Tuesday’s Forum

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


  1. Kathy says:

    The UK has approved Moderna’s bivalent COVID shot. Reminder, this targets the original strain plus Omicron BA.1 (the first Omicron type).

    The US is waiting for shots that target Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.

    You know, back in the summer of 2020 I thought we were in for a long pandemic. I was right, but got it wrong. I thought we’d end it by mid-2021, maybe late 2021. Now, I expect at least one more year, more likely two, and possibly even more.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    Kevin Drum has a good piece on the current flood of opinion pieces bashing the US response to Monkey Pox. He points out that if we compare the US to Europe on the rate of spread, we are middle of the pack, so our response is not uniquely bad. He also points out that in the US and Europe there have been zero deaths so far due to MP. And he also notes that while most of these opinion pieces bemoan our ability to collect data at a national level, the primary way such data could be used to slow the spread would be contact tracing. In the US this would be delegated to local health departments and, if it were to be more effective than the ad hoc method of a doctor telling their patient to contact everyone they came into physical contact with, implies that a) people who are infected are going to report this to their doctors, b) those doctors will report it to the local health department, c) that health department will obtain permission and cooperation from the patient, d) the patient will be able to provide names and contact information for everyone they came into physical contact with in the past week or so, e) those people will accept a call and, f) change their behavior.

    So yeah, good luck with contact tracing outside of schools or workplaces.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I don’t see any reason it will end. Some people will get annual shots, and some won’t. The “good” thing is that children can get it with little side effects or symptoms, so gradually everyone will have been exposed to it at a young age, probably several variants, and so have some immunity as they age.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In arguing against unsealing the affidavit, the justice department also said that the disclosure could harm its ability to gain cooperation from witnesses not only in the Mar-a-Lago investigation but also additional ones that would appear to touch on the former president.

    “Disclosure of the government’s affidavit at this stage would also likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as in other high-profile investigations,” prosecutors added.

    The existence of potential witnesses who could yet cooperate in a number of investigations against Trump – seemingly people with intimate knowledge of the former president’s activities – rattled close advisors once more Monday, further deepening distrust inside his inner political circle.

    The lack of insight into what the justice department intends to do with the investigation into Trump’s unauthorized retention of government documents has deeply frustrated the Trump legal team and aides alike in a week of perilous moments for the former president.
    It added to the already fraught atmosphere inside the reduced group of advisors who have day-to-day roles around Trump that erupted shortly after the FBI departed Mar-a-Lago and sparked suspicions that a person close to the former president had become an informant for the FBI.

    That speculation came in part amid widening knowledge about how the FBI might have established probable cause that there was a crime being committed at Mar-a-Lago using new or recent information – to prevent the probable cause from going “stale” – through a confidential informant.
    The focus in the middle of the week shifted to Mar-a-Lago employees and other staff at the members-only resort in Palm Beach, Florida, the sources said, seemingly in part because the FBI knew exactly which rooms and where in the rooms they needed to search.

    But towards the weekend, and following the revelation that the FBI removed a leather-bound box from the property and already knew the location of Trump’s safe, scrutiny shifted once more to anyone else who had not yet been suspected – including members of Trump’s family, the sources said.
    Nonetheless, the escalating distrust and rampant speculation about an informant has started to reach dizzying levels, even by the standards of the Trump presidency, which was characterized in many ways by competing interests and political backstabbing, the sources said.


  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    I meant to post this yesterday.

    The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score

    Glad I’m retired.

  6. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: Apparently, a contact tracing app in Australia was deemed a failure and shut down.

    Has it worked anywhere?

    Australia Covid: Contact tracing app branded expensive ‘failure’

    A multi-million dollar Australian app used to track Covid contacts has been decommissioned and branded “a failure” after identifying only two unique infections.

    Health Minister Mark Butler urged people to delete the app, calling it a “colossal waste” of taxpayer’s money.

    COVIDsafe was previously touted “as essential as putting on sunscreen” by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

  7. Scott says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Measurements are tricky things. Good managers know that the key concept to know and understand about metrics (especially those dealing with people) is that you’ll get what you measure. And if you measure the wrong thing, you’ll get the wrong thing. Goes double if tied to performance bonuses.

  8. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: And I’m glad I’m self-employed. If any of my clients suggested using tracking software, they wouldn’t be a client anymore.

    I spend a LOT of time thinking, restructuring pieces in my head, digesting material I’ve read, and strategic thinking. None of that time is done online, and it’s absolutely critical to my work. I don’t just sit down and bang out article after article without reading and thinking about how I’m going to approach a piece.

    This is a very bad road to go down. I mean, I know that employees eff around at work. At one of my workplaces, the graphic designer would regularly watch movies or The Office while he was at work. He was one of the first to go when we had layoffs, because I wasn’t the only one who noticed. But this widespread tracking is moral-destroying.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I worked for one contractor who decided he wanted all his carpenters to keep track of what we did and how long it took. I refused. Just told him I had better things to do, like actually working. He gave up the idea.

  10. CSK says:

    If you aren’t already depressed enough, Tom Nichols says that the Trumpkins know that Trump broke the law, and they don’t care:


  11. Kylopod says:

    Walk down memory lane, I recently found a 2020 Fox News article discussing Liz Cheney’s then-minimal differences with Trump (mostly concerning foreign policy). My favorite part came at the end, in a quote by her that’s pretty ironic in retrospect:

    Cheney said that while Democrats believe in “cancel culture” and want to “erase American history,” the GOP conference has differences of opinion, which is a “good thing.”

    I wish a reporter now (if they haven’t already) would ask her if she’s willing to revisit this judgment.

  12. Jen says:

    Sarah Palin’s ex-in-laws held a fundraiser last night.

    For one of her opponents.

  13. Kylopod says:


    Sarah Palin’s ex-in-laws held a fundraiser last night.

    For one of her opponents.

    That’s effing hilarious.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:
  15. Scott says:

    It’s going to be a fun election year. And this is a county that went overwhelmingly for Trump.

    Gillespie County elections office resigns due to threats, stalking

    Gillespie County elections office have resigned from their positions, leaving the office empty with less than three months before the primary election in November.

    The Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post first reported the wave of resignations last Wednesday, after staff say they received numerous threats and in some cases, even stalking. Now former Gillespie County Elections Administrator Anissa Herrera told the Standard that after the 2020 election she was threatened, stalked and called out on social media.

    “The year 2020 was when I got the death threats,” Herrera told the Post. “It was enough that I reached out to our county attorney, and it was suggested that I forward it to FPD (Fredericksburg Police Department) and the sheriff’s office.”

  16. CSK says:

    @Jen: @Kylopod:
    Hilarious is right. Faye Palin says that it’s not that she doesn’t like Sarah, it’s that she only has one vote. Ouch.

  17. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: In thinking a bit further about this, I’m not sure how they are extending this to freelance workers. One of the legal determinants used by the IRS to satisfy the condition of whether one is truly a freelance worker/consultant, is that the worker has sole discretion over their time. I don’t see how that squares with a tracking app. There’s probably some loophole I’m not aware of, but I know that this is an issue because one of my clients is *extremely cautious* about this, as the IRS could say to her, “nope, these are now all employees of yours” if she directs our time at all. She can’t, for example, even suggest that one of the consultants taking time off would be inconvenient. Now, she might be more cautious than most, but some of these companies implementing this software might want to verify that they aren’t adding to their employee rolls by doing so.

  18. CSK says:

    I can’t stop laughing. Make sure to click through to photo 2:


  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    It seems in the situations described, the direct manager is being pulled from doing that supervision.


    That goes for any job that is using intellectual skills or requires problem solving, which is why this seems so bizzare. Having worked in sales, I always had the ultimate productivity measurement, did I meet quota. There were always other metrics, number of cold calls, appointments proposal etc, and when salesforce automation programs came along other stuff was tracked. But as my toughest VP of sales said, no one cares about that if you are hitting your number.


    Statistical measurement is always difficult and more so for the manager. He/she ends up with a bunch of data that is meaningless.

  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    It was a really, really, great day for the former guy yesterday:
    – The DOJ subpoenaed WH Lawyer Eric Herschmann – who knows more about the fake elector scheme than maybe anyone.
    – The DOJ stated in a court filing that it does not want to release the search affidavit as it will compromise and ONGOING CRIMINAL investigation.
    Sean Hannity told his listeners that Trump could still run for office as a felon.
    Nor for his cronies.
    – Rudy was notified that he is a target of the GA investigation in conspiracy to solicit election fraud.
    – A Federal Judge rejected Lady G’s motion to quash his Fulton County subpoena.
    – The former guy’s accountant at Trump Org is going to plead guiltly to tax evasion – which does not bode well for the investigation into Trump by the NYAG – the one where the former guy took the Fifth 450 times last week.
    My freude is over-schadened.

  21. CSK says:

    I know. The address should be:


    Be sure to click through to photo 2.

  22. gVOR08 says:

    Very good long piece this morning at WAPO on the run up to the invasion of Ukraine. U. S. intelligence decided in October that Russia was going to invade. That launched campaigns to try to dissuade Russia and to prepare NATO and Ukraine. Our allies were reluctant to accept the U. S. assessment, partly because we lost credibility as everyone remembered how our intel around Iraq and Afghanistan had been politically manipulated, but largely because the Europeans thought they understood Putin, believing he was a rational actor, and invading Ukraine made no sense.

    “If you discover the plans of somebody to attack a country and the plans appear to be completely bonkers, the chances are that you are going to react rationally and consider that it’s so bonkers, it’s not going to happen,” said Heisbourg, the French security expert.

    It’s like dealing with Republicans. The Biden administration settled on going with the data and not trying to make sense of Russian intentions.

    The article does cite a Western intelligence failure,

    Western intelligence officials, looking back at what turned out to be the shambolic Russian attack on Kyiv, acknowledge that they overestimated the effectiveness of the Russian military.

    “We assumed they would invade a country the way we would have invaded a country,” one British official said.

    Sorted by most upvoted, the first many comments at WAPO are to the effect of, “Thank gawd it was Biden in charge and not TFG.”

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    .@CSK: I’m still getting “Page Not Found”.

  24. Jen says:
  25. CSK says:

    I give up. Although it worked for me.
    Thank you!

  26. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I had a deal with my first bosses out of law school; I would do what ever crap work they shoved my way for whatever crap rate they paid me (starting salary $6 per billable hour) so long as they left me alone/ignored me and didn’t question my timesheets.

    I worked there for about 10 years and out of the blue they decided that I needed to be watched like a hawk and questioned everything on my timesheet. I quit a month later. They were shocked.

  27. CSK says:

    According to Rolling Stone, Trump is privately spreading the word that Ricky Shiffer, the loon who was so enraged by the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago that he decided to shoot up the Columbus, Ohio FBI office, was involved in a “false flag” operation to make MAGA supporters look bad.

  28. steve says:

    So hot in France they are shutting down nuclear plants since they dont have enough water to cool them. I think nuclear should be part of our climate solution but it is not a problem free energy source.


  29. CSK says:
  30. gVOR08 says:

    Over at FOX “News” website one Tom Del Becarro has an opinion piece Trump raid shows that FBI, Justice Department want to decide who can be our president. No link, going there only encourages them. With a little role playing you could write the piece yourself. It’s mostly BS alleging DOJ and FBI are trying block Trumpsky from running. I bring it up only to note that if it were true, it would only be fair. Then FBI director Comey, with a lot of help from NYT, elected Trump in the first place.

  31. Kathy says:


    There’s only one one flaw with that particular piece of idiocy. It goes something like this

  32. Jen says:

    In the midst of the pandemic, when businesses were closing right & left and people needed help, government stepped up with a relief package.

    Fraud was apparently utterly rampant.

    When people gripe about “government red tape” and “bureaucracy” let’s remember why: it’s because for every person who needs help, there seems to be two people who step up to scam the system.

    But those dollars came with few strings and minimal oversight. The result: one of the largest frauds in American history, with billions of dollars stolen by thousands of people, including at least one amateur who boasted of his criminal activity on YouTube.

    Now, prosecutors are trying to catch up.

    There are currently 500 people working on pandemic-fraud cases across the offices of 21 inspectors general, plus investigators from the F.B.I., the Secret Service, the Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service.

    The federal government has already charged 1,500 people with defrauding pandemic-aid programs, and more than 450 people have been convicted so far. But those figures are dwarfed by the mountain of tips and leads that investigators still have to chase.

    Via NYT.

  33. CSK says:

    I’m having a slow day. Explain.

  34. Kathy says:


    The video at the link is better, but here’s the money quote:

    Franz Liebkind : [while waving a gun around] You made a fool of Hitler!

    Carmen Ghia , Roger De Bris : [Carmen and Roger peer over the couch where they are hiding] He didn’t need our help.

  35. CSK says:

    Ah, I see. No, the Trumpkins need no assistance in looking foolish.

  36. Beth says:

    One little bit of fun I got to have today was doing municipal persecutions. Bunch of idiot kids busted with a tiny amount of (probably cheap bad) pot. Asked the rookie cop if they were jerks or just dumb kids. Lucky for them they were just dumb. I put on a stern face, expounded on why what they did was “baaaaaaaaaad” and then offered them community service. Didn’t want that on their records.

    Oh and the rookie got laughed at. Meant to write a ticket to a daughter who had the same name as her dad. I was spinning trying to figure out if she was on my team and how I could dismiss without getting scolded. Nope, he just wrote the ticket to the wrong person. Told the rookie that his punishment was the other cops were gonna make fun of him.

  37. Jon says:

    @Jen: According to that article the combined bills allocated 5 trillion dollars (3.1 under Trump, 1.9 under Biden) and the article says ‘billions’ which implies 10 or less billion .. that’s a rate of around … carry the 7 … less than 1%. It’d have to be $50 billion to even get to 1%. That’s not an unreasonable rate given the amounts in question and the pressure to get something done quickly.

  38. MarkedMan says:


    I was spinning trying to figure out if she was on my team and how I could dismiss without getting scolded.

    So… people on “your team” are treated differently under the law when you have the authority?

  39. MarkedMan says:

    I’m probably overthinking this, but why were Trumps passports stored with White House documents? It is rumored he wants to travel to his UK golf course soon, and his active passport was stashed in a storage closet? Doesn’t make sense. Was he going to send the busboy in there to find it? Or, as I would presume for a non-moron, does he have a fourth passport?

  40. Jen says:

    @Jon: Thank you for that…I genuinely don’t know if that makes me feel better or not. I mean, yeah, that puts it in perspective but…that’s still a lot of money to get stolen that could have gone to help people, if others weren’t bad/greedy/etc.


  41. CSK says:

    They’re popping up elsewhere:


    Looks as if Ricky Shiffefr was an…influencer.

  42. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m still thinking they just boxed up everything that was lying around the Oval at the last minute. That included his passports.

    As the timeline indicates, he didn’t know they were missing until the FBI told him they had them.

    He sounds more and more like a total train wreck.

  43. CSK says:

    Yes. That makes sense, particularly since Trump has said repeatedly that he like chaos.

    He probably delayed packing on the assumption that the Jan. 6 attempted coup would keep him in office.

  44. Jon says:

    @Jen: Oh for sure, I mean ideally there is zero waste/fraud in any program. The trick is balancing the regulation/enforcement such that you don’t end up spending more money chasing fraud than you would just ignoring it.

    But given the situation, and constraints, I’ll take 1% fraud in a nation-wide program any day. And in a slightly perverse way, even the folks who committed fraud probably ended up putting a good chunk of that money right back in to the economy relatively quickly so in the aggregate it still helped.

  45. Jon says:

    @MarkedMan: I think it was two expired passports plus his diplomatic one (which was issued for use when President?), so he may still have his normal, non-expired normal person passport.

    But also what Jen said; in my head they’re just frantically dumping the contents of drawers into boxes as noon approaches on the 20th. Other than all the evidence of crimes that they’d already diligently worked to hide or steal by installing cronies in the relevant departments, that is.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Same as it ever was.

  47. Beth says:


    Sure. The joy of petty authority is in the wielding. Trans people get crapped on so much the least I could do is let someone slide on a traffic ticket.

    Also, when I say petty, I mean petty. These aren’t even misdemeanors. Most of the time I don’t care so long as someone wasn’t a jerk. Being a jerk usually results in big fines cause you can’t keep your mouth shut and the judge gets sick of your attitude and whacks you anyway.

    Another thing worth pointing out, your statement assumes that this doesn’t happen all the time. The good old boys club gets away with much worse and no one thinks twice about it.

  48. Just nutha says:

    @Kathy: I think COVID has become endemic and we’ll always wear masks in some places. Vaxing like flu only more often.

  49. Just nutha says:

    @CSK:What? You didn’t know this?

  50. CSK says:

    @Just nutha:
    Well, it’s always good to have confirmation.

    There are several kinds of Trumpkins: Those who don’t care that he’s a thieving churl, those who rejoice that he’s a thieving churl, and those who don’t believe anything bad about him on the grounds that it’s all invented by the Fake Media.

  51. Gustopher says:


    But given the situation, and constraints, I’ll take 1% fraud in a nation-wide program any day.

    That’s 1% that we know of. I wouldn’t mind doing a broader audit, determining the numbers, and going after the “job creators” who took the money and didn’t preserve any of the jobs they created.

  52. Jon says:

    @Gustopher: Well sure. I’m just going off the numbers from that article which, if accurate, at least give us a pretty good starting point. I’m all for clawing back whatever funds are found to have been fraudulently awarded. More importantly, I’m all for reviewing how any fraud happened in the first place so we can do better in the future.

    That said, I’m still rather impressed that what were basically ad-hoc programs of “throw money at people” are looking like their fraud rates were less than that of Medicaid (estimated at anywhere from 3-10%/year), which is a long-standing program with what are supposed to be relatively strong fraud protections in place. If I had a point I reckon it’d be “not too shabby, all things considered.”

  53. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    (Imitating a GQP’r),

    So, you’re saying you’re in favor of Biden hiring 47,000 IRS stormtroopers to go after US???

    I’m from a time and place where we expected politicians to be venal and corrupt (but the smart ones stayed bought once someone paid them). Ditto businesses. And hey, black markets? What irritates me most about this theft is how incompetent they were at hiding their shenanigans.

  54. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ve appeared before judges twice. One was just procedural stuff. Did they have probable cause? Yes. Yes, they did.

    The other was before a judge who hit me with 50k bail (just shy of a quarter million adjusted for inflation) and when I showed up in my orange onesie and four-by-fours greeted me with, ‘So this is the master criminal with the all girl gang.’ As I’ve mentioned before it was simultaneously flattering and also convinced me to jump bail.

  55. Michael Cain says:

    The only time I had to appear in court I was 19 and the local town cops had stopped me to quiz me about where the big party that was handing out booze to minors was. (I honestly didn’t know.) The moving violation ticket was complete fiction, but they needed an excuse, I suppose. After multiple delays the case came to trial. The woman ahead of me had attitude and talked her way into three days for contempt. I confined myself to “Yes, sir”, “No, sir”, and “Guilty, sir”.

  56. Stormy Dragon says:


    Measurements are tricky things. Good managers know that the key concept to know and understand about metrics (especially those dealing with people) is that you’ll get what you measure. And if you measure the wrong thing, you’ll get the wrong thing. Goes double if tied to performance bonuses.

    Also important to remember Goodhart’s Law: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure

  57. CSK says:

    Peter Navarro is blaming all of Trump’s idiocies, f*ck-ups, and the loss of the 2020 election on…Jared Kushner.

    Now, I loathe Kushner, but I think Trump had a very large part in his own idiocies, f*ck-ups, and the loss of the 2020 election.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: That was kind of my take, too. The whole reason for being careful about selecting a lawyer is so that you don’t get the same outcome as someone who can only afford a court appointed one.

    “If you have the right lawyer, we have the best justice system in the world.”

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: And it was the same back in the days of Watergate. Reynolds wept bitter tears at the betrayal to our system. I complained about Democrats going after a great leader for doing things they’ve done too. And don’t get me started on the cowardly Republicans in the Senate.

    Yet strangely enough, I found the pardon by Ford offensive and stupid. (There was no reason for him to need a pardon. The Democrats got their scalp; they’d accomplished their goal.)

  60. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Jared Kushner has long been used as a scapegoat among Trumpists; anything that goes wrong is Jared’s fault, his nefariously influencing Trump into bad decisions. Sometimes this is just straight-up anti-Semitism (the first time I heard it was from David Duke back in 2017), but there’s also this idea that Jared is a closet liberal. (Jared was a Democratic donor for years, but then so was Trump, a fact Trumpists never hold against Trump but do hold against anyone else.) Trump himself is quoted as complaining in private that Jared is too “woke,” and pushed him into stuff he didn’t want to do like the criminal-justice bill.

  61. MarkedMan says:


    The good old boys club gets away with much worse and no one thinks twice about it.

    I think twice about it. I think it is wrong. And it is wrong regardless of who does it.

    It’s one thing to fight for justice and fairness and therefore fight against those who unequally dispense favors and punishments when they have the authority. It’s another thing entirely to fight to simply replace those who are being unfair and unjust with you and your team.

  62. CSK says:

    Oh, yes, I’m aware of that. The anti-Semitism is flagrant. I also appreciate the irony of all Trump’s Democratic contributions being ignored.

    The notion that Trump was so pathetically malleable that anyone could push him into doing anything doesn’t speak particularly well of Trump, but that irony is lost on the MAGA fan club.

  63. Beth says:

    @Michael Cain:

    When I was 17 I worked for my dad. One night I wanted to go out with my friends, but he sent me on a run that was going to take me out past when I was supposed to get off. I was pissed. So I did what any sensible teenager with a F150 and a deathwish would do, I went lightspeed. On the way back, I got on the highway, floored it, cut across all three lanes of traffic with no signal, right in front of a state trooper. I was his easiest catch. Three tickets and a court date.

    Fast forward a couple of weeks and we all get in line for the judge. The judge tells us that so long as we’re honest and nice, he’ll be cool. Ok. Guy in front of me in line has the exact same tickets as I do, from the exact same place. Judge asks if he has any priors. Idiot says “No”. The prosecutor the spends about a minute listing off the idiot’s driving misadventures. Judge just nods. Prosecutor finishes and the judge took a beat or two and then just friggin EXPLODES. Screams at the guy for 5 minutes and hits him with three massive fines. I fill my shorts.

    When it was my turn the judge was still red, panting and clearly pissed. He asked me if I had any priors. My answer was “Uh, yes, I don’t know what’s on there but it’s probably not great”. I should add that with these three tickets I was up to 6 on the year and going back wasn’t great either. Prosecutor nodded and shrugged. Judge’s demeanor changed instantly. He was calm and smiling and thanked me for my honesty. Dismissed two tickets and gave me a half of a fine on the other. I walked out, paid the fine, and cried.

  64. Beth says:


    I think you are right and agree with you 100%. That being said, when I have it, I will still wield my petty, minor, authority as I wish.

    Honestly, I’d be less flippant and more circumspect if I was doing anything with any real authority or consequences. These are minor traffic offenses and some municipal silliness. Anyone who screws up really bad gets the States Attorney and that’s no fun for them.

  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  66. CSK says:
  67. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There was a Probate Judge here that was a massive baby and a tyrant. He would make people wait. He would throw things out because of a typo. Lots of screaming and yelling and throwing stuff from the bench. His courtroom was dead silent.

    I had to go in there one day with just an absolute mess of a case. All the money from the Estate had been distributed. Everyone was happy (aunt died left a bunch of money to everyone). The Executor died before getting all the paper work signed. One heir died before they could sign some stuff. I did get one heir to sign before they used their inheritance to flee the law and escape to Mexico. That was a fun phone call. Anyway, I put this all in a motion with all sorts of supporting docs and ask the judge to just close the estate.

    Got to the courtroom and over heard the clerk saying that the Judge was retiring at the end of the week. I step up, he screams at me that what I asked for was improper and threw the printed motion in my face from the bench. I laughed in his face and all the other attorneys looked at me like I was about to be beheaded. I might be the only attorney that did that and didn’t end up hanging out in a holding cell for a couple hours. I just walked out and re-noticed the same exact motion for the next week when the new judge took over. She granted the motion.

    Judges are funny.

  68. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Also important to remember Goodhart’s Law: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure

    One thing that I have always had to drill into junior software engineers — if it isn’t worth measuring, it isn’t worth doing; and the opposite.

    I ended up having to repeat it so many times that I began to think that I could be replaced with a motivational poster — no one ever listened anyway. “What? We didn’t send out this part of the email for over a month, and no one noticed?”

  69. JohnSF says:

    The plants can still be cooled; but the problem is that the outflows are still pretty hot.
    In a river whose ambient temp is well above normal, it pushes the outflow area local temperatures above levels recommended the river ecology.

    In other words, they could still cool the reactors, but at the cost of risking boiled fish around the outlets.

  70. Michael Reynolds says:

    My day: accountant calls to let me know that the IRS is not going to flay me alive, they’re just going to break my legs and I think, ‘Yay!’

  71. Michael Reynolds says:

    The French will never allow boiled fish. Sautéed, grilled, broiled, sure. But boiled? Jamais!

  72. JohnSF says:

    Speaking of reactors…
    After much kicking and screaming, and yells of “energiewende!” and “all ist in ordnung!” and “atomkraft nein danke”, and few pathetic laments for the lost land of Nordstream, looks like German government is acknowledging reality:
    Germany to Keep Last Three Nuclear-Power Plants Running in Policy U-Turn

    In the same vein:
    UK to Import Rare Australian Gas Cargo in Latest Sign of Desperation
    Shipment is first observed on the route in at least six years

    “Winter is coming.”

  73. Michael Reynolds says:


    Judges are funny.

    That’s one word you could use.

    My judge apparently had some issues with behavior and mental health. They ended up kicking him off the bench. Then they culled his old cases and mine was dropped. A thing I found out 10 years later. Because the universe has a sense of humor. Couldn’t really get too upset, it was more like, ‘Fair play, universe, I had that coming.’

  74. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    One word:

    (Two words: “Bouillabaisse? Yum!”)

  75. Stormy Dragon says:


    Goodhart’s Law isn’t saying “don’t measure stuff”. It’s saying that if you do something like “future salary increases will be distributed according to performance on the X-measure”, any value that measure had suddenly ends because everyone is going to start deliberately trying to game the measure.

  76. Jon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The French will never allow boiled fish.

    Just call it confit.

  77. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Palin’s a moron. Greene is an idiot.

  78. Scott says:

    And in the real world.

    Explosions rock Crimea in suspected Ukrainian attack

    Explosions and fires ripped through an ammunition depot in Russian-occupied Crimea on Tuesday in the second suspected Ukrainian attack on the peninsula in just over a week, forcing the evacuation of more than 3,000 people.

    Russia blamed the blasts in the village of Mayskoye on an “act of sabotage,” without naming the perpetrators.

    Separately, the Russian business newspaper Kommersant quoted residents as saying plumes of black smoke also rose over an air base in Crimea’s Gvardeyskoye.

    Ukraine stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for any of the blasts, including those that destroyed nine Russian planes at another Crimean air base last week. Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has used it to launch attacks against Ukraine in the war that began nearly six months ago.

  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Judges are funny.

    Spoken like a lawyer, as opposed to a defendant.

    I learned the hard way a long time ago, no matter how minor the violation/crime, get a lawyer. It’s money well spent.

  80. JohnSF says:

    Ah, but that’s where you boil to preserve, but in fat, rather than water.
    Breton confit scallops is excellent!
    I cannot speak as to it’s cholesterol level, however. 🙂

  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I thought the French poached some fish, but I haven’t done French cuisine in a long time.

  82. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Yes, but who will be NUMBER ONE?

  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: And is the second stupidest member of Congress the winner or the loser?

    And either way, the biggest loser is the US.

  84. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yep, with white wine, fennel, garlic, and carrots.

  85. Jon says:

    @JohnSF: Not just to preserve. And my favorite example of confit is carnitas which, I am pretty sure, have taken at least a year or three of my life. Totally worth it.

  86. Beth says:


    Most non-litigators and non-lawyers are afraid of judges. Litigators generally aren’t because we are used to Judges being mercurial and weird. Generally once you get that and can figure out what slot a judge goes in (Good/Bad/Crazy) then you can try and get them to work to your advantage. That and knowing which voodoo to use when is like half the battle. Regardless of what the facts or law are. If you have the facts, the law, AND the voodoo? Man that’s just glory.

    I had a case where I was subtly trying to get the pro-se defendant to punch me in the face. I knew I was in front of a very good judge who would have thrown the defendant into County for a couple months to cool off and the judge would probably go along with whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, he juuuuuuust managed to not punch me in the face. It was also a toss up whether he was going to start using racial slurs at the very distinguished Black Judge or gender slurs at me.

    I have a great job.

  87. JohnSF says:

    Apparently there are two separate blast areas reported, at Mayskoye and Gvardeyskoye.
    And there was also the drone(?) strike against Russian naval HQ Sevastopol a couple of weeks ago.
    And they keep “tapping” the bridges in the south.

    As before, around Kyiv, Ukrainians seem to have a preference for boiling the frog slowly.

    And also, took out the Wagner Group HQ in Popasna.
    The nasty f@ckwits geolocated themselves, LOL.

    Apparently came close to nutting Prigozhin.
    Next time, eh?

  88. Scott says:

    @JohnSF: Not doing too much for the Crimea tourist industry either.

  89. JohnSF says:

    Oh, yes. you can confit and eat.
    Done confit duck myself; not that tricky.
    Just need a baking container that’s deep enough and not oversized.
    A bit expensive re. duck fat, but yummy.

    But it originated as a method of preservation.

    Just googling confit carnitas, I never knew it was a Mexican tradition!
    Well worth investigation.

    Pity that one thing England is sadly short of, is Mexican restaurants (outside London).
    May have to try cooking it myself.

  90. Jon says:

    @JohnSF: Pork slow simmered in its own fat. So good. Roberto Santibañez has a pretty approachable (and pretty good) recipe for home cooks.

    And I guess I never realized confit was originally for preservation, although on reflection that makes sense. TIL.

  91. Gustopher says:


    Pity that one thing England is sadly short of, is Mexican restaurants (outside London)

    This surprises me. Mexican food is one of the most forgiving cuisines — bad mexican is still pretty good, and you can easily set the spice level to the local preferences.

    (Source: I am a terrible cook, but my Mexican tastes perfectly mediocre — a huge improvement over terrible!)

  92. Michael Reynolds says:

    Also fish stock, I realized belatedly. You gotta simmer at least, not sure about boiling.

  93. Michael Reynolds says:

    There’s a rumor they got Putin’s Chef in that attack. Just a rumor. But it’s fun to imagine Putin when he learns his buddy got all blowed up thanks to a Russian reporter. On top of things blowing up in Holy Crimea. Not a happy day in the Kremlin.

  94. Kylopod says:


    I also appreciate the irony of all Trump’s Democratic contributions being ignored.

    When it was brought up in 2015, Trump’s explanation was that it showed his power and influence. (It was tied to the larger theme that his great wealth immunized him to the influence of money but enabled him to influence others.) This quickly became the standard line among Trumpists–including Limbaugh, who said it demonstrated Trump’s genius–and then the issue was never addressed again. The same generosity has not been applied to anyone else. There are actually quite a few people in Trump’s circle with histories as ex-Democrats, including Navarro himself (who was a Clinton supporter in the ’90s before he went down a nationalist rabbit hole in the following decades) and Michael Flynn (during his trial balloon as a possible vp choice in 2016, what scuttled it wasn’t his being a conspiracy nut, but his record of being openly pro-choice, something which, again, somehow didn’t simultaneously disqualify Trump).

  95. JohnSF says:

    British default setting for spicy cuisine = “Indian”.

    I suspect you need a base level of kitchen crews grounded in the tradition for it to flourish.
    UK has that with South Asians, south Chinese, and some European cooking.
    But not Mexican

    (Outside London. ‘Cos’ London has everything. 🙂 )

  96. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Yeah. Prizoghin.

    A war criminal shit of the first order.
    I shall do my little happy dance the day he meets the reaper.

  97. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: I have number of lawyer friends, including a couple litigators and even one Fed PD (no longer practicing, too depressing for her). I know that for a lawyer, being in court is just another day in the office. But for a defendant… Mind you, I never faced any truly serious charges, most of them I can laugh at now, but…

    I will never again plead “Guilty” without benefit of counsel. Just, no.

  98. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Both are too depressing to contemplate.

  99. Jen says:

    You gotta simmer at least, not sure about boiling.

    Simmer!! Never boil a protein, it makes it tough and grainy.

    (My British-born husband upon hearing this “no one told the English…”)

  100. JohnSF says:

    Well, my English granny told me a long time ago:
    “A stew boiled is a stew spoiled.”
    Query: whereabouts was you husband from?

    Because part of the difference may be between the “bumpkins” and the “townies”.
    Part of English/British working class history: the radical disconnection from traditions.
    And the appalling deprivation of the Victorian conurbations.
    (But also, as usual with Britain, class also enters the equation. And regionality.)

    Midlands (where I’m from) was a bit different from some areas: the Black Country for instance was known for having a lot of folk who combined industrial work with smallholdings and keeping pigs and chickens.
    (Plus a high proportion of recent incomers)

    Which was not something you’d likely come across in e.g. the East End of London, or urban Lancashire, or even central Birmingham.

    Perhaps New York or Chicago might have become similarly disconnected without a continual influx of “1st generation ex-peasant” incomers; in UK by 1950 some older urban areas had been native urbanite working class majority for a century or more.

    NB: Maybe NY & Chi. did; don’t know enough about US urban social history: does anyone here?

  101. JohnSF says:

    Also, if you are “boiling” a confit, not simmering, that’s deep frying right there!

    We need a Scotsman for an expert opinion on that!

  102. Jax says:

    I’m not a numbers person, but it looks to me like a lot of people showed up today to vote AGAINST Liz Cheney, and not much else. The Governor seat is also up for grabs, and I expected Mark Gordon to face the same heat as Cheney, but it looks like he’s going to win in a blowout, despite being a relative “moderate” in todays conservative circles.

  103. Jen says:

    @JohnSF: Husband is from East Anglia region originally, Suffolk. My hunch is he was just being cheeky about English food in general–which does not deserve its reputation, IMHO. I consistently get wonderful meals when I am in the UK, with only a few average meals. A lot depends on picking the right spots!

  104. JohnSF says:

    Thing is, a lot of cooking used to be appalling, until the 1990’s or so.
    Anything institutional (schools, canteens) in particular, most chain restaurants and pubs.
    And quite a lot of domestic cooking where the inherited traditions had been wiped out during the upheavals of enclosures and industrial revolution.

    OTOH there was always a solid, if rather idiosyncratic, domestic tradition that did carry on in a lot of other families.
    It varied; my mother for instance was always excellent with roasts, pies, cakes, stews etc. But not with salads, for some reason.

    These days, a lot of publicly vended food, if perhaps not up to French or Italian standards, is at least on a par with Low Countries, Germany and Scandinavia.