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. Kathy says:

    I’m happy to report a rare outbreak of common sense. That family wedding scheduled for this Saturday, where one of the groom’s friends got COVID, has been postponed indefinitely.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today’s Rudy News:

    Rudy Giuliani, the staunch ally of Donald Trump who is facing a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit related to his attempts to undermine the US presidential elections, has embraced a new potential earning stream.

    Internet users, should they be inspired to do so, can now buy customized video messages from Giuliani, who has joined Cameo, a service that sells personalized videos recorded by celebrities.

    “Hi. It’s Rudy Giuliani and I’m on Cameo” Giuliani says in a video posted on his Cameo page on Tuesday.

    He goes on to say: “If there is an issue you want to discuss or a story you’d like to hear or share with me or a greeting that I can bring to someone that would bring happiness to their day, I would be delighted to do it. It can be arranged. We can talk through the magic of Cameo.”

    The price? That starts at $199 (£140).

    It’s gonna take a lot of talking to cover that $1.3 billion bill that’s headed his way.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Baylor escapes punishment around allegations of sexual assault

    The infractions committee for US college sports’ governing body, the NCAA, said on Wednesday that its years-long investigation into the Baylor sexual assault scandal would result in four years probation and other sanctions for rules surrounding recruitment and academic violations.

    However, the college will not be punished for allegations around sexual assault. Five years ago, a law firm hired by Baylor concluded that senior figures around the college’s football team had on occasion chosen “not to report sexual violence”. The NCAA investigation concluded on Wednesday that the “unacceptable” behavior at the heart of the case did not violate its rules.

    Boys will be boys.

  4. CSK says:

    And for the same low, low price, Sarah Palin will wish your aunt or grandpa a happy birthday.

    I’m surprised Trump hasn’t latched onto this, though apparently Donny Junior has.

  5. Kathy says:


    I don’t know. What if we started a GoFundMe to get Rudy to allocute to all his crimes involving the Orange Ass and election lies?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I’d contribute to that on the condition that if he doesn’t allocute the money goes to a worthy cause. Something like The Belly Button Lint Museum of America.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The latest addition to the “Some People Have Too Much Money” file: Slice of history: icing from Charles and Diana wedding cake sells for £1,850.

  8. wr says:

    Just watched the HBO documentary about Woodstock 99, and it’s remarkable — here are the roots of MAGA-world. It was a huge gathering of well-off young white men reveling in their entitlement and yet somehow filled with rage that would lead them to molest and rape women, loot, riot and burn — all in the name of fun.

    Watching, it’s hard not to hope that a lot of these guys ended up joining the military after 9/11 and getting blown up…

    Why are these guys so angry? What is driving them towards nihilism? Things were pretty good in the late ’90s, but these young men just wanted to burn it all down.

    And 20 years later, Trump gave them their chance.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Andy Slavitt Flag of United StatesSyringe

    If people who go out and buy fake vaccine cards get COVID, do they expect someone to put them on a real ventilator?

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Google employees could see their pay cut if they switched to working from home permanently in the wake of the pandemic, according to a company pay calculator seen by Reuters.

    It is an experiment taking place across Silicon Valley, which often sets trends for other large employers. Facebook and Twitter cut pay for remote employees who moved to less expensive areas. However, Google’s pay calculator tool – which allows staff to see the effects of a move – suggests remote employees, especially long-distance commuters, could experience pay cuts without moving.

    A Google spokesperson said: “Our compensation packages have always been determined by location, and we always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from,”, adding that pay will differ from city to city and state to state.

    Smaller companies including Reddit and Zillow have shifted to location-agnostic pay models, citing advantages when it comes to hiring, retention and diversity.

    One Google employee, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, typically commutes to the Seattle office from a nearby county and would likely see their pay cut by about 10% by working from home full-time, according to estimates by the company’s Work Location Tool launched in June.

    The employee was considering remote work but decided to keep going to the office – despite the two-hour commute. “It’s as high of a pay cut as I got for my most recent promotion. I didn’t do all that hard work to get promoted to then take a pay cut,” they said.

    In a globally warming world, they are going to penalize employees for not adding to it.

  11. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “In a globally warming world, they are going to penalize employees for not adding to it.”

    That guy is a fool. A 2-hour commute probable costs more than his 10%, assuming that he values his time. Hopefully Google will get burned by this.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Barry: My wife lost her job of 30+ years a few years ago. It was in STL, an hour each way, and I encouraged her to take job locally even if the pay was less. At our age, time is dwindling and you can’t buy more of it. A couple more years and she can retire for good.

  13. mattbernius says:


    Just watched the HBO documentary about Woodstock 99, and it’s remarkable — here are the roots of MAGA-world. It was a huge gathering of well-off young white men reveling in their entitlement and yet somehow filled with rage that would lead them to molest and rape women, loot, riot and burn — all in the name of fun.

    I’ve heard that documentary (and another one on Woodstock ’99) was out. I cannot bring myself to watch either as I was there when Woodstock burned. I worked that shit-show for Kodak (who had a spot in the “Media Technology” tent. The entire thing was such a train wreck. While it started out kinda fun, it was clear that the organizers had no idea what they were doing and each day things just went further and further downhill.

    One of the days they had to shut down the tent we were in because people were using one of its exterior corners for piss-breaks (it was near one of the stages and there were not enough porta johns. Anyway, the tent didn’t have a floor, so all the urine was running under it and into the astro-turf carpet that we were all set up on.

    Good times.

    Oh, also, I just caught up on the the thread from yesterday and I think everyone missed the biggest revelation:

    I have to admit I suddenly remember an episode of The Highwayman in which creator Glen Larson demanded I have a bunch of Native Americans “on the warpath.”

    Wait. What?! Is that the “The Highwayman”? As in the bizarre NBC show from late 1980’s that was some type of weird sci-fi show set in a kinda Mad Max world where quasi-government agents in super trucks patrolled the west and occasionally went back in time that lasted for like half a season? That “The Highwayman?!”

    For years I seriously thought I had made up that show in a fever dream.

  14. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “For years I seriously thought I had made up that show in a fever dream.”

    I wish you had!

  15. Teve says:
  16. KM says:


    Why are these guys so angry? What is driving them towards nihilism? Things were pretty good in the late ’90s, but these young men just wanted to burn it all down.

    The fact that things were relatively good all-around *WAS* the problem. There will always be a certain type of person who demands conflict, chaos and pain in the world, especially if they can just observe or inflict it instead of suffering it firsthand. In hard times, you don’t have the luxury to be cruel as you’re trying to survive and the world’s generally terrible enough you get your kicks vicariously. You don’t really see social progress during those periods and it might even regress from what was achieved. These people believe in a natural hierarchy where we’re all minnows and they’re the sharks. If they’re still swimming against the current to what they think is their natural hunting ground, the bloodlust is aimed at getting to the top. Too busy to be really dangerous since they focused on why they’re “unfairly” being kept at the bottom. Once they get there however, the only way to satisfy that anger is to take it out on the minnows knowing they can’t or won’t retaliate. That’s what they think sharks are supposed to do that after all – now that they’ve got money and freedom, it’s time to hunt with impunity because they can. The same disaffected loser when poor needs to work to eat and just rage online – give him a millionaire daddy and suddenly he’s out there living the dream of wrecking the social order that offends him so.

  17. Teve says:

    The Best Time-Management Advice Is Depressing But Liberating

    You can make time for things that matter, or you can make time for more email.

    By Joe Pinsker

    I turned my notifications off on my phone and tablet. I’ll see that email when I see it, I’m sure I’ll check it eventually. Same with Facebook and Twitter and iMessage and Instagram. What I’m not going to do is be electronically nudged 700 times a day.

  18. sam says:

    Scorcese was an assistant director and editor on the original Woodstock film.

  19. CSK says:

    Someone compared Woodstock 1999 to January 6, 2021.

  20. Teve says:


    HUNTER BIDEN SCANDAL: Hunter Biden is on tape complaining about his laptop being stolen. TONIGHT on “Hannity” we’ll show you the video and bring you expert legal analysis from @GreggJarrett.

    20:05 8/11/21

  21. Sleeping Dog says:


    It is bizarre that the conservative reactionary press is still obsessing about Hunter. Beyond the fact that there is nothing there, no one cares.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: What I’m not going to do is be electronically nudged 700 times a day.

    Say WHAT???? You’re not a dog on a leash??? My wife gets pissed at me cause I forget my phone at home regularly. My friends and sons just figure getting hold of me is a crap shoot and goes with the territory. I don’t understand why my wife thinks she should be the exception to the rule.

    s// on that last sentence, but I yams what I yams.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wait. I thought that employers were going to raise peoples’ wages in response to the savings for the company in overhead costs from not having to provide workspace, computers, telephone systems, and the lot. It was going to happen when employers passed the savings from not having to provide health insurance on. Kind of a giant balloon payment.

  24. CSK says:

    There’s a very interesting story in Vanity Fair entitled “All Roads Lead to Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Fury and Fantasy of Donald Trump’s Florida” by Joe Hagan.

  25. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: the breaking point for me was one day when i was reading an article and got interrupted by a Twitter alert, and switched to that, and before i could read that, got interrupted with an Instagram message, and just said, ‘Nope to AAAAAALLLLLL This.’

    Some computer technologies we’ve developed lately are the greatest things in the world, but you have to be conscious of how they affect you and not let them take the lead. And it’s hard, because a few psychopaths like Zuckerburp with essentially unlimited resources hire the smartest PhDs in the world to figure out how to get the upper hand on you.

  26. Teve says:

    @CSK: that issue has a strange photo of Sean Combs on the cover. It’s currently on my passenger seat.

  27. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog: The whole Hunter thing is something that has baffled me to some degree. Say what you will about the right-wing smear industry, it’s usually effective at creating narratives. The Swift-boating of John Kerry, Obamacare death panels, Hillary’s emails, etc., etc.–these all reflected a good understanding of how propaganda works, how to tell stories in order to manipulate public opinion.

    Hunter’s laptop is different. As big of a political junkie as I am, I admit I’d have a hard time telling you what the claim even is, much less how it implicates Daddy Biden. Just listening to a right-winger yammer about it makes my eyes glaze over. And I doubt I’m alone in this reaction. Of course the right-wing audience eats it all up, every single word–it’s outrage porn that keeps them going. You might argue that that’s its entire purpose, but I don’t buy it. The purveyors have wanted the rest of the country to care. They’re just being totally inept at it because they’re pushing a story that literally no one else cares about or can even make sense of.

    Lord knows the right tends to be better at messaging than the left, but they still have serious weaknesses where they get so lost in their own obsessions they lack awareness of when it’s no longer working. And “Hunter’s laptop” may be the point where they finally at long last jumped the shark.

  28. CSK says:

    I just read it online. Hagan is describing what seems like another world: very bizarre and unsettling.

    And…Donald Trump issued a statement yesterday in which he appeared to threaten the life of the cop who shot Ashli Babbitt: “We know who he is.”

    I bolded that because I think the comment deserves attention.

  29. Jax says:
  30. Jen says:


    What I’m not going to do is be electronically nudged 700 times a day.

    This has become an enormous problem for me. I’m a freelancer, but am on a number of different “teams” for clients, which means that I have upwards of 7 email addresses. It is becoming very, very distracting for me to have emails pouring in, most of them totally unnecessary for me, along with all of the texts.

    I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do about it, but I literally wasted more than 3 hours yesterday getting pinged by ONE client.

  31. CSK says:

    Horrifying. Nauseating. I feel so sorry for the children’s mother. She must be deranged with grief.

  32. wr says:

    @CSK: “Someone compared Woodstock 1999 to January 6, 2021.”

    They don’t explicitly draw that comparison in the film, but they make it pretty clear…

  33. Teve says:

    @Jen: yikes. I wish i had a good solution to give you but I don’t. I’ve only been able to get away with it because I’ve had jobs with an amount of time-insensitivity. That Tempur-pedic LuxeAdapt is gonna get here when it gets here, no frantic emails will change that. I have an interview in 55 minutes at the CBD store across the street. Stressed-out urgent emails are not likely to be a part of that job, either. 😀

  34. CSK says:

    It seems obvious from what I saw of the film and of Jan. 6.

  35. CSK says:

    Well, here’s a surprise. The cyber experts Mike Lindell hired to prove that China hacked the 2020 election say Lindell’s “evidence” is illegitimate. Lindell claims it is irrefutable.

  36. Barry says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “It is bizarre that the conservative reactionary press is still obsessing about Hunter. Beyond the fact that there is nothing there, no one cares.”

    Javanka admitted to ‘acquiring’ from $170 to $300 *million* in a few WH years.

    It is always Freudian projection on the right.

  37. charon says:

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he would sign an executive order to give parents the right to ignore any COVID-19 school mask mandates such as the one in Broward County.

    DeSantis said the Parents Bill of Rights he signed into law last month gives him the authority to issue an emergency rule “protecting the rights of parents to make this decision about wearing masks for their for their children.”

    At an event before a largely maskless crowd at a restaurant in Cape Coral, DeSantis vowed he would not change his COVID-19 policies despite the skyrocketing number of cases and hospitalizations in the state due to the rising prevalence of the highly infectious delta variant.

    “If you listen to some of the stuff that’s being percolated around the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there’s a movement to try to impose more restrictions on the American people,” DeSantis said. “And I just want to say in Florida, there will be no lockdowns. There will be no school closures. There will be no restrictions or mandates in the state of Florida.”

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: As close as I can tell, Hunter Biden’s laptop is the merger of what happens when you combine Al Capone’s business ledgers with his “secret treasure vault.”

  39. Sleeping Dog says:


    That’s how I think about it. Before the election it made sense, create a fake scandal around Joe, using FUD. The most damning revelations that Hunter tried leveraging Joe for biz, by attempting to set up meetings or Joe met someone at a party and the shook hands, all took place when Joe was a private citizen and not even a candidate. Voters are pretty inured to relatives trying to leverage office holders and need real evidence of culpability to get interested.

    But after 4 years of the Trump family, it will take a lot of evidence.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Hope your interview went well. (I’ll assume that you won’t see this immediately. 😛 )

  41. CSK says:

    @Kylopod: @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It seems to be the porn that’s allegedly on the laptop that’s obsessing them.

  42. KM says:

    The whole point is “see, Biden’s kids do Bad Things! It must mean Biden is Bad and thus you can’t use any of the Trump family crimes against Donald you hypocrite!” Remember, brand is everything to this people and they have no problems tossing out those who would reflect badly on them in their eyes. A son’s sins are his father’s failure (failed to be a man and raise him right) so anything they can pin on Hunter false or not is an attack on Joe. Reversely, this is why the Trumps got away with everything in GQP world since anything bad they did would be a reflecting on His Orangeness and we can’t have THAT! It’s all fake news or no big deal or just plain doesn’t exist – only the Enemy and his spawn can collectively or transitively sin, the Emperor and his heirs are spotless.

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I have to admit that the fact that Pillow Guy wasn’t able to acquire the kind of for hire testimony that he needs is interesting. I would have thought that Giuliani and Powell and the others knew those people and would have passed the info on. I can understand them not using it themselves–all that suborning perjury and getting disbarred and stuff, but I would have expected them to cat’s paw PG.

  44. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Apparently Steve Bannon is very, very mad at Lindell for failing to produce the goods.

    As for Lindell, he’s so far gone in his insanity that he’s become a pathetic figure

  45. Stormy Dragon says:


    An important thing to remember: the phone is there for your convenience, not the caller’s.

    One cultural norm I see among zoomed that I very much like is that it’s considered rude to call someone without texting to ask if it’s okay first, because just calling implies that you expect the other person to immediately drop whatever they were doing because you want to say something RIGHT NOW

  46. Teve says:
  47. Gustopher says:


    That guy is a fool. A 2-hour commute probable costs more than his 10%, assuming that he values his time.

    A PO Box is pretty cheap…

  48. Gustopher says:

    @Jen: Can you schedule “check messages” breaks, and then turn off all notifications? Maybe once per hour, so you’re still semi-responsive, but have some time to actually get things done?

  49. qtip says:


    Pay is based on the cost of LABOR in your region, not the cost of LIVING.

    If you move to a different region, your pay might go up or it might go down.

    This has always been the way it is in big tech – there’s no “work from home” penalty despite the way all these news stories are framing the situation. At worst, it’s a case of an old policy that needs to be updated for a work-from-home world.

  50. DrDaveT says:


    However, the college will not be punished for allegations around sexual assault.

    Because sexual assault is just part of being an athlete, but recruiting violations are serious and must be punished.

  51. Erik says:

    Re: email management, notifications, etc. Recommend you check out Cal Newport. He has a bit of a “productivity guru” cult following similar to David Allen of getting things done, but his stuff tends to be a quick read and it isn’t hard to skim for the actually useful nuggets. A world without email would be a reasonable place to start for thoughts on how to control your notifications

  52. Jen says:

    @Gustopher: It’s looking like that’s what I am going to have to do, some method of blocking off time and closing email. My productivity is slipping and I really, really don’t have time for that!

    One of the biggest mistakes was handing over my cell number. A lot of clients just default to texting if they don’t get the response within the window they deem appropriate. So it’s either the email, or the ping, ping, ping on the texts.

  53. Mister Bluster says:

    @Gustopher:..A PO Box is pretty cheap

    The 6 month rate for the size 1-XS (xtra small) box that I have been renting for several years increased this year from $59 to $73/6 months. No discount for paying for 12 months. By far the biggest increase since I have had a PO Box. When I started using a PO Box 5 (?) years ago the rate was about half that.
    They did finally replace the old automatic doors to the building that were supposed to swing open when a customer was detected approaching the entrance. More than once I saw some poor sap with two handfulls of packages crash into a closed door when they were expecting it to open in front of them. It got so bad that entrance and exit doors would be propped open no matter the outside weather or time of day.
    The new doors are straight out of Star Trek and the 22nd Century. When a customer approaches, two postal workers, one on each side quickly pull the sliding glass doors open and just as quickly push them shut once the Postal Patron has entered the building.

  54. CSK says:

    Mike Lindell is having a really bad week:
    1. His hired cyber-security guy tells him there’s no evidence China hacked the election.
    2. His symposium is being held in a mostly empty room.
    3. A judge ruled the Dominion lawsuit can go forward.
    4. Following the judge’s decision, Lindell rushed off the stage he vowed not to leave for 3 days, went to his hotel, and claimed he was “attacked.”
    5. The Sioux Falls cops say this attack is news to them. Lindell didn’t report it. Perhaps by “attack,” he means someone yelled “you’re an idiot” at him.

    I don’t see how even the most dedicated Trumpkin can still be paying attention to this demented fool.

  55. EddieInCA says:


    I get between 100-300 emails per day (M-F. Less on the weekends), not counting the additional 200 emals on Monday and Tuesday due to payroll approvals.
    I get between 200-400 texts per day, depending on how the shooting day is going.
    I get between 40-60 telephone calls per day.

    Some days, I just turn the phone off, literally, for a few hours, just for the break.

  56. Bob@Youngstown says:


    DeSantis said. “And I just want to say in Florida, there will be no lockdowns. There will be no school closures. There will be no restrictions or mandates in the state of Florida.”

    Under my orders we will replace these things with death, hospitalizations, and a crippled tourist economy.

  57. liberal capitalist says:

    wow… this quite is a verbose group… 50+ comments in already.

    OK… this is the thing that just chaps my ass… As I’ve communicated, I am a proponent of EV’s.

    While EV’s may not be the answer to all the ills of global warming, in the long run they pollute less, and cost the consumer less. And while some may want to ague the point, industry studies show it makes sense. And that is why the automotive industry is doing a MASSIVE shift to EV powered vehicles. HOWEVER: that is not what I am hear to discuss.

    I am here to vent about GOP Senator Fischer of Nebraska.

    Sen Fischer has decided that Biden’s plan for EV rebates was not to her liking. So she decided that EV rebates should only go to:

    1) Those making $100K or less, and
    2) only on cars that cost less than $40K in price.

    Now realize that the tax credit is not a flat out rebate… it’s a credit against taxes PAID. So that means that folks who earn $50K or less likely do not pay federal taxes… so they are screwed. No socialism for you!

    Folks that make more than $100K – the middle class – are effectively shut out. No assistance for you either.

    AND the part that REALLY pisses me off: the only EV’s that would qualify today are IMPORTS: KIA or MINI.

    Chevy would qualify the Bolt by price, but they have gone over the unit allocation. so they are screwed.

    And with all the New EV Pickup truck becoming available this year, well, just screw the farmers that could save some money as well.

    So, fucking over US autoworkers and the middle class. Nice win for the GOP.

    Her logic was that the “rich” did not need rebates to buy expensive cars that Americans could not afford. Fuck the fact that we need to breath.

    Huge win for her from a messaging perspective, AND more money for her pockets from the ethanol and oil & gas lobbyists.

    And it passed 51-49… so fuck Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mark Kelly of Arizona and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. The GOP in Dem clothing.

    So much for rapid adoption and carbon reduction.

    Huge win for global warming continuation as well. Just a massive step backwards.

  58. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA: i have no idea how you function like that.

  59. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: Ugh, that sounds awful. 🙁 I’d lose my mind.

    I’m not anywhere near that level of texts/emails, but having multiple clients and many email addresses is definitely an issue. I’m reluctant to combine anything (like a common email reader), having heard horror stories about people responding from incorrect accounts. It’s more of a toll on my focus at this point.

    I’ll figure it out, but yesterday was…challenging.

  60. Mu Yixiao says:

    @liberal capitalist:

    So that means that folks who earn $50K or less likely do not pay federal taxes

    Umm… What? I can tell you that I make less than $50k, and I absolutely pay federal taxes.

  61. CSK says:

    In a press conference yesterday, a reporter asked Kathy Hochul if she would pardon Cuomo if he were convicted of criminal charges. Hochul replied that “it is far too premature to have these discussions.”

    Hmm. Call me overly suspicious, but I wonder if Cuomo cut a deal with Hochul: He would step down, if she promised to pardon him.

  62. CSK says:

    Man, the MAGAS just can’t trust anyone anymore. Dan Crenshaw told a gathering in Chicago that there was no election fraud in 2020.

    The screams of outrage and betrayal from the Trumpkins are deafening.

  63. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: She’d be just killing her (already shaky) chances of winning the 2022 Democratic primary.

  64. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: What, no walkie?

  65. Barry says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: in term of paid liars, those guys might have looked at Dominion’s lawsuits and the disciplinary proceedings against Rudy, Lin Wood et al., and decided on discretion.

    Not to mention whether they’d get paid.

  66. KM says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    One of the hardest things I’ve had to get the older generation to understand in the Zoom era is that if the landline (yes, they still have one) rings, you take the portable phone out of the room and *then* answer the call. It’s portable for a reason – YOU need to take the call elsewhere as you are the one about to have a conversation and no, you can’t ask me to mute my meeting or even turn down the background TV/music as it’s “too loud to hear over”. If it’s so important you must answer immediately and chat instead of calling back, then it’s important enough to respect others and go somewhere you won’t bother them with your discussion. I’ve been told repeatedly that “fooling around the computer” isn’t as important as a phone call and that a Zoom or Teams meeting doesn’t count even if they can hear other people talking. If it’s not from a phone, it’s not a real call and they have to immediately respond to the ring like Pavlov or else it’s rude, voicemail being one of the most insulting things ever know to man apparently.

  67. Sleeping Dog says:


    By the time Cuomo is convicted, Hochul may no longer be Gov as the next election is in 22. But there is nothing in a pardon for her as it would end up as political suicide.

  68. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Gatsby Curve, we have met the enemy and he is us.

  69. Scott says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @KM: One of the things I worked to instill in the family early is that the phone does not have to be answered. Especially during dinner time. That is why we have answering machines. It took effort to disable the Pavlovian response in the family to jump up at hearing a ring.

    I think it was Miss Manners who said that you can treat the phone as your electronic butler to control who can enter your house.’

    Personally, I never answer a phone if I don’t recognize the number.

  70. liberal capitalist says:
  71. liberal capitalist says:

    Oh… and FICA (*Medicare & Soc Sec) are part of the whole American socialism thing and not specifically a tax. so that part is not part of the “no tax” thing.

    Seriously… if you are paying actual tax at that level, you are doing your taxes wrong.

  72. Gustopher says:


    I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do about it, but I literally wasted more than 3 hours yesterday getting pinged by ONE client.

    If you’re not billing them for three hours, they are taking advantage of you. Ok, not all work is billable hours, but you might be able to cut it off with “you have a lot more questions that we can do by text, should we set up a meeting?”

  73. Gustopher says:

    Pay is based on the cost of LABOR in your region, not the cost of LIVING.

    Sure, but in tech right now, the big problem is finding good people.

    There’s going to be some rebalancing of wages, as if you’re not in the office, you’re competing with everyone across your time zone, but cutting people’s pay pisses the off, and pissed off employees leave, and… the big problem in tech these days is finding good people.

    Seems not smart to try to cut wages when there are a lot of other opportunities out there. That’s a recession/high-unemployment move.

  74. Teve says:
  75. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @liberal capitalist:

    Seriously… if you are paying actual tax at that level, you are doing your taxes wrong.

    That’s overstating things a bit. For one thing, the number of standard exemptions is simply based on number of dependents, primarily children (but also potentially a spouse). So if you are single with no kids it’s very possible to make 50k and still have to pay FIT. And that’s just the basic deduction, before you get into specific child tax credits and the like.

    Yes, the way the right overstates our tax burden in the US is infuriating. And especially the way they deliberately confuse FIT and FICA in their demagoguery about how many Americans don’t pay taxes. But its not actually true that if you make 75k or less you should pay no FIT at all. The average family shouldn’t, but specifics will vary.

  76. Mu Yixiao says:

    @liberal capitalist:

    And when you file your taxes, do you get most of it back?

    I get some back, but I wouldn’t say “most of it”.

    I am single with no kids. It’s standard deduction for me. And I assume you’re ignoring FICA and Medicare (those are tax dollars I pay to the federal government, so… I tend to consider that “taxes I’m paying”.)

  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I thought he was a pathetic figure from the beginning, but maybe I’m to jaundiced toward my fellow human.

  78. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I have a friend who practices that. From my perspective, it’s really annoying. As far as the presumption aspect of the issue goes, I remember a story from my produce warehouse days.

    Senior management wanted key supervisory personnel to carry pagers with them. The branch/division manager of Seattle declined to accept a pager citing the fact that for the past 30-some years he had always been available when ANYONE called.

    When challenged with “but what if you don’t answer your phone,” he replied “then you can assume that I don’t want to talk to you.” Problem solved.

  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Erik: What are these “notifications” people keep talking about? Whenever a site that I’ve visited asks “would you like to receive notifications,” I always just discard the dialogue box because I don’t know what their talking about. Am I missing out on something?

  80. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I had never heard of the guy, nor his much-vaunted pillows, till he appeared on the scene as one of Trump’s top fanatics.

  81. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Then why wouldn’t Hochul just say, “No. I won’t pardon Andrew Cuomo if he’s convicted of a crime.”

    Do you think she made a deal with him that if he stepped down, she’d pardon him?

  82. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: While I was teaching at two years and in Korea, it wasn’t unusual for me to open my computer to find 100 or so emails staring me in the face and waving their arms desperately seeking my attention. I got really good at email triage and could clear out a lot of junk simply from looking at the subject line and deleting the message without reading it at all. I’m sure Eddie in LA has many fewer triageable messages and I didn’t have the issue with texts, so his adaptation is “being unreachable.” (Whereas I’m unreachable simply because if my phone is across the room from me, I don’t get to it before it routes to voicemail–to the consternation of my friend who texts before calling.) People figure out how to adapt. We must. It’s in our genes according to evolutionary theory.

  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yeah, me too. Being single makes a difference though. Still, there are not many credits that I would be able to collect even if I qualified for them. (Maybe I should be hiring someone to do my taxes. I’ll ask my financial consultant next time I talk to him.)

  84. Teve says:

    The church is called Mercy Culture, and it is part of a growing Christian movement that is nondenominational, openly political and has become an engine of former president Donald Trump’s Republican Party. It includes some of the largest congregations in the nation, housed in the husks of old Baptist churches, former big-box stores and sprawling multimillion-dollar buildings with private security to direct traffic on Sundays. Its most successful leaders are considered apostles and prophets, including some with followings in the hundreds of thousands, publishing empires, TV shows, vast prayer networks, podcasts, spiritual academies, and branding in the form of T-shirts, bumper stickers and even flags. It is a world in which demons are real, miracles are real, and the ultimate mission is not just transforming individual lives but also turning civilization itself into their version of God’s Kingdom: one with two genders, no abortion, a free-market economy, Bible-based education, church-based social programs and laws such as the ones curtailing LGBTQ rights now moving through statehouses around the country.

  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “One of the hardest things I’ve had to get the older generation to understand in the Zoom era is that if the landline (yes, they still have one) rings, you take the portable phone out of the room and *then* answer the call.”

    Being a member of that generation, I’m really surprised by that. I don’t have a landline anymore–and never had a portable (wireless?) land-line phone–but if I had, my paranoia and desire to not have people listening in on me would have made me not want to stay in the same room even if I was rude enough to not care that I shouldn’t be holding the rest of you up.

  86. Kylopod says:


    one with two genders

    They want to mandate everyone speaks Spanish?

  87. Jen says:


    If you’re not billing them for three hours, they are taking advantage of you.

    Flat rate client, still fairly early in the relationship. It will all work out, it was just oddly frustrating–more so than usual. I think part of my problem is that it’s hot here and that makes me cranky. 😀

  88. JohnSF says:

    Where everyone can dine on le Big Mac

  89. KM says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Sorry, it’s a wireless phone but gotten used to her calling it a portable. The elder is question is fairly narcissistic chatter with boundary issues – she’s in her recliner and she ain’t moving so if that phone rings, she’s talking to whomever and that’s that. She’ll talk loudly over you and demand you be quiet since she’s “on the phone”. One family movie night, she took a call during the movie and yelled at us because we asked her to leave the room rather then pause it for an hour plus so she could chat with her friend. The rest of the old folks aren’t so bad but prioritizing the phone over anything else seems to be a generational thing and they would rather stay sitting as is then get up for privacy. “Playing on the computer” aka work from home is definitely not respected.

  90. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Not his fault.
    He’s just not gettin’ the backin’ from the Kraken.

    Comedy gold.
    (Forgive me, for IANAA)

  91. JohnSF says:

    @liberal capitalist:
    So, don’t just file your taxes.
    Saw them in half.

  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @liberal capitalist: Can’t speak for Mu, but in my case, no. Not only do I not get most of it back, but also, because a significant amount of my income is from return on investments and relatively low monthly wage intermittent employment, I usually need to pay significantly more that I could manage to have withheld. Additionally, as I noted before, being single puts me in higher tax brackets at significantly lower income levels compared to both married couples and families with 2 or more children. Not a complaint, simply being informative.

  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’d seen ads for the pillow. They usually show on cable/streaming venues such as Pluto, Comet, and Tubi. Bed, Bath, and Beyond sells a knockoff version of the pillow for about half of his price (with no shipping or handling either). As pillows go, it’s adequate. The big advantage I see is that I’ve used the pillow for about 3 or 4 years and it hasn’t gone flat like a polyester filled one will. (No feathers for me–allergies. 🙁 )

  94. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: No that would be French. In Spanish it would be either “el” or “la” (depending on whether gender shifts between languages–which I seem to recall that it does on some words).

  95. Teve says:

    FWIW it would be Il Big Mac in Italiano. I just discovered that my Italian is now barely good enough to read most of the McDonalds menu 😀

  96. Kurtz says:


    But long before Trump, Florida had transformed the modern right, starting with the wrenching battle royale over hanging chads in the 2000 election, the media spectacle that broke the spirit of the previous political age. This was the dawn of Fox News, the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Ann Coulter, a loud and belligerent new breed of media pugilists that Beltway observers—old media—used to call “the Freak Show” until the freaks multiplied and the term lost all meaning.

    Every once in a while, something is written that hits a home run on a check swing.

    Epitome of microcosm, this is.

  97. CSK says:

    The only point I’d argue with there was that Limbaugh was broadcasting nationally in 1988, and had an audience if 5 million by 1990. So he was leading the Freak Show.

  98. Stormy Dragon says:


    FWIW it would be Il Big Mac in Italiano

    Flashback to the Father Guido Sarducci hamburger slideshow routine

  99. dazedandconfused says:

    The reason we are hearing about him now is he made millions selling his pillows on late night TV shows. That cash enabled his lawsuits and symposiums. The pillow itself is but a bag of chopped foam bits, nothing special at all about it, except the bullshit he heaps upon it.

    The ability to believe anything, anything at all, and fervently, makes a salesman that can sell ice to an Eskimo and make a damn fool of himself in the process.

  100. Teve says:
  101. Sleeping Dog says:


    TBH, I really haven’t paid much attention to L’affaire Cuomo beyond a couple of early stories and headlines. As gov of NY he falls outside my sphere of concern.

    To my way of thinking, there is no reason for Hochul to promise a pardon, if he doesn’t resign then he’ll be impeached, so the pressure is on him. Why didn’t she simply declare, I won’t pardon him? He’s not gone yet, why say or do anything that will piss him off and refuse to resign. Hochul wants this behind the state so that it can move forward.

  102. Sleeping Dog says:


    Dershowitz again, funny how that name comes up around pedophiles.

    Haven’t these R’s heard the warning, 16 will get you 20?

  103. Teve says:


    NEW COVID APPROACH: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rolled out a new state treatment plan to help fight COVID-19, announcing that the state will start dispensing monoclonal antibodies and the drug Regeneron through mobile clinics.

    That should be much cheaper and more effective than masks and free vaccines.

  104. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Federal taxes, yes. But I would be astounded if you paid $7500 in federal INCOME taxes on $50k. Much less $15k.

  105. Stormy Dragon says:


    GOP strategist Anton Lazarro arrested for underage sex trafficking

    Rule: anytime a Republican accuses a Democrat of anything, it should be treated as a confession

  106. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: I worked for H&R block for a few years. A single person taking the standard deduction, no kids, etc, making 50k on a w-2, is probably paying ~$4k in federal income tax.

  107. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao: According to Forbes, the tax rates on incomes of $50k or less, depending on status (e.g. head of household or not), are surprisingly high.

    So, 22% for the single individual making $50k, but 15% for Warren Buffet et al. who only have long-term capital gains… Sounds like social justice to me.