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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Announcing his switch to the Democrats, a Colorado state senator said Republican attacks on democracy were not the only “existential threat” posed by his former party.

    “I have become increasingly worried about our planet and the climate crisis we are facing,” Kevin Priola said, in a letter posted to social media on Monday.

    “The Republican party I joined decades ago created national parks, preserved federal lands and protected wildlife. President Nixon signed the legislation that created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Today, my Republican colleagues would rather deny the existence of human-caused climate change than take action.”

    Priola said such inaction would affect Coloradans already subject to “a near year-round wildfire season” and “a seemingly never-ending drought”.

    Republican attempts to block “reasonable climate measures”, meant he could not stay silent, he said.
    “Like many Coloradans,” Priola wrote, “I watched the events on January 6 [2021] with horror. I felt that clearly this would be the last straw and that my party would now finally distance itself from Donald Trump and the political environment he created.

    “Week after week and month after month, I waited for that response. It never came.”

    Priola commended “brave and honorable” Republicans who stood against Trump after the Capitol attack, including the Utah senator Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney, the Wyoming congresswoman who last week lost her primary after taking a leading role on the House January 6 committee.

    “Fear-mongering to raise money or motivate voters is nothing new,” Priola wrote, “but it has been taken to a dangerous and destabilising level.

    “I cannot continue to be part of a political party that is OK with a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election and continues to peddle claims that the 2020 election was stolen.”
    “Even if there continue to be issues that I disagree with the Democratic party on, there is too much at stake right now for Republicans to be in charge.”

    Saying he had decided to “align with truth over conspiracy”, Priola concluded: “We need Democrats in charge because our planet and our democracy depend on it.”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A classified CIA report shows the agency was unable to find any evidence to support Israel’s decision to label six prominent Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist organizations”.

    In October, Israel labeled as terror groups Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International–Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. Israel claimed that the organizations were front groups for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a leftist political party that has a paramilitary branch.

    Earlier this year, Israel passed intelligence about the designation to the US, but a CIA intelligence assessment of the material did not find any evidence to support the claim, according to two sources familiar with the study. The CIA report “doesn’t say that the groups are guilty of anything”, one source said. The assessment was highly classified, a second source said.

    Numerous states, including allies of Israel, have rejected the terror designation as unfounded. The United States has not publicly criticized or questioned it, but neither has it placed the groups under a US terror designation.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    She travels Canada in a flag-draped RV with an entourage. She greets supporters in small towns, who eagerly film the encounters on mobile phones. She’s called on her disciples to execute healthcare workers and politicians who support mass vaccination campaigns.

    To her more than 60,000 followers online, she’s the newly-installed Queen of Canada. But to law enforcement and national security officials, she represents the threat that online conspiracy theorists may be all too capable of inflicting real-world harm.

    Romana Didulo, a leader within a fringe Q-Anon-linked movement, has claimed sovereignty over Canada, gaining limited but growing popularity amid an erosion of trust in the country’s democratic and civil institutions.

    Last week, Didulo made national headlines after her disciples attempted to make a “citizen’s arrest” of police officers in Peterborough, an Ontario city nearly 300 km south-west of Ottawa. The stunt prompted warnings from experts that similar events are likely in the future as online groups become more emboldened to act.
    The party and its leader received little notice until last May, when she began tailoring her speeches and videos to the narratives of the Q-Anon conspiracy theory. Notable figures in the movement noticed – and her popularity surged.

    On her Telegram channel, she claims that Queen Elizabeth II was executed for crimes against humanity last year and that “white hats and the US military, together with the global allied troops and their governments” have helped install Didulo as sovereign of the “Great White North”.

    She subscribes to a grab bag of fringe views, including elements of the “sovereign citizens” movement, a baseless belief that high-ranking US politicians are part of a child-trafficking cabal and a false theory that aliens visited earth 300,000 years ago.

    Whackos are everywhere.

    “She’s pretty calculating, she knows what she can get away with and what she can’t,” said Kurt Phillips of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

    He points to an incident in August, where a group of Didulo supporters gathered to conduct an arrest of the Peterborough police, joined briefly by Didulo herself. Speaking to supporters over a megaphone, Didulo fired up the small crowd, but fled to her RV when scuffles with police began and some of her disciples were arrested.

    “She was somebody who was boosting this effort … and was very much in favor of it until it went south, in which case she threw all of her followers under the bus. She’s very big on self-preservation.”

    Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:
  7. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s just the modified sound of a humpback whale mating.

  8. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My 40s were wonderful. My husband and I both think that our 50s are making us grumpy. We’re both pretty positive people, we’re just done with nonsense and bullsh!t, and seem to encounter it more often now. Ah, well.

  9. CSK says:

    “The iron law of Donald Trump’s scandals is that they will always be stupid, and there will always be more of them.”


  10. Stormy Dragon says:


    At 45, my 40s have been pretty crappy, although it did finally give me the impetus to start dealing with some things I’ve been avoiding for about 25 years.

  11. JohnSF says:

    My opinion is that after being fairly good up to 10, it’s been downhill ever since 🙁

  12. CSK says:

    I keep reading her surname as “Dildo.”

  13. Kathy says:

    Replying to yesterday’s comment by @Jax. The news stories mention approval on results of tests on mice, without explaining what this means.

    I take it that 1) the mRNA vaccine tech has proven to be safe, so there’s no need to test that again, and 2) the lab mice thing is to see whether Pinky produces antibodies from the new shot and what kind these are, also maybe whether they prevent BA.4 and .5 infection.

    Overall the idea is to get to the types of shots we use for flu each year. Updated for the variants we expect will be dominant, with testing no longer necessary.

    But that’s just semi-informed speculation. It could mean something else.

    I will predict the antivax crowd will shun the boosters now on the ground they weren’t tested, should they bother with actual reasons at all.

  14. CSK says:
  15. JohnSF says:

    Reply to a comment yesterday from Marked Man:

    Incidentally, below $70 is where Russian state budget his major problems.

    …I wonder if this is still true? I assume at this point a) they are so desperate for hard currency they will take it anyway they can, and b) all their domestic costs have shrunk due to inflation.
    …I just googled and saw the ruble has rebounded above where it was pre-invasion. WTF is up with that?

    Well, Russia will be glad of whatever it can get.
    Ruble valuation is rather academic: it’s traded officially in a controlled market, with support from the Russian Central Bank.
    What would happen if it were floated is unclear; main support is hydrocarbon trades; oil still selling, but at a discount; but a discount on a higher base price.
    So overall dollar revenues still reasonable so far; but trending down.

    What that looks like plugged into an overall model of Russian economy and govt. budget, lord knows.
    One the one hand, internal costs relatively lower due to inflation compared to receipts.
    On the other, some vital imports (especially high tech capital goods) way more expensive due to smuggling premiums.
    Domestic manufacturing is struggling.
    Then again, the vast outflows of skimmed money from the ruling class, and upper middle class stashing money in Europe, are likely way down.

    My guess would be that the economy is slowly eroding, and cumulative damage will get much worse next year, as the losses of hydrocarbon sales to Europe hit (and they can’t easily be shifted to to other markets) and import sanctions erode manufacturing capability.

    But state budget is still holding up; unless oil sale price drops below $70 and stays there.
    Though again, increasing loss of natural gas sales can’t be helping.
    The big unknown is what the extra spending levels of the war are.

    Economic damage unlikely to collapse Russian ability to sustain war for at least another year or two.
    But that’s just a guess.

    But Russia certainly not well placed to undertake a general mobilization without serious economic damage in short order, IMO.

  16. Scott says:

    This is taking place in Wolfforth, TX, a town just SW of Lubbock, which is deep Northwest Texas. I know the area pretty well because two of my kids went to Texas Tech. I post this as an anecdote that may show how deep the abortion/reproductive health issue reaches. If one person in a small town West Texas is taking action, then action may be taking place everywhere.

    A West Texas coffee shop owner is giving away Plan B for free as fight over contraception access takes hold

    When the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortions in June, Destiny Adams felt the country was taking a step backward. So she decided to push her small West Texas town a step forward.

    To do her part, Adams began leaving free emergency contraception kits neatly packed in white plastic bags in the bathroom of her coffeehouse, Tumbleweed + Sage.

    The kits — which retail for up to $60 — go quick, Adams said. The first 50 were gone within a week.

    “We don’t charge people or ask questions, we don’t take names, we don’t even know who grabs them,” Adams said.

    With the steady flow of caffeine and Plan B available at Tumbleweed + Sage, Adams has drawn the ire of protesters from the area’s anti-abortion movement to her shop. Some in this Lubbock suburb of about 5,100 have even reported her shop to the Wolfforth Police Department for giving away the emergency contraceptive pills.

    The Lubbock area was — and is — a harbinger in the debate over reproductive rights. And the new epicenter might just be Tumbleweed + Sage. With abortion outlawed in the Lone Star State, the fight in large part is turning to contraception. The fault lines are familiar: Abortion-rights activists are pushing multiple forms of contraception, including Plan B. Abortion opponents are lobbying for additional bans on the medicine.

  17. Beth says:


    I’m 44 and so far, other than wasted pandemic time, my 40’s are great. I have the support, resources and therapy to grab just about every second chance that rolls down my way.

    What I’ve noticed is a lot of my friends fall into two large camps: A. Those that expect to have a specific roll and have more or less found it and are either ok with it or miserable. Like, they did what was “expected” of them and they will continue to do it. And B. Those that have failed to either live up to the unrealistic expectations society foisted on them or steadfastly refuse to get therapy and deal with their own past. The Bs seem to exclusively be men.

  18. Kathy says:


    Plan B doesn’t require a prescription. Giving it away is not different in principle than giving away aspirin or any other over the counter drug.

    My only concern would be that people might grab handfuls for resale.

  19. CSK says:

    That was my immediate reaction: resale.

  20. Scott says:

    @Kathy: @CSK: My immediate thought was that the anti-abortion folks were taking them and throwing them away.

  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    The thing was, it sounded exactly like you’d expect a black hole to sound. I guarantee you sound effects people in Hollywood and around the world have captured that audio file. We will hear it in movies. It’ll be like the Wilhelm Scream, ubiquitous.

  22. Mu Yixiao says:


    Most of my 40s were spent in China, so… I claim an exemption. 😛

  23. JohnSF says:

    This caught my eye:
    Colin McCarthy

    China is experiencing the worst heatwave ever recorded in global history.
    The combined intensity, duration, scale, and impact of this heatwave is unlike anything humans have ever recorded.
    Over 260 locations have seen their hottest days ever during this 70+ day heatwave.

    World Meteorological Organization
    Intensity, impact, scale and duration of #China’s heatwave this summer has broken all records
    It lasted 64 days (as of Aug. 15), with record incidence of temperatures above 40°C. The heat continues

    Further data at China Meteorological Administration:

    …with the average intensity of heat wave events, impact scale, and duration taken into account, the combined intensity of regional heat wave event of China since June 13 has reached the strongest since the complete meteorological observation record existed.

    Query: what are the likely impacts on food import demands and global prices?
    Combined with ongoing “zero covid” policy lockdowns, additional disruption to global supply chains liable to keep inflation at higher levels than seen for a long time.
    Possible impact on encouraging shift of manufactures reliance away from China?

    And in the slightly longer term, potential for shifts in China energy policies and international climate diplomacy?

  24. CSK says:

    That’s another strong possibility.

  25. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Michael Reynolds:
    It sounds like a muffled audio of a Gregorian chant.

  26. Scott says:

    This is something I’ve been banging on about for a while. And firmly believe the mainstream media either does not recognize or understand the issue or is afraid of the backlash if they address it. This drives and will drive radical Christian terrorism.

    White Christian Nationalism, Out in the Open

    There was a time, not very long ago, when far-right figures wanted to avoid being called “Christian nationalists”—denying or deflecting or pleading ignorance. Even now, some reject the label. “Reporters frequently ask me,” Robert Jeffress, the megachurch pastor, said last month, “‘Are you a Christian nationalist?’ . . . And I respond emphatically, ‘No, not in any way.’” In May, Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee in the race for Pennsylvania governor, wrote a reporter, “Is this a term you fabricated? What does it mean and where have I indicated that I am a Christian Nationalist?” Franklin Graham told the same reporter that “Christian nationalism doesn’t exist.”

    Despite the protestations, the term Christian nationalism is well suited for much of the far right. Think of (defeated) Georgia gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor’s slogan “Jesus, Guns, Babies.” Or the extensive Christian symbolism in the crowd that attacked the Capitol on January 6th. Or the Republicans, such as Rep. Lauren Boebert and Doug Mastriano, who have pointedly said they believe in collapsing the separation of church and state.

    We may be entering a new phase, however—one in which at least some people are claiming, proudly, to be Christian nationalists, and writing apologetics explicitly in defense of the label and its attendant ideology. Witness Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who openly proclaims herself a Christian nationalist on Twitter and in interviews and on t-shirts. Or the Federalist, which on August 11 published an article entitled “Christian Nationalism Is Biblical And America-First, But It’s Not White.” The author, Carina Benton, is a regular contributor to the Trump-loving right-wing outlet and not someone with apparent expertise in theology or political philosophy—but the article is a useful indicator of how the debate is shifting, and because similar arguments have popped up elsewhere, it is worth at least a quick dissection.

  27. CSK says:

    That’s the article I cited above in this thread.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: My main concern would be anti-choicers taking them and flushing them down the toilet.

    [Edit: I see others got there before me]

  29. Scott says:

    @CSK: Sorry, didn’t catch that. Was just reacting to what showed up in my morning email.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That is rather fitting.

  31. becca says:

    @JohnSF: are these trick questions?

  32. CSK says:

    No prob. It is rather depressing. Good, though.

  33. inhumans99 says:

    As I was hanging out on the internet yesterday I ended up on Newsweek’s site, and they claim that about 60,000 Russian troops have died in the conflict. Some of the other articles they have up on Russia, or articles that send you to an affiliate/sponsored site just feel too propangandish for my taste. The type of articles that seems to indicate the end is nigh for Russia and they will stop the war in Ukraine any day now, in fact a decision is just around the corner, those types of articles are just not believable to me.

    I am more likely to believe that I can get a great deal on some swampland in Florida (perfect site for future condominiums) that I am to believe the content of some of the articles on Newsweek, but the estimated number of Russian casualties seems like it might be somewhere (even if only remotely close) in the ballpark of being accurate.

    What do others who keep up on the Ukrainian conflict via more reliable sites and sources on Twitter think about this? I know that during the first 3 months while we were made aware of how brutal the loss of life has been towards Ukrainians trying to live out this war in their own country, it was no secret that Russia also took a beating and estimates of about 20,000 dead were brought up in some reliable news sites.

    The thing is, that estimate is ageing out, and I have to assume that the number of dead or wounded Russians has gone up. I am morbidly curious as to what the current estimate is, because folks keep saying that even Russia, which claims to be prepared for a 1,000 year war (which sounds more and more like a promise that Russia cannot keep), will need a massive new influx of warm bodies on the battlefield if the conflict does not wrap up soon.

    I do not see things ending soon, if anything, we have entered a phase where Ukraine is able to conduct operations in areas that Russia thought they had a lock on (Crimea) keeping control of the region (such as the Crimean region).

    I am sure with a bit of research I can acquire this info on my own, but I suspect others are curious as well.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Twas ever thus. I remember a time when John Silber, then President of Boston University, addressed students advising them that when they attended protests, they should leave when the faculty did if they wished to avoid being arrested.

  35. Mu Yixiao says:


    The estimates that I’ve seen range between 70k and 80k dead or wounded. BBC had an article yesterday about recruitment efforts.

    Like many towns in Russia, Volosovo has them installed on tall poles that line the main street. Traditionally they are used for playing patriotic music during national holidays. Now, though, they have a different purpose.

    “Two volunteer artillery battalions are being formed. We invite men from 18 to 60 years old to join,” the speakers blare out.

    [emphasis added]

    You don’t actively recruit 60-year-olds to be front-line soldiers if your war is going well.

    Add on to that the recent reports of attacks well behind the front lines, and things are not looking so good for Russia.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’m inclined to see it more as a tactics shift. Dominionism has been pretty thoroughly tarred as being anti-American, so Dominionists tack over to a model of “nationalism” over “conquering.” How one advertises is important within Evangelicalism. Bad advertising slogans don’t increase converts congregation membership.

  37. JohnSF says:


    …are these trick questions?


    The effects on global food prices, already high, could be considerable if China is driven by local harvest failure to import more food.
    Similarly, global supply chains are already tight.
    With forecast of inflation in UK of 13 to 18% in the coming winter, we can certainly do without more price pressure.

    So can the food import dependent poor countries of the world.

    Questions about China’s possible policy response are also genuine.
    Paying more than lip-service to the issue might later on produce a useful basis for some degree of constructive dialogue between China and other countries.

    Some other people here probably have a better guess than me about how China may respond.

  38. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Howard Zinn was famous for egging the students on and then departing very quietly just before the cops arrived.

  39. Jen says:

    Is Dr. Oz trying to tank his candidacy, or is he just this…dumb? Today he apparently said that veterans should have their free health care via the VA discontinued, and that they be moved into private health care plans.

  40. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    That makes sense. As I’ve mentioned, I had no religious upbringing whatsoever, so this is all uncharted territory to me.

  41. becca says:

    @JohnSF: no disrespect, intended. You are one of the most knowledgeable commenters here. It just seemed odd framing, coming from you. Talking about what effect climate change will have on a country without actually mentioning climate change just sounded dissonant to me.
    I’ve been breathing insect repellent all morning, so, what do I know?

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I changed careers at 40–almost exactly at in fact. Never got back to economic standard I left, got both married and divorced in that period. As to unhappiest? It’s a state of mind issue. Contentment is the key. Always been content.

  43. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: @Scott: Here is how Andrew Torba, Gab founder and informal adviser to Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, defines Christian nationalism:

    We don’t want people who are atheists. We don’t want people who are Jewish. We don’t want people who are, you know, nonbelievers, agnostic, whatever. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country… Ben Shapiro is not welcome in the movement unless he repents and accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior.

    And here are Nick Fuentes’ comments:

    Catholics were put on the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Jews stood in the way. Let me ask you this: Who was the last justice that died to make this happen? Not to be glib about it, but who is the last justice to die? Who is the last Jew that was replaced with a Catholic on the Supreme Court that allowed abortion to be overturned? Because guess what, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg—who was a Jew on the Supreme Court—if she didn’t die last year so that Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic woman, could be appointed in her place, Roe v. Wade would still be the law of the land. Think about that.

    Now you tell me that this is a Judeo-Christian country…. You tell me that it doesn’t matter that you have a lot of these Jewish people in government. Tell me that it doesn’t matter after a decision like this. Tell me that with a straight face; that it doesn’t matter that we had a court that had four Jewish people on it and we subtract one Jewish woman and increase one Catholic woman and now Roe v. Wade is overturned and 100 million Americans will live in states with no abortion because of that change….

    This is why it’s Christian nationalism. We need a government of Christians. We need a conservative movement, a nationalist movement, led by Christians that obey the Bible and obey God and serve Jesus Christ. Tell me why we need people in government that don’t serve Jesus Christ. Is that the argument? “Well, here Nick, here’s why we need Jewish people in government that don’t serve Jesus.” Sorry, you’re never going to win that argument. You’re never going to convince me that we need people in government that don’t serve Jesus Christ, the Son of God. You will never convince me of that.

    Insofar as there’s one God, and he has one son, and there is one way to salvation, and one way to the truth, then that’s the way that the people running our society and writing the laws need to be and no other way. So this Judeo-Christian thing has got to stop. We don’t live in a Judeo-Christian country—or at least if we do, we no longer want to live in that country. We want to live in a Christian country. We want to live in a Christian country with Christian rulers and Christian legislators and Christian judges and Christian law and Christians. And Jewish people can be here, but they can’t make our laws.

    As with the Great Replacement theory, there’s a full-blown, explicit version of Christian nationalism as articulated by the likes of Torba and Fuentes, and then there’s the slightly more muted, coded version you hear from the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene and her ilk, where they’re like, “I’m a Christian nationalist, because I’m like a proud Christian and a proud American which means therefore being a nationalist”–and they don’t elaborate on the full implications of what it means. (Frankly, I’ve entertained the idea that MTG is so incredibly stupid she truly doesn’t understand the full implications of what she’s saying. I can’t be so charitable about all these folks, though.)

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: scrolling around this site it looks like the UK is getting hit harder than the EU countries, inflation-wise. Is anyone of note attributing any of that to Brexit?

  45. becca says:

    @inhumans99: npr reported on the Wagner Group providing mercenaries to fight for Russia. They are openly recruiting. Word has it pictures of dead Russian soldiers is making things sticky for Putin at home.

    If Russian morale is as depressed as reported, and the Ukrainians maintain their high level of enthusiasm, which is opening fault lines in Crimea and Belarus, maybe there’s a chance Putin will get his wings clipped.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: A lot of it is uncharted territory compared to where I started from, too. Back when I was young, “fundamentalist evangelical” didn’t exist as a phrase. It existed as two diametrically opposed blocs. Fundamentalists stood for the truth. Evangelicals went for worldly appeasement–mistakenly (in our view) assuming that trying to find common ground with others would expand acceptance of the gospel.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: Reading the Torba quote, I flashed back to my childhood reading the Liberty Letter that came in the mail while we listened to Billy James Hargis and Dr. Carl McEntire’s 2oth Century Reformation Hour on the radio.

    WA! What a strange trip it was, too!

  48. gVOR08 says:

    WAPO has a good article about gerrymandering. I was surprised at how many people in comments thanked WAPO saying they’d heard a lot about gerrymandering but hadn’t understood how it worked until this explanation. Another example of how we who are politically obsessed overestimate the level of engagement of even normal WAPO subscribers.

    I wanted to highlight the article because some commenters pointed out that enlarging the House would make gerrymandering more difficult and less effective, along with partially improving the Electoral College. Familiar themes here at OTB.

  49. Scott says:

    @Kylopod: Back 100 years or so, the Christian Nationalists (i.e. the KKK) did not include Catholics as Christians. They’ve come a long way, baby!

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “Frankly, I’ve entertained the idea that MTG is so incredibly stupid she truly doesn’t understand the full implications of what she’s saying.”

    I would say that’s probably a fair assessment, but I would also say the understanding the full implications of what she says probably isn’t much of a priority for her. She may not be interested in any implications of what she says at all. She strikes me very much as in the mold of people that I’ve met who reply to a probing question with “I’ll have to go ask my pastor about that.”

  51. Kylopod says:


    Back 100 years or so, the Christian Nationalists (i.e. the KKK) did not include Catholics as Christians.

    Yup. One of the slogans back then was that the letters KKK stood for “Kikes, Koons, and Katholics” (for the Klan’s three main targets). During the 1928 election when Al Smith was the Democratic nominee, Hoover became the first Republican since Reconstruction to carry several states in the South (he even came within a hair of capturing Alabama). It anticipated the realignment that would happen decades later following the civil rights movement.

  52. CSK says:

    I don’t think they regarded Catholics as white.

  53. Michael Reynolds says:

    My 40’s:

    Drastic change in income. (In a good way.)
    First home purchase.
    First home remodeling hell.
    First child – 2 months early.
    Began process of ending the fugitive life.
    Ended same.
    First time able to drive in 22 years.
    First Mercedes, my beloved S-500. (See above.)
    First contact with extended family post-fugitive years.
    Second Child adopted from China during SARS.
    Begin supplying political ads to DLCC candidates.
    Supported (idea plus some writing) documentary on Katrina.
    First time finding schools for kids.

    Highly stressful but also stress-reducing.

  54. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I’ve seen a lot of variations.
    I suspect 6o,ooo dead is an overestimate.

    As minimum, my guesstimate would be 15k dead and 45k wounded, so 60,000 total casualties out of total initial fielded force around 190,000.
    That is an appalling loss rate, and unsustainable.

    Especially as the losses will be highest in the direct combat units.
    And for generally slow and small gains, apart from the Kherson salient; punctuated by catastrophic retreats.
    And the Kherson salient is looking increasing like the sort of “victory” that leads to catastrophe.

    Indications are that the Russian Army is now so short of trained assault infantry formations, and of armoured units practiced in combined arms, that it is unable to secure ground beyond the front of it’s artillery barrages, and wholly incapable of breakthroughs or flanking/encircling.

    Also, their artillery appears to be faltering.
    Probably due a combination of realising there shell stocks aren’t, in fact infinite.
    Estimates are of around 3.5 million shells fired so far, enough to put a dent in the biggest stockpiles. And especially if Russian stocks have not been stored very carefully (now, what are the chances of that, eh?)
    Also barrel wear.
    And the Ukrainians steadily hitting large railhead ammunition dumps, which drives the epots back and increases use trucks. (I recall saying not long after the invasion began, trucks are probably more crucial targets for Ukrainian ATGW than actual tanks).

    And the Russian Air Force continues to be incapable of achieving air dominance, and of attacking Ukraine rear areas at scale.

    Even worse: the Russians are unable to regenerate their force.
    The new troops that do turn up appear to be poorly trained; the existing units almost certainly have serious morale problems; a good deal of replacement equipment appears to be obsolescent and poorly maintained.

    As at the outset of the invasion, once the Kyiv decapitation stalled out (though I didn’t realise it fully until the Russian retreat), the Russian invasion army is a wasting asset.
    It can’t be renewed by anything short of full mobilization, if that.

    And Putin seems to view full mobilization as politically and economically untenable.

    So the Russians have jammed their silly fat heads into a mincing machine, and are unable do the sensible thing and back off, due to “prestige”.

    I think the current calculation in the Kremlin is if they can break the economy of Europe this winter, and if the Trumpified Republicans take Congress, they have a shot at the Ukrainian support system collapsing.
    Mistaken IMO, but a good reason to escalate arms supplies to Ukraine to the maximum now in order to turn up the pain of delay.

  55. JohnSF says:


    I’ve been breathing insect repellent all morning, so, what do I know?

    Best way to stop being bothered by insects, I should hope. 🙂

    Honestly, I was just taking the climate change aspect for granted.
    Contrary to your praise (*blushes*) a lot of times I’m just spouting off in a state of puzzlement about the ways of the world.

  56. Michael Reynolds says:

    Bad news for Republicans:

    Threats to democracy clocked in as the most important issue facing the country for a plurality of registered voters, according to an NBC News poll.

    The poll found that 21 percent of respondents ranked threats to democracy as the most important issue, followed by 16 percent who indicated the cost of living and 14 percent who said jobs and the economy.

    Also, 58% disapprove of Dobbs, 51% ‘strongly. Approval is 38% and 29%.

  57. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    MTG was quoted as saying “I’ll have to go ask my pastor about that.”
    Later seen shaking a tub of tagliatelle and yelling “OK, so what is so wrong with Christian Nationalism, then?”

  58. Mu Yixiao says:


    Even worse: the Russians are unable to regenerate their force.
    The new troops that do turn up appear to be poorly trained;

    The BBC story I linked to above says that, based on talking to people there, volunteers are handed a gun and sent to the front lines with zero training.

    And then they’re being shipped home in a box a few months later.

    Again… they’re looking for volunteers up to the age of 60 for front-line artillery positions. I just can’t get that out of my head.

  59. Michael Reynolds says:

    Seen this Yale report on Russia’s economy? https://www.investmentmonitor.ai/special-focus/ukraine-crisis/yale-study-russian-economy-hit-sanctions

    Basically: Russia has stopped issuing data and is cherry-picking a few datapoints to present a falsely positive view. Russia is in deep trouble economically. Deep. An economy overwhelmingly dependent on hydrocarbon exports seeing that market dwindle, with no realistic way to compensate.

    I’d be shocked if Russian military morale was anywhere but in the bottom of the toilet. 1) They’re losing. 2) They realize now they were lied to. 3) They have figured out that their leadership is incompetent. 5) Poor supply chain leaves troops scrambling for food. 6) Their equipment is shit. 7) Blowing up apartment buildings full of civilians with dumb artillery is not a way to enhance a soldier’s self-esteem.

    There are apparently something like 20,000 Russian soldiers on the wrong side of the Dnieper river with blown bridges behind them. Rumors that major officers have abandoned them. If the Russians aren’t quick Ukraine may soon have a bunch of POWs to deal with.

  60. becca says:

    @JohnSF: Since I live in a southern US state, where denialism is prevalent, maybe I’m a bit more sensitive to the issue. At this point, mentioning the reality of climate change just sounds needlessly repetitive.

  61. JohnSF says:

    IMO, yes.
    All countries in Europe are seeing the effects of a rising dollar, high hydrocarbon prices, Covid hits on supply chains, global container clusterfudge, high food prices, etc.

    But Brexit is piling some extra costs on top:
    – labour shortages due to end of access to European Single Market
    – costs of disconnection from European supply chains
    – reduced markets for home and export producers that effect their general pricing
    – continuing impact of the distorted British property market (not Brexit direct, but theres an indirect connection)
    – inflation expectation fears of govt. inaction over energy prices (contrast France, where Macron has imposed a price cap by decree)
    – costs of dislocation at the Channel “short crossing” routes
    – additional tariff and NTB costs to trade are dubious at the best of time; in a period of price pressure they are really shooting yourself in the foot.

    Plenty of economists know this; some will say it .
    Also FT, Economist Guardian, sometimes Times business pages etc.
    But BBC and Bank of England are scared of the government reaction.
    And of course the government, the Conservative Party and the Tory press are screaming that Brexit has nothing to do with it.
    NOTHING, do you hear!

    Reality is about to crash their clown car.
    Unfortunately, the rest of the country are in the passenger seats.

  62. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Keep in mind that among those who are concerned about threats to democracy are trumpers that view voting rights expansion and any electoral loss by an R as an attack on democracy.

  63. JohnSF says:

    I think the summer we have had here has decreased the media tendency to pay attention to denier propaganda.
    At least temporarily.

    Though they’re currently trying to pivot to blaming the energy price crunch on “net zero”.
    But seeing as the the crisis relates to the price of natural gas, I think they’re on to a loser.
    Polling shows even Conservative voters support net zero
    71% of those polled wanted to see more Tory support for wind energy; 73% wanted more support for solar energy.

    As with some other “culture” topics, British public opinion is more like the consensus in Europe, than the more polarised politics of America.
    The Tory “New Right” attempts at importing Trmpian populism or libertarian fundamentalism have largely failed; Brexit being their sole big success.

  64. Sleeping Dog says:

    New poll indicates a Liz Cheney presidential run would hurt Biden more than Trump

    It found that if the 2024 election were held today — and if it were a one-on-one rematch between President Biden and Trump — Biden would lead by 4 points among registered voters, 46% to 42%.

    But in a three-way race with Cheney on the ballot as an independent, Trump would suddenly vault to an 8-point lead over Biden, 40% to 32%.

    In that scenario, Cheney trails with just 11% of the vote. The problem for Biden is that nearly all of Cheney’s votes come at his expense — and there are enough of them, in theory, to put Trump over the top.

    This makes sense to me. Virtually not voter has a moveable opinion on TFG and his support is anchored in concrete. Biden or any other Dem, not so much, and Cheney would be an attractive alternative for some voters.

  65. wr says:

    @JohnSF: “And of course the government, the Conservative Party and the Tory press are screaming that Brexit has nothing to do with it.”

    No, why do you keep saying that Brexit is responsible for at least part of our economic problems? I assure you, we are incompetent enough to tank the economy on our own!

    Not an argument I’d want to run on…

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Threats to democracy clocked in as the most important issue facing the country for a plurality of registered voters, according to an NBC News poll.

    Seeing as a whole lot of GOP voters are convinced the 2020 election was stolen, it is probably safe to assume they make up a fair portion of those concerned citizens.

  67. Kathy says:


    Brexit has become the new Communism: It’s perfect and 100% beneficial, but it hasn’t been implemented in the right way.

  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Contentment? As one who has dealt with chronic depression to one degree or another my whole life, I’m not sure exactly what that word means or if it is within my reach. The best I can do is say that right now I am reasonably content with my life.

  69. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    60 isn’t a shocking ask to me. 10% tooth, 90% tail is a common ratio for armies, though this being on their border it could conceivably be closer to 20% tooth for them. From the 60 demographic one finds the most experienced mechanics, drivers, heavy equipment operators with a lifetime of accumulated common sense. Very nice to have around in a pile of 20-somethings, most of which may have never held a job before entering the military and need to be trained to do everything besides dress themselves. No chance they will be putting 60 year olds in infantry.

  70. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I’ve read that in WWI, Russian troops were often sent to the front without a gun or ammunition. They were told to pick them up from dead comrades as they advanced.

  71. CSK says:

    You have to go through a lot before you get to that stage.

  72. Scott says:

    @Kylopod: Speaking of Nick Fuentes:

    Right-wing influencer Nick Fuentes disavows San Antonio teen accused of planning attack

    Right-wing influencer Nick Fuentes on Friday denied any affiliation with a San Antonio man charged with threatening to violently attack a conservative group in Florida.

    Alejandro Richard Velasquez Gomez, 19, appeared to be a fan of Fuentes, according to the Wagner High School graduate’s social media posts.

    The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force charged Velasquez earlier this month with allegedly threatening to carry out a mass attack on the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, Fla., in July.

    Velasquez also is charged with one count of making threatening interstate communications along with possession of child pornography related to three images found on his phone.

    “For the record, Alejandro Velasquez had nothing to do with me or America First,” Fuentes posted on the Telegram social media platform. “As far as I’m aware he attended CPAC Dallas last year where I briefly made an appearance. Claims on social media that he was part of our team in any way are completely untrue.”

    In court records and testimony, agents linked Velasquez to the extremist “incel” movement, short for “involuntarily celibate,” online groups of mostly men who believe they’ve been excluded from sexual relationships.

    “The ideology is really fueled by these individuals’ hatred towards women,” Miller said. “They have very misogynistic attitudes towards women and are very much wanting to exert their power and control over women.”

  73. JohnSF says:

    The Conservative MP’s problem is, that if they attempt to blame the extreme version of Brexit they embraced (i.e. full breach with Single Market and customs alignment, position of general hostility to the EU, regular Remainer-bashing etc) their right wing in Parliament (the ERG) will detonate, the ultras in the Press will support them, and the ex-UKIP and old-timey “Sceptic” element of the vote base outraged.
    Perhaps enough to support a new UKIP threat on the Right?

    OTOH, the vote base and the MP’s are fatally divided between those who wanted to address the “working class Leaver” voters with industrial policies, subsidies, increased public spending on NHS, wealth redistribution to the “Red Wall” North etc.

    And on the other hand, the “Torybertarians” calling for small state, tax cuts, de-regulation, “Singapore in the North Atlantic”, etc.

    About the only thing these two groups see eye to eye on is bashing the migrants.

    And both get up the noses of a large chunk of the “traditionalist middle class” section of the base; hence the by-election wins in the so called “Blue Wall” by the Liberal Democrats.

  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: All things are relative.

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Southlake Together

    There is a middle school in Southlake named after George Dawson. The grandson of a slave, he learned to read at 98 and co-wrote a book about his life’s journey when he was 103 years old.

    That book has now been banned from the middle school that bears his name.

    @Carrollisd named one of their schools after George Dawson. Currently his book Life is So Good cannot be taught until discussion with admin and principal happens. A story about a Black man, a slave’s grandson, who learns to read at 98.

    I’m not sure exactly what that last means. To a class? On an individual basis? I wonder if they know what it means.

  76. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Southlake Carroll is a peach of a place:

    NAACP Legal Defense Fund files federal civil rights complaint against Carroll Independent School District

    The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund on Tuesday filed a federal civil rights complaint against the Carroll Independent School District for failing to protect students from discrimination based on their race, sex or gender identity.

    The complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of two groups formed by Black Carroll ISD parents and students in the affluent North Texas suburb: Cultural & Racial Equity for Every Dragon and Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition.

    It is the fourth such complaint against the district.

    You can hear all about it.

    SOUTHLAKE: a 7 Part Podcast

    Southlake, Texas, seems to have it all: stately homes, intense civic pride, and above all, terrific schools. So when a video surfaced in 2018 showing Southlake high school students chanting the N-word — and when Black residents came forward to share stories of racist harassment and bullying — the school board vowed to make changes. But the unveiling of a Cultural Competence Action Plan set off a backlash that’s consumed Southlake, fueled by a growing national crusade against critical race theory. Hosted by NBC News national reporter Mike Hixenbaugh (host of the hit podcast “Do No Harm”) and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton, “Southlake” tells the story of how this idyllic city, and its local school board election, became the poster child for a new political strategy with national repercussions.

    On the other hand, their HS Football team is regularly Top 1 in the state.

  77. Mu Yixiao says:


    No chance they will be putting 60 year olds in infantry.

    This is for two artillery battalions. I don’t know how much “tail” there is in one of those, but I’m betting more than 10% is going to be doing actual fighting.

    And while I could understand if the older people were career military, brand new volunteers in their 50s stepping directly into an active war at the front lines?

    Also… They’re recruiting from prisons.

    They’re desperate.

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Oh boy, I’m gonna go for a visit this wkend!

  79. CSK says:

    Yeah. Sounds like a super-fun place.

  80. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    The interesting thing is they are desperate; but the desperation has limits.
    They are not willing to conscript the children of middle class Muscovites and Petersburgers.

    The Putin regime uses fascist rhetorical tropes mixed in with Russian autocratic Orthodox ones.
    But it has nowhere near the totalizing state penetration of society seen in fascist theory and Nazi practice.
    Or of the pre-Brezhnev communists, for that matter.

    It’s relations with the comfortable upper middle class of the big cities is reminiscent more of the tsarist regimes relations with the aristocracy.
    They might criticise some aspects of the functioning of the state, but within limits.
    While recognizing that the road to power and wealth ran through state service, and interest-factions within the “nobility” then, the siloviki and oligarchs now.

    In exchange for at minimum, passive support, they have access to Western goods, a chance to the richer to squirrel money away in the West, and for their children to spend a far part of their time in Europe.
    Above all, military service, at least in the ranks, is for the underclasses and peasants.

    The question is, will Putin become desperate enough to discard this tacit bargain?
    If he does, how will the privileged react?

    There appear to be hints of divisions within the siloviki elite: those who don’t want to endanger the current arrangements and risk political upheaval.

    And those committed to ultra-nationalism, who view a war policy essential, and think that nationalism and authoritarianism plus victory can override any middle class discontent..

  81. Michael Cain says:


    Since I live in a southern US state, where denialism is prevalent

    I have said for years that this should be completely expected. Now that specialists are doing estimates of the much more localized effects of climate change, pretty much all of those say the Southeast is going to take a big hit: loss of coastal real estate; times when outside activities aren’t possible; probable migration; economic growth turning into economic decline. Human nature is to deny that kind of prediction.

  82. MarkedMan says:


    Brexit has become the new Communism: It’s perfect and 100% beneficial, but it hasn’t been implemented in the right way.

    Or the Libertarian equivalent, if we just ignore all the catastrophes behind us, there are nothing but good times ahead!

  83. MarkedMan says:


    And on the other hand, the “Torybertarians” calling for small state, tax cuts, de-regulation, “Singapore in the North Atlantic”, etc.

    If there is anything that reveals the complete and total disconnect from reality of the average libertarian it is this bizarre idea that Singapore, of all places, is a libertarian paradise. As near as I can tell this comes from their not understanding that while ex-pats are totally on their own and pay for everything as they go along, citizens are in the ultimate socialist state. Something like 40% of everyone’s paycheck goes to their healthcare and retirement (first class healthcare for all, by the way) and a good portion of the public live in government subsidized housing due to the astronomical real estate prices. And the luxury and sin taxes! The first time I was there there was a Subaru Forester on display in a shopping mall. At the time (2010) it would have gone for less than $30K in the US, fully loaded. It was $140K! When I commented to my Singaporean colleague he laughed and told me that the registration fee, for any car, was another $70K! And if an ex-pat libertarian, regardless of money, threw their rusty refrigerators on their lawn like this enclaves in NH or out west, well that’s what caning is for.

  84. Michael Reynolds says:

    I want Biden to cancel $14,082 in student loan debt for people who make less than $119,950.o5. Or, $23,492 in student loan debt for those who make less than $86,209.02.

    No, I have no student debt. I just think it’d be funny to send people to their calculators to see whether they’re outraged or not.

  85. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnSF: Dr. North over at Turbulent Times has been analysing the water and energy problems of the U.K. A lot of the comments have good material as well.

    (Dr. North is a bit of a crank, but in a good sort of a way. He’s a Brexiter, but had a completely different strategy for leaving which was basically plan the whole thing out carefully and move away slowly, bit by bit. The absolute mice feet Johnson and the rest of the Tories made of the situation he’s been appalled by, from the beginning. He disdains Johnson to the point that he only refers to him as “the Oaf”, rather than by Johnson’s proper name.)

  86. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I would be outraged cause that won’t do crap AND I would still qualify cause my income is wild. How about a nice simple, wipe out the interest, late fees, compounding and other assorted non-lubed buttplay and let us pay our principal with some minor interest. IF that was the case, most of us would quietly pay. But, instead, it’s more important to be moral scolds.

    Personally, I’d be happy if we got to throw the heads of Sallie Mae, Navient and all the other lenders off the top of a building. A girl can dream.

  87. Beth says:

    Lol, I’m dying to know what part of my florid response to Daddy Reynolds got me moderated. Or did I use the wrong email address. It’s been a day.

  88. JohnSF says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Richard North is not stupid; but he can be a damn fool.

    His former associate Roland Smith (IMO one of the smarter commentators of the politics of Brexit among conservatives) has pointed out the problem with the North’s/Leave Alliance plans: they utterly ignore the the political dynamics of Brexit, and the perils of a coalition of leavers that could be honest with its disparate support groupd, and crete a coherent policy to be voted upon.
    Thus it’s collapse into crab bucket dynamics post-referendum, and the Johnsonian hijack.
    (They also skated past the need to address the issue of Northern Ireland before, not after, a referendum)

    Richard North is also a long standing climate change denier (though he usually more discreet about that these days), and got the Daily Telegraph into serious legal trouble when he accused Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of using his position for personal gain.
    There was a now deleted blog comment saying “Here’s one I’d like to kill, Labour MP for Mogadishu East” re. Labour MP Kerry McCarthy.

    And father Richard is a bit nutty, son and co-blogger Peter North is out upon the hills, howling at the moon.
    He ended up paying £20,000 damages and costs after saying of Professor AC Graying of ‘I’d bet good money that AC Grayling has a hard drive full of” illegal pornography.

    Here’s a thread on his interactions with Sunder Katwala, and others, including Jessica Simor QC, re. which, IMO, he was very lucky she was not in a prosecuting mood.
    There’s a good deal more.

    Personally, if either North assured me it tends to get dark at night, I’d double check with somebody else.

    They might be correct, but there’s a fair chance it would be an accident, they’d be hours off on the time of sunset, blame others for a conspiracy against the diurnal cycle, and scream insults at anyone who pointed out that Copernicus got there first…

  89. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Given that even back in the day, most Catholics might well have been from Southern, Central, and Eastern Europe, probably not. In any event, Catholics certainly weren’t Christians. That part is still the case even now, in some quarters.

  90. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Even the Irish weren’t considered white.

  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Wikipedia tells me that she attends North Point Community Church–or at least would if she actually attended maybe, I dunno. Dr. Andy Stanley, the pastor and son of the famous Dr. Stanley of First Baptist, Atlanta (In Touch televangelical broadcast). Dr. Andy is one of the “conquer the community for The Lord” camp, s0 he might well conceptualize Christian Nationalism using the same thinking that brings us “once FG is gone, the GOP will be fine again.”

    In other words, he’s probably fine with what Representative Greene says; he just wishes she weren’t so vulgar. It gives the movement a bad look, donchano?

    Still in all, I got a good laugh from your comment at first. 😀 😛 😀 😛

  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: Well sure, but even Dagos, Frogs, and Slavs are human, anyway. 😉

  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: “– labour shortages due to end of access to European Single Market”

    Wait, wait, wait. I thought the problem in GB was the same as the one in Murka; all sorts of Mexicans (in your case Serbs and Croats, I guess, maybe Romanians, too) stealing all the jobs leaving vast numbers of British citizens homeless and living on the street. Are you telling me that I got bad information?

  94. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Reasonably content is all that most of us get as far as I can tell. Again, it’s mostly a state of mind more than a destination (hence “reasonably” becoming the standard for measurement). Had a breakdown at one point. Kept quiet about it, but, fortunately, my doctor ran a new patient screening that revealed pretty serious clinical depression and a sleep disorder. Better living through chemistry, with an assist from technology this time, scores again.

  95. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: “As far as I’m aware he attended CPAC Dallas last year where I briefly made an appearance. Claims on social media that he was part of our team in any way are completely untrue.”

    He’s dissembling. The claims being “in any way…completely untrue” is the tip off.

  96. dazedandconfused says:
  97. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Korean young people frequently went to Singapore fairly often and would tell me about their trips. My sense was that Singapore is a great libertarian paradise, if you’re rich, Chinese, and don’t want to do anything the government doesn’t approve of. For most everybody else, it’s a nice place to visit/live provided, again, that you don’t want to do anything the government doesn’t approve of.

    And in Korea, the luxury vehicle seems to be motorcycles. There was a custom cycle shop next to International Lutheran Church in Hanam-dong. It had two cycles on display in the windows. One was 196 million won (~$196k) and the other was a mere 123 million.

  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The people I’ve seen getting outraged at student loan debt are already outraged about Pell Grants. Imagine. Giving money to students to go to school just because their parents are poor. Whatever happened to working for your education?

    I guess we travel in different circles.