Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “A school resource officer threatened to shoot a student trying to leave campus because the officer mistakenly believed the student was being truant. No shots fired.”

    The part here that got me, was the absolute ludicrousness of threatening to kill a child/teen for the grave sin of… Skipping class.

    That idiot needs to be fired, barred from ever possessing a firearm again, and not allowed within a half mile of any schools, playgrounds, parks, shopping malls, McDonald’s restaurants, or any other place children and teens congregate at.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A couple random bits before I head out to beat the heat:

    Tiger Woods spurned offer in $800m range to join LIV Golf, Greg Norman says

    We can’t seem to make up our mind:

    Climate endgame: risk of human extinction ‘dangerously underexplored’

    The risk of global societal collapse or human extinction has been “dangerously underexplored”, climate scientists have warned in an analysis.

    They call such a catastrophe the “climate endgame”. Though it had a small chance of occurring, given the uncertainties in future emissions and the climate system, cataclysmic scenarios could not be ruled out, they said.

    “Facing a future of accelerating climate change while blind to worst-case scenarios is naive risk management at best and fatally foolish at worst,” the scientists said, adding that there were “ample reasons” to suspect global heating could result in an apocalyptic disaster.

    African nations expected to make case for big rise in fossil fuel output

    Leaders of African countries are likely to use the next UN climate summit in November to push for massive new investment in fossil fuels in Africa, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

    New exploration for gas, and the exploitation of Africa’s vast reserves of oil, would make it close to impossible for the world to limit global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

    However, soaring gas prices have made the prospect of African supplies even more attractive, and developed countries, including EU members, have indicated they would support such developments in the current gas shortage.

    We are addicts risking an overdose every time we shoot up.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh yeah, one more: Elon Musk’s father says he isn’t proud of his son

    Long story short, that apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    After 6 paragraphs talking about the wild fires in CA, comes this:

    Meanwhile, fires were raging in Montana, Idaho and Nebraska, flash floods chewed up roads in Death Valley national park and set residents in Nevada and northern Arizona on high alert, and a punishing heatwave in the Pacific north-west set records in Seattle and Portland.

    Interesting times we live in.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Don’t ever change Alabama.

    Last Thursday night, the state of Alabama took three hours to find a vein in Joe Nathan James Jr through which officials could pump lethal injection drugs and execute him, a process that the department of corrections insisted was “nothing out of the ordinary”.

    Alabama appears to specialize in its extraordinary sense of the ordinary, particularly when it comes to the death penalty. It has now emerged that, during that execution, prison officials subjected female reporters who came as witnesses to the proceeding to a clothing inspection, attempting to bar one woman from the death chamber on grounds that her skirt was too short.

    Ivana Hrynkiw, a journalist for Alabama’s pre-eminent news outlet AL.com, recounted how she was pulled aside by a prison official and told that her skirt was too diminutive to meet regulations. “I tried to pull my skirt to my hips to make the skirt longer, but was told it was still not appropriate,” she recounted on Twitter.

    The paradox that the state went to such lengths to uphold what it regards as propriety in clothing even as it prepared to kill a man appears to have been lost on the department of corrections. Officials also subjected an Associated Press reporter, Kim Chandler, to a full-body inspection, making her stand to have the length of her clothing checked. Chandler said that such an indignity had never happened to her before in the many times she had covered executions since 2002.

    Hrynkiw was eventually allowed to enter the death chamber after she borrowed a pair of waterproof fisher’s waders from a photographer, attaching their suspenders under her shirt to keep them up. That was deemed appropriate attire when watching a judicial killing.

    But even then it didn’t stop. The reporter was informed that her open toe heels were a breach of regulation and she was forced to change into tennis shoes retrieved from her car.

    If not for Alabama and Mississippi, we might not know how foul the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel smelled.

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  6. Scott says:

    Some random items that have been bouncing around in my head.

    My wife is a elementary school counselor. For those who are older (like me) may not realize it but school counseling has a much, much larger component of mental health counseling than in previous generations. School counselors are also mandatory reporters to the state for issues of child abuse, drugs, etc.

    The issue of trans students is big right now especially since the Texas AG has declared certain trans treatments to be child abuse and therefore reportable. Professional responsibilities vs legal responsibilities are now in conflict. My wife, who does not like conflict, finds herself angry. And I find her becoming radicalized by the conflict.

    ——————————————————————-
    I tend to only get viscerally upset by true life documentaries, not fictional stories. However, decided to start “For All Mankind” on Apple +, a alternative history about what happened if Russia beat us to the moon. Just watched the first episode so far but the scene where the Cosmonaut stepped down on the lunar surface and spoke his first words really got to me.

    The other time I had that reaction was in Season 4 of Man in the High Castle when they showed the scene where the American flag was being hauled down and the Nazi flag was raised. That really upset me also.
    ——————————————————————-
    On a trivial note, here is some data on the Costco inflation watch.

    Bag of six avocados: $4.99, down from $10.29 a couple months ago.

    Gasoline: $3.35

    Boneless Chicken Breast: $3.49/lb up $.50 per lb.

    Boneless Pork Loin: $1.99/lb, down from $2.29/lb

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  7. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Given that most petrostates are corrupt and authoritarian, I don’t think that African leaders are looking for massive investments for the betterment of their people. Just a guess.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Yeah, it’s all about the Benjamins.

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  9. Beth says:

    Remember how I (and a couple of others) have mentioned anti-crossdressing laws being used to harrass Trans people? Well, here’s the start from a couple of days ago in FL.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/desantis-1947-drag-show-ruling-miami_n_62e48037e4b0d0ea9b7721af

    “The department cited the 1947 Florida Supreme Court decision that found that “men impersonating women” in a “suggestive” performance constitutes a public nuisance.”

    I was talking to my partner last night about how I want to go back to this club in Miami, Club Space, this winter. It’s an awesome club. The shows generally start around midnight and go well into the next day. They have this beautiful terrace you dance on as the sun comes up. She doesn’t want me to go. My existence is rapidly becoming illegal in FL. Are there any states that you aren’t allowed to go to because your existence is illegal?

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  10. Mister Bluster says:

    House Speaker Pelosi is in Taiwan
    CBS News

    Time to duck and cover?

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  11. Beth says:

    @Scott:

    You can let your wife know that because of abuse and trauma I don’t remember much of my childhood or high school. It’s all blacked out. There is one day, however, that I got to wear a dress and make up to school. It’s a long story about how a group of punks, art kids and queers got one over on the school and a popular cheerleader. But anyway, I don’t remember most of that day, but it’s not like the other days. I still don’t remember most of that day, but instead of this weird blankness, I experience that memory as this bursting happy white light. I honestly think that was one of the happiest days of my life.

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  12. Slugger says:

    @Mister Bluster: I don’t understand conservative thinking. They say that they believe in strength and manly manliness, but they fear that the simple fact of one our public officials visiting Taiwan is too provocative. Are we going to let the CPC dictate itineraries for our politicians? And yes, BTW, are we going to befriend a state sponsor of terrorism like the Saudis for money?

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  13. inhumans99 says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    No, no, no, you have to do it right and say Peeeeeelosi!!!

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  14. CSK says:

    It’s been reported in Rolling Stone that Trump has threatened that if he’s indicted, the Jan. 6 insurrection will “look small by comparison.”

    I’ve often thought that this possibility/probability is what’s giving Garland some pause.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/08/donald-trump-legal-team-doj-criminal-charges

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  15. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    It would be best to have the civil war when Democrats have control of the armed forces and the nukes.

    This is not what Benito is threat wishing, though.

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  16. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    What do you think he is threatening/wishing?

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  17. Stormy Dragon says:

    @CSK:

    I’ve often thought that this possibility/probability is what’s giving Garland some pause.

    If we let him go unindicted because his mob demands it, what happens when his mob demands he be sworn in?

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  18. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    House Speaker Pelosi is in Taiwan

    I thought the visit was reckless, but once Bejing made it into a thing, we pretty much had to go through with it instead of establishing a precedent that Bejing has a veto on travel to the island

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  19. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Yeah, I know. I wasn’t excusing Garland; I was trying to establish a reason for his perceived reluctance to do anything concrete.

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  20. Scott says:

    @CSK: Giving in to terrorists is not an option.

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  21. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    the same thing he threat wished on January 6: for his deplorables to violently achieve his ends somehow.

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  22. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    I know that. See my reply to Stormy Dragon. Seeking an explanation isn’t the same thing as justifying. I’m looking for an explanation–a reason, if you will–for Garland’s hesitancy.

    @Kathy:
    Do you mean he wants it to happen, but doesn’t want to know the details?

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  23. JohnSF says:

    @Slugger:
    You don’t befriend the al-Saud, and various other Arabian/Gulf sheikhlings for the money as such.

    You befriend them because they sit on top of massive oil reserve contributing 15% Saudi and IIRC 15% for the rest of the Arabians combined.
    Absent which the global economy has massive problems, which is of major concern to the United States, and even more to its major allies.

    And you befriend them because the petrodollar earning of oil exports form a major underlying component of the dollar as an international reserve currency with high value.
    Which in turn makes it possible for the United States to run deficits and fund debt levels that would otherwise be very difficult.

    Loss of the dollar as reserve, and the petrodollar flows, would take a hammer to American living standards, never mind the entire global financial system and the federal budget.

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  24. Barry says:

    @CSK: It would make the Uvalde police look brave and honorable.

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  25. CSK says:

    @Barry:
    Sad to say.

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  26. Scott says:

    @Slugger:

    And yes, BTW, are we going to befriend a state sponsor of terrorism like the Saudis for money?

    You have to ask?

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  27. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Looks like, once again, Beijing fondness for rhetorical extravagance has backfired.

    Amping the rhetoric to force an adversary to back down looks really stupid when said adversary goes right ahead.

    Just as implying limitless solidarity with Russia look rather silly when the Kremlin screws the pooch, and Beijing decides that in practice “limitless solidarity” and a dollar will buy Russia a dollar bag of nails.

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  28. CSK says:

    In the race between Eric Greitens and Eric Schmitt for the U. S. Senate, Trump has endorsed…Eric. No last name.

    I assume he wants to take credit for whichever one wins. Even some of Trump’s most rabid fans seem, uh, discomfited by this move. If you’re ultra MAGA, though, Trump is just demonstrating his mastery of 14-dimensional chess.

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  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Beth:
    It’s appalling.

    I’m not generally a big fan of demonstrations (for tactical reasons) but in this case another Stonewall is called for. DeSantis and the Florida Fascists need to see that there’s a price to be paid. Better still would be a statewide strike. Trans, gays, and their allies, especially teachers and students, but also hopefully companies like Starbucks, should shut the state down for a day.

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  30. JohnSF says:

    @Beth:
    What an absurd decision by that court in the first place.

    Its’s all so purely subjective as to defy hope a rational opinion based on evidence.
    Never mind any judgement on harm beyond not making the authors of said statute look a bunch of fools.
    “men impersonating women”: defined in what way and by whom?
    What constitutes “impersonating” anyway?
    And “suggestive”: of what, how, judged by whom?
    “Manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people.”
    🙁
    Go ye forth and reform your own manners, as someone almost said.

    Perhaps someone should ask Governor de Santis if he prefers the Iranians, the Wahhabis or the Taliban as role models for the policing of public morals.

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  31. Mister Bluster says:

    Got the green notice: Your Comment Has Been Posted

    No. I don’t see it anywhere.

    I guess I’ll try again.

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  32. Mister Bluster says:

    @inhumans99:..Peeeeeelosi!!!

    Now I’ll tell on myself. (2nd attempt)
    Even though I proofed my prose multiple times I noticed that I spelled her name Palosi after I hit the Post Comment key. I then suffered through ¿Ninety-Six Tears? trying to call up the EDIT key. It finally appeared and I made the correction.

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  33. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    African nations expected to make case for big rise in fossil fuel output

    For much of Africa, the choice is between burning fossil fuels or remaining relatively poor. Not a difficult choice from Africa’s position. Complicating that, the continent’s population is forecast to grow from 1.4B to 2.5B by 2050.

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  34. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I mean Benito has no clue, but he’s convinced a violent enough demonstration will intimidate everyone into doing his bidding or something. That’s the somehow emphasized above.

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  35. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    So…the total failure of the Jan. 6 insurrection wasn’t sufficient to persuade him that stunts like that don’t work.

    Got it.

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  36. KM says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    If we let him go unindicted because his mob demands it, what happens when his mob demands he be sworn in?

    If we let him go unindicted because his mob demands it, what happens when his mob demands anything? We’re essentially admitting the man commands an army and we don’t want to engage. If he gets arrested and they come to “free him”, what should the cops do? If he gets indicated and he points them at some government offices, why shouldn’t we treat that like a terrorist leader straight up threatening violence? If it was Jim Jones or David Koresh instead of Trump, we’d view the situation for what it is: a cult willing to commit violence at the whims of their leader.

    Garland maybe be thinking he has to avoid a new Waco but honestly, if it came down to it, it’s better to have the shootout. It’s one they won’t win, not now that law enforcement knows it coming. No more giving the GOP and mealy-mouthed conservatives cover for the Lie – here’s the MAGA mob, trying to mow down fellow citizens, cops and government officials to subvert the legal process and free a criminal. Who’s side are you on?

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  37. steve says:

    Son is home visiting. He is turning cynical. Said that if we can find a way to use guns for abortions he is sure Republicans will support it.

    Steve

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  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hey, what can I tell ya. The kids have to be stored so their parents can go chop cotton and stuff. Ya can’t have kids–especially truants–just “wanderin’ around lookin’ for trouble.” It’s either warehouse em or repeal child labor laws so they can go work in the mines. Can’t just leave em unsupervised tho.

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  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Garland doesn’t need FG pseudo threats to not be inclined to prosecute. He’s got the whole institutional setup against it to lean back on.

    FG’s pseudo threats are fan service to the MAGAts. They’re feeling a little powerless now and need bucking up.

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  40. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    If what you’re saying is that Garland isn’t inclined to prosecute anyway, then I’m really depressed.

    I need a drink.

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  41. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We won’t get demonstrations or another Stonewall. Don’t Say Gay and Disney’s response to the Reedy Creek Debacle have taught DeSantis that everyone can be cowed. He doesn’t care if a couple of kids start whining. I think he would love to have a big demonstration that he could put down violently, that would make him seem tough. At the same time he does stuff like this:

    https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ne-pulse-desantis-half-staff-war-on-lgbtq-community-20220611-75qzfyn4xfde7aywwa2m2y2z4a-story.html

    So that moderates and other fools can say to themselves, he’s not a homophobe, blah blah blah. He won’t get any push back on this and then the next step will be to arrest a bunch of Trans people. It’s gonna happen.

    @JohnSF:

    These kind of laws are shockingly common here and still active on the books all over the place.

    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/07/chicago-suburb-finally-repealing-law-bans-people-wearing-opposite-sex-clothing/

    “men impersonating women”: defined in what way and by whom?
    What constitutes “impersonating” anyway?
    And “suggestive”: of what, how, judged by whom?
    “Manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people.”

    The simple answer is, anyone they don’t like. Trans people, Drag Queens, effeminate Gay Men, those are the targets for this. Sunday night I went to a rave dressed in a very short skirt, see through mesh top and a bra, no one there looked at me twice, but in DeSantis world, that would meet all their criteria for arrest. Hell, me wearing a skirt suit to go to court would get me arrested.

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  42. CSK says:

    @Beth:
    My word. I hope they’re not too distressed by Scotsmen wearing kilts.

    Or women wearing slacks.

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  43. JohnSF says:

    @JohnSF:
    Just noticed annoying writing fail in a previous comment.
    Should read:
    (Saudis and Emiratis) sit on top of massive oil reserve contributing 15% of world total exported oil for Saudi, and IIRC another 15% for the rest of the Arabians combined.

    USA is the largest single producer, and Russia second, but both consume a lot (US c. 3/4 Russia c. 1/2 IIRC), so come lower in the exporter rankings.

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  44. Jen says:

    Alexandra Petri, like the Onion, is the part of parody edging close to reality:

    Our third party is not a party of ideas! It is the idea of a party!
    We are not a party of ideas. We are a party of the total absence of ideas. No, rather, our idea is that we will solve problems using good ideas. This is such a good idea we are amazed that nobody has had it before. Do we have any good ideas? No. We are more idea-ideas people than idea people, if you see. Our big idea is to disrupt the party system. Other parties have brought things to the table, but we are disrupting that by bringing nothing to the table. This is sort of a BYO situation, like when you bring stones to make soup and everybody brings everything else.

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  45. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    I endorse every word.

    History is replete with people who were treated with leniency after attempting a coup, who then succeeded on the second go round.

    As is, the GQP has shown willingness to steal the next presidential election by various means. The world needs Benito to be charged, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned with all due process and in full accordance with the law, and without any special treatment or favoritism.

    The sooner, the better.

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  46. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    It’s hard to get excited about pragmatism.

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  47. JohnSF says:

    @Jen:

    …like when you bring stones to make soup and everybody brings everything else.

    Okay, who brought the hashcakes and how many did Alexandra Petri eat before writing that?

    Also when the meal is served up, do we use Petri dishes? 🙂

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  48. Beth says:

    @CSK:

    My guess is that a man wearing a kilt would be fine, cause that’s like manly or some nonsense. However, a woman wearing slacks would probably make them fill their shorts with rage.

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  49. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Beth:

    I’m sorry things are getting so hard for you when they don’t need to be. I hope you and your family stay safe.

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  50. Jen says:

    @JohnSF: I thought the stone soup line was clever, given the origins of that tale!

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  51. Scott says:

    Has the issue of missing text messages now been elevated to the level of a criminal conspiracy?

    First on CNN: Jan. 6 text messages wiped from phones of key Trump Pentagon officials

    The Defense Department wiped the phones of top departing DOD and Army officials at the end of the Trump administration, deleting any texts from key witnesses to events surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, according to court filings.

    The acknowledgment that the phones from the Pentagon officials had been wiped was first revealed in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit American Oversight brought against the Defense Department and the Army. The watchdog group is seeking January 6 records from former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, former chief of staff Kash Patel, and former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, among other prominent Pentagon officials — having filed initial FOIA requests just a few days after the Capitol attack.

    Miller, Patel and McCarthy have all been viewed as crucial witnesses for understanding government’s response to the January 6 Capitol assault and former President Donald Trump’s reaction to the breach. All three were involved in the Defense Department’s response to sending National Guard troops to the US Capitol as the riot was unfolding. There is no suggestion that the officials themselves erased the records.

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  52. Gustopher says:

    @CSK:

    It’s been reported in Rolling Stone that Trump has threatened that if he’s indicted, the Jan. 6 insurrection will “look small by comparison.”

    I’ve often thought that this possibility/probability is what’s giving Garland some pause.

    That sounds a lot like “if you indict me, I will demonstrate my guilt by a massive display that no one could ignore, also you can plan for it.”

    It could be the best case for America. Put down Coup 2: The Electric Boogaloo, and get a whole swatch of extremists off the streets.

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  53. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’ll just leave you with this before I head into the night.

    Taiwanese folk metal.

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  54. Gustopher says:

    @Beth:

    Disney’s response to the Reedy Creek Debacle

    What have I missed?

    (Last I remember, the consensus was that dissolving Reedy Creek was going to hurt everyone other than Disney… about $1b is debts would become someone else’s problem)

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  55. wr says:

    @CSK: “It’s been reported in Rolling Stone that Trump has threatened that if he’s indicted, the Jan. 6 insurrection will “look small by comparison.””

    Look at me, Ma, I’m quaking here.

    Sure, he’s got some ride-or-die assholes… but a lot of them are watching what’s happening to their buddies who rose up for him last time. And what’s Trump doing for them, by the way? Paying their legal bills? Doing rallies to support them? Or… nothing?

    Also, Trump doesn’t control the National Guard anymore. Or the Secret Service. Or any group with actual law and order powers.

    Trump threatens a lot. Usually he threatens to sue. Now he’s threatening to have other people riot. Somehow I don’t think this have Merrick Garland quaking, either.

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  56. Gustopher says:

    @Beth: Desantis is governing like someone who didn’t barely eek out a victory when he was elected.

    There’s a teacher shortage, 9,000 short, partly caused by Don’t Say Gay, Covid and the War On Education. There are all sorts of awful stop-gap measures being pursued.

    Fuck with people’s kids and it will come back to bite you on the ass. Probably. I hope.

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  57. CSK says:

    @wr:
    I fervently hope you’re right.

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  58. Beth says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Honestly, in most things I live a great, comfortable life. I continue to get work. My partner and I make a ton of money. Our kids are happy and healthy. I get to basically as many raves wearing skimpy clothes as I want to. I’m even getting hit on by guys, which is all kinds of wild and weird*. Its just the looming wave of bad that I see coming for Trans people. I wish I could get people like my inlaws to understand that it wasn’t a choice to transition, it was a choice to live. It’s been one of the best things I’ve done. It saved my life, saved my marriage, saved my relationship with my kids. I’m a better, happier, whole person now. If I could get them to understand that, I would hope they would stop voting for people that want to rip my family apart and send me to jail, or worse.

    @Gustopher:

    Having just been to Disney, I think the money is basically a red herring. Yeah, it’s a lot, but that’s Orange and Oceola counties’ problem. The real issue that Disney and the Counties should be crapping their pants over is all the other stuff Reedy Creek does. Do you think the building inspectors for Orange and Oceola have enough time to approve Disney permits? Inspect elevators? Deal with naughty park goers? All the minuta of government that Reedy creek does? That’s going to flatten those counties.

    I don’t know if all the problems he’s creating will be enough. Especially when he says it’s all the “groomers” fault and then starts arresting queer people. Or simply decides that the election he loses wasn’t valid so he’s not leaving.

    *I was hit on by three different guys this weekend and it was wild. One was an outlier because he was zonked out of his mind on Ecstasy. He also randomly ran away from me while he was talking to me. The other two clearly decided to take a bit of time out of their day though. On one hand, I very much like the attention. On the other, it was weird.

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  59. Michael Reynolds says:

    Kansas? Big rectangle full of corn? 2 to 1 GOP edge on registration? They’ve doubled their off-year turn-out and voted 60/40 for choice.

    The entire GOP leadership is shitting itself.

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  60. becca says:

    Kansas just dropped a bomb on the GOP. Next up, Texas!

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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’m not sure that “not inclined” is correct, although it certainly may be. He may simply be constrained by political realities and expectations of the guy at whose pleasure he serves and the yahoos down the block that appropriate funds for his operation.

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  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: WTF????? Sarah Palin has competition I see. (I just didn’t realize that Prof. Irwin Corey was a serious role model now.)

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  63. Jen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Petri is a satire writer, and that’s her style. I find it amusing, others not so much. 😀

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