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:

    From US courts ruling in favor of justice department turns legal tide on Trump:

    “I think Trump is likely to be charged in Georgia and in the documents case,” Michael Bromwich, an ex inspector general at DoJ, told the Guardian. “I’ll be interested to see which happens first.”

    Maybe god loves me after all.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    To the surprise of absolutely no one,

    Republican officials in a rural Arizona county refused on Monday to certify the results of the 2022 midterm election, despite no evidence of anything wrong with the count from earlier this month. Some officials who have embraced voter fraud theories held out, defying a state deadline and setting the stage for a legal battle. The move came amid pressure from prominent Republicans to reject results showing Democrats winning top races, and the county was holding out in the afternoon of a nail-biting day that was the deadline for several counties to confirm results.

    In a lawsuit on Monday, the secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who narrowly won the race for governor, asked a judge to order county officials to canvass the election, which she said was an obligation under Arizona law. Lawyers representing a Cochise county voter and a group of retirees filed a similar lawsuit on Monday, the deadline for counties to approve the official tally of votes, known as the canvass. The two Republican county supervisors delayed the canvass vote until hearing once more about concerns over the certification of ballot tabulators, though election officials have repeatedly said the equipment is properly approved.

    The state elections director, Kori Lorick, wrote in a letter last week that Hobbs was required by law to approve the statewide canvass by next week and would have to exclude Cochise county’s votes if they weren’t received in time.

    That would threaten to flip the victor in at least two close races, a US House seat and state schools chief, from a Republican to a Democrat.

    Talk about an own goal…

  3. MarkedMan says:

    On the COVID front, the Post has an overview of where we are at today with respect to deaths. (No subscription needed). Bottom line, the US has been steady at 300-400 deaths per day for some time. Nearly 90% of these occur in the age 65+ demographic, despite them representing only 16% of the population. I’ve gotta suspect that the reason so many people are moving on is that only 30-40 people under 65 are dying per day, and virtually no children. Contrast this with the flu, which kills the very young as well as the very old.

    That 65+ demographic had achieved very high rates of vaccination with the initial doses, especially but not exclusively in blue states, but has since had poor rates for booster shots, especially the most recent bivalent one. As for me, I’m still a few years shy of that mark and in good health, but will continue to get whatever vaccines or boosters are available, as soon as they come out.

  4. MarkedMan says:


    That would threaten to flip the victor in at least two close races, a US House seat and state schools chief, from a Republican to a Democrat.

    Please, please, please

  5. CSK says:


    I wonder if they understand that fact.

  6. JohnSF says:

    In the category of “whoever could possibly have predicted this?”

    “Beijing is privately infuriated by the failure of Pakistan’s Afghan policy. In spite of China’s suggestions of incorporating Afghanistan into its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Taliban are refusing to crack down on the several thousand Uighur militants in Afghanistan who have made common cause with the TTP and the Baloch Liberation Army, which targets Chinese infrastructure projects in Balochistan. … So, for the Chinese, the stakes are higher than they might seem to outsiders.”

    Taliban don’t keep their word, and Islamabad disinclined to pressure them.
    Well. Knock me down with a feather.

    Come over here and join the club of the perpetually disappointed, Mr Xi.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    Noticed that the Press continues to have lots of Republican’s in disarray stories.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The twitter toddler meltdown continues.

    Elon Musk has accused Apple of threatening to remove Twitter from its App Store without giving a reason to the social media platform.

    Pretty sure Apple isn’t legally obligated to explain why or why not an app is for sale in their store. It is their store after all. Still, asking for a reason is not out of bounds. Tho the reason is pretty obvious at this point.

    One hour before disclosing the App Store threat, Musk also claimed that Apple had mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. He tweeted: “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” He then tagged Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, asking “what’s going on here”.

    I find it funny that when Apple exercises their own freedom of speech by withholding speech that is most definitely not free (“Apple spent an estimated $131,600 on Twitter ads between 10 November and 16 November, down from $220,800 between 16 October and 22 October, the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal”) musk gets his panties in a bunch and accuses Apple of hating FoS. Self awareness is not one of musk’s stronger attributes. As to “what’s going on here, tim cook,” it’s called “freedom of association” and nobody wants to associate with an asshole, elon.

    Parler, the rightwing social network being acquired by US rapper Ye, was restored by Apple in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices, the companies said at the time.

    Time to put on your big boy pants, Elon.

  9. Sleeping Dog says:

    NYT article this morning as to how, former twitter employees are being heavily recruited by not only tech companies but companies across the economy. Particularly, ex-twits with experience in content moderation and ferreting out disinformation. Elon, appears to be on the wrong side of history.

  10. charon says:
  11. KM says:

    Wait – does that give control of the House to the Dema then? Meaning we’d have all of Congress?

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Another misleading headline: ‘Rude drivers will swerve in my lane’: are Tesla owners paying the price for Musk hate?

    The article then goes on to say, “No.”

    Tesla drivers interviewed by the Guardian say they have experienced anti-Tesla sentiment, but mostly from those who hate electric vehicles rather than Musk specifically. “Random rude drivers will swerve in my lane to yell at me, or turn on a heavy diesel exhaust that blows black smoke,” Paul Albertson, who lives in Beaverton, Oregon, told the Guardian. It never happens when he drives his two other cars, a vintage 1948 Chevy and a 2014 Traverse. The culprits are most often men driving “larger pick-up trucks”, he said.

    John Shevelew doesn’t notice too much road rage at home in York, Pennsylvania, where he is president of the state’s Tesla Owners Club. Things change when he drives through the south. “I go to Texas a lot to see my daughter in Austin, and in Arkansas, Mississippi, those places, I run into, let’s say, less-than-friendly looks,” he said. “You get someone in a big diesel pickup truck who likes to express their dissatisfaction with the idea of an electric car.”

    Laura Kennedy, who also lives in Pennsylvania, agrees. “It’s almost always a guy in a pickup truck [who does something],” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been flipped off in my life as much as I have in the past year or so.”

    Yeah, right wingers who hate anything that even comes close to liberalism, whocudaknowed? But, now some lefties seem to be pissed off at tesla too:

    But now that Musk has become something of a conservative hero – telling his followers to vote Republican in the midterms and reinstating Donald Trump’s Twitter account – he’s a foe to many electric vehicle fans, too.

    “There’s an irony here in that Teslas have long been a hate magnet for various reasons,” Geller said. “They were the subject of road rage because they represented the environment and were perceived as the vehicular embodiment of that culture war. But now here we are, and some folks on the left are having a knee-jerk reaction because Elon Musk has taken this ominous turn to the political right, so now they’re throwing the same bricks.”

    I guess some people never noticed the anti union stance at tesla or the prevalent racism at tesla factories.

  13. Kathy says:


    We still have a winter holiday season to get through. If cases and deaths don’t spike massively, then we can conclude the pandemic phase is largely over. But even then, we will need to increase vaccination to keep things under control, and I don’t see it happening.

    I know many people who eagerly took the initial two doses, then weren’t very willing to get a booster, never mind a second booster. And we still have no Omicron bivalent boosters in the country at all.

    So, no way the mask is coming off any time soon.

  14. Michael Cain says:


    Wait – does that give control of the House to the Dema then? Meaning we’d have all of Congress?

    No. Republican projected majority is 222-213. Five seats would have to flip.

  15. Kathy says:

    The Snoozefest (aka World Cup) is going rather well. I’ve seen no games, even though the TV is on at the office, and Mexico’s second game was on a weekend, meaning I could ignore it entirely. At the office, with the TV on, it’s hard to completely ignore as 20+ people make a lot of noise when something comes close to happening.

    On the plus side, we were able to tune in Monday Night Football while working late yesterday. Next Snoozefest ought to take place in november as well, maybe October.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:


    Tesla buyers could care less about unions.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charon: I read Asha Rangappa and Marcy Wheeler for most of my analysis on trump’s legal predicaments…

    Hmmm, Marcy’s twitter feed has gone behind a privacy wall. I guess she was getting too many threats or some such. I hope I can still access her blog. (Yep, still accessible. Whew, I’d ‘ve had a big old sad if I couldn’t)

    (renato mariotti too)

    I’ll check out Teri, thanx for the tip.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Truth, but I was referring to lefties in general, only a small minority of whom own teslas.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: No edit function, wanted to ad that too many lefties don’t care about unions either.

  20. EddieInCA says:


    The Snoozefest (aka World Cup)


  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Texas woman found by family 51 years after being kidnapped as baby

    More than 50 years after her babysitter kidnapped her as a baby in Texas, a US woman has reunited with her family, who tracked their missing loved one down with a DNA test and without help from law enforcement or other outside involvement.

    The incredible saga centering on the disappearance of Melissa Highsmith concluded in South Carolina on Saturday, according to a report from the Charleston television news station WCIV as well as a news release from her family.

    Hard to believe but true.

    Apatenco’s roommate handed Melissa over to the babysitter, who allegedly abducted her and never returned her.

    Loved ones of Highsmith reported her missing to police and never forgot her in the more than half-century since, even throwing birthday parties for her every November. More recently, they also organized a Facebook page named “Finding Melissa Highsmith” and solicited help in finding their missing relative.

    Then, in September, loved ones of Highsmith received an anonymous tip that she was around Charleston, which is more than 1,100 miles from Fort Worth, WCIV reported. The family used the results of a 23andMe DNA test, a birthmark on Melissa and her birthday to confirm that she indeed was the girl who had been taken from them 51 years ago.

    On Saturday, during a celebration at the family’s church in Fort Worth, Melissa reunited with her mother, her father and two of her four siblings, the group said in a statement obtained by the Guardian on Monday.

    “I couldn’t stop crying,” sister Victoria Garner said in the statement. “I was overjoyed, and I’m still walking around in a fog trying to comprehend that my sister [was] right in front of me and that we found her.”
    Sharon Highsmith said she was particularly thankful for her mother, who – in addition to being racked with guilt after Melissa’s disappearance – had faced accusations that she had possibly killed her missing daughter and hidden the crime.

    “My mom did the best she could with the limited resources she had – she couldn’t risk getting fired, so she trusted the person who said they’d care for her child,” Sharon Highsmith’s statement said. “I’m grateful … we have vindication for my mom.”

    On that last part, indeed. I can’t imagine how it must have felt.

  22. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Politico reports that the Republican National Committee has launched an internal review of the party’s tactics in the recent election, ushering in an outside panel of nearly a dozen advisers to assess what went wrong and guide future strategy. That board reportedly includes former Trump White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, evangelical lobbyist Tony Perkins, and failed 2022 Senate candidate Blake Masters, according to Politico.

    Maybe it’s just me, but hiring a bunch of losers to figure out why you lost seems counter-productive.

  23. Kathy says:


    You don’t like Monday Night Football?

  24. Jon says:
  25. Jon says:

    @Jon: D’oh no edit, but this is the direct link to her Mastodon account.

  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ve never bought the belt and road initiative. A glance at the map tells the tale. China thinks it’s building a new silk road through an open-air asylum. Not just Afghanistan, it’s all the ‘Stans, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia. I think the Chinese spent too long in splendid isolation, they don’t seem to have a firm grasp on diplomacy. And the Khan’s armies are not available to keep the road open.

    I don’t buy the idea that China is on the verge of collapse, I fully expect the CCP to keep a death grip on China for decades to come. But the idea of China replacing the US is dead. Xi tore off the mask too early – ironic, given his Covid policy. His little buddy in Moscow energized and united the west, and Biden said openly that we will defend Taiwan. In 20 years India and Mexico will be the new Chinas, the engines of manufacturing, and they also won’t be able to challenge the US.

  27. charon says:

    Here is what the EU is saying about the Musk follies (Google Translate required).


  28. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’ve never bought the belt and road initiative. A glance at the map tells the tale. China thinks it’s building a new silk road through an open-air asylum. Not just Afghanistan, it’s all the ‘Stans, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia. I think the Chinese spent too long in splendid isolation, they don’t seem to have a firm grasp on diplomacy. And the Khan’s armies are not available to keep the road open.

    Belt & Road is less about overland routes through western Asia, and more about building ports in, and developing ocean routes to, Africa and South America (two places in need of infrastructure and investment, and largely ignored by the US and EU).

    At first, they gladly accepted the investment. And then they got a taste of how China does business, and things went sour. If China had actually been reasonably honest in their dealings with SA and Africa, they could have made some serious inroads (sorry) and become a dominant economic force there (especially Africa). But the short-term grab for as much cash as possible screwed them over.

    Despite the myths in the west, China does not have a long-term plan on how to do things, and Chinese businesses look for the next big score, not generational growth.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:@Michael Reynolds: If Belt and Road fails it may the best thing that ever happened to the CCP. A lot of it, if not most of it, involves countries and ethnic groups with long histories of fighting insurgencies against much larger and better armed militaries. Given the internal politics of those countries it is almost inevitable that the Chinese will be seen as one with the ruling coalitions and come under attack. There will be pressure for the Chinese to get more and more involved and, well, Afghanistan. Vietnam.

    Given their one child policy and inability to get past it, sending only sons off to fight in foreign deserts and jungles wouldn’t go over very well. And, stretching out into the hazy future, there could come a time when the soldiers and junior grade officers come from outlying provinces or are de facto mercenaries, while the Han senior officers remain safe in Beijing. And that wouldn’t end well for the Han dominated CCP.

  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    more about building ports in, and developing ocean routes to, Africa and South America

    True. But that’s also a silly notion if they imagine they’re buying some kind of protection for their sea routes, or bases for their navy. Japan and South Korea invest in foreign port facilities, but as profit centers, not as imaginary hedges against western naval supremacy. Building overseas naval bases just shows a lack of strategic sophistication. If the USN has closed the Straits of Malacca, it doesn’t matter that you have a refueling facility in Djibouti.

    China has never been a serious naval power and won’t become one so long as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan fear them. Catch-22: if your power is sufficient to frighten people, you won’t be allowed to have the power to frighten people.

  31. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: During my years in union contract employment, I recognized no particular tendency among political liberals to value the contributions of unionization to the economic welfare of society. [CRT TRIGGER WARNING] Even less practical understanding of the impact of race-based imbalances.

    I did note how many of my friends and associates advised me that unions were hot beds of organized crime and Mafia activity though. (Possibly a valid complaint in my community. Lots of names with vowels on the ends of them.)

  32. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: I have no particular sense of how important it is, but I had 9 students absent in my first period class today (out of 30) and 10 (of 26) in my next one, so I’m willing to embrace that Covid is still doing just fine where I am.

  33. Mu Yixiao says:


    Given their one child policy and inability to get past it,

    One-Child has been amended to two-child, and it never really applied to the peasants–who would be the ones they send off to do the actual “trench fighting”.

  34. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The ports weren’t for the Navy. They were for trade. The idea is to build Chinese-run (and paid for) ports into places like the Eastern seaboard of Africa, the build roads from there to a) places to get natural resources for exploitation, and b) places to sell stuff for a profit.

    The initial investment pitch sounded very good to the African nations–because it came without the strings that are always attached to US foreign aid. African nations get modern ports, jobs in constructing the infrastructure (which benefits the entire area), jobs in mining, logging, etc., once the infrastructure is built, and a ready-made customer for their raw materials.

    Look back to around 2015, and you’ll see several of these projects starting up. They’re entirely about economic growth, not military power.

    Look a couple years later, and you’ll see that the construction jobs were going to shipped-in Chinese workers, and other “partnerships” devolved into flat-out exploitation (it’s the Chinese way of doing business: Nepotism and kickbacks). If they would have stuck to the original deals, they could have expanded their economy greatly, and built a manufacturing base in Africa (and SA) to replace the manufacturing jobs that they have priced themselves out of. It would be another 10-15 years before they’d see real returns, but it would have been worth it.

  35. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Djibouti is a naval port.

    But we are not disagreeing here, rather we are in a furious state of agreement.

  36. CSK says:

    Kari Lake says that Americans will become slaves if she’s not given the Arizona election.

  37. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Sure. When I said they couldn’t get past it is that it’s built in now. They ended it but their birth rate actually went down

  38. just nutha says:

    Really guys?

    At issue is one of VIP Products’s lines of dog toys that spoofs popular liquor brands. The Jack Daniel’s version strongly resembles the company’s iconic black-and-white label and bottle design. The mocking name on the mocked-up facsimile of the bottle reads “Bad Spaniels” instead of “Jack Daniel’s” and, in a subsection, “On Your Tennessee Carpet” instead of “Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey.” To drive the joke home, the satirical label says “Old No. 2” instead of the “Old No. 7” that usually graces Jack Daniel’s bottles. The distillery’s brief described this as “poop humor,” which may be the first time that phrase has been used in a Supreme Court filing.
    To Jack Daniel’s, however, this is no laughing matter. The distillery sued VIP Products for trademark infringement in 2014 after the dog toy company refused to cease marketing its product. Jack Daniel’s alleged that the company had violated the Lanham Act—the flagship federal trademark law—by using its trademark without permission, and by inappropriately tarnishing and diminishing its own brand identity with scatologically-themed dog toys.

    WA! Un. Freaking. Believable.

  39. dazedandconfused says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I agree major revolution in China is not likely as it seems all Xi has to do to quell this is loosen up the COVID restrictions. The odds that he can’t see that and doubles down spawning a major rebellion are small but definitely exist. When people feel they MUST kill the king or the king will kill them stuff happens even in places where the people are generally happy with their condition.

  40. de stijl says:

    Walked to the grocery store earlier, shopped, walked home. The entire time my fly was open.

    Walking home I saw a squirrel without a tail, well a tiny little fluffy stub. It looked so odd. She / he probably has a harrowing survival story as to how that happened – an inadvertent gecko. I hope their lil squirrel buddies don’t give them too much crap about the tail at squirrel parties. Light banter and good-natured joshing is fine, mean-spirited bullying in not cool.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: Thanx Jon. From what I have heard, mastadon is a bit of a mess what with all the new sign ups right now. Hopefully they can get a handle on things fairly soon. I’ll get my emptywheel fixes from her blog for the moment.

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: I did note how many of my friends and associates advised me that unions were hot beds of organized crime and Mafia activity though.

    Well it was true of the Teamsters and certain other unions had problems with organized crime too, but it became a corporate cudgel used against all unions regardless of the facts or the union. Soon enough “corruption” was the evidence free go to bug-a-boo of the right to keep unions from gaining enough power to hold corporate feet to the fire, and too many people on both sides of the political spectrum bought into it.

  43. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    I see the major flaw in putting the word “bad” on a toy for a dog.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: And here is a prime example of anti union/pro corporate bias on both sides of the aisle: Congress expected to impose contract on US railroad workers to avert strike

    In a statement referring to the president’s request, Pelosi said that Democrats were “reluctant to bypass” negotiations but “we must act to prevent a catastrophic nationwide rail strike, which would grind our economy to a halt”.

    The agreement that would be imposed if passed by both congressional chambers comes from negotiations that were made in September between the rail companies, several unions and the Biden administration. It would entail a 24% raise by 2024, $1,000 in annual bonuses and a cap on healthcare premiums.

    Four unions – including the largest rail union, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (Smart), which represents more than 28,000 rail workers – rejected the agreement and had been negotiating with rail companies over the last several weeks. Smart turned down the tentative deal with rail management on 21 November, inching closer to a potential strike in December.

    Collective bargaining rights my ass.

    I understand the problems that would arise from a rail shutdown but the railroad unions have real world problems with the way the railroad companies are doing business:

    The deadlock between management and the unions is mostly over paid sick leave. The union argues that workers should get at least six days of paid sick leave. They are currently expected to use vacation time if they call out sick and are penalized if they take time off without using vacation days. The agreement Congress is considering does not include a sick leave provision.

    As the Railroad Workers Union noted:

    “He (Biden) had the opportunity to prove his labor-friendly pedigree to millions of workers by simply asking Congress for legislation to end the threat of a national strike on terms more favorable to workers,” the statement said.

    Lord knows the railroads could afford to share a little more of their record profits these last few years.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: Some people just have no sense of humor.

  46. Kathy says:

    Dr. Novella has a piece today on hydrogen for aviation.

    He fails to mention airplanes are hideously large capital investments that are expected to last for decades, which would slow down any migration to another kind of fuel, never mind introducing electric planes.

    But the point is the low energy density of hydrogen as compared to kerosene. That’s a huge issue. We won’t see planes with four times as much fuel capacity. What we may see are faster planes with a bit more fuel which will do the long haul and ultra-long haul flights by making refueling stops.

    Optimize time on ground refueling, and a Mach 1.5 large plane, akin to an A350 or B777, probably can make a long flight in the same time a slower plane would have required without making any stops. The big problem would be weather.

    I’d aim for that. Give stop over rights to passengers, and they may prefer it. On the leisure market at least.

    The obvious big problem for that solution is: we don’t have any supersonic passenger planes. These would need to be developed alongside hydrogen-burning engines.

  47. Beth says:

    So, I’m a fairly terrible friend for this, but I will get so much pleasure from this. Last year I mailed three really good friends Christmas cards with pasties in them. Not just any pasties, but candy-cane shaped penises. I sent my one friend who has younger children a loud and obnoxious card so that her kids would hear and then ask what was in the card. Worked beautifully.

    This year, the Christmas themed pastie selection was kinda meh*. But who-boy did I find some awesome cards:


    Once again, Instagram knows that I’m evil and what I like to buy.

    *I’m wondering if my preferred pastie company didn’t just spend all their time this year on their amazing hypercolor pastie. Those bad girls were amazing.

  48. Mister Bluster says:

    USA 1 – Iran 0 final

  49. JohnSF says:


    …all Xi has to do to quell this is loosen up the COVID restrictions…

    Except there’s a massive “gotcha” lurking there.
    With the number of unvaccinated, especially the elderly, and apparent lower protection of the Chinese vaccines, and the current (scarily high) levels of COVID prevalence ending restrictions risks a COVID wave.
    And the inadequacies of the Chinese health system mean that could lead to a systemic health service collapse, and massive mortality spike.
    Xi may have left himself with only the choice between the frying pan or the fire.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: There is a horrible thought lurking in the back of my head. What if Xi decides to “solve” his aging population problem by letting COVID rip? After all, it is unusual to have a transmissible disease that mostly takes out the elderly without also affecting the very young.

  51. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wow! Times have sure changed. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we all walked to school uphill both ways in both summer and winter blizzards, not only did I have sick leave,* but also a company paid provided loss bank for days beyond one’s sick leave compensation.

    *Our contract did not provide for cashing out sick leave in those days, but allowed for accumlation of something on the order of 50 days of leave time before one would enter into the “use it or lose it” zone. (And I won’t even mention the five weeks of vacation after 10 years on the job or the 4 discretionary leave days we had during the final years I worked.)

  52. just nutha says:

    @just nutha: [rotten awol edit button]
    Should have selected either “paid” or “provided” and added “time” to “loss” to make my meaning clear. 🙁

  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    It appears that the NH house will have a 201-198 R majority with one district heading for a probable re-run with the election, tied at 980-980 with no disputed ballots.

    Given the NH legislature is basically a amateur hour volunteer position, which party has the majority could change daily. I believe in the last session there was an attrition of ~40 seats due to resignations and deaths.

  54. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Verdict in the Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy case…

  55. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:
    Rhodes and Meggs found guilty.
    The other three were found not guilty of conspiracy.

  56. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It’s going to be a total sh!tshow. Both parties are going to have to push for full attendance, all the time–which isn’t going to happen for a “job” that pays $100 a year. I’m not sure if this is going to be fun to watch or a slow-motion disaster.

  57. Mister Bluster says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:..oath keepers

    I can find a Reuters report that says Stewart Rhodes is guilty. The item says that the other verdicts are still being read.
    Do you have a more recent report?

    Edit Key Appears
    Reuters Update:
    He (Rhodes) was the best-known of the five defendants in the most significant of the numerous trials arising from the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. One co-defendant, Kelly Meggs, was also found guilty of seditious conspiracy on Tuesday, while three others – Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell – were acquitted of that charge.

  58. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    WaPo, ABC, CNN, NBC, The Guardian, Bloomberg, and The Daily Beast all reporting the same about Rhodes.

  59. Kathy says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    Xmas in November.

    BTW, record early voting turnout in the georgia run-off.

  60. dazedandconfused says:


    Those Chinese protesters aren’t children, they know what they are protesting.

  61. Mister Bluster says:

    Arizona GOP Mosh pit.

    A state judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit from Arizona Republican attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh contesting this month’s election, arguing it was filed prematurely.
    Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner said Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee (RNC), which joined the suit, cannot file an election contest until after Arizona certifies the election, currently scheduled for Monday.
    The Hill

    Wait a minute. Didn’t Republicans in Maricopa County refuse to certify election results by Monday because…reasons?

    Bunch of certified Wizards the AZ GOP.
    (Sorta looks like the voting machine I used when I cast my first vote for McGovern in 1972. Impossible to rig I’m sure.)

  62. Kathy says:

    And now Elon gets blood in his hands.

  63. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    About a week back I saw a massive hawk land and sit on the light pole directly next to to my house. During the day – about 10 AM. Just a massive body for a swift and precise bird. The chest girth was damned impressive. I think of hawks as much more streamlined.

    About 2 feet tall when perched. Brown body and wings except for an ivory belly and a rust / brick red head. A big boi/grrl. Impressive! The wind was ruffling it’s feathers so it sporadically looked even chonkier.

    Where I sit inside normally I had a perfect view of the hawk. About 60 feet away. Meanwhile there is a bole of a tree 6 feet from the same window. Kinda skinny. The fucking local squirrel population love that particular tree and delight scampering up and down that pathetic tree all day long. They are obsessed, I swear.

    It is precisely placed where I could see the thicc, chonky hawk in the background and an an absolutely petrified and frozen squirrel in the foreground on the tree bole.

    The squirrel, upon registering the hawk, decided the best course of action was to sit and stay absolutely still and to not move a muscle at all. For a squirrel to not move at all for 7 minutes was fascinating. Squirrels are twitchy little fuckers by nature and dart about seemingly randomly in our perception for no apparent reason. Run there, run thither, dart up the nearest tree. Lil tweaker meth-head mammals.

    His / her eyes were twitching around like crazy bonkers. Body stock still. Lil dude was terrified and froze. Facing immanent death from above. I have never in my life seen a squirrel so studiously immobile in my entire life. It was fascinating to watch. Except for the eyes.

    Lil squirrel buddy was absolutely stock still for at least 7 minutes. Not even a tiny tail twitch. I was close enough to see his beady little eye dart around frantically through the window.

    Big-ass predator bird just sat on the light pole. Tiny prey squirrel just posed there frozen petrified upside down on a bole of a tree and did not move.

    I was reminded of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The hawk was Lee Van Cleef, the squirrel was Tuco, and I, the observer, was Blondie. (I’m pretty sure I just conflated at least two different movies into one whole with that analogy.)

    I have seen that same bird park her / his ass on the exact same spot for an extended period twice since. Once for almost an hour. It is directly over a major thoroughfare with several hundred vehicles passing directly underneath per hour during the day.

    Come to think of it, was that even a hawk? I have never seen a hawk with an ivory colored belly before. And it was very tall and super chonky, hawks are pretty aerodynamic and trim in my experience. That one, not so much. We get buzzards very occasionally to rarely here. The body shape fits better. Maybe a buzzard.

  64. Beth says:

    So for reasons based more on insurance liability and voodoo than science, I am required to go off my HRT regimen. I gave myself my last estrogen shot on 11/20 and took my last progesterone on 11/24. I stopped Spiro at the same time.

    Today I could feel my levels flip. I went from feeling normal to feeling angry and confused. I’m back to feeling a general sense of wrong. This is the before and it’s awful.

    I’m gonna be super pleasant to be around for the next 9 days.

  65. CSK says:

    @de stijl:

    Red-tailed hawks have white bellies and can be over two feet long.

  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Have to admit that I was a little disappointed about the song being obviously human voices going “meow.” The dogs singing “Jingle Bells” are much better. I suppose that the problem is that cats have such small voices in a really narrow range that it would be difficult to get enough different pitches to make a song. Cats would certainly never be able to actually pull of singing Carol of the Bells. I’ve had some high school choirs that couldn’t.

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “BTW, record early voting turnout in the georgia run-off.”

    Sadly, that might only reflect that Republiqans made a bigly mistake listening to FG about the last run 0ff.

  68. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    But it’s so atonal and wrong… And then it plays for hours. Once or twice, it’s a laugh. After about an hour of that it’s gotta be torture. I can guarantee that at least one friend will just walk it straight out to the garbage or abandon it in a break room and at least one friend will find the meaning of life in the cards glittery interior. I’m just not sure which one.

    I’m a delightful friend.

  69. de stijl says:


    Not a red-tailed hawk. Definitely. I’ve seen them up-closish in the wild before. Not it.

    This was remarkably bigger and a clear unvariagated ivory breast / belly.

    No variagation / banding / spots on the breast / belly and way bigger than per the pics for a red-tailed hawk. It was a bigger and girthier. Chonky.

  70. de stijl says:

    I should just become an urban birder. I’m outside a lot everyday paying attention to my surroundings, scanning for sights that are intriguing and new. Taking pics to amuse myself. Why not? Add a new element.

    Lean in. Geek out. I love that type of shit.

    It would be a good fit for my deep traits. Taxonomy. I would need to buy some binoculars. That’s pretty easy.

    It meshes up perfectly with the daily walk routine. I do an hour per day and no excuses and no dodging. In summer, I do it at dawn. Rest of the year I do it at dusk.

    Adding amateur birding to the mix is an easy fit.

  71. Jax says:

    Fuckin Dropkick Murphy’s. I forgot how much I liked them.


  72. Jax says:

    @de stijl: You’ll definitely need binoculars. And a bird book!

    Do you think your extra large “hawk” might’ve been an immature bald eagle? I’ve seen them in all stages as far as plumage.

  73. Jax says:

    @de stijl: For you, my friend. My kids are introducing me to music you might like. 😉


  74. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Oh, my, that is EVIL. And I love it. Truly, when I am drafted by the spineless population to the position of Galactic Overlord (TM), I will assign the satrap for this entire solar system to you, Beth!

  75. de stijl says:


    Definitely not an immature bald eagle. I’ve seen dozens. Right size of a mature bald eagle, though – dude/dudette is huge. There are several hundred bald eagles that overwinter about 8 miles north of me near a resevoir. I have been up there a half dozen times or more just to gawk at how beautiful they are. There are so many and they show up every winter and tend to hunker down in the same trees year after year there is a small local economy where local universities cooperatively host viewing / educational parties. That’s very cool! Adult beverages are allowed if you are and stay cool about it. Moderation. It’s like a stargazing party, but better. Things move.

    Birds behave oddly in comparison to us mammals. The way they contort and tilt their heads. The way their eyes zap around. The body movements. Birds are inherently a bit spooky and alien. Dinosaur DNA poking through. You must know this – you raise chickens! Chickens are weird.

    A couple hundred yards from my house is a family that has a small coop for cool chickens / exotic fowl. There are so awesome! Everytime time I walk by I stop and say “hello” and tell them that they look beautiful gorgeous stunning. They so do. They had all black exotic fowl last summer that was so frickin’ cool! She strutted about so confidently.

    And the family has two dogs. A tiny funny little pug who pogoes around like a little maniac and thinks in his head that 1. He is a big dog, and 2. That the exotic fowl are his super awesome best friends. I have never gotten the vibe that the chickens reciprocate the friendship thing he’s putting out. They tolerate his shenanigans barely.

    The other dog is an older chocolate lab who very much enjoys laying down on the grass. She rolls her eyes, but enjoys the scene secretly. She’s super chill. The protective big sister. Minor mayhem is happening ten feet away, but wants a nap.

    You know what – I will become a birder. Buy the books, get some binoculars, do the research, set up a spreadsheet, carry around a specialized notebook. Why not? Should’ve done it years ago. It’s in my sweetspot of traits and predilections.

  76. de stijl says:


    I fricking love The Dropkick Murphys!

    If the Pixies were Celtic. And slightly less weird.

  77. de stijl says:


    If your kids think Rare Americans’ Baggage is cool, introduce them the the Gorillaz’ song Feel Good, Inc. Way more funk.

    Very similar vibe and sound. You would be a super cool mom!

  78. de stijl says:


    Follow that up with Blur’s Song 2 with the speakers at 11 volume.

    Blow their minds!

  79. JohnSF says:


    What if Xi decides to … (let) COVID rip?

    Even a full on “Evil Xi” might have other problems with that.
    Crashing healthcare has huge knock-on implications.
    COVID affects the elderly in particular; but you could easily get still massive death and debilitation impact on the younger.
    And a really out of control epidemic will STILL crash the economy.


    Chinese protesters … know what they are protesting

    Yes, surely.
    But do they realise all the potential implications?
    Given they are likely, by definition, to be sceptical about government information.
    They may, or may not, be more rational than various Western populations; but we certainly have evidence there for a possible significant minority that don’t believe, don’t understand, or just don’t care.

    The problem China has is that being so stubborn for so long about being self-reliant re. vaccines Xi has painted himself into a corner. Whatever course he now picks has the potential for calamity.
    The old irish road directions joke: “Don’t start from here.”

  80. Jen says:

    @de stijl: You can’t end a story like that. What happened to the squirrel??

  81. Jax says:

    @Jen: Right?! I’m invested, now!
    @de stijl: I’ve never seen one of those black exotic fowl in person, I hear they’re pretty cool, though! I can totally see you as a birder. 😛