write it off, and your net worth goes down $10 million at least.

    So you had a theoretical $10 million, but you never saw a penny of it. You also lost one real million.

    And that’s how I think the stock market works.

    * The name’s a play on the soon-to-be-late Interjet’s parent company ABC Aerolineas, S.A. de C.V. I don’t expect anyone to ever get it.

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  77. Kathy says:

    As to short-selling, I think it’s like playing the Don’t Pass Line bet in craps. essentially, you win when the Pass Line bet, which is far more popular, loses. This means a “wrong” bettor wins when most of the table loses. they’re not popular.

    it gets worse, because they can also place odds, same as Pass Line (“right”) bettors, and make Don’t Come bets as well (as opposed to Come bets the “right” way), and win a lot when a seven makes everyone lose a lot.

    So, they’re really not popular.

    Now, they don’t win the money off the other players. They win the casino’s money. So hating them is irrational and I know this (I even played “wrong” a few times). Just the same, when I spot one I give them the evil eye 🙂

    Short-sellers do win money off other investors. there’s no house money in the market. I assume they’re also really not popular. I consider that when I read works like “The Big Short.”

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  78. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  79. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I aced algebra and regularly did geometry with feet, inches, and fractions. But put a dollar sign in front of a number and I’m somehow incapable of simple math.

    I’ve been a math tutor for 20 years. I actually had a girl one time who could read a math problem and type the numbers and symbols in the calculator correctly, and had no idea what was happening.

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  80. Kathy says:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has some choice words for the Senator from Texas

    “I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there’s common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out.

    Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed.

    In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign.”

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  81. Kari Q says:

    I assume this has no chance of passing, but it’s startling to see how open Republicans are about rejecting democracy: Bill Would Allow Arizona Lawmakers to Override Vote

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  82. Teve says:

    Riffing off of what other people said was one of my specialties in high school Language Arts. [thumbs up emoji])

    Well at least you aren’t de stijl putting up 95 consecutive posts about some band.

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