Steven L. Taylor
Tuesday, June 21, 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).
Follow Steven on Twitter
Nobel peace prize auctioned by Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov fetches record $103.5m
He also gave his $500,000 prize money to Unicef.
@OzarkHillbilly: I wasn’t particularly aware of Muratov or what he got the Nobel for, but he seems rather brave to criticize his government. And what he just accomplished with that auction … I’m imagining that’s enough money to actually help some people hurt by his government. Well played!
For anyone who has watched “Person of Interest” and wondered when that kind of real time surveillance network would exist in real life, take a look at this.
@MarkedMan: Sorry, looks like I can’t obtain a subscriptionless link. Here’s a regular link to The NY Times video.
@Franklin: He’s a better man than I.
Texas GOP wants to vote on secession.
Is it strategically better to just let them go, or to use this clearly un-American rhetoric against them across the country?
It does bring up a lot of questions though. Would we be required to invade them for oil if they seceded? Would we provide safe haven for liberals into the U.S.? Would Oklahoma become Texas’ Canada? Would the right-wing ever recover from losing Texas’ electoral college votes?
I couldn’t make it all the way through the video (connection issues at work), but… yep. Everyone there knows exactly what’s going on, but they’ve been living with some form of super-surveillance all their lives, so they just deal with it.
As a foreigner it’s slightly different. You usually get waived through the checkpoints*, but have to register your address with the police–including for a single night stay in a hotel (the hotel staff uses your passport and does the registering).
You just learn to keep your head down and your mouth shut, lest you be “invited for tea” by the local police (the real ones, not the mall cops that sit at the gate to every community).
* There was a police checkpoint on the main road between the two cities I lived & worked in. While regular cars may or may not get stopped, every taxi was checked. When they’d see I was white, they’ll waive us past.
The GOP will NEVER let them go. EVER. Even if 100% of TX said hell yes, the GOP will pull out all the stops to prevent it from going forward.
Losing TX as a state means they will not have the WH ever again and will take 2 Senators and lose 36 Members. It means the loss of a ton of dark money due to oil interests and other GOP staples. They’ll lose the textbook market so there goes school indoctrination and all those military bases and equipment? Nope! Can’t whine about the border anymore since a huge chunk of it is TX; of the 3 remaining states on the border, 2 would be blue.
Conservatives and Real ‘ Murica need TX more then the actual United States does. Should they chose to part ways with us, it won’t be liberals impeding the process but their own brethren fearing the near-permanent loss of power.
@Tony W: On the other hand, will Texas split into five states as is possibly actually legal?
For More Than 150 Years, Texas Has Had the Power to Secede…From Itself
Let them go, but they need to assume a percentage of the federal debt based on population. After that raise tariffs and invoke an economic boycott on texas produced products and services.
Really, is this the best use of Merrick Garland’s time?
Garland heads to Ukraine to talk war crime prosecution
No state in the country can secede, will secede, or even would want to secede if they had the capacity to do so, which they don’t. This is absolutely 100% obvious to anyone who bothers to give the matter the slightest thought. It’s performative chest-puffing, nothing more. Why entertain pink unicorns?
See what @KM said, modified by how many blue states a split would produce.
I see two reasons to keep Texas: 1) NASA, 2) SpaceX.
I’m not bringing up the medical expertise gathered at Houston, only because that would be easier to move elsewhere.
Texas Democrats should obviously amplify this lunacy, vehemently oppose it, and call their bluff, a la California Democrats daring Republicans to embrace anti-immigrant xenophobia in the 90s.
Extremism does not have a good track record in the US, as a long term electoral strategy. Eventually, the pendulum swings back and knocks the offenders into the political wilderness.
Texas GQP: *performative chest-puffing*
Merrick Garland: “Hold my beer.”
People who want to rearrange political borders to suit their politics miss the fact they’re about a century plus too late for it to be practical on virtually every level of government.
Back during COVID lockdowns and mandates there was a referendum that passed locally from some deep red rural towns to break away from their existing small well-funded blue county and join the larger, poorer neighboring red one. No big, right? A handful of towns, not that many people – what’s the harm? Well, someone did some calculations and found it would cost the new county almost 50 million+ to take them due to a number of factors. Things like roads, school funding and library access came up; new county has a much lower sales tax and not a lot of property taxes (one of the draws) but whoops, that means no money to fund anything now, let alone new stuff. All debts currently backed by the blue county or owed to would suddenly be due; contracts would be invalid since the entity of X in County Y would no longer legally exist. The state basically patted them on the head, told them to go sit down and not bother anybody with this nonsense…. especially since it turned out nobody had asked the new county in question before this went up.
Add in the interesting legal consequences we’re gonna see if DeSantis keeps pushing for Reedy Creek to be dissolved and we have proof you can’t rearraign America on the county level successfully anymore, let alone entire states. It’s the favorite faff of cranky people trying to keep themselves as big fish in a small pond, not a practical path forward in modern times.
@Tony W: I lived in Arlington for a couple years in the 70s. I made decent money, had good friends, and enjoyed the time. But even then, politically and culturally, I said if Mexico wanted it back we should give it to them. Balloon Juice quotes a couple of Texas journos on the TX GOP convention. The good news is – don’t worry, they do this every year, they never act on it. The bad news is – this isn’t an aberration, they’re always like this.
Yes, Texas Rethuglikkklans are always talking secession, but also yes, the Texas GOP is getting more extreme. Its declaration that “homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice” that should be stripped of discrimination protection is newly awful.
The backsliding on democracy and voting rights is also predictable, but nonetheless alarming. Can’t too sanguine about crazies getting even more cray cray.
@DK: This TX GOP convention shows the effectiveness of the GOP messaging machine and the fecklessness of the supposedly liberal MSM. One obscure D rep or a city council candidate in Eugene says Defund the Police and it’s hung on every D forever. The State Republican Party officially votes (ironically with voting machines) for this lunacy and it’s a one day story.
I was just down in Disney and spent a lot of time looking at and thinking about what Reedy Creek is and does. I’m a bit of a land use nerd. I’m of the opinion that Reedy Creek was a very elegant solution to the problem caused by Disney owning a massive amount of land and building in a very spread out way. If this actually goes through I think it’s going to hurt Orange and the other county immeasurably. All the time they are going to have to spend jumping at disney’s demands for service is time that they are not going to have for everyone else. The expense is going to be HUGE.
Part of me hopes the Republicans get everything they want with this talk of secession and the looming destruction of the administrative state. They’ve spent 40 years waging war on government and making it unusable so that the very rich don’t have to pay taxes or be inconvenienced. They are going to take a space faring superpower and destroy it so that Musk can shout racial slurs and be mean to his Trans kid and Peter Theil can become an actual vampire. Screw them
@gVOR08: But Her Emails.
I talk about this corporate media bias, dishonesty, and narrative manipulation in this space daily. What’s astonishing is that even after 2016 even wide swaths of the Democratic Party still can’t see through the rank double standard.
Too much of the press is timid and lacking moral backbone. They are absolutely complicit in Traitor Trump’s white supremacist fascism. Very sad.
@Beth: Apartheid Clyde and Herschel Walker are competing for the Denny Hastert Family Values Insititute’s Father of the Year award.
@gVOR08: I am 100% in favor of calling their bluff.
We’ll give 2 years of amnesty for people who want to remain Americans to leave the state, then it’s closed borders.
And we’ll get all of our military personnel and equipment out of the state immediately.
Apartheid Clyde. I’m, I’m dy.. I’m dead. Thank you. The Republicans, they don’t send their best…
@Tony W: @KM: @gVOR08: @DK:
The Texas GOP also called for the repeal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
@CSK: Didn’t the Supremes already do that?
Perhaps the Texas GOP just wants to affirm the decision.
I’m assuming they’re treating the official platform like the 95 Thesis, something meant to provoke “debate” and call attention to what they think are grievances and problematic issues rather than be an actionable item list. Therefore, any BS can be added to it as it will air their intentions to the universe. If they manage to get their schism off the ground, then they can put them into play but for the most part it’s a list of their greatest fantasy hits.
Here’s a handy list of all the things the Texas GOP calling for:
It really boils down to Love America, Hate Americans.
Love the Sin, hate the Sinner?
The Reedy Creek thing looks to me like posturing by DeSantis and the legislature. It is scheduled to take place at some point in the future. I saw one legislator say something to the effect of “If Disney behaves itself, we will overturn that legislation and it won’t take effect”.
So. After the next election, the cancellation of Reedy Creek will be overturned, and nothing will have happened but a lot of chest beating and drama that doesn’t mean anything.
I think the Supreme Court is setting itself up for a world of hurt because taxpayer money is going to go to all kinds of religious schools. Wait until schools based on cults or madrassas have taxpayer money subsidizing them. Eventually a case is going to come up where the SC will be placed in a position to define what is a “legitimate” religion.
Supreme Court says Maine cannot exclude religious schools from tuition assistance programs
Yes, dammit. I don’t know what the problem is. You can Google the key words.
Summer Solstice 4:13 am cdt in the Northern Hemisphere
I am a Sun Worshiper.
Today is my High Holy Day.
@Jay L Gischer:
It was never anything but performative MAGAtry by DeSantis. It’s already served it’s purpose, and Disney’s army of lawyers and lobbyists know it.
@Scott: ” Eventually a case is going to come up where the SC will be placed in a position to define what is a “legitimate” religion.”
But that’s an easy one. A legitimate religion is any to which one of the six SC members belong.
I don’t live in Maine but if I did I would ask why the State is supporting any private schools with taxpayer funds. If the state stopped funding all private schools this would not be an issue.
Public money should go exclusively to public schools.
Parents would still be free to send their little rascals to private schools and they would be free to pay for it, all of it, themselves.
Now that the Supreme Court is forcing the State of Maine to use public money for religious instruction in parochial schools the State should at least be able to mandate that these church schools instruct their students in secular matters like natural selection and birth control.
Texas child dies after being left in hot car, the fifth such death this year
The state leads the nation in hot car deaths, which can occur within minutes and even when temperatures are surprisingly mild.
Got the hearings on in the background. I forgot the speech by Gabriel Sterling of Georgia demanding the leading politicians of Georgia stand up and be counted by denouncing in the strongest terms the political and physical terrorism that went on after the election. Except for a select few, most of the politicians demonstrating that they are not fit for office.
Which means that only wealthy people get access to high-end private education and all the opportunities that come from it.
1) This is not for “religious instruction”.
2) If Maine is like any other state that I’ve heard of, parochial schools must teach the same curriculum as state schools.
As per Maine law:
They’re getting the same curriculum as other schools.
Ah yes, minarchidiot fap-fantasy literature.
It’s brexity counterpart is lately getting self-published on this side of the Big Pond also.
See here: Defining Britain’s Post-Brexit Role in the World
Lunacy as both history and policy.
It’s baby footsteps on the route to the sort of self-delusion that is rampant in Russia.
As @Beth: said:
Waging war also on history and reality.
For the extreme variant of this brain-rotting self-delusion, see the latest howlings from Russia’s very own maestro of the genre, Aleksandr Dugin, as cited by Cathy Young in The Bulwark:
Or what about a nice cup of tea, eh?
Umm… Where does one go on US.gov to find the application form? (asking for a friend)
@Mu Yixiao: “only wealthy people will get…”
Yes! Exactly as GOD intended! What kind of heathen are you with all your poor kids going to rich folk schools?
Sometime in 2020 I read a short piece claiming no pandemic has ever been ended through vaccination.
I suppose one can get technical with definitions of pandemic, vaccination, and even “ended,” but one should just look around and see how the trump pandemic hasn’t ended despite vaccines having been available for 18 months, give or take, and pretty much freely available all through 2022 in many countries.
Honestly, I expected the trump virus would stop circulating widely in developed countries by mid-2021, and in other countries by late 2021 or maybe as late as mid 2022. Well, Delta and Omicron had different ideas.
What the hell, then, does it take to end a pandemic?
Where are you getting that from? Even what you wrote does not state anything whatsoever about curriculum, just the subjects that must be taught.
As for the myth that those dollars magically don’t support religious education? That’s just nonsense. I shouldn’t be forced to spend my tax dollars to support religious bigots teaching their children that I am the devil.
So maybe not all pandemics technically “end.” Some just apparently get less deadly and easier to treat over time.
HIV, for example. And the modern seasonal flu is a genetic descendant of the Spanish Flu. It’s never fully gone away and it still kills half a million a year globally.
Apparently, religious freedom gives you the right to discriminate against gay people and it also gives you the right to force gay people to pay taxes to support your discrimination.
Amanda Carpenter has a good piece in http://www.thebulwark.com entitled “Trump Proves the January 6th Committee’s Point.”
Trump still appears to be inciting people to hang Mike Pence.
I’ve often said, on this forum, that Conservatism has a lot to offer but that there are only a few Conservatives left and today’s Republican party is not Conservative.
The testimony, today, of SoS Bowers reminds me that there are still a tiny number of people of character in that party…and if not for them Trump would likely be King of the USA right now.
What happens as this goes forward, who knows?
@Mu Yixiao:..Which means that only wealthy people get access to high-end private education and all the opportunities that come from it.
Several of the local the parochial schools in Southern Illinois offers schlolarships to families based on income. Maybe they are the only ones that do that.
Cathloic schools are teaching about birth control? Oh yeah. The rhythm method.
It’s not for religious instruction. You don’t expect me to believe that the Catholic Schools don’t start the day with a prayer and a few Hail Marys.
You’re a real Joker!
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
From my perspective, conservatism in this country has never offered anything positive, at best standing in the way of progress and at worst moving the country seriously backwards.
Conservativism hasn’t always been deranged or anti-democratic, but that doesn’t mean it was ever a force for good.
Maine statues, primarily Title 20-A.
In order to receive any money from the state the must be “approved”.
As per below, those “state requirements” include the bolded sections.
In other words, they have to do the same things that state schools do. They can add religious education on top of that–something state schools are forbidden–but they must teach the state-approved curriculum. They must also participate in state-mandated standardized testing and meet state-mandated graduation requirements.
Are the schools going to include religious classes? Probably. But those kids are going to be getting a religious education no matter what–at home, at church, in the community. If they’re “being taught to hate you”, it’s not going to be the teachers making a difference, it’s going to be the parents.
And… If a Catholic (or protestant, or Muslim, or Jewish) kid from a poor area can get a high-end education at, for example, a Jesuit school? I really don’t mind if the classes are taught by monks.
@MarkedMan: If tax dollars can be siphoned into private schools (a position that is legal, but immoral), then the state should not be able to discriminate based on religion.
I don’t see why that is controversial at all. The state should not be in the business of religion, either for or against.
(I would want an exception for where the state can show harm, but require a very stringent burden of proof)
(The state should also not be discriminating based on a preference for or against K-Pop, without showing a compelling state interest. Religion should be treated with the same reverence as BTS)
The state can (and should) set standards of education, to ensure that all of the private schools that receive funding are educating the students. Religious schools should not be exempt from any regulations that non-religious schools are subject to.
If Maine doesn’t require all schools that receive funding under this program to teach EVILution, and comprehensive sex ed, they should (and they are big life by if they don’t).
Also, this is why we have standardized tests. When I was growing up, NY State had regents exams for some classes, which were given to everyone in that class across the state. This would be a good way to remove the violating religious schools.
The current court would likely rule that a religious school in this program would be able to restrict students based on religion, etc., and that is a very bad path to go down. (Were I writing a law authorizing this program, I would want to put in a trigger that kills the entire program if schools can discriminate in admissions — if you take it to the courts, you might win, but you will still lose)
@Mu Yixiao:..Are the schools going to include religious classes? Probably.
Of course they are. Thats the point of having parochial schools in the first place.
But those kids are going to be getting a religious education no matter what–at home, at church, in the community.
So why do they need the taxpayers money for religious instruction in parochial schools?
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
This has been a really bad day for Colludy Rudy.
He has been made to look like the worst shysters’ possible.
It’s rare when I basically agree with @Mu Yixiao — clearly we should both step back and examine our positions because one of us is clearly lying to ourselves. 🙂
I’m paying for my kids to go to a Catholic school* so they can be told to hate me and that I’m going to hell. Ironically, not for the obvious reason, but because I’m not a Christian. That was a fun day when my son told me that and I (in probably not the best parenting move) exploded on him. The fact of the matter is my “religious education” is ignored in favor of whatever nonsense his teachers and friends are spouting. I can guarantee, my religion is way more pleasant.**
The fact of the matter is this is another step in forcing religion, and lets be honest, specifically Christianity, down everyone’s throats. The Christians are angling for one set of rules for them, and another, lesser and subservient, set for the rest of us. They also want us to pay for it. Trying to gloss this up by saying that poor kids can get good educations along with their indoctrination is irrelevant. People should be paying for better schools in those neighborhoods anyway, but thanks Republicans.
*The Goddess, in her infinite wisdom and humor decided to surround me with Catholics. I don’t know who is punishing whom.
** The Goddess wants us to be happy and free and also dance naked under the moon to Techno.
Because they have failed to provide secular education at all.
The Maine program only applies to secondary schools, and only to districts which don’t have a public secondary school. From the majority opinion:
Maine has enacted a program of tuition assistance for parents who live in school districts that do not operate a secondary school of their own. Under the program, parents designate the secondary school they would like their child to attend—public or private—and the school district transmits payments to that school to help defray the costs of tuition.
Maine has the option to a) fund public secondary schools in those districts which don’t have them, or b) not offer tuition assistance to anyone. Once they start offering tuition vouchers to (accredited/approved) schools, they can’t forbid that money because a school also includes religion.
This is set precedent–both via many state Supreme Courts, and by SCOTUS itself (Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer (2017) and Espinoza v. Montana Dep’t of Revenue (2020)).
The First Amendment isn’t just for stuff you agree with.
So what do we do when our friendly, saintly, neighborhood religious school refuses to take a gay kid? or a black kid? Or accept public funds but fires all the Jewish teachers.
There is no legal constraint that a religious sect can’t escape under this current supreme court. Well, provided they are mainline Christian.
You’re such a dissapointing pair. I prayed so hard for you. It saddens and hurts me that the two young men whom I raised to believe in the Ten Commandments have returned to me as two thieves with filthy mouths and bad attitudes. Get out! And don’t come back until you’ve redeemed yourselves.
I agree 100% that Conservatism has stood in the way of progress and has moved the country backward. I refer to “Capital C” Conservatism, not Republicanism. And admittedly Conservatism is a pretty vague concept open to a wide range of interpretations.
To me it begins with the difference between the French Revolution and the American Revolution. What Trump has done is tantamount to the French Revolution; an attempt to burn it all down. Conservatism is an adherence to traditions, which Republicans have exploded as when they do things like steal SCOTUS seats, and ignore elections as has happened in FL and ME.
As an example of having something to offer; in my eyes Obamacare was Conservative policy. It takes an existing system and moves it forward, instead of trying to establish something brand new.
Beyond that; fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, national security.
Last point. I think this country is best when there is a Liberal President, a functioning Conservative Congress, and a legitimately neutral SCOTUS. I doubt we will ever see that again.
@Gustopher: @Mu Yixiao:
If a private school wants public money, then it is essentially a public school and under the same regulations and standards. That’s eminently fair since the public is funding it so we should get a say. If you want your own standards and ability to discriminate at will, you need to be on your own. This is what private vs public means in terms of society and the law.
Anyone complaining about that wants free money with no strings attached. That’s not how public money works. It’s an attempt to enrich religion and corporations while trying to sound sympathetic to parents “double-paying”. It’s going to result in “schools” that don’t teach basic math or science like in Kiryas Joel because religious figures feel it’s “infringing” on them. As a taxpayer paying for this, why shouldn’t I have the right to demand my money actually educates kids? We already have problems with private religious schools or for profits not educating kids so they can pass public school standards. If those standards are so poor they are the reason to leave the system, there should be no problems with exceeding them and not bypassing them.
Then we get to the issue of home schooling. If private schools get public money under this logic, why shouldn’t home school students? If parents make a little LLC for their kids private home schooling (EducateMyKids TM), should they get public money to keep the kids home and watch PragerU videos?
@Mu Yixiao:..The First Amendment isn’t just for stuff you agree with.
I think that the government giving taxpayers money to religious schools is a law “respecting an establishment of religion,..”
I also think that refusing to give taxpayers money to religious schools is not “prohibiting the free exercise thereof “
Ron Johnson will be going thru some things.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
I do happen to think the ACA was basically the best health-care reform that could have realistically passed in 2010 (the Dems did make some tactical mistakes that made the law weaker than it might have been, but I still think my statement is more or less true), and that it was a step forward relative to the status quo.
But was it the ideal reform the country needed? Far from it. We still have large chunks of people without health insurance. We still have a majority of Americans one medical emergency away from financial ruin. We still have the insane system that links insurance to employment.
And that’s all without doing a Bernie Sanders-style attack on the entire for-profit system. If we had a Switzerland-like system where insurance is mostly private but still universal, that would still be a big improvement over what we have here.
If anything, the fact that the ACA was the best we could have done is far more of an indictment of conservatism than a defense.
@Mu Yixiao: “Which means that only wealthy people get access to high-end private education and all the opportunities that come from it.”
If only there was some kind of alternative to high-end private education. You know, schools where all parents could send their children.
Flu is one of those things that have probably been around longer than even humans. Generally it’s mild, seasonal, and kills only a few people, but sometimes a more virulent strain crops up. that’s what happened in 1918, and in subsequent flu pandemics*.
It has stayed seasonal, and apparently does not transmit much, if at all, asymptomatically, meaning it’s easier to avoid. I wonder whether immunity through recovery lasts longer, too.
The trump virus seems too changeable, and immunity against it too transitory. It seems very hard to make it stop circulating. I’m wondering whether I’ll ever drop my mask.
*And earlier ones, too. I even wonder, sometimes, which of the many large plagues in ancient times were flu of some virulent strain.
@Mu Yixiao: “The First Amendment isn’t just for stuff you agree with.”
So in your world the First Amendment mandates that Christian religion must be mandated by the state and paid for with taxes? Maybe you want to parse that out a little, because I come up with the meaning that’s held for hundreds of years, right up until the Supreme Court was seized by a cabal of reactionary religious fanatics.
And once again, Mu has done his special version of sleight of hand where he pretends that a specific act written to achieve a specific purpose is really a general act that applies to everyone in the jurisdiction equally.
And then proceeds to use a different rationale to justify doing it.
I’ve been busy at work, and have not followed today’s threads much.
About the SCOTUS Maine decision, it’s time for The Satanic Temple to set up a private school there.
I would only argue that it is an indictment of Republicanism, not necessarily Conservatism. Seriously…Conservatism doesn’t exist as anything more than abstract ideas at this point. I don’t think it is practiced in any Gov’t, anywhere.
In a functioning Democracy the ACA would have been passed, and then continued to be improved and expanded. Today we still have Red States refusing to expand Medicaid, a major part of the ACA policy.
Ultimately…it’s beginning to look like this country peaked in the 90’s or the oughts…and will now only spiral into whatever hell is next. Or who knows…maybe it’s been spiraling since Kennedy?
Well, this is peculiar on several levels.
The Jan. 6th Committee has subpoenaed footage from a British film maker of Benito’s family and campaign.
The first odd thing is that El Cheeto seems incapable of understanding how much he hurts himself when he talks to the media at large, rather than to tame state organs like Fox “News” or its progeny.
The other is this quote: “The magazine reported that several former officials on Trump’s reelection campaign have claimed they did not know that the documentary about his reelection campaign was being filmed in the first place, and heard about it for the first time after seeing the Politico report about the subpoena.”
Did they not see some people with cameras actually filming?
Granted cameras in these days of all digital* “film” are smaller than they used to be, but they are still recognizable as cameras.
*Given the all digital nature of today’s movies and video, perhaps footage is outdated. What would be a good substitute? Byteage? Gigabyteage?
I am beginning to have some hope that the January 6 hearings will get traction. They are doing the best job I’ve ever seen from any committee.
We don’t need to convince every MAGAt, we just need to soften them up a bit, shave off a point or two around the margins, and make it harder for Fox et al to keep up the lies.
Then we need to prosecute Trump, Giuliani and Eastman at the very least.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: You know, I went ten years or so before I found out the reason that some states didn’t want to expand Medicaid – it costs them some money. Yeah, there’s a lot of Federal matching money, but it would cost them something, and they don’t want to pay for any of it. This is clearly not policy that I agree with, I think this sort of thing is worth it.
And yet, it reframed the refusal in my mind from something that came from sheer contrariness to having to do with not wanting to spend money, which is different.
I spend a fair amount of time in Houston these days. As a California, the Texas roads look very, very subpar. Some Houstonians have expressed unhappiness to me, but I doubt they share my opinon that even when new, these roads were kind of substandard, cheapo versions of roads/streets. We are talking major streets in vital residential/small business districts of the city.
The roads are functional, though, and they do two things that I am very impressed with – lane markings for junctions on the freeway are painted on the road surface of the lane. So you can easily tell “this lane merges me on to 95, or I-10” much better than the overhead arrows.
And they have refined the access road/onramp/overpass to a T. There is often a special “U-turn” lane that avoids all the other traffic, to allow access to the freeway going the other way. It’s very clever and fantastic. It does use more space, but they’ve got plenty of that in Texas. Moreso than in SF or Seattle – other places I’ve done a lot of driving.
So, I resign myself to “well, they get to decide to spend less money on roads and streets if they want, I disagree, and if I lived here my disagreement would be embodied in my voting, but that’s how this sort of thing works”.
Wanting the cheapest possible version is a classic American thing. It’s a big deal with us. I’m not sure it’s all that great, but we do seem to have made it work. And yet, doing something else also seems to work.
So I have a very big chip on my shoulder when it comes to the anti-trans crap that the Gov has been tossing out, but the roads – I’m meh. Medicaid expansion is kind of in the middle here. It has aspects of “we just don’t want to spend the money”, but also probably amplifies inequality, and creates other problems.
Trump is now claiming that he “barely knows” John Eastman. If he keeps on like this, he’s going to be claiming that he “barely knows” Ivanka.
@Scott: Pretty sure Merrick Garland can walk and chew gum at the same time, not to mention he has a stable of very competent DoJ lawyers and staff to continue the work they are presently doing.
I’ve got some prime beach front property for sale to the right buyer.
You’re right, they don’t want to spend the money, certainly not on those people, especially when that money could be lining an oligarch’s pockets.
Here in Misery, Medicaid expansion was finally advanced via the popular vote (60-40 margin I do believe) because the healthcare professionals all came out and said “If we don’t do this, rural hospitals will close.” at which point even the rich Republicans out here realized they had something to lose if it didn’t pass.
I went to St Clement’s for grade school. They sure as shit didn’t teach the same stuff I got In Kirkwood public schools.
I love it. I’d give him 5 stars too, just because it’s a great story.
Made me giggle.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
I’m still not clear on how you’re defining “conservatism.” If it’s defined as respect for existing institutions and a commitment to working within the system to achieve policy change–basically “whatever isn’t radical or revolutionary”–that seems to me to be overly broad and not a particularly useful way of identifying a political philosophy. But even if we are to accept your definition (if that is your definition–feel free to clarify), I don’t see the passage of the ACA as not being an indictment of even this definition of conservatism, given the ACA’s deep inadequacies that would not have been present if something less conservative had passed. The only reason it is seen as a praiseworthy achievement is that its limitations are correctly recognized as necessary compromises within a deeply flawed political system resistant to much-needed change. I do agree that it’s basically a conservative reform, and that in the context of our system, its passage is a net positive; however, I don’t think this speaks well for the type of “conservatism” you’re defending. It may be better than the “conservatism” of today’s Republicans, but is it really the best we can do?
@OzarkHillbilly: There’s a song!
It slaps. It’s a banger. It’s a regular hootenanny. A hoot and a half. 1.5 hoots. Whatever the kids today say.
@Gustopher: I only wish I could be sure.
Just clicked the thumbs up on Ozark Hillbilly’s 17:54 comment for the second time knowing full well that I had already up voted it once. The count increased from 3 to 4!
I then reloaded the page and the count went back down to three. Now you see it, now you don’t.
OTB must be using the Dominonion Upvote System.
@OzarkHillbilly: Shitty implementation is a separate problem from whether the constitutional interpretation is correct.
Anyone implementing a private school voucher system needs to be careful to guard against a shitty implementation. Like any government-private contract.
And here is where I will differ from Mr. Mu: I think privatizing government services goes wrong far more often than it goes right, and the government ends up holding the bag when it goes wrong. It should basically never be done.
(You could probably come up with a way to insure against the financial repercussions in many cases, but the cost of that insurance will destroy the “savings”, and there are other costs that are not purely financial)
If you can align the incentives, go for it, but with most situations, it’s a bad idea.
Anyway, it’s bad, but constitutional.
@OzarkHillbilly: the lyrics do qualify it in a few spots to “you’ll probably outlive Mitch McConnel, he’s pretty old, and soon he will be McGone-el”
I love this song. The ending falls apart a little rhythmically, but I can forgive that for all the heart it has up to that point.
Given that I am a self-described incrementalist-socialist, who favors making many small, incremental changes towards socialism until it has negative effects (this is the worst kind of socialist, I expect), I would be conservative under that definition.
And, honestly, I am pretty conservative for a socialist.
Anyway, I have no use for Trotsky, and I think the BernieBros are putting too much faith in one man radically changing the system.
I am also annoyed by Biden, and the whole inflation panic. We don’t need to raise interest rates and trigger a recession, we need a leader who can say “inflation rates in every country are rising, regardless of policy, and if you ignore that and think it is because of too much stimulus during Covid, you’re a fucking idiot.”
We switched on a dime from “no one wants to work” to “we need people to work less.” It’s really clear the capital class wants to say “we need people to work for less”.
As an incrementalist-socialist, I don’t favor guillotines, I would prefer a fashion trend among the CxO class of increasingly tight neckties.
And before we get out the torches and pitchforks, we should try stabbing the fuckers with a fork.
@Mister Bluster: The upvote system has always done that. So did the downvotes when we still had them.
Given that these western states have some of the longest distances between “destinations” that might stymie widespread adoption of electric vehicles, I think this is a great idea.
Ohhhhh NOOOOOO!!! “Leftist’s ALSO want body armor and guns!” Cue the tiny violins when John430, Paul L and their ilk suddenly decide gun (and body armor) regulations are good, after all!