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. JohnMc says:

    Watching & scanning news with emphasis on TCarlson firing. So much chatter! And I must be the only observer to see the obvious future. He’s going to be Trump’s VP.


  2. CSK says:


    It hadn’t occurred to me, but that’s a distinct possibility.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:


    It has been noted that life after Faux has not been particularly lucrative for exiled hosts, neither Beck nor O’Reilly have had much of an audience since leaving Faux. He likely has some sort of non-compete, so showing up on one of the minor networks is unlikely in the short term. Another wag suggested he start his own media company. But like Beck, he’ll be limited to the internet and invisibility, cable companies aren’t adding services. So TFG’s VP makes sense.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMc: @CSK: @Sleeping Dog: While the self abasement required for that to happen would be truly entertaining, I’m not going to hold my breath.

  5. wr says:

    @JohnMc: “He’s going to be Trump’s VP.”

    I get the logic, but there’s no way Trump is going to accept a running mate who can overshadow him. The first time Tucker got more applause than Trump, or better press, Trump would have to destroy him. Trump wants a toady and a lickspittle who can never be seen as his competitor. Tucker’s a lot of things, but he ain’t that.

  6. CSK says:


    The exact same can be said of Marjorie Taylor Greene.

  7. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Could Carlson pull off what de Santis is failing at, and take over Trump’s base?
    He starts with a nationwide name and face recognition among said base de Santis could only dream of.
    Trump is probably aware that Carlson might be the only one likely to beat him in some primaries. So why not do a deal? Doubtless Trump would prefer a vassal to a princeling, but there is a sense to it.
    The people who’d really have fits are the others fancying themselves as heir to Trump, whether in the Trump camp or not.
    Trump/Carlson is the stuff of nightmares for them.
    (Well, pretty nightmarish for everyone else, tbf)

  8. Sleeping Dog says:


    Probably, though to the best of my knowledge, Carlson hasn’t expressed interest in being president. The Carlson for Prez talk, has been generated by his fans and others looking past Trump.

    Leaving aside my bias for a moment, R’s really don’t have any attractive alternatives to Trump. Any moderate R’s that may appeal to centrists have either been driven from the party or keep such a low profile, no one knows they exist. Carlson has name recognition, is accepted by the base and would be acceptable to the establishment, so yes he could take over the MAGAts.

  9. steve says:

    The better route for him, IMHO, would be to run for Senate, then run for POTUS as Trump’s successor. He wouldn’t have to challenge Trump so he would retain the Trump cult members and he wouldn’t have to grovel for 4 years.


  10. Mister Bluster says:

    Harry Belafonte 96.

  11. gVOR08 says:

    No. What @wr: said, Trump will only accept a lickspittle. Also, Pence brought in the Evangelicals. Scott might bring a few Blacks. Haley might bring some women. What votes does Carlson add to what Trump has? And the Dominion discovery put on the record Carlson’s opinion of Trump. Trump and Carlson could pretend to make nice and the base would rationalize it, but the press would keep quoting Carlson’s remarks.

    The only media home I could see for Carlson is CNN. OAN et al are too small. His act doesn’t work in print. MSNBC is impossible. But CNN has a decent audience, wants way more. and has a new conservative owner who might see Carlson as the entre to the FOX market. I hope Carlson does, in fact, have a non-compete. The world doesn’t need another FOX.

    I expect Rupert gamed out Carlson’s options before firing him and didn’t see a threat to FOX. I hope he’s right. Rachel did a bit last night about Carlson’s predecessors, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Beck, back to Father Coughlin in the 30s. Limbaugh died. The rest somehow lost their perch and faded into oblivion.

  12. KM says:

    Nope. There’s no way Trump would ever let someone outshine him.

    An aging narcissist is always on the lookout for the next young thing gunning for their place and Trump would never share the stage with someone who could claim the attention. He picked Pence because the man’s boring AF and blends into the background. Can you imagine Tucker just still there quietly during those rambling monologues and not being allowed to call attention to himself at any point? Tucker’s whole deal is talking up insane talking points but he’d never be able to do that and have his name attached to it instead of the boss’.

  13. KM says:


    Trump is probably aware that Carlson might be the only one likely to beat him in some primaries. So why not do a deal? Doubtless Trump would prefer a vassal to a princeling, but there is a sense to it.

    Because that’s not how narcissism works. The smart thing to do is keep him under heel and control but that requires sacrificing some ego to keep the peace. Trump would have to let Tucker let his freak flag fly as that’s the point of bring him onboard but doing so means giving him screen time and attention. A small, petty man like Trump must be the center of attention or adoration; the loss of a single clap is too much, especially as they get older and the claps get rarer.

    Trump cannot do the smart thing here, the thing that might get him back into power because it will mean denying himself and dealing with 5 or more years of Tucker being his equal. He rather rule from Mar-a-lago then the Oval Office in that case

  14. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Considering what is coming out about the discrimination suit against the fish sticks heir that has been fired from the three major cable networks…any candidacy he might fantasize about is dead in the water. Suburban women won’t vote for him.

  15. KM says:


    But CNN has a decent audience, wants way more. and has a new conservative owner who might see Carlson as the entre to the FOX market.

    Won’t work. There’s a cold war between FOX and CNN due to conservative’s branding of everything even remotely liberal as evil. No FOX viewer would follow Tucker to CNN; it would be like back in the day if Cronkite went to work for Pravda and expect US audiences to come along. You’re far more likely to be seen as a sell-out or traitor then the network “coming to their senses” and the loss of the native audience would be staggering as well. FOX viewers watch FOX for the ideology, not the celebrities and some new spokesperson will pop up to give them what they’re looking for shortly.

    The myth of the middle leads people to think that if X crosses over to its polar opposite Y, it will bring new viewers and not lose the main audiences that’s expected to just take it. It doesn’t happen. People do not accept the lukewarm Frankenstein being offered when they’ve got the real thing on tap and the base wants nothing to do with the creature dropped in their midst. Tucker cannot be Tucker on CNN so he’ll have no value to any FOX viewer willing to change the channel; even the new management would demand he nerf all his rants and that kills his appeal to any crossover audience. Who needs a lib-tamed Tucker in their lives??

  16. Kylopod says:

    The past two superstars to be canned by Fox, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck, are not very promising examples for maintaining a post-Fox career with anything close to the same viewership. Beck started The Blaze, which has had modest success, but he’s been a distinctly minor player since leaving Fox. O’Reilly has been barely a blip.

    And I think to some extent their Fox audiences were able to move on because these figures gradually became less relevant. Beck said things which at the time seemed uniquely outrageous but which have since become ubiquitous in right-wing circles (he was the main person to popularize the use of Soros as an archvillain). O’Reilly is really a product of Fox’s earlier grift of pretending to be “fair and balanced.” His shtick was to act like he was a disaffected outsider (WaPo exposed the fact that he falsely claimed to be a registered independent) thoughtfully considering different sides of an issue and somehow always landing on the right. But his occasional praise for Democrats, criticisms of Republicans, and adopting less right-wing positions on a couple of issues (e.g. the death penalty) is no longer the sort of thing Fox’s audience craves.

    It’s always going to be difficult for any ex-Foxie to maintain the same platform, though I think that currently Tucker has a much stronger cult of personality than Beck or O’Reilly ever did. That’s why it’s going to be interesting to see how much he can maintain his relevance and reach.

  17. CSK says:


    Who, then, will be Trump’s v.p.? I totally agree that Trump will never, ever agree to any candidate who outshines him in any way, but who can fulfill the role of lickspittle and vote magnet?

  18. KM says:

    Ivanka or Jared, duh. Keep it in the dynasty!

    Serious but potentially dumb question: do you legally have to run with a VP in national elections? Is that a requirement by law that one is elected in Nov with POTUS or can one be appointed afterwards by the winner as Acting VP?

  19. Kathy says:

    The first lesson from the Starship disaster, is to watch the video with audio. I clearly can’t trust my interpretation of the limited telemetry.

    The relative amounts of fuel and oxidizer remaining, made me think stage separation was a ways off. I did not consider the fact that fewer fuel burned because some engines were not working. I also misinterpreted the separation maneuver as loss of control (which came shortly afterwards).

  20. Kylopod says:


    Serious but potentially dumb question: do you legally have to run with a VP in national elections? Is that a requirement by law that one is elected in Nov with POTUS or can one be appointed afterwards by the winner as Acting VP?

    Per the 12th Amendment, a presidential ticket must include a vp candidate whom the designated electors will vote on when convening.

  21. Kathy says:

    Fani Willis over in Georgia will announce charges, hopefully against Benito, sometime between July 11 and September 1st.

    One has to wonder what’s taking so long. The investigation started over two years ago.

    IMO, it’s the matter of precedent. No one’s ever done this before, so non one is quite sure how to proceed. and the old saw that one ought not miss when shooting at the king.

    The one up side is that the next time it won’t take this long.

  22. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: My take, crude though it might be, was that the separation maneuver involved reorienting the spacecraft, and something went wrong with that. It appears that the spacecraft flipped its orientation as intended, but never stopped turning (not intended), and after some attempts to settle things down, the red button was pushed, by computer or RSO.

  23. Mikey says:

    @Jay L Gischer: This piece was linked in yesterday’s Open Forum and has a great run-down of what happened when, and what was supposed to, and wasn’t. It says that yes, the reorientation of the craft is meant to cause stage separation, and explains why it didn’t.

    If you scroll down to the bottom there’s a great picture of the boosters where you see the ones that didn’t fire are just completely missing their nozzles, which were destroyed by the chunks of concrete thrown up from the launch pad. Crazy.

  24. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Starship has a really weird, mixed design philosophy.

    Every last atom of rocket material adds mass that requires fuel to accelerate, and per the rocket equation fuel to accelerate the fuel as well. So the tendency is to minimize the mass of the rocket by any and all means necessary. this naturally involves a lot of trade-offs (which is the definition of engineering, I think).

    Typically rocket bodies are made of very light, very thin metal alloys, perhaps some use composites as well. this drives up the cost of the rocket, but lowers launch costs (see trade-offs; one of many). More important, it increases the mass of the payload, which is the point of the whole rocket building exercise.

    Elon the Emperor Mars God of Phobos went with a heavier steel rocket body, largely for reusability purposes. This makes sense, as cost enters this scenario differently than it does for disposable rockets. But this also takes up mass that either uses up more fuel, or diminishes the mass of the payload.

    So, more trade-offs. In this case, Starship relies on gravity for stage separation, saving mass in not using a mechanism to do so. The problem is the first stage engines need to cut off, otherwise the stage keeps pushing upwards against the upper stage.

    And this was likely the proximate cause of Starship’s demise.

  25. CSK says:


    I realize you’re joking, but really, who is going to be Trump’s v.p.? A non-entity won’t bring him the votes he needs, but he’ll only accept a non-entity as running mate because all the attention needs to be on him and him alone.

  26. Kathy says:



  27. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Mikey: Nice link. Tiresome editorializing, which is driven by ideology. Nobody is right about everything all the time, and Musk knows this.

    This was a test flight. Musk’s attitude is that one must prove the chosen approach doesn’t work before abandoning it. Maybe this is the proof.

    The argument “he was wrong, therefore he is A) an idiot, B) a tyrant, and C) a monster” (Ok, not quite explicitly stated) is common in its explanation of failure. And also wrong. Nobody made more mistakes in 60 minutes of basketball than Michael Jordan. Also, nobody made as many points, assists, etc. The best way to make no mistakes is to never try to do anything.

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: I’ve been confused by the whole “fish sticks heir” claim (because former Washington Senator Slade GORTON is actually the fish sticks heir), so I checked Wikipedia and found this (shorter version):

    In 1979, Carlson’s father married divorcée Patricia Caroline Swanson, an heiress to Swanson Enterprises, daughter of Gilbert Carl Swanson and niece of Senator J. William Fulbright.[48][66] Though Patricia remained a beneficiary of the family fortune, the Swansons had sold the brand to the Campbell Soup Company in 1955 and did not own it by the time of Carlson’s father’s marriage.[67] [emphasis added]

    I think you should change your schtick. To the extent that Tucker is anything other than an empty suit (or lying weasel wearing one), he would be a frozen TV dinners heir–but only an erstwhile one at that. The “fish sticks heir” line is certainly cute, though.

  29. daryl and his brother darryl says:


    One has to wonder what’s taking so long. The investigation started over two years ago.

    From what I have read it seems that many of the 20+ people who have been notified they are targets of the investigation have suddenly decided to cooperate. Hence the delay.
    But also I think there is something to what you say. If you are going at a former POTUS you better have the goods.

  30. gVOR08 says:


    A non-entity won’t bring him the votes he needs, but he’ll only accept a non-entity as running mate

    Tim Scott and Nikki Haley are campaigning to be that non-entity, and will claim to bring in some votes.

  31. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    He is still trust fund baby and heir to a fortune made from selling fish sticks and whatever not.
    Another GOP “man of the people.”
    I mean…would “Salisbury Steak Heir” make you happier?

  32. Thomm says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I mean…not installing blast diverting channels needed to not only protect your rocket,but also keep your launch pad from turning into a crater and spewing debris all over a wildlife refuge and the Gulf of Mexico is one way to try to prove 80 some odd years of knowledge wrong. Or it could just be an exercise in hubris and a bit of stupidity. Dealer’s choice I guess. Since I am not marinated in silicon valley culture, I know which one I am going with.

  33. KM says:

    Truthfully, I don’t think there is a candidate he can accept at this point. He accepted Pence and thinks he was betrayed by the man on Jan 6th – milquetoast beta tagalong Pence defied him so he’ll be extra wary of who gets to be the new Number Two.

    Before, there was a chance some with some political savvy could get him to accept a choice not his own but now? Anyone politically useful that’s willing to sign on to this toxic quixotic crusade is just as nuts or egotastic as he is. They’ll be in it for themselves, making their name as The Official MAGA Heir (TM) via the VP role. If they correctly intuit they’re gonna lose, it means they’re running some grift that will take money out of Trump’s mouth -a huge no-no. They’d have to be so hamstrung it wouldn’t be worth it. Also, one more snitch to all the criming going on and smart enough to CYA or cut a deal first? No thanks!

    Anyone not useful is gonna be even dumber since there’s no benefit to them. No moderate wants his stink on them because bye-bye moderate status! He can get any MAGA butt in that seat (after all, a non-zero chance of ending up POTUS if Trump rolls a celestial snake-eyes) but other then fulfilling a legal obligation, they’re a drag on him. They won’t be making him money, pumping up the crowd. He needs a hype man but that’s always a role he’s enjoyed doing himself.

    I really can’t think of anyone that would be a fit since one way or the other, he’ll rule them all out.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: Salsbury steak heir is pretty funny, but I don’t care beyond “fish sticks heir” was old in the 80s. It’s a new age. If you’re going for insulting, you have to be more leading edge. Using an old insult that doesn’t really apply is so…

    … Trump.

  35. CSK says:


    Too blah. A schmendrick. And the Gary Busey jokes would be unending.


    That’s true.


    Yeah, but he has to pick someone.

  36. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Speaking of Nimarata Randhawa…she said something interesting today.
    She conveniently ignores that Roe was, in effect, a consensus or compromise that included a trimester timeline meant to protect both the mother and the pre-natal child.
    It is the radical anti-choice zealots in Nimrata’s party that have tossed out consensus and rushed to “the barricades.”
    This is classic GOP playbook. Define the middle as radical-left in order to move the Overton Window as far to the right as possible. Meantime Red States across the country are passing 6 week abortion bans, which effectively outlaw abortion.

  37. KM says:

    Eh, does he though? I mean, it’s unconstitutional and all but since when has that ever stopped him? Norms and laws mean very little to him and he’s not running to win, just to claim victimhood and protection from litigation

    90% of Trump’s life has been doing something clearly shady and daring someone to stop him…. and the GOP has shown it will not only let him do it but make things easier for him. What if he names his call-in alter-ego or one of his LLCs as his running mate – what red state is gonna call him out for illegality if he’s their man? Are they not gonna put him on the ticket and give a clear path to Biden? Hell, they might call SCOTUS to intervene and assign him one just so they can let him run if the RNC can’t do it!

    Tl:dr I wouldn’t be surprised it “John Smith” was his running mate and he never produces any documentation about said person like he’s been doing about important Presidential candidate paperwork since 2015

  38. Michael Cain says:


    SpaceX was never going to get environmental approval to build a flame trench or operate a massive deluge system at Boca Chica. Never. Next full-stack launch will be from Florida. Even there, though, they seem to be going without the flame trench.

  39. CSK says:


    Running without a mate might be a step too far for him AND the RNC, though I doubt his base would care.

    Speaking of Trump he had a tantrum today because the debate committee didn’t consult him about the debate schedule prior to announcing it. He’s the front-runner, after all. Therefore, he is refusing to participate in the debates himself. That’ll show ’em.*

    Personally, I think he’s just chickenshit.

  40. DK says:


    who can fulfill the role of lickspittle and vote magnet?

    Tim Scott. Trump’s racism shield. Scott or Winsome Sears would be the smart pick for the GQP.

    I’m hoping Trump will go full stupid and pick MTG tho. Or Carlson.

  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Yeah, but he has to pick someone.

    I don’t see any requirement in the United States Constitution that a Vice Presidential candidate has to be a living human.
    I think that Nixon’s corpse will do just fine.

  42. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: It will be Don Jr.

    It’s the stupidest possibility, and everything settles upon the stupidest possibility. Sure, he’s a coked up failson, but he’s mean. And sets up a legacy.

    (I suppose the stupidest possibility would be starting with Eric, and then dumping him and replacing him with Don Jr during the campaign)

  43. KM says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Indeed – the wording of the 12th is “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President” and the qualifications for that are “natural born Citizen”, 35 at least and 14 years a resident. Nothing about alive or even human or real – you’re assuming that’s covered under “natural born Citizen” but that’s not defined by the Constitution itself and thus more…. flexible if they really need to indulge his BS.

    I mean, in the future we could be having a discussion about whether an AI qualifies as a “natural born Citizen” if most of their coding and recognition of self-awareness took place on US soil citing Trump’s 2024 run as precedence. The world is a strange, strange place

  44. Jen says:

    @JohnSF: Rick Wilson certainly seems to think so.

    I don’t really know. It takes a certain type of person to run for office, and I’m not sure Tucker fits.

  45. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    I kind of picture Tucker approaching Obi-wan in a Coruscant bar and asking “Wanna buy some fish sticks?”

  46. CSK says:

    @DK: @Mister Bluster: @Gustopher:

    Maybe it will be Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The MAGAs love his stance on vaccines and Anthony Fauci.

  47. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    There are mistakes, even blunders, and then there’s hubris.

    @Michael Cain:

    After all the money he’s sunk on his Red State Spaceport, I doubt he’d consider Florida or anywhere else.

  48. Thomm says:

    @Michael Cain: And? Then it should have never been used for it, or maybe even put there, in the first place. Hubris through and through…especially since it sounds like he is going to make another crater in Florida (bet the FAA has something to say about not having them the next time).

  49. Mu Yixiao says:

    Before I sign off for the day:

    One more example of how government could learn from business:

    I downloaded the TSA Precheck app, filled it out, and submitted the information. The confirmation said I had 120 days to make–and attend–an appointment.

    This evening I called to make an appointment.

    Absolutely everything I did in the app was completely pointless. I had to repeat everything I entered into the app. And the CSR I spoke to flat-out stated that the this was the case for everyone. “Yeah… the app is just the same information that we need to get from you for an appointment.”

    The CSR couldn’t even take the UID I was given and just confirm (or import) the info I had already entered. There is, apparently, zero connection between the app and reality. The app is completely useless except as a notification to call the TSA an schedule an appointment.

    On the other hand, it took me about 2 minutes each to schedule appointments to see my cardiologist for an annual checkup and my dentist to get a filling–they had all the relevant info available.

  50. Stormy Dragon says:

    FiveThirtyEight Founder Nate Silver Leaving ABC News as Disney Layoffs Continue

    FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver is exiting ABC News as The Walt Disney Company ramps up layoffs, Variety has confirmed.

    ABC News will hold onto the FiveThirtyEight brand with plans to streamline the statistics-driven news and analysis site. The network plans to create a more efficient structure for FiveThirtyEight leading into the 2024 presidential election and beyond.

  51. Kathy says:

    Nate Silver has been laid off 538 by Disney.

    I don’t really care to comment on this, but I thought it was note worthy.

  52. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “Missed it by that much.” 😀

  53. DK says:

    @Kathy: Good week gets even better?

  54. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Before I sign off for the day:

    Dropping stuff and running away? Coward!

    On the other hand, it took me about 2 minutes each to schedule appointments to see my cardiologist for an annual checkup and my dentist to get a filling

    Now cancel a NY Times subscription. Or do anything with your cable provider.

    Private vs. public really doesn’t have as much of a difference as you seem to think.

    You are cherry picking cases to fit your expectations and biases.

    I should pay my property taxes this month. Last time I did so it took about a minute, I don’t expect that this has gotten much worse.

  55. Kylopod says:


    Indeed – the wording of the 12th is “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President” and the qualifications for that are “natural born Citizen”, 35 at least and 14 years a resident. Nothing about alive or even human or real

    There is a legal definition of a “person,” and that usually refers to an entity that is human and alive. That said, I wonder if under Citizens United the vp could be a corporation.

  56. Thomm says:

    @Mu Yixiao: you mean like when applying for a job and you upload a resume and have to fill out the application section online and then do a paper application in person during your 1st interview and bring 3 printed copies of your resume with you?

  57. Stormy Dragon says:


    Or do anything with your cable provider.

    Last year I transferred my internet service from Verizon to a different provider, I called up afterward expecting a painful experience to close the old account, only to be presently surprised to discover that it had already been closed automatically and I didn’t need to do anything.

  58. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Although I should mention also this was likely due to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the fact there was a phone number being transferred along with the internet service.

  59. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Maybe it will be Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

    Since RFK Jr. is a Democrat Trump could claim it as unity ticket!

  60. Liberal Capitalist says:


    The first time Tucker got more applause than Trump, or better press, Trump would have to destroy him. Trump wants a toady and a lickspittle who can never be seen as his competitor. Tucker’s a lot of things, but he ain’t that.

    Now THAT is a terrifying thought… That Trump is not actually the worst thing that could happen.

    What if, in fact, Trump was this century’s Paul von Hindenburg?

    By that I mean: What if Trump Selects a Tucker Carlson or MTG as VP, and then they, as VP run wild? Actually leaving Trump in the dust of history and then go off into wilder and wilder MAGA fantasies? Maybe a fire in Congress, leading to… who knows.

    Now that could make an interesting alternative history story.

  61. Kathy says:

    Any predictions how the debt ceiling fight will play out?

    Biden is refusing to negotiate. He may be bluffing, or he may have something up his sleeve. I can’t think of any end-run around the debt ceiling, but I don’t know everything.

    I don’t think he intends to let the country default and let the consequences stick to the GQP. The damage to the world’s economy isn’t worth the political gain, if any.

    Or it may be Kevin doesn’t have the votes for his proposed bill (which would be a really bad idea to pass in any case). If so, and if the House rules allow for a vote on a bill without Kevin’s cooperation, then Biden may be hoping a compromise, clean debt ceiling bill can be passed by the Democrats and whatever few sane Republicans remain.

  62. Stormy Dragon says:


    As a practical matter, it’s not clear that McCarthy can actually pass anything, so there’s no point negotiating with him. Biden’s refusing to make the same mistake McCarthy did trying to become speaker where he made concessions to people who said “I want X, Y, and Z, although I still won’t vote yes even if I get them” and that just encouraged them to demand further concessions.

  63. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Hey, there’s precedent. John McCain wanted to make Joe Lieberman his v.p.

  64. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Biden was with Obama during one of his greatest mistakes on domestic governance, attempting to negotiate with the GOP on the debt ceiling, and ending up with the sequester. They learned their lesson, and the next time the GOP tried to pull that stunt (in 2013), they told them to GFTS.

  65. Kathy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Benito is certainly not the worst. We’re pretty much agreed he was tempered by incompetence and mental laziness.

    What if, in fact, Trump was this century’s Paul von Hindenburg?

    Well, Hindenburg did not stage the Beer Hall Putsch.

    And if Benito crashes and burns, it probably won’t be in New Jersey 😉

  66. dazedandconfused says:


    The aerodynamic force acts to keep the two stages stuck together as long as it’s going forward, “Gravity” doesn’t seem useful, as gravity provides the same acceleration on everything regardless of weight. The cut off of the main engines would end the acceleration, lessening the force keeping the two stages together but would not act to accelerate the second stage away from the first. The considerable aerodynamic force on the nose would act to keep the two stages glued together. Only the ignition of the second stage engines would seem to serve to accelerate the second stage away from the first.

    I don’t grasp the notion a slight turn was to provide the separation. That would be an asymmetric force imparting yaw on both objects, the last thing anyone should logically wish to impart at the moment of second stage engine ignition.

    There’s something more to all this, most likely.

  67. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Michael Flynn, who’s a registered Democrat (or at least was back then), was on Trump’s short list in 2016. Similar to Lieberman, his position on abortion is apparently what caused it to fall through.

  68. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Hey, there’s precedent.

    For the corpse or the unity ticket?

  69. Kathy says:


    Well, it kind of is rocket science.

    Let’s leave it at: most rockets use some form of physical mechanism to effect stage separation, while Starship uses something different to save on the mass of such a thing.

    Works for me.

  70. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:


  71. dazedandconfused says:


    WAG: They were looking for second stage ignition to blow the first stage off. May have been failure to achieve first stage cut-off and a safety system which prevents second stage ignition unless that has been achieved. Unlikely anyone wanted to see a condition of both burning at the same time.

  72. Kathy says:

    Mr Roberts has declined a chance to testify before the Senate.

    A subpoena would be useless. It would be appealed all the way up to, checks notes, the Supreme Court, where Mr. Roberts can expect to direct preferential treatment. So, one should be issued anyway, just to see what arguments and rulings shake loose.

    What I’ve learned in the past few years, is that major malfeasance by the rich and powerful takes time to deal with, when it’s dealt with at all. Having indicted a forme oval office occupant, a chief justice doesn’t seem like much of a much.

    I think it’s possible Thomas, and perhaps others, have received money or gifts in exchange for voting a certain way. In polite terms, there may be grifters in the court taking bribes, maybe even soliciting bribes.

    This is something that Garland, or whoever replaces him on Biden’s second term (Hera willing), should take up on the day after the inauguration in 2025. And I mean to look into all nine justices impartially. In fact, retired justices should be investigated as well.

  73. Monala says:

    @CSK: I just joined the discussion, so forgive me if someone already brought this up: Kari Lake. She’s prettier than MTG, and I don’t think she’s a true believer in the right wing causes. (My guess is she’s just about her ambition.) With her long history in television broadcasting, she knows how to present herself well and how to turn on and off the crazy, depending on the audience. And when dealing with Trump, she probably knows how to convincingly kiss his heiney.

  74. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Unlikely anyone wanted to see a condition of both burning at the same time.

    Luddite waves both hands while jumping up and down, while giggling maniacally.

  75. Jax says:

    @Monala: You’re not wrong, but still….will she let him grab her there? Because that’s the whole banana crazy shit about how narcissistic Trump is. She’s like the female Tucker Carlson. I don’t think either one of them would suck up that hard. She’ll do some hard-hitting “expose”, with her soft filters, and he’ll get so mad.

    She WOULD, however, try to overthrow the government to win.