Steven L. Taylor
Thursday, February 3, 2022
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).
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Here in America we have bridges collapsing beneath our feet, while our Congress critters argue over not just how much we are willing to spend to fix them and how much we will need to borrow to pay for it, but whether we need to fix them at all.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos is paying out of pocket to dismantle and rebuild a 144 y.o. historic bridge just so he can have his own personal 127 meter long by 40 meter high mega-monstrosity that he will probably only use a few weeks every year.
I wonder how many Amazon packages were transported across the Fern Hollow Bridge.
Hmmmm… Engineering our immune systems…
Guess we won’t have to share this life saving treatment with all the anti-vaxers. Who knows what this treatment does to a person 30 or 40 years later.
Queue up the RW outrage machine. Who needs combat readiness when you have freedumb?
From where I sit, they’ve got nobody to blame but themselves. People are not likely to look kindly upon the seizure of Palestinian land in the occupied territories for the building of illegal Jewish settlements. It’s kind of black and white and real easy to see who’s the aggressor and who’s the victim.
Ummm, let’s see, they can start by not interfering in American politics.
Back at work after a week away.
We’ll see how it goes.
@OzarkHillbilly: Glad there’s no more messing around.
Here’s another one:
Officer faces court-martial for refusing mask mandate, COVID test
It is too bad we can’t do anything about far right politicians who go out of their way to undermine good order and discipline. Ship them to Russia with Tucker Carlson?
@Mu Yixiao: Fingers crossed.
There are three ways to prosecute Trump, and they could be accomplished as we speak:
Just got our 4 COVID antigen tests in the mail. That was pretty quick.
Several days I posted this….
in which I said…
I shorted the stock at $193. Current price, $163. And since I sold puts at a $200 strike price, I was able cover 1/2 the position this morning which returns to me my original outlay, so now I’m only have profits at play.
I’m sure there are some very nervous people at Spotify this morning. The company disappointed in their earning call, with growth forecasts lowered, and subscriber growth slowing.
I said it before. Spotify is on the wrong end of a 70-30 issue.
Break a leg.
@Scott: When did you order yours? I ordered mine when the site opened up a day early and still have no indication of when I will receive them. Meanwhile if Nextdoor is any indication there are a lot of people in my area who ordered them after I did and received them days ago.
@Mikey: Jan 19th. The brand is iHealth. Shipped from Topeka, KS. Hmmm. Made in China.
Yesterday I mentioned that Geoff Diehl, a Trumpkin who’s running fruitlessly for the governorship of Massachusetts, had hired Corey Lewandowski to be his senior campaign advisor.
Today, Trump, who had allegedly banished Lewandowski for making unwanted sexual overtures to the wife of one of Trump’s major donors, has assigned Lewandowski the task of taking out Chris Sununu, the Republican governor of New Hampshire, for insufficient fealty to Trump.
It’s at http://www.nhjournal.com . The web address won’t reproduce here.
California has a new law requiring people to compost rather than throw out food waste. This is the kind of irritating bullshit that makes people hate environmentalists. It will lead to more food waste going down the garbage disposal, so good news for algae I guess.
Climate change is a crisis. This has so small an effect you’d need to measure it in Planck lengths. Much irritation for no real effect on an actual crisis. And environmentalists wonder why so many people ignore them.
Ugh. My wife and I compost – not because of the law – but because we like using our own compost on our plants. But anyone who composts knows that you can’t compost all food waste. Some of it, left to compost, will become toxic.
It’s a stupid law, which most people will ignore. And rightly so.
Interestingly enough, one of the reasons I don’t mind mask wearing for Covid, is that I’ve spent many a weekend the past decade wearing an N95 mask while painting, sanding, plastering, woodworking, welding (under the welder’s mask), composting, gardening, etc. I suffer from allergies pretty badly, so I’ve been wearing masks long before Covid.
Me too, arrived an hour ago, following an email announcing they’d be here.
YMMV but as far as I’m concerned
@Mikey: We have yet to receive ours too.
Saw that as well, and noted that the NH Journal is published by the Inside Sources group that is a Koch adjacent news chain that operates through stringers for local new that is mostly produced out of DC. They have similar websites for most states. While the news stories are mostly factual, the headlines and structure of the article is slanted towards an R POV.
The attack on Sununu isn’t surprising as he is one of a number of younger R office holders that have held Trumpism at arms length. When TFG to passes from the scene, they’ll fight the battle over the future of the party. I don’t believe that Sununu need worry about an attack from the right. The RW effort to impeach him died quickly, never to be heard from again, as the principals moved on to the secession bill.
@gVOR08: I blame Dejoy.
What appalls me most is the presence of Lewandowski in any endeavor. I wonder what he said or did to get back in Trump’s good graces?
I compost all suitable waste; it’s brilliant for the garden.
But surely everyone knows that waste fats and meat scraps should never, ever be composted.
You might as well hang out an “All You Can Eat Buffet Here” sign for the local rat population.
Plus it makes the compost stink, and is not good for the plants.
In parts of many states–including California–the problem isn’t going to be rats, it’s going to be bears, coyotes, and raccoons. I think wolves prefer fresh kills, but if hungry enough add them to the list too.
@EddieInCA (and @MR above) : Korea composted food waste with rules for what would go into the regular trash. It was easy to regulate and paid for itself fairly simply–we bought bags to put our various trashes in at the local stores we shopped at. I found the food composting humorous. In one newspaper article I read, a local government reported that it had a 20 or so year supply of compost available for soil emendation and were wondering what to do with it.
I don’t know whether Californicationians should compost food waste or not. I suppose it depends on whether citizens who matter will be affected by climate change. As I noted from an article in The Atlantic that I commented on a while ago, the best guess is that climate change will affect developing countries more than developed ones and that this factor is one of the things that’s hindering global buy in for carbon reduction.
I’m glad that you find that wearing masks for gardening and such is not a burden. I wore masks for several years while I was acclimatizing to the environment of the produce warehouse I was working in and I always hated it. It worked, of course, but success did not make me more amenable. I sometimes joke that Covid-19 accomplished what 8 years of living in Korea was unable to do about wearing masks.
Given the number of grifters that orbit TFG and get on his sh$t list and then return to good graces, it seems that you must really need to piss him off. Supporting impeachment of course is a big one. Moscow Mitch’s refusal to kowtow to his every whim would be another. For Sununu it is that he was never a Trumper, except as lip service, found any excuse possible to avoid him when he came to NH and most importantly, refuses to support the lie.
Lewandowski and dozens of others, do something to piss him off, do a couple of months in trumpian purgatory before supplicating themselves to return to his good graces.
It’s still the case in NH that, if you are an R, you need the support of the Union Leader to achieve statewide or Congressional office. Lewandowski toyed with running against Shaheen and the nat’l RW press and trumpites jumped on board, but the UL pissed all over the idea and that was that.
Sununu has UL support locked up and that won’t change. Down deep the UL is likely more comfortable with establishment Dems like Shaheen and Hassan than they are with the populists on the trumpian right.
@OzarkHillbilly: This story seems to be a bit incomplete. There are stories about guys building an airplane or a boat in an attic or basement and realizing they couldn’t get it out. But there’s no way the shipyard didn’t know the height of that bridge. Did they cut a deal with the city early on and keep it quiet for gawd knows what reason? Did they just assume Bezos’ money would overcome all problems? Did they tell Bezos? Maybe they planned on assembling some of the top level stuff later, past the bridge, and realized it’d be cheaper to alter the bridge? Or maybe there’s a problem and the bridge doesn’t go up as far as it’s supposed to?
There’s a photo at your link. It’s an old lift bridge, a tower on each shore with a bridge structure between that’s lifted by winches in the towers. So removing the lifting section and re-installing it is probably a lot easier than it would be with a fixed bridge. It may even be how it was first assembled in 1878 and means are in place to detach the bridge section and lower it to a barge. The article notes it was repaired after WWII and refurbed in 2017. This may have involved removing and re-installing the bridge section. This may not be as big a deal as dismantling a bridge sounds like.
Thanks; that’s good information from you.
Lewandowski’s also been commissioned by Trump to find a MAGAesque challenger for Maggie Hassan.
@gVOR08: It seems to me–as a person who has lived in areas where crossing bridges is essential to life–that the question centers on how many days the bridge will be impassable. That and alternate routes.
As oft noted, he runs things like a Mafia don, or a two bit Medieval king. Everybody’s got their own hustle and he’s good with anything as long as they bow to him. No way to run a large, modern nation.
Can his voters not see this? Or do they think this is the way Obama and W operated? And Biden? (OK, there is an element of loyalty to the leader in any set of minions, but Jeez, not like TFG. Even W made some effort to govern the place.)
I don’t know if they see it, or they see it and it doesn’t matter to them–because they firmly believe that he’s on their side. Standing up for the little people. Standing up for the forgotten man. Standing up for THEM.
He’s their savior, despite the fact that he wouldn’t deign to enter one of their non-gilted-up hovels.
@Michael Reynolds: as I understand it, food waste is a problem because there’s so much of it, and because food waste decomposing in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas. So it’s a direct contributor to climate change.
I live in a city that does curbside food waste pickup (not required but you can save on your garbage bill if you do it), but only for house dwellers. For apartment dwellers, there used to be community compost bins. So I used to fill up a kitchen countertop compost urn and dump my food waste at one of the community bins once a week.
They got rid of the community bins when COVID started, and they haven’t brought them back, so I’ve gone back to throwing my food waste away. I used to generate one bag of garbage a week, and now I generate two. So my garbage output has doubled, all because of food waste.
Republican student activist takes an actual CRT course at law school:
Inside Mississippi’s only class on critical race theory
On a related note, one of the best non-major classes I took as an undergrad was PHIL 105: The Philosophy of Law, which did briefly touch on CRT
@Stormy Dragon: great article. I wish more people had this young woman’s integrity.
It did make me laugh that one of the complaints from Republican lawmakers is that CRT is “academic!”
That is funny, but to put the kindest possible interpretation on it, he probably meant “ivory tower, not real world.”
Still stupid, though.
@Michael Reynolds: a little more: food waste is considered the third largest contributor to greenhouse gases, so it’s hardly a small problem. It’s also a problem more easily tackled than other forms of greenhouse gases. So if you care about climate change, you should care about the food waste problem.
Where you do have a point is that household food waste is a fraction of the food waste produced by agriculture and food production.
@Monala: can’t edit, ugh. I looked up numbers: household food waste is about 1/4 of the problem, with agriculture and food production contributing the other 3/4.
@gVOR08: @CSK: I suspect that it’s more that they disagree that what you describe is “no way to run a large, modern nation.” Some of these people are “lock Congress in a room and don’t let them out until they solve X” types, after all. Are we that stupid (I’m counting myself in because I voted for Perot once)? Why yes, we are; thank you for noticing!
Anywhere you find people, you are liable to find rats. They are very well adapted to living with us.
@EddieInCA: I think community gardens would benefit from a community pig or two. They can eat waste unfit for composting. Take turns slopping the hogs and general care and a final send off pig roast when they die old fat and happy. Rinse repeat.
This idea makes me smile, anyway.
Well, they didn’t know how Trump would run “a large modern nation” before January 20, 2017, and they adored him before then, so it can’t be just disagreement on how to be president.
Although I agree they’d like to see Trump as dictator. But then, Woody Allen once lamented the fact that Obama couldn’t be a dictator (as did an acquaintance of mine), so the yearning for authoritarianism isn’t limited to one side.
There’s a certain personality type that wants to be told what to do. Or, more tellingly, figures he or she will somehow escape the strictures imposed on everyone else, and is perfectly happy to let others be subject to dictates.
@gVOR08: Having read 3 or 4 stories about this because I wanted to get a complete picture of it, I will answer a few of your questions
“But there’s no way the shipyard didn’t know the height of that bridge. Did they cut a deal with the city early on and keep it quiet for gawd knows what reason?” Yes and I really doubt it. Far more likely nobody thought much of it would be a big deal and whoever is responsible either forgot or just thought little promise they made back in 2017 to never fuck with it again didn’t really count. I have read of other such sticky situations. It’s not as uncommon as one might think.
Did they just assume Bezos’ money would overcome all problems? Assume nothing, they got it in writing.
Did they tell Bezos? Yes.
Maybe they planned on assembling some of the top level stuff later, past the bridge, and realized it’d be cheaper to alter the bridge? Or maybe there’s a problem and the bridge doesn’t go up as far as it’s supposed to? This was the plan from the beginning.
There’s a photo at your link. It’s an old lift bridge, a tower on each shore with a bridge structure between that’s lifted by winches in the towers. So removing the lifting section and re-installing it is probably a lot easier than it would be with a fixed bridge. It may even be how it was first assembled in 1878 and means are in place to detach the bridge section and lower it to a barge. No, it was originally a pivot bridge (the center section pivoted on a pier) but they had an issue with another boat coming out in 1918 and changed it’s design soon after (in the ’20s)
The article notes it was repaired after WWII and refurbed in 2017. This may have involved removing and re-installing the bridge section. This may not be as big a deal as dismantling a bridge sounds like. Aaaaaannnndd you missed my whole point. Let me repeat it for you:
There has been a trumpite in the race Bolduc, except few NH R professionals believe he has a snowballs chance. Since Sununu and Ayotte declined several crazed RW’s have jumped in. Party leadership is backing Chuck Morse and are pretty unhappy that Kevin Smith jumped in. Both are pretty mainstream R’s with Morse supposedly have Sununu’s favor, but not yet an endorsement.
Cook, Sabato and others now have this as leans Dem, when Sununu was the presumptive R candidate it was rated a toss-up.
Something in the Dems favor is the NH primary is in Sept, leaving a pretty short campaign season to heal party wounds if the primary is a bar brawl, which it could be. Particularly if TFG, sticks his nose in and endorses someone other than Morse or Smith. R’s in the current legislature tried moving the primary to August to protect against this problem, but the amendment died when Sununu announced his opposition.
As of today, 7 R’s have announced for the primary.
But that’s how Orban runs Hungary and the trumpkins love them some Victor and Putin runs Russia, ditto.
Again, good info. Thanks.
The builder had a plan, step the masts someplace else on the other side of the bridge. Problem was Jeff chose that inlet as the homeport of his toy.
Please? Let’s make this real…
I’ve been good. I’ll donate to some mountain lion charity that can start delivering them if someone can point me to one. I just want this. After the last few years, I think we all want this… no, we need this.
@OzarkHillbilly: Oh, definitely. But as far as “learning where an easy food source is” there’s competition, and rats may carry disease but an aggressive bear–or groups of aggressive bears–are a different scale entirely.
It’s precisely what happened in Grafton NH when the libertarians got rid of all of the local waste management laws. The bears loved the new buffet and it didn’t take long for them to get physically aggressive. One woman was attacked in her home.
@Stormy Dragon: “The best way to have an opinion about this class is literally to take it.”
Her first “mistake.”
“The party I associate with,” she concluded, “just doesn’t even know what the truth about this class is.”
The party you associate with chose a standard bearer who opined during his first run that he loved uneducated people for a reason. And share his view on that topic as well.
If she keeps going this way, she’ll end up not being able to be in the GQP anymore. That’s why her party is so upset.
@OzarkHillbilly: I remember getting told stories by some of my older university mates of the fun of sitting on the back porch of their living group and beaning rats in the alley across the way with a heavy-duty slingshot.
(Boston has honkin’ BIG rats was all they would say.)
I’ve seen some of them. They’re the size of small cats.
It’s not a greenhouse gas problem, as no matter where it rots or composts the net is the same to the planet. This is about saving space in land-fills.
Here in the Great Wet Northwest it boils down to an extra wheelie-bin for home owners, an extra dumpster for apartments. It is all hauled down to Auburn and composted in a massive piles, and those massive piles develop their own heat and something of a run-away composting cycle. It breaks down right quick.
They dole it out to farmers and sell it to top-soil providers.
@dazedandconfused: my understanding is that there is an additional problem with food waste in landfills, not just the space it takes up. Without the free flow of oxygen the way you have with a compost pile, the methane gas produced by rotting food builds up.
@just nutha: the article did say that her parents voted for Trump twice, and she voted for him once. Sounds like that process is already happening.
My steps today (including 15:00 on the treadmill at rehab) is half my daily average pre-heart attack. It’s also more than my last two days combined.
I got a lot of good info, input, and feedback today. When I was talking to my mother about all that’s going on, I mentioned how casual and friendly (almost) everyone at the hospital was during all of this. Mom used to be an EMT, so she’s had a couple decades of interaction with all of the hospitals in the area. She said that UW Health is different from most of the other hospitals–and that’s because they’re a teaching hospital. Their approach–both in teaching and practice–is a much more “personable and approachable” one. Some people (like me) like that. Others feel that it reduces the sense of authority and certainty that the staff present.
I’ve known my GP all my life (his wife is a good friend of my mom). When I got back from China (and hit 50), I made a list of every little “health issue” and said “Okay… I’m going to list off all these little things, you tell me if it’s just ‘getting old’.” 95% was “yep, that’s just ‘getting old’.”
When we got to how China changed my intestinal fauna, and how my body has adapted to that, he got this smile on his face. “I love my job. I could sit here and talk about weird poop for half an hour.”
I knew my nurses were okay when one commented on the hospital gown saying “one size fits none”, I replied with “I bet a lot of people have a fetish about these things*”, and she laughed.
* They do. “hospital gown porn” returns an astounding number of hits on Google.
@CSK: My take is that most people who want a dictator are working from the assumption of a dictator who will do what they want done. But certainly, a subset will be people who don’t particularly care what they’re losing from the despotism. That subset may not value liberty/freedom very much, preferring order.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Indeed. If you want a dictator, you’re assuming that dictator will do things the way you want them done.
@dazedandconfused: Wouldn’t that mean the city is going to need to remodel the towers to accommodate a taller lift anyway? (And did they get Bezos to pay for THAT remodel?)
@Mu Yixiao: glad you’re improving!
@OzarkHillbilly: any updates on your son with COVID?
The late Boston Globe sports writer, Ray Fitzgerald had a hysterical column on where the rats would go when the old Boston Garden was torn down. Then in an act of utter animal cruelty, they tore down the Central Artery, the rats haven’t recovered. Except those that ran for the state legislture.
@dazedandconfused: There was a plan for Cowlitz County to do something on this order specifically to generate the methane for recovery. I don’t remember the details anymore, but it seems IIRC that the plan fell apart because the methane wasn’t valuable enough to cover the costs of its production.
@Monala: I’m not sure about any previous change. If she’s a 2L and went just after she graduated, she might have been 17 when she graduated from high school if she was a summer baby. My math (and I wasn’t particularly good at this stuff and haven’t improved any as I’ve aged) has her first chance to elect the Prez in 2020. I’m not sure she got two bites of that apple–though I would be happy if she passed on the second bite.
Just out of curiosity, have any of you been having major problems trying to make cell phone calls since they turned 5G on in the bigger cities? Just in the last two weeks, our service out here in BFE sucks, the call fails, or has major “static” interference on the line if it can connect at all.
We only have two cell providers in this area, Verizon and Union, and both services are having the same problems.
@just nutha:..I wore masks for several years while I was acclimatizing to the environment of the produce warehouse I was working in and I always hated it.
I can only speculate that the aroma of that place was akin to the stench of the corn silage that I could smell as our family was approaching Hoopston, Illinois where my mother was raised. We would visit countless aunts and uncles and cousins every other hot midwestern summer in the 50’s.
As for putrid there was a rendering plant in one of the telephone exchanges that I covered in the latter years of my landline telephone career. Fortunately I only got close to the place once or twice a week. It wasn’t as near as bad as the three longest years of my life working at the Murphysboro, Illinois Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant in the late ’70s. No masks.
Looking at the numbers on contributors to greenhouse gases, agriculture in total supposedly creates ~10%. That’s not table scraps. And the numbers all seem a bit vague, TBH.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
No, without the masts it would fit under no problem. Step the masts somewhere on the other side and that’s that. Seldom do yachts get home-berthed at the place of their manufacture, and it’s not the builder’s problem where the owner decides to store his finished boat.
On the composting, food scraps aren’t the large percentage of the pile. Most of it is grass clippings, leaves, clippings from shrubbery, branches and such. The guys who keep the power lines clear of branches have truck loads of clippings to dump every day. Used to get dumped in land fills same as breakfast burrito wrappings.