Tuesday’s Forum

Fire away.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. 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:

    Los Angeles Times
    @latimes

    Virtually the entire population of Hong Kong wore masks voluntarily from the beginning. They have had four COVID deaths. From @LATstevelopez:

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Reuters: Seven weeks into coronavirus lockdowns, Fed has a new, darker message

    There is “nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy,” Powell told viewers, while pointing out the U.S. central bank’s outsized ability to take on lending risk and provide a financial “bridge” over the temporary economic weakness the country was experiencing. Speaking after the Fed cut interest rates to near zero and rolled out a plan to backstop credit for small- and mid-sized companies, Powell emphasized the first order of business was to get the virus under control.

    “The sooner we get through this period and get the virus under control, the sooner the recovery can come,” said Powell, echoing remarks made the day before by Anthony Fauci, a top U.S. health official helping to coordinate the federal government’s response to the coronavirus crisis. At the time, Powell said he expected economic activity would resume in the second half of the year, and maybe even enjoy a “good rebound.”

    But on Wednesday, he offered a much more sober outlook.

    In an interview webcast by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Powell warned here of an “extended period” of weak economic growth, tied to uncertainty about how well the virus could be controlled in the United States. “There is a sense, growing sense I think, that the recovery may come more slowly than we would like,” he said.

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  3. Bill says:
  4. Bill says:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    Scientists find rare Florida blue bee, last spotted in 2016

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A really thorough piece from the Financial Times: Inside Trump’s coronavirus meltdown | Free to read

    It defies excerpting but I will quote this part to give the flavor of it:

    Other scientists have taken note of Bright’s fate. During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, when Obama’s administration sent 3,000 US military personnel to Africa to fight the epidemic, the CDC held a daily briefing about the state of progress. It has not held one since early March. Scientists across Washington are terrified of saying anything that contradicts Trump.

    “The way to keep your job is to out-loyal everyone else, which means you have to tolerate quackery,” says Anthony Scaramucci, an estranged former Trump adviser, who was briefly his White House head of communications. “You have to flatter him in public and flatter him in private. Above all, you must never make him feel ignorant.”

    An administration official says advising Trump is like “bringing fruits to the volcano” – Trump being the lava source. “You’re trying to appease a great force that’s impervious to reason,” says the official.

    When Trump suggested in late April that people could stop Covid-19, or even cure themselves, by injecting disinfectant, such as Lysol or Dettol, his chief scientist, Deborah Birx, did not dare contradict him. The leading bleach companies issued statements urging customers not to inject or ingest disinfectant because it could be fatal. The CDC only issued a cryptic tweet advising Americans to: “Follow the instructions on the product label.”

    Go read it all. It’s long but well worth the effort.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jeremy TEST/TRACE/ISOLATE Konyndyk
    @JeremyKonyndyk

    Alright. There is a LOT of chatter on this website bashing those who are saying most of the country still isn’t ready for a safe reopening. So, as we approach what would normally be summer pool season, here’s a short analogy about pooping and accountability.

    2) Imagine you’re at the pool, and a kid poops in the water. It happens a few times every summer. What happens next? Everybody clears the pool. That’s the initial step to protect people from the poop. But it’s not the end of the story.
    3) There’s a next step – some poor soul on pool staff has to go fish out the poop. It’s a pretty thankless job. Then they have to shock the pool with chlorine to kill off bacteria. And then everyone waits half and hour or so til it’s safe to swim again.
    4) If the lifeguards tell everyone to clear the pool, but the pool staff declines to actually get rid of the poop, what happens? No one can go back in. The poop is still there. Limbo. Whose fault is it that it’s not safe to go back in the water? Who is accountable?
    6) Do you focus on the people saying “clean up the poop before we can go back in safely!”? Or do you focus on the staff whose job it is to clean up the poop? And what would you think if the staff started saying – look, just get back in. Be a warrior.
    The answer is pretty obvious.
    7) So right now, our country is a big swimming pool with a poop problem.
    And the President, rather than fix the mess, is urging everyone back into the pool regardless and saying the *real* problem is those people who think the pool’s not safe yet. They must hate the pool, etc.
    8) And a lot of the public is buying it!! The President’s whole play here is to distract from his failure to fix the mess by focusing the country’s attention on people who don’t want to swim in a pooped-in pool. He wants you to believe they’re saying you should never go back in.
    9) And if you buy that, he’s off the hook. He doesn’t have to clean up the poop, and he doesn’t get blamed for failing to do so. Win-win for him.

    But NO ONE is saying “never go back in the pool.” They’re saying – please clean out the poop first.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Pretty damn cool. Thanx.

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  8. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m not sure I get the point of the analogy. There is no way to kill off the virus and there may never be. We still don’t have a cure for AIDS, four decades in.

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  9. Teve says:

    @realDonaldTrump. 20 hrs

    LOSER!

    (40 seconds of Mitt Romney losing in 2012)

    what an asshole

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: Well then, I guess what South Korea did about covid was a complete waste of time and money.

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  11. MarkedMan says:

    Given past picks, I’m thinking Benatar rather than Stapleton?

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: Also, there is no cure for people shitting in the pool. Just because somebody else will shit in the pool again doesn’t mean you don’t remove the turd and treat the water.

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  13. Teve says:

    Woman who designed Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard has been removed from her position.

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBS12) — As Florida starts to reopen, the architect and manager of Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard, announced she’d been removed from her position, Florida Today reported.

    Rebekah Jones said in an email to CBS12 News that her removal was “not voluntary” and that she was removed from her position because she was ordered to censor some data, but refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.”

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  14. sam says:

    Michelle Goldberg @michelleinbklyn:
    Side effects of hydroxychloroquine include paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis…

    George Conway, Noble Committee Chair @gtconway3d:
    So how do we tell if it’s affecting him?

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  15. Jen says:

    @Teve: Heads up, you’ve posted a link to a news piece alleging improper data manipulation, you might be accused of advancing a conspiracy theory! 😉

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  16. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: That’s the tune stuck in my head.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “You know, it’s funny how Obama hides his insults, almost like he doesn’t want to get in trouble with Michelle for going low.”

    -Trevor Noah

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  18. CSK says:

    This is interesting: http://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/coronavirus-trump-lying-or-clueless/611824/

    The author asks if Trump is deliberately lying about Covid-19 or colossally ignorant. Neither alternate is particularly comforting.

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  19. Scott says:

    FBI: Shooter at Pensacola Navy base coordinated with al-Qaida

    The gunman who killed three U.S. sailors at a military base in Florida last year repeatedly communicated with al-Qaida operatives about planning in the months leading up to the attack, U.S. officials said Monday

    The new details, including that Alshamrani had been radicalized abroad before he arrived in the U.S., raise fresh questions about the vetting of Saudi military members and trainees who spend time at American bases. The announcement also comes amid tension with the U.S. over instability in the oil market during the coronavirus pandemic and as the Trump administration faces criticism that it has not done enough to hold the kingdom, which has tried to improve its international image, accountable for human rights violations.

    When are we going to learn that the Saudis are not our friends? They’ve been supporters of al_Qaeda from the beginning.

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  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: trump deliberately lies all the time. I see no reason to give him the benefit of ignorance about covid, especially when any ignorance he has of it is willful.

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  21. Teve says:
  22. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The funny thing is, Obama mentions some ‘people in charge who don’t know what they’re doing’, and everybody says Hey, he’s attacking Trump!

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  23. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    That’s what I thought, but I’m willing to believe–as is the author of this piece, I think–that Trump’s not just a monumental liar but epically stupid. He’s not capable of assimilating even basic information.

    I’m surprised you’d think I’d give Trump the benefit of the doubt about anything. I should think I’ve made my loathing of him clear enough over the past five years.

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  24. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:

    There’s no way to kill off SARS-CoV2 inside the human body. Plenty of ways to do it outside.

    Pedantry aside:

    While there is no cure for AIDS, there are treatments available that keep patients in reasonably good health and allow them to live normal lives for decades. Also, no one is advocating sex without protection, sharing needles, or not screening blood donors. Finally, there is an effective system for testing and tracing.

    Not to mention you can’t get AIDS from casual contact.

    So, there’s no treatment for COVID-19, true. But there are protective measures many of the “reopen at any cost” types are also against. And there’s no system in place for widespread testing and tracing; some states may have implemented them, but not all.

    Ok, we can’t lock down forever. We can’t even lock down until there is a vaccine. But we can until there is testing and tracing, and we can take all other protective measures.

    All outbreaks and pandemics burn out, usually because there is no one left to infect. When most people have been infected and some recover and some have died, the virus has nowhere else to go. Lock down is a way to accelerate this process by denying the virus virgin ground to expand.

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  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: In the past, I’ve referred to the Republicans as the Party of Lies. It’s not just that they are liars in the traditional sense, but their entire power structure is incompatible with reality.

    And lest anyone thinks that means they can’t stay in power, just look at the literally centuries long power grip the reality-deniers have had in the Trump states, and more dramatically, the Assads, the Kims, the Qaddaffis that kept power for decades.

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  26. KM says:

    @James Joyner :
    The point of the analogy is very simple: do something meaningful about an obvious health issue before expecting people to resume normality. Personally, I think it’s a great analogy because it’s something people can easily understand. You can’t end the cause of the problem (pooping children in pools) but you can address the immediate issue (that turd right there) to stop people from getting sick. Let people swim among the feces and it doesn’t end well for anyone, with more work involved in cleanup then just fishing the damn thing out. At this point, it’s not just a turd but multiple children having diarrhea in the wave pool. Trump wants you to go back in – doesn’t that brown water look inviting? What’s the problem – that corn was always there!

    Had the entire country done the right thing back in March, we’d be done right now. We’d be on the prowl for flareups and isolating outbreaks, not watching a wildfire burn out of control. A 2-3 week complete lockdown EVERYWHERE and mandatory masks would have prevented the spread and well, made this the NYC problem the GOP claims it is. We’re not asking for COVID to go away forever – we lost that chance months ago. We are asking, however, for management to kindly do something about the toxic mess they’re left for us before demanding we dive in.

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  27. Moosebreath says:

    As my HS senior changes the lyrics to, Hit me with your pet shark!

    @Bill:

    “The Florida headline of the day-

    Scientists find rare Florida blue bee, last spotted in 2016”

    So it lost its spots, but kept its blue pigment?

    Please tip your servers.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I wasn’t referring to you, I was speaking of the author of that piece, which I have to admit I only read the first 5 or 6 paragraphs of. So he may have rescued himself later on, but I had read enough to make me think I wasn’t going to learn anything I didn’t already know, so I stopped reading.

    As for being epically stupid, you are absolutely correct. I have always felt wilful ignorance the defining characteristic of that particular trait.

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  29. @MarkedMan:

    Benatar

    You fired away and hit the target.

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  30. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    The author did say at one point that Trump had been a liar for decades, so I suppose it’s possible to believe, as I do, that Trump is simultaneously a liar and an ignoramus. If you think about it, the two traits are entirely compatible.

    In any event, I think you and I agree far more than we disagree.

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  31. Monala says:

    @Scott: imagine this had taken place during the Obama administration. It would be Benghazi 2, day and night. But it’s been barely a blip in the news cycle, even before the coronavirus.

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  32. CSK says:

    And speaking of Trump’s epic lying, it’s astonishing the number of people since yesterday who’ve posited that Trump is lying about taking hydroxychloroquine, some of them citing that strange letter from his doctor Sean Conley, which doesn’t appear to confirm that Trump is actually ingesting the drug.

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  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK:

    I suppose it’s possible to believe, as I do, that Trump is simultaneously a liar and an ignoramus. If you think about it, the two traits are entirely compatible.

    They quite often work hand in hand, as they do in trump. I just don’t think there is much utility in trying to decipher which one is more responsible for whatever idiocy has most recently exited his mouth.

    My ex was a pathological liar and I have stated that she could quite literally not make an honest to dawg no bullshit statement to save her life. Even if she told a truth she would have to embellish it. I see that exact same behavior in trump.

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  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    Saw that last night, it is very true. Giant mobility scooter LoL

    Much as Irv the Liquidator bought the corpse of AMF and then spun the various companies off, including HD to make himself a tidy fortune, a 21st century vulture capitalist will be picking at the bones of HD. The brand will be separated from the manufacturing with manufacturing sold off to a conglomerate who will build the bikes in Asia and license the name. The rest of the company will be life style brand, much as Indian was before Polaris bought it. Some day a John Bloor (resurrected Triumph) type might come along and recreate the brand

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  35. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    No, there probably isn’t much practical value in trying to establish whether Trump’s mendacity outweighs his ignorance, or vice versa. But it’s a question that keeps occurring to me, no doubt because I’m in self-imposed quarantine and have to find some way to occupy my mind. 😀

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  36. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Bill:

    The guy who rediscovered it–Chase–has been my friend since we were born. Literally, our hospital rooms were two away from each other. He’s been obsessed with bee keeping and entomology since middle school. I could not be prouder or more overjoyed at his success.

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  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: With my ex, just telling myself that whatever she said was a lie was a matter of survival. Trying to figure out anything beyond that was… Really hard to describe the avalanche of emotions those memories invoke. I just had to shut down those questions.

    At any rate, I apply the same rule to trump. It’s my default setting. “Is s/he a lying sack of shit? ‘Nuff said.”

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  38. a country lawyer says:

    Steven, In yesterday’s forum you questioned how could Judge Sullivan proceed in vie of the governments motion to dismiss the Flynn indictment. Here’s the view from the folks at Lawfare: https://www.lawfareblog.com/judge-sullivan-can-reject-governments-motion-drop-flynns-case

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  39. CSK says:

    According to NBC, Trump doesn’t want to hold an official unveiling of the Obamas’ portraits, and Barack Obama wouldn’t attend the ceremony if Trump did. Can’t say I blame him.

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  40. JohnMcC says:

    @Teve: They committed suicide by using a stupid rubber fan belt instead of a manly, real-American CHAIN BY GOD! Middle aged lawyers and real estate assholes thought it was fine, very contemporary. Harley people were appropriately shamed.

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  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Obama might get some on him.

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnMcC:

    It’s funny that the rubber band has a longer service life than any chain and needs no maintenance.

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  43. 95 South says:

    @CSK: Classless.

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  44. CSK says:

    @95 South:
    Yes. Trump is classless.

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  45. Teve says:

    @JohnMcC: i think you mean the drive belt.

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  46. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Mechanics think that a timing chain is better than a timing belt though, do you agree?

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  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Timing chains last longer but they cost more to manufacture and install.

    ETA: I would also think a timing belt would experience some stretch over it’s life that a chain wouldn’t but I don’t know near enough about the materials used or their construction.

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  48. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: if you were buying a new car and everything was identical except chain or belt, which would you choose? A long time ago I owned a Porsche 944 and if the timing belt snaps on those things you have to rebuild the engine.

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  49. @a country lawyer: Thanks. It is on my list of things I need to read.

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  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: A chain, every time. Both are a pain in the ass to replace but when you are finished with the chain you are set for at least another 200K. With the belt? Again, don’t know enough about the materials or their construction to even give an uneducated guess.

    Over the years I drove and worked on dozens of old beater trucks but I never had a chain break. I did have a belt break somewhere in west Texas once. Wasn’t my truck so I had no tools and had to pay a mechanic to replace it. Mid ’90s cost was almost $700.

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  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @a country lawyer: Thanx for that.

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  52. Michael Reynolds says:

    Today we have a poll out of Arizona: Biden by 7.
    And Virginia: Biden by 12.

    Last Friday we had Florida: Biden by 6.
    And North Carolina: Trump by 3.

    That is all.

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  53. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Fake news!!!!!!!!

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  54. Kurtz says:

    @Kathy:

    There’s no way to kill off SARS-CoV2 inside the human body. Plenty of ways to do it outside.

    Ah man, what am I going to do with all this Clorox?

    I was going to get the generic. But I figured that if I’m going to use it internally, I should get the good stuff.

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  55. CSK says:

    @Kurtz:
    I suppose it’s possible Trump thinks the stuff he’s purported to be taking is actually Clorox-quine.

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  56. Scott says:

    Now here is a virus impact that is a double-edged sword:

    Fewer Traffic Collisions During Shutdown Means Longer Waits For Organ Donations

    In April organ procurement organizations typically see a surge in donations related to outdoor, spring break-related activities and travel, but not this year.

    From March 8 to April 11, the number of organ donors who died in traffic collisions was down 23% nationwide compared with the same period last year, while donors who died in all other types of accidents were down 21%, according to data from UNOS.

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  57. CSK says:

    Annie Glenn, widow of John Glenn, has died from complications of Covid-19. She was 100.

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  58. Mike in Arlington says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My Acura needed it replace every 80k miles or every 8 years, whichever came first. I waited 10 years of very light use and then sold it before replacing it, so I dodged a bullet.

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  59. 95 South says:

    @CSK: If “people familiar with the matter” are right and Trump doesn’t invite Obama for personal reasons, Trump is being classless. If “pfwtm” are right and Obama wouldn’t attend, Obama is being classless.

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  60. Jen says:

    @Scott: It’s interesting/fascinating/a little scary to see all of the strange ripple effects. I didn’t think about organ donation. It’s like seeing a live version of Ray Bradbury’s short story A Sound of Thunder.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sound_of_Thunder

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  61. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    In Arizona, Kelly is up over McSally by 13. If Kelly is really up by 13, it means Arizona will be in play for the Presidency. Is Arizona the next Virginia?

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/laurieroberts/2020/05/19/sen-martha-mcsally-slides-new-poll-and-thats-not-even-bad-news/5218402002/

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  62. An Interested Party says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Could it be that Biden’s age and moderate stance, two of the biggest knocks against him, are actually bonuses for voters in red states? Who knew…

    @95 South: Why would Obama attend any ceremony involving a person who constantly lies about him and accuses him of some bogus conspiracy that doesn’t exist…

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  63. EddieInCA says:

    @95 South:

    If “people familiar with the matter” are right and Trump doesn’t invite Obama for personal reasons, Trump is being classless. If “pfwtm” are right and Obama wouldn’t attend, Obama is being classless.

    Can you give me one example, ever (seriously, EVER) where Donald Trump has been what could be considered “classy?”

    I can give dozens and dozens of examples for Obama. Can you give me ONE of Trump?

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  64. The Q says:

    To 95 south,[deleted by admin], yesterday you were spouting off about the Florida data manipulations as being innocent mistakes and now this, “Florida Health Department officials told manager to delete coronavirus data before reassigning her, emails show”….spin this latest wingnut subterfuge [deleted]

    Could we please not be personally insulting? The story itself helps make your point. Calling names detracts. Thanks. SLT

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  65. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    The number of referrals to Beth Israel Deaconess Breast Center dropped by 65% in April. There was also a “dramatic drop” in admissions of heart attack and stroke patients.

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  66. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes. Chains last a long time. When they wear, valve timing goes off and it runs poorly and will rattle at idle. Belts need to be replaced when scheduled. On most cars it’ll cost what it would to replace it on schedule, plus the tow and inconvenience. On some cars it’s disastrous. If a belt breaks the cam and valves stop moving and the pistons may crash into open valves, destroying the valves and the pistons. And maybe much more.

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  67. Jen says:

    @CSK: Yes, I’d seen those types of numbers (heart attack and stroke, and cancer referrals), and the number of auto fatalities that had gone down (and my auto insurance company has now twice refunded premiums to policyholders because their costs have gone down). I just hadn’t thought about organ donation, for some reason.

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  68. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Nor had I thought of organ donations. I’m sure there are still many other things that haven’t occurred to either one of us. In a way, your mind veers away from it; some of the possibilities are too dreadful.

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  69. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: As someone who bought used 1970’s and 1980’s cars at the start of my auto-owning lifetime, I’m hyper aware of all the failure points of a car and a broken timing belt or chain is especially expensive. The conventional wisdom for decades has been chain, not belt. (And incidentally, an engine design that won’t throw a piston rod through the head if it fails.) But I’m not so sure that is true anymore. Materials have changed so dramatically I’m not sure that a chain comprised of hundreds of moving parts and needing lubrication would outlast a modern belt. Anyone have more expertise?

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  70. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: Are you implying that there is no way to pass judgement? After all, Trump refuses to invite Democrats (or even Republicans he has a gripe with) to signing ceremonies for bills they have authored. He won’t even mention their names. Trump is a classless boob, always has been throughout his whole life. This is the guy who literally arranged for his wife to run into his mistress during a ski trip and tipped the press off. Bottom line Trump has decades of constant and unrelenting trashiness behind him while Obama has been a class act since he started public life. But you are saying that there is no way to have a valid opinion here?

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  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South: trump is the antithesis of class. Refusing to attend any event that he will participate in is just evidence that there are levels one won’t stoop to.

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  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Materials have changed so dramatically I’m not sure that a chain comprised of hundreds of moving parts and needing lubrication would outlast a modern belt. Anyone have more expertise?

    Chains get constant lubrication due to the way the engine is constructed. IIRC belts don’t because they don’t need it so the engine is constructed differently. As @gVOR08: noted chains do get wear and the timing gets off over time. Replacing a timing belt/chain (in my own limited experience)(I’ve never worked a post 2000 vehicle) involves the removal of everything at the front of the engine including the radiator and quite possibly the whole front clip, OR removing the engine entirely.

    If one is a mechanic, it’s just another day on the job. If one is a shade tree parts replacer (raises hand) it’s a pain in the ass. These days, about all I do on my truck is brakes. I don’t even change the oil any more because the cost is pretty much the same and if they do it I don’t have to deal with the used oil.

    The fact that “Materials have changed so dramatically” is exactly why I hedge my bets when speaking of belts. But I’m human and I fall back on that which I know and am comfortable with.

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  73. Kurtz says:

    @95 South:

    On this one, I can’t even see the other side of the argument.

    If it was simply a political disagreement, you would have a reasonable point. But this has long been personal, and not because of Obama’s words or deeds.

    Look at Obama’s commencement speech:

    “If we’re going to create a world where everybody has the opportunity to find a job, and afford college; if we’re going to save the environment and defeat future pandemics, then we’re going to have to do it together,” he said. “So be alive to one another’s struggles.”

    Yet, the one part of the speech that a particular portion of the population focuses on is his criticism of the pandemic response. He didn’t even mention anyone’s name! But to them, Obama wasn’t uniting, but dividing; despite most of his speech urging young people toward societal and political engagement.

    As an aside, pollingshows that the majority of independents do not approve of Trump’s response to the pandemic.

    Part of being fair (or an ombudsman) is acknowledging falsehoods. Bending over backwards to split the difference in every case is counterproductive to your stated goals.

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  74. Kathy says:

    Some interesting aviation news to break up the political wars:

    There’s a rumor going around that Emirates will retire many of its A380s. This is notable because 1) Emirates has purchased about half the total A380 production, and 2) they still have six orders outstanding, and 3) Emirates built a successful business model on the hub-and-spoke system using high capacity jets (their other plane in their fleet is the Boeing 777). Meaning Emirates expects demand for air travel to remain low for some time to come.

    As these are massive planes used mostly for long haul routes, it follows Emirates will lay off large numbers of pilots and flight attendants. Pilots who are certified in the A380 only will suffer most. Flight attendants can more easily switch types.

    This also means the second-hand market for A380s will face a glut. Of a handful retired so far, one has been acquired by a wet lessor, the others were broken up for parts. maybe with so many on the amrket, someone will buy a few. but then, with demand so low, who will want to? I can see some billionaire, tin-pot dictator, or Saudi or Gulf prince buying one for use as a private jet.

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  75. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    A timing chain is superior to a belt. Timing belts have maintenance schedule for replacement at about 100000 miles and you should do the pulleys and on some vehicles the water pump, otherwise you risk a catastrophic engine failure if the belt brakes. This assuming an interference motor, that most are today.

    Timing chains you just forget them if they become loud it is usually the chain tensioner or a pulley. That needs to be addressed and while your there you can replace the chain. The problem with timing chains is that they are LOUD and not as compact as the belt.

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  76. Scott says:

    @Kathy: How convertible are these to cargo jets? That’s what happen to the L1011, DC-10/MD-11.

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  77. Sleeping Dog says:

    I just did the timing belt in my Pilot, it was $1800 using honda parts at my local mechanic. There is no reason to use aftermarket parts on this job. Would need to do the wife’s Civic as well, but she using it so little due to the virus that will get deferred.

    Worst belt interval I’m aware of is on Ferrari’s, every 15000 miles of 5 years. About 10 years ago an acquaintance had a 360(?) and the service was $15000, parts alone were $1200

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  78. Kathy says:

    @Scott:

    Airbus dropped the notion of a cargo A380 while the plane was in development.

    The biggest drawback is the placement of the cockpit. I don’t know the details, but it seems that makes it impossible to install a swing door on the nose, as the cargo version of the 747 has (trivia: the 747 was designed to be easily converted to a freighter, because at the time it seemed certain supersonic jets would displace the older, subsonic ones).

    You can install large side doors, but that wouldn’t be enough for outsize cargoes like the 747 freighter, or its descendant the Boeing Dreamlifter, can handle.

    So you’d be wasting a lot of the available volume. You could strengthen the upper deck and load cargo on it, but then you’d need the ground infrastructure to load and unload a double-deck plane. I could see FedEx or UPS doing that for their hubs, but not for every other airport they service.

    So it doesn’t look good.

    There are also plenty of freighter airplanes already that can handle outsize cargo. From the Super Guppy in the 60s, to the Airbus Beluga (based on the A300 and now the A330), and of course the 747-8F and the Dreamlifter.

    Airbus made an audacious bet, and they didn’t quite win.

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  79. Jax says:

    Boy, it’s a good thing there’s an Open Forum every day now. 😉

    Last fall I mentioned that I did not know there there were “flotation legs” available for my drone, but now that I knew, of course I had to have some. I haven’t put them on yet, but I happened to be doing some other drone scouting work over our reservoir to look for cattle that tore down a fence, and noticed the water was smooth and clear as glass. So I dropped it down to about 20 ft above the water and zoomed in.

    LOOK AT ALL THOSE FISH!!!!!

    https://youtu.be/tWJfKmNwyR4

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  80. CSK says:

    Jack Shafer has an article in Politico entitled “Give Trump All the Rallies He Wants.” It’s worth a read.

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  81. CSK says:

    @Jax:
    I believe it was Truman Capote who said that he never drank water because fish, yuck, swam in it.

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  82. Kathy says:

    @Kurtz:

    Ah man, what am I going to do with all this Clorox?

    Just donate it to the local Republican party. It’s the patriotic duty to prove El PITO right, or to die trying.

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  83. 95 South says:

    @The Q: Yesterday’s discussion was about a Georgia story, not Florida. But it was primarily about standards for believing in conspiracy theories. If Rebekah Jones was fired as part of a conspiracy, I want us to find out about it. If the Georgia site posted incorrect information as part of a conspiracy, we should uncover that too. Conspiracy theories can be true ,but it’s foolish to believe in them without evidence.

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  84. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Trout I presume? Over their spawning beds? What size would you guess?

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  85. Kathy says:

    I started reading “Flowers for Algernon.” I’m still very near the beginning, but I can see the author is going for deep, deep heartbreak. I wonder if it’s worth to keep going. I much prefer tears of joy.

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  86. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, trout. Brook, brown, and a few cutthroat. They’re pretty big, some guys that were ice fishing this winter were pulling 8-10 pound brookies out, and even bigger browns.

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  87. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: You’re right, but it’s well worth reading to the end. Or try to find the 1968 film version, “Charly”. Cliff Robertson got an Oscar for Best Actor for it.

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  88. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Flowers for Algernon is very good indeed. Keep on with it. You’ll be glad you did.

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  89. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Damn, I’ve never seen a brook trout anywhere near that size. Of course when I’ve been up that way I was fishing for the little mountain trout in the cricks and alpine lakes. I’m sitting here trying to think back (30 years? has it really been that long?) and I’m pretty sure 15″ was about the biggest I caught.

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  90. wr says:

    @95 South: “If “pfwtm” are right and Obama wouldn’t attend, Obama is being classless.”

    Yes, because nothing says lack of class so much as declining an invitation from a man who’s accused you of the biggest (although unspecified) crime in the history of the United States.

    But again, YOU’RE NO TRUMP SUPPORTER!!!!!!!

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  91. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:
    @CSK:

    Ok. But if I wind up crying and sick with heartbreak, I’ll charge you for a box of Kleenex.

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  92. wr says:

    @CSK: “I believe it was Truman Capote who said that he never drank water because fish, yuck, swam in it.”

    It’s probably been attributed to everyone from Dorothy Parker to Sophocles, but the one I heard growing up was that is was WC Fields who said “Water? Never touch the stuff. Fish fuck in it.”

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  93. Kathy says:

    @wr:

    Yes, because nothing says lack of class so much as declining an invitation from a man who’s accused you of the biggest (although unspecified) crime in the history of the United States.

    Oh, you haven’t figured that one out yet? Obama maliciously destroyed the country’s strategic Covfefe reserves.

    And I hear he does not distim the Doshes.

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  94. CSK says:

    @wr:
    Well, I suppose he had a point.

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  95. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: A couple days ago we talked about Goedel, Escher, and Bach. In one of his interludes he quotes Jabberwocky, along with translations into French and German:
    Il brilgue: les toves lubricilleux…
    Es brillig war. Die schlichten Toven…

    The concept of translating gibberish is disorienting.

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  96. Michael Cain says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Would need to do the wife’s Civic as well, but she using it so little due to the virus that will get deferred.

    As a general rule of thumb on what’s most reliable, I always go check on what Honda does in the Civics and Fits. Timing chain. In the new models, it’s not on the scheduled maintenance list, ever. Honda says that as long as you don’t let the oil get low enough that the chain runs dry, it’s good for 300,000 miles (480,000 km).

    Starting around 1990, Honda committed to being the best engine metallurgy company in the world. They do exotic aluminum alloys for engines in even their smallest models; who knows what they’re making timing chains out of these days.

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  97. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    IMO, gibberish doesn’t need to be translated.

    As for “Goedel, Escher, and Bach,” a local science podcast I used to listen to, “El Explicador” by Enrique Ganem and Maria de los Angeles Aranda, recommended it several times.

    I’ve been advised not to listen to it in audiobook form, which I don’t think even exists, but I wonder, is ti feasible to read on a smartphone as an ebook?

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  98. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: I read Flowers for Algernon once. One of my greatest fears in life, ever since I was a kid, has been a head injury that made me not-smart, but left me with memories of being smart. Couldn’t ever go back and read the novel again. Never been able to bring myself to watch Charly or any of the other adaptations.

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  99. Jen says:

    @gVOR08: Holy crap, I never thought about Jabberwocky auf Deutsch. One of my favorites, I am going to have to look that up!

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  100. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They were native to the creek that fills it when they built the reservoir in 1905, so ever since then they’ve just been stuck in there, breeding and getting bigger, and I would guess more come down the creek every year. “Rumor has it” that the actual state record brookie came from that body of water, but they had come in the back gate illegally and without permission, so it’s attributed elsewhere. That was before our time owning it. We don’t allow boats out on it, and due to the large amount of freshwater shrimp and other food available, they are really hard to fish for from the bank.

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  101. MarkedMan says:

    @Jax: So cool. We live in an amazing world. It’s almost like all the magic dreamed of a century past is now at our fingertips

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  102. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: What’s your standard for proof. A confession?

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  103. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: I may have screamed a little bit when I realized how many they were and how well I could see them. 😉 My Dad was some distance away, I told him “Dad, you gotta come see this, you won’t believe it!” Picture an old, very arthritic man hobbling just as fast as he could over to look at the drone screen. I think we all want to go fishing now, he asked if the girls still had working fishing poles.

    Oddly enough, none of us fish much.

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  104. JohnMcC says:

    Huge apologies for the Harley chain – v – belt distraction. It was all light hearted. A guy I knew used to be a huge Harley fan and had a belt (the kind that holds up your jeans) made from the drive chain. I teased him a good bit when Harley changed to belts. (“I had one like that on a Montgomery Ward gokart with a Briggs and Straton engine”). Was trying to get a little more mileage out of that.

    Interesting reading tho.

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  105. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kathy:

    IMO, gibberish doesn’t need to be translated.

    Ah but it does. You have to translate it from English sounding gibberish to German sounding gibberish (e.g. “the slithy toves” are clearly an English adjective and plural noun, and German would never look like that because that’s not how adjectives and plurals are constructed. So it ends up translated as “die schlichten Toven”).

    IIRC, the book also has an extended discussion of how to translate the title of the Watergate book “All the President’s Men” to French. In English, the title is obviously a reference to the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. But that’s not a commonly known nursery rhyme in France, so a literal translation would lose a lot of the evocativeness of the original. So would it be better to try an find a French Nursery rhyme to allude to even if it means the resulting title is quite different from the original?

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  106. Kurtz says:

    @Kathy:

    I don’t think GEB is a good choice for audio of any kind.

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  107. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: If you need it, you have my permission not to finish Flowers for Algernon. I didn’t care for it particularly. On the other hand, I only read trash for the most part and my least favorite part of the job as an English teacher was teaching literature because it meant that I had to read things that I’d faked my way through in high school over again. 🙁

    (Then again, I was the one in one of my grad school seminars who observed as a discussion progressed that it seemed like text was considered “authentic” when and to the degree that it pandered to the biases of the reader. Once a bomb thrower, always a bomb thrower.)

    ETA: But I used The Gostak and the Doshes in a comp class grammar lecture several times. It was a great vehicle for discussion. Even in Korea.

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  108. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Did a quick look online, don’t see anything except paperback or a very expensive hardcover available. I used to have a hardcover for my library and a paperback to loan out. I no longer have the paperback, perhaps for the obvious reason, but I recall it as perfectly readable.

    As @Kurtz: notes it’s not a good choice for an audiobook. I don’t think it would even be possible. You’d lose the Escher prints, but also the diagrams and musical scores as well as the symbolic logic and math notation, and in many places it relies on typesetting. An e book might be possible, but the extensive graphics would likely be cost prohibitive for a 700 plus page, 40 year old book with an appeal to a somewhat quirky and limited audience.

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  109. Matt says:

    @EddieInCA: Keep in mind McSally is an awful candidate and she’s been getting smashed by ads that started days before those polls. Meanwhile Mark has been steadily building support. It probably helps that Mark is married to Gabby.

    I wouldn’t say that Mark winning automatically translates to a Democratic Presidential win but it could be close depending on how things develop.

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  110. Matt says:

    @gVOR08:
    Back in the day timing belts were used because they are cheaper, smaller, lighter, and much quieter than timing chains. Consumers in generally didn’t like the extra noise of chains so some manufacturers used belts for that reason. Technological advancements have allowed for timing chains to be almost as quiet as belts. Combined with consumers becoming more interested in longevity we’re seeing more timing chains being used.

    If you’re running an interference engine then a timing belt snapping can cause what you stated. It also could not happen as I’ve seen a few engines that have broken the timing belt while running. I haven’t actually seen an engine where a timing belt breaking caused bent valves but I do know people who have. A lot of engines are non-interference so a snapped timing belt means nothing to them.

    Replace your timing belt according to manufacturer specs and do it properly (waterpump etc) if you don’t want to experience a break. 60k-100k miles depending on the year/make/model. The ones I’ve seen snapped were either +30k past the recommended maintenance or the water pump seized because they didn’t replace it with the prior belt and used tap water to dilute the coolant.

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Holy shit here I thought it was crazy that I had to yank a radiator once to do a timing belt. Having to remove the entire front clip reminds me of a car where I had to pull the bumper just to replace a normal head light bulb.

    @Sleeping Dog:
    My local Honda dealer marks up the prices of parts to a ridiculous level. Next closest Honda dealer is 3+ hours away…

    I used aftermarket parts on the last Honda I did a timing belt on because it was already over 250k miles and the parts I got were from the same companies that make the OEM parts. When the parts arrived they had the same markings (excluding honda applied) as the Honda parts… So yeah I used them.

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  111. Matt says:

    @Michael Cain: When I was looking to buy a brand new car a couple years back I went to Honda first. I noticed right away that on the fit/civic the new engines had a noise that sounded like the valve lash was slightly loose. Ended up looking up details when I got home and that’s when I realized it was the chain I was hearing. It was quieter than the previous chain based engines I’ve heard but it was still noticeable.

    I have a long history of Honda ownership which makes me quite a fan of theirs. I’ve also seen their engines take ridiculous amounts of abuse and keep functioning.

    @Sleeping Dog: I forgot to add this in my much earlier post. I was going to comment on the Ferrari’s timing replacement cost. Used Ferrari’s are cheap but they are still expensive as hell to run.

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  112. Kit says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ve been advised not to listen to it in audiobook form, which I don’t think even exists, but I wonder, is ti feasible to read on a smartphone as an ebook?

    My experience was needing to closely follow the argument at all times, and that required me to scribble notes in the margins at any point where I felt I was getting lost. It’s not one of those books that you can just let wash over you, or at least it wasn’t for me.

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  113. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt: I have a very low frustration point. Learned a long time ago that if something was even the slightest bit in my way, I should remove it. Psychologically I was much better off for it. Might take me a little longer to do any particular job but it was a hell of lot more enjoyable.

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  114. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: “What’s your standard for proof. A confession?”

    We all know the drill: For a Republican the standard of proof is a confession on video, notarized immediately afterwards, and entirely revocable at any moment. For a Democrat, an anonymous accusation.

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  115. MarkedMan says:

    No Wednesday open forum?

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  116. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: I don’t think there is any way to have a discussion with someone who looks at Trump and Obama and thinks, “Hmm, which one is less classy? So hard to tell…”

    It would be like comparing favorite bands with someone who struggles to have an opinion on which sounds better, Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas or Beethoven’s piano falling down a flight of stairs.

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  117. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: John Cole, 2009:

    I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.

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  118. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    In English, the title is obviously a reference to the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

    Time you met stupid Kathy 🙂

    I’d never made that connection. I thought the title was merely descriptive, as the book deals mostly with the men who worked for Nixon and what illegal actions they engaged in.

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  119. Kathy says:

    @Kit:
    @gVOR08:
    @Kurtz:

    I looked yesterday, and you’re all right: there isn’t even an ebook edition to be found (though I found what I presume are illegal PDF copies).

    It can wait. it has to. Ordering physical books online is easy, naturally, but the shipping rates can be murder. I’ll probably order it when I schedule a trip to the US.

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  120. Kit says:

    @Kathy:

    shipping rates can be murder

    You’re right: shipping to Mexico from the US is 3-4 times as expensive as shipping to Europe. Crazy!

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  121. Kathy says:

    @Kit:

    Up to around 2010 or so, when I wanted to order books from Amazon, I would ask friends and relatives if they wanted to order anything, so we could split the shipping charges. There was a per-item charge, but also an overall per order charge (a big one). So splitting things made sense.

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  122. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Kathy: It was also a reference to All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.

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